Part 3 - Psychophysical Resilience

Tao of Resilience Part 1 Intro Part 2 Physiological Part 3 Psychophysical Part 4 Metaphorical Part 5: Conclusions Iona Miller Links

"Empathy, Resilience and Consciousness"


by Peggie Southwick; Iona Miller, Editor
Asklepia Foundation, ©1998/2002


The Psychobiology of Resilience

Information Transduction
State-Dependent Memory, Learning & Behavior
Ultradian Healing Response

The Neurochemistry of Resilience

Biochemistry of the Body-Mind
Bio-mechanics of the Body-Brain
Quantum Mechanics of the Body-Mind

The Alchemy of Conscious Resilience

Dynamics of Reciprocal Causality
Alchemical Therapies, Holistic Remedies
Summary of Psychophysical Resilience Findings

Summary of the Spectrum of Psychophysical Resilience Findings and CRP


There is no pure sorrow.
Why?  It is bedfellow to lungs, lights, bones, guts and gall!
Djuna Barnes, Nightwood

It has become increasingly clear throughout this paper that the facilitation of evolving consciousness seems to be both a primary function and a subsequent determinant of human resilience.  It is to gain a better overall understanding of the mind/body dynamics underlying this concept that we now turn to the biological sciences.

The Psychobiology of Resilience

Rossi (1993) seems most qualitied to lead the next leg of this exploration into yet another way of conceptualizing this topic of resilience: the communications forms it takes on as it functions maintain a healthy range of homeostasis within the cells of the body.  To begin, Rossi explains that

[b]efore life invented nerves to specialize in rapid communication between brain and body in large-size organisms, messenger molecules were the original form of communication.  Even today, the activity of every single nerve in our body and brain is modulated by messenger molecules.  This is the new and profoundly deep insight that makes a modern science of mind-body communication possible: Messenger molecules are the ultimate common denominator or "bottom line" of psychosomatic communication between mind, emotions, behavior, and the expression of genes in health and illness.  (Pert et al, 1985; Kandel, 1989; Rossi, 1987b, 1990a,b as cited in Rossi, 1993, p. 136; emphasis Rossi's)

Rossi's  book began by citing the placebo response as evidence for a common, underlying mechanism of mind/body healing.  Since science admits that about a third of the population experiences an average of 55% of the healing effectss of analgesics "in their minds," he pointed out that it seems self-evident that there must be a corresponding phenomenon which can account for this 55% of the healing process that some patients experience outside the observed effects of their other treatments.

Information Transduction

Next, in order to lay groundwork to support the major premise of his work, --that consciousness is "a process of self-reflective information transduction mediated by the messenger molecules of the minf-body", (Rossi, 1993, p. 10)--he emphaized the importance of understanding that "and its transformations"all forms of organization on the psychological, physical, and biological levels actually are expressions of information and its transformations (p. 23; emphasis Rossi's).  Rossi provides an example: Wind energy is converted into the mechanical energy provided by the windmill blades that it turns, which--in tun, can be connected to a generator and converted into electrical energy, which can power appliances, and so on.

Rossi further defined and explained some of the major terms and concepts of this theory: "The transformations between mind and body are called information transduction. Tranduction refers to the conversion or transformation of matter, energy, and information from one form to another".

Next he outlined how the limbic hypothalamic system functions as the major mind-body information transducer by converting neural impulses (the mind's informational units, or "codes") into their corresponding hormonal messenger-molecule communication codes through which all the major processes of the body are ultimately regulated.  He explained that this process is called "neuroendocrinal transduction."  Candace Pert (1997) describes this process as an ongoing communication of the body's emotional states which begins at the neuropeptide level and works its way up the communication chain and back down again in a large, continuous feedback loop of many smaller feedback loops of information patterns.

Another critically important level of information transduction takes place via the brain's ascending reticular activating system (ARAS), where sensory information coming in from all areas of the body is received through the brain stem.Arriving at the ARAS, information is filtered and distributed throughout the rest of the brain according to its relevance and/or novelty.  Thus the ARAS functions as the "wake up" call to the rest of the brain, alerting it to pay attention, focus, and learn whatever it needs in order to cope with, or adapt to, the incoming stimuli.

