This little story follows A Universal Philosophy. With this comprehensive method, you now have a double look at the world —even not being drunk. I will regularly introduce you to some applications. Here you discover how three common genres of mental scene work. Contrasting worlds. The true multiverse, uncertain in physics, is certain in psychology.
The Computalist1I use the neologism ‘computalist’ instead of ‘computationalist’. The latter, in fact, user of computationalism which is an adopted term, has the really heavy name. The ‘computist’ exists but has another vocation: she draws up the ecclesiastical calendar. sees her life unfold without her taking care of it. Her Real pole indicates that she is on board a computation. She moves without needing to. Microprocesses purr in her. It doesn’t matter what experience she may feel. She feels emotions of course. However, feelings are symptoms, seen as emanations of neural activity in dedicated areas of the brain. Being thus identified as modulating behavior make them lose power, reduces them to the rank of an archaism, to the same as a religion that a strict education would have inculcated. The Computalist opened new eyes. It is neural exchanges that cause actions and feeling, not the other way around. The experience cannot be causal, any more than the feeling of being sick causes the disease.
The Real Pole2part of the mind that deals with non-self of the Computalist is extremely powerful. It explains most of the things observable in a coherent whole. This success extends to her own perceptions. The Real Pole manages to convince that the experience experienced in first person is fake. It excludes it from causes and pushes it back into effects. This experiment is not cancelled, since it is experienced in the most direct way possible, without the need to observe it. But observing it shifts it. It is now locked into a representation.
The dualism of illusion
The Computalist’s neural network weaves information about something that is not: a qualia. This inadequacy leads to designate the phenomenon as an “illusion”. For the Computalist reality is entirely a computation; its constitution is information and not any matter or substance. Then phenomena cannot belong to reality. The category ‘illusion’ rejects them.
The Computalist’s reflection stops at this point. If she pushed it further, she would realize that she had just created a dualism. She cuts the whole in two: the explainable and the illusion. She confines her Everything to the observable, and denigrates the possibility of including the feelable. The world of the Computalist claims to be monistic, but it is incomplete. She has pruned herself with something, with what is not describable by information.
Spirit are you there?
The mind of the Computalist includes a Spirit Pole3part of the mind that deals with the self, dedicated to the self, of course. A pole pushed against the walls of the conscious workspace. Representations of the self are paintings hung on these walls. Magnificent paintings, often grandiose even, but descriptive, without phenomenal dimension. Why add volume to a dimension that is only an illusion? The Computalist can paint feelings, detail them, talk about them in a poetic or vivisectional way. But it is difficult for her to immerse in it, to get lost in it. Simply because a small proportion of her higher concepts are devoted to them. Her spirit as a phenomenon appears to her like the wallpaper on the walls, an unexpected packaging that surrounds her inner world but of a… illusory thickness.
The Bon Vivant
The Bon Vivant uses a natural, spontaneous dualism: Real pole describing physical reality and Spirit pole her personal identity. No paradox arises from the concrete nature of one, virtual of the other. This is the great advantage of dualism: no incompatibility, since everything is in its right place in the world. The Bon Vivant does not try to explain dualism, she lives it. And she saw it without worry. She sees little point in actively separating body and mind, when they go so well together. And for what purpose do philosophers and neuroscientists persist in doing so? To reconnect them again! Isn’t that a bit navel-gazing, even devious, on the part of these beautiful thinkers?
The Real and Spirit poles of the Bon Vivant are as animated and influential. No rivalry. Felt experiences have as much power as abstract concepts. To each its field of predilection, human relations for the first, objects for the second. When several explanations arise, they happily mix. If the Bon Vivant devours a cake, it is because she takes pleasure in it, and this pleasure is also a chemical secretion in her brain. No explanation eliminates the other or takes precedence over it. There is no need to choose a causal direction of chemistry towards the phenomenon of pleasure or vice versa; it’s the same thing! Unheard-of power of dualism, which is not to explain but to free from explanation. Note that this is the default way of thinking. We are all, originally, some Bon Vivant.
In the Mystic the Spirit pole dominates the mental scene and holds a speech exactly opposite of the Real pole in the Computalist. The Mystic finds that she does not always want to engage in her tasks, which she is able to lazy even. Or she has ecstatic feelings at the thought of spiritual glorification. This engages her in hyperactive proselytism. Her experiences are at the heart of her life. How to explain this in terms of neural mechanics? How could these profoundly significant phenomena be reduced to exchanges of information? The nature of spiritual experience is absent from scientific discourse, notes the Mystic. So much so that it reduces science to a technological tool rather than a method of knowledge. Science is a smartphone, whose operation is not well understood, which answers many questions, but lacks essential answers.
The Mystic became more conciliatory than her ancestors. She has ceased to lead the too pretentious materialists to the pyre. They still render some services. They repair sick bodies when prayers do nothing. The Mystic tolerates science, acquires its gadgets, even appropriates its explanations. The chain of material causality is accepted in a simplified and revised version, more in line with beliefs. The Mystic does not devote a greater part of her mind to physical reality than the Computalist to her impressions. The Spirit pole of the Mystic is dominant. She plunges any representation into the pot of emotion. She ovens it, makes it swell phenomenally. Each representation sweats consciousness. Even the fundamental fields of the physicist exude this phenomenon. Consciousness is everywhere.
While the Computalist places a single algorithm at the root of her causal chain, the Mystic places as many guiding intentions as they presents themselves at its peak. Intentions have a magical power: that of being realized from nothing. They arise from an afterlife, from the World of Ideals. Intentions create reality. The imagination comes to fruition. I dream of a near-death experience? Certainly I set foot in the afterlife and turned around. The neurologist who foolishly makes it a neural bug would understand it if she experienced the same thing.
The Computalist, the Bon Vivant and the Mystic. But who filmed this new psychological western? This is you, of course, the new Leone of the mental screen, equipped with your double look: two cameras glued from the back, two lenses that have no chance of encountering the same scene, that can not see something from the same angle.
© The Lion with Double Look 🙂