Toward a Science of Consciousness
An ABSTRACT submitted thereto by the Author, entitled:
Nature of Consciousness
Independent of culture, the fundamental and common (global) expressions of both the indigenous and the mystic traditions, speak of the inner nature of man (male and female) as a system of irreducible metaphysical elements of being - "heart and mind and soul and spirit". How might these be modeled? In terrestrial terms food (earth), water and air are essential for survival of the physical body. Hunger is the internal response to the need for food, thirst for water and breath for air. However, it is something non-physical that characterises the nature of the living system as "alive", and this "something" has the characteristics of elemental fire - "the flame" of consciousness. The spectrum of electromagnetic energy. As the sunshine (fire from Sol) infuses the outer terrestrial realms, so too does the inner (cosmic) fire (or flame) of consciousness - sourced in the soul - infuse the inner terrestrial realms. Word and image (human senses of hearing and sight) are based on vibration (physical and aetherial respectively). The correlates of consciousness are not neural, they are sensory - ancient and elemental in a metaphysical sense. One must naturally expect - from a systems perspective - that the ontology of consciousness (and whatever scientific specifications may be attributed thereto) must be a superset of the ontology of life itself, for consciousness, it would appear, has evolved out of life. Life is the substratum, and as Erwin Schrödinger wrote: "What is Life"? The terrestrial environment, wherein this 4 billion year evolution has occurred, has been entirely dependent for its energy needs on the local cosmic environment. The continuous provision of (electromagnetic) energy from the sun, preserved by the long-term gravitational systematics of the earth-moon-sun system, has enabled life to evolve outwardly on earth. Inwardly, the heart, the mind and the soul of living beings have also evolved - in an endosymbiotic manner - in response to the long enduring cosmic systematics of the earth, the moon and sun. Isaac Asimov once wrote that the moon has made it possible for man to exist (life left the seas via inter-tidal zones), that it has given rise to mathematics (it never coincided with the year and seasons!), and that it enabled space exploration. I go a few steps further and suggest that the "Great Light of the Night" profoundly (via its subtlety) influenced the evolution of the (nocturnal) mammals - away from the survival oriented heart/earth (in which inner/outer environment all living beings then dwelt) and towards a more cosmic perspective of these terrestrial fields - the beginnings of self-reflective mind. Like the earth and moon, the human heart and mind operate as a binary system. The dual hemispheres (left and right) of the brain reinforce this operational classification. Embedded as constituent organisms in the biosphere of the planet, we too are metaphysical biosystems, each one internalising the 4 billion year old systematics of our local cosmic environment, each one with the impetus and energy of a living soul, each one with the binary systematics of consciousness manifest through heart and mind. And what is the nature of the pioneering spirit in this natural model of consciousness where the earth and moon and sun provide their cosmic tapestry? The spirit is as the sunshine.