Sunday, September 18, 2016
Misstating the Relationship Between Physical Space and Meaning Space
I get a little frustrated when I read about certain conclusions being made from some very interesting research. The article from Quanta linked below is a case in point
Stating that our perception of "reality" is an "illusion" is so fraught with connotative baggage that I am amazed that a very smart person like Donald Hoffman would be so imprecise. To put the matter more clearly, one needs to frame the situation a little differently.
Is there a physical totality that we do not get all the information about at a conscious level? Absolutely. So much interaction is going on in the whole process of energy exchange at every scale of consideration, how could it be otherwise. The thing is, in my view, sentient consciousness isn't here to give us any kind of absolute reality. It is here for the purpose of creating meaning space. Through the process of experience association, and objectification, it builds a complex sedimentary layering of abstraction (inherent in the whole process of adding layers of abstraction). What we live in consciously is the interactive mix of physical space and our built up meaning space. Therefore you must think of our reality in that context.
If you think about, however, physical space is nothing more than a layering of abstractions in it's own right, as all objects are simply other objects interacting, with those lower scale objects following the same breakdown as far as you want to keep going in scales of consideration. What is salient here is what decides the resolution of boundaries at any given scale. And this is where physicists start talking about wave functions collapsing through various probability ranges. All of that, though, presupposes this wondrous thing we call an "observer."
It is here, I think, that we must ultimately fall back to a philosophical framework. An observer in my philosophy is simply a meaning processor of some sort, which presupposes an abstraction handling system, which is why mind, here, is just as fundamental as the "elemental embrace," or the absolute requirement for interaction and exchange. After all, what can interact and exchange if it hasn't already been objectified in some way.
In the larger sense this is why I see the entirety as an unimaginably immense, recursive question answer engine, the whole point of which is to determine meaning, at every quantum moment, at every scale up to the infinite singularity that is the entirety itself, which has no outer objectification. In this are infinite matrix arrays of time vectors where meanings are associated into nominal, local realities (what I like to call reality ray tracing).
What you have to realize in all of this is that meaning will always be fleeting, and subject to the ongoing moments of context. Just as every answer is just another set of questions, every connection made to a new meaning (which is its own new object) creates a context framework for any number of new juxtapositions, and thus, new meanings. Is, then, what we hold as a current meaning an illusion? Not in my view. It is simply what makes sense in the current context, based on experience association to that point.
The other thing you have to realize, however, is that our hold on meaning space, as it interacts with physical space, influences it, which then feeds back to influence us. Or, stated another way, we make it just as it makes us. Which is why balance is so important in the way we live; not overemphasizing either mind (or rationality), or the elemental embrace (which you can also refer to as love). As such, what we do, and how we do it, matters both literally and figuratively. Which is why striving for thoughtful, loving structure is so important.
Living in the moment, as well as beyond the moment, mustn't be overly concerned about "illusion;" mindful, of course as we can certainly deceive ourselves. What is much more important is to strive for meaning structure that keeps both mind, and love, working together for the best possible continuance of thoughtful loving structure. Meaning progression along that line of experience association will give us the best possible probabilities for meanings to keep doing the same.