Body and Mind - Mind and Body


Update: January 9, 1997 ( minor corrections )

Let's make things clear from the beginning. I haven't had any imposed religious education in my childhood. So, I haven't any pre-judgment concerning this very sensitive topic of body and mind.

For me, there's no superior part of the self, there's no inferior part.

Body and mind are both essential to the system called life.

Let me explain why:

As we try to model the basic principles of life we arrive at the root of any human cognitive process which forms the human archetypes. That is: above us is there's the sky, below us there's earth and in between are the humans living.

We find these archetypes in many religions and in the words of many poets. In other words: there's an upside, there's a downside and there's a middle.

Objects are being created, we can define them.

Without dimensions, there's no world, just a white screen with no one to look at it.

With one dimension, we have a point situated somewhere on a line but nothing is moving.

With two dimensions, we have a sheet of paper with text or pictures but still no movement. Digitally thinking, it's only black and white, as colors are bits layers.

With three dimensions, we have a static 3D view.

With four dimensions, life is emerging at last. The fourth being time. Movement is possible, history is starting. But it's still a silent world with no colors.

With five dimensions, we have color.

With six dimensions, sound is appearing. We can hear voices, music, sounds of life. Still it's a cold world.

With seven and more dimensions we can enjoy warmth, touching, smelling, feelings, taste.

At the last day of the creation (choose the number yourself), we're facing the ultimate dimension: intelligence.

I've have the feeling that this will require a very large bandwidth :)

Here we come to the understanding that for an object to exist, it must be located somewhere on the map. It must have a position, a location. What is existence with no place to exist?

Can an object exist at two places at the same time? I find it hard to imagine. I've tried the chat on the Internet. I have tried to be in several virtual rooms at the same time talking with different persons. It's nearly impossible to have a decent dialogue with two different persons in two different virtual rooms.

Therefore, I believe that an object must have an instance, a materialization, a form, a shape, a body...

As soon as we have objects in this world we come to the concept which forms the basis of the information revolution: interaction.

Two elements are creating interaction: input and output. They are the basis of the cognitive process. Without them, no learning, no progress, just stagnation.

Sri Aurobindo said something like "Things which do not evolve are condemned to disappear".

From this, I conclude that a mind, be it the mind of a user or the mind of an I-Agent, must interact to survive, to grow, to evolve.

I believe that the body is an essential interface between the mind and the rest of the world. Switch off this interface and you have a mind unable to communicate or to have any perceptions.

Moreover, words come from the physical world. All abstract images have their origin in the world of matter, the world of space and time.

The highlighted words in the following sentences are basically physical.

Dynamic, a word very often used today has absolutely no meaning without space and time. The essence of movement and change is intimately linked to the concept of where and when.

In the book 1984 by George Orwell, the regime in place was removing words from the vocabulary to impose its domination, to avoid even the idea of rebellion.

Suppress the body, you'll make the same thing as removing words from the language.

Hopefully, this is not the direction taken by the present web development. On the contrary, users want more images, more sound, more virtual reality, more sensations. They want to feel not just think.

Now, let me add some philosophical perspective to this.

The Buddhists say that the body, the mind and the world are just an illusion, that in fact there's only one thing.

Strangely, this is what the Computational Hypothesis is saying. Bruno Marchal of the University of Brussels IRIDIA (ULB) is doing some fundamental research in this area.

Although this site is meant to be primarily practical, function oriented, not philosophical.

Conclusion

An I-Agent would have richer perceptions with a virtual body. It would be able to communicate better with other agents and humans by interacting in a 3D, 4D, 5D, xD-world.

Finally, and this is a long term vision, with a body an I-Agent could be capable of feelings, as feelings have their origin in spatial interaction, atmospheres, places, situations, happenings, motion, light and shadows.

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