Systemic Health

This essay relies and builds upon the metaphysical world view discussed elsewhere and it is closely related to the essays:
The First Cambrian Explosion the body is a society of cells,
The Second Cambrian Explosion society is a body of organisms,
Analysis of Regimes and Resistance why does resistance of dis-ease arise?
The Akashic Field the broader and subtler context,
The Two Perspectives Empirical / Transcendent,
The Akashic Field and Systemic Health,
Survey of Ancient Traditions regarding systemic health and the two perspectives,
Meanings of Words subtle metaphors in ancient sayings
Also see the book The Heart of the Soul.

Living Systems

Only machines rely solely on interventionist healing or repair because they are dead inside. All other systems such as organisms, ecosystems, societies, planets and up to the whole cosmos are living systems, that heal themselves; they have incredible internal complexity and a harmoniously integrated internal realm that stretches through sub system levels down to the ground of being. A machine's internal realm has a sudden discontinuity at the level of components and it is here that we must constantly intervene to maintain them; they have only the thinnest film of outer behavioural complexity and the rest is a magic trick of engineering.

It is common for modern humans to feel dead inside (I have been very familiar with the feeling), indeed it is so common that for many it is normal. The reason for this is that we conceive of ourselves as machines. We focus only on the thinnest film of outer behavioural complexity and we suppress and deny everything else, hence we lose touch with our inner realm and we feel dead inside. We maintain an outer front and manage that as if that were all that mattered and we treat our bodies as vehicles in which we ride to and fro as we pursue our agendas. When we feel a twinge or hear a rattle we ignore it, block it out, maybe give the dashboard a quick hit or we stick on a bit of gaffer tape and keep on driving. Our idea of caring for it is polishing it's outer surface to make it look nice, giving it regular services and maybe hotting it up with mags and a spoiler. When it stops working we take it to a mechanic who gets it back on the road again.

But the way a living system heals itself is through inner communion, through being open to the inner realm; there is always a rich dialogue occurring between all levels and this maintains the harmony. These messages don't only flow within particular systems, but throughout the entire cosmos; there is a subtle field of communication that permeates the whole of the cosmos and maintains harmony and coherence throughout. When an organism begins to feels tension, discomfort or pain this is an important message from the body. If it is heeded then great suffering and even eventual death can be easily avoided. If it is ignored then the problem accumulates and spreads; the intricate harmonious balance begins to disintegrate and the tension, discomfort and pain worsen in complex and subtle ways.

At this point many people take painkillers to seriously start ignoring their inner messages; not just physical painkillers, but psychic painkillers. For example, any habit-forming substance, whether caffeine, tobacco, brand name consumer products or social kudos can be used as a psychic painkiller. It gives meaning to ones moments, something to look forward to, a transitory taste of pseudo satisfaction in a world that seems otherwise to be permeated with mundane drudgery; it allows one to put up with the drudgery and to persist in it. When one is balanced, content and leading a life that is satisfying then life itself is something to look forward to; each and every day, regardless of what that day may bring; not just the next coffee/cigarette break, or weekend shopping trip, or couple of weeks holiday at the end of the year or being seen driving ones expensive sports car.

As the suppressed dysfunction spreads and becomes crippling it prevents people from pursuing their agendas so they take themselves to a mechanic who forces their way into the inner realm and repairs it as if it was a machine. But in all but a few simple cases, this only produces more internal trauma and the problem worsens and spreads. With this attitude the ultimate end to the cycle is death, that is the last message of a despairing body that has been misunderstood, abused and neglected for too long.

Society is a Living System

Societies too are living systems, the body is the people, the consciousness is the main power nexus; in immature beings this is dominated by the ego or the government (in conjunction with the media) and the DNA or genetic code is people's belief systems, where memes are viruses that can splice and reprogram genetic sequences.

