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Part 1: Survival

According to experience, reality appears to exist from one sequential present to another. Between any two consecutive presents—the former having become the past—there is a continuity of events. On a more fundamental level, all physical events are ultimately interactions of matter unfolding throughout spacetime.

While being subjects of the material reality, organisms also possess the potential to live, which in turn enables the disposition to manipulate matter in our favor—we are able to swim against the ‘current’ of natural forces with an aim for survival. Moving along with this current constitutes being a part of the interactions of matter qua matter—a passive interaction. By contrast, moving against the current requires an active—motivated and goal-directed—interaction with the current. Any current of natural forces is constructed from a cluster of interactions of matter; therefore, an interaction with the current is itself an interaction with interactions, namely a meta-interaction. To summarize, an organism aims for survival as it actively interacts with the interactions that unfold within the material reality; in sum, all organisms actively meta-interact with an aim for survival.

The previous statement disclaims neither the possibility that survival may carry on through passive interaction(s), nor the eventuality that it may fail as a direct result of active meta-interaction. Imagine a scenario in which one is attempting to flee from an active shooter. If one dodges a fatal bullet to the back of the head by accidentally tripping over a stump and falling to the ground, survival has been secured through passive interaction. We can equally imagine a scenario in which, were one to have a successful course of active meta-interaction to run upright and not fall, one would fail to secure survival. Plunged into such a vast sea of interactions, one can neither split it in half nor drink it dry—all one can do is kick and flap about to stay afloat.

 

Part 2: Meta-interaction

In general, many of us are accustomed to the perspective that we interact directly with material objects, and, therefore, it may seem counterintuitive to envision a course of meta-interacting, namely interacting with interactions of matter. It may be helpful here to forget about the notion of matter for a moment and conceptualize a physical process or event in which you, in some sense, partake.

Imagine, for instance, eating an evening meal at a steakhouse with a serving of bone-in rib-eye steak, a side of steamed broccoli, and a bowl of soup. Eating the food requires your active participation to manifest a process through which the food travels from the dinnerware, down the esophagus, and into the stomach. Such a process is essentially a set of interactions that is set in motion according to the attributes of the matter (i.e., the food, as you actively interact to induce this process). Each of the food items has various attributes that require it to undergo different processes before it can safely reach your stomach. For example, the bone-in rib-eye can be carved, using a knife and fork, into appropriate sizes and away from the bone. Once a piece has been cut, you can open your mouth, use a fork to put it in your mouth and chew it into smaller and softer pieces. The steamed broccoli requires considerably less work, as it requires less cutting and chewing than does the steak. In contrast, the bowl of soup cannot be picked up by the jabbing of a fork and rather requires scooping with a spoon. In addition, there is no need for you to chew the soup but to swallow it immediately upon its entering into your mouth. In sum, the various nature of matter cause different sets of interactions that manifest as processes or events, as one actively interacts to induce a goal.

 

Part 3: Scope of Survival

 

Note that the word ‘active’, within the context of this framework, is used to refer to the deliberate and goal-oriented (teleological) nature of the behaviors of organisms, even those of cells with their cellular respiration, as they aim for ongoing survival. Such activity is not to be confused with the self-aware, intentional, or voluntary actions performed by humans and arguably also some of the ‘higher’ animals, which is but one category of active meta-interaction.

An easily imaginable and immediate mechanism of survival is that of energy metabolism, which all living organisms clearly and frequently perform. Relatively more evolved organisms such as insects and mammals—compared with less evolved ones such as cells and plants—display more complex mechanisms of survival such as resource accumulation, as in the case of bees gathering honey. Because today’s prosperity is for tomorrow’s survival, any act of accumulating resources is an instance of active meta-interaction for the sake of contributing to future survival, which takes the form of prosperity in the present. Such a concept of contribution is related to Aristotle’s notion of ACQUISITION, according to which “this kind of capacity for acquisition is evidently given by nature of all living beings, from the moment when they are first born to the days when their growth is finished” (Politics, I, 8, 1256b7–9). In sum, an organism’s aim for survival takes the form of a motivated and active meta-interaction with the goal of contributing to ongoing and future survival; it is an IMPETUS TO CONTRIBUTION to prosperity.

