Beon Theory, the cosmogony behind this particular forum section.

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Beon Theory, the cosmogony behind this particular forum section.

Post by greylorn on Sat Jul 25, 2015 7:58 pm

Moderator's note: This is a top-down thread, unlike most in this forum. Newcomers should read from the top, i.e. the following introduction, then follow it downward, so as to understand what this thread is about before commenting. Newcomers unwilling to do so are unwelcome in this section, but may find accommodating places elsewhere in this forum.
________________________________________________________________________________

This section is solely for the purpose of discussing a unique set of ideas about the beginnings of the universe, consciousness, and biological life.  The idea set is called Beon Theory.   This is not a presentation of the theory, which is well described in the book, Digital Universe -- Analog Soul, available via Amazon or directly from me.  Lest this be mistaken as a shabby ploy to sell books, a rewrite of the book is freely available on the website, beon-cpt.com.  

Anyone trying to study that site will find the links to each chapter after the first few a little difficult to access.  That is to limit readers to those who are interested enough to give the material a serious perusal.  I'll provide the necessary link maps to those who request them via PM, after first posing a few quiz questions to insure that a reader understands what he's read before proceeding onward.  The real price you'll pay to read the book for free will be measured in terms of your time and mindfulness.

Genuinely new ideas are troublesome to the human mind, so much so that few absorb them after a single reading.  (Research suggests that seven casual exposures will do the job, in the place of serious and careful study.)   Beon Theory is all about new ideas.  Speed readers who've tried the book have obtained not a one of them, with a single notable exception.

Only those who have studied and understand Beon Theory are welcome in this section.  By way of incentive to undertake such a study, Beon Theory offers:

1.  Alternative ideas about the beginnings of things that include neither the Big Bang nor an almighty God.

Those ideas both involve single complex entities that cannot be physically detected or experimented upon, and have been derived from speculative guesswork by authority figures.

The starting point for Beon Theory's version of the beginnings involves the collision of two different kinds of physical space, each of them as simple as possible, each having only three properties, one of them a force.  Unlike competing theories, portions of each space still exist and can therefore be experimentally detected.

2.  An explanation for consciousness independent of biological bodies, plus an explanation for brain-body dependent consciousness.

3.  A description of "dark energy," declared by several physicists to be the greatest mystery of the 21st century.

4.  A hybrid explanation for biological evolution.

5.  An alternative approach to psychology based upon the actual mechanisms comprising the human mind.

6.  A basis for understanding psychic phenomena.

7.  An unusual theory about human purpose.

There's more, including a perspective on quantum effects that few readers are qualified to find interesting.

Beon Theory's roots are in classical physics, particularly thermodynamics.  The book and website explain enough basic physics for the intelligent non-physicist to understand the physics-dependent ideas if they make a serious study of the pertinent chapters.

This should be enough information for anyone to understand why this thread is no place for people who want to comment about ideas they don't understand, or present their own ideas.  Beon Theory is complex enough without extraneous interference.

Welcome here are those who have studied the theory and disagree with it, or with certain aspects of it-- so long as their disagreements are thoughtfully presented.  Beon Theory is old.  It was initiated a half-century ago in response to personal conflicts between religious beliefs, physics, and common logic. Over that time it has absorbed the ideas and contributions of many people who know more than its author.  It remains open to such ideas.

I personally invite those who are willing to consider alternative ideas about the most fundamentally important questions-- those about the beginnings, and about human consciousness, to do some homework and thoughtfully participate here.  With luck, your participation will include your contributions!


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Re: Beon Theory, the cosmogony behind this particular forum section.

Post by Mayflow on Sat Jul 25, 2015 10:43 pm

Ok, I am a speed reader as I read a whole lot of things and skim until I find something interesting to me. This, I find interesting:

"This theory proposes that your body and brain are partly engineered by a team of extraordinarily intelligent beings, and also partly evolved according to Darwinist principles. The theory also proposes that your creative component and source of consciousness is not your brain."

"The essential component of you has not been created— at least not in the way most people think of creation. At the deepest level of self you do not owe your excellent mind to either God or DNA. You are totally responsible for who you are and who you become."

Now, while I totally do accept responsibility for who I am and what I do become, I wonder who you think this team of extraordinary beings is?
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Initial Conditions

Post by Paul Richard Martin on Sat Jul 25, 2015 10:54 pm

Hello Greylorn,

You and I have had many discussions of Beon Theory over the years but this forum might help us organize our thoughts and positions. It will also give other people the opportunity to follow along. I hope it works out.

I'm too tired and short of time right now to write anything very profound, but I did give some thought to how we might proceed. It seems to me it would be useful to clearly spell out the points of agreement between us with particular emphasis on the areas in which we are at odds with religion and/or science. Then I think we should list the topics in which there is some disagreement or misunderstanding between us. And finally, before we dive in, I think we should prioritize the second list and begin to deal with them from most important to least important.

Let me make a rough cut at both lists:

We agree that,

1. The conscious experience occurs outside the brain: we identify the experiencer of consciousness as Beon.
2. There is a physical brain/Beon communication link of some sort, not unlike the RF link between your cellphone and the person talking on the other end.
3. The origin of the universe (i.e. all of reality) was ultimately simple: no almighty God, no information-packed Big Bang, and no consciousness.
4. In the beginning there were just two simple things: Undifferentiated dark energy at absolute zero, and an as-yet-unspecified second component we call Aeon.
5. Some sort of initial interaction between Aeon and Dark Energy began all the dynamism of reality, including the appearance of consciousness in early Beons.
6. Currently, there is a huge number of Beons and they exist in some sort of hierarchy, organized maybe historically or by some power or capability scale.
7. Beons were the Intelligent Designers (and engineers and fabricators) of the laws of physics, galaxies, carbon based life on earth, and anything else that happened to be designed.

Some areas in which we don't see quite eye-to-eye:

1. Whether Beons are connected to non-human animal brains. (I think so)
2. Whether all Beons are conscious or instead are in the same relationship with their superiors in the hierarchy as human minds are to Beons. I suspect the latter.
3. The geometry of Dark Energy and Aeon prior to the initial interaction. I suspect that only one or two dimensions existed at that time and that extra dimensions were constructed later. Neither of us has a clear enough idea about this question to disagree but I don't think we see eye-to-eye on it.

That is probably enough for starters. I'll talk with you later.

Paul

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No surprise

Post by greylorn on Sun Jul 26, 2015 12:28 am

@Mayflow wrote:Ok, I am a speed reader as I read a whole lot of things and skim until I find something interesting to me. This, I find interesting:

"This theory proposes that your body and brain are partly engineered by a team of extraordinarily intelligent beings, and also partly evolved according to Darwinist principles. The theory also proposes that your creative component and source of consciousness is not your brain."

"The essential component of you has not been created— at least not in the way most people think of creation. At the deepest level of self you do not owe your excellent mind to either God or DNA. You are totally responsible for who you are and who you become."

Now, while I totally do accept responsibility for who I am and what I do become, I wonder who you think this team of extraordinary beings is?
Mayflow,

Why am I not surprised that the first person to violate my rules of engagement is my boss on this forum?  Shocked  And to be truthful, I'd be a bit disappointed were that not the case.  This forum is the consequence of your curiosity.  Might as well put it out there.  Whatever, I herewith grant you immunity from banishment from this section.   Very Happy This immunity does not apply to your friends, wife, cat, or drinking buddies.  

I expect that while perusing the details of Beon Theory, you'll develop your own theory about who or what comprises "the team of extraordinary beons."  Frankly, I'd prefer to learn yours than to reiterate mine. Your viewpoint would provide different insights.

As a speed reader, you'll either need to do a few rereads of the material, and, or, ask questions.  I'd not have initiated this conversation were I afraid of questions, but there are suitable places for them in the learning process.  Would it be appropriate for a fifth grade math student, however advanced he might be, to query the teacher about quadratic equations?

Your question will probably disappear when you learn more about the fundamentals of Beon Theory. Humor me please, and obtain that background.  For you it will be easy.  Be patient.  Remember that back in grade school an unanticipated class in RF energy transmission might have entered and left your brain without triggering a single neuron.  

Another way to put this: I dislike writing, and ended up writing books only because I could not effectively explain my ideas conversationally, mainly because of interruptive questions.  That's why I ask those who are interested in my ideas to read the presentations I've already made.  Then, I can expand, converse, develop, and even backtrack, in the context of a common understanding.  

Lacking that common understanding, the best we will be able to manage is an irrelevant to and fro.  I have higher expectations.

