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The mind-body problem is a philosophical problem arising in the fields of metaphysics and philosophy of mind. The problem arises because of the fact that mental phenomena appear to be qualitatively and substantially different from the physical bodies on which they appear to depend. There are a few major theories on the resolution of the problem. Dualism is the theory that mind and body are two distinct substances, and monism is the theory that mind and body are, in reality, just one substance. Monist materialists (also called physicalists) take the view that they are both matter, and monist idealists take the view that they are both in the mind. Neutral monists take the view that both are reducible to a third, neutral substance.
The problem was identified by René Descartes' in the sense known by the modern Western world, although the issue was also addressed by pre-Aristotelian philosophers and in Avicennian philosophy
This view of reality may lead one to consider the corporeal as little valued and trivial. The rejection of the mind-body dichotomy is found in French Structuralism, and is a position that generally characterized post-war French philosophy. The absence of an empirically identifiable meeting point between the non-physical mind and its physical extension has proven problematic to dualism and many modern philosophers of mind maintain that the mind is not something separate from the body. These approaches have been particularly influential in the sciences, particularly in the fields of sociobiology, computer science, evolutionary psychology and the various neurosciences
Originally posted by ThisIsMyName
Definitely an interesting topic that I have been thinking about a lot recently.
Essentially information is processed and it takes a certain amount of time for us to be consciously aware of the information (an image, music etc) therefore the mind arises out of the brain.
Originally posted by Jean Paul Zodeaux
Either choice, however, leads to the question of who exactly is making that choice?
To solve this subset of the bigger picture, there have been experiments conducted which essentially prove that the mind arises out of the brain. Essentially information is processed and it takes a certain amount of time for us to be consciously aware of the information (an image, music etc) therefore the mind arises out of the brain.
Originally posted by Greensage
I don't know why I didn't remember this, but it is really a matter of a question within it.
Why did the Egyptians think that the Soul resided in the Heart?
During their rituals of Mummification the Brain was never given any thought and was simply whipped up and scooped out of the skull.
I was told that this is because when we "feel" we feel with our hearts and not our heads, so there is a place within, a chamber, of which our Soul resides.
So there very well might be another part to this, the Mind/Body/Heart Problem!
The first issue that has to be fully examined is exactly where the mind - that ethereal part of you that knows that you exist, and that examines the facts of your physical presence within the corporeal realm - has actually set up shop while your body and brain are up and running. In Greece, a few hundred years before the Romans decided to turn everyone's calendars back to zero, Plato and a few others of his time were finding new and innovative ways to explain this compelling aspect of human existence. They called it the Soul.
Plato, drawing on the words of his teacher Socrates, considered the soul the essence of a person, being that which decides how we behave. He considered this essence to be an incorporeal, eternal occupant of our being. As bodies die the soul is continually reborn in subsequent bodies. The Platonic soul comprises three parts:
- the logos (mind, nous, or reason)
- the thymos (emotion, or spiritedness, or masculine)
- the eros (appetitive, or desire, or feminine)
Each of these has a function in a balanced, level and peaceful soul.
excerpt - en.wikipedia.org...
The fact that this conscious part of the human being - this mind - can examine itself as it goes about the business of active existence has been more than compelling for many others who've confronted it - long before Plato's time and ever since. For these people, it's been unassailable proof that the human being consisted as two unique and separate forms of existence - one seen and the other unseen.
As we examined in Section III, the creative leap that resulted in the invention of the human spirit occurred as a result of more than just a vague sense of contextual juxtaposition between human awareness and the corporeal matrix responsible for the creation of that awareness. The intellectual linkage definitely exists between our modern concept of the eternal human being and those earlier, more primitive, notions of an ethereal something-or-other, even if the chain itself fades into prehistoric obscurity before linking us to the definitive origins of the non-corporeal realm as a reality embraced by the corporeal mind.
The fact that such a counterintuitive notion (counterintuitive for the corporeal brain, that is) does exist, and that it exists without a record of why it formed in the first place, has caused this notion to take on a primordial significance for most of the human race over the entire span of its recorded history. After all, the mystery isn't confined to the specifics of the notion itself. The fact that it exists at all, and that it persists, is also a mystery, even if the idea of this invisible realm has since become so culturally engrained as to seem completely natural and even mundane for most people. The truth is that most people simply accept this seemingly illogical concept of a dynamic, invisible reality, and live their corporeal lives as if it's an unavoidable part of their future.
So far, we've been examining the nature of this "non-corporeal" informational realm, but in this digression, I'm going to examine why the corporeal human generally finds it so easy to accept - and even plan for - life beyond the inevitable failure of the body and brain. Then I will go on to detail the conscious awareness of the corporeal being (the nature of its uniquely point of perspective (POP) and why it is the default POP) and then I will compare that POP to the broader view of the IDI, and how that view is achieved as the "crossing over" event. It's a lot of stuff to cover, but if I chop it all into three segments I think I can get us through it.
