The Vital is the way of life

My speculative position that there is a beginning of  consciousness and that consciousness begins with the beginning of life might sound new, but it is not.  What is new is my desire to formulate a test of consciousness and to apply it on many different levels of what is alive.  The test has certain principles.  It is not a paper and pencil test.  Once the principles are established, and I have noted only a few, then they can be applied.  At that point I introduce hypotheses.  The hypotheses are stated in the hypothetical-deductive model which is statistical and therefore relies on the null hypothesis.  I hope to challenge those among us who are interested in the deep structure of consciousness.  With any luck, I can begin to move toward my other radical position, proving that there is a quantum mind.

I think there are some things I ought say again about consciousness.  Vital are the processes we think of as ourselves.  (If I could write in German I would call this The Vital.)  Everything alive is vital.  Everything that is dead is not Vital. Anything alive is conscious.  Vital has consciousness.  Consciousness is locked up in the body.  Every body, i.e., living thing is also conscious.  This means a virus has consciousness.  The bacterium found in interstellar space are aware.  Do I wonder if awareness might be eternal bliss?  That fits in with the universal appeal of an afterlife.  And do we give ourselves the wish made into reality of eternal bliss?  This projection of the wish falls upon everything and may be organized along archetypal lines of energy.  Psychic energy falls upon all life forms.  We investigate conscious behavior, unconscious behavior, and emotional behavior, calling it unconscious.  Consciousness is primordial and indestructible having accompanied life since the inception of life.  Infants are conscious from the moment of conception and yet this consciousness is not innate to the neonate but rather passed on from sperm and egg.  So there is no beginning of consciousness at conception.

Consciousness begins with the beginning of life. The end of consciousness may be an illusion.  Illusory projection upon matter forms culture.  Whatever the medium, a projection channels energy and consciousness.  Media include visual art, physical art, physics and science in general, literary arts, music of all genres, dance and Sufi spinning, folk dance, and the healing arts, and in some cases, religion.

We start off alive and conscious of our being alive.  Awareness of being alive leads down cultural paths, warrior class, all social groupings.  Political parties use conscious energy to accomplish unconscious goals such as war and destruction, or to facilitate creative goals like making a living and raising a family.  Groups are punished on the model that rule of law can be manipulated.  Life needs an out, and if this means destruction, life destroys life.  Evil manipulation and good manipulation amount to the same old thing.  Freud and Thanatos, his death and destructive impulse, unconscious factor, leads to cathartic ecstatic celebration of whatever it is including joy at taking away life and consciousness and measures us.  The flip side of unconscious evil is conscious good.  The bifurcation of consciousness culturally emerges in institutions of congress.  Systems emerge from congress and evolve, devolve, integrate, analyze, and act.  The systems do not act, and they are but projections themselves.  Projection of content, making the unconscious conscious, changes things; moves things around; creates ideas to make into reality our dreams.  Projection creates change.  Dreams create projections and are projections themselves.


My desire to measure psyche emanates from my logical, analytical being.  Taking hypotheses and measuring these hypotheses constitutes psychological testing.  What is consciousness and how can consciousness be measured:  my above incoherent exposition needs some order.  Let us proceed to order the disorder.

Psychology frames quantum reality

As projections are psychological, conscious knowing acts upon material macro, 4 dimensional reality.  The thinking of something changes quantum reality by the field of potential the projections constellate (to use a Jungian term meaning organizing unconscious “material”).  There are points at which quantum potential settles into a macro world expression that we experience as reality.  I refer to these as phase transitions.

At a phase transition the organization shifts.  When Kurt Lewin describes gestalts he refers to them in the abstract.  As such they are mathematical and therefore well within the measurable and observable universe we inhabit and investigate by all means possible, including psychologically.  How can we measure the phase transition of the vital force—where physics meets psychology?  The alternate universes we can as conscious living vital beings inhabit develop out of choices that are resonant frequencies of vitality that exist just as clearly as particles—sub-atomic and atomic—are resonant frequencies of superstring theory.  Physics does not mention life or vital yet physicists, such as Leonard Susskind, ascribe to the anthropic principle—the mind creation principle, the world as a hologram principle, i.e., a projection principle founded upon quantum reality which describes both a subatomic “world” and frequencies beyond observation.  Here again physics and consciousness measure the same thing.  Analysis explores limits.  Limits mark phase transitions.  Mind becomes real.


Did I mention these are hypothetical issues?  As such, they might be measured statistically if set up as null hypotheses.  Why do that?  Because scientific thinking requires it.  Instead of proving it, you have to prove it is not not true at a significant level, preferably at the .01 level.  Follow me down the path of disproving the proof.  If we can’t, the proof must be true as operationally defined.

  • Consciousness cannot be measured.
  • If consciousness can be measured, then consciousness in living organisms cannot be measured.
  • Starting with homo sapiensa measurement of consciousness needs to be scaled down to lower and lower orders on the evolutionary scale (as it exists on earth):
    • Eukaryotes are not conscious.
    • Prokaryotes are not conscious.

Putting it positively, consciousness can be measured in humans and so can artificial intelligence (AI).  I am not getting into machine intelligence (yet).  If I were to suggest AI answers some of the rules of the proving of the Turing Test as a form of consciousness, then I will need to convince myself that consciousness also accrues to man-made machines.  And if I go down that path, the next idea is to test if any of the visible bodies, cosmologically or sub-atomically, ascribe to consciousness.  That being the case, I can only suggest this should be re-examined once AI has not been disproved.

How can rules of what operationally defines intelligence be made into a reliable and valid test that can be scaled up and down?  Such a test requires a creative test development person to construct it.  Once this test is developed and validated we can begin applying the principles to lower and lower organisms.  So firstly it must measure not intelligence—don’t need to get sidetracked here—but consciousness in all mammals.  Proceeding to the reptiles, birds, and cold-blooded fauna, and then into vegetable flora, let us proceed down to the cellular level (eukaryotes) and the more primitive cellular level (prokaryotes).  If I’m missing a lower living thing, add it at this time.  Scalability of consciousness form depends on Jung’s theory of psychic energy and Jung makes an excellent case for the scalability of consciousness, in concert with Freud.  Psychodynamic psychotherapy relies upon such a foundation.  Cognitive behavioral psychotherapy also relies upon this as a substratum of information theory, which might constitute a route towards the construction of such an instrument.  Mindfulness theorists ought to have something to add to this discussion.  Advocates of phenomenology who follow Husserl could, if any still exist, process-orient the way questions or judgments about experience are asked.