Justin Riddle's Nested Observer Windows

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Cleric K
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Justin Riddle's Nested Observer Windows

Post by Cleric K »

Here's the latest video by JR:



There are also older videos that explore the same topic but now it seems things have been packaged in a paper.

Of course, things here still lean slightly on the abstract theoretical side, but I think it is great that such ideas make their way. In the end, it is the depth axis that needs to be awakened, and thinking through such ideas already kindles something. It is clear that this nested depth is the same as what in spiritual scientific terms the "I" feels to lie beneath it as soul, life, and physical body. That being said, the theory focuses on this lower half of our existence - our elemental nature. It is only hinted at the end that we can conceive of the NOWs going also up in scale, into collective and archetypal wholenesses.

Clearly, there's no 'right' theory of these things. They all should be considered as metaphors that artistically portray certain aspects of existence, while necessarily being unsuitable for others. For example, a certain system of thought that had a great influence on me (it practically allowed my scientifically biased intellectual self to discover its spiritual nature - that was before I found SS) can be found somewhat summarized here.

At that time, since I was still searching for the perfect ToE, much of the written acted as intellectual traps but I believe that through the phenomenological approach we're slowly refining here, we can safely enrich our metaphorical vocabulary with such works (even though the authors conceived them much more rigidly, not yet lucidly including in the picture the thinking process drawing the theory).
Federica
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Re: Justin Riddle's Nested Observer Windows

Post by Federica »

Thanks Cleric, I've enjoyed watching this video, JR explains the ideas really well!
The conceptual framework looks similar to the one Levin applies to cells in order to explain "life". Here the hierarchical approach is applied to brain activity in order to explain conscious experience. The difference is, the direction of hierarchical integration, starting from the object of inquiry, is reversed compared to Levin's. Here the nested widows are downward oriented. In Levin, the understanding of life is searched for above and beyond the cellular level, whilst JR seeks understanding of consciousness below and within the cerebral level. This may appear paradoxical, considering his own remark that it's so bizarre for us to think about the possibility of DID, or multiple personalities (or nested observer windows) coexisting and operating in interconnection, which is why there still is in the field what he calls a resistance against "DID being real" and, as a consequence, against the NOW model. It's because, he says, "ontologically/metaphysically we don't have a way to make sense of DID", of the coexistence of personalities/observer windows, while the NOW model does provide a way to account for it (interestingly, in BKs model DID also plays an important part). However, this innovative fluidity in the level at which the conscious unitary self is conceivable seems to paradoxically hit the ceiling of the brain, and interconnectedness is only unlocked downward (unless the NOW model is extended upwards in the future episode mentioned at the end of this one).

But as JR says, the model is very cool, and modular. On the premises that consciousness is in the brain - hence one-brain equals one conscious experience at the apex - it's interesting to see how conscious activity is read through the nested lower levels of consciousness: the end-user experience of thinking as we know it at the apex is conceived as an experience of "emergence", from the lower levels. Conversely, the experience of will, is conceptualized as a "submergence" where, at the top hierarchical one-brain perspective ("you"), the abstract idea of how “you” want to move your body is propagated down into the lower levels of the cognitive hierarchy. Commands are sent down through the hierarchy, into the body, with imperfect control, because the high level of detail managed by the sub-systems is too complex to be precisely known at the apex.

So the fact that this is only a ‘hybrid’ phenomenology - compressed into the concept of brain identity as starting point, rather than taking conscious experience as starting point - creates a half-right intuition where intentions and willful thoughts are sent down to activate the bodily will and interact in the sensory spectrum, but thoughts themselves “emerge” from the too-complex-to be-known nested processing of environmental information executed by the lower levels. I look forward to seeing how this is brought into the idea of collective consciousness in the next episode! For now, I think the coolest quote in this presentation is: “You mistake the content of your mind for your mind” :)
"As much or as little as healthy thinking has to do with the body, just so much and so little have the activities of a genuine training for supersensible knowledge. Any kind of training that affects man in a different way is no true spiritual training, but a caricature of it."
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Cleric K
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Re: Justin Riddle's Nested Observer Windows

