Design In Nature -6-

Design In Nature: “As we have seen time and again, the constructal law was just waiting to be discovered. Its manifestations are so obvious and ubiquitous that we have danced around it for centuries—the hunches of scientists, the metaphors of poets and mystics, and everyday language (for example, “the tree of life,” “go with the flow,” “the path of least resistance,” “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em,” “all roads lead to Rome”) suggested a phenomenon they could not quite capture. So it is with hierarchy.”

KB: In point of fact “Natural Dog Training” did capture this concept twenty years ago. NDT made a distinction between the group, the dynamic flow system that emerges in hunting, versus pack, the dynamic charging system that generates the tension to be released in hunting. It recognized that social behavior had nothing to do with selecting a leader or control over others or over resources. The canine social structure is a hierarchy of feelings, i.e. desire relative to inhibition, so that each individual self-segregates vis a vis its respective comfort level in regards to stress. Given how the animal mind composes a sense of its “Self” it thereby becomes impossible for two beings in an interaction to have the same emotional response to the same emotional charge. They will end up mirroring each other (enabling this is the fundamental function of sexuality, personality, learning) so as to compose the flow system. Because Natural Dog Training used the language of flow, as in a current of energy, flow of drive, phase, harmonic pathways, access channels, paths of resistance, attraction, the book was mislabeled as “New Age.” Now it’s gratifying to see the language of flow starting to become part of the behavioral lexicon in terms of how social structures attain their design. While I can understand why one could reasonably believe in dominance as an explanation for social behavior, I believe that after reading “Design” there is no way any reasonable behavioral scientist can continue to believe in a dominance or submissive impulse as a legitimate description or definition of animal behavior. But this is just the beginning. The mind of the animal is an energy circuit that sustains itself over time (by turning energy into information that maximizes the flow of emotion, emotion becoming unresolved on its way to being resolved, E->UE->RE) and this understanding will completely displace the current talk of high cognition and Theory of Mind which is how the various canine experiments are being interpreted. The logical extension of “Design In Nature” is that we can see inside the dog’s mind (if that is we don’t project thoughts onto what they are doing) because what’s going on outside, by definition is simultaneously happening inside. The brain and body form the mind as an energy flow system. Since all of nature is organized according to principles of flow, this is true of the animal mind as well. Two dogs make one mind. What’s going on between them, is going on within them as equal but opposite, i.e. mirror images, emotional counterbalances of each other. Until they become a counterbalance, their energy of unresolved emotion can’t flow. They must synchronize, combine and release in phase in order to persist over time.

Published March 14, 2012 by Kevin Behan
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