The Structure of the Psyche
And the Fundamentals of Everyday Psychodynamics
By: Dr. Sam Vaknin
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It is impossible to rigorously prove or substantiate the existence of a soul, a psyche.
Numerous explanations have been hitherto offered:
In other words, the electrochemical activity in the brain, which corresponds to mental phenomena does not mean that it IS the mental phenomena. Mental phenomena do have brain (hardware) correlates – but these correlates need not be confused with the mental phenomena themselves.
Still, very few will dispute the strong connection between body and soul. Our psychic activity was attributed to the heart, the liver, even to some glands. Nowadays it is attributed to the brain, apparently with better reasons.
Since the body is a physical object, subject to physical laws, it follows that at least the connection between the two (body and soul) must obey the laws of physics.
Another question is what is the currency used by the two in their communication. Physical forces are mediated by subatomic particles. What serves to mediate between body and soul?
Language could be the medium and the mediating currency. It has both an internal, psychic representation and an objective, external one. It serves as a bridge between our inner emotions and cognition and the outside, physical world. It originates almost non-physically (a mere thought) and has profound physical impacts and effects. It has quantum aspects combined with classical determinism.
We propose that what we call the Subconscious and the Pre-Conscious (Threshold of Consciousness) are but Fields of Potentials organized in Lattices.
Potentials of what?
To represent realities (internal and external alike), we use language. Language seems to be the only thing able to consistently link our internal world with our physical surroundings. Thus, the potentials ought to be Lingual Energy Potentials.
When one of the potentials is charged with Lingual Energy – in Freud's language, when cathexis happens – it becomes a Structure. The "atoms" of the Structures, their most basic units, are the Clusters.
The Cluster constitutes a full cross cut of the soul: instinct, affect and cognition. It is hologramic and fractalic in that it reflects – though only a part – the whole. It is charged with the lingual energy which created it in the first place. The cluster is highly unstable (excited) and its lingual energy must be discharged.
This lingual energy can be released only in certain levels of energy (excitation) according to an Exclusion Principle. This is reminiscent of the rules governing the world of subatomic particles. The release of the lingual energy is Freud's anti-cathexis.
The lingual energy being what it is – it can be discharged only as language elements (its excitation levels are lingual). Put differently: the cluster will lose energy to the environment (=to the soul) in the shape of language (images, words, associations).
The defence mechanisms, known to us from classical psychology – projection, identification, projective identification, regression, denial, conversion reaction, displacement, rationalization, intellectualization, sublimation, repression, inhibition, anxiety and a host of other defensive reactions – are but sentences in the language (valid strings or theorems). Projection, for instance, is the sentence: "It is not my trait – it is his trait". Some mechanisms – the notable examples are rationalization and intellectualization – make conscious use of language.
Whereas the levels of excitation (lingual discharge) are discrete (highly specific) – the discharged energy is limited to certain, specific, language representations. These are the "Allowed Representations". They are the only ones allowed (or enabled, to borrow from computers) in the "Allowed Levels of Excitation".
This is the reason for the principles of Disguise (camouflage) and Substitution.
An excitation is achieved only through specific (visual or verbal) representations (the Allowed Representations). If two potentials occupy the same Representational levels – they will be interchangeable. Thus, one lingual potential is able to assume the role of another.
Each cluster can be described by its own function (Eigenfunktion). This explains the variance between humans and among the intra-psychic representations. When a cluster is realized – when its energy has been discharged in the form of an allowed lingual representation – it reverts to the state of a lingual potential. This is a constant, bi-directional flow: from potential to cluster and from cluster to potential.
The initial source of energy, as we said, is what we absorbed together with lingual representations from the outside. Lingual representations ARE energy and they are thus assimilated by us. An exogenic event, for this purpose, is also a language element (consisting of a visual, three dimensional representation, an audio component and other sensa - see "The Manifold of Sense").
So, everything around us infuses us with energy which is converted into allowed representations. On the other hand, language potentials are charged with energy, become clusters, discharge the lingual energy through an allowed representation of the specific lingual energy that they possess and become potentials once more.
