- What is Life?
The first chapter focuses on the question of how living matter differs from the inanimate. Many have tried to answer and, most often, the answer was reduced to the idea that living matter differs by the presence of a soul, which was defined as a special and separate from matter entity. This idea originates from a fundamental mistake of objectification: taking the physical process inside matter for a non-physical object. This error has several reasons, but the chapter focuses on one of them: the lack of a physically plausible explanation. Without an idea about a physical mechanism, we inevitably create the illusion of an answer, using non-material entities that we have invented to fill the explanatory gaps.
The chapter also asks another related question: is living matter special or it can be described based on mechanisms operating in the rest of matter? Biophysics has been looking for special physical laws for life for many years. Perhaps, this is a search for something that does not exist. The chapter proposes a simple idea: living matter uses what is available: the mechanism of energy interactions and the formation of structures that is universal for all forms of matter. Thus, this volume starts a theory about life, based on the Theory of Energy Harmony developed in the previous volumes.
- The Four Elements and the Elixir of Life.
Chemistry has vast factual material about organic compounds but when it comes to the explanation we are at the level of magical thinking. To describe chemical bonds, the concept of valency, as a kind of connecting force, is used. Such a phenomenological description creates the illusion of an explanation, but this is self-deception. Saying that some force does this or that is not an explanation. There is a need for a model that would explain the physical mechanism that is behind the chemical bonds. Based on the Theory of Energy Harmony, the chapter takes the reader step by step to show how hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen and oxygen form the quartet of life and the secret of the mechanism that binds them together into living matter.
- Polyphony and Polyrhythm of Life.
This chapter shows how micro-level bonds create complex structures of life.
- Biological Rhythms.
The chapter examines, from the point of view of the proposed model, the dynamics of vital intra- and intercellular processes down to the fine details of ion fluxes. Only the elements involved in the process and their kinetic characteristics differ. The mechanism of formation and maintenance of structures is universal.
The chapter considers all known periods of biorhythms from milliseconds to years and shows the mechanism of their self-regulation.
- The Secret of the Harmony of Life.
The chapter proposes the hypothesis of the main parameters that determine the state of a living system. Reducing the vast parameter space to the main indicators makes sense from the point of view of bringing the model to a form that is convenient for evaluation and is physically justified. Despite the variety of internal processes carrying different functions and a massive number of elements with distinct traits, the interaction mechanism is fundamentally uniform. The integrated state of a living system results from using this physical mechanism as a way of efficient energy exchange between system elements. If the system seeks to create internal harmony, it must be analyzed according to the appropriate criterion of harmony.
- Phases of the Mind.
Many processes are going on in any living system. One of them, perhaps the most complex one, remains the biggest mystery. It regulates the internal state of the system and external behavior allowing the body to adapt to the environment and function purposefully, maintaining its integrity under a variety of conditions and their changes. We call this process the Mind (Consciousness, Psyche, Soul).
The approach to the mind as an immanent process is fundamentally different from the dualistic approach that has existed for thousands of years. It eliminates the objectification error, but this is only the beginning as many questions arise. If the mind is a process, then what is that process physically? How is it embodied physiologically? How is it carried out technologically? The chapter begins a journey into the secrets of the mind in order to explain not only why and how it occurs, but also how it works normally and what happens when it is in a dysfunctional state. It’s a long journey that will take several volumes. But first, we must consider a general description at the system level. The chapter contains a hypothesis about the attractor of the phase space of a harmonized and integral living system, which reflects the technological algorithm of a normally functioning mind.
- Levels of the Mind.
Within the framework of the proposed concept, the mind’s presence is assumed in all living systems, starting with the simplest ones. However, if we talk about the same technological process, it does not mean that it has the same physiological embodiment in different organisms. Obviously, there are various solutions and levels of complexity. This chapter offers a general view on the levels of the mind strictly from a technological approach: what functions they perform and what products they generate.
- Definition of the Mind.
For any scientific study to be purposeful, it is necessary to determine the object of study. Usually, the object is the phenomenon of the material world at which research is aimed. What happens when it comes to studies of the mind? Macmillan Dictionary of Psychology, which claims “to cover all the technical terms that a psychologist is likely to encounter, including terms from neurophysiology, neuroanatomy, neurobiology, neurochemistry, ethology, sociobiology, linguistics, artificial intelligence, sociology, anthropology, statistics and philosophy” states: “Consciousness is a fascinating but elusive phenomenon: it is impossible to specify what it is, what it does, or why it has evolved. Nothing worth reading has been written on it.”
The science named “knowledge of the mind” (from Greek psyche-logos) cannot define the central object of its research and the main technical term. This is an admission of failure. Could it be that the reason is the lack of a technical approach to this concept? The chapter tries to change this long tradition and gives a strictly technical definition of the mind. Behind every word of this definition there are specific physical and physiological processes, technologies and algorithms that create the phenomenon of the mind. The author hopes it will be worth reading. The same goes for the following books that specify what it is, why it has evolved, what and how it does.
- A New Look at the Functions of the Mind.
Based on the clear definition of the mind, which describes the physical and technological aspects of this process, we can look at its functions. The chapter offers an entirely new and purely technical perspective. The general function is to transduce signals of the internal and external environment, create representations, and combine them into a coherent model of reality that would allow a living system to adapt and maintain its viability. The keywords are ‘signal transduction,’ which is why the proposed model is called Teleological Transduction Theory. The following volumes are devoted to a detailed description of this process.