Assume Responsibility for Your Stress

How these four basic properties can be orchestrated to provide the physical basis for the incredible richness of nature and of human life and interaction on this earth is to me the most awesome and profound question. As a physicist I can understand how two hydrogen atoms and an oxygen atom can combine to form a water molecule, and how water molecules can agglomerate to create the exquisite hexagonal symmetry of a snow flake. But understanding the principles of the marvelous organizing action that utilizes these innumerable quantum electrodynamic “tools” as agents to fashion the creatures of this earth, I believe, is a challenge that will be with us far into the indefinite future. These tools have been used in life’s entire evolutionary process from the assembly of molecules to form first, bacteria cells, then the host of plant and animal species, and finally humans and their consciousness. Each breakthrough to a higher level of complexity was carried out as the result of incessant probing and testing by a multitude of these tools, restlessly and unremittingly experimenting in search of a higher level of complexity or organization.

So it is today that the primary physical basis for our life and consciousness depends on these tools. Their extreme subtlety is quantified in experiments in microbiology, which show that voltage gradients as low as one ten millionth of a volt per centimeter and frequencies between 0 and 100 cycles per second are involved in the interaction between cells in living creatures. All plant and animal life is bathed in, and interacts with, a sea of such very low frequency radiation that envelopes the earth. This is independent of the radiation superimposed by technology. However, our life today is involved with electromagnetic phenomena to a far greater degree than this. Virtually all of modern technology depends on electromagnetic interactions for its operation. This is so from the precisely focused laser beams for eye surgery to the massive motor generators furnishing electric power for our homes.

Indeed our increasingly intimate interaction with our technology (cell phones, computers, robotic devices, organ implants, etc.) suggests that it will be a vital adjunct to our future evolution. In effect, we are already co-creators of it. Furthermore we are almost entirely dependent on electromagnetism and its radiation for our knowledge of the microscopic and cosmologic worlds. There is no quantum measurement that does not need some electromagnetic interaction for its accomplishment. Essentially all of our information of the cosmos is transmitted to us via some part of the electromagnetic radiation spectrum. Even the observations based on neutrino and gravitational wave detection use electromagnetic technology to effect a measurement.

Clearly one could continue indefinitely giving examples of how universal electromagnetism and its radiation are in our internal and external experience. For no other phenomenon of physical nature so totally and intimately permeates and affects our lives and our world, providing the means by which we can in turn sense the sacred in all of earthly nature. This vibrant indwelling in nature is given testimony in writings of mystics and in scriptures from Saint Francis of Assisi and Jalal adin Rumi in the West to Lao Tzu in the Tao te Ching in the East. I find one of its most beautiful expressions in two lines of Wordsworth: “In gentleness of heart; with gentle hand Touch – for there is a spirit in the woods.”

Moreover, a central feature of physical nature is light, which is electromagnetic radiation. Light has served as a primary medium for the spirituality of men and women since the dawn of human consciousness. It has been an essential component in the creation myths of cultures worldwide. It has been the principal focus for the spirituality expressed in rituals of religions throughout the world for millennia. Theologians from Saint Augustine and Joannes Philoponus to Robert Grosseteste have pondered and contemplated on its spiritual significance, giving us penetrating, and in some cases remarkably predictive, insights. It is this abiding reverence for nature, this perception of its being spiritually imbued that prompts me to posit that the ubiquity of electromagnetic phenomena on earth is an evident and compelling analog for the ubiquity of God’s immanence. But I need to emphasize that electromagnetism is not God, nor God’s immanence, but it is a provident means for us to have some conception of the nature of that immanence. I hold that it should be considered as such by any theology that seeks to interpret nature.

In forwarding this view I readily acknowledge that the other three physical forces, the weak, nuclear, and gravitational, can arguably also be considered as reasonable analogs for divine immanence. For example, it is the nuclear force that provides the vast majority of mass to all of matter and hence affords us a sense of substance and tangibility and so could be considered as a metaphor for divine inherence. Even more convincing is the gravitational force that provides the mutual attraction between every mass in the universe, however infinitesimal.

Even so, although each has a vital function in making possible our existence, none of these three forces can compare with the versatility, diversity, and scope of the electromagnetic force in providing the physical basis for the awesome plethora of creations on this earth, including us. Throughout evolution it is has played this special role virtually independent of the relatively passive and inanimate background role played
by the other forces. Some who are more physics-oriented may wonder about the fact there is what is known as the electroweak theory that received its first strong experimental support about twenty years ago. This theory jointly describes the electromagnetic and weak forces from about one billionth of a second after the big bang, when they were indistinguishable, to today, when they behave quite differently. So today the weak part of the electroweak force cannot do any of the wondrous things the electromagnetic part can do that I describe here.

