MM-Theory - The Advanced Theory of Mind and Matter

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Physical Realities, Subjective Realities, and Reality The Standard Algorithm and the Universal Operating System

Recapitulating the Basic Theory

Physicalism

The Problem of Reductionism

Reductionism and Meaning

Objections

From Brain to Matter

Reducing Matter to Mind

Revisiting Some Objections

Formulating the Advanced Theory

The Paradox Two Kinds of of Individuality Unconsciousness

Two Kinds of Knowledge

Modeling The Self

Anatomizing The Self

Problem Solving With Epistemic Awareness

The Self and The Universe

The Universal Mind

Fundamental Particles

Time and Space

Space

Time

What Time and Space Represent

Timelessness, Spacelessness, and Momentum

Conclusion

Visualization Exercises

Final Thoughts

The Advanced Theory of Mind and Matter
ABSTRACT: The advanced version of the theory begins with a reexamination of the concept of “meaning”, and shows how it enables experience to act as its own basis for existence. Furthermore, it is shown that, just as mind correlates with neurological activity, meaning correlates with the physical laws underlying that activity. Therefore, meaning, and hence mind, correlates with anything subject to physical laws - namely, any physical system in the universe. It is then shown how all matter can be reduced to sensory experiences, and thus matter is really a sensory representation of mental experiences beyond the human mind, effectively resolving the problem of mind and matter. The paradox of individuality, which states that we are individuals in a universe in which we ought to be parts of one consciousness, is then introduced. The problem is resolved by showing how individuality is an artifact of cognition, and that we are all parts of one Universal Mind but unconsciously. A few descriptions are then given of the most fundamental elements of the physical universe including atoms, fundamental particles, time, and space, in terms of the experiences the advanced theory purports. Finally, a few visualization exercises are proposed to help understand the main gist of the advanced theory.

Recapitulating the Basic Theory
Before we begin, let me say that it is essential that the reader has read and understood The Basic Theory of Mind and Matter in order to understand the current paper. If this has been done, then we know how the Basic Theory resolves the Paradox of Mind and Matter. It does so by providing a customized definition of experience and a formula describing the correlation between mind and brain as follows:
The Paradox of Mind and Matter

The Basic Theory of Mind and Matter The theory of mind and matter is two-fold: 1) An experience is... i) any instance of qualitivity...
Projection

ii) that exudes the essence of realness, resulting in projection... iii) and conveys a meaning that describes its essential quality, resulting in flow.

Cause vs. Reason

2) Experience, as defined in 1), correlates with neurological activity by providing the reasons for the resulting behavior, complimenting the causal nature of the physical process.

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The Infinite Pool of Experiences

According to this definition of experience, the brain can be neurologically configured in any way imaginable, and there will be a set of experiences (drawn from a hypothetical experience pool) to parallel it. Furthermore, these experiences will undergo projection, thereby creating a reality, and this reality will be meaningful to the beholder. The correlative formula adds that, whereas the activity of the brain acts as the cause of behavior, the mind acts as the reason for behavior. It was also emphasized that this formula is only correlative - nothing entails from this about the causal relation between mind and matter. The purpose of this paper is to account for causation.

Physicalism
If there is a philosophy that stands in stark contrast to the Theory of Mind and Matter presented here, physicalism (or materialism) probably fits the bill more than any other. Physicalism is the view that everything that exists is either physical or can be described in physical terms. To the physicalist, consciousness and mind are really just physical phenomena. They say that what we take to be our own subjective qualitative experiences are really just neuro-chemical events occurring in the brain. They say that mind and brain are one, and that mind should be explained in terms of the brain.

Physicalism

Physicalists are typically divided into two camps: there are the reductivists (or Identity Theorists), who subscribe more or less to the description of physicalism just given, and then there are the more radical eliminativists, who would rather say that consciousness and mind don't exist (as opposed to reducing them to the brain). The names speak for themselves - the reductivists like to reduce, whereas Reductivism/Identity the eliminativists like to eliminate. The essential difference is that one would prefer to keep the terms "consciousness" and "mind", Theory recognizing that they indeed refer to something real, whereas the other would prefer to throw the terms permanently out of the vocabulary. The latter regard mind as some archaic fabrication that we invented in order to explain human nature, much like the wrath of the gods explaining earthquakes or lightning and thunder. Whether the topic is earthquakes, thunderstorms, or human nature, we now know the real causes of these things, thanks to modern science, and so we don't need these fairy tales. They ought to be scrapped in favor of physical explanations - so say the eliminativists.
Eliminativism

Personally, I've never understood the latter position. I'm all for the wholesale rejection of Cartesian dualism - according to which mind is a separate and distinct substance from matter, belonging to the more divine realm of spirit and metaphysics - but I don't understand how one could go about his/her life, experiencing subjective mental states such as color, thought, emotion, sound, pain, pleasure, taste, smell, dreams, etc. and not believe these things exist in some sense. That's why I take the reductive approach to be far more reasonable (even though I ultimately disagree with it). Perhaps the eliminativist would say that the terms "consciousness" and "mind" were never meant to denote these subjective experiences, but rather the classical Cartesian notion of a spiritual/metaphysical substance that stands apart from physicality in some parallel netherworld. If that is the case, fair enough - but we still ought to consider the alternative view, which I am certain is taken up by the vast majority of people (lay and professional), that "consciousness" and "mind" refer to just these subjective experiences that one can only apprehend from a first person point of view. One needn't be taught some abstract theory to understand these things; one need only have immediate access to his/her own mental states. Thus, I don't understand why the eliminativist is so zealously bent on opposing this at all costs. Why must we express our emotions, or describe how something tastes, or articulate our thoughts in the form "such-and-such neuro-chemical event is happening in my brain"? The words "emotion", "taste", "thought" and so on are not mere space fillers - as though we had no clue what's going on inside our heads - they denote actual subjective states of mind that we consciously experience. Needless to say, I'm not fond of the eliminativist view; but that isn't to say that I subscribe to the reductivist's either. I'm inclined to agree with Thomas Nigel's critique of reductivism - or physicalism in general - who has perhaps struck the most damaging blow to the whole physicalist agenda. In his seminal paper of 1974 "What Is It Like to Be a Bat?", Nigel argued the point that no amount of scientific investigation into the bat's neuro-physiology would ever yield insight into what it's like to be the bat. Such an exercise would only give us the physical facts about the bat, but not the experience had from the bat's own point of view. The bat is especially convenient here because of its use of echolocation - a mechanism whereby it emits sonic pulses in dark places and uses its echo to determine the spatial layout of its surroundings and any objects therein. This is a highly specialized sensory system - one that no human will ever have the privilege of experiencing. What it's like to build a mental map of one's surroundings using only one's echo as a guide is something very difficult to imagine indeed. Thus, Nagel's use of the bat was ideal. He argued that it is absolutely essential to consciousness that it is like something to have it, and that what it is like may differ from one conscious being to another. How it differs, or whether it differs, cannot be demonstrated by a scientific investigation into the physiology of the subject in question. Neuroscientists can study the brain to their hearts' content, but no matter how much knowledge they amass, no description can be given, solely on the basis of this knowledge, of what the corresponding experience is like. Nagel's intention wasn't so much to attack physicalism outright, but to lay down the ground rules for such an approach if it were to be taken seriously - as serious as science itself. The most crucial rule was that if any account of subjective experience is to be given, it must be given from the first person perspective, for that is the only perspective in which there can be subjective experience. It makes little sense to talk about subjective experiences in the third person perspective, which is what science is limited to, and so Nagel poses his critique as a challenge to physicalism. If physicalism is true, then we should be able to render subjective experiences in physical terms - but physicality is the exclusive domain of science, and thus makes sense only from the third person point of view. The way Nagel put it was that a physical science of consciousness would need to render its explanations objectively (third person), for science, by definition, must be objective, but since consciousness is an essentially subjective phenomenon (first person), such an explanation would seem hopelessly out of reach. But as already mentioned, he wished to put this argument forward as the criteria that physicalism is obliged to meet, not as a reason to abandon it. If physicalism could surmount this obstacle, said Nagel, all the better for it. Taking the ball from Nagel, and making no secret of his attack on physicalism, was Frank Jackson who presented his "Mary's Room" thought experiment (in the article "Epiphenomenal Qualia") to dispel physicalism. Jackson believed that physicalism couldn't overcome Nagel's challenge, and so he took Nagel's argument to its logical conclusion:

Thomas Nagel

What Is It Like to Be a Bat?

Echolocation

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Frank Jackson

Epiphenomenal Qualia

Mary is a brilliant scientist who is, for whatever reason, forced to investigate the world from a black and white room via a black and white television monitor. She specializes in the neurophysiology of vision and acquires, let us suppose, all the physical information there is to obtain about what goes on when we see ripe tomatoes, or the sky, and use terms like 'red', 'blue', and so on. She discovers, for example, just which wavelength combinations from the sky stimulate the retina, and exactly how this produces via the central nervous system the contraction of the vocal cords and expulsion of air from the lungs that results in the uttering of the sentence 'The sky is blue'. (It can hardly be denied that it is in principle possible to obtain all this physical information from black and white television, otherwise the Open University would of necessity need to use colour television.) What will happen when Mary is released from her black and white room or is given a color television monitor? Will she learn anything or not? It seems just obvious that she will learn something about the world and our visual experience of it. But then it is inescapable that her previous knowledge was incomplete. But she had all the physical information. Ergo there is more to have than that, and Physicalism is false.
Is Jackson's the final word on the matter? Hardly! Physicalism still thrives today, but it has come under siege a great deal more than before Nagel and Jackson appeared on the philosophical scene. Thanks to these bright thinkers, physicalism no longer holds a monopoly over the philosophical community - at least not where the subject is consciousness - and the debates rage like wildfire. So why the history lesson? I want to inform the reader of the most substantial attempt to resolve the mind/matter paradox and how it failed to hold over the long haul. Of course, by "failed", I mean failed to permanently monopolize the philosophical community, for there are still avid physicalists in the world today, and for them there is no paradox. For the dualist, however, the failure goes deeper and was there all along. I also want to juxtapose the reductive approach with that taken by this paper, for they are equal yet opposite. It is equal in that it purports that mind and brain are actually two forms of the same thing, and therefore, for the sake of parsimony, one of them can be reduced to the other. It is opposite in that it elects the brain (or more generally, matter) as the candidate to be reduced - that is, it will put brain in terms of mind. One thing it will not do is eliminate the brain. After all, it would contradict the second property of all experiences, namely the essence of realness, to propose that the brain, as we perceive it, doesn't exist. I propose that by subsuming mind as the foundation of the brain (and matter), it can be shown how this form of reduction has a special edge that physicalism lacks, and this edge is the key to avoiding failure.

Essence of Realness

The Problem of Reductionism
The failure that this paper intends to overcome is, as I said, the failure as the dualist sees it - that is, the irreconcilable task of equating mind and matter. It is not the failure of maintaining a philosophical monopoly . That being said, the problem becomes one of reductionism - that is, it is a problem of how to explain one phenomenon in terms of another, more parsimonious and fundamental, phenomenon. As stated above, our approach will be to explain the brain in terms of the mind. But before we can do this, we have to show how the mind is more parsimonious and fundamental than the brain. We will see how this can be done by taking a closer look at the third property of all experiences, namely meaning. Once we draw some conclusions from this, it will be possible to show how meaning not only makes the reduction of brain to mind possible, but the reduction of all matter to mind as well. And, no, this is not done by simply depicting matter in terms of sensory experiences, at least not solely (although in my humble opinion this would suffice). I intend to show how meaning is such a peculiar phenomenon that it turns the entire reductive process on its head. The problem of reductionism can be summed up in two words: infinite regression. That is, the reductive process never truly ends. Let me explain. Take any phenomenon from nature and ask why it is the way it is. "Why are trees the way they are?" for example. Go ahead and conjure up an answer. "Because a group of cells kept multiplying and evolving into the macroscopic structure you see as the tree." Now ask why this phenomenon is the way it is. "Why are these cells the way they are?" And the answer is "Because a system of substances known as a cell membrane, cytoplasm, nucleus, and chromosomes came together to form them." If we delve deeper into chromosomes, we come to DNA, and if we delve deeper into DNA, we come to atomic structures. The deepest we can delve along this path is to the fundamental particles that modern science has discovered. Beyond this, not much is known, but the questions still crop up: What are these fundamental particles? How do they work? Why do they exist? Let's try another reduction exercise. Why does the Earth orbit the Sun? Because the Sun's gravity pulls the Earth inward while the Earth's momentum pulls away from the Sun, and the two forces keep the Earth in orbit. But why does the Sun have gravity? Because, according to Einstein's theory of general relativity, spacetime curves towards bodies of high mass, like the sun, and the result is that the Earth follows a curved path through spacetime rather than a straight one. But why does spacetime curve in the vicinity of massive objects? Again, we arrive at a point where modern science has no answers (and if it does, it's not mainstream yet ), but we're still asking questions. The fact of the matter is, no matter what answers you get and no matter how many levels of reduction you traverse, the final answer can always be questioned. This is what I mean by infinite regression.

Reductionism

Meaning

Infinite Regress

Einstein's Theory of General Relativity

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Principle: The Problem of Reductionism The problem with the reductive process is that it leads to an infinite regress - that is, no matter what construct one uses at the deepest level of the reductive hierarchy, it can always be questioned and the only way to satisfy this question is to add an even deeper level.
Is there really no deepest level? Well, let me put it this way: if you can think of a construct for which a more complicated construct can reduce to, the simpler construct can always be doubted. That is, you can always ask, "Why should this be the basis for the higher level construct?" You can ask this because nothing about the lower level construct seems necessary. It seems only contingent, for example, that all matter turns out to reduce to atoms. Not that any doubt ought to be cast on science and its discoveries, but there never seems to be anything necessary about what those discoveries turn out to be. Because of this, there always seems to be something lacking, some further need to inquire as to the basis for the most fundamental level to which our reductive efforts have taken us. We have every reason to still question, for example, why the fundamental particles that matter reduces to exist, or what their nature is, or whether they might reduce to something even more fundamental after all. Because they don't seem necessary in a purely logical sense, we still yearn for something necessary that would ultimately account for their existence, and in our pursuit of this, the reductive process keeps pointing us towards more fundamental levels. The hope is that, supposedly, this process will eventually lead us to something that does seem necessary, and thus bring the incessant questioning to an end. But that such a thing can be encountered, even conceived, seems unfathomable. It seems that whatever construct we come up with, it too will be just as subject to questioning as anything that preceded it. It may so happen to be fundamental - that is, in and of itself, like electrons and quarks are assumed to be - but because it is, from a human perspective, contingent, it always leaves something to be desired, something to perpetuate the reductive process. So it seems that the answer to our question - is there really no deepest level? - is no, there isn't. Now this doesn't sit well for those who take comfort in the notion that everything in the universe must be based on some fundamental underlying entity or principle that, not only explains all phenomena based on it, but is self-sustaining - that is, it needs no basis other than itself to sustain its own existence. Is such a thing not possible? The problem of reductionism suggests that, if it is possible, it cannot be unraveled by the reductive process. But then how else can one imagine such a self-sustaining thing? It seems that if the universe is to exist at all, regardless of what form it takes, there has to be something that allows for its existence, and this something must be able to exist independently of anything else. So what we need is some construct that is somehow able to serve this purpose without succumbing to the problem of reductionism. Enter meaning. I intend to show how meaning fits the bill for such a basis. We will begin by showing how it does this in the arena of the neurosciences, and then how it can be extended to all phenomena in nature. In the process, we will also come to understand how it escapes the problem of reductionism, even though it is a construct like anything else.

Reductionism and Meaning
Let's begin with a very simple thought: the concept of a square. By definition, a square has four perpendicular sides of equal length. Now let's apply the reductive process to this concept. Why does a square have four perpendicular sides of equal length? Well, that's an odd question. Of course, it's because that's just what a square is! It doesn't even make any sense to ask the question. How could you conceive of it any other way? Usually, one asks questions because one does not know the answer. But when it comes to squares, unless you don't understand the definition, one cannot fail to understand how they always have four perpendicular sides of equal length. And to understand the definition of a square is to understand its meaning. In other words, it is meaning that necessitates the relationship between a square and its four perpendicular sides. It is meaning that resides in the experience of beholding a square in one's mind - that is, in the very comprehension of what a square is. It is meaning, therefore, that makes any questioning of this comprehension pointless. Therefore, meaning not only halts the infinite regress of the reductive process, but makes it inapplicable through the futility of questioning it. Now let's ask, "Why does a square have four right angles?" I suppose you could argue the same thing - that squares are defined as having four right angles. But let's stick strictly to the definition "A square has four perpendicular sides of equal length" verbatim, such that the property of having four right angles must be deduced. It is now reasonable to ask such a question (although it is a stupid one ). And the answer is "Because, by definition, a square has four perpendicular sides, and the definition of 'perpendicular' is 'to be at a right angle with something'. Therefore, the four sides of a square must be at right angles with each other." Now that we have supplied this answer, any further questioning along reductive lines becomes, once again, meaningless. That is, a square by definition has four perpendicular sides, and these sides, being perpendicular, are by definition at right angles with each other, and this is a logic that is explicitly necessary. So just as one would have no motive to question why a square has four perpendicular sides of equal length when the meaning of "square" is understood, one would have no motive to question the above logic when the meaning underlying that logic is understood. This works for circles, triangles, and all geometric shapes and concepts. It works for all of mathematics as well. It works for all logic. It works for anything that functions in virtue of its logical necessity. We argued this before when looking at logic in the Basic Theory that is, we argued that the necessity of the relations between logical ideas gives rise to flow, as in the case of syllogisms. Here, we are arguing that logical necessity also halts the reductive process.

Meaning

Experience

Flow

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But so what? The human mind consists of more than just streams of logical thought. What about emotions or sensations? What about the whole gamut of experiences that don't rest on logical necessity? Well, it should be obvious that our logical thought patterns are examples of cognitive flow. As such, they serve as a specific instance of the more general phenomenon of flow as it is found in all experiences. That is to say, logical necessity is one type of necessity - is it the only type? Well, the answer to this question is what we will aim to uncover. It is my conviction that "necessity" characterizes meaning, and therefore characterizes flow in such a way that it avoids the problem of reductionism in the same manner that logical necessity does. Each type of experience can be thought of as having its own unique brand of necessity - "logical" necessity being that of rational thought - but we will show that in general, the necessity of experiences lies in their unique and ineffable identity - that is, it is the necessity of experiences being only what they are and nothing they are not that allows mind in general to resolve the problem of reductionism. Before jumping into this, however, let's examine the necessity of a few more experiences common to the human mind. Let's look at sensation, working with an example from vision. Layer V1 is the first layer in the occipital lobe that visual information coming from the eyes reaches once it enters the brain. The very first MODs in layer V1 that this information is processed by are what neuroscientists refer to as "spot detectors" or "point detectors". It is basically a topological map of the retina - that is, every spot of light that gets converted to electric signals by the rods and cones in the retina maps to one of these point detectors in the same topological arrangement. At the next layer of processing, any set of these points that are arranged in a straight line will be detected by "line detector" MODs. This means that during one very small interval of time, we experience points, and then during the next very small interval of time we experience lines (if the points are so arranged). Now observe how the meaning of seeing a set of consecutive points arranged in a straight line necessarily entails that there is an actual line. Again, the reductive process is inapplicable - consecutive points arranged in a straight line are, by definition, a straight line. Of course, this does not exhaust the entire plethora of sensations, but similar dynamics can be shown to be at work with other sensory experiences. And emotion? Emotion is a tough one to analyze, primarily because their flow is based on value, not logic. This means that it is difficult to show how their flow is based on logical necessity. If we take the term "logical necessity", we would have to drop the word "logical" as this is not characteristic of emotions, but I still maintain that the word "necessity" accurately depicts their flow in that it explains how they are self-sustaining. However, if we can translate these experiences into concepts (cognitions), we may be able to use the word "logical" in describing the flow of these concepts, thereby demonstrating their necessity. In the previous example, where we described the necessity of a row of consecutive points comprising a line, this is precisely what we did. Visually beholding a set of consecutive points in a straight line has nothing to do with logic, but because we were able to express the relation between the concepts of this set of points and the line they make, we were able to understand the basis of their connection as one of logical necessity. Let's try something similar for emotions. If we translate emotions into words (i.e. express them as cognitions), we can see how their meanings flow in a logical manner. We can always translate emotions into cognitions by taking their projected form. For example, when one is in love, one projects these feelings onto the loved one, resulting in the loved one's acquiring all sorts of wonderful traits. One such trait might be worthiness of affection. So let's go with this - we can describe love as beholding someone to be worthy of affection. If they are worthy of affection, then by the very definition of "worthiness", they deserve affection. By the very definition of "deserve", you ought to give him/her your affection. Thus, the urge to show your affection flows from the emotion of love. Although the above translation is crude, it still shows how necessity characterizes the flow of emotions even if they aren't perfectly logical. That is, because the definitions of "worthiness" and "deserve" are felt within the emotion of love, they necessarily entail a motive for showing affection. What do we mean by "felt within the emotion"? What is there within the emotion that has the power to entail other experiences by necessity? The key difference between emotion and cognition is that, whereas cognitions are experiences that we comprehend or understand, emotions are experiences that we feel. What this means is that cognitions are, for the most part, primed for verbal expression, whereas emotions require translation into cognitions beforehand - that is, we must understand what we feel before we can speak it. This doesn't prevent us, however, from feeling the necessity within our emotions before such understanding has been met. This accounts for the tendency we all have to try and justify our emotions, sometimes desperately, in the face of opposing sentiments. That is, when we are driven by our passions to do things which would otherwise be disapproved of or condemned, more often than not we attempt to explain ourselves, trying to convey the way our emotions made us feel - the way our emotions justified their necessity sometimes succeeding but often failing. The failure to do so is due to the inadequacy of our ability to translate the meaning of our emotions - and therefore their necessity - into cognitive forms that would then be readily expressible. As a result, we tend to think of our emotions as irrational or illogical, and this may be true if "rationality" and "logic" are terms best reserved for describing the way our cognitions feel, but it also conceals the necessity with which our emotions make themselves felt. We could go on with other examples of emotions and sensations, exhausting the whole set, but at this point it might be better to generalize the concept of necessity in such a way that it doesn't depend so much on the hard logic of cognitions. To do this, we will look at how the physical structures of MODs vary from one person to another and one experience to another. Although the brain can be likened to a computer, the fact that it is organic makes it a lot more malleable and variable from one person to another. You will never see any MOD that has the exact same size, shape, density, configuration, complexity, chemical balance, etc., even if it is meant for exactly the same function. Therefore, the corresponding experiences, even if they are assumed to be the same across all individuals, must be felt somewhat differently. Cognitions, and their corresponding MODs, are no exception. This means that if I were to communicate something to you, the ideas that I'm putting into words may not be converted back into thoughts in your mind in quite the same form they originally took in my mind, even if they are processed by the exact same cognitive MODs in your brain as they were in mine. In other words, the concepts and ideas we all share and agree upon may actually feel slightly different - and unique - from one individual to another. Furthermore, the ensuing thoughts that they entail would have to flow in slightly different directions. I'm sure the brain limits the degree to which information processing can diverge from one person to another (otherwise we would never be able to analyze anything in private and come to the same conclusions), but there must be a small degree of variability within the flow of our thoughts. This variability may be enough, once in a while, to make a certain line of reasoning seem logically necessary for one person, but not for another. In the same way, slight variations in MODs may be enough, once in a while, to result in completely different neural firing patterns or completely different MODs being activated. All the while, each individual will experience his/her thought patterns adhering fully to logic. What this means is that there is a spectrum of indefinite range for MODs to fall into. This range would be characterized by variability in size, shape, density, configuration, complexity, chemical balance, etc. If we were to place all the cognitive MODs of all people on this spectrum, they

Layer V1

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would form a bell curve. The corresponding cognitive experiences would also form a bell curve, and this curve would represent the degree to which these cognitions adhere to logic (of course, this would have to be logic as the average person experiences it). Now, notice how the range of this spectrum is indefinite, which means that you could stretch the variability of MODs to any degree. You could place MODs that correspond to emotion or sensation on the outskirts of this range, arguing that a continuum between cognitive MODs and these outlier MODs could be demonstrated. You could characterize this continuum in terms of a steady change in the number of neurons composing the MOD, their particular configuration, the abundance or balance of key neurotransmitters, or any other feature distinguishing one MOD from another. You could actually do this for any set of MODS - not just cognitive, emotional, or sensory ones - but let's entertain a bell curve involving these three MOD types only. As we mentioned above, logic is not the business of emotion or sensation, which makes sense considering their placement so far away from the mean. Therefore, the proper place for logic is within the cognitive zone of this range. But now consider the experience of individuals whose cognitive MODs are found close to the mean but still far enough away from it for their logic to be "questionable" by most people. To them, their own line of thought feels logical, despite what others say. Why would they believe in it otherwise? This is the point we were making two paragraphs ago. From these people's point of view, the mean should be drawn precisely where they fall. It would seem, then, that the feeling of necessity that accompanies our attempts at rational thinking doesn't depend on such thinking adhering to proper logic - at least, not the average person's logic, or even the professional's. One implication of this is that the same might be said of any experience that falls on this spectrum, even if it is not cognition. That is, for the emotions and sensations that we placed on the outskirts of this range, there is a certain brand of logic that characterizes their flow, and this is what qualifies them as necessary. Of course, because we have to describe this logic as a "brand", it is questionable whether it can truly be called "logic". It might be too much to ask that logic extend beyond cognition, but I hope that, as an analogy, this particular way of talking about the "logic" of emotions, sensations, and any other experience, conveys the idea of necessity characterizing these experiences. In other words, where logic proper only applies to the cognitive zone of this spectrum, necessity could be said to apply anywhere on this spectrum, and to any experience. This idea - that a continuity of necessity exists throughout the whole spectrum of experiences even though formal logic may be more exclusive to thought - helps us to more clearly conceptualize the notion I wish to get across. It helps, but does it formally explain? That is, has this line of reasoning, so far, shown us why necessity characterizes all experience? Well, just in case it has not for some readers, let's now articulate it formally by looking at identity - that is, let's examine how the identity of an experience necessitates the experiences that entail from it. We know from the first part of our formal definition of experience that the essence of a given experience is characterized by its unique qualitative form. This gives it an identity - that is, the experience is the unique quality it is felt to be and not anything else. Now, it so happens that the identity of something sets the terms by which other things can or can't exist - that is, if some entity A exists, then the world suddenly becomes a place in which certain other entities B and C can or must exist, but entities D and E can't exist. For example, suppose A was the fact that S was a square. Then B and C might be that S has four perpendicular sides and that S has four right angles, respectively (yes, we're using the term "entity" in an intangible sense). D and E might be that S has five perpendicular sides and that S has only three right angles. This is not limited to abstract propositions - the identity of tangible things in the world puts restrictions on other tangible things. For example, if a glass is filled with water, then certain other things must exist or be true, such as there being hydrogen and oxygen atoms in the glass, there being pressure on the sides of the glass due to gravitational forces pulling down on the water, the inside surfaces of the glass being wet, and so on. All these things must be the case due to what the water is - that is, due to its identity. More generally, a thing's being what it is renders certain other things' being what they are necessary. This goes deeper than causal and contingent relationships between entities, such as in the case of the glass of water - it is a fundamental principle about the way reality must work - namely, that to have an identity is to set the terms for the identities of other coexisting things.

Experience

Essence of Realness

Projection

Entailment

As we see, this does not apply only to thought. Every experience has an identity in virtue of its unique qualitative essence. Furthermore, the second part of our formal definition of experience - that all experiences contain the essence of realness - makes them more than just perceptions or ideas. Through projection, they become real things in the world, and thereupon their unique identities dictate the terms by which other real things must come into being. Thus we get entailment - we get flow. Lastly, we have the third part of our formal definition of experience - that all experience has meaning - which, in principle, allows us to imagine experiences with the potential to be translated into propositions or words. That is, if it has a meaning, that meaning is potentially expressible. Therefore, although the necessity of an experience may not be the necessity of logic, we can at least mimic its necessity by taking the translation of its meaning and playing with it as a formal proposition subject to the rules of logic. But we must remember that the necessity we are mimicking is not that of the logic in play, but the identity of the original experience. This type of necessity surpasses logic - it is the most fundamental form of necessity, a form in which all other forms are rooted.

Flow

Definition: Necessity The effect of a thing's distinct identity dictating the terms by which other things acquire their distinct identities. Principle: The Necessity of Identity

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The identity of a thing necessarily sets the terms by which other things acquire their identity. This applies to the identity of experiences as well, as they project themselves as real things. The terms that these experiences set for each other account for entailment.
Now to summarize all this, we will return to the problem of reductionism. If you take any experience and apply the reductive process to it (i.e. ask what makes this experience what it is), you will be stopped right in your tracks. The answer will be that the experience is what it is because of what it means. It gains the necessity by which it is what it is from the preceding experience. That is, the preceding experience entailed the one in question necessarily, much like the identity of a square entails that it must have four perpendicular sides of equal length necessarily. This "passing on" of necessity, so to speak, is due solely to the inherent meaning that underlies and defines each experience - each one's meaning not only necessitates its own existence, but that of each ensuing experience as well. This process is carried forward from one experience to the next indefinitely. In essence, the meaning of any experience acts as a self-sustaining basis for itself and any experiences entailing from it.

The Problem of Reductionism

Principle: Meaning as a Self-Sustaining Basis 1) Meaning entails by necessity and therefore suffices as a basis for its own existence and that of any entailing experiences. 2) In virtue of 1), meaning avoids the problem of reductionism by rendering the reductive processes meaningless.
This principle depicts meaning to be different from anything else in the universe. We can imagine the existence of anything else, but we can't imagine its reason for being, hence the problem of reductionism. That is to say, as we said above, we seem not able to help but to imagine the existence of things contingently. In The Inconceivability of Consciousness, we will introduce the term "objectification" which means, roughly, to be made into an object. The term "object", in turn, is meant to be taken broadly, which includes the abstract that is, not just literal objects (like physical things) but abstract objects too (like numbers or propositions). We will argue that any attempt to contemplate abstract concepts, like consciousness or meaning, necessarily renders them into an objectified form in the mind. This is not to say that we lose sight of the fact that they're abstractions, and shouldn't be confused with tangible things literally, but there is always a persistent sense that they are "things" - that is, there is an air of "thing-ness" about them. An example of this is figure 2 from the Basic Theory, which depicts some rather colorful and psychedelic images as representations of experiences. Objectification seems necessary, as we will explain in The Inconceivability of Consciousness, to the formation of concepts and their preparation for contemplation and philosophical analysis, and this makes for a sense of contingency, the very sense of contingency responsible for the perpetuation of the reductive process. This is especially detrimental to our understanding of meaning. When we make an abstract concept out of "meaning", it ends up being objectified as well, but this is only a feature of the concept. Meaning - as it exists in experience itself - is not an object in any sense. It is not made contingent at all. It maintains the sense of necessity we feel in the midst of the experience. It may be unfortunate that we cannot grasp this necessity in our conceptual abstractions of meaning, but we can feel it when the experience is there in our minds, and we can certainly arrive at the conclusion that it bears this sense of necessity in our philosophical musings. This is unlike all other phenomena in that, despite their objectified form, our understanding of how they work still doesn't explain how they can exist on their own. Why does a rock exist? Because the atoms that make up the rock exist. Despite the fact that the atoms' existence can be questioned just as easily, the relation between rocks and atoms are only contingent. They needn't be made of atoms - it just turned out that way. When we look at a rock, there is nothing in the visual experience that says, "this thing has to be made of atoms". The atoms that uphold its existence are "outside" the visual experience - "hidden", so to speak. This is the central difference between meaning and all other phenomena. Meaning is always beheld - it is always "inside". It must be because, as the core essence of experience, it must be felt. Otherwise, it could not be the experience. Unlike the atoms in the rock, there is nothing in an experience that is awaiting discovery - nothing "outside" itself. To suppose otherwise is an oxymoron; it is to miss the point that an experience is defined as what within it is felt. As the core essence of the experience, meaning is the very identity of the experience, and therefore completely exposed to the beholder. Because there is nothing in an experience that is hidden from the beholder, it will be felt down to its very depths, right down to the fundamental level where reduction no longer holds. This is the level of necessity - the level that, at once, justifies itself and everything above it. I maintain that no other thing but meaning can do this. Of course, we are not saying that an argument can't be made about the necessary relationship between a rock and its atoms. One could argue, for instance, that a tightly bonded network of atoms, manifesting at a macroscopic level the properties of hardness, roughness, heaviness, durability, etc., would necessarily constitute what we experience to be a rock. But such an argument can only be made from the foundation upward, not the other way. And it is the other way that we want to go - the other way that reductionism promises will lead to a self-sustaining basis - the other way that, as we have seen, cannot possibly succeed. Meaning, on the other hand, succeeds instantly, for it not only exposes its own basis, but exposes itself as basis. It now becomes a little more clear why the term "meaning" is interchangeable with "sense" and "understanding". That is, if meaning is self-sustaining, then it makes "sense" out of itself and provides the ultimate "understanding" for its existence. When you think about it, it is always this feeling of sense and understanding that we are trying to add to our models of the phenomena in our world. Whenever we derive an explanation for something, we acquire this feeling of sense and understanding because this is how the meaning in the explanatory concept feels, and because it projects itself (via the essence of realness), it serves as a building block in the reductive process. After this point, however, it becomes amenable to objectification, and this results in the potential to question its basis. Nevertheless, the concept continues to function as a basis for all constructs above it on the reductive ladder. This function can be referred to as the "reason" for these constructs. Calling it "reason" brings home the point being made here: that, like "sense" and "understanding", the term "reason" is also interchangeable with "meaning" in that, not only does meaning provide the reasons for the constructs it explains, it is the very essence of reason, and therefore does not need any extra reason for itself.

Objectification

Projection

Essence of Realness

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Objections
There are two main objections I can see the reader posing at this point: 1) If meaning is self-sufficient in accounting for itself, needing no appeal to things more fundamental, then what have we been doing all this time when questioning the workings of the mind? The fact that we have been pursuing this endeavor for countless ages, always feeling an immense void in our understanding of how mind works and why it exists, implies that meaning, if it resides in mind, doesn't always present itself as a self-evident solution to these puzzles. But if we are constantly experiencing it, why has it been so elusive? 2) It's not hard to think of examples where the reductive process can be applied to thought in a meaningful way. For example, most people automatically know the answers to simple arithmetic questions such as "What is 5 times 6?" We do not need to count "1, 2, 3..." up to 30, grouping each set of 5 increments 6 times. The mind automatically associates the expression 5 × 6 with the number 30. Nevertheless, the equation 5 × 6 = 30 can be reduced to the equation 6 + 6 + 6 + 6 + 6 = 30, which in turn can be reduced to the equation 1 + 1 + ... + 1 = 30. Since these are not just mathematical constructs they are thought processes as well - the reductive process seems applicable to cases like this. Or what about seeing an object, like a cup? A cup will be seen as a whole object, yet it is decomposable into lines, shapes, colors, positions, etc. Therefore, the experience of the whole cup seems reducible to these more elementary experiences. What does the principle of Meaning As A Self-Sustaining Basis have to say about this? Although there might be more objections than the above two, these will be the ones addressed in the follow paragraphs. Let's focus on the first issue - the issue of the mind/matter paradox being so hard to crack even though meaning, which we are always experiencing, should have informed us of the solution long ago. First of all, keep in mind that meaning only tells us what a particular experience means, which comes as a statement about reality as it is perceived. When we think about the mind philosophically, however, we are forced to make an abstraction of it. If you will recall our definition of "objectification" above, you will know we are talking about the same thing here. This means that the mind, as an objectified construct, is conceptualized as a phenomenon that simply exists, but the reason why it exists is lost. There is still meaning in the conception of mind, but because objectification forms constructs with properties similar to physical/external objects, the meaning ends up also being similar. The meaning in our sensory experiences of physical/external objects is that they exist in the form we perceive them. Likewise, the meaning in our objectified constructs is also that they exist in the form we perceive them (although, depending on the construct, the term 'exists' should be read 'exists in the mind'). The meaning that is needed to uphold the existence of mind can only be found in its subjective form. So the catch-22 in trying to crack the mind/matter paradox is that we unknowingly strip it of its true meaning through objectification and that no contemplation of mind is possible otherwise. So, then, how are we avoiding this catch-22? We're not, actually. We still fail to see meaning in experiences when we objectify them (other than that they exist, that is), but recall what we said about objectification earlier: that although objectification is to conceptualize something with thing-like properties, we can still maintain awareness that these properties may not genuinely belong to it. What we've done here is maintained a similar awareness about experiences, namely that 1) experiences have meaning and 2) this meaning is self-sustaining. Because these two points cannot be discerned from the objectification, they had to be derived from philosophical reasoning. And we have learnt through centuries of exercise that philosophical reasoning is a hard beast to tame, and this accounts for the difficulty in resolving the mind/matter paradox. The second issue - the issue of some experiences seeming to reduce quite nicely to more fundamental experiences - is a more complex one. We will find, later in this paper, that there are many kinds of reduction that can be applied to the mind, and how we explain what's going on in each case is context specific. In the specific examples mentioned above - namely, 6 × 5 reducing to 6 + 6 + 6 + 6 + 6 and then to 1 + 1 + ... + 1, and a cup reducing to lines, shapes, and colors - this isn't true reduction. We only have true reduction when the thing being reduced is identical, nothing added and nothing removed, to the thing to which it is reduced. A rock, for example, can be said to reduce to atoms because the atoms and the rock are ultimately one and the same object. But in the mathematical and visual examples above, this is not quite the case. It may seem as though it is the case, but to understand why it isn't, we must wait for a few more concepts to be explicated. We will return to this question in the section Revisiting Some Objections below. Well, the truth is, I can think of two more objections to the principle of Meaning As A Self-Sustaining Basis. 1) Showing that meaning provides experience with a self-sustaining basis is one thing. Showing how neurological processes can reduce to experience is quite another. So if we start with a functioning brain and we apply the reductive process to it, where along the path from brain to neurons to molecules to particles and so on do we introduce experience and meaning - and why? 2) It's all well and good to say that experience rests on meaning for its existence, but what brought it into existence in the first place? For any one experience in the mind, you can explain its existence by referring to the previous experience (that is, the previous experience entailed it), but if you keep doing this for every previous experience, you are eventually going to come to sensory experiences. Sensory experiences seem to pop into existence as soon as an electric signal coming from one of the sensory receptors enters the brain. Before this point, no experience exists. After this point, POP!!! There's an experience. How do we explain this? Now, the reason I saved these two objections for last is because they are the perfect lead-in for the next section. As promised, we will now see how experiences can be used, not only as a basis for the brain, but for all physical phenomena in the universe. In so doing, both these objections will be addressed and resolved.

From Brain to Matter
So why should the brain stand out in the family of material objects as the only thing in the universe capable of consciousness? What's so special about a neuron that it should be associated with mental experiences? When it comes down to it, neuro-matter is made out of the same stuff as rocks, tables, and tin cans - namely, molecules. Is it possible that brains aren't the only things in the universe to come with mind? That's the question this section will answer. We will begin with a look at how experiences relate to physical laws. We have already seen how the process of flow describes the parallel between experiences and neurological activity. We also briefly pointed out, at the end of The Basic Theory of Mind and Matter, that flow seems to be enough to explain what governs the metamorphosis of experiences, but that it leaves a question mark between experiences and its neurological counterparts. That is, even

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Flow

though there is a parallel between experience and neurological activity, there seems to be a gap in our understanding of how the two remain in synchrony. Flow does not fill this gap. This is why we left the formula for the relation between mind and matter as a correlation in the Basic Theory. We are now in a position to restate this formula as a causal relation. To do so, we will first see how mind parallels all physical systems, and then we will show how a reductionism of matter to mind follows, thereby closing the gap. To see how mind parallels all physical systems, we will show how experience is better described as paralleling physical laws than neurological activity. How is such a description made and how is it better? The argument for meaning so far is that it is the link between each successive experience. The upper portion of figure 1 shows a graphical representation of this. Now if we maintain that a parallel between mind and neurological activity exists, then a similar graph should be made for this neurological activity, and a one-to-one correspondence between these two graphs should exist. The lower portion of figure 1 shows this second graph. Notice, in this second graph, that each successive neurological event is linked by "natural law". This means to denote that if a one-to-one correspondence between mind and brain exists, then it must account, not only for the relation between experiences and neurological events, but the link between experiences (meaning) and that between neurological events (natural laws). In other words, whereas we would say that experiences, as distinct units of mind, parallel distinct neurological events, meaning, as the mechanism governing the flow of experiences, parallels natural laws, the mechanism governing the flow of neurological events.

Figure 1: The correlation between meaning and natural law. Neuroscientists have never reported any violations of physical laws in the brain. Neurotransmitters undergo the expected chemical reactions, they bind to neural receptors as expected, neurons fire sending electric impulses down their axons as expected, and so on and so forth. All these events adhere to the laws of chemistry, biology, electricity, and physics in general.
Microtubules

So from this, it is reasonable to describe the flow of experience as correlated more with the underlying laws of physics as manifested in the brain than with the neurological activity in the brain. It is not wrong to say that experience correlates with neurological activity, but we do have the liberty of generalizing the correlation more than that. How much can we push this generalization? In answering that question, we should note, without much surprise, that the laws of physics can be seen everywhere in nature. The laws of kinematics govern the activity of balls on a pool table. The laws of fluids govern the flow of rivers and the waves of oceans. The laws of gravity govern the orbits of planets in our solar system. The list goes on. In every one of these examples and others, the adherence to physical laws results in activity that is continuous and fluid. This is precisely like the flow of experiences. I propose that if meaning correlates with the laws of physics in the brain, then it correlates with the laws of physics wherever they may be. Immediately, one may object: If any physical system governed by the laws of physics has a mind, why do they not act like it? Why do they not display an awareness of their surroundings? What would they be thinking? What would they be feeling? Well, this is where the Basic Theory fits in. According to the Basic Theory, experiences don't need to be, and rarely are, those that are familiar to humans. In fact, whole minds can consist of nothing but alien experiences. If all physical systems that are commonly thought to be inanimate are, by the same token, thought to be non-human, then they probably have non-human experiences. In other words, physical systems don't necessarily "think" or "feel". Another tenet of the Basic Theory is that experiences act as the reasons for behavior. Therefore, if the activity of these physical systems can be considered behavior, then their experiences would be the reasons for which they behave in the way they do (and when we reintroduce free-will into our model, in the paper Determinism and Free-Will, we will even be able to say that physical systems behave the way they do because they choose to). A ceiling fan, for example, spins because it feels like spinning. A human hand may have flicked the switch necessary to instigate this behavior, but the fan might experience this as the sensations that aroused the desire to spin (of course, it is only we humans who perceive the fan's behavior as "spinning" - the fan may experience itself doing something entirely different, and unimaginable to us, but nonetheless correlating with the act of spinning as we perceive it). What physical systems experience is determined by whatever from the infinite pool of experiences perfectly matches their behavior, and since this pool is infinite, there are ample experiences for any kind of behavior whatsoever. Furthermore, the meaning of their experiences, by virtue of necessary entailment, make the laws that describe their behavior so stringent. One of the key features of physical laws is their tendency to repeat themselves every time we have the initial conditions. This makes sense if their underlying mechanism is meaning which entails by necessity. That is, given that any state of a physical system, which includes its momentum and direction of motion, reflects the underlying experiences it is having, it follows that the meaning of these experiences must also have momentum and direction of entailment. If the physical system were to reacquire this state at a later time, it would reacquire the corresponding experiences. This means that these experiences, with their original momentum and direction, would entail, by necessity, in the exact same direction with the exact same momentum.

Momentum

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This can be understood best by imagining the underlying experiences as similar to cognition in that their flow mimics the rigidity of hard logic. For example, when thinking about what 4 + 5 equals, there is only one conclusion we can come to, namely 9, and we cannot help this. We cannot lead our thoughts down any other avenue. Sure, we can imagine that 4 + 5 equals 10 or 15 or 1000, but this is a different brand of cognition (fantasy) that follows its own set of rules. These rules are unyielding in their own way, but not by logic. The cognitions that flow according to logic, which we can describe as cognition we believe without doubt to be true, flow unquestionably to the conclusion that 9 is the only thing that 4 + 5 equals. And they will flow in this direction every single time we think them. Returning to a physical context, what we get is the consistent repetition of physical laws. In other words, the day a physical law is violated is the day that 4 + 5 = 10 (we will touch on the indeterminacy of quantum mechanics in a later paper).

Principle: The Relation of Physical Laws and Experience 1) Whereas human experiences correlate with neurological activity, the meaning of these experiences correlates with the physical laws underlying this activity.
What About Free-Will?

2) By induction from 1), meaning correlates with all instances of physical laws. 3) All physical systems in the universe, therefore, correspond to experiences.
It should be noted that the mind of any physical system correlates with the activity of that system, and only insofar as it is a system, not a static object. A static object that is just sitting there not doing anything does not possess a mind. In order to have experiences, the system has to have components moving relative to each other. Likewise, an object moving through space is not enough to give it experiences, but if you take into consideration something else that the object is moving relative to, such as an object it is orbiting, then the two objects as a system possess mind. Now physicists will debate with anyone who says you can have an object moving through space all alone (that is, not relative to anything). According to Einstein's theory of Special Relativity, all motion is relative, even if that must mean relative to you as an observer. Also, keep in mind that because all physical objects are composed of atomic structures that are constantly undergoing activity, there really is no such thing as a static object. A chair or table inactive on a macroscopic scale still has electrons that are busy circling around their nuclei and moving relative to each other. This atomic activity correlates with experiences that are being felt by the chair or table, but on a macroscopic scale, because of the inactive nature of the chair or table, these experiences amount to something neutral or in equilibrium. The basic rule that falls out of this is that experiences correspond to physical systems, not objects, and only insofar as their components are moving relative to each other. Essentially, this means that the entire universe, being one gargantuan physical system, has what might be called a "universal mind". All the smaller minds that correspond to individual physical systems, including our own, can be thought of as the experiences that make up this universal mind. Also note that there is no hard and fast rule for deciding what makes one set of experiences equal to one whole individuated mind or simply a subset of a mind, or perhaps a whole group of minds. My computer on which I write these papers, for example, could be considered to have one whole mind unto itself, or it could be three minds - one belonging to the tower, one to the keyboard, and one to the monitor - in effect making it three individual beings. It's really quite arbitrary. We will discuss the phenomenon of individuality in the next section, and the concept of a universal mind near the end of this paper.

Einstein's Theory of Special Relativity

Reducing Matter to Mind
So we are playing with two ideas here: 1) experience parallels the activity of all physical systems, and 2) the meaning of these experiences is self-sustaining. Putting these together, we find a perfect role that mind can fill in the apparatus of the physical universe. If we yearn for an everlasting satisfaction to the reductive process for any phenomena in the universe, mind, by virtue of meaning, responds to the call. But there is still a question of where in the reductive hierarchy mind fits. Do we place it under the level of neurons? Well, neurons can be explained in term of molecules and atoms. Do we place it under the level of molecules and atoms? No, because molecules and atoms can be explained in terms of more elementary particles (electrons, protons, neutrons, quarks, etc.). What about these elementary particles? Well, below this level we enter the realm of quantum physics, a realm that science has trouble studying (see link above titled "The Realm of The Extremely Small: Quantum Mechanics and The Problem of Measurement"). This means that it is unlikely that science, with its current methodological approach, will be able to unearth any deeper constructs for these elementary particles to reduce to. It is always possible that new methods will be invented for science to follow, methods that might permit a deeper investigation into the quantum realm. It is also possible, in the present, that we could invent new constructs of a purely theoretical nature (hence, not necessarily scientific) that explain phenomena in the quantum realm. If we were able to do this, whether scientifically or not, would we be able to find a place for meaning at that level? Well, the problem is that, whatever constructs we invent or discover, in order to reduce them to experience, they need to be described in terms of experience. That is, just as a brain can be described as a collection of neurons or an atom can be described as a collection of elementary particles, a similar description must be possible for the constructs that sit above mind in the reductive hierarchy - that is, these constructs, which at higher levels are clearly described in physical terms, must somehow be described in terms of experience. At this point, we still do not have an adequate understanding of mind and matter to be able to describe one in terms of the other. More simply put, mind and matter still seem to be two completely distinct substances.

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So before we answer the question of where mind falls in the reductive hierarchy, we need to rethink our concept of matter in such a way that it can be described in terms of experience. We will do so by looking at sensation, the experience that makes possible our awareness of matter. In so doing, an interesting implication about Reality (note the capital "R") will follow. This implication will present us with a much different view of the true substance of the universe, and with this new substance, the placement of mind in the reductive hierarchy will be simple. If we want to describe physical systems in terms of experiences, we can do so very simply by appealing to sensation. We are aware of physical systems by sensing them. We see them, we touch them, we hear them, and sometimes we smell and taste them. Therefore, we can describe them in terms of sensation. For example, the rotations of the second hand of a clock can be described as a visual sensation of a line slowly sweeping across a circle's circumference, which itself is a visual sensation. When someone speaks, it can be described as an auditory sensation with varying pitches, tones, and loudness. A pungent smell can be described as an olfactory sensation that is rather unpleasant. These kinds of descriptions can be made of anything physical. Even physical systems that we do not sense directly can, if we take the evidence for their existence that we sense into account, be described by sensation. For example, the electric current in a wire can be described in terms of the visual sensations we have of a voltage meter. Of course, like other invisible phenomena of physics, our awareness of electric currents requires cognitions to make sense out of these sensations - that is, the concept of electricity is still distinct from visual sensations of a voltage meter - but this is still a reduction to experiences, the cognitive kind. Nevertheless, all physical systems that we know of (scientifically) are rooted, either directly or indirectly, in sensation, and therefore can be described in such terms. Of course, this form of reduction follows a completely different branch than that of physical systems to molecules to atoms to particles and so on. It goes directly from the physical system on a macroscopic scale to sensation. So we have made no headway if we leave this kind of reduction as it now stands. Furthermore, the source of these sensations is left as an unexplained void - that is, we are struck once again with the dilemma of where these sensations came from. Note that this is not exactly the same problem as how the sensations exist as they are. The latter problem has already been resolved by appealing to their meaning - that is, sensations don't need to be reduced to anything more fundamental; everything that they are is already there is their subjective feel, and therefore whatever would be needed to serve as a self-sustaining basis must be something interwoven into that feel. We identified this something as meaning, and showed how meaning not only functions as the irreducible basis for the experience's existence, but the basis upon which other experiences, via entailment, can arise. But how did the sensation come into existence in the first place? There doesn't seem to be any meaning that came before it, meaning that would have otherwise entailed it. So far, it seems like we still need a physical description of the world in order to explain this - that is, we need to explain the advent of sensation as derived from electric signals traveling from sensory receptors to the brain. But if we could supplant experience somewhere within the reductive hierarchy as it would apply to these electric signals, or the nervous fibers along which they travel, an interesting implication would follow that would allow us to describe physical systems in terms of sensations without reducing them along a consistently physical branch. Rather than tackle this problem by looking deeper into the structure of physical systems, let's look at the reduction of physical systems to sensations and think about what this says about the structure of Reality. After all, Reality is the domain of all physical systems in their truest forms. So let's imagine that the boundaries of our subjective realities are built out of our sensations. This constitutes a wall beyond which Reality, and the entire universe in its truest form, lies. The only things we can be aware of are the things that fall within this boundary. Everything outside it is not only beyond our awareness, but unimaginable. Now, take into consideration that we have extended the relation of mind and brain to mind and all matter. Also, consider that matter, as we think of it, takes a form in Reality other than how we conceive of it. We experience matter as sensations, and we form conceptual models of it foremost in the same form. Putting these two premises together, we can conclude that mind correlates with entities that we can neither perceive nor conceive of. Although we end up perceiving these entities as matter, we have no idea what their true forms are in Reality, but this is what the experiences beyond our minds correlate with. So whereas an electric signal travels along the sensory nerve fiber and activates primary sensory MODs in the brain, an experience parallels the signal and morphs into the sensation that parallels the primary sensory MOD. Now although we are saying that the nerve fiber is actually an inconceivable entity in Reality, this doesn't make a difference to the experience. The experience is still an experience as we've defined it. And as we've defined it, the great majority of experiences in the universe are inconceivable (like the entities they parallel in Reality). But because it morphs while it flows, it is only inconceivable until it morphs into the sensations we are familiar with. In other words, the meaning in the sensations that make up the boundaries of our subjective realities is entailed by experiences in Reality that flow into our subjective realities. That is how we explain the virtually spontaneous incarnation of sensation. Notice what we've done here. We have connected the human mind with this mental universe through flow, and all of it has self-sustaining meaning. And since all physical systems in the forms we perceive them can easily be reduced to sensations, we have constructed a model of the universe that can independently sustain its own existence without the need for physical components. But these physical components still seem to be sticking around. Actually, if we think about how these physical systems exist in their true form in Reality, we must conclude that by purporting their existence, we are purporting the existence of something we cannot see, hear, touch, or even imagine. This is a logical positivist's greatest nightmare. But rather than strip all physical systems of their ontology, saying essentially that we have no reason to believe in them, would it not make more sense to suppose that physical systems do exist in Reality, but the form they take is none other than the experiences that parallel them? In other words, they are the experiences beyond the human mind. This works because it is consistent with the idea that they are unimaginable and that the correspondence rule still applies (that is, the entities and events in our subjective realities correspond to experiences in Reality that give rise to them). Kant might have been pleased with this result. The idea of the noumenal thing-in-itself was thought to be inconceivable just like the experiences whose existence beyond our minds we are positing. Essentially, we are saying that Kant's things-in-themselves are really experiences (i.e. more phenomena) that entail our perceptions of physical things.

Entailment

Subjective Reality vs. Reality

The Correspondence Rule

Principle: The Reduction of Physical Systems 1) The physical systems in our subjective realities are reducible to sensations.
Recognizing Consciousness

2) The physical systems in Reality are reducible to the experiences in Reality that entail these sensations.

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We are now in a position to put experience in its proper place in the reductive hierarchy. We have already done so for the physical systems of our subjective world - reducing them to sensations - and now we will do so for physical systems as they exist in Reality. At this point, however, we have equated physical systems with the experiences of the universe, so the reader might wonder what sort of reduction is still needed. Well, we still need to get a handle on how the reductive process as applied to physical systems relates to their corresponding experiences in Reality. That is, if a tree, for example, is really just an experience going on in Reality, what can be said about the reductive process by which we reduce the tree to wood and leaves, and then to cells, and then to molecules, atoms, and subatomic particles, and so on? How does the experience that the tree really is relate to these different reductive levels? Are the molecules, atoms, and subatomic particles purely a figment of our imaginations? Well, we can certainly agree that the idea of molecules, atoms, and subatomic particles are, like anything that can't be directly observed, conceptual models, representing things in the real world in case we haven't got - or can't have - the right conception of them. However, I think that calling them purely a figment of our imaginations is too much of a stretch. After all, we've done the experimental work required to make such bold statements about the existence of molecules and subatomic particles - that is, we've amassed enough empirical (i.e. sensory) evidence to back these beliefs up. So if we're certain that molecules, atoms, and subatomic particles exist, then our theory must treat them as physical systems just as it would other physical systems on the macroscopic scale. This means that we must say of molecules, atoms, and subatomic particles that they too are actually experiences in Reality. Now think about what this means. It means that if we are reducing one physical system to another physical system - namely, the tree to its molecules, atoms, and subatomic particles - then we must do the same for the experience that it actually is. That is, the experience that the tree actually is in Reality is reducible to the experiences that the molecules, atoms, and subatomic particles actually are in Reality. Figure 2 depicts this paradigm in a more graphic manner.

Figure 2: The flow from experiences at various levels in Reality to human sensation to human thought. This explains how we reconcile the difficult task of finding a place for experience in the reductive hierarchy of physical systems. The fact of the matter is, we don't find a place for experiences - experiences form their own reductive hierarchy that parallels that of physical systems. It is actually the entire reductive hierarchy of physical systems that reduces to that of experiences. Figure 3 makes this

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more clear. It shows that as you reduce the brain to its parts and then to its molecules and subatomic particles, a parallel reduction must be made in terms of its corresponding experiences. This also resolves the problem of having to describe constructs in the higher levels of the hierarchy in terms of those in the lower levels. The physical hierarchy is physical throughout, just as the hierarchy of experiences is experiential throughout. And if we're reducing the physical hierarchy to the experiential one, we still avoid the problem by describing the physical hierarchy as sensory - and sometimes conceptual - experiences. All other experiences - that is, those beyond the human mind - are inconceivable, as are the physical systems that reduce to them, and so no problem exists there either.

About Figure 3

Figure 3: Reducing the physical reductive hierarchy to the experiential reductive hierarchy, and then to meaning.

Revisiting Some Objections
We are talking about the reduction of experiences once again. Therefore this is the perfect place to return to the issue we left behind earlier. This was the issue of what it means for one experience to reduce to another - like "5 × 6 = 30" reducing to "6 + 6 + 6 + 6 + 6 = 30" and again to "1 + 1 + ... + 1 = 30", or the perception of a cup reducing to lines, shapes, colors, etc. We argued that these kinds of reduction are not true reduction because they are not based on identity. Now let's justify this. I suppose the idea behind the reduction of arithmetic thought processes such as 5 × 6 = 30, is that somehow, maybe unconsciously or too quickly to notice, the elementary calculations of 6 + 6 + 6 + 6 + 6 = 30 or even 1 + 1 + ... + 1 = 30 are simultaneously going on. I'm not so sure this is the case though. When I am asked "What is 5 × 6?" the answer 30 comes to mind automatically. Performing the best introspective observations I can, I don't perceive any breakdown of this thought process into more elementary parts such as adding 5 sixes or 30 ones together. What I suspect is that these thought processes are nothing more than what they feel like, which is consistent with our definition of experience. In other words, there are no hidden thought processes that are unconscious, too fleeting to notice, or anything else that might allow them to evade our introspection. If this is true, then the identifying of 5 × 6 = 30 with 6 + 6 + 6 + 6 + 6 = 30 or with 1 + 1 + ... + 1 = 30 is only true of the math, but not the experience. That is, the only thing that can be said about the concepts "5 × 6 = 30" or "6 + 6 + 6 + 6 + 6 = 30" or "1 + 1 + ... + 1 = 30" is that they have equivalent meanings, but not that when thinking one you're also thinking the others. Of course, the awareness that 5 × 6 equals 30 is still rooted in the arithmetical exercises we carried out as children when we were shown flash cards. Before we could so easily make the association between 5 × 6 and 30, we had to count with our fingers. Back then, the only thought processes which had any meaning for us were 1 + 1 + ... + 1 = 30 and then later 6 + 6 + 6 + 6 + 6 = 30. So how is it that these more elementary thought processes give rise to the thought process "5 × 6 = 30" which feels so automatic today? How can we think the latter independently of the former? A brief look at the neurological processes paralleling these thought processes will yield an answer. When a young child is shown a flash card, he/she counts with his/her fingers and thinks "1, 2, 3, 4, ..." The child understands how the basic number series works, and how simple operations such as addition and subtraction work. These understandings and the mental machinery that uses them correspond to a set of MODs. As the child taxes his/her skills in trying to resolve the math, the brain is taxed in try to form more efficient and fortified connections. After a few trials, the child eventually recalls the number 30 whenever the flash card reads "5 × 6" without having to go through the more elementary steps. Neurologically, the interconnections are solidifying and processing signals more quickly. So whereas before, each of the many MODs corresponding to the elementary concepts such as the basic number series and arithmetic operations were hard at work trying to coordinate their

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activity with each other, the new interconnections allow them to do the same work with much more efficiency and ease. In fact, with strong enough interconnections, the many elementary MODs can be considered one big MOD. As one MOD, it can be seen how the concept of 5 × 6 equaling 30 feels so uniform and elementary - that is, not composed of the more elementary concepts the child use to have to deal with. It can also be seen what it means for the concepts of "5 × 6 = 30", "6 + 6 + 6 + 6 + 6 = 30", and "1 + 1 + ... + 1 = 30" to be equivalent but not identical - neurologically, the MODs that correspond to these concepts carry out the same function (process the same input and compute the same output) but they are not identical in form and structure. And if they are not identical, one cannot be reduced to the other. Now what about decomposing the perception of an object into its parts, like a cup being decomposed into lines, shapes, colors, etc.? Although this may seem like a valid form of reduction since the lines, shapes, color, etc. must, when put together, make up the cup, it is, once again, a false example of reduction. This too can be proven neurologically. If you want to trace the experiences of lines, shapes, colors, etc. to MODs, look no further than area V1. In area V1, there are MODs that specialize in the detection of lines and colors. Just a little deeper, in area V4, are MODs for detecting shapes and more complex computations of color information. These MODs are not enough, however, to give rise to the perception of a whole object like a cup. Even if all the necessary lines, shapes, colors, etc. are there, and the corresponding MODs are active, the only perception this can amount to is the collective perception of lines, shapes, colors, etc. To recognize these elements as an identifiable object, a MOD further into the brain (in the inferotemporal cortex) needs to be stimulated.

Neuroscientists know that after information is processed in area V1, it gets deployed along two pathways: the dorsal pathway and the ventral pathway. The dorsal pathway leads into the parietal lobe near the top of the brain. This pathway has been coined the "where" pathway because it seems to compute information about where objects are in the visual scene. The dorsal pathway leads into the temporal lobes, which are at the sides of the brain and near the bottom. This pathway has been coined the "what" pathway because it seems to compute information about what the objects in the visual scene are (apples, tables, cups). It is the latter pathway that eventually leads to the MODs we are interested in. It seems that the inferotemporal cortex (near the end of the "what" pathway) is specialized for recognizing objects. It is this area that is needed to see the cup. Another way to understand this is to imagine that we lesioned the inferotemporal cortex, and think about what this implies about our perception of the cup. Since the detectors of lines, shapes, colors, etc. are left intact, we would still be able to perceive the lines, shapes, colors, etc. but we would not be able to recognize them as a cup. We might still be able to analyze the arrangement of the lines, shapes, colors, etc. and make a best guess as to what the object is, but this requires abstract thinking, which is not the same thing as automatically recognizing the cup for what it is. Therefore, the most accurate way to describe this is not in terms of reduction but entailment. That is, the visual experience of lines, shapes, and colors entails the perception of the cup. The perception of a cup is more than just the sum of the perception of lines, shapes, colors, etc. It is an extra perception that coincides with these more elementary perceptions. If we could juxtapose them, we would find that the meaning in the perception of the cup can be roughly equated with the collective meaning of the perceptions of the lines, shapes, colors, etc. Similarly, we can equate the functions of the inferotemporal cortex and area V1 - namely, perceiving objects like cups - but in different ways. Ultimately, however, the inferotemporal cortex is not area V1, and so it cannot be reduced to it. Thus, neither can the experiences. This helps us tie up a loose end from the Basic Theory - namely, how it is that we can have an experience that is uniform and homogeneous yet decomposable into parts. We already know that the recognition of a cup and the perception of its details - the lines, shapes, colors, etc. - is not genuinely reduction. This means that the true experience of recognizing a cup, in its pure form, must be considered apart from the lines, shapes, colors, etc. But in doing so, we realize that we've stripped it of the details it would otherwise be decomposed into. In other words, the recognition of a cup in its purest form has no details - it is just an understanding that there is a cup there, pure and simple. Under this light, we see that the recognition of a cup is indeed uniform and homogeneous. A less obscure way of saying this is that the recognition of a cup is more than the sum of its parts. Of course, this doesn't mean that the collective experience of the component experiences - lines, shapes, colors, etc. - doesn't have its own meaning. But this collective meaning is nothing more than the sum of the component meanings. In other words, if one experience means that there are lines, another means there are shapes, and a third means there is color, then their collective meaning is that there are lines, shapes, and colors. In the scenario we are dealing with here (seeing a cup), this would be the only example of classical reduction - that is, the kind of reduction where the whole is simply the sum of its parts (like the rock being simply a sum of atoms). However, unlike atoms, the component experiences are necessarily felt when the collective experience is felt. The atoms that make up the rock are things that we must derive the construct of in order to understand the basis for the rock, and this task is neither automatic nor immediate it requires intellectual exercises in order to acquire. In other words, the meaning within the experience, at no matter what level of reduction, is always there, being felt at the same time as the meaning at all other levels of reduction. Thus, it is more accurate to think of the ultimate, self-sustaining basis for experience to be there at every reductive level, and the exercise of traversing the reductive hierarchy of experiences is one of discovering equivalent or identical translations of this ubiquitous meaning. It is in this way that we avoid the problem of reductionism - the problem of infinite regress - even for the experiential reductive hierarchy. It's true that we could traverse this hierarchy ad infinitum, but because of the self-sustaining property of meaning, this doesn't matter. Like in the case of physical reduction, we would be coming no closer to a final basis that reveals itself to be self-sustaining, but unlike physical reduction, we would have that basis from the very beginning - at all levels. Furthermore, meaning does put a stop to an infinite regress for another reductive hierarchy, and that is the reduction from physical systems to experiences to meaning (see figure 3 ). That is, we say that physical systems are really experiences in Reality, and because these experiences are meaningful, reduction need not apply past this point.

