Part 4 - Metaphorical Resilience
"Empathy, Resilience and Consciousness"
PART IV: THE TAO OF RESILIENCE
by Peggie C. Southwick; Iona Miller, Editor
Asklepia Foundation, ©1998/2002
PART IV: THE TAO OF RESILIENCE
A NEW RESILIENCE METAPHOR
On the Nature of Metaphor
Reply to Jung: Quantum Sermons to the Living
Functions of Distinctiveness
The Creative Evolution of Evolutionary Creation
Life is a Hologram of Holograms
Consciousness & the Biohologram
Consciousness: A Reciprocal Function of Resilience
Making the Indistinct Distinct
Summary: The Holographic "Enchanted Loom"
Resilience as "Tensegrity"
From Particles and Waves to Strings and Membranes
From Strings and Membranes to Struts and Cables
Summary: Energy Transducing Tensegrity Structures
Conclusions to Part IV: Emergence versus Emergency
Heuristic passions is ...the mainspring of originality --the force which impels us to abandon an accepted framework of interpretation and commit ourselves, by the crossing of a logical gap, to the use of new framework.
(Polyani, 1962, as cited in Moustakis, 1990, p.123)
How is it possible to know something, even about ourselves, that is radically new? Metaphors are one of the cognitive mechanisms that lead to the discovery and advancement of new theories. Often, in science, they appear spontaneously in dreams which are then applied in real time. Metaphor and analogy help us create mapping between two domains in a one-to-one correlation.
Metaphor still plays a role in the articulation of new scientific theory. In cognitive psychology, metaphors are drawn from the terminology of computer science, in transpersonal psychology from mysticism, in Consciousness Restructuring Process from Chaos Theory, QM, Holographic and other theories. Thus, science recycles its metaphors in self-referential strange loops.
Alchemists made use of symbolic metaphors, but ascribed causal powers to metaphorical similarities, (creating the so-called "doctrine of signatures."). In this way they tried to satisfy their wish to manipulate nature rather than know it. But, metaphors may be nature, our nature; or certainly phenomenological expressions of our existential nature. They provide a reference point without defining reality.
The problem becomes not one of how to know something radically new, but how to learn something radically new. Thus metaphors are instructive. They are a central Way of leaping the epistemological chasm between old and new knowledge, old and new ways of essential being. Metaphors help us make this leap. They help us enter a problematic situation in order to solve it, to explore it, and explore the world restructured by the metaphor.
We can tap the source of creativity, healing and holistic restructuring through imagination and metaphor. The possibilities for concepts and for thought are shaped in very special ways by both the body and the brain that evolved to control it, especially the sensory-motor system. Conceptual metaphors appear to be neural maps that link sensory-motor domains in the brain to regions where more abstract reasoning is done. This allows sensory-motor structures to play a role in abstract reason (Lakoff, 1999).
The mind-body split or dualism vanishes when bodily control mechanisms are being used in abstract reasoning. Conceptual metaphorical mappings are not primarily matters of language, they are part of our conceptual systems, cross-domain mappings, allowing us to use sensory-motor concepts and reasoning in the service of abstract reason and holistic perception. This metaphorical mapping ability is automatically acquired unconsciously in our everyday functioning in the world.
In fact, when metaphors are synchronistic, emergent, spontaneous, self-organizing expressions of our dynamic stream of consciousness, they are an imaginal encoding of information that bridges the domains of conscious and unconscious worlds, material and transpersonal realms. Such metaphors can be deeply transformative--more than mere language, a technology for changing our behaviors, feelings, thoughts, and beliefs. Intentional contact and immersion in these metaphors can transform our spirit and soul.
How can we know or describe anything about the changes we have not yet experienced, change that by universal consensus takes us beyond the realm of everyday reality, for which our words and concepts have been fashioned? Metaphors contain a subtle communication by containing meaning in a delicate net of imagery. In psychotherapy and mysticism, both, it is characteristic of the Self to speak to the ego-personality in the language of myth and metaphor. It allows us to grasp some image of that which remains as-yet-unknown. Classical metaphors of transformation are embodied in the primordial wisdom traditions.
Metaphors are strongly related to process-oriented psychotherapy and immersion in the stream of consciousness [itself a metaphor]. The notion and phenomenon of metaphor raises as many questions as it answers. Metaphors do not directly describe perceptual reality, but its language helps us imagine an "as if" reality.
For example, in Metaphor Therapy (Grove) we ask what an experience is like. The replies about the nature of feelings and traumas come automatically couched in somato-sensory metaphor: "like a rock on my chest, like a stab in the back, it leaves me feeling breathless, disembodied." Following the 'trail' we might ask, "Disembodied like what?" "Like a cloud, like smoke, like a vaporous nothingness"... The metaphorical possibilities or replies are virtually endless. They embody that which is still unknown and possibly unknowable, yet explorable through imagery and dialogue.
Metaphor is an artifact of language--saying this to mean that. They function as tools. That leads us to suspect it is a technology. As such, it is an aid to understanding. Metaphor represents the convergence of figurative language, imagination and consciousness. There is a fundamental distinction between literal and metaphorical language.
John Searle, in his well-known essay Metaphor asserts that there is no semantic difference between metaphoric expression and literal, because "sentence and words have only the meaning that they have...Metaphorical meaning is always speaker's utterance meaning." Even poetic metaphors can muddle or clarify comprehension by distorting truth conditions. You say one thing to mean something else. So talking of metaphor as a kind of meaning may be false.
Yet, the role of conscious and unconscious processes in metaphor production and interpretation is ubiquitous. The role of "seeing as" permeates the development of consciousness. It reflects interactions between imagination, perception and cognition; how bodily and neural processes create and constrain imagination. Language, concept and world are the three realms of metaphor which is a mode of cognition.
But metaphors are events, not objects. And generative-metaphors can be viewed as problem-setting scenes and problem-solving situations. [Tacit generative metaphors may underlie our perceptual patterns much as personal and collective mythologies do].
Metaphors describe the internal structure of domains and how they are represented; the nature and organizational structure of information. They follow the information processing approach and propose a spatial representation in which local subspaces can be mapped into points of higher-order hyperspaces, and vice versa. The distance among concepts in these mental spaces is the main parameter for establishing the comprehensibility and aesthetic pleasure of metaphors.
Conceptual metaphors are more than semantic representations; they imply deep action, even though the locus of metaphor is thought. They directly reflect our metaphorical understanding of experience. This dual coding is based on more than a theoretical point of view based in imagery and verbal association.
Metaphor is not merely a superficial phenomenon of language, but shapes our judgments, and structures our language. Displaying many facets, metaphor pervades our everyday non-theoretical language. A metaphor is a holistic schema, a unifying framework that links a conceptual representation to its sensory and experiential ground. It embodies the gestalt and ecological properties of thought.
The network of underlying metaphors form a cognitive map, a web of concepts organized in terms which serve to ground the abstract. This cognitive topology, by which we impose structure on space, gives rise to spatial inferences and images. The subjective ego-centric properties of the individual are projected onto the world via this cognitive mapping. Even the same metaphor of 'time' can produce different interpretations, depending on the relative position of the observer within his cognitive topology.
Mental pictures and verbal processes meet in metaphor which promotes retrieval of images and verbal information that intersects with information aroused by the topic. Language is a conduit for this force by transferring or conveying thoughts and feelings to others. Therefore what is literal can also be metaphorical; only the literal use of language can be true or false. These facts underlie or form the dynamical basis of all talk therapies.
George Lakoff and others have developed contemporary theories of metaphor. Undeniably, there are a great many irreducible metaphorical concepts in our everyday life which function in a systematic way and are grounded in our physical and cultural experience. But what is metaphor a metaphor for? How do metaphors work? How can we interpret two levels of understanding, novel and classical metaphors for comprehension and understanding? Can we learn without metaphors?
Epistemological metaphors help us relate "how we know what we know." They help us frame and describe our experience and its meaning at both the personal and collective levels. However, when do our epistemological metaphors become more than models? When we "know," how do we "know that we know," and "what is it like?" This bears on the confusion surrounding the process and products of linguistic understanding.
How do psychological processes figure in metaphor comprehension and memory? When we think in metaphors, do they create similarity, or state some pre-existing similarity? Do they produce new knowledge by projecting the "known" into an unknown domain? How do they emphasize, suppress, and organize features of cognition and awareness? How do we incorporate novelty through similar differences, and different similarities? What are the educational uses of metaphor? How can we tap directly into multidimensional metaphoric process?
What is beyond metaphor: what is the role in cognition and consciousness of synecdoche (inclusion) and metonymy (contiguity)? Metonymy describes extension involving Whole-Part relations in contrast to synecdoche, which involves Part-Whole relations. Or, it is a figurative extension of meaning involving concomitance. It is arguably possible to distinguish between metaphor and metonymy and between non-figurative implication and metonymy. The distinctions are cognitively based and have linguistic relevance, which improve our understanding of the dynamic role of language in consciousness.
Lakoff and Johnson (1980) claim that our conceptual system is largely metaphorical. But metonymy and synecdoche may be just as holistically basic. Expressions in simile are even more common than metaphor; both follow literalisms. They provide a context for our experience. Metonymy is implied meaning without restriction to the figurative uses of words. It is a figurative extension of meaning involving concomitance. Expressing what we sense, feel, think and believe about things and our existential condition, they form the ground of our synergetic cognition about self, others and universe.
Ultimately, what would metaphors of resilience, such as "bouncing back," or "pressing on," "come back," "rebirth" mean to us unless they originate in a spontaneous, emergent way? What metaphors form the tacit webwork of resilience?
Harken, I begin with nothingness. Nothingness is the same as fullness. In eternity full is no better than empty. Nothingness is both empty and full. As well might ye say anything else of nothingness, so for instance, white is it, or black, or again, it is not, or it is. A thing that is infinite and eternal hath no qualities, since it hath all qualities.
This nothingness or fullness we name the PLEROMA. Therein both thinking and being cease, since the external and infinite possess no qualities. In it no being is, for he then would be distinct from the pleroma, and would possess qualities which would distinguish him as something distinct from the pleroma. (Jung, Seven Sermons to the Dead)
Jung's autobiography, Memories, Dreams, Reflections (1961) was one of those pivotal reading experiences which radically change the course of my (Southwick's) thinking and my life. Tucked away discretely in an appendix in the back of the book was his "Seven Sermons to the Dead."
Since Jung admitted regret over having written the piece, I could not understand why it had such a profound effect on my autonomic nervous system when I read it. With my heart rate elevated and my breathing nearly stopped, I sensed one of those rare aha! moments from which is would never fully recover. Thus it was that my conflicted feelings about this "sinful" work of his younger years came about: I had been profoundly moved, -- metamorphosed in thinking by words which, for some reason unknown to me, had evidently embarrassed their author. [perhaps because of its "channeled" quality].
Now, after years of filtering down through the apparatus of my own thinking, it is time to allow the distilled spirit of these messages, as I have heuristically experienced it, to be poured onto page. The remaining arguments of this chapter will more logically flow from this initial, philosophical offering as concepts from Jung's Sermons are reviewed as useful metaphors for explaining (a) the source from which have emerged all life functions and (b) as the foundational elements upon which the effects of these reciprocally emergent functions are framed.
The previous chapter concluded with a brief sojourn into the "something-for-nothing" realm of quantum physics. There it is was theorized that at some point beyond the temporo-spatial limits of our human comprehension, lies an infinite source of finite energy. We had an infinitely brief glance at the point where "virtual reality" and "actual reality" merge as infinitude cloaks itself within the energy patterns from which all of life is formed. The underlying motivation for this intellectual quest was to discover the ultimate whys and wherefores of resilience, which is the point to which we now return.
If the whole point of evolution is survival of the fittest, (or the most resilient) then it would seem that the lowly bacterium, from whose functions all higher life forms have theoretically sprung, may well represent nature's supreme creation. It descendants are still around, basically unchanged after perhaps three billion years, while the relatively recently evolved human species already seems determined in one way or another to destroy itself and most other life along with it.
What resilience lessons can be learned from these microscopic life forms through whose organic functions the evolution of life and all of its on-going processes are possible and by whom the containers of all of these life processes are ultimately reclaimed for recycling? Is the earth really made up of many indifferent, different life forms, resiliently evolving to ever higher levels of form-function complexity? Or might we all be, as Jung and other (see for example, Campbell, 1988) have implied, the distinctively evolving mind-body whose infinite function it is to become more wholly conscious of its own paradoxical nature so that it may more fully exist in its infinite state?
Functions of Distinctiveness
In the pleroma there is nothing and everything. It is quite fruitless to think about the pleroma, for this would mean self-dissolution.
CREATURA is not in the pleroma, but in itself. The pleroma is both beginning and end of created beings. It pervadeth them, as the light of the sun everywhere pervadeth the air. Although the pleroma pervadeth altogether, yet hath created being no share thereof, just as a wholly transparent body becometh neither light nor dark through the light which pervadeth it. We are, however, the pleroma itself, for we are a part of the eternal and infinite. But we have share thereof, as we are from the pleroma infinitely removed...in our essence as creatures, which is confined within time and space.
Yet because we are parts of the pleroma, the pleroma is also in us. Even in the smallest point is the pleroma endless, eternal, and entire, since small and great are qualities which are contained in it. It is that nothingness which is everywhere whole and continuous...nowhere divided. We are also the whole pleroma, because, figuratively, the pleroma is the smallest point in us and the foundless firmament about us. (Jung, Seven Sermons...).
Because Jung (1961) wrote "Sermons" in the paradoxical language of the Gnostics who inspired it, dissecting it for clarity of meaning is itself somewhat paradoxical, since ambiguity is Sermons' strength as well as its weakness. Thus, I confess a measure of trepidation as I attempt to explain in more linear terms and quantum metaphors, the necessarily ambiguous concepts, somewhat circular reasonings, and often archaic terminology from which I wish to borrow for purposes of this paper. Jung intimates that to explore the pleroma means self-dissolution, liquefying or dissolving one's sense of self, the de-construction of ego-death, primordial restitution leading to re-emergence.
The first of these concepts is called by the name "pleroma" (Jung, 1961, p.379), a useful term which encompasses at once all that is and is not in the aspect of one grand paradox of unified paradoxes. I believe that we experienced a virtual taste of this pleroma when we sampled from Zukav's (1979) quantum something-for-nothing menu in the previous chapter. Virtual energy particles in general have the paradoxical quality of being and not being at the same time, which from our limited perspective within time and space logically cannot, but yet seems to, happen.
Jung's (1961) Sermons taught that distinctions such as being and not being exist only in our minds, where we create them in a valiant attempt to understand about our infinite nature that which is unknowable in our finite state. Thus, even though--and because--we are confined within the paradox of our own mind-body duality, our very nature requires us to examine and try to make sense of our existence by noting differences and similarities in everything we experience.
Jung's (1961) Sermons asserted that "we die in such measure as we do not distinguish" (p. 382). If this is true, then the very essence of life itself should consist of making distinct that which is indistinct. Throughout nature, in fact, this does seem to hold true. Furthermore, distinction-making can be broadly interpreted as the basis for all evolutionary processes. It is what we "intellectually superior" humans seem to do the best, and most poorly--at.
Intellectually, we excel at making distinctions at the quantifiable levels of our existence. Our proficiency wanes dramatically, however, as we approach intellectual understanding of the infinitely macrocosmic or microcosmic levels of our being. While it seems that it is the apprehension of this most unknown and unknowable aspect of our being which holds the ultimate key to all life's explanations, ironically, it is just this very distinction which cannot be intellectually deciphered from within our finite dimension.
The question ariseth: How did creatura originate? Created being came to pass, not creatura; since created being is the very quality of the pleroma, as much as non-creation which is the eternal death. In all times and places is creation, in all time and places is death. The pleroma hath all, distinctiveness and non-distinctiveness.
Jung quickly gets to the heart of the philosophical distinction between any Creator and the Creation. In invoking "distinctiveness and non-distinctiveness" we are reminded of the metaphors of quantum mechanics, and its wave-particle ambiguity surrounding the nature of sub-atomic matter/energy.
Distinctiveness is creatura. It is distinct. Distinctiveness is its essence, and therefore it distinguisheth. Therefore man discriminateth because his nature is distinctiveness. Wherefore also he distinguiseth qualities of the pleroma which are not. He distinguisheth them out of his own nature. Therefore must he speak of qualities of the pleroma which are not. ...When we distinguish qualities of the pleroma, we are speaking from the ground of our own distinctiveness and concerning our own distinctiveness.
...What is the harm, ye ask, in not distinguishing oneself? ...We fall into indistinctiveness, ...we fall into the pleroma itself and cease to be creatures. We are given over to dissolution in the nothingness. This is the death of the creature. Therefore we die in such measure as we do not distinguish. ...Hence the natural striving of the creature goeth towards distinctiveness, fighteth against primeval sameness. This is called the PRINCIPIUM INDIVIDUATIONIS.
And so the youthful Jung laid out his own lifework, and that of mankind as the process of individuation -- a process whose differentiation is largely coded in terms of metaphor and metaphorical transformations through the union of opposites. He realized we create all qualities and distinctions through thinking. Not just our thinking but our being is distinctiveness. He suggests not thinking about differences, but striving after our own being.
Because we are equally skilled at making new, creative, intuitively connective distinctions, the human is now beginning to see itself as functionally indistinguishable from the trillions of distinctive cellular energy universes within which it functions as an information transducer. As we are able to apply this newly created distinction, or discovery, to increasingly larger classes of information, we find even more similarities and connections between our nature and the nature of life in general. These are reflected in the self-similar complexity of fractals in nature, in the notion of embedding at various degrees of magnitude or levels of observation.
It is the metaphor-making capacity of the human mind, the "flip side" or reciprocal function of making logical distinctions, which have elevated our species above all others to its present (although somewhat wobbly) position atop earth's evolutionary ladder.
As we will soon see, when framed within Jung's (1961) Sermons, the function of life seems to be that of reassembling finite, paradoxical reality into a state of logical order and esthetic harmony so that it may in effect ultimately validate, or complete, the state of perfection within which it exists simultaneously as its own pleromal antecedent.
"Everything which we do not distinguish falleth into the pleroma and is made void by its opposite," (Jung, 1961, p. 328). At the sub-quantal level virtual photons continuously pop into and out of existence from the groundstate of nothingness--the virtual vacuum, quantum flux or Zero-Point Energy.
This also brings to mind again the interactions of quantum particles and their anti-particles. As discussed elsewhere in this paper, it has been mathematically shown that every particle in the universe seems to have a mirror opposite somewhere, with which it shares mutual instantaneous annihilation should they meet.
It is thus assumed by some quantum physicists that our reality consists of all the particles which have not (yet) met with anti-particle annihilation. And although such random merges seem to be occurring continuously, for some reason yet unknown to science, there are never enough anti-particles around to cause any noticeable annihilations of our universe.
The key word here is "noticeable," and that is the point. Perhaps Jung's intuition about the function of the void was correct when viewed from its quantum backside: non-distinguished particles do not exist within this reality to be banished to the void by our ignorance of them (as he proposed). Rather, they are already in an infinite state from which they need to be made distinct by finite beings if they are to have finite existence.
That is what distinguishes them as anti-particles. Put another way, it does seem logically possible that the nature of our universe is infinite non-existence (as pleroma) unless and until a created energy form gives it a finite identity, or distinctiveness, by somehow focusing its own creative, attentional energies upon it, thus drawing it out from the void.
Perhaps our reality is not the accidental, random result of some universal particle/anti-particle annihilation as science would have us believe, but is being creatively evolved over time through the infinite numbers of distinctions being made by life forms from among the effects that living particles have upon one another.
To compound this, modern cosmology (Goldsmith, 2000) shows that space is in a process of infinite acceleration from every 'point' in spacetime, and most of the gravitational force of the universe comes from non-luminous 'dark matter,' and 'dark energy' of whose nature we know virtually nothing. The universe is speeding up, suggesting some sort of powerful anti-gravity force at work, separating galaxies. The seemingly empty vacuum of space is seething with this strange dark energy. Again, we are reminded of Jung's gnostic language, and the battle of opposites in gnosticism between forces of light and dark.
The Creative Evolution of Evolutionary Creation
We must deal with the problem of where original life energy came from if it is true that pleromal non-life is the infinitely natural order of things. Jung (1961) called life and all of its many elemental energy pattern manifestations "creatura", which he equated with a state of distinctiveness. In other words, he implied that "to be" is to exist as a state distinct from all other states.
Given this as a truth, Shakespeare's "To be or not to be, that is the question," was amazingly astute. Taken to its logical extreme, it should seem as though the pleromal state would, of necessity, require an opposite state in order to comprise a paradox perfectly completed within its own paradox.
If perfect, complete "not-being" were its only possible state, there would be no potential for a "being" state. This is embodied in the vacuum potential gradient inherent in the groundstate of the virtual vacuum. Virtual photons 'boil' into existence because they can, therefore they must; they also evaporate back into the primordial non-being. Thus is the inactive realm which generates activity.
The pleromal state has to have some way it can remain in complete union with its perfect self, yet manifest simultaneously in another distinctively opposite state. It expresses in one in which its opposites are simultaneously free to imperfectly exist as conflicting paradoxes.
These paradoxes are also free to creatively merge into wholeness states, and then re-emerge into their divided states, evolving all the while into increasingly complex combinations and divisions of paradoxical states. For example, at our current apex of intellectual evolutionary process, it is mathematically estimated that each individual human brain is capable of "more possible mental states than there are atoms in the known universe" (Sagan, 1977; Rossi, 1993).
Therefore, we can operationally define pleroma as the state of all possible dimensions of reality states, including (but not limited to) those infinite dimensions of reality which exist beyond the limitations of our spacetime continuum as supraliminal (faster-than-light) energy, and those subliminal energy states which exist as "the invisible dark matter and energy" of the universe.
Based upon this definition, we also suggest that it is possible that in some manner, and at some non-time in non-space, the pleroma "impregnated" itself with its own paradoxical energy "child" whose destiny it has been to grow and develop within the womb of life, which we know as our own timespace continuum. We might call this the "Om-niverse."
In other words, within the speed-of-light limits presented by our four-dimensional reality zone, perfect supraliminal energy is effectively "slowed" to an imperfect temporal state where, like a newly fertilized ovum, it becomes separated into two paradoxical, incomplete halves of its whole self. Or, as Jung put it: "The pleroma is rent in us."
The first new life states created from the division of the pleroma within our reality Jung (1961) named "Abraxas," or the ultimate energy-state he called "god" and from which all other subsequent god-states have since been created. As described below, this god seems to have characteristics very reminiscent of the virtual energy state which both encompasses and divides finitude and infinity:
Had the pleroma a being, Abraxas would be its manifestation. ...Abraxas is effect...it is a force, duration, change...it is improbable probability, unreal reality...Abraxas is the world, its becoming and its passing....It is the appearance and the shadow of man. It is illusory reality. (pp. 383-385)
As such, Abraxas seems to represent that aspect of our reality which is always just beyond the reach of our comprehension, our life force, itself. It is that which makes us more than the sum of our parts. It seems to be that which at once separates us from and unites us with our infinite states.
Pleroma seems to be that energy field which contains both our life and our death states and everything that exists in between those two states. It is a metaphor of the creative edge of creation. In effect, Abraxas seems to represent the source of all possible states of being, or interactional energy patterns, that life energy can create. As such, it is the collective soul, or psyche, or consciousness from which all other souls, or psyches, or consciousness in the form of god-as-man have evolved.
Dividing themselves out from the energy field called Abraxas were the two lesser, opposing -- but equally effective -- energy states which are called god and devil. These energy patterns are less distinct than man, but more distinct than Abraxas. Therefore, they represent a state of energy somewhere between the ultimate god and man, symbolically comparable, for example, to Christ and Satan in the Christian Bible.
This new god is described as that state which promotes fullness and generation of life; the devil is characterized as that state which ultimately diminishes, or uses up life energy. Thus, it is the job of the negative force to keep the machinery of embodiment and death (disembodiment) in motion. From this perspective, Jung seemed to be subtly implicating these oppositional good-versus-evil states as the origins of all possible combinations of energy patterns, or archetypal states, that could be existentially made distinct within our divided reality state.
These fundamental god-devil archetypal energy states are given form, and thus made distinct, via the living effects through which they are made manifest within our existential domain. Jung's Sermons name these effective states Eros and The Tree of Life. These two states are described, respectively, as that "flame" which "giveth light because it consumeth energy, thereby diminishing the fullness of life, and that "Tree" which "in growing it heapeth up living stuff" (p. 185).
These dynamics sound a lot like the quantum "something-for-nothing" that is gained from life's virtual energy exchanges within infinity -- which hold all of life together as the electromagnetic force. Jung even states that "Good and evil are united in the flame" [of their paradoxical, life-sustaining ("effective") roles within our reality dimension] (p. 385).
From that point, it is implied that divisions and redivisions occur in the energy field of our reality until "[i]nnumerable as the host of stars is the number of gods and devils....The multiplicity of the gods corresponds to the multiplicity of man....Numberless gods await the human state" (p. 384-385).
In other words, returning to our quantum metaphor, the number of probable (and improbable) energy patterns, or particle-wave formations, available for interaction with one another within our reality state, is immeasurably immense. The pleroma, or quantum foam is beyond the statistical probability of quantum mechanics, and is an example of complex dynamics, or Chaos.
In terms of human consciousness, this Chaos is manifest as the intangibility of the collective consciousness. The concept of Abraxas as collective consciousness can be operationally metaphormed as the evolution of quantum energy states from their pleromal-Abraxas state to their human-being state and back again, within a continuous re-cycling of finite-infinite energy oscillation patterns.
These patterns would simultaneously represent, or convey information about, all of the distinctive particle states and the distinct energy wave interference patterns which had been created from these states during the creative act of finitely distinguishing their existence. This universal consciousness state, or creatura psyche, would necessarily, then, be composed of the creative energies of all of its life forms, including the reified forms assigned to its gods and devils (Jung, 1961).
Perhaps running this concept through Zukav's (1979) virtual energy metaphor in yet another way can help to illustrate how this universal consciousness might function as a unitive force: When a finite, pleroma-reflecting life-energy state eventually merges with its own infinitely reflected image, both become completed in one another and "disappear" over the infinity horizon in a burst of virtual life energy. They are "united in the flame" (Jung, 1961) created from their own unity. But just as quickly, they reappear in our timespace zone.
Thus, it seems that it is during the infinitely brief amount of time (from our limited perspective) that man's virtual energy "rests" in its pleromal state that his collective-Abraxas energy-state micro-momentarily becomes infinitely perfected. And likewise, it follows that during the overlapping of these virtual energy exchanges between particle states, pleromal-Abraxas for a fraction of a millisecond (eternity, from its perspective) becomes completed in man.
As Zukav's (1979) virtual energy-exchanges show, it can also be assumed that during all of these transactions, new particle-wave patterns are being re-created as virtual-energy "vapor-trails", instantaneously recycled into other energy fields, --the eventual material manifestations of which our entire observable and experiential universe is composed. Thus, Sermons concludes, somewhat paradoxically:
"In this world is man Abraxas, the creator and the destroyer of his own world" (Jung, 1961, p. 189).
Summary: Life is a Hologram of Holograms
The popularization of the Holographic Paradigm as conceived by physicist David Bohm and neurologist Karl Pribram began in the 1970s, and carried into the '80s with the publication of Bohm's WHOLENESS AND THE IMPLICATE ORDER.
Based on the work of Northrup & Burr, the less well-known, yet concurrent development of "A Holographic Concept of Reality" (1973), by Miller, Webb, Dickson was published in Krippner's PSYCHOENERGETIC SYSTEMS. A follow up, "Embryonic Holography" (1973, Miller & Webb] suggests that DNA is the projector of the biohologram, both at the cellular level and the whole-organismic level.
The holographic theory's evolution in scientific and philosophical thought was followed by ReVision Journal, and summarized by Ken Wilber in the classic of New Science literature, THE HOLOGRAPHIC PARADIGM AND OTHER PARADOXES (1982). Consciousness Restructuring Process is related to this theory in Iona Miller's "The Holographic Paradigm and CRP: Explication, Ego-Death and Emptiness" published in CHAOSOPHY '93.
The gist of the holographic theory is that: "Our brains mathematically construct 'concrete' reality by interpreting frequencies from another dimension, a realm of meaningful, patterned primary reality that transcends time and space. The brain is a hologram, interpreting a holographic universe."
Pribram postulates a neural hologram, made by the interaction of waves in the cortex, which in turn is based on a hologram of much shorter wavelengths formed by the wave interactions on the sub-atomic level. Thus, we have a hologram within a hologram, and the interrelatedness of the two somehow gives rise to the sensory images.
