The Reptilian Brain

The Triadic Solution of the Mind-Body Problem:
Origin and Nature of Consciousness.

Bruce Eldine Morton, Ph.D., Emeritus Professor,
University of Hawaii School of Medicine

1. Introduction

The ancient unsolved “Mind-Body Problem” and its modern counterpart, the “Origin and Nature of Consciousness” remain tied to life’s fundamental questions. For millennia, the mind body problem has at its core been formulated as a choice between the following two rhetorical questions: 1., Is my mind, my consciousness, and all of who I am, think, feel, or hope to be, totally and solely derived from this bodily structure within which I find myself? Or, 2., Are my mental-processes and consciousness part of a separable, immortal extra-corporeal spirit, briefly possessing this fleshly abode?

The non-supernatural answer to the mind-body problem selected the first alternative. Thus, at first there was “Native Monism”, the idea that mind was a yet-to-be- discovered structural element of the body. In contrast, selection of the second choice was reinforced by early cultures appearing in the Tigris-Euphrates, Nile, and Indus river-deltas. There, the search for the answer to the mind-body problem led to religious formulations containing the belief of Dualism. That is, the idea that we actually are immortal spirits, condemned by endless cycles of reincarnation into terrestrial life forms from which we may escape only by attaining a state of purity.

These dualistic concepts from Egyptian and Babylonian religion were introduced into philosophy, and ultimately, into science (via Pherekydes, then Pythagoras, to Socrates) mainly through the influential writings of Plato (1975). By the time of Plato, Dualism in philosophy had also became embellished by the concepts of Idealism, where learning was merely the soul’s recollection of the pure ideals preexisting in the non-material realm of its spiritual origin. This very creative, but inaccurate belief system had already held global sway for at least two thousand years when Descartes (1974), Malebranche (1923), and Leibniz (1984) again reaffirmed it in the seventeenth century. In the twentieth century, Dualism was championed by (the late) Sir John Eccles (1977), Nobel laureate; (the late) Sir Karl Popper (1977), philosopher of science; and Richard Swinburne (1986), Oxford philosopher of science and religion. The former two arraigned their Dualism in a more complex manner which they called Trialism (1977).

Yet, for over at least the last 2,500 years, the first alternative has been the selection of a number of influential Greek and later philosophers (Anaxagoras, Diagoras, Protagoras, etc.), as well as of most scientists in recent centuries. Uttal, in his Psychobiology of Mind (1978) described a large number of the competing philosophic solutions to the mind-body problem, all having classical Greek antecedents. He categorized them under four general headings: Monisms, Dualisms, Pluralisms, and Rejectors of the Issue. Uttal appears to have created the Pluralism category primarily to accommodate Eccles and Popper’s so-called Trialism.

If space permitted, resources, such as Priest’s Theories of the Mind (1991), would be utilized to briefly describe proponents of these philosophical schools of thought. However, even from such a historical perspective, it would soon become clear that neither answer to the two anciently posed questions contains the solution to the Mind-Body Problem. That is, both Monism and Dualism are quite inaccurate solutions. Mind (or consciousness) is not totally and solely dependent upon our body. Yet, neither is it dependent upon extra-corporeal spirits. Furthermore, even if one of these classical alternatives were correct, it still would not explain the mechanical origin and nature of mind and consciousness that we confront today. Rather, the solution of the mind-body problem has required a re-conceptualization. This was initiated by its reformulation into the five dimensions of behavior. Such a description could then easily be condensed into a triadic form. That is, unlike Monism and Dualism, Triadism can directly account for the relationship of mind and body. It also describes the origin and nature of the multiple elements of consciousness, including the so-called unconscious, subconscious, and preconscious minds (Morton, 1985a,b).

Accurate description of mind and consciousness has required the creation of an unusually broad context within which to account for their origin and nature. This has been facilitated by the development and integration of eight core conceptual packages presented here: 1) A universe of endless structural strata, each with unique content, 2) Tetradic reality, 3) Time and energy as the fourth and fifth dimensions of 3-D structural causality, 4) The Triadic nature of behavior, 5) Homeostasis of cell survival conditions as the source of all living behavior, 6) The origin and nature of emergent properties, 7) The four primary thinking operations of discovery, and 8) the Quadrimental Brain Model. These concepts will be sequentially described and ultimately integrated into the Triadic solution of the mind-body problem and the origin and nature of consciousness. Because of the large scope of this topic, these elements of Triadism have of necessity been stated quite compactly in this essay. However, their meaning and implications become understandable as the process unfolds. Finally, after the development of the Triadic Solution, a few of the significant, sometimes paradoxical implications arising from the obligatory relationships of brain, mind, and consciousness in Triadism will be identified.

2. Structure of the Universe: Endless Strata, Each with Unique Content

The three-dimensional (3-D) structure of the cosmos can be conceived as the material framework within which a matrix of fundamental order and chaos is organized. The vast scale of this structural system is illustrated in Table 1. More specifically, the universe can be understood as upwardly stratified in endless levels of increasing structural order, each level of which containing unique content types. For example, combinations of the 103 identified different types of stable elements at the atomic level results in the existence of millions of types of different small molecules at the next higher, molecular level. At the level above these small molecules, that of polymers, there are millions of different types of macromolecules derived from small molecule building blocks, and on up, ad infinitum.

Table 1.  Human-Centered Infinitude:
  Nearby Universe Strata and their Unique Contents


Infinities: types

     Universes: types

          Superclusters and Dark Matter: types

               Galaxies: types

        Solar Systems: types

             Stars and Satellites: types

                  Planets: types

           Continents, Seas, Atmospheres: types

               *Animate and Inanimate Nature: types (* includes human organism)

                      Solids, Liquids, and Gases: types

               Molecules: types

                    Atoms-Elements: types

             Nuclei, Electrons: types

                                                        Protons, Neutrons, Leptons: types

                                                           Quarks-Antiquarks, Gluons, Color: types

                                                                Implied Smaller Components: types

                                                                      Infinitesimals: types

Inspection of Table 1 suggests that there is no upper limit to the higher levels of the universe. The deeper into space we point our latest telescopes, the more macroscopic levels of order come into focus (Drinkwater, 2000). Furthermore, it appears that there is no foundational level containing a fundamental universal building block either. All new candidates for this foundational structure have repeatedly been found to be divisible (Glanz, 1996). As living human organisms, we thus appear to be situated in an unknown segment of an infinitude of strata within which we have recognized about six levels above our own and about six levels below, each with distinctive content.

3. Tetradic Reality

This brings us to the issue of the nature of reality. For our purposes it is necessary to distinguish four different kinds of reality. They are: 1) External Reality, 2) Internal Reality, 3) Survival-Imperative Reality, 4) Cultural Meme Reality.

3. 1. External Reality

External reality is the actual state of the universe as it occurs independently of our participation or our agreement. It is the way things are, and how the universe works. At first, the nature of external reality appears hopelessly complex and paradoxical. On one hand, certain aspects of external reality are ever changing. That is, there is the continual movement of matter, for example Brownian motion, or the travel of people, the erosion of stone by water, or the trajectory of dangerous asteroids. There is also the continual movement of time, and the continual flow of free energy and order toward entropy and chaos.

Yet, other aspects of external reality are ever the same. These are constant and reliable. That is, the macroscopic atomic and molecular properties of matter have the constancy and predictability that produces not only the reliable nature of solids, liquids, and gases, but also the earth’s rotational orbit around the sun. The movement of time at a given location is continuously unidirectional, proportional, and predictable. The dependability of energy is shown by the constancy and predictability of the speed of sound and light, or the strength of gravity at a given location.

It is the contingent interplay of the constant and changing properties of external reality that has led to the evolution and continued operation of the universe, including the origin of life, its properties, its modification, and its potential for migration to energy-enriched quadrants of space. Importantly, this interplay also provides personal, social, and cultural access to the opportunity, abundance, and power inherent within the external reality of the universe around us, and only found there.

3.2. Internal Reality

External reality is approachable to living organisms by use multiple types of sensory apparatus. With sensory data derived from external reality, organisms can create successively more accurate internal model approximations of it. A comparison of external reality and inner reality is shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1:  External vs. Internal Realities


      The Universe:   The Way It Is.   Ever Changing, Ever the Same.  How Things Work.



                  Like images on a screen, external reality can never be reached, only approached:  x

                                                                         Word Processor Inventors    x

INTERNAL (SENSOR-BASED)-              Certain Areas of Science    x    Molecular Biology

                                                      Word Processor Users    x

                                                                 Triadism     x               Rising above this brings

Threshold of Workability:-----------------------------x---------------sufficient alignment to begin                                   

                                                                    x                        to tap the bounties of the universe.

                                                                x     Neuroscience

APPROXIMATIONS                            x    Certain Philosophies

                                                        x     Some Areas of Science

                                                     x     Many Philosophies

OF EXTERNAL                          x     Most Politics

                                              x     Many World Religions

                                           x     Traditions

REALITY                         x      Metaphors

                                     x     Word Processor Beginners

                                  x     Miracles

= MY “TRUTH”       x     Dualism

                            x     Myths

                         x     Magic

                      x     Omens

                   x     Superstitions

                x     Monism

             x    Ignorance

          x    Unawareness

       x    Unconsciousness                                              

    x    Dead-Inanimate


Thus, our own individual internal reality is a sensory-based, continually upgraded, inner model of external reality. At first, this is of necessity a grossly inaccurate and idiosyncratic personal approximation (Figure 1). The more accurate it becomes, the more successfully we can align with and operate in the way the universe actually works; thus, to tap its resources. As a side benefit, the more accurate and effective our inner model becomes, the more it begins to resemble, not only external reality, but the inner approximations of others who have also crossed the threshold of workability in their search. Concerted, aligned communication then begins to replace confusion.

