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Understanding The Nature of Life

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posted on Feb, 2 2017 @ 01:59 AM
“The universe is an expanding spectrum of interaction which means that it has always been interacting with itself, so that it continually samples new interactions. These interactions are subject to a kind of broad scale selection process, much like Darwinian natural selection, where only those interactions which are symmetric end up populating our universe. Thus, only symmetric relationships are selected to persist...In a fundamental way causality is linked to limiting interactive processes, not inciting interactive structures…The changer in this universe is not things, but the localized loss of degrees of freedom that initially random transformative states have undergone.” – Camelo Castillo, Origin of Mind: A History of Systems; pg. 2,13-14, 2011; Allardice Creek Press

I start of this post with some insightful quotes from the scientist and systems researcher Camelo Castillo. The first quote states quite clearly the unity of the universe and the way and manner 'things' come to exist. As he says, symmetric structures persist - they only become 'real' because of some underlying, transformational coherence in energy interactions. From an asteroid to an atom - what we are seeing is symmetry at different scale. The second part of the first quote describes what is happening: matter emerges because of local losses of freedom: all matter exists because it is stable i.e. symmetrical, and so 'natural selection' flows towards producing more and more complex states of symmetry, constrained by local space-time into a particular structure.

“In fact, this investigation will propose that systems are just persistenty energetically dense parts of their environments. If one imagines environments as encompassing an enormous spectrum of interaction ranging from almost no interaction, to irregular interaction, to semi-regular interaction to regular interaction, it becomes possible to see that the systems we know and study are just those very rare instances of regular interaction...In fact, all physical systems emerged from the big bang environment. All biological systems emerged from an Earth bound physical environment and all social systems emerged from a biological environment.” – Camelo Castillo, Origin of Mind: A History of Systems; pg. 35, 36, 2011; Allardice Creek Press

Now think of everything you see and know exists: the space above you, beyond our planet, which extends out infinitely in every direction. The space around you - and you - your own body, your consciousness. In reality, all of this is symmetry/synchrony at various scales and densities of interaction. Furthermore, as matter becomes more complex in space-time, the new matter exists within the framework of a larger system: the big bang 'contextualizes' the emergence of physical systems (stars, planets, asteroids, etc); the Earth and Sun and the particular location of the galaxy we live in contextualizes both abiotic and biotic evolution on Earth - very dense, complex symmetries with synchronous - diurnal or nocturnal, for instance - rhythms, and the process of biological evolution contextualizes the emergence of Human beings.


We are a very, very complex structure, but the way we work, as can be seen, is obviously within the logic of the above description. The question then is, how do we translate the above idea into what we are?

The logic of our functioning - and structure - and so ultimately, the ontology of reality, can be discerned by paying attention to and understanding the dynamism of your body.

Feelings, or affects, indicate to us what the world "means" to us. By "us", I mean the self. The following quote from the physicist/philosopher Karen Barad can help my cause:

“Making knowledge is not simply about making facts but about making worlds, or rather, it is about making specific worldly configurations – not in the sense of making them up ex-nihilo, or out of language, beliefs, or ideas, but in the sense of materially engaging as part of the world in giving it specific material form. And yet the fact that we make knowledge not from outside but as part of the world does not mean that knowledge is necessarily subjective (a notion that already presumes the pre-existing distinction between object and subject that feeds representationalist thinking). At the same time, objectivity cannot be about producing undistorted represented from afar. Rather, objectivity is about being accountable to the specific materializations of which we are a part.” – Karen Barad, Meeting the Universe Halfway; pg. 91, Duke, 2007

We are a process with nature, and so when we come to think of the way we think, we should give priority to the underlying dynamism of the process that brings us into existence. Consciousness - mind - thought - feeling: all these phenomena are materially expressed, and whats more, ontologically real. Barad calls these larger structures (involving innumerable interacting states) "phenomena". The phenomena are ontologically real, which means they have organizing power - or form new or higher level symmetries. This is what social-processes are.

The Third

Some people conceptualize an 'ether' that exists between people, yet the notion isn't necessary, or at least should be reconceptualized as constituting an invisible field - imaginary - which underlies our nervous systems existential interpenetration of one another. The third, in other words, exist between us.

