Tracing the stages of the origins

and development of mental processes

     The emergence of mind, as a complex of perceptual, emotive, problem-solving and execution processes and programs in living things, marks the beginning of a qualitatively new phenomenon and process in Nature compared to all other pre-mind energy and matter forms that appear in its evolutionary journey. We propose that unlike other phenomena, mental processes cannot be explained at the level of standard physics and chemistry. Hence to understand the origins of this new kind of phenomenon, which distinguishes living things from ordinary inorganic and organic forms, we need to go back to that stage in the history of Nature where organic substances start emerging from inorganic processes and then acquire a cellular form. Doing so will also cast some light on the formation, structure and operating mechanism of mental processes as distinct from ordinary pre-cellular inorganic and organic substances. 

 

The journey of complex organic substances acquiring the form of internally unstable cellular formations and the need for mental processes 

 

Going back to inorganic processes we find that their inner structure is based upon relatively simple and well-known physical and chemical processes, which can be understood in terms of standard physics and chemistry. And the outer environment with which they interact has tremendous variation. The nature of this interaction is such that the environment impacts upon these inorganic forms, and they respond in accordance with their (above mentioned) inner laws. And during the process of interaction these forms break up, fresh permutations and combinations are produced, and some other compounds are formed resulting in new kinds of interactions. As this interactive process proceeds there arises more complexity in the physical and chemical processes of these inorganic forms. Until in the fullness of time new permutations and combinations produce organic molecules like amino acids or hydrocarbons that are of another level of complexity compared to inorganic substances. 

 

These molecules, like inorganic ones, also go through a journey of interactions, permutations and combinations, and formation of new compounds producing more varieties of interactions. The growing complexity of this process results in the formation of even more complex organic molecular structures. So now there are type A (simple) and type B (more advanced and complex) organic substances. From the latter arise the beginnings of cellular structures or living cells in Nature. 

 

The cellular structure is a form that becomes internally capable of motion and reaching out to the environment for interaction instead of waiting for the environment to act upon it. It is important to understand why it starts behaving in this peculiar manner compared to inorganic molecules. 

 

The reason is the emergence of an internal instability in type B organic formations, which did not exist in earlier substances including the simple, type A organic molecules. In the former not only the particles of their atoms, but even their molecules come in a state of unstable motion. We can refer to this internal instability as an ‘unbalanced’ state with reference to the earlier stability that we may call a ‘balanced’ state. For instance, the particles of an atom are in motion but their motion is balanced vis-à-vis each other hence the atom is in a balanced state. Its inner balance produces an outer stability. Similarly, in the case of inorganic and type A organic substances we find their molecules also in a balanced state vis-à-vis each other. That is why they are internally stable in the sense that left to themselves or deprived of any interaction with the environment, they would retain their form. But in type B organic formations, approaching a cellular structure, the molecules themselves start behaving in an unbalanced manner vis-à-vis each other and therefore there is instability within their molecular structure. 

 

The nature of this imbalance is actually of a ‘need’ originating from an imperfect form. We can explain this through the example of an inorganic element like potassium that comes very close to this condition. Potassium in its pure form is a rare case of a nearly unbalanced state. That is why in chemistry, in common parlance, we say that it has great ‘affinity’ for oxygen. In reality it is in a state where its particle structure is just barely balanced due to which it exists in a state of constant tension, and seeks to balance itself by combining with oxygen. Consequently when we put a piece of potassium in a bowl of water, it immediately bursts into flames. This happens because it is extremely ‘hungry’, a figure of speech to express its extreme imbalance, which makes it rush to extract oxygen from water. 

 

Normally in Nature there are balanced states within the molecules of inorganic substances or even simple, type A organic substances but this is not a universal principle because there is a difference of degrees. What the example of potassium shows us is that certain inorganic forms, due to their already existing unbalanced state will internally take the initiative to interact with the environment and not wait for the environment to act upon them. We can see that it is potassium that takes the initiative to interact with the water molecule, and not water that acts upon it. There is a similar situation in type B organic structures approaching a cellular form, except that it is not the particles of the atom but molecules that are taking the initiative. These structures are made of different kinds of molecules, which are in interconnection with each other, but not in a balanced state. Hence like potassium they take the initiative to interact with the outside environment.

