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What is knowledge?

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posted on Apr, 7 2016 @ 05:43 PM
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When I deleted my old account and created this new account, it reflected a change in me that was also essentially a change in interest. The name I picked - reflective of my interest in neuroscience - was "astrocyte", a star shaped glia cell whose official 'duties' are to produce and pass on vital molecules to the neurons - the electric cells. The idea of an astrocyte seemed supplementative. It's purpose was not as apparent as that of the neuron, but the astrocyte, star shaped, for some reason, struck me as an important structure.

In studying more and more the neural basis (or transmission) of consciousness, the role of the Astrocyte has continued to impress me. The all important NMDA receptor in the brain - basically the molecular structure (protein) that causes the action potential (electrical charge) in neurons, depends on the gating activity of the Astrocytes production and release of d-serine. D-serine, if you're aren't aware (and you probably aren't) is the molecule that allows neuroplasticity in dentric-spine pyramidal cells. D-serine, after being released by the astrocyte, diffuses beyond the initial synapse, essentially allowing continuous excitation of neurons, which, of course, is a neuronal prerequisite of ordinary conscious awareness, which depends on gamma-wave bursts, produced by the activity of neurons in the 6-layered cortex.

Astrocyte, then, are sort of like conductors, taking the vitality of the body - oxygen and glucose - which it takes from the blood, and feeding neurons the energy they need to keep their cells going. The astrocyte, in this very abstract sense, could be regarded as a "messenger" from the gods, or the mother goddess (if you're at all tempted to think in these metaphysical terms); the astrocytes original job evidently was to convert metabolic processes in the general system of the body (blood carrying oxygen and glucose, among other things) and transmitting the desired molecules (oxygen/glucose) as well as producing the required molecules to keep the processes of cognition within the animal in harmony with metabolic homeodynamics.

An astrocyte, therefore, links mind with body, inasmuch as it converts energy from one type of process (living tissue) into another process (a perceiving organism), with the latter dynamically linked to the activities of the former. In humans, however, the astrocytes activities have been promoted to such an extent that the molecule D-serine feeds and keeps alive a consciousness that can ACTIVATE ITS OWN ACTIVITIES, which paradoxically means promoting the activity of astrocytes (star shaped cells) and their influence on neuronal dendrite growth and electrical stimulation in the brain through D-serine.

Now, for the materialist, this is a certainly strange situation. What, persay, is acting upon the astrocytes production of D-serine? A plausible answer would be: 'the large scale activity of neurons that entrain the activity of individual cells i.e both neuronal and glial'. This would be true, since consciousness is correlated with large scale, or macroscopic organization of neuronal bursts. However, for the mind who experiences this consciousness, who can learn about it and probe it's activities, cannot help but be confronted by the most glaring absurdity: I gain knowledge about my self as a function of knowing. And knowing also involves feeling alive, with specific affects, which influence the nature of the knowing. So knowing, in this larger sense, is knowing about what I'm feeling, and how this knowledge can influence the process of bodily and mental equilibrium. In other words, the type of knowing that I can have about my own mental processes allows changes in molecular functioning and organization between many different types of cells to perform 'my will', as it were. This, of course, sounds absurd, yet it's true: the mind feeds into the physical, which then acts upon the mind. Every 150 milliseconds or so, a process such as this is happening in your mind, with your brain being guided by the cumulative activities of recurrent molecular and psychological processes, a sort of self-hypnosis occurs, where knowledge could act, but remains inhibited by its ignorance of it's organization.

What is knowledge, and how can this relational and referential property possess such superordinate organizing power? I suspect the idea of 'knowledge' equals power is true, yet naive. Not just any knowledge equals power, since knowledge, as an abstract idea, is not real. Whats real are the ecological conditions that make real any form of knowledge, such as astronomically complex molecular processes that renew our being, and the fact that these processes linked up with other processes in other creatures (who were like us, no less) and each inclined to the other as if the only coherent road forward was matching and fitting the needs of the self with the identical needs of other selves, so that a virtual self-other equivalence emerges.

