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Forum Categories, Topics and Threads from TAI Website


I. Category: What is Life-itself?

As Creative Organisms, the Emerging Consciousness? Bio-energy fields (living matrix) forming and creating as organism that creates societies of organisms all living and acting by coherence principles in oneness (inter-related and sensing connection to the whole) only now being discovered, in the past 20 years. Topics & threads for What is Life-itself

1- Getting to roots of violence Join live chat at this link.

Getting to roots of violence may require a new look at how life as organism is constantly seeking to fulfill itself by creating according to it's biological imperatives that have established habit from evolutionary knowing of living organism ways and what works best for the good of the whole organism, whether as an individual (society of organisms) or a society of societies of organisms. They all have learned together what works and what doesn't. When the communication breaks down or is interrupted or entrapped, the living process will push again and again for the freedom to act according to the wisdom of the whole. When it cannot, violence becomes the only option.

2 - Remote Viewing in Memory of Ingo Swann ***

Jon Ray Hamann shares:

From Ingo Swann the grandfather of Remote Viewing.

Put simply, for there is no other way to put it, the superpowers of the human biomind are defined as those indwelling faculties of our species which can transcend space and time as one major category of activity, and energy and matter as another major category.

The concept that human powers and perceptions are locked into and only accord with the known laws of matter and energy and time is not correct - although such has been the dominant concept of the last two centuries.

The full extent of our species faculties of memory, for example, transcend the known laws of matter and time, as do the faculties for human imagination. Memory and imagination, therefore, are among the many superpowers - although they have not been identified this way within the prevailing wisdom of the Modern Age.

In addition to memory and imagination which are universally shared by all specimens of our species, the several formats of intuition and of the telepathic transfer of information are also very broadly shared.

These first four of the superpowers are accepted as naturally existing, although they cannot be explained by conventional beliefs based in conventional concepts of matter and time.

But it is understood that these first four of the superpowers recombine into creativity and inventiveness -- and which have been the two major hallmarks of our species from time immemorial.

The superpowers are probably arranged along some kind of perceptual-cognitive spectrum, the fundamentals or rudiments of which are carried by all born individuals.

This spectrum also consists of other indwelling faculties which are less broadly shared in their natural state, but which seem to need special development if they are to become active. Remote viewing (distant-seeing) constitutes one of these more rare superpowers, and is a topic of central focus at this site because of the many years of research and development devoted to it. It can easily be shown that cognitive access to this spectrum is easily modified positively or negatively by social parameters and pressures.

It can also be shown that discussion of the superpowers within the contexts of past and present social parameters is counterproductive regarding the much larger issue of the existence of the superpowers themselves. Such social parameters come and go, being only transitory. The existence of the superpowers as a species thing transcends social formats and their levels and/or defects of knowledge. The faculties for the superpowers are therefore permanent within our species. Each generation of humans born is a carrier of the faculties, equally as much as it is a carrier of our species' gene pool. It is not the purpose of this site to convince anyone that the superpowers exist. The only purpose is to present an extended database - this, for what it is worth to anyone. - Ingo Swann

Ingo Swann died Friday, February 1, 2013; the grandfather of Remote Viewing. Swann, Ingo (1933-2013) He is no doubt moving into the other realms with grace. May he journey well...

3 - What is Sheldrake saying? As Norm says, The Question should be how does matter come out of life. Sheldrake like so many scientists and others are gathering the wagons, and taking shots from every direction except those not rooted to mechanism. Join in here, let's get this conversation Open. I'll get the link for the Sheldrake talk later. SEe you back here

4 - *** Getting a New Mind - The phenomenon of life and what it requires of us, 2010

Skye Hirst

Looking at all life - requires some new language- getting a new mind awareness of bio-energeticfields of whole interlocked processes - getting into sensing a reality that is not forming from cause and effect which implies some kind of linear if this then that. What Norm and Florence are seeing coming out of Whitehead and others now is phase locked simultaneous coherence organizing principles. Whew that's a mouthful. I'm looking forward to hearing from Florence an exploration and deepening understanding of the role of Epocal Time in life. I'm bringing my empirical experience with coaching and healing and business consulting and acting and musicianship to this conversation. This is so exciting - hope you'll add your thoughts whoever you might be looking in.

Florence Bradford:

Thank you for inviting me to post here, Skyehi! It's great to be here! I feel like I've got to read all these articles of Dr. Ho you've got right on the website here before I open my mouth -- not to mention all of your articles and those of Norm! I'm way behind you all!

On the subject of epochal time, my understanding of it is that everything exists in its own time stream and proceeds at its own pace. There are many points of contact where one time stream intersects with another. And a series of these points of contact are what serve as memory for us (and not only us -- remembering that there's unconscious "memory" all through inanimate nature). Now, when you've got the situation that you mention, a "phased locked simultaneous coherence," all the time streams (Whitehead's processes) in question find their last points of contact at once so that there's simultaneity and unity -- coherence -- in an emerging occasion.

I've got to see if I can develop this idea adequately -- the idea of the intertwining time streams. It's so very different from our ordinary conception of time. I picked it up from Whitehead but I never laid it out, never developed it. Perhaps it was a little frightening to me at that time so I almost ignored it; it kind of put me into a science fiction feeling! Now I'm ready for science fiction, I'm much more comfortable with it -- the feeling, that is! And this is because of the advances in science, catching up to science fiction!

It seems to me there's a gap between quantum mechanics and biology that needs bridging. Just last week I missed a lecture on quantum mechanics that might have been key to my understanding it. People are suggesting that the theory of entanglement in quantum mechanics helps explain consciousness. I need to look into this; perhaps there are articles right here on your website!

There's much to do! Thanks again for your warm invitation to join this forum!

