Thermodynamics and the Mind
In regards to a discussion on stress as a form of emotional “heat” Lee found a study that seeks to objectively quantify the experience of stress.
“Human Psychophysiological Stress Indices Using Thermodynamics”
(ARPN Journal of Engineering and Applied Sciences Vol. 7, No. 6 June 2012)
My theory is that stress, or Unresolved Emotion, forms when Emotion meets with resistance, and since this is inevitable, the body/mind is constituted as an emotional battery, it stores a physical record of emotional experience. (See last weeks “Sixty Minutes” piece on autobiographical memory, I believe this is physical memory that these rare individuals somehow have access to.) Furthermore, the acquisition and resolution of Unresolved Emotion has a specific direction towards increasing complexity. In other words, the only way an organism can experience Resolved Emotion is by participating in a network of inter-affiliations which thus augments the flow of all these affiliated systems. And in other, other words, the first experience of flow the newborn infant experiences, is recapitulated later by participating in the flow that sustains the complex configuration within which it has become a constituent. It turns out that this theory I arrived at in the 1980‘s, is now being verified by the latest understandings in Thermodynamics, most especially the Constructal Law, and collective animal behavior as well. E-->UE-->RE is a thermodynamic process UE polarizes individuals so that they will configure in a predictable manner, and then the movement towards RE adds new energy by incorporating objects of resistance into that configuration so that it will persist.
In the study mentioned above these particular passages stand out.
“When we look at the human psychophysiological (mind/body) system from a thermodynamic perspective, the dichotomy between mind and body states cease and they become one energy system governed by the law of entropy.”
“At a macroscopic level, the human physiological system behave like a magneto-electro-mechanical system, producing physiological signatures.”
“Cartesian mind-body dualism and modern versions of this viewpoint posit a mind thermodynamical unrelated to the body but informationally interactive. The relation between information and entropy developed by Leon Brillouin demonstrates that any information about the state of a system has entropic consequences. It is therefore impossible to dissociate the mind’s information from the body’s entropy. Knowledge of that state of the system without an energetically significant measurement would lead to a violation of the second law of thermodynamics.”
NDT doesn’t posit a mind thermodynamically unrelated to the body. These were conclusions I arrived in the late seventies/early eighties by learning to see behavior in terms of the immediate-moment and as a function of attraction. An understanding of flow and resistance, embodied by emotion and its counterpart stress, logically follows. It then became clear that the only language that is accurate in explaining behavior are the principles of physics. Thermodynamics and the inverse relationship between emotion and stress is the only model which can smoothly encompass the phenomena of learning, sexuality, personality, memory, neotony, evolution and domestication.
Since processes of the body are far older than processes of the mind, we could expect that not only are body and mind wholly integrated, but that the entropic, informational states of the body are predicates for processes of the mind. Therefore the human intellectual view of causation, i.e. the mind thinks--the body acts--and then effects are caused, is not likely shared by the animal mind which would see a change of events through a thermodynamic lens as in: “I feel---things change--then I act. The action then quickly becomes proactive and so it appears to us as if the dog perceives change and its role in effecting and responding to change in the same way we do. In other words, Pavlov’s dog feels it gets the food because it salivates. It is not salivating in anticipation of the food. Salivation is what tasting food feels like, and the feeling is what a dog weights as causative, not its actions.