Self Awareness is an elusive entity. As a concept,
it defies definition. As a process, it masks its mechanism. There is no object of
consideration, no subject of speculation more observable nor less quantifiable. As humans,
we all feel we have it, yet none of us are sure exactly what it is we have. The ability to
be aware of oneself forms both a window to and a filter over the universe. And more than
all else, self-awareness seeks to look into a mirror.
Exploring the mechanism by which one can explore is
a recursive process. It is difficult to take an objective view of subjectivity. It is not,
however, impossible. If any one of us was alone in the cosmos, we would have no
possibility of understanding who and what we really are. However, we are many, and we can
all look at each other more objectively than we can look at ourselves. And this is where
we make our first mistake.
We assume that because we are outside observers, we
can impartially inspect and document the minds of others. What we are forgetting, is that
we are observing others from the subjectivity of our own minds. The template of
perception that makes each of us conscious is layered over all that we observe without our
being aware. We stamp our patterns upon all that we see, mixing ourselves with our
If we were only aware and not self-aware, we would
still be affected by the external world. Observations would come in through our senses and
the body would respond, unknowingly. But as a result of our self-awareness, we do not
merely respond, but seek the meaning of that which we observe. To find meaning, we look
for patterns. In fact, we impose patterns.
Whether we recognize a character in a word or a
character in a story; whether we see a footprint in the sand or a footprint in a spectrum;
regardless of whether we note harmonics in sound, electronics or the resonance of atoms,
we are imposing patterns on what we observe.
When we attempt to document the workings of our own
minds by looking into the minds of others, our capacity to make patterns overlays the
essence of their pattern making ability, masking from us the very thing we seek. As a
result, the one place we can least see the nature of our selves is in ourselves. A much
better place to look for the mechanism of our minds is in the physical universe, where the
patterns we see as a species and agree upon are reflective of that part of self-awareness
that is common to us all.
Mathematical relationships, physical laws, art,
even logic itself reflect recurring patterns that are not intrinsic to the universe but
intrinsic to the Mind. We see ourselves in everything in which we find meaning. The stuff
of the universe is the screen upon which we project our image.
But how to separate the image from the screen: how
do we remove the observer from the observation so that we can see either one clearly? A
solution is to accept self-awareness as being an internal universe in which we must
remain. The concept of self-awareness then becomes a closed system where the very
existence of a self precludes an external appreciation. Such a closed system defines what
is self from what is not. Anything inside the system is "us", anything outside
the system is not us.
This view clearly separates our sense of self from
the rest of the universe. This is a key concept. Rather than seeing consciousness simply
as the result of complex biochemical interactions, the mind becomes a specific definable
object, separate from all parts of our body and brain that are not actually self-aware,
separated completely from the physical universe. From this perspective, the mind emerges
as a kind of synthesis - a wave of consciousness that represents the summation of
physical processes, yet is non-physical itself.
That this wave form is common to all minds is the
essence of communication. Without this central similarity, we could find no meaning, no
empathy in the minds of others. Yet in spite of the similarities among us, there are
differences as well. Each of us has an identity in which we perceive ourselves as
essentially different from anyone else. Clearly, there is a mechanism at work that
overlays, modulates or appends the foundation of self-awareness so as to allow for a range
of personalities within the Mind's domain.
Immediately, two high level questions present
themselves in the attempt to identify the mind. One, what is the nature of the essence of
self-awareness common to us all? And, two, how is that essential self-awareness changed to
create the variety of personalities we observe? To answer the second question, we must
have the answer to the first. So, it is with the first question we begin.
Conceptual Components of the Mind
In the physical world, we perceive four essential
components that, in the most basic sense, describe categories with which all observable
objects and phenomena can be defined. These four components are Mass, Energy, Space, and
Time. If all we know of the universe is reflective of the manner by which the mind
generates patterns, then we might expect the inner universe to bear an analogous
relationship to the external universe, and that is the case.
In the mental world, we perceive four essential
components that, like their external cousins, describe categories with which all mental
states and processes can be defined. These four components are Knowledge,
Thought, Ability, and Desire.
