An information theoretic approach to the issues of collective unconscious and the superconscious

Prabhakar Vaidya
National Institute of Advanced Studies

This paper is inspired by and perhaps has some relevance to the question of the nature of the superconscious. But, for the most of its core we ask a less esoteric question: What part of human psychology and behavior is inherited and what part is acquired? In this context, one of the questions is this: What is it that we have that is in common with all human beings but which is not to be found among any other species? Candidates for this list are language, culture, and perhaps consciousness. The next point then is: Are any of these unique characteristics wired in in our genes? Scholars in linguistics such as Chomsky and some of the followers of C.G. Jung would pass the burden of most of these to our genes. However, from an information theoretic perspective, there are serious difficulties with this approach. What would follow is a discussion of an alternative hypothesis about human communication which needs to be considered. This is a strictly amateurish attempt but it is hoped that some experts will attend and correct the speaker.

This paper was presented at the
National Conference on
Yoga and Indian Approaches to Psychology

Pondicherry, India, September 29 - October 1, 2002