Systemacy in yoga Systemacy in yoga

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כבר 17 שנה

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Systemacy in yoga

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Chapter 17

There is not karateka here, you will not grunt, flying up, «kiya!», the right to escape is here posthumous: to pull  ring – and from the black sky, from the ninth level of the "ego" cold asterisks fall on your face, and space will collapse; there will not be even a hole to appear as a mouse before eyes of the featureless BIOS in order to pray for karma. In rules of this game there are no reincarnations, but only a cold restart.
Vladimir Strochkov

What is the sense? Seeing a growing green tree and having experience, we know that it has the roots concealed from direct perception. In this case, visibleness is an incomplete picture; however, if the tree lives, hence it has roots.

The determinant factor of survival is the perception of environment; the perceptual process is a part of an independently functioning mechanism which has been built in each human being.

The purpose of the given chapter is to try to clear up the system aspect of yoga, thumbed strongly by esoterica. The visible world (space) is an infinite hierarchy of the "nested Russian dolls" (in mathematics it is called recursion). The characteristic spectrum of regularities is realized within the limits of every "Russian doll layer" of the organized matter, and at the same time each of the layers has a set of areas of the contact with neighboring layers.

G. Bateson asserted that borders of a subject do not coincide at all both with the surface of his body and with volume of the brain, as separate sites of communication connections, through which the information goes, are located outside of organism.

There is a question: Does the full cumulative mind (further in the text – FCM) have borders and if yes where is it located? In fact exactly it always consumes a part of the total information capacity, providing the individual with an adequate reflection of the world.

The ego is an isolated part of psyche, a short-range "device", intended for the solving of operative tactical survival problems and having the inherited body, last name, first name, and patronymic. The part, by definition, is never capable to control the whole. Mental characteristics (properties) are inherent in psychosomatics as a whole; still nobody managed to grope a border where matter passes directly in the mind. Psyche is not located in the brain – if only we do not consider its private mental characteristics.

Interweaving cause-effect chains of our world form a field (continuum); the Huayan school of Chinese Buddhism called it the Brahma’s net. The part of field is formed by the closed contours – living organisms in habitat, computer terminals, ecosystems, society, etc. In networks of such type, events in any point of a separate contour influence in the course of time on its other points and parts; prior to die away completely, the influence bypasses the whole contour or a local site of the network. 

Prigozhin calls such systems the open ones as they exchange the information and substance with the world around. The planet’s biosphere, society, and each separate organism can be considered as a stable (during a certain time) "knot" of feedback loops, hierarchically connected with similar formations of different level of complexity. FCM perceives and fixes the whole information coming in system, including the body and its processes. The operative mind (consciousness of the personality) is inherent in any set of the components possessing a sufficient degree of complexity of cause-effect chains and certain energy relations (it is one of the hypotheses of today).

At each point of time, on the "screen" of vigil consciousness is displayed an optimum quantity of information, a sample, having made by FCM. It is not accidental, however it is nothing known about rules and principles of its forming. Certainly, it is connected with the purpose; in the theory of functional systems by P.K. Anokhin, the purpose is a useful end result which is ideally imagined by the ego.

What is a goal-setting? It is a voluntary or an inspired choice of a private problem for its posterior logic and operational realization, construction of a logic scheme of proposed actions which should lead to the predictable result. However no scheme is capable to take into account the tendency of the whole field of interactions, as it is a simplification of its isolated (more or less known) site. The actions realizing the local model break, as a rule, the strategic context of internal and external events, and also the quality of their system interrelation. Any, even the most faultless action (let alone the actions dictated by emotions) in some measure deforms the web of the universe. And the further this action is from unconditional necessity, the more massive are infringements; transnational companies, for example, are not concerned about biosphere condition at all, their problem is to increase in any way the momentary profit.  

Every morning the person wakes up to join into process of the solution of a large number of problems what demands an intellectual, physical, strong-willed, and neuropsychic concentration, a continuous effort which is actually life.

Certainly, the operative mind (ОM), the personality, somehow contacts with FCM, but this contact is frequently blocked by the overloaded subconsciousness, besides ОM always receives from FCM a truncated information sample. As a result of summation of these two factors arises and increases the difference between the image of the subject about his life and its real situation.

