A conscious mind is a strategy for navigating time. Since nothing in this universe is permanent and nothing happens the same way twice, all relationships observed by conscious minds are fictitious: contextual relationships, cause-and-effect relationships, or the idea that one event is an iteration of a repeating event. In this universe, learning is living, because in a universe of infinitely-heterogeneous events continuous learning is necessary for continuous comprehension of the universe. The concepts of context, causation, and repetition all create, for the conscious mind, artificial permanence. Rather than seeing the universe evolve as a whole into infinitely new states, a conscious mind perceives causal relationships and predicts similar causal relationships. A perceived cause and effect event will never happen exactly the same way twice, but in the near-future state of the universe it’s likely something will happen that a conscious mind can perceive, if it chooses, as an identical cause-and-effect event. The conscious mind evolved a capacity to perceive permanence in order to predict how things will happen in a future that is by nature unpredictable. I’ve come to see this as a precious power that deserves respect, and deliberate accommodation.
Perfectly repeatable and connectable remembered-thoughts establish the means for perceiving causal relationships, more so than any remembered-external-event, and therefore causation most likely roots in remembered-thinking.
More importantly, Hume accomplished the difficult philosophical task of describing the human mind, from an epistemological standpoint, as an entity that begins learning about the universe without any pre-set knowledge or capacity to learn about the universe, aside from what static snapshots the senses provide.
"...as far as the propositions of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality."* – Albert Einstein, 1922 A quote remembered for what it says about the limits of human knowledge, but less remembered for what it says about the peculiar powers of a conscious mind, to perceive perfect certainty, such as mathematical proofs, despite living in an imperfect universe.
So that my core assertions may be taken from non-academic realms to the realms of academia, I've created this call for a lead-author and contributing-authors for a scientific paper that is described by the following hypothetical abstract (please consider submitting yourself as an author, or nominating someone else, by commenting or letting me know in any available way):