'Organic mind' is tuned to the growth
within all living things.
ORGANIC MIND AND BINARY MIND
Julie of Light Omega
Just as land gives rise to a tree, which becomes wood, that becomes the flooring for a house, built on a foundation in the earth with a structure that rises upward - so, too, is there an organic process to the many actions of life that can put them in harmony with the Universe, or take them out of harmony with that greater Whole.
The harmonic of the Universe is based on wholeness - the interrelationship of interdependent parts which form a complex unity and function as one. It is also based on the tuning and maintenance of these interrelated parts so that they all work together as one while retaining their separate functions.
The Universe itself is not only a symphony of parts naturally and intuitively working together. It is also a self-modulating unity which adapts and adjusts each part so that it continues to move in harmony with the greater whole.
The working of the human body is another example of wholeness. It, too, is based on the unity of interdependent parts. The eco-system of the earth is another - one that has suffered greatly in its ability to maintain itself in balance and in harmony. Our lives, too, are meant to be lived as organic wholes. We are individuals who are complexly united to each other through bonds of energy, light, and matter, even though the threads of these bonds are presently invisible to most of us. Nevertheless, we are all interconnected. In a very real sense, therefore, "what I do to another, I do to myself."
'Organic' thinking is thinking based on the perception of wholeness of people, relationships, and of the earth itself. It is thinking that seeks to join together and to unify, rather than to break things down into discrete parts. 'Organic' thinking looks at life as a series of smaller wholes within larger wholes. It forms the foundation for a life in which nothing is separate.
Building a house can be done in an 'organic' way or a 'binary' way. It is a matter of consciousness and attention - of relationship to the process being undertaken. Cooking a meal can be done similarly. A person's life can become an organic whole - all parts emanating from and accountable to the same center. Relationships can be based upon two individuals, each experiencing wholeness, joining together to make a more complex whole. The earth itself can live as a whole or be damaged by breaking it up into pieces.
Organic mind' is based on an understanding of unity in wholeness, and also of the importance of growth in all things. It perceives the need to nourish that growth, just as life nourishes it.
We need rain to grow the trees that become the wood that build the houses that we live in.
We need love to soften the heart that becomes loving and is able to extend love outward toward others.
We need time and attention and devotion and commitment to grow a relationship of any kind - a friendship, a parent-child relationship, a romantic relationship - into the fullness of what it can be.
In the binary mode we are either 'in' something or 'out' of it. We are not growing it. The orientation toward growth involves us in a heightened sense of responsibility toward life. It is this perspective that a culture moves toward as its consciousness becomes more sacred. It is this perspective that we have, in large measure, moved away from.
One who thinks organically is intuitively aware of the importance of growth and nurturance in sustaining life. Growth does not lend itself to being broken down into discrete parts in the manner which 'binary thinking' exemplifies. A child grows, a plant grows, a person ages - growth is the way of life and of all things that are living.
Growth occurs by one stage evolving into the next, and where the previous stage ends and the next one begins cannot be assigned to a marker or place in space and time. And yet the child does become the man or woman, the plant does become the tree, and the young person does become old. Growth happens almost invisibly as a living being fulfills the pattern of its destiny - as it becomes what it was meant to be.
It is the nature of life to seal the end of all things into their beginning, and so from sperm and egg, all that is needed to form the fully-functioning adult will evolve. From a seedling or an acorn, a tree will grow. Growth evolves in stages that have a purpose and a destiny, namely, to reveal outwardly what has been sealed inwardly into the blueprint or pattern of the living being. In this sense, all growth is the fulfillment of a prophesy - the prophesy of what each living being is meant to be.
This quality of progressive revelation of that which is sealed inside the living being is characteristic of all of life. Even rocks have a pattern of growth - both a pattern of crystallization which makes them harder, and a pattern of erosion which is built into the way in which they are destined to interact with the surrounding elements in which they live.
Growth reveals to the outer eye what has been inner, through the progressive building of one step upon another, one experience upon another, one layer upon another. In this process all experiences, both internal and external, are contributory. For the process of growth is one of synthesis. Growth synthesizes all the component parts of life and experience into an expanding whole.
A mind that thinks organically is oriented toward the process of growth and perceives the importance of cooperating with it. It believes in and honors the potential to become that exists within all living beings. A mind that thinks organically does not look for markers to distinguish one stage of growth from another and is willing to be surprised when it appears that one stage has suddenly transformed or metamorphosed into another.
Growth is a mysterious process that is at the heart of life itself. It is a process that points to the heart of the greatest mystery of all - how life came to be in the very beginning. This mystery is true both for the Universe and for each individual being. Their pattern of growth reflects both their destiny and the initial imprint of life which gave them form.
'Binary' thinking is not like this. It is thinking based on 'bits' or pieces rather than 'wholes'. Unlike 'organic' thinking, it involves seeing the world as composed of discrete parts that can be broken up and put together in any variety of combinations. Animated films based on digital imaging, so popular today, show the effects of 'binary' thinking. These animations can be taken apart and recomposed in any way imaginable. They are good examples of what 'binary' thinking can achieve.
The trend today toward 'binary' thinking is not new. It expands upon a current which arose over fifty years ago as an outgrowth of advancements in industry and technology. It has its analog in computer-based thinking which reveals the archetype for this trend. It is not an overstatement to say that the advent of computer-based technology and the mind-set that gave rise to it has literally changed our world and our way of thinking itself. It is the effect of this shift that can be described by the phrase 'binary' thinking or 'binary mind'.
Binary thinking as a general modality did not grow out of advances in computer technology, but rather the same psychological trends which went into efforts to create and expand computer technology, were also part of our more general psychological make-up. We ourselves gave birth to the computer-age because it was in us to do.
