There seems to be at least two evolutionary processes that, at best, are tangentially referred to.  They are so simple as to often feel irrelevant.  I’m wondering how many more of these processes are floating around out there, unremarked.

One process is the back-and-forth dance between homogeneity and heterogeneity.  Over time barriers are built.  Life on the two sides of the barrier unfolds uniquely.  With time, the barrier comes down and there is a proliferation of the new as what was formerly separate builds unique hybrids.  Eventually, a new homogeneity sets in.  Then new barriers are built.

This paradigm is integral to explanations of natural selection.  Populations have to segregate to form varieties and species.  With each new species, the larger system transforms.  The dance of homogeneity and heterogeneity compels an almost infinite variety as it unfolds on many scales and at many locations over time.

The process of homogeneity and heterogeneity compels new forms upon separation and new forms upon combination.  Each new form compels the emergence of its complementary opposite, a process that operates, hypothetically, at all scales of existence.  Socially, the separation of nations encourages unique cultures.  Barriers come down and unique hybrids are encouraged.  Personally, the ontogenetic split between conscious and unconscious often creates isolation and distress, but at the same time, the process proliferates unique individuals.  When unique individuals find common ground, art and culture benefit.  When an individual finds ways to bridge the barriers between his or her unconscious and conscious, the integration offers unique and useful experiences of healing.

Barriers going up compel uniqueness.  Barriers coming down compel discovery.

A second process unfolds at the same time as the first process, across all scales, but from a different direction.    While barriers go up and down and proliferate uniqueness, the second process exhibits two tendencies across generations that are called neoteny and acceleration.  In neoteny, embryo and infant features of ancestors appear in the adults of descendants.  In acceleration, features of adult ancestors appear in the embryos and infants of descendants.  There is the possibility that this same dynamic operates at all scales, like the homogeneity and heterogeneity relationship, proliferating variation and unique features into generations over time.

One way to play with this two-facet dynamic is to presuppose that consciousness is an inherent feature of existence and nonexistence.  One can identify with the greater consciousness, a homogeneous existence, or the productions of the greater consciousness characterized by the various barriers that feature the forms matter acquires during existence.  The homogeneity and heterogeneity dynamic can be viewed as an existence reflection of a foundation nonlife/life, nonexistence/existence dynamic.

Consciousness intervenes through that which exists over time by proliferating features of creation, that which emerges from the homogeneity, into later and later stages of ontogeny.  Consciousness also intervenes while integrating that which is nearing the doorway out into nonexistence, that same homogeneity, into earlier and earlier stages of ontogeny over time.

In existence, it seems the case that homogeneity evolves.  Various homogeneities emerge over time as different barrier/nonbarrier constellations compel different homogenous solutions.  If, upon examining the neoteny/acceleration engagement, we would conclude that nonexistence is also homogeneity, then we might also posit that nonexistence manifests change over time.  In other words, consciousness evolves at both the existence and nonexistence levels.

What is implied, of course, is that there is no such thing as nonexistence.  We just have no word for the concept of consciousness as it relates to what does not exist.  What is also implied is that the larger consciousness itself transforms and evolves.

So, we have two complementing concepts, each composed of two complementing concepts.  I began by building a barrier between the concepts.  Then I proceeded to take the barrier down.  It seems to me a fun and potentially useful way of playing with reality.  It may also be the way that reality plays.


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