Have you ever wondered why, after so many efforts for so many years fighting poverty, the world is far poorer than ever before? A century ago Albert Einstein said: “No problem can be solved by the same kind of thinking that created it.” This is powerful because first it reminds us that all problems have their origins inside our own thoughts and secondly, that we need to change our perspective to be able to see the error in the first perspective. Eric Sevareid (1970) observed that “The chief cause of problems is solutions.” These authors are telling us that we tend to assume too much that we understand the problem when we leap into problem-solving. Maybe it is not what we are sensitive to, but what we are insensitive to that is the real problem.
The success and failure of the industrial age can be found in a logic called reductionism. This is like a doctor who identifies a specific illness in isolation (does not consider the circumstances of the whole body); sees that to kill the pathogen would be too costly or difficult (like changing life-style) and so seeks an easier, short-term solution and prescribes paracetamol to block the symptoms and assumes that the pathogen will sooner or later go away. This is juggling between what is true and what is convenient.
While humanity has pulled this off successfully on many “small” occasions, over years of patching the big problems, our society has turned into a landscape of unresolved mountainous problems such as pathogenic population growth, an oppressive political system, and a destructive industrial/commercial ethic.
The following analogy describes the difference between Reductionism and our philosophy, we call Selffinity:
Imagine you are a bug on the highest leaf of a huge tree. You look around you across the dome of foliage and you see tufts of leaves of each stem, like a maze of green islands in space. The tree represents the world as you perceive it. It is divided into many separate entities, a world that focuses on diversity; and too, you would naturally divide all your knowledge about your world into separate parcels; facts, ideas and theories within specialty areas, disciplines and faculties. Each broader area being free to operate independently according to its own language and rules, its own philosophy.
But then you decide to view the tree with a different perspective. Now you look down the stems, observing how they unite to form thin branches then unite again to form thicker and more solid bows and eventually the trunk of the tree. Now you see your world is not fundamentally divided but fundamentally united. It is a single entity. This second perspective is of the very same tree, but now you see your world, as one whole, having a single source and while each branch has a margin of independent flexibility, they are inseparable and interdependent.
For the last half millennium, western culture has promoted a separated perception of the world and organized its knowledge of it accordingly, similarly to the first perspective. While this has truth to it, it literally lacks depth. As a result Science, industry and commerce has raced out of control without that fundamental unity. The result we see today is that the planet and the human soul is dying. The younger generation can’t feel this change because they have no previous experiences to compare against.
This is the essence of the Selffinity philosophy described by our founder, Educator and Biologist Martin Couell. This philosophy assumes all knowledge to be united as implied by Unified Field Theory in Quantum physics. Selffinity is the integration of modern discoveries mostly from Mathematics, Quantum Physics, Biology, Theology, Philosophy, Psychology and Education to form a modern holistic world view, the basis for solving global problems of the 21st century. Selffinity brings all areas of knowledge into integrity and harmony.
Selffinity therefore must conclude that all forms of poverty stem from a common cause, for which there is an overwhelming amount of evidence in research and traditional sources of wisdom. These say it is a lack of unity or connectivity in human thinking, therefore identity and therefore practice, that cause the death of any system. If we integrate ourselves personally we will have integrity/personal peace; if we integrate ourselves socially we will have community/social peace, if we integrate ourselves ecologically we will have sustainability/ecological peace. To achieve these steps we need to start learning in an integrated way. The first layer of this is allowing people to think and be without fear or desperation so they can start being honest to themselves, bonding to themselves; the second is allowing this bonding with other people; finally and most importantly, they must bond to nature. True integrity is multi-layered as is our mind, our identity and the whole universe (the bug’s tree). While we only try to change one layer for the better, the other layers will spring us back to the previous condition. Thus, the frustration of so many single-layer attempts on complex problems such as poverty.
