DECONSTRUCTING THE WORLD
DECONSTRUCTING THE SELF
The Human Mind
The Human Being
THE HUMAN MIND
Your mind is real, everyone has one, but unfortunately it does not seem to exist in a material sense, which makes any theory of the mind difficult. Unlike your body, your mind cannot be physically dissected nor easily explained. Instead, scientists have to observe behaviors in humans and other animals, invent clever tests, use electronic surveillance, and seek out persons with specific damage to various parts of the brain just to get a glimpse into the workings of the mind; and although we have discovered some fascinating data, it is an ongoing process.
The Nervous System
Your mind is produced by your brain, and your brain is a part of the nervous system which runs your entire body. Your nervous system is made up of large cells called neurons. Like all cells, your neurons have a nucleus which contains your genes. Neurons have branches leading to the nucleus which are called dendrites (from the Greek word for ‘tree’), and the branches leading away from the nucleus are called axons (Latin for ‘axle’). The number of dendrites and axons varies from a single to many.
Although they appear to be connected into strings which run the length and breadth of your body, neurons are not really connected. In between one neuron’s axon terminal and another neuron’s dendrite terminal is a gap called a synapse. The neurons are held together by electricity zapping across the synapse like tiny lightning bolts. An electro-chemical signal is also being carried by clouds of tiny neurotransmitters which are stored in an axon’s bulb and shot over the synapse to the bulb of another neuron’s dendrite. Each neuron has its own mixture of neurotransmitters, and there are many types which carry many different signals. Some of the most common are dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine and endorphins.
The dendrites receive information from the axons of other neurons. The neurons decide which signals continue and which are stopped. If it inhibits the signal, it stops at the dendrite. If it is excited, the signal continues through the neuron and down its axons to other neurons. That information travels along the neuron by using an electro-chemical pulse of energy created from sodium and potassium ions housed inside and outside the cell. These signals are constantly shooting up to the brain, all through the brain, and down from it back through the body. It is an action potential system, and it may be slightly slower than an electric signal (which is why there is a delay in the pain when you drop something on your foot), but the amount of information transported is greater and it reaches its destination at full force (which is why it hurts so much). The brain is the central relay station for all of the signals, thus it is called the central nervous system.
As a chordate, your body is controlled by a central nervous system which includes a brain and a spinal cord, but there are sub-systems as well. The peripheral nervous system consists of the autonomic system which works automatically to control involuntary muscles like your heart, lungs, stomach and intestines; and the somatic system which consists of all voluntary movements from your legs and arms to your head and eyes. Within the autonomic system, there are two additional systems: the sympathetic system (which works when the muscles are active) and the parasympathetic system (which works when the muscles are at rest).
The nervous system also includes the sensory system which gathers and transmits data from the sensory organs to the brain. There is also the enteric system which oversees the gastro-intestinal organs. It has been called the second brain because it functions like a brain, and can act independent of the brain.
The brain is the control center for the whole nervous system, thus the whole body. It has evolved from very humble beginnings, as the early chordates had tiny brains. The ground work for our brain was initially laid down by vertebrate fish, which were the first successful chordates. The vertebrate brain is split into three parts: forebrain, midbrain and hindbrain. Each section deals with a specific need as the forebrain deals directly with the outside world, the hindbrain deals with the inside world, and the midbrain deals with the growth and development of the animal.
All of the creature’s senses are tied together into the forebrain which lets the animal perceive its surroundings, make quick decisions based on that data, move accordingly and remember this act for future reference. Fish survived by their sense of sight and their sense of smell, which are good for both defense and for finding food. Reptiles saw the development of the forebrain for land dwelling, which would later evolve into the complex mammalian cerebral cortex. The cerebral cortex is the grey spongy substance we are familiar with as it has completely engulfed the human brain.
The midbrain was originally attached to the vertebrate’s third eye, which is now our pituitary gland. The third eye once observed changes in the climate, then signaled the pituitary gland in the brain (which controls the endocrine system) to release hormones into the blood stream from various glands around the body, and the animal would begin to migrate or mate. There are many types of hormones for various needs, such as adrenalin for extra effort in fight or flight instances to testosterone and estrogen for sexual maturity and mating. The midbrain is also responsible for selecting and routing the in-coming data, as well as cataloging that information in memory.
The hindbrain has been the dominant part of the vertebrate brain since the earliest times because it controls the essential bodily functions such as breathing, heartbeat, balance, movement and body temperature. Reptiles developed the pons and medulla at the base of the spine for better control of the somatic and autonomic systems on land. Mammals developed the cerebellum for better control over the skilled bodily functions of movement, balance and equilibrium (our general motor skills).
The three parts of the human brain are themselves made up of various parts which perform various functions for the whole body. The hindbrain is made up of the medulla oblongata and the pons (which are located between the brain stem and the spinal cord and control the autonomic system), the reticular formation (which is responsible for arousal) and the cerebellum (which controls the somatic system, posture and locomotion). The midbrain is made up of the hypothalamus (which balances the autonomic system), the pituitary gland (which controls the endocrine system), the hippocampus (which processes memories) and the thalamus (which relays data into and out of the cerebral cortex). The forebrain is only the cerebral cortex, but it is divided into a multitude of neural nets (or modules).
The neurons of your cerebral cortex, like all vertebrates, are not just placed haphazardly. They are specifically placed in modules from your earliest development in order to perform a specific function. Since your cerebral cortex is responsible for the integration of sensory data, decision making intelligence and movement, there are many modules. Vision alone uses modules for color recognition, object recognition, depth perception, and so on; all in different locations, each performing a very specific task, and all working together to give us sight. There are many other modules involved in hearing, smell, taste, touch, monitoring, movement and personality.