Skye Hirst

  • Maybe you don't have to read everything on the site, we can certainly point out those articles that seem more relevant - Medicine in a New Key from home page will be a good summary for you of Ho's work. I've been seeing relatedness of many people's work including that of Jung, Claire Graves, and I'm reading an amazing biography if Mary Baker Eddy of Christian Science by Gillian Gil - you might find that really ringing some bells as the way women were and still are being held to a different standard as they break with traditions of thought. I really think Mrs. Eddy really discovered something of what we are talking too. Great to get this started.

Florence Bradford:

Today I read Norm's article posted on the website here on "Eco-Consciousness" with great interest. Yes, we need a paradigm shift from self-consciousness to eco-consciousness, from focusing on our selves to stepping back for the panoramic view and focusing on where we are among others.

A new definition of life is required -- perhaps Dr. Ho has done it? And we have to get completely over the idea that Newton's laws of physics are the basic laws of nature. Norm shows how false that is. The complexity of life brings into being another level of existence beyond the particles and waves of physics and lives by other laws that are not derived from physics or bound to physics. You can't get life from physics I don't think. This sounds strange to say.

Norm speaks of biodiversity having a role of primary importance to ecosystems. Building biodiversity is a law of nature, a law of life, that's not in classical physics, and perhaps not in quantum mechanics either. He points out that biodiversity is necessary "to manage the energy requirements" of ecosystems. And there are surely natural laws that regulate energy requirements too. Newton's "Principia" established the laws of nature, the laws of physics at any rate, for his time. Where is the book that establishes the laws of nature, in terms of the laws of life, for our time? Actually, I must look closer at Whitehead's "Process and Reality." I know in the beginning of the book Whitehead was laying down principles of nature at any rate. Something might be gleaned from there. What I'm getting at is that Newton's work, among others, framed the Western mind regarding how we think of nature. This is what is needed today: a short book on exactly what Skye is asking here: "The phenomenon of life and what it requires of us." I'd like to see the phenomenon of life laid out: what it is, and the laws or rules that guide it (the laws of life) and how we need to be relating to it. This would frame our new eco-consciousness for the 21st century.

Norm, and Dr. Ho, have shown us two laws of life, ektropy and biodiversity. I know of one other right now but I know there are plenty more. The other one I know is abundance. Nature loves abundance and makes way for as much abundance as ecosystems will tolerate it seems to me. Now, abundance and biodiversity are in tension with one another. The abundance of one creature squeezes the biodiversity in the ecosystem. The abundance of one reduces the number of others. So there are drives in nature that need to be expressed like the drives for abundance and biodiversity, putting pressure on one another.

Well, this is what I'm interested in and I hope to keep pursuing it.

Today I read another excellent article of Norm's: "Research findings to date," under the heading of "Life-Itself Properties," under the heading of "Theory." I thought it was a pretty complete article, and I can't imagine contributing or commenting on it! I think I read all of it or part of it last year but it was just as amazing this year and I hope to read it even another time again. It takes time for such new ideas as Norm expresses in this article to sink in. I remarked a bit more specifically on this article earlier in this space but when I pressed the button to submit it, the computer threw it away, claiming there was a "wrong code" involved. I don't have the energy to try to recapture what I said before. So I'm just saying now that I read the article and I'll be contemplating it in the coming days. It's another great article from Norm!

Skye Hirst

Mae Wan Ho says in Rainbow and the Worm 2nd edition "I do not think quantum theory per se will lead us through the mechanistic deadlock to further understanding. Instead, we need a thoroughly organicist way of thinking that transcends both conventional thermodynamics and quantum theory."

5 - To Machine or Not To Machine & We are Not Machines, this changes everything (see attached full conversation)

6 - Celtic Wisdom is the same as Autognomics. See John O'Donohue's Anam Cara.

Norm: No dualism. Love, nature, body/mind, spirit all the same. And that's oneness of life.

You represent an unknown world that begs you to bring it to voice:

From Anam Cara - In your clay body, things are coming to expression and to light that were never known before, presences that never came to light or shape in any other individual. To paraphrase Heidegger, who said, "Man is a shepherd of being," we could say "Man is a shepherd of clay." You represent an unknown world that begs you to bring it to voice.

SFC01 Scott - Love is not love until you give it away -

7 – What does Biomimicry have to do with Life-itself? SEe the latest article from The Sun Magazine. "The Sincerest Form of Flattery" by David Kupfer.

II. Category (Private) Epochal Nature of Life ***

Conversation between Florence Bradford, author of The Epochal Nature of Process in Whitehead’s Metaphysics and Norm Hirst, author of Life as Creative Organism, towards science of Life-itself

Norm HIrst

Reality is a reality of living organism and because it is, it had to develop among other things, awareness of the incredible complexity that is something that we totally lose in our usual thinking of materialism. Any living organism, because it is an organism, will generate overwhelming complexity. To solve the living problem of life, we have to see the living conditions of environment. What's going on is: Whitehead rejects the notion of time - along with his laws of obligation and what not, has seen the need of dividing the process up into segments that can respond to this living nature. Time has so much baggage as a linear progression and he saw that it can't be there, so he doesn't use the word at all.

Life is a very deep puzzle because we were unaware that we were living entities in a living environment. The fundamental nature of the world is a living organism. The fundamental nature was thought to be machines/materialism. If we stayed with machines/materialism, the epochal nature would make no sense at all. And in machines it is one linear progression. Epochal destroys all sense of linear progression. Our Cosmos article brought in all the Whitehead criteria process metaphysics as foundation to life.

When I think of how disconnected elements can cause cancer it's machine like thinking that keeps us from seeing the solution. The solution is not and cannot be machines/materialism.

The be holism, all the body/field has to be happening in-sync, simultaneously functioning together with everything else. When connections get lost, that produces disease.