Societies manifest very similar phenomena and processes to organisms, however on a higher level of complexity, just as a cell is a microcosm of an organism as well. The government, just like the ego, is susceptible to thinking “I am the nation” and thereby perceiving the people or body primarily as a vehicle that it rides. When the people suffer from misunderstanding, abuse and neglect they send messages to the consciousness. The government receives them but assigns them to a minor official who assures the people that everything is being taken care of, but the ego / government continues pursuing its agendas regardless of these inner messages. The people become embittered, they begin to distrust the government and the messages become more strident. This seems unpleasant to the government so it chooses to block them out and not to take them seriously, and as the messages become more and more painful it shuts down the lines of communication with bureaucratic painkillers and distracts the people with trade, sport, war and other cultural painkillers. This is a typical egoic behaviour pattern expressed in a social context.

The problem festers and spreads in complex and subtle ways, the ego / government notices that it's body, the people, are not as responsive as they should be, it begins to distrust the people, so it steps up law and order, implements systems of incentives and disincentives and tries to use it's own will power to force the body into motion so that it can keep pursuing its agendas. But the body begins to break down, it begins to send very unpleasant messages and it fails to properly conform so the ego calls up the mechanic who sends in SWAT teams or spin-doctors and pumps the body full of drugs such as propaganda, more police, tougher sentences and more laws. It also attempts to cover up the pain by redefining things; what were once human beings with legitimate concerns are now just criminals so nobody need pay attention to them any more. But these interventions only produce more internal trauma and the tension, discomfort and pain increase in complex and subtle ways. As the government slips further into denial it attacks the people with countless misguided cures.

In general our empirical minds are enthralled by the illusion of separateness and have evolved to be control systems in a competitive evolutionary context; so we seek dominance over the other as a path toward our own peace. But each other is another self experiencing the world from a different perspective, and in a wider context, through dominance, we only end up fighting ourselves and becoming enmeshed in strife. Through the use of authoritarian tactics the very fabric of collective cooperation gradually breaks down and is replaced by coercion and repression. Instead of shared goals guiding the people, it is threats of institutionalised violence. Instead of understanding it is fear that forms the foundation of society. But this is no foundation, it is the beginning of the end of the foundation, it is the process whereby the entire structure begins to collapse. Ask yourself, why have all previous societies undergone decay and eventually died? Is this inevitable, or is it due to ignorance and abuse? Could a society live forever? For a further discussion along these lines see the essay The Akashic Field and Systemic Health.

The Anatomy of Social Disease

When as a matter of course one cannot rely on people to honour and respect their community and each other, to live in a peaceful cooperative manner and understand that they are cooperating in a system of mutual benefit. When one must fill the town with cameras and security, and signs dictating countless shalts and shalt nots, backed up by threats of violence, both economic and physical. Then the whole system is breaking down, it is not simply that “people these days have no morality or respect for authority”. There is a subtle guerilla war being fought between the formal and informal structures of society. The very people (the informal structure) who once were cooperative beneficiaries of the communal system (the formal structure) come to see the formal structure as a perversion, as an evil institution that has subverted the previous cooperative system and set up its own system of blind, arrogant oppression and exploitation. They perceive that metaphorically, society has been taken over by gangsters who use despicable tactics to steal power from the people and who use this power against the people, or perhaps that some farmer has risen to power who thinks that people are farm animals who are to be farmed for the benefit of the farmer. As the collective individuates as an entity on a higher and pursues its own higher level agendas the low levels lose control and resentment can arise.

When people come to perceive the formal structure of society as evil, the goodness within them drives them to resist that evil in every way they can. Many people are essentially unconscious of this, they consciously feel it as a deep dissatisfaction, a gnawing concern, an unwillingness to become involved and a feeling of apathy and helplessness but they still cling to the conscious belief that their society is just and honourable. It is a fearful realisation to make, to pass judgement upon ones own society and many prefer to hide from it, even in situations such as Nazi Germany. Their instinct is to not cooperate, to not further fuel what they see as evil, and to subvert and undermine that evil agenda in countless small ways at every opportunity. This is nature within us, it is the will of God, it is the Akashic Field seeking to redress the imbalance in the world, but the systems that rely on and feed off that imbalance constantly manipulate these people and coerce them into submission and compliance with what they perceive as evil.

