“A holon tries to maintain its integrity. Doing so, it fulfills its function in the bigger holon it belongs”. This is a contingent scientific realization, but in the social field this is a game-changer idea:

If you want to have a functional society, you have to enhance the integrity of its participants.

If you want to have a resilient society in the face of challenges, you have to enhance the integrity of its participants.

In a mutual consistency with the new holarchic perspective and its social architecture, we have to enhance the social, political, economical, religious and even artistic participation of each member of our societies, if we want to have a more coherent and more resilient society.

“An ideal culture is one that makes a place for every human gift. If we are to achieve a richer culture, we need to recognize the whole gamut of human potentialities and so to weave a less arbitrary social-fabric, one in which each diverse gift will find a fitting place” (Margaret Mead)

How to evolve a participative consciousness?

We all have our talents and gifts to bring forth. The spiritual journey is mainly about discovering our gifts and developing them.

Try to read “Frames of Mind” or “Multiple Intelligences” by Howard Gardner. You will understand that you have your unique set of talents – and it is your responsibility to develop them and offer them to the world. As we become more authentic, we become more and more participative in our communities. It is not only that we become more aware of our gifts and responsibilities, but we become more able to weave ourselves into the great tapestry of society.

If you want to evolve a participative consciousness there is a simple spiritual principle: Be honest with yourself. Do not betray yourself; listen to your inner-calling. Follow your allurements. Find your “why”, find your authenticity and courageously engage the world you are part of.

“You don’t know what you can do, or who you are in your fullest significance, or what powers are hiding within you. All exists in the emptiness of your potentiality, a realm that cannot be seen or tasted or touched. How you will bring these powers forth? How you will awaken your creativity? By responding to the allurements that beckon you, by following your passions and interests. Alluring activity draws you into being. Our life and powers come forth through our response to allurement.” (Brian Swimme)

As our worldview turns from a mechanical to an organic, inter-connected Universe, we start to discover the power of “co-”: cooperation, collaboration, co-living, co-working, co-learning etc. All these “co-” modalities of living in society are participative, helping humanity to evolve toward a more synergistic and coherent organization.

There is another concept that I like: “emergent design”. In a mutual consistency with all the other concepts and values that are foundational to Butterfly Communities Open-Project, the emergent design resembles the way the Universe self-created itself. A society is a new level of integration, a holon brought forth by the inter-relation, by the unique and unpredictable participation of its constituents: the humans. The way the society self-creates itself is through emergent-design. A conscious emergent-design could bring forth a more synergistic and coherent human world.

For this we need, as individuals, to evolve higher levels of participative consciousness and, as communities, better ways of communication and inter-relation between us, better holarchic social architectures. Being aware of these new amazing concepts, imagining better social architectures and better ways to communicate and inter-relate, trying to prototype them amid our societies, we will learn step by step to improve our social lives. This is what Butterfly Communities Open-Project is all about.

The word emergent enhances something important: to have a synergy it is not enough to put different things together. You need a mutual consistency between them and a specific relational architecture. Wikipedia is brought forth through emergent design. The art of emergent design is about how to bring forth this relational architecture that enhances a synergistic participation.

Emergent design is related to stigmergic design/cooperation.

“Stigmergy is a mechanism of indirect coordination, through the environment, between agents of actions. The principle is that the trace left in the environment by an action stimulates the performance of the next action. In that way, subsequent actions tend to reinforce and build on each other, leading to the spontaneous emergence of coherent, systematic activity. Stigmergy is a form of self-organization. It produces complex, intelligent structures without the need for too much planning, control or even direct communication between agents.” (from Wikipedia)

The stigmergic attitude is about sensing the others and being willing and able to cooperate with them. We can do a lot of things in a stigmergic way, using no words, just paying attention to the others and trying to sense what are their intentions: we can make together a fruit salad, we can bring forth a beautiful permaculture garden, we can dance. If we use words, we can make everything in a stigmergic way.

Stigmergism is about participation. An improvised dance is the perfect expression of what stigmergism is. First of all: everybody participates. You can not say: I am dancing when you are just looking. You have to dance if you intend to be a part of the dance. Being part of the dance you start to have an important role in the creation of the dance itself. Because your moves will influence others’ moves. And their moves will influence yours. And so, in a stigmergic design, the dance self-creates itself through the unique and unpredictable participation of everybody.

What the “stigmergic” word enhances is that, when you make your creative move, you leave a “trace”. This “trace” influences, in a way or another, the others’ decisions on how to continue to dance. Your “trace” inspires them. Everybody is free to choose their move, but for sure they will want to continue what you already started. They will sense somehow your intention and will want to continue it, expressing themselves too in this continuation, using their liberty and creativity on how to do their move. Stigmergic design enhances participation: liberty, authenticity, spontaneity and creativity of self-expression, but used in a way that enhances not only individuality, but the community too. Is a truly holarhic design. It is a truly co-creative process.

To improve stigmergic cooperation you have to act in three directions:

1) to improve personal participative qualities;

2) to design a relational architecture

3) to work as a group until you could reach some kind of synchronization/ flow state.

(further readings: here)