Archive for August, 2011

37 – Autopoiesis …

Sunday, August 14th, 2011

There is a beautiful side in Human Nature that we are not allowed to explore because it would do away with Religion, as we know it.

Religion is beneficial in the sense that it brings people together to help other people, but it is poisonous when, in the words of Albert Camus, “to preserve its faith, it must deny the sun and humiliate free man”.*

Religious dogma denies Reality and opts for fantastic fabrications to attract and intimidate its followers, and it punishes the natural inquisitiveness of the human mind by ‘damning’ those who question its irrational fabrications.

The side of us that we are not allowed to explore has been partially explained in a beautiful way in Autopoiesis; the mostly unknown yet compelling Theory Humberto Maturana and Francisco Valera wrote in 1972.

Autopoiesis (from the Greek roots Auto, which means Self, and Poiesis, which means Creating) means Self-creating. An Autopoietic System ‘is a network in which the function of each component is to participate in the production or transformation of other components within the System’.

The properties of Autopoietic Systems can be summarized in terms of three criteria: Self-bounded, self-generating and Self-perpetuating.

• ‘To be Self-bounded means that the System’s extension is determined by a boundary that is an integral part of the network’: Think of the membrane of a Cell.
• ‘To be Self-generating means that all components, including those of the boundary, are produced by processes within the network’: Think of an entire human body produced out of two cells.
• ‘To be Self-perpetuating means that the production processes continue over time, so that all components are continually replaced while the System preserves its pattern of organization’: Think about the human species and how it preserves itself while constantly being replaced as we all come and go.*

Although composed of other systems that are themselves changing and constantly being regenerated, and although embedded within other systems that are on their own changing and being regenerated, the Autopoietic System maintains a basic design that is continuous, progressive and self-preserving.

Like atoms, or cells, or species, or planetary systems, we … all of us – without exception … are Self-contained inside a boundary … our ‘membrane’ … which defines the make-up of our bodies; and we are self-generating in the sense that we consume energy sources from the environment to generate and re-place and refine our component elements; and we are self-perpetuating in the sense that we not only find the way to build a continuous form of Existence in time and space, but are driven by a Primordial Force … what we call Desire and Sex and Love and Attraction … that incites the satisfaction of insisting urges within us, and thus the Species is perpetuated.

But because this Primordial Force is driven by the urge to feel Pleasure, and because Sex is the most electrifying expression of Pleasure, and because when consenting and in the knowing of what we are doing Sex can be the closest sensation we experience to touching and arousing and joining Universal Powers, Religion inhibits not only its exploration, but also the knowledge that we have come to be what we are because we are driven mostly by Desire, and not by the creation of gods imagined thousands of years ago by men with an archaic knowledge of Nature and a frantic need to control the rising inquisitiveness of the human mind.

The side of human nature we are not allowed to explore shows us that we are driven by Primal Forces that endow us not only with the sensation of Pleasure, but also with the capacity to create and refine a form of existence that can break away from its own boundaries and unravel the Order of Nature … and witness and question the damaging divisiveness of religious dogma.

Share the knowledge.

* Albert Camus’ The Rebel
* Excerpts on Autopoeisis are taken from F. Capra’s ‘The Web of Life’
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36 – Searching for The Universal Value …

Monday, August 1st, 2011

“If men cannot refer to a common value, recognized by all as existing in each one, then man is incomprehensible to man”. Albert Camus*

Values, like Beauty, Freedom, Justice, Courage, Moderation, Truth, Reason, Wisdom, are recognized by all of us to a certain degree and according to individual experience, but they have different significance, different Value, for each of us.

We don’t yet have a common value that is not only shared by everybody without exception, but that it also has the same exact significance, the same Value, for all of us; for you, for me, for the rest of Humankind, for the rest of the natural world.

That value is Equilibrium.

From the moment a single Sperm … out of millions … is accepted inside an Ovum, a dance of Creation and Equilibrium begins.

At every step of our unfolding we consume energy, store it temporarily as Mass, transform it, and then release it back as the energy of Re-generation, and Waste, and Motion, and Direction, and Selection, and Method, and Power, and Purpose, in a brilliant and organized parade of consecutive states of optimal Equilibrium between what is consumed and what is released.

Innately driven by a Force as ancient as the Universe, our body … and each of its component elements … innately knows when it is time to recharge, and how much energy it needs to store, and how much energy it can spend. And not withstanding anomalies, which are often catastrophic if not transforming, the dance between consumption and release continues unabated until we can no longer dance.

Thus no matter how young or old, short or tall, black or white or yellow or brown, educated or religious or not, male or female or in between, Existence demands of us that we maintain, amidst the ups and downs of our development, a constant Equilibrium between what we intake and what we release.

Just look at the things you instinctively do to amass energy … eat, rest, sleep, self-reflect … getting ready to sprint again. And then look at the things you purposefully do with the amassed energy … deciding to read a certain book or looking for another job or building the home of your dreams … but reduce energy sources, or take them away altogether, and Life as we know it is changed.

This is the Law of Conservation of Energy … the Universal Equalizer … which demands of each one of us, without exception, that in order to exist we constantly transform energy into mass and mass into energy, but always maintaining their contents in equilibrium.

So, if we are all exactly the same in the sense that our lives are based on an Primordial Equivalence that regulates the flow of our unfolding, and if we are all exactly the same in the sense that we are all endowed with a relative degree of freedom to direct our future, and if we are all exactly the same in the sense thatwe all know … in different degrees of acceptance … that if we continue to disregard the impact of our uncontrolled growth and mindless consumerism on the limited resources of the planet we will ultimately have to face catastrophic consequences if not total extinction, why then do we bend under political and religious dogmas (see Post 21) that incite division and drive us into the irrational destruction of the energy sources in which our lives depend?

The more we recognize the Universal Primordial Equivalence existing in each and all of us, the more we will stop consenting.

What are your thoughts?

Highlight mine.
• Posts are usually published on the 1st and 15th of each month