There are around 100 billion neurons in your entire nervous system, with around one billion in your spinal cord, 70 billion in your cerebellum and anywhere from 12 to 15 billion in your cerebral cortex. You are born with as many neurons as you will ever have, but they can keep making new connections via mental stimulation until death. On average, one neuron makes ten connections to other neurons, which means your brain could have more possible neuron connections in it than there are elementary particles in the universe.
The neurons are not alone in the brain. They are insulated by glial cells. A glial cell is only one tenth the size of a neuron. However, they outnumber neurons ten to one. Glial cells remove excess potassium ions away from the neurons and recycle neurotransmitters, as well as create the blood-brain barrier which protects the brain from harmful substances in the blood stream. Glial cells also control neuron communication by constriction and release. The one trillion glial cells in your brain are also able to communicate with one another through calcium waves, thus every part of your brain is interconnected in an almost infinite complexity.
Where Is My Mind?
A mind is far more complex than just a bunch of neurons held together by glia. For instance, your memories and personality are not stored in any particular part of the brain. You cannot just simply cut out a specific part of your brain to remove a memory or trait. Even when the brain is damaged through trauma or partially removed in surgery, the mind continues to function as a whole (even with up to half of the brain removed in epilepsy surgery). In other words, your mind is irreducible.
It was Karl Pribram who noticed the similarities between an irreducible mind and holography. Holography uses a special glass plate to create holograms, which are three-dimensional pictures made of light. The plates are created by splitting a laser beam to record the image of an object, and storing that data within a glass plate. The information is stored in the form of ripples. The ripples look nothing like the original object, for example: an apple would only appear on the holographic plate like the surface of a pond during a rain storm frozen in time. The information is stored by the interference of the criss-crossing ripples, which means the wave-length information (light waves from an object) is being stored by other wave-lengths (ripples on glass). When a light source is added (yet another wave-length), a brilliant three-dimensional representation of an apple is projected into the room by a process called wave-front reconstruction.
The part which caught Pribrams’s attention was that no matter how much you take away from the holographic plate, you can still cast the whole picture with the proper light source. In other words, holographic plates are irreducible (just like the mind). The mind takes in wave-length information, such as light and sound, so it is not hard to believe that the information would be processed and stored as wave-length patterns as well, similar to holography but much more complex, as a holographic plate can only record an image frozen in time, but the mind is capable of monitoring, analyzing, decision making, maneuvering the body and storing the continual images over a lifetime.
The mind is being housed inside the brain, most-likely as wave-length interference patterns, but the mind cannot be stored by the neurons because their energy is only temporary (as a neuron only has energy when a signal passes through it). The only other part of the brain where the mind could be would be within the glial cells. Their number, size and placement throughout the brain make them irreducible; their calcium waves mean they are able to communicate with each other via interference patterns; and their control over the neuron activity all make the glia a perfect host for the mind.
How the Mind Works
Your eyes reflect light back to the rods and cones of the retina. The rods detect shade and the cones detect color, which are converted into wave-length information (similar to holography) and sent as electro-chemical signals via the optical nervous system to the brain. The constant stream of signals is sent to specific neural nets (which were put into place by your genes). All humans are wired the same way, which means the pattern comes from our DNA. It may be that over half of our enormous genetic code is dedicated to the mind (which is what you would expect from a creature whose main weapon is its brain). The electro-chemical signals cascade through the neural nets and then disappear.
Combining Jeffrey Satinover and Stuart Hameroff, once in the modules, the information contained in the signals is filtered as it passes through each individual neuron along the way by tiny quantum computers located within the structure of the neurons themselves. The neurons (which are quite large for a single cell) use their microtubules (which are a part of every living cell) to interfere with the signal. The proteins of the microtubules can be open or closed (like a binary code of ones and zeroes), thus each neuron is able to store massive amounts of unique data to create a specific interference effect.
The programming of the neurons was determined by their genes when they changed from stem cells to neurons in the womb (and the prominence of the genes within the neurons seems to suggest that they still control the specific program of the cell). When the action potential allows an electro-chemical signal through the neuron, the in-coming wave-length information collides with the neuron’s own unique quantum field. Each neuron can only maintain its quantum field for about a nano-second (because the moist heat of a living brain restricts it), so the energy must remain latent in the cell until the split second the action potential lets a charge through. The electrical charge triggers the neuron’s quantum field, which then interferes with the in-coming electro-chemical signal and a designed wave is created.
The structure of the neurons themselves amplifies the waves outwards where they can be absorbed by the glia. The glia must be involved because the brain does not connect the modules to a central control region. Decision making is taking place in the frontal lobe, while the senses are coming into the rear and sides, and they are not directly connected to each other. The data just goes through the neural nets and then is gone. Only the glia connect all the neurons in the brain with one another.
The waves are not physical, so they are not physically housed in the glia. They are quantum frequencies; therefore they are not in the same dimension as the glia cells (which are physical). The glia act like a holographic plate storing the quantum-level wave-length data as a whole and as individual cells, which means that when any one glial cell absorbs any data, they all do; and when they all do, they create a quantum whole (the mind).
The Quantum Mind
The mind seems to follow the laws of quantum physics more than it does classical physics. First and foremost is the simple fact that the mind cannot be found, which seems to suggest that the mind does not exist in the physical world. Since we know two sets of laws govern the universe (classical and quantum), if it is not governed by one, then it must be governed by the other. Since the mind is not physical, it must be quantum.