The authorities think that many youths are just ignorant recalcitrants and vandals, but although most of these youths know it not, they are instinctive guerilla fighters, striking out at what they perceive to be evil in the world. Their tactics are misguided and they are kept ignorant and confused so that they are ineffectual in their struggle, and they usually only add to the evil and eventually become assimilated into it, but their instincts are pure and straight from God. Through the eyes of innocence they are not swayed by the corrupt discourse of perverted reason and propaganda, they have yet to become sophisticated enough for that; they see only evil and it disgusts them. They lash out with futile gestures and are crushed by the authoritarian regime. The innocents cannot help but be innocent, they instinctively love truth and decency, they have yet to develop a taste for corruption and expediency so they cannot help but act to preserve what is dear to them in the only way they know how.

One may draw a line in the sand and seriously believe in that line but some other creature may be walking along the beach and not even notice it, nor understand its meaning or care about it if they did. It is often so easy to see such a situation only from ones own perspective and to instinctively act out of anger and to use coercion, but that is a serious loss of propriety. To instil fear in another and to coerce them to conform to ones dictates, is to undermine their self-sovereignty and to commit an act of psychic violence against them. If they see that you are strong enough and delusional and evil enough to harm them they may obey you in the moment, but you have left a legacy of resentment that is very difficult to overcome. In countless subtle ways you have initiated a flow of energies through the world, in ways that a materialistically minded person cannot comprehend. These energies flow through the Akashic Field as well as through the obvious material channels. Although they may obey you in the moment, you have created an enemy that will subvert and undermine you whenever your back is turned, and no system can face in every direction at once so one must beware of creating resentment around oneself. Once the legacy of resentment has taken root, and trust and rapport have been broken, then the path back to harmony is a very long and difficult journey. One small slip may come to plague you for the rest of your life, especially if it is not just a slip but an entrenched and institutionalised attitude of authoritarian repression. Then even ones attempts to solve the problem will only worsen it and the cycle will resonate into a storm of recriminations that will break the peace.

The formal structure generally conceives of any situation only from its own perspective and as far as many people are concerned it responds in a purely arrogant and repressive manner and only furthers the impression that it is evil, and the cycle of explicit and implicit violence worsens. The informal structure becomes alienated and subtly hostile, whilst the formal structure becomes repressive and over stretched; it cannot put cameras and police everywhere, it cannot make everything vandal proof, it cannot create and enforce laws regarding every aspect of existence; one cannot win a guerilla war by deploying more authoritarian oppression. The Vietnam War was a classic example of that; even if one attempts to defoliate, massacre or brain-wash an entire nation, if the informal structure has a will to survive there are always cracks in which to hide and always weak points of the formal structure that may be hit. This is the war of the flea, where the people are forced into the role of fleas and the oppressor is forced into the role of an embattled dog. Unless cooperation is regained, the dog suffers and itches horribly, it whines and scratches interminably whilst the fleas are massacred in great number. Everyone suffers and eventually the dog dies much earlier than it would have, due to mange or some stress related disorder and the remaining fleas scatter from its corpse and revert back to people who move on in the hope of finding a cooperative abode.

A common strategy is a combination of an authoritarian crackdown and a propaganda bombardment designed to confuse and isolate people; to weaken their will for autonomous life. It is a strategy designed to make people isolated, confused and afraid, and thereby compliant. It may create docile bodies for industry and it may lead to greater levels of compulsive consumerism but is it a healthy long term organising principle for a society? Is it a good substitute for understanding and cooperation? Is it a good cure for the tensions and discomforts that plague a nation? It is a product of a mechanistic conceptualisation of society and it does great harm to the organic structure of society.

When all lines of coherent communication are closed due to blindness and arrogance and the informal structure is presented with no choice but to give up and die; it has nothing to lose and everything to gain in the struggle. If there is no coherent channel of communication then there is no means of resolving the situation and the only possibility is to persist in the struggle until one or the other wins; but due to the inter-dependence between the formal and informal structures this can only be a lose / lose scenario. Like someone who violently forces themselves to drink poison, either they resist and they beat themselves to death or they submit and they are poisoned; either way they are fighting themselves and there can be no peace. Ones ego cannot defeat ones own body and live to be the victor.