The Problem of Reductionism

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Physical Realities, Subjective Realities, and Reality
So the physical systems of our world correspond to experiences of all kinds. We should not refrain, however, from talking about physical systems as we always have been. Terms such as "matter", "objects", "machines", "atoms", "galaxies", and so many more are still useful in describing our world. Because the correspondence rule always holds, for anything that can be said about the physical world there must be something similar that can be said about the mental world. So the choice between using physical or mental terms in our descriptions becomes very trivial. Besides, the physical world as a subjective reality is a reality unto itself, so to speak of it in physical terms is not just valid insofar as describing it, but also in making true statements about its ontology (and this reconciles our theory with science). This can be confusing, so it might be best to keep in mind a simple rule: when talking about the ontology of physical systems as we experience them, we are talking about their existence in our subjective realities, and when talking about the experiences that correspond to physical systems beyond our perception, we are talking about their existence in Reality. And because the relation between these two contexts - our subjective realities and Reality - is representational, what we say about physical systems in general should be easy to interpret in either conext. Overall, then, we can continue talking about physical reality as convention expects us to, and we will. But the difference between subjective realities and Reality is really quite subtle. The fact of the matter is that since Reality is composed of the experiences of physical systems, it can be said to be composed of their subjective realities. We will have to refine the meaning of the term "subjective reality" later. There will be need to question whether any arbitrary collection of experiences constitutes a proper reality or just a set of real things, which suggests it may not be the case that all physical systems experience subjective realities, but subjective real things instead. But as it concerns human brains, we do indeed experience what we call a "reality". Our brains are physical systems, and the accompanying subjective realities are part of Reality. This allows us to answer a question that was posed in the Basic Theory more clearly: "How can our minds create reality if there already is an absolute Reality beyond perception?" Well, if we can say, for now, that Reality is composed of all subjective realities which are all created by the minds of all physical systems, then we can say that all of Reality itself is created by these minds. If there were no subjective realities, there would be no Reality. The only difference is that any subjective reality is only a part of Reality. But the thing that makes them all real is that they all possess the essence of realness which results in projection - that is, all subjective realities and Reality itself draw their "realness" from the same thing. This corrects a potential misconception the reader might have had from the Basic Theory - namely, that Reality is somehow "more real" than our subjective realities. The truth is, both Reality and our subjective realities are equally and fully real. There might still be a question lingering in the air though: How do we speak of the "realness" of an entity or event in one subjective reality that doesn't exist in another subjective reality? Is it real or is it not? Take, for example, the belief in dragons. Suppose we had a friend who believed dragons existed. For that person, dragons are real (even if their existence is supported solely by cognition, not sensation). We, of course, are more skeptical. For us, dragons do not exist. So in the context of individual subjective realities, the question of the dragon's existence is simple. They do not exist in our subjective reality, but they do in our friend's. The hard question is, do they or do they not exist in Reality? This question will be addressed in the paper Reality and Perception.

The Correspondence Rule

Essence of Realness

Projection

Formulating the Advanced Theory
We have taken our theory quite a ways from the basic version. It would be appropriate, therefore, to restate the correlative formula in light of the advanced version. So here it is (emphasis on the second part):

The Advanced Theory of Mind and Matter The theory of mind and matter is two-fold: 1) An experience is... i) any instance of qualitivity... ii) that exudes the essence of realness, resulting in projection... iii) and conveys a meaning that describes its essential quality, resulting in flow. 2) Physical systems, including the brain, are a sensory representation of experiences, as defined in 1), that exist beyond human perception.
Obviously, the second part of the Advanced Theory is the one distinction from the Basic Theory. The Basic Theory puts the second part as "Experience... correlates with neurological activity by providing the reasons for the resulting behavior..." Now if the Advanced and Basic Theories are two versions of the same idea, then the second part in one should be the equivalent of the second part in the other. So how are these two statements equivalent? Well, what the second part gets at in either version is how to formulate the correlation between mind and brain/matter. In the Basic Theory, the correlation is still assumed to concern only the brain, and therefore puts it in terms of "neurological activity". In the Advanced Theory, the correlation is shown to concern all matter, and therefore puts it in terms of "physical systems". Of course, this formula is more than correlative in the Advanced Theory; it is causal. It is the experiences from beyond the human mind which cause matter to exist in our subjective realities, and which matter is reducible to in Reality. So in the

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Basic Theory, because the relation between mind and brain is still correlative, it describes the relationship in terms of the roles mind and brain play. More specifically, it states that, whereas the brain causes our behavior, mind provides the reasons for our behavior that is, the causes of our behavior correlate with our reasons for behaving. In the Advanced Theory, we show how this correlation is causal or reducible - it describes physical systems as sensory representations of the experiences that they actually are. That is, the experiences they actually are cause our sensory perception of them, thereby manifesting them as physical systems in our subjective reality. In other words, the causal framework that governs these physical systems is really the reasons they have for behaving, reasons that are beyond the physical world in which we find them.

Entailment

Cause vs. Reason

Of course, when it comes to human behavior, the experiences we actually feel (sensations, emotions, and cognitions) don't correspond to the overall behavior of our bodies, but to our brains instead - and even then, only to a few specific MODs. Therefore, the Advanced Theory makes a subtle but necessary demand upon the Basic Theory. Rather than explain our experiences as the correlative reasons for our behavior, it should explain them as the correlative reasons for the entailment of the experiences that do correspond to our overall behavior - that is, to our whole bodies. And if this means we need an additional correlative formula to explain the latter experiences, we can put it as follows: the experiences corresponding to the overall behavior of our bodies are the reasons for the entailment of our visual perceptions of such behavior. And the truth is, this formula works for our visual perceptions of all behaviors, human or not, organic or not. In other words, it still suffices to describe experiences as the reasons for behavior en lieu of the Advanced Theory because the experiences represented by any physical system in our subjective realities do in fact cause the behavior of those physical systems. Causation, however, whose definition we will recall from the Basic Theory, connotes physical or mechanical processes effects that are forced as it were - whereas the flow of experience is characterized more by reasons. So it really is a legitimate description to say that the mind acts as the reason for behavior. What the Advance Theory shows is that the mind need not be in the body exhibiting behavior - that it corresponds to it, or is represented by it - in order for this formulation to hold. Also note that "beyond human perception" is technically incorrect when it comes to observing one's own brain (however that might be possible - looking in a mirror with open cranium perhaps?), but this technicality is trivial. However, it does point out an interesting implication: that when looking at the brains of other people (and other animals more generally), we are indeed looking at their minds and their subjective realities - but in the form of a material representation. This shows, I hope, how matter and mind can be seen as different forms of one substance.

It should be clear by now how the approach we took to resolving the mind/matter problem is equal yet opposite to the approach taken by the physicalist. Whereas the reductivist describes mind in physical terms and says that there is no mind which is not really physical, we are describing physical things in terms of mind and saying that there are no physical things which are not really mind. Furthermore, since the mind contains the essence of realness, our model preserves the ontological status of physicality (which is why I recoil at the thought Reductive of calling it "eliminative"). This is not the end of the story, however. Even though our theory parallels reductive physicalism, it goes Physicalism/Identity further by claiming that the construct it places at the deepest level of the reductive hierarchy (experience) works better as a basis for the Theory universe than the construct that physicalism uses (matter). It says that all experience, which is the fundamental substance of the universe, is, at its core, meaning, and meaning is self-sustaining in virtue of its necessity. Any form of physicalism lacks this edge. Matter, at least as we perceive it, fails to manifest any such necessity. It succeeds insofar as reducing the dualism of mind and matter into a monism of matter, but then goes silent when the question of matter's existence comes into the foreground. Thus, our theory, by showing how experience can rely on itself for its own existence, is superior to any form of physicalism at solving the mind/matter paradox.
Essence of Realness

The Paradox of Individuality
According to the Advanced Theory, no formal separation exists between our minds and the experiences of the rest of the universe. When an electric signal travels up a sensory nerve, the corresponding experience morphs into different qualities until the signal reaches the brain, upon when the final quality is sensation. This means that our sensations are continuous with the experiences just preceding them. It is as if they are all connected in one mind. Therefore, why do we not feel them? Likewise, when signals leave our brain via the motor cortex, these signals continue to travel down nerves as electric impulses until they reach our muscles. During this time, they still parallel experiences of some kind. Why do we not feel them? The fact of the matter is, according to modern physics, all material bodies in the universe, down to the atomic structures that underlie them, enforce movement upon each other. If it was possible to setup an isolated physical system with parts that were not physically connected (like a solar system), it would, if not initially in motion, slowly start to move due to the gravitational pull that each part would exert on each other part. This entails that there are experiences constantly going on between all bodies of matter in the universe.

Newton's Law of Universal

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Gravitation

Even a chair and a table that are doing nothing more than sitting quietly have electrons moving relative to each other. Therefore, there are experiences of some minute intensity happening between them. Your brain is an example of a body of matter that is always in motion relative to something else in the universe (the Sun, the Moon, the cars outside). Why do you not feel these experiences? Perhaps it is a bit much to claim that your brain moves relative to some obscure object at the other end of the universe, and therefore must experience something therein. It might also be a bit much to claim that you should be experiencing something due to the relative motion of the electrons in your brain and the electrons in the chair you're sitting on. Perhaps what makes for an integrated and complete mind is simply that the body that corresponds to it has all its parts physically connected in the standard way (i.e. molecular bonds). In other words, it is all one continuous body, like wheels to a truck or leaves to a tree. Any other attractive or bonding forces are just too feeble to integrate the corresponding experiences into one whole mind. The problem with this is that every organ in our body, not just our brain, is interconnected in this way. Moreover, even our brain can be separated into parts that seem to be associated with experiences and parts that don't (most of the hindbrain carries out body regulating functions such as the heart beat, breathing, homeostasis, etc.). So even if we maintain a theory that only bodies that are integrated in the standard way possess a full mind, we need to ask why we do not feel the experiences associated with our hearts, our blood, our muscles, and so on, and furthermore why we do not feel the experiences associated with certain brain parts. In short, our theory seems to imply something counterintuitive - that we are all one consciousness and should feel as one, but instead we feel like individuals. My mind is not your mind, and neither of our minds belong to anything else in the universe except us. This is what I call the "Paradox of Individuality".

Principle: The Paradox of Individuality The human mind is continuous with all other experiences in the universe, and therefore, we should all be one consciousness. However, we only feel our experiences and do not feel any other experiences in the universe, and therefore, we are all individuals.
In this section of our paper, we will resolve this paradox. We will argue that, in fact, we actually are one consciousness but unconsciously. That is, we feel all experiences in the universe without knowing it. It will be necessary, however, to define what is meant by "we" is this statement. There is a simple way of arguing this and a more complicated way. We will begin with the simple way (which makes sense ). In the end, we will see that the problem lies in the fact that, as humans, we depend on cognition in order to gain knowledge of anything in the universe, and this creates an "illusion" of individuality. I put "illusion" in quotation marks, however, because that term is a little harsh a description as we shall see. So let's begin with the simple argument.

Two Kinds of Unconsciousness
How is it possible to experience something unconsciously? Well, for the purposes of our argument, it is important to distinguish between two meanings of "unconscious". Until now, "consciousness" has been treated synonymously with "knowledge-of-the-world". This follows from the window-to-reality model of the mind - that is, the mind is thought to be like a window through which information about reality passes through and becomes knowledge. Many philosophies of mind that have been put forward by thinkers from the Enlightenment era have added to this model. For example, once knowledge has been acquired, it can be stored as memory. It can also be recalled and associations can be formed between them. What has not changed by much, however, is that the function of consciousness is thought to be the acquisition and regulation of knowledge. Based on this, the term "unconscious" means "lack-of-knowledge". So, for example, if I were unaware of a particular fact, you would say that I am unconscious of that fact. If I have been knocked out due to a blow to the head, you would say that I am unconscious in virtue of having no ability to acquire or regulate knowledge during that time. We would say that a rock is unconscious because it has no ability to acquire or regulate knowledge at all. This is the first meaning of "unconscious". The second meaning comes from the system-of-experiences model of consciousness. According to this model, knowledge is one kind of experience; it falls under the category of cognition. Consciousness, in the broadest sense, is the entire array of experiences in the system. The function of consciousness, according to this model, is not so much to be aware of reality, but to create reality using whatever experiences the system has. Therefore, "unconscious" means, in this case, "lack-of-experiences". When a being is devoid of any experiences, this amounts to the utter non-existence of the being all together. In other words, this kind of unconsciousness is equivalent to non-existence. This is the second meaning of "unconscious". Therefore, to distinguish between these two definitions for "unconscious", we need to invent two terms. We shall call the lack-ofknowledge "epistemic unconsciousness" and the lack-of-experiences "experiential unconsciousness".

The Windowto-Reality vs. Systemof-Experiences Models

Definition: Epistemic vs. Experiential Unconsciousness 1) Epistemic Unconsciousness: The lack of knowledge. 2) Experiential Unconsciousness: The lack of experience.
Epistemology

The use of these terms inevitably calls for the use of two other terms: "epistemic awareness" and "experiential awareness", the meanings of which are:

Definition: Epistemic vs. Experiential Awareness 1) Epistemic Awareness: To have knowledge.

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2) Experiential Awareness: To have experience.
So the only meaningful way to interpret "unconscious experiences" is as experiences-without-knowledge, or in other words, experiences that are epistemically unconsciousness. So when one asks "Are such experiences possible?" we must answer "Of course!" Just imagine that we lobotomized our frontal lobes, the seat of our cognitive experiences (for the most part), but kept every other part of our brains intact. We would continue to experience vision, hearing, touch, taste, smell, emotions, and most forms of pain and pleasure. For all intents and purposes, we would still be conscious, experientially that is, but we wouldn't be able to think - we wouldn't be able to know anything. The phrase "to know" means to have knowledge. This phrase applies to both knowledge of past experiences and abstract facts and also to immediate events. This means that when I look at my pen beside me, I know that there is a pen there. Without the ability to know, I would not be able to acknowledge this to myself, think about it later, communicate it to my peers, or do any other kind of cognitive processing of this information. Generally speaking, I would not be aware of the pen, not epistemically at least, even in the midst of seeing it. I would, however, continue to experience it so long as I was looking at it. Therefore, it is never going to be more emphatic in these papers than now that "knowing" is an experience all the same as any other experience, human or not, as our theory defines experiences. This means that if you have a mind, no matter how rich in qualitative diversity its experiences make it, if it doesn't have the experience of knowing, it will be epistemically unconscious of all these experiences. But human beings do have the ability to know things. However, we are still limited to only those experiences that give rise to knowledge. In other words, we can only know about things that eventually morph into knowledge through their flow. This includes each and every experience in the human mind, but nothing more. Anything in the world that you can reference, think about, recognize, voice, sense, acknowledge, and so on, you must know about. This means that all these experiences ultimately become knowledge at some point. In terms of the three categories of human experiences (cognition, emotion, and sensation), it means that the five senses, emotions, and even cognitions themselves, all flow into knowledge. Neurologically speaking, it means that all the sensory cortices (sensation), the limbic system (emotions), and the frontal lobe (cognition) send signals, when active, to the centers of the brain corresponding to knowledge (and, yes, this means the cognitive center sends signals to itself. Otherwise, we would not be able to know what we were thinking. Remember, however, there are many brands of cognition and there are many different centers in the brain for cognition). In other words, we can only know about those experiences that stimulate the "knowledge" parts of the brain.

Qualitative Diversity

Flow

Window-to-Reality Model of Consciousness

Now, it is important not to misunderstand epistemic awareness as a sort of consciousness of other experiences as the window model would have it. The knowledge that makes epistemic awareness possible is not like a featureless window through which it "sees" other experiences - it is an experience unto itself, and it sees only itself. It is blind to anything else. This brings into question the notion of self-awareness. All experiences are self-aware. They all experience themselves. But unlike the splitting of awareness into the epistemic and experiential varieties, self-awareness cannot be split in this fashion. If we were to choose either epistemic or experiential awareness as a closest approximation to what self-awareness is, we would have to choose the experiential kind. Therefore, we can always say that a given experience is experientially self-aware - that is, it always experiences itself. It makes little sense, however, to say that it is epistemically self-aware. If the experience in question is not knowledge, then it goes without saying that there is nothing epistemic about it. But even if it is knowledge, then epistemically, the thing it is aware of is not itself - it is only aware, epistemically, of the experience that it entailed from. To say that it is also epistemically self-aware is to say that it is aware of two things at the same time - the other experience and itself. This makes little sense as the content of one instance of knowledge - two separate instances, perhaps, but even then, the second instance would only be epistemically aware of the first instance, not itself. So epistemic self-awareness is untenable. It may be self-aware in the experiential sense, but all this amounts to saying is that it experiences itself, not that it knows about itself. What it knows about is something else. To put this another way, to say that an experience is epistemically aware is not to describe it as a different sort of awareness, as if it is the only form of consciousness that the window model is valid for, but to describe the particular qualitative character of the experience as knowledge. That is, epistemic awareness is a type of experience characterized as a reference to something else, and this something else is the experience known. It is therefore like a finger pointing to an object. The finger functions as a reference to the object even though it is not itself conscious of the object. Likewise, epsitemic awareness is a reference to another experience even though it doesn't feel or "see" that experience - it only experiences itself (in the manner of experiential self-awareness) as knowledge of the experience referred to. It becomes more obvious, therefore, why all other experiences in the universe are unconscious to us. It is because the physical systems they correspond to do not physically stimulate the "knowledge" parts of the brain. Why would a tree falling on the other side of the planet have any effect on our brains? It would constitute a violation of physical laws if it did. The falling tree would correspond to an experience, but this experience does not entail knowledge of any sort, not in our minds in any case.

Principle: Knowledge of Experiences We can only be epistemically aware of experiences that entail knowledge of themselves.
We may also, based on this principle, define "human experiences".

Definition: Human Experiences

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The human experiences are all those experiences that entail knowledge of themselves in the same human brain.
But it gets more complicated than this, as the following scenario makes clear. Suppose we had a candy bar sitting on a table, and you were sitting at one end of the table and I at the other. We both look at the candy bar and therefore acquire epistemic awareness of it. But then suppose a barrier was placed between me and the candy bar (a book, say) such that I could no longer see it. Because I can't see it, I cannot be epistemically aware of any visual experience of the candy bar. However, I still know the candy bar exists, and furthermore I know that you are still experiencing a visual sensation of it. Therefore, I am still epistemically aware of the existence of a visual experience of the candy bar, even if it is not my experience. Why, then, do I not feel your visual experience? This scenario compels me to articulate a more narrow definition of "epistemic awareness" - obviously, simply having epistemic awareness of an arbitrary experience is not enough to feel it. So how do we describe the exact nature of the particular kinds of knowledge that give rise to direct exposure to other experiences by the individual who beholds them? This is where we explore the more complicated solution to the paradox of individuality.

Two Kinds of Knowledge
Well, the most salient distinction that can be made between my epistemic awareness of your visual experience of the candy bar and that of my visual experience is that the latter is immutable. That is, before the barrier was placed on the table, I couldn't help having knowledge of the candy bar - I could not possibly convince myself that the candy bar wasn't there, nor could I convince myself that it was there if it really wasn't. I could imagine a hypothetical scenario in which there was no candy bar, but I could not possibly believe it. I could also imagine that the candy bar was an illusion, and there was nothing there in reality, but as an illusion, I couldn't deny that I was seeing it. This is not quite the case when contemplating your visual experience. Even though I cannot imagine how you would not be seeing it, I still cannot prove that you are seeing it with quite as much cogency as I could if I were seeing it. I could imagine that, unbeknownst to me, you're actually blind. Or perhaps, without my knowing, a small cloth was placed over the candy bar such that it was occluded from your sight. Perhaps, by some miracle, the candy bar vanished just after the barrier was placed on the table. Even though I don't need to completely buy into these possibilities, the fact remains that I cannot falsify them. Therefore, they are not immutable as the knowledge from my visual experience is. So the key difference between these two kinds of knowledge is one of probability. The immutable kind of knowledge - the knowledge of what I actually see - can be described as knowledge of 100 percent certainty, whereas any other kind of knowledge - the knowledge of what I have to infer - can be described as knowledge of some level of probability. Now, these two descriptive terms - "certainty" and "probability" - denote the key difference, but it is important not to confuse the level of probability as denoting the difference. That is, it would be easy, but erroneous, to assume that, for probabilistic knowledge, as the level of probability approaches 100 percent certainty, the kind of knowledge it is becomes the immutable kind. This is wrong. In the example of the candy bar, I could be absolutely certain that you see the candy bar even though I can't see it behind the book. I might be able to imagine fanciful scenarios in which the candy bar magically vanishes or that you are actually blind, and so on, and I may not be able to falsify this in a purely logical sense, but I don't generally doubt, in a practical sense, that you see it. For all intents and purposes, I would say I am certain that you see the candy bar. What this reflects is that the level of probability in my knowledge is virtually at 100 percent. Yet it still does not allow me to have your visual experience. What we need to understand about the distinction between these two kinds of knowledge is that their inherent quality is different, even if the probabilistic level of the kind we have to infer is at or near 100 percent. That is, even if the probabilistic knowledge is at or near 100 percent, it still feels different - and it is this feel that defines the qualitative difference. What it means for this kind of knowledge to be probabilistic in its qualitative feel is that it is not fixed at 100 percent certainty. That is, I may feel certain about my inference that you see the candy bar, but it remains possible, in principle, for me to veer away from this level of certainty. If I were told, to my surprise, that you really are blind, this level of certainty would be lowered by some amount. I would begin to doubt my inferences. The other kind of knowledge - knowledge of certainty - cannot be manipulated in this manner. So the main difference between these two kinds of knowledge is how flexible the level of probability is - with the one kind, the level of probability can waver, whereas with the other kind, it cannot. This difference is rooted in the qualitative feel of the knowledge, not in the level of certainty we might have about it. To be perfectly precise, knowledge of certainty should be described as an "acknowledgement". This is the term we will use to refer to this kind of knowledge. An acknowledgement is the most primitive form of cognition in the human mind. Even some animals seem to behave as though they acknowledge their experiences. Before any other experience can morph into cognitions of any other form (abstract concepts, memories, abstract knowledge, fantasies, ideas, etc.) they must first morph into acknowledgements. Thereby, we become conscious of them, in the epistemic sense, and thereafter we can think about them in any way we choose. I sometimes use the phrase "gateway cognitions" to describe their role in our minds - that is, they act as the intermediate phase, or the "gateway" if you will, between all non-cognitive human experiences and cognitions.

Human Experiences

Acknowledgements vs. Talking To Yourself

Definition: Acknowledgement Knowledge whose qualitative feel is such that it does not vary from 100 percent certainty. The first and most primitive cognition entailed by the human experiences that makes cognitions of all other kinds possible, and allows us to be epistemically aware of our experiences.

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Human Experiences

Knowledge of Experiences

Now, just in case the reader feels uncomfortable about a few slight inconsistencies, there are a few definitions and principles I feel we should rephrase. More specifically, we need to rephrase the definition for human experiences and the principle of knowledge of experiences in the light of the more complex resolution to the paradox of individuality. This is not a formal rephrasing, but it is necessary in order to avoid misinterpretations. We defined human experiences as "all those experiences that entail knowledge of themselves in the same human brain", but this should read, "all those experiences that entail acknowledgements of themselves in the same human brain." The principle of knowledge of experiences states that "we can only be epistemically aware of experiences that entail knowledge of them", but this should read "we can only be epistemically aware of experiences that entail acknowledgements of them". Note that this principle and definition, stated as they were for the simple resolution to the paradox of individuality, aren't wrong per se - after all, acknowledgements ultimately lead to knowledge (at least, for humans they do) - but for the complex resolution to the paradox of individuality, they are a bit misleading. They seem to imply a direct and general relation between human experiences and knowledge - that is, they seem to say that so long as experiences morph into any kind of knowledge - immutable or not - without first being acknowledged, the beholder of these experiences will feel individuated. Of course, this is not what they say, not explicitly anyway. They are still valid in the sense that, although the human experiences must be acknowledged first, this results in a sense of individuality due only to the advent of knowledge which follows. So it would behoove the reader to keep in mind that there is an implicit reference to acknowledgements in the above definition and principle.

The Paradox of Individuality

Does this resolve the paradox of individuality? Well, it certainly tells us that epistemic awareness, although necessary to know about one's experiences, is not sufficient. We also need acknowledgements - a special kind of knowledge that can only arise from the direct experiencing of something (and not just sensations, but emotions and cognitions as well). But does this explain why all other experiences are epistemically unconscious to one's self? It does when those experiences aren't acknowledged at all. But what about the case of your visual experience - which is acknowledge by you? Your acknowledgement certainly helps me not a bit to gain the necessary epistemic awareness. It would seem that some experiences, when acknowledged, are attributed to "you" whereas others are attributed to "me". There are even whole sets of experiences that are acknowledged separately from each other yet all get attributed to "me" - such as when I acknowledge my visual experiences separately from my auditory experiences, which can be acknowledged separately from my tactile, emotional, or cognitive experiences. Yet they are all experienced by the same individual. On the other hand, you and I could be looking at the same candy bar - having nearly identical visual experiences - and one becomes "your" experience and the other "mine" - neither of us having any access to the other's. Why is this? Although we have yet to understand how the illusion of individuality is created, at least we can see now that there is an illusion. It is as if we were on a tiny island (the human mind) in a vast ocean (the Universal Mind) and we could not see that the sands that sink beneath the lapping waves actually continue on as the ocean floor. We therefore assume that where the land meets the water, the land ends. This is an illusion of course. But we should explore this illusion further. We know that acknowledgements are responsible for our individuality, but it has yet to be shown why. After all, if epistemic awareness of our experiences is not enough - as we saw with the candy bar scenario - and not all acknowledgements that exist are "mine", then it can't just be that acknowledgements are a special class of epistemic awareness. That can't be the whole story. So what is it about acknowledgements? We will get an answer to this by examining the manner by which the brain integrates and unifies all incoming information into a whole we call "the world" - and from that, how a sense of selfhood emerges. This will allow us to craft a formal definition for "self" that shows that the self is indeed real while maintaining the illusory status of our individuation. In fact, a better way to put this is that we will show, not that our individuation is illusory, but that our isolation from the rest of Reality is. In other words, we are individuals - so much is true - but we are not disconnected from the world - as though a gap exists between our experiences and those of the Universal Mind. The analogy to the island would be that, although the isolation of the island is illusory, the island itself is real, and therefore not an illusion. Now we're asking, "What brings the island above the waters"?

Reality

Modeling The Self
Let's be sure that the question is understood. We've established that an experience can't be felt as part of an individual's mind unless it is acknowledged. But what ties only those acknowledgements that correspond to the same brain to one individual and those that correspond to other brains to other individuals? To be sure, each and every experience that an individual can have must entail a distinct acknowledgement. That is, I must acknowledge my sense of touch separately from my sense of sight or my sense of taste. Even within my sense of touch, I must acknowledge different touch sensations separately - I must acknowledge a prick on my toe separately from a caress on my hand. So the question is, what ties these disparate acknowledgements together such that we have a unified sense of self? We could not have individuality unless this were the case. Furthermore, what prevents these acknowledgements from joining up with those of another individual? What makes us feel like separate individuals? The physics certainly doesn't allow for it, so what is it about the experience? And then, once an individual is brought forth, what determines that this one individual in particular is "me" and not "you"? The "self" has probably been as illusive to philosophers as the relation between mind and matter itself. I remember a philosophy professor of mine wrote a list of all the elements in the human mind we could think of, similar to the figure on the left. He then asked where in the list the self belonged. He pointed out that no matter how rigorously we apply our best introspective efforts, we never really seem to find anything resembling a "self". Indeed, most people find this difficult. In fact, the neurosciences suffer from the same difficulty. Nowhere in the brain has there been found a center that could account for the sense of self we all feel. What they are finding instead is that there are numerous centers for all the mental experiences we feel, much like the list my professor wrote out. None of these centers, however, converge their information (read: send their signals) into a centralprocessing-unit so to speak. This has led some philosophers to conclude that the self is simply the entire collection of mental experiences in the human mind - that is, all the items in my professor's list and all the experiences associated with the many MODs of the brain.

Philosophies of Self

Central Processing Unit (CPU)

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Now this might work if we held a conventional model of mind, but in the context of our theory, it ends up begging the question. It seems to imply that all that constitutes a self is just a unified set of experiences in one mind. If that were the case, however, all the experiences of the universe would constitute a self, for they all pass as a unified set of experiences in one universal mind. We'd come full circle, asking the very question that we started with - why don't we all feel as one? The conventional notion of the self is a central repository or processor towards which all psychological information converges, and from which all volition issues. More simply put, we feel we are at the center of our subjective world. Figure 4a illustrates a model of the mind that assigns the self to this role. Figure 4b, on the other hand, depicts an alternate model, taking into account the role acknowledgements play. This model is similar to that of figure 4a in that all experiences converge to a central node, but in keeping with the elusiveness of the self, this model does not label the central node the "self". Instead, what we have is a "cognitive database" whose entry points are guarded by acknowledgements. What this means to convey is that once the immediate experiences from our senses and emotions are acknowledged, they can then become knowledge and either stored as memory or actively contemplated within the boundaries of this cognitive database.

Figure 4a: Conventional model of self

Figure 4b: Alternate model involving acknowledgements and the elusiveness of self

The convergence of all information into a central node may at first seem to contradict what the neurosciences have to say about the brain - that no central node where information converges seems to exist. But what figure 4b represents is the flow of information from one MOD to another, not where they are located. Take a look at figure 5a and 5b for an example of this principle. The connections between the nodes of figure 5a are twisted and convoluted due mainly to the locations the nodes have been given. One would never realize figure 5a was exactly the same graph as that shown in figure 5b. In figure 5b, the nodes have been sorted out so that their interconnections are neat and easy to trace with the naked eye. In either case, it's the same nodes and the same interconnections. Information will traverse them in exactly the same way. In other words, so long as all the MODs that the cognitive database corresponds to are interconnected in such a way that information can be exchanged between them as if they were a central repository, then figure 4b is a good mapping of it.

