Monday, February 4, 2008

Both The Ghost and The Machine

I have come across a wonderful article by Jonah Lehrer (editor of Seed Magazine) about the mind and reductionism.
The article calls for a new method to understand Consciousness, and to move beyond reductionism.
The other points of the article are extracted and shown below:

- Reductionism alone cannot answer the question of where the self or the mind comes from.
- The whole is best understood in terms of the whole
- You and I are "epiphenomenon"

Now, we come to the Archetyper's classic extraction of 'archetypes' from this article:

"Look at a Beethoven symphony. If the music is reduced to wavelengths of vibrating air -- the simple sum of its physics -- we actually understand less about the music."

"The mind is like music."

"Our consciousness...feels like more than the sum of its cells...we feel like the ghost, not like the machine."

"Neuroscience has effectively investigated the sound waves, but it has missed the music."

"How does our pale gray matter become the Technicolor cinema of consciousness? What transforms the water of the brain into the wine of the mind? Where does the self come from?"

Now what does the Archetyper say in response to the article itself? Well, its simply that the Mind is The Ghost and The Machine entwined together. The Mind, like Light, is both a wave and a particle. It is not Mind-Body Duality, rather it is Mind-Body Singularity - The Mind and Body is One.
As such, simultaneous research innovations in BOTH the science of machine "deconstruction" or reductionism, as well as unconventional "wholistic" analysis of emergent entities like the mind is necessary to truly understand Consciousness. Balance is the key. Like Yin and Yang, the clue is both the brain itself and the mind; its the form and the function together. Both the analytic prowess of the Left hemisphere and the creative genius of the right hemisphere must both be employed and put to work together to understand the enigma of the mind.


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