Essential 1: The Fundamentals
How Mind Emerges from the Brain

The simplest explanation of your existence

Meditation

Although it’s not known to science, the core reason we have two hemispheres in the brain is that in order to optimize our interactions, both of them need to process our ongoing interactions in two different ways.

As per the Dichotomized Operating System model 1:

The left hemisphere, which I call system 1, uses direct logic and the right hemisphere, which I call system 2, uses contextual logic to process our interactions 2

To understand how our mind works, we must understand how they work as a single system, which can best be done using the “Car Treasure Hunt” analogy, as follows.

Self

A father and his son are participating in the game of “Car Treasure Hunt” with the son at the driving seat. Car treasure hunt is a game where each person or team attempts to be the first in reaching a destination using a trail of clues while travelling in their car.

The son is good at thinking logically and executing efficiently, as he is young and physically fit. He avoids cars, people crossing roads, etc. and follows traffic lights, diversions, etc. on his own, but consults his old father, who is not as physically capable and is not as strong in logical processing as his son, but possesses wisdom derived from decades of experience of city roads, locations, their histories, features, dangers, shortcuts, etc., which he uses to decode clues given in the game for different destinations to guide his son on which path to take.

The Analogy: 

In the analogy, the father is system 2, which is what we call “the self”, and the son is system 1, which is our unconscious mind 3.

In the way father and son work as a team to reach common goals, system 1 and system 2 work in the brain as a team to reach common goals.

As avoiding other cars, people crossing roads, etc. and following traffic lights, diversions, etc. are based on preset instructions, the son does not need to consult his father on how to deal with them and executes them on his own. In the same way, system 1 executes repetitive, condition based, hard-wired, etc. tasks, which are preset tasks, on its own, which corresponds to unconscious processing in the brain.

The way the son consults his father when judgement is to be made on navigation, system 1 consults system 2 when judgement is to be made on how to interact further using past data from its hierarchical database, which corresponds to conscious processing in the brain.

Decision Making

In the process of making a decision…

  • The son (system 1) and his father (system 2) generate one or more decisions on the ongoing interaction using logic and experience using past data from its hierarchical database respectively, out of which…
  • The father (system 2) evaluates the decisions generated by his son (system 1) and himself
  • He (system 2) judges which decision is suitable for execution using simple logic
  • He (system 2) takes his son’s (system 1’s) assistance when complex logic is involved
  • Based on which, he (system 2) finalizes the decision he finds appropriate for execution (which translates to the self finalizing the decision for execution) which we call “intention”  
  • When his son (system 1) is highly confident about something, based on the degree of such confidence, he (system 2) refrains from making and/or executing decisions and follow his son (system 1)

Executing a Decision

In the process of executing the finalized decision, i.e. intention…

  • The father (system 2) initiates execution of the finalized decision as and when required
  • He (system 2) deliberates and if and when required, communicates with his son (system 1) in the execution process
  • He (system 2) guides his son (system 1) in execution of physical actions (e.g. giving directions), in which…
  • When repetitive physical actions are involved, his son (system 1) executes them on his own (e.g. keeping the car on the right side of the road)
  • When condition based physical actions are involved, his son (system 1) executes them on reaching such conditions (e.g. stopping at the red light)

Fundamental Mind Related Phenomena

System 1 & 2 and their relation to our fundamental mind phenomena:

System 2 is what we refer to as ‘self’.

System 1 is the unconscious mind.

Thoughts are communication within and between system 1 and system 2.

Decisions result out of system 2’s processing with system 1 and/or itself.

Judgments are decisions finalized by system 2.

Intentions are action plans based on system 2’s finalized decisions.

Attention is about the topic that is being processed by system 2.

As system 1 processes interactions using parallel processing, it is much faster than system 2, which processes interactions using serial processing.

To verify the above points, all you need to do is to compare them with your subjective experiences. You do not need a science lab for that.

References

1 Dichotomized Operating System Model (DOS Model) is a functional model developed by me which reveals a single system consisting of hierarchically interconnected goal-driven mechanisms and processes running in the brain that work together and form what we collectively call “mind”, including how the “self”, which has no physical dimensions, is not visible and does not weigh anything controls our thoughts, decisions, actions, attention, behaviour, personality, etc. and is responsible for our existence.

It is the only existing fully causal account of the human mind and is based on the process of Natural Selection proposed by Charles Darwin in the year 1859 in his book “On the Origins of Species – By Means of Natural Selection”.

It brings upon a new paradigm in mind and brain sciences based on the “systems thinking” approach.

2 For those who have read or are familiar with the book “Thinking Fast and Slow” by the Noble Laureate Daniel Kahneman:

1) Although Kahneman has stated in his book that he has used the terms system 1 and system 2 as metaphors to make it easy to explain the decision making process in the brain, the DOS model not only explains the presence of such systems, but how they work together and form our mind. 

2) Kahneman’s explanations are based on ideas and observations, whereas DOS model is based on fully causal explanations stemming out of the process of natural selection.

3) DOS model also explains mechanisms responsible for each of Kahneman’s observations, which claim that system 1 is fast, automatic, impulsive, associative, emotional unconscious, etc. and system 2 is slower, conscious, reflective, deliberative, analytical, rational, etc. 

4) In this short video, Daniel Kahneman talks about system 1 and system 2. 

3 The degree of consciousness, i.e. the state of being subconscious, is when an interaction is distributed between system 1 and system 2. Its degree is based on distribution between them. The more it is processed by system 2, the higher the level of its consciousness.

Essential 2: The Driving Force

Optimizing Aspect of Natural Selection

The driving force responsible for our existence

Following is a brief introduction to the dynamic optimizing aspect of survival and reproduction characteristics based on the process of natural selection. It is the driving force behind mechanisms and processes running in the brain that are responsible for our existence and drive our daily lives.

Self
Charles Darwin

It is based on the process of natural selection proposed by Charles Darwin in the year 1859 in his book ‘On the Origins of Species – By Means of Natural Selection’.

It explains how all organisms have characteristics with intrinsic tendencies to survive, reproduce and dynamically optimize their operations in a step-by-step manner. All human behaviour is based on such characteristics.

Process of Natural Selection 

Following is the step-by-step explanation of the process of natural selection.

Inheritance

When organisms reproduce themselves, they pass on their biological characteristics to the next generations genetically.

Variation

As they are biologically reproduced, their next generations may not always inherit the exact copies of themselves.

There is a possibility of their next generations reproducing slightly different variations (i.e. mutations) of characteristics.

Survival

It is possible for some biologically reproduced organisms to inherit random variations of the characteristics that are helpful for them to survive in their environment, while others are not.

Reproduction

In the same way, it is possible for some reproduced organisms to inherit random variations of the characteristics that are helpful for their reproduction, while others are not.

Selection

With every passing generation, the reproduced organism that possesses variation of the characteristic that favours either its survival or reproduction, e.g. characteristic XYZ, survives or reproduces more than others, as it favours the same.

Optimization

At the same time, every passing generation reproduces slightly different variations of the inherited characteristic XYZ.

Again, variations of organisms possessing characteristic XYZ that favour survival or reproduction in a better way than the rest of the population possessing it survive and reproduce more respectively, as they have better chance to survive and reproduce than them.

This way, characteristic XYZ keeps optimizing over generations.

Adding Up

Simultaneously, organisms with characteristic XYZ may additionally inherit some other characteristic, e.g. characteristic ABC, which favours either survival or reproduction, and which adds up to characteristic XYZ (i.e. ABC + XYZ).

In the same way, with every passing generation, more and more characteristics favouring survival and reproduction keep adding themselves to the organisms simultaneously, while getting optimized in the process.

Population

Such continually increasing amount of continuously optimizing characteristics favouring survival and reproduction results into increase in their overall population.

Limitation

Limited amount of available resources in the environment to support such ever-increasing population results into organisms competing for survival.

Selection

Over the generations, organisms having superior variations of multiple and optimized survival characteristics outnumber their inferior counterparts in the competition for survival, eventually making them extinct.

Even with slow progression offered by small incremental changes from generation to generation, when such processes keep happening for hundreds of millions of years (as proven by 570 million of years of fossil record), the overall population of organisms result into possessing a very high number of characteristics that favour survival and reproduction, which Darwin cited as chosen by natural selection. 

For the same reasons, all organisms have characteristics with intrinsic tendencies to:

1. Survive

2. Reproduce and

3. Dynamically optimize their operations (based on their environments and conditions)

The mechanism of natural selection works on the premise that nature selects organisms for survival based on their inheritance of characteristics that allow them to survive and reproduce better than other organisms of their species that do not have such characteristics.

Continuous addition and optimization by favouring better and better survival and reproduction characteristics in every passing generation for a period of millions of years has resulted into organisms accumulating a very high number of highly optimized characteristics favouring survival and reproduction based on their environments and ecosystems.

Such addition and optimization has been responsible not only for physical development of the body, but also mental development in a highly optimized manner, as it has the same physical basis and is a part of the same goal-driven activity.

Treasure-Hunt-Analogy

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