Second, the strange placement of the neural nets in the brain away from one another and with no connections would be explained by a quantum whole housed in the glia, because in a quantum mind it does not matter where the neurons are firing physically, what matters is how the waves react inside the quantum whole. A quantum whole housed in the glia also explains the irreducible mind.
Third, time seems to run at different speeds during different events in our lives, from the slow hours of utter boredom to the quickened seconds of great excitement. This is a quantum effect called spooky time. Albert Einstein and others have suggested that time can act differently at the quantum level, and spooky time is something which can be exploited by animals to gain an advantage in their reaction time to life and death events by being able to anticipate them and to react quicker within them.
Fourth, the data which you are perceiving right now has been observed, transported, filtered and reconstructed by your mind before you perceive it. Yet, it is experienced by you in real time. Quantum spooky time would have to be involved in any instantaneous perceptions.
Fifth, our lifetime of experiences and memories could only be stored by a system with infinite storage capacity, and that is only possible at the quantum level. All of the waves of information collected by our mind over our lifetime have been saved in our memory (some better than others, but it is all relatively available for recall), and only the infinite fractal dimensions available to quantum fields would be able to store so much information.
Sixth, all of the neurons in the brain seem to be entangled at a quantum level. Quantum-entanglement suggests that when particles are created together, they are as one, and all of the neurons in your brain were changed from stem cells to neurons by your genes in the womb one after another in strings. As they were created, each neuron was placed in a specific position for a specific purpose by the genes, but they still must be told what to do by their location within the nervous system. The genes of any particular neuron could only know what to do by their exact relation to other neurons in the brain, and this can only be done if the genes are entangled at the quantum level. Neuron entanglement also aids neuron connections, as they must know where they each are and what each does before they can connect a new synapse.
Seventh, particles spontaneously and instantaneously jump from one neuron to another neuron (or tunneling). Tunneling suggests that the signal which is traveling through several million neurons simultaneously is the same signal (a quantum entanglement), thus the particles are able to jump from neuron to neuron. The quantum entanglement of the signal is also aided by the quantum entanglement of the neurons.
How the Mind Works (cont.)
The one trillion glial cells in the brain are continuously absorbing the flood of quantum-level waves radiating out from all the charged neurons in the brain. There are waves coming in from all over the brain, as there are modules from the five senses, object recognition, monitoring, decision making, action and memory, as well as from all of the modules representing all of the various parts of the body.
The waves are then met inside the glia by the quantum whole of the irreducible mind. The quantum whole is the sum total of the mental activity of any particular creature (its mind), and it is constantly being reinforced by the glia’s calcium waves. This interference creates a third generation of waves, which collapse in on themselves, inverting to create what we experience as our self via wave-front reconstruction. The waves must be specifically created by the neurons to be inverted; so that when they are, we experience the world as an observer behind our eyes and between our ears monitoring the material world like a pilot at the helm of a ship (on top and in command).
The waves coming in from the neurons of the five senses unfold into a three-dimensional hologram of our surroundings, but it is much more than a mere hologram. It is a reliable map of the outside world laid down on top of the physical world and displayed before the monitor so it can navigate a dangerous world. The overlay combines all five senses into a virtual reality we perceive to be real because it works.
The waves from the bodily regions of the brain unfold into a simulacrum of our fleshy body to give us the perception that we are our bodies (because it makes maneuvering them as easy as lifting a finger). The body’s modules are also relaying vital information about their current status (with equilibrium being desire) to the monitor as if from that part of the body (like pain from a stubbed toe or hunger from the stomach) instead of a creation of the mind (which it is).
The waves from the monitor region of the brain monitor the overlay and make several decisions per second about what to pay attention to and what course of action to take based on instinct, memory and available sensory data. The decisions made by the monitor are carried-out by the body, so once a decision has been made, the proper neural nets are activated by the glia via constriction and release, and the appropriate neurons create new signals which are sent out of the brain through the body via the central nervous system to the particular muscles to be activated and the ones to be relaxed. It is in this way we move through life.
Once a moment has passed through the helm, it is stored within the quantum whole (or memory), which creates a quantum loop back to the front. Quantum-loop memory allows the mind to learn from experience instantaneously (which it can). The memory region of the brain affects every part of the mind. It aids the holographic display by identifying objects before the monitor monitors them, it aids the monitor by remembering, it learns from events, and it stores all of our experiences over a lifetime (which we are able to recall with ease).
The world you see in front of you is not the actual world. The data coming in from your eyes does not show the world as it is. You only see visible light; you do not see microwaves, radio waves, infrared and ultraviolet light, nor x-rays and gamma rays. Humans are even slightly limited in our visible spectrum of light because of the long mammalian nocturnal times during the dinosaur era which stunted our color vision, so we do not see the upper spectrum of blue and violet as well as birds and reptiles. What we see is enough to survive in the animal arms race as a primate, and the other types of electro-magnetic waves would only confuse us. All of the other senses are limited as well.
What you are perceiving right now is a hologram created from the sights, sounds, smells, tastes and touches which have been detected by your limited sense organs and quickly relayed to your brain, where they are reassembled by your mind into an interpretation of the outside world. The hologram is a constantly up-dated, quantum-level virtual reality, which gives you accurate identification and placement of objects in the physical world in real time. The virtual reality integrates the outside world (the hologram) with your consciousness (the pilot) and your body (the vessel) into a helm, from which the pilot can maneuver the vessel through a dangerous world.
