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Consciousness, properties and methods of its analysis

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  • Chris Lofting
    In the analysis of the concept of Consciousness , or any concept for that matter, we need to identify the properties and methods of the manner in which the
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 15, 2002
      In the analysis of the concept of 'Consciousness', or any concept for that
      matter, we need to identify the properties and methods of the manner in
      which the analysis is made in that the method of deriving meaning determines
      the structure of meaning and as such consciousness will appear to us in a
      number of different ways, all expressed in the different qualities we derive
      from the method of analytical thinking.

      The IDM model [http://pages.prodigy.net/lofting/id.html%5d of brain function
      and the manner in which meaning is derived identifies basic, unconscious,
      physiological processes that allow for the development of 'meaning' in the
      form of a set of generic qualities we all share as members of the same
      species.

      The process of analysis that we all experience consciously reflects the
      EXAGGERATION of a sensation where 'something' in the realm of the 'everyday'
      has attracted attention. This attraction of attention reflects a response to
      a stimulus to which we reply 'mindlessly', the everyday is dominated by
      stimulus/response processes and as such functions at an unconscious level. A
      'difference' will attract attention to a degree where we become 'conscious'
      of that difference, we analyse it to identify it and so adapt to it or
      ignore it. This process from unconscious to conscious reflects the passage
      'up' a hierarchic structure where, if something fails identification at an
      unconscious level it is passed 'up' for 'finer' analysis (since much of our
      everyday is 'novel' so we are very active in novelty management).

      This process of 'finer analysis' reflects the path from unconscious to
      conscious as a path from general to particular; from approximation to
      precision where, even though approximation is present at the level of the
      particular it is EXTREMELY precise (e.g. as in the extremely precise
      probabilities in quantum mechanics). [all of this indicates the presence of
      a 'dimension of precision' as a tool for analysis, derived from the
      differentiation/integration processes of our physiology - (see diagram :
      http://pages.prodigy.net/lofting/dimension.jpg )]

      Analysis of the initial processes of 'bringing something to awareness'
      identifies the processes of differentiation and integration that serve to
      exaggerate a sensation and as such be the sources of meaning in that the
      dynamics of these processes, their entanglements WITHIN A CONTEXT, A FRAME
      OF REFERENCE, A UNIVERSE OF DISCOURSE, elicits the qualities we use to
      derive meaning (no context - no meaning, which means that the extreme in
      meaning derivation is in the form of self-referencing).

      The analysis performed (IDM) has identified the patterns of
      differentiation/integration processes that we associate with meanings and
      with which we can work backwards to flesh-out the qualities of the base
      distinctions of differentiate/integrate. By this I mean that we can identify
      the patterns of POSSIBLE meanings derivable from the initial distinction
      where that distinction is a conscious response to 'something' and, once
      made, determines all that follows - this reflects the notion of the
      importance of 'first impressions' in that once the brain 'colours' something
      it can be very hard to change that initial impression; as such we 'forget'
      nothing, at best we can neutralise the 'error' in perception, we can bury
      it.

      When something is brought to one's attention the response is in the form of
      an act of differentiation, as in identifying something as 'known', or as an
      act of integration where we analyse, we integrate various context-embedded
      clues to try and identify this 'unknown' (aka approximate or implied
      'something').

      Analysis of typologies derived in our culture enable us to map the
      categories of these typologies to their derivation using recursion where the
      differentiate/integrate dichotomy applied recursively will generate patterns
      of generic meanings that are labelled and so grounded in a context; all of
      the 'best' typologies reflect the SAME pattern in general meaning since
      their source is in the neurocognitive processes of the species; their
      differences stem from their location, be it in time (historic) or space
      (local geography etc) where local conditions are recruited as we try to
      identify universals.

      The IDM work suggests that, from an initial use of differentiation, the
      focus of attention is drawn in general to perspectives of the
      individual/culture focused upon either solution seeking (aka problem
      solving) OR sensation seeking (i.e. clearly identifying the 'point').
      Whereas the initial use of integration will focus attention to either
      identity seeking or security seeking [these 'seekings', and their affect on
      our reflections on 'consciousness' will be detailed below]

      Furthermore, the dimension of precision is here in that the more the
      exaggeration, the more energy we use in analysis, so we move 'along' the
      dimension and in doing so we can identify 'steps' in meaning generation; we
      can identify the 'strata' within the hierarchic format reflected in the
      dimension that it 'moves' from 'general' to 'particular', from a focus on
      general differentions and integrations to a focus on over-differentiating.

