We have all experienced the body-mind connection. A two-way communication is going on within us, whether or not we are aware of it.
Thoughts affect the body and the body affects thoughts. Just thinking about a previous embarrassment will cause blushing again long after the original incident; having worrisome thoughts may make the hands sweat. On the flip side, physical conditions affect mental functions: being inebriated interferes with better judgment; having a high fever or intense pain can cause delirium.
Our physical embodiment and mental enmindedness are the entwined employers of a biological, neuro-chemical system.
How Our Nerves Function on Our Behalf
Lightning fast are our unconscious instincts. We blink as a bug flies toward our eye, we flinch when we witness someone getting hurt, and we freeze if we see a snake. The coordination of such reactions are mediated by the nervous system and happen without our conscious decisions. These instincts can be life-saving, for conscious decision making is too slow and too often erroneous.
An electrical impulse begins and ends in a nerve cell, traveling linearly from dendrite to axon terminal (left to right in the illustration below).
Between the axon of this signaling neuron and the dendrite of a receptive neuron nearby, a small distance called a synaptic gap must be bridged. See the enlargement above.
The electrical impulse is confined within the neuron; it cannot jump across the gap to the adjacent receiving nerve cell. Intercellular communication must translate between electrical and chemical signals. The sending cell must emit chemical signals, called neurotransmitters, which cross the gap to be received by a neighboring neuron’s dendrite.
In the graphic below, we overlay our trusty ‘Pragmatic Schematic‘ onto the nerve cell to highlight its functions. The Pull of its Dendrites and the Push of its Axon terminals are at the opposite extremes. The cell body Transitions between the inward Pull and the outward Push. The nervous impulse travels linearly within the neuron.
Outside the neuron, the nervous impulse Rests; in other words, there is no electrical impulse in the synaptic gap.
Although we discussed the terms, Pull * Transition * Push * Rest thoroughly in an earlier chapter and in the previous aside, for a brief review PTPR (acronym) in Essential Vocabulary provides a brief description of this sequence which is found ubiquitously in nature’s dynamical systems and incorporated in all Quadernity models.
Below, we have symbolically illustrated two adjacent cells. By using the Pragmatic Schematic and omitting the drawing of the cell, we can focus more easily on the functions of the nerve’s parts and the propagation of a nervous impulse across an intervening space.
The cells’ physical bodies are encapsulated within interstitial fluid. This chemical soup does two things:
- it punctuates the flow of electrical transmission; and
- it is the metaphysical environment in which the cells are integrated, and by which a signal is transmitted between them and propagated on beyond.
Bio-electro-chemical correspondence requires two tiers. Relatively speaking, the cell bodies are physical and their fluid environment is metaphysical, transcending and including the physical nerve bodies within it. In the physical level (lower quadrants) the nerves are singled-out, and in the metaphysical level (upper quadrants) their neuro-transmitters are mingled-in.
Compare our situation at the human scale to the nerves at the cellular scale. Without the space between them, nerve cells could not propagate nervous signals throughout the body. The nerves exist amidst interstitial tissues and fluids, without which their collective functionality would fail. Neither could we, as agents of our own biosphere, communicate inter-subjectively with other living entities if not for the intermediary spaces in our shared environment.
This may seem strange at first; however, the same two-tiered dynamic occurs every time we communicate with each other. I cannot physically transplant my experiences into your memory; instead our inter-subjectivity is made possible because of what occurs non-linearly in the space between us.
When there is communication, a continuum forms between at least two entities. Something conveys across the gap between the entities and thereby defines, distinguishes, or differentiates the seemingly separate correspondents.
A secondary aside is offered here to further explore The Magic of Human Communication.
Communication depends on something other than the entities communicating — something that is conveyed between the entities. For instance, if one wishes to communicate a thought or memory to another person, he or she selects words from a shared vocabulary and enunciates those words, forming vibrations in the air that reach the ears of the listener, who then translates the sounds back into words. If these words are heard accurately and the words spoken are defined by the speaker and the listener in the same way, perhaps the listener may create a mental image and/or an emotional response that is appropriate to the intention of the speaker. Isn’t it amazing that it goes as well as it does, as often as it does? Between the original ideas of the speaker and what is understood by the listener, there is a between-ness through which the ideas themselves do not traverse.