The helm is the central control of the mind, which is the central control of the brain, which is the central control of the nervous system, which is the central control of the body. The helm is what we mistakenly experience as our mind because it is the seat of consciousness where decisions are made and actions are taken, but the mind is always working (even when the helm is shut off). The purpose of the mind may be to generate the helm, but the mind is as vast as the quantum whole. Your helm is you, here, now.
You are currently reading this book. Your eyes are open. You can see and feel your body. You can hear noises in the background. You are in your helm, and it feels real, but it is actually a virtual reality created by your mind. You are not physically peering out of your eyes right now. You are actually perceiving a three-dimensional hologram of your surroundings from the confines of your skull (most-likely backwards and upside-down).
The hologram is generated within your brain from in-coming wave-length data and processed by your memory (genetic and personal) into recognizable forms to create a holographic world, which is superimposed over the physical world so it can be monitored, maneuvered and even manipulated. It is virtual because it is not real (it is only a limited hologram), and it is a reality because the hologram is an accurate representation of the outside world (it is accurate enough to be mistaken for the real thing by the psyche).
The mind splits the helm into the perceived and the perceiver. The perceived is presented before you as the virtual reality you experience as the outside world. The perceiver is the psyche, which you experience as you. You are the psyche. You are the monitor of the helm. You are the decision maker. You are the action taker. You are the rememberer. Like the virtual reality, the psyche is being generated by various modules in the brain (mostly in the frontal lobe of the cerebral cortex). The psyche is created by the mind to deal with the conditions of life.
We are alive, and all terrestrial life-forms have the same problems because we have the same ancestors. We are all related to the bacteria which have successfully colonized the surface of this planet for the last four billion years. When the bacteria were evolving, they incorporated four initial conditions into life, and all life-forms have had to deal with these four conditions ever since. They are autopoiesis, reproduction, evolution and sentience.
Autopoiesis is the construction and maintenance of a single cell, as well as the construction and maintenance of a multi-cellular organism. The first life-forms were cells complex enough to attract void energy (and the organic batteries came alive as a side effect). Cells are a product of replicating proteins which have mutated into several hundred types of symbiotic forms, and every cell is constructed from thousands of such proteins. Cells need to retain the life-force and stay alive or the energy dissipates and the cell dies (which is irreversible). Periodically, some of the proteins need to be replaced, so the cell must manufacture new ones, and then place them correctly or die.
For autopoiesis, cells need raw materials from their surrounding environment. The raw materials need to be turned into the parts needed, and then placed where they are needed. The whole process is run by your genes, which are strings of information on how to make you. The information in your DNA runs the maintenance mechanisms like RNA and various enzymes, which perform the actual autopoiesis in your cells by constructing the proper proteins and placing them in the proper spot. Autopoiesis is also known as metabolism, and it is constantly going on in every living cell in your body from material as simple as iron and oxygen to highly complex vitamin compounds and proteins.
Multi-cellular organisms must maintain the metabolism of each of the individual cells, but they are also complicated by the need to create whole new cells to replace old ones which are dying within its organs. Cells are replaced by two types of reproduction: cells simply dividing (in which they split into two wholes) or by changing into whatever is needed (like stem cells). Cellular metabolism is going on constantly in your body.
Autopoiesis is the oxygen you breathe in, which gets sent all around your body via your blood, and the carbon dioxide you breathe out. It is the food and water you consume, which gets digested by your stomach and processed by your intestines. It is also sent around your body via your blood, and then the waste gets excreted (sending it back into the environment for other creatures, like plants, to use in their autopoiesis).
All life-forms reproduce, from bacteria to humans. The two ways to reproduce are asexual and sexual. Asexual reproduction involves either binary fission (where a cell splits in two) or budding (for multi-cellular organisms). Asexuality allows for rapid reproduction, but not for adaptation, so some asexual creatures also have some form of sexual reproduction as well. Sexual reproduction combines the genes of two creatures of the same species (a male and a female) to create more creatures of the same species. Sexuality also includes ruts and mating rituals, sexual selection and parenting, as well as growth and maturity. Reproduction in itself suggests that all life evolved from self-replicating proteins (because that is what we are made of).
Change is constant in the universe, so all life-forms must adapt to a changing environment (as individuals and as a member of a species) in order to survive. Within one’s own life-time, we must adapt to the different situations we are presented with every moment of our lives (we learn). Within the geological history of this planet, our species has adapted to changing circumstances 28 times (we evolved). Other species evolved differently, and we get the great variety of the tree of life. The mutability of the replicating proteins which sparked life, gave all life-forms the possibility of adapting to changing conditions, thus sparking the evolution of terrestrial life through natural selection over the last four billion years.
Whether it is a single cell or a multi-cellular organism, all life-forms become separated from the outside world and aware of themselves, their immediate environment and their predicament (or sentience). All life-forms are sentient, which means they act in their own self-interest, unlike non-living matter which is only acted upon by its environment. Life-forms are animated. They act and react to stimuli. They do what they need to do to survive.
Sentience comes from the biological imperative to stay alive (the battery must be maintained). The sentience must strive to ensure autopoiesis, by adapting to the changing situations of day-to-day existence, in order to survive and occasionally reproduce. The type of sentience is determined by the DNA of the creature, from single-celled bacteria with no sensory data to multi-cellular creatures with many senses as well as an organ to house the sentience.
