133 – The Failure of Natural Science …

Natural Science, as an Institution for the advancement of Knowledge, has failed to apply the discoveries of its physical theories to Humanity as part of the natural Order, perpetuating the myth that human beings are separate from Nature, and therefore sharing in great part the responsibility for our ignorance about our relationship with Nature.

This failure is mostly due to the complete exclusion of the human being from the physical theories. Let’s take a couple of theories and look at some of the human properties they describe but are never applied to us:

1 – Einstein’s mass-energy equivalence, embodied in the symbol = (equal) of the equation E=mc2 and elucidated in his own words: “The mass content of a body is a measure of its energy content”, implies that energy and mass are the same thing, increasing and decreasing content simultaneously in equivalent amounts … energy increases as mass increases, and energy decreases as mass decreases … while the body, the container, the system, continues a relatively stable relationship with its environment. Is this not, fundamentally, what we do in our every day life? You and I? Do we not … as the body, the container, the system … decrease our energy by exerting it in action and motion and force, and then increase it when it begins to run out with relatively equivalent amounts of foods and liquids and rest? Do we not inherently know how to keep these transactions … this increasing and decreasing … in measured equilibrium as we continue to develop our relationship with the environment? We tend to identify E=mc2 with the power of the atomic bomb, but do we not have the potential energy to change how groups, communities, countries, entire civilizations act and think?

2 – Niels Bohr’s Complementarity, embodied in the particle-wave duality of Light, implies that some objects have multiple properties which appear to be unconnected but are instead indivisible complements of a whole. Light is particle-like and wave-like, not one or the other, both at the same time. We can experience the wave-like property of Light in sunrises and electricity and aurora borealis; and with the appropriate instruments we can experience the particle-like property of Light in the activity and impact of individual photons. But although we may experience these properties as unconnected, they are indivisible; one cannot exist without the other. Similarly, we can experience our particle-like property … our individuality, the utter uniqueness of our minds … as we can experience our wave-like property … the movement of human history, the evolution of the species … but although they may have the appearance of detachment, they are indivisible; one cannot exist without the other. As Light cannot be wave-like streams without photons, Humanity cannot be a wave-like evolutionary force without us.

Light is a duality, and so are we. Light is photons and waves; we are individual human beings and the moods, the fears, the evolution of a species. Either part cannot exist without the other. Accepting this fact of our reality will throw us into a whole new era of wonder.

Without scientific insights into the physical nature of reality, we could not have achieved our level of technological advances. But the current, almost exclusive focus of Natural Science on Reductionism have us going around in a blind circle, believing in the illusion that we can understand Life, our Universe, by reducing them to their minutest particle-like properties, while leaving aside the wave-like complement that makes them whole; this is really like trying to understand a picture by focusing on one of its pixels.

Natural Science is, without question, incredibly ingenious and daring, but not enough to debunk the myth that we are separate from Nature. The consequences of this failure are obvious in the state of our world: Great scientific advances, but a horrible humanitarian and devastating environmental record.

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132 – A Most Harmful Myth …

The dominant myth in most Western thought that our minds are separate from our bodies is a most harmful misconception to Humanity’s advancement into a more rational species. This myth, by perpetuating our sense of separation from Nature and keeping the level of our intellectual rationality were it was centuries, possibly millennia ago, is halting progress in our understanding of our symbiotic relationship with our environment.

The harmful consequences of the perpetuation of this myth are obvious in the state of our world: Constant conflict, horrendous cruelty, mass killings, devastation of the environment in which our lives depend.

Under the myth that the Mind is a separate and unattached entity from the Body, we avoid taking responsibility for our actions; we devalue any form of life … especially and including human life … killing without shame; we commit, with clear intention, horrendous acts of cruelty; we deceive, not as the ‘lower animals’ protecting their progeny, but to destroy, demean, hurt or mime members of our own species. Is it not gruesome how homo sapiens … the most ‘advanced’ species on earth … kills its own by the dozens and thousands, with complete impunity, unless the one killed is a person of ‘worth’?

The Mind-Body relationship in philosophy is akin to the Energy-Mass relationship in physical sciences in which … before Einstein’s special relativity … energy and mass were considered separate entities. It is now proven that energy and mass are complementary and indivisible expressions of the same phenomena – the phenomena Einstein referred to as a body in his elucidation of e=mc2: “The mass content of a body is equivalent to its energy content.”*

Similarly, the Mind-Body relationship is the expression of the phenomena we call the “Self”. Mind and Body are complementary expressions of the Self. Together they form the indivisible relationship in which the Mind is generated to reach, in relative measure, beyond the Body’s sensory limitations   as they complement each other interacting with environments and creating the utterly unique existence of the Self.

One proof that the Mind and the Body are not separate is evident in the impact of physical brain alterations (traumatic brain injury, psychoactive drugs, dementia) on the Self.

Although the limited perception of our nascent conscious awareness may tell us otherwise, Mind and Body are indivisible expression of the Self. That we believe they are separate is a myth. A very harmful myth.

