Awareness and the Ground State

infinite_regress1
Reference: The Ground State of the Universe

I believe in a Ground State. Scientifically, there has to be a ground state of beingness, existence or the universe. But it is not the Absolute Zero of science though. Nor is it the God of the Abrahamic religions. It is not the self, soul, spirit or atman. It is not even the Buddha-nature, or the Static of Scientology.

The Ground State is a mystery.

Let’s start with our beingness. The core characteristic of a human being is that it is aware of being aware. We are talking about the human being as a whole and not of its parts. We may define awareness as follows.

Awareness is the ability of an organism to respond to stimuli. It is unaware of the stimulus it cannot respond to.

The stimuli, in general, would be physical objects in one’s environment. When the stimilus is a mental object, such as, thought, emotion, or impulse, and the organism responds to it, then we may call it “awareness of awareness.”

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Humans are not only aware, they are aware of being aware.

Animals are definitely aware but not aware of being aware to the degree humans are.

Plants are definitely aware also, but we regard them as not aware of being aware.

Minerals are limited in awareness. They are aware to the degree that they respond to chemical interactions.

Awareness is intimately related to motion. If there is no motion anywhere we would find it very hard to define external awareness. Thus, we may say that inert gases are approaching unawareness, except at molecular level by reason of temperature, and at atomic level by reason of structure. Beyond the solidity of nucleus there is the motion of electromagnetic waves.

We may imagine a whole scale that goes asymptotic toward absence of awareness at one end and toward awareness of awareness at the other.

Everything in existence seems to be at some point on this scale of awareness. Life seems to start when a certain level of awareness is reached.

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Philosophically, we may look at the dichotomy of “awareness – no awareness,” and say that beyond awareness would be no awareness and any area beyond awareness would be unknowable. We are unable to tell if there is no life beyond awareness because that area is unknowable.

Our whole universe lies in the sphere of awareness. We may say that our universe is bounded by an “absence of awareness.” To us, all manifestations lie within this sphere of awareness. Our universe is the universe of awareness.

Beyond this universe, there is neither awareness nor motion. Awareness arises only when there is motion.

There is no definition possible for “absence of motion or awareness” simply because there is no awareness. Anything defined shall be within the universe of awareness. Therefore, self, soul, atman, God, Static, etc., are all within the universe of awareness.

We may only speculate. But any speculation would then be part of awareness. Any potential that we may imagine shall be part of the universe of awareness.

“Absence of awareness” shall then act as the theoretical reference point for our universe of  awareness, the same way that “zero” acts as the reference point for all numbers.

Thus, “absence of awareness” may serve as an approximation for the Ground State for now. Certainly anything that we can be aware of would not qualify as the Ground State.

Thus, the Ground State is unknowable from the perspective of this universe of awareness. It cannot be defined.

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Comments

  • Chris Thompson  On August 10, 2014 at 1:19 PM

    “Animals are definitely aware but not aware of being aware in the same sense that humans are.”

    By saying, “. . . the same sense . . . ,” do you mean analogously, or in an inferior sense, or simply in a different sense? What is your reasoning?

    • vinaire  On August 10, 2014 at 1:23 PM

      I think that some animals, like elephants and gorillas have emotions. They are also aware of being aware but not to the degree that humans are.

      I shall correct my wordings in the OP.

  • Chris Thompson  On August 10, 2014 at 1:21 PM

    When we regard plants as being aware, but not being aware of being aware, how do we know this. I am pretty sure that you’ve already categorized “what is awareness” as unknowable, or else I am mistaken.

    • vinaire  On August 10, 2014 at 1:27 PM

      From the OP,

      “… where awareness implies the ability to respond to some stimuli.”

      • Chris Thompson  On August 10, 2014 at 2:51 PM

        Plants apparently are able to respond more slowly to stimuli than animals. Plant life is ambulatory but not in the same sense as animal life. And yet plant life is aware of sunlight and uses sunlight directly as a source of food. Is this awareness superior, inferior, less, more, different, or analogous to our own awareness?

        • vinaire  On August 10, 2014 at 4:50 PM

          “Plant life is ambulatory “ ???

          ambulatory = moving about or from place to place; not stationary:

        • Chris Thompson  On August 12, 2014 at 9:28 AM

          “Plant life is ambulatory “ ???

          ” . . . not in the same sense as animal life.”

          Watch this fascinating PBS video. It is titled “What Plants Talk About” but covers several topics having to do with plant behavior.

        • vinaire  On August 10, 2014 at 4:52 PM

          I would follow the natural sequence of evolution.

        • vinaire  On August 14, 2014 at 10:31 AM

          It is a fascinating video on plant life.

  • Chris Thompson  On August 10, 2014 at 1:26 PM

    Nothing wrong with defining ground state of awareness as an absence of awareness. We have to acknowledge that awareness is a spectrum of awareness of decreasingly and increasingly sophisticated abstraction.

    Possibly being aware of being aware can comprise a certain spectrum of sophistication of awareness?

    • vinaire  On August 10, 2014 at 2:19 PM

      From the OP:

      “We may imagine a whole scale that goes asymptotic toward absence of awareness at one end and toward awareness of awareness at the other.

      “Everything in existence seems to be at some point on this scale of awareness. Life seems to start when a certain level of awareness is reached.”

      .

      • Chris Thompson  On August 10, 2014 at 3:17 PM

        “We may imagine a whole scale that goes asymptotic toward absence of awareness at one end and toward awareness of awareness at the other.”