Florence Bradford – Epochal Nature

I thought I'd take a moment to explain my understanding of Whitehead's epochal theory of time. It is, after all, one of the primary discoveries I claim to have made in my own study of Whitehead. I even named my book after it, "The Epochal Nature of Process ... " Whitehead's theory of time seemed to me to be one of the most remarkable discoveries of Whitehead that absolutely nobody was noticing. But I'm not convinced I completely understand it myself. I think I'm on the right track, but I don't know that I've got an adequate grasp of Whitehead's idea. So whatever I say here is just my own thoughts about time, derived from reading Whitehead.

The first thing to notice is that Whitehead uses the term "epoch" instead of "duration" or "time" or "period" or "instance" or any of the other standard words to denote a moment of time or the passage of time. He does occasionally use more standard terms like "time span" and "timespace" (to emphasize the time aspect of Einstein's spacetime). But to talk about his own philosophy, he has chosen the word "epoch" over "time."

Why is this? Why another customized word for a common concept? My understanding is that he wants to use a word that connotes the idea that a unit of time is FULL, it is full of activity, full of being and reality. There is NO empty time or space for Whithead. There is NO flowing by of time separate from the flowing, the ongoing process, of reality. He wants to bring out that idea. There are only epochs, rich with the realities "within" them, so to speak -- though they are never empty. (Even to speak of time is to speak of it separately from reality.) There are no empty epochs. The very word "epoch" is chosen because it's obviously a concept referring to a fullness of being. It has been too easy for us to imagine time without space, space without time, and both without reality, rather, both beyond reality.

"Time" is just a concept; but we almost always project it into reality as though it had a real existence in and of itself. We think "time" exists, though it is just a concept. Take the concept "tree" for example. We know that "tree" or "treeness" does not exist except as an idea, only trees exist. But "time" seems to us to exist, rather than "times," except in phrases like, "He beat me at chess many times." "Times" is used the same as "instances" here. "Time" seems to be a word like "sheep," the same in the plural as in the singular. The word "epoch" has the advantage that there is clearly a difference between "epoch" and the plural "epochs." No one is going to use "epoch" in the broad conceptual way that "time" is used, as though there is "epoch" and there is "space." It's a word that definitely conjures up concrete existences, realities in the plural, or one reality among many others, "the dinosaur epoch," or "the epoch of navigating around the world by sea" for example.

So to speak of an epoch in Whitehead's philosophy is to speak of the time aspect of the existence of an actual entity. It is to say that an actual entity IS an epoch, it IS a unit of time. And all units of time, being epochs, are FULL of their realities, they are actual entities, units of reality. So "epochs" and "actual entities" and "actual occasions" and "nexus" are all synonymous expressions that emphasize different aspects of units of reality. The term "actual entity" emphasizes that a unit of reality is a concrete existent item -- it is real ("actual") and it is concrete (an "entity" -- not abstract, not an idea). The term "epoch" emphasizes that an actual entity is in process, it has duration, it has a beginning and an end -- to speak in our ordinary way: it proceeds through a period of time. The term "actual occasion" emphasizes that an actual entity is a momentary existence, however long its "moment" may be; there is no existence that is not in process, or, to speak in the positive way, all actual e tities are in process. And all processes have a beginning and an end so there is no process going on the same forever. The term "nexus" emphasizes that every actual entity includes other actual entities, or parts thereof, in some way in its own being. Each actual entity imbibes or is internally connected to other actual entities, remotely to ALL others. There are no isolated actual entities, no empty actual entities, no gaps between them, no empty space, no empty time.

With all this new language a picture emerges of reality as being wholly composed of real, concrete existences that are invariably processes that incorporate other processes into their being and have a beginning and an end. It is just as well to note, as you have done, that "energy" better fits this view of reality than "matter" and "substance" and the like.

So you see, it's my view that "epoch" is just another way of referring to an actual entity, ANY actual entity, with an emphasis on its fullness and its limited duration -- the fact that its a process that's full of other processes with a beginning and an end.

Norm -Epochal Nature of Life You might wish to check out his site. I'm going to look into it and i'm reading now his Quantum Shift in the Global Brain -

Just to let you know we are private here now and whatever we say back and forth will be just between us for us. We can go public later. The advantage for now is that can post references and papers here and they will be saved for future use as a continuum of our discussion. If you see skye's initials (SH) it will mean Skye has written it. She will be posting for me from time to time. Hope all is well there.


Hi Norm,

Thanks much for your patience! My work here at the Hall involves meeting a lot of deadlines at the beginning of every month so I'm out of commission for a while. But the deadlines are done now so I can start on epochal time.

I don't remember where I left off but I want to say that Whitehead's theory of time means that there are many time streams, not just one. They are the life courses or processes of actual occasions, they are the successions of being, not just time. Of course there is no empty time, as in the expression, "space and time," like time was something in itself -- like time itself had being.

But the main difference between Whitehead's conception of time and our every day conception is that the present moment is in a state of potentiality. You may disagree with me here but I think that's how Whitehead sees it. It's only the past, what's past, that can be prehended, not the present. An occasion has a beginning, a fullness of its moment, and an end. It begins, it gathers itself together while it's in an indefinite state (the state of potentiality), then it concresces and ends, to be prehended by other occasions. The being of the present moment of an actual occasion is not yet in existence, not yet fully determined as to what it's going to be -- it's in a state of potentiality and can't be totally known, though parts of it that are in the past of an observer can certainly be known. This is where and when creativity takes place, in the present moment, when decisions are in process of being made but are not yet made.