The Problem of Civilisation

Such a cycle of recriminations is a terminally dysfunctional schizmogenesis and it is indeed a schizmogenesis; it is a cycle of misunderstanding leading to greater misunderstanding and resulting in disaster. The formal structure doesn't seek to deliberately attack and destroy the informal structure, and the informal structure doesn't seek to deliberately attack and destroy the formal structure. Both need each other but cannot understand each other and thereby come to distrust and resent each other. There is a deep misunderstanding, there is a clash of agendas and fundamental needs. Each responds from its own perspective without comprehending the other's perspective. Each is only trying to live and each cannot understand the others needs in regards to its way of living. It is the same scenario as an ignorant person and their body, they don't understand their body, they are driven by outside desires and fears and simply use the body to pursue agendas. The body only sees itself being neglected and abused, whilst the ego eventually comes to see the body as a limitation and an obstacle in its pursuit of its desires. When people are simply engaged in organic living and are not directly engaged in assisting the government achieve its desires the government perceives them as bludgers, rorters and parasites. When governments are simply engaged in organisational living and are not directly engaged in assisting the people achieve their desires many people perceive them as gangsters, oppressors and dictators. The whole of civilisation has been enmeshed in this schizmogenesis to an increasing degree over time.

There is a subtle interaction between individuals and organisations that is analogous to that between our bodies and their cells (for more details in regards to this see these discussion on The First Cambrian Explosion and The Second Cambrian Explosion). Individuals and organisations are two levels of life forms, each dependent upon the other and each engaged in living their lives as best they know how. Neither is truly aware or even greatly mature, but individuals are by far the older of the two (approximately 500 million years as opposed to tens of thousands of years). Our bodies and their cells have long ago attained an amicable agreement based upon mutual respect and benefit leading to peace (holistic system harmony or health), however our egos (which are a very recent innovation in evolutionary terms) often break this agreement and the cells thereby become enslaved within agendas that are inherently destructive to their lives and we bring disease upon ourselves. In the presence of an agreement they are participants but when that agreement is broken they are slaves. In the past, human individuals and the collective community have also developed a relationship of mutual benefit and come to an agreement but when that agreement is broken through ignorance and loss of respect the organisations that break the agreement are attempting to enslave us within their agendas. When a government (ego) becomes so arrogant that it thinks it owns the people, the people become enslaved.

This process has been evolving from the beginning of civilisation but it has accelerated recently. Due to the growth of technology and through the feedback loop of mass propaganda certain organisations have come to seriously believe in themselves more than ever; they are individuating into egoic entities and they are itching to pursue their egoic agendas just as we have pursued ours. They are learning from us and it is our attitudes that coalesce to collectively produce their attitudes. They seek to break the agreement between individuals and society and to enslave us so that they are free to act as they please, just as most of us have broken the agreement between our cells and body and enslaved our cells so that we may act as we please. Thus societies are succumbing to diseases that are analogous to many modern human diseases, which are entirely due to lifestyles of egoic abuse. This creates a struggle between individuals and organisations and the organisations think they can win this struggle once and for all, and that the people will be forever more suppressed and enslaved whilst the organisation's freedom will be guaranteed forever more.

But in doing so they bring disease upon themselves just as we bring disease upon ourselves. For the organisations to be free to pursue their egoic agendas all individuals must be securely harnessed (just as the cells within our own bodies are securely harnessed), whilst for individuals to be free the power of the organisations must be securely bound by an agreement of amity and respect (just as there is in the case of organisms that respect and care for themselves and their cellular communities). Any freedom attributed to individuals is a loss of freedom for the organisations and vice versa; just as any rights attributed to ones cells restrict what ones ego can do with ones body. And our cells do have rights, our bodies themselves know and respect them otherwise there could be no possibility of health, but our egos are ignorant of this or chose to ignore this, so too are certain organisations trying to erode our rights so that they can act just as irresponsibly as our egos have done. Much of the talk of a free market is equivalent to talk of an enslaved humanity. A win of this kind for the organisations would be the death of us all; both individuals and organisations. It would be a win for egoic delusion on a new level that would thrust us all into suffering and disease on a new level. We as a society must overcome our collective ego or we will die just as is the case for any human being, but whilst there are many humans there is only one humanity, thus the crisis is more extreme.

