How and why did we begin to break everything apart in the rational mind? Is there any way to break things apart in the mind without eventually breaking them apart physically? Does the one breaking inevitably result in the other? Just who or what determines this breaking apart, locking our thoughts and lives into ever more confining boxes of specialization and particularity? Why and how did we begin efforts to make men behave like machines and to make machines behave like men? When and why did we begin to think of the earth as separate from mankind? To think of it as a warehouse of free material to make gadgets for consumption in a mechanistic, money economy? To consider it a free dump for billions of tons of poisons and waste which it cannot recycle?
What if the very concept of separability, such as mind or body, cause or effect, man or nature, competition or cooperation, public or private, man or woman, or you or me, is a grand delusion of Western civilization, epitomized by the Industrial Age; no doubt useful in certain scientific ways of knowing, but fundamentally flawed with respect to understanding and wisdom? What if our notions of separability, particularity, and measurement, useful as they may be in certain circumstances, are just a momentary, mental aberration in the mysterious evolution of consciousness?
I have long been amused at the absurd notion that mind, body, and spirit are separate things, like cogs, cams, and springs of a clock. Science has insisted for two hundred years that the few pounds of gray matter in the bone box on my shoulders is nothing but electrical and chemical impulses flickering about between separate particles of matter in obedience to rigid, universal laws of cause and effect. I don’t think so. For all the wonders of modern science and its obsession with measurement, life will never surrender its secrets to a yardstick. Body, mind, and spirit are inseparably one, and they are one with all else in the universe. We should not be seduced by mechanistic notions to the contrary. Nor am I persuaded that machines, people, and nature are as separate as Newton, Descartes, and the science they spawned would have us believe. Is it possible that in the deepest sense, everything is its opposite; that all things define, thus conceive, one another. It seems impossible to conceive of "thing" without the concept of "nothing." Is there no yes without no? Is there no night without day? Is there no me without you? Are there no borders except in the mind?
If the universe is truly a meaningless, mechanism composed of separable, physical particles acting on one another with precise, linear laws of cause and effect, as Newtonian science has demanded we believe for several hundred years past, whence came these eternal questions which so fascinate me? Why, at long, long last, can't science explain such simple things as love, trust, generosity, and honor?
Science, in the past few decades, has moved away from such mechanistic, cause-and-effect, linear ways of describing reality, yet the new holistic, relational science has not penetrated the mechanistic consciousness and internal model of reality so deeply embedded in each of us by the old science, based on which we conceived our present notions of nation state, corporation, university, and other societal organizations. It is far past the time we should have examined our old consciousness and archaic notions of societal organizations with a more critical eye and opened our mind to new Chaordic concepts more in harmony with the human spirit and biosphere.