Knowledge is the Mass of the Mind. It
represents that which we hold to be true: that which is no longer considered and is
accepted as a given.
Thought is the Energy of the Mind. It
represents the force of change than can act upon Knowledge to alter and re-order it.
Ability is the Space of the Mind. It
represents how much unknown falls in between areas of knowledge.
Desire is the Time of the Mind. It
represents an appraisal of how things are changing.
In effect, Knowledge Thought, Ability and Desire
(KTAD) are the process equivalents of Mass, Energy, Space and Time (MEST). The
mental components are the pattern generators that we project and impose upon the
physical universe, creating our appreciations of their physical counterparts.
In the external universe, MEST are all that is
necessary to wholly describe any object or event. In the internal universe, KTAD are all
that is necessary to describe any attitude or consideration.
That relationships should exist among KTA D is not
surprising. Not only do we intuitively expect Thought to have an effect on Knowledge for
example, but we have extensively observed Energy having an effect on Mass. For ordinary
purposes, we might expect to see some psychological laws such as Conservation of Knowledge
and Conservation of Thought.
In fact, when we consider the way self-awareness
feels, it seems very much as if we never really lose nor gain knowledge per se, but simply
re-order our understanding. As for thought, we do not think any more or any less, but just
in different ways, i.e...: logic or feelings.
There is inherent in this approach to describing
the Universe a mechanical understanding of these interactions. In the Mind, this approach
engenders a digital feel for something we know to be much more flexible and fluid. In the
universe, the hard edge of physics was softened with an understanding of relativity. In
the mind, the digital nature of a mechanical psychology is supplemented by an
understanding of Mental Relativity.
Just as Energy and Mass can be converted one into
the other, so can Thought and Knowledge be converted in the synthesis of the mind. In
fact, self-awareness appears to each of us inside our personal universe to be a constant.
Self awareness seems to be here when we are awake or conscious and gone when it is not.
Immediately one suspects that the parallel between mind and universe will extend all the
way through Einstein's famous E=MC2. We shall ultimately see, however, that there are
significant differences. But first, we must lay some ground work.
Points of View and Perspectives
Although there are four components to
self-awareness, we can only see three at any given moment. To be self-aware means to see
oneself. The only way to get the full picture would be to stand outside of oneself, which,
obviously, we cannot do. So we do the next best thing. We retreat to one corner of our
minds to evaluate the rest. If we jump from corner to corner, eventually we can get a good
view of the entire mind, though not at the same time.
This is what happens with KTAD. We cannot see all
four at the same time since our self-awareness must couch itself somewhere. So, we stand
on one of them while we observe the others. What do we mean by "standing" on a
component? What we mean is that we cease measuring that one component, assuming it to be a
constant. Subjectively, the mind uses that component as its measuring stick, judging the
value of the others in reference to the one. Then, in order to get a view of that one, the
mind must adopt another component to measure by. When both measurements have been made,
the results from the first and second are combined, giving the most efficient internal
view of the complete mind.
It is clear that between the first observation of
self and the second that things may have changed in the make up of KTAD. Even the process
of standing on the "observation platform" of a single component has in reality
altered the makeup of that component. So, at the end of two observations, two components
have been seen clearly, from two positions, and the other two have only been seen from one
point of view each. As a result, there is no way the mind can tell if something has
changed on the single observations since there is only one reading each.
The two components that are seen distinctly appear
as separate aspects of the mind to the mind, but other two that are seen by single
observation become blended and appear as one. An example of this kind of blending in
external observation would be when one is sitting in a traffic jam next to a truck.
Suddenly, the truck is moving by the window, but one cannot tell for sure if the truck is
going forward or the car is slipping back. Something is moving, but which one?
The concept of two components seen as distinct
being measured against two components that are blended is expressed by the function: A/B
<-> CD which reads "A separated from B is compared to C combined
with D. This function describes the most we can know from the most efficient internal
process of self-observation.
As a result of this function, one would not see,
for example, KTA and no D but rather K and T as separate and A and D as blended. There are
still three apparent objects to the mind in this example: K, T, and something called
DesireAbility. DesireAbility forms the measuring stick against which K and T are
evaluated. This relationship between what is being measured and what is doing the
measuring has many ramifications. What it amounts to is a change in point of view.
