5. An explanation of the function of intuition – March 2016, Revised 2020

Before I attempt a start on a description of intuition, its function and how it might act, I make the point that to do it would very helpful if a brief description of the principles behind my thesis of Duplication theory were also taken in. My attempted explanation below of intuition might stand without the reader having to undergo this initial imposition, but in case it does not, I have attached a section extracted from my recent book on mind and memory. This is a much-reduced synopsis of the initial 38 pages of explanation from that book, quite dense, and it follows immediately below over five pages. You might prefer to jump straight into the description of intuition that follows without bothering with these initial pages, in which case very good, but you might then have to refer back to gain clarity on a few points. This abstract on Duplication theory (DT) is split into six sections which when combined comprise a basic principle for memory’s operation.

However, the role of intuition is inextricably intertwined with that of memory’s operation, so that an understanding of the principles of Duplication theory as the mechanism behind memory, whereas not absolutely essential, would greatly assist comprehension of my rationale for intuition, which is introduced in outline in the sixth section below to indicate how it is part of the memory process. This is then examined in greater depth in the subsequent pages concentrating in more detail on the process of intuition, which was extracted from another earlier paper drafted in 2016.


Section A: Interference patterns from electrochemical flow to create Holographic projection from the brain.

Remarkably little is known about the operation of the brain although its components have been identified, and labelled for many decades. The main nerve centers, the neurons are interconnected via specialised connections called synapses and from the cell bodies of these neurons also flow other connections called dendrites and axons. Electrochemical currents flow along these networks between neurons at all times. Part of the brain automaticallycontrols all the physical attributes of existence, breathing, pumping blood, digesting food, muscle control etc. and another cognitive part deals with thought, memory and the other senses. These hugely complex passage of electrical currents between these cells will create electromagnetic waves and these will inevitably interfere with each other and the assumption is that the result will be so complex and highly ordered that holographic images, described as holocepts will be created. These will produce three dimensional images of the external world as vision and also more vestigial such images to serve as memory and thought, possibly when two or more such images are mixed together. These holograms are projected from the brain of an individual, and how they are registered and observed is described elsewhere in the text.

Section B: The significance of pattern, order and structure as opposed to Chaos and entropy.

If in a swirling mass of its component particles in a liquid or gas has order suddenly imposed on to part of that chaos, then at once a pattern or structure will become perceptible. Such visual order is nothing more at the most fundamental level than the distances between separate particles or other objects becoming the same or possibly regular harmonics of these same distances. For beauty to be perceived, then there have to be degrees of order in the construction of any object, or indeed in harmonics of sound in music. This gives sensations of satisfaction and pleasure when registered by individuals of some degree of intelligence and understanding. Again, this ultimately depends on the fact of repetition or duplication of similar intervals in space, and also in time for music. Greater enjoyment of any subject is instigated by a greater understanding of its structure and organisation, and structure is basically created by duplication of similar intervals in space and time, so that I conclude that pattern and structure is synonymous with order and its perception, out of what might formerly have been regarded as near chaos: existence where nothing formerly existed.

Section C: Significance of Singularity States

Singularity states are circumstances that can never be achieved but to which close approaches can be made. The most obvious example is light speed, but there are many others such as absolute zero of temperature, and the Planck minimum quantum dimensions of intervals of space and of time space. This also applies to concepts such as infinity, but what is common to all such states is that although they can never be attained, close approaches can be made, and which when achieved, the rules of nature and physics as we are familiar with them start to change. The closer the approach is made the more increasingly weird the new effects become: for instance, as super fluidity and conductivity close to absolute zero of temperature, and time dilation, mass increase and length diminution close to light speed.

Section D: Uncertainty and the impossibility of two identical structures, but with close approaches leading to unanticipated side effects.

Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle states that a particle may have position or it may have velocity but it cannot have both. I see this simply as follows. Since all particles are in motion, by the time the light from a particle has reached the eye of the observer, the particle will have moved on so that the observer can never being sure of its position. One result of this is that we can never be sure that two particles will occupy the same space at the same time which would make it an unattainable singularity state. However close approaches can be made to perfect penetrability as in the fusion of two hydrogen atoms into one of helium. When this happens from the application of huge pressure, the mass of the two protons of helium is less than that of the two hydrogen protons and the difference is converted into radiation energy as per the radiation emitted from the hydrogen or fusion bomb. This was a result Einstein’s well-known proof that mass can be converted to vast quantities of energy according to the equation that energy equals mass times the speed of light squared. This was not anticipated before 1915, and a fine example for me of a close approach to a singularity state changing the laws of nature as we are familiar with them.

