John Searle: Our shared condition — consciousness

Video extracted from the website TED (please click here if you have any problems watching the video).  For a biography of John Searle please click here.

Philosopher John Searle lays out the case for studying human consciousness — and systematically shoots down some of the common objections to taking it seriously. As we learn more about the brain processes that cause awareness, accepting that consciousness is a biological phenomenon is an important first step. And no, he says, consciousness is not a massive computer simulation. (Filmed at TEDxCERN.)

Fascinating 15 minutes talk about, as Mr. Searle calls it, “the enormous power of consciousness”. According to Mr. Searle, conscience is a condition which depends on the behaviour of our brain’s molecules. Conscience is real and irreducible, and conscious states are subjective. These ideas agree with the concept that our emotions, our thoughts and behaviour are conditioned not by ourselves and by the world around us, but by our perception of those. This is why we all do not react exactly the same in front of a particular situation. With the contribution of hypnotherapy combined with CBT (Cognitive Behaviouir Therapy) we can identify such processes and modify them in a way, if we so desired, which may offer us a greater self control over those thoughts, emotions and behaviours.

Mr. Searle estates that “our traditional vocabularies for discussing these issues (such as the issue of consciousness) are totally obsolete”. This is an interesting thought which ressonates with the current position of hypnotherapy: a field of psychology focused in the study of altered states of consciousness which is named after Hypnos, the Greek god of Sleep. When in reality, hypnotherapy has nothing to do with sleep. Perhaps a more apt terminology would contribute to better describe the work of clinical hypnotherapists.


About Anna Pons

Certificat (CPPD), Post Graduat Certificat (PGCert) i Post Graduat Diploma (PGD) en Hipnoteràpia Clínica, London College of Clinical Hypnosis (LCCH) i Universitat de West London (UWL)
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