8. the psychological universe
I will not pretend to have an understanding of, or familiarity with, the entire psychological Universe. The attempt here is to deal with some evident aspects of it, by studying neurological structures and processes, through the literature, through introspection and observation, and through real-time computer modeling. Where necessary information is lacking, assumptions will be tried, and adjustments will be made, to produce improved results.
Consciousness is a process. This remains apparent to me, even when we attempt to cloud the issue with concepts like "ghosts." I have never experienced such phenomena, but I remain open-minded. Mental behavior could possibly be supported by specific types of environment; perhaps as some sort of heat patterning memory, resonantly impressed by the brain chemistry into the surrounding chemistry. This would be a variation on split brain reality. Patterns might even migrate or spread. They could hitch a ride in a brain on its way to some distant location, or "possess" an individual. Beyond ghosts, the atoms may posses infinite wisdom, collecting your memory set, all the time, or upon death. Your specific relative meaning may transfer into some realm of process that continues until the atoms wear out, or go into a black hole. Whenever the process ends, so does that stretch of consciousness. Consciousness ends. Consciousness also begins. Different consciousness is a different set of experiences, having a different beginning. Split brain reality is the possibility that all such sets are different times of yours, created by the Universe.
Consciousness is emotional. Our emotional response set is our experience of the elements of consciousness more closely related to our physiological survival status, both short-term and long-term.
Your brain interacts with itself and the environment to produce a constantly expanding set of memory potentials. The potentials do not contribute to actual experience of memory, until they are called into play by the environment, and/or other running memory. The factors determining which particular memory potentials will be involved at any given instant, are quite complex. We will examine them simplistically, with an eye toward future embellishments by subtle and contingent factors. The fundamental factor is association. The more similar a potential is to an environmental stimulus, the more likely it will resonate in response. The brain doesnít stop there. While this is happening, a lot of other resonating is still going on, left over from prior instants of response. Most of all, central to our question here of the nature of being, the conscious brain is constantly handling a series of responses to its own handling of a series of responses... etc. This, too, is very much a matter of association. One thought leads to another by virtue of the pattern characteristics it has previously been involved with. But every moment is different. The environment constantly supplies different patterns of stimulation in context to the ongoing patterns of thought. Different combinations of factors are present to act together in the process of association. The overall system of society is generally rising, because associations that improve the conditions of life become repeated, more or less in place of more tedious techniques; and the new associations stand ready to link with other factors, that might bring further improvements. The system that guides this process has become quite complex; but it is still related to the basic process of survival.
The bottom line for this book is easy to put into simple terms. However, it doesnít make any sense until youíve spent a great deal of time putting its many puzzle pieces together. I must remind the reader that many of its pieces have been more or less manufactured out of thin air; cut to fit a hole in our picture.
Consciousness is its dimensions of process. A system can be unconscious or conscious. The unconscious system has fewer fundamental dimensions. A conscious system involves interactive memory. Such a system can be organized to support and propagate meaning. Though we tend to ascribe meaning to what we consider to be static objects, such as a page of writing; meaning is always temporal. It occurs in an active brain, which functions over time to be conscious. Meaning takes time. It also takes patterns. It requires patterns, not just onto a given single pattern; but relative to other patterns. One pattern would not mean anything. One pattern will mean something with respect to other patterns. This logic is fundamental to the proposed higher dimensionality.
A stream of patterns alone is not conscious. More dimensionality is involved. The patterns must interact to produce change. Evolution shakes development out of this. Mentality is our most recent extension of evolution. Systems have better survived when their modes of change have been more favorable to themselves. The stream of patterns is built by the world, into the developing system. The system affects the world, modifying the stream of patterns away from what they would have been if the system were not there. This modification raises the dimensionality of the overall system. If it is based in memory, it will involve qualities of repetition. The memory itself is a base of higher dimensionality, over the more fundamental memory of the Universe, to have its arrangement of particles continue to exist in any given relationship. Taken together, these levels of dimension stack up to produce moments of familiarity for conscious systems.
Elements of familiarity are the building blocks of thought. These elements are associated with each other, in context to the oncoming stream of further familiarity and some more or less unfamiliar factors. The dimensions of this associative process are those of decision.
The system of patterns becomes intelligent, as it becomes accustomed to specific arrangements of patterns, over time. World conditions associate in the brain to produce patterns of response. Successful response provides for its own repetition. With time, the system becomes progressively responsible for some of the conditions of its environment. The environment produces delayed combination effects upon itself, channeled through, and reflected out of, the organism. The response patterns have become quite complex, involving groups of nested groups of variables, that are filled as dictated by current conditions and past learning.
The response sets of any moment include specific and general components. The more general a procedure is, the more often it is used. The more it is used, the more familiar it is. We donít forget the idea of adding, for example, so much as we might forget a particular sum. We donít just learn things, we learn how to learn things. This happens because society has gotten that complex. Society has gotten that complex, because we benefited from it on average.
We will consider brain function here as the elements of consciousness that are supported by biology. Biology will be regarded as an infinitely complex substrate. Consciousness will be considered as a relatively simple logical system, riding atop biology. The two things are inseparable ó the system must have a substrate before it can exist. The substrate can exist without consciousness. We will discuss the "extra" part.
The system of consciousness has a gross structure, as well as a fine detail. The little bit of exposure Iíve had to "neural nets" as computer models has indicated to my way of thinking that we have perhaps only considered some of the fine detail. This is not a mistake ó we are producing marvelous utilities for our computerized world. To realistically approach a model of consciousness, the net needs to be shaped into a system of mental function sub-systems. These are not so much isolated from each other, like biological organs, as they are superimposed in each other. They are factors of system function. They do involve some considerations of physical displacement as well. All of these factors have to be transformed into equivalent parallel logical computer function.
The coarser structure involves the more distant physical displacement characteristics of functional relationship. We can use diagrams to approach a description, up to a point. The simplest diagram is the brain as a black box. Information enters the black box, and responses exit. We know that thought is taking place in there.
Successive views of structure show more details. Though they fall very short of depicting the system complexities of higher animals, they are suitable for beginning our modeling approach.
In the second figure we acknowledge some degree of compartmentalization of the major functions of higher awareness. Sensory information can stimulate more or less automatic motor routines. The less automatic responses are governed more by association. To be more concise, association governs the selection of automatic routines, over the longer run. From moment to moment, sensory information guides the automatic routines, keeping them on track.
In the third figure, we break up the major sandwich components of gross neuro-organization. The sense side and the motor side are areas of layers of neural layers. For example, between the eyes and the visual cortex are the LGN (lateral geniculate nuclei), which are a part of the old brain. This old brain (thalamus) has become a central brain, within the modern brain. All motor and sensory excitation, excluding olfactory, is relayed through this central brain. Our senses are separated, and they map onto separated areas of the cortex; but they do so by way of proximity through the old brain. Furthermore, activity in the cortex immediately produces return stimulation of the old brain.
In the fourth figure we begin to note the opportunities exploited by this factor of proximity. Neural activation and metabolic activation stand to be regulated through structures intimately located around this tight area of association. This system is the fundamental component of emotional process, while the concurrent influx of higher reasoning fills out emotional association.
S-R (stimulus-response) is the most automatic behavior of animals ó where a stimulus directly elicits a response, ahead in time of the notification of such an event to the higher eventualities of awareness and reasoning. S-R events will trigger activation of the higher delayed loops, summoning awareness-generating levels of operation to attend to any appropriate learned requirements for dealing with these demanding surprises in life.
Muscle coordination is assisted by transforms, developed in the cerebellum. This system develops logical offsets in muscle response, relative to conditioned sensory activity.
Our next figure includes a simplified view of the limbic system, involved with emotion, memory, and higher reasoning.