Basic sentience is present in all single-celled life-forms (mostly bacteria). They are aware. They are acting in and reacting to their environment. They are alive, but not much else. Symbiotic sentience began with bacteria as single cells gathered together into one super-cell for the mutual benefit offered by cooperation, and it was carried on by protists. Singularity sentience began with protists, and was followed by animals, plants and fungi. Multi-cellular organisms are made of tissue of like cells which act as separate organs for separate tasks, yet the creature acts as one (a singularity).
The first successful multi-cellular animals were sponges, which are made up of individual creatures living together in a colony, yet act as one. Later, other multi-cellular organisms evolved symbiotic singularity and true singularity sentience. Some protists and animals are like jellyfish, which are made up of individual animal organs. They are a colony of separate animals acting as if they are one creature. Symbiotic singularity sentience has allowed creatures like sponges and jellyfish to thrive since the Pre-Cambrian.
True singularity sentient creatures are made from separate organs which act as a part of the whole, and the body acts as a singularity. Simple singularity sentience appears in animals but also includes plants and fungi (everything from a starfish to a redwood tree to a toadstool). Like bacteria, multi-cellular organisms are alive but not much else. The appearance of the eye, thus intelligent singularity sentience, changed that.
Intelligent singularity sentience multi-cellular animals burst into the fossil record during the Cambrian explosion around 542 million years ago, and have dominated the planet ever since. They are the arthropods, mollusk and chordates of the animal arms race, which began with the evolution of sense organs. The in-coming data needs a central control organ in order to use the information, and only the animal phyla of arthropods, mollusks and chordates developed one (and exploited it).
The brain is the central relay organ of the data, and it houses a mind. Every mind puts a virtual reality on display in a helm for a psyche to monitor, make decisions, take action and remember (no matter what the creature is). The psyche is intelligent because it is able to use the sensory data and its memory to make the quick decisions necessary for its survival in the mortal combat of the animal arms race. The psyche acts as the true self, but the true self is the creature itself (the body-colony of trillions of cells sharing the same DNA). The psyche is an artificially created false self, generated by the brain to act as the creature’s sentience.
You are the psyche of your body. You are the intelligent singularity sentience of your body-colony. You monitor the helm, you make decisions, you act and you remember, but you are not really real. Your body is really real. Your body generates you to act in its stead as the true self because you are created that way. To know the truth is unnecessary (even harmful) for the survival of any creature. You, the psyche in the helm of your mind, are an artificial intelligence generated by your brain to act as the sentinel of your body-colony.
The evolution of the brain has allowed certain chordate animals to develop a more complex brain, thus a more complex mind (thus a more complex sentience). Vertebrates like fish, amphibians and reptiles have dominated the animal arms race for the last 400 million years because of their developed intelligent singularity sentience. Mammals and birds have evolved an erudite intelligent singularity sentience, as they must teach learned behaviors to their young. Some mammals (primates, elephants, dolphins and whales) have evolved a brain capable of a complex erudite intelligent singularity sentience, which allows for highly complex individuals (who can use their intelligence as a weapon).
Another type of sentience has evolved in certain arthropod insects which live in hives. Hive sentience involves many individual animals behaving as a single organism (and they act as a singularity whether they have a queen or not). Every creature in the hive is able to act as one whether they are all alike or they are different creatures (such as queens, kings, drones and warriors). Each is needed for various tasks, and they are all related even though they might look different. They are able to communicate amongst themselves, and they will sacrifice themselves for the good of the hive. Hive sentient creatures (such as termites, ants and bees) have been robust since the Cretaceous, co-evolving with flowering plants.
Only humans have evolved cultural sentience, as our complex erudite intelligent singularity sentience evolved into a sort of hive sentience, combining the two into a sentience which lets complex individuals act as a whole. Cultural sentience has allowed humans to become one of the most successful species ever because it enables them to adapt to a new environment mentally instead of genetically.
The Facets of Being
The psyche is generated by the brain to deal with autopoiesis, reproduction, evolution and sentience for the creature, but it must do so at the different levels in which the body-colony exists. When you combine the four initial conditions of life with the three levels of existence (micro, mezzo and macro), you get the twelve facets of being.
The micro-level deals with individual creatures. Micro autopoiesis is your physical body; and micro reproduction is your identity (which you get from your family, and pass on to your progeny). Micro evolution is your experiences as you go through life; and micro sentience is your consciousness.
The mezzo-level deals with the world the individual is born into. Mezzo autopoiesis is the economics of your immediate surroundings; and mezzo reproduction is the sociality (social behaviors) of your species. Mezzo evolution is the cumulated knowledge of your community; and mezzo sentience is the politics of the region.
The macro-level deals with the individual as part of a species. Macro autopoiesis is the actual needs of the species (what we need to consume to survive); and macro reproduction is our genetically engineered libido. Macro evolution is in the genes which make any species unique; and macro sentience is in our instincts (which enable us to do what we must do).
The psyche must deal with all twelve of these very different facets of being as different aspects of survival, because it was created to do so. The twelve facets demand attention is given to each, thus splitting the psyche into different areas of specialty. Carl Jung split the psyche into the consciousness and the unconsciousness. Since the consciousness deals with micro sentience only, the unconsciousness (which aids the consciousness) must deal with all the other facets, and it does so by generating a mental spectrum.
The Mental Spectrum
Like the brain, the mind is split in two. The two halves of the brain (the cerebellum and the cerebral cortex in humans) deal with different worlds, therefore so does the mind they create. The hindbrain creates the lower mind which deals with the inside world (the perceiver), and the forebrain creates the upper mind which deals with the outside world (the perceived). The lower mind and upper mind wording has to do with geography, not importance.