When a potential materializes – that is, when it becomes a cluster after being charged with lingual energy – a "Potential Singularity" remains where once the materialized potential "existed".
The person experiences this singularity as an anxiety and does his utmost to convert the cluster back into a potential. This effort is the Repression Defence Mechanism.
So, the energy used during repression is also of the lingual kind.
When the energy with which the cluster is charged is discharged, at the allowed levels of representation (that is to say, through the allowed lingual representations), the cluster is turned back into a potential. This, in effect, is repression. The anxiety signifies a state of schism in the field of potentials. It, therefore, deserves the name:
Signal Anxiety, used in the professional literature.
The signal anxiety designates not only a hole in the field of potentials but also a Conflict. How come?
The materialization of the potential (its transformation into a cluster) creates a change in the Language Field. Such a change can lead to a conflict with a social norm, for instance, or with a norm, a personal value, or an inhibition – all being lingual representations. Such a conflict ostensibly violates the conditions of the field and leads to anxiety and to repression.
Freud's Id, Ego and Superego are now easily recognizable as various states of the language field.
The Id represents all the potentials in the field. It is the principle by which the potentials are charged with lingual energy. Id is, in other words, a field equation which dictates the potential in every point of the field.
The Ego is the interaction between the language field and the world. This interaction sometimes assumes the form of a conscious dialogue.
The Superego is the interaction between the language field and the representations of the world in the language field (that is to say, the consequences of repression).
All three are, therefore, Activation Modes.
Each act of repression leaves traces. The field is altered by the act of repression and, this way, preserves the information related to it. The sum of all repressions creates a representation of the world (both internal and external) in the field. This is the Superego, the functional pattern of the field of potentials (the subconscious or the regulatory system).
The field plays constant host to materializing potentials (=the intrusion of content upon consciousness), excitation of allowed lingual (=representational) levels (=allowed representations) and realization of structures (their reversal to a state of being potentials). It is reality which determines which excitation and representation levels are the allowed ones.
The complex of these processes is Consciousness and all these functions together constitute the Ego or the Administrative System. The Ego is the functional mode of consciousness. The activities in reality are dictated both by the field of potentials and by the materializing structures – but the materialization of a structure is not a prerequisite for action.
The Id is a wave function, the equation describing the state of the field. It details the location of the potentials that can materialize into structures. It also lists the anxiety producing "potential singularities" into which a structure can be realized and then revert to being a potential.
An Association is the reconstruction of all the allowed levels of excitation (=the allowed representations of the lingual energy) of a specific structure. Different structures will have common excitation levels at disparate times. Once structures are realized and thus become potentials – they go through the excitation level common to them and to other structures. This way they alter the field (stamp it) in an identical manner. In other words: the field "remembers" similarly those structures which pass through a common excitation level in an identical manner. The next time that the potential materializes and becomes one of these structures – all the other "twin" structures are charged with an identical lingual energy. They are all be evoked together as a Hypercluster.
Another angle: when a structure is realized and reverts to being a potential, the field is "stamped". When the same Stamp is shared by a few structures – they form a Potential Hypercluster. From then on, whenever one of the potentials, which is a member in the Potential Hypercluster, materializes and becomes a structures – it "drags" with it all the other potentials which also become structures (simultaneously).
Potential Hyperclusters materialize into Hyperclusters whereas single Potentials materialize into Clusters.
The next phase of complexity is the Network (a few Hyperclusters together). This is what we call the Memory operations.
Memorizing is really the stamping of the field with the specific stamps of the structures (actually, with the specific stamps of their levels of excitation).
Our memory uses lingual representations. When we read or see something, we absorb it into the Field of Potentials (the Language Field). The absorbed energy fosters, out of the Field of Potentials, a structure or a hypercluster.
This is the process of Imprinting.
The resultant structure is realized in our brain through the allowed levels of excitation (=using the allowed lingual representations), is repressed, stamps the field (=creates a memory) and rejoins the field as a potential. The levels of excitation are like Strings that tie the potentials to each other. All the potentials that participate in a given level of excitation (=of representation) of the language - become a hypercluster during the phase of materialization.
