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Front Psychol


Consciousness Beyond Neural Fields: Expanding the Possibilities of What Has Not Yet Happened.


In the field theories in physics, any particular region of the presumed space-time continuum and all interactions between elementary objects therein can be objectively measured and/or accounted for mathematically. Since this does not apply to any of the field theories, or any other neural theory, of consciousness, their explanatory power is limited. As discussed in detail herein, the matter is complicated further by the facts than any scientifically operational definition of consciousness is inevitably partial, and that the phenomenon has no spatial dimensionality. Under the light of insights from research on meditation and expanded consciousness, chronic pain syndrome, healthy aging, and eudaimonic well-being, we may conceive consciousness as a source of potential energy that has no clearly defined spatial dimensionality, but can produce significant changes in others and in the world, observable in terms of changes in time. It is argued that consciousness may have evolved to enable the human species to generate such changes in order to cope with unprecedented and/or unpredictable adversity. Such coping could, ultimately, include the conscious planning of our own extinction when survival on the planet is no longer an acceptable option.