Protoconsciousness/Energy and Matter Dennis Balson (Taree, New South Wales Australia) C25
I asked David Chalmers:- "Is it possible that our concepts of consciousness presume that it is an exclusive property of minds? Maybe there exists in nature a presently unknown form of intelligence that is devoid of mental properties - - - ". David answered:- "I think of consciousness as mental by definition. Maybe there is a sort of precursor to consciousness that is not mental. We could cann that protoconsciousness. Then the view would be a version of what I call 'panprotopsychism'. I agree that this view is definitely a possibility". Planet Earth eventually became suitable for the formation of life in the form of single cells and although these cells were of matter they contained energy and some form of intelligence because they had the ability to adapt to their environment. Some cells evolved into multi-cellular entities and they were able to replicate themselves endlessly. Although these primitive organisms were devoid of brains, they were capable of sensing their environment, called habitation, which is a form of rudimentary learning and knowing. As cells evolved, some were capable of communicating and cooperating with other cells, therefore they possessed some form of conscious intelligence, or at least some form of sentience, which existed long before brains came into being. When brains eventually came into existence, multi-cellular organisms evolved within different forms of life and the brain neurons of each species became altered by their environment and by the information each form of life obtained. The neurons associated with mental activities are different and separate to the protoconsciousness cells: The former are dependent on acquired forms of knowledge and the latter are relative to the creative and evolutionary forces of nature. Some cells have the ability to perpetuate their own species and in the process of evolution they adapt and change, otherwise they would become extinct. Like developing brains, neurons form layers and communicate with each other via neural networks. Some cells sense their environment and this sense is a separate entity to the neurons associated with mental activities. The conceptual mind relies on what it knows and believes. Although learning is a present moment mental activity, once something is known, it becomes relative to the past. For example, sensing something may be real, but the mental interpretation is relative to a past event and the past is never actually real. The consequence of overvaluing structured and normative forms of knowledge is to lose touch with the more spontaneous forms of sensing. Also, during deep sleep or whilst a person is anaesthetised, the secondary neurons would not be active, but the primary cells, would still be functioning normally, otherwise that person would be "brain dead". This research suggests brains are vehicles for both forms of consciousness and if an entity is devoid of mental properties then protoconsciousness/energy may be the fundamental property within matter, or at least, within every living entity.