Walter Russell provides an apt example:
Let us consider the electric wire along which the quantitative, measurable form of an electric message is flashed. But the thought is not in the wire. The wire carries only the measurable form which you can translate into words or even into rhythmic wave forms. But the thought is not in the wire, nor is it in the words. Where is it? It is in the Intelligence which remains forever a part of the invisible universe of space. The thought itself is never created. It is only the form of thought which ever assumes measurable shape.
Here, a storm has unearthed the normally hidden mass of roots, which reveals a complex underground communication system between trees in a forest.
You are encouraged to watch an amazing video (active link). It is well worth 4 minutes of your time. A female forester explains in the simplest of terms how trees are inter-related, even across diverse species, via a network involving fungi. She even says their inter-relatedness is almost “metaphysical”. As you watch, you might want to compare the tree roots to dendrites and axons and the roots’ fungi-mediated relationship to what occurs in the synaptic juncture between neurons. Good practice for universal pattern recognition!
The”cosmic consciousness” is invisibly spread out within and between the physical. There is no such thing as Matter that is not organized into some sort of Pattern, whether the pattern appears static (as in solid structures), or fluid as seen in the images below.
The following two quotes show their authors grappling with unstructured Substance:
Around the turn of the fifth century Saint Augustine said,
It was not absolute nothingness. It was a kind of formlessness without any definition… True reasoning convinced me that I should wholly subtract all remnants of every kind of form if I wished to conceive the absolutely formless. I could not achieve this.
The fundamental basis of all things must presumably have structure and substance. We cannot describe substance — we can only give a name to it. Any attempt to do more than give it a name leads at once to an attribution of structure.
Chapter Fourteen, Tao te Ching, reiterates the futility of describing the Unstructured Substance, calling it the Tao.
Look, it cannot be seen — it is beyond form. Listen, it cannot be heard — it is beyond sound. Grasp, it cannot be held — it is intangible. These three are indefinable; therefore they are joined in one.
We can say what the Tao is not, more easily than we can say what it is. The three negations are joined as one in the Tao, which can neither be seen, heard nor held.
Pattern, itself invisible, is recognizable only because the otherwise imperceptible Substance gets Structured according to its rules.
Matter and Patterns go hand in hand. Matter makes Patterns visible. Patterns are the organizational structure that makes Matter…well, matter.
Arthur Koestler, 20th century writer, coined the phrase ‘holon’. The suffix on means particle, as in photon, electron, pi meson, etc. Hol is the common root of the words whole and holy. The term ‘holon‘ refers to how a Part of something is also a whole, or Particularity unto itself; and likewise, the particularity, Participates as a part in a greater whole.
This may bring to mind Matryoshka dolls, stacked in layers, one outside the other, on and on.
- A cell is a Particularity unto itself, and it is also a part of a larger life form.
- A Particular person Participates in various organizations, such as families, species, communities, political parties, corporations, etc.
For simplistically visualizing ‘holons’, we will use our Pragmatic Schematic (PS) again.
As a Particularity, we are made of internal Parts (left crescent) that Pull together to function on behalf of our body, the whole in which they reside. And, as a Particularity, we Push signals outwardly to Participate in greater wholes (right crescent).
The Particularity includes BOTH Parts and Participation, so its label is found in the central area of overlap. Parts and Participation can be thought of as opposites. Parts of the Particularity are inside and smaller (left crescent), while the Particularity Participates in ever greater wholes beyond (right crescent). Therefore, Parts and Participation are in the positions of EITHER and OR.
Inside-Out and Outside-In
We are not static beings; we are continuously in a process of becoming ourselves. Out beyond our persistent physicality, in our shared metaphysical environment, are the raw materials and information which re-source us, or source us again, from one moment to the next.
Look closely at the images reprinted below. What do the murmuration of starlings, the smoke ring, and the school of fish have in common?
In the photos above, we see two dimensions, or trajectories, simultaneously. We see many individual fish and we also see a singular school of fish; we see individual birds as well as their flock; and we see the intricate smoke ring, which we know is made of myriad specks of ash even though we cannot clearly see the individual particles.
Each photo depicts a grouping of Parts that are somehow Participating in a larger body. How? The formation is leaderless, and the individuals in the collective make no decisions about where they will fit within the organization.
That which organizes the small Particularities into a larger Particularity is invisible and yet, without it, the individuals would scatter rather than cohere into a larger whole.
The Whole is Greater than the Sum of its Parts
A whole is more that it would at first glance appear to be. In the image below, the organism (in this case an elephant) is the Particularity. To the left are its Parts, increasing in complexity. To the right, the organism Participates in ever greater spheres of influence.
