Homeostasis FractalThough we may not always pay attention to it, within every living thing there is an inherent and adaptive awareness.  It is an awareness that gives rise not only to the basic functionality of our living and being Self, but so too to the emergence of our sensing, perceiving, interpreting, and reacting/responding Self.  This awareness was first brought into the realms of the factual known by Claude Bernard, and while later coined homeostasis by Walter Bradford Cannon (Davis, 2016), the basic premise remained the same:  From the smallest of single-celled microbes to the most complex systems, there are internal adaptive mechanisms that innately seek to synchronise and self-organise in manners that allow for symbiotic survival. 

As depicted by Cannon around 1926, homeostasis is an emergent highly idiosyncratic and coordinated process that strives to maintain physiological steady states (Cannon, 1926 as cited in Davis, 2016).  And, although in Cannon’s time such terminology focused merely on the steady states, or the physiological processes, of the body, such is now more comprehensively known to incorporate multiple biopsychosocial systems within and between the very essence of our being.  Indeed, homeostasis is a term that can be used to describe how each of us (as complex systems within complex systems) functions in a manner that strives to maintain the known “status quo” of the relational mind-body.  

Such “status quo” is a function that pertains to universal human needs which are regulated by the SEEKing Self, significantly its desire to seek out that which satisfies survival.  Moreover, alongside the SEEKing Self’s primary desire to survive is the SEEKing Self’s yearning to seek the provision of connection and belonging, harmony and delight, safety and protection, freedom and autonomy, meaning and mourning.  Albeit, while this yearning and desire is encoded in our DNA, it is epigenetically affected through differing levels of care and nourishment and evolves during various stages of our development creating said “status quo” or steady states of functioning (as aforementioned it cannot be negated that said states are idiosyncratic). 

Most succinctly put, homeostasis is “the strategy, the culmination of countless years of evolution, by which the body reacts to changes in environmental stimuli with equilibrating responses” (West, 2010).