Self organisation

The main networks of your body organise themselves. Redundancy provides the basis to reconfigure pathways temporarily or permanently unavailable. Millions, if not billions of chemical reactions happen in the realm of your body every second, facilitating a similar number of electric impulses.

Knowing the details of this torrent of minute transformations rarely helps to solve problems. You can hardly access these with your perception anyway. Cells organise themselves into functional units like organs, blood vessels and muscles, or as mobile carrier or intervention units.

A lot of things happen on a microscopic scale in a human body. The amount of body activity you can actually willingly control, pales in comparison to the autonomous processes keeping you alive.  If you really want to, you can gain a certain level of control even over autonomous functions by using special yogic techniques, but you don’t need to in order to lead a healthy and happy life.

Air, water, food and company keep single cells happy within the body. The body itself acts like a single cell in a larger human organism like a family, community or work place. If cells within a body organise themselves, wouldn’t bodies as cells of the organism of society organise themselves as well? What can you do as a cell of human society, of the body social?

This leads straight to the next big question. What kind of relation exists between ‘you’ and ‘your body’? Ask yourself this question while dreaming or as meditation. As your body rests, you experience it without physical reasons. If you smell the roses which don’t exist you created them.

The idea of matter provides a convenient metaphor for the experiences of a physically manifest universe.  Luckily, matter organises itself into molecules, stars, galaxies and all the rest. What role do you play in this entirely self-organising scenario? Where does self-organisation end and self-determination begin?

Self-determination can interfere with self-organisation early and radically within human beings. Or rather, egocentrism undermines the delicate dynamic balance of self-organisation. Any form of centrism creates implicit hierarchies, and thus skewed perspectives of the interconnectedness of nature.

‘You’ cannot exist without others, and without any company can’t continue the story of humanity, nor would anyone listen to it. You emanated into a body, a cell of a larger organism. This organism inhabits a larger organism as part of a diverse biosphere. You uniquely express your specific consciousness frequency within the spectrum of cosmic consciousness, just like everything and everyone around you.

The body acts as vehicle for the self and as reflection of it. Your body organises itself according your intention, even if your minds sometimes fails to acknowledge this. Your intention hide in your subconscious, programmed into tissue and not easy access for the conscious mind. Never mind, doesn’t matter.

 

 

 

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Structural support

Just like any other space-binding creature on this planet, humans have a body to move around. 206 bones float in a network of tendons, ligaments, muscles and connective tissue. The position of the bones determines your body shape, the tension network around it provide its integrity.

Tensegrity governs the permanent shape-shifting of the body. Each joint attaches to multiple tension elements. Antagonistic muscle groups allow for back and forward movement along hinge joints. Ball and sockets joints like hips and shoulders can come apart without activated muscles holding it in place.

Your tonic muscles maintain your body shape most of the time. These muscles use oxygen directly, and can sustain activation for a long time. If you would use only these muscles to stand, you could do so effortlessly for hours. As an experiment, just stand with your feet a shoulder-width apart and ask yourself gently whether you can do it easier. Observe what happens.

Just standing or sitting turns into an opportunity to discover your unique attitude to the world. Slow movement serves the same purpose. When done properly, mainly the tonic muscles facilitate the movement.

Most of the ‘large’ movements involve phasic muscles, which act faster and stronger than red muscles tissue. With impressive names like biceps, latissimus or gluteus and easy visibility this group seems more popular than the core. You don’t need to know the names of core muscles to give them a workout, learn to deactivate the large, phasic muscles and the tonic muscles take over.

Technology has influenced human movement quite significantly over the last few centuries. Laziness has been known for longer, yet only privileged people could avoid even moderate physical activity. The modern world has made humanity quite sedentary, which numbed the bodily feedback most people can perceive.

If you understand the technology of your structural support system (tensegrity), you can regain graceful ways of moving, even if your gait currently resembles a zombie shuffle. As an experiment, have a walk and focus on the constellation of your bones.

Plumbing

Your body consists of up to 60% water. Amazingly, the lung, responsible for air exchange, contains more than 80%. Each cell wraps around a blob of liquid teaming with functional components, each cells bathes in interstitial fluid, the brain and spine immerse the nervous system in cerebrospinal fluid.

Last, but not least, about 6-7 litres of blood circulate through one of the plumbing networks, which is about 100,000 km in length. The heart generates a vortex, pulling blood through its outlets. Expansion and contraction of blood vessels and connective tissue maintain the standing wave generated by the heart beat and regulate the amount of blood reaching different areas of your body.

Blood carries oxygen, the main fuel for your metabolism, but also hormones, nutrients, viruses. Roughly 3 litres of plasma facilitate the movement of blood cells and other bits, and also the exchange of chemical composites throughout the entire tissue.

Your inner liquidness, combined with some air in your lungs, allows the body to float on water. It even lets the bones float in the mesh of connective tissue, muscles, tendons and ligaments. When the flow on the inside gets interrupted, your movement will get less fluid as well.

The plumbing system organises the majority of the physiological components of the body, serving a variety of functions. Each of this aspects deserves a closer look, but as the system organises itself to a large degree, it takes little effort to keep it running.