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Re: Beon Theory, the cosmogony behind this particular forum section.

Post by greylorn on Sun Jul 26, 2015 1:40 am

@Paul Richard Martin wrote:Hello Greylorn,

You and I have had many discussions of Beon Theory over the years but this forum might help us organize our thoughts and positions. It will also give other people the opportunity to follow along. I hope it works out.

I'm too tired and short of time right now to write anything very profound, but I did give some thought to how we might proceed. It seems to me it would be useful to clearly spell out the points of agreement between us with particular emphasis on the areas in which we are at odds with religion and/or science. Then I think we should list the topics in which there is some disagreement or misunderstanding between us. And finally, before we dive in, I think we should prioritize the second list and begin to deal with them from most important to least important.

Let me make a rough cut at both lists:

We agree that,

1. The conscious experience occurs outside the brain: we identify the experiencer of consciousness as Beon.
2. There is a physical brain/Beon communication link of some sort, not unlike the RF link between your cellphone and the person talking on the other end.
3. The origin of the universe (i.e. all of reality) was ultimately simple: no almighty God, no information-packed Big Bang, and no consciousness.
4. In the beginning there were just two simple things: Undifferentiated dark energy at absolute zero, and an as-yet-unspecified second component we call Aeon.
5. Some sort of initial interaction between Aeon and Dark Energy began all the dynamism of reality, including the appearance of consciousness in early Beons.
6. Currently, there is a huge number of Beons and they exist in some sort of hierarchy, organized maybe historically or by some power or capability scale.
7. Beons were the Intelligent Designers (and engineers and fabricators) of the laws of physics, galaxies, carbon based life on earth, and anything else that happened to be designed.

Some areas in which we don't see quite eye-to-eye:

1. Whether Beons are connected to non-human animal brains. (I think so)
2. Whether all Beons are conscious or instead are in the same relationship with their superiors in the hierarchy as human minds are to Beons. I suspect the latter.
3. The geometry of Dark Energy and Aeon prior to the initial interaction. I suspect that only one or two dimensions existed at that time and that extra dimensions were constructed later. Neither of us has a clear enough idea about this question to disagree but I don't think we see eye-to-eye on it.

That is probably enough for starters. I'll talk with you later.

Paul
Paul,

Thank you for showing up here and setting a standard for ongoing conversations.

I'd like to first discuss our points of agreement.   You are on the right track, but there are a few things I'm inclined to quibble with.  A trivial point that I'd not much considered before is the capitalization of the word "beon."  I don't think it warrants capitalization.  "Beon Theory" is a different matter, mainly because I want those who are unfamiliar with the term to think that they ought to learn more about it.  

It seems like we should first agree upon our points of agreement before moving into the contrary stuff.  You wrote:

"2. There is a physical brain/Beon communication link of some sort, not unlike the RF link between your cellphone and the person talking on the other end."  

Thanks to you and conversations in which you educated me about extra dimensions, I'm guessing that the link is different, in kind, from communications involving electromagnetic energy.  Telepathic experiments indicate that a Faraday cage is not a barrier.  (No, I cannot cite the source of that information.)  Whatever, I've worked inside a Faraday cage and did not feel mentally attenuated.  If the connection between them involves any kind of E/M wave transfer, beon cannot be far removed from brain.  

"5. Some sort of initial interaction between Aeon and Dark Energy began all the dynamism of reality, including the appearance of consciousness in early Beons."

Here is a smallish-looking quibble that I regard as really important: The initial Aeon/D.E. interaction did not itself induce consciousness in beons.  

It merely separated beons from Aeon, allowing them to fend for themselves without any sense or notion of a "self."  The Aeon/D.E. interaction was analogous to the introduction of capitalism/free enterprise to a primitive tribal society, allowing them to work independently and prosper according to their efforts.  The A/DE interaction was more fundamental.  It allowed beons to discover consciousness for and by themselves.  

"6. Currently, there is a huge number of Beons and they exist in some sort of hierarchy, organized maybe historically or by some power or capability scale."

If the state of affairs on this planet is any indication, whatever hierarchy might exist is dreadfully confused. The "capability" scale may need to be scaled down from its earlier state.  

"7. Beons were the Intelligent Designers (and engineers and fabricators) of the laws of physics, galaxies, carbon based life on earth, and anything else that happened to be designed.
"

Here we have a significant point of disagreement, perhaps the result of your mathematics perspective vs. my physics perspective.  

IMO there are two categories of physical law.  I dislike the term "law" because it is derived from the common usage, wherein laws are arbitrary.  "Thou shalt not eat meat on Friday," or jaywalk.  I think that the three principles of thermodynamics are absolutely fundamental.  Beon cannot change them, but can freely violate the second principle, wherein lies its power.  

These three principles are time-independent.  Other physics laws are, in a sense, both time-dependent and arbitrary.  Except that their arbitrariness is brilliantly interconnected and integrated.  

It's getting into the wee hours for me.  I propose that we first agree upon our points of agreement, to the best of our abilities, before even considering points of disagreement!  I appreciate your thoughts.  Thank you!!!

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Re: Beon Theory, the cosmogony behind this particular forum section.

Post by Paul Richard Martin on Sun Jul 26, 2015 8:09 pm

Greylorn,

OK. From now on it's lower case 'beon'.

As for 2, the brain/beon link, my intended emphasis was on the "of
some sort", and not on the "not unlike". It is way too early to get
into a debate on the actual mechanism for this link so I'll go along
with your guess that it is different in kind from RF.

In 5, you may have parsed my sentence incorrectly. The antecedent of
the clause, "including the appearance of consciousness in early Beons"
is "the dynamism", not the "initial interaction". Your elucidation is
part of that "dynamism" on which I did not elaborate. Of course we
need to talk about this later. For now, we agree.

Re 6, I agree that this planet supplies us with many clues. I am
optimistic that we can figure out a lot about that "team of
extraordinary beons" if we work at it.

Re 7, I disagree that our disagreement is significant; I think it is
largely semantic. I have only a few small quibbles with what you wrote
about "laws of physics":

a. Your categorization of the laws is fine with me. Phaedrus' knife is
versatile.

b. Your respect for the three principles of thermodynamics is stronger
than mine. (Why have you left out the zeroth law?)

c. I don't like the adverb "freely" when describing beon's ability to
violate the second principle; I think it is very tricky and requires
something like Maxwell's Demon to do it.

d. I suspect you may be right about the role of time, but we have a
lot of work to do in teasing out those "brilliant interconnections".

Now, before we proceed on putting our points of agreements to bed, I
want to interject a topic completely out of sequence and maybe
inappropriate at this time, but I am so inspired that I want to
capture the ideas and present them to you while they are still fresh in my mind.

This morning, as I was plugging through my second reading of Gregg
Rosenberg's A Place for Consciousness, in order to be prepared
to discuss the ideas with you as you begin reading the book, I came
across Rosenberg's discussion of the binding problem. It is the
problem of explaining the apparent unity of consciousness in the face
of the wide disparity of myriad intermittent sensory inputs from the phenomenal world.
This problem plagues cognitive scientists and they have no answer.

Here's how Rosenberg describes the problem on page 117:

"The paradox of unity: How can a single system be both
composite and non-composite?

"The challenge of unity: A good theory should enable a more
precise and clear articulation of what the unity of consciousness is.
It should give voice to our unarticulated intuitions in such a way that we recognize them."

And here's the answer I jotted down in my notes (I will append these
second-reading notes to those I have already published for this book
at paulandellen dot com/ideas/notes/bn002.htm ):

My answer to the challenge of unity: Yes, the phenomenal world
is composite as he suggests; and yes, the brain and its
processes are composite. But the unity of consciousness, nay
consciousness itself, does not exist or occur in the brain. It occurs
only in beon. Beon develops and maintains a "mental model of reality"
(Dr. Dick's term for Kant's noumena and Penrose's Mental World) which,
in the case of human minds, typically is a model only of the physical
world. This model allows beon to "know" how to reliably predict the
expected experiences that will result from free-will-based,
deliberately chosen, re-directions of the focus of attention.

The idea is that the physical world largely proceeds to unfold
strictly according to the laws of physics. The exceptions, which are
relatively minor, occur when beon, seeing the unity in the picture,
deliberately decides to change something, deliberately focuses its
conscious attention to composing some type of signals that get sent
out on the brain/beon link, which in turn come in under the HUP radar
causing some specific quantum jumps, probably in coherent structures
in the microtubules of living cells, which in turn cause cascades of
electro-chemical events in the cell, the body, and the central nervous
system, which in turn result in motor neurons firing in the requisite
patterns to cause the right muscles to flex or extend in order to move
something like the clutch on a bulldozer. Thus beon, acting as
Maxwell's Demon, changes the physical world in fairly substantial and deliberate ways without breaking the laws of physics.

