158 – How Will History Judge Us? …

The most fatal enemies against the evolution of the Human mind are Greed – it makes us self-destructive – and Dogma – it chains the imagination.

As I visit other countries, other cultures, other peoples, I see the lasting effects of totalitarian domination … the trail of destructiveness; the deep scars, oftentimes fresh, from their unimaginable levels of cruelty. But as horrible as the effects of their domination have been and continue to be … Crusades, Inquisitions, Fascism, Communism, Colonialism, Kleptocracy … their impact is, for the most part, localized to specific regions. That is, until now, when under the harbingers of unabated Greed and blind Dogma, totalitarian domination has thrown our entire civilization, knowingly, into full-fledged Anthropocentrism (the fallacy that we have higher value than all other organisms and that Reality is to be assessed, exclusively, through human perspective). The consequences of this fallacy are already being felt in parts of the earth and will ultimately affect every single Human being.

The Human being, as far as we know, is the only creature conscious of its own capacity to self-reflect … to be able to look at its past and hope for its future, to imagine visions never before imagined … but Greed and Dogma have turned this capacity into a growing force of unsustainable and destructive consumerism with which we have already, irreversibly, altered the chemical balance of the environment that has allowed, and promoted, our evolution.

Greed and dogmatism, and the men who let their lives be enslaved by them, have condemned our Civilization to face its own decimation as Nature realigns the delicate equilibrium we have so thoughtlessly upset.

How will History judge those who, knowing the dire consequences of their irresponsibility, did not give a damn?

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157 – On Fractals & The Mandelbrot Set …

Fractal, from the Latin fractus meaning “broken” or “fractured”, is the recurrence of a pattern or shape which is replicated at decreasing or increasing scales and used to conceptualize fractional dimensions in Nature (small sections of clouds, mountain ranges, lightning bolts, blood vessels, snowflakes, cauliflowers, that look similar to the whole). The recursive nature of fractals is also called Expanding Symmetry or Evolving Symmetry and is obvious, for instance, in a branch from a tree, which is a miniature replica of the whole, not identical, but similar in nature. If the replication of the pattern or shape is exactly the same at every scale, it is called a Self-Similar Pattern and is best illustrated in the magnifications of the Mandelbrot set.

Mandelbrot Set

Mandelbrot Set

 

The elaborate boundary of the Mandelbrot set reveals ever-finer detail at increasing magnifications, with each magnification incorporating smaller repetitions of the set. So the fractal property of self-similarity applies to the entire set and not just to its parts (the link at the bottom is a 2.14 Minutes YouTube video showing the recurrence of the set at increasing magnifications).

The Mandelbrot set has become popular outside mathematics, both for its aesthetic appeal and as an example of a complex structure arising from the application of simple rules. It is one of the best-known examples of mathematical visualization [1].

Along with Holography (see post 154), the Mandelbrot set is one of the best analogies of Self-similarity I can find in the natural sciences: Everything in Nature, including you and me, including the Universe, is similar to everything else in the way we all unfold according to a common blueprint: Become, Self-organize, Bond, Self-generate, Adapt, Self-perpetuate, Transform. This common blueprint endows every component … every one of us, every molecule, every galaxy … with the capacity to find ingenious ways to reproduce its supple mandate, thus perpetuating the recurrence of progressive cycles that begin with Becoming and always lead to Transformation. It is thus I believe that this common blueprint is the foundation for building cohesive structures that can adapt to changing environments and engender creative hierarchical orders of complexity.

The Mandelbrot set is a computer generated program in which we find the recurrence of identical repetitions, but ‘natural systems’ [2] are diverse, highly malleable, and completely reliant on a creative symbiosis with the evolutionary processes in which we exist; therefore, self-similarity in Nature is not identical like in the Mandelbrot set, but is instead an evolving symmetry towards greater and greater complexity.

Self-similarity in Nature goes both ways; recurring from the whole Universe all the way to atomic particles, and vice-versa. Everything begins by becoming, then on to self-organizing, bonding, self-generating, adapting, self-perpetuating, and ultimately, transforming. This kind of cohesion can only be achieved with a degree of communication we are not yet able to comprehend, even though it is constantly occurring in us. How else can we communicate our own blueprint (DNA) to every cell we create in our bodies? How else can they in return, as a combined whole, communicate to us what we are … the captain or our vessel … so we can follow primal instincts, yet be able to choose direction?

