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)

Note: New posts are usually published on the 1st and 15th of the month. To subscribe to the Blog click on the RSS feeder (orange icon) on the left column of the Home page, down below the Archives.

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.

Note: New posts are usually published on the 1st and 15th of the month. To subscribe to the blog click on the RSS feeder (orange icon) on the left column of the Home page, down below the Archives.

Chart source: google.com/visible light spectrum

[i] Excerpts in Italics are from Wikipidea

[ii] The rest of the elements are synthetic

148 – (System[e=mc2]) or simply (S[e=mc2]) …

At the most fundamental level a body, or system, or phenomenon, is a single substance with dual contents: one is Mass, the other Energy.

A body grows and develops within a supportive environment through an instinctive process of assimilation, transformation and dissipation of energy sources … converting energy into mass and mass into energy. This process is inherited from primal ancestry, but it is subject to the rigors of a Universal Principle E=mc2 “The mass of a body is a measure of its energy-content”* … which demands (without regards to size or level of complexity) that the body attains, and sustains, relatively constant equilibrium between its mass and the energy it assimilates from, and dissipates back into its environment. No exemptions to this rule; nothing in Nature … nothing, not even us … can grow and develop without abiding by this Universal Principle. And if for any reason (environmental devastation, disease, age, catastrophic event) a body is rendered unable to sustain equilibrium between its fundamental contents, it either restructures or perish.

Let us apply the rigors of the Universal Principle to bodies/systems/phenomenon most of us are familiar with: The human body and the human species.

Engendered upon the union of ovum and sperm, each one of us instinctively begins our development within a supportive environment through the process of assimilation, transformation and dissipation of energy sources which are provided, at first, by nutrients in the womb, and thereafter by the resources of the environment at large. From the moment the first two cells merge and become one of us, we innately know how to abide, in order to survive amidst constant change, by the Universal Principle. And so, whether we do it instinctively or with self-determination, at every step of our development … from duplication of cells, to a mature, self-reflective being … we keep what we consume in relative equilibrium with what we put out; we must restructure if we fail to do so, or perish otherwise.

Our species has evolved within the supportive environment of the earth through the instinctive process of assimilation, transformation and dissipation of energy sources … converting energy into mass (population growth) and mass into the energy of evolutionary development. This process is under the equal rigors of the Universal Principle … E=mc2 “The mass of a body is a measure of its energy content” … which demands that as the species develops, we attain, and sustain … whether we do it by total instinct or by our determination … a relatively constant equilibrium between what we assimilate from the environment and what we dissipate back into it. If we, as a whole, are unable to sustain this equilibrium, we either restructure, or perish.

Whether it is a molecule, a cell, a tree, a human being, a species, a planet, a galaxy    the process of assimilation, transformation and dissipation in equilibrium with the intake and release of energy sources, is crucial to Survival. But Survival is not possible without the capacity of the body, system or phenomenon, to be in equilibrium with its environment.

And so, if survival in Nature is not possible without the actual physical action of a body, system, or phenomenon to attain … whether it is by instinct or self-determination … relative equilibrium not only between its mass and energy contents, but also with the environment in which its survival depends – would it not then be more accurate for E=mc2 to be represented as (System[e=mc2]), or simply (S[e=mc2])? Would it not the global acceptance of this knowledge bring in us the full realization of the fact that, our exponential growth, compounded by the unsustainable levels of our consumption, is changing irreversibly the chemical equilibrium of the environment in which our survival depends?

*Einstein’s September 1905 paper. Highlight mine.

Note: New posts are usually published on the 1st and 15th of the month. To subscribe to the Blog, click on the RSS feeder (orange icon) on the left column of the Home page, down below the Archives.

147 – Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going? V …

Update on my quest to answer the profound questions posed by Paul Gauguin on the title of one of his most beautiful and enigmatic paintings. The main change from previous updates* is the substitution of Source by Substance, which I believe better reflects the processes of unfolding and interacting and bonding and adapting  and transforming, not only in us, but in every physical system in Nature.

Where do we come from?

