Living Metaphysics – Standing Knee Deep in Water

Living Metaphysics – Standing Knee deep in water

Hi Judi, OM and Deb

Thanks for the invitation Deb.

Have spent a couple of hours reading everything (including link).

For me, the paradigm is different.

I accept that people have the experiences that they report, be they oneness or burning or auras. I do not necessarily accept the explanatory frameworks that people bring to those experiences of being.

And I also have a lot of experience of the difficulty of communication when operating from experiences and paradigms that are not shared with others.

In the paradigm sets that I use, I can align with almost all of the practices, and the underlying explanatory framework is very different.

For me, the experience of “Oneness” is very similar, yet the context is so very different.

For me, I see all tendencies to judge things in terms of right/wrong, good/bad, true/false etc, as artefacts of the process that gave rise to our self reflective consciousness (an artefact of a languaging human mind using simple binary distinctions judging itself to be wrong/bad/evil). At each new level of awareness, that fundamental tendency to classify into simple binaries will reassert itself – this seems to be a logical necessity.

In my world of being/understanding/experience, all experience is experience of a model, which model is constructed by brain from inputs derived from senses and memory and intuition. A model can never be the thing which it models, only the thing itself can be that. A model can be accurate up to a substantial degree, and never to 100%, then it wouldn’t be a model, but the thing itself.

Thus all knowledge of reality is constrained in this fundamental way, to be at best a confident approximation.

And in that contextual framework, I offer the following observations and thoughts, in as close an approximation to common language as I can manage.

For me, the experience of “oneness” is initiated by a level of acceptance of all that is, and a suspension of judgement; and yet judgement is so fundamental to the human experience, that it seeps back in, at many levels.

For me, the experience of oneness is best characterised as a movement of awareness from the observer mode, to simply being in the flow of awareness, without internal criticism. In this mode, one is much more consciously aware of the immediacy of intuitions, and the way in which they present themselves as knowledge (which in many ordinary situations they are).

In my understanding (which simply is what it is, and may be more or less correlated to reality in differing aspects) all understanding is essentially personal, all knowledge is illusion in a very real sense.

To me the idea that there is a oneness of which we are all part is an illusion in the sense that most people understand it, and in another sense, we are all connected in many different ways, at many different levels.

There is an interesting area of definition around the word problem.

The 3 of you seem to identify the word problem as something wrong.

For me, the word problem is simply an opportunity to exercise creativity. There would seem to be infinite opportunity in this world to exercise creativity.

Problems are opportunities, that await some mind to distinguish them.

The problem with thinking of the world as perfect, is that it implies a value judgement.

I find such value judgements get in the way.

I find it far more useful simply to think of the world as it is, neither good nor bad, simply existent.

In such a world, there are many things I choose to value, many opportunities to exercise creativity, many chances to make a difference; and it seems that nothing in this world is certain.

It seems to me, that the greatest opportunity to make a difference is to foster new levels of cooperation, and one of the strongest precursors to that is to develop the habit of spreading love and acceptance to all, starting with self.

It seems that we are very complex entities, with many aspects that are the result of millions of years of evolution. It seems to me that accepting that, and loving that, is as much a part of enlightenment as the higher levels of awareness we can achieve.

And bringing all that into the daily existence, of family, community etc, is the interesting part of life.

[followed by]

Hi Judi, Deb and OM

@ Judi Thanks for that response, I “resonate” with most of what you say.

@ Deb Thanks for your response also, and I also align with much of it.

And there are clear points of difference with both.

@Deb – when you wrote “That is what is termed duality consciousness in this discussion and a goal of non-duality is highly prized in this context. ” I agree with OM that this is not what either of us would call duality; and there is a relationship between judgement and duality, and they are not the same thing.

In my understanding, it is the declarative consciousness that we learn in language from culture that declares itself to be wrong, and then declares a new way of being into existence that is what starts the “dualism”, in that we have at least two separate entities within us, and we are both (all) of them. It seems that in most of us this process happens only once, giving two entities in one, and in some people it can recur several times, giving some people multiple entities.

