Kategoriarkiv: Autognomics

Value-intelligence as organizing order

Value-intelligence within life is related to my interest in organizing principles. I think it’s an example of a deeper generative order for organizing that is present in anything that’s alive. Here are my other posts on organizing.

Skye Hirst, Co-Founder of The Autognomics Institute (TAI), presents here the idea of a Value-Intelligence present in living organisms. Skye Hirst writes (my emphasis in bold):

”… capacities for value-intelligence are operative throughout all living contexts …”

”… anything … alive … is a dynamic organism, and … functions according to similar organizing principles.”

”… we act from assumptions that are formed through our value lenses …”

”[The Hartman Value Profile] … points to the existence of … organizing principles of value-intelligence within life …”

”[The] … inner intelligence does not control; it liberates and frees living entities to find the most effective acts …”

”… there are organizing principles that allow … for all life to be co-creative, self-organizing …”

Skye Hirst introduced me to the Hartman Value Profile in February 2017. It was amazing to experience how quickly Skye helped me to picture my own inner relational realities. I could understand some of how my own value intelligence has developed. And it was immensely helpful to see where I have my own strengths and blindnesses.

Related post:
Book Review: Freedom to Live


Autonomic vs. allonomic orders

This is a post in my series on organizing ”between and beyond.” The post is part of my exploration of deeper generative orders for organizing. Other posts are here.

Norm Hirst spent fifty years to understand life itself. Hirst distinguishes between being autonomic and allonomic:

  • Living entities are autonomic. Machines are allonomic, they obey the laws built in by external agencies. Living entities are autonomic, which means there is no way for any other to build in the internal laws of a living entity.1
  • Living entities are creative. All living entities create new forms of order. Thus living entities do not approach reality in a machine-like fashion that is always limited to the current context of order. Living entities must change and adapt constantly to evolving forms of order and this requires values as opposed to cause and effect as guiding force.2
  • Living actions are chosen based on values. They are never the result of cause and effect. For the simplest living entities the only choice may be to act or not act. For people the choices may be very complex.3
  • Values are internal experiences. Experiences are intrinsic (aesthetic), extrinsic (practical), and systemic (correct). Intrinsic values are more important than extrinsic values, which are more important systemic values.4

In other words, autonomic orders are generative, allonomic orders are not.

1 Norm Hirst, Research findings to date, Autognomics Institute (accessed 10 August 2016)
2 Ibid..
3 Ibid..
5 Ibid..

Related posts:
Organizing in between and beyond posts

Norm Hirst on self law and non-self law

Norm Hirst makes a distinction between following self-law and non-self law which is pertinent to understanding the difference between living organisms and machines. He writes (in italics):

It is useful to distinguish between entities that are autonomic, obeying self-law and entities that are allonomic, obeying non-self law. We have been led astray by our experience of obedient things. In dealing with living autonomic self-acting entities it may come as a surprise that they do what they want with no thought of obedience. 1

Organisms are autonomic and come into being as a whole entity and grow into maturity as a whole entity unlike machines that are assembled piece by piece by some other. There is a distinction between being autonomic, obeying self-law, and allonomic, obeying some other’s law. Machines are allonomic; they obey the laws built in by external agencies. There is no way for any other to build in the internal laws of a living entity. 2

Obedience is not the foundation of any living process although many people may believe that it is. The idea of imposed obedience may seem to be necessary if there is also a belief that that is the only way a being learns self-control and respect. There are two natural processes at work that must be accounted for in a living organism that obedience does not allow. The first process is that a living entity inquires through action to find effective acts. An act is effective if it produces the results intended. … The second process begins with growing awareness of coherence conditions that come out of relationships of all kinds. These are minimum conditions connecting us to one another while not unduly limiting our freedom. We grow into beings both unique and social. 3

… imposing obedience is theoretically impossible with a living organism. Control and force may be used to influence and coerce, but ultimately the living entity chooses from a wide variety of responses to such efforts, some of which may appear to be obedient. It is not a machine nor will it respond by cause and effect. Remove the force and most likely you will find a natural desire for freedom of choice and inquiry quite different from that being imposed. Some beings will choose to rebel, to fight, to choose violence in order to express and self-fulfill. … Further, empirical research shows clearly what the theory predicts. Insisting on obedience in childhood is more likely to lead to violence in adult life. This goes beyond opinion. 4

Forced obedience is just as impossible as the cow violating gravity by jumping over the moon. However, herein may well be one of the areas by which we are making the world sick. Force and dominance over another living entity cannot work ultimately. The force of life will insist on finding it’s own unique way no matter what we believe. 5

1 Norm Hirst, Towards a science of life as creative organisms
2 Ibid..
3 Norm Hirst, Art is Essential to Life
4 Ibid..
5 Ibid..

