Infinitely Interconnected: The Nested Mind

The mind is a nesting of minds. Six months into pregnancy the brain begins responding to stimuli. From that point on, the brain must sort, filter, and make sense of our chaotic reality. Billions of neurons in the brain. Each like little living organisms. Surviving and connecting through electrical impulses. Dictating how we respond to stimuli and stimuli dictating how our neurons respond. In an eternal feedback loop that cements itself as we age. The complexity of the brain makes it near impossible to predict how a mind will respond to its environment. Although hypothetically in the future we will have computers that map every neuron in the brain. Predicting its preferences and what it will do with the stimuli received from reality. Let’s illustrate this example further. Imagine introducing a 2-year old into a room with a wide variety of objects. The child guided by its neural nets will choose an object or multiple or none at all. A wide margin of possibilities exists that the child may enact. It’s near impossible to predict how any single child will act. The genetics of the child will have preprogrammed preferences into them. Working in combination with countless potential environments the child has been in since birth. Attempting to predict how one’s mind responds to its environment and why it responds that way is profoundly complex. Impossible at this point in history. Now factoring in the randomness of one’s environment it’s easy to see how little control we have. Who you are and how you came to be is complete chaos. 

The funny thing is our minds deceive us. When you reflect on your life. Things supposedly make sense. This happened and I did this. I chose this and ended up here. These stories shape who we are. With seemingly linear progression. They give order to the chaos of reality. Our identities existing by necessity. Allowing us to believe we have control over our realities. Yet we don’t. Every circumstance since birth is a product of chance. Your birthplace, your childhood experiences, fearful experiences, pleasurable experiences, your friends. All chance events that chaotically created and birthed your unique being. We are in the hands of chance. And the interconnection of minds as a result of chance.

Deeply entrenched in the development of the mind are other minds. First, it’s the temperament of our parents we absorb. Then, we are shaped by the friends who surrounded us in school. Additionally, the entertainment we consume provides opportunities for absorbing other mind fragments. From athletes to musicians, characters from movies/books/tv, and so forth. We replicate parts of what we learn from these other humans. Their neural nets mimetically represented in our minds. One may witness Michael Jordan’s never lose attitude and that lights up their neurons, producing a sense of inspiration in you. Resulting in aspirations to be like Mike. Another person’s neural nets may respond more favorably to a teacher that joyously teaches the wonders of physics. Thus, the positive internal experience elicits that same interest in physics. Leading to the further pursuit of it. Many of our desires arise in a similar fashion. Coming from a mind, that is a result of multiple other minds. A nesting of minds. Which our brains internalize as our own. Into our nested mind.

Nested Mind + Nested Mind Break Down

We are all nested minds. The intertwining of minds gives rise to complexity beyond comprehension. Our most powerful computer couldn’t trace the connections of brains within our nested minds. Each idea, unless unique, is the product of multiple nested minds. For example, take Mind X. Within it is the fragmented minds of parents, friends, philosophers, scientists, artists, etc. Those mind fragments are the result of a further nesting of minds. You can go back continuously until the origin of a mind capable of learning. Not only limited to human minds, but to any minds. Artificial or animal. The limits are vast. 

Emerging as a result of the nested mind concept, is the conclusion no individual exists. How could an individual exist when each of us has inherited the influences of minds from millions of years ago? Our progress thus far is a direct result of this influence. It would be impossible otherwise. Learning depends on passing pieces of prior brains to current brains. Someone figured out how to do X. Another person figured out how to do Y. (Both as a result of prior generations, and so on). They pass it down to person A. Person A is able to use X and Y to their benefit. Person A also knows Z. His neurons light up and connect a path between X, Y, and Z. They just learned something new to pass along to future generations. Thus, continuing the progression ad infinitum.

The nested mind allows life to abstract from simple to complex. An unimaginable magnitude of change when viewed from earlier simple abstractions. Just look at our world today relative to 100 years ago. This is the power of the nested mind. Each human connecting different minds in their unique network of minds. Giving rise to the potential of new ideas. Patterns connecting that weren’t before. Further expanding the collective knowledge of intelligent life on earth. Potentially the universe too. As the depth of our nested minds compound, we reach greater levels of complexity. Unfathomable to us, but the norm of the future. Chasing the infinite. Yet, unattainable. Due to the nature of infinity.

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