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The Nature of Thought – Part XII
by Mr. Iain Kirkaldy-Willis,
Canary Islands, Spain
So, what next in our philosophical exploration of who I am?
Here comes a butterfly. It flits onto the scene, settles momentarily on your arm, flits over to a flower and then flutters off. Where did it come from? How did it find its way here? How did it get to alight on you? How did it find that flower? Where is it off to? Where does it live? And, behind such seeming imponderables, how on earth does it survive this way? How is it such a creature actually exists? I would like to suggest to you that the matter is one concerning direct experience. So, let us work our way into the idea.
Self-organisation’s fundamental characteristic is how all units, organisms and systems, both on the micro and macro scale, are perpetually finely adjusting and integrating themselves with one another ever towards further existential change, to the extent that we can say that Life is orchestrated chaos. Individual units/entities/beings/whatever are both looking after and altering themselves, adjusting to others, relating symbiotically, competing, cooperating, creating synergy together and evolving changes of state together, all in the same breath. Perhaps you can see this happening in your own life! Well, Life is all of this going on all the time – AND MORE, for Life is on the march, creating itself and filling itself out, thereby.
The heart is a prime example of orchestrated chaos. As we move about in living, the blood courses through us, sustaining the field of energy that each of us is, carrying substances, information and messages that resonate in the frequencies of the fields within fields of energy within, in its passage through our cells, tissues and organs. In this the heart couples with the circulatory system, phase-locking its own pulsating, spiralling, pumping action with the same action already occurring in the vascular system. In this intercourse between heart, blood vessels, skeletal muscles and body organs, all squeezing in the complex harmony of pressure waves that make the circulatory flow, the heart is ever stabilising that flow.
Via baro-receptors (pressure sensors) throughout the circulatory system, the heart is sensitive to the multiple vibrations and frequencies coming, not only from the body’s internal functions, but also to those generated by the outside world’s impact upon the organism’s functions. The heart receives the information embedded in the sum of all these frequencies. It processes their impac t as part of its overall activity, changing its beating patterns, pulse waves, electrical input, hormonal functioning and neurochemical release, accordingly. These changes in function inform and instruct the rest of the body, impacting autonomic, physiological and cortical functioning. The heart is ceaselessly doing this and continuously adjusting itself, accordingly, consistently re-configuring its broadband electro-magnetic field to carry all that it is incorporating.
It is not just the heart that works this way. As I said, it is going on everywhere, in the cells, tissues and organs of our bodies, and more, as it happens on every hand up and down Life’s chain of being. If this seems hard to appreciate, it should not be because technology already makes use of it. In a 1st or 2nd World War dog-fight, for example, the aircraft slowly climbed and plunged, wheeled and turned, all within a small part of the sky, to get at one another. But at the speed of a present day fighter-jet, if the pilot were to attempt similar moves, he would black-out and the aircraft possibly disintegrate from the forces that came to bear. Nowadays, a pilot does not fly the aircraft that directly. The whole matter is somewhat more removed from the use of direct hands-on skill. The function of many integrated systems is necessary to fly that aircraft in a manageable way, within the parameters of its performance profile. The controls indicate what a pilot wants the aircraft to do. The aircraft’s computers, consistently monitoring all systems, deploy their functions to adjust themselves with one another towards the aircraft’s performing the manoeuvre the pilot is calling for – systems many of which have nothing to do with flight, but support those that do, such as the air-conditioning for the intense heat turbines that could power a cruise ship generate, all packed into this one-man machine, hurtling through the air at supersonic speed. Even straightforward level flight is a consequence of the on-board computer ceaselessly shaking hands with all systems and continuously instigating subtle adjustments that the 1st or 2nd World War pilot did by direct feel and ready-reckoning.
In the heart’s case, none of the body’s systems are stable, it included. They are always in flux, alive to whatever affects them. The heart is constantly receiving information from these systems, in the same way, making adjustments, responding and instigating change. So is it for that fighter aircraft. In the same sort of way, the plane’s computer orchestrates flight out of a chaos of disparate information.
So, here is another perspective on what we are trying to establish about Intelligence, as the performance of bodies with this capacity for self-organisation, the who’s of creation, such as our butterfly. The fly-by-wire nature of aeroplane flight works because it mirrors something of the way in which things work in Life. However, it only works if technology gets it right. Though it takes something for human contrivance to get it right, in such an instance as flight, yet it is written into Life as something Life does by itself, in itself, for itself, just like that, all up and down the scale of creation, because that is how the intelligence that Life is does things – the Life that spun lesser intelligences, like ours, out of itself through this very capacity for self-organisation.
This is where we can really talk about evolution, as one of the biological mechanisms it is. Take the physical structure of different parts of the brain that develop in successive stages during foetal development. The leap from one phase to the next is made as that critical moment arrives at which there is the sudden change of state to a new system that manifests different behaviour, but in which the previous stage(s) are incorporated as parts of the whole. By design, each stage leads to growth at the next level, each system incorporating the previous one and superseding it, ultimately creating a complete human brain, thereby. This is transcendence, the ability to rise and go beyond established parameters to a totally different state. Evolution then, is a biological mechanism self-organisation employs.
Again, this is the same at all levels with other forms of life and states of being. The existence of a more complex form, or state, is due to the presence of all the earlier ones that lead up to its sudden appearance. It is not superior. They are not lesser, for, without them, the whole of which they have become part would implode, the more complex form disintegrating in the disorder. Natural forests are such systems of many other organisms whose presence led up to the appearance of the whole in which their very existence is an essential and integral part. Planet Earth is a yet grander example of the self-organisation that is its Gaia state. It is also an example of what happens to a system if it is compromised, its base is destroyed, of how, for instance, environments implode and there is a progressive collapse as the rest folds in on itself like a house of cards – predators go as their prey disappears, other creatures as vegetation disappears, plant-life as the micro-organismic vitality of their soil base (or watery medium) is depleted, and so on.
So, there we are! The self-organisation going on within us plugs us into the world it is going on in around us. Standing back and looking at all this in another way, perhaps we are talking about matters in Life where Love is the glue that binds them all as one, a benevolence that has a place for a creature like that butterfly to exist and live so spontaneously.
Well now, there is an expression, the speed of thought. It is a strange idea because thought has no speed. It just is. For instance, if you think of someone and they know it, wherever they are, it is instantaneous, something existing in the pool of Eternal-Communion that just comes to their attention. In this field of All-Consciousness, where Energy is Life-in-waiting, if something is to be known, that is where it is to be found. If something is for saying, that is where it is spoken. Some of those who are acquainted with it and are familiar with moving around in terms of this speak of it as a web, where, if something happens, even just a thought, a strand in the web vibrates and there is a consequence somewhere else in the web. So, if something is for doing, this is where the thread is, the plucking of which will cause that. In Quantum-speak there are words, like entanglement, superposition, and such, terms which, for all that they explain, offer no handle on the mechanics involved, but which, as theory, are the sort of talk that whets the appetite of technological innovation, which is not the same thing!
To live according to the phenomenon I’ve just described is what I’m calling, living by direct experience, living according to who I am. Direct Experience is the title of the 1st image/text series in this article. What the Intelligence that equipped us with intelligence is up to is beyond the probing of the rational mind. Not only are the intellectual gymnastics involved purely speculative, they are irrelevant and have led us to the predicament we are in. Nevertheless, intelligence can apprehend itself. The peoples of indigenous cultures were good at this.
The 2nd image/text series, Life´s End, tilts at this.
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