There is a more fundamental reality which is an invisible flux that is not comprised of parts, but an inseparable interconnectedness. In this dynamic model, there are no "things" only energetic events. The holoflux includes the ultimately flowing nature of what is, and also of that which forms therein.
Bohm speaks of "the source" as beyond both implicate (enfolded) and explicate (unfolded) realms. We can imagine Source as the coherent Light which illuminates and objectifies the implicate realm.
In a more recent commentary, Fred Alan Wolf (1991) comments on the possible roots of "shamanic physics" and the holographic concept in relation to two shamanic notions: visionary or mythic reality, and the sense of universal connection.
In brief, according to the transactional interpretation of quantum physics, these invisible quantum waves of probability originate in the present, in the past, and in the future. For any event to manifest, these waves coming from the future and the present or from the past and the present must interfere with each other in the present. The pattern of that interference then creates matter and energy as we perceive them. Somehow shamans were able to see to either the past or the future source of those waves. In this manner they were able to construct visions that had mythic proportions and appeared to them as archetypes in the Jungian sense.
Above it was suggested that perhaps supraliminally coherent energy oscillations, when "slowed" within the temporal limitations of finite reality (ranging from 186,000 miles per second to near-zero velocity), would lose their coherency and separate into their polar opposites forming interference waves. This idea is not as far-fetched as it sounds because a subliminal version of such a phenomenal process is currently being accomplished in research laboratories.
Physicists have found that particles can be "trapped" using a combination of laser beams and magnetic energy field, and thus slowed-down, or cooled to a temperature approaching absolute zero. At this point, which seems to represent the infinitely slow, dark end of our spacetime continuum, energy oscillations seem to stop and particles all merge into one large particle-soup, the subliminal energies of which the "cold, dark matter" (the void) of our universe is composed.
In this energy state, known as the Bose-Einstein condensate, "the wave nature of each atom is precisely in phase with that of every other." These condensates were created in the lab winning the 2001 Nobel Prize for Physics. Quantum mechanical waves extend across the sample of condensate and can be observed with the naked ye. The sub-microscopic thus becomes macroscopic (Cornell & Wieman, 1998, p. 40).
Another interesting and useful finding is that physicists are also currently developing communications technology using laser-beam-split particles, each half of which is known to carry and "aware of" the same identical energy-state information as its twin. In this coherent light beam, not only the beam is split but each photon. Thus, it is hoped that someday we will be able to send these microcosmic bits of energy zooming around inside computer chips serving in effect both as transmitters and receivers of information, much the same as do the messenger molecules of our mindbody (Smale, 1997).
Other physicists have actually succeeded "proving" that particles do not have distinctive properties until those properties are made distinct. In essence, they sent split-halves of particles flying off in opposite directions, a distance of nearly seven miles apart. They found that each time one of the halves was secretly detected and measured by a researcher at one end, the observing researcher at the other would see the half at his end "magically" manifesting itself at the same time with the same identical informational characteristics. In effect, it instantaneously experiences the same energy-pattern changes as its mate. This two-slit experiment has been replicated thousands of times by different researchers (Pool, 1998).
In other findings relevant to our claims, physicists have actually succeeded in creating a minuscule amount of matter from an enormous amount of energy by focusing an incredibly intense laser pulse of electromagnetically charged photons at a field of electrons moving at nearly the speed of light. As the laser beam approached the electrons, its photons absorbed so much energy from the interaction that they ricocheted off into what very quickly evolved into an electron and its anti-particle twin, a positron.
"The action is the reverse of the usual matter-antimatter annihilation: the blaze of energy [in this case] becomes matter" (Winters, 1997, p. 40). Furthermore, in another laboratory, researchers have developed an immensely durable mirror which could withstand the force of incredibly high-powered laser beams, out of "hot, electrically-charged has, also known as plasma....[I]t will behave the same way as a metal mirror"...but only for two-trillionths of a second at a time (Saunders, 1998, p.95).
And finally, behind all the observable light and matter in the universe, astronomers have now discovered a "faint, nearly uniform glow...about 2.3 times as bright as the visible universe" which they speculate seems to emanate from "some unidentified source...which generates two thirds of the light in the cosmos" (Wusser, 1998, p. 18). Thus, overall, modern science does seem to be distinguishing itself as a wonderful metaphor for its own creative origins; it seems as though researchers are peering into their microscopes and telescopes, perhaps "seeing" evidence of an infinite, pleromal "eye" staring back.
In his book, The Holographic Universe, Michael Talbot (1991), among other things, explained three very important concepts reminiscent of Jung's Sermons and which consequently justify the above sojourns into the realms of science. The first topic was covered when parallels were drawn between the infinite and finite functions of pleromal and virtual energies.
The second is that of interference patterns, which Talbot describes as "the crisscrossing pattern that occurs when two or more waves....ripple through each other" (p. 14). In Sermons, for example, the very first interference patterns could be seen as those primordial energy wave frequency patterns which were created when the pleroma divided unperturbable, infinite energy into its mirrored, negatively- and positively-charged, life-and-death generating polarities. Others would have increasingly followed over time, as a natural consequence.
The third concept of this integrative summary encompasses the dynamics of the first two. Talbot offers up the following metaphor for the emergent phenomenon of our holographic universe, as seen from the perspective of a physicist's laboratory:
A hologram is produced when a single laser light is split into two separate beams. The first beam is bounced off the object to be photographed. Then the second beam is allowed to collide with the reflected light of the first. When this happens they create an interference pattern which is then recorded on a piece of film. To the naked eye the image on the film looks nothing at all like the object photographed. In fact, it even looks a little like the concentric rings that form when a handful of pebbles is tossed into a pond. But as soon as another laser beam...is shined through the film, a [lifelike] three-dimensional image of the original object reappears. (pp. 14-15)
This parallels with Jung's Sermons. First of all, laser light is also known as a "coherent light source in which all waves in the beam are in step [in perfect synchrony]" (Benton, 1998, p. 115). Imagine the pleroma as the source of all infinitely coherent light, "shining" itself into its own entropic womb where our temporo-spatial universe is given its life-potential as a single laser beam (Abraxas).
As it enters through the "beam-splitter" of this new temporo-spatial domain, its infinitely coherent energy is divided into its electromagnetically-charged paradoxical energy state distinctions, "god" and "devil." These magnificent energy beams are now independently oscillating at mutually reciprocal frequencies, each with the potential to "cancel" or diminish the effects of the other through the interference effects of their positive versus negative wave crests and troughs.
As these crests and troughs initially encounter one another's equally powerful effects, the tremendous tension between them generates the explosion from which our universe evolves. This "big bang," in effect represents an act of ultimate equilibration between infinitely coherent and finitely incoherent forces, the source of all known and unknown (all actual and virtual) equilibrative forces of our universe.
Meanwhile, the individual particles given birth during these events are now zooming around in different directions, each still containing the "remembered" reflection, its wholeness state of perfect energy coherence. Thus compelled by their own need for re-equilibration, they begin to interact vigorously with one another, each seeking to join up with others which can help it re-achieve a state of balanced wholeness. When their interactions finally electromagnetically attract those particle-partners whose energies create that perfect balance, they euphorically "disappear in a cloud of virtual light" for a tiny fraction of time before being recycled back into the imbalances of our asymmetrical, four-dimensional energy state.
Given this hypothetical set of events, the first holographic interference pattern created would have been reflected onto the ethereal "holographic film" of our finite universe. It then develops into the lifelike, three-dimensional, "god-like" qualities, or "effects" that infinite energy takes on within our finite reality (as Abraxas) when illuminated by the pure light of its own omniscient, infinite, pleromal energy source.
Thus, returned to our Sermons' metaphor, all of Jung's creatura, --god, the devil, and their "children," Eros and the Tree of Life -- can now be better understood as pleroma-Abraxas created holograms, whose functions and forms were intended to be made distinct from one another so that they could thus reciprocally interact as interference waves, and thereby regenerate themselves into increasingly complex developmental levels of distinctions.
Over time and space, it can be similarly imagined that the emergent function of the "rippling" effects of immense numbers of criss-crossing interference waves must have been -- must be-- one of making mutually interactive, or reciprocal, holographic projections of holographic projections. Talbot (1991), bootstrapping his thought from Pribram/Bohm, also implicates the unfolding of this kind of underlying "holomovement" dynamics within the universe.
Our brains mathematically construct objective reality by interpreting frequencies that are ultimately projections from another dimension, a deeper order of existence that is beyond both space and time: The brain is a hologram enfolded in a holographic universe (p. 55).
Put another way, the universe can now be understood as a continuously evolving, interactively dynamic hologram whose function it is to explicitly reflect through time and space the emergent effectiveness of its implicitly enfolded, infinitely holographic nature.
In "The Enfolding, Unfolding Universe," Bohm suggests that, "Consciousness is basically in the implicate order as all matter is, and therefore, it's not that consciousness is one thing and matter is another, but rather consciousness is a material process and consciousness is itself in the implicate order, as is all matter, and that consciousness manifests in some explicate order as does matter in general." Further,
David Bohm suggests psychological "atom-smashing" as a way of radically destructuring the ego, opening it to wider experience of the undivided whole. The holographic paradigm is one of reciprocal enfolding and unfolding of patterns of information (explication). The stream of images in CRP functions analogously to the unfolding of the stream of consciousness and the enfolding and de-structuring of the ego (ego death). Consciousness and matter share the same essence; their difference is one of degree of subtlety or density. "Emptiness" is an integral aspect of mind/matter. Chaos theory links all these elements as aspects of the archetypal healing process, which is facilitated by CRP. (Miller, Holographic Paradigm in CRP, 1993).