Both minds attempt to sway decisions in their favor. The psycho-somatic lower mind acts in the interest of the physical body, while the psycho-social upper mind acts in the interest of the individual in the world. Like a bicameral parliament, the lower mind and the upper mind debate amongst each other and amongst themselves, but the psyche still has the ultimate authority.
Both minds have three different depths (preconscious, subconscious and unconscious). Their importance is in their proximity to the consciousness. The preconscious is wrapped closely around the consciousness for immediate access; the subconscious is an intermediate storage facility; and the unconscious is the deep mind (which is vast and difficult for the consciousness to penetrate).
The two minds combined with the three proximities gives us the six realms of the unconsciousness. The unconsciousness surrounds the central consciousness creating a mental spectrum radiating from the consciousness (three above and three below). The unconscious of your lower mind is your body-colony (macro autopoiesis); the subconscious of your lower mind is your libido (macro reproduction); and the preconscious of your lower mind is your body (micro autopoiesis). The consciousness (micro sentience) is in the middle because it is the monitor. The preconscious of your upper mind is your identity (micro reproduction); the subconscious of your upper mind is your culture (which includes all of the mezzo-level facets); and the unconscious of your upper mind is your humanity (macro sentience).
In addition to what facet of life it deals with for survival, each realm has its own anxiety, its own essence, its own drives, what each represents, and what each wants to do. Each realm has its own emotion, which is the way each realm influences behavior (for positive and negative) by pressing a panic button. Each realm has its own long term memory (because the consciousness has only the short term memory, so it must rely on the six realms to remember). Each realm also has a common name and pronoun.
The unconscious realm of the lower mind is rooted deep in the cerebellum. It is known as the animal. Its pronoun is “they,” as in the trillions of cells united by the same genes which make up the whole body-colony. Their say in the mind is primordial. The body-colony needs to have certain material in order to survive (like breathing air, drinking water, eating food and proper shelter). When their needs are met, the equilibrium does not interrupt the consciousness, but when their needs are not met, the body could die, so they have veto power over all other actions until remedied. As with any life-form, its greatest anxiety is death. The body-colony is alive and wants to stay that way, so its drive is self-preservation, and its emotions are fear and relief. Our penchant for violence (Sigmund Freud’s thannatos) comes from the animal as well because violence is what animals are at their essence.
The subconscious realm of the lower mind is the id, from which comes our urge to reproduce (our libido). The word ‘id’ comes from Freud, who used the pronoun ‘it’ to describe the monster below. Our libido comes from our genetic compulsion to reproduce, and its power comes from the id being the closest of the macro-level facets to the consciousness. Its emotions are lust and revulsion. It is driven by the pursuit of mating. It causes problems because the id has no regard for consequences (being amoral, and not immoral), thus it must be balanced by the superego (which is moral). Its essence is our gender, which splits everyone into the pronouns “he” and “she” (or sexual beings).
Humans have a unique view of lust (Freud’s eros). All life-forms are driven to reproduce, and each receives euphoria in their minds for successfully mating, but only humans and dolphins have sex for the pleasure of it, and only humans have expanded sexuality to achieve even more pleasure. There are some genetic and cultural limitations, but everything has been tried (from heterosexuality to homosexuality, monogamy to polygamy, sexy attire and sex toys to fetishes and foreplay, tantric yoga to orgies, and ancient scrolls to modern pornography, as well as incest, rape and murder). Human lust has brought about the evolution of the largest sex organs (proportionate to body size) for any animal, as well as year round mating, which we try to fully exploit with vigor.
The preconscious realm of the lower mind is concerned for our body (its health and use). Its main anxiety is physical harm. Pain is to be avoided, but pleasure is always tempting, and equilibrium (which is neither) is our drive. Its emotion is feeling, good or bad (our physical wellness). It is “me,” my body. It is the flesh golem made of muscle, bone and innards which you inhabit, and it is run by a central nervous system which allows you to wear your body like a suit of armor.
When your body is thirsty, you use your eyes to scan for a drink. You see a glass of water and decide to move towards it by using your legs to walk on the floor. Reaching out with your dominant hand, the glass is located by touch (right where it should be). It is then gripped, aimed, lifted and drunk. It seems so simple, but it takes our children years to learn how to use their bodies properly.
The preconscious of the lower mind is also the storage facility for any act which we do without thinking (such as all quirks and habits, as well as conditioned and mastered behaviors). Conditioned behaviors are classical, operant and social in origin. Mastery comes from simple repetition, so we no longer need to concentrate to do the mundane. Everything we do in life can be mastered, even life itself. Once conditioned or mastered, these behaviors can be performed without any conscious awareness. Zen philosophy struggles against such mastery (which is why zen master is an oxymoron).
The preconscious realm of the upper mind is Freud’s ego. It is our identity within a social context. Its pronoun is “I,” but I have several names which I will answer to when they are called out. It is our answer to the question, “who are you?” I am… (name, address, telephone and other personal numbers, family, friends, vocation and possessions). My anxieties are my many desires (from the whimsical to the profound), and I am driven by my own self-interest (which is whatever I deem it to be). Its essence is a unique individual, with a unique point-of-view.
The emotions of the ego are a complex set of feelings (from happy to sad), which we wear on our faces for other humans to read. It is easy to recognize them in others, such as an angry scowl or a happy smile, because it is instinctual. An emotional response can be triggered in the brain by just about anything (people, places, objects, memories and events), which can cause physical side-effects (from laughter to crying).
