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Holistic Science: a participatory science of qualities

Sep 26, 2019
Reading time 24 min.

Holistic Science: a participatory science of qualities

An excerpt from ‘Exploring Participation’ (D.C.Wahl, 2002)

“The assumption is that our feelings in response to natural processes are not arbitrary but can be used as reliable indicators of the nature of the real processes in which we participate. Qualities include the realm of the normative, our assessment of the rightness or wrongness, appropriateness or inappropriateness, of particular actions in relation to our knowledge. A science of emergent qualities involves a break with the positivist tradition that separates facts and values and a re-establishment of a foundation for a naturalistic ethics. Participation now enters as a fundamental ingredient in the human experience of any phenomenon, which arises out of the encounter between two real processes that are distinct but not separable: the human process of becoming and that of the ‘other’, whatever this may be to which the human is attending. In this encounter wherein the phenomenon is generated, feelings and intuitions are not arbitrary, idiosyncratic accompaniments but directs indicators of the nature of the mutual process that occurs in the encounter. By paying attention to these, we gain insight into the emergent reality in which we participate.”97 — Prof. Brian Goodwin

Once we have understood that reality, as we experience it, is profoundly influenced by our way of relating to the world and that there are many alternative and complementary ways of relating and participating in the processes of the universe, the possibility opens up to extend science beyond the dogmatic monopolization of reductionism and dualism. [Note: This is an excerpt from my 2002 masters dissertation in Holistic Science at Schumacher College. Be mindful that I wrote this 15 years ago and enjoy!]

“The being of nature can be revealed in different ways by different kinds of science, none of which has any claim to be more basic or more fundamental. What becomes visible in each case is nature itself, but only one possible aspect of nature. …different kinds of science can reveal different aspects of nature — different ways that nature can be — so each can be true even though they are incommensurable.”98 — Henri Bortoft

We can now understand the mechanist worldview as a map of a territory that turned out to be a process. This will result in a shift of perception, equivalent to realizing that one has spent a life time staring at a map, confusing it with the territory it referred to, but not only that: As we look up from the map we begin to understand the meaning of participation in a profoundly meaningful universe. Reality is under constant construction, responding to our ways of relating and transforming us in the process. I speak from personal experience (see below99).


I still remember the precise experience when I first glimpsed the profundity of the insights expressed in the concepts of complexity, chaos and emergence. It was like stepping out of the conceptual prison of my measured, quantified and reduced reality into the endless and boundless stream of becoming, leaving the mental crutches of linearity as a conceptual framework behind. I realized my participation in this awe inspiringly beautiful holistic reality. ‘Time’, as I had known it, imploded into the eternal now. As I, for the first time, became open to the possibility of non-linear causality, all my remaining thought-forms based on Reductionist, linear, logical reasoning were challenged in that eternal instant. Initially, there was the exhilarating, yet at the same time frightening feeling of momentarily loosing every point of reference I had grown accustomed to. Almost instantly the vacuum of value I had been living in was filled, as the beauty and diversity of qualities of the loving, comforting presence of wholeness came rushing in. Waves of sensuous emotions made the core of my being tremble with the joy of participation. The initial panic over having lost all reference and control, gave way to the oceanic feeling of a truly transpersonal experience. What can be acknowledged and communicated through a single glance and within an instance between two people who have shared the blessing of such an experience, will forever challenge our poets attempting to express the inexpressible in words.


Through the development of complementary communities of inquiry, which collectively agree on the particular way of seeing they choose to employ and form a consensus over their results in employing that particular way of seeing we could expand our awareness of the process we participate in immensely.

By employing the dynamic way of thinking and seeing, which understands how the one can manifest as the many, we can also understand “how truth can neither be singular nor plural, but One truth which is multiple. This is a higher perspective which has the effect of turning the one and the many inside out. There is no longer a choice between objectivism and relativism, but a new way of understanding which transcends this dichotomy by seeing the one and the many in a new way.”100 This holistic, contextual way of seeing is based on understanding our participation in the relation between the whole and its parts, discussed in the philosophical context.

Far from denying the validity of Reductionist science altogether, I am only challenging its claim of exclusivity in approaching ‘reality’. We are better served in recognising our current worldview, informed by Reductionist science, as only one of many ways of relating to the universe.

