A TECHNOLOGY OF THE SACRED

Before Prigogine conceived of complex structures that dissipate entropy, Paolo Soleri (and before him his mentor Teilhard de Chardin) recognized duration of complexity as key to the alchemy whereby matter is dialectically transformed to mind or spirit. Soleri called this process “aesthetogenesis” –a process in which there is “a move from the granular and scattered to the synthetic and clustered; from the unrelated and incoherent to the interconnected and coherent.” It happens through an intensifying of the human experience he called “miniaturization,” an “implosive situating” that creates consciousness through bringing together in a shared environment a rich, self-directing diversity of “things and events.” Soleri blamed materialism for bringing this vector to rest–in materializing the center positivist culture has created an “explosive situating” that separates, de-coheres and flattens the vector out into equilibrium and disorder. In this now closed, only-matter-wave system, entropy sets in. Sound familiar? It should, as it’s the life stifling mode embraced by almost the whole of the developed world. A mode that Prigogine showed causes even chemical structures to die; a mode that mathematician Ron Atkin claims distorts our feeling geometries!

Like Soleri, Erich Jantsch has called for an information technology that would open new niches for conscious evolution–a technology that would, he writes in The Self-Organizing Universe, “no longer serve the steering of energy and production processes, but above all, the diversification of our own personal experience …Instead of ‘utopian engineering’ creative processes would be permitted to unfold and form new structures.” He predicts the energy required for such “negentropy niches” would be extremely small: “An information society in this sense would elevate the economic process to a totally new level, comparable to the supplementation of slow metabolic process by fast neural processes with the evolution of the brain.” Jantsch adds, “I believe the most important task today is the search for new degrees of freedom to facilitate the living out of evolutionary processes. It is of primary importance that the openness of the inner world for which no limitations are yet in sight, is matched by a similar openness of the outer world, and that it tries actively to establish the latter.”