• Pop
    Consciousness is

    Intrinsic—my own, as independent;

    Compositional—structured with many phenomenological distinctions;

    Informational—particular and specific;

    Integrated/Whole—unified and irreducible;

    Exclusive—definite content, no more no less.

    All this is true. It can be understood as a body of information, that integrates more information onto itself, along its path. But can not integrate it willy nilly, it must fit onto established information. This is necessary firstly to form understanding ( constructivism ), and then to create an integrated state of information ( consciousness ). New information has to integrate with old - it only fits a certain way (Neuroplasticity ).

    That information integrates on its own is a bit of a mind bender initially.
  • PoeticUniverse
    That information integrates on its own is a bit of a mind bender initially.Pop

    Subconscious trains of thoughts via for attention, and among these alternatives the brain constructs scenarios of consequences and then collapses them into the best result.
  • Pop
    Subconscious trains of thoughts via for attention, and among these alternatives the brain constructs scenarios of consequences and then collapses them into the best result.PoeticUniverse

    Something like that. I don't know the details absolutely. ** I think of it as the object of perception being in superposition of an entangled body of memorized information, where integration causes understanding.
  • PoeticUniverse
    memorized informationPop

    Subconscious trains of thought vie for attention,
    Dueling choirs competing for first place
    Toward actions in the will’s ’I’—to produce
    Future, for this is the main task of thought.

    Who you are is your repertoire—your brain;
    What you are now is the mind’s ‘eye’ of it,
    Which ‘I’ e’er but obtains from who you are.
    Aye, aye: the self generates what ‘I’ witness.
  • Pop

    Could be. I think we each have our own historical information which we use to understand things with, and we do it in our own style / way. But that we integrate information, is a given in this universe. And at the deepest depth, what we identify with is this universal.
  • Pop

    Does this universal exist intrinsically to everyThing? Or does this universal exist in the background ubiquitously, such that everything within it self organizes by integrating information?

    In considering this question, I have concluded that the situations posed are effectively equal.
  • PoeticUniverse
    Does this universal exist intrinsically to everyThing? Or does this universal exist in the background ubiquitously, such that everything within it self organizes by integrating information?Pop

    Since we are the Cosmos…

    Think not that I am existent as ‘I’, 
    Or talk the talk and walk the walk of ‘I’,
    For all’s of the ‘IS’; the Cosmos is I;
    Where then, and what, who, and whence is this ‘I’?

    (What should I do? No can do; the Cosmos does you.)
  • Changeling
    So, have we explained the mystery of it yet?

    Hurry up and pull your fingers out!!
  • Jack Cummins

    I don't know if you have chosen the title of your link to an earlier aspect of this thread intentionally .' Be Here Now' is an album by Oasis.I think that it rocks with the mysteries of existence, with retro comparisons to The Beatles and John Lennon. Perhaps the big questions cannot be answered by philosophy alone and the creative artists contribute in this together, alongside the philosophers.
  • 180 Proof
    I'm not referring to "Oasis", be sure of that. I just wanted to bump my post from the previous page offering my own mantra, so to speak, interpreting 'existence' as a gift/curse (for which one can be grateful or ungrateful à la Nietzsche) and not, irrationally IMO, an occult purpose (e.g. divine plan, telos), or "mystery" ... contra the OP.
  • PoeticUniverse
    What great needle plays, stitches, winds, and paves
    The strands of the quantum fields’ types of waves
    That weave the warp, weft, and woof of our ‘verse
    Into being’s fabric of living braids?

    More zero-sum null physics…

    PDF: https://austintorn.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/looking-for-the-needle-in-the-haystack-8.75x11.25-300-dpi.pdf
    (Prelude to Ellman)

    PDF: https://austintorn.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/everything-solved-ellman-8.75x11.25-300-dpi.pdf
  • Jack Cummins

    Thanks for all your fantastic contributions. I downloaded your documents and will read them properly today. I am still reading your own book on the Bible. I was also very impressed by your poem on the mystery of existence.
  • PoeticUniverse
    Eternity in A Grain of Sand in the Hubble Deep Field

    The Hubble trained on night’s darkest pinpoint
    For eleven days, collecting flashpoints;
    “Foolish,” some claimed, “a resource waste so weird.”
    Over ten thousand galaxies appeared!