It is obvious to me that the common knowledge of self-similarity in Nature can help us understand a bit better our intimate relationship with Nature, what is not obvious is why this knowledge is not in every curriculum of our educational systems?

https://youtu.be/9G6uO7ZHtK8

[1] The information above has been abstracted from Wikipedia

[2] By ‘natural system’ I refer to ‘open systems’ which are generated by natural processes to interact freely while manipulating and being manipulated by environments, as opposed to ‘closed systems’ which are made by man to fit specific expectations.

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156 – On Vacation …

If everything goes as planned, I will be posting again on or around September 1, 2016.

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155 – A Challenge …

On previous posts I have written about the universal blueprint that interconnects every component in our Universe with a matrix of fundamental properties: Become, Self-organize, Bond, Self-generate, Adapt, Self-perpetuate, Transform; a matrix that connects everything to ensure not only Survival, but also, with self-evident creativity, the continuity of a process that leads to increasing complexity, and ultimately, to Self-awareness (you and me are evidence of this process). But although this fundamental level of our interconnectedness has been obvious for a long time to visionary scientists, philosophers and poets, our collective mind has not yet incorporated it into our perception of Reality.

It is thus I feel compelled to continue writing about the universal blueprint, because our incapacity to perceive how it connects us with one another and with the rest of Nature is tearing us apart; we are killing each other, we are at war with the creative process that ensures our own survival, we are recklessly changing the chemical equilibrium of the earth’s environment – our source of life.

To prove the extent of our interconnectedness, I will demonstrate how … without regards to race, faith, orientation … the properties of the universal blueprint render us all fundamentally the same.

Becoming: Becoming is not of our choice; we are all engendered, without our consent, to become participants in the unfolding of a creative process.

Self-organization: The process of self-organization in our bodies is not of our choice either; at conception we inherit the blueprint that maps the species-compelled generation and organization of our supple framework.

Bonding: We bond in two complementary ways: One is internal, as we interconnect all of our components into a cohesive and functional body; the other is external, as we interconnect with other bodies in lasting or fleeting relationships.

Self-generation: We self-generate in two complimentary ways: One is the capacity to generate our own components, the other is the capacity to generate our kin.

Adaptation: Whether we do it instinctively or with a degree of self-determination, we adapt to the changes and demands of environments by regulating the energy sources we consume and the energy sources we release.

Self-perpetuation: Survival is our most primal urge, and in satisfying it with boundless creativity we perpetuate not only the survival of our own species, but the survival of the unfolding process that engenders us.

Transformation: We have the innate capacity to transform, and be transformed by, the world in which we exist. And depending on opportunities, or the lack of them, our capacity to transform and be transformed … whether destructive or creative, limiting or nurturing, minor or monumental … is transferred onto successive generations.

I believe that if every one of us knows how deeply interconnected we are … how identical in essence, how equally dependent on the equilibrium of the environment … we will stop overwhelming our source of life – we will stop killing each other.

I challenge anybody to look inward into the beauty, and the simplicity, and the creativity of the universal blueprint within her/his own life, and then continue to disown its equalizing power.

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154 – On Holography …

How holograms work

Laser light is much purer than ordinary light. In ordinary light the waves are random, jumbled up and run along like schoolchildren racing down a corridor when the bell rings for home time. But in a laser beam the light waves are coherent; they all travel precisely in step, like soldiers marching on parade.

When a laser beam is split up in two to make a hologram, the light waves in each beam continue to travel in identical steps. But while one of the beams, the reference beam, is directed unencumbered onto a recording medium, the other, the object beam, is first directed at the object, and then redirected onto the recording medium. Since the object beam was disturbed by reflecting off the outer surface of the object, when the two beams are recombined in the photographic plate, they intersect and interfere with each other, and the interference pattern they create is a virtual image of the object. That image is burned permanently by the beams into the photographic plate, and the hologram becomes a permanent record of what something looks like seen from any angle.

