[time 443] Self and Binding

Matti Pitkanen (matpitka@pcu.helsinki.fi)
Tue, 13 Jul 1999 15:13:43 +0300 (EET DST)

Below a mini essay about Self and Binding as understood
in TGD. The results are new and somewhat preliminary but to my humble
opinion represent breakthrough in understanding of TGD inspired theory of
consciousness. I hope that I can get a chapter about Self and Binding to
'TGD inspired theory of cs...' during next month or so.

        Self and Binding

        1. Three objections against TGD inspired theory of

There are three strong counter arguments against the identification
of quantum jump as a moment of consciousness.

a) The contents of conscious experience is determined by both the
initial and final states so that it seems not possible to get any
objective information about quantum states as such: we are doomed to
live in the world of Maya, contrary to what mystics argue. One can
consider weaker form of objectivity for which state remains invariant
in quantum statistical sense: this would suggest that sensory
experiences involve ensembles of 'sub-observers' and that 'our'
sensory experience is kind of mean experience whose objectivity is
guaranteed by statistical determinism.

b) Any conscious experience should involve a conscious selection
between various outcomes of the quantum jump or at least experience of
free will. Sensory experience does not certainly involve this kind of
selection: I have no experience of selecting between red and green
when I see red. Note however that the volition related to the directed
attention could be present at least when experience begins.

c) The idea of self as a continuous stream of consciousness is very
attractive and it seems difficult to imagine that our consciousness
could be actually a sequence of moments of consciousness with gaps
between. This argument is not so strong as it might sound: one
cannot experience the gaps between moments of consciousness since it
 is not possible to be conscious of not being conscious. One could
however argue that system possessing 'self' must be as near as
possible to a continuous stream of consciousness: perhaps systems
with self are able to participate to subsequent quantum jumps or the
gaps between participations consist of sufficiently few quantum
jumps so that world does not change too much between subsequent
participations. Self in this sense could differentiate between
electron and brain as experiencers.

For a long time these problems remained a challenge for TGD inspired
theory of consciousness. The recent progress in the undertanding of
quantum TGD led however to a notion of self providing a beautiful
solution to the problems posed by these counter arguments. The most
important pieces of the puzzle identified during last year are

1) Real-to-padics correspondence at the level of quantum TGD reduces
quite generally a mapping of real geometric structures to their
p-adic counterparts involving a unique pinary cutoff making possible
p-adic counterparts of real structures to satisfy same defining
conditions as satisfied by real structures. This pinary cutoff seems
to be crucial for understanding consciousness: for instance, pinary
cutoff defines the resolution of conscious experience.

2) Geometric matter-mind duality realized in terms of cognitive and
matterlike spacetime sheets makes possible to generalize von Neumann's
idea about brain as the ultimate state function reducer. Infinite
primes are very closely related concept making possible precise
realization of this idea.

3) Dissipation as a direct signature for the occurrence of quantum
jumps between quantum histories (and in fact for the existence of

3) Despite the fact that one cannot write formula for the contents of
conscious experience, one can define information measures for
conscious experience as differences of information measures for
initial and final quantum histories. Here also pinary cutoff is in
crucial role.

4) Each quantum jump involves localization in zero modes (associated
with infinite-dimensional configuration space of 3-surfaces), which
implies the classicality of the universe of the subjective

5) A precise definition of the concept of subsystem based on the
hypothesis that subsystem concept is local at the level of
configuration space and derives from the geometric definition of
subsystem at spacetime level relying on p-adicity and the concept of
infinite primes.

As a byproduct the notion of self allows rather detailed answers to
some other deep questions related to TGD inspired theory of

1) How the components of conscious experience bind together to form
experence and how general classification of conscious experiences to
various types (volition, sensory experiences, thinking,...)

2) How psychological time and the arrow of psychological time emerge?
Why ageing seems to be the price paid for self?

3) What is the precise relationship between various macroscopic
quantum phases and consciousness?

        2. Self as subsystem able to remain unentangled

The manner to circumvent the objections agains quantum jump as moment
of consciousness identification is surprisingly simple and general
and relies on the idea that selves are sub-Universes, that
sub-systems which are able to remain unentangled in subsequent quantum
jumps, which also means that one can describe selves as pure quantum
states. The hypothesis is that self experience of subsystem lasts
for so many quantum jumps as subsystem stays in unentangled state.

Not all subsystems are however allowed. Unless one poses restrictions
to allowed subsystem-complement pairs one ends up with nonsensical
predictions when trying to understand how the contents of conscious
experiences of selves are determined. The classical nondeterminism of
K\"ahler action realizes geometric Matter-Mind duality in terms of
cognitive spacetime sheets having finite time duration and material
spacetime sheets carrying ordinary matter. Geometric Matter Mind
duality, whose precise realization is suggested by the concept of
infinite primes, leads to the generalization of von Neumann's
intuitions about brain as ultimate state function reducer. The
hypothesis that only those quantum jumps which lead to the reduction
of entanglement between cognitive and mind like spacetime sheets,
allows to circumvent the problems resulting otherwise. Hence quantum
jumps occur inside selves, sub-Universes which are *matter-mind
subsystem pairs* having no entanglement with the rest of the world. An
open problem is the mechanism of the moment wake-up creating self. Is
self generated by by a more active general quantum jump destroying
p-adic quantum entanglement between self and external world or does
p-adic entanglement disappear as a result of the unitary time
evolution U preceding quantum jump? The fact that no experience of
free will seems to be involved with the waking-up experience would
suggest that quantum jump is not involved with the generation of self
and that self.

The requirement that time development operator U does not generate
entanglement is highly nontrivial. In real context it would not be
possible to satisfy it but in p-adic context situation is
different. The point is that reals to p-adics mapping involves quite
generally unique pinary cutoff. Thus real entangled state for which
all but one entanglement probabilities are below the pinary cutoff is
mapped to an unentangled state. Thus self-consciousness is critical
phenomenon in real context: when entanglement is below critical
entanglement, self arises. Note that this criterion is also
consistent with the autonomy of living systems.

        3. Binding of experiencers and quantum entanglement

How different components of conscious experiences, that is various
components of sensory experience and the active component involving
conscious selection/decision, integrate to single experience, is
known as binding problem. In fact, one can distinguish between
binding of *conscious experiences* and binding of *conscious

Quantum entanglement provides a possible mechanism of binding of
conscious *experiencers* to larger selves. If the p-adic primes
associated with the two subsystems are different. the p-adic prime p
characterizing the combined experience is the larger one of the
two. This means that from the point of view of smaller subsystem
entanglement means enlightment, extended state of consciousness.
Enlightment by entanglement hypothesis has already earlier been
suggested as an explanation various altered states of consciousness
reported in transpersonal psychology. Ultimate enlightment experience
is that of becoming part of God: this means entanglement with the
spacetime sheet characterized by the infinite p-adic prime
associated with the entire Universe!

        4. Binding of experiences and summation hypothesis

 Unentangled subsystem X possessing self behaves essentially as a
separate sub-Universe with respect to strong NMP. This means that
unentangled subsystems Y_i of X, in particular subselves,
participate in each quantum jump. Synchronous neuronal firing could
be regarded as a consequence of strong NMP and as a consequence of
quantum jump leading to unentangled state generating 'our' self or
'sub-self'. If neurons are able to remain in unentangled state also
subneuronal quantum jumps are possible and this could eventually make
synchronous biochemical reactions possible. As suggested by TGD based
generalization of psychological time, primary sensory experiences
could occur at the level of primary sensory organs and nerve pulse
activity could be regarded as resulting from the creation or wake-up
of sensory sub-self by quantum jump leading to state able to remain

If one postulates that the conscious experiences of subsystems Y_i of
unentangled subsystem X integrate with the self experience of X to
form single experience, one obtains filtered hierarchy of conscious
experiences with increasingly richer contents and at the top of the
hierarchy is entire universe, God! The integrated experience cannot a
simple sum of individual experiences (we do not experience the
conscious experiences of neurons separately) but an abstraction
formed by some kind of averaging must be involved. Quantum
statistical determinism makes possible reliable thinking and sensory
experiencing at the level of self and one could in principle model
brain and sensory organs as ensembles of sub-subsystems for which
quantum measurement of certain observables is performed in quantum
jump leading to the thought or sensory experience (this is indeed done
in the chapter 'TGD inspired model for intelligent systems' of

Different sensory qualia would naturally correspond to separate
unentangled quantum jumping subsystems, whose individual experiences
are separate but combine to form separate qualia in our experience.
They could be even primary sensory organs in TGD framework. The
formation of color experience provides an excellent example of what
possibly happens: the experiences of retinal cells sum up to color
experiences determined by the proportions of different kinds of color
experiences in the ensemble of retinals cells. Note that although
indivual experiences of retinal cells might involve experience of
free will, there is no volition in statistical sense if state is
invariant in statistical sense. Note however that volition might be
related only to the localization in zero modes selecting between
different absolute minima of K\"ahler action rather than quantum jumps
reducing the entanglement.

