Archive for the ‘Complementarity’ Category

243 – As Everything in Nature, We are Syntheses of Three Complementary Properties …

Friday, May 1st, 2020

There is nothing that empirically proves our profound interrelatedness with everything in Nature other than a verified scientific theory, and Niels Bohr’s Complementarity Principle gets close to doing that for me. I highlight close because the theory does not include a property that is essential for the complete understanding of evolving systems in Nature.

The most well-known example of Complementarity is the phenomenon of light as a synthesis of particle-like and wave-like properties. Light manifests as particle-like in the properties of its individual units (photons) and as wave-like in the properties of the patterns photons create as they interact with environments. Light is not one or the other; it is both. But light is also a component of our Universe, and as such, it is universal-like in the reiteration of the properties of a universal Matrix that defines the origination and development of all universal components. Therefore, for  Complementarity to provide a complete understanding of light, it must include its universal-like property: Light is particle-like and wave-like and universal-like.

As all evolving systems in our Universe – light, hydrogen, cells, trees, solar systems, galaxies –  human beings are syntheses of three complementary properties: We are particle-like in our properties as elementary units of a species AND wave-like in the properties of the patterns we create as humankind affects and is affected by environments AND universal-like in the properties of the universal Matrix we reiterate as it maps our development and endows us with a relative degree of freedom in adaptation.

It is, of course, self-evident that each complementary property can be explored with the exclusion of the others. The particle-like properties of a photon, a human being, or any evolving system in Nature, can be isolated and studied with the exclusion of the other complementary properties. But by doing so, we forgo the essence of the system we are trying to understand.

In the generation, organization, and bonding together of the components of our bodies, we, like any evolving system in Nature, have no choice; these processes are relatively pre-determined by our evolutionary processes and by the demands of the environments in which we exist. But in the way we adapt, self-regulate, self-perpetuate, whether by instinct or self-determination, we can become pro-active participants not only in our own evolution but in the evolutionary processes of the species. And as we unfold, transforming ourselves and our world, we re-assert the universal mandate that endows us all with a degree of freedom to choose.

The principle of Complementarity proves how profoundly interrelated everything in Nature is. Whether it is a photon, a cell, a human being, a solar system, a galaxy, we are all syntheses of three complementary properties: we are all particle-like and wave-like and universal-like, not one or another but all at the same time.

I do believe that when we accept this about ourselves, we will be more rational and understanding in our relationship with Nature. 

Revised March 2022  

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210 – Billions like one, one like billions …

Saturday, December 1st, 2018

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

It is easily understood that we are utterly unique in the peculiar ways each one of us sense and understand reality, feel emotions, fall in love, dream, reason, think, and yet we are common in the sense that we belong to the same species and share the same fundamental bodily structure with billions of other human beings (four extremities, a skeleton that allows to stand erect, sexual organs, nervous system, an all-enveloping skin).

But it is not easy for us to understand that we are also universal in the sense that like everything in Nature, from the moment we are engendered, we must follow a relatively pre-determined development … we must consume and dissipate energy sources and regulate our own components to adapt to changing environments while possessing a degree of freedom to transform ourselves and our world.

Triality in Nature is universal, but our intellects are not trained to consider our threefold nature. We are unique and common and universal – all at the same time. These three properties complement each other, and all are necessary to fully understand the essence of what we are.

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”

Revised June 2021   

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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 with exactly the same composition as you or me in the entire Universe – AND we are utterly common – there are billions of beings like you or me with relatively the same bodily configuration, the same organic senses, the same urge to survive – AND we are utterly universal – as everything in Nature, upon becoming we are imprinted with a universal blueprint that dictates our development: Self-organize, self-generate,  bond, self-regulate, self-perpetuate, transform, with a degree of freedom in adaptation.

In becoming and in the structural self-organization of our bodies, we have no choice; this is pre-determined by evolutionary consent. But in bonding, self-generating, self-regulating, adapting self-perpetuating, and transforming ourselves and our world – whether by instinct or self-determination – we journey as active participants in the evolutionary movement of our species with a relative degree of freedom to choose.

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 blueprint, 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. We are not one or two properties at a time, we are all at the same time.

Niels Bohr’s Complementarity Principle is based on two of the complementary properties: particle-like (individual) and wave-like (collective). The classic 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 individuality AND wave-like in the patterns created by their collective interactions with environments. But the Principle of Complementarity has completely overlooked the universal complement that dictates Light’s unfolding and without which it could not exist. Light is particle-like AND wave-like AND universal-like. Not one or the other. 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 every system or phenomena in Nature obey the dictates of the universal mandate as a synthesis 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 individuality AND wave-like in the collective evolutionary movement of our kind AND universal-like in our compliance with 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 so, all I get is an incomplete and distorted picture of what you are.

We are a 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 the threefold nature of our existence that we will begin to understand what we truly are.

Revised September 2020   

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72 – We are Synthesis of Opposites …

Friday, February 1st, 2013

Our minds are not yet capable of comprehending how atomic particles transform from energy into mass and mass into energy in a constant dance of equilibrium; nor can we yet conceive how atomic particles gather together to form the complex and beautiful organization of our bodies; nor can we yet perceive the Primordial Forces that drive them, like musical notes in the continuum of a melody, to empower us with a relative degree of freedom to play our own music.

Dominated by a Reductionistic methodology, science has led us to believe that we can understand the Essence of Nature by reducing it to its most elementary constituents. Thus we find ourselves desperately searching for the ultimate of all particles, the one scientists call the ‘god’ particle, believing that once isolated it will lead us to the understanding of everything. But by focusing 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 everything together, including us, as fleeting yet significant elements in the continuum of Existence.

This is akin to trying to understand the Essence of a melody by isolating a musical note and losing the melody in the process.

Atomic particles, like genes or cells, can, of course, be physically isolated to understand their characteristics, compositions, propensities, interactions. But by doing so we not only remove them from their natural domains but more importantly, we overlook the Primordial Forces that bind them together into 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 comprehended by Isolation or Reduction but by seeing them not only as a complete whole themselves but as complements of a whole.

All natural phenomena are composites of seemingly opposing sides. We are unique and common, destructive and creative, predator and prey, instinctive and self-determined, significant and insignificant, relatively permanent and transient, a part and a whole. And although seemingly opposing, they complement each other; one cannot exist without the other. Therefore, by focusing exclusively on one of the complements, we not only fail to see its co-dependence on the other, but we fail to see the complete phenomenon.

We all have a destructive and a creative side, an instinctive and a self-determined side, an ugly and a beautiful side, a ‘bad’ and a ‘good’ side. And 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 a synthesis of opposing yet complimentary sides of Nature.

Revised March 2019

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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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