Distal and Proximal Worlds
Bliss lies in the perfection of the spirit. It is the feeling of the love of life that lasts over the years. Bliss is based on its own magic, a belief that everything is good; there is a higher way. Behind it all, there has to be a universal path of understanding.
Yes, there has to be a magic, a logic, a knowledge that connects all of us together.
To achieve bliss is to move the heart, to uplift the mind and heart to lofty aspirations. For those who have found bliss, they must reflected it back to fellow men. In bliss, we amplify love, be the peace we aspire, relax into our true purpose.
When Consciousness Enters the Body
During the months before birth, the fetus develops the brain and consciousness. Here the salt begins to form. Slowly as the child develops. The salt density increases to the point that the baby experiences sensations.
During adolescence, certain areas of the brain gain consciousness. Here the salt levels increase and the person starts to feel sexual desires and notice the other (or same) sex.
Left and Right Brains
When the corpus callosum is severed, the left and right brains become disconnected resulting in a spilt-brain patient. The corpus callosum is the connecting tissue between the left and right brains. This tissue allows communication between the left and right hemispheres of the brain. Spilt-brain patients seem to have two souls and separate experiences. For example, if a word is displayed to the right-side of the visual field, the left brain can read the word. If shown to left-side of the visual field, the right brain does not know the word, but can draw a picture of what the word means.
This can be understood using this saltwater analogy. When one pours half a glass of salt-water into another glass, one can see that the salt-water is now separated.
Access to the Brain
The brain can be injured if directly accessed using needles, drills and knives. The use of fMRI and MRI equipment is not intrusive, and gives what seems to be excellent results. But the MRI equipment only measures the change in oxygen in the blood.
Also the person tested in a MRI machine is not in a natural environment. MRI equipment is very loud, and the patient is enclosed in a tight area. The loud sounds require the use of noise protective headgear. Children animals, and people suffering from claustrophobia must be excluded.
Studies of the brain are also made through the study of people suffering from physical brain injury, or people who have had some part of their brain removed. When brain tissue is injured or removed, it could be that the symptoms that occur could be from the distrubance of a functioning portion of the brain, or the distrubance of a signal pathway.
The Complexity of the Brain
The brain is very complex as symbolized by the picture of a cactus plant. One could image that the flowers represent consciousness, the clusters higher functions and the needles represent lower level functions.
A typical healthy human brain contains about 100,000,000,000 (100 billion) nerve cells, or neurons, linked to one another via about 70,000,000,000,000 (70 trillion) tiny contacts called synapses. It is at these synapses that an electrical impulse traveling along one neuron is relayed to another, either enhancing or inhibiting the likelihood that the second nerve will fire an impulse of its own. One neuron may make as many as tens of thousands of synaptic contacts with other neurons. (Stephen Smith, 2010)
Consciousness and the Brain
In consciousness we focus on one thought at a time, one or two feelings at a time. We sense the outer world as one unit with vision, sound, touch and all the other senses woven into one experience. This oneness, this unity of being lies in direct contrast to the hundreds of trillions of synapses.
We can suppose that the brain funnels the big picture of what is going on, the major thought, the impressions of the outer world and by some cosmic leap, this composite becomes our experience.
The Homunculus or Little Green Man
The homunculus represents the human being itself. to refer to any representation of a human being. It has been popularized in sixteenth century by alchemy and later in the nineteenth century in fiction. Historically it referred to the creation of a miniature, fully formed human.
One definition is what we have been calling the experiencer, the little green man in our brain. It is the homunculus that watches all this on our internal entertainment center. The eyes acting as a camera send video to our internal television set. The ears acting as microphones send audio to our internal speakers.
But the little green man needs all the stuff (the eyes, the brain, the entertainment center) inside his brain to experience his entertainment center. So there has to be a little green man in the little green man.
Like a Russian doll, there are homunculus within each homunculus. Thus we have a infinite number of little green men. One way around this is suppose we have parallel facing mirrors that bounce the experience repeatedly, one mirror inside the other. Another idea is the homunculus exists on another dimension where imagination is a direction.
