Dualists are people who advocate a seperation from physical reallity and this consciousness. They may in my opinion
say that a biologist's assertion that pain is the firing of C-Fibre neurones in the brain does not in any way explain the sensation of pain; why or how it occurs, or even what it is.
An analogy would be computer game code representing the on-screen output resulting from it. The code isn't the same as the output, but, the output is dependant on the code.
That last detail is important.
A monist says that physical reallity and the consciousness are one in the same. In the computer analogy the monist says that the code and the on-screen output are exactly the same thing.
My solution to the problem is similar to a dualist's, at least, it should satisfy dualists - but it is really monistic by its nature.
A dualist would invoke the soul or some kind of spiritual plane to explain the consciousness. I, more logically as we will see, posit another dimension.
How is this any more likely than a soul?
Surely it's just as insubstantiable. Well, I disagree - and here's why.
One can say, 'X impulse in the brain happens at Y speed' or 'X chemical signal in the brain is delivered in doses of Y milligrams', but one can't say 'happiness is quick' or 'sadness is heavy'. This shows (or rather, goes some way to showing)that consciousness cannot be quantified in time or space.
As you will see, the exact same problem occurs between time and space, one example: it would be innapropriate to make the statement '5 minutes is 300 contimetres long', but it would be appropriate, however, to say 'the 300 cm strip of paper lasted 5 minutes in the rain'.
For this conceptual dichotomy time was awarded the luxury of its own dimension, and for good reason; only spatial quantities can be expressed through space - this is why they are spatial quantities; it follows that if something cannot be expressed through space it is not a spatial quallity. This latter point applies to the consciousness, and it is why I assert that it must be considered to have a dimension of its own (let's say for arguement's sake, that it's 5), and why, ultimately all conventional theories of the consciousness have failed to capture the essence of the problem.
Another example of the dichotomy between consciousness and space:
We can say serotonin concentration in the brain affects moods, or we can say the amount of time a particular concentration of serotonin last determines the lasting period of a particular mood.
I can also say that the air resistance of an object determines how long it will take to fall. Giving precise details of an object's shape and relative air resistance will not explain how long an object will take to fall. We may infer that data from calculations, but in describing the length of flight we do not invoke details of shape and size - we talk about specific lengths of time; in other words, revert to another dimensional plane. In the same way as air resistance does not tell of flight length, brain chemistry does not tell of emotion: it only allows one to infer the emotion occurring - and to explain that emotion we revert to different language; no longer talking of concentrations and locations - we talk of sadness or happiness, elation or pleasure, or any other emotion, and we talk of those emotion's strengths.
Note that, although I emphasise the conceptual dichotomy, remember that it is not only one of grammatical semantics - I merely use these to better express the actual dichotomy which is so hard to pin down.
One might then go on to argue that, if that is the case, and all objects exist in all dimensions (as they surely must), why don't all objects have a consciousnesses.
Simple; they do. However, it's not the same as ours, even remotely. You see, we in our brains have a vast, complicated, but ultimately structured, network of thought, memory, vision and all the senses that other objects simply do not. I see the 5th dimension as requiring a degree of structured complexity to come through as consciousness, because as we acknowledge, the loss of an aspect of the brain's complexity, such as losing the part of your brain that deals with vision, results in a reduction of consciousness (the consciousness of sight).
Just like particles must come together before atoms and objects can represent the 3rd dimension and just like the temperature has to be above absolute zero for time to be represented by change, there must be complexity for conscious awareness to appear representing the 5th dimension.
Imagine the 5th dimension to be paparazzi and our electro-chemical, spatialy quantifiable sensations to be celebrities.
The paparazzi require celebrities to be present in order to represent them in articles (imagine in this analogy that articles are the actual consciousness) - but the paparazzi still exist if celebrities are not present.
This is the same as, for example, empty space existing without there being objects around to properly represent it, or time existing without any noticeable changes occuring in the environment. Other forms of the consciousness, different and abstract from ours, may exist, but not in inanimate objects, or artificial intelligence - as entailed by the true location of the consciousness, which I will soon suggest.
Every 'event' as we perceive it happens slightly differently to every atom: if you imagine yourself punching a wall - every atom in that wall and in your fist receives a slightly different measure of force from the one next to it, so it could actually be rationalised in this way to be several events, several million changes in the energy states of the wall atoms and your knuckle atoms.
I regard the entire consciousness to be just one event, an event that occurs every planck second - not in the conceptual sense (as punching a wall)but in the physical sense - on an object to object basis (An object here means one indivisible thing, like sub atomic particles for example).
And why not? Should the laws of physics adhere to our limited (to use the Dawkins-ism)middle brain conception of the world? Occam's razor and logic suggest that anything other than perceiving the consciousness as one event would be as arbitrary as saying that the punching of a wall is one event - or indeed that the brain is one object. Also, in a human consciousness all aspects of it are connected, i.e., one brain faculty, such as thought, can relate to another, such as vision or memory.
If we agree with the assertion that consciousness is another dimension, we must also realise that the relative spatial position of objects (atomic/molecular bonds inc.)should have no affect on what happens to them in the 5th dimensiontion representation of them. It doesnt matter where in the planet two biodegradable substances are, the amount of time they take to degrade does not depend on their proximity to each other, even if attached - the point being that spatial position does not affect the 4th dimension. Spatial position in terms of connected atoms and molecules, even in the brain has no affect on the 5th dimension/consciounsess.
This begs the question, how can the consciousness occur inside the brain if the brain is made up of many millions of atoms? Certainly, every atom within the brain does not have the necessary structured complexity to fulfill the conditions of consciousness and the brain itself does not fulfill the condition of being one indivisable object for the conscious 'event' to occur - so what's up?
The Electromagnetic Field. It's shape (I use the word tenetively) on a moment to moment basis is determined by brain activity - its is disturbed by the electric current of the brain - and so represents the brain's complexity, but it is also one indevisable object - in fact, luckily for my theory, besides sub atomic particles (or strings if you prefer) it is one of the only 4 things to be fully indivisable (Gravity, EM, Weak and Strong nuclear forces).
I would like to clarify that the 5th dimension does not exclusively represent the outside world as the consciousness, this is shown by our consciousness of emotions and thoughts, but I still want to explain. Specifically, it represents the internal complexity of a single object. In the EM field, most internal complexity is based upon the outside world because of the sensory organs, and thus we are conscious of outside events.