Feelings are primordial, as they are a basic means of communication within a species. They become more complex in large brained vertebrates (such as mammals and birds, which show a great range of feelings). Primates wear their feelings in a complex system of facial expressions, and like all primates, humans use their complex range of moods, feelings and expressions to communicate to others (as well as manipulate others).
The individual may have the unique perspective of its genes, but the ego is also built by the creature’s surroundings. Human identity is a reflection of the culture we inhabit. Each child is born into an evolving culture at a certain place and time, and they are raised with that particular culture’s habits and institutions. Cultures are as individualistic as the culture deems appropriate. The culture is found in the superego.
The subconscious realm of the upper mind is Freud’s superego. Its pronouns are “us” and “them,” because the superego is where the individual becomes part of a community (like family, clan, marriage, clubs, organizations, nationality, religion, wealth, ethnicity, race and gender, as well as many various subcultures) and exclusions (like strangers, foreigners, rivals and enemies). Belonging creates the emotions of love and hate, which have differing intensities for different relationships. We need relationships because we are mammals and our children need a lot of nurturing until they are able to survive on their own, and because we are primates and live in tribes. Companionship is a drive in us.
In animals, the subconscious of the upper mind is relatively small, because it is only needed to store information about their current environment (or umwelt). Their collective unconscious determines their behavior through instincts. Dogs act like dogs, spiders act like spiders, and squid act like squid, but humans do not act like humans.
In humans, the subconscious of the upper mind has been greatly enlarged in order to make room for a complex erudite intelligent hive sentience (or culture). A culture is an entire system of behaviors and beliefs which are independent of genetic instincts. Human behavior is determined by their culture (and different cultures act differently).
Your culture resides in the subconscious of your upper mind as your superego. Thus you are a part of your culture, and it is a part of you. Your culture also resides in the subconscious of the upper minds of all the other members of your culture as a collective mind (hive sentience). Although similar, each individual superego has been absorbed through a unique perspective. They are all different versions of the same culture.
Your superego is a part of a collective mind, but the particular culture in your superego is relative to the where and when of your birth. Our subconscious of the upper mind can absorb any culture it is presented with because it is created that way. You behave and believe the way you do because you were raised in a particular place at a specific time.
Each culture has its own unique collection of memes (habits, beliefs and institutions), which are carried on by each successive generation (just like your genes). Memes are distinct human behaviors, from religious beliefs and governance, to language and marital requirements, to diet and hygiene. Different cultures have different memes because long ago separated people developed different ways to do the same things (such as different economic systems, political systems, social structures, religions and knowledge). Cultures and their memes have been evolving just like genes throughout human history. They change. They grow. They die out.
The anxiety of the superego is the conscience, which deals with right and wrong. Your culture determines what the correct behavior in certain situations is. Your conscience is that little voice in your head reminding you of your cultural norms. Your conscience is strong enough to override the urges of your id, the desires of your ego and the instincts of your collective unconscious together. It also deals with guilt, which is caused by failing to live up to impossible ideal cultural standards. The superego can even override survival instinct in self-sacrifice (just as in a hive).
The superego only appears in hive sentient creatures such as colony insects and humans, which use it to get many to act as one. In most creatures, the subconscious of the upper mind still deals with the mezzo-level world (their umwelt), but they are dominated by their collective unconscious (species) and ego (individual); whereas colony insects are dominated by their superego (hive) and collective unconscious (species); while humans are dominated by their superego (culture) and ego (individual).
The Collective Unconscious
The unconscious realm of the upper mind is Jung’s collective unconscious. Its pronoun is “we,” as in the whole species. It is our humanity. It is what it means to be human. The collective unconscious is difficult for humans to access because it has been usurped by our superego, but it can still be found in our histories, myths, legends and stories. Human tales have similar themes, such as how to live one’s life, why we are here, relationships, the possible consequences of our actions, the proper use of violence, what happens to you when you die and prophecy about the future. The common themes are so tacit that we fail to notice how similar they are across all human cultures. They deal with the anxieties of our collective unconscious, which are caused by the many instincts we have buried deep inside (some uniquely human while others go further back).
The emotions of the collective unconscious are wonder and horror. We have conquered our fear of them, so we are the only species which is able to appreciate the beauty of a sunset or to create music, art and literature. Our sense of wonder has the intensity of common curiosity to absolute astonishment. Our sense of horror has the same intensity, especially when combined with the violence of the animal (from torture to slavery to death camps).
The consciousness is Siddhartha Gautama’s vinnana, which is consciousness separated from ego. There is no common name for it. The closest name is the verb “to be.” There is also no pronoun, so it becomes necessary to create one,”i” (which keeps the pronoun in the first person without mistaking it for the identity, which uses “I”). i am alive. i am aware. i am the sentinel. i am i.
The anxiety of the consciousness is to be in every moment. Its vigil begins when awakened and continues until asleep (even then, it can be quickly alerted). After rebooting itself (by assuming the unconsciousness), the consciousness monitors its surroundings, makes decisions which will effect survival, acts accordingly and remembers. It is a sentinel in a lethal world, and must remain in the present forever, constantly on alert for danger. Its essence is now, now, now…
The Levels of Consciousness
Consciousness is three-dimensional. The first dimension is provided by consciousness itself, which is the sentinel in the helm. The second dimension is provided by the mental spectrum, which is in orbit around the consciousness. A third dimension is provided by the levels of consciousness, which seem to correlate with energy expended by the mind. All vertebrates have them to some degree, but humans have a larger and more complex brain, which gives us a larger and more complex mind.
