Friday, April 9, 2010

Combining Determinism and Self-organization

My understanding is that the human body is optimitzed for environmental conditions of about five thousand years ago, that we haven’t quite caught up with ourselves. Animals have a fear and survival response that they seem to immediately be able to turn off once the perceived danger is no longer present. Humans seem not yet able to turn off that switch, and for some humans the stress response continues to reverberate and amplify.

I wonder if meditation practices, prayer, and other forms of self-talk are trying to wire the brain so that we can turn off the fear response when we don’t any longer need it, install a balance to the auto-response to fear with an off switch.

I also wonder whether there is a distinction between adaptation, acceptance and awareness. Because cognitive dissonance is uncomfortable, if there seem to be no options, we accept, justify to ourselves, rationalize. But if there seem to be options, we maintain dissonance, stress, ... so it seems to me that the whole self-help/improvement industry sustains unhappiness and dissatisfaction (suffering) by emphasizing hope, change, grasping for tomorrow, averse to today.

I think there can be a two-fold (at least) track towards a unified theory of understanding everything - the deterministic/logic/science/rational/law method we tend to value most; and a merger/oneness/butterfly/self-organizing/awe/mystery track which is woven throughout the former, might even be the mesh on which the former is built and on which it depends. Not as mutually dependent as warp and woof, rather a framework which once the thinking structure is built fades away, is not necessary for the structure but is necessary for a new or different structure and is necessary to rebuild if the existing structure is destroyed.

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