 

Part 4: Prosperity

Instances of contribution and prosperity manifest variously across species. In the grand scheme, there are clear gaps in the complexity of behaviors across different species of organisms: less complex organisms (at least in terms of behavior) such as plants lack the ability to immediately escape certain death by a herd’s stomping, which more evolved organisms such as insects and reptiles possess. However, all organisms possess the potential to contribute to bodily prosperity through the metabolism of energy. Taking such a comparison to an extreme, humans not only possess the potential to escape imminent mortal threats but can also actively prevent them by relocating dangerous animals to a faraway habitat, erecting barricades, etc. Most notably, we can develop linguistic and scientific frameworks through our collective efforts of comprehensive investigation of the sources of threats to engineer proactive solutions. The twentieth-century Russian zoologist Dmitri Belyaev and his colleague Lyudmila Trut, for instance, successfully altered the very nature of a potentially hostile species of wild silver foxes through selective breeding. Having bred dozens of generations of wild foxes that were considered the ‘tamest’, the zoologists were subsequently able to bring about the highly domesticated behavioral traits that were rare, if not entirely non-existent, in the silver foxes’ natural habitat (Trut & Dugatkin, 2017, Meet the Elites).

On the one hand, more evolved organisms display behaviors that are similar, if not identical, in nature to those of less complex organisms. On the other hand, more evolved organisms also display advanced and advantageous behaviors that less evolved organisms lack. Such similarity and dissimilarity suggest that there is a hierarchy of domains on which meta-interaction, contribution, and prosperity can be achieved and that the lower domains are prerequisites to higher domains. As

Aristotle puts it:

 

Of the aforementioned capacities of the soul some things have all of them, as we said, and some have some of them, but others have only one. And we mentioned the faculties of nutrition, perception, desire, movement in place, and cognition. Plants have only the nutritive faculty, but other creatures have both this and the perceptive faculty. (On the Soul, II, 3, 414a30–34)

 

Among the organisms listed in the aforementioned comparisons (cells, plants, insects, reptiles, and humans), all possess the domain of meta-interaction that occurs inside the body, which equips them with the ability to metabolize energy. On the other hand, insects, reptiles, and humans also possess higher domains of meta-interaction, as they can perform movement to evade imminent threats. Finally, humans also possess the highest domain, with which we can collectively develop scientific frameworks for engineering solutions to further contributions.

 

Part 5: Domain of Meta-interaction

All organisms require energy metabolism to survive—it is a prerequisite to sustaining life, and every organism uses its environment to produce chemical reactions in order to metabolize energy. Such mechanisms manifest as bodily processes across different categories of organisms: digesting a piece of bread, photosynthesis, cellular respiration, etc. However various, they share the underlying teleological goal of contributing to bodily prosperity via a domain of meta-interaction. During the metabolism of energy, an organism meta-interacts with matter, such as bread, water, glucose, etc., that exist inside its body. In such cases, the domain of meta-interaction can be interpreted as the meta-interaction that occurs inside the body. Possessing such a domain, all organisms can meta-interact with matter within their body.

It is worth reiterating that two different organisms that possess an identical domain of meta-interaction can manifest behaviors that are entirely different from one another. One example is the bodily process of energy metabolism as mentioned above. Another is the ability to travel via meta-interaction with the terrain, namely the stationary (grounded) matter, as we shall discuss later. When generating mobility using its body, a kangaroo kicks the ground to hop, a bird flaps its wings in the air to fly, and a snail contracts its body to crawl; however different the mechanisms of movement manifest across these three creatures, they share the underlying teleological goal of movement.

 

Part 6: Natural Selection and the Evolution of Domains

According to Charles Darwin, the physical structures of any given species can change and evolve from pre-existing species through natural selection. Moreover:

 

It will be universally admitted that instincts are as important as corporeal structures for the welfare of each species, under its present conditions of life. Under changed conditions of life, it is at least possible that slight modifications of instinct might be profitable to a species; and if it can be shown that instincts do vary ever so little, then I can see no difficulty in natural selection preserving and continually accumulating variations of instinct to any extent that was profitable. It is thus, as I believe, that all the most complex and wonderful instincts have originated. (Darwin, C., & Huxley, J., 2003, pp. 245–246)

 

Over millions of years of evolution, we find a clear pattern of process that gives rise to more advanced and adapted organisms that are better suited to survive than their predecessors. Following the same pattern, we can hypothesize that some organisms’ domains of meta-interaction have evolved, because more domains would theoretically lead to greater prosperity and a better probability of ongoing and future survival within a relatively fixed environment. As discussed in Part 4, humans—who are the most evolved organisms on earth today—can not only physically dodge imminent threats but also engineer complex and collectively orchestrated precautions to prevent threats, which less evolved organisms such as plants and cells have no chance of performing. Having the potential to perform such advanced behaviors indubitably leads to greater opportunities for contribution and better fitness for survival.

