“emergence, through evolution, of a higher level of organization”

This Wikipedia entry links to my current wave of enthusiasm for the evolution of dialogue. We inherit forms that are hard to change. Finding a new way of sitting to talk is a big deal.

I thought about this in watching the movie 2012 (not that I really want to mention that movie or that year). In a UN meeting of heads of state some are in the room and some are on screens – it hardly matters. Technology has advanced, but the science of communication has not – the process is much the same as the old inherited voting system, combined with a bit of power-play.

Yet I think we can hasten and improve the means of generating creative intelligence. Process design. People are talking about it a lot!

Metasystem transition – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

A metasystem transition is the emergence, through evolution, of a higher level of organization or control. Prime examples are the origin of life, the transition from unicellular to multicellular organisms, and the emergence of symbolic thought. A metasystem is formed by the integration of a number of initially independent components, such as molecules, cells or individiduals, and the emergence of a system steering or controlling their interactions. As such, the collective of components becomes a new, goal-directed individual, capable of acting in a coordinated way. This metasystem is more complex, more intelligent, and more flexible in its actions than the initial component systems.

A generally semantic journey

I have enjoyed some of the writing and audio from Al Turtle a relationship therapist. I get an RSS feed of his updates and today found a link to his favourite books. Great idea!

I found a ebook of A. E. Van Vogt’s The World of Null-A, non-Aristotelian logic in SF form. I see that this is not a one-off in Al’s list! He is into General Semantics – intrigued I went off on a search trail.

Continue reading “A generally semantic journey”

They also serve who only stand and wait.

Following on from the last post, those words popped in to my head. From Milton, meaning of course, that standing & waiting is a service to others. (Not that you get served even if you don’t push in the que!!) And Waiting is is not just sitting there, it is related to serving, as in a waiter in a restaurant.

On His Blindness

When I consider how my light is spent
Ere half my days in this dark world and wide,
And that one Talent which is death to hide
Lodged with me useless, though my soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest He returning chide,
“Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?”
I fondly ask. But Patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies, “God doth not need
Either man’s work or his own gifts. Who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state
Is kingly: thousands at his bidding speed,
And post o’er land and ocean without rest;
They also serve who only stand and wait.”

This page is useful for an exposition.

The Art of Being Useless

The Art of Being Useless, just googled that, and it does not come up! Let me add “George Sweet”… It does come up: here is a reference. I got the manme wrong. The Advantage of Being Useless.

I wanted to write about the art of being useless. (I should write a companion piece for my art blog.)


I want to simply reflect (after that prelude) on these words (in no particular order):




















Participatory Consciousness

“Each person is participating, is partaking of the whole meaning of the group and also taking part in in it”

David Bohm

I am reading On Dialogue.  Not sure where I got that quote from though, had it hovering here in some scraps.  It is central to the idea that dialogue is NOT just exchanging information but CREATING something new, that that is common to the participants.

This idea has been central my understanding ever since I first participated in groups in the early eighties.  I knew something was happening that was bigger than me yet fully connected.  My Psychodrama thesis tries to articulate this ideas.  Now it is here well expressed by David Bohm.

Listening is not just about “getting it”, it is also about doing something more.  I am thinking of the Imago dialogue as I read the passage below from the first chapter: On Communication, page 3.  Imago is about getting it, and the doing the Validation step, which is still not quite what Bohm is getting at. Perhaps the “difference” does not emerge until the response?

Nevertheless, this meaning does not cover all that is signified by communication. For example, consider a dialogue. In such a dialogue, when one person says something, the other person does not in general respond with exactly the same meaning as that seen by the first person. Rather, the meanings are only similar and not identical. Thus, when the second person replies, the first person sees a difference between what he or she meant to say and what the other person understood. On considering this difference, they may then be able to see something new, which is relevant both to their own views and to those of the other person. And so it can go back and forth, with the continual emergence of a new content that is common to both participants. Thus, in a dialogue, each person does not attempt to make common certain ideas or items of information that are already known to him or her. Rather, it may be said that the two people are making something in common, i.e., creating something new together.

But of course such communication can lead to the creation of something new only if people are able freely to listen to each other, without prejudice, and without trying to influence each other…

The full summary, validation & empathy steps seem important not just to exchange information, but to connect. To go beyond prejudice and trying to push an agenda requires the Imago steps.

Validation also leads to the creativity that Bohm is valuing. Validation involves making sense of the other while standing in their shoes, then facing them and saying you makes sense, and what makes sense is… seeing and experiencing how things hang together in their world. Understanding involves knowing how various things interconnect. To see the other persons world like that, and then to let them know how you see it may lead to encounter. Validation is a step towards encounter. Stepping into the other’s shoes and seeing the world differently may lead to new insights in the listener. The suspension of judgment is not to abandon ones judgment or perspective. There is an internal encounter… material for the next response.

Validation operationalises what Bohm is calling creativity – and Moreno calls encounter.