The Moebius Strip and the Little Green Man Problem
Another way of looking at the little green man problem is to imagine that the little green man is akin to a moebius strip that has one dimension. It consists of a strip of paper that has a twist in it. The top side twists and becomes the bottom side. Therefore there is only one side.
Assume that the little green man exists in another dimension. The twist occurs between our three dimensions and a new dimension of consciousness.
Quantum Entanglement and the Little Green Man
Quantum entanglement is a physical phenomenon that occurs when pairs or groups of particles are generated or interact in ways such that the quantum state of each particle cannot be described independently – instead, a quantum state may be given for the system as a whole.
Measurements of physical properties such as position, momentum, spin, polarization, etc. performed on entangled particles are found to be appropriately correlated. For example, if a pair of particles is generated in such a way that their total spin is known to be zero, and one particle is found to have clockwise spin on a certain axis, then the spin of the other particle, measured on the same axis, will be found to be counterclockwise. Because of the nature of quantum measurement, however, this behavior gives rise to effects that can appear paradoxical: any measurement of a property of a particle can be seen as acting on that particle (e.g. by collapsing a number of superimposed states); and in the case of entangled particles, such action must be on the entangled system as a whole. It thus appears that one particle of an entangled pair "knows" what measurement has been performed on the other, and with what outcome, even though there is no known means for such information to be communicated between the particles, which at the time of measurement may be separated by arbitrarily large distances.
Another way of looking at the little green man problem is to consider that the two aspects of the little green may be entangled. One could One little green man might be on each side (actually the same side) of a moebius strip that crosses dimensions.
Zigzags in the Mind/Brain
During the year 2000, I was going through a divorce, and my parents died. I was under much stress. During this time, I slept while I was awake and could watch myself sleep. From this observation of myself sleeping I understood a little about what it is like to repair the brain during sleep.
After learning the technique, I found I could repeat the process, and could make myself sleep while awake. This process was very healing. I felt I could go to whatever needs work and picturing zigzags across my brain.
The zigzag connected one point to another and apparently made a path between different mental objects (ideas, memories, etc). The line might be connecting one thing to another, giving associations between mental objects.
The brain works something like a matrix of computers. In most electrical circuit the signals flow from the left to the right. However, if we have a matrix of computers connected together, the signals can pass in any direction.
Each computer has two types of information, the program that runs in each computer and the data that flows through the computers.
The program does something to the data. It might sort it alphabetically for example. The reference is the alphabet. A comes before B. This is a reference. If one of the computers does not sort it correctly, it is considered as wrong.
A simple way of diagramming the brain (Hunter B. Shirley, 1983) is shown in this PDF file. Below is a simplified table that contains the highlights of the PDF file.
Our sensory input is used to build a simulation of the world (2A). This information is passed to working memory (2B) and the Emotional Impulse Generator (3A). Long term memory (2C) is used by working memory (2B) and Long Term Emotions and Beliefs (3C). The current Working Emotion(s) (3B) is based on the Emotional Impulses (3A). The current needs is identified by Maslow Hierarchy of Needs (5B). The energy for the needs of the whole system is feed bay Body Energy (6B). The output (behavior) is censored by Behavioral Output (4C) which looks at the Emotions (3) and wisdom and other knowledge within in Long Term Memory (2C).
All this is linked to the experiencer namely us.
The above diagram is flat. Actually every neuron has a supervisor and supervisors its own neurons, forming billions of neuron networks. Each network has a task, and each network is inspected. The experiencer feels alive and experiences everything that we call consciousness.
With mental illness, the networks promote lessor actors and spilt apart into multiplicity.
The Top of the Brain
The top network is a pathway towards goodness (God) and serves as a superconsciousness or reference for the person.
A reference is needed anytime we use a map. We need to align the map so north is at the top of the page.
Reference Is Essential
In the world of electronics one needs to calibrate their instruments. A multimeter measures voltage, and when it reads one volt, it has to be the same as the standard volt as defined by the United States National Institute of Standards and Technology (or equivalent in other countries). There are also world-wide standards.
We too much have references. Using them we can deem what is good and bad. We define who we are and what we should do. Thus Neurological Goodness exits or we would not know what to do next. People who lack a reference do not know right from wrong and are tabled as asocial.
In addition there are some hardwired references such as the fear of falling
The Ultimate Reference
The concept of God is always expanding as we learn more. For me God made the universe and therefore is extremely smart and kind. By opening a channel to God, we can find peace and wisdom we need to be happy and joyous creatures.
God has many names, such as Allah.
The Second Ultimate Reference
The outer world of nature is the second ultimate reference. This is the scientific world of physical reality. The laws of nature to not change and science continues to discover more about these laws and never has the ultimate answers, but only the best current answers.
All animals must know about the physical world, or they would be quickly become food.
The Power of Scientific Experiment
An experiment is designed to find cause and effect. A hypothesis is tested. This is an idea we think might be true.
Ideally, the subjects or objects of study are divided at random into two lots, the control lot and the lot that will have a independent variable (IV) applied. The two lots otherwise much be balanced so other variables are canceled out. After the treatment has been applied to one lot, the dependent variable (DV) is measured. If the IV effects the DV we can say we have a supported hypothesis.
Some clergy discount science and evolution, but use the fruits of scientific thinking They use tv cameras, cell phones, and computers. Without science we would be back in the middle ages.
The Third Reference
Many people use other people as their reference. They believe television, friends and do not think for themselves. Yet we all must admit we need other people in our lives, and so we find people that believe in what we do and this makes us feel better. We need conformation of who we are.
Yet so much dogma is passed down through generations. Children are brainwashed by their parents. We must pass though a time where we rebel and start to thin for ourselves.
Our Human Limits of Knowledge and Awareness
Someone from another planet would not experience the world the way we do. They probably would have not only different perception, but different emotions as well.
We cannot see radio waves, and no one knew about them until we built the first radio.
There must be many things we have no idea about. Thus we have many limits of what we know.
This applies to emotions as well. For example, a depressed person might never have experienced joy.
And People are Different
Everyone has difference tastes, knowledge and experiences. We have difference sensors concerning how things taste. Some people like chocolate and others hate it. The sensory organs such as the tongue vary from people to people. Some people cannot taste or smell certain chemicals.
Noise in the Brain
Since the brain is a physical thing, like all chemical-electrical systems, it must generate noise. Some of the noise is white noise, like in radio and analog television receivers. There are other types of noise such as “squirrel talk” or “music in our head.”
By chanting and meditation we can get in control brain and stop the squirrel talk and music. This really works.
Electronic and Brain Noise
In the world of electronics, noise is created by the thermal noise in resistors. Heat makes the electrons to dance around. The snow one sees on a analog television set is generated by front end TV tuner.
Since the brain is a physical object, it too probably generates random signals. Random noise can be bad. The hearing circuitry within the brain can generate noise which is experienced as tinnitus. The brain is so vast, that its chemical and electrical activity generates no doubt a lot of noise.
But at a higher level, the brain is wired to generate random signals to help it try various ideas. These random signals are filtered and those that make it through the matrix are very unique and original. This is the source of our creative spirit at a neuron level.
Half Our Brain Cells Die
The brain not only builds, it destroys. By the time we become teenagers, half our brain cells are killed.
Using references at a higher level, if some circuit in the brain is tested by higher level brain circuits and found not to work, it is killed or disconnected. If a circuit is never used, it may be taken off line. In either case, the process is called "apoptosis."
When we learn to play a game, we don't remember our mistakes. The brain with its trillions of synapses must be pruned less it becomes paralyzed with too much information, conflicting decisions and cross purposes.
The pruning allows the brain to get rid of memories which get in the way. It allows us allows us to move away from our first family, forget a true love, and it allows us to erase doubt and confusion. One theory is that autism is caused by the lack of apoptosis.
The Magical Tower
One of the layers in the brain concerns what I call the magical tower.
At the top we look out the window and see far into the horizon of possibilities, into the awe of the clouds. From this prospective the solid ground is a blur and rather uninteresting.
But as we go down to ground floor, we see the rain splashing into puddles, the wind blowing the flowers. We walk on the solid ground of science and logic. We measure and predict and experiment with the physical world and find the equations and natures of how God made the universe.
