THE CELL, THE CATERPILLAR and the BUTTERFLY

May I revel you in a story or two?
Our tale bridges two distinct, but complementary realities, with a weave of metaphor and symbolism.
Tangible and Abstract – labels flying around seeking a place to roost.
Cell = basic component (unit/entity) of  life.

once upon a time there were stories of worlds in transition.

  •     these stories of worlds could be told from both within and from without, from the perspective of a member of the world or from the perspective of an alien observer viewing/visiting the world. Complexity: the alien observer is in the imagination of members of the world; members are only comprehended from the perspective of the alien observer.
  •     worlds cannot be actually observed by either the member or the alien, because “worlds” are not the kind of things to be “observed”; even though our languages frequently make this claim.
  •     the stories of our world are of crises, both dangers and opportunities; they are stories of transition and great changes, of collapse and rebirth.

You and I are cells, we are composed of cells, and we are components of cells. Wherever we are, we are most real. Cells radiate reality.

  •     We encompass Tangible Temporal Texture, but are also represented in Text.
  •     Body/Brain/MInd/Spirit/Soul are symbols that reflect our textures.
  •     Why is telling this story so difficult?  Is this difficulty important?
  •     Are Storytellers Cells?

The caterpillar of our story is an abstract fiction portrayed as the strongest of all real powers to be feared. It is a “paper tiger”, but with the psychological impact of T-Rex.  It’s name is CIVILIZATION, worshipped for millennia as a divine form, a gift of GOD.

  •     Our alien observer has ultimate surveillance on all relevant aspects of all human persons as they interact through their lifetimes and records this in a master databank. Analysis off this data reveals many complex patterns of interaction and modifications made on the material of the planet by this interaction: roads, farms, factories, cities, libraries, books, computers, constitutions, plans.  Movement and other actions by human persons is enabled/constrained by its human created environments and artifacts.
  •     Each human person has a inner, experienced life (& world), which we will return to later.  Our alien observer only knows of these inner experienced worlds by inference from what humans have said, written or artistically created.  The production of humankind is a field of artifacts for our alien to observe and study.
  •     Each human person can have access to the equivalent of a very small part of this databank. Some perceived is woven into an inner world serving as context for subsequent experience – and within immediate and tangible perceptual spaces where humans interact with each other in realtime. They mutually come to know their perceptual spaces, through gesture and verbal reference – which becomes the metaphor for all else – beyond immediate perception.
  •     Initially humans lived and evolved in small groups called tribes.  A tribal life proved successful, human numbers rapidly increased and the default mode of large human system organization emerged: Civilizations composed of Institutions. Details on the history of humankind during the Era of Civilization will be disussed elsewhere. Here we will explore the fundamentals of institutions and civilizations from the perspective of viable, tangible humans.
  •     Institutions and all other societal entities are creations within human language expression.  None of these named entities are capable of being observed by humans.  Humans can observe and record data associated with the interactive pattern of humans associated with an institution, but this is not anywhere the same as observing a cup or tree or mountain or birdsong in an immediate perceptual environment. No one has every observed a government, an economy, or a war.
  •     The pattern of interactivity by humans within the constraints of an institution is a very real – and occurs in immediate perceptual spaces of everyone. And, in the same sense that we may agree we live in a house, we might feel we work in an institution – especially if it also has a building associated with it.  A school building sits there, empty at night – but does the school-as-institution continue to exist at night?  Or congress during holidays?
  •     Humans are conditioned to believe that they must maintain their patterns of interactivity to keep their institutions existent.  All human institutions (and a system of institutions called a society or civilization) exist only so long as there are humans to play their roles.  There are no THINGS like objects (even large objects in our tangible, perceptual spaces) that match-in-metaphor with all those social & societal entities named in our discourse – and which we fight so strongly to preserve or destroy in political battles (and even more in military conflicts).
  •     When a nation is defeated in war it suddenly evaporates.  The people may remain, and the buildings. But the pattern of interactivity is no longer, and so no longer was there a Nazi Germany – or an USSR dissolving without war.  Now, persons will exist with memories, and many of the artifacts that were tools for an institution may continue to exist.  In some instances – an interactive pattern may resume (as a school each morning). But, in other instances persons begin to explore new patterns of interactivity.  And, they will continue to use terms referring to their new social institutions emerging – forgetting how deluded they have been when believing in the tangible, concrete Real-Reality they are willing to fight and die for that had just disappeared up in smoke.
  •     WHAT IS REAL for everyone is their “language fields” –  where words substitute for (fictional) material things and the words are woven into discourse that creates the illusion of real phenomenon.  It is be be remembered that everyone is living in their tangible, perceptual spaces, often with others and in language discourse. Do archeological sites and ancient texts and artifacts inform us of what is left of a tangible, perceptual space.  We can imagine and think of persons in tangible interaction in historical spaces – and even blather about the fictitious abstractions of governments and wars.
  •     Seven plus billion humans dancing to the Pied Piper tune of Civilization – each in their tangible and concrete manner are raining destruction on our Gaian home, and threatening their hard gained emergence as the Queen of Life.  How can we stop this mad dance? To start dancing to a different drummer, our selves in “creative, emergent collectivity”, or a multitude of other words we may begin to weave an alternative reality, a Butterfly instead of a Caterpillar.