I'll get back to that later. But right now I want to stress that each actual occasion exists in its own time stream. The time stream consists of a system of actual occasions that are structurally related, inherited down the stream. But time streams, obviously, intersect in all kinds of complex ways -- there is no isolated linear time stream. And every time stream is proceeding at its own pace, interacting with time streams that are proceeding at every imaginable pace. A human life, for example, is one time stream, one chain of actual occasions of a person, say, Beth. But this chain also composes one organism, that of Beth's, that's one actual occasion as well. So there's a sequence of occasions intersecting and interacting with the Beth organism. But there's many trillions of other occasions (most only nano seconds in duration) interacting with both of these as well, both with the Beth organism and the momentary Beth -- including occasions inside Beth's body but many trillions coming from outside as well. At each interaction of occasions, a present moment opens up and new decisions are made to propel the occasion into a novel adventure never existing exactly the same before on Earth or in the universe.

I want to follow up on these themes anon.



I thank you for the reminder of Pollack's work and Mercolas. I read Pollack's book sometime back and thank you for pointing to what he is doing now. I couldn't hear his side of the video interview but I'll look at his websites.

More later

III. Category: Developing the Value Science as Robert S. Hartman Initiated in the 1950s

R.S. Hartman put forth the first theory of value with definitions of what is "good" and the discovery of three hierarchical dimensions of value: intrinsic, extrinsic, and systemic. He developed a test that has been validated in most major cultures around the world. It tests processes of value perception.

  1. Psychiatry & Hartman (no text)
  2. My Time with Hartman (attached article (Deep Concerns Proposal for Value Science?? Needs to be found) Here are my thoughts from years of friendship with Hartman and I pay tribute to his life-time accomplishments and his work pushed me into my life-time of work pursuing the development of a Value Science. Here are my thoughts attached
  3. Thought Recipes ; that’s what science requires

IV. Category: What do institutions need to change so life can flourish?

1. What is the role of Control, Rapport, and Intimacy in Organizations.

We've started a conversation on this thread at join us there

2 - Is Obesity Focus What’s Needed for Health?


With so much emphasis now on eliminating obesity. Yeah, but then why obesity? Is that what's up? Watching a TED Prize winner Jamie Oliver talk about issues of children learning about food, reminded me that many kids have no idea even where milk comes from (a carton?) There is no "experience" with nature, with life? There is such a disconnect because the focus has been on anything but health. Money making, money saving, advertizing, consumerism appealing to our basic needs for meaning, for nourishment and quick fixes of fast food or purchase of some thing to fix a missing need. This all seems far afield of health considerations, but upon visiting a skilled nursing facility, I learned that they spend $6 a day on food for patients. It would seem they will keep patients longer with this expenditure and what an effective act for them to make more money from medicare and insurance...more fragmentation with acts of we versus them. Can't we see the connection here that there is no connection being made to the whole relatedness of what brings health?

3- In Living Companies, Employee's Are High Priority


By law a company is considered a "person." So where is the identity of a company the source of it's creative engine? It's the employees. Companies are by law required to put the stockholder first above all else. I understand the CEO can be held liable if their action does not support that law. So where do the employees come in? In a company whose values are more like an economic machine, employees are assets to be bought,sold, fired etc. In a living company, employees are considered first and foremost since they do the making, creating, and maintaining of the company. They store the a "acts of the company's history" The employees are treated with consideration of what supports them, allows them to feel important, a vital part of the whole. Living companies encourage the fulfillment of individual employees, their families and their well being while working in the company. This is intrinsic motivation, not just financial motivation. Profit is like oxygen for any company, but it isn't it's purpose unless it's an economic machine by its choice of values. We need oxygen to live as organisms, but we don't live to breathe. Where's the meaning in work, tasks, coming to work each day if only to make profit. Some people are motivated by making money, and others, perhaps more than we know, seek deeper meaning from their contribution to a greater whole organism. It's when we feel included and see our role in this greater whole that many will put in extra time and effort to keep the whole working, growing and producing.


All companies are societies of living entities. Management can now manage in ways that can be appropriate for a living entity or they can mistakenly manage in ways that would be appropriate for a machine. In a machine case it will all soon unravel. Managing it as living organism we find many of the things you said like priorities are placed on employees etc.

Such companies being managed by the rules of life can and often do survive for long term. Those as machines don't last longer than 40 years if that

4 - Energy Medicine Is Where Health Care REform Needs to Go

From a paper on the history of Energy medicine in the US see the attached doc


New Concepts in Diagnosis and Treatment in which he described the Electronic Reactions of Abrams (ERA). This might be considered as the beginning of subtle energetic diagnostic methods. According to ERA, all diseases have their own "vibratory rate" which can be measured, and also treated, with unique electronic boxes developed by Abrams.According to his theory, one could cure disease by transmitting back to the diseased tissue the same subtle vibratory rate it was transmitting. This would neutralize the abnormal vibrations and allow the tissue to exhibit healthy vibratory rates, thus potentially eliminating the disease. Abrams also believed that drugs worked when they had the same or similar "vibrations" as the disease they cured. In this approach to disease his thinking was somewhat analogous to the teachings of Samuel Hahnemann (1755 - 1843), the founder of homeopathy. see Society for Study of Subtle Energies.


This is a quote from Susan Koehler, who uses energy medicine. Check out her site.

"Energy medicine harbors the promise to change an omnipresent understanding of medicine in the western world today. It welcomes individuals to recognize and embrace limitless potential for healing the human body. It seeks to empower those disillusioned by an impersonal system dominated by the pharmaceutical and insurance industries. And it offers hope.

There are countless approaches and modalities that employ magnetic and vibrational effects to change energetic fields and patterns in and around the human body. They can be simple or complex but they are accessible and available to anyone. Within each human body lives a magnetic force field. A receptive hand can accept, draw out, or boost energy. It can become the lightning rod that shifts universal frequencies and patterns. Blocked, stagnated, and congested fields can be stimulated to move in patterns more conducive to optimal health. Fingers, strategically placed, can strengthen or sedate energy through vortexes and channels (meridians) that support organs and systems, restoring vitality or alleviating pain.

These require no special “download” or blessing. They are the gift of our humanness. One need only open to the possibilities that await."

5- Education Ahhh Just Remember the Ecstacy

George Leonard wrote The Education and Ecstasy in 1968 it was such a vision for the future 2001.(I guess we missed it a bit) He reminds me of the possibilities we've forgotten. I'm going to get it out and bring many of his ideas out again. They got lost somewhere. for example

The Free learner

The total learning environment

That learning is essential to living organisms - ecstasy occurs

We cannot guess what the distant future will ask of its schools, but can sense far enough into the future to see what our children already need.

Schools are for What? he asks

To learn the commonly-agreed upon skills and knowledge reading, writing, figuring history etc. to learn facts joyfully but to remember facts are strictly tentative.

To learn how to ring creative changes on all that is currently agreed upon.

To learn delight, not aggression; sharing, not eager acquisition; uniqueness, not narrow competition.

To learn heightened awareness and control of emotional, sensory and bodily states and, through this, increased empathy for other people (a new kind of citizenship education.)

To learn how to enter and enjoy varying states of consciousness, in preparation for a life of change

To learn how to explore and enjoy the infinite possibilities in relations between people, perhaps the most common form of ecstasy.

To learn how to learn, for learning one word that includes singing, dancing, interacting and much more, it is already becoming the main purpose of life.

6 - Institutional change

Carmella Mazzotta

Institutions are human teams of people who want to be connected and growing inside of themselves and allowed to feel their strengths and use them........with the focus on problems, evaluation, and measurement, there is often lots of wasted time, energy and no results......... i suggest intergenerational, interracial, interethnic, intergender gatherings of people who actually talk together, participate in silence together, act together and then regroup continuously........but i am concerned as i walk on the street that there isn't even eye contact on the street anymore (walkman's, cell phones, ipods etc.); let's work at connecting but in all our diversity as we alllllll have a different kind of wisdom, a different kind of loving, a different kind of intelligence and a different kind of action. let's learn from the folk doing what they call "human movement science" in developing countries with respect for life and trust building and less a focus on quick results and more on lasting results..........owned by all ..........let's learn about autognomics and start with knowing ourselves really well. i find this the most challenging! Go Autognomics Institute! Let's in the community starting supporting AI to get virtual communities going and then eventually people will hook up, don't you think?

Norm Hirst response…

Amen! Now you're talking. We've been watching interviews with Aboriginal people on their perspective on life and oh what has been overlooked there is so important. We can learn much there. Living business, living company's like De Gius wrote about gives lots to consider. At PopTech, here in Camden, people were here talking about the many changes needed and even mentioned that there are websites now that post big problems that cannot be solved by the powerful "experts" within these companies and they are inviting anyone in the world "outthere" to help them find the answers. It is in the diversity where the new views and approaches can come.

V. Category: Where is Life as Creative Organism Showing Up? How is it making a difference? Open Space and New World Views Terry Irwin

1 - Terry Irwin – on World-View

New worldview for Design

It is a wake-up call for society in general and designers in particular. Designers are incredibly powerful: We have a hand in creating the communications, experiences and artifacts that comprise our world and we have an increasing influence upon the decisions affecting the quality of life for millions of people.

We are increasingly aware that the cumulative effects of our “designs” is harming the planet in ways that may be irreversible. How can we begin to harness the power of design to contribute to the large problems confronting society that have big consequences?

An outdated worldview

In his book The Turning Point Fritjof Capra refers to a “crisis in perception” or our collective inability to perceive the underlying interconnections and interdependencies that form a complex web of life on this planet. He maintains this crisis is the result of a mechanistic world view whose roots can be traced back to the seventeenth century and its leading thinkers of the scientific revolution: Descartes (man and the universe as machine), Bacon (use of the empirical method to control nature), Galileo (combined scientific experimentation with mathematics to formulate laws of nature), and Newton (synthesized all their work into a mathematical formulation of nature, or a mechanistic world view).

Their theories re-conceived the cosmos as a complex machine that could only be understood through its deconstruction. The only “truth” was that which was quantifiable, preferably through the language of mathematics and this gave rise to the belief in man’s intellect over all things, especially nature. This reductionist/mechanistic world view which favors quantities over qualities, compartmentalizes our infrastructures and permeates virtually every aspect of our society from government to medicine and most importantly education.

Orr contends “We have fragmented the world into bits and pieces called disciplines and sub-disciplines, hermetically sealed from other such disciplines. As a result, after 12 or 16 or 20 years of education, most students graduate without any broad integrated sense of the unity of things; the consequences for their personhood and for the planet are large”.

This trend toward ever greater degrees of specialization is one of the results of a world view that focuses on parts, not wholes, on objects instead of relationships. If scientific discoveries in the 17th century laid the groundwork for the current, outdated world view, ironically it could be the scientific discoveries of the 20th century that give rise to a new paradigm, one that reintegrates qualitative experience and advocates a symbiotic relationship with the natural world.

Principles of a Holistic Science

In his book The Web of Life, Capra characterizes some of the implications of scientific discoveries in the late 20th century: Ultimately as quantum physics showed so dramatically there are no parts at all. What we call a part is merely a pattern in an inseparable web of relationships. Therefore a shift from the parts to the whole can also be seen as a shift from objects to relationships.

Discoveries such as chaos and complexity theory, an understanding of the autopoetic, self-organizing nature of life and properties of emergence are radically changing our understanding of the nature of the cosmos and our role in it. Living systems theory tells us that life’s natural tendency is to organize into ever greater levels of complexity in networks, patterns and structures that emerge out of seeming chaos without external direction. Organization wants to happen; it isn’t waiting for designers to conceptualize it.

