Where is the information?

  • Where is the information?

    Posted by Peter Foliant on September 29, 2022 at 8:59 am

    On page 463 in Chapter 12 (The science of life) in section 6 (The influence of the whole) Iain asks the question: “Where is the information? … Where is the overall form or shape of the being stored, as a whole, in service of which any mechanisms we can detect and measure would be acting?”

    I think it is not only in the DNA or in the cell or in the organism. It is also in their respective environments. We can not underestimate the importance of environment. The embodied reproduction in humans not only emerges the human embryo and (later) the human fetus, but it also emerges the amnion (Dutch: vruchtvlies) and the fluids inside it and the placenta. An environment is “re-created” in the uterus.

    Without a similar environment a similar development or emergence will not be possible. It is of no use to save DNA of a species if we cannot save the environment on which the species depends.

    What emerges is the meaning that the environment gives. It is a result of all factors present. Both known factors and unknown factors. When a phenomenon reappears in a pattern that reaches the animated “stage”, the environment must be such that it makes the pattern viable. The environment is able to sustain the pattern.

    When a form reappears, the environment must be such that the form is viable in that environment. The environment in which the form re-appears, must be more or less the same as the environment in which the form appeared the first time. Otherwise, the environment will not express the same form, the environment will not express the same meaning.

    In the work of Wim van Dinten and Imelda Schouten (unfortunately only in Dutch: https://sezen.nl/) this form of meaning giving is called the evolutionary form of meaning giving. It is an open form. Entities are in reciprocal interaction (Dutch: wisselwerking) with their environments. I associate the evolutionary form with the right hemisphere. They also distinguish a rational form of meaning giving. It is a closed form. It supposes that every concept in the mind has a corresponding phenomenon in the world and the other way round every phenomenon in the world has a corresponding concept in the mind. (Note this does not support fantasy and it does not support unknown phenomena). The rational form of meaning giving I associate with the left hemisphere. The other forms they distinguish are the self-referential form of meaning giving and the social form of meaning giving. I associate these as well with the left hemisphere and the right hemisphere respectively.

    Peter Foliant replied 1 month, 3 weeks ago 2 Members · 2 Replies
  • 2 Replies
  • Zak Safra

    Member
    September 29, 2022 at 9:48 am

    Hi Peter,

    this is very interesting. I wholeheartedly concur with your comment on preserving the environment which enables the reciprocity. It’s a very productive way of thinking of situations in general, to move away from direct, (reductionist?) causality and see how critical context is. I think its also connected to how Iain speaks of relationships as Primary, and maybe this is what he means when he speaks of a Hindu(?) myth where the universe is visualized as net of interconnectedness. (If I got that wrong, please do correct me).

    The second type, which you called rational, and parallels mind and world sounds quite Platonic. I understand why you call it closed. In Chapter 22 on Time, Iain speaks of the Platonic forms as being an attempt to escape temporality. (I may have grossly misquoted here, I will try and check it later). And I suppose it does make sense to associate it with a left hemisphere kind of thinking because in a sense it wants everything categorized, and seeks some kind of fixity, the way I understood you describe it. It reminds me of how ancient Egyptian and other societies justified slavery and social hierarchies arguing for some kind of metaphysical structure which meant it could be no other way.

    On the other hand, there are some Kabalistic ideas I am aware of where positive actions below (in the lower realms) can incur an Awakening above (in the higher realms). And I’m not sure that’s a left-hemisphere notion. Just a thought 🙂

    I didn’t quite understand the last two types you described, (and I don’t understand Dutch). but I found your post fascinating, thank you.

    • Peter Foliant

      Member
      October 9, 2022 at 3:01 pm

      Hello Zak,

      Thank you for your response. I took me some while to answer, because first I wanted to read Chapter 22 on Time to which you refer.

      Causality belongs to the rational form of meaning giving. The rational form of meaning giving is based on the principle of linearity. Just as causality is mostly used in a linear fashion.

      In the evolutionary form of meaning giving what emerges is the meaning that the environment gives. It’s principle is the principle of selection. From all the possible phenomena, it is this phenomenon that appears, is this selection from all possibilities. This selected phenomenon is the meaning the environment gives. The environment could select another phenomenon, but it did not.

      As an observing person you do not explain (left hemisphere style), but you need to be observant and sensitive to whatever appears (right hemisphere style). When you observe for a longer time or when you observe repeatedly at various times, you will be able to see patterns emerge.

