Archive for the ‘Complementarity’ Category

210 – Billions like one, one like billions …

Saturday, December 1st, 2018

Doesn’t it make you wonder why your body grows into the same common shape as those of billions of other human beings, yet with peculiar differences that make you utterly unique? Aren’t you at least a bit curious to know why?

It is easily understood that you and I are common in the sense that we share the same fundamental shape with billions of other human beings (four extremities; a head with a brain, two eyes, two ears, a nose, and a mouth; a skeleton that allows us to stand erect, sexual organs, a nervous system, an all-enveloping skin, a pulsing heart), and that we are utterly unique, for instance, in the peculiar ways we sense and understand reality, feel emotions and respond to them, fall in and out of love, dream, reason, think. This is because Perception is based on our individual experience of our bodies, our environment, our upbringing, our interaction with others, our tendencies, our opportunities (or none), our schooling (or none). We are also utterly unique in the sense that the components that make up our bodies (atoms, molecules, cells, nervous system, neural connections), are exclusively ours and not someone else’s. There is no other body in the entire world exactly like yours or mine.

But what is not easy for us to understand is that we are both, unique and common at the same time. Our intellect is not trained to consider this duality in our nature. These two properties complement each other and one cannot be fully understood without including the other.

Duality in Nature is universal. Everything is a unique component of something greater than itself; a natural phenomenon from which we receive a shared structure and upon which we can affect change. For instance, we know that Earth is the unique component of a Solar System from which it receives its spheroid shape and upon which it pioneers the phenomenon of self-conscious life; or, if you are a cat person as I am, you know that a cat is a cat wherever or whenever you see one, but there is no other cat in the entire world like the one sitting on my lap, staring at me with those beautiful oval eyes as if he can see something in me I cannot see myself; or if you know that Light is made up of the tiny pockets of energy we call Photons, and that propagating in waves through space and time they give us, among other things, vision.

And so we are complements of something greater than us, something that makes us common like billions and unique among billions; something which can very well exist without each one of us, but without which we cannot exist.

We are complements of the organism we call Humanity; an organism that is alive and evolving and surging because of the actions and interactions of each and all of us; an organism that determines our shared common mold yet can be transformed by the unique potential of a human action, or a unique idea of a human mind.

Remember you are all people and all people

are you

Remember you are this universe and this

universe is you *

*Selected lines from Joy Harjo’s “Remember”

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146 – We Are Utterly Unique AND Utterly Common AND Utterly Universal …

Tuesday, March 15th, 2016

We are utterly unique … there is no other being exactly like you, or me, in the entire Universe, none … AND we are utterly common … there are billions of beings like you, and me, with relatively the same bodily structure, the same organic senses, the same urge to survive … AND we are utterly universal … as the components we are made out of, and the components we are embedded into, we embody the dictates of a universal mandate: Become, Self-organize, Bond, Self-generate, Adapt, Self-perpetuate, Transform.

In becoming and in the self-organization of our bodies, we have no choice; we are pre-determined by evolutionary consent. But in bonding and self-generating and adapting … whether by instinct or self-determination … we begin our journey as active participants on the wave-like evolutionary movement of our species. And in self-perpetuating and transforming ourselves and our world, we assert our uniqueness through our relative degree of freedom to chose.

Monistic and Dualistic arguments overlook the fact that we are neither monistic nor dualist but syntheses of threefold complementary properties. Embodying the dictates of the universal mandate, we are unique in our individuality AND common in the collective evolutionary movement of the species AND universal in our subjection to a rigorous yet supple mandate.

Niels Bohr’s Complementarity Principle is based on two of the complementary properties: particle-like (unique) and wave-like (collective). The classical example of Complementarity, as it stands today, is the phenomena of Light which is both particle-like AND wave-like. Each photon of Light is particle-like in its uniqueness AND wave-like in the patterns created by their collective interactions with environments. But the Principle of Complementarity has completely overlooked the universal-like complement that dictates Light’s unfolding and without which the phenomena could not exist. Light is particle-like AND wave-like AND universal-like. Not one or the other but all at the same time.

Extrapolating the Principle of Complementarity to the macroscopic world of Species and Solar Systems and Galaxies, it is possible to see that everything in Nature … every physical system or phenomena … obeys the dictates of a universal mandate as syntheses of a threefold set of complementary properties. Look for instance at the Milky Way, at our solar system, at our species, at each one of us. We are all particle-like in our uniqueness AND wave-like in the collective evolutionary movement of our kind AND universal-like in our evolution under the same universal mandate. It is true that I can observe you without the inclusion of how you affect or are affected by the evolutionary process of our species, or I can observe you without the inclusion of the universal mandate that dictates the unfolding of your existence, but by doing this all I get is an incomplete and distorted picture of what you are.

