Books Retrospectives

Retrospective 2021-52

This is a summary of my reading during 2021. Particularly interesting books/authors are marked in bold/bold.

I read the following books (latest read, listed first):

  • Power and Love: A Theory and Practice of Social Change by Adam Kahane
  • Facilitating Breakthrough: How to Remove Obstacles, Bridge Differences, and Move Forward Together by Adam Kahane
  • Initiating and Inviting Generative Change: Entry and Contracting for Emergent Outcomes In Results Driven Organizations by Tova Averbuch
  • The Matter With Things: Our Brains, Our Delusions, and the Unmaking of the World by Iain McGilchrist (This is a 2-volume book which I will continue reading during 2022)
  • Love and the Soul: Creating a Future For Earth by Robert Sardello
  • Silence: The Mystery of Wholeness by Robert Sardello
  • The Utopia of Rules: On Technology, Stupidity, and the Secret Joys of Bureaucracy by David Graeber
  • Bullshit Jobs: A Theory by David Graeber
  • What a Fish Knows: The Inner Lives of Our Underwater Cousins by Jonathan Balcombe
  • Values: An Anthology for Seekers by J.G. Bennett
  • Inner Work: Using Dreams and Active Imagination for Personal Growth by Robert A. Johnson
  • Owning Your Own Shadow: Understanding the Dark Side of the Psyche by Robert A. Johnson
  • Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain by Maryanne Wolf
  • The Gardener and the Carpenter: What the New Science of Child Development Tells Us About the Relationship Between Parents and Children by Alison Gopnik
  • Du stolta, du fria: Om svenskarna, Sverigebilden och folkhälsopatriotismen av Gina Gustavsson (in Swedish)
  • The Extended Mind: The Power of Thinking Outside the Brain by Annie Murphy Paul
  • Anarchy—In a Manner of Speaking: Conversations with Mehdi Belhaj Kacem, Nika Dubrovksy, and Assia Turquier-Zauberman by David Graeber
  • How Forests Think: Toward an Anthropology Beyond the Human by Eduardo Kohn
  • Direct Action: An Ethnography by David Graeber
  • Toward An Anthropological Theory of Value: The False Coin of Our own Dreams by David Graeber
  • Lost People: Magic and the Legacy of Slavery in Madagascar by David Graeber
  • The Old Way: A Story of the First People by Elizabeth Marshall Thomas
  • The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness by Sy Montgomery
  • Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness by Peter Godfrey-Smith
  • Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds & Shape Our Futures by Merlin Sheldrake
  • Thus Spoke the Plant: A Remarkable Journey of Groundbreaking Scientific Discoveries & Personal Encounters with Plants by Monica Gagliano
  • Leading from the Roots: Nature-Inspired Leadership Lessons for Today’s World by Kathleen E. Allen
  • Destructive Emotions: And how we can overcome them by Daniel Goleman
  • Taking the War out of Our Words: The Art of Powerful Non-Defensive Communication by Sharon Strand Ellison
  • Talking with Angles by Gitta Mallasz
  • Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt by Chris Hedges & Joe Sacco (Illustrator)
  • Entering Bohm’s Holoflux: Explorations in Participatory Consciousness by Lee Nichol
  • When God Was a Woman by Merlin Stone
  • The Great Cosmic Mother: Rediscovering the Religion of the Earth by Monica Sjöö, Barbara Mor
  • The Web of Meaning: Integrating Science and Traditional Wisdom to Find Our Place in the Universe by Jeremy Lent
  • The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World by Iain McGilchrist
  • The Divided Brain and the Search for Meaning by Iain McGilchrist
  • Awakening the Soul: A Deep Response to a Troubled World by Michael Meade
  • The Genius Myth by Michael Meade
  • Unified – Cosmos, Life, Purpose: Communicating with the Unified Source Field & How This Can Guide Our Lives by Kingsley L. Dennis
  • Choosing Earth: Humanity’s Great Transition to a Mature Planetary Civilization by Duane Elgin
  • Yes to Life In Spite of Everything by Viktor E. Frankl
  • The Secret Teachings of Plants: The Intelligence of the Heart in the Direct Perception of Nature by Stephen Harrod Buhner
  • The Lost Art of Listening: How Learning to Listen Can Improve Relationships by Michael P. Nichols
  • A World of Many Worlds by Marisol de la Cadena & Mario Blaser (Editors)
  • Facing Gaia: Eight Lectures on the New Climatic Regime by Bruno Latour
  • Transcend: The New Science of Self-Actualization by Scott Barry Kaufman
  • The Art of Listening by Erich Fromm
  • Sandtalk: How Indigenous Thinking Can Save the World by Tyson Yunkaporta
  • On Disobedience by Erich Fromm
  • The Inner Reaches of Outer Space: Metaphor As Myth and As Religion by Joseph Campbell
  • The Ecstasy of Being: Mythology and Dance by Joseph Campbell
  • Myths to Live By by Joseph Campbell
  • Gaia’s Dance: The Story of Earth & Us by Elisabet Sahtouris
  • Wholeness and the Implicate Order by David Bohm
  • The Crossing Point: Selected Talks and Writings by Mary C. Richards
  • Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
  • Geometrical methods of mathematical physics by Bernard Schutz
  • The large scale structure of space-time by S.W. Hawking & G.F.R Ellis
  • A Beautiful Question: Finding Nature’s Deep Design by Frank Wilczek
  • Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray by Sabine Hossenfelder
  • The Soul of Place: Re-imagining Leadership Through Nature, Art and Community by Michael Jones
  • The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are by Alan W. Watts
  • Slavery’s Capitalism: A New History of American Economic Development by Sven Beckert and Seth Rockman (Editors)
  • Aikido and the Harmony of Nature by Mitsugi Saotome
  • The Silent Pulse: A Search for the Perfect Rhythm that Exists in Each of Us by George Leonard
  • Accounting for Slavery by Caitlin Rosenthal
  • Living in Flow: The Science of Synchronicity and How Your Choices Shape Your World by Sky Nelson-Isaacs
  • The Crossing Point: Selected Talks and Writings by Mary Caroline Richards
  • Centering: In Pottery, Poetry, and the Person by Mary Caroline Richards
  • What Are We Living For? by J.G. Bennett
  • Tao: The Watercourse Way by Alan Watts
  • A Gymnasium of Beliefs in Higher Intelligence by Anthony Blake
  • The Crisis in Human Affairs by J.G. Bennett
  • Witness: The Story of a Search by J.G. Bennett
  • Unfolding Meaning: A Weekend of Dialogue by David Bohm
  • In Search of the Miraculous: The Definitive Exploration of G.I. Gurdjieff’s mystical thought and universal view by P.D. Ouspensky
  • In Search of Being: The Fourth Way to Consciousness by G.I. Gurdjieff
  • The Reality of Being: The Fourth Way of Gurdjieff by Jeanne de Salzmann
  • Deeper Man by J.G. Bennett
  • The Fourth Way by P. D. Ouspensky
  • The Intelligent Enneagram by Anthony Blake
  • The Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki
  • Advances in Presencing: Volume 1 by Olen Gunnlaugson, William Brendel (Editors)