This is what knowledge means. Knowledge entails all the contingent factors that precede us on our evolutionary road to humanhood. Knowledge, right now, is a de-novo creation of a uniquely situated mind at a unique point in history. But what is the past and the meaning of the past in making possible, in a way that seems so unlikely, a being as complex and spiritual as ourselves? Why do we insist on spatial and temporal closure? Why is time and space so strong, making our thinking impossibly hard without recruiting redundancy and circularity as basic elements?

Many traditions have spoken of the world or reality being spiral like, and we say this because its repetitive in structure, yet seems to have the capacity to bring about new and even more subtle things, forcing into our mind an image of a circle that doesn't mindlessly replicate but has some sort of goal or purpose, implicit in the beginning and present in every element. Evolution, then, is a construction within time and space of some primal unity, with each part in the spatial and temporal dimension defined by its relation to the other.

When I picked this name Astrocye, my inclinations were superficial and largely based on attractions like the denoted 'star'. Years later, when thinking about this name, I believe my attraction was simultaneously superficial and deep. The superficial focus on it's being a 'star' and my liking the overall shape of the cell, dovetails with the functional purpose of this cell, which is to 'feed consciousness' and promote expansion, change and psychological growth. My wish, and basically my life focus, has been to help other people understand the nature of their being, and to recognize how dissociation arising from evolutionary biases keeps us from recognizing the long-term consequences of negative short-term behaviors. The capacity to "inhibit" the inclination of the present seems hogtied to a capacity to represent cognitively a reason for doing so. Consciousness, at least where we live, requires knowledge for its transformation. And knowledge, of course, is the reorganization of this mysterious universal dynamic - life and mind - into a coherent, moral, direction.




posted on Apr, 7 2016 @ 05:58 PM
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I have a question for you. What draws you to metaphysics? Serious question and sincere curiosity.



posted on Apr, 7 2016 @ 06:29 PM
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a reply to: In4ormant

The question should be "what makes a person uninterested in metaphysics".

The only thing which makes a humans life fundamentally different from that of an animal is the capacity to feel awe for ones own existence. Against non-existence, existence shudders at the thought. The contrast and the emotions that result necessarily inclines the mind to start asking questions and to read the opinions of other people who've encountered the problem with different knowledge and different information.

Metaphysics is ultimately what every human cares about. To not care about it, or to say "I don't care about it", would imply to me the existence of a dissociative process that keeps this heavy sort of thinking away. Because the explanation (or self-explanation) is always of a devaluing type "its ultimately pointless", this way of seeing things amounts to a pride-genic "mastery" of a cognitively complex subject (metaphysics) that otherwise induces affect-dysregulation. Why, btw, do I suppose the existence of a defense? Because human minds are social minds, and social minds are fundamentally built around self-other (self) comparisons, usually with reference to some desired thing - mate or food - while also establishing a system of meaning between the interacting parties. Notice, also, that it is creatures who are genetically similar who form communication systems together, as if the cognizing organism recognizes self-similarity in the other as an intrinsic feature of biological evolution, and so is inclined into interaction. Or, a more simplistic explanation could regard all movements of the organism and its functioning with others like it to be based on the "converging" genetic proclivities towards the same resources, and so requiring a 'selection' pressure which leads to some sort of adaptive advantage to one organism over another. Ok. This is an acceptible explanation, up until you get creatures that perceive in mental images, and so now exist at a level that is "above" the simple dynamical properties of microscopic biological processes. Is the image influenced by biological dynamics? Of course. Yet, its the image that extracts visual and audial features and maps them onto biology, making the body a "vehicle" for a superordinate property (mental image making).

Pride and shame are therefore ever present possibilities when we think or communicate, because thinking and communicating require as their basis the existence of an other who the self is unconsciously weighed against. We can't help it! However, this dynamic seems to have been substantially overcome with the evolution of hominids, albeit, with reference to in-group functioning and not between-group functioning. However, the substantial point is that in-group functioning, 200,000 years ago, was fundamentally mimetic, facilitated in the beginning by gestural actions and vocal grunts, and then gradually evolve - psychologically with sympathetic affects, facially with greater ennervtion of the facial muscles, loss of hair to reveal the face, and cognitively, with greater discernment of attentional states in the other, and thus a larger 'representation' of the other to work with. Interesting, at some point this process turned inward, gradually, as individual parties began to perceive their own states and to communicate their states to others, which essentially provided the means in the other to think in the same way. Because of this tendency in evolution for one organism to see itself in the other (usually conspecific) it is perhaps not so amazing that this 'knowing the other' would reach a breaking point to become recursive to the point of allowing 'emergent' thoughts about self and life to organize the mentation process in conspecifics. Because this process is fundamentally "shareable", we are scaffolded and fold into one another, with each expressed action intimating ideas and beliefs that can be re-assembled in your own mind.



posted on Apr, 7 2016 @ 07:14 PM
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knowledge is the absence of ignorance.

when you figure you are ignorant to a degree, the pursuit of information takes hold granting knowledge.

To answer your question of course in the simplest form.



posted on Apr, 7 2016 @ 07:31 PM
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I really enjoy reading your threads, though I have to admit I'm never certain whether I completely understand what you're saying...

...Which I why I would like to ask this question:

Based on your studies - do you think there is any 'component' to the human mind (as opposed to simply the brain) that seems unlikely to be merely the result of evolution?



posted on Apr, 7 2016 @ 07:34 PM
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a reply to: Astrocyte

I'm struggling to see the practical application of it.



posted on Apr, 7 2016 @ 07:40 PM
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a reply to: Astrocyte

How do You know what 'astrocyte' means?



posted on Apr, 7 2016 @ 08:23 PM
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a reply to: lostgirl




I really enjoy reading your threads, though I have to admit I'm never certain whether I completely understand what you're saying...


lol... I read a lot so I can totally imagine how difficult it can be! If you're not a fan of my writing, I'll probably be writing less in the upcoming future (school related). I just hope my ideas are expressed clearly enough that, when read slowly, can be unpacked and seen to be informationally interesting.




Based on your studies - do you think there is any 'component' to the human mind (as opposed to simply the brain) that seems unlikely to be merely the result of evolution?


I am sort of implying that, or holding that as a possibility, in everything I write. For instance, I mentioned space/time because i think space/time might be illusory, and logic a mini-representation of a wholeness that already underlies all existence.

I think my identity and the person I am - my face, body, name, feelings about self - is an ephemeral fact. Yet the deeper meaning of what I am, in being apart of something phenomenally meaningful, purposeful, leads me to believe that existence is not something that happens once, but something that may recur, and begin, again and again. I think this because awareness is to essential a phenomenon to be reduced to a biology that somehow creates mind. I am therefore inclined to think biology creates and shape this particular awareness I possess, but I do not think it creates awareness or does anything more than shape the dynamics of its spatial and temporal expression. Awareness is antecedent, necessary, and, I believe, the very "anchor" from which we are able to act upon the contents of our mind with awareness and wholeness. Our consciousness of our self, some believe, is the basis of an ontological transcendence of phenomenal reality. Physics and biology - conditioned reality - may actually be fundamentally entrainable to the will of an enlightened mind.

How crazy does that sound?



posted on Apr, 7 2016 @ 08:27 PM
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a reply to: Astrocyte

On a scale of 1 to 10?



posted on Apr, 7 2016 @ 09:13 PM
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a reply to: Astrocyte

1 can overall understand your premise and somewhat agree with you on the consciousness basically "requiring" consistent Knowledge / data in order to allow evolving of the Higher self/Soul/Spirit/Internal/Eternal energy...

