The World in a Grain of Sand
To see a World in a Grain of SandAnd a Heaven in a Wild Flower,Hold Infinity in the palm of your handAnd Eternity in an hour
-William Blake, ‘Auguries of Innocence’
The radiolarians are among the most beautiful microbial eukaryotes. They are significant components of the marine plankton and are characterized by mineralized cytoskeletal components that appear as nested spheres and spines; so that they often look like as tiny free-floating star-bursts.
When large numbers of them and their planktonic relations get together, they look like this;
Yes, that’s right, ‘the white cliffs of Dover’.
There is a lot we miss when our ‘world view’ amounts to what we see when we look outwards through our natural human-sized sensory equipment; i.e. without electron scanning microscopes built into our eye-sockets we miss the view of the world seen by radiolaria, a very ‘artistic’ world featuring fractal symmetries in elegant arrangement.
But that’s not all we miss. Visually, our mind is attracted to ‘what lights up’ and we tend to ignore ‘those places ‘where the sun don’t shine’’. But those are the most active places, where there is continuous movement’ connected with the ‘flow of life’. We all have the ‘geometry’ of tube worms where the dark spaces associate with continuing flow which is the mother of the developing biofilm (flesh and bone) that is gathered by the flow. As Nietzsche and Lamarck rightly suggest, form develops from flow in a manner wherein ‘outside-inward influence predominates over inside-outward influence’. For example, convection cells [play videoclip just below] ‘form’ in a situation of spatial-relational imbalance in thermal energy distribution, they are not the result of ‘genesis’ that pushes forth inside-outwardly from out of their interior, as it is convenient for us to portray them [see www.goodshare.org/torus-animated.gif ].
In this Bénard cell [convection cell] video, opaque particles have been added to ‘trace’ the flow so that the ‘cell walls’ are simply the regions of vertical flow where there is a relatively higher density of flow-tracing particles. Cells form as the fluid warms [from the bottom] and tries to expand laterally across the bottom. The easiest path for the fluid to accommodate this expansion is to rise to the surface. As the rising fluid ‘boils’ to the surface, the excess fluid arriving at the surface pushes apart laterally and having been cooled relative to the deeper,warm, rising fluid, descends once again to the bottom. There is thus a net ‘radially outward along the bottomdue to surplus from expansion’, ‘vertically upward’ and ‘radially inward due to surplus quantity and descent downward due to cooling [rising density relative to warmer fluid]. The development of the cells; their form, behaviour and organization is the ‘result’ of spatial imbalance in thermal energy in the overall body of fluid, … the cells are not ‘things-in-themselves’ that can cause the disturbance; i.e. in their evolution, outside-inward influence predominates over their inside-outward influence. As with the whorl in the bathtub water when the plug is pulled, the genetic force does not originate in the centre of the whorl-cell, but from the outside-inward flow in the fluid medium or ‘spatial plenum’.
Genesis, genetics, Darwinism are an over-simplistic way of understanding ‘evolution’ which postulates a God-like power in the interior of things that is imputed to be responsible for the development of form, behaviour and organization, … giving us this sense that organisms are self-animating machines whose form, behaviour and organization pushes forth out the interior of themselves; i.e. as if in denial of the reality that the dynamic space they are included is the predominant source of ‘genesis’ of form, behaviour and organization [essentially tipping upside-down the whole notion of ‘genesis’ from the real world situation wherein outside-inward influence predominates over inside-outward influence, to the synthetic view in which the source of genesis of form, behaviour and organization is ‘absolute’ and originates within the interior of the ‘forming’, ‘behaving’, ‘organizing’.]
For the real source of the evolution of form, behaviour and organization, we have to look ‘where the sun don’t shine’, into the ‘body cavities’ which channel the flow which nurtures the biofilm development at the margins of the flow. Referring back to the radiolaria, the flow-spaces around which the biofilm-body of the radiolarian forms, can be illuminated by using the negative image, as follows;
In this ‘inverted view’, we have an opportunity to see ‘flow’, the primary source of the precipitating of the bio-matter; i.e. the brightest light corresponds to the locale of the most active ‘flow’.
So, what we have to decide is whether the ‘flow’ which all our experience says is the persisting source of the world dynamic, is the engenderer/developer of form, behaviour and organization in the world, … or whether, at some point in the development of the world, things ‘flip’ and flow becomes something that comes from the pumping action of the material structures that have gathered in the flow; i.e. a ‘flip’ in which ‘flow’ is no longer understood as the fundamental quality of space, but is instead seen as the product of a local, independently-existing material system, notionally with its own locally originating, internal input-output process driven development of form, behaviour and organization.
The Earth’s form, behaviour and organization has developed in a manner wherein outside-inward influence has predominated over inside-outward influence [the Earth is not a local, independently existing organism or machine that would have us understand ‘flow’ (the flow of inputs and outputs) as something that is locally originating and local internal process driven. Meanwhile, ‘flow’ dominates in establishing the ‘persona’ of the earth as the following animation suggests wherein hot plumes of material flow from the core and the outer shell forms from the congealing slag. This flow has no ‘local genesis’ but is sustained by outside-inward influence that predominates over inside-outward influence [the earth is in conjugate habitat-inhabitant relation].