Figure 5a: Tangled nodes

Figure 5b: Sorted nodes

That being said, there turns out to be a very suitable candidate for the cognitive database to correspond to - namely, the prefrontal cortex. This is the arena where all our abstract and rational thinking takes place. We might even call it the "conscious mind". If we can think about it, it must find its way here. Any signals coming in from the senses or the emotional centers eventually end up in the prefrontal cortex. This is not to say, however, that all cogitation happens here. Studies have shown that mental visualizing, for instance, actually occurs in the visual cortices. Likewise, areas like the primary auditory cortex or the primary somatosensory cortex "light up" on

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brain scanning machines when subjects are asked to imagine things like birds chirping, feeling hard objects, hearing traffic, and so on. Also, memory, which is a form of cognition, has been found to correspond to sporadic areas around the brain, not in any one center. Therefore, it needs to be understood that the convergence of information depicted by figure 4b illustrates the flow of information more than the physical arrangement of the corresponding MODs. This may remind the reader of the Communication Hypothesis of Binding which we looked at in the paper Preliminary Concepts. There is good reason for this. The hypothesis was that so long as different MODs could communicate with each other or converge their information to a central node, binding would occur. The relevance to figure 4b is, of course, that all the experiences that come into the cognitive database are bound together such that we have one holistic experience. Also, once in the cognitive database, all information is equally shared and exchanged by each part therein, thus satisfying the condition of MODs communicating with each other. This would parallel the way signals are processed in the prefrontal cortex. Any information about the world or one's emotional states could be consciously pondered here and compared, contrasted, and react with any other information therein, thereby creating new insights. Does such binding result in a sense of selfhood? Not necessarily. If we look only at the ventral pathway in the temporal lobe, we see a sort of binding wherein visual experiences of lines, shapes, colors, and the like come together to form the experience of a full and familiar object such as a book or a painting. This sort of binding, therefore, results in the parts forming a whole - but a whole what? In this case, a whole object - not a self. If I were to guess as to what sort of "whole" comes about when the full range of experiences bind together in the cognitive database, I'd say it is the awareness of "the world". The sense of selfhood we all feel must be in there somewhere, of course, but where? Well, at this point in the discussion, it might be obvious that the self - at least, the concept thereof - follows very simply from the perception of "the world". That is to say, if we are right in assuming that the binding that occurs in the cognitive database culminates in a unified perception of "the world" (or "reality" or "existence" or whathaveyou), then our original problem - that of how one set of disparate acknowledgements are grouped together in one individual whereas another set of equally disparate acknowledgements are split into several distinct individuals - is no longer a hurdle. We now understand what binds these sets together in some cases and what keeps them apart in other cases. When a set of acknowledgements find their way into the same cognitive database, they are bound together; otherwise, they remain disconnected. As we pointed out above, however, this doesn't necessarily result in a sense of selfhood, but the question of how the self comes out of this isn't nearly as perplexing, for the real hurdle was to understand how the self's variety of acknowledgements become associated with the same self. Nonetheless, our account of individuality is incomplete until we do say a word on how the self derives from this, for an individual is an individual self; not a world. The most plausible account that comes to mind is that the self is inferred from the world - that is to say, with the experience of the world comes the implication that a self exists at its center - it is the point-of-view from which the world is experienced. It seems an inseparable feature of the world that it be experienced from a particular point-of-view - at least, from a human perspective. For one thing, we always experience the world as spatially extended, and thus an origin exists from which this extension reaches out. We also experience the world from a particular angle, suggesting that this origin also has an orientation. The self becomes a very useful concept, therefore, if for no other reason than to specify this origin, this point-of-view. Yet, the self is obviously more than just a geometric point in space; there is much more to account for. But it nevertheless seems reasonable that the idea of a point-of-view serves as one of the roots of our conception of self, so we can begin with this. In addition, we should probably consider that certain elements that make up our world cling tenaciously to this point-of-view like nothing else. Our bodies, for one, are an example. No matter how this point-of-view changes as a function of time and displacement, there is a particular human body that always accompanies and surrounds it. Thus, this body becomes, very early on, connected to the sense of selfhood in a profoundly intricate way. Every time we look in the mirror, we see ourselves - not some body or some other person - ourselves. Furthermore, it can only help to forge this impression of selfhood deeper that we readily, and quite automatically it seems, recognize consciousness - that is, a living, thinking person - when we perceive images of human beings generally - especially human faces (this point was made above in a sidenote - duplicated here ). Why wouldn't the same be true for looking at one's self? This can be done in several ways: one could look in a mirror; one could look at one's own body directly (as in the hands, the legs, the abdomen); one could feel one's body through touch or listen to one's own voice. The list might go on. Experiencing one's own body in these ways is a very special way of perceiving a living person in that it doesn't just elicit the impression of a self, but myself. This is a very subtle point - that ourselves are experienced and conceived differently from any arbitrary self - and it might be accounted for simply by noting the special connection between the self we see in the mirror and the point-of-view from which the world is experienced. That is to say, what makes the self "special" - that is, what distinguishes it from all other selves - is that it is the one self that always coincides with this point-of-view. These additional elements - experiencing our bodies and recognizing consciousness in faces - may be enough, when coupled with our inference of a point-of-view, to pass for a fully developed sense of selfhood. If this is true, then a lot more is explained by it. It helps us understand why the self is so illusive to introspection - not merely in that the self ought to be identified with the body (that is, through "extrospection" ) - but in that the sense of selfhood persists even in the absence of any sensual experience of the body. The illusiveness of self is explained by the fact that, through introspection, we only get a glimpse of the concept of the self. It is a concept because it is foremost inferred - at least, as a point-of-view - from the experience of the world. Therefore, the only thing we find by way of introspection is this concept. The catch, however, is that concepts by themselves are never taken for that which they are concepts of. The concept of the moon, for example, is duly recognized as a thought in the head; not the actual moon itself - and so the concept of the self, even when beheld clearly in the mind, is not readily taken to be the self so conceived. Thus, it is no wonder that we can't find the self through introspection. But, of course, the objection can be raised: even a concept, such as the inference of self, should project as something real and independent. Just like any other experience, it should feel like something in the world - even the inner world of introspection. The key to clearing this up, however, is to pay close attention to what kind of experience we're dealing with and what that entails about the form in which it projects. Concepts never project as literal things (like physical objects). They project as "essences". An essence, broadly defined, is what a thing ultimately is (as opposed to what it appears to be). A concept is an understanding of what a thing is - or - an apprehension of its essence. This shouldn't be confused with a thing's actual existence, for I can conceive of the flying spaghetti monster - thus appreciating what it is by definition - and this projects as the essence of the flying spaghetti monster. This example hopefully shows that an essence is simply "what a thing is" regardless of whether it actually exists or not. This works perfectly well with our definition of "projection" since the idea of a thing, existent or otherwise, is always whatever we define it to be, and this definition holds - as it were - independently of whether we appreciate it or not, whether we agree with it or not, whether we're

The Communication Hypothesis of Binding

Recognizing Consciousness

Projection

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conscious to know it or not. If someone tells us that the flying spaghetti monster is the Dalai Lama, for example, we would hardly say that he/she is right merely in virtue of that being his/her own understanding - or definition - of the flying spaghetti monster; rather, in the great majority of cases, we would simply say he/she is wrong, that he doesn't understand what the flying spaghetti monster really is - as if the definition had a life force all its own. Thus, it may be true that the concept of the self, as an inferred point-of-view, projects and thereby becomes real, but it becomes a real essence which, as such, is not enough to guarantee its existence. Would it be enough to, not merely conceive of the self, but to believe in its existence? Well, whatever we believe about the self, or any concept for that matter, projects as a truth or fact about the concept. That is to say, belief (or knowledge) is a propositional thought relating a set of concepts together in such a way that it amounts to a statement or claim about the state of reality as it pertains to those concepts. So, for example, the belief that "the flying spaghetti monster is an imaginary creature" is a statement relating the concept of the flying spaghetti monster to the concept of the imagination, and this relation, as experienced, projects as a truth or fact pertaining to reality. Thus, in bringing to mind the concept of the self, along with any beliefs about it one might hold, one recognizes not so much the self incarnate, but the essence of the self (i.e. its definition) and certain truths or facts about it. If one of these truths or facts so happens to be that the self really exists, this may suffice to imbue the self with real existence, but it would not suffice to present the self to the mind's eye while engaged in introspection. The mind in question could only know of the real existence of the self but it would remain as illusive to introspection as any fabrication borne by the imagination. As a concept, self is subject to a whole slew of divergent definitions. That is to say, when an experience is handed over to the cognitive database - in which case it is made into a concept and processed as such - the cognitive database can make whatever it wants out of it. The most common contrivance, at least among my encounters with intellectuals, is that the self is just the mind - that is, consciousness itself - for it is difficult to imagine how one could exist without the other. The materialist, for another example, makes it into the human body itself, and perhaps more specifically the brain. Others, such as the theist of western religion, makes it into an ethereal soul, which is to be contrasted with the body, or anything physical, and lives on after death. The Buddhist, appealing to the impermanence of everything, goes so far as to denounce the very existence of the self. This range of freedom in thought permits us to contrive our own definition, but we will not do so on a mere whim; we will stick to our analysis hitherto - that is, we will base our definition on the manner by which the experience of the self emerges - not only as the inferred point-of-view, but as the full package, which consists of our experiences of the body and the impression of consciousness it elicits.

Definition: Self The self is the point-of-view from which the world is experienced insofar as it is identified with a body whose presence elicits the impression of consciousness.
What does this definition imply for the existence of the self? Does a point-of-view exist? From what we've been arguing, it might seem as though our definition is self-defeating. That is, the point-of-view in question, we have said, only projects as an essence, which, as the flying spaghetti monster evinces, is not enough to establish existence in the world. This is why associating it with the body is important. The body definitively exists, and insofar as it elicits the impression of consciousness, the body can be said to be a self. What makes it myself is that it coincides with the special position of the point-of-view. That is to say, so long as the concept of the point-of-view can be attributed to the body and its being conscious, it inherits real existence. In other words, essences and existence aren't mutually exclusive - it's just that essences alone are not enough to guarantee existence; they depend on being attributed to something that does exist beforehand. This happens all the time, as a matter of fact, and is the natural way by which we experience objects in the world. When I look at my coffee mug, for instance, I not only see some mysterious object composed of a set of elementary visual experiences (like lines, shapes, colors, etc.), I see my mug! What's happening here is that the essence of my mug - that is, my concept of it - is being attributed to what I see, thereby furnishing it with real existence. Precisely the same process is at work in attributing the essence of the self to the body, and so not only is the self something in essence, but it exists in the world. What does this say about the human experiences? Are they part of the self? Thinking about them as mental phenomena certainly persuades us to answer yes - that is, our minds are just as much a part of us as our bodies - but when we think about them in their projected forms, we get an entirely different impression. Take the visual experience of an apple, for instance. Upon projecting, this experience becomes the apple itself - an object in the outer world that contrasts with the self. It seems inherent in the experience that the apple is not the self at all. If we define the self as the point-of-view of the world insofar as it coincides with a conscious body, then we have excluded everything else in the real world; yet the fact remains that they are the experiences constituting our own minds. It's true that these experiences are represented by specific parts of our bodies - namely, a variety of MODs in the brain - but as a representation, these MODs should not be identified with their corresponding experiences anymore than a road map should be identified with the actual road system it represents. Thus, although our brains are certainly a part of us, the same reasoning doesn't quite hold for the experiences they represent. Then again, this only holds for the above definition. We shouldn't lose sight of the freedom we have to conjure up whatever definition we want. We don't want any old arbitrary definition, of course - we want some reasoning to stand behind it - but there is ample reason to define the self as the whole set of human experiences, the prime one being that they do constitute the human mind which can be considered a part of the self as much as the body can (and for similar reasons). We went with a different line of reasoning to arrive at the definition above - namely, that this is the typical way the average person experiences him/herself - but we aren't bound to this line of reasoning. Of course, we can't go with an alternative without contradicting the one above, but there is nothing sacrosanct about the latter. In fact, the latter isn't even necessary to resolve the paradox of individuality. As we already said, the paradox is resolved by accounting for the unity of those acknowledgements and their corresponding experiences that find themselves confined to the same individual. This account was the binding process that occurs in the cognitive database, culminating in the experience of "the world". We went further to account for the self, not so much because it was needed to resolve the paradox of individuality, but because it was needed to answer the question "Why does the individual that results from this binding feel like a self?" Pressing as this question may have been, it is not quite the same as "Why are certain sets of experiences individuated from the rest of the universe?" Thus, one can put forward all manner of arguments in order to support all manner of definitions for the self without necessarily resurrecting the paradox of individuality. Whatever the definition, our theory does allow us to say that the experiences constituting the perceived world belong to us - like one might say "my shirt belongs to me" even though the shirt is a distinct object from the self. If the self is an inference made on the basis of an outer world experienced from a particular point-of-view, then an unbreakable connection is made between that world and the self so inferred. This means that the world could be said to "belong" to the self - not necessarily in that the self owns the world - but that the

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association is a binding one - that is, they "belong" together. This pairing between world and self gives us the full answer to the question we started out with in this section. We asked what binds each of our acknowledgements to the same individual, and we answered that in virtue of the intercommunication going on within the cognitive database, every experience acknowledged is integrated into the same "world", and that since the self is inferred as the pointof-view from which this world is experienced, each acknowledgement is reported to the same self. This gives way to a sense of ownership over one's experiences; if a pairing exists between world and self, then one's experiences of the world he/she is paired up with could be said to "belong" to him/her. Thus, the binding of acknowledgements, along with the experiences acknowledged, within one individual results in those experiences being "mine". If it is a question of why this self turns out to be "me" and not "you" - that is, why do I experience myself to be Gibran Shah in particular and not Samantha Smith or Eric Jones (they too experience themselves as points-of-view after all)? - the answer is just that the word "me" refers to a particular self. That is to say, I define the word "myself" as this self right here - the one who coincides with this particular point-of-view, the one from which that particular world is experienced. So to ask "Why do I not feel your experiences?" is an absurd question - the "I" in that question refers to "the person who experiences only that world out there from only this point-of-view". To suppose that this "I" could feel any other experience or any other world is to defy the very definition of the "I" in question, for no other "I" is paired up with that world or coincides with this point-of-view. It would be like asking "Why is Gibran not Samantha?" - because if Gibran were Samantha, he would no longer be Gibran - and we would come full circle, asking the same question the other way around: why is Samantha not Gibran? It's really very simple once you think of it this way.

Anatomizing The Self
Having a fairly decent handle on the Paradox of Individuality, we will now digress a little and expand on figure 4b. A few things need to be said about it - a few details added - which will pass as a thorough outline of the "anatomy" of the self. In the process, we will answer a question that hasn't been asked explicitly, but a few readers might be wondering about. That is the question of how we acknowledge our own thoughts. We see, from figure 4b, how we acknowledge our sensory and emotional experiences - namely, by granting them entry into the cognitive database - but our cognitive experiences don't seem to have access through the same channels. Cognitions are what stir within the cognitive database, and so unless they somehow leave and re-enter through their own specialized acknowledgements, it would seem there is still some explaining to do. When we look at figure 4b, we see that each of our five senses and our emotions have access to the cognitive database. But it should be noted that there must be a separate connection from each and every elementary human experience to the cognitive database via an acknowledgement. This means that if we take, for example, the node labeled "vision", it can be expanded as in figure 6 where the visual experience has been broken down into its stages. These stages are a thoroughly established fact about the brain. That is, the first MOD visual signals hit upon entering the brain are "spot detectors" - neurons in area V1 that correspond to our experience of "spots" or "points". Then these signals are relayed to MODs deeper into area V1 that correspond to our experience of lines and colors. Next, in area V4, the signals are processed by MODs that correspond to our experience of shapes. Finally, at the stage just before this information becomes knowledge and memory, it is processed by the inferotemporal cortex, which corresponds to our experience of familiar objects (the experience of "recognition"). I have left out a lot of detail and smaller intermediate stages, but for our purposes, this is generally accurate.

Human Experiences

The Ventral Stream

Figure 6: flow of visual information from spot detectors to knowledge and memory. Now, the fact of the matter is, our experiences at each one of these stages is converted into knowledge and stored as memory, but this is not so clear from figure 6. For example, if I am looking at my blue coffee mug, not only do I recognize that it is my mug, but that it is blue, it is shiny, it is a few inches tall, it is cylindrical, it is standing vertically, etc. However, from figure 6, it seems like the only thing I can be epistemically aware of is that it is my mug (i.e. only recognition of the object is registered in the cognitive database). The details seem to get lost as they go through several stages of conversion. They are used by each successive stage, but only the end product seems to be forwarded to the cognitive database.

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Figure 7: Flow of visual information with direct paths to knowledge and memory. This is why figure 7 is more accurate experientially, and most likely neurologically as well. This figure suggests that at each stage, information takes a short cut directly to the cognitive database in addition to lending itself to further stages. This allows us to be epistemically aware of the details as well as the final perception of familiar objects. Most likely, these nodes and the connections that link them are neurologically accurate - that is, these nodes should correspond to actual MODs (and they do) and the connections to actual neural fibers. A neurological correlate of these connections has been found, but it functions in a slightly different way than this figure depicts. It seems as though signals are sent back to the visual system from the cognitive centers rather than from the visual system to the cognitive centers. This has been used to explain certain strange phenomena that have been experimentally verified - namely, that what we think we see is often influenced significantly by what we expect to see (see sidenote ). These neural connections might also be used to "query" our visual system for the details of the things we see. That is, it very well might be that if we passively take in our visual experiences, the only thing we are epistemically aware of is the overall object (my mug, for example). But whenever we want, we can easily look for the details (querying) and find them. When we do this, signals would be deployed from the cognitive centers to the visual MODs and the information on the details these MODs carry would be returned. This is not to say that such details must be queried in order to be epistemically experienced - they may very well be sent to the cognitive centers along these direct paths, or any other paths, automatically - but "querying" is nevertheless a plausible function of these direct paths. Similar direct connections should be applicable to any of our sensory experiences in which we are simultaneously aware (epistemically) of the details and the global picture generated in the final stages. In fact, a general rule of thumb should be made clear: if you can pick out any experience and distinguish it from another experience, there should be two distinct acknowledgements, one for each. Otherwise, how could we tell them apart, epistemically that is? This is simply a rehash of the principle of experiential monopoly, but expressed in terms of what we can know rather than what we can experience. Therefore, when it comes to the senses, not only must there be separate acknowledgements for each stage of sensory processing, but within each stage, if there are distinctions that can be made between various experiences, then there must be one distinct acknowledgement for each of them as well. For example, the first stage of the hearing experience, which corresponds to Brodmann area 41 and 42 (a.k.a. Area A1) in the temporal lobe, is that of distinguishing between different pitches. When one listens to a musical instrument, one can distinguish between different notes. One senses that an A minor is a different auditory experience than a B sharp. Therefore, you can have these two distinct experiences co-occurring in the same stage of auditory processing. Not to complicate things, but this idea means that our model must incorporate yet another dimension of flow. So, whereas previously we had connections joining each node (stage) in a serial arrangement plus the parallel connections that joined each node directly to the cognitive database, we now have to introduce a multiplicity of connections from each node to the cognitive database. In the case of vision, for example, the node labeled "spot detectors" would have to have a whole bundle of arrows - perhaps millions - connecting them to the cognitive database via acknowledgements (quite undrawable, despite the best efforts of figure 8 ). Every point you see in your visual field is distinguishable from every other point. This means that for every cone and rod on your retina (or bundle, as the case more realistically is), there is a MOD deep in the brain that acknowledges the visual experience each one eventually yields - the visual system is topologically consistent, after all.

Knowledge Affecting Visual Perception

Experiential Monopoly

Brodmann Area 41 & 42

Pitch

Flow

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Figure 8: Flow of visual information along distinct "spot detector" paths.

Principle: Epistemic Monopoly For every experience we are epistemically aware of, there is a neural connection from the MOD corresponding to that experience and the MODs of the cognitive centers.
This is as complicated as our diagrams of mind are going to get. We do need to expand on the concept of the cognitive database, however, examining the dynamics of thought therein. Active thought should be imagined as information continuing to bounce around on the interior of the cognitive database. This is how it is neurologically as well. Signals are processed mostly in the prefrontal cortex, but elsewhere as well, by bouncing from one neural center to another in the tightly knit network corresponding to the metaphorical cognitive database. This is thinking - planning, fantasizing, remembering, interpreting, calculating, day dreaming, philosophizing, and all other forms of cogitation. Every once in a while, a very specific kind of thought occurs, and that is "I'm thinking of X" or "I just realized Y". In other words, an acknowledgement of a thought is consciously and vividly experienced. How are we to understand the way in which acknowledgements of thoughts occur in light of how we already understand acknowledgements in general? What is the right representation of them in the above diagrams? Can they be understood to function exactly as all other acknowledgements, with no greater complexities, even though they reside somewhere well within the cognitive database? Apart from where they reside, let's understand what makes these acknowledgements unique. For one thing, they seem to be a lot more transient than our other acknowledgements. That is, whereas all our other acknowledgements seem to be constantly on watch for incoming information, acknowledgements of thoughts seem to come and go as we summon and dismiss them. Albeit, we don't always pay attention to our non-cognitive acknowledgements, but they nevertheless seem to be ready to supply us with epistemic awareness of their specialized experiences. Secondly, all acknowledgements except for those geared towards thought seem to convert non-cognitive experiences into cognition - more specifically, knowledge of what the "I" is experiencing. Acknowledgements of thought, however, seem to be no different in quality to the experiences they acknowledge. This is not really that surprising - whether we're thinking of something or acknowledging our thoughts about that something, both activities are cognitive. Although this is not an illuminating insight, it does shed light on what makes these acknowledgements different - namely, that they seem to be nothing more than the next thought in the continuous stream of thoughts forever passing through our minds. Third, whereas the principle of epistemic monopoly seems to entail that there must be a specialized MOD for every acknowledgement we can make, this cannot possibly be the case for cognitions. Thoughts are all too spontaneous and chaotic. There are way too many thoughts one can have - indeed, an infinitude - for there to be distinct and specialized MODs for each and every one. We're too creative with our thoughts. While not all our thoughts are always novel, a great majority of them have never been thought once in our lives - or even history - and will never be thought again. Yet, each one has just as much an opportunity to be acknowledged as any other. We need to explain how this is possible without mandating that such acknowledgements correspond to a fixed and unyielding MOD somewhere in the vicinity of the cognitive centers. As far as the entailment of cognitive acknowledgements is concerned, it doesn't seem that difficult to understand. Once acknowledgements have appeared for the first time, it isn't that astounding that they could happen again. Their flow seems to keep all experiences that come from them within the cognitive category even though these cognitions may diverge from acknowledgements proper. The flow of our thoughts go through all sorts of phases - we could begin by thinking about a task at hand, and then peruse over some memories we recollect, then contemplate other possibilities should circumstances have turned out differently, then go deep into fantasy about something trivial, and so on. I don't see anything particularly troublesome about the notion that acknowledgements could arise from this flow just as haphazardly as every other thought. It already happened once, so we know it is one of the possible cognitions that can arise among the plethora of thoughts we have - why not at some later random point? What is more troublesome is how these acknowledgements correspond to MODs when the thoughts we could be acknowledging are unlimited. To understand this, we need to understand more about the neurology of the cognitive centers - more specifically, the prefrontal cortex. The prefrontal cortex is one of those areas of the brain that are a lot more programmable than other parts. What do we mean by "programmable"? When we talk about MODs being programmable, we mean that the interconnections between their neurons are not consistently excitatory or inhibitory. If you will recall from the paper Preliminary Concepts, an excitatory connection is one in which one neuron, when firing, stimulates a connected neuron into firing. An inhibitory connection is one in which one neuron, when firing, inhibits a connected neuron from firing - it may even halt a neuron's firing if it was already doing so. If this pairing of neurons were not programmable, then it

Epistemic Monopoly

Entailment

Flow

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would never change from whatever kind of connection - excitatory or inhibitory - it was. It would be "hard wired" so to speak. If it was programmable, on the other hand, it could change from an excitatory or inhibitory connection to a neutral one, or visa-versa. It becomes neutral in virtue of the depletion of receptors on the recipient neuron, resulting in nothing for the neurotransmitters to bind to. These receptors can be repopulated in which case the connection becomes excitatory or inhibitory once again. More generally, when we say that the prefrontal cortex is more programmable than most parts of the brain, we mean that the interconnections between their neurons are subject to frequent change. A pathway a signal takes to get from one point in the prefrontal cortex to another is determined by which connections will allow the signal to be passed on (excitatory) and which won't (inhibitory or neutral). A signal may also be granted access should an inhibitory connection become neutral when it would otherwise have inhibited the signal. In short, a programmable prefrontal cortex means that this pathway is likely to change eventually. This is one of the reasons why neuroscientists have had so much trouble mapping out the prefrontal cortex - the other reasons being that there is way too much detail therein and that the interconnections between neurons are unique for every individual. This makes sense when we think about how these neurons and their interconnections would map onto our cognitive experiences. The network of cognitions that is the cognitive database is complex beyond description (literally, since describing it would entail going through our entire repertoire of beliefs, memories, knowledge, fantasies, and the like) and therefore so is the neurological network that is the prefrontal cortex (and any other areas of the brain corresponding to the cognitive database). Furthermore, each individual has his/her cognitive database networked in unique configurations - no two people have exactly the same beliefs, memories, knowledge, fantasies, and the like - it is what makes us who we are. But most pertinently, our beliefs, memories, knowledge, fantasies, and the like keep changing. We keep learning, changing our outlooks, adding to our knowledge and memories, exercising our creativity by coming up with new insights, perspectives, and ideas, and so on and so forth. These dynamics create a neurological environment in which novel thoughts and ideas can form all the time. A novel thought corresponds to a freshly programmed MOD whose internal configuration has never before existed in the cognitive centers. Why cannot the configuration of such a MOD resemble those of the standard acknowledgement MODs? There is certainly no restriction on what particular kinds of configurations these cognitive MODs can take - no limits on how they are programmed. There is no reason to assume they can't take on the forms necessary to be an acknowledgement MOD geared towards thoughts - transient as they may be. So to explain how we get acknowledgements of thoughts, we need only assume that the thought being acknowledged corresponds to a MOD in the process of being programmed into an acknowledgement MOD. At the moment when it is the thought yet to be acknowledged, the MOD assumes a particular configuration suitable for that thought, but as it is in a state of flux (being programmed), this configuration changes to one suitable for acknowledgement of that thought. And just as easily as it forms, it disintegrates, taking yet another form - that of the proceeding thought, whatever it may be. In other words, the cognitive acknowledgements correspond to MODs that appear and disappear whereas all other acknowledgements correspond to MODs that are much more invariant over time. Now, to be perfectly honest, this is just a hypothetical scenario. We are only speculating as to what sorts of MODs acknowledgements correspond to. Even if we could pinpoint specific centers in the brain that seem to behave similar to the way we described the acknowledgement MODs above, it would be extremely difficult to verify what exactly the experience was that corresponds to them - it may be acknowledgements, but then again, it may not. In fact, we could be wrong all together in proposing the existence of programmable acknowledgement MODs in the cognitive centers of the brain. Consider this alternate scenario: there are at least a few billion neurons in the prefrontal cortex and other cognitive centers of the brain. Who says that a single thought must correspond to one particular neuron or set of neurons? Maybe each thought corresponds to a specific pattern or combination of neurons or MODs firing in the cognitive centers. There certainly are enough of them for there to be billions upon billions of unique and novel combinations and firing patterns. So, for example, maybe the thought "That dress looks nice" corresponds to the firing of 1,000 neurons from all over the brain - and maybe these neurons have to fire in a specific sequence or synchronized pattern. Another thought such as "I think we should order out tonight" might correspond to a different combination or pattern of neurons firing - and some of these neurons could very well be the same neurons as those that correspond to the thought "That dress looks nice" (i.e. there's some overlap). The uniqueness of these thoughts could be explained easily by the uniqueness of these patterns and combinations - their novelty by the novelty of these patterns and combinations. If this is the case, then a cognitive acknowledgement is a specific pattern or combination of neurons firing in synchrony. What would make them similar to other acknowledgement MODs may not be their physical structure or configuration, but so long as their function with respect to the overall behavior they contribute to is similar in just the right way (i.e. they make us act and speak as if we acknowledge our thoughts), then they are the right kind of neural structures for cognitive acknowledgements to correspond to. The point is, there are ample ways to understand how cognitive acknowledgements are possible. These are just a few scenarios. Perhaps they are both wrong - perhaps there's a third way. Whatever the case may be, these scenarios show us how cognitive acknowledgements are indeed possible, and we can rest assured that the model we have crafted for the anatomy of the self works.

Problem Solving With Epistemic Awareness
Before we close this section, I'd like to make some use of our new concept of epistemic awareness by tying up some loose ends from the Basic Theory. The Basic Theory says that the feel of an experience is determined by the configuration of its MOD and the particular combination of electric signals entering it. Now the Advanced Theory comes along and adds that it's not just MODs and electric signals but all matter and the energy that moves it. Therefore, there are things that have conscious experiences that we've always assumed could not have such experiences. This even includes MODs that don't seem to have anything to do

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with familiar experiences, such as those regulating the heart or the digestive system or even the coordination of walking while your mind concentrates on other things. This also includes the molecules and other sub-cellular structures within the MODs that do correlate with familiar experiences. Even a neuron from the cognitive center is moist with sodium ions that move around and bump each other on the surface of the axon. This means that the corresponding experience is occurring right in the froth of all your thinking. How could you not feel experiences of this sort? Well, it's simple, now that we have the concept of epistemic awareness under our belts. We don't feel the experiences of these sodium ions, or any molecular or sub-cellular activity, because they don't readily trigger any acknowledgement MODs into firing. Therefore, we can't be epistemically aware of them. Similar problems that can be solved in this fashion include why a scary face like that of a wolf or a monster flows into fear. According to the Basic Theory, this flow can only occur if the visual experience of the face entails that the situation is scary. But what is it about a set of pointy-pupiled eyes and sharp fangs that entails fear? These are just shapes - just objects - after all. Don't be too quick to point out that we learn to fear these images through teaching and experience because fear of this sort is profoundly instinctual. We don't need to be taught nor do we need to go through the appropriate experiences in order to get a jolt out of this imagery. We are born with it. Figure 9a helps to clarify what the connection is. As you see, the flow from the fear to the cognitive experiences parallels the flow from the visual experience to the cognitive ones - that is, the visual experience does not entail the fear. This is neurologically accurate, as figure 9b shows. When images of piercing eyes and large pointy fangs enters the thalamus, signals are immediately sent to the amygdala which then instigates the flight response - this, we can assume, correlates with fear. The thalamus also sends this information to the visual cortex as it does all other visual information it receives - this correlates with seeing. It is only after the signals have reached these junctions that they can be relayed to the cognitive centers. So the cognitive centers receive information about a visual experience of eyes and teeth, and simultaneously of fear, but it cannot associate the two as one entailing the other. As it turns out, both the fear and the visual experience are entailed by a common predecessor - namely, the experience corresponding to the thalamus - but since no signals are sent from the thalamus to the cognitive centers directly, we cannot be epistemically aware of its experience.

