Including the Tools of Inquiry in the Inquiry
February 22, 2001
Historically, science has had a focus on the ‘state of systems’, how to generalize their behaviour in logical and mathematical terms and so be able to predict their behaviour.
A hundred years ago, in ‘Science and Hypothesis’, Henri Poincaré pointed that such generalization came at the price of making approximative assumptions which were valid for some levels of inquiry, but not for deeper levels, particularly those which are the concern of ‘naturalists’.
The key approximation identified by Poincaré is ‘homogeneity’, by which all instances of a class of things (molecule, cell, organism) were seen, ceteris paribus (all other factors being equal) to have the same intrinsic properties and behaviours. The homogeneity assumption ‘decrees’ that the material entities of nature can be considered to be free from any innate entanglements in their containing space which complicate their ‘liberation’. This ‘homogeneity’ decree is a ‘declaration of independence’ for material entities which gives science its rigour and certitude. As Poincaré observed, however, « ‘ces décrets s’imposent sur notre science, qui, sans eux, serait impossible ; ils ne s’imposent pas à la nature." (« though these decrees are imposed on our science, which, without them, could not exist ; they are not imposed on nature. »).
The point is that material entities cannot truly be ‘liberated’ from their containing space and ceteris paribus never holds completely because it is impossible to reproduce the same conditions when theory is applied in different situations. Furthermore, relativity theory, whose abilities to predict complex phenomena in nature go beyond any other scientific theory, says that ‘space is a participant’ (Einstein) in physical phenomena and that ‘[Relativity] forces us to analyze the role played by geometry in the description of the physical world.’ (Einstein).
The game of pool provides a familiar metaphor for considering the manner in which science ‘decrees’ its rigour and what is being left out, which is now ‘making trouble’ for us in all manner of social and environmental systems management.
The game of eightball involves seven ‘solidly coloured balls’ numbered ‘1’ to ‘7’ the black ‘8’ ball and seven ‘striped coloured balls’ numbered ‘9’ to ‘15’.
From the point of view of pre-relativity ‘science’, we would invoke the principle of ‘homogeneity’ and say that each and every ball can be can considered as having the same properties and being capable of the same behaviours. We can develop laws for the motion and transaction of these balls and we can validate such laws with many experiments, noting that the ‘law of large numbers’ applies and that we do indeed home in on a validation of our homogeneity-based scientific theory.
Something is radically missing from this scientific treatment, however.
And that something, which would be picked up immediately by the skilled pool player is that such scientific analysis does not account for ‘configuration shape’ which gates and modulates what assertive actions are possible on the part of the balls.
So this pre-relativity science is all about ‘action’ and ‘states’, … ‘the assertive actions of independent causal agents’, … but it doesn’t even consider ‘the shape of opportunity space’ which gates and modulates what assertive actions will be possible.
So here’s where Poincaré would say that the homogeneity assumption is not appropriate to our inquiry. In this case, the assertive behaviours of the constituents are ‘purposive’ (they want to reach a pocket) and their dynamics (codynamics) will be modulated by the ‘shape’ of the dynamic opportunity space which opens up for them.
As each ball moves, it simultaneously, reciprocally transforms the shape of its containing space, and it does so in a unique way due to its unique positioning in the configuration of balls. In other words, … the homogeneity assumption does not apply, … each ball has a unique influence on the evolution of the system due to its unique geometric space-time relationships.
Standard scientific inquiry will describe the system solely in terms of the assertive behaviours of the balls seen in terms of their being ‘independent causal agents’ and this view will, of course, be correct in itself because its experimental validation will totally ignore the induced reciprocal transformation of opportunity space (the configurational geometry arising from the form of the inclusor space relative to the form of the material ‘inclusions’, … i.e. in the case of Swiss cheese, the form of the cheese relative to the form of the included holes).
What science says about the game, as far as it goes, will be beyond reproach. The current configuration was indeed attained by the motions of the balls and their interactions as described by the scientific laws of such motions and transactions.
But science said nothing at all about what influenced the making of those actions that were made.
The skilled pool player’s knowledge went beyond the standard scientific inquiry and management theory. The skilled pool player knew that the balls ‘co-created their own opportunity space into which they asserted their actions’, and that this ‘co-creation of opportunity’ was the over-riding influence in the evolution of the system states. Only the novice and poor pool player saw the game solely in terms of the ‘assertive behaviours’ of the balls and ‘managed action’ out of the context of ‘the shape of opportunity’.
The skilled pool player also knew that when he drove home on the crowded freeway after playing pool, he would inevitably find himself amongst a group of truck, car and motorcycle drivers who ‘split’ the same way pool players did, … some seeing themselves as ‘independent causal agents’ who drove by rules, regulations and cruise control, putting ‘assertive action management’ into the primacy over ‘space management’ and others seeing themselves as ‘co-creators of opportunity space’, … putting their ‘assertive action management’ into the service of ‘opportunity space management’.
The homogeneity assumption which gives science its rigour says that all instances of the same class of assertive agent are independent of the continually transforming ‘opportunity space’ in which they are immersed participant-constituents, … that system states are fully determined by the assertive behaviours of the constituents without having to consider any ‘crossfeed’ between assertive action and opportunity, … a complication which would make the mathematical treatment of scientific theory very difficult. In fact, as Einstein noted, one has to avoid all dependency on ‘independent material entities’ in the relativistic case and go to ‘field theory’.
The revised assumption that homogeneity does NOT apply, … that the assertive agents co-create their own opportunity is equivalent to saying that the simplistic assumptions of split-apart Euclidian space and absolute time do not apply. The implication of the behaviours of assertive agents simultaneously, reciprocally transforming the opportunity space they are asserting into, is equivalent to saying that ‘space-time is a continuum’, that the ‘agents’ are not independent but are like the eye of the hurricane in an atmospheric storm or the eye of the vortex in river-flow which appear to be independent and move in kinetically independent fashion, … but which ‘are’ the containing space which they are asserting into. This ‘bigger story’ of motion is that it is space-time transformation, rather than a swarm of flies-like collection of kinetic trajectories.