Since every point in the hologram catches light waves from every point in the object, wherever you look at the hologram you see exactly every point as if you had been looking at the real object, and as you move your head around, the holographic image appears to change just as the image of a real object changes. That is why holograms appear to be three-dimensional.

And this is really neat, if you break a hologram into tiny pieces, you can still see  in any of the pieces the entire object; smash a glass hologram of a cup into bits and you can still see the entire cup in any of the bits! Each piece of a hologram contains a particular perspective of the image, but it includes the entire object. [1]

In the words of the Norwegian intellectual Jostein Gaarder in “Sophie’s World”: If a hologram “depicts a car, for example, and the hologram is fragmented, we will see a picture of the whole car even though we only have the part of the hologram that showed the bumper. This is because the whole subject is present in every tiny part. In a sense, our bodies are built up in the same way. If I loosen a skin cell from my finger, the nucleus will contain not only the characteristics of my skin; the same cell will also reveal what kind of eyes I have, the color of my hair, the number and type of my fingers, and so on. Every cell of the human body carries a blueprint of the way all the other cells are constructed. So there is ‘something of everything’ in every single cell. The whole exists in each tiny part.” [2]

We are like a hologram. We imprint each and every cell we create in our bodies with the same blueprint that not only contains precise instructions on how to grow and develop our specific organism, but also commands them to comply with a set of universal properties … Become, Self-organize, Bond, Self-generate, Adapt, Self-perpetuate, Transform … while at the same time endowing them with a degree of freedom to affect and be affected by their internal and external environments.

Our Universe is like a hologram. It imprints each and every one of its creations, you and me included, with the same blueprint that not only contains precise instructions on how to grow and develop in specific environments, but that also commands us to comply with a set of universal properties … Become, Self-organize, Bond, Self-generate, Adapt, Self-perpetuate, Transform … while at the same time endowing us with a degree of freedom to affect and be affected by our internal and external environments. This is the blueprint of Creation: Every moment we create something eminently new and something eminently old. This is how, as you and I constantly re-create ourselves upon the lessons of our primal inheritance, our Universe re-creates itself. This kind of interrelatedness is about impossible for us to comprehend under a Paradigm based on our separation from Nature. But amazingly enough, over two thousand years ago, the Greek philosopher Anaxagoras [500-428 BC] already saw the interrelatedness of everything: “There is something of everything in everything”. This is the key to a better understanding of what we are: Because every one of us is imprinted with the same universal blueprint, the whole magnificent mystery can be glimpsed at by understanding ourselves. Answers to the mystery of the Universe are contained within us.

[1] Abstracted from “How holograms work” at: http://www.explainthatstuff.com/holograms.htm And “When a piece is a whole” from http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/optmod/holog.html#c4

[2] Highlights mine

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153 – It is Wrong. Terribly Wrong …

Have we ever asked ourselves, our leaders, our rational minds, why do we, homo sapiens, supposedly the most ‘intelligent’ creature on earth, keep creating ever more and more powerful and sophisticated weaponry with the sole purpose to kill our own kin? Why do we, as if ultimately it will not affect us, continue to overwhelm the fragile balance of the atmosphere in which our lives depend? Why do we, at such a disparate levels of inequality, accept the fact that a few individuals can hold most of the wealth of the world, while children, by the millions, die of starvation? Why do we, instead of teaching our children to nurture Nature because it gives us life, teach them to plunder it, to rape it?

We live under the domination of an irrational and destructive Paradigm. A Paradigm of our own creation that for millennia has been indoctrinating a great portion of Humanity under the fallacies that, we must unquestionably obey the authority of vengeful ‘idols’ (gods, dogma, nations, money), and that our existence is separate from and superior than Nature’s. Under this Paradigm we affirm the irrational belief that we have the right, without consequences, to annihilate and torture not only those who do not accept our creeds, but also the world that sustains us and gives us life. Under this Paradigm we have come to rationalize irrational delusions the likes of: To win a recompense in a fictional heaven we must accept a life of sacrifice and total subservience; those who dare disclose the Truth about acts against Humanity must be castigated and oftentimes destroyed; the measure of Progress is irresponsible and unsustainable and destructive consumption; Heroism is the will to die and kill for someone else’s doctrine. What a monumental set of delusions! And to think that this has been enforced, and continues to be enforced … indoctrinated into us … with the sole purpose to indulge the scourge of insatiable Greed.

