To be healthy, both as individuals and as a society, is to be whole, fully integrated in body, mind, and spirit. For the words health and whole, together with holy, have a common Germanic root: heil.
Our fragmented education system
But are we healthy individuals living in a healthy society? Well, let us test this question with just one example: the education system. When we are infants, we go to school to learn the three R’s, Reading, (W)riting, and (A)rithmetic. Then as we progress through school and university, we are taught to divide the world of learning into even more subjects and disciplines, without being told how they relate to each other.
This is tragic, because it is the relationships between things that makes them interesting. For the word interesting derives from the Latin word interesse, loosely meaning ‘between beings’. So when we ignore the relationships between the various academic disciplines, we throw the interesting parts away!
At the broadest level, we divide the world of learning into science and the humanities, which C. P. Snow lamented creates a great gulf between the two cultures. Or regarding those studies concerned with the search for the Truth, we separate science and religion from each other, with philosophy occupying what Bertrand Russell called the ‘No Man’s Land’ in between.
This analytical activity has led the world of learning to become fragmented into fields with thick hedges dividing them. The emphasis is on specialization rather than generalization. This is rather like living in a prison cell ensnared in what William Blake aptly called ‘mind-forged manacles’. Even when we engage in interdisciplinary studies, we are still imprisoned, for all we do is knock down a few walls between the cells.
So how can we overcome this fragmentation and develop a new worldview for the 21st century, as many are seeking today? How can we realize the dream that René Descartes had in 1619 of the unification of all knowledge by one and the same method, that of reason? How can we develop a coherent body of knowledge that corresponds to all our experiences, from the mundane to the mystical?
Well, when Descartes faced this problem, he adopted the principle of utmost scepticism to construct a complete philosophic edifice de novo, which had not happened since Aristotle. So if we are to live as free-thinking individuals able to make complete sense of ourselves and the world we live in, we need to start afresh at the very beginning, to demolish the entire prison, to tear down the Tower of Babel that represents the world of learning today, even digging up the foundations.
This means that we need to think and learn in a radically new way, for it is only through self-inquiry that we can ensure that our scientific experiments are based on the Truth. Unless we truly know ourselves, free of our scientific, religious, and economic conditioning, we cannot possibly know whether our scientific theories are true or not. If we are to unify reason and mysticism, we must regard scientific method and the spiritual quest as one and the same process.
Integral business modelling
The start and end point for such an experiment in learning is the statement, Wholeness is the union of all opposites. This Principle of Duality is the fundamental design principle of the Universe, a universal truth of absolute certainty, applicable in all possible worlds. For if some people deny the truth of the Principle of Duality, they are the opposite of those who assert its veracity, thus confirming its truth.
The Principle of Duality thus shows us that if we are to heal our divisive minds, we need to balance our specialities with an approach to learning of the utmost abstraction and generality. But how is this possible? In an economic system that emphasizes the division of labour, where can we find people who work with generalities, with concepts of the greatest abstraction?
Traditionally, we can probably consider the two most abstract and general disciplines to be mathematics and philosophy. For instance, the concept of number in mathematics has expanded over the years to include the positive integers, zero and negative integers, rational, real, and complex numbers, and so on.
However, during the past few decades, an occupation has emerged in the business world that uses even more abstract concepts: the information systems architect. The word architect is appropriate here for it derives from the Greek arch, meaning ‘chief’, and tekton, ‘builder’. So an information systems (IS) architect is the master builder, someone who can see the big picture: how all the parts of a system fit together to form a coherent whole. It is therefore not surprising that IS architects are adapting the pattern language of the architect Christopher Alexander to build systems that evolve naturally as living wholes.
Like architects who design buildings, IS architects begin their design processes by developing models of the systems they are going to build. The most fundamental of the business modelling methods being used today is the relational model of data introduced by Ted Codd of IBM in 1970. Because it evolved from the mathematical theory of relations and first-order predicate logic, this modelling method provided, for the first time, a mathematical representation of the basic resource of the data-processing industry: data itself. Since Codd’s seminal eleven-page paper was published, it has spawned a multibillion-dollar industry. You cannot order a book or an airline ticket on the Internet without using the relational model of data behind the scenes
Beginning in the 1980s, the relational model was augmented by object-oriented modelling methods, which had their origin in the programming language Simula, introduced by the Norwegian Computing Center in 1965. This led to the desktop metaphor introduced in the Apple Macintosh in the 1980s and to object-oriented programming languages, like C++, Java, and Smalltalk, used by most professional programmers today.
