At present, mankind is faced with an almost explosive rate of increase of the sort of difficulties that arise out of the attempt to treat the disorder in his own thinking and feeling as if this were a problem. Thus, it is now more urgent than ever that we give attention not only to this outward state of affairs, but also to the inward dullness and non-perceptiveness which allows us to go on failing to notice the paradox in thinking and feeling in which the outward confusion has its deep origin. Each human being has to see that the very feelings and ideas which he is inclined to identify with his “innermost self” are involved in paradox, through and through. A mind caught in such paradox will inevitably fall into self-deception, aimed at the creation of illusions that appear to relieve the pain resulting from the attempt to go on with self-contradiction. Such a mind cannot possibly see the relationships of the individual and of society as they really are. And thus, the attempt to “solve one’s own problems” and “to solve the problems of society” will in fact be found to propagate the existing confusion, rather than to help bring it to an end.
Of course, this does not mean that all working toward the establishment of order in the life of the individual and of society should now be dropped, in favor on concentration on the disorder in the mind that prevents the ending of our general difficulties. Rather, the inward work and the outward work go hand in hand. But it has to be kept in mind that through centuries of habit and conditioning, our prevailing tendency is now to suppose that “basically we ourselves are all right” and that our difficulties generally have outward causes, which can be treated as problems. And even when we do see that we are not in order inwardly, our habit is to suppose that we can point fairly definitely to what is wrong or lacking in ourselves, as if this were something different from or independent of the activity of thinking in which we formulate the “problem” of correcting what is in error.
As has been seen, however, the very process of thought with which we consider our personal and social “problems” is conditioned and controlled by the content which it seems to be considering so that, generally speaking, this thought can neither be free nor even really honest. What is called for, then, is a deep and intense awareness, going beyond the imagery and intellectual analysis of our confused process of thought, and capable of penetrating to the contradictory presuppositions and states of feeling in which the confusion originates. Such awareness implies that we be ready to apprehend the many paradoxes that reveal themselves in our daily lives, in our larger-scale social relationships, and ultimately in the thinking and feeling that appear to constitute the “innermost self” in each one of us.
In essence, therefore, what is needed is to go on with life in its wholeness and entirety, but with sustained, serious, careful attention to the fact that the mind, through centuries of conditioning, tends, for the most part, to be caught in paradoxes, and to mistake the resulting difficulties for problems.
David Bohm: The Problem and the Paradox.
Omega Point is a term coined by the French Jesuit Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881–1955) to describe a maximum level of complexity and consciousness towards which he believed the universe was evolving.
In this theory, developed by Teilhard in The Future of Man (1950), the universe is constantly developing towards higher levels of material complexity and consciousness, a theory of evolution that Teilhard called the Law of Complexity/Consciousness. For Teilhard, the universe can only move in the direction of more complexity and consciousness if it is being drawn by a supreme point of complexity and consciousness.
Thus Teilhard postulates the Omega Point as this supreme point of complexity and consciousness, which in his view is the actual cause for the universe to grow in complexity and consciousness. In other words, the Omega Point exists as supremely complex and conscious, transcendent and independent of the evolving universe.
We can think of the Omega Point as the ideal that drives everything forward. However, our understanding of it is limited by our understanding of time. We typically think of the end as a point in history that is still coming, but another way to think about it is to consider it as the present: in a way we are constantly living at the end of a process and functioning inside it. Here’s a picture where I have tried to clarify this:
In this model the amount of complexity follows the path of the exponential function y=ex, while the amount of consciousness is y=e0.5x. To a point consciousness can be ignorant, after that it becomes confused. Confusion is followed by a paradigm shift that takes place near the point of enlightenment (where complexity and consciousness are furthest away from each other). After the paradigm shift learning and fitting things to the new paradigm takes place.
Both of the functions meet at (0,1) which in this framework represents the Omega Point; we could think it as the point where consciousness becomes aware of complexity and is able to deal with it.
Thinking communities in the dimensions of complexity and consciousness guides us to think them in the following way:
We could think of the axis of consciousness in this way: it is the amount of conscious effort one must pust into the relationship to feel a sense of belonging to the community. It also correlates with the level of meaningfulness the participants feel in the community, and thus the focus of action becomes sharper as consciousness increases; less conscious communities focus on being-in-the-world, as consciousness creates a sense of doing-in-the-world.
The level of complexity refers to the theoretical level on which the interactions in the community happens, how much different media (such as newspapers, forums, events and seminars) are involved. Also, it becomes more difficult to understand a complex community as a single, coherent system.
Ideological community refers to a community binded together by a theoretical worldview such as religion or other belief system (atheism, communism, nationalism). Bureaucratic community is constituted by professional bureaucrats such as politicians and officials, but also by all the employees in a corporation or an organization.
The next step is to think what happens when these communities are seen together:
- ideological community (nation state) + family = royal family in a democratic country
- bureaucratic community + family = royal/ruling family in a non-democratic country
- bureaucratic community + friendships = oligarchy
bureaucratic community + colleagues = bureaucratic elite (e.g. EU)
I’m thinking: how can networks of experts and professionals be promoted both inside the bureaucratic and scientific communities and between them? They would surely create considerable benefits in efficiency of bureaucracy and research as coordination can be enhanced, overlapping efforts reduced and intellectual cross-pollination increased.