Beginning from Basics

Welcome.   If you are reading and understanding these words, you must be a conscious entity.  You may have noticed in the course of being a conscious entity that there are things you know and things you don’t.  This observation seems inanely obvious, but what is not obvious is that this dichotomy is the most fundamental aspect of your existence.  It is the most fundamental aspect of conscious existence in general, and effectively of existence itself, because we can only define existence in terms of ourselves.  Everything is defined based on what we know and what we don’t.

What we “know” is an aspect of the fundamental concept of order.  Order is what must happen, or what cannot happen.  It is in patterns, rules, limits, and anything predictable.  If by seeing one thing, you can predict another, that is order.  Order holds things together and connects them.  A system of pure order would be a system where everything is known to you, throughout the system’s past and the future.

Chaos is what you don’t know: ignorance, unpredictability, possibility, maybe-or-maybe-not.  A system of pure chaos would be completely unpredictable and capable of anything, because it has no patterns, limits or rules.  The existence of chaos allows plans to go wrong unexpectedly, but it also allows us to discover how to do things previously thought impossible.

Order and chaos always coexist.  Although it is tempting to describe the universe as one or the other, neither description is useful for making decisions, since our ignorance introduces chaos anyway, and the continuity of our senses introduces order.  In this universe of order and chaos, it is impossible to isolate a part of it that lacks limits or lacks possibility, because it can always affect and be affected by other parts of the universe that have both limits and possibilities.  The boundaries between order and chaos are constantly shifting and twisting.  Conscious entities, like you and I, exist on that boundary, as very complex eddies and gradients.

Causality, the concept of cause and effect, must involve both order and chaos: order describes the fact that a cause is necessary for an effect, and the fact that the effect is limited.  However, for every effect, there are unknown causes, and vice versa, invoking the concept of chaos.

No matter how you look at it, if you go far enough back in history or causality, the world we live in is a huge collection of limits (order) that spontaneously and arbitrarily came into existence (chaos).  It is one of an uncountably infinite collection of possibilities, and inasmuch as we don’t know what all the limits of this world are, uncountably infinite possibilities still exist for us in this world.  The process of discovering and applying both limits and possibilities is part of what makes us conscious.

Consciousness involves a few principles: It requires the ability of a system to create and continuously update a model of reality (including itself) based on its experiences, and it requires some sort of dissatisfaction with the way reality is, a motivation to proactively control aspects of reality (including itself) in order to change them into something else.

Experience is an effect on oneself, and control is the phenomenon by which one becomes a cause.  Mindfulness, a basic skill, is learning to experience oneself and incorporate recursive models of one’s own mind into one’s model of reality.  Willpower, another basic skill, is control over the self, the ability to bring one’s own mind and actions in line with one’s decisions despite any competing mental influences.

We can apply our consciousness in different ways to help us get what we want.  By taking our experiences and the models of reality we construct with them, we can do four basic things: discover more limits, discover more possibilities, extend our model, or focus our model to more immediate.  These fundamental skills, and the many skills derived from them, are required for people to be fully mature and capable individuals.

The purpose of this organization is to help people learn these basic skills and apply them to make this world a better place, or at least avoid making it a worse one.  Read on if you are interested, and contact us if you would like to help write the next chapter in this world’s story.

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