Our participation in the complex dynamic processes of life is better understood by holding a variety of possible points of view lightly. “Scientific Knowledge, originally seemed to make possible the prediction and manipulation of nature, appears now to be pointing towards a new relationship with the natural world based on sensitive observation and participation, rather than control.” Brian Goodwin believes that achieving this kind of relationship “requires the cultivation of a new type of science, though the roots are already present in the old.”101

In the previous chapter I have attempted to trace these roots in sketching out the historical, scientific context out of which Holistic science is now emerging. In this chapter I will outline what I understand holistic science is, while refraining from restricting the process of holistic science by attempting a precise definition.

[Note: This is an excerpt from my 2002 masters dissertation in Holistic Science at Schumacher College. It addresses some of the root causes of our current crises of unsustainability. If you are interested in the references you can find them here.]

Even within the so called conventional sciences there are already many explanatory approaches and theories that go far beyond Reductionism, yet there is still a strong bias for quantitative data, which mostly fails to express the qualitative aspects of the processes under investigation. Modern conventional “science is a complex collage that goes far beyond mechanistic and Reductionist descriptions of nature.” While the data-collection stage of most scientific inquiry is almost entirely blind to qualities, the interpretation of the data and solutions to problems “are not arrived at by logical deduction from basic principles but by the creative human process that involves intuition…”102

Intuition and therefore qualities are and always have been at the heart of scientific inquiry. Whether as a flash of insight or a gradually ripening, insight — the appearance of meaning in the happening of understanding — is always experienced qualitatively. Experience is fundamentally and primarily qualitative!

“The status of insight as objective truth depends upon intersubjective consensus between practicing scientists. If there is no consensus there is no truth. That is the democratic aspect of scientific discovery, which depends upon a community of individuals who practice a shared methodology of investigation. That methodology excludes secondary qualities [real qualities, as opposed to ‘primary qualities’, which are measurable as quantities] from the data that require interpretation. However it does not exclude secondary qualities from the process and experience of scientific intuition that makes sense out of the data. Qualities are already an acknowledged accompaniment of scientific discovery and are accorded a significant place in the evaluation of the correctness of the insight.”103 — Brian Goodwin

To my understanding, holistic science aims to integrate Reductionist science into a wider, more holistic view of the world by acknowledging that a linear, analytic either/or logic has its time and its place, yet in order to participate appropriately within the whole we have to make use of a variety of ways of seeing, which may quite literally have a different way of experiencing space-time and causality.

Transcending mechanistic metaphor as much as possible, holistic science focuses on the primacy of qualitative experience in relationship with the world. It sees the world in a participatory, organic, dynamic way, as a continuously transforming, living unity. The complexity sciences, chaos theory and quantum theory have provided us with a picture of reality that “turns out to be, in general, holistic, unpredictable and creative….”104 Professor Brian Goodwin, who set up the maters programme in Holistic science at Schumacher College, believes:

“Science has grown up to a point where … it has to come to terms with the realisation that the world is a more complex and beautiful place than had previously been believed. … Recognising health, that condition of wholeness and dynamic responsiveness in individuals or communities or organisations, or indeed in landscapes or ecosystems, requires a capacity to see the integrated whole that transcends the sum of its parts. There is an aesthetic aspect to this perception that requires a particular form of attention, a way of knowing that is intuitive and direct, not analytical and inferential…. Science has now matured to a point where it has begun to accept that there is no single, fixed truth beyond the unexpected, unpredictable magic of the creative world to which we belong.”105 — Brian Goodwin

The Reductionist, analytical approach of prediction and control works well within a mechanistic framework as applied to the machines and technology we have invented. Yet juxtaposing the mechanistic metaphor onto the processes of life, which are ultimately more complex, non-linear and therefore fundamentally unpredictable, has lead to a lot of confusion.

Holistic science tries to establish inter-subjective consensus about individual, direct experience within various ways of seeing or approaching the world. This is not to say that holistic science denies the existence of what is commonly called objective reality, it merely emphasizes its deeply participatory nature, which causes it to appear differently depending on how we approach it.