      The dimension of precision contains the above four categories of 'seeking'
      where the order, from 'lowest' energy to 'highest' energy is such:

      identity seeking, security seeking, solutions seeking, sensation seeking

      This dimension of precision, here in horizontal format, is also applicable
      vertically in that each point on the horizontal serves as a grounding for
      the dimension applied vertically. Thus the movement from 'general' to
      'particular' is along the horizontal as well as 'up' the vertical. In fact,
      every dimension we use reflects this format and as such reflects a basic
      property of the species and, since the species is supposed to have adapted
      to the universe, so reflects the universe - or more so the properties and
      methods of energy expression within the universe as perceived by our
      neurology.

      As indicated in the above diagram, from a mathematical perspective, this
      'dimension of precision' manifests a Gauss function, a bell-shaped curve
      (aka 'normal distribution') reflecting an exponential law (recursion of a
      dichotomy, i.e. A/NOT-A, reflects exponentiation in powers of 2) the degrees
      of precision reflect different Gauss distributions such that an increase in
      energy means an increase in amplitude as we approach the 'point'.

      In the 'dimension of precision' diagram above, we can associate curve 1 with
      'identity seeking', curve 2 with 'security seeking', curve 3 with 'solutions
      seeking', and curve 4 with 'sensation seeking'. The focus in these
      differences is on the establishment of the POINT, the TEXT, the UNIVERSAL.
      However, from analysis of behaviours and the structure of the dimension, the
      'low' energy levels for identity and security seeking in fact hides their
      true focus that is on the distribution of energy in the CONTEXT as well as
      the TEXT and so a sensitivity to local context and so a bias to 'fitting
      in', to adapting to changes in context as compared to the sensation seeking
      level that is more into asserting one's own context (replacement of current
      context with a 'new' one). Thus the dimension of precision applied to text
      is complemented by a dimension of precision applied to context.

      There are some interesting properties that are derived from the interactions
      of these dimensions, properties that influence our map-making of reality and
      as such, if gone unnoticed, can 'skew' our perceptions to our peril as well
      as advantage. At the 'low level' energy positions on the dimension, the
      differentiation of something from 'all else' is slight WHEN COMPARED to what
      is possible in the high energy positions.

      the realm of 'low energy' positions is the realm of a more balanced
      perspective in differentiations/integrations such that, when compared to the
      high energy positions, the low areas seem 'dominated' by an integration
      bias.

      The low energy positions reflect minor exaggerations above the 'flat line'
      of the everyday of the Universe - the world of mindless stimulus/responses
      and limited, if any, 'awareness', but these low energy positions also reflec
      t 'true' species positions where we adapt to the context by deriving degrees
      of our identity from that context; context can PUSH the
      individual/collective such that we adapt to different contexts by 'allowing'
      the context to bring-out some aspect of our personas that 'fit' the context,
      that ensure we adapt quickly and efficiently - there is no attempt to impose
      one's own context, a property of the high level energy expressions where
      charisma 'rules'.

      Thus, as a species-member, once you develop good habits so you reduce the
      energy required, you conserve energy, in dealing with the context. The
      utilisation of energy along the dimension of precision reflects degrees of
      analysis, thus a low to medium level focus is more into integrating
      information to come-up with an identification. Higher focus shifts from the
      initial integration bias (aka low level differentiations) to a strong
      differentiation bias.

      From the perspective of the species, the low energy positions reflect more
      sociological perspectives and a focus on the local context. As we move 'up'
      the energy positions so the context becomes increasingly universal as the
      text becomes more local, more 'dot' precise, but this universal context
      becomes narrower due to the isolation perspective that develops out of the
      higher and higher concentration of energy to identify 'something'. As such
      we can develop our 'own little universes', we move into self-referencing as
      the source of meaning and the assertion of that 'personal universe' as if
      THE universe. (which gets us into ontology creation and 'my' interpretation
      over 'your' interpretation etc etc)

      The psychological type categorisation systems developed over thousands of
      years of our conscious lives are all metaphors for biases in physiological
      functions, the IDM categories, and as such demonstrate that not only is the
      dimension of precision dynamic but that individuals as well as collectives
      can develop at any one 'point' on that dimension and can apply the dimension
      vertically such that 'identity' seeking personas have their roots in nature
      and well as nurture; our genetically-determined basic physiology can place
      us on this dimension prior to birth! (which comes with some interesting
      consequences in that certain persona types reflect their roots in
      experiencing fear, and yet a nature-determined persona can be born 'fearful'
      but never having experienced any fear! - genetic diversity at work)

