recipe outlining the steps in a procedure for solving a problem; often
used to describe key methods used in a computer program.
Amino Acid: One of the building blocks of proteins in
Androcratic: See "Dominator Society."
An organism that can live without oxygen.
Ariadne's Thread: According to myth, Ariadne
gave Theseus a thread with which to find his way out of the Labyrinth.
Attractors: A term used in modern dynamics to denote a
limit towards which trajectories of change within a dynamical system move.
Attractors generally lie within basins of attraction.
A thin neuronal branch that transmits electrical impulses away from the
cell body to other neurons (or to muscles or glands).
A supporting element and/or foundation in a mathematical equation. In
fractals these are the areas of dense information.
Bell's Theorem: A mathematical proof derived from physics
demonstrating that when ever two particles interact, they are thereafter
connected in a mysterious faster-than-light way that doesn't diminish with
time or distance and can't be shielded. Also known as the "mechanism of
Bifurcation: The splitting or branching of possible states
that a system can assume due to changing parameters.
Catastrophe Theory-- In mathematics,
catastrophe theory seeks to describe the structure of phenomena in which
sharply discontinuous results follow from continuous processes. The theory
was first developed by French mathematician Rene Thom in a paper published
in 1968, but it has its roots in such fields as topology and dynamical
system theory. While its subjects would include actual catastrophes such
as a girder suddenly buckling, it is intended to apply to an abrupt change
in any process.
When catastrophe theory first appeared, controversy was created by some of
the claims being made for its possible applications to real-life
situations in such diverse fields as sociology and the behavioral
sciences. In the following years, however, the theory has become an
established area of mathematical research and has demonstrated its
usefulness in the study of many problems in physics; its wider relevance
continues to be explored.
Theory: A new perspective emerging out of the study of
dynamics that is discovering and mapping a high level of order and pattern
in what has long been thought to be random activity.
Chaotic Attractor: Any attractor that is more complicated
than a single point or cycle.
Carl Jung made a distinction
between the personal unconscious, or the repressed feelings and thoughts
developed during an individual's life, and the collective unconscious, or
those inherited feelings, thoughts, and memories shared by all humanity.
The collective unconscious, according to Jung, is made up of what he
called "archetypes," or primordial images. These correspond to such
experiences as confronting death or choosing a mate and manifest
themselves symbolically in religions, myths, fairy tales, and fantasies.
Physicist Niels Bohr's notion that an unmeasured atom is, in some sense,
not real, and its attributes are created or realized through the act of
Cybernetics: A term coined by Norbert Weiner, meaning the
study of communication, feedback, and control mechanisms in living systems
Tiny tree-like branchings at the electrical impulse-receiving end of a
Differential Topology: The study and mapping of changing
Dimorphism: Biological division of structure in a species,
such as for sexual reproduction.
Directed Panspermia: Francis Crick's theory to explain the
origin of life on earth. He 300 hypothesizes that spores traveling through
space on the back of meteorites seed planets throughout the galaxy.
Dimetyltryptamine-- an extremely powerful, short-acting hallucinogenic mol
ecule found in the South American shamanic brew Ayahuasca.
Deoxyribonucleic acid-- the long complex macro-molecule, consisting of two
interconnected helical strands, that resides in the nucleus of every
living cell, and encodes the genetic instructions for building each
Dominator Society: A type of society in which one sex, or
one group, dominates or rules over another. Also known as "Androcratic."
Dynamical Systems Theory: Mathematical models devised for
understanding the processes of whole systems.
The study of systems in motion, which overlaps both physics and
mathematics, and seeks to devise mechanical models used to understand
John Lilly's acronym for the Earth Coincidence Control Office. A
hypothetical hierarchy of entities who manage coincidences in a fashion
intended to accelerate the motion of human beings along their
psyche-spiritual evolutionary pathways.
Electroencephalogram- electrical potentials recorded by placing electrodes
on the scalp or in the brain.
in philosophy, a doctrine that affirms that all knowledge is based on
experience, and denies the possibility of spontaneous ideas or a priori
Endogenous: Found naturally within the body.
(Greek episteme, "knowledge"; logos, "theory"), branch of
philosophy that addresses the philosophical problems surrounding the
theory of knowledge. Epistemology is concerned with the definition of
knowledge and related concepts, the sources and criteria of knowledge, the
kinds of knowledge possible and the degree to which each is certain, and
the exact relation between the one who knows and the object known.
Eros is love. Originally Eros was considered to have been one of the great
forces spawned from the primordial chaos. In this role Eros causes the
fury of procreation that brings into being the world as we recognize it.
In later myths Eros has been reduced to a pleasant but, minor god. By
Roman times Eros had become Cupid.
Central rite of the Christian
religion, in which bread and wine are consecrated by an ordained minister
and consumed by the minister and members of the congregation in obedience
to Jesus' command at the Last Supper, "Do this in remembrance of me." In
the Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches, and in the Anglican, Lutheran,
and many other Protestant churches, it is regarded as a sacrament, which
both symbolizes and effects the union of Christ with the faithful.
Baptists and others refer to Holy Communion as an "institution," rather
than a sacrament, emphasizing obedience to a commandment.
Excitatory: Excites, speeds up. To describe the other
type of neurotransmitter.
A region of physical influence that interrelates and interconnects matter
and energy. Fields are not a form of matter; rather matter is energy bound
Computer-generated images corresponding to mathematical equations, that
repeat self-similar patterns at infinitely receding levels of
A model for interpreting the dynamics that occur on planet earth as being
part of a single self-regulating organism.
