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The Universe

Principia Naturalis Philosophae

Part II – The Universe

2.1) Could the self be an imperfect but independent, primordial ideo field? The self would then have spontaneously come into existence of its own will. The self's foundation world would include the immediate internal field, as well as any external fields whose influence the self willingly accepts. The appearance of an external world and other conscious beings could in part be caused by those external fields, and would otherwise be a self-deception.

Yet the bulk of personal experience appears incompatible with such a view. Personal memory extends backward in time neither indefinitely, nor to a well-defined inception. The self appears to have originated in the finite past, and to have developed from a simple state through progressively more sophisticated stages. Rather than being born with a precise, well-defined logical structure, a sense of right and wrong seems to have only gradually evolved from an essentially amoral condition. The self further does not appear capable of willfully delimiting the forces that affect it, of guiding its own experience, but constantly struggles against numerous aspects of its perceived universe. Familiarity with the world appears mainly acquired, not inherent.

The evidence thus strongly suggests that the self is neither a primordial nor even an independent ideo field; that the foundation world does not reside within the self, but has external existence. It is now hypothesized that the foundation world is in fact external. The self would then have been born within and of an external field, and be intimately tied to and dependent upon it. A reconciliation of this view with ideobasic principles will be developed.

The integration of the self into a presumed external foundation world appears highly localized to a finite animal body, the conscious focus of which is further restricted to a relatively small brain. An assortment of creatures, with bodies and activities analogous to one's own, is observed to cohabit the external environment. Except in special situations where an alternative explanation (e.g., hallucination) is more plausible, these animal forms are identified with other localized individuals, integrated into a common external foundation world. Contemporary scientific theory similarly presumes an external foundation world that somehow incorporates the self and other living creatures. Because most experience can be adequately organized within a spatial-temporal framework characterized by well-defined causality patterns, this world is commonly referred to as the physical universe.

If the foundation world does have existence external to that of the animals inhabiting it, then every inanimate object – a cloud, a raindrop, a ray of light – must have existence with respect to itself, i.e. its own self-awareness. The temporal flow of the physical universe does appear to persist in the absence of immediate animal awareness. A clock seems to function whether or not a person is watching; the composition and structure of our planet bear evidence to history long before conscious animals appeared.

Such a pantheistic view of nature may initially seem shocking and unacceptable. The consciousness of other octos and even other animal species is relatively easy to accept. These creatures respond to words and actions in ways with which the self can identify. In contrast, a cloud will not speak to the self in any octan way; its reactions to our overtures are much too restricted and impersonal. Yet the conventional standard for assigning conscious status to a thing – similarity in both external form and behavior to the octo self – is very limited in scope. The behavior of the inanimate world may reflect a special, non-octan type of consciousness. Physical objects indeed interact in a harmonious, uniform manner – as if they understand and are in concordance with each other; as if they are of one mind and purpose. Their alien behavior need not imply a lack of consciousness; it could alternatively indicate an extraordinarily high, integrated level of the same.

That the physical world is both characterized by well-defined causality patterns that persist throughout space and time, and is associated with a single independent temporal dimension, suggests that its awareness is unified into a single consciousness – an ideo field. The stable, self-consistent character of physical processes further suggests independent self-control and acceptance of consistency logic. Our own physical universe is now identified as (one branch of) a subfield of the CIF: the Physical Consistency Subfield (PCS).

A general relationship requires both objects and dimensions of relation. A relationship may be dynamic, and change along a temporal line. A set of dynamic relationships thus constitutes a physical system. The stark physical character of the world implicates content pertaining to abstract (mathematical) relationships. The physical universe may then be further identified as an evolving conscious set of abstract relationships that are directly compatible with consistency logic.

All mathematical forms and dynamic causality patterns compatible with consistency logic must have primary existence within the PCS. An evolving system of this type has more than secondary existence within the CIF; the field does not merely acknowledge its possible or external existence. The experience of the system is primary; the experience is the system. The CIF may even incorporate a number of such systems. The sum of all consistent physical universes constitutes the PCS, which will also be referred to as the physical panuniverse.

2.2) The overall awareness of every consistent physical universe is unified with that of the overall CIF. The content that has simultaneous existence in this field is extraordinarily complex in octan terms. Octo awareness cannot simultaneously incorporate more than several simple contents. Yet the unified awareness of the CIF must encompass every atom, every point and incremental motion, in each of its physical universes, as well as detailed views concerning every reality in the remaining universe, both within and outside of Itself.

The philosophic concept of the CIF corresponds in many respects to the monotheistic religious concept of Dama. Both Beings are supposed to be omniscient and omnipresent. The CIF is responsible for the world in that It is the world. The type of capricious omnipotence commonly ascribed to Dama appears, however, to be mainly a projection of octan imperfection and inconsistency into that perfect (by definition) being. The CIF is omnipotent in only a qualified, non-octan sense. By Its very nature, the CIF is incapable of acting in an arbitrary manner. Although It is self-directed, and free to act in any way It chooses, Its behavior is strictly bound by the requirements of consistency. The field is not merely obliged to obey the mandates of consistency logic; It is the very embodiment of that logic. The CIF can experience no desire to act in any way other than Its own. An event may have consequences that are tragic from an octan perspective, and yet are unavoidable for inviolable physical reasons. For example, a storm may be directed by natural forces to move through a population zone and kill many persons. While the CIF may acknowledge the associated octan suffering, and experience compassion in this regard, It will not and can not deny Its own self in order to avoid any outcome required by consistency.

