1. Introduction
I’d like to talk (write down some thoughts) about consciousness. It seems consciousness may be something we participate in rather than generate and I’d like to flesh out these ideas, partly using the language of set theory, since it allows a measure of clarity for me as I think about these ideas. And these are not solitary, or particularly revolutionary ideas; ancient shamans and contemporary thinkers have had similar thoughts about consciousness being a manifestation of this universe. And human consciousness is merely one form of consciousness. Perhaps “merely” connotes too much insignificance for the consciousness about which, importantly, we humans are able to relate to one another. We relate the similarities and dissimilarities of our subjective inner world to each other through language and other forms of communication. The potential extension to other beings with central nervous systems, that some refer to as sentient beings, implies a subjective reality that we may chose to relate to in our imagination, since we have more rudimentary forms of communication with an animal who is for example, a pet. But it is interesting to consider consciousness in more general terms. As we do this, the relationship between types of consciousness is challenging to describe. For those familiar with basic set theory, this language lends itself to relating different forms of consciousness to each other. The descriptors in basic set theory are simple for most people to understand, and I’ll use them here.