However, it must be born in mind that inner reality is related to external reality like images of an object are reflected on a mirror, etched on a photograph, or projected onto a monitor. External reality is both unreachable and of a different nature than our inner reality models. That is, there is no green out there. Green is a product of the brain's processing of reflectance and absorbance sensory data from something that is out there. Whenever sensed, this object reliably produces the inner perception of green. Therefore, these and the other reliable sensory-response metaphors can be used to create a practical working model from which to make ‘sense’ of, and use our environment. However, in this regard any absolute truth is inherently indeterminate and can only be approximated.

3.3 Survival-Imperative Reality

The universe appears to exist without design, plan, or purpose and to operate independently of our, or anyone else’s existence (Stenger, 1988). Nevertheless, life continues to originate and evolve within it. Continued existence of any life form, critically depends upon that living organism or its associates taking action to enhance its survival. Organisms choosing not to act to optimize their survival ultimately cease to exist, while those that make survival a personal imperative, thrive, and evolve. The survival of such organisms has led to the selection of those organisms that develop genetically transmitted, advantageous survival instincts.

Ultimately these instincts have imbued the inherent meaninglessness of existence and life with a sacredness and intensity of meaning. This has transformed the apathetic inaction or meaningless activity of neutrality into a survival-motivated sense purpose, teleology, design, significance, functional importance, and urgency. From survival imperative reality, both good and evil spring into being. In the past, these have often been personified and magnified as omni-deities; G(o)od, angels, d(evil) and demons locked in mortal combat in competition for our personal allegiance to the survival of life or death. This survival-imperative reality appears to have paralleled, and thus may ultimately be integral to the continuing physical immortality of life. Ironically, the current physical immortality of terrestrial life, has itself not become accessible to any of its expendable members as yet.

From the imperative of survival, it becomes clear that the more accurately we ‘tell the truth’ about the way the universe is, the more quickly we can rise above our individual and collective confusions to cross “the threshold of workability” (Figure 1). Then, we can begin to optimize our use of contingencies to align with external reality of the universe, and tap its abundance, opportunity, and power, to enhance our lives. Thus, from survival-imperative reality come the drives of curiosity and intentionality as prime enhancers of survival. Through the desire to know (how better to survive), some individuals markedly enhance the quality of their lives and those around them. However, in the past because lives were short, the ability of an individual broadly to communicate to others the successful survival rules he and she had learned or developed was very limited.

3.4 Cultural-Meme Reality

This meant that, with the notable exception of the continued slow incorporation of many advantageous behaviors into genetic survival instincts, each surviving child had to start from ground zero in the process of learning how to use external reality to enhance his or her survival. With the evolution of the transmission of information, first through mimicry, then orally, and then as long-term written records, the production and transmission of cultural memes containing survival information about external reality became possible. Memes (Dawkins, 1976) are communicable inner reality models of external reality that exist in the form of semi-independent socially-transmitted “truths”, i.e., beliefs or belief systems. If, under rare circumstances, the meme incorporated from a trusted authority (usually a parent) into the novice’s inner reality was a fairly accurate inner model of an element of external reality, then its use bypassed the need for that novice, or for each new generation personally to invent or rediscover such processes as washing dirt off potatoes with sea water (as wild Japanese Macaques have recently learned to do; Kawai, 1965), or how to make fire, or produce metal.

In contrast, the transmission of fictional memes, which by definition are inaccurate wishful beliefs about external reality, has promoted endless wanderings beneath the threshold of workability (Figure 1). Reception of accurate cultural- memes of reality gave an individual and their society a head start in life so that they could rise to previously un-reached heights of survival optimization. From there, new, even more accurate memes could be constructed, which then could also be corrected, expanded, remembered-recorded, and again transmitted. Thus, humanity in its search for truth began to stand on the shoulders of its ancestors so as to be in the position to ask and answer ever more pointed questions about the nature of external and internal reality. In certain areas, we have risen toward or even exceed the threshold of workability (Figure 1). In terms of survival- imperative reality, progress does exist. It is defined, as the enhancement of the survival of one’s self and one’s human family in ever-expanding circles of ecology. Critically, with the accumulation of many conflicting cultural memes of reality, came the need for the freedom to choose between memes as to which promoted better long-term survival. This has led to the further evolution of intelligence and apparent freedom of choice.

3.6. Objectivity-Subjectivity in Tetradic Reality

Parenthetically, with the distinction of these four types of reality, the use of the terms, “subjective”, and, “objective” becomes troublesome by potentially creating two opposite meanings for each of these terms. It would appear best to retain the common meaning of “objective” as a personally unbiased judgment and without contamination by the special pleadings of survival imperative reality. The usual meaning of, “subjective”, would remain quiet the opposite, i.e., a judgment potentially distorted by the presence of personal, self-oriented, or emotional bias.

4. Time and Potential Energy as the Fourth and Fifth Dimensions of Causality

With the above description of the tetradic nature of reality in hand, we can now build a more accurate model of the universe. To begin, let us activate our static three-dimensional (3-D: length, width, height) structural universe of endless levels occupied by unique types (Table 1) into the actual dynamic universe of motion. To create this activity, we must add two new elements. The first is time, a fourth dimension (Newcomb, 1895, Einstein, 1984). The second is energy, a fifth dimension (Kaluza, 1921; Einstein, 1927; Morton, 1985a). The fourth and fifth dimensions used here are not to be confused with other unimaginable added structural dimensions (Moller, Madland, Sierk, & Iwamoto, 2001). To the contrary, common everyday behavior, both living and non-living, is actually five dimensional. That is, although often unrecognized, the addition over time (4th D) of energy (5th D) to a normal 3-D structure is the sole source of movement and animation. In spite of our apparent lack of formal awareness of this fact, we commonly operate as if we knew so intuitively.

5. The Triadic Nature of Behavior

A point well emphasized from the above is that the input of the fourth dimension of time and of the fifth dimension free energy converts immobile universe structural strata into a myriad of motions, activities, and processes. Correspondingly, the removal of either of these two required dimensional elements brings any material system to a total halt in terms of behavior, as in inert archeological strata. Yet, the critical difference between a structure and its activities is generally not appreciated beyond such vague statements, such as “One cannot compare apples with oranges”. Therefore, rather than seeming to confuse things here by talking about apparently-strange five dimensional events, let us further clarify the nature of behavior by introducing the equivalent concept of Triadism. That is, the behavior of : 1) a physical structure (any material 3-D object) critically depends, not only on its intact, functional status, but also occurs 2) over a finite period of time; by the 3) coupling of the input of an ultimately causal amount of accessible potential chemical free energy (= ?G, not E=mc2).

Today, terrestrial life forms use as their primary energy source mainly waste solar radiation, trapped by terrestrial photosynthesis as it passes by the earth. Originally, Archaebacteria may have used the earth’s planetary heat, and also chemical energy available at undersea volcanic vents as their source of free energy. Some of these early organisms may later have developed the ability to rise and tap solar radiation, as a more abundant and accessible source of power. So, in summary, only when these three critical conditions are present (a structure, over time, powered by coupled free energy) can movements, activities, processes, phenomena, or any other type of behavior occur. Conversely, in the absence of any member of this foundational trinity, absolutely no behavior is possible.

5.1. Behavioral Lessons from Labor-Saving Devices: Triadic Requirement for Activity

To facilitate gaining clarity about the triadic nature of behavior, it is useful first to consider the behavioral properties of electronic or mechanical equipment, for example, a videocassette recorder (VCR) or an automobile. The past, present, or future activities of a VCR or a car cannot be discovered by dissecting their structures. That is, one cannot hear a movie star's whisper either by taking apart the VCR, or by inspecting the structure of the videotape, even with an electron microscope. Nor will dismantling one's auto reveal the route or speed of the trip with a friend from the restaurant last night. Yet, the useful behavioral activities of each machine are totally dependent upon its structural integrity. If one cuts an essential wire or breaks a required mechanical part of either, it becomes inactive, nonfunctional, and essentially "dead", “soulless”.

The activities of these machines are also totally dependent upon time. Complete viewing and assessment of a movie on a VCR cannot be done in a second, nor can one get across Tokyo by taxi in a minute. Lastly, it is also clear that the activities of both a VCR and a car depend upon the input of free energy, either from, say, a nuclear fission reactor powered electrical source, or from the release of the solar fusion energy stored within the covalent bonds of petroleum.

5.2. Behavioral Lessons of Enzymology: Dependence of Catalysis upon the Activity Triad

To avoid the illusion that human interference might invalidate the above illustrations, it is instructive to consider the activity of enzymes. Chemical catalysis by enzymes provides a very well characterized system that can be viewed as analogous in principle to the mind-body problem. Enzymes are usually proteins (large linear polymers of small molecule amino acid building blocks) whose activities can accelerate the rate at which a specific chemical reaction approaches its energetic equilibrium by as much as several billion fold (Nelson, and Cox, 2000) without becoming used up in the process. The emergence of enzymes was a key event in the origin of terrestrial life.