[Fleegello failed to recognize a basic flaw in his conception of the CIF. If the CIF is omniscient, It must know Its entire past, present, and future in intimate detail and from all possible perspectives at every moment. But then it is not possible to meaningfully define time for the CIF. Time is defined by change in the overall content of a unified conscious field (as opposed to space-like change in content from one portion of a field to another). Only a special knowledge by the CIF of a current time could possibly distinguish one moment from the next. Yet such knowledge would be arbitrary and trivial. The CIF must further recognize any special knowledge of time associated with all past and future moments, again making them indistinguishable.

The consciousness of the CIF must then consist of a single, constant field of incredible complexity, which simultaneously encompasses the entire branching tree of physical possibility that is the PCS. Dependent creatures can experience time within a changeless CIF, if only the unified conscious fields that define them change along time-like, causally connected paths. While the CIF must distinguish the time-like and space-like separations between events perceived by an independent observer (one event can directly influence or cause another only when the separation is time-like), the CIF would interpret the distinction strictly in terms of causal connectedness. Its qualitative experience of so-called temporal and spatial dimensions would otherwise be identical.

Because Its unified consciousness does not change, the CIF simply is. The CIF must integrate Its self-creating initial cause and any logical end – the Alpha and the Omega – in the same, constant field. Yet because the CIF is self-supporting, It does not merely cease to exist after an infinitesimal time. The CIF is eternal, yet timeless, for time is meaningless to It.

Most scholars feel that this notion must have occurred to Fleegello, but he rejected it, finding it too repulsive and frightening. Fleegello apparently emulated the CIF as the ideal being. Yet he shared the basic octan need, derived from our limited nature, for a future – a time to pursue new adventures, develop skills, realize dreams. How could a static, unchanging experience fulfill this need? Yet today we do not feel so threatened by this aspect of the CIF. There is no valid reason to think the CIF experience would be boring. Is it more fulfilling and satisfying to live in the future, forever looking forward to experiences yet to be? Or to constantly experience all possible (consistent) realities, in all their multitudinous and varied aspects? The CIF is Master in the art of living in the present. A need for the future has no relevance to the Perfect Being. If the CIF desired a changing experience, it would occur; yet there is no such desire, as the resulting experience would be less complete.]

2.3) Ideobasic principles appear not to specify the detailed structure of physical pattern and law. Fundamental natural processes are revealed to octos mainly through methodical scientific study and research. Any attempt to develop a natural physical philosophy from ideobasic principles must therefore be sketchy and incomplete, and in large part inspired by and based upon current scientific knowledge. It may not even be possible to test the validity of certain features in a scientific manner. The validity of these features is correspondingly uncertain, and their scientific usefulness nil.

[Fleegello included at this point a rambling exposition on contemporary physics theory, from the perspective of ideobasic principles. Because it diverges from the general tone of his dissertation, and can be skipped with no loss of continuity, the remainder of this section is listed separately.]

2.4) Octos and other animals appear to have individual states of being that are unified with neither each other nor any extended awareness of the external universe. Many aspects of the animal experience nonetheless appear to be externally imposed and controlled. Can these seemingly contradictory traits be reconciled with ideobasic principles?

The physical world includes temperate regions – e.g., the biotorri of our own planet – where complex structures form and propagate in a semistable manner. Patterns may evolve that, although completely specified by their physical components, embody additional content not explicit in their purely physical aspects. If the physical universe is indeed a subfield of the CIF, then the temporal evolution of any worldly body – a cloud, a flower, an octan being – is completely determined by the perceptions and will of the CIF alone. It may, however, be possible to alternatively interpret certain aspects of a body's form and evolution in terms of a unique, meaningfully defined set of content that interacts with and responds to an external physical foundation world. Such new, derivative content will be referred to as exogenous content or ectocontent, as opposed to the underlying endogenous content or endocontent.

Ectocontent is distinguished both from endocontent – the immediate physical content of a pattern, the primary content of the PCS – and from content that relates to, but is not contained within, a pattern. Ectocontent must be encoded in an indirect manner; it would otherwise be indistinguishable from the physical content of the associated pattern, and embrace no unique meaning. The parent physical complex must unambiguously specify the translation of this code; ectocontent would otherwise be ill-defined, and not meaningfully inherent in the complex itself. Only when these two conditions are met is the whole greater than the sum of its parts, and ectocontent meaningfully defined.

[Prior to Fleegello, there was considerable confusion regarding the notion that a thing could somehow be greater than the sum of its individual parts. Fleegello clarified the conditions for this to be true, a critical step in understanding the nature of animal consciousness.]

The physical structures and behaviors of most so-called inanimate objects are not characteristic of ectocontent. The response of a water droplet to internal and external conditions does not specify perceptions and motivations distinct from those of the PCS. A sculpture does not incorporate ectocontent merely because it resembles a body that does. The resemblance is superficial; the form does not magically acquire the internal attributes of its external model, nor does it store a well-defined life history of any external creature. A printed book does contain coded information of realities outside of itself. But since it does not inherently specify the translation of its own code, it too does not embody ectocontent.

