Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, Vol 14, No 1 (2018)

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Systems Philosophy

Mansoor Vakili


Systems thinking is a holistic thinking which indicates that our planet is a self-organizing living system with inherit ability to sustain life, also, human being is interconnected and inseparable part of this living system. The main question is how human being which is the byproduct of an amazing creative process- from a single cell to current human- has seemingly lost this inherent ability and practices unsustainable activities?

The answer could be in Linear thinking and self -consciousness process:

In the early stages of human development human beings started to use their hands and vocal system to increase their ability to cooperate with each other. They used sign language for short-range communication and vocal projections for long-range communication. They mimicked the sounds that other animals made to attract harmless animals and distract dangerous ones. Combining sign language and vocal projections eventually created a subjective virtual world of information; an abstract concept, separated from real objects. The separation of subject from the object started us down the road to abstract thinking and the linear perception and thinking of self-consciousness. Thus, we have elusively experience ourselves as independent, separated from the living network. We therefore attempt to protect our separated self from the rest of the universe. Linear thinking ends up being self-defensive, self-protecting, self-assertive, dominating and sensitive to liability management violent events and negative news.

When we analyze human body as a living system we notice that subconsciously our brain is in full synchrony and corporation with our body network in performing any simple action. But consciously through linear logic our brain illusively separate itself from body network and exercises self-assertive, and dominant relationship with the network to satisfy its short-term desires and entertainments- could be addiction to sugar, coffee, drug, information or other-. Then we apply the same attitude in our relationship with earth, other species, and even among human network. which results in a dominate and competitive attitude toward the other members of the web of life.

 The paradigm shift begins by recognizing that our brain is a living system capable of self-organizing according to the feedback loops provided by observing our thoughts and actions with the memes and values of the living system. Through this process our brain begins to acknowledge that the idea of a separated and independent self is only an illusion. It realizes that our self-existence, long term health and functionality require a sustainable relationship of cooperation and partnership with the body network and indeed with web of the life.

Digital age is characterized by exponential rate of change, uncertainty and trending away from predictability and stability toward the emergence of a new system. The emerging paradigm shift requires a holistic approach intrinsic to spiritual tradition, as well as to nonlinear theories such as quantum mechanics, systems theory, networking theory, chaos theory and fractal geometry. It will unify science and spirituality, right and left brain, masculine and feminine, and provide universal memes and values applicable to any relationship or process at any scale.

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