CONSCIOUSNESS and THOUGHT
This entity called "Thought" has always conjured up the questions of what?, where?, why?, and how?. These puzzlements have plagued mankind for centuries. Its " co-conspirator" , "Consciousness", has also had an arduous climb into the light of understanding. It is my belief they are intimately entwined such that one can not exist without the other. (Similar to the Electro-Weak force being unable to exist without its mediator "particle/wave" the Photon.) The way I see it, Consciousness and its mediator Thought are one of the fundamental forces in the Universe. It must be said that the word "Thought", as used by me, does not imply your usual picture of what a thought could be, nor the process of "thinking". Only the capability to do such and then, likely, in a way that wouldn't resemble what we consider thought or thinking to be. Likewise, the term Consciousness is not what the lay person would imagine it to be. For me, It is an organizing and progressive force on macromolecular systems, rather than a state of awareness. Its mediator Thought is the workhorse for carrying out the actual force of Consciousness and directs the force to its natural destination.
I believe Consciousness is the organizing, molecular force in all forms of life/ non-life . This implies that the capability to express " thought" , could exist in all forms. If "thinking" ,or the active expression of Thought, is actually occurring in the simpler forms of life/non-life, we are certainly not able to detect or measure it, much less comprehend it. But haven't we all felt something ,that went beyond just appreciation of beauty, when we stand in front of a massive mountain or smell a rose . Are we intercepting some type of thought pattern from these forms? Shamens and mystics would likely say they could and maybe even some far out philosophers and me occasionally. My scientific mind wants to deny it but the sensation is there.
Everyday, now, I am watching for Psychiatric hospital personnel bringing me a white jacket that ties in the back.
A mediator of a force is a bundle of energy, and in quanta terms could be described either as a "particle "or "wave". Regardless of the quandary on how a mediator can be both a wave and a particle at the same time, consider it a bundle of energy which can interact with other forces and mediators to produce or to change a field of action. This is what the mediator, Thought, is all about to my way of thinking. Its field of action is at the macromolecular level like gravity, rather than the subatomic level. And perhaps it could be modulated into existence or temporarily quieted by other force fields even though it is always present. Its job is to begin and continue organizing more complexity and directing movement up the ever increasing complexity of matter by the Principles I discussed in the Introduction: Differentiation, Interiority, and Communion. Seems like the direction for progressing matter evolution is almost coded into the expansion of the Universe through the Consciousness/thought force.
I am dumber than a "sack of nails" with mathematics, and especially the math in Quantum understandings, so I accept the scientists explanations of the interactions necessary for this evolution. Quantum mechanics, itself,is difficult to grasp anyway, because it is not intuitive and strays from our meager bounds of usual realities. However, I believe that Quantum mechanisms could describe and explain even my hypotheses, despite my inability to do so with mathematics.
As described by Watts , Man, Nature and the Nature of Man, ,for every "inside" there is an "outside" and for every "outside" there is an "inside", both different but always considered together. Consciousness /mediatorThought fits this descriptive bill. We can separate them only for discussion purposes. To shorten my typing time I am referring to Consciousness and its mediator Thought, as C/T, but will drag "thought" out of this marriage to look at its consequences in higher forms, later in my Blogs.
If every differentiated form from hydrogen on has a C/T force within and "guiding" the form to its next evolutionary destination, there would logically, be C/T in every form of matter in the Universe. For instance water would have a C/T in its make up. For some, this seemingly implausible situation is only topped by the visualization of some "psychiatric God "putting water on the psychoanalytical couch and asking if its past relationship with hydrogen was at all troubling. However I believe C/T in water is possible.
In the late Masaru Emoto's book on the"Secret Life of Water", he describes, perhaps not so scientifically, a snowflake's compositional design being determined by the emotional state of the water's observer or the general emotional climate in which it exists. Far out.!
This researcher had beautiful pictures, but it doesn't take a genius to see the flaws in his work. Good idea, perhaps, and with better designed experiments some insight might be gained. But the mechanism for the transfer of information likely through some form of thought from the human or environment to "thought receptors" in the water even stretches my imagination but who knows how this type of '"thinking process" can cross distances. Certainly Dr. Larry Dossey's work with "prayer thought" may border on an explanation. I will discuss this type of thought transmission in later blogs.