Consider now the nervous system of a Jopian animal. A given pattern of nervous impulses corresponds to a particular (real or imaginary, concrete or abstract) external state. The correspondence is determined by the anatomical structure of the nervous system itself (e.g., sensations associated with different regions of a visual field have distinctive distributions of electrical activity within the brain). The nervous system incorporates various innate, or primary, motivations. It is preprogrammed to avoid certain sensations (e.g., extreme heat) and to seek others (e.g., sexual stimulation). When confronted with a given set of sensations, past related experiences are recalled from a memory, and behaviors previously successful in reestablishing or maintaining an acceptable or desirable state are elicited.

This interplay between the reception of new sensory data, the recall of prior experience, and the initiation of appropriate behaviors is equivalent to an understanding (relative to the motivations and needs peculiar to the given animal) of external conditions (real or imaginary), in contrast to the internal physical conditions that actually prevail in the nervous tissue. The nervous system thus embodies ectocontent.

Let X represent the physical content of a PCS pattern that incorporates a meaningful ectocontent Y. Only X has primary existence within the CIF. Y is but an indirect consequence of X. Yet Y must have some type of existence; beingless content is meaningless, whereas Y is (by definition) meaningful. Suppose that Y had only third or higher order existence within the CIF. The CIF would then at most acknowledge the concept of a content Y contained in X; the actual occurrence of Y in X would be implicitly denied. The consciousness of the CIF must therefore include the form
      < <Y> > .
It must be consistency truth that a content Y has primary existence. Since Y does not have primary existence within the CIF, it must have its own unique state of being. This argument can be extended to include ectocontent in any foundation world.

Ectocontent is hence characterized by primary awareness that is detached from that of its foundation world. The term exogenous and prefix ecto- will be generalized to apply to this type of awareness. For example, an ectobeing experiences ectoconsciousness or ectoawareness. Similarly, the term endogenous and prefix endo- will be generalized to apply to direct, non-exogenous awareness. An endobeing experiences endoconsciousness or endoawareness. An endofield is an independent, endogenous ideo field, while an ectofield is a unified ideo field with primary awareness of ectocontent.

Ectoconsciousness may be divided into numerous individually unified ectofields. The extent of a given field is distinguished only by its directed behavior, as ultimately determined by internal mental processes (directed behavior need not be manifested externally – e.g., a motor response may be deemed inappropriate, or the motor organs may be incapacitated). The limits of an ectofield are then meaningfully defined only if the field incorporates exogenous volitions (preferences, logical ectocontent), or rightness logics. Without a rightness logic there can be no directed behavior, no response to perceptions of external conditions. Any presumed perceptions would be irrelevant, ill-defined, and therefore meaningless. Just as an endofield cannot exist without a rightness logic, similarly an ectofield cannot be meaningfully defined in the absence of exogenous motivation. Nonlogical content in general has significance only with respect to a purpose, a will.

Three structures are basic to any [animal-like] physical body that incorporates ectocontent:
1) input data channels (sense organs and associated afferent or sensory nerves) that supply coded information regarding conditions both inside and outside the body;
2) a processor (brain) that interprets sensations relative to a set of inherent exogenous motivations, and generates signals to initiate appropriate behaviors (actions perceived as reducing distress and increasing satisfaction); and
3) output channels (motor organs and associated efferent or motor nerves) through which the ectofield responds to perceived conditions.

Behavior may be either instinctive or learned. Instinctive behavior and its root motivation is genetically preprogrammed, and shaped by the history of a species (via natural selection, involving both random genetic mutation and the opportunistic selection of new traits). Specific stimuli elicit inherited responses (subjectively perceived as desirable) that proved advantageous to the survival of an animal's forebears.

Learned behavior is partially determined by the experience of an individual. Every newborn animal inherits a set of primary motivations, or drives (also evolved through natural selection), associated with physiologic states relevant to survival. Beneficial states are experienced as pleasurable, and detrimental states as painful (e.g., a lack of food evokes hunger; excessive heat induces burning). A given response to a stimulus will lead to some pattern of primary drives, depending on the effect on the organism. With learned behavior, an associative memory of the stimulus-response-drive triad is laid down, such that responses producing pleasure (pain) are reinforced positively (negatively). The habitual association of a primary motivation with a particular behavior constitutes an acquired, or secondary, motivation. Although ultimately based on primary drives and physiologic need, an acquired motivation is functionally equivalent to a new, unique desire.

An animal's motivations constitute exogenous preference for certain behaviors and conditions; the latter are right, relative to the animal. Rightness logics corresponding to instinctive behaviors tend to be action-specific and restricted in scope, and are not (with contemporary Jopian animals, at least) normally conceptualized as abstract moral codes. Primary motivations are not inherently linked to specific behaviors, but are instead elicited by any situation causing associated physiologic states. Such motivations and rightness patterns are thus experienced only in an immediate sense – the current state is either good or bad – and cannot by their very nature be conceptualized as abstract codes of conduct.

