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publié par, Christine Hardy Neural nets and chaos theory are powerful new frameworks which enable us to truly address complexity and to model the mind in terms of dynamical processes and evolving systems. Semantic Fields theory views the mind as a lattice of semantic constellations or SeCos, generated by the interplay of experience, genetic constraints and cultural context. SeCos are selforganized dynamical networks that interweave processes ranging from high-level abstract ones to low-level neuronal ones. It is proposed that, fundamentally, thought is instantiated by dynamic chain-linkages within the SeCos-networks. There is considerable experimental and empirical evidence suggesting that psi operates as a multilevel process and that psi information can be channeled into awareness in a variety of ways (such as sensations, feelings, intuitions, thoughts, interoceptive sensations, etc.) From the perspective of semantic fields theory, psi events are a fundamental feature of the underlying connective dynamics across SeCos-networks. It is postulated that the mind is also the source of a projective process imprinting organization and order upon the outer world. This dynamic generates a semantic dimension in objects themselves-eco-semantic fields or eco-fields. As suggested, semantic connective processes are organized not by space-time parameters, but by semantic parameters (such as semantic proximity), which instantiate nonlocal connections between distant semantic fields-whether between minds or between minds and the environment. Semantic dynamics are the ground for both ESP and PK phenomena, whether conscious or nonconscious. The model hypothesizes that the organizing influence of the mind on surrounding eco-fields will affect the nature and probability of events connected to the person. Of all mental events, psi experiences display quite unique properties, that are hardly compatible with the classical theory of mind, or cognitivism ; in this paper, I would like to present an alternative cognitive theory which may account for psi phenomena, while also being coherent with the most recent developments in the cognitive sciences. First, let me explain some theoretical and methodological issues regarding the construction of a theory of mind.
Nonlocality and creation of order
One of the major contributions of psi research is that it has added a whole new dimension to the mind-matter problem : nonlocality. So far, accumulated experimental data do not yield an unequivocal description as to the nature of psi. However, there seems to be wide agreement on viewing psi as a mental phenomenon, that is, to view mind as a necessary condition for its occurrence. What seems to me important is to make a distinction between on the one hand, the necessary conditions for psi to occur and, on the second hand, contingent conditions or influencing factors. Influencing factors are not absolutely necessary for psi to occur, but they may have a bearing on actual psi occurrences, e.g., affecting their intensity or the manner in which they manifest. Necessary conditions, on the other hand, are parameters that, if absent, preclude the occurrence of psi. Experiments using various shielding materials (e.g., Vasiliev, 1976 ; Puthoff, Targ & May, 1981) do not lend support to the hypothesis that electromagnetic (EM) fields are potential carriers of psi information (although they do not conclusively exclude this possibility). Similarly, several experiments with positive psi results (e.g. from remote viewing to REG studies) show no systematic declines with increases in distance between subject and target (or target-REG), or even with time displacements in precognition or retrocognition experiments (Dunne, Jahn & Nelson, 1983 ; Targ & Harary, 1984). All this largely undermines "transmission" models of psi, i.e., the idea that psi information is based on local, or mechanistic, forms of signal transmission (such as EM fields). Note that the above do not exclude the possibility that psi manifestations (e.g., in a spontaneous case, or a telepathy experiment) are influenced by EM fields. Thus, the recent data suggesting a relationship between psi and GMF or LST (e.g., Persinger, 1985 ; Spottiswoode & May, 1997), point to physical factors which may affect, say, a receiver’s capacity to pick-up psi information. On the other hand, such data do not permit any conclusions with respect to necessary conditions, that is, the nature of psi information per se (i.e., whether or not it is transmitted by, say, extremely low frequency waves). In sum, we have little direct evidence for psi being based on some physical wave-carrier ; thus, Newtonian space-time parameters can be seen as influencing factors and contingent conditions. What is indisputable, is that psi phenomena are related to mental events : they implicate the psyche, or the mind of individuals. Thus, my position is that we may assume mind as being a necessary condition for psi, and explore the mental facet of psi, while leaving open the possibility that additional necessary condition(s) will turn up at some later date. Insofar as psi seems to be non-dependent (in the sense of a necessary condition) on Newtonian time and space parameters, it displays nonlocality. Moreover, psi being primarily a function of the mind, it follows that any complete theory of mind must necessarily accomodate nonlocal processes-such as psi. Typically, any discussion of nonlocality immediately focuses on Quantum Mechanics. In the seventies, decades after they had been brought up as a gedankenexperiment (in the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen paradox), nonlocal correlations began to be