Post by Cleric K »

Federica wrote: Tue Jun 11, 2024 12:25 pm Thanks Cleric, I've enjoyed watching this video, JR explains the ideas really well!
The conceptual framework looks similar to the one Levin applies to cells in order to explain "life". Here the hierarchical approach is applied to brain activity in order to explain conscious experience. The difference is, the direction of hierarchical integration, starting from the object of inquiry, is reversed compared to Levin's. Here the nested widows are downward oriented. In Levin, the understanding of life is searched for above and beyond the cellular level, whilst JR seeks understanding of consciousness below and within the cerebral level. This may appear paradoxical, considering his own remark that it's so bizarre for us to think about the possibility of DID, or multiple personalities (or nested observer windows) coexisting and operating in interconnection, which is why there still is in the field what he calls a resistance against "DID being real" and, as a consequence, against the NOW model. It's because, he says, "ontologically/metaphysically we don't have a way to make sense of DID", of the coexistence of personalities/observer windows, while the NOW model does provide a way to account for it (interestingly, in BKs model DID also plays an important part). However, this innovative fluidity in the level at which the conscious unitary self is conceivable seems to paradoxically hit the ceiling of the brain, and interconnectedness is only unlocked downward (unless the NOW model is extended upwards in the future episode mentioned at the end of this one).

But as JR says, the model is very cool, and modular. On the premises that consciousness is in the brain - hence one-brain equals one conscious experience at the apex - it's interesting to see how conscious activity is read through the nested lower levels of consciousness: the end-user experience of thinking as we know it at the apex is conceived as an experience of "emergence", from the lower levels. Conversely, the experience of will, is conceptualized as a "submergence" where, at the top hierarchical one-brain perspective ("you"), the abstract idea of how “you” want to move your body is propagated down into the lower levels of the cognitive hierarchy. Commands are sent down through the hierarchy, into the body, with imperfect control, because the high level of detail managed by the sub-systems is too complex to be precisely known at the apex.

So the fact that this is only a ‘hybrid’ phenomenology - compressed into the concept of brain identity as starting point, rather than taking conscious experience as starting point - creates a half-right intuition where intentions and willful thoughts are sent down to activate the bodily will and interact in the sensory spectrum, but thoughts themselves “emerge” from the too-complex-to be-known nested processing of environmental information executed by the lower levels. I look forward to seeing how this is brought into the idea of collective consciousness in the next episode! For now, I think the coolest quote in this presentation is: “You mistake the content of your mind for your mind” :)
Thanks Federica! Yes, there are two important steps that should be overseen.

One is the danger of taking the ego-apex as the highest window (which leads to the Toruk Makto fallacy). JR is certainly aware of this and I hope he'll elaborate on it in future videos. However, I can imagine he'll do that sparingly because it goes much further away from what his academic context is comfortable with (and even the lower half is already radical enough). The second danger is that even when the full spectrum is taken into account, it is still taken as an image within the lower half (like in this image). I really hope that JR will be vigilant about these traps, although, the demands of academia - to have testable theory/model - securely lock cognition in the lower half.

As a whole, I think that modern thinking gradually recognizes the need for an axis along spacetime scale (geometry and frequency). Even if taken in an abstract way, this scale relativity already has the power to loosen the iron grip of reductionism (same thing achieved by Levin's nested metamorphic mind fields). It's interesting that the latest Kurzgesagt video touches precisely on this problem.



Of course, it is painful to see how mainstream philosophy is still stuck in the same century-old questions while failing to recognize the existential context within which they arise. Nevertheless, pointing attention to the scale contextual hierarchy is still better than nothing.

The part at 7:00 illustrates nicely what JR also mentions - how we're somewhere along the gradient and we're barely in control of the layers further away. Of course, it will be nice if at some point these popular sources also recognize that this "we" refers to the intellectual self - thus the thinking process. Only in this way the road is opened for intuiting the other scales as spiritual activity at different orders.

