Science is built on a foundation of sensing and measuring material objects and their effects. There is a belief in science that we have discovered nearly all that can be measured. It’s true that in our culture we have discovered many things that are invisible to us. Using enormous proton-smashing devices we can detect the miniscule components of atoms; modern astronomers are measuring the remnants of the Big Bang that created our Universe 13.8 billion years ago. These are astonishing achievements.
However, it is not true that if we can’t measure something, it doesn’t exist.
There are many energies that are invisible to us, yet we know about them. The electromagnetic force is one such energy. Electromagnetic fields have been around us all the time, but only once we “discovered” and measured this energy, were we able to utilise it. Now our world is full of electrical and magnetic appliances and devices; it is fundamental to our modern civilisation. Without our knowledge of harnessing electromagnetism, we would not have the means of instant global communication and you would not be reading this.
Now, let’s consider our physical body for a minute
At any moment in time there are hundreds of processes going on inside, even when you are sitting still and relaxing. Your heart is beating, pumping oxygenated blood from the lungs around the body and transporting the waste carbon dioxide back to the lungs to be exhaled. Your brain is firing electrical and chemical signals, giving you a conscious experience of your surroundings, and your internal thoughts and emotions.
Your body is also generating neurotransmitters and hormones in response to various internal and external factors. Your liver, kidneys, stomach, intestines and many other vital organs are performing their functions without you needing to intervene or manage them. Cells throughout the body are constantly producing energy from sugars and oxygen, keeping the whole body running shipshape. And the list goes on…
In addition, the relative quantities of various biochemical, mineral and chemical substances (such as calcium, potassium, hormones, etc.) must be kept within certain parameters in order for us to stay healthy. So we have complex homeostatic control systems as well. If any of these systems get out of balance, the body has the ability to bring itself back into dynamic equilibrium – most of the time.
If you reflect carefully on all the body’s processes that are active all the time – as you breathe, move muscles, digest food and sleep – you must surely wonder at the amazing coordination and intricacy of it all. Science has no explanation for this level of innate intelligence. It’s easy to forget that even when we are sick or injured, so much is still working really well.
What we observe is a complex and resilient system, able to respond to wide range of external or internal changes, and yet retain its dynamic functioning. The sheer enormous complexity is beyond our ability to replicate successfully.
In fact, it is all so amazing, I invite you to stop for a moment and pause in wonder. How are all our physical body processes so beautifully orchestrated? And this doesn’t just apply to humans either. All living systems, even very simple forms of life, contain self-organising processes to keep them alive and thriving.
These must be an underlying intelligence to living systems. Because all living systems are self-organising, it seems unlikely that this intelligence is external. Our body “knows” that it is a single organism and it “knows” how to maintain itself; even how to grow from a single fertilised cell, and move through its natural life cycle to old age and death.
The common perception is that all this knowledge is contained in the genetic code. But so far, all that scientists have mapped is the mechanism by which the 22 amino acids fundamental to our biology are created. Certainly these amino acids are the building blocks of the proteins that make up our physical body, but the genes provide no further instructions that we know of to organise them into cells, let alone tissues, organs and complex organisms. There is as yet a great mystery remaining.
These must be an underlying intelligence to living systems. Because all living organisms are self-organising, it seems unlikely that this intelligence is external. Our body “knows” that it is a single organism and it “knows” how to maintain itself; even how to grow from a single fertilised cell, and move through its natural life cycle to old age and death.
Are Subtle Energies a clue?
A clue to this mystery of life lies in very fine, and more fundamental, energies that are present, both in our bodies and in the world around us. These energies are known collectively as subtle energies. A complex interwoven web of subtle energies flows in, through and around our body. These energies connect us with our environment, and are also a key component of the body’s intelligence.
Next month I describe these subtle energies and their role in maintaining our health and vitality. In the meantime, I leave you with an image of the beautiful Heart Nebula as a reminder of our connection with the greater Cosmos.