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Conceptualizing an Ancient Mind

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posted on Aug, 3 2018 @ 08:03 PM
If you can see your mind as a physical system that emerges from the collective interactions of the 86 billion neurons and 85 billion glia of your brain, then mental processes can be seen as akin to chemical processes, in that there are 'essential elements' of psychological processes called "states of being", which arise as emergent properties within a brain-mind. These states are singularities composed by the complex neural dynamics of your brain in interaction with other brain-minds. There is a profound beauty, and almost a sense of finality, to this picture that the neurosciences are painting. But the neurosciences, constrained by a physicalist materialism, are unable to recognize what seems to be the most obvious thing: the brain-mind is ontologically dependent for its states by being affected by the events of external reality in specific ways. Play - motivated by feelings of fun; care - motivated by feelings of 'being known' by another; and awe, motivated by feelings of being profoundly affected by the depth of meaning about something 'other': these aren't "just" in your brain, as any logical analysis of the process will reveal. The profundity, at least from my perspective, is how something so incredible - the existence of Humans, with minds, in an ecosystem - could be channeled out of our awareness and treated as a "just-so" sort of fact.

300,000 Years Ago

I would bet that the biosemiotic system which evolved into the Human being 300,000 + years ago did so on the grounds of a profound phase transition which operated differently from what we have today. How can I claim such a thing?

Most anthropologists would say that humans have always been the way they are. At the very least, shamanism and belief in "gods" and other supernatural beings has always been with us. Hunter-gathering, movement, etc. There are reasonable grounds for thinking this way, but I believe there is something important missing from the 'naturalness' of the picture that they paint, and that is that it leaves out the 'final' phase transition, where the human realizes that love controls the universe, as well as its own self-organization, which, I aver, is not merely something cognitively represented in the mind, but also something which energetically enlivens the human organism in such a way as to render it able to psychologically 'act' upon the world.

This is an immense fact, and many 'scientists' would claim it describes 'immense evidence'. But this has never seemed a reasonable approach, given that a) the phenomena is based in non-linear physical dynamics b) the units of selection by which they operate in humans is affective state, and the value-qualia it 'carries' with it c) since affective state is a unit for selection, a negative, skeptical attitude literally interferes with the expression of the phenomenon. This means the only way to scientifically study paranormal abilities is to a) theorize the affective state required i.e. awe, trust, belief, enraptured b) tape yourself, so that you can maintain an objective reference point c) study the differences.

In any case, I take the mind as real, and I believe the mind undergoes a phase transition in humans beings which make the mind matter.

Now what does that mean? It means recognizing the dynamical realities of the ways you and other people relate. It means paying attention to your feelings, other peoples feelings, and how things 'transfer' vertically (in time) or horizontally (between people). It means acknowledging the impersonal vagaries which affect our feelings - weather, etc.

If you live in such a way - psychologically - such that you are always making these events of mind matter, then the effect will eventually lead to a transition point where the mind begins to affect the world simply by its willing i.e. its affective experience is so robust, and its state, so relaxed (i.e. non-anxious, or spontaneous) that the world begins to materialize the reality of the person's "will".

How and to what extent this effect exists is still unknown, and it is likely that the effect is purely one controlled by physics and thermodynamics, insomuch as we can't all collectively "will" the universe away, but we can will the materialization of something more modest.

In any case, science shows us that the human being evolved 300,000 years ago from a more ancient hominid named Homo Erectus. This latter species initially evolved in Africa, but roamed throughout Eurasia around 1.5 million years ago, allowing various hominid groups to inch closer to Homo Sapien status as time went forward. Others, like Homo Floresiensis - dubbed the 'hobbit' because of their tiny size - evolved in Indonesian, quite literally, into something like we see in Tolkin's Lord of the Rings. Analysis of this Hominids skull shows a morphology essentially similar to modern homo-sapiens, which is to say, the same degree of frontal-pole development has occurred, implying that they too were very psychologically evolved creatures.