* Highlight mine.

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131 – The Order of Nature and Us …

It is relatively easy for us to see a primal Order in the evolutionary progression towards Complexity in Nature (genetics, mathematics, music, the evolution of Life, the wondrous organization of the brain). And so why do most of us remain incapable of seeing ourselves as part of that Order?

Our inability to see ourselves as part of the natural Order is the main reason we are breaking the chemical equilibrium of the environment that supports us, ravaging animal and plant life, inciting the horrifying consequences of hate, driving our civilization to face its downfall.

It is thus uncanny to see Natural Science, “The Advocate of Knowledge and Understanding” with a magnificent record of insights into many of the fundamental aspects of the natural Order, shying away from debunking the illusion that we are not part of the natural Order.

You and I, as well as atoms or galaxies … or anything in our Universe for that matter … are assemblies of multiple parts; each part inherently knowing how to self-generate, self-energize and self-organize into a cohesive, adaptable and self-perpetuating entity that, in relative symbiotic equilibrium with environmental resources and opportunities, carries the probability to evolve into higher levels of complexity.

This is the basic Blueprint for atoms, for galaxies, for you and me to reproduce the primal Order in the evolutionary progression, and so encouraging and perpetuating the movement towards Complexity in Nature. We don’t know What or Who creates this Order … we might never know … but that we are a part of It and that It is a part of us, is incontestable.

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130 – The Greatest Obstacle …

What do you do when you Know, but lack the “qualifications” (Communication skills, degrees, awards, etc., etc) to share the Knowledge that our brains are already so advanced, so intelligent, so introspective, that we now posses the capacity to comprehend our connection to the magnificent Order that underlies the Universe?

The Universal Order is evident in the creative progression of Evolution into higher and higher levels of complexity, in the Periodic Table of the chemical elements, in the coordinated movement of planets and stars, in the symmetrical dance of energy and mass, in the awe-inspiring harmony of a rainbow.  It is evident within us in the synchronized rhythms of Life, in the methodical self-organization of cells in our bodies, in the molecular structure of the DNA double helix, in our primordial sanction to bond and procreate, in our instinctive urge to survive. But blinded by the illusion that we are Separate from Nature, most of us don’t even consider the possibility of contemplating our connection to that Order.

The extent of our illusion is akin to that of our ancestors’ centuries ago who, relying solely on visual perception to understand macroscopic interactions, were under the illusion that the sun circled the earth and we were the center of the Universe. Today, while accepting the Fact that our organic senses do not always give us an accurate picture of reality (the Air we breathe and fills all spaces appears transparent to us but is in reality thick with molecules; the Light that emanates from the sun and from electricity seems invisible to us but is in reality corpuscular), nonetheless we continue to rely on our senses to understand our interactions with the natural world.

Our experience of the world … the forms, tastes, smells and sounds we perceive … is basically the result of the bombardment of information constantly relayed to our senses by our internal and external environments through interactions with the microscopic world of atoms, molecules, cells. But because our senses are currently unable to perceive these microscopic interactions, we are under the illusion that we are detached from the environment.

This illusion of Separation, so unique to each of us yet so common to all of us, encourages our devastation of the natural world in which our lives depend.

It is thus significant to realize that the same scientific methodology which helped Humanity centuries ago to overcome the illusion that we were the center of the Universe, is the same scientific methodology that today, with its focus on Reductionism and its disdain of Wholeness, is our greatest obstacle to overcome our detrimental illusion of Separation and to conceptualize our connection to the Universal Order.

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129 – The Aim of Evolution …

As each atom, and each molecule, and each cell, and each organ and system they form in our bodies, is imprinted with the history and potential course of its developmental ascent within an evolving primordial Process, so are we as the whole of all of them … what we experience as the self-reflective “I”. This is a Fact most of us can understand and accept theoretically, but not emotionally, not perceptually … not yet.

Desperately asserting the fallacy that we are The Darlings of a “Special Creation”, that we have nothing to do with Nature but consume it and control it, we not only fail to perceive our connection with, and our complete dependence upon the creative, self-generating, self-organizing Evolutionary Process, which allows the time and the favorable environment for atoms, molecules, cells, to congregate into the immensely complex and highly self-reflective organism we currently call homo sapiens; but we also fail to perceive … theoretically, emotionally, sensually, physically … the great beauty that the Mind, the self-reflective “I”, is the collective knowledge of all those atoms and molecules and cells, interacting with each other and with the whole of us, as we  learn from experience, reflect on the past, examine the present, and create a future. This act of learning, of self-reflection, of self-examination, of self-creation, which is mostly instinctive in most of Nature, is, in us … the only creatures we certainly know of … becoming more and more aware of itself. This, the awareness of self-awareness, partly instinctive but mostly conscious, is the aim of Evolution.

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128 – The Tragedy of having Knowledge but not Knowing we have.

