History of TAI

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History of TAI

The Autognomics Institute was founded in 1993 as a non-profit research and education organization, (a 501C 3) in New York and Maine, USA.

Skye Hirst chose the word, Autonomics which points to a unique characteristic of how life-knows itself. Gene Pendergraft added the “g” to make it Autognomics for greater clarity of meaning drawing from the word gnostic, to know. So the word Autognomics was born. In the fall of 1992, following the outbreak of the Gulf War, Norm Hirst, Skye Hirst and Gene Pendergraft felt pressed into action to initiate this new work by inviting a group of scholars from five different emerging disciplines to explore the founding of the Autognomics Institute; to see if it was feasible and necessary to form a new science of life-itself that would combine the insights from these different but complementary disciplines. Process philosophy and metaphysics (Whitehead and Hartshorne), Axiology (Hartman), Semiotics (Peirce), Autopoiesis (Varela & Maturana), the new mathematical discoveries of Robert Rosen, the new logics of Curry, Brown among others.

The first members invited were Myrdene Anderson, anthropologist and semiotician; Wayne Carpenter, axiologist; Jon Ray Hamann, physicist and relational biologist; Norm Hirst, logician and axiologist, Skye Hirst, human development and communication, Floyd Merrell, linquist and semiotician; Gene Pendergraft, philosopher and semiotician; Fred Reed, knowledge systems and education, Stanley Salthe, biologist; Milan Zeleny, business systems and autopoeisis.

Scholars from these various disciplines attending agreed on the value and need for such an inquiry and development towards a new science combining the insights from these emerging disciplines plus others that may be forthcoming.

This first scholars’ conference was sponsored by the West Cornwall, Connecticut Conference Center of NYC Trinity Church. Since 1992, the work of Norm and Skye Hirst along with independent scholarship of Floyd Merrell, Gene Pendergraft and Jon Ray Hamann have shared their unique inquiries to further TAI's work towards a new science of life-itself.

The theory development is rigorous through identifying hypotheses that are tested against experience and examined through the lenses of all areas of known knowledge from realms of metaphysics, philosophy and science (where formalisms have guided inquiries) as well as personal and organizational experience of living and society functions.

Inquiry circles have formed interaction between thought leaders, "front-liners," (people who are up against societal problems daily) and the researchers at TAI. This process continues today to determine the efficacy, applications and implications of philosophical findings and empirical discoveries about the logos of life-itself.

From the first 16 years of research, a beginning set of discoveries is now being published. This neoscience of the logos of life-itself is underway.

Building on the initial 50 years of inquiry by founders, Norm Hirst, Skye Hirst and Gene Pendergraft, what TAI researchers are doing today is focusing on discoveries that have been emerging from laboratories around the world in the last 2-3 decades. These discoveries are virtually unknown because no one seems to know how to talk about them. Talking involves categories. Categories are based on experience and the predominant thought is based on the experience of materialism. Though there are many experiences that go beyond materialism they get largely marginalized. Thus to introduce what is going on beyond materialism requires new language, a new mind.

As we present the theory of life-itself (zero point energy, non-manifest in physical space and time, which can create life and manifestation) involving ...

  • organisms (organism is a society of organisms)
  • values
  • non-locality
  • consciousness and evolution
  • integration
  • connectedness (all life is connected)
  • knowledge leading to "informare"

We have to remember that it cannot be boiled down to linear, single concept thinking, nor most of all, the mental habits we're used to in understanding materialism.

Mechanism takes a slice out of reality, a small slice and materialism forces a confinement to that boundary. Reality is far more than that mechanistic slice. It involves processes that we've never been aware of. Those are processes that create and promote life.

Materialism forces us to disconnect from the life-promoting-creating processes, thus the human race has lost meaning, lost direction and indeed have turned to the most dangerous, suicidal directions.