CHAPTER 25 - The Evolution of AUO Awareness. Tom Campbell, My Big TOE

Author: Tom Campbell. Link to original: http://bit.ly/y4Mfk3 (English).
Tags: Campbell, Tom Campbell, метафизика, наука, физика Submitted by kostyazen 05.04.2014. Public material.
В этой главе книги Том Кэмпбелл обращается к сознанию

Translations of this material:

into Russian: Глава 25 - Эволюция сознания Абсолютного неограниченного единства (АНЕ). 12% translated in draft.
Submitted for translation by kostyazen 05.04.2014

Text

The awareness of a single cell, an amoeba, a worm, a bumblebee, a chimpanzee, and a human being are all fundamentally based upon the same process. Awareness differs mainly by degree. Somewhere along the path from simple single process action-reaction (or stimulus- response) to a more complex multi-process interaction-reaction, the capacity to remember (store information) evolved. It is this ability to store or retain information that enables learning. Even the simplest of biological life-forms have the capacity to learn by retaining or storing information in their physical structures (DNA for example). This learned information can be transferred to future generations through reproduction. Learning through the evolutionary process of exploring the possibilities and retaining the results of lessons learned (in your DNA or in the Library of Congress) so that they can be passed on to future generations is a natural self-reinforcing process.

Deoxyribo Nucleic Acid (DNA – a nucleic acid that carries the genetic information in the cell and is capable of self-replication and synthesis of ribonucleic acid), and other forms of bio- memory, are not as difficult to influence or modify as most scientists think. It is commonly thought that it takes thousands of years for evolution to modify biology substantially – that many millennia must pass before complex biological systems (like people or polar bears) evolve new ways of being – new instincts, new firmware. Quite the contrary, biological systems do not necessarily go through a long drawn out and difficult random mutation and selection process to modify bio-memory. In a relatively short time, significant change can be established or disestablished that will be passed from generation to generation if those latter generations reinforce the change because they also find it profitable. Memory, capable of inputting and retrieving data quickly enough to support cognition, is a primary enabler of both species learning and dim awareness.

Shorter data input and data modification times, as well as quick read and write access, are required for individual learning and to support a brighter awareness. It should be obvious to you that a brighter, more functional awareness is naturally associated with larger memory, shorter memory input and access times, and better information processing capabilities. What does that remind you of? A biological brain connected to a sensory apparatus – or maybe a computer? It appears as if biological brain consciousness or digital consciousness systems, operating with high bandwidth input-output (I/O) and very short processor cycle times and memory access times, might theoretically have an exceptional capacity for individual learning and brightness (evolving their own firmware and software). That theoretical potential for the exceptional brightness of a brain or a digital computer could perhaps become actual brightness if the data input-output systems connecting it to its internal and external data-source environments, along with its purpose-goal-intent-action-result feedback systems, generate a rich enough set of uniquely profitable possibilities to provide adequate evolutionary potential to support the development of a high level of mental function. In other words, if the entity interacts (at a minimum receives data and makes choices based on those data) within sufficiently complex environments and develops sufficiently high bandwidth connections to those environments, it will eventually evolve a higher, brighter level of awareness to better utilize that data. If the range of possible choices and the methods of selection between choices are also sufficiently rich and complex, the potential for brightness greatly expands. Hold on to these concepts: They will become more important later on as brains and computers are related to digital consciousness.

Thus, biological systems – living things – evolve, learn, grow, and change purposely. They make progress. Their existence is directed by finding more profitable ways of being and relating. Profitable strategies such as storing food for the winter, and technologies such as nest building, are developed, internalized, and “remembered” (retained by biological modification) and put to good use by later, more successful generations. Over time, a biological or genetic group memory may develop – a sort of hardwired cultural belief system.

Heredity is not the only transfer mechanism. Simple flatworms have been trained to respond to external stimuli. Untrained flatworms that are fed the trained worms seem to gain the knowledge of their consumed brethren. (Kids, don’t try this at home. Unless you are a flatworm, eating your parents or teachers will not make you any smarter and could get you into serious trouble).