Is a glass half empty or half full? Is a chemical
reaction fast or slow? The answer to both of these questions depends upon what frame of
reference is used. What are we measuring them against? Until we establish some ostensibly
unchanging "measuring stick" we cannot begin to quantify what we observe.
This problem is no less acute in the mind. Let's
look at the relationship between Knowledge and Thought. It is easy to picture Knowledge as
being increased by Thought. However, when we reconsider something, we may determine that
we really knew less than we thought we did and Knowledge has been decreased by Thought.
But do we really know less or do we know more, because now we have a greater certainty in
the degree of our knowledge than we did before? Certainly some common frame of reference
is required to define these relationships as well.
We have established a frame of reference we call a
Quad. The Quad itself represents the function A/B <-> CD. Whichever of the
components KTA or D is placed in the A position is seen as distinct from whichever is in
the B position. The components in the C and D positions blend, creating the measuring
stick for A and B.
Even though C and D are blended, their position in
the Quad is important because it indicates the sequence in which the two measurements are
made. Here's why. If we assign K to position A, T to B, A to C and D to D, the function
reads K/T <-> AD. K is the average of the A and D measurements of it.
However, if A measured K as being a certain size and the D measured K as being less, the direction
of the change in K would be negative. This would create the perception that this
particular kind of knowledge has a negative DesireAbility. Whereas, if D had measured K
first, then A's measurement of K would make it appear to be increasing, leading to a
positive Desirability for that kind of knowledge. Positive Desirability would lead to a
motivation to keep on gathering that knowledge, Negative Desirability would lead to a
motivation to avoid that kind of knowledge. It is clear why the sequence of measurement is
When considering the four elements of a quad from a
spatial ponit of view, sequence doesn't matter. Rather, a spatial appreciation does not
look so much toward the blending of elements, but toward the comparison of elements. The
most basic kind of comparison would evaluate one element against another, examining the
relationship between the pair. Among the four elements in a quad, there are only six
different pairs that can be created: two diagonal, two horizontal, and two vertical. For
example, K might be paired with T, A, or D. T can be paired with A or D, but has already
been paired with K. A can only be paired with D, for it has already been paired with T and
K. And D has already been paired with all three of the other elements in the quad. Each
pair measures the components KTAD in a different way, and each pair represents a different
kind of comparrison made by the mind.
In addition, each of the six pairs will have a
certain similarity or kinship primarily with one other pair. In fact, the six pairs of a
quad might be considered all falling into three groups of two. The diagonal relationships
are called Dynamic pairs, the horizontal relationships create Companion
pairs and the vertical relationships describe Dependent pairs. Once again, the
subjective view of the mind looking at itself creates three appreciations rather than
four. In fact, there is a fourth kind of pair which is much more objective. The fourth
view is to see each of the elements in the quad as distinct, not paired at all, or to see
them as all being blended together into a single unit.
The fourth view of the quad which creates the two
additional "pairs" cannot be arrived at from a point of view inside the quad. It
can only be seen from outside the quad, which makes it a more objective view. Since we
cannot leave our own minds, self-awareness does the best it can by weighing the sequence
against the comparison of all the elements in the entire quad to arrive at a synthesized
approximation of objectivity. It is small wonder then, that in the external universe while
we are aware of four dimensions, we perceive only three directly, seeing the fourth one,
time, as describing the change in the other three.
The appreciation of a single quad can generate many
points of view. For example, K and T might be separate with A followed by D as one
possibility. Another would hold T and A as separate with D followed by K. In fact, when
one considers the sequence of the blended side, the sequence in which the separate side is
evaluated, the sequence in which the pair appreciations are explored and the sequence of
which pair is seen as blended first, we end up with 192 different points of view from a
single quad. In fact, these 192 perspectives represent the most essential intrinsic human
concepts, conclusions, emotions, and evalauations. They are nodal points along the
continuous spectrum of mental experience.
