When the incoming perceptions of experiences are not refined into perceptual elements, they are just lodged into the mental matrix as “unassimilated nodes”. The person is not conscious of such experiences because they are not assimilated into the refined mental matrix.
When an “unassimilated node” is activated as part of the thinking process it enforces its own dramatization as it was perceived. That dramatization is discontinuous, disharmonious and inconsistent because it is not assimilated with what surrounds it. As a result the mind appears to react irrationally.
As the mental matrix becomes coarse with unassimilated nodes, its logic suffers.
Here is an example of an unassimilated node. A child fell into the pool and almost drowned. He was extremely shaken up with that painful experience. Now he has grown up. That experience has receded into a remote past. He may have a general idea of near drowning once, but the details of that severe shock are unavailable to him. He feels very fearful whenever he is near a pool. He gets nauseated at the smell of chlorine, especially when it comes from water. He hates swimming. No logic can resolve his irrational reactions to water.
In this example the unassimilated node is that shock of near drowning. It exists as a singular incident deeply buried in his mind. It gets activated whenever he sees a pool or gets a whiff of chlorine. His is unconscious of this unassimilated node so he is unable to make logical associations with the data buried in it to resolve his irrational fears and reactions. It appears that the shocking nature of an experience prevents its assimilation in the mental matrix.
The basis of all irrational emotions and reactions are shocks that are lodged in the mental matrix as unassimilated nodes.
Such shocks are of three kinds.
One may have a general idea of a shocking experience, but it cannot be recalled in detail. It is simply not assimilated enough that one may be conscious of it. Recall of a shocking experience means that it is now assimilated. Such a recall then resolves all the irrational emotions and reactions.
Unassimilated nodes may be resolved by accessing them through intimate recall.
Freud and Hubbard were simply trying to get a person to recall these unassimilated nodes through various means. Psychoanalysis tries to guess at the content of unassimilated nodes by “decoding” their manifestations. Dianetics tries to bring up that content by repeating phrases that are thought to be part of it. Mesmer got that content through a semi-hypnotic approach. The methods of Mesmerism, Psychoanalysis and Dianetics work sometimes, but their failures also abound. After accessing an unassimilated node, the mind seems to make it harder to access the next one. That has been the key problem.
It has always been very difficult to access the unassimilated nodes directly.
The shock buried in an unassimilated node may be accessed under hypnotism; but that bypasses the awareness of the person. Telling the person later about the content of the unassimilated node is not the same thing as the person having an intimate recall of it. To assimilate those experiences the person must access them with full consciousness.
Besides, anything said to the person, while he is hypnotized, simply adds to the unassimilated data in his mind. Thus hypnotism is not only unworkable but it is also a liability.
Hypnotism is not only unworkable but it is also a liability to any possible cure.
As Mesmer, Freud and Hubbard have shown, the unassimilated nodes may be approached indirectly. This means that the unassimilated node must be unburdened of the material it is buried under.
The unassimilated nodes get buried because they contain the shock of pain, loss and confusion. They get buried under the consequences of non-assimilation. These consequences are the anomalies of discontinuities, disharmonies and inconsistencies. These anomalies may be described as follows.
The unassimilated nodes get buried under the anomalies of discontinuities, disharmonies and inconsistencies.
Such anomalies are still uncomfortable and do not get fully assimilated. They get buried under justifications. Justifications come about when a person cannot really see the cause of a situation, so he explains it away.
A person may explain his fear of water and dislike of swimming by saying that he never had opportunities to learn to swim as a child, and now it is too late. Instead of swimming he should rather be doing other things. Such justifications result in the person running after distractions.
A person who is justifying is, obviously, avoiding, resisting, suppressing or, otherwise, denying something. These are the elements of non-confront.
The anomalies get buried under justifications due to non-confront.
Justifications can easily be recognized. They give us a window into a person’s non-confront, which is to say, what the person is avoiding, resisting, suppressing or denying. This gives us a path to help the person discover anomalies that he has been trying to dodge all his life. Focusing on anomalies may then help the person discover the root cause of it all—the unassimilated node.
Evidently, introverting the attention by trickery, as in psychoanalysis; or forcefully, as in Dianetics, only makes the situation worse by stirring up the mind. We must let the mind unwind itself naturally. This makes us look at the ability of the mind to freely associate in a new light.
