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Integral World: Exploring Theories of Everything
An independent forum for a critical discussion of the integral philosophy of Ken Wilber
Jomy Mathews studied, Diploma in Mechanical Engineering, from Thiagarajar Polytechnic, Trichur, Kerala, India, and Post Diploma in CAD/CAM Engineering, from K.J. Somaiya Institute of Technical Training and Research, Mumbai. At present, he is working in Orion Cable Trays FZ-LLC, Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can any other entity acquire self consciousness in the distant future? The answer is yes.
All entities in this universe are organizations or assemblies of smaller constituents. Human beings and animals are organizations of neurons, other different types of cells, molecules and atoms. Nonliving entities are assemblies of molecules and atoms. Human beings and animals, even though they are organizations of constituents, are self conscious at their organization level. Other than human beings and animals no other assemblies or organizations have self consciousness at their organization level. A national government of many millions of citizens is not self conscious at national level. A company employing thousands of employees is not self conscious at company level.
The main difference of animals from plants and nonliving entities is the brain. It is the brain that gives self consciousness to animals. But brain is also an assembly of billions of individual neurons. Being an assembly of constituents, how brain is able to provide self consciousness? It is because billions of neurons are able to interact and communicate one another in real time. Even though plants are assemblies of living cells, they are not self conscious because of the absence of brains. Brains acquired self consciousness through millions of years of evolution of neurons. If the constituents of a large assembly or organization interact and communicate real time then that large assembly acquires self consciousness. Today, as far as we know, there are no such entities other than humans and animals. Can any other entity acquire self consciousness in the distant future? The answer is yes.
Animals first evolved as single celled bacteria. Later they evolved to assemblies of different types of single celled species and each individual animal acted as cells of the large group. Cells evolved to many different types like muscle cells, sensory cells, etc. Later a new species of cells, neurons, evolved within the large group. Neurons were able to communicate one another much faster and were able to interact and communicate with other cells also. Small groups of neurons concentrated at different points of the body and became nerve centers. Initially there were many nerve centers in a single living body and they competed one another. Because of this competition nerve centers evolved weaker or stronger. At one stage a large and strong nerve center took control of the entire body, and this evolved as brain.
Similar to the evolution of multi-cellular animals from single celled ones, multi-cellular animals evolved in to different species and started living as groups. Similar to the evolution of neurons with ability to communicate faster, human beings evolved with faster communication skills, and ability to interact with other animals. Today human beings are able to communicate and control almost all other animals on earth, at least to some extent.
Today large number of human individuals can interact and communicate one another with the help of mobiles, computers and internet. Rocket launching, company activities, etc are controlled by such interaction and communication. But number of individuals actively involved in such interactions, and the speed of communication, are at far lower levels compared to neurons. Compared to the evolution period of neurons the evolution period of human communication is far too small. Neurons evolved and started communication around a billion years ago when sponges and jelly fishes evolved whereas human communication started only around a million years ago.
In future, interaction and communication among humanity will strengthen many folds with the help of quantum computers, quantum internet and other advanced technologies to come. Also, number of individuals actively engaging in such interactions will increase many fold. Such massive interactions will be required to challenge climate disasters, pandemics, collision of asteroids, human migration to other planets, etc. Humanity will migrate and settle on different planets and moons in this solar system and interaction and communication will spread all over the solar system. In the distant future with the development of new technologies and accelerated altruistic evolution of humanity, interaction and communication between human individuals will become real time similar to the neurons of brain. At this time human individuals will become neurons of this solar system, humanity will constitute the solar brain and this solar system will acquire self consciousness. And then, our solar system will become the first living self-conscious cell of this universe.
If we compare the evolution of humanity or this solar system with that of multi-cellular animal evolution then it is at the level of jelly fish or worms that have many nerve centers within their body. Today humanity is controlled by too many competing nerve centers, political, religious, etc. National governments of each country are political nerve centers. Similarly hierarchies of different religions are religious nerve centers. Animal evolution accelerated many folds after the evolution of brain. Similarly for humanity or this solar system, to accelerate its evolution, a single brain has to be developed by either eliminating or weakening competing nerve centers that hinder growth. Formation of an all powerful global organization or a global government can be the beginning of evolution of a solar brain.