109 – Self-reflection …

How incredible it is for a mind to be aware of its capacity to reflect upon itself.

Whichever way our Universe had its beginning, it was created with an absolute, non-negotiable rule: Anything coming into existence within its realm, no matter how large or small, simple or complex, can only be functional if it maintains its universal fundamental complements (mass and energy) in relative states of equilibrium through the ups and downs of its development.

This is the universal, non-negotiable rule Einstein encapsulated in e=mc2: “The mass of a body is a measure of its energy content. But the true significance of the equation rests not on the quantities of the energy and mass contents, but on the fact that for the body to be functional, the contents of its fundamental complements must be sustained in relative equilibrium throughout its entire development. But for a body, any body, to be able to sustain its fundamental contents in relative equilibrium through the constant changes of its development, it must possess a degree of self-reflection – one content always a reflection of the other.

And thus, for a body like ours to remain functional through our entire development, the mass content of our body (bone, muscle, tissue) must remain in relative equilibrium with our energy content (action, motion, force). This is primordial self-reflection, and our bodies do it mostly instinctively, for instance, getting hungry and sleepy when it is time to replenish the energy exerted during a day’s activity, or feeling unwell when things get out of balance … out of equilibrium.

Equilibrium is often thrown off by internal and external events, and so, to continue to be functional the body must constantly restore it. This action requires the continued exercise of self-reflection.

Self-reflection, whether instinctive or self-determined, is the source of Purpose in Nature – how could have otherwise the Universe progressed from an ‘explosion’ of some kind, into the advanced order in which trillions of its galaxies organize exclusively into one of only four different shapes: elliptical, spiral, lenticular and irregular? Or how can molecules teach cells to multiply and specialize? Or how can pupae become a butterfly? Or how can we turn the energy we consume from the environment into the self-reflective mind?

Self-reflection is the primordial force that drives our Universe and everything it encompasses to strive for higher levels of complexity and order.

The big difference with us is that, as far as we know and due to a relatively steady and propitious environment, we are developing one of the greatest achievements Nature can bestow on its creations: Conscious self-reflection; our capacity to be aware of our own awareness.

Revised March 2020   

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