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Response to Antonio Damasio's recent article
in Scientific American



Antonio Damasio: I contend that the biological processes now presumed to correspond to mind in fact are mind processes and will be seen to be so when understood in sufficient detail.

Peter Mutnick: There is a classical part of the brain, where decoherence prevails, as established by Max Tegmark. This is the essence of the detached observer of Bohr and it is the abstract "ego" of von Neumann, which is the observer of last resort in the von Neumann chain. To understand this identification, one must cognize the metaphysical connection and correspondence between the extra-physical elements of the observational process and those same elements reduced by the principle of the psycho-physical parallelism to physical reality. According to Bohm, it is always possible on the extra-physical side to go beyond the abstract "ego" or the classical brain to a deeper quantum region of the brain, which is the true mind of the observer and the quantum implicate order.

It is this true mind that unfolds and becomes the explicate order. The implicate order and the explicate order are formally identical, as Bohm's example of the ink drop was meant to show - both orders contain exactly the same information about the same objects (and subjects). The only difference is that the explicate order is unfolded with respect to the implicate order, such that the implicate order remains as the hierarchical head of of the explicate order. One could say that the implicate order is emptied by its unfoldment into the explicate order, or one could say that the explicate order is an emanation of the implicate order.

In either case, it is a fact that whatever is unfolded as the explicate order is nothing but mind in its origin and in its essence, which seems to be exactly what Antonio Damasio is saying. However, Damasio is limiting that conclusion to the biological process that correspond to mind, in other words to the percipient events within the quantum brain. It is a fact of the organic philosophy that all organisms experience the world through their own bodies, and so the observed is comprised first and foremost of the biological processes that correspond to mind. But one must not assume that there are no foundational or fundamental events other than the percipient events in complex organisms. That would be a denial of the atomic philosophy that is the foundation of all science, especially quantum science. And one must also not assume that the nature of the foundational or fundamental events is any different than the nature of the percipient events, insofar as they are unfolded from the implicate order, which is the true mind of the observer. They are related as the means and the ends or the orientation and the aim of the observational process. The reality principle tells us that the organism experiences the foundational or fundamental event through the percipient event or biological process.

So, through the quantum brain, through the networks and neurons, through the synaptic junctions, we experience the molecules, atoms, and particles that comprise reality; and yet these ultimate constituents of reality are not a content of consciousness, but rather the residues of the phenomenological reduction to pure consciousness; for within the ontological domain, the psycho-physical reduction of the extra-physical elements of the observational process to physical elements IS the phenomenological reduction to pure consciousness. THE ONLY THING IN THIS UNIVERSE THAT TRULY EXISTS PHYSICALLY IS CONSCIOUSNESS - consciousness is the noumenon and consciousness is the phenomenon - the discrete noumenon generates the continuous phenomenon, even as a discrete film with separate frames generates a continuous motion picture. And yet, within the noumenal realm, there is an interpenetration of opposites, such that consciousness is physical and content is mental - content is macro or whole brain, while consciousness is the product of the micro realm of synaptic junctions acting in a unison of becoming. All of the micro elements of reality - molecules, atoms, and particles - are residues of the reduction to pure consciousness - they are not a content of consciousness - that in a nutshell is the key to the resolution of all quantum mysteries, enigmas, and paradoxes. Damasio heads in the right direction, but does not go far enough.

We must also go farther here and realize that the phenomenological view must be bootstrapped, such that the decoherence we assumed in the first place is generated from our posited noumenal reality. If we take in the first place the synaptic junctions and the molecules thereof, which generate consciousness, to be the noumenal elements (and hence in a sense we are taking consciousness itself to be the noumenal element), then atoms supervene on the molecules, as residues of the phenomenological reduction, and particles are mutually configured by the observed and the observer. This type of particle is the wave-particle of conventional wave mechanics. In order to achieve the bootstrap, however, we must now presume that an inversion of the micro elements of reality occurs, such that the particles become the noumenal elements with the atoms supervening upon them and the molecules pointing across the oroboric abyss toward the ever larger aggregates of the classical realm begotten by decoherence. It seems clear then that the true quantum particle, or noumenal particle of Bohm, is intimately linked to decoherence, and that decoherence is not therefore a mere appearance, but fully equivalent to the ontological assertion of the existence of the Bohm-point.



Peter Joseph Mutnick 1949 - 2000


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