(Here I have selected articles which apply directly to the study of consciousness from the scientific perspective. Note that a new paradigm/ontology is involved.)
**General Systems Theory** by Ludwig von Bertalanffy
“There appear to exist general system laws which apply to any system of a particular type…
**Problems of Life** by Ludwig von Bertalanffy
“The investigation of organized wholes of many variables requires new categories of interaction, transaction, organization, teleology…”
**General Systematics** by J. G. Bennett
“The impulse to understand, and not merely to know and to act, is an impulse characteristic of man and apparently not shared by other animals. I am not concerned here with the origin and nature of this impulse, but with its implications that there is something to be understood and that understanding is not reducible to knowledge and action.
**Why a Systems View?** by Bela H. Banathy
“To recognize the limitations of the perspectives, methods and tools of the traditional scientific orientation.”
**Conceptual Foundations** by Bela H. Banathy
“We cannot observe properties of the whole bit by bit
**Genesis of General Systems Theory** by Bela H. Banathy
“It is the main objective of GST says Boulding, to develop “generalized ears” that overcome the “specializcd deafness” of the specific disciplines.
**New Concepts of Matter, Life and Mind** by Ervin Laszlo
“In light of what scientists are beginning to glimpse regarding the nature of the quantum vacuum, the energy sea that underlies all of spacetime, it is no longer warranted to view matter as primary and space as secondary. It is to space or rather, to the cosmically extended “Dirac-sea” of the vacuum that we should grant primary reality.
**Interactivism A Manifesto** by Mark H. Bickhard
“The study of the mind is the last major holdout against the historical abandonment of substance models for process models. Phlogiston (fire), caloric (heat), magnetic fluid (magnetism), vital fluid (life) are all recognized as not only false models for their respective phenomena, but the wrong kind of model. Neither fire nor heat nor magnetism nor life are phenomena of particular substances. Instead, each is a kind of process. Furthermore, our best contemporary science tells us that there are no substances. Fundamental physics models all of reality in terms of quantum fields, not substances ? and not particles
**Emergence** by Mark H. Bickhard & Donald T. Campbell
Accounting for emergence has proven to be extraordinarily difficult, so much so that whether or not genuine emergence exists seems still in doubt. I argue that this difficulty is primarily due to an assumption of a false and inappropriate metaphysics in analyses of emergence. In particular, common assumptions of various kinds of substance metaphysics make the notion of causally efficacious emergence seriously problematic, if not impossible.
**David Bohm and the Implicate Order** by David Pratt
In 1982 a remarkable experiment to test quantum interconnectedness was performed by a research team led by physicist Alain Aspect in Paris. The original idea was contained in a thought experiment (also known as the “EPR paradox”) proposed in 1935 by Albert Einstein, Boris Podolsky, and Nathan Rosen, but much of the later theoretical groundwork was laid by David Bohm and one of his enthusiastic supporters, John Bell of CERN, the physics research center near Geneva. The results of the experiment clearly showed that subatomic particles that are far apart are able to communicate in ways that cannot be explained by the transfer of physical signals traveling at or slower than the speed of light. Many physicists, including Bohm, regard these “nonlocal” connections as absolutely instantaneous. An alternative view is that they involve subtler, nonphysical energies traveling faster than light, but this view has few adherents since most physicists still believe that nothing-can exceed the speed of light.
**The Whorphian Principle of Linguistic Relativity** by Ludwig von Bertalanffy
“The hypothesis offered by Whorf is: That the commonly held belief that the cognitive prosesses of all human beings possess a common logical structure which operates prior to and independently of comunication through language is erroneous. It is Whorf's view that the linguistic patterns themselves determine what the individual perceives in this world and how he thinks about it., Since these patterns vary widely, the modes of thinking and perceiving in groups utilizing different linguistic systems will result in basically different world views
**The Evolution of Systems Inquiry** by Bela H. Banathy
“Complementarity suggests that various systems trend express various rationalities and theoritical positions. These should be respected and their development should be encouraged.
**What is a System?** by Tommy Mandel
“In Systemics the question is what does a system do?
**Systeming at a Glance** by Tommy Mandel
“A system is about changing into something else.
“A system acts like a Family
**Teleonics: Information as a System** by Gyorgy Jaros
“It is argued that these informationally bonded processes are the basic ingredients of life and entities, which appear only as the result of processes, are of secondary importance. Thus, in Teleonics one does not speak of interaction between entities, but interaction between processes.
**Principle of Co-Creation** by H. Sabelli:
“The interaction of opposites creates complexity. Systems are processes, i.e. transformations of energy (action). Oppositions between positive and negative actions encode information, and their synergic and antagonistic interplay creates tridimensional structure, and higher dimensional organization.