This is reminiscent of certain interpretations of the measurement problem in QM. Stillings et al. I hold that experiments lend support to a view of psi as being non dependent (in the sense of necessary conditions) on spatiotemporal parameters. The second postulate is explicitly linked to the issue of mind-matter interaction : I posit mind to be an organizing force that shapes consensual (observed) reality. following up on his hidden variables interpretation of the EPR paradox. However. I propose certain postulates which could help account for the specifics of mental and psi phenomena. the introduction of nonphysical parameters reflects the necessity to use descriptors that specifically address cognitive functioning. and that it is likely to undergo further developments. Certain prominent QM theorists also introduced the revolutionary idea that observation and the act of measurement contribute to what we observe as reality . For example. 1976 . without committing to a particular view on quantum brain processes. I also believe it is sound to focus on the global architecture and dynamics of the mind. it is proposed. While I think the case for quantum events in the brain is well grounded. From cognitivism to connectionism and chaos theory In the domain of cognitive sciences. are governed by neural nets and chaos theory dynamics. then they may be considered as useful conceptual advances. This fundamental premise. and involves the creation of eco-semantic fields . These are descriptors of the dynamics of the generation of meaning-one of the fundamental process at work in practically all mental acts (from naming and categorizing. physicists introduce dozens of new dimensions in their efforts to unify the diverse nuclear forces . Price (1939) stated that his “psychic ether” does not bear any correspondence to the spatio-temporal manifold. Stillings et al (1987) thus state : “The view of the mind as an information-processing system is what characterizes and unifies the field. mind-matter interaction is re-cast as the interaction between complex personal semantic fields and environmental semantic fields. to feeling and thinking). Finally. I then explore their explanatory power for addressing a range of mental and psi phenomena. Newell & Simon. If the parameters turn out to improve understanding. Several theorists have considered psi to be “transpatial and transtemporal. in my own view. What then becomes of prime importance is that the theory be self-consistent. dimensions are becoming more and more akin to descriptive parameters. The first postulate is that there exist several parameters specific to semantic space. that transcends newtonian space/time. 1991 . In a similar manner. Roll (1983) posited “psi contiguity” between people and the places they have inhabited. and that the dynamics and processes derived from the theory show their congruence with cognitive.meaningclusters that organize personal and social space. In the Semantic Fields theory (SFT). 1991 . 4) The symbolic paradigm is essentially an extension of cartesian rationalism. I have for now identified four such parameters. 1981). In the symbolic or cognitivist paradigm. is challenged by at least two areas of investigation : the nonconscious and the nonrational features of mental processing. they thus tied mental dynamics-consciousness-to quantum events. two main conceptual frameworks are currently prevalent : the symbolic and the connectionist paradigms. . By endowing physical reality with a semantic organizational level. and he introduced a parameter of “proximity” between “image fields” independent of spatial distance. and to lead to more accurate predictions than the parameters of previous theories. which may persist long after their departure. and elsewhere : “The realization that an organism or machine can produce meaningful behavior by performing formal operations on symbolic structures that bear a representational relationship to the world is a key insight of cognitive science. and parapsychological data. Similarly. however. In particular.a nonlocal parameter that is orthogonal to spatial distance in semantic exchanges. quantum processes are not the only legitimate means for grounding nonlocality in mental events.demonstrated experimentally. models of consciousness based on quantum interference or quantum coherence have gained momentum. and analogous to the fundamental premises of parapsychology’s Observational Theories. Thus I postulate certain parameters which are nonlocal in nature and relevant to mental organizational levels in particular . There is no fundamental necessity to ground a theory of mind in physics. the mind is seen as a symbol-based rule-system : mental processes are equated to rule-driven computations on internal representations. one of which is semantic proximity . Their mutual interactions. which was dominant in the 70’s and 80’s. 314) . A similar approach has been proposed by Nelson et al (1996) who underscored the importance of "subjective parameters" (such as "attentional proximity" and "intensity of subjective investment"). and a deep interconnectedness between mind and matter. with competing schools of thought. in that the mind is equated to conscious rational processes. David Bohm (1980) proposed the existence of an "implicate order". the injection of order into the environment is based upon network dynamics. Once this is accepted. Pylyshyn.” as Murphy (1949) put it. coded in symbols (Fodor. Hameroff & Penrose. 1987 . and I therefore assume that a theory of psi must embed nonlocal properties. in the present theory. particularly given that physics is currently in a state of flux.”(p. On the other hand. In other words. and that psi theories based on QM are an important line of research for physicists. bringing properties like superposition and synchronous firing of neurons into mental dynamics (Pribram. 1996). It is however instructive to understand the way in which physicists utilize concepts and postulates to move beyond what is empirically evident and ground their exploration of their own domain. rather than referents to objective reality or to a basic substance. clinical.” (p. a cognitive theorist may be allowed to postulate cognitive parameters as useful descriptors of cognitive space. Regarding cognitive science. While it is true that the concept of nonlocality has come to gain acceptance in the context of quantum physics.