Figure 9a: Flow from fear stimulus to epistemic awareness of fear and Figure 9b: Flow from fear stimulus to epistemic awareness visual experience. of fear and visual experience in brain. And when the emotion of fear is made known, we can only describe it with a few simple words: scary, terrifying, horrific, etc. This is usually the case with any emotion. There is not much in an emotion that calls out for a detailed and diverse description. Most of the time, one or two words will do it. This reflects the fact that we experience our emotions as rather uniform and homogenous (recall this phrase from The Basic Theory). This is unlike our thoughts where we can dish up memories, ideas, opinions, future aspirations, and so forth. Sensations are like this too: to describe our visual experience requires words like "colors", "forms", "area", "locations", "depth", "attractiveness", "ugliness", "darkness", "haziness", "quickness", "jitteriness", and so on. Now this is not to say that emotions are not deep and complex. As a matter of fact, the true experience of emotion is probably several times more complex than we know. Why, then, do they feel as monotonous, though charged, as they do? Because only a select number of neural pathways connect the emotional centers (in the limbic system) to the cognitive centers. Usually, this is just enough to be epistemically aware of them - just enough to inform us that the emotions are occurring. But if you just look at the limbic system, focusing particularly on the thalamus, you'll see complexity that suggests emotions are quite detailed, ranging in vast amounts of qualitative diversity. We just don't know it. Something else the reader might notice is how epistemic awareness is being used here to explain, a little more clearly, what we meant in the Basic Theory by the "uniformity" and "homogeneity" of experiences. That is, when we said that experiences ought to be thought of as uniform and homogeneous, we were talking about what it feels like to be epistemically aware of an experience. If we notice meticulous details in an experience, such as looking at a Persian rug, this reflects the multitude of acknowledgements entailed by each and every detail in question. In other words, a complex, heterogeneous experience like this is actually a collection of more simple, homogeneous experiences that we are epistemically aware of. If there are no more fine-grained acknowledgements below the level of the smallest details, the details must be considered uniform and homogeneous. It reflects the fact that we can only be epistemically aware of so much detail, and beyond a certain limit, we can make out nothing more (and, of course, we've already seen that some experiences, such as a cup, are more than the sum of their parts, such as the lines, shapes, colors, etc., and therefore are already uniform and homogeneous in virtue of being something distinct from the details). The essential character of these homogenous experiences may just be the "average" of the unique and diverse qualities of all its component experiences, much like the overall colors of the pixels on a screen are the average of their red, green, and blue components. We are only epistemically aware of this average. All this can be very suggestive to those inclined to philosophize about the nature of the unconscious mind. Keep in mind, however, that the kind of unconsciousness discussed here is not exactly the Freudian kind. Nevertheless, Freud's unconscious can be explained by our concept of epistemic unconsciousness, but it should be understood that our concept of epistemic unconsciousness spans far beyond the subject matter of psychoanalysis. The Freudian unconscious is where our thoughts, feelings, desires, impulses, and the like get sentenced when we don't want to be aware of them. In other words, it's where our thoughts and emotions go when we use defense mechanisms such as repression and denial. The active use of defense mechanisms is characterized by conflicting thoughts and emotions - that is, we try to repress or deny certain thoughts and emotions by actively telling ourselves that they are not true or by distorting their truth. This corresponds to certain MODs trying to inhibit other MODs - that is,

Qualitative Diversity

Freud

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Epistemic Unconsciousness

Defense Mechanisms

they try to turn them off. In order for them to be truly unconscious, the kind of MODs being inhibited would have to be acknowledgement MODs. This would render all epistemic awareness that the MODs in question would yield impossible. This might even be done by more directly inhibiting MODs whose corresponding experience is being acknowledged (rather than inhibiting the acknowledgement MODs themselves). This would make them experientially unconscious. For example, if a MOD from the emotional centers were being inhibited, then no acknowledgement of these emotions would be possible, and thus neither would epistemic awareness of them. In any case, the Freudian unconscious, although a good example of epistemic awareness being blocked, is a special case. It is characterized by the active use of defense mechanisms in order to disable epistemic or even experiential awareness. But repression and denial are not the only forces that keep things unconscious. Anything at all, whether in the brain or elsewhere, can be epistemically unconscious if only it fails to stimulate the appropriate MODs in the brain - namely, the acknowledgement MODs. This distinction - between our concept of epistemic unconsciousness and that of psychoanalysis - is not the only distinction of unconscious minds we can make. We can distinguish between the type in which no signals are sent to the cognitive centers, and the type in which the corresponding activity is too microscopic to trigger an acknowledgement MOD - like sodium ions moving about on the surface of axons - even though it may be happening in the very thick of the acknowledgement MODs in question (the microscopic unconscious? ). Just as a point of interest, although the kind of unconsciousness we're talking about here is not Freudian, it might be considered Jungian - could the mind of the universe be what Jung referred to as the "collective unconscious"?

Jung

The Self and The Universe
To wrap up this section, let's tie our insights on the self into the relation between the self and the universe. We set out to understand our individuality in a universe where we should all feel as one consciousness with it. We articulated a simple solution to this problem and a more complex one. The simple solution concluded by saying that we actually do feel all the experiences in the universe, just as we do our own experiences, but unconsciously. We qualified what "unconscious" means in this context by defining it as "epistemic unconsciousness" - that is, in regards to the experiences of the Universal Mind, to lack knowledge of them. Nevertheless, as hard as it is to imagine, we really are experiencing all experiences in the universe just as vividly as we experience our emotions, sensations, and cognitions. We simply don't know we are. The more complex solution took into account that when it comes to experiences of which we have no epistemic awareness, it really isn't "we" who are having them anymore. We explained what makes the experiences we do have epistemic awareness of truly "ours" by delving into the concept of acknowledgements - a special kind of immutable knowledge that, when bound together with like instances of knowledge, creates a unified background (we call it "the world") against which a sense of selfhood emerges in the fore. This makes for an inseparable pairing between the self and the world experienced. The experiences of the world, then, belong to the self - they become "mine". With that in mind, the full answer to the question about why we don't experience all other experiences in the universe is because it is not "we" who experience them. Having epistemic awareness is certainly a necessary prerequisite, but it is not sufficient - the experience to be known must also belong to "me". So individuality is not an illusion. It is real. We are still continuous with the rest of the universe, mind you, and in this sense we are still one with it, but it is too much to say that all its experiences are "ours". The relation of the self to the universe is much like a country to the land it's founded on. Take Austria and its neighbors, for example. As you cross the border from Austria into Italy or Germany or whathaveyou, the land is continuous. There is nothing inherent in the land that demarks one side as one independent entity and the other side as another. Geologically, they are one and the same entity. Nevertheless, Austria, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, and so on are real states. They exist. When you're on their soil, you are in that country. The borders are real too. They may depend on human constructs for their definitions, but if you wanted to, you could mark them out on the terrain. In a very similar way, the self is real and the experiential "terrain" it is rooted in is continuous with that of the Universal Mind. What made individuality seem like a paradox to begin with was that people by and large assume, falsely but understandably, that for experiences to be continuous with each other (that is, all part of the same mind), the mind must be epistemically aware of them all automatically. This is because the only experiences we've ever known are those that we are epistemically aware of. This creates the real illusion - namely, that experience and knowledge of that experience come hand-in-hand without exception (this is why, I believe, the window-to-reality model of consciousness is always the more intuitive one). So if there are experiences elsewhere in the universe, then unless these experiences exist in another mind discontinuous with our own, it would seem paradoxical if we didn't know about them. What we showed in this section is that by separating experiences from the knowledge of those experiences, we can preserve the continuity between epistemically unconscious experiences and the experiences we are epistemically aware of. Then, by defining the self in a non-illusory way, we showed that we can still be individuals even without knowledge of every experience in the Universal Mind we are a part of. So it might be a mistake to say that "we" experience all the experiences in the universe, but it would not be a mistake to say that the universe experiences us! We cannot feel an experience corresponding to the motions of the planets and the stars because they are not our experiences. Likewise, the planets and stars cannot experience our minds because our minds are not their experiences. The universe, however, experiences us both. This can be more easily understood by comparing it to the same interplay that goes on in our own minds. For instance, our emotions do not experience our sensations because sensation is not the experience of emotion. Likewise, our sensations do not experience our emotions because emotion is not the experience of sensation. But we, as the sum total of all human experiences, experience both our emotions and sensations. Does our knowledge experience our sensations and emotions? Strictly speaking, no it doesn't. It is epistemically aware of them, but this characterizes the quality of the knowledge as "knowledge of sensation" or "knowledge of emotion" - it does not entail that the knowledge experiences sensation and emotion. Knowledge feels like cognition, not sensation, not emotion, not anything else among the human experiences or elsewhere. So no, knowledge does not experience sensation or emotion. It is one experience within the human mind just as emotions and sensations

The Windowto-Reality vs. Systemof-Experiences Models

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are. It is we who experience all of them in virtue of being all of them. Just the same, the universe experiences all the component experiences within itself in virtue of being the sum total of all these experiences. Does the universe know about us? Does it know about any of its experiences? Yes, the universe does know about us, but only because we know about ourselves - that is, we have epistemic awareness of our own experiences. This means that, since our experiences belong to the universe, just as our sensations or emotions belong to us, the universe experiences our knowledge. What does this knowledge feel like to the universe? Why, exactly the same way it feels to us. It can't feel any different lest it becomes a different experience all together. A more appropriate question is: does the universe experience any knowledge other than what we experience, even collectively as a species? I don't think anyone can truly answer this. Certainly, it is possible that the experiences corresponding to some physical (non-human) system somewhere in the universe can qualify as a form of knowledge, even if it has to be a kind inconceivable to us. But I don't know if such knowledge really exists. Is it possible for the universe to have experiences other than knowledge but are still referential to something other than itself? Posing this question another way, is there something "higher" than knowledge, or at least equivalent? Something that serves a similar function to knowledge in that it brings about a different kind (or dare we say "level") of awareness other than experiential? Something such that we could say of the universe, it is "aware" of us (however we are to understand "aware")? Well, if it is possible, then in order for it to have any intentionality to our experiences, it would have to flow from them. Also, we couldn't jump the gun and say the universe "knows" about us. To know always refers to knowledge proper, and since the particular kind of awareness we're considering here is not epistemic, we couldn't say the universe knows about us, at least not in virtue of this experience. Nevertheless, if there are such experiences, our epistemic kind of awareness would seem somewhat lowly, almost as though we are the ones who have yet to wake up to a higher level of consciousness. If the reader is having trouble conceptualizing all this, I don't blame him/her. The proposition that a mind can have experiences without knowing it is unfathomable. It suffers the same problem as Freud's psychoanalytic theory that thoughts and feelings can be unconscious yet still active - to the ordinary person who relies on common sense and intuition, one cannot have a thought or feeling unless it is being consciously experienced. For it to be unconscious would end its existence. Of course, Freud didn't make any distinction between experiential and epistemic awareness, and this is the key to understanding in what manner such experiences can be unconscious. This doesn't make it any more conceivable, but the logic is clearly laid out, and if we can rely on that alone, we need not concern ourselves with it any further.

Flow

The Paradox of Individuality

Photons, Quantum Physics, Superposition, Hyperspace, and Imaginary Numbers

So we will leave it as such and move onto the final section of this paper. But before doing so, let's compare the solution to the paradox of individuality to other well known solutions to intellectual problems from our history, solutions that are equally hard to conceive of, but are nevertheless part of the mainstream ideologies of the day. For one, there's the concept of the photon, the fundamental particle of light. Physicists will tell you that photons manifest properties of waves and properties of particles, and so we are to imagine it as a wave and a particle at the same time. How, prey tell, do we do that? Another example, pertaining to quantum physics, is the tendency for one particle to be in two positions at the same time - what is called "superposition". There is the possibility that our universe has more dimensions than the three spatial and one temporal ones (this has not been proven, mind you). How do we imagine n-dimensional space where n is greater than 4 - what is called "hyperspace"? How about i, the square root of negative one - what is called an "imaginary number"? These concepts are impossible for regular folks like us to imagine, yet there are professionals who, not only believe in these concepts, but use them in their everyday work. I offer these as examples to compare our idea of epistemically unconscious experiences to. I hope this helps in that, if it is too difficult to imagine, this is no reason to dismiss it as an unworkable solution. And if this is still too hard to swallow, take comfort in the fact that nothing else in this paper will be quite as perplexing.

The Universal Mind (Applications of the Advanced Theory)
In this last section, we explore what are probably the most pressing questions that could arise from this whole discussion so far. There are certain characteristics about the physical universe that seem so fundamental as to form the very fabric from which everything else is cut. The most obvious example that comes to mind is space and time - these so very basic and abstract elements seem essential for anything else at all to exist. Another common phenomenon that's less fundamental, but very fundamental nonetheless, are atomic structures - without these, no matter would exist. Then there is the question of whence did the universe begin. The big bang? We will be addressing these topics in the framework of the Advanced Theory - that is, we will look at what can be said about these physical foundations for the universe in terms of mental experiences. But first, let's formally define the "Universal Mind".

Definition: The Universal Mind The Universal Mind is the entire set of experiences that exist, ever did exist, and ever will exist.

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The Standard Algorithm and The Universal Operating System
In the previous section, we briefly made mention of a "microscopic unconscious" - somewhat humorously. This term was meant to convey the idea that the molecular or atomic activity going on in the brain corresponds to experiences that are epistemically unconscious to us because this activity does not trigger acknowledgement MODs into firing. But indeed there are experiences in the atom! What kind of experiences? Well, whatever they are, they must be extraordinarily fundamental to the entire universe since almost everything is essentially material. All matter is made of atoms - a group of protons and neutrons bundled tightly together with electrons buzzing around the perimeter like moths to a lamp. Although it is impossible for us humans to even describe the experiences therein, let alone understand what they are, we will work with a couple analogies to get a better grasp of the relation between these experiences and the more "macroscopic" experiences in the universe. All natural phenomena depend, for the most part, on the atomic structure that the universe has in place. Volcanoes, hurricanes, star systems, microbiological ecosystems, technological inventions, organic compounds, human beings, and so on are all reducible to atoms. Moreover, these complex macroscopic phenomena are transient - they will eventually decay or change form in one way or another. The atoms that they reduce to, however, remain in place well after they are gone. This is very much like an operating system to the applications that run upon it. This is the first analogy we will use. An operating system is a computer term that refers to the main program running on your standard computer. It allows for all the basic functionalities to work and for easy communication between the computer and the user. Most people who are familiar with computers will recognize Microsoft Windows as one of the most common operating systems. Before the 90's, Microsoft's operating system was MS-DOS. Other good examples include OpenBSD and Redhat's Linux. The purpose of these systems is to provide the user with something to interact with in order to get the computer to do whatever it is he/she needs it to do. Without an operating system, turning on the computer would result in a blank screen. If you're lucky, you might get a flashing prompt. The computer might still be able to receive input from you (via the keyboard or mouse or whathaveyou), but there would be no telling what the results of your input would be. So you can think of an operating system as the feedback that tells you what's going on inside the computer and what options you have for further interaction. Running on the operating system are all your applications. In the case of Microsoft Windows, most people are familiar with Microsoft Word, Excel, Internet Explorer, Outlook, Access Database, Power Point, and so on. Some might have video games or other forms of entertainment on their computer. Others might have personal documents or other files. With Microsoft Windows, these applications and files usually show up on one's desktop, the main screen that displays the background and icons that you see when you login to your account. These icons are your applications and files. Sometimes, they don't appear on your desktop but in the start menu instead (in the bottom left-hand corner, you'll see a button that says "start". Click on that and the start menu will appear. Move the mouse cursor over "All Programs" or "Programs" and after a few seconds another menu will pop up. The items in this menu also represent the majority of your applications). The point is, these applications depend on, and make use of, the operating system in order to run. Just like the user, they too interact with the operating system, communicating with it and receiving feedback as to how best to function, what can and can't be done, what resources are available, what procedures must be followed in order to get things done, and so on.

Operating Systems

Applications

The analogy of the operating system and applications is perfect for describing the relation between the atomic structure of the universe and the physical phenomena that occur upon it. The atomic structure is just like the operating system - it is the ever-present, ever-running, ever-ready system that forms the basis upon which everything else in the universe can occur. Even when there is no lively activity going on at the macroscopic level, the atomic level is still present and active, and is prepared to permit any macroscopic activity should it arise. Likewise, the applications are like this macroscopic activity - they are the phenomena we observe in our universe. They make use of the atomic system in order to realize themselves, playing by its rules at all times. They use the atoms for their existence and activity, like the application using the resources of the operating system. When they cease to function or exist (for whatever reason) the atoms are returned to the universe for the use of another macroscopic phenomenon, like the application ending and returning the resources to the operating system. Operating systems can be broken down into modules such as files or separate programs or even a collection of bits. These modules have internal and external dynamics - that is, there is activity going on within them as well as interactions between them. This is analogous to atoms and molecules - the basic "modules" of matter. They have internal dynamics (electrons orbiting the nucleus) and external dynamics (chemical bonds and gravitational attraction). A few subtle differences exist, however, between atomic structures and operating systems. Thought of as modules, these atoms represent a very standardized building block that works more or less the same way for every instance. The only difference between the various types of atoms is their atomic number (i.e. the number of electrons and protons). The basic "blue print" of an atom is the same for all atoms that is, a certain number of electrons orbiting the same number of protons and neutrons, the latter being held tightly at the center. With operating systems, however, it doesn't work quite as neatly - that is, no matter what the modules you extract from the operating system, it's rare that each and every instance abides by the same rigid and narrow design. Furthermore, the way atoms interact with each other is sufficient for the universe to be described as the sum total of every atom in existence. Even the macroscopic phenomena that manifests overtop this atomic infrastructure can be described in terms of the very same atoms, the only difference being a few additional terms to describe the complexity of their behavior. When it comes to operating systems and the applications that run on them, however, no such overlap exists between the basic modules they are built on. The operating system is an entirely different program, taking up an entirely different place in memory and long-term storage, than the applications that make use of and depend on it. However, we will consider, in The Universe and 'God', a much more in depth view of the experiential side of the universe, as opposed to its physical representation, according to which the overlap between the atomic structure of things and their macroscopic manifestations is only descriptive of this physical representation, and that no such overlap exists between the experiences that correspond to them. Although this may seem counterintuitive

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now, having explained the Advanced Theory in the manner we did, it will become clear in the aforementioned paper. All that being said, it would nonetheless seem that the atom represents a simple program that functions as a self-sustaining module, and all that's required to build an "operating system" out of the universe is to have a multitude of these modules interacting with each other.

Principle: The Operating System Analogy The experiences corresponding to the atomic structure of the universe are like the operating system upon which all phenomena at larger scales can, like applications, be instantiated.
The analogy is even more convenient when we take into consideration what the Advanced Theory has to say about atomic and macroscopic systems - namely, that at their foundation are mental experiences. The reason this works so well is that the flow of experiences and the functioning of the operating system and applications can both be described as "information processing". The reader might recall we used the word "information" in The Basic Theory of Mind and Matter synonymously with "meaning". Operating systems and applications are software, after all - a term that refers more to their informational aspect, and less to the hardware that comprises the physical computer itself.

Software and Hardware

Hey, It Works!

Definition: The Universal Operating System (UOS) The system of experiences that corresponds to the atomic structure pervading the universe and that makes possible all other experiences in the universe by acting as the basic components of these experiences.
This brings us to the second analogy. When it comes to the manner in which operating systems, applications, or any other program processes information, we are talking about algorithms. An algorithm is a procedure or method by which a goal can be reached or a problem can be solved. It is a set of steps that, if followed precisely as laid out, will always yield the intended results (in theory, of course, since the word "always" is only applicable to a perfect world ). A recipe for baking a cake is a good example. Another is the instructions in the "how-to" manuals that come with your standard "do-it-yourself" dining room sets found at your local Ikea outlet. Both operating systems and applications are really just algorithms - that is, programs that the computer follows in order to get things done. Likewise, the universal operating system (the UOS from here on in) is like an algorithm for building and maintaining an atomic system, and the modules that make up this operating system are like algorithms for building and maintaining an atom. The elements of these algorithms are experiences and the meanings that guide how they entail each other, just as how the elements of the algorithms for operating systems and applications are bits (a series of 1s and 0s) and the circuits that guide how they affect each other. It is also noteworthy to point out that these bits and circuits are, just like everything else in the physical universe, reducible to experiences, and therefore the use of the word "algorithm" is more than just analogous. We also showed, earlier in this paper, how the process of entailment that meaning undergoes correlates with the laws of physics. Therefore, the laws of physics we see on the macroscopic level of things are a result of the standard way in which the macroscopic experiences entail. This standard is rooted in the microscopic experiences of the UOS. This may sound contradictory since we defined the UOS to be the experiences corresponding to the atomic structure of the universe - that is, it only exists at the atomic scale of the universe. We shouldn't misinterpret it this way, however. The UOS exists at all levels of scale. What it corresponds to is what's left over when all macroscopic activity has ceased. If you can imagine a room filled with a small variety of objects, none of which are undergoing any activity - no movement, no change, perfect stillness - what these objects correspond to are the experiences constituting the UOS. We seem to carry the onus of explaining these experiences in terms of the atomic structures underlying these objects only because of our claim that experiences necessarily flow - thereby mandating that we demonstrate some kind of change going on in their physical representations. We mean to say, by this, that even objects that appear perfectly still are undergoing change - but it is change that reinforces itself - that is, its prior states - so frequently and rapidly that all we see is the steady and consistent state we call "objects". If these objects were to undergo some noticeable macroscopic change, like the turning of gears and the pumping of pistons in a car engine, this would correspond to an additional layer of experiences which we are here comparing to computer applications running on top of an operating system. So the physical representation of the UOS might take different forms depending on the scale we consider. Whereas at the nanoscopic scale, it is represented by atomic structures, at the macroscopic or "human" scale, it is represented by inanimate matter. Matter operates according to a set of rules we call the laws of physics. These laws are at work at all levels of scale too but, like matter, often require different descriptions at different levels. For instance, the fact that two solid objects on a collision course will, upon colliding, bounce off or destroy each other must be described in terms of the repellant effects of the negative electromagnetic charges carried by each object's electrons. For those solids to melt into liquids or vaporize into gas must also be described in terms

The Neurological Operating System

Algorithm

Algorithms Get It "Right"

Bits

Entailment

Classical Mechanics

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of the bonds holding together their constituent molecules. Lightning must be described in terms of the exchange of electrons between ground and cloud. In all these cases, the laws of physics as we know them at the macroscopic scale are reducible to seemingly different but corresponding laws at the scale of molecules and subatomic particles. Of course, they aren't really different - they're merely different descriptions of the same laws. What this means is that if we're taking the atomic structure of the universe to be an operating system of sorts, and the laws by which it operates an algorithm of sorts, then the basic laws of physics as observed by the human eye - classical mechanics - is the standard algorithm by which the universe operates. The standard algorithm is therefore inherent at all levels of scale - not just the one visible to the human eye - for the activity of the most colossal galaxy can be reduced to the activity of the simplest atom. It is important to stress, however, that it is the algorithm that is determined by the UOS and resonates to all levels of scale - not the experiences. The experiences - that is, their defining qualities - can be thought of as the data that is fed into the algorithm. Antecedent experiences are the input, the ensuing ones the output, and the justifications underlying their entailment, the computation that converts the former to the latter. We said, just a moment ago, that a set of physical objects undergoing no activity from the point of view of the human eye represent only those experiences corresponding to the atomic activity of the molecules and atoms constituting those objects (i.e. the UOS), and that should those objects undergo any activity visible to the human eye, that activity would represent "an additional layer of experiences" overtop those of the UOS. We mean to say by this that this additional layer does indeed consist of separate and distinct experiences from those of the UOS. This is because the physical activity representing them is, itself, an additional layer - separate and distinct - overtop that of the atomic activity holding together the integrity of the objects involved. But we must not misunderstand that the algorithm they follow - both the experiences corresponding to atomic activity and those at the macroscopic scale - is the same for both, for it is the same set of physical laws, as we have seen, governing all activity at all levels, only the descriptions we bear to them differing. We must understand that this same algorithm takes in a different set of input, and thus computes different output, depending on whether we're talking about experiences corresponding to atomic or to macroscopic activity. In this particular case, the applications may be distinct from the UOS, but we did have a reason for pointing out above a shortcoming in this analogy: unlike actual operating systems and computer applications, there is often plenty of overlap between the UOS and the "applications" running on it. The reason for this is that numerous examples can be given in which macroscopic phenomena can't be torn from atomic activity at all. One such example is flame: flame, or fire, is simply a chemical reaction - namely, oxidation - whose energy output is high enough to emit light, which itself is merely the result of electrons dropping to lower energy levels in their orbits, emitting photons as a result. But even in the case of whole objects moving relative to each other, those objects must have gotten their initial oomph from some force. Any kind of mechanical push or pull can be reduced to the repelling effect of electrons coming into proximity, and this often sets macroscopic objects in motion. So although in this case, the motion of each object relative to each other would represent "an additional layer of experiences", it begins with the UOS. It takes an atomic effect - the repelling forces of electrons - in order to get the process going, but once going, that process becomes its own entity distinct from the UOS. It is distinct but not independent, for it must still abide by the rules of the standard algorithm that the UOS lays down for all phenomena in the universe - big or small - to follow.

Definition: The Standard Algorithm The standard schema by which the entailment of the majority of experiences in the universe follow. This schema is expressed to human consciousness as the laws of physics.
Now, the use of the word "standard" is apt here since any quantum physicist will tell you that the standard laws of the universe may not be the only laws that go on - some might even call them illusions. The strange phenomena observed at sub-atomic scales, the basis upon which quantum mechanics rests, defies all notions of an orderly and predictable algorithm that the universe follows. Therefore, the word "standard" is useful in conveying that the standard algorithm is usually or approximately the algorithm by which phenomena in the universe operate. Whether the quantum world represents an alternate algorithm or no algorithm at all is a question not easily answered. Before pointing out that this poses a problem for our theory, however, rest assured that this issue will be dealt with in another paper. The brain is made from atoms no different than anything else. This means that the brain - in fact, the mind - is abiding by the standard algorithm. The atoms that compose it are constantly active, and this means our minds are constantly upheld by a flora of experiences - ones that are epistemically unconscious, realize - that represent the UOS. Now, unlike experiences in distant stars or strange and alien physical systems, the experiences of the UOS, as applied to our minds, can legitimately be said to be "ours". We argued in the previous section that the former experiences are not really ours because they don't entail knowledge of themselves in our minds, and so we cannot claim them as our experiences. The latter, however, form the foundation upon which our knowledge of anything is grounded. The firing of neurons is a good example of the kind of "application" that can't be cleanly set apart from the UOS. The firing of neurons consists of neurotransmitters binding to receptors, ion channels altering their chemical configuration in order to open and close, and sodium and potassium ions being pulled by electromagnetic charges across the neural membrane. Thus, there is very little about the firing of neurons that isn't chemical in nature - that is, the interaction of atoms. All this is epistemically unconscious, of course, and so even though the knowledge that this process makes possible is not about them, it can be decomposed into them. To understand this, think about it neurologically: any instance of knowledge corresponds to an active MOD, and the neurons of this MOD are made of atoms. So just as the activity of atoms make up the activity of the MOD, the experiences corresponding to the atoms' activity make up the knowledge corresponding to the MOD's activity. So if the knowledge belongs to us, the experiences corresponding to the atoms must belong to us as well. The relation between knowledge and the experiences of these atoms is that the cumulative meaning in the experiences of all the atoms involved in the firing of the neuron amounts to the overall meaning of the knowledge we experience (and note that not all the neuron's atoms are involved - DNA molecules in the nucleus, for instance, play no part in the neuron's firing). This might sound familiar to the reader. It is another example of the proper form of reduction that can be applied to experience - that is, so long as what is under

Quantum Mechanics

Epistemic Unconsciousness

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consideration is how a system can be reduced to the sum of its components, and no more, it is true reduction. In terms of experience, one experience can be reduced to the sum of component experiences if it is no more than this sum. In other words, the cumulative meaning of the component experiences is equivalent to the single meaning of the whole experience. The same difficulty with gaining epistemic awareness of these component experiences remains, however. So as it turns out, we can experience our knowledge, and we can experience its components just as vividly - and in fact, the experience of the knowledge is the cumulative experience of its components but the mind cannot yield additional units of knowledge for each and every component. Now, I don't bring up this point just in passing. It is actually very useful in explaining a conundrum the reader potentially noticed with the Basic Theory. To spell it out, the conundrum is as follows: suppose you removed a few MODs from the brain - not fatally of course - such that other MODs which would otherwise send signals to them still functioned properly. For example, suppose Wernicke's area, important for oral language comprehension, was removed but the primary auditory systems were kept in place. This would mean you could still hear sound but you could not comprehend oral communication - at least, not according to the neural dynamics. According to the dynamics of flow that the Basic Theory espouses however, if there is any auditory experience whose meaning should entail the experience of language comprehension, it will entail language comprehension. The Basic Theory would have a tough time resolving the paradox that falls out of this. That is, the paradox that the neurological facts forbid the comprehension of spoken language while the meaning in the auditory sensation necessitates it. The Advanced Theory, however, can resolve this paradox by appealing to the UOS metaphor as follows: because Wernicke's area is made of atoms, there are experiences constantly being felt even when the neurons in Wernicke's area are not firing - the beholder may not be epistemically aware of these experiences, but they are there. So as it turns out, these experiences are essential for the comprehension of spoken language to be experienced, just as the atoms are essential for any activity in Wernicke's area to occur - indeed, for Wenicke's area to exist. In other words, the meaning of the auditory sensation is not enough to entail language comprehension. Both the auditory sensations and the experiences of the atoms in Wernicke's area are needed. We've actually seen something similar to this idea before - in the Basic Theory. Recall the following syllogism:

Wernicke's Area

Flow

All diamonds are carbon. This is a diamond. Therefore, this is carbon.
In the paragraph that immediately followed this syllogism, we stated "The two premises, when co-present, will flow into the concluding thought. Note that neither one can do this alone (see sidenote )." In other words, sometimes it takes the cooperative effort of more than one experience, the meanings of which would be complimentary, in order to entail a particular ensuing one. In this case, the auditory sensation depends on the experiences of the UOS in order to entail language comprehension (and visa-versa). If you remove Wernicke's area, you remove the atoms, which in turn removes certain essential experiences from the UOS, which in turn makes language comprehension impossible.

Experiences Influencing Experiences

Fundamental Particles
So much for atoms, but there are things more elementary, namely fundamental particles. It becomes tricky when speculating on what's really going on below the scale of atoms because on that scale we start merging into the quantum realm (of which ample links and explanations are provided above). We will delve deep into this realm in another paper, but for now let's speculate on fundamental particles at a scale coarse enough to speak about with respected to their positions, velocity, momentum, mass, and the like without referring to terms like "superposition" or "uncertainty principle". In the previous section, we discussed the experiences corresponding to atoms - three types of particles that are integrated into a steady system. Now, we will discuss what might be experienced by these particles in isolation, or at least apart from atoms. It is also noteworthy to mention that we really don't know which particles are truly fundamental and which are decomposable into even smaller particles (or even if there is such a thing as a "fundamental" particle). Is an electron fundamental? Is a quark? Most of the time, scientists tell us they are, but they also tell us that the reason they know this is because they haven't been able to decompose them into anything smaller yet. But they can't say whether they'll ever be able to decompose them. So in this section, what we mean by "fundamental particle" is simply those particles, whichever ones they are, that cannot be broken down into anything smaller. The first principle that should be expounded is that no particle can exist alone in the universe. That is, if there is one particle, there must be at least one other particle. Why is this? Well, considering that the most fundamental ingredient of the universe is experience, and that experience is expressed in the form of animated matter, the matter that stands in for experience must have at least two components such that they can act relative to each other - they must move. Why can't something act without a relativistic partner? Well, there is no motion relative to space itself (that is, the whole notion of "motion" is rendered meaningless without something to move relative to) - at least Einstein thought so (of which there is, again, ample information about this above). Think of it this way: if you had only two fundamental particles in the universe, the experience corresponding to their relative motion is associated, not with one particle or the other, but with the relationship between them. There can only be one relation for any pair of particles (any pair of anything actually). That being said, and saying as well that experiences are the utmost fundamental element in the mix, the most "real" thing in such a scenario - a scenario of two fundamental particles alone in existence - is, besides the experience itself, the relation between the particles. The actual, physical, corporeal particles themselves are only secondary.

