Complex Networks & Simple Disease Page

The East West Healing Arts Center, located in Oakland, California, and in Talent, Oregon (between Medford and Ashland) is the originator of MindMapping®, BioImaging® and innovators in theoretical and practical development of the next medical paradigm. We provide excellent natural medical care and nutrition counseling & coaching. Contact us by phone to find out more at 541-535-4325 or email us.

In this web-site are reflections of many languages and systems of our body. Scientists have studied languages, cells and biochemical systems and have found they are all have two important underlying themes. They are the themes of Complexity (systems described by the science of Complexity and Chaos theory) and Networks. Each of the 27 systems we have found in humans and discussed individually elsewhere in this website is a complex network. This page covers notions of health and disease in the intersection of current trends in scientific thought and ancient Chinese medicine. A new paradigm is emerging.

Complex & Simple Page Table of Contents

1) Health, Longevity & Disease: Complexity & Networks

2) Psychological, Energetic & Cultural Diseases

3) Sacred Knowledge

4) Misapplied Scientific Belief Systems Bind Our Possibilities: Between the Solid and Gas is Fluid

5) Chaos: Disorderly Order, or is it Orderly Disorder?

6) Tao of Surfing, Tao of Dancing

7) Chinese Medicine: A Chaos Science Before Its Time

8) Summary So Far


Health, Longevity & Disease: Complexity & Networks

Ideally, each network is constructed of a small number of highly connected hub areas and a moderate number of moderately connected hubs, lots of small hubs and lots more nodes. In the enzyme system there are key hub proteins or minerals that are critical for life. In the Spirit level these are central beliefs that are critical for accomplishing (or in disease-- sabotaging) our calling in life. When these hubs are damaged our lives are damaged. Biologist estimate that the average human life span has the potential for 130-150 years. Instead, it is the rare individual that lives to this advanced age though the ideal is part of every culture. Western mythology has Methuselah. The Chinese refer to a distant past golden age when the sages lived to be ancients. Bottom line: to Live Longer and Live Stronger we need to do something more intelligent than most of the world around us is doing.

Although the average age of humans in Western society is higher today than 150 years ago this is mainly a reflection of fewer people dying (often children) dying in epidemics, infections from trauma, and fewer young women dying in childbirth. Most people in the past who avoided these fates lived about the same life span as today. Longevity myths are covered in greater detail on the Home page. However, the trend towards longer life span has reversed and for the first time in a century children of developed countries will not live as long as their parents.

Unless the paradigm changes that is.

However, while we eak out a few more quantitative number of years the quality of health in this modestly longer life span is increasingly poor. Most people in our culture have chronic medical conditions by middle age. Most people think this to be expected with age. Many others think this is an aberration, perhaps an abomination. Much of this decline in quality of life and health is avoidable by your individual acts and health choices and by your social activism.

We think the normal pattern of our lives should be living to a vigorous 130-150 with no chronic conditions, unless caused by trauma. Then in the last days or hours of life systems quickly deteriorate and we die without the long lingering illnesses of today. The norm should be a compression of morbidity (sickness) into the final moments of life.

The pattern we see today is very different. Our biological aging outpaces our chronological aging. Many people are damaged at birth by nutritional choices of our parents, and in infancy by childbirth practices and in childhood by chemical exposures, stress and continued poor food choices. Our networks are already suboptimal and unstable from childhood. We have tested many children and track the emergence of disturbances driven by lifestyle and stress.

Fortunately as children the many unnecessary problems that are already present have yet to manifest fully. When we are young most problems are still just functional diseases, not yet organic pathology. But if untreated these problems will multiply over time in episodic fits and jumps. By the time we are adults multiple organs are already damaged. The deepest organic pathology in 40 year old's averages between 4th to the 5th Reckeweg phase , with the 6th phase being necrosis or cancer.

If this subject is of interest to you and you wish to learn more, contact us by phone at 541-535-4325 or email us.


Psychological, Energetic & Cultural Diseases

And if our physical systems are burdened and failing then it should be no surprise that our psychological and energetic systems are equally damaged. The extent of damage is roughly proportional to age. We test infants and find them usually with little or no organic pathology and just a few set patterns of psychological fixity and trauma. By the time we test school kids we see more damage to major hubs in biochemical and bioenergetic physiology. No one seems to enter adulthood in this culture without every major psychoenergetic system showing damage. The sole exception to date was an Indian yogini who had several psychoenergetic systems still reasonably intact.

We are not living up to or as long as our physical potential for health and longevity. Below we discuss networks and non-linear systems (the kind that don't have straight lines, predictable effects or exact easy solutions) as a way to understand our health and longevity. The weather is a non-linear system that has a kind of unpredictable order, as anyone who has depended upon a weather forecast knows. Clouds always look like generic clouds but are never exactly the same. Life and people are also like this. It makes life interesting. But just as adding a lot of heat to the local weather can create a damaging inferno or storm, adding too much change while reducing the intelligence of our network to cope with change creates chronic stress, which can create a storm of illness in the body.

