Tag Archives: human brain

primordial process



No  things, no time,

Just Process

Process, Process.

Continual becoming,

Such pressure ongoing!

Creation from  whence

The Big Bang  came.

But it’s happening

All the time,

All the time.

But I am here with a vertex

A point of view

A perspective

Anything can happen

Tho’ common things

Happen frequently.

Everything is everywhere

All the time.

Just wait and observe.

By the Law of Least Action

At random apparently

The universe is built.

Common events occur commonly

And I can choose

As I am conscious

And have free will..

The builder?

The Everything

And Anything

The Source

Of love and power.

Is Everywhere.

So something is observed

By me

But I did not create it.

And spacetime begins.

It is always beginning

And always ending.


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Carl Sagan and the Human Presence on Earth

What a magnficent contribution to our understanding of ourselves and our part in the Universe Carl Sagan made. Transformational!

north american prehistoric rock art: a cosmology


This carved rock surface is about 6,000 years old from the Cumberland  Plateau of the Appalachian mountains.


neuroplasticity: our brains change continuously during our lives


Identical twins have always been fascinating. How can one tell them apart? How do two individuals with identical genetic information in their body cells grow up to be separate different people? Previous work with twins showed that the influence of their genetics and environment on average each contributed 50% to their behaviour.

Modern work on the cells of the brain indicates that there is much more flexibility than previously thought and that in many ways the brain is very malleable. Not only do nerve cell processes change with time, but new nerve cells can appear. So although there is an intrinsic pattern laid down initially, this is continually being modified as the result of experience of environmental stimuli. As no two people’s experience is identical, even twins, their brains gradually diverge, becoming more and more different. Recent work by Julia Freund and others on mice has examined this process in greater detail than ever before.

This neuroplasticity is important because it provides the potential for change under the right circumstances: For example in education, recovery after injury and in therapy. For example learning a foreign language or to juggle three balls in the air can be shown to lead to changes in the pattern of brain scans.  During meditation in some cases specific changes can be seen- in other words the brain can change itself!  This has been called self-directed neuroplasticity.

gormenghast, is this our future? (or our grandchildren’s)




A relic of civilization survives.  Is this our future?  John Grey gives his thoughts on this massive work by Mervin Peake who grew up in China which heavily influences his writing.  He was also a superb illustrator.  Is the coming century China’s? Only time will tell.  Strange that the USA with its Constitution enshrining individual liberty and justice for all should sacrifice them so easily in its war on terror.  Is the USA, currently the world’s dominant superpower, going to buckle in the face of the increasing influence of China?


A more distant viewpoint was taken by Olaf Stapledon in his very influential and prescient writings (Last and First Men 1830, Starmaker 1938) which describe the rise and fall of civilizations over millennia.



hypothesis-a generalized process cycle: emergence and disappearance of universes and other entities


It is notoriously difficult to explain how  the world we live in is a product of processes rather than objects.   Since before the time of  the  Buddha and Heraclitus there have been individuals who have been sensitive to the concept and have tried to explain it. For example  recently these ideas have been explored  by James Whitehead and David  Bohm among others.


This core teaching  the Buddha is difficult to fully understand at first glance, the full profundity of the doctrine takes time to unfold in the mind. The difficulty is that the teaching is describing processes which are invisible  not objects. Though it does incorporate cause and effect, of necessity, it is much more subtle and fully comprehensive.

For example take the surf around a desert island:

this being, that becomes…………………follow the surf. It is there as a result of the island having formed.

Arieal View Coral Island wallpaper

From the arising of this, that arises………follow the surf, the island is a process continually arising that creates surf; the surf itself is a process that continues

Arieal View Coral Island wallpaper

From the cessation of this, that ceases……..the island is overwhelmed by the rise in sea level, there is no surf now.


This not being, that does not become………….the island never formed, or has yet to form. there has never been surf.


The Buddha often used this fourfold structure to hang teachings on, it’s easier to follow and remember if there is a structure, especially as the teachings were never written down at the time.

For example: the Four Noble Truths leading to the elimination of suffering mirror the above:


Modern ideas about our universe are developing rapidly, and normally data are presented to show the emergence of it from the Big Bang  plotted against time. This figure is credited to Steven Hawking. It shows an origin of the universe  followed by a complex  process evolving over time.


In the context of the above diagram the graph plotted below is of the quantum fluctuations including the situation prior to the emergence of a universe.  The y axis shows  ENERGY LEVEL or TEMPERATURE which is a reflection of the energy level, there is no scale but it goes from infinitely large to infinitely small.  At the high region there is a situation with a combination of high energy and high organization.  This is beyond our comprehension at present, some have called it the Generator Of  Diversity or GOD.

