Logos, Neurology, Stoicism, Christianity, Higher Morality

My statement:


Brought the observation: ”I’m afraid I can’t imagine what this means.” (Massimo from Scientia Salon.) Others have asked for more details. Here they are.

The statement was admittedly abstruse. It is supposed to mean that the Logos as speech is a representation of the Logos as more complex brain processes. (Here the word representation” is used in the mathematical sense, more general version: this is a new example of philosophy using fresh mathematics!)

How does this representative mechanism can be suspected to work? (I already wrote this, but this version has more definition).

Stars Inside. By Varying Myelin, Oligodendrocytes Act As Meta Controllers (2014)

Stars Inside. By Varying Myelin, Oligodendrocytes Act As Meta Controllers (2014)

Suppose we have brain “elements” X, Y, Z (to simplify, say X, Y, Z are neurons, but they could be organs in the brain, like the amygdala, or the geometric structure of some neighborhood in the brain, whatever… yes, here “neighborhood” is used as in General Topology, another mathematical field).

Yes, “brain elements” is an allusion to “elements of reality” as in the Einstein-Podolski-Rosen paper on non-separability in Quantum Mechanics.

Then suppose we have the situation X > Y, and Y > Z.

X>Y means that the brain element X acts on the brain element Y. In the simplest case, “>” are axons. But the first “>” does not have to be of the same nature as the second “>”, which could be, say, some neurohormone or transmitter, such as Nitrous Oxide, or even a burst of oxygen and sugar in an area of the brain, thanks to some gateway neuron.

This innocent sounding remark allows to incorporate all three forms of the Logos defined by Aristotle. Aristotle distinguished the Logos-as-reasoning, from the Logos as Pathos, and the Logos as Ethos.

Pathos implies emotion, sensation… Ethos judgment on these.

The Logos done in my most general way incorporates all these, logic, pathos and ethos, because it allows for emotions: a relation between Y and Z can be through, or about, neurohormones or neurotransmitters.

Logos in that most general X>Y way even includes some forms of interactions we can’t even imagine, such as Quantum Effects… which show up in magnetic field vision in birds, whose simplest explanation is something having to do with spintronics, a type of Quantum Mechanics scientifically elucidated, but not yet incorporated in technological devices.

Then X>Z. Now there will be some meta-structure attached to all these relations between brain elements: I feel that the brain is all about different levels of “meta” piled upon each other. The structure of axons allow for this.

Namely if an axon (say) is active between Y and Z, another neuron, higher up in the meta-structure, can know about it (axons have varying level of myelin along themselves, and could be none; this differentiated activity of oligodendrocytes was observed in 2014).

The “meta” simplification works this way: whereas we started initially with three objects (X, Y, Z) and two relations (X>Y and Y>Z), that can be reduced two just two signals (X>Y and Y>Z) going to say, just one meta neuron.

Thus, aware of all these activations, higher meta neurons can then communicate the whole thing to the Broca or Wernicke speech area will convert all this in a speech.

Then we get something like : x>y & y>z & then x>z, where now “>” is just the verb “implies”, in plain speech, or a hand gesture. Thus a potentially very complex and variegated Brain-Logos activity has been simplified into Speech-Logos as usually interpreted.


Speaking of my preceding essay, and my observation that Christianity had to make the Logos into god, Massimo observed that: “The Stoics were talking about Logos / Nature / God / Zeus well before Christianity.” Indeed, pretty much something the imperial cooks of Christianity had to do . Christianity is a vast salad, artfully mixed with plenty of goodies.

Massimo also said: “The rest of your [essay] is interesting … but I fail to see what it has to do with Stoicism.”

It has to do with the Logos, recognizing its centrality in Stoicism. The best path to stoicism may be to talk calmly about a situation until it goes away. Talk it to death, so to speak.

Any short Logos, say 500 words, will miss many perspectives. But a good new perspective can pick in depth, where no pick has gone before.

Massimo opined that: “there is more value in Zeno and his followers than in Jesus”:

Indeed. Basically Jesus’ teeny-tiny Logos goes only that far.

Jesus is in love with one man, his dad. He also loves love. Nice, but such a ridiculously short a Logos can’t fill an entire universe. We need a bigger boat to handle that enormous ocean, and its giant sharks.

By making the Logos into God, one can talk like Jesus, love mummy, and daddy, and love itself, but also say much, much more, thus become like Jesus’ own dad.

There is indeed more value in all-encompassing complexity… As long as one is not a person with feeble mental capabilities. Persons who are not smart at all are better served with just a few instructions, the way Jesus had it (if one just picks the crème de la crème of what Jesus said, and not the mud of his mud). People at large are also best served if those who are rather stupid love their dad, and love. And stick with this, not trying to go beyond.

Christianity is a religion for the herd (consult Nietzsche for more on this, including sexual interpretations of the cross). Masters used something more robust (Nietzsche again, following meekly the more exuberant Marquis de Sade). Roman generals, under the Republic, before the Greek Stoics became prominent, were masters of stoicism. Stoicism on the largest scale is pretty much how the Roman Republic grew.

The Republic went down when too many in the Roman elite quit Stoicism for Greed (thus bringing along Plutocracy). It was sadly pathetic. Without forbearance, no exuberance!

Patrice Ayme’


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7 Responses to “Logos, Neurology, Stoicism, Christianity, Higher Morality”

  1. gmax Says:

    Very smart. So our talk is a REPRESENTATION of our brain. Or brainS, more exactly!

    Those Stoics and early Christians were smart. …

    So we are god!.

  2. Patrice Ayme Says:

    Dear Partha: As GMax said, the link is not easy to read: it’s not clear to hurried readers what was written now, and what was written then. What’s fascinating is that the Upanishads were written nearly 2,000 years before the Muslim Hadith, and feel much more modern!

    OK, if we are too rushed we should not try to think…

    I had a clash with a Google manager yesterday, who insisted to move my things from a threadmill in a gym, when the same exact threadmill was standing empty to the left, two feet away. She apparently did not have the time to find out about that fact, too busy she was reading her smartphone (and anxious to show that, as a Google manager, she owned the world)…

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