We are synthesis of a threefold set of complementary properties. We are utterly unique AND utterly common AND utterly universal; not one or the other but all at the same time. And not until we incorporate this threefold nature of our being into the understanding of what we are, will we begin to understand what we are.

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72 – We are Synthesis of Opposites …

Friday, February 1st, 2013

Our minds are not yet capable of conceiving the complex and beautiful organization of the atomic particles that form our bodies; nor can we yet comprehend their constant and balanced transformation from energy into mass and from mass into energy; nor can we yet perceive the Primordial Forces that drive atoms … like musical notes in the continuum of a melody … to construct our bodies, molecule by molecule, enabling us to unfold under the constraints of environments and giving us a relative degree of freedom to play our own music.

Dominated by a Reductionistic scientific methodology, we have come to believe that the Essence of Nature can be understood by isolating and reducing it to its elementary constituents … atomic particles, genes, cells … thus we find ourselves desperately searching for the ultimate of all particles … the one scientists are calling the ‘god’ particle … believing that we will be able to understand everything once it is isolated. But while we are focused on this approach we have lost our capacity to perceive the ancient natural Forces … Bonding, Self-organization, Self-generation, Self-perpetuation, Self-reflection … that bind our bodies together and allow us to come alive as fleeting yet relatively significant elements in the continuum of Existence.

It is like trying to understand the Essence of a Melody by isolating a musical note, while in the process losing The Melody.

Atomic particles, or genes, or cells can be physically isolated to understand their characteristics, constitutions, propensities, interactions. But by doing so we not only remove them from their natural domains, more importantly, we overlook the primordial Forces that Bond them together to form complex and emerging organizations.

The methodology of Reductionism, by itself, gives us an incomplete understanding of Reality. The Essence of an atom, a gene, a cell, a human being, or a musical note for that matter, cannot be wholly comprehended by Isolation or Reduction. Therefore, complementing Reductionism with a harmonizing methodology … the Theory of Complementarity[1], for instance, with its foundation on the impossibility of fully understanding phenomena by separating it from the conditions from which it emerges … will give us a more truthful and complete view of the world form which we emerge.

All natural phenomena are composites of two or more seemingly opposing sides. As atoms, or molecules, or cells, we are unique and common, destructive and creative, predator and prey, folding and unfolding, instinctive and self-determined, transient and relatively permanent, significant and insignificant, a component part and a complete entity. And although seemingly opposing, the two sides complement each other; one cannot exist without the other. Thus by focusing on only one of the sides, we not only fail to see its co-dependence on the other, but we fail to see the complete phenomenon.

Whatever side of Nature we find ourselves … whether it is our choice or the choice of Nature … we all have a destructive side and a creative side, a primal side and a self-determined side, an ugly side and a beautiful side, a ‘bad’ side and a ‘good’ side. Therefore we cannot further the understanding of our own emergence nor of the natural world from which we are emerging, until we accept the Fact that, like everything in Nature, we are synthesis of opposites, indivisible from Nature.

[1] See posts 19,20,23 & 24 on Complementarity.

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23– The Fallacy of “Separateness” …

Saturday, January 15th, 2011

Our current Paradigm for the understanding of Reality (see Post 1) is destructive and reeks of Separation:

  • Religions: Mine is the ‘True’ religion.
  • Economies: Elite or exploited.
  • Science: Microcosm or macrocosm.
  • Politics: My country or theirs.
  • Education: Nature is for us to exploit.

To this day, and to our great detriment, most of us cannot accept the obvious Fact that we are inseparable from Nature; that although each one of us is an utterly unique human being, we cannot exist without a species that is embedded in and dependent on Nature for its existence.

It is thus uncanny to see that this knowledge, so essential to our survival, is not of utmost importance in our educational systems. And that the reason for this, is because this knowledge goes against the interests of the powers that promote the fallacy of Separation.

In the first half of the 20th Century, Bell’s Theorem and the Notion of Complementarity in particular, undeniably proved 1- that physical separation between a whole and its parts is an illusion; we are made of myriad tiny components, yet they are bonded together into what we experience as the unbroken ‘me’ 2- that isolating something from its environment, although certainly possible, leads to aberrations (a neuron is not a neuron any longer outside its brain) 3- that uniqueness and wholeness are complementary properties of Nature … Galaxies, human beings, cells, atoms are unique entities and, at the same time, complements of a whole without which they cannot exist.

