Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Holistic System Definition: Spirituality and Wisdom Grid

Wisdom is an abstract and elusive concept in a footnote under Fixing Mind, Life and Existence in that missing unprinted manual we're all longing for, much like the evasive spark of lucid consciousness defying our attempts to fully comprehend our own brain and cognition. I have come to equate spirituality with a quest for this elusive wisdom, a magical key for harmonizing the human situation.

This is a working draft for a generic definition and model on the dynamics of wisdom and spirituality in the human society. It is intended as a step towards parsing the totality of the human situation into a general model covering environment, society, universe, and the depths of the mind. Over time, it will evolve into an abstracted model for cross-referencing and contextualizing diverse fields of thought in generic terms.

We can distill abstract patterns of wisdom from diverse traditions by filtering away external elements derived from the human society. The clarity and energy of the sun of wisdom keeps the system well-powered and free of friction. The degradation of the system is in direct proportion to the amount of wisdom lost to confusion in the choice transitions along the life circuit.

Every individual paragraph in this paper focuses on an individual segment or relationship of the above system flowchart. They will be elaborated on in more detail as time permits, accompanied with more illustrative diagrams. In the meantime, if you have feedback or contributions to the big picture, please connect at and get in touch with the project facilitator or join our friendly and informative online discussion group.

12/Nov/2010Text updates in factor relation clarifications and better concept segmentation and flow. Some elaborations with parallels to the flowchart pointed out. I will splice up this paper and lay it over the flowchart as interactive segments to help take it in one mouthful at a time.

06/Feb/2011 - Flowchart and text updated to complete the Big Picture - Causality - Foresight - Introspection quad under Balance, the integrating element of the four fundamental perspectives.

Wisdom: The Patterns Behind Knowledge and Ignorance

Wisdom is neither ignorance nor knowledge. Wisdom is generated in the oscillation of knowledge and ignorance as a cognition of the emerging patterns. Arising from observation, introspection, analysis, and conquest of the finite mind, wisdom creates a platform for neutral and well-rounded assessment of situations. A holistic and symmetric understanding of the world, accumulated by attention and clarity of perception, are essential for the health and evolution of the human society.

When information and knowledge are absorbed and then applied in a holistic manner for the fair benefit of everyone and everything, we observe the external component of wisdom in action. When we see an individual at peace and above the urges of his mental patterns, we observe the internal component of wisdom in action. Wisdom is the art of turning life into a win-win scenario for yourself and everyone else at the same time.

Wisdom is active in understanding the factors of a situation and responding optimally to advance everyone's natural interests. Wisdom is broad systemic thinking with an agenda in tune with the interests of the collective system — increasing harmony, clarity and progress through the reconciliation or mitigation of all conflicting factors. Wisdom is also in understanding your ignorance, and in becoming adequately informed to be in a position to apply wisdom in tune with the needs of your environment.

Wisdom is neither good nor evil — regardless of how people with good and evil traits may perceive it. Wisdom is an apt and neutral observation of the natural course of existence, leading to the individual's behavior functioning as a symmetric and non-entropic part in the symmetric cycles of existence.

When these cycles are understood, both in the world of objects and the world within, the emerging course of action will naturally be good — because it does not seek to infringe, and carefully analyzes to avoid fundamental infringement on any other part of the system — which is the ultimate ethical code of every benevolent system.

The broader the perceived system, the greater and more universal the expanse of potentials and the available patterns of wisdom. The narrower the perspective, the greater the scope of ignorance and the capacity to inadvertently damage the system. The greater the difference between the expanse of perspective and the position of an individual, the greater his capacity to abuse and damage the system — in absence of a wholesome perspective, or in failing to exercise a universally fair model of ethics.

Kathleen Farago May: Celebrate
If the orchestra plays out of sync or stops playing, the celebration fails;

If the four tiers of the holistic system are out of balance, the systems of life fail.

A Four-Tier System: Nature - Society - Universe - Mind

Hard material sciences can explain the technical workings of the physical world in remarkable detail. Despite all these advancements — or possibly because of them — an excessive focus on the material and physical necessities has compromised the more holistic and natural way of living seen in the millennia of the past.

