Archive for February 12th, 2002

Working Together

Tuesday, February 12th, 2002

In my studies of human intelligence, I was strongly influenced by the work of N. Arthur Coulter, Jr., MD. His publication of SYNERGETICS: An Adventure inHuman Development in 1976  was a milestone in advancing our understanding of human intelligence.  We have published an internet version of that work here at Professor Emeritus of the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Coulter wrote on the problem of Human Intelligence Attenuation as recently as 1996. The following paper was first published in  CHANGE–The Journal of the Synergetic Society.

Towards Synergic Responsibility

N.Arthur Coulter, MD

When the Reactive Mode of Human Thinking turns on, the Rational Mind shuts down. Perceptions are limited and distorted, producing a grim picture of the world in which everything is either black or white, for or against us, good or evil, etc. Beliefs are simplistic and rigidly held, immune to rational dialog. Emotions are dominated by fear, and anger feelings. Actions are driven by these reactive emotions, pre-empting rational or ethical considerations; they may become violent. The Reactive Mode short-circuits the higher Modes of Function of the brain-mind.

(The Reactive Mode of Thinking is a flight or fight level of intelligence focused on physical survival in an adversary reality.–TKW)

The Reactive Mode may be visualized as a ìpush-button” system; whenever its Buttons are pushed, the Reactive Mode takes over, or tries to. Sometimes we are aware that a Button has been pushed, but feel powerless to top the Reaction that follows. More often we simply do not realized what is happening. Later, when the Reaction has run its course, we can analyze what went on and learn from the experience. Few people do this, however, and the Reaction becomes embedded in the software controlling thought and behavior.

Synergetics is a new science that provides some powerful techniques for developing rational, synergic awareness of Reactions and for clearing them in ourselves and neutralizing them is others.

To clear or neutralize Reactions, it is important to have a clear understanding of the human condition at this stage of the evolution of our species. In particular, it is important to realized that almost everyone is burdened with a very heavy DYSERGY LOAD, which drags us down and holds us back. Few of us really understand the nature and extent of this Dysergy Load, or appreciate its real significance. We are, of course, aware of the many concrete problems and difficulties which confront us in our daily lives. But the perspective from which we view and interpret these troubles is itself largely REACTIVE. Only when the Synergic Mode of thinking turns on can we clearly see this Dysergy Load, and understand how it produces the troubles that beset us. Briefly, our Dysergy Load consists of the following parts:

1) Personal Impedances–Reactive and Identic Thinking patterns which have become embedded in our minds in the course of our life experiences. These are no one´s fault; no one is to blame for them. The important thing is to recognized them and to clear them in ourselves and neutralized them in others.

The current response to trouble, almost everywhere, is this: If something goes wrong, someone must be to blame. Prior to Synergetics, this was understandable; we simply did not clearly realized how the Reactive Mode worked. But now we know that ìfinding someone to blame” is itself REACTIVE! It is a universal bad habit that only makes mattes worse.

2) Impedances of Others–sometimes called IMPOTS– (IMPedances of OTherS). These inevitably cause friction, misunderstandings, and other problems with close associates. Again, these are no one´s fault; they just happen. And while it is not possible to clear the Impedances of an associate, it is possible to Neutralize them–to eliminate their Dysergic Effects on our own minds and behavior. The old adage, ìto know all is to forgive all”, is profoundly true, and relevant here. Reactions are a natural response to perceived threats, losses, frustrations, physical or emotional harm, and other Buttons. These Buttons are easy to find when we realize that they exist. Once located, they enable us to understand what is happening in the mind of the other, and to separate the Reaction from the ìTrue Self” of our associate.

3) Group Dysergies–Dysergies within or between the groups to which we belong. Within a group, these often take the form of Chain Reactions–George Reacts, and inadvertently ìpushes a Button” in Jane´s mind. She then Reacts in turn, pushing another Button in George´s mind. And so it goes. Chain Reactions on a larger scale can also occur between groups,producing and amplifying intergroup conflicts.