Considering ourselves in the now or present at times can cause the consciousness to SEEK TRUTH of our surroundings, who may of created our surroundings, ourselves and who may of possibly CREATED US ALL*

Perhaps if switching perception and viewing the consciousness as a vital component of the HIGHER SELF-SOUL-SPIRIT INTERNAL/ETERNAL ENERGY that may ALSO be TRUTH SEEKING within EXISTENCE, one may begin to see that knowledge is something that always has to be found. There should always be room to learn more, in other words avoid being closed minded to NU knowledge unless you feel you really know all.

With this in mind we are not just left questioning our existence due to gaining knowledge of it and of ourselves. We more are LEARNING of ourselves & possibly others why in this specific location of which like the Astrocytes "we" may be beginning to broadcast - resonate - vibrate our frequencies AND INTELLIGENT OBSERVATIONS AND INPUT ON A NEUROLOGICALLY INTELLIGENT INTERCONNECTED LIKE REALITY stronger IN THE LOCAL UNIVERSE, which may be in turn affecting the local UNIVERSE and its inhabitants the more we basically gain knowledge ironically...

For what if with each CREATOR Creation ENERGY GROUP (CCEG) reality is being interpreted / understood slightly different?

But the more "WE" as a COLLECTIVE of various Consciousness's pull together our knowledge like groups of Astrocytes "charging" the interconnected neurological activity associated with the WHOLE* We are increasing overall AWARENESS of THE hidden reality the many CREATOR CREATIONS make up.

So to 1 the knowledge is viewed as a tool of the Eternal self consciousness.
The more we can gain as sentient energy manifesting in various forms during the Eternal phases of life and death within existence, perhaps the more maneuverable it all becomes.


edit on 4/7/16 by Ophiuchus 13 because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 7 2016 @ 09:16 PM
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a reply to: Astrocyte

Thank you - what a beautifully worded answer!!!


And I don't think it sounds "crazy" at all, frankly (for anyone who isn't a strict 'materialist') it makes as much sense as anything else!




posted on Apr, 7 2016 @ 09:29 PM
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It's a bit cliche, but isn't the beginning of knowledge the admission that one knows nothing?



posted on Apr, 9 2016 @ 01:35 AM
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originally posted by: Astrocyte
What is Knowledge?

The new, critically updated, all inclusive, Universal definition of 'Knowledge';

"'Knowledge' is 'that which is perceived', Here! Now!!"

All inclusive!

That which is perceived by the unique individual Perspective is 'knowledge'.
All we can 'know' is what we perceive, Now! and Now! and Now!!!

'Ignorance' is that which is NOT perceived, at any particular moment, by any particular unique Perspective! Here! Now!



posted on Apr, 9 2016 @ 01:41 AM
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originally posted by: EternalSolace
It's a bit cliche, but isn't the beginning of knowledge the admission that one knows nothing?

Tremendously cliche'!
And I seriously doubt that anyone, EVER, has stated those words honestly!

No one says that they do not know anything without lying!
And it is trebbly impossible to Know "nothing"!
Bumperstickers like that slip by the average uncritical eye...



posted on Apr, 9 2016 @ 07:03 AM
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originally posted by: namelesss

No one says that they do not know anything without lying!
And it is trebbly impossible to Know "nothing"!


What if there is no one?
Can no one say - there is nothing to know?

As soon as there appears to be a separate knower - there appears to be something to be known.
When it is realized that there is nothing separate (no things at all) - there is nothing to know - there is just knowing.

edit on 9-4-2016 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 9 2016 @ 10:41 AM
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originally posted by: Itisnowagain

originally posted by: namelesss

No one says that they do not know anything without lying!
And it is trebbly impossible to Know "nothing"!


What if there is no one?
Can no one say - there is nothing to know?

As soon as there appears to be a separate knower - there appears to be something to be known.
When it is realized that there is nothing separate (no things at all) - there is nothing to know - there is just knowing.