1990 . Abraham & Gilgen. Altogether. 1988). Powerful integrations of symbolic and connectionist approaches in hybrid AI systems seem to be a very promising direction for research (Anderson. Varela et al (1991). Goertzel (1994) proposes the superposition of two networks a memory network. 1995). having an associative organization. 1992 . sometimes integrating a symbol-based rule-system. 1995 . they are able to generalize. Chaos theory accounts for a great number of interacting parameters. Adopting a dynamical-systems approach. and indeed several non-algorithmic alternatives have been proposed to model the mind’s processingquantum processes (quantum potentials. dynamical models account for the influence of context upon the construction of cognitive patterns (or "global orders") which remain context-sensitive (Smith. that is to change its global organization and behavior (Abraham et al. More specifically. rule-driven symbol manipulation is simply not powerful enough to deal with the flexibility and evolving capacities of the mind . quantum computation). Gardner. Networks’ learning capacity has prompted diverse evolutions of artificial intelligence (AI) programs. 1986 . Furthermore. such as distribution of processes. 1990 . 1984). this adaptive learning points to a property of dynamical self-organization within networks (Anderson & Rosenfeld.such as Prigogine’s dissipative systems. such as microtraits coding (subsymbols) and resistance to partial damage. 1996). The combination of network and chaos theories is therefore a particularly appealing framework for explaining the self-organizing and evolving features of the mind. is data-driven and environment-driven. which implies the adaptive organization of the whole network (activated units and connection weights). Many psychological processes are nonlinear and display instability. organizing itself toward an optimal state (vis-à-vis given inputs and/or objectives). 1995). Penrose (1989) thus proposes that the mind makes use of nonalgorithmic processes. thus exhibiting dynamics at the edge of chaos : a minor change of parameters may lead the system to bifurcate. The connectionist paradigm (based on neural nets) and chaos theory (complex dynamical systems theory) are powerful new frameworks which enable us to truly address complexity and to model the mind in terms of dynamical processes. for bifurcations in the system.” that is. Furthermore.e. for example. propose that cognitive acts are not “instructed” as in a programming command. and chaos theory in general. quantum void. Thus. Baars (1988) proposes that numerous brain modules “understand” everything that happens in the stream of consciousness (the GWS). they are grounded on associations. perception. a number of psychological and social processes have been modelized using complex dynamical systems theories . feedback. 1990). 1983). the self-organization and learning that neural networks and dynamical systems exhibit seem to be a much more powerful explanatory tool. 1994). 1993). must be seen as a high-level. the mind is viewed as a network of elements and processes. 1973. the mathematical framework of chaos theory allows for modeling the interaction of any type of forces with any other type . At a basic neuronal level. and collective self-organization (Edelman. or in the distribution over various brain areas of some 20 visual maps (Changeux. cognitive scientists increasingly recognize that abstract reasoning is probably not the way our mind operates most of the time (Minsky. These distributed networks can learn to recognize new patterns without loss of previous learning . Computational rule-bound processing. there is considerable evidence for the existence of neural-nets properties in the brain. 1994 . 1995). with each agent’s action being “evoked” by a specific signal (a symbol appearing in the GWS). as well as analogical and metaphorical thinking much more rapid and global than linear computations. as Reber (1993) put it. and for the creation of novel patterns. presented with data (the input) and with a target pattern. to process patterns that are similar but not identical to those already learned. and a . A major challenge is to understand how such widely distributed information-processing nevertheless gives rise to a unified percept (the “binding” problem). insofar as most cognitive processes such as forming a sentence imply non-conscious processes working conjointly with conscious ones (Reber. for a succession of states and their evolving trajectories. beliefs may be modeled as interacting with physical and mechanical forces in the production of work accidents (Guastello. “arational” . the brain indeed displays a widely distributed organization as in the synchronous oscillatory firing of distant neurons (Koch. on the basis of weighted connections between the different units or elements (McClelland & Rumelhart. On the contrary. In his Global Workspace (GWS) theory. Bechtel & Abrahamsen. René Thom’s catastrophe theory. Sophisticated networks display a distributed representation of the target pattern that allows the network to still work efficiently despite partial damage or partial lack of information. Cognitive processes (including memory. natural thought processes are mostly nonlogical or. More importantly. evolving and interactive. furthermore. rather than the agent being “ordered” to perform an operation. It seems that the very concept of linear. In the connectionist paradigm. The most striking feature of chaos theory is its ability to account for the interaction of forces and the creation of novel organizational states (Prigogine & Stengers. while being also distributive and modular properties that are quite astonishing for a symbol-based system. information processing. 1995). as an AI formalism). Both networks and dynamical systems exhibit self-organizational properties. that is. Hameroff. A number of scientists are now presenting cognitive theories based on connectionist and/or dynamical-systems premises. each one constituting a set of dynamical processes . i. 1983 . Maturana and Varela (1980) hold that the mind exhibits “autopoiesis. This type of Production System (first developed by Newell. Wilson & McNaughton. 1995 . 1985 . All in all. Combs (1996) views the mind as an ensemble of modules. Combs also underscores the organizing properties of consciousness. 1983). topology and morphogenetic fields. the capacity of a complex system to reorganize itself internally..) make use of a network of interconnected units in which data are distributed. the network finds the most efficient internal organization to code for this pattern. Levine & Leven. Bechtel & Abrahamsen. but rather dynamically “constructed” through experience. Cognition is thus equated to the emergence of global properties out of a vast connective network of distributed information. interference patterns. which underlies neural nets research. In other words.Recent research has highlighted the presence of a “cognitive unconscious”. the ability to reorganize itself internally and to maintain its structural identity. Freeman. etc. Another specific feature of neural nets is their remarkable learning ability. for the most part. Freeman. In his Dual Network Theory. for example. emergent process. which now display some network features. as expressed in logical or mathematical reasoning.
Classical rule-systems. The experimental findings suggest that psychological variables such as interest. in learning an artistic skill. based on network-connections (rather than algorithmic operations). Psi may thus be more compatible with spontaneous connective processes and multilevel dynamics. other clusters that are semantically related. In some cases. as in purely repetitive tasks. 1. 1982). the human cognitive system is viewed as a multilevel web of interactions within the whole mind-body-psyche system. The SeCos’ networks are created and constantly modified by an underlying. behaviors. unexpected time. or neurotic behavioral patterns. it may evolve independently of awareness. concepts and physiological processes. 2000). showing a hierarchical structure. strongly conditioned behaviors. SeCos are self-organized dynamical networks that interweave sensations. which would be dynamically organized as a giant attractor with subsystems. concept or knowledge. A basic feature of the Seco is that it is organized as a multilevel dynamical network. as well as Goertzel’s theory. while thought at a low level is instantiated by dynamic chainlinkages and the interweaving of multilevel processes. environmental and cultural influences. show a combination of rule-systems and connectionist or dynamical frameworks. abstract. essentially. past dynamical organization (endo-context). and memories. low-level. Thus the SeCo acts as a multilevel web of interacting sub-networks. evolving through the continual interconnection and mutual adaptation of processes (Hardy. The linkage process triggered spontaneously in the SeCos-networks (through connective dynamics) explains certain unique features of the thought process-how. states of mind. the model predicts that SeCos may become fixated.. holds that cognition develops out of-and remains tied to-a strong coupling of sensory and motor exploratory behaviors (Varela et al. level . rather. and so forth. McConnell. The architecture is a lattice of cognitive networks which I call semantic constellations or SeCos-each dedicated to a specific activity. categories. Semantic Fields theory. the connective dynamic is typically triggered by similarities across clusters. This explains how a solution to a problem may pop up to the flow of consciousness at a later. 