Archive for January, 2019

213 – Life can only come from Life …

Tuesday, January 15th, 2019

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

I wonder what will happen to us, the human race, if we come to accept the premise that the Universe is alive as we are.

There are facts about our Universe that can only be understood thus.

The fundamental substance of our Universe (what it is fundamentally made out of) is energy/mass – energy condensing into mass and mass dissipating into energy – and its elemental composition is atomic.

Atoms are generated through interactions between matter and energy in which they organize into systems that conform to and influence environments. But the viability of an atomic system depends entirely on its capacity to regulate its energy content in equilibrium with its mass content, and vice versa: one always a measure of the other. [1]

I believe our Universe could not have come into existence in a vacuum; its energy could not have condensed into mass, nor its mass conform to be a measure of energy without the influence of an external force – pressure, incitement, or perhaps reiteration! Like everything it encompasses, like everything in Nature, our Universe needed not only a constant source of energy to grow, but an environment to interact with and unfold into. We have nothing to compare the vastness nor the majesty of our Universe, but we have some empirical insights into its nature: we know, for instance, that two of its mayor players are energy and matter; we also know that either through reiteration, or survival instinct, or creativity, our Universe began to regulate the contents of its own fundamental substance in a process that would lead into complexity and order.

Although mostly unaware of self-regulation in us, we do it all the time: we consume energy sources from the environment (foods, oxygen), and dissipate the energy as growth, motion, action, re-generation. But our existence depends entirely not just on our capacity to consume and dissipate energy, but on the steady process that regulates them and keep them in equilibrium. As we grow in activity and weight during our infancy and youth, our body demands increasing amounts of energy, and as we grow older and stabilize weight and reduce the vigor of our activity, our body demands lesser amounts of energy; we eat and rest to replenish spent energy, and we use the energy until it needs replenishment again in an ongoing cycle of consumption and exertion, but whether we do it by instinct or self-determination, we regulate the process to remain in equilibrium: one content always a relative measure of the other. This is self-regulation, and without it life is not viable.

Although self-regulation does not explain the genesis of Life, it shows us Life’s purpose in a deliberate action: regulating our own components with the deliberate purpose to grow and survive into complexity amid the fluctuations of internal and external environments, is not possible without a degree of Self-reflection, and Self-reflection with a deliberate purpose, is, I believe, something only Life can do.

We don’t produce energy, we regulate it and transform it, and as we condense energy into mass and liberate mass back into energy with the purpose to grow and survive, we are challenged by change, and change impels us, oftentimes through dramatic interactions, towards complexity.

We do this because we are alive, and so does our Universe.

Life can only come from Life.

[1] I use Matter and Mass interchangeably because both terms refer to properties of the same phenomenon.

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.

212 – My mind …

Tuesday, January 1st, 2019

How can we ever stop being amazed, mystified, awed by our minds, by what we can do with them?

How can myriad neurons – billions of them – independently and communally bond together to become the phenomenon of the mind; a phenomenon that allows me to project outward into the world, and inward into myself, into my own experience, into my own existence?

How can myriad neurons build, and constantly fine-tune, a network of connections that stores my experiences with varying degrees of accuracy and importance, creating a phenomenon that responds to the world according not only to the perception of my senses, but to the influence of my culture, my upbringing, my fears, desires, dreams, metabolism, environment?

The mind is a form of energy that can be redirected, focused, expanded, manipulated; a form of energy that can be wrought by music, anger, fear, death, love, beauty; a form of energy that can objectify visions, ideas, concepts. But because our experience of the mind is intangible and immensurable, it is difficult for us to accept the fact that it is as physical a force as the one synchronizing the beats of our hearts, or the force carrying oxygen to every niche in our bodies.

We don’t know of any other creature that possesses a mind with a degree of conscious self-reflection as developed as ours. We can perceive degrees of self-reflection in other animals, but whether it is conscious, we do not know. The capacity of the human mind to reflect upon itself is a major step forward in the evolution of Life, an achievement in its unequivocal movement towards greater levels of complexity and order. But although this is an amazing insight about the nature of the human mind, it does not bring us any closer to understanding the intangible yet incontestable presence of our conscious mind.

It therefore continues to be baffling to try to understand how myriad neurons can create a phenomenon so utterly individual in its experiences, so unique in the physical connectivity of its neurons, and yet, like the wonder of murmurations, how it dances with its kin creating patterns and rhythms of increasing complexity.

I wish I could understand how is it that my mind can reach so far beyond the grasp of my senses, when I know it is limited by what I am, by what I know, by what I perceive; how is it that my mind is so present in me, such part of me, when I know it is older than old and greater than itself; how is it that my mind creates itself moment by moment, day by day, when I know it is being aided not only by what is immediate, but what is eternal; how is it that my mind can converse and connect with other minds, when I know it is inscrutable amid the beauty and uniqueness of its own music.

– this is why I feel so lonely when I am alone with it, yet I know it is the greatest possession to connect with the world ever given to me.

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.