Foundations of Mind II
A Dialogue Among Worldviews
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Sean Ó Nualláin
This is the introduction to the proceedings of the conference held at the University of California, Berkeley between 13th and 15th August, 2015. The sub-theme of this conference was A Dialogue of World-Views.
The neoclassical interpretation of quantum mechanics which re-introduces older conceptual models of gravity and electromagnetism transformed by modern advancements in the field is discussed as a natural outcome from the interchangeability of quantum mechanics and fluid dynamics in light of recent macro-level experiments which show behaviors previously believed to be confined to the quantum world. This superfluid model of mechanics and the known behaviors of superfluids is suggested as a possible substrate and system for the storage and processing of data. Methods of data storage found in natural systems such as the brain are compared via extensive use of analogies to support the conjecture that a rational and mechanical basis for spirituality can be supported under the neoclassical interpretation because of the inherent persistent structure and interaction of the suggested pervasive medium. This model of information theory spiritualism is suggested as a basis for the unification of physics with more philosophical approaches in the study of metaphysics.
Judy B. Gardiner
Based on an experiential dream series this consciousness study shapes a theory that the fragmentary nature of dreams seeks wholeness deriving from the Collective Unconscious. As dreams evolve from a microscopic-personal worldview to a macroscopic-transpersonal dimension, concern for survival of self is augmented with concern for survival of the species. Entangled dream imagery provides cues to quantum functions actualized through the tutelage of departed scientific luminaries. The intentionality, specificity, and information input experienced in the communications imply that the collective unconscious and quantum cognition are an integrated structure revealing an underlying methodology.
Our current scientific exploration of reality oftentimes appears focused on epistemic states and empiric results at the expense of ontological concerns. Any scientific approach without explicit ontological arguments cannot be deemed rational however, as our very Being can never be excluded from the equation. Furthermore, if, as many nondual philosophies contend, subject/object learning is to no avail in the attainment of knowledge of ontic reality, empiric science will forever bear out that limitation. Putting Jung's depth psychology in dialogue with Patañjali's yoga philosophy is one way to attempt an alliance between dualistic and nondualistic models. Jung's assertion of an unconscious is what notably sets him apart from Patañjali. Furthermore, whereas Patañjali distinguishes between pure consciousness and the contents of consciousness, Jung does not. Although both Jung and Patañjali attempt to ground their work in the direct experience of life, and guide us towards wholeness, looking at Jung through the lens of nonduality, wholeness appears beyond reach. It is through Jung's synchronicity hypothesis where we may be able to forge a bridge between the models. This bridge allows a contemporary argument for an understanding of the ontic reality of pure consciousness, and subsequently the discrimination between things as they are and things as they appear.
Seán Ó Nualláin
Ontological discontinuities have logical and computational consequences. Physics with constraints begets chemistry; naïve nanotechnology chose to ignore the effects of numerical constraints in orbitals on the type of molecules that can be created. On entering the biological realm, these numerical constraints begin to transform into syntax and semantics. Such projects as the HGP and GWAS have plateaued after ignoring these constraints, best handled in new subjects like biosemiotics.
In this paper, a new way of parsing nature, one that starts from the fact of ontological distinctions, is proposed. Two foci are later identified; the bridge subject of biosemiotics, which this author dealt with in a previous C+H paper, and the quantum mind hypothesis. The latter is seen as another bridge, this time from the academy to the real world in which we are objects as much as subjects.
Centuries ago, science discarded all notions of a vital force, although it retained concepts of invisible physical forces despite frequent objection by strict empiricists. Yet the concept of a vital force or élan vital is central to virtually all indigenous knowledge and perennial wisdom worldwide. It is often regarded as the quintessence of life. In recent decades a concept similar to the "vital force" has emerged at the frontiers of science, known as the “biofield.” The biophysical paradigm embraces a "field" view of life that may be considered complementary to the dominant "particle" view, the biomedical paradigm. While the latter maintains that life is composed of a hierarchy of organized biological substructures down to the level of biomolecules and genes, the biophysical paradigm maintains that the essence of life is like a flame, burning matter into energy, and dancing like a flame--coherent yet somewhat chaotic. The biofield is a field of energy intimately connected with each organism that holds information central to its higher order of being. It has been proposed as having mind-like properties as super-regulator of the biochemistry and physiology of the organism, coordinating all life functions, and key to understanding life's integral wholeness. Although Western science has essentially neglected the field concept of life in recent decades, today more scientists embrace it for its integrative and explanatory powers.
