"Consciousness Comes First" by Federico Faggin [Cosmos Café 2021-10-21]

Audio Recording:

This Café we will be discussing Federico Faggin’s essay from Consciousness Unbound entitled “Consciousness Comes First”. More about this essay coming soon!

Reading / Watching / Listening

Seed Questions

  • In the video below John and Doug share drawings, diagrams and muse upon different models that have been explored over the course of related Cafe events. As different symbolic landscapes co-cohere in this public space, Doug mentions the bus driver who is asleep at the wheel, and he develops this character further. Could the waking up bus driver be a shared symbolic form for organizing future episodes at the Cafe? What happens before he wakes up? What happens after? And when the next driver takes charge at the wheel, what does she want to have happen? And is there a relationship between this inquiry into metaphors of transcendence and the model of consciousness Faggin explores in his essay?

  • Faggin, Kastrup and Kripal are contributors to Consciousness Unbound. Are those of us, who are familiar with their work, finding resonances between them and beyond them? Faggin, for example, says matter is like ink and consiousness uses ink to write out our thoughts, to reflect better, apply logic, and learn more about the world within a community of conscious beings. In a materialist paradigm, matter lets off mind, like a steam from a kettle, and plays no role in the mechanisms of matter. As many of us feel that they are becoming- with- the- Earth, how do these different metaphorical landscapes impact you and your own felt sense of World?

Context, Backstory, and Related topics

  • Massey_2021_ANewTuringTest-MetaphorVsNonsense.pdf (690.2 KB)
    (This is more a “related” than a contextual or backstory topic … it ties in with our previous discussion about AI, as it deals fairly directly with the issue of consciousness and computing, but with a focus on the role of language in all of this. In this last regard, it links in with our last couple of CCafés.)

Preliminal Sketches Around and About “Consciousness Comes First” by Federico Faggin [Cosmos Café Microbrew 2021-10-14]



With Big Ears as they say in Jazz - listening to the Voices of Doug & John:

A Felt Sense of Sense-Making of the Word- Symbol of Transcendence,
“Moving”(Changing) from-into(to,above,below,around or out-of) , known(orientation)… Unknown(orientation)back into the Same Orientation Aligned,Attuned, Anew? not necessarily leaving “Behind”;maybe Cultivating from the Compost ?


I didn’t notice this thread (isn’t there a setting that allows one to receive an alert for every new created thread to stay up to date?) but will certainly follow it and eventually participate in the sessions since it deals with one of my preferred topics. :slight_smile:


We mentioned that their effort has been a long time coming. The first two publications (Irreducible Mind and Beyond Physicalism) along with Consciousness Unbound form a trilogy of superb essays by authors we are familiar with. We would greatly appreciate your input.

And a grand congratulations on the publishing of your own trilogy :books:
Another project that has been “a long time coming”, I am sure!

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Hi @johnnydavis54 and @Douggins, I just want to appreciate you for providing a preliminary sketch and approach to our upcoming reading. I have been sitting with: the Body of Glory, and the future of the Body, and the curious twists of different kinds of flips. It occurs to me as well that we might flip in multiple directions—from matter to spirit or mind to body or self to other or collective to singular soul. And some might turn flipping without flopping into an aperspectival art.

I am not so sure the the quantum vacuum is really at the bottom of things, but I will hear other voices that seek to refine what it might mean to think so. To wit: I am finding the Faggin essay (which I have not quite finished reading, or re-reading) more interesting than the first few sections led me to believe would be the case.

His whole alternative quasi-mathematical symbolic cosmology, while not the sexiest meta-theory alive, has something mind-bending to it. A vast universe of not-necessarily physically incarnate “consciousness units” which are aspects of One soul feels like it’s trying at least to honor the enduring reality of the particular, while accounting for the vastness of the infinite.

I listened to one of Faggins’s lectures to an academic audience in Italian (understanding about 3.5% of it) and find it impressive that he is able to write what he does and still get taken seriously by impressive looking scholars. Perhaps this is because of his engineering accomplishments and something Old World in his demeanor. I am eager to keep reading and look forward to our conversation later this week.