Author: R. Paul Lee, DO, FAAO, FCA
Our knowledge is like that of the electrician
who merely knows that the potent current, or M-element,
is present and that he is learning how to utilize its force.
(Sutherland, Contributions of Thought, 273.)
I have for years carried this unanswered question that hopefully, this paper answers, ‘How does the intangible Breath of Life stimulate the tangible fluctuation of fluid?’ According to the originator of the cranial concept, Dr. W.G. Sutherland the Tide, the basis of the cranial concept, generates from the effects of the Breath of Life.
Clues for this relationship between the Breath of Life and fluid fluctuation begin with Dr. Still. He described humans as being composed of the triad of Mind, Matter, and Motion (life). Biogen, a combination of life and substance, Still saw as the fundamental material for all tissue in living organisms and its assembly and direction was governed by mind. Dr. Sutherland equated Dr. Still’s ‘life’ with his own term, the ‘Breath of Life,’ and extended Still’s idea that life permeated substance with the concept that the fluid fluctuation resulted from that investment.
For most philosophers and scientists, body, mind, and spirit indeed represent the basis of creation, but the notion of how spirit invests itself into the body to vitalize it remains an unanswered question. After all, how can one deal with spirit – or mind, for that matter, when they are both unmeasurable? Our scientific method is limited by the fact that only material reality can be measured. Science eliminates spirit and mind in its observation and calculations, as careful and extensive as they might be.
The dichotomy of unmeasurable and measurable lie at the heart of this unanswered question: ‘How does the Breath of Life stimulate the Tide?’ The unknowable mind and spirit and the knowable physical need somehow to be integrated to approach an answer. Dr. Still was disturbed by this predicament to the ultimate degree. He said he was hungry as a child for its mother’s milk to understand what life was. He said he would give anything to know. In a milder mood, he is quoted: ‘The mind is asked to find the connection between the physical and the spiritual’ (Philosophy and Mechanical Principles of Osteopathy, 249). Yes, this is the question.
Dr. Sutherland told his students that they didn’t need to understand where the Tide came from but to just know how to use it in treatment. The first quotation at the beginning of this paper speaks to that notion. But then, contrary to that denial of needing to know, Sutherland offered analogies to help his students visualize how the Breath of Life worked its creating and healing effects through the Tide. At some of his early classes, he drew a house, entirely under the ocean with all the windows and doors open to show how the body (house) and the BOL (water) related to each other. He said that the lighthouse shone its light through the ocean and that heat lightning lit up the cloud, without either of them touching anything. I interpret these analogies to mean that the BOL was everywhere and yet was not physical; instead, it was a field that permeated all that is.
Another comparison was the coaxial cable, which Dr. Sutherland used to describe how a field and material substance interrelate. For the coaxial cable is a classical demonstration of inductance, or the M-element and supplies a vivid metaphor for the transmutation of the field of the Breath of Life and potency into electricity. The field created by the coaxial cable depends upon the tube surrounding the central wire. The magnetic field generated around the current in the central wire stimulates a voltage in the tube, which in turn creates its own magnetic field, adding to the voltage in the wire – called ‘back EMF’ – thereby stabilizing it and feeding back to the tube more magnetic influence. This powerful codependent arrangement builds and supports a field through which signals do not diminish even with outside electric interference.
This particular quality of the coaxial cable metaphorically applies to the nerve bundle (infundibulum or peripheral nerve) as it interacts with the field of the Breath of Life. The nerve is constructed similarly to the coaxial cable as there is a tube surrounding the axon. That tube is the perineurium, a syncytium of fluid in Schwann cells from the nerve’s exit from the central nervous system to its terminus in the extracellular fluid and lymphatics. The perineurium is a tube of fluid surrounding the axon, both of which are good electric conductors. They set up a field, like a coaxial cable, receptive to the field of potency, that intermediary between the Breath of Life and the electric current discovered by Robert Becker (Body Electric, 1985). The slow oscillation of direct current in the perineurium, according to James Oschman (Energy Medicine, 2000) comes from brain waves, which osteopaths know as a.) inherent motion of the brain and b.) fluctuation of CSF. Osteopaths also conclude, from Sutherland’s assertion, that transmutation of the BOL is also essential. ‘See the infundibulum as a tube, like the copper tube in a coaxial cable, and see the highest known element transmutes its energy to the copper tube’ (COT, 351). (Astrocytes, surrounding and protecting the infundibulum, perform a similar function as Schwann cells in the periphery.)
Using ‘Primary Response Testing,’ my method of inquiry using the Tide, I have established that potency is an emissary of the Breath of Life and represents the potential to do work. [You can make a declarative statement to this effect and check your own mechanism to discover that the Tide represents all that is and contains ultimate information that we can easily access. An affirmative response of the Tide displays a fluctuation, while a negative response does not.] Primary Response Testing bridges the gap between unmeasurable and measurable. Some positive responses include: a.) Fluid carries Potency – cerebrospinal fluid being the quintessential example – as an intermediary between spirit and matter. b.) The Tide is characterized by potency and is why Sutherland said you can rely on the Tide. c.) Potency offers fluid the potential to create electric current – as an extension from the intention of the BOL. d.) Potency is represented by virtual photons, which emit real photons that carry electromagnetic force. e.) A principle of nature, quantum electrodynamics, electrons and magnetic fields are the product of virtual photons. f.) The DC current in the perineural fluid is the product of potency or virtual photons.
