Initially posted on LinkedIn group discussion "Art free for all" in the Thread Original "Art Free-for all" started by Fry Karins.
1. The biological evolution of the brain has led to the individual awakening of the self (mind) when "The water of integrated information is turned into the wine of experience".
2. Out of the experience of the self emerges consciousness (pain, joy, pleasure, etc.). Such an initial consciousness can then be expanded nearly infinitely, limited only by the time span of life itself, which implies socialization and acquisition from older and wiser ones (consciousness as a process).
3. Wisdom is a further stage of development where one's consciousness sheds light on one's responsibilities:
- first, on the possibility of increasing its levels of intensity (one's levels of consciousness can possibly be increased by conscious efforts at gathering more information and processing it into further knowledge...)
- second, in accepting full responsibility for one's own being (everything that happens to us is resulting from our "self" and its consciousness or unconsciousness about itself and how the self fits in its natural and societal environment).
4. Sapience is wisdom that is expanded at the level of one's species. This means a wide spreading among individuals of the consciousness that our species is but one "parcel in the whole" and that our species is thus interconnected and interdependent with all other species' around us (our present societies' trouble is that their level of sapience is too low to possibly impose itself. In other words sapience has not spread far enough among their atoms. Perhaps higher levels of sapience will eventually ensue after the clean up following the coming collapse)
This entire process, from the biology of the brain to sapience, unfolds, with various degrees of intensity, inside all integrated complex systems. In other words consciousness is present in anything that succeeds to integrate its multiple systems to work in unison which is the case of all entities in nature. That in turn implies that all parcels or entities, within the whole of reality, have some levels of consciousness which is expressed with various degrees of intensity depending on the attained brain quality inherited from the biological evolution of their species.
Fry. Is this reasoning approaching what you have in mind?
Since millions of years biological reproduction imposed early groupings based on kin relations. Later Homo-Sapient slowly gathered in larger groupings (tribes) which came with its necessity to manage the complexity of their operation as groups. In other words biological evolution had first to expand the brain to the cortex for Homo-Sapient to possibly being able to engage in such larger groupings than kin related. There was thus a need of an adequate INITIAL biological capacity of the brain, the self (mind), and consciousness, before the necessary abstractions, conceptualizations, and collaboration to make those early groupings function could possibly arise.
Once such larger groupings had emerged their evolution and complexification required an adequate rise in consciousness wisdom and sapience for the societal experience to possibly run its course further.
It is at this stage that biology has been paralleled with a process of societal evolution.
Some call it cultural evolution. I call it societal evolution because I see cultural transformations acting more like the transformations inside our genetic code. A cultural meme (gene) that is successfully replicated by several generations of individuals gets registered in our worldview (genetic code). This explains the variation we observe among countries that started with a common worldview (Italian, French, Brits, Germans and Americans for example).
Answers to comments about: "About societal evolution".
Science is not a worldview.
Science does not offer an "all encompassing story" about what reality is all about as religions or animism do.
Science is nothing more than a method of inquiry.
To make it in the body of science an hypothesis has to be "reproducible" by others. The scientific method is nothing more than that. A code of conduct about how to proceed to possibly come to an agreement among all. In other words science does not impose an "all encompassing story" on all of us as religions do.
The truth about the whole of our reality is unattainable to us small particles. To access that truth would imply observing it from the outside. This would be the only way to know with certainty what it is all about. Such an understanding unlocks the logical key of the door on what is our perception of reality. Behind that door we "see" that our perception of reality is restricted to the sole possibility of elaborating theories (worldviews).
By delving always deeper into the material of reality, science eventually brings us new observations and information that we can then transform into knowledge and understanding but this process does in no way give us an instant access to the truth about everything.
In this presentation of what is science I do not account for how science has been put in use by Modernity and the reason of capital. It is indeed a real possibility that the way science was used by the reason of capital is what ultimately is destroying Modernity (our failure at sapience). But this is another subject.
About the big bang:
"The Big Bang makes no sense to me as it leads to further questions of origins".
Again science is not a worldview as religions are.
- Christianity adopted Aristotle's principle of "en realismus" that interrupts the infinite chain of causality by establishing a "first mover" that is the final cause of everything.
- Science, for now, derives its conclusion about the origins from astronomical observations: an initial big bang that expanded to our present universe by inflation. As its conclusions are solely based on reproducible observations science does not feel the need to explain where the big bang comes from. Now this does not mean that we are left without any hypothesis.
My favorite is this idea that "black holes", that suck everything in their reach and condense it to the extreme, would then at a certain threshold of condensation pop up as big bangs... This theory has the merit to explain how multiple universes possibly form and expand independently from each other.
"... do not limit it to entities with brains and would include the minutest particle".
I understand your point.
Sub-atomic particles are energetically charged and there is indeed a possibility that this energy itself is charged with consciousness about the operation of the whole. The fact that this idea has not been proven scientifically, as of yet, does not invalidate it.
What I tried to explain earlier would fit neatly in such a concept of "universal consciousness". Universal consciousness would simply be prime to biology. In other words energetically charged chemical matter could possibly contain its own consciousness about the mechanism of its transformation into life.
