The Self-Organizing Universe

Self-transcendence means reaching out beyond the boundaries of one’s own existence. When a system, in its self-organization, reaches beyond the limits of its identity, it becomes creative. In the self-organization paradigm, evolution is the result of self-transcendence at all levels. Symmetry breaks unfurl space and time for the unfolding of self-organizing system dynamics, ranging from dissipative structures and the microstructures of life to the macrostructures on earth and in the whole universe. But these space-time structures do not remain stable. They evolve to ever new structures and at each threshold of self-transcendence a new dimension of freedom is called into play for the shaping of the future. Complexity unfolds in time and mirrors experience lived in the past as well as the creative reaching out into the future. With the structures, the mechanisms of their evolution also evolve further. Neither the old concept of a teleological (goal-seeking) evolution, nor its contemporary modification in the sense of a teleonomic evolution (goal-seeking through a systemic network of possible processes), correspond to the new paradigm of self-organization. Evolution is basically open. It determines its own dynamics and direction. This dynamics unfolds in a systemic web which, in particular, is characterized by the co-evolution of macro- and microsystems. By way of this dynamic interconnectedness, evolution determines its own meaning.


– Erich Jantsch. 1980, (P 183-4) The Self-Organizing Universe.







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