This is also the area of the brain responsible for "attention shuttling" between the cerebral hemispheres, described earlier in this work as potential emotional intelligence.  Specifically, it is locus coeruleus in the pons area of the brain stem which transforms novel stimuli into the heightened psychobiological states which set off the SNS arousal mechanisms via the ARAS.  Dull, repetitive, incoming stimuli, on the other hand, lull the locus coeruleus and thus the rest of the body into a state of PNS relaxation, and if continued long enough, to sleep. (Rossi, 1993, p. 31)

State-Dependent Memory, Learning & Behavior

Abbreviated "SDMLB," this next major conceptual element to be explored by Rossi was briefly described as follows:  "What is learned and remembered is dependent on one's psychophysiological state at the time of the experience....Since memory is dependent upon and limited to the state in which it was acquired, we say it is 'state-bound information'" (p. 49).

In other words, every time a memory is formed in the brain, that memory encdoes within it the entire relevant quantum-psycho-physiological states that the body was experiencing at the moment that memory was encoded.  Thus it is that when any particular body state is experienced, it can trigger any memory, or chain of memories, which happened to be encoded with similar SDMLB features.

On the other hand, many times a memory cannot be consciously retrieved from storage because a person has split himself off from awareness of his body's related feeling states; it has become state-bound.  These blockages of memory from consciousness can be corrected by either spontaneous or induced trance states wherein the person relaxes and emotionally detaches from his consciously interfering ego state.  This trigger a shift in ANS balance from sympathetic to parasympathetic control.  It allows alpha and theta waves to be generated, and facilites a corresponding transcendence of the logical, linear, left hemispheric functions to the more holistic, experiential functions of the right hemisphere.

There, the person can consciously access the memory/information state previously "lost" to him, because the energy oscillations of his body state are now in synchrony with the energy oscillations of the memory state being recalled.  The mind-body "split" has been reparied; holistic healing has occurred.  (Rossi, 1993)

Ultradian Healing Response

The final concept that this paper will use from Rossi's same work is that of the body's natural ultradian healing response.  On the average, ultradian energy rhythms peak about every 90 minutes with approximately 20 minute resting phases between them.  Rossi and others have studied these 20-minute resting phases extensively, and have concurred that it is during this time that the body is naturally programmed to "reset" itself.

Resting the left-hemisphere for a brief time allows the right hemisphere to experientially process the rational energic output from its partner and "give it a break."  Ideally, it is during this break from dealing with the stressors of daily life that the body heals itself.  But since our world is not always so ideal, often these critical resting periods get phased out of our hectic schedules, throwing us to some extent psychically "off tilt."

Rossi further explain an interesting related observation that supports the hemisphericity of the ultradian rhythms:  When the resting phase "kicks in" the left nostril opens and conducts a major portion of the air flow to the lungs.  This nasal process reverses for the 90-minute non-resting part of the cycle.  [Ref. alternate breathing in hatha yoga].  Since the right hemisphere controls the left nostril, and the left hemisphere controls the right nostril, it follows that those phases must alternate between left and right cerebral hemispheric functions.  Indeed, EEG testing does show that to be the case.

Thus it is theoried that one way to predict and control one's ressting phase is to pay attention to nasal breathing patterns, alternating them in order to adjust the ultradian cycle as desired.  This can be accomplished, for example, by closing one nostril until the breathing pattern changes, or, if lying down, to utrn onto the left side in order to open up the right "channel," or the right side in order to activate the left one.

"Thus the whole body goes through the Rest/Activity or Parasympathetic/Sympathetic oscillation while simultaneously going through the 'Left Body-Right Brain/Right Body-Left Brain' shift", as cited by Rossi, quoting Wernts et al.

Rossi explains how this left-right cycling of energies helps facilitate psychophysiological health.

