In my previous post I introduced the discipline of Nemetics.
But what is a Neme around which the discipline is evolving?
To be fair, a Neme or more appropriately called a NemeSphere is not any physical object like a ball or a computer or an apple.
It may be aptly described as a bundle of relationships an object or event contains within it and the relationships such events/phenomenon have with other objects and events operating in a shared space at a given time.
That brings us to the first principle of nemetics that helps us view the world and nature in a different way. Simply stated — there are no objects. Or in other words there is no self in anything. So a self is not a self (though it often appears as a form) but only an entangled bundle of relationships.
Isn’t that true? Each one of us is only an entangled bundle of relationships, feelings, perceptions, understandings and our own mental constructs. Likewise every family is a entangled bundle of relationships, perceptions, understanding, unique behaviors and mental constructs. Similarly, every organization is an entangled bundle of relationship of policies, rules, human behavior, quality of performance, perceptions, feelings, mental constructs etc. Though there is a visible form in most cases the real self or rather the non-self remains invisible though constantly at work. This is therefore, the essence of the reality, the non-self full of relationships, in everything that we see or feel around us.
Note for the sake of simplicity we can group together similar relationships and imagine them to be contained within a tube, which we call a NemeTube. For instance Management of any organization takes various actions and frames many policies, rules etc. We can then club all these similar actions of the Management into one tube, which for example might be named as Management NemeTube. Similarly we might have something called Employee NemeTube or Customer NemeTube or Supplier NemeTube.
In Nemetics, we happen to see such relationships in the form of NemeStrings and NemeTubes existing between lovers, parents and their children, organizations and their employees and customers, government and their subjects. To have a simple physical understanding each relationship within a possible NemeTube is represented as a string or NemeString, though invisible to the naked eye. There can be a number of such similar strings (like we see on a violin or on a guitar) clubbed together within a NemeTube.
To summarize till this point:
1. There is no self. Whatever exists is Non-self that contains dynamically changing entangled web of relationships continually at play. Not to focus on an object but to focus on relationships is the new world view Nemetics takes.
2. Nothing exists independently. There must be at least one relationship within and without of a non-self.
3. These relationships are not only interconnected to each other but also interdependent and therefore continually change over time.
4. The relationships are represented as ‘strings’ that connect and give meaning to create understanding.
However, since all interconnected relationships are continually at work in a dynamic and interdependent fashion the relationships do not stay the same over time. They change over time. So what we understand at this point of time might not be the same the next moment. It would become different. How does that happen? It happens because these relationships have energy content in them. We are fortunate since energy content in such relationships might be represented as vibrating strings (NemeStrings) sustained by continual exchange of energy (Nemex) with losses and addition to the energy content over time (the entropy function).
Since relationships vibrate continually (having different characteristics like resonance, damping etc) the nature of the vibration characteristics change over time, i.e. both frequencies and amplitudes might change in a given space. In other words, though on the whole, vibration in a given space exhibits a pattern at any instant of time the probability that the pattern would change over time is 1 (one), which means it is certain.
That is true in every case. On a personal level my ideas, thinking, perceptions, understanding continually change over time being influenced by various energy exchanges (Nemex) when I am subjected to new experiences, new thoughts, new perceptions, new dialogs, new actions, new mental images, etc.. On an organizational level things are changing too. The relationships with various customers change over time. The demands change over time. The suppliers change over time. The processes change over time…. The same continually happens in nature.
However, for vibrations to happen we need Space and Energy exchange. Obviously, the space would contain many such vibrating strings dancing at different frequencies and amplitudes. But what keeps these vibration (or motion) going?
Every relationship to remain as a relationship must enjoy the ‘struggle’ between opposites a characteristic inherent in every relationship - all of which are continuously in motion to survive. It is a paradox. Without this constant ‘struggle’ of opposites there can never be any motion.Though it appears paradoxical it is relatively simple to understand. Think about our walking, a common experience for most. As we walk, different pairs of opposites immediately come into play. The first is ‘friction’ opposing the muscular energy that we spend in moving forward. Next, is the way the muscles release energy — contraction and dilation of the energy flow. We can see that physically through the stretching and folding of our legs. Then the very act of walking involves ‘falling down’ and then trying to ‘get up’. So we see that reality exists in different planes. It is upto us to discern and discriminate these. Note, that the different sets of opposites exist in every single event or phenomenon. Needless to say that understanding relationships and their own internal struggles immediately triggers off cascades of higher cognitive learning, which I call learning through moving meditation.
So we may say, every relationship being exposed to the inherent ‘struggle’ continuously tries to ‘balance’ its position somewhere in between the opposites but never quite in the middle for any point of time. This act of automatically trying to balance between two opposites and changing automatically at the same time so long a motion is sustained through energy exchange (Nemex) is what we understand as self integration and self organization behavior.
This in-built feature in every relationship that enables a relationship to maintain balance in motion brings out another two interesting phenomena, which are ‘chaos’ and ‘complexity’. How is that?
It is rather interesting that all such ‘struggles’ can be physically represented as acts of ‘stretching’ and ‘folding’, which is the typical generic pair of opposites that gives rise to chaos. In other words, the surprise possibility known as chaos is present in every relationship we come across. Chaos, apparently a disorder, is triggered by a small change in the relationship in its effort to maintain balance and change between two opposing tendencies.
But what happens when many relationships are entangled and play at the same time? It gives rise to complexity out of which something that we know as ‘emergence’ appears, seemingly out of thin air. How does that occur?It is not surprising to find many entangled co-existing and interconnected and interdependent relationships within one phenomenon or event, where each exhibits its own element of chaos. When number of such ‘chaos’ possibilities get together or play out together a new phenomenon appears — something we know as ‘emergence’. Such ‘emergences’ might take different forms. They may exhibit as failures, surprises, problems, opportunities, threats, value, and even our own creativity, which we exchange for something (Nemex).
