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Introduction to General Epistemology        Chapter 5       

 

V-1 Purpose of this part

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This part is in a way the main of this book, and the conclusion of the previous: consciousness exists by itself, and especially for itself. It has its own nature, its own determinants, its own functioning, and its own purposes, independently of any physics, of any biology or genetics, and especially of any materialistic ideology. We are going to see how it works, before studying in the sixth part its stakes in society

None of the methods of neurosciences or cognitive sciences can explain what really is consciousness, which in no way can be described in terms of physical phenomena. This asks for a completely different explanation, as seen in chapter III-8: consciousness is a logical self-generation process, linking the elements of the experience of consciousness according to its own laws and its own determinism.

V-2 Relationship between consciousness and the brain

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The true scientific definition of consciousness

Consciousness is the fact that we experience the world, that we feel sensation, emotions, pleasure and pain. This definition is perfectly enough as a scientific definition of consciousness, without any need for referring to physical phenomena which are irrelevant for consciousness.

 

Consciousness is Qualia, Chalmer's difficult problem.

Consciousness is something unique in the universe, irreducible to anything physical. Even not the functioning of neurones. But the third part on metaphysics explains how the consciousness can exist, without bringing it back to anything physical.

The neural reduction hypothesis

The fact that the activities of consciousness match with activities of neurons led to the hypothesis as what this activity of the neurons would be enough to explain alone all the aspects of consciousness. Neurology and cognitive science study consciousness according to this hypothesis.

However none of these explain how we «realize», how we are aware of this information. Worse, there is (while simplifying) one neuron for each different musical note... but they are all identical! How do we feel the different notes, then? This correspondence without physical cause seems one of the best arguments available today, that something else is involved.

The only logical explanation for this situation is that it is the consciousness itself which imputes a relevant meaning to these nerve signals, in order to serve the only needs of this consciousness. This implies that the consciousness «knows» what they represent, as a function of their connections with the sensory organs.

The hypothesis of the logical self-generation of consciousness

We saw in Chapter III-8 that a logical self-generation process is perfectly able of creating a sequence of elements of the experience of consciousness. The result is then a «consciousness», which is aware of all these elements. However a logical self-generation process has no information input. The result is equivalent to a dream.

However, in the ordinary state of consciousness, the consciousness constantly receives information about the physical world, through neurons.

 

It is then clear that the two self-generation processes must communicate, the one of the physical world (the brain) and the one of consciousness.

The hypothesis of consciousness «sticking» to the brain

We then postulate that the logical self-generation law of consciousness incarnated in a brain is that, at each instant, consciousness contains an element of consciousness corresponding to the activity of the active neurons.

Thus we really have a flow of information from the self-generation process of the physical world, toward the one of consciousness, which determines the content of the latter.

And it is the self-generation law of consciousness which assigns to each neuron the matching sensation. No material fact explains why this is so, or what attributes the pitch to each audition neuron.

Reasoning, emotions and intentions would be perceived by consciousness in the same way, from the neural networks which produce them.

Thus consciousness is really a complex structure, containing many imputations, each on the activity of a group of specific neurons.

The logical origin of the process

How a logical self-generation system can start otherwise than from an original «seed», like the ones we saw previously?

There is no difference in nature between a material and a spiritual process. Only the elements they contain are different. There is therefore no fundamental impossibility to a logical relationship between the two, starting from the moment where a self-generation law allows for it.

Scientists call this an emergent property (that they propose as a solution to the dilemma between free will and the materiality of the brain). Considering rule 6 of chapter III-3, I would rather speak of a branching or forking from a self-generation system to another. This situation of forking explains, without anything else, that the branch can continue to receive information from the trunk.

The emergence of consciousness along evolution.

How a physical self-generation process can create a non-physical self-generation process?

We can validly assume that consciousness would have appeared while more and more complex brains appeared, with the evolution of life. And each type of consciousness experience would have appeared with the corresponding neurosensory capacities: vision, hearing, emotions, sense of self, intentions...

My best choice would be the alliance of an emotion with the consciousness of the body, that we could called «sensuality».

the soul of the religions
versus
the «Copenhagen interpretation» of consciousness

(Important note 91 on the use of the word «quantum»)

One of the basic creeds of the religions is the existence of a «soul», which would explain consciousness. The trouble is that this soul makes an ad-hoc element to explain, which would have its own metaphysical existence. Only Buddhism considers consciousness as an «aggregate» of elements, in a series of moments of consciousness which are self-generated and kept running by the law of cause and effect.

