C and L,
Looking forward out from our evolutionary soup of vast history, symbolically, what is consciousness and how does it function are very interesting questions, in terms of evolution, philosophy and brain / bodymind science, which we are broaching with ever more sophistication, even with the ongoing challenges of definition. (I tend toward the school of 'new mysterions' (e.g. Nagel and McGinn, for two) in doubting that we'll ever be able to ask and answer what consciousness is fully, because what consciousness is seems irreducible especially cross-species-wise - "What is it like to be a bat?").
Here are some related, wiki, subjects for further exploring this at World University and School, which is like Wikipedia with MIT OpenCourseWare:
While I've broached the question of eliciting qualities of loving bliss neurophysiology in any number of qualities of bodymind experiences, with MDMA and musical experiences as two, significant, reference experiences which are replicable and get close to experiences of love in my book, to us Nonttheist Friends on this list a number of times, here again is a wiki, subject page at World University and School for further exploration of this:
N, I see eliciting loving bliss neurophysiologies as some of the best experiences of life, and as kinds of 'heavens,' metaphorically, and which would help a lot of people if we could learn better how to elicit this brain chemistry, naturally, in so many ways. What's the on/off switch, the 'cello bow stroke,' metaphorically, and / or where's the dial for eliciting loving bliss when and as we want, in so many qualities, varieties and intensities, are my main, current, questions about this. And the relaxation response and Quaker meeting help me find a kind of centering and attuning for further exploring this biology in unfolding creative ways.
What do you all think?
With f/Friendly greetings,