  • PoeticUniverse
    … quarks …

    They gyrate, spinning their charms, twirling
    In the universal dance of stunning motion,
    The polarity sometimes reversed,
    Whirling, their bottoms up and tops down.

    And then there are Eden’s many colors,
    In this flower garden filled with flavors,
    Such as red bottom beauties, blue tops,
    And magenta undulations unstopped.

    The Near Decline of Physics Due to its Undressed Terms:

    PDF: https://austintorn.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/dot-8.5x11-jpg-300-dpi.pdf
  • Jack Cummins

    I like your art on physics and your images of so many ladies probably point to the importance of the feminine principle as an essential aspect of existence.

    Also, in the post previous to that, in which you speak of the reality within a grain of sand, you refer to William Blake. I think that he is such an important thinker and he created so much of a philosophy, in his thoughts about innocence and experience, and especially in 'The Marriage of Heaven and Hell.'

    But, I do think that poetry, e is such an important aspect of thought. While I was a student I got to know a fairly well known poet in England, called U A Fanthorpe. Unfortunately, she is not living now, but I met her in the context that I was doing illustrations for a college magazine. At the time, I was struggling with the philosophy of Kant, and through knowing this poet, I became aware of the limits of reason, and how the arts, and poesis, are extremely important aspect in the scheme of human knowledge.
  • Jan Ardena

    Start from God, and you’ll find there’s no real mystery.
    Start from nothing, and you’ll end up with nothing.
    Either way, you take a leap of faith.
    More important than existence, is our innate knowledge of it. How do we determine that something exists, and something doesn’t. Existence occurs through the mixture of will, and the control of natural forces. Nature sure isn’t going to produce a pocket watch. Common sense alone will tell you that. An intelligent agent can bring into existence a pocket watch. It can bring forth millions of pocket watches.
    Lay all the components (head start), I have a feeling a fully working pocket watch will not become existent. And that’s if they even remain in the same place. Simple obvious logic, but a good place to start on your quest. Sometimes I think atheists don’t want to know about God. Especially looking at some of the comments on here.
  • PoeticUniverse
    An intelligent agent can bring into existence a pocket watch.Jan Ardena

    The intelligent Agent is as a Super Watch, so all the more …
  • PoeticUniverse
    Explaining the Cosmos is as easy as pie:
    It’s an endless extravagance beyond the sky,
    Which shows that matter’s very readily made—
    Underlying energy raising the shades.

  • PoeticUniverse
    Neutrinos may have swung the zero-sum balance to matter dominance over antimatter:

    Quanta Magazine:

  • PoeticUniverse
    Out of energy’s dispersion and decay of quality
    Comes the emergence of growth and complexity.

  • PoeticUniverse
    The History of All History

    Ruby looks up, as if through the ceiling and up to the stars, remarking, “I’ve come such a long way to be here, with you, but our possibility was there in the beginning, although it was spread out all over.

    “The Planck era at 1E-43 seconds was the first hint of us, as a cyclical compactfication or a vacuum fluctuation eruption in an indefinite realm that’s as close to Nothing as can be, but it can’t be a Nothing as such, since that would be a definite, whereas the vacuum as the basic quantum something must be fuzzy, uncaused, and undirected, matching that which we often note in the quantum realm. Apparently, motion can’t cease, for energy cannot be destroyed.”

    “Ruby, I’ll knock Stillness off of the list of what can be, as being a kind of a cousin of ‘Nothing’, which we’ve already banished, along with ultimate Beginnings and Ends, plus Infinity, because it can’t be capped and so it cannot be had all at once or ever, since one can always add to it; it never completes, and that is more toward its meaning, not a meaning that it is a number or an amount. I’ll add ‘random’ as probably requiring a fundamental level or the quantum level, and as dubious otherwise, as it’s mostly evened out at the macroscopic level.”

    “So, Austin, to learn the Secrets of what IS and ever WAS, we must brave the crypt and ghost of cause, as the causeless. The so-called quantum foam seems to be ever and always, remaining even now, and it still has pairs of virtual particles quick appearing and then annihilating and disappearing, as a kind of ‘noise’, during which events time still passes without any useful change overall, as the noise may not often produce something that lasts a bit or more.”