Whatever the actual biologic mechanism of the brain
turns out to be, the elemental nature of the mind is the smallest mechanism that
dynamically functions as a Quad. We call the tiniest system that meets this criterion a Thoton.
A thoton is not a physical object. Rather, it
describes a system of processes that are interrelated. When one looks at the system, it
appears object-like; when one looks at the processes it appears as a function. Therefore,
similar to its external cousin, the photon, the thoton can be seen as either a particle or
a wave. It can be appreciated either as an arrangement of KTAD or as a sequence of
measuring that is occurring in it. A particle view is favored by space, a wave view by
time. It is the interactions between the spatial and temporal nature of thotons that
synthesize all higher level aspects of self-awareness.
The thoton is not neuralgic, but psychological.
However, many of its attributes are reflected in neurons. This is not surprising, since
any psychological function is inceptually driven by neuralgic function, although much of
this relationship remains unknown. Before describing the thoton directly, it helps to
become familiar with neuralgic functioning as an analogy. To understand how this works,
let us examine the functioning of a single neuron to see how self-awareness responds to
sensory input from the outside universe.
Let's construct a simplified model to illustrate
the concept of a neuron. Imagine a hypothetical, empty brain, containing no thought and no
knowledge, completely isolated from any kind of sensory stimuli. Now, let us connect
sensory nerves to this brain. Action Potentials begin to move along the axons of the
sensory neurons, stimulating the dendrites of the next until the spikes ultimately
encounter the interneurons of the brain.
The action potential generated in the initial
interneurons at a nerve ending in this empty brain come only from the sensory nerve
itself, from that single source of stimulation. But as the interneurons begin to stimulate
others, eventually, somewhere within the brain, there will be a neuron that is stimulated
by the data flowing from two nerves. In effect, this neuron is an intersecting point where
Neurons only fire when the reach threshold, which
is a trigger that requires a given amount of potential to build up. This threshold can be
attained either by temporal summation, which is repeated stimulation from a single source,
or by spatial summation, which is multiple stimulations from several sources, or by a
combination of both.
So this neuron at the intersecting point might fire
as a result of repeated stimulation from one of the two sources or from a multiple
stimulation by them both. The effects of time and space interfering with each other is
already evident at this point, since until the neuron actually fires, it acts as something
of a sponge, sopping up potential in both temporal and spatial summation, blending them
together in synthesis until it reaches threshold. It does not matter to the neuron how
this potential was amassed, just that threshold was reached.
Our sample neuron fires and continues to fire , due
to additional stimulation, which is a fairly binary affair. However, the process of firing
is not due to direct electrical stimulation; it is caused by biochemical stimulation. It
is the neurotransmitters that collect at the dendrites, building potential, that trigger
voltage gated channels to open in the receptors. Migration of ions in and out of the
neuron's membrane moves the action potential down the axon to the terminal endings where
it releases its action potential in the form of ruptured vesicles that spit
neurotransmitter chemicals into the synapses near other neuron's dendrites, building up
But, and this is most important, neurotransmitters
also build down. Some neurotransmitters act as inhibitors that actually reduce the tendency
to fire, by creating a less favorable environment in the synapse. A neuron might be
receiving data indicating that it fire, but it cannot because of conflicting data
indicating it should not.
