It was proposed here that all entities and
events are broad integrations of energy as waveforms and
particulate matter. A rock examined under the most powerful
micro-imaging devices would not appear all that different from
a piece of wood, i.e, an array of atomic particles in
ostensible random motion. This array and its interstitial
special forces, although very dynamic at a micro-observational
level, are cognized as solid and weighty when viewed in our
macro world as a rock.
Sentient beings such as humans are
similarly dynamic integrations of atomic level particulates
and variegated forces which serve to organize those
particulates - when viewed at a micro-level. Increasingly at a
macro-observational level the dynamic structure aggregation
becomes cognizable as a human being form.
Both the rock and the human form are
aggregated integrations of particulates and waveform
forces. They are both cognized as existential nodes.
However, the rock is a first-order node
in this rubric. Its identifiable form is fixed unless
operated on by external forces. The more complex sentient
human "node" can engage higher order functionality.
Incoming waveform energy, i.e., light, sound, etc. can be
integrated into senses, later as perceptions, and further as
concepts. Analogously with incoming particulate aggregations
such as food, water, etc.. These are higher order processes of
which the rock is incapable.
The key difference between the rock and
the human is that the latter node form can dynamically
integrate incoming waveform energies and particulates and then
selectively store them. Identity as we cognize it occurs when
this human node differentiates stored integrated aggregates.
So in this process for example, an array of incoming sensed
energy, i.e., sound and light impressions is sensed. Then it
is perceived, i.e., "sound", "light". At
the next order it is conceptualized, i.e., "flute
playing", "red jacket". At each ordered step an
increasingly complex integration is at least briefly
stored. Perception and conceptualization are
differentiation processes - it is a "flute playing"
as differentiated from a "woman singing". The
perceptual integrations are differentiated as they become
concepts. It is a complex array of such differentiations that
gives us the integrated artifact of our self-identity.
An interesting case occurs where that
self-identity contains the desire to cognize, i.e., capture,
integrate, store, and conceptualize, events at the edge of
consciousness. We have labeled that function as catching
arrows. The working identity label would be "Open Mystic". Sounds like fun.
The most important area of this entire
scenario is the delay between integration and
differentiation. If there were absolutely no delay at
any level, then a conscious existence would not be
definable. It is that delay that allows for and creates
consciousness as we conceive of it - the temporal aperture. It
is within that delay that all cognizable action takes place.
The most important area of study in consciousness would lie in
those delays between capture and integration of incoming
senses and the discrimination among the resulting concepts
once they are collected and stored.
The rock as a first order node can make
no differentiations. A sentient being such as a human
"node" can actively make higher order
differentiations or discriminations. In our present rubric,
the human form example that can make a larger number of
variegated higher order differentiations would be said to have
a larger temporal aperture - a more complex opening in time.
An infinite temporal aperture may be the equivalent of no
temporal aperture. A more advanced consciousness would appear
to reduce the extent and condition of delay between
integration and differentiation to asymptotically approach
This proposal seems
to be a circular paradox since the rock also has a
zero temporal aperture [note: this is arguably anthropocentric
and may need to be revised - March 7, 2007]. But to clarify the issue let's
again consider the case of a Deity with their infinite
temporal aperture. Within that maximal temporal aperture there
would necessarily be a dynamic aggregation of perhaps enormous
opposing forces in perfect equilibrium, which is why such a
Deity is beyond nominal cognition. Cognition is a
differentiating process. If there are no net differences, then
there cannot be cognition by an observer. In net effect,
a maximal Deity may indeed be the same as a rock.
since temporal aperture extent is modeled on a continuum - a
perhaps circular continuum - there are potentially sub-Deity
structures wherein the opposing force array is in a less than
perfect equilibrium. Potentially an occasional imbalance may
create a small difference which then would be a cognizable
transient event for an aware observer. In the aesthetic
analogy underpinning this website, we will label events as
arrows in flight. And the observer who deliberately or
accidentally catches them, i.e., gains knowledge of or from
them, is an Open Mystic.