Archive for the ‘Self-Reflection’ Category

197 – Self-Reflection is Innate in Nature …

Tuesday, May 15th, 2018

Why is it so difficult for the human mind to comprehend the premise that self-reflection is innate in Nature? How else can anything on its own power attain stability, cohesion, balance, form, if not with introspection about itself?

Think about a tree. To grow on its own power into a cohesive and functional form, a tree must attain relatively constant equilibrium between its intake of energy from the environment and the energy it exerts to produce its physical structure. It cannot exist otherwise.

Or our solar system. To develop on its own power into a cohesive, functional and relatively stable system, our solar system must attain constant equilibrium between its force of attraction and its force of resistance. It would collapse otherwise.

Or ourselves. To develop on our own power into a cohesive, dynamic, and relatively stable organism, we must attain constant equilibrium between our level of activity and our intake of nutrients. We collapse otherwise.

Any two forces, elements, or quantities that develop as a unit, cannot attain relatively constant equilibrium … one always measuring the other … without a degree of self-reflection. This capacity, although mostly instinctive, is innate in Nature.

Yet we … the human animal … have evolved the capacity of conscious self-reflection, to be aware of our capacity to reflect upon ourselves and our world. But this level of self-reflection is just a small step up on the ladder of our ongoing evolutionary development.

So how, I wonder, would we be like when, and if, we come to possess higher degrees of conscious self-reflection than the germinal one we possess today? Would we be able to perceive our connection with everything in Nature through the fierce power of Life in us to self-generate, adapt, and survive? Or would we perhaps be able to reflect upon our genesis and trace the making of our destiny to evolve a mind … atom by atom, cell by cell, connection by connection …that perceives the Order that created it?

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119 –The Profound Meaning of the Greatest Insight …

Sunday, February 1st, 2015

Since postulated in 1905, we have been rightly mesmerized by the mathematical prowess of Einstein’s E=mc2. With this seemingly simple equation, Einstein quantified the universal equilibrium between the complements, energy and mass, of the fundamental substance of naturally evolving systems in our Universe, successfully opening the doors to technological advances and a greater understanding of the physical world. But the profound meaning of this greatest of insights has been outshined by its success.

The mass of a body is a measure of its energy content”. * These were Einstein’s own words on explaining E=mc2. But if we could look at the equation with a focus not at the contents of energy and mass, but at the body, the physical system that, amidst development and change, continuously measures the contents of its energy and mass so they are always in relative equilibrium and the system can attain a degree of stability, we would then realize that we are looking at the primal act of self-reflection in Nature.

The capacity to self-reflect, although mostly instinctive, is tangible to us when the mass of our bodies (bones, muscles, blood, neurons, nerve connections, etc.) increases and decreases as we develop, change and age, the energy required to keep us in action and motion also increases or decreases in equivalent measure (more mass = more energy, less energy = less mass). We do this mostly instinctively, without thinking; our bodies inherently know how to do this balancing act on their own, but the big difference with us as highly evolved beings is that we can not only affect this ongoing balancing act within us, but that we can also affect it in the natural world in which we exist.

I have always wondered if Einstein himself knew the profound meaning of his insight. With E=mc2 he discovered the universal property of self-reflection in Nature, which not only unifies everything but encourages the onward movement towards complexity and order so evident in Nature. But since he did not see self-reflection as an essential factor in his equation, I don’t think he fully realized the true enormity of what he had discovered.

The innate capacity of any physical system or body to self-reflect upon its own contents and keep them in relative equilibrium is the key to Existence. Although outshined by its mathematical prowess, this is the profound meaning of one of the greatest insights of the human mind.

*Highlights mine

Revised April 2020   

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109 – Self-reflection (Part III) …

Monday, September 1st, 2014

How incredible it is for a mind to be aware of its capacity to reflect upon itself.

Whichever way our Universe had its beginning, it was created with an absolute, non-negotiable rule: Anything coming into existence within its realm, no matter how large or small, simple or complex, can only be functional if it maintains its universal fundamental complements (mass and energy) in relative states of equilibrium through the ups and downs of its development.

This is the universal, non-negotiable rule Einstein encapsulated in e=mc2: “The mass of a body is a measure of its energy content. But the true significance of the equation rests not on the quantities of the energy and mass contents, but on the fact that for the body to be functional, the contents of its fundamental complements must be sustained in relative equilibrium throughout its entire development. But for a body, any body, to be able to sustain its fundamental contents in relative equilibrium through the constant changes of its development, it must possess a degree of self-reflection – one content always a reflection of the other.

And thus, for a body like ours to remain functional through our entire development, the mass content of our body (bone, muscle, tissue) must remain in relative equilibrium with our energy content (action, motion, force). This is primordial self-reflection, and our bodies do it mostly instinctively, for instance, getting hungry and sleepy when it is time to replenish the energy exerted during a day’s activity, or feeling unwell when things get out of balance … out of equilibrium.

Equilibrium is often thrown off by internal and external events, and so, to continue to be functional the body must constantly restore it. This action requires the continued exercise of self-reflection.