For example, the economic downturn we experienced from 2008 is a simple case of ‘emergence’. Though we might be led to believe that an ‘emergence’ might always be a sudden occurrence it is not so. The possible appearance of a growing ‘emergence’ can be spotted through a ‘trend’ over time before they finally manifest or emerge. A leader’s role would be to spot such a trend over time in order to come to grips with ‘emergence’.
This brings us to the next set of principles involved in Nemetics, which are:
5. The whole of reality is nothing but Space and Motion.
6. Relationships represented as vibrating strings (NemeStrings) change over time. That is everything around us is ‘becoming’ rather than ‘being’. Believing something as being fixed is nothing but a mental delusion.
7. In every relationship there is a struggle of opposites where the relationship tries hard to maintain a balance between these sets of opposites and relationships do change automatically.
8. Within each event there is always a explicit possibility of experiencing more than one set of opposites at play.
9. The automatic tendencies of any relationship to balance between two opposites is known as self organizing and self integration.
10. The act of trying to maintain balance creates the ‘stretching’ and ‘folding’ effect
11. The stretching and folding effect gives rise to the inherent possibility of existence of chaos in every relationship, where even a small change in the relationship triggers chaos. Apparently chaos seems to be an act of disorder but the order is still maintained in a relationship’s struggle to maintain a balance between opposing tendencies.
12. When there are many interconnected and interdependent relationships entangled to each other & operating at the same time within a given space, the possibilities of chaos inherent in every interdependent relationship interact upon one another to manifest as ‘emergence’ in different forms.
Before we get any further it might now be important to consider as to how we learn. After we do that we then briefly touch upon as to how many events and phenomenon playing out in a given space might be represented to make our learning easier.
For this we need to consider as to how we discern and discriminate the various sounds emanating from various types of musical instruments we hear while attending a concert? For example, how do we discriminate between the sounds of a violin and that of drums? Obviously, this is done by our brain by a very clever trick. It does a Fourier Transform of all the sounds that enter through our ears (at the point of entry into our ears all sounds are sort of mixed up — meaning all relationships are mixed and entangled together into an indistinguishable form).
What the brain does next is to split up the mixed up sound their distinct frequency components and the corresponding amplitude against each frequency. This splitting up process helps us to discriminate and distinguish the various chracteristic sounds coming from different instruments be it a violin or drums. What the brain did was to present to us a 2 Dimensional vibration frequency spectrum which is nothing but a plot of frequency vs amplitude that enables us to distinguish different frequencies and discern their corresponding amplitudes.
In fact the brain presents the direction of the sound too that gives us the 3 Dimensional effect of listening to live music.
However, the brain does something more. It also stores the vibration frequency spectrum as an image for future retrieval that might be used for various purposes.
Same happens when we see something. The different frequencies of the colors we see are again split up into their various frequency components along with the amplitudes of the vibrations (intensity of the light emanating from the various colors in all their shades). The way it is done is exactly the same as described for sound. And the brain very easily stores the vibration frequency pattern/spectrum for our future use.
The same goes for all the other senses too.
So, when we have any new experience the pattern in form of a vibration spectrum is immediately generated and the brain then fetches out the other stored patterns for comparison, discrimination and most importantly connections. Our innate ability to make several connections at the same time and come up with a meaningful understanding is called ‘insight’, which I term as ‘feelings’ — an important sense in a way — making sense of the complex reality that surrounds and engulfs us.
The point I am driving at is all that we see, sense, stores, compare, create first through our minds and then through our bodies are patterns/spectrums in form of Fourier Transform (a plot of frequency vs amplitude).
If that be so, why the reality we experience every moment around us can’t be represented as Frequency Spectrums (Fourier Transform in terms of plots of frequencies vs amplitudes)?Fortunately, this can be done, more so since all relationships can be described as vibrating elements, vibrating at different frequencies.
For instance, let us take an organization. Different activities and events (motion) simultaneously go on within an organization under a given space. Management is busy framing rules, guidelines, policies, which we can club under Strategic decisions (a bundle of nemestrings called Management NemeTube). These strategic decisions taken by management from time to time affect human behavior of the employees, customers, suppliers and other stake holders. And these behaviors give rise to other activities like improvement activities that affect the performance, productivity and profitability of the organization on the whole.
Now we effectively have three sets of NemeTubes (each composed of several NemeStrings) — all vibrating at different frequencies each having different energy content in form of amplitudes. While the Management NemeTube (A) has the lowest frequencies (activities over time are not that thick and fast as others) among the three NemeTubes. Human behavior as a result of Management NemeTube (interdependent) would be vibrating at a higher frequency than the Management NemeTube but not higher than the thousands of activities that are set in motion affecting Performance, Productivity and Performance. So while the Human Behavior NemeTube (B) has a frequency higher than Management NemeTube the Performance NemeTube (C) has the highest frequency (considering the number of activities over a similar period of time).
The relationship as it turns out is A < B < C. Therefore it is easy to have a frequency plot of the various NemeTubes operating in a given space and time. Obviously the amplitudes depending on the energy content in each would differ. But the advantage such a plot might offer is great. It immediately tells us which affects (since interdependent under a complex setting) what and how much and what we might do to improve the situation. Deeper attention would tell us that A, B and C are all fractals of the different events or motions playing in a given space. That makes it even more interesting.
I leave the discussion for now which I hope to continue in my subsequent blog posts.