Frank Heile, PhD
This talk presents a materialistic model of consciousness that can explain the distinctions between several different forms of conscious awareness:
- Non-human animal consciousness
- Modern human consciousness
- Flow state consciousness
- “Enlightened” states of consciousness (also known as “nonduality”)
- Consciousness experienced in Auto-Activation Deficit syndrome
- The phenomenal consciousness vs. access-consciousness distinction proposed by NYU philosopher Ned Block
- How spirituality developed and how its invention changed consciousness
A three-agent model of the brain, combined with the Attention Schema Theory model of awareness proposed by Princeton neuroscientist Michael Graziano, provides a framework to explain these distinctions.
Finally, this model can offer answers to the following philosophical questions:
- Why does conscious awareness seem to be fundamentally non-physical and to not have a location in space?
- What conditions cause conscious awareness to arise?
- Can conscious awareness exist without a “self?”
- Do humans have free will?