posted on Jul, 6 2015 @ 03:01 AM
Can we all agree that life at least appears dualistic?. There are some posters here and people I know of who believe the body is the mind, and
without the body, there is no mind. This idea confuses me. Granted, because I am aware of myself, I will acknolwledge that it is impossible for any
thinking, self aware being, not to be afraid of death. It's impossible. Its hardwired into our condition. Caring about the world and feeling
good implies a time when there will be nothing. The nothing, compared to the something of life, gives the comparison a singular terror that strikes a
self-contemplating mind with forcefulness. You can be gripped by it, torn by it, and then you resolve to push it away from you.
Or, we can insert something 'in front' of it. This is where dissociative processes kick in. Early on, most of us (if not all of us) have experienced
a time if primordial fearfulness, triggered by the recognition that death means the end. I think I was 5 when I thought about this and I got an
intense anxiety attack. In fact, it was precisely the intensity of the arousal that seared the memory, which allows me, 25 years later, to recollect
it. Emotional events, correspond with neuromolecular events; this means that emotional events are constrained by the physical properties of the
chemical processes. Through this configuration, mental events that persist or enter consciousness, do so because of the way subcortically generated
modulating neurotransmitters leave strong 'imprints' on the cell architecture of the neurons affected.
Dissociation is a psychologically evolved mechanism designed - and consistent with - the self-protective behaviors of all life-forms. It is more
subtle because our minds are more aware. We note the world in it's particular properties and qualia, and by doing so, evolve a consciousness that
relates with the world in a rather "univocal" way. We know at a new moment, and the properties of resonance - of the past on the present - seeps
into our consciousness without our awareness. In this way, we are constantly being "played" by the emotional dynamics of past and context, context
'highlighting' some features of the environment, eliciting unconscious 'self-organization' processes that revolve, planet like, along the
evolutionary prerogative of "adapt to survive".
But to survive to what? Our body's have preferences for a state of stability or equilibrium. For humans, this state, on a social level, is a feeling
of happiness, comfort, safety, pride, humor. We strive for the various 'good feelings' that accompany our actions. It's theses 'good feelings"
which form the backbone of the evolutionary logic of a human nervous system - and the mental functioning of the experiencing agent.
This discovery, which, if one thinks about it, puts us right in-line with the ethnological principles of all other animal behaviors, considers the
mind as a process with consistent "attractors" and "repellors"; these initial conditions and input, so many of which are body based, function
simultaneously and with one another, from moment to moment, adjusting itself while in interaction; focusing and attending, feeling and enacting. How
much are we even aware of? Do we realize that we are unaware of a vast swathe of activity "dissociated" from the beliefs we tell ourselves? If we
act for reasons that have a meaningful basis in dynamical processes that persist in the right brain, that lie outside awareness as we articulate
reality for ourselves, often delusionally, in the left brain, what does this mean about us, or about the human self? Or the mind?
Still, I am utterly convinced in the meaningfulness of the world we live in; and meaningfulness, as a mental construct, is a product of awareness. And
no matter how hard I try, I cannot for the life of me think of mind as a 'substance". Evolution, movement, time. Mind shares more in common with
this "forward" causal-arrow motion than with anything physical; yet people often speak of it as a substance, and so apply a certain metaphor, of H20
becoming water, to demonstrate how one thing at the molecular level can become something else at the macro level. Yet, they are both "things".
Things which somehow become hardy, physical, real-looking. All of the universe is like this, yet a force pushes it into disequilibrium, and this
force, according to Ilya Prigogine, is time.
Time, in this sense reminds me of mind. We still speak of 4 dimensions, of the 3 spatial directions and the concept of time. Time is change. Time is
evolution. Yet, is it not phenomenal that the universe began as dot and is now spread out infinitely in 3 physical dimensions, pushed outwards by the
explosion of time - of change - disequilibrium?
What is awareness? This question boggles me as it seems completely different from physicality. In the universes evolution, from the get-go till today,
a process of diffusion has led to levels of organizations, in galaxys, solar systems, planets, that has provides a chemical context for life. Life is
cognition. Life is a 'knowing' - knowing what to do to stay alive: to stay ATTUNED to the environment around you. Cells, Multicellular organisms,
organisms which cognitively 'connect', such as ants and bees; and who express behaviors of an emotional knowing, such as in most mammals. And then
this feeling component took on the quality of a knowingness; a knowing of a knowing. A sensing of 'qualia', a speaking to self, while speaking to
other selves just like you. The complexity of this dynamic behooves a type of knowing that we call 'love', as an antidote to the knowing we call
How can anyone possibly deem this remarkable progression, meaningless?