To really understand Selffinity one needs to be familiar with the mathematical notions of fractals and self-affinity, and the way they permeate the universe. Think of a Rubik’s cube: this is a simple example of a fractal because it is a cube, consisting of a group of twenty seven smaller cubes – each the same shape as the collective shape. Each of these cubes could be imagined as made up of twenty seven smaller cubes and each of those made up of still smaller cubes. This is an artificial, geometrically perfect shape. This kind of fractal is described as self-similar. In nature however, fractals are less “perfect”, they have a certain percentage of roughness or we could say originality or personality. These natural shapes are said to display self-affinity, the term that gave rise to the name of the philosophy. Self-affined fractals are in everything; ecosystems, outer space, chemistry, language, music, our bodies are full of them, and Systematic Biology is as much the study of fractals as it is Biology. When you become aware of them you can’t stop seeing them. Furthermore these fractals are not limited to spatial geometry but may consist of functional, connective, informational, temporal, molecular, energetic or other expressions of self-affinity. This makes every leaf in the world unique, every grain of sand on all the beaches in the world unique, and every living being in the world equally unique, while at the same time being fundamentally one.
Although it was only in the 1960s when fractals were proven mathematically to exist, ancient science was aware of the notion. When the Judeo-Christian Bible describes us as made in the image of God, it describes us as part of a divine fractal. Traditional Islamic art is full of fractals. Many ancient cultures are wreaking with fractal mythology, some go so far as to convert this mythology into sacred geometry. The tree of our logo is also a fractal, showing many repetitions of the same shape. Our library has many links and other sources to illustrate the idea of fractals and how they affect us.
An essential part of Selffinity is that identity and development can only attain sustainable peace through self-determination, and this only grows with fractal geometry. This means that for example, my ability to develop healthily depends on the coherence of all my parts – body, intellect, beliefs, habits etc. in the same vein, my society relies on the integration of all its members to generate effective leadership that reflects the best interests of its members, and therefore truth, justice and peace. Similarly all parts of an ecosystem need to know their part and role in the whole to attain that peace. It sounds obvious but we all frequently neglect this to apparently “make life easier” or “to go with the flow” – however, in the end, it is what causes all our problems and dramas in life.
Fractal geometry, the unified field theory in Physics and systematic biology are all valuable tools for understanding the true sense of freedom. Each person has the potential of having free will, but contrary to common belief, very few have the ability to exercise it, leading to all the forms of poverty that we can imagine. So an Indian believing his culture is inferior; a politician embezzling funds; a husband spending his wage on alcohol and then beating his wife; a teenager addicted to cocaine; a farmer cutting down his most valuable resource, native forest; a woman who repeatedly calls her child a “son of a whore”; a factory owner dumping toxic wastes into a river; and a child who steals from friends and family ….. These are all manifestations of the same problem – they no longer pursue integrity, they have abandoned their authentic self, this is slow suicide, and since most of us are practicing it most of the time, humanity as a whole is on that same suicidal path.
This is not meant to sound gloomy, in fact it is incredibly positive because it means that the power to change the problem for the better is completely within our hands and the solution is as achievable as what the Coca-Cola Company has done with our drinking habits. The difference is that this change will have mind-boggling benefits. So helping people rethink their sense of reality and establishing a more accurate world view is the most powerful and practical means of helping people to free themselves so that they can do the same to their societies and ecosystems. In children especially, this is most achievable through a journey of diverse discovery and personal growth. Reintegration is only permanent and sustainable at a collective level when we start with its parts – it is as achievable as a great journey is when broken into many small steps. Each person only needs to take one small but very decisive step. The parts will then define the whole in a natural, spontaneous way – that’s what self-determination is. This leads to synergy, prosperity, a true sense of identity and more meaning to life.
Working only at the macro (social or environmental) levels without attending the psychological source of the problem only denies individuals’ abilities to learn vital skills like respect for, and trust in, self and others, dreaming, goal-setting, planning, and many other collaboration skills. So working only with adults on macro projects alone in the long term actually lock communities into their poverty. Working at the superficial level also blocks opportunities for democracy to grow which can only come from psychologically sound decision-making – not based on desperation sparked by fear, ignorance, lies, and distrust, as is the dominant mode for both the electoral process and governmental decision-making in Ecuador.
