Selves & Atoms
Nothing to lose but our chains

Science struggles to explain the self in terms of atoms.  Let us explore the possibility of turning the table.  Might not atoms better be derived from selves?  In the process I point to the strange fact that scientists have expended untold effort in their quest to fill this explanation gap, but I have spent untold hours searching the Internet nearly in vain for any sign of this alternative project.  What is signaled by this oversight?  What conspires to so blind us to the obvious?  I will return to these questions at the end of this piece.

After centuries of studied neglect, the scientific establishment is under increasing internal and external pressure to admit that its continuing inability to place mental phenomena in any existing theoretical framework is a very strong indication that the mystery of the mind is insoluble with the conventional framework of science.  Understanding the mind may very well necessitate a radical new vision of the nature of reality.

Of those few who consider the possibility of a new worldview that will do justice to the fundamental nature of the mind, mine is arguably the most radical, although this has not been a difficult distinction to achieve.

The mind is notoriously elusive, and the scientific community has turned up its nose at that imponderability in favor of more ponderable entities such as atoms.

The problem with physical explanation is in not knowing where to start.  The smallest self-contained physical system is a Universe.  With standard QM, even that is not enough.  There must also be an external observer system; a system that physics has been unable to characterize.

The mind game starts up where the physics game leaves off; with that observer self.  This is a primordial self, but I don’t imagine that a self can lack experience.  At the very least the self must experience ‘dreams’ and other ‘altered’ states, somehow filtering a chaotic experiential background.  The primordial self may surely dream of itself and of other selves.  A primordial society exists when one realizes that there is likely to be symmetry between the dream selves.  This is also the primordial act of mutual creation.  There must even be the rudiments of space, time and memory existing as complements to the structure of the self and as the minimal prerequisites of any sort of experience.  Unless experience has a minimum degree of coherence, it becomes indistinguishable from a background of virtual, meaningless chaos.

Our world and its history are the result of pushing this model of mutual creation to its extreme.  The extremity of this push is evidenced in the over-determination of the parameters that make up the anthropic principle.  The primordial world is a tribal council set in a jungle of sorts, not exactly a Garden of Eden.  Taking this basic conception and running with it results in what we see here – impressive but not impossible for the imagination.

A principle fall-out or spin-off of this rampant creationism is atomic physics.  The atoms may be thought of as logical extensions of the primordial self.  They are a necessary aspect of any space-time manifold.  They are bodies reduced to the absolute minimum, along with their atomic intelligence.  Is this paganism run amok?  No, just a slight embellishment on standard quantum physics.  Atomic multiplicity is as much an illusion as is the multiplicity of selves.  The Monad is never in jeopardy.

What I mean to say is that atomic intelligence is part and parcel of cosmic intelligence.  I hasten to add that I don’t have a compelling model for how this partitioning of intelligence functions, but what’s the harm in trying?  Surely there is something like object-oriented programming that comes into play, but we need not fall back into the atomic objectivism of physics.

Consider our bodies and the minimal paraphernalia of incarnate intelligence.  Consider how difficult it can be to voluntarily disassociate from our bodies.  A body is an ideal tamer and discipline device for intelligence, but it is finally just a projection of intelligence.  There are two aspects of intelligence involved in the creation and maintenance of bodies: the former is individual, the latter is cosmic.  Just as atoms follow the path of least resistance, as in the least action principle, so do our bodacious selves follow a least action trajectory within history relative to the boundary conditions provided by the Alpha and Omega.  From Eve we come and to the Evangel do we return.

Atoms are outriggers on this same trajectory.  The big loop of Alpha and Omega is a construct of the many smaller loops of parochial time.  It is just the boundary loop.  That there is none bigger is something we still have trouble grasping, as we have trouble with the finiteness of space-time.  The atoms, like the selves, are all a part of the reflective cosmic illusion.  Only the primordial atom transcends this illusion, doing so at the pain of its own abstraction.  The object-oriented program that constitutes atomic reality is embedded in our own reflections of the cosmic self.  OK, let it not be said that I am not trying.  Imagine how much better the rest of you can do as soon as you break the bonds of physicalism that enslave your minds.  You have nothing to lose but your chains.


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rev. 9/3/00