This is Going to Hurt. Everything You Know is False. | Annaka Harris on Impact Theory

This episode is sponsored by BetterHelp. Go to for 10% off your first month. BetterHelp is an online counseling company with the mission to make professional counseling accessible, affordable, and convenient. What if everything you think you know about yourself is wrong? Most people have the intuition that they have a self separate from their body and brain, and that they can control their experience with conscious will. But what if that isn’t true? Best-selling author Annaka Harris is devoted to challenging our deepest intuitions about the nature of consciousness and the self. On this episode of Impact Theory with Tom Bilyeu, she discusses experiments on the cutting edge of physics and neuroscience, and explains why those experiments matter. The result is a fascinating conversation that will leave you questioning some of your most cherished, comforting intuitions. SHOW NOTES: Consciousness is exactly as mysterious as it seems to be [2:29]
Annaka defines what consciousness is [4:54]
Tom and Annaka discuss the story of Phineas Gage [6:31]
Annaka talks about the difference between consciousness and high level thought [9:14]
There is a basic level of consciousness that doesn’t involve awareness of consciousness [11:35]
Challenging intuitions is a basic element of the scientific method [14:58]
Is there outer evidence of conscious experience? Is consciousness doing anything? [18:46]
Upending comfortable intuitions is eventually a freeing experience [20:57]
Annaka explains how the brain binds disparate signals to make them seem congruent [22:23]
Annaka and Tom discuss how much unconscious brain functioning we take for granted [27:09]
Annaka describes the false sense of self and conscious will [29:53]
We make decisions before we are aware of them [33:41]
Annaka discusses the question of whether or to what extent plants are conscious [35:30]
Trees take care of their own kin, and defend their kin [40:48]
What if consciousness is a field like gravity? [43:39]
Annaka describes the double slit light experiment [46:13]
Measuring an event can change the past [51:41]
Annaka discusses problems with the views that consciousness emerges from life [54:25]
Annaka shares the impact she wants to have on the world [1:03:06] QUOTES: “There’s something jarring about learning that the things that feel most true to you about reality are possibly not structured that way.” [21:29]
“We feel that consciousness is behind our willed actions, when in fact, there is a lot of neuroscience to suggest that it’s actually the reverse. It’s at the end. That all this processing happens, a decision gets made, and we’re kind of the last to know.” [31:54]
“We have no evidence that consciousness is due to complexity.” [1:00:24] FOLLOW: WEBSITE:
INSTAGRAM: FACEBOOK: TWITTER: BOOKS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE: “Conscious: A Brief Guide to the Fundamental Mystery of the Mind”, [2:19]

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