The following account of Transcendent Mind is taken from Jack Huber's 2013 book: The Future of the Mind.
"Viewing mind as an emergent property of a Complex Adaptive System (CAS) opens adjacent possibilities that depart from the hegemony of mind as ‘mine.’ There is nothing in our understanding of CASs that confines emergence to flesh-boundary elements; nor mind to neurons. Traditional views of the mind take the unique perspective that anticipates the environment from a personal subjective realm—what is happening to me; and assumes a self-importance that is beguiling. The subjective realm of the self is the traditional foundation for discussions of the mind. Why should this be so, aside from the subjective realm established by our senses and our body state? There is nothing in our understanding of CASs and emergence that requires our minds to be unique or the top of the hierarchy.
Suppose we step away from ourselves and look back from the perspective of the total environment. We are only one product of nature, one consequence of emergence arising from CASs interacting through a long sequence of adjacent possibilities. We are surrounded by cyberous systems. We comprise other systems. Why must the future of the mind be consonant with the future of whom and what we are now?
Is there a sentience in which we participate as elements without awareness of our participation, without awareness of the emergence we enable? Perhaps culture is one such transcendent emergence—that which we shape and in turn allow to shape us. We perceive culture. Actually we perceive our place in a culture. However broad and encompassing our experiences, our exposure, and our interactions within a culture, there is wholeness, an emergence that is beyond our place in it.
The environment is a major participant in CASs that give emergence to mind. Mind is not constrained to the nervous system of the individual. It will be even less constrained to that system in the future. This third potential of mind requires that we consider the elements of mind as including our individual minds—as collective, collaborating elements in a larger system, one that transcends our own.
Emergent properties of CASs are a function of the interconnectedness of collaborating elements and the rules of their interaction—like us, our minds, and our interactions. There are no restrictions on the hierarchies emerging from human nervous systems acting as a class of elements—and no requirement that our minds sit at the top of the hierarchy. We must step back and look up into that hierarchy that will give emergence to the transcendent mind, a hierarchy that includes cyberous elements as well.
The notion is not unique. We saw in Chapter 8 that the adjacent possibilities explored by our CASs have taken us through numerous antecedents with precursor emergences. More recently these adjacent possibilities have led through a sequence of ever more synthetic augmentations and cyberous collaborations.
We end by re-perceiving the environment as it contains us, in which our minds and cyberous systems would be only elements of CASs giving rise to emergence of mind. What rule would this transcendent emergence violate? What have we explored thus far that would deny this emergence? Rather, we should expect it! The exploration of adjacent possibilities by the forces shaping the mind over time would lead to this condition.
If transcendent mind is plural we should expect interactions among them. What of the emergence arising from the interaction of these multiple transcendent minds?
While it may be of significance to us, our mind has not been of particular importance over the eons of self organization in nature. It is simply a consequence of one series of self-organizations of complex adaptive systems through adjacent possibilities. We may be simply 'bit players' in the future of mind."
Jack Huber: The Future of the Mind
1) Use the Idioticon index.
2) Use the search box: