What is the mind stuff as schemed by nature ? A Post enlightenment era understanding
This is an attempt to get to know the mechanism of mind as it was devised by nature, ie. its existential relevance and architecture, plan, purpose, components, their functions, and the various sense- originated and other inputs and energies that enter mind, and how does mind handles them. The paper also would attempt to put-forth its conclusion as to why mind was so inevitable in existence where matter was the first reality meant for, and accessible to mind, tangible and easily analyzable.
This is not intended to be a scholastic analysis by quoting elaborately from the work of old masters and professionals, but to present every thing in a matter of fact, simpleton view of mind, as it appears and appeal to common intelligence. This common intelligence often acts like any of our sense organ, capable of observing objects and information as if they are ‘atomic’ propositions, ie. something directly in the range of any of our sense organ.
Scholars of philosophy might have to approach the paper with a blank mind, merely as truth seeking, virgin, uninhibited minds !
The approach of the author here is ‘get out’ of the mind first to look at it as an external phenomenon. For this, we must first pre-suppose that Nature had preceded mind, and while She visualized Mind, there should have been a sensible purpose and plan behind doing so. This would help us to look at our object of study with some kind of scientific distance and objectivity.
Rationale, and the inevitability of mind in the existential scheme
Nothing would have been known including matter, if there was no mind mechanism. Mind reveals matter, and everything else in existence to man, including his very ENTITY, and the mind itself ! Mind alone, as a knowing devise couldn’t have undertaken the task of knowing. A certain ENTITY was also necessary to own up the mind, and to then know and understand. Hence, the idea of originating knowing entities, the egos-men-, was an unprecedented creative wonder of nature !
While discussing matter and mind, most of psychology and philosophy literature ignore this central factor- the knowing entity-man, the ontology factor.
Originating an independent entity from virtually nothing seemed the ultimate goal of nature, when She had worked on matter and mind. Its end result was what made me write these lines and share it with the world ! In most of the discussion about mind, the ‘entity’ that holds the mind seldom comes-up for central scrutiny,as said above. The category of the seeker is always taken for granted. Even our sciences ignores this central question as to who the knower and the seeker is, in her pursuits. It is, without doubt, bestowing all the confidence in one’s tools and probes ignoring the primary aspect of scrutinizing why and how the ‘knower’ has emerged on the scene, what his tools are, what knowledge they could provide him, its reach, accuracy and limits !
In the contemporary world, especially in the Western world, no talk other than that of the material reality of the world is entertained as sensible. Any talk of mind is ridiculed and laughed at. Mind, for them, is the bye-product of matter, equally mechanistic and determinable. Similar to any religious fanatic, average western man can not open his mind to anything ‘extra-physical’ about reality of world and life ! This particular fact about the world-view of western world doubles the relevance of a discussion of this type.
We know that it was chiefly due to the old classic division of the realms of mind and matter by Descartes. He established the omnipotence of human mind, and verdicted that whatever mind perceives ‘distinctly and clearly’ are unquestionable realities.
It is self evident that it was not the knower that emerged first, but the known, the various objects and events in the world. It was all trees ,mountains, seas, rivers and valleys for millions of years, if the account of science could be believed. Life forms emerged millions of years later.
As no man, or his intelligence so far could recollect anything about a self-born SOUL in the antiquity of time, we should assume that, our entities as knowing beings was caused by an external agent. We routinely call this agent by the name ‘ NATURE’.
This nature, what we observe as a distinct entity independent of from us, evidently has certain directions, plans and programmes, judging from whatever our known intelligence provided by the same nature. In this plan, if we endeavor to know it, obviously has set certain sensible relation between MIND and MATTER. We, the mankind, depended exclusively upon our intelligence mechanism provided by Her, are supposed to utilize it for our best-possible advantage, and even knowing further on her plan !
When our great forefathers in the jungle saw a bud on plant for the first time, it would have been impossible for them to understand that it is a flower in the making, and the flower carry a seed, and the seed carry another tree within. When they saw them selves a seed turning into a flower before their eyes, and the flower turning into flower and seed, and later into a new tree, he made his knowledge out of such experiences. Our modern science is a knowledge tree built-up on this route.
When we apply our known intelligence in the same way, we can not ignore the possibility of a sensible relation that mind and matter might have. This paper attempts to unravel what would be such sensible plan of nature behind having reality in mind and mater format.
Science and knowledge
Science always mark a thick line at the boarder of knowledge where matters of ORIGIN, both for mind and matter comes-up, so that it starts its observable and measurable endeavors from thereupon . As Stephen Hawking, the greatest of our living scientists puts it: ( Book, ‘ a brief history of time’(1988)p.9,chap.1, Bentam Book,Berks, UK)
“ This discovery ( The Big bang theory of Edwin Hubble in 1929)finally brought the question of the beginning of the universe into the realm of science.. . If there were events earlier than this time, they could not affect what happens at the present time. Their existence can be IGNORED because, it would have no observational consequences….in the sense that earlier times simply would not be defined”.
This drawing of this thick line over knowledge between what could be imagined in scientific terms and what is before and behind it, ie. what is measurable in time and space, and what is not, is NOT in the awareness of the common folk in the world. They believe that matter, mind, and existence as a whole – -everything is within man’s knowledge range, and nothing is left unsolved by science.
Hence, all scientific men, and men who interact with the mainstream world including this writer, engage in the act of analysis and communication from the stand point of their EGOs, as entities that you and me know and recognize each other.
It is worth to be noted here that all major scientific figures of modern times had distinctly stood against strength of the purely materialistic view of reality. A few relevant quotes of such great minds are imprinted below:
1) Sir Arthur Eddington ( Essay ‘reality, causation, science, mysticism)
“ the external world of physics has been formulated as an answer to a problem encountered in human experience…(as if) one might take up a cross-word problem encountered in a newspaper. His sole business is to see that the problem is correctly solved”
2) James Jeans: ( essay ‘ some problems of philosophy’) The most we can say is that the cumulative evidence of various pieces of probable reasoning makes it seem more and more likely that reality is better described as mental than as material”
3) Whitehead: (His essay ‘ Foresight) ‘ Unfortunately, our knowledge of scientific laws is woefully defective, and our knowledge of the relevant facts of present and past is scanty in the extreme…we are ignorant of that remote epoch when will be a second collision between the sun and a passing star,…and even ignorant of the term that has been set to our own existence’.