Principle: Duality of Physical Entities 1) Physical entities, such as particles, are the expression of experience. 2) All experience must flow. 3) Therefore, all physical entities must move.

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4) All motion is relative. 5) Thus, in order to move, all physical entities must coexist with at least one other physical entity.
Now, this might seem like a strange idea - that we are forbidden to imagine just one particle in existence. Even if this is never practically the case, it doesn't seem like it should be impossible in principle. Even if we concede that no experience is possible with only one particle, it seems as though you could take away all particles in the universe except for one, and what we would have is that one particle without experience - end of story. This is a conceptual difficulty that seems to remain even if the logic of our theory - the logic that reduces physical systems to experience - maintains that there must be at least two particles. One solution to this problem is to remember that particles are only experienced in our subjective reality as constructs - they seem to work well at predicting and explaining the behavior of matter, but keep in mind that they are only representative models of things that, not only can't we see, but for the most part find difficult, if not impossible, to conceptualize. Another solution is to realize that when we look at any object, we are not just seeing a collection of particles, but the spaces between them as well. Then ask, is it possible that the macroscopic properties of this object - its texture, its hardness, its shape, its color, etc. - are actually given to it, not by the particles, but by the spaces? How can spaces give rise to such properties? Well, considering we can't actually see the particles, or conceptualize them properly, would it not be a viable alternative to think of the spaces as the real entities - however you want to think of them (experiences?) - and the particles as simply relations between these entities? This is quite a stretch, but if we remember that the purpose of this model is to make it easier to understand how the minimum number of particles that can exist is two, we may find it acceptable if only to ease these conceptual difficulties. An additional aid would be to consider an idea we will entertain in The Universe and 'God', which is that there may be no fundamental building blocks of the universe after all. If all so-called fundamental particles were decomposable into smaller parts, and those parts further decomposable, and the parts that result from that further decomposable still, and so on ad infinitum, then there would not exist any physical entity that didn't potentially have internal dynamics - everything would have internal components that could potentially move relative to each other. Then experience would correspond to every physical object however small - even if that object were the only one in existence.

Subjective Reality vs. Reality

The Forces of Nature

Another Theory of Gravity?

In any case, the relative motion of particles represents the morphing of the corresponding experiences. But what if the particles don't move relative to each other. Will there be, in this case, a corresponding experience? I don't see how there could be since experiences must flow, and if there is no experience, there cannot be any particles, much less motion. So the only rational alternative is that if there are two particles in existence, they must move relative to each other. Well, as it turns out, particles are always moving relative to each other. Apart from the electromagnetic, strong, and weak forces, every particle exerts gravitational force upon each other. Two particles sitting there alone in the universe, if not initially in motion, would start moving closer to each other due to gravity (unless, of course, they repelled each other by way of the other forces, in which case they would still be in motion). In the odd case where two particles might hang in equilibrium - say because each exerts an electromagnetic charge of negative one, thereby repelling each other, but are also massive enough to exert an exactly counterbalancing gravitational force, thereby pulling them together - there is still motion in the transfer of messenger particle - such as photons and gravitons - mediating their interactions, and so each particle is always moving relative to some other particle in the mix.

Messenger Particles

Charge

How do we describe the experiences down at this level? Could it be attraction and aversion? Pain and pleasure? Well, this certainly would describe the activity that arises from the positive and negative charges of some particles, as well as the universally attractive force of gravity. However, I would certainly hesitate to attribute an experience like pleasure to positively charged particles and pain to negatively charged particles solely on the basis of the words "positive" and "negative". These words are just labels that we arbitrarily latched onto certain particles. We may very well have referred to protons and other particles with the same charge as "negative", and electrons and other particles with the same charge as "positive", and all our math and experimental observations would have remained the same - they would have been just as consistent and intelligible. I also hesitate to label attractive behavior as "pleasurable" and repulsive behavior as "painful" - that is, two oppositely charged particles as experiencing pleasure due to their mutual attraction and two identically charged particles as experiencing pain due to their mutual aversion. What is it about "coming-together" that makes it inherently pleasurable or good? What is it about "moving-apart" that makes it inherently painful or bad? Could it not be that two electrons, streaming as far away from each other as possible, actually enjoy the experience of moving away from each other? My best guess as to where the pleasures and pains lie in this arena is in the successfulness of the mutual aversion or attraction. That is, if two oppositely charged particles attract each other and move towards each other without any extraneous obstacles preventing this, then they will experience pleasure from the fact that they are succeeding in coming together. Likewise, if two identically charged particles repel each other and do so without obstacles, they will experience pleasure in so doing. Pain would be experienced when particles are compelled to move together or apart but are being prevented from doing so for some reason.

What Does "Fundamental" Mean?

It seems, therefore, that this is our conclusion: the entire universe rests upon a system of pains and pleasures. Perhaps this is a warranted conclusion, perhaps not. The fact of the matter - the fact we must keep in mind - is that we don't know what the experiences corresponding to the activity of subatomic particles are like. We are only guessing - a good guess as there seems to be no feasible other - that such experiences are pain and pleasure. However, in a later paper, we will consider the possibility that there actually may not be a fundamental basis - along the dimension of scale, at least. If this is true, the pains and pleasures associated with the successful or unsuccessful attractions and aversions of particles would be reducible to even more fundamental experiences, in which case pain and pleasure would not be the ultimate infrastructure of the universe. In the same paper, we will offer some potential answers to a question that comes about from the idea of pains and pleasures forming a very basic level - if not the basic level - of the universe. The question: How do we get so much qualitative diversity at larger scales if all of it is ultimately reducible to pains and pleasures which seem so qualitatively monotonous? For now, let's just maintain some reservations about exactly what experiences are going on down at that

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Qualitative Diversity

level, and move onto what are, in a manner of speaking, the most fundamental elements a physical universe could be made from.

Time and Space
It's easy to describe atoms and subatomic particles in terms of experience since that's exactly what our theory says they are. It's an entirely different exercise to speak of space and time in terms of experience since this falls somewhat outside the scope of the causal formula stated above. The causal formula above speaks of matter as the representation of experiences, but not space and time. So how are we to understand these two blatantly omnipresent and physical, yet intangible and elusive, phenomena? It's even questionable whether we experience them at all. What are we looking at, after all, when we peer into the vast empty void we call space? With the exception of the stars, we see nothing! So do we actually see space? What about time? Do we experience these two entities in any way? Well if we are to explain time and space in terms of experience, we can certainly ascribe realness to the concepts of time and space. These we definitely have. Where did we get them from? To answer this question, we will trace the source of our perception of time and space - starting with the cognitive form it takes - to experiences less abstract and more sensual. In the end, we will find that time and space, although not a direct expression of experiences going on elsewhere in the Universal Mind, still correspond to something beyond our minds - namely, the relations between the experiences that matter corresponds to. First, let's note that locations and volumes in space as we know it are, if anything, experiences themselves - perhaps only in the form of concepts, perhaps more (we shall see) - and not properties that experiences bear. That is to say, experiences do not exist in space and they do not have spatial extensions. If these were properties of experience, how would you describe the spatial dimensions of your thoughts? Where would your emotions be located? It would be one thing to say "in the brain", but why would the perception of objects out in the world feel as if they were located outside the brain even though the MODs corresponding to their perception are in the brain? That is, if we say emotions and thoughts are located in the brain because that's where their MODs are, we would have to say the same thing about objects in the world, for they are reducible to experiences corresponding to sensory MODs also in the brain. Of course, we could say that our experiences of physical objects indicate quite verily that they do have spatial locations and take up volume (even if we can't say the same of emotions and thought) but this is the exception rather than the rule. In fact, it is what accounts for our claim above: that locations and volumes in space as we know it are, if anything, experiences themselves. That is to say, the experience of space comes from seeing the objects in spatially extended and spatially located forms. Now, when it comes to time, this doesn't seem so obvious - that is, it's not as easy to see that time is a product of experience. It seems as though if any experience is to exist, it must exist for a certain duration of time. The fact that all experiences flow implies that they require a medium through which to do so, a medium we call "time". What we will find, in this section, is that the apparent inseparability of time from experience is a reflection of the fact that experiences indeed exist in a medium - not time as we experience it per se - but a medium which can be described as the interrelations between experiences. We will see that space can be reduced to the same paradigm but in a different way - that is, space is a sort of medium but not as we experience it. Space Let's tackle space first. Starting with the concept of space, we know that this concept must have come from an acknowledgement, directly or indirectly. An acknowledgement of what? Well, for one thing, the perception of the spatial properties of the things in our world. If we are sticking strictly to the tracing of our perceptions of space from the realm of cognition, then the most recent experience of space we have before it becomes a thought or acknowledgement is depth perception. That is, the experience of taking what would otherwise be a 2D visual field and adding a third dimension to it and calling it "depth". This, of course, is made possible by the binocularity of our vision (not to mention other depth cues). The brain takes the disparities between our left and right visual experiences and with it, computes locations for the various objects we see along a "far" and "near" dimension. The actual locations in the brain for this are somewhat sporadic but they are most highly concentrated in the dorsal parietal lobe. Before this stage, we have two dimensional visual perception. This could be described very simply by saying it all happens in the occipital lobe, and before that it comes from experiences beyond our minds, and leave it at that. But in explaining space, we will have missed the mark since we would have overlooked what makes the two dimensions of this stage of visual experience. We can't describe depth perception as the addition of an extra dimension if we don't describe what the original dimensions are. Towards this end, however, we will avoid much confusion by making one thing clear at the start. Although, by definition, two-dimensionality should be decomposable into two dimensions, these need not necessarily be "horizontal" and "vertical". Take a look at figures 10a and 10b. Figure 10a shows a two dimensional plane whose main axes are along the diagonals. Figure 10b shows a two dimensional plane whose main axes are not even perpendicular with respect to each other. Now some may argue that the axes in figure 10b don't really represent true dimensions. All spatial dimensions, they would say, must be perpendicular. But when it comes to human vision, what we want to know is why two-dimensional space should be decomposed into vertical and horizontal axes specifically. Why wouldn't figure 10b, or 10a for that matter, work? One can just as easily derive the coordinates of specific points in either case. What's so special about vertical and horizontal, and why must they be perpendicular?

Flow

Acknowledgements

Figure 10a: Axes along the diagonal.

Figure 10b: Non-perpendicular axes.

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Living on a Mountain Side

Choosing horizontal and vertical as the archetypal orientations for these two dimensions is a matter of convenience. However, this choice in not entirely based on rationality - there is a good reason for selecting these two particular orientations, but it is not one based on some theory or "good idea". The reason vertical and horizontal lines are chosen as the references for 2D space is because among the MODs for experiencing line orientations, the MODs for vertical and horizontal are especially powerful. Just so the reader knows where we are in the brain, these MODs are in area V1 (links provided above). Here, MODs take information coming in from the earliest stages in visual perception where all that is seen are "spots" or "points", and detects lines of various orientations if they exist. There is a different MOD for each and every orientation we can possibly perceive. The MODs for horizontal and vertical perception are especially dense, and take up more space on the cortex, giving rise to our particular acuity to vertical and horizontal orientations. So again, I say, the reason for choosing vertical and horizontal as the primary orientations upon which 2D space is based is not a rational one - not one behind which we can readily explain the idea of so choosing - but one based on our unique way of experiencing vertical and horizontal. Figure 11 provides a good exercise that helps make this clear - you can easily pick out the horizontal and vertical lines, but try picking out the one at a 28° angle.

Figure 11: Vertical and horizontal lines stand out; other orientations do not. The experience of lines, whatever their orientation, requires the experience of "spots" or "points". This is what lines are made of, after all. Therefore, we see in the brain that before the MODs for line orientation do their work on incoming signals, these signals are received by what neuroscientists call "spot detectors". The term is self-explanatory. These MODs correspond to our perception of the multitude of points or spots in our visual field. Now, it is possible that the experience of spots/points can be further dissected into an experience of location without an actual spot/point and an experience of a spot/point without a specific location, but whether this is true or not is up for debate. In any case, these spot detectors seem to give rise to the most primitive experience of "space" we have - that being some kind of pool of "locations" from which spots/points can choose in order to present themselves to us. This stage, being as primitive as it is, should not be imagined as an area or field built from a grid-like coordinate system. Indeed, a Cartesian coordinate system can be applied to it, but only when it is passed over to the later stages of perception (where we experience vertical and horizontal line orientation and then depth). At this stage, the difference between one location and another should be thought of more in terms of "on this side", "over there", "in that region", and other equally vague terms. These need not be relativistic terms - that is, relative to another point - for if all one saw was a single point in pitch black space, one could easily deduce whether it was in the left or right of one's visual field, in the area above or below, etc. (I hesitate to use those terms precisely, however - "left", "right", "above", "below" - for the simple reason that they imply vertical and horizontal dimensions, but perhaps it is the other way around: vertical and horizontal dimensions imply "left", "right", "above", and "below" - and it is the latter from which we derive the former). As vague as these terms must be, they describe the inherent quality of the point as perceived, and it is this quality that distinguishes between them.

Cartesian Space

So, in effect, what we are dealing with in this most early stage is a pool of locations or points, each one unique and different from the rest, from which later processing stages can extract lines of any orientation. Vertical and horizontal are the two most frequently extracted orientations, but any between 0° and 180° are possible. Note that this doesn't quite make for a coordinate system. At this stage, our brains only extract lines where they find them. Looking at a painting on the wall, for example, might elicit the extraction of the vertical and horizontal lines of the painting's frame, as well as any discernable lines in the painting itself, but this hardly passes for the coordinate system of the visual field overall. It is enough, however, to furnish us with a sense that our world is made up of lines. The orientations of these lines are an inherent quality of how they feel, and their location in the visual field derived from the inherent quality of how the points they are made from feel. Add to this depth perception, and we get the primordial spatial field as we experience it. Note that it is not space proper, not yet, but the spatial properties of objects and their relations to each other. The idea that a two or three dimensional coordinate system can be applied to it is something that derives indirectly from this - only after amassing years worth of visual experiences and abstract mathematical thinking on the matter. In particular, the Cartesian coordinate system we are most familiar with is derived by visualizing the space between objects as composed of the same sort of elements as objects - namely, lines and points - and that three lines in particular - horizontal, vertical, and depth - the ones that stand out most for us - are the primary ones on which all others are based. Nevertheless, the fact that a Cartesian coordinate system can be created out of rudimentary locations says something about the experience of them. That is, we can't just leave the topic saying that our perception of space is derived from these valueless and dimensionless locations - not when any and all locations a spot/point may have finds a specific place in our 3D spatial coordinate system. There is obviously information being gleaned from these spots/points, information that is being used by our brains to infer their relations to each other in space - or what we end up perceiving as space. The first piece of information that is gleaned is lines and their orientations. There are some points that relate to each other in terms of their locations in a special way - namely, that they form a line of a particular orientation - while other points do not relate to each other in this way. Note that this information is not found in the spots/points themselves, but in their relations to each other. That is, the perception of space begins by extracting information about the

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relation between spots/points. Now, the space we eventually perceive is still an experience unique to our type of minds - finding these relations between spots/points and translating them in terms of spatial coordinates does not show that space, as we perceive it, is actually out there any more than thinking shows that thoughts are actually out there. But it does show that, by virtue of all spots/points being translatable into three values that can vary infinitely and independently from each other - namely, the three dimensions of space there are at least three corresponding factors involved in the relations between the experiences that find their way into our senses. We will explore some possible reasons for this in another paper.

Principle: Space as an Experience Space, as we experience it, can be reduced to the following human experiences: 1) Depth perception. 2) Lines of varying length and orientation. 3) Spots/points of varying qualitative locations.

Human Experiences

I would have also added a fourth component - the concept of space itself, derived by way of cogitating over the above three - for it figures very intricately in how we experience space, but this is true of all the human experiences - for every experience we are epistemically aware of having, we have a concept for it. So let's close the subject of space on this note - that these are the experiences that culminate in our perception of it. So then, we move onto time. A similar analysis will be done with respect to the temporal dimension - that is, a reduction from time as a concept to time as a set of more primitive experiences. The insights that we will draw from this will allow us to return to the topic of space and elaborate on it further. In the end, we will tie the two together - time and space - into one kind of thing - namely, a relation between experiences (thereby validating the notion of Minkowski space).

Epistemic Awareness

Minkowski Space

Time The experience of time can be derived from at least three other human experiences: 1) motion, 2) memory, and 3) anticipation (here we will speak of motion exclusively although it should be understood as change in general). The experience of motion is a sensory one, memory a cognitive one, and anticipation a cognitive/emotional one. By "anticipation", I don't quite mean the manner in which we make future predictions based on foreknowledge and familiarity with the subject matter in question - rather, I mean the visceral, primordial sense of something looming in the near future. Fear conditioning is a good example of this. When one is systematically shocked every time a bell is rung, for instance, one will come to experience a sense of dread, even before the shock is administered, whenever the bell is rung. Yet, this is more than just a crude emotional reaction - it is also a shortsighted glimpse into the near future. That is to say, the experience is not only that of fear, it is anticipation of something averse about to happen, an expectation, a sort of foreknowledge of what is immanent. I hesitate, therefore, to class anticipation into the category of emotion only as the foresight it affords us seems somewhat cognitive - so it stratles the fence in my opinion. I also hesitate to ascribe fear as the root cause of our sense of the future, for anticipation might arise from excitement or other more positive experiences. Being conditioned, I would say, is the most apt description of the root of anticipation. Thus, I take anticipation to be the seed of our experience of the future, and ultimately contributes to time as conceived on the whole. It might be noteworthy to point out the parallel links that can be drawn between motion and the present and memory and the past - all three finally culminating in our overall experience of time. As far as the brain is concerned, visual motion is like depth perception in that it is located in the general region of the dorsal parietal lobe. Experiences of change similar to motion for any of the other senses might also have MODs for such change local to their primary sensory areas, but there is much less documentation on this compared to visual motion. Touch is an exception to this - there are MODs in the somatosensory cortex that become active when stimuli are moved across the skin. Memory is even more sporadic - memory seems to be stored locally to whatever experience the memory is about. That is, if it is a memory of a smell, the MODs for this will be somewhere in/near the olfactory cortex where smell sensations are processed. If it's a memory of something you heard, the MODs for this will be somewhere in/near area A1 where audio sensations are processed (links provided above). There is also the hippocampus, a structure involved in memory, but its role is more the construction of these memories rather than the storage of them. And, of course, anticipation, being a highly emotional reaction and based on conditioning, finds its place in the limbic system.

The Hippocampus

Whether we're talking about motion, memory, or anticipation, these experiences are formed out of the raw incoming data of our senses. The MODs for motion perception take, as input, spots/points that change location in a particular direction over small intervals of time. When it receives such input, it is able to churn it into an experience of motion. Memory also takes input from the senses, but doesn't process it until well after it has been processed by other MODs - that is, our memories work mostly on perceptions of whole events. Whole events have to be interpreted as such after the raw data such as color, forms, lines, and spots/points have been integrated into a whole that we recognize as "what's-going-on-here-and-now". Each and every memory gets placed in chronological order. We experience them as having happened

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"before". Memory furnishes us with the sense of "before" - without it, the very concept of "before" would be foreign - so would the concept of "after" for that matter. If our memory is especially acute, we may even have a clear sense of which memories came before which others, thus instilling a sense that events occur in chronological order. Anticipation relies on memory, of course, for the subject must remember what the conditioned and unconditioned stimuli were and that the former consistently preceded the latter. Of course, studies have shown that such conditioning can occur without the subject's awareness - that is, such that the subject doesn't remember having experienced the stimuli or formed the association between them. But the kind of memory anticipation relies on need not be that which we readily recognize as memory - that is, memory as we consciously experience it. If anticipation is a result of conditioning, then it relies on memory by definition, for conditioning is obviously a kind of memory. It may not be one and the same as that which we subjectively feel and call "memory", nor may there be any epistemic awareness of it, but if it is a memory system of sorts, one that self-evidently orders stimuli according to a "before" and "after" scheme, we can assume it works on incoming sensory experiences in the same way as ordinary memory (the kind we consciously experience) and so it can be traced to sensory experiences as its source and needs no explanation beyond that already given above for ordinary memory. Anticipation simply takes the process one step further. If it identifies a stimulus in the present as matching one it remembers from the past - one that has been strongly associated with a succeeding stimulus - it takes the memory of that association and superimposes it onto the present. That is to say, the conditioned stimulus is not longer experienced as occurring "before", but "now". The unconditioned stimulus likewise ceases to be experienced as occurring "before", and in virtue of its relation to the conditioned one being characterized as "after" it, it is experienced as coming "after" the present. Thus, anticipation turns out feeling like a sense of "after" - that is, after the present, after now - which plants the seeds that become our understanding of "future" - and it draws this sense out of a complex process that begins with sensory data. Like our perception of space, our experiences of motion, memory, and anticipation seem to work on inherent aspects of this sensory data from which numerical values can be deduced for placement in a coordinate system. In the case of anticipation, relying on memory as it does, it is memory on which we must do most of our deductive work, leaving very little to glean from anticipation itself. Motion perception is highly independent from memory (and visa-versa), and so we can deduce these values from it alone. In the case of space, our perceptual faculties are always able to assign three values in particular to every spot/point based on the relation between the locations of each spot/point. In the case of time, it is always able to assign a temporal value. For motion, it bases this value on, once again, the relation between locations of spots/points. But unlike spatial perception, it taps into the temporal attributes between these points, and only those points whose locations differ consecutively and adjacently along a trajectory path. Now, the very fact that I am forced to use the word "temporal" in the preceding sentence tells us that the aspect of these spots/points that we eventually come to experience as time really does exist - even at the level of raw sensory data. It is imbedded in the raw sensory data, just like the aspect of spots/points which eventually get translated into three numerical values denoting spatial coordinates. But again, we see that this aspect belongs to the relation between the spots/points, not to the spots/points themselves. That is to say, just as no spot/point in space can be assigned coordinates unless compared to another spot/point in space, neither can a spot/point in motion be assigned a direction or speed (which is essential for motion to exist at all) unless compared to its own prior locations in space. In either case, we are dealing with the relations between spatial locations. With motion, this relation must be of a different sort than that of two co-present points, for as we pointed out there is an inherent temporal aspect to it. Our brains must have some way of deciphering this aspect. If I were to guess, I would say that it relies on a sort of memory at the level of the individual neuron. For example, suppose we had three neurons in a row - three spot/point detectors - and we called them A, B, and C. when A is stimulated, say by detecting a small object moving through the visual field, we experience the presence of a spot or a point. Then, as the object moves into the next position so that it stimulates B, A retains the memory of the spot/point it detected by remaining active but to a lesser degree. This may be enough already to stimulate a motion detection MOD in the local region of these three neurons - that is, a motion detection MOD may be stimulated when it detects that one spot/point detector neuron is firing (in this case B) and when an adjacent one is keeping alive the memory of a spot/point by remaining somewhat active (in this case A). If A and B aren't enough, it may suffice if both A and B retain a memory and C is presently firing. In any case, what the brain would be doing is detecting whether a spot/point exists somewhere in the visual field (by way of a spot/point detector neuron firing) and a neuron adjacent to it is retaining a memory of a spot/point. If it finds anything by this description, it infers that the spot/point being detected is moving in the direction away from the neuron retaining the memory. In other words, the aspect of the relation between two spatial locations that indicates the passage of time is that one of the locations is seen to be presently occupied while the other isn't but remembered to have been just a moment ago - that is, it is really a relation between one point and a memory of another. It is this memory aspect that makes the temporal difference between locations feel different from the spatial difference. Nevertheless, since this memory originated from an actual spot/point in an actual location, we may still describe the original data from which motion, and thus time, is derived as the relation between spatial locations. Memory, the kind that retains experiences of whole events, is also based on the relations between its incoming data - either past experiences to present ones, or two past experiences to each other - but these relations cannot be described as ones of location. As stated above, memory works on whole events. When the whole event is beyond the scope of the locations of spots/points, memory forms experiences out of the relations between each moment. In other words, memory works on the relations between whole events in such a way that two consecutive moments need not be seen as two sets of the same spots/points rearranged into a different pattern - it can be, but it need not be. In other words, if we were to describe each moment as a set of spots/points (like a picture on a computer screen is a set of pixels), then one moment may consist of a certain arrangement of spots/points while the next moment may consist of a completely different set and arrangement of spots/points. If there is no continuity between these two sets of spots/points, then we could not perceive motion between the two - that is, we could not perceive the spots/points of the first set moving into the positions of the spots/points of the second set. We could remember, however, that the first set came before the second set. This is how memory works - it takes a whole event, compares it to another whole event already stored in memory, and creates the experience of "before" and "after" out of them. This constitutes a unique sense of time different from that of motion. Overall, the experience of memory and motion are both derived from the relations between experiences coming in at the level of raw sensory data, and anticipation relies on memory, taking the process a step further, but nevertheless beginning with the same relations between sensory data.

Epistemic Awareness

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Experience of motion

Experience of "before" and "after" (memory)

Principle: Time as an Experience Time, as we experience it, can be reduced to the following human experiences: 1) Motion (or change). 2) Memory. 3) Anticipation.
So as we can see, our experiences of time and space break down into the relations we perceive between various instances of basic sensory data. In the case of memory and anticipation, this data first goes through some processing to become whole events or associations between conditioned and unconditioned stimuli, but it begins with this data nevertheless. All together, there are four factors or variables that our minds use in the construction of space and time. The MODs involved in spatial perception seem to be specialized at deciphering three of these variables, and the MODs involved in temporal perception seem to be specialized at deciphering the fourth one. Together, they make the three dimensions of space and the one dimension of time. Note that this is the result of a deciphering process - our intellect deciphers the three dimensions of space and that of time out of the more primitive sensory data given to it, sensory data that doesn't come full to the brim with dimensions and numerical coordinates. As we've seen, space is reducible to the qualitative locations of objects, lines and their orientations, depth perception, and an imagination capable of simulating all three of these in order to give rise to the concept of space. Similarly, time is reducible to motion, memory, anticipation, and an imagination capable of simulating a dimension on which each of these three constitute the segments we call "past", "present", and "future". So now the question is "What are time and space really? Are they things that have ontological standing beyond our experiences of them, even if in an inconceivable form?" Well, the correspondence rule definitely suggests there must be something in Reality for them to correspond to. If we experience them in our subjective realities, they must correspond to something "out there", even if indirectly. As we've shown, the last thing they correspond to as we leave the mind through the senses is the relation between sensory experiences, and more specifically to relations between spots/points insofar as sensation can be reduced to these. So then, what can be said about these relations as we take one step further past the stage of our senses? What are these relations just beyond our subjective realities? What Time and Space Represent I maintain that what becomes of these relations as we step beyond our subjective realities is that they remain relations, but because we enter a field of unimaginable experiences, they aren't necessarily relations between spots/points or sensory data. But whatever they are, they are still experiences that bear relations to each other. It's difficult to say what these relations are for space, but for temporal relations an interpretation makes itself readily available. Obviously, when a physical system changes or morphs as a function of time, whether in its position or form, this corresponds to the flow of its experiences. Therefore, if time is a relation between experiences, then the relation between the experiences of this physical system is none other than entailment. That is to say, the one thing that links each successive experience that corresponds to the change we observe in a physical system is entailment. Therefore, could we say that time, in it's true form - that is, its form in Reality - is really just meaning and the way it entails each and every experience? This is what we are led to conclude. Now, if temporal relations are reducible to entailment, what kind of light does this shed on spatial relations? Consider two distinct objects in different spatial locations - say a pot of flowers and a family photo on a fireplace mantle. These two objects coexist - that is, although they have different spatial positions, they do not have different temporal positions. Therefore, we cannot ascribe entailment to the relations between their corresponding experiences. Now, to be sure, seeing two objects in different locations must reflect two different experiences - even if the two objects were perfectly identical. That is, supposing we had two flowerpots or two family photos, the visual experiences of them would still come from different experiences in Reality. This difference is not to be found between the objects, however, it is to be found in the object-observer system. If it was found between the objects, this would contradict the Basic Theory - the Basic Theory would say that all that determines the experience is the physical configuration of the corresponding object and the manner in which it changes, and if the two objects have exactly the same configuration and aren't changing (or changing the same way), they cannot correspond to different experiences. The physical configuration of the objectobserver system, however, is always different for every possible object (lest two

Space, Time, and the Other Senses

The Correspondence Rule

Entailment

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distinct objects be the same object). Even if this difference consists of the orientation of the observer relative to the object, this is sufficient. There could be a multitude of activities going on within the object-observer system for experiences to correspond to. One example is the photons (light) streaming from the object into the observer's eye. Another is the gravitational attraction keeping the object and observer in close proximity to each other (see link below ).

Epistemic Awareness

The observer would not necessarily have epistemic awareness of the experience corresponding to the object-observer system, but he/she would be epistemically awareness of his/her personal experiences that entail from it. As humans, the visual experience of objects in different spatial locations is an example. The fact that we can see one object in one location and another in a different location - even if the objects were perfectly identical - reflects the difference between the experiences that our visions entail from. It makes sense - if there is any difference at all between two visual experiences, even if only in location, they must be entailed from two different experiences beyond our mind. These two experiences may have originated from a single experience at one point - for example, seeing an object and, at the same time, its reflection in a mirror - but the flow of that single experience must have forked at a later point and eventually became the two visual experiences we are epistemically aware of. Nevertheless, because the two experiences coexist, we cannot explain these relations with entailment. There is more we can say about space, however. Even if we can't say that objects in space represent experiences related by entailment, we can still say what they are related by. Take the flowerpot and the family photo into consideration again. Why are we limiting our description of this scenario to "two visual experiences of location"? Why not one visual experience that so happens to involve two objects with a certain distance between them? That is to say, why not consider the two objects as one object whose parts simply are not connected by physical or molecular bonds? We would consider an atom or a galaxy as one object even though there is some spatial distance between its parts. But isn't this because its parts are connected by gravitational or electromagnetic forces? Yes, but so are the two fixed objects - that is, the law of universal gravitation states that all objects, big or small, distant or close, exert some amount of gravitational attraction on each other. If the two fixed objects in our scenario do not move closer together, this is only because of the friction from the mantle counter-balancing their gravitational pull. The point is that all physical objects are interconnected by forces that hold them together, and for this reason they form a whole.

Law of Universal Gravitation

Friction

So there is this inevitable relation between the parts of a physical system and the whole - namely, the state of the parts and the state of the whole form an identity. In other words, the physical arrangement and momentum of the parts in relation to each other at a given time are exactly the same arrangement and momentum of the internal state of the whole. In much the same way, there is an inevitable relation between the parts of our visual experiences and the whole. That is to say, if we describe our visual experience of the two fixed objects as one whole experience, then this description is necessarily reducible to the two separate descriptions of each object and its location in our visual field. This form of reduction constitutes an identity, and therefore they are both entailed by exactly the same experience beyond our perception (the experience corresponding to the object-observer system). Therefore, the way the two separate experiences corresponding to each object relate to each other is such that they preserve their identity to the whole. Another way to say this, and probably the best way, is as follows. The relation between all the experiences corresponding to objects in different spatial locations is such that their sum is exactly equal to the experience corresponding to the whole physical system. So whereas temporal relations correspond to experiences related by entailment, spatial relations correspond to experiences related by a common identity to a whole. When it comes to motion, we are dealing with change in an object's location through space and time. Since it involves time, the relations between these experiences are characterized by entailment. And since it involves space as well, it is also characterized by identity. If the only thing the object moves relative to is the observer, then the identity relating the various experiences involved is that of the object-observer system on the whole. When separate objects moving relative to each other form a system, their motion constitutes the internal workings of the system. This corresponds to the morphing of experience associated with the system. In order for this experience to morph in the way it does, the component experiences it can be broken down into must also morph - they must morph in such a way that the identity between their collective meaning and the meaning of the whole experience is maintained. In other words, the separate objects move relative to each other because they have to maintain an identity to an ever-changing whole - that is to say, a common identity mandates that throughout the flux, the parts and the whole must remain synchronized.

