life in twelve seconds

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“The…’present state of consciousness’ represents the self at any moment, the self as it is ‘now.’ According to psychologists, ‘now’ (William James’ ‘specious present’) is a span of time lasting for anything up to twelve seconds, and represents the breadth of experience that our awareness can digest as a unified whole.

For a quantum self, ‘now’ is a composite of already existing (but ever fluctuating) subselves – our selves as were before ‘now’ – and various inputs from the external world (new experiences), each of which forms its own wave pattern on the ground state of consciousness…Personal identity on a moment-by-moment basis is formed by the overlapping wave functions of all these things, which cause ripples and patterns to appear on the [Bose-Einstein] condensate – our thoughts, emotions, memories, and sensations” (1990: p. 120).

from The Quantum Self: Human Nature and Consciousness defined by the new Physics by Danah Zohar

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