The reasoning process, in order to be truthful - accurate - and coherent - needs to take account of the pre-existing structure of your body's "blueprint". Since symmetry is the way matter stabilizes and matures, the exact nature of our existence would seem to be very related to symmetry - or in Human discourse, equality. As I've written elsewhere, the psychologist Michael Tomasello has concluded that Humans must be cognitively described as systems that incline towards states of 'shared-intentionality'. Of course, in a world as disparate as ours, where we move from one environment with one group of people - who we may be very synchronous with (our family) our synchrony is a function of mutual interpenetration. Our 'bodies' know one another, and hence, meaning, value, and enlivenment emerges very easily. Your brain doesn't need to try.

But the world we live in produces loads of 'entropy' - which means a loss of information, in this case, for the organizing consciousness when it moves from one environment to another. The 'self' is permeable to the reactions of others; reactions literally in-form: your nervous system absorbs the impression, and then assumes a changed state depending on the intensity of the signal.

Because the third is the affects which move between us, the mind "in the head" is tilted, directed, and guided, by the feelings in its body. Past interactions guide an earlier biological system - the basic metabolic dynamics of the "reptilian" brainstem - and this lowest system is 'first' in the logic of self organization.

posted on Feb, 2 2017 @ 01:59 AM
What does "first" mean? It means that in our normal phenomenological experience, what we do reflexively, and toward action, is controlled and regulated by the 'streamlining' efficiency of the brains most primary system. Indeed, all the major neurotransmitters of the brain are located in the brainstem: consciousness uses the molecular dynamics of an earlier evolutionary epoch to regulate itself.

“In reality, ‘things’ embody actions and actions are the expression of things.” – Camelo Castillo, Origin of Mind: A History of Systems; pg. 37, 2011; Allardice Creek Press

'Things' and actions. Castillo is speaking very abstractly here, but we see how true and real this statement is with regard to animal-life and the reflexive way and manner we tend to approach the world with. Our phenomenology of this experience is speedy - we experience reality in a faster and more energetic way: indeed, enlivenment and the experience of 'feeling real' is fundamentally predicated on Human interactions with other Humans - and the enlivening effect of feeling mirrored, or known., in the face of the other. Some languages reflect this reality in a way that really makes you think. For instance, in Hebrew, פָּנִים, 'panim', is used in the Tanakh (or Hebrew Bible) with the contextually inferred sense of meaning "abroad", "accept", "account", "across", "adjacent", "before", "east", and most often, "face". For people to look face to face to another is to be exposed to the other's inside, and so the Hebrew word for "inner", PNMI, comes from the root for face.

Consider all these senses with regard to what it means to be face to face with someone. Could you tolerate hurting someones feelings - and seeing their reaction? The body's knowledge - or its inherent tendency to interpret and assimilate 'signs' (cues) and embody them in its own structure - would constitute a symmetry process. Your body's internalization and reproduction of a 'symmetrical' state is not just a mental event - but also, in all likelihood (though this hasn't been experimentally confirmed, but the logic indicates this as the reality) a material one as well (i.e. atoms, molecules, neurons, cell assemblies, global brain states etc).

As said, you will see the persons face, and you will be forced within your body to respond - to acknowledge what you are seeing. What is this but consciousness - or awareness - the highest, and most abstract phenomenon of all - correlating its knowledge of cause and effect with what it most desires: its own good? The mind's embeddedment within the process underlying its emergence is compelled by existential circumstances registered within the whole body as feelings, to acknowledge the person across from them, which will then lead to a state of symmetry - and so, a process of forgiveness, relaxation of body, and an expansion in the complexity of the "relational system" of both parties.

Consciousness doesn't come to this situation through reflexivity - but through inhibition. This phenomenological reality corresponds exactly with the neurobiological reality: the neurons of the orbitofrontal cortex are largely inhibitory, using the molecule GABA (gamma aminobutryic acid) to inhibit the electrical activity of other cells.

That is, when you slow down your consciousness, you gain more space within your mental experience to examine a large swathe of potential contents. This process is fundamental to reasoning, and a big reason why passionate speech easily becomes irrational speech. This all-too-common Human foible occurs because culture has normalized - and made largely invisible - the intrinsic stupidity of thinking emotions don't undercut reasoning processes by forcing (through its intensity) a selection process that relies upon less information in the mental-space.