We emerge out of a living, self-determined, primordial Substance; a self-creative, self-organizing, self-generating, self-perpetuating, self-transforming phenomenon whose onward movement we call Evolution. But Evolution is just the transformation of the Substance … amid trial and error, creation and destruction … towards higher and higher orders of complexity and order. And because the transformation of the Substance is measurable, its creativity evident, its self-determination discernible, some of us call it God, but we tend to call God what we cannot understand. And because its movement can be manipulated and it can manipulate us, some of us call it Nature, but Nature is just the manifestation of the Substance into myriad supple forms. And because we can only imagine its beginning as an ‘explosion out of nowhere’, some of us call it the Big Bang, but that ‘explosion’ was merely the birth of one of many universes.

And although the Substance thrives in us and in everything around us … in the flow of primal blood in our veins, in our innate need to bond, in our urge to re-generate, in the compelling instinct to adapt and survive, in the boundless creativity and ingenuity of Life, in the self-organization of molecules into a double helix, in the congregation of stars into galaxies, in the constant creation of solar and atomic systems out of recycled forms of energy and mass, in the self-reflective contemplation of Self-reflection … what the Substance is, how it might have been engendered, what its purpose might be, we cannot comprehend. Not yet – perhaps we never will.

What are we?

Infinitesimally small from the dimension of the stars and enormously immense from the dimension of the atoms, we are manifestations of the living Substance; heirs to its universal mandate to Become, to Self-organize, to Bond, to Re-generate, to Adapt, to Survive, to Transform, ensuring thus our participation in the renewal and perpetuation of its onward movement.

And although our actions and reactions are mostly driven by primal instincts, and although limited by internal and external environments, we are, as far as we know, the only manifestation of the Substance that has evolved the conscious awareness of self-awareness; the self-awareness of our degree of freedom to choose, to see beyond immediacy, to voluntarily transform ourselves and our world. And so, like the Substance itself, we are sources of Transformation.

Where are we going?

Limited by our internal and external environments yet pregnant with the possibilities of a degree of freedom to transform ourselves and our world, we forge ahead until we no longer can, at which point we begin an inexorable transformation, back into the Substance from which we initially emerged, and onward onto Transcendence as impartially measured by

what we have imagined,

what we have created,

what we have destroyed,

what we have taken,

what we have given to our world.

And so, we transcend in equal measure to the significance of our lives.

Think of Einstein – opening still new visions and challenging our understanding of Reality; think of Mandela or Gandhi – inspiring still pacifist rebellion against the tyranny of unaccountable power; think of Socrates – stimulating still critical thinking and fueling the generation of new ideas; think of Gauguin – living still in his beautiful paintings, especially the one that keeps asking these profound questions. These individuals … to name a few … live on in us and among us in higher orders of our collective humanity; their place among us, their transcendence, a measure of the significance of their lives.

WHERE DO WE COME FROM? We emerge out of a living, self-creative, self-determined Substance.

WHAT ARE WE? We are self-conscious sources of Transformation.

WHERE ARE WE GOING? At this point in the evolution of our collective humanity we truly do not know where we are going … we have no vision other than material gain … but as individuals we may transcend as measured by the significance of our lives.

TRANSCENDENCE IS A MEASURE OF THE SIGNIFICANCE OF EXISTENCE.

“All goes onward and outward, nothing collapses,/And to die is different from what anyone supposed, and luckier.”

From Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman

*Post 78, 95, 118 and 134.

Note: New posts are usually published on the 1st and 15th of the month. To subscribe to the blog click on the RSS feeder (orange icon) on the left column of the Home page, down below the Archives.

146 – We Are Utterly Unique AND Utterly Common AND Utterly Universal …

We are utterly unique … there is no other being exactly like you, or me, in the entire Universe, none … AND we are utterly common … there are billions of beings like you, and me, with relatively the same bodily structure, the same organic senses, the same urge to survive … AND we are utterly universal … as the components we are made out of, and the components we are embedded into, we embody the dictates of a universal mandate: Become, Self-organize, Bond, Self-generate, Adapt, Self-perpetuate, Transform.

In becoming and in the self-organization of our bodies, we have no choice; we are pre-determined by evolutionary consent. But in bonding and self-generating and adapting … whether by instinct or self-determination … we begin our journey as active participants on the wave-like evolutionary movement of our species. And in self-perpetuating and transforming ourselves and our world, we assert our uniqueness through our relative degree of freedom to chose.

Monistic and Dualistic arguments overlook the fact that we are neither monistic nor dualist but syntheses of threefold complementary properties. Embodying the dictates of the universal mandate, we are unique in our individuality AND common in the collective evolutionary movement of the species AND universal in our subjection to a rigorous yet supple mandate.