The philosophical framework of Radical Naturalism discussed in the philosophical context provides an ontology and epistemology that are compatible with this new Holistic science. It poses the fundamental assumption that “all matter-energy is subjective and sentient” and understands experiencing and relating in a way “where the being of other bodies is literally incorporated into one’s own being.” This makes it possible and conceivable that we can “know the presence of others directly.”106 As De Quincey points out that:

“Such an epistemology would complement first- and third-person perspective with a second-person perspective that accounts for shared knowing between subjects…[This]…epistemology of intersubjectivity … is a way around the otherwise impenetrable problem of other minds.”107 — Christian De Quincey

Different kinds of science reveal different aspects of nature. Holistic science contains Reductionist science in its rightful place and contextualizes the Reductionist approach within a framework of meaning, qualities, values created by our individual and collective participation in the wider process of a reality that lies beyond the reach of reductionism but is accessed by all of us continuously through our own individual, subjective experience. Holistic science recognizes that relationships are primary and reality is a process that appears differently to different paths of inquiry.

Professor Goodwin points out that: “A science of quality is necessarily a first-person science that recognizes values as shared experiences, as a state of participative awareness.”108 Holistic science aims to explore and express “the principles of continuous creativity in natural processes.” It does so through direct subjective experience and makes “use of intersubjective consensus as a means of distinguishing those aspects of experience and insight that are common to the group from those that are idiosyncratic to individuals.”109

The holistic approach to reality is to build up — through intersubjective consensus — a multifaceted kaleidoscopic awareness of the temporal and spatial scales on which the whole continuously transforms through the interactions and relationships of its parts. It is hoping to make the process by which we will have to continue to adapt our behaviour in relation to the larger process more intelligible.

Holistic science is rooted in the understanding provided by complexity theory that we will never be able to “control the processes that underlie the health of organisms, ecosystems, organisations, and communities. They are governed by subtle principles in which causality is not linear but cyclic, cause and effect are not separable [remember the builder building-the building being built] and therefore not manipulable. Those systems are the cause and effect of themselves, involving ever increasing loops of mutual dependence.” A science of qualities recognizes, based on direct experience, that: “There is dependent co-arising between human action and the context within which it is entangled.”110 We participate in the reciprocal, co-creative relationship that integrates us into our reality.

Once we accept that Reductionist science, though useful in many practical day-to-day situations, fails in providing adequate advice on how we may learn to consciously and appropriately participate in Nature’s complex and unpredictable processes, and once we begin to accept that there are many different ways of seeing and relating to reality in a meaningful and informative way, we begin to see the need for a drastically different education system, which nurtures people’s innate sensitivities and abilities to — through the awareness of their own participation and focus on direct embodied experience — engage in a process that has been described as direct knowing.

Reason and Goodwin argue that developing the sensitivity necessary for appropriate participation “requires training that goes beyond what is cultivated in quantitative science. The additional components are the systematic cultivation of the intuition as a way of perceiving the integrity of healthy wholes and hence the capacity to see disturbances from health; and training in the ability to distinguish the idiosyncratic from the universal in the perception of qualities via inter- subjective comparison.”111Professor Goodwin believes that:

“…the metaphysical assumptions about reality that have emerged within conventional science exclude qualities from the real and locate them within the subjective, hence idiosyncratic and objectively unreliable, experience. A science of qualities requires a fundamental reappraisal of the very nature of real process, because it recognizes experience as real and primary. But this is also required if we are to accept the reality of our own experience as feeling, intending, conscious organisms, If these properties are real, then they can only arise from a reality that embodies some form of sentience as the precursor of this condition; otherwise they can be construed only as unintelligible miracles of emergence from dead matter. It seems better to extend our basic description of reality than to have to believe in this type of miracle.”112 — Brian Goodwin

In my view, Professor Goodwin commits the ultimate treason against the dogma of institutionalized Reductionist science, he implies a living sentient universe. Fortunately De Quincey has provided an internally consistent philosophical framework, admissible on equal grounds to the rationalist framework, which integrates our very existence as ‘subjective objects’ into a living universe, in which matter is fundamentally sentient. In De Quincey’ s own words:

“All of nature, the cosmic organism, is, at least potentially, in mutual communication with all its constituents. All the multitudes of moments of experience that constitute each body can feel the presence of every other body in the universe. Meaning, not mere mechanism, becomes the connection between beings; synchronicity, not causality, patterns these meanings and connections and the cosmos as a whole resonates to the creative meaning of its own never-ending story, a narrative of ensouled matter and embodied experience, embracing the sublime paradox of subjective objects, of multiplicity-in-unity.”113 — Christian De Quincey

Satish Kumar, the founder of Schumacher College, believes that “unless we are able to heal the rift between science and spirituality, and develop a holistic perspective of life, peace will remain a distant dream.”114