The general attributes of space-time in nature, as Poincaré points out, is the more complex case of our experience wherein our assertive dynamics (codynamics), rather than being independent, simultaneously, reciprocally transform the geometry of our containing space, … a geometry which modulates ‘opportunity’ for our (collective) continuing assertive codynamics. The split apart space-and-time characterized by Euclidian space is innately inadequate for representing such relationships. As Poincaré says in regard to our penchant for the imposed homogeneity of Euclidian space;
"Space is another framework we impose upon the world" . . . " . . . here the mind may affirm because it lays down its own laws; but let us clearly understand that while these laws are imposed on our science, which otherwise could not exist, they are not imposed on Nature." . . . "Euclidian geometry is . . . the simplest, . . . just as the polynomial of the first degree is simpler than a polynomial of the second degree." . . . "the space revealed to us by our senses is absolutely different from the space of geometry." . . . Henri Poincaré
Thus, the example of pool gives us the ‘flavour’ for what science has been missing out and how that is getting us into trouble, since the rigour of mainstream science has been the underpinning of our mode of visualing, theorizing, managing and governing. What it has been leaving out is the overriding role of the geometry of space in system evolution,… the fact that ‘the assertive behaviours of independent causal agents’ is radically inadequate for an understanding of ‘the way the world works’, and that the ‘bigger story’ view is where we see ‘assertive agents’ first and foremost as ‘co-creators of opportunity’ and only secondarily, in a ‘little story ‘ sense, as ‘independent causal agents’. Co-creating opportunity opens the door to ‘container-constituent-coresonance’ a happy state wherein the constituents coordinate their assertive behaviours so as to sustainably open up opportunity corridors into which they all can continue to assert, … as is manifest in our solar system.
These two inclusionally nested story levels are always possible and although the ‘independent causal agent’ ‘little story’ is always consistent in itself, it is radically incomplete and thus ineffective as a tool for managing non-mechanical systems. The pool players who see only the assertive actions of the balls (the ‘shots’ and ‘transactions’), when the results (evolved system state) do not come through as expected, argue over what shots should have been made which were not, … they do not even ‘see’ the always present bigger story, … that the relative movements of the balls were much more than ‘assertive behaviours’, … first and foremost they represented the transformation of opportunity space and ‘opportunity space’ is the ‘ground’ which the assertive behaviours must ‘reference to’.
These ‘two story levels’ carry into all forms of scientific endeavor, and the continuation of this essay aims at progressively developing the perspective on how they apply in a ‘human biology’ example.
To exercise the ‘two-story’ view beyond the game of pool, the example given by Marshall McLuhan in terms of ‘media’ can be used to illustrate that what a system ‘does’ in assertive terms is not the ‘full story’ of the system’s overall influence on its environment. The ‘full story’ includes the transformation which the system induces in its containing environment. For example, inductive influences can, to use Shakespeare’s description of Cleopatra, … ‘make hungry where most they satisfy’, … or they can induce environmental rejection, … ‘make dissatisfied where the environment is most hungry’.
As McLuhan put it, Many people would be disposed to say that it was not the machine, but what one did [induced] with the machine, that was its meaning or message. In terms of the ways in which the machine altered our relations to one another and ourselves, it mattered not in the least whether it turned out cornflakes or Cadillacs. (‘Understanding Media’ pp. 7-8)
In terms of the ‘geometry’ of systems, there are clearly three essential and inter-relating aspects; the ‘assertive content’ of the system, the ‘input-output context’ of the system, and the ‘containing system – included system’ relationships.
McLuhan’s comment ‘startles’ because it is a reminder that assertive systems induce transformation in their containing environment which, as has been discussed, is normally not considered in science and systems inquiry as the focus is typically on the assertive behaviour of the system and the effects those assertive behaviours cause. Mathematical theory formulations which address the assertive behaviours of system constituents seen as ‘independent causal agents’, based on split-apart Euclidian space and absolute time, are not sufficiently comprehensive to include the induced transformation effects.
What is missing is inquiry into how the relational configuration invites particular assertive actions and not others, and how the assertive actions induce transformation in the ‘opportunity landscape’ constituted by the configuration of relationships in which the asserting system is immersed. It is this assertive-inductive relationship which determines the evolution of ‘opportunity’ for assertive action; i.e. the assertive-inductive relationship determines the degree to which the assertive system and its containing environment ‘co-create’ opportunity for further assertion, … making hungry where most it satisfies, or, dissatisfying where the environment is most hungry. In the example of the game of pool, this question was seen in terms of whether the assertive movements of a striped ball open up opportunity for further assertive movements of striped balls (make the configuration ‘hungry’ for more striped ball movement) or whether the assertive movements of a striped ball close down opportunity by ‘clustering’ the configuration leaving the striped balls ‘snookered’ and unable to move while opening up large spaces which the striped balls cannot get to.
Natural ecological systems often function in such a way that the assertive actions of a system induce transformation in their containing space which represents further opportunity for the system to assert into. Mechanical systems do not have the capacity to ‘tune in’ to the simultaneous reciprocal transformation effects on continuing assertive action since mechanical systems are designed and managed in terms of their generalized assertive behaviours.