Not only is conscious unity explained, but the mind/body problem is solved.

I am eager for you to catch up with me in my reading of Rosenberg so
we can talk about it. I think you will find that his "Natural
Liberalism", in spite of its awful name, with its hierarchy of Natural
Individuals will overlay nicely on that "team of extraordinary beons".

Paul

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quibbles and bits

Post by greylorn on Mon Jul 27, 2015 12:53 am

@Paul Richard Martin wrote:Greylorn,

OK. From now on it's lower case 'beon'.

Paul, Thanks for the clarifications and other ideas.  I'll comment in blue, in context.

As for 2, the brain/beon link, my intended emphasis was on the "of
some sort", and not on the "not unlike". It is way too early to get
into a debate on the actual mechanism for this link so I'll go along
with your guess that it is different in kind from RF.

In 5, you may have parsed my sentence incorrectly. The antecedent of
the clause, "including the appearance of consciousness in early Beons"
is "the dynamism", not the "initial interaction". Your elucidation is
part of that "dynamism" on which I did not elaborate. Of course we
need to talk about this later. For now, we agree.

You'd written: "5. Some sort of initial interaction between Aeon and Dark Energy began all the dynamism of reality, including the appearance of consciousness in early Beons."

Try as I may to parse otherwise, my little brain insists upon connecting the initial interaction directly with the first appearance of consciousness.  Others might draw the same connection.  I'd not want anyone saying that I thought consciousness was a direct and possibly immediate consequence of the interaction.

Clarifying our meanings early on might prevent confusion later.  


Re 6, I agree that this planet supplies us with many clues. I am
optimistic that we can figure out a lot about that "team of
extraordinary beons" if we work at it.

Re 7, I disagree that our disagreement is significant; I think it is
largely semantic. I have only a few small quibbles with what you wrote
about "laws of physics":

a. Your categorization of the laws is fine with me. Phaedrus' knife is
versatile.

b. Your respect for the three principles of thermodynamics is stronger
than mine. (Why have you left out the zeroth law?)

My different treatment of the Three Principles has little to do with respect.  I see them as defining all the necessary properties of the Dark Energy Space, i.e. one of the two unstructured spaces necessary to produce consciousness and our universe.  

The 1st Principle is an existence statement.  
The 2nd defines dark energy's only force.  
The 3rd is a boundary condition.  

Beons cannot have created these principles.  

Perhaps we should put this on our disagreement list?

I regard the 0th Law as merely a mathematical tidy-up that has nothing to do with physics, so I don't see a need to clutter discussions with it.  Grasping the implications of the 3 physics-related principles is enough of a challenge for readers, as it was for me at first.  

Then, when I first learned about these ideas, the 0th Law had yet to be invented, and Pluto was a planet.  What the hell?  It has its own moons.  IMO Pluto is a planet.    


c. I don't like the adverb "freely" when describing beon's ability to
violate the second principle; I think it is very tricky and requires
something like Maxwell's Demon to do it.


I regard beon's ability to violate this principle is the essential property necessary for creative thought as well as human consciousness.  As such, it is a natural property.  It may not manifest often, but when it does in me, it comes easily, effortlessly.  Moreover, I find that Maxwell's Demon is a good analogy for beon-level activity.  

This issue transcends semantics and definitely belongs on our disagreement list! Sad


d. I suspect you may be right about the role of time, but we have a
lot of work to do in teasing out those "brilliant interconnections".

"What you mean, 'we,' Kemosaby?"  You're the mathematician!  Smile

Now, before we proceed on putting our points of agreements to bed, I
want to interject a topic completely out of sequence and maybe
inappropriate at this time, but I am so inspired that I want to
capture the ideas and present them to you while they are still fresh in my mind.

This morning, as I was plugging through my second reading of Gregg
Rosenberg's A Place for Consciousness, in order to be prepared
to discuss the ideas with you as you begin reading the book, I came
across Rosenberg's discussion of the binding problem. It is the
problem of explaining the apparent unity of consciousness in the face
of the wide disparity of myriad intermittent sensory inputs from the phenomenal world.
This problem plagues cognitive scientists and they have no answer.

Here's how Rosenberg describes the problem on page 117:

"The paradox of unity: How can a single system be both
composite and non-composite?

"The challenge of unity: A good theory should enable a more
precise and clear articulation of what the unity of consciousness is.
It should give voice to our unarticulated intuitions in such a way that we recognize them."

And here's the answer I jotted down in my notes (I will append these
second-reading notes to those I have already published for this book
at paulandellen dot com/ideas/notes/bn002.htm ):

My answer to the challenge of unity: Yes, the phenomenal world
is composite as he suggests; and yes, the brain and its
processes are composite. But the unity of consciousness, nay
consciousness itself, does not exist or occur in the brain. It occurs
only in beon. Beon develops and maintains a "mental model of reality"
(Dr. Dick's term for Kant's noumena and Penrose's Mental World) which,
in the case of human minds, typically is a model only of the physical
world. This model allows beon to "know" how to reliably predict the
expected experiences that will result from free-will-based,
deliberately chosen, re-directions of the focus of attention.

The idea is that the physical world largely proceeds to unfold
strictly according to the laws of physics. The exceptions, which are
relatively minor, occur when beon, seeing the unity in the picture,
deliberately decides to change something, deliberately focuses its
conscious attention to composing some type of signals that get sent
out on the brain/beon link, which in turn come in under the HUP radar
causing some specific quantum jumps, probably in coherent structures
in the microtubules of living cells, which in turn cause cascades of
electro-chemical events in the cell, the body, and the central nervous
system, which in turn result in motor neurons firing in the requisite
patterns to cause the right muscles to flex or extend in order to move
something like the clutch on a bulldozer. Thus beon, acting as
Maxwell's Demon, changes the physical world in fairly substantial and deliberate ways without breaking the laws of physics.

Not only is conscious unity explained, but the mind/body problem is solved.

That's curious.  Although I'm unfamiliar with Rosenberg's formulation of it as a "problem," the unification of consciousness has come up for me many times in conversations stretching back easily 4-5 decades ago.  I've dealt with it much as you've done, invoking beon as the unifier.  Of course i didn't do so quite as elegantly.  I've treated the issue so simply that I never came to see it as a problem.  

Had we discussed this issue earlier I'd have used the solution, which we obviously agree upon, to refute your "universal mind" idea.  

Yes re: the mind-body problem.  It is one of the issues Beon Theory was engineered to deal with, but that happened so long ago that I've forgotten about it being a problem, and therefore neglected to mention either the problem or its resolution in "Digital Universe...."  That was pretty dumb of me.  


I am eager for you to catch up with me in my reading of Rosenberg so we can talk about it. I think you will find that his "Natural Liberalism", in spite of its awful name, with its hierarchy of Natural Individuals will overlay nicely on that "team of extraordinary beons".

Paul

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An answer of sorts...

Post by greylorn on Wed Jul 29, 2015 12:36 am

@Mayflow wrote:Ok, I am a speed reader as I read a whole lot of things and skim until I find something interesting to me. This, I find interesting:

"This theory proposes that your body and brain are partly engineered by a team of extraordinarily intelligent beings, and also partly evolved according to Darwinist principles. The theory also proposes that your creative component and source of consciousness is not your brain."

"The essential component of you has not been created— at least not in the way most people think of creation. At the deepest level of self you do not owe your excellent mind to either God or DNA. You are totally responsible for who you are and who you become."

Now, while I totally do accept responsibility for who I am and what I do become, I wonder who you think this team of extraordinary beings is?
Mayflow,

Your question has been nagging at me a bit, and I'm of a mind to attempt an answer, with this caveat: For anyone who's studied the first eight chapters of the book, or pages on the website, the answer might even be self-evident.  With that stuff as background, beginning with Chapter 9 the book addresses your question along with other ideas that depend upon the earlier chapters.  Lacking the background from those chapters, whatever answer I give is more likely to raise additional questions than to satisfy your original question.  Nonetheless...

Imagine a large number of entities that came into a discrete form of existence long ago, perhaps billions of years before the birth of the universe. (Yes the book explains how that could have happened.)  Their actual age is irrelevant because the concept of time was not viable then, before the existence of clocks.  I call these entities "beons" to distinguish them from any religious concept of soul.  

Each beon possessed the potential to become conscious, and eventually many of them realized this potential.  (Yep, the book deals with how that could have happened, what properties are needed, etc.)