We shall take up the subject of free association in the next chapter.
A matrix is a mathematical concept which is applicable to the universe. A matrix is made up of nodes where each node is in some relationship with every other node. The universe maybe represented as a matrix of galaxies. A galaxy may be represented as a matrix of stars and planets. Thus the environment is best represented as a matrix of objects, where each object is related to every other object by distance, gravity, etc.
The environment is a matrix of objects.
The mind is made up of the perceptions of the environment. It is a matrix of perception of objects. These perceptual nodes are related to each other by the properties perceived for these objects. For example, in an animal mind, these perceptual nodes may be related by their property of being safe and edible.
The mind is a matrix of perception of objects in environment.
The mind is not something physical but it exists within the physical environment. It stores the perceptions coming from the environment continually. The perceptions affected by time are managed by breaking them down into refined perceptual nodes. The patterns of perceptual nodes when activated provide the perception of time. This is similar to storing a movie using patterns of pixels.
Perceptions are refined into perceptual nodes to store time.
In the human mind the perceptual nodes become still more refined as they store all possible properties of objects. A property, such as color, may be expressed through an infinite-valued scale. The properties may also range from concrete to abstract. Thus these perceptual nodes become numerous as they allow the mind to become increasingly discriminative and abstract. We may call them “perceptual elements”. Errors creep in only when perceptions do not get refined into perceptual elements and assimilated into the mental matrix.
The mind becomes increasingly discriminative with refinement of perceptions into “perceptual elements”.
The basic animal mind can be observed to operate entirely on automatic assimilation of perceptions from the environment into its coarse mind. This assimilation takes place on a continual basis. We may call this assimilation “free association”. Please note that this free association is not the same thing as the “technique of free association” in psychoanalysis.
Free association is the natural mechanism of evolution, which makes up the entire thinking of the animal mind.
The free association operates in an unbounded, universal context where nothing is suppressed. This allows animals to become part of a natural ecosystem with other life organisms.
Free association is objective in nature because of its universal context.
In the much more complex human mind, the natural function of “free association” is further supported by “creative associations” of thought. This becomes possible because of the extreme refinement of the perceptual nodes. Thus there is imagination and the faculty to make projections. There is also a deeper faculty of intuition, which comes straight from the fundamental principle of “chaos to order”.
Thought becomes possible in the human mind because of the extreme refinement of the perceptual nodes.
The human thought is objective when it is in sync with the free association of universal nature. However, when it goes out of sync thinking becomes limited to narrow, bounded contexts.
Thought is objective when it is in sync with free association. But when it goes out of sync it reduces in context and, therefore, becomes subjective.
The section above proposes a “matrix” model for the mind. The earlier models of the mind have been quite general as they were based on simple duality of functions observed. For example, In 1890s, Freud proposed the model of conscious and unconscious mind.
We now see from the matrix model that the greater is the refinement of perceptions into perceptual elements the higher is the consciousness. This explains the greater consciousness in humans compared to the consciousness in animals.
Consciousness increases with refinement of perceptual nodes.
When the incoming perceptions of experiences are not refined into perceptual elements, they are just lodged into the mental matrix as “unassimilated nodes”. Thus the person is not conscious of such experiences because they could not be assimilated into the refined mental matrix. This describes the concept of “unconscious mind” proposed by Freud.
Freud’s “unconscious mind” is made up of unassimilated experiences.
In 1950s, Hubbard proposed the model of analytical and reactive mind, while stating that the mind is always conscious.
The analytical mind is rational as it recognizes differences, similarities and identities, and comes up with sound judgment. In the matrix model, the natural associations are guided by the fundamental characteristics of order, which are continuity, harmony and consistency. The animal mind operates on free association. The human mind adds creative thinking that functions in sync with free association. Therefore, the mind is naturally analytical.
The mind is naturally rational as its associations are continually guided by the fundamental characteristics of order (continuity, harmony and consistency).
When an “unassimilated node” is activated as part of the thinking process it enforces its singular dramatization as perceived. That dramatization is discontinuous, disharmonious and inconsistent because it is not assimilated with what surrounds it. The mind appears to be reacting irrationally. This describes the concept of “reactive mind” proposed by Hubbard.
