89 – Self-reflection and E=mc2 …

Although Science still has to recognize it, Einstein’s greatest achievement was to capture in a simple equation, e=mc2, the universality of self-reflective equilibrium in Nature.

The equation’s physical aspect has been thoroughly proven through methodological scientific experimentation, but 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.” * In other words: Notwithstanding size, nor the level of complexity, nor the impact of environmental fluctuations, the viability of a body, or system, depends on the equilibrium of its fundamental complements (mass and energy); one a measure of the other throughout the extent of its existence. Without equilibrium, the body dies.

The essence of e=mc2 lies not on the quantity of the fundamental complements but on their equilibrium. This equilibrium is the significance of the symbol = in the equation.

When a ‘body’ enters an existential arrangement in which the success of its development is totally dependent on a relative equilibrium between the contents of its two fundamental complements, there’s got to be, whether instinctive or self-determined, a degree of self-reflection: if the mass of the body is reduced so is its energy, and vice versa.

As every naturally evolving system in Nature, we know about instinctive self-reflection from personal experience. We fuel our development by consuming energy sources from the environment, storing them as mass, and releasing the stored energy as motion, action, ‘waste’. The energy we release is a measure, a reflection, of the mass we store. self-reflective equilibrium is the foundation of self-organization, self-generation, and development. We cannot exist without it.

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 capacity to self-reflect is obvious, for instance, when we go on a diet to lose weight, or when we exercise to build muscle, or when we get sick and ‘lack’ energy; but it is not obvious in the instinctive self-reflection of our bodies as we increase our consumption and dissipation of energy sources to grow, change, and develop.

As all naturally evolving systems in Nature, we must sustain equilibrium between the mass of our bodies and the energy we consume and dissipate to stay alive. So does humankind. But as a species, we have reached a point where we are consuming and releasing more energy sources than the Earth can sustain. We are out of equilibrium, and we don’t want to reflect on the consequences.

* Highlight mine.

Revised January 2021

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One Response to “89 – Self-reflection and E=mc2 …”

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