Note that there is no local centre of genesis of flow; i.e. it derives from the conjugation of outside-inward influence and inside-outward out-fluence. This flow is continuing and we who keep emerging generation after generation are included in it.
As Emerson notes in ‘The Method of Nature’, the ultimate animating source (UAS) resides in the energetic medium of the continually transforming ‘spatial flow-plenum’.
The animating source is spatial-relational energy imbalance, as in ‘weather cells’;
Now, the blue and green colours represent thermal energy difference which is the animating source of the development of form, behaviour and organization in the condensation based weather cell.
Ideally (meaning ‘in abstract model terms’), we could focus in on the developing form, behaviour and organization as if it belonged to a ‘thing-in-itself’ in which case we would have to notionally equip it with its own power of inputting and outputting, turning it into a local, independently-existing pump; e.g;
This would, of course be taking the shortcut that Kepler notes that science is fond of doing; i.e. “choosing that which is not most true but that which is most easy.”
By taking the blackboard eraser and simply brushing off [out of sight, out of mind] the spatial-relational energy imbalances that are the primary source of emergent development of form, behaviour and organization, we are left with a ‘notional ‘thing-in-itself’ that has some God-like powers of absolute first-cause creation or ‘genesis’ (of form, development and organization) in its local interior.
Visually, it may be difficult to ascertain whether outside-inward influence predominates over inside-outward influence in the development of form, behaviour and organization; e.g.
Which influence predominates in this apparent ‘pumping’ action, the outside-inward influence of the fluid spatial-plenum in which the form is included, or the inside-outward action of the form?
Keep in mind, that it is our intellectual habit to impose absolute space framing on visual objects wherein ‘space is rigid and cannot bend’. Of course as relativity and quantum physics tell us, … that is our own self-imposed constraint. As Poincaré observes;
“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, ’Science and Hypothesis’.”
If space is ‘made of wave energy’ as our scientific inquiry informs us that it is, and space can bend [there is no reason why it cannot] then there is no reason why NOT to understand the above animated graphic in terms wherein ‘outside-inward influence predominates over inside-outward influence’ [Nietsche, Lamarck, Mach, Bohm, Schrödinger], and that could hold true for any organism including the human organism, and indeed, for the entire ‘animate realm’ [there would be no need to split the world into ‘animate’ and ‘inanimate’ realms; i.e. what was being called the ‘animate realm’ would now be seen in terms of an entity characterized by toroidal flow [input and output relative to a locally persisting or standing-wave form] of a type in which outside-inward influence predominates over inside-outward influence; i.e. there is no need ‘invert’ the ‘genesis’ of the form, behaviour and organization of material entities and impute it to lie within their ‘local interiors’, making them into notional ‘local, independently-existing machines’ [pumps whose drawing in of inputs and discharging of outputs is deemed to be locally originating and internal process-driven].
The earth is in fact one of those forms, according to physics, and it has been theorized by biologists, because of the overall interdependence of dynamic processes on/in the earth, that the earth be considered to be one big ‘living organism’ [the ‘Gaia’ hypothesis].
Acknowledging that the notion of local internal genesis of development of form, behaviour and organization derives from “choosing not that which is most true but that which is most easy” will free us from having to extend the notion of ‘organism’ all the way up from the radiolarian to the planet earth [and beyond] and instead allow us to accept the finding that evolution is a process of flow wherein outside-inward inflow-ence predominates over inside-outward outflow-ence [Nietzsche, Lamarck].
Additionally, our habit has been to approach ‘organization’ using this same ‘local internal genesis’ model. When we speak of ‘top-down’, ‘centre-of-intention’-driven organization; i.e. the sovereign state, the corporation, the biological organism, the machine, our ‘self’, … we think in terms of an internal, CONTROL-BASED creative process wherein the development of form, behaviour and organization of the entity is driven and directed ‘inside-outwardly’. This is the archetype for Darwinism/genetics. our belief in ‘Darwinism’ and ‘genetics’ is therefore a kind of delusion infused into the dominant culture which permeates mainstream science and the general social dynamic. The illusion that a local organization can determine its own future form and condition ‘from its own internal centre-of-intention’, as if it’s ‘personal will’ prevails, absolutely, over the dynamic [flow-]space that both engenders it and holds its continuing destiny in its hand, is ‘Utopian’, absurd and, in short, ‘unrealistic’. This is the ‘insanity’ that infuses oppressiveness into our living space that anarchism seeks to find the antidote for. At the core of anarchism is a ‘realism’ that can not physically flourish until and unless a wooden stake has been put through the heart of the Darwinist/genesis Utopian ‘belief system’ that is currently the predominant animator of our social relations. It is only the ‘belief system’ (confusing internal genesis for reality) that ‘must go’, there is no problem in using ‘tools’ to aid our understanding, the problems arise when ‘the tool runs away with the workman’.
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