Kategoriarkiv: Life

Stuart Kauffman on emergence and life

Stuart Kauffman (Source: Closer To Truth)

Here is Closer To Truth‘s interview with Stuart Kauffman about ”Is Emergence Fundamental?

Stuart Kauffman says among other things that (my emphasis in bold):

Reason is an insufficient guide for living your life. It means we need reason, emotion, intuition, sensation, metaphor. … Life is much richer than we thought.1

The biosphere is creating its own future possibilities of becoming. … That’s not in Darwin. … It’s a radical emergence. … We couldn’t prestate it. … We don’t know how it happened. … It changed the course of evolution.2

It’s radical emergence. It cannot be deduced.3

1 Stuart Kauffman – Is Emergence Fundamental? (5:23), 2015-11-09 (accessed 2017-06-04).
2 Stuart Kauffman – Is Emergence Fundamental? (6:35), 2015-11-09 (accessed 2017-06-04).
3 Stuart Kauffman – Is Emergence Fundamental? (7:43), 2015-11-09 (accessed 2017-06-04).

Martin Luther King on knowing thyself

Number one in your life’s blueprint
should be
a deep belief in your own dignity,
your own worth,
and your own somebodiness.

Don’t allow anybody to make you feel
that you are nobody.
Always feel that you count.
Always feel that you have worth,
and always feel that your life
has ultimate significance.

– Martin Luther King1

1 Martin Luther King, Know thyself, YouTube (accessed 2017-03-01).

Learning to see in the dark

Here is Dahr Jamail’s interview with deep ecologist and systems theorist Joanna Macy on Learning to See in the Dark Amid Catastrophe.

Joanna Macy says:

”[…] you can’t do it alone. The dangers coming down on us now are so humongous that it is really beyond an individual mind all by her/him/itself to take it in. We need to sit together, grab each other and be together as we even take in what is happening, let alone how we respond.

[…] I’m doing this work so that when things fall apart, we will not turn on each other. […] And we don’t have to waste time being scared of each other.

[…] We have to help each other wake up to how we are destroying everything we love […] To discover how much we really love being alive. To give ourselves a taste of what that passion is. To let us fall really in love with our planet, and its beauty, and to see that in ourselves, as well as in each other.

[…] Take stock of your strengths and give thanks for what you have, and for the joys you’ve been given. Because that is the fuel. That love for life can act like grace for you to defend life.”

Peter Pula on why hosting is harder than leading

Peter Pula

Peter Pula is the Founder of Axiom News. Here is his post on Why Hosting Is Harder than Leading. He writes that:

“We have become so remarkably accustomed to a form of leadership that comes from the top.”

“Top down leadership seems easier in the short term, but I believe it takes its toll. Too many leaders I have seen are in despair, … without the power to give life but only to take it away or at best hold the line.”

“Hosting the space for generativity is a different game entirely. … Deep, deep democracy is at work.”

“Holding space for life … starts with acknowledging you are a limited perceiver. … the best hosts must … [be] ready to be changed personally, to learn, and to be surprised.”

”… nothing changes until those gathered drop into their truest intentions and purposes and come into presence with one another …”

“As a host … Are you able to stay ‘still in disturbance’ when you have unleashed life on an unsuspecting routine? … Can you stay ‘soft’ and out of leader-centric narcissism, its highs and lows, its doubts and certainties? Can you tenderly hold what is being born?”

Here is Peter Pula’s full blog archive.

Glöm inte bort företagets ekologi

Lasse Ramquist och Mats Eriksson skriver i boken Manöverbarhet:

Att [enbart] jobba med ett logiskt-rationellt och fragmenterat perspektiv … är liktydigt med att glömma företagets ekologi. Det innebär att man glömmer bort att alla företag är … komplexa levande system. Det innebär att man behandlar levande system som om de vore tekniska system …1

Lasse Ramquist & Mats Eriksson, Manöverbarhet, s. 132.

1 Lasse Ramquist & Mats Eriksson, Manöverbarhet: VU-processen—en ledningsmodell för strategisk fokusering, medarbetarengagemang och konkurrens på livets villkor (Ekerlids Förlag, 2000). s. 132.

