Anthony, your latest arrived and I was intrigued to skim it and read the last few pages. I will not comment on this masterpiece, or on your universe of masterpieces. I wish I had the time to explore your semfield and dialog with you. I regret not having formalized my semfield as elegantly as you have. I conceptualize what is needed, but lack the ability to focus over time. My inner wrld/reality emerges from my whole mind/brain/body without conscious intention (except for editing). Your format resonates with me; but I would need a team for implementation. My unorganized blog, contains only a small fraction of my writings (many trapped in apps that no longer run in Windows).
My comments here are tangential to the theme of your recent post. I have often commented about proprioception, because I am so weak at it. I may take this “fact” as a reason I found your whole adventure into self-experiencing as a direction of exploration I have avoided. I have moved, in thought, away from “individuation”. This not to say your direction isn’t as meaningful as mine, and I expect the complementarity of perspectives to be fundamental. I have yet to adequately comprehend the details of your arguments, and fantastic diagrams.
I see I have posted twice to you, in my blog; 0n 08/28/2016 and 08/25/2017. But at 82 (5 years older than you), I have forgotten most of my concrete past – including these two posts. I expect I may repeat here, some of what I said, then.
ABOUT MYSELF AND MY IDEAS
For all of my life, I have lacked mental imagery in all sensory modes, having no sensory remembrances or sensory imagination. I am also on the autism spectrum (recently discovered – which explains a lot about my life). It is difficult to describe my mind, my inner “wrld”, that emerged in compensation for my lacks. I am a strange “savant”, where both my assets and limitations aren’t in conventional categories. Decades ago George Por introduced me to your work.
I do perceive, but weakly compared with what others report. I can feel pain on my body, but generally am not aware of my body (except skin sensation to temperature or touch). My wife claims she can visualize her inner organs. I failed to learn to ski because I can’t proprioceive where my feet are pointing (without looking at them), and control their direction. I have learned to do basic movements like swimming, golfing, & hiking, playing the trumpet and guitar – but nothing special. I am average coordinated.
This past year I developed a new, special propioception – of my hands. My hands now dominate my attention. I believe it is neuropathy, but my PCP attributes it to my elbows. The surface of my hands are continually being experienced. Fingers touching fingers or palm is very strange, feeling mushy and bigger than they look. Everything is stiff, and they “freeze” if I don’t move them. My hands and arms are also very weak. With great difficulty I can still put pills into my weekly dispenser, but frequently drop them. Fortunately, I can still keyboard, but with many errors. In all my life I have never been continually attracted to a proprioception (except during occasions of extreme pain). My autism compels me to continually stim (stimulate) one finger into another. I have difficulty falling to sleep until I relax and stop stimming.
I speculate whether most person’s perception may also contain mental imagery, which they don’t discriminate. Might top musicians actually experience “sound” for a long interval (auditory imagery of prior auditory perception, added to momentary auditory perception). My perception of music is only of a few notes-at-a-time, but I grok a melodic phrase. I can’t replay music in my head and have no sensory idea about a whole musical composition. I read that Mozart claimed he experienced his compositions as a whole, before he heard the notes sequentially.
I am also interested in the creative mental imagery of proprioception and kinetics. Professional dancers have told me that they can “experientially imagine ” (in mental imagery) a danceperformance, while sitting. A workshop guru (Jean Houston) asked the audience, standing tall, to mentally imagine themselves in different positions. When I told her that I (and maybe others) couldn’t experience it, she accused me of being mentally deficient ( I expert I am.) I am astounded that so many gurus have no knowledge that 3% lack visual imagery (7% lack auditory imagery) – a very old study, needing to be done again.
Given my handicaps, I’ve come to view the CONTENT of our experientials (I usually avoid the term “consciousness”) as immature, embryonic forms; as we emerge from our mammalian/primate substrate and are creating (via our visual languages, now amplified by digital technology) a new Human Reality (HR) distinct from the prior Material Reality (MR) of our known universe. Our visual semiotic structures (sems) liberate information from prior required embedment in matter/energy systems. The cognitive diversity of humankind makes it conceptually much more than a species; more as a family or order. If we survive our Crisis-of-Crises, humankind may metamorphose as a “system” analogous (in some ways) with our bodies. Persons will “specialize” as “cells in tissues”, and our current sense of self and identity will be quite different. I believe that not having to struggle to survive will liberate our experiential fields beyond our imagining. Our personal, social, and cultural-societal metamorphosis will find us as different “tomorrow” as a butterfly is different from a caterpillar (body, movement potentials, life-styles).
I wish I had the competencies to explore your exciting geometries. I once created a chessboard on a Mobius strip (pawns on both sides of each King’s row), but then lacked the computer visualizations that would permit playing. I did this without visualization. I expect that you can visualize your 3D objects and rotate them in your inner imagery. During the summers in college I worked as a draftsman of machines (for GE) and learned that my fellow draftsmen could visualize and rotate their “parts”, “in their heads”.
I have often wondered about how deep mediators can learn to “control” their experientials; but I don’t accept that these states are “superior” to the diversity of all human experiences.4 or have greater “objectivity”. I am open to the possibility of person-person interaction beyond the sensory, but don’t find evidence for it today, as a significant contributor to our emergence. It may be different after metamorphosis and humanity becomes an organism, and not an ecology.
I recently have arrived at radical exploration of the critical distinction between HR and MR. The empirical foundation for HR are sems and the collective semfield, not MR. All human news (in reports) is “fake”, in that it there is no MR evidence – for human interpretations of human actions.
As some neuroscientists already claim, our “conscious exxperientials” are hallucinations, even our experiences of “nature”. This need not be negative. We would avoid much conflict is we accepted that our experienced wrld was not an objective world. We will learn the new science of HR, and develop processes for viable emergence of a humanity based on a common semfield.
Today, our semfield (represented by books, videos, social media and mobile devices) is very crude (dangerous) and incorporates very little “positive design”. In the distant future, the co-created semfield of Humanity may be in parity with our material Nature/Universe. This is awesome to contemplate.
I am currently challenged by the complementarity of our two perspectives. The term “organic” comes up for yours, while mine brings up “analytic”. Yet both play the analysis/synthesis cyclical game.
I expect to more apply your perspective when exploring the “holistic” emergence of inner wrlds within brains/bodies. I welcome Damasio’s insight that emotions are perceived (proprioceptive?) changes in our body’s molecular systems. I also use the metaphor of orchestra/music for brain/mind. Mind being patterns on the Material Brain, constrained by brain structure, but also independent of it; as musical patterns are independent of the material structures of instruments. I further speculate that this pattern/process is characteristic of life – and is “transmitted” as life begets life.
Contrary to both sides of the debate over when “life begins”, conception or birth; life continues with the merger of two living cells. I further speculate that these patterns of life and mind involve temporal texture and feedpast bootstrapping; sharply distinguishing living systems from strictly material systems. I don’t comprehend the obsession of some humans with the dogma of “unity”, and in opposition to “duality”. I agree with G. Spencer-Brown (Laws of Form) that distinctions are at the logical foundation for conceptual reality.