Arthur Zajonc agrees with this view, he calls for “an epistemology which is the foundation for inquiry that is broad enough to include on the one hand a reinterpreted conventional science, but also open enough to include a science of qualities and beyond the science of qualities to a science of spirit — a science of the contemplative.”115

Brian Goodwin on Health & Wellbeing

We have to expand science beyond the dogma of rationalism. In the opinion of Brian Goodwin, we need an “expanded conception of science that preserves all that is of value in our tradition of exploring reality but avoids the unfortunate conclusion that some of our deepest experiences are in some sense unreal.”116

Holistic Science is still a very young discipline and its intends may be carried forward by approaches carrying a different name, but nevertheless, like Schumacher College itself, it is beginning to quietly go about its role as a catalyst for positive change towards a more sustainable participation of humanity in the wider community of life. Its impact on this change towards the new paradigm of appropriate participation in an unpredictable and paradoxical universe of process will be via the relationships formed in the present — locally and right now. Such as You, reading this dissertation in your context and the interpretations of meaning as well as translation of that meaning into appropriate participation that may be catalysed in this process of relating and understanding meaning.

I would like to remind the reader at this point that in order for the meaning to appear in the ‘happening of understanding’ the part must reflect the whole. The meaning can only appear, if the reader is able to — at least temporarily — suspend the conceptual framework of a rationalistic and mechanistic universe of linear causality and space-time.

Only if the reader is willing to entertain the idea that we are temporary expressions of identity in continuous participatory relationship with a dynamically transforming universe, only then will the profound lack of meaning in the universe of Reductionism dissolve into understanding our individual participation in the continuous expression of meaning via the manifestation of identity through relationship. Seen from this perspective, we may understand life as a universe of dynamic meaning.

Fritjof Capra called the current global crisis “essentially a crisis of perception”.117 At the core of this crisis of perception lies our current preoccupation with a worldview informed by Reductionist science.

Only if we are willing to critically challenge our most deeply rooted assumptions about the nature of reality and begin to listen to not only what we regard as reasonable because it has been explained to us rationally, but also to what in our own individual qualitative experience of relating to the world feels right and seems to have deeper meaning, only if we stop to elevate ‘rational facts’ over directly perceived intuitions of what seems to be appropriate participation, only then, I believe, will we be able to begin the long process of learning about sustainability, informed by multiple perspectives of multiple communities of inquiry and validated by a process of inter-subjective consensus. Satish Kumar writes:

“Pure Rationalism is in itself violence of the mind. Rationalism by its nature cuts through, separates, divides, isolates. This is not to say that rationality has no place in our lives. It has. But it should be kept in place and not given an exaggerated status in society. Rationality tempered with the feelings and intuition of the heart, the yin-yang balance, can create a culture of non-violence, wholeness and compassion whereas pure Rationalism creates a culture of violence. … To remedy the situation we need to return to the notion of ‘only connect.’ All existence is participatory. To see the relationships which are the basis of life is to see the whole picture, the big picture. Nothing can really be understood without its context and its relatedness to other things.”118 — Satish Kumar

Understanding our self as an emergent property of the relationships we have with the process of the whole, connects us to the world we live in and the focus on qualitative experience allows us to intuit appropriate participation in the processes that sustain the health of the whole. Together with an understanding of the fundamental unpredictability of this magnificently diverse process, we have regained a basis for a new reverence for nature, expressed through sentient matter.

The process of the whole transforming seems to be also the process of the whole becoming ever more conscious of itself. The process of the whole is reflected in the identities and relationships of its parts, understanding this process meaningfully means understanding ourselves as process or as Goethe put it two hundred years ago:

“If we would aspire to a living view of nature, we must become as fluid and transformable as nature herself.”119 — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Briggs and Peat expressed the paradox between the individual and the universal beautifully using the metaphor of a vortex — distinct in identity yet part of a flowing river:

“A vortex is a distinct and individual entity, and yet it is indivisible from the river that creates it…In a vortex, a constantly flowing cell wall separates inside from outside. However, the wall itself is both inside and outside. The same is the case for the membranes in animal and plant cells. The vortex suggests the paradox that the individual is also the universal: Our creative moments — whether it is looking freshly at a tree or coming to a new understanding about our lives — are moments when we are in touch with our own authentic truth, when we experience our unique presence in the world. But, paradoxically, the experience of a unique presence is also often coupled with a sensation of ourselves as indivisible from the whole.”120 — John Briggs & David Peat

A Vortex

“We have to give up thinking in terms of beings that do and have to think instead in terms of doings that be!”121 — J.G. Bennett

Before I go on to discuss appropriate participation in quite some detail, identifying the practical implications of what we have so far explored from the theoretical angle, I would like to give the intellect a bit of a break and create a space for empathic listening and relating to a personal story — one of the peak experiences, and I was blessed with many — of a year of immersion into Holistic science, in a community of enquires employing the kind of dynamical thinking and way of seeing, I have talked about.