But despite all the above straight admissions of the top scientific minds,the influence of Cartesian division is still intact in the world about the mind-body duality.
After the Cartesian division, what happened to science and its ardent followers was that their total dependence upon the physical realm for even attributing CERTAINTY for their own mind, consciousness and selves. They started finding the matter realm, with all its clock like certainty and accuracy, as the ultimate realm of reality, compared with the realm of mind that gives hallucination of all kinds at every time ! So, they ignored the bad and uncertain mind to embrace the ‘external world’ as the ultimate reference point to relate themselves, including their minds !It gave them comfort in the thought that after all, mind is a product of the all engrossing matter !
Like an OPERATING SYSTEM of computers, these men had opted for and installed the matter-centric programme in their minds to look at everything thereon.
The distinct realm of our ‘collective’ that individuals use as a canvas to draw the picture of their ‘selves’
This is our collective realm wherein we maintain a certain self-identity as our social-selves,
away and separate from our private entities known only to our inner selves. The way we interact as private persons is different from the way and manner we interact as social entities. We have languages that represent our collective objects, concepts and ideas; therefore communicate each other using these mutually agreed upon terms and concepts.
This in itself is a specific subject for further research. How central is the ‘spirit’ of the world in the making of man’s ego ? My self-analysis and prolonged studies hint that self in its ego identity, always require the ‘spirit’ of an external other, or the that of the world to address its thoughts and behavior to.
Like what Kant had forcefully suggested that space and time are inevitable ‘modes’ of our sense perception, such a ‘spirit’ of the external is also a must ‘mode’, or ingredient for man’s social thought and behavior process. Every word he utter is a social product. Thinking, when it is done using words, always bring the ‘world’ too naturally into the act. One could confidently infer that most of the thinking process is an internal conversation between the self and the above world spirit within. Remember that the old Greek masters also had believed that ‘thinking’ was an internal conversation. Here we have now identified the two parties, or spirits who indulge in the conversation.
No conversation could be undertaken without two participants, whether internal or external. This author had already undertaken a specific paper depicting ‘super-ego’ as the said ‘spirit’ of the world, and how thinking process is a conversation between the ego and this said ‘spirit’ of the world within. ( see blog link: http://anatomyofrealities.blogspot.in/
) Even for the formation of the self ( the ego) such a third party spirit representing one’s notion of the external world is an existential necessity as explained in the above mentioned paper.
Once man’s self or ego is formed, it inherently develop certain natural drives and urges, for man’s physical, psychological and spiritual destined development.
The urge to express everyone’s ‘self’ is an inherent, extreme natural drive. Only through this act man could translate his self, and his special ideas and thoughts into tangible realties. What is unexpressed remains unborn, null and void. These ideas are explained further in this paper.
How egos are objective realities ?
So, origin of knowing entities was an inevitable necessity for nature, to know itself, and thus overcoming the existential issue of ‘existence’ remaining null and void ! So, she schemed ‘egos’ to solve the above central necessity of having knowing entities. This base idea is explained in its minutest details at many junctures of this paper.
Egos originate when the sense-organs of a baby start catching signals from the external world. When the new born baby see, hear and touch the objects, it doesn,t know who he/she is, or what he/she is. The presence of its mother as an entity, and her communications with it enables the baby to realize that it too is an entity like others. ‘You are, hence I am’ could have been the logic by which EGOs have born ! An entity emerged out of the blue; but definitely after the cleverest of creative plans of nature. The new entity owns up all its sensory inputs as its own, and gradually comes out as a knower, or unit of experience, in line with other entities around him in the world !
Nature has devised this plan of knowing-entities because, for tangible existence of anything, knowing entities are an existential necessity as once referred above. Without knower, existence would be VOID ! One can say, whatever is not known by some mind or consciousness, can not be said to be existing, or they are equal to non-existing ! The millions of heavenly bodies and events in the un-observable corners of our universe are equal to non-existing for man, as we have no knowledge of them. Hence, for existence of anything, some sort of knowing entities are must. Plan of EGOs was nature’s smartest possible scheme to create tangible reality for world and life !
It is extremely difficult for man to disbelieve the existence of an external world independent of him because, he always forgets, or fails to remember that he is NOT an un attached, objective OBSERVER for everything outside of him, including the universe ! He simply keeps the dogma that he is a big eye, and whatever he see and hear is external to him, and has independent existence and reality without him ! We know that it is not the real fact: he is only a part and parcel of what ever he observe, and whatever he see and hear and experience is part of a scheme he has not devised. He is only passive RECEIVER of whatever his sense organs and mind experience, the way it was planned by the nature. He is not a gigantic eye before which what ever appears is independent reality ! Whatever he observe like objects in outside him are also are SUBJECTS like him, who too experience the world outside them as the total external reality. It is a mutual game of being subjects and objects simultaneously !
We are here in this act of intelligent communication on the very game of existence is exclusively because we have been planted here, or originated here on the planet as EGO entities, made capable of knowing, communicating and interacting with each other. We are the products of certain plan of nature, to experience the phenomenon of life !
What is consciousness, deeper self and related stuff ?
Most psychological discussions and literature are around the concepts of ‘consciousness’, ‘deeper, or original ‘self’ etc. Better we attend to these concepts for a serious discussion and definition in this all covering paper.
‘Consciousness’ will be much clearer to us when we first address the question whose ‘consciousness ? Consciousness is often used by many as synonym for SELF. My consciousness means my self, is a wrong approach to understand the concept. In this paper we identify various points or locations/positions of self that a man could adopt in the course of life.
At each of such point or location or position, he could be ‘conscious’ of the multiples of objects and events,and including that of the very nature of his own self. He can continue to hold-on with such ‘consciousness’ for as much time duration as he desire ! No deeper meaning need to be attributed this process, or ability of the self to be ”conscious’ of anything that he wills or desire.
Consciousness will always be the consciousness of some or other kind of self. When one goes through the various positions or locations of self that one could internalize in the course of life, the issue of the meaning and relevance of ‘consciousness’ would automatically subside.
What we know, and do we how ?
The above paragraphs explained why we are here as knowing entities. We have accept it because there is no other better sensible explanation other than the theory of random chance and accident, which is negating everything sensible and rational about human mind and his intelligence.
Now we will take up what we know, and how do we know.