Eventually, we see that the biosphere (greatest order of participation) is connected to the atoms (simplest order of parts). The greatest of wholes gives back the smallest of parts. This makes a feedback loop, which was not clear from the simple PS layout.
Linear and Non-Linear Correspondence
In the nerves, the linear conveyance of electrical impulses is represented by the horizontal arrows within the neighboring cells.
There is one electrical signal within each separate nerve. A diffusion of multiple neuro-transmitters (dots) are released at the axon terminal of the nerve and migrate across the synaptic gap. This is not a one-to-one phenomenon, rather, the communication between nerves is non-linear.
Both the Lattice Pattern of a previous chapter and the Pragmatic Schematic of this chapter provide visual mapping of how our behaviors feed back and forth, for better or worse, within an invisible transcendent realm that organizes us collectively.
The point here is this: the linearly-strung conscious moments of our lives are punctuated by, and resourced by, a transcendent non-linear process.
With the Lattice Model, we explored how a single entity can appear to have a measurable trajectory, only by disregarding all the influences within and beyond it, without which, of course, it would not exist. Inter-dimensional correspondence is a non-local process.
The wave-particle duality of light is an example; light displays properties that are wave-like and properties that are particle-like. Does a scintilla on an illuminated screen provide evidence that a photon is a lone particle? Do individual photons participate in wave-like behavior, like birds in a flock or fish in a school?
The sine wave provides a clue that singled-out entities comprise two aspects that oscillate around a core ground state in which they are mingled-in.
Each aspect is in feedback with the other, thereby allowing for a continuous flow of becoming. Of a particular trajectory’s two aspects, one is measurable or physical, while the other, transcendent or metaphysical (beyond the physical), is often unnoticed.
While a mother labors to give birth to her offspring, both she and the baby are in a special in-between zone. The woman is between pregnancy and motherhood, and her offspring is between being a Part of the mother and being a Particular individual, him/herself. We now can surmise that between Parts and Particularities, there is a Transition. The word for a female laboring to deliver her offspring is ‘parturient‘.
The Parturient metaphysical Matrix whence everything comes, and to which all ultimately returns, is the Mother who longs for Her Creatable Parts to become real-ized in Particular by an Informable Father.
Walter Russell channeled this statement during one of his illuminations:
Always must they be two to go opposed ways from Me and back again to Me for reborning from the other one after finding rest in Me.
The “Me” to which Russell refers is the ECP, or the immeasurable Tao, or the metaphysical Parturient Matrix, from which all things temporal emerge and back to which they return for Rest.
Beyond our physical body, beyond our emotionally-driven activities, and even beyond our mental capacity, is that which enables us to persist as a whole.
Interconnected Participation occurs in a Space of another order, and yet, this hidden, other-worldly space is integral to the ‘holon’ and essential to its perpetuation.
The Transcendent Absolute is always in perfect balance, and as Particularities, we have our perfect places in that harmonious whole. In other words, we BELONG!
Making it Personal
Many really well-intended people operate from the notion that “to each his own”. What happens if one intends to remain private, exclusive, or protected from others?
We are never alone. Nothing is ever alone, even if that which links us together is invisible.
Every single thing is made of parts and it participates in greater wholes.
We can never withhold ourselves completely from the invisible and mysterious between-ness that facilitates beneficial coordination.
Even when we are experiencing hermit-like isolation, we are still connected in some unknown way, through what is between us. We sub-consciously engage in feedback with that between-ness and thereby affect our group behaviors.
In a related aside, Four Phrases for Four Phases, the Pragmatic Schematic represents conscious awareness at the human scale in four phrases — I Need, I Want, I Can, I Am — in alignment with four phases of developing coherence — Parts, Particularity, Participation and Parturient — which occur universally across all scales.
We are so accustomed to looking at separateness that it will take a real paradigm shift to ‘see’ the between-ness that invisibly surrounds and connects us to each other. Let’s hear what Dr. Gabor Mate has to say about this in the film clip below:
If the doctor’s message is true, as everything in this post seems to indicate, then we would come to the conclusion that it is time to reconsider the impact that our habits and mind-sets have on society and humanity as a whole.
Let us inform ourselves about our inter-dimensional connectivity, and as awakened Participants practice habits of compassionate (w)holism, eventually assuming responsibility of the wise elder, the Parturient who perpetuates perfection.
When we follow our true path, our peacefulness, easefulness and usefulness feeds back to us, insuring the integrity and fulfillment our functional fit.