Niels Bohr’s Complementarity Principle is based on two of the complementary properties: particle-like (unique) and wave-like (collective). The classical example of Complementarity, as it stands today, is the phenomena of Light which is both particle-like AND wave-like. Each photon of Light is particle-like in its uniqueness AND wave-like in the patterns created by their collective interactions with environments. But the Principle of Complementarity has completely overlooked the universal-like complement that dictates Light’s unfolding and without which the phenomena could not exist. Light is particle-like AND wave-like AND universal-like. Not one or the other but all at the same time.

Extrapolating the Principle of Complementarity to the macroscopic world of Species and Solar Systems and Galaxies, it is possible to see that everything in Nature … every physical system or phenomena … obeys the dictates of a universal mandate as syntheses of a threefold set of complementary properties. Look for instance at the Milky Way, at our solar system, at our species, at each one of us. We are all particle-like in our uniqueness AND wave-like in the collective evolutionary movement of our kind AND universal-like in our evolution under the same universal mandate. It is true that I can observe you without the inclusion of how you affect or are affected by the evolutionary process of our species, or I can observe you without the inclusion of the universal mandate that dictates the unfolding of your existence, but by doing this all I get is an incomplete and distorted picture of what you are.

We are synthesis of a threefold set of complementary properties. We are utterly unique AND utterly common AND utterly universal; not one or the other but all at the same time. And not until we incorporate this threefold nature of our being into the understanding of what we are, will we begin to understand what we are.

Note: New posts are usually published on the 1st and 15th of the month. To subscribe to the blog click on the RSS feeder (orange icon) on the left column of the Home page, down below the Archives

145 – On Dimensions …

We tend to think of Dimensions almost exclusively under the perspective of Physics and Mathematics (two dimensions, three dimensions, ten dimensions etc., etc.). But there are other Dimensions, some of which are intimately intertwined with us … the dimension of the cells, the molecules, the earth’s environment … others appear to loom distant … the dimension of the stars, the galaxies, the clusters of galaxies … yet are entwined with us by the recurrent pattern of a universal blueprint that defines us all: Become, Self-organize, Bond, Self-generate, Adapt, Self-perpetuate, Transform.

We live in a Universe of multi-scaled and interrelated dimensions in which larger dimensions … the dimensions of stars, galaxies, clusters of galaxies … cannot exist without the smaller dimensions … the dimensions of atomic particles, molecules … nor the smaller dimensions can exist without the larger ones.

A dimension is what we experience as the ‘environment’ in which we exist and evolve; the environment that incites us to become, and self-organize, and bond, and regenerate, and adapt, and transform. We know there are other dimensions within us … the environments of cells and molecules and atoms … that although seemingly independent from us, just like us also become, and self-organize, and bond, and regenerate, and adapt, and transform. We also know that there are other dimensions in which our lives are embedded and dependent upon … the environments of species and the earth and the solar system … which although seemingly independent from us, also become, and self-organize, and bond, and regenerate, and adapt, and transform.

 And so besides the dimensions of Physics and Mathematics, a dimension is the distinct environment … scales within scales within scales … in which the recurrent pattern of becoming and self-organizing and bonding and regenerating and adapting and transforming, is repeated at increasing and decreasing scales in individual systems (entities) as well as in congregation of systems (species) … atomic particles, complex molecules, microbes, insects, vertebrate and invertebrate creatures, plants, planets, solar systems, galaxies, clusters of galaxies. This recurrent pattern is flexibly pre-determined and so, open to Transformation.

It is thus that the existence of a human being, for instance, although relatively pre-determined by the distinct environment of the solar system in which human life has been allowed to evolve, has a degree of choice in adaptation … we do have the capacity, although not always in creative ways, to transform ourselves and the world around us. Proportionately, although the existence of a DNA molecule is relatively pre-determined by the distinct environment in which DNA molecules are allowed to evolve, it has a degree of choice in adaptation. Proportionately, although the existence of a solar system is relatively pre-determined by the distinct environment in which solar systems are allowed to evolve, it has a degree of choice in adaptation … ours wouldn’t have had otherwise the choice of creating the environment for the evolution of conscious self-awareness; the relatively steady environment that has brought perhaps something entirely new into the Universe.

