Persistence Archetype

6 minutes


Life does not die. The Living System inhabiting Earth has suffered many serious setbacks in the last three+ billion years but has always bounced back seemingly more robust and resilient than before. One can be tempted to think that Life thrives on challenges. The Archetypal Frameworks underpinning Life promote an extremely sturdy system. The bedrock framework supporting all of the more specialized archetypes is represented here as the Persistence Archetype. The Persistence Archetype is the essential quality Living Things manifest to endure, undeterred by challenges.

The Persistence Archetype, along with the Creation Archetype, encompasses indispensable attributes shared by the entire Living System inhabiting Earth. How Life discovered a toehold that allowed it to persist through time is the foundational mystery of biology, which we understand fundamentally no better than when our forefathers accepted that the forces supporting Life were solely the intent of our God(s). The questions “How does Life persist?”, or “What is Life?” are the most profound mysteries of the universe. We do, however, have tools that assist to better clarify the outlines of this mystery, enabling us to make observations about the nature of the foundations of Life on Earth.

BEING
Nearly all of the mass of Living Things on Earth lives purely in the present moment, in the realms of the Persistence and Creation Archetypes. By weight, a minuscule fraction of the total organism of our planet has invested significant resources in movement and formulating intent, while the vast majority is quite content to simply Be. For better or worse, our species fall into that small faction, supporting complex neurology dedicated to tasks. The more energy that is invested in actions, the more remote the experience of Being becomes, so much so that for our species the experience of simply “Being” can appear inaccessible. Doing is such a core attribute of our lineage that it is discussed as a more specialized archetype in the DOING ARCHETYPE section. For us to put aside our impulse to “Do”, and enhance our experience of “Being” requires some diligence. The method which is recommended here involves “tuning into” those aspects of ourselves that we share in some fashion with all Living Things. These aspects have no awareness of, or use for the passage of time and are therefore fully active in the present moment. As one focuses on the cyclical patterns of Living Things one steps out of linear attention and becomes more aware of the present moment.

CYCLICAL ACTIONS
At their most foundational level, the processes that consolidate into a Living Thing are cyclical. Cyclical processes require a steady-state environment to evolve and to be refined within. They unfold wholly in the present moment and an attribute of the archetype of persistence is that all of its qualities occur now. This cyclical quality at the root of Living Things is also our root experience of being alive, where the living processes cycle underneath our consciousness. However, we have added layers of complexity as our ancestors evolved, one of which is the conscious mind, and it can be challenging for us to experience this cyclic, present moment experience of ourselves as Living Things. This subject is discussed in the paper on animals utilization of the dimension of time:
TIME

/Cyclical actions require a stable environment – Stability

ANTHROPOSOPHY
“Anthroposophy is a path of knowledge aiming to guide the spiritual in the human being to the spiritual in the universe.” Rudolph Steiner

Here Persistence is perceived as the act of Becoming, of coming into existence. That which already exists no longer exists, only that which is emerging actually exists.
BAY AREA ANTHROPOSOPHY
From this perspective the only “real” archetype discussed in this section of papers is Persistence.

GENETIC CORE
Almost all of the information contained in living things is contextual. Skin coloration filters Ultraviolet Radiation from the sun – the farther north one is, and therefore experiencing dimmer sunlight, the lighter one’s skin tone is to facilitate Vitamin D synthesis – the closer to the equator one gets, the more important blocking the mutating effect of Ultraviolet Radiation on DNA becomes. Another example is our Neo-Cortex, which exists because some mammals found utility in complex strategies and tactics, bequesting a unique cognitive faculty generationally progressing through their genetic legacy.

The core information required to assemble the essence of a living thing sans the type of contextual addition in the examples above is estimated to be as few as 600 coding segments (genes). Having persisted for well over three billion years, the expression of these ~600 genes is as close to immortal as anything we can conceptualize – persisting as a three billion-year-old living thing. As all of us contain this core unit of code, as does every living thing, it follows that this attribute of ourselves is our expression as immortal beings, as attributes of the immortal being inhabiting Earth.


PAPERS RELATED TO THE PERSISTENCE ARCHETYPE

ENERGY
A key finding that is relevant to all of the evolutionary steps discussed in these papers is that transitions require energy. The phase transition from ice to water illustrates this well. When ice melts it’s temperature rises to 0°C and then stops as the ice accumulates energy. The ice remains in a stable state at 0°C until it has accumulated enough energy, and then cascades abruptly into water’s liquid phase. Major evolutionary transitions coincide with large inputs of energy (the last two major evolutionary transitions followed catastrophic meteor strikes). This hints that the emergence of Life also coincided with a large input of energy.

Dr. Masaru Emoto’s Micrographs of Frozen Water

As far as we know water is essential for life, so much so that it is used as the key metric in the search for life on other planets. The organic chemistry of Living Things is based on chemical reactions influenced by water. The structure of water, therefore, plays some role in how these organic reactions progress. The physics of water is extremely complex and hard to model. We are able to notice subtleties of this complex physics by freezing water. Dr. Masaru Emoto’s microscopic images of water crystals show the effect on the structure of water caused by influences of the nearby energetic field. It is likely that the energetic field around our bodies has a similar influence on our organic chemistry through its interactions with water. The images in the video are suggestive of the intrinsic qualities of the underlying energetic framework required to enable the persistence of living things over billions of years. (The six-sided symmetry observed here is reminiscent of the archetypal qualities of the foundational geometry of organisms discussed here: TRIANGLES AND TETRAHEDRA)

Energy is the Staff of Life. A commonality to all Living Things is that they require continuing sources of energy. This paper discusses this foundational reflex to align with energetic resources:
THIRST AND HUNGER
and this paper on Breathing in the section on the Metabolic Core also relates to this discussion:
BREATHING

PROTECTION
Protection is a special case of being. The default state for an organism is to be openly engaged in the cyclical processes that enable the persistence of living systems. When non-steady-state conditions emerge Living Things benefit from being able to discern detrimental conditions and then respond protectively. The ability to respond protectively evolved in complexity along with the other qualities of Living Things.
This is discussed in the section on:
PROTECTION


META READING

As species become more specialized, Archetypes facilitating those specializations can be observed. The Archetypes discussed below are those which are also specific to our lineage, becoming incrementally more focused on the peculiarities of our species as we diverged towards our unique niche from our common ancestor:
CREATION ARCHETYPE
DOING ARCHETYPE
SOCIAL ARCHETYPE
INTELLIGENCE ARCHETYPE
an overview of the qualities of archetypes:
ARCHETYPES

Archetypes are elemental qualities that express both in the anatomical structure, and the forms creatures embody to interact with their surroundings.
The Structures associated with the Persistence Archetype are discussed in the section on the:
METABOLIC CORE
The Forms associated with the Persistence Archetype are discussed in the sections on:
ALL LIVING THINGS and ANIMALS

Discussion of the attributes of a Living Thing, in the context of the emergence of our species, is facilitated by finding perspectives from which these attributes cohere into a framework within which the attributes form relationships. The frameworks discussed on this website can be found here:
EVOLUTIONARY PARADIGMS