A human being with wisdom has a well-rounded and unbiased understanding of the dynamics of the mind-matter relationship and the role of the individual in a symmetric and harmonic totality of existence.

The totality of our system encompasses the ecosystem, the human domain, the broader universe, and the vast inner space within — the depths of the human mind and the many potential spheres of conscious existence.

As a consequence of the increasing external confusion and out-drawn focus of attention, our collective understanding of the human psyche has taken but infant steps in providing a platform of generally accessible and practicable holistic wisdom. Access to wisdom should be a basic human right — not a luxury hidden behind layers of obtuse and cryptic jargon, idioms, and idiosyncrasies.

The lack of available information and education on the essential patterns and principles of reality — whether a result of depriorization or an absence of understanding — has resulted in a situation where a sizable portion of the human society depends on diverse chemical medications to keep the ever-increasing cacophony and disarray in their minds at a blurred distance.

Escalating disarray in the surroundings leads invariably to an escalating state of internal disorder, especially when combined with the decreasing availability of natural and therapeutic environments. It's clear that the current system has failed to adequately facilitate and stimulate the psychological well-being of the humanity at large amidst the rush for industrialization, technology, and external creativity and enjoyments.

The narrow-sightedness and neglect over the totality of the system has resulted in countless human and natural catastrophes, throwing the world into an escalating spiral of disorder and internal disintegration. It's hard not to watch the news and notice the obvious signs of a system gone defunct — clearly a corporation well past its prime and on its way towards the bitter end of its natural life-cycle.

Only a holistic understanding of the entire four-tier system of nature-society-universe-mind can return Humanity Ltd Inc. — living true to its commercial suffixes: limited and incorporated — back to its energetic prime of mental, physical and spiritual evolution and journey deeper into the universe .

There's s an undeniable trend of deterioration despite advances, and without a doubt we humans have been quite efficient as the architects of the escalation of our own demise — for nothing but our screaming lack of a broader perspective in our thought, speech and action.

Kathleen Farago May: Find Your Way Home
Wisdom of the patterns of existence shrinks the system to the size of your palm,
making the grid of the world considerably easier and smoother to navigate.

Synthesis: Cross-Systemic Integration of Wisdom

Many systems and models of thinking and living, aiming for advancing individual equilibrium or a universal good, are formally labeled as spirituality. Many other systems of thought deal with similar variables, principles and patterns — directly or indirectly, knowingly or unknowingly — but are not normally considered within the domain of spirituality, owing to their focus on a specific and more narrow field of interest.

In reality, the sum total of our systemic spirituality can gain immense benefits from every field of thought that has ever sought to understand the patterns of existence, seeking to better relate to the future and the emerging situations. They can all be abstracted to patterns and generic models that are applicable across contexts. When information is available in a generic associative framework, it is faster to access and easier to put into practice.

Modern science has exposed us to a wealth of new phenomena and theories. Many of them run in parallel to the systems found in mystical and spiritual traditions that explore the domains of the subconscious mind, the inner dimensions of cognizance, and ultimately our deepest existential questions. Modern physics and the causal and existential models of mystic traditions deserve to be studied in tandem for new perspectives.

Modern philosophers have unveiled and formulated a vast array of new concepts and models of reality. Some have formulated new models in contradiction the older, others have synthesized existing views into a bigger picture, and yet many more have debated over existing views only to prove them wrong. Even so, the larger part of our modern wealth of understanding is well beyond the reach and capacity of less educated audiences.

The pages of history and the vast collective mythos of humanity also provide us with an ocean of universal patterns and demonstrative examples. Ancient and classical philosophical traditions have already invented a large array of conceptual wheels with remarkable functionality, all but forgotten to many a modern mind, as we race for innovation and reinvention in ignorance of the lessons and discoveries of our past.

If the calculations have already rolled on for millennia, starting the computations from a scratch is hardly an optimal way forward. Keeping the bigger picture in mind while moving into the future, we would gain the benefit of a vastly broader array of associative patterns and wisely handled precedents to work with as we struggle to solve the questions and problems of today.

The scientific validity or invalidity of the details in diverse systems of thought is irrelevant for this purpose. There's the fact that scientific opinion is in constant flux for one — and generic abstractions are the objective of universal systemization to begin with.

