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Emergences


Along with our responses to immediate emergencies, our growing understanding of nature and our 
personal and spiritual growth, there are Emergences, natural capacities of the emerging social body.

Social innovations are now working toward incremental, positive change in every field and function. Out 
beyond the problems, beyond the millions of organizations designed to deal with immediate crisis, there are 
new possibilities, innovations and breakthroughs that together reveal a new world arising in our midst.


These emergent capacities, or Emergences, may seem ineffective when viewed in isolation from each other, 
but when seen as connected vital elements of a whole system shift, they reveal the emergence of a new 
social body. Emergences together create a sense of optimism and hope because they reveal to us that we 

can survive and grow. They relax the new planetary body, such that we can just faintly begin to open our 
collective eyes, see that we can survive, and be ready to smile our first “planetary smile!”

How might all that is emerging actually be coordinated? 


“Everything that rises converges” as Teilhard de Chardin told us.

In this Synthesis we are seeking the hidden processes whereby nature, when faced by crises to life, 

has been coordinating itself for billions of years, taking quantum jump after quantum jump toward 
greater consciousness, and freedom through more complex order.

Marilyn Ferguson (1980: 164) wrote:


The continuous movement of energy through the system results in fluctuations; if they are minor, 

the system damps them and they do not alter its structural integrity. But if the fluctuations reach a 


critical size, they perturb the system. They increase the number of novel interactions within 


it.the elements of the old pattern come into contact with each other in new ways and make new 

connections. The parts reorganize into a new whole. The system escapes into a higher order.


Ilya Prigogine (Nobel prize winner for his work on dissipative structures) said, at higher levels of 

complexity, the nature of the laws of nature changes; Life feeds on entropy. It has the potential to 


create new forms by allowing a shake up of old forms. The elements of a dissipative structure 

cooperate to bring about this transformation of the whole.



The planetary system we are in is far from equilibrium. Small islands of coherence in a sea of social chaos 
can shift the whole system to a higher order.


Nobelist Ilya Prigogine, the Belgian chemist, suggested that

A system in balance and functioning well is difficult to change, but as a system falls into disorder,


change becomes more and more feasible and finally inevitable. At that inevitable point the least 

bit of coherent order can bring to order the whole disorderly array. Which direction the change 


takes depends on the nature of the chaotic attractor that lifts the chaos into its new order. If that 

chaotic attractor is demonic, the old cycle simply repeats itself, which seems to have been 


historically the case for our species. But if the chaotic attractor were benevolent or “divine,” the 

new order would have to be of that same nature (Pearce, 2002).











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