I think it prudent to briefly summarize what we have discovered.
First, the social belief impressed upon us since early childhood, i.e., that each possesses a single, unified, homogeneous, and isotropic Ego, or Self, is inconsistent with conscious observation of our mental function, awake or dreaming. Such inconsistency remaining, regardless of where one’s theological position lies between extreme materialism and monotheism.
Second, as the ontogenetic consequence of normal childhood development, we all birthed and manifest several very distinct ‘selves.’ Though, I used ‘self and selves’ in previous blogs, in truth, these words are inherently confusing when used in the vernacular. The concept of ‘self’ in folk psychology innately presumes the existence, in addition to the physical body, of a unified, homogeneous aphysical entity psychological or mental entity, a Self or a Soul.
As I have chosen to eschew common concepts of folk psychology, I need to provide a word lacking any vernacular connection to self or selves. Previously, I introduced the metaphor of the mathematical ‘operator–operand pair’ in my explanation of the imago operators. I said that the imago operators act upon the appropriate operand (incoming somatic and visceral data) so to create defined virtual images, or imagines. Moreover, I showed that we all operate in our manufactured virtual worlds and not directly in the physical. Subsequently, all of the more complicated psychological entities we experience (the folk selves) are no more than our integrated body imago in our local space.
Therefore, I opine that we can replace the vernacular ‘self and selves’ with ‘imago and imagines.’
Proto-Imago: Humans, primates, monkeys, cats, dogs, and likely all higher mammals and birds manifest a primitive imago, the proto-imago. As previously discussed, based upon ethological observation, these organisms appear to possess inward and outward imago operators (finer grained in species possessing more complex nervous systems). Such operators functioning together so to assure that the virtual imago created by CNS accurately mirrors the spatial position and movements made by the creature’s physical body. The proto-imago is experienced solely ‘in the here and now.’
In recent blogs, I identified the proto-imago with the somataffective imago. I used the latter term as it accurately describes the nature of the proto-imago. As we learned, the inward imago operator manufactures a real-time model of the physical body using the actual spatial distribution of the creature’s somatic and visceral nervous systems (local electrochemical tissue activity).
Furthermore, by continuous monitoring of the biophysical state of the interior body, the CNS responds via the motor systems, overt and covert, in a meaningful way to changes in the creature’s immediate environment.
Cognitive Presence: Earlier, we discussed the cognitive self which manifests around 18 months after birth. For your convenience, I discussed this concept using a psychological term favored by psychologists, ‘cognitive self.’ Later, I replaced the term ‘self’ with the term ‘presence.’ The reason being that the child is not experiencing his or her third imago as an independent entity; rather, the child is experiencing simple existence or presence in his or her mind.
This experience is atemporal and aspatial. As the child continues to attend to the episodic reappearances of the ‘experience the unchanging feeling of just being present’ over long time intervals, he or she automatically develops an unshakeable confidence in the timelessness of formless presence. Eventually, this timeless feeling of formless presence develops into a feeling of continuity in time. It is as if, each moment of new existence is simply another point on a continuous number line.
Deep introspection upon the ‘experience of just being present’ is part of your Path of Work at the Institute. For without a full understanding of the source and meaning of “being present’ no progress will be make towards the goal of awakening into full consciousness, type III reality.
LIBERATION July 19, 1997 Dr. Michael Jon Kell©
Liberation requires the death of self,
and such death must, in lovingkindness, be done.
Death of self is not by knife nor arrow,
nor poison, suicide, nor an accident,
death of self is in mind alone.
Kill this self with crystal-clear realization,
kill this self in meditation deep,
seek and find when all this began.
For immortality is the petit liberation,
I had a beginning, but now no end.
Immortality is only forever, post-beginning.
So why keep the beginning?
The grand liberation is without beginning nor end,
and such is found by awakening within the Unborn.
Autobiographical Imago: The combined functioning of the proto-imago, the cognitive presence, and autobiographical memory gradually come together so to merge in what folk psychology calls the personal Self or Ego. Though, superficially, it appears united to our normal attention and awareness, in truth, ‘tis naught but a dream figment or indigestion late at night.
I refer you to the blog 12/29/15 for a review of the autobiographical imago.