Monday, 21 May 2007

Mind sets and their overriding influence

     Just imagine it, from all the books lying around for me to pick, I picked David Peat's book, and from the 200-odd pages to pick out, I picked the page, page 33, that so fitted my current thinking mode. I have a chain of thoughts for that, which is not current, at present. It concerns anticipation, built in the firing sequences of reverberating cell assemblies, the kind John Holland deals with, in his book about emergence. The future prediction built in, in thought processing mechanisms, but leave it for now.
     This is the extract that so fitted my current thought patterns, that I feel compelled to write about. It is out of the book of F. David Peat, "Pathways of Chance", published in Italy by Pari Publishing at 2007.
     I will quote the extract, and follow it with my comments. "That brings me to another point; in most cases scientists see what they expect to see. Or rather they have theories and methods that allow them to make calculations for certain types of systems. These theories then become ways of seeing".
     Taking on the point made beyond the isolated group of people, scientists, the same holds for every group of individuals, and for every single individual for that matter. Each one of us, either as by virtue of membership to a group we identify ourselves in, or our very own self, we hold theories, systems of beliefs, ideas that we use to explain and make sense out of the constantly unfolding events around us, they become ways of seeing , our ways of seeing.
     "To take one example, for centuries scientists were able to make calculations for nice simple , linear systems that were close to equilibrium. This meant that everything they saw around them was linear and near to equilibrium. Anything else, anything that didn't fit into that way of seeing and calculating , was dismissed as an anomaly".
     That is exactly the way, everyone of us, acts as well. Our built in system of beliefs and ideas, our common-sense, which we use to explain the world around us, becomes so overriding, that we quite easily dismiss everything else, that does not fit in our currently held systems of beliefs and ideas, as an anomaly.
     Taking the matter further, our set frame of mind is responsible for what we see or we do not see at all, before we go on about dismissing it. As our mind is built out of the firing sequences of reverberating cell assemblies (John Holland again), in response to stimuli in the environment, if we have not built the corresponding reverberating cell assemblies, to a given sequence of stimuli, that stimuli sequence will not elicit a response, at all: leaving us, totally unaware of its presence. No response elicited, no imprint in our mind of its existence. We do not see that at all, next to the lines of, it did not and does not exist for us. Leaving us in an ignorant state of mind.
     Totally unseen, or dismissed, it would have been OK, if it stopped there. However as all the beliefs, ideas in the world, are there because of individuals, acting as group or single entities, carry them on, so when we dismiss as an anomaly unfit systems of beliefs and ideas, we dismiss as well the individuals and the groups they belong, as easily too. Such an act is expressed in our lives in various ways and some of these ways are not good. They are not good at all. But anyway. Leave that for now.
     Back to the extract, "But then chaos theory came along, a way of dealing with non-linear systems and systems that are far from equilibrium. Suddenly scientist began to see chaos, complexity and fractals everywhere-from the stock market to clouds, mountains and insect populations".
     And there is the crunch, since scientists shown the way, so we should follow suit. Since all life systems we have built and continue to build, of whatever scale, are inherently non-linear and far from equilibrium. In the process of unfolding our life events, we should stop looking at chaos as the destruction of order, we should delve into its creative potential too. Where there is death there comes along, follows suit, rebirth.

1 comment:

  1. For sure! I'll check out Peat's book as I'm not so familiar with him but we are a stick-in-our-mindrut kinda animal. Nice post!