Many biochemists of the 1960s thought that if they could just see the structure of an enzyme, they could understand how it worked. It was felt that then its mechanism of action would become at least accessible, if not obvious. Using x-ray crystallography and other powerful techniques, biophysicists have now completely solved the atomic structure of hundreds of enzymes. Yet at present, this vast information about the static positions of all the thousands of atoms in an unknown protein does not permit the prediction that a peptide is even an enzyme, much less what its specific catalytic activity might be. Proteins that are structurally quite similar may have widely different specific catalytic properties, if they are catalysts at all. Conversely, certain proteins that are structurally very different can specifically catalyze the same reaction. Thus, the relation of enzyme structure to catalytic activity did not become obvious, even when complete structural information was available.

However, enzymologists studying enzyme activity by adding kinetic (time based) and thermodynamic (energy based) methods to this new 3-D structural information have discovered the exact mechanisms promoting enzyme catalysis (Nelson and Cox, 2000). First, they confirmed that there were indeed non-obvious, but critically essential, structural requirements for an enzyme to act as a catalyst. In fact, the activity of an enzyme is absolutely tied to its 3-D structural integrity, a point that cannot be overemphasized. This key concept was illustrated by the fact that enzyme catalysis was found to be extremely sensitive to small changes in enzyme structural conformation. For instance, a lethal point mutation, created by the substitution of only one amino acid out of the hundreds in the primary structure of an enzyme, can totally abolish its catalytic activity.

Second, a critical “active site” within the enzyme actually provided the needed local chemical environment required to facilitate, via bond distortion and strain introduction, the actual energetic activation of specific covalent bonds in the reactant. This also included the coupling and transfer of the resulting labilized reactant chemical free energy into lower-energy, more entropic products. This concept was confirmed by attempting to utilize reaction conditions where the reactants and products had already been set thermodynamically at chemical equilibrium. There, no net catalytic activity occurred, in spite of enzyme structural adequacy and the presence of time. Of course, regardless of how much intact enzyme and potential energy were present, if there was too little incubation time available, nothing happened.

5.3. Universe Levels of Living Organisms

As Table 2 illustrates, essentially all of the structural levels of living organisms are now known in detail. No black boxes remain in the nervous system that might yet be dissected to reveal mind. In fact, as has probably become obvious to the reader, there is no mind at all in structure alone, thus excluding Monism. Yet, unfortunately for Dualism, mind absolutely cannot be separated from structure or exist extra-corporeally without it. This ancient paradox is completely resolved by shifting to a more accurate paradigm of reality. As will be seen, a greater understanding of the fundamental differences between structure and activity has now become possible as a by-product of the scientific research of the last century.

Table 2. The Structural Organization of Life Forms: Strata and Content


All life forms: types

  Terrestrial species: types = Linnaean and other taxonomic trees

      Tribes: types

        Families: types

          Individuals: types

            Nervous systems: types

                 Peripheral nervous systems: types

                 Central nervous systems: types

                     Spinal cords: types

                     Brain: Quadrimental systems: types

                          Cerebral systems: types

                          Cerebellar systems: types

                          Limbic systems: types

                          Brain core systems: types

                              Cells:  types in central nervous system

                                  Glia: types

                                  Neurons: types

                                     Neuronal subcellular organelles: types

                                        Dendrites: types

                                        Perikarya, Nuclei: types

                                        Axons: types

                                        Mitochondria: types

                                              Supramolecular assemblies: types

                                                     Membranes: types

                                                     Microtubules, Neurofilaments: types

                                                     Synaptic vesicles: types                       

                                                     Gates and ionophores: types                    

                                                     Pumps: types

                                                     Neuroreceptors: types

                                                             Macromolecules: types     

   Proteins, Nucleic Acids, Polysaccharides, Complex Lipids: types

   Enzymes: types

                                                                   Neuroreceptor subunit structural macromolecules: types

                                                                   Control‑cascade components: types

   DNAs-RNAs: types  

                                                                           Building blocks: types

                                                                           Receptor ligands: types

                                                                           Neurotransmitter agonists & antagonists: types

                                                                           Neuromodulator agonists & antagonists: types

                                                                           Hormone agonists and antagonists: types

                                                                                 Second messengers: types             

                                                                                 Cyclic nucleotides: types

                                                                                 Cofactors: types

                                                                                 Energy & metabolic intermeds.: types

                                                                                        Precursors: types

                                                                                           Inorganic ions: types

                                                                                                    Gases: types

                                                                                                              Subatomic particles: types

                                                                                                                        Electrons, Protons: types



5.4. Reformatting the Mind-Body Problem

With the preceding background in place, we can now turn directly to the Triadic solution of the mind-body problem. Strictly speaking, the classical mind-body problem is a double misnomer. First, it inappropriately matches a structure from one universe level (Tables 1 and 2), namely, the body of an organism, with the activity of an organ from the universe level immediately below it, i.e., mind. Note that mind is produced by the activity of the brain, not of the body. This confusion can be eliminated by reformulating the mind-body problem. That is, by splitting it into two, separate universe-level problems: The Brain-Mind Problem, and The Body-Life Problem. Thus posed, the original mind-body problem was recognized to be subsets of the structure-activity relationship (Morton, 1985a).

Second, this formulation also eliminates the former habitually improper treatment of mind and body as comparable objects within the same class (i.e., as structure vs. structure: “apples and apples”) when in fact each are items from logically incomparable categories (structure vs. activity, i.e., “apples vs. oranges”). As a result, the seemingly paradoxical relationship of life to body or brain to mind can now be clarified through the triadic pillars of behavior or activity. That is, some activities of a single organ structure, the brain, powered by energy over time, include mind (and consciousness). Similarly, some of the activities of the entire body, powered over time by energy, include life (or living). The examples in Table 3 further illustrate this structure-activity relationship. There, it may be seen that the activity of each of the various functional structures (i.e., enzyme, computer, body, etc.) results when energy is appropriately coupled to it over time.

Table 3. The Triadic Pillars of Activity

Structure       +      Time        +       Potential Energy          =      Activity

Enzyme               seconds            calories from equilibrium       Catalysis of a reaction

Automobile           minutes            octane of fuel                  Travel on roadways

Video Player         minutes            110-220 V electricity           Projection of multimedia

Computer           microseconds         110-220 V electricity           Processing of data

Brain              milliseconds         cal. in glucose, oxygen         Mind: survival data analysis
Body                 minutes            calories in foodstuff           Life: survival   optimization

Activity is a process, an event, an action, a phenomenon, an occurrence, a doing. Human behavior is an activity. Thus, all behavioral activities stand upon the same triad, absolutely requiring three elements: intact structure, time, and potential energy. In fact, all proper macroscopic specific-activity descriptions ultimately must formally consist of units of each of these three elements: that is, change in chemical free energy per unit mass of structure per unit time.

5.5. Cellular Homeostasis as the Source of All Living Behavior.

Certain inquirers have connected behavior to body survival, including Spinoza (1977), Bickerton (1995) and Damasio, (1999). However, it is the cell, together with its determining genes, that is the fundamental building block of all terrestrial living organisms. Thus, the survival of the individual living cell is the central requirement for the existence of life. There is no independent life below the cellular level. Thus, a biochemist stands at the interface between inanimate nature and life itself.

The order required for life to exist is obtained by cell-based diversion, storage, and utilization of solar free energy that would have normally have been lost on earth as entropic heat. This captured energy is used for the survival, function, and reproductive work of the cell. The vital conditions required by the cells within our bodies are herein called cellular survival requirements (CSR). CSR are in many ways similar to the salinity conditions of the sea, one of many observations that support the view that life first originated there. CSR include the many narrow pH, osmotic, ionic, and nutritional requirements. An unprotected cell will die if even one of these vital conditions is not met.

Any force distorting the cellular environment away from CSR is called a biological stressor. Cells resist biological stress by the multi-layered process of homeostasis. Homeostasis, which means to maintain a state of constancy, is a term covering any action that a living organism may take in order to maintain CSR in the face of environmental stress. Through evolution, cells within organisms have become increasingly adept at protecting themselves. They do so by calling forth a large arsenal of defensive-compensatory, stress-resisting reactions and adaptations.

The following is not generally appreciated: At each universe level of structural organization within a living organism, living organisms have naturally selected an appropriate set of homeostatic defensive tools. Thus, 1) At the biochemical-metabolic level, homeostatic responses include the vital buffering of acid production, damping of chemical oxidation, and regulation of enzyme activities through feedback loops. 2) At the cellular level, homeostatic mechanisms include the controlled active and passive transport of small molecules into compartments bounded by membranes, the activation or inhibition of enzyme synthesis, and the regulation of vital hormonal and neurotransmitter receptors. 3) Tissue-level homeostatic devices include such processes as inflammation, edema, and immune rejection for protection.

Continuing, 4) Organ responses to stress include local adjustments in blood flow and defensive compensations in organ size. 5) Whole organism homeostasis includes the coordinated neuroendocrine and brain-directed internal and external stress defense behaviors that maximize survival gain and minimize survival loss within the complex outer environment (Darwin, 1859, 1871). 6) At the next higher universe level, even groups of organisms have evolved homeostatic devices that assist in defending and maintaining the basic CSR for individual cells within the bodies of group members. These group responses include the stabilizing effects of society such as the nuclear family, kin groups, communities, and working cooperatives, such as agriculture, industry, commerce, and the police. Furthermore, a human culture’s collection of survival and contra cell survival memes are inculcated in each new generation via parental example, education, religion, science, and the mass media.