We have seen above that sense datum ( the known) always precedes the knower. Or, the known precedes the knower. As classic philosophy school unanimously agree, ‘ there is nothing in the mind that was not there in the senses first’, means, what ever man knows, it was entered the mind from the external world through his sense organs. So, the sense organs are the first devices in the scheme of knowing.
It doesn’t need any super-intelligence to realize and recognize that mere unrelated sense data, in the form of certain visual inputs that the eyes gather, and similar audio-in puts that ears gather, sensations of touch the skin gathers, and the sensations of tongue that tongue gets can ever constitute any sensible knowledge ! First and foremost requirement was the emergence of a KNOWER, the entity of man. We have seen how nature was able to manage this task, through the highly creative plan of the emergence of EGO entities out of the blue. Once an entity was in place to experience life and the external world, obviously this entity was pre-equipped with various EXPERIENCE buds, so that the entity could make sense of these assorted sense inputs.
For example, when the tongue receives various taste inputs, one of the first major sense input that a new born baby experience by way of its mother’s milk, if it was not pre-equipped with taste-buds to make sense of what it sucks, the connection and the experience wouldn’t have worked ! It is 100% certain that the mind of the new born baby was pre-equipped with such various ‘experience buds’ in the mind, so that it could make sense of what it see, hear, touch, smell and taste. What is good and what is not good for preserving life was available pre-set in the body-mind system by nature, at least in its rudimentary form and sense. ( then the freedom to choose one’s own path also was given to the new synthetic entity !) Hence, external sense organs can not be termed as empty openings towards the external world, but they are pre-designed to receive such RANGE of the respective sense data, that makes sense to the pre-arranged experience buds in the system. Ears obviously was pre-equipped to enjoy melodious sound inputs, (songs and music) eyes to enjoy pleasing colors, and fear or dislike unpleasant sights, nose and skin.. like wise to receive and enjoy such inputs that is good, and life-preservative, self-protective and developmental of life. In short, sense organs were efficiently pre-integrated with the mind-body system, so that the entity gets along well with its life
It would be injustice to the great man Kant if we ignore his views on sense data and its latter getting converted into sensible perception. He thought ‘reason’ accomplish this task. He maintained that it was reason’s job to TRANSCEND the sense data into sensible knowledge forms, as it convert these raw data into various CATEGORIES, like quantity, quality etc. Here, our concept of ‘experience buds’ could act as a better explanation for the transformation of raw-sense data into sensible forms in the mind.
We have learned above that, what man gets to know through his sense organs are such knowledge forms that contribute towards his life process in every respect. Whatever he gets to know from the senses first go into constituting an entity- -ego, and this entity then absorbs further sense inputs into the mind, and it further process this raw data into various useful knowledge forms to aid the life process. Here Mind is better understood as a receiver and processor of various sense inputs, other internal inputs, or those aided by the structural design of mind ( as Kant had thought ) that process these data into various knowledge forms. Other internal inputs could include emotional and such other existential DRIVES and pre-dispositions that mind gets as inputs, in its processing act. The synthetic products from the world that re-enter the mind; like the inputs of news, values, myths, symbols etc. also should be considered as distinct inputs to mind. Inputs of Reason is also one of such prime internal inputs. We shall take up the internal input of REASON briefly in one of the next paragraphs.
Does what mind gather through the senses are reality’ in itself ?
It was the great philosopher Kant who took up this famous question first. He explained to the world that the reality ‘in itself ‘ of other objects in the world is never knowable by the mind. Senses are designed to gather what they are pre-designed to know about these objects. What senses gather is only ‘phenomena’. Mind is pre-structured to receive these sense data into few life supportive ‘categories’, and these categories are designed to aid the life process. What things are ‘in themselves’, could be known to mind through intuition, but Kant did not specify what intuition is, and whether man could ever come to know reality in itself through this route ! He left this area grey, and unexplained.
Any one who is deeply contemplative and analytical could easily realize the truth of what the great man had said. We, in reality, do not know what the objects in the world really are, or whether they have any special ‘in-itself’ reality other than what we gather through the sense-mind route ! When we see an elephant, what we get in the mind is not its exact photograph, but only a very subjective picture that our mind draws. Such picture drawn by each mind would be unimaginably different from one another, and this was what Kant had meant ! It is the same story for every knowledge our mind gathers. We draw pictures of objects, men and events that we encounter in the world in our own very special ways. Thus, we carry a world of our own making all the time, and the impression that we live in a good for all same world is merely an illusion, except that when we talk the same language, ie. the same sound representation for every object in the world, we tend to get the feeling that the world is same for all of us ! When you hear world ‘elephant’ from the other person, though he refers to his picture of the animal in his mind, and you get to see your picture of the same animal in the mind, for conversational and practical purpose, the arrangement stands good. But it never could refute the base reality of the very subjective worlds of each individual.
As Kant himself had clarified later, what ever the senses and the mind gathers is good enough for us, as they are destined to be practical realities destined by nature to enter human minds and make his day to day realities,( even for the realm of science !) and to lead his life successfully.
The role of ego as a KNOWER in the scheme of existence
Nothing could be known without a knower as already explained at many places above in this paper. If eyes were not there, nothing could have been seen and found as reality. Hence, reality is a convergence that takes place between the sense organs and the external world. It is an interplay between these two realms; the sensing organs and their objects outside. Man, in the role of a passive, outsider consciousness, is only a third party observer, or a witness, as what is going on in this convergence ! He gets certain experiences and realities as a final result. He doesn’t know whether it was the smartness and uniqueness of his sense organs that captured the realities of the external world, or was there an external world as an independent realm outside him, and the role of his sense organs was only to reflect them, and making its reality known to his consciousness.
When inferred on the above lines, one would realize the central role of his primary entity that was instrumental in providing him with all these experiences. Though we have taken up this phenomenon in the beginning once, let us go a bit in detail.
We have already seen how did this primary entity take birth, at many places above in this paper. This is to get to know this important nature’s plan in more detail.
We, for example’s sake, suppose that there were both sense organs, as well as external realities. (objects and events) Who would feel, or own-up the resultant experiences ? Therefore, a middle link, some entity who would experience the synergy between the sense organs and the external world was an existential MUST necessity. Hence, it should be reiterated again and again that the role of man was an existential inevitability as a knowing, and experiencing ENTITY. An independent entity to know, experience, infer, like, dislike and judge what ever it see, hear, touch, smell and taste. It was here that nature had devised the role of EGOs, the entity mechanism, to own-up what ever it experience as synergy ( or unity) between the sense organs, and the objects and events at the external world !