'Binary mind' takes its name from the binary language of numbers in which the smallest segment of information, a 'bit', is given a numerical value of either '0' or '1'. This 'bit' information responds like a switch to computer commands, that is, it is either 'on' or 'off'. Breaking down information like this gives the programmer a great deal of control in reshaping and synthesizing information. Because of the simplicity of the 'on'/'off' mechanism and the uses to which it can be put, it is possible to do almost anything that the imagination can imagine within the computer-universe. Anything, that is, except replicate life itself. For controlling the shape of information transmission cannot really become the basis for a way of life or culture....or can it?
We have, in many ways, learned to think like computers today. We have learned to 'com-pose' modular homes assembled out of pre-fabricated component parts, rather than building a house from the ground up. We have learned to compartmentalize our time and relationships so that we function in the most 'efficient' way possible. We have learned not to expect to have our humanity - that is, our wholeness - acknowledged in our places of work, but rather to operate as a partial-self for a good deal of our lives.
The 'binary' way moves us in the direction of seeking greater control over reality rather than participating with it. It involves us in values of efficiency, time-saving, and cost-effectiveness, rather than the value of remaining in harmony with life and nature, including our own nature. The 'binary' way encourages us to put together the pieces of our lives like a patchwork quilt, hoping they will all fit together, rather than striving for the goal of life as one seamless whole.
We can think in 'bits' and pieces and not even be aware of it. When we think about how many things can be accomplished in a day or a week and do not think about the cost to ourselves, this is based on thinking in pieces.
When we relate to the earth's resources in terms of our need to consume a particular segment such as oil, coal, or trees, we are thinking in terms of pieces rather than of the whole.
When we are seduced by the directives of the fashion-entertainment industries to accept an emphasis on specific body parts looking a certain way, we are thinking in pieces. These parts have assigned values to them based on appearance, and there are many who try to copy them, sometimes at great personal expense, sometimes even at the risk of their own health.
Binary thinking, applied to the human body, has contributed greatly to the increased incidence of anorexia nervosa among young women today. It has also replaced organic thinking to such a degree that we and our planet are endangered. Binary thinking has taken us out of right relationship with life as a whole.
What attracts us about binary thinking is the promise that reality dealt with in segments is more easily handled and with greater efficiency than reality that must be treated as a more complex unit. The fact that it often is easier to break things down into segments in order to work with them leads us to incorrectly perceive that we can or should deal with life in this way. For there is a consequence of doing what seems 'easier' on the surface, namely, that it causes us to be superficial in our responses to others and to the earth. Because of this willingness to be superficial in service to some other goal, we arrive today at the popularity of 'soundbites' as a way of transmitting news, and at the acceptance of an image of what a relationship should be like, instead of the intuitive perception that might come from our own depth.
The value given by 'binary' thinking to efficiency, also moves us in the direction of giving greater weight to the rational mind than to the intuitive mind or to the heart. It gives least value to the soul which is the essence of a person and the source of their wholeness.
A 'binary mind' tends to analyze situations into ways they can most effectively be worked with. It evaluates persons according to specific characteristics they possess which may have positive or negative values. A 'binary mind' is oriented toward understanding the parts that compose the whole, rather than the whole itself which is always more than the sum of its parts. Since a living whole, in whatever form, always contains the mystery of its creation, a binary mind circumvents or denies this perception, and in orienting itself toward rational process, eliminates mystery, since the mystery of life can only be understood intuitively, not rationally.
A 'binary mind' is oriented more toward measuring parts and the ways in which parts interact rather than toward perceiving unity. By its nature, it lends itself exquisitely to scientific research and methodology. It does not lend itself toward understanding living beings and life itself.
The departure from organic thinking - the way of Life - was what led King David in the biblical tale to be chastised by God for counting the people in his kingdom. This was not because counting or taking a census is intrinsically a bad thing. It was because in doing so, David was leaving 'organic mind' and moving into binary thinking which reduced his capacity to view people as whole human beings. This departure from the perspective of wholeness which the census-taking symbolized, led him away from the commitment to uphold God's way which he was bound to as God's annointed. Similarly, all those in positions of responsibility toward others are bound in God's eyes by the moral necessity of viewing those they serve as God views them - in their wholeness, not as parts of something that can be worked with or manipulated.
To honor the principle of growth in all beings and to hold it as sacred, while endeavoring to see all beings as whole and as united in that wholeness, is a task for all who wish to live in harmony with the ways of Life. To employ binary thinking also, when needed, as a methodology so that the purposes of life can be furthered, is also useful as long as it stays within the limits of its usefulness.
When the world becomes more respectful of growth that leads to wholeness, and values it as a sacred process which needs to be nurtured - whether in our children, our environment, or in our relationships with each other and with God - we will have moved to a new place in our understanding of how to create a sacred life. In this new awareness, process will be more important than outcome, quality more important than efficiency, and each interaction will be viewed in terms of what it contributes to the life and growth of the individual, the community, or the entire planet. All outcomes will be judged by how greatly a particular choice or action serves life.
Until then, we may better understand our own choices by viewing our way of thinking as we make decisions. This awareness can lead us to become more responsible for avoiding the spiritual error that David committed by making other people less real to ourselves than their livingness demands - by seeing them as numbers rather than as wholenesses.
The ability to perceive others as connected with us - as real to us as we ourselves - is natural to an organic perspective. It prevents us from dividing people up into those we like or don't like, those we approve of or don't approve of. To see people as whole leads us to honor them and the mystery that is at the core of their being. Such perception allows us to create a unity of life rather than greater divisions. It creates the foundation upon which a sacred life and a sacred planet can be built.
Article Section - A New Consciousness
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