Like Sang, I am reading “Design In Nature” and I’m going to post a series of quotes as I go through, some of which are instantly translatable into NDT terms. I don’t want to leap to a conclusion without reading and digesting the book in its entirety, but the resonance is so far pretty overwhelming. In the 1970’s by learning to interpret animal behavior in terms of the immediate-moment, or emotion, it became clear to me that the experience of flow was the organizing principle of animal behavior, not the actual consequence of any given action. Meanwhile behaviorists project thought/intention onto behavior and think they are seeing competition and the seeking of specific goals, a cause-and-effect, risk/benefit analysis over time. Furthermore the universal feeling of flow that is the same in all emotional beings, organizes the many into the one. I’ve since come to call this dynamic the principle of emotional conductivity which I presume the author would call the constructal law. So the reason there is friction between animals is not due to competition, but because in that particular moment they can’t interface in a way to replicate the principle of emotional conductivity. This then makes unresolved emotion, which emotionally ionizes (internally) and polarizes (externally) their body/minds and in response to how unresolved emotion (stress) makes them feel, inspires them toward a more complex social arrangement that can resolve their mutual unresolved emotion by working together toward the path of highest resistance. Social structure flows from the flow of emotion, it isn’t emergent as if it came out of thin air, and it isn’t something that the animals have “figured out.” They felt it because it is the only thing that feels right according to the way their body/minds are ionized and polarized.
I am optimistic that this book may help me make the argument that anatomy plays a bigger role in consciousness then the central nervous system, as anatomy, physiology and neurology are all predicated on emotion, the physical embodiment of the laws of nature, in other words, the way consciousness focuses energy to move objects on planet earth.
From the introduction in “Design In Nature”
Zane, J. Peder; Bejan, Adrian (2012-01-24). Design in Nature: How the Constructal Law Governs Evolution in Biology, Physics, Technology, and Social Organization (Kindle Locations 393-398). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
“Step two is to recognize that all flow systems have the tendency to endow themselves with a characteristic that was not recognized until the constructal law—design. This property includes the flow system’s configuration (the architecture, geometry, shape, and structure) and its rhythm (the predictable rate at which it pulses and moves). Design does not emerge willy-nilly. To know why things look the way they do, first recognize what flows through them and then think of what shape and structure should emerge to facilitate that flow. The configuration of a flow system is not a peripheral feature. It is the defining characteristic. In later chapters we will illustrate this by showing how the shape and structure of seemingly disparate phenomena—including rivers, fish, sprinters, economies, universities,the Internet—are predicted by the constructal law.”
In NDT parlance: The Information is in the Energy. When we want to give our dog new information, we want to affect the way its body/mind is ionized and polarized by directly accessing the universal emotional dynamic. We do not think in terms of rewarding or inhibiting a behavior. Rather, the flow of emotion through his body/mind is what informs his brain how to perceive and therefore respond. So first we induce a dog to project its “self” into us so that we can become part of this flow of emotion and thereby affect and inflect its internal processes. (Of course all training by definition is doing this, but we want to be doing it consciously and directly and proceeding according to principles of nature rather than human reason. We want to participate directly in how the dog is focusing its emotional energy into Drive.) What’s going on outside between dog and handler, reflects what’s going on inside the dog’s body/mind. We learn to access and manipulate that flow of energy which raises our vibration in the process. That is the essence of Natural Dog Training and makes it fundamentally different from other approaches that consider the dog as a being separate from its surroundings.
“Design In Nature”
“The constructal law also teaches us that evolution can be observed at all timescales, including during our own lifetime. When we speak of rivers and animals evolving to increase flow access, we are describing very gradual changes. But when lava generates design, droplets of liquid splash and splat, lightning bolts crackle in the summer heat, and snowflakes form against the winter sky, we are witnessing evolution right before our eyes.”
NDT: Animals learn according to the laws of nature. In other words, the phenomenon of learning is the same as the phenomenon of evolution. Darwin considered domestication to be evolution on fast track, learning is evolution on hyper-hyper fast track. When we watch two dogs meet and greet, we are watching step-by-step (via ionization and polarization) the evolution of sociability unfolding right before our eyes. In other words, nature doesn’t leave evolution up to the animals to figure out. Sociability is a principle of nature.