Finally, we can acknowledge that there is more than one sense; and that our senses have secondary areas of localized processing.
At this point, our diagram would become rather complicated, though it would still be quite simple compared to the realities of higher animal neuro-anatomy. Buried in this outlook is an important feature that is relatively simple, and might be easily overlooked. It is a system for perception that involves coarse and fine factors of relative function. The coarse factor can be distilled from the preceding figures, and illustrated quite simply, below.
At first thought, it goes against common sense to consider lines of sensory communication running both ways ó toward the brain, and back to the sense organ. The characteristic is widespread, and often involves a greater number of lines heading back to the sensory source than originate from there. The lines of feedback are usually dispersed around the area from which a given feedforward line originates. These factors connecting gross structure contribute support to behavior and its learning, together with the finer synaptic mechanism of association.
Within this structure then, is a general sort of detail that has some specific localized unique aspects; but is largely a commonly similar sort of dispersed organization. This finer detail more intimately supports learning. It involves chemical development in the synapses of neurons. This involvement is patterned by the world, in a relationship of transformation, where world patterns are represented in patterns of alterations in neural relationships. These patterns do not simply stand as "snapshots" of given views upon the world. They include sequential relational information. A given pattern invokes a particular subset of consequent patterns, in anticipation; fed back to the source of patterns. More often than not, in the developed organism, one pattern in the subset mix, or some elements of various patterns in the mix, will serve to facilitate part, or all, of the subsequent pattern presented to the sensory source by the world flow of patterns of process.
Meanwhile, the ongoing results of mating elements of feedback with the series of world patterns, are contributing to the picture. The picture is developed ó embellished with details from memory; and this contrivance is constantly passed on to the neo-cortex, from the thalamus, where the same sort of procedure is further compounded upon. The vertical reverberations between levels wring-out details from memory to fill in the oncoming stream of patterns, wherever those patterns have produced such elements over time, in past experience. This continues so long as the current data stream supports it. It is modified quickly as the data changes. Before this feat can be achieved, or perhaps it would be better to say, before the system commits itself to believing in its contrivance, the incoming data stream is sampled repeatedly in rapid succession ó a series of patterns essentially "unlocks" access to a very specific subset of memory. What gets unlocked is relational, temporal, data; as much as it fills in the gaps for any given static image of the moment. This mechanism would not only be the logical substance of perception, but would be intimately involved with the associative cycles of mediated and conditioned behavior; particularly with respect to our elements of anticipatory consideration and response.
This hypothesis assumes that Hebb was right about the synaptic mechanism of association, and the sensitivity to repeated coincidence that is thereby set up in the neural fabric. A synapse might be sensitized a little if it is simply stimulated from one side; but if other stimulus on that neuron is sufficient to make it fire, so that both sides of a synapse are simultaneously active, then the synapse is sensitized to a disproportionate degree. Future repeat stimulation there will carry more weight. A smaller total number of near-simultaneous stimuli will be required in the future, to produce a given change of firing rate in that neuron, if they have been previously successful in their coincidence of timing. Furthermore, any incomplete set of such a prior combination of stimuli, stands briefly available to take on a new alternative member. And, with 10,000 synapses, each neuron can support many unrelated associations, at different times. There is really only a slight embellishment here, if any, on Hebbís work. Yet the literature has puzzled over why there is 10x random feedback; while we wonder how it is we see 10x as much image information as enters our eyes. It might be the old "blind spot" problem. We have trouble recognizing how we function, if itís too simple, because we pre-suppose that the 100 billion biochemical neurons of our brain require that we are extremely complex in every way. What makes and supports you, is fully complex. The general factors of what you currently are may be quite simple, by comparison.
Within the cortex, thalamus, and even the eye, the matrix of neurons is quite densely overlapping, and set up in such a way that any one neuron is only a few neuron relations away from any other. Our mechanism of association here acts to relate the elements of any given pattern with each other, as well as with the patterns of immediate prior moments; and with myriads of tentative anticipatory patterns. Related to the details of immediate and/or prior perception, association carries on the more illusive and vague qualities of consciousness that require various longer amounts of time... the consideration of options, and the choices forced out of current contexts. This level of process, as well as the development of accurate perception, are learning processes involving other integrated factors of system function.
One consideration is the role of system regulation. The circulatory system is limited in providing metabolic support. The neural activating system could operate with respect to somewhat general, but localized, metabolic conditions. In restricting the participation of neurons, the flow of relationships is focused. Only the more dominant elements of the current pattern are allowed to give rise to associated patterns; and of those, not every possible relation will be simultaneously developed. This factor alone, like each of the others, is not enough by itself to explain higher reasoning. It is the combination of functional factors that moves as the dimensions of awareness.
One of the more complex factors is a system of "key-ing." By the end of chapter 11, you might be convinced this system could allow our combination of functional factors to accomplish higher reasoning. In a nutshell, the thought is that our brain builds a train of thoughts with a system of associative communication that is analogous to the biochemical directives that maintain a cell.
Other simpler factors include sleep phases and the tiring of neurons. From a biological standpoint, these factors are not at all simple, neither in terms of chemistry; nor in terms of chemistryís collective behavior. They are relatively simple in terms of their general functional involvement with consciousness as a logical system. These factors are touched upon slightly in chapter 11.
The steps of neural interdependence in the last figure, clarify the foregoing notion of anticipatory feedback. It is the foundation upon which the other factors operate, with reference to consciousness. The inter-level process is broken up into a series of directional steps; to show the general nature of perceptive system flow. We can think of our sense source as being the eye for now. The same sort of system could be involved with audition. In one case, visible light produces a series of neural activation patterns. In the other case, another mode of photon relationships, more involving of molecules in the air, is transduced into a series of neural activation patterns.
Now picture this mechanism at work; not with a single sensory starting point, but with 10,000 or a million sensory starting points, about thirty times per second. All of the quiet areas of any instant are surrounded by points of data. Neural density is such that a huge number of alternative stimulation points are dispersed between any configuration of data points. Which particular points are active, and what particular arrangement of dispersed feedback is present, work together like a unique momentary code of bits in a very large digital word, that acts to conjure up historically accurate memory; specific to that area under those conditions; with reference to data bits of influence carried over from many prior cycles of the current processing. The data that interacts is not isolated to a level or immediate area. It comes together from various parts of a given level, via various numbers of neural steps; and it comes together from any level to another, via various neural reflections or transmissions. Either way, the result is time delay. More or less time goes by before a coincidence happens between memory and incoming reality. The coincidence serves to propagate processing on to further opportunities for coincidence. As long as the coincidences keep cropping up, perception will continue as the experience of familiarity.
The ongoing result of this process is a compounding affinity for specificities. After months and years of repeated action, dealing with perceptive details, the anticipatory feedback stands to induce a great deal of any given image, out of a limited set of clues. The clues arrive, scattered over the sensory "surface," and scattered there over time as well. The delay we note in cognition would be due to the requirement that sufficient time pass for accumulation of data, sufficient to combine in action; and successfully stimulate association to the conscious train of associations.
The Meaning of Relative Delay
Consciousness is the relative meaning of an energetic train of logic patterns, to itself over time; permitted to modify itself through self-interaction in context to environmental interaction.
We can diagram this association functionally, though it seems near-impossible that we could do so accurately on paper, with respect to the actual physical arrangement of the action over time. It involves the back-and-forth communication between the levels, in three dimensions, over time; with various moments of particular combinations of areas of emphasis for sensory and associative processing. So, the above figure is a sort of schematic representation of cognitive association. This time, we are considering audition. Again, the same mechanism moves to be visual cognition. The difference is in the relationship of the data to world contexts of process. There are different rates, and relative characteristics, over time; and they are handled and categorized through different perceptive channels.
