“The key to growth is the introduction of higher dimensions of consciousness into our awareness.” – Lao Tzu
Daily Nugget of Gold 1526
Conscious Agents Coming Together
Our last discussion focused on life at the cellular level, and in particular, the beginnings of life from a single celled human speck to a multi-celled organism and structure capable of specializing in various tasks needing to be done, all-the-while tending to the individual needs of taking on nourishment and eliminating waste as well as reproduction. We floated the idea that with all this comes a certain- however tiny- amount of awareness needed to assess those needs and act appropriately to see that they be met.
If we used the term “conscious agent” you might see yourself as fitting that functional description. You might also think of a dog or a cat as one… maybe even an ant. As we go down the evolutionary scale, we may think of the beings at each stop as having less and less conscious awareness, and you might be right about that. Still, whether we’re talking about us, a cat, a dog, an ant, or a tree- we’d still have to agree that there is some sort of intelligence at the cellular level, even if it’s minimal, and that there also is some sort of organization happening between other parts of each living being in order that the whole can survive.
We’re going to bring in Cognitive Development Scientist Donald Hoffman into this discussion at this point because he’s taken the step of postulating a theory about conscious agents for the express purpose of seeing if anyone can prove him wrong. What, is this guy a nut? No, that’s just the way science works. Someone suggests a theory and then everyone else who has an interest in it tries to prove the theory wrong. As theories stand the test of fire and time, we advance our understanding of things a little more. What’s his theory? He provides a simple mathematical formula which defines what a conscious agent is and can do. Further, he shows that as one conscious agent interacts with another, they can form a single conscious agent under the mathematical formula, having two or more act as one.
Under Hoffman’s description of a conscious agent, one single conscious agent can be made up of millions, billions, or trillions of individual agents interacting with one another in a seemingly endless array of individuals. Does this seem unlikely to you? Look in the mirror. Consider what it is that you see in the mirror, a reflection of millions and millions of cells all working in an intelligent way with each other, and yet,,, and yet- you perceive yourself as one. We don’t know if anyone is going to prove Hoffman’s theory or his mathematical formulas he uses explaining it as wrong, but it seems to us that his ideas about all of this aren’t that extreme, after all. We’ve yet to tackle how this all comes into a Spiritual understanding, that’s next. Please join us for that.
Question of the Day to Ask Ourselves
“What am I, the sum of my parts… or something more?”
Copyright 2016 Kevin Littleton, all rights reserved.