[A] recent Ph.D. dissertation by Darlene Osowiec (1992)...found that "(1) there is a significant positive correlation between self-actualizing individuals having low trait anxiety and stess-related symptoms and a regular nasal cycle...and (2) non self-actualizing individuals with high levels of trait anxiety and stress-related symptoms exhibit significantly greater irregularity in the nasal cycle."  These results are reminiscent of the ancient texts that emphasize that an irregular nasal cycle, particularly one in which the person remains dominant in one nostril or the other for an excessively long period of time are associated with illness and mental disorder.  (Rama Ballentine, & Ajaya, 1976, as quoted by Rossi, p. 183)


It could be inferred from the above findings that Porgas' (1992) high vagal tone indicators detected present resilience in neonates and predicted their future resilience as adults because he was actually measuring correlations between the magnitude and regularity of their ultradian SNS-PNS healing cycles and their nasal breathing cycles.  If this indicates, as Rossi claims and other research seems to confirm, that those whose ultradian rhythms/ANS functions are more psychophysiologically synchronized and are better energy transducers.  That is to say, because of a more stable overall energy state within which they can process novel information, they are less anxious, develop better coping skills, and are generally more self-actualizing individuals.

Thus, it would appear as though our search for the "lowest common denominator" of reislience phenomena has indeed been found.  But recent findings in the field of psychoneuroimmunology will now take the phenomenon of resilience to a whole new level of energy transduction.

The Neurochemistry of Resilience

Neuroscientist Candace Pert is best known for her part in the discovery of opiate receptors in the brain, a finding which revolutionized biological science 25 years ago.  She begins her book, The Molecules of Emotion (1997), with a brief overview of the mechanics involved in neurochemistry, the first part of which will now serve as an introduction for this section.

Ligand is the term used for any natural or manmade substance that binds selectively to its own specific receptor and slips off, bumps back on, slips back off again.  The ligand bumping on is what we call the binding, and in the process, the ligand transferes a message via its molecular properties to the receptor.

Though a key fitting into a lock is the standard image, a more dynamic description of this process might be two voices -- ligand and receptor, striking the same note and producing a vibration that rings a doorbell to open the doorway to a cell.  What happens next is quite amazing.  The receptor, having received a message, transmits it from the surface of the cell deep into the cell's interior, where the message can change the state of the cell dramatically.  A chain reaction of biochemical events is intiated as tiny machines roar into action and, directed by the message of the ligand, begin any number of activities.

...In short, the life of the cell, what it is up to at any moment, is determined by which receptors are on its surface, and whether those receptors are occupied by ligands or not.  On a more global scale, these minute physiological phenomena at the cellular level can translate into large changes in behavior, physical activity, even mood. (p. 24)

Biochemistry of the Body-Mind

Pert (1997) continues to explain that ligands, much smaller than the receptros they may activate, are divided into three different chemical messenger categories:

(a) The smallest, simplest molecules are called neurotransmitters, and have been ggiven individual names such as acetylcholine, norepinephrine, dopamine, histamine, glycine, GABA, and serotonin.  Constructed mainly of amino acids, these ligands are usually made in the brain to carry information between its neurons.

(b) The cholesterol-derived category of messenger molecules is known as steroids, such as the sex hormones found in the gonads as regulators of the body's sexual and reproductive functions, and cortisol, found in the outer layer of the adrenal glands as the regulator of stress responses.

(c) Peptides, (or as Rossi calls them, immunotransmitters), make up the third and largest category of chemical messengers, which provides about 95% of the body's total ligand activity.  Thus, according to Pert, those busy little strings of amino acids are involved in the emotional regulation of nearly every life process.

Neuropeptides are now known to regulate emotions through their overall influence on the many reciprocal processes which drive the homeostatic mechanisms of the ANS, such as the activities of the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine.  The relative levels of these synergistic body-brain neurotransmitters are regulated according to available cellular energy resources and the demands being made upon those resources.  (Pert, 1997; Rossi, 1993)

According to Blum (1997), "If serotonin is the Zen-master among neurotransmitters,...linked to tranquility, reason, and calm...dopamine is Pollyanna, responsible for the highs of infatuation, new love, joy, self-confidence, and motivation." It seems that the manner in which this neurotransmitter team functions in order to regulate homeostasis may be another related, key factor in asssessing -- and readjusting -- innate levels of human resilience.