For me it has been interesting investigating the extremes to which I can go, and still retain some level of consciousness. In my mid twenties, I was studying many different things simultaneously, including continuing my science studies, and also read everything Castenada wrote (and many others), studied witchcraft with a group called the Sisters of the Silver Star, was a member of the Theosophical Society (as well as the rationalist and humanist societies). One of the things I worked on was conscious control of breathing and heart rate. I found I could get down to one breath every 2 minutes (and maintain that for an hour), and could also get my heart rate down below 20 beats per minute, and could stop my heart for up to 20 seconds, and still retain a very rudimentary form of consciousness – just enough to be aware of heart and breath and time – nothing else.
At that stage I had the idea of the holographic nature of human awareness, but did not at that time understand the nature of the bootstrap mechanism that starts reflective languaging consciousness (didn’t work that out until about 18 years ago). And it is only in the last 2 years that I have come to a clear understanding of the neurological mechanisms that seem to actually be at play in making all this work as it does.
At that stage in my development I was experiencing “oneness” type experiences for a few seconds, on a semi regular basis (and had been since about age 7), but it wasn’t until age 40 that I started to experience them for periods of minutes then hours at a time.

So for me, the duality (or multiplicity) is the ability of brain to support multiple awarenesses, some of which are capable of observing and influence others.

When one manages to quieten all the activity of various awarenesses, and to be both intentional, and present to the experience of being, this seems to be the “In the flow” state that can produce some profound experiences. To my understanding this flow state is best characterised as still being connected to our model of reality (rather than reality itself) but of being connected in such a way that we have direct conscious access to the flow of normally subconscious intuitions that normally support but are hidden from our conscious awareness. These intuitions seem to be a direct consequence of the way in which the human brain stores and retrieves information as interference patterns, widely distributed over much of the brain.

This pattern of awareness and being is very different from the normal habitual patterns, and ways of being, and it does retain an aspect of habit and pattern, but one that is much more deeply based in the experiential data of our lifetime memories and instantaneously integrates current sense data across all of past memories.

This to me, is the non-duality, nature of being, that we get to experience. It certainly feels non-dual, even if it isn’t in quite the way the most of the current literature asserts.

The tendency to create binary distinctions is simply a logical necessity of an entity starting from nothing, and moving on to distinguish something. It is logical to do that in the simplest possible fashion, which is to start by dividing infinities into twos, then into ever finer segments, giving ever finer approximations of infinite gradations. This is separate from the duality thing, and there is a relationship.

Probably the strongest relationship comes from the temporality of pattern formation. Those patterns that are laid down first are by definition at the core. It seems that we have evolved patterns that when under threat, brain tends to shut down higher functioning (which is slow) and reverts to core patterned responses (which in evolutionary terms has probably served our ancestors well in escaping from things like sabre tooth cats, rather than discussing the symmetry of their canine teeth, and it has the consequence in today’s society, of having people in “stressful situations” – which might involve mortgages, or political discussions) reverting to childish patterns of binary distinctions in their decision making. This is not assisting our survival today, however useful it may have been to our distant ancestors.

@Judi
Agree that coherence of response is not easy – so many different contexts to balance, and bring to the conversation simultaneously. We can each only be the judge as to how successfully others manage to do that for us.

I like the way you draw a distinction between truth as being an accurate alignment with reality, and the truth in the sense of an accurate description of ones experience, and our interpretations of our experiences.
I agree with you, that too many people collapse their experience of reality with reality itself, rather than acknowledging the now clear scientific reality that there are many layers separating experience from reality.
I like also the idea of resonance, in the sense of an alignment of principles or patterns at some level.

I also tend to use the same senses of meaning of the word judgement, and also in this context tend to use it in the declarative sense, in the sense of the meaning and significance that we judge (declare) to be present, as distinct from the facts (in as far as our discernment and experience enable us to be aware of the facts).