For the same reasons, it is equally impossible to be sure of the precise positions of a number of particles comprising a structure, so that it would be impossible to have an identical structure in that same location at a later time, in which case here is another singularity state, and ex hypothesi one should expect another equivalent and entirely new side effect on an approach to perfect duplication of a similar structures. The fairly immediate answer might be to postulate that a small amount of the mass of the later similar structure in time will increase the potential of a minuscule amount of the mass of its constituent particles to start to convert into radiation energy, as in the fusion process. This would be consistent with what happens in the fusion process above. But the latter is done under conditions of huge pressure, whereas the particles of the later structure are free to move at large anywhere. There is however the principle of minimum energy which is a restatement of the second law of thermodynamics. This states the energy of closed system energy will tend move to its most stable state of minimum energy. The implication of this is that the similar later structure, rather than convert part of its mass to energy, will instead move its constituent particles to duplicate the motions of the original structure, their being in constant motion.

An alternative method of explication of the nature of this unexpected effect is to consider two complex structures which are almost indecipherably the same to almost quantum levels. If the later became increasingly close to duplicating the earlier original, they effectively become the impossible state of being the same object albeit with the later duplicating the actions of the earlier as the easiest thing to do to reduce energy levels rather than convert to radiation energy. The latter possibility never happens due to the uncertainty principle with the two structures being constantly in motion. The structure of the later in time will continue to duplicate the motions of the earlier: a resonance through time effect, thus being able to transfer information from one time to the present time, or indeed any other time at all, providing the locations in which this is done are relatively the same. This is the essential mechanism behind memory, and a quantum effect. Furthermore, because the universe is expanding, the statement that an event in ‘the same location’ can never happen and has to be qualified. It is ‘the same location’ in the same scale relative to its immediate surroundings and general circumstances i.e. within a particular brain.

Section E: The connection between hypnotic trance, mystic religions and emptying the mind, and neurons in the brain firing randomly to emulate the trance state, resulting in a mechanism for memory.

Subjects under hypnotic trance have abilities of recall and other characteristics well above those exhibited in their everyday conscious and ordinary working lives. Many eastern mystic religions are based on the ability to empty the minds of the adherents in order to achieve a contemplative state of calm and understanding of existence. The neurons in the brain never cease firing, including the parts that control cognition and thought, so if individuals have been put in hypnotic trance with instructions to empty their minds, the neurons will be firing randomly without any semblance of structure. But perfect randomness is impossible to attain so this is yet another singularity state, and ex hypothesi from C above, as close approaches are made towards it, then unexpected side effects will become increasingly apparent. A mind in trance with information being excluded by instruction from a hypnotist or self-induced by chanting or some other self-discipline, is capable of perfect recall and other capabilities not usually characteristic of that individual. This further clarifies the modus operandi of perfect recall or long-term eidetic memory.

DNA molecules have huge capacity for storing information and are thought to be closely connected to memory. Short term memory instigators or engrams similar to DNA molecules are stored physically in the brain whose function would be to resonate with a current situation observed or experienced externally. This would then instigate a resonance with similar past experience, which would be curtailed down to very short sequences allowing the individual to anticipate the best course of actins to enhance survival. The engrams are effectively the mechanism for short term memory. These physical short-term memory engrams are discarded with passing time, unless they are repeated frequently or created initially under circumstances of great stimulation.

Section F: The extension of memory’s operation as above into a self-organisational hypothesis for the basis of explanation for intuition and other phenomena.

Events in the external world are viewed to create a duplicate in the mind/brain of the observer projected in the form of a holographic image. There are many examples of individuals in the history of science working with problems that involve a certain number of variables which can only be combined in a specific way to produce a resolution which is viable. But the amount of permutations and combinations of the various quantities involved invariably seem insuperably immense, having often toiled on them far too long without any sign of success. Months later, with the mind of the researcher in neutral, when relaxing and thinking of not much at all, suddenly the answer appears as if out of nowhere, resolving the problem instantly in an unanticipated moment. Such instances were experienced by Heisenberg with his Uncertainty principle, Friedrich Kekule on the shape of the benzene ring, and with many other similar examples from Henri Poincare, Karl Friedrich Gauss, and even Samuel Taylor Coleridge when drafting his poem Kubla Kahn.

