Journey to the Source of Laughter.
Day 4. Skin and Time.
In the day 3 part I did something strange,I made a jump,not out of the text but in time. Then it was clear that I was talking about phenomena in the complex language of today,with the thinking of modern humans,explaining (wishful thinking perhaps!) the acivities before or during the originating of these concepts themselves. I invented terms like pre-awareness,and let us add pre-memory and pre-thinking ,to indicate a lower level of these concepts as they exist today,not the complete absence of the essence of them . The definition of observing included that it was a process,that means an activity spreading out in time but coherent in aim and procedure. Hence observing always has a hidden component of observing time .But was or is there some real object “Time” that our notion of time is an observation of?In the beginning of sensing,say in a one cell being,that activity was most probably centered on the frontier between the inside and the outside ,so on the “skin” of the being. The first sensing must have been related to touching or being touched,so when sensing became observing the first sense we developed was feeling ,observing the frontier between in and out,the first organ thus must have been the skin.”
Do we have skin feelings of a primitive type today?
Yes, some sayings make it clear eg my flesh is creeping,the spine is tingling, the hair in the neck is standing up,getting goose bumps,getting a cold feeling in warm temperature,… . However now we see these “feelings” not anymore as observations,we would call them “feelings” and classify them as the result of emotions. Another example is the feeling of being watched ,sometimes you get that feeling ,you turn your head and you see someone looking at you or quickly turning his head away.Perhaps women have this feeling more than men,I do not know! Emotions and feelings are often identified but that is not correct use of language ,to correct this we have to talk about meaning first.
When some electro-chemical proces is started by a sensing we encode that by an idea in the memory ,it can be a new idea or an old already existing idea;eg we se a lion and encode the idea” lion” (without having that word for it) in our memory,then we give “meaning” to the idea. This is the moment when the transgression into the abstract cognitive world is made, how we do that is again a mystery.It uses the information already in the memory to create a context for the idea,for example properties already developed for other observations are adapted to the new idea. But this is a strange action!It recquires that one frees the new idea from its natural context given by the real situation in which we observed it and then one manipulates “properties” abstractly,that is separated from their own observed real context. That is exactly what I will call fantasy ,it will be a main topic on Day 5. This manipulation of abstract properties is a serious mystery,it is probably unique to human thinking,and it is the basis for all “creativity”,art,mathematics,etc… . Hence in giving meaning to ideas we use fantasy, we encode this meaning of an idea further in abstract symbols as well as concrete sounds by language which is rather essential for communication,more advanced we will use expressions and body language ,somtimes unaware.So when you see or hear the word lion ,you immediately get the meaning and know all properties of a lion that you have learned about it ,you do not repeat the neuro-electro-chemical activity you had when first observing a lion (or learning abour it by some description by someone else,ie by communication).
In the first observations by multi-cellular beings the level of abstract reasoning was not high enough to give meaning to ideas the way we do now,in fact here was not such meaning! Does my shadow have a meaning for an ant ,of course it observes light and shadow but these observations very probably do not have a meaning,and if you doubt the case of an ant then go back to more primitive beings. Yet a spider,ant or beetle will go in hiding or try to run away from my shadow. You can say this is an instictive reaction,but what does that mean ?The insect was never killed or hurt by a shadow,yet it seems to assume a danger is presented by it. Is there some information in the DNA,is there some old form of communication from the “species”, or is it the awareness of change that is enough to trigger a protective reaction ?Life is very prudent! What we call feelings (not referring to the more complex meaning of someone’s general state of mind in relation with a certain topic,eg my feelings about writing this text) are old observations that never got a meaning,ie they date back to the primitive pre-thinking allowing primitive observation but not yet the abstract manipulation called fantasy. However when we now observe these feelings we can give meaning to them,but this meaning will be an a posteriori adding of new ideas depending on the situation now. For example when the hairs stand-up in your neck,or anywhere else,you will relate this to the situation eg the spooky effect of an old house in the fog where some very strange noises come from.
Emotions are physical reactions to “abstract feelings”,that are abstractions of observations that relate to a coherent part of the personal history or character of the observer contained in the Self of the person . So in my view there are no emotions without Self,but they have a physical expression unlike ideas ,that remain more abstract. All notions introduced here will play a role later;
Now about time.
The first feelings via the skin were stored in the pre-memory,this induced a kind of order.You cannot store something if it did not yet happen,thus the use of (pre-) memory induces a notion of observation-time; This observation time does not exist in reality ,however via the observation of cause and consequence there seems to be some order also in reality. Well,at least in our observations of reality and it is absolutely unlikely or impossible that this could be forced by the observation-time. But one can discover that even if the cause is observed after the consequence,and this is very often the case,one can still deduce by logical thinking that the cause was indeed the cause.Hence cause and cosequence define an order on events in the universe which is not induced by the observation-time but in fact explains observation-time since the observation was the consequence of sensing.So let us give a very generic definition of time.
The universe is changing and change is given by the difference between one state and the other.So the universe is a totally ordered set of states ,every state corresponds to the smallest change of the tiniest ingredient. Say the universe is finite (but incomprehensibly big),then there are finitely many events and the state corresponding to the next event is the next state in the ordering.Events take place in time intervals and since there are finitely many events there is a smallest time interval for something happening;This means that time may be viewed as a discrete expression for the changes in the universe,passing from state to state. Time is therefore the meaning we give to change ,or more commonly said,time is the meaning of looking back !