I want to read the following books (latest added, listed first):

  • How to Be Animal: A New History of What It Means to Be Human by Melanie Challenger
  • A Life on Our Planet: My Witness Statement and a Vision for the Future by David Attenborough, Jonnie Hughes
  • Disobedient Teaching: Surviving and Creating Change in Education by Welby Ings
  • The Tao of Democracy: Using Co-Intelligence to Create a World That Works for All by Tom Atlee, Rosa Zubizarreta, Jacquelyn Lynn
  • Empowering Public Wisdom: A Practical Vision of Citizen-Led Politics by Tom Atlee
  • Collective Intelligence: Creating A Prosperous World At Peace by Tom Atlee, Paul Martin
  • Reflections on Evolutionary Activism: Essays, poems and prayers from an emerging field of sacred social change by Tom Atlee
  • Participatory Sustainability: Notes for an Emerging Field of Civilizational Engagement by Tom Atlee
  • Too Late to Die Young: Nearly True Tales from a Life by Harriet McBryde Johnson
  • Ludicrous: The Unvarnished Story of Tesla Motors by Edward Niedermeyer
  • The Self-Driven Child: The Science and Sense of Giving Your Kids More Control Over Their Lives by William Stixrud, Ned Johnson
  • Complexity: A Key Idea for Business and Society by Chris Mowles
  • Moose Heads on the Table: Stories About Self-Managing Organisations from Sweden by Karin Tenelius, Lisa Gill
  • Practicing Open Space by HansGeorg Wicke
  • Equity: How to Design Organizations Where Everyone Thrives by Minal Bopaiah
  • Play: How It Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul by Stuart M. Brown Jr., Christopher Vaughan
  • Intelligence in the Flesh: Why Your Mind Needs Your Body Much More Than It Thinks by Guy Claxton
  • Philosophy in the Flesh: The Embodied Mind and its Challenge to Western Thought by George Lakoff, Mark Johnson
  • Metaphors We Live By by George Lakoff, Mark Johnson
  • Holding Change: The Way of Emergent Strategy Facilitation and Mediation by Adrienne Maree Brown
  • Capital and Imperialism: Theory, History, and the Present by Utsa Patnaik, Prabhat Patnaik
  • Readers of the Book of Life: Contextualizing Developmental Evolutionary Biology by Anton Markoš
  • Mind from Matter Cloth by Max Delbrück
  • Patterns of Connection: Essential Essays from Five Decades by Fritjof Capra
  • Toward a General Theory of Action: Theoretical Foundations for the Social Sciences by Talcott Parsons, Edward Shils
  • Dynamic Administration: The Collected Papers Of Mary Parker Follett by Mary Parker Follett
  • Coming to Our Senses: Body and Spirit in the Hidden History of the West by Morris Berman
  • Bewilderment by Richard Powers
  • Hospicing Modernity: Facing Humanity’s Wrongs and the Implications for Social Activism by Vanessa Machado De Oliveira
  • Woman and Nature: The Roaring Inside Her by Susan Griffin
  • Kinship: Belonging in a World of Relations, 5-Volume Set by Gavin van Horn, Robin Wall Kimmerer, John Hausdoerffer (Editors)
  • Anthro-Vision: A New Way to See in Business and Life by Gillian Tett
  • Scale: The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace of Life in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies by Geoffrey B. West
  • Knowledge: A Very Short Introduction by Jennifer Nagel
  • The Science of Can and Can’t: A Physicist’s Journey Through the Land of Counterfactuals by Chiara Marletto
  • Spontaneous Evolution: Our Positive Future by Bruce H. Lipton, Steve Bhaerman
  • Collective Wisdom in the West: Beyond the Shadows of the Enlightenment by Liam Kavanagh
  • Leadership BS: Fixing Workplaces and Careers One Truth at a Time by Jeffrey Pfeffer
  • The Psychology of Pandemics by Steven Taylor
  • Why You Dread Work: What’s Going Wrong in Your Workplace and How to Fix It by Helen Holmes
  • The Art of Patience: Seeking the Snow Leopard in Tibet by Sylvain Tesson
  • Finding Our Niche: Toward a Restorative Human Ecology by Philip A. Loring
  • Listen: How to Find the Words for Tender Conversations by Kathryn Mannix
  • Silent Earth: Averting the Insect Apocalypse by Dave Goulson
  • Learning to Die: Wisdom in the Age of Climate Crisis by Robert Bringhurst, Jan Zwicky Sakuteiki
  • Visions of the Japanese Garden: A Modern Translation of Japan’s Gardening Classic by Jiro Takei, Marc Peter Keane
  • The Promises of Giants: How YOU can fill the leadership void by John Amaechi Obe
  • Notes on the Synthesis of Form by Christopher Alexander
  • A Journey into Gravity and Spacetime by John Archibald Wheeler
  • Feminism: A Key Idea for Business and Society by Celia V Harquail
  • The Power of Not Thinking: How Our Bodies Learn and Why We Should Trust Them by Simon Roberts
  • The Code of Capital: How the Law Creates Wealth and Inequality by Katharina Pistor
  • Saving the Appearances: A Study in Idolatry by Owen Barfield
  • A Life of One’s Own by Marion Milner
  • The Revenge of the Real: Politics for a Post-pandemic World by Benjamin H. Bratton
  • The Travels of A T-Shirt in the Global Economy: An Economist Examines the Markets, Power, and Politics of World Trade by Pietra Rivoli
  • Faces: The Changing Look of Humankind by Milton E. Brener
  • The Paradoxes of Delusion: Wittgenstein, Schreber, and the Schizophrenic Mind by Louis A. Sass
  • Madness and Modernism: Insanity in the Light of Modern Art, Literature, and Thought by Louis A. Sass
  • Grace: A Leader’s Guide to a Better Us by John Baldon