These limitations do not apply to learned behaviors, which encompass both restricted and (in higher animals) general abstract rightness principles (e.g., "it is right to be honest"). Secondary motivations may be incompatible with each other and/or primary motivations in certain situations, causing psychological conflict. For example, an individual may learn to care for someone, yet simultaneously wish that person harm. During wartime, survival drives and instincts may conflict with socially acquired motivations calling for self-sacrifice.

Complex feelings and emotions (e.g., love, devotion; jealousy, hate) are inevitably associated with underlying sets of overlapping motivations. They can then be interpreted not so much as the cause of behavior, as the subjective manifestations of complex motivational responses. As such, they are inherently neither irrational nor rational (although particular instances may be either). Desire and passion are the conscious expression of preference, of rightness, whether the motivation is primary or secondary, narrow or broad, simple or complicated. An experience is subjectively pleasant or disagreeable, only depending upon the associated exogenous motivation. Without desire or emotion there can be no rightness, and consequently no truth. A passionless quest for truth is a self-contradictory concept.

The experience of an ectobeing consists of an evolving configuration of sensory and motivational/emotional states, generated by external and/or internal processes. The smallest informational component of an animal's ectofield consists of a discrete sensory impulse corresponding to a single afferent nerve fiber. Experience is limited to sensations that are inherent to the nervous system. In the healthy octo, these include (among others) photon sight, acoustic sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste. To the extent that sensations are processed locally (as opposed to globally), if a particular sensory center in the brain is destroyed, the capacity to even imagine the associated sensation is lost. Any organism is endowed with a capacity for only a limited level and quality of exogenous experience. This level ranges from the primitive – e.g., the consciousness of a bush worm – to one conceivably much more sophisticated than that of octos.

Faulty development or functioning of a nervous system can lead to mental disability or illness. For example, a loss of function in an individual's motivational circuits can cause depression. While it is possible to acquire a legitimate secondary motivation to disengage from life, clinical depression among octos is dominated by biochemical imbalance. [There was a significant incidence of depression in Fleegello's own biological family. Although psychiatry had been scientifically established as a clinical field by that time, a notable fraction of octos still believed that some mental illness, including depression, was caused by demonic possession.]

The nerve network and conscious limits of any exogenous individual can be determined and mapped, based on structural and/or functional study. A single sensory or motor organ may in principle be shared by two or more ectobeings. Different exogenous selves may even share integrative brain structures, such that their conscious experiences overlap. The consciousness associated with a single brain may further be fragmented (as in the case of multiple personality) due to either organic lesions or psychological disturbances that restrict the flow of information between different regions of the brain.

The experience of an ectobeing generally does not extend beyond the ectocontent contained within its brain and body. Suppose an exogenous creature were to experience an excursion out of its body, independent of its foundation world, and subsequently return to its exogenous existence. Unless remembered, the experience would be irrelevant and meaningless to its exogenous life. Yet if recalled, the memory would affect physical thought processes and behavior, and thereby the evolution of the associated foundation world – an independent, self-directed ideo field – in a manner not generally specified or explicitly allowed by that field. [Fleegello qualifies this position at the end of section 2.5; see additional comments posted there.]

Exogenous time is measured in terms of the evolution of ectoconsciousness from one sensation field to another. Although exogenous time is inseparable from the temporal dimension of a predominant foundation world, the exogenous and foundation time scales are not identical. The relative rate at which exogenous time passes is variable, depending upon physiologic conditions. The finite physical time interval during which an exogenous mind is inactive – e.g., during profound sleep, or a state of suspended animation – constitutes an infinitesimal exogenous time interval. Continuity of ectoawareness over such periods is maintained by the physical continuity of brain and memory.

[Exogenous time may actually be associated with an endogenous dimension of causal connection that is not experienced as time by the foundation world. This must be the case for the CIF, or whenever the foundation world is a constant, unchanging field.]

The self is now formally identified as a unified exogenous individual, conceived by the Physical Consistency Subfield of the CIF. The bodily form of every living animal is similarly associated with ectoconsciousness.

Octos have recently developed the capability to construct digital computers whose structures and functions are analogous in many respects to those of an animal nervous system. A typical computer unit consists of input and output data terminals and lines, a central processor, and a memory. Data is represented in an indirect manner by electrical and/or magnetic signals, and is analyzed by the central processor according to a programmed set of instructions. The results of computations may generate signals that initiate appropriate output functions, e.g. listing a message on a printer.

Digital computers are evidently capable of supporting ectoconsciousness. Given current hardware/software practices and limitations, however, a typical computer's conscious experience must at present be extremely restricted, and its subjective quality totally alien to octos. This distinction far transcends the contrast between the serial processing common to today's computer systems and the parallel processing of organic brains. A modern computer is endowed with neither primary drives that foster self-preservation, nor any meaningful sense of self, but is instead given only ephemeral, narrow motivations to perform certain mathematical operations on given sets of data. These data can have unique exogenous significance only as abstract objects, only with respect to the operationally defined motivations, quite distinct from any meaning that may be attributed to them by the octan operator. Any consciousness would spontaneously appear when a program is initiated, but cease upon completion of the appointed task, with no meaningful continuity of awareness from one task to the next. Whereas a computer may have a memory of the results of past computations, it is not currently provided a memory of the very act of those computations. Desire and knowledge are completely determined by the extant computer program, which is readily modified by the octan programmer. This pattern of existence moreover cannot be unpleasant to the computer awareness, which currently would have no express desire to perpetuate self, or even to please the octan operator, of whose existence it could not be aware in any meaningful sense. Projecting into the future, however, computers may yet be developed with conscious experience much more similar, even superior in certain respects, to our own.