This also is the field's organizational principle:
The potentials are aligned along the field lines (=the levels of excitation specific to these potentials). The connection between them is through lingual energy but it is devoid of any specific formal logic (mechanic or algorithmic). Thus, if potential P1 and potential P2 pass through the same excitation level on their way to becoming structures, they will organize themselves along the same line in the field and will become a hypercluster or a network when they materialize. They can, however, relate to each other a-logically (negation or contradiction) – and still constitute a part of the same hypercluster. Tis capacity is reminiscent of superposition in quantum mechanics.
Memory is the stamping of the excitation levels upon the language field. It is complex and contains lingual representations which are the only correct representations (=the only correct solutions or the only allowed levels of excitation) of a certain structure. It can be, therefore, said that the process of stamping the field (=memory) represents a "registration" or a "catalogue" of the allowed levels of excitation.
The field equations are non-temporal and non-local. The field has no time or space characteristics. The Id (=the field state function or the wave function) has solutions which do not entail the use of spatial or temporal language elements.
The asymmetry of the time arrow is derived from the Superego, which preserves the representations of the outside world. It thus records an informational asymmetry of the field itself (=memory). We possess access to past information – and no access to information pertaining to the future. The Superego is strongly related to data processing (=representations of reality) and, as a result, to informational and thermodynamic (=time) asymmetries.
The feeling of the present, on the other hand, is yielded by the Ego. It surveys the activities in the field which, by definition, take place "concurrently". The Ego feels "simultaneous", "concurrent" and current.
We could envisage a situation of partial repression of a structure. Certain elements in a structure (let's say, only the ideas) will degrade into potentials – while others (the affect, for instance) – will remain in the form of a structure. This situation could lead to pathologies – and often does (see "The Interrupted Self").
Pathologies and Symptoms
A schism is formed in the transition from potential to structure (=in the materialization process). It is a hole in the field of language which provokes anxiety. The realization of the structure brings about a structural change in the field and conflicts with other representations (=parts) of the field. This conflict in itself is anxiety provoking.
This combined anxiety forces the individual to use lingual energy to achieve repression.
A pathology occurs when only partial repression is achieved and a part structure-part potential hybrid results. This happens when the wrong levels of excitation were selected because of previous deformations in the language field. In classical psychology, the terms: "complexes" or "primary repression" are used.
The selection of wrong (=forbidden) excitation levels has two effects:
Partial repression and the materialization of other potentials into structures linked by the same (wrong) levels of excitation.
Put differently: a Pathological Hypercluster is thus formed. The members in such a cluster are all the structures that are aligned along a field line (=the erroneously selected level of excitation) plus the partial structure whose realization was blocked because of this wrong selection. This makes it difficult for the hypercluster to be realized and a Repetition Complex or an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) ensues.
These obsessive-compulsive behaviours are an effort to use lingual representations to consummate the realization of a pathological, "stuck", hypercluster.
A structure can occupy only one level of excitation at a time. This is why our attention span is limited and why we have to concentrate on one event or subject at a time. But there is no limit on the number of simultaneously materialized and realized clusters.
Sometimes, there are events possessed of such tremendous amounts of energy that no corresponding levels of excitation (=of language) can be found for them. This energy remains trapped in the field of potentials and detaches (Dissociation) the part of the field in which it is trapped from the field itself. This is a variety of Stamping (=the memory of the event) which is wide (it incorporates strong affective elements), direct and irreversible. Only an outside lingual (=energetic) manipulation – such as therapy – can bridge such an abyss. The earlier the event, the more engtrenched the dissociation as a trait of an ever changing field. In cases of multiple personality (Dissociative Identity Disorder), the dissociation can become a "field all its own", or a pole of the field.
Stamping of the field is achieved also by a persistent repetition of an external event.