But dimensions can be imperceptible from each other. The dimension of our solar system, for instance, is imperceptible from the dimension of humankind, as the dimension of humankind is imperceptible from the dimension of the solar system … just try as you may to find any hint of us in the picture of earth (arrow)* taken by Cassini spacecraft from the rings of Saturn.

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

 

Similarly, the dimension of a human being is imperceptible from the dimension of a neuron in our brains, as the dimension of a neuron is imperceptible from the dimension of a human being, yet, as we well now know, they are intimately intertwined … a single neuron can be the catalyst for a complete change in us.

The recurrent pattern of the universal blueprint emerges at all scales without regards to size or level of complexity, intertwining all the dimensions and creating Symmetry across the entire Universe; a Symmetry our current understanding does not allow us to perceive, which enfolds the fact that a supple pre-determination and a degree of self-determination (a degree of choice) are universal properties, yet relative to the dimension in which individual systems (entities) as well as congregation of systems (species) exist and evolve.

Besides the dimensions of Physics and Mathematics, there are many other dimensions … “So, in this world, may many others be” in Margaret Cavendish insightful poem below … which are imperceptible from our own dimension, yet intimately interwoven with us, and us with them.

Of Many Worlds in This World by Margaret Cavendish:

 Just like as in a nest of boxes round,/Degrees of sizes in each box are found:/So, in this world, may many others be/Thinner and less, and less still by degree:/Although they are not subject to our sense,/A world may be no bigger than two-pence./Nature is curious, and such works may shape,/Which our dull senses easily escape:/For creatures, small as atoms, may there be,/If every one a creature’s figure bear./If atoms four, a world can make, then see/What several worlds might in an ear-ring be:/For, millions of those atoms may be in/The head of one small, little, single pin./And if thus small, then ladies may well wear/A world of worlds, as pendents in each ear.

*  nasa.gov

Note: New posts are usually published on the 1st and 15th of the month. To subscribe to the blog click on the RSS feeder (orange icon) on the left column of the Home page, down below the Archives.

144 – An Unorthodox View of Atoms

Even with our advanced evolutionary progress it has been very difficult for our brains to incorporate the fact that atoms are our most basic component elements; as we have, for instance, incorporated the fact that the earth orbits the sun and not as otherwise appears to our senses, or as we have begun to incorporate … with reticence … the fact that our ancestry is simian and that homo sapiens came out of black Africa.

 Atoms, as immense as our Universe is and so far as we know, congregate into mere 118 elements (see periodic table below), with some of those elements forming chemical compounds such as molecules which, in us, organize into cells, which then organize into hearts, brains, bone, blood, and in unison, create the experience we call Mind, Soul, Inner Force, Energy, Spirit. The capacity of a relatively small amount of elements to congregate with immensurable creativity into myriad manifestations of existence, is undoubtedly inherited from a primordial blueprint that blankets everything created within our Universe … from the most basic elements, to stars and galaxies … with the universal mandate to Self-organize, Self-generate, Bond, Adapt, Self-perpetuate, Transform.

periodic-table

 

Incapable of perceiving with our limited organic senses the self-determination of this universal mandate in atoms, we currently think of them as mechanical, purposeless structures with one or more electrons bound to a nucleus by a ‘magnetic’ force, yet void of the intelligence required to self-organize and bond with increasing complexity. How then to account for the fact that in such an immense Universe as ours, atoms have grouped into mere 118 elements, which makes their astonishing capacity to self-organize in an evolving Universe plainly obvious; how to account for the fact that some of the combinations atoms create as they bond and separate (isotopes, nuclides*) can be as ancient as to be present since the birth of our solar system, which makes it obvious that their architecture can be perpetuated with unimaginable self-determination for billions of years amid an evolving Universe; or how to account for the fact that their ability to associate and dissociate, in affinity with changing environments, is responsible for most of the creativity observed in Nature.

If atoms behave with such a degree of self-determination, if they self-organize with such a creative and dramatically concise order, if they are so adaptable as to being able to congregate with ingenuity and cohesion into myriad self-generating forms, if they are bound, as each one of us is, by the same universal mandate that has given us our intelligence … Self-organize, Self-generate, Bond, Adapt, Self-perpetuate, Transform … there is no way to negate their intelligence.