Science now knows that open systems (any system in an ongoing exchange of energy and matter with its us), operating far from equilibrium, in seeming chaos, display the greatest potential for innovation and creativity when they are far from equilibrium. In other words, the creativity is to an extent, in the chaos and order will almost always spontaneously emerge out of seeming disorder.

Holistic Science : Holistic Design

Design for emergence. Order arises naturally, it can’t be imposed (or it won’t last very long)

Design for relationship. Everything is interconnected; if we focus on the connections and not the objects themselves, the design parameters change.

Design for change. Given enough time, all form is fluid and so are the conditions you’re designing for.

Design with humility. Solutions and outcomes can�t be predicted and small changes in initial conditions can give rise to huge changes. We can never predict or fully understand the consequences and impacts of the things we think we can is hubris.

Nature is a better designer than we are.

Nature has been designing slowly, iteratively and appropriately for place for over 3.8 billion years and has evolved her design principles to such a sophisticated and sustainable level that the concept of waste doesn’t exist. Everything that nature creates, from beaver damns to spider webs, to coral reefs and ant-hills are biodegradable. Ants comprise the same relative biomass on the planet as humans and have been here far longer, yet their industrious and creative communities are characterized by cooperation with each other and the environment.

If designers did nothing more than follow a few of the simple design principles found in nature, our society would likely be transformed within the span of a single generation.

Janine Benyus, author of Biomimicry lists nine design principles found in nature:

  1. Nature runs on sunlight
  2. Nature uses only the energy it needs
  3. Nature fits form to function
  4. Nature recycles everything
  5. Nature rewards cooperation
  6. Nature banks on diversity
  7. Nature demands local expertise
  8. Nature curbs excesses from within
  9. Nature taps the power of limits

Natural Design

My masters degree in Holistic Science at Schumacher College and my current PhD research within The Centre for the Study of Natural Design at the University of Dundee explore these ideas and their relationship to and relevance for design and design education.

The Natural Design Movement is based upon the contention that “Nature and Culture are fundamentally interdependent and interconnected by complex social, cultural, economic, ecological and psychological interactions, therefore humanity and nature will have to cooperate as symbiotic, co-evolving living systems.”(CSFD 2007)

Natural Design is about developing a larger vision for design and the role it has to play in the 21st century. In my own design practice and teaching I try to engage clients and students in this inquiry that involves “thinking globally and acting locally.” Even small shifts in the conversations we have or the processes we employee can trigger big changes...chaos theory posits that a butterfly flapping its wings in the Amazon rainforest can start a hurricane in southeast Asia. I take comfort in that theory. It means that even the smallest step we take toward a more sustainable design practice and lifestyle can have enormous effects.

Next Steps

After the new ideas and theory...what next? How do we begin to embody principles of a new worldview? The short answer is, I don’t know...this is the inquiry that I’m engaged in. I can share some of the questions I’m asking and ideas I’m testing.

Ask questions. We need to look outside the discourse of design to find inspiration and new paths of exploration

Try to better understand how the world works. Most of us can’t say where our water comes from or where our waste goes. What does it mean to design in harmony with the inherent lawfulness of the natural world?

Count on human ignorance. We will always miscalculate and create flawed designs. Anticipating this must be part of the design parameters

Remain a student for life. In our global, interconnected world learning is the key to transforming our society. If we can do it in a state of wonder and posture of speculation it will be more fun for everyone. Certainty shuts downs speculation and conversation.

Think in longer horizons of time.especially when designing. Native American peoples made any decision with the seventh generation in mind...shouldn’t we design the same way?

Design for place. Or, think globally/act locally. Nature doesn’t take a templatized approach to design (one size fits all) and neither should we. The context for any design solution is always the local environment with its own distinct characteristics and conditions.

Baby steps are OK. Even a simple project can be a testing ground for new ideas and different ways to work. Asking “can it be printed on recycled stock?...or perhaps “does it need to be printed at all”...and eventually “do you think your business could become more sustainable by...(you fill in the blank).

Every boundary drawn around a problem is an artificial one. Any solution I create will have consequences and effects that ripple out far beyond the context I framed it within. The greater context for every design problem is the environment.

Collaboration, not competition. Contrary to popular belief, nature is more often cooperative than competitive...remember everything is interconnected and interdependent. Transforming our design process and practices to reflect this will set the butterfly’s wings in motion

2. Harrison Owen’s Open Space is Organismic; Check out to see a process started by Harrison Owen. It's amazing how coherence and self-initiating the process is.

VI. Category: How are you a Creative Organism? Living your life's purpose - How does it help you live life in harmony with ourselves and others? ***

1 - What can be done to overcome entrapments of mechanisms and traditions of Western materialism?


What can be done to overcome the entrapments of mechanisms and traditions of Object based science and world-view, to grow a new mind/world view when we are currently so rooted in the "what isness" of things?

I would suggest that one way would be to deepen our capacity for self-knowing, deeper conversations about how we know, from our own experience of living. Question the "what is" accepted constrictions of how it is, and ask how would it feel to be fully alive, able to act in coherence with self (individuation) and with the greater coherence. What would that even look like?

Perhaps its more about feeling/felt sense knowing rather than pure thought/words/mental constructs of reality based on mathematics and structures of binary relations.

