We human beings require heat energy to live. Through the process of living, most biological beings take in energy, break it down into useable parts, and then release the remaining energy, which other beings then take in. Where does this energy chain start? How is it generated in the first place? It starts with light energy that is converted into the chemical energy our life depends on, through the process of “primary production.”
“Primary production” is the process by which autotrophs (such as plants and algae, from the Greek for self-nourishing or self-feeding) take in the energy from light or inorganic chemicals and produce the chemical energy that feeds the heterotrophs (such as animals, fungi, most bacteria, and protists, from the Greek for other-feeding) in the rest of the food chain. You can see a NASA animation of the global primary production process here. While most of the food chain takes in chemical energy and breaks it down into smaller units that are oxidized to release energy for its own use, with one level’s outputs being the next level’s inputs, autotrophs take light energy and build up larger units of energy. The autotrophic process regenerates the energy process, increasing the quality of the energy that the rest of the system breaks down for its energy source.
Nature found a way to generate the energy it needed for life (biotic beings) by converting light energy into chemical energy. This energy is measured in joules or calories. This is the flow of energy in the biotic and abiotic realms. Our research into the ecosynomics of human agreements suggests that maybe nature also found a way to generate the energy it needed to tangibilize possibilities into specific outcomes, to transform potential ideas through the creative process into observable nouns, things.
We human beings require creative energy to live. We live in a world of possibilities, of pathways for learning and developing relationships, and of outcomes. We experience this creative energy through the set of five primary relationships (self, other, group, nature, spirit). We call this creative energy of human-interaction the lumens (from the Latin for light). Where does this lumens-energy cycle start? Like with the primary-production process, which starts by converting light energy into chemical energy, the tangibilization process starts by converting light-potential, in the forms of possibilities, and uses the creative process to convert that light potential, described in physics as an information-rich field of possibility, into learning, relationships, and outcomes.
By understanding the biological process of regenerating chemical energy, from the source of the food chain, ecologists were able to define sustainability as the ability of the environment to generate energy faster than that energy is used up. Unsustainable is when the energy is used faster than it is regenerated. By understanding the creative process of regenerating human-interaction energy, from the source of the possibility-development-outcome chain, Homo lumens is able to define impact resilience as the ability of people to choose abundance-based agreements that recognize and engage the human-interaction creative energy that is already there. Low impact resilience is when the human-interaction energy is not engaged, leading to today’s global disengagement epidemic.