Annaka Harris On Consciousness | Rich Roll Podcast

Rich Roll

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What is consciousness? How does it arise? And why does it exist?

My guest for this exploration is Annaka Harris, the NYT bestselling author of “Conscious: A Brief Guide to the Fundamental Mystery of the Mind.” She is an editor and consultant for science writers, specializing in neuroscience and physics, and her work has appeared in The New York Times.

✌?? – Rich

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Hi I’m Rich Roll. I’m a vegan ultra-endurance athlete, author, podcaster, public speaker & wellness evangelist at large. But mainly I’m a dad of four. If you want to know more, visit my website or check out these two the NY Times articles:

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46 Responses

  1. Kim Yun Mi says:

    Her eyebrow makes me understand all what she has to say.

  2. Kim Yun Mi says:

    What is it like to be my twin sister?

  3. Ludwig says:

    Why is Panpsychism not a good name for what it is? Didn't connect that, can someone explain what you think she means?

  4. Jeff Rourke says:

    We will never understand consciousness "better."

  5. Tor Hunemark says:

    Is there really an advantage being conscious, or is it just an unfortunate bieffect of something that is beneficial for our survival?

  6. Bill Youmans says:

    Excellent, non-dogmatic discussion, thanks. According to Vedanta and Buddhism, consciousness is independent of the body, and is the single awareness in which every experience occurs. Our local consciousness is “a reflection “ of this one consciousness in some way I frankly don’t grasp. The key is not the smell of coffee but the AWARENESS of the smell of coffee or not.

  7. If the Self is an illusion, what is Illuded ?

  8. Thelma Lynne says:

    Consciousnes is a product of the Sun.Without its heat and light there would be nothing alive to be conscious.

  9. Right out of the blocks I can see this woman is selectively cherry-picking her data to support this idea we're not really conscious or free agents. I've read scores of papers that challenge and even disqualify her assertion that Benjamin Libet's research is non-negotiable and these are very recent papers. She even asserted the brain causes consciousness without giving evidence for why that is so, outside correlative points. She's not approaching this scientifically but is, instead, starting with a conclusion and then looking for data to support that conclusion-like Libet's out-dated data. Old stuff.

  10. Sam, you are a lucky man

  11. Boepyne says:

    Great podcast, absolutely horrible raucous intro and outro.

  12. Thought experiment ; close your eyes for a minute and imagine that our US Congress and House was composed of similar people and her in the Oval office ……what would that be like ..

  13. Kelly Boggs says:

    I don't think the mind exists in brain cells. It's in all cells. It's everthing. We are local consciousness nodes. The more you open the more we can handle well it's a flexibility issue. Our present form simple people we have been slowed down to give us time to think. And eternity may be interested in our thoughts. Ifso facto, the universe did this and has brought us here . I think obviously to be witness to ourselves and life. It's not wrong make of it what you will.

  14. Possibly theres one big question that if we could find the answer,would render all of our present big questions about conciousness,
    just gaps and dots to connect and fill.
    The actual origins of conciousness possibly? It sounds like an impossibility but who knows what's possible?
    If enough people were to unify their focus,the possibilities are infinite.

  15. With Sam as their father and Annaka as their mother, just imagine how smart their two little girls must be, haha.. So happy for this entire family. Sam and Annaka seem like such lovely people and I'm sure the daughters will grow up to be the same.

  16. Comparison is the key to concious evolution.
    Comparison is relativity.

  17. Yes we are responding to our environments and so do trees and plants respond to their environments. Isn't "to flourish" a matter of free will??

  18. Now do we really know what a worm feels??? Minimal??? Definitely in plants – mine have flourished because of my "help", my love for them, talking to them, praising them……sounds bizarre and I guess it is. Plants respond to human thoughts.

  19. Definitely ALL OF REALITY is conscious. I don't care for the giggling, but a good talk about fascinating ideas.

  20. Paulo Frade says:

    Its a nice conversation about Consciousness, but it misses a lot. Consciousness is a mystery, for example, If Consciousness depends of eletric activity on the brain, why there are so many experiences of people that have Near-Death Experiencies when there isn't any activity at all in the brains. During these Near-Death Experiencies these people have experiences out of their bodies, they see related dead people, talk with religious figures like Christ or Buddha, even experiencing God. There have been reports of blind people from birth that actully have the experience of seeing during these phenomena. And many times these persons describe with accurate fidelity what happen in the surroundings when they should be uncouscious. The materialistic Science cant describe these things,…but they are happening everyday…Consciousness …what a mystery….

  21. Mrs. Harris defines consciousness as that which can experience. Perhaps. How about instead awareness? How much awareness is required to collapse the wave function? If objects have enough awareness to collapse the wave function, couldn't they be considered conscious? If objects are not capable of collapsing the wave function, then they may very well become materialized out of the energy field as the observer observes them.

  22. funhole26 says:

    Fuck taking LSD….just listen to Annaka Harris ????

