TWO MODELS FOR SOCIETAL METAMORPHOSIS

This distinction emerged when trying to share WayFinder with Tom Greco on 8/15/14 in Bisbee, Arizona.  What follows throughout this essay is my (Larry’s) interpretation of WayFinder – as a type of model – for which Alan Yelsey’s version is but one example.

Alan Yelsey claims his Wayfinder model is  (1)  a process starting small and relatively independent of its societal environment – in terms of its inner growth & development (galdee) – becoming an emerging, alternative societal system Alan calls Y-World; (2) Y-World works change on systems in its societal environment;  (3) resulting eventually in a new humanity with the defining characteristics of Y-World. These are my (Larry’s) words, not Alan’s.

I would call this a model for EMERGENCE, and not TRANSFORMATION, IF the form of the future humanity is primarily determined by Y-Worlds and not the systems in initial humankind prior to the formation of Y-Worlds – transFORMed.  This is not the model of metamorphosis employed by biological insects, such as Caterpillar2Butterfly (most research on metamorphosis is with the fruit-fly).

  •     “Societal Environment” is a conceptual scheme implied from the works of Robert Fritz’s THE PATH OF LEAST RESISTANCE & CREATING.  To a person, alone in a strange village, the human system of the village is a societal environment (containing both resources and dangers to be used or avoided, as one does with their “natural environment”). On the other hand, the humans in the village are functioning components of village community, and not viewed by them as an “environment”. For many urban gangs, others in the city are their environment. “Environments”, as a term used here, relates to one’s “subjective” perspective. From an abstract/objective perspective a being and its environment are both parts of a single system.
  •     Societal systems tend to indoctrinate their human population to believe they are citizens/components, giving support and allegiance to the societal system. Contrary-wise, in many cases the societal systems treat their population as the system’s environment to use, exploit, consume, and dispose of.
  •     One’s environments (natural or societal) must be respected. They are full of real constraints and opportunities; to ignore either can prove disastrous.

The model of Societal Metamorphosis I proposed in 1974 is primarily analogous to insect metamorphosis. In this analog the old system (caterpillar) dis-organizes (in metaphor into a nutrient soup for the imaginal buds). The imaginal buds are clusters of cells (from the original fertilized egg, from mating butterflies) that remain small as the caterpillar cells enlarge and form into the functioning body of the caterpillar. These imaginal buds are embryonic forms of the organs and other parts of the potential butterfly.  They are able to maintain a stasis within the living caterpillar until active metamorphosis is triggered. Imaginal buds then grow, develop and organize, feeding off the decaying caterpillar cells.

  •     I have read, but have not searched for more details, that two subsystems of the caterpillar, the neural and digestive, don’t decay but do transform (cells become smaller and reform) into parallel subsystems for the emergent butterfly – linking with the emerging imaginal buds. In the “pure” model the form of the caterpillar doesn’t influence the form of the butterfly. “Emergence” being the process whereby a form appears (emerges) where there was no prior form to be transFORMed.
  •     I have read, but not verified, that insects which metamorphose, have two distinct genome nuclei in their cells.  Also, that this dual form cycle resulted evolutionarily when a whole genome was acquired by the “adult” form, providing for a larval earlier form. I have read there are insects which have near identical adult forms, but one has a larval form and the other doesn’t.  Insect metamorphosis can only provide models to study and modify when applying to personal/social/societal change.

I have always known that the analogy had problems.  Contemporary humankind (the prior system, the societal-caterpillar analog) isn’t decaying, although it is rapidly transforming. There is no nutrient soup and the power of the “collapsing” societal-caterpillar is becoming an increasingly dangerous system (societal environment), with many potentials for suppressing the emergence of any new form; whether it be Y-Worlds or NU (the name Larry gave to the nu Humanity emergent from some viable process of Societal Metamorphosis).

  •     My dialogs with Alan Yelsey forced me to re-examine my approach to our Societal Environment; how it will change and how its REPLACEMENT by a nu Humanity (Y-Worlds or NU) would occur – which I have been calling the “End Game”. My speculative scenario, THIS GREAT DAY, was a crude sketch of one path for replacement. Thinking now on this I realize that preparing for THIS GREAT DAY requires a process similar to WayFinder.

Let me explore, in more detail, the alternative model of Societal Metamorphosis implied by Alan’s WayFinder.