Why We Believe
I was admonished by a self-assured Internet expert (on everything, apparently) that the reason people believe in an afterlife is that their fear of oblivion drives them to embrace whatever it takes to ease that fear - from the unlikely to even the impossible if that's what it takes. He couldn't explain how it was that the human mind is obviously separate from the human brain - enough so that the mind can consider the brain, and its relative physical relationship with it - but to him, the problematic aspects of an eternal existence for the human consciousness superseded the problematic aspects of mind-brain physical juxtaposition. As if any of us get to choose reality as a lesser of two thorny dilemmas.
I replied that I could help him with this, but that he'd need to allow me enough rope to properly hang myself, to which he agreed as long as my explanation didn't devolve into theological or vague New Age assurances. I promised that they wouldn't, and I went to work gathering some information that I felt would make a compelling case that the human being's conscious mind does exist as something that is unique from the brain itself, even as it is manufactured by the brain. The following is what I came up with.
Published online: 13 April 2008 | doi:10.1038/nn.2112
Unconscious determinants of free decisions in the human brain
Chun Siong Soon, Marcel Brass, Hans-Jochen Heinze, & John-Dylan Haynes
There has been a long controversy as to whether subjectively 'free' decisions are determined by brain activity ahead of time. We found that the outcome of a decision can be encoded in brain activity of prefrontal and parietal cortex up to 10 s before it enters awareness. This delay presumably reflects the operation of a network of high-level control areas that begin to prepare an upcoming decision long before it enters awareness.
The paper that this abstract refers to - a download PDF is obtainable by logging onto www.nature.com... and paying a fee - details follow-on research inspired by Benjamin Libet's mid-80s controversial determination that the human brain has already finished deciding - a full 500 milliseconds - before the human being has experienced having made an A/B choice. These folks went Libet one better, and employing an fMRI machine, established an actual two-stage process that signals the intent to decide in one sector of the brain, followed by the actual decision in another sector, before sending the memo on to the conscious mind that selection A or selection B will be taken as the preferred choice between the two.
Now, some who've investigated this (and the actual lengthening of lead time that the brain achieved against the mind once modern technology was applied and some of the messier aspects of Libet's own methodology were cleaned up - as much as a full 7 seconds in some instances), have insisted that this is proof that the human being has no free will whatsoever, and that its conscious mind is nothing but a slave to the gray glop that sits behind its eyes. Others have pointed to this irresponsibly broad assertion concerning free will as just another indication that the secular humanist will go to great lengths to dismiss the true separation that exists between the mind and the brain - a notion that the nonsecular mind has so feverishly promoted for centuries. Me? I've noticed something else in that research that draws me to a very different conclusion altogether. Well, if not a conclusion, then certainly a suspicion.
As I've made clear throughout this book, I honestly see dynamic information as the corporeal matrix' breakthrough achievement in service of its own effort to survive by way of representative holon event Identity. Not survival in an eternally static corporeal organization sense (as in some sort of comic book transfiguration into an undead monster) but in a fully logical sense of the entire organization (as a definitively Identified event collective) in unbroken continuation until the true transformation of that entire event trajectory from within the corporeal realm - moving into the informational realm - is accomplished.
In the case of the human corporeal matrix, my belief is that the resulting dynamic information (due to the sophistication of the human brain's information configuration capacity in natural response to the challenges of corporeal survival) is sophisticated enough to have its own Masculine survival need and the capacity to take control of its own Identity creation from burst to burst in response to that need.
We've examined and we challenged that suite of assertions again and again, but we won't be doing any of that here. Here, I want to explain how Libet, and then the quartet of Soon, Brass, Heinze, & Haynes, opened my own eyes concerning the nature of corporeal consciousness. Basically, they showed me that there's a pause between the thought and the experience of that thought, and that's something I didn't know had been discovered until recently.
Now, this bit of research data doesn't really definitively declare all that much on its own, but when approached from the perspective that the AutoGenesisism premise presents, it takes on a whole new level of immediate significance. What I found to be wonderful about what these folks discovered is that it allows me - and fairly accurately - to place the corporeal consciousness' unique Position of Perspective (POP), and even figure out why it's placed there during Intellect gestation. Until I ran into this research, I hadn't even considered this issue to be an issue at all. Now that I've become aware of the implications of it, I've become even more convinced that we're really on to something here with this Auto-G idea.