As components of an evolving species, human beings are conceived relatively equally, with a head, two arms, two legs, sexual organs, sensory systems, innate drive to bond and survive, etc., etc. And although utterly unique in the sense that each one of us is made of a particular set of components, all of us are intimately tied to the existence of a species that dictates the structural organization of our organisms; a species that affects us, is affected by us, grows, evolves, and gets into creative and destructive moods (think about the creative mood of the Renaissance or the suicidal mood of our current state of affairs). Humanity is particle-like in each one of us and wave-like in the sum of us. Not one or the other. Both at the same time.

But under a Paradigm that emphasizes Separation, the Fact that a thing is two things at the same time without losing its unity is inconceivable to us, yet this is exactly the nature of Reality. That is why, although constantly shifting between the pressures of our individuality and the forces, instincts, moods, and actions of the multi-billion organism to which we belong, we fundamentally remain the same self.

As highly evolved and intelligent as we consider ourselves to be, we are nonetheless in our infancy when measured against the universal evolutionary process in which we exist. We are still so far from the mature capacity to perceive ourselves as physical systems – made of systems and embedded in systems, systems within systems within systems. We are still so young, so terribly arrogant in our ignorance, so stubbornly chained to ancient fallacies that continue to dominate and deviate our understanding of Reality.

But all we have to do to see the fallacy of a Paradigm bent on Separation, is to look at ourselves, at the earth, at the world of the atomic particles we know so little about, to realize that we are complements of something greater than us; something that unifies us by giving us a unique yet homogeneous form, something that endows us with a forceful drive to survive and bond and adapt, something that can very well exist without us, but without which we cannot exist.

It is human nature to be afraid of change, to be terrified of the unknown, but change we must if we are to survive into the future. Humanity is not something separate from Nature, Humanity is alive and surging because of the interrelatedness of all of us with the natural world, yet if we continue to promote the absurdity of our sense of separation, Humanity might become a horrible aberration, or even join the endless list of extinct species.

Couldn’t we share the Knowledge that has been arrested by a few? Couldn’t we teach our children that separation in Nature is an illusion, an illusion that incites destruction, violence, hate, war, conflict?

Revised February 2018

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20 – Parallels …

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

Pre-meditation and pre-determination are complementary expressions of existence. The subjective world of our minds and the physical world of our bodies, purposefully and instinctively parallel each other as we interact with environments. In our conscious and unconscious behavior, we fluctuate back and forth between these complementary expressions, changing them and being changed by them.

Our Bodies are complemented by the subjective Being we try to describe with many words: Mind, Self, Soul, Ego, Energy, Intelligence, Consciousness, Awareness, etc., etc. But this Being is almost impossible to define because, although it feels independent and uniquely ours, is a common experience we share with the rest of Humanity. We all experience this indefinable Being making its own decisions, dreaming its own dreams, craving its own desires, creating its own fantasies and, without hesitation or consent, finding its own ways to get what it wants. We all experience the Self that makes us laugh and cry; the Ego that drives us into love and hate; the Mind that stands in awe before the beauty and unpredictability of Nature; the Intelligence that wonders about its own meaning and the meaning of it all; the Consciousness that tells us what is wrong and what is right; the Soul that has become aware of its own awareness and intuitively knows it belongs to something beyond its comprehension.

Our Minds are complemented by a physical Being we try to describe with many words: Body, Organism, Animal, Creature, Structure, System, etc., etc. But this Being is almost impossible to define because, although it feels independent and uniquely ours, it is a common experience we share with the rest of Humanity. We all experience the Being that has roots in ancient times and has learned to absorb and synthesize the energy sources of the natural world it inhabits; the indomitable Creature that challenges the laws of Nature and rebelliously obeys its pre-determined ending; the supple Structure that can create new forms of existence and transform itself and its world; the fragile Organism created out of the union of an ovum and a sperm knowing how to manipulate and be manipulated by its own environment; the instinctive Animal that seeking retribution destroys without remorse and seeking pleasure perpetuates Life; the supple and sensuous Body that reaches heights beyond its comprehension in the ecstasy of lovemaking.

Although there are times when our minds feel detached from our bodies, and times when our bodies feel detached from our minds, these are moments of fancy when we lose ourselves to our instincts or move deep into the wonder of self-reflection; they are but One.

These complementary expressions of our existence are parallel in our lives as we fluctuate between them in degrees of pre-meditation and degrees of pre-determination.

Descartes was wrong in his deduction centuries ago that the mind is separate from the body. As Energy cannot exist without mass nor mass without energy, mind cannot exist without the body nor the body without the mind. Yet we let a mistake this man made hundreds of years ago continue to dominate the way we think. Go figure!

Revised July 2017

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