I'm adding here the more fully developed final sections and conclusion of the essay, which the contest length restriction did not allow:
An alternative ontology
For spontaneity to be recognized as a natural principle that both characterizes quantum behavior and induces consciousness, an alternative ontology must trace a coherent path between them.
If we share a fundamental spontaneity with the quantum, and possibly other natural bodies, one common feature that seems essential is what can be thought of as unity, or wholeness, or individuality - because a spontaneous multiplicity would have to involve a diversity of direction. The quantum is considered to be an individual; it is by definition the most basic individual entity. The atom and the biotic cell, and of course a neural entity all fit the definition of individuality as well. As an exploratory hypothesis, these might be the nodes, or levels, where individuality is consolidated.
We would also need to discover a connectedness between levels of individuality in order to establish a continuity from quantum to human. We've already seen that conglomerations of quanta seem to break the chain we're looking for: Sperry's wheel, a causal, deterministic object, constrains and nullifies the spontaneity of its constituents. But individuals at a given level can also combine as dynamic elements of structured, systematic aggregates - the biotic cells of a larger organism, for example. This could be the key to an ontological continuity: A conglomerate of spontaneous individuals will generally become mathematically predictable, and more strictly causal, the larger it is, but individuality at a new level can conceivably be created by the systemic, aggregate interactions of highly structured individuals at the already established level.
Consider this simple model: Spontaneous individuals generally interact in chaotic ways. Some become constrained in conditioned or chaotic conglomerates, some become elements of structured dynamic aggregates. Structured aggregates may evolve into more complex and organic systems, and in some cases establish a higher level of unity. This new level would constitute larger, more complex spontaneous individuals, as cells do of atoms, and as animals do of cells.53
From quanta to atoms to cells to (neural) animals, and all the aggregates that mediate and comprise them: This is the comprehensive, continuous ontological model that the concept of spontaneity can provide. It is a model of emergence, but it is an emergence of like-to-like, not object-to-subject. And it dissolves the distinction between mind and matter without reducing one to the other.
Causation and Intentionality
An important recognition afforded by the distinction between collectives (conglomerates and aggregates) and individuals - already mentioned abstractly in terms of the cue ball, but now framed in an ontology - is that causal effects are specifically characteristic of collectives. The behavior of individuals, being spontaneous, is to the extent that they are organized and effective (compare quanta to humans), intentional. And intentionality, although it can be causal in its effects, and can be influenced by systemic causes, is when highly developed, willful, and willfulness in-itself, is (because it is spontaneous) uncaused. Thus, in principle: Collectives are causal and produce effects; individuals are intentional, and have objectives.
The terms "intentional" and "willful" may seem anthropomorphic when applied to all levels of individuality, but not if we grant that they are exercised in prior levels only as effectively as their structures allow. Evidence of non-human spontaneity must be sought to be found, and already, inadvertently, Martin Heisenberg's research has indicated that "evidence of randomly generated [spontaneous!] behavior" can be seen even in unicellular organisms (i.e., biotic cells) and fruit flies.54
Emergence or Convergence?
The ontology sketched here may be considered coherent and at least somewhat plausible, and yet it has been framed in terms of emergence - not the magical objective-to-subjective sort, but still, there is a discontinuity: Even the transition from systemic individuals to a transcendent individual - from the firing of individual neurons to human consciousness, for example - is a leap.
I propose an additional aspect to this hypothetical ontology: that a more plausible explanation for what is conceived as emergence is convergence, not the constitution of wholes by elements, but the substantiation of elements by wholes.
It is recognized in quantum physics that space isn't empty, it is roiling with "virtual particles." Given the insoluble problem with the idea of emergence, it seems more plausible that spontaneity is ubiquitous, even if not embodied. If provided a viable structural framework, the universal spontaneity of Nature could converge, and become focused and dynamic, in individuality. When, for instance, Nature is instantiated in a brain, it becomes what we experience as consciousness and intentionality, with its highly developed capability for creativity and willfulness. Thus, by a natural convergence, neurons by their interaction wouldn't cause consciousness, they would enable it.
Even the transcendence involved in the instantiation of a new level of individuality needn't be considered abrupt, as it would be with an emergence of subjectivity from objectivity. We can see in the highly expressive aggregate spontaneity of human interactions abundant evidence of more-or-less transient convergences: In love, in culture - art, music, the sublimity of a choir, the eruption of applause - in collective prayer, in "national character", there is elementary, primordial individuation. Yes, it seems evident.
The present day culture of science isn't readily amenable to the non-deterministic notion of spontaneity being a fundamental principle, nor to the holistic idea of a universal nature that converges on structured systems to produce intentional, even willful individuals. But I submit that it provides a uniquely comprehensive explanation for consciousness and its natural place in our world. And ironically, however "metaphysical" it may seem to the disciplined scientific mind, it relieves science of the magical flights of theory that have been needed to account for human behavior.
The most immediate relief offered by the ontology of spontaneity is it allows our subjective experience, so incompatible with the dogma of determinism, the potential for full affirmation. It can also be liberating for materialists from the dogma of determinism, and the strain of denying our most intimate sense of self, consciousness, intentionality and willfulness.