On the subject of levels of awareness, and binary distinctions, and modes of awareness; for me there are these 3 very distinct things at play, and each can have an influence on the other two.

As I explained to Deb above, in my understanding, logic requires that all new distinctions start as simple binaries, and over time and experience broaden out into ever finer gradations of distinction.

Levels of awareness is something different. It is like in mathematics, one can take the mathematics of Euclid, and planar geometry, and then move on to the more general non-planar geometry (like the geometry of the surface of a sphere). If you start with a small triangle (like one you can draw on an A4 sheet of paper) on a large sphere (like the earth) then to within the accuracy of measurement, the angles add up to 180 degrees. As the triangles get larger and larger, then one starts to notice that they don’t any more. By the time you get to triangles that are a few thousand miles a side, then they can be over 200 degrees. When you add Einstein’s general relativity into the mix it gets weirder still.

So successive paradigms can show that earlier accepted paradigms were special cases of a more general set, or that they were approximations that were valid within the accuracy of measurements available at the time, but fail as more accurate measurement tools become available.

Awareness seems to have a potentially infinite series of such levels available to be experienced.

There does not appear to be any end to the number of successive paradigms available that show earlier understandings to be limited cases of something that is more generally applicable.

The third thing is modes of awareness.

As human beings we seem to have two distinctively different modes of awareness available to us.

Many cultures and traditions have attempted to characterise them, and to give them names; and for me I tend to call them the consciously rational and the intuitive.

The consciously rational awareness seems to be based upon the intuitive aspect of brain (yet few are consciously aware of the connection).

The intuitive seems to be the result of the way our brains store and retrieve information, and is in some traditions called the Mystic. The “knowing” presented to awareness in this mode does not have any conscious supporting evidence or story, it is a direct artefact of experience and memory. In so far as it occurs in contexts that are familiar, it is very accurate and very fast. Accuracy degrades rapidly as it moves into novel areas of experience.

So all three of these factors (and many others) have a role in our experience of being in any given instant.

In my understanding, the “awakening” to the intuitive, and to the infinite possibility inherent in it, does indeed create a contextual gulf, that can indeed prevent any “former behaviors” from triggering. The context is that radically different.

The brain does in fact seem to be very sensitive to context – all part of that holographic storage thing.

I agree, that it is very difficult to put into words which come from one particular context of being, a description of a different context of being that is fundamentally different at all logical levels. I have done so, and the explanations I have would make some sense to a logician, but would not in fact be a substitute for the experience itself (and having had the experience, the logician familiar with my explanation would immediately have a context in which to relate to the experience that is very different from most contexts that have come down to us from history).

I think for me, the notion of models is perhaps similar and also a little different. I have spent 40 years designing models of things in reality within computers. The idea of a model of a model of a model is quite familiar to me. The idea of potentially infinite recursion, of ideas folding back on themselves creating models within models within models, is one I am familiar with. So for me, I am clear that what I get to experience must always be a model in some aspect, because I have no direct access to reality, not even in theory. And there are levels. By moving a level closer to reality, we are still in a model, and it is a model with a very different experience of being.

It is an interesting term you use “the filter of mind”. For me, there are many levels of filter of mind. For me, it is stripping away many of the filters of culture and judgement that allow us to experience the “oneness” state we have all experienced; and in my understanding this is still a state of mind, with a set of filters, just a reduced set from the normal state of mind that we are used to.

I align completely with your “knee deep” description, and to me this shows that you are an astute observer of self.

Where our paradigms seem to diverge significantly is where you write:
“I’m going to go out on a limb here (because I can’t say with any certainty, only what seems true for me) That from the perspective of separation in which we sense ourselves as being separate entities with nothing but biology, chemistry, etc, to tie us together, then understanding is essentially personal. From the perspective of Oneness, however, understanding collapses (the sense of self collapses and the sense of other collapses) and there is only Being One.”

