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Damasio, Professor Antonio - Perceptions and boundaried aggregates

Identifier

014349

Type of Spiritual Experience

Background

Perception logs contain only the perceptions of the entity not of any of the aggregate units that make up the entity.

Our log as a unique human being, for example, does not contain any perceptions of the discrete organs or cells that make up our body – the aggregate of cells that form a unit.  Thus we have no perceptions that contain the perceptions of an aggregate such as our heart, for example, or liver or similar separate organ.  The importance of this cannot be stressed.  As we have seen, there is reason to believe that every aggregate produces its own log – perception log.

Hearts can exist and survive without needing to be part of the same person, thus a transfer of heart will produce a transfer of the heart’s perception log.  Other organs – liver kidney and so on can also be transferred and transplanted.  The perception log of the person will contain no record of their activity, although it will contain a record of any sensations received as a form of warning for example from these organs.  Perceptions of which we are aware - of which we are conscious - will be recorded.

All boundaried entities thus have a perception log.

A description of the experience

Professor Antonio Damasio – The Feeling of What Happens

One key to understanding living organisms, from those that are made up of one cell to those that are made up of billions of cells is the definition of their boundary, the separation between what is in and what is out.  The structure of the organism is inside the boundary and the life of the organism is defined by the maintenance of internal states within the boundary.  Singular individuality depends on the boundary………..

The specifications for survival that I am describing here include; a boundary; an internal structure; a dispositional arrangement for the regulation of internal states that subsumes a mandate to maintain life; a narrow range of variability of internal states so that those states are relatively stable.  Now consider these specifications.  Am I describing just a list of specifications for the survival of a simple living organism, or could it be that I am also describing some of the biological antecedents of the sense of self – the sense of a single, bounded, living organism bent on maintaining stability to maintain its life?  I would say that I might be describing either.  It is intriguing to think that the constancy of the internal milieu is essential to maintain life and that it might be a blueprint and anchor for what will eventually become a self…

The source of the experience

Damasio, Professor Antonio

Concepts, symbols and science items

Symbols

Science Items

Activities and commonsteps

Activities

Commonsteps

References