Marilyn writes: “Consciousness is a common but complicated topic these days. One of the problems is that there are many definitions of the term ‘consciousness’.
What is your definition? For example, do you think that you have consciousness, or does consciousness have you? Is consciousness mainly about the human brain or is it all pervasive throughout existence? Or both? Is it material or non-material? How does it relate to our notions of the ‘whole’ to which we belong?
Motivated by the often-quoted Max Planck statement – “I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness” – I have taken a scientific approach to the study of consciousness in evolution. Based on the Oxford Dictionary definition of consciousness – aware of, and responsive, to surroundings – and knowledge of mechanisms of increasing complexity in evolution, I elaborate a model of interconnectedness and service which gives belonging and meaning and purpose to everything in existence. This is an update of my talk at the SMN annual gathering in 2018 and article in Paradigm Explorer 130.”
Marilyn Monk is Emeritus Professor at UCL GOS ICH, and previously Adjunct Professor at Melbourne University and Honorary Professor at Monash University. She has been an active research scientist for 60 years, university lecturer and head of UCL Molecular Embryology Unit, and has published over 200 scholarly papers. She is known for her work on DNA replication and repair, amoeboid cell signalling and aggregation, regulation of differential gene expression in development, discovery and establishment of epigenetics, discovery of deprogramming (stem cells) and reprogramming in development and, technically, the miniaturization of molecular analyses of gene expression/mutation/modification to the sensitivity of a single gene in a single cell. Her pioneering work on preimplantation diagnosis of genetic disease earned her an invitation from the Nobel Secretariat to present her work at Karlskoga in 1989.Marilyn Monk is also an Alexander Technique teacher and Psychosynthesis Counsellor.