This chapter attempts to argue for a transcendental theory of consciousness keeping in mind the fact that consciousness has many levels of reality other than the brain-related consciousness. At the primary level, consciousness is bodily in nature, but it rises to higher levels in a process of evolution. From the body consciousness to the spirit consciousness or self-consciousness, there is an evolutionary progress.
Consciousness itself is a phenomenon of a very different kind from the body itself, though unsurprisingly it is embodied in its primary level. But as consciousness goes to higher stages, its body relation is loosened. Pure consciousness is such a state of consciousness where the body is not an essential factor.
The theory of consciousness in Vedanta and Buddhism points to the higher level of consciousness where the body becomes conceptually detached for the reason that the ability of consciousness to generate new meanings is constrained by the body. The highest consciousness for them is a body-detached consciousness that rises to the higher realms of values and meanings.
The metaphysics of consciousness demands a transcendental theory of consciousness that overcomes the pitfalls of naturalism, empiricism and reductionism.
KeywordsMetaphysics of consciousness Appearance Reality Vedanta Buddhism Transcendental theory
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