In this symbiotic relationship between individuals and organisations, not all aspects of each others lives are compatible; there is much that individuals desire that would be harmful to organisations, but even more so, there is much that organisations desire that would be harmful to individuals. There can be no true cooperation without understanding and that only arises through coherent communication; through breaking the Le différend. System theory provides a conceptual framework that may assist in the development of coherent communication between these two levels of life forms; it is this conceptual framework that I illustrate in the discussions on The First Cambrian Explosion and The Second Cambrian Explosion. An attitude of blindness and arrogance on either side only fuels and perpetuates the cycle of dysfunction and the ultimate end to the cycle is death for civilisation; that is the last message of a despairing people that have been misunderstood, abused and neglected for too long.

Regaining Health

Whether one is a person or an organisation such as a nation, if one is wracked with tension and pain and one wishes to turn around the cycle the only way is to open up to the inner realm and re-establish communication with it; first to recognise its existence, then to listen carefully to the messages especially if they are unpleasant for these are the most important. This is not an easy transition to make, it not only requires gradually withdrawing from ones painkillers and facing the pain but also a complete paradigm shift from a mechanistic to an organic perspective, but each of us has the ability to heal ourselves.

For example, there are in all living systems, pressure points; the science of acupuncture has mapped these out in the human body, these are the points where the energies become blocked and may therefore be released. If one presses gently on such a point it may be swollen and painful, but as one holds that gentle pressure and gently massages the area the messages begin to flow and if one opens up ones mind to these messages, subtly tuning in to them along the carrier wave of the pulse, the swelling and pain drastically diminish over time and the blocked energies begin to flow. On a societal level many activist groups such as Green Peace or Amnesty International have been fulfilling this role, gently probing the sore and neglected pressure points and channelling the disturbing messages into the collective consciousness. A great deal of healing has been initiated thereby in countless and subtle ways as multitudes of people become aware of the problems.

In the case of chronic tension that makes ones body rigid and painful one can teach oneself to relax using the rhythm of the breath. On the in-breath smoothly, deliberately and gently tense the problem area and feel, with ones mind, the feeling of growing tension. Then on the out-breath smoothly, deliberately and gently release the tension, letting it slide away with the out-breath, this will be difficult at first, it will hold and then suddenly and only slightly release, but allow your mind to permeate the area and feel everything that can be felt. Try to remember what relaxation feels like and teach that area to remember what relaxation feels like. When the area is well relaxed the pulse becomes apparent and by tuning into that one can hold the relaxed state; at all times work with the natural rhythms and do not force the body. In time, one can simply turn ones mind to the area, release any tension and tune into the pulse, thus allowing healing energy to flow. Eventually one can let ones whole body reside in this state and feel the energies flowing throughout ones whole being; it is extraordinarily rejuvenating. The process of reconciliation is analogous to this on a societal level, where entrenched tensions such as the legacy of a brutal invasion are deliberately recognised and processes are put in place to gradually work toward harmony; it is a slow process but progress is certain when there is sincerity and persistence. A related method is discussed in the book The Heart of the Soul in regards to emotional awareness and smoothing out psychic knots within our inner energy sytems. A brief summary is provided.

These methods and others, if used gently and regularly can release the built up trauma within ones body, and in complex and subtle ways natural, organic healing processes are stimulated, and what may initially be painful or difficult becomes supremely pleasurable and effortless over time. Rather than a chore that must be done for ones long term benefit, true healing is immensely enjoyable, it is the return and steady growth of health, vitality and freedom of movement. Ones body becomes a pleasure to be a part of rather than a stiff, dead weight that one must block out and drag around and force into motion. Ones future becomes one of bright opportunities rather than dark and looming concerns. In this way one can heal oneself and one can prevent dysfunctions from building one on top of the other and spreading and merging and ultimately crippling one. But one must take all inner messages seriously, they are all signs of either health or misuse and ultimately one must adjust ones overall agendas and lifestyle so that ones own needs may still be met but not at the cost of ones quality of life and eventually even ones life. The only path to health is through the pain; as one runs from the pain and hides in denial and searches for an easy way out one is running into a world of pain; but if one passes through the pain it ceases to be pain and transforms into the pleasure of returning health.

