Yes, we’re made from the same constituents of matter as the rest of the universe, but we don’t experience or identify with them. We needn’t be substance dualists to appreciate that some things are more fundamental than others. Organisms emerge and evolve from more fundamental natural processes that existed before any life and that will likely outlast all species.

It seems too strong to say consciousness has no attributes at all. As Kant pointed out, consciousness is bound by temporality if not by spatial dimensions. Cognitive scientists point to lots of other aspects of consciousness too, such as the degrees of attention.

You ask how unified consciousness can emerge from the complex brain, but who says the self is entirely unified? We’re unified mainly by a story we tell about ourselves, based on our memories, but there are all sorts of inner conflicts we paper over. Existentialism even posits one of these conflicts, between our authentic and inauthentic selves, between the side that’s untouched by social meddling or that’s grounded in the conditions of our existence, and the side that’s imposed on us as we try to fit into society.

I wonder what meanings you think are inherent in the fabric of the world.

I’ve actually written an article on the fear of death that will be coming out soon, as well as an article on unconditional, spiritual love, which might interest you.

Knowledge condemns. Art redeems. I learned that as an artistic writer who did a doctorate in philosophy. We should try to see the dark comedy in all things.

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