Tamsin Woolley-Barker on deep patterns in life

Tamsin Woolley-Barker is an author and evolutionary biologist. She looks for the deep patterns in life. Here is an article1 where Tamsin Woolley-Barke writes:

Organizations can’t keep growing the way we structure them today.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with hierarchies. In fact, nature uses them all the time—to stop change from happening. … Hierarchies are important and useful. But they aren’t the right structures for adapting to change …

Superorganisms … have been networked for a very long time.

Team performance emerges in real-time … Superorganisms break large, complex problems into tiny bites of action, building until tipping points are reached and change is triggered. There are no forecasts, budgets, meetings, or plans. There is no boss. Strategy happens organically, all the time, everywhere, and decisions are frequent, small, and imperfect.

If you want your company to change and grow, nimbly and continuously, … what you need is a living thing.

1 Tamsin Woolley-Barker, Want to build an organization that lasts? Create a superorganism, The Biomimicry Institute, 2016-03-25 (accessed 2016-09-16).

Elisabet Sahtouris on living systems

Elisabet Sahtouris asks in this talk (my emphasis in bold):1

Why is it that our culture, which is made up of people who are alive (so presumably we are a living system), knows so little about living systems? […] And yet we pretend to understand life. […] if we as human beings don’t understand ourselves as living systems within larger living systems, on which we’re dependent, we aren’t going to make it in this game. […] we seriously and disastrously disrespected life. What is it that so makes us disrespect each other and all of life?

1 Elisabet Sahtouris, Living Systems, the Internet and the Human Future, talk presented 2000-05-13 at Planetwork, Global Ecology and Information Technology a conference held at the San Francisco Presidio, (accessed 2016-09-01).

The very quality of livingness

This is a post in my series on organizing ”between and beyond.” The series is inspired by David Bohm and David Peat. This post is inspired by Henri Bortoft. Other posts are here.

Taking Apperance Seriously by Bortoft

It is all too easy for our thinking to lose sight of the very quality of livingness and for us to fall into thinking of the organism as if it were responding in a mechanical manner to the influences of the environment. The living organism does not just adapt to external circumstances in a passive manner.1 It configures itself actively, instead of being conditioned passively, in response to the environment.2 The specific form is neither determined by the environment, nor predetermined by the organism itself.3 If the form is so rigid and static that it completely lacks the flexible and dynamic quality which is characteristic of life, then It is in fact no more than a lifeless counterfeit of living being.4

1 Henri Bortoft, Taking Appearance Seriously, (New York: Harper & Row, 1969), pp. 77–78.
2 Ibid., p. 78.
3 Ibid..
4 Ibid., p. 80.

Related posts:
Organizing in between and beyond posts

Organizing for thrivability

This is a post in my series on organizing ”between and beyond.” Other posts are here. The purpose of this post is to compare Michell Holliday’s framework for organizational thrivability with Integral Management, which I have written about here.

Michelle Holliday is a facilitator, consultant, researcher, presenter, and writer. Her work centers around ”thrivability,” which is based on a view of organizations and communities as living systems. It’s this view which Michelle Holliday eloquently elaborates in her new book, The Age of Thrivability: Vital Perspectives and Practices for a Better World, which will be released this fall. Here is my book review.

Michelle Holliday uses the metaphor of a tree to offer useful guidance to living systems patterns:1

  1. Divergent Parts (Individual People).2
  2. Patterns of Relationship (Connective Infrastructure).3
  3. Convergent Wholeness (Shared Identity & Purpose).4
  4. Self-integration (Divergence, relationship, and convergence are self-organizing).5

Michelle Holliday has, with extensive contributions from Belina Raffy and Julie Bourbonnais, developed a framework that is based on the tree metaphor. The framework goes into another level of detail, beyond the tree. See figure 1. For example, if the root system represents divergent parts – or people within the organization – then the ”fertile conditions” that must be cultivated are Mastery, Membership and Meaning. Here is a webinar where Michelle gives an explanation of the framework.

Figure 1. (CC-BY-SA) Michelle Holliday, with extensive contributions from Belina Raffy & Julie Bourbonnais.

