If we are to consider our lives as we see them, as continuous, and the universe, the same, then the idea of fruiting bodies might be the only way death comes upon us (as something positive).
Let’s look at ourselves as fruiting bodies for our many relationship boundaries. In the multicellular organic world there are two generations, two phenotypes that are loosely connected to each other, sometimes by motile forms that carry the genetic material far and wide.
Before I explain how our relationship boundaries might break apart creating these motile forms (perhaps evolving into part of The Incoming) let me outline a few organisms that display, or have displayed, the idea of alternation of generations.
We all know that insects go through a complete metamorphosis, from fertilized egg, to caterpillar, to pupa, to butterfly. There is sexual reproduction of the adult insect resulting in the fertilized egg. There is the development of the egg into a caterpillar that stores both the energy from food and a few adult cells that will eat that food during the pupa state, transforming into the adult winged insect.
Sometimes alternate generations needed in the past become quite small when conditions change to favor one or the other generation. Trees might be the fruiting bodies of a once Yucca-like plant. The plant used to gather the food that fed the fruiting body. A fruiting body includes the stalk or trunk and the flowers containing stamens and pistols that are fertilized (joining haploid gametes, usually by insects) to produce seeds.
We are the sexual, “flowers and fruit” of the first chordate that gave rise to other vertebrates and us. Once there was a sessile radially symmetrical mollusk-like creature. It, like the cephalopods, began to become bilateral. Its alternate generation has a small spinal chord and looks lots like a fish. Eventually the “fish” generation became dominant (probably when waters dried up and the swimmers needed to move from puddle to puddle to survive, before setting [becoming sessile] in an acceptable environment.
So what made me think that when death strikes a conscious brain, then some changes that were part of the brain’s experience might diffuse into some virtual world of The Incoming (incoming snippets of experience). The Incoming potential from one person’s life may be received by the minds of other living beings? This is somewhat what happens when the mechanical language between two immiscible fluids breaks down, allowing the molecules that once caused a tension at the interface between two fluids to, also, break down, ending up with one fluid diffusing into the other.
So, I thought that might be what happens to the virtual experiences of a person once they die. The incoming snippets of experience will not have much duration as themselves but when received and processed by a living brain, they will further the duration of another self-referential consciousness.
The next postings will look at how a brain might process The Incoming, both continuously and discontinuously (as the polar ends of a behavioral range). The goal is to understand the motive forces of conscious organization, both top down and bottom up.