posted on Mar, 10 2017 @ 06:43 PM
Everything that happens within a Humans mind is this: adapting to what happens to you, in terms of the underlying dynamics of Human
Your mind and its behaviors is emergent upon compassionate, caring, and nuanced understandings of Self and Other. Such "psychological" or
"perceptual" or "cognitive" states are intrinsically embodied, and intrinsically expansive: neural architecture is literally scaffolded into and
upon existing neurological architecture, with only one rule underlying the increase in organizational complexity: that it be coherent.
Guess What? Mindfulness and paying attention to yourself in your relations with others is complex business. Doing that, again and again
within your mind, changes your brain-structure and functionality, while offering your pre-frontal cortex greater "awareness" and "consciousness"
as more and more material is fed into the structuring of the pre-frontal cortex.
The unique Human self-experience, as neuroscientists and anthropologists now understand, is inherently a property of the prefrontal cortex in its
interaction with other areas of the brain. What this means is simple: our capacity for self-consciousness and consciousness of the experience of
others (empathy/sympathy) is fundamentally related to the activity of the 'front' of the brain.
In particular, there is a region that surrounds the inner core of the brain - which evolved in an around the lateral venticles (where cerebral-spinal
fluid is held). This region, known as the "cingulate", is known to depress activity in the brainstem and amygdala. For instance, if an animal is
startled by a false alarm, cingulate neurons will 'recalibrate' i.e. "calm", the neural structures sensitive to threat detection, and thus return
to the organism to a metabolically equilibrated state.
A good question to ask is: where and how do these neurons possess the functional wherewithal to organize the activity of lower-level neurons? Ordering
the stochastic chaos triggered by a threat-alert response, of course, derives from an ontological category related to survival; the organism wants to
survive - and so we say it has a "teleological goal" to maintain its existence, and so, the quality of fear emerges as an internal signal for the
system to assume a quick and clear goal: to get away (flee), to fight, or, if neither exist, to freeze (and ultimately, to faint). When threat is
present, the organism is said to be "metabolically conservative" - not granting the "excess" of higher functionalities pertinent to other values
that arise from the organisms meaning-making.
Love - or the connections between organisms - would constitute the counter-pole to natures protective and predatorial urge (centered in the
amygdala) - and just as the amygdala is the 'ontological correlate' of the concept of environmental threat, as well as the initiative to pursue that
which is needed to survive (nourishment) - fear and advantage, we may say (a very republican/conservative way of being, I might also add), the
presence and force of love sculpts the cingulate cortex, insula, and orbitofrontal cortex, which in turn provides the affective stability for the
development of cognitive dynamics (the lateral and frontal cortices) which scientists spend so much of their time grovelling over.
Mental complexity is fundamentally about regulating your affectivity - paying attention to your feelings, while at the same time engaging another
Human in a discursive conversation in language. This experience - which is normal and obvious to me - is nevertheless a profoundly ignored and
dissociated way of understanding Human evolution in the still very cartesian - dualistic - world of anthropology which dissociates the embodied
experience of the Human being - its affectivity - from the thinking and cognizing it does with others. Amazingly - these people, who were taught to
treat as "knowers of whats true" ("if a "scientist" says it, it must be so!"), are off chasing unicorns, simply because they are relating to the
world - and reality - in terms of the social processes of the society they exist within.
A dynamical systems understanding of our minds places the observer and agent - our self-awareness - as the highest level attractor in the way that our
body-mind functions. The body "streams upward" and affects how the self-aware mind experiences itself, and so the self-aware mind is prompted by
such a signal into a reflexive response - which is also encoded in your brain-matter as something you typically do.
Consciousness of self - that is, a consciousness that is mindful of its vulnerability towards delusion, self-serving rationalizations, and heuristic
'short-cuts', adds an even higher layer of engagement with the world - where the self being enacted - what we term our "sense of identity", is
subjected to analysis and revision if the observing consciousness perceives a mismatch between what it has learned about itself, in relation to an
empirically validated theoretical knowledge of Human development (all of this is 'packed' into such a perception) and so constrains a way of being
which it knows to be a species of a negative and self-destructive habitus.
Regulation is everything. From Quarks-Gluons to the neutrons and protons they give rise to - everything in nature is regulated when 'coherent'
conglomerates come together and discover that that they can regulate their own internal states better when they connect to similar others (and even
sometimes non-similar others). Our thinking is a function of our feeling, and our feeling a function of our intrinsic dependence on one another in
order to feel good and normal on the inside.
Thinking that there is some 'outside' to our intrinsic relatedness to one another is the acme of delusion, and something to be feared i.e. to be
taken precaution of.
As Camelo Castillo recently put it:
“To be in sync or not to be, that has always been the question.”