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Life – Consciousness

Nebula.FormationQuality, Individuality, Collectivity, Hierarchicity, and Phasmatic Transcendentalism
Evolution at the level of the history of our planet has been the result of cosmological and space violence, the result of a non-linear, but, undoubtedly, fundamental natural process.

In spite of this, what has made it possible for us to arrive at today's point of evolution, that is, for us now to have on the planet the observers of this evolution - meaning by this ourselves, though not only us - must be explored much more deeply, because looking at things from the viewpoint of space, astrophysics, and geophysics is not sufficient to throw light on the course of evolution.

We can, as a foundation for what will follow, say that evolution is linked with creative, conserving and destructive processes which occur simultaneously. Evolution includes, that is to say, triadic dialectic, a dialectic which has also been included in its most transcendental or most personalised reference in religious thinking in the sense, for example, of the consuming fire, which, however, can also exist within the framework of the Burning Bush, as being Logos and Love – the Logos here is also creative, it becomes flesh, and in this sense it recognises itself, and for this reason has this absolute logic and its mathematical harmony in nature, where "God always geometrises".

We can, of course, include within the concept of geometry both the space-time continuum and quantum, non-local cohesiveness, and perhaps a broader recognition of an internetting of organicity and holism in the evolutionary process. And this is to be found not only in the version of the Greek, Judaic or Christian philosophy or religion to which we have referred. As Lenin notes in his Philosophical Notebooks, a correspondence to the dialectic of historical materialism makes its appearance in its triadic nature and personification in the Hindu trinity, where the first aspect is expressed by Shiva the Destroyer, Vishnu the Preserver, and Brahma the Creator.
Evolution clearly also has within it the processes of duration, continuity, and viability, into which abstraction and apoptosis are integrated. We see this in the equilibrium of a cellular organism and in the dialectic of organic and ecological homeostasis, in an organism and in an ecosystem. Evolution has passed to the living organisation of form through processes of violence. The living organisation of form has been tested as a nodal dynamic element of its cohesion at the genetic level and at the level of organic evolution and learning, of a long Darwinian process, through coincidence, but also what we could call the exceptionally 'strange preference' for organification, enthalpy as opposed to the self-evident statistical dominance of entropy.
Evolution has employed elements of chronicity, fluctuation, and bifurcation clearly with an alternativity, because we can frequently see its principle features derived from ancillary elements, which become especially crucial and which then decline to points of weakness or of a transformation into a new process of their utilisation. However, the point over which we must pause is that sparsity of form has been closely associated with autopoiesis. The relation between autopoiesis and sparsity of form has a very strange archetypal reference in cultures.
It is apparent, for example, in the myth of the re-creation of the human race expressed by the myth of Deucalion, or the masonic myth of 'living stones' or of the 'living stone', and in the 'philosopher's stone', respectively. We can also see this relation in the culture of shamanism, animism, and hylozoism, which has a diffusion and a continuity, in spite of the cyclical nature of the dominance of an inductive, mentalistic, and mechanically determined blueprint. We can say with certainty that this field of interpretation has not closed and has not ceased to be capable of giving us new horizons of thinking, experience, theory, and awareness.

It is in this direction, moreover, that approaches such as those of Husserl, Whitehead, and Bergson - phenomenological and otherwise - are moving, as they bring out the self-referentiality of the consciousness through the organ of apprehension and the organismic evolution of expression, together with intuitiveness. The Cartesian and Kantian Logos, like the Aristotelian Nous attempt to bring out value in itself at the level of consciousness. The same is attempted, even more so, by the idealistic approaches of Berkeley, as well as by those approaches with a more organic affinity with the concept of duration and the continuum in time, such as Bergson's theory of intuition. Thinkers such as Gaston Bachelard and a number of others are in search of a linguistic synthesis of concepts without aiming at a systematisation, while, from the past, great thinkers such as Plato, Posidonius, or Plotinus bring to light a very different relation between the Living and the scale or with the Logos and with the Nous, acknowledging existence and entity and consciousness in the ideal, and, at the same time, Animal Life on the very large space-time scale, as well as in the  essentially elementary.
All the analogy of thought had and has as its aim to link form and life with the phenomenon of consciousness and identification with the part and the whole, and this suggests a hierarchicity structured on the logic of the consciousness.

Factors in the evolution of consciousness
Evolution, then, in passing from the physical forms of the stone, the plant, and the animal to all the multifariousness of the flora and fauna, was associated with the process of autopoiesis of forms. Life manifested itself as a psychological pattern of self-preservation, perpetuation, and evolution both at the level of micro-organisms and at the level of organisms. Through this process, the factor of consciousness emerged, not only as self-identification, but also as reviewing / interpretation, as the main evolving factor for adaptation in anthropogenesis. We can establish that such factors work together in the creation of intellectualisation, of individualisation, of groups, of intuition, of transcendence, in the empsychosis and culturisation of man.
We can discern a multiplicity of such factors when we approach, initially, a compensatory / counterbalancing mechanism for environmental, physical disadvantage with procedures of internalisation and psychological and social constructiveness based on  the consciousness. It is on this disadvantage in the face of the environment, which set its seal upon anthropogenesis, that the mechanism of compensation is activated. This was approached in an introductory and theoretical way by Kant, and from the angle of psychoanalysis / psychology by Adler.
This is the strange counterbalance which serves as homeostasis, integration in form, and symbiosis, and in synergy with the environment. It is observable, moreover, from the cellular, or even the sub-cellular level to the level of the organisms of the ecosystem or the biosphere. This compensatoriness seems to be the important element in the conflict which promotes harmony - the important element in the transition from all the forms of the biosphere. It is this paradox, it could be said, which leads to the introduction or manifestation of life in forms and to their capacity for their transcendence, and their evolution, to integration and holopoiesis, by means of discrete processes of synthesis.