In business terms, the object-oriented modelling method that has become the de facto standard is the Unified Modeling Language, developed in the 1990s by Grady Booch, James Rumbaugh, and Ivar Jacobson of Rational Software Corporation, now a subsidiary of IBM. UML models can be very complex, reflecting the complexity of the territory being mapped. But underlying all these models is a class model of the utmost simplicity and abstraction, shown here.
The word object in this class diagram denotes the superclass, at the top of the class hierarchy. All other classes are subclasses of object. The diagram shows that instances of any class in the system, called objects, can have zero or more relationships with an object in any other class, including itself. The diagram is thus a depiction of the entire business world, of the global economy.
Healing the mind
We can generalize this semantic model by replacing the word object with that of being, the concept that formed the basis of Aristotle’s Metaphysics. This is what Aristotle wrote about being:
There is a science which studies Being qua Being, and the properties inherent in it in virtue of its own nature. This science is not the same as any of the so-called particular sciences, for none of the others contemplates Being generally qua Being; they divide off some portion of it and study the attribute of this portion, as do for example the mathematical sciences.
By regarding being as the superclass of all other classes, we can thus develop a completely general science to balance the particular sciences. Being does not just denote an object. The word represents any object, event, process, system, organism, state, feeling, form, structure, relationship, field, concept, class, character, symbol, religion, discipline, ism, ology, osophy, theory, language, culture, civilization, or any other entity that I, or any other knowing being, can perceive, conceive, or imagine.
The word being also denotes the Absolute, the Supreme Being, generally called God in Western civilization. Using a term from the data processing industry, we can call the Absolute the Datum of the Universe, meaning ‘that which is given’. This is the Essence of the Universe, which exists prior to being, a notion encapsulated in the word presence, which derives from the Latin word præesse, consisting of two parts, præ, ‘before’ and esse, ‘to be’. So presence literally means ‘before being’ or ‘prior to existence’. The concept of being is thus the simplest possible application of Ockham’s razor, known as the “principle of ontological economy, usually formulated as ‘Entities are not to be multiplied beyond necessity’ ”.
By forming all concepts as subclasses of being, we can develop a comprehensive, self-inclusive model of the totality of existence, of the entire Universe, illustrated in this diagram. This shows that every being in the Universe, felt and viewed as Consciousness, is related to every other being in potentially an infinite number of ways. There are thus no autonomous beings in the Universe that can act freely and independently of any other being. In human terms, we are all in the same boat, interdependent on each other for maintaining the health and wellbeing, not only of ourselves, but also of our physical environment.
But more than this. As the superclass being includes the absolute Whole, or Wholeness, it provides the overall context for all our learning. This is of profound importance. For by learning in this way, we are always Wholeness, no matter how detailed and specialized our analytical activities might become. It is a thoroughly healthy approach to learning, enabling us to see our particular areas of expertise in the context of the Whole.
Specifically, we can adapt the IS design principles of conceptual clarity, integrity, simplicity, and consistency to interpret the data patterns of our experience to form a meaningful set of concepts that relate to each other as a coherent whole. By watching our thoughts arise directly from their divine Source and by paying careful attention to the similar differences and different similarities between beings, an approach that leads to universal order, as David Bohm points out,we can heal the fragmented mind.
The Theory of Everything
As this egalitarian approach to concept formation is very original, as Chris Clarke has observed, we need a new word to denote the study of Wholeness. To this end, I call the abstract science that has evolved from business modelling methods panosophy, a word first used in English in 1642, albeit with a slightly different spelling, to mean ‘a scheme or cyclop¾dic work embracing the whole body of human knowledge’. Panosophy is a unified relationships theory, the Theory of Everything that such figures as Stephen W. Hawking and Ken Wilber are attempting to develop today. For panosophy is a coherent body of knowledge that describes all the forces of Nature—both physical and nonphysical—within a single, all-encompassing framework, called relational logic.
Not that there is anything mysterious about this nonaxiomatic, holographic, self-reflective science of reason. Relational logic simply makes explicit the way that we all implicitly organize our thoughts and ideas, guided by the Logos, the rational principle governing the Cosmos. Yet, paradoxically, because relational logic enables us to integrate all knowledge in all cultures and disciplines at all times into a coherent whole, it introduces the most radical change in the way we think in the history of human learning.
It is important to note here that it is a category-mistake to compare panosophy with any specialist discipline, such as physics, biology, or psychology, for transdisciplinary panosophy embraces all disciplines. Such a comparison would be a violation of Wholeness, for Wholeness is beyond compare. So panosophers are invisible to the categorizing mind, only being intuitively recognizable by those in touch with Love, our true Home, our common Ground of Being. This means that it is not actually possible to return Home to Wholeness, for we are already Whole, we always have been and we always shall be.