        Sometimes I struggle with paradigms. I find myself trying to make new information or perceptions fit with presiding or former truths and I find myself needing to let go a former frame of reference in order to assimilate a new or greater truth. This gets easier with practice, however, it remains insidious and something to be mindful of as we attempt to move forward in our thinking.

        • vinaire  On August 10, 2014 at 6:17 PM

          When you are struggling we can do a KHTK session on Skype.

  • Chris Thompson  On August 10, 2014 at 1:27 PM

    So what do we suppose comprises awareness?

    • vinaire  On August 10, 2014 at 2:21 PM

      I have added some stuff to the OP and highlighted it to explain awareness better.

  • Chris Thompson  On August 10, 2014 at 1:30 PM

    When under general anesthesia such as for surgery, we lose our awake awareness, possibly or seemingly our memory is suspended, yet hopefully other bodily awareness is not suspended. Our digestion seems to also be suspended but not our cardiovascular. These drugs are quite clever and effective.

    • vinaire  On August 10, 2014 at 1:35 PM

      We ar talking in terms of the awareness of the organism as a whole and not of its individual parts.

      I see awareness as the ability of an organism to respond to a stimuli. It is unaware of the stimuli it cannot respond to.

      • Chris Thompson  On August 10, 2014 at 1:46 PM

        “I see awareness as the ability of an organism to respond to a stimuli. It is unaware of the stimuli it cannot respond to.”

        Good, so the bat’s hearing makes it aware of the types and sizes and direction of movement of flying insects makes it more aware than homo sapiens?

        • vinaire  On August 10, 2014 at 1:49 PM

          A bat may be more aware of certain stimuli than human bodies are, but humans can surpass bats by creating and using instruments to make up for the deficiency of their bodies.

  • Chris Thompson  On August 10, 2014 at 1:32 PM

    Again with reference to Godel, it seems that higher awareness comprises the superset of all lesser awareness.

    • vinaire  On August 10, 2014 at 1:36 PM

      How do you define higher awareness?

      • Chris Thompson  On August 10, 2014 at 1:43 PM

        This is my question for you. In this example, I am trying to lean the definition in a mathematical direction and by “higher” I mean “larger.”

        • thehandling  On August 12, 2014 at 10:44 AM

          I don’t know of a word to describe this but to me awareness of the world goes two directions or sizes, inward (smaller) and outward (larger) and I think expanding awareness in both directions are equally important

        • vinaire  On August 12, 2014 at 10:58 AM

          This may be compared to negative and positive numbers. Numbers can go negative without limit or they can go positive without limit. In either case, zero serves as the reference point.

          Similarly, awareness can go smaller without limit or it can go larger without limit. In either case, “absence of awareness” serves as the reference point.

      • vinaire  On August 10, 2014 at 1:46 PM

        I think that the more stimuli one can respond to the more aware one is. There are other dimensions of awareness, such as, how fine a restimuli one is able to respond to. There may be a threshold of awareness.

        • Chris Thompson  On August 10, 2014 at 1:49 PM

          I will hazard a guess for discussion and say that homo sapiens is more aware of thought perceptions. Its abstractions are more deeply fractal, or possibly I should write that its abstractions are more deeply focused than other species. How does that sound?

        • vinaire  On August 10, 2014 at 1:51 PM

          Sounds good. Thought perception is a subject that I need to investigate in more detail.

  • Chris Thompson  On August 10, 2014 at 1:33 PM

    Now if we consider the superset of all awareness, then homo sapiens falls behind through not possessing many types of awareness, isn’t this true?

    • vinaire  On August 10, 2014 at 2:33 PM

      What would that be?

      • Chris Thompson  On August 10, 2014 at 3:23 PM

        Within us are processess, enzymes and such which posses awareness of their own process but not, I do not think of the human process as a whole. Neither will they ever. Without our world exist many processes such as astronomical motion. Do we presume that the World has no awareness of its internal digestion or of its flight round the sun, nor the solar system’s flight through the Galaxy? Or rather, is there a sweet spot, just around our homo sapiens frame of reference which possesses the greatest wisdom in the whole of existence?

        • vinaire  On August 10, 2014 at 6:26 PM

          I think each part has its own awareness. Their awareness adds up to make awareness of the whole. Thus, each dynamic have its own awareness. And the universe will have its awareness.

  • Chris Thompson  On August 10, 2014 at 1:34 PM

    Awareness of magnetic poles of the Earth seems to be an awareness of many animals, especially with reference to migrating ones.

    • vinaire  On August 10, 2014 at 1:38 PM

      Some humans have awareness of the directions.

  • Chris Thompson  On August 10, 2014 at 1:37 PM

    My own sense of direction is pretty good as compared to some other friends. I wonder what the reason for this is? I do not feel that this awareness, if true, is related to a sense of the magnetic poles of the Earth. This seems more related to the last known position of the Sun plus memory. Example: When being shown around inside a large office building with many turns and floor levels.

    • Chris Thompson  On August 10, 2014 at 1:42 PM

      Recently, an employee and I were being shown around inside a large school without windows. On the first go around, I became disoriented and expressed this. My employee smiled and pointed in the correct direction and he was correct.

  • christianscientology  On August 12, 2014 at 12:22 PM

    Vinaire

    “This, the Ground State is unknowable from the perspective of this universe of awareness. It cannot be defined” but it can be experienced as LOVE!

    Cheers
    Pip

    • vinaire  On August 12, 2014 at 1:10 PM

      Sure! There is no harm postulating that. But please keep in mind that it is nothing more than a speculation. If it works than it works. But does it work every time? We can’t say.

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