    “Indeed, I answer, “The virtuals are ‘somethings’, or ‘sum-things’, as one might call them as of possibility or potential, but have not yet as a true, meaningful existence until they become part of an information process and thus are able persist in their effects and go forward somewhat or greatly. This state has always been, and must be, so jot: that this All is ever here to be, since nothing cannot. We philosophers love to fathom the cryptic, where perhaps only the shade of substance slept with arithmetic, although the descriptions in physics are very amenable to math.

    “There is a basic lightness of elemental being because anything more would have to be of parts, and thus beyond the fundamental arts. Bits of information need to be separated to operate, maybe, perhaps manifesting by ‘creating’ a Planck sized piece of space. Maybe we experience their separation as space. The bits can have relative relationships, which is a must, there being nothing outside or before the All, such as absolute rulers or clocks. Time evolves as relations form, all of them having to be relative. Mass, energy, and information have been shown to be equivalent.”

    “So, then, where the causeless reigns supreme, the spark nursed by embers is the first that the universe remembers, as it fires toward the other members in a processing way. The opposite twins are as virtual pairs that rule the causing call, these positives and negatives constituting most of the All.”

    “Yes, I’ve often thought of the many opposite states appearing in nature, such as matter and antimatter, left and right, up and down, the polarity of charge, on/off, and many more, as a near zero-sum equation.”

    Ruby Yacht readies to continues her Cosmic description, renaming it ‘The History of All History of Our Universe—From the First Instant Unto the Last.”

    “The Great Wheel of our universe proceeds very quickly at first. At 1E-36 seconds, in a GUT transition in a hell of a short time, the strong force separates from the electro–weak force, the strong force eventually providing for stability and the weak force for changeability, another great balance. Inflation begins, maybe, as a slow rolling scalar field generates negative pressure, causing an exponential expansion of spacetime. The doubling is of a vacuum energy density of 1E73 tons/cm^3. Quantum fluctuations lock in nearly scale invariant 1E-5 variation in energy density. Here the enigma of the ever immortal is undone and unloosed through its portal.”

    “Or at least inflation is proposed, for nothing else makes sense yet. The galaxies would seem to be the quantum fluctuations writ large across the night sky.”

    Ruby continues, we alternating, “At 1E-34 seconds, inflation quickly ends, the decay of the scalar inflaton field causing reheating. Is this the ‘let there be light moment’? No, photons don’t exist yet, but other massless vector quanta like left and right weak and B-L particles may exist. Things are not well known about this era. You and I are still but a twinkling in the cosmic eye.”

    “What is here now was there in the beginning.”

    “At1E-34 to 1E-8 seconds, in the quark era, there is the quark gluon plasma, and then quarks and perhaps super particles dominate matter content. At 1E-17 to 1E-15 seconds, SUSY breaking occurs when proposed super partners acquire mass with the LSP expected to have a mass of about 10 Tev. In induced gravity models, this is where mass energy first generates the induced gravity field; gravity is born, and we are grounded.”

    “At 1E-10 seconds, there comes the electroweak transition, when the electroweak force, under the action of the Higgs mechanism, breaks symmetry. The photon is born. Standard model particles acquire mass.”

    “Yeah! The photons guide us, as illumination beside us, while the mind whirls round and round, as the ear draws forth the sound, as the eye sees the light, and of the dark the fright. Fear not the proof—it’s the beauty of the truth.”

    “At 1E-5 seconds, quark confinement comes about when the QCD vacuum becomes superconducting to color magnetic current. Quarks and gluons become confined.”

    “Ah, the quarks can never exist independently again.”

    “At 1E-5 to 1 E-4 seconds, in the hadron era, protons, neutrons, and pions, etc., form. Now our future atoms are on the horizon.”

    “What a long road our parts travelled.”

    “At 1E -4 seconds, hadron annihilation occurs during a brief period of proton/anti proton and neutron/anti neutron annihilation. A slight favoring of matter over anti matter, possibly locked in by CP violation at reheating allows some very few excess protons and neutrons to survive, with ten billion photons for every matter particle now, which tells us how many annihilations there were, as 10*9, along with how much more there initially was.”

    “It’s still a humongous amount of stuff, albeit gone from 2x10*85 particles down to 2x10*76.”