2- Challenges of being in your full creative self

Carmella: well, i think here, as i reflect on the Hartman Value Inventory/hierarchy and see through your research and others that materialism doesn't have much "value" really, i think about how both joyous and challenging it is to overcome a material a creative organism approaching my late 50's, i'm in the habits of a material world on so many levels, personally and professionally. i have had epochs in my life when i embraced how wondrous it was to see what i could create artistically, professionally and personally. Then I've had epochs of reliance on material things and the opinions of others and society. Today, I am focused on my insides and my connections to other people .........more so......maybe because i'm not so good looking anymore and can't rely on it but i hope it is deeper than that.........i am seeing the subtle connections of my energy each day on others and from others.....i'm also starting to ignore or diminish so many requests for giving data and measures to funding sources in my work that don't feel right........and relying on a range of hunches, observations and feelings.......but this is not easy to be truly in your full creative state......i can see where disease comes about by resisting all of our bounteous creative possibilities.........

Skye Yeah, amen. That is amazingly beautiful and soo well written Thank you.

VII. Category -Eternal Life, a New Vision (a new vision of spirituality, oneness) ***

Eternal Life, a New Vision – this book by Bishop Spong helps us think and experience the new consciousness as it is showing up in Christianity about What is God? People are dropping out of religion at a high rate. They will no longer experience God as ruler. Instead they are accepting God as their loving co-creator.

Carmella; first reaction to spong/TAI sympatico

As i read Eternal life, Spong's book, (not finished), i can't help but feel inspired even as a devout Catholic as I believe God is not a tertiary being...........outside entity...... I have always felt connections.....but i'm realizing as a student of the Autognomic Institute's (AI)work that intuiting and intellectualizing on our connectivity around the neighborhood and the globe are not enough........Spong and AI are perturbing us to rely more on our intrinsic nature that is God like........or perhaps "has" God..........."is God" helps me understand myself better; I used to teach Catholic release time instruction for public school kids in college and my motif was the church as the "people of God"............maybe as I explore and continue to be perturbed i'll change that to a new question, not caring what the church is anymore and developing that new question that i as yet don't know.........

Norm - Now we're talkin! I await your new question. And that embracement of all that we are means recognizing all that awaits us within in that connection to God, the divine or co-creator etc. And then being aware that from there you have access to infinite of infinite possibilities as you open to the fullness of your unique intrinsic nature. Because there is so much, the only way we can know it is through the heart and embodied mind where the mind and body are connected that we come into oneness with that Godness of ourselves, the loving and ah yes the intuitive inspirare makes itself known to us in how to act in this moment.

Actually let me correct myself...connection to God implies again that God is "other" so instead You are part of God just like your finger is part of you. No need to connect to God, you are already connected. But just as the finger is part of you, the finger still must fulfill it's "finger thing". This is the way organisms work being both autonomous and connected at the same time. The finger isn't a separate part either. It is constantly connected to the whole, the blood flow, the nervous system AND most importantly the energy field that is forming it and creating it over and over as a unity of the body.

VIII - Category - We are all connected. It is more than metaphor; What is your experience of oneness?

Join in this community of discourse to share and find that idea, experience or inspiration that can help you or someone else? ***

1 - What is Tacit Knowledge?

Skye - How does this knowing show up in valuing choices? Is it changing, evolving with actions of inquiry, then results are derived, evaluated, integrated, harmonized for greater, deeper capacity of knowing, followed again with new acts grown out of what this new knowing provides?

Your reflections from you tacit knowing are invited.

2 – Who Am I?

Global Oneness Project through film "Expanding Identities" is something the new paradigm is pointing to. Check it out.

We are connected. I put out an elbow and push someone - sooner or later that elbow and push comes back to me. As I used to say when working with elementary children when they would do something unkind or act in isolated manner, "how would you feel if someone did that to you?" This question puts into child's process the act of empathizing with other, with sensing the relationship with other. Most often the child would say I wouldn't like it and their behavior would change, not because i told them to change, nor because i punished them etc, but because they would "know" the "felt sense" of their acts, their inner relations within themselves was not a "good" act, it didn't feel good when they were asked to focus on that.

What would you feel if someone did that to you? Our actions come from how we feel, and those feelings (felt senses) can inform us on how to find our way to more effective acts that help us form coherence within and without

3 - *** Report on What I learn from Norm and Skye, it changed my life

What I Learned from Norm and Skye Hirst

And How It Changed My Life

by Rodney Plimpton

Before I met Norm and Skye I had a pretty good handle on how Life worked, or so I thought. I had a PhD in Social Psychology from Stanford, had studied Human Potential for Five years with Jean Houston, I knew all about stimulus-response and something about cybernetics. I didn’t consciously realize how much my model of life was based on a popular concoction Darwinism, materialism, elitism, and computer science. But it all came down to this: the brain was in charge. (except maybe for those messy outbursts of emotion, or the unconscious power of the ID; but even that was a brain function; just a hidden one). Whatever we did or experienced was noticed by the brain, consciously or unconsciously, and got written into little programs that told us what to do and what not to do to get what we wanted. The rest of the body obeyed, unless it was sick or wounded.

If this was the model, then being SMART was good, and being SMARTER THAN OTHERS was evidence of being farther along on the evolutionary scale. Having a heart and genuinely caring about others? Yes, that was very important too; a sign of evolved consciousness; simply more evidence of being multi-dimensionally smart.

Then I met Norm and Skye at a small conference that I wasn’t even supposed to be at. They were an odd couple for sure. He had all the hallmarks of an out-on-a-limb academic, and she looked and talked and sang like someone who should have been headed for Hollywood or Broadway, instead of Bayview Avenue in Camden, Maine. And to hear them talk! According to them nobody else knew what they were talking about. Our bodies weren’t anything like computers. There were no programs inside of us. Somebody named Hartman did something brilliant about values that was really important but it was hard to understand why or how. So while that well-developed brain was saying “Maybe brilliant, but also maybe a nut case” my gut was saying, “there’s something there really worth understanding, “dig deeper””and the gut won.