Speaking of scale spacetime relativity, it is very interesting how our human experience gives us the sense of pace of time. This sense is so deeply background that it is rarely questioned. Modern science, for example, implicitly accepts that universal time passes at a certain rate - even in the absence of subjective experience of the passage of time.

However, this places us in a strange situation (what is described here will be considered from a perspective of consciousness emerging from an unconscious/mechanical universe). From our human experience we have some sense of fast and slow. Our cognitive life metamorphoses within the seconds range. For example, the pace at which we think a verbal thought is more or less the same as that at which we can speak (after all, verbal thinking is like inner simulation of speaking or remembering speech). Similarly, we can think with other kinds of gestures at the pace at which we can physically perform them. Adding numbers in our mind takes time at the order it would take to do the addition with an abacus (and in fact our mental addition usually simulates some kind of such physical addition of beads, fingers, etc.)

These activities are embedded in longer spans of time. We have some sense of how much such inner activities we can fit in an hour, a day, a year, etc. At the same time, there are processes that happen too rapidly for us to follow. The speed at the cellular and molecular scale is such that if we had to follow it at the pace we're used to in our normal life, a movement of an arm will feel like taking months or years.

All this can be illustrated through gears analogy:

Image

A clock is also such a geared apparatus. The seconds arrow moves at a pace that we feel comfortable with, our cognition easily ticks at such rates. The movement of the minutes arrow we can barely notice and even less so for the hours. On the other side, if we had a microseconds arrow, that would be of very little use because at a thousand rotations per second, it would be seen as a blurry disc.

This is all elementary stuff. Things happen at different rates - big deal. OK, but if we take our physicalist science in the absence of subjective experience of time, what is the pace of time? According to who? What is fast and what is slow? The mathematics only shows us the ratios of the modeled processes. A thing like 'pace of time' simply doesn't exist in the maths.

For example, when we think of evolution in the standardly accepted way, we conceive that life has been evolving for billions of years. The few millennia in which humanity has been intellectually awake are like a blink of an eye in relation to these unimaginable time spans. Yet can we say that this is a long time? It is assumed that the first cells appeared some 3.8 billion years ago. When we think about it it feels like sooo much time has passed without anything particularly interesting happening. But this would be the case only if a cognition operating at the seconds scale had to follow this process. Assuming that there was no such consciousness, is there even any sense of speaking of how long it took? For example, if we manually rotate the hours arrow of a clock (assuming that gears are rigidly linked) the minute arrow will rotate very fast and the seconds arrow even faster. Can we then imagine that before consciousness awakened, an invisible hand rotated the larger universal gears and thus all the lesser gears rotated blazingly fast to the point just at emergence of consciousness? And why take any time at all? Why not rotate it almost instantly such that the whole time from the Big Bang to the present is wound up in a jiffy (by moving just a fraction of a degree of some almost infinitely large universal gear)?

Such an idea would meet inner resistance. One would say "This is not possible, things can't happen so fast, the universe needs to calculate all processes and this takes time. Here, however, we become completely tangled in our thinking. We implicitly imagine things in this way because we secretly think of a computer that simulates the universe. Such a computer operates at a certain rate and thus the calculation takes time which we need to endure consciously. The fact is that in absence of such enduring experience, all sense of pace of time loses meaning. All we have are timeless relations and no preferred gear rate at which they can be followed.

I'm not trying to develop some concrete idea here. I just find it fascinating how any attempt to think of the Cosmos as something mechanical and independent, becomes completely ambiguous as soon as we try to think about the pace of time.