Dopamine, for example, initiates motor activity and influences attentional abilities because of its critical role in the regulation of emotions as discussed by Per and others, earlier.  From its location within the limbic system, it is essential for rewarding behaviors with feelings of pleasure -- for reinforcing those behaviors which make us feel good.

Current implications are that people born with highly responsive dopamine systems would in all likelihood be more highly motivated, extroverted, goal-seeking, problem-solving individuals.  In fact, researchers have located a gene that shapes the brain's responses to dopamine, resulting in what they describe as an extroverted, novelty- and reward- seeking person (Pool, 1997).  Blum elaborates on this heightened dopamine responsivity by quoting Richard Depue, professor of human development, as saying that "goal directed behavior (or the lack of it) tends to stand out as a major personality trait" which helps determine how strongly one is innately motivated to pursue goals.

Depue continues, "We have strong evidence that feelings of elation [that occur] because you are moving toward achieving an important goal are biochemically based, though they can be modified by experience," (p. 48).

In summary of these findings, it seems that some people are just naturally exhilerated by challenges; their dopamine resources are high and their stimulus thresholds are low, --they actually crave the stimuli of problems for which they can creatively find the solutions.  Generally speaking however, dopamine responsivity levels vary as a function of situational demands being placed upon the body over time, and therefore are also subject to conscious modulation, cognitive-behaviorally or pharmacologically.

Many recent findings, such as Porges (1992) seem to imply on the other hand, that serotonin-responsivity levels which are implicated in the regulative functions of the PNS, remain fairly constant within the individual, varying primarily as a function of fluctuating levels of SNS-facilitated dopamine.  Serotonin helps one to feel calm and serene as it works in tandem with dopamine in the regulation of mood states.  Imbalanced interactions between the two are implicated in psychotic illnesses such as schizophrenia; predominance of dopamine underlies attention-deficit and hyperactivity disorders; and undersupply of serotonin leads to depression. (Blum, 1997)

More specifically, geneticist Dean Hamer has linked "neuroticisms" such as "anxiety, depression, hostility, and impulsiveness," to a gene involved in the production of serotonin.  So perhaps some people, who are genetically deficient in the calming effects of serotonin and might thus be high in what Porges earlier called stress vulnerability, are more prone to develop anxious personality traits and their resultant pathologies.

Carlson (1977) chooses to metaphorize the dynamics of these reciprocally functioning neurotransmitters by describing them as the independent "volume controls" of the brain which act by "increasing or decreasing the activities of particular brain functions" (p. 63).  He further explains that serotonin, mainly by inhibiting the actions of its receptors, is involved in regulation of mood, the control of eating, sleep, and arousal, the regulation of pain, and the control of dreaming.

Dopamine, on the other hand, functions as described earlier, by exciting and/or inhibiting its receptors.  So, serotonin functions mostly by turning various brain "volume knobs" down, while dopamine can turn them up and/or down.  Thus they seem to serve as dual ANS "frequency modulators," with dopamine, in effect saying, "Go for it!" and serotonin in essence saying, "Take it easy."

Bio-mechanics of the Body-Brain

According to Pert (1997) any point in time, some 50 to 60 neuropeptides, made in the brain's nerve cells directly from print-outs of its neural DNA, can be found traversing down axons and waiting "for the right electro-physical events" to occur which will set them into motion (p. 149).  This enormously complex system is kept in order by the high specificity of each of the receptors for its respective ligand and vice ersa.  As Pert goes on to explain,

The striking pattern of neuropeptide receptor distribution in mood-regulating areas of the brain, as well as their role in mediating communication throughout the whole organism, makes neuropeptides the obvious candidates for the biochemical mediation of emotion.  It may be too that each neuropeptide biases information peocessing uniquely when occupying receptors at nodal points within the brain and body.  If so, then each neuropeptide may evoke a unique "tone" that is equivalent to a mood state (p. 152).

The highlights of her work with neuropeptides as "emotional" body process modulaators involves the intimate relationship that these intra- and inter- cellular-state messengers have with the immune system.  As her book explains in detail, it is through their mutual communications that the overall state of the body's health and well-being is thought to be regulated.