    “At 1E-4 to 10 seconds, in the next era, leptons are the dominant energy density, such as electrons. We are up to about one second after the Big Bang now, at neutrino decoupling, when mass energy falls low enough to free neutrinos, creating the neutrino cosmic background.”

    “We’ve many hints from the Cosmic Microwave Background, too.”

    “At 10 seconds, electrons and positrons annihilate, leaving a tiny fraction of electrons remaining. At this point the total number of electrons equals the total number of protons. This is a beautiful symmetry.”

    “Protons are of positive charge, while electrons are negative.”

    “From 10 seconds to 57 thousand years is the radiation era, in which photons created from the annihilation of matter and anti-matter dominate the energy density of universe. Light has been let; We will shine.”

    “Of course, our shining turns out to be another very slow part, later, in bio evolution, taking four billion years.”

    “At 1-5 minutes, nucleosynthesis begins, as fusion of protons creates helium, deuterium and trace amounts of lithium. A few of our basics are there. Hydrogen is already present, it being so simple.”

    “From the simple, composites and complexities form, as we ever note, through and through.”

    “At 57,000 years, there is matter/radiation equality. The radiation density (photon and neutrino) and matter density (dark and atomic) are equal. This is because radiation density falls more quickly due to the stretching of the relativistic particles’ wavelengths. Dark matter clumps into structures. Atomic matter begins oscillation due to the battle between gravity and photon pressure generating acoustic oscillations. The first sounds of the new universe come forth as the ‘word’.”

    “Gravity ever pulls back toward the past but the electromagnetic waves ever pull ahead, toward the future.”

    “At 380,000 years, there is recombination, when the temperature falls low enough to allow atoms to form; photons decouple. The true CMB is born, locking in its structure—the story of the earliest times in the universe.”

    “The radiation by now has been shifted into the microwave portion of the e/m spectrum.”

    “For 5 to 200 million years, there is a dark age, as the photons fall into the infra red energy range. The universe goes dark. The atomic gas continues to fall toward the dark matter clumps, which grow more pronounced. Near to 100 million years, the densest clumps halt their expansion and begin collapsing. By 200 million years, the first mini halos form and within these the atomic cloud cools and collapses to make the very first stars whose light brings to an end the dark era. We are totally the hopes of further stars yet to become. By the way, I forgot that inflation could have been so fast that some virtual particles couldn’t recombine, thus becoming real.”

    “It’s auspicious and of good fortune in the meadows of Heaven.”

    “At 200 million years, there are the first stars, which are very massive and short lived, but emit some lower atomic elements since this doesn’t require extra energy. They die in violent supernova explosions filling the cosmos with the higher atomic elements that needed energy to be added, building dust for new stars and the planets of solar systems, and the elements for life.”

    “The later generation stars are much more metal rich, this needed for solar system life to form.”

    “At 200 to 800 million years, there is the epoch of ionization, in which the radiation from the stars and possibly the first quasars, ionizes much of the remaining neutral hydrogen and helium. A thin mist returns and partly obscures the CMB, but future Low Frequency Radio Telescopes may be able to see the epoch of ionization.”

    “We’re getting through the first billion years.”

    “At 1 to 2 billion years, there become infant galaxies, as star groups merge. There are frequent collisions of galaxies, high star birth rates, and high supernova rates. Heavy element production changes the pattern of star formation, making them lower mass, less luminous and longer lived, like the second generation stars of today. The stage is set for the emergence of life; the cosmos will soon have eyes to see and minds to think, like ours.”

    “Um, your ‘soon’ takes another 10 billion years.”

    “At 2 to 3 billion years, there is a star birth and quasar peak. In the dense environment of frequent galaxy collisions, the star birth rate reaches it maximum, as does the forming and feeding of supermassive black holes, as horrible darkling beasts. Abandon hope all ye who enter there.”

    “Four to five billion years gone, and just as much to go to achieve the very early life of bacteria, who, by the way, took two billion years to make Earth’s atmosphere, by exuding oxygen as a waste product, as it was poisonous to them. Slow indeed.”

    “At 6 billion years, there are the first very rich galaxy clusters, since enough time has elapsed for the densest regions to stop expanding and form these clusters. At 7 billion years, there is decelerated acceleration. The effects of dark energy kick in. The universe once again begins to accelerate its expansion rate, but gentler. Gravity has lost the battle.