What kind of world did Hominids like this evolve into? And how come they "moved" evolution forward - it was not merely a function of ecology, although almost all evolution works precisely this way: it also occurred by the evolution of cultures which correctly emphasized those events and elements which mattered - which allowed them, as it were, to coherently 'reconstruct' the reality they experienced, and so allowed them to transcend the physics of their existence, to enter a state of playful blissful relationship with reality.

I am interested in exploring and developing this thought experiment, because it implies a form of cognition that is very, profoundly different from todays. In particular, if todays mentality, the 'ego', is self-reflexive, meaning that the self and its existence is affectively consulted before I perceive and act in the world, then the perspective of ancient humans, having emerged logically within the construct of the "semiotically adjacent possible", then interpersonal processes and experiences would be the primary emphases, and not "gods". The self - the human - would be front and center as what matters; and "gods" would not exist, or would be treated as emergent properties of interpersonal processes, nothing more. In fact, to be accurate, perhaps the concept of a 'god' would strike them as absurd, or impossible - probably because it takes trauma, and generations of forgetfulness, for such a situation to be generated.

I am more or less saying that a 'god' is an externalization of self material, a projection which, if it becomes popular enough, becomes 'selected' (i.e. natural selection operates here too) and comes to 'evaluate' and 'entrain' those within the community to the value-system is represents. Values which earlier humans evolved - and which earlier humans may have considered to be the only possible values i.e. truth which rests on 'facts of reality' (science) - would be impossibly hard to see in the biased brain-mind of a person entrained to a primitive value system i.e. a non-science based ontology and epistemology.

Ain't that an interesting idea? Compare this sentiment to the Nazi hysteria and the hysteria which motivates discordianism and the other 'left-hand' mentalities which work from the trails of primitive humans who were themselves left the trails of the primitive mythology-makers which came before them.

posted on Aug, 3 2018 @ 10:45 PM
a reply to: Astrocyte

I think you are making a simple thing overly complicated. You seem to believe humans experienced some kind of dawn of consciousness maybe due to brain evolution 300,000 years ago. Where I differ is that I believe all mammals at least are conscious in the same way humans are to a large degree. Of course they can't talk so this limits them intellectually. Look at the relationship between man and dog. This could not exist if the dog did not have qualities most people attribute only to humans. I believe even animals like mice are capable of thought and empathy.

posted on Aug, 4 2018 @ 01:22 AM
a reply to: Astrocyte

The history of mankind is that of a very slow awakening.

Mind and brain is a plastic organisation. It reconfigures itself in an on-going basis. If you do not exercise it, it will degenerate.

So, the component of culture is essential in maintaining the lessons learned and creating the environment suitable for passing it forward.

And it does not take much to rip apart that cultural web, and whatever little was gained goes down the drain as so many times before.

If you look the more recent past, a mere 100 years ago, a great majority of men were basically lunatic beasts. Their mind did not need to posses much if anything more than what a peasant 4000 years ago would have needed. Only few were enlighted, and had to keep themselves and knowledge protected from the hords, for the fear of being fipped in parts and slaughtered.

There is a reason why anything between 70,000 to 8000 B.C. (and prior to this for that matter) is blocked from our collective memory. Cultural component became thin to survive, or had a discontinuation and did not pass on, from natural disasters wading thru this period in history. We’ve been reseted so many times.

300,000 years ago, mind was the same as today. Question is, what kept it busy, and if so these task made it become smart.

Each of our recent generations have been smarter than the previous. Mind essentially has been the same, but exercised and stimulated thru cultural components, differently.

In the oldest of religions, Hinduism, Gods are conscious beings with more evolved powers to rule over their existence. Essentially pretty much like us today.

posted on Aug, 4 2018 @ 05:00 AM
a reply to: Astrocyte

I think some relevant questions would be does a larger brain size really indicate increased intelligence? Many scientist appear to believe this. Also, do any of the brain structures that evolved at the time in question cause a qualitative difference in the nature of thought, e.g. frontal cortex?

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