Although the fossil record is far from complete, there is evidence of behavioral evolution in the grand scheme of phylogeny—cells were the first to appear, immobile organisms such as plants showed up earlier than did highly mobile organisms such as insects and reptiles, and humans evolved relatively recently. In the grand scheme of things, there is a clear rise in the complexity of meta-interaction.

 

Part 7: Speculation on the Evolution of Domains

Beginning with the assumption that possessing an additional domain of meta-interaction expands one’s access to opportunities for contribution to prosperity, the following sub-parts explore speculation on the evolution of domains of meta-interaction.

Note that, due to the vastness of the number of species that exist on earth—not to mention our lack of discovery of them— and the speculative nature of this part, the examples of organisms mentioned are specific and limited.

 

 (i) First Domain: Vessel​

The first domain must be one that is a prerequisite to life and therefore shared across all organisms. As Aristotle notes:

 

Everything that lives, then, must possess the nutritive soul, and it possesses soul from birth until death, for what has been born must possess stages of growth, maturity, and decline, and these are impossible without nourishment. (On the Soul, III, 12, 434a22–26)

 

From cells to humans, all living things have a material form (i.e. the corporeal structure) and activity within their body (i.e. energy metabolism). The body is the vessel with which the IMPETUS TO CONTRIBUTION (to prosperity) is carried out. The Domain of Vessel is the domain of interaction with interactions caused by matter inside the body.

A possible example of organisms with only the first domain would be cells.  Cells can perform bodily functions such as cellular respiration—which is a meta-interactive process carried out with glucose inside the body to produce energy—but have neither limbs nor roots, which are a key feature of organisms that can actively interact with the surrounding environment. Other examples of the Domain of Vessel, from humans, are (i) the immune system (which fights off germs that invade the body), and (ii) the liver (which filters toxic substances that exist within the body).

Organisms such as cells, that possess only the first domain, have the potential for contribution to prosperity that is limited to the matter entering the body. If no energy source enters the body, survival is doomed.

 

 (ii) Second Domain: Territory

To achieve further potential for contribution and better fitness for survival, an organism must aim to extend its meta-interaction outside the body and onto the surrounding territory. Through the surface of the body as a medium, the organism can thereby identify new patterns of causality and meta-interact with its surrounding environment. The Domain of Territory is the domain of interaction with interactions caused by matter adjacent to/surrounding the body.

A possible example of organisms that possess up to the second domain would be plants. A plant can detect water concentrations in the surrounding environment and grow its roots correspondingly via hydrotropism. However, plants cannot perform immediate movements—such as traveling across a field to obtain water—which require the next domain. Other examples of the Domain of Territory, from humans, are the physical senses of the body—taste, smell, sight, hearing, and touch or feeling—as these are triggered via the meta-interaction on the surface of the body. It is worth noting that with regard to seeing and hearing, what collide with the surface of the body are sound and light waves, which are not matter but energy. Nonetheless, we interact with the interactions caused by matter outside the body and the waves are part of these interactions. For example, when a glass bottle falls and shatters on the ground, it causes a chain of interactions that creates a pressure wave that collides with our ear drums. Similarly, the existence of an apple across the table causes interactions through which the light particles bounce off and then collide with our eyes.

Possessing only two domains, one’s potential for contribution is limited to the matter surrounding the body. If the territory becomes barren or hostile owing to climate change, survival is doomed.

 

 (iii) Third Domain: Exploration

To increase one’s potential for contribution, one must aim to extend one’s scope of meta-interaction beyond the surrounding environment to reach a more fruitful and hospitable territory. To explore beyond its current territory, an organism must be able to move its body by interacting with the interactions of the terrain, namely the stationary (grounded) matter. Using the muscles of the body, an animal can carry its body by pushing against or pulling on the ground, and with this ability to move around, can travel in search of more hospitable and fruitful territories. The Domain of Exploration is the domain of interaction with interactions caused by stationary (grounded) matter.