Norm Hirst on a life-itself science

Prologomena of Life-itself Science by Norm Hirst at The Autognomics Institute is an introduction (or prologue) to a life-itself science. Below are some axioms from the paper:

  • All life is connected
  • All living entities are autonomous
  • All living entities are complex
  • All living entities are self-referential
  • Self-referential implies self-observation and awareness
  • Living entities survive by learning effective acts
  • Living entities exhibit invariant organization and structural plasticity
  • Living process is social
  • At all levels from atoms to the universe life forms societies

Related posts:
Autognomics: Radical self-knowing
Organisms are self-creating, not just self-organizing
Machines are allonomic, living organisms are autonomic

Machines are allonomic, living organisms are autonomic

There is a distinction between being autonomic, obeying self-law, and allonomic, obeying some other’s law. Machines are allonomic. Allonomic means other law.  Other law means that the machine’s builder specifies the laws by which a machine operates.  Laws refer to the causal connections within the machine. Machines are assembled piece by piece by the machine’s builder.

This contrasts with the requirement for living organisms to be autonomic. This means they follow their own internal law. External force may be used, but the organism will rebel as soon as the force is removed. Free will plays a key role in the functioning of a living organism. A living organism requires adaptive intelligence. Living organisms are a pure democracy with each entity making choices for itself autonomously and at the same time for the benefit of the whole organism. There is no command hierarchy.  Each cell has a maximum degree of freedom subject only to coherence conditions. All living organisms are self-creating, i.e., autopoietic — autopoiesis requires self-creation, self-correction and self-reference. Autopoiesis requires autonomy. Living organisms come into being as a whole and grow into maturity as a whole.

Norm Hirst, Towards a Science of Life as Creative Organisms, Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, Vol 4, Nos 1-2 (2008)
Norm Hirst, Research findings to date, The Autognomics Institute
Norm Hirst, Life as Field Being – Part I, The Autognomics Institute
Norm Hirst, Life as Field Being – Part II, The Autognomics Institute
Norm Hirst, Life-itself as organism characteristics, The Autognomics Institute
Norm Hirst, Values are ”coherence conditions” of life, The Autognomics Institute
Norm Hirst, Unique Characteristics of New Science, The Autognomics Institute

Related posts:
Autognomics: Radical Self-Knowing
Organisms are self-creating, not just self-organizing

Autognomics: Radical self-knowing

Autognomics translates from Greek and basically means “know yourself at the deepest possible level”. Autonomics points to a unique characteristic of how life-knows itself. The “g”, making it autognomics, is added for greater clarity of meaning drawing from the word gnostic, to know.

Skye Hirst is co-founder of The Autognomics Institute. The mission of the institute is to understand and express the fundamental organizing principles of Life Itself, translate this understanding into practice, and promote universal awareness of this knowledge. An example of a fundamental organizing principle is the inalienable right to be free to act according to one’s own beinghood. Skye Hirst writes (emphasis mine):

For instance, it is an inalienable right for living entities to be free to act according to their own beinghood. This is a foundational principle of democracy. However, as many of us do not know about this inalienable right, some people in power take it away by imposing overly tight controls with harsh rules and punishments, believing they will keep order. The over-emphasis on rules/lawsin attempts to control organisms actually breaks a living law. Organism ways will always push to maintain the freedom to be autonomous and to act by “self-law.” Arbitrary authoritarian and dom[in]eering constraints are never strong enough to stop an organism’s power to create itself… It’s creative being ourselves while living in different conditions and situations and finding the mix of value dynamics that enable us best to function where we are.
— Skye Hirst

Skye Hirst, Value Intelligence In All Creative Organisms

Related post:
Machines are allonomic, living organisms are autonomic