    “At 8 billion years, the first modern spiral galaxies form, although some elliptical galaxies form in the first billion years, but classic spiral galaxies aren’t seen until at about 5 billion years. Let’s skip over the next three billion years. That should be enough time for us to have dinner.”

    “Yeah, nothing is near instant but for the Big Bang.”

    I run my hand through Ruby's hair.

    Ruby continues her description of All History, three billion years later.

    “At 9 billion years, there is matter and dark energy equality, since the falling density of matter, both dark and atomic, become equal to that of dark energy. At 9.1 billion years, our sun and Earth form. We are inherent therein. Our solar system forms in the outer disk of the Milky Way, far out on a spiral arm, there further from harm. The stage is set for the emergence of humankind in the Cosmos—for you and I to meet and love. All this from stabilizations forming, onward and upward, in emergence, taking on a life of their own, and so on.”

    “We’re going to fall in love?”

    “Yes, probably.”


    “At 13.7 billion years, we have the present time. Human civilization perhaps reaches its peak and perhaps begins heading into decline and eventual extinction due to over population, resource depletion, and environmental destruction, which generates conflict as human nation states fight for the ever dwindling resources. Hopefully, humankind is not typical and intelligent life solves the problem of balancing intelligent life needs with available resources by developing communitarian economic social structures. There have already been six near extinctions, some obliterating 95% of the species present at the time.”

    “The religious were troubled by ‘God’ creating life and then then doing away with most of it, time after time, but it gave us mammals an opening. A nervous shrew looked out of the forest on day: the dinosaurs and most species were gone, the big beasts having seemed invincible for hundreds of millions of years. The shrew jumped up and down, celebrating, and thinking, if it could: ‘Hurray, now I can evolve.’ Of course, biological evolution shows to be as numbingly slow of a process as was cosmic evolution!”

    “The Young Earthers claim that the Earth is only about 4000 years old, to save face, I suppose.”

    “By the way, Austin, I think all of this is dynamic in time. There probably cannot be a Block Universe because it’s infinite into the future, and, because it’s a complexity. As First, it can’t have a definite blueprint, especially as composite and complex, plus we would not need brains to redundantly figure things out, if all was already set to follow a world line, as in a movie already made of still frames passing by, in this frozen Block Universe idea. We shall see. Lee Smolin is looking into presentism.”
  • Jack Cummins

    You have just written a great little short story on the theme of this thread, and I hope that others see it!
  • Alkis Piskas
    Topic: Can we explain the mystery of existence?

    Jack Cummins
    I am raising this question partly because so many threads are based on the claim that no God exists. I realise that this is complex, but I do believe that it does lead to the question of why anything exists at all, which goes back to Spinoza. I am not sure that there any easy answers to the questions, but, aside from the question of whether or not there is a rational explanation for a God behind existence, I am left puzzling about the nature of existence. I don't know if anyone else wonders about this, or perhaps it has been tackled in previous threads, but I am wondering about the whole nature of existence, including sentient beings, like ourselves, and all forms of existence. How can we explain the existence and development of life at all?
    Jack Cummins

    I certainly don't have the answer or even an answer to this question! I have a question instead: Since this question exists since "ever" and still remains unanswered --letting aside, mythology and unproved metaphysical and theological views-- at least not answered to a common satisfaction for most people, shouldn't it be logical to say that either 1) there is no answer to it or 2) it cannot be answered by humans? The first case can be extended to mean that there is no reason/purpose for life. The second case can be extended to mean that there is or must/should be a reason//purpose for the existence but the human mind cannot solve the mystery.

    Mysteries act as a very strong magnet to the human mind. The bigger the mystery, the stronger the magnet. That's why we can't get rid of this kind of questions.

    But let's pause for a while and ask ourselves: Aren't we even near to the answer or at least getting closer to it? How long more should we wait before realizing that we are chasing phantoms?