Before you consider this discussion far afield from sanity, know there have been a plethora of minds, more intelligent than mine ,who have cogitated about a "Consciousness" existing in every form of matter.
The concept of "Pansychism" is one of the oldest of all philosophical doctrines and has proponents from Plato and Thales of Militus, to Spinoza, Liebntz, Shopenhaer, William James( considered to be the father of American Psychology) , and Chardin ,the brilliant geo-theosopher and scientist, who explained how "complexity consciousness" was at the core of progression. Pansychism somewhat lost favor over the course of the 19 th century until it found a scientific home in modern Physics and Quantum mechanics in the 20th century.
In my introductory blog , I described the subatomic arena where connections between energy and matter routinely exist. Einstein's famous E=mc( squared ) equation describes a seemingly, simple relationship whose power, though, is depicted by the mushroom cloud over Hiroshima.
If there is a presence of C/T at the subatomic level as well as at the atomic/molecular level, as promulgated by my postulate of it being a basic force, it would also give support to the primary premise of Pansychism. This premise is that Matter, at any level of complexity, has Consciousness and energy embedded within it.
Of course C/T is never observable or detectable, by our present science (but could, never the less, be there) .
In my belief system, if all matter has C/T, it supports the idea of an "intimate connection" between all things living or non-living. A connection that makes everybody and everything intimately related. This is similar to the belief of many Native Americans ,whose cultures have been thought by some Western folks, to be "primitive and uncivilized". (At times, I've also been labelled with these descriptors , so what's new.) Decide for yourself.
Chief Joseph espoused the elements of Pansychism in many of his proclamations. These proclamations are well documented and sold in tourist stores as posters : e.g.
"The Earth is the Mother of all people and should
have equal rights upon it The Earth and Myself are
of one Mind. The measure of the land and the
measure of our bodies, is the same"
This is just one of his many sayings. Tell me he didn't understand Panpsychism at some level.
The consequences to Chief Joseph, of his convictions, and to his Nez Pierce band of Native Americans ,however, were devastating and will be described in another Blog entry.
Whether you agree or not with my expressed "craziness", about C/T and the evolution of matter , there remains essential questions. Where did the forces come from? What preceded the "Big Bang"? . Where is our Universe headed? Wild conjectures abound in all these arenas and there is no coherent science here. The proposed scientific suppositions are too far out for me to understand. The metaphysical explanation is much simpler........God or an Omnipotent Power/ Infinite Energy is easier to explain , and in many respects has some "common sense" attached to it.
The subatomic world also has considerable conjecture regarding whether there is one force from which all the others have been derived." The Theory of Everything" needs further hard work however. In Einstein's words, "God is subtle but not malicious and Nature, at its core must be simple."
Having shamelessly tried to set a Quantum foundation for C/T ,without being an expert in Physics or Molecular biology, let me proceed with my ideas with increasing complexity of form.
One thing to note right away is that Nature is repetitive. not only at the molecular level but in the evolving of form from one celled life forms to the complex life forms such as us.
In my opinion the Principles of Differentiation, Interiority and Communion are still guiding this process in the bigger world, just as they did with the earlier formation of matter and its progression. Nature seems to keep processes that work and just build on" top" of them. That's why there is DNA in life forms from amoeba to humans. Nature did not devise an entirely new type of molecule to replace DNA at each step of the process. When it first occurred, it apparently worked well and was obviously selected for further use . We now know that human DNA and amoeba DNA are somewhat similar and we now know human DNA and orangutan DNA are very similar. Scarey huh?
Reflective of this repeating pattern concept is the biological phenomenon of "Ontogeny Recapitulating Phylogeny". The evolution of life is repeated in the development of the individual 's life form, from its conception to birth.. In the human , one is able to follow a progression of the fetus through many developmental stages similar to lower forms on the Tree of Life. Particularly noteworthy is the gill (fish) stage of the human fetus. During maturation of the fetus, features of the face and neck are sculpted from the regions of the "gill arches" . As a Pediatric physician I attended to many developmental abnormalities of this anatomical region in the newborn baby when something went amiss. It caught my attention.