The lowest level of consciousness is nonconscious. It is commonly referred to as ‘unconscious,’ but that term needs to be separated from the unconscious depth of the mental spectrum. Nonconscious means no conscious brain activity. The consciousness modules can be shut down. You can be turned off. This happens every night during deep sleep, during comas or if knocked-out. Nonconscious is no mental activity except life functions.
The next level of consciousness is aconscious which occurs during REM sleep when the consciousness becomes semi-aware and needs a flow of data, but the senses are shut off, so the mind creates a false helm. Sensory deprivation tanks have shown us that if the brain does not get these signals, it will generate its own. When you are dreaming, the whole mind can be ransacked haphazardly to create a false reality for the amusement of a sleeping brain, but they are ephemeral and forgotten quickly.
Conscious is the main level of consciousness. It is the level which we are the most familiar with, since it is the normal state where the consciousness is monitoring the helm from waking up to falling asleep. Awakening, we become conscious. The monitor is turned on. It is our common mundane existence. It is every day in life. It is the constant present. It is the zen mind. It is i now.
Metaconscious is the next level of consciousness. It occurs when you are awake. You can separate yourself from the monitor to think. When you are doing something mundane, you can withdraw inside, away from the helm. You are still monitoring the helm, but you are not giving it your full attention (which has shifted inside). You can visit any realm and give attention to whatever needs it. You can check on the status of each realm, such as its anxieties. You can contemplate or ponder problems. You can use your imagination to create a false helm to reminisce (reliving the past) or to daydream (reliving events in other ways, foreseeing future events or creating events which never happened). Metaconscious is where we get our unique story-telling ability, and where listening or reading can bring us into another world (like you are now), where you are concentrating so much that you can be startled and brought back to the monitor with a snap…Boo! We live our waking lives in the zone between conscious and metaconscious, as we balance between monitoring and thinking (and we can even combine the two to concentrate).
Supraconscious is the highest level of consciousness, and it connects the consciousness with the spooky quantum abilities of the mind (or psychic abilities). The most common one is déjà vu, which is the feeling that you have done something before. When aconscious, dreams call forth images of your life (past, present and future) from your quantum mind. Déjà vu happens when those future events come to pass. All creatures with minds have this level due to the quantum nature of their minds, but only humans seem to be able to develop it. The supraconscious is also the doorway to the spiritual realm (which connects us to the life-force).
Cognition begins with a conscious consciousness monitoring the virtual reality in the helm. The four aggregates of cognition are to monitor the helm, decide what to do, act accordingly, and remember for later. The psyche uses the four aggregates of cognition in the consciousness and the six realms of the mental spectrum in the unconsciousness to process every second of your existence.
Monitoring is aided by the anxieties of each realm, which means it is swayed by the needs of the animal, the urges of the id, the concerns of the body, the desires of the ego, the conscience of the superego, and the instincts of the collective unconscious. Decision making is aided by the emotions of each realm, which means it is swayed by the fears of the animal, the lusts and revulsions of the id, the feeling of the body, the feelings of the ego, the loves and hates of the superego, and the wonders and horrors of the collective unconscious. Action taking is aided by the drives of each realm, which means it is swayed by our self-preservation, our libido, our equilibrium, our self-interest, our companionship, and our self-actualization (our potential). Remembering is aided by the essence of each realm, which means it is swayed by our body-colony, our gender, our flesh golem, our identity, our community, and our species.
After every moment has been monitored, decided and acted upon, it is stored in memory for future reference. Every moment of our existence is stored in long term memory as quantum wave-length frequencies by using the infinite possible fractal quantum dimensions to store them. Memories do not just store our sensual experiences; they store everything (including thoughts and emotions). The unconsciousness is responsible for storing memories, and each of the realms filters the information, thus each realm stores memories as they pertain to its essence. The consciousness only has the limited short term memory at its disposal, so it needs the infinite storage capacity of the unconsciousness (which is as vast as the quantum whole) to store the memories of a lifetime, and it has a way to retrieve them (recall).
Recall works when we are metaconscious and searching our long term memory for a bit of information. To recall experiences, we are actually searching for the correct frequency in which it is being stored. Sometimes it is quick and sometimes it takes a while, as the neural net tries to replicate the same frequency as the memory. When we cannot recall something it is not because the memory is gone, but because the correct frequency cannot be found. Traumas and glories are easier to recall because their frequencies have been fixed into our neuron connections by the intensity of the events (and by the many times they are recalled). Recall is like a muscle. The more you use it, the better it gets (as the neurons set to the frequency).
Memory is more than just recall. Your memory is the quantum whole of the mind thus it affects the whole cognition process. It begins with precognition, as the in-coming data passes through the quantum whole and gets turned into familiar forms before they are perceived by the consciousness.
In the consciousness, recognition ties cognition to our experiences (or learning). The monitor is constantly scanning the in-coming data for likenesses to the data stored in long term memory of the realms which could be relevant to the consciousness. Recognition requires no effort, and it works by association, as every memory is in association with one another because that is how the neural net works. The association can be through time or through circumstance, such as someone seeing a red rose, which leads to love, which leads to wife (in linguistics, this association is known as semiotics). Associative memory even works over time, as we can recognize someone we have not seen in years.
Once through the consciousness, our experiences are stored in the quantum whole, which then flows back to the front (back to precognition) in a feedback loop. Quantum loop memory allows for instantaneous learning for a better survival rate in the mortal combat of the animal arms race (which is our plight).
Next Chapter: The Human Being