While in the above description, the cell was described as at the effect of its environment, it can also be viewed as environmentally causal, even invasive. Regardless, it is clear that the homeostatic drive to maintain CSR is quite literally the source of all living behavior. Every act at all levels in every living system has at its core “motive” the attempt to maintain or restore optimal cellular survival requirements. Thus, it is accurate to say that for living organisms, the drive to optimize cellular survival is the source, purpose, and goal of all behavior. This drive is a genetically determined, inherent property of cellular organisms from which there is no freedom, except death.

However, if we have no choice in our behavior, then why do we continually ask ourselves in essence the following questions, as if we actually had freedom of choice? "What should I be doing now (to optimize survival)?", "What should I do next (to optimize survival)?", "I wonder what would have happened if I had tried that other possibility (to optimize survival)?" Because we often are unaware of the implicit motive (to optimize survival) behind our questions and speech, we feel that we are free. This illusion of freedom of choice exists, not because "The human brain has made a quantitative evolutionary jump and is no longer subject to genetic determinism. It can now make choices". Rather, it exists because within genetic determinism, a new level has emerged where there is vast freedom of choice, including that of which of those many cultural memes now in existence should we choose to guide us regarding how we either meet the demand to optimize cellular survival, or drop out of life.

That is, within this predetermined or consciously chosen survival orientation, there are three great freedoms of choice. The first freedom is, when I shall optimize survival, now or later (immediate vs. deferred)? The second freedom is, whose survival I shall maximize, my own or that of my family (self vs. other-oriented)? The third freedom is whom I shall call “my family” (us humans vs. them aliens)? Will it be just myself, or will it include my offspring, my nuclear family, my extended family clan, or my tribe? Will I draw the line regarding my family at my class, my race, my nation, my species, at some of terrestrial life, or include all terrestrial life (mud-daubers, fleas, mosquitoes, tape-worms, pathogenic organisms, deadly microorganisms, and all)?

Just like Hitler and Gandhi, each individual has a unique history in terms of their own choices as to how to best optimize survival in the presence of the contingencies of life. These choices totally describe the, who, what, why, where, when, and how of our thinking and behavior. Thus, Hitler worked tirelessly and brilliantly for the survival maximization of his family. However, he defined his family very narrowly (i.e., only non-defective Teutons were human). Gandhi’s choice of family included all of Homo sapiens. By now, being forced to remove divine or diabolic supernatural influences from the equation, it becomes clear that an individual’s answers to these ongoing three choices have been the source of the highest and lowest of all human accomplishment.

5.6. The Activity of Brain Structure, Powered over Time by Energy, is Mind and Thinking

Just as biochemical catalysis requires the activities of an enzyme, so one's mind originates as a behavior of a brain-based nervous system. The complex structure of the brain is known or is being elucidated at many levels (Table 2). In humans, it appears that cerebellar, and limbic accretions, together with the cerebrum have been added to the original brain core and striatum, producing in humans what has been modeled as the Quadrimental Brain (Morton, 1985b, Morton,1989).

Mind has been defined in numerous ways. Some of these are very narrow, seeking to limit mind to a property only possessed by the human species. These definitions insist that mind only includes the mental activity of the abstract thinking required for the production of fully developed syntactical language (Chomsky, 1959). Such a definition is rejected here because such would assert, not only that Helen Keller was mindless until the age of sixteen when she learned a language, but also that most children before the age of two, and the adult speakers of only pidgin proto-languages are mindless was well (Bickerton, 1995).

On the other hand, some traditional Eastern definitions of mind have been so broad as to go beyond the requirements of external sensory awareness monitored by a brain-containing life form. These label the response of any material object to energy input as part of so-called “universal consciousness” and therefore as part of mind. Thus, a nucleic acid, by changing its structural conformation in response to an altered nuclear ionic environment, would be said to show a rudimentary form of consciousness, like a compass needle, or wind in the trees, all of which would be viewed as part of universal mind. Such definitions are too broad to be meaningful here, although the terrestrial biofeedback loops of the “Living Earth”, Gaia Hypothesis (Lovelock, 1979) do make it of interest.

In keeping with the concept that cellular homeostasis is the source of all living behavior, mind is here defined as any brain-dependent activity which seeks to optimize survival of the cells of the organism, directly or indirectly. Known brain-based homeostatic activities include the following:

1. Gathering of current internal and external sensory data stimuli. 2. Storage of that current sensory data, along with current drives, emotions, personal theories, cultural memes, biases, and goals, into primary memory. 3. Assembly of memory data containing earlier experiences similar to the present one, including associated past survival calculations, conclusions, responses, and results, together with past thoughts and emotions. 4. Use of the assembled data to formulate new best and worst- survival outcome projections from past into the future. 5. Selection of an unconscious or conscious response whose goal is to optimize short or long-term cellular survival of self or family. 6. Initiation of the response, including that of a non-response. 7. Recordation and evaluation of the effects of the response in terms of homeostatic success. Clearly, these brain activities more than encompass the requirements for mind and consciousness by any conventional definition.

5.6.1. Triadic Relationship of Structure to Activity: Loss of Mind

There is much evidence of the profound effect that alteration of brain structure has upon mind, consciousness, and mental functioning. These data include the unique consequences of region-specific brain alterations produced by genetic mutation, developmental arrests, strokes and other cerebral accidents, gunshot wounds and other head trauma, brain tumors, chemical and surgical brain ablations, including the semi-reversible effects of psychoactive drugs.

5.6.2. Triadic Relationship of Time to Brain Activity: It Takes Time to Think

Although it takes more time to ponder about some things than others, the seemingly instantaneous or simultaneous nature of certain thoughts is an illusion resulting from the millisecond rate of some brain neuronal intercommunications. It is interesting to note that rate of thinking is sometimes an important element in the definition of intelligence (Hernstein and Murray, 1994). If this were the sole component, however, it would make the most obsolescent computer more intelligent than any human.

5.6.3. Triadic Relationship of Energy to Brain Activity: Need for Fuel

As in all other cases, brain activity, including mind, is not only dependent upon brain structural integrity, but also upon the presence of adequate fuel in the form of potential energy. It is no accident that the brain is the most metabolically-active energetic organ of the body. Although weighing only slightly more than a kilogram, it consumes ten percent of the oxygen required by the 70 kg body of an adult male. At physical rest, the brain produces one third of the body's heat, primarily as the entropic by-product of ion pumping work required for information transmission and processing. The aerobic energy metabolism that supports brain activity is highly regulated and exquisitely sensitive to local neural activity. The absolute dependence of continued normal mental function upon potential energy is illustrated by the rapid, very serious, consequences of insulin overdose, blood loss, or suffocation. Deprivation for even a few minutes of glucose, ketone bodies (which are used instead of glucose during fasting), or oxygen by the above conditions can result in such mind alterations as loss of consciousness, coma, and death.

Modern imaging techniques can reach beyond structure to measure regional brain activities of mind, literally including thought. It is no coincidence that this feat is accomplished by the monitoring at high resolution, over time, of regional brain energy expenditures of anatomical structure, as reflected by local blood flow, or consumption of oxy-hemoglobin or of glucose analogues. These methods strikingly visualize highly discrete brain areas participating in the production of specific behaviors, emotions, and consciousness states. Such approaches are rapidly being applied, not only to the investigation of the brain activities of the mentally ill, but also to those of healthy, conscious humans. For the first time, this enables us directly to associate mental phenomena with the activities of specific brain structures and systems. The results are illuminating.

5.6.4 Triadism is Neither Monism or Dualism

From the above it can be seen that mind, as a behavior of intact brain powered by free energy over time, is neither classical Monism nor Dualism. This is because mind cannot be separated from its triadic pillars of intact structure, time, and energy. Loss of any one of them annihilates mind. Unlike spirit, which was believed to be separable or independent of mortal bodily structure, behavioral activity (including mind) is always tripartite, demanding a functionally intact body (and brain).

6. The Origin and Nature of Emergent Properties

The triadic solution to the mind-body problem also provides understanding regarding the ancient paradox of emergent properties. As will be illustrated, when components are assembled into a larger whole, new properties appear that are not possessed by the parts alone. Even to this day, such emergence has seemed to many, as inexplicable, counterintuitive, like magic, quantum mechanics, or the supernatural.

6.1. Although the Structure is Never More than the Sum of its Parts, the Activities of a Structure are Always Greater than the Sum of the Activities of its Parts.

The above heading states a currently unrecognized law, herein called the Law of Emergent Properties, which draws attention to the obligatory production of unique new activities (5D-Triadic) when building blocks are combined to make a higher-level structure. This can be understood by considering the following points: First, the original activities of the building blocks become at least partially hindered or occluded by their co-attachment, and thus extremely close association, within the newly created complex assembly. This should certainly mute or eliminate some of these, but indeed may leave a limited inter-penetration between levels as a possibility (Levins and Lewontin, 1987). Second, it must follow that the new structure is more massive and complex than its component parts, often having a wider, more rigid, or constrained range of motion, along with other different, new properties. Third, the more complex composite structure usually will have more surface area and thus more opportunities to accept and return energetic exchanges with its environment than its building blocks did. Thus, at the higher universe level, composite structure will have new purposeless, different, but sometimes useful properties not present in its components. Such new activities appearing when subunits are assembled into a higher level, whole, are appropriately called emergent properties. For example, from two sticks and a piece of string, came archery.