This slowly oscillating electric current in the perineurium has been verified by the SQUID and by many measurements by Robert Becker in his extensive research. Björn Nordenström also has measured oscillations of electric potential in the tissues (Biologically Closed Electric Circuits, 1983). James Oschman indicated that the blood also carried this oscillating potential from its vast circulatory exposure within the brain. This oscillation of charge in the blood explains the Traube-Hering wave, a slow oscillation of pulse pressure. Maxwell Fraval, Michael Solano, and Anthony Norrie in their ‘Rule of the Artery’ courses, teach that the red blood cells discharge some of their electrons going from the arteriole to the venule through the capillary bed, apparently distributing them into the extracellular fluid along with those emanating from the Schwann cells. Dr. Still said: ‘…combining the brain with the heart we see the force and the source by which the machinery of life is driven’ (Autobiography, 196).
Dr. Still said, ‘All must have and cannot act without the highest known order of force (electricity), which submits to the voluntary and involuntary commands of life and mind, by which worlds are driven and beings move’ (Autobiography, 195). Dr. Still referred to the nerves elsewhere in his writing as having five functions, two of which were voluntary and involuntary. By association we can infer that the commands of life and mind came through the nerves. He was saying in this sentence that the nerves contain electricity and follow the directions of the two unknowable attributes of creation, life and mind. Sutherland used the term the Breath of Life instead of ‘life’ completing our thought that, in living things, the BOL controls electricity.
Dr. Still also said: ‘…the brain, which is the physiological source through which nerve-force is supplied and suited to the convenience of the heart, to assist in delivering such burdens as it may send forth to nourish and sustain the body’ (Philosophy and Mechanical Principles of Osteopathy, 86). Dr. Still propounded what Dr. Sutherland later emphasized that the artery is supreme, but the CSF is in command, and together blood and CSF deliver the Health, a force to nourish and sustain cells and organs.
This slow oscillation of electron delivery into the interstitium accordingly integrates my hypothesis in Interface: Mechanisms of Spirit in Osteopathy, 2005, which introduces the idea of calcium waves transiting from capillaries to parenchymal cells to reduce viscosity and increase free water to transport nutrients. My hypothesis now includes the oscillation of electric potential from capillaries and Schwann cells to produce Ca++ ionars, (collections of ions, from Nordenström), that set up an EMF of their own, which attracts water for delivery of glucose and oxygen to the demanding cells, diffusion alone being insufficient. This active process of fluid and charge fluctuation is nature’s way of meeting the voracious appetite of cells for these substrates for glycolysis and the production of ATP, or as Still says, for ‘the machinery of life.’
Further, the delivery of negative charge to the interstitium quenches acidic toxins and metabolic byproducts such as CO2. Without this regular electron-rich fluid coming to the interstitium, the machinery of life would soon be overwhelmed with acids, its healthy alkaline milieu polluted to the point of not functioning.
‘Perineural cells accompany every part of the nervous system. Even the tiniest of twiglets of sensory nerves in the skin, which don’t have a myelin covering, are surrounded by Schwann cells. The perineural structures are thus just as well distributed to integrate bodily processes as the nerves themselves. They reach into each area of the body to create a normal electrical environment around each cell, or a stimulatory one when healing growth is needed. Likewise, they enable an organism to sense the type and extent of damage anywhere in the body by transmitting the current of injury, with its by-product of pain, to the CNS. One could take a ‘fantastic voyage’ from the farthest Schwann cell outpost in the big toe through the spinal cord and into all parts of the brain. Indeed, electrons are making this trip every moment of our lives’ (Robert Becker, The Body Electric, 241-2). This perineural oscillation is universal in the body.
Dr. Still’s humor is eloquent when he says, “Of the contents of the skull, one ounce is used for thought, the remainder generates power for nerves.” In another place in his Autobiography (p.233), he concludes this same thought with slightly different words: “…the remainder is used for vital force.” Integrating these two similar statements we can conclude that ‘power for nerves’ and ‘vital force’ are equivalent in Dr. Still’s mind. Dr. Still mentioned ‘nerve force’ in several places in his writing, and Dr. Sutherland referred to Dr. Still’s assertion of this power of the nerves. Dr. Sutherland equated the meaning of these words, nerve force and vital force from Still with his chosen term, The Breath of Life. Dr. Still said: “As an electrician controls electric currents, so an Osteopath controls life currents and revives suspended forces” (Autobiography, 224). Both men used electricity to describe the means by which life delivered its vitalizing effects.
Using all of these references, Still’s and Sutherland’s comments, research by several scientists, and the all-important Primary Response Testing, we can conclude that the intention of the Breath of Life is manifested by its potency, stimulating fluids to isolate positive and negative charges, which oscillate, delivering electrons to the interstitium to quench acidic elements and produce ionars for conveyance of substrates for glycolysis, the machinery of life. The power of the nerves and capillaries vitalizes the living organism through the physical medium for life – water. The M-Element is the bridge between spirit and matter.
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