        5. Some consequences

The proposed concept of self leads naturally to the summation
hypothesis. Also enlightment by entanglement hypothesis is a
natural consequence of the concept of self. These hypothesis in
turn have rather nontrivial consequences.

5.1 Infinite hierarchy of selves with God at the top

A rather dramatic prediction is a Russian doll like hierarchy of
conscious experiencers. having entire Universe, God, at the top.
The necessary localization in zero modes making the Universe of
conscious experience classical together with the proposed concept of
self allows to understand both active and passive aspects of
consciousness and general classification of various types of
conscious experiences becomes possible. Summation hypothesis and
enlightment by entanglement hypothesis provide a general framework
for interpreting various transpersonal experiences and altered states
of consciousness as resulting from entanglement with larger units of
consciousness suggested already earlier.

5.2 Self-organization, ageing, death

Living systems are autonomous systems and selves, being effectively
their own sub-Universes, are indeed autonomous. Strong NMP implies
that the subsystems of self perform quantum jumps which means
dissipation and makes possible self-organization. Haken's
classical theory of self-organization applies almost as such since
time development by quantum jumps means hopping around the space of
zero modes characterizing size and shape and K\"ahler fields
associated with 3-surface.

Ageing results from dissipation and can be interpreted as a price
paid for having self. One can also formulate questions about what
happens in death in terms of physical concepts. Is entanglement with
some larger self generated after death (and during sleep)? Is the
cognitive spacetime sheet representing bodily self preserved as 'soul'
(during sleep this is certainly the case) and continues diffusing
around the future lightcone so that reincarnation is possible?

5.3 Self and macroscopic quantum phases

Self must be able to remain p-adically unentangled under subsequent
quantum jumps

Psi_i --> UPsi_i--> Psi_f.

This poses strong conditions on the physics of systems possessing
self. Macroscopic quantum phases are obviously excellent candidates
for selves since particles in this kind of system are typically in
same state separated by energy gap from excited states resulting when
particles get entangled with external world. In standard real number
based physics the existence of systems able to remain unentangled is
extremely unprobable since the generation of even slightest
entanglement would destroy the self: in TGD p-adicity saves the day.
Many-sheeted spacetime concept in turn makes possible large number
of macroscopic quantum phases.

5.4 Quantum model for intelligent systems

The assumptions behind the quantum model for intelligent systems find
justification (see the chapter 'Quantum model for intelligent
systems' of [cbook]). One can understand at very general level the
mechanism for how universe forms abstractions about itself and identify
quantum correlates for reflective and habitual thinking and understand in
deeper manner the quantum model learning as a transformation of
reflective 'theoretical' thinking (realized in terms of fermionic
representation of Boolean algebra) to habitual 'common sense' thinking
(realized in terms of set theoretic representation of Boolean algebra
provided by the hierarchy of selves). Even the basic hierarchical
structures of language could be identified in terms of Russian doll
like structure formed by selves. The hierarchy of selves is analogous
to a hierarchy of higher level computer languages providing
increasingly abstract descriptions of computer program. The hierarchy
of selves is also analogous to the the hierarchy of modules of a
computer program.

5.5 How psychological time and its arrow emerge?

The picture of self as cognitive spacetime sheet with finite time
duration makes it possible to understand how psychological time
emerges: psychological time corresponds to the center of mass time
coordinate for cognitive spacetime sheet and is zero mode so that each
quantum jump localizes quantum state to sharp value of psychological
time (actually values of psychological times). The arrow of
psychological time in turn can be understood as resulting from
diffusion of cognitive spacetime sheets in future lightcone induced
by quantum jumps: diffusion results from the fact that there is much
more room in the future of the lightcone than in its past.


[cbook] 'TGD inspired theory of consciousness'


Matti Pitkanen

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