While the standard scientific perception of a system is that of a collection of assertive agents, in order to account for the simultaneous, reciprocal induced transformation effects of assertive action and their ‘evolutionary’ influence in gating and modulating the patterns of continuing assertive action, the system must be perceived in terms of a ‘group’ or ‘agent community’ that ‘co-create’ the shape of the dynamic opportunity space into which they are asserting. Again, in the case of a group of drivers on a crowded freeway, each ‘assertive agent’ (driver) realizes that simultaneously, reciprocally to his assertive action in penetrating into a corridor of opportunity, he is inducing transformation in the shape of dynamic opportunity space, and he can assert in such a way as to cultivate (or not) the opening up of opportunity for his fellows. When groups of assertive agents are, in effect, ‘conscious’ of this reciprocity between assertive and the induction of opportunity space into which to assert, they can move into a state of ‘container-constituent-coresonance’ where the opportunity space they open up with their assertive actions is tuned to the enablement of their assertive actions; i.e. as a group, they can ‘make hungry where most they satisfy’.
Scientific theory oriented solely to the ‘assertive behaviour’ of systems and their constituents, is ‘blind’ to the issues of ‘container-constituent-coresonance’ (making the environment hungry where most their assertions satisfy) or ‘container-constituent-dissonance’ (dissatisfying the system where most it is hungry). In order to scientifically address issues of ‘container-constituent-coresonance’, one must take into account that no material entity is truly ‘independent’ or ‘homogeneous’ but is instead ‘uniquely dependent’ upon its positioning within its environment, with respect to the configuration of opportunity with which it is ‘presented’ and also with respect to how its codynamic (its positionally unique suite of codynamical relationships with its enveloping fellows) induces transformation in the shape of the dynamic opportunity space in which it is an immersed participant-constituent. What this means is that such scientific theory cannot be directed to mathematical formulations of the ‘assertive behaviours of independent causal agents’, but must instead be first directed to the ‘transformation of the shape of dynamic opportunity space’, a ‘bigger story’ view which is informationally more comprehensive and which includes the standard scientific theoretical formulation as the degenerate case where the system lacks the ability to ‘tune’ towards ‘container-constituent-coresonance’; i.e. where the simultaneous, reciprocal transformation of the containing environment induced by the assertive agent’s action is purely ‘random’ (i.e. where the assertive agent is ‘unconscious’ of the transformation of opportunity space it is inducing with its assertive actions).
The basic problem here, in scientifically formulating a model which accounts for ‘container-constituent-coresonance’ effects is that when the assertive agent ‘makes his move’, he makes it on the basis of the opportunity which the container presents to him, yet simultaneously with his movement, he is inducing transformation in the shape of the dynamic opportunity space which will influence his continuing movement. The ‘simultaneity’ aspect lies at the heart of the problem as it says that there is no room for sequential time ‘feedback loops’, … he must assert ‘coresonantly’ as he asserts, and that means that he must understand how his assertion induces transformation in the shape of opportunity of his containing space and use this understanding ‘in the now’ of his assertive behaviours. He must be ‘multi-minded’ or ‘tapped into the collective conscious’ to do this, as the skilled pool player is who arranges that the movement of a particular ball is guided by the seven sets of eyes of his full team of balls as they look out upon their opportunity space which will in all cases be transformed by the movement of any one of them. Such coordination (container-constituent-coresonance) is implicit in such systems as our solar system. To be ‘troubled’ by having to think of the planets as ‘consciously collaborating’ is an artifact of starting from the assumption of ‘independent causal agent’. Where one starts from the ‘field’ view, the planets are like vortices in fluid flow, they are, at the same time, centers of coherency within the flow and the flow itself.
The advantages of aspiring to ‘container-constituent-coresonance’ can be seen from the point of view of the freeway driver (assertive agent ‘immersed perception’). He knows that the group of vehicles he is traveling within will flow more quickly and harmoniously towards their destinations if they put the co-creative management of the opportunity space into which they are asserting into, into the primacy over their assertive actions. In order to do this, his perceptual focus must be on the ‘shape of space’ and his assertive responses must be keyed directly to the shape of space. Meanwhile the ‘shape of space’ cannot be described in terms of the assertive behaviours of independent causal agents, since it is transformed ‘simultaneously’ with assertive behaviour and the asserting is continuous, relative and multiple. As in the example of the game of pool, where the player becomes the ‘collective mind’ of his group of balls, the group knows, collectively, what shape they would like to ‘evolve’ and they put their assertive behaviours into the service of this envisioned ‘shape of space’.
Again we come upon the heart of the conflict, … one cannot serve two masters, and there can be no set of rules and equations formulated in Euclidian space and absolute time governing one’s driving which take into account the simultaneously, reciprocally transforming shape of opportunity space. One can look at this impossibility in at least four ways, … in one view, ‘container-constituent-coresonance’ emerges from a reciprocal relationship between the shape of space and the kinetics of the constituents which is impossible to describe in Euclidian space and absolute time, but which is natural in the spherical space-time of relativity (for example). In the second way of viewing this impossibility, the ‘sensitive dependence on initial conditions’ (drivers timing, reflexes, size and rate of opening and closing of opportunity corridors etc.) precludes the possibility of describing the codynamically evolving shape of space in terms of the assertive behaviours of the constituents of space. In the third way of viewing this impossibility, the information on the unique ‘form’ of the assertive agent relative to its containing environment is not retained in standard scientific formulations as it is statistically removed in the generalization process which considers ‘the independent variable ‘x’ as fully typical instance of a homogeneous class of ‘x agents’. In the fourth way of viewing this impossibility, the tuning in to container-constituent-coresonance, because it implicitly demands that one stand on his own head and see himself as he engages with his fellows, transcends logic and finite mathematical formulations (by Gödel’s theorem).
One might ask whether it is possible to ‘become the eyes of the container’ and tap the collective conscious in the manner demanded by ‘container-constituent-coresonance’. It is certainly possible in the game of pool where one ‘becomes the eyes and mind’ of all of the multiple balls one is ‘managing’, and it is possible by inference in the case of ‘friendly’ freeway drivers who co-create container-constituent-coresonant ‘traffic flow’.
More than this, ‘container-constituent-coresonance’ is commonly found in the so-called ‘inanimate’ world, and is evident in our solar system. While Newtonian laws describe the assertive actions of the planets, they are innately incapable of describing the ‘container-constituent-coresonance’ aspects which make our solar system a ‘complex system’ wherein the properties of the system cannot be deduced from the properties of the parts; i.e. the property of ‘container-constituent-coresonance’ is a property of the system as a whole (wherein the constituents are, implicitly, ‘of one mind’); i.e. in ‘Faster Than a Speeding Light’, E. E. Richards says;
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"Each cosmic body---a planet, a moon, or a star---utilizes the spherical shape as its energy containment. The sphere is an ideal shape for a resonant cavity. The very nature of the sphere means that it resonates over vast spectrums of frequency. For example, if we start by considering the earth circumference of approximately 7.5 Hz., as a fundamental, we may calculate and detect many higher harmonically-related frequencies. In addition, there are radius frequencies with higher harmonics present. Harmonic waves in a spherical solid set up a periodic distribution within the inner and outer spherical cavities. The Van Allen energy belts surrounding the earth also present a multitude of resonant harmonics at lower frequencies than the circumference 7.5 Hz. Figure (9) shows some of the earth related frequencies. …
… "The Music of the Spheres", an ancient concept of the Universal Song, may be seen as a reality when considering the motions of the solar system. When the revolutions and rotations for the planets and their moons are converted to frequencies, there appear many harmonic relationships. For examples: the Moon's revolution is harmonically attuned to the three largest moons of Jupiter, which are themselves one octave separated from each other in their revolutions. Jupiter's rotation is a harmonic of the Earth, and Pasiphae, the outer moon of Jupiter, is in harmony with the Earth's revolution. There are many other similar solar system harmonics.
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What this suggests is that in the ‘wave domain’, it is possible for the individual to ‘tune directly’ to the dynamic shape of opportunity space without having to depend on ‘time domain’ representations and material-kinetics formulations. In this regard, the U.S. military has been using neurofeedback training so that pilots can develop direct brainwave-based control over flight manoeuvers (banking the aircraft etc.) while simultaneously engaging in other standard assertive behaviours associated with flying a military aircraft.
Whatever the mechanism underpinning it, it is clear that ‘container-constituent-coresonance’ is a common phenomena in nature and it implies that the constituents of such a system are ‘of one mind’. Again, this ‘tapping into the collective conscious’ is an artifact of the notion of ‘independent assertive agent’, and where one thinks instead of the agent in the relativistic terms of a ‘center of coherency’ as in the vortex in the fluidflow, the problem of ‘individual consciousness’ disappears since the ‘vortex is the ‘multi-minded fluidflow’ at the same time as it is a kinetically independent center of coherency.
If ‘container-constituent-coresonance’ is a possibility as it manifestly is, then ‘container-constituent-dissonance’ must also be possible; i.e. the degree of ‘coresonance’ will be variable.
When biological systems are viewed not solely in terms of the assertive behaviours of the constituents but in this more comprehensive context of ‘container-constituent-coresonance’, the notion arises as to systems behaviours and the attainment of certain ‘system states’ (not always harmonic ones) emerging from ‘coresonance’ aspects. While standard medicine deals primarily with the ‘little story’ ‘cause-and-effect’ of assertive behaviour models, and pursues the elimination or suppression of the ‘cause’ of a symptom as in the use of ‘anti-biotics’, natural healing practioners see the system in terms of ‘coresonance’ and the restoring of ‘dynamic equilibrium’ (container-constituent-coresonance) through the introduction of ‘pro-biotics’. The following news item gives an example;
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Anomaly, Volume 17, Number 2 – May 1999
A designer drug [i.e. ‘remedy’ rather than 'drug', in fact] based on the bacterium used to ferment salami and sauerkraut is being put forward as an alternative to antibiotics. The bug, a bacterium found in the human gut, is claimed to have already saved the lives of eight people. Instead of killing off bad bacteria, the probiotic - lactobacillus plantarum 299V - encourages healthy microbes to grow and squeeze out the unwanted ones. (The Times)
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The ‘squeezing out’ notion relates to the overriding role of ‘the shape of dynamic opportunity space’ which gates and modulates assertive behaviours in all systems in nature, though largely ignored in mainstream science. Standard medicine models the body/mind in terms of discrete assertive agents and agent-producing organs which together act as ‘finely tuned machinery’ to produce a healthy system state. Naturopathic and homeopathic medicine, on the other hand, envisions the body/mind as a unified container-constituent-coresonant system in which interference phenomena have the overriding role, and where good health corresponds to ‘container-constituent-consonance’.
Standard Medicine lacks a view of ‘agents’ at the level of the true complexity of the system (including coresonant interference effects) and operates at the higher level of eliminating or suppressing symptoms (making the patient feel better), while Naturopathy and Homeopathy, though they also lack theory at the level of the true complexity of the system, focus on ‘healing’ in terms of ‘re-balancing’ at this lower level. An example of the interferential complexity can be seen in the case of the human digestive system;
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"Bacterial Allies: ---Of the estimated 400 species of bacteria living within the intestinal tract, the most important to human health belong to two genera: lactobacillus and bifidobacteria. Lactobacillus organisms reside mainly in the small intestine, bifidobacteria in the large. The lactobacillus genus contains approximately 60 species, including such organisms as L. acidophilus, L. plantarum, L. casei and L. rhamnosus. Members of the bifidobacteria genus include B. longum, B. bifidum and B. infantis. Many lactobacillus species used to be classified simply as L. acidophilus, thus "acidophilus" has become almost synonymous with probiotic organisms. Similarly, bifidobacteria used to be collectively referred to as Lactobacillus bifidus, but with improved microbiological differentiation, they have since been assigned their own genus. Probiotic organisms can also be found in several other genera, including enterococcus, bacillus and even streptococcus.