 The Gazprom shareholders gathered at their next meeting solve the problem of increase in dividends, they are not  interested in the taiga entirely flooded with oil, as well as the fact that today's superprofit received by such price is the future stolen from own children and grandsons. Shareholders narrow logic up to borders of a particular problem, consciously leaving from systemacy, that is why the solutions accepted out of context will be temporarily favorable to them, but in perspective – globally destructive.

If the usual censorship of FCM complicates adaptation of the subject to external circumstances only hypothetically, so the selection of goal based on desires, having nothing in common with necessity, destroys the systemacy of human behavior, while animals do not make any decisions different from the context of their individual, and thereby of the global survival.

Thus, the true interrelation of organism, psyche, and the world escapes from us. Localization of the subject in space and nature of his perception are those that consciousness perceives not full loops of feedbacks (the general sense of processing), but only separate, limited sites of these cause-effect small chains fragmentarily "coming" to light (as the crone of a tree being watched above ground) and forming in the truncated picture of the world.

If separate individuals give measurably in to the system correction through art, religion, philosophy, so concerns, trusts, companies, political parties, etc. are superior to this. And as exactly they make decisions operating energy resources and the enormous masses of people, so further developments are destructive. People, observing exclusively corporate interests, operate as a dehumanized, manic ego; crowd erases individuality.

If a subject wants to realize and take into account influences of  "neighboring" levels of the usually not perceived reality, he should use for this purpose methods which are not included in the usual spectrum of activity, for example, yoga.

System forces (factors) which for the present keep our environment (area of the universe) in a relative balance can be called by any means, for example, God. Wisdom of the person and society consists in comprehension of the total systemacy of the world and its taking into account in their actions.

Sense organs are receivers, converters, and information bearers. The mind operates not with objects or events, but their neurochemical equivalents arising in perceptual process. These are signal "packets", going from periphery to structures, making decisions. Each adult has an individual set of tracks of mental activity (attractors), generated by experience. The information transmitted from periphery to the brain, is repeatedly recoded. Let us according to Bates name these information "packets" as transforms. They possess the nature of corporal "hardware", and a site of spectrum of these transforms, directly "observed" (realized) by the subject, forms self-awareness and mental space.

What is the information exchange? It is a process in which the minimally necessary and sufficient part of the message clears up for the perceiving subject its rather full sense, but on the certain conditions.    

Let us suppose that A has copied in his notebook a text from the notebook of B, and after studying this text, some problem for A has cleared up. At the same time, an outside on-looker will not find out in the notebook of A any new information in comparison with that was available by B, records are identical. The whole point is that the information is not isolated, after the act of communication it was added to that was earlier already possessed by A, and in the context of available data this information has ordered or added it.

When the subject is on the information border, "dissecting" reality (or something happened) into the visible (understood) part and the concealed from perception one, to comprehend the sense – means to distinguish by the mind what is inaccessible to direct observation, similarly to the tree roots, hidden in the ground.

It is sometimes difficult for us to catch the evidence of processing, exactly because psyche is a self-correcting system, which for reasons known only to it (though on this point there are many guesses and hypotheses, for example – Uznadze’s attitude theory) filters perceived. By the same token, I shall repeat myself, FCM has no opportunity directly to inform the part of the structure called the personality.

TV screen does not show information on collection of processes creating the video picture; it is created not for this purpose. An additional report on an observed part of the process of supporting would demand additional capacity and circuits of the contour what, by-turn, would demand it again, etc. If the whole information on processes of internal organs and systems goes in ОM, the person will run mad, therefore on the "screen" of consciousness are reported only out-of-band messages about internal malfunctions and failures.

The conclusion from the above is such: each next step (action) on increase in consciousness will withdraw the system still further from it. The animal completely stays in the present situation; therefore its dependence on memory data   is much smaller than one of the person.

Of what expansion of consciousness can we speak, if the proportion between awareness (degree of involvement into the present situation) and consciousness (taking into account of the past and the future) should continuously vary, providing the maximal adequacy of reflection! 