The idea was a grand success: man, the synthetic entity, owns up everything that he intentionally does, as well as what happens to him without his will ! He thinks, and construct artificial realities. He owns this thoughts, as well as what ever he thus constructs ! He owns up all failures and set-backs too ! Nature was totally successful in Her grand scheme. Knowing entities have come virtually out of the blue to own up a common world, as well as their individual selves !
Therefore, it is plainly evident to our intelligence that, origin of knowing entities, egos, was an integral aspect of nature’s plan to have realities in the above seen ways, and in the role of intelligent beings as means to undergo this unique experience of life !
But how does Ego take birth, as the body of man’s mind ? We have a detailed blog- post that explains its architecture, and how does it maintains itself with the help of Super-ego acting as the spirit of the world, or the spirit of the other that incessantly interact with the ego in the act of thinking etc. ( in a post Freudian perspective ) at link:http://anatomyofrealities.blogspot.in/
But, can the bland, unrelated sounds, sights and tastes would have meant anything to the ENTITY, if he/she did not have certain pre-drives, pre-set experience buds etc to make proper sense and meaning to his/her experiences ?
Role of Reason in the mind
Emmanuel Kant, the most profound thinker-philosopher of modern times had written that Reason is set in such a way in man, that it transcends raw sense data in to sensible perceptions first, and then further transcend it into knowledge forms, as we have already referred earlier in this paper. He believed that mind has such structural design that transform or transcend sense data into pre-set ‘categories’, or forms of knowledge. These categories such as quantity, quality, number etc. help in transcending the raw sense data into sensible knowledge forms, that the entities could use them in the life process. But the great philosopher did not make any distinct differentiation between mind and reason. He often used it to mean as if both denote the same thing. He had not attempted to define reason as it is. As Prof. G. Williams of Lancaster University wrote in one of his papers, this lack of a distinct definition of reason by Kant makes it a ‘great interpretive task’ as to what he had really meant by Reason as such.
If one checks-up every available definition and account of Reason in encyclopedias, dictionaries and scholarly books and papers, he will fail to get anything but round-about and vague description of man’s faculty of reason. All these definitions describe what reason does,( and NOT what reason as such !) such as faculty of man to arrive at conclusions from available evidences and premises, while mixing-up it with words like Logic and reasoning. This author, after his dedicated and singular self-analysis, contemplation, studies and research of 3-4 decades in the direction of finding the right genus of human reason, has found that it could be nothing but man’s internal ‘SENSE ORGAN’ that detects or senses the ORDER content that lies between evidences and arguments and the respective conclusion, that between causes and their effects, and finally, analogies and their respective object or event of comparison. This detecting of the ‘order’ ( or unity ) content is for contexts of formal deductive and inductive reasoning.
This indeed is an altogether new knowledge for our existing science of the mind, but very central to solve many unsolved problems of logical process.
Bertrand Russell, one of the greatest minds of modern age, who could also be considered an authority on matters regarding science of logic, had detailed the above referred un-solved problems of modern logic, in his ‘second lecture at Cambridge’ (1914) viz. ‘ Logic as the essence of philosophy’. This is a problem around logic’s main purpose of arguing on the basis of ‘observed facts’ to prove some ‘un-observed facts’. He admits that this could be “ done only by means of some known ‘relation’ of the observed and the un-observed” ( page 291, essays in Philosophy, Russell, Edited by Houston Peterson- Washington Square Press, New York-1974) “ but the un-observed, by definition, is not known empirically, and therefore its relation to the observed, if known at all, must be known independently of empirical evidence”
After listing Mills remedies to solve the above problem one by one, Russell proves them all inadequate and fallacious. He concludes: (page 293) “Thus logical knowledge is not derivable from experience alone, and the empiricist’s philosophy can therefore NOT be accepted in its entirety” .
“ We must therefore admit that there is general knowledge NOT derived from sense, and that some of this knowledge is not obtained by inference but is PRIMITIVE” (page 309)
When Reason is understood and recognized as an internal sense organ, the source of such MYSTIQUE knowledge in logical exercise referred by Russell could be explained and solved permanently. That ‘ general knowledge NOT derived from the senses’ whose source who called ‘PRIMITIVE’ is in fact provided by the ‘sense organ of reason’. It is the mush required sense of ‘order’, or UNITY provided by our sense organ of reason, that exist between every cause and effect, every instance of inferring a conclusion from a set of evidences or arguments, and every analogy and its object of comparison. This is what fills-up the gap that Russell had named as coming from ‘non-empirical, primitive’ sources !
It is time for our modern age to add-up this important understanding on faculty of reason to our knowledge system. Time is now ripe to accept the newly found role and function of the sense organ of reason !
In the routine activities of mind in its day to day life, there arise moment to moment, automatic intervention of the ‘sense organ’ of reason; mind always want to generalize on what ever data it has gathered through the sense organs from the external world. It usually makes sense of things and events based on the certainty derived from similar past experiences and events. A new sound now heard makes sense if the mind could relate it to something similar heard in the past. Sense organ of reason is what helps mind in this automated function of checking the ‘order’ element between the new sense input with its past, similar memory. When it gives OK, mind accepts it, and thus the new sense data gained ‘sense’ and meaning. Similar are instances of new touch, taste, smell and sight. Memory aids mind for NOT bothering reason every time a sense organ catches data. As all our sense organs are windows open towards world every moment except while in sleep, inputs, both new and the familiar ones, flow-in all the time. Reason and memory devices help he mind to handle this in-flow efficiently.
Mind often gets compelled to generalize over certain sense inputs and experiences that get continuously repeated. Their similarity may be quite evident at times, and vary a lot at times, but coming under the same class , or type of experience. Here, formal thinking to establish the similarity of such experiences comes to forefront. Mind engage reason is a more formal way to establish such not so well evident similarity ( generalization) between many past experiences, so that it could pass permanent judgment on them, as one and the same category of experience.