2. playfulness. motor. and link themselves to. rational ones. 1998). Implemented both within and across SeCos. the clustering of processes from various levels could not exist if the mind’s organization was based solely on rule-bound processing. given the complexity of these clusters. concepts. In this sense. so they may keep creating links or follow weighted paths in the SeCo while attention has drifted unto another task. Both Combs and Goertzel view the mind as a giant system housing many modules. and physiological processes. SeCos evolve through the interplay of experiences. for example. In general. differentiations. a cluster of links will progressively be constructed between sensations. psychological. and that change and evolve as a function of their own dynamical organization and novel chain-linkages. For example. feelings. and genetic constraints. affects. A given state of consciousness may be seen as a web of connections between specific SeCos. In positing a transversal. The model is also consistent with the growing recognition of nonrational and nonconscious processes in cognition (Reber. is consistent with clinical and phenomenological evidence pointing to the interlacing of processes from various levels (mental. intentions. Thus. The SeCo concept is also in agreement with Charles Tart’s (1975) description of states of consciousness as idiosyncratic patterns of sensory and mental processes. they are deeply tied to sensory. and the creation of new paths within the SeCo. as shown by the decline effect (e. clusters of semantic elements are spontaneously attracted to. is the ground of thought. Baars’ and Newell’s “production systems”. than the abstract or rule-bound mental processing which are often taken as the unique functioning of the mind. connective dynamic : a spontaneous linkage process . thus permitting discrimination. ranging from highly abstract to emotional/affective to neurophysiological. SFT blends a network approach with that of chaos theory to propose both an architecture and dynamics for the mind (Hardy. enthousiasm. knowledge-sets. 1991). names. differences are bound to be present too. and concepts through connective dynamics. Semantic Fields theory casts the mind-body problem in a different light : human knowledge and ideas are never purely mental. I propose that this highly generative dynamic. Cognitive architecture and dynamics In Semantic Fields theory (SFT). or rational . can hardly address this complex interlacing of different levels .control network. However. ranging from lower neuronal processes up to abstract. behaviors. network-type integration. Each SeCo-network links together processes that may range from high-level abstract ones to low-level neuronal ones. the model is consistent with psychoanalysts’ understanding of psychological complexes as rigid clusters of feelings. Whether triggered by an intention or a percept. Psi and multilevel mental processes Considerable experimental and anecdotal evidence suggests that psi operates at various organizational levels. 1996. novelty and surprise (both in subjects and in experimenters) enhance psi scoring. Psi test performance decreases with repetition of tasks. Francisco Varela. chain-linkages occur at the underlying. connective. mind-sets. by contrast. 1993).g. In other words. for example. and the network architecture it posits. somatic). muscle control. affective. rational thinking is a high-level process. Data from spontaneous cases and informal investigations suggest that psi information is sometimes "felt" by the receiver as a .
etc.. He proposed that psi would be greatly enhanced in an experiment if participants were to strengthen their “interpersonal field” by becoming less ego-centered and more attuned to each other. In ganzfeld experiments involving artists. a mechanical force. What induces the psi information to emerge into consciousness (as an ESP-type phenomenon or an intuition). 3. 101). For example. insofar as the theory embeds a systemic framework . Finally. tend to yield higher results than tasks depending on strictly conscious-purposive activities (Berger. the data strongly suggest that psi functioning is distributed between conscious and nonconscious processes. furthermore. 1988 .. Schlitz & LaBerge. In a number of psi experiments. it has been shown that individuals with high creativity scores show enhanced psi abilities (Schlitz & Honorton. Spontaneous psi experiences are often triggered by emotionally charged events . and that it can implicate practically all organizational levels of the mind-body : sensations. interoceptive sensations. emotions. Assuming that psi information does become conscious. 1984). or a specific information channel. such as sensations.e. rather than verbally describing the target (Hansen. he proposed that the shared idea of an experiment. 