Archive for the ‘Self-Reflection’ Category

197 – Self-Reflection is Innate in Nature …

Tuesday, May 15th, 2018

Why is it so difficult for our minds to assimilate into our understanding of reality the fact that self-reflection is innate in Nature? How else can any living, evolving thing can attain on its own power a degree of stability, cohesion, equilibrium, form, if it is not by reflecting upon itself?

Whether instinctive or volitional, nothing can exist and evolve with a sense of direction without a degree of self-reflection.

Think about a tree. To grow on its own power into a cohesive and functional living organism, a tree must balance on a continuous basis its intake of energy sources from the environment with the energy it exerts to grow into a relatively pre-determined structure. A tree cannot do this … measuring input to be equivalent to output as it grows into a pre-determined form amid changing environments … without a degree of self-reflection.

Think about our solar system. To develop on its own power into a cohesive, dynamic, yet relatively stable system, our solar system must constantly balance its force of attraction with its force of resistance. This continuous equilibrium … one always a measure of the other … is not possible without a degree of self-reflection. The system would collapse or dissipate into space otherwise.

Think about ourselves. To develop on our own power into a cohesive, dynamic, yet relatively stable organism, we must constantly balance our intake of energy sources with our output of activity … one a measure of the other … as we develop into a relatively pre-determined structure amid the constraints of our environment. Although this self-reflective process is mostly instinctive, we cannot exist without it.

Any two forces, elements, or quantities that develop as a unit, cannot be in equilibrium … one always measuring the other … without a degree of self-reflection.

Yet in us, the human animal, this process has evolved to become conscious of its own awareness. As far as we know, we are the only creature in Nature conscious of the capacity to reflect upon ourselves and our world.

Although significant, this level of self-reflection is but a small step up on the ladder of our ongoing evolutionary development.

So how, I wonder, would we be like when, and if, we evolve into higher degrees of conscious self-reflection than the germinal we possess today? Would we be able to perceive our connection with Nature through the fierce power of Life 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?

Self-reflection is innate in Nature.

Revised February 2021   

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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 …

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 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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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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