Informal/Formal Structures and Organic/Mechanistic Perspectives (#1228)

Related Documents:
The Two Perspectives: Mystic and Mechanistic
The First Cambrian Explosion
The Second Cambrian Explosion
(#1215) Higher Level Evolution - Second Cambrian Explosion
(#1221) Growth and Decay of Civilisation
(#1229) Transitional Phases are Unbalanced - with awareness we may participate
(#1250) Civilizational cycles and the direction of the process
(#1258) Approaching the future
(#1279) Underlying Context for the Discussion on Civilisation
(#1318) Sustainability and Balance of Power
Also see other excerpts from my discussions with the Society for Scientific Exploration.

In any organisational structure there are two major components, the informal structure composed of organic inter-relations, spontaneous groupings, the grape-vine and so on - and then the formal structure of laws, institutions, technological constructs, government and so on. Generally things start with an organic informal structure which self-organises for the "common good" thereby forming a formal structure. But this is usually conceived of within a mechanistic paradigm and therefore a mechanistic formal structure is superimposed over society which ultimately takes control and pursues its own agendas. Thus society is re-conceptualised as a vast 'machine'. This is like the body forming a centralised control nexus which then becomes the 'ego' which then treats the body like a 'machine' with which it pursues its own egoic agendas without any real understanding or respect for the body - this leads to a breakdown of holistic harmony.

The mechanistic conceptualisation is a misunderstanding of the true nature of society, which is in fact a higher level "organic being". This mechanistic imposition gradually weakens the underlying fabric of society, which then sickens and spirals into disease, death and decay. I wrote a short story along these lines, which was inspired by an ancient Daoist saying that describes the process whereby we lose the Way by subtle degrees. This can be found at if anyone is interested. If a system remains true to its organic nature it has no inbuilt ageing or death mechanism, these are just the ramifications of countless instances of mechanistic abuse. Just think of how the ecosystem has persisted and evolved and overcome countless hurdles but now that it has be reconceptualised as a 'resource' it is in serious danger of dying.

These ideas also connect up with what I call "systemic health" which is simply an analysis of holistic system harmony/dysfunction based upon the interplay of informal/formal structures as well as mechanistic/organic conceptualisations and also egoic/non-egoic approaches to life. These ideas apply to an individual and their concept of themselves and how they subsequently treat themselves, and also to societies. If one thinks of ones body as a collective of cellular beings and society as a collective of human beings, the parallels are striking and many related diseases can be seen to be arising in both humans and societies.