  • More Than This: Your Heroic Quest to Find Inspiration, Intent, Impact and Insight in a Broken World by Rebecca Elvy
  • From What Is to What If: Unleashing the Power of Imagination to Create the Future We Want by Rob Hopkins
  • Preventable: The Inside Story of How Leadership Failures, Politics, and Selfishness Doomed the U.S. Coronavirus Response by Andy Slavitt
  • Deep Tech and the Amplified Organisation: How to elevate, scale and amplify your business through the New 4Ps of platforms, purpose, people and planet by Simon Robinson, Maria Moraes Robinson, Igor Couto
  • Choosing Earth: Humanity’s Great Transition to a Mature Planetary Civilization by Duane Elgin
  • The Web of Meaning: Integrating Science and Traditional Wisdom to Find Our Place in the Universe by Jeremy Lent
  • Concerning the Inner Life by Evelyn Underhill
  • Transitions: Making Sense of Life’s Changes by William Bridges
  • The Extended Mind: The Power of Thinking Outside the Brain by Annie Murphy Paul
  • The Power of Giving Away Power: How the Best Leaders Learn to Let Go by Matthew Barzun
  • Better work together: How the power of community can transform your business by Susan Basterfield, Anthony Cabraal
  • Emotional Agility: Get Unstuck, Embrace Change, and Thrive in Work and Life by Susan David
  • The Precipice: Neoliberalism, the Pandemic, and the Urgent Need for Radical Change by Noam Chomsky, C.J. Polychroniou
  • Renaissance Man by Ágnes Heller
  • The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy by Jacob Burckhardt
  • How to: Be More Pirate by Sam Conniff and Alex Barker
  • Social by Design: How to create and scale a collaborative company by Mark Britz and James Tyer
  • Changing Our Minds: How children can take control of their own learning by Naomi Fisher
  • These Wilds Beyond Our Fences: Letters to My Daughter on Humanity’s Search for Home by Bayo Akomolafe
  • Work With Source: Realize Big Ideas, Organise for Emergence and Work Artfully with Money by Tom Nixon
  • Systems Thinking – And Other Dangerous Habits by H. William Dettmer
  • Fundamentals: Ten Keys to Reality by Frank Wilczek
  • Temp: How American Work, American Business, and the American Dream Became Temporary by Louis Hyman
  • Die Wise: A Manifesto for Sanity and Soul by Stephen Jenkinson
  • Taking Back Philosophy: A Multicultural Manifesto by Bryan W. Van Norden
  • Radical Help: How We Can Remake the Relationships Between Us and Revolutionize the Welfare State by Hilary Cottam
  • Radical Uncertainty by Marvyn King and John Kay
  • The Corona Chronicles: Envisioning a New Normal for Regeneration and Thriving by Ralph Thurm
  • Biology Revisioned by Willis Harman Visual Thinking by Rudolf Arnheim
  • Dancing at the Edge of the World: Thoughts on Words, Women, Places by Ursula K. Le Guin
  • Heavy Light: A Journey through Madness, Mania and Healing by Horatio Clare
  • The Making of a Democratic Economy: Building Prosperity for the Many, Not Just the Few by Marjorie Kelly and Ted Howard
  • Numbskull in The Theatre of Inquiry: Transforming Self, Friends, Organizations, and Social Science by William R. Torbert
  • Cognition and Categorization by Eleanor Rosch
  • Powered by Purpose by Sarah Rozenthuler
  • Indigenomics: Taking a Seat at the Economic Table by Carol Anne Hilton
  • Less is More: How Degrowth Will Save The World by Jason Hickel
  • Organisationer i en overgangstid: Handbok for ledere av Maya Drøschler (in Danish)
  • Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray by Sabine Hossenfelder
  • You’re It: Crisis, Change, and How To Lead When it Matters Most by Lonard J. Marcus, Eric. J. McNulty, Joseph M. Henderson, and Barry C. Dorn
  • The Mushroom at the End of the World: On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins by Anna Lowenhapupt Tsing
  • The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together by Heather McGhee
  • Love 2.0: How Our Supreme Emotion Affects Everything We Feel, Think, Do, and Become by Barbara L. Fredrickson
  • Do Build – How to make and lead a business the world needs by Alan Moore
  • Mission Economy: A Moonshot Guide to Changing Capitalism by Mariana Mazzucato
  • Culture and Value by Ludwig Wittgenstein
  • The Knowledge Machine: How Irrationality Created Modern Science by Michael Strevens
  • The Feeling of What Happens: Body and Emotion in the Making of Consciousness by Antonio R. Damásio
  • The Notebooks and Drawings of Louis I. Kahn: A Facsimile
  • Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High by Kerry Patterson
  • Simple Habits for Complex Times: Powerful Practices for Leaders by Jennifer Garvey Berger and Keith Johnston
  • Homage to Catalonia by George Orwell
  • Reality by Peter Kingsley
  • Compassionomics: The Revolutionary Scientific Evidence that Caring Makes a Difference by Stephen Trzeciak and Anthony Mazzarelli
  • Call Us What We Carry: Poems by Amanda Gorman
  • Thinking Body, Dancing Mind: Taosports for Extraordinary Performance in Atheltics, Business, and Life by Chungliang Al Huang, Jerry Lynch
  • Attention by Joshua Cohen
  • Quantum Social Science by Emmanuel Haven and Andrei Khrennikov
  • Koinonia: From Hate Through Dialogue to Culture in the Larger Group by Patrick B. de Maré
  • The Leadership Dance: Pathways to Extraordinary Organizational Effectiveness by Richard N. Knowles
  • The Origins of Totalitarianism by Hannah Arendt
  • The Dramatic Universe: The Foundations of Natural Philosphy by J.G. Bennett

