Norman Allan
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Some conclusions: January through March 2002


Tanced has just shown me how to make music – or more precisely, how to participate in creating music on the guitar. I’ve been trying to strum the guitar for decades but I’m all thumbs; till now. Here is Tanc’s prescription. Em.jpg (2305 bytes)

With your left hand make the simplest chord. On the guitar that is E minor. Then forget about your left hand.

With your right hand drum on the strings. (Don’t think, "strum". Not yet. Keep it simple.) So there are six strings (the chord E minor, E B E G B E) to drum on to the simple rhythm that Tanc played which went, sort of …

hum dellum dum
        hum dellum dum
                hum dellum dum
                        hum dellum dum
hum dellum dum
        hum dellum dum
                hum dellum dum
                        hum dellum dum

… that’s the formula. And with it we played an amazing, changing, song (in E minor and three four time). I guess Tanc played it, but I participated in its creation – it was new, it was groovy, we were jamming – I participated in the unfolding of music out of "thin air", out of these (relatively) simple rules.

Music, then, can emerge from a relatively simple definable formula, but then the music itself goes on to exist on many different levels. It interfaces with "feeling" (and "sensing", "knowing", "meaning") and this mind stuff too flows (is co-created) out of this unrolling formula.

Conclusion? The patterns generated by simple systems… the systems generated out of simple patterns are quite amazing from the simplest emergence of Langton’s ant to the more complex emergence of music, from mandelbrot’s bug to the homeopathic patterns that over-lap modes in complex organic systems (illnesses), moods in the minds, and personality and thoughts (even thoughts!) .

What part of the music, of the pattern, is in the material world and what part of the music is in the mind? Some part of the music, for sure, is a pattern in the material world, in "stem" (space time energy matter), but in what sense is a patterned perturbation of the air "music"? In what sense do patterns exist in space time? Patterns in "stem" may interact through "resonance", and here resonance has a very limited definition for mathematicians and physicists. You may have a repetition of a "pattern" in the material world, for instance, in wallpaper, but how is that a pattern, a repetition, if it is not recorded, recognized, perceived, and if it isn’t, then aren’t we back with Bishops Berkley’s unobserved tree falling in the forest? Beyond resonance (in its limited physics sense) pattern is in perception (isn’t it?). Is there "music" without a listener?

The material world is concrete, discrete… a concretization in which the pattern manifests, but it is not where "pattern" is discerned. Pattern is a judgement. Surely there has to be in a "discerner". What does it mean to be discerned? perceived? known? It should not surprise us that we cannot escape the "mind". We are mind.

What can we say about "existence"? That something is happening. That what is happening is an event. At least one level of the "happenings" (that we humans encounter) is in this universe of space time energy matter. Many of the events manifest in "stem’s" various matrices, like the brain (with its neural net), like the organic body, like DNA. As a home for patterns and events "stuff" is golden. (Given Darwin stuff will evolve into complex matrices. Given complex matrices all sorts of stuff will happen.) This, though, tells us nothing about the other dimensions, except 1/ the string theorists think that stuff implies other dimensions, and 2/ the existence of consciousness certainly implies other dimensions.

I recall in the 1980s and 1990s conversations where we spoke of how the world of information – be it mind, be it Sheldrake’s morphogenic field – how it obeys different laws from those that govern "stem". The realms of information, of consciosness, do not seem to be constrained in the same manner by space and time. Information, consciousness, pertains to another realm then the "stem" universe we see around us and seem to be embedded in. But how do the worlds of "stem"(matter) and information interact?


The other morning, while meditating, my foot fell asleep (again). I tried to move it and met a blank, an emptiness. No response. This mental flexing, "volition", just what is it?

If mind is beyond body, beyond "stem", how does "spirit" interface with "matter". The great twentieth century neuroscientist, Professor Eccles, felt that the spirit and body, the mind and nerve impulse, might interface at some "quantum" level: that mind might touch the body somewhere in the quantum foam.

Sitting there contemplating my lost limb (lost to my volition) and wondering where and how the spirit ties to the body, I thought again of resonance: that volition, that motor action, is a chord the mind sings that rings some particular Upper Motor Neurons. So is moving my index finger accomplished by singing/thinking the resonant pattern, the chord that resonates with the extensor muscle motor neurons (in the motor cortex and elsewhere)? If the interaction of the material "stem" world with the mindfield is weak, a resonant keying of patterns might provide efficacy.

The resonance we are speaking of isn’t like middle C (256 Hz), nor even a 6 string guitar chord like E minor. Recall MAME’s potato virus x fragments binding their complementary cDNA strand. We are talking about a three-dimensional stereotopic match, or better, a three-dimensional "homeotopic" match. And if homeopathic DNA can electrically bind its cDNA, why not "homeopathic-flexion-of-the-left-index-finger" triggering finger flexion. Remember though that the homeopathic signal is in "stem": it is subtler then gross matter (but it is still in and of matter energy in space time). So is it in pattern, in resonance, that mind and matter match?

I’m pleased with this concept, a homeotopic interfacing of the mindfield and brainfield. However, I have some misgiving, for the farther we move from actual data into speculation the more likely we are to float off into illusory cloud-castles. (That’s why MAME’s phenomenon indicating that homeopathy was harmonic in structure was so exciting. It was a piece of concrete data revealing and suggesting new aspects of inner workings of the world. )

And speaking of cloud-castles, of quantum foam and indeterminism, of stuff at a quantum level being and not being there, is this because it is not only in the material universe but also, at the same time, exists in other realms, in mind, in spirit? Is quantum weirdness the signature of spirit coming through?

Back in my life, I have a vague memory of learning to move parts of my body as an infant. And I recall that I poked my finger in my eye a lot as a tot while I was learning to sing this body. Some twentieth century psychologists spoke of "breaking" or "burning" through the pathways. But I wonder if learning to play an instrument, or move a body, is not more a matter of recognizing, refining, learning patterns. Learning the patterns, the songs, that move this or that muscle. Tuning responses.

I have a memory, a sense of vision being a kaleidoscope. We had to learn to recognize the patterns.

Who learned the song (these patterns), mind or body, and can we separate them? At what stage on the evolutionary ladder are we to imagine that "spirit", mind, enters the equation? Some behaviour we can explain as reflex action. We certainly could model an amoeba as an automaton (though just because we can do that modeling does not necessarily preclude, in actuality, the co-existence of spirit, of an observer, a perceiver). Is a fly simply a bundle of reflexes? Is a frog mindless? Anyone with a modicum of humility and perspicacity knows that dogs and cats and apes are sentient So where, if there is one, is the divide between mechanism and mind? (Thiehard de Chardin said that there was no divide: that an objects relationship to another object was, indeed, its experience of it.)


Now, what is happening also happens to be a person. Again this is empirical. This is just happens to be so. I am a person. You are a person. Further, it seems to me that consciousness involves a "oneness". Can we contemplate an awareness that isn’t at once one and many? And this "one", I believe (of late), implies a "person". So (expanding the implications) we are faced with the prospect of a personal God, I think. I’m not sure where that takes us (except to my poem: God is a Person).


But meanwhile back in the "stem" world, the material world, does existent stuff (stuff existing in "stem") constitute a "being"? Yes, but the word "being" here is describing a different phenomenon, a non-perceiving, non-knowing "existence", Berkeley’s unobserved tree again, and that is different from the "being" of mind, of person, which is, I think, the more usual sense of being: being in the sense of a knowing sensing reacting feeling thinking being. That bigger sense of being is a mind, is a person. What is happening is a person. And a person is a pattern, is a style (of knowing, feeling, thinking, doing).

So, in conclusion, let me refer you to the various addenda

and again to the poem: God is a Person


Towards a New
Natural Philosophy