We can also go down into the basement, and study the queen of all science, mathematics. There is no window here, only logic and the love for the truth.
The bottom layers of the tower lie in the sea of critical thinking, while the upper layers lie in the atmosphere of the divine.
We can cross talk, where one person is a spiritual room at the top and another is in the basement.
All the rooms in the tower must be visited. Science gives insight into the material world. Good metaphysics gives us inspiration and direction. Combine both, and we have health, wealth as well as insight and direction.
Centers in the Brain
The mind not only has layers and references, it has centers also.
The centers are layered and there are references for the centers.
Like a fractal, the brain is centers within centers.
A center in the brain is like a little person, that specializes in one simple task.
Each center, each task, each memory has two components, what it is about and what importance it has. The importance is reflected as a emotion. Thus all the objects in the brain have descriptive and emotional tags.
Using these tags, the upper layers evaluate ideas processed at a lower level.
This thinking about thinking is called meta thinking.
When done correctly it is called "critical thinking." Critical thinking allows us to debunk false beliefs and advertising ploys (Slife, 2005).
In medicine, there is sometimes a problem called "rigorous thinking." Here one pattern of thinking is used when it does not apply.
Rigorous thinking is often confused with critical thinking. Rigorous thinking is based on methodology, and often ignores its underlying assumptions and any alternative views. Using rigorous thinking children are often diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and medicated without using rigorous thinking that would include such things as the free will and personal responsibilities of the children.
About a third of a million people are killed due to non-critical thinking.
Consciousness is a phenomena, but it is not who we are. We are souls using consciousness. We are the operators of our brain, who direct the brain though consciousness.
If the brain is the computer, we are the operators.
This operator I call the "soul." I know it is old fashion, but I believe that there is a spiritual entity called the soul.
If the reader is not comfortable with the world “soul”, call it "the experiencer," the thing that learns, and witnesses life. It is the thing that enjoys food, sex, love and music.
The soul acts as a reference and director for the brain. The soul determines that something is good or bad or somewhere in between.
The soul may appear on the physical plane as a endless loop. I am that I am and I am that I am. For these reason it probably lives in a higher dimension.
The soul also needs a reference. The soul needs something, a universal standard. To me this is God.
But God gives us free will, and we often make mistakes. Mistakes do not feel good and we can get depressed if we make too many of them, or when we are under stress.
The Gold Standard
For those whose brain and consciousness reach very high, they can get insight of pure gold, namely God. Your eyes open to a deeper understanding. You are no long lost, in any sense.
Evil and Other Bad Things
Evil (life spelled backwards) is the absence of goodness. Like light, you can turn off goodness, but you do not turn on darkness. Evil is the absence of spiritual knowledge. It is also anything that interferes with the reference to God, and attacks goodness. Taking drugs, alcohol, for example, feels good for a short time, but destroys the connection to Reference.
The Mystery and Awe
The other dimensions of the soul are a mystery. What we have explained here, the mono direction, is the mere outline, the first level of understanding. There is so much more to know and experience. If this was not so, we would be done.
Most of us feel and experience that which we cannot explain. There is a power of insight, intuition, and magic. How do you explain love? How do you explain the miracle of birth? How do explain explaining?
More About the Distal and Proximal Worlds
Viewing the world through a distal window, the world is purely that of material and energy, the brain is made up of atoms. Truly we are just dust in the wind.
View the world through a proximal window, whatever we imagine and believe is true. Magic and illusions exist here.
We need to look through both windows.
Many a philosophical disagreement could be resolved by assuming that we live in two different worlds as illustrated by the wood cut L'atmosphère: météorologie populaire by Camille Flammarion (1888) on the right.
The Distal World of Dreams
The dream weaver catcher pictured at the right symbolizes that life is a series of dreams.
All dreams have their reference. We can dream the dream of reality. Here things are contingent on each other. Cause and effect work. The reality dream has consensus. People see much the same through the windows of distal reality.
A map is useless unless it gives a reference to North.
But we need a goal before we start our journey.
Thus our brain with trillions of neurons must have organization, a reference, a head of this organization.
Without a frame of reference, we are lost, and this is what is called functional insanity.