In the figure, the letter designations "C A T" at the base of the net, are meant to indicate dispersed areas of specific sensitivity to those phonic impressions. They are not necessarily isolated physically from each other, as shown. This is done in the figure to emphasize the mechanism at work. In the net, such sensitivities exist in abundant redundancy, more or less superimposed on themselves, and their counterparts. Factors of physical separation are generated by the particular frequency complement of a given phonic. Association smears these factors of separation into each other, according to concurrent and anticipatory learning of phonic structure and order.
The Evolution of Thought
This same mechanism is carried on, thanks to memory, over all longer, living, intervals of time. Beyond the individual, the environment holds a slowly changing memory we refer to as culture. We humans find ourselves awash in such data. We could not escape it even if we got dropped off in outer space; for the main component of the cultural environment is our minds... our sets of data... our memories. When Iím not writing this book, it is usually difficult to imagine the set of influences that would be a culture based on the hypothesis of you, as though it were a commonly known fact. The everyday course of life jars your focus into the conditioned acting/speaking of compatible behavior.
Cultural data is also stored in, and reflected off of, the media, over various periods of time, with various delays of time. It finds refuge in our minds, when it reduces conflict there, providing relief for the anxieties generated by external conflicts. In a more basic way, it is a momentum of survival that is stored in all of the greater and lesser methods and devices we have created to assist our developing lifestyle. For the most part it simply meets our minds as redundant familiarity. In any case, it comes to mind as a train of thought, through association of the current contexts of consideration and action. These are simply the products of prior thought, more or less in interaction with the flow of reality surrounding the being. The process is regulated, which helps to keep it focused, by restricting the participation of thought elements to those which are a dominant product of the ongoing logic stream. This focusing factor is also driven by the environment. The nested requirements of life are constantly coming forward to meet with the perception of appropriate opportunities. This long-term system of association is identical to the instantaneous association of perception; while involving those perceptive areas of the net with the associative areas.
Observations in the literature suggest that for as much as five minutes at a time, no other system of support is needed to maintain trains of thought within the system, as outlined thus far. How might we bridge such segments of mentality together, in order to maintain a state of ongoing coherency? This bridging system might also explain complex association, over longer intervals.
What would it mean to have a constant pattern of stimulation dispersed throughout the entire system? The pattern alone would not mean anything. Its meaning would arise, over time, with respect to a series of related patterns. This sounds familiar; but I am suggesting now a system that constantly supplies a pattern of stimulation, that maintains elements of constancy for relatively long periods of time. Its the same system, in slow motion. Better put; this would be a compound version of net perception.
The instantaneous moments of perception take place in a succession that depicts the reality they are a part of. If there is a constant, unique pattern going on in association with the series of world events, then that constant pattern has served to enable a future scan of the net, if conditions produce the re-installation of that particular constant pattern. The pattern would act like a hub around which a more or less faithful re-play of the series of perceptions could propagate, via association. Of course, this picture is meant symbolically ó the true dimensionality of the process is above that of the example of a turning wheel. The hub is distributed.
Indications are that this process is supported by the hippocampus, in concert with its associated limbic system. The hippocampus projects stimulus and sense lines into the cortex. It handles these lines as positive feedback loops. Once they get going, they tend to keep going. The hippocampus is some 3% of the neurons of the cortex, curled up from an "edge" of the cortical sheet. If something like 10% of these neurons is involved with the stim/sense projections, then there would be about 150 million potential elements to the hub pattern. We can think of this as a key 150-million-bit digital word. Even if we break it up into numerous specific sub-sections, these sections work together in various combinations. What we must consider is that neurons fatigue, and the learning of this mode, more than any other, would require a set-up supporting stand-in hand-off of redundant operations. This might reduce the number of effective bits by a factor of as much as 1000. So now itís only a 150-thousand-bit word. Its hard to whittle this system down to something insignificant. The ramifications of this system are considered with a little more detail, in reference to computer modeling in chapter 11.
Neuron for neuron, the hippocampus probably works much harder all day than the cortex. It probably needs a special kind of rest at night, during which it is chemically re-vitalized in ways that would not be generally appropriate. This function would be facilitated by the physical separation of its development, off to the side of the cortex.
Though the hippocampus would tend to generate constant patterns, the elements of constancy would be accompanied by elements of change, that are the relatively slow rate with which a given element is added, or drops out. These overall factors of change are probably associated in the hippocampus itself as an especially important form of learning crucial to prioritization and goal setting. This learning would also receive support from the cortex itís involved with. The cortex alone can support a train of associations that re-construct a fragment of experience. The constant pattern influence of the hippocampus, and its constituency of pattern growth, act to connect these fragments of thought together in higher order patterns that develop as higher order learning over longer periods of time.
For a given memory, we note that the "replay" quality is usually much less vivid than the original experience; as it no-doubt involves only a tiny fraction of the original parallel-series density of neurons. Compared to the continuing influx of perception, the memory image is similar to imagination; which is simply a more-free association of memories. During dream time, without perceptive competition, and possibly with little or no hippocampal support, such levels of consciousness might be experienced as though they were reality, since they are the only game in town. When awake, if you close your eyes, the primary visual data is running as "all dark." The associative process is fully active, and is accustomed to typical levels of perceptive data density. Again, consciousness is relative meaning.
Another example of consciousness as relative meaning involves the primary action of the activating system. It more or less randomly stimulates the cortex in an attempt to "kick-start" neurons into associative participation. Within a twentieth of a second, too many random neurons are getting activated, so the stimulation stops for about another twentieth of a second. The result is an alpha rhythm; until success is achieved. Of the consequent responses, only the elements that can participate in the ongoing associative process contribute to consciousness. The myriads of short-lived random patterns that are also generated, have no relative meaning. They donít become a "side-track" of thought, or a distraction, until they take on that sort of life over sufficient time, with sufficient participation of neurons to define some element or combination of elements of past experience. When we donít understand something, we are only conscious of some of the elements of meaning that compose the higher concept.
Intelligence is a natural product of reality. Human culture is the current condition of the highest order of the blossoming of evolution, here on Earth.
We would not question the right of an object to have three dimensions of distance. These dimensions are factors of delay for photonic interactions. They are timing data, relative to the timing processes of your brain. We consider the three dimensional structure of the object to be a normal given. It has its size and shape as a definition of reality. The definition works. It is self-supporting. The object continues to exist over some amount of time.
Intelligence is the normal given of higher dimensionality. We know some things about reality ó but this knowledge seems to only serve us a better view of more questions.
Itís all a smooth flow of process, from the atom, through chemistry, through biology, through psychology; that all adds up to the given dimensionality of reality. Just because we canít see all of it, in every detail, doesnít mean it wonít work right sooner and later. Process is our figuring out what process is, to be its future self. It will go on with or without us, in exactly the correct way.
The Knowledge Stairway
We are moving up a knowledge stairway. This is the cultural form that evolution has taken, as the development of data interaction. The acquisition of knowledge about reality, by reality, has taken place in acceleration; as plotted in the prior chapter; f(x)=ex. This is approximately exemplified by the spacing of our cultural milestones. This sort of equation would apply to an average progression of knowledge development on planets of the cosmos.
The ascent of our knowledge begins faintly with the consciousness of lower animals. Its structural basis of support begins far before this, as the natural outbreak of life on our coalesced sphere. From the "beginning," the process is one of association that produces development, that we could cite as being many parallel strings of examples of memorized advantages. This mechanism, even among molecules, is not all too different from the associative model for our brain/universe.
The "wood" that we have our steps made of, comes in the form of little trees we call neurons. The common behavioral attributes of these little devices cause them to create larger trees, composed of huge numbers of neurons, acting together, and in sequence, as a parallel series. A vast array of these larger trees collects, superimposed in the neural net. This growth is driven by the relative meaning of information within, and from the environment, acting in, and arriving upon, the matrix, through many parallel channels. The channels are physically determined by the elements of meaning composing a given instant or long-term development of experience.