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The advantages of modeling in terms of ‘container-constituent-coresonance’ and the re-balancing of the natural interferential patterns (interference between ‘the shape of dynamic opportunity space’ and ‘assertive agent behaviour’) are hypothesized in the following comments on ‘pro-biotics’ (agents which achieve balance inductive-assertively, just as a balanced system of grass and fertilizer can overpower weeds, not by attacking the weeds as with ‘weed-killer’ but by cultivating coresonance between the assertive behaviour of the ‘good grass’ and the opportunity space which it reciprocally induces with its assertive behaviour;
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by David Wolfson, N.D.
The myriad benefits of probiotics
Ever since Louis Pasteur formulated the germ theory of disease in the late 1800s, humans have been locked in mortal combat with microorganisms. The zealous use of antibiotics, disinfectant chemicals and sanitary packaging attests to our fear and loathing of all things microbial. It is ironic, then, that in this antiseptic age each of our intestinal tracts harbors tens of trillions of bacteria. This number, by some estimates, exceeds the total number of cells making up the human body. Even more ironic is that many of these bacteria are beneficial. Probiotic--or life-enhancing--organisms within the intestinal tract perform such a wide variety of physiological functions that they have been likened to an accessory organ.
To understand how probiotics influence health, it is important to understand how they function within the intestinal tract. The following is an overview of several major characteristics and functions of probiotic organisms.
Perhaps the most important function of probiotic organisms is to limit the growth of pathogenic organisms, which cause disease. These potentially harmful microbes naturally reside in the human intestinal tract but do not overpopulate when sufficient numbers of probiotic organisms are present. Probiotic bacteria not only compete with these pathogens for nutrients and space, they also secrete substances--lactic acid and other organic acids, hydrogen peroxide, and potent antibiotic agents known as bacteriocins--that inhibit the growth of harmful organisms.1,2 Many studies demonstrate the ability of probiotics to fight disease-causing microbes3,4 and treat the intestinal infections caused by these harmful organisms.5-7
Probiotic organisms contribute to the digestive process by secreting enzymes that help break down foods.8,9 Probiotics help digest food in the gut in the same way they partially digest the carbohydrates, proteins and fats in milk to create yogurt. (In fact, people who are lactose intolerant can often tolerate yogurt because the lactose has already been partially broken down.) By improving digestion, probiotics can benefit those with impaired secretion of hydrochloric acid, bile, and pancreatic or intestinal enzymes.
Short-chain Fatty Acid (SCFA) Production
Among the most important by-products of probiotic metabolism are SCFAs. SCFAs, such as lactic acid, provide up to 70 percent of the energy required by intestinal cells and have been used therapeutically for disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease.10 The energy provided by SCFAs appear to make intestinal cells more capable as a protective barrier.
Furthermore, SCFAs keep most intestinal pathogens in check. This is because SCFAs make intestinal pH more acidic, and most intestinal pathogens do not grow well in an acidic environment. In addition, lower intestinal pH facilitates absorption of minerals such as calcium, magnesium and zinc.11,12 Lowering intestinal pH may also help lower colon-cancer risk. Studies have shown that low-risk groups typically have a lower fecal pH, while high-risk groups tend to have a higher fecal pH.13,14
Probiotics have a profound effect on immune function. Research studies show that probiotic organisms increase numbers of circulating white blood cells,15 decrease bacteria,16 elevate antibodies17 and increase production of some types of cytokines, which help in the production of T cells.18 One recent study of 4,718 women associated low levels of lactobacilli--a beneficial bacteria--in the vaginal tract with increased incidence of HIV-1 in younger participants.19 Findings like these drive home the importance of maintaining healthy flora to ensure proper immune function.
Food Allergy Reduction
The intestinal lining keeps toxic/allergenic materials from moving into the bloodstream. An imbalance of intestinal bacteria can contribute to "leaky gut syndrome," or increased intestinal permeability. Intestinal hyperpermeability--when the intestine allows too much into the blood stream--has been implicated in a variety of diseases including hypersensitive reactions to foods.20 A recent landmark study in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology made clear the connection between intestinal flora and food allergy. Using a strain of Lactobacillus rhamnosus, researchers observed clinical improvements in a test group of 10 infants with food-allergy-related dermatitis. After a one-month trial, infants on the probiotic supplement showed significant improvements in their condition compared to infants given placebo. The authors concluded that the improvements were due to the probiotics, which enhanced the intestinal barrier, keeping antigens from erroneously leaking into the blood stream.21
Research is uncovering anticarcinogenic activities that can be partially explained in terms of functions already discussed, such as lowering intestinal pH, reducing populations of toxin-producing bacteria, and enhancing immune function. The organic acids produced by probiotics also mildly enhance intestinal contractions,22 hastening the removal of potentially carcinogenic toxins. Recent research has even shown that cell-wall components of certain probiotics may promote specific immunological activity against malignant cells.23 In one animal study, Bifidobacterium longum was shown to inhibit mammary and liver carcinogenesis.24 This study is exciting because it suggests the anticarcinogenic activity of probiotics may extend beyond the intestinal tract.
The 'probiotic view' suggests that the bacterial species cannot be looked upon singly, but in terms of a balance. While anti-biotics may kill off the bacteria which has risen to dominance and 'un-balanced the fluor (by crudely bulldozing off the 'peak' in the distribution and flattening it out, taking many 'good' bacterial species with it), 'probiotics' appear to cultivate 'equal opportunity' for the diverse species; i.e. they do not dominate but instead re-balance the system. As Louis Pasteur confided to a friend shortly before his death, "Bernard avait raison; le microbe n'est rien, c'est le terrain qui est tout" ('Bernard was right, the microbe is nothing, its the terrain which is everything' ... i.e. implying container-constituent-coresonance).