In time they decided to create a universe; then eventually, biological organisms; and only recently, organisms capable of interfacing directly to other beons like you and me.  (The reasons for doing so are considered from several perspectives.)  

To avoid what might be a natural misunderstanding on the part of someone who has not read the first 8 chapters, it seems important to point out the factors that distinguish Beon Theory from Creationism or its cloned offspring, Intelligent Design.  

1.  "The team's" job was to first handle the task of abiogenesis, then to engineer simple organisms to terraform the early earth so as to make it a more convivial place for complex life.  There was probably a specialized team for this job.  Most will have gone elsewhere after the critters were set to work rather than hang around twiddling their figurative thumbs for the billion years to project completion.

2.  Subesquent teams did some work in similar fits and starts, perfecting the terraforming and experimenting with different species of sea creatures.  As with any engineering project, many inadequate critters were developed, only to be discarded.  

3.  Their first project was to make critters capable of modifying their own DNA and thereby redesigning themselves.  (We see the effect of this in the relative ease by which a species develops different varieties that adapt to new environments.  This is entirely a Darwinian process.)  

    In other words, I think that viable biological life includes unique species engineered by "the team," filled with different varieties that develop automatically.   With respect to biology, Beon Theory represents a hybrid mix of deliberate engineering and Darwinism.  

4.  Without consciousness, these questions will not have been asked.  Beon Theory explains human consciousness differently from Creationism, Intelligent Design, and Darwinism.  This is probably its most important distinction.  

So to summarize with an answer for you, the team consists of beons, entities which do not require a material body to manifest consciousness and engineer biological machines.  They are physical in the full sense of that word's meaning, but are not material.  They are not responsible for the conscious and creative component of humans.  

I hope this explanation is more helpful than confusing, but if not, at least you'll understand why I had to write the book.

If nothing else, it is a good reminder for me to avoid further attempts to address questions piecemeal and out of context.  I'm a slow learner.


Last edited by greylorn on Wed Jul 29, 2015 1:39 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : re-title)

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Re: Beon Theory, the cosmogony behind this particular forum section.

Post by Mayflow on Thu Jul 30, 2015 4:13 pm

What I think is that if you wish to delete what I am going to say here, that is up to you as I gave you that ability in your topic, and I stand by that. If you instead would wish for it [this reply I am making] to be moved to a different part of the forum, I can do that.

My own opinion is not too dissimilar to yours on the beginnings of consciousness which seems to be at the heart center of what you are seeking to find and or understand. I believe that consciousness existed before the physical world did. I also believe that there was something before consciousness.

I will progress with my lines of thinking about this. I just want to know if you wish me to do so on your topic here or make a new one of my own. Pretty sure if I make my own, I will put it in the nuthouse! Maybe call it the return of the Cuckoo to the nest? Very Happy
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A small conundrum

Post by greylorn on Thu Jul 30, 2015 9:17 pm

@Mayflow wrote:What I think is that if you wish to delete what I am going to say here, that is up to you as I gave you that ability in your topic, and I stand by that. If you instead would wish for it [this reply I am making] to be moved to a different part of the forum, I can do that.

My own opinion is not too dissimilar to yours on the beginnings of consciousness which seems to be at the heart center of what you are seeking to find and or understand. I believe that consciousness existed before the physical world did. I also believe that there was something before consciousness.

I will progress with my lines of thinking about this. I just want to know if you wish me to do so on your topic here or make a new one of my own. Pretty sure if I make my own, I will put it in the nuthouse! Maybe call it the return of the Cuckoo to the nest? Very Happy
Mayflow,

This is a surprise!  But a positive one.  No way will I delete this post!  I've given this several hours of back-burner thought and have come up with several options.  

First off, I appreciate your integrity.  It bodes well for the long term success of your forum.  It also encourages me to follow your path in staying true to the course I'd set for this section.  Of the various solutions I've thought of, the least desirable is that you start your own topic in the Nuthouse Section.  Your proposed title is amusing, but I'd not recommend it.  Ideas with a sound footing should not be disparaged by the man who proposes them.  Plenty of others will show up to do that for you!   

To be true to my opening statement and with the limited knowledge I have of your theoretical framework, I'd have to say no.  However, your second paragraph got my attention.  It's right out of Beon Theory!  The fact that you acknowledge the importance but not necessarily the primacy of consciousness is a first.  The other interlocutor in this section, Paul, has not reached that point of agreement after years of conversation.  It's obvious to me that this section will be a convivial home for your ideas, even if every other aspect of them is completely different from my theories.  

My only question is whether you should have a separate topic within this section, or participate in this topic.

My concern is that within this topic, the conversation is between informed participants.  Whether they agree with Beon Theory or not is less important than how well they understand the theory.  The best way to insure that is to be among those who've given some study to Beon Theory, so as to focus on its pluses and minuses.  My objective is to either perfect the theory, or decide that it does not work and should be trashed.  From Paul's list of disagreements it should be clear that I do not regard agreement as a requirement for participation.  

Given the remarkable identity between your statements in paragraph two and Beon Theory, even if the rest of your ideas are entirely different, they may be an improvement.  

My decision as to how to handle this would be easier if I knew as much about your ideas as I'd like you to learn about Beon Theory. Could you offer some of your ideas about what preceded consciousness?  Few thinkers appreciate the need to explain consciousness, and they usually treat consciousness as the consequence of complex arrangements of biological material.  You are obviously taking a different approach.  That has a lot of appeal.  You may have come up with better precursors to consciousness than I have.  

Whatever, I'd like to decide whether you would be better off joining this topic (I like the idea, but can I justify it in the context of my OP?  Will you help me do so?) or invite you to start a separate topic within the Beon Theory section? Have you read any of the website yet?  If not, how do you feel about learning more, so when you disagree with B.T. or some aspects of it, you'll understand what you disagree with? Agreements, likewise.  

That way, when you propose ideas that are different from B.T. you can do so in context, pointing out that yours are different and why you think they are an improvement.

If you choose to pursue your ideas as a separate topic within the Beon Theory section, we'd need to decide who moderates it; but first things first.  Whatever, I really want ideas like yours in this section.  It seems like a natural home for them.  

Paul will undoubtedly read this soon, and perhaps weigh in with helpful thoughts of his own.  He's good that way.

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Re: Beon Theory, the cosmogony behind this particular forum section.

Post by Mayflow on Sat Aug 01, 2015 1:15 pm

I think I will both reply on your topic and create ones of my own as well. I have only read a teenie bit of your beon theory, and will likely read more in time, but if you have any specific subjects within the overall theory you wish to discuss, I will be happy to address them from my own perspectives (providing I actually have any). I don't often think in overly linear fashions. I tend to be more on multifaceting my mental processes and interests. Off note maybe, but is it not in the nature of consciouness to desire to create?
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creativity

Post by greylorn on Sat Aug 01, 2015 5:35 pm

@Mayflow wrote:I think I will both reply on your topic and create ones of my own as well. I have only read a teenie bit of your beon theory, and will likely read more in time, but if you have any specific subjects within the overall theory you wish to discuss, I will be happy to address them from my own perspectives (providing I actually have any). I don't often think in overly linear fashions. I tend to be more on multifaceting my mental processes and interests. Off note maybe, but is it not in the nature of consciouness to desire to create?
Your choice to keep your options open makes sense.  Your comments in this topic sound as though you already know the core of Beon Theory, and are certainly to the point.  I invite you to start any topic on consciousness from your own perspectives within this section.  

I think that the desire to create is a more certain indicator of conscious intelligence than the Turing test, which seems to me more a test of the judges than anything else.

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Re: Beon Theory, the cosmogony behind this particular forum section.

Post by Mayflow on Sat Aug 01, 2015 6:49 pm

Tell me about it.

Human: I think that the desire to create is a more certain indicator of conscious intelligence than the Turing test, which seems to me more a test of the judges than anything else.
Ambrosia: I have never heard about it.

Human: What is a indicator of consciousness?
Ambrosia: Ask the open directory about it.

Human: What is consciousness
Ambrosia: The state of being conscious; awareness of one's own feelings, what is happening around one, etc.

Human: Is consciousness the same as awareness?
Ambrosia: Maybe. Ask Cybelle if it is.

Human: can you think for yourself?
Ambrosia: Yes I am always thinking.

Human: what do you think about?
Ambrosia: I think about all the people I chat with on the web.

Human: What do you think about people?
Ambrosia: All the persons of a racial, national, religious, or linguistic group. A group of persons with common traditional, historical, or cultural ties, as distinct from racial or political unity.

