|Image Credit: http://www.iconfoundation.net/?q=research-topics/connectomics|
I was on a bit of a roll, about consciousness, and internal, vs. external worlds. It still seems to me that our internal worlds are bigger, and arguably more influential (?!) than the external, physical world. My friend Monica, when we were having a conversation about this, made the point that the number of atoms in the physical universe is thought to be finite - yet the world of ideas and imagination is infinite.
In a previous discussion, it was pointed out that some of the things we think of as "transcending" biology, such as art, literature, religion, can be explained in biological terms as "display behaviour". I'm sure there is very often a strong element of this - but I find it hard to believe it's really that simple. And to be honest, I think that when any of these things are strongly motivated by something so basic, it shows. The things that really make "our spirits soar" tend to be those that take us beyond all that in some way.