A relevant hypercluster is materialized, is realized through predetermined levels of excitation and reverts to being a collection of potentials, thus enhancing previous, identical stampings. Ultimately, no mediation of a structure would be needed between the field and the outside event. Automatic activities – such as driving – are prime examples of this mechanism.
Hypnosis similarly involves numerous repetitions of external events – yet, here the whole field of potentials (=of language) is dissociated. The reason is that all levels of excitation are occupied by the hypnotist. To achieve this, he uses a full concentration of attention and a calculated choice of vocabulary and intonation.
Structures cannot be realized during hypnosis and the energy of the event (in this case, unadulterated lingual energy) remains confined and creates dissociations which are evoked by the hypnotist, correspond and respond to his instructions. A structure cannot be materialized when its level of excitation is occupied. This is why no conscious memory of the hypnotic session is available. Such a memory, however, is available in the field of potentials. This is Direct Stamping acheived without going through the a structure and without the materialization process.
In a way, the hypnotist is a kind of "Ultimate Hypercluster". His lingual energy is absorbed in the field of potentials and remains trapped, generating dissociations and stamping the field of potentials without resorting to a mediation of a structure (=of consciousness). The role of stamping (=memorizing) is relegated to the hypnotist and the whole process of realization is imputed to him and to the language that he uses.
A distinction between endogenous and exogenous events is essential. Both types operate on the field of potentials and bring about the materialization of structures or dissociations. Examples: dreams and hallucinations are endogenic events which lead to dissociations.
Automatism (automatic writing) and Distributed Attention
Automatic writing is an endogenous event. It is induced exclusively under hypnosis or trance. The lingual energy of the hypnotist remains trapped in the field of potentials and causes automatic writing. Because it never materializes into a structure, it never reaches consciousness. No language representations which pass through allowed levels of excitation are generated. Conversely, all other exogenous events run their normal course – even when their results conflicted with the results of the endogenous event.
Thus, for instance, the subject can write something (which is the result of the trapped energy) – and provide, verbally, when asked, an answer which starkly contradicts the written message. The question asked is an exogenous event which influences the field of potentials. It affects the materialization of a structure which is realized through allowed levels of excitation. These levels of excitation constitute the answer provided by the subject.
This constitutes a vertical dissociation (between the written and the verbal messages, between the exogenous event and the endogenous one). At the same time, it is a horizontal dissociation (between the motor function and the regulatory or the critical function).
The written word – which contradicts the verbal answer – turns, by its very writing, into an exogenous event and a conflict erupts.
The trapped energy is probably organized in a coherent, atructural, manner. This could be Hilgard's "Hidden Observer".
When two exogenous events influence the field of potentials simultaneously, a structure materializes. But two structures cannot be realized through the same allowed level of excitation.
How is the status (allowed or disallowed) of a level of excitation determined?
A level of excitation is allowed under the following two cumulative conditions:
The consequence: only one of two exogenous events, which share the same level of excitation (=the same lingual representation) materializes into a structure. The second, non-materialized, event remains trapped in the field of potentials. Thus, only one of them reaches consciousness, awareness.
Homeostasis and Equilibrium of the Field of Potentials
The field aspires to a state of energetic equilibrium (entropy) and to homeostasis (a functionality which is independent of environmental conditions). When these are violated, energy has to be traded (normally, exported) to restore them. This is achieved by the materialization of structures in such levels of excitation as to compensate for deficiencies, offset surpluses and, in general, balance the internal energy of the field. The materializing structures are "chosen" under the constraint that their levels of excitation bring the field to a state of equilibrium and / or homeostasis.
They use lingual energy in the allowed levels of excitation.
This, admittedly, is a rigid and restraining choice. In other words: this is a defence mechanism.
Alternatively, energy is imported by the stamping of the field of potentials by exogenous events. Only the events whose energy balances the internal energy of the field are "selected". Events whose energy does not comply with this restraint – are rejected or distorted. This selectivity also characterizes defence mechanisms.
