Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Holistic Theory of Mental Processes and Consciousness

The following is based on analyses of Arabic sound symbolisms in some word roots.

We know from Holistic Theology that
the self (also called soul, spirit, mind, heart, life force, or consciousness) is a supervisor that exercises discretionary control over all human activity, including all mental processes.

To perform a mental process, the self usually utilizes its own mental processing capability and its own five internal / spiritual senses of "vision", "hearing", "touch", "taste" and "smell" that are able to sense both spiritual processes and material processes. The self may—but doesn't have to—utilize the brain and the five external / material senses (vision, hearing, touch, taste and smell) to perform a mental task. But the brain and the external senses can only perceive and handle material processes. The self uses and controls the brain.

Reality or truth ("hha qaf qaf") is what is factually happening in the spiritual world. Only the self and its spiritual senses can perceive the spiritual data match. Reality or truth cannot be perceived by the brain and the external senses.

A sign or symbol (“hamza ya ya" ) is a pointer to a matching reality.

sounds of a word are symbols. A word is thus a symbolic structure. A symbolic structure is alternatively seen as an abstract theory about something. An expression ("qaf waw lam": to say, a statement) is a string of one or more words (symbolic structures) that are assigned to something or someone.

An expression
that is used to name a process (“seen meem waw”) is a symbolic structure that points to the reality of that process.

The transition from names (what is being said) to reality (what is really happening) is called interpretation, realization, knowing or becoming conscious. To become conscious of, to know, to realize or to interpret an expression about a process is to connect the symbolic structures in this expression to matching structures in reality. Alternatively, this connection is seen as a concrete theory that realizes the abstract theory, i.e., the symbolic structure carried by the expression.

To become conscious (“waw 'ain ya”) means to connect with an expression, to realize or to interpret (“hamza waw lam") means to connect symbol to reality, and to know (“'ain lam meem”) means to interpret or realize an expression for a certain process. These are equivalent functions.

If we connect the symbolic structures (what is being said about a process) to material structures and elements that have identical or similar kinds as those the symbolic structures point to, then we are performing analogical reasoning or reasoning by direct similarity. If we call this interpretation, realization, knowing or becoming conscious, then it is at best shallow and prone to error.

However, if we connect the symbolic structures (what is being said about a process) to structures and elements in reality that are similar or matching in a spiritual sense, but may be different from the material kinds that the symbolic structures point to, then we are performing a creative interpretation (also known as allegorical, figurative, or metaphorical interpretation). There is usually no direct or material similarity between symbols and reality. The interpretative connections transcend (go beyond) the kinds of things the symbols point to in order to create links of spiritual similarity to matching things in the real spiritual world. The connected symbol-reality pairs may be—but do not have to be—similar in appearance or form (hence the term figurative interpretation). This kind of similarity can only be perceived by the self and its spiritual senses. The brain and its external senses are unable to make this type of connection.

Creative interpretation is key to consciousness of reality. It is not haphazard nor the result of lucky guesses. Nor is it something that can be taught by a guru. Instead, creative interpretation comes to an individual's self as a reward or gift from God for a number of things, including the following:
a) for simply loving God

b) for the effort one makes to connect with God

c) for pain suffered when one takes a righteous stand

d) for staying faithful to God when tested.

In classical spiritual epistemology, "knowledge" happens in one of two ways after such an effort (jihad) for the sake of God:
a) bursts of God's light temporarily transform the five material senses and the brain so that they can penetrate with analogical reasoning the vague or deceptive appearances to reach into what is actually happening with material things (enlightened material research through enlightened analogical reasoning)

b) bursts of God's light temporarily transform the self and enable the five internal senses to penetrate with creative interpretation the vague and deceptive appearances to reach into the spiritual reality of things (inspired science through inspired creative interpretation)

However, one cannot achieve consciousness using the brain and its material senses, not even with enlightened material research. Only the self and its internal senses can perceive the spiritual matching with reality. Enlightened material research is only good for seeing the magician's tricks despite his distractions, but it cannot see the big picture behind the scenes, e.g., who taught those tricks to the magician and why.

An embryo is created (constructed) ("kha lam qaf" : selective interpretation of combined expressions) when God performs selective creative interpretation (biologists say "expression") of the DNA words and expressions that are combined from male and female. In genetics, the decision-maker who determines the expression of certain DNA in certain environments is not accounted for.