Referring to the structural levels of Tables 1 and 2, one can confirm these ideas by noticing the unique, interesting, and unexpected activities manifest by each higher level compared to those of its lower level building blocks. For example, consider the new properties that emerge by combining the twenty common amino acids into a protein. The following are eight emergent unique properties of such peptides that are not possessed by the sum of their free amino acid building blocks: 1) Antigens and antibodies, 2), Transporters of blood gases, such as O2, CO2, and NO, 3) Cell membrane structural elements, 4) Structural polymers of tendon, cartilage and bone, 5) Major elements in contractile systems, 6) Key structures of cellular receptors, channels, and pumps, 7) Specific hormones and neuromodulators, and 8) Enzymes (Nelson and Cox, 2000).

Who could have predicted this? For example, what “equation for everything” (Lindley, 2001) using the laws of amino acids could have been extended or modified to predict the existence of the partial antagonist-binding properties of the mu-opiate receptor subclass proteins. The existence and unpredictability of emergent properties is strong evidence that Godel’s (1962) Incompleteness Theorem can be generalized beyond arithmetic systems. This theorem actually prohibits the prediction of behavioral properties of a structures assembled at any next higher universe level based upon only knowledge of the properties of its parts in the level below. Yet, even today most physicists would agree with Stapp (1993) that, “Nothing in classical physics can create something that is essentially more than an aggregation of its parts”. Unfortunately, a classical mind-set equates activity with structure, thus making the undeniable existence of emergent activities as something akin to the supernatural.

Similar examples of emergence could be provided ad-infinitum for the activities any of the structural levels of the universe, which nevertheless are indeed no more than the sum of their structural parts. Start anywhere: how are the activities of an atom greater than the sum of the activities of its subatomic particles (the activities of sodium, the inflammatory metal, vs. those of its constituent protons, neutrons, and electrons)? How are the activities of molecules more and different than the sum of the activities of their constituent atoms (those of the brain nutrient, glucose, vs. its constituent atomic carbon, oxygen and hydrogen)? How are the activities of polymers greater than that of their small organic molecules (those of DNA vs. the monophosphate nucleotides)?

Or, how are the activities of supramolecular assemblies greater than those of their macromolecule building blocks (those of ribosome protein synthesis factories vs. their RNA and protein components)? How are the activities of subcellular organelles greater than the activities of the sum of their supramolecular assemblies (activities of chloroplast carbon-fixing systems vs. their inherent lipid membranes and chlorophyll)? How are the activities of living cells greater than that of their combined subcellular organelles? How are the activities of a tissue greater than the activities of its individual cells (of component retina vs. neurons)? How are the activities of organs greater than the sum of the activities of their tissues (the heart as a blood pump vs. simple cardiac muscle shortening)? How are the activities of an organism greater than the sum of the activities of its organs (those of the Mayor of Honolulu vs. kidney filtration)? None of any of these vast emergent properties requires the invocation of either the supernatural, or of quantum physics to explain it, yet they can not be predicted mathematically.

7. The Quartet of Thinking Operations Inherent in Understanding and Discovery

In view of the stratified nature of the universe, not surprisingly one's thinking orientation about an object can unwittingly come from three very different possible universe-level perspectives. These are: 1) the self-referencing, 2) the dissecting, and 3) the synthesizing points of view. The self-referencing viewpoint (Figure 2) considers types of objects within the same level of order, for example the great variety and vintages of existing automobiles. The second, the dissecting viewpoint, considers the object at the reference level in terms of its component building blocks at lower levels of order, that is, the wheels, engine, or fenders of a car. The third, the synthesizing viewpoint, considers how the objects in the reference level contribute to the creation of larger wholes, such as traffic, auto races, or fleets of rental cars.

7. 1 The Mathematical Processes of Induction and Deduction can only be Used Within the Same Universe Level

For centuries, confusion has arisen from inappropriate attempts to use deduction and induction across, instead of within universe levels. As seen in Figure 2, the use of the logical operations of induction and deduction are limited to transformations within a given, single universe level, i.e., moving from the particular to the general, or vice versa in structures or activities within only that level. The same restriction applies to mathematics: it is functional on any single universe level, but apparently cannot function in between universe levels. This is vividly demonstrated in the failure of many eminent physicists to develop a functional “Equation for Everything” (Lindley, 2001) after trying for over a century. Possibly these misunderstandings have occurred because the concept of infinite universe structural levels each with unique types (Table 1 & 2) is not widespread.

7. 2. The Non-Mathematical Logical Processes of Synthesis and Dissection are Required in order to Move Between Universe Levels, Where as a Result, quite Different Properties Emerge.

Also made visible in Figure 2, the process of moving up or down universe levels requires different types of logical operations than those used in moving within levels, namely that of synthesis and dissection. Creating and assembling a higher-level structure from component parts from the universe level beneath is the process of building or construction that is called synthesis. Automatic self-assembly (synthesis) over several universe levels is often observed in life processes, such as cell division and multicellular growth. Disassembling a structure into its component parts is the process of dissection, one at which auto mechanics or surgeons, for example, excel. If dissection is not done reversibly, it is called butchery or destruction.

Often, use of all four of theses different reasoning processes is required for discovery. Yet, presently in many areas of science, only deductive reasoning is valued as appropriate. Inspection of the bottom half of Figure 2 will bring into focus the necessary but often unrecognized steps required before deduction finally can be used in the act of finding any new object or process. Actually, only after the general model is finally conceptualized is the use of hypothesis testing appropriate. Yet, many manuscripts describing innovative observations, insights, conceptions, or models submitted to scientific journals are rejected today if they are not designed to test a narrow hypothesis by falsification. Ironically, the falsification procedure was made excessively popular by the dualist, Popper (1934).

It is commonly overlooked that an antecedent (and often unrecognized) conception is required before hypothesis-generation is possible. Furthermore, it is often not appreciated that the preceding, often unrecognized conceptual models can not be falsified (i.e., as in if it’s not red, it is not a car). A synthetic model can only be overthrown by the discovery of a more accurate approximation of external reality that fits the data better (and also generates better hypotheses). Ironically, in this way, scientific conceptual models are like those underlying religio-cultural memes. Falsification does them no harm. They can only be dismantled and replaced by the appearance of more powerful (more useful, i.e., more survival enhancing) models.

8. The Quadrimental Brain Model

In the foregoing, foundations have been laid which enable the understanding of the emergent properties of life and mind inherent in the Triadic solution of the mind body problem. Now, we can move toward clarification of the origin, nature, and significance of the specific brain activities that compose the processes of consciousness.

Neurobiologist, Paul MacLean did neuroscience a great service by providing a very integrative first approximation of the evolutionary origin of the unique layers of the brain and their function. His neuroanatomical and behavioral studies of the brain and behavior of both reptiles and primates are summarized in The Triune Brain in Evolution, (1990). He, more than any other, laid the neuroanatomical foundations for understanding the multi-layered nature of consciousness.

First, he started from the bottom-up by recognizing and investigating the importance of the ancient so-called reptile brain or R-complex and the associated behaviors of the human brain core. Second, he called attention to the role in emotion and motivation of later-added paleo-mammalian brain areas, such as the amygdala, septum, and cingulate cortex that he collectively termed the Limbic System (MacLean, 1952). Third, he correctly saw the cerebral cortices as primarily late-arriving neo-mammalian accretions, providing new mental skills through higher order processing. These important contributions formed the basis of his Triune Brain Model, first proposed in 1968, (MacLean). Until recently, this stood as the most concrete and functional model seeking to account for the neural basis of vertebrate behavior in general and of humans in particular.

Ultimately, the Triune Brain Model has been found to be missing an important fourth element (Morton, 1985b, 1989). This missing element was heralded by discovery of previously unrecognized non-motor behaviors produced by the cerebellum (Dow, 1974; Watson, 1978; Leiner, Leiner, and Dow, 1986; Shamahmann, 1991). These included dramatic behavioral reversals among the criminally insane produced by autostimulation of the cerebellar vermis (Heath, 1977; Heath, Rouchell, Llewellyn, and Walker, 1981; Heath, Franklin, Walker, and Keating, 1982), the identification the cerebellum as a site of primary memory (Lincoln, McCormack, and Thompson, 1982; Thompson, 1986; Thompson and Kim, 1996), and the discovery of the requirement of the cerebellum for the generation of syntax ((Fiez, Petersen, Cheney, Raichle, 1992). This cerebellar, fourth element, has been incorporated independently into a second- generation model of how brain activity produces behavior, called the Quadrimental Brain Model (Morton, 1985b; Morton, 1989) that is summarized in Figure 2. A more elaborate third approximation, The Dual Quadbrain Model, which amplifies the Quadrimental Brain by including the many asymmetries of laterality (Morton, 2001; Morton, 2002) will be described elsewhere.