Based on this cursory description of the function
of the neuron, let us freeze the processes in a neuron and its environment to
examine what forces are at work. We would find four qualities involved. First would be the
degree of potential that currently exists between the neuron and its environment. This
quantifiable amount is analogous to what we call Knowledge in a thoton. It defines how
fully prepared a neuron is to fire. Until a neuron has experienced sufficient
stimulation, it does not know that stimulation has occurred. More precisely, it is
not prepared to inform other neurons that information has come in because the quantity
(spatial summation) and/or quality (temporal summation) is not enough for the neuron to believe
in the datum is has received. Only when the neuron reaches the threshold does it in fact
have enough confidence in the datum to pass it on deeper into the network. Of note
is that this analogous knowledge is not contained within a neuron, but between
neurons. Being a synthesis, the qualities of thotons are best see as
The second force at work in our sample neuron is
dynamically equivalent to our definition of Thought in a thoton. In the neuron, the
channels in a receptor do not remain open indefinitely. If they did, a long, slow process
of building up potential could cause a neuron to fire. In reality, if the frequency
or power of the potential that exists in the synapse is not great enough, channels
will close and have to be reopened. Clearly, the firing of a neuron is not only dependent
upon spatially reaching a certain potential, but also that the potential is reached in a
certain amount of time. This is much more complex than a "window of opportunity"
for it is a continuous process, based on the average of openings and closings. When enough
channels are open at the same moment (space intersects time) the neuron will fire. This
second force occurs because the neuron seeks entropy in the absence of external
stimulation. Entropy is only achieved when the entire compliment of receptor channels is
The third force acting upon the neuron are the
inhibiting neurotransmitters. These molecules bind to the receptors preventing the
excitatory neurotransmitters from opening that channel. So, the mix between excitatory and
inhibitory neurotransmitters determines the susceptibility of the neuron as a whole to
fire. The degree of inhibition by neurotransmitters is analogous to the Thoton's quality
Finally, the fourth force in neuron firing is
concerned with the long-term aftereffects of repeated stimulation of a neuron. Without
going too deeply into the biochemistry, Calcium ions bind free vesicles in the bouton to
the membrane wall, making them more likely to release neurotransmitters. The presence of
Seratonin and/or other transmitters acts upon the membrane to open the calcium channel,
allowing more Ca++ ions into the bouton, thereby increasing the likelihood of firing by
sensitizing the neuron. Conversely, repeated firing tends to drive calcium out of the
bouton until most of the vesicles become free, desensitizing or habituating the
neuron. This force is analogous to Desire in the thoton.
In summary, a single neuron is driven by four
essential forces: a threshold which functions as a resistance, a time limit which opens a
potential, a variable mix of excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitters which determine
power, and a tendency toward habitation or sensitization which controls current.
In the Thoton at rest, Knowledge can be seen as
Resistance, Thought as Potential, Ability as Power, and Desire as Current. These four
variables constitute a relationship that repeats fractally all the way from a single
neuron up to the higher level psychological functions of problem solving and
justification. Once the relationship is defined, it can be applied with success to any
level of appreciation of mental processes.
This is why we feel confident, that even though the
causal relationship between neurology and psychology is still unknown, we can use our
understanding of the forces in the one to analogously describe the forces in the other. To
this end, let's look at how the concept of a thoton describes the psychological response
to sensory stimulation.
Returning to our empty brain, we examine a single
thoton, rather than a single neuron. Let us imagine this thought receives stimulation due
to an observation (equivalent to sensory nerve stimulation) This stimulation raises the
energy level of the thoton, much as the potential is raised in the synapse. The thoton,
however, does not fire immediately. Rather, it has a capacity to absorb repeated
stimulation, either by temporal or spatial summation, raising it to a new level of energy,
building up a charge. As the thoton's charge increases, much like quantum theory, the
energy of that charge becomes more unstable; less bound to the thoton. Eventually,
through repeated stimulation, the thoton has reached the limit of its ability to hold on
to its charge. An additional stimulus occurs, overloading the thoton, making the energy it
holds so unstable that it sheds itself of excess energy, sending a packet or quantum
of energy on to the next thoton in the chain, stabilizing the thoton back at zero charge.
It has taken a number of stimuli to force the thoton to pass on the data.
Now, let's imagine a group of thotons. A single
observation, by virtue of its pattern, charges certain thotons in the group, raising each
to a higher energy level and making each slightly more unstable. A second observation,
identical to the first, stimulates the same thotons. They are all raised to the next level
of energy, building up a greater charge and becoming even more unstable or closer to
Observations continue until the stimulated thotons
have reached their maximum capacity to absorb energy. At this point, each thoton is at its
highest energy level and its greatest instability.
Another identical observation stimulates the same
thotons. Since they can hold no more energy, each thoton fires, shedding itself of the
excess energy and stimulating the other thotons it is connected to. Each of these new
thotons now absorbs the energy of this second-generation stimulation raising to the next
energy level, and duplicating the pattern of the ongoing observations.