In the scheme of Nature’s evolutionary process, homo sapiens (from the Latin sapiens: capable of discerning) is in a very early stage of development. But although we claim to have made progress into a more ‘civilized’ world, we are very much … like our barbaric ancestors … still driven by Fear and Greed and Hate. And so our behavior is so irrational, so aggressive, so self-destructive, that we have become deaden to deliberate Wrongs the likes of: Power-hungry and heartless corporate systems deceiving us for profits, even if the deception is deadly; stealing from the disadvantaged, from the starving many, to feed the greed of the rich and powerful; perpetuating dehumanizing levels of utter poverty, ignorance, despair, to promote ravenous consumption; de-valuing human life to such a degree, that we kill our scapegoats, without a second thought, without regret, without a hint of compassion. Is it not a travesty, to have evolved, we, homo sapiens, a most beautiful, creative, insightful being endowed with the high capacity to discern Right from Wrong, into this?

It is wrong. Terribly wrong. And we know it. And we know we are better than this. And we know that the only way to right it, is for us to acknowledge that we know it is wrong.

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152 – On Fields and Forces …

Why are ‘trained’ scientists so reticent to accept the Fact that, those theories on which they base their understanding of the biological and physical world, also apply to us … human beings as biological and physical systems?

Can they not see that we are like a flowing field through which energy runs and expands? Can they not see that as the flow of energy passing from atom to atom or cell to cell is a force of transformation, so is the flow of energy passing from person to person a force of transformation? Can they not see that as the fields of energy created by atoms and cells are powerful and tender, creative and destructive, instinctive and self-determined, rigid and supple, and oh, so pregnant with the potential to transform the course of the evolutionary process in which they exist, so are the fields of energy we create?

A field of energy is a force with which bodies cannot only transform themselves and others, but can also potentially transform multitudes and even future generations. Examples of the force of fields of energy in our own history are individuals like Jesus, or Hitler, or Gandhi, whose strong convictions became forces of transformation that incited multitudes into action.

Fields of energy can be the result of environmental fluctuations and demands, but they can also be the result of the assertive power of an atom, a cell, a human being, to focus with laser-like self-determination on the attainment of a specific goal.

Think about falling in love. Think about how intently we focus our entire being to get the One we love to love us back. Every cell in our bodies responds to our feelings, desires, fears, anxieties. Our moods, sensations, heartbeat, temperature, are tremendously enhanced and our bodies respond accordingly: We sweat, tremble, ache to touch and be touched. Our desire ignites a collective call for action to fulfill one of the fundamental mandates of Nature … to bond and self-generate … which is the universal call of self-perpetuation, the call to belong, the call to transcend. And whether or not we achieve our goal, a field of energy is created in which we become a tremendously self-determined force; we become much more than the sum of our parts. Like atoms and cells bonding and self-generating, we become forces of transformation.

It is indisputable that like atoms and cells, we interact with each other and with our world by transforming inner energy into forces that can be strong and weak, destructive and creative, negative and positive, instinctive and self-determined. But our scientific endeavor has grown too entangled with the illusion of our separation from Nature to consider the possibility that our fundamental interactions are not different from most of the natural world. Would it not be exciting if scientists, instead of accentuating our illusion of separation by excluding us from their theories, would instead transform the search for what most of them are already searching for … a Unified Theory of Nature … by including us?

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151 – We are Citizens of the Universe

There is a growing number of people … especially amid younger generations … beginning to see themselves not as citizens of a Nation, but as citizens of the World.

This movement has been incited by the brutalities committed in the name of Nationalism, and by the shortsighted disregard of Nations and multi-national corporations for the disadvantaged and for the environment.

