Enformy and Enformed Gestalts:
A Radical Theory of Consciousness

© 1997 Donald E. Watson

 The Explorer 13(2&3) p. 4. Spring/Summer 1997

 [Abstract of paper presented at the annual SSE meeting, June 4-6, 1997]
The prevailing paradigms of science inhere two conserved principles: mass and energy. These paradigms correspond to a subset of the organized universe, but they do not describe organization itself. This void is filled by positing a conserved principle that is fundamental to all systems: enformy, the capacity to organize. As energy sustains work through force fields, enformy sustains organization through enformation fields, where enformation is nonrandomness. Enformation fields are continuous in spacetime, but discontinuous in space or time. Hence, enformy-dependent phenomena and noumena are nonlocal, superposed, and atemporal in three-space.

 The enformy posit is foundational to the theory of enformed gestalts. A gestalt is any system—material, nonmaterial, or abstract. Gestalts are characterized by conformability, the capacity to conform to enformation. Enformy coheres gestalts by conforming their elements to enformation to realize their potential complexity, where complexity is commensurate with the number of possible configurations of their elements. Gestalts thereby conformed are denoted enformed gestalts. Thus an enformed gestalt is the sum of its parts plus a map in spacetime that defines the relationships among those parts. Enformy provides this map through enformation fields.

 Self-conformance is a property of enformed gestalts that conforms them to enformation inhered in their own subsystems, implicitly identifying these subsystems as "their own." Self-conformance is rudimentary to anthropomorphic "conscious" knowledge, self-awareness, and state-awareness, but it does not necessitate these high-order abstractions. For example, saying that a photon "knows" its own state of polarization means only that the photon self-conforms to its own state. Self-aware gestalts, denoted ipseons, are enformy-sustained enformation fields that exist independently of any material gestalt conformed to them. The subset of ipseons that can communicate their self-awareness and state-awareness to human observers is denoted egons.

 The theory of enformed gestalts is the most parsimonious paradigm available for describing a broad range of radically related phenomena currently characterized as paranormal under prevailing scientific paradigms. These phenomena include life itself, "water memory," psychic healing, psychokinesis, apparitions, reincarnation, quantum entanglement, wavefunction reduction, multiple personality disorder, and the homing behavior of animals. Moreover, the theory defines the self-aware entity and describes the noumenal elements subsumed under the term consciousness—self-awareness, memory, emotion, cognition, extrasensory perception, and near-death and out-of-body experiences. In sum, the enformy posit and the theory of enformed gestalts comprise, not only a profound theory of organization, but a radical theory of consciousness.