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Jay Vogt JayWV at
Thu Aug 19 12:49:04 PDT 1999

Greetings, List:

I'm afraid I don't see the dichotomy you see, Birgitt.
Why self-organizing OR Spirit?
Why not self-organizing AND Spirit?

I just came back from a run in the woods.  We probably agree that a forest is
a self-organizing system.  But it still has rules - lots of them.  An oak
tree cannot grow from a hemlock seed.  But given those rules, and conditions,
the forest self-organizes.  And Spirit expresses itself.

The same is true with the Internet.  I think of it as a self-organizing
system.  No one is really in control.  Yet there are conditions, and
protocols, that frame the parameters that give rise to the seemingly endless
diversity on the net.

One could argue that true jazz improvisation is self-organizing.  It is free
in form, but still it operates within rules, and within conventions.  And
Spirit certainly appears.  Without those few forms, it would just be noise.

Spirit is present even in hierarchical, controlling organizations and highly
orchestrated events.  Maybe just not so much of it.  In Open Space we strip
away as many barriers to Spirit as we can.  Thus more Spirit shines through.

Having said that, though, I also believe that without some conditions, some
form, some context, what would come through would look a lot more like true
mayhem than the order we find in chaos. [perhaps this is only a limiting

I call the conditions we set in Open Space the "right number of right rules."
 They are like the elegant conditions set by Nature: the minimum necessary to
permit abundant life and Spirit to manifest in its many rich and diverse

Open Space is self-organization, AND
Open Space is Spirit made manifest.

Regards, Jay

Jay W. Vogt
166 Hubbard Street
Concord, MA 01742-2448 USA
(978) 371-3134 - Voice
(978) 287-5431 - Fax
jaywv at - Email

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