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Surprising(really right) Original Issue Definitions

Analog

ana- according to + logos ratio, relation.  A ratio. Smoothly graded relationships, where one part is difficult to distinguish from the next. In contrast to digital. A glass of water can be half full, a quarter full, an eighth full, a sixteenth full, etc. But the glass is either there or not there.

Autopoiesis

auto - self + poiein to make. To make itself, create itself. The primary characteristic of life. The process of self-creation through awareness - mind (perception/memory/response/observation). The technical term for the Thread of Awareness in Chaos. Proposed by Humberto Maturana in 1970. (reprinted in Maturana and Varela, Autopoiesis and Cognition. Reidel Books, Dordrecht, Holland. 1980).

Awareness

a- to or up from wer- cautious, turning. wer- is also the base for worm, worry, wary, writing. Turning this way and that when surprised by the error of expectations. Tracking. Now usually used to mean knowing, informed, cognizant. All of which you get by being worried, wary, and wormy. 

Awareness is communication between a being and itself over intervals of time. It is the observer reflecting back on expected conditions. Awareness is a closed information system that emerges within a being as it experiences changes in expected conditions from one moment to the next.

Communication

to make common, public, shared by all or many. From the Indo-European root com - together, and mei - to barter, exchange (also seen in immune).

Concept

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Concept

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Concept

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Concept

Com - together + capere to take. To take together. As in conceive, to become pregnant with all that taking together. To share a common idea or method or behavior pattern. To bring different ideas together - to conceive - of a new idea.

A much better word for what we call organism. Not orgasm, although the two words both refer to an organ - as in the musical kind of organ with tubes. I mean, Orgasm means to swell up, reach a climax, fill with excitement. Like organs do. Although pocket flutes do, too.

Organism and Orgasm and Organic all coming from the ancient Greek organon that does not mean organized or alive or critter or even filled with lust, like you'd think. organon, according to Webster, was an instrument, implement (implement?).

Organic means, according to Webster, an organ, as in musical organ - a large wind instrument consisting of various sets of pipes which, as they are opened by their corresponding keys on the keyboard, allow passage to a column of compressed air that causes sound by vibration. Ho ho ho, we can see what those crafty Greeks were getting at. Toot my organ, baby. "Oh I say, Anastopholeas, I'm approaching an Orgasm, snicker snicker.

You can see why I think Concept is a lot better word for a living creature than organism - which means, literally, the love of organ music and not the music of organs loving.

After some consideration I had to come back to this definition. It turns out that there is a lot of similarity between living beings and organs after all. Such as the idea of a body being something that gets fingered to trigger a flow of compressed something that then flows through all the circuits to produce this God awful noise that in turn stimulates the musician to greater efforts. It's always somebody else doing the fingering of the keys, not the instrument itself. So we should probably keep using organism, providing we don't forget what it really means and keep an eye on whoever is fingering the keys.

Conscious

Latin com- together, with + scire to know. Literally "knowing together." Now used as a generic word to represent knowing, feeling, knowledge, awareness, and every other mental state - as in sub- or un- or super- . I think it should be used exclusively as "Knowing Together," and apply it to the emergent state of awareness from intercommunication - as with human language creating a special kind of mutual awareness in the participating individuals. But also as the emergence of a human mind from the communications of its 10 billion neurons. Or the emergence of a multicellular creature by the communications of its cells. And so on.

Conscious is communications between beings existing at the same interval of awareness.

Awareness is communication between a being and itself at different points in time.

Cybernetics

Greek kybernetes - The Helmsman. Bet you didn't know that, you cyberspace freaks. The mathematics of control, recursiveness and information - as, for example, the tracking process used by autopilots, the systemic efforts of organisms to maintain their temperature, and our daily to and froing trying to avoid one disaster after the next. Made fashionable by Norman Wiener in the early 1940's, the idea of self-correcting systems and auto-control goes way back. But not that far back. People used to think linear type thoughts. This leads to that leads to that. The feedback part was new in the 1800's when Lamarck talked about transformism, James Watt put a governor on his steam engine, and Marx talked about self-control in social systems (this idea never got through to the people who read Marx's stuff). Cybernetics was a neat word, so it caught on and scientists stopped reinventing it. Feedback became a household word and we all went on autopilot.

Digital

a finger. An inseparable whole item, either there or not there. Yes or No. On or Off. Normally the controlling factor - as a switch controls the flow of current. In contrast to Analogue. The power of one versus zero. On the other hand zero is just as powerful as one, and don't ever forget it. Come to think of it, the versus is what is really important, right?

Ecology

Greek, oikos- house. Study of the house. The network of relationships that creates the environment, including all the organisms creating it,  the way it is.

Emergent

- e, out + mergere to immerse, dip. To rise from, to come forth into view, become visible, known, arising unexpectedly, unpredictably - as in emergency. Harmony emerges from many voices singing together. Mind emerges from the communications of many neurons. Sunlight emerges from the intercommunication of hydrogen atoms. Emergence is instantaneous and non-causal. Thus water emerges from hydrogen and oxygen as a quantum leap in information organization, a move from one stable set of relationships to another, totally different and unexpected. Meaning rises out of these definitions, if you follow. Moiré patterns are simple examples of emergent systems.

Environment

-  en- in + viron a circuit, from the still older word virer, to turn as in veer. As in what you see when you do that. The surroundings. The pattern and flow of all that is. All the conditions, circumstances, and influences surrounding and affecting the development of an organism or group of organisms. Also used to describe internal conditions, as in the internal environment, as when your cells grope around on the morning after, impressed by the shambles. The word enshrines the separation of the individual from the world around it and should be ignored as misleading and overused.

Error of Expectations

The difference between expected (remembered) conditions and actual conditions.  Bateson used the phrase, "News of a Difference." Maturana defines this as "perceptions of a difference." With the emphasis on the difference being part of the process of cognition. While Bateson thought the difference was out there, in the objective world. Big difference between perceptions of a difference and news of a difference in the world of Cognition Science. I use the phrase to mean surprise, shock, or simply Awareness. The debate on where the difference is gets really academic if you don't believe in outside versus inside worlds. But what is important is that this is what generates awareness and mind and the observer and all the living world. We need a better, a single snazzy word for this but the only one I can think of is Oops. And that just doesn't sound right for the origin of life.

Feedback

Circular causation, the basis of controls. Each action in a cycle has an impact on every other part of the cycle. Normally one action alters the next in a series until the last changes the first again. Positive feedback amplifies initial actions, negative feedback reverses actions. A governor on an engine provides negative feedback; as load is applied, the engine slows, the governor feeds more fuel to speed up the engine. As load decreases, the engine speeds up, the governor cuts fuel to slow the engine. The central concept for Cybernetics. This is the 4th stage of the Thread of Awareness - the Observer part of the cycle that reports back on changes from preceding actions. Positive gain in feedback is known as a vicious circle (the depression, the cold war). Negative gain is a wet blanket.

Genetic

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Genetic

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Genetic

Indo European base *gen- to beget, produce, be born, become. Also, through loss of the g, in Latin nascor to be born and even nature.

The Indo European base language, known as PIE, had its genesis in the Steppes of Russia and, because these characters had horses, and a novel idea (herding humans) they took over most of Europe. Their language gradually, through interbreeding with other languages, begot German, English, French, Italian, Spanish, Latin, Greek and lots of others. But not Finnish or Celtic or Chinese or anything like that.

Biologists picked Genetic as a keen word to describe how we get begetted. Dr. Ralph Gerard, a neurophysiologist, tried to get geneticists to think about the amazing similarities between language evolution and biological evolution. They didn't get it, as they started out thinking of genes like Gregor Mendel, the Monk, did. Like little peas. Each gene (pea) putting out its little shoots of proteins and stuff to become some particular characteristic - like red eyes in a fruit fly. Unto this very day genetisists think that way, and have produced mountains of papers and books on the subject.

Someday, maybe soon, they will stop to consider the monarch butterfly and realize that genes (our beginnings) are memories, not peas. Though peas are memories, too.

Higher levels of consciousness

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Higher Levels of Consciousness

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Higher Levels of Consciousness

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Higher Levels of Consciousness

 

Awareness of higher dimensions is related to magic (see below). You should read that definition first if you want to get this one. Magic is a more basic relationship than higher dimensions. Magic leads to higher dimensions.

Improved abilities to perceive relationships and to analyze these allows us to discover and understand progressively more complex layers of controls in the web of communications that is our living planet.

Everybody knows we develop our awareness of layers of relationships from infant to 4 year old to teenager to maturity. An infant has no idea at all of the economic controls it is embedded in. To a 2 year old, finance is a higher dimension. It is a higher dimension to my accountants, too, but they won't admit it.

The more we learn, the wider our horizons, the more complex the control systems we perceive, the more we understand why things are the way the are. The reality of the more basic control systems are not superseded by the more complex ones. Rather, the more complex control systems are, basically, based on the more basic ones. The higher control systems add another perspective or "value" to those below.

The term Higher Levels of Consciousness does have a special meaning (value) to our normal, mature levels of consciousness. I just wanted to set the stage. Our normal human consciousness is the language we communicate with, when operating in everyday human environments. It's how we know together.

However, it is possible to communicate with the world around by understanding the language of "nature." Not simply what the fire ants or monarch butterflies are saying to each other, but observing relationships that apply to fire ants and humans and monarchs of all kinds.