      In evolutionary meaning giving, you start from a primary phenomenon p that you observe for the first time in observing an entity. The phenomenon can become animated in a number of stages (not real stages but a rationalised tool to be able to see something of an evolution of the emerging pattern, to see something of a development of the emerging pattern):

      1. The phenomenon p repeats.
      2. The phenomenon maintains itself in the environment.
      3. The phenomenon grows and gets associated with other phenomena.
      4. The phenomenon varies (contents and form change for the entity).
      5. The phenomenon differentiates (contents and form change for the environment of the entity).
      6. The phenomenon animates (it has gotten a “soul”, it has become a “stable” phenomenon in the environment, it can be used to give meaning to other phenomena).

      At each stage the evolution can break down. For instance because there is an intervention that terminates it or because the environment becomes non-supportive for the phenomenon to re-appear or because of something else.

      As a person you can give meaning to the pattern that emerges. You associate meaning to the pattern that has emerged. You do not make the pattern a thing, it is more that you give meaning to the process that emerges as a pattern (and its repetitions in various forms) in the environment.

      Iain sees relationships as primary. In evolutionary meaning giving it is alway about “wisselwerking” (the reciprocal interaction) between an entity (which is part of the phenomenon) and the environment. So it is about a dynamic relationship between an entity and its environment. Both the entity and the environment take part and both change in the interaction.

      For human entities there is reciprocal interaction between the reality of the environment and the processes in the brain and the re-presentation of the environment in the brain. There is an reciprocal interaction between the inside of the entity and the outside world.

      There is interconnectedness in the entity (for instance between their organs and between the neurons in their brain) and there is interconnectedness in the environment. In rational meaning giving there is supposed to be an objective one-to-one correspondence between the inner world (and now I would say the left hemisphere world of concepts) and the world of phenomena outside.

      As I understand Platonic: there are a kind of universal unchanging perfect Forms and reality is merely a poor approximation of those Forms.

      The rational way of meaning giving has nothing to do with this. It does not suppose correspondence between Forms of a higher realm and mental concepts. The one-to-one correspondence supposed is between mental concepts (meanings) and phenomena in the real world. Plato’s Forms can not be observed and therefore there cannot be a corresponding Form-concept in the brain.

      I suppose Plato’s Forms are mental concepts that do not exist in reality. When there are mental concepts in the brain that have no real world correspondence the form of meaning giving at play must be the self-referential form of meaning giving. One imagines something that does not exists. The correspondence between mental representations and phenomena in reality is imaginary, the correspondence is virtual.

      The self-referential form of meaning giving in logical terms: The law of non-contradiction does not hold (it is possible to think of something that does not exist) and the law of excluded middle does hold (there is only one meaning and that is the meaning the person gives).

      Iain speaks of Platonic forms as being an attempt to escape temporality. I think this is not a real escape, but an escape in the left hemispheric mind, hence the escape is virtual. The rational form of meaning giving seeks some kind of fixity in that it seeks fixed concepts with fixed conceptual relationships for real phenomena and real relationships, not for illusory phenomena as Plato’s Forms.

      In evolutionary meaning giving the correspondence between mental concepts and phenomena in the real world is open, the correspondence is free. Various humans can give various (subjective) meanings to the same phenomena in reality or in the environment there can be phenomena unobserved by humans.

      The evolutionary form of meaning giving in logical terms: The law of non-contradiction does not hold and the law of excluded middle does not hold.

      In the social form of meaning giving one does not give meaning based on themselves, but based on the social group they belong too. People that give the same subjective meaning to a phenomenon form a social group. The reference of meaning is the group not the self. (The self is reference in the self-referential form of meaning giving). So in the social form of meaning giving there can be subjectivity. Subjectivity is not possible in the rational form of meaning giving that strives for objectivity.

      The social form of meaning giving in logical terms: The law of non-contradiction does hold (one can only give meaning to phenomena that do exist and other way round: phenomena that exists (and can be observed) do get meaning) and the law of excluded middle does not hold (there can be subjective meanings given to a single phenomenon by various groups).

      To be complete: The rational form of meaning giving in logical terms: The law of non-contradiction does hold and the law of excluded middle does hold. Thus in rational form of meaning giving there is a one-to-one and objective relationship between mental concepts (meanings) and phenomena in the real world.