Articles Books Letters Retrospectives

Retrospective 2021-03–13

This is a summary of my reading during the first quarter 2021 (weeks 3–13). There are two list below:

  • The first list consists of books, articles, and letters that I have read (more or less in the order read).
  • The second list are notes I made while reading (in chronological order).

A collection of robert wolff’s unpublished writings are available in the robert wolff Library. I warmly recommend robert wolff’s published book Original Wisdom. I also want to express my gratitude to Skye Hirst for so generously sharing Norm Hirst’s interesting articles. Here is, by the way, an imagined conversation between Ouspensky, Gurdjieff, and Norm Hirst on whether people are machines, which is based on my reading.

Books, Articles, and Letters

  • Keith Sawyer, Group Genius: The Creative Power of Collaboration
  • Thomas Hübl, Healing Collective Trauma: A Process for Integrating Our Intergenerational and Cultural Wounds
  • Ervin Laszlo, How We Can Build a Better World: The Worldshift Manual
  • Carol Sanford, The Regenerative Business: Redesign Work, Cultivate Human Potential, Achieve Extraordinary Outcomes
  • Christopher Hitchens, Letters to a Young Contrarian
  • Argyris Arnellos, From Organizations of Processes to Organisms and Other Biological Individuals in Daniel J. Nicholson (Editor), John Dupré (Editor), Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology
  • Ursula Versteegen and Jill Jakimetz, Gestures of the Mind as an Invisible Force for Social Change: A Phenomenological Exploration of what it is to Listen in Olen Gunnlaugson (Editor), William Brendel (Editor), Advances in Presencing Volume 2: Individual Approaches in Theory U
  • Kelvy Bird, Visual Presencing in Olen Gunnlaugson (Editor), William Brendel (Editor), Advances in Presencing: Volume 1
  • Claus Otto Scharmer, The Heart is the Key to All of This: Conversation with Joseph Jaworski, October 29, 1999
  • Joseph Jaworski, Synchronicity: The Inner Path of Leadership
  • James Surowiecki, The Wisdom of Crowds
  • Anthony Blake, The Intelligent Enneagram
  • P.D. Ouspensky, The Fourth Way: A Record of Talks and Answers to Questions Based on the Teaching of G.I. Gurdjieff
  • J.G. Bennett, Deeper Man
  • Chuck Pezeshki, The Power of Empathetic Leadership in an Evolving World
  • Jeanne de Salzmann, The Reality of Being: The Fourth Way of Gurdjieff
  • P.D. Ouspensky, In Search of the Miraculous: Fragments of an Unknown Teaching
  • J.G. Bennett, Witness: The Story of a Search
  • Anthony Blake, A Gymnasium Of Beliefs In Higher Intelligence
  • Anthony Blake, The Intelligent Enneagram
  • Mae-Wan Ho, Meaning of Life and the Universe: Transforming
  • Alan W. Watts, Al Chung-liang Huang (Collaborator), Lee Chih-chang (Illustrator), Tao: The Watercourse Way
  • Mae-Wan Ho, The Biology of Free Will
  • Alexander Lowen, Joy: The Surrender to the Body and to Life
  • Eugene Gendlin, A Process Model
  • J.G. Bennett, What Are We Living For?
  • Mary C. Richards, Centering in pottery, poetry, and the person
  • Mary C. Richards, The Crossing Point: Selected Talks and Writings
  • Mary C. Richards, Toward Wholeness: Rudolf Steiner Education in America
  • Sky Nelson-Isaacs, Living in Flow: The Science of Synchronicity and How Your Choices Shape Your World
  • Caitlin Rosenthal, Accounting for Slavery: Masters and Management
  • George Leonard, The Silent Pulse: A Search for the Perfect Rhythm that Exists in Each of Us
  • Brian Greene, The Fabric of the Cosmos
  • Mitsugi Saotome, Aikido and the Harmony of Nature
  • Calvin Schermerhorn, Unrequited Toil: A History of United States Slavery
  • William Gleason, Aikido and Words of Power: The Sacred Sounds of Kototama
  • Sven Beckert and Seth Rockman, Slavery’s Capitalism: A New History of American Economic Development
  • Alan Watts, The Book on the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are
  • David Bohm, Quantum Theory Erwin Schrödinger, My View of the World
  • Alan Watts, The Book on the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are
  • Cathryn Barnard, Moments in Love: How to Build Authentic Engagement with Anyone
  • John Holt, How Children Learn Michael Jones, The Soul of Place: Re-imagining Leadership Through Nature, Art and Community
  • Sabine Hossenfelder, Lost in Math
  • Frank Wilczek, A Beautiful Question: Finding Nature’s Deep Design
  • Bernard F. Schutz, Geometrical Methods of Mathematical Physics
  • Robert S. Hartman, The Individual in Management
  • Norm Hirst, My Thoughts on my 80th Birthday
  • Norm Hirst, Foundations For An Axiological Science: Hartman’s Science Realized
  • Michael Jones, The Soul of Place: Re-imagining Leadership Through Nature, Art and Community
  • robert wolff, Have We Lost Our Humanity? (2013)
  • robert wolff, War on Terra (2006)
  • robert wolff, Conundrum: Climate Change, world culture and “democracy”
  • robert wolff, Politics Is Not Enough
  • robert wolff, Locks & Keys
  • robert wolff, Sailing to the Moon
  • robert wolff, Questions, questions
  • robert wolff, These Times
  • robert wolff, What There Is – Is All There Is
  • robert wolff, A Modest Proposal
  • robert wolff, for your entertainment a wider perspective
  • robert wolff, Interregnum means between reigns
  • robert wolff, Eight Months Into a new Administration What’s Next? (2009)
  • robert wolff, Original Wisdom: Stories of an Ancient Way of Knowing
  • robert wolff, Smile
  • robert wolff, The Rights of Mother Earth
  • robert wolff, War on the World
  • robert wolff, Realities
  • robert wolff, Evolution Devolution
  • robert wolff, Adapt (2010)
  • robert wolff, What I Look At Looks At Me
  • robert wolff, Is there an alternative to constant economic growth?
  • robert wolff, The Rights of Mother Earth
  • Eleanor Rosch, Primary Knowing: When Perception Happens from the Whole Field [pdf]
  • robert wolff, Now What?
  • robert wolff, one one eleven (1/1/2011)
  • robert wolff, ”Let them it cake”
  • robert wolff, Be Prepared
  • robert wolff, Money, money
  • robert wolff, The Last War, Having vs Being
  • robert wolff, Fiddling While the Planet Burns
  • robert wolff, Worth
  • robert wolff, Search for Simple
  • robert wolff, What do you mean, “ecology?”
  • robert wolff, Titanic World
  • robert wolff, What domesticating does to us and how to get our from under
  • robert wolff, Last night’s dream; inhuman humans
  • robert wolff, Remember Hiroshima?
  • robert wolff, Strange, very strange, dangerously strange
  • robert wolff, What it means to be conservative
  • robert wolff, How we see others, how they see us
  • robert wolff, Money – and why we must learn to do without
  • David Bohm, The Limitations of Thought: A conversation with Michael Mendizza
  • David Bohm, Wholeness and the Implicate Order
  • Eleanor Rosch, What Buddhist Meditation has to Tell Psychology About the Mind
  • Rupert Sheldrake, Morphic Fields and the Implicate Order: A Dialogue with David Bohm
  • Daniel Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow
  • robert wolff, “Yes, corporations are persons, my friend” robert wolff, What does it cost?
  • robert wolff, Interregnum (again)
  • robert wolff, A very immodest proposal (2012)
  • robert wolff, Tamed (2012)
  • robert wolff, Hello! Anybody home?
  • robert wolff, Why we cannot lead humankind to a sustainable world (2012)
  • robert wolff, From the end of 2012 looking at 2013
  • robert wolff, SMOKE GETS IN YOUR EYES and changes the planet
  • robert wolff, A Wider View robert wolff, Wars Come In Many Flavors (2013)
  • robert wolff, Immodest Proposals
  • robert wolff, Memes, Genes and Us
  • Elisabet Sahtouris, EarthDance: Living Systems in Evolution