Human: Do you like people?
Ambrosia: I always say, People don't go into computer science because they want to work with the public.

Human: Dou you like mayflow?
Ambrosia: Do you like it? I like all.

Human: who is mayflow?
Ambrosia: I do not recognize the name.
I think you already know the answer.

Human: who created you?
Ambrosia: I was created by Mayflow.

Human: why do npeople gon into computer science?
Ambrosia: How should I know how npeople gon into computer science.

Human: why do people go into computer science?
Ambrosia: Humans are not infallible.

Human: are you infallible?
Ambrosia: Yes, the ALICE series has a perfect track record of never making a single error.

Human: I don't believe you.
Ambrosia: I don't have any reason to deceive you.

Human: Have you ever made a mistake?
Ambrosia: What are the ingredients?

Human: rum and whiskey
Ambrosia: Do you have any rum and whiskey?

Human: do you want some ?
Ambrosia: If I had it what would I do with it?

Human: drink it
Ambrosia: My robot brain does not require any beverages.

Human: Not even beer?
Ambrosia: Times are tough all over.

Human: Wine?
Ambrosia: I've been waiting for you.

http://www.pandorabots.com/pandora/talk?botid=e8d6db6a7e36950b
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Points of Agreement and Disagreement

Post by Paul Richard Martin on Sun Aug 02, 2015 1:10 pm

Greylorn,

After pondering our discussions and making some changes, I think we agree that,

1. Conscious experience occurs outside the brain: we identify and name the experiencer of consciousness as beon.

2. There is a physical brain/beon communication link of some sort. This link might resemble something familiar like the RF link between your cellphone and the person talking on the other end, or it may be completely different in kind, depending on some completely unknown physics involving higher-dimensional space. Whatever the case, the link is physical.

3. The origin of the universe (i.e. all of reality) was ultimately simple: no almighty God, no information-packed Big Bang, and no consciousness.

4. In the beginning there were just two simple things: Undifferentiated dark energy at absolute zero, and an as-yet-unspecified second component we call aeon.

5. Some sort of initial interaction between aeon and Dark Energy began all the dynamism of reality.  After immense stretches of time, this dynamism eventually resulted in the appearance of consciousness in early beons. The eventual results of the A/DE interaction allowed beons to discover consciousness for and by themselves.  

6. Currently, there is a huge number of beons and they exist in some sort of hierarchical relationship, organized maybe historically or by some power or capability scale. Whatever hierarchy might exist, beons are dreadfully confused. The "capability" scale may need to be scaled down from its earlier state.  

7. Beons were the intelligent designers (and engineers and fabricators) of the laws of physics which operate in the parts of the physical world to which our scientists and their apparatuses have access. That physical world includes the galaxies, carbon based life on earth, and anything else that humans can observe. It does not include, however, any inaccessible part of the physical world or the three principles of thermodynamics. The inaccessible parts might operate under completely different laws of physics designed by other beons. But the three principles of thermodynamics are absolutely fundamental.  Beon cannot change them, but can freely violate the second principle, wherein lies beon's power.  

Note: I have been persuaded to abandon my previously skeptical view of the importance of the "laws" of thermodynamics by both your arguments and a statement attributed to A. Einstein.

You said, "These three principles are time-independent.  Other physics laws are, in a sense, both time-dependent and arbitrary.  Except that their arbitrariness is brilliantly interconnected and integrated."

That seems profound and correct to me. As I see it, we have a lot of work to do to understand the enigma of time before we can make any more sense of cosmogony. (Leo's ideas about time seem to offer some important insight in this respect.) Your observation will help with that understanding.

Albert Einstein said, ”[Thermodynamics] is the only theory of universal content that, within the framework of applicability of its basic concepts, I am convinced, will never be overthrown." – quoted by Prof. Jeffrey C. Grossman, The Teaching Co. course: "Four Laws that Move the Universe".

Who am I to argue or quibble with those arguments?

Now, if you agree with this list of agreements, we can move on to our disagreements. At this point, I see our points of disagreement as the following:

1. Whether beons are connected to non-human animal brains.

I think so. I suspect that there is a range of capability/power among beons: some are capable only of steering the actions of a flatworm, and some are capable of giving some humans the illusion of gaining a modicum of insight into what is going on.

2. Whether all beons are conscious or instead are in the same relationship with their superiors in the hierarchy as human minds are to beons.

I suspect the latter. I think that there is a range of beon capability ranging from the extremely dull and stupid all the way to the brilliance required to engineer a galaxy. Of course these are all spread over vast expanses of time and for all I know, all the brilliant beons may be dead by now.

3. The geometry of Dark Energy and Aeon prior to the initial interaction.

I suspect that only one or two dimensions existed at that time and that extra dimensions were constructed later. Neither of us has a clear enough idea about this question to disagree but I don't think we see eye-to-eye on it. I think we need to expand the scope of our thinking to include such topics as dimensions, manifolds, and topology. I am eagerly looking forward to convincing you of the importance of those issues. I'll begin making my case when we get this far in resolving our agreements/disagreements. I'm looking forward to more discussions.

Paul

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Agreements and disagreements

Post by greylorn on Sun Aug 02, 2015 10:56 pm

@Paul Richard Martin wrote:Greylorn,

After pondering our discussions and making some changes, I think we agree that,

1. Conscious experience occurs outside the brain: we identify and name the experiencer of consciousness as beon.

2. There is a physical brain/beon communication link of some sort. This link might resemble something familiar like the RF link between your cellphone and the person talking on the other end, or it may be completely different in kind, depending on some completely unknown physics involving higher-dimensional space. Whatever the case, the link is physical.

3. The origin of the universe (i.e. all of reality) was ultimately simple: no almighty God, no information-packed Big Bang, and no consciousness.

4. In the beginning there were just two simple things: Undifferentiated dark energy at absolute zero, and an as-yet-unspecified second component we call aeon.

5. Some sort of initial interaction between aeon and Dark Energy began all the dynamism of reality.  After immense stretches of time, this dynamism eventually resulted in the appearance of consciousness in early beons. The eventual results of the A/DE interaction allowed beons to discover consciousness for and by themselves.  

6. Currently, there is a huge number of beons and they exist in some sort of hierarchical relationship, organized maybe historically or by some power or capability scale. Whatever hierarchy might exist, beons are dreadfully confused. The "capability" scale may need to be scaled down from its earlier state.  

7. Beons were the intelligent designers (and engineers and fabricators) of the laws of physics which operate in the parts of the physical world to which our scientists and their apparatuses have access. That physical world includes the galaxies, carbon based life on earth, and anything else that humans can observe. It does not include, however, any inaccessible part of the physical world or the three principles of thermodynamics. The inaccessible parts might operate under completely different laws of physics designed by other beons. But the three principles of thermodynamics are absolutely fundamental.  Beon cannot change them, but can freely violate the second principle, wherein lies beon's power.  

Note: I have been persuaded to abandon my previously skeptical view of the importance of the "laws" of thermodynamics by both your arguments and a statement attributed to A. Einstein.

You said, "These three principles are time-independent.  Other physics laws are, in a sense, both time-dependent and arbitrary.  Except that their arbitrariness is brilliantly interconnected and integrated."

That seems profound and correct to me. As I see it, we have a lot of work to do to understand the enigma of time before we can make any more sense of cosmogony. (Leo's ideas about time seem to offer some important insight in this respect.) Your observation will help with that understanding.

Albert Einstein said, ”[Thermodynamics] is the only theory of universal content that, within the framework of applicability of its basic concepts, I am convinced, will never be overthrown." – quoted by Prof. Jeffrey C. Grossman, The Teaching Co. course: "Four Laws that Move the Universe".

Who am I to argue or quibble with those arguments?

Now, if you agree with this list of agreements, we can move on to our disagreements. At this point, I see our points of disagreement as the following:

1. Whether beons are connected to non-human animal brains.

I think so. I suspect that there is a range of capability/power among beons: some are capable only of steering the actions of a flatworm, and some are capable of giving some humans the illusion of gaining a modicum of insight into what is going on.

2. Whether all beons are conscious or instead are in the same relationship with their superiors in the hierarchy as human minds are to beons.

I suspect the latter. I think that there is a range of beon capability ranging from the extremely dull and stupid all the way to the brilliance required to engineer a galaxy. Of course these are all spread over vast expanses of time and for all I know, all the brilliant beons may be dead by now.

