I think that thinking can be best understood as hypothetical feeling. If
you start from sensation and allow that through time, memory would elide
separate instances of sense together, giving us meta-sensation or emotion.
This can be thought of as an emergent property, as a melody is an emergent
property of a sequence of notes, but this is not enough to explain what it
really is. It makes just as much sense to see the individual notes as mere
stepping stones to recover the richer sense of melodies. It works both
ways, gestalts pulling algebraically from the top down and fragments
pushing geometrically from the bottom up.
>From emotional gestalts, we get mental gestalts, which are essentially
placeholders for emotions. Evacuated logical frameworks which we use like
formulas to attach our awareness as lenses and prisms manipulate light.
Thoughts have no extension in space, they literally aren't structures in
space, they are metaphorical tropes through time.
Think of how the advent of language extends experience beyond the present.
In a paleolithic tribe, even if I can gesture and grunt, it can only be
assumed that I am communicating about something imminent and local. With
language and writing we can hear voices from centuries ago and far away. We
can replace the concrete fluidity of our shared realism with bubbles of
hypothetical possibility. We can feel emotions that we are not
realistically justified in feeling. We can plan and conspire to create
things to be rather than just what already is. Mind is emotion squared.
Emotion is sensation squared. Sensation is detection squared.
Semiconductors detect, living cells feel, nervous systems think. This is
simplified of course, the reality is a much subtler continuum.
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