1. Compensatoriness is the basic pivot of identity, of identification, and of organification, but at the same time it functions as synthesis. This is a fundamental paradox which lays bare a transcendentalism in the way in which we regard the material evolutionary process, even if we see it in the holistic sense as a dynamic of enthalpy.
This compensatoriness, then, this potentiality for refutation, has a transcendental tendency. It also functions as self-transcendence. It is through self-transcendence that it shapes and operates like fermentation in phenomena of scale and relation, of a great or small dimension, as well as in hierarchical structures. It could be said that it is the key to the interpretation of structure as information for the leverage of energy. Furthermore, as information, it echoes what Norbert Wiener put forward as a potentiality for information without an agent.
Is it the capacity for abstraction which, in the end, is entity, or is it through abstraction that entity functions and is formed? Is it for this reason that the expression of creation and evolution are so intertwined with processes of morphopoiesis, abstraction, or transcendence? In any event, it provides the key to an internalisation, by showing up ontopoiesis as internalisation and synthesis.   

2. Here we come to a highly composite and complex field, and here is the second factor. Apart from counterbalance, substitution operates as an instrumental extension of counterbalance or as its specialisation, and - looked at from one point of view - as idolisation.
Thus, for example, as regards the fact of death, despite playing a part in evolution, and, in that sense, as abstraction, being a field of liberation for the entity, transcendence is a trouble for this identification which has been given form as an unacceptable event, against which underdevelopment of the consciousness and internalisation operate with a fear as a rallying-point and now fabricate the mind, and thus it does not serve as a main compensation or refutation and internalisation of transcendence, as a main internalisation, but as a secondary internalisation, as a substitute for the sense of the real, the sense of life, of existence as a fantasy idolisation, or, rather, of existence as an idolising binding of the imagination.

This idolising binding of the imagination derives from animal origins and the underdevelopment of the consciousness, even though the central stimulus for this evolution of the consciousness is this capacity for transcendence, this internalisation, this abstractive potential for existence and entity. Here we can indeed see a dualism in man, as soul and person, as soul and personality; we can see a mental dualism as desiderative and instinctive under the influence of underdevelopment, and, on the other hand, of contemplation.
We see this dualism in the animal kingdom, in the processes of detachment from vital concern in the food cycle, in daydreaming, in play, in animal grace, which we see working as a factor for the attraction of liking in the relations of animals and in their formation in families and care for the young, but we can also observe it in the young of all the animal species, and, naturally, in the special categories of fauna in a more stable and diffused influence.

3. And so we arrive at a fundamental anthropo-zoological theory of evolution, as a third factor, as a factor for balance between more transcendental and direct internalisation or empsychosis and polarising, competitive or phobic substitution and strategy. Here we can observe the disjunction of identity and entity in living things from the competitive field and the competitive cycle of action and stimuli - something like the Sentinel of Arthur Clarke. We can identify this in the species of life, as well as in societies which develop from them, as it the case of the parrot, and for that reason we will speak about a more realistic evolutionary anthropo-zoological 'parrot theory'.  

In the case of the parrot, we can observe - and this in all probability can be documented genetically and from the point of view of Darwinian evolutionary selection and affinity - that parrots eliminate a strong defensive hunting phenotypical item of equipment. At the same time, they are disjoined from the acute competitive cycle in whose service their equipment could operate - equipment which has hybrid features, which could, that is, target both fruit and fauna.

We see, however, that parrots have developed a dietary orientation of small competitiveness compared with other mobile species, and that at the same time they have also developed a linguistic pluralism, an imitative adaptive form of expression which is based on a process of attachment to and cohesion with the environment, on a communication emphasis and expression - on a communicating disjunction of expression, in other words, from the hard core of the vital cycle. This model is also observable in the learning process, in the evolutionary provision for life in the infancy of almost all species and in the infancy of most life forms. We observe, that is to say, that there is a detachment - for purposes of learning - from the field of competition, a protection from the phobic stimuli and phobic reflex fixations, so that they can mature from the point of view of evolution, but also for reasons of viability. It is, in addition, a process of internalisation. In the case of the parrot, in particular, we encounter a post-hunting detachment and integration, and perhaps this is not the only instance.

This post-feeding detachment of life is linked with a development of a culture of communication, observation, expression, with a shift of the epicentre of the use of the buccal and laryngeal cavity to a field of communication and creative expression or experimentation.
Here we are able to note a fundamental general trend having to do with the shift of life in the process of internalisation and individualisation, through the displacement of the epicentre to the consciousness and to communication by the transubstantiation of the feeding and reproductive dynamic to the communicating and perceptual dynamic of sociability and internalisation. Affinity becomes less barbaric; it is detached from processes of material violence and from material flows and arrives at flows of reason.

We see, by inference, a documentation of the evolution of life in the direction of communication, of consciousness, and of creative expression and co-operation, which leads clearly to social integration, to other scales of synergy and transcendentalism, to other scales of synthesis, where, of course, the individual possesses an ostensible self-determination, to a certain degree. Frequently, this can operate in a distorting way on the apprehension of the integrity of wholeness, and perhaps this is why we cannot see - as Plato or Posidonius would say - the universe as 'a great animal' or living thing, of enormous dimensions. Just as, that is to say, a neuron cannot see the whole of the brain, so we would not be able to see a planet as a noosphere given expression and as Planetic Logos.

Ioannis Zisis, writer

Photo from wikimedia

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