There must be a correspondence between human languages and DNA language. It has to be God who also brings the interpretation of words into human minds. Of course, only God could have created those words whose interpretation he controls.

The existence of words and expressions precedes creation. First come the words, then comes creation as interpretation / realization of the symbolic structures carried by the words.

Becoming conscious of reality practically means that the created person reconnects (in part) with expressions according to which he/she was created.

The brain is usually used in the process of analogical reasoning (shallow interpretation of expressions). The self is capable of performing analogical reasoning with or without the help of the brain and the external senses. A self that is deprived of God's light cannot perform creative interpretation, i.e., it cannot achieve consciousness. The internal senses cannot function at all without God's light.

The self performs creative interpretation with or without brain use. Mental representations of observations by external senses and internal senses are either stored in neural (brain) memory containers or in spiritual memory containers that are maintained by the self. The self may utilize both kinds of memory.

Interconnected sets of memory containers of either kind that are accessed as single memory units are called memory blocks. There are neural (brain) memory blocks and spiritual (self) memory blocks.

There are memory blocks of both kinds that specialize in storing certain types of data, for example:
a) observation memory blocks

b) word memory blocks (morphologically specific symbol structures that can be converted into specific abstract theories)

c) word root memory blocks (general symbol structures that can be converted into general abstract theories)

d) expression memory blocks (compound symbol structures that can be converted into compound abstract theories)

e) abstract theory memory blocks (abstract interpretations of the symbolic structures of words, word roots or expressions)

f) concrete theory memory blocks (hypotheses or theories, testable concrete interpretations of abstract theories)

The self uses an algorithm (Tables 2 and 3) for converting words, word roots and expressions into abstract theories.

The self uses mechanisms for creating temporary or permanent links between two memory blocks from either kind (neural and spiritual) and from any specialties.

To learn or to think (“thal kaf ra” or “fa kaf ra”) is to have the self perform Algorithm C to generate a corroborated (learn) or uncorroborated (think) concrete theorya shallow interpretation (analogical reasoning) or a creative interpretationfrom an abstract theory (the symbolic structure carried by an expression). The connections between symbolic structure and the material or spiritual worlds are recorded as links between observation memory blocks and concrete theory memory blocks. Falsified hypotheses from Algorithm C are tagged as such. Untested hypotheses (results of thinking) are tagged as such. Thinking may be a partial (uncompleted) learning process. It is usually theoretical research without empirical testing of the generated hypotheses. If it involves testing of hypotheses using memory, it is equivalent to learning. Thinking also can deal with unobserved phenomena, and then it is a path to discovery.

Since we are dealing with theory development, it is no surprise that Algorithm C is a version of the Scientific Method. So even the least "intelligent" human beings use the Scientific Method whenever they think or learn something. We are all created as scientists and only God can take the credit for "our" accomplishments.

To remember or recognize (“thal kaf ra” or “'ain ra fa” ) is to recover a corroborated concrete theory that applies to an observed (unknown) phenomenon. This is done by a neural memory scan or a spiritual memory scan to find an observation memory block that matches the current observation and is linked (based on a previous learning process) to a corroborated concrete theory.

To forget (“noon seen ya”) is to link a memory block to an empty memory block. The memory is not lost, it can be relinked and thus it becomes retrievable.

To understand, scrutinize claims or to perform jurisprudence (“fa ha meem”) is to sift through links from abstract theory memory blocks (expressions, claims) to concrete theory memory blocks to see which claims are corroborated and if not, to perform Algorithm C to try to corroborate them.

Another form of understanding involves the faculty of reason or the intellect ("'ain qaf lam") which can search for an existing link between an observation memory block and a general corroborated concrete theory, or if the theory is untested, to test it.

An image (“kha ya lam”) is the projection of a concrete theory which is usually a graph. If the theory is an algorithm, then the projection is an animation.

Vision ("ba ssad ra") is the correlation of clustered visual sensory data (measurements of visual input) from two sources.

Hearing ("seen meem 'ain") is a two-stage audio sensing (measurement of audio input) using a collector (outer ear) and a shaped channel (inner ear).

To be continued.

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