Non-Observable Influential(s) in the Domain of Consciousness
AK Mukhopadhyay, 2013
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There are non-observable factors, which influence behavior of a living system at the observable level. If science has to be expanded beyond Planck’s scale of measurement, then these non-observable influential(s) are required to be conceptually defined, localized and described. Their operational mechanism is to be explored. This paper precisely does this by identifying those influential non-observables as consciousness, mind, self, life-principle, and information. Information, in fact, remains the connecting link at the interface between non-observables and observables. When these non-observable influential(s) could be given a place in the algorithms of science, several research questions and hypothesis could be generated leading to an environment for fruitful consciousness research.
As long as a branch of science offers an abundance of problems, so long is it alive; a lack of problems foreshadows extinction or the cessation of independent development.
– David Hilbert in Paris, August 8, 1900
Why consciousness research is not welcome by mainstream science? It is because consciousness cannot be observed or measured. The dictum is, “Measurement is science and science is measurement” (Madam Pierre Curie). Similarly, mind too cannot be observed or measured. So are also “self” and life as life-principle. All of them work from the domain of nature, which is beyond Planck’s scale of measurement. According to the mainstream science, therefore, a couple of “ghosts” dominate the research in consciousness. Consciousness research is meant only for those who love to work with such “ghost”! As long as it does not shed its ghost-like character, consciousness cannot be a part, as non-eliminable factor, of any algorithm of science, or can be considered as an essential factor in descriptive or analytical epidemiology of any scientific pursuit! However, in such assumption we undermine the fact that electron, positron or photon or neutrino in particle physics has also never been observed. However, one has not eliminated their existence as matter/energy. Had not their properties being adequately addressed in science, quantum physics would not have seen the light of the day.
Electron, positron or photon or neutrino although cannot be observed, their effects could be observed inside a bubble chamber and also at the classical level of measurement. Photon, to start with, also perhaps had been seemed imaginary, elusive and nonlocal, which later found a place in science! How? This is because photon as a scientific concept marked its place and got “localized” in the conceptual realm of first in one person and then in several scientists. Several of like-minded investigators of equivalent intellect sat together, discussed, proposed, analyzed and reached a consensus on conceptual description, narration of characteristic properties and operation of photon and of several such similar energy wave/particles. This was followed by another conceptual development by establishing the specific abstract relationship between such invisible particles. The relationship when agreed upon was expressed in terms of abstract mathematical equation. Based on this relationship or mathematical equation, predictions were made which were found to work with visibility within the bandwidth of senses. The unobservable relationship between invisible particles works sensibly within the observable realm that could be measured and therefore made sense of it in third person’s perspectives. Wow! The first person’s experience had gone through the phase of mutual agreement of several second persons and then the predictions made out of such existence were seen to work as third person’s observable! The scientists in this way have developed a science called quantum physics!
When we try to develop a science of, or science for consciousness we are practically into far depth of this nonlocal, non-observable and non-measurable realm. This is the realm of nature, which is beyond Planck’s scale of measurement. There are several factors which, although are non-observable and non-measurable, participate as witness, also influence, control and modify several operations at more visible levels. However, so far there is no precise identification of those factors, no conceptual localization, no description of their properties and operation, no understanding on the purpose of this inter-level interaction and therefore, there is no consensus on the whole issue. As a consequence, there is no universal common language to express the relationship, which is essential for developing a science inclusive of this realm. However, it is unwise to discard those influential factors merely as ‘ghost’. One should have the courage and zeal to address such issues. What is required is to begin work on the following lines:
- Identification of non-observable factors which influence observable parameters;
- Analysis of the Purpose of such inter-level connectivity;
- Conceptual description of each non-observable factor and its operation, solo as well as interactive;
- Consensus building on the conceptual description and operation amongst people of equivalent intelligence; and
- Development of an expression in common universal language.
The first three steps will be the content of this paper, leaving it with expectation that last two steps would follow in due course of time.
Identification of Non-Observable Factors, Which Influence Observable Parameters
Non-observable factors, which have influences on observable behavioral parameters, could be easily found to operate in the living system, say in a simple life-form or in more complex organisms including us, human being. Since such factors have apparently no influence on non-living or on inanimate system, it might be stated that to begin with non-observable factors might not be so relevant for physical science as it is for living system. Whether the cosmos, universe or the system of multiple universe(s), the multiverse, are living system or non-living entity is also open to inquiry.
