Chapter 2: Primary Operation, or “Instict”
To illustrate “the primary mode of function” from the general model which will now be presented, the computer serves an effective analogy. A computer essentially operates by implementing a series of logic statements such as “If (this is true)… then (something is done).” And because we create these machines ourselves, we might also confidently assume that they do not possess something such as our own “consciousness” or “self.” If we were to build a machine with this sort of “personal entity,” we would presumably be aware of it. (Unfortunately, standard definitions for the terms “consciousness” and “self” will need to suffice for the moment.)
One result of a computer’s presumably non-existent consciousness/self/personal entity from my own definitions, however, is that existence must then be perfectly “insignificant” to it. Regardless of whether it succeeds or fails in accomplishing its intended duties, or its praised or scolded, or its circuits melt, all that occurs during a computer’s existence would then have no “relevance” to it. Without a “personal entity” or “self,” under my definitions there is no potential for “good” or “bad” to exist for a computer… or for anything else.
Primary existence, then, shall be defined to occur under such a complete absence of personal significance. This “instinct mode” will address the entire operation of subjects that do not possess a personal entity, which would presumably include microbes, plants, fungi, and similarly basic “life.” Furthermore this dynamic should also be responsible for the vast majority of operations which occur in subjects that do indeed harbor a personal entity. In the human, for example, this “instinct” might address cell production, hair growth, heart function, and so on.
It might be helpful to think of this dynamic as “a series of perfectly irrelevant logic statements.” For example, perhaps one of the countless such statements that operate a given tree may be expressed as, “If the weather becomes warm… then produce more flowers.” Regardless of whether this tree happens to be “healthy,” “diseased,” or “engulfed in flames,” the events that affect it will not be “good” or “bad” for it — if it does indeed function exclusively through this “instinct mechanism.” Personal relevance, or good and bad, is defined here to not exist.
To perhaps be even more plain about this definition, however, observe that a subject such as “water,” or “a rock,” or “a machine,” presumably cannot be “rewarded” or “punished.” If true, this would mean that nothing can be “good” or “bad” for them — or that they do not contain “selves.” I suspect the same to be true for basic forms of “life” in general such as microbes, plants, and fungi. Furthermore, even though existence apparently can be positive or negative to the human, I also suspect that the vast majority of our own function occurs through this same “instinct mode” that water, bacteria, and televisions, seem to use exclusively.