At some other time, mind will be asked by the entity (EGO, the man) to use its resources in very formal way, such as in scientific and philosophic investigations. Here, mind is asked not only to generalize on ready made sense inputs, but together with many already arrived at past generalizations and conclusions. It is not a simple task for mind. The order content ( or the UNITY content) between all those vast in-put of data and knowledge have to be processed at the same time, and look through the consistency (or order, or unity) factor in a logical chain of events and sub-events. The ultimate aim of the intelligent entity here is the same; that is to arrive at more complicated generalization, or laws of nature. Every arrived at past generalization and laws would serve the purpose of the ‘base material’ for inferring newer laws.
In such cases, the task of reason is NOT ONLY to sense the ORDER ( or unity ) content in what has been presented before it by the mind, but to work on each of them, to find out its every constituent sub-datum, sub-idea and sub-possibility ! If any one has observed man’s reasoning process very closely, he will come to realize its two distinctly different functions:
1) The simple function of checking the ‘order’ content in the data before it
2) To use reason’s unique second function, the PRISMATIC function, ie. allowing each ray of thought to pass through it, and getting it automatically split, in a PRISM like function, into its every constituent sub-idea, possibility and form! It is a very creative function, and needs assistance of the mind to leave reason alone and aloof, for this contemplative process. When every possibilities thus reached split and arrayed, they become new evidence, or observed data, for arriving at new generalization, or law. In this unique function, mind is able to ‘create’ new knowledge ! Mankind thus owe all its present intellectual and technological heights to his faculty of reason ! Reason, in one of its other inherent characters, will not permit mind to omit any of the already found datum, or piece of evidence from reflecting on the conclusions arrived at.
As Ego entity tend to store innumerable past memories, and give life a firm foundation and base platform, ego gets transformed into a new, and novel, unique ‘aggregate’ of all past experiences. The grand-sum status of this aggregate gets altered every moment, as fresh sense data as well as every valued past experiences add up to it always. In short, the various, not yet fully understood inputs from the sense (organ) of reason also constitute as an important ingredient in the mind.
Reason’s metaphysical links
One of such strange products that enters mind from the sense of reason is its metaphysical,or say,spiritual inputs. Every human being at some or other point of time gets exhausted of the directionless journey of own mind organ and tend to abandon it as a burden. Reason always insist for ‘changeless’ truths, especially about the essence of human personality and existence as a whole. When man attempts to find ultimate answers using his known mind, he comes to realize at the end of the such exercise that it could only run back and forth from what it knows. Like the pendulum inside a church bell, thoughts could only bang and forth within its enclosure. It is not able to find required answers as to where does he has come from, and where does he goes after death. Such intervals of exhaustion often lands-in naturally, and at times with unexpected tragedies and problems in life.
When the mind and the known thinking mechanism is thus abandoned, insights and wisdom usually reach mind as if from nowhere. We now know that it is the intervention of reason in its capacity as a super-mind. It often alter the canvas of consciousness from the ever-changing world to the metaphysical canvass of life: ie. placing the entity or self of man at the wider canvass of no-realm, or the unknown realm between birth and death. World is temporarily ignored by the mind. Such experiences often provide the troubled minds of man with some peace unexplained and stability.
Religions have emerged in the world from the above described experiences of man, and not out of the ‘fear-factor’ generally ascribed by science and psychology. Such universal experiences indicate that man indeed has roots other than that of the world of the known mind where the ego reside.
In addition to sense data, and important inputs from the sense organ of reason, there are other prime inputs also that enters mind; they are the inputs of emotions and existential DRIVES. We shall see what are these drives and emotional inputs are, in the next part of this discussion.
What are the existential drives and emotions that guides behavior of man ?
World is fairly familiar with the body related drives, such as sexual drive, hunger, thirst, drives for excretion as well as exertion and so on. These drives, we believe, make man act, for the body related needs. They are intended to maintain his physic fit and set. These drives expose the rather ‘mechanical’ features of man’s so called independent will. Man does not indulge in these routine acts after any serious thought, or reasoning. These drives are built-in, and inherent. He simply has to follow their call. If the calls are not attended in time, body reacts negatively, and bodily and even mental issues (diseases) will follow.
Side by side, there are well evident mental drives too, intended to make man act in certain pre-destined ways of nature. Emotions are at the top of this list. Psychology is yet to fully accept that man’s various emotions are wicks that are destined to be kindled ( or ignited ) at routine junctures of life, (like the rockets in a space-craft that fires at fixed intervals and make the space vessel to move ahead) to make the life journey move upward.
We could observe and confidently infer that, what makes a man’s experience realm rich and eventful is NOT the routine objects and events in the physical world, but his personal emotional encounters ! Emotional experiences are the chief contributors towards making man an ‘AGGREGATE’, or what he is moment to moment, a term that we have seen in the last chapters.
For example, the most central drive that we observes in man and woman, the urge to LOVE and to be LOVED, is so powerful that it sways even the sternest and the strongest of human beings ! It is probably due to the fact that, LOVE is closely related to the most fundamental urge of the very existence; that of the compulsion and urge to ‘EXIST’, or to BE, by making oneself known to others !
We have already learnt about it in an above paragraph that dealt with the existential inevitability of ‘knowing entities’, for the existence to know of itself. Without knowing entities, nothing could be tangible and could be felt real. Hence, the most conscious entity among all other creatures, man, suffers the most from this existential drive, the drive to make himself/ herself known to other persons and establish his/her ENTITY and REALITY.
In a romantic love relation, when two human beings know each other in unprecedented intimate ways, it is equal to taking births as ‘new persons’ in each other’s heart! Here each partner experiences the ecstasy of making himself/herself known in the heart of the LOVE partner, in ways and fashion that no one else in the world has let them known before ! It is full blossoming of these individuals, thanks to the central drive of love planted by nature, to make them experience the mother of all other experiences ! The lovers here share the most vital and central cosmic urge of nature, that of ‘existing’ by letting an other ‘knowing being’ knowing of it. Both experience the entities of each other in its fullest potential !
Associated emotions of this main DRIVE are that self-protection, self-glorification, urge for justice, beauty, ORDER etc. Urge for justice, beauty, morals and ethics etc. are different versions, or variations of man’s urge for ORDER. Needless to explain that justice, beauty and sense of morals are the highest forms and expressions of ORDER. We have already seen above how sense organ of reason is mad about ORDER and consistency, especially for including every piece of evidence and fact while arriving at conclusions and inferences, so that they turn logically correct. ‘Logical’ means here, simple adherence to the principle that the conclusion and the evidences, or argument, meet the consistency requirement. Conclusion should be naturally be deriving from the evidences. Reason does the most central job in the act, ie. sensing the ORDER ( or unity ) content between the presented evidences and its conclusion, as we have seen once above, well explained.
