The Feeling of Life

Consciousness Doesn’t Depend on Language

The contrast could not have been starker—here was one of the world’s most revered figures, His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, expressing his belief that all life is sentient, while I, as a card-carrying neuroscientist, presented the contemporary Western consensus that some animals might, perhaps, possibly, share the precious gift of sentience, of conscious experience, with humans. The setting was a symposium between Buddhist monk-scholars and Western scientists in a Tibetan monastery in Southern India, fostering a dialogue in physics, biology, and brain science. ….[READ]

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