Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Regarding Thinking

Regarding Thinking:  Am “I” the active agent in the thinking process? Or is my body and perspective of consciousness so inextricably melded, organized, and leveraged as to constitute a receptacle or placeholder for storing impressions and feedback in such a way that my sensations, ideas, and choices are formulated, stored, and synchronized consistent with the context and focus of my general locus? Does my brain make thoughts, or does it function as a receptor (oracle?) for translating thoughts and wills that are beyond my merely local self, to bring them into apprehension in the general vicinity of my material locus? Does my brain receive thoughts and choices, which it is organized to translate as feedback, a split sequence after such thoughts and choices have already been accorded their direction? Does my I-ness (my consciousness of self identity) encompass much more than my materially measurable body and brain?

Among concepts about beingness, consider interrelating a concept of a smallest ultimate particle of physicalism with a concept of a most independent essence of consciousness: Intuitively, at a most fundamental and shared level, every Qualitative, interrelating perspective of consciousness that has capacity to be organized for leveraging higher levels of feedback, sensation, and awareness must directly sense a most fundamental aspect of that with which it has capacity for apprehending in Quantitative interrelations.

Some Changeless Changer (holistic conscious will?), in its Changeless capacity for experiencing qualitative aspects, must therewith relate directly to its capacity to express Changing, quantitative aspects. At some meta, reverential, and most fundamental level, quantitative aspects of substance must be sequentially and qualitatively experienced by immaterial consciousness — without need of a homunculus (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homunculus) or physical brain for representational mediation.

At the interface of such a level of experience, consciousness may experience itself as being qualitatively different from that of which it is quantitatively conscious, but the experience of such a difference would abide only by virtue of a meta capacity of the Changeless Changer. In whatever meta way that Changeless Changer may experience or guide its beingness — to experience aspects of itself as being qualitatively conscious versus quantitatively physical — that way is not amenable of being entirely reduced to the modeling or representation of any particular perspective or mortal. Nor is that way amenable of being swept aside by science as being superfluous among perspectives of shared consciousness — either as to morality or as to empathy. Scientists only delude themselves of their holy grail (Higgs boson?): an empirical or physical way for replacing or eliminating the apprehension of a shared field of immaterial consciousness (i.e., “God”).

I suspect the smallest ultimate particle of physicalism and the most independent essence of consciousness are but unfolding models or modes for storing or experiencing two sides of a single metaphysical coin, i.e., the Changeless Changer. Both models have their important uses, but, to alter a formulation by Einstein, physicalism without consciousness is lame, while consciousness without physicalism is blind. Without an identifiable changer, change makes no innate sense; without change, an identifiable changer conveys no meaning. A meta essence abides, at a level beyond empirical reduction or bivalent proof. Whether one may prefer to conceptualize or imagine that it does not abide has no effect, except within a world of epiphenomenal delusion. Innate and intuitive to consciousness, however one may rationalize or attempt to believe the Changeless Changer should either be ignored or celebrated, it will — always and everywhere — reconcile, abide, and avail perspectives for the expression of consciousness.


Anonymous said...

Arguments based on causation are tricky. Those impressed with material causation tend to implicate a first cause. After all, matter, once manifested, cannot very well, in any meaningful sense, be considered the cause of itself. Problem is, if the first cause is not itself matter (or substance), then how can it be empirically or quantitatively evidenced to interface in order to have any effect on that which is matter? And if it is matter, then of what spiritual value can it be? So, the first cause argument seems to reduce to an argument for magic. However, the first rule of magic is that once the trick is understood and replicable, it is no longer either magical or miraculous.

However, the problem with causation runs even deeper, because even material causation does not seem to make much sense. For example, what causes a particular particle within a mass of plutonium to suddenly, randomly, undertake to radioactively emit? What causes a particular quantum to leap to any particular state? What causes "spooky action at a distance" in respect of pairs of polarized particles? How is it that an observer sometimes seems requisite in order to cause a particle to collapse from a wave function?

Resort to a notion of a random event generator is hardly convincing. Should we suppose that there abides some kind of metaphysical, indifferent, immaterial, random-effect-generator? If so, how is the notion of such an existentially existent random-effect-generator any less metaphysical than a notion of God, or any more empirically demonstrable than the notion of a God who acts in qualitative ways that are beyond quantitative measure?

Our senses perceive evidence that events tend to be constrained to quantitatively measurable parameters, and we perceive patterns that are associated in spatial proximity and sequential chronology with such constraints. However, we do not perceive or know what is the direct or independent cause of any material event. We only see and measure associated relationships.

Anonymous said...

Even among events that we undertake by our conscious interaction to influence or "cause," an understanding of causation is problematic. First, the signals a brain gives to muscles and nerves in order to commence any measurable bodily event or decision tend to be directed a split second before the brain even brings a representation of such decision to the attention of its conscious awareness. See [www.sciencedaily.com]. It seems one's conscious choice is not really a cause of any quantitative event, but merely an after the fact ratifier (or qualitative appreciator of the event). It seems, if a particular perspective of consciousness does participate with any causal effect, it must be thorugh some kind of interface, to allow its qualitative appreciation to be factored with whatever it is that does have power to effect quantitative, material changes.

This begs questions: What is the character of that interface? Does it reflect any care for whatever may be the quality of our apprehensions and appreciations? How and why is information limited, represented, and buffered as it is transmitted within the geometry of space-time, so that each observing consciousness will interpret and appreciate a meaningfully communicable story? If the only role for mortal consciousness, in participating in that which unfolds as causation, is as an after-the-fact quality control ratifier, then what would be the method or point for any purely materially-caused, progressive evolution of life or brain? If our brains are not the causes of our decisions, but only the interpretors of them, then how far back must we go, to get to "the cause" of each event that we interpret as unfolding before us? (Notice that here I am not concerned with the first cause of the big bang singularity, but with the cause of each new and discrete event that unfolds all around us! Of that happenstance, the evidence is ubiquitous.)

Anonymous said...

When something unexpected hits the atmosphere, like a metaphor that can be simultaneously inverted and bounced back, the herd will come to attention. Then, a long conditioned member of the herd can "lead from behind" and express the common feeling by mooing the inversion. This requires no thinking, only practiced feeling. Reason has nothing to do with it. Indeed, to reason is to "act white." It's all about herd angst. This is why that which is noise to thinking people is music to the herd. It's because the herd cannot think that it seeks to survive by amplifying noise, aka the logic and music of the herd.