These wondrous things, these indispensable undergirding phenomena, do not seem to be considered very much in the science-religion dialogue in recent years. Most of this dialogue has understandably drawn on the biological sciences: evolutionary biology, zoology, anthropology, neurology, and studies of the brain and consciousness etc. But in our passionate search for a deeper understanding of the wonders of complexity, perhaps it might worthwhile to take a backward glance at the physical instruments that are used in achieving this complexity. Should we entirely take for granted the necessary in our devout quest for the sufficient? These physical instruments, these electrodynamic phenomena, place limits on, and help define the nature of, the complexity we seek to comprehend. They provide the prerequisite physical grounding for all living complexity. To understand more clearly the nature of this grounding, let us reflect on the fact that we and all living nature are carbon-based species.

So let us consider the carbon atom. 99.97% of its mass is concentrated in the nucleus at its center and occupies some one trillionth of its volume; the rest of the volume consists of six electrons of very small mass and trillions of force-carrying photons that keep the electrons in their orbits. Therefore there is a vast array of electrodynamic phenomena that fills the overwhelming majority of the world’s space, so that we ourselves are immersed in an ocean of electromagnetic events; in fact we are part of the ocean. This helps me see these electromagnetic phenomena as constituting the furthest frontier of the physical realm probing with its sensitive tendrils into the unknown gap between that realm and the realm of the conscious and spiritual. Thus, it plays an unique role in our unending search for a fuller cohesion of the whole continuum of existence from the material to the spiritual.

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in the magazine section of our web site. Metanexus welcomes submissions between 1000 to 3000 words of essays and book reviews that seek to explore and interpret science and religion in original and insightful ways for a general educated audience. Previous columns give a good indication of the topical range and tone for acceptable essays. Please send all inquiries and submissions to Dr. Stacey Ake, Associate Editor of Metanexus at <mailto:ake@metanexus.net>.

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IV. Footnote;

1. Abraham Maslow, view the following link to learn about his five levels of Human Needs; Physiological, Safety, Love and belonging, Esteem and Self-actualization. Maslow taught that a small group of people reach the highest level called self-actualization, where all of their needs are met. This is when a person finds ones “calling.” He says “a musician must make music, an artist must paint and a poet must write.” Many people confuse self-actualization with fame or fortune, but often this is not the case. Many psychologists, Wayne Dyer included, believe that most people who have reached the highest level of happiness are unknown beyond their circle of family and friends. not argue or foster conflict, one just stays above it. Just chance the subject. Winning does not ever count, because the ego has been shed. You have internal peace. They begin to develop a culture and an advanced civilization. Dyer helps one reach this type of personal goal of individual inner peace and contentment, by in part, by giving up the ego. He teaches you how to attain this objective.

Maslow’s book, “Toward a Psychology of Being” is worth studying, to understand where Wayne Dyer is coming from in his work. That is the objective of self improvement by working ones way up each of Maslow’s human levels, listed above.

( http://www.mrdowling.com/602-maslow.html/ )

ADDENDUM:

J Psychosom Res. 2003 Oct;55(4):309-16.

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Physiological correlates of burnout among women.

Grossi G, Perski A, Evengard B, Blomkvist V, Orth-Gomer K.

National Institute for Psychosocial Factors and Health, Stockholm, Sweden

OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to investigate the immune, endocrine, and metabolic correlates of burnout among women. METHODS: Forty-three participants with high and 20 participants with low scores for the Shirom-Melamed Burnout Questionnaire were compared in terms of subjective symptoms, job strain, social support, plasma levels of prolactin, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha), transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta), C-reactive protein (CRP), neopterin, serum levels of dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate (DHEAs), progesterone, estradiol, cortisol, and glycated hemoglobin (HbA1C) in whole blood. RESULTS: Besides reporting more job strain, less social support at work, and higher levels of anxiety, depression, vital exhaustion (VE), and sleep impairments, participants with high burnout manifested higher levels of TNF-alpha and HbA1C, independent of confounders including depression. CONCLUSIONS: Among women, burnout seems to involve enhanced inflammatory responses and oxidative stress.

HCMJr Note: Much of the above is associated with the effect of stress has on Mg and MgD. HbA!C is a diabetes marker.

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