But all observations are not identical. Some
thotons will be stimulated by every observation, some never; most will be stimulated to
varying degrees as observation continues.
What happens if sequential observations are not
identical? Let's wipe the slate clean and return to the empty brain. As a sequence of
dissimilar observations stimulates the immediate thotons, some will eventually reach the
firing point before others. At that time, even a homogeneous observation will cause only
those most unstable thotons to fire. The others will continue to absorb energy.
When the fully charged thotons fire, the only
second-generation thotons to be stimulated will be those directly connected to the firing
thotons. Effectively, the homogeneous observation has now been altered and a different
pattern emerges at the second generation. This is the essence of synthesis.
This Synthetic pattern is representative of the
accumulated energy levels of repeated stimulation by different observations. Effectively,
this pattern is learned knowledge, and the first generation of thotons has acted to filter
an observation based on accumulated Knowledge.
The pattern and the process of filtering can be
described in several different ways. The rising energy levels of a thoton might be seen in
electrical terminology as decreasing the resistance of that thoton to the flow of current.
This casts thotons in the role of transistors with a very important difference: unlike
transistors, each thoton requires MANY stimulations to "open the gate". This
gives added weight to repeated stimulation and much more significance to the ultimate
Another perspective is to see Knowledge as a
"weighted pattern" not reflecting any specific observation, but the accumulated
weight of many observations or the weight of simultaneous occurrence. It is significant
that this "weighting" is not an average as once a single thoton has reached its
maximum level, it will fire regardless if all the other thotons in the pattern are at
their highest or lowest levels.
Refining the model: Knowledge
As progressive generations of thotons become
stimulated, paths or channels are created along those connections from generation to
generation. A single observation might have portions that are absorbed at the first
generation, others that continue far through the brain, and others that continue all the
way to the final generation where nerves are stimulated causing muscles to contract and
altering the environment in turn.
So, Knowledge may be seen not merely as a simple
cross-sectional filter, but as a three dimensional pattern of channels leading into the
brain to various depths. Such complexity is difficult to illustrate, but the concept can
be conveyed by an analogy. A single observation might "lodge" at any number of
levels resembling icicles of various lengths hanging from a roof.
The icicle example illustrates the pattern of
repeated stimulation in its cross-section and the degree of repetition in its depth.
"Depth" is not a truly accurate
description for in the three dimensional matrix of the brain, the paths of stimulation can
assume any pattern: spiral, zigzags, or even double back on itself crossing its own path
(a function definable in terms of non-linear equations). Even more accurately, depth might
be seen more like gravitational fields that describe a probability map of the mind, based
on the experience level of each thoton, cross-connected with thousands of others. In these
cases, a single thoton may serve multiple duty as a variable at different stages of
processing. This creates the opportunity for complex "processing", but still can
be understood as the linear progression of observation-driven stimulation channeled by
So far we have concentrated on a brain receiving
one observation at a time. But the brain receives many simultaneous stimulations in a
variety of physical areas. As these paths of stimulation cross, they can add to or
subtract from other paths. They might also be redirected, enhanced, diminished, or cut off
and halted entirely. Any form of interaction is possible. As these separate non-linear
paths cross, the affect each other as a common thoton is shared in all their sets. As a
result, the relationship between these separate non-linear functions is a relativistic
Buckminster Fuller said, "The flow of energy
through a system tends to organize that system." As a system, the mind is no
exception. Organization can be seen as a stability. In the mind, which is an organization
of processes, each process is a function that can be plotted as a wave form. When the wave
forms cross each other's paths, they create interference patterns as they synthesize. The
overall effect of these interactions creates a pattern of standing waves. This pattern is
created by the biochemical makeup of the brain, making the nature of each individual mind
identically respondent to the same stimuli, even though the pattern itself derives from
the specific observations that have stimulated the mind's thotons. It is this standing
wave pattern, which alters and flexes in response to changes in the internal and external
environment, that describes the essence of self-awareness.