A possible example of organisms that possess up to the third domain would be animals that can perform basic and slow movements, such as gastropods. Slugs, for instance, have a muscular foot that contracts and relaxes in a coordinated manner with the ground to generate movement. Slugs can explore nearby territories to find food and water and can crawl under a rock to seek shelter and avoid desiccation. However, they are largely defenseless in cases in which the rock they are on loosens and collides with another rock, causing the slug to be crushed in the process. Furthermore, although many slugs possess certain defense mechanisms such as seeking refuge under a rock and producing distasteful or harmful chemical substances (from the specialized glands located inside their bodies) to deter predators, slugs are incapable of fending off predators with a physical counterattack. Other examples of the Domain of Exploration, from humans, are getting out of bed, walking across a room, etc.

Possessing up to the third domain, an organism can travel across terrains in search of unknown but potentially hospitable territories. However, exploration of an unknown territory is a treacherous ordeal—the volatile nature of terrains and ferocious predators introduce anomalous patterns of interactions and impede one’s contribution. One may face potentially fatal contingencies of getting crushed by debris, being trapped in loose terrain, or getting eaten by a predator, for instance.

 
 (iv) Fourth Domain: Preservation

To increase opportunities for contribution, one must aim to preserve the stability of one’s exploration from troublesome foes and shifting terrains—the common factors being that they are moving and that they are comprised of matter. The same material object, such as a pile of rubble, can signify two strikingly different things depending on its state of motion. When stationary, it can be a pathway to a destination, but a collapsing pile of rubble can become a catastrophic avalanche. This is also the case for living things—a resting predator, such as a venomous spider, poses no threat; however, when it starts moving in for a hunt, it can be deadly for any prey animals. To safeguard one’s journey from contingent hazards, one must aim to react in accordance with the patterns originating from the motion of matter, including the physical movements of organisms. One must accordingly possess the Domain of Preservation, namely the domain of interaction with interactions caused by mobile (moving) matter.

A possible example of organisms that possess up to the fourth domain would be insects such as bees. Bees have evolved not only to fly away from dangerous terrains, such as shaking branches and collapsing grounds, but also to fight off enemies and predators with counterattacks such as stinging. Furthermore, honeybees can communicate the location of food and water sources or potential nest sights to other members of the hive using a highly effective form of communication called a ‘waggle dance’—during which a forager bee performs a series of movements involving a specific angle and duration of rapid side-to-side shaking (Dong et al., 2023; Seely, 1996; Von Frisch, 1993). By observing the patterns of the waggle dance, the members of the hive can determine the direction and distance of the valuable resources. In other words, by interacting with the interactions caused by the dancing bee (i.e., observing the audio and visual cues caused by and originating from the movements of the dancing bee) the members of the hive can achieve a new opportunity for contribution. Other examples of the Domain of Preservation, from humans, are catching a baseball, hammering a nail, swatting a fly, etc.

Possessing the first four domains, an organism can interact with all interactions of matter in accordance with one’s capabilities across the four domains. However, with enough living beings swimming against the ‘current’ of natural forces, a ‘secondary current’ emerges with peculiar patterns of interactions caused by those with their own agenda for survival—tiny ripples created by the kicking and the flapping amass into giant waves that can devour one whole. While composed entirely of material substances, the ‘secondary current’ is manufactured by the living. For example, a warrior wasps’ nest is built with pieces of wood fibers mixed with saliva; however, unlike with other chunks of earthly material, if you were to nudge a wasps’ nest, you would suffer the fury of a swarm. Thus, for any organism who regularly crosses paths with wasps’ nests, it would be crucial for survival to distinguish between the ‘current’ of natural forces (i.e. a regular chunk of wood), from the ‘secondary current’ manufactured by living wasps (i.e. a chunk of wood manufactured by wasps).

 

 (v) Fifth Domain: Emulation

For further contribution, one must aim to differentiate between the interactions caused by matter and those caused by the corporeal structure of living beings. To achieve this, one must aim to interact with the ‘secondary current’, which is caused by the physical activities of living organisms. If something were to fall from a tree, for instance, the ability to accurately interpret this—whether it is just a harmless ripe fruit or a deadly predator descending for a hunt—could determine life or death. Likewise, if an animal can distinguish between the sound of wind and the singing of a potential mate, it could lead to an opportunity for contribution through mating. The Domain of Emulation is the domain of interactions caused by the physical manifestation of life.