Hubbard’s “reactive mind” is made up of unassimilated experiences too.
The models of Freud and Hubbard, which are based on simple duality, imply that perceptions are stored “as-is” in the mind. However, the matrix model describes the storage of perceptions as patterns of perceptual elements well assimilated within the mental matrix. Since same perceptual elements may be utilized many times in different patterns, the matrix model provides a more efficient way of storing perceptions in the mind.
A “memory” is a pattern of perceptual elements that is activated by attention. Memory is clear and precise when its pattern is made up of refined and well assimilated elements. Memory shall consist of “holes” when the pattern contains “unassimilated nodes”.
A “memory” is a pattern of perceptual elements that is activated by attention.
With the matrix model it is easy to see the difference between the animal mind and the human mind in terms of how finely the perceptions are broken down into discriminative perceptual elements. This property defines the intelligence of the mind.
Intelligence of the mind depends on the refinement of the perceptual elements.
The perceptual elements are related within the mental matrix by means of infinite-valued scales of properties. Thus all perceptions are continuous, harmonious and consistent when they are well assimilated throughout the mental matrix. The better assimilated the perceptions are, the greater is the resolution of the mind.
Power of the mind depends on the degree of assimilation of perceptions in the mental matrix.
As the chaos in the environment impresses itself upon the mind through perceptions, the mind converts the chaos into order by assimilating them in its matrix of refined perceptual elements. The assimilated state of the mind is felt as emotions, which then generates sensations in the body. The emotions and sensations motivate the body to act. The body acts internally to maintain its health, and externally to bring order to the environment.
Thus we have a cycle, which operates from the environment through the mind-body system back on the environment, converting chaos into order. This explains the role of living organisms in the universe.
The purpose of the living mind-body organism is to bring order to its immediate environment, so as to speed up the evolution of the universe.
The mind is hard-wired to the body through the brain and the nervous system. As perceptions are received from the environment, they are continually assimilated into the mental matrix. This generates impulses in the body to bring appropriate responses from the endocrine, respiratory, muscular and other systems.
These impulses are generated by the mind as emotions and are sensed by the body as sensations.
This determines the health of the body internally and actions of the organism externally. The external actions then bring changes to the environment.
Errors enters into the highly complex human mind, when it is unable to fully assimilate an experience. The lack of proper assimilation then erodes thought from being creative to becoming discontinuous, disharmonious and inconsistent. This is then reflected through sickness in the body and aberrations in the conduct of the organism.
The flaw of the mind is taken up in the next chapter.
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth, which were yet unformed, void and enveloped in darkness. From this then came the following at the pleasure of God.
The formation ends here because “God rested on the seventh day”. The world then runs as formed.
To look at the above scientifically, we just have to make the following change.
God is the fundamental principle of “order precipitating from chaos”. The chaos is, of course, the yet unformed, void and dark “heaven and earth”.
And then the following stages follow:
These stages are studied as follows:
There are more details here compared to the descriptions in the Bible. This is not surprising because civilization has made considerable progress since the Bible was written. But the big realization comes as follows.
The fundamental principle of order precipitating from chaos never rests. In other words, from the view of science God never rests.
The fundamental principle is that order precipitates naturally from chaos. In fact, this universe is the manifestation of the cumulative order that has precipitated. Without this principle, there wouldn’t be a universe.
God is the principle that order precipitates naturally from chaos.
Some may argue that order could just as well be converting back to chaos. That may be so. But, evidently, there is a net increase in order at any point in time. In fact, time itself may be the very manifestation of this irreversibility.
Time is the irreversibility of the precipitation of this order.
The Bible represents chaos as the “yet unformed, void and dark heaven and earth”. Science may call it “potential order”. Here we may have hidden stages of earlier creation. In fact, ancient texts hint at the universe forming and dispersing cyclically. But these are fuzzy grounds.
Chaos may, at best, be defined as “potential order”.
Evidently, evolution proceeded with trial and error in the beginning. That is why the earlier stages took so long. Evolution is occurring much faster only at the current stage of “from life to thought”. Intelligence and imagination are phenomena that have emerged only at the current stage.
Considering God to be a supernatural being with intelligence is a big leap of imagination.
