# Spirit and matter

### How to start from self-referential notions?

In this article I try to coordinate the following notions: individuation, information, communication, arrow of time, cause. Each of these notions is self-referential; impossible to define it in absolute terms; I am obliged to appeal to the concept itself. This shows that they are not ontological but properties of the mind. My mind uses these fundamental notions without being able to determine their origin; they are pre-installed. A loophole is possible: trying to interconnect these notions with each other,and thus relate them to a more general principle, which is not directly accessible to me.

### The hidden postulates of the ‘=’ sign

Let’s start from the arrow of time. Relationships expressed in mathematical terms seem reversible. A1 = A2 …= An Actually no; there is a direction of reading. The real writing of the previous equation is: A1 = > A2 …=> An. Is it equivalent to: A1 <= A 2 …  <= An ? This is a postulate intrinsic to the use of the sign ‘=’ in mathematics. A1 and An are said to be equal; ‘equal’ is not ‘identical’; what would be the point of using two different formulations? What is the difference in identity between A1 and An ? Is it in their constitution or their expression? Equality is in appearance to the observer. If the identity is similar for expression, then it is in the constitution that it differs. In equality there is an approximation made by the observer on the identity of the thing. Equality is a teleological decision. Whereas ontologically the constitution of the thing is a series of states that experience each other alone, without identity with others.

### Continuity of a thing, extrinsic or intrinsic?

At what level does the continuity of the identity of the thing begin? Does it require an outside observer? Not. Only anthropocentrism puts a human eye behind every existence. Freed from this bias, the thing establishes its identity alone, by the fact of being in a context. It is a thing in a ‘whole’. But why is it not just a ‘sequence of states in a whole’? What exactly does its identity consist of?

Identity stability comes from the approximation achieved by the thing itself. It has an identical appearance to the context despite the variations in its constitution. Individuation is a fusion of one’s states in the face of the whole. It can only be defined in a totality. No absolute definition, except as the entirety of what is, and then it merges with the whole. The absence of an absolute definition forces it to be refocused in a level of reality, where it is all-element within an all-superior. The very notion of individuation obliges us to define independent levels for reality. It is impossible to describe it other than discontinuous, as individuations of course, but also as contextual totality(s) and therefore also discontinuous. The ‘whole’ is a relative notion.

### Temporal identity

‘Discontinuity’ is equivalent to ‘change’. There was ‘continuous change’ but we now know that ‘continuous’ is a lack of resolution. ‘Continuous’ is about the appearance, the fused state of the thing. While its change necessarily comes from discontinuities in its constitution. ‘Discontinuous reality’ is equivalent to ‘changing reality’. Discontinuity underpins the concept of temporal identity.

Does this identity have a direction? Does it contain a time arrow? The obvious answer is yes, from the belvedere of my experience: I feel at every moment as having passed becoming future, and not the opposite. Is this entirely true? What happens when I remember a past episode? Didn’t I objectively reverse my time arrow? Not exactly. My present mental state reproduces a sequence from the past but always unfolds in the same direction. I did not reverse my mental process, which would be to experience a reversal. My future never becomes my past. Mental identity does have an irreversible temporal arrow.

### Does the arrow of time apply to the constitution?

My mental arrow is obvious. Does this imply that it is in my constituent levels of reality, from the quantons? Their level responds to reversible equations. But we have seen that this is a mathematical postulate. Physicists, on the other hand, doubt reversibility by the fact that some quantum phenomena looked at in reverse do not take place in the same way. The argument is specious. ‘Looked upside down’ is not ‘reversed’. There is no experience going back in time. Only experiments that start from the final state to return to the initial state… in reality posterior in the time of the experimenter. Nevertheless, let us make right to these doubts and assume that there is a genuine quantum irreversibility. It could be based on reversible mechanisms, such as the thermodynamic arrow.

No way, then, to tell whether reality is fundamentally reversible or not. I can say that some levels are irreversible, based on my mental experience. But this irreversibility may be based on the act of crossing a level. A reversible system produces an irreversible.

### Irreversibility in the approximation

The best known example is thermodynamics. How can a principle as basic as a temporal direction appear in a sequence that has none? I will assume that you know the statistical explanation. I propose a more complete one, taken from Surimposium: the approximation concretizes a level of reality, based on properties that remain stable despite changes in constitution. There is, however, a change within the approximation: it aggregates very few different states at first (it starts from one), then ends up representing a really large number. Stability is fixed on the scale of appearance, varies in its constitution. Its temporal identity changes despite being merged.

### The origin of the arrow of time

This is where the definition of the unit of time lies: in a fusion that maintains its appearance while its identity changes. The unit of time of a thing is the gap between its constitution that changes and its appearance that does not change. But if it creates extremities to the unit, it doesn’t create beginning and end. This is missing: the appearance aggregates a small number of states at the beginning, a really large number at the end. This gap creates the start/end differentiation: time arrow. Despite the uniform appearance. This arrow, let us say it again, is entirely owned by the interface between the levels of reality. It is of varying importance depending on the nature of the relationships within each level. Perhaps it does not exist in some but impossible to affirm. We do not have access to an ultimate foundation of reality that would validate the postulate of reversibility of the sign ‘=’ in mathematics.

We found the definition of time and its arrow directly in the discontinuity of reality levels. Subsequent benefit: it is no longer necessary to look for time in the propagation of information. We can free communication from any time arrow. Indeed, in front of a wave that propagates, what direction do you choose? From left to right or the other way around? Why one rather than the other?

Choice is a false problem. The wave equation is perfectly reversible here. The only things that matter are the ends of the wave. Nothing can ‘start’ in the middle. The ends define an arrow by their respective times. They build together a time that is not ‘third’ but surimposed on the previous ones. If the times of the extremities are confused because of their spatial proximity, the surimposed time is assimilated to them as well. Thus we can approximate the time of our material body with that of its particles. But the approximation is only valid at the earliest levels of our complexity. Above, communications are no longer wave but biochemical, then hydrodynamic and cellular, much slower. Surimposed time stretches to the eternity of conscious thought (relative to the speed of a wave).

### A causality by level

At this stage coordinating ‘causality’ is a formality. This notion flows directly from the arrow of time. In the sequence of states, it precedes the effect by the cause. Notable change, however: causality has lost its universal character. If the arrow is property of the level, so is causality. Their vigor is proportional. The notion of ‘force of causality’ changes from subjective to objective. Descended from its celestial pedestal, the One Causality opens the door to a retro-causality, at least to an impression that can be called so when the arrow of a higher level is so much more marked than those of the lower levels that it seems to impose its own causality on them.

Mind sees itself subjugating matter.

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