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The (Un)Intended Consequences of Dysfunctional Belief Systems

If you have been following the latest happenings around the world, it would be frighteningly obvious that we have in our midst global twisters of social, political, economical and environmental crises all seeming to coallesce to create a perfect storm of creative destruction so as to herald a New World Order out of these Global Disorders.  What troubles me so deeply, is that the trajectories of these crises are being steered and governed by a set of belief systems that are dysfunctional at their core as they are totally detached from the life ground that underpins the integrity and sustainability of our social and planetary life supporting systems, and as a result will produce consequences and more negative outcomes that were not intended (I hope) by the apologists of these systems.

If you have been following my blogs over the past year, you would have noted that my thoughts and ruminations have gravitated to the analysis and insights of Prof John McMurtry’s work which has revealed to us that our social, political and economic belief systems are based on a regulating and operating syntax that has institutionalised money value over life value.  As a result, we have inherited a political-economic-social system that is not fit for life purpose.  There have been many attempts to identify the false assumptions and false credos of this dysfunctional belief and value system, but none has come close to addressing the ultimate cause as Prof McMurtry’s Life-Value Onto-Axiology (LVOA) with his identification of our dysfunctional Ruling Value System (RVS).

LVOA = Life-Value Onto-Axiology – The value-system which regards life and means of life to more coherently comprehensive ranges of life as the ultimate and universal good. (Also referred to as life-value onto-ethic when emphasis is on the normative dimension of the axiology.)

RVS = Ruling Value System – A society’s value-system presupposed by those governed by it which ultimately regulates the decision norms and goals of the society’s dominant social institutions, individual roles within them, and the thought structure of those internalizing it.

from John McMurtry, Philosophy and World Problems, Volume I, UNESCO in partnership with Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems: Oxford: Eolss Publishers, 2011.

Although his work is solid and has informed immensely my understanding of why our present system is dysfunctional, and how such a system can be made whole again based on life-value inclusive coherent principles, I am at a loss of why his insights have not gone mainstream given the evidence in our midst that this phase of human experimentation and exploitation have done more harm than good to the social fabric and life supporting system of our communities and planet. His explanation that our dysfunctional belief systems are fundamentally life-blind based on a regulating group-mind, is for me, unsatisfactory as an explanation, as it presupposes this life-blindness in the first place. He writes:

“What do the following phenomena have in common – the Pushtan honor code, the Spanish Inquisition, female genital mutilation, and academic mobbing? They variously express the value syntax of the regulating or ruling group mind (RGM). The RGM is a discrete structure of thinking which underlies diverse levels of collectively life-destructive behavior which are otherwise anomalous and unconnected – from such practices as the above to caging harmless offenders to normalized regimes of exogenous homicide. The RGM mechanism may be understood as the direct opposite of conscious social organization for the life security of members. Unrestricted to any culture or period, the RGM is recognized and defined by an always distinguishing set of generic properties: (i) life-blind and destructive behaviors at micro or macro levels on the basis of (ii) a ruling set of group presuppositions which (iii) frame social ideation and communication to (iv) select only for what confirms them and (v) invalidate what does not to (vi) generate stereotypes and myths as replacement standards which (vii) reinforce and confer claims of the group’s superiority in virtue of its inherent moral order which is conceived as (viii) equivalent to laws of Nature, God or Reason which (ix) only malicious or less-than-human enemies reject who (x) are therefore warred upon in with-us-or-against us campaigns to impose the group’s ruling value program. While this set of characteristics is diversely expressed and admits of degrees of rigidity and extreme, the RGM is a unitary mechanism whose interlocking operations constitute (xi) a ruling mind-set of the mutual understanding of members and self-identity. While RGM formations are invariably confused with beneficial social order, these locked and life-destructive regulators mark it as pathological.”

from The Regulating Group‑Mind by Prof John McMurtry – Sage Encyclopedia of Case Study Research

What I have been searching for is a better understanding of why this blindness to life-value exists in all of our dysfunctional belief systems. What I have found as of late is that the answer to this puzzle lies within a deeper understanding of the neurobiology of our brain, which is the platform on which our belief systems operate, and at the deepest level yet, our best physical theories of the universe. Although one may think that value judgements can only be understood at the social level of life organisation, it appears that for a complete and comprehensively inclusive understanding of our world, a recovery from our life-blindness can only come by having our physical theories include consciousness at the fundamental level with life-value built-in at the deepest and broadest level possible. How is this possible?  Does such a theory or world view exist that has empirical backing, is logical in its analysis and is fully life-coherent? What I endeavour to do is present exhibits to make a case that we have in our midst jigsaw pieces of this life puzzle that interlock and interconnect through and through to provide the answer. This case will be made by revealing the articles that “presented themselves” along the way to this discovery.

