Mark Pottenger


The diagram on page 14 of The Psychology of Man's Possible Evolution by P. D. Ouspensky sparked a couple images/analogies.

This is an expansion of what I said about them in an LA-CCRS class.

The first image was a partitioned mirror, like one in a modern telescope with adaptive optics. Each "I" in the diagram is a piece of the total mirror that reflects incoming light in a unique direction, but there is no processing, there is only input being bounced back. The "I" with the strongest input at any given moment is the what the "asleep" (first reality) person thinks is the whole self.

The second image is a silicon wafer of the sort on which large numbers of integrated circuits are created. Each "I" in the diagram is one collection of circuits (chip). All the chips have the same capabilities, but each chip functions differently because of how it has been trained. Because of the learned (trained) differences, each chip responds to different inputs or responds uniquely to shared inputs. The first and most common level of training is a basic reflex or stimulus-response reaction to input. A deeper level of training, only present in some circuits, activates capabilities of deeper analysis and judgment and decision-making, allowing circuits with this level of functioning to choose how to respond to inputs rather than always reflexively produce the same response to every input. At a still deeper level, not accessed by most chips, there are connections between all the chips that let them communicate.

Multiple chips ("I"s) can all be active a once, as when a person is functioning physiologically (heart beating, breathing, digesting, etc.) while driving a car (several complicated reflex circuits) while having a conversation (more reflex circuits and possibly deeper level activity). Only one active "I" at a time usually identifies as the "self".

As with any analogy, this can easily be carried too far and stretched out of all recognition, but I think it is different enough from the frequently used brain-computer analogies to be worth exploring.

Copyright © 2015 Mark Pottenger

Musings Home