For me, the description you give is an illusion, an understandable one from my perspective, and an illusion none the less. It seems clear to me that experience and understanding is always personal; and when operating in the intuitive (holographic) mode, the commonality of history and perception tends to deliver a commonality of experience that is usually interpreted as a joining, a oneness. In my understanding and experience it is clear, beyond reasonable doubt, that the oneness is true of us personally (we become a single experiential being, no longer split into multiple entities), and we are still separate entities.

For those without a strong mathematical background the experience of nothing, the infinite, unlimited possibility, can seem overwhelming. And in a certain sense, it is potential, and it is not a substance or any sort of measurable thing, rather it is the logical context of being.

As to violence, I agree with you that it is identification of self with a limited group, and identifying an “out group” as less than self, that leads to violence.

Where we disagree, is the thesis that this distinction comes from a separation from “oneness”.

To me, it is clear beyond any shadow of reasonable doubt, that we are very complex biological entities with very complex cultural components; both the result of extensive processes of evolution by natural selection.
In this processes, it is clear that we come to an understanding and experience of “oneness”; we don’t separate from it in any significant sense.
And I can see how such an explanation has a great deal of intuitive appeal to minds less versed in systems and biology and mathematics than my own.
So in a very real sense, I can see that the explanation you give is an entirely natural one, and just like the four elements of antiquity have given way to the periodic table of elements today, it is not an explanation that makes any sense to me.

I thank you both for the awareness, integrity and humanity you bring to this discussion.

[followed by]

Hi Deb & Judi

These developments are interesting.

It is easy for me to see how the oneness paradigm that Judi describes appeals and seems intuitive and logical from a certain perspective.
We are conscious entities.
We tend to do things for a purpose.
As such, it is logical and intuitive for us to think that everything has a purpose.
Such has been the history of philosophical thought. In early days most philosophical though was teleological (purpose oriented). It was only with the likes of Bacon bringing a challenge to such thoughts, that intellectual people really started to look at reality for answers to their questions. Thus started the scientific revolution.

For me, the idea that we separated from oneness would imply that children experience oneness.
That is not what I have observed. My tertiary studies of developmental psychology, followed by my observations as a parent (twice) and as a “playcentre” supervisor, make it abundantly clear to me that children develop sets of skills based upon earlier developments of sets of skills. The unfortunate case of the Romanian orphans under the regime of Nikolai Chauchesku gives us real examples of what happens to human children deprived of human contact – they do not develop oneness, if they survive at all they tend to be extreme sociopaths.

As to perceiving the world as dangers, there is very good reason for that – the world does contain a lot of dangers. Lots of people have died in history, from all sorts of things. Many others have sustained horrific injuries, and managed to survive.

Danger is real; and we are conditioned to look for it in places it isn’t.
And we are also kept in a state of apprehension and anxiety quite intentionally by some groups, because in such a state it is difficult to think critically and follow extended logical argument. Anxiety inhibits higher critical functioning of mind. Some of those who are exploiting certain aspects of today’s society are well aware of this fact and are using it to their advantage.

Coming back to oneness. To me, it is clear that the feelings of oneness are a result of accessing a certain state of function of the human brain. This state of function is available to everyone, but is inhibited by conscious level judgements and conscious level “self chatter”. Stilling both of those gives us access. Meditation and prayer are two traditional mechanisms of achieving this. I completely understand why most people interpret the results of these practices as establishing a personal relationship with “god”. That is not my interpretation, and I understand why others have it.

For me, it is abundantly clear that if we wish to create conditions of peace and prosperity for all, then the first thing we need to do is to produce technologies that remove all of the serious existential threats. Only then will most people have access to sufficient of their mental abilities, and the time to do the work to explore them, to be able to achieve higher levels of awareness.

And in any system, there will always be outliers.

And just to be clear, I am aware of many levels of connectedness of all things, and in my understanding these are not as closely coupled to the experience of “oneness” as they seem to be in your understanding.