3. The geometry of Dark Energy and Aeon prior to the initial interaction.

I suspect that only one or two dimensions existed at that time and that extra dimensions were constructed later. Neither of us has a clear enough idea about this question to disagree but I don't think we see eye-to-eye on it. I think we need to expand the scope of our thinking to include such topics as dimensions, manifolds, and topology. I am eagerly looking forward to convincing you of the importance of those issues. I'll begin making my case when we get this far in resolving our agreements/disagreements. I'm looking forward to more discussions.

Paul
Paul,
Thank you for the excellent summary.  I'm going to propose a small correction to Agreement #1, "Conscious experience occurs outside the brain."  I've no excuse for not catching this earlier.  It would be more precise, I think, to say that conscious experience occurs independently of the brain.  We don't know anything about beon's relationship to normal space, the space occupied by matter, e/m radiation, and presumably dark energy.  Independent e/m waves can simultaneously share the same space without interference.  I think that beon should, and probably does share space with the human brain.  This physical space sharing may prove to be necessary to the maintenance of the brain/beon interface.

By way of analogy, put a frozen dinner in your microwave oven and fire it up.  Several things will go on simultaneously within the oven.  
1.  A little motor using electromagnetic energy will spin a glass platter and the dinner tray, i.e. mechanical motion.
2.  A light will turn on to illuminate the process, filling the oven cavity with light (e/m radiation), some of which escapes so the cook can watch.
3.  The cavity fills with invisible microwaves (different frequencies of e/m) that force water molecules in the dinner to vibrate rapidly, producing heat energy.

Some of these energy forms interact within the oven, but they do so in a controlled and intended manner.

I would not be surprised if the large-scale structure of the brain is related to the brain/beon interface, or even essential to the mechanism.  (Analogy: radar/microwave circuits use copper tubes rectangular in cross-section to conduct energy, rather than wires as in radio circuitry.)  

Are you willing to add this change to Agreement 1?
___________________________________
Your expression of Agreement #5 is especially eloquent!  

There's plenty of room for expansion within #6 (e.g: multiple hierarchies with different agendas), but we should not explore such subjects.  Beon Theory will catch on sometime after I'm dead, and will then be experimentally verified.  This will drive nails in the coffins of various religious schemes.  Given the propensities of many people to believe unverifiable things for which they must take some guru's word, religionists will find a way to attach irrelevant beliefs to the structure of Beon Theory, like barnacles on the hull of a ship.  Item #6 can be their personal hull section, a kind of bulletin board for unverifiable and possibly irrelevant opinions.  
____________________________________
I appreciate your change of mind on Item #7, and am delighted to learn of Big Al's opinion.  I will henceforth refer to these as "Principles" of Thermodynamics, to distinguish them from possibly arbitrary and structure-dependent laws of physics.  
______________________
It seems like we can get to work on our disagreements.  I propose to start with #2, which is fundamental to my ideas about the purpose behind universe creation.  Before we do so, are you happy with its current wording?  It seems a bit ambiguous to me.  

Re: Disagreement item #3.  You've convinced me long ago that concepts such as manifolds and spaces are relevant to this item.  Your recent discussion with J.A.B. elsewhere in this diverse forum now has forced me to consider topology.  My problem is ignorance, not disagreement.  I simply do not understand this shit at your level!  

I'm wondering if you might engage Jonathan in pursuing these kinds of subjects, perhaps in the future.  He has a fine knack for the construction of mathematics-based images that have already proven helpful.  Until then, perhaps you would honor me with some tutoring, next personal conversation.

Best regards,
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Re: Beon Theory, the cosmogony behind this particular forum section.

Post by Paul Richard Martin on Tue Aug 04, 2015 2:55 pm

Greylorn,

@Greylorn wrote: I'm going to propose a small correction to Agreement #1, "Conscious experience occurs outside the brain."
I will consider your proposal.
@Greylorn wrote:I think that beon should, and probably does share space with the human brain.  This physical space sharing may prove to be necessary to the maintenance of the brain/beon interface.
In order to resolve this issue, we need to come to an understanding of what we mean by 'beon'. I think we agree that it is synonymous with 'consciousness', but what exactly is that? I think of it as the process of experience. It is a process because it proceeds over some interval of time and results in the awareness and knowledge of what it is to have a particular experience or sequence of experiences. So if you accept that, then we have some alternative meanings for 'beon'. It could be any of the following:

1. The process that results in the experience
2. The experience itself
3. The experiencer who gains the awareness and the knowledge
4. The mechanism which is responsible for carrying out the process

Of these I favor #3. It is the only one that has some semblance of personhood, which I think we agree beon should have.

Now, on the slim chance that you agree with the above, let me proceed to consider your proposal.

@Greylorn wrote:We don't know anything about beon's relationship to normal space, the space occupied by matter, e/m radiation, and presumably dark energy.
That's a little strong; we do know something about beon's relationship to normal space. We know, for example, that beon has access to information about normal space via the senses of a human body. We know that beon can report its conscious experiences to other humans by uttering or writing language statements. We know that among these conscious experiences is the feeling that beon is riding around in normal space on a seat somewhere behind the eyeballs of some cranium. But I will agree that we don't know much more than that.

And in the face of that ignorance, we can only speculate, which is exactly what we need to do to flesh out Beon Theory, which is exactly what I think we are doing on this forum.

So before we speculate too much on exactly how the brain/beon interface works, or exactly what part of experience occurs in brain processes, let me propose an analogy which I think will give us a more tangible way of considering the questions your proposal raises. Let's think about a conversation on a cell phone.

Let's say you are talking to me on a cell phone. I hope you would agree that there is a conscious entity on each end, i.e. we each know we are conscious and it is a good workable assumption that the other guy is also conscious. So in the analogy, let's consider the beon that is the other guy. Then let's consider the cell phone we hold to be analogous to the brain we are studying. And, of course, the brain/beon link is analogous to the cell towers, the transmitters and receivers, and the e/m links involved in our cell phone connection.

So, to ask questions of the cell phone, as analogous to what we would ask of a brain, it would go something like this: There is some guy, whom I know by name, who is evidently able to communicate with me through this cell phone. I can talk to the phone and he sure seems to hear and understand me. Then he responds to what I have said in a way that convinces me that he would pass the Turing test. And if I took the cell phone to a laboratory, equipped to examine every atom making up the device and looked for the guy, it would be in vain.

As you have written in your book we could find the antenna circuits in the cell phone and we could deduce that the guy we were talking to is not in the phone at all but that there is an e/m channel over which our conversation was carried.

I'm sure you and I agree on this analogy as being pretty close to reality and we both know that virtually all cognitive scientists working today think that if there is any consciousness at all, that it is somewhere in the brain (cell phone).  Hopefully we can win a few of them over so they can look in the right places.
@Greylorn wrote:It would be more precise, I think, to say that conscious experience occurs independently of the brain.
I don't think it would be more precise. Thinking about our analogy, that would be equivalent to saying that the conscious experience of our conversation occurs independently of the cell phone. I think it occurs outside the cell phone, which is the way I originally phrased it.
@Greylorn wrote:I think that beon should, and probably does share space with the human brain.
You would be right if you chose #1 or #4 of my definitional options above, but not if you chose #2 or #3. I still favor #3. Your microwave analogy is consistent with #1 or #4.

So unless you can talk me into adopting a different definition of consciousness, I'll stick to my original phrasing: Conscious experience occurs outside the brain.
@Greylorn wrote:It seems like we can get to work on our disagreements.  I propose to start with #2, which is fundamental to my ideas about the purpose behind universe creation.  

I agree that we should start with #2.

@Greylorn wrote:Before we do so, are you happy with its current wording?  It seems a bit ambiguous to me.
Yes, it is ambiguous. And I am happy with it because the wording is deliberately loaded to give me an advantage in working through our disagreement. We need to address the ambiguity by asking, What exactly is the relationship of human minds to beons? I think this is where our views differ. We have carefully avoided using the term 'mind' so far, so now is the time to step up to that problem.

I think the question is whether brain is necessary for mind, or whether mind can exist in beon independently of and in the absence of brain. I favor the latter and I think you favor the former. What do you say?

Best regards,
Paul

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Reading Recommendation and Encouragement

Post by Paul Richard Martin on Sat Aug 08, 2015 12:01 pm

Greylorn,

After reaching page 144 in my second reading of Gregg Rosenberg's A Place for Consciousness, I am happier than ever that you decided to read the book. I also realize that it would be best for you not only to skip Chapter 3, but skip all of Part I. I suggest you resume your reading in Part II, either on page 129 (Chapter 8, "Against Hume") or page 141 (Chapter 9, "The Theory of Causal Significance").

