"rules" and self-organization

Ralph Copleman rcopleman at comcast.net
Wed May 30 06:11:31 PDT 2007

One way to test what is essential (what Artur termed "micro") and what is
not would be to open some space without mentioning either the four
principles or the law of two feet.  Or anything else.

If self-organization occurs in os, would not the "space" still "open"
without things we have come to believe are essential?  I'm betting it would,
or at least could.  Perhaps all we need is a room and a theme and a wall.
Maybe some tea and coffee.  How free are we?

Picture it.  You're invited, so you show up because the theme interests you
or you know the inviter.  You get there, see the theme statement on the
wall, and nothing but a circle of chairs.  Nothing.  Not even a facilitator.
Others arrive.  The only things you share at this point are your presence
and your presumed interest in the theme.

If self-organization is real, is not the space already open?  It may take
longer, but might relevant, useful conversations begin?

I think the facilitator meets our need for an authority figure (a perfectly
natural, good thing, most of the time), and the ideas about feet, insects,
etc. a minimal unifying structure (think of it perhaps as curbs to a
boulevard?) that steer us into an opening, a place we have agreed, by
showing up, we want to be.  OS in action resembles self-organization, but it
isn't the pure thing.  (Not that it really matters.  I love it simply
because it¹s the best way I know to show people what evolution on Earth is
really like.  And it produces great results for my clients.)

One more rumpled notion occurs this morning...  What about the storytelling
role, the thing we do as facilitators to connect people entering an open
space to a greater whole?  I know this is important, but is not the
facilitator simply reminding people of a story they already know, deep down?
If self-organization/evolution is real, it¹s been working far longer than
humans have even  been around.  Might we not trust this process?  How far
can we go?

Ralph Copleman

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