Now, in Section II, I explained my reasons for doubting the secular approach to reality and its insistence that the informational (spiritual, for you traditionalists) realm was originally invented by frightened people and their vivid imaginations. However, what I didn't mention was that there's always been a pretty firm link between the corporeal human's experience of reality and the fact that its logical brain could rationally accept the notion of this invisible realm once that notion had been dramatically and convincingly presented as a potentially viable existential option. That link involves this palpable delineation between the human brain and the corporeal human mind.
In fact, the discovery of evidence suggesting such a realm likely satisfied an entire array of difficulties that - while not consciously problematic - must've been tearing at the intellectual fabric of the slowly awakening human animal all along. After all, the human brain is brilliantly and exhaustingly logical (regardless of what esoteric foolishness the human mind insists on embracing) and empirically-based logical schisms drag around behind it like a string of Jacob Marley cash boxes that are all chained together; obviously valuable in their own right, but not very helpful as added weight while each instant of corporeal existence presents itself for immediate and nimble address. The noticeable juxtaposition of the self and the brain would've certainly been one such schism, and while the "spiritual" realm concept helped lift some of that weight, it didn't exactly end up being the panacea that one might've hoped for. In fact, over the millennia it's launched more battle ships than Helen of Troy's face. Okay, that last riff definitely sucked more than it needed to, but I think you get my point. The body count alone speaks for itself in the matter of what religion has brought to the human experience since breaking onto the scene.
And yet, the informational realm does exist. In fact, the human mind itself exists within that realm, even if its corporeal POP doesn't. And yes, that does come across as a statement that needs further explanation, so don't bother rereading it for clarity. I'm going to start explaining it all in this next paragraph. In fact, I'm going to start getting fairly technical, but I'm going to try not to use too much Auto-G jargon as I do. Still, if you have any confusion as to what a term means, or how I arrived at a specific assertion that isn't obvious, please refer to the glossary or rest assured that the developed assertion in question is developed within another digression in this section. Nothing is simply asserted in this book, and I need you to realize this as we move forward.
The Corporeal Perspective
The human mind consists of the Primary Expression (the Intellectual DNA that contains the contextual Identity of the individual), the Personality (that hyper-dynamic information management event - in service of the gestational Intellect's primary need for crafting an inimitable Identity - as the Intellect mass relentlessly picks through internally generated and externally received information, chooses what the brain itself will receive back and processed as short term memory, and determines how that information stream will be blended before being loaded in as active experience), and the Conscious Awareness (CA) that is your actual experience of the dynamic "self"; the only part of your mind that you get to know during corporeal gestation.
We've been calling the human mind Dynamic Intellect (DI), and as you've already learned, it can exist as either Isolated Dynamic Intellect (the IDI) or if it's still being actively "generated" by the functioning corporeal brain, Gestational Dynamic Intellect (the GDI). The only real difference between the two is how the CA experiences that difference. Other than that, the two versions are literally indistinguishable as physical information masses. That said, the CA is what the DI mass knows of itself, and in that sense, the CA makes all the difference in the world to the DI mass and how it exists as a conscious entity.
They say that "Perception is reality", and while I hate that claim (by the way, as a stand-alone statement, it's not true), for the DI mass, perception is all it knows of reality. So, let's say that as a claim - loaded down with caveats - it's not altogether false, even if we're only referring to what's experienced as reality. So how is the CA affected by the developmental state of the DI mass? The answer lies in the survival need of the corporeal brain itself for logical consistency.
It can't be overstated that the human brain is rigidly logical, and while the human Intellect can run off any irrational cliff it finds appealing, the brain that brings it into being is required to do what it can to make rational sense of what the Intellect is doing with its gift of physical existence. To help the brain accomplish this, the gathered GDI mass provides the Personality effort to help triage all data for memory storage, but also goes one important step further and places the Corporeal Conscious Awareness (CCA) POP within the cellular region where the brain's short term memory data is taken in - or better described, the GDI mass doesn't challenge the brain's short term memory receiving area as the POP for the Intellect's CCA.
This arrangement satisfies many critical needs that the brain has to ensure a successful continuum of conscious existence for the mind, and it also allows the Personality to vet all conflicting information away from what has been chosen (generally by contextual default) to be the ultimate Identity for the DI mass. In the Survival digression I expound on this effort, but the point is that the Personality is its own job that is independent of the brain's job of keeping the corporeal development stage of the human mind from becoming a disjointed series of non sequiturs.
Being placed in this region causes the CCA to experience each burst of new Intellect after it's been generated by the brain and fed back into the short term memory for immediate filing. In fact, it experiences that information in a mix-down of sensations that include what the body hears, sees, touches, feels, tastes, senses, and what the brain itself ruminates as a result of memory or even internally generated memory-centric original information configurations. And this is after the Personality has vetted the whole thing and the content has been approved for Identity consistency. According to Libet (and the firm of Soon, Brass, Heinze, & Haynes) the time this effort takes is measurable and quantifiable, even if they actually have no idea why such a lag time exists.