No conscientious person can cheat himself by omitting any well present evidence, or any known truth from reflecting in one’s conclusions and generalizations ! This is also ensured by the ‘urge’ (for unity and order) of the sense organ of reason.
Reason not only seek inclusion of all evidences and known facts in conclusions arrived, but it also will fiercely compel man to seek more and more knowledge. In a non-stop process, our sense organ of reason go on urging us to split each of our existing inference into its all available possibilities and sub-ideas, so that we arrive at the purest and clearestform of truth, laws and generalizations.
These emotional DRIVES, like the well evident meaning and purpose of our bodily urges, should indicate and throw light towards the hidden purpose of existence and human life ! The planting of these emotions in man, evidently to attain certain set of behavior and actions, must help us to probe into the WHY question of existence. We are aware why body has its drives. It is to ensure the proper functioning of the physical system that carry the mind, and its emotional system. Hence, emotional drives also should be aiming at achieving the proper functioning of the ‘mental system’, so that the hidden goals of nature could be achieved.
It is evident from the above discussion that nature has set separate and distinct DRIVES for body and mind. While the drives of the body (the physic ) are mere structural in nature, the DRIVES of the mind reflects the chief themes (essence) of nature about life and existence. Body serves the purpose of providing tangible ‘mass’ for the mind. Who undergoes and experience life is mind. For the external sense organs, only physic is tangible and real, whereas as for the inner sense organ of reason we could say, only the mind is real. The physical system, it seems, was designed in such a way that it has been structured and exclusively meant for the external sense organs, to get it perceived in a preset manner. External reality, therefore, can not ever be a stand alone stuff away and independent of the sense organs and the mind. Reality as experienced by man and other living beings is closely interwoven stuff involving the mind and the physic. Attempts to view them as separate and independent of each other, hence, would be an unnatural exercise. It would result in false notions and inferences.
Why negative drives and emotions ?
We should mention here the existence and role of the many negative emotions also, such as anger, rage, hatred, depression, jealousy etc. This paper dare to note here that, like the body’s getting diseased when its drives are not met,(hunger and thirst, sex, excretion and exertion) these negative emotions also could be symptoms of the diseased mind; caused by NOT meeting the positive emotional needs of the mind mentioned earlier. When there exist no avenue in one’s surrounding to express his urge to love and to be loved, expressing his selfdom for its proper projection and acceptance, or when his self-protection and dignity needs are not met, mind generate NEGATIVE emotions to get over the impasse. Lack of avenues for expression of the positive emotions and drives leads to serious conflicts within. These conflicts are essential for seeking out changes, and improving upon his individual as well as collective (social) living conditions. These conflicts might have other hidden goals too for nature, now unknown to man and his present knowledge.
As modern psychology believes and theorize, these emotions can not be due to the internal secretion of the now identified chemicals (special proteins) into the blood stream. Such excretions help only in physical manifestations of the assigned emotion, as emotions always precede these excretions. Obviously, when these special proteins are artificially administered into the body, mind would experience the respective emotion, but it is absolutely naïvety, and a faulty logic to conclude that it was body that excreted these chemicals into the brain, to cause the respective emotion ! We are referring to the latest finding of medical science that drugs like Dopamine, Serotonin, Norepinephrine etc. have emotion altering properties. If this argument is meant to conclude that the source of human emotions are the random secretion of these chemicals in to the blood stream, or to the brain, it is equal to nullifying the identity and role of emotions in the life-process of man !
Emotions are ‘in-itself’ inputs to mind, unlike sense data !
Another important feature of EMOTIONS universally experienced by man is that they are free of the ‘phenomena’ barrier of the known sense organs, as emotions do not reach mind through the external senses. Kant was very specific about the ‘impure’ status of anything that enters mind through the senses. He thought that whatever that enters mind outside the sense source should be treated as PURE knowledge.
As seen earlier, whatever knowledge reaches mind through the sense source can reach mind only as PHENOMENA, as mind is not able to know their ‘in-itself’ reality. As emotion reach mind Not through the senses, they have the ‘in-itself’ status, hence, could claim universally equal form for each and every person. In other words, unlike objects and events in the external world, that each person internalize in his own very subjective way and meaning, emotions are experienced by every person in exactly similar manner, except the difference in the intensity. Eg. Anger experienced by one person may be different in intensity and degree from that of a different person, determined by the difference in the emotional situation.
In short, emotions are important ingredients that reach mind besides the routine sense inputs. It is well known that emotional experiences make much more powerful impact in the mind of a person than the routine sense originated inputs and experiences. ( like the trees, roads, building, an evening, the crowd in a street, table s and chairs at the work-place etc ) Hence, they contribute much more to the net aggregate quantum of experiences of man. They drive man to actions, thought and behavior in a very higher degrees than the routine sense inputs, as sense-inputs act merely as aid and trigger for emotions in most of the cases. For example, sight of a beloved helps to trigger the emotion of love, or, the physically touching an enemy could heighten the anger in him, as he might take it as an act of intimidation !
We could say that drives are what lead to, and often get resulted into emotional situation. Drives are more broader a term than emotion. While man does not directly experience Drives, he distinctly experiences emotion.
Drives are rather inherent ‘tendencies’ of mind like the laws of motion put forth by the great scientist Newton for physical objects. Those laws are tendencies of physical bodies as identified and specified in the form of certain laws by the great scientist, such as the tendency of bodies to remain in a state of inertia until another unstable body disturbs this state of inertia and force it to move, and thus set in motion, the object will continue with the same speed and direction till some other unbalanced object stops, or redirects its course .
We can not locate these tendencies expressed anywhere in the physical structure of atom. Hence, this author strongly feel that such inherent ‘tendencies’ of matter as well as mind must be recognized by Science, as another distinct property, or category of reality besides matter and energy.
Drives get manifested into multiples emotions in the path of its fulfillment. Drives are better understood as directives, or predilections, or pre-dispositions of nature. We do not know where do they represented as specific neurons in the brain, but could observe its presence and extreme pull within us when we remain introspective. The newly recognized ‘sense organ of reason’ is what helps man to understand more about such inherent drives. It is a mystery sense organ, with many hidden, not yet recognized faculties, that may include ‘intuition’ like sources of direct knowledge on life, self and God.