Michelle Holliday’s framework is an integral framework that is nicely aligned with Integral Management, which I have written about here. Integral Management also views the organization as a living system,6 and explicitly focuses on the team as a ”living group”7 and the leadership which is needed to ensure that the conditions of life are put in place.8 Leadership is needed to inspire and focus the energy, to facilitate interplay and learning, and to ensure a steady outflow of results.9 The leadership is distributed within the team. I have mapped some of the components in Integral Management into Michelle’s framework. See figure 2. My changes are in blue, which are based on the book Manöverbarhet (maneuverability in English) by Lasse Ramquist and Mats Eriksson. My translation from Swedish to English.

Figure 2. (CC-BY-SA) Michelle Holliday, with extensive contributions from Belina Raffy & Julie Bourbonnais. Changes by Jan Höglund in blue based on the book Manöverbarhet (maneuverability) by Lasse Ramquist and Mats Eriksson.

1 Michelle Holliday, The Age of Thrivability: Vital Perspectives and Practices for a Better World, p. 97.
2 Ibid., p. 29.
3 Ibid., p. 30.
4 Ibid..
5 Ibid., p. 31.
6 Lasse Ramquist & Mats Eriksson, Manöverbarhet: VU-processen—en ledningsmodell för strategisk fokusering, medarbetarengagemang och konkurrens på livets villkor (Ekerlids Förlag, 2000), pp. 158–164, 193–194.
7 Ibid., pp. 146–152, 165–194.
8 Ibid., pp. 230–265.
9 Lasse Ramquist & Mats Eriksson, Integral Management (Lasse Ramquist AB, 2nd ed. 2009), pp. 176–187.

Related posts:
Organizing in between and beyond posts

What is life?

Science, Order, and Creativity by Bohm & Peat

This is a post in my organizing ”between and beyond” series. Other posts are here.
Science, Order, and Creativity by David Bohm and F. David Peat is a very interesting book which I warmly recommend! Here is my book review. The chapter on ”What is order?”1 is particularly interesting in relation to the question: What is life? The following is based on this chapter, but with a focus on life itself.

Whatever we say life is, it isn’t
There can be no complete definition of life. Whatever we say life is, it isn’t.2 There is always something more than what we say and something different. At a given time, it is possible to abstract a certain notion as relevant and appropriate. But later, as the context is made broader, the limits and validity of this abstraction are seen and new notions developed. In the future, as the context is extended even further, still newer notions of life may arise.

Life is an order of orders
Life itself is based on order, but involves much more. It must always be remembered that, at a deeper level, attention must be given to the whole, which, in turn, acts to guide life. Life has a complex and subtle order of infinite complexity and subtlety. The various suborders in life are all arranged, connected, and organized together. Each suborder is clearly inseparable from the greater whole. Life is, therefore, an order of orders.

1 David Bohm and F. David Peat, Science, Order, and Creativity (Routledge, 2010-09-01, first published 1987-10-01), pp. 97–147.
2 Korzybski said that ”whatever we say anything is, it isn’t” No analogy is equivalent to the object itself. Every analogy is limited. And if what we way is an analogy, then the object cannot be what we say. There is always room for newer and better analogies. Ibid., p. 145.

Related posts:
Organizing in between and beyond posts

Michelle Holliday on thrivability

Michelle Holliday

I tweet quotes from the books I read from my twitter account @janhoglund. Here is a compilation of the most retweeted and liked quotes from Michelle Holliday’s upcoming book The Age of Thrivability: Vital Perspectives and Practices for a Better World (in italics):

… thrivability – the intention and practice of enabling life to thrive as fully as possible, at every level.

… what if we made it our primary intention and goal to enable life to thrive …?

… our … role is not to tightly control … but to cultivate the necessary fertile conditions for life to self-organize …

… systems thinking remained (and still generally remains) grounded in a mechanistic model …

… the persistence of mechanistic thinking … is valuable to some degree and absurd if taken as the total view.

Even Deming’s forward-looking systems vision was implemented in mechanistic fashion.

