I created a miniature e-book about Life for Dummies (Square Root of Zero Version).
Cliff notes and important terms:
Cartesian Dualism: In philosophy of mind, dualism is the assumption that mental phenomena are, in some respects, non-physical, or that the mind and body are not identical. Thus, it encompasses a set of views about the relationship between mind and matter, and is contrasted with other positions, such as physicalism, in the mind–body problem. Source:Wikipedia
According to material realists, consciousness is an anomalous (deviating from what is standard, normal, or expected) epiphenomenon (a secondary phenomenon accompanying another and caused by it; specifically : a secondary mental phenomenon that is caused by and accompanies a physical phenomenon but has no causal influence itself.)
Monistic Idealism is a system of philosophical idealism emphasizing the primacy of the One (as the Absolute or Nature) rather than of the many. The contrasting view is that of Material Realism.
“The principles of Material Realism…
Strong Objectivity, Causal Determinism, Locality, Physical or Material Monism, and Epiphenomenalism…
are metaphysical (of or relating to the transcendent or to a reality beyond what is perceptible to the senses) postulates, or assumptions about the nature of being, not conclusions arrived at by experiment.” -Goswami
Epiphenomenalism is a mind–body philosophy marked by the belief that basic physical events (sense organs, neural impulses, and muscle contractions) are causal with respect to mental events (thought, consciousness, and cognition). Mental events are viewed as completely dependent on physical functions and, as such, have no independent existence or causal efficacy; it is a mere appearance. Fear seems to make the heart beat faster; though, according to epiphenomenalism, the state of the nervous system causes the heart to beat faster. Because mental events are a kind of overflow that cannot cause anything physical, yet have non-physical properties, epiphenomenalism is viewed as a form of property dualism. Source: Wikipedia
The last picture is a graphic representation of Plato’s Allegory of the Cave. Plato has Socrates describe a group of people who have lived chained to the wall of a cave all of their lives, facing a blank wall. The people watch shadows projected on the wall by things passing in front of a fire behind them, and begin to ascribe forms to these shadows. According to Plato’s Socrates, the shadows are as close as the prisoners get to viewing reality. He then explains how the philosopher is like a prisoner who is freed from the cave and comes to understand that the shadows on the wall do not make up reality at all, as he can perceive the true form of reality rather than the mere shadows seen by the prisoners. Source: Wikipedia
Consciousness, not matter, is fundamental. This is one of the most important concepts to understand.