The reason for all of this should be obvious, but if not, then here's a quick overview.
- The brain maintains the existence of a highly sophisticated and extensively matrixed corporeal whole (brain, body and all that is involved in keeping it all in operation)
- To accomplish this, the brain creates data (information) configurations - accomplished by accessing stored data sets and applying that data sets with new data to craft the kinds of uniquely innovative data holons (contextually indivisible bursts) it takes to manage such an enterprise's relentless range of dynamic options
- As a result, these bursts of configured information extend the entire matrix event's Identity as "dynamic information", since each burst is information that contextually represents the corporeal whole's ongoing survival event in a fully logical manner; expressing the full nature of the matrix whole as information - dynamic information
- In the case of the corporeal human being that version of dynamic information is Intellect. Also, in the case of the human being, that Intellect itself (being the ultra-sophisticated self-aware dynamic information that it is) has taken ownership of the burst management process.
- Since the survival of the corporeal whole ensures the ongoing creation and development of the Intellect, the main concern of the Intellect - from a pure survival perspective - is the general survivability of that corporeal whole.
Now, when I say "general survivability" I'm acknowledging that the crafting of inimitable Identity - the primary mission of the Personality as an ongoing effort - can often involve damaging, or even destroying, that corporeal whole. So when I say that the Intellect's main concern is the survivability of the corporeal whole, I have to toss in a caveat in order to make sure I'm not dismissing the obvious situation that can emerge in some GDI development efforts. However, for the most part the Intellect is working on behalf of the corporeal whole's best interest - generally speaking.
Placing the CCA within the short term memory region of the brain itself ensures that the brain's needs for logical consistency are met during the corporeal phase of Intellect development. In cases where the brain's short term memory region is damaged or destroyed, the mind itself has no capacity to develop beyond flashes of momentary sensations. Reality has no definition at all, with each instant launching a new version of corporeal existence for the floundering individual.
If the CCA was freed of the confines of linear progression, as presented by each Intellect burst fed into the short term memory - if each burst was separated from the mix of supporting data streams provided from the long term memory, the reasoning center, and the blend of external sensory channels - the effort to keep it all aligned could conceivably cripple the process of corporeal experience. At the very least, the potential for serious glitches in cognition and time alignment would be much higher.
As with all of natural development, the path of least resistance is the path taken, and this is clearly the path of least resistance for the corporeal mind. Of course, concerning the larger issue of beneficial aspects as a result of full immersion within the corporeal experience for the gestating Intellect, this arrangement serves its own purpose. But, it's important to not put a smile on the face of this dog. What occurs to the benefit of the larger concern, when dealing with physical existence, is always beneficial after-the-fact in all cases. That the highest functioning expressions of physical existence have found benefit in the mundane requirements of the unit and sub-assembly's survival efforts is due more to the fact that the Circumstantial - by its very nature - is gifted with flexibility, regardless of what it's been presented with. Nothing is imposed upon the structure from the top-down. In all cases, the top reflects the result of the response of all that sits beneath it.
The net effect of having the CCA located where the brain receives information - as opposed to placing it anywhere else - is that the corporeal mind is completely immersed within the corporeal realm, even though it doesn't actually exist as part of the corporeal realm. And this is where the dichotomy of the mind-observing-the-brain phenomenon stems from. The brain itself experiences the mind in the same way that it experiences the sights and sounds of the world beyond the skull. Even though it is the brain itself that creates that mind. This has to do with how the brain actually processes all experience. It does so as memory - the shortest short-term memory you can imagine - according to Libet and the other four researchers, anywhere from 500 milliseconds to a full 7 seconds of short term memory.
The brain is fed the vetted version of each generated Intellect burst, once the Personality has finished crafting it to properly - and logically - follow the burst that was fed to the brain just before the burst being inputted for memory. Perfectly mixed and mastered, blended properly with all the moment's other data as a stream of corporeal experience coming in at the causal Unit Rate of Change, and keeping the entire experience of corporeal existence consistent and logically progressive.
The delay is never felt, since the experience is synced properly with all other sensory stimuli that is being streamed, and to be honest, the few seconds of lag time only affect the brain in moments of extreme danger. Moments that the corporeal whole generally doesn't survive anyway. That said, intense reaction training can mitigate the downside of that natural lag, but it can only mitigate it. It can't eliminate it. In the over all balance, the processing of experience benefits the brain a lot more than it would be benefited by a CCA that was instantaneously experienced. ................excerpt - TAKING DOWN THE CURTAIN