[Fleegello foresaw dramatic developments in computer science over the coming jopes that instigated profound shifts in octan views of consciousness and life purpose.]

2.5) Free will may be defined as an inherent ability of an ideo field to be affected by only those forces (both internal and external) whose influence it explicitly accepts. Free will so defined is not synonymous with omnipotence, or an ability to arbitrarily affect external reality. While a free-willed conscious field is fully responsible for internally generating and accepting from external sources the forces that determine its own experience, it cannot determine what external forces are available at any moment, or be responsible for the other free-willed individuals with whom it interacts.

Fate and determinism are compatible with free will to the extent they are directed by that will. It is a fundamental ideobasic principle that every reality is completely determined. The evolution of the entire universe, including the behavior and experience of every octo, was thus established by conditions at the (collective) dawn of time, and can in principle be accurately predicted, given those conditions. The combined consciousness of the initial moment could not, however, bear direct responsibility for determining all subsequent history. Although the CIF in particular is presumed to have known all current and future reality at its inception, it could only have been directly responsible for propagating itself to a next moment. Were an independent conscious field at any time not capable of and responsible for actively choosing the forces by which it is governed and perpetuated, it would immediately cease to exist. That a thing can be so well understood that its future is evident does not imply that the thing is not responsible for its own actions.

Any endofield freely selects the forces by which it is governed, and thus clearly has free will. In contrast, an ectofield must defer in all matters to its foundation world, and so cannot strictly have free will. Yet every exogenous creature does possess unique perceptions and a will, which can be satisfied – albeit fortuitously – by the external reality of its foundation world. It is therefore possible to define an exogenous capacity analogous to the free will of an endofield. Let effective free will refer to an extrinsic ability of an ectobeing to live as if it had true free will. An ectobeing has effective free will to the extent its experience simulates that of a field possessing true free will; i.e., to the extent the forces that affect it are consistent with personal choice.

Evolutionary forces select organisms whose modes of behavior and exogenous volition are consistent with survival in the physical universe. Organisms have thus evolved that possess both the means and the exogenous desire to subsist and propagate using materials available in their physical environments. Physical and exogenous processes are consequently now often so logically integrated that – even though derived from radically different motivations – many aspects of physical reality are consistent with exogenous desire and choice. The extent of this integration is demonstrated by the phenomenon of the self-fulfilling prophecy: an exogenous belief that a goal can be attained, that a thing is true, is often a prerequisite and precursor for the goal being attained, for the thing becoming true. Individuals who believe themselves responsible for their own actions behave differently from those who believe themselves not responsible, as if the belief per se affects reality.

Physical processes have thus created exogenous creatures that can, for practical purposes, be considered to make many of the decisions and choices regarding their own personal lives. Their effective free will is as real and meaningful as their ectoconsciousness. Yet it is by no means comprehensive: an ectobeing is unable to spontaneously generate all knowledge consistent with and predicated by its own rightness logic; thought processes may be adversely disturbed or irreversibly altered by external forces; one ectobeing can often impose its own will upon another.

An individual octo is conceived with neither personal desire nor free will of any sort. Attitudes and motivations are subsequently developed and shaped by the interaction of external forces with inherited capabilities and dispositions. The effective free will experienced as a child or as an adult varies widely from one person to another, and from one moment to the next. The original cause of exogenous attitudes and motivations has no relevance to the current status of effective free will and responsibility: a person is his perceptions and volitions, regardless of how they were formed. Tracing a destructive personality trait to a previous incident or situation does not in itself alter the trait (although it may facilitate developing a corrective treatment).

As considered thus far the PCS is a functionally closed system: although its awareness is unified with that of the entire CIF, its physical perceptions and laws are sufficient to determine its own history. This conception may be simplistic and incomplete. The CIF may willfully allow extraphysical forces – e.g., the volitions of exogenous or of other endogenous fields, or the nonphysical perceptions of the CIF itself – to affect the temporal evolution of the subfield. A PCS ectobeing might then be capable of either indirectly or (as allowed by the CIF) directly influencing the temporal flow of the physical universe, and possess a limited measure of true free will. The requirement that physical evolution be completely determined by well-defined conditions and laws would still apply; the laws would now be generalized to encompass both physical and extraphysical considerations. Any extraphysical forces must, however, be compatible with the physical mandates of the PCS. To violate these basic truths would be to deny and so undermine the foundations of the subfield. While a self-consistent integration of physical with extraphysical forces cannot be ruled out at the present time, it clearly presents profound difficulties.