This means that Human beings emerged as Human beings via learning how to slow down their internal experience as a way to regulate the negative feelings within themselves when life grew hard. The fact that 'slowing' down allowed more consciousness - more conceptualization of the various causes and effects which organized their mental world - logically implies something which slows itself down. Logically, the phenomena of consciousness emerges over 300 milliseconds (usually) in a brain, which implies that it is both materially and temporally distributed. However, how could something like this emerge - and accomplish what it does within itself, with a distinct sense of 'separateness', not in the sense of being ontologically separate, but as constituting a different pole in the local-global difference? Hebrew denotes this, and if you recall our conversation from above, the big bang contextualizes everything. And so consider the connotations again of the word panim again: Abroad: beyond where you are; distant.Before. Before the big bang? Across As in across the divide - which separates this reality from whatever it seems to come from? East, as in the direction the sun rises - the major engine of life, and symbol for life, meaning, and wisdom?

The observer - or witness - within us, emerges within the evolution of hominin social processes, as it has been bracketed and contextualized by the ecology of the Earth's three 'interacting' domains: geosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere. This is the reality - the scientific truth - of what processes underlie our emergence as a being.

Individualism and Ecology

The problem with individualism is that it follows a logic different from the way physical reality works. Given all that has been written above, the question is this: should one pay attention to the dynamism of being - something curiously implied by the name of the Hebrew God YHWH, which means "being", and has been historically interpreted by the Kabbalah as a 4-fold 'emanation' of being, from an abstract 'thought', until it reaches materialization in the physical world - or should I pay attention to the "object" or "thing" of the self which I am?

You could say Human history has been animated by just this sort of struggle, usually splintering with the elite, preferring to emphasize a philosophy of individualism, while the commoners - in suffering, and being exposed face-to-face to one anothers suffering, tend to self-organize in the normal way - towards symmetry i.e. acknowledgement of one another's experience.

Have I made it clear enough which position is more coherent - and more real? Individualism, first of all, is based in a lie: that Humans in their natural state (or so says Hobbes, whom idiots still cite as if he were an authority). The science, anthropology, psychology and phenomonology of that underlies are nature all confirm one reality: symmetry - not elitism, not asymmetry and sowing conflict between humans.

But more generally: isn't it obvious and clear that climate change is the shift into a higher gear of what the economist Jason S. More considers the "long capitalistic age", which began in the mid 1400's with the discovery of America? Is individualism not being exposed as a 'suicide' pact between elites, and isn't that the logical end of a philosophy that refuses to subject itself to the actual realities: that we exist as non-linear systems embedded in even larger non-linear systems? consider the connotations again of the word panim again.

posted on Feb, 2 2017 @ 02:00 AM
Yes - I too would like to affirm the Self, the Hindu Atman. But one wonders whether the travails of living - the fact that action (what we do) changes us, which means how were affected by what we do in turn affects how we come to know the world, and what we take to be real - might bring about a state of motivated reasoning, where the feeling of having been made 'asymmetrical', probably by a trauma (like the explosion of mt. Toba 75,000 years ago) would compel an asymmetrical 'solution' - the various asymmetrical emotions that emerge from a self dissociated from the realities of others - a self 'animated by an ego', which references again and again its own feelings exempt from awareness of the environ which ontologically underlies its constructions - as well as its capacities.

Individualism was an understandable - and plausible - belief system in an ignorant world that did not have the proper tools - science, empiricism, as well as all the technological tools of science which has extended our gaze (microscope, telescope, MRI, electron microscopy, etc) or extended our individual knowledge (internet) - to make sense of the world we find ourselves in.

But the times have changed, and intellectual integrity demands revision of beliefs that harbor no value, but actually, portend the opposite: the end of existence.

Can a Human really be so confused within itself to think this reality we live was or is an error? If you exist - and exist in the marvelous and wondrous way in which we do, why or how could someone feel the exact opposite? The problem is trauma and the void it creates. As a psychoanalyst I was reading with decades of work with traumatized clients wrote, trauma is a "singularity" - or a bringing of the mind back to the 'pre-enlivened'.

