Consciousness

 

With respect to the nature of consciousness, do you agree with the phrase ‘You cannot be that which you observe’, or can you point at yourself and say ?this is ME??

(From the website:Ask philosophers )

Here the gentleman is talking “me and them” ,meaning I am the observer and them is the observed. The world is the thing which I observe without participating in it .The moment I participate in it I become “them” and “me” merges into it. Yes .You cannot be that which you observe .For example you are watching the circus girl perform and your consciousness embraces her existence on the stage but when you are on the stage along with her and performing as a troupe member you become “them”.You cannot point at youself and say this is me,Jagannath because that presupposes that for a moment Jagannath has come out of himself and started observing himself as a distinct organism separate from Jagannath,the observed. In a near fictional situation in a poem ,this gentleman called John Donne ,the17th century poet imagined a situation in which both he and his beloved pulled themselves out of their mortal bodies and their souls had their lovers’ union in the vast wild wastes of the firmament.But that is an unreal situation.

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