It would make better sense if we infer that all these drives like urge for up-keeping dignity of self, self-protection, self-glorification that manifested as creative urges, drive to excel etc. are manifestations of a one single drive;the cosmic urge of all living beings to BE, or to EXIST ! This is one most central and all controlling DRIVE that guides and direct life ! Evidently, nature as a whole also is guided by this all engrossing DRIVE, or existential energy, that, we could infer that She must have shared with all living beings too. One important, self-evident manifestation of this DRIVE is man’s fierce urge for SELF-EXPRESSION, or his urge to let himself known before fellow-beings ! In the paragraph describing features of Ego above, we have already seen how central is the existential scheme wherein something or someone could know of itself by making itself, or himself before ‘other’ beings.
This fundamental ‘urge’ compel man to be social. In other words, this must have been nature’s central plan to make living beings adopt social ways. Inherently, each unit of life needs ‘other’ units around it to format its own self and being. Hence, this urge should be considered as the most primary and central existential drive. Like the heavenly bodies depend on neighboring other bodies to be in their respective orbits by the force of gravity and attraction, living beings too seem designed in a similar way. Every unit of life needs the other for self definition, identification, and even for the socially relevant ‘restricted’ freedom of moment and action for securing social equilibrium. Any unit of life exceeding such set limit of self-freedom of moment and action gets resulted in social upheavals. This opens up a great field of study in itself for both our future sociologist as well as for cosmologists !
If we look at life with total openness, and with all our rational inferring might based on all available evidences and intuition, we will be forced to conclude that reducing this drive to mere ‘struggle for existence’ by Darwin was an act of belittling life and its inherent glory ! The grand drive to exist and to BE has much more depth and grandeur than the ‘struggle for existence’, and the ‘survival of the fittest’.
What Darwin had done was to infer his theory from the obvious symptoms of the fundamental drive of self-interest that he had observed , without looking at a broader picture. As this author has pointed out in his papers titled ‘PREDOMINANCE OF LOVE ABOVE SURVIVAL INSTINCTS’, and the paper titled ‘major intellectual dogmas that rule the contemporary world’ ( web links:http://lovepredominatessurvivalinstincts.blogspot.in/
, and http://leadingdogmasthatruletheworld.blogspot.in/
), parental care and love exhibited by mothers in the animal kingdom to make the off-springs survive the post-birth period ( of 0 to 2-3 years for animals, and 0 – even 18 years for human-beings) should be considered more relevant and more fundamental an aspect that ensure survival of the off-spring than the struggle puts-forth by the off-spring him self when it attains growth stages, fit for putting-up such struggles himself ! The inherent familial and social tendencies shown by many animal and insect species is more profound an energy and drive than the tendency to compete for resources and mates (survival struggle) that every living unit exhibits when it attains maturity.
If a truly rational observation is put-in to this issue, it would become evident that, NATURE has provided units of life with more wholesome drives and energies to survive than the mere mutual competition for limited resources . As seen at one of the earlier paragraphs on EMOTIONS, we discussed the urge ‘to love and to be loved’ as a central, existential urge that drives man. Here LOVE should be understood and re-defined as the urge to ‘VALUE’ one self, and to share it with others too. This valuing of oneself is a kind of ‘self-glorification’ urge. If circumstances permit, every man exhibit his self-esteem, or a sign of his self value, and his natural tendency to VALUE his fellow beings too in the course of life. When one has ample self-esteem and self-worth, something naturally occurring to every one in natural conditions, he tend to VALUE the fellow beings too in the same degree of value and esteem. It is the ones who lost his self-esteem for ever who would struggle with others in neurotic effort to gain it back ! Even the most fiery animals exhibits tendency to respond to love and care provided to them in the same degree as seen from various experiments conducted in this field.
What being attempted to infer here is that, the grand DRIVE that nature had originally intended for man to survive successfully was the central drive of LOVE, or the faculty to VALUE oneself, and valuing the other also in the same degree ! At the present stage of our intellectual evolution, this broader existential DRIVE could not have possibly been materialized in human societies, hence, past philosophers and thinkers had to arrive at conclusions based upon what they had observed during their time.
The man in the jungle, and later at the battle weary ancient cities and towns, man could never get an opportunity to be at peace with himself, and others. Hence, every man exhibited traits of aggression and self-interest. What our past thinkers and philosophers like Thomas Hobbes and others had observed was a bye-product, or a result of such antagonistic historical circumstances of human race during their time. The story of man’s discoveries and inventions so far shows that man is able to gain insight into nature’s secrets, step-by-step. Without doubt, it is time for mankind to have more insight into this central area of human knowledge, about the most central human drive that guides him through the life-process, ie VALUING his fellow-being in the same way that he values himself !
In short, it was the above singular DRIVE that got manifested as its various sub-drives, or symptoms of the same drive. When avenues for valuing one’s own self was absent at life-situations, man naturally developed negative symptoms, such as more aggressively expressed urges to EXIST, and to BE. When many units exhibit such negative symptoms of aggression at the same time, it naturally turns a struggle for existence and survival, as Darwin had seen it. Thomas Hobbes also had observed the same symptoms, and he professed his governmental forms based on POLITICAL POWER and AUTHORITY, to restrict such behaviour of people, and bring order in society. He thought human nature is fundamentally ‘nasty, brutish and cruel’, and such society needs coercive governmental forms with great political power to mend these beasts.
These self-evident human DRIVES have to be accepted by our science with an equal interest that they do accord to matter and energy forms, to make their endeavour more wholesome. These drives are integral, observable aspects of existential reality exactly in line with the laws of physical matter.
The synthetic products from the world that enters mind
When we call external world, and inputs gathered by mind from there, it should not be restricted to the trees, mountains, butterflies, rivers and animals. It must include the numerous synthetic objects that modern world produces through its media sources.
When man gathers sense date from the raw world, every man turns a unique ‘aggregate’ of experiences as we have seen. Then he starts expressing himself in varied ways into the world, which, the others around him picks up as unique sense products ! As senses are OPEN windows to external signals and inputs, no one can prevent it from entering the mind. So, every one’s acts of expression become the external sense puts of every other one.
