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Posted by Paul R. Martin on September 9, 2002 15:56:34 UTC

Hi Philip,

It's been a long time since we talked. Good to hear from you again. Here's my take on your question:

I think we are a blend of two components (yes, I am one of those rare dualists): mind and body.

The body is the easiest to identify with, especially for other people. My body is all other people have access to when they consider who I am. Not only that, but that identification works well for them because of the continuity. They can assign to my body a name, a social security number, an employee ID, etc. and maintain the continuity of "my" involvement in the world.

As for me, I have a choice. I, too, could consider my body to be me for the same pragmatic reasons that other people do. But if, in the spirit of your question, I try to come to grips with the real essence of my identity, it's not so simple. There is the very persistent presence of my conscious awareness which, from my first person point of view, seems to be my identity, or the real me. But then the question arises, What is this consciousness anyway? And, what is its seat?

Those, to me are the interesting questions. After a "relentless" search of my own for the past five or six decades, I have come to my own conclusions. And, if I understand your post, it is those conclusions you are asking about. Here's what I think:

What seems to be "my" consciousness, is an illusion. That is, it is not unique to me. Instead, there is only, and exactly, one consciousness in all of reality, and it is somehow shared among all of us seemingly independent and autonomous conscious beings. So, if "I" am my consciousness, then we are all one. (Where have we heard that before?)

If this is true, then the seat of consciousness cannot be right behind Paul Martin's eyeballs or anywhere else accessible from this 4D physical world. I strongly suspect that there are additional dimensions of space, and even of time, with our 4D space-time continuum being only a closed manifold within it. Beyond our manifold there is plenty of room to house the seat of consciousness, but at this point, we can only speculate on any details about what it must be like out (up) there.

Keep in mind -- you asked!

Warm regards,


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