Possible examples of organisms that possess up to the fifth domain would be the descendants of the class Reptilia, which includes turtles, lizards, crocodiles, and birds. For example, frilled lizards have evolved a fascinating set of behaviors: upon perceiving a threat, they will open their mouths wide, puff out the skin around their necks, and hiss at their attacker to scare them off. Capable of detecting the signs of an approaching predator, frilled lizards have evolved to deploy effective bluffs as a defensive mechanism. Another set of examples is the various species of birds that sing to attract mating partners. In general, the male birds generate elaborate and melodious songs to advertise their presence and fitness to potential partners. The females, in turn, interpret the songs to evaluate the quality of their potential mates. Other examples of the Domain of Emulation, from humans, are waving at a neighbor, smiling at a stranger to display friendly intent, shooing away birds from the dining table, and so on.

Evolving one’s domains to encompass the Domain of Emulation entails expanding one’s capacity of meta-interaction to interactions caused by attributes of life. Possessing up to the fifth domain, an animal can meta-interact with life that manifests physically. Thus, to further one’s potential for contribution, beyond the fifth domain, one must aim to meta-interact with the manifestation of life that is non-physical, namely the conscious awareness of oneself.

 

 (vi) Sixth Domain: Self-awareness

Further opportunities can be accessed with the Domain of Self-awareness, the domain of interaction with interactions caused by one’s own conscious awareness. Possessing the sixth domain, an individual being can provide self-feedback and reflect introspectively to gain insight into one’s own meta-interaction. Self-awareness enables individuals to recognize their existence, attributes, and experiences and provides a sense of agency or control over their meta-interaction, something that further enhances their method of contribution.

It may be impossible to determine, with absolute certainty, which of the non-human animals possess self-awareness, as it cannot be directly observed. Philosophical topics, Solipsism and the problem of other minds, lay out the questions and arguments surrounding the observation of a person’s conscious awareness (Bartha 2013; Other Minds (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy), 2023). If you are a person reading this, you have a direct access to your own conscious experience and awareness; however, this is not the case for another person’s conscious awareness. The argument from analogy explores that you may have a good reason to believe and infer that other persons have conscious experience and awareness due to the similarities of behaviors between you and them—yet it is still impossible to directly observe another person’s mind. The ‘problem’ of other minds becomes ever more significant if non-human species are involved—to infer that non-human animals has conscious awareness due to the similarities between you and them would be subject to the problem of anthropomorphism. As behaviors can vary significantly across any two species, anthropomorphizing can lead to inaccurate conclusions. Nevertheless, some experiments have provided thought-provoking insight into non-human self-awareness, most notably, the mirror self-recognition tests. In these tests, certain species of animals have been observed to manifest a series of self-directed behaviors that may suggest a level of self-awareness (Breed & Moore, 2021; Gallup, 1970; Plotnik et al., 2006). In one study, four preadolescent chimpanzees were provided with mirrors in proximity to their cage (Gallup, 1970). As the animals became accustomed to their mirror, they began using it to groom parts of their body such as picking bits of food from between the teeth. As the pieces of food around the teeth are not visually accessible without a mirror, the animals’ precise behavior of observing and grooming—via self-reflection as a visual aid—suggests a level of self-awareness.

In another self-recognition experiment, three Asian elephants were exposed to one large mirror (Plotnik et al., 2006). Like the chimpanzees, the elephants appeared to use the mirror to observe and interact with parts of their body that are not visually accessible except via self-reflection. For instance, one of the elephants put her trunk into her mouth at the mirror, as if investigating the insides of her oral cavity. In another example, an elephant used her trunk to pull her ear toward the mirror, as if inspecting the sides of her ear that she cannot normally observe.

The mirror self-recognition tests provide compelling evidence in relation to the topic of non-human self-awareness, particularly in members of most species of great apes (Anderson & Gallup, 2011). It should also be mentioned, however, that there are criticisms and controversies surrounding such experiments as well (Suddendorf & Butler, 2013). For example, when researchers used a different method during the study, namely the mark test, only one out of three elephants responded in a significant manner (Plotnik et al., 2006). During a mark test, an animal is applied with a visible mark on the side of its head that is not visually accessible without self-reflection. Next, the animal is presented with a mirror as the researchers observe how the animal responds to the mark. While all three elephants continued responding to the mirror in ways that suggest self-awareness, only one reacted to the mark by repeatedly touching it.

