Integrating Self Function

What is the Integrating Self Function?

In addition to the three mindsets,Primal Process Theory posits the existence of an Integrating Self Function, which as the term implies, is able to consider, if not blend, information discerned in one mindset with the information discerned in the others. This is the basis of a healthier balanced view of reality.

 

Figure 4.1

Brain research has demonstrated that the cingulate cortex, which is located in an arc just above the Corpus Callosum, is largely involved in performing this function. The Corpus Callosum is the nerve bundle that interconnects the left and right hemispheres of the brain. (The picture above shows the right hemisphere.) Integrative functions are also performed by the various white matter cells in our brain known as glia. Glia cells constitute 84 billion cells in our brains, while neurons represent about 86 billion cells. They are also heavily involved in the Orientation Function, which was itself a likely evolutionary precursor of the Integrating Self Function itself.

skull and text

One of the notable distinctions between glia and neurons is that neurons use the all-or-nothing action potential system of activation, which is to say, they operate in a binary-like fashion; whereas glia use calcium signalling, a wireless form of inter-cellular communication. Interestingly, when you get an MRI for your brain, it is measuring glia cells, not neurons. Although theoretically slower information processors than neurons, both the number and intricacy of white matter connections, as well as their wireless communication capability, implies that glia rely more on a network or 'connectedness' form of communication. For example, a single astrocyte, just one type of white matter glial cell, can interact with as many as 100,000 neuronal synapses, helping to amplify or reduce the number of neurons firing (Araque, 2017). And there are tens of billions of astrocytes. Moreover, astrocytes are deeply implicated in memory and learning (Han et al. 2012). This is what allows humans the much greater degree of freedom we enjoy in our thinking, and what we can bring to bear on the decisions we make. Indeed, without glial cells such as astrocytes, all-or-nothing neurons would not only rule the cognitive roost. They would limit us to seeing the world from a much more "digital" polarized black and white perspective, leading to a much more 'separative' consciousness view of reality. Naturally, because each modality of information processing has a profound effect on how we behave both individually and collectively, and how we experience consciousness.

Not surprisingly, the Integrating Self Function (ISF) is also associated with spiritual awareness and development. Like the comparison patterns associated with the mindsets, the ISF also has its own phases of expression, phases which are outlined in chapter 7 of Book One of Primal Mind, Primal Games. This faculty too is measured in our Detailed Report, which is available on-line on this website.