Remember, Jung said that we die in such measure as we do not distinguish. Weber is a little less ambiguous suggesting in the Holographic Paradigm that,
Psychological death occurs when consciousness keeps step with the ever-moving and self-renewing present, allowing no part of itself to become caught or fixated as residual energy. It is residual energy that furnishes the framework for what will become the thinker, who consists of undigested experience, memory, habit-patterns, identification, desire, aversion, projection and image-making. This is not a purely personal process but the energy of aeons of such processes sclerosed through time, persisting on both personal and collective levels. Ego-death dismantles this superstructure...
Ken Wilber cautions us not to jump on the mystical bandwagon which confuses the implicate order as the Source, the Tao, or even the mystic void. While the implicate reveals the holoarchy of the material level, this is as far as it goes--except as an analogy. The implicate is not transcendental to matter, but underlies it, as a coherent unity--it is still matter. It is analogous to "ecology" on the biological level.
Wilber states that, "the problem is that the quantum potential is merely tremendously huge in size or dimensions; it is not radically dimensionless, or infinite in the metaphysical sense. And you simply cannot equate huge in size, potential or actual, with that which is without size, or prior to any dimensions, high or low, subtle or gross, implicate or explicate."
To "worship" nature or mistake the immanence of wholeness in matter as the Ultimate Reality does not account for transcendent realities--it mistakes the creation for the creator. This is pantheism, reification of matter, animism. Arguably, pantheism is a confusion of two radically different domains--matter and spirit, according to Wilber's vision of the "perennial philosophy."
We could compare four aspects of the nonrepresentational voids as the
1). "Dead" Void: physical void (implicate order, frequency domain; QM's dynamic void; interstellar space);
2). the Emotional Void of the derepressing unconscious, with its empty trances and transitive moments between explicate states;
3). the mental or Existential Void, the imaginal realm, with its bliss states, ecstasies, and inspirations; and,
4). the spiritual or Mystic Void of objectless contemplation, transcendental unified state. In some mystical schools even this state is the not the Ultimate. They represent embedding, or progressively deeper phases of implication within a Reality which supercedes explication in any form.
Wilber notes that,
There is a world of difference between the pre-temporal consciousness, which has no space and no time, and trans-temporal consciousness, which moves beyond space and time while still embracing it...This in no way proves that the holographic blur is not a transcendent state; it demonstrates that one cannot judge so on the basis of language correlations.
What physics has found is actually a unified interaction of material shadows; it discovered that various physical particulars are interrelated processes--but interrelated shadows aren't the Light. As for the implicate order, we saw it was actually a huge energy dimension; it wasn't radically dimensionless or metaphysically infinite.
Consciousness is information -- consciousness-in-forming -- the process of unfolding. The intensity of consciousness at any level is a function of the amount of information at that level (Battista, 1978). All of the potential information about the universe is holographically encoded in the spectrum of frequency patterns that constantly bombard us.
Through destructuring in meditation or process therapy, one quiets the brain becoming sympathetically in tune with (entrained to) this universal frequency pattern. When this occurs, the encoded information about the universe becomes holographically decoded, and the individual experiences a state of unitive consciousness with the entire universe.
Bohm suggests that we transform as eternity unfolds in us, but that eternity may also transform, as it returns to itself enriched by our participation.
Bohm contends that the nonmanifest frequency realm is n-dimensional and atemporal, inconceivable to 3-dimensional thought. Bohm likens n-dimensional space to phase space, (ref. polyphasic consciousness). He asserts that only when the individual has dissolved the 3-dimensional self consisting of gross matter, can the ground of our being flow through us unobstructedly.
He extends this notion to psychology, urging us to dissolve the "thinker" as the highest priority the seeker for truth can undertake. He advocates a kind of "psychological atom-smashing," in which countless illusory egoic clusters (analogous to spasms that reduce the flow within the whole) are dissolved.
Knowledge consists in this theory of the process of tuning in on the manifestation (phenomenon) of the nonmanifest in order to make it accessible, through a state of consciousness which lies outside the barriers of the finite senses. Bohm maintains that this capacity exists in the universe, not in us strictly speaking.
However, "the challenge for the individual locus of consciousness is to provide the condition that allows the universal force to flow through it without hindrance. The result is not knowledge, in the Kantian sense, but direct nondualistic awareness..."
Its precondition is emptiness, as Bohm repeatedly insists, which entails a suspension of the Kantian categories and of 3-dimensional space-time. Such emptiness brings about the cessation of consciousness as the knower and transforms us into an instrument receptively allowing the noumenal intelligence to operate through us, irradiating our daily lives and those of others.
Consciousness & the Biohologram
Consciousness may be seen as a frame of electrical charges in motion such as electrons bombarding a television screen; personality is a time series of these scintillating frames of consciousness. Personality becomes a reverberating input-output pattern of self creation seeking information or patterns of energy from the environment as well as from its own memories. The personality never recreates itself but creates only a close approximation which is accepted due to the principle of constancy as being the same (Miller & Webb, 1973).
The phenomena of unique individuality and personal continuity depend on memory. Consciousness involves the most recent memory and thereby the most subject to erasure and loosening. Personality transformation becomes energy pattern modification of not only scintillating consciousness but also of recent circulating memories and older stored memories.
Thus consciousness can be conceptualized as an electronic phenomena occurring in the brain that involves both dynamic charges in motion and also stored structure (Tien, 1969). Referring to the mechanisms mentioned earlier, a very close connection between electronic activity and structure can be seen. A good deal of work on human psychological processes indicate that human beings are extremely sensitive to the various electromagnetic events in their environment.
It has been shown that stress can uncouple synchronized and harmonious biological rhythms resulting in pathological conditions for the organisms (Burr and Northrop, 1935). We are proposing that these biological systems can be resynchronized and recalibrated through conscious effort. The proposed mechanism for this influence has to do with the indicated coupling of these various external events to biological processes.
The amplifying effect of consciousness has also been seen to be relatable to the various electromagnetic occurrences in the brain. At a deeper level of analysis, it can be suggested that the field phenomena which we have been studying and working with are in fact more real, if that term can be used, than the particulate matter and various objects of which we have been speaking (Wheeler, 1959).
Briefly stated, the fields and particles may be themselves composed of empty curved space, trapping lines of electromagnetic force. This is the holographic concept of reality. The structural configurations themselves or the geometry of the fields and the particles are more fundamental than either the fields or the particles themselves.
The personality never recreates itself, but creates only a close approximation which is accepted due to the principle of constancy as being the same. The phenomena of unique individuality and personal continuity depend on memory, of which consciousness is the most recent and, thereby, the most subject to erasure and loosening. Personality transformation becomes energy pattern modification of not only scintillating consciousness but also of recent circulating memories and older stored memories of childhood.
According to the holographic model of reality, all the objects we can observe are three-dimensional images formed of standing and moving waves by electromagnetic and nuclear processes. All the objects of our world are three-dimensional images formed electro-magnetically, i.e., holograms.
This concept and the models of human information processing based on the hologram, throw interesting light on the philosophical tradition which holds that the world of objects is an illusion. With the triumph of relativity and quantum physics, the interpenetration of the philosophical and the scientific is possible.
We propose that the "reality hologram" which appears as a stable world of material objects is the elementary particle which has a long-term existence and fairly simple rules of interaction. We also propose the existence of a "biohologram" which appears as mobile and evolving, through the DNA molecule. This "biohologram" projects a dynamic three-dimensional image that serves as a guiding matrix for the manipulation and organization of the "reality hologram."
Thus we have mobile self-organizing holograms moving through a relatively static simpler hologram. The possibility exists that such "bioholograms" could achieve sufficient coherence to continue existence as a pattern of radiant energy apart from a material substrate. We feel that such an occurrence could form the scientific basis of such psychoenergetic phenomena as psycho-kinesis, clairvoyance, telepathy, and precognition. (Miller, Webb & Dickson, 1973).
Researchers have found that at the moment of ovulation there is a definite shift in the electrical fields of the body of the woman. The membrane in the follicle bursts and the egg passes down the fallopian tubes. As a sidenote, we feel that the phases of the moon quite probably influence the permeability of the membrane in the follicle, making it more likely that the egg will pass down the fallopian tubes at certain periods of time. The sperm is negative with respect to the egg. When the sperm and the egg unite, the membrane around the egg becomes hyper-polarized. It is at this moment that the electromagnetic entity is formed.
The fertilized egg cell contains all information necessary to create a complete operational human being. And furthermore, the biohologram begins to function at conception, and only ceases to function at death. So, perhaps conception is the proper place to mark the beginning of the individual.
The zygote begins to divide as it travels down the fallopian tube. It is quite possible that it navigates its passage partially by sensing the biohologram of the mother. And this may actually assist in approaching and attaching to the wall of the uterus.
As soon as attachment to the wall of the uterus is complete, the zygote begins the process of establishing the linkage with the mother's circulatory system that will permit the passage of blood carrying important nutrients into the zygote. The womb is a special electronic environment in which an electrolytic solution provides an excellent framework for electromagnetic effects which are necessary in the development of the egg.
With the formation of the neural tube, one end (the end that is in the center of the embryonic disk) begins to expand and enfold, twist, and develop itself into a system of complex tissues in complicated geometrical structures, which will become the structure of the brain of the creature. It is our contention that the brain is necessary and the nervous system is necessary for the development of the creature. It is one of the earliest formations and is prior to the generation of most of the structure of the body.
Our contention is that the DNA at the center of each cell creates the multi-cellular creature hologram by influencing the DNA in the center of the cells. Initially, the problem of development centers around the flow of materials through space, and the establishment of material structure at discrete locations in space. (Miller & Webb, 1973).
We believe that the biohologram projected by the embryonic nervous system forms a three-dimensional pattern of resonant structures; including points, lines, and planes that electromagnetically behave as the acoustic waves - the material waves - of the drumhead. In other words, these electromagnetic points, lines and planes form locations of no movement.
