Where do thoughts come from?
Where thoughts come from is such a deep question.
It seems that there are many simultaneous sources and influences on our thoughts.
In one sense, the structure of our biochemistry, our cells, our bodies and our brains have been sorted and selected by differential survival of variants over thousands of millions of years.
That is the base set of influences.
On top of that, we have thousands of years of cultural evolution, experiences, stories, relationships.
Both of these is a context of an amazingly complex physical reality.
Then there is our personal experience of being.
The choices, influences, of our consciousness.
All of these things, some predictable, some not, some aspects chaotic, some aspects random, some aspects fractal, some aspects maximally computationally complex.
Here we are, aware entities, in a reality that is difficult to get even a broad brush outline of the major themes, let alone a handle on any significant fraction of the details.
This seems to be where our thoughts come from.
The many layers of systems, selected by differential survival in many different contexts and times – chosen by the simple expedient of survival.
We are, because our ancestors were.
Our brains allow complex ideas to interact and spawn new levels of complexity.
The systems, viewed as systems, are amazingly beautiful, shapes, structures, patterns, coursing through multiple dimensions simultaneously. Tendencies to action, here building, there dampened down.
I quite literally see these things in my visual field some times (like when writing that last paragraph).
40 years of writing computer systems has trained my intuition in ways that are not very common.
Numbers, vast numbers, complexity, relationships stretching through about 20 dimensions.
Maybe, sometime, I will write a simulation to try and show something of what I see.