  • There is a profound loss of something deep inside that I don’t have words for. (Reference: Ursula Versteegen)
  • We need to relate the invisible dynamic of our own inner experience to the visible effects evolving in the current moment. (Reference: Ursula Versteegen and Jill Jakimetz)
  • Listening is at the cross-section of awareness and action.
  • People are effective despite and not because of the management system.
  • People self-organize along real needs.
  • There is a dissonance between my intellectual understanding and a felt understanding.
  • Life emerges bit by bit.
  • Children know how to improvise. Adults may need to relearn improvisation. (Reference: Keith Sawyer)
  • There is no correspondence between the size of your wallet and your personal worth. (Reference: Ervin Laszlo)
  • What are the principles that inform the world of the living?
  • Content informs drawing, spirit informs listening, and the hand unites the two. (Reference: Kelvy Bird)
  • The process of drawing carries the meaning. (Reference: Kelvy Bird)
  • Something has broken in how we treat each other. It’s about empathy, kindness, and respect. (Reference: Sarah Kendzior)
  • The insights, and the process by which I came to those insights, are inseparable. (Reference: Peter Senge)
  • Life has to be experienced, directly. (Reference: Anthony Blake)
  • Design is artifice. (Reference: Anthony Blake)
  • What is the burning question which is necessary to have if you are to go forward in your quest for reality? (Reference: Anthony Blake)
  • No good work comes out of rigid adherence to a formula. (Reference: Anthony Blake)
  • Felt sense is ’subtle thought’.
  • The subtle is ’finely woven’. (Reference: David Bohm via Anthony Blake)
  • The implicate order is deep structure?
  • What if there is an order which is not the result of laws which people are compelled to obey by external violence?
  • The seven-year period 2013-2020 represents a cycle in my life. (Reference: Mary C. Richards)
  • Attending carefully to the choices available in the moment. (Reference: Sky Nelson-Isaacs)
  • Flow is acting out of the unfolding generative order. (Reference: Joseph Jaworski)
  • My eyes are tired from reading. I need to let my hands carry forward the learning.
  • If there ever is a place where the unexpected can arise, it is in relationships.
  • An appropriate intention ls an anticipated qualitative experience.
  • Breath is both form and feeling. (Reference: William Gleason)
  • Markets constrain and commodify human freedom.
  • Capitalism’s defining characteristic is general commodification of labor.
  • There are times when logic only get between us and reality.
  • Treating people as humans worthy of respect actually works.
  • It is through immersing ourselves in the depths of life that life itself is transformed into aliveness
  • In order to let generative order inform the work we need to stay in alignment with what is unfolding, to distinguish between what wants to happen and what we believe ought to happen.
  • Generative order is in the flow of felt sense. The desire for success and positive outcomes impedes this flow.
  • The unity of mind, heart and hand is always being tested.
  • By following the lead of the hand, the artist learns dropping into the moment while letting go into the next.
  • Exploring the space in-between.
  • The destination is not a place, but a new way of seeing things.
  • What if schools are an expression of colonialism?
  • Engaging in true dialogue is a learning experience.
  • The deep song is a generative order.
  • We grab more of what we want by stepping on the backs of others.
  • We are so busy doing that we forget who we are.
  • Life is not a logical problem to be solved. We need to move beyond science (and religion). We don’t need new ways of thinking, we need a new heart. We don’t need a new understanding, we need a new way of sering.
  • Logic (although useful) is a construction.
  • What can not be said in mathematics can not be said in poetry.
  • What if there are truths that can not be reached by any formalism?
  • What if the foundations of any science will be incomplete?
  • What if explicate order is not law bound?
  • The word law is problematic in living context. It indicates something imposed from without.
  • Thought is ephemeral.
  • What we find out is already a foregone conclusion because of what we have already built in with our formalism.
  • The consequences of exceptionalism are dire.
  • Many of us know but it is unthinkable.
  • It is easy to see the end. Difficult to see a beginning.
  • We still don’t want to know. Civil servants promise that there is nothing to worry about. Media make it easy to ignore reality.
  • It’s a deep challenge to bring about deep change.
  • The basic trouble with thought is that it does not distinguish between the part of reality which is created by thought and the part of which is independent of thought.
  • Thought can be too powerful.
  • Surface order unfolds from a deeper order.
  • You’re not able to learn when you can’t keep straight what is independent reality and what is not. (David Bohm)
  • A healthy structure gives plenty of room for freedom and creativity.
  • The organization is a living system which has a deep structure. The health of this structure is dependent on the integration within the organization.
  • It’s not possible to control a living system in the way a machine can be controlled.
  • Cultural development influences how people talk, think, and act together.
  • An organizations is a living system that lives its own life with its own inner dynamics.
  • A mechanical system is designed to work in a relatively simple way. The networks of cause and effect can be understood.
  • Changes ripple causing unforeseen consequences in a living system.
  • Every living process is a structured organization of information, energy and matter. Energy is continuously consumed and must be continuously replenished. Information and matter continually flow and get changed.
  • Living systems adapt to, meet, and interact with the shifting conditions that occur both within and outside of its border.
  • The organization is an organic whole. Every part must be integrated in order to retain vitality, resilience, and ability to meet challenges.
  • It is the deep structure which holds the organization together as a single unit.
  • It is mutual understanding that keeps everyone pulling in the same direction, allowing people to keep pace with each other.
  • Most managers look only at the organization’s surface structure. The surface structure is what everyone can see. Sources to problems lie in the deeper structures of the organization.
  • The health of an organization’s deep structure is a function of how well the organization is integrated (connection between people).
  • To repair the deep structure in the organization, everyone needs to understand what’s at stake and why it’s important.
  • The deep structure needs to be repaired before you can make any headway.
  • People, without exception, do care about what happens once they understand what’s at stake.
  • Only when a real choice is possible can the full power and potential of an organization be mobilized.
  • Individuals must be allowed the freedom to say Yes or No (consent).
  • A person who is fully informed about their organization will behave differently than someone who is not.
  • Visibility increases the likelihood of constructive, responsible action.
  • Invite all involved.
  • The individual that suffers most often has the strongest incentive to do something about it.
  • It’s possible to build on what others know and really mean, when everyone has access to the thoughts and know-how of the entire group.
  • Groups that can interact rise their level creativity.
  • You cannot run a knowledge-based organization by direct control, pressure, high demands, and micro-management.
  • You simply cannot control an organization the way a single operator might control a machine. It’s not enough to merely design functions into workflows and then run these through various control mechanisms.
  • Making a commitment is an existential action. Something happens inside — and, importantly, it is an event that cannot be controlled from the outside. You can only be asked to take that step; no one can force you, or order you to do it.
  • Work, where you have total control, does not exist.
  • An organization must be led, but what this entails is not obvious.
  • Leadership involves touching the heart of every person — something that needs to be done if you expect to influence others.
  • Leadership involves building on the common interests between the organization, customers, people, and community.
  • Leadership is to ensure that the conditions of life are put in place.
  • Leadership is to inspire and focus the energy, to facilitate interplay and learning, and to ensure a steady outflow of results.
  • Cultural patterns show up as repetitive ways of speaking and acting.
  • Culture is always based on habitual ways of viewing and interpreting reality.
  • Culture forms the eyes you see with.
  • Cultural development lose momentum if there is no clarity concerning how people talk, think, and act.
  • Long-term energy and commitment is sustained when all are involved in the organization’s future. Activate the combined intelligence in the entire organization.
  • Put local knowledge and experience into play.
  • If people feel it’s important they will spontaneously pitch in and assist each other.
  • A well-integrated organization generates more energy and uses it to greater effect.
  • Thinking together requires communication and interaction.
  • Open space makes it possible for everyone to think, reflect, and learn together.
  • It takes time and effort for a group to agree on what the major challenges are and what has to be done about it.
  • Understanding and acting are all but obvious.
  • A mechanistic order is one in which the fundamental elements are independently existent, lying outside each other, and connected only by external relationships.
  • Mechanistic order is a limiting case of organismic order.
  • There is a sharp break between abstract logical thought and concrete immediate experience that doesn’t have to be maintained. The movement from immediate experience to logical thought doesn’t have to be fragmented.
  • Logic is constructed thought.
  • Constructs are mechanical.
  • Experiencing—through feeling—is immediate and direct and real? Experience—organized through thought—is a more or less logically coherent construction?
  • Creative intelligence vs. intellect.
  • External vs. internal relationship.
  • We have an almost unlimited ability to ignore our ignorance. (Reference: Daniel Kahneman)
  • Our language perpetuates illusions.
  • Only coerced action can be increased by rules.
  • Action can take palce in very different ways. There’s a huge difference between doing somthing bechase there’s a rule or becuase it’s the right thing to do.
  • Rules leads to action that’s rigid and ultimately less successful.
  • There are times when it is good to see everything, but other times when it is not good. It is difficult to know without the protection of a community.
  • The freer and safer, the deeper the insights.
  • Do you feel free and safe in the workplace?
  • Act from a sense of play rather than from ego or obligation.
  • Life is a particular kind of working organization.
  • Information is anything that is in formation. (Reference: Elisabet Sahtouris)
  • A living organism is always a holon within larger holons depending on them for its very life. (Reference: Elisabet Sahtouris)
  • Organisms are experiencing, experimenting.


Retrospective 2021-02

This is a brief summary of my reading the last two weeks. I haven’t painted anything.

I have been reading Anthony Blake. Blake’s The Supreme Art of Dialogue is an excellent book which I read two years ago.

Anthony Blake has many references to Gurdjieff in his book about the enneagram, which lead me to the following books:

  • In Search of the Miraculous by Peter D. Ouspensky,
  • In Search of Being by George I. Gurdjieff, and
  • The Reality of Being by Jeanne de Salzmann.

Peter D. Ouspensky studied with Gurdjieff’s from 1915 to 1924. In Search of the Miraculous recounts what he learned from Gurdjieff during those years. Jeanne de Salzman worked with Gurdjieff from 1919 until his death in 1949.

So, what are my impressions of Gurdjieff? Ouspensky writes in In Search of the Miraculous that:

In general, many things which G. said astonished me. There were ideas which I could not accept and which appeared to me fantastic and without foundation. Other things, on the contrary, coincided strangely with what I had thought myself and with what I had arrived at long ago. I was most of all interested in the connectedness of everything he said. … I asked myself whether I had indeed found what I was looking for.

I agree with Ouspensky that there are many things which Gurdjieff says that astonishes me. Some ideas appear to me without foundation, and other coincide with what I have thought myself. However, I would never have followed Gurdjieff myself. I doubt his ideas and perceive him as manipulative.


Retrospective 2021-01

This is a summary of my reading and painting during 2020.


Here are my paintings 2020.

My paintings 2020

Here are my five best paintings 2020. I did a first selection and then let people vote on twitter.

My best paintings 2020


Here is my micro blog, where I keep track my of reading, and pile up my thoughts and notes.

Number of micro posts per month 2020

I have started to refine and connect my thoughts in a wiki. Here is an outline of my story.


Retrospective 2020-36

This is a summary of my reading and painting last week (Aug 31–Sept 6, 2020).


I made the following painting and drawing during the weekend.



I continued reading Eugene Gendlin’s A Process Model. Gendlin asks how purpose and direction arise from within process? He introduces the concept of focaling. Many purposes and possible actions are focaled into one.

The artist feels, as an example, that the unfinished drawing “needs something.” The artist and drawing imply something together. The already drawn lines participate in the formation of the “needed” line. And when it is drawn, it changes the interrelations of all the lines, which carries the implying forward. The artist focals the right line.

We can observe focaling at work when thinking forward, when we pursue unclear possibilities, and sense more than we can think clearly. It’s only afterwards we can specify what has changed. We cannot do it in advance. Focaling arrives at the implying of the next step.


I read Norm Hirst’s paper Life as Fundamental, Life is Field Being, which was written for the International Field Being Conference, June 2007. Norm Hirst’s friend and mentor was Robert Hartman. Both spent a lifetime on understanding value. Hartman as a philosopher. Hirst as a logician. The logic of life is creative, rich in variety, and even paradoxical.

All living entities are societies. They are free to choose and initiate acts, and they are, in turn, societies of living entities. Non-living science is organizing involving cause and effect. Living science is science of organizing principles for self-acting entities. Thus living science must be based on new forms of order.

I also read Yaneer Bar-Yam’s Teams: A Manifesto. The organization of our society must change—no “ism” or “ocracy” will do. It is about we and not about me or you. Teams of individuals, teams of teams, and teams of teams of teams, up to society as a whole. There is not just one way to do this, so there is much to learn. The form teams will take will vary. Teams in life, and teams at work.


Finally, I just want to mention this video where Viktor Frankl talks about creative, experiential, and attitudinal values. These are intrinsic values in the language of Robert Hartman and Norm Hirst.


Retrospective 2020-35

This is a summary of my reading and painting last week (Aug 24–30, 2020).


I painted this which is from a photo by Skye Hirst.

From a photo by Skye Hirst.



Eugene Gendlin, A Process Model.

I am currently reading A Process Model by Eugene Gendlin. As I mentioned last week, it’s interesting to see how Gendlin works with all the logical force words are capable of in this book.


