Physics of the Mind

Leonid Perlovsky

“While progress in understanding of the purpose of human life can be seen in art evolution from cave art to the 19th century, in the 20th century art the exploration of purposiveness has been disappearing. In rare pieces of contemporary art the meaning and purpose of life is explored. This ignoring Kantian intuitions in contemporary art is likely to be closely related to the fact that the idea of “science” become important in cultural life (without understanding of what science is). Existing science does not understand what is beautiful. For example, G. Dickie, an influential philosopher of art, a president of the American Society for Aesthetics, and author of popular textbooks developed an “institutional theory of aesthetics” which defines beautiful as what has been accepted as beautiful by respected art institutions; it is still widely accepted as a state of the art in understanding of the beauty. In wide culture beautiful is understood as more related to sex than to the meaning of life. In university courses on aesthetics beauty is related to shapes, colors, forms, and progressive social uses of art, rather than to the purposiveness of life. So, I would again emphasize that the theoretically predicted properties of the emotions of the beautiful, their relations to the meaning of life are unexpected in contemporary aesthetics and contradictory to accepted views. Nevertheless these theoretical predictions have been experimentally tested and confirmed (Schoeller and Perlovsky, 2015, 2016), which is the fundamental property of the science of physics of the mind.”

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The Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness

“In humans, the effect of certain hallucinogens appears to be associated with a disruption in cortical feedforward and feedback processing. Pharmacological interventions in non-human animals with compounds known to affect conscious behavior in humans can lead to similar perturbations in behavior in non-human animals. In humans, there is evidence to suggest that awareness is correlated with cortical activity, which does not exclude possible contributions by subcortical or early cortical processing, as in visual awareness. Evidence that human and non- human animal emotional feelings arise from homologous subcortical brain networks provide compelling evidence for evolutionarily shared primal affective qualia.”

Jens Peter Jacobsen, Niels Lyhne

He was seized with that lust of conquest and thirst for the power of knowledge which every worker in the realm of thought, no matter how humble a drvidge he may later become, has surely felt once in his life, though for only one brief hour. Which one of us all, whom a kind fate has given the opportunity to care for the development of our own minds, has not gazed rapturously out over the boundless sea of knowledge, and which of us has not gone down to its clear, cool waters and begun, in the light-hearted arrogance of youth, to dip it out in our hollow hand as the child in the legend? Do you remember how the sun could laugh over the fair summer land, yet you saw neither flower nor sky nor rippling brook? The feasts of life swept past and woke not even a dream in your young blood; even your home seemed far away—do you remember? And do you also remember how a structure rose in your thoughts from the yellowing leaves of books, complete and whole, reposing in itself as a work of art, and it was yours in every detail, and your spirit dwelt in it? When the pillars rose slender and with conscious strength in their bold curves, it was of you that brave aspiring and of you the bold sustaining. And when the vaulted roof seemed to be suspended in air, because it had gathered all its weight, stone upon stone, in mighty drops, and let it down on the neck of the pillars, it was of you that dream of weightless floating, that confident bearing down of the arches; it was you planting your foot on your own.

In this wise your personality grows with your knowledge and is clarified and unified through it. To learn is as beautiful as to live. Do not be afraid to lose yourself in minds greater than your own! Do not sit brooding anxiously over your own individuality or shut yourself out from influences that draw you powerfully for fear that they may sweep you along and submerge your innermost pet peculiarities in their mighty surge! Never fear! The individuality that can be lost in the sifting and reshaping of a healthy development is only a flaw; it is a branch grown in the dark, which is distinctive only so long as it retains its sickly pallor. And it is by the sound growth in yourself that you must live. Only the sound can grow great.

The superior colliculus is an important provider of visual maps and even has the ability to relate those visual maps to auditory and body-base maps. The inferior colliculus is dedicated to auditory processing. The activity of the superior colliculi may be a precursor of the mind and self processes that later blossom in the cerebral cortices.

Antonio Damasio

“No less important, art became a way to explore one’s own individuality and the individuality of others, a means to rehearse specific aspects of life, and a means to exercise moral judgement and moral actions. Ultimately, because the arts have deep roots in biology and the human body but can elevate humans to the greatest heights of thought and feeling, they became a way into the homeostatic refinement that humans eventually idealized and longed to achieve, the biological counterpart of a spiritual dimension in human affairs.” Antonio Damasio, Self Comes to Mind