“Astonishing! Everything is intelligent.” Pythagoras

As Andre Gide once said “All this has been said before – but since nobody listened, it must be said again.”

Anaxagoras:

“In everything there is a share of everything.”

Pythagoras:

“Know thyself and thou will know the Universe.” “Thou shall likewise know that according to Law, the nature of the Universe is in all things.”

“Astonishing! Everything is intelligent.”

Aristotle:

“For the eyes of bats are to the blaze of day, so is the reason in our soul to the things which are by nature most evident of all.”

A World Made by Atoms by Margarete Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle:

Small atoms of themselves a world may make,/For being subtle, every shape they take;/And as they dance about, they places find,/Of forms, that best agree, make every kind./For when we build a house of brick, or stone,/We lay them even, every one by one:/And when we find a gap that’s big, or small,/We seek out stones to fit that place withal./For when as they too big, or little be,/They fall away, and cannot stay, we see./So atoms, as they dance, find places fit,/And there remaining close and fast will knit./Those which not fit, the rest that rove about,/Do never leave, until they thrust them out./Thus by their forms and motions they will be,/Like workmen, which amongst themselves agree;/And so, by chance, may a new world create:/Or else predestinate, may work by fate.

Atoms of the same elements have the same number of protons, called the atomic number: for example, all copper atoms contain 29 protons. Within a single element the number of neutrons may vary, determining the isotope of that element: for example, all hydrogen atoms admit exactly one proton, but isotopes exist with no neutron (hydrogen-1 is by far the most common form). The total number of protons and neutrons determine the nuclide. Wikipedia

Note: New posts are usually published on the 1st and 15th of the month. To subscribe to the blog click on the RSS feeder (orange icon) on the left column of the Home page down below the Archives

143 – How Different We Will Be …

Uncanny to realize how most of humankind cannot perceive our intimate connection with our Universe  … our connection to that creative, evolving, living organism that gives us life with a subtle yet forceful mandate: Self-create, self-organize, Become, Bond, Adapt, Regenerate, Self-perpetuate, Self-transform … when the connection is in plain sight for all of us to see.

You and I, as the Universe, were engendered with the capacity to generate our own components, to organize them into complex systems, and then to synchronize them to work together to achieve Adaptation, Self-determination and Self-transformation towards complexity.

Perhaps this intimate connection with our Universe is difficult for us to perceive, because it is hard to conceive something as inconceivable as to be like an entire Universe. But how else to account for the fact that we exist, only, because each one of us is imprinted from the moment we are engendered … in the same way we imprint each cell we engender in our bodies … with exactly the same universal mandate: Self-create, Self-organize, Become, Bond, Adapt, Regenerate, Self-perpetuate, Self-transform.

Whether the Natural Sciences and Organized Religions disagree with this undeniable aspect of our Reality, is of no consequence to me. Both have disagreed many, many times in our history … oftentimes with extreme cruelty and force … to ideas that open our minds to greater Knowledge, just because they dare to challenge their dogmatic status quo.

I grew up in a world of challenges and contradictions, like most of us do, with fundamentally the same brain, the same organic senses, the same urge to survive amid changing environments, the same instinctive drive to follow … as everybody else … the same universal mandate: Self-create, Self-organize, Become, Bond, Adapt, Regenerate, Self-perpetuate, Self-transform. But I grew up rebelling against any ‘authority’ limiting my mind from exploring beyond what we have already learned, what our limited organic senses allow us to perceive. And observing Nature, and learning from those with open, inquiring minds, I came to perceive our intimate connection with our Universe. It is thus I believe that if I had the capacity to do so, anybody can.

And so it gives me hope to imagine how different humankind will be when all of us can see that, as each one of us is, our Universe also is full of contradictions … rational and irrational, nurturing and cruel, creative and destructive, chaotic and ordered, full of horror and extreme beauty … and that as our Universe urges us to re-generate, and adapt, and survive, and self-transform, It also urges itself to do the same … exactly the same. It is through the perception of this affinity, that an understanding of our intimate connection with the Being that gives us Life, is attained.

Note: New posts are usually published on the 1st and 15th of the month. To subscribe to the blog click on the RSS feeder (orange icon) on the left column of the Home page down below the Archives

142 – Destructive/Creative Nature …

Destruction in Nature, although in some cases cyclical and in others pre-determined by evolutionary forces … collisions, tornadoes, epidemics, consumption … is chaotic and volatile in its passage towards some form of Creation.

