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Implication of Toroidal Transformation of the Crown of Thorns

Design challenge to enable integrative comprehension of global dynamics (Part #1)

Thread-weaving design considerations
Predictability and pattern-breaking: the Knight's move
Geometry: implications for thinking and identity
Curvature: experiential and cognitive
Dialogue: towards the dynamics of the archetypal "Round Table"?
Creativity: from "rock logic" to "water logic"?
Aesthetics of harmony
Mnemonic necessities
Symbols: vital psychoactive focus
Limitations and constraints on integrative frameworks
Musical facilitation of integrative comprehension
Self-reflexivity essential to appropriate design

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This is an exercise in identifying a set of threads which might be fruitfully woven together into an unusual pattern of significance of relevance to both the challenge of governance and of individuation. It follows from earlