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DYNAMICS OF THE EVOLUTION OF MIND
Egorov Anatoly, cand. of philosophical sciences, senior lecturer
Petersburg State Transport University
In given clause the analysis of some aspects of genesis and evolution of mind from the point of view of the concept of biner which bases have been developed by Russian philosopher Vladimir Shmakov is made. Biner - the initial, elementary form of definiteness. Research of any key philosophical problems from the point of view of this concept - necessary, establishing, though also insufficient, the moment of serious and their regular studying.
Keywords: Mind, genesis, evolution, biner, Shmakov V.
In the basis of consideration of any problem of the evolution of human intelligence, various variants of comprehension of the world and the human being in ethical and aesthetic aspects as well as of deep understanding of art creativity, first of all, philosophical approaches should be used. In other words, discussion of all aforementioned problems is based on the definition of intelligence itself, its genesis and peculiarities of its evolution on the whole.
The concept of intelligence is not limited just with the notions of common sense, intellect, thinking and even mind. The main task of this article is not identifying and making the distinction between these concepts (and hence between onto-gnoseological formations). However, in the opinion of the author of this article, the key, basic moment of intelligence itself is mind. Therefore conducting such research into the genesis and evolution of mind is quite important as it is sheds much light on many other aspects of the dynamics of intelligence as well as on its concrete functioning in various areas of culture. The analysis of the essence of mind and its dynamics can be carried out from the point of view of different notions and conceptions. In the given article this analysis is carried out from the point of view of the conception of biner developed by the author during several years. The basis of the conception of biner is formed with the ideas of the little-known Russian philosopher V. A. Shmakov (approximately 1887-1929). The basic ideas suggested by V.A. Shmakov were stated in the written form in some German philosophical magazines till 1916 as well as in the following works: “The Sacred Book of Tot. Great Arcanum of Tarot” (1916, 1993), “The Basics of Pneumatology» (1922, 1994), «The Law of Synergy» (apparently, it was published in 1994 for the first time).
In the given article the author is guided by the following concepts of mind and biner. Mind is a unity or assembly of all possible ways of scope [2, 251-252]. Or, in other words, mind is a form of all forms [4, 72-73]. Biner is the simplest and at the same time basic form. Scope or any other form is impossible without it. The form implies phenomenal manifestation of mind. Therefore mind makes scoping with the help of biners (which are the constituents of more complex ontologic and gnoseological formations, – such as, for example, ternary and quaternary forms and, at last, notions). Mind is the ability of producing all forms of thinking, contemplation, love and estimation [7, 63]. In other words, mind is a form of manifestation and detection of a substance in something concrete.
Mind is something that is located and fluctuates between existence and non-existence, between spirit and matter [9, 313]. Mind reveals itself and acts by the means of notions. “Notion is mind itself” [1, 225]. Notion is an alive, continuously acting, complex and dynamical system of biners. Therefore rationality is defined as the ability of comprehending binarity and conceptuality of existence. However, it is necessary to take into account the fact that notion is a much more complex formation compared to biners.
In other words, mind is the system of mediations by means of notions (which are triplicities – that is the ternaries consisting of biners). From the ontological point of view it is not a notion; it is just one of the necessary aspects of any notion, an instant form of its still illusory manifestation. Let us briefly define what a biner is.
Biner is the initial form of certainty. There is no form and certainty lower than a biner. Everything is not real and not indistinguishable lower than a biner. Biner is a primary, basic metaphysical correlation. Biner is the first division of the Absolute, ideas (according to Gegel’s understanding of it), spirit and matter. If we do not take into account the United Whole, everything begins with biners. Plurality emerges from unity in accordance with the general law of biners which says that any phenomenon has its antipode [9, 169].
Biner is the first manifestation of certainty. Before binarity there is still no content and hence no form. So biner is the primary form of everything and at the same time the simplest content. It has been realized since the ancient times. Therefore even at that time the oppositions of biners had sacral meaning. In every biner itself the form and content are identical, and only in the process of developing the initial biner into the system of biners its form and the content start “to scatter in various directions”; then between them there appears more and more complex chain of mediations.
Genesis of mind. Even at the stage of stating the question of the genesis of mind the whole system of biners appears. The basic and dominant biner is dilemma: “Mind emerges from absolutely nothing” and “Mind appears from itself”. Emergence of this dilemma and antinomy is inevitable and natural as mind itself is the most noticeable manifestation of binarity and antinominess.
All the thinkers who paid much attention to the question of the origin of mind can be distributed between the poles of this basic biner where the following thesis is valid: “Mind emerges from the Absolutely Different” and the antithesis: “Mind appears from itself». F. Schelling proceeded from the supposition that mind is generated by something unreasonable, by the incomprehensible basis of the reality of things. I. Kant adhered to a similar statement about this. He considered that “I” is the limiting, unattainable basis of mind.
However, some philosophers, for example, I. G. Fichte and S. N. Trubetskoj, adhered to the opposite thesis, or to the antithesis of the given kind of biners. The German philosopher considered that the aspiration to deduce mind from unreasonableness and thus “gradual reduction of the degree of unreasonableness and, having received at one’s disposal sufficient number of millenia, to make eventually Leibniz or Kant from orangutans» [5, 350] is unreasonable and ineffective at all. S. N. Trubetskoj proceeded from the fact that mind is not able to emerge from something alien to it and that it is possible to explain the essence of mind only on its base. The thought of Bonaventura (1221-1274) that mind is derived from memory is also similar to this statement. However, what is memory? Memory is one of the forms of the activity of mind. Without memory mind would not be mind. Thus following the antithesis of the considered biner we inevitably run into tautology; besides, focusing on the thesis of this biner leads to the necessity of admitting the existence of this incomprehensible and mystical leap from the unreasonable to the reasonable.
N. Gartman’s attitude to this question was more synthetic and balanced. On the one hand, he proceeded from the statement saying that mind is immersed in darkness and trancintelligibility which are transcendental to mind. On the other hand, he considered that, nevertheless, mind is immanent towards that trancintellible world. That is this N.Gartman’s attitude to the problem discussed contains some attempt to synthesize different parts and poles of the biner «Mind emerges from the Absolutely Different» and «Mind appears from itself».
The statement proposed by V.F. Erne expresses the idea of binarity from a bit different point of view. In his opinion, mind has heavenly and terrestrial roots. So it means that it is impossible to understand the genesis of mind taking only the transcendental or only the immanent as a basis. So in one’s thinking it is necessary to adjust interaction of the poles of the biner «Transcendental–Immanent». In this case much more light will be shed on the genesis of mind itself.
In oriental philosophy much emphasis is done on the explanation of the origin of mind from the point of view of both aspects mentioned above. Biners and mind are generated by the dream of Brahman. Brahman is the transcendental, and its dreams are the immanent, – that is our terrestrial world. The mind generated by Brahman is divided into the big and small minds (that is mind itself is also a biner, – or, saying more precisely, the system of biners). The big, divine mind reveals itself in antinomies like in the systems of biners. The small reason expresses itself in some separate parts of biners. The major purpose of the existence of this small mind is bringing to light biners. The small mind is reason. The major purpose of the big reason is the synthesis and neutralization of all created and revealed biners.
The most heuristic and at the same time the most traditional is the aspiration to deduce mind from spirit. Mind appears from spirit in the process of decomposition of holistic spirit into a large number of biners, and in particular the biner of belief and mind; due to this kind of decomposition spirit starts to manifest and establish itself firmly. At the same time, while belief is a direct aspect of spirit, mind is a mediation which distinguishes and hence connects spirit with belief as well as mind with spirit and mind with belief. Belief leads people to religion as to the form of direct comprehension of the highest levels of existence, and mind brings people to philosophy as the mediated cognition of the same highest levels of existence. Philosophy is the aspiration of the antithesis (mind) of the biner “belief-mind” to express the content of its thesis. Philosophy expresses explicitly those things which religion includes in the implicit form. Religion and philosophy are the result of manifesting the inconsistent and binary nature of spirit. It is impossible to cognize spirit without religion and philosophy to the sufficient extent. These two forms of cognition supplement each other.
Mind is a way of the disconnection of spirit which without mind is the closed harmonious totality. Spirit establishes itself with the help of mind. “The process of self-establishment of spirit goes on entirely within mind” [9, 42]. The simplest elements of mind are biners (or contradictions, if we express the same idea in a simpler and more traditional way, although the notion of biner implies a bit greater degree of generality, – as every contradiction is one of the forms of manifesting biners).
Thus mind appears in the process of the actualization and manifestation of biners. Opposition is the first step on the way of the origination of mind. Opposition is the first and last day of mind [9, 443]. The initial form of opposition is distinction. Before and after opposition the area of ignorabimus begins. The origination of human mind begins with the operations of comparison, opposition and selection. When mind removes and neutralizes all biners created and revealed by it with the help of its synthesizing activity, there will come the last instant of its activity enriched with the results of its efforts, and then mind will return back into spirit.
Evolution of mind. The organization of mind is constantly changing [7, 63]. Evolution of mind is realized as development of the ability to perceive the biners of higher and higher levels of hierarchy with the subsequent synthesis of their poles.
At the first stage of its evolution mind reaches the ability of comprehension of the separate poles of a biner, without realizing that biner itself and not comparing these poles to each other. At the second stage mind reaches understanding the plurality of unity and individual plurality, – that is it starts to understand binarity, or duality of any aspect of existence. At the third stage mind makes the transition from only binary understanding of everything to the triple or ternary comprehension, – that is it reaches the ability to comprehend “plurality as triplicity in individual plurality” [6, 594].
Binarity reveals itself also in different directions of the development of mind. Mind evolves both out of itself and into itself. One chain of biners is concealed in mysterious, irrational depth of mind, while the other chain spreads outside in all directions of various qualitative spaces. Therefore, whatever our thoughts would catch, everywhere we will see some other aspects of mind, including its contradictions, antinomies or, generally speaking, biners.
In the process of the evolution of mind when it reaches a new level of unity the gradual attenuation of the activity of biners takes place both in and out of mind. Mind starts to calm down and prepare for the transition into a new condition. Apparently, in 20th and in 21st centuries the next stage of this attenuation begins to show itself in the obvious form, which manifests itself in the decline of belief into mind (the first signs of this decline were revealed as early as in the 19th century). All this reveals itself, for example, in the emerging end of book culture and in the crisis of the classical system of education which has already begun [3, 68]. Perhaps, it is still not the last fluctuation of mind towards its other aspects, but soon more and more people will start to realize the results of this deviation.
Results of the evolution of mind. What are the final results of the evolution of mind? As the ontologic formation, mind disappears when moving downwards along the hierarchy of the states of the world where it is dissolved in the plastic and uncertain component of existence; besides, mind also disappears when moving upwards along the steps or levels of existence – in their maximal unity. Where all kinds of distinctions, comparisons and oppositions disappear, mind vanishes too. Mind becomes supermind when it reaches the ability to overcome the binarity of existence created by it. As soon as the collision of contrasts-poles of biners disappears, mind turns into the state of silence. Plotin calls such a state of mind the “pure mind”. When being in the state of silence biners stop their activity. It occurs as a result of neutralization of the theses and antithesises of all biners. “Elimination of a biner in mind, that is the reference into zero is just the termination of the opportunity of reasonable cognition, but not the termination of existence which has shown itself earlier in a biner” [9, 111]. As a result of the disappearance of mind after passing the stage of rationality the state of madness appears which (unlike psychiatric, that is pathological understanding) since the time of Plato has been considered to be “the highest need of human soul ascending above the limitations of mind”, or “the third, post-rational state of personality” [11, 512]. Pathological madness of mind is not the result of its self-determination but its absolute trust in itself; that mind is mad which does not know any borders, limitations, binarity and discrepancy. Voluntary refusal of mind of itself after passing all steps of its development implies the transition to the highest level of self-possession. It is always possible to go down quickly to the steps of plurality which have already been passed and to some less developed forms of synthesis from the unity which was reached earlier, but achievement of the maximal forms of unity always takes a huge amount of time and efforts.
However, the evolution of mind during the certain periods of the history of mankind as a whole and the life of separate people can be realized not only as development but also as degradation. For example, T. Adorno has noted that in some cases mind degenerates into the tool reason which is used only for some people to get domination over others. In this case mind returns again to inharmonious interaction of the poles of biners which were to be removed, neutralized and turned into some higher unity long ago, but in reality it happened to be impossible for mind. As a result, mind temporarily steps back to the positions which it has already passed, so that it might have some rest, summon up its strength and comprehend the reasons of failures at a higher level of hierarchy.
In the final part of the article I should mention that I. G. Fichte described the evolution of mind in a similar way, although he used some other categories for its description [5, 226-229]. Let us interpret the content of the statements expressed by the German philosopher from the point of view of the main principles of the concept of biners. In his work “Basic Features of an Epoch” he writes about five basic epochs of terrestrial life which he characterizes using the notion of mind coming through five stages of its evolution. At the first stage it is possible to observe the absolute domination of mind by means of instinct. How does this stage look like in terms of the notion of biners? Instinct is the curtailed mind, mind-in itself; that is such a state of mind when no biner shows itself and when any biner still is not real, when every biner is just in its potential state. If there are no biners, then there is no evil either, – it is “the state of the innocence of mankind”. At the second stage the “rational instinct turns into some external compulsory authority”, which is the “state of beginning sinfulness”. In other words, at this stage manifestation of the poles of biners begins to take place, but in the isolated form, without realizing their interrelation and interaction. Therefore each pole of a biner (and those agents which manifest this or that pole) aspires to subordinate to itself other poles, to suppress them without understanding that in this way the given pole fights for its own elimination or restriction. At this stage various forms of evil, conflicts and collisions of everybody with each other appear. The third stage is the “state of completed sinfulness”. During this stage there happens the indirect releasing from reasonable instinct, – that is from the lack of manifestations of biners. The direct releasing from the ruling authority also takes place at this stage. So it means that the poles of the major biners come to light, but there is no due understanding of the difference between them. In particular, there is no distinction between the theses of biners and their antitheses; poles are realized, but there are no criteria and methods for identifying their concrete place. At this stage the most part of mankind is in the so called state of “Buridan’s donkey”. Therefore it is “the time of unconditional indifference to any truth … or to absolute dissoluteness». The fourth stage is “the epoch of rational science, or the time when truth is declared to be the maximal and the most favorite thing; so the given stage implies the “state of beginning justification”. It is the time of realizing the genuine structure of biners, understanding the concrete nature of the interaction of the poles of the most important and dominant biners. It is the period of making the first attempts of conscious neutralization of the biners appearing before mankind. And, at last, the fifth stage is “the epoch of reasonable art …; it is the state of the completed justification and consecration”. During this period the synthesis of the biners of cognition and creation comes to an end, mankind comes to the united, integrated and spiritual existence. Domination of mind comes to an end; so now mind acts in close connection with Will and Intuition. The world and mankind return to the category of plasticity, – but already at a higher level, after going through the periods of differentiation and integration of all the moments of human existence.
What else is it necessary to take into consideration when comprehending the content of this article? From the point of view of the evolution of mind, human beings, people, ethnoses, nations and civilizations go through different stages at the same physical time. The abovementioned thoughts and ideas describe the evolution of mind in metaphysical space, – or, in other words, it is the logic of the evolution of mind. In real, empirical existence (that is in history) everything occurs in a mixed, intricate and not very logical way. The main task for each of us is to define at what stage of the evolution of mind we, our scientific community, our people, our civilization and the whole mankind are at present. In conformity with this it will be possible to define and solve the problems we face up with in a more rational way, including the problems of ethnic and aesthetic perception and development of the world and artistic creative work.