The butterfly of our story is a viable biosocial phenomenon, analogous to the life of a human from conception to birth; a tangible, material/mental/media entity. It’s name is HUMANITY, dreamed of by humankind for millennia.    First consider how our alien observer may learn of the emergent butterfly from its database.  Early on the alien observer might easily miss the origins of the butterfly, as the pattern of activity of the butterfly’s early members would not be behaviorally much different from the behavior patterns of those on the fringes of Civilization. Then we will consider how the butterfly becomes know to those humans being part of it – or observing it from outside.
Again, our alien observer looks for new and emergent patterns in the vast database of human pattern interactivity.  As analog to the situation in biological metamorphosis, the emergent patterns of IMAGINAL BUDS (or discs) would be evident is looked for.  Just as imaginal buds are not miniature or embryonic butterflies (but embryonic components of butterflies), our human imaginal buds will not be embryonic societies but persons experimenting with alternative ways of doing things. Careful study of these imaginal buds might reveal that participants often believed that they WERE becoming the whole new system and were usually naive as to their own potential at the time and the resistance they would face from their societal environments.  Indeed, most human imaginal buds thought of themselves as fix-it or replacement parts for the caterpillar and sought more to gain support from the caterpillar than to seek collaboration with other emergent imaginal buds.
From the perspective of the alien studying patterns emerging within patterns, the whole process/scenario might best be narrated as the story of a mammal from conception to birth, with a minor variation on insect metamorphosis.