… the patterns and larger goal of all life … [is] to connect to itself in ever more complex forms …

… all life is … a single interwoven tapestry of living, evolving, creative organisms.

… engaging … life in our organizations and communities … unleash unprecedented wisdom, collaboration, creativity and impact.

If … divergence is not integrated into the whole, then the living system … is jeopardized.

… the real point of our efforts is to participate in and support life’s ongoing ability to thrive.

… the mechanistic view of organizations as machines prompts us to put people in service of infrastructure and process …

When infrastructure is … in service of the life in an organization, what naturally emerges is what I call Practical Play.

We have mistakenly assumed that play is the opposite of work.

Seeing the organization as one coherent living system … opens up new possibilities.

When we see organizations as living ecosystems, the goal more naturally shifts to enabling life to thrive …

… the most effective solutions will be those generated by the organization itself.

… our opportunity – and pressing need – is to participate consciously, intentionally and in harmony with life’s processes …

… “thrivability” – … can be understood as the intention and practice of crafting an organization as a “space for life.”

… “responsibility” … is most of all “response-ability.”

What is needed in the Age of Thrivability is … integration of … [divergence, relationship, wholeness, self-integration].

For some reason, it’s only MBA students who ask me: how do you measure thrivability?

… fundamentally reconceiving the organization and our role within it is the most powerful “social innovation” possible.

Related post:
Book Review: The Age of Thrivability

Book Review: The Age of Thrivability

The Age of Thrivability: Vital Perspectives and Practices for a Better World by Michelle Holliday is a new book which will be released this fall. Michelle Holliday is a facilitator, consultant, researcher, presenter, and writer. Her work centers around ”thrivability,” which is based on a view of organizations and communities as living systems. It’s this view which Michelle Holliday eloquently elaborates in her book.

Thrivability can be understood as ”the intention and practice of enabling life to thrive as fully as possible” (p. 21). It’s about ”crafting an organization as a ”space for life”” (p. 107). But thrivability is not only about ”vibrant health and joy” all the time (p. 149). It also includes ”death” and ”conflict” (p.149).

Mechanical Systems vs. Living Systems
Michelle Holliday writes that ”the persistence of mechanistic thinking … is valuable to some degree” but is ”absurd if taken as the total view” (p. 41). I fully agree. Systems thinking has ”remained (and still generally remains) grounded in a mechanistic model” (p. 40). The result is that ”many of the changes made to date on the basis of systems thinking represent important first steps in a new direction, while most have been superficial and built on familiar values” (p. 41). Even W. Edwards Deming’s ”forward-looking systems vision was implemented in a mechanistic fashion” (p. 40). Although Deming insisted that ”measurement and quotas be replaced with leadership and removal of fear from the workplace, the widespread application has focused squarely on statistic measurement” (p. 41).

A key differentiating factor between mechanical systems and living systems is that ”living systems integrates divergent parts into a convergent whole characterized by dynamic relationship internally and externally in a continuous process of self-organization and self-creation” (p. 42). Keywords here are self-integration, self-organization and self-creation. This means that ”the real point of our efforts is to participate in and support life’s ongoing ability to thrive” (p. 95). When we see ”organizations as living ecosystems, the goal … naturally shifts to enabling life to thrive – contributing to and participating in life’s process[es] and pattern[s]” (p. 101). What are these patterns?

Living System Patterns
Michelle Holliday presents ”the core patterns of living systems in a variety of contexts” throughout her book (p. 12). The point is that ”the underlying conditions for … living systems to thrive” are ”the same conditions needed for an organization to thrive” (p. 18). Michelle has found the following four basic patterns to be ”widely cited across the literature in biology” and also to be ”universally present across … organizations and communities” (p. 29):

  1. Divergent Parts (Individual People): ”In every living system, there are individual parts …” (p. 29)
  2. Patterns of Relationship (Connective Infrastructure): ”The divergent parts are connected and supported in a pattern of responsive relationship with each other and with context” (p. 30).
  3. Convergent Wholeness (Shared Identity & Purpose): ”The divergent parts come together in relationship to form a convergent whole with new characteristics and capabilities” (p. 30).
  4. Self-integration: ”The entire process of divergence, relationship, and convergence is self-organizing, set into motion by life itself” (p. 31)

Generally, 1) the more ”diverse and self-expressive the parts are able to be,”  2) the more ”open and free-flowing the interactions” are, and 3) the more ”consistency and convergence there is at the level of the whole”, the more ”resilient, adaptive and creative the living system is likely to be” (pp. 30–31). This means that our ”most appropriate and important role is not to tightly control the activities of our human systems, but to cultivate the necessary fertile conditions for life to self-organize and self-integrate” (p. 31).