 

Moreover, the external environment is also unbalanced because of tremendous variation and variety.  Environment we must realize includes the whole of Nature, constituting a whole variety of natural forms in motion. Thus we now have an unstable, changing external environment, along with the process of imbalance within an emerging cellular form based on type B organic substances.

 

With cellular structures arises the issue of failure of form, in its interaction with an unstable environment; a problem that neither exists in internally stable forms nor the unstable ones like potassium. When an internally stable form is hit by something in Nature, it breaks up into something else, but there is no failure of the form, and neither is it perceived as such, because the form does not have a compulsory balance. The internal balances of pre-cellular structures are normally in an optional state. To take an example, salt or sugar when dissolved in water change their form, but there is no failure of these substances. They just move onto another form without any resistance.

 

But with the emerging cellular forms, a prior ‘tension’ emerges within them to preserve their form alongside the existence of an internally unbalanced state. So a contradiction arises between the presence of a tension to preserve the form, and an unbalanced state. In things like salt or sugar there is no ‘tension’ to preserve their form, and consequently no resistance towards changing into some other state. Similarly, there is no ‘tension’ in potassium when kept in kerosene oil. It ‘happily’ stays there and does not jump out due to some compulsion from within it. Tension arises once we take potassium out of kerosene oil and bring it into contact with an environment in which oxygen is present. But cellular forms are different in this respect. They have a need, an inbuilt tension for things from the outside, which if not satisfied, results in failure of form leading to its break down into simpler inorganic forms that are tension free. Thus failure in essence means that the process of inner tension to preserve the form breaks down if the form does not succeed in getting from the environment what it wants. 

 

The emergence of cellular formations therefore unleashes a double dynamic in Nature, arising out of the dynamics of both external and internal unstable states coming into contact and interaction. The external dynamic comes from variations and variety in Nature, while the internal emerges out of the tension in the collection of molecules of type B substances. 

Harnessing of massless energy forms by more complex unicellular, plant and animal forms to produce mental processes 

 

Having seen the failure of cellular forms let us now focus on the cases of success, where the tense and imbalanced cellular form succeeds in getting from the environment what it needs. It is the series of such successes over the course of evolution that eventually results in cellular formations becoming bigger. But their instability does not end; it only reaches a higher order in them. The reason being its multiplication due to an interconnection and interaction between a much larger collection of molecules. In consequence of which the sum total of tension becomes even greater and no longer remains a one-time tension. In addition, every time it is satisfied it multiplies, so there is a continuously spiraling tension process.

 

Then a stage comes when the cellular form develops to acquire a complex of very strong and growing tensions, which require an equally complex mechanism for operating them. In a cellular formation, the tension structures become many-sided requiring multiple functions to be performed simultaneously, so the previous mechanical way of simply reaching out for things, as potassium does for oxygen, no longer remains adequate. It can only produce a lot of failures or rejections.  

 

Meanwhile new permutations and combinations keep arising in the formation of cellular structures, and clusters of cells keep growing in accordance with their mechanical functions and processes. Until a time comes when they begin failing, because mechanical processes cannot cope with the many-sided and parallel functions required by emerging cellular structures. With this situation a qualitatively new problem arises in Nature—of moving to a new plane of functions. The existing cellular forms have to now move on (through a process of trial and error) to another much more complex, and new quality of functions beyond the existing mechanical functions. 

 

To acquire the above functions, the hitherto simple chemical and physical processes of molecules, atoms and heavier energy particles like protons, neutrons and even electrons are no longer adequate. Hence a new factor comes into play in consequence of the accumulated failure of cellular forms. And that is the incorporation of a variety of massless magnetic energy forms in the mechanism of cellular functioning.   

 

What saves advanced cellular structures from repeated failure, is their harnessing (through trial and error) of massless magnetic energy forms to perform specific functions. Nature goes on experimenting through trial and error until it comes up with a successful device for harnessing these virtually massless energy forms into functional devices where they can perform specific functions relevant to the needs and tensions of complex cellular forms. That is when we have the beginning of mental processes, which due to the incorporation of these massless magnetic energy forms are a non-biological process. 