The theory of the logical self-generation process of a series of elements of consciousness perfectly accounts for consciousness, without requiring any ad-hoc element.

This theory of consciousness as a logical self-generation process also accounts with survival after death, NDEs, reincarnation. Indeed, rule 5 of chapter III-3 says that the self-generation process of consciousness can continue to run, even when it stops receiving information from the brain.

  

This absence of underlying «soul», which would experience consciousness, could be called «the Copenhagen interpretation» of consciousness.

  

However the hypothesis that I defend here does not call for quantum physics to explain consciousness or its properties. So, where the common points with quantum physics come from? They come from the fact that they are very general properties of the logical self-generation processes of any kind.

  

We can prettily well make the religions to agree with the self-generated consciousness theory, if we consider that the self-generation process of consciousness IS the soul.

Beginner meditation and the end of the observer

This theory also is a good explanation of some ill-understood spiritual requirements, in meditations for beginners in Hatha Yoga, Shine, Zen, etc: we must remove «the observer».

The discussion in the linked chapter is complex. Among other things, meditation can cause consciousness to «take off» from the brain, which is perceived by flashes of light (The light of the NDEs).

Psychological consciousness,

or influence of the consciousness on the brain?

In this theory, the information clearly goes from the physical world toward consciousness, but not in the reverse way.

This state of consciousness is what I call «neural consciousness», or «psychological consciousness», is definitively not an enjoyable condition, since it leaves us no freedom, only an illusion of freedom, while we are in fact entirely determined by our neurons, by our genes, by the television.

 

It is clear, for our comfort as well as for testing this hypothesis, that communication in the reverse way must also occur: from the consciousness to the brain.

The most visible case which was scientifically studied is the one of the NDE happening while having a flat electroencephalogram, which is enough alone to demonstrate that consciousness can also exist without the brain. But the NDE also definitively demonstrate that consciousness can take also control of the brain: Without interaction of consciousness toward the brain, we could still be able to have a NDE, but we would be unable not remind it!

There are other cases, such as the moments of super-awareness, and especially free will, that we shall see in the next chapitre V-3.

V-3 Free will

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Introduction

For consciousness to have any kind of control on the functioning of the brain requires that information goes from the logical self-generation process of the consciousness, toward the self-generation process of the physical world. After the logical self-generation theory, this requires a special event, able of creating a new self-generation law involving the two realms together.

The free will after religions, law and philosophy

Free will is not about choosing cards or numbers, as in some false neurology experiments.

The original religious definition is to choose the Good. This definition survived the transition to secular law, along with its corollary: responsibility.

Neurological pseudo-free will

After scientistism (note 92), there is no true free will, but «random drawings» made by nervous influences on neurons.

But if we do not master it, it is not free will.

The logical capacities of the brain, and its empathy power, offer us a certain capacity to understand life. Hence a partial free will, but still subjected to the law of material neurons.

What we can actually do with neurological thinking

Despite the limitations seen in the two previous sub-chapters, it is remarkable how this imperfect material instrument, the brain, is still able of providing us with an usable amount of understanding of life and freedom of decision. At least enough for allowing anybody to understand the good and the evil, and to be considered responsible by the courts if we refuse to do so.

The problem however is that it is a time consuming process, that few can really complete alone in a single lifetime.

So that we clearly need a way to go faster.

Weak psychophysical free will

All the experiences described above can provide us with some freedom, but they are all still totally dependent on neurones.

So we are forced to admit that the only true free will, the only one which can really force neurones to obey our consciousness and bring us real insights into a reproducible enough way, is the one which we described in the chapter IV-9: special physical conditions in the neurones create a logical indetermination, which allow for information to pass from the consciousness toward the physical realm. This is what I call «weak parapsychological free will», and it is the only instance where consciousness can really master the neurones and the psychology, instead of being determined by them.

We have some means to produce it: to stop the attachment to opinions. This can be done in meditation, with some beginner's methods taught in any town of democratic countries. The mental calm resets all the neural signals to zero, and this creates the indeterminacy.

Strong psychophysical free will

Some religious conceptions of free will entail magical events, like visits of angels, descent of divine grâce, etc.