The metaphor of a tree offers useful guidance to the living systems patterns. (Michelle Holliday, The Age of Thrivability, p. 97)

The metaphor of a tree offers useful guidance to the living systems patterns. (Michelle Holliday, The Age of Thrivability, p. 97)

Management vs. Stewarship
Michelle Holliday has ”spent the past decade bringing these patterns of living systems into” her ”consulting work with a range of organizations” (p. 18). Perhaps most importantly, recognizing ”organizations as living systems has encouraged … leaders to see themselves less as engineers and managers and more as stewards in service of life” (p. 18). Stewardship is to ”create the conditions for the organization-as-a-living ecosystem to self-integrate — to self-organize and to enable collective intelligence, responsiveness and resilience to emerge” (p. 47). Stewardship replaces ”control and guidance” with ”encouragement and invitation” (p. 122). An ”invitation-based, broadly participatory process” enriches the organization ”through learning and relationship” (p. 156).

Embodying Patterns & Practicing Stewardship
Michelle Holliday emphasizes that ”the most effective solutions will be those generated by the organization itself” (p. 101). Stories from five different organizations practicing thrivability are included in the book:

  1. Espace pour la vie / Space for Life
  2. Zenith Cleaners (written by Tolu Ilesanmi, Cleaner and CEO)
  3. CLC Montreal (written by a long-time staff-member and teacher)
  4. Experiencing Mariposa (written by Michael Jones, long-time resident of the town of Orillia, Ontario, Canada)
  5. Crudessence (written by Julian Giacomelli, CEO at the time of writing)

Michelle Holliday’s book is very inspiring! I love her tree metaphor. What gives Michelle’s book an edge is that she is serious about the living systems view. She even acknowledges that death is a vital aspect of thrivability. It’s certainly not superficial mechanical thinking. What’s nice is also that it’s possible to approach the book as an open buffet. I enjoyed the real-life stories in the book. Stewardship is less a role and more a commitment offered from a stance of reverence for life. What is called for is not a set of best practices, but a recognition of the life in our organizations and the world around us. The book shows what’s possible if we go beyond our old habits of thought and action. Thrivability requires that we see life’s intrinsic value and act accordingly.

Related posts:
Michelle Holliday quotes from The Age of Thrivability
Book Review: Thrivability by Jean M. Russell

Cybernetics is a poor metaphor for living systems

Here is how Elisabet Sahtouris defines ecosophy and why she thinks that cybernetics is a poor metaphor for living systems:

… I give the word ‘ecosophy’ (oikos + sophia = oikosophia) the meaning it would have had in ancient Greece, had it come into use there:

Ecosophy: wisely run household of human affairs
or, even more simply:
Wise Society 1

Cybernetics is an advanced form of mechanism, but it is still [a] mechanism, which I consider a poor metaphor for any living system – a metaphor missing the system’s very essence.

… elites have learned to control society by deliberately working to construct society itself as machinery, and teach people that it is machinery… That does not mean that psyche, society and nature are machinery!

… it is not possible from my perspective to promote an ecosophy in terms of cybernetic mechanics.

… Mechanism and organism are created and function by completely different kinds of logic. 2

1 Elisabet Sathouris, Ecosophy: Nature’s Guide to a Better World, Kosmos Journal, Summer 2014 (accessed 26 April 2016).
2 Ibid..