Regardless of such controversies, numerous scientists have explored and suggested evidence for the possibility of self-awareness in nonhuman animals through the mark test, and great apes, elephants, dolphins, and magpies have been observed to pass the test (Breed & Moore, 2021; Gallup, 1970; Marten & Psarakos, 1994; Plotnik et al., 2006; Prior et al., 2008).

Despite the astonishing findings of the various mark tests, behaviors that display self-recognition in the mirror are an indirect observation of self-awareness. The mirror self-recognition test is designed to investigate the physical behaviors of its subjects, as they interact with their physical appearances reflected on the mirror. Then, the conclusion, on whether the subject is self-aware or not, is inferred from the observations of the physical behaviors—such is the inevitable limitation of investigating another conscious animal’s self-awareness, as discussed in the aforementioned Solipsism and the problem of other minds. In other words, a positive outcome of a mark test (i.e., an animal that passes the test by responding to the mark) suggests only evidence, not proof, that its subjects possess self-awareness. Such a proof is perhaps impossible to devise with today’s technology.

 

According to the concept of domains, it may be possible for an animal to recognize and interact with the reflection of one’s body without self-awareness. Given that the reflection pertains to one’s physical appearance and movements, self-recognition with the help of a mirror would essentially be an example of meta-interaction with the physical manifestation of one’s life, which is an instance of Domain of Emulation. On the other hand, the negative outcomes do not necessarily contradict the argument that such animals possess self-awareness. With regard to us humans, we often look in the mirror to inspect and investigate irregularities in our faces, but other animals may not possess such inclinations. Despite the limitations and the lack of precision in methods of measuring and observing self-awareness, some of the non-human species of mammals may possess up to the sixth domain, the Domain of Self-awareness.

Animals with the sixth domain are capable of augmenting their methods of contribution through insightful self-feedback and introspection, thus increasing their fitness potential. Some compelling examples are mammals’ complex social dynamics and hunting tactics. In Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park, prides of lions have been extensively followed and studied over the years and cited as one of the prominent examples of highly cooperative pack hunting behaviors (Schaller, 1972; Wilson, 1975). Averaging at over a dozen individuals per pride, the female lions often initiate the hunt by stalking their prey from various angles, then rushing simultaneously. A pride’s complex and coordinated hunting strategy provides a superior success rate and allows it to catch exceptionally larger prey, such as giraffes and buffalo. This can be crucial for feeding the non-participating members of the pride, such as the cubs. This highly synchronized and extremely fierce hunting skill, however, takes several months to years to hone and master. Lion cubs can begin walking as soon as two weeks after birth, but their hunting skills remain insufficient for a team hunt until they are around one year old. Even then, they require extensive practice and reinforcement of their hunting methods to become competent team members—young lions generally become proficient hunters from around the age of two years. Until that time, they rely on the contributing members of the pride for food and protection as they practice hunting through play and observation of the elder lions.

The evolution of animals with the sixth domain introduces conscious awareness as a new phenomenon of the world. Such a powerful phenomenon inevitably introduces certain anomalous patterns that may impede one’s contribution. To obtain further opportunities for contribution, an individual must therefore aim to interact with the conscious awareness of other individuals.

 

 (vii) Seventh Domain: Satellitic-awareness

 

As discussed in the previous section with the topics, Solipsism and the problem of other minds, a person has direct access only to their own conscious experience, not to those of others; thus, in order to meta-interact with another’s conscious awareness, it must be represented through a medium, namely, a ‘satellite of conscious awareness’. The most conspicuous instances of satellites of conscious awareness can be created through the use of a language. By speaking a phrase or writing a note to another person who shares the same language, an individual can effectively meta-interact with the other person’s conscious awareness. In essence, a satellite is a material substance that bears a person’s non-physical instance of life, namely conscious awareness. A satellite can be an object, such as a piece of paper, but it can also be the physical body of a person or that of some other organisms. For instance, if a person were to speak to another, the speaking individual’s face would be acting as the satellite of their own conscious awareness through vocalization. A satellite can also be an object such as a piece of paper. Imagine if you live with several family members but wake up in one morning and found your house empty. Before you decide to call your sibling to ask where they had gone, you find a piece of paper on the dining table with “getting breakfast” written on it. Without having seen your family leave the house, you can meta-interact with the family member via the piece of paper with a note on it, to find out why they are not in the house. Furthermore, a satellite can also be a non-human living being such as a parrot. If you were to visit someone’s house and heard a parrot repeat the phrase “Please take off your shoes”, you would understand that the owner most likely prefers to keep a clean floor and has trained their parrot to alert the visitors as they enter the house. Thus, further opportunities for contribution can be accessed with the Domain of Satellitic-awareness, the domain of interaction with interactions caused by conscious awareness that exists outside one’s body.

