Wednesday, 29 August 2018

Phase transition and the Phenomenal Self

Even a baby has a notion of self. It cries and laughs when the "other" touches it, makes sounds towards it. This implies the self is a constant from infancy.

What is this self ?

I think the phenomenal self to be an emergent phenomenon of physiological process that govern interoception/proprioception and that remains throughout life and even during processes such as sleeping and dreaming.

Everything is connected to everthing else in some way. A simple explanation is as follows:
At every level of emergence the superimposing layer is resonating with the underlying layer at the same frequency , but the amplitude of each layer is different. Each layer of emergence consists of resonating frequencies with differing amplitudes that branch to form a fractal like pattern, giving rise to complexity.

Concepts of entanglement at the quantum level are beginning to be discovered which support the above.

When the complexity of vibrations/oscillatory motion reaches a certain critical threshold, phase transition occurs and there is emergence of a new physical form, in the following way:

For e.g. consider a uniform energy field with positive pushing forces being cancelled by negative pulling forces. The net field value is  zero and the field is at equilibrium with no net vibrational force. Now suppose the amplitude of the positive forces exceed that of the negative forces, the net force being positive, the field has a net vibration, then a certain kind of particle (type I) comes into existence. Now in another copy of the same field which intersects with the previous field the amplitude of the negative forces exceed that of the positive forces, and another kind of  particle (type II) comes into existence. Now suppose the positive interacts with the negative in myriads of ways to form more complex structures. For e.g. one particle I(arising from net positive forces) interacts with two particles type II (from net negative forces) to form a larger particle (particle A) with net negative force. This larger particle A (with net negative force) then interacts with other larger particles [larger particles with net negative force (A) and net positive force (B)]  in a fractal manner . Repeat this, even  a hundred  times and "complexity " arises. May be at 1000 repeats there is a phase transition and a new physical form arises. Maybe at 1500 another phase transition occurs and there is a new physical form . Such permutations and combinations are governed by probablities of interactions which in turn are governed by factors such as proximity etc. Nearer particles have a greater degree of entanglement than faraway particles.

So coming back to the emergent self, it could be a phenomenon arising from phase transition due to interacting physical parts of the nervous system involved in interoception/proprioception.   In other words, the atoms, molecules, nerve cells , synaptic connections , and other physical stuff emerging from phase transition could give rise to the self which is an emergent phenomenon /process of being.

This phenomenal self/mind that perceives, dissolves most probably when the part of the nervous system involved in propioception  gets damaged. However it  seems to remain intact in patients with traumatic brain injury because such patients  respond to proprioceptive stimulation.

Energy Barrier

Is the directional arrow of time due to an energy barrier ?  Analogy: Uncatalyzed reaction. May be a catalyst-like invention could revers...