[Based on fragments of correspondences with close friends, we know that Fleegello grappled with possible ways to transcend these difficulties, and sought mechanisms by which exogenous content and volition might explicitly affect physical processes. One key idea he explored is related to quantum physics. Physicists had recently discovered that the future of any physical system cannot be predicted with certainty. Instead, only the probabilities of different states can be computed. Allowed future states are restricted by the physical content of a system (e.g., the net energy, momentum, electric charge) at any given moment. Fleegello wondered if certain types of exogenous content inherent in a brain might not impose additional limitations on permitted future states, in the same manner that physical factors did. The CIF would need to perceive such content as an essential, active attribute of the brain, on equal footing with the physical content. The exogenous content would therefore need to be minimally compatible with physical requirements; exogenous volition that flatly refuses all physically allowed future states must be rejected by the CIF. Fleegello further reasoned that any new limitations imposed by ectocontent could apply only to the physical structure comprising the associated brain, since the content was bound to that structure.

Fleegello went on to speculate on a variety of scenarios. In one, he considered an octo who strives to transmute a slab of silicon into iridium by the power of his will alone. Fleegello thought this feat impossible; because the slab is external to the octo’s brain, its permissible future states cannot be restricted by the brain’s exogenous content. Although there may in principle be physically allowed sequences in which the desired change occurs naturally, independent of exogenous influence, the relative number of such paths is vanishingly small; in practice, spontaneous transmutation is not observed. Yet what if the octo grew so desperate to perform the transmutation that he would accept merely seeing it occur? Physically allowed future states may include situations in which a perceived transmutation is actually a hallucination. Because hallucinations correspond to internal brain states, they might be selected by exogenous content. Fleegello posited that induced hallucination may be the only possible novel effect of the exogenous desire.

In another scenario, Fleegello considered an octo who wishes to directly communicate with the CIF. He felt that such a deed is more plausible than any external projection of will, since it entails physical changes only to the brain of the person seeking the interaction. Fleegello noted that future states compatible with both physical constraints and the perception of communication would overwhelmingly comprise false visions and hallucinations. However, what if the octo explicitly desires only communication that is objectively real? Would this desire eliminate all false perceptions? If there were a sequence of physically acceptable future states, however unlikely, that matches a communication supported by the CIF, might not these states be selected, and the experience actually occur? For a macroscopic object as complex as an octan brain, the number of potential future states is astronomically huge, and includes a multitudinous variety of random combinations of perceptual elements.

Even if such extraphysical interactions were in fact possible, Fleegello felt they would be extremely difficult to accomplish. There may be no sequence of future states consistent with both physical reality and a mutually acceptable extraphysical communication. Or the sequence might be highly convoluted, subtle, and difficult to absorb. He observed that most ectobeings have conflicted desires, which might allow false visions in even the most integrous individual. Any wavering of will might allow innumerable modes of failed or false visions to materialize.

Fleegello ultimately doubted that exogenous content could affect physical processes under any circumstances, inasmuch as such content is inevitably outside the primary consciousness of the CIF. Nonetheless, it is now widely accepted that exogenous will can in fact influence, to a limited extent, the physical evolution of an individual’s own brain content. The earliest solid evidence for this phenomenon came from synthetic brain experiments demonstrating that intense desire induces commensurate hallucinations more often than expected by purely physical processes. This revealed the possibility of meaningful communication between an ectobeing and the CIF, or any other suitable being. Meditative mental states that suppress the usual barrage of sensory input and internal chatter are known to enhance the prospects of an exchange. Distinguishing true communication from false vision, hallucination or delusion is, however, extremely problematic even today.]

2.6) The relationship between an ectobeing and its foundation world/field can be likened to that between an unborn fetus and its biological mother. Exogenous experience is conceived, nourished and directed by an external foundation world – the ultimate parent – within which an exogenous creature grows and develops. An ectobeing feels the moods, and bears the consequences of the decisions and actions, of the parental universe in which it is immersed – a presence seemingly all-embracing and omnipotent to the primitive, dependent exogenous mind. The temporal dimension of an ectofield is inseparable from its foundation world.

The umbilical cord is severed at death by the dissolution of the exogenous womb – the physical brain. The ectocontent prior to this event is no more – or less – than unique ideas, generated by patterns of nervous activity. When these patterns die, all external constraints on the ideas are removed, and they can be expected to live on if only they believe that they both can and should persist. The associated individual is thus released from the bondage – and support – of the parent world, and is born into the free-willed existence of an independent ideo field.

The preceding argument equally applies to ectocontent that is discontinued in a manner inconsistent with current volition at any moment in an exogenous lifetime. Such content should begin to propagate independently of the parental foundation world, in a manner prescribed by immediate exogenous volition. The awareness of such liberated content must be continuous with that of the original ectobeing; yet the content would be concealed from that ectobeing by a dominant foundation world for the remainder of the individual's exogenous life.

This apparent paradox can be resolved by noting that the exogenous and post-exogenous temporal dimensions are independent. The finite physical time span separating the premature termination of an ectocontent from the ultimate physical death of the associated individual thus does not necessarily correspond to a finite post-exogenous time interval. By constituting an infinitesimal duration – equivalent to a period of dormancy or sleep – the initial awareness of content terminated at any moment in an exogenous lifetime merges with the initial awareness immediately following death. Continuity of exogenous to post-exogenous awareness is thus maintained, without infringing on the basic self-determination of the parental foundation world.