In the phenomenological approach things are different. I don't know if it has been deliberately chosen but the abbreviature NOW makes an important reference to time. In a sense, we know only an eternal now. It's not just a spatial window but a Moment of experience. If the rhythms of the now are completely self-similar, as we can metaphorically depict like this:

Image

then fast and slow don't have meaning - a rotation at any scale is indistinguishable from rotation at any other scale. It is not possible for one scale to serve as a context for another. However, if the rhythms have different qualitative natures, then our now feels as placed somewhere within the spacetime contextuality. Now we feel as if the gear at our thinking scale must turn so and so many times before a larger gear makes a full revolution, which we anticipate as, say, being on vacation. It is a very powerful step when we begin to grasp time not as an axis that goes in the past and future but as nested rotations (of intuitive intents), which all happen in the NOW, yet their relative phases lead to unique rhythmic relations that need to be endured until they approach self-similarity and thus eternity/timelessness.
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AshvinP
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Re: Justin Riddle's Nested Observer Windows

Post by AshvinP »

Cleric K wrote: Wed Jun 12, 2024 10:49 am In the phenomenological approach things are different. I don't know if it has been deliberately chosen but the abbreviature NOW makes an important reference to time. In a sense, we know only an eternal now. It's not just a spatial window but a Moment of experience. If the rhythms of the now are completely self-similar, as we can metaphorically depict like this:

...

then fast and slow don't have meaning - a rotation at any scale is indistinguishable from rotation at any other scale. It is not possible for one scale to serve as a context for another. However, if the rhythms have different qualitative natures, then our now feels as placed somewhere within the spacetime contextuality. Now we feel as if the gear at our thinking scale must turn so and so many times before a larger gear makes a full revolution, which we anticipate as, say, being on vacation. It is a very powerful step when we begin to grasp time not as an axis that goes in the past and future but as nested rotations (of intuitive intents), which all happen in the NOW, yet their relative phases lead to unique rhythmic relations that need to be endured until they approach self-similarity and thus eternity/timelessness.

Thanks, Cleric and Federica, for sharing the JR video and this fascinating discussion. I am still working on the next essay part, but as usual, things have become very resonant :) In fact, I decided to take a stab at addressing this NOW issue early on, but it's difficult for me to assess how coherent it is. I will share the relevant excerpts here, keeping in mind there is some discussion that is omitted between the paragraphs. Hopefully, it helps orient readers to nested Time-consciousness to some extent and I am open to any suggestions for refining the ideas or the clarity of the presentation.