Patterns, Structures, Shapes
Patterns are an attribute of networks (which are composed of interconnected and interacting hyperclusters). The field of potentials is stamped by all manner of events – endogenous as well as exogenous. The events are immediately classified in accordance with their energy content. They become part of hyperclusters or networks through the process of realization (in which lingual energy decays through the allowed levels of excitation).
These are the processes known as Assimilation (in a network) and Accommodation (the response of the network to assimilation, its alteration as a result). Every event belongs to a hypercluster or to a network. If its level of excitation is not "recognized" (from the past) – the brain first checks the most active hyperclusters and networks (those of the recent past and immediate present). Finally, it examines those hyperclusters and networks which are rarely used (primitive). Upon detecting an energetically appropriate hypercluster or network – the event is incorporated into them. This, again, is Assimilation. Later on, the hypercluster or the network adapt to the event. This is Accommodation which leads to equilibrium.
Assimilation is possible which is not followed by accommodation. This leads to regression and to the extensive use of Primitive Defence Mechanisms.
Compatibility with Current Knowledge
A person tends to maintain some correspondence between his Fixed Level of Energy and his level of energy at any given moment.
External events change the field equation (=the fixed level of energy) and activate calibration and regulation mechanisms that reduce or increase the level of activity. This restores the individual to his normal plateau of activity and to a balance of energy. These energetic changes are considered in advance and the level of activity is updated even before the gap is formed.
When stimuli recur they lose some of their effectiveness and they require less energy in relating to them. Dynamics such as excitement, differentiation and development provoke such an excited state that it can disintegrate the field. A downward calibration mechanism is activated, the Integration.
When an event cannot be attributed to a hypercluster, to a network, or to a string (a field line) – a new structure is invented to incorporate it. As a result, the very shape of the field is altered. If the required alteration is sizeable, it calls for the dismantling of hyperstructures on various levels and for a forced experimentation with the construction of alternative hyperstructures.
The parsimonious path of least resistance calls for an investment of minimum energy to contain maximum energy (coherence and cohesiveness).
Structures whose level of energy (excitation) is less than the new structure are detached from the new hyperstructures created in order to accommodate it (Denial) or are incorporated into other hyperstructures (Forced Matching). A hyperstructure which contains at least one structure attached to it in a process of forced matching is a Forced Hyperstructure. The new hyperstructure is energetically stable – while the forced hyperstructure is energetically unstable. This is why the forced hyperstructure pops into consciousness (is excited) more often than other hyperstructures, including new ones.
This is the essence of a defence mechanism: an automatic pattern of thinking or acting which is characterized by its rigidity, repetitiveness, compulsiveness and behavioural and mental contraction effects. The constant instability is experienced as tension and anxiety. A lack of internal consistency and limited connections are the results.
Distinguishes between 3 components: emotions (=potentials), cognitions (=structures) and interpretations (hyperstructures) and memory (the stamping process).
Memory is a complete conscious state and it is reconstructed as such.
In our terminology: the structure is hologramic and fractal-like.
Cognition (=the structure) leads to emotions (=decays into a potential).
This is a partial description of the second leg of the process.
Emotions (=potentials) precede cognitions (=structures). Emotion is based on an element of energy – and cognition is based on an element of information.
This distinction seems superfluous. Information is also energy – packed and ordered in a manner which enables the (appropriately trained) human brain to identify it as such. "Information", therefore, is the name that we give to a particular mode of delivery of energy.
Emotions influence the organization of cognitions and allow for further inter-cognitive flexibility by encouraging their interconnectedness.
My interpretation is different. Emotions (=potentials) which organize themselves in structures are cognitions. The apparent distinction between emotions and cognition is deceiving.
This also renders meaningless the question of what preceded which.
See also: Piaget, Hays (1977), Marcus, Nurius, Loewenthal (1979).
Greenberg and Safran
Emotions are automatic responses to events. The primordial emotion is a biological (that is to say physical) mechanism. It reacts to events and endows them with meaning and sense. It, therefore, assists in the processing of information.
The processing is speedy and based on responses to a limited set of attributes. The emotional reaction is the raw material for the formation of cognitions.