This paper introduces the ontology of Emergent Dualism, which takes the position that the elementary stuff of everything in the universe is energy, that this energy can become structured into a series of levels of emergent organization whose operating principles are not derivable from the previous levels, that one of these levels is the concatenations of neural processes called brains, that brains have some particular emergent process that gives rise to subjective experience from the internal viewpoint of that process, and that the private, subjective property of this emergent process entails a dualistic philosophical treatment of its analysis.
Recent brain imaging studies in Psychedelic Brain Science are breaking new ground in our understanding of neurological substrate of biological consciousness in humans. The emerging field of inner experience and neuroscience is particularly well suited to the reexamination of the actions of psychedelics on subjective conscious experience. This approach is best understood as neurophenomenology. My work over the last few years has focused on the EEG correlates of the visionary tryptamine DMT action. I believe the researcher must also have the drug experience as part of the experimental protocol, in order to fully understand the richness of the phenomenon. The objective of this exploratory research was to examine the QEEG correlates of the psychoactive smoked inhalation of exogenous DMT action. Known as a potent visionary tryptamine, DMT is ubiquitous in nature and has also been localized in the brain and peripheral tissues of mammals, including humans. The exact function of this endogenous DMT is the subject of ongoing neuropharmacological research.
Three sources of DMT were tested: high purity synthetic 5-MeO- DMT, Bufo 5-MeO-DMT (an extract from the Sonoran desert toad venom, Bufo alvarius), and N,N- DMT from a natural extract of the Acacia tree Mimosa hostilis root bark.
The DMT was delivered by smoked inhalation (vaporization). The rapid onset (10–20 sec.), short acting (5–15 min.), and reversible nature of the effects made such a QEEG study feasible. DMT dosage was adjusted to elicit an effective psychedelic experience (ca. 20–30 mg for N,N-DMT; 2–5 mg for synthetic 5-MeO-DMT, and 30–40 mg for the Bufo 5-MeO-DMT material). Healthy volunteers (age 25–60; N=15 men, N=8 women) were tested.
The protocol consisted of: 5–10 min. baseline control (resting eyes closed) was first acquired, followed by the DMT test condition, usually lasting 5–15 min. When subjects recovered from the DMT induced altered state, a report of their subjective experience was recorded on video and a post recovery EEG reading was made typically at 15–30 min. A statistical comparison (paired t-tests, correlated samples) of absolute power values for all EEG bands between baseline vs. DMT tests and post recovery conditions was carried out for all subjects. The DMT- induced profound alterations in consciousness were tracked with the shifts in the QEEG metrics analyzed. The time course and intensity of the subjective experience correlated with the magnitude of the observed EEG effects.
The most consistent effect was a robust suppression of Alpha, obtained for both N,N-DMT and 5-MeO-DMT (Alpha decreased avg. 72%, N=6). During recovery, some subjects showed Alpha rebound increased power at 15-25 min. post DMT (ave. 43% incr., P).
It has long been appreciated that the brain is oscillatory. Early measurements of brain electrophysiology revealed rhythmic synchronization unifying large swaths of the brain. The study of neural oscillation has enveloped cognitive neuroscience and neural systems. The traditional belief that oscillations are epiphenomenal of neuron spiking is being challenged by intracellular oscillations and the theoretical backing that oscillatory activity is fundamental to physics. Subjective experience oscillates at three particular frequency bands in a cognitive triad: perception at 5 Hz (exogenous), action at 2 Hz (endogenous), and attention at 0.1 Hz (cognitive). This triad functions as a means of information flow across scales of magnitude in a biological fractal. The Homunculus Solution is proposed in which mental experience occurs at fixed scales of biology. The mind is composed of minds, perceived as "the voices in your head." Each voice has voices inside its head to increasingly microscopic scales, forming an interactive fractal of subjective experience.