***

Very little attention is normally paid to the rhythms through which our meaningful experience unfolds, even though they are obvious and ubiquitous in that experience. The great rhythms of the Sun, Moon, planets, and stars structure our epochal, yearly, seasonal, monthly, weekly, and daily cycles (among others). There are the biological rhythms of Nature, including those of the human organism. The plant, animal, and human bodies are essentially a complex of overlapping rhythms such as breathing, blood circulation, hormonal, metabolic, reproductive, etc. Such rhythms speak volumes about the nature of humanity and the World if we remain attentive to their inner gestures, rather than only their outer appearances. It is through them that the Spirit manifests its contextualized intents within sensory life in a temporally patterned and therefore somewhat predictable way. Even the sense-perceptible physical body undergoes a periodic rhythm by which its entire material structure is pushed out into the surrounding environment and built anew from spiritual forces within. Most simply assume the material constituents are the same because they fail to perceive how it is destroyed, reduced to chaos, and new matter brought into manifest existence.
...
There are also the rhythms of human culture – religious rites and festivals, financial boom/bust cycles, political cycles, and so on – as well as those of the individual psyche and spirit – the oscillating rhythms of sympathies and antipathies, fears and desires, and, uniquely to humans, ideas and ideals. These rhythms characterize the polarized states of being a relative perspective endures within various domains of experience (sensory, emotional, mental) in the pursuit of conscious or unconscious intents. That is quite obvious in the case of psychic rhythms, but it is more difficult to notice for sensory rhythms that seem unrelated to our intents. In that case, people simply start to assume the outer rhythms reflect ironclad ‘laws of nature’ that have always been the same (uniformitarianism). We cannot afford any such assumptions if we aim to retrace the inner significance of the ever-evolving outer rhythms. Even at a superficial level, it is clear that evolving human ideas are completely entangled with natural rhythms. For example, the technology of geoengineering aims to modulate the Earth’s climate rhythms and that of gynecology aims to modulate reproductive rhythms. That is possible only if there is lawful continuity between rhythms of all domains and at all scales. In other words, it is possible only if all the rhythms are animated by spiritual activity at various ‘states of aggregation’.
...
The retracing technique does not try to capture that activity in fully formed concepts, but rather seeks to cognitively feel its way into the ongoing flow of activity before it is crystallized in concepts and perceptions. It allows the spirit to expand its state of resonance outwards and inwards, so to speak, into the normally subconscious elemental and archetypal rhythms, the macrocosmic intents and their microcosmic reflections. Then we gain intuitive sensitivity for how our inner impulses are inextricably bound up with those animating the World rhythms. The experience of each individual is contextualized by all of these superimposed rhythms that are intimately related to one another and whose unfolding can be retraced to purely inner relations. The individual rhythms of the mental space are the ones that put us into the most intimate experiential connection with the essential nature of the broader World rhythms, but as mentioned above, they lack a sense of substantial reality. They have been deprived of the life force that is characteristic of the deeper biological and physiological rhythms.
...
The modern initiation of spiritual retracing, on the other hand, begins with the least attenuated activity, where the spirit observes the flow of pure thought-perceptions (mental pictures or inner voice sounds) that manifest in-phase with its activity. It then gradually brings that activity in-phase with the higher-order activity that animates the constraining rhythms. Normally, these constraints are conceived as being extended across long temporal spans. For example, the psychic constraints of beliefs, opinions, interests, character, temperament are conceived as aspects of soul life that we have gradually built up through many life experiences and ideas, through the endurance of many states of being. Yet at the foundation of such psychic constraints are holistic intents; more integrated spiritual activity which serves as resistance for our conceptual activity. These more integrated forms of spiritual activity are superimposed on our momentary states of perception and can be retraced.
...
One of the most difficult mental obstacles to overcome in orienting to this possibility of retracing into the World rhythms is that of linear sequential time, i.e. a set of infinite moments are felt to exist in a domain of receding experience that we call the ‘past’ or ‘memory’ and another set of such moments is felt to exist in the domain of non-existent experience that we call the ‘future’. Both of these domains are felt to exist quite independently of the spirit’s activity, and the latter is felt as contained ‘inside’ the immutable march of sequential moments. With such a mental habit, it will always be difficult to sense the temporal depth that exists within each moment of existence. We tried to decondition a bit from that habit in Parts V and VI through the discussion of relative contextual perspectives structuring each other’s flow of temporal experience. We spoke of how a momentary imaginative intent of the angelic perspective structures many conceptual-sensory human states of being spread across time. By retracing into the former through concentration, we make more and more sense of the latter.

We can also use the following experiment to gain a better orientation to how our retracing technique leads into these temporally thick layers of our momentary state.
Galileo Galilei's pendulum experiments began in 1602 and lasted for much of his life. He was inspired to study pendulums after noticing a lamp swinging back and forth in a church in Pisa while he was still a student there. Galileo observed that the lamp repeated the same pattern of swing each time, and used his pulse to time the swing. He concluded that the time it takes for a pendulum to complete a single oscillation, or period, is constant. Galileo also discovered that the period of swing is independent of the pendulum's amplitude.




In our context, we can take the amplitude or the ‘sweep volume’ of the pendulum to represent the number of states of being (including sensations, emotions, thoughts, intents) that are experienced within a contextual sphere of experience at any given current moment. The length of string is the central axis that all relative perspectives share in common, the fundamental rhythm of intuition-perception that we explored in Part VI. Since the central axis remains constant, it takes the same amount of time for the spirit (pendulum) to sweep a large spectrum of states in a higher contextual sphere as it does for it to sweep a smaller spectrum of states in a lower sphere. In other words, we can say that, implicit in any momentary state of existence experienced within the fourth sphere is also the spectrum of all possible states of existence within the higher spheres. The former can only carry the meaning it does because of that implicit depth context which exists within the same ‘current moment’. If we can stabilize the oscillations within any given momentary state, as discussed in Part VI, we become more and more sensitive to the wider spectrum of states that is always present in the former. This wider spectrum encompasses states that are felt to be both ‘past’ and ‘future’ in relation to our momentary conceptual-sensory perspective. (Cosmic Memory, GA 11 Ch XIII)

