The Emperor Has No Model
An energy theory is a fantastic proposition. If an energy theory is true, then consciousness comes before the brain. Furthermore this means that genes are the result of consciousness rather than consciousness being the result of genes. In other words, animals didn’t evolve to have consciousness; they evolved in response to consciousness. Admittedly this is a difficult premise to wrap ones’ mind around. It’s far easier to think that the brain comes first and then consciousness arises on that platform.
But is such a theory more or less fantastic than other theories for the emergence of intelligent life on earth? Is it more or less fantastic than for example the theory of alien colonization, in other words, life from outer space? Is it more or less fantastic than the mainstream biological theory of natural selection by way of random mutations: in other words, life from nothing? So how can we mere mortals with our limited vantage point rate the fantasticality quotient between any given theory for the emergence of intelligent life on planet earth since really and truly all theories will boil down to something extraordinarily fantastic and possibly even beyond the powers of human comprehension?
Perhaps the only way is to ask whether or not any given theory provides a model that is observable, testable and demonstrable in the behavior of animals. I don’t mean some tantalizing clues here or there about the role of this or that hormone, brain structure or gene sequence, as valuable as these surely are, but a full-fledged model that encompasses all phenomena of consciousness with precise distinctions being made between each aspect; from learning, emotion, feelings, instincts, thinking, sexuality, personality, social structure, play, and all the “little” odds-and-ends that generally get left aside like migratory impulses, telepathy, miraculous feats of dogs homing and returning to a distant owner in unknown locations, and earthquake and seizure-in-owner predictions.
My position is that modern biology, evolutionary theory and animal psychology, does not have a model. Psychology by definition is the absence of a model because in our current understanding of individual uniqueness one must be free to think anything and then make choices based on such thoughts in order to qualify as a unique individual. The human capacity to think anything is why cognitive therapy is so successful for those whose thoughts lock them into self-destructive compulsive behavior loops. It basically teaches the afflicted person that their brain lies; it makes things up which cognitive therapy then skillfully debunks helping the patient understand that their brain is trying to “kill them” and that their mind is not their thoughts. So my belief is that psychology cannot have a model for what’s going on inside an animal’s mind if it relies on thoughts as a way of explaining complex behavior and that which we perceive as morality in the rituals and social customs of animals. If we’re going to say animals entertain thoughts, then there cannot be a model for the animal mind. And since modern behaviorism is going in the direction of thinking and intention in animal cognition then it is working itself away from developing a model and we have no way of rating the fantasticality of such a proposition as it thus becomes wholly an article of faith.
While I did not build my model by way of a logical argument but rather by observing and working with dogs hands on, I believe a logical argument makes the existence of such a model plausible and this can help one shift their perspective and challenge assumptions that at first seem self-evident. I am therefore going to proceed step by step with the logical argument for an energy theory of consciousness and slowly develop the model so that at any given point the linkages can be questioned, challenged or probed for further clarification if someone is confused. I invite both genuine student and my harshest critic to participate in a point by point highly targeted assessment of the logical argument for an energy theory of the animal mind.
(Step 1) Any behavior that an animal performs would have to be the result of only two possibilities, intention or attraction. There is no other possibility. So before we go further and explore the implications of intention versus attraction, I invite someone to suggest or recommend any other possibilities.