For this to happen, each neuron must act by a set of rules. Without "knowing" what the other neurons are doing, each neuron follows rules that work to relate the neurons together as a representation of the world, that has meaning over time. The DNA-cell system survives to support future renditions of the overall system, defined by the rules that govern the behavior of individual neurons. The system so captured is an extension of the DNA principle. The DNA is taxed ó its hands are full with metabolism and develop-ment. But it was able to develop a system that emulates its own developmental characteristics. Biological evolution hands development over to technological evolution. Dimensionality has transitions. The fundamental dimensions below consciousness are considered to be more automatic, by consciousness. In reality, itís all dimensionality. The source of our conscious reality is far more complex than our thoughts ó yet, it is fully reliable as a basis of support.
In the development of our thought process, association produces some mental products that facilitate life. They may help directly, or indirectly through emotional satisfaction. Some of the products also become a basis for more advanced products. Successful products are re-used more.
The indirect emotional mechanism is particularly important for early learning. We donít yet understand anything; so we donít know specifically why we are learning things ó we have no idea of what use the knowledge will turn out to be, or what it will lead to. We want to learn from our parents because it strengthens our bonds with them. This has worked out to be advantageous in the long run; which is often the mode of operation for evolutionary mechanics. Once some learning for speech/audition is behind us, we begin to recognize a variety of contingent opportunities associated with this new-found capability. The road to higher learning is available. The emotional motivation that got us started remains with us through our lives. It becomes varied and complex as it co-evolves with reasoning.
Consciousness is centered in the associative process. It is proportional to the change it is involved with. The factor of change adds one more dimension to the basis of conditioned process. If nothing else, this change is the passing of time. Reality is always new, even in a sensory deprivation chamber. We know this from the experiences that fill our memory. In general, we experience greater and lesser demands to associate differences between reality and experience into compromises or experiments, based on the past successes that best parallel a given predicament. This would occur quickly for simple problems like walking down the street; and be more time consuming for chess.
Conditioned routines are usually used unconsciously, because they can be a part of the overall process that is thoroughly rote. So long as circumstances donít raise attention to them, association need only to set them in motion. Consciousness is the active role of association, which usually concerns itself with the need to make new combinations, subtle or not, in order to deal with lifeís demands, mundane or not. We call this process "deciding." The demands of life cause us to formulate goals. We are motivated to solve problems, which improves our survival status and sense of well being. We do this over a variety of time frames. The shorter frames are handled quickly by past conditioning, involving less sense of will. The longer frames give you more of a chance to be aware of them. They are the formulation of newer, more complex conditioning; that is more subject to change, as per change in conditions.
When associative products serve as a basis for higher reasoning, we begin to lose conscious sight of the given basis. This mechanism operates to produce conditioned responses, as well as to produce conditioned thinking. When you write, you donít think: "now Iíve got to move my fingers up-then-down;" and you donít think: "that word I just heard is ĎCAT,í because the first sound was ĎC,í then I heard the ĎAí sound; and it ended with the ĎTí sound." Your real self hardly deals consciously with individual words in a sentence. We see key words at most. Itís the meaning of the words in their order that contains the focus of your being. You have a need or a job of some kind driving your current situation, and the words come up as tools to use, as you deal with life.
We can describe this in terms of meaning vectors, in the neural matrix. The sentence comes off with its own meaning, the way a wordís vector varies from anotherís. The paragraph results in a vector at its level. A job produces a vector, that can be referenced by its future.
The basis of any concept modality remains available through association. Itís just that the train of thought has escaped those boundaries through contingent association. So long as the higher association remains the focus, its basis waits in the background as so much data in idle memory.
We are describing a tree... an associative knowledge tree. The tree grows. The concepts of calculus are meaningless, and therefore useless, to toddlers. There isnít sufficient "wiring" in place to support the necessary coincidences for propagating that level of thought. A brain can handle and utilize the higher concepts when they can attach to a tree in such a way as to make them available for use. They get attached this way by arriving on our stairway. If you try to skip too many steps, the concept wonít be understandable, because it doesnít have anywhere to affix itself in your brain, via associative meaning. You may get some attachment of some aspects of a given concept; but you wonít be able to make full use of it.
This mechanism leaves us with a very nice associative memory system. We donít have to scan our entire memory to find specific data. The driving question itself enters our knowledge tree through association. The steps of learning do not form a single stairway. There are as many stairways as there are topics. Part of learning, however, is to involve those stairways with each other. Yet more stairways are created in the development of this capability; in general, as a technique, as well as for the consequent creative specifics that enhance the survivability and enjoyment of life. The awareness of these capacities is the realization of a position in your mind that places you "at the top" of your current overall knowledge stairway condition. It would be better to say that you are within the complex stairway matrix, in a position of access to any complex point and direction, as governed by your past and current environmental and mental conditions.
From here, you would begin any course of reasoning, as directed by the growing specificities that lead you to the given set of stairways associated by that topic, and by any unique questions being considered. Though you will tend to visit each stairway at its most up-to-date level of development, the qualities of uniqueness will drive your position lower than that at times, particularly in formulating new bridges to more or less related sub-topics.
We also tend to "re-climb" the steps and bridges associated by a given concept or structure of concepts; as we attempt to initially assimilate these notions; or to regain a past-held position; or to work out new attachments or related structures.
We can change our "position" among the stairways; but we always move around this way in response to the elements of our current position. These arise out of the past positions, in context to past and current environmental interaction.
We are describing processes that physically relate the environment to itself over time, through the parallel series of neural communications. I donít think we could accurately diagram a realistic example of this on paper, or even on a computer screen. Depiction might even be impossible with what we think of as mathematics. The correct mathematical description is the brain-shaped matrix, in action, with its huge number of potentially active elements, as the system interacts with the environment, defining part of the overall system of reality, relating toward the whole, while receiving its issuance of time from the distributed whole within. The math would have to be active. It would have to behave along parallel lines with our brain/universe interaction. It would have to be an active matrix, in a warm computer.
The driving question is not always received to a substantial extent ó it is not guaranteed to acquire significant access to the conscious associative process, just because it isnít too far beyond the respective knowledge base. It can be ignored for a number of reasons. The matrix might be too busy handling a flow of concepts already. Between such occupations, priorities are often being accessed and re-defined by the associative process. At this point, we may avoid consideration to a degree determined by compatibility of the question with our general tree. Sometimes, the process of association leads to products whoís meaning opposes attachment of the incoming notion. Rather than finding an associative position in the tree, association produces products that mean it doesnít belong in the tree. Some elements of the concept are accepted; but they are placed in a neural relationship that leads to the realization of "reasons why that canít be right." The concept is related to a topic as a possible pitfall. This becomes the current status of its meaning vector. If the question comes up again, we are prepared. It finds these paths of association that mean we can abandon it, and resume along alternative through-lines. The hippocampus helps us "get back" to those prior thoughts. If the question was a "side-track," the hippo kept some clues running in the mental background, to allow us to associate our way back to the point of interruption, or somewhere before that. This is part of the mechanics that is the learned abilities of higher reasoning.
We are approaching the involvement of emotional influence now. Itís always there; but itís easier to talk about association in the neural matrix without that complication at first.
In a more open-minded mind, there is less fear of exploration of questions. More concepts are related to topics open-endedly, as possible solutions. An initially bad idea can later become accepted. The mechanism here is the original one of simple association. Bridges are built, through recognition of valid association. This is the start of a new stairway in its family. The question will now lead in this direction; though we will never fully forget our prior assessment... those connections will atrophy with disuse, but their overall pattern of meaning never fades completely away.
Similarly, old sets of bridges can take a back seat to new diversions of reasoning. An old concept can become regarded as inadequate. If we didnít have lots and lots of neurons, each able to contribute support to a huge number of unrelated associations, we wouldnít be able to change our minds about things too much. But then, we wouldnít have much of a train of thought in the first place.
A similar associative process is elemental within complex goal setting. Goals often involve a mixture of attractions and avoidances. Life is essentially a series of "decisions" to continue or alter the current mental momentum; though the vast majority of such steps are experienced as automatic products of conditioning.
The stairway within this book has risen some in the course of writing and editing the various sections and chapters. Part of this mechanism has been the recognition of inconsistencies. This creates change in the bridging structure of the book, as it does so in my head. Some new ideas were tried out until they just couldnít be made to fit... aspects associated from them toward meaning that gave the ideas bad vector angles. They were lacking support from observations that did support alternative ideas.
Association here is not limited to the connections made during the course of checking out the single idea, as though it were in isolation. Higher reasoning involves a number of concurrent associative functions. These run together as conditioned, to be an inductive machine. They help the new idea along, as they run in the background. They are standard routines that involve a variety of standard sub-routines; as conjured up through association to the elements of the fledgling idea. The routines and sub-routines are learned... we learn how to think at higher levels, through examples of success and failure.
The functions of our knowledge stairway exist within and between our brains. The stairs are supported by physics. The support between brains is direct communication, as well as indirect communication through media and cultural artifacts. This process knits our brains into the knowledge stairway matrix of Earth. Within each brain, the knowledge stairway exists as the physical connectivity of the matrix of neurons. Consciousness is the active propagation of communication within the brain; where elements of that communication transcend the fundamental dimensionality there.
The primary motor that is lifting us up our steps is emotion. No matter how complex and abstract our thoughts may seem to get; as they develop from each other they are ever arising from various survival concerns. Our mental system has this basis woven between our intellectual processing and our physiological monitoring and affect.
Where there is conscious thought, there is process that is aware. This process is physically located in the overall neural matrix, as the constantly changing complement of active neural communications. Emotion is awareness. It is an attribute of the same awareness that is your thought. It has the same location as your thought. What differs is the definition we apply. Emotion is the element of influence, within our thought, that primarily stems from a number of physiological status factors. Other elements of thought deal with concepts and their interaction with other concepts. They may concern a problem going on in your head, or a problem involving such thought with the environment. While this is going on, you have a mood. The mood is more or less acute, depending on the relevance of the thought to some mix of survival concerns. The mood is not segregated from the thought. Like any perception, the perception of emotional feeling is associated into awareness.
The part of your system that isnít your awareness, is supporting your awareness. Your intellect involves your thought, and its relationship with the world. Your emotion involves your thought, and its relationship to your support system. These two relationships form a single limbic (cyclic) system. The meaning of your thought relates to a variety of survival factors, that affect your autonomic condition. You can perceive a variety of sensations relating out of your autonomic condition. These perceptions color the learning that is your ongoing thought process; and they can affect your decisions. Your past thought has produced consequences for your autonomic perception, under similarly associable conditions. The contexts of this emotional cycle produce various degrees and types of motivation, ranging from ignorable to overpowering or automatic. The most primitive emotional responses are more automatic; relating immediately out of S-R conditions. The process of higher thinking generates emotional learning that produces sophisticated behavior.
The rudiments of emotion are experienced by the lower animals. These creatures have your soul, for their time in memory. The limitations of memory, perception, and especially speech, produce a level of thought that isnít much more than simple, basic emotion and sensory images of the world; and this only for the higher of the lower animals ó the fuzzy point of inclusion here is probably for those with some cortex to speak of. The images have anticipatory meaning, which produces emotional motivation, or relaxation. The lower the animal, the tighter and more direct the cycle. Their whole brain is similar to the core of ours; which is the physical location of the source of our emotional mental basis.
That basis has its fingers into various parts of our more developed brain though; along various avenues of interaction. Some of these avenues include a complex web of neural interconnection between a variety of anatomical developments that support the relationship between the old brain and modern motivated learning. The rest of the avenues are chemical channels. Emotional states produce a chemical fingerprint that more or less generally affects the brain, or specific areas. There would be a survival advantage in "tuning" the brain to match past (or instinctive) experience. The learning that survived is more accessible as a more specific subset. A given chemical variation or mix could serve to repeat a given influence on synaptic acuity. Your current "bag of tricks" would be the emotional category of your memory. This effect would not produce a memory partition so much as an enhancement.
This raises the possibility of a chemical bridge supporting vector association. High-dimensional meaning vector angles might induce associative participation, that then becomes connected, as an additional product of emotional reflection; through chemical specificities. This function would work together with the associative neural feedback progressions discussed before. General activation would be given a degree of guidance this way. It would have improved odds of dredging up associated participation. Perhaps the chemistry of emotion has developed to assist higher thought, as well as to color it for future survival reference.
The most basic form of emotion is the fundamental motivational "motor." This is the "choice" between pain and pleasure. Evolution has figured out all the basics here for us, as the form of survival. Damage or death is to be avoided. Reproduction is attractive. Eating is enjoyable, especially after the agony of a climbing appetite. We can see the simple mechanism here, as a basis out of which our emotional system developed; but what on Earth is the perception of pain or pleasure itself?
To see this along the lines of this book, letís return to our associative model of awareness. Then weíll see how fundamental emotional perceptions fit in.
Weíll consider the associative perception of color. The analysis neednít become complex. Our experience of color stands to define itself in memory as guidance of subsequent experience. This function includes a number of related orders of associative function. The most primary order is the fact of the color itself ó that particular aspect of experiential stimulation has associated itself into memory; though it has done so in a huge variety of ways. The next most basic association is probably the fact that it is a color, regardless of which particular one. Close to, or before this, is the relationship of the color to other colors. We have been conditioned by experience to categorize colors. We automatically think "green" when we see a green object, rather than attempt to determine its exact position among the infinite range of green possibilities. We just recognize that itís green, while we subconsciously know that itís not blue and itís not yellow; and itís not black and white. We know that blue can approach green, and green can approach blue... but we donít take time to think of that... these facts are components of the awareness itself. The perception of blue, as an experience, lies mainly in this relative relationship, constructed in memory out of experiences. Beyond this then, are endless variations of higher order association. The sky is blue, sometimes. Your favorite coffee mug might be blue. Larger bodies of water tend to be blue. All of this experience stands as the intersection of meaning among a very large number of potential neural response sets. Any set of a common group might be brought into activity temporarily by any one of these recurring attributes of experience. Each element of that particular group performs the same function of relating some past experience of blue to that same memory, with respect to other colors, and then with respect to other particular aspects of the given perception. Blue is the thing about now that is between green and purple, and much different than orange, black, white or gray. It can be a darker color, while yellow is usually a bright color. Beyond such standard relative characteristics that we can all associate with, blue activates your perception of it by reaching the learning it has previously connected together for your future reference. It is the memory of an attribute of experience.
Blue things are not made of blue atoms. The difference is a matter of timing. We learn to differentiate such factors of timing, because their differences place them on differing routes of communication. We categorize them in ways that developed out of survival mechanisms. Itís all really electron colored ó our current experience of it is a construct of past experience.
The sky was blue; and it helps to be oriented to the horizon when youíre walking or running. The foliage was green; and it would help vegetarians to see this more easily. Green is also often a factor in the horizon again; so it would be good to improve discrimination between the adjacent frequencies. Most obvious is the survival importance of seeing red. We donít just feel a cut; we clearly discriminate its product, for association with the various autonomic perceptions, in context to the cause of the accident, and any realization of its immediate or long-term consequences.