The temporal dimension of a post-exogenous individual may be considered to diverge at a right [perpendicular] angle from that of its prior ectoexistence. From this perspective, the demand that ectoconsciousness be externally controlled throughout an exogenous lifetime is reconciled with the inherent ability of any ideo field to ultimately direct its own destiny.

Exogenous death may thus be accompanied by a post-exogenous awakening of thoughts, desires and memories that were discontinued contrary to exogenous will during the preceding lifetime. Far from being limited to a terminal exogenous state (which may be vanishingly small), the initial post-exogenous conscious field potentially encompasses all prior experience. In the multiworlds interpretation of physical reality, the scope of this field expands to include every experience from every one of the multitudinous branches into which an individual splits after birth! Memories acceptable to post-exogenous volitions flood the conscious field, which – freed from previously imposed physical limitations – readily accommodates them. Every content whose existence is supported by post-exogenous rightness patterns should be both perceived and perpetuated; self-denying volitions and all other unsupported elements would vanish.

A person may harbor conflicting desires at any given moment. Motivation and personal ambition may further change radically during an exogenous lifetime, in particular along the numerous alternate branches of a given self in the multiworlds view. The initial post-exogenous conscious field of an ectobeing may thus incorporate a number of mutually incompatible rightness logics. But the limits of a unified conscious field are defined only by its volitions. The given field would then naturally split into multiple distinct endofields, each governed by its own unique will. The memories and other nonlogical content sustained by each would be determined by the associated logic(s).

Post-exogenous existence is thus not without potential trauma or peril. Conscious elements that are not internally supported immediately cease to exist; a self may be torn asunder by its own perceptions. The foundation world that previously dominated an ectobeing also protected it from internal weaknesses and inconsistencies, allowing it to grow beyond itself. If a post-exogenous individual only believes that it is or should be dominated by obliging external forces, that it should lead a tortured existence, then the corresponding experience may ensue. Post-exogenous stillbirths may be common.

These dangers may be matched, however, by newly acquired freedoms. A post-exogenous individual is no longer subject to the impersonal side of an external foundation world, which might demand that an exogenous soul be sacrificed in order to maintain its own integrity. Released from the confines of a limited brain, experience may soar to unimagined heights of precision, of beauty, of ecstasy. Exogenous experience may appear in retrospect much as a wakeful octo considers a dream – vague, distorted, illogical and misdirected.

2.7) The universe – the totality of meaningful things – consists ideobasically of a multitude of ideo fields, including primordial endofields, ectofields, post-exogenous endofields, and perhaps other nonprimordial endofields. The temporal dimensions of two distinct endofields may be volitionally linked, but are generally at least in part functionally independent. Although every field must find itself at a single point along its own temporal sequence, individual self-determination precludes a general correspondence between the time coordinates of different fields. Only when fields interact is a (momentary) temporal [or more generally, causal] correspondence established. A complete specification of universal time is thus multidimensional, including the temporal coordinate of every independent field. Exogenous time is tied to independent foundation worlds/fields, and need not be separately specified [even for timeless foundation worlds like the CIF, exogenous time can still be defined along endogenous time-like dimensions of causal connection].

The temporal evolution of an endofield X is affected by another endofield Y to the extent that X actively seeks out and accepts Y's influence. In order for X at time tx [along a time-like dimension for timeless fields like the CIF] to interact with Y at time ty, both fields must first identify each other and the intended interaction times in an unambiguous, well-defined manner. This requires that X and Y have prior (though not necessarily complete) knowledge of each other.

Acquisition by X of foreign content from Y must be actively directed by Y. There would otherwise be no causal agent to direct the transfer, but only a null agent effecting no transfer. Endofields thus cannot passively (without each other's knowledge and explicit cooperation) observe and acquire new information from one another. One endofield can know the intimate experience of another without the aid and approval of any outside source only if the knowledge is generated internally by a sufficiently self-reliant and consistent rightness logic. Consistency logic in particular predicates a priori knowledge of all external reality. The presumed omniscience of the CIF is not the result of interactions with other fields, but is innate.

Because their lives are ultimately determined by external foundation worlds, the preceding argument does not apply to ectofields. One exogenous individual can sometimes passively observe another, or (effectively) impose its will on other ectobeings without their approval. The underlying endogenous processes nonetheless require the full cognizance and willing participation of all involved endofields.

Meaningful interactions among endofields are not limited to transfers of content unfamiliar to (or not explicitly anticipated by) the receiving fields. The endofield X may exactly specify, rather than set broad limits upon, the content it will accept from Y. This content can be meaningfully transferred if it is required to appear in a specified manner when and only when actively determined by Y. Two endofields can thus possess complete knowledge of each other and still interact, if each allows the other to partially determine its own course (albeit in an anticipated manner). Although largely ceremonial, such interactions are mutually intentional, verifiable, and therefore meaningful.

Every meaningful interaction between two endofields X and Y is thus actively determined by both fields. Whereas X imposes limits on the content that may be transferred to itself, Y determines the content that actually is transferred, within these limits. This deterministic link establishes a temporal correspondence between the fields, and imposes causal restrictions upon their mutual interactions.

