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What Exists

When mundane elements combine to create a human brain, the rich experience of human consciousness comes into being. The matter the brain is constructed from is nothing special, but the structure of the brain is remarkable. Aspects of that structure are experienced directly in consciousness. Those aspects have direct connections to memory6 and language. Nothing else seems to separate them from other similar structures in the brain.

Neural networks in the brain, with less direct connections to memory and language, may also embody immediate experience. We experience consciousness disconnected from memory and language when we perform some oft repeated task in autopilot mode. We daydream and pay no attention to the task. At the end we remember nothing about it. Yet at every moment we were, at some level, conscious of what we were doing. If something suddenly broke us out of our daydream, consciousness of the task would not suddenly come into being. It was there all the time, but not connected with memory and language. Paying attention reestablishes the connection.

One can assume everything that exists is structured immediate experience without contradicting our scientific understanding of the physical world. Aspects of the physical structure in our brain combine to create the rich stream of consciousness we experience. There can be other immediate experience embodied in our brain. The consciousness we experience only seems to exist at the level of a neural network, but immediate experience could exist at all levels of structure in the body and the molecules and atoms that the body is built from.

Once one recognizes that immediate experience can fully embody the abstract structure that science has revealed, there is no requirement to postulate the existence of anything but structured immediate experience. This leads to the Totality Axiom.

The essence and totality of the existence of physical structure is immediate experience in some form. Structure is the only aspect of immediate experience that can be communicated.

The Totality Axiom implies panpsychism. It implies that there is nothing in conscious experience, beyond its physical structure, that can affect what a sentient being says or does. Causality is fully described by physical structure which is an aspect of immediate experience.


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