The maximum (expansion) "smearing" of consciousnesses on the present situation means the loss of information depth (memory). In absolute awareness is a sleepwalker going on the eaves; the unconscious, rescuing his life, provides a high accuracy of his actions. However, it takes only to return by a hail the sleepwalker into context – usual perception – and he falls. The full awareness, possessing high value only under certain conditions, has an especially applied character and in no way deserves the status of the best reality.

As a rule, at present time the subject mainly realizes what corresponds with a concrete desire or with a solution of the current task. I repeat once more: consciousness is a tactical mechanism, searching for the shortest ways of the problem-solving; it is not capable to function with account of a wider range of consequences, and it makes wittingly the most part of actions erroneous in terms of the strategic plan.

Ego-consciousness takes from the information given to it by FCM, only such sequences of events which have no loop structure, characteristic of a comprehensive whole. As FCM, as well as the world around, is not linear, so it makes the person blind concerning the true nature of the ego and the world.

Distinctions between FCM and mentality of the ego are fundamental; for example, the comprehensive whole is not a transcendent essence what is usually attributed to the ego. Ideas or thoughts only can be inherent in the network of cause-effect chains functioning "on" distinction transforms. The information structure of the subject is not limited by consciousness, including, on the one hand, outside conscious psychic processes, on the other – ways of information transfer located outside of the body.

Freud and Jung expanded area of the mind deep, having united the body and the unconscious, Bateson has introduced the concept of external information contours. He asserted that the intelligence is inherent not only in the body with the built-in brain, but also in information "armature" located outside of organism. Besides, according to Bateson’s hypothesis, only the biosphere possesses the full mind which, probably, is equivalent to God, and a human individuality is only one of the billions subsystems. The similar view emphasizes negligibility of the subject and strongly belittles the arrogance of the ego.

In a continuous process of goal attainment, we, being guided by so-called common sense, sooner or later appear among chaos in what we blame our own foolishness and more often the society. The logic and expediency do not provide today the universal solution of both private and global problems. Except for these secondary parameters of the order, each individual should have, whenever possible, a harmless and effective way of organic fine tuning to structure of world interrelations. And by means of yoga and creativity, we act in a much more full, than usually, contact of the ego with FCM.

In 50th years of XX century for flight from goal-setting in the West were used psychodelics, later – holotropic breathing, but, in my opinion, all this has not justified themselves. Opponents can object that situation is actually ambiguous: on the one hand, pop versions of the mentioned techniques (rebirthing, vivation, and kosyachoks of hippie) have certainly proved their ungroundedness. On the other – a number of directions in psychotherapy (holotropic breathing, narcoanalysis, etc.) worked and continue to work with a certain use and efficiency. But I think that the optimum synthesis of two complementary aspects of life (a goal-setting and a system one) can be provided only by inclusion of traditional yoga in life.

«A breeze will spring up – and bamboo will rustle. The breeze will dash away, and bamboo will cease. A flying goose will be reflected on the surface of a frozen pond. If the goose flies away, there will be no shadow of it on ice. The nobleman reflects on affairs as they rise before him. Affairs will pass, and his consciousness becomes empty» («Aphorisms of Old China», p. 109).

The tragedy of a Westerner consists in that his vigil consciousness is never free and hence does not know rest. Unceasing run outside and inside – that is our cross. Let us recollect Thomas the Athlete: «Woe unto you because of a wheel which rotates in your thoughts». People feel a sharp necessity to slow down internal vanity, but do not know harmless and reliable ways. Logic speaks: if consciousness loses mobility, it will cease to be vigil. But it is not so, yoga enables the temporal inhibition of mental activity, and the benefit from it is invaluable.

From the point of view of psychophysiology the quantity increase of the information, perceived by the subject, and acceleration of its processing should be compensated by increase in quantity or improvement of sleep quality. One can see in the society neither that nor another; on the contrary, the sleeplessness among middle-aged people gets a mass character. Under these conditions the actuality of yoga grows: it offers a specific work of the body in a state, which is yet not a sleep, but already not wakefulness; just under these conditions psychosomatics regenerates itself.