Creation, on the other hand, is supple yet progressive in its ascending patterns. This is evident in the steady self-generation and self-organization of Nature’s evolutionary process towards higher and higher levels of complexity and order.

Destruction and Creation are the balancing forces of Nature’s evolutionary process. Creation cannot exist without some form of Destruction, nor Destruction without some form of Creation.

Everything in Nature … every physical system, every atom, every cell, every human being, every solar system … self-balances through a continuous process of Destruction and Creation of energy sources (consumption, conversion, dissipation). This ongoing process makes the system completely dependent on availability of resources; a dependency that induces creativity as the system strives to adapt and survive in changing environments.

Whatever we call our species … Humankind, Humanity, Homo Sapiens … we are, as a whole, a physical system subject to the laws of Nature. We are a congregation of billions of human beings; each striving to find a purpose, each participating with some degree of choice in the evolution of the species, each dependent on a balanced consumption and dissipation of energy sources in order to survive. And as such we have been proven to be highly creative, but also horribly destructive. We have broken the natural equilibrium of the earth’s environment with our exponential growth.

Evolution has taken us, as far as we can tell, to become the most highly self-reflective species on earth. But blinded by the destructive ideology of “Unlimited Growth” in a limited environment and by the conflict-ridden dogmas of organized religion, we have not been able to attain a creative Vision for the future of our species. It is thus we are ignoring, almost completely, the threat of our rampant growth to the equilibrium of the environment in which we totally depend.

We are lost without a Vision.

What a tragedy this is! With the Dawn of Conscious Self-reflection in us … the only ones we know of … we are lost under the stubbornness and blind aggression of male dominated ideologies that are forcing, not only the power of our creativity into perpetuating a cycle of horrible destruction, but the power of Nature itself into bringing the equilibrium we have not been able to attain.

Note: New posts are usually published on the 1st and 15th of the month. To subscribe to the blog click on the RSS feeder (orange icon) on the left column of the Home page down below the Archives.

141 – Should I Dare Tackle “Spirit”?

Should I dare tackle “Spirit”, the holy of holies, the mystery of mysteries, the Primordial Force inciting every creature in Nature to self-organize, to self-preserve, to bond and ultimately, to create the phenomenon of “Mind” which in us, the only creature we know of, is pioneering the wonder of Conscious Self-reflection?

No one knows how the body creates the mind, nor how the mind organizes and moves the body, nor how … as One … mind and body become conscious of something primal and forceful … their source of volition! … yet ephemeral and fragile … a spirit! … giving our bodies the power to enact what our minds imagine, coaxing us towards Purpose and Transcendence to reach out beyond our limitations, but ay, so easily overcome by greed, rage, ignorance.

So what is it that we call Spirit? Outside of dogmatic interpretations of religious beliefs, Spirit is the primordial Life Force of Existence that, in conjunction with our minds and our bodies, has evolved in us to become self-conscious of our capacity to learn from the past and plan for the future, to judge our mistakes, to glory in our successes, to be aware of our own awareness. And laden with Instinct and open with Infinity, Spirit makes us passive and active, to hate and love, to disdain and yearn, to surrender and struggle, to close our minds with dogma blinding us with ignorance and to open them with wonder illuminating us with knowledge.

Spirit, from the Latin spiritus, is the Force of Existence, permeating the entire Universe and binding mind and body, energy and mass … its fundamental complements … into multitude of forms and, notwithstanding their size nor their level of complexity, infusing them all with the momentum to begin the supple process of self-creation, self-organization, adaptation, self-generation, self-perpetuation – the momentum we call Life.

What an arrogance to try to tackle Spirit, the holy of holies, the mystery of mysteries. But how to explain this Force inside of us, inciting us from the moment of conception … like a little plant, or a bird, or a cell, or the earth, or the sun … to persevere with such determination, to endure, to live on oftentimes against all odds. How to explain the fact that I can touch this Force when I cup my hands together and bury my face in them, and feel my breath, the emanating warmth from within, the stable rhythm, the ancient yearning of the universal Spirit inciting us all to Exist with such determination, so It can exist itself.

Note: New posts are usually published on the 1st and 15th of the month. To subscribe to the blog click on the RSS feeder (orange icon) on the left column of the Home page down below the Archives.