What is the rudiment of mind? Imagine a lifeless collection of amino acids first acquiring the rudiment of life, which is to replicate. In the process of replication, mutations are naturally selected for traits that enhance the survival of succeeding generations of this new little bit of life. Because these newly acquired traits all promote the capacity of this burgeoning organism to survive, it is transformed into a subject with the intention to survive, and in the process, has achieved the rudiments of mind.

Mind is the will to survive that emerges

in the wake of natural selection

In the Cambrian Explosion 500 million years ago, solitary cells assembled into multicellular organisms. The principal benefactor of natural selection shifted from individual cells to the signaling among cells, and so, according to our definition, a more complex, collective mind emerged with a will to survive—now emanating, not from single cells, but from the relationships among cells. And thus the main target of natural selection became signaling among cells, eventually elaborating into neurological systems with the capacity to organically synchronize all participating cells as the mind of a single creature.

The mind of solitary cells migrated

into the dynamic intercourse among them

whence emerged the mind of organisms

In a similar fashion, for the past six million years, the minds of ape individuals have been migrating into the dynamic intercourse among human individuals . . .

. . . emerging as the collective mind of humankind,

a process that continues to proceed

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2 Comments on “What is MIND?”

  1. John, your theory of the development of the mind focuses on biological and evolutionary forces. I think it would be interesting to relate your theory to philosophical speculations about the nature of the mind and of consciousness. To me, a very big question is how physical realities, such as the brain, make possible non-physical realities, notably consciousness and its subconscious/ unconscious processes. I think this is a long-standing problem that has puzzled philosophers across many centuries.

    1. Mark, At every level of the brain, the second-by-second flux of the experience of consciousness (and unconsciousness) that is our mind is comprised of an ever-changing constellation of relationships<> among physical brain structures, and therefore consciousness is a non-material realm.

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