This new "intelligent emotions" theory would seem to suggest that within a resilient, homeostatic mind-body state which is located somewhere between serotonin's blissful "absence of pain" and dopamine's euphoric "presence of pleasure" would lie optimum levels of psychphysiological health.  Given that emotions do have direct control over mind-body processes, the question that come to mind now is: What actually connects all of these emotional mind-body states at the sub-molecular level so that they can do their jobs?  How does energy transduction take place at this level of functioning?

Quantum Mechanics of the Body-Mind

In her 1990 paper, Pert outlined her theory of how this translation of information codes occurs.

There are thousands of scientists studying the opiate receptors and the opiate peptides, and they see great heterogeneity in the receptors....However, all the evidence from our lab suggests that in fact there is only one type of molecule in the opiate receptors, one long polypeptide chain whose formula you can write.  This molecule is quite capable of changing its conformation within its membrane so that it can assume a number of shapes.

I note in passing that this interconversion can occur at a very rapid pace--so rapid that it is hard to tell whether it is one state or another at a given moment in time.  In other words, receptors have both a wave-like and a particulate character, and it is important to not that information can be stored in the form of time spent in different states. (pp. 155-156)

To help clarify this image, Pert reminded her readers that receptors "are proteins consisting of a long sequence of amino acids, but the chain is all twisted up because of electrical and physical forces that cause it to assume a shape" (p. 156).  She further explained the process showing that the molecular substance of all opiate receptors, in all animal life forms, is the same, --implying that each is just rearranged in the order and pitch of its sub-quantum vibratory frequency values.

Reframing this concept within its suggested metaphor, it can be assumed that all opiate receptors hum the same notes, just in 50 to 60 different melodies and rhythms.  And thus, each of the 50 to 60 different peptides traveling throughout the brain-body are attracted to the receptor humming a tune like its own.  When they hum together, they set off cascades of other vibratory compositions which eventually culminate in the opus magnum of a life's song.

[Add Deepak Chopra Quantum body model]


In this section we have transduced information about human resilience all the way from its neuromechanical/biochemical manifestations in the body-mind to the sub-quantum realm of our existence.  We have tracked this information flow (a) from the incoming stimuli's electro-chemical message to the pons of the brain stem, where it was evaluated and then relayed to the ARAS which, via the thalamus, alterted the emotional limbic-brain and/or the rational frontal lobes of the neocortex where (b) neuroendocrinal transduction occurred as the electro-chemical chain of reactions from the hypothalamic-adrenal pathway set the ANS in motion to secrete needed hormones, cytokines, neurotransmitters, and neuropeptides to carry its messages between the systems of the body in order to (c) set in motion the behaviors which will meet the needs of the body-mind.  One could say that "(a)" above describes the function of the mind, "(c)" refers to the functions of the body, and "(b)" is where the body-mind meets via the process of neuroendocrinal transduction.

The Alchemy of Conscious Resilience

As the above theorists have shown, these mind-or-body categories ae useful only for purposes of intellectual dissection; the mind-body is one immensely compex dynamic of energy/information-transduction, or inter- and intra-modal communication patterns, that we call life.  Many now regard human consciousness as the evolutionary apex of this dynamic process.  One such theorist is mathematician-philosopher Alwyn Schott (1995), whose intriguing insights introduce this section with a metaphor of consciousness evolving along a "spiral staircase."

Moved by the image of [a] ladder in [an] orchard, I propose a related image, a metaphorical stairway, that is equally practical.  This stairway is a hierarchy of mental organization in which most of us, as we go about our lives, unqittingly stand at the two top steps or levels: consciously aware of the realities of our culture.  But the lower steps are every bit as important to pir ci;tire as tje uppermost level.  (If you don't agree, try taking them alway!)  Thus, I suggest, consciousness is an emergent phenomenon, one born of many discrete events fusing together as a single experience....One might image this...hierarchy thus (p. 3):

Assemblies of Neurons

Smaller than the neurons, themselves made up of even smaller structures, other biological building blocks occupy the lower steps of the stairway.  Hence the lower levels of the hierarchy might include:

Nerve impulses
Biochemical structures

Scott clarifies that this list is not digmatic; it can change with the perspective of the observer to include any imaginable number of "steps."