@Deb I like the way you express that the feeling of “oneness” seems to allow you to view things from a perspective beyond the personal. This is indeed so, on at least two levels.
At one level, the thing that we normally identify as self is actually suspended in this state, so we are quite literally beyond it.
At another level, context is king in the realm of “holographic recall”. It is the contexts that we bring that determine the relationships that we see.
Try as we might, we cannot be context free.
The only counter I have found to context bias is the ability to hold multiple contexts, and meta contexts, and to build the habit of consciously cycling through a selection of contexts and observe what shows up.
One could say that is what I am doing here now.

The thing for all of us to get, is that simply by bringing our own sense of integrity to all the conversations we have, by being prepared to speak up and be thought a fool, we create ripples of consequence that have unforeseeable consequences, and do really make a difference (not in all situations, and in enough to be worth doing).

It is the thought that we can’t make a difference, that robs us of the incentive to try, that becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.
Conversely, believing that we can make a difference, might just in fact lead us to a conversation that does create a ripple that does make a huge difference.
The more who so believe and act, the greater the probability.
Such seems to be the probabilistic nature of this reality in which we find ourselves.

There does in fact seem to be a great deal of truth in the old adage “If you think you can, or you think you can’t, you are right”.

[followed by]

Hi Judi and Deb

So many perspectives and possibilities in this discussion, that it is difficult to do any of them justice.

I am almost finished a book called “50 Thinkers who Shaped the Modern World”, and one of the things that became so very clear to me while contemplating it this morning was the vast amount of cross linkage in everything around us.
We do our best to create words that will carry the meaning and relationships in our minds to the minds of others (authorship) and yet when we read something, we can and will make of it what we do, which is also a creative process (reading and contemplation). There is, and must always be, a tension between these processes.
At another level, we are all the recipients of all of the creative efforts of all who have gone before us, through the many influences of that creativity upon reality, and of the contexts of reality upon those creative processes.
Everywhere I look, I see this mix of creativity and habit, of lawfulness and probability, of certainty and uncertainty, of culture and individuality.
All of these things are important in who we get to be.

The contexts that we bring to our contemplation definitely bring a bias to the outcomes of that contemplation.

The everyday world of stuff that we deal with is made up of vast collections of very tiny components (atoms, molecules, cells).
The world of biology has been evolving for billions of years, and has evolved complexities and subtleties that are still astounding those who make their life’s work the exploration of those mechanisms of being at the smallest possible scale.

So this seems to be the reality in which we find ourselves.
We have this vast history of cosmology, physics and chemistry, biology and then culture, and we are each the recipients of it all, each immersed in the milieu.

So it is in this context that I attempt to respond to your responses, aware of the unlikelihood of getting an exact match from my attempts at communication, and aware of and grateful for the efforts that each of you have put into your communications with me (even if the results are not quite what you might have expected).

@Judi, I am glad that you have moved beyond ascribing purpose to reality, and it is something so deeply embedded in most of the words we use in language, that it is sometimes hard to see that from the words as written, unless one is explicitly clear about it.

As to oneness and children, it seems to me that both of you have this idea inverted.
It seems clear to me that children are simply (in many respects, not all) empty vessels. This is not oneness to me, it is simply emptiness. And certainly, there is a sense in which emptiness is ultimate possibility, and that possibility is usually rapidly constrained by culture and reality and habits, in many unconscious ways, in the way culture imposes subtleties of context (even down to the sounds of words, and the relationships of those sounds in sentences – quite distinct from any referent meaning we learn to associate with those sounds).

So for me, children are not examples of oneness as much as they are examples of emptiness acquiring form. And as with everything, there is a certain level of overlap of concepts at some levels.

The unfortunate case of the Romanian infants seems to be clear evidence of this, that children deprived of human touch and compassion do not develop in oneness they develop in isolation if they develop at all (many simply stopped developing and died).