Exhibit 1: Consciousness in the universe: A review of the ‘Orch OR’ theory.

Abstract
The nature of consciousness, the mechanism by which it occurs in the brain, and its ultimate place in the universe are unknown. We proposed in the mid 1990’s that consciousness depends on biologically ‘orchestrated’ coherent quantum processes in collections of microtubules within brain neurons, that these quantum processes correlate with, and regulate, neuronal synaptic and membrane activity, and that the continuous Schrödinger evolution of each such process terminates in accordance with the specific Diósi–Penrose (DP) scheme of ‘objective reduction’ (‘OR’) of the quantum state. This orchestrated OR activity (‘Orch OR’) is taken to result in moments of conscious awareness and/or choice. The DP form of OR is related to the fundamentals of quantum mechanics and space–time geometry, so Orch OR suggests that there is a connection between the brain’s biomolecular processes and the basic structure of the universe. Here we review Orch OR in light of criticisms and developments in quantum biology, neuroscience, physics and cosmology. We also introduce a novel suggestion of ‘beat frequencies’ of faster microtubule vibrations as a possible source of the observed electro-encephalographic (‘EEG’) correlates of consciousness. We conclude that consciousness plays an intrinsic role in the universe.

Exhibit 2: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orchestrated_objective_reduction

“An essential feature of Penrose’s theory is that the choice of states when objective reduction occurs is selected neither randomly (as are choices following wave function collapse) nor algorithmically. Rather, states are selected by a “non-computable” influence embedded in the Planck scale of spacetime geometry. Penrose claimed that such information is Platonic, representing pure mathematical truth, aesthetic and ethical values at the Planck scale. This relates to Penrose’s ideas concerning the three worlds: physical, mental, and the Platonic mathematical world. In his theory, the Platonic world corresponds to the geometry of fundamental spacetime that is claimed to support non-computational thinking.”

Exhibit 3: Morality at the Planck Scale: A Chat with Stuart Hameroff

“Q: So how do you tie this into panpsychism?
A: Everything -matter, energy, you name it- comes from curvatures, patterns and other properties originating at the Planck scale. If consciousness does have some fundamental, irreducible precursor it must originate as some sort of pattern at the same basic level of the universe. Philosophers call the raw components of conscious experience qualia. We’re suggesting that qualia are specific patterns or properties at the Planck scale. Why not? If there’s something fundamental and irreducible about consciousness or its precursors, as Spinoza and Whitehead said, then it has to exist somewhere. The Planck scale is all there is.

Q: But you usually don’t translate from that level to this one we’re living in. There isn’t a direct correlation.
A: Ah but there is. That’s the beauty of Roger’s objective reduction. It’s a bridge between the Planck scale and our everyday world, described by one simple equation-the uncertainty principle. Our brains, and our microtubules, make the connection. If our conscious experience is a compilation of fundamental qualia, then we’re like a painter with a palette. All the individual colors are on the palette, and the artist takes a little of this, a little of that, and gets a Mona Lisa. So the colors are like the patterns of fundamental spacetime geometry from which processes in our brain select particular sets for each conscious moment. And if qualia are fundamental and exist at the Planck scale, then why not Platonic values like truth and beauty, good and evil.

Q: But you can already explain things like ethics, for instance, with Darwinian evolution. You don’t need this explanation.
A: Ideas about beauty, for example, may change, for various cultural reasons if nothing else. But mathematical truth is constant as far as we can tell. In any case, as Smolin points out, even the Planck scale structure of spin networks has a dynamic evolution.
Q: Then you’re a Platonist!
A: A Platonic naturalist I’d say, implying that Platonic values exist in a physical sense. That’s what makes sense to me.”

“Q: How has all this theorizing affected your life?
A: It’s enhanced my spiritual nature. I more or less rejected organized religion a long time ago. I like the idea that spirituality and God and consciousness could be part of the universe in a scientific way. I’m not saying we’ve explained these concepts because the more we learn the more we realize we don’t know. It’s very humbling to peel off one layer and find out how much more there is. Just consider the vastness at the Planck scale. If you take the sum total of this nonlocal, interconnected information and the idea of embedded Platonic values, that’s pretty consistent with the idea of an omniscient, omnipresent, beneficent being.

