Wild Resiliency Assertions
These WR Assertions comprise the conscious foundational Ground of Being assumptions that have evolved and informed me in the development of the WR model. As such they color the vision of everything that can be perceived through the lens of the model; and they determine the shadow of the model as well, what it is unable to reveal and what I am unable to see through it. This is of course true of all Ground of Being assumptions, whether they be of a Christian or Islamic or Buddhist or Atheist… or a business model lens. Such assumptions normally remain unconscious to us; here I have tried to bring them into awareness and to even claim them as assertions and percepts.
Our ability to identify, reflect and dialog on our own foundational assumptions is critical as we discover our path into the future. These are the world-view ‘beliefs,’ memes, mental models and attitudes that inform and direct, at the level of percept-ability, the world we live within. They are inclusive of and dictate: our national terrorism policies, whether we attend a church, temple, mosque or forest glade for worship, the structure of our educational and health care systems, and the capacity to shapeshift the ‘negative’ events of our days and lives into beauty. Our present struggle to hold in mutual respect the diversity of our foundational assumptions is reflective of the fragmentation, fragility and descent into decay our social systems are now in.
Such a decay is inevitable and necessary in order that we may dream a new world into being. The only question becomes, “What kind of world am I dreaming into being?” If you desire to know the answer to this question, discover and make explicit your Ground of Being assumptions.
For example, if you consider that for much of Christendom the physical world of flesh is contaminated with sin, original — or inevitable, that the end of this same world is prayed for in the belief that there is a ‘better place waiting for me…,’ then the degradation of the earth’s sustaining ecosystems suddenly not only makes sense but seems an inevitable outcome of the belief system. (Models of Christian environmentalism and stewardship are emerging however.)
If we perceive the world through a materialistic world view alone, as another example, without in some way honoring that which is unseen and beyond knowing or naming…, we ourselves also easily become but objects to be manipulated in such a universe. Coincidentally, this becoming an ‘object self’ also occurs if we choose a God who treats us as such, souls to be sorted and judged and discarded or kept based upon some dogma of Truth and loyalty. Sort of reminds me of a kid sorting his marbles.
Closing with a Joseph Campbell quote here seems appropriate:
“In choosing your god you choose your way of looking at the universe.
There are plenty of Gods.
The God you choose is the God you deserve.
I suppose this could be said of presidents as well.
Some informative links reflective of the above include:
Christians United for Israel: a video and transcript illustrative of a certain fundamentalist Christian world-view (with powerful political ties in Washington) in which a unilateral military attack on Iran is called for so that the rapture may the sooner come.
What Went Wrong: Bush Still Doesn’t Get It: An excellent article in the Washington Post reflecting on how a simplistic and fatally flawed misunderstanding of Islam has led us into a disastrous war against terrorism.
Religious Tolerance: interview audio and transcript excerpts on the Interfaith Youth Corp, a group promoting “religious pluralism” vs. religious totalitarianism, through empowering youth to work together in service of others. The Good Radio Shows site, where the Religious Tolerance link originates, is also a good source for Marshall Rosenberg and Nonviolent Communications and more.
“Spiral Dynamics is concerned with why we cooperate, collaborate and come to conflict over differences in values and the deeper value systems that form them. It’s a map to the emerging nature of human nature. SD is a point of view and a way of thinking that provides a way to chart differences in leadership, learning, management, social structures, economics—and virtually every other area where human thinking has an impact. Moreover, it suggests how to cope with those differences more effectively.”
Note: this post and page will initially appear as both. I will post reflections on each of the assertions and add them to the page version accordingly. Additional links will be added and updated on the page version also.
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Resilience 2011 Conference Reflections « wild resiliency blog!04/06/2011 at 4:59 am
[…] I caught the conversational attention of a few folks however when I noted one of the Wild Resiliency Assumptions: “Adaptation Works Until It Kills You!” […]
Phil Henshaw05/06/2011 at 12:55 pm
I’m delighted to hear of responses to “Adaptation Works Until It Kills You!” (wildresiliencyblog.com/wr-assertions/) saying “that is exactly what adaptation does when we continue adapting ourselves to fit into a worldview that is out of sync with reality”. Who else thinks like that??
I’ve been following that lead for some time, and working on the details from an empirical natural systems physics approach. My initial discovery, that facing ever escalating crises is a natural consequence of trying to stabilize growth, still seems to go close to the heart of it.
That makes everyone try to meet challenges of ever escalating scale and complexity, a real problem. That was the mode of societal failure I described in my first essay on it, from 1979, “The Infinite Society – growth induced collapse”, [www.synapse9.com/pub/UnhidPatt-theInfiniteSoc.pdf]. fyi find my more recent work and the basic natural systems physics I developed from my blog “Reading Natural Signals” [www.synapse9.com/blog]
I can fill in details, but the simple response is that the best reason not to go through with it is that it’s unprofitable. So there’s a need to discover how the choices that cause it could be turned in a better direction. Trying to suppress it might well just create even more intense challenges rather than relieve them… is one of the important cautions. You need the switch for which there is no resistance.
Nearly everyone asked says they’re subject to control by the system, though, and so have no choice but to follow in the rut with everyone else. So someone is failing to imagine the alternative. I think what people need to do is discover the profit seeking choice that would change the other choices, and relieve the pressure to accelerate on the system as a whole. There seem to be lots of examples in nature to learn from when you start looking for them.
thanks for your work…
Larry Glover05/06/2011 at 10:41 pm
Thanks for your comment Phil, and a pleasure also to discover your blog, Reading Nature’s Signals. To your comment, I can only say “Amen.” You were on to the ‘shadow side’ or the hidden paradox of adaptation those many years ago. Your paper referenced is still not only relevant but current!
That efficiency and increased productivity can lead to a diminished resilience is now widely accepted in within the Resiliency Science field as represented by say, The Resiliency Alliance. This awareness is far from the minds of government, business and community planning however. Complexity Scientist and Santa Fe Institute Fellow, Sander van der Leeuw, said it this way at the recent Resiliency 2011 Conference: “Innovation has become a Ponzi scheme!”
Indeed, it was my own with the lack of a broader and deeper reference point for progress and success that led me to drop out of business consulting for many years…leading ultimately to the Wild Resiliency model.
Here is a bit more from the abstract/summary of Sander’s paper: Complexity Problems in Innovation.
Many people expect that ‘innovation’ will lead us out of the current
sustainability mess we’re in, yet do not realize that three centuries of
innovation (i.e. the industrial revolution and its aftermath) got us into the
mess in the first place. Not only do we have difficulty defining sustainability,
but we do not really know how innovation works. Most research has focused
either on the conditions under which it occurs (e.g. Florida) or on the results
(e.g. ‘the new economy’). This is not surprising, as our intellectual and
scientific tradition is essentially reductionist, and therefore not likely to help
us understand creativity, invention, innovation or in general the emergence of
new phenomena. The paper will argue that this approach is responsible for
the emergence of ‘unanticipated problems’, and that these ‘unanticipated
problems’ are likely to overwhelm us unless we change our perspective into
a generative one. I will then analyze some of the barriers to such a generative
approach, and argue that the complex adaptive systems approach is part of
a trend to begin to deal with this issue.