Re: Stable Unhealthy Systems LO2117
Sat, 15 Jul 1995 11:14:01 -0400

Replying to LO2090 --

Pete writes: >> My concept (no authorship claimed) involves planned
change, genetic engineering as opposed to evolution. Evolution is a
natural response to environmental influences. Genetic engineering
challenges the old mindset of, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," with "If
it ain't broke, break it" (one of the more famous Peters said that one).
Perhaps, then, a healthy system evolves to a learning organization through
genetic engineering. Did that confuse things even more?<<

Perhaps. Perhaps not. Mihalyi Csikzentmihalyi has done a masterful job
in his book The Evolving Self in discussing the necessary shift from
primarily biological, unconscious evolution to a conscious evolution
involving mental, spiritual, emotional and physical maturity and conscious
choice. I agree. We appear to be at a critical crossroad with respect to
our continued evolution as a species.

At this point, we are being required to grow from a stage of adolescence
to mature adulthood. Our adolescence is out-pictured in our violence,
control mechanisms, lack of compassion, dependence upon "things",
separation, inability to work from a view of "the whole", just to name a
few. We would rather create powerful tools and use them to secure our own
"independence" and control than to become a powerful tool for the
enhancement of human fulfillment.

The field of genetic engineering, to me, carries a huge threat in that, in
my view, we, as a species, are capable of creating tremendously powerful
tools and technology which we do not have the maturity to handle
responsibly. I, for one, do not have the confidence in those dealing with
this sort of "engineering" that their intentions and creations will
enhance life. Too often, "engineering" is performed out of a mechanistic
mindset, without regard to potential impact on the system as a whole.

Whole systems operate from an integrity, a conscious awareness of all the,
seemingly, disparate parts. Unhealthy systems may, for a while, seem to
do well due to a concentrated focus on one part of a system. That sort of
concentrated energy can always produce. Over time, however, if it is not
connected in ways that contribute to the life of the overall system, they
will deteriorate, either of their own accord, or by attack by other parts
of the system which can and will no longer tolerate the deleterious
effects of a hazardous member.