Let us address to concept of homeostasis. Any biological system can be described by a system of the interconnected variables which, strangely enough, carry the name of constants, for example, acid-base indicator, red blood count, hemoglobin, organ sizes, their form, etc. These relatively constant, quantitative characteristics are within the limits of acceptable (reference) values. Their quantities migrate between the upper and lower bound, the system has freedom of maneuver. When under influence of stress one or several variables accept the quantities close to the limiting ones, the system in respect of them strains, losing its adaptable flexibility.

All constants are interconnected, when one of them is strained, so, no matter how little varied the rest, they in spite of everything will press on it. Thus, flexibility (adaptability) gradually has been loosing by the whole system. In extreme cases, it will admit only such changes which shift limiting borders of a "strained" variable what strengthens the pathology.

Among a great number of others there is a human constant called the general flexibility (mobility of the joint-ligaments apparatus). It is known that asanas practicing strengthens it up to some degree; many schools of «modern yoga», both in India and behind its limits have transformed it into the end in itself. Flexibility is a natural reserve of change of the corporal form. Regularly and softly, in a full relaxation, giving to this constant in asanas limited values, we lead the system to the adaptive rigidity, in response it changes borders of tolerance of this regularly strained variable – flexibility grows. 

Frequency of touching borders of this variable becomes criterion of its changeability; in other words, by means of Hatha Yoga, competently and variously "straining" psychosomatics, we create for it an additional safety factor, for if the given variable – the mobility of the joint-ligaments apparatus – for too long remains within the limits of average values, it is fixed. At the same time the given contour of feedback becomes maximally rigid, and it is dangerous. I know a case when a very elderly person, standing on a step-ladder, made a twisting movement, intending to put flowers on a shelf, to the right of himself, and at the same time he got an instant fracture of spinal column in three points.

The physical practice of traditional yoga, loading the body in the resource-saving mode, increases stability of system constants of the first kind, at the same time ranges of adaptation can reach surprising limits. And then we see a yogin, who is equal indifferent to heat and cold, presence or absence of sleep, carrying out a heavy work without rest, with a minimum amount of food, and so on. Organism always aspires to have a safety factor for any constant; in practicing asanas, we regularly deprive it of flexibility stock what leads to its increase up to natural borders.

I many times had to see, how people having big problems with their health, in two-three years of practice reach the system state. In their life everything stands in the place what was disharmonious – in the world outlook, family, work; adherents of yoga start to see the world «through their eyes and not by them» (Blake).

The system behavior – perception and the account of pulses from FCM had been described by Paul Valery. He spoke: there is what the person does, and there is what is done by itself. What means to do? It means to collect something step by step, to mount, and to make up by piecemeals. But if it is possible to make something so, it means, the same always can be made in another way. However, we cannot consciously summarize all information flows: the subject does not dispose of work of perception; he can only aim it at something. Thanks to yogical self-adjustment in case of need and in the necessary situation, decision-making mechanism works outside of consciousness and its control, being accompanied by unmotivated, but correct actions.

If there is certain completeness, named as God, it is impossible to stay in it by the mind, but only by all, without withdrawal, parts of the essence. The focused look not always can distinguish new; for this purpose, one need the absent-minded consciousness in which something crystallizes due to minimal influences, those system forces which consciousness in its usual tone does not notice and does not catch.

What filling should consciousness have in asanas? Has conscience content? It is simply the clear internal voice, in which there are no criteria or attributes according to which we can beforehand define what deed is a conscientious and what one is not. Conscience is clear, but pointless as well as consciousness in practice of yoga, and this devastation is accompanied by absence of any expectation

« … To think means to be suspended in a pointless state and be capable to wait» (M. Mamardashvili). The idea is not born by an effort or desire, one should create conditions and keep them in time, as asana which I simply do, carrying out requirements of technology and then, sooner or later, there is rest. And it cannot be accelerated by any manipulations; own activity blocks the true understanding, everything what the person does from himself is vanity of vanities as it is told by Ecclesiastes, only mental silence induces self-adjustment to the higher. During mastering Hatha Yoga get tied up threads of events putting in the system reality, but when only logic operates, as Wittgenstein has told, it is a hell.

 On May, 5-15 2001, Rome- Frankfurt – Moscow

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