To summarize, from the solar system down to crystal structures and from freeway drivers to hexagonal cell producing honey bees, natural phenomena are characterized by simultaneous reciprocity between the ‘assertive behaviour of independent causal agents’ and the ‘induced transformation of the shape of dynamic opportunity space’. Mathematical theory formulated on the basis of the ‘assertive behaviours of independent causal agents’ is arrived at, as Poincaré observed, by the assumptions of ‘homogeneity’ etc. wherein different instances of the same ‘assertive agent’ (independent variable) are taken to be, ceteris paribus, the same.
The result is that we end up with two views of the same phenomena, the ‘bigger story’ view of the evolving ‘shape of opportunity space’ within which the constituents are at the same time ‘assertive and inductive’ (they induce transformation of opportunity space as they assert), and the ‘little story’ view of the evolution of the system solely in terms of the assertive behaviours of independent causal agents.
As Johannes Kepler said in ‘Harmonies of the World’, … while the rational calculations of science and astronomy are very useful and consistent in themselves, … they are not used by the constituents of nature to guide their actions, … the constituents of nature tune instead, directly to the shape of space in which they are immersed. Kepler also noted that the planets achieved a simultaneous harmony (container-constituent-coresonance) by ‘giving way for each other’ so as to ‘co-create it’.
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In his original words in 'Harmonice Mundi' (1619), Kepler says; "Nun aber tragen zur Vervollkommnung der Welt mehr die Gesamtharmonien aller Planeten bei als die einzelnen Harmonien bei je zwei und die Paare von Harmonien bei je zwei benachbarten Planeten. Denn die Harmonie ist gewissermaßen ein Band der Vereinigung. Es liegt aber eine weitergehende Vereinigung vor, wenn alle Planeten miteinander eine Harmonie bilden, als wenn immer je zwei für sich in doppelter Weise harmonieren. Im Widerstreit dieser Harmonien mußte daher von den beiden Harmoniereihen, die die Planetenpaare miteinander bilden, die eine oder andere nachgeben, damit die Gesamtharmonien aller bestehen konnte."
("Now, the 'harmony-of-the-whole of all the planets contributes more to the perfection of the world than the single harmonies by twos and the pairs of harmonies by the twos of neighbouring planets. For harmony is, so to speak, a volume [containerful] of unity. A deeper unity yet is presented, when all the planets form a harmony with each another, as when just two at a time harmonize in a bivalent manner. In the interference of these harmonies deriving from the dual harmonic line-ups, which the pairs of planets form with each another, the one or the other must give way (yield), so that the harmony-of-the- whole can prevail.")
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While Kepler was addressing the ‘bigger story’, Newton cannibalized Kepler’s findings on solar system motion, dropping the focus down to the ‘little story’ of ‘assertive behaviours’ out of the context of ‘container-constituent-coresonance’. Poincaré comments on this ‘drop-down’ in terms of the foundations of mathematical physics, in the context of the different treatment of ‘time’; ‘Au lieu d’embrasser dans son ensemble le développement progressif d’un phénomène, on cherche simplement à relier chaque instant à l’instant immédiatement antérieur ; on admet que l’état actuel du monde ne dépend que du passé le plus proche, sans être directement influencé pour ainsi dire par le souvenir d’un passé lointain. Grâce à ce postulat, au lieu d’étudier directement toute la succession des phénomènes, on peut se borner à en écrire « l‘équation différentielle » ; aux lois de Kepler , on substitue celles de Newton.
(Instead of including, in its entirety, the progressive development of a phenomena, one seeks simply to relate each moment to the moment immediately prior ; one asserts that current state of the world depends only on the immediate past, without being directly influenced by, one might say, the memory of a distant past. Thanks to this postulate, instead of studying the whole succession of phenomena, one can limit its description by writing its differential equation ; for the laws of Kepler, one substitutes the laws of Newton).
The time differential converts motion, seen as space-time transformation of the ‘eye of the storm’ in the atmosphere type, into ‘sequence’, the tangent of a split-apart space and time trajectory. The ‘opportunity space’ relationships are discarded in this process. This differential calculus thus takes the description from "space-time transformation in the continuing ‘now’’ to ‘the assertive behaviour of independent causal agents’.
In the medical example, our bodies are inclusionary nested systems in a continual state of transformation in relation to our environment (container-constituent-coevolution), but it may be convenient to simplify this view to the ‘assertive behaviours of independent causal agent’ view, as standard medicine is wont to do. However, this ‘mechanical view’ of the body should only be exploited for ‘mechanical aspects’ of treatment (repairing broken parts or blockages etc.).
The two stories are complementary and it is pointless to debate them on an ‘either-or’ basis, as if ‘one were true’ and the other not true.. The ‘container-constituent-coresonance’ view is the more fundamental view which includes the ‘assertive behaviour’ view as a special case. Thus the homeopath or naturopath who seeks to restore the ‘container-constituent-consonance’ of the interfering systems (bacterial systems etc.) implicitly includes the mechanical view of assertive behaviour based ‘medicine’ in terms of the dissonant structures which are being produced.