Principle: Time and Space as Relations Between Experiences 1) Time, as experienced in our subjective reality, represents the relationship between experiences characterized by entailment.
Entailment and Identity: Revisiting the Basic Theory

2) Space, as experienced in our subjective reality, represents the relationship between experiences characterized by their collective identity to the whole they constitute.
Described in this way, time and space become quite the abstraction compared to our experiences of them. In fact, it's hard to imagine what we have if we strip away the experiential attributes of time and space - that is, if we imagine space without the vertical, horizontal, and depth dimensions, and without even locations, what's left to imagine? We could ask the same about time. If we imagine time without dimension - that is, ignoring memory, the passage of time through motion, and its future extension stemming from anticipation - what's left to imagine? The relations between experiences are what's left, but how do we imagine these relations without time and space as we experience them - that is, in a timeless and spaceless state? Indeed, it is appropriate to talk about these relations as timeless and spaceless since they do exist beyond the time and space of our subjective realities (these relations exist within our subjective realities too since they exist for all experiences - including our own - but because their domain extends beyond this, they cannot be said to depend on our experience of time and space). How are we to imagine this?

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Timelessness, Spacelessness, and Momentum Anything that is to be imagined as timeless must be imagined in a static state. One way to do this is to imagine all the experiences of the universe as constituting a set - specifically as defined by set theory - and therefore time is a particular way in which the members of this set relate to each other. More specifically, if we take any member of this set (any experience) and ask, "What does this experience entail?", the answer will be another member of the set. The relation between these two members is the temporal relation. Imagined in this way, we get a sense of these two experiences "coexisting" in a static state while maintaining the appropriate relation. We must remember to use the word "coexisting" loosely since there is nothing "simultaneous" if time as we experience it - that is, time extending into "future" and "past" - has no place here (in fact, as a human experience, time is only a member of this set). The thing to keep in mind is that the experiences and their relations simply exist. To ask when they exist - before, after, or at the same time as each other - is as meaningless as asking when a circle's circumference is 3.14 times the diameter. It is as meaningless as asking when syllogisms logically hold. It's even questionable whether it makes sense to say such relations hold "all the time", for that implies they exist in time. This is why I'm content to say that they simply hold, and that experiences simply entail each other - that is, without the need to mention time, at least as we experience it, at all. And space? The concept of a set works for space as well so long as we don't visualize this set as extended - that is, all the members of this set are "overlapped". This word is the equivalent of the word "coexisting" for time, as it is to be used loosely. These experiences don't exist "in the same place" - they are placeless. The relations that define space in this set are all those relations that must exist between the parts in order for them to form the whole. As stated above, we will examine, in another paper, what it is about these relations that allows them to be decomposed into the three variables that we experience as the three dimensions of space. Now, even when described in abstract terms such as this, there is still one peculiarity about time that doesn't show up for space. It seems that a relation defined by entailment tends to be directional. Time always moves futureward, in other words. Spatial relations, on the other hand, don't seem to favor any one direction over another. It's easy to see why: if time represents entailment, and space identity, then we see that the former works in a certain direction whereas the latter does not. If A entails B, it doesn't necessarily follow that B entails A - on the other hand, whatever components A or B are made of, they are so made regardless of the direction we traverse and link them together to form their wholes. Of course, as an abstract set of experiences in a timeless and spaceless framework, we can't talk about motion, spatial or temporal, but there is still this directional aspect of entailment. So instead of motion, a good abstract word to use is "order". The entailment of experiences seems to have a definite order. For this reason, I tend to think of time as the primary order of the universe or the "universal order". Now, the important thing to realize about an order is that it does not need to be laid out in a spatial or temporal array. For example, suppose you had 10 blank cards and wrote the numbers 1 to 10 on them. Then you threw them all into a basket and jumbled them up as randomly as possible. Even though the spatial arrangement of these cards is completely random, and they coexist at all times, they still have a numerical order - that is, the card marked '5' is related to the card marked '6' in that it numerically comes before it. It is related to the card marked '4' in that it numerically comes after it. They maintain this order despite the fact that they are spatially disordered and coexist temporally. Replace the cards with experiences and their numerical order with entailment, and you have the universal set. Therefore, we can push the abstract quality of our model of a universal set to its utmost by noting that sets have no spatial or temporal extension, but the temporal order of this set exists with as much veracity as the numerical order of the cards in the basket. What may be more difficult than imagining a universe of experiences in a timeless and spaceless medium is imagining that within this medium exists time and space. Make no mistake about it - we are not suggesting that time and space as we experience it are illusions, and that the universe is nothing but a timeless spaceless set of experiences. We are only suggesting that beyond our subjective realities the universe is timeless and spaceless - but our subjective realities, infused with the essence of realness, really do exist within the manifold, filled with real physical objects scattered throughout a real spacetime continuum. This is a good point to return to the question of momentum and what it means for an experience to have it. To answer this question, we need only ask what momentum as seen in the case of physical systems represents in terms of the timeless and spaceless experiences from which the physical system entails. First, momentum, as we have stated in the Basic Theory, can be broken down into the direction and the force with which the experience flows. Accounting for force is simple - we shall do that first. The force with which an experience entails is a matter of how justified it is. We have seen, in the case of syllogisms, that a conclusion is justified so long as the major and minor premises are in good form. But justification is not always an all or nothing thing. For example, in the case of pain, it may be more or less justified to take measures to eradicate the pain depending on how intense it is, or on how much damage might be incurred in so doing. This is usually represented by physical forces and whether they are easy or difficult to counteract. For example, a bullet fired from a gun will have enough force to punch a hole through a wall whereas the same bullet thrown by hand will not. The firing of the bullet by the gun represents one experience and the throwing of it by hand another. The puncturing of the wall represents an experience that is justified by that corresponding to the firing of the gun, but which isn't by that corresponding to the throwing of the bullet by hand. Although the latter seems to harbor some justification - some amount of force - it isn't enough. Accounting for direction is also simple, but leaves some noteworthy questions to be answered. Direction is simply the path taken by an experience on its way to entail other experiences. We've noted earlier that an experience has the potential to entail a number of ensuing ones, each different from the others (recall the sidenote about the economics professor passing by a gas station). We refer to which of these is entailed as the direction. The question this leaves us with is why would this direction of entailment manifest physically and not another. When we consider the universe in its timeless spaceless state, we realize that an experience that can entail in a multitude of directions does entail in all those directions simultaneously (again, we use the word "simultaneous" loosely), just as how a logical argument entails all the conclusions that follow from it simultaneously. What then picks out only one direction to manifest as the particular momentum of the physical system representing the corresponding experiences?

Set Theory

Momentum

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What picks it out is the set of conditions under which it, and it alone, is the necessary direction in which to entail. That is to say, when an experience can entail in different directions, it usually takes some particular set of conditions to determine whether it be one direction or another. Let's take, for example, the syllogism about Socrates:

All men are mortal. Socrates is a man. Therefore, Socrates is mortal.
The premise "All men are mortal." entails the conclusion "Therefore, Socrates is mortal." but only under the condition that Socrates is a man. If Socrates were a god, on the other hand, the same conclusion could not be entailed. The conclusion "Therefore, Socrates is not necessarily mortal." would be entailed instead. We can map this out, as though mapping the landscape of the Universal Mind in its timeless state, as in figure 12:

Figure 12: Momentum on a Timeless Map. What this figure shows is that the premise "All men are mortal." can entail in either direction, but it depends on which other experience it comes with in a time bound context - in this case, either "Socrates is a man." or "Socrates is a god." When we observe momentum in the physical world, one physical event giving way to another, it usually unfolds in the specific way it does because certain physical conditions are met. For example, if a rock is hurled at a window, the glass will break - but this can only happen under the condition that there is no strong wind to blow the rock off course. If such a wind existed, a different outcome would result - the rock would miss the window and the glass would be saved. The rock being hurled towards the window represents one experience that could entail in two ways, and the two mutually exclusive outcomes - either the glass breaks or it doesn't - represent the two mutually exclusive experiences that would be entailed. The condition that determines whether the one outcome occurs or the other is the wind. Thus, the wind represents the conditioning experience, the one that determines in which direction the conditioned experience will entail. Obviously, if the two conditioning experiences are mutually exclusive, as are the two corresponding to the outcomes, they can't both be represented, or felt for that matter, at the same time in a physical - that is, time bound - context. Thus, when experiences from the timeless and spaceless state of the universe are represented in a time and space bound medium, some will be so represented to the exclusion of others. That doesn't mean that the excluded experiences can never be represented; it only means that if they are to be represented at all, they must be allotted a different time and place. So in conclusion, what momentum means in terms of experience - rather, what physical momentum represents vis-à-vis the corresponding experiences in a timeless context - is which entailment path is associated with which conditioning experience. So, for example, the path in figure 12 that leads from "All men are mortal." to "Socrates is mortal." is associated with the conditioning experience "Socrates is a man." Complementing this is the path from "All men are mortal." to "Socrates is not necessarily mortal." associated with the conditioning experience "Socrates is a god." These two associations acquire different representations in the physical time and space bound context. The mutual exclusivity of these representations in the same space and time represents the mutual exclusivity of the two conditioning experiences and how they determine different entailment paths. Now think about what we've done so far. We've taken the universe as we experience it, reduced it to a set of experiences that span beyond our own, bestowed them with a self-sustaining basis we call meaning, thereby allowing it to exist without further appeal to anything greater or more fundamental, and now we've abstracted it to a timeless and spaceless set whose primary defining infrastructure is the relations of identity and entailment which hold them together in an integrated whole. What is left to explain the universe? There is one thing that comes to mind - how did it come to be in the first place? That is, whence did it all start? Meaning, although sufficient as a self-sustaining basis, explains what keeps it in existence, but this only works so long as its existence is already an established fact. The question now is, how do we account for this fact? What accounts for existence in the first place? Well, every religion from all corners of the globe and all epochs in history have answers to this question, regardless of whether or not they approach it in the context of the current body of theory. According to western, scientific thinking, the universe began with the Big Bang. Should we appeal to this theory? And if we do, how could we tie this event as a physical phenomenon to one of experiences? And if we succeed in doing so, will we be able to close the book on that question, thereby closing the book on the entire subject of how the universe exists? Or will the answer beg for more questions, perhaps of how the experiences corresponding to this cosmic event came about, or if it is necessary to

Big Bang

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presuppose experiences before this event? These questions, and many others, still remain. Indeed, they will be asked again in other papers - in fact, they will be answered in such a way that closure on the topic of how the universe exists will seem plausible. However, a major caveat should be addressed before going anywhere beyond this point - a point which, we must confess, is radically abstract, and maybe too much so. Any attempt to answer these questions on the basis of the Advanced Theory would be to enter a realm of philosophical inquiry that is eccentrically speculative. The answers that such an endeavor will yield are sketchy at best, and would be wisely treated as possibilities rather than definite answers. Nevertheless, they promise to open new doors to fascinating subjects, fascinating to me at least, and the philosophically oriented thinker should not hesitate to continue reading these papers.

Conclusion
That's the advanced version of the Theory of Mind and Matter (MM-Theory from here on in). The core sections of this paper were The Problem of Reductionism and From Brain to Matter which laid down the theoretical underpinnings for the Advanced Theory. We delved into the Paradox of Individuality in the next section because the Advanced Theory, as presented in the preceding sections, would never hold without resolving this dilemma. The last section (before the Conclusion) elaborated a bit more on some of the details and most intrinsic elements that make up the fabric of the universe in order clarify, with a bit more acuity, the exact manner in which the mental correlates with the physical. In other words, the first section of this paper explained the general correlation, whereas the last section explained some of the specifics. So here it is again, the Advance Theory of Mind and Matter:

The Paradox of Individuality

The Advanced Theory of Mind and Matter The theory of mind and matter is two-fold: 1) An experience is... i) any instance of qualitivity... ii) that exudes the essence of realness, resulting in projection... iii) and conveys a meaning that describes its essential quality, resulting in flow. 2) Physical systems, including the brain, are a sensory representation of experiences, as defined in 1), that exist beyond human perception.
This is quite the drastic shift from perceiving the universe as a collection of physical systems and energy governed by natural laws within the confines of a spacetime medium. Now we are talking about a set of experiences interconnected by meaning, each of us a concentrated nucleus of such experiences continuous with the rest and constantly processing the inflow of more experiences and producing yet others in newly morphed forms. Also note how this set is more or less conceptually equivalent to the experience pool from the Basic Theory - it may not be so hypothetical after all. This transition is quite a bit to chew. For this reason, I'd like to give some imaginary scenarios as visualization exercises that might help the reader understand what the Advanced Theory is saying. More specifically, I'd like to present two scenarios, and then a hybrid of both. In doing this, we will also be recapitulating the Advanced Theory in a metaphorical way - this, I hope, will prove useful to the reader.

The Infinite Pool of Experiences

Visualization Exercises
The first scenario involves thinking of the universe as two-dimensional - that is, we ignore depth perception. Look around you at all the objects in your environment. Look at how everything is spaced out. Imagine it as it is picked up by your retinas - a two-dimensional surface with its face perpendicular to your line of sight. The world, then, is much like events on a movie screen, but because this screen is everywhere around us - that is, no matter what direction we face, there it is! - this screen is not a flat two-dimensional surface - it is spherical, a bubble, and we are looking at the inside surface of it. This accounts for vision. But our world is made from more than just our visual experiences. We have four other senses. However, it is a lot more difficult to imagine these other senses - sound, touch, smell, and taste - as somehow plastered on the inner surface of a bubble. The experience of sound can take on three-dimensional qualities, like vision, and so this might help us. In this scenario, we will project the three-dimensional location of sound onto the two-dimensional surface of our bubble. Our other three senses should be treated in the same way. This is not as easy as it is for sight and sound since taste and smell seem to originate from a fixed point not on the bubble surface, and touch seems to have its own two-dimensional surface - our skin - that doesn't coincide with the bubble surface. In this case, what we can do is imagine that these sensations originate from the bubble surface, but in turn move, perhaps instantly, to their more conventional locations, whether that be on our tongue, nose, or skin. In short, this scenario involves imagining we live in a bubble. The outer world (the world of sensation) exists on the inner surface of this bubble, and the inner world (the world of our thoughts and emotions) exists deeper inside this bubble. Together, they make up our subjective reality. Now, the next step in this scenario is to imagine how other subjective realities - other bubbles - relate to ours. But before we do this, a short note on motion is in order.

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In particular, we need to understand how our own motion through this world is to be imagined. When we walk, run, or move, we must resist imagining that we budge an inch from our central seat in the middle of our bubble. If we must imagine such motion, we must imagine it as the images and other sensory experiences moving around us on the bubble surface. It would be no different than what motion ends up looking like on a flat screen when the camera man moves through the world - we, as the audience, just sit there and watch the world move along the screen surface. Because the screen in our bubble world surrounds us completely, the motion along its inner surface gives the impression that it is us who are moving through this world, even though we do not budge from the center of our bubble.

Aurora Borealis: Motion Along the Bubble Surface

The only difference between moving through our bubble world and watching motion on a flat movie screen is that we can't control what we see on the flat movie screen. Our deliberate motion through our bubble world is initiated by our decision to walk, run, summersault, or whatever else. We will experience our bodies carrying out this motion, but remember that our bodies and the actions they undergo are just feedback - that is, sensations from the bubble surface, just like every other object in our world. What does originate from us - from the center of the bubble - is our decision to act. Now that motion through our bubble world has been pinned down, let's talk about motion beyond our bubble world. This may seem like a useless exercise since this wouldn't correspond to anything we experience actually, but it is essential to understanding how other subjective realities - other bubbles - relate to ours. Now, if we fall back on what the Advanced Theory says about physical systems, even non-human ones, we can imagine that any physical system projected on the inner surface of our bubble corresponds to its own subjective reality. Therefore, in regards to our bubble, other subjective realities are experienced by the objects we perceive on the surface of our bubble. But, of course, these are just images generated on the bubble surface - how can they also have their own subjective reality to experience? How can they also be living in a bubble? The way to imagine this is not so much by picturing these objects at the center of a bubble, but having a link to a bubble somewhere outside ours. In other words, an object, say a bowl of cherries, on the surface of our bubble has an invisible thread attached to it that leads beyond our bubble to another one. This other bubble is the subjective reality of the bowl of cherries - imagine whatever you want generated on its surface. This, obviously, represents the correspondence rule. Of course, we can't leave our bubble to follow this thread. Any attempt to move closer to the bubble of the bowl of cherries only results in the image of the bowl growing larger on our bubble surface. At a certain point, we bump into it. If it were possible for us to leave our bubble and follow this thread, we would not experience this transition as motion. We would find our world dissolving before our very eyes, and all the experiences that once defined our world would morph and rearrange themselves until they settled, in structure and quality, in the way the bowl of cherries experiences its world. In other words, whereas the bowl exists in our bubble as an object on the surface, there is no such object in the bowl's bubble. The bowl may exist in its own bubble as a self, or something similar to what we experience as a self, but if anything this would constitute an experience on the inside of its bubble, much like our emotions and cognitions. It may even experience an object on its bubble's surface corresponding to something like its body, but like our own body, this only constitutes an object in the exterior world, one that is intimately interwoven in our sense of self. Furthermore, there may be an object on its bubble's surface corresponding to us. This would depend on whether or not the bowl has some physical mechanism by which it senses us - or, at the very least, can experience disturbances in its subjective reality as originating from a perceivable source that would correspond to us. For example, perhaps every time we take a cherry from the bowl, it senses this - or, at least, experiences a disturbance from this - and as a result, experiences something on the surface of its bubble as the source of this sensation or disturbance. If it does experience such an object, a similar setup can be imagined for this object as that for the bowl on our bubble's surface - that is, an invisible thread can be imagined linking this object to our bubble. If the bowl could somehow follow this thread, leaving its subjective reality behind, it would eventual find itself in our subjective reality, essentially "becoming" us. Overall, whereas on the surface of our bubble, there is a bowl but no self, on the surface of the bowl's bubble, there may be an object corresponding to us but no bowl. I hope the reader finds this imagery easy to visualize, and if so this is all he/she needs to have a firm grasp on the first scenario. Nevertheless, we can push it further - we can imagine that everything we experience takes its place on the inner surface of our bubble, but this visualization becomes difficult. If the reader finds he/she is capable of this, then imagine our emotions and cognitions in their projected form - that is, as things like truth and values in the outer world. These things can then be imagined as somehow projected onto the surface of our bubble. We ought to keep in mind that this only works as an abstraction (we don't literally "see" thoughts in the outer world), but since this is just an imaginary scenario, we can take certain liberties. But as I said, if this is too much of a stretch, no worries - the scenario depicted as images on the inner surface of our bubble, emotions and cognitions as the exception, still works. Now onto the second scenario: adding depth into our bubble. First, let's go through a visualization of how the two-dimensional surface of the bubble can be converted into a three-dimensional spacetime continuum. Place yourself into your bubble. Look around you at the two-dimensional images on its surface. Now imagine the radius of the sphere slowly stretching - that is, imagine your bubble getting bigger. The two-dimensional surface moves away from you. Now, as the bubble's surface passes by locations where objects would be if the world were genuinely three-dimensional, imagine that the surface "sticks" there, and only the exact portions of the surface that make contact with the would-be three-dimensional objects. For example, suppose there was a two-dimensional chair on your bubble's surface. Also, imagine a point beyond your bubble where you'd like the

The Correspondence Rule

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chair to be should it be a three-dimensional world. As the bubble's surface expands, it eventually reaches that point, and the two-dimensional chair makes contact with it. Now imagine that instead of a point, you have a region of space shaped exactly like the would-be three-dimensional chair. Next, imagine that your bubble's surface is actually made of some kind of plastic or rubbery material (something with elasticity). As it passes by the three-dimensional chair-like region, it doesn't permeate it - that is, the material of your bubble actually sticks to the outer surface of the region and wraps around it - like saran wrap. Like a coat of paint, it covers each and every point of the region, each corner, every sliver, all bumps and cracks. In effect, your two-dimensional chair becomes the "skin" of what now looks like a three-dimensional chair. As the bubble's surface passes by this region completely, it finishes off the job by plastering itself even on the backside that is, the side that we cannot see. As the bubble's surface moves on, you may imagine that a silhouette of the chair remains, a hole, where there was once a two-dimensional chair. Or don't imagine a hole - imagine the bubble's surface is still fully filled in. It actually doesn't matter because, from your vantage point, you shouldn't be able to see whether it left a hole behind or not - if there was a hole, it would be completely obscured by the new chair-like object. Imagine the bubble doing this with every other two-dimensional object on its surface, creating a field of three-dimensional forms in its wake. It keeps expanding all the way to the infinite depths of space, leaving behind what looks like all the three-dimensional objects in the universe. For all intents and purposes, the bubble's surface, having traveled an infinite distance away, no longer exists in the world. However, it has left behind a myriad of three-dimensional forms by standing in as the surfaces of these forms. In such a way, you can still conceive of the world as consisting of the fabric of your once two-dimensional bubble surface, but now plastered onto these three-dimensional shapes. In other words, it's still the same stuff - images generated on a surface like a movie screen - except that this surface has taken a drastically different shape than that of a sphere. And like images on a movie screen, you can still imagine that these three-dimensional images are projected by your mind onto their three-dimensional forms. Of course, by projected, we imply the standard definition given to the term by the Basic Theory (see definition ). In this case, not only are the objects projected onto this distorted bubble surface, but their three-dimensional aspect is itself projected - that is, depth perception, which gives them their three-dimensional character, is also projected onto them because it is an experience like any other. You can imagine that the projection of depth perception is precisely the process of the bubble's surface expanding as it did. Of course, projection happens instantly, but for the purposes of this scenario, it is convenient to think of it happening gradually. Another way of saying this is that, in a sense, the bubble's surface wasn't really "expanding" so much as it was acquiring an additional feature on its inner surface - namely, depth - and projecting it. Different parts of it acquired different values, or amounts, of this experience - some parts appeared "close" while other parts appeared "far". The gradual expansion of the bubble's surface was like a gradual projection of our depth experience. In other words, even in a universe whose spatial dimensions can reach infinite depths, all of it - even this depth - is being projected onto the inner surface of our bubble (like watching a movie with 3D glasses). The three-dimensional scenario is depicted in such a way that the world seems generated, much like in the holodeck from Star Trek: The Next Generation. In the holodeck, the three-dimensional aspect of the objects generated are attributes imbedded in the hologram, and in the same way, the three-dimensional aspect of our world is an attribute imbedded in our experiences. In other words, our minds really are three-dimensional. So instead of a mind inside a physical three-dimensional universe, this scenario offers a model of a physical three-dimensional universe inside a mind. Furthermore, our bodies are three-dimensional objects in this physical universe, and so when we walk around in the world, exploring its contents, we are really walking around and exploring our minds. Now what do we say about invisible threads and other bubbles? If each object has a thread attached to it, where does it lead? If they all have their own subjective realities consisting of their own bubbles - two-dimensional or three - where are we to imagine them to be? Now that we have expanded the bubble surface to the infinite depths of the universe, the answer to this question doesn't come as readily. In fact, it seems that if we are to answer it, we can only do so by positing the existence of a "transcendental realm" that is somehow "outside" the universe. That is, the answer to the question "Where do the threads lead?" and "Where are the other bubbles?" is "Somewhere transcendental." They exist in the "great beyond". This even follows from the two-dimensional scenario: the "great beyond" that lies outside our bubble, although not "transcendental" per se, is where the threads lead, and other bubbles is where to. In the three-dimensional scenario, our bubble's surface has been pushed as far as space reaches - that is, to infinity - and so anything beyond it - the threads and the other bubbles - have been pushed beyond space - that is, beyond infinity (see sidenote ). We usually refer to anything beyond space or infinity as "transcendental". So the threads lead into a transcendental realm where, upon entering, we find ourselves in another bubble, the bubble belonging to the object attached to the thread. You can imagine this bubble in the context of either the two- or three-dimensional scenario. If a threedimensional context is chosen, where in this world do you end up? Wherever it is that the object experiences itself to be at the time (you become the object, remember). Of course, this world is not the only world you can enter from our universe. There are trillions upon trillions of objects in our universe, each with its own thread leading into its own transcendental universe. Naturally, the objects don't experience their own universe as transcendental, but to them, our universe is, and this tells us that, at least according to MM-Theory, transcendence is a relative term. Now, the concept of a "transcendental realm" works quite nicely with the Advanced Theory. The three-dimensional scenario seems to force such a concept upon us, but this isn't a shortcoming of the scenario. Indeed, the concept of a "transcendental realm" follows directly from the Advanced Theory itself, and for the same reasons it does in the three-dimensional scenario. That is, the Advanced Theory very clearly states that all physical systems are experiences going on beyond our perception - that is, beyond what we call "reality". It even renders space and time, as we experience it, to attributes of our own subjective realities, and subsumes other experiences (or relations between experiences) beyond our perception as the entities in Reality that they correspond to. So if all matter and energy, all space and time, all things and events in the world we can refer to, either directly or indirectly, are experiences in our subjective realities, then what else could we call the rest of Reality - that is, the rest of the Universal Mind - but a "transcendental realm"? It is the greatest mélange of variegated universes, each a world rich in qualitative diversity, abundant in wild experiences,

Projection

Holodeck

Going Beyond Infinity

The Universal Mind

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complex processes and unimaginable phenomena, all of which are beheld by a central observer. The hybrid scenario involves aspects of the two- and three-dimensional scenarios. Once Again, imagine yourself inside a bubble with a two-dimensional world projected onto its surface. But instead of an expanding surface, imagine that the images on the surface gain extension beyond the bubble's surface. Imagine it this way: the bubble is deep beneath the surface of an ocean. This is not an ocean of water, however. It is a mix of different colored paints. Imagine it as paint blobs of various colors - blue, yellow, orange, green, red, etc. - all floating around. Therefore, the surface of the bubble is a multicolored pattern of paint blotches. You can imagine them swirling around, sliding past each other, and even mixing to produce new colors. This represents the flow of experiences constituting your world. This helps to imagine their extension - that is, from inside the bubble, these color blotches look two-dimensional, but we understand that they are really surfaces of three-dimensional blobs that extend just beyond the bubble's surface. There are even blobs so far beyond our bubble that they make no contact with its surface at all, maybe even of a color that doesn't show up on its surface. This means that there are experiences in the universe that we can neither feel nor have any indication of based on the experiences we do feel. This scenario is best for reflecting the ubiquity of experiences throughout the physical universe - that is, just as the paint blobs are spread out in all three dimensions of the ocean, the experiences of our universe are "spread out" in all three dimensions where ever physical systems are operating (actually, it's not quite right to thinking of experiences as "in" the physical systems - they correspond to the physical systems, but they don't have locations in space themselves). There is no need to involve invisible threads in this scenario since all the worlds one wants to focus on are actually attached to one's bubble - they are the extensions of the paint blobs that make up the surface of one's bubble. Other paint blobs floating in the vicinity of one's bubble may need invisible threads but these aren't represented in any way inside the bubble. If we wanted to imagine leaving our bubble and entering another, we can imagine taking the center point of our bubble and placing it anywhere else in the sea of paint blobs in other words, surrounded by any experiences we wish to base a world on. Once placed there, we can imagine a new bubble inflating around that point, and the paint blobs within that region being pushed aside to make room for the bubble. In effect, they end up forming the color blotches on the new bubble's surface. Of course, invisible threads could be invoked, connecting the center of the original bubble to that of the new bubble, but as I see it, all worlds and experiences, in this scenario, are already interconnected in virtue of being contiguous with each other. Imagining the inflation of a bubble is useful because it connects this scenario with a metaphor we used above - namely, the metaphor of countries marked out on a terrain. This metaphor described the human mind as a region of the Universal Mind marked out by clear boundaries - resulting in individuality - much like a country is a region of a terrain marked out by clear borders. The same could be said about the color blotches on a bubble's surface - at least before it was inflated. That is, imagine what happens to the paint blotches on the bubble's surface when the bubble deflates. They become a collection of paint blobs. A boundary can be marked out around this collection like the borders of a country, except that in this scenario the boundary is three-dimensional, making it the surface of a "super-blob". Then, the contents of this super-blob represent a mind, and the individual paint blobs the elementary experiences of this mind. When we inflate a bubble from the center of the super-blob, this represents the projection of these experiences - resulting in a world - and the center represents the self within this world. Now, if we once again deflate the bubble and imagine the human mind in this form, then the inclusion of emotions and cognitions becomes simple - they're just blobs deep within the super-blob. This is unlike the two-dimensional scenario in which we noticed the difficulty in imagining emotions and cognitions projected onto the surface of our bubble. Overall, therefore, the hybrid scenario offers more advantages than the other two scenarios. Lastly, I'd like to suggest a visualization exercise that can be applied to any of the scenarios - two-dimensional, three-dimensional, or hybrid. When describing these scenarios - particularly how we travel from one bubble/world to another - we've been visualizing it from outside the bubble/world. How do we visualize this from the inside? That is, what is the subjective experience of traveling from one's own world to another? First, place yourself at the center of your bubble (or, in the three-dimensional scenario, your world). Then, out of all the objects projected onto your bubble's surface, pick one whose bubble/world you would like to visit. Focus your attention on it. Now we're going to move "into" it. We're not going to enter inside its physical structure, like a hand entering a glove or a nail entering wood. That kind of "entering" entails moving into the object, which, as we mentioned above, is still a projection seen on the bubble's surface - you remain stationed at the center of your bubble/world. The kind of "entering" we're going to visualize entails leaving your bubble/world through a region on its inner surface, and this region so happens to coincide with where the object is projected. The way this is visualized is as follows. Imagine reaching out and touching the area of the bubble's surface where you see the object that is, don't imagine it as touching the object, but as touching the bubble's surface. You can imagine this as similar to how touching a movie screen is not the same as touching an object in the movie. Obviously, this doesn't work so well in the three-dimensional scenario, but recall that every object is plastered over with the bubble's surface, and so by touching them, you're really touching this inner surface. Now imagine reaching passed the bubble's surface. Remember not to imagine this as reaching into the object, as if your hand were inside the object physically. Instead, your hand pierces through it like reaching into water, and on the other side, your hand enters the bubble/world the object perceives. In the three-dimensional context, your hand is reaching into a transcendental world that belongs to the object. Now imagine reaching both hands beyond your bubble/world, and you pry it open like a theater curtain. Now you can see into the bubble/world of the object of interest. Pry open this hole even more so that it's big enough for you to step through. This is much like Alice stepping through the looking glass in that she doesn't enter the wall behind the looking glass but disappears from this world entirely and enters Wonderland. Once you have made the trip, you can take your place at the center of this bubble/world as the main percipient of your new reality. Of course, there is no possible way for us to leave our subjective reality and enter into that of a rock or a tree or any other physical system. The Advanced Theory offers plenty of material to contrive a definition for a "soul", but any account along the lines of an ethereal entity that can leave a body, travel through space, and enter another body, possessing it as it were, will be difficult to uphold, if not doomed to fail all together. That is not to say that we cannot change our experiences to match those of other physical systems. In the context of the above scenarios, it might be possible to remain in one's bubble/world and somehow change what experiences get projected onto it. In terms of neurology, if one were able to change the configurations and interconnections of his/her MODs, then in effect, one would be changing his/her reality - that is, by changing the MODs, we change the corresponding experiences, and by

Flow

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changing the experiences we change our subjective reality - perhaps even drastically. Now, even if this is possible, we should think twice before aspiring to transform our experiences into those of a rock or a tree, since this essentially entails transforming our brains into something much like a rock or a tree (I know our brains are fairly plastic, but this is ridiculous ). Now, I feel obliged to repeat that these exercises are only heuristics - they are meant to help the reader conceptualize what the Advanced Theory is proposing. It's not as if we're suggesting that there literally are paint blobs or bubbles floating around in space, or invisible threads that lead to other universes. But if the reader can successfully visualize these scenarios, and more importantly understand what they represent, then I say to him/her that he/she has a firm grasp on the Advanced Theory of Mind and Matter.