In such circumstances the cognitive part of a researcher’s mind has been wrestling with the problem in a logical manner attempting to fit the variables like a jig saw into an acceptable order without result. But when an individual’s mind is thinking in a relaxed manner about nothing much in particular, firing neutrally, and momentarily considers this major problem, then there is suddenly an increased potential for the actual structure of the problem as it occurs in the real world to resonate and form a duplicate image in the mind of the researcher. The latter will know it is correct from the pleasure at once sensed. Possibly this is due an increased potential of the mental image to convert minuscule elements of its structure into radiation energy, which presumably does not happen but is detected as pleasure from an increased potential for such an event.


(extracted from a longer paper on ‘Duplication Theory’ drafted October 2016)

The existence of memory is an undeniable fact whereas the concept and definition of intuition is far more nebulous. I have noted from many examples of the way in which knowledge is increased, that science often does not progress in an orderly fashion. Many important breakthroughs would appear to come in flashes of intuition, whereby the answer to a long standing and vexing problem is suddenly grasped and comprehended in an instant. Amongst number of examples quoted in Arthur Koestler’s books on the subject are a number of examples, just one of which was the mathematician Karl Friedrich Gauss who described in a letter to a friend how he finally proved a theorem on which he had worked unsuccessfully for four years: (Montmasson 1931)

“At last two days ago I succeeded, not only by dint of painful effort but so to speak by the grace of god. As a sudden flash of light, the enigma was solved…… For my part I am able to name the nature of the thread which connected what I previously knew with what made my success possible”.

On another occasion, Gauss is reported to have said: “I have had my solutions for a long time, but I do not yet know how I am to arrive at them”.

Thus far, it has been postulated that in near perfect trance or random firing state, a structure of firing neurons in the brain is more likely to reproduce an accurate or correct interpretation of the external world of nature, and its mechanisms, than an inaccurate one, simply through the operation of the minimum energy principle. If a scientist is attempting to divine a mechanism of how, say, molecules combine to form a certain complex molecule and there are possibly many billions of possible combinations and permutations, the task might seem beyond him or even the largest computer to check through all the possibilities. However if he has all the elements of the problem in his mind at a subconscious level, and he sleeps on the problem, or manages to bring about a self-induced trance state, where the elements of that problem are allowed to insert themselves into the otherwise random blankness of his mind, then on a quantum scale it will take slightly less energy for the neuron firings in his brain to form the  holocept that then duplicates what actually occurs in nature, than any other possibility. The correct answer then presents itself through resonance with actuality, if perhaps he can bring himself out of trance state with some conscious vestige of its memory.

In more specific terms, the intuitive process can be described as follows. Having absorbed all the relevant facts in the memory, these are materialised as holocepts and combined, or parts superimposed over the top of each other in holoceptual palimpsests. The more variable facts there are, the more combinations and permutations there are, the more the mind has to shuffle through an impossibly large number in order to get a chance of hitting on anything like the right sort of combination. This would take an inordinate length of time without some external guiding force or tendency. But we have this guiding tendency in duplication theory: if circumstances can be made sufficiently random, with no external perturbations to disturb the randomicity of the neurons’ firings, then the structures of the holocepts created from the interference patterns, will tend to form in the way that emulates most accurately structures in the external world. In other words, the mind in trance will tend to form holoceptual structures that duplicate those in nature, when given an initial vestigial prompting. It also seems not unreasonable to postulate that the brain has some form of mechanism for detection of this resonance, whereby it becomes aware that one particular combination of possibilities is correct. From B above “as two structures approach perfect duplication, they will tend to interact so that a small percentage of the rest mass of the later in time will demonstrate an increasing potential to convert to radiation.” I am suggesting that the nervous system of the individual concerned detects this potential for energy release as a glow of wellbeing: the thrill of aesthetic pleasure, or just the pleasure of accomplishment when the correct answer has been achieved through resonance.