    Therefore: Shouldn't we at some point accept the fact and admit that we cannot solve the mystery, give up, and move on, creating other useful and fruitful questions?
  • Jack Cummins

    I have to admit that I am inclined to look at mysteries and even wrote a whole thread several months ago about philosophical mysteries and whether they can be solved. In some ways, I think that it some may give up and conclude there are no possible answers. Nevertheless, I think that, even then, we can create our own sense of meaning and purpose. But, generally, I believe that human beings are inclined to ask questions, and have done so ever since the dawn of human civilisation.

    As far as the mystery of human existence is concerned, while it is not possible to answer definitely, I don't know how much of the discussion you have read. But, given the nature of it not being possible to come up with definitive answers, I think that some people have come up with some excellent attempts to answer this question during the last couple of weeks in this thread.
  • PoeticUniverse


    Michael Faraday introduced
    One of the most radical ideas in science.

    They thought that he had,
    For once, gone too far.

    Particles were secondary excitations,
    Being mere spigots in which the fields lumped.
    The real stuff of reality was the forces flowing,
    The particles being only the source.

    The burden of reality had shifted,
    For the space between particles became primary.
    Particles were only the intersection
    Of field forces that wove the universe.

    Forces create stresses in space,
    A superhighway of how to get from here to there.

    An electron wiggles in the sun,
    Tweaking the E/M field;
    The ripples travel for 8 minutes
    Then tickle an electron in your eye.

    You see the light; light is a tweak.

    Physics has never been the same since.
    The field concept became real,
    The idea being the same as the thing,
    Fudging forever the difference
    Between something and nothing;

    Yet fields are made of something real,
    For they have energy.

    Einstein called the fields that be
    “A change in the concept of reality…
    The most profound and fruitful one
    That has come to physics since Newton.”

    Matter then is simply a place where
    Some of the field happens to be concentrated.
    Matter travels like a wave in a rope,
    But the rope itself does not travel.

    The field is not so much
    Something in space,
    But more as being space.

    This is why all particles of a type are identical;
    For they are each manifestations
    Of their fields everywhere the same.

    A field takes on a life of its own,
    Even when the event that created it is gone.
    The traveling kinks continue;
    They propagate endlessly.

    Where the vacuum is free of matter
    It is not free of field, but filled with it.

    Energy and mass are the same stuff,
    But it takes a whole lot
    Of energy to make mass.

    Field is thus the bridge
    Between matter and empty space.

    Fields can’t go away,
    As they’re part of the
    Structure of the vacuum;
    When in their quietest possible state
    They are the vacuum.

    This is about as close to nothing
    As anything ever gets.

    Forces act on things,
    While matter is acted upon;
    You can walk through a field,
    But you cannot walk through a wall.

    Kinks in fields can pile atop one another;
    Kinks in matter hold each other at arm’s length.
    Yet somehow, beneath it all they are kindred spirits.

    Faraday made fields real;
    Quantum Mechanics made them basic—
    And lumpy—the currency of QM.

    Everything melts via uncertainty,
    As when we try to measure a quantum property.

    But this too means that no quantum property
    Can ever be zero, for zero is a precise amount,
    That is, it is that motion can never cease.

    Try to pin down an electron,
    Such as putting it in a box,
    And it increasingly moves about, ever faster.

    Is it heads or tails while it is still spinning?
    Well it is just a fuzzy ‘both’ yet neither.

    In a way, QM eliminated
    The very idea of zero
    From the physical world,
    As ‘nothing’ never sleeps,
    But is ever up to something.
  • Jack Cummins

    Interesting poem, and we could also ask what is nothing? Is it a complete absence, because as you point out,' ''nothing' never sleeps'. So, maybe, the idea of the void is important because it appears to be nothing, but it not mere absence, but a point from which something new will arise, as rebirth.
  • Alkis Piskas
    Topic: Can we explain the mystery of existence?

    Nevertheless, I think that, even then, we can create our own sense of meaning and purpose.Jack Cummins
    I agree with that. It is worth listening to people's opinion on the subject, anyway. E.g. one may come up with an answer that it is up to use to create a purpose for/in life ... Besides, mine was one of them! :)
    I think that some people have come up with some excellent attempts to answer this question during the last couple of weeks in this thread.Jack Cummins
    To be honest I didn't read much of the thread ... I have read so much already on the subject that I lost my appetite! Nevertheless, you are very right and thank you for bringing this up. I will certainly read more comments/replies in your thread. They might whet my appetite! :)
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