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The Architecture of the Middle

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posted on Feb, 21 2016 @ 09:07 PM
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It's at moments of extreme tension that a systems intrsinsic design becomes apparent. At breaking points, things go wrong, the structure flies into a "far from equilibrium state". All systems, from life, to ecosystems, to solar systems, are subject to being "pulled off course" and so in danger of falling into non-existence.

The human mind is a similar system. It has design precautions, thresholds at which functioning switches from one mode to another mode. The waves and pulses that make up the mind are evanescent, always drifting, always changing, but yet always continuous, consistent, with the immediate conditions of its environmental saliences. The mind settles into repetitive waves, from moment to moment, integrating the facts of nutrition, sleep, and social relations, into patterns of activity that represent a "basin of attraction", characterized by stability, but also a thermodynamically stability. The chemical processes of biological functioning are curiously always 'finding' the shortest and most efficient route for living. It's even been discovered that quantum processes are involved in gene replication, in the sense that gene replication is far too proficient to account for in normal mathematical terms. 1 mistake in 1 billion is just too improbable without invoking quantum entanglement between renegade oxygen molecules in the relevant molecules.

In our human mind, we so often, for frequently, falsely assume that our perception is simple. Our perception is an evolutionary process that records the various meanings of our experience in terms of one simple invariant: dynamic equilbrium. All systems incline to a 'stable state', or whats called a "limited cycle attractor". Our normal feeling and acting within certain environments accommodates certain "networks" within our phenomenology. We move and exist within these state without any awareness of an evolutionary constant flowing through our experience, inherent to all systems: equilibrium.

We creatures of the middle who incline to the middle. The middle is whatever comfort zone we've found, but there is also a higher, more metaphysically astute sense of the middle, which sees it as a 'constant' that maintains life. Life in this world evolves through biological chemical relationsips between a 'segmented being' and an environmental surround that supports its existence. We can see so readily that these terms apply to the non-human world, but we are curiously daft about the relevance of this term to the phenomena and dynamics of psychological activity. Indeed, at every moment, our minds are giving expression to thermodynamic processes that are mysteriously "cohered" within our semiotic phenomenology. The signs of mind are not in any way "neutral", but are powerful elicitors of psychic energy. When the mind 'constructs' itself, for example, in terms of mindfulness meditation, psychoanalysis, or another philosophical tradition, in paying attention to its own phenomenological processes, it does so through the use of representations. These representations, aka thoughts, are encoded as 'symbolic representations' in cognitive science lingo. You can get the sense "representation' in that we reflect (in verbal thought) a word that we ourselves are in the act of using. It's a representation to the observing self of its own activities in meaning making'.

Our representations also correspond to the "middle ground", of biological homeostasis. Somehow, the world 'out there', culture, words, people, faces, cars, computers, bars, etc, cohere within our mental systems as 'representations' of a unified biological system-state. The thoughts - or more so, the MEANINGS - support homeostatic needs typical to our species i.e. to be recognized by others, to receive positive feedback in response to our actions, to be needed and also to feel good when we help another. The complexity of our nature derives from different evolutionary epochs - apes (and down) and homo (and up). A sympathetic social homeostasis operative as an affective and meaningful mimesis, mediates both the complexities of human phenomenology and the communicative devices evolved for mimesis: faces that communicate intensely subtle intentional/affective states; voices that convey affective knowledge, and revealing a subtlety and vulnerability unique to the human voice. We have nevertheless veered along two paths - a shame-pride continuum, and a "sympathy"; note that one needs to invoke two items to explain the nature of shame and pride. They make sense together, as reflectors of social status, but also in themselves painful in their phenomenology. Sympathy, on the other hand, is just a feeling of affection, attraction, curiosity or interest. The mind 'tilts' forward because of an underlying affective sense of "safety", and so endorphin release. Endorphin release and social life have evolved together, as it is neurogenetic effects of the former (on BDNF and NGH), in a chemical sense, which permits the response to a psychological "release" of selfhood being recognized. But which way does it occur? Dynamical biological states in their determinism? Or the perceiving mind, being brought to power by an impending perception? The mystery is the continuity, and paradox, between the chemical thermodynamic efficiency of the biological side with the psychological coherency of the meaning side. The meaning, the "qualia", are processes continuous with the biological, chemical, and thermodynamical.

What astounds the mind even further is that being recognized in the faces, voices and body's of others generates psychological and biological energy. Read this again if you must: when another person responds to something you said in a positive way, it 'excites' your neurons, and brings your personal state of consciousness into a pleasurable dynamic. This basically means that human consciousness is irreducibly communal; even the internal structure of our consciousness - an observer and a thing observed - is merely a recorder of self-other (person) dynamic in the evolution of our brain. Our brain, in other words, grew, as the drops which build up stalagmites, drip by drip, by the repeated psychological processing of "being recognized". A self, as it were, is "in there". And so the creature responds, and they work out their environment exigency in tandem.




posted on Feb, 26 2016 @ 09:13 PM
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originally posted by: Astrocyte
It's at moments of extreme tension that a systems intrsinsic design becomes apparent. At breaking points, things go wrong, the structure flies into a "far from equilibrium state". All systems, from life, to ecosystems, to solar systems, are subject to being "pulled off course" and so in danger of falling into non-existence.

As the first paragraph is so filled with error, pardon me if I didn't read all the rest!
Your judgments of 'mistakes' are vanity and ignorance.
And there is no such thing in existence as 'non-existence'!
Everything exists!



 
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