In an overall sense, blue looks blue, because blue is the relative meaning of its repetitive experience with respect to any given whole of associative learning. That whole is your general, long-term identity... the current sum of component meaning vectors producing your overall vector. You are what you mean to yourself. You are the overall, up-to-date job vector. You are the meaning of the totality of your experience, to itself. This holds true for each case of time-of-memory reference frame version of you. You are the current condition of the resultant vector created by the experiences of your memory reference frame.
We experience all the other colors of the rainbow in the same way; but as vectors whoís angles are generated by the relative intensity of our three or four primary sensitivities. The primary colors associate their data density to define intermediate color experience. These associative products are then available to the ongoing train of associative awareness. That train also has access to much other simultaneous perceptive information, such as relative size, depth, shape, sound, smell, temperature, prickers, etc. Of all the possible characteristics that might grab our attention, the ones that do so tend to be the ones that have generated prior emotional perception.
Any experience includes a vector component of pleasure/pain. Much of the time this element is a background neutrality. The involvement of past similar experience with autonomic requirements will determine the degree and direction of departure of that vector angle from center. Thought alone is enough to elicit pain. For the most part, it arises out of the S-R-rich conditions of injury. The latter type of experience is had by us all, most densely as we are growing up. The early learning curve for dealing with life establishes a great deal of memory that associates with autonomic perceptions. There are experiences of greater or lesser injury, as well as of relief. While these components of overall perception can, themselves, become a complicated mix of feelings; they imply an overall vector element of their own which carries an angle for pleasure/pain. This collection of memory builds upon itself over time as a basis of motivation that produces more information for itself. This sub-section of your whole, associates to your whole, in the same way that "blue" information does. While color information is relating to other visual information, and sound information is relating to itself over time, and to the visual information; emotional perception is contributing a message regarding the general or specific status of your more immediate support system.
The involvement of our mental chemical fingerprint peaks with the peaks of our emotion. Closely related to this is the chemical status of our autonomic condition. Here the peaks are related to the perceivable physical elements of emotional experience, such as heart-rate, breathing, perspiration, adrenal rush and aftershock, etc.
Emotion influences the character of hippocampal action. Emotional peaks involve hippo peaks, where the key impression development carries more weight, with greater longevity. The longer and more detailed this hold cycle is, the more conditioned-response C-R links can be set, or reinforced, in representation of the details of the event. This action could support fight-or-flight behavior, utilizing past experience as well as innate routines.
This domination of mentality is distracted away from much of the perception relating to injury. Later, when we have time to catch our breath and see the blood, the hippo can more safely get going on that aspect of survival interest. We may feel no pain until this point ó then the hippo shifts over to let that point drive in.
This same mechanism would operate in many lesser shades of intensity, to fill out the ongoing process of prioritization. The emotional weight of experiences places them in memory for future reference, with greater or lesser prominence. Where association might lead to a jumble of alternatives, these weight settings, in conjunction with activation regulation, improve decisiveness; and thereby improve competency. In the more extreme circumstances, they improve survival out-rightly.
These mechanisms involve a great deal of more or less instinctive influence. The physical configuration of our lower mental processing structure imposes a greater or lesser contribution to behavior, depending on the particulars involved. We learn how to walk ó but not with a homogeneous neural net. Though neurons are similar in far more many ways than they differ, there are divisions in modes of interconnection that go so far in some cases as to amount to "circuitry." Oscillators are common. The most obvious example is your heartbeat. Oscillators are also called into play in numerous other ways, such as in their involvement with walking.
The less-instinctive variety of mechanism is supported by the more recent features of development. Our most recent evolution may relate to "the art of the deal." Though such levels of activity primarily consist of learned cultural conditioning in support of active decision making, that process is supported, and enhanced, by the physical structure of our emotional motor. Note that the factor of balance is still at work within evolution here to various degrees; e.g., if the emphasis is too far toward general "deal" at the expense of specific love; no offspring!
In some cases, our children do not receive the kind of genuine attention that will give them a solid sense of security, self-esteem, positive motivation, constructive individuality, and ability to love. In those cases where such development is not being fostered, it would be for the good of us all, as well as for the good of the children, if society would do all that it can to pick up the slack. Our opportunity for doing this exists within our educational system. Our avoidance of this option leaves us with partial responsibility for a variety of negative outcomes. It will require a caring effort to produce a caring future society.
From the point of view given here, concerning brain function, how would we expect to improve our success in teaching? Does it figure that we will make a brain more receptive by informing it that it is inferior? It may be a mistake to give children Ds and Fs. This could be the beginning of a negative relationship between the individual and authority figures; depending on a number of personal circumstances. Perhaps it would be better to give them Rs ó "R" for "re-assignment." If the information is not going into the brain, then that particular brain has not been prepared for that particular subject. Sledge hammers and cortices donít mix. Instead of a "too bad" attitude, we could create an interesting basis for eventual expanded learning. We could spend more time asking and answering questions, and less time lecturing. We could produce true understanding and active abilities through sensitive interaction. Existing interests are the key toward constructive abilities. The realistic identification of goals is the draw. The associative process bridges this gap for all of us. Some of us need special attention here, if we are not to realize goals unfavorable to others. Some classrooms should be very small ó even down to one student per teacher, for some length of time. Weíre not handing out a meal ticket here ó it is not loving to inspire weakness. It will be a wise investment if we can instill a sense of self-worth, by creating opportunities to gain appreciation for contributing returns to the system. This factor could take a variety of forms. Pressure probably wonít help. This is something we find, as we are allowed to find ourselves.
If we avert the creation of criminals, we prevent the creation of victims. A responsible attitude is not a given; we must apply an effort to guide its development. Should we punish children for the ingrained behavior of their parents? Our children are worth the cost of producing and maintaining this sort of learning environment. We are worth it. Our future is worth it.
No system will ever be perfect; but todayís trend is bad. If it takes us to a point where more money is being spent on incarceration than on education, then the definition of humanity here has become a sad one indeed.
Once weíve blown it, and have produced an inconsiderate individual, our options are severely restricted. Memory is permanent. Much more time and expense would be needed to reach a given level of sensitivity. Rather than take this approach, we carry our basic approach to extremes. We provide prison environments as a continuation of the educational process. There is a high rate of recidivism. We release dangerous people upon society. Crime rubs off onto others who cannot find a better peer group, to match their self-estimation.
To succeed in turning this ship around, we would have to overcome our natural/cultural tendency to exact emotional revenge. If, instead, we find constructive ways to restore rightful balance, when possible, we will correct more problems, and create a more stable system. In the more destructive cases, it is not possible to repair the emotional damage; and it is not wise to risk repeat opportunities. All we can do is strive to prevent these permanent hotel bills, by preventing the pain that leads to the pain. The death sentence should be voluntary and painless. I donít think we set a good example by killing people, or inflicting mandatory suffering. We must protect all of the people as best we can.
Keep in mind that we are considering these issues within the assumption that the hypothesis of you is valid. You are all of the people involved in the questions. You are only able to make your choices from within the framework of any given memory. It only seems like "their" past is something that has gone by without you, because it isnít customary and conditioned to consider infinity as an aspect of everyday life. The proposed adjustments here, then, might be a typical requirement of growing up, as a planet.
Respect is an equality. It is not real within domination. It is an honest understanding that we have basic equal rights, and that we want to act accordingly. These equalities take many forms; such as knowledge, the ability to love, self-sacrifice, and the ability to control process constructively.
Some of the factors that come to mind when we think of respect are really not related, so much as they tend to divert its function. Fear, envy, jealousy, and even admiration, can confuse the factor of respect between people(s). Respect grows with the growth of knowledge about others. Prisons could provide this missing information; beginning in terms that can be identified with. To produce respect for others, it is essential to allow understanding of how we earn self-respect.
