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Why the Mind needs God concepts

August 8, 2011

We assume that each moment we think a thought, that thought is separated temporally from the previous thought, and that there is a definite previous thought.  This is a necessary simplifying assumption for what follows (else it would get beyond my ability to present elegantly).

Label these thoughts Ti where i is an integer.  The choice of T0 is arbitrary, but assume for definiteness that it is the first thought you had since your birth in your current life (leaving aside the Christian vs Buddhist vs Atheist debate on past and future lives).  Say that two thoughts are related by a concept Ci if the concept ‘resonates’ with each thought.  (I shall drop the quotes in what follows, but treat the word resonate as if it has a specific meaning not defined elsewhere, and infer its meaning from the context of this post.  It is a kind of relationship between mental objects and thoughts.)

A set of thoughts share a concept if they all resonate with that concept.  Two thoughts are unrelated if they do not share a concept, and a set of thoughts is unstable unless the thoughts within it share a unique concept.  (Here I am introducing a new notion of stability that I shall explore here and in future posts.)
We call the thought process Ti, Ti+1 …, Ti+k continuous if each pair Tj, Tj+1 in the sequence is not unrelated, and smooth if given each j strictly between i and i+k there is a neighbourhood of focus, which we define as a contiguous subsequence of the thought sequence containing Tj not as an endpoint such that there is a unique concept shared by the neighbourhood of focus. We call the shared concept the focus of the neighbourhood. Obviously given a thought in the sequence there are multiple focii, but it is how the focii change that is interesting. A mind becomes Dead precisely when the changing pattern of focii enter a predictable loop from which it does not emerge ever again, else it is either alive (not in such a loop at all) or else unconscious. Thus a mind is not conscious when it is in a predictable loop: it is precisely the unpredictability of mind that gives it the appearance of life.

Now, these states of Death and Unconsciousness are undesirable, as is the case where the mind reaches a state where most thoughts are unrelated. We call such a mind very unstable. To avoid instability being caused by infinite regresses, we need signposts which say ‘don’t go there’. Such signposts in the question of our ultimate orgins are what I call God concepts. Define this way, we need such God concepts, and the Christian concept of God is such a concept. Buddhist use meditation as a way of bringing the mind back to a focus such as a mantra as an alternative to God concepts, but both methods are valid as a way of bringing about sanity and wellbeing of mind. Having such practices and concepts are sensible, natural and denying them is foolish. So why to so many modern people deny God, prayer and mediation so strongly?

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