J. Acacio de Barros, Gary Oas
In this paper we examine the consequences of von Neumann's interpretation of quantum mechanics in the context of an insect conditioning experiment. We argue that either the insect has a mind (consciousness?), therefore collapsing the wave function, or it does not, therefore reacting to superpositions in a different way. Thus, a device to condition insects could be used to test von Neumann's interpretation, if insects are not conscious. If, on the other hand, insects possess a mind, such experiment would open up the possibility of using insect experiments to test Stapp’s theory of mind-matter interaction.
Claudio Carvalhaes, J. Acacio de Barros
This paper reviews a recent method to study electroencephalogram (EEG) data involving a combination of the surface Laplacian and tangential electric field on the scalp. The method was applied to problems in EEG classification, where it was effective in improving results using data from a variety of experiments. The most relevant result was a 13.3% improvement on the average classification rate of a visual perception task involving nine different two-dimensional images. It also improved performance in language-comprehension and mental-imagery tasks.
All statements describing physical reality are derived through interpretation of measurement results that requires a theory of the measuring instruments used to make the measurements. The ultimate measuring instrument is our body which displays its measurement results in our mind. Since a physical theory of our mind-body is unknown, the correct interpretation of its measurement results is unknown. The success of the physical sciences has led to a tendency to treat assumption in physics as indisputable facts. This tendency hampers the development of new theories capable of addressing the foundations of mind.
To show the possibility that false interpretations of experimental results have lead to equally false projections onto physical reality may have happened, the double slit experiment and special relativity experiments are examined in detail. I will show that strongly held a-priori beliefs characterizing measurement instruments have led to unjustified but widely held concepts in physical theories. For example the assumption that material bodies have minds can change the interpretation of experiments to produce alternative physical theories.
Since some material bodies have minds this paper calls for a review of the conscious observer’s role in the execution and interpretation of fundamental physics experiments in order to verify or challenge the basic beliefs adopted in standard physical theories.
We explore a mathematical formalism that ties together the observer with the observed in the view that Consciousness is primary, operating through three principles which apply at all levels, the essence of qualia of experience. The formalism is a simplified version of Hilbert space mathematics encountered in quantum mechanics. It does, however, go beyond specific interpretations of quantum mechanics and has strong philosophical foundations in Western philosophy as well as monistic systems of the East. The implications are explored and steps for the full development of this axiomatic mathematical approach to Consciousness are discussed.
Rajendra Prasad Baijpai
Man is endowed with brain and mind for comprehending reality of the world. Brain is material entity and is observable, while mind is a non-physical conceived entity. Scientific investigations enhance our knowledge of the functioning of brain and its constituents. They indicate mind-brain association but do not rule out the possibility, in which mind is a property of brain. The perceived reality of the world has both objective and subjective components. The objective components are attributed to brain either alone or in association with mind. The subjective components are considered to be the creations of mind but they appear to contain grains of reality. Attempts made to separate these grains have succeeded partially. One hopes for complete success only after the incorporation of a few missing ingredients. It is our contention that the missing ingredients are human being as an entangled quantum entity — photon field, quantum entity’s capability to read information from photon fields of other humans and from its own field reflected by the environment. The evidence for the first ingredient is provided by the analysis of spontaneously emitted visible range photon signals by human beings. The other two ingredients put usual charge- photon interaction in proper context. The experimental results relevant to mind- brain interface are briefly described. A few minutes’ time series of small portion of these signals determines their nine properties, which establish quantum nature of signal, and specify quantum state of the dominant component to be squeezed state. Six properties differ in signals emitted at 12 anatomical sites of the same person. Profile of a property for a person is the set of its values at 12 sites. Profile is very informative and can discriminate persons with differing holistic features. Cluster analysis offers procedures for measuring qualitative holistic features e.g. procedure for measuring “meditativeness” of a person. The incorporation of other two ingredients chalks out a route for answering the question who we are?
