Consciousness is more like sequence of flashes than continuous stream

It has become clear that brain consciousness is not a continuous stream but more like a sequence of flashes (see this). This is one of the basic predictions of TGD inspired theory of consciousness based on what I call zero energy ontology (ZEO). One can say that the subself (mental image) is a life-cycle of a conscious entity and that one has sequences of this kind of periods with opposite arrows of time: self dies and reincarnates with opposite arrow of time. Consciousness would have sleep-awake cycles in all time scales. This would give rise to various bio-rhythms. In EEG this would show itself as a decomposition to portions of duration of order .3 seconds.

In ZEO this could be interpreted in terms of a sequence of lifecycles in which time increases in opposite directions: first at (call it) "upper" boundary of CD, which shifts towards geometric future, then at "lower" boundary, which shifts to geometric past, and so on... . Note that the birth at given boundary is only slightly later than the latest death at it so that also our wake-up period at level to which EEG is associated could be repeated births and reincarnations forming an approximate continuum at given boundary of CD. Also wake-up-sleep cycle could be like this. Strobing character is predicted to be a universal feature of consciousness.

In TGD inspired quantum biology the strobing character of consciousness can be related to the nature of metabolism, which does not take place as continuous feed of energy but as doses with some average rate.

An extremely simple example of strobing character corresponds to a recently discovered system of charged plastic balls in plasma of Argon ions exhibing life-like properties for critical values of parameters (see this) (I tend to see this accidental discovery as one of the epoch changing experimental findings). The system makes transitions crystal-like → gas-like → crystal-like →... . This is like breathing or sleep-awake cycle. On basis of standard physics one would expect only single transition and stable state after that and this is what indeed happens outside criticality.

There must be a source of metabolic energy feeding the plastic balls system and located in the system itself. TGD suggests dark nucleosynthesis explaining also "cold fusion" (see this). The metabolic events occur randomly with some average frequency (rate). Crystal-like state has larger value of heff/h= n and emerges, when the system has received a dose of metabolic energy. Gas-like like state with smaller value of n corresponds to the sleep period. In living matter gel-sol phase transition and protein folding would be analogous fundamental processes. I have called protein unfolding period induced by energy feed as "cellular summer" and folding period "cellular winter".

Dark nucleosynthesis would serve as source of metabolic energy during the pre-biotic period when bio-chemical energy was not yet available and solve the hen-egg problem about which came first, metabolism or genes. The sequences of dark protons at magnetic flux tubes would give rise to analogs of DNA, RNA, tRNA, and amino-acids with degeneracies of vertebrate genetic code (see this). Genes are dark nuclei, whose transformations to ordinary nuclei liberate nuclear binding energy as metabolic energy. Hen= egg!

See the chapter Life-like properties observed in a very simple system or the article with the same title.