  •         Our scene.  The vast, vast majority march within the rules of civilization’s institutions.  Imaginal buds emerge with innovation and are re-absorbed.  Growing slowly but steadily, then in an organized exponential bloom a new vibrant pattern of activity appears in the data.  At the most basic level it grows as one vast web. Each person recruits, orients, and supports others into their web (where they are being oriented and supported by others). All interpersonal bonds are intense and all relationships intend reesee.
  •         Our social network is the pattern of our data on the database created and used by participants, similar to what might be for the aliens.  Each person is a member of a viable WEB (tangible, perceptual spacetime).  Over time individuals can move between webs and link with other persons and webs via advanced social network technology. In a very powerful sense, EVERYONE IS ACCESSIBLE & AVAILABLE.  Yet, the strength of the whole is in the WEB, and the material overlap of WEBS. WEBS can temporarily organize as teams, crews, or expeditions.
  •         NOTE, THIS IS NOT WHAT IS OCCURRING TODAY IN SOCIAL MEDIA.  MUCH IS MISSING.
  •         As significant as the WEBBING strength or the exponentially growing NET and its awesome interconnectivity, MORE IMPORTANT is the galdee of each person and team. Everyone engages in the bootstrap cycles of Organizing-for-Learning=&=Learning-for-Organizing. [galdee = grow, adapt, learn, develop, evolve, emerge]  Everyone climbs the ladder of Adult Stage Development (Kegan, Spiral Dynamics, or others) as well as acquiring knowledge, attitudes, and competencies.  Galdee is heavily in context with others.  If a datapoint represents a person in the alien’s database, it would reveal significant improvement in critical properties and features of everyone – and many of those features being related to how persons collaborated and systems synergized.
  •         In spite of what appears to be extreme suffering and dysfunction with the patterns of civilization, those in this emergent WEBBING NET stay as far under the radar of the caterpillar as possible – as it has the potential of blocking the activity of emergence.  New members to emergence are recruited one at a time – by specific persons already seafed within webs.  The emergent butterfly appears (in the alien’s database) to avoid confrontation with the caterpillar processes.
  •         The emergent WEBBING NET seeks out the multitude of human imaginal buds and assists them to develop new components for the butterfly and not as replacement parts for the collapsing caterpillar.  Some of this will be observed being seafed by a new pattern of activity called a SEAFnet with a multitude of SEAFWebs and SEAFTeams.  This special interacting team attempt to learn what any other person or team truly needs (in relation to the whole as well as personally) and working with a global network of WEB expertise can begin to reesee seaf galdee all aspect of the emergent movement.
  •         At some threshold our alien would observe a rapid spike in the data as competent membership in the emergent butterfly explodes/erupts, swamping the whole field of human interactivity with very dense and complex patterns.  The butterfly has passed threshold and has become viable.
  •         What happens when Butterfly encounters Caterpillar is a different part of the narrative; as well as how this scenario might be viewed from human participants.

SACRED DESIRE vs PASSIONATE INTENT

  •     Skim through the many well written articles in the periodic publications of major Universities. I view four: RPI, University of Chicago, Yale, University of Minnesota. We witness the passionate domains of their authors where their intent to learn/do is paramount, second only to the literal survival of loved ones. Many of these intelligent and creative persons do “good works” beyond their passions and share the concerns of many about the future of humankind and Gaia. Although they may at times deeply feel the threat to planet and species, and the potentials that may be lost, it is mostly a conceptual concern – not sufficient to marshal great energy or effort in view as a domain of passionate intention.
  •     Is it sufficient to limit your passionate intention to a good domain that is potentially contributory (even necessary) for the longterm health of species and planet (and grandchildren) while leaving it to others to take care of the rest? You can’t let yourself get involved in other domains where you currently lack requisite competence and where you probably wouldn’t contribute effectively.  Isn’t it better to let each specialist do what they do best and we will all come together in collaborative synergy as we approach our common goals?
  •     Do we really believe (and can we truly risk believing) in a natural process where the “good” will eventually “win out”?  Spiritually and emotionally join the “flow” of evolutionary enlightenment; keep focus on the mindful, the real, the Here&Now – LOVE – be kind, honest, truthful – WORK HARD where and when you are able. Learn more about what you already know and help others learn what you know?
  •     It is easy for me to understand why so few are able to commit passionate intent to planet, species, and loved ones.  As AWARE as I am to all that I here express, my own lifestyle is an exemplar of what not to do.  I have powerful passion for what I label: Humanity/Gaia Emergence, through our Crisis-of-Crises and insuring (at best) our multi-millennial survival/thrival.  I realize this is akin to a religious passion. There are few moments when I can intimately engage this passion.  My intent is persistent, in that I seek to learn to learn what it takes to learn what I need to learn, and then learn it – a continuing process.  What I lack, which others have, is a passionate intent for some other activity – leading up to and being part of my Big Passion.  I am easily attracted to many things and find true, enjoyable, interest in many topics.
  •     Can we LEARN TO distribute our passionate intent, our sacred commitment, to a more complex scheme of living, learning, and doing? Can you devote some little time (with passion) to consider this option?  If we are to become as we might, we must create (Humanity) ourselves with passionate intent – and we must commit to the challenges – whatever they take.
  •     I image we, one by one, make personal commitments to each other to learn to distribute our passion to all domains it is needed so as to achieve the one goal we all aspire.  We create a single WEB of human relationships with a core and universal drive – that which IS TRULY COMMON TO US ALL, a UNITY from which our healthy and vital diversity will emerge.

