Cartesian Dualism:
and an Information Theoretic Metaphysics.

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Cartesian dualism has been much abused as a concept but it does contain some truth, that systems have a distinct inner and outer aspect. The misuse arises because we only ever experience ourselves from within and external objects from without, hence our limited experience led people to postulate that they were "alive and conscious" whereas external objects were "inanimate". Materialism or Cartesian dualism proposes that the inner and outer aspects are separated, but this is true only from a perspective embedded within the simulation. ALL manifest systems have both inner and outer aspects, there are no purely inner or conscious entities and no purely outer or inanimate entities, all have both aspects. The dualistic concepts of distinctly separate mind and matter or animate and inanimate being are aspects of the objective mythology. They are a naive realist view of the nature of reality in the sense that they don't take into account the full range of experiences that can elucidate the situation and they assume that the nature of reality is much like the appearance of reality. As outer folds into inner the iterative perceptual process gives rise to an experiential stream within which the perceptual being experiences manifest forms. Hence the inner is the experience itself and the objects are the forms within consciousness that are induced by the outer aspects of systems.

From an information theoretic metaphysical perspective where the universe is a simulation the inner and outer aspects are united. All inner and outer are computation and representation respectively, they are complimentary aspects of existence. We experience the universe via perception which is an information process within the simulation and from within the dualistic world we experience everything in a dualistic sense, we only experience the outer or appearance aspect of the 'other' and we only experience the inner or consciousness aspect of the 'self'. But in a simulational context the inner and outer aspects are both intrinsic to all systems, there would be no awareness or behaviour without the inner aspect nor would there be any interaction without the outer aspect since one would be invisible to others. Hence I speak of empirical forms as 'systems' not as matter, which is a concept within the objective materialist mythology. A system is a dynamical information construct, it is a representational pattern within the transcendent generative process and it is also a phenomenal being and happening within the simulation world. It exists in both the computational and simulational contexts. Reality is composed of systems and ultimately it is all information and computation.

See the IST Glyph for more details on the conceptual formation of a system in a world. That discussion illustrates how a pattern of information forms a system within a systemic idiom and then by perceptual duality inner and outer aspects arise and one becomes immersed in the simulation universe where there are objects in space and interactions in space and experiences and states of being, all combining to produce a system in a world. Prior to the duality of inner and outer or computation and representation or experience and appearance or mind and matter there is only "Information" and "Idiom" or the dynamical computational space (that we can only experience from within) and the systemic idiom that it gives rise to through its iterative process. It is the inner / outer or me / other duality that casts one into the simulation space and into the dualistic world of manifest existence, as one identifies with an inner aspect that then constitutes ones experiences.

The simulator is constantly folding outer into inner and forming a new outer, this is the iterative seed of the formation of the fractal systemic idiom within which all manifest systems form. This fractal systemic idiom is a dynamical information space or an existential space of forms with both an outer appearance in a network of relations and an inner existential sentience or the primal computational power as harnessed by the simulator and brought to bear in a particular case, manifesting a particular stream of experience and behaviour. The universe is constantly self-experiencing itself from countless different perspectives and it is this that drives the dynamics of change and manifests the experience of being in the world.

What I mean by the concept of an information space is a space of potential being. In group theory, to create an information space one creates an algebra of entities and relations such as the set of all integers and the operators {+, -, *}. It is an existential space wherein algebraic forms may exist and interact. Within the group there is both representational states (existential presence, matter) and transformational operators (dynamic potential, causal programming, mind) both of which are essential. This information space provides potential existence and it is complemented with an SMN-like iterative process the allows for actual forms to exist and to evolve over successive iterations, thus manifesting the phenomenon of time. The generative process or simulator takes the present representational states in the SV and produces new states via the causal programming within the SM. Both being and doing or matter and mind are essential aspects of existence and both are required together not one or the other. Existence is both being and doing, and the two co-arise. At the transcendent level there is no Cartesian dualism, but there is a dualism between potential and actual existence. It is the modulating of this duality that underlies all structure and change.

Information and computation or representation and transformation are two parts of the one unified phenomenon. Information is discernable difference so where there is information there is representation and discernment (computation). We experience information as manifesting in the configurations of physical objects or phenomena such as ink on paper, and computation as the dynamical behaviour of physical systems and as our own experience itself. We experience them to be separate and hence believe them to be separate but related phenomena, i.e. representational states are processed via computation and computation is only ever known via our experience of the change of representational states and always manifests to us via some material process. From within the simulation it seems that information arises within the context of matter but ultimately it is information that precedes matter, matter is an experiential phenomenon within the simulation context that is itself an information process. Matter is simply the 'stuff' of perception from which we build our perceptual worlds that then merge to form the collective objective world.

Instead of mind and matter I speak of computation and representation, two intrinsic aspects of information, which is non-dual. Being does not precede doing and doing does not precede being, they co-create. They are two complementary components of the base idiomatic set and together they combine to create all later relative existence or being within the computational space. The representation and computation self-organise to form the transcendent computational context within which the generative process operates and thereby generates a systemic idiom of forms that builds in complexity as described by system theory and complexity theory and thereby simulates the empirical world. At the level of organic life the forms develop perceptual and cognitive apparatus and come to experience their world in a much richer and more conscious way. This then gives rise to full unitive consciousness and to communication, the "objective world" mythology, culture and metaphysical theories. The theories themselves are far removed from the reality that they attempt to comprehend, hence the intervening layers need to be understood to properly align the metaphysical theories with the underlying metaphysical context.

What is the source?
Empirical information always has a medium so we ask, what is the transcendent medium, what is the ground of being? Nothing in the simulation is simply existing, it all arises from the dynamics of the simulator. The simulator is not simply existing since all information processes must occur within an information space. The computational space in which the simulator exists is quite likely simply existing, it is pure representation and iteration potential, as a whole it is the primal source or the prime mover and as a space it is the ground of being, the ultimate space within which everything else exists. I'm proposing that the transcendent context is "self existent" in the sense that the whole idea of the dualistic creation process arises only within the dualistic context of the simulation, in the wider reality such ideas are not applicable, the transcendent context does not need to be 'created', it IS and all 'time' arises from it. All creation and annihilation occur only within it, within the simulation space, it is as Krishna says to Arjuna, {{look up the quote along the lines of ... all that truly is can never cease to exist and all that ....}} or as Jahweh says to Moses "I AM". Furthermore, we cannot know anything beyond that transcendent computational space since we are forms within it, just as a computer program cannot directly know the room in which the computer is situated. The transcendent context does not exist in time; it is from the iterative process inherent within that computational space that the simulator functions and all simulated forms arise, evolve and dissipate thus giving rise to the phenomenon that we experience as time.


Origin of Cartesian Dualism
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transcendent information space - potential being and doing
simulator - structured actual being and doing
simulation - world of systems with both being and doing
reality IS an information theoretic phenomenon
narrow human experience, inner as consciousness, outer as matter
communication of subjective experience and the objective world mythology
Cartesian dualism and paradox of mind from matter

All systems are both mind and matter in intimate union. This dynamic union makes possible the simulator and hence the universe. The underlying union of mind and matter gives rise to a world seemingly composed of matter and occupied by points of materially embodied sentience, both are intrinsic.



Related discussions:
Metaphysical Context
Related: metaphysical ideas in other people's work.

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