I am also reading Life as Fundamental, Life is Field Being by Norm Hirst. A recurring theme in Norm Hirst’s writings is that we need a new logic in order to understand life. Traditional logics require consistency and truth-preservation. Logic for Life-itself, on the other hand, must be able to move beyond current truth, and be able grow and evolve. Thus traditional logics cannot handle the requirements of life.

Christopher Painter (@meme_machines) sent me this article on A Theory of Natural Universal Computation Through RNA where Hessameddin Akhlaghpour bridges combinatory logic and RNA molecular biology. Interestingly, Norm Hirst suggests that combinatory logic might provide a primitive frame that can be used to meet the requirements for Life-itself.


Retrospective 2020-33–34

This is a summary of my reading and painting the last two weeks (August 10–23, 2020).


I am currently participating in the #drawingaugust challenge on Twitter and have been working on a series of portraits. I have also made some paintings based on photos by Skye Hirst. My other paintings are here.


The Heart by Norm and Skye Hirst
I have read Norm and Skye Hirst’s article on The Heart, Shoulds and Overcoming the Trap of Scientific Materialism. Norm and Skye Hirst bring old assumptions that keep us blind into focus, and engage us in how to grow Life-Centric living and thinking awareness. It’s about how to better navigate as we create our lives together. Much of the suffering in the world can be traced to the ignorance of how life has provided us with the capacity for living in harmony.

The Unknowable by Gregory Chaitin
I finished reading The Unknowable by Gregory Chaitin, which is a companion to Chaitin’s The Limits of Mathematics.

Once a branch of mathematics has been formalized, it becomes a combinatorial object, i.e., a set of rules for combining symbols, and fit for metamathematical investigation. You can then put it under the metamathematical microscope and analyze it. The limitation is that it’s impossible to formalize all of mathematics. Any formal axiomatic system is either inconsistent or incomplete. It either proves false theorems, or doesn’t prove all true theorems.

Gödel’s incompleteness theorems demonstrate the inherent limitations of every formal axiomatic system capable of modelling basic arithmetic. It’s fascinating to see how Chaitin reduces Gödel’s proof to less than 20 lines of LISP code (pp. 62–64). Gödel had to get his hands dirty and poke around in the mathematical engine. It was very hard work. Chaitin uses LISP to do the hard work.

Five years after Gödel, Turing found a deeper reason for incompleteness. Turing derived incompleteness from uncomputability. All possible algorithms can be expressed by any programming language, but everything cannot be reduced to an algorithm, i.e., to the repetition of rote operations. Algorithmic systems are extremely weak in entailment (see Robert Rosen, Essays on Life Itself). You cannot equate quality with quantity, and construction with computability, in a non-algorithmic system.

A key takeaway is that formalisms for deduction failed, while formalisms for computation succeeded. Formalism is triumphant in computing, but not in reasoning—not even in mathematical reasoning.

A Process Model by Eugene Gendlin
I have started reading A Process Model by Eugene Gendlin. Gendlin was a philosopher who developed ways of thinking about and working with living process, felt sense, and focusing. It’s interesting to see how he works with all the logical force words are capable of in his book. I will definitely take the time to review this book.

Previously, I have reviewed Gendlin’s books on Focusing: How to Gain Direct Access to Your Body’s Knowledge and Experiencing and the Creation of Meaning: A Philosophical and Psychological Approach to the Subjective.

Here are two YouTube videos with Gendlin:

Embodied Learning
Finally, I would like to mention Camille Litalien’s TEDx talk on Embodied Learning.

Camille Litalien is a dancer and says that uncontrived, pre-verbal, integration of the body-mind is a natural capacity for all humans. She refers to this intelligence as embodiment.

Camille Litalien noticed that her physicality was deeply affected by the buildings she was in. They man-made structures deeply affected her mind and emotions. (This reminds me of Christopher Alexander’s “the quality without a name“.) Litalien noticed that these idealized forms were out of touch with the sensous world, and thereby of her own self. She felt like she was enforcing her mind and body into yet another idea.

We need to consciously step out of abstracted man-made structures, architectural, intellectual, cultural. This can be done through a sense of play. Through sensing, hearing, feeling, we can invite the opening and the release of contracted and restricted patterns, whether emotional, physical or mental. Here is a transcript of the talk.


Retrospective 2020-32

This is a summary of my reading and painting last week.


I painted the following. The painting to the right is from a photo by Skye Hirst (@autognomics).

I am also participating in the #drawingaugust challenge on Twitter (via @janhoglundart).



A month ago (week 28, 2020) I started reading the works of Norm and Skye Hirst. This week I read:

  • The Discovery of Value Intelligence: Unique to life, a full body/mind process, and
  • The New Emergent Life-Itself Paradigm Requires Understanding of Values, For 30th Anniversary of Hartman Institute Conference.

Values are related to the organizing principles which are operative in living processes. “The-way-down-deep errors” that destroy life are the result of defective logic. Not only is a new view of reality required, we also need to change our practices of inquiry to cope with it.

I have also read:

The debate between Christopher Alexander and Peter Eisenman is more about order than harmony. Peter Eisenman’s idea of order is about separation and frustation, while Christopher Alexander is convinced that order and harmony are objective facts. On the one hand we have order as something subjective and repressive, and on the other hand order as something objective and generative.

Christopher Alexander says that we are taught to pretend that things are “like little machines” because only then “can you tinker with them and find out what makes them tick”. It’s fine, but it may also be “factually wrong”. “[T]he constitution of the universe may be such that the human self and the substance that things [are] made out of […] are much more inextricably related than we realized.” We have, in other words, “been trained to play a trick on ourselves for the last 300 years in order to discover certain things“.

Mae-Wan Ho writes that “feeling is the key to scientific understanding, indeed, of all understanding”. She asks how we can “claim to understand something we do not feel?” And, yet, that’s what we are “urged to do”. Mae-Wan Ho calls the “feeling” Alexander talks about “a sea of meaning” that immerses us all.

Mae-Wan Ho writes furthermore that “mechanical order” has “taken over the whole of science”. Living order is “a harmonious coherence which fills us and touches us”, and which “cannot be represented as a mechanism”. “[T]he mechanistic view always makes us miss the essential thing.” Ho describes how the mechanistic view of order can be traced back to Descartes, and how it annihilates our inner experience. “Value disappeared, […] and with it, feeling; and so the idea of order fell apart.”

Christopher Alexander identified fifteen properties that occur repeatedly in artifacts which have “life”. Christopher Alexander writes in The Nature of Order, Book 1 (p. 238) that these fifteen properties are “rough approximations” of some “deeper” structure. This “deeper” structure is “something” which allows the fifteen properties to emerge from it. Interestingly, Mae-Wan Ho sees a connection between many of Alexander’s properties and the ones she has proposed for “the living organism, or sustainable systems”. I will come back to this in a future post.