With the degree of intelligence we have already acquired through our evolution, it is uncanny to witness a world that continues to totally disregard the value of human life; a world that continues to oppress the oppressed … as in barbaric epochs … through warmongering, terror, cruelty, corruption, poverty.  Aldous Huxley’s words on our war ethos resonate today with intense poignancy: “One has this extraordinary and paradoxical spectacle of unprecedented skill and knowledge and devotion and work and money being poured out on projects which can lead not to life, liberty, and happiness, but only to misery, to servitude, and to death.”[i]

Although it is exciting to see movement towards the recognition of our citizenship of the World, I hope it leads, soon, to the recognition not just of our citizenship of the World, but of our citizenship of the Universe – as we fundamentally are.

This is why it amazes me to no end to see how scientists, already in the possession of physical theories that clearly demonstrate our connection with our Universe, cannot see the connection because they treat the individual theories they specialize in as if they have nothing to do with the rest on Nature, thus overlooking the Universal Process that encompasses not only the infinitesimally small and the infinitely immense, but also the world in between … the world of our experience.

Everything in Nature is bound by and participates in a Universal Process; a Process that begins upon Becoming and proceeds into Self-organization, Bonding, Self-generation, Adaptation, Self-perpetuation, Transformation. The universality of this Process is self-evident in all of Nature, and although it manifests in infinitely diverse ways … trees, stars, human beings … nothing can exist without it. But what is not self-evident, not yet, is the Plan … the magnificent Blueprint … that unites us all through a set of universal characteristics transmitted from generation to generation (akin to our DNA code) ensuring the perpetuation of the Process.

You are a child of the Universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have the right to be here.”[ii]

Trees, stars, human beings are congregations of interconnected components which we intuitively bond together into cohesive, dynamic, pliable and self-sufficient systems (Bell’s Theorem).

Trees, stars, human beings attain Permanence through a sustained equilibrium between the energy we consume and the energy we generate (Relativity, Dissipative Structures).

Trees, stars, human beings self-contain, self-regulate, self-generate and self-perpetuate while maintaining our given configuration (Autopoiesis).

Trees, stars, human beings are utterly unique in our composition and, at the same time, common components of the digressions and progressions of our parent system (Complementarity).

Trees, stars, human beings self-organize as a cohesive, self-sufficient unit through the reiteration, at every level of our system, of an overruling evolutionary model (Mandelbrot Set).

Trees, stars, human beings develop in accord with the evolutionary process of a parent species, yet we are undeniably endowed with a degree of choice in adaptation (Evolution).

Trees, stars, human beings are catalysts for transformation (Quantum Field Theory).

When we look deeply not into what separates us, but what unites us, it is impossible not to see the connection: As the trees and the stars, we are citizens of the Universe.

[i] Aldous Huxley: The Human Situation, Santa Barbara Lectures, 1959

[ii] From “Desiderata” by Max Erhmann

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150 – Making Sense of (S[e=mc2]) …

It is very difficult for the non-scientist, non-mathematical mind to comprehend the concept of Einstein’s E=mc2: “The mass of a body is a measure of its energy content” (his own words, highlight mine), but it will be less difficult when we add the “body”, the System, as a fundamental part of it (S[e=mc2]).

The vast distances between the planets, between the stars, between the galaxies, are difficult for the human mind to comprehend. And so to have a vague sense of what those distances are, let us review some of the information we already possess starting with the picture below taken by the Cassini Spacecraft in 2013, which shows Earth from the rings of Saturn as a tiny spec of light (click on picture to enlarge).

earth-from-saturn-900Mmiles-cassini-e1441211063275

 

Since the orbits of the planets around the Sun are ellipses, the distance between Earth and Saturn when closest to each other is approximately 1.2 billion kilometers (746 million miles), and when farthest from each other is 1.7 billion kilometers (1 billion miles). To simplify these enormous distances between the bodies of our Solar System, Astronomers use Astronomical Units (au) which is the average distance from Earth to the Sun at 150 million kilometers (93 million miles). And so the average distance from Earth to Saturn is a mere 10 au, as compared to the distance from the Sun to the Heliopause at 100 au (see chart below showing Voyager 1 traversing the Heliopause in 2014 after 36 years of travel), and the distance from the Sun to the Oort Cloud (the theoretical boundary of our Solar System) at ~100,000 au.

1280px-PIA17046_-_Voyager_1_Goes_Interstellar

 

To simplify the astronomical distances beyond our Solar System, Astronomers use Light Years which is the distance Light travels in a year at 299,792 kilometers (186,000 miles) per second. And so, for instance, the distance from the Sun to the farthest edge of the Solar System is 0.3 light-years, and the distance from our Sun to our nearest star, Alpha Centaury (a binary star system), is 4.3 light-years.

When we consider all together 1 – the vastness of our Solar System, 2 – the fact that the Sun holds 99.8% and the planets, moons, asteroids, etc., 0.2% of the mass content of the entire System, and 3 – the fact that the rest of the Solar System, what we call ‘the void’, is the energy content the System exerts … the pull and push … to sustain relative equilibrium as a cohesive unit,     we can then begin to glimpse at the meaning of the quantities in Einstein’s equation: The mass content of the Solar System, 1.0014 solar masses, times 299,792 km (186,000 ml) squared, is the relative measure of the energy contained in a bubble with an estimated diameter of 200,000 au (see picture below).

kuiper_oort

 

Our Sun is an average-sized star, with other stars in our galaxy 100 times more massive and others just 1/10 of its mass, and it is 4.3 light-years away from our closest star, Alpha Centaury. If we assume 1 – that to be relatively stable each star must maintain a distance from its neighbors proportional to its mass, and 2 – if we take the number of stars in the Milky Way at 200 to 400 billion embedded in a sphere estimated to be ~180,000 light-years in diameter,   we can then begin to fathom the content of the vast voids between its stars … what we currently call “dark energy or dark matter” … which is the equivalent energy the galaxy requires to survive while spiraling through space as a cohesive unit.

Now, considering 1 – that the Milky Way and Andromeda are currently about 2.5 million light-years apart, 2 – that our Universe has, at least, 100 billion galaxies embedded within an oval bubble estimated to be 93 billion light-years in diameter … and expanding … and 3 – that if all those galaxies are separated, like the Milky Way and Andromeda, by distances proportional to their mass,    we can then begin to fathom the contents of the immense voids between them … what we currently call “Dark Matter or Dark Energy” … which is the energy the Universe requires to survive as a cohesive unit, while it has been unfolding across eons and eons of time into manifold levels of complexity and order.

These figures are staggering … incomprehensible to the human mind … and are, as we know full well, subject to revisions as technology improves. And yet they are even more staggering at the other end of the spectrum; there are, for instance, an estimated 32.7 trillion cells in a human body with ~86 billion neurons in the human brain, and each neuron has an estimated ~200 to ~700 trillion atoms, and each atom is a pocket of relatively minute mass and enormous energy content … think Hiroshima.

Things in our Universe are mostly made out of energy, and we are no exception. That is the reason why we can move our bodies to accomplish incredible physical and mental feats … climbing Everest; engendering and raising a progeny; landing a man on the moon; imagining, as Einstein did, the proportion of energy to mass in our Universe; seeing, as Darwin did, the unfolding of Evolution through creativity in adaptation, or simply getting up each morning to face the world. But this is a subject for another post.

It is incontestable that we are immersed in a fantastic, immensely creative, adaptable, self-organizing, self-generating Universe, and that we are, as far as we know, the only beings becoming more and more consciously aware that, with about 86 billion neurons in our brains, we are like the first little neuron in a developing infant which, upon the first days after birth, begins to build the web of interconnections that ultimately brings the conscious self-awareness of the world within its own and beyond its own.

Our quandary is that we have fields of inquiry searching for the smallest particle, and other fields searching for the farthest object in our Universe. And unless we integrate them into one field of inquiry; a field encompassing the microcosm and the macrocosm and the world in between … the world of our experience …. we will never be able to see the astonishing, self-creating beauty of the Whole Being from which we are made and within which we are immersed.

And so the beauty of Relativity we are not yet aware of, is that it unites every single body in our Universe … without regards to levels of complexity, and from the infinitesimally small to the infinitely immense … with the common urge to survive, whether by instinct or conscious self-determination, through the attainment of the equilibrium embodied in the equal symbol of (S[e=mc2]); “The mass of a body … or system … is a measure of its energy content”.