Final Thoughts
Before concluding this paper, I would like to say a few words about the role science plays in the Advanced Theory. I feel this is important since, if we're not careful, the Advanced Theory and science could be misunderstood as antagonistic worldviews. They most certainly are not. The scientific enterprise is just as valid and useful to society as it always has been. Its relation to the Advanced Theory is simply that it is the study of the human subjective reality. We must always remember that the Advanced Theory is not a form of anti-realism - it does not present our world as merely perception (as though a perception by itself has no ontological essence). All perception - or experience - has the essence of realness within it, and this is what transforms it into a real world - one that lends itself aptly to the methods of science. Everything we experience empirically - namely, the physical world - constitutes the reality we find ourselves confined to, and probably will for a long while to come. Science has served as an invaluable tool of discovery, helping us to understand almost all walks of natural phenomena. It has also laid the groundwork for some of the most incredible technological innovations - some of which are often used for destructive ends - but most of which have been used to improve the quality of life for countless people. What the Advance Theory adds is a "transcendental dimension" to reality, and says that although it cannot be studied scientifically, it looms over the domain of science and reminds us that there is more out there than what our scientific enterprise can illuminate. But this in no way contravenes the methods or discoveries of science. In other words, the Advanced Theory does not compete with science, it compliments it (in the paper Reality and Perception, we will even go so far as to argue that the Advanced Theory doesn't even compete with physicalism).

Essence of Realness

Quantum Mechanics Notwithstanding

Principle: The Unassailability of Science MM-Theory and science will always be complimentary. No matter what the discoveries of science, MM-Theory will posit that experiences correspond to them, and no matter what experiences MM-Theory posits, the scientific method and its discoveries remain valid for the human subjective reality.
No matter what the labors of science yield, it won't refute the tenets of the Advanced Theory. The Advanced Theory is structured in such a way that its response to scientific discoveries is that an experience exists corresponding to the objects of those discoveries whatever they are. An example of this is the now well established model of matter as conglomerates of atomic structures. We responded to this with our analogy of the UOS. This is just an application of the above principle, however - what this principle really states is that science need not have uncovered an atomic structure of matter after all, and the Advanced Theory would have been just as capable of responding with an equally adequate and consistent model as the UOS all the same. For example, suppose science discovered that matter was infinitely divisible, like the ancient Greek idea of divisionism believed in before Democritus's theory of the atom. The Advanced Theory would still say that matter is a sensory representation of experiences being had by the Universal Mind, and that some other description would have to be used rather than the UOS. But it would be a description that matches up just as aptly with the material description of divisionism. Note that this principle also applies to the brain - that is, although we have been demonstrating the tightly knit relationship between experiences and the neurological details of our brains, it doesn't matter what these neurological details are. Hypothetically, science could have discovered a gerbil in a wheel inside our cranium, and so long as the mechanics of this arrangement determined our behavior, our theory would still be able to make the claims it is making - namely, that all the experiences we have correspond to the particular components and activities of the gerbil. This is especially relevant when we consider certain limbs we went out on in some of the neurological accounts we offered above. For example, in the section Anatomizing The Self, we pondered over a couple possibilities of how acknowledgements of thought are represented in the brain - either as distinct MODs whose neural configurations are always undergoing change or as a pattern of neural activity pervading the whole prefrontal cortex. Another example is the hypothesis we offered for how the brain detects motion; we suggested that spot/point detector neurons might retain the memory of a spot/point they just recently detected by maintaining a certain level of activity below that when a spot/point is actually present, and that this memory coupled with a spot/point actually being detected by a neighboring neuron is the the brain's cue that the spot/point is moving. This is just a hypothesis, however, and we could be far off the mark. What the principle of the Unassailability of Science tells us is that it really doesn't matter whether we're right in our neurological accounts or wrong - so long as some mechanics are in place, we are justified in attributing a corresponding experience to them. That being said, we can site many examples of "non-scientific" phenomena that the Advanced Theory suggests exists. One the reader probably surmised early on is the existence of an afterlife. Clearly, if experiences exist for any and all physical systems, and if our brains continue to undergo physical processes after death, there must be corresponding experiences that we have no way of conceiving other than as an afterlife. All organic material, such as brain cells, undergoes decay in death. This is not the same kind of process it undergoes when alive, but it is a process nonetheless - and since it occurs at the cellular level, it is no less vigorous and "lively". Of course, decay lasts for only so long, and eventually all the molecules that once made up your brain return to nature (from dust to dust). So however long it takes for the brain to decay, one will experience some form of transition into an afterlife. Although we can't say what the experience will be like, it would be a good guess to say that our individuality will most likely disappear. Because our brain's molecules get dispersed into nature, the experience might be like a return to the Universal Mind - or perhaps to a more local mind

The UOS

The Universal Mind

Acknowledgements

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belonging to the ecosystem or the Earth itself. Another example is the existence of God. We've been using the term "Universal Mind" to describe the entire set of experiences corresponding to the physical universe, but if we were to substitute this term with "God", we would not be that far off the mark. Indeed, the Universal Mind is omnipotent (it is the prime mover of all things), omniscient (all knowledge and experience is beheld by it), self-sustaining (via meaning), omnicreative (it creates everything that comes into existence by way of flow, including the human universe), omnibenevolent (for any being that suffers, it experiences that suffering too), and as we shall argue in another paper, it might even be eternal. However, I think we'd be making a grave mistake by anthropomorphizing God. If God is to be identified with the Universal Mind, then He is anything but human - His mind and his very being are utterly inconceivable. Instead, He should be thought of as the one being in all existence that has experienced all possible experiences a being could have, and ever will have. This, of course, includes all the human experiences, so even if we are to refrain from anthropomorphizing God, we should not alienate Him from human life. For more on this subject, I have written a paper on understanding the Universal Mind as God here. There are so many other subjects that must await other papers, and indeed such papers are available in this website. While not every subject will be touched on in these papers, the ones that come to mind can be listed here:

Flow

Human Experiences

Similarities to Buddhism Determinism and Free-Will The relativity of reality Implications for AI Implications for quantum mechanics The sensory world as a "language" Acquiring new experiences through the natural evolution of the brain Acquiring "mental technologies" through cultural evolution Immaterial beings The possibility of "reality hopping"
I recommend the paper Reality and Perception to the reader should he/she still feel the need to clear up some confusion over the relation between perception and reality. I regret that I did not devote as much time to this topic as it surely deserves. Now that reality has been given this relativistic flavor, it is all too easy to get caught up in convoluted arguments and confused semantics with regard to words such as "real", "existence", "truth", and the like. If we don't think carefully about these, we might erroneously discover pseudoparadoxes. Therefore, this paper was written with the express purpose of setting out the rules for thinking about these concepts in a clear and consistent way. These rules will also add some restraints to the promotion of moral relativism. Although certain grounds for moral relativism can be made with our theory, this paper will show why doing so is not as simple as it may at first seem. I also promised the reader we'd find a place for free-will in our theory. Therefore, if the reader is interested in this topic, he/she can skip to Determinism and Free-Will. In fact, the reader can skip to any paper he/she likes, but if he/she were to stick to the intended order in which these papers are organized, The Inconceivability of Consciousness is probably the best one to read next.

Idealism

The Essence of Realness

Meaning

Qualitivity

At this point, it goes without saying that we have solved the problem of mind and matter by way of the traditional approach - namely, by reducing what at first seems like a dualism to a form of monism. It is certainly not traditional, however, to carry out this reduction from matter to mind. Idealism is the exception, of course, but our theory goes far beyond classic idealism. For instance, idealism fails to explain the source or cause of mind (short of God) whereas our theory doesn't. It fails to explain why mind should exist whereas our theory doesn't. It even fails to define mind whereas our theory rests on this. Yet, the definition of "mind" - or "experience" - our theory provides is so radically different from any conventional notion of the term that the reduction might be better understood as one by which both matter and mind are reduced to something deeper - a third substance so to speak. This third substance is experience as we've defined it, of course, but as we've defined it, it contrasts with conventional notions of "mind" so sharply that it is unlike any concept of mind that philosophy has hitherto made known. Thus, as a final thought - and perhaps the most crucial one for understanding MM-Theory at its core - let me suggest that this third substance is neither mind as such nor matter as such. It is, for lack of a better term, the "substance of existence". That is to say, it is that which existence itself, in all its myriad forms, is fundamentally made of. We have shown, at once, that this substance contains the essence of realness, in which case it can be nothing but the substance of existence, that it contains meaning, in which case we understand how it can be the substance of existence (i.e. it is self-sustaining), and that it is the essence of qualitivity, in which case absolutely anything can be reduced to it no matter what the qualities contained therein.

Substance or Transubstance

The Wave/Particle Duality

Yet we still run into difficulty in tearing our minds away from the schism between perception and reality. This might be an inherent difficulty for beings like us. It might be the case that we will be forever limited to thinking in dualistic terms - perhaps not a dualism of two substances per se, but two sets of properties at least. Traditionally, we think of perception as not necessarily real but necessarily felt. We think of reality (or real things) as not necessarily felt but necessarily real. These are the principle properties that we have fused into the substance of existence. We say that it is both necessarily felt and necessarily real. If it is still difficult to conceptualize this substance for the thing it essentially is, then perhaps the best analogy can be drawn from quantum mechanics. The wave/particle duality of matter is formulated in much the same way - physicists tell us that matter can be decomposed into things that are both particles and waves simultaneously. But of course, this means that they aren't quite particles as we typically understand the term, yet they aren't quite waves as we typically understand that term either. Whatever these particles/waves are, they only exhibit properties of particles (sometimes) and those of waves (other times - depending on the circumstances under which we observe them). They are made of a single and fundamental substance, but because this substance is neither particles per se nor waves per se, it is a difficult substance to

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conceptualize indeed. But perhaps I should not digress in that direction (not yet, at least). If I reveal any further how much of a space cadet I am, I might seriously embarrass myself . Really, what I should reveal, as a closing statement to this paper, is how much I relish the idea of qualitative diversity. For me, there is nothing that expresses beauty more than this concept. Therefore, a theory like this one appeals to me like a candy store to a three year old. I've been enchanted - some might even say obsessed - by this idea for nine years at the time of this writing, and for me it has made the world so much more beautiful and full of wonders. Every time I look at a flower or a river or a cloud in the sky, I imagine the experiences that must be animating within it. I imagine them like a rainbow of colors flowing through it like the psychedelic eye-candy of the sixties. And I also imagine what might be beyond our world, or what other experiences are waiting to be had by beings like us or otherwise. I wonder if it's possible that civilizations across the world will one day find ways to explore such experiences, whether by the use of substances or simply through meditative-like exercises. The possibilities are endless, and whether or not one possibility or another actually comes true, MM-Theory introduces new doorways. If the reader were but willing to step through these doorways, he/she would be sure to find out just how endless these possibilities are. The Inconceivability of Consciousness
Physical Realities, Subjective Realities, and Reality The Standard Algorithm and the Universal Operating System

Qualitative Diversity

Recapitulating the Basic Theory

Physicalism

The Problem of Reductionism

Reductionism and Meaning

Objections

From Brain to Matter

Reducing Matter to Mind

Revisiting Some Objections

Formulating the Advanced Theory

The Paradox Two Kinds of of Individuality Unconsciousness

Two Kinds of Knowledge

Modeling The Self

Anatomizing The Self

Problem Solving With Epistemic Awareness

The Self and The Universe

The Universal Mind

Fundamental Particles

Time and Space

Space

Time

What Time and Space Represent

Timelessness, Spacelessness, and Momentum

Conclusion

Visualization Exercises

Final Thoughts

TOP

Bookmark this page now!

© Copywrite 2008, 2009 Gibran Shah.

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Appendix
Visualizing vs. Feeling An important note to make in talking about our concept of "objectification" is that, when it comes to experiences, there is a difference between visualizing an experience and feeling it. To truly behold the meaning of an experience, you must feel it - that is, you must be in the midst of experiencing it in its most natural form, and the meaning will be there in that experience. This is vastly different from visualizing the experience, which is to leave it up to your imagination to contrive a physical/external representation of the experience, all the while knowing it isn't physical/external, and then introspectively looking at it. You will not necessarily be able to visualize the meaning along with it. Again, more on this will be said in the paper The Inconceivability of Consciousness. Microtubules There has been the discovery of microtubules, tiny strands of tubulin proteins found in neurons, which seem to exhibit non-deterministic activity due to the effects of quantum physics. This will be touched upon in the paper Determinism and Free-Will. What About Free-Will? So far, our theory has been sticking strictly to a deterministic model. Therefore, it's easy to form the link between experiences and physical laws. It is also easy to draw an inference from this that the brain is completely determined by physical laws as well. Although this may sit well for some, for others it may not. I don't intend on retracting anything I've said so far, but I would like to console the latter by saying that we will explore ways to reconcile determinism and free-will in a later paper. For now, I'd just like to say two things: 1) The human brain has been deemed the most complex physical system known in the universe. Therefore, if no rigid and predictable pattern of activity can be discerned in the brain or in the behavior it causes, it might be due to this fact. That is, the ultimate causes may still be deterministic in all respects, but we have little hope of ever beholding them. 2) The laws of physics require the reacquisition of initial conditions in order to manifest repeatedly. This rarely happens in the human brain. The brain has too many things going on inside it to be able to completely reacquire any state it had previously been in. Therefore, you will almost never have a chance to observe the brain repeating something it has done before in exactly the same way. This adds to the difficulty in observing physical laws in the brain. Recognizing Consciousness It has been shown that infants no more than 4 months old will respond differently to images that resemble faces than images that do not (such as in the figure below). It has also been shown that deep in the fusiform face area, MODs for facial recognition exist. It may be that these MODs are responsible for giving us

i

the ability to recognize consciousness. That is, images that have facial features might be queues that there is consciousness there. The impression of consciousness, therefore, might be an experience unto itself. This impression is most pronounced when we look into the eyes. The eyes, therefore, may be the most potent of these stimuli in activating these MODs. Based on this, it is reasonable to assume that evolution has shaped our brains to automatically perceive others, and most animals, as conscious beings. This undoubtedly is advantageous to a social species like us.

Infants 4 months old will recognize the figure on the left as a face, but not the figure on the right.

I also suspect that the kind of behavior exhibited by humans and animals is another stimulus for perceiving consciousness. The key aspect of this behavior is that conscious deliberation seems to be the best, and sometimes the only, way of explaining it. In other words, human and animal behavior is, without a thorough understanding of the physiology of the body, too complex to be predictable or explainable in terms of the more simple laws of classical mechanics. Therefore, I hypothesize that when any kind of behavior that fails to be understood according to classical mechanics is exhibited, this is literally a stimulus for MODs, perhaps one and the same as those associated with facial recognition, that correspond to perceptions of consciousness. I fall back on this hypothesis when trying to understand why it is I feel like slamming my fist on my printer when it seems to "deliberately" mess up my print jobs. That is, when the printer "messes up", it is failing to act according to a prescribed agenda. I may not know exactly what the mechanics are behind the printer functions, but so long as it acts in a predictable and orderly fashion, I presume there are such mechanics at hand. When the printer fails to display behavior predicted by these mechanics, I lose the ability to see a mechanical cause behind it, and this results in my perceiving consciousness in its place. I get mad at the printer because I feel as though it's trying to make my life difficult on purpose. It is for these reasons that it feels so counterintuitive to suppose that anything like coffee makers or ceiling fans could have consciousness - they don't stimulate the consciousness perceiving neurons in our brains. About Figure 3 I don't mean for figure 3 to be misleading. I'm certainly not saying that all 5 of our senses correspond to a single neuron or that vision corresponds to just a few atoms. What figure 3 means to get across is the general notion that the physical

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reductive hierarchy reduces to the experiential reductive hierarchy. Also note that there are two ways to interpret this notion. 1) That physical systems are really sensations and sensations are experiences, and 2) that physical systems are really unimaginable experiences in Reality. The first interpretation keeps these reductive hierarchies within our subjective reality (the middle column in figure 2) while the second one places them outside our subjective reality (the left column in figure 2). Both of these interpretations are valid. It is important to understand, however, that the second interpretation posits a causal form of reduction - that is, the experiences in Reality that physical systems actually are cause our sensory perceptions of physical systems by flowing from Reality into our subjective reality (the flow from the left to middle columns in figure 2). The first interpretation is an identity form of reduction - that is, physical systems are sensory experiences. Considering that figure 3 depicts physical systems as neurological systems, the second interpretation works best in this case. That is to say, the brain, along with its neurons and the atoms that make up these neurons, reduce to the experiences of the person who owns the brain - namely, the mind, the categories of experiences, the 5 senses, and vision (as depicted in the figure). In other words, the person whose brain this belongs to has these experiences, and if we were neurosurgeons peering into his/her cranium, these experiences would flow from his/her subjective reality into our subjective reality, bringing about our sensory perceptions of his/her brain. It would be much harder to apply the first interpretation - this would entail that the neurons and atoms that the brain reduces to are actually picked up by our sensory experiences, and furthermore, even if we could see neurons and atoms with the naked eye, that they would reduce to the elements of our sensory experiences - namely, lines, forms, colors, and the like. This is obviously not the case. Generally speaking, however, this is just a limitation of figure 3 and how it depicts neurons and atoms (i.e. things our senses cannot pick up) - overall, the reduction of the physical reductive hierarchy to the experiential reductive hierarchy has valid ways of being interpreted, whether its as sensory experiences or experiences in Reality. Acknowledgements vs. Talking To Yourself It is important to understand that acknowledgements are not the simple act of thinking to one's self "I'm experiencing such-and-such right now". That is, it is not talking to yourself in your own head. It is possible to voice one's acknowledgements in words - either out loud or in one's own head - and this voicing may be as accurate an expression of the acknowledgement as one can get, but it is still not the acknowledgement itself. The acknowledgement is simply an understanding that one is having such-and-such experience. It is knowledge, plain and simple. Nonetheless, when we voice or express our acknowledgements, this does reflect quite faithfully the actual contents of our acknowledgements. Knowledge Affecting Visual Perception

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There have been numerous studies showing that past experience and knowledge affect our visual perceptions. In one study, for example, subjects were shown an ace card with a black heart (as in the figure to the right). The card was shown for only a fraction of a second so that the subjects had barely enough time to notice it. This prevented them from examining the card to see that it indeed was a black heart. When asked what they saw, subjects reported seeing a red heart. This shows that, because everyone knows that hearts are really red, this knowledge influences how we perceive black hearted aces, at least when shown for such a brief instant. Hey, it works! I realize the use of an analogy from computer science is a little corny, but hey, it works! The Neurological Operating System I considered introducing a complementary concept: the neurological operating system. This would be the "operating system" corresponding to the nervous systems of most animals. It would be built on top of the universal operating system and the "applications" that would run on it would be the experiences felt by the owners of the nervous system. There are reasons to propose this analogy, but also reasons not to. One reason to propose this analogy is that, like the universal operating system, the neurological operating system corresponds to a structure that can be reduced to basic building blocks - not atoms but neurons. That is, it suggests that all neurologically based experiences have a common groundwork in which they are rooted - common experiences that, whether they are epistemically aware of them or not, the more macroscopic experiences reduce to. One reason not to propose this analogy is, unlike atoms, neurons are not active unless they are firing - in which case, the activity corresponds to more macroscopic experiences anyway. In other words, a nervous system that is dormant (for whatever reason) corresponds to no other experiences than the universal operating system - so the neurological operating system isn't really there. It was for the latter reason that I decided not to introduce this additional concept (not to mention it would just add complexity to an already complicated idea ). Nevertheless, even if there is no active neurological operating system, the universal operating system that stands in its place does take on a particular form. That is, in order for the neurological structure to hold - even in a dormant state - the atoms therein must be arranged in a very particular pattern. Therefore, the form the universal operating system takes in nervous systems is still very particular, and so, if it seems useful, the reader can think of this form as a "neurological operating system".

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Algorithms Get It “Right” Technically, an algorithm is defined as a procedure that accomplishes a task or meets a goal as intended - that is, algorithms get it "right". This aspect of the definition of "algorithm" does not necessarily have a place in our analogy. The Universal Operating System flows in such a way that it mimics the structured nature and predictability of computer algorithms, but it does not follow that this flow is goal-oriented - not necessarily, anyway. Experiences Influencing Experiences When an experience requires another one in order to entail in a certain way, you can think of them collectively as one grand experience that always entails in that way. In terms of all the MODs involved, you can think of them as one large MOD that requires the cooperation of each of its components in order to have the particular effect on the recipient MOD. Another Theory of Gravity Aristotle explained gravity as the longing all things have to reunite with their source. Newton explained it as a universal force that all material bodies exert on all other material bodies. Einstein explained it as the warping of spacetime towards material bodies. Now, even though I am suggesting that the necessary flow of all experience is manifested by the gravitational pull every physical entity has on each other, I don't mean to introduce yet another theory of gravity. For one thing, there are other forces in the universe that can be explained in this way, so why should it manifest specifically as gravity? For another, it does not explain the direction gravity forces objects to move in. Why could experience not flow in such a way that it manifests as a universal repelling force? Nevertheless, I think our theory offers some interesting insights into the nature of gravity which are compatible with Einstein's and Newton's theories - and with a real stretch, Aristotle's as well.

Aristotle

Newton

Einstein

What Does “Fundamental” Mean? I hope the reader is not confused when I say, "there actually may not be a fundamental basis". We did conclude above, very emphatically, that the meaning of experience suffices as all the basis one needs, and therefore experience is fundamental in its own right. Well, here the word "fundamental" refers to something a little different. Whereas before we were talking about the basis upon which experience exists, now we are talking about a process whereby the meaning of some experience, which depends on nothing more than itself for v

existence, is deduced to be equivalent to a more numerous, complex, and heterogeneous set of experiences - namely, those corresponding to more basic particles. In turn, this set of experiences can be equated with an even more numerous, complex, and heterogeneous set of experiences - just as the particles can be reduced to an even more numerous, complex, and heterogeneous set of even smaller particles. Normally, we think of the physical conception of this reduction as getting closer and closer to the "fundamental" level of things. It is according to this understanding of "fundamental" that we say there may be no such level. In terms of equating a set of experiences to another set, this translates into the possibility that the chain of such sets, linked by equivalence, is infinite. This is an interesting conception of the exercise of reduction, and we will elaborate on it, and the meaning of the word "equivalence", more in another paper. Living On A Mountainside When growing up, our MODs undergo their most rapid development when maximally stimulated. For example, a child who is raised in a visually rich environment will end up with more cortex devoted to visual processing than a child who is raised in a visually poor environment. This is one of the main reasons vertical and horizontal oriented lines are most salient - the most frequently occurring lines in our environment are vertical and horizontal. The floor we walk on, the steps we climb, the horizon in the distance, are all horizontal. Trees, buildings, human beings are all vertical. All other objects in our environment are rather arbitrary and evenly distributed. Therefore, we are more stimulated by vertical and horizontal orientations, and this makes our brains especially tuned to detecting them. It would be interesting to see what orientations one finds most salient if one lived all his/her life on a mountainside vertical and 15°? Space, Time, and The Other Senses When we talk about points and spots, we are mainly referring to the visual system. However, space and time can be perceived by other senses as well namely, touch and hearing. If you stand on a street corner and close your eyes, you can hear cars whizzing by. The source of the sound seems to be changing locations in space and this change makes the sound source feel like it's moving, thereby giving rise to the sense of time passing. If you close your eyes and move a feather across the palm of your hand, you experience similar features in your sense of touch - the feather feels like it is moving through different locations on your skin. Neuroscientists reserve the term "spot detectors" primarily for the visual system, but it is plausible that similar MODs could be found for the somatosensory cortex (touch). It is known that the somatosensory cortex maps topologically to the body (see link below) and so each point on the skin corresponds to a unique area in the somatosensory cortex. Whether these constitute "spot detectors" for touch is undocumented, but they do give rise to a sense of location (restricted to

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the skin, of course). We also know that the tactile system has MODs for detecting motion. The auditory cortex does not have its own version of "spot detectors" but it does have "pitch detectors" - that is, MODs specialized for detecting different pitches. Of course, this has nothing to do with time or space. However, further along in the cortical processing, information coming in from both ears is integrated and locations for the source of the sound are computed. Whatever the MODs for this processing, what they are doing essentially is detecting locations (or spots), and this gives rise to a sense of space. And because we sense auditory motion as smooth and continuous, it is likely that the auditory system has its own version of "motion detectors". Overall, the point is not so much to reduce space to spots/points, and time to motion. The point is to find their sensory roots, whatever they may be, and note that space and time arise from relations between these experiences. Click here to read about the homunculus. Entailment and Identity: Revisiting The Basic Theory You might recall from the Basic Theory the Meaning Question. Here it is again:

Principle: The Meaning Question To understand how the meaning of an experience entails the ensuing experience, ask the question "What does the experience mean?" The answer will be the ensuing experience.
When this principle was presented in the Basic Theory, we showed how the entailment of one experience (say B) from another (say A) was wrapped up in the identities of the experiences - more specifically, we stated that "the very identity of experience B is drawn from that of A". So here we see that entailment might actually be a form of identity. If it is, then the relations between experiences that time and space represent might have even more in common than we are supposing. That is, although we are depicting time as relations characterized by entailment, there may be a way to reduce this to a relation characterized by identity, just like those represented by space. The only difference between time and space becomes how we experience them. How would we show that entailment is a form of identity? Well, we know that the form of identity that space represents is that of parts to a whole. Perhaps, then, entailment is the relation between the parts of a whole that are manifested as an event rather than a system - that is, an event is primarily a temporally extended phenomenon (it may have spatial extension as well, but this is not essential). Therefore, the components of an event - namely, the various stages that must be passed through vii

for the event to have fully unraveled - form an identity with the whole event. Likewise, the experiences corresponding to the stages of the event - related by entailment - form an identity with the sum of the experiences corresponding to the whole event. Aurora Borealis: Motion Along The Bubble Surface Just as something ought to be said about motion through our bubble world, something ought to be said about the motion of objects along our bubble's surface. In this regard, I'd like to introduce another metaphor for visualization: the Aurora Borealis. It is convenient that the Earth's atmosphere turns out to be very much like a bubble world in that it is spherical, we are on the inside (not quite centered) looking up at its inner surface, and there are even images projected onto its surface. These are the Aurora Borealis or the Northern Lights. The Inuit tribes thought of them as the ancestor spirits playing a game similar to soccer. In other words, they saw the movement of the Aurora as across the sky, like soccer players across the field. The truth is, however, the Aurora Borealis is a stream of electrons moving into the sky - that is, the only thing moving parallel to the atmosphere's surface are the points where the electron stream penetrates the atmosphere, and the actual substance of the Aurora Borealis (the electrons) moves perpendicular to the atmosphere's surface. Returning to our bubble analogy, the motion of objects on our bubble's surface ought to be thought of in the same way. That is, they arise from experiences streaming into our world, and the only thing that moves across our bubble's surface are the points of penetration. This is actually true of the physics and physiology of vision - the images that move across our retina aren't actually moving in that direction, but the light that streams into our eyes changes the points where it impacts our retina. Going Beyond Infinity Well, anybody with half a brain knows that you can't go beyond infinity. Infinity is defined as something that cannot be reached, much less surpassed. When we talk about "going beyond infinity", we are using a phrase that comes from the two-dimensional scenario in which the boundary of one's reality is the surface of his/her bubble. In other words, this boundary is to be visualized as finite and therefore things can go beyond it. As we make our way into the threedimensional scenario, we imagine the transformation of the bubble into a threedimensional world by visualizing the surface expanding to infinity. But this is a mistake since nothing actually reaches infinity. It is an irrelevant mistake insofar as it is only a visualization exercise, but a mistake nevertheless. It becomes more relevant if the phrase "going beyond infinity" is taken literally as meaning traveling through space and after a finite amount of time actually reaching infinity. In order to maintain the irrelevant status of this mistake, we must refrain

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from interpreting the phrase "going beyond infinity" in this literal manner. Instead, this phrase should be interpreted as going outside - or better yet, not remaining in - our world's spacetime continuum. To transcend our spacetime continuum, therefore, obviously requires some other form of exodus than traveling through space in an attempt to reach infinity. Following the invisible threads of the objects in our universe represents a hypothetical (and practically impossible) way to do this. That is, by following these threads, we don't travel through space to infinity, but simply disappear from our universe. Quantum Mechanics Notwithstanding The necessity of entailment is the cornerstone of MM-Theory. That is, the theory rests on the fact that experiences entail further experiences by necessity. When we trace this aspect from experiences to the physical systems they correspond to, we find that this necessity expresses itself as the unyielding laws of nature. But quantum mechanics brings the rigidity of the laws of nature into question. What marks the difference between the classical fields of science and quantum mechanics in particular is that the latter is the study of non-deterministic phenomena - that is, phenomena over which the laws of nature fail to reign. Indeed, at subatomic scales, such phenomena have been observed. It would appear, then, that the principle of the Unassailability of Science does not hold when it comes to quantum mechanics. It depends on the discoveries of science adhering to strict determinism, for only under that condition could MMTheory, depending as it does on the necessity of entailment, be said to hold in the face of those discoveries. Although quantum mechanics proves challenging to this principle, and to our theory in general, we will overcome this challenge in the paper Determinism and Free-Will. Substance or Transubstance I have coined the term "transubstance" to best capture the essence of the substance of existence. That is to say, although the term "substance" gets us by for the most part, there are certain technical grounds on which it may be deemed inadequate. The term "substance", as conventionally understood in philosophy, is foremost accredited to Aristotle who defined it as that which underlies (thus: substance) all particular forms that can, in principle, be transformed from one to another. So for example, matter is a substance because it underlies the particular forms rock, bird, air, chair, etc. Any one of these things can, in principle, be transformed to any other (by rearranging the molecules). The concept of "spirit" that which underlies the forms soul, mind, ghost, God, etc. - would be another (in classic dualism, these two substances are thought to be inconvertible from one to the other - otherwise, they wouldn't be two substances but one). According to MM-Theory, both matter and spirit (if it exists) are only particular forms of the one substance which is existence. It is convertible, not only from one of these forms to the other, but any conceivable form that falls under the rubric of qualitivity. The problem with it - the inadequacy - is that some of these

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forms are hardly what we would identify as "substance" at all. Truth, for example, is one of these forms. Thought, or belief, projects as truth. Is truth really a "substance"? What about value - right and wrong - which are what emotions project as? Is that really a "substance"? What about beauty? Well, if we stick strictly with the Aristotelian definition - that "substance" is that which underlies a set of particular forms - then we might get by with the term. But even Aristotle would have probably objected to the notion of truth, value, or beauty passing for substances or forms thereof. Thus, I have coined the term "transubstance" to assuage any doubts over the use of the term "substance". A transubstance is, like the Aristotelian notion of an underlying constant, that which allows for a variety of divergent forms, but unlike the common notion of "substance", it can transcend substance (as commonly understood) to become other kinds of things. We would call it substance only when it takes on the form of substance (i.e. experiences of matter or, if possible, spirit and other things we would feel comfortable calling "substance"), and we would call it a "transubstance" when it takes on other forms (i.e. experiences of truth, value, beauty, or anything we would least of all call "substance"). In other words, to a transubstance, substance itself is only a particular form.

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