"Most viable theories of memory require some form of synaptic modification dependent on the correlation of pre-and postsynaptic neuronal firing (which we will denote as the Hebb Hypothesis)".
Or to put it another way, storing a memory has a physical effect in your brain. Or, as I saw this morning on the tube when I read about the Hebb Hypothesis (however briefly), anything that I experience, mentally, anything I think is represented by, is caused by, is immediately preceded by, is actually a physical occurrence in my head. The structure of my brain, the synapses. Connections, holistic structure, all there, a self-organising machine. And then I realised [cogs turning, the machine reconfiguring itself], as I stared at the sign stickered to the window: What I see I'm absorbing into my life. It isn't just the photons hitting my eyes, my very act of me considering the object, of recognising those photos, of having this thought, of of seeing the sign (although I don't even remember what it said) -- that in itself is physical activity in my brain! This thought made flesh!
I froze and stared at the floor, aware as never before that experiences - immediate comprehensive experiences - have to be internalised, have to be made physical if I am to think them. An experience is indistinguishable from the physical structure of my brain. The two are the same! What I am is the structure, there is no other!
And that's why I froze, considering that thought. Aware that that thought was actually a tumult of ripples and switches, writing reality, sat stock still trying not to internalise but to consider the physical apparition of the consideration, like staring into a mirror if I myself was a mirror, reflection of infinite extent, tumbling. Dizzy. I felt nauseous.
Nauseous, and trapped. My brain as a machine, constantly altering its own structure, complicating itself, evolving in real time, but it's not that my thoughts are reflected in physical changes, it's that I am that physical representation, there is no other. I'm not writing out to disk. I'm not running a program on top of this machine. I am the machine. I am the reality of my brain. What is this feeling?
Outside the feeling of claustrophobia hadn't lifted. I looked up at the blue sky and the buildings and understood what I was seeing what the physical alteration in my machine. Suddenly everything reversed, my brain turned inside-out and instead of clouds and windows I saw the patterns of my brain -- an inverted sphere, the whole universe of my perception as solid brain, and a hole inside, a gap in this solid the exact shape of my old brain, vacant, and me, reflected by the universe inside it, a hologram.
The complexity shocks me. Look at evolution, the growth of complexity from the universe, the emergence of life. We understand a little physics, but look at life. And look at how complicated the brain is!
My brain is an ecosystem, it must be. Nature has used every level of complexity in the crafting of the brain. The only way to increase efficiency for the same energy is to increase complexity, and so the structure of the brain is fractal. It's not built on top of reality, like computer chips, operating in some knowable limit, it is reality, it inherits reality, it can use all the complexity of reality for free.
So why shouldn't it use life? And doesn't life occur wherever it can? And doesn't life occurring in a niche alter that niche fundamentally? And doesn't nature, to optimise to the maximum, make use of whatever is in that niche, to increase complexity?
There are other lives in my brain, operating on some emergent level I can't even consider, and they interact and think and comprehend much as I do living in the patterns of my mind. And they're part of me, and ecosystem whose sum total is my behaviour, my thoughts. A cascade of social change; I see your face. A population crash; I die.
Two things. First, on the way to the tube station this morning I saw a lorry, and finger-written in the grime on the back was "I wish my girl was this dirty".
Second, I'm currently listening to All Together Now by The Farm.
God, I can feel my hands, I can feel my face. I can feel the universe reflected inside my, distorted and rendered, and it fills me. I'm full of life. I'm churning, altering, rippling, expanding, folding, twisting, inverting, bursting with life. I am the totality of reality, I cover all. The universe is inside me, bursting with potential.
Take a breath. Hold it. Feel it. And feel that feeling.