  •     “Agents” from an emergent Y-World infiltrate societal systems in pre-existing humankind. They can be persons who retain functional roles in humankind, but who have been “converted” to the WayFinder movement. Persons who are fully committed to WayFinder and Y-Worlds could seek employment – possibly seafed by those WayFinder members already employed. They would experiment with  tactics-within-strategies  to seaf change processes in those systems and subsystems of existing humankind.
  •     Although their actions should not be directed from a central Y-World authority, they would want to act in concert with developing WayFinder strategy. They would not want to move ahead, independent of WayFinder strategy, in ways that might bring down the Buzzsaw from establishment forces, or even alert them to WayFinder strategy. This would be a very delicate dance and preferably would occur after appropriate simulations.
  •     Imagine a fleet of nano robots working on individual cells of a biological organism to slowly alter their individual processes (behaviors) so the new coordination becomes in synchrony with a pattern of activity set by the nano robots. Can we imagine a rabbit being changed into a hawk?  I actually believe this may be possible, but maybe not desired. Now re-imagine the fleet of nano robots being explorer human cells/persons self-organizing in Y-Worlds who interact within societal systems to gradually change them. Their changes coordinated by experimental strategies.
  •     As I have learned to “feel” the emergence from Humankind to Humanity in analog with the emergence of butterfly from caterpillar, I attempt to “feel” this alternative mode of emergence.  I encounter two, distinct domains of activity. One, is deep cellular activity morphing a rabbit to a hawk. The model of hawk is programmed into individual change agent cells distributed throughout the body of the rabbit, coordinating the actions of these “rebel” cells as they transform the rabbit cells into hawk cells, and seafing their organizing. The other perspective involves a hawk template emergent as real cell systems within the body of the rabbit, absorbing modified rabbit cells as new hawk cells. The cells of the rabbit are modified and absorbed in the emerging hawk form.

In my analysis, the primary determinant for a balance between the WayFinder model and the Caterpillar2Butterfly model is the “nature” and trend projections for established Humankind and their abilities to “resist”.  Another factor will be the time scales for change, given constrains from different forecasts of climate change models.  At this stage I recommend “full speed ahead” with BOTH models.  How they may interact has yet to be explored.
This analysis clarifies for me:  UPLIFT (as a well designed action strategy) is independent of longer-term future scenarios. From my perspective, it is a NECESSARY OBJECTIVE (uplifting the distribution of conceptual/intuitive/performance competencies in the global population requisite for viable participation in the changes forecast.  Both WayFinder and Caterpillar2Butterfly metamorphosis scenarios, as well as traditional reform proposals (model “metamorphosis” from Tadpole to Frog), require a significantly uplifted constituency. This includes the uplifting of ALL, and most significantly those MOST expert and competent by today’s standards. So called “leadership” is grossly inadequate to our needs. However, collectively and distributed, contemporary humankind contains the requisite POTENTIAL TO CHANGE.

  •     This is my CLAIM, a proposition that is open to challenge. Many will also claim, for various reasons, that our competency base is sufficient. The learning that will be needed is what always accompanies progress. We will learn what we need to learn; that is the human way. I am concerned about our learning what we don’t yet know we need to learn, or that there are other new domains for learning we are unaware of.
  •     Yet, there are those already envisioning better futures who have identified knowledge/competency domains where uplifting will be needed in both levels of knowledge/competency and in vastly increased numbers of persons gaining them.

Such CHANGE requires a strategy-for-change commensurate with the magnitude/scope/complexity of our challenges. Ross Ashbey’s LAW OF REQUISITE VARIETY, the Second Law of Cybernetics must to applied.   “Thinking-Out-of-the-Box” must attend to nested&networked system of boxes.  Single paradigm shifts or awakenings are insufficient.

  •     Given the truly AWESOME nature of our challenge, we must seek a commensurat AWESOME strategy.
  •     The STAKES are COSMIC. Here on this beautiful blue-green planet with a truly marvelous biosphere (FOUR BILLION years in the making) – which may be unique in the entire cosmological universe (the next in a sequence of experimental cosmic-creation attempts) we witness the creative push of Cosmos/Gaia in an experimental liberation of the INFORMATION DOMAIN from its prior embeddment in the MATTER/ENERGY DOMAIN. Humankind2HUMANITY may have significance equivalent to THE BIG BANG!
  •         In the context of COSMIC HUMOR, I can accept the failure of this creative adventure on Terra with humans. If the morphogenetic fields hypothesis of Sheldrake is valid, each failure contributes to the increased potential of future success.  However, as an active agent in this creative challenge, I want EARTH to be the FIRST.
  •         THIS is as grandiose as you can get. Play the Game. What can you lose?

Author: nuet

01/24/1935. BS-physics RPI 1956; MS-physics UofChicago 1958; PhD-physics Yale 1965; PhD-Edu Psy Uof MInnesota 1970. Auroral Research Byrd Station, Antarctica 11/1960-02/1962. MINNEMAST curriculum dev 1964-68. Woodstock. faculty Pima Community College, Tucson 1974-1997. Transdisciplinary scientist, philosopher, educator, futurist, activist. PC user since 1982. "Wife". daughter, 2 grandsons. 5 dogs & 7 cats. Lacks mental imagery in all sensory domains.