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Re: Nature of Space etc...

Aug 16, 1996 08:58 PM
by Maxim Osinovsky

On Fri, 16 Aug 1996, Paul M.M. Kieniewicz wrote:
> Richard Ihle writes, and others echo a similar view that,
> >And again, that fundamental premise, it seems to me, is that Undifferentiated
> >Consciousness comes FIRST.
> Do we know what we mean by that statement? Yes - you read it in Theosophical
> articles again and again. But what does it really mean? The idea that some
> "conscousness" whatever that is, incarnates or controls a body?
> How does it do this?
> How does an incorporeal mind control a corporeal entity? Through
> Psychokinesis? Does this happen on a microscopic level, like the mind
> controling atoms, and if so - why is this process so difficult to duplicate
> in the laboratory.  Has anyone thought much about this?

What you've asked about is an old and difficult problem called "mind-body
problem." It has been advanced by Descartes who also offered the first
solution to the problen by postulating that body and the mind interact
via the pineal gland. In reality, of course, it was no real solution, and
nobody else was able to come up with a good idea, so it has also became
known as 'The Descartes split" between body and the mind.

The most promising area of research  in the field is an aprroach based on
the theory of neural networks, i.e. multiply-connected neurons (real
neurons or neural chips). It has been discovered that such networks can
store huge amounts of information in the form of more or less stable
patterns of excitation of the entire system. It was hypothesized that
memories might be such excitations. Neural networks may be trained
(unlike ordinary computers that are to be programmed) so that can use
their skills to solve problems.

This is the first serious attempt to explain out the mind-body problem in
the spirit of reductionism. According to the reductionist philosophy, the
laws of a higher level may be reduced to--or explained on the basis
of--the laws of the lower level right beneath. The most basic theory at
this time is the Standard Model; it is able to more or less
satisfactorily explain ALL known phenomena on the next level up, that
of subnuclear particles, so here the reduction is complete success.
(However, it leaves out gravitation...) Starting from subnuclear
particles, it's possible to explain nuclei, next atoms, next simple
molecules, and some aspects of behavior of macromolecules, so that
it reduces the entire chemistry and some biochemistry to the lower
level. (However, there is a serious and annoying gap: there is no
satisfactory explanation yet of how, as complexity grows, quantum
uncertainty yields to classical certainty and predicrability.) The next
level--that of solids, fluids, and plasmas--can also be explained rather
well based on atomic and molecular laws (although there is another
serious gaps: there is no satisfactory explanation of how reversible
laws governing microparticles transform into irreversible laws
governing macroscopis bodies). From here, the structural evolution of
matter branches in two directions: (1) toward celestial bodies and
universe (astrophysics; macrocosm)--this is an area of active
research now; and (2) living matter (biophysics, biology), and then
human mind, society, etc.--this brings in a lot of new gaps and
more questions than solutions.

So as you can see, and as you probably know very well, science due to its
persistence and using rigorous techniques of experimentation and
reasoning was able to explain out a lot. Remarkable achievement.
Of course the scientific worldview is incompatible with the
theosophical one (natural processes are managed by an army of devas,
credit for the  human consciousness should go to Manasaputras,...)
so it's no wonder that scientists completely ignore theosophy.
Nevertheless it is felt that a real confirmation of theosophy (other than
quoting Secret Doctrine to corroborate personal opinions) may come  only
through science when it extends its field of research to subtle energies.

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