Q: So is evil at the Planck scale?
A: Either evil is implicit at the Planck scale along with good, or evil people are wired differently biologically for whatever reason and are influenced in an aberrant way. But even so-called good people must allow themselves to be influenced by Platonic values rather than ignoring or over-riding them due to some needs or gratification.

Exhibit 4: Interpreting quantum nonlocality as platonic information by Emerson, James C., M.A., SAN JOSE STATE UNIVERSITY, 2009, 133 pages; 1470997

Abstract:

The “hidden variables” or “guiding equation” explanation for the measurement of quantum nonlocality (entanglement) effects can be interpreted as instantiation of Platonic information. Because these Bohm-deBroglie principles are already external to the material objects that they theoretically affect, interpreting them as Platonic is feasible.

Taking an approach partially suggested by Quantum Information Theory which views quantum phenomena as sometimes observable-measurable information, this thesis defines hidden variables/guiding equation as information. This approach enables us to bridge the divide between the abstract Platonic realm and the physical world. The unobservable quantum wavefunction collapse is interpreted as Platonic instantiation. At each interaction, the wave function for a quantum system collapses. Instantly, Platonic information is instantiated in the system.

Exhibit 5: A NEW CONCEPT OF ARCHETYPE IN THE PHYSICS OF SELF-ORGANIZATION by 
Leonardo CHIATTI

Abstract
This article aims to reformulate the concepts of “archetype” and “entelechy” starting from modern notions of microphysics. It proposes an experimental scheme able to verify the actual existence of such entities under an assumption of final causality, successively reinterpreted as a particular form of efficient causality. The possibility of connections with the domains of the ontogenesis and phylogenesis of living systems is discussed. Subsequently, the scheme is generalized in order to include a concept of psychosomatic connection.

Exhibit 6: HYLOZOISM, TRIADICITY, MANIFESTATION: ECHOES FROM THE MICROWORLD by Leonardo CHIATTI

Abstract
A philosophy of nature that aspire to be more than a mere philosophy of natural sciences must propose, as the core of its reflection, the recovery of the cosmological notion of manifestation, as the process that connects the Wholeness and the manifold, the Natura Naturans and Natura Naturata. It must accomplish this in line with the current scientific understanding of nature.

Abstract

As the prime unification of Darwinism and genetics, the Modern Synthesis continues to epitomize mainstay evolutionary theory. Many decades after its formulation, its anchor assumptions remain fixed: conflict between macro organic organisms and selection at that level represent the near totality of any evolutionary narrative. However, intervening research has revealed a less easily appraised cellular and microbial focus for eukaryotic existence. It is now established that all multicellular eukaryotic organisms are holobionts representing complex collaborations between the co-aligned microbiome of each eukaryote and its innate cells into extensive mixed cellular ecologies. Each of these ecological constituents has demonstrated faculties consistent with basal cognition. Consequently, an alternative hologenomic entanglement model is proposed with cognition at its center and conceptualized as Pervasive Information Fields within a quantum framework. Evolutionary development can then be reconsidered as being continuously based upon communication between self-referential constituencies reiterated at every scope and scale. Immunological reactions support and reinforce self-recognition juxtaposed against external environmental stresses.

Abstract

Despite an explosion of research in the affective sciences during the last few decades, interdisciplinary theories of human emotions are lacking. Here we present a neurobiological theory of emotions that includes emotions which are uniquely human (such as complex moral emotions), considers the role of language for emotions, advances the understanding of neural correlates of attachment-related emotions, and integrates emotion theories from different disciplines. We propose that four classes of emotions originate from four neuroanatomically distinct cerebral systems. These emotional core systems constitute a quartet of affect systems: the brainstem-, diencephalon-, hippocampus-, and orbitofrontal-centred affect systems. The affect systems were increasingly differentiated during the course of evolution, and each of these systems generates a specific class of affects (e.g., ascending activation, pain/pleasure, attachment-related affects, and moral affects). The affect systems interact with each other, and activity of the affect systems has effects on – and interacts with – biological systems denoted here as emotional effector systems. These effector systems include motor systems (which produce actions, action tendencies, and motoric expression of emotion), peripheral physiological arousal, as well as attentional and memory systems. Activity of affect systems and effector systems is synthesized into an emotion percept (pre-verbal subjective feeling), which can be transformed (or reconfigured) into a symbolic code such as language. Moreover, conscious cognitive appraisal (involving rational thought, logic, and usually language) can regulate, modulate, and partly initiate, activity of affect systems and effector systems. Our emotion theory integrates psychological, neurobiological, sociological, anthropological, and psycholinguistic perspectives on emotions in an interdisciplinary manner, aiming to advance the understanding of human emotions and their neural correlates.