Most of the more advanced products of evolution eschew chewing on their intelligentsia and find it more efficient to exchange information by energizing each other’s sensory inputs and outputs – sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste for example. This communicated information is processed, evaluated, acted on, stored, and retrieved. When a large dog faces you squarely, growls and shows his teeth while the hair stands up on the back of his neck, do you get the intended message? Is there a successful audio-visual information transfer?

Simple life-forms know when things feel better. For instance, they know what, when, and how to eat and reproduce selectively. The extent to which learning takes place depends on the extent and efficiency with which experience interacts with memory. The degree of complexity of the life-form allows for variations in the specialization of the organs of awareness. Such specializations define the breadth and depth of the sensory input and the speed and efficiency of storing, retrieving and using information to describe, evaluate and select possible action-reaction sequences. All life-forms react to both their internal and external environments. Every life-form is in the problem solving mode trying to improve its situation and increase its immediate profitability. Problem solving is the natural response to environmental pressure. Plants turn toward the sun, night-crawlers scurry down their holes as they assess minute seismic danger signals, and humans have invented whiskey and nuclear bombs.

Awareness is a characteristic of consciousness. To some extent, all the earth’s life-forms are aware and conscious. All store and retrieve information more or less continually and therefore have the capacity to learn, to improve themselves, and to become more than what they presently are – to evolve. Some awareness is more or less efficient, brighter or dimmer, than others. It is a continuum. Jellyfish, raccoons, and people are all aware of some things and unaware of other things. It is more a matter of degree and focus than a fundamental difference in the nature of awareness. Limitations on the richness and complexity of the possible interactions and responses that an entity can have with its external and internal environments are what define each entity’s capacity for awareness. The process of developing awareness is the same for all entities, whereas the limitations and the environments of each entity are unique.

By now, it should be clear that developing and evolving awareness is a standard, normal and natural happening among biological entities. Similarly to a one celled biological entity, AUO (Absolute Unbounded Oneness) develops awareness of itself in relation to itself by mutating or modifying its internal uniformity or structure. I am using the term awareness here relative to AUO in the same way that it is used above. Let’s call it dim awareness. Dim awareness is fundamentally the same as any awareness, only very limited in its scope and complexity. At its dimmest, dim awareness is simply the potential for awareness.

Consider the first simple multi-celled creatures floating in our oceans eons ago. This dim cellular awareness figured out (in the evolutionary sense) that if certain cells would specialize in specific functions (eating, digestion, reproduction, locomotion, coordination, control), then more complex and more successful creatures could evolve (improved survivability and procreation). What a discovery!

This and many other pivotal evolutionary discoveries provide strong testimonial for the usefulness and efficacy of dim awareness as motivated by the Fundamental Process. One thing leads to another and, long before time runs out (our sun expands to incinerate the earth), evolution progresses earth biology from simple groups of dimly aware cells to a diversity of relatively clever fish and reptiles (complex biology that is more aware of, and interactive with its environment). Eventually, this brain train moves on to a quirky species of naked apes capable of genetically engineering themselves. Awareness grows and evolves similarly to how physical bodies have grown and evolved. That is an important concept to understand.

How does this Absolute Unbounded Oneness indescribable something acquire dim awareness? The same way one celled things did, and simple multi-celled things did, and so on up the ladder of evolution: by interacting with whatever constitutes the external and internal environments. AUO is real and therefore not actually infinite and thus may have an external environment as well as an internal environment. Nevertheless, because this external environment and its description are beyond our comprehension, we will not use it to develop our TOE.

An external environment may or may not have contributed to AUO’s initial dim awareness, but we have no logical need to include it. It is adequate for our purposes to assume that AUO interacts only with itself (mutation) to gain dim awareness. Developing awareness is the natural result of a self-modifying entity applying the Fundamental Process to challenging environments (internal or external) that contain large numbers of multiple possibilities. Awareness at the cellular (dim) level evolves naturally from the existence of a rich and varied array of available potential states. These states are generated by direct choice, random events, and dumb luck – being at the right place at the right time with the right stuff. The entity explores all the potential states it can successfully populate. The more successful or profitable configurations continue to evolve while the less profitable ones either remain in their niche or die off. Over time, hardware (body), firmware (instincts) and software (mind – processing capability) are slowly improved. Applying the Fundamental Process is natural and intuitively obvious to even extremely dim awareness. Try everything that is accessible and affordable, and go with what works. Is AUO alive? Certainly not by our 3D earth related (biological) standards and perspective, but then our standards are only relevant to PMR. I will show that AUO meets the requirements for developing awareness and eventually intelligence.

All that is required for AUO to evolve some type of limited awareness is that it exist interactively within the context of a challenging environment (external or self-generated) that contains a large number of multiple possibilities, and that there is available to it a rich and varied array of potential choices or states of being with variable profitability it can explore. Remember, we are conceptualizing and postulating something that by definition lies beyond our 3D comprehension. In our effort to understand AUO and NPMR, we are like Flatlanders struggling to visualize a tetrahedron slowly tumbling within a rotating hollow cube that is spiraling down the inner surface of an elliptical funnel. Go explain that to your two-dimensional buddies over flat beer.

Because the existence of AUO is the one mystical or metaphysical (from a PMR perspective) assumption that enables this Big TOE to discuss our beginnings logically, we need to understand this AUO-thing. In some ways, AUO can be thought of as roughly analogous to the first biological cells from which many of our planet’s living things evolved. AUO was dimly aware of itself in the same way that primordial biological cells were dimly aware of (could interact with) themselves and their environment. Where did AUO come from? Our relentless and illogical sense of a universal causality forces this question. There is no good answer. The best bad answer:

AUO came into existence the same way those first biological cells did. Good luck eventually ran into the right ingredients at the right time with a supporting environment and perhaps a spark of some sort of mental energy thrown in for good measure – I truly do not know. AUO’s origins lie beyond the logical reach of our understanding. Our PMR causality can offer no rational input on its own beginnings, much less AUO’s beginnings. The only logical failure is in the asking of the question.

Where did the ingredients, the environment, and the spark come from? Leave me alone – go ask your mother! It is not an appropriate question. Demanding answers to questions such as these is analogous to demanding that a Linelander (a one-dimensional being) describe a sphere to his two pointy-headed friends. He cannot do it. He does not have the capacity to comprehend spheres because of the fundamental limitations of his existence and his reality. The question is simply not relevant to his reality or to his existence. Likewise, intestinal bacteria cannot understand the stock market or the properties and value of sunshine – these are beyond rational consideration for intestinal bacteria. We humans are in the same position relative to the origins of AUO. There are some things, which may affect us indirectly, that we do not have the practical or theoretical ability to perceive or understand. Denial of that fact (or at least that possibility) may change our perception of reality and support our needs, but it cannot change the nature of reality.

You should continually work on developing scientific data about what you can understand while avoiding making assumptions and creating beliefs about what you cannot understand. Appreciating your limitations is the first step toward both knowledge and wisdom.

From some limited perspectives (like the perspective of our space-time PMR universe), the answers to some questions cannot be comprehended or conceived. You have to live with that fact. Metaphysics, mind, and a careful exploration of the subjective offer a less limited perspective that goes a step or two beyond our current objective science, but go too far beyond that, and truth dissolves into speculation while speculation degenerates into fantasy. To be sure, conjecture can quickly wander into fantasyland if it does not remain connected to a rational foundation of objective, measurable truth-data. How well the model performs is what lends credibility to the assumptions made at the beginning. Save your judgments until later.

You will discover by the end of Section 5 that everything we do in this reality seems to follow (is in the image of, one might say) AUO’s pattern of being. It will become clear that our existence, being, and evolution are an expression of, and the result of, the existence, being, and evolvement of AUO. Our individual consciousness reflects the pattern of AUO as a piece of a hologram, or each individual element of a large fractal design, contains the pattern that defines the whole. If the evolution of our consciousness and our physical reality is a reflection of AUO’s evolution, it would seem reasonable (as one can be addressing this issue) that AUO’s evolution should exhibit similar processes to our own. The actual reasonableness of that statement depends on how closely we followed AUO’s original pattern. AUO is primary consciousness, we are derivative consciousness. It is not unusual that a child might resemble its parent.

© Tom Campbell. License: All rights reserved