Experiencing Process — The Bliss of Participation

I had the following experience during one of the three-week courses at Schumacher College. The course was entitled “Seeing Science with new Eyes” and had, as is usually the case with Schumacher short courses, attracted a uniquely diverse group of individuals from over fifteen different countries, with a wide range of professional backgrounds, age and experience.

We had been discussing how all perception is culturally conditioned and how we cannot be aware of what we cannot perceive. Chris Clarke had pointed out the hidden suppositions of time and causality at the core of the atomistic universe and had sketched out his understanding of the universe based on quantum theory. He had given us the beautiful metaphor of thinking about the universe as a conversation of a community of beings in interaction. In his opinion there was a need for Organismic metaphors, since only organisms are both integral and relational — what De Quincey would call subjective objects.

Stressing the process nature of this conversation -universe we participate in, Seaton Baxter had quoted Buckminster Fuller in saying “I am not a noun, I am a verb.” This really brought home to me that I could regard myself just as well as a process manifesting in the ever-changing entity that I usually identify with, my body. Chris Clarke had mentioned something about perception that I had liked particularly. He explained that perception does involve an actual encounter with a ‘thing out there’. He saw it as a process of entanglement between — for example me and the tree — an extension of the self to include the things perceived.

The following day Stefan Harding gave an enthusiastic presentation, linking insights and methods of deep ecology with Gaia theory. He picked up the thread of the extended, ecological self and spoke of a sense of reunification with Gaia. He suggested that we are one way of Gaia looking at herself, but not the only way.

All these individual moments of understanding are the necessary context out of which, I believe, the experience which I want to relate to you emerged. It happened on the first day of Rupert Sheldrake’ s series of days with the group. He had taken a historical way into the subject and had spoken about Aristotle’ s ideas about formative causes, the concept that bodies are within the soul and that the soul motivates through attraction. This had lead on to how vision used to be considered a two way process of inward reception and outward projection of images. Rupert Sheldrake had called the concept of interior-exterior a false dichotomy and voiced his believe that our minds interconnected us with the entire universe.

Now to the actual experience. It was early evening, I had spend most of the afternoon reading and decided to go for a walk. I ended up in a field behind the college under a large oak tree. The rays of the evening sun were not powerful enough yet to be very warming, but the orange evening light bathed the field in warm hue of green. I had been stretching and moving in spontaneously invented combinations of moves and positions I learned from Taekown-Do, Tai Chi, QiGong and yoga. It felt good to return my attention to the body, after ten days of intensely intellectual focus on life the universe and everything.

The evening rays on my face, I had my eyes closed and started to breath slower and deeper, noticing tension in the body and breathing it out, once I had become aware of it. I started a visualisation technique I had learned from a book and adapted so it felt right for me. It consists of visualising the colour spectrum with your eyes closed and working through it from red to orange to yellow, to green, to blue, to violet and then to visualise clear white light. Each of these individual visualisations of colour lasts the full length of a very slow and very deep inward and outward breath cycle. In addition to focussing my attention on the breathing, it is also focussed on the particular chakra I breathe the colour into, while at the same time visualizing being bathed in that colour.

Starting at the base chakra with red, until reaching the crown chakra while visualizing clear white light. This form of meditation usually helps me to restore my energy levels rather quickly and to let go of the otherwise unstoppable chatter of awareness and reflection — the old habit of playing chess with the future based on experiences in the past.

After a while I opened my eyes and noticed how calm and peaceful I felt, taking in the landscape around me with more joy and positive affection for the diversity of colours, forms and scales I saw. I began to use my imagination to explore the idea of reciprocity and interconnectedness between the perceived outside and the perceived inside. I wanted to feel out whether it was possible to actually experience this process of reciprocity, if I managed to rid myself of my normal perceptual and conceptual habits.