This concept, as we shall later see, is at the
heart of Mental Relativity. For now, however, the important concept to remember is that
all these complexities are the result of the simple stimulation of thotons weighted by the
pattern of stability due to repeated observation.
Refining the Model: Thought
So far, we have created an analogy to describe how
thotons generate knowledge. At this point in development of the model it becomes obvious
that if no mechanism existed for the lowering of energy levels in thotons, eventually
every thoton would reach maximum. Knowledge would be at 100%, but Thought would completely
cease. Fortunately, a mechanism for thotons to return to lower energy levels is intrinsic
in the model as described, and functions spontaneously to keep the mind from being
grid-locked in knowledge. That mechanism is instability.
As we have seen, when a thoton's energy level
raises, it eventually reaches a level at which it will fire when further stimulated. But
if left alone, the thoton will fire spontaneously, lowering its energy to a more stable
level. The higher the level, the more quickly the spontaneous firing. Again, this function
is not only reminiscent of Quantum Physics but is reflected in the neuron in the processes
of habitation and sensitization. Depending upon the kind of output neurotransmitter
created by a neuron (excitatory or inhibitory) either habitation or sensitization can have
the effect of stimulating additional firing elsewhere. It is this spontaneous firing that
Returning to our model, we can see that at any
given moment, each thoton in the mind has a degree of instability ranging from zero (fully
stable) to infinity (wholly unstable). In actuality, thotons do not truly have
"levels", but have a continuous range from stable to unstable that depends upon
the specific charge (much like the infinitely variable potential in the synapse that can
range from a theoretical zero all the way up to the threshold trigger point). The higher
the potential, the greater the probability that the effects of habitation or sensitization
will raise or lower the threshold far enough to induce or prevent firing.
This "probability" is the uncertainty
principal of the mind. Mental Relativity accepts this uncertainty and seeks only to
suggest that as the charge in a thoton increases, there is an increase in the tendency to
spontaneously fire. Because each spontaneous firing lowers the remaining energy level, the
thoton becomes more stable and less likely to fire. The curve is logarithmic. This gives
the existence of un-reinforced knowledge a "half life" that describes its
spontaneous decay into original thought.
So, as unstimulated thotons spontaneously fire,
they create patterns that never existed in direct observation, but rather reflect the
synthesis of repeated observations. These internally generated patterns move through the
mind, through the network of thotons, as if they were caused by observed
stimulation. And they can modify other paths in the same manner. Internally generated
patterns could channel, alter, add to or halt a path of stimulation cause by a direct
It is clear that incredibly complex paths can be
created by these simple means. As these complex paths of potential and resistance
represent Knowledge, the flow of energy through these paths represents Thought. The subtle
nuances of Thought are due to the cosmic scale of the complexity of the paths and the
relationship between direct and indirect stimulation.
It is also clear that both of these components are
a result of cause and effect, both with observation and with each other. An observation
can flow directly thought the brain to nerve endings, triggering an immediate response
such as a reflex action. Or, it might cross a path and trigger additional thought or the
release of pre-existing patterns that alter thought or trigger a series of complex
Refining the Model: Observation
So far, we have been referring to an observation as
"a pattern of stimulation". As with a neuron, this pattern is comprised of both
temporal and spatial summation. Rather than seeing an observation as a flat image, we
might imagine it as a 3-D image, possessing both a planar pattern and a depth. In our
model, of the two remaining components of the mind, Ability relates to the planar pattern,
Desire relates to the depth.
Refining the Model: Ability
Our model to this point has dealt primarily with
single Thotons. To understand Ability and Desire, we must consider groups of Thotons,
called Networks. Networks of Thotons have much in common with Ganglia in the brain. If one
considers a single Ganglion, it consist of two partitions, the Left and Right
hemiganglion. Each of these regions has both unique and shared duties within the Ganglion
as a whole. Similarly, a Network of Thotons consists of two Domains, one an attractor,
the other a detractor.
A network of Thotons will have a pattern of
knowledge that is generating spontaneous thought. This pattern can be liked to checkers on
a checkerboard. The board represent a network of empty thotons. Each checker represent a
single stimulation by an observation. Every square that contains at least one chip is
considered to possess some knowledge. The depth or degree of knowledge.
