Ideas that add up #47

Your sense of self is an illusion that your brain creates as you grow. What starts out as a tiny trickle becomes a torrent of ideas, feelings and images. Consciousness and the illusion of self are like a stream of water moving swiftly between rocks. At one spot the water curls back on itself creating a whirlpool. If we are looking at the stream, we can say: “That is a whirlpool.” We refer to the whirlpool as a thing, but we know that we cannot lift it out of the stream.

In the same way our sense of being a person is part of the stream of ideas, feelings and images that cascade through our mind. It has a kind of structure, but this structure is made up of ideas, feeling and images. All of these are guesses that can be disconfirmed by events. When this happens, we feel ourselves falling apart.

Dorothy Rowe in FT Magazine, January 29, 2011

The fluid dynamics of sentience and consciousness…

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