Dynamics of Reciprocal Causality

So it is that Scott (1995) launched into an exploration of the "steps" which most likely lurk below the atomic level of his hierarchy; not coincidentally the same point at which this paper has just recently arrived with its quantum queries.  Scott argues convincingly that "the most basic computational power of the brain derives from certain structures, quantum structures, that do not follow the laws of classical physics" (p. 8).

The basic reason for this is because in the new physics, "space is not three dimensional, time is not linear, and space and time are not separate entities.  Rather, they are integrated into a four-dimensional continuum known as 'space-time'" (Grof, 1993, p.7).  Within this space-time continuum, as Scott elaborates, the nature of causality is no longer simply linear, but is reciprocally derived from the multiple, mutually-interactive dynamics of the four dimensions of our existence.

In classical physics, for example, Scott explains that energy is conceived of as existing in discrete functional units of energy, each of which has a specific frequency value which is added and subtracted back and forth in a complicated manner within its particular, collective wave packet of energy.  He compared this phenomenon to the way "tones from the strings of a piano add and subtract to form the rich and satisfying chords of which we are conscious" (p. 13).

Elaborating on Scott's metaphor in order to clarify this linear versus non-linear schism further, most of us do not hear the individual notes of which the tones are composed, but rather, experience them as the continuous, smoothly blended flow of music.  Classical physics can thus be seen as concentrating on the sequential aspect of the individual notes that are being played, while quantum mechanics examines the relationships involved in the interwoven vibratory elements of the music, itself.

Scott procedes to compare and contrast the exponentially-immense probability statistics of modern quantum mechanics with the linear computations of classical quantum physics where everything is presumed to be a direct function of something else.  He demontrates that the most fundamental laws of our know universe do not hold true after a certain level of probability breaks down, or, in other words, after a certain levelof reciprocal complexity has been reached.  At that point, everything becomes speculative, --a matter of predicting what will happen next, based on what has been happening.

Thus, it is that the new physics transduces information from the limited, linear logic of the classical laws, or "notes of the piano," into the non-linear, highly probabilistic way of thinking about the reciprocal dynamics of its "musical interpretation."

As mentioned before, the numbers with which physicists now represent these quantum relationships are immense.  This new, expanded way of undersstanding sub-atomic phenomena is based on (a) observations of molecular dynamics, and (b) calculations of chemical rate equations based on these dyamics.  These calculations in turn are based on such huge numbers of molecules that their predictions ae, on the average, valid.  And, so far, Scott (1995) admits, that seems to be the best that science has to offer in the way of exploring phenomena of immense proportions.  He thus describes human consciousness as an emergent function of that unfathomable quantum dimension where '1' plus '1' does not necesssarily equal '2'.  After all, as the next section will show, it is "only the effects of sub-atomic pheomena [that] are available to our senses" (Zukav, 1979, p.20).


Gray Zukav (1979) agrees that there seem to be "some evidence that consciousness, at the most fundamental levels, is a quantum process" (p.222).  As he demonstrates in his own quantum physics treatise, it has been mathematically shown that sub-quantum particles/waves can perform some pretty amazing "dance steps" as they wiggle and jiggle about in attempts to connect and disconnect in ever new and more creative ways in their intimate interactions with one another.  In describing how life works on the quantum level, Zukav explains that, basically, all energy is "created" from a "nothingness" that we call virtual photons.

[actually this is the argument of physicist Jack Sarfatti, as told to Zukav who popularized it; see Sarfatti at]

This notion can be summarized briefly.  Cells are made up of molecules, which are made up of atoms, which are made up of atomic particles like electrons, protons, and neutrons, which are in turn made up of sub-atomic particles like leptons, mesons, and baryons.  Each of these particles is also simultaneously an energy wave, and each of these particle-waves has an opposite "twin" somewhere in the universe.  Actually, it is theorized that "an anti-particle is a particle moving backwards in time" (Zukav, 1979, p. 218).

[again, a Sarfatti description from his Post-quantum physics, which should really be credited to him; he claims Zukov 'stole' all this weird science from him]

When a quantum particle and its anti-particle collide, they mutually vanish in opposite directions in a "puff of light" called a photon.  A photon has what is called "zero-rest mass," because at rest, it has no mass.  It's resting energy is always equal to the speed of light, which (from within our reality demension) can be neither slowed down nor speeded up.