Nothing we do in the way of correction will have much success if we canít follow it up on the outside with meaningful positive opportunity. The lack of this, or its obscurity amidst negative opportunities, is a large part of what creates criminals in the first place. Most of what we do in the schools will be wasted, in cases where the kids go home to a destructive neighborhood. We should attempt to improve these environments as well by introducing activities of interest. Neighborhood coaches would be nice. Other kinds of support would be needed in many cases. The effect-per-dollar might be better than the police-only approach, especially in an overall assessment.
Negative behavior we might term "Ill will," is not a characteristic of a bad soul. It can develop out of medical problems, or even a genetic fluke. For the most part it is a product of neglect, and a poor chain of opportunity development.
Here, again, our educational system is an ideal vehicle available for averting many of these ongoing mini-disasters. In this case, the needed ingredient is jobs intelligence. In this computer age, the educational system could be highly coordinated with the jobs market. The system could involve feedback that might improve motivation. A studentís performance could produce a list of prospective job descriptions. This information could alter a personís course selections; contributing to the development of interest in the subjects that will deliver a desired occupation. We have another opportunity here to avoid creating negative factors in society, by providing realistic job descriptions. We should have a good idea of what weíre working for in school, so we can appreciate it when we finally get there. Too many of us never use the expensive knowledge we toiled for. We could have reached a better job position sooner if weíd bypassed it, and focused on other things. In general; do we all really need to learn the exact same sets of stuff, at the exact same points in our growth? Canít specialists develop specially?
Such a system could not begin perfectly. With time, the element of forecasting would improve in accuracy; especially if the market place softened up a little, and took on a stronger air of family-hood. We all want a great variety of products. We are more likely to enjoy working for them, if we know that our contributions are appreciated. A happy worker is a more productively motivated worker. A person who feels important to his job, will pass that feeling into the quality of his work. Such communications between industries and the educational system need not amount to the demise of competition. We need only handle the products of competition, to recycle the materials and people of industry. This wouldnít be communism... it would be sensitive, sensible capitalism. When a company falters competitively and dies, we still have the same number of people who need the same things. We should be able to get a handle on this basic fact, and use it to smooth out our economic concerns. For example, the use of coal is expanding at an alarming rate, in the face of ominous signs of global warming. The planet itself may not survive if we canít get ourselves to make a switch from hydrocarbon consumption to something like solar-derived hydrogen. The economically feasible solution would require that the energy companies themselves develop and deploy the technology. Similarly, any faltering company could be saved by its superior competitive counterpart. We, as a people, could adopt strategies for this where, for example, information is shared under a licensing arrangement. Or, the failing company is converted into a part of the more successful version, with a minimum of bloodshed. Again, we are thinking this would become nicer, and more widespread, because we have recognized ourselves as a family of you.
We would want to avoid the creation of a few big monopolies. Competition is essential to healthy motivation and creativity. If necessary, the government could sponsor the creation of competitive approaches. If some of these approaches eventually took the driverís seat of some industries, couldnít the governmentís profits eventually cover our needed tax tab?
The peopleís ownership of some industries could pay our taxes. If the government started taking over, it could pay us, as well as its own employees. This sounds like weíre getting ridiculous and impossible here; and perhaps it could never happen here. What it could amount to is a system where everyone works less. We need to seriously consider the effects of automation. Sooner or later our economy is going to "realize" that we need to handle our employment picture sensibly, with respect to the development and proliferation of advanced automation. With much success, we would eventually need to see that the money saved with robotics mostly goes to the people. At first this might take the form of appropriately cheaper prices for products; coupled with a responsibility for displaced jobs placement. As the factor becomes proportionately significant, it will be necessary to choose between a system that increasingly produces throw-away people, or one that provides for all of us comfortably.
We have equal rights to possess what we earn. I donít respect you more than myself, if you own more than I do. I donít respect you less, in this regard, if you own less. Respect, in this relative factor of ownership, resides in the recognition of the fundamental right to own what you earn. Some kinds of process require some kinds of control, by people, that we refer to as ownership.
While this is true, the larger process can be recognized as one in which we all own everything. To be alive in the same Universe with any other "thing" is to have a spiritual ownership of it, through your fundamental logical identity with it, as some time among all time that is you. This reference frame includes a recognition that all process is respectable; for it is produced by the Universe, which, in the final analysis, never made a single mistake. The ability to destroy would not seem to make our list of equalities of respect. Errors are part of the greater function of our dimensionality progression. The positive product is peaceful; or there is no product in some cases. Within the overall function, positive functions develop from the mix of positive and negative factors.
Crime and war might be considered to be a natural part of development in primitive cultures. As cultures mature with technological capability though, they must solve these problems in order to survive. It is possible that there is no solution without an emphasis on love. If the focus is fixed on "being better," in competition, rather than on being in harmonious development, as a system, then we will create the most difficult of operating conditions from which to make our future choices. I hope we learn to fully accept the responsibility that comes with technology, while weíre still in a good position for advancement.
The premise for considering Universal Consciousness here, is that reality is a mathematical developmental system of the point, relative to itself, over infinite varieties of renditions of eternities. From our point of view, this looks like an expanding set of atomic particles, that participate in evolution.
From this premise, we consider the developmental aspect of Universal Consciousness as the natural progression of evolution toward the accomplishment of the greatest, most fundamental, need ó our rule structure. Evolution produces its own source. It creates its basis of atomic interaction behavior.
Even though this is all automatic, we will experience the need to make choices, as the process becomes conscious of itself. We will experience pain, pleasure, and emotion as we learn how to choose the course to more choices. Isnít it wonderful that we cannot actually see the future? How boring it would be if we did not need to make choices. On top of this, we get to have our cake, as well as eat it... for we are constantly experiencing the perception of a huge variety of future-pasts, multiples of eternities away. This relationship between peoples and objects is realized at a level of acceptance that recognizes the quality of infinity within and between all definitions. It is that quality that supports the experience of choices, within the closed system. It is that quality that permits a multiplicity of your individual reference frame, over time, and over all such cases of system function. Universal Consciousness involves an understanding that you are the subject of all experience. That experience consists of an interplay between various versions of itself.
Consciousness is a part of the process of its reality. It takes time; and reality is time. Reality is all the time. All the time is a collection of pieces. Each piece is a definition of time ó of some of the time that belongs to the overall collection. It would be more consistent to say that each piece is the whole, from a different reference frame of view upon itself. We experience some of these pieces as apparently being conscious. We perceive a mixture of conscious and unconscious pieces of time. All of the pieces are involved with other pieces. All of them are composed of component pieces of time. All of the components are composed of components. This is the structure of infinite dimensionality, within the point.
Recurring in there, are cycles of relative fundamental dimensionality. These induce conscious collections of time relative to other such collections, and relative to unconscious ones as well. The unconscious ones have fewer fundamental dimensions, relative to your fundamental dimensionality. They are sections of time we observe as being partitioned off in some way that gives them functional relevance within the flow of reality as we experience it. The components of those unconscious chunks of time have components, to the point where those components are essentially identical to the common components of all greater portions of time. The fundamental form of this basic component is the H configuration ó a proton-electron system ó or, in relatively rare occurrence, its primary variation; a neutron. Far more rare still are the other elements of combined H configurations. From our point of view, the common H configuration, and its various assemblages, are primarily unconscious pieces of time. The reference frame of the H configuration itself, however, is the case where dimensionality is fully developed. This probably goes beyond our ability to perceive of existence as consciousness. The point is, that while we observe ourselves as being conscious relative to a majority of unconscious time, all time is composed of standard systems of dimensionality that are fully "conscious." So, the chair is not conscious of itself as a chair, but its atoms "realize," in the deepest sense, that they are the Universe. They give themselves to us as their existence, and we use them in our development. We contribute process toward a future of full dimensionality; either by success, or as an example of failure. The cycles of dimensional development are quantized into relative sets endlessly. "Endlessly" is the case for a circle; but our circle "function" in time applies to the generation of dimensionality itself. The dimensionality progression produces its own source. It is within the point.
