Joel Morrison shared this on FB today:

Sentience Everywhere: Complexity Theory, Panpsychism & The Role...


Philosophical understandings of consciousness divide into emergentist positions (when
the universe is sufficiently organized and complex it gives rise to consciousness) vs. panpsychism (consciousness pervades the universe). A leading emergentist position derives from autopoietic theory of Maturana and Varela: to be alive is to have cognition, one component of which is sentience. Here, reflecting autopoietic theory, we define sentience as: sensing of the surrounding environment, complex processing of information that has been sensed, (i.e. processing mechanisms defined by characteristics of a complex system), and generation of a response. Further, complexity theory, points to all aspects of the universe comprising “systems of systems.” Bringing these themes together, we find that sentience is not limited to the living, but present throughout existence. Thus, a complexity approach shifts autopoietic theory from an emergentist to a panpsychist position and shows that sentience must be inherent in all structures of existence across all levels of scale.

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Sounds like Bryant's pan-correlationism.

Do "philosophical understandings of consciousness" really divide in Emergentist positions vs. Panpsychism? Or are those merely the conversational categories of philophilosophers (philosophy teachers, students and enthusiasts)?

Anyone who defines "sentience" as all-pervading has to define it in such a way as to include all kinds of phenomena which are not included by those who limited sentience to emergent organisms. Anyone who denies sentience to all kinds of phenomena must come up with some way to describe a pseudo-sentient condition possessed by pre-sentient beings and amplified by sentient and post-sentient beings. 

We come to a familiar place -- I assert that (as per MOA) it is not really true that alternate meta-theories exist. Only that various meta-theorists specify different aspects of the worldspace which is necessitated by the evaluative context of meta-theory. MOA reduces itself to its first level when it accept "alternative versions". It moves into second and third levels when it no longer accepts alternatives and demands that they be structurally pre-incorporated. 

The cul-de-sac of contemporary studies is anchored in the conventional assumption that the standard alternatives actually exist. Progressive is based on the strategic denial of this assumption.

Hey everyone

How about, When the universe is sufficiently organized and complex it gives rise to sentience rather than consciousness  

Still conversational, but potentially a position that integrates different world spaces and overcomes the departures of alternate versions, subscribing to adjacency as a descriptive/representative necessity. For instance when we move on to engage with space per se * over and through world spaces.

Looking at pre sentient, sentient and post sentient frames, I can work with Richard Gordon’s take on them as singularities. The first, the expanding universe traces the bang, Just to implicate, don’t want to be an apologist for popular cosmology . The explosive nature of planetary movements are illustrative in terms of velocity and temperatures and other phenomena. The second singularity as the transition of this energy to sentience. the third as the transrational or adequate resolution of this sentience.

Pseudo sentient conditions (as and in sentient beings), autopoesis of contradictions, and the contingency of singularities (and then of course the possible departure from adjacency, but more to the point implied is a departure from the limitation of representative tools ) are  symptomatic to synchronous , in integrating events  from  polar functions in the scope of realities to the departure from the pole in the pace of movement from in and out of existence.

In a way Pseudo sentience as an essential reality of generative contingency, sort of beckons subterfuge and stratagems of immanent deception :) Another back drop – that we are still, is a destination, the arrival of that reality while the planet is going at abt 100000 kms an hour. That is a transition of explosive planetary stuff, and stillness is the sensibility.

the genesis of sentience ( also the genesis of violence), points to the explosivity (pre violence)  of the cosmos . Violence is also the root of intensification of sentience in the animal prerogative and the bloody evolutionary trail of the human being . The inadequate expression of cosmic intensity.  The importance of this is reiterated by the under representation of the problem of violence. As much as the event that violence itself is the inadequacy, the under rep.  And the anomaly of it, mm the pseudo sentience of it.

Some differentials - Between sentience and consciousness. Sentience and feeling . sentience and existence. And world space and space*. I’m suggesting they are the same difference. Existence, conscience, feeling and space are the same stuff **.

And so, here comes my insight -- that attention (consciousness) unfolds with feeling. The more sensual , tangible the awareness the greater the attention. And as this attention moves into the vastness of space, it is still really the movement of feeling. There just isn’t a centre.

And space is the thing, everything in existence. (Its pole obviously being nothing, not even or especially not, emptiness) at the end of space you can’t have more space. In terms of a cosmic address where the universe is located in space is an absurdity. So Space ,encompassing, is thing itself. The intensification of  cosmic activity is sentience,  the concentration or density of consciousness/existence . sentience is the generative pole to consciousness ?

** everything is the same stuff of course, ha ha. though I’m talking of distance as metaphor. A paradox is  that spatial distance is the abstraction, here (as in an axial location. At an intersection in addition to a spatial location). Its not that there are two things , its how far apart they are. For instance Non duality and duality are the poles, they are not different things. The perfect pole would be when one thing is in total opposition to another. (That is interesting as it suggests the absolute and absolutism is incidental and not likely to be part of any big story)





Hey Valli,

Very thoughtful inspirations.

Clearly our notion of reality needs some kind of ubiquitous subjectivity-potential. And it must be entangled (co-incident) with an unbounded material potential. And then we also need (whatever term we like) some type of more intense, more vivid, more relational, more coherent subjectivity -- which strongly correlates with more organized objective complexities.

Subjectivity, even proto- or pseudo-, must be understood as pre-mental. That implies it is a feeling-attention.

I've just been diddling with a manuscript ("The Integralite's Handbook") that includes some old essays on the differential continuity between sentience, sapience & salience. Sentience usually signifies that field of feeling-attention senses itself as an independent center and experiences suffering and rejoicing from its circumstances. Sapience adds self-enfolding and communicative clarity which bestows "rights". And then salience continues the sensual, vivid, lucid, coherent, space-filling growth.

Space clearly has three general meanings. It is used poorly as "void". In that case it simply indicates non-thinking posing as thinking. And "space beyond space" is a terrific example of a non-thought which should not haunt our theory-building. But in the more positive sense, space can mean either "potential locatability" or "proto-materiality" (the primal material fluid).

Violence analogies are tricky...

We are bold when we look into evidence about the connexion between violence and the history of inner development. Yet it also seems that violence characterizes an explosive, contradictory state where energy is specifically not being organized within the field of a greater attractor -- not generating anything new.  The general situation of violence is the inactive background which does not necessarily oppose or produce any increased of structure or sentience. Something else enables violence to be structured into new form. But that does make violence sound oddly similar to the proto-material which is also intimate with the proto-sentience. Space may indeed by a step up from the primordial chaos and self-violation of a pre-massive regime of energy. 

Poles are also interesting...

Clearly we do not need (and should not really use) terms of absolute unity. They return into nihilism like fish fleeing from water. But then what to do with the fact that we need a minimum dose of multiplicity (at-least-two-ness) as the basic generative power of being?

Do we imagine that as a perfectly opposed dyad or something fuzzier? Total opposition seems, like total fusion, to be a perfectly inert situation. On the other hand, creation results from an adequate but incomplete nearness, an active proximity of engagement. Optimal polarization is the degree of oppositionality which -- while continuing its differential -- is low enough to permit productive exchange (i.e. is almost the same).

 Hi Layman

 Love the criteria you've been spelling out. works in progress.. :)

Layman, this was a lot of work, to string the fray. I didn’t think, but I’m in deep waters now :) I’ll link this to this thread to stay relevant as I can to this discussion and to give some width to this post.

The lack of the language of the dimensional in integral and post Meta parlance (and elsewhere) is a problem. But then something fundamental edges in and time worn but untapped ontology rushes the pole. I can ride the buzz then! And let the rhythm recur as the Meta maps flash their Monty.

With the fundamental and the ultimate, since its sticky, Initial and eventual questions are 1) the metaphysics of pre-existence against the incidence and domains of creativity 2) the question isn’t just the Kosmic address of a subject or an object and where it is located, but the address of the kosmos itself, the location of the universe. A narrative through the crisis of context and the range of polarity.

LP -The idea of shifting toward Context is a fairly easy way to comprehend the distinction between "1st tier" and "2nd tier" worldviews.

Makes sense. To the question is content insignificant? A basic 1.2,3 mapping to approach it, Content /context/content, say 1st 2nd and 3rd tier. Not to be partial, it phrases polarity and stays open to fold backs. In two or three quick easy steps. Context qualifies content, and the third tier the ground is quality and here content (the amount or quantity of quality) qualifies context. The third tier can be left to follow the story, to focus on the crisis of context. To be held though, the recursivity of content and context and how they inform each other.

LP - 2nd tier has been called "vision-logic".

Our eye should be drawn to the "-" between "vision" and "logic". That hyphen helpfully reminds us of an in-between structure. Inbetweens are the basis of integrative philosophy. Perspectives about how perspectives relate to each other arise only after we can comprehend the thresholds between perspectives. We cannot think of worldviews and viewpoints until we can contextualize them. We need to frame them, separate them and link them together. This depends on our capacity to make friends with the boundaries (or "spaces") between different understandings of Reality.

This is not just conceptual trickiness. There is something very existential & amazing which allows different "things" seem nearer or farther from each other -- more the same or more different from each other. This is truly a spiritual matter which enters into our thinking. The mysteriously obvious condition which expresses itself as both some-degree-of-sameness and some-degree-of-difference is non-duality. It is ambiguity raised to the power of certainty.

Awesome. The in-betweens, the boundary zones are then points of dimensional entry. Like In fractal dynamics boundary zones are the information keepers of the universe, descriptors of reality. To go a step further, they are *more* real. They become the reified location for the universe. Differences themselves, the novelty of shifts.

Nearer or farther, more the same or more different from each other. Which is, the range of polarity, of *distance*. At its stretch, there is the draw of peak opposition, the paradigm of closure, of close-ness, which is face to face. So we have contexts for the language of dimensionality. Closures, the dimensional shifts and differences, the locales of intra-dimensional shifts

A model needs a ruse. The trip of a story to expose the rigor of context, a convergence of opposition to cross the limits of a conflict. In contrast to the camaraderie of consensus, a groupism, that dissociates conflicts to other groups. A story to track the roots of behaviour and expression. Does the universe have perspectives? Can we think of history like that? Is it even possible to think of history in any other way?

If the narrative is often what is or presumptuous, that’s just my take, of course. My first take on this sort of thing, a little indulgence would be nice :)

Dimensional range

Sameness, similarity.

Distance, difference.

Range of difference/distance, polarity.

Opposition, attractors.

Closure, closeness.

Opposition as attractors, creative. And as conflict, pathological proximity.

Polarity is like the draw and the range of distance, the concretization of space.

Content has no meaning unless we *capture* it, the paradox of infinity.



Is consciousness interpreted in favourite ways that something elementary is mystified? To contextualize –

  • Sentience is the pole of conscience. Consciousness is universal, sentience is local.
  • The turn of physical distance to distance also as a sensibility.
  • Consciousness is content. With feeling at the level of matter. Location is context
  • Consciousness is a constant, a singularity range. The paradox of macro universal entities, the race against measure through measure
  • Consciousness does not have eyes, it does not see. Consciousness is not self-reflexive. Sentience is self-reflexive, it differentiates itself from its surroundings. Feeling at the level of a sentient being
  • Consciousness is, when we strip to go back (of pain, pleasure, the senses) go all the way down, to bare being
  • Consciousness is mixed up with sentience and attention, making it conversational. We could say consciousness at the level of sentience and consciousness at the level of attention. COS and COA is useful for mapping. And with CON for consciousness, it happens! ( consciousness of the dimensional – COD )
  • To say conscious of needs to be qualified. There is no other until the emergence of sentience. Which is the contention of course.  content comes from contention, that has to be more than a pun..
  • Well, there are intermediary others. The concretization of consciousness to objects like planets, creates a boundary zone, between space and an object. So we have everything happening at the planet’s surface, mountains and rivers and vegetation and everything else that emerges, the potency of a boundary zone
  • But it is with sentience that the (first) other is fully there. The singularity, the next I, the second I
  • Duality is the original system that is a signifier for states of mind (of sentient beings)
  • I have a suspicion, trained access to pre-existent subtle and causal states, is that a case of what comes in the way? A topic for the other thread. I’m picking on training but there is something, a sort of deconstructive impulse right at the source of methodology, a polar function that goes way back
  • Trained, programmed, indoctrinated. Aspects of institutionalization, of privileged access which are cordoned off, unless there is an allegiance, a subscription to the institution. An aside, the apparatus that programs a hero who can and is accredited to take more abuse than others
  •  With dimensionality we are talking about the activity of the available senses and sensibilities.


 continued in this thread



Transitory dynamic incidental dependency

LP maybe it’s just this itch for a foursome. A change from the chirpy threesomes!

LP - Clearly our notion of reality needs some kind of ubiquitous subjectivity-potential. And it must be entangled (co-incident) with an unbounded material potential. And then we also need (whatever term we like) some type of more intense, more vivid, more relational, more coherent subjectivity -- which strongly correlates with more organized objective complexities.

Eventual locations exhibit a higher degree of independence, perhaps discontinuity. An independence gained from identity, but it could have a transitory incidental dependency, which has discontinuity as a precursor.  The co incidence of dependency and discontinuity, needs a subject to be incidental on, and the non-linear access to subjects available makes it absolute subjectivity. Absolute subjectivity is non-dual with the sensibilities and mentality of the particular subject/identity that it is incidental on. The above co-incidence can be framed in your criteria, ubiquitous subjectivity potential and unbounded material potential and those whatever terms we like. Which also correlates with more organized objective complexities, which goes with a structure stage acquired by identity in its independence from an inherent absolute subjectivity. Or an inherent emergent absolute subjectivity. To be informed by the good foursome vibe !



I couldn't add the link to the other thread in the earlier post so its here

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