To become conscious of this fundamental fact of existence, we can make one comparison between panosophers and specialists, which can help us understand this unusual profession. Specialists are people who know more and more about less and less, eventually knowing everything about nothing. Panosophers, on the other hand, know less and less about more and more, eventually knowing nothing about everything. So to be Whole, specialists need to be panosophers, and vice versa. When scientists and medical practitioners learn to study panosophy, we should thus see a marked increase in the health and wellbeing of us all.
This does not mean that we would all become the same. By acknowledging our common gnostic and ontological ground, free of our mechanistic conditioning, we have the opportunity to realize our true creative uniqueness. Everything we think and do is an expression of Wholeness, no matter whether we are poets, politicians, or whatever. Furthermore, there are no dogmatic structures or paradigms in panosophy. Because panosophers follow E. F. Schumacher’s maxim for mapmaking, “Accept everything; reject nothing,” all viewpoints are acceptable. Panosophy enables and supports epistemological diversity in a spirit of love and acceptance.
An evolutionary perspective
While panosophy has the potential to explain phenomena that materialistic science cannot explain, in evolutionary terms, we can use the rigorous scientific principles of panosophy to understand what many intuitively visualize is happening to the human race today. Like Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, we can divide the overall process of cosmogenesis or hologenesis of the past fourteen billion years into four stages, the first three of which were the evolution of matter and the physical universe, of forms of life, and of mental concepts, which we can call hylogenesis, biomorphogenesis, and noogenesis, respectively. Narrowing the focus of our attention, the transition between the second and third phases took place during the comparatively peaceful age of the Great Mother, coming to an end about 4,500 years ago with the birth of history, marked in the West by the mythical Garden of Eden.
During the patriarchal, mental-egoic age (me-epoch) that followed, some twenty major civilizations have been born, most naturally dying in the course of time. This includes Western civilization, which today dominates the world through the global economy. In turn, this great civilization is now dying because it is based on the false assumption that we human beings are separate from God, Nature, and each other, when the truth is that we are in gnostic union with the Divine at every instant of our lives.
The fragmentation of the education system has thus led it to be based on seven pillars of unwisdom, to use Arthur Koestler’s term, misconceptions about God, the Universe, Life, humanity, money, justice, and reason. So if we are to heal our deluded, schizoid society, we need to create an education system based on the seven pillars of wisdom, recognizing that we are all one Whole. I am in you and you are in me, the ‘I’ here denoting our true Essence, which is Love, Consciousness, and Intelligence.
Today, there are many millions of people going through such a healing process, recognizing that what has traditionally been taught in schools, universities, and churches no longer makes sense. It is therefore crystal clear that evolution is poised to carry humanity to its glorious culmination, those we call Indigo children being among the cultural pioneers. We are entering the fourth and final stage of evolution in general and the third and final phase of human evolution. The war-ridden, self-centred epoch is being transformed into a holistic, wisdom society, which is emerging very fast because evolution is an accumulative process that has been accelerating exponentially for fourteen billion years and has now reached mind-shattering speeds—literally.
I call this peaceful eschatological age of universal spirit (us-epoch) the Paragonian Society, from the Greek words para, ‘beyond’, and agon, ‘contest’ or ‘conflict’, which is also the root of agony and antagonistic. Paragonian thus means ‘beyond conflict and suffering’, a healthy, liberated, and awakened way of being that we can realize when we are both unified with the Divine and integrated with the Cosmos.
Working harmoniously together
To assist the transition to the Paragonian Society, I am in the process of setting up the Paragonian Foundation, consisting of the Paragonian Fellowship, University, Business Academy, and Publications addressing the spiritual, educational, economic, and communicational aspects of the emerging civilization. The motto of the Foundation is ‘Healing our sick society’, inspired by the works of Erich Fromm, whose greatest masterpiece looked deeply at the conditions that could save us from psychological, ecological, and economic catastrophe.
Spiritually, the aim of the Foundation is to create a global network of those living consciously from our immanent Essence, transcending religious divisions and exclusiveness, which historically have led to many holy wars, wars about the Whole. Educationally, the purpose is to heal the fragmentation of academia by establishing transcultural panosophy as the all-inclusive, vital science in which all disciplines can be expressed. And economically, the object is to create the infrastructure for the ecologically sustainable Sharing Economy, recognizing that none of us are separate beings, who can be said to own or do anything.
To get the Foundation off the ground, Paragonian Publications has published a 154-page introductory book called The Paragonian Manifesto: Revealing the Coherent Light of Consciousness, available from GreenSpirit Books, Watkins Books, or direct from the publishers at www.paragonian.org. It is called a manifesto because it is intended as a spiritual, nondualistic replacement for The Communist Manifesto, written in 1848, shortly before the great revolution in Europe of that year.