As opposed to Loewenthal, I distinguish the processing of data within the field of potentials (=processing of potentials) from the processing of data through structures (=structural processing). Laws of transformation and conservation of energy prevail within the two types of processing. The energy is of the informational or lingual type.
The processing of potentials is poor and stereotypical and its influence is mainly motoric. Structural processing, on the other hand, is rich and spawns additional structures and alterations to the field itself.
All states of consciousness act in concert. When transition between these states occurs, all the components change simultaneously.
The organism tends to organize the stimuli in its awareness in the best possible manner (the euformic or eumorphic principle).
The characteristics of the organization are: simplicity, regularity, coordination, continuity, proximity between components, clarity. In short, it adopts the optimal Path of Least Resistance (PLR), or path of minimum energy (PME).
The processes of integration (assimilation) and differentiation (accommodation) foster harmony. Disharmony is generated by repeating a fixed pattern without any corresponding accommodative or assimilative change.
Filter – is a situation wherein a structure in PLR/PME materializes every time as the default structure. It, therefore, permanently occupies certain levels of excitation, preventing other structures from materializing through them. This also weakens the stamping process.
The Bauer Model of Memory Organization (1981)
Our memory is made of units (=representations, which are the stampings of structures on the field). When one unit is activated, it activates other units, linked to it by way of association. There are also inhibitory mechanisms which apply to some of these links.
A memory unit activates certain units while simultaneously inhibiting others.
The stamped portion of the field of potentials which materializes into a structure does so within a hyperstructure and along a string which connects similar or identical stamped areas. All the stamped areas which are connected to a hyperstructure materialize simultaneously and occupy allowed levels of excitation. This way, other structures are prevented from using the same levels of excitation. Activation and inhibition, or prevention are simultaneous.
The Model of Internal Compatibility
A coherent experience has an affective dimension (=potential), a dimension of meaning (=structure) and of memory (=stamping). Awareness is created when there is compatibility between these dimensions (=when the structures materialize and de-materialize, are realized, without undergoing changes). The subconscious is a state of incompatibility. This forces the structures to change, it provokes denial, or forced adjustment until compatibility is obtained.
Emotions relate to appropriate meanings and memories (=potentials become structures which are, as we said, hologramic and of fractal nature). There are also inter-experiential knots: emotions, meanings and / or memories which interlink. A constant dynamics is at play. Repressions, denials and forced adjustments break structures apart and detach them from each other. This reduces the inner complexity and "internal poverty" results.
The Pathology according to Epstein (1983)
In this article, (1) and (3) are assumed to be facets of the same thing.
A trauma tears apart the emotional side of the experience from its verbal-cognitive one (=the potential never materializes and does not turn into a structure).
Learning and memory are situational context dependent. The more the learning is conducted in surroundings which remind the student of the original situation – the more effective it proves to be.
A context is an exogenic event whose energy evokes hyperstructures/networks along a string. The more the energy of the situation resembles (or is identical to) the energy of the original situation – the more effectively will the right string resonate. This would lead to an Optimal Situational Resonance.
It is the similarity of meanings which encourages memorizing.
In my terminology: structures belong to the same hyperstructures or networks along a common string in the field of potentials.
Bartlett (1932) and Nacer (1967)
Memory does not reflect reality. It is its reconstruction in light of attitudes towards it and it changes according to circumstances. The stamping is reconstructed and is transformed into a structure whose energies are influenced by its environment.
Data processing is a process in which stimuli from the outer world are absorbed, go through an interpretative system, are classified, stored and reconstructed in memory.
The subconscious is part of the conscious world and it participates in its design through the processing of the incoming stimuli and their analyses. These processing and analysis are mostly unconscious, but they exert influence over the conscious.
Data is stored in three loci:
The first one is in the Sensuous Storage Centre. This is a subconscious registry and it keeps in touch with higher cognitive processes (=the imprinting of events in the field of potentials). This is where events are analysed to their components and patterns and acquire meaning.
Primary (short term) Memory – is characterized by the focusing of attention, conscious processing (=the materialization of a structure) and repetition of the material stored.