Source of pictures: Internet sites (earth-from-saturn-900Mmiles-cassini.jpg), (Voyager-1-Goes-Interstellar.jpg), (kuiper_oort.jpg)

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149 – Like Sight, or Touch, or Hearing, Imagination is an Organic Sense …

According to Wikipedia, an acceptable definition of a Sense is: A system that consists of a group of sensory cell types that respond to a specific physical phenomenon, and that corresponds to a particular group of regions within the brain where the signals are received and interpreted.[i] Part of the definition includes the fact that there are external and internal organic senses; the external senses include the traditional five: sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste, as well as the senses of temperature differences, direction, pain, balance, and the position and movement of one’s own body; the internal senses perceive sensations in our internal organs.

We perceive the reality of our surroundings mainly through the traditional organic senses, but we now know how extremely limited our senses are in their narrow boundaries. The best example of our limitations is the tiny portion of the electromagnetic spectrum we are able to perceive (the visible light region on the chart below). We also now know that other species are able to perceive the world in ways we cannot. And so, to compensate for the limitations of our organic senses we have developed the sense of Imagination.

quality of a light source

 

Imagination, also called the faculty of imagining, is the ability to form new images and sensations in the mind that are not perceived through senses such as sight and hearing. This definition, to me, appears to reassert the Cartesian duality of the separation of mind and body … the mind can only sense the world through its body, and the body can only imagine the world through its mind … both are inseparable aspects of the single phenomenon we experience as the Self, and neither one can exist without the other.

Like any of the other senses, Imagination is organic – the result of neuronal activity through the life history of the beholder – and all the faculties we attribute to it … forming mental images, producing creations consistent with reality, solving difficulties, reproducing images stored in memory to create new images, etc., etc. … are only possible through the indissolubly link between mind and body sharing the history of the Self through its evolution, its ancestral traits, its experiences; which is the reason why these faculties are oftentimes deeply affected when the interaction between mind and body is damaged due to illness, decease, or catastrophic events that rupture or impair nervous connectivity

Imagination is intrinsic in Nature … the unending creativity of flowers, the replication of the Double Helix in the DNA molecule with a subtle openness for differentiation, the chemical reduction of the entire Universe into a mere 94 ‘natural’ elements,[ii] the astonishing and boundless creativity of Life in adaptation … Imagination progresses in varying degrees of intricacy, and, in us, it has developed to such a degree of sophistication that we find ourselves trying to imagine the entire Universe. As our neuronal connectivity is increased trough experience and knowledge, we develop a greater capacity to see patterns in Nature and to imagine realities beyond the perception of our external senses.

But because the mind is frequently synonymous with thought (and imagination): the private conversation with ourselves that we carry on “inside our heads.” And because one of its key attributes is that it is a private sphere to which no one but the owner has access, it is easy for us to erroneously believe, even with all the empirical knowledge that proves otherwise (the Placebo Effect, the role of the mind in disease and healing, the communion of body and mind in the ecstasy of sexual climax, the impending need for physical change that fires the imagination in search of solutions), that what the mind senses and imagines is separate from the body. This is akin to the not-to-far-away past when our senses, as they do today, told us that the sun circles the earth. It took centuries for our brain to build the permanent synapses for us to accept, without question, the truth that it is earth that circles the sun, even if our external senses sense otherwise.

Imagination in Nature is primarily a survival aid, but in complex systems it can be a tool to attain greater complexity. The human mind is limited by the confines of our body, by the perception of our senses, by the traits imposed by our evolution, thus it can be deceiving. Yet our minds are supple and open to the infinite sense of Imagination, and with our advanced capacity to see the order of Nature we correct the flaws of our perception and come closer and closer to the truth. And although Imagination dies with the end of the body, the reach of our ideas, of our accomplishments, of our visions, transcend in the measure of their significance.

Imagination is organic, the best and the most far reaching of all our senses. Imagination is boundless; it encompasses the external and internal senses yet it surpasses their boundaries, and as such, it must be studied organically as we do the other senses.

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Chart source: google.com/visible light spectrum

[i] Excerpts in Italics are from Wikipidea

[ii] The rest of the elements are synthetic