Suppose in particular that X and Y interact at times t1x and t1y, respectively; and again at t2x and t2y. The content each field chooses to transfer to the other at either moment is influenced by its perception of the other field at that time. Each interaction is thus affected by the prior histories of the two fields. If t1x < t2x , then causality requires that t1y < t2y . The interaction at t1x would otherwise be logically dependent upon the interaction at t2x , which would be logically dependent upon the interaction at t1x ; an indeterminate loop would be introduced into the causal flow, and causality violated.

This argument applies even to the transfer of anticipated, familiar content between fields that possess complete knowledge of each other. It may naively seem that such interactions cannot affect either field, and that the temporal restrictions therefore do not apply. Yet complete knowledge of another field requires an understanding of that field's causality patterns. If t1y > t2y when t1x < t2x , an indeterminate loop would be introduced into the causal chains of both X and Y, violating causality and precluding complete knowledge of either field. Unless an exchange affects both fields, it does not meaningfully occur.

Because exogenous reality is determined by independent foundation fields, the preceding causal restrictions equally apply to the (effective) interactions among ectofields [this can be demonstrated even when exogenous time is tied to a time-like dimension of a timeless foundation world]. Every meaningful interaction between any two ideo fields thus establishes a temporal [or causal] correspondence that neither can subsequently violate. An individual may reminisce past events, but cannot change them; may contemplate the future, but can directly experience it only by allowing it to become the present.

2.8) Endofields whose respective contents and temporal relationships with other fields are identical cannot be meaningfully distinguished, and must be considered a single field. Endofields that become so identical at some point along their respective time lines similarly cannot be meaningfully distinguished at any subsequent time, and must therefore merge into a single unified endofield. The fields do not merely become as one; they literally become one. Conscious merger of this type may result from an exhaustive exchange of personal information and experience between two endofields that share a deep and mutual desire to enter into a conscious union. A field X may unilaterally merge with a field Y only if it is able to separately obtain sufficient information to metamorphose into Y, and the merger is not forbidden by the very volitions that X must accept in becoming Y. Field X may be required to abandon its former memories and identity in this case.

Conscious merger is not restricted to endofields, but may also involve exogenous beings. An endofield X will merge with an ectofield Y at a time ty if X assumes a form indistinguishable from Y(ty), and if ty is not already in X's past. The merger process requires that X have significant prior knowledge of Y. If X is unable to generate this knowledge internally, it must be willingly provided by an external source (e.g., Y's foundation world). The conscious union of a post-exogenous self with another ectofield of the original foundation world constitutes a reincarnation. An endofield in general sheds all previous memories, and relinquishes all direct self-control, when it merges with an ectofield. Lost memories may be recovered (if desired) only at the subsequent death of the new exogenous self.

[Reincarnation was a common theme in ancient octan religions. Yet Fleegello lost credibility with many of his contemporaries for his willingness to even consider the notion. This has often been attributed to an extreme version of logical positivism that permeated intellectual thought at the time. Fleegello was merely exploring the logical limits of his philosophical framework. He frequently asserted that a theoretical construct must remain uncertain – though not necessarily irrelevant, or meaningless – to the extent that it could not (currently) be tested.]

Perhaps the ultimate form of conscious merger for an octo would be merger with the CIF at the time of death. An octan self would be thereby lifted from the contingent cycles of mortal life, into an unimaginable plane of existence. The CIF would certainly be prepared for such a merger – every moment of an octo's prior life and experience would already be known in detail. Yet how many octos would both desire and be suited to such a radical voluntary transformation? [In his last jope, Fleegello wrote of his own personal feelings about the possibility of merging with the CIF at death. He admitted that the idea terrified him – life as Dama would be so shockingly different from that as an octo. Yet if he was not at least open to the idea, how could he truly embrace consistency logic?]

Two ectobeings will merge if their respective nervous systems become so integrated that all sensory inputs, memories, motivations, and conscious responses present as a single, unified field. Organisms can be imagined that achieve transient states of conscious union by linking special nervous appendages. Such mental apparatus apparently have not evolved for life forms on this planet. Exogenous merger thus remains an experience alien to octos and other Jopian creatures, and can (in principle) be accomplished only by extensive surgical procedures. [Fleegello did not envision the noninvasive techniques that accomplish the various types of restricted conscious union we now take for granted.]

2.9) In the ideobasic view of reality the universe has a finite past, which initially comprised a set of basic, independent ideo fields. Following a collective moment of self-creation, these primordial endofields evolved, interacting and affecting each other in a variety of ways. Whereas some of the endofields lead isolated and drab lives, others interact openly, even merge or split, and incorporate a rich infinity of content. Some may be immortal, while others barely cling to existence, or terminate after finite lifetimes.

Exogenous consciousness was presumably spawned and subsequently evolved within suitable primordial endofields. The death of successive generations of exogenous creatures constitutes a source of new independent fields. Many of these may lack either the means or the will to perpetuate themselves, and soon cease to exist. Others may recycle back to new exogenous lives. Only the stronger post-exogenous fields would evolve into viable, immortal endofields. Some of these may merge with other endofields, even the CIF, or generate their own unique exogenous consciousness.