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Definitions of Life & Consciousness

Inanimate Matter is not Life

Animate Matter is Life

Animate = A collection of Matter able to use Energy to take an action

Unconscious Life = Animate Matter with Inability to selectively choose how to interact with other inanimate or aminate Matter

Conscious Life = Animate Matter with ability to selectively choose how to interact with other inanimate or animate matter

Intelligent Conscious Life = Animate Matter with ability to ask how & why it came into existence to be able to selectively choose how to interact with other inanimate or animate matter. Matter is a collection of quantum particles that have interacted energetically such that it requires further energetic interactions with additional quantum particles to alter the present state of that collection of quantum particles.

Matter emerges from energetic interactions of quantum particles and constantly changes its overall collective state depending on quantity and energy of additional interactions. A single interaction of quantum particles is in itself the unconscious observer of it's own interaction bringing itself into existence as state of matter in a moment of Space and Time while in no way able to measure itself relative to anything else it does measure itself purely as a function of that interaction. Every single interaction between any two quantum particles creates an unconscious observer in a state of inanimate matter. It now is existing with a given speed, energy, and a given location relative to every other interacting pair of quantum particles or emergent state of inanimate matter that exists in the universe in that present. It may interact instantly again with another quantum particle or even collection of quantum particles that have themselves emerged through interactions of their own into an unconscious state of inanimate matter.

A collection of interacting quantum particles or inanimate matter that by chance achieves a complexity of interactions with other interacting quantum particles or inanimate matter that allows it to maintain its emergent states in a complex but generally stable collective before eventually interacting with energetic quantum particles that break that steady energy state of interaction maintains a slower entropy or rate/quantity of energetic interactions. If that collection of interactions of quantum particles exists without further significant overall state altering entropic interactions it may eventually emerge a state of matter that is a collective state of overall benign interactions, which may eventually allow emerge a collective state of collective states to exist simultaneously. Thus more complex states of matter that remain collectively interacting until some additional energetic quantum particles or collection of same interact with them creating a run-away destabilising effect.

If in between the steadier emergent state of interacting quantum particles collectively interact further and further in a generally form stabilising way by chance animate matter may emerge where each collective state of interacting quantum particles or inanimate matter are unconsciously seeking to maintain stability frequently enough to actively work in unison to maintain that generally stable interaction status quo eventually leading to emergence of animate matter, which may in turn be unconsciously driven to ever more complex interactions just to maintain its emergent complex balance of states. It is 'animated' matter and as such it is life. Now if emergent animated matter succeeds in maintaining its complex order of energetic quantum particles states for long enough it in turn may emerge a conscious state of being animate matter. That is the collective collections of interacting states rely on each other for stability at fundamental levels this driving an ever more complex mechanism for maintaining that stability - at the underlying level still completely unconsciously but all together this complex energetic drive to maintain stability becomes ever more complex a set of interactions driving one on to the other ultimately emerging a set of complex choices that at the macro level is now organising and choosing how best to maintain its micro level. The unconscious battle of energetic states to find stability through quantum particle interaction at level of inanimate matter lead to energetic states of stability or instability at macro level that eventually are striving to maintain that complex order by consciously choosing how to direct that energy to interact with other complex states of inanimate or animate matter to further maintain the underlying complex interactions of quantum particle states unconsciously continuously seeking to exist in a steady state.

If the above highly complex pyramid underlying complex balances of collective states of complex balances of quantum particle interactions is by chance able to maintain itself now in an emergent conscious manner for long enough again it may succeed in so doing so efficiently that with energy to spare (I.e. not all energy inputs created at macro level solely required for steady continuation of status quo at micro level of complex energetic states) then eventually that complex organism may consciously choose to take actions not solely for basic survival purposes but instead consciously choose actions ever more abstracted from that underlying fundamental drive, resulting in a more complex form of conscious life that depends on other equally complex conscious animate collections of matter to cooperate and eventually leading to choosing ever more abstract actions to maintain shared survival at most fundamental underlying levels. Now animate matter is emerging a new phenomenon - intelligence. It is now - still ultimately driven by unconscious interactions at most fundamental underlying levels - consciously choosing actions purely in the abstract to understand it's own complexity, and its environment it now consciously recognises its complexity exists in. Conscious life is finally asking how and why it is interacting within and with itself and all that surrounds it - intelligent conscious animate matter or intelligent life is thus emergent.

Intelligent life, The observer

Now intelligent life or intelligent conscious animate matter is a very specific and rare form of observer in the sense of Space-Time General Theory of Relativity or Special Theory of Relativity, and Quantum Mechanics theory.

While ultimately it is of itself a form of matter which I have already defined as in it's most reduced level is simply in of itself an interaction of two quantum particles or more and in that sense it is an instant unconscious observer upon any interaction with a quantum experiment to detect both a particle's exact location and energy in space. At its fundamental level an intelligent conscious animate matter is an unconscious inanimate matter capable of interacting instantly and in that very instant unconsciously observing the quantum particles exact state & location. However the macro level intelligent conscious animate matter's consciousness is an abstract complex state of matter too far removed to detect it's own underlying exact location or states at quantum level let alone an external quantum particle its fundamental underlying quantum interaction has just unconsciously been an instant observer of through its own interaction with that external quantum particle or just by existing in its state at that exact present moment along side that quantum particle in the test it is in itself taking a measurement instantaneously and continuously of the quantum state of any additional quantum particle it may interact with. In that sense inanimate and animate matter or non-living and living states of matter alike interact with the quantum particles all around and those very interactions are instantaneous measurements or observations of their quantum state. Thus if this interaction or measurement ability is governed by the speed of light this could be understood as the distance in space any interacting pair of particles (matter) can interact with other interacting pairs of particles (other matter). If one set of interacting quantum particles (matter) is moving just shy of the speed of light it then that instant measurement or observation of its location in space by another set interacting quantum particles must be communicated or mediated via each quantum particle taking the instant measurement or observing it locally - hence time or sensation of time is the mediation of each quantum particles interaction or measurement with another or each other. In that sense time is an emergent phenomena in the present moment, with the past only visible if the distance that a collective of interacting quantum particles (e.g. matter in the form of say a star) measurement or observation must be mediated over to conscious collective of interacting quantum particles (e.g. matter in the form of life).

The past is also mediated in the same manner between completely inanimate collections of interacting quantum particles (e.g. same star as above and another star light years away). Their quantum measurements of each other are mediated in exact same way and in that sense they are each others observers but just not in anyway consciously. So the past exists for all inanimate unconscious observers just as it does for animate conscious observers and that past interacts with the present for as long as the quantum state 'instant' measurements can be still be mediated or propagated at the speed of light. In the same way the future probabilities of quantum states of matter can be predicted more and more accurately when interactions of quantum particles (or matter) are within a relatively stable energetic state & distance measurements need to be mediated across are less. So the future location of your friend relative to you is more and more easily calculated by you the less and less distance they are from you. The ability of two intelligent conscious animate collections of interacting quantum particles to predict more accurately the location of their respective set of lips relative to each other in space and time in the future is enhanced greatly by the reduction of distance between them. Whereas if you are both travelling to different destinations in cars on the other side of the same country the two sets of interacting quantum particles measurements of each other are now being mediated across a much greater distance to the point where at the unconscious quantum particle level the ability to predict when each collection of interacting quantum particles may again interact with each other is reduced greatly for any future given moment. For each of the macro conscious animate matter it is possible to feel & understand that the other still exists in the present space & time but it is no longer possible see each other or even know exactly the physical location of each other! For example the other's location may now only be narrowed down to an area the size of a whole other house, or city, depending on your knowledge of when they departed and speed of their travel. Even if the conscious matter you call your friend let's you know they are going to be sitting in the kitchen at their table in the next half hour for dinner you can still not predict with certainty whether they be reaching over for salt or up of their chair to get a glass of water from the tap, let alone what exact time or place you may interact again more closely in the future if it all. In this way for the conscious (or unconscious) observer the past, present, and future are defined by the distance the measurement they are making of any and all other interacting sets of quantum particles must be mediated across. Try to accelerate towards speed of light to reduce the distance between two collective sets of interacting quantum particles then the mediation of measurement/interactions with the 'present' you left in by definition must be mediated across a rapidly increasing distance, in a sense that could be understood as the dilation if time


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After graduating from University of Limerick/National College of Art & Design in 2000 Iosaf Bennis (BDes in Ind. Des) worked professionally in exhibition, retail, product, and furniture design. Iosaf established ibe.ie in 2009 with the aim to bring this unique multidisciplinary design experience to a diverse range of discerning private & commercial clients. Iosaf also has a wide variety of interests and inspirations from surfing to physics of space and everything in between. This unique blend of skills, experience, and interests help inform & invigorateevery ibe.ie project in new and unexpected ways. Contact ibe.ie to learn more or arrange a consultation.
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