The Sentence in the Box Paradox
Information is either proximal or distal. The proximal world can and does have conflict. Contradictions such as the statements in the box below can easily coexist in the proximal world.
The distal world has no conflicts, it is as it is. It does not matter if it is observed or not. There could be anything in the distal world, parallel universes, time travel, who knows.
We detect with our senses only that part of the distal world that we can sense or logically deduce. We may speculate about a parallel universe, but we cannot detect it. It might be in the distal world, but it does not make any difference to us as we cannot know anything about it. If we could sense it we could use it.
The mechanisms to set up the proximal world within the brain are probably part of our animal nature and a product of our DNA. The actual model is based on our experience of first hand and second hard information.
If the proximal world differs from the distal world in important ways, then we are lost in the material universe. Our model is not good enough.
Just because you believe something about the outer world does not make it true. But if you believe in something that is not true, it can be helpful. If you believe that tomorrow will be another wonderful day, we have no way of proving this, but it does make us happier.
A lot of new age theories can be tested. Numerology, healing crystals, and the power of tarot cards are not to be taken seriously as they can be tested and shown that they do not work.
New thought is different. It basically says that you become what you think. Thus if you think positive thoughts, then you will live in a more positive world. There is nothing wrong about that. .
The body sets between the proximal and distal worlds. It serves as a interface. The body responds both to the proximal inner world we experience, and to things outside our knowledge and control in the outer physical distal world.
Believe that you are whole and healthy, the body tends to believe this and acts accordingly. We act accordingly. We go out and exercise. If we are sick, and don't go to the doctor, then we can get sicker. Doctors are part of God too.
Who is Looking at the Proximal World
There is a witness to the proximal world. This is the experiencer of life. This is the I behind the I. Some might call it the soul.
Who is Feeling the Proximal World?
The soul, the witness to the proximal world feels the pleasure and pain that is part of life. The soul has preferences and it likes pleasure from the taste of ice cream, to the feeling of living the examined life. There are practical things to learn how to make our life more juicier and have more depth.
Some Ideas in Having a Better Experience in Life
The experience of the soul can be controlled by the choices we make. To learn how to do this in the best way it is a matter of reprogramming what we believe and what we do. We have to start somehow.
The journey of a thousand miles starts with one step. (The Way of Lao-Tzu, 604 - 531 BC)
We become what we think. (As a Man Thinketh, James Allen, 1971)
Goodness exits period. If you don't believe it how can neurons make a discussion on what to do.
Everything time we make a decision, we tap our reference system as to what is good or what is bad. Each neuron in our brain that makes decisions, makes use of a reference so it knows what is best. There are three references in general, goodness, people and reality. So goodness, from the three references filters down.
Everything we do we do because at the time we thought it was the best thing. Sure we make mistakes, but again they seem like mistakes when one neuron judges another. This judgment is a feedback system, and if things don't work, things are changed within the brain.
Hindsight, history is often the best teacher. We and our brain aim to predict well.
For those who have ears to hear, spirit exists and this is the source of all goodness.
Behind the universe there is some undefined source that most people call Spirit or God. Since everything has a cause, there must be a first cause to everything. As one studies the complex mechanisms of the simple things in the body such as the clotting of blood, all this could not have happen by chance alone. Some of it is designed by trial and error (Darwinism), and the fittest do survive, but there is also some guidance.
Goodness and love seem to be built into us. Being close to God there is great joy. (The Mind on Fire, Blaise Pascal, 1623)
Different Kinds of Good Feelings
We can feel good by having good food, sex or buying stuff. Some find temporary pleasure with drugs. But the deeper longer lasting joy means being with your higher emotions and with Spirit.
Instead of getting high, be high. (Be Here Now, Baba Ram Dass, 1978)
Things that feel good deep inside are truly good. (The Third Force-Psychology of Abraham Maslow, Frank Goble, 1970)
Beyond all things, everyone wants peace and joy. (Beyond Words, Swami Satchidananda, 1977).
If good exists and we showed that it did, right, then we can be part of the this goodness. This means being on the path of goodness.
Always do your best! (One of ... The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz, 1997)
March 25, 2015