Through this principle, significant light is shed on many phenomenal rhythms of the Cosmos and within the human organism. For example, we know that the human embryo recapitulates the entire history of organic development before it reaches something like the current human form. Such phenomena only become somewhat comprehensible in a concrete way when we discern how the processes at work in the mother’s womb within the span of months sweep a volume of states that can only be swept over thousands and thousands of years in outer nature. It is a similar principle with many chemical reactions that occur within the human organism in the process of digestion – these same processes span much longer durations when taking place in outer nature. Another example is the conjunction between planets that occur periodically and, while they only last for maybe a few days, they structure Earthly states of being for many years. When the rising Sun at the vernal equinox coincides with a new Zodiacal sign, it structures humanity’s states of being for about 2,100 years.

So we see that, far from being some exotic speculations with only philosophical relevance, these principles of Time-consciousness help us understand how the experiential realities within us and around us truly unfold, not through mechanisms, but through organic and ideal rhythms that overlap and contextualize one another. They help make transparent phenomenal realities that would otherwise remain ‘occult’.
"A secret law contrives,
To give time symmetry:
There is, within our lives,
An exact mystery."
Federica
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Re: Justin Riddle's Nested Observer Windows

Post by Federica »

Cleric K wrote: Wed Jun 12, 2024 10:49 am Thanks Federica! Yes, there are two important steps that should be overseen.

One is the danger of taking the ego-apex as the highest window (which leads to the Toruk Makto fallacy). JR is certainly aware of this and I hope he'll elaborate on it in future videos. However, I can imagine he'll do that sparingly because it goes much further away from what his academic context is comfortable with (and even the lower half is already radical enough). The second danger is that even when the full spectrum is taken into account, it is still taken as an image within the lower half (like in this image). I really hope that JR will be vigilant about these traps, although, the demands of academia - to have testable theory/model - securely lock cognition in the lower half.

As a whole, I think that modern thinking gradually recognizes the need for an axis along spacetime scale (geometry and frequency). Even if taken in an abstract way, this scale relativity already has the power to loosen the iron grip of reductionism (same thing achieved by Levin's nested metamorphic mind fields). It's interesting that the latest Kurzgesagt video touches precisely on this problem.



Of course, it is painful to see how mainstream philosophy is still stuck in the same century-old questions while failing to recognize the existential context within which they arise. Nevertheless, pointing attention to the scale contextual hierarchy is still better than nothing.

The part at 7:00 illustrates nicely what JR also mentions - how we're somewhere along the gradient and we're barely in control of the layers further away. Of course, it will be nice if at some point these popular sources also recognize that this "we" refers to the intellectual self - thus the thinking process. Only in this way the road is opened for intuiting the other scales as spiritual activity at different orders.

Speaking of scale spacetime relativity, it is very interesting how our human experience gives us the sense of pace of time. This sense is so deeply background that it is rarely questioned. Modern science, for example, implicitly accepts that universal time passes at a certain rate - even in the absence of subjective experience of the passage of time.

However, this places us in a strange situation (what is described here will be considered from a perspective of consciousness emerging from an unconscious/mechanical universe). From our human experience we have some sense of fast and slow. Our cognitive life metamorphoses within the seconds range. For example, the pace at which we think a verbal thought is more or less the same as that at which we can speak (after all, verbal thinking is like inner simulation of speaking or remembering speech). Similarly, we can think with other kinds of gestures at the pace at which we can physically perform them. Adding numbers in our mind takes time at the order it would take to do the addition with an abacus (and in fact our mental addition usually simulates some kind of such physical addition of beads, fingers, etc.)

