12.3 The Household Set: Third Level
— The Conscious Mind —
Third Level: The Conscious Mind
As with the atom and the living cell, the conscious mind consist of an organism that is conscious, and the entire body of things this mind is conscious of. And as with the previous two households, the nucleic mind determines the contents of the body of observations around it. After all, a squirrel will notice other things than a dog or a ballerina or a truck driver. In fact, squirrel, dog, ballerina and truck driver may sit on the same park bench overlooking the world while the sphere of things they are conscious of is completely different.
- Loosely connected smears;
supermarket check-out lines.
- Tightly knitted forms; Companies, schools of thought.
A squirrel will notice the bag of peanuts the truck driver is holding. The dog will notice the truck drivers after shave and the ballerina's perfume and most likely also the squirrel. The ballerina may notice certain things and the truck driver will notice other things, smells, sounds, things that invoke associations, memories and all those things that make a ballerina a ballerina and a truck driver a truck driver.
And as with the atom and the cell, if the body of observations (and memories etc) alters, the condition of the mind alters but not the constitution. Things may enter a mind's scope, sit there for a while, and leave again, but a squirrel will never change into a truck driver.
So far the relation between atoms, cells and minds is obvious. However, the most difficult to understand stage of mental complexity is the prokaryotic phase. How can a cloud of observations exist when there is no nucleic creature to observe it?
Before a creature receives a heart, there is unity. The corpus certainly has some kind of central identity around which it resolves. The mental equivalent of this can be seen in animal intelligence. There are certainly considerations and even contemplation in an animal mind, but there is no hard reality model from which an identity model or long term planning can be derived. Still, know that extensions of the Household Set (which we will not address here) strongly suggest that the so-called human intelligence commences deep in the animal realm.
But the most amazing suggestion of the Household Set is the mental equivalent of the nucleosynthesis. What to make of that? Could it really be true that prior to the formation of the actual entity some kind of soul or essence is already forged? Most mystic literature from all over the world seems to concur with this idea even though no real scientific theory has been able to follow in its wake. Many a rightfully sceptic scientist will most likely — and frankly: hopefully, even dutifully — frown deeply at the Household Set if we not soon submit some harder proof than a rather poetic perspective that might be nothing but a face in the clouds. But, cloudy as the Household Set may seem, and in the words of the great Captain Kathryn Janeway: "There's coffee in that nebula!"