Related post:
Metaphors both reflect and influence our thinking

Alfie Kohn on love, motivation, and self-esteem

Alfie Kohn is the author of Punished by Rewards, which is a book about the damaging effects of rewards. Here are his thoughts on motivation, love, and self-esteem (my emphasis in bold):

When we deal with people who have less power than we do, we’re often tempted to offer them rewards for acting the way we want because we figure this will increase their level of motivation to do so. … Unfortunately, it isn’t. … What matters is whether one is intrinsically motivated to engage in an activity (which means one finds it valuable or satisfying in its own right) or extrinsically motivated (which means that doing it produces a result outside of the task, such as a reward). 1

Let’s consider a very different example of the same general principle. … the relevant question isn’t just whether, or even how much, we love our kids. It also matters how we love them. … I tend to focus on the distinction between loving kids for what they do and loving them for who they are. The first kind is conditional … The second kind of love is unconditional … 2

When adults control children, they end up promoting an introjected style that often results in learning that’s rigid, superficial, and ultimately less successful. … On the outside they look like admirably dedicated students, but they may have mortgaged their present lives to the future: noses to the grindstone, perseverant to a fault, stressed to the max. … Such students may be skilled test-takers and grade grubbers and gratification delayers, but they’re often motivated by a perpetual need to feel better about themselves … Their motivation is internal but it sure as hell isn’t intrinsic. And that key distinction would go unnoticed if we had just asked whether they had internalized certain values rather than inquired about the nature of that internalization. 3

1 Alfie Kohn, Why Lots of Love (or Motivation) Isn’t Enough, 23 April 2016. (Accessed 26 April 2016)
2 Ibid..
3 Ibid..

Carol Black on the wildness of children

Carol Black writes the following in On the Wildness of Children (my emphasis in bold):

When we first take children from the world and put them in an institution, they cry. … But gradually, over the many years of confinement, they adjust.

The same people who do not see themselves as “above” nature but as within it, tend not to see themselves as “above” children but alongside them. They see no hard line between work and play, between teacher and student, between learning and life. It is a possibility worth considering that this is more than coincidence.

The underlying belief that somebody always has to be in charge is stubbornly persistent, woven into our thinking at a very deep level. There always has to be a subject and an object, a master and a slave. We have forgotten how to live and let live.

Control is always so seductive, at least to the ”developed” (”civilized”) mind. It seems so satisfying, so efficient, so effective, so potent. In the short run, in some ways, it is. But it creates a thousand kinds of blowback, from depressed rebellious children to storms surging over our coastlines to guns and bombs exploding in cities around the world.

— Carol Black1

1 Carol Black, On The Wildness of Children, April 2016. (Accessed 24 April 2016)

There is another way

Here’s an excerpt (my emphasis in bold) from Russel Means’s most famous speech in 1980.1 There’s something deeper than just a rejection of Marxism from this radical. He has an entirely different worldview compared to all ”isms”:

“… Newton … “revolutionized” physics and the so-called natural sciences Descartes did the same thing with culture. John Locke did it with politics, and Adam Smith did it with economics. Each one of these “thinkers” took a piece of the spirituality of human existence and converted it into code, an abstraction. … Each of these intellectual revolutions served to abstract the European mentality even further, to remove the wonderful complexity and spirituality from the universe and replace it with a logical sequence: one, two, three. Answer!

The European materialist tradition of despiritualizing the universe is very similar to the mental process which goes into dehumanizing another person. … it makes it all right to kill and otherwise destroy other people. … In terms of the despiritualization of the universe, the mental process works so that it becomes virtuous to destroy the planet. …

There is another way.It is the way that knows that humans do not have the right to degrade Mother Earth, that there are forces beyond anything the European mind has conceived, that humans must be in harmony with all relations or the relations will eventually eliminate the disharmony. … There is no need for a revolutionary theory to bring this about; it’s beyond human control.

All European tradition, Marxism included, has conspired to defy the natural order of all things. Mother Earth has been abused, the powers have been abused, and this cannot go on forever. No theory can alter that simple fact. Mother Earth will retaliate, the whole environment will retaliate, … That’s revolution. …

What I’m putting out here is … a cultural proposition. … To cling to capitalism and Marxism and all other “isms” is simply to remain within European culture. … As a fact, this constitutes a choice. … retain your sense of reality.

