We live in a Universe that grows and changes like an intergalactic forest or brain. Life in our galaxy is a creative unfolding process; every “thing” that exists actually a dynamic self-organizing symphony of form, a cosmic dance in motion. Solar systems spinning, continents moving, societies arising, children moving and growing.
All of these creative systems in our lives (and the greater Universe) are interconnected and related to one another. Unseen forces of attraction keep natural systems together, influencing how the individual parts move and self-organize. A planet and solar system comes into being because of the force of gravity, families are held together by commitment and love.
Our body’s growth is guided by the DNA of our ancestors, it’s cellular systems running on energy from photons that journey to our planet from the sun. The whole Universe swirls like a three dimensional Van Gogh painting, held together by Einstein and Newton’s cosmic laws…
Of course, most people don’t usually think this way. Our cultural world views and values are focused more on social, economic and political games. We are rarely encouraged to pay attention to the interdependent relationships and synergistic processes that make up our lives.
In the most dominant “civilized” cultures our languages evolved to help us exert control over a dangerous and competative world. Our cultures tend to “objectify” everything we see, dividing interconnected systems and creative processes into rigid conceptual categories based on the idea that the Universe is composed of fixed independent objects and polar opposites.
The result has been akin to living with blinders on, wearing cognitive filters that make us powerful predators, but frequently block out essential information, diminishing our capacity for greater wisdom. Our leaders tend to ignore important holistic processes and connections that require our attention, respect, care and support (and that don’t respond well to manipulation). We’ve lost touch with the organic rhythms, natural intelligence, interdependence and unity of the world.
It’s been like Humpty Dumpty falling off the wall. Viewing the Univese in fixed categories and scattered pieces, it’s become very difficult for Civilization’s people to see how all the parts connect together to form greater wholes. As a result modern technologically “advanced” humans have created a host of seemingly insolvable problems.
The field of medicine, for example, focuses on treating “illnesses” which are often the result of biological systems that are overstressed, unhealthy or out of balance. Human bodies that have evolved over millions of years with the capability to maintain and self-regulate their health no longer seem to function optimally.
With education, our children have an innate ability to learn new things, to understand the world’s patterns and develop complex skills. They will learn quickly and easily when their curiosity is encouraged, when learning is creative, interesting and fun. Yet far too often formal schooling is rigid and boring, creating anti-social environments that are out of synch with the way children naturally grow and learn.
The same situation can be seen with many of our most difficult “modern” problems. Drug abuse and alcoholism, for example, are directly related to poverty, stress, social isolation and human unhappiness. Wars occur because the truth that we are one interconnected human family is denied or ignored.
Environmental pollution and destruction arises when the health and harmony of Nature is not respected and prioritized. Economic problems happen when a few people selfishly accumulate wealth for themselves, without caring for fellow humans in surrounding communities who require a share of that wealth to live happy and healthy lives. Each of these problems will continue to exist until we view them differently, so that the root issues can be prioritized, cared for and solved.
How we see the world has a powerful effect on how we feel and behave towards others. If we see a world at war- a world of competition and battle- we respond to situations that way, defensively and aggressively, seeking to exert control and dominate. When we see a world where everything is connected our hearts open more easily, so that we respond more creatively, compassionately and generously.
The challenge for humanity now is to transform and transcend our fractured views, our defensive and competitive “ego-logical” ways of thinking. Once we do that we’ll be better able to care for Nature, support people who are suffering and redesign our more destructive social values and institutions.
Over time, we’ll hopefully find many of our problems falling away, being solved, or dissolving quite naturally. Like a fevered mind awakening from delusions, the health of our planet and communities can be restored once enough of us open our hearts, shift our values and transcend overly dualistic ways of thinking.
Creative Systems Thinking
* How Wisdom Grows – Educating Hearts & Minds * Systems Thinking – Rediscovering Nature’s Paradigm * Love vs. Power: A Tale of Two Mindsets * Toward a More Creative & Holistic Model of Education * Perpetual Curse of the Warrior Mindset * The Universe is One Harmonious Whole * It’s a Pink Floyd World – Welcome (Back) to the Machine * How We Participate in the Creative Life of the Universe *