As Zukav explains there is another way that photons manifst in our universe, and in this, their "non-being"--being state, they are called virtual (as opposed to actual) photons.  These virtual energy quanta, from our finite perspective, are continusously being simultaneously emitted and absorbed by electrons.  This is the process whereby the electromagnetic force which holds all of life together is created and maintained.

In Zukav's words, "First there is an electron, then there is an electron and a photon, and then there is an electron again...but only for one thousand-trillionth of a second" (p. 223).  It is during this leap into infinity--a state from which irtual particles never actually escape, but only seem to--that our finite reality shakes hand with infinity.  "The electromagnetic force is mediated by virtual photons" (p. 225).

The point here is that empty space is not really "nothing."  Empty space has infinite energy....{a} virtual process gets triggered by a superliminal (faster-than-the-speed-of-light) jump of negentropy (information) which briefly organizes some of this infinite vacuum energy to make the virtual particle(s). (p. 223)

Zukav also describes two other characteristics of quantum particles which are that they (a) carry either a negative, positive or neutral charge, and (b) have a metaphoric characteristic known as angular momentum, or "spin."  Spin actually describes "a particle's idea of spatial orientation as it moves away from its point of origin rather than any actual rotation" (Talbot, 1991, p. 36).  Similar kinds of electrical charges repel one another because of their equal saturation of virtual photons, and opposites attract because of an unequal saturation of virtual photon energy.  Neutrons are neutral.  Zukav concludes,

This dance of attraction and repulsion between charged particles is called the electromagnetic force.  It enables atoms to join together to form molecules and to keep its negatively charged elctrons in orbit around positively charged nuclei.  At the atomic and molecular level it is the fundamental glue of the universe.  (1979, p. 206)

It seems as thogh Alwyn Scott (1995) bet summarized the main point of this section when he said earlier: "Thus, I suggest, consciousness is an emergent phenomenon, one born of many discrete events fusing together as a single experience" (p. 3).  He, like Zukav, was pointing to the wondrous complexity of quantum mechanical events occurring within each molecule of each cell of our human bodies, all of which are held together by the emergent, resiliently centering pull of infinitude as it exerts its forces over the push and pull of our finite states of being.

Thus it can be seen that life exists not merely on the temporo-spatial plane of our linear reality, but also is suspended, somewhat simultaneously, within a timeless, massless, dimensionless levelof reality.  We are particles; we are probability waves.  We are matter; We are energy.  We are body; We are mind.  Or, as Grof (1993) says, "matter and consciousness are both aspects of the same undivided whole" (p. 10).

Alchemical Therapies, Holistic Remedies

Returning to the mind-body resilience paradigm, the non-scientific world has intuited and made use of these paradoxical forces of the universe for centuries--perhaps as long as mankind has existed--or longer, in nature (Whitmont, 1993).  Naturopathic and homeopathic remedies have long been around in the form of shamanic and other religious and cultural healing practices.  Modern medicine is just now beginning to acknowledge the validity of holistic healing practices such as acupuncture, network chiropractic, holotropic breathing, therapeutic hypnosis, prayer, meditation, and empathic attunement (Lytle, 1996).

According to Whitmont, each of these healing remedies in their own way utilizes the mysterious power of what might be described as the world-mind to modulate the mysterious energies of the human body-mind.

Homeopathy confronts us with the seeming paradox of non-substantial substance, a paradox that modern physics is barely beginning to help us understand.  It reveals the whole spectrum of potential for human and animal disease (as well as the parameters for its healing), spread our and mirrored in the various substances that constitute the material body of our planet.  The morphology of one not only reflects but functionally expresses the dynamic of the other.  It is as though our conflicts and illnesses and their cures are aspects of the "stuff" of which our earth itself is made, and that they are perhaps incorporated in such a way as to become conscious of themselves through human self-awareness.

