The Evolution of Consciousness

The evolution of consciousness occurs in a layered progression of memory, imagination, and choice.

The first stage begins (1a) with being aware of the brain processing memories (simple dreams), then (1b) develops the ability to call on those memories for use when needed for something occurring in the moment, and finally (1c) the ability to consciously choose between memories as to which is the best to apply at a given moment. The failure of this stage of development is to not be able to discern between memory and reality – like a person having a flashback to a traumatizing event.

The second stage begins (2a) with awareness of the brain pulling memories apart and put the pieces back together differently (complex dreams), then (2b) develops the ability to do this reflexively to the needs of the immediate environment (intelligence), and finally (2c) we can choose do this at will like a philosopher, fiction writer, or Einstein (logic is a function of imagination). Failure at this stage is the inability to discern between our imagination and reality – like a person wearing tin foil on their head.

The third stage begins (3a) with the awareness of making choices (even though we might not feel that it is a real thing, we are aware it), then (3b) develops the ability to categorize and manage these choices in an effort to limit contradictions (logic and reason again), and then (3c) we learn to take control of the choice mechanism all together. Failure at this stage is complex, involving the other two stages, but is based on the inability to keep our choices within the confines of reality.

These three stages do not develop one after the other individually. They are integrated and evolve like a rondo version of “Row-Row-Row Your Boat”. For example, 1a, 1b, 2a, 3a, 2b, 1c, 3b, 2c, 3c. (Totally made up sequence.)