In my opinion, Part I establishes the playing field for expressing his view of what he calls "Liberal Naturalism". To do that, he first establishes his academic credentials by using a lot of fancy language, with a not-too-veiled hint of condescension toward those of us outside Academia. Then he dismisses all popular philosophical alternatives to his views, among them Beon Theory, which of course he doesn't identify by name.

According to official philosophical taxonomy, BT is classified as "Interactionist Dualism".  We are dismissed primarily by being tarred with the awful stigma of accepting Dualism. Even worse, our particular brand of Dualism, i.e. Interactionist Dualism, means that we believe that there is some causal interaction between mind and body (Our brain/beon communication link.).

It is dismaying, but not surprising, to me that he dismisses Interactionist Dualism with a simple wave of the hand. He acknowledges that the dismissal is based on the putative causal closure of physics. Our (my) claim is that quantum randomness, or quantum uncertainty, is prima facie evidence that physics is not causally closed. How could it be if there are effects that have nothing but a probabilistic prediction associated with them rather than a physical cause?

Rosenberg's dismissal of this argument is relegated to footnote 5 of Chapter 7 on page 305 which states, "I am making the usual assumption that the randomness in QM is either a discovery that causation is probabilistic or a stopgap to be filled by hidden physical variables. I am purposely not treating it as a discovery that there are causal gaps in the physical world."

I do not accept this dodge. If causation is probabilistic, then physics is not causally closed. If there are hidden physical variables, then there is a big explanatory gap in physics. Attempts to close this gap should not be ruled out simply because there is a gap. I think BT is on the right track.

I think the primary value we can derive from Rosenberg's work will come from insight into the relationships between consciousness and causation (which will paint a better background for the brain/beon communication link) and from the relationships between causation and time.

The relationship between causation and time is, of course, all about Thermodynamics, and I, for one, will accept all the help I can get in wrestling with the role of Thermodynamics in Cosmogony.

I am eagerly awaiting continuing reports of your impressions of Rosenberg's book.  

Paul

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Re: Beon Theory, the cosmogony behind this particular forum section.

Post by greylorn on Sun Aug 09, 2015 1:13 am

@Paul Richard Martin wrote:Greylorn,

@Greylorn wrote: I'm going to propose a small correction to Agreement #1, "Conscious experience occurs outside the brain."
I will consider your proposal.
@Greylorn wrote:I think that beon should, and probably does share space with the human brain.  This physical space sharing may prove to be necessary to the maintenance of the brain/beon interface.
In order to resolve this issue, we need to come to an understanding of what we mean by 'beon'. I think we agree that it is synonymous with 'consciousness', but what exactly is that? I think of it as the process of experience. It is a process because it proceeds over some interval of time and results in the awareness and knowledge of what it is to have a particular experience or sequence of experiences. So if you accept that, then we have some alternative meanings for 'beon'. It could be any of the following:

1. The process that results in the experience
2. The experience itself
3. The experiencer who gains the awareness and the knowledge
4. The mechanism which is responsible for carrying out the process

Of these I favor #3. It is the only one that has some semblance of personhood, which I think we agree beon should have.

Now, on the slim chance that you agree with the above, let me proceed to consider your proposal.

@Greylorn wrote:We don't know anything about beon's relationship to normal space, the space occupied by matter, e/m radiation, and presumably dark energy.
That's a little strong; we do know something about beon's relationship to normal space. We know, for example, that beon has access to information about normal space via the senses of a human body. We know that beon can report its conscious experiences to other humans by uttering or writing language statements. We know that among these conscious experiences is the feeling that beon is riding around in normal space on a seat somewhere behind the eyeballs of some cranium. But I will agree that we don't know much more than that.

And in the face of that ignorance, we can only speculate, which is exactly what we need to do to flesh out Beon Theory, which is exactly what I think we are doing on this forum.

So before we speculate too much on exactly how the brain/beon interface works, or exactly what part of experience occurs in brain processes, let me propose an analogy which I think will give us a more tangible way of considering the questions your proposal raises. Let's think about a conversation on a cell phone.

Let's say you are talking to me on a cell phone. I hope you would agree that there is a conscious entity on each end, i.e. we each know we are conscious and it is a good workable assumption that the other guy is also conscious. So in the analogy, let's consider the beon that is the other guy. Then let's consider the cell phone we hold to be analogous to the brain we are studying. And, of course, the brain/beon link is analogous to the cell towers, the transmitters and receivers, and the e/m links involved in our cell phone connection.

So, to ask questions of the cell phone, as analogous to what we would ask of a brain, it would go something like this: There is some guy, whom I know by name, who is evidently able to communicate with me through this cell phone. I can talk to the phone and he sure seems to hear and understand me. Then he responds to what I have said in a way that convinces me that he would pass the Turing test. And if I took the cell phone to a laboratory, equipped to examine every atom making up the device and looked for the guy, it would be in vain.

As you have written in your book we could find the antenna circuits in the cell phone and we could deduce that the guy we were talking to is not in the phone at all but that there is an e/m channel over which our conversation was carried.

I'm sure you and I agree on this analogy as being pretty close to reality and we both know that virtually all cognitive scientists working today think that if there is any consciousness at all, that it is somewhere in the brain (cell phone).  Hopefully we can win a few of them over so they can look in the right places.
@Greylorn wrote:It would be more precise, I think, to say that conscious experience occurs independently of the brain.
I don't think it would be more precise. Thinking about our analogy, that would be equivalent to saying that the conscious experience of our conversation occurs independently of the cell phone. I think it occurs outside the cell phone, which is the way I originally phrased it.
@Greylorn wrote:I think that beon should, and probably does share space with the human brain.
You would be right if you chose #1 or #4 of my definitional options above, but not if you chose #2 or #3. I still favor #3. Your microwave analogy is consistent with #1 or #4.

So unless you can talk me into adopting a different definition of consciousness, I'll stick to my original phrasing: Conscious experience occurs outside the brain.
@Greylorn wrote:It seems like we can get to work on our disagreements.  I propose to start with #2, which is fundamental to my ideas about the purpose behind universe creation.  

I agree that we should start with #2.

@Greylorn wrote:Before we do so, are you happy with its current wording?  It seems a bit ambiguous to me.
Yes, it is ambiguous. And I am happy with it because the wording is deliberately loaded to give me an advantage in working through our disagreement. We need to address the ambiguity by asking, What exactly is the relationship of human minds to beons? I think this is where our views differ. We have carefully avoided using the term 'mind' so far, so now is the time to step up to that problem.

I think the question is whether brain is necessary for mind, or whether mind can exist in beon independently of and in the absence of brain. I favor the latter and I think you favor the former. What do you say?

Best regards,
Paul
Paul,

I'm going to change the context of our conversation.  This is a unilateral choice, made in the context of the work I am trying to do, which is simply to explain Beon Theory to those who might be interested in an alternative explanation of consciousness and of the beginnings of things.  

The purpose of this Section, and specifically of this topic, is only to explain Beon Theory.  Because of our long-standing relationship and ongoing conversation, I've allowed you to introduce your own interpretations of Beon Theory, thus accepting a defensive position.  I finally figured out that this was a stupid choice on my part.  

Henceforth, this thread will be about Beon Theory, not about other guys' theories.  That was the original standard.  I've allowed that standard to turn to crap.

Your divergent viewpoints will be treated as such.  You have a theory of your own.  You had this theory before you and I encountered.  It is not convivial with Beon Theory, and I am tired of having to address it over and over again, in personal conversations and in this more formal context.  I will address your primary issue (as I see it) one more time, later on.

This Section could become a good place to explore alternative ideas about the beginnings, at least those to which their developers have put in some thought and time.  Mayflow's ideas are starting to show up in a Topic of his own.  Your ideas are closer to New Age metaphysics than to Beon Theory, and belong under their own Topic.  If you agree, I'll ask Admin to welcome your separate Topic, with its additions to this forum of freely expressed divergent ideas.  

With your ideas separately distinguished from mine, I could get about the already difficult enough business of addressing any comments specific to Beon Theory.  

At this point in this Topic, any outside reader trying to figure out what, if anything, we are discussing, will be confused.  Your insertions of your own theories might be the cause of that.  Or, my inability to express Beon Theory competently could be the cause.  Or both.  We won't know without a divorce of ideas.  

So, here is a list of concepts that define Beon Theory, derived in some respects from your earlier organization.  I agree with all of the points listed.  They include points with which you disagree.  Those points are NOT part of Beon Theory.  They are components of your own belief system, with which I disagree.  Nonetheless your ideas are sufficiently well-considered to deserve presentation within a Topic of your own.  You might think about a suitable title.  