Essentially the matter that is flowing, the electrolytic solutions that are flowing, that have been drawn from the blood of the mother, are caused to move rhythmically through the developing embryo. As they reach certain points, lines and planes their motion stops. This is where structures are laid down and built up. This process is the key to embryonic holography.
The zygote acts like a three-dimensional nozzle. Electrolytes from the blood stream of the mother flow through this nozzle and into the cymatic structure of standing wave patterns distributed through space inside the embryo and becomes fixed, solidified structures. This accounts for the different zones and the separation of the zones of the different kinds of tissue groups.
The picture is completed by the effects of the biohologram on the DNA of the cells that have formed along with the migration of the substances. You have an actual migration of cells, and a migration of substances throughout the embryo that take up locations dependent upon resonant structures of standing wave patterns. The cells, having arrived at their proper location and beginning to involve themselves with the materials and the fluids that are flowing in the three-dimensional nozzle are then specified in their particular tissue nature by the biohologram being projected by the nervous system.
They are refined and developed as their genome is shut down until only the DNA that operates in a particular cell is just that DNA which defines the structure and operation of that particular kind of tissue group. So, through a complex interaction of three-dimensional electromagnetic fields rapidly dividing cells and a flow of electrolytes that is directed by the field but also feeds back on the field and influences it, a multi-cellular organism achieves the proper structure that will permit it to exist apart from the specialized environment of the womb.
As long as the biohologram is functioning properly, as long as the nervous system is continuing to coordinate and project the complex three-dimensional fields that support the biological processes in the organism, the organism survives. When the biohologram ceases to function properly, the organism suffers. And when the principle action of the biohologram stops, the organism dies.
If there is any scientific correlate to the concept of Soul, it is most probably this bioholographic pattern system. It is composed of the ultimate stuff of the universe, electromagnetic field energy. Which does not die in the sense that creatures die, so it fulfills the attribute of the Soul of being immortal in that sense. However, the pattern does change with growth, with learning, with experience, and with age. So there is a development of the Soul or the electromagnetic field entity.
It is conceivable, although a great deal more research needs to be done, that the electromagnetic field entity might be capable of an independent existence which would form the basis for the concept of life after death. However, a free electromagnetic field entity without a biophysiological matrix might have a difficult time in interacting with creatures, such as ourselves, that are still utilizing the biophysiological matrix. (Miller & Webb, 1973).
Physics is the study of the structure of consciousness.
Zukav, 1979, p.31
It seems that Jung's (1961) Sermons metaphorically implied that all concepts and their "anti-concepts" such as good and evil eventually evolved of logical necessity as a self-ordering function of the pleroma's most complex living (thus most distinctive) mind-body paradoxes.
It is important to emphasize here that even in the human act of discriminating between a pair of paradoxical ideas, whichever is selected as the focus of one's energies will assume for him the characteristics he assigns to it. In science, this is known as experimenter bias. In ethics it produces the tremendous variations in values and belief systems over time and space on our planet. It exemplifies the eternal schism between perceptions of good and evil.
Making the Indistinct Distinct
The basic psychological problem here is metaphorically contained within what is called Heisenberg's "uncertainty principle." This is the physicists' way of admitting that, because we are all concurrently moving around in space, there is no way scientists can know simultaneously, with certainty, both the position in space and the momentum of a particle.
Thus science can only make predictions about one of these aspects based on what the other aspect is doing and what similar others have done in the past. Thus, a researcher must first choose which aspect she wants to attend to. Then, once that she has attuned her energies to the aspect of her choice, those focused and thus biased energies in turn appear to exert a mysterious, influential force upon the particle being observed, as though altering its character in order to meet her expectations.
Indeed, by shaping the focus of our conscious energy to selectively tune out some irrelevant stimuli while necessarily holding onto that which is salient to the moment, it seems as though a perceptually-biased energy pattern is formed in order to establish a state of resonation with those energy patterns being attended to.
This is how we make distinct that which is in reality, indistinct. This is also a long version of why quantum mechanics maintains that there is such a thing as pure objectivity in this universe. Einstein showed us that all is relative. Quantum evidence seems to support the notion that it is from our distinctively-biased energies that our material reality is created.
Plugging this concept back into our pleroma-holograph metaphor of reality, it can be said that energy wave patterns which intersect via the attentional energies of the mind-body are holographically altered for what can be seen simultaneously as "good" (life-energy enhancing) by one person and as "bad" (life-energy diminishing) by another.
At some level of efficacy, this adaptive process of altering the holographic projections created within our personal energy fields is occurring continuously throughout our lifetimes. As both the introjection and the projection (interpersonal mind-body-receiving and -sending) of innately- valenced and morally-biased energy states, it is the fundamental "good" versus "evil" functions of information transduction between humans.
Thus one can imagine those holographic interference patterns that represent the most stable or resilient qualities: through replication and amplification they survive most successfully over the longest periods of time. They are life-enhancing (good) energy patterns, --kind of like a cosmic "bell-curve." Energy begets energy. When more distinctively life-stabilizing energy that is made available within the overall global energy pattern, more distinctively stable energy is available to be used in the creation of subsequent life-enhancing interactions within the human community and its individual members. The following section will propose how this process might be able to cycle "simultaneously" between the individual and the collective.
Earlier in this paper, we touched on the fact that levels of resilience can be empirically measured by vagal tone, or cardiovascular reactivity. We have also seen how the highly interactive dynamics of the resilience process are closely tied to one's ability to learn positive coping skills, which in turn depend on his ability to learn to develop a sense of self-efficacy within his environment.
This resilience was shown to be directly correlated with his ability to regulate his arousal levels via his autonomic nervous system. This in turn helps expand the range of his attentional abilities, which enables him to more resiliently adapt to the demands of his environment. All of these life skills involve this person's ability to focus his energies intently enough in order to effect desired, positive outcomes in his life.
Positive outcomes, or emergent effects of resiliently adaptive attitudes and behaviors can be associated with the functions of Jung's Tree of Life, which were all related to life-enhancing behaviors and thoughts, --or coping skills. Negative, maladaptive outcomes leading to various pathologies can be associated with those which are born of egocentric desires for self-validation at the expense of one's own (or another's) well-being. The point of this detour into the psychological evolution of moral polarities is this:
The choice of which of these energy patterns a person is tuned into is a moment-by-moment, individual one. It is not a fate predetermined by some either good or evil force exterior to one's own mind-body state, even though it often seems so. It can be and often is influenced by other nearby fields of energy patterns, but the ultimate choice of which patterns of energy that we resonate with, is within the conscious control of most human beings.
Once this level of moral individuation is consciously achieved, holistic healing begins within that person's sphere of influence. It begins within the body as an enhanced state of physical, mental, and emotional health, then spreads transpersonally outward into other relationships.
We examined some of these life-enhancing, therapeutic phenomena in the previous sections, and saw that although the manner in which they manifest in the world takes on many different forms, ultimately all holistic healing is the result of (a) making some level of conscious choice to positively alter one's thought patterns (b) which similarly alters one's characteristic attitudes, (c) which alters arousal levels and neurotransmitter levels within the body, (d) which accommodates the ultradian-quantum healing responses that (e) regulate breathing rhythms and brain waves in order to (f) modulate the mind-body's neural energy frequencies which (g) instruct its hormones to (h) alert the messenger molecules to (i) tell the genes which proteins to transcribe in order to (j) restore harmony and balance to the system. And in some cases, all of this can happen within minutes--virtually instantaneously.
Expressed within a wide range of variance within and between individuals, these many reciprocally interactive dynamics somehow all connect together into one seemingly seamless, flowing process which we call life. For centuries, man has been trying to unravel the mystery of how it all fits together; how its immensities and minutia are interconnected and inter-communicate in a way that hold the universe and all of its functions together.
Now, with metaphors such as those provided by holography and quantum mechanics, we are in the best position ever to more discriminately separate out those things which we can name from among those which we must simply accept on theoretical faith. We seem to be moving over closer towards our virtual natures.
The Holographic "Enchanted Loom"
The conscious brain has been described as an "enchanted loom," and as such, can be metaphorically framed within the four dimensions of its finite universe. Its attention-shuttle is empowered by various combinations of energy frequencies as they equilibratively oscillate back and forth across the warp-threads of its neural net. "Enchanted loom" takes on a whole new meaning , however, when it is incorporated into the holographic paradigm. A holographic enchanted loom would simultaneously record each of its state-dependent memories across the entire warp and woof of its structure and upon each single thread on the loom.
Thus, each strand of energy patterns from which one's conscious picture of life is woven would contain, in its entirety, the ever-changing consciousness of the whole life-tapestry. And indeed, as will soon be made clear, this does seem to be how our magnificent brain works at its most fundamental level, --as a holographic frequency analyzer.
The process begins with our five senses, which have all been found to process information holographically, according to Talbot (1991) who explains that the transference of new information from one part of the body to another is accomplished via a mathematical language which physicists call "Fourier transforms." As Talbot explained it, this universal language is used at the quantum level of our existence to communicate descriptions of the dynamically interactive temporo-spatial relationships, or current energy-pattern states, of our wave forms.
What [experimenters] found was that the brain cells...responded to Fourier translations of [energy wave] patterns...The brain was using Fourier mathematics, --the same mathematics holography employed, --to convert visual [and other sensory] images into the Fourier language of wave forms. (p. 28).
He went on to describe how physicist Carl Pribram had earlier worked through the problem of how our body communicates with itself by imagining what would happen if it were to convert all of its memories and learned skills into a language of interference wave forms. "Such a brain would be much more flexible and could shift its stored information around with the same ease that a skilled pianist transposes a song from one musical key to another" (Talbot, 1991, p. 24). He further theorized that once something was thus memorized as a particular combination of wave forms, (as a holographic form) it could be recalled and/or examined from about any viewing angle or perspective desired. Much subsequent research has supported his theories.