We are on a firm ground when we look at God to be the principle of order precipitating naturally from chaos. This fundamental principle continues to drive the formation of this universe even at this very moment.
Creativity at any place, and in any form, is a manifestation of the principle of God.
The “days” from the Bible, and the “stages” from science, simply describe the sequence of evolution. Each cycle in this evolution is “start, change, and stop”. For life organisms, this cycle becomes “birth, survival, and death.”
Evolution is a sequence of creative cycles.
The evolution takes place in the ‘death to birth’ phase, based on learning that takes place during the ‘survival’ phase. Death clears away the older, used up forms; and birth brings about the newer, updated forms. Over each cycle the evolution may be infinitesimal, but over trillions of cycles there is a net evolution, and that evolution is creative.
Cycles are clearing away of older forms and generation of new ones.
The popular belief that “God rested on the seventh day,” may lead one to believe that there is no more creation, and life is all about surviving. This brings about the human desire to survive forever. But the reality of death and birth is natural. It serves a creative function. The desire to live forever is subjective and unnatural. God is more concerned with evolving than with surviving.
The fundamental directive of this universe is EVOLVE and not SURVIVE!
Evolution is bringing about order that is becoming increasingly complex. To understand where we are headed at this stage, it is necessary to understand the earlier stages
When we look at Stage 1 – “From electromagnetic energy to matter,” we find that the electromagnetic spectrum is flanked by space on one side and matter on the other. As the frequency goes to zero, the electromagnetic energy reduces to space. As the frequency goes very high the electromagnetic energy collapses into matter. We see this in the structure of the atom, in which the field of electromagnetic energy extends from space to the material nucleus. This tells us that there is continuity from space to matter through a field of electromagnetic energy. The purpose of this stage is to arrive at some form of stability.
The universe is fundamentally continuous.
When we look at Stage 2 – “From matter to animation,” we find that inanimate molecules evolve into self-animated RNA and DNA molecules. These complex molecules have enough electrons in their external orbits to form programmable circuits like that in a computer. There is a harmonious internal motion in all molecules, but it then starts to evolve into a series of external motions that are repetitive and in harmony with the internal motions. The purpose of this stage is to arrive at some form of harmonious external motion.
The universe is fundamentally harmonious.
When we look at Stage 3 – “From animation to life,” we find that self-animated molecules evolve into self-reproducing life organisms. The repetitive external motions, in harmony with similar motions from other molecules, are able to build complex motions of a cell that are able to reproduce the whole cell. This ability to reproduce itself repetitively defines life. The cells than combine with other cells and grow into infinite and complex varieties of life organisms that can also reproduce themselves. There is consistency throughout this complex growth in the ability to reproduce oneself repetitively. The purpose of this stage is to arrive at the capability of reproducing itself.
The universe is fundamentally consistent.
The characteristics of order in this universe are continuity, harmony and consistency.
The first action of evolution was to establish something stable to build a structure with. It then built a structure that could be programmed. The structure was then programmed to reproduce itself. Here we have the emergence of life. Life manifests itself by mobilizing the elements from the environment into a body and then making that body reproduce itself repetitively. And so we have life organisms.
The basic characteristic of life is to bring order to the environment by developing organisms and enabling the organisms to reproduce.
The seat of life is generally referred to as the mind. The fundamental activity of the mind is to support complex evolution by ensuring continuity, harmony and consistency. The mind operates on the fundamental principle of “chaos to order”. It associates perceptions from the environment freely to determine the order needed. It then mobilizes the organism to implement that order in the environment.
The mind uses the fundamental logic of continuity, harmony and consistency to freely associate the perceptions from the environment to organize it better.
The most advanced form of life organisms is the human form. Evolution introduces something new at this level—thought. Thought has the capability to generate new and creative associations above and beyond the free associations of the mind. The purpose of thought is to speed up evolution through the complexity of life. It does that by resolving discontinuities, disharmonies and inconsistencies at all stages of evolution.
Thought is on a mission to resolve discontinuities, disharmonies and inconsistencies at all stages of evolution.
The above is an outline of the evolution up to the current stage of “from life to thought”. In the next chapter we look more closely at the human mind, which is the seat of thought and free association.