Self-reflection, whether instinctive or self-determined, is the source of Purpose in Nature – how could have otherwise the Universe progressed from an ‘explosion’ of some kind, into the advanced order in which trillions of its galaxies organize exclusively into one of only four different shapes: elliptical, spiral, lenticular and irregular? Or how can molecules teach cells to multiply and specialize? Or how can pupae become a butterfly? Or how can we turn the energy we consume from the environment into the self-reflective mind?

Self-reflection is the primordial force that drives our Universe and everything it encompasses to strive for higher levels of complexity and order.

The big difference with us is that, as far as we know and due to a relatively steady and propitious environment, we are developing one of the greatest achievements Nature can bestow on its creations: Conscious self-reflection; our capacity to be aware of our own awareness.

Revised March 2020   

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89 – Self-reflection and E=mc2 …

Friday, November 1st, 2013

Although Science has still 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 physical aspect of the equation 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 level of complexity, nor environmental fluctuations, for a body to be viable, the contents of its fundamental complements (mass and energy) must be in relatively sustained equilibrium – one a measure of the other – throughout the extent of its existence. Without this sustained equilibrium, the body dies.

The essence of e=mc2 lies not on the quantity of the fundamental complements of the body (system), but on the sustained equilibrium of its contents. This sustained 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 sustained 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 mass is reduced so is energy, if energy is increased so is mass.

As every naturally evolving system in Nature, we know this from personal experience. We fuel our development by consuming energy sources from the environment (foods, oxygen, water), we then convert them into the mass of our bodies (weight, volume, density), and release the stored energy in equivalent measure as motion, action, ‘waste’. What is released is a measure, a reflection, of what has been stored; we cannot exist without this mostly instinctive self-reflective equilibrium.

In this degree of self-reflective equilibrium rests the essence of Einstein’s insight. Self-reflective Equilibrium is the foundation of Self-organization; it is what fuels the evolutionary process that generates the phenomenon of Progressive Continuity in Nature. This is how immensely complex systems like galaxies, planetary systems, us,    self-organize, self-generate, and develop.

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

As all naturally evolving systems in Nature, our bodies must sustain equilibrium between the energy we consume and the energy we 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 produce and absorb. We are out of equilibrium, and we don’t want to reflect on the consequences.

* Highlight mine.

Revised August 2019

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66 – Self-Reflection …

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

One of Humanity’s most significant insights into the nature of our Universe is Einstein’s E=mc2: “The mass of a body is a measure of its energy content.” And although the implications of this insight are still incomprehensible to most of us … shame on Science … the equation is one of the foundations for the existence of evolving systems in Nature: Their capacity for self-reflection.

The symbols in the equation that most capture our attention are E for energy and mc2 for mass times the speed of light squared. But the essence of the equation rests not on those two symbols but in the symbol = for equivalence. The equal symbol represents the fact that 1 – no evolving system in Nature can exist without a sustained equivalence between the contents of its fundamental complements (energy and mass), and 2 – that a sustained equivalence between two contents can only be achieved through a degree of self-reflection. In other words, an increase in mass content must reflect an equivalent increase in energy content, and a decrease in energy content must reflect an equivalent decrease in mass content. The system ceases to exist once it cannot sustain this kind of self- reflective equilibrium.

Although self-reflective equilibrium in Nature is mostly instinctive, it is the universal law Einstein encapsulated in E=mc2. But because there is a movement in Nature that tends toward higher complexity and order, the capacity for self-reflective equilibrium is evolving beyond pure instinct into conscious self-reflection. This is self-evident in us, who are becoming more self-conscious of how the power of our instincts not only keeps our bodies in equilibrium but allows us to choose a direction.

The implications of self-reflective equilibrium as a Universal Law are monumental, yet they are not currently part of our collective Knowledge:

  • Our Universe evolves amid constant change into higher levels of complexity and order through a progression of stages in which the contents of its fundamental complements (energy and mass) are sustained in relative equilibrium.
  • But to sustain equilibrium between two changing contents is not possible without a degree of self-reflection … the measure of one content reflects the measure of the other.
  • And to do this in a consistent, sustained way demands self-determination.
  • So there is a simple logic in Einstein’s explanation of its equation: “The mass of a body is a measure of its energy content.” It is the body, the Universe in this case, with the self-determination to reflect upon the contents of its fundamental complements and keep them in relative equilibrium so it can choose a direction and strive to evolve into higher levels of complexity and order.
  • And likewise, as components of our Universe, we have the self-determination to reflect upon the contents of our fundamental complements and keep them in relative equilibrium so we can also strive to choose a direction.
  • And highly conscious of our self-determination to evolve into higher levels of complexity and order, we are among pioneers.

We perceive Reality under a Paradigm that inhibits reflection upon the Fact that Life cannot exist for long without abiding by the Universal Law of Equilibrium. Our exponential growth and level of consumption have thrown our species out of equilibrium with the chemical balance of the environment that supports us. As a result, we have reached a critical point where our environment may not be able to continue fostering our evolution.

We are pioneers in conscious self-reflection and the awareness it brings to our understanding of ourselves and the Universe in which we exist, yet most of us unquestioningly accept the domination of a Paradigm intent on its obliteration. Why?

Revised March 2020

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