Consciousness is a unitary field

What follows is not a "doctrine," or a "personal interpretation." It is an attempt to symbolize a concrete experience. The symbolization will be inadequate, as it always must be.

Consciousness is a unitary field, which we will call the "noetic field."

But the field, while unitary, is not uniform. It is subject to deformations. Like the electric field, which contains eddies which we call charges, the noetic field too contains eddies. We call these "individuals."

The conditions of these individuals may be more or less open to the field as a whole.

The forces which produce openness we can call "philosophy," "myth," and "virtuous action."

The forces which produce closure we may call "sophistry," "doxa" (unfounded opinion), and "wrongful action." In the extreme, these forces may produce a state that we can refer to as "demonic closure," where the field has essentially formed a closed loop at that point. Then all judgments of, for instance, right and wrong, are seen as "purely subjective," and the only possible goal of action and is to strengthen and expand the area of closure: concupiscence (unlimited appetite for sating the passions).

Furthermore, from the point of view of demonic closure, the reality of the noetic field can only be understood as another piece of doxa. Reports from individuals about the reality of the noetic field will be understood as attempts on their part to strengthen and expand a demonic closure of their own.

But the difference is that the reality of the noetic field can be discovered by any individual open to that discovery, whereas the domain of doxa is one of warring opinions, each trying to achieve the submission of other doxa. The difference in interaction is like that between an open hand offering aid to another, and a closing fist trying to envelop another hand in its grasp.

11 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing this.

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  2. Gene, I'm beginning to think that 'analytical' metaphysics might be appropriate for analyzing a small piece of the conscious 'whole' - i.e., reality - but it seems woefully inadequate for even *describing* reality. It seems as though contemporary metaphysics cannot get beyond the limitations of language and its formulations, because analytical metaphysics seeks to reduce everything down to propositions. But if those propositions are based on language, and language itself cannot capture the totality of reality...

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    1. Right: what we can do is point, e.g., the myth of the cave.

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  3. The electric field has eddies?

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    1. It's odd you ask this, since I told you above I mean by this particles.

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    2. I'm not attempting to create a new physics, just to offer a metaphor.

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    3. Here is the view I am suggesting: "In the theory of elasticity (and generally in continuum mechanics), general field approach is used in full: due to the motion of particles medium is deformed, potential and curly currents appear, and vice versa, particles are entrained by movement of the medium." -- http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/1008/1008.3994.pdf

      "Eddy" is not an attempt to be technically precise, but to be suggestive. Maybe "vortex" or some other term would be better, but this was a blog post I composed in five minutes walking back from the subway, not a journal paper.

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  4. Would hedonism count as doxa?

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    1. "Hedonism is the best guide to life" would count as doxa.

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  5. And is doxa simply wrong opinion?

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    1. Unfounded opinion. See the new post on the topic.

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