Obviously some forms of damage are far less serious, e.g. more functional and socially acceptable than others, but any damage is suboptimal for the individual. When, we as a group, are becoming damaged in the process of growing up, then this is not a simple failing of individuals, but rather, a damaging sickness in our culture. When almost the entire population is damaged at both the physical, energetic and psychological levels then the prevalence of chronic disease is explainable in the individual as is the cyclic level of large scale violence and stress in societies.

Conversely, when the problem can be identified clearly, then positive change is possible. Assuming the will and the vision. This is not utopian. This is merely recovering the potential inherent in our genome that is being adversely impacted by our immature culture.

If this subject is of interest to you and you wish to learn more, contact us by phone at 541-535-4325 or email us.


Sacred Knowledge

One of our clients struggled with how to describe for herself our term " sacred knowledge". She finally said "Sacred knowledge in that which our communities and families cannot live well without."

Our family structures and our larger institutions are missing the wise and sacred knowledge of health and longevity. Key hubs in our culture are damaged and individuals fail to take key developmental steps to create healthy hubs within themselves. Some pages on this site look at the hubs of our psychological selves. The Mind page refers to the many psycho-energetic hubs that ideally give us a range of perspectives and stability in the face of life. If this subject is of interest to you and you wish to learn more, contact us by phone at 541-535-4325 or email us.


Misapplied Scientific Belief Systems Bind Our Possibilities: Between the Solid and Gas is Fluid

Isaac Newton's linear equations helped us understand how planets move and solid balls collide. Boyle's statistics helped give us a mathematics to describe how uncountable molecules of random gas behave on average collectively and how pressure occurs. But neither of these forms of science and math are well suited to help us understand vast areas of complex human scale phenomena from how water moves in a river, smoke rises, leaves fall, or the majority of how the dynamic networks of life work. These are better described by Fluid dynamics.

Fluid dynamics boil down to one central equation, the Navier-Stokes equation. However, this equation is non-linear. These kind of equations have the seeds of the unpredictable, of Chaos, and Life, within them. Engineers attempt to keep this turbulent disorder confined so things flow smoothly and predictably. Most of life doesn't work this way, it is non-linear. Non-linear simply means that results may not be graphed by straight lines. In non-linear systems a tiny change in the starting conditions results in very different patterns over time, unlike well behaved linear equations. As the numbers that drive the magnitude of these non-linear equations increase, the patterns that emerge are complex beautiful scale-free fractal shapes. But push them an increment too high and the patterns can suddenly give way to periods of bizarre behaviors of bifurcations and periodic randomness.

The idealized "rigid solid" of Newton and the idealized "random gas" of Boyle are inadequate to describe complex systems and networks. However, they are analogously descriptive of the two main simplifications life defaults to when it is unable to cope with the bifurcations and periodic randomness hidden in the non-linear equations as the "stresses" of life "increase the numbers". These analogies will be used below to describe systems in diseased states. If this subject is of interest to you and you wish to learn more, contact us by phone at 541-535-4325 or email us.


Chaos: Disorderly Order, or is it Orderly Disorder?

A new science called "Chaos" has emerged that describes complexity: from fluids in motion and the complex boundaries as liquid becomes gas or solid, to ecologies and population fluxes, to stock market variations.

I designed our logo (above) in 1983 before Chaos was an everyday concept in the West. It is implicit in Eastern thought. It's stylized binary yin and yang symbol has a simple yes and no given by solid and empty lines, which may then be paired with another yes or no. The double black line representing (nearly) all Yin or 1) yin within yin. Opposite that is a double white representing (nearly) all Yang or 2) yang within yang. Then the next iteration of possible mixtures of the binary yin and yang is 3) yang within yin and 4) yin within yang. These suggest the ever greater shading that we can give phenomena. Yet it is still a linear or "Solid/Newtonian" framework. However, these 4 sections subdivide into a silhouette of moving fluids as they transition from order (linear) in the center of the Logo to turbulence (non-linear) at the periphery. The balance at the center of the Logo is quickly lost to wild gyrations, dancing on the edge of chaos. SImilarly, our health is dancing on the fence of turbulence between the static solid and the chaotic gas.

This is meant to suggest that you can never step in the same river twice, that no repetition is ever repeated exactly and that there are multiple dimensions of complexity that we can categorize only approximately. And unfathomable Chaos is only another turn of the turbulence away. The nature of complexity as represented in this turbulent fluid roil is that to make a tiny change in this fluid flow at any point near the center will soon results in a big, but unpredictable, difference in the in the shape of the pattern. The Tao is to be Sacred Knowledge that allows one to surf the times of great order, avoid complete disorder, and find and nurture the hidden order amid the apparent Chaos. If this subject is of interest to you and you wish to learn more, contact us by phone at 541-535-4325 or email us.


Tao of Surfing, Tao of Dancing

Life surfs this wave of turbulence as we deal with internal flows of body fluids, biochemistry, or deal with the tides and ripples in the flow of relationships. Although we may occasionally ride in the calm waters near the serene center, and a daily practice of visiting this center through Tai Chi, meditation or yoga, is very healthy, the dance will inevitably move to the wild gyrations of the turbulent. The Tao of health and power is to be always present to surfing on the turbulence, constant balancing, a graceful dynamic dance. If we fail to surf gracefully, letting ourselves be swept off our surfboard into maelstroms of whitewater, letting our response to the music become random reactions or fixed predictable patterns, then we become ill.

The iterative equations that describe this complexity of life show non-linear jumps to strange worlds when you put in bigger numbers, input more stress. In this was the Mandelbrot Set is a strange zoo of shapes within shapes within shapes that as you go deeper into new iterations always hover on the brink of a recognizable leaf or snail or cloud and then suddenly repeat, but not exactly, the mother Mandelbrot shape seen long ago. As the "numbers increase" the chaos equations produce toxic patterns. The specific patterns are the definable character of different diseases. Every disease is different in the unique human that manifests it. Still a kind of recognizable "strange attractor", a similar class of non-linear equations gives each disease a recognizable shape, though the details change. If this subject is of interest to you and you wish to learn more, contact us by phone at 541-535-4325 or email us.


Chinese Medicine: A Chaos Science Before Its Time

Traditional Chinese Medicine theory has always been concerned with the deep mysterious attractors that define an underlying order of health and the order within a multitude of diseases. Chinese scholars characterized attractors metaphorically, not in rigorous mathematical formulae. They choose metaphorical terms of "Damp" and "Water" and "Fire" in the context of "systems of correspondence".

But being a practical people they also dealt empirically with the signs and symptoms they saw and came up with practical and effective solutions. Ideally, the solution dealing with the root background pattern would create a snowball effect that would resolve the stem symptoms. Sometimes an herb was just really good for a symptom and their philosophical system of categorization and metaphor would not predict it. In that case they just noted the empirical fact that exceeded the theory without getting too exercised about it. After all, the theory was primarily descriptive, not proscriptive or prescriptive. But the very flexibility of the model can easily shift theoretical justification to theoretical rationalizations after the fact.

But the ancient insight that it is better to understand the pattern that is driving a whole group of symptoms then suppress the symptoms one-by-one is still important and often missed in reductionistic biomedicine. Now, with the arrival of the methods to describe Chaos we finally have a means to take Traditional Chinese Medicine theory farther, give not only a descriptive but predictive tool to practitioners, and have tools to progressively clean out the cluttered attic of notions that make some superficial cynics dismiss Chinese medical science as a quaint anachronism. Communist scientific materialism attempted just such an ideologically based clean up in the 1960's but lacked the tools to properly evaluate what to keep and what to discard.

Disease is not a static "thing", disease is not a "I got ________ ". It is the unfolding of a deep and hidden pattern through time. Beneath the "course of the disease" is a particular non-linear equation, an attractor that creates a particular sort of shape. Knowing this dynamical structure gives us a different way to approach medicine that feels analogous to what the traditional Medical Arts of China came to. This formulation explains the taxonomies of disease laboriously compiled by biomedicine, yet breaths the life of motion back into neat cubbyholes of diagnosis. A motion that is different in every person who has "got" the "same disease".

If this subject is of interest to you and you wish to learn more, contact us by phone at 541-535-4325 or email us.


Summary So Far

So to sum up, a new mathematics, science and medicine of Chaos has come to describe many real-world behaviors with deep patterns that have recognizable shape, yet never repeat exactly. In medicine the patterns can be a dance of health or an infinite variety of disease.

Chinese medicine attempts to define a key finite group of attractors that pattern disease singly and in combination. It also defines health not as an absence of disease diagnosis but proactively as an attractor call the "Tao", or Path. The Tao is also a prescriptive practice to enhance one's capacity for dynamic balancing equilibrium and longevity. Systems that are built upon this rich dance of complexity, dynamic growth with intelligent pattern, are interesting. Life always has this richness. Life is a self-organizing complex web of connection that gives life it's life. When life's patterns are the most responsive, intelligent and information rich then it is in a healthy pattern. The opposite case describes disease. Disease is not as intelligent, interesting, flexible, or dynamic as health (though from the point of view of a pathogen, it increases it's intelligence and complexity as the infection proceeds).

The new science of Chaos finally gives us a rigorous way, even a mathematical way, to understand the inherent complexity, unpredictability, and intelligence of these networked complex systems in health and disease.

If this subject is of interest to you and you wish to learn more, contact us by phone at 541-535-4325 or email us.