      The 'dimension of precision' is a reflection of the application of
      exponentiation laws and as such reflects the development of dichotomies
      recursively, both vertically as well as horizontally (as in across each row
      of each level of recursion - see
      http://pages.prodigy.net/lofting/btree.gif )

      This emphasis means that the 'dimension of precision' is reflected in the
      basic dichotomy of 0/1 (low energy/high energy) such that a dichotomy is NOT
      a '50:50', a 1:1, representation but more so a focus on
      integrations[balance] - the 0 - and differentiations[exaggerations] - the 1.
      As such, negation, the NOT-A, the '0', is mapped to the integrated everyday
      whereas the A is mapped to the exaggerated everyday of our conscious
      species. We see this in the brain in that the positive perspective is mapped
      to the single context, high precision, left 'brain', the realm of the
      'KNOWN', and the negative is mapped to the multicontext, less precise, right
      'brain', the realm of the 'UNKNOWN' (or 'approximate'). As such, the PRECISE
      , often raw, expression of anger/negation is done in a very 'positive' way
      when one is certain about one's intent! ;-)

      What is implied here is that a 'true' dichotomy is in fact a highly
      concentrated form of continuum identified only by its 'poles' (the bounds of
      perceptions) - the application of recursion 'fleshes out' the dimension;
      there is no real 'cut', the elements are not 'apart'; 'no' is not apart from
      'yes', it is an exaggeration, as are all binary expressions.

      When we analyse the characteristics of the brain, we find that the dimension
      of precision is manifest in left-right brain patterns reflecting the
      emergence of the properties of the left from the right; the 'male' from the
      'female', the 'dot' from the 'field', the 'AS INTERPRETED' from 'AS IS', the
      exaggerated, the differentiated, from the balanced, the integrated.

      However, even these 'polarisations' are in themselves exaggerations in that
      the exaggeration process encapsulates, isolates, 'something' from the
      mindless realm of the everyday and in doing so creates a distorted microcosm
      where the balance of differentiations/integrations is distorted in favour of
      differentiations and as such impoverishes integration properties, one of
      which is that of time in its thermodynamic form - the exaggerations lead to
      time being interpreted mechanically and allows for us to experience the
      notion of the 'eternal' and that experience, even though 'delusion' from the
      perspective of the Universe, is very real for us and as such needs analysis
      BUT grounded in the hybrid reality we have created (and continue to do so).
      This is an important area of study in that it is the source of the notions
      of the 'spiritual'.

      Given all of the above, reflections on the nature of, the properties and
      method of, 'consciousness' will generate a lot of 'difference' but by
      identifying the patterns of deriving meaning so we can integrate all of the
      differences to identify the sameness that we all share as conscious species.
      BUT, a property of integration is that of being only approximate in
      identification when compared to what can be done using differentiations,
      such that to identify consciousness from the perspective of the species can
      only be done through IMPLICATIONS - the best precision possible in
      integrations is a statistical precision limited to no less than 2;
      differentiation lets you zoom-in to focus on ONE but in doing so you distort
      that identification, you extract it as a part from the whole.

      The DEGREE of identification will depend on the distribution of basic
      'types' within a collective. For example, in the USA the dominating types
      are:

      (a) security seeking (they work out of moral fear to distinguish 'them' from
      'us' and as such structure and control, a push to serve 'Man' as well as
      being 'guardians', traditional, commerce oriented WITHIN the boundary set-up
      to protect 'us' from 'them')

      (b) sensation seeking (the excitable, artisan, sanguine type. Risk and
      independence driven)

      These two general types make-up over 70% of the US population and as such
      reflect a dominating expression of an aspect of consciousness. That said,
      the more 'academic' oriented individuals (those not focused on
      management/leadership), the identity seeking and problem solving, have a
      different perspective and so reflect a different form of, and approach to,
      consciousness.

      The fundamental difference between the minority group (30%) and the majority
      group (70%) is that of focus on text/context, where the minority group focus
      is more on what is BEHIND consciousness as compared to the majority group
      who either don't have the time or are not interested or who 'believe' and as
      such have no need to question.

