Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Dual consciousness

A stock objection to the Incarnation is how Jesus could be one person if he has two rational natures. Now, the warrant for believing in the Incarnation doesn't depend on our ability to get to the bottom of how the two natures interrelate. However, here's an example of how different ranges of consciousness are consistent with unity of consciousness. When I dream, I'm aware of some things I'm unaware of when I'm awake, and when I'm awake I'm aware of some things I'm unaware of when I sleep. 

Likewise, dreams are to some degree based on memory. Memories of things I experience when I'm awake. Dreams combine memory with imagination. 

Conversely, I remember some of my dreams. When I'm awake, I can recall some of my dreams. So these two ranges of consciousness are interconnected.

Yet these are two very different mental states, with different mental content. But the same person can be the subject of both. 


  1. Great example! Presumably everyone has had similar experiences I have had. For example, I have had dreams where they were a continuation of a dream or dreams I've had a few nights before. Dreams I normally don't remember in my waking state. Yet my subconscious or my sleep consciousness remembers the dream and can resume it.

    Conversely, I've woken after a long night of dreaming strange things only to find myself unintentionally continuing a train of thought I had RIGHT before I fell asleep. And being surprised that the train of thought would pop back into my awake consciousness and continue where I left off. One would think I would have forgotten the train of thought because so much had transpired in the dream world. It's really like two different worlds being experienced by two different persons with two different lives.

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