In such a scenario the reason for the emergence and expansion of universes could then be to open the way to life.
Biological and societal evolution could then be the mechanisms that ensure the expansion of life towards its destination within a given universe.
But this then begs the question "What is this destination of life in any given universe?".
"world view and genetic code are not the same.
Right. Nowhere did I say that they are the same.
"Genetic code is hard wired; culture is not".
- First there is what Paul writes: "Epigenetics" is the investigation of how environmental forces modify how the genes get expressed. In other words, culture finds its way into our genomic mechanisms."
- Second there is:
Genes are encoded in the genotype which is a part of our biology.
"Cultural Memes" are encoded in our "worldview" which is inscribed in the chain started by the brain (neurones, synapses, synaptic wiring) to mind, consciousness, wisdom and sapience. Replicated Cultural Memes are integrated to the brain and mind (plasticity, reconfiguration of synaptic paths that Daniel alludes to with this idea that conservatism and progressivism are wired) from where they resonate in our worldview which is encoded in our consciousness from where it eventually finds a place in our wisdom and sapience if, by any chance, we have cultivated those (not given; they emerge as a result of our actions).
I use "genetic replication" (a mutation that replicates and is thus fixed in the biology of further generations) as an analogy for the replication of "cultural memes" in the worldview (nothing more than an analogy here). Now the word culture is used in all kinds of sauces nowadays. In reality culture means "all our ways of doing and thinking in the present" which covers everything from what is traditionally called culture to our economic, social and other ways. Liberalism and socialism, for example, are no more than different cultural expressions about the ways of doing and thinking in the economic and social fields.
In other words the present is cultural.
It is what we do with it within the realm of our worldview which itself is shaped by our "civilizational axioms". This only shows that we are not really so free after all because our culture, our present, unfolds in the path traced by our worldview and our civilization. We are on that path and can't just say we move away from it.
"If culture were to find its way into the genetic code".
No. Culture is not encoded in the genes. It encodes in the brain and the mind (the mechanism is still not explained by science but this does not impeach us to observe that it is so).
- Absent a specific cultural environment a particular gene remains switched off. It switches on once the individual carrying that gene enters that specific cultural environment...
- put in a different cultural environment the mind of a kid will soon capture most of the elements of that new culture. Adults who change cultural environments will eventually need more time to capture the elements of that new culture simply because the wiring of their brain and mind has solidified.
"...the destination of life is psychological gestalt and experience is the vehicle. "
No what you write there is not destination. It is more like the description of how the process works going forward. But this gives us no clue about the destination. I mean if there is a process going forward it must lead to something like an end destination that eventually unleashes a totally new cycle of ???
Now the theoretical principles of Gestalt therapy are the following according to Wikipedia:
- Principle of Totality: The conscious experience must be considered globally (by taking into account all the physical and mental aspects of the individual simultaneously) because the nature of the mind demands that each component be considered as part of a system of dynamic relationships.
- Principle of psychophysical isomorphism: A correlation exists between conscious experience and cerebral activity.
When we speak about the brain we traditionally thought about that spongeous mass that sits on top of our heads' internals. But this notion of the brain is far too restrictive. Many science studies have been published this last year about the 2nd brain that is located in our guts. What scientists mean by that is that our gut is a rich microbiome ("the ecological community of commensal, symbiotic, and pathogenic microorganisms that literally share our body space" Lederberg).
Scientists now conclude that we would gain a lot by understanding our bodies as being more like a pack of dirt that sustains the life of billions of bacteria. They observe that the total outcome of the interactions within the microbiome is participating in the working of our brain and the formation of our minds without really being able to understand, as of now, how this really works.
Now the extension of our "information processing center" from the brain to the microbiome should, in all logic as Daniel was writing, need to be extended to the DNA-RNA-Proteins biological mechanism.
So our "biological information processing center" should read: brain + microbiome + DNA-RNA-Proteins biological encoding mechanism...
and gestalt psychology addresses the outcome of our "biological information processing center" and more particularly the transformation of that outcome into mind, consciousness, wisdom and sapience.
"wouldn't that point towards consciousness being an emergent phenomenon, rather than a pre-existing universal state? "
Yes and no.
There are signs of something like a universal state of consciousness that is still not proven by science but this does not invalidate the hypothesis ( the electric charge in sub-atomic particles sometimes seem to have pre-determined pathways). From another angle this idea that all particles are inter-related and inter-dependant in the whole also point to a shared consciousness at the level of the whole.
In my mind the movement of reality's operation or of consciousness seems to be bi-directional or better inter-active. As I wrote to Paul: "A process where higher level functions get translated into actions at lower levels. Or lower levels functions that impose a given outcome at higher level functions. ". Up and down. Sometimes up, sometimes down. Eventually like in a music score: up up down up dawn up down down down etc...
I find this music score idea of the movement of reality's operation or of the path of consciousness really beautiful. A straight line in one direction is kind of poor compared to a music score. Is it not? Even Einstein was saying always pick the most beautiful hypothesis...