emotions

Exhibit 9: Recent progress on formal and computational model for A. Smiths Invisible Hand paradigm

Abstract—The recent economic crisis has boosted a very strong demand for quite new tools to analyze and predict the behavior of quasi-free1 markets. The paper presents our effort to build a formal theory of A. Smith’s Invisible Hand [5] paradigm (ASIH) and simulation model for a selected case. It proves that ASIH is not only an economic idea, which conflict on ways to govern [16], but something that really exists, for which formal a theory can be built. Moreover, ASIH can be measured [17], and in the future probably utilized for quasi-free market analysis and prediction. In advance, we want to state, that ASIH according to our theory, can generate both correct and incorrect decisions. For this, we use the theory of computational Collective Intelligence [18] and a molecular model of computations [1], [2]. Our theory assumes that ASIH is an unconscious meta-inference process spread on the platform of brains of agents. This meta-process is: distributed, parallel, and non-deterministic, and is run on a computational platform of market agents’ brains. The ASIH inference process emerges spontaneously in certain circumstances and can vanish when market situation changes. Since the ASIH platform is made up of brains of agents, conclusions of this inference process affect the behavior of agents and therefore the behavior of the entire market. Our research unveils that ASIH is in fact a family of similar meta-processes; thus ASIHs for different economic eras are different because corresponding models of brains of market agents are different. The paper will present and explain, on the basis of a simulation model, a case of powerful ASIH response at the end of the 15th century due to a blockade (taxes and the Dardanelles sea-route cutoff) of spice trade by Turks and Arabs. ASIH also responded to the discovery of America, the emergence of a sailing route around Africa, the establishment of plantations (sugarcane, spices) and modern galleons2 technology. This case demonstrates how powerful and with far-reaching consequences, ASIH can be.

Exhibit 10: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invisible_hand

Computational model of the Invisible Hand phenomenon

Tadeusz Szuba, author of the model for the phenomenon of collective intelligence, proposed a theory – that Adam Smith’s Invisible Hand metaphor is an occurring phenomenon that can be formalized, simulated and most probably used to propose all-new tools to analyze and predict markets in the future.

The proposed theory claims that the Invisible Hand is a symptom of the existence of another dimension of a market, which is of computational nature. A market and its agents are unaware of this, because only piece(s), or result(s) of this symptom can be observed. In this dimension, the nature of a market and agents creates a complete, programmable computer on the platform of brains of agents and the physical structure of the market. This computer is self-programming and since it exists and functions on the platform of market agents’ brains, results of computations are outputted via the brains of agents and represent themselves as the behavior of a market. These computations are chaotic, distributed, parallel, and non-continuous, with interleaving threads of different computations.

These computations are driven by:

  1. abstract value assigned to objects and services
  2. calculations and logic inferences.

What is fundamental for the emergence of this computational dimension, is that market agents are able to assign value to objects, services and actions, are able to build in consciously chains of inferences, and are able to convert conclusions into business actions.

According to this theory, the Invisible Hand is much more powerful and universal than Adam Smith and contemporary economists even expected. The Invisible Hand performs market control on several levels: in terms of production and consumption (equilibrium optimization); in terms of new discoveries (technical market optimization); in terms of social behavior (social market optimization), such as modifying and discovering new rules of market behavior. It is expected that this discovery may lead to the creation of all-new tools and models for market analysis and prediction, compared with today’s macroeconomic models.

Szuba, Tadeusz M. (2001). Computational Collective Intelligence. New York: Wiley-Interscience. p. 410. ISBN0-471-34966-6.

What all the exhibits above are pointing to is that values have to somehow be integrated into our fundamental theories all the way down.  What I would like to submit is that all of our belief systems, be it religious, scientific, political, economical and social are dysfunctional with unintended negative life-consequences because they are incomplete in that they have not incorporated Platonic life-values at every level of understanding, from the Plank scale all the way upwards to the social space of engagements.

Everything in the universe is entangled as a cosmic whole at the Plank scale and it is via Orchestrated Objective Reduction of the ecology of wavefunctions at different levels of intereactive coherence that qualia arise and proto-consciousness is said to permeate the entire universe. It is not observation by a sentient being that causes collapse of the wave functions but it is collapse of the wave functions that creates sentience in the observers. What the uncertainty principle is intimating is that we are dealing with two non-commutative domains at the Plank level where value variables are orthogonal to that of space-time geometry and dynamics. Interestingly, in the Achnowledgement of Exhibit 5 A NEW CONCEPT OF ARCHETYPE IN THE PHYSICS OF SELF-ORGANIZATION by Leonardo CHIATTI, Chiatti wrote:

“The idea that quantum randomness – contained within the limits set by the uncertainty principle, and then in accordance with the known laws of physics – could convey meaning within biosystems was clearly spelled out by the physician, traveler and Italian patriot Beppino Disertori during the difficult years of World War II. This work is dedicated to his memory, and the cosmic vision he proposed.”