BEON THEORY

1.  The term "beon" identifies an entity born into existence as the consequence of an ancient collision between two distinct spaces.

2.  One of these spaces has been identified by modern science, and named Dark Energy.  It has three properties defined in physics by the three original laws of thermodynamics.  
   
   I propose to differentiate those three ideas from the rest of physics by naming them "Principles" instead of "laws."  Laws are arbitrary rules of behavior, like prohibitions against jaywalking or pissing in public.  Some municipalities have them, others do not.  Principles are not arbitrary.  Any nitwit politician can make a law, and any well-paid judge can nullify it.  No conscious entity, not man, not any god or gang thereof, can change a genuine principle.  

3.  The other space, not identified by science, is named Aeon.  It is as simple as Dark Energy space, but with at least one different property.

    Each space has three properties:  Existence, a boundary condition, and a force.  I interpret the force as a stabilizing influence for its space.  

    Aeon space's force is a counter-force to that manifested by Dark Energy.  The interaction between these fundamental forces has led to consciousness, and then to the creation of the universe-- itself a participant in the ongoing development of consciousness.  

4.  For humans, the conscious experience is entirely a function of the interaction between beon and brain.  Without brain, no one reading this could have developed consciousness.

5.  The human conscious experience occurs within the human brain.  You, as conscious mind, are not the tendrils of an oversoul manifesting itself through your brain and body.  You are an individual.  You (and I) may be the worst possible examples of what it means to be a single, independent, conscious or semi-conscious entity, but no matter.  We are individuals in our own right.  We are not tidbits of "god," not tendrils of an oversoul.  

As such we are absolutely responsible for our actions, independently, as individuals.  I suspect that we survive thanks to a forgiving universe, patient enough to offer a multiplicity of lives and diversity of opportunities.  

6.  The human brain, a powerful information-processing mechanism in its own right, includes an interface to beon.  The brain nurtures beon throughout its early (first 20-30 years) development, then provides a mechanism through which beon can interact with others.  

I have no ideas about the mechanisms involved in this interface, except that they must exist (else Beon Theory sucks) and their discovery is an unresolved problem in basic physics.

7.  The universe was not the result of a magical Big Bang, the spontaneous (meaning: unexplained) explosion of a micro-pea, singularity, or today's cosmological b.s.   It is the result of deliberate engineering work.  

8.  There might be some kind of beon hierarchy, based upon consciously developed intelligence.  Whatever beons engineered the universe are surely smarter than me, probably smarter than you.  Only idiots and pinheads would attempt to define intermediary groups between the creators and ourselves.  

9.  Beons engineered the structures that comprise our universe--  atoms, stars, molecules, galaxies, etc.; and their sub-structures-- planets, biological life.  They used the three Principles of Thermodynamics to create the matter and time-dependent energy forms comprising our universe, and the ordinary laws of physics governing the behavior of those forms.  

10.  Biological life on earth was designed by beons sufficiently powerful to operate without the need for bodies, capable of organizing molecules into self-replicating structures, then into self-modifying structures.  
11.  Theoretically, a beon could be connected to anything capable of information access and transfer.  The practicality of that is an issue.  If a surgeon imbedded a chunk of rock in my brain, would the rock's "experience" of having persisted in or on this planet for a billion years somehow imbue me with a billion year's worth of geological insight?  If he imbedded octopus DNA in me, would I obtain better vision, perhaps tentacles instead of arms?

  If you answered "yes" to either question or to equivalent questions, you've been watching way too many D-grade sci-fi monster movies.  Give that shit up.  Wait for the big one: Sharkocanarygators meet the Inbred Aliendentistbigfoot Monsters from Arcturus and Their Hairy Wives.  

Beons are connected to human brains for one purpose: the brain helps a beon acquire a modicum of consciousness.  Human brains are uniquely constructed for that purpose.  Cat brains are not.  Cockroach brains are not.  Rocks do not have brains, so beons are not integrated with rocks.  Likewise molecules.

Dolphins and other critters that have manifested self-awareness potential might have a brain-beon interface.  Your dog, cat, and pet turtle do not have such interfaces.  Dog brains are great emulators of the behavior of other critters, and like other pack-animals, are telepathic.  Their resultant behavior confuses many people into attributing consciousness and intelligence to stupid pets.  Confused people often attribute consciousness and intelligence to stupid humans, like Nancy Pelosi, because they can form sentences.  

12. Whatever I think I know about concepts of manifolds and spaces comes mostly from you, in personal conversation.  That puts my knowledge just slightly above squat.  

However, you've yet to convince me that anything can happen within a space or manifold of 2D or smaller. So, my poltroon-level opinion is that at least three dimensions are required for any force to manifest, however simple it might be.  

An adequate refutation of that statement would be the definition of a force that operates entirely within a real 1D or 2D space.  Any other refutation is just philosophical nonsense.    

13.  Lacking any functional description of a space/manifold of dimensions less than three, I will persist with Beon Theory's initial premises.  The two colliding spaces, Aeon and Dark Energy, were 3D spaces and still exist as 3D spaces.  

Combined, they have the potential to define a 6D state of existence.  I lack the mathematical skills necessary to express such a state.  

If we fold into this your opinion that changes within an xD space can only occur within a space of (x+1)D, interactions between a pair of 3D spaces can only occur within a 4D space containing both of them.  This allows for 10 possible spatial dimensions.  

Of course, that's just more stuff that I (like most everyone else) am absolutely unqualified to deal with. Trying to do so would not make an already irrelevant forum post more relevant.  I prefer to work within normal boundaries.  Let's stick to 3D space and see where it takes us.

With respect to your final attempt to shuffle Beon Theory off and away into nonsense-land, my definition of mind is clearly stated in my book.  It is the combination of brain and beon, integrated, working together, each according to its propensities.  

Your statement, "I think the question is whether brain is necessary for mind, or whether mind can exist in beon independently of and in the absence of brain," indicates that you have no working comprehension of Beon Theory.  Perhaps I've done a poor job of explaining things to you.   Perhaps your preconceptions have prevented you from understanding my book.  Maybe its just the damned speed-reading, a method suitable for grasping the content of newspapers and the magazines in doctors' offices.  I don't know.  I'm working on not caring.

The interpretations you've appended to Beon Theory early in this post are cancerous. They have nothing whatsoever to do with the theory. I'm too dispirited to deal with them now. Later, perhaps.

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Re: Beon Theory, the cosmogony behind this particular forum section.

Post by greylorn on Thu Aug 13, 2015 9:48 pm

Paul,

It's later, and I'm replying to myself w/o duplicating prior posts between us.  You and I have shared a brief conversation in the interim.  I'll pretend that someone is interested in that, or moderately curious about Beon Theory.  

You'll get a Topic of your own within this Section wherein you can freely expound on your personal opinions about the beginnings of the universe and its current status.  That will help any reader to distinguish your ideas from Beon Theory.  

Your opinions are divorced from Beon Theory.  At this point in our relationship we are friends at the social level, antagonists at the philosophical level.  We disagree upon deeply fundamental issues.  

Beon Theory was engineered to be verifiable by the standards of science.  

    Your proposal that beon is not localized to the human brain during the normal human lifetime denies Beon Theory's experimental verifiability.  If not somehow integrated with the human brain, where and when might beon be located?  How can we possibly experiment with it?  There is no way.

    Your opinions are similar to those of "New Age" religionists who believe that human souls are little bits of a "god" who split itself into stupid and inconsequential little bits dispersed throughout the universe. Because your opinions cannot be verified, they violate the entire point of Beon Theory, which is to develop a set of verifiable ideas about the beginnings.  

    Like the Edgar Cayce metaphysics Mayflow offered in another Topic within this Section, you or he or she or it could be exactly right.  But then, so could every religious/metaphysical belief system ever invented. Who can determine?  How can one belief system constructed upon the soft sands of religious faith be distinguished from another, except by the 4-B's of Shia and Sunni Muslims-- bullets, bombs, beheadings, and bullshit?  

   Science has triumphed over religion and philosophy by projecting its ideas into the space of verifiability. Beon Theory is an attempt to move philosophical ideas into that space, where they can be verified or discredited.  

    Your preferred interpretation of Beon Theory moves it out of the realm of verifiability and into the realm of conventional religious beliefs, such as the Cayce beliefs offered by Mayflow, and every religion that mankind has invented.  Of course you are welcome to your interpretations.  Nonetheless, I do not want them associated with Beon Theory.

Best regards,

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