LOVE – it is so very strange my coming to use this term.  My BEING and an OTHER acknowledge the exciting awareness that we are TWO together, not alone in the void.  Our bond can be more than our beings, but neither drowns our uniqueness.  The WEB of Otherness grows.
I ramble like a mystic – but that is not my only garment.  What I propose is the MOST PRACTICAL, PRAGMATIC, so utterly SIMPLE in concept.

  •         I COME TO YOU and ask you to come with me, for a moment of your time.  No more demands than some small interval of your life.
  •         I am honoring you as an OTHER, an entity different from me, who I will never fully know, but whose existence I respect – and seek an equivalent response from you towards me.
  •         Specifically, what we do next is not important.  We may hold hands, look into each others eyes, hug, dance and sing, co-create. Whatever we do for the rest of our lives we pledge to base on this recognition of LOVE of OTHER.  As an OTHER, and as a specific and unique OTHER.
  •         Since it is in our recognition that there are many other OTHERS, we act to move others to do as we have done – and we each do so with new others. Our WEB of Otherness spreads (galdees).

We view ourselves as a freshly conceived being, now becoming – an emerging WEB of OTHERNESS – in a creative scenario analogous to the emergence of a baby from conception or to a butterfly metamorphically emergent from the caterpillar.

    Sorry, if I again ask to weave a vital thread through the tapestry of our creative emergent reality.  WHAT ACTUALLY IS OUR INTENT?

  •         The intent of Larry/nuet:  to be part – catalyst & participant – in the emergence to full matrial/spiritual manifestation on Planet Earth, within GAIA, of an entity/phenomenon unknown (to myself and I expect all other humans) anywhere in the cosmological universe, or spiritual cosmos, for that matter. I name this emergent, HUMANITY.  Humankind is our species consistent with the contemporary science of ecology, evolution, epigenetics, emergence and the exciting fluff of speculation at the budding edge.  HUMANITY is even much more than this.
  •         It is sometimes claimed that the largest single living organism on earth is a fungus, cellular contiguous for the size of nations.  Members of species populate the whole biosphere and give us planetary wide presence.  HUMANITY can be totally unique (and possibly the very first in Cosmos) – and WE CAN BE PART OF IT!!
  •         HUMANITY  is vastly much more than I can imagine.  Yet, imagine a few billion human persons as intimately linked with many other humans, as the trillions of biological cells in your body are linked. No cell in your body “knows” intimately every other cell – why would “one” every want that? Your cells are so diverse and distinct that most would not ever consider “having dinner together – if they could”.  But, they are all recognized as essential OTHERS  (except for occasional deviants: cancers).  As each of us, biologically alive, is a deeply resonant of patterns on patterns; so is HUMANITY – of planetary scope.  IMAGINE !!!!!
  •         In my humble view, the only reason one won’t make creating HUMANITY their primary passionate intent is that they inadequately “know” this option.
  •         And, HUMANITY is only the beginning.  GAIA, herself – catalyzed by HUMANITY, will become a CREATIVE PLANETARY LIFE PRESENCE. At this point I rest my speculation for those who will follow.  Might HUMANITY be the next “CELL” in the future emergence of GAIA/COSMOS?  WE are still vital creative contributors. We don’t lose our significance when nu levels emerge.

CELLS    I bounce around this conceptual field, never seeming to come to rest (which I don’t want) but not setting up any coherent resonant pattern either.
The meme of “cell” is “core” – I “sense”.
Play with the analogy of “cell” as an ontological/epistemological token in play:  ‘Molecule”, “Bio-Cell”, “Organism”, “Humanity” – with possible levels in between like: gang, clan, tribe, community, corporation, country, eco-region.  Sorry, complexifying when not needed. Yet, I somehow feel that this PERSONAL level of discourse is essential.
 ASIDE ON “MOLECULE”

  •             Our use of the term “molecule” to label assembleges of atoms, is as crude as using the same term to label Planets, Solar Systems, and Galaxies. The scale variation is enormous. There is little in common other than their nestedness.
  •             Small molecules, such as O2, H2O, CO2, NH4, etc. and up to even sugar  {C6H12O6 }, amino and nucleic “acids”,  are better viewed as multi-nucleated ATOMS.  Atomic physics is applied to systems with multi nuclei – as in astronomy we encounter many multi-sun systems.  I call these BEAD molecules.
  •             CHAIN molecules are chains of bead molecules.  DNA and proteins are chain molecules.  The physics of bead and chain molecules are as radically different as biospheric science is distinct from solar system science.  Using the same term “molecule” only confuses.
  •             FABRIC molecules are assemblages of bead and chain molecules with an occasional lone atom, in 3-space structures. Cellular organelles are examples of fabric molecules.
  •             In a sense, “molecule” stands for THREE levels of holon, three levels of “cell”.

Bypassing the critical story of the origins of the biological cell, it is obviously a “unity”, “holism”, fundamental “entity”, of “reality significance” – even if we can’t adequately grasp it all. Our knowledge of the complexity of biological cellularity is exploding daily. Traditional scientists want to peg it down quickly before it escapes; I prefer to let the exploratory expeditions commence.  The DNA/Protein Universe remains in its infancy and we humans must be humble in our occasional striving for arrogant exceptionalism to not assume what we really don’t know. However: creative speculation encouraged.

What are the similarities between “cells”?  Here I limit myself to bio and organism “cells” – single cell biological  entities and complex, emergent, multi-celled biological entities – such as human persons.  What is their common “essence” in the context of holarchical emergent realities?  AND, this very high-complex discourse worries me as to where I am headed.  But, isn’t this the nature of our explorations?

LET US GET TO THE QUIC OF THIS QUAGMIRE:  YOU AND ME & OTHERS – all CELLS.  CAUTON: EGO BLOSSOMING?
What is critical here about “cells” is what is common, not what is different.  Yet, because of the murgeness, I may have to leap beyond expectation.
CELLS HAVE AGENCY. [This statement popped up, just now 1/24/2013 3:17 PM .]

  •             Only cells have agency?  What does this mean?
  •             CELLS INTERACT – CELLS STRUCTURALLY COUPLE?
  •             You and I bond. We bond in WEBS. We EMERGE.
  •             Only the agency of cells can create viable bonds that persist.
  •             Is this metaphysics? Does it matter what we call it?
  •             ONLY I,  LARRY/nuet,  HAVE THE AGENCY TO BEGIN !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  •             ONLY YOU, HAVE THE AGENCY TO ALSO BEGIN – OR JOIN !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

   AGENCY   is this our primitive?
Well beyond the meme of consciosuss will.
Need to reread on agency beyond persons from Andrew Pickering:
How is “agency” behind the process that leads “Cells to Organize”?
How do holons emerge holarchy?

Author: nuet

01/24/1935. BS-physics RPI 1956; MS-physics UofChicago 1958; PhD-physics Yale 1965; PhD-Edu Psy Uof MInnesota 1970. Auroral Research Byrd Station, Antarctica 11/1960-02/1962. MINNEMAST curriculum dev 1964-68. Woodstock. faculty Pima Community College, Tucson 1974-1997. Transdisciplinary scientist, philosopher, educator, futurist, activist. PC user since 1982. "Wife". daughter, 2 grandsons. 5 dogs & 7 cats. Lacks mental imagery in all sensory domains.

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