Chapter 8
Biology and Psychology in Relation with Awareness

I. Introduction

The last decades have known an increasingdevelopment in brain research1 and although important progress has been achieved, the question marks have not vanished: they have become even more acute ! Even the use of neuro-cybernetic models has not solve much in terms of understanding the awareness phenomenon. And an other phenomenon with no solution so far is that of the integrative activity of the brain, an intermediate process between the machine like operation of the brain and the development of its psychological activity.
The only explanation offered so far is that such a complex as the brain is has these properties because its very complexity ! This principle of the explanation stems from recognizing organization as "a general property of the matter, just as movement is"2. The matter as such can have various levels of organization, from the simplest to the most elaborate, from inert to alive, to social and psychological phenomena. N. Botnariuc shows that "delimiting and defining in a rigorous manner the biological systems from the lifeless systems is not an easy task since today there is no strict and rigorous definition of a biological system"3. Hence he considers that from the biological point of view the living matter has four levels of organization: individual; population or species; biocenotic* (as represented by biocenozes); and biosphere. The man is located among these biological levels but overtakes them via the psychological and social factors.

No doubt that the most complex organization is offered by the central nervous system. Organization as stated by N. Botnariuc, envelops two essential aspects: structure and functions; to these one adds the informational properties. By extension, if we are to consider the levels of material organization that goes beyond the biological factor, we also include: modelling the surrounding reality, taking decisions, afectivity, motivation and purpose, will. And last but not least we consider the phenomenon of awareness (more precisely the undercurrent of beingness in awareness) and the phenomenon of integratory brain activity, the latter asking for even more thought.

"Structure ... does not limit itself to shape, morphology, system architecture, but also implies knowledge of the contents, i.e. of the interactions between the various morphological components"4.
This beautiful definition of the structure is applicable both to the solid body, to the placement of atoms in the crystal structure, and to the psychological processes, to mental structures and to their modus operandi. To each of us the model of external world is a mental structure reflecting this world. It is a product mostly social in origin; this property is also present when a fresh mind is opposed to an old model, thus presenting to the general audience a revolutionary new model. True as it is, this model stays as a mental structure in the psychological organization of the mind; it also enters the social consciousness which is preserved in artificial storage capacities too such as written documents or modern information retrieval systems.
"The function of a system expresses the relationship between the system and the hierarchical higher system in which the former is integrated"5.
Thus N. Botnariuc gives to the function the role of connecting the various levels of organization in system hierarchy. The function of a living creature thus appears as subordinated to the immediately higher hierarchical level, i.e. the species. But for man the higher level might be social factor. Can we then put the equal sign between species and social organization, the latter being viewed as a biological property of the human species ? The social factor has no doubt a strong biological component, but we feel it not only as a species, but as something more complex, as a system; such a system might have biological qualities, being in the same time the mode in which the species is organized. In fact the social system is connected not only to the biological factor but also to the spiritual life of the people, to the civilization that the society builds. The social system also has specific, non-biological, functions. These are the reasons for which man's higher level is not only the species, but a combination of species, system and civilization (Fig. 16).

Fig. 16

The mental, psychological activity is at a large extend informational. Information has also gained its own existence due to the technical system that man has created. Such technical systems that operate with information can have their own models of the surrounding reality corresponding to their tasks, they can take decision, can fulfil target oriented task, etc. Man has been able not only to work and communicate with his fellow men, but also to extract information from his mental structures and to utilize it as a new tool inside various devices and technical systems, thus giving to the inert nature a certain liveliness, bringing it more closely to this way of operation.
Man's information handling is done via languages, both natural (speaking, reading, writing) as well as visual (iconic) or of psychical states; but also we shall include specialized languages, such as those of mathematics or of computer programming. Via languages man use dynamic information, partly created, partly deduced from the surrounding reality. Language appears as a dynamic informational property of man, used for communicating with fellow men, but also designed and built by him. The blueprint of a ship, of a factory, is based on language. The language also contains, as we have seen, several layers (Fig. 17).

Fig. 17

* Relationship between various species.

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