Let us imagine a checkerboard above this one that
represents the spatial and temporal pattern of an incoming observation. When the
observation falls upon the network, some squares will need only one more checker to fire,
but don't get it because there is nothing in that area of the observation. It is a null
space in the pattern. Other squares require varying amounts of stimulation to fire and get
what they need. Still others have no inherent knowledge existing in the network, yet the
size of the observation is so great that it causes firing from the strength of its own
We see these functions occur throughout psychology,
most notably in memory where repetition has an affect as well as cross-referencing. Also, flash
memories occur during events of particular intensity.
Returning to the model, when the observation
impacts the network, part of its strength will be absorbed and part sent on in the form of
thoton firing in the network. That part of the observation that has been well experienced
previously will be sent on in its full strength, deeper into the system of the mind,
ultimately to trigger reflex action in the neuromotor system. But that which is less
experienced, or not experienced at all, will have a portion of its impact, perhaps even
all, absorbed by the network. In this manner, the network serves to filter observations so
that action is taken based on those portions of the observation that are most familiar.
This familiarity is the essence of Ability.
In terms of our four components of the mind, KTAD,
if we refine the definition of Knowledge to mean only the binary sense so that a thoton
either contains knowledge or it does not, then the depth or degree of that knowledge is
What we mean by Ability then, is not at all the
same as the dictionary definition. We do not mean this component of the mind describes
one's physical or mental prowess, rather, we mean that Ability is more akin to experience
or familiarity. Why don't we just call it experience? Like a neuron, a single thoton has
no idea if the state it is in is due to temporal or spatial summation. So it cannot tell
if it is seeing the same thing many times, or the same part of many things.
As described earlier, the quads of the mind have a
fractal nature. At a higher psychological level, the relationship between habitation and
experience creates the common understanding of Ability. Therefore, at thoton resolution,
labeling the quality of knowledge as Ability will later allow us to apply the single KTAD
quad anywhere in the model without the need for redefinition.
In conjunction with habitation then, Ability is the
percentage of an observation that has been observed before. The greater the percentage
match, the less is completely unknown, the less opportunity for risk and the greater the
perceived Ability. If existing Knowledge matches an observation completely, Ability is
seen to be 100%. If there is no match at all, Ability is zero.
Refining the Model: Desire
Just as Ability is related to Knowledge, Desire is
related to Thought. We have defined thought in the thoton as the actual spontaneous firing
of a stimulus based on the decay of knowledge. The likelihood or probability
of spontaneous firing is logrithmically related to the increasing instability of a thotons
energy due to repeated stimulation. It is this probability that describes Desire.
In our checkerboard model, we can see that the
thotons in the network with the most checkers will be the most likely to spontaneously
fire first. As a result, if there is a repeated pattern of stimulation that suddenly
ceases, those thotons fire, recreating the image of the observation. In effect, the
network causes internal thought to focus on what is missing.
Certainly such familiar attitudes as the motivation
to possess or a sense of grief at personal loss have many parallels to this mechanism.
Still, one does not only desire what one has lost, but also what one can imagine as
having. The model of Desire accommodates this as well. As different observations cause a
continually changing pattern of observations, driven by this seemingly random stimulation,
some thotons in the network will receive a full charge and fire in response to no single
observation but the overall impact of many. This probability to fire increases as more
observations are experienced. The resulting patterns may represent a complex situation
that fosters a wide variety of experiences, ultimately reflected in a higher level desire
to involve oneself in a certain profession, relationship, activity or environment. Even
more unpredictable are truly creative thoughts that bear no direct relationship to any
observations actually experienced, but are the result of a synthesis of many different
Summarizing the Model: KTAD
Starting from the concept of four basic components
of the mind, we have shown how they are related in a quad form. This quad form is a
physical matrix representing an equation of relativity. Points of view within the quad
allow for different arrangements of KTAD, leading to a number of implementations of the
equation. Further, the intrinsic relationship of the functions represented by KTAD, acts
upon incoming observations to create a synthesis of self-awareness that evolves fractally
to higher levels of psychology.