1 Revolution and Amrican Indians: “Marxism is as Alien to My Clture as Capitalism”, 17 October 2010. (Accessed 5 April 2016)

Life-nurturing vs. life-depleting behaviors

The environment within which people work is key to the organization’s success. Life-nurturing conditions contribute to high creativity and productivity, while life-depleting conditions contribute to apathy and low productivity.

Life-nurturing behaviors 1 Life-depleting behaviors 2
Listening Controlling
Understanding Punishing
Trusting Regulating
Sharing Telling
Clarifying Shaming

1 These are some of the behaviors listed in Birgitt Williams, The Genuine Contact Way: Nourishing a Culture of Leadership, (DALAR, 2014), p. 221.
2 Ibid..

The dancing rainbow within

Mae-Wan Ho’s new book Living Rainbow H2O is dedicated to the dancing rainbow within, which is made possible by the water that makes up all organisms. 1 Mae-Wan Ho writes (my emphasis in bold):

The organism is thick with coherent activities on every scale, from the macroscopic down to the molecular and below. I call the totality of these activities ”quantum jazz” to highlight the Immense diversity and multiplicity of players, the complexity and coherence of the performance, and above all, the freedom and spontaneity. The quantum coherence of organisms is the biology of free will. 2

The quantum coherent organism plays quantum jazz to create and recreate herself from moment to moment. Quantum jazz is the music of the organism dancing life into being. It is played out by the whole organism, in every nerve and sinew, every muscle, every single cell, molecule, atom, and elementary particle, a light and sound show that spans 70 octaves in all the colours of the rainbow. 3

There is no conductor or choreographer. Quantum jazz is written as it is performed; each gesture, each phrase is new, shaped by what has gone before, though not quite. The organism never ceases to experience her environment, taking it in (entangling it) for future reference …” 4

The quantum jazz dancer lives strictly in the now, the ever-present overarching the future and the past, composing and rewriting her life history as she goes along, never quite finishing until she dies.” 5

Intercommunication is the key to quantum jazz. It is done to such sublime perfection that each molecule is effectively intercommunicating with every other, so each is as much in control as it is sensitive and responsive. 6

The coherent organism is a unity of brain and body, heart and mind, an undivided bundle of intellect and passion, flesh, blood, and sinew that lives life to the full, freely and spontaneously, attuned not just to the immediate environment, but the universe at large. 7

Quantum coherence and quantum jazz are possible because of the 70% by weight of liquid crystalline water that makes up the organism. Quantum jazz is diverse multiplicities of molecules dancing to the tunes of liquid crystalline water. Water is the means, medium, and message of life. It is the dancing rainbow within, to which this book is dedicated. 8

1 Mae-Wan Ho, Living Rainbow H2O, (World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., 2012), p. 5.
2 Ibid., p. 4.
3 Ibid..
4 Ibid..
5 Ibid..
6 Ibid..
7 Ibid., p. 5.
8 Ibid..

Related posts:
Quantum Jazz
Mae-wan Ho on the autonomy of organisms
The organism is wildly uncontrollable and unpredictable from the outside

The organism is wildly uncontrollable and unpredictable from the outside

The organism is wildly uncontrollable and unpredictable from the outside. From the inside, of course, you know what you are doing. You know that your actions are not random or arbitrary. And … if you are a perfectly happy human being, you would feel absolutely spontaneous and free.
— Mae-Wan Ho 1

1 Quote at (22:14), William Stranger interview Dr. Mae-Wan Ho in London, YouTube, published 12 May 2013. (Accessed 21 March 2016)

Victoria Safford on freedom

You know, we do it every day. Every morning we go out blinking into the glare of our freedom, into the wilderness of work and the world, making maps as we go, looking for signs that we’re on the right path. And on some good days we walk right out of our oppressions, those things that press us down from the outside or (as often) from the inside; we shake off the shackles of fear, prejudice, timidity, closed-mindedness, selfishness, self-righteousness, and claim our freedom outright, terrifying as it is—our freedom to be human, and humane.
— Victoria Safford 1

1 Victoria Safford, Walking Toward Morning, p. 1.