This paper discusses the importance of scientifically informed philosophy and philosophically informed science for improving extant approaches to the study of the mind, and in particular, of conscious awareness. By using the work of Patrick Suppes as an illustration, the paper shows that a balance between science and philosophy is needed not only to produce new insights, but also to prevent dogmatism.
Glenn Aparacio Parry
Certain tacit assumptions of modernity are jeopardizing the future of humanity and the planet-assumptions around what constitutes life; the nature of being human; rational thought; and our view of time and progress. This paper examines the origins of why we think the way we do today and how we can reclaim the living roots of consciousness (even as they are seemingly lost or obsolete). In so doing, we restore our full humanity and help restore the Earth.
Katja Pettinen, Myrdene Anderson
The nature and the role of sensation sit at the heart of classic enlightenment debates about the nature of knowledge. While these debates, in their modern form, came into being several hundred years ago, many key words from them remain with us today. As a result, a number of culturally particular assumptions also remain as part of the semantic composition of these words (e.g. Wierbicka 2010). In the following, we examine such assumptions, particularly in relation to sensoriality. We contrast the classic empiricist and rationalist views on sensation, including their broader epistemological stakes, and bring forth a third account through Peircean semiotics. We suggest that the classic debate between rationalists and empiricists can be re-examined by asking how repetition exists in the world. By thinking about the ontology of repetition, and by highlighting some of the basic semiotic principles of this, we suggest that sensoriality needs to be recognized as a dynamical system rather than a system that exists for the documenting of “what there is.” In this account, neither sensoriality nor the nature of existence, including the physical world, are anchored toward absolutes on any level. This point, however, does not lead us toward rationalist claims about the non-importance of senses or the body, but toward recognition that while patterns and stability play a significant role in living systems, there is always room for plasticity and open-endedness. It is in this space between stability and change, where meaning is brought into being.
Tania Re, Carlo Ventura
The Unesco Chair "Anthropology of Health, biosphere and Healing System" inside the University of Genoa (IT) is a unique experience inside the University of Genoa that stems from a cultural necessity to fill and a wealth of knowledge to preserve health, environment and treatment strategies considered strictly connected in modern medicine. This new, integrated approach contradicts and overcomes the traditional separation between humanities and scientific medicine and treatments. Health and approach to treatment strategies are not uniform around the worlds; the universal baseline is quality assurance of investigation in science
The need to establish connections between Medicine, especially in the therapeutic aspect (healing), and all the information already obtained from the mind-matter phenomenology has led to much experimentation and theorizing in this border and transcultural area.
The research group formed by anthropologist who have studied altered states of consciousness in different cultures, medical doctors, quantum physicists and molecular biologists will try to define a transcultural perspective on consciousness merging anthropology, medicine and physics.
In particular, the research field site is located in Mayantuyacu, a traditional healing center located in the Peruvian Amazon where the ancient art of ashanika healing is set.
Mayantuyacu is situated on the bank of a river with thermal water at 100 ° flowing in the middle of the forest. Around the central Maloca, where is the common life, were built to accommodate malocas other people who come to Mayantuyacu to know and to seek treatment from knowing millennial ashanika and properties of thousands of plants including plants teacher.
The following elements were firstly analyzed and considered the bridge from a traditional healing system to a new paradigm in medicine:
1. music called icaros,
2. master plants like ayahuasca involved during the healing ceremonies.
Over the last thirty years, a new systemic understanding of life has emerged at the forefront of science. It integrates four dimensions of life: the biological, the cognitive, the social, and the ecological dimension. At the core of this new understanding we find a fundamental change of metaphors: from seeing the world as a machine to understanding it as a network. One of the most radical philosophical implications of the systems view of life is a new conception of mind and consciousness which, for the first time, overcomes the Cartesian division between mind and matter.
Sperry Andrews, Jennifer Tayloe
This paper builds upon an essay I published in June of 2014, in which nonexistence is seen as the engine, axis and source of existence. Here I propose a speculative bottom-up theory of everything originating from nothing, including how top-down theories, such as general relativity and quantum mechanics, might approximate my instinct. I share how any one can intuitively experience scientific theories.
The human brain appears to be the most complex structure for its size in the known universe. Consequently, studies of the brain have required many models and theories at many levels that involve disciplines from basic physics, to neurosciences, psychology and philosophy. For over 2000 years the two most controversial and unresolved models of brain phenomena involve what we call free will and consciousness. I argue that adequate models at all levels require epistemic complementarity — distinct necessary models that are not derivable or reducible to each other. The primitive irreducible complementarity at all levels is the subject-object distinction required by an epistemic cut. This complementarity first arises with self-replication where a self, the subject, must be distinguished from the non-self, the object
I believe that life, consciousness, and free will are intertwined. Our current scientific efforts at understanding them are undermined by studying these as discrete phenomena. It is my contention that although science, particularly quantum physics and biology, has made some strides in how the brain may work; however, this effort will not yield the desired outcome. Only by raising the consciousness level of all humans will we begin to fully understand human consciousness.
In a world where we are continuously impacted by the environment, often in negative ways, it would be ideal to be able to neutralize those negative energies to reduce their effects on us. One such source is harmful radiation from electromagnetic fields (EMF) all around us. Then there are the toxins in the air and water, pesticides and antibiotics in foods, and the microbes in the air and the environment. All of the negative components of the environment have the potential to cause a wide spectrum of diseases. BioGeometry is a science, which offers a possible solution.
BioGeometry combines Pythagorean harmonics, history of architecture, Ancient Egyptian temple science, German and French Physical Radiesthesia to form a modern “Physics of Quality” as the basis of the science. Dr. Ibrahim Karim, founder of BioGeometry, built upon this foundation and found the energies, which contribute to health in biological beings. He defines the BioGeometry as “the science of establishing harmony between biological fields and their environment, through the use of a design language of form, color, motion and sound.” We are all receptors of the “quality of physics” from an energetic perspective — we see electromagnetic radiation in the range of 400 to 700 nanometers and call this color; we hear compression of air waves and call this sound, we feel with our skin via sensors that transmit signals to our brain; the same can be said of all of our primary senses. Sound and color and all energies are related through resonance. Dr. Karim discovered that higher harmonics of 3 energy qualities, that he called BG3, were beneficial to health of humans, animals and plants. He discovered ways to create these energies and studied the beneficial effects of the energies on diseases such as hepatitis C, on reversing EMF sensitivity, growing plants without pesticides, raising chickens without use of antibiotics, and lowering leucocytes in cows milk. This article describes the principles of BioGeometry and gives examples of the studies that have been conducted which demonstrate the utility of BioGeometry.
James R. Johnston
An elementary review of the origin of quantum theory, with focus on the nature of the quantum dynamic variables, reveals the essential wave-likeness of quantum dynamics. The introduction of the concept of point-particle entities resulted from over-use of classical perspectives, and an issue of language: conflation of the concepts of point-particle localization, and discreteness of quantum detections. Keeping in mind the distinction between point-localization and discreteness of quantum exchange, it is clear that there is no experimental evidence for point-localization. A simple review of the origin of quantum theory, and review of several experiments designed to explore “wave-particle duality” and “complementarity” support this perspective.
Cynthia Sue Larson
This paper presents evidence from the fields of cognitive science and quantum information theory suggesting quantum theory to be the dominant fundamental logic in the natural world, in direct challenge to the long-held assumption that quantum logic only need be considered “in the quantum realm.” A summary of the evolution of quantum logic and quantum theory is presented, along with an overview for the necessity of incomplete quantum knowledge, and some representative aspects of quantum logic. A case can be made that classical logic and theory is a subset of quantum logic and theory, given that elements of quantum physics exist that can never admit classical understanding, including: Bell's theorem, Hardy's theorem, and the Pusey-Barrett-Rudolph theorem. Support can be found for the primacy of quantum logic in the natural world in the cognitive sciences, where recent research studies recognize quantum logic in studies of: the subconscious, decisions involving unknown interconnected variables, memory, and question sequencing.