 

We find the most elementary form of mental processes in unicellular life forms. And when significantly more complex, multicellular botanical life forms evolve, they produce more developed mental processes in quantity and variety in order to fulfill their advanced and extensive (compared to unicellular life) tension and need processes. To generate this quantity and variety they must also have evolved correspondingly elaborate mechanics. With the emergence of animal life forms, there is an even greater quantitative and qualitative development of mental processes. Wherein both the number and variety of mental formations and functions, and their dynamic increases infinitely compared to plants. This enables them to cope far more successfully and efficiently with their manifold tensions. And it is this process which eventually leads to the formation of specialized cells like neurons, and finally the brain, which then generates the complex mechanics for producing mental processes.     

 

In animals, every ‘tension’ requires its own set of perceptions, which inevitably need some form of identification software. Because all signals going into the brain through sensory organs would be meaningless without a whole package of identification software and also hardware to operate them. After this a process of problem solving is required to find solutions to different tensions. And for implementing these solutions, there must be devices to reach out for things in the external environment. Because now the inner instability requires the biological form to reach out purposefully and in a directed and complex manner to its environment. And this cannot be achieved in one step but through many multi-step stages, i.e., of perception, cognition, problem solving, and then implementation of solutions. Once this entire apparatus gets installed in the animal life forms then the journey of their mental processes begins as distinct from the mental processes of botanical and earlier complex cellular forms. 

 

On a parallel level the need arises for mental processes of biological forms (animal and botanical), to become repeatable, which means their basic designs need to get installed in genes and then passed on through reproduction. In our view, the origins of genes as mechanisms encoding templates for the formation and functioning of both physiological and mental processes can be seen when cellular forms acquired the capability of harnessing massless energy forms into working devices for performing specific functions of perception, problem solving and response. It is this capability and the specific functions it began to generate that set into motion a process of developing physiological organs and parts such as eyes, ears, nose, and other response organs like limbs, wings etc., corresponding to and specifically designed for those specific mental functions. 

 

Thus we propose that the variety of biological forms we observe in evolution are a product of both the specific environments in which those forms existed and interacted with, and the nature of processing and solutions sought by their mental processes to address and fulfill biological tensions from the environment. A full-fledged genetic mechanism encoding templates for mental processes as well as biological processes was also therefore a requirement of mental processes. An entire complex of many genes involved in the making of biological processes save mental processes from every time discovering the new biological forms they need. Thus what we are dealing with today in human beings are mental processes coming from these origins. 

 

Understanding the current state of instability in human mental processes and how to address it 

 

When human beings evolve and develop language, a completely new order of complexity emerges. They become capable of retaining the answers to their tensions not only in their genes but also in their mental processes. With language humans start to abstract the tensions of their inner instability and imbalance at the biological and nervous levels, and incorporate them at the mental level. This is a qualitative change because the inherent biological imbalance that previously operated at a purely biological level is now transferred by way of language to their mental processes. Formerly when there was ‘a’ tension at ‘a’ given time there was a response in accordance with biological and corresponding mental genetic programmes known as animal instincts. But with the advent of language in humans the process of interaction of their inner imbalance with external imbalance starts getting transferred to their mental processes, where they begin to build upon those tensions and their answers on the abstract level, even without a biological stimulus.

 

The above process of transferring biological tensions and responses to the mental processes began to take place, albeit at very limited level, even before the advent of language, in higher animals (monkeys, dogs, dolphins, etc) in which a more developed behaviour pattern can be observed. But with the advent of human language this process explodes, where alongside problem solving, which was always a mental process, the process of problem identification also gets transferred to the mental realm. In the case of other species, whether mammals, birds, or insects, identification of a problem occurs in terms of biological behaviour based upon a biological stimulus like light, odor, or some sound (or other chemical or hormonal changes within the biological process). With human language this process becomes completely abstraction based, and breaks its connection from the biological stimulus as well as mechanism, which was sensitive to environmental signals and led to behavioral responses. 

 

Human beings start manufacturing their problems as well as their solutions in their minds at the verbal level, and hence go beyond their genetic programmes. Words give them a kind of autonomy from genes, which carry the templates of their tensions at the molecular biological level, and they can now manufacture tensions, needs, problems and their answers at the level of massless energy forms. This is a qualitative change that occurs, whereby man begins living his life primarily (not wholly) in terms of ‘ideas’ about his problems and their solutions and not in terms of biological stimuli. So we have the beginnings of a highly developed mental process which begins to break away from its historical roots, and operate more and more on a standalone basis, although it still uses experience and trial and error. And this purely mental process package—of problems, answers and needs—also gets passed on to the next generation through our genes.

