Paavo Pylkkänen: MIND, MATTER AND THE IMPLICATE ORDER

(Springer 2007)

Esipuhe

Tämä kirja käsittelee aiheita, joita on yleisesti vähätelty ja jopa kielletty käsittelemästä akateemisissa piireissä 1900-luvulla. Yksi sellainen on tietoinen kokemus. Toinen on todellisuuden perusluonne ja yleinen olemus ja ihmisen rooli todellisuudessa.

Keskityn David Bohmin näkemyksiin. Bohm oli yksi harvoista viime vuosituhannen ajattelijoista, joilla oli ymmärrystä paitsi kvanttifysiikasta, myös luonnontieteistä yleisemmin ja filosofiasta ja tajunnasta.

Minulla on monta vuotta ollut intuitiivinen tunne, että kvanttiteoria on relevantti tajunnan ja sen roolin ymmärtämisessä, mutta on ollut vaikea tarkasti osoittaa, millä tavalla. Tämä johti minut tarkemmin perehtymään Bohmin esittämään implikaatin järjestyksen olemukseen.

1 Johdanto

Vaikka kaikki ovat samaa mieltä siitä, että klassinen Newtonin ja Maxwellin käsitys aineesta on täysin väärä tietyillä alueilla ja että kvattiteoriaa ja suhteellisuutta tarvitaan monien fysikaalisten ilmiöiden tarkasteluun, yksimielisyyttä ei ole millainen aineen perusteoria voisi yhdistää suhteellisuus- ja kvanttiteoriat niin, että kaikki fyysiset ilmiöt voisi selittää koherentilla ja yhtenäisellä tavalla.   

Fysiikan alueella on monenlaista käsitteellistä sekaannusta. On esimerkiksi tapana puhua alkeishiukkasista, vaikka 1920-luvulta asti on ollut tiedossa, että noilla "hiukkasilla" - vaikka niillä on hiukkasen ominaisuuksia (kuten massa, lataus ja momentti), on myös aaltomaisia ominaisuuksia eivätkä siten ovat millään muotoa noudata mekaniikan peruslakeja. Tarvitsemme uusia käsitteitä, jotka paremmin kuvaisivat sellaisia ominaisuuksia kuin duaalisuus, non-lokaalisuus ja liikkeen epäjatkuvuus. 

Klassinen fysiikka toimii suurin piirtein oikein monilla alueilla, mutta se antaa täysin väärän tuloksen monista fyysisten alueen ilmiöistä. Tämä haastaa modernin filosofian. Biologiassa ja psykologiassa saatamme tarvita radikaalisti uudenlaisia teorioita. 

Fysiikkaa ei kiinnosta vain luonnon eri tasot, vaan myös sen yleinen arkkitehtuuri ja näinollen se saattaa olla käyttökelpoinen keino mielen ymmärtämiseksi. 

Oppikirjassaan Quantum Theory (1951) David Bohm tuo esiin merkittäviä yhteneväisyyksiä kvantti-ilmiöiden ja ajattelun välillä. Bohmin 'ontologinen tulkinta' osoittaa, että meidän kaikikien tunnistama maailma pohjautuu eksoottisempaan kvanttimaailmaan. 

Toisessa kirjassaan Causality and Chance in Modern Physics (1957) Bohm ehdotti, että kausaalisuus ja sattuma pitöisi nähdä tilastollisina keskiarvoina. Bohmista tuntui, että ei ole mitään tarvetta olettaa olevan mitään todellisuuden perustasoa.

Bohm alkoi 1960-luvulla yhdessä kolleegansa Basil Hileyn kanssa kehitellä yleisempää viitekehystä fysiikalle. Sittemmin hän kutsui tätä implikaatiksi järjestykseksi. Hän laajensi tätä biologisiin ja psykologisiin ilmiöihin esittäen yleisemmän metafyysisen kokonaisteorian. 

Bohm halusi esittää kuvauksen todellisuudesta - sekä kvanttitason että yleisemmälla tasolla. Hän halusi aineen, elämän ja tajunnan muodostavan yhdessä todellisuuden, metafyysisen teorian siitä. 

Implikaatin järjestyksen perusidea on, että koko universumi jollakin tavalla kietoutuu kaikkeen ja jokainen esine tai asia kytkeytyy kokonaisuuteen. Kietoutuminen tapahtuu meissä. Ajattele pientä aluetta, jossa silmäsi on. Tuolla alueella tapahtuu sähkömagneettista liikettä. valoaaltoja. Ne kuljettavat informaatiota, jonka perusteella muodostat näköhavainnon. Tuo liike sisältää kietoutunutta informaatiota koko huoneesta. Tuon informaation sisältämä "avataan" silmän mykiössä ja aivoissa tapahtuvassa monimutkaisessa prosessissa ja johtaa kokemukseen kolmiulotteisesta maailmasta ja siihen sisältyvistä hahmoista.  

Samanlainen informaation kietoutuminen koskee jokaista pientäkin aluetta kokonaisuudesta ja tapahtuu kaikissa aaltoilmiöissä, esimerkiksi ääniaalloissa. Kun menet konserttiin kuuntelemaan sinfoniaorkesteria, informaatio jokaisesta instrumentista on levittäytyneenä kaikilla alueilla, myös sillä missä korvasi sattuu sijaitsemaan. Sinun on kuitenkin oltava hiljaa, koska puhuessasi kovalla äänellä, informaatio sanomastasi leviää todennäköisesti ilmamolekyylien välityksellä joka suunta eivätkä muut ilahdu panoksestasi!  

Tai ajattele kirjaa, jota pidät käsissäsi. Informaatio kirjasta on huoneen joka kolkassa, valoaaltojen muodossa. Voimme todeta, että toisaalta informaatio kokonaisuudesta sisältyy jokaiseen kohtaan, toisaalta jokainen kohta sisältyy kokonaisuuteen. Tietyssä mielessä koko universumi sisältyy kaikkeen ja kaikessa ilmenee koko unisersumi. Implikaatti järjestys on siis kaiken tuntemamme perusjärjestys. 

Ehdotus on, että universumin osana jokainen meistä sisältää informaatiota koko universumista paitsi aistiemme - erityisesti näköaistin - kautta, myös sikäli, että kehomme muodostavat solut ovat pohjimmiltaan aaltomuotoisia.  

Bohmin tulkinta kvanttikentistä on, että ne eivät ole ulkoisia vaan osat ja kokonaisuus ovat pohjimmiltaan sisäkkäisiä. Tämä avaa uudenlaisen näkymän paikastamme universumissa.   

Perinteisessä kognitiivisessä tieteessä on tapana tarkastella ihmiskehoa koneena, joka vastaanottaa informaatiota aistien avulla, käsittelee näin saatua tietoa aivoihin varastoitujen algoritmien avulla ja perustaa käyttäytymisensä näin muodostuneeseen tietoon. Kaiken tämän on ajateltu tapahtuvan mekaanisella tavalla. Tällöin korostuu, että ympäristö, informaatio ja aivot/keho ovat suhteessa toisiinsa ulkoisesti. Ihmisen voi ajatella olevan kone ja tuon koneen suhde muuhun maailmaan on niin passiivinen ja pinnallinen, että se ei vaikuta koneen perusolemukseen.  

Bohm ei kuitenkaan ajattele, että osien ja kokonaisuuden suhde tai osien suhde toisiinsa on passiivinen ja pinnallinen. Päinvastoin, hän korosti että suhde on ytimeltään aktiivinen ja kaikki osat ja niiden suhteen ovat sisäkkäisiä ja kokonaisvaltaisia muodostaen sen mitä ne pohjimmiltaan ovat. 

The Oxford Companion to Philosophy määrittelee, että x ja y ovat sisäkkäisessä suhteessa, jos kumpikaan niitä ei olisi sama ilman toista: x ei olisi sama ilman y:tä eikä y ilman x:ä. Bohm tarkoittaa, että mikään ei olisi sitä mitä on, jos se ei olsi suhteessa kaikkeen muuhun.

On aika helppo ymmärtää, mitä tämä tarkoittaa ihmisille. Kuvittele, että menetät jonkin tietyn osan maailmasta, joka on osa sinua. Tämän johdosta olisit erilainen henkilö ja tämä vaikuttaisi syvällisellä tavalla siihen miten toimita, liikut ja ylipäätään käyttäydyt.

Kvanttiteorian valossa aineen käyttäytyminen perustuu tietynlaiseen kokonaisuuteen. Bohm esittää, että kokonaisuus on syvällisessä suhteessa osiin. Elektronit ovat riippuvaisia ympäristöstä, jonka kanssa ne ovat tekemisissä. Elektronin suhde kokonaisuuteen määrittää sen olemuksen, Kvanttiteoriassa pienet muutokset elektronin kaukaisessa ympäristössä vaikuttavat syvällisesti sen käyttäytymiseen.  

Kokemukset paljastavat asioiden välillä vallitsevan ulkoisen yhteyden. Bohmin termein ne ilmenevät ilmijärjestyksessä. X ja y ovat ulkoisessa suhteessa toisiinsa jos niiden identiteetti tai olemus ei riipu toisesta. Pöytä ja lamppu ovat ulkoisessa suhteessa. Lampun siirtäminen pöydältä ei muuta kummankaan ydintä.  

Ilmijärjestys hallitsee arkisia kokemuksiamme. Bohmin mukaan niitä ei voi kunnolla ymmärtää, ellei ymmärrä että niiden perustuvan implikaatin järjestyksen todellisuuteen.

Sitten Bohm huomauttaa, että implikaatti järjestys ei ole staattinen vaan luonteeltaan dynaaminen, jatkuvassa muutoksen ja kehityksen prosessissa. Hän kutsuu sitä holomovementiksi, kokonaisliikkeeksi.

The next point Bohm makes is that the implicate order is not static but basically dynamic in nature, in a constant process of change and development. He called it the holomovement.

Bohmille liike on perusasia ja esineet ja asiat vain johdannaisia. Nimenomaan liike aiheuttaa sen mitä kentät lopulta ovat.

Bohmin selitysmalli on vastoin länsimaiden filosofiassa ja tieteessä hallitsevaa atomistista mallia, joka olettaa kaiken koostuvan ulkoisessa suhteessa olevista peruselementeista.

Bohm esittää, että implikaatti järjestys koskee vielä suoremmin ja ilmeisemmin mieltä kuin ainetta. Mielessä on jatkuva ajatusten, tunteiden, mielihalujan ja impulssien virta, joka kulkee sisään ja ulos. Näyttää siltä, että implikaatti järjestys ilmentää mielen järjestyksen ydintä. 

Esimerkiksi kuunnellessamme musiikkia kuulemme joitakin nuotteja ensimmäistä kertaa, mutta me myös aktiivisti kuulemme 'menneet' nuotit. Tätä tavanomainen aikanäkemys ei ota huomioon.


The implicate order also seems to prevail as the more fundamental order of the mind. In his 1980 book, Wholeness and the Implicate Order Bohm proposed that the 'general implicate process of ordering' is common to both mind and matter. This means that mind and matter are at least closely analogous and not nearly so different as they appear on superficial examination.

There is also a 'two-way traffic' between mind and body. Nowhere is there anything purely physical or purely mental.

Matter and meaning are not separate entities, but rather aspects of one reality, aspects that at present at each level of this reality. To understand the relationship between the mental and the physical, it is crucial to understand the relationship between matter and meaning. Matter, in general, has meaning, and thus affects the mind. Meanings are not just passive, abstract, separate entities as our tradition assumes, but rather inseparable from the somatic aspects that underlie and ground them and which they in turn organize.

The theory about the implicate order lacks principles that would determine how the potentialities enfolded in the implicate order are actualized as relatively stable and independent forms in the explicate order.

According to Bohm, an individual quantum system is always a combination of a particle and a new type of field described by the wave function. An electron can be seen as an entity that has two aspects, a particle aspect, and a wave aspect.

A useful analogy of Bohm's model of an electron is provided by a ship guided by a radar wave. The ship corresponds to the particle aspect of the electron, while the radar wave corresponds to the field aspect. The form of the radar is determined by the shape of the environment (e.g. rocks in the bottom of the sea) and it is the key factor determines the behavior of the ship. In an analogous way, the form of the quantum field is determined by the environment of the particle.

In Bohm's model, the way the field acts on the particle can be described by saying that the field gives rise to a new kind of potential energy, the 'quantum potential', which in turn gives rise to a force upon the particle.

When one looks at the mathematics describing the quantum potential, one sees something striking. The effect of the field on the particle only depends on the form of the field (while the effect of other fields in physics generally depends on the intensity of the field. That means that the field contains information that literally informs or puts form into the energy of the particle. Thus we get a new notion of active information.

Active information as a general concept refers to a situation in which a form that carries very little energy enters and directs much larger energy. For instance, the form of the DNA molecule is active in shaping the growth of a biological organism, in the way the form of the radio waves informs the energy of the radio receiver so that we hear a sound, in the way the form of the radar waves can guide the movement of the ship, in the way the information in a computer acts with various consequences etc. Such information is clearly objective in the sense that it is primarily information to the system, rather than to us.

Bohm hypothesized that mental processes are best understood in terms of a hierarchy of levels, each level having both a physical and mental side and where the more subtle levels organize the more manifest levels, while the more manifest levels provide content to the more subtle ones. At each level, information is the bridge between the mental and the physical.

Bohm saw mind and matter as two aspects or ways of looking at an underlying reality, which is movement. There is mutual participation.

What we usually call "mind" can be seen as a fairly subtle level in the brain, with an internal relationship to the whole universe. The important point is that the mind is still assumed to have a physical aspect, and it can thus influence other such levels and be influenced by them. Finally, Bohm assumed that information is the link or bridge between the mental and the physical sides. In this way, Bohm tried to answer the traditional objection against double-aspect theories or neutral monism, namely that it is left a mystery what is the nature of the reality of which mind and matter are thought to be aspects.

2 The Architecture of Matter

According to Bohm, quantum and relativity physics point to a new notion of physical reality, where the key notion is that of implicate order. This notion can be extended to the field of biological phenomena and consciousness, thus making it into a proposal about the general architecture of existence.

A proper world view is essential for harmony in the individual and in society as a whole. An incorrect or confused view of the totality might facilitate a confused operation of the mind and confused actions.

The phrase "unbroken wholeness in flowing movement" summarizes Bohm's concept of reality fairly neatly. It emphasizes that reality is an unbroken whole and that reality is movement. To say that reality is on unbroken whole is to deny atomism. To say that reality is movement is to deny the view that reality consists of some static things that may or may not move.

Bohm's view is exotic. It means that the totality of existence is enfolded in each region of space and time. We can abstract a part, an element, or an aspect from reality, but it will inevitably enfold the whole and thus remain intrinsically related to the totality. Wholeness thus permeates all that we can abstract and discuss.

Bohm turns the familiar mechanistic scheme upside down. Instead of saying that the universe is made of some basic elements, he postulates that the universe is movement, 'all is flux'. Order is something that prevails in this movement.

The implicate order is the new order to which quantum and relativity theory are pointing.

Bohm list three key Yet features of the quantum theory that challenge mechanism. First of all, movement is thought to be in general discontinuous. A famous implication of this is the so-called 'quantum jump'. Second, there is the phenomenon of wave-particle duality: electrons can exhibit different properties depending on the environmental context within which they exist and are subject to observation. Third, there is the feature of non-locality.

Although both quantum theory and relativity theory challenge the mechanistic order, their basic concepts contradict each other. Relativity requires continuity, strict causality (or determinism) and locality while quantum theory requires non-continuity, non-causality, and non-locality.

Unification is not actually possible. What is very probably needed is a qualitatively new theory, from which both relativity theory and quantum theory are to be derived as abstraction, approximations and limiting cases.

The best place to begin is with what they have basically in common. This is undivided wholeness.

There are some analogies that illustrate the order of undivided wholeness. One is the hologram.

In a hologram, each part of the photographic plate contains information about the whole object so that there is no point-to-point correspondence of the object and the recorded image. The form and structure of the object can be said to be enfolded within each region of the photographic record. When one shines light on any region, you get an image of the whole object.

Also, there is a simple device: a tank made of two concentric glass cylinders filled with glycerine. If you place a droplet of insoluble ink in the fluid and turn the outer cylinder, the droplet is drawn out into a fine thread-like form and suddenly comes invisible. However, when you turn the outer cylinder in the opposite direction, the droplet comes visible again.

Bohm uses the glycerine tank to illustrate a number of principles. One of them is the idea of enfoldment and unfoldment. An implicate order in a given situation is not directly perceivable. It means that we cannot understand its origin without going outside of the situation.

3. The Architecture of Consciousness

Matter and consciousness are traditionally seen as two entirely different substances. It is a bit like saying that there are two different worlds that can keep on existing even if the other world did not exist. Yet it need not imply that they cannot affect each other. They could depend upon each other causally so that changes in the other.

There are a number of different materialist viewpoints: emergent materialism, behaviorism, mind-brain identity theory, functionalism, instrumentalism, and eliminative materialism.

One way of approaching the question of the relationship between matter and consciousness is to focus upon the type of relationship that is assumed to hold between them like reduction, emergence, causation, and supervenience.

Bohm is suggesting that contemporary philosophers of mind have chosen the wrong track as they are trying to explain consciousness in terms of the explicate order. The essence of conscious experience cannot be entirely reduced to mechanical processes in the brain.

There seem to be two ways in which a human being can comprehend an implicate order. There is what we might call conceptual comprehension, where the comprehension takes place with the help of a model which can be conceptually described and communicated. There is also non-conceptual comprehension, where comprehension happens via 'immediate sensing' of the presence of sensory contents in consciousness experience. This happens for instance in listening to music.

In contrast, we cannot 'directly perceive' the implicate order of the mode of existence and movement of an electron. Our only way to grasp this implicate order is through the conceptual model.

Bohm emphasizes that implicate order is active in the sense that it continually flows into emotional, physical and other aspects that are inseparable from the transformations out of which it is essentially constituted.

When we apprehend implicate order, we sense it as meaning. Auditory experiences illustrate the implicate order, for instance in listening to a symphony only a tiny portion of the sounds is vibrating in the air, the rest is enfolded in your brain/mind.

In visual experience, we meet a three-dimensional world of objects, which can be static. But even visual experience involves the implicate order in a powerful way. We understand written text even if there are mistakes in the written words.

The process of thought is not merely a representation of the manifest world. Rather, it makes an important contribution to how we experience this world. Yet, we don't actually create the world, we only create an inner "show" of the world in response to our movements and sensations.

The building blocks of the Bohmian universe are moments. Each moment contains within it all the other moments in some way. The past moments are parasites on the present moment. They can no longer exist independently as moments, so they exist as traces in the present moments.

The role of our memory is to allow the past moments to be present in the present moment.

There is a sense in which matter affects consciousness and vice versa. This connection has been called psychosomatic (psyche meaning mind and soma meaning body). It implies that mind and body are separately existent but connected by some sort of interaction. Bohm wants to question this traditional way of thinking. He thinks that mind and body might involve a higher-dimensional reality which is their common ground and beyond both.

The conscious experience involves a sense of flow, a stream of consciousness and that exists at the level of the ground. Bohm says: "As a human being takes part in the process of this totality, he is fundamentally changed in the very activity in which his aim is to change that reality which is the content of his consciousness. To fail to take this into account must inevitably lead one to serious and sustained confusion in all that one does."

4. Active information

Much harm in science and even more in society is caused by our taking our general world views as final and absolute truths. Bohm emphasizes that the implicate order scheme is merely a proposal or a tool that can be used to seeing.

Bohm introduced a notion of active information. Consider a ship on automatic pilot guided by radar waves. The ship is not pushed and pulled mechanically, rather the form is picked up and this gives shape and form to the movement of the ship. Similarly, the form of radio waves carries the form of speech or music.

Bohm's basic proposal is to extend this notion of active information to matter at the quantum level. It is potentially active everywhere, but actually active only where this information enters into the activity of the particle - just as the radio wave is active where the receiver is. This implies a strange idea that the electron may have an inner structure in the quantum level. Quantum potential implies a non-local interaction between particles and depends on the 'quantum state' of the whole system in a way that cannot be defined simply as a pre-designed interaction between all the particles. The wholeness of the entire system has a meaning going beyond anything that can be specified solely in terms of the actual spatial relationship of the particles.

Active information can be seen as a kind of link or bridge between the mental and the physical or chemical. There is something in the process of thought that is simultaneously physical and mental. Changes in the information content might result in changes in the physical side. For instance, interpreting some information as meaning 'assailant' may give rise to physical activities.

At a given moment, only some of this information is actually active. There is a hierarchy of levels of information, but the process is essentially the same. There is no gap or barrier between these levels. The content of our consciousness is part of this overall activity.

Participation is the key relationship between mind and body. Human beings participate in the planet as a whole. The mechanistic tradition in science and philosophy has emphasized the idea of external relation to physical things, including the Earth. The implicate order scheme draws attention to the possibility of internal relationship and participation in the life of the Earth. Bohm's dream was the awakening of 'collective intelligence'.

5. Time consciousness

Bohm describes consciousness in terms of a series of moments. A given moment cannot be fixed exactly in relation to time but covers some vaguely defined and somewhat variable extended period of duration. Each moment is experienced directly in the implicate order. Each moment of consciousness has a certain explicit content and the implicit content, a foreground and a background. Bohm assumes that there is a certain 'force of necessity' in the overall situation which has the effect that one moment of consciousness gives rise to the next moment. The sense of flow arises because one is directly perceiving a set of co-present elements in different degrees of enfoldment.

It is essential to consider conscious experience in relation to the underlying neural processes. The concept of the implicate order helps us to think of the way the brain/mind processes information and the way information is apprehended. This is not specifically biological. Although conscious experience is intimately connected to and dependent on the underlying neural processes, it may be a mistake to try to reduce it constitutively to such processes.

6. Movement, Causation, and Consciousness

Bohm's basic metaphysical proposal is that the totality of all is movement. This replaces the traditional theory according to which reality consists of basic building blocks like particles and fields. Yet Bohm challenges the idea that there is something that is 'doing the moving'. The essence of the universe is not the motion of objects through space, nor a step-by-step evolution of the state of the universe in a process of time. The holomovement of the universe is beyond time. It is the ground from which arise the sorts of processes in which a time order prevails.

Attention is a key element in movement. It is involved in all our sensory perceptions, and in the act of understanding the whole of perception and thought. Attention is a psychological phenomenon which clearly seems to involve movement, but not essentially a thing that moves in the brain.

The failure of contemporary neuroscientists and philosophers of mind to come to terms with consciousness is partly due to a tacit overcommitment to the mechanistic framework. It is obviously limited to describing the fundamental physical phenomena. In physics, it worked until the end of 19th century but has pretty much failed to fit with new developments in physics after that.

Mechanistic explanations do not work in describing the more fundamental levels of the physical world. Conscious experience is similar to quantum phenomena.

In the traditional materialistic scheme, consciousness is an anomaly, a mystery in a mechanical universe. In Bohm's scheme based on new physics, consciousness exhibits the same implicate order which prevails in both inanimate and animate matter. The Bohmian universe is thus more 'consciousness-friendly' than the universe of classical physics and contemporary neuroscience, which are typically mechanistic. It provides one framework in which we may hope to develop better theories in the future.