That meaning that is conveyed within biosystems has to be none other than life-value that allows evolving entities at higher and higher levels to cohere over larger and larger spatial and temporal frequencies.  Just like the EEG patterns represent “beat frequencies” of faster microtubule coherent “firing” patterns, all physical objects fundamentally may be spatiotemporal manifestations of “beat frequencies” at all levels.  Hence the utility of Fourier tranforms in translating from the frequency to the spatiotemporal domains. This may also be intimately related to the holographic principle where the missing extra life-valued binary ordinal (life/anti-life) dimension at surfaces (like the neocortex of brains, or event horizons of branes/black holes) is manifested in the bulk as life-coherent entanglement and coherence.  As a result, matter (now appropriately viewed as coherent concentrations of energy and organised information) can in principle evolve to higher and higher levels of self-organisation as complex adaptive systems based on life-valued constructive, collaborative and competitive coherence.

Given the uncertainty principle and the limits contained within, it can be surmised that evolution of all matter and life occurred so as to minimise the compounded uncertainties of life challenges, as via life regulation mechanisms, solutions were found along the way that were fully life-compossible. The fundamental fields of life value of thought, felt side of being and action evolved to resolve the ambiguities and uncertainties in life regulation and is the underlying basis for life-enabling cognitive, emotional and behavioural systems.

I hope you would not miss the fact that the space and the degrees of freedom to will our choices, be it life enabling or disabling, is provided at this junction of interaction of life-value space and space-time geometry and it is only in this sense that our will can be said to be free to choose – hence providing an avenue of explicaing our free will in a non-computable manner from the unitary deterministic evolution of the wave function. It also goes without saying given the nonlocal and entangled nature of the wavefunctions at the quantum level, that my local choices and those of otheres have nonlocal and global effects. Moreover, one can begin to get intimations of a Cosmic Self with differentiated parts, all the time enfolding and unfolding from an implicate order to an explicate order and back again, as per Bohm. Also, we can see how we can get some amount of functional local autonomy and global coherence both at the same time. (Please see: Is spacetime fractal and quantum coherent in the golden mean?)

At this point of our discussion, we can now see how our ancient and modern social constructs are life-disabling as they go against the flow of inclusively coherent life-potentials that serve individually and collectively to minimise uncertainty and ambiguities in our lives.  As is evident in all of our religious, scientific, economic and political theories, the modus operandi is in the opposite direction and, sad to say, they serve to increase ambiguity and uncertainty so as to serve the vested interest of the ruling class.  Herein may lie the fundamental basis for the clarion call to preserve the integrity of life systems at all levels with accountability, transparency and equity principles serving as “good,” life-valued governance principles that are fully life coherent and which should now become our defacto cognitive immune system.

I was heartened yesterday when I came across an article: Capitalism Redefined: What prosperity is, where growth comes from, why markets work and how we resolve the tension between a prosperous world and a moral one, that had intimated some life-value principles without knowing it.  By redifining our economy as a system of finding life solutions to life problems and the rate of growth and efficiency based less on GDP growth and more on rate of life solution growth to effectiveness of solving life problems, they appear to be on the right path of fostering the healing and rehabilitation of our dysfunctional economic, political belief systems.  In so doing, they attempt to make whole again the right and just management of our scarce universal human life necessities and the unintended life consequences of the perfect storm of crises befalling us.

Going forward, we have to now complete our world views with life-value through and through, in terms of the depth and breadth of awareness, appreciation and understanding, for the ruling and regulating group mind to no longer be life-blind.  It goes without saying that if we do not have a change of mind and heart and upgrade our dysfunctional belief systems, then one can only conclude that what befalls us from now on is no longer unintended, but intended consequences of our willful life-blindness.

May God speed be with us all during this pivotal time of our life-reckoning as we have now awaken to the realisation that after exhausting all other incomplete life-blind options of misunderstanding of what is beautiful, true and good, we must now individually and collectively do what is right and just, not just for humanity’s sake but moreover for that of our Motherly Earth and for all of Her inhabitants to come!!

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