Why does Cain deny Gods advice 'to overcome' his evil inner urge? Well, I would assume it has to do with his being ignorant and not having the frame-of-reference needed within his structuring to know how to do it. Cain In Hebrew comes from the root "CaNA", which means "to acquire". The person animated by a 'spirit of desire', specifically oriented to other people (women) or things (physical property, objects) cannot hear the voice of reason - or being - because they have been 'pulled off', in the language of dynamical systems theory, by the attractions of the world. The 'attunement' between a coherently perceiving self and the world it engages is broken down by the objects 'pull' on the self.

In a very essential way, whats been called 'masculinism' is identical with individualism; which is also identical to the concept of 'asymmetry' and all those philosophies and views that seek to break away from a proper representation of the empirical behavior of reality, like post-modernism, objectivism (Ayn Rand), 'anti-realism', as well as 'scientism'. These views are maintained by a stubborn 'inner authoritarianism' - a stubborn need to be right and true, with an unhealthy and unjustified expectation that the world should yield to your will.

In this sense, I wonder whether the book of Genesis - that most interesting of books, at least for me - spoke of the woman as a helper not in the sense of being a concubine - a sex slave, or an inferior; but the opposite. Conceptually, the mind can be likened to a 'male' part, and the body (or feelings) the female part. Females exhibit a more clear-headed and honest appraisal of their feelings - indeed, their corpus callosum (the white fibres which connect the hemispheres) is thicker in their brains than in males. Is it possible that the female is a 'helper' in the very literal sense of being a model? Indeed, the very shape of the female body exhibits a top-down symmetry while the male is broader up high - metaphorically appropriate, with their 'heads' above, imagining that they are "above" the world they emerge within.

While I am very skeptical of religion, I have found this book - this ancient Hebrew text - phenomenally interesting in its allegorical metaphysics - appropriately embodied in stories, since we are, after all, a creature which emerges through the process of narrative: from being a self, with relationships to other selves: a father, a mother, sisters, brothers, cousins, friends. Trauma scientists have concluded that the resolution of the interruptive effects of trauma require being 'reconsolidated' into narrative form - with the self-in-events understood, contextualized, so that the inchoate and troubling feelings be 'laid to rest'.

Understanding life is about understanding the force of history on our present reality. The world "comes to an end", partly because we come to understand ourselves - which means, ultimately, we will one day come to understand our history as a being in the universe, from the big bang, to now.

posted on Feb, 18 2017 @ 09:43 PM
a reply to: Astrocyte

Never read or heard about Castillo , I admit. However, I find that (probably unbeknown to himself) he makes statements that would resonate with some qabalistic concepts

He speaks in non-occult language and his approach is somewhat scientific but a little bit of it has some validity in my opinion.

My point in posting is to attempt to make the distinction between what he is saying and what you are saying in you "symmetry" notion.

He is right is seeing how things expand and come into being but ultimately meet a limiting factor. It is that limiting factor that cause the change and , subsequently, new manifestation.

You appear to translate his concepts into something different to what he is saying. I will put it to you that it is not "symmetry" that bring a process to an end. It is in fact "limitation" than brings something to a conclusion. Furthermore , as the thing is brought to conclusion, something new then emerges, and so it goes on.

Having said that , I am not discarding the word "symmetry" entirely. Though it is "Limitation" that completes the process, the end result may appear symmetric .

For those with some astrological background , we can look at the Desire aspect (associated with Venus - planet of beauty and symmetry). Desire is after all a microcosm of the Universal process of expansion. I like to use the word "completion" when looking at that point where a desire/urge is considered satisfied. That point of completion only exists because a limitation to the desire (or shall we say : a definition) has been placed . A balance therefore is reached at some point, at which the desired effect is achieved.

The above is only a psychological example of the Force vs Opposition interaction. This is happening on every level and I think this is what Castillo is alluding to. For the Occultists studying the Tree of Life, the idea of Force meeting up against resistance is a basic tenet. Without resistance , Force would be flying in all direction and nothing would be created. Even uninitiated people have a good understanding of the idea that there is no power without control.

edit on 18-2-2017 by crowdedskies because: (no reason given)

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