With the Theory of Relativity Einstein gave us the knowledge that e=mc2, with its implied self-reflective equilibrium (see Posts 66 & 89), is a universal Law without which our Universe, and everything within it … including us … could not have developed into what we are today. “The mass of a body is equivalent to its energy content”*. But then, What, or Who established this Law; What, or Who implemented it so thoroughly that for eons of time and across an entire Universe no body or system can exist, nor thrive, without obeying it?

With the Theory of Evolution Darwin gave us the knowledge that the primordial, creative, self-generating, self-organizing and adaptable Process, of which we are a manifestation, is the driving universal engine behind the evolution of all things in Nature. “One hand has surely worked throughout the universe.”* But then, once again, What, or Who initiated this Process, setting it determinedly on a steady path towards higher and higher complexity and order?

These Theories, amongst many others with profound implications, have been part of Human Knowledge for decades. The most beautiful thing about them is not only that we have evolved the capacity to envision them, but also that we have evolved the capacity to pose the deep questions they engender, and find answers within us; this is what makes us the most incredible and insightful organism … as far as we know … in Nature. Yet Science, as a the set of institutions supposedly created to advance our Knowledge, is terrified of delving into the immensurability of these questions; and Religion, as the group of organizations supposedly created to support those of us who believe in something/somebody greater than us, inhibits any kind of inquiry into them under the scourge of Dogma.

And so, already Knowing, we don’t Know we Know.

“Why do you stay in prison when the door is so wide open?” Rumi

* Albert Einstein * Charles Darwin (Highlights mine)

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127 – Dogma Enslaves the Mind …

We are, as far as we know, the only creatures in Nature evolved enough to be aware of a degree of freedom to self-reflect on our past, and to plan our future.

But we will neither survive into the promise of our unparalleled evolution, nor as a rational and viable species, as long as we continue to allow the obliteration of our Moral Sense by the scourge of dogmatic and authoritarian principles imposed on us by dominant ideologies:

Economic Dogma: Imposing on us the belief that ‘self-centered consumerism’ and ‘unlimited growth’ are the sole measures of Progress, while disregarding their irrationality.

Political Dogma: Imposing on us the belief that aggression and constant conflict are the measures of Power, while disregarding their destructiveness.

Religious Dogma: Imposing on us the belief that man is a Special Creation … separate from and better than Nature … while disregarding the devastating treatment of Nature and the continued level of Ignorance it incites.

Scientific Dogma: Imposing on us the belief that Reductionism (reducing Life, The Universe to elemental, measurable units) is the only acceptable method to Understanding, while disregarding the Whole without which elemental, measurable units cannot exist.

Fighting with its horrible deceptions the introduction of unconventional concepts or methods … like the concept that, as cells in our bodies, we are elements of a living, self-generating Universe and cannot be alive without it …  which may set us free from centuries-old imprisonment to explore the promise of our unparalleled evolution, Dogma enslaves the mind.

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126 – On Vacation …

If things work as planned, I will be posting again on June 1, 2015

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125 – Pioneers …

Our minds do not yet have the scope to grasp the cause of origin, the totality, the meaning of the primordial Process generating the evolution of what we call our Universe. And as much as we try to deny our physical interconnection with this Process under a paradigm reeking of Division, there is no questioning the Fact that each one of us is one of its parts/elements/creations, nor the Fact that it is amazingly fortunate that you and I have emerged into existence at a level of complexity where we are increasingly aware … as no other creature we know of … of how beautiful and creative this Process can be, not only in the world we depend upon yet relatively affect, but also in the world beyond the earth, beyond our solar system, beyond our imagination.

But for those of us still dominated by the fallacy that we are ‘detached’ from Nature, the Fact that we are created by and dependent upon this primordial Process may seem outlandish or just plainly impossible to conceptualize, even though this Process is physically tangible in us, in our continuous consumption and dissipation of energy sources … foods, oxygen, waste … so our bodies are re-generated and stay alive, or in our primal urge to seek pleasure so this Process continues to evolve.

And so, as we hopefully grow wiser and move away from the fallacies of our current paradigm, and as we become more conscious and knowledgeable about our intimate interconnection with this Process, it is inevitable for our descendants to come to the realization that, although we may not be the only intelligent beings in Nature, we definitely are … like particles in the development of infant brain-cells … pioneering the astonishing development of consciousness in the evolutionary Process we call our Universe.

Imagine how different our world can be if children … all the children in the world … were taught as soon as they begin to show signs of Understanding, that we are Pioneers!

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124 – History is Full of their Ruins …

Any system of governance that steals from its working class, its poor and its disadvantaged with the sole purpose of its own empowerment; that without any sense of Vision for the Future completely disregards the ravages of its blind greed, is an Aberration that … like a cancer … ultimately ends in self-destruction.

History is full of their ruins.

Why is it then that our dominant systems of governance continue to be intent on making the same mistakes over and over and over, thus perpetuating this aberration as if there were no intelligent, progressive and sustainable alternatives; like governance based on knowledge, tolerance, respect, love?

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