Talbot goes on to describe the mathematics which were developed in order to describe the functions of wave forms. He explains that Fourier transforms are a mathematically symbolic way of converting any pattern, no matter how complex, into a language of simple wave frequency formulas. These wave formulas can then be converted back into their original wave patterns, much like a television camera converts images into electromagnetic frequencies, and then the television set changes them back into their original image.
Therefore, as Candace Pert (1997; 1990) and others implied earlier in this paper, our mind-body seems to be a magnificently complex, holographic frequency analyzer which has also been observed speaking to itself, by way of its messenger molecules, in Fourier transform "tongues."
The phenomenon of energy transduction, in terms of Jung's Sermons via Zukav's quantum mechanics, began way back at the beginning of the universe when pleromal energy waves begat Abraxas energy waves. These in turn begat both the energy waves of which all subsequent life has been composed, and the stressor-- "anti-energies' by which one's life forces are consumed.
The key to both the long-term and the short-term survival of this whole energy-transducing process seems to be found in the concept of regeneration, wherein new life energy resources are appropriated for oneself through adaptive mind-body commerce with the Tree of Life. As Rossi's (1993) theories implied earlier, when one's relaxed energies become focused and centered within this regenerative process, creation of new energy is facilitated in the form of something-for-nothing virtual energy exchanges between one's infinite and infinite states.
In addition to what we learned earlier from Rossi about the mind-body's ultradian healing-response, he also explained that when life stress is psychically perceived as the challenge to be met rather than as distress to be escaped from, the body alters its biochemistry in order to meet the challenge presented to it by releasing only the needed catecholamine neurotransmitters. This is turn creates an optimal state within the body for creative problem-solving.
When stimuli are perceived as distressing, however, the body also produces cortisol. It immediately increases arousal within the body-mind to levels which reduce--or completely block--one's attentional focusing abilities, and thus limit problem-solving capacities, ability to disciminate, emotional intelligence, his health, --all levels of resilience. "Cortisol is probably one of the most violent immunodepressants there is" (Sapse, 1977, quoted in Fackelman, 1977, p. 350).
The point here is that when we believe that we are equal to the challenges life presents us (where no cortisol is causing hyperarousal states), we seem to enter into a creative "zone" where the mind-body actually generates more energy reserves for itself. It is as though, at this apex of our human-beingness, or enery-wave frequency distinctiveness, -- the state where mind energy has to creatively stretch itself in order to meet the demands of its body, or body-energy must stretch in order to meet its mind's demands, or where mind-body energy is just generally being stretched by its mind-body challenges, --that we actually seem to become more alive.
It is as though accepting the challenge to stretch and grow alters the state of our mind-body in a way that focuses all of our energies on solving the problems at hand, with faith that the energy will be available to meet the challenge. Somehow, this act of staying faithfully focused on our goal communicates that need for energy restoration in a way that actually facilitates its regeneration as needed (Sears, 1995).
It makes sense that increased levels of highly focused energy--or increased energy-wave frequency distinctiveness -- leads to increased levels of quantum energy exchanges, which lead to increased levels of residual virtual energy from which new actual energies can be made.
This, in its most fundamental essence is what the ultradian healing response (formerly biorhythms) is all about. It is the regular, daily rebalancing of our mind-body state so that it can holographically regenerate itself. It does this through the creative production --and transduction --of virtual-to-actual energy wave frequencies and interference patterns into better coping skills, or emotionally intelligent, resiliently equilibrative neural structures. These enhanced neural pathways in turn facilitate the efficacious transduction of information and energy patterns through all the levels of one's being.
Looking from another angle, it could be assumed that every time one accepts a life stressor as a challenge and thus in effect lowers his stimulus threshold in order to allow more creative information (energy wave patterns) into his mind-body, he increases his problem-solving, adaptive capacities and along with them his sense of self-efficacy.
Thus, the next time an even bigger stressor confronts him, he will have been effectively "stretched" enough psychologically to take on this even bigger challenge and become even more "alive." This is how moral consciousness grows as one individuates into an increasingly distinct, whole individual, and how that whole individual, in turn, generates increased morally-conscious energy back into the body of the collective. And that, ultimately, is the Tao of resilience.
The first two sections of this chapter have dealt with what this paper titled the "reciprocal Causality Dynamics" from which resilience functions (seeing distinctions and making adaptive connections among those distinctions) creatively emerge. It was concluded that the purpose of this whole immensely complex pattern of energy dynamics seems to be connected with our need to become more highly conscious; to become more fully aware of both our distinctiveness and our interconnectedness within the evolving holomovement of some infinitely higher state of energy resources that we call life.
From Particles and Waves to Strings and Membranes
String Theory has enjoyed a vogue in physics and cosmology as 'superstrings.' Yet, it is a prime example of how even an elegant scientific theory which encompasses many 'explanations' may be plausible and yet not necessarily describe reality. In science, camps are divided whether string- and now membrane-theory describes Reality. This theory has its critics.
We must always be suspicious when science declares rather than suggests models, as the history of science is one of theories overturned periodically by better, more comprehensive theories. The ongoing process of revolutions in science will probably continue for some time. Generally, these revolutions come about through improving our ability to observe and test ever finer levels of the macro- and microcosm. Thus, the history of science is one of self-correction and refinement over time, through better insight and modeling.
When a scientific model is used as a theory of the way WE are, we can understand it best as a metaphor of reality, rather than an objective description of the true nature of Reality. If we tie our vision of what we are to any current theory, we are likely to be disabused of that notion at some point. Truth is generally much more complex, and simple, than human modeling can encompass. Science is actually the science of what 'works,' -- the state of the art at any given moment.
One reason for this dissonance in what is now called M-theory is that throughout its development, string theory has come up with over 14 solutions to its train of thought, each involving a different number of dimensions for its solutions. Even though Brian Greene, champion of these hidden dimensions, has dubbed this the "Elegant Universe," (1999) it fails to be an elegant theory. In physics an elegant or beautiful theory is sublime when its equations are simple and clear. Strings, superstring, and membranes have so far failed to meet this touchstone, much less prove itself more than a possible or plausible solution to the Theory of Everything.
However, in this work we cannot solve that conundrum. Our touchstone here is somewhat different, for we are seeking metaphors, "as if" realities which illuminate our understanding of the human condition, which shed light on the nature of the universe as we grope toward truth. We can use string theory, much as the ancients used the discovery of the nature of harmonies, the so-called Music of the Spheres, to light their comprehension of self, others and nature. Even an incomplete theory can function as a useful model and display internal coherence. Whether it expresses in equations the way things really are remains to be seen.
Therefore, to begin this section, we will take a look at the architectural energy-pattern structures from which our reality seems to derive its temporo-spatial form. Among other theorists, Tom Stonier (1990, cited in Rossi, 1995) has identified information transduction as being the organizational principle behind the structure of our universe. Stonier, however, claims he has mathematically established information as the equivalent of matter and energy, each of which he sees as being ultimately transducable into the others. He also explains that
organized systems exhibit resonances. Resonances lead to oscillations. Oscillations represent time cycles during which changes may be introduced. Such changes may dampen or amplify the existing oscillations. Alternatively, they may create new resonances and excite new sets of oscillations. The more complex the system, the greater the likelihood of introducing change into the system during any given cycle. Hence the exponential growth of information (p. 41).
More on this later. For now we will make another quantum leap to a related line of thinking called "string theory," or more accurately "the M-theory of Everything." "M" is said to stand for either "Magic, Mystery or Membrane, according to taste (Witten, 1996, cited in Duff, 1998, p. 64). This theory gives us a useful new metaphor as Duff goes on to describe some of its terms.
A particle, which has zero dimensions, sweeps out a one-dimensional trace, or 'worldline,' as it evolves in space-time. Similarly a string--having one dimension, length--sweeps out a two-dimensional 'worldsheet.' and a membrane--having two dimensions, length and breadth--sweeps out a three-dimensional 'world volume.' (p. 65)
'Spin,' or inherent angular momentum, which we briefly touched on earlier, is the way physicists describe the way particles appear to be rotating even thought they really are not. It is actually more like the idea of spin which is inferred from the trajectory of particles through space (Zukav, 1979). According to Duff (1998), laws of "supersymmetry" require that each particle of a particular spin must have "a particle with the same mass but half-integer spin" (p.64) which is a technical way of saying that particles must have anti-particles in order for our universe to make logical sense, which it as yet does not.
Since researchers have never found such a symmetrical particle-partner, they assume that is merely because it cannot be seen. Since the state of supersymmetry implies a balance of gravitational forces, this new paradigm also further validates many of the ontological views expressed earlier in this work, since it proposes that all four of the elemental forces (gravity, the electromagnetic force, the nuclear force, and the weak force) are ultimately just different phenomenal aspects of their mutual, virtual energy-exchange origins.
M-theory proposes a number of possible scientific explanations for the origins of everything, but the one most useful for our purposes here is called the "T-duality" theory. This growing paradigm, in a very concise nutshell, sees the universe as existing simultaneously at both microcosmic and macrocosmic reality levels as parallel universes, one the reciprocal, or inverse function, of the other. Harking back to the past, the ancients also thought so and expressed this truism in the alchemical maxim, "As Above; So Below."
In other words, it portrays the energy of both these realities as existing in two simultaneous states which Duff called the "Duality of Dualities" (p. 67). One of these energy states is called its "vibrating" state and the other is called its "winding" state. Loosely translated, this points back to oscillation frequencies (waves) and their related states of energic tension, called particles, -- or in this case, the energy-pattern traces called strings, which are made by particles vibrating across space and time.