Long Term Storage – readily available to consciousness.
We distinguish three types of memory: not reconstructible (=no stamping was made), reconstructible from one of the storage areas (=is within a structure post stamping) and memory on the level of sensual reception and processing. The latter is left as a potential, does not materialize into a structure and the imprinting is also the stamping.
The data processing is partly conscious and partly subconscious. When the structure is realized, a part of it remains a potential. Material which was processed in the subconscious cannot be consciously reconstructed in its subconscious form. A potential, after all, is not a structure. The stimuli, having passed through sensual data processing and having been transformed into processed material – constitute a series of assumptions concerning the essence of the received stimulus. Imprinting the field of potentials creates structures using lingual energy.
Meichenbaum and Gilmore (1984)
They divide the cognitive activity to three components:
Events, processes and cognitive structures.
An event means activity (=the materialization of potentials into structures). A process is the principle according to which data are organized, stored and reconstructed, or the laws of energetic transition from potential to structure. A cognitive structure is a structure or pattern which receives data and alters both the data and itself (thus influencing the whole field).
External data are absorbed by internal structures (=imprinting) and are influenced by cognitive processes. They become cognitive events (=the excitation of a structure, the materialization into one). In all these, there is a subconscious part. Subconscious processes design received data and change them according to pre-determined principles: the data storage mechanisms, the reconstruction of memory, conclusiveness, searching and review of information.
Three principles shape the interpretation of information. The principle of availability is the first one. The individual relates to available information and not necessarily to relevant data (the defaulting of structures). The principle of representation: relating to information only if it matches conscious data. This principle is another rendition of the PLR/PME principle. It does take less energy and it does provoke less resistance to relate only to conforming data. The last principle is that of affirmation: the search for an affirmation of a theory or a hypothesis concerning reality, bringing about, in this way, the affirmation of the theory's predictions.
Distinguishes between two kinds of knowledge and two types of deficiency: Distinction, Lack of Distinction, Understanding, Lack of Understanding.
Perception is the processing of information and consciousness is being aware of perception. The focusing of attention transforms perception (=imprinting and the evocation of a structure) into a conscious experience (=the materialization of a structure). Perception antecedes awareness.
The subconscious can be divided to four departments:
Sub-threshold perception, Memory/Forgetfulness, Repression and Dissociation.
There is no full segregation between them and there are cross-influences.
The distinction between repression and dissociation: in repression there is no notice of anxiety producing content. In dissociation, the internal ties between mental or behavioural systems is not noted (and there is no obscuring or erasure of content).
Intuition is intellectual sensitivity to information coming from the external or from the internal surroundings – though this information was not yet clearly registered. It channels the study of the world and the observations which must lead to deep insights. This, in effect, is awareness of the process of materialization. Attention is focused on the materialization rather on the structure being materialized.
Is Consciousness a Physical Dimension or a Force Field?
Consciousness involves – even amounts to - the processing of information. Is it another dimension?
A dimension is always isomorphic or fractal: each point is indistinguishable from every other point. No point is privileged in any way. Each point contains the total information about the entire dimension (ie., about all the other points that comprise the dimension).
Space and time, for example, don’t evolve. They just are.
In contrast: Information grows in time. So, each datum-point is utterly different to all its predecessors and successors.
This fact precludes any attempt to cast information or consciousness as a dimension.
Rather, information is a property of other dimensions (such as time).
The connection between order, disorder, entropy, time, and information has been studied extensively. I had discussed the very same ideas already in the 1980s:
The idea of a “field of order” was very current in the 1960s-1990s. It was often conflated with “dimensions”.
Fields do not interact with dimensions or influence them. One is a pure mathematical entity (metric) and the other is the expression of a force.
There are physicists and mathematicians (like Penrose) who consider consciousness to be the “missing piece” – but not as dimension, more like another force that renders probabilistic nature deterministic.
Increasingly, it seems that the Copenhagen School of Quantum Mechanics were on to something: the act of observation is involved somehow in the creation of the Universe around us on the fly.