Thus, what we call consciousness is the focal point upon which psychic, somatic, and outer world events seem to converge in what might turn out to be a shared evolutionary transformation.  The planet and our own nature may evolve through dramatic crises and their resolutions. (p. xi)

The manisfestion of this universal energy source, within which holistic healing energies are intuitively or consciously aligning themselves, seems to vary as a function of the specific energy-state message transduced by each kind of messenger, which, in turn varies as a function of the energy-state messages of other organisms around it.

That is why, for example, some find healing through prayer, while others achieve it through rituals, and others through the ingestion of natural remedies.  As Grof (1993) has concluded,

the universe of everday life, which appears to us to be composed of solid, discrete objects, is actually a complex web of unified events and relationships.  Within this new context, consciousness does not just passively reflect the objective material world; it plays an active role in creating reality itself. (p. 6)

Summary of Psychophysical Resilience Findings

Since we now are aware that we live in "a universe that is an infinitely complex system of vibratory phenomena" (Grof), fluctuating levels of consciousness can be metaphorically viewed as the oscillating energy conduit through which information is both sent and received between vibratory domains of our existence.  Thus, since energy transduction occurs at all levels of reality with or without the aid of conscious attention, it follows that it is the efficacy, or the stable, efficient regularity with which any life form is able to redirect, or shuttle, its energies in order to access its needed higher energy resources that constitutes that life form's level of resilience.

Conscious awareness facilitates the redirection of energy flow in order to get its life needs met.  As Jung was quoted by Sharp (1991), the psyche in general behaves simultaneously as the "scale" along which consciousness 'slides'" and as the "totality of all psychological processes, both conscious and unconscious" which slide along that scale (p. 107).  Also, on the human level, the psyche is aware of both of these aspects of its own being.  Since we humans are (theoretically) more highly conscious than other life forms, it seems that we must function somewhat as the sensory organs and brain of Mother Earth; as such, we seem to represent its supreme energy-transducing life form.

Summary of the Spectrum of Psychophysical Resilience Findings and CRP

So, putting this together with an analogy borrowed from the finding of Candace Pert (1997),it would seem that just as the earth contains life forms as its energy transduction messengers, the soma is the material container for the workings of its messenger molecules, and the psyche contains the ultimate energy "messenger particles" through which information is to be transduced between its states of finitude and infinitude.

The message that the psyche shuttles between these states seems to be written in vibratory codes through which its information is transmitted as it meets and communicates with its mutually resonant cosmic world-mind, energy-wave "receptor."  And in making this on-going holistic connection with the universal energy source, the psyche and soma become more harmoniously balanced.

By extrapolation, the ultimate message-messenger function of the human psyche seems to be that of helping us to become more adaptive by enlarging our homeostatic comfort zone, which in turn makes us more resilient to the stresses of future challenges.  This involves inevitable conflicts between stasis and change.  In other words, the wider the range of our adaptive comfort zone, the more change we can resiliently adapt to.  And that sounds a lot like the lowest common denominator, or the one common thread which we were looking for at the beginning of this paper.

So, the mind-body state of human resilience can now be operationally defined as the range of variability within which one's psyche can function in order to maintain a stable, harmoniously adaptive balance of its life energies.  The more flexible the range of psyche's "functional comfort zone," or the larger the capacity of the informational conduit, or the more stable the oscillations of one's holistic, vibrational energies,--the more healing energy/useful information can be transduced along it.

Thus, if it is true that consciousness is an information-shuttling process of energy transduction between existential states, and if we can agree that "psyche" is but another word for "soul," then we can conclude that (a) As the human mind-body increases the information-processing capacities of its consciousness states, it strengthens the resilience of its energy-transducing soul; and (b) Reciprocally, as its soul grows more resilient, its consciousness increases.

*          *           *

In the next part, we are going to look at resilience as an emergent function of the creative conflicts inherent in the stresses of the life process.  After a philosophical integration of some of Carl Jung's ideas and terminologies, we will return to each of the theories discussed in order to examine how this "emergent" process works within the framework of our "new" terminology.  Finally, we will imagine what the underlying information structure of stable, resiliently repeating energy patterns might look like when transduced into a new model illustrating the entire, reciprocally holistic process, rather than merely the elastic by-products of, the phenomenon of resilience.