Review of Chapter 5 of Matter into Feeling – Dr Fred Alan Wolf.

The Curve of Life

Life is a balance between transformation, and resistance to transformation. It is a balancing act between living and dying on a cellular level. We are popping into existence and out of existence all the time, there is no permanent self. Each self momentarily arises, emitted like a photon of light, travelling through space and carrying out the action required of a particular self. Each self lives for a tiny millisecond and then dies. As soon as one dies another one arises. This concept brings a whole new understanding to the buddhist teachings on impermanence.

The Bell-Shaped Curve of Life 

Life pops up and evaporates like bubbles of foam, arising and disappearing all at different times. And what is interesting is all these selves that emerge moment by moment form a pattern. The pattern that emerges follows the statistical path of the bell curve. That means that each self that bubbles up is mostly in the middle of the bell curve with under 2 standard deviations from the centre. So each self mostly agrees with the self that emerged before. This can be explained by the principle of homeostasis. This refers to the theory that the system attempts to reinforce and maintain a steady average behaviour. Another principle we are also driving by is that of Heterostasis which aims to seek a goal or maximum condition, This looks for the outlier and likes extremes. Our thoughts, feelings, hopes and dreams are influenced by homeostasis and heterostasis.

This is an interesting look at the nature of reality and the principles that underpin our experience of being a consciousness in a body. Where does it leave us in terms of autonomy over our own lives, and power and control.

Marianne Love