By Michael Godfrey Bell,

Agent Human, published in September 2010, 450 pages with 50 illustrations and tables, is the first book which combines a rigorous treatment of the biological and behavioural underpinnings of consciousness with a comprehensive theory of human agency, thus allowing robust predictions of the future both of human society and of consciousness itself, the human species' greatest achievement.

To read Agent Human on-line, just click here.

To download a copy of Agent Human, just click here.

More about the book

Author's resume

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We, Immortals:
The Future Of The Mind

A fictional account, set in 2130, of what life might be like in cyberspace, based on the ideas of Agent Human. Eight young people challenge the status quo by exploring group consciousness, something forbidden by the authorities, who try to 'wipe' them and destroy their legacy human bodies.

To read We, Immortals: The Future Of The Mind on-line, just click here.

To download a copy of We, Immortals: The Future Of The Mind, just click here.


The Collective Unconscious, Quantum Mechanics and PSI

Many current researchers into the inner and outer reaches of the human psyche do not attempt to construct an over-arching theory of the mind, and who can blame them, given the confusing mass of unexplained and contradictory data they face? Still, some people try, and a surprising number of them arrive at some type of 'field' theory, in which we, and all of our compeers, exist as islands in a pervasive sea which we but dimply experience.

This book attempts to record some of the more notable recent attempts at analysis of the mysteries that surround us, and reaches some tentative conclusions based on the inadequate evidence that exists so far. They are remarkable enough.

To read it on-line, go to

Consciousness Blog 19/10/2016

Consciousness Is A Slave

Recent research at US universities has demonstrated that unconscious symbolic processing carried out in response to external stimuli can be reflected in conscious contents, despite a deliberate intention that the processing should not take place.

OK, let's put that into more understandable English: you decide not to respond to a stimulus, but your brain does so anyway, regardless, and pops the result into your conscious mind.

The team of researchers, led by Ezequiel Morsella at San Francisco State University, trained participants to carry out a particular type of word transformation, then re-presented the subjects with relevant words, asking them not to carry out the transformation. 43% of them reported that, nonetheless, the results of the transformation 'popped into their minds'.

The researchers make a crucial distinction between 'reflex' mental activity, which bypasses any type of intentional mental barrier on its way to the conscious (you stepped on a nail), or input occasioning processing in the frontal cortex, which was the case with these verbal transformations, and which some people might think could be inhibited by conscious intention.

We are on our own in trying to interpret this phenomenon, since few people pretend to understand the purpose of consciousness, let alone its mechanisms. But the first and most glaring conclusion we can reach is that the contents of consciousness are not under conscious control. That satisfactorily puts paid to 'dualistic' theories of mind, in which a controlling figure determines the contents of consciousness, and so on ad infinitum.

Continued below

Read previous consciousness blogs:

Talking to yourself is not crazy, 30 November 2009

The future of human evolution, 05 December 2009

Testosterone, 15 December 2009

Self, 03 January 2010

Elders, 11 January 2010

Grumpy , 07 February 2010

Attention, 20 March 2010

Emotions, 01 May 2010

Face 16 May 2010

Trust 25 July 2010

Yawning 19 September 2010

Laughter 06 December 2010

Sleep 18 December 2010

Morality 05 March 2011

Dancing 13 November 2011

Copying 20 May 2012

Altruism 15 July 2012

Brain Clone 10 March 2013

Decisions 30 March 2013

Only Connect 13 April 2013

Deception 16 June 2013

Quantum 25 August 2013

Language 08 September 2013

Unconscious 19 October 2013

Booze 30 November 2013

Tether Hypothesis 12 January 2014

Spite 16 February 2014

Mating 08 June 2014

Brainy 22 August 2014

Fire 22 October 2014

Animals 01 January 2015

Gazing 12 April 2015

Multibrains 12 July 2015

Disentangling Entanglement 15 September 2015

Free Will 9 January 2016

Music 13 February 2016

Insects 21 April 2016

Faces 09 June 2016

Reflections 28 July 2016


Download a copy of The Futures Of The Human Race here.

Consciousness Blog Continued

But we knew that. We also think we know (at least, this writer does) that consciousness is a contrivance to allow humans (and perhaps some other advanced animals) to function effectively in a group social setting. If that is the case, then the contents of consciousness would reflect both the general needs of a social actor and the individual situation of a particular social actor, which latter could vary wildly across any given group of people. As an example of a general (or universal) need (at least as regards humans) we could instance the ability to recognize another individual and be aware of their characteristics. If you can't do that, you are seriously dysfunctional. As an example of a particular need, we could instance the ability to mobilize a wide and appropriate vocabulary, which would apply for instance among university English course students or stage actors, but would not be required, or even appropriate, among construction site workers, if that is not too dismissive of them. That type of thinking can help us to understand why one person might 'reflexively' make and become aware of word transformations, while another might not.

The authors of the San Francisco study do quite rightly conclude that their results support the idea of a non-autonomous consciousness. It does not generate its own contents (back to duality, if it did!). Consciousness is an expression of the unconscious. The authors are also correct in pointing out that introspection (subjects were asked to interpret their own mental state) is a flawed tool; but while it is seemingly very challenging to interrogate one's unconscious, there does not seem to be any such limitation on interrogating one consciousness, which is only too happy to answer, confabulating as necessary.

Read more in Chapter Eight of Agent Human: The Con of Consciousness




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