Figure 3: The Quadrimental Brain Model: Levels of Consciousness

******* Cerebral System: Imagines, Describes Aware of Self-Awareness. Able to Represent Representations by both Imaging or Abstracting Primary Memory. Metamind: Offline thinking; True Language. Also in Humans, Except Young Children. Normal Human Consciousness ******* Limbic System: Has - Controls Aware of Self. Non-Syntactic Language. Executive, Controls External Operations Primary Emotions Motivate, Ego Defenses. Also in Mammals and Young Children. Preconscious Ego ******* Cerebellar System: Is - Knows Aware of the Group as Part of It. Knowledge of Time and Space, Causality. Lays down Primary Memory Time Track. Also in Vertebrates. Subconscious Superego ******* Striatal-Brain Core System: Does Aware of Senses. Has a Same-Different Comparator for Set-Points or Competitors. Pain or Pleasure Motivates. Instincts. Also in Lower Organisms that have Brains. Unconscious Id *******

With a four level brain, it becomes possible to understand both higher consciousness and the existence of unconscious, subconscious, and preconscious brain activities. William James (1878) described a primitive four-part model of mind, unrelated to brain structure, which included “the material self, the social self, the spiritual self, and pure ego”. A particularly insightful four-part model of mind was that of Sigmund Freud (1960), this in spite of our temptations to occasionally smile about peripheral aspects of his Psychoanalysis. In essence, he said that everyone knows about the nature of, 1) the normal consciousness, which appears to all and is obvious. On the other hand, he asserted he had accumulated considerable evidence that we are not conscious of producing certain other types of behavior. He believed that these behaviors being produced outside of our normal consciousness could be divided into three categories. Unconscious behaviors of, 2) the autonomic-instinctual type were produced by a primitive mental element which he termed the Id. Preconscious behaviors, 3) were produced by the Ego outside of usual awareness, which were tied to self control, the control of others, and the control of processes. Occasionally after a slight delay, the motivational emotions driving the Ego also sometimes spilled fully formed into consciousness, e.g., such as anger or grief. Last, Subconscious behaviors, 4) promoting certain phenomena enhancing species preservation, such as guilt and conscience, occurred as a product of the actions of the “Superego”. Usually, these were also outside of conscious introspection.

Although trained as a neurologist, Freud was unable to assign an anatomical brain origin of his four semi-independent minds. Primarily, this was because his observations on subconscious behavior were based upon longitudinal “subject interview” data that was completely divorced from considerations of brain structure. However, with the advent of regional brain activity imaging, it is now possible to associate brain activity-associated behaviors with brain structures and functional systems. The following is such a description for the Quadrimental Brain Model (Morton, 1985b; Morton, 1989).

8.1. Striatal-Core System: Autonomic-Instinctual Strata of the Quadrimental Brain - Does Clearly, brain-directed basic behaviors that enhanced survival of the cells of the body must have evolved first. The ancient brain areas responsible for these activities reside in the brain core, up to and including the striatum, as part of MacLean’s R-complex (McLean, 1990), here called the reptile brain. This system has full awareness of both its internal cellular survival status and the presence of external stimuli from stressors or resources. It became programmed to administer motivational amounts of neurotransmitter-based rewarded approach (feels good if done), causing the organism to move closer to the object of attention; or punished avoidance (feels bad if not done), resulting in movement away from it. This enabled the organism appropriately to react to such stressors or resources (Becker, Rudlick, and Jenkins, 2001) with immediately corrective survival enhancing autonomic drives and instinctual cellular homeostatic actions (Morton, Chesire, Winn, Digman, and Peterman, 1992). These impressive stimulus-response, instinctual behaviors, which include those unconscious behaviors associated with Freud’s “Id”, have evolved through natural selection to optimize cellular survival conditions of the organism by various acts of homeostasis directed by the brain core.

Thus, the reptile brain is predicted to contain a very precise comparator that can detect small deviations from optimal cellular survival requirement (CSR) homeostatic set-points within, and also to recognize small differences in the size of objects without. The latter skill is essential, for example, in the prevention of unnecessary engagement in dominance battles of conspecifics larger than itself, where chances of an ultimately fatal injury were high. Instead, the instinctual stimulus-response activation of a separate submission subroutine saved lives and allowed further growth.

The neostriatum also contains a “habit” memory system within it (Knowlton, Mangels, and Squire, 1996). The term “habitual”, more than any other, characterizes the daily routine of reptiles (MacLean, 1990), as is consistent with this memory system being used for the establishment of these fairly complex but repetitive behavioral programs. In a modern alligator the size of an adult human male (70 kg), the volume of its entire brain is only about 5 cubic centimeters (cc), i.e., from the tip of one's index finger to its first joint. This is about 1/250th, or 0.4% the size of the about 1250 cc volume of a human brain. Yet, just this 5cc brain enabled reptiles, such as alligators and crocodiles, to be very formidable creatures. Early in the age of the reptiles, these were among the most evolutionarily advanced of the vertebrates. They could rapidly and powerfully move with agility to hunt, take, eat, digest, and send foodstuff, hormonal, and neuronal messages through out their body. Furthermore, as part of reproduction, some species of reptile parents also cared for and defended their young, sometimes even after hatching, as do the evolutionarily related egg-laying birds.

However, reptiles were primarily selfish and highly oriented toward territoriality and dominance through physical violence. In humans these are still instinctual processes, consistent with territoriality, dominance, sex, and parenting drives not being directly accessible to conscious inspection. The Reptilian brain is alive and well in the brain core of humans today and continues to promote its survival through the violent and sexual behaviors associated with the intense competition involved in selecting a mate and reproducing.

Besides sex and violence, other inherently defensive-aggressive (selfish) Reptilian (id-like) behavior can be activated in humans. That is, in the wild, to be wrong, to lose, or to be dominated was tantamount to death. Thus, the reptile brain must be right, making all others wrong. It must win by forcing all others to lose. It must dominate and avoid domination by controlling all others. And, its display must look bigger or more impressive than the others at all costs. Its reality appears to be “itself against the world” of aliens. Reptiles are skillful in deception, imitation, and ambush (McLean, 1990). Some are also cannibalistic. Yet, the antisocial behavior of the reptile brain in humans appear as largely automatic responses, subconsciously but powerfully released by “sex and violence” stimuli, which override most other visual stimuli in their ability to arouse survival attention (i.e., to “entertain”)

Because it was the original, and today is still the only brain system that has direct control of the body (including the tongue), the reptile brain is the ultimate source of power. Yet, each of the three yet to be discussed, higher quadrimental brain systems have found ways successfully to control the brain core system in order to actualize their own survival-optimizing behavioral outputs through it. As mentioned, the reptile brain can be controlled at an unconscious level by external authorities that are "bigger", and thus more dominant. This trait forms the behavioral basis of such phenomena as hypnosis, faith healing, death curses, mass hysteria, and of “taking orders”. Of unappreciated importance, hypnosis appears to be involved in the inculcation of religio-cultural memes via authority figures by assumptive learning in the first three years of humans (see cerebrum). Later, the authority figure can shift on from parent, to teacher, to headman (or hypnotist), to king or priest, and finally to the natural, but inaccurate and misleading meme of an extracorporeal but Almighty God, the inscrutable highest authority (thus, by definition being impossible, nonexistent, or meaningless, as further confirmed by the so-called “Problem of Evil”, an issue not discussed here).

8.2. Cerebellar System: The Timing, Primary Memory, and Social Strata of the Brain - Is

Early semi-independent evolution of the repetitive structural elegance of the cerebellum provided a mechanism for the massive storage of millisecond-by-millisecond sensory experience in the form of massive primary memories. The retrieval of such real-time primary memory data is essential for sustained awareness of anything momentary. That is, without primary memory, the sound of tiger’s snarl, once sensed, is gone forever. It cannot be recaptured and re-inspected in attention in order to calculate a response. Inherent in the formation of cerebellar memory is a record of the passage of time (Nichelli, Alway, and Grafman, 1996). Clearly, without timing, the detection of causality is impossible. And, without detection of causality, there can be no learning, much less meaning.

Thus, although at first surprising, it is highly significant and completely logical that language syntax was found to require an intact cerebellum (Fiez, et. al., 1992). This is because syntax strictly describes the relative cause and effect timing of sequences of events (Bickerton, 1995). This linguistic element apparently utilized the cerebellar system’s ability to make and keep records of objects and activities over time. That is, it was capable of recording and organizing the ongoing process of external behavior, i.e., who caused what, where, when, why, and how. The primary memory process forms what appears to be a continuous time-track from the late prenatal past to the present within each of us. Gaining conscious retrieval access to this record, however, is the challenge. This is because primary memory appears to utilize a different coding basis or mechanism than used by the later arriving visual-symbolic memory banks of the cerebral cortical higher consciousness system.

With the addition of the cerebellar system’s timing and timing-based memory, organisms could rise above the level of the automatic stimulus of instinct-programmed responses driven by pain or pleasure. This new flexibility became possible because, out of the exuberance of evolution, the cerebellar system had originated and developed as an ancillary element, semi-independent from the brain core. It later could be added on without compromising or discarding those winning survival programs, collected as instincts over eons of time by the striatal system Id of the reptile brain. With the addition of the cerebellar timing system, a nonverbal, non-image based primitive, ineffable global silent knowing, or being became possible. Consistent with such ideas, in humans this expanded system has recently been found to respond in ways that reflected an acquired internal model of external reality (Imamizi, Miyauchi, Tamada, Sasaki, Takino, Putz, Yoshioka, Kawato, 2000).

