Sunday, October 5, 2008

Faster Brains

A while ago I saw an article about a gene discovered to have a relationship to dyslexia. The wrong form of it seems to entail difficulties in processing visual and aural information. Most interesting was that our nearest great ape cousins don't seem to have this gene at all. Got me thinking. Dyslexia is a problem processing sounds and symbols. Apes don't have the gene necessary to do so. Maybe we needed this to be able to do language. What do you need to do language? You need the ability to process incoming data quickly. Lots of animals use sounds. Apes can understand or use simple words and symbols. But to speak/understand/read a language you need to process lots of often complex information quickly. So, to become human we needed to have our mental processing speed increased. Now, what is the speed of thought? It does not make sense to understand consciousness as bound by any speed limits short of those imposed by quantum reality. I.E., if the information could be presented to consciousness at light speed, we'd understand it. So, the limitations on processing must be biological in our cases. This gene may have unlocked faster processor speeds.

Or maybe it was about providing a substrate -- or format -- for a storage medium so the incoming information could be assimilated more quickly and usefully. Language is necessary for our human form of consciousness. Words condense thought and perception into manageable blocks and grammar allows them to relate meaningfully, indeed to create meaning. Perhaps this gene in someway provides the bio-chemical structure for storing and manipulating structured bits of information and the "programs" for storing and using them?

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Consciousness and Creation

In the beginning there was someone, someone in the sense of consciousness, in the sense of intending or being able to intend. Either one of many such or alone, though if one of many, only this one having been the cause of our universe and being knowable by us. This consciousness caused or is coterminous with what we understand, looking back at it, as the Big Bang and the quantum substratum from which it emerged and from which emerged the material universe of which we are part. Act of creation itself, of the material universe, must be considered, from the point of view of the universe as a whole, as being timeless. For consciousness, everything that was or will be was present simultaneously. The physical manifestation of this is that the first light of the Big Bang, traveling at the speed of light, and therefore from that perspective without time duration, fills everywhere along its path instantaneously and simultaneously and thus exists at the very moment across eternity and everywhere. Within that context, creation is an act of constructing a grand cosmic stage for consciousness to enter into and play a myriad of parts as it buds off each individual consciousness, as it became particularized. Shakespeare presented the world as a "stage" in exactly this way. Perhaps he too is in some sense a “son of god”, someone with direct access to the larger perspective of the grand consciousness, giving us insight into the perspective of the one consciousness of which all others are pieces of. Raises too, then, the possibility that the whole universe is a diversion, a very complicated diversion to keep One occupied for all eternity, whatever that means. Nevertheless, leaves us particulars the traditional question of the meaning of life, our lives. Western culture suggests meaning is created and purpose is to understand, master, control and change reality. Other cultures see nature as something to be venerated, respected, and/or entered into in a cooperative manner. What accounts for the West’s distinctive answer to this question? Is our approach good or bad, verdict is still out. But if our world is this diversion, then we in the West -- in being ourselves intent in writing the play -- are more active participants in it. We give this diversion its spice. If “god” can be said to speak more clearly, more “actively” at the micro-level in which we live in the West -- from the Jews and Greeks on -- it is also true that we perhaps more needed the message of the other “son”, Christ, of love and concern for others, to rein us in and draw our attention to the good. Maybe the one consciousness has made many or all possible stages.