Non-observable factor has often been sarcastically termed as “external agent” or some “agency”, which often influences the well-defined physico-chemical dynamics at the observable level. Inside the system they are often described as “phantom” or “ghost” in the system. Their existence is evident from unpredictable behavior of the living system, from the major difference in behavior between living system and non-living entities and the profound distinction in behavior of every single individual living entity even when those belonging to same species and culture and working with similar physico-chemical dynamics at the material level.
In this paper, we identify the so-called “ghost” not as just one but four in number. Those are consciousness, self, mind, and life-principle. Consciousness is the emperor of all “ghosts”. It works with other members with defined SOP (standard operative procedure). Consciousness is visibly manifested in a living system. A living system is conscious. Life and consciousness are closely related. Consciousness works with mind and with its designated representative in the system, self. Self is the operational head of the system and is categorically identical to consciousness. Consciousness handles information with its mind. However, it handles phenomenon through self. Self has the ability to choose and a capacity to have will. The operations of self and mind are connected through and influenced by what is going on in “life”. While consciousness mostly remains on the background, not as an inactive or non-participating ground but as one that is influencing and participating, the self, life-principle and mind keep on operating on the foreground (see Figure 1).
Analysis of Purpose of Such Inter-Level Connectivity
At observable level, which is comprehensible by our senses (as such, or as aided by instruments like microscope, stethoscope, telescope or sensors etc.), the important parameters are time, space energy and mater. They have their own specific dynamics on the basis of description of which the physical science has been build-up.
However, when these four observable factors operate within a living system, their operation is influenced by four non-observable influential(s) as mentioned above. Non-observable influential(s) within the living system are not ghost or phantom! They are real, although non-observable. The management gurus are aware that this is not merely a statement of assertion but is a reality to explain the major differences in behavior of different self-organizing living systems. The best out of an individual can come out only following deft maneuvering of those non-observable factors operating quietly within him. It requires dexterity and proper expertise for handling them when subjected to phenomenological or informational challenge. We all are familiar with the phrase, “It is all mind game”, “self-confidence which matters most”, and “You are sure to win when you take it as a life-or-death situation”. We ask for “psychological” training of the players before a football or cricket match only with an objective that the players could use their non-observable influential(s) with deft and dexterity.
The connecting link between the observable behavioral parameters and non-observable influential(s) is the operational mechanism of information. An adequately informed system can manage “self”, others and the environment. Information works in both observable and non-observable domains. Once we know more about information and its mechanics, the connection between two domains would be clearer.
The purpose of this inter-level interaction in primordial level of life-form is essential for keeping the matter and its organization in the “living state”. Once this interaction stops, the matter within the living system has no difference with the matter in non-living state. Further, this interaction is also essential to handle, reject, adapt or cope with numerous informational and phenomenal inputs into the system from environment. Finally, this inter-level interaction is necessary both for evolution of the system and for passage of information to the next generation of the living system.
Why Establishing This Connection Between Non-local and Local Is so Important for Science?
Investigation of how nonlocal, non-measurable, and non-observable influential(s) connect with local, measurable, observable players like energy, matter, space and time to change the behavior of the system is profoundly relevant in science of healing; healing of an ailing system, ailing cell, ailing human being, ailing planet and its environment. Healing occurs because the ailing system is brought in resonance with the whole. Physicians in the mainstream medicine know the dictum, “Doctors dress the wounds. Wound is healed by nature”. The healers in the discipline of complementary and alternative medicine are more aware of this phenomenon. They regularly use this nature’s law in healing.
How nonlocal entity like consciousness, self, mind, life (as life-principle) and information get “encased”/“confined”/“caged” locally within the space-time boundary, howsoever evanescent the boundary may be, is the issue of embodiment of “nonlocal” into “local”. Another issue is how in natural system, “nonlocal” operationally connects with “local”? On the later issue the research question will be how nonlocal Influential(s) operationally connect with local observables within the system to bring measurable change in the behavior of the system? The Research hypothesis in this context would be, it is done through holographic information transfer across the boundary of the system. To make an attempt to prove or falsify and to offer an alternate hypothesis will be the beginning of catching the thread of consciousness research.
Conceptual Description of Each Non-Observable Factor and Its Operation
In this section we will describe the non-observable influential(s) each on four headings; concept, location, operation and characteristic properties. The narration although might appear to be a series of statements, is, however, important for making a beginning. This description is tentative where the first person’s “experiential” has been conveyed in Third Person’s “sensible” perspective.