The problem comes when one tries to ‘manage’ the system on an assertive behaviour basis, seeing the dissonant structures (e.g. cancer ‘cells’) are the ‘cause’ of the dissonance and trying to mechanically eliminate them. This would be comparable to the pool player, seeing dissonant clusters in the configuration, seeking to ‘remove them’ without becoming cognizant of the fact that the assertive behaviours he introduces into the system in his intervention may well be inducing further dissonances in the system (as with anti-biotics and chemotherapy). As Dr. Manu Khotari says (see ‘From Strength to Nemesis’ );
"The American public," according to Joseph Hixson in his book on America's scientific scandal of the century titled The Patchwork Mouse, "known to the rest of the world as the originator of fads and fetishes, suffers from time to time with a preoccupation over a single disease. Today that disease is cancer." Cancer, as a phenomenon, brilliantly illustrates the cerebral bankruptcy with which scientists can ride a hobbyhorse, advertising their galloping speed. For the past 225 years, scientists have been claiming, chasing, nabbing the cancer cell that never was, the cause that never was, the gene that never was, the cure that never was. Cancer scientists, therapists and journalists seem to have taken a cue from Voltaire: "Si Dieu n'existait pas, il faudrait l'inventer - "If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him." So they continue to invent or discover what never was, is, or will be. And all that they end up wasting is more money, more animal blood. After trillions of dollars down the cancerous drain soaked with the blood of millions of innocent animals, the cancer establishment is worse off than ever before, caught in a quagmire of its own making."
That is, to see the ‘little story’ mechanical (assertive behaviour only) view of systems as having sole responsibility for the evolving systems states leads to ‘phantom causal agents’ which are then pursued so that they can be suppressed or eliminated.
This ‘phantom cause’ also appears in the case of ‘conspiracy theory’ wherein ‘labour’ feels that ‘management’ is conspiring against them and ‘management’ feels that ‘labour’ is conspiring against them. In reality, they are both ignoring how their assertive actions induce transformation in the shape of dynamic opportunity space which effects them both in different ways. While the company manager eliminates his potential for custom by laying off workers, workers seeks to make himself ‘bullet proof’ against layoff through aggressive pension fund investments, which blindly encourage companies to layoff aging workers as a way to boost profits and secure support from the investment community.
The mechanical view is simply not big enough to explain non-mechanical systems in nature. This can be seen in the case of the collaborative freeway drivers who ‘co-create container-constituent-coresonance’, but whose efforts are ‘broken up’ by one or two drivers who insist on ‘driving to rule’, using their cruise control to keep their speed constant and out of the context of the evolving shape of opportunity space in which they are an immersed participant-constituent. The outside ‘scientific analysis’ will examine the situation on the basis ‘assertive behaviours’ and their kinetic trajectories out of the context of reciprocal opportunity space effects, and will come up with ‘solutions’ specified in terms of the ‘rules of assertive behaviour’. Of course, there are no rules of assertive behaviour applied to individual drivers seen as ‘independent causal agents’ which can ever produce ‘container-constituent-coresonance’ since this requires CONSCIOUS accounting of opportunity space – assertive behaviour reciprocity on a collaborative basis.
As Werner Heisenberg suggested, if we are to understand the complexity in which we are immersed, we shall have to include the tools of our inquiry in our inquiry. And when we do, we shall discover that the assumption of the independence of material entities from their containing space is a poor mechanical-causal assumption which not only does not give us a deep enough understanding but has us creating and chasing down ‘phantom causes’, an activity which is progressively dominating our social-environmental harmonizing efforts and exacerbating the dissonances we are attempting to attenuate.
With respect to our connection with our containing space, we have always had 'two stories' to live in, one in which our assertive actions are induced by our containing environment which is the source of overriding harmonies (Kepler), ... a story wherein our inner needs have us move in search of food and water, warmth and protection, and where we seek a codynamical harmony with our outer and inner 'terrain'. While the Inuit was forced to put walls between himself and the long cold winter of his containing environment, he made his house of seasonal substance, snow, out of respect for the harmonies within which he saw himself as an included participating-constituent. And while indigenous man may not have had the concept of 'bacteria', nor that coresonance amongst hundreds of bacterial strains in the digestive tract was an essential, included feature nesting within human life without which man could not exist, ... it was natural for him to turn to the herbs and remedies of the earth to restore harmony to his inner terrain. This 'curved space' story sees man, not as a 'thing in its own right', but as a harmonically complex space-time coherency living in the dynamic interface between his inner and outer terrains, in the same manner that the hurricane, with its discrete and piercing 'eye of coherency-consciousness' knows that it's life is, at the same time, its outer world and its inner world, ... that it is the resonant 'nesting geometry' between the two.
In the 'other story', the 'little story', ... man can see the igloo and the hexagonal cell of the honey-bee, not as emergent features of the never-ending story of container-constituent-coresonance,... but in the finite and discrete sense of the 'assertive behaviours of independent causal agents', ... 'things in their own right' which, by 'controlling' what happened in the local environment, caused certain desired states to come about. The man's 'house' or the hexagonal storage cell of the bee are no longer seen as 'emergent artifacts' of container-constituent-coresonance, but in the smaller 'rational' sense of 'protection' against the environment, ... anti-environmental constructs which allowed one to 'control' the temperature and to defend the living space against one's enemies.
Which story is true? Which model of space-time is 'correct', ... the curved-space-time model in which we are simultaneously our outer and inner environments, a coresonating coherency amongst our outer and inner constituencies?, ... or the euclidian-space and absolute time model in which we are purely assertive constructs, ... assertive structures built up from assertive molecules to assertive cells to assertive organs to form assertive organisms who assert themselves into a world of asserting fellow constituents?, ... a view in which the guidelines for assertion are purely 'force' and 'matter' based?
Clearly, both stories are valid at the same time, they are simply two levels of cognition, the 'inclusionary' and the 'rational' which excludes container-constituent-coresonance considerations. Which one we choose relates to the nature of the problem we're dealing with and its 'time-based resolving needs'. Our need to balance inner and outer temperatures has a seasonal component, but also an immediate component, as when a polar bear smashes our igloo. The seasonal component is the 'mother' need, but catastrophic 'timing' out of the context of space-time resonance is demanded; i.e. our inner systems have shorter seasons and to go without warmth for an hour of our time is like going all winter without warmth for them, ... something they cannot easily survive (if all of our different systems could hibernate on the same cycle this would be one thing, but when some with dependencies on others are still 'up' while the others are 'down', there is a problem).