1996). Wiseman & Schlitz. the underlying connective dynamics across SeCos-networks are fundamental features of psi experiences. The kind of multifaceted phenomena we observe in research and spontaneous cases are just the kind we would expect if psi information were indeed received through a multilevel psychophysical network exhibiting connective dynamics. or the use of a “k-object” associated to the target in the experimenter’s mind. this was supported by a retrospective analysis of an earlier telepathy experiment.” that is. For example. In stating that all participants in an experiment influence results. an aesthetic sense. motor acts. while unable to verbally name the target.g. would create associations that may become active in the minds of subjects. emotionally and/or sensorially rich targets seem to be more conducive to psi than highly abstract or neutral ones (Bierman. feelings. intuitions. Varvoglis & Amorim.g. & Tart. feelings. This finding is consistent with what has been generally observed in spontaneous cases of psi (Schouten. this could. 4. were often able to mimic it through gestures and postures. in certain government-funded remote viewing experiments (the Scanate project). In general. processing. goal-oriented. nonconscious tasks (e. in von Lucadou’s (1983. 6. such as the intensity and volume of chain-linkages. psi information activates the SeCos whose elements best match the target system. sensory inputs. and intellect. i. 1997). Murphy (1949) believed that psi was fundamentally “transpersonal”. This concept of "body-psi" has been formally explored in DMILS experiments (such as Remote Staring). be due to a form of selective reporting. 1984). the autonomic system. kinesthetic impressions. Schlitz. This points to the fact that psi can also make use of purely abstract data. involving silent REGs). or the activation of a rule. 1968) which was later to be expanded within chaos theory namely the existence of complex simultaneous interactions between components of a system. experimenters-subjectsdevice) produces “pragmatic information” that will be decisive on events (e. that psi is an autonomous process in the percipient’s mind. thoughts. while also underscoring the possible role of multilevel processes in psi : artists and creative people typically draw not only on ideas. then. or the strength of the affect attached to the event. Several psi theorists have underscored the role of associations in psi events reminiscent of the connective dynamics I present. Drawing on the idea of a “common subconscious”.SFT also has areas of overlap with von Lucadou’s theory. 1987) Model of Pragmatic Information (MPI). the selection of the channel through which it emerges into awareness may . in group telepathy training sessions. or tasks involving some form of dissociation from conscious. 1994 . of course. the system formed by a group of people and their environment (e. 1996). A variety of data point to the role of affect. In his Association Theory. 1995). by virtue of their interpersonal interactions. the whole mind-body-psyche seems to act as a receptive system. then. Carington suggested that reinforcing the association by repetition would strengthen psi results . etc. 1999) . From the perspective of Semantic Fields theory. and the information becomes distributed in the SeCos’ multilevel network. This is consistent with the above emphasis on the spontaneity of connective dynamics. being grounded in the relationships between the psychical structures of individuals. The above data show that psi information can be channeled into awareness in a variety of ways. intuitions. Through nonlocal semantic connections. psychoanalyst Si Ahmed (1990) observed that subjects. It seems highly unlikely. Dalton. gifted psi subjects have been able to describe distant sites just on the basis of coordinates (McRae. but also on feelings. Nonlocal correlations will then briefly link individuals’ mental state with the external system and produce temporary psi effects.somatic or "tele-empathic" sensation matching the sender’s experience. but at least some investigations of target emotionality and psi in telepathy tests suggest otherwise : in ganzfeld experiments. rather than purely mental content. Carington (1945) viewed the “field of consciousness” as consisting of “associative groupings of psychons. 1991 . affective relationships between sender and receiver seem to enhance success in telepathy tasks (Broughton & Alexander.the SeCos being systems of interacting elements (Hardy. that demonstrate that the autonomic system reacts to unconscious psi information and may show stronger results and/or reliability than verbal and conscious tasks (Braud & Schlitz. 1991) Similarly certain psychics and researchers involved in the SRI Remote Viewing experiments have emphasized the importance of drawing. 5. .g. rather than remaining nonconscious ? I propose this depends on a number of factors. the results). 1990 . 1982). Similarly. sensa and images (p. To the contrary. Murphy (1945) anticipated a central tenet of General Systems Theory (von Bertalanffy. the connective dynamics of SFT bear similarities with the above cited associative processes .