Consciousness takes on an emergent quality on these non-human-language levels of awareness. That's what all the fuss is about. Beyond a certain point, (the Perilous Chapel it's called), diddling with higher levels of control seems to get "in touch" with a supra-human-emergent awareness. Spooky stuff. People who do it get freaked out, start wearing robes, smile a lot, get weird. People who don't get freaked out over people who do, start throwing rocks, locking them up, burning them, ask their advice or worship them, depending.

Myself, I think the people who freak our on both sides are subject to severe data display error. When people get beyond their personal levels of understanding they create a metaphor that they can understand. A myth. Because they can't "identify" with the larger emergent control system, they overlay an "identity." And then go all funny over their own myth.

Information

Latin in- in or towards + forma shape. To give shape to. Good definition, excellent word. Bateson defined information as, "a difference that makes a difference." But his definition, unlike the real, original one, fails to give the sense of information resulting in form. Actually, as you probably know, we don't use the word according to its original definition. Now it means a communication that gives another person an understanding of the form or characteristic of whatever the communicator is trying to describe. A representation of the real thing.  But in cognitive science information is the event that generates the error of expectation (surprise, awareness). Any kind of energy or elements or pattern or touch that results in awareness is information. Information is, quite literally, the cause of  appearance (of any creature, system or event); giving shape to ourselves and the world around us.

Information Theory

Information Theory is about patterns of signals and how these are passed from one focus to another. Originally about signals through telephone systems in the 1940's when phones didn't work very well, it matured into an understanding of how patterns of communications result in organization of living systems.

Intercommunication

The exchange of  information   between more than one being, or layer of being, creating mutual awareness. Used in the same way as when we say rooms intercommunicate, allowing information or people to move freely between them. Intercommunication implies Feedback. Cells intercommunicate with each other forming a common awareness of a whole being. Organisms intercommunicate with the environment creating a self-regulating ecosystem.

Magic

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Magic

Related to Maya.   Mysteries beyond the horizons of perceptions. In Hinduism Vedanta, the world is maya, an illusion, created by our need "to measure," the world and set up divisions. The illusion is strengthened by human classifications, built from our language, that define the world filled with a multiplicity of distinct things.

Misunderstanding of this concept has resulted in considerable confusion - especially the illusion that, "Reality is illusion."

Yeah, right. Let's get practical. Real is real. But our understanding and interpretation of reality is based on the limits of our perceptions.

That we are the intercommunications of cells was beyond the horizons of perceptions 150 years ago. Maya actually means our view of events is always incomplete if only because our process of awareness rips actuality from its organic connections, itemizing events and objects that are, in actuality, an integrated and continuous communication system. That's what it means. It's not supposed to mean that what we perceive isn't real; just not the whole story. A punch in the snoze is still a punch in the snoze even if you don't know what it is all about. And you never will.

Man

Indo-European base *men- to think, seen also in Latin mens mind. Hence, the basic sense, "the one that thinks." Sometimes.

Mantra

Thinking tool. A mantra is a phrase or graphic image used to focus thoughts on complex relationships. They are not magical, and it does not matter how you pronounce them. What matters is understanding the complex relationships each part of the mantra is supposed to represent. This is similar to the idea of a releaser image a hypnotist might use to trigger complex responses in someone. As with the Holy Mama in the Solomons. "When I say the word one, you will see yourself working side by side with all your friends, building a world together, and you will feel what it is like to join together, work together, and love one another." Or a releaser gene that triggers a complex series of cellular activity.

Object

Every thing is a focus of behavior; a focus of change, information structured into quasi-stable relationships. There is no core to this focus, it is like a vortex with nothing at its center.

Om Mani Padma Hum

This does not mean anything at all. They are not exactly words. To someone aware of the various conditions ascribed to the sounds,  "doing" the mantra generates an experience, an observation.

The mantra is a thinking tool to focus perception on the basic process of being. It is an exercise to perceive the Thread of Awareness in Chaos. Like any tool, it is useless in the hands of someone who does not know what it is or how to use it. To use Om Mani Padma Hum you need training. Still, if you want to know.... I'll let you in on the secret.

Structure

From the Latin Structura to heap together, arrange. "A self-stabilizing energy-event complex" says Buckminster Fuller in his book Synergetics. He means all structures are the emergent appearance of a whole system from the behavior of its parts. Today the word is used as a noun, a thing. But virtually anyone who has had anything to do with any structure of any kind knows perfectly well that it has a life span. It's component parts change. Slowly in some structures, like a mountain, but even continents slip slide about in a very impermanent way. Given time.

Symbiosis

From the Greek living together. A biological term to describe the complex web of nested intercommunications creating every living being and associations of beings.

Synergy

From the Greek synergos to work together. A systems theory word to describe the complex web of nested intercommunications creating every operational system.

Thread of Awareness in Chaos

The ever expanding, self refreshing, multi-billion year old complications of surprise.

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