 

Seeing this process as it exists today, it seems to be a very advanced and efficient process because we can anticipate our needs and problems and do not have to wait for the actual biological stimulus, and therefore have more time to plan and implement. But at the same time it is extremely dangerous, because now there is no guarantee of its correspondence with reality. In the case of the biological response system, although its ability to cope with reality may be insufficient but at least there is surety that any response will be logically equivalent with reality.  

 

However, in the human stage where there is a far greater ability to find answers and to implement them, there is also this hazard that we could be pursuing the tensions of our inner imbalance and its relationship with an equally unbalanced environment at an imaginary level, with little or no correspondence to reality. So we could be driven by presumed answers to our inner imbalance. Contemporary human existence is an advanced stage of this process, which tells us how dangerous the game of living has become. Hence the need to become intelligent about our mental processes and address the new imbalance that has emerged in us.

 

The imbalance arising out of our imagination in our massless energy based mental processes is enormously more complex than the organic chemical imbalances of the early cells. So we need to restore within our minds the logic of being a living thing, which is to logically address one’s real imbalances in terms of a real external world. Particularly when we have more means than ever before to tackle this problem in terms of our knowledge of the external world and the ability to deal with it. It is not a question of any ethic or morality but of restoring our inner imbalance to its logical state, because when it is transferred to our mental processes, it takes a life of its own and has a tendency to go into imagination. That is how we start ‘imagining’ needs like being a boss, or becoming powerful and richer than everybody else. This is a far cry from the innocent, genuine imbalance of the cell. Because now we can bypass and forget about what we really need. And in the process of pursuing imagined needs we get infected with stomach ulcers, cancers of different sorts, but we still do not realize what is actually happening to us.

 

Even in fields like medicine we imagine solutions in the form of cholesterol free diets, some wonder pills, and so on. In addition, we have far more room for imaginations triggered by some fashion magazine, or fast food chain telling us what and how much we need something. Thus the problem is that we are in serious danger of being destroyed by the existing state of our mental processes and not by a failure of our physiological and mental responses.  

 

If we attempt to break away from this situation then the time we are living in guarantees a very successful and fruitful balance. It is in this context that we need to address the issue of the irrational (from the standpoint of reality) imaginary drives of our advanced verbal mental processes. Today we can mentally grasp the whole picture at one glance starting with type B organic chemical forms to ourselves and see what our problem and disease is and how grave it has become. Thus restoring our imbalances to a logical plane is really a question of our survival and sanity. And once we take this route, we will realize that we are threatened by what we have come to love most, i.e. our personality (our mental formations like ideas, preferences, motivations, etc.). Actually we do not love it but have just become its prisoner. That is the issue of both human survival and emancipation today.

Notes 

i. Here we are referring to different molecular formations.

ii. Compared to chemical and physical processes of living forms.

iii.That is why we need to keep potassium in a bottle or kerosene oil or some other oil from which it is unable to take out oxygen. 

iv. By mechanical we are referring to processes that are limited due to being linear and uni-functional.

v. In our view, the dynamics of these energy processes have always been a necessary and integral part of all atomic interactions even at inorganic and simple organic levels. So far we have not been able to observe the changes occurring at this ultra-micro level during atomic and molecular interactions so our knowledge of chemistry (both inorganic and organic) has been leaving out the story of these interactions within living forms. They have largely remained of no consequence to mainstream physics and chemistry of pre-cellular (inorganic and simple organic) forms and more so of biological cellular life forms.

vi. They arise out of chemical and atomic interactions, but are neither chemical nor atomic. As stated earlier and also to be elaborated in the next section, mental processes would be a hybrid of heavier post big bang energy forms and the variety of massless energy states (including those coming from the pre-big bang). 

vii. Implementation occurs in many steps and at many different levels. 

viii. How genes emerge when cellular forms begin harnessing massless energy forms will be explained in the next pieces of writing. 

ix.  The sophisticated structure and specific functioning range of sensory organs like eyes, ears, etc., of different animal species shows that they are tailored to perform specific mental functions.    

x. This process went far beyond some behavior pattern, as the individual began to mentally identify problems.

xi. The mechanics of this will be elaborated in the subsequent pieces of writing.