Such a viewpoint as ours observes itself by being nearly blind to its antecedent. Our reference frame is the conscious one that perceives of time and anti-time as time and distance. If we could view all phases of time simultaneously, our awareness would be nulled out.
Our consciousness is built upon stability factors of time, that are the dimensions of memory we refer to as particles of mass. The Universe knows how to remember just where to put each such definition, relative to another, because those definitions are the eventuality of the occurrence of that level of dimensionality, relative to any given consciousness that is generated by it. This source could jump all over the place in distance and time; its components seemingly scattered randomly about, in one different senseless pattern after another, relative to some other reference frame. Consciousness is the reference frame that continues to be possible within infinite variation, as the development of infinite dimensionality.
Mass is the remembrance of its internal set of constancy factors. Factors of change are also remembered for each cycle of existence of a particle. The constancy factors produce the inertia of mass, and contribute to the persistence of its basic existence. The remembrance of change factors completes its persistence, and provides continued support for overall characteristics of change. This can be done flawlessly, within the range of uncertainty, with respect to consciousness, because an infinite number of component eternities produce any "finite" stretch of conscious time; such as a "quantum" of experience.
Ongoing consciousness would put this cart before its horse; confusing mass as relatively constant independent substance. This is a self-centered view, developed out of the historically typical type, that placed Earth at the center of the solar system. Consciousness is a possible definition sampled out of infinite variation, over time; where that time is the particular set of elements that define a given stretch of experience. Such a definition includes an orderly environment. To sample consciousness, you sample evolution. If you suddenly appeared in outer space, or within a star, you would not remain functional for long. The contexts for sampling make this prospect unlikely. All the would-be "mistakes" happen before, or constituent to, the realization of any given level of dimensionality. They are correct components of other levels of dimensionality, where they complete a functional context, relative to your consciousness there, among/as that time. This can work out OK, because what appears to be an instant of time, supporting an instant of thought, is internally constructed of the eternities of infinite dimensionality. Every moment is an eternity. Each such moment is a perfect component of a greater perfect eternity. They can be perfect, because they have enough time to be.
No such level is a final resting place. All of them are time. As such, they are all composed of constant change. Aspects may appear constant; but all such constancies exist relative to changes somewhere in the system. The only exception to this is the case for the total system ó the total collection of time ó the point. The point always exists to support recurrence and the recurrence is a basis for all change. The change is the stuff of recurrence. The recurrence is the factors of constancy that are based within process. The system is infinite, yet closed. Its unlimited change produces eternal repetition. The one constant eternity is composed of an infinite variety of eternities; that are elements of the set of vector angles that compose the point.
From our point of view, the change in this substrate of constancy continues the progression of ever-increasing dimensionality, that is required of time to complete the point. Thus, matter makes rocks, it makes animals, it develops consciousness, and it builds societies. Though we take ourselves for granted, as users of an idle planet, we are the local peaking of the dimensionality of the system that is Earth. Consciousness has more fundamental dimensions than rock. Society is the press onward, heading beyond individual consciousness.
Within this process, we experience a series of events. These sub-processes of the overall process are thought of as such things as pouring a cup of coffee. The myriads of such events form a basis for higher dimensional, slower realities. Though we think of "coffee-pot-ness" as riding on a basis of atomic interaction, that basis is internally derived from an endless series of both kinds of basis. Coffee-pot-ness is as logical a component of reality as atomic-ness is. Either viewpoint can be considered as a basis for itself, and for the other. Either that; or Iíve been drinkiní too much of the stuff.
Logic is a structure composed of relative timing. This timing is the true substance of reality, relative to itself. Memory is a logical commodity, as is the consciousness that can reside there. Reality as a whole is logical... based on the interaction of time with time of time. Part of this logical composition is the developmental aspect, which is the higher orders of relative dimensionality. All of the interaction is logic, composed of logic; including the consciousness of it.
We might pose a question... what is the logic of a random pattern of bits of paper on the floor, if I take this page and rip it up into tiny pieces and throw them up in the air? The logic, in reality, does not lie in the direct meaning of the random pattern. The true logic exists as a number of elements of the flow of process in reality. For one thing, the paper on the floor defines a cultural condition we refer to as "a mess." It stands for some period of time as an influence on some mentality. It is a motivational factor that may contribute to a decision to vacuum the house. This is a logical influence within a series of logical relationships. The pattern on the floor may not mean anything in itself; but as a whole, with respect to the room and passers by, it means that some paper got ripped up and scattered about. This is a logical relationship between logical elements of process that compose the overall process of reality. It is supported by a fundamental attribute of reality, where only-floor-ness is associated with little islands of non-only-floor-ness at the points where there are aggregations of paper mass. This fundamental logic is its kind of zeros and ones.
In this way, any attribute of reality can be seen to be a logical relationship to the whole of logic. The pattern of grains of sand at the beach means you have a nice place to lay on. It means a great deal more, at a great many levels and numbers of relative reference frames. The pattern of molecules in the air means you can breathe. This means that particular ones will become involved with the process of your life, through your lungs. What seems random turns out to be of vital significance. We are never aware of the constant stream of details taking place as the flow of reality that supports our being. We only view a very limited sampling, to a very limited depth of analysis.
Logic doesnít really form different beings; it forms you at different positions in complex time. Logic cannot figure out which person itís supposed to be at any given location in time. Itís all the same ó itís all just logic. Itís all you. Logic cannot really exist simultaneously either. It all takes turns with itself... it all arises from the point, relative to itself. All of your yous are definitions of different times of time... a different viewpoint of time upon itself. Each definition, or portion thereof, is generated by the same point.
The Universe is the math that performs itself; and is not limited to a simple subject. It runs as what a photon is doing with respect to what all "other" photons have done, and will do. The Universe is at once the minimum and maximum reference frame. It is one photon relationship that is all photon relationships; superimposed within the point.
This communication produces experiential reality for some of the communication within, from those reference frames within. The larger reality is, in turn, a component of communication for other times of experience. It isnít that one frame is actually larger than the other. Itís that their contributions to consciousness alternate. Small-ness of particles of mass is just a different sort of far-away-ness; of systems of time of time. Particles are far away dimensionally, as well as by relative location within our dimensional frame. Particle time is spaced a quantum leap away from the totality of time that defines our dimensional frame.
Your thought is various dispersed communications, that create awareness by virtue of representing meaning, with respect to a great deal of other representation; that really happened; related over time. In this, whatís being represented is also composed of various dispersed communications. The alternation of functions, as a switching of awareness in times, stems from the common source of all function, within the relative timing of the point, with itself.
Consciousness makes time, as a component of a basis of higher dimensionality. This is the time in "over time" in our definition of consciousness, as the relative meaning of energetic patterns, to themself over time; where that meaning includes the results of interaction between the patterns in context to their interaction with the environment.
The point would appear to be generating various particles, relative to conscious experience. All cases of consciousness can be considered as definitions of the most basic particles. Together, their system forms the next most basic particle, with reference to higher dimensionality frames, supporting the development of infinitely slow consciousness. No matter how complex it looks, that conscious particle is the point. It generates all experience of itself, out of self-supporting development.
The point is at once nothing and everything. It is nothing as a result of being the super-imposition of everything. It is everything as the nothing-at-the-heart, distributed throughout the whole. This everything heart, everywhere within everything, is the source of everything... the point.
It is the distributed process that is able to experience reality. This is how the point gains its permanent, complete knowing. You. You know things. This is the point experiencing things. When it experiences other things as other lives, it is, once again, you who have, and will, do all of the experiencing from within those frames, as those points of view of time. You are the point.