I’m glad it did. I read their papers, and tried to rewrite them so that they made sense to me. I read on my own. I thought about what they were saying and began to look at the world a little bit differently. I particularly thought about their notions of autonomy and coherence. And eventually I got it,.sort of.

What I got was that yes, our brain was important; you could lose a toenail and function better than if you lost your brain. But it was only one part of some 70 trillion cells in our bodies. And those cells were, to a surprising degree, making autonomous decisions about what to do, based on awareness of themselves, combined with awareness of what was going on throughout the whole body. And they were aiming for coherence; doing what would work for them but would also either work for the rest of the body, or at the very least, not interfere with letting all the other cells do what they needed to do for themselves and for the whole body. The brain plays an important role on its own, for sure,but not in the command and control way that I previously thought.

It was a very short leap from there to a much larger understanding. There are some 70 trillion cells in our bodies, getting along pretty well in a cooperative way that enables us to live and learn. It took them some billions of years to get there from primeval slime, but every one of us is living proof of the accomplishment.

There are only about 7 billion of these collections of living cells walking around this planet at this time. It ought to be easier for 7 billion big, smart cells to figure out how to get along together than for 70 trillion sub-human ones,but that is obviously not the case,yet. But clearly that is where we need to go, even if it takes us another billion years to get there.

Now I can’t shake that notion as a fundamental insight. When I am in a room full of very diverse people, I no longer look at the ones least like me and think “Wow, I’m glad I’m not them.” Instead I look at them and think “Gee, here we are, a bunch of different, seemingly individual cells, living in proximity to each other, and trying to figure out how we can get it together so it works for all of us.” If you think that doesn’t lead to a change in attitude, and a change in your life, just try it. Don’t forget the billion years part, it helps to keep from being too hard on yourself or others.

Now I’m not claiming that Norm and Skye have led me to the same understanding that they have, but they’ve led me someplace different from where I was, and I like living in the new place better. Thanks Norm and Skye. Maybe in another billion years I’ll REALLY get it together.

4 - It all seems to be about connecting with others for change but always in flux, no?


I'm finding that meditation helps me to open up to real connection to others, with efforts at total forgiveness of self and (this opening up)is ongoing but essential so that I feel some sense of meaning.

The papers TAI has put out all have stuff about connection and they are particularly important for us as Americans who are often isolated in one way or another to read; I am rereading them because you are showing the dynamism in being in relationship, that is being connected, and how that can always change into a more "effective act" as you say. I believe this........rereading your stuff and then re-acting (acting again in each changed context) so I perceive differently is helping me activate my creativity.......slowly but surely.......

Skye Hirst: We are always creating from each experience (Whitehead called them actual occasions) Actual occasions combine in us in "felt sense" unities that then form prehensions for next act of creation towards the next actual occasion. I'm learning this language myself. But I like it because it is something to point to already formed by Whitehead. He caused much flux and so did Hartman. People are still trying to figure them out,but to do so the part that gets us understanding comes from our own embodied experience, not that from collected abstracted "facts" about something we haven't yet embodied. Varela, Thompson and Rosch wrote about this in the Embodied mind. To See summary of this book I'll send this later. It helps frame much of our discussion.

Norm Hirst; A lot of what use to be thought of as metaphor is turning out to be reality as we discover more about bio-fields which connect us. It's more than flux, it's changing realities as we each create anew, moment to moment.

Carmella Mazzotta: how can metaphor be reality? maybe the related question is how does metaphor play a role in living process?

Norm Hirst: Metaphors are ways of talking about things that we don't understand well. They express some aspect of what we think be it feelings, images or whatever and that's the best we can do. However as more knowledge comes into being, we can speak of it more directly than we were with metaphor. The metaphor in living process can be useful because when trying to capture what we are experiencing within our "in-formed" felt sense, metaphor, images work better because what we are pointing to, the reality it points to, is made up of infinite relations like what we experience in a great piece of art.

IX Category - What does art of this consciousness look like?

Share what you are finding. What does it look like? How does it feel? What is it helping you know that you didn't know or feel? Experiences of the oneness????

1 - Is YouTube such a new art form?

NH. It certain seems that on YouTube there are lots of people excited about expressing themselves freely and creatively without restrictions to see what it feels like and it must feel good by the numbers participating. It's an organism and like all good organisms, it is evolving. More and more creativity is showing up. And we're a big organism with lots of diversity as we can see and experience on these social networks.

SH: It may not be You Tube per se, but lots of new art is finding it's expression on You Tube for all to see and connect with. See these films, wonderful examples of onenessness as they apply to ecology, religions, living in harmony in our diversity.

X Category - Organisms find effective acts (action) how?

1- Is War Inevitable? Effective?

It seems that a new book is out talking about what are the 10 things required for being successful at war. Now that really peaked my attention, especially since President Obama has spoken of the necessity for "just wars" One of the 10 things is to have the will for it, another was to be willing to sustain ruthlessness or some such idea. Another is to recognize and accept that there will always be war. WEll I'll get back here with the particulars, book name etc. But let's get this conversation going. Is war inevitable? Then I have to ask, if organisms only act in ways they perceive as effective for themselves, then what is effective about a war?

2 - Are Colds An "Effective Act" by our Bodies?

Just think when we get a cold it's usually an effective act for the body in some way. We've been eating wrong foods, too much stress, not enough sleep, no excercise,or too much exercise and too many acid producing foods causing PH balance to go off. The body is trying to get rid of toxins that build up and the acid imbalance is just right environment for "bugs" of all kinds. So do I dare say have a nice cold? Mmmm maybe a little homeopathic remedy to assist the body to do what it does best, kick back for a bit, rest, relax, enjoy some nice veggies, and give the body time to find it's balance. There's a lot more to it of course, but more on this later. Just remember when you take that cold medicine to stop the effects, you're stopping the body from finding the balance "naturally."