When this act of self expression turns a mass communication act like in the case of world’s media channels ( news paper, tv channels, internet etc) what ever they produce at mass scale for the general consumption of people, it turns a chief in-put of man’s mind. This mass communication exercise, or industry we may call, often intentionally fill this realm with hidden values, myths, and view points that suits the interests of the current masters of the world ! ( political and corporate masters)
External Senses here act both as receivers, as well as transmitters in a big way. What ever one produces as his self expression becomes the sense input of others around, and what ever these mass media channels produce becomes the chief ingredient for man to constitute his mind, attitudes, values, judgments and conclusions. This new phenomenon of mass media is capable of cutting man from his original source of life and existence, and turning him into synthetic EGOs. What happened during Hitler’s time inGermany was a convincing example of this modern phenomenon. An entire people of a country was forced to internalize his mad ideology of hate and destruction, and history produced the holocaust ! When the strength of the external sense inputs cuts away one’s private rational and emotional inputs, man could turn a lifeless machine at any time. This has been mentioned here just to warn mankind on the dangers of intentional mass communication devices, sources and channels.
Sudden arrival of calamities, diseases and tragedies in life
No discussion on mind and life would be complete till it touches the most uncertain and the most painful of all the experiences that enters mind ! They are the sudden calamities like serious,life threatening diseases for self or loved ones, sudden accidents and deaths in the family, natural calamities like earthquakes, fires and floods. It is so common a factor that enters the mind of some people, at the most unexpected hours of life.
Life a solid physical reality, with least sign of any doubt of unreal phenomena, these tragedies reach minds asking for appropriate reaction and a stand. Like emotions that we had recognized earlier as pure experiences sans the screen of sense organs, these experiences challenge every sense of rationality and self-bearance of the unfortunate victims. No cause and effect relation could ever be established for the arrival of these tragedies in any one’s life.
While many a lives perish on account of failed battles against such unexpected tragedies in life, many endure it with utmost patience, courage and hope. In many a cases, such pains and trauma goes away gradually as they had come, leaving the victims rich and wise in life experience ! Such tragedies shake man from his very root and soul, compelling him to seek enduring answers on the mystery of life. Such tragic events help man to seek out the very depth of the life as an experience, and compel him to seek ultimate answers. It often helps to transcend life and selves to different realms of life and experiences.
Equally random are the arrival of unexpected good fortunes and pleasures in the lives of some others ! These pleasurable experiences and successes also could transcend men to different realms of aggregate, letting them experience life from new angles and perspectives from thereupon. Though such incidents are purely external events, it let fierce emotions to flood into the victim’s mind to wreck or make them.
To summarize, the salient features of mind and matter that we have discussed above are:
1) Matter and its various manifestations would have been invisible and void without mind. Mind was an existential inevitability as far as NATURE was concerned. It was nature as MIND that preceded matter, hence She planned a MIND scheme similar to Hers, as knowing mechanism for the matter realm for all units of life.
2) Man’s sense organs were schemed to give him only such matter related realities, that was just enough for him to lead life.(phenomena) Each sense organ was devised to give him such limited range of the destined realities as was necessary for the life process. Eye can not see everything, but only such objects in its range of vision. Same was the case with ears, nose, tongue and skin. There could have been many other hidden ‘categories’ of knowledge other than sight, sound etc, but man has not been provided with sense organs to receive them !
3) What mind produced as its first item was the ‘entity’ of man, the ego. It has taken birth on the principle that ‘ others are, hence I too am’. This entity acted as the OWNER of the mind, and whatever the senses perceived.
4) He could produce intellectual products ( like inferences, conclusions and laws) also other than the raw data given by the senses by working on the sense data, and also from various EXPERIENCES he underwent in his relations with other egos around.
5) Other than the sense inputs, various drives, emotions and instincts also were there as inherent inputs to his mind, to facilitate above processing exercise.
6) The mysterious faculty of reason offered central help to the mind in distinguishing between right from falsehood. It helped in the reasoning process. It also helped with its ‘PRISMATIC’ function, to analyze any given ray of thought or idea into its constituent sub-idea, and possibilities. Reason also is doubted to be his hidden sense organ that might offer him knowledge beyond the phenomenal barrier of the external sense organs, about the final truth of his life and existence.
7) Like laws of motion in the matter realm are ‘tendencies’ for the movement of bodies, the well evident DRIVES in man such as his fierce urge for self-expression, to BE and EXIST, to survive and excel etc. should be treated by science in its effort to understand the physical and mental realities as one single realm of existence.
8) Lastly, the paper attempted to show the danger of modern mass media agencies that do not always represent the ‘sacred realm of collective’ of man. The messages, values, and attitudes they produce at mass scale for the consumption of people have its distinct and absolute impact on minds of man, and then the way they lead their lives and live in existence.
9) From the above elaborate discussion on mind, one thing that comes out sublimely is a very central question: Can the mind ever encounter something that was not a product of itself? The answer is quite clear. While everything that enters mind from the external world goes to mind through the sense organs, it can not escape the pre-processing and pre-dressing of it by the sense organs. The ever new aggregate of the entity-man- could either heat-up such inputs or cool them down by adopting appropriate attitudes. But the dictum of reason that directly enters mind sans the sense-organ wall is very difficult to block or defend without consequences, like a clear reason provided evidences in intellectual inferences. A particular state of mind ( an emotion without any identifiable cause) that grips the mind from nowhere is also usually undefendable, as it has entered mind through an extra sensory route. Such experiences are common as far as life is concerned. Reason is supposed to be a mystique door for non-sensory inputs to enter man’s mind.
10) The discussion hopefully brings forth that the realm of ego is a totally cut-off realm from metaphysical essence of life: the realm of mind officially live upon the feeds from the sense organ, and its synthetically processed facts and truths by the mind. The entity-ego-when remain as an overt product of these external realities, its behavioral and thought outputs also would be squarely akin to the synthetic world. Reason routinely gives reminders and options to ego to switch over the canvas of life from the synthetic world to the wider and deeper realms of existence. Such ‘transcended’ realms of the ego is a plain reality, and it is such realms that man usually come to understand as his deeper self, or even soul.
For more details on such possibilities of TRANSCENDING one’s self, please share our dedicated blog: http://metaphysicsofthehumansoul.blogspot.in/
Authored by: Abraham Joseph
Founder secretary of ‘conscience of the society’, a Philosophic non-profit that stands for freelance research into subjects such as Human reason, mind, emotions, human drives, nature of reality, self-formation, nature of human soul etc.
Blog site: conscienceofthesociety.com/blog