Systems Awareness: in separation we fall, in unity we conquer.

Leonardo da Vinci noted,  “The earth is moved from its position by the weight of a tiny bird resting upon it.”

Every action has its effect somewhere else in the world. Things are connected in ways which are not always instantly obvious. But they are objectively connected. What effect do your actions have somewhere else? somewhere that you did not even think about? Are you causing pain? damage? Yes, you thought that you were just going about your business!

Every living system is continually re-organising itself, re-balancing itself and re-coordinating itself. It has a high level of intelligence. Your body is such a system. There are systems inside your body – such as the nervous system or the circulatory system. A family is a kind of system in which different roles are played-out by different people. It has an intelligent cohesion. A company is a kind of system too.

Many people have studied systems and their behaviour. James Lovelock has written about the stable self-regulation of tightly coupled systems of living organisms and their environment. Our living planet earth is an example of such a system – says Lovelock. The Hungarian – Ervin Lászlo has attempted to form a complete theory of how systems behave and Peter Senge, Organisational Development expert and author of The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization  is another systems thinker. Senge has explained how organisations can improve by learning to see the interrelationships and patterns of things, – to see that reality is not made up of straight lines, but of circles. Everything, everywhere, ultimately comes back to everything else.

Others, such as Bert Hellinger and Ivan Boszormenyi-Nagy have done extensive research into family systems. They have used various forms of constellations (set-ups of family members) to explore the connections between members of a group, family or organisation.

Men of Genius, such as Goethe, Leonardo and many others have always known that things are interrelated in a beautiful way. They have even seen HOW things are interrelated. If I throw a stone into a lake, how far will the ripples go? What effect will they have, ultimately? If a large butterfly flaps its wings and takes off in Spain, will it change the weather in New Zealand?

In the words of Plato:

“For he who would  proceed aright….should begin in youth to visit beautiful forms…..out of that he should create fair thoughts; and soon he will of himself perceive that the beauty of one form is akin to the beauty of another, and that beauty in every form is one and the same.”