Thursday, 7 April 2016

Meditation is Ontological Disambiguation

Ontologies are taxonomical lists describing phenomena in terms of Species, Categories, Attributes, Relations, Functions, Restrictions, Rules, Axioms and Events. In fact all knowledge is a form of ontology. It constitutes the mental representation of what is perceived to be an object by the filters of the senses and the mind. An ontology per definition needs at least two elements, for otherwise it has not enough elements to discriminate itself from anything else. It is therefore per definition minimally a so-called "didensity".

To know or identify a thing we use ontological categorisation. This takes place via perception of differences between phenomena leads to abstractions on a meta-level, which can be strategically used to improve the survival chances of an entity.
The very process of abstracting patterns which are grounded in a multiplicity of singleton experiences, allows us to keep the essential in our memory and discard the non-essential, thereby forgetting non-relevant information. Ideally we "learn" that a set of co-occurring essential conditions leads to an effect and we store this as a cause-effect relation, which in the future we can use to predict the outcome of a certain event or to devise a strategy to advantageously employ the benefits thereof or conversely to avoid the detrimental effects thereof.

In fact this process of abstraction or pattern recognition is what enables living creatures including us to deal with the world in a meaningful manner: When comparing to phenomena we can conclude that they belong to a similar class or category if they share a significant number of correspondences or similarities, whereas a preponderance in differences may lead us to conclude that phenomena belong to different categories. Thus we taxonomically "determine" or "identify" a species, which is called "recognition". We cognise it again, because it resonates with the ontological structure we had built in our mind.
When you meditate on an object, you also do this in the first two stages, but you also do the opposite: you look for universal unity between the ontologies you have defined and you arrive at a kind of "ontological disambiguation".

Patanjali describes this in the issues of Samprajnata Samadhi (I.17: ) in conjunction with the Stadia of Gunas: Visesha, Avisesha, Linga, Alinga which correspond with consciousness state of Vitarka, Vicara, Ananda, Asmita.

1) Visesha means special: first you identify a species with all its ontological characteristics.
2) Avisesha means universal: Then you identify the class/category to which species belongs: Abstraction. This process is looped until you arrive at 3).
3) Linga means Glyph, Symbol. You provide the Universal with an identification Tag. This is a higher abstraction above level 2); According to Vivekananda it also entails realisation as to the material of which object is made. If you loop this realisation to ever finer material sates you end up in 4).
4) Alinga without signifier. The objects fade, because you realise and experience it is all made of the same sat-chit-ananda energy-consciousness-bliss. Thus you become "one" with the object and merge at the highest level with the essence of being-experiencing-manifesting itself.

Ultimately, meditation is then doing the opposite of what is needed to survive in the external world.

This four step process is very similar to Christopher Langan's "syndiffeonic analysis" in his “Cognitive-Theoretic Model of the Universe”.
More of this chapter in my next book, which I have submitted for publication.

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