You may legitimately ask why am I bringing up these biological, evolutionary concepts at this time. The reason is many people believe thought is only present in the highest forms of Life, namely human beings and maybe your dog. I believe differently. When Nature unfolds its magnificence, C/T is already there in the "force framework" and being a fundamental force, doesn/t change and does not evolve, as does the evolution of forms. The consequences of its presence, however, can be different depending on the complexity of the form. (A unplugged radio is still called a radio even though it is not playing music. And a complicated short wave radio that is unplugged is still a radio but when it is turned on produces a significant different result)
The consequences of C/T and its elaboration of thought processing in the "higher forms'" on Earth, sculpt and mold the world we live in. In the highest forms, "thinking" is of immense importance in the functioning of life and all its connections ( Remember the process of thinking is different than the mediator thought, although directly and intimately related.
Thinking ,or the process of elaborating, mobilizing, and utilizing thought, is likely expressed differently in less complex forms of life and especially if it exists in non-living forms. Attaching an electroencephalogram(EEG) to a rock will not be productive because it isn't the right kind of machine or it just doesn't exist. For most people this construct is pure nonsense. However, attaching it to a turtle would likely be productive of some wave forms, (if it was the right kind of machine and the electrodes were attached correctly).
Even the EEG of our brain with its usual wave forms does not mean that the wave forms are measuring thought or thinking . Many folks believe we are measuring thoughts or thinking , but remember we can also pick up electrical activity from heart muscle (EKG) and few consider that thought. Except maybe me.
The truth is that we have no idea what thought and thinking really are even though, as humans, we all are able to use the "thinking process" during the creation of our personal human realities. A C/T now put to a powerful use , at least for us.
Maybe we can find some insight into the evolution of these elusive entities by going to a proposed model for the evolution of thought by Pacifico in "A Mechanism for the Human Thinking Process", Journal of Cognitive Neuropsychology, 2004.
A truly fascinating read and I strongly recommend it to any readers of this Blog.
He hypothesized the evolution of a nervous system, from one celled animals to humans, involving only 4 four essential processes for the complete functioning of a nervous system regardless of how complex that system is. These basic components are:
1) Stimulus recognition 2) A messenger entity carrying information from that recognition 3) A response component to that stimulus 4) [In higher forms] An advanced survival system (Brain) capable of adding information to interpret the stimulus and give improved readability of the stimulus besides giving the response increased accuracy of purpose and function.
He further postulates these 4 components are present in all animal life forms, including human beings, and ,who knows, may be part and parcel in the Plant kingdom as well, although he didn't get into plants.
As you can imagine the components of this system are designed to improve the organism's survival. Improvements in the nervous system, necessary for the survival of a more complex animal, are not made by devising new and different entities but by just increasing the number of nerve cells and/or by improving the circuits and perhaps adding additional or new curcuits.
The brain of a Osprey is larger and more complicated than the brain of a crayfish. The osprey brain has been added to with more cells and more circuits. This increased complexity of the nervous system is necessary for ospreys to successfully manage their more complex life and their more complex environments.
The brain of a human is even more complicated but crafted from the same basic 4 components according to Pacifico. Just the bells and whistles of increased cells and circuits are added for our complex functioning.
The actual interpretation of a stimulus by a sensory cell and its transmission down pathways almost has to be an electrochemical/ molecular process either from "directions" from within that neuronal cell body or associated dendrites and axon. The translation to neurotransmitters is likely from the cell body . The remainder of the complex connections determines the response to and the storage of the information.
Dharani's book , The Biology of Thought could also be consulted. It is a large compendium on neuronal functioning, yet all still theoretical. He has cogitated and cogitated and should be congratulated for his efforts and ideas and hypotheses, especially the section on the "Molecular Grid Theory" of neurotransmission.
Somewhere within this submicroscopic "jungle" of electro chemical, biochemical, molecular, and anatomical interactions and within the force component compelling this system of atoms and complex molecules...... there arises a " thought" in Tarzan's brain from his eyes and is projected onto his reality screen of life telling his response system to; "Keep swinging, they are gaining on me". Amazing process this entity called thinking.
In summary, this Blog is written to give credence to my concept that the force (C/T) has helped mold everything in our Universe and is one of the fundamental forces of Nature and is "Sculptor" of everything in our world . I have convinced myself that the action of this force is guided from an infinitely greater power than I can conceive of and through mechanisms that go beyond my powers to describe.
My daughter had great insight when she stated it was her impression that Science is just the part of the Great Mystery that we are able to explain. Thank you Dawn for simplifying this for me.