I first really started learning about “emergence” in the early 1990s with Margaret Wheatley. She was bringing forward an understanding of life and science that helped to describe how things happen in systems. I was learning about how a system, a collection (including people), can have properties that none of the parts of the system have. When the parts come into relationship, that is the breeding grounds for emergence.
I’m the kind of human that can’t help to feel excited that the story behind the story is the one to really try to get to. Or, what is it that is behind the curtain anyway?
In this 25 minute video Daniel Schmachtenberger from The Center for Integral Wisdom offers a very cogent and coherent description of that story behind the story that is found through “emergence.”
This is the kind of video that I feel like I need to hear every day for a while, just to let it settle in.
I offer it here because it has everything to do with working with groups. It has everything to do with creating containers for dialogue-based interaction. And it names and nuances the bigger story, which then clarifies so many layers of why that most of us take on together in the day to day.
This work of understanding systems is one of the foundational reclaims of living in these times. The industrial era entrained us to a lot of understanding the parts. It’s been fun. Helpful too. But, as it is with any story — there is some obscuring that happens of what is also fun and helpful, yet different. These days, including a focus on emergence, I would suggest that a primary need is to remember and entrain wholeness. It’s time to come back to more integration than dissection. Emergence points to this.
Thanks to my friend Roq Gareau for sharing this video.