On the  x axis is plotted the ENTROPY or degree of organization; highly organized to start with but with increasing disorder with time .  An example is dropping an egg on the floor and smashing it, decreasing the organization.   This increasing entropy  prevents the evolutionary process of a universe  being  reversible, one cannot put Humpty-Dumpty back together again.  Also indicated on this axis is the PROPORTION  OF MATTER to ENERGY present running from there initially being 100% energy at the left hand side,  to there being 100% matter on the right hand side of the diagram.

Definition of  Universe:

A  (nearly) self-contained entity emerging out of quantum fluctuations through which energy flows continually creating structure which evolves, so creating a process which humans experience as  time.  The example Heraclitus used was a river, the energy producing its transient structure being the potential energy of the water lifted to the watershed through evaporation from the surface of the sea.   Note also that a river is also a product of an evolutionary process over a long period of time.

A diagram of the steady state from which universes emerge and evolve.  The big bang is not a unique event but a stage in the evolution of a universe.  The energy flux driving  the events shown in the diagram exists throughout whether at high or low absolute energy levels continually creating all energy and all matter.   The origin of this flux is unknown, perhaps the equivalent of Vishnu.

The open triangle 1 4 5 8  represents the path of the evolution of a representative universe.


1  Big bang, the dimensions of the universe emerge.  For arguments sake let  it be our universe with the creation of 3 dimensions of space and also time. There is a set of infinite  possibilities that can arise during this process of individualization of a potential universe at this stage, the choice of dimensions and the setting of the constants, the initial mass/energy ratio and its configuration are influential.  How many potential dimensions are possible is unclear.  Perhaps axis is a better term to use. As well as the space  and time we recognise and related axes one can imagine one might consider including spiritual axes:

suffering/joy Buddhism

grasping/rejecting Buddhism

flight/fight  Bion

introvert/extrovert Jung

thinking/feeling Jung

sensation/feeling Jung

2 Evolution of universe as diagram above.  Emergence of forces and matter from the original energetic state

3 Life may or may not evolve. (See 6).

4 Let us assume that this universe continues to expand and becomes  colder and colder.  Matter and energy may be lost (or gained) through evaporation of black holes or quantum effects at temperatures approaching absolute zero. The universe may stay like this for a very long time but will eventually evaporate..

5 The universe may exchange mass or energy with other universes and lose entropy relatively rapidly.

6  Niches exist where  life can emerge.with a combination of  low entropy and relatively  low temperatures.  Complex self-replicating  structures can arise with a flow through of energy being used to sustain an evolutionary process, in a way being miniature universes . These are virtually self-contained , but linked systems driven by the energy of chemical reactions (archaebacteria), of the sun (plants) or energy generated by the metabolism of food (animals)  can evolve.  In some situations this can lead to form, sensation, perception, mental formation and consciousness (the 5 Buddhist skandhas).  Consciousness, as defined here, is the awareness of one’s presence in the universe, of other conscious entities and of a kind of  spiritual dimension one is part of.  The spiritual dimension will be discussed in a subsequent post but to paraphrase, the arising of a Buddha in a universe (which is a rare event) is Awareness becoming aware of Itself.

7  Living intelligence may give rise to machine intelligence which has a wider range of conditions over which it can function.

8 In some cases a universe will rapidly collapse, the material in it reverting to the primordial state so completing the cycle. The energy from the collapsing process being used to eliminate the entropy and regain the ordered high energy state but with loss of information.   It should be noted that self awareness allows living creatures to influence their environment and the direction of its  evolution consciously.
G B Clements May2013

100 followers, thanks for being a friend

To say THANKS to all my followers! There are over 100 of you now who follow this rather eccentric blog.

You must find somethings at least of interest otherwise you would be ‘here’ virtually speaking.

I have not been able to thank many of you for the follow for a variety of reasons, often it is difficult to find a field to just

say a simple ‘Thanks’. But I have looked at your blogs to a greater or lesser degree. They are fantastic, bubbling with ideas and


traditional chinese medicine…………..tui na

The traditional Chinese medical system is one of the most ancient in the world. It is holistic, individually adapted and emphasises moderation, prevention being better than cure.

There are five branches of the ancient Chinese medical system.
Tui na
Qi Gong
Herbal medicines

Tui ne is relatively unknown in the West, though referenced over 2500 years ago in the Yellow Emperor’s classic text on Chinese medicine. It is closely linked to meditation and martial arts:

jung talks


Jung ;Face to Face