      These four general types will vary in distributions across collectives in
      that the collective, its education system etc, can act to 'distort'
      perspectives; the collective itself takes-on a form of 'consciousness'.
      Furthermore the zooming-in on the dimension of precision means we derive
      finer and finer details of DIFFERENT perspectives, all considered 'unique'
      and as such each of these will reflect an aspect of consciousness that
      cannot be left-out in our reflections upon consciousness.

      To resolve all differences we have to work 'backwards' in that we have to
      fold our categorisations, all of the differences, back into their GENERAL
      forms and try and identify the shared elements of the species, the sameness,
      to identify the 'root' elements of consciousness but then we have moved from
      the explicit to the implicit, from differentiation biases to integration
      biases.

      Overall, the source of differences in perspectives can be traced to the
      dimension of precision which reflects different expressions of consciousness
      all related to energy management through the integration, exaggeration, and
      differentiation processes. As such the 'clearer' the picture the more the
      cost in energy UNLESS a habit has been developed that conserves energy.

      The focus in 'high detail' analysis of consciousness is a focus on the
      individual, the differentiated, and yet that focus is a distortion where the
      unconscious processes that lead to the notion of "I AM" are more often
      ignored, consciousness is deemed 'magical' and coming out of 'nowhere',
      ignoring the integrating processes of the 'mindless' everyday of the species
      that pre-exist awareness.

      If we zoom-down to the level of the neuron we can identify one function that
      seems to be a possible source of consciousness. This function is what IDM
      calls the Transcendence function. This function has its roots in the
      synchronisation processes of the neurology where it is through that
      synchronisation that 'high quality' experiences are achieved and that
      includes the 'sudden' transition from a context to a 'better' context - a
      process of REPLACEMENT as well as sudden enlightenment, a 'new perspective'
      opens-up; as such, high energy integrations lead to a differentiation and
      since conscious individuals who go through the experiences recognise them as
      a 'lifting' of consciousness and so they recognise the transcendence
      function as being able to achieve a 'change' in consciousness that could be
      reflected in the transition from the 'unconscious' to the 'conscious'.

      The high energy involved in the transcendence function reflects the
      'clarity' of binary thinking that, if exaggerated even further, as Verhulst
      and Mandelbrot have shown us, can lead to our crossing into the realms of
      complexity/chaos and so into the realm of emergence. The living in the
      'mindless' everyday, on autopilot, reflects the withdrawal of energy back
      down the dimension of precision (and in severe, life-threatening situations
      the realm of the abstract gives way to a focus on the concrete and basic
      survival, we fall back to the 'flat line' of our basic species nature). This
      dynamic 'along' the dimension of precision reflects the concepts of phase
      transitions which reflects the transcendence function at work in that the
      function works as a form of 'jump', the focus is on a 'sudden' change, a
      discreteness in the 'continuum' of the everyday of the species.

      The source of transcendence IS more in the 'high detail analysis' level of
      things but that level is not 'out of nowhere', it is rooted in the
      underlying physiological processes of the species. Furthermore, since the
      dimension of precision is applicable vertically to each point on the
      horizontal form of the dimension, so transcendence is POSSIBLE at all points
      along the dimension BUT available energy may act to limit transcendence or
      even prohibit it in there not being enough energy to make the 'jump'.

      The only 'issue' here is that the transcendence function allows for a 'jump'
      into gaga-land, one's 'own little world' takes over and psychosis can
      develop. BUT psychosis reflects another aspect of consciousness and as such
      also needs to be analysed in the context of consciousness analysis.

      Primarily we need to recognise the difference between the everyday of the
      Universe and the everyday of the species where the latter reflects the
      taking of elements of the Universe, their exaggerations, differentiations,
      and re-integration into the everyday BUT a slight 'offset' is applied in
      that the re-integration is more an integration into the hybrid everyday of
      the species where "AS IS" is entangled with "AS INTERPRETED". Consciousness
      seems to be more related to the hybrid reality in that the notion of the
      'eternal' stems from a mindless consequence of our physiology but stands as
      a strong influence upon our species nature and that includes being credited
      with being the 'source' of consciousness.

      'Lower' forms of consciousness, as in the 'self-awareness' identified in
      apes etc requires a DIFFERENT focus that excludes properties and methods in
      us but still focuses on the one thing we seem to share with many other
      species - the neuron, and so the Transcendence function.

      Best,

      Chris.
      http://pages.prodigy.net/lofting
      http://www.yahoogroups.com/group/IDMeaning
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