Keep hydrated. The sensation of thirst warns the operator of a body (you) about the need for rehydration. Try to avoid this. Try to avoid drinking too much, either.

Avoid blood loss.

Move your body on a regular basis.

Instruction manual for human bodies – networks

All subdivisions of the system called human body are arbitrary to a certain extend, most ‘components’ prove essential to the survival and well being of the organism. Beneath your skin lies a complex, interactive system requiring smooth interactions of every cell involved. This manual uses other systems that have been engineered as comparison to illustrate functions of the human body.

The cells of a human body differ slightly from a single cell organism, as they specialise to become part of other subsystems (eg flesh, bones, blood, organs, etc). The environment of a human body cell determines which function it will fulfil, yet it still has the same life cycle as the whole organism.

Unless you’re very young, none of your body cells from your birth is still around. It takes about seven years to replace all of your currently existing cells with new ones. Most of the cells you move through the world aren’t even yours, as you carry more micro-organisms on your skin and in your guts than those with your own DNA.

Your digestive system needs a microbiome to function – without bacteria living in your stomach and intestines you couldn’t process food.  The human body compares well to a symbiotically living large community of autonomous entities, not so well to an army of obedient cells following the order of general brain.

Just after conception, unspecialised identical cells divide until there are enough to build a hollow sphere, the blastula. In the next stage of development, three different layers diversify the cells of an embryo into endo-, meso- and ectoderm.

The innermost layer, the endoderm will develop into most internal organs, the middle layer (mesoderm) gives rises to muscles, bones, connective tissue, heart, kidneys, gonads and the ectoderm ends up as skin, tooth enamel and the entire nervous system.

These three layers mix up thoroughly in the torso, while limbs and head only contain cells descending from the meso- and ectoderm. Several fractal interconnected networks within the whole body emerge: the nervous system, the fascia system and the circulatory system (blood vessels and lymphatic system).

The concept of morphogenetic fields offers the most plausible explanation to the magic of cells with identical DNA in the same environment suddenly diversifying and specialising. Don’t worry too much if you couldn’t follow the quite technical description so far. I will point out the essential parts for the how-to section of the manual.

Here’s what you need to know from this section. Several interconnected systems work within the human body: An electrical system, a plumbing system and a structural support system.

 

Second hand reality

The ability to transmit information over time with the help of symbol systems like images, mathematics and written language helps speeding up learning, as well as it helps to manipulate people. Each culture develops its own stories to explain the role of their specific group in the greater scheme of things.

Purely oral story telling limits the amount of information accessible to a culture. Contemporary global society, with libraries, museums, TV and the internet offers an excessive amount of stories people can access. While stories might help to understand experiences in new ways, they can also prevent people from making experiences.

Humans cannot detect the veracity of information delivered as story, even though some people pride themselves in having this ability. Generally, humans tend to believe everything which has been repeated often enough, no matter how reasonable bits of information might be.

This process helps creating authority through inanimate objects – people tend to obey messages written on signs, or pieces of paper, without anyone watching. It goes even so far that some remind others to stay obedient, although it’s not their job. The believe in the power and authority of signs and written down words works precisely like a magic spell, influencing the behaviour of others remotely.

It doesn’t take one’s own experience to anticipate the consequences of ‘breaking the rules’, the stories humans program themselves with show exactly what supposedly happens. In first hand reality of experience, most of times exactly nothing happens, unless one gets caught by somebody else watching.

People get trained, conditioned and encouraged to believe in second hand reality, to seek an external confirmation for which behaviour counts as ‘good’ or ‘bad’. In larger societies, cultural norms get transmitted via the stories providing this second hand reality, independent thinking often gets punished.

Yet it is part of human nature to trust inner guidance to find out what’s good or bad, unless one’s capacity for empathy is impaired. Most activities, however, belong to the category ‘entirely harmless’, and thus would make for pretty boring stories.

Human beings need to learn a lot before they can function relatively independent. The nervous system can be programmed to acquire any kind of motor skill, language or cultural rule set. Most things get learned by imitation, often in a laborious process of trial and error. Yet the procedural memory doesn’t get the attention it deserves, modern ‘civilisation’ focuses largely on intellectual learning.

The ability to deduct rules and patterns from observation provides the most interesting  information transferred over time. The understanding of natural processes build the foundation for technology, albeit self-organised technology utilised by other species than humans still excels in elegance and efficiency.

Technology supports the domestication of humans in many ways. It creates tangible artefacts of the unique ability of humans to manifest ‘new’ things, like houses, boats, machines and mobile phones. Humanity’s superiority in the universe can easier be sold once humans grow up in virtual environments.

Technology also helps to dominate individuals resisting the domestication attempts. It acts as multiplier for the meme of wilful submission, latent supplier of fear and violence. Buckminster Fuller envisaged a world without hunger and poverty, based on the ability of technology to adapt sustainably to the environment.

The aliens here know for sure that a cooperation with the rest of life on a planet allows any self-aware species to thrive, without the need to endanger the basis for their own survival. They patiently hope to break the spell of dispossession and domination humanity suffers from.