posted on Oct, 15 2017 @ 08:18 PM
If you follow my threads, the general attitude about life I take is a) relational b) ecological c) biochemical d) dynamical and e) emergent.
These ideas or concepts cohere in everything that happens; my writing this thread inter-includes within my singular experience a metaphysical
'relationality', which is 'ecological', in that multiple different objects inhere within the expressed function of another object; it is
biochemical, because I am, like you, made up of molecules (which is always relational/ecological), and am governed by a chemistry which is essentially
dynamical (about relaxing energy constraints) - which is to say, hovering at 'the edge of chaos' in a constant attunement process between an organic
structure built from an entropy resistant symmetry dynamic that processes energy according to a "holoarchic" logic that entrains past
chemical-structural symmetries to newer ones, always with regard to the "enclosure" that all living systems are defined by i.e. membrane in cells,
skin in animals.
The last point is "emergent", which, for instance, scientists speak of the mind as "emergent" upon brain processes. This view is very general, and
more or less unproblematic to most people. With chemistry, and the transformation of molecules through interaction with other molecules (or relevant
quantum particles) energy, we know, becomes matter, and matter becomes energy. Matter is also inherently dynamical; it is changing, constantly,
because the force of nature which makes life possible - electromagnetism - is inherently volatile, changing, because the electrons which move through
carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen, phosphorus, and sulfur (the 6 basic atoms of life) are constantly degrading and needing to be replaced, which is a
constant non-stop process. Every year 98% of a body's atoms are replaced. This process is so general that it constitutes a basic "symmetry"
principle for bodily development, one which, given the mathematical probabilities involved, would imply a highly complicated logic that keeps life
moving in the same way towards the same goal i.e. its teleodynamism.
Physicists call this by the name of "particle replacement symmetry", which is basically the most basic symmetry that can be ascribed to the organic
process, but is a little sparse on the details of what sort of configurations underlie the self-organization process itself. Biophysicist Mae Wan Ho,
for instance, believes that "the organism is, in the ideal, a quantum superposition of coherent activities over all space-times, this pure coherent
state being an attractor, or end state towards which the system tends to return on being perturbed". This is more or less the cannon. But what sort
of process allows this to happen?
“The life cycle is a fractal hierarchy of self-similar cycles organized by the characteristic space-times of the processes involved. All real
processes have characteristic spacetimes. The heart (10-1m) beats in a second, nerve cells (10-4m) fire in a tenth of a second or faster, and protons
(10-15m) and electrons (10-17m) movie in 10-12 to 10-15 s. Cells divide in minutes, and physiological processes cycle in hours, a day, month or a
year. This may well be the reason space-time tied to real process is non-differentiable and discontinuous. The coherent fractal hierarchy of living
activities arise because processes with matching spacetimes interact most strongly through resonance, and also link up to the entire hierarchy. That
is why biological activities come predominantly in cycles or biological rhythms. In the language of quantum physics, the organism is a superposition
of coherent quantum activities over all space-times. The possibility for cycles in the living world coupling and linking up to cycles in the physical
universe is surely why life is possible, and indeed some would argue, as Whitehead did, that the entire universe is alive.” – Mae Wan Ho, Meaning
of Life in the Universe: Transforming, pg. 450-451, World Scientific, 2017
A Living Universe
Another article of faith I subscribe to - based upon all the evidence from biology and phenomenology - is that life is constructed in a
'point-counterpoint' dialectic, which the ancient Chinese beautifully captured with the Yin-Yang.
When it comes to the living process, it seems 'idealism' cannot be separated from the form itself, as the superposition of quantum states Ho
mentions basically corresponds to what Jung called the 'archetype', which is basically, and its most fundamental sense, a relational quality of
being that emerges, at its very origins, as a biochemical dynamic that becomes, overtime, complexified along different pathways that have begun to
generate singularized phenomenologies via the formation of a nervous system.
Through the nervous system, or the electromagnetic "flows of energy transformation" between neurons, a singular "proto-self" begins to form, and
this self more or less functions as an intermediary between the biodynamical transformations relevant to metabolism and homeostasis, and an emergent
'order of qualia' which correspond to the different ways that neurons can 'capture' semiotic meaning in the world about it. The world of
electromagnetic phenomena - or light - becomes represented as vision; the world of motion becomes represented as sound; the world of molecules become
represented as smell, etc. This single nervous structure, the neuron, is able to extract the relevant "indentations" which act upon it in the
external world, and in the process, construct a facsimile of the relations in the form of a nervous system that genetically "locks in" the modes of
being which successfully adapt to external perturbations.
Do you see what kind of exquisitely logical sensitivity we can bring to how our minds function? Long ago, the amphioxus evolved what the neurologist
Todd Feinberg and the biologist steven Mallet consider the "beginning of consciousness", albeit, they mean a form of immediate representation of
sensory experience in a brain that 'acts back down' upon the systems activity to provide it a more sentient guidance.
But what is this life? Biologists and other scientists study life, but it seems to me they completely take for granted Thomas Aquinas popular insight:
that existential sense of knowing you exist, and how such a knowledge of self completely transforms the way and nature the self represents its
beingness in the world. Too many books have been written which fail to take this conception seriously, which is unfortunate, as what could be more
interesting than how the wonderful order discovered by the sciences - from physics to the neurosciences and ecological study of human development
-grades until it reaches a stage where reality shifts into another gear, and the phase shift we naively assume with being "human", changes beyond
anything that could be considered expected. How astonishing! How utterly, and incredibly unexpected! It is this quality of being thought so impossible
which makes the phase shift seem unreal, and yet, the logic, if followed through, would seem to imply that the mystics and sages know something
astonishing that would make physicists and biologists and psychologists so sure of "how things work" rethink their position.