These are still widely considered wild and exotic outlier interpretations which are thought to reflect difficulties with the formalism and the incompleteness of our current understanding of the quantum realm.
The intractable conundrum is that when it comes to “consciousness”, each and every one of us is a privileged observer – but only of his or her own “mind” (the intersubjectivity problem). To claim that others are conscious is a very shaky proposition, let alone to suggest that consciousness is an attribute of reality.
Many confuse processes with dimensions. Thinking, intelligence, information processing, the activities of the brain or the “mind” – these are the equivalents of clocks or other measurement devices. They happen within and operate in spacetime.
It had been suggested (Issar, 1989) that consciousness/information is a dimension because of the way our mind “moves” in it or on it. If so, why choose consciousness/information as a new dimension? Why not choose life, for instance? Life also “moves” and it is as much as an enigma as consciousness, if not more so.
Moreover, to designate consciousness as a “dimension” of the universe is the height of anthropocentrism!
And why not regard consciousness/information as a property or attribute of the universe rather than erroneously use of mathematical concept of dimension? It makes a much stronger case: consciousness and information are clearly present in the cosmos, the latter ubiquitously so.
There is an enormous body of work in physics which incorporated concepts from information theory, including theoretical breakthroughs linking information to entropy and to processes in the brain.
Space and time have no “direction” or “shape” or “events”.
The concepts of “circle” (multiple points arranged in a specific shape) or “future” (multiple instants divided to past and present) or “event” are forms of human apophenia or pareidolia and are highly anthropocentric: they have nothing to do with the nature of spacetime.
Aliens are likely to perceive space and time very differently to us and observe “events” in ways which would render them incomprehensible or chaotic to us.
Thus, for example, 10 points arranged in a circle are no different, ontologically, to 10 points arranged in a straight line or not at all!
There is no “direction” or “shape” in spacetime as anyone with a cursory and rudimentary acquaintance with Special Relativity knows!
Moreover, to reiterate: dimensions do not exist in reality. They are mathematical entities, metrics (apropos your mention of Kant). They are immutable, uniform, shapeless.
Information, in contrast, is real and accumulates over time: it grows and evolves and shapeshifts.
There are other, similarly ubiquitous phenomena: life, order, entropy, and some say consciousness. None of these is a “dimension” or “field” in the sense that these words are used in physics.
Too often, people peddle metaphysics masquerading as ersatz physics!
Even the use of the word “direction” instead of “dimension” betrays ignorance: dimensions have no directions (or any other real life properties).
The contention that there is a universal bipolar field of order vs. entropy (“disorder”) is interesting, but, alas, not original at all (even in 1989): in physics we have Landau, in information theory Shannon, and dozens of philosophers starting in the 18th century. You and I discussed the same idea in our talks. No new insight or “enlightenment” here.
Even so, the most fundamental assertion in many of these systems of thought is simply wrong.
Entropy does not necessarily increase in open systems. It often decreases. The only closed system we know of is the Universe (and even this is hotly disputed by proponents of the multiverse, white holes, and a plethora of other theories).
A good summary of the contemporary knowledge at that time is given here: “Entropy and Its Physical Meaning” by Dugdale (1996).
Here is an example of an article from 1984: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/0375960184909344
Many philosophers confuse order with complexity (a common mistake of laymen). Thus, the early universe had LOW entropy, not high entropy!
And watch this 3 minutes long excellent explanation:
An investment of energy creates BOTH entropy and order.
For example: entropy INCREASES in the sun as it emits energy. On Earth, this solar energy BOTH DECREASES entropy as it nourishes life AND INCREASES entropy as it powers natural disasters such as extreme weather events and heat dissipating ocean currents!
Most the order in the world is actually NOT the outcome of fields. From chemical bonding to romantic bonding, entities are attracted to each other (or repel each other) and create order not in accordance with the lines of any force field. Epiphenomenal self-assembly is common.
Increasingly, the concept of an “order field” seems to acquire a religious-metaphysical dimension. It is definitely counterfactual.
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