Such a primary memory of the past made a personal history possible, one of the major prerequisites of selfhood. It also enabled social thinking. That is, with its ability to review the past, the individual could for the first time rise above dumb, stimulus-response and actually observe or review which behavioral response in the past resulted in a better survival maximization outcomes as compared to others. It also became possible to notice that some behaviors giving immediate selfish benefits, might ultimately be greatly inferior in terms of long-term survival benefits than other behaviors requiring deferred gratification. This was especially so for behaviors promoting long-term survival of the group (and thus, paradoxically, of oneself).

The reliable production of unexpected benefits from the formation of a larger whole (functioning group) by the combination of its parts (cooperating individuals), would be predicted by the above Law of Emergent Properties. These deferred or other-oriented behaviors on the part of group members included the unselfish sharing of one’s resources, at least on a short-term basis. This is commonly seen where one deliberately puts his or herself at a non life-threatening, but still altruistic personal disadvantage, sacrifice, or “investment” for the greater long-term survival benefit of another or a group. Since social behavior is older than the schooling of fish, the dyadic conflict between immediate self-benefit, or self-sacrificial but rewarded deferral for group benefit, is an ancient motif tied to conscience and guilt, and thus to the cerebellar “Superego”.

One of the characteristics of the Superego is its apparent regard for the survival of an individual’s group as being just as important as the survival of its own Self. Thus, it is postulated that the inner reality “wisdom” of the cerebellar system is a truly “objective” inner model of external reality, set in dyadic, seemingly divine opposition to the “subjective” special survival-advantage pleadings of the selfish reptile brain. This motif can be recognized in the endless intra- and interpersonal conflicts, such as “The Great Controversy (Jihad) between Christ and Satan”, of religious fundamentalism.

Because in humans, the cerebellum contains more cells than the remainder of the brain combined (Williams and Herrup, 1988, it was called the “minor brain” due to lesser cell size), it has more than an adequate primary memory database and trans-brain integrations to perform the above pro-social mental acts as an inner “Holy Spirit” and inspired Source. These included other so-called spiritual motives, such as “loving one another”, or “loving one’s neighbor, as oneself”. Formerly, such behavior was attributed to the influence of an external, extra-corporeal divinity.

8.3. Limbic System: Executive Control Strata of the Quadrimental Brain - Has

Two ancient internal conflicts continually arise between the reptile brain and the cerebellar brain. The first is: When shall I optimize survival?, i.e., conflict between Reptilian “I want it now” and cerebellar “Give it time to grow”. The second is: Whose survival shall I optimize? between reptile “self” and cerebellar “group” orientations. These conflicts have come to be mediated by yet a third element of consciousness, arising with the development of the limbic system. As a higher layer of brain, added on top of the two earlier consciousness systems, it has a well-developed sense of external self-awareness, and thus has been called the Ego, the Caretaker, or the Executive. Limbic consciousness is aware of both the immediate selfish priority of the reptile brain and the disciplined deferral of the cerebellar system. It also has access, both to the refined striatal comparator of internal and external cell survival status and its associated habit memory, and to the cerebellar primary memory time track of personal and group history.

However, it appears to employ a new search procedure in the analysis of cerebellar primary memory, one that has provided an extended basis for learning. That is, as usual, the reptile system reviewed memory for the identification of participants of incidents. However, beyond this, the limbic Ego appears to scan the primary memory record also to determine the long-term survival outcomes resulting any chain of earlier-similar incidents. When such is found, it automatically jumps to the most elementary and yet most profound of all conclusions: that history will repeat itself. This extended memory-scanning approach provided two new life-enhancing opportunities. First, that of pro-actively avoiding the damage that had occurred in the earlier incident, by this time escaping sooner. Second, that of pro-actively beginning earlier to harvest resources, so as to gain a greater survival advantage this time around. Thus, in an oversimplified, but familiar example, the dog of a person owning a pickup truck enthusiastically leaps into the truck bed every time the owner emerges from the front door of her house, even if she just intends to water the lawn. Since these strategies have generally provided practical benefits, organisms with this earlier-similar survival outcome analysis system apparently were more successful at survival and thus have been selected by evolution (Darwin, 1959).

The limbic system of the brain, which arose by the age of early mammals, led to the development of several other important inherited behavioral changes that can only briefly be outlined here. These included the addition of the fetal and maternal programs required for the conversion of the egg-laying reproductive strategy to placental birth and nursing. Also, curiosity and juvenile play first emerged here (McLean, 1990). Included in limbic consciousness were elaborations of brain core motivational drives and emotion (Morton, 1986; Morton, Blanchard, Diamond, Blanchard, Lee, Pang, Olipares, Hanohano, Cabebe, and Chan, 1983a; Morton, Blanchard, Lee, Pang, and Blanchard, 1983b; Morton, Blanchard, Lee, Hanohano, Cabebe, and Blanchard, 1984), culminating in the Hexadyad Primary Emotions (Morton, 1987). The basal elements of these, now six motivational pairs emerged to be: 1) confusion-clarity, 2) rejection-acceptance, 3) fear-confidence, 4) anger-gratitude, 5) grief-elation, and 6) neediness-satisfaction. These emotions provided a wider range of internal motivation than just the use of pain and pleasure by the Reptilian brain to drive avoidance and approach behaviors (Morton, et. al., 1992). They could also be combined to produce compound social emotions such as jealosy, contempt, awe, etc.

Last to be mentioned are the emergence of a large number of limbic system “Ego-defenses of the Id”, such as denial, projection, and rationalization (Plutchik, Kellerman, and Conte, 1979). These apparently allowed the limbic system to avoid personal responsibility or otherwise to compensate for any breakthrough of reptile brain antisocial behavior. Seemingly, all of these ego defenses contain deceptive untruths, usually not recognized by the individual forced to use them, but often obvious to those around them., for example, the use of rationalization as an excuse to avoid responsibility for having committed an antisocial or otherwise inappropriate or censored act.

8.4. Cerebral System: The Thinking-Imaging Strata of the Brain, Describes and Imagines Even today, limbic behavior predominates in very young humans. This is lost when their cerebral hemispheres begin to mature at about the age of about three. Then something significant occurs so that most individuals cannot recall what happened before about that time (and thus cannot access and reverse early harmful memes or traumas). Such a brain system transition could be a foundational reason why the first three years of child personality development appear to be so important. This maturational event marks the awaking of the previously relatively quiescent, partially myelinated cerebral cortex (Chugani, Phelps, and Mazziotta, 1987) and results in the ascendancy of a fourth type of consciousness. This operates above and mostly unaware of the lower levels of consciousness upon which it depends.

Thus, (Figure 3) first came reptile brain sensory awareness of the lower animals, next the cerebellar knowing of herd animals, then limbic awareness of self in predators, and last with the activation of the cerebrum, awareness of self awareness, higher consciousness, or metamind in humans and their immediate ancestors (Suddendorf, 1999). As when working with a high-level computer language, one can completely lose touch with the lower machine language upon which its hardware depends and produce generalizations or abstractions oblivious to the details of housekeeping. So, human cerebral consciousness has become almost completely divorced from the cellular homeostasis that still drives it.

What brought this development of metamind, arriving with the relatively recent enlargement of the auxiliary cerebral hemispheres? As a core element, it included the appearance of working memory in the frontal cortex (Buchner, Petersen, Ojemann, Meizin, Squire, and Reichle, 1995). Here, perhaps for the first time, reverberating primary memory data (Steriade, Contreras, Amzica and Timofeev, 1996) could be retrieved and somehow held in view for several seconds or even for minutes. This working memory appears to be constructed of large excerpts of primary memory fed by parallel reverberating fast loops both to and from striatal (Middleton and Strick, 1994) and cerebellar (Kim, Ugurbil, and Strick, 1994) memory banks into the thalamus, thence to the cerebrum. The cerebellar and basal gangliar roots of thalamo-cortical reverberations were apparently unrecognized by both Crick (1994) and Edleman (2000) in their reverberating models of consciousness. The independence of these two separate primary memory systems was a critical element also missing in McLean’s Triune Brain Model (1968).

Working memory permitted the Executive Ego operating in the nearby limbic cingulate cortex to find, call up, and compare multiple primary and comparative records onto its working memory screen in the frontal cortex. From these working memory transcripts, the right hemisphere appears to have developed the ability to abstract and store new generalized visual images (a picture is worth a thousand words) in its local memory bank, while the left hemisphere ultimately abstracted and stored new generalized symbols (a word is worth a thousand pictures) in its separate memory bank.

These new exchange currencies gave the brain an enormous new advantage in data manipulation. Generalized images, apparently much smaller in memory size than their foundational cerebellar primary memory data elements, could now be manipulated with ease. Representations of oneself and others could be imagined to move backward or forward in time, participating in many different possible interactions of size and direction. Courses of action could for the first time be conceived and tested within inner reality without having to be tried first in the real world, where failure might lead to death, even if the practical details could have been worked out later (Bickerton, 1995). The entire universe could literally be converted into the uncannily attractive “cartoons-with-captions” of cerebral imagery. If there is a theater for some element of consciousness, it could only occur in the cerebrum, the right hemisphere to be exact (Churchland, 1986; Morton, 1985).