In the exercises of previous two chapters we have looked closely at the mind and its natural function of free association to bring assimilation. Free association takes place under the discipline of mindfulness, which is to not avoid, resist, suppress, deny or otherwise interfere with the activity of the mind.
When freely associating the data in the mind one places attention on the area to be sorted out. For example, the last two exercises focused attention on memory and mental conditioning respectively. Those who cannot focus their attention on such abstract concepts need something more concrete to focus their attention on.
It is always easier to focus attention on something concrete than abstract.
The gradient from concrete to increasingly abstract concepts and ideas represents increasing focus required of attention. Therefore, the simplest gradient of focus is attention on physical perceptions.
This chapter provides exercises for those who had difficulty focusing their attention as required by the earlier exercises. Here we focus attention on physical perceptions while learning the discipline required for free association. Hopefully, a person, after doing these exercises for some time, shall be able to build up the focus required for the exercises of the last two chapters.
In these exercises it is assumed that the student who is learning to focus attention is assisted by another person acting as a guide.
Hopefully these three exercises of experiencing different physical perceptions will build the focus of attention enough for the student to do the earlier exercises with memory and mental conditioning.
It becomes evident from the exercise in Chapter 7, Free Association in Mindfulness, that some memories take much longer to come up. This happens when the memory is part of an area of the mind that contains chaos. The chaos exists because the mind is unable to assimilate certain experiences in that area. Those experiences did not get assimilated because they contained pain, loss and deep confusion when received.
The chaotic condition in the mind exists due to unassimilated experiences.
To some degree this chaotic condition is being stimulated by “reminders” in the environment. Attending meditation classes or going on vacations serves to calm the mind because the disturbing environment is put in abeyance. But that is a temporary fix only. When a person returns to his usual environment these experiences get activated again. Permanent solution to the chaotic condition requires accessing the unassimilated experiences and assimilating them into rest of the mind.
The calming of the mind requires accessing and assimilating such experiences.
This is what Freud and Hubbard were trying to do. Psychoanalysis tries to guess at the content of unassimilated experiences by analyzing coded manifestations. Dianetics tries to bring up that content by repeating phrases that are thought to be part of it. Mesmer got that content somehow when he accidently affected cures. The methods of Psychoanalysis and Dianetics also work sometimes, but then the mind shuts itself off still harder. That has been the key problem.
It has always been very difficult to access the unassimilated experiences directly.
The unassimilated experiences may be accessed under hypnotism. But the person cannot be made aware of them in that condition. To assimilate those experiences the person must access them with full consciousness. Under hypnotism, anything said to the person just adds to the unassimilated data. Thus hypnotism is not only unworkable but it is also a liability.
Hypnotism is not only unworkable but it is also a liability for the mind.
The unassimilated experiences get buried because they contain pain, loss and deep confusion. They bury themselves under the anomalies (discontinuities, disharmonies and inconsistencies), which may be described as follows.
Such anomalies are still very uncomfortable. They bury themselves under justifications. And so comes about “running after distractions” and mental conditioning.
The unassimilated experiences get buried under anomalies, which then get buried under mental conditioning.
Evidently, introverting the attention forcefully, or by trickery, only makes the situation worse by stirring up the mind. We must let the mind unwind itself naturally.
As the person sits down and looks at the mind he becomes aware of the things he has been avoiding, resisting, denying and suppressing, and this is keeping his mental conditioning in place.
The discipline of mindfulness requires that one does not avoid, resist, deny or suppress the activity of the mind, but looks at things as they are. As the person applies this discipline, free associations take place. He starts to become aware of the conditioning and the anomalies he has been justifying. As he focuses on the anomalies with free association, they start to resolve one by one.
It is only at this point that the unassimilated experiences start to show up and get assimilated in the refined and complex matrix of the mind.
It is only under the discipline of mindfulness that free association occurs to resolve mental conditioning, anomalies and unassimilated experiences on a gradient.
The first step is to become aware of the mental conditioning. Our thinking, in large part, is conditioned by our childhood environment and the schooling we receive. Our social behavior, in general, is conditioned by the society we live in. Conditioning takes place when proper assimilation is prevented in the mind.
This gradient approach to assimilation starts from observing the mental conditioning. This can be done by most people themselves. The following exercise gets this process started.
Further exercises to address mental conditioning shall be published in subsequent chapters.