  23. Something that’s been bothering me is the collapse of the wave function as relates to the observer, with regards to the sequence of events that occur during observation. If the act of observation collapses the wave function, this would require a photon bounce off of that which is being observed, traveling to the observer’s eye, reacting with the back of the eye, an impulse created and transmitted to the vision center of the brain, and a decision made as to what was expected. This all takes time. So what must be happening is the decision (by the entity) is transmitted backwards in time to the point of interaction with the photon and the particle is manifested out of the energy field. The decision to observe and the act of observation actually happen after the act of physical interaction with the energy field. If this turned out to be true, it would lend credence to consciousness manifesting reality from the energy field rather than a preconstructed material reality. Maybe?

  24. A very important subject that does not require understanding of why, but rather how to stay in attention and awareness to experience life fully. Knowing how to meditate and doing so seems to be the stepping stone to prepare for this state of sustained consciousness, rather than occasional consciousness that is recognized and identified.

  25. Cognitive scientist Donald D. Hoffmans theory that space time is doomed and consciousness is fundamental: creating it all, preceding the big bang has my attention.

  26. Skillet !! says:

    I remember seeing an NDE saying that he was experiencing something like he was an earthworm but I can’t remember his name. Very interesting conversation!!

  27. Rallar Fantn says:

    why is it, that humans have this desire to be "better" than the rest. when it obviously would have been a millenia better if we worked together, in a non profit world. no bounderies…. no limitations.

  28. Hermes worked out the riddle thousands of years ago it is simply the 1st hermetic principle all is mind mind is all we live in a conscious mind so everything is conscious including matter

  29. If you really want to get to the bottom of consciousness you want to learn about the balance of opposites first ; we live in a world based on opposites i.e. day-night ; winter-summer etc. So does our bodies also work ; to be alive/aware something in me must die, and that is my brain cells ; awareness is based on a death process.

  30. Consciousness cannot be accounted for in physical terms. For consciousness is absolutely fundamental.

    – Erwin Schrodinger

  31. There are people who do and have understood the human mind, unfortunately, Annaka does not appear to be one. Whilst psychedelic drugs such as LSD, mescaline, and ayahuasca are no doubt and can be very educational to some people under the appropriate circumstances, the esoteric path Annaka is on would be impossible for most to relate to the physical world. Which is fundamental.

  32. Enough of this, "what is consciousness " crapola. Nobody knows, okay? Let it go, people. It's like mind numbing drek for the overworked.

  33. liam malpass says:

    My brain is scrambled really interesting though

  34. Too many people fascinated by the nature of consciousness and none has a clue. So is the way of the human animal.

  35. Wayne P says:

    At bottom it is biochemical. Elementary my dears.

  36. Ar Jun says:

    Ppl should just learn more from Sanatana Dharma –

  37. TruthSeeker says:

    Can't help but think she looks nothing like Ben Stiller's wife.

  38. Rich Vail says:

    Wonder if this lady is on the gifted spectrum and or has Inattentive ADHD or existential depression?
    I like her approach to the idea of spirituality as being an investigation into the truth and not about the new age or even falling into the old aged beliefs.
    Whatever is going, is going on there’s no benefit of living in a delusion so why not approach this topic in our lives in a more inquisitive way knowing that no one has figured it out yet.

  39. D Gom says:

    So, plants are not conscious… but what about having the experience of a plant? they are born, grow, feed and die… these so called scientists and investigators are lost in the labyrinth of their minds…. instead of focusing outside of themselves they need to pay more attention to the experience of "the self"

  40. Enki says:

    Science is a product of consciousness. It will never get before consciousness so as to fundamentally understand it. End of thread!

  41. It's time for these moronic mainstream scientists to wake up and recognize the fact that consciousness is a universal force, irrespective of any biological basis. Consciousness creates our physical reality, and not the other way around. To say that our consciousness arise from our biological brain is the same as saying the Sims characters that exist in a computer game created the game players (which are the ones making the decisions and controlling those characters), and we all know that is just ludicrous.

  42. Ryan says:

    Totally not what eastern phylosophy means by consciousness. This is exactly where the scientists go wrong. Organism being conscious is not "the consciousness" actually meant by the great saints of India. Consciousness is not the product of the brain, as it is believed by the modern scientist.

  43. Gary Johnson says:

    She says all we can be sure of is consciousness. Agreed. There can be no self without free will. Without free will how do we choose the words we use to converse? We are not our brains. Tossing around terms like neuro science and neuro physiology doesn't invalidate the truth of our experience. Her husband subscribes to materialist reductionist and has infected her thinking. Quantum mechanics has shown consciousness to be fundamental and intrinsically involved with the collapse of the wave function. Is it more magical to believe an inanimate universe could produce consciousness or vice versa. Miraculous either way. Listen to David Chalmers, Peter Russell, Roger Penrose, etc

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