The complete set of genetic material or genes for a single organism.
See "Partnership Society."
Holographic: The condition upon which the information for
creating a whole system is stored in each of its parts.
Hypnogogic: The twilight state of awareness, characterized
by vivid dream-like imagery, that occurs as one is falling asleep.
Hypnopompic: The dream-like state of awareness that occurs
as one is waking up from sleep.
Information: Non-predictable patterns that carry a message.
Information Theory: A branch of cybernetics that attempts
to define the amount of information required to control a process of given
A dissociative anesthetic agent with profound psychedelic properties.
Brain: The left hemisphere of the human brain associated
with the processing of symbolic information in a linear, analytical mode.
System: A region of the brain believed to be important in
the processing of emotions.
Dreaming: The phenomenon of being conscious and aware that
one is dreaming, while one is in the process of dreaming.
Mechanism of Non-locality:
See "Bell's Theorem."
A term coined by Richard Dawkins, who defines it as "a unit of cultural
inheritance, hypothesized as analogous to the particulate gene and as
naturally selected by virtue of its 'phenotypic' consequences on its own
survival and replication in the cultural environment."
A hypothesized part of the brain that is responsible for over-riding
social and cultural conditioning.
Morphic Field: Defined by Rupert Sheldrake as "a field
within and around a morphic unit which organizes its characteristic
structure and pattern of activity. They underlie the form and behavior of
holons or morphic units at all levels of complexity. This term includes
morphogenetic, behavioral, social, cultural, and mental fields. They are
shaped and stabilized by morphic resonance from previous similar morphic
units, which were under the influence of fields of the same kind. They
consequently contain a kind of cumulative memory and tend to become
Morphic Resonance: The influence of previous structures of
activity on subsequent similar structures of activity organized by morphic
Morphogenesis: The coming into being of form.
Morphogenetic Field: A non-material region of influence
that guides the structural development of organic forms.
Magnetic Resonance Imagery-- A scanning technique that creates a visual
image using electro-magnetic fields to see inside the body.
Nanotechnology: Atomic engineering--the ability to devise
self-replicating machines, robots, and computers that are molecular sized.
Natural Selection: Charles Darwin's theory of biological
evolution, based on the survival and replication of the fittest and most
adaptable genes, through competition over limited natural resources.
Neural Network: An interconnected system of brain cells.
Neurophysiology: The physiological study of the nervous system.
that transmit impulses between nerve cells or between nerve cells and
Non-linear Dynamics: The study of chaotic
A term coined by Teilhard de Chardin, defined as a non-material sheath
that surrounds the earth, containing all of humanity's cultural
Metaphysics is customarily
divided into ontology, which deals with the question of how many
fundamentally distinct sorts of entities compose the universe, and
metaphysics proper, which is concerned with describing the most general
traits of reality.
A cognitive model for explaining a set of data. Paradigm Shift. A change
in the perception of information.
Paranormal: Phenomena that are out of the realm of that
which is explainable through conventional science.
Partnership Society. A type of society in which both sexes
and all people have complete equal rights and representation, and live
together in peaceful cooperation. Also known as "Gylanic."
Phencyclidine-- an analgesic-anesthetic compound with powerful
A compound consisting of two or several amino acids.
Portrait: Images that display the state of a system at a
moment frozen in time.
The smallest linguistic unit.
20th-century philosophical movement dedicated to describing the structures
of experience as they present themselves to consciousness, without
recourse to theory, deduction, or assumptions from other disciplines such
as the natural sciences.
Odor produced by an animal that
affects the behavior of other animals. The way pheromones work is
analogous to the way hormones in the body send specific chemical signals
from one set of cells to another, causing them to perform a certain
Precursor: A chemical that precedes another in a
series of metabolic breakdowns.
Quantum Physics: The scientific study of sub-atomic
The phase of the sleep cycle where there are "rapid eye movements," and
Brain: The right hemisphere of the human brain which is
associated with pattern recognition and nonlinear holistic thinking.
Selfish Gene Theory: Darwin's theory of natural selection
applied at the genetic level, which proposes that the unit of selection in
evolution is not the species or the organism, but the gene.
Separatrix: The threshold between attractors in a dynamic
Sociobiology: The biological study of social behavior in
animals, based upon the understanding that social behaviors can be
genetically encoded and evolve through the evolutionary process of natural
A crinkle, tear, or bend in the space-time continuum.
Strange Attractor: The orbital point in the mathematical
mapping of a dynamic system that is neither fixed nor oscillating, but
rather spirals inward.
(Greek symbioun, "to live
together"), in biology, term for the interdependence of different species,
which are sometimes called symbionts.
Diagrams that map the skeletal structure of a dynamical system.
The study of ends or final causes; the explanation of phenomena by
reference to goals or purposes.
Theory of Formative Causation:
The hypothesis that organisms or morphic units at all levels of complexity
are organized by morphic fields, which are themselves influenced and
stabilized by morphic resonance from all previous similar morphic units.
Topological Manifold: A multi-leveled surface area.
Unified Field Theory: The Holy Grail of physics, which
would mathematically unite all the known forces of the universe under a
single comprehensive framework.
Virtual Reality: Interactive technology which totally
controls sensory input and creates the convincing illusion that one is
completely immersed in a computer-generated world.