posted on Dec, 2 2016 @ 11:06 PM
Metabolism is a catch-all term for the cumulative transformation of the electrochemical activities of molecules through the structure of the body.
Were faced with a dilemma already: is the Human a dissipative structure, as described by Ilya Prigogine? It seems impossible to ignore - it's true:
the human IS an animal - a biological system of around 75 trillion cells, made up of an estimated 10 octillion atoms. When we study chemistry
in school, its seldom realized that what we are looking at is us. The chemical is not a thing - but a dynamical property - an ecological phenomenon
held in place by the forces which collectively constitute it's place as a material "thing".
This applies to the chemical - the molecule - so imagine how this theme progresses when the macro-molecule emerges, and when macro-molecules develop
symmetrical and dynamical correlated relations with one another as a way to best dissipate the stresses acting upon its organization - at all times,
there is one continuous theme in operation: The relaxation of stresses towards equilibrium. The biophysicist Harold Morowitz emphasized this
point in his final book on the origin of life, and it is a theme we find again and not merely in biology, but in everything we see - matter assumes
the most relaxed relations, and what we see our cliff formations, the waves of the oceans, the movements of the clouds - these are all emergent
structures, arising at a level of phenomenonality accessible to macrostructures like ourselves.
Meaning is there at the beginning of life - at least at a very abstract level, we see an important impliciation of the first principle of matter:
to relax relations towards equilibrium. In a large dissipative system like a cell, the cells functioning remains fundamentally entrained to the
"affordances" of the surrounding environment. The biophysicist Brian Goodwin, in thinking about how the physics of self-organization leads to the
personalities of large-scale animals, sought to reconcile the molecular interactions with the overall 'field' of the organisms whole. The organism
at large was like the tip of a pyramid - the "teleodynamism" of Terrence Deacons theorizing - it's particular raison d'etre. It's external
structure was the most dynamically "coherent form" for being able to reproduce itself at this level of phenomenality. Because of this 'ascension'
like quality to the development and progression of life - a literal increase in molecular elements - the ecologist Robert Ulanowicz conceptualized
ecosystems in terms of ascendence, a concept equally applicable to the interacting elements within the dynamical 'whole' of the organism.
As a system, the highest system itself has an innumerable amount of subsystems, each dynamically and coherently related to the chemical and
electromagnetic dynamics of the surrounding world. Necessarily, the neuron plays an essential role in mediating the macrolevel being of the organism
within the dynamical structure of the dissipative system. The neuron is electromagnetic - and all activities in cells occur through the matrix of
water - of which, according to the biochemist Gerald Pollacks, makes up around 99% of our body. The matrix is the easiest thing to ignore, yet the
important discovery of waters 4th state - the crystalline helix - has lent much credence to the idea that water is the medium which coordinates the
activities of the 'whole' with the dynamics of the parts.
Is it inevitable that science chug forward and reach the world of mysticism, and end up seeing a "formative double", as helping to constitute the
electromagnetic correlations that generate the body's coherency? Given how the world looks, and given that everything is in fact connected - molecule
by molecule - with everything else, is it really too strange to think that our minds - the liquid like flowing of our perceptivity - has some
essential relationship with the flowing of our body's structure - mediated by the crystalline state of H20?
Meaning would then be synonymous with metabolism - a higher and more refined form - an emergent property that nature achieves by clarifying reality
with greater and greater precision. Indeed, our later-cortices - our newest neurological add-on, is the first organ of the brain to be 'turned-off'
when we experience stress. The limbic system is primarily a medial - middle of the brain - structure, moving from deep within the brainstem, to the
amygdala-striatum area and outwards. Dysregulated feeling states are like dynamical-storms within the structural dynamics of neuronal-behavior.
Neurotransmitters are being released and generated in excess, and the energy of the body and the flow of its blood suffuses the system with energy -
exhausting the systems metabolic load, hence the exhaustion we feel after fights.
Isn't it obvious that goodness and love are coherent processes that aid and benefit our metabolism? Wouldn't feeling be the sign of meaning? And
isn't the truest feelings those feelings which are properly correlated to the states of others i.e. with love? Could it be that the concept of
"coherence" is the core of it all - and if this is the case, is there a state of perfect coherence? The Human imagination - particular in this
banal-world, feels uncomfortable thinking about these things. It's just so incompatible with the world we've been suckling from - and in this
suckling, would it not be legitimate to say that it is the feelings that we want - those feelings emergent from our development, and to which we feel
the need to regenerate in the ways and manners - the ecology - of our action, between acting and perceiving, the feelings - the spirits: aren't these
the "things" which regulate the flow of our mind-brain - and so, the dissipative structure of our bodies?
One can't escape the notion of a 'hive-like' relation between the activities of our minds. It's thought that certain capacities are just
'there', but this isn't true. The inescapable conclusion of the neuroscience of consciousness is that the brain is a hierarchically built
structure, with an increase in neurological complexity - more quantitative units - functioning as a "dynamical constraint" on the functionality of
limbic structures. Think of these higher level structures - frontal cortex in particular - as a phenomenonal 'brake system' that, like brakes, are
real things, but execute their functonality by providing greater dexterity and subtly to the cars functionality. Higher level neuronal numbers - we
have 86 billion, 16 of which are in the cortex, and 69 in the cerebellum - furthermore, is something that is intrinsically districtuted: the
cerebellum has the vast majority of neurons in our brains, yet it is a small structure - hence, the neuron there are small. But why so many? This is
the way the mind works: through metaphor, and so too the brain, where the dynamism of movement - mediated by the cerebellum - helps map and mediate
communication between one body and another body: what is dance and song but matter extolling the meaning of its existence?