These activities are embedded in longer spans of time. We have some sense of how much such inner activities we can fit in an hour, a day, a year, etc. At the same time, there are processes that happen too rapidly for us to follow. The speed at the cellular and molecular scale is such that if we had to follow it at the pace we're used to in our normal life, a movement of an arm will feel like taking months or years.

All this can be illustrated through gears analogy:

Image

A clock is also such a geared apparatus. The seconds arrow moves at a pace that we feel comfortable with, our cognition easily ticks at such rates. The movement of the minutes arrow we can barely notice and even less so for the hours. On the other side, if we had a microseconds arrow, that would be of very little use because at a thousand rotations per second, it would be seen as a blurry disc.

This is all elementary stuff. Things happen at different rates - big deal. OK, but if we take our physicalist science in the absence of subjective experience of time, what is the pace of time? According to who? What is fast and what is slow? The mathematics only shows us the ratios of the modeled processes. A thing like 'pace of time' simply doesn't exist in the maths.

For example, when we think of evolution in the standardly accepted way, we conceive that life has been evolving for billions of years. The few millennia in which humanity has been intellectually awake are like a blink of an eye in relation to these unimaginable time spans. Yet can we say that this is a long time? It is assumed that the first cells appeared some 3.8 billion years ago. When we think about it it feels like sooo much time has passed without anything particularly interesting happening. But this would be the case only if a cognition operating at the seconds scale had to follow this process. Assuming that there was no such consciousness, is there even any sense of speaking of how long it took? For example, if we manually rotate the hours arrow of a clock (assuming that gears are rigidly linked) the minute arrow will rotate very fast and the seconds arrow even faster. Can we then imagine that before consciousness awakened, an invisible hand rotated the larger universal gears and thus all the lesser gears rotated blazingly fast to the point just at emergence of consciousness? And why take any time at all? Why not rotate it almost instantly such that the whole time from the Big Bang to the present is wound up in a jiffy (by moving just a fraction of a degree of some almost infinitely large universal gear)?

Such an idea would meet inner resistance. One would say "This is not possible, things can't happen so fast, the universe needs to calculate all processes and this takes time. Here, however, we become completely tangled in our thinking. We implicitly imagine things in this way because we secretly think of a computer that simulates the universe. Such a computer operates at a certain rate and thus the calculation takes time which we need to endure consciously. The fact is that in absence of such enduring experience, all sense of pace of time loses meaning. All we have are timeless relations and no preferred gear rate at which they can be followed.

I'm not trying to develop some concrete idea here. I just find it fascinating how any attempt to think of the Cosmos as something mechanical and independent, becomes completely ambiguous as soon as we try to think about the pace of time.

In the phenomenological approach things are different. I don't know if it has been deliberately chosen but the abbreviature NOW makes an important reference to time. In a sense, we know only an eternal now. It's not just a spatial window but a Moment of experience. If the rhythms of the now are completely self-similar, as we can metaphorically depict like this:

Image

then fast and slow don't have meaning - a rotation at any scale is indistinguishable from rotation at any other scale. It is not possible for one scale to serve as a context for another. However, if the rhythms have different qualitative natures, then our now feels as placed somewhere within the spacetime contextuality. Now we feel as if the gear at our thinking scale must turn so and so many times before a larger gear makes a full revolution, which we anticipate as, say, being on vacation. It is a very powerful step when we begin to grasp time not as an axis that goes in the past and future but as nested rotations (of intuitive intents), which all happen in the NOW, yet their relative phases lead to unique rhythmic relations that need to be endured until they approach self-similarity and thus eternity/timelessness.


Perhaps the first trap (staying within in the lower half) could be managed even within academia, for example with evidence à la Sheldrake. I imagine Riddle will do novel research, conceive new experiments. I guess the second trap (the third-person perspective) could only be overcome within a different academia from today's, though its battlements are slowly (or fast) crumbling. For example, today anyone can easily access these novel research pathways on Youtube. It didn’t use to be like that. Some scientists are still trying to proudly consider themselves as members of an elite of exclusive possessors of knowledge, who deserve deference, and are entitled to a prescriptive role in society with regards to what they consider the laymen, but luckily it is less and less so. But very nice video! Hopefully more and more scientists will emerge from the reductionist grip along reasoning such as illustrated in this video.