Analysis of marginal details is of trivial and supporting interest only. It is useful in terms of wisdom when it provides generic variants to a recognized pattern, and less useful when for all practical purposes it's an isolated idiosyncrasy in the larger patterns of reality.

By extracting the patterns and principles from amidst the external specifics of bodies of categorized knowledge and demonstrative narrations, we improve our signal to noise ratio and gain increased clarity over its exact generic contexts. Imagine if every country in the world had used diverging protocols and standards in information technology networks — our dream of a global free information society would hardly be an option!

This same process of informative globalization and universalization is long overdue in the world of religion and ideological traditions. As long as science and spirituality remain unreconciled and desynchronized, so long the system has to struggle with the stress of conflicting prime imperatives. The better the shared patterns and dynamics of the diverse fields of human interest are understood and reconciled, the smoother our lives here on earth will be.

Like clouds envelope a mountain and become a very real part of its dynamics, so the clouds of religion envelope spirituality, decreasing availability and clarity of actual wisdom in the process.
Dhading valley, Nepal, July 2008.

Mountain ∝ Clouds = Spirituality ∝ Religion

Religion is an umbrella for diverse fields of activity, and nothing in particular on its own. Religion can include holistic spirituality — for example in teaching about:
  • A) the upholding of a natural equality and symmetry (balance). 
  • B) the greater picture of our human situation and relations (big picture).
  • C) the adverse effects of actions infringing on the rights of others (causality),
  • D) the need for foresight and goal beyond one's immediate needs and desires (foresight), 
  • E) the self-analysis and abandonment of harmful attitudes (introspection).
Most religions are initially founded to act as practical vehicles to a concept of wisdom and spirituality.

Causal understanding, broad foresight, symmetric balance and honest introspection are obvious elements of wisdom. They are crucial both to the attainment inner peace, and to the formation of well-rounded and symmetrically benevolent systems of ethics. Wisdom is also the source of the primary solace one finds in religion.

The greater part of religious art and narrative is dedicated to depicting situations expressing the archetypal wisdom of the prophet, the guru or the messiah. The history is full of remarkable men and women who taught a system of larger holistic symmetry in an attempt to heal both the human world and the human mind and spirit.

Spirituality is to religion like a mountain is to clouds. Religion can also include ritualism, politics, culture, nationalism, industrialism, administration, commerce, and many other fields of activity, exchange, and influence.

When spirituality is combined with other fields of interest under the collective label of a branded system of beliefs or an organized religion, the original components of wisdom often become diluted, and even shunned in practice from the broader public in the interest of advancing accessory agendas.

Whenever this conglomeration of diverse fields of interest gains enough momentum to assume clear structures and hierarchies, organized religion is formed. Formal religion is therefore by definition a mixed bag of goods, advancing a number of accessory agendas.

These supporting agendas frequently undergo apotheosis and are elevated on a pedestal equal or exceeding the original wisdom. In metaphorical terms, the devil has then taken control of the religion, enticing and confusing the minds of its leaders with the pleasures of flesh and power.

Errae humanum est: "To err is human." This is an universally accepted principle. Considering the history, it's fair enough to then conclude that "religions are human", as are everyone of forming them — pending an assembly of perfectly enlightened systemic entities. Hieronymus continues, et confiteri errorem prudentis — "...and to admit the error is prudent." Seneca completes the cycle, sed perseverare diabolicum — "but to persist in doing it would be diabolical."

This is a good working formula for evaluating the balance of wisdom and wickedness in a collective of people, whether religious or otherwise. To err is human, to grow wiser is divine, and to persist with mistakes is patently evil. Depending on how much wisdom your local "spiritual grocery" holds, and how influenced it is by interests conflicting with wisdom, you may or may not have a spiritually rewarding encounter with a religion or while living as a religious adherent.

Whatever the current wisdom demographics of a given religion may be, we have much to learn from the heritages of wisdom they have preserved over the millennia. This is particularly the case with textually rich religions, where countless scholars and scribes have sought to systematize and reconcile the original wisdom of the tradition, often elaborating at great length based on their subsequent ponderings.