Or, non-theatrically, entire herds could be abstracted and represented in the left hemisphere by a y and combined with other y herds, multiplied, divided, or subtracted. By replacing the vast, memory-intensive details of cerebellar inner reality with much smaller symbol and image approximations, one could rapidly think new thoughts. An above mentioned cost, which occurred after the cerebrum matured and took over in childhood, was the inability directly to retrieve into cerebral consciousness the apparently incompatible massive primary data from the vast cerebellar primary memory banks.

An advantage on the other hand, was that one could begin to live above the second-by-second life of suffering inherent in the painful motivational emotion feedback of id, superego, and ego, now made subconscious because of this very memory incompatibility. Human consciousness had arrived! It has sarcastically been depicted in folk art as a farmer with a straw between his teeth riding backward on a huge white pig rooting in the manure. The farmer pretends to be in charge, but actually he can only report and attempt to rationalize what has already happened. The painting also serves to illustrate the incompleteness and lack of utility of the common concept of unitive consciousness with which we all begin. This is further reinforced by the observations of Libet (1965, 1989) who demonstrated that 300-500 ms of brain activity precedes the conscious decision to act. Clearly, this conscious decision arises after earlier subconscious subcortical system activities, or shall we say, pre-decisions, occur.

Inherent in the Quadrimental Brain Model is the possibility of dramatically altering the relative dominance of each quadrimental sub-element. Thus, when cerebral logic fails within a burning building, activated instinct can often successfully guide the confused individual out (hopefully, they are not on too high a floor). Or, when the Id habitually becomes strident, its fear and aggression can be temporarily inhibited by the ingestion of alcohol, or be replaced by drug-induced, oblivious pleasure, but often at a very high health, monetary, and social cost. Or, when meditative, artistic, olfactory, rhythmic, and other conditions often associated with institutionalized religiosity are created, the ego can be caused to defer to cerebellar social-brain wisdom that touches the heart, intuitively places first things first, and raises vision to higher universe levels.

9. Triadic Solution of the Mind-Body Problem and Origin and Nature of Consciousness:

This completes the presentation of the eight sub-elements underlying Triadism and their integration in the production of multi-layered consciousness. Before turning to its further meaning and some of its ramifications, a brief summary statement of the Triadic solution would be appropriate here: The Triadic solution of the Mind-Body Problem clarifies the origin and nature of consciousness.

Mind is the coordinated activity of any brain system to optimize the survival of an organism’s cellular building blocks. Mind is a triadic process because it only occurs when an intact brain structure 1) is coupled over time 2) to metabolic energy 3). The Quadrimental Brain of higher organisms can produce four hierarchical elements of consciousness: sensory awareness, knowledge of time and space, self-awareness, and awareness of self-awareness (Metamind). Mind enables specialized organisms to pass their genes to the next generation in the process of life itself.

10. Comparisons of Triadism with Other Approximations from Science

Have the attempts of science at untying the mind-body-consciousness “World Knot”, as referred to by Schopenhauer (Uttal, 1978), fared better than those from philosophy? Here the metaphor of five bind Indians confronting an elephant appears particularly apt. And like the Indians of the metaphor, noblemen philosophers, and later, Nobel-laureate scientists from their various organ stations decidedly did not arrive at the same conclusions. Although the observations by these investigators of the animals’ foot, ear, trunk, or tail were often highly accurate, their interpretations of the data tended to conflict in perspective. Again, shortness of space has forced the deletion of a detailed description of these important efforts. Scott does an entertaining job in describing this in his Stairway to the Mind (1995). The story is carried further in Corballis and Lea, The Descent of the Mind (1999), Demasio’s The Feeling of What Happens, (1999), and Edelman and Tononi’s, A Universe of Consciousness, (2000). A review by Harnad (2001) of the latter two books and three other books, concludes that explanation of consciousness is such a hard problem that it may never yield to cognitive science.

Part of this difficulty can be attributed to the native use of a unitive (monistic) conception of mind. Thus, unlike McLean’s effective bottom-up multi-mind approach to brain research, the top down approaches such as used by Nobel laureates, Crick (1994) and Edleman (2000), which are inherently couched in a single consciousness paradigm, appear doomed from the start. Use of the unitive mind paradigm has similarly has confounded the experts in the case of the blindsight patients of Weinkranz (1986) and Stoerig and Cowey (1989), a story whose details must be bypassed here. As Dennet (1991) said, information from the retina go to many locations in the brain. But, even he couldn’t imagine the truth of multiple layers of consciousness, each perfectly able to nonverbally respond to visual data except for the highest one in the damaged visual cortex.

However, the discovery of the split consciousness of hemispherectomy patients (Sperry, 1977; Mark, 1995) was the true death knell of the unitive consciousness paradigm. And, it was split-brain pioneer Sperry (1977) himself who supplied the first non-dualistic explanation of how the mind can control the body. With the recognition of the semi-determinism of cell survival homeostasis as the source of all living behavior, here, this issue now can be clarified in much greater detail. The term semi-determinism is used, because (sometimes) we are free to commit suicide, a darker example of Sperry’s mind over matter.

11. Implications of Triadic Consciousness:

As may be seen, structures at each higher universe level have unique properties and activities which have been impossible to predict from a lower level. Thus, it has been important to recognize that many of the reliable properties that exist at one level are absent at another universe level.

11.1. Reductionism, Dualism, Spiritualism, and Soul: Ideas that have Out-lived their Usefulness

The term, reductionism, has not been mentioned until now. This is because after making the paradigm shift to triadism, the concepts of reductionism, dualism, and the immortality of the soul, each disappear as creative, well-intended attempts at understanding, each unwittingly based upon the impossible. Regarding reductionism, it has here abundantly been illustrated that the vast structure and activity strata of the universe cannot be reduced into common subunits for an equation of everything (Lindley, 2001). Yet, just because the many real properties of the next higher level cannot logically be reached from within the lower one (Godel, 1962), does not mean that they are supernatural. Things can be dissected (not reduced) into their component parts. However, by doing so the properties of the whole are obliterated. Similarly, starting with only parts, wholes can slowly by trial and error be developed to possess certain desired properties, else we wouldn’t be able to invent or construct anything. But, many unexpected properties emerge in that exercise.

Dualism asserted that both the natural and supernatural existed in our universe. Having begun to make sense of life and conquer our demons of ignorance about the brain, the most complex structure known, it can now confidently be asserted that the universe operates in a knowable cause and effect manner. For those who experience religiosity, something that is very real and potentially very valuable, Almighty God Without has been replaced by that “still, small voice” of the cerebellar social-brain Source Within (formerly known as the Holy Spirit) fountain of truth, wisdom, inspiration, and joy, and avowed enemy of the Ego.

The now-obsolete term, “Spirit”, referring to the extra-corporeal, supernatural, needs to be replaced by such terms as an object, action, or event that is awe-inspiring, holy, profound, sacred, or treasured for its survival benefit. These terms are needed because pure, unselfish actions of individuals and institutions dedicated to the good of humanity are invaluable to the overall survival of life, worthy of appreciation, and encouragement.

As a vestige of dualism, the concept of “Soul” now becomes an artifactual term created to name that nonexistent duality. All life forms are conscious. None have a separable soul. Some are not only conscious, but also aware of place and time. Many are self-aware. Apparently only humans are aware of their self-awareness. However, the latter is open for debate. These realizations also clear the way to a more reasoned consideration of the population sizes of any species.

11.2. The Dyadic Nature of the Dialectic Universe is not Dualism

In contrast to dualism, the paradoxical yin-yang nature of the dialectic universe, which also been around for millennia, remains a solid concept. It can be remembered as Hegel’s (1969) “Thesis”, attacked by an “Antithesis”, resolved by “Synthesis” to a Golden Mean, which then becomes the New Thesis, and so on. That the universe is inherently and paradoxically dyadic cannot reasonably be ignored. It is indeed constant, yet ever changing. To argue that all should change (Levins and Lewontin, 1987) is as inappropriate as to argue that all should stay the same.

The dialectic of the universe manifests itself endlessly as an analog pendulum reaching and returning from the extremes of any range of activity. The paradox is the simultaneous existence of both extremes with the tension between each, as the following arbitrary dyadic examples show: good-evil, black-white, deduction-induction, left-right, determined-free, virtual-real, abstract-concrete, truth-lies, nature-nurture, same-different, selfish-social, I.Q.-equality, defended boundaries-no borders, expensive-free, scarce-abundant, alienated-communal, mine-yours, external reality-survival imperative reality, family-aliens, penetrative-receptive, dissection-synthesis, immediate-deferred, love-hate, politically correct-innovative, Republicans-Democrats, Capitalism-Socialism, male-female, homogenization-stratification, global approximation-local accuracy, richness-poorness. Overall, neither element of any dialectic can long exist in the absence of the other.

From these and many other dyadic issues, wisdom would seek two things. First, where along that narrow sigmoid path between yin and yang is the proper balance for the present? Second, where should we strive, by empirical successive approximations, to move that balance point for optimal life in the future. While the myriad outcomes of these future approximations cannot be predicted from here (Godel, 1962), hopefully within the context of Triadism, humanity will rise more rapidly past that threshold of workability (Figure 1) where the path becomes clear.



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United States Code: Title 17, Section 107 Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include - (1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes; (2) the nature of the copyrighted work; (3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and (4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work. The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.