The increasing complexity of modern life has direct psychological and social effects on humans, which leads to fragmentation, which is further associated, necessarily, with disconnection. In truth, the universe operates holonically.
The concept of holons was first introduced by Arthur Koestler in his 1967 book “The Ghost in the Machine”. Holons are entities that are simultaneously whole in themselves and also parts of larger wholes. In other words, they are both autonomous and interconnected. When we think of people as holons, we see them as individuals who are also part of larger systems or communities. For example, a person is a whole entity in themselves, with their own thoughts, feelings, and experiences. However, they are also part of a family, a community, a nation, and ultimately the larger interconnected world.
This view of people as holons has important implications for how we understand human behavior and relationships. It emphasizes the interconnectedness of individuals and the importance of understanding the larger systems and structures that shape our lives. When we recognize that people are holons, we can also appreciate the complexity and diversity of human experience. Each individual is unique and whole in themselves, but they are also shaped by the larger systems and structures that they are part of.
There are several ways that complexity is contributing to fragmentation but here are two to focus on, and to solve:
Fragmentation of knowledge
We’re in a “post-truth era.” The “post-truth era” is a term used to describe a period in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief. This has been linked to a rise in the use of social media and the proliferation of “fake news” and other forms of misinformation. In the post-truth era, people may be more likely to accept information that confirms their pre-existing beliefs and reject information that contradicts them. What we need now is new, emergent information that integrates knowledge, and yet maintains differentiation.
One way knowledge is fragmenting is through the specialization of academic disciplines. As knowledge becomes more complex, it is natural for scholars to focus on a narrow area of study. This can lead to a lack of communication between different disciplines, making it difficult to share knowledge and ideas, and creating silos of information. The internet has made it possible for anyone to publish information, regardless of their qualifications or expertise. This has led to an explosion of information, but it has also made it difficult to determine what information is reliable. In many ways, the proliferation of humans itself has contributed to the proliferation of information… but not necessarily proliferation of knowledge & meaning.
Cross-paradigmatic cognition refers to the ability to understand and integrate different theoretical perspectives or paradigms into a comprehensive understanding of a complex phenomenon. Meta-cross-paradigmatic cognition takes this a step further, by not only integrating different paradigms but also reflecting on the limitations and assumptions of each paradigm and identifying the underlying principles that are common across them. By engaging in cross-paradigmatic and meta-cross-paradigmatic cognition, individuals can resolve complexity and fragmentation by synthesizing diverse perspectives and creating a more comprehensive understanding of a phenomenon.
For a mind to operate in these complex ways, the higher structure-functions in the brain must be awakened.
Fragmentation of identity
The evolving world presents more and more complex cultural and social opportunities to form identity, similar to the way that proliferation of information challenges the formation of a single coherent map of reality. We have so many opportunites for self-expression in the modern world that we’re challenged to form and define a coherent identity within culture and society. More choices, more complexity. This leads to a sense of fragmentation and confusion, as people try to reconcile their individual identities with the various social identities they may belong to (such as race, gender, religion, etc.) and, more importantly, their existential identity. This can lead to a sense of disconnection from oneself and from others.
In the SalutoGenic framework, the sense of coherence measures one’s abilities to (1) comprehend the world, (2) manage life, and (3) make meaning, all three of which contribute to one’s sense of identity and place in culture and society. When it comes to making sense of culture and society, some of our highest and best recourse at the leading edge of evolution is make a move in mind space that’s the equivalent of going cross-paradigmatic and meta-cross-paradigmatic, which is to go transpersonal. We cannot know all other identities — which helps us to form our own — until we meta-know others, or go transpersonal.
Transpersonal awareness refers to a state of consciousness that transcends individual ego identity and encompasses a sense of connection with something greater than oneself. This can include a connection to other people, nature, or a higher spiritual or universal consciousness.
Transpersonal awareness can help navigate social complexity in several ways:
- Empathy and compassion: Transpersonal awareness can increase empathy and compassion towards others, as it allows individuals to see beyond their own ego concerns and recognize the interconnectedness of all beings. This can lead to more understanding and acceptance of others, which is crucial for navigating complex social relationships.
- Perspective-taking: Transpersonal awareness can help individuals take a broader perspective and see beyond their own individual needs and desires. This can allow for more effective collaboration and communication in social contexts, as individuals are better able to understand and appreciate different perspectives.
- Moral reasoning: Transpersonal awareness can enhance moral reasoning by emphasizing values such as love, compassion, and altruism. This can help individuals navigate complex social situations by making ethical and moral decisions that consider the well-being of others as well as themselves.
Map of Everything
We need a map of everything. A map that places all the parts into a whole. A map that defrags and optimizes the sense of coherence. A holonic map that accounts for time & space in which all past & future exist NOW, and in which every point in spacetime contains all other points in spacetime.
And we need a body-mind that can enact such a map. We think the New Human has a body-mind that can enact such map, as we move into the next stage of human evolution, Epoch 6. We promote the emergence of the New Human, and Epoch 6, at The New Human University.
The NHU now offers graduate degrees at this leading edge of evolution. Are you ready for such a challenge? Ready for the Hero’s Journey?
If so, watch the webinar for PraxisAletheia, which is a one-year journey at the leading edge of evolution and which is required for a graduate degree from The NHU.