For those whose homes do not provide a refuge from this fearful paradigm, psychological disintegration occurs, meaning they make life decisions that are incoherent with their true needs and provoke their own destruction. This pattern then manifests itself at social and environmental scales.
The opposite, psychological integration, true self-awareness, is the basis for freedom and self-determination at personal, social and ecological levels. The integration of individuals is achieved most effectively through bonding with other people and nature in deeper and more significant ways. The aim of this foundation is to facilitate the strengthening and diversification of these bonds to bring about a new sense of identity, a new world view and an end to our war against ourselves.
Selffinity is a self-repeating domino effect solution. If you feel despair because of the suicidal times we live in, or even more so if you don’t, take some time to discover that reality contains no egoism or greed, that there is no such thing as error, only creativity, and discover your power to bring that reality into our humanity. Learn from authors such as Carolus Linnaeus, Benoit Mandelbrot, and John Hagelin, whose works are cornerstone to allowing us to know as one.
These are some links that will provide a liberating, deeper understanding of the inseparable, fractal nature of the Selffinity world view.
General: What the bleep https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6G3-Zc9mtM
Philosophy of the truth: Karl Popper: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-X8Xfl0JdTQ
Mathematics: Understanding and Mathematics
Roger Anatonsen https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQElzjCsl9o
Mathematics: Fractals and self-affinity
Keith Mcgreggor https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kKeUI_Jko3o
James Prieto https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7syJUHssMQ
Jonathan Wolfe https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IIOQcJ-ZlJE
Adrian Bejan https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHdfDzGypFM
Sumit D Chowdhury https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZyArmOUeM
Unified field theory John Hagelin https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cuuKBInwQRU
Emergence Theory https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qa4JkgKDaR0 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qa4JkgKDaR0
Consciousness and Quantum Physics: Fred Alan Wolfe https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sjq-ZqPcrmc
Stuart Hameroff https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1d5RetvkkuQ
Epigenetics: Bruce Lipton: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vn2BWYJesHo
Biology: Exercise cures most health problems and more:http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/medical_examiner/2013/12/exercise_to_prevent_cure_or_treat_disease_cancer_heart_disease_inflammation.html
Psychology: We create our own reality: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LARXSPARbZU
Psycology: We only see what we want to see:
Education: Outdoor Education https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jf3ZEy7tUcc
Education: Nature deficit disorder: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1e6_cY3-J3o
Traditional and modern Science: Gaia: Nuestra verdadera identidad es que todo el planeta es un solo organismo, del cual somos su cuerpo.
Creation Theology, Matthew Fox: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_CJ2zHbpD4
Richard Rhor: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4LYQQO5uFtA
Traditional Science: The Bible:
The truth will set you free. John 8:32 http://quotes.yourdictionary.com/articles/who-said-and-the-truth-shall-set-you-free.html
Will or intention dominates over the material: Only faith will save you. Hebrews 10:39 Luke 7:50, 1 John 5:4, 2 Thessalonians 2:13.
Our fractal relationship to God: We are made in the image of God. Genesis 1:26-27, 5:1-2, 9:6. https://biblia.com/bible/nblh/Ge1.26-27
The Christian Gospels: Love ourselves at 3 different fractal levels: personally, socially and universally. Matthew 22:34-40, Mark 12:28–34https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Commandment
Jiddu Krishnamurti: we create our reality: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xk0sPhXlyiI
Traditional Buddhist Philosophy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1cpDDXQNZ_Q
The harm of an egoistic self and theology: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0OBp-E6WiY
Thich Nhat Hanh non-discrimination: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XAw74kZYpCI
Thich Nhat Hanh a new world view as the only way of achieving peace: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=odWIPhj-ivo