Monday, October 24, 2016

(Von Neumann-)Chained to (Pleromatic) Uncertainty

In the essay Pleromatica, Gabriel Catren’s “phenoumenoudelic scene” in which we are to conceive existence is the product of a series of un-groundings, from the Copernican suspension of Earth to the //relativistic crisis of the spatiotemporal background.// As these un-groundings individually undermine previously supposed //fixed god-given structure[s]// and //aprioristic motionless Ur-frames//, this chain of underminings is the maximally general subset of the arsenal of neuronihilistic gestures that may be applied to thought in order to shear away misconceptions regarding the experiential field of an endophysical observer. Here we further intensify the un-grounding and remove the ultimate Ur-referinertial-frame: the sociocultural image of closed-individuality that occults and obscures intuitive awareness of a universal and impersonal field of experience: the zero-point energy state of quantum mechanics, the supersymmetry of string theory, the Hindu’s anatman, the Gnostic pleroma, the Platonic ideal form-world, the Sufi “Black Mind” of Allah, the mystical state of “union with God”, among others, are theophysical metaphors for a non-oriented, non-performable, yet permissible state of being we will join Catren in calling the pleromatica. In the pleromatica the concept of an “Ur-frame” is sublimated into an un-framing process: //the transmutation of the immobile Ur-frame into an ark continuously going under - the coming of the one and only number that cannot be any other.//.

We label this state non-performable because acts of differentiation cause decoherence of this “substrate”, this pleromatica that is constantly, spontaneously, attempting differentiation. This provides a glimpse into understanding why it has proven so resistant to instrumental measurement as the choice of observational frame of reference is itself a differentiation. We label it non-oriented because it does not inertially or conceptually index any frames of reference, rather being achieved by iterated negations and integrations on almost any neurotheoretical axis. In other words, this state is achieved by collapsing inertial, cognitive, sensory, or linguistic frames of reference, or the protogeometric compression and integration of disparate signals into more general or universal categorical schemes. Borrowing a note from Nick Sousanis, we refer to such an anti-gesture as a flattening of the experiential field.

In the brain, the thalamus performs a colossal number of iterations per second of an operation that may be identical to a "Heisenberg cut" on the undifferentiated flow of incoming signal that seem to be almost entirely arbitrary determinations of differentiation between observer and observed, between figure and ground, between object and signifier (Von Neumann chain/Von Neumann-Wigner interpretation). The local binding problem in this view is contextually incomplete, as everything begins “bound” in a unitary signal and we cut into the flow in order to abstract. Every isomorphic cut reifies the seeming persistence of objects, and the unitary experience of “everyday human consciousness” is nothing more than the temporal persistence of the intersection of all these cuts constantly being made in the pleromatica. What masquerades as the binding problem is what may be thought of as harmonic overtones of the Bayesian basin of attraction generated from carving out so many of these cuts in identical shapes over time. This correlates well with the knowledge that the outer layer of the thalamus, the thalamic reticular nuclei (TRN), is a group of neurons responsible for aligning several multimodal topographical mappings from corticothalamic feedback, ascertaining a coarse unity, a “fuzzily logical” overlapping of maps (maps of present, past, and expected future cuts) from across every functional network that has a thalamic projection. The local binding problem is solved within the TRN and its own feedback loop of neuronal projection linking the “supervisory attentional system” to this function. This suggests that freedom from this individualized and idiosyncratic matrix of correlation is challenging because the human-type “matrix” exhibits a strong gravitation toward the singular, possibly even disregarding *substantial* elements of the foundational signal that do not correspond to the singular as superfluous to immediate experience, cutting them out in a bandwidth-saving gesture. Following Catren further, he claims that //the transcendental a priori structures of human experience are a posteriori products of the immanental natural dynamics of the impersonal field//, that the //human transcendental type, far from being characterized by some sort of pre-phenoumenal necessity, results from a contingent local subjectivization of the experiential field itself.// These local subjectivizations are “excitations” of the field, excitations whose structure defines particular frames of subjectivity. According to this line of reasoning, the human mode is just one of any number of potential subjective modes //according to which the field of impersonal experience locally [...] frames its narcissistic self-experience.//

A phenoumenodelic experience - any experience that //involves a shift of the very transcendental structure that renders a transcendent experience possible// - is an unfurling of the pleromatica out of the hyper-enfolded stratifications of a typical human-type structure’s knotwork of frame-cuts. In the phenoumenodelic experience we expose the noumenal threaded through every phenomena and find a symmetry between inner and outer: imaginative world-building takes on robust sensory characteristics and may be perceived as “real”, while outer experience is shown to be generated in a highly similar imaginative gesture as more and more mediation qua reference-frames is stripped away. At the deepest extreme of these experiences, we “transcend transcendence” onto the immanent //void-plane of zero-intensity//, a frameless brain state of high-dimensional network symmetry between inner and outer models that has been maximized via a flattening of the inner and outer experience into a single continuous field with no observable divide. This is accomplished in a total deactivation of the TRN and the thalamus, preventing the differentiation of incoming signal by eliminating the node at which the “Heisenberg cut” is performed. This causes every functional network to receive a copy of the whole signal rather than only receiving the slices of the signal it would normally process, flooding the cortex and reducing available bandwidth for the construction of a self-model in direct correlation with the reduction in mediative frames qua cognition of individually differentiated sensory signals. We may from here, assert the “witnessing” of the annihilation of the “self-as-observer”, a “death” of the self-model that drags with it the entangled world of our mediated simulation. This “death” removes the unitary observer from the field of awareness which uncovers the raw signal-field out of which we carve a “reality.” This prrovides a strong argument in favor of the Many-Worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics by showing in an intuitive fashion that classical reality is entirely perspectival and results from ignoring information about the exact state of the environment. Aldous Huxley’s “reducing valve” model of consciousness was an idealization of the Heisenberg cut concept, and leads us out of this technical-terrorism and back into our primary inquiry, mechanisms for widening and even removing this “valve.”


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