Balance

  The creations of the Field are produced over billions of years, through trial and error. With living organisms, the successes are noted and stored in the DNA like a memory bank, so that they can be replicated and built on. There is an observable, slow style that might be called “incremental creation.” Usually, though not always, systems are built up slowly, from pieces added and worked into existing realities over time. Occasionally, there are leaps or quantum jumps in the pace of creation, but this is rare.

The painstaking mode of creation produces complex systems that are woven tightly, intricately together. Integration of parts is total. Every part plays its individual role in sustaining the system as a whole. But there is more going on in the Field’s systems than integration, no matter how complete. The systems possess a dynamic of self-balancing. Both within individual organisms and through the interaction of separate parts of the system, self-balancing mechanisms interact to sustain and preserve the functioning of the system as a whole. This is a fundamental characteristic of the creation of the Field.

Another way of saying the same thing is that the Field nurtures its creations by building in intricate balancing mechanisms that operate to protect the integrity of its systems as a whole. In this self-balancing, protective, adaptive process, the thrust appears to be to protect, sustain and expand life. The systems have an organizational elegance, an intelligent fitting together and working together to sustain the system as a whole. This is also a hallmark of the creation of the Field.

For example, over the past 4 billion years the temperature of the sun has gone up dramatically. It is now some 25% hotter than it was four billion years ago when Earth was formed. Throughout that time, and until today, the temperature on Earth has remained constant. Earth has responded adaptively to keep conditions on its surface hospitable to life. One prime way that it has done that is by pulling carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide traps heat from the sun. Less carbon dioxide in the air means lower temperatures on Earth. Earlier, there was 1,000 times as much carbon dioxide in the air as there is now. This trick has been accomplished primarily by pulling carbon dioxide into marine creatures, trapping it in their shells, and then sinking them to the bottom of the ocean when they die. This is a brilliant adaptation, a brilliant solution to the problem posed by rising sun temperatures.

In a similar process, the polar icecaps also regulate temperature, in a cycle that recurs about every 100,000 years. When the icecaps expand, they reflect more light and heat away from the earth, and temperatures in the atmosphere drop. When they contract, as they are now doing, they reflect less light and heat away, and temperatures rise.

Similar mechanisms of balance are observable in nature. It is a recent realization that predator-prey relationships in the natural world are subject to adjustments. Without wolves to keep their numbers trimmed, the elk and deer populations burgeon, the  plants begin to suffer, and the system threatens to go into disequilibrium. In the absence of human intervention, the numbers of wolves and the numbers of elk and deer adjust themselves through their interaction. If there are not enough elk to feed the wolves, the wolf population diminishes, and the elk population starts to go back up. If there are too many elk, the wolf population goes up and diminishes their numbers. Similar balancing mechanisms operate all over the natural world, operating to sustain and harmonize and protect the system as a whole. It is a nurturing function of Being, built in as an integral part of the system as it was put together. It is an interesting aside that  human beings and their activities and decisions are now being regarded as an embodiment of the regulating, balancing processes. We are most aware these days of the ways in which the human community is destabilizing nature, and this is of very great concern. However, the very bringing to bear of our reason and judgment on the problems caused by our mistakes is perhaps part of the regulatory process. It is the human, after all, who is acting to reintroduce wolves into the ecology of the wild spaces. This is a balancing move. Being is moving the pieces, through us, to protect the system as a whole.

In human and other mammalian bodies, there are countless processes that rely on systemic regulation to keep the organism in equilibrium. Human and animal life would not even be possible without these regulatory processes. Blood pressure falls into this category, as well as blood clotting, which is a response by the system to a break in the arterial system. The hypothalamus controls body temperature, and induces shivering to increase body temperature when it falls to the lower parameters. The blood PH is being constantly rebalanced to keep it in a zone healthy for the blood cells. There are also balancing mechanisms operating in the human gut to keep the system in trim.

James Lovelock unsettled the scientific world recently by proclaiming the earth to be a vast, self-balancing super-organism that actively modifies the planetary environment to produce the environmental conditions necessary for its own survival. This is his Gaia hypothesis. It was a giant step away from the Newtonian/Cartesian mechanistic worldview. Predictably, the old scientific guard ridiculed the vision, but people across the world immediately incorporated it into their possibilities for reality. It is a vision that looks to the future of human consciousness, to what we may become after a little more evolution, rather than to the past.

The balancing mechanisms of the Field’s creations are treated by the scientific establishment as mechanical operations. In this view, the creative source of the systems is the systems themselves, and they consist largely of feedback loops. The systems, which are regarded as arrangements of discrete, separate pieces, have somehow figured out how to create miraculous mechanisms to sustain themselves. It seems hard at this point to maintain an allegiance to the old view. It is like asserting that monkeys playing in a junkyard would eventually build a 747.

One alternative is to view the balancing functions as the intelligent and beautiful creations of the Field, Itself a living and creative intelligence. If the Field has created the universe that we live in, It can certainly take steps to build in features that will preserve the beauty, stability and integrity of the system. The vast intelligence of the Field is at work here, and we are the beneficiaries. It is working on our behalf.

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