I agree with you that many of our biologically evolved systems of pain and fear and sex and aggression and food preferences, etc can lead us to problems in environments that are different from those that our distant ancestors evolved in (which is true of all environments that most of us experience).

Thus I cannot go along with hedonistic traditions that seek out pleasure as the greatest good possible, and I can certainly see the value of pleasure as a positive in the experience of existence.

The issue of safety is a very deep one. I agree with you both that there are many illusions of safety, and many illusions of danger; and there is real safety, and real danger. Distinguishing which is what is never simple, and often changes substantially with what may appear to me rather simple changes of context of interpretation.

I agree that it is difficult to put into words the experience that we have agreed for now to call “oneness”.
I strongly disagree with your interpretation of what that experience is.
In my world, the experience is one of quiet, of emptiness, of possibility, of the nearest approximation that a human mind is capable of to infinity.
It is a profound experience.
In the silence of conscious level “chatter”, there is an overwhelming immediacy of the normally subconscious intuitions of being (the results of those processes that store and retrieve all the information of brain and experience, and deliver what they do at all the different levels of conception, perception and abstraction).
In the emptiness, one is presented with the overwhelming possibility of possibility itself.
Then one is faced with the choice of what we do with it.
Do we simply dwell in it, or do we use it for some purpose?

I have chosen a purpose, that of the empowerment of all individuals to be and do whatever they responsibly choose; and no freedom is without constraint (that is the nature of responsibility).

In my world, all thought is both interpretation and experience. All being has both natures. That is simply part of what it is to be human.

In terms of outliers, it is not a matter of any single paradigm, it is a matter of recognising that there seem to be an infinite possible number of paradigms, and infinite diversity possible within each paradigm, and people, being people, tend to cluster together in groups with certain probability distributions, and there will always be individuals who occupy spots on any distribution that are widely separated from the nearest “cluster” – these are outliers (like me).

@Deb
The child sense of oneness you describe seems to me to be something entirely different to the “oneness” we have been talking of.
We are biologically and culturally primed at several different levels to want to belong to our peer groups.
This sense of social cohesion is part of what has allowed us to survive as social apes when our infants take so long to mature, and at other levels, it is part of the levels of cooperation that have allowed us to survive and prosper in the wider context of life on earth.

The idea of a matrix of consciousness, or universal mind, is a common one, and not one that is in accord with the observations I have made over my life. It seems very clear to me, from many levels of evidence, that consciousness is very much a higher order product of highly evolved and very complex systems; not anything that is in any way fundamental to existence. This can seem a very counter intuitive notion, because we are conscious entities, and consciousness is our being. It can be very difficult to see beyond that reality, to the many layers of unconscious systems that are required for our consciousness to emerge.

And it seems clear that we align on far more that we differ on.
That gives me great hope for our common future.
I appreciate all of the effort and the integrity that you both bring to this conversation and to existence.
It is that sense of individual integrity, of expressing our diverse perspectives, in a way that acknowledges that all people are deserving of respect, irrespective of the validity or alignment with reality of any particular paradigm they may happen to be using, that has attracted me to this community from the earliest Zaadz days.
I was critical of most of Brian’s epistemology and ontology from those earliest days, and I was also appreciative that he was willing to express them in the way that he did, and that he would engage in debate and in a sharing of contexts.

I appreciate that willingness and respect that I sense so deeply in the words that you both write here.
Thank you
Arohanui

[followed by]

Hi Deb & Judi,

@Deb
The example of children is much more complex I agree.
Of course each system is unique from it’s first moment. Even genetically identical twins have many similar experiences, and there are always subtle differences, and those differences can multiply out. And some genetically identical twins are remarkably similar in all aspects, and some are not.

So I certainly agree with you that we as parents do not have full control of our children’s development, and we are a significant influence on some aspects of it.

In my understanding, the expansion of awareness is a function of individual intuition, and the probability functions can be significantly influenced by the contexts we create.