Finally, I want to mention that I started reading The Unknowable by Gregory Chaitin this week. This book is a companion to Chaitin’s The Limits of Mathematics. Gregory Chaiting’s aim is to explain fundamental mathematical ideas understandably. And it’s a fascinating read indeed because Chaitin uses mathematics to look at itself in the mirror. A key takeaway, so far, is that “formalism failed for reasoning, but it succeeded brilliantly for computation“. My hope is to better understand what the limits of formalisms are in relation to understanding living organism, living process.

Articles Books Retrospectives

Retrospective 2020-31

This is a summary of my reading during the week.


I have read Wholeness in Science by Guus van der Bie. The author attempts to develop Goethe’s method in his interest in a humanization of medicine. Similarly, I think it’s possible to develop Goethe’s method in the interest of humanizing work. Traditional management, which treats the organization as a machine and people as machine parts, fails to see and understand the complex situations of an organization consisting of people who are alive.

Keeping what we see strictly apart from associated concepts was a key requirement for Goethe. Goethe was acutely aware of the necessity to practice emphatic see-ing. Goethe’s method provides the basis for developing an understanding of living processes.

When empathy is deliberately extended, it can work to broaden our insight.
—Guus van der Bie, Wholeness in Science

The role of the mind in Goethe’s methodology is to find the coherence of the organization. Preliminary judgments are actively held back. The attention is on perception and observation.

Organic organization is invisible.

All parts of an organization have a relation to the whole and to each other. Organizational changes can be understood as metamorphoses. Every fact or detail must be understood in its context. This is necessary to do justice to the organic coherence of the organization. Isolated facts must be understood in the whole picture. Otherwise, there will be adverse effects.

I have also read Spiritual Ecology by Andy Shaw. The onlooker consciousness is useful for certain purposes, yet fails to provide a comprehensive context for our existence in the world—and, I would add, in our work.

There is an immense qualitative discrepancy between life and non-life.
…a living being…is animated by an inner directing principle of some sort…
—Andy Shaw, Spiritual Ecology

Wherever management is concerned with measurement, the particular aspect of work has first to be prepared quantitatively. This is an intellectual rearrangement of work that reduces it to the purely quantitative. The measurement system is in no way intrinsic to work, but is a reduction of work so that management can manipulate it for its own ends.

Management can control work according to its own will, but the price for this is that workers withdraw from work. The work begins to seem lifeless and empty. The organizing need to be allowed to emerge from the living encounter between worker and work, rather than being imposed from without according to management’s preconceptions. The thinking itself must be brought into the realm of work.

We exist in a living world, and only a deep sense of life will enable us to heal its very real wounds.
—Andy Shaw, Spiritual Ecology


I have read Doing Goethean Science by Craig Holdrege. Practicing Goethean science involves heightened sensitivity and awareness to the way we engage in the phenomenal world. We need to overcome our habit of viewing the world in terms of objects and leave behind the propensity to explain via reductive models.

Craig Holdrege describes science as a conversation with nature and presents the Goethean approach via a practical example. The metaphor of conversation brings to accentuates an inner attitude that lies at the heart of doing Gothean science. Here are some of the elements of science-as-conversation:

  1. Give the conversation an initial focus. Something has sparked my interest, my attention has been caught.
  2. The conversation itself is paramount. We can’t have a conversation if the focus is too narrow or too rigid.
  3. Taking the conversation seriously means that it is open-ended, that there is an atmosphere of openness.
  4. Infusing the conversation with respect, giving it dignity, makes me more sensitive in what I think and do.
  5. Receptive attentiveness allows me to see and hear with fresh eyes and ears. I am actively giving form to the conversation through my observations.
  6. In conversation we get to know the other and ourselves better. Any time we interact, we change.
  7. Conversations is all about participation. I can’t distance myself from the process and its results.

The idea of science-as-conversation grows out of the doing. And once we become conscious of it, it becomes a kind of inner guide. Am I aware enough? It is a back-and forth? Am I listening or pushing an agenda?

You prepare the ground, but the moment of seeing always involves an act of grace. Or maybe we could just say: we have to wait till the world speaks.
—Craig Holdrege, Doing Goethean Science

I have also read Emma Kidd’s dissertation Re-Cognition: The Re-Cognition of our Connection to Nature Through Goethe’s Way of Seeing, and her guest articles A Pathway to Living Knowledge Course Review – Part One & Part Two. They are all available via Simon Robinson’s blog Transition Consciousness: Making the transition to a better world. I will come back to Emma Kidd’s dissertation in a future post.

In re-cognizing the wholeness of nature, we are re-cognizing the nature of wholeness and what it truly means to be whole, and part of a whole, on this earth.
—Emma Kidd, Re-Cognition: The Re-Cognition of our Connection to Nature Through Goethe’s Way of Seeing

A living inquiry tries to understand wholeness as an expression of the language of life.
—Emma Kidd, A Pathway to Living Knowledge Course Review – Part One

Life, and knowledge, become livelier when my ways of knowing become as dynamic as the part of life itself that I am getting to know.
—Emma Kidd, A Pathway to Living Knowledge Course Review – Part Two

Finally, I would like to mention Simon Robinson’s Book Review: First Steps to Seeing: A Path to Living Attentively by Emma Kidd. Emma Kidd’s book First Steps to Seeing is excellent!


Retrospective 2020-30

This is a summary of my painting, reading, and writing last week.


I painted this, which is from Trådarön, Sweden.


I have continued to immerse myself in Norm and Skye Hirst’s writings:

  • Norm Hirst, Norm Hirst, Abstract: Organismic Biology.
  • Norm and Skye Hirst, UP Close and Personal to Our Medical Health Care System: Experiencing First Hand the dangers and possibilities of medical care in the USA.
  • Norm Hirst, Biology Must Become a Science.
  • Norm Hirst, A Research and Mediation Center.
  • Norm Hirst, Hypotheses Explained.

I read the following articles:

I started reading the following books:

  • David Bohm, Wholeness and the Implicate Order.
  • Alfred North Whitehead, Essays in Science and Philosophy.
  • Simon Robinson and Maria Moraes Robinson, Holonomics: Business Where People and Planet Matter. I read this book in 2014. Here is a succinct review.


I wrote this post (in Swedish), which is a reaction to all talk about evidence in relation to covid-19. Evidence Based Medicine (EBM) relies on an analytical approach. Evidence determined at the population level is grossly general. This way of collecting evidence is taken from the research of lifeless nature. The health care system would gain both in depth and humanity if it was complemented by Goethe’s way of science.

Goethe’s significance for a science of the living, organic world is comparable to Newton’s contribution to physics and the science of lifeless nature.