 

It is worth emphasizing that while a satellite of conscious awareness has a material nature (i.e., it has weight and requires three dimensions of space to exist), the conscious awareness that the satellite bears is arguably constructed of information and has a non-physical nature. For instance, your smartphone can be a multi-purpose satellite (of conscious awareness) device that you can use to meta-interact with other people’s conscious awareness. Although your electronic device has a material form, the information it displays on its screen is the combination of pixels lighting up in a specific order. Browsing additional pages on an application—such as viewing other people’s comments about a topic—does not increase the weight of your device, therefore, the information (i.e., the projections of other people’s conscious awareness) is weightless and non-physical, even if it supervenes on the physical. The nature of information makes it possible for humans to invent extremely powerful and scalable technology such as the internet, which provides us with the potential to transport conscious awareness across the world in a fraction of a second.

Another remarkable aspect of the satellites is their lasting impact. Through the ability to leave behind one’s conscious awareness, a person can communicate with others even after death, even though it is a one-way communication. For instance, Aristotle lived more than two thousand years ago in ancient Greece, but his writings are still widely read and have taught countless students of philosophy over the years. Because of this, Aristotle continues to communicate and spread his ideas to this day, through the satellites of his conscious awareness (i.e., his writings). Such a lasting nature of satellites enables humanity to build and scale collective knowledge that makes it possible for continued innovation in the fields of science, technology, and medicine, for example. Sir Isaac Newton once expressed, as he showed admiration for his predecessors in mathematics and science who had influenced and inspired his intellectual contributions, “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” With the potential to meta-interact with satellites of conscious awareness, new generations of individuals can assimilate and further enhance the collective knowledge left behind by their predecessors, subsequently leaving it behind for the next generation to continue the cycle. With the seventh domain, the Domain of Satellitic-awareness, mankind has the potential to scale the advancement of civilization in perpetuity, which is built with the collective conscious awareness and contributions of its past and present citizens.

Although certain of the extinct species, such as the Neanderthals, could have possessed the seventh domain, among the known and surviving species, we humans are the only ones that possess up to the seventh domain.

 

Part 8: Domain Resonance and Multidimensional Meta-interaction

Lower domains can scale upward with higher domains to generate multi-domain meta-interaction. For example, three domains—the Domain of Vessel, the Domain of Territory, and the Domain of Exploration—can build up multi-domains of Territory-Vessel, Exploration-Vessel, and Exploration-Territory. An example meta-interaction of Exploration-Territory is traveling to find a habitable shelter, and that of Exploration-Vessel is traveling to find food. In other words, an organism with more than one domain can combine meta-interaction of multiple domains to construct a multi-domain behavior. In so doing, each domain effectively becomes a dimension of meta-interaction, and an organism can perform a multi-dimensional meta-interaction to expand the capacity for contribution to the lower domain’s prosperity. Over the years, an actively engaged, teleological mode of experience has been referred to as immersion and flow. With regard to individual domains collaborating and integrating to develop multi-dimensional meta-interaction, the word ‘resonance’ seems to be a perceivably suitable description. Thus, ‘domain resonance’ is the process by which single domains collaborate to generate multiple dimensions.

The list below represents a set of multi-dimensional meta-interaction to contribute to bodily prosperity.

 

List of Multi-dimensional Meta-interaction for Contribution to the Domain of Vessel
  1. Territory|Vessel: Consuming nutrition that is adjacent to an opening of the body.

  2. Exploration|Vessel: Traveling across a hill in search of food.

  3. Preservation|Vessel: Observing the patterns of a waggle-dancing bee for direction and distance of the food source.

  4. Emulation|Vessel: Listening to a flock member for calls regarding food.

  5. Self-awareness|Vessel: Using cognitive abilities to locate food.

  6. Satellitic-awareness|Vessel: Ordering a takeout through a mobile app.

 

With higher domains, the scale of meta-interaction becomes orders of magnitude larger owing to the multiplier effect of resonance.

 

 

 

 

References

Anderson, J. R., & Gallup, G. G. (2011). Which primates recognize themselves in mirrors? PLoS Biology, 9(3), e1001024. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.1001024

Aristotle. (2009). The politics. Oxford University Press.

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