The word coherence has many meanings depending on the context. We can say that a plan is coherent, meaning all the steps to realize it are well-studied and fit well together. We can tell a structure is coherent. In this context, it relates to the harmony of the form, that all components have their proper place and function. We can say that a thought, philosophy, or piece of mathematics or physics is coherent. In this case, it relates to the relationship between the ideas that, when put together, create a new whole that brings new insights or meaning.
We can also speak of coherent signals like different bodily organs or nerve activities. In that case, the rhythms are locked in and oscillate in harmony. In this latter case, organs and tissues that vibrate coherently form a new whole, a subsystem that self-organizes itself to eventually save energy and ease the transfer of information. We can speak of a social group that can behave coherently. In that case, the individuals in the group share some common ideals.
Coherence happens naturally by auto-organization or can be imposed by an external source. An example of the first case is when a fire manifests in a village; everyone gets involved instinctively to extinguish the fire. An example of the second case is an orchestra director who guides the musicians to create a unique musical symphony.
A coherent whole generates and sustains habits, these recurrent behavioral patterns we all know about. Habits are not only in our behavior, like the famous work-eat-sleep, but in our thoughts, feelings, and emotions. These habits are a safe-guarding mechanism that protects us from burning too much energy. As a result, a coherent system always tends to reach a state of minimum energy. The illustration below shows the evolution of a system, such as thoughts or energy flow in our body or traffic in a city, from a state of confusion, illnesses, or traffic jams to a state of coherence, such as clarity, health balance, or fluid road traffic.
At the extreme point, a completely coherent system or group is unable to escape this state of minimal energy if one repeats the same habits’ patterns unconsciously. This is a total relaxation state where consciousness recede to give space to an automatic behavior, which, if sustained for too long, can be unhealthy. However, consciously building coherence in our lives is beneficial such as to attain peace and relaxation.
The concept of the elements helps to understand coherence. Typically, the Water element is responsible for sustaining a coherent state or, as we call it, a state of SYNC. Water is responsible for facilitating the flow of information from the brain to the peripheral nerves and promoting flow in our bloodstream. When Water builds up and gets cold, it freezes and becomes the Earth’s element. The Earth element is slow or even static, like a mountain. Therefore, too much coherence can lead to stagnation. Fortunately, the component of our body also contains the Fire and Wind elements. Eventually, by chance or external excitation, the Fire element manifests more strongly in some parts of the system. It can manifest as heart arrhythmia, elevated body temperature due to infection, or raised blood pressure. The Fire element will disturb the state of coherence, and the body will search to reach another equilibrium. The disturbed component of our body propagates to other parts due to the Wind element, representing movement or agitation. The whole system migrates to a new state of equilibrium in search of balance.
SATHeart provides the tools to measure your state of energy flow, SYNC, and the elements, which helps you to understand your inner state, both body and mind. SATHeart also provides the tools to re-balance your elements using breathing exercises.
- Strogatz, Steven, “Sync“, Hyperion- Acquired Assets, 2004
- McCraty, Rollin, and Maria A. Zayas. “Cardiac coherence, self-regulation, autonomic stability, and psychosocial well-being.” Frontiers in psychology (2014): 1090.
- Celka, Patrick, et al. “Development and evaluation of a cardiac coherence index for sleep analysis.” Journal of Psychology in Africa 30.1 (2020): 44-52.
- Celka, P., Granqvist, N., Schwabl, H., & Lutz, M. (2023). “Energy Balance: Explanation, Analysis and Illustrations“. 1–7.
- Celka, P., Granqvist, N., Schwabl, H., & Lutz, M. (2023). “SATHeart Reveals Millenia of Ancient Eastern Health Practices and Philosophies“.