 A further interesting point is the means whereby, once the correct understanding of nature has been grasped in holocept form, that information is relayed to others. In science, the problem usually has a relatively limited number variables to shuffle about, so that once the correct solution has been intuitively chanced upon through resonance, the scientist is usually capable of working backwards and thus building a logical sequence of small deductive steps, manipulating these steps so that the correct end result is obtained from the original separate bits of data. Each individual logical step is in fact an intuitive jump on a very small scale in itself, but so small is the jump concerned that it appears obvious, and has the appearance of logical deduction. Once this framework of logical steps has been constructed in retrospect, it then becomes possible to communicate the concept and explain it verbally, graphically, or mathematically to others in these small ‘logical’ steps, so that they might quickly comprehend it without having to juggle and consider all the relevant facts endlessly before the right relaxed conditions prevail and the flash of insight is at last attained.

A series of small intuitive steps guided in the right general direction is a much easier process to assimilate than the one large intuitive jump that the original thinker working it out for the first time ever, has to make. So, it can be seen that the method of communicating knowledge to others through any form of communication, is a process of breaking down one large intuitive jump into a succession of little insights, all guided in the right direction. Gradually information is imparted step by step, in the right order until the collection of small insights builds up to the intuitive grasp of the whole concept that the originator perhaps had first to make in one step.

In the Arts, the intuitive process works in the same way, but on a much wider scale, not so capable of being broken down into small steps, so that it lacks the precise definition of explanation available to the sciences. The concepts attempted by the artist, the impressions of nature as he comprehends it are on a much grander scale than those of the small precise steps taken by the scientist or mathematician, and inevitably, his task of communication is much harder, and it will never be broken down into the small logical steps required for efficient communication. A poet might intuitively recognise some fundamental truth of the universe, while considering memories of his observations of life in dreamy, absent minded state (Wordsworth’s impressions recollected afterwards in tranquillity or Coleridge’s composition of his striking poem, Kubla Khan). Such a fundamental truth will inevitably involve an imponderable multiplicity of facts, compared to the limited number of components that might be involved in a scientific problem, and the artistic task of communicating this intuitive understanding of particular circumstances to others is correspondingly much greater.

The intuitive jump the artist has made is so great and so general that he is probably, and no doubt temperamentally incapable of breaking his insight down into the little jumps required for others to easily grasp his truth. However, he might try to communicate the gist of it in the form of a few well-chosen words, or lines and colour in a painting, which might serve to spark off in others, by instigating the same sequence of thoughts or holocepts, which he realised. A single visual art work, for instance, might therefore be regarded as a sort of instant trigger to hopefully instigate in others the same holoceptual sequence that the artist experienced, a form of communication based on a minimum of initiating information. The observer would then have inculcated within in him a similar comprehension (similar neural patterns) as inspired the original artist. Exactly the same arguments can be applied to reconcile the Eastern way of acquiring wisdom through trance and stilling of the mind, with the Western approach of small jumps of apparent deductive logic. In essence, they are the same but on a different scale, despite the fact that they may at first appear as completely at odds with each other as is possible. The Eastern mystic concentrates on emptying his mind via any one of the many techniques for doing so such as contemplation, fasting in isolation, yoga, or even the dervishes spinning like a top on one spot: there are many such techniques but all concerned with emptying and stilling the mind. To most Western scientists this might seem the antithesis of the way in which he acquires wisdom and knowledge of the way in which nature operates, but if emptying the mind of structured thought patterns equates to a random pattern of firing synapses, then if that randomness starts to approach a near perfect of singular state, what might occur? By the arguments set out above, certain problematical circumstances in the external world that were under consideration before the trance state was assumed may, given a tiny initial instigation, be replicated and resolved almost at a stroke. This assumes enough necessary data in detail has been previously assimilated and perhaps stored in short term of chemical storage molecules, albeit in a chaotic or unordered manner which previously did not present any coherent resolution. This replication in holocept form of the structures under consideration in the external world is at suddenly recognised in that it presents itself as the only possible answer. This is recognised by the generation of an increase in the potential to convert the rest mass of the duplicate holoceptual image by resonance into a vestigial amount of energy: the Eureka moment if realised on a matter of substance.