While religion has undeniably oppressed science and culture on countless occasions in advancing their accessory agendas independent of the original wisdom of the faith, it has also given immense and undeniable support to cultures and sciences throughout the course of the better part of known human history. Monastic traditions in particular have provided a cultural and spiritual benefits in carrying wisdom across the ages.

A spiritual seeker climbing the mountain of wisdom to comprehend and master
the ultimate system. Arunachala, Tiruvannamalai, South India, March 2008.

Spirituality ∝ Wisdom = Climber ∝ Mountain

Spirituality and wisdom are inherently interconnected, vital components in holistic systemic thought that advances the collective interests of the humanity. Spirituality is a quest for wisdom, and wisdom is the action (or inaction) of mature spirituality. When I speak of systemic spirituality, this is the definition of spirituality I intend to convey — not the peculiarities of the countless colorful, curious and idiosyncratic traits that spiritual systems are fond of upholding as a part of their heritage.

A climber at the foothills of the mountain of holistic spirituality, the systemic seeker is on a quest to live in harmony with the four-tiered totality of existence. Aiming for the wisdom of universal and complete patterns at the wisdom peak of the mountain, the ultimate systems seeker navigates through countless layers of clouds,

These layers are the obfuscation of organized religion, the society at large, and finally the intertwined layers of the conditioned human mind. Unraveling the mind's compulsive patterns and emerging with a clear and perceptive awareness, one would be in a real position to understand the big picture and act accordingly.

Research into systemic spirituality must be done in freedom from the corollary agendas introduced around the core principles of wisdom and spirituality by religion and the externally evolving society. Where they offer natural synergy, they are welcome to join for the ride powered by wisdom.

When ulterior agendas infringe with the symmetry and natural harmonics of the systemic wisdom of natural good practice, they are better kept confined within their respective individual domains. Battling with the interfering externals of spirituality for the better part of my adult life, I am fundamentally allergic to a spirit of stagnated dogmatism and adulterated agendas.

The objective of systemic spirituality is in examining and cross-systematizing the insights of all noteworthy and beneficial holistic models of thought. These patterns and principles of existence should be cross-contextualized and presented in as abstract terms as possible to allow extensive room for generic application of wisdom. Otherwise, we have but the lost and buried treasures of ages bygone to show as the assets of our past.

With an increased grasp of the movements of the human mind and the dynamics of the flux of its external environment, our perception becomes brighter in understanding what was, what is, and also what's likely to be — for a part of the future is heard as an echo of the past and the actions of the present, the remainder written in the practically invariable basic patterns of humanity and existence at large.

Revisiting some of the assumed basics of our current system may be in place.
If the premises of an equation neglect sets of fundamental principles and variables,
the underlying basic errors will cast a destructive reflection over future results.

Pondering: Modeling the Big Picture, Its Causality and Its Balance

This is an attempt at a working abstract definition and general model on the big picture. I have intentionally omitted mention of any particular affiliations of thought to better illustrate these principles on their own. They will each be studied in due time in more detail, both individually and comparatively, and placed to a larger grid allowing automated online comparisons, abstractions and two-way derivations.

These verbal expression in these texts is for the most part segmented into clear data-logical objects and relations to ease systematic and structured concept-formation and make them directly convertible into diagrams and databases. While this has been a relatively free-form draft for a definition, I intend to be more algebraic in the future — definitions need to be formulaic, well categorized and typed to allow for maximum ease of comparability and further computation.

The exact systems and models developed for this initiative revolve in perpetual state of beta, so expect the charts to grow, squeeze, bob and weave as they reach into the yonder sky. Further essays, schemas and flowcharts will be published in this journal whenever I find further time to commit into expressing abstract patterns and concepts in intelligible and universal terms and structures.

Let's collect every available wisdom pattern known to mankind on a universal and cross-referencing grid — towards a tomorrow with less confusion and conflict, equipped with a more universal access to the massive totality of our collective wisdom.

For more information and feedback, please post a comment, send an e-mail, join the LinkedIn Group, like the Facebook Page, follow us on Twitter, visit / Systemic Spirituality, and remember to forward this text to friends and colleagues who share an interest in holistic thinking and the role of broader wisdom and spirituality in the larger systems of life and reality. 


Mr. Ananda ∴ μ α ω λ said...