An interesting thought experiment would be to imagine how future academia could work, and how the evolution from present-day academia could look like. What kind of experiments could be run, how disciplines could cross-fertilize much more, how phenomenological experience will be integrated (real first-person); how peer reviewing will evolve as a consequence, how publication will work, how funding will work, and so on.


Thank you for the time walkthrough! I’ve tried to take advantage of it to think through the ideas again.


Speaking of scale spacetime relativity, it is very interesting how our human experience gives us the sense of pace of time.

Yes. I believe the sense of pace of time is simply the common sense of time itself. So I believe that, through this focus on fast and slow pace, you are facilitating understanding of the whole experience of time, and how it is inevitably bound to (human) consciousness.


From our human experience we have some sense of fast and slow.

This makes me think of the 2010s popular book “Thinking fast and slow” by Daniel Kahneman, and how that work was entirely developed within the two traps - lower half and third-person. Now in the 2020s, a new “Thinking fast and slow” approach is being established, with posts like this. If it only could also become a NY Times bestseller, in the future :)


Similarly, we can think with other kinds of gestures at the pace at which we can physically perform them.

I think one can go faster with thinking gestures. Right now I’m learning new gym class choreographies, as I do every third month, and I appreciate how faster I can learn, by performing them in my mind rather than really trying them out. Through the years I’ve improved that, and now I learn exclusively in thought, saving tons of time compared to how I did as a beginner, 5 or 6 years ago. But anyway, yes, the mental and physical gestures proceed within the same order of pace.


Yet can we say that this is a long time? It is assumed that the first cells appeared some 3.8 billion years ago. When we think about it it feels like sooo much time has passed without anything particularly interesting happening. But this would be the case only if a cognition operating at the seconds scale had to follow this process.Assuming that there was no such consciousness, is there even any sense of speaking of how long it took?

Yes. That is, is there even any sense of speaking of time as linear (long/short) extension, however scaled/paced. The intellectual link is made very approachable here.


Why not rotate it almost instantly such that the whole time from the Big Bang to the present is wound up in a jiffy (by moving just a fraction of a degree of some almost infinitely large universal gear)?

Such an idea would meet inner resistance. One would say "This is not possible, things can't happen so fast, the universe needs to calculate all processes and this takes time. Here, however, we become completely tangled in our thinking. We implicitly imagine things in this way because we secretly think of a computer that simulates the universe.


In this way, we make the mathematical ghost a seamless god, and anthropomorphized. And we make him into the third-party custodian of the passing time.


The fact is that in absence of such enduring experience, all sense of pace of time loses meaning. All we have are timeless relations and no preferred gear rate at which they can be followed."

Yes, the enduring experience is the only reality of “pace of time”. And here comes the more difficult part: “timeless relations”. Relations persist, or exist, beyond the passing of time. We are drawn to connect the passing with pace and endurance, and to project those timeless relations into the orthogonal Earthly experience, through the spatial connector.


In the phenomenological approach things are different.(..) In a sense, we know only an eternal now. It's not just a spatial window but a Moment of experience. If the rhythms of the now are completely self-similar (...) then fast and slow don't have meaning - a rotation at any scale is indistinguishable from rotation at any other scale. It is not possible for one scale to serve as a context for another.

Yes, until we move through the experience of thought-pictures - normal cognition - we have space between thoughts, and we use our comfortable pace reference as measure for positioning everything else on the experiential map as we flow through it. But when we let thinking take over and expand the now around the concentration focus, we are moving towards rotational self-similarity, which is the means by which the relations can be exposed to us. The relations are embryonically present in the now, but happen, or unfold, in form of collapsed storylines, and according to harmonious interconnectedness.
"As much or as little as healthy thinking has to do with the body, just so much and so little have the activities of a genuine training for supersensible knowledge. Any kind of training that affects man in a different way is no true spiritual training, but a caricature of it."
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