Self-awareness and consciousness

Duplication theory explains how the mind produces these holocepts but there is the further major problem of how these holographic images are viewed or registered. Amongst other descriptions, this was called by Eddington the problem of the homunculus: the identity of the little man inside the brain which involves yet another little man within the latter’s head and so on in an infinite recess. The explanation above of intuition does away with the need for the homunculus as an internal viewer. When an increasingly accurate state of the structure and events in the external world becomes duplicated as a holocept in the eyes and/or understanding of the beholder, there is an increasing potential for the material particles of the involved resonating structure to convert to radiation energy. If so then this leads to a postulate that a dominant purpose of the intelligent, or indeed any animal organism, is to recognise and detect this resonance, which represents a lower energy level or more stability and therefore more desirable to nature. This represents a tendency towards a more ordered state of affairs, a negative entropic tendency, when it is remembered that the concept of order depends on pattern and duplication. The physical body and brain of an intelligent organism exists to detect pattern, duplication and order, and indeed to exert itself on the external world to bring about increase in the degree of order. This activity is in itself, the operation of self-consciousness. There is no need for the homunculus as a viewing mechanism. Increasing self-consciousness is nothing more than an increasing ability to duplicate in holocept form the structure of the external universe. The latter process is also another way of increasing understanding generally.

When an answer to a problem is sought, and then found, its resolution produces not only intellectual pleasure, but also a physical sense of wellbeing, depending on the extent and complexity of the problem. All human beings strive to increase their pleasure or enjoyment in life, so that it could be argued that if the resolution of the truth represents the highest form of pleasure, then the purpose of human intelligence is to detect more and more truth in the universe. In this respect ‘Truth’ means, in general terms, the accurate portrayal in holocept form in the mind of the structure of the external universe. In the same way the concept of understanding is no more than a duplicate image formed in the mind in holocept form of the mechanisms of a certain part of the external world that is under consideration, which is accompanied by a sense of pleasure or achievement (potential to release energy) thereby created in that particular organic and intelligent system.

Other applications

I have been working on an off with Rupert Sheldrake since publication of his first book in 1981, since rather to his amazement, the conclusions of my DT were remarkably similar to his, albeit reached via a very different approach, his being biochemistry of which subject I know very little.  Both his first and second books, best sellers, dwell in depth on a number of other applications of his hypothesis of morphic resonance to show how similar structures resonate through time. This includes inheritance of acquired characteristics, group behaviour and ritual so I will not dwell on these, having indicated the way in which duplication theory can be seen to be applicable to mind and memory. However, I would emphasise that once the operation behind memory is understood in principle, with time and further research, it should become possible to duplicate the mechanisms involved to create a system of artificial intelligence. I would also mention the work of Anton Zeilinger, professor of physics at Vienna University, working on and producing practical applications for quantum entanglement. Zeilinger’s group is developing a quantum cryptography prototype in collaboration with industry, and has demonstrated quantum communication over large distances is not only possible but has been achieved. His explanations of the practical applications of quantum entanglement emphasise strongly the role of randomicity in the process. It is a fact that information can now be correlated (effectively transferred) over large distance simultaneously, (faster than light speed) but that this cannot take place without the system operating in an entirely random manner.

It will be noted that one of the central tenets of Duplication theory (see sections D, E, and F above) is that for information to resonate through time from the past, the system in the present has to initially be in near perfect random motion. When a specific highly ordered structure from the past is imposed within such randomicity, then that structure will resonate to follow the ensuing motions of that earlier structure, the components of which will be in continuous motion relative to each other. Thus, in the case of hypnotic or possibly other forms of trance, perfect recall or regression states of experience are possible, all the more so it if is assumed that under trance the neurons of the brain that control consciousness would be firing as near perfectly randomly as possible. This does not seem to be impossible or unlikely.

A further implication of this very recently occurred to the author is that such a system also presents a principle where the visual cortex of the brain in the occipital lobe might be functioning in the manner of a random number generator. Information from the retina would be fed via the optic nerves into this randomly firing system of neurons which would then resonate with the structures under observation in the external world. The resulting highly structured firings of the neurons would then cause holographic interference patterns experienced as vision, and thence to a lesser degree, later as thought when mixed with recollections of earlier stored images or structures.

Further progress on this subject is now under consideration (October 2016).

There is another accompanying section to Duplication theory where similar intervals in time, in other words similar actions, are considered and shown the be incapable of perfect duplication, or another singularity, the results of which can be interpreted transmitting action across space at one moment in time, or EM radiation, a subject which already has already been explained and generally accepted, albeit not without anomalies. However, that requires a separate paper in explanation.

Above combination paper to clarify the role of intuition in the operation of memory put together in March 2020

Nick Greaves