**Principle of Relationship** by T. Mandel
“A system itself is different from an element because systemic inquiry studies how elements act together-it studies their relationships. It is these relationships which have emergent properties which are then experienced as the whole. The whole is our experience of the emergent properties of relationships, much like information on this page is found in how the black and white are put together, and not that information is black or white. Thus what constitutes a system are the particular relationships such as interaction, organization, feedback, and so on.
**A Summary of the Principles of Hierarchy Theory** by Timothy F. Allen
“The Hierarchy theory is a dialect of general systems theory. It has emerged as part of a movement toward a general science of complexity. Rooted in the work of economist, Herbert Simon, chemist, Ilya Prigogine, and psychologist, Jean Piaget, hierarchy theory focuses upon levels of organization and issues of scale. There is significant emphasis upon the observer in the system.
“The idea of complementarity is that in order to describe a situation you have to use [at least on certain occasions] two mutually exclusive approaches. If you omit either, the description is incomplete. Both must be used. Because they are mutually exclusive, it is necessary to adjust the two approaches in a manner that is by no means obvious.”
Excerpted from Encyclopedia Brittannica 1927
Holism (from the Greek Holos, whole) is the theory, which makes the existence of “wholes” a fundamental feature of the world. It regards natural objects, both animate and inanimate, as “wholes” and not merely as assemblages of elements or parts. It looks upon nature as consisting of discrete, concrete bodies and things, and not as a diffusive homogeneous continuum.
**Synergy and the System Sciences** by Peter Corning
Although it plays a significant role in most, if not all, of the scienctific disciplnes its importance is not widely appreciated because it travels under many different aliases, including emergence, cooperativity, symbiosis, coevolution, symmetry, order, interactions, interdependencies, systemic effects, even complexity and dynamical attractors. In this paper it is proposed that the term “synergy” be utilized as a pan-disciplinary lingua franca for co-operative effects of various kinds.
**The Physiology of Perception** by Walter J. Freeman
There is an analogy to this approach in music. To grasp the beauty in a choral piece, it is not enough to listen to the individual singers sequentially. One must hear the performers together, as they modulate their voices and timing in response to one another.
Our studies have led us as well to the discovery in the brain of chaos- complex behavior that seems random but actually has some hidden order. The chaos is evident in the tendency of vast collections of neurons to shift abruptly and simultaneously from one complex activity pattern to another in response to the smallest of inputs.
**The Synergy Principle** by Yongming Tang
Further, the two processes – differentiation and integration – are interrelated and inseparable. It is believed that reality differentiates to integrate into larger wholes. Then, the larger wholes continue to become parts that are further integrated into even larger wholes. Thus, from the evolutionary point of view, there is no absolute part nor whole; there are always parts/wholes. In this sense, the purpose of differentiation is for a further integration, and a further integration is for a even farther differentiation.
Furthermore, along with the two processes, the universe evolves with synergy, advancing itself with novelty. Synergy refers to the new and novel whole that is brought forth out of the processes of differentiation and integration. It is the whole which is bigger than the sum of its parts. It is with the new and novel development, the universe evolves. In Da Chuang, “life-producing is the process of Tao.” That is why we call the life-producing pattern the synergy principle.
**How Big is our Umbrella?** by Ken Wilber
What I have observed in the field of consciousness studies (as elsewhere) is that researchers tend to choose one or two of those approaches very early in their careers, usually under the influence of a significant mentor, organization, or academic department. And, human nature being what it is, it is then extremely difficult for them to embrace, or sometimes even acknowledge, the existence of the other approaches. Evidence that supports their position is avidly accumulated; evidence that does not is ignored, devalued, or explained away.But what if, instead, we make the following assumption: The human mind is incapable of producing 100 percent error. In other words, nobody is smart enough to be wrong all the time.
**No Boundary** by Ken Wilber
The peculiar thing about a boundary is that, however complex and rarefied it might me, it actually marks off nothing but an inside and an outside., For example, we can draw the very simplest form of a boundary line as a circle, and see that it discloses an inside versus an outside. But notice that the opposites on inside vs.. outside didn't exist in themselves until we drew the boundary on the circle. It is the if boundary line in other words, which creates s pair of opposites,, in short, to draw boundaries is to manufacture opposites…And the world of opposites is world of conflict. So instead of handling and manipulating real objects, Adam could manipulate in his head these magic, names which stood for the objects themselves.
**Synergy of complements n Living Systems** by Gyorgy Yaros
Synergy of Complements is the creative collaboration between two complex systems or processes which have many common, but also some opposing characteristics. These two systems should not be regarded as opposites, as it is generally the case, but rather as complements to one another.
Such a synergetic behaviour can be explained within a process-based framework, such as teleonics (Jaros & Cloete, 1987). The relevant aspects of teleonics are introduced with some synergies of complements as examples. Finally, it is proposed that teaching the principle of the Synergy of Complements should start early in life, in order to avoid some of the serious difficulties and even disasters which stem from the generally inappropriate applications of the Law of Excluded Middle to complex systems.