Certainly there are many levels of commonality in being human.
For me, there seems to be a need of much greater awareness of science, and much less reliance on the old stories of culture. And when I use science in this sense, I do not mean the science taught in high schools, but rather the transcendent integration of reason and intuition tested against reality, and used in the highest service of life.

You raise the issue of interpretation and subjectivity.
In one sense, in my understanding, there is an aspect where all knowledge is subjective and personal.
In another sense, science gives us methods to test and corroborate this knowledge in the testing cauldron of reality. It is reality, not reason or prestige or scripture or authority that is the final arbiter. And this leads nicely into my first comment on Judi’s thoughts.

@Judi
You stated “I have no desire to change your mind about anything”, and for me that is true also in a sense.

I do not wish to change your mind for the sake of change, or for the sake of winning an argument.
What I desire is that the model that I have of reality is as accurate as I can possibly make it, and I desire that for all others also. It is by understanding the models that others have and testing the ones I have against them, in reality, that I am able to most effectively achieve that end.

I have little emotional attachment to any particular model or paradigm.
So in this sense, I do not attempt to dominate, what I attempt is making the best possible models available to all. And I definitely have a personal survival interest in the majority of people adopting them.

I agree with you that moving beyond the myriad fears of culture, and into the realm of infinite possibility is profoundly liberating, in ways that are orders of magnitude beyond any experience in the cultural paradigm. I question nothing of the experience itself, only the interpretation of that experience.

Nor can I describe consciousness as it functions for me, and I can describe many of the subsystems that are present and working in consciousness, and many of the levels of software and their general outcomes, and I cannot hope to comprehend the vast amount of replication of those systems that actually makes up the human brain, and the systems that operate within it.

And as to consciousness being a constant, that is only true in a sense. Our only mechanism of judging constancy is through the medium of memory, and human memory is very sensitive to context. Having spent many years examining my earliest memories, I am now very confident that the consciousness that I have now, is very far removed from the consciousness of my early youth, and there is a connection, and certainly not a constancy, other than that constancy of temporal linkage (excepting periods of sleep and unconsciousness).
When it comes to unconscious systems, that is the area that science and engineering makes available. All of the levels of systems of interaction and recursion that make possible the emergence of the human languaging consciousness. From the simple atomic, to the molecular, and on up through the ten or so levels of hardware systems from cells to bodies to ecologies, that support a further 10 or so levels of software systems (in most people) – actually the potential levels of software systems appears to be unlimited. In building an understanding these systems it helps to have built many different machines, including computers, and to have spent a few decades programming them, from the earlier mainframe systems, to minis, on to the earlier microcomputers, and up to today’s systems on laptops, phones and tablets.
It is clear to me beyond any reasonable doubt, that consciousness is an emergent property from the collection of complex systems, not any sort of universal as many traditions assert. This is a point of fundamental difference between us, and in another sense, the story is not important at this stage, what is important is the being.

What is important is that we share this universal care for life, for humanity, for awareness. Stories can and will evolve over time, what is needed now is shared alignment, shared action.

[followed by]

Hi Deb

You raised boredom, and lack of more to say – neither of which is likely to occur (it seems to me possible to discuss any topic indefinitely) with me.

What seems to be more often the case is choosing between competing interests.

There is also a thing in information theory known as the halting problem.
There are many classes of problems possible, some of which have answers, and some of which have no solution, and computation can carry on infinitely without coming to a conclusion.
In such a reality, how does an entity decide whether or not to continue calculating any specific problem?
There are many possible strategies, and evolution seems to have put at least two into our brains.

This seems an appropriate space to call a halt to this particular conversation, and I’m sure there will be many others.

About Ted Howard NZ

Seems like I might be a cancer survivor. Thinking about the systemic incentives within the world we find ourselves in, and how we might adjust them to provide an environment that supports everyone (no exceptions) - see www.tedhowardnz.com/money
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