The Nature of Consciousness

Piero Scaruffi

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These are excerpts and elaborations from my book "The Nature of Consciousness"

The Prodigy of Stability

Chaos is a matter of life in this universe. What is surprising is that we do not live in chaos. We live in almost absolute stability. The computer I am writing on right now is made of a few billion particles of all kinds that interact according to mechanic, gravitational, electric, magnetic, weak and strong forces.

The equations to describe just a tiny portion of this computer would take up all my life.  Nonetheless, every morning I know exactly how to turn on my computer and every day I know exactly how to operate on it. And the "stability" of my computer will last for a long time, until it completely breaks down.  My body exhibits the same kind of stability (for a few decades, at least), so much so that friends recognize me when they see me and every year the IRS can claim my tax returns (no quantum uncertainty there). 

Stability is what we are built to care for. We care very little about the inner processes that lead to the formation of a tomato plant: we care for the tomatoes. We care very little for the microscopic processes that led a face to be what it is: we care for what "it looks like". At these levels stability is enormous. Shape, size, position are stable for a number of days, weeks, months, maybe years. Variations are minimal and slow.  The more we get into the detail of what we were not built to deal with, the more confused (complex and chaotic) matter looks to us, with zillions and zillions of minuscule particles in permanent motion. 

Science was originally built to explain the world at the "natural" level.  Somehow scientists started digging into the structure of matter and reached for lower and lower levels. The laws of Physics got more and more complicated, less and less useful for the everyman. 

Even more surprising, each level of granularity (and therefore complexity) seems largely independent of the lower and higher levels. Sociology doesn't really need Anatomy and Anatomy doesn't really need Chemistry and Chemistry doesn't really need Quantum Theory. 

The smaller we get the more the universe becomes messy, incomprehensible, continuously changing, very unstable. We have grown used to thinking that this is the real universe, because the ultimate reduction is the ultimate truth.

The surprising thing is that at higher levels we only see stability. How does chaos turn into stability? We witness systems that can create stability, order, symmetry out of immense chaos.

One answer is that maybe it is only a matter of perception. Our body was built to perceive things at this level, and at that level things appear to be stable just because our senses have been built to perceive them stable.  If our senses weren't able to make order out of chaos, we wouldn't be able to operate in our environment. 

Another answer, of course, could be that all other levels are inherently false... 


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