89 – Self-reflection and E=mc2 …

Although Science has still to recognize it, Einstein’s greatest discovery was to capture in an equation the universality of Self-reflective Equilibrium in Nature. E=mc2 proves it.

Although the physical aspect of the equation has been proven through methodological scientific experimentation, its self-reflective aspect has yet to be explored.

In Einstein’s own words: “The mass of a body is a measure of its energy content”*, and vice-versa, I add. In other words: Notwithstanding size nor level of complexity nor environmental changes, for a body to be viable throughout the extent of its life, its mass content must remain relatively equivalent to its energy content, and vice-versa. The body dies once this relative equivalence cannot be sustained.

The essence of e=mc2 lies not on the quantities of its fundamental elements, energy and mass … since they obviously vary according to the dynamics of the system(s) … but on their sustained equivalence amidst consumption and dissipation. This sustained equivalence is the significance of the symbol = (equal) in the equation.

When the mass of a ‘body’ … a natural system like the earth, our species, a cell, an atom, our own body … enters an existential arrangement in which the success of its development is totally dependent on a sustained equivalence between consumption and dissipation of energy, there’s got to be, whether wholly instinctive or partially self-determined, a degree of Self-reflective Equilibrium.

We know this from personal experience: As every natural system in Nature, we fuel our development by consuming available energy sources (foods, oxygen) and releasing them more or less in equal measure as motion, action, ‘waste’; we cannot survive without this instinctive self-reflective process.

This degree of self-reflective equilibrium is the essence of Einstein’s insight. Self-reflective Equilibrium is the foundation of Self-organization in Nature; it fuels the unfolding of the universal evolutionary process creating the phenomena of Continuity. This is how immensely complex systems like galaxies, planetary systems, us, have developed.

E=mc2 is one of the most beautiful insights into the nature of our Universe, but because we continue to perceive ourselves as separate from Nature we fail to see the beauty of the equation in us. Our self-determined capacity to self-reflect is obvious to us, but not the instinctive self-reflection of our bodies: As we grow, change and develop, our consumption and dissipation of energy sources naturally increases in relative measure to our increase in mass, and vice-versa. Think of what happens when we go on a diet, or when we want to build muscle, or when we get sick and lose mass and ‘lack’ energy.

In other words, when the mass content of a body is increased or decreased, its energy content is also increased or decreased in equivalent measure, each a measure of the other, thus remaining in relative equilibrium for the life of the body.

As our bodies consume and release energy sources to stay alive, so does Humankind. But we have come to a point in which we are consuming and releasing much more than the earth can produce and absorb. We are out of equilibrium, and it seems we don’t want to reflect on it.

* Highlight mine.

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