“This was a portrait of the dynamics of the mind, the crown of evolution. I gave it a name – the ‘face of thought’…” – THE PLACE OF QUARANTINE
So, the concept of deterministic chaos put everything in its place. The main principle of the dynamics of the brain was now completely clear. I knew, I felt: a thought, a memory is a “strange” attractor and it cannot be otherwise. And of course, I wanted to look at the thought-attractor eye to eye. I set out to re-create it on paper or on the monitor screen – to get a phase portrait of the process underlying intelligent life.
“It was an echo of something vitally important – and she was afraid her life would not be long enough to uncover the essence of it…” – THE PLACE OF QUARANTINE
She looked at me intently. I nodded, seriously, without the slightest hint of a smile. “There’s no other way of putting it,” she repeated, “and there’s no need to. It doesn’t have a precise name anyway, even if I were to go through every dictionary and phrasebook. I cannot even explain it clearly to myself – although, of course, I’ve become used to it and stopped considering it a disease, a sickness. Now I just call it a symptom – it’s a step forward; a difficult one. It’s a positive step – because a symptom is not necessarily related to an illness…”
“Through them – through the quanta of dipole waves – the human brain was interacting with some unknown field!…” – THE PLACE OF QUARANTINE
Once again, the components of the most complicated puzzle had been put in place, set into their grooves and perfectly attached to each other. So many things were clarified at once, in a single stroke! The essence of my model, its quantum nature, had manifested itself in all its might.
“And then the brain ‘swirled in,’ as if through a funnel, into the required area of the phase space, obeying the laws of chaos, which was not chaos but the highest order…” – THE PLACE OF QUARANTINE
We stayed up very late. I barely asked any questions and made no notes; I just listened. The next morning, I realized that I remembered and understood everything.
“Somewhere, in all of this, the essence of Siam was concealed, along with the essence of this city wearing its mask, pretending to be something it wasn’t…” – THE PLACE OF QUARANTINE
It was Saturday; in the morning, Nok took him to a Buddhist temple. Having given the monks food offerings, they spent two hours at a meditation ceremony. The process entranced Brevich with its steady, unhurried rhythm. Thais – young and old alike – came in, took off their shoes, sat on a wooden platform and closed their eyes. Cameras stood on three sides – concentrated, serene faces floated across large screens.
“Neurons play a part in memorization but only by acting together with something else…” – THE PLACE OF QUARANTINE
My colleague, in his article published long ago, had only outlined the basic principles. Memory, he wrote, is formed by two related mechanisms, not just one based solely on neural cells. Neurons enter into the game first: responding to external stimuli, they begin to “fire” electrical impulses. But their role is auxiliary – through their activity, they only help other participants living in the microworld.
“My consciousness was awakened, brought to life by very real fields and particles…” – THE PLACE OF QUARANTINE
The seafront is gradually filling up with people. Today we went out early, among the first to do so. I continue my story, “For no reason, I started shivering and broke into a cold sweat. Then my head began to spin and my temperature rose. My mother put me to bed with a moist towel on my forehead. Everyone thought I’d become sick – with flu or something worse – but they were worrying in vain. There was nothing wrong with my health. What had happened to me was what the majority of my contemporaries experienced sooner or later. What you and everyone else here in Quarantine went through as well. I attained consciousness – true consciousness. I detached myself as a form of living matter from all other species, genera and families – in the broadest sense, far beyond the bounds of recognized taxonomies. To borrow a popular term, I became a human being!
“It’s like taking a step toward a mathematical model of karma – in this world, no one laughs at the word ‘karma’ anymore…” – THE PLACE OF QUARANTINE
I put my pencil on the table – carefully, soundlessly. Silence hangs in the room for several long minutes.
“It’s funny,” Nestor says at last, without the slightest hint of a smile. “I see you’ve believed me right away, without even questioning what I’ve said. Yet many do question it – even those whose minds are far less critical than yours. Many think it’s all been made up, like in a children’s fairy tale. Maybe it’s just me you believe? Am I such an authority figure for you? All right, only joking… I understand you, scientist to scientist: it’s impossible to argue with statistical confirmation. Well, admit it, are you stunned? Do you want another bathroom break? It won’t help: I am stunned too – to this day. Despite all the time we’ve had to think about it here!”