Richard G. Petty, MD

Life is Information at Work

“Information is "a difference that makes a difference.”
–Gregory Bateson (English Anthropologist, Social Scientist, Linguist, Cybernetician and Writer, 1904-1980)

Much of the work in which we’ve been engaged needs us to look very hard at what is life? Is it simply a collection of biochemical reactions glowing in the dark, or is it something more complex, laden in meaning and purpose. This is not an academic exercise: unless and until we can better understand the fundamental processes of life, it is difficult to advance the practice of medicine and the processes of health and wellness.

A fundamental tenet of Healing, Meaning and Purpose is that we live in a non-dual Universe, of which consciousness, information and energy are the primary manifestations and principles. I present a great deal of solid scientific material that you can use immediately. It’s all based on the fundamental concept that illness is caused by degradation in the storehouse of information that sustains the body.

Comprehensive treatment and persistent robust physical, psychological, social, subtle and spiritual health is rooted in clear, harmonious, integrated information. And that is why physical treatments – sometimes including medications – may be an essential component of helping someone get well, but is nonetheless just one piece of the puzzle. It is essential also to ensure that the information and communication between each aspect of a person and his or her environment are also clear, harmonious and integrated. Without those other pieces, we may be doing no more than putting a band aid on a problem.

Valentino Braitenberg the former director at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics in Tübingen, Germany, has always had some interesting things to say. He is a truly original thinker who’s also, IMHO, a fine human being.

I recently came across this in his last book, Das Bild der Welt im Kopf: Eine Naturgeschichte des Geistes, published in 2003 by LIT Verlag, Munster:

“Living organisms contain information, are the result of information, pass on information, and information made flesh in the conditions that their environmental niches impose for survival. To read this information is to recognize the very essence of a living organism.”

I think that this is the most succinct summary of what is to be a living organism. Yes, of course, you are made up of atoms and molecules. But the key point is that you are maintained by a constantly flowing river of information. Without it your body, your mind, your relationships and your spiritual essence would cease to flow.

Any treatment worth its salt will always be directed toward correcting and modulating and integrating this flow of information.

Anything less, and we are simply moving around the deckchairs on the Titanic.

“The original root of the word "information" is the Latin word informare, which means to fashion, shape, or create, to give form to. Information is an idea that has been given a form, such as the spoken or written word. It is a means of representing an image or thought so that it can be communicated from one mind to another rather than worrying about all the information afloat in the world, we must ask ourselves what matters to us, what do we want to know. It’s having ideas and learning to deal with issues that is important, not accumulating lots and lots of data.”

–Theodore Roszak (American Social Thinker, Critic and Writer, 1933-)

“Man must go back to nature for information.”
–Thomas Paine (English-born American Political Theorist and Writer, 1737-1809)

About Richard G. Petty, MD
Dr. Richard G. Petty, MD is a world-renowned authority on the brain, and his revolutionary work on human energy systems has been acclaimed around the globe. He is also an accredited specialist in internal and metabolic medicine, endocrinology, psychiatry, acupuncture and homeopathy. He has been an innovator and leader of the human potential movement for over thirty years and is also an active researcher, teacher, writer, professional speaker and broadcaster. He is the author of five books, including the groundbreaking and best selling CD series Healing, Meaning and Purpose. He has taught in over 45 countries and 48 states in the last ten years, but spends as much time as possible on his horse farm in Georgia.

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