I began to play around with the idea of perceiving things as process, evoking stored emotions and feelings from experiences I had previously had on psychoactive, sacred mushrooms, which have been employed by shamans for millennia. I was able to conjure up a sensation that made me begin to feel the world around me as a living pulsing presence. Then I brought in the idea of perception as a process of inward reception and outward projection. The world around me seemed to pour out of my eyes and every pore of my body, but simultaneously I felt held inside the world I perceived.

I kept breathing slowly and deeply maintaining the experience, rather than breaking the flow of this bodily experienced dynamic. Suddenly a thought emerged. I found myself repeating it: the inside is bigger than the outside. This seemed to have been the visualisation tool I had needed to take the experience even deeper. While keeping my eyes open, not focussing on anything in particular, but rather trying to expand my field of vision as far as I could and still maintaining the pulsing, vibrant and flowing process-vision, I began to visualize the vastness of the universe, the galaxies after galaxies we have spied from the Hubble telescope.

Holding the visualisations of process vision and the interior vastness at the same time made me suddenly feel like my skin boundary had become like the wall of a vortex or a Bernard cell. It felt as if the world I perceived was continuously spilling out of the vast blackness of the inside of the vortex, my inside, and then folding back into it in an endless circle of a world becoming. I suddenly realised that the world I was perceiving was a minute, but exquisite detail of the vastness of galaxies that were inside me, hidden from view by my focus on outward embodied experience and my partial reference to the whole from within.

To me, personally, the experience felt at first simply overwhelming and bewildering, yet it was joyful and overall I would describe it as intensely pleasant. My eyes were watering and the glands in my neck felt somehow connected to the smile on my face. Reflecting back on it, I believe that I experienced my own observational blind-spot, or more precisely an experiential indication of the vastness of the universe in relation to the particular exquisite detail that I am conscious of at any point in time.

About three months later, in June, while doing yet more reading for my dissertation, I came across an article by the Sufi Master, Oxford scholar and musician Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan.. Its title was Walk without Feet, Fly without Wings, Think without Mind. And in this article he wrote something that had a lot of meaning for me in the context of my experience:

“I have an intuition of being part of a totality. It would be very difficult for me to try to asses what the cells of my body imagine or understand. But suppose one cell of my body were aware that it is part of the whole body. Now that would be something like what happens to the human being when he is aware of God. It’s an awareness of totality of which he is a fragment. It is an intuition. Now you could think of that totality as being the totality of the physical universe, if that’s all you believe in.”122 — Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan


For the new holistic science to participate appropriately it will have to employ what William Blake called our fourfold vision: the sensuous, the poetic, reason and the visionary. To participate appropriately, first we have to wake up from ‘Newton’s sleep’. Despite Blake’s prayer: “May God us keep from single vision and from Newton’s sleep” our single-minded focus on reason as the key to the universe has sent us so fast asleep that we seem to be suffering a kind of collective amnesia as we are slowly awakening out of the utopian dream of two-hundred years of ‘man as the master of nature’, of technological manipulation and short-sighted exploitation of Nature. We were so fast asleep that it could make sense to us that we are fundamentally competitive beings in a world of cold, dead matter, and we temporarily lost our ability to understand the deep meaning of being fundamentally co- creative participants in a dynamic living universe.

To participate appropriately, the new holistic science, all of us, have to wake up from Newton’s sleep of reason and re-learn how to employ our fourfold vision. Reason is part of it, but not the whole. It is only one key to the universe, but wisdom and appropriate participation rely on all four. The only way to hold them simultaneously is by ‘embracing the paradox’ and trust in the primacy of extra-rational, direct experience of our feelings, because that’s how we experience our relationship to the universe. Employing our fourfold vision we will be able:

“To see the world in a grain of sand And a heaven in a wild flower Hold infinity in the palm of your hand And eternity in an hour.”123 -William Blake

[Note: This is an excerpt from my 2002 masters dissertation in Holistic Science at Schumacher College. It addresses some of the root causes of our current crises of unsustainability. If you are interested in the references you can find them here. The research I did for my masters thesis directly informed my 2006 PhD thesis in ‘Design for Human and Planetary Health: A Holistic/Integral Approach to Complexity and Sustainability’ (2006), and after 10 years of experience as an educator, consultant, activist, and expert-generalist in whole systems design and transformative innovation, I published Designing Regenerative Cultures with Triarchy Press in May 2016.]

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