Frank Heile visits The Stoa on January 9th and January 16th to discuss his upcoming book "Consciousness and Spirituality Explained"
In Part 1 (of 2), on January 9th, Frank "Explains Consciousness" using a materialistic two-agent model of the brain. The core idea is that one of these two subagents constructs a model of the "world." The agent that constructs the world model is the conscious agent whose "experiences" represent the attention mechanism implemented by that agent. This model proposes a materialistic explanation of the distinction between Access Consciousness and Phenomenal Consciousness and proposes a solution to the Hard Problem of Consciousness. The model also explains normal human consciousness, flow state, and enlightened "self-less" states of consciousness.
In Part 2 (of 2), on January 16th, Frank "Explains Spirituality" using a materialistic three-agent model of the brain; this model builds on the two-agent model of Part 1 presented on Jan 9th. If you didn't see that talk, please watch it on The Stoa YouTube channel or watch the 26-minute video on www.SpiritualityExplained.com. The core idea is that modern humans have developed a potent "Thinker" agent (the third agent of the three-agent model), which has enabled modern human civilization's attainments. Unfortunately, the Thinker often causes suffering for modern humans, and spirituality was developed to ameliorate that suffering.
The development of the more powerful Thinker agent in modern humans can clarify the distinctions between animal consciousness, normal human consciousness, flow state, and the various enlightened states of consciousness. This model also shows that common spiritual practices can result in decreased suffering. Some forms of spiritual practices allow the attainment of "Enlightenment," which can eliminate the suffering caused by the Thinker.