But there are others, and as such, others' knowing may differ or negate one's truth. So, is knowledge that which is one's personal truth thereby invalidating all other perceptions?



posted on Apr, 9 2016 @ 11:17 AM
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a reply to: Astrocyte

If we are looking at brain function with a 'noisy brain' as opposed to alleged increased brain function with psychaedelics with a 'quiet brain' - where the metaphysical can be realized? - then knowledge may then be defined as one's journey of perception and realization of truth as is relevant to the experience.

www.scientificamerican.com...
edit on 9-4-2016 by InTheLight because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 9 2016 @ 10:13 PM
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originally posted by: Itisnowagain

originally posted by: namelesss

No one says that they do not know anything without lying!
And it is trebbly impossible to Know "nothing"!

What if there is no one?
Can no one say - there is nothing to know?

You are right.
I was being sloppy, for a moment, and you caught me.
Rather than "no one says", which is obviously not possible, I can say that "not anyone says...", which makes all the logical difference.
"Not anyone can honestly say that they do not know anything!" is more clear and concise terms.
Thank you for pointing that out.
(I guess that i knew that someone would...)


As soon as there appears to be a separate knower - there appears to be something to be known.

Not according to my definition of Knowledge!
That says that every moment of Universal existence is a unique moment of Knowledge!
There is only One Knower, the One Universal Consciousness/Mind!
The One Knower peeks from ALL 'eyes'!


When it is realized that there is nothing separate (no things at all) - there is nothing to know - there is just knowing.

That appears irrational.
If there is Knowing, and there is, there must be that which is known, that which can be known, and that is everything!
It takes a unique individual limited Perspective (Soul) to perceive/know anything!
Without 'us', not anything can be perceived/known (quantum mechanics)!

"God cannot know himself without me." - Meister Eckhart

"The eye by which I see God is the same as the eye by which God sees me. My eye and God's eye are one and the same." - Meister Eckhart

"there is nothing to know"; There is no 'nothing' to be Known, and One cannot "Know nothing"!
edit on 9-4-2016 by namelesss because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 9 2016 @ 10:20 PM
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originally posted by: InTheLight
So, is knowledge that which is one's personal truth thereby invalidating all other perceptions?

It has nothing to do with a 'personal Truth', there is only a unique Personal Perspective of Truth!
Truth is ALL inclusive, so there is no 'my truth', there is only my unique Perspective!
See my definition.

Existence = the complete Universe = Nature = Reality = Consciousness = Truth = Love = 'Self!' = God = Brahman = Tao = ... etc....
ALL INCLUSIVE!!
'One'!

Every Perspective is unique every moment!

"For every Perspective, there is an equal and opposite Perspective!" - The First Law of Soul Dynamics (Book of Fudd)

"The acceptance and understanding of other Perspectives furthers our acquaintance with Reality!"

"The complete Universe (Reality/Truth/God/'Self!'/Tao/Brahman... or any feature herein...) can be completely defined/described as the synchronous sum-total of all Perspectives!" - Book of Fudd
ALL INCLUSIVE!!!

tat tvam asi (en.wikipedia.org...)




edit on 9-4-2016 by namelesss because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 10 2016 @ 04:28 AM
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originally posted by: namelesss
Not according to my definition of Knowledge!
That says that every moment of Universal existence is a unique moment of Knowledge!
There is only One Knower, the One Universal Consciousness/Mind!
The One Knower peeks from ALL 'eyes'!

How many 'moments' are there? Are there any 'moments' at all?
A 'moment' is a 'thing'.
What if there is only ever what is happening?
What is happening is not a thing - it is 'being' all there is.



If there is Knowing, and there is, there must be that which is known, that which can be known, and that is everything!
It takes a unique individual limited Perspective (Soul) to perceive/know anything!
Without 'us', not anything can be perceived/known (quantum mechanics)!

'Knowing' is an action - it is a happening.
If 'knowing' is split/divided/fragmented into 'knower' and 'known' then that is when the illusion of 'things' begins.

'Things' need time and space to exist but there is no time or space - there is simply what is happening.


edit on 10-4-2016 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)



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