Does or can a systems thinker be a religious adherent?

It entirely depends on the systems thinker's approach and attitude towards religion.

If a systems thinker takes the teachings of a religion in their entirety (including wisdom, social policy, ritual culture, superstitions, etc.) as a fundamental set of truths, his perception will eventually come conflict and clash with his faith. Religions are a conglomeration of diverse agendas, while systems thinkers are more inclined for the wisdom and subsequent solace they provide.

If a systems thinker takes the religion as a device in the larger totality of existence, understanding its purpose in effecting overall positive changes and harmony in the system, or in advancing individual peace and evolution, then religion may be a sensible option for a systems thinker.

If a systems thinker opts for religion, he will eventually have to deal with the fundamentalists. This easily leads to a situation where he is forced to either narrow down his broader perspective, thus compromising the integrity and wholesomeness of his vision and become blind to the obvious, or otherwise move on towards more open pastures, where wisdom is available without the additional baggage.

Mr. Ananda ∴ μ α ω λ said...

Confusion Advisory

The creepy creature with the big bag of confusion on the left (lurking right above organized religion) is General Confusion.

He is Anti-Wisdom, a system bug from the dark side, the arch-enemy and destroyer of the natural Wisdom System, met with every ill-advised and hasty choice along the way, known to the world of religion in countless faces, epithets, legends, and nefarious agendas.

Mr. Ananda ∴ μ α ω λ said...

SySpir at FaceBook

The project now also has a dedicated page at Facebook: Systemic Spirituality. Join the party!

Mr. Ananda ∴ μ α ω λ said...

The following two articles on causality, relativity, god and gods, and the need or lack thereof, may be of interest with regards to the premises of modeling a universal system of interrelated existential vantage points.


The God Who Created the God Who Created the God
"Religious philosophers tend to argue in favor of an original, intelligent cause as an answer for the question of our origins. ... When it comes to god and gods, much is assumed and little is certain."


The Banishment of the Watch-Maker
"'You can't talk about karma without God, for every law needs a law-maker!' Or so I was told by someone who had read my earlier article discussing universal and Buddhist concepts of karma. Do we really need to have an intelligent designer for each and every minuscule aspect of existence, or does the world turn every bit as well without a cosmic architect?"

Mr. Ananda ∴ μ α ω λ said...

The creature lurking inside "Confusion" in the flowchart is the spider icon from Webdings font. I am in the habit of using it to indicate bugs in the system --- like this. You'll see how my initial battle against materialism has turned into a meticulous attention for tackling and resolving bugs in diverse interrelated systems!

When the SySpir project moves along, it will feature a Total System bug tracking environment to identify all the generic patterns in the strategies of General Confusion and Anti-Wisdom that increase the entropy caused by the human kind.

If you want to be a religion / spiritual system beta tester and identify solutions to general human bugs from diverse systems of thought, please get in touch and let me know about your particular fields of interest.

Modern wars are waged from behind the desk, eh... Meet the Infowars 2.0 mass initiative against Anti-Wisdom and the troops of General Confusion. =))

Mr. Ananda ∴ μ α ω λ said...

For a more poetic look at mapping the big picture of universal wisdom patterns -- as above, so below, and beyond: Jupiterian Principle: Wisdom Patterns

Saragrahi Tarka Karapurnam said...

An investigation of the "Trickster Archetype" [Loki, Shiva, etc.]will reveal the factual existence and operation of a portion of the The Complete Whole that consistently endeavors to disrupt, destroy, obscure, bewilder and "Fuck With" the stability of other systems. This would correspond to various forms of insanity and craziness appearing throughout human history. Since "God" or "The Supreme Being" is everything, it can be logically deduced that at least part of God is "crazy".

Mr. Ananda ∴ μ α ω λ said...

It is like this... Said Iam Thatiam Once for All!

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╠══► ☺☻☻|☺☻☺|☺☺☻|☺☺☺ ═► [Solar-Ternary]
╠═══► ☻☻☻|☻☻☺|☻☺☻|☻☺☺ [Lunar-Ternary]
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@@@ IN-YOUR-TUBES: Wisdom Matrix ≡ Sahasrara Celestial Lifecycle Harvester

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