it is triggered at the onset of the low-level connective process. Thus. In this framework. Rather than being a closed system. then a spontaneous semantic linkage will be triggered. kinesthetic. activating these clusters . Thus. 1991).g. Mind-in-the-world : Eco-fields Contrary to symbolic (cognitivist) theories. the activation may then spread through chain-linkages and reach into the other person’s lattice via the interface-SeCo. the sender’s fear will tend to evoke fear in the receiver. such as declarative knowledge). A second possibility is that the intensity and salience of specific elements in the target system will trigger chain-linkages with similar elements in the receiver’s mind .e. rather. depriving the mind of internally constructed processes. In other words. or environment’s eco-fields (Hardy. or places with which we are in constant and meaningful interaction . via semantic parameters. to the . whose "transpersonal" modes of thinking are shaped not only by language. Another interesting approach here is Pierre Lévy’s (1990) cognitive ecology. To begin with. it takes into account environmental and cultural influences. imagistic. with or without the person’s immediate awareness. and linkage-types. etc. Perception induces a circular dynamic between the subject and the object of attention. starting a new loop. To understand how information about distant events may get into a person’s lattice in the first place. we create a semantic network-connection with it that will not only modify our own mental processes but may also carry subtle two-way organizing influences. while also injecting emergent meaning-clusters into the object’s eco-field. the cognitive subject and the world mutually define each other through tightly coupled interactions. the mind is here viewed as a complex network system that. Mind-to-Mind : Interface-SeCos The above address the question as to what happens to psi information once it is within the person’s lattice. and underscores subjects’ creative input in interpreting and shaping reality. but also by technologies (e.. how it is "processed". its operations being purely internal (as assumed in the symbolic framework). which develops the concept of a "thinking human/objects collectivity" : subjects and objects are both seen as agents in a social-cognitive network. The activation of clusters in the "receiver" may then remain unconscious or provoke emergences of meaning in the flow of consciousness or in dreams. we develop nonlocal connections with them that. may become quasi-permanent "semantic bridges". based on connective processes . I postulate that semantic connective processes are organized not by space-time parameters. It is worth noting that this semantic dynamic. Each time we think about a place or an object. but by semantic parameters . events. by way of a back-propagation of chain-linkages. once received. but also a projective process : it generates a semantic organizational level in objects and the environment . e. Two individuals’ “normal” communication creates a nonlocal common semantic constellation (or interface-SeCo) that organizes and binds the semantic clusters activated in their respective lattices. if one person has a strong experience that has some similarities with semantic clusters in the interface-SeCo. telepathy) is grounded in dynamical interactions that are based on such semantic parameters. Gibson’s (1979) ecological theory views the organism as reacting to "affordances" in the environment (although he swings too far in this direction. independent of spatial distance. i. perception is not solely an interpretational process.. the semantic influence will be stronger when there is strong semantic proximity. recurrence. The organizing force of the mind on eco-fields will affect primarily objects. If reinforced and developed through repeated exchanges. I propose that nonlocal communication between individuals (e. These two possible dynamics do not exclude one another and may work conjointly in the psyche. is not bound to the act of perceiving (as would be postulated by Observational Theories) .. or an intense scene may evoke quite similar imagery. Thus consciousness imprints organization and order on the physical world by influencing and modifying the eco-fields of objects and of the environment.such as semantic proximity.what I term eco-semantic fields. it may lead to derivative psi information concerning the other person’s experience. 1997). The modified eco-field is then retrojected into the person’s lattice. intensity. verbal. One possibility is that psi information is relayed through the person’s preferred cognitive mode. activating and reorganizing internal SeCos. The emergent meaning may be related to the activated clusters in a straightforward manner . The model presented here posits a dynamic interaction between consciousness and the world. or. the interface-SeCo will act as a nonlocal link between the two persons. semantic dynamics allow for various ESP phenomena via spontaneous linkages between spatially distant-but semantically proximate-semantic fields. These semantic parameters instantiate nonlocal connections between distant semantic fields and create a complex web of mutual influences. while interacting regularly with people. cognition involves both a knowing and an acting. recurrence or intensity.be based on different dynamics. This organizing influence on surrounding eco-fields will affect the nature and probability of events. or eco-fields. until no further meaning is generated. Enaction is thus "embodied cognition" (Varela et al.g. computers).g. for example. given sufficient recurrence and intensity. recent theories of the mind put much more emphasis on the environment. in other words. interacts dynamically with other complex systems whether other individuals’ lattice. or remember it. In Francisco Varela’s model. we need to consider broader dynamics. and the importance of an organism’s constant interaction with its surroundings. According to his concept of enaction.
