Duality physiology and homeostasis
Physiologically, the body’s internal systems have the ability to quickly adjust the imbalances caused by variations of the environment and maintain internal balance that the body needs to ensure their health: every cell, every organ and every system of the body needs a stable environment for function properly; this balance was named homeostasis in 1932 by the American psychologist Walter Cannon. Thus, the duality between internal and external environment medium is balanced effectively.
At the level of the nervous system have another source of duality: here homeostasis means integrate the vast amount of received signals, generated both internally and from the outside through the senses; all these data, which may even be contradictory, walk a hierarchy of levels of integration, from the tiniest of nerve endings, through the spine, to the reticular formation of the brain stem, where it connects with the brain . This hierarchy of levels integrates all the signals, eliminating contradictory dualities and data so that we could say that the total amount of data is integrated into a higher unity, something like 1 + 1 + 1 + … + 1 = 1.
Unintegrated psychic duality
On the other hand the mental state, because that is generated in the brain, which has connections with the entire nervous system, which depend on the control signals to achieve homeostasis, can generate significant biological alterations, that is, to alter physiological homeostasis, as is studied for psychosomatic medicine. Anxieties, frustrations, repressions maintained over time can cause diseases such as gastric ulcers, hypertension or diabetes. This would not be too problematic if the psychic state having a homeostatic mechanism as has the physiological system; but the fact is that there is no such mechanism.
Because of this lack of psychic homeostasis, the tendency is to constantly oscillate between contradictory states of mind, and our mental life is generally more or less unstable. To achieve the necessary balance, we turn to religions, ideologies, opinions and social conditions, etc., they do not solve the duality, just trying to hide it. An integrating mechanism for all psychic states, often contradictory and therefore dual, so we recover the functional unit we enjoy physiological and nervous level is missing.
This homeostatic mechanism of mental life may come from, I believe, the development of higher consciousness; a higher level of consciousness than the ordinary type which is not new, contrary have numerous testimonies of its existence in many different cultures for thousands of years. When we entered that state of consciousness, we recover the lost unity: according to those who have experienced it, all mental states are subordinated and integrated into that unit, the mind quiets and deepens awareness, solving conflicts on the mental level, such as in the plane of the nervous system, and thus the necessary homeostatic balance is restored.
The psychological ego
Besides the lack of psychic homeostasis, there is a second factor that hinders us to operate integrated: the ego, the psychic construction consists of a set of ideas about ourselves and the world. Born of our own body image, called “body schema” hosted in our brain (specifically in the areas of the thalamus, and parietal lobe diencephalon) is the representation we have of our own body, built in our childhood. Then, it is strengthened by the integration of the individual in the family, in society, in ideological groups, political, religious, reinforcing the idea of ”I am this and this and this, and I’m not that or that or … “.
Identification with thoughts associated with their valuation as desirable or undesirable, can easily degenerate into endless discussions, grudges, clashes and even murders and wars: the undesirable opposite the ego, must be subjected or exterminated. In many of these cases, an individual ego integrated into a society has no leeway: you must choose sides and be a hero or a traitor. Judging these claims as exaggerated can be dangerous: the ego has produced from family breakdown to great wars, and could even lead to the extinction of humanity.
So now we see that the problems of humanity, both individually and collectively, do not have a source external to man, as may seem at a cursory glance, but originate within him, in his psyche. Therefore, the solution can not be external; by many United Nations and NGOs we build, they will be only patches. The solution to our malfunction must be in the same place where the problem originates: in our inner life.
Then, the study of our interiority is revealed as the most pragmatic of science, we really need in our present state of evolution. It has become clear what scientific and technological progress give to human welfare externally, and it is also clear that progress has not solved our internal problems, sometimes even seems it increases: financial crisis, nuclear weapons, global warming Overall, etc.
At this point, it’s time to explore the inner man deeply with all the mechanisms we have: mind, science and even technology. Science discovers the laws of nature, but what are the laws of our interiority are? We need a science of interiority to restore the lost balance. In short, we return to the old aphorism:
Know yourself, inscription of the temple of Apollo at Delphi, Greece