doing self-organization

Pat Black patoitextiles at
Wed May 30 08:59:53 PDT 2007

 Hello all who are engaged in this thread
I have taken some time to reflect on the intensity of my passion
regarding this question and my own reactiveness to certain language
associations in self organization.  I continue to enjoy the thread
woven around this topic and feel downright privileged to be present
for the beauty and eloquence of Peggy's description and the many
insights from others as we unravel this thread.  I feel it is
important to continue with this tuning around language because
language is so central to the creation of reality and experience

Harrison wrote:
"Pat, I am not sure that Kauffmann would disagree with you regarding the
centrality of relationship, and I certainly would not (disagree). But
perhaps it is not an either/or (either relationship or fitness), but rather
a both/and. I would put it as follows: Our search for fitness drives us into
(new) relationships, and simultaneously our (new) relationships enhance our
fitness. At least that may be the case -- but as you point out, some
relationships can be toxic."

My hang up with fitness occurs from multiple perspectives.  My initial
reaction is to the notion of fitness from a Darwinian perspective.
That species compete and the ones with the best genes, the biggest,the
most resilient, the strongest, the  most adaptable, pick whatever
characteristics you want, are alive at the end of the game.  Darwin's
theories have never been the source of opening space for me.  I think
they are insightful maybe even brilliant but promote in their
understanding a view that closes space.  Something wins and something
else loses.  Species can be reduced to and elevated by their
configuration of attributes.  Also in Darwin's and that Newtonian way
of thinking there is a weighted importance given to what I the
observer can observe and a dismissal of things the observer can not
see, ,as if they do not exist.  I guess that is the single most
disturbing aspect of the notion of fitness and seems incongruent with
what I experience in open space.  Prepare to be surprised for me is
prepare to see what has been right in front of you and invisible.  If
my sights are set on what is fit the invisible may not be revealed.
One of the prejudices of human cognition is to identify familiar
patterns and weight them for success thereby stacking the decks for
future success but also tuning our perceptions to look for what makes
us successful and ignoring what does not feed that.  This is why I
think it is important to get at the language we use in our
descriptions as it reveals how we compartmentalize and describe
action.  Artur's description of the micro forces expressed at the
macro level were helpful and descriptive in this regard.

So I am back onto relationships and looking to expand that discussion.
 Maturana would I think, include love as a micro force that is
expressed at a macro level.  We most typically in American culture at
least, think of love as an emotion.  Maturana and many schools of
psychology suggests it to be a fundamental action in self
organization.  I have come to think of love as an action juxtaposed
fear also an action.  In a Newtonian framework love and fear would be
forces that attract and dispel.  So following this line of thought
love would be the force that attracts and creates relationships and
creates entities predisposed to a permeability to more relationships.
Fear on the other hand would dispel relationships limiting possibility
and permeability.  Perhaps it is here that we are identifying fitness
and its connection to relationship.  I don't know.

I am curious about how love and fear as action are expressed at the
macro level and how open space seems to really provide a substrate for
love action to predominate in the self organization and this self to
be actualized and identity formed in this relationship?  If love is an
action that draws together how do we or the process work as agents for
that?  Is open space a symbol, that which draws us and binds us
together?  If we want to weight organization towards love action how
do we become that action?  And I guess the core question for me is how
to we language, use language, create language in way that works to
that purpose?  What are the implications for our language and the
actual reality we create?  What are all the other questions here?
Pat Black

To subscribe, unsubscribe, change your options,
view the archives of oslist at

To learn about OpenSpaceEmailLists and OSLIST FAQs:

More information about the OSList mailing list