posted on Jan, 10 2017 @ 02:14 PM
All natural things - including our selves - are the result of complex electromagnetic dynamics at the micro-scale (what the consciousness researcher
Paul Nunez, who has a degree in physics, prefers to regard as "field equations" between atomic charges - otherwise known as molecules) which
stabilize in the production of an enormously complex symmetrical structure.
Think about this. All things that exist in the universe are the result of symmetry. This viewpoint is inexorable - it is being generated by all sorts
of scientists, some coming from a background in physics, others, in biology, and some, like myself, from psychology.
This point underlies everything that exists: symmetry is stable - asymmetry i.e. undemocratic practices of governance - do not last, because they are
not based upon such principles. In a non-democratic society, all sorts of energy and resources are spent on destruction, exploitaiton and manipulation
- and most pernicious of all, there is a self-replicating dynamic - roughly in the mode of Dawkins concept of the "meme" - that colonizes the minds
of Human beings who manage to cross the threshold into the higher classes.
I'd like to explore what exactly it means to be a member of a secret-society, from the perspective of the sciences i.e. from a perspective of
The human system functions just as all other natural systems do, except we have arisen to the level of mind, something which grew and evolved from
innumerable volleys of positive feeling, back and forth, such that each individual experienced its Self as being worthy of attention.
The feedback loop of consciousness works roughly like this: when an individual has a desire to act, it's desire - its want and yearning - is put into
a situation of evaluation by the party who exists on the other end - the party who the speaker implicitly seeks to persuade into agreement. In
chimps and apes - no such yearning is much tolerated, as chimpanzees, with small brains and very little in the way of cognitive understanding, simply
express the harshness of the ecology they exist within.
As a brief aside - the chimp and bonobo express how important ECOLOGY is to the evolution of function: because of WHERE the bonobo has evolved -
protected by the congo river to the east, and forests all around them to the north, south and west, the bonobo has evolved in a context with less
predators - the two chief being the African cats, the leopard and the lion. Because of this protection from the harshness of Africa's predators- the
bonobo has undergone what biologists call "peadomorphy" or "neotinization" - where, because of the relaxed environment in which they live, the
bonobo - the biological system that they are - has been able to spend more and more time developing the affects associated with childhood - play, joy,
fun, and, as many bonobo researchers learn, sex.
The environment thus acts as the control factor on the evolution function, serving to 'naturally select' what a dynamical system like an African ape
will naturally incline towards under relaxed conditions: positive emotions.
The Baboon expresses a similar dynamic, but unlike the Bonobo, which is an ape, and unable to process unripe fruit, and thus, not being to live
outside the lush forests of western Africa, the Baboon CAN process unripe fruit, which means it can survive in many harsher environments, and indeed,
the Baboon reveals its harshness by the size of its canines - and the dimorphy between the sexes - large males, smaller females.
I find all of this incredibly enlightening, as we may be able to advocate for an ethics - a good, responsible and powerfully spiritual ethics -
without any invocation of philosophy or religion - simply by studying the dynamics of our species evolution can we realize what our evolution ENTAILS.
Above all, the modern study of dynamical systems like animals - particularly humans - reveals how co-dependent body and mind are, with both emerging
from the SAME EXACT DYNAMIC.
This means that dualism i.e. a complete separation of mind from body, is wrong; similarly, materialism - which denies the existence and reality of
mind, is similarly wrong. Rather, something like a non-dual dualism, a co-arising reality, of perhaps an "original symmetry" - emerges in the world
through the temporal unfolding of symmetry. In the book, Beyond Physicalism, edited by University of Virginia psychologist Edward Kelly, offers
some compelling metaphysical models to make sense of the way Human systems work, and indeed, the most likely candidate is something like a
"panentheism" - with God, or "Pan" (whole), existing WITHIN the part - the world.
The biologist Andreas Wagner, in his terrific book The Arrival of the Fittest, points out how philosophy is returning to Plato's "ideal
form" - but this time with a lot more specificity - and, unlike Plato, the physical world can't be regarded as a mere "shadow". Plato paid
insufficient attention to context - and, being himself an elite, was very partial to the aristocratic tenets of this culture he grew up within, which
helps explain the lack of complexity in his thinking that was better captured by Aristotles study of cause and effect.
“Because life is built of molecules, we need to understand molecules to understand innovation: not only the genotype embodied in DNA, but how
this genotype helps build a phenotype. And a phenotype like that of the human body is not just a string of DNA. It is a hierarchy of being that
descends from the visible organism, its tissues and cells, to the molecular webs formed by metabolic molecules, signaling molecules, and many others,
extending down to the level of individual proteins. New phenotypes can originate at each level. A mere thirty years ago, we knew little of this
staggering complexity.” – Andreas Wagner, Arrival of the Fittest: How Nature Innovates; pg. 33, Current, 2014
“Unlike galaxies, which self-assemble through the gravitational attraction of cosmic matter, or biological membranes, which self-organize through
the love-hate relationship of lipid molecules with water, genotype networks do not emerge over time. They exist in the timeless eternal realm of
natures libraries. But they certainly have a form of organization – so complex that we are just beginning to understand it. And this organization
arises all by itself. And as with galaxies and membranes, the principle behind their self-organization is simple: Life is robust.” – Andreas
Wagner, Arrival of the Fittest, pg. 176, Current, 2016
Wagners work is consistent with the work of other scientists-philosophers working out of the famed Santa-Fe institute, like Harold Morowitz, Stuart
Kauffman and Brian Goodwin, Wagners work has clear political implications for the societies we live within: as Wagner writes, we have a "form of
organization" that is not arbitrary, but fundamentally related to the way and manner energy is processed from the lowest level, to the highest level.
I often post a figure of a pyramid, with three tiers of systems dynamically connected to one another: the first is primarily chemical-metabolic; the
second, a transformation occurs where a mind is generated via the evolution of the neuron and the generation of front-back symmetry, and left-right
symmetry. This higher level symmetry "feeds into" the lower level metabolism, but in this new higher modelling