I've been wondering recently about the nature of consciousness. It seems that, from what we know, consciouss thought is a result of neurons firing in the brain in a certain pattern. This would mean that the firing of the neurons has to come first, before an actual thought can be formed. (It wouldn't be possible the other way since a "thought" would not have the required physical influence to make the neurons fire in any specific pattern, it seems physically impossible). Doesn't this suggest that consciousness is just our interpretation of what is going on in the body on a way lower, deeper, purely physiological level?
What I'm saying is that, it would seem that the notion that we can "control our actions with our thoughts" is just an illussion in the sense that the "decision" to take any action would have already been made by our body, at it's core animalistic level, in a way that is no different from how any other animal would do anything. And only "after" that decision has been made by the body does the decision manifest itself in a way that we interpret as "conscious thought"?
So it would seem that the human organism functions on two levels:
1) The base level, where literally everything a human being does is completely outside their conscious control.
2) The "higher" level, where we get to interpret what the body did in a way that allows us to convey the actions/processes of the body to other members of our race. (these are things like language, gestures, etc.)
Essentially, I cannot for the life of me find a logical explanation that would justify the belief that "we can control our surroundings with our thoughts" - seems to me that however I come at the problem, I always arrive at a conclusion wherein conscious thought is just an interpretation of something I have completely zero control over.
Does this make any sense, or am I just overthinking (whatever that means.. LOL) things? I'm guessing this is a topic that has been covered in the past, maybe in some book(s) - if so, could someone make a recommendation?
EDIT: When I say "thought", I mean anything that has either a linguistic or visual component to it and which I can relay further to other individuals. For instance, if I think to myself "I wonder if I should go shower", I'd consider it a thought since there were words involved (even though I don't necessarily need to articulate the words in my head - but I can phrase it in terms of words). What I'm suggesting is that the process of deciding whether to take a shower is already going on at a base level and came before the thought.