thus retaining the memory of these events. on a REG of which the subject is unaware. Intense meaning generation refers to novel thought processes-like considering new ideas with enthousiasm. Thus. despite the weight of collective patterns.e. insofar as they retain a “memory of the past”. physiological and semantic organizational levels. may turn out to be crucial not only for the exploration of mindmatter interaction but also for cognitive modeling . This prediction is coherent with the sheep-goat effect. Sheldrake invokes “morphic resonance” as the principle of interaction between species’ morphogenetic fields and biological processes or behaviors. some instances of strong or explicit influence will be recognized and labeled as PK. self-organization and evolution of SeCos. I believe that any theory of mind that seeks to be complete must address psi phenomena. on the contrary. in which subjects tend to score significantly better (as a group) when they believe psi to be real and psi testing to be relevant.as a system of intertwined semantic influences that will affect ambient eco-fields and connected events (for example. etc. it does not depend upon the person’s focused attention on the objects affected. beliefs. 1. Psi abilities. it is predicted that subjects engaging in intense meaning generation should induce shifts in the system toward more organized states-i. while also allowing for partial reorganization of these fields (Hardy. insofar as we are social beings. out of the constant and subtle influences upon environmental eco-fields. it is often a group . Thus. By contrast. emotions. which is the driving force in the creation. SFT hypothesizes that an individual semantic field’s general influence on reality . is reminiscent of a generalized field. One of his “canalisation hypotheses” is that the isomorphism between two psi fields can only grow the more they interact. This leads to the hypothesis that the instant of intense meaning generation (including creative thinking and emotions) should prove to produce the strongest negentropic effects. is also responsible for the interaction of mind with its physical environment. while the second. PK influence of consciousness upon the environment. Similarly. More generally. in a shared work-place). While personal semantic fields do interact with collective SeCos. revealing unique properties of mental functioning. conversely. Generalized semantic influence : the semantic field affects surrounding eco-fields as a direct consequence of the creation of meaning and self-organization within the person’s lattice. their sole interaction with other fields involving resonance or further replication. or past or future events. it will tend to reduce the probability of events antithetical to these cognitive/affective traits. values. . while not the inverse of entropy. Explicit psi events. these fields seem to be structurally rigid. once created. This points to a constant. if a REG is operating in the vicinity. Sheldrake’s (1981) morphogenetic fields and Wasserman’s (1956) M-fields also share some similarities with eco-fields. yielding information about distant persons or objects. affects. The general idea is to monitor experimental situations (or tasks) able to trigger shifts in the creation of meaning. including antagonistic ones. However.and particularly upon surrounding eco-fields . SFT. such as Roll’s (1965) “psi fields”. Out of the web of constant nonlocal exchanges. It is clear that the SFT does not tackle the morphogenesis problem . Thus the morphogenetic field acts as a blueprint of biological or psychological forms.. Roll grounds the creation of these fields on isomorphism. subjects engaging in mechanical or meaningless mental activity will produce no such shifts. if subtle. by contrast. in the present theory. In conclusion. the present theory permits a range of complex mutual influences between personal semantic fields and eco-fields. causing significant departures from theoretical distributions . or a physical field. The concept of eco-fields bears some resemblance to models of psi that imply fields connected to objects or locations. i. in this context. it focuses on network-type influences between physical. in the sense that meaning generation organizes physical reality in a way that reflects the set of values and worldview of the imprinting individual. the complexity of personal cognitive networks allows for the existence of choice and creativity. In this respect. 1998). Experimental designs and tests In the Semantic Fields theory. counteracts entropy by generating new states of order and higher complexity in the universe. The experiment would test the effects of the intensity of meaning generation on a “hidden”-REG (or field-REG). worldview. is focused. are a natural consequence of the connectivity between these fields. stating that a psi field produces an “isomorphic representation” of itself in either another psi field. The semantic dynamic is the ground for both receptive and projective psi. the latter are just one set of influences among many competing others. the connective dynamic. and significance.extent to which these events are meaningful and/or connected to the person. in a . proposes networks-type fields that evolve and specifies the dynamics of their creation and transformation. to the contrary. it also refers to thought processes invested with strong feelings. Indeed. or having a aha ! experience . the above authors posit the possibility of matter being imprinted by mental-type fields or mental events. The organizing influence of the mind on the environment acts in two distinct ways : the first one.will encourage events consistent with the person’s conceptual grid. the mind is viewed as a force creating order and organization both within its own semantic network and within the environment.e. specific meanings may emerge in the flow of consciousness. It is a negentropic force that. indeed. whether conscious or nonconscious.
(1988). Baars. The Radiance of Being. feelings. independently of the distance. This prediction follows from the idea that a person’s semantic field affects the probability of meaningful events related to that person. it will affect things and events that are meaningful to the person or that can shift the mental state of the person-triggering emotions. & A. R. Braud. may be affected by that person’s thoughts. a pool of phrases describing different dynamics. B.way similar to field-REGs and group consciousness experiments (Nelson et al. Broughton. 1-46. B. Neurocomputing : Foundations of research. In R. (Ed. Complexity. Language. S. New York : Plenum Press. as this task would blend meaningfulness. B. G. J. J. Mahwah. Guastello. J. out of a large pool of semantically distinct phrases. Cambridge. This prediction follows from the idea that spontaneous chain-linkages are generated between semantically related elements. R. In Rosenthal. Dunne. Abraham. 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