The quote from Fritjof Capra: “life and cognition are inseparable”, Spencer Brown’s observation “… the world we know is constructed – I would have said “invented itself” – to see itself”, Dewey’s “there is no distinction between the knower and the know”, … and many sources more tell us again and again the same story: “system – I prefer “cosmos” – reflects itself in myself and through my self”. You are a part of system and apart of system are You. These paradoxes show themselves in tensions, energies, forces or power.
There are some – in my view interesting – consequences:
unum ergo pluribus
1. we (you and I) are already at one with nature, living in harmony. The only thing we have to learn yet, is that harmony is not unity (e pluribus unum) but diversity (unum ergo pluribus). All differences are “functional”. That is why, for instance, every religion splits itself in fractions (and always in heretics and schismatic), who, after some time, become mirror images of each other, fighting each other to become “whole”.
Its my own invention
2. systems thinking is both inconsistent and complete: there exists only one system, but in order to think about it, we have to distinguish between parts, a.k.a. systems. So, in my view, it is no miracle “the whole is more than its parts”. That has always been the case. We took it apart.
The apparent contradictions arise from the fact that we (You and i) think. System is complete, self, “Eigen”, neutral, no, impartial (= having no parts). Our thinking creates, or perhaps better, invents reality, creates distinctions and the need to “think” them back into wholes again. We cannot observe our own thinking! There is no way we can trace our thinking back to a cause or matter (use of matter, mother, intentionally). It is air.
Thinking is a new way to speed up the evolution, weaving the web of life and it is still inventing itself. It is now – take a few thousand years – in its adolescence. This is a critical period, which it will survive.
Meta means change
3. we (you or i) are our own metaphor, we are self-contained and in every thought present. Language consists of metaphors – it carries, contains our thoughts and feelings – and (here I differ from Watzlawick) is also its own meta-language. Words about words are about words (and not the words mentioned).
It is life, but not as we know it
4. Life lives on, “the dude abides”. Life is developing itself at exactly the right pace, the perfect velocity, as a fractal. System works – i like that word – according to the Law of the Least Action. That’s why we tend to repeat and repeat and repeat the same “changes” over and over again, until we realize “I am you and you am I” and the ways to realize this are plentiful and all different.
The division we perceive all around us, is “caused” by our inability to see how we split of “others” in order develop ourselves and to (later) accept those others as part of us. This is the story – if you want metaphor – of the prodigal son. In my view, it is also the Isis – Osiris story and the story of Christ. That’s why, the cross is our central metaphor. The only thing you need to understand, is that these stories are about you and i. (In times to come – will be called “how could they not see that”. When that happens, you’ll hear me say “told you so” 🙂 )