Consciousness, evolution, nature, and resonant systems…
That’s a mouthful, huh? A big bite and more than any reasonable man should try to chew in one sitting, maybe… but back in January of 2016, I had sort of a mini-revelation, a satori, maybe… here is what I wrote off the top of my head then:
So I had this satori…
It was while playing guitar. I was working on ‘casting’ my attention to different ‘snapshot’ patterns of strings (a dexterity and diversification practice strategy) and at one point my conscious direction seemed to ‘descend’ out of the range of consciousness — I was still aware, but my awareness was so abstract as to be fugue-like. During that period, my playing went off the rails — but that’s not the point.
What was interesting was that it was almost as though the ideas/concepts I was trying to hold in my head were so ‘out of focus’ to my normal consciousness as to be sort of vague and abstract in that consciousness. Almost as though they were ‘out of range’ — like tuning.
Like a filter…
And that starts me thinking, like a resonance filter — and the more you crank it, the narrower the Q gets — the higher the amplitude, narrower the range. The narrower the range of reception/perception, arena-of-consciousness concept-manipulability.
And why would you want to do that? To ‘reinforce the signal,’ make it cut through system noise.
Maybe consciousness is simply the evolution of feedback control.
I would be suspect of a direct correlation, but it’s tempting to think of the psychedelic ‘feedback effect ‘– visual echo — in these terms.
[My brainstorm fever-spew starts getting a bit wooly here… I’ve also included (below) my more or less unedited subsequent ramblings transcribed that day.]
Maybe our human consciousness is system resonance overcranked and focused (in shifting, sequential, time-shared fashion — so one wonders what that mechanism would be — counter feedback? LFO modulation/disruption via counter-feedback — that then allows — in effect forces a shift* to the next ‘loudest’ resonance component… (oh my)]
* or at least a sort of de facto queue evaluation — if, even after ‘reverse feedback’ the most-recent resonance/conceptual stream is still that with the greatest amplitude.
Seems like I’ve come across the notion of consciousness as a form of feedback — I’ll bet if I google I will find…
Addendum [essentially unedited; a tour of my messy and discursive mental airballing process; read at your own risk]
– Corollary: concepts are formed from resonance, single ideational elements driven to oscillation, generating harmonic series overtones in the mental medium
Words, similarly, though they are harmonic interactions in the social, shared mindspace. They don’t necessarily have the same ideational value, intensity, timbre from individual consciousness system to system (iow, from individual to individual — another resonance system, to turn the world into a nail for the resonance hammer to pound it into unified field coherence — or the resonance model, thereof…
– Anyhow, to continue on the words as resonant systems, they work harmonically with other individual/social nodes as mentioned, but also display that aspect for the individual, with the first exposure vague, ill-defined, but moving into reified/ resonant form across the time domain.
– To belabor process:
This resonance process would take experience — initially of elemental nature — and reify those elemental resonances into time domain structures. (One could even imagine such a system developing system resonances from ‘random system noise’ — probably themselves resonances of bio-electric particularities of a given time domain sector.)
The basic idea here is that feedback loop resonance would play a part in the creation of structures as well as ‘tuning’ by balancing positive and negative feedback, in an ontological sense, to ‘filter consciousness’ and allow better abstraction of conceptual ideals.
– And THEN there is the correlation across domains between various harmonic/resonance structures, (synchronous and asynchronous or am I pushing a concept too hard) … words and music and obvious…mathematics and abstraction of real world systems and the systems themselves… all overlapping and potentially interrelated…
– I think this correlation/interrelation/
– Positive or negative feedback. Boom. the engine of control of the various system in the body, the endocrine system — why not consciousness itself — modulating a basic energy flow/supply, forming resonances that grow ever more resonant, structured over time — and evolution.
Anyhow, there’s your direct analog to Emil Golas [Lazy Man’s Guide to Enlightenment] expansion and contraction…
FLASH FORWARD TO 2018
Back in 2016, I did do some googling and did find some tantalizing threads in the scientific literature. But this thought piece from 2018 attempts (although also in loose form) to tie some of those threads together (from The Conversation):
Update, this interesting article on an associated topic just posted (sadly pay-walled)…
Scientific Song of Consciousness and Self
Wild Systems Theory as a 21stCentury Coherence Framework for Cognitive Science
Toward a theory of embodied communication: self-sustaining wild systems as embodied meaning
Here’s the abstract from that last paper:
“This chapter proposes the Wild Systems Theory as a potentially integrative perspective on embodied communication. The fundamental assumption here is that organisms need to be understood as systems that survive through energy transformations. In this perspective, cognition and communication are functions that are enabled by a dynamical control system. Each layer of this hierarchically organised system embodies aspects of the contexts organisms need to survive in, at different scales. Communication is conceptualised as a special case of control where organisms jointly gain control over the environment.”
Like I was sayin’…
ADDENDUM (2020-02-15) — I’ve been chewing on this interview that appeared in Scientific American in 2016: There Is No Such Thing as Conscious Thought. The premise discussed with Peter Carruthers, Distinguished University Professor of Philosophy at the University of Maryland, College Park, is that active thinking — judgments, decisions — should not be thought of as conscious, but, rather, Carruthers suggests: “it turns out that thoughts such as decisions and judgments should not be considered to be conscious. They are not accessible in working memory, nor are we directly aware of them. We merely have what I call ‘the illusion of immediacy’—the false impression that we know our thoughts directly.”
In Carruthers’ view, the conscious arena is informed by verbalizations and visualizations — experience and sense-based abstractions that are the product of unconscious thought. He goes on to suggest that the mental mechanisms by which we learn to understand other intelligent entities are the same mechanisms we use to understand our own, individual selves.
I find that notion intriguing, as it seems to suggest that consciousness acts as a sounding board or a way for the mind to not just try to understand itself but to interact with itself over time… to explore itself and to ‘leave messages’ for itself.
Which, of course, suggests a ‘resonant process’ under the terms of this informal essay: this process of ‘spontaneous’ mental expression and introspective analysis is obviously cyclical, with memory providing a medium for that resonance.