I am also writing a major work of scholarship on panosophy, called Ineffable, Nondual Wholeness: The Union of All Opposites. About half this book, including a detailed description of relational logic, is available for download from www.paragonian.org/wholeness.shtml. The overall purpose of this book is to establish the scientific truth that Consciousness is all there is and so complete the revolution in science that has been taking place during the past few decades, just as the Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy completed the Copernican revolution in 1687. When it is finished, Wholeness will provide the basic textbook for the Paragonian University.
However, I do not feel that I can satisfactorily complete it entirely on my own. I am therefore seeking specialists in various fields ready and willing to study panosophy, and so present their particular disciplines in the context of Wholeness, recognizing that Consciousness is Reality and not the physical universe, as has been believed in the West for thousands of years. I am particularly interested in connecting with physicists, biologists, practitioners in both conventional and complementary medicine, psychologists, computer scientists, mathematicians familiar with the foundations of mathematics, economists, business systems designers, graphical computer programmers, web designers and programmers, television producers, and, not the least, financiers who can fund our healing activities.
The global crisis
But whether this book will ever be published and read is a moot point, for the human race is facing practical problems of the utmost urgency. As many intuitively know today, the viciously competitive global economy holds the seeds of its own destruction within it and will self-destruct within the next five to ten years. Yet political leaders in government and business do not seem to be aware of this evolutionary inevitability. Because there is no generally accepted theory of evolutionary change, they are quite unprepared for what is about to befall humanity.
What is not generally realized is that the invention of the stored-program computer in the middle of the last century, as an extension of the mind, is incompatible with both materialistic, mechanistic science and the materialistic, monetary economies of capitalism and communism. Specifically, it is not true that technological development can drive economic growth indefinitely, not true that computer scientists can create machines with artificial intelligence, consciousness, and life, exceeding human intelligence. Given this situation, it is of the utmost importance that we turn the focus of our attention inwards, following the maxim on the wall of the Oracle’s kitchen in the popular movie The Matrix: Temet Nosce, ‘know yourself’.
However, to truly know ourselves, we need to be grounded in our divine Source, bringing into consciousness not only our personal and cultural conditioning, but also the collective unconscious that has accumulated over many thousands of years. For those going through such an awakening process, it can sometimes feel as if a volcanic earthquake has erupted in the depths of the ocean of Consciousness, giving rise to a tsunami that lays to waste the world of learning, much like Aceh province in Sumatra in December 2004. Such an experience can lead people to go through a major spiritual emergency, as Spirit emerges in consciousness faster than the psyche can handle. I have met many such people on my own spiritual journey during the past twenty years.
Conquering fear with Love
So while the rewards of returning Home to Wholeness are literally out of this world, getting there can be quite tumultuous and scary. It is therefore not surprising that many are very resistant to making the radical changes that are needed if the children being born today are to have any chance of growing old enough to have children of their own. Indeed, our very laws and social institutions are designed to defend our fears, which arise when we see God, Nature, and our fellow human beings as other. Tragically, the media is inflaming these fears and reinforcing divisions, leaving us less than human, as Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, has observed.
We are thus in a pretty perilous predicament, for any species that does not adapt to its changing environment cannot expect to survive for long. If we cannot evolve, we shall be led to extinction before we have realized our fullest potential both as individuals and as a species. To live harmoniously with change, we all need to be able to answer the time-honoured question, “Who am I?”, recognizing that there are no permanent structures in the Universe.
To transform our culture of fear and guilt into a culture of love and light, we need to appeal directly to people’s hearts through music and poetry, such as John Lennon’s highly popular song Imagine, which could well provide the inspiring theme song for the Paragonian Society. The annual music festival at Mundekulla in Sweden and the Live Aid/8 concerts are just two examples of what could be done here. In these and other heart-warming ways, we could invoke the power of Love, our divine Essence. It is interesting to note here that the native English word for nature is kind. Kindliness is our natural state of being, which was well demonstrated by the global response to the recent tsunami in south-east Asia.
So there is still a way of conquering our fears and delusions. By bringing forth our innate spirit of kindliness, we can work harmoniously together with a common vision to heal our grievously sick society. By cooperating with each other, rather than fighting, we would create a miracle. For evolution proceeds in an accelerating, exponential fashion by creating wholes that are greater than the sum of the preceding wholes through the new relationships that are formed, apparently out of nothing. Generating synergy in a spirit of love and compassion is thus our only chance of returning Home to Wholeness.