~ Open Source Mysticism
A Fully Inclusive Consciousness Model   
Formation of Identity
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 zero. 

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.

However, 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. 

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    Email   August 24, 2007
(start December 12, 2005) 
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