66 – Self-Reflection …
One of Humanity’s greatest insights into the nature of our Universe is Einstein’s E=mc2. Although still incomprehensible to most of us … shame on Science … the equation holds the Foundation of Life.
The symbols in the equation stand for E Energy, = Equal, and mc2 mass times speed of light squared (I try to explain the significance of the equation in lay terms on Posts under the Relativity category), but the true core of the equation is Self-reflection.
Equilibrium can only be sustained for an extended period of time with a degree of Self-reflection: Increase in mass is matched, self-reflectively, with an increase in energy; a decrease in energy is matched, self-reflectively, with a decrease in mass. Natural systems cannot exist for long without Self-reflective Equilibrium.
Self-reflection in Nature is mostly instinctive. We see it working ‘automatically’ at different levels and degrees in plants, animals, planets, galaxies; developing and consuming energy sources in equivalent quantities to preserve a more or less balanced form of Existence. But because there is a movement in our Universe toward Complexity and Order, Self-reflection is evolving beyond instinct in us: We are not only able to self-reflect on how to balance, or not, growth with our consumption of energy sources, but we are also able to self-reflect on how to extend and give direction to our lives. We are, as far as we know, the highest self-reflective form of Existence.
But as all natural systems in our Universe, we cannot exist for long without a degree of Self-reflective Equilibrium. Without it we disintegrate. This is a Universal Rule. And whether done consciously or instinctively, growth and consumption must reflect on each other for us to stay alive.
The implications of this Universal Rule are monumental, yet they are not currently a part of our common Knowledge:
• A Universe that evolves through a constant tug between the forces of Consumption and Growth could not have attained the height of Complexity and Order, so evident around us, without sustained Equilibrium.
• And sustained Equilibrium between two forces (growth and consumption, energy and mass, expansion and contraction) can only be attained through Self-reflection … one force must reflect on the other, and vice versa.
• Our Universe is Self-reflective, and Self-reflection is a property of Life, thus our Universe is Alive.
I am alive because, no matter how much my Life changes from day to day, I instinctively know how to be in equilibrium. I am alive because, as a System, my Body instinctively self-reflects on how much energy to consume, and how much to convert into mass (skeleton, muscle, fat), and how to use stored energy to support my unfolding amidst the ups and downs of my activity. I am alive because I am able to Self-reflect on how to extend and focus my existence under the stern yet relatively flexible mandates of a Self-reflecting Universe.
We perceive Reality under a Paradigm that imposes the destructive belief that Nature, our Universe, is a lifeless resource to be consumed and exploited. This Paradigm in which Progress has come to mean ‘unrestricted consumption’ hinders Self-reflection on the obvious Fact that we, individually and collectively, cannot survive without abiding by the Universal Rule of Equilibrium between consumption and growth: We are out of equilibrium with our environment; it cannot support the increasing consumption of 7 billion … and growing … of us. Yet Self-reflection about our imbalance is inhibited, and thus we have reached a critical point where, without it, we may not be here for long.
We live in a Universe that allows us to increase our capacity to self-reflect on where we are, and who we are, and what direction we want to give our lives, and yet most of us unquestioningly follow those few individuals who want to perpetuate destruction and ignorance. Why?
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