4) Sociodynes–Reactive and Identic Mode patterns that have become embedded in the social matrix. Sometimes called ìMind Viruses”, sociodynes have been accumulation for thousands of years . They have a collective and cumulative effect, which produces a COMmon Attenuation of the Heartminds of everyone, without our knowledge or consent. This is the COMA which holds us all in thrall, which can only be clearly seen from the perspective of the Synergic Mode.

The discovery of the COMmon Attenuation is one of the most revolutionary discoveries of Synergetics. It explains so much! The COMA greatly attenuates the minds of everyone, drastically reducing our Ability Level, shutting down communication channels with those we love and care about, and otherwise limiting our freedom and action. Perhaps its most devastating effect is that it keeps us from functioning in the Synergic Mode. The COMA in effect puts everyone into the equivalent of a hypnotic trance, without our realizing what is happening. And even when its existence is demonstrated, the COMA itself compels us to deny that it is there!

Fortunately, Synergetics provides us with knowledge and powerful techniques which enable us to counteract the mind-deadening effects of the COMA, and to neutralize the Dysergy which it produces in our own minds.

One of these techniques is the Principle of Unity of Responsibility.

Exercise of this Principle is a basic first step toward liberating ourselves from COMA. It can be stated in three Basic Assertions:

1) I am Responsible for everything I do, or fail to do when I have the opportunity to act.

2) I am Responsible for the effect on me of everything that happens.

3) I am Responsible to myself alone.

Let us examine these Basic Assertions more closely. what does it mean, from a synergetic perspective, to be Responsible?

It means, first of all, Taking Charge. It means making decisions, setting our own goals, and pursuing them. But TAKING CHARGE without SYNERGY implies ignoring others who may be affected by our actions. SYNERGY implies that we do consider the interests of others and modify our actions so as to help, and not harm, anyone. And it further means TAKING CHARGE of the consequences of our action, and remedying any harm our actions may have done.

The first Basic Assertion is a powerful first step; applied whole-heartedly, it can be mind-transforming! But the second Basic Assertion is even more revolutionary. Being Responsible for the effect on us of all that happens means we cannot blame anyone else for anything, at least as it affects us.

And taking Responsibility for the dysergic effect on us-even when it is someone else´s fault – is not easy to do. Indeed, it is contradictory to the basic habits of almost everyone! But it can be done; and it frees us and empowers us as few other things can.”

(Instead of  believing someone else made me feel angry, when they injured me. I can understand that while others may hurt me , I choose my feelings and  if I chose to feel angry than I am solely responsible for how I feel.–TKW)

The third Basic Assertion is the most daring of all. Together with the others, it establishes a basic Unity of Responsibility, freeing us inwardly from control by others.

Again, the principle of synergy applies, if we act without synergy then we do not have to concern ourselves with the effects of our actions. But, synergy requires us to become aware of these effects, and to remedy any harm that may have been caused.

But be warned: the third Basic Assertion–that  I am Responsible to myself alone–may push Buttons of the basic values of the groups and organizations and institutions of society! Because it frees us forever from the Reactive ways they may use to control us. These three Basic Assertions unify our Responsibilities into one synergic whole.

This unity can be further enhanced by the Synergic RFP TriangleResponsibility, Freedom, and Power.  At each moment of our existence, Responsibility is closely linked to our Freedom to Act and our Power to get things done. We cannot be responsible for things we cannot do; and when we Take Charge ad do the things we can, we limit our Freedom so as not to harm others. Responsibility, Freedom, and Power are closely interrelated, and form a Synergic Whole.

But as such they not only limit each other in rational, synergic ways; they also provide a basis for Synergic Mind Enhancement. Each leg of the triangle supports the others, in ways difficult to describe in words, but that become wonderfully clear when they are experienced.

Synergic Responsibility, Freedom and Power enables us to expand our powers to a remarkable and often unexpected degree. We experience Heart-Mind Synergy, and the human Heartmind emerges. The Heartmind is present in everyone, but dormant, made invisible and inactive by the dysergy load.