Thus, our assertive actions are not only naturally in the service of 'container-constituent-coresonance', but also in the service of 'catastrophic interference effects'. The physical welfare of the organism which has nicely settled 'into the tao' for the evening is not immune to disruptions of its living space by other organisms who are not currently in the tao, ... and the organism has the option of flipping from the 'big story' wherein one sees oneself as a resonant included feature of the Unum, to seeing its material being as something which needs preserving 'in its own right'.
Meanwhile, to get 'stuck in' the 'little story' and put the persistence of material being in an unnatural precedence over one's coresonant participation within the Unum, is to reduce the meaning of one's existence as implied in Shakespeare's McBeth, .. "Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player That struts and frets his hour upon the stage And then is heard no more: it is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing". Without the eye of the hurricane being conscious of 'his' role as an inductive agent in the continuing story of evolution of the containing environment within which 'he' is an included participant in the evolutionary process, ... his existence is transient and without meaning. Films like 'It's a Wonderful Life' (Frank Capra production with Jimmy Stewart) have a continuing popularity, if only at Thanksgiving and Christmas, as they flip the 'assertive-over-inductive' polarity of our western culture and re-assess life in terms of the 'inductive-over-assertive', ... showing how, even though the assertive achievements of an individual may be by many reasons (interference effects) foiled, ... his inductive influence, ... the simultaneous reciprocal transformation of his space-time container (his influence on the never-ending story of evolution) may be considerable and harmonious.
The indigenous man who reacted in a 'timely fashion' who was traumatized when his igloo was destroyed by a bear may be the 'father' of the western culture, keeping us in an upside down 'rational-over-inclusionary' mode, ... a mode which sees our living structures in the small-story terms of 'anti-environmental' defenses, where 'the tools have run away with the workman' as Emerson says.
Today, our technology is increasingly rarely in the service of 'container-constituent-coresonance' and progressively more committed to the purpose of building 'controlled environments' which are deseasonalized, giving our homes a constant temperature and humidity whose uniformity is totally out of resonance with the natural environment, ... and extending this anti-environmental philosophy even into the vehicles he uses for transportation. The air conditioned car driver, when/if he undertakes a cross-country trip on a motorcycle is emotionally restored by the amazingly subtle harmonies of outer-inner which he is transported through.
In support of our culture's application of technology to the anti-environmental de-naturalizing of our local containing space, we are also installing globally synchronous time (absolute time) as the prime synchronizer (as contrasted with 'orchestrator') of our assertive behaviours, to replace our former 'tuning in' to natural space-time rhythms or 'evolutionary time'. The 'wine and roses' days of 'to every thing there is a natural season, and an evolutionarily resonant time to every purpose' are passing ever more quickly for those within the high-tech anti-environmental, anti-evolutionary shell of the west. The vision of youth who succumb to this unnatural primacy of the 'little rational story' over the 'big inclusional story' has become one colonization of other planets after we have 'consumed' the earth, ... a vision which denies our 'inclusion' in the containing flow of evolution, and seeks to extend our 'anti-environmental, anti-evolution' shell to cover and control the entire cosmos.
In the domain of our 'inner world', the same 'little story' eco-phobic philosophical use of rationality is being applied through medical technology which seeks to control our 'inner world' by means of 'anti-biotics, and other 'agents' which include; anti-anxiety, anti-coagulent, anti-convulsant, anti-depressant, anti-diarrheal, anti-flatulent, anti-funghal, anti-hypertension, anti-parasitic, anti-manic, anti-psychotic, anti-retroviral, anti-secretory, anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, anti-tussive and so on (see http://www.healthgate.com/choice/med-emerg/dih_f/index/idxid1.shtml ). The point here is not that the troublesome symptoms should be ignored, ... but that the philosophy of control by elimination and suppression pulls the system away from its natural embrace of container-constituent-coresonance and seeks its enslavement within an anti-environmental control shell where, in spite of overwhelming (for the rational mind) relational complexity, the management strategy is seen in the simplistic terms of control on the basis of 'the assertive behaviour of independent causal agents'. The eco-phobic medical philosophy, when it encounters depression or psychosis, ... rather than suggest that the patient leave the unatural control shell which is driving them nuts, ... seeks a solution in terms of control, ... the suppression of symptoms by the elimination of natural body processes reacting against an unnatural environment, ... by designer drug technology, anti-psychotic drugs which achieve a chemical lobotomy and avoid the unaesthetic mess of surgical intervention (this is marked up as 'progress' in medical technology).
The global economy has become the mother of all eco-phobic shell construction projects and the ultimate reference for 'globally synchronous time' which controls behaviours and keeps the shell 'together'. As this shell deepens its entrenchment and the degree of isolating those living within it from participating in the natural 'container-constituent-coresonance and coevolution' which their ancestors enjoyed, the 'strutting and fretting, walking shadow, signifying nothing' view of life is rapidly rising. Fortunately, the inductive forces of social transformation which would return us to 'self-rule', wherein we are each seen as being vested in the whole as the hurricane is vested in the atmosphere, and which promise to restore the 'big story' into its natural primacy, are also on the rise.
As you bring these thoughts into connection in your mind, exploring their coherent possibilities, ... think of your mind as the inductive 'eye of the hurricane' and ask yourself whether the coherency-inducing power of your consciousness might not be 'related' to the coherent force which keeps multiply nesting communities of molecules, cells and organs in a sustained state of container-constituent-coresonance, otherwise know as 'your life'.
That is, ... do you believe your own corporeal 'terrain' is a 'rational space' (below, left) or an 'inclusional space (below, right), .... ???
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