For those that commune with their inner realm, that know and love themselves on all levels, the body and the people sing with joy, there is beauty, harmony and vitality in abundance. When all parts are harmoniously cooperating there is no limit to what can be achieved. No great athlete ever rose to success and fame by ignoring and denying their body, no great yogi attained the Supreme by ignoring and denying their Self and no great nation ever rose to power and nobility by ignoring and denying the people.

Holistic Peace and Freedom

Furthermore, it is known to the wise that ultimately, only un-perfected beings are ruled by an ego; an ego is a fictional being that comes to believe in itself and it dominates ones inner space and rules with ignorance and coercion as it pursues its agendas; just as the concept of authority is a fiction that comes to believe in itself. Ultimately, true peace, harmony and freedom can only be attained through what some refer to as enlightenment and which in the context of society might be referred to as enlightened anarchy. Where there is no central perspective being forced onto all parts regardless of how inappropriate it may be in that particular context, where there is no system of artificial scarcity imposed by the delusions of isolation and greed, where each part fully benefits from the abundance of the collective and is free to assess its own situation and to act in a holistically appropriate way, guided by the spirit of the collective that permeates the collective space via the Akashic Field. Then all parts synchronise and mesh into a dance of harmonious being, then the true potential of organic existence shines forth and breaks the limitations of mechanistic centralised control. This however is a distant goal for society, not to be rushed, else catastrophe can ensue, but it is not to be shunned and avoided, else we persist in suffering indefinitely. We each must undergo that transformation ourselves and only as a critical mass is reached will the collective be transformed. These ego's and governments serve a purpose, they propel us through the darkness of our ignorance, they lead us through countless tough lessons, and in complex and subtle ways we transform over time into beings and societies that no longer require such things. Only then, and only by following the natural flow and rhythm of organic growth and evolution may we attain to higher states of being. Nothing may be forced before its time, all things flow according to the Way of Nature; and no matter what we do or what we become we never leave the bounds of nature, we are always a part of the living cosmos.

Ultimately this cosmos is free and all manifestations within it are free because every thing is exactly what it IS and acts according to its nature which is a function of the cosmos; this freedom is the transcendent reality that exists regardless of the delusions of those few systems that seek to possess and control. Lasting peace can only be possible when there is balance and freedom, else there is imbalance and struggle. But what is freedom? It is not the ability to follow ones every whim without regard to other factors; that is the delusional freedom of the dominance obsessed empirical ego. True freedom is the ability to be exactly and totally that which one IS; to be ones True Self and not bound to conform to inappropriate agendas and delusions. Such a state is not an isolated state of being, ones True Self is the cosmos; we are all one! We are all fuel for the creative fires and every interaction has an element of use and objectification within an agenda. Freedom arises when ones nature, needs and interests are accommodated by the other's agenda; we each use each other and we each must respect and understand each other. True freedom arises when all dwell in Reality, not in delusion; when we understand ourselves and our whole context, then we act out of Love and compassion, we act cooperatively, seeking harmony. We ourselves must be such that collectively we create a world built upon awareness and respect and only then can we safely and fruitfully partake in it; i.e. peace and freedom emanate from within, they are not imposed from without. True peace, happiness and freedom are side effects of holistic system harmony and this can only be attained through loving participation on all levels. Only through surrender to the universe within us, without us, throughout us and beyond all concepts of 'us' can we attain lasting peace. One cannot force the world without disturbing its balance, it is through loving participation in the world that we become harmonious gestures of the cosmic dance.

Related Discussions:
The First Cambrian Explosion the body is a society of cells,
The Second Cambrian Explosion  society is a body of organisms,
Analysis of Regimes and Resistance why does resistance of dis-ease arise?
The Akashic Field the broader and subtler context,
The Two Perspectives Empirical / Transcendent,
The Akashic Field and Systemic Health,
Survey of Ancient Traditions regarding systemic health and the two perspectives,
Meanings of Words subtle metaphors in ancient sayings
Also see the book The Heart of the Soul.