COMPLEMENTARITY, in my analysis, is the most significant insight emergent in humankind in the 20th century. It has become one of my basic practices, and from which I will apply in replying to the following two online sems (semiotic structures).
Rather than being oppositional, some perspectives relate as complementarities. What Bohr found essential to comprehend the quantum world can be generalized, although his proposed generalization remains controversial. Whatever “reality is” it can’t be represented by a single, logically consistent explanatory system. Godel’s incompleteness theorem (the 2nd most significant insight of the 20th century, IMA) also informs us that the framework we accept for comprehending reality is insufficient.
Although there is much to criticize about scientific practice (scientists are human) and its claim for universality, the opposing (or in complementarity) “spiritual” practices also have their limitations. Each perspective/practice, alone, appears unable to lead to “right action”. Holding tight to one truth blocks one to consider limitations of all truths: the complementarity of truths.
Example: In my interpretation of the two sems, we wait for the unfolding to manifest, for evolution to continue – while being well aware of our awesome potentials. What if we need some agency, or process, beyond unfolding or evolving? We sometimes appear blinded by “experiential reality”, resulting in our retreat from carefully considering the role of human agency in determining our future. Is it naive to believe that each individual only needs to do their “right” thing and intelligent swarming with prevail to carry us beyond our Crisis-of-Crises? In this context I have responded to Andrew Harvey‘s call for Sacred Activism, where I add MIND (mental strategic agency) to his call for a merger of SPIRIT and BODY (Activism). Edgar Morin’s list of AWARENESS needs, in his Manifesto for Homeland Earth , are good but are devoid of “what to do”. It is a myth that awareness automatically leads to right action. Morin’s and Harvey’s assessments and recommendations are necessary, but not sufficient.
We need to go beyond metaphor and conversation, as essential and valuable as they are. I find that Hofstadter and Sander, in Surfaces and Essences: Analogy as the Fuel and Fire of Thinking, make a convincing case for the merger of metaphor (analogy) with thinking expressed in language (conversation). The awesome MSC (Magnitude/Scope/Complexity) of our collective knowledge and technology blinds us to all that is yet missing, in terms of knowledge and competencies requisite for our survival/thrival.
Again with complementarity: we humans and humankind are alternatively masters of great knowledge/skill and are as infants (maybe sometimes yet embryonic). Our knowledge of systems with humans as primary components is far, far less advanced than our knowledge of systems without humans as primary components. Yet, we transfer our belief in the latter onto the former and are blind to how much we don’t know about ourselves or how we change. What knowledge fragments we do have remain isolated and often not applied. And, we ignore how poorly our knowledge/competencies are distributed within the global human population, and ignore the need and real existing potential for UPLIFT. We cluster in our silos ignoring The Theater of the Absurd around us.
After five decades developing and attempting to share my multiple insights, inadequately summarized in a chapter of The Spanda Journal , The Story: Uplifting Humankind to Create Humanity via Societal Metamorphosis , I have concluded that our barriers are primarily systemic. I speculate that our current configuration of intelligent technologies constrains us from doing what we need to do. For example: social media limits us to conversation with no avenue to create strategic structures. We are locked-into transFORMation as the only type of change. Thus, we cannot consider metamorphosis beyond metaphor; as a viable strategy for change.
There are a great many enterprising projects underway, my exemplars being those created by Michel Bauwens and Joe Brewer – but there are literally thousands. Unfortunately, they all eventually plateau, my exemplars being Cultural Creatives and WiserEarth. We have yet to learn-to-practice synergy. Some point out the need, but there is no serious attempt to learn-to-learn-to-learn for this objective. We lack platforms, apps, and requisite competencies to create at the MSC levels needed. Some write and read books, and insights are shared, but not developed. Conversation in social media is often stultifying, yet addicting. Here I am complaining because few read and no one comments on my longer docs, such as is-humankind-a-unique-cosmic-phenomenon , our-long-emergency, and Nu Genesis.
If you’ve read this far, I honestly don’t expect you to read the linked urls. Yet, I am sure each of you wish others would read and engage with what you have composed. This may be our challenge: how to constructively converse while collaboratively constructing MSC semiotic structures (semfields) to simulate and serve as scaffolding for our future activity: emerging humanity from humankind. How do we learn to navigate our exploding semfiields?