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Patterns Essential to Individual and Global Health?


Remedial "healing" from patterns of N-foldness
Example: Approaches to 9-fold integration
Value of a dynamic method based on tentativeness and reflexivity
Alternation exemplified in 4-fold patterns
Alternating between patterns of numbers and patterns of metaphors
Possibility of an organic "metaphoric chemistry"
Playful quest for patterns of symmetry
Pointers to possibilities: Ekistics, Dymaxion World and Eco-Cube
Health and sustainability through the dynamics of patterning
Cognitive patterns of environmental significance
Dynamics of polyocular and multifacetted cognitive framing: navigating the adaptive cycle

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Annex A of Cognitive Implications of Lifestyle Diseases of Rich and Poor: transforming personal entanglement with the natural environment (2009)


Remedial "healing" from patterns of N-foldness

This exploration was triggered by a 9-fold pattern and has exploited certain correspondences based upon it. This follows from earlier explorations of patterns of N-foldness (Representation, Comprehension and Communication of Sets: the role of number, 1978; Examples of Integrated, Multi-set Concept Schemes, 1984; Patterns of N-foldness: comparison of integrated multi-set concept schemes as forms of presentation, 1984).

Such explorations raise the question with respect to any recognition of a set of categories or remedial initiatives: why is a set of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, or more, considered comprehensive and complete in a given case. Why 9 in this case? Should the 9 rather be 8 or 10? In any taxonomic initiative, what is the pressure to increase the number of categories ("split") or reduce them ("lump them together")? As was first said of the mini-skirt, a primary criterion of concern in determining the size of any set is whether it is "short enough to cover the subject and long enough to be interesting". Too small and it does not appropriately reflect variety and limits recognition of the pattern of significant relationships between the elements. Too large and it is a challenge to learning, comprehension and memory.

In a society increasingly sensitive to the design of communications for wider comprehension and use, contracting or expanding sets is associated as much with how categories best "fit" together for mnemonic purposes as to the nature of the "truth" they represent (In Quest of Mnemonic Catalysts -- for comprehension of complex psychosocial dynamics, 2007). In a knowledge-based society experiencing exponential growth in the quantity of information, the situation can only become more challenging (Emerging Memetic Singularity in the Global Knowledge Society, 2009).

The question here is how a 9-fold set might indeed contribute to understanding of remedial responses to both lifestyle diseases and to planetary crises (as suggested by the above-mentioned presentation on "planetary boundaries"). One much-explored response is through the integrative insights associated with the traditional enneagram to which reference was previously made in discussion of In quest of systemic functional connectivity (in Recognizing the Psychosocial Boundaries of Remedial Action: constraints on ensuring a safe operating space for humanity, 2009). Another concern is how any particular number of categories, such as 9, can be fruitfully related to any preferred sets of a smaller number -- possibly more easily comprehended -- or to a larger set implying a more fundamental form of healing.

"Healing" may then be partially associated with recognition of how the integration of the larger number of categories or processes is achieved through patterns with any smaller number. "Healing" is then understood as a form of "integration" -- with a balanced pattern of processes, in contrast to the "imbalance" typically associated with systemic ills. In the case of the individual, this view is consistent with many approaches to psychotherapy. The notion of 'goodness of fit', signifiant to design, may be of some relevance to healing.


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