Significantly, Duff reports that the physicists are hoping to use "known" characteristics about our observable universe in order to infer the unknown reciprocal characteristics of their proposed alternate reality. Put in terms even more useful for purposes here, they believe that the energy information which exists in one of these dual reality dimensions is humanly transducable into its paradoxically mirrored, reciprocal state. And that is pretty much what this whole work has been trying to say.
As living beings, we exist paradoxically within a dual state of dual states as both the finite, living products of interactions between particle and wave/matter and energy/body and mind, and the infinitely interactive process from which all of those dual-state living products arose.
In other words, the proposed invisible 'reciprocal dimension' has already made itself knowable within our reality as the virtual/actual informational energy-exchange by means of which we communicate as both messenger and receiver in order to become more harmoniously and resiliently evolved. So, in effect, physicists are "reinventing the wheel" here,--but that is okay; they too need to intuit truth via those metaphors within which they are best prepared to see it. The creative interactions of our many paradigms, philosophies, and religions are vital to the evolution of collective consciousness.
For example, physicists'' "matrix theory" also provides further validation of our holographic theories of everything. According to Duff (1998), they evidently imagine the phenomena of quantum energy dynamics as an infinite number of criss-crossings of energy-wave strings forming an immense, hypothetical matrix upon which numerical coordinates are meaningless, and where "points" on this matrix are themselves matrices which "do not commute,--that is, xy does not equal yx" (p. 69).
Not only is Cartesian logic being replaced here by something very similar to the holographic, Fourier-transformational reality metaphors discussed earlier, but cutting-edge physics is again supporting a key point of this work:
Our four-dimensional reality state seems to be simultaneously gazing into and reciprocally interacting with a quantum mirror-image of itself where sequentially-ordered informational states do not commute. That is to say, because of the temporo-spatial limitations of finite reality, the energy sequences through which we communicate our information/energy states must oscillate up and down as well as from left to right, at varying frequencies.
These sequential properties of matter do not perfectly commute into their energy equivalents within our reality, but rather, they create the reversed, paradoxical mirror image which, in effect, stabilizes life energies in their finite evolutionary state. This is probably why infinite virtual energy exchanges (of which we, as evolving by-products of their electromagnetic interactions are fundamentally composed), when they are not able to be perfectly completed within their finite, "actual"--mirrored states, return so infinitely quickly to this "actual" state -- for further self-correction.
From these quantum energy-metaphors we have now also found a more efficient way of imagining how energy takes on its 3-dimensional shape as it moves through the temporal dimension of our reality: Dimenionless virtual/actual particles vibrate across time, forming two-dimensional waves, which oscillate across time in various geometric shapes, which in turn move about in all four dimensions like invisible duct-work energy tunnels.
As energy becomes increasingly ordered into evolving patterns of evolving patterns, it begin to electromagnetically manifest as matter. This concept of shaped energy will "shape" the conceptual contents of the next section of this paper.
From Strings and Membranes to Struts and Cables
It has been established that a particle has no measurable dimensions in our reality, but is merely a hypothetical entity with the potential to have mass (energy) as one of its characteristics. So, it is really just a symbol that we use to describe the movement, or interactive relationships of energy within our four-dimensional reality. One of the ways we are here describing life in our reality zone is as an elaborate energy/information-transducing process whose purpose it is to enable us as its chief frequency-modulators, to become more highly conscious of, and thus individuated within, that process.
It seems fitting to conclude this theory by also metaphorming a mechanically stable energy-reinforcing structure upon which this process can take shape. And, since energy particles can now be imagined to exist as potential shapes in space, it follows that there must be some rules and regulations that its virtual energy shapes must follow in order to become actuated.
According to the fundamental laws of physics as described by Ian Stewart (1998), nature likes to conserve, or minimize, the energy it has to expend in order to do its work. The original proponent of this view was Buckminster Fuller, who expressed it mathematically and philosophically in his tour de force, Synergetics: Explorations in the Geometry of Thinking (1975) and Synergetics II (1979).
Fuller discovered Nature's own rules of assembly. His vision was founded on the geometry of close-packed spheres, which can be found in the nuclei of all atoms. In fact, there is much to link the nature of Fuller's primary modules, the self-assembling tetrahedron and the Vector Equilibrium Matrix to the virtual vacuum or quantum foam, Jung's pleroma.
Nature's own economy and minimalism is the reason why: (a) "the surface of smallest area that encloses a given volume is a sphere"; (b) "Without some constraint, the area of minimal surface would be zero"; and, (c) "Minimal surface" is a surface whose area is the smallest possible, subject to the following constraints: the shape's surface must contain some given volume, and its boundary should lie on some given surface or curve, or both (p. 104).
Thus it can be said that in its material form, energy seeks to equilibrate itself into a perfectly energy-efficient, completely energy-balanced shape of a sphere. Its underlying "assimilation and accommodation" dynamics therefore all seem subsequent to this basic geometrically equilibrative law of energy conservation. Therefore, the distinctive shapes which virtual/actual particle/energy wave patterns reciprocally evoke depends upon their underlying energy-redistribution dynamics.
In his very notable Scientific American article (1/1998), Donald E. Ingber revitalizes the current of Synergetics by identifying the prominence of tensegrity in geometric shapes in "The Architecture of Life," and its relationship to Complexity. He states the following as his introduction:
Life is the ultimate example of complexity at work. An oganism...develops through an incredibly complex series of interactions involving a vast number of different components...[which] are themselves made up of smaller molecular components, which independently exhibit their own dynamic behavior...Yet, when they are combined into some larger functioning unit--such as a cell or tissue-- utterly new and unpredictable properties emerge, including the ability to move, to change shape and to grow....That nature applies common assembly rules is implied by the recurrence--at scales from the molecular to the macroscopic--of certain patterns, such as spirals, pentagons and triangulated forms...After all, [everything is] made of the same building blocks: atoms of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen and phosphorus. The only difference is how the atoms are arranged in three-dimensional space (p. 48).
Ingber goes on from there to describe this emergent phenomenon as a process of "self-assembly" (p. 48) into increasingly complex hierarchies of life forms. He stated his observation that nearly everything in our world, including the human body, is constructed using a form of architecture known as tensegrity (p. 48). He explains, "The term refers to a system that stabilizes itself mechanically because of the way in which tensional and compressive forces are distributed and balanced within the structure" (pp. 48-49).
The key point here seems to be that the stability (or resilience) of a tensegrity structure comes not from the strength of its individual member-parts, but from the way that its mechanical stresses are balanced and distributed across all of the parts of the whole.
Ingber describes two categories of tensegrity structures, the first of which is made up entirely of "rigid struts," each of which is able to bear either tension or compression, and the second of which is composed of "prestressed" structures which bear either tension or compression even before being subjected to external forces. The compression-bearing rigid struts function to stretch, or tense, the flexible tension-bearing members, or "cables," while the tension-bearing cables, in turn, compress the struts. Thus, these "counteracting forces, which equilibrate throughout the structure, are what enable it to stabilize itself" (p. 49).
[insert figures from appendix here]
A closer look at some of the other interesting and relevant features of tensegrity shows that: (a) It is the constructive, architecturally equilibrative use of gravity which gives most buildings their stability by taking advantage of its continuous compression forces; (b) Tension-bearers "map-out" the shortest path between adjacent members, resulting ideally in highly resilient geodesic-like shapes; (c) Tensional forces, in turn, follow these accommodative shortest routes between points so that their tensional stresses become adaptively assimilated as new functions of the structure's resilient, ever equilibrating form (Ingber, p. 49-50).
When studying the functions of tensegrity structures involved in the make-up of cells, Ingber found that when attached to a flexible substrate material, cells contract and become more spherical, thereby "puckering" the material beneath them. So it seems that the tensegrity dynamics of any given structure, even a living one, can have a significant rippling effect on the dynamics of its surrounding neighbors.
More significantly, it was seen that pushing down on a tensegrity structure forces it into what appears to be a flattened, disordered state, but as soon as the pressure is removed from it, "the energy stored in its tensed filaments causes the [structure] to spring back to its original, roughly spherical shape" (p. 50). This demonstrates that when tension and compression ratios are evenly distributed across a structure's member-parts, the structure will resiliently rebound from traumatic stressors.
As shown above, in cellular tensegrity structures all the way up to and including the human body, all interconnected structural elements rearrange themselves as needed in response to local stressors. So, in effect, just as the body varies the stiffness or flexibility of its bones, joints, tendons, and muscles in response to demands made upon it, cellular structures also stiffen or relax their various cytoskeletal parts through contraction and extension of their minute microfilaments, microtubules, and intermediate filaments in response to its structural integrity needs. This is important because some research shows this bears directly on our own consciousness, as we shall see in the next section.
Furthermore, molecules too rearrange their shapes in order to communicate their reactions to the electro-chemical dynamics which influence their structural integrity. Thus, all levels of the human body's structure are simultaneously and continuously increasing their tensegrity states as much as possible, within the reciprocal limitations set forth by the corresponding state of the "structural matrix" to which and within which they are attached. Elsewhere in science, the notion of reciprocal limitations is referred to as "rein theory."
Ingber and his associates actually observed how it is that these kinds of structural alterations communicate information in order to bring about changes in the biochemistry and genetic activities of the cell and its surroundings. For example, they found that
[b]y simply modifying the shape of the cell, they could switch cells between different genetic programs....Thus, mechanical restructuring of the cell and cytoskeleton apparently tells the cell what to do. Very flat cells, with their cytoskeletons stretched, sense that more cells are needed to cover the surrounding substrate--as in wound repair--and that cell division is needed. Rounding indicates that too many cells are competing for space on the matrix and that the cells are proliferating too much; some must die to prevent tumor formation (pp. 52-53).