It is probable that these religions are referring to NDEs, to instants of super-consciousness, and others strong psychophysical phenomena.

Conclusion

Free will requires some intelligence and culture, as well as some ability to think logically and to consider our emotions (introspection).

It is now recognized that the exercise of our freedom requires objective information and a basic education to logical reasoning. But we just as much need a psychological education, aiming at introspection and awareness of our emotions.

V-4 Domains with influence of consciousness

(Permalink) (Note 91: In this chapter, the word «quantum» is used in the meaning of classical science)

We saw in chapter IV-9 that the action of the consciousness on the neurons could occur during the appearance of an ephemeral space domain, where the laws of physics would be modified, in order to integrate the action of consciousness (psychophysical domain).

Physics and domains of space, in the Theory of the Logical Self-Generation

The RHIC experiment at Brookhaven involved throwing gold nuclei at each other at relativistic speeds. This produces extreme temperatures and pressures, where matter is reduced to a plasma of quarks and gluons. To simplify, this plasma does not contain the information about the rate of formation of matter or anti-matter in our ordinary world. So that several zones are formed, where this rate is different. Physicists call these zones domains. But for the theory of logical self-generation, this is a forking, a new logical self-generation process.

This forking takes place according to the following steps:

-Loss of the information «belonging to a given system».

-Resolution of a paradox according to an arbitrary value, specific to another system

-In the case of RHIC, the mutant particles being unstable, the new domain quickly becomes undefined, and everything goes back to the way it was before.

Reminder: the operation of organic and electronic neural networks

An electronic neural network is made up of many amplifiers (neurons), which send signals to each other, with variable connections (synapses). When data is presented to the input, then all the outputs will take any value, evolving very quickly, and then converging on the correct answer.

The brain works in a similar way, and this is how it accomplishes non-Aristotelian reasoning in a single synthetic step.

Decision-making by the networks of neurons in the brain

A decision, or a reflection on a complex philosophical problem will bring into play neuronal computing units, responsible for representing the different concepts. The decision will come as a choice between several outputs.

Decision-making requiring a free will

Neuroscience, computer science, game theory, artificial intelligence, ethicists, etc. study decision making only according to materialistic or competitive values. This effectively excludes free will, which is precisely the ability to discover and choose better values.

An action which, first and foremost, requires the removal of neurotic attachment to value systems. Intellectual reasoning is of no help either, because an axiomatic system cannot demonstrate its axioms.

However, the neurons are perfectly capable of considering all these solutions. But in this case they produce a logical indeterminacy: the different outputs of the circuit have the same value.

In the frame of the logical self-generation theory, free will requires a transfer of information from the process of consciousness toward the process of the physical world. This however occur in special circumstances, for example when the physical system contains a logical indetermination.

Small influences, not violating the law of conservation of energy, but adding on a large number of neuronal connections, can be the element which will switch the neural circuit, instead of a physical cause.

This would be how a biased domain would appear, and collapse just after. But the brain has the capacity to remember its result. The free will has modified our choices!

And so, what information is passed from the field of consciousness toward the brain? From the point of view of logic, this will be the axiom of a new way of thinking or loving, more in agreement with the intrinsic motives of consciousness. But what exactly? And how is this more «true» than the current capitalist values? This is what we shall see in the next chapter.

V-5 The meaning of life, the good and the evil

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The scientistists are at least correct on one point: the physical world offers us no purpose, no meaning of life, no morals.

This situation is not a surprise: If a meaning of life exists, or a morals, etc. then these things make sense only for the consciousness itself. And only the free will can send the message to the brain.

So the meaning of life, messages, morals, can be known only by the consciousness. Now that we know to hear it (to scientifically observe it), then let us see what it has to say.

Did a creator god left us some direction?

Many consider that the meaning of life has been defined by God. So that some scientists tried to find a «message from God» in the constants of physics. That He put His message here looks very strange to me, because it conditions its decoding to the mastery of high physics. I rather think that it must be decodable «with the bare hands», by a simple titmouse.

For example, if He wanted to select intelligence, He would use a difficult mathematical coding, as in the movie «Contact». But a merciful God is much more interested in a spiritual coding.

And it is really what we observe:

Practical work: find the meaning of life

Said poetically, the meaning of life is inscribed on the screen of our mind, in the language of the heart. And our eyes automatically come on it, as soon as we stop our inner movie.

 

And what do we find, then?

 

In Second Life, I repeatedly led meditations designed to achieve these conditions. The text was simply «If you take birth again in an entirely new universe, with all the powers that you may wish, starting completely from anew, without any physical or mundane constrain or obligation, but absolutely free to do whatever you want, what would you like to do?» Followed by a few minutes of silence, for each attendee to find his answer.

Attention! Do not read the responses of others before attempting the experiment yourself, because you may be unable to find your own answer!

 

(select the text under to be able to read it, ONLY after doing the experiment described above):

1) being a given creature

2) being happy, enjoying

3) exploring, knowing

4) sharing, loving others

(Thanks NOT to quote these four points without the warnings and the description of the experiment, in order not to denature the experience of others)

 

Certainly there is no transcendental revelations in there: these desires are quite common, even the fourth. But they still are very specific choices.

The purpose of life

Let us therefore consider these innate desires, not caused by a situation, opinion or culture, as intrinsic properties of consciousness, independent of its content, independent of our opinions, our projects, our culture, our ideology, independent of our happy or depressed state, and even independent of our race, gender and specie! So, we are not empty shells just good at randomly receiving everything which passes by. We are beings who have a purpose.

  

So here is this oh so disturbing meaning of life that behaviourism tried so hard to hide, and that the grey politicians and their media clergy are so terrified that we find it out!

 

But is it right to base the very orientation of our lives on a single message perceived in a stealth way into our inner consciousness?

 

I say yes, because precisely there is NO other.

And that, free of any physical, genetic, financial etc. determinants, then we are totally free to consecrate ourselves to the real purposes of consciousness.

 

I say yes, because we are consciousnesses, and that, in the field of consciousness, it is consciousness which determines what consciousness must do and how.

And anybody is free to consecrate his life to one or several of these purposes he will choose, applying it as he chooses, using the means he chooses.

The good and the evil

In the view of the above, we can easily complement the specious and truncated reasoning of the scientistists and positivists: certainly, the physical world offers us no ethics. But in this void, consciousness rises alone, and it is totally free to choose its objectives.

  

The oldest, and the most fundamental objective of consciousness is to seek pleasure, and more recently happiness.

The above experience shows more sophisticated purposes, which appeared more recently in the evolution.

Thus, we can define in full authority that the Good is what helps these objectives, and the evil is what opposes them.

Happiness

In the light of what we found, we can define happiness as a state of fundamental satisfaction of consciousness, when it fulfils one of its purposes: being, loving, knowing, sharing, etc. If it cannot, then the frustration at this level results in a feeling of emptiness, of losing our lives.

The satisfaction of our material needs certainly helps to be happy, but it cannot hide our basic dissatisfaction. And it is futile to try to oppose these two kinds of happiness.

  

So, to protect happiness will be to fulfil all the needs of the person, and to propose a better society, see an un ideal. This is what we shall do all along the sixth part on society.

Freedom

The meaning of life defined above allows for a precise definition of freedom: it is the freedom for consciousness to pursue its fundamental purposes.

Science Conclusions

So here we are with a clear and accurate meaning of life, together with strong definitions of good and happiness, upon which to scientifically base the orientation of our personal lives and of our societies (economics, chapter VI-8, politics, chapter VI-10), beauty (chapter VI-9), ethics (chapter VI-2 and following), and even the future evolution of mankind (chapter VI-16).

  

And above all, in the absence of any other direction, moral or philosophical, about such fundamental matters, then the human societies, governments, science, politics, religions, all have the duty of being at the service of this meaning of life, and are in heavy fault when they are not, losing all legitimacy.

The prophets and the religions

Oh, I'm certainly not the first to see the little message. Many others noticed it. But most had to quickly renounce to share it, meeting only misunderstanding or hostility. Today, Internet allows at least to publish it, if not to be read.

Sometimes, those who tried to transmit it were called prophets.

And the religions currently present on Earth, if we consider each of them as a different Aristotelian approach of the same transcendent reality (chapter I-9), offer us a very accurate representation of the divine, that only whose who studied enough religions will really understand.

In any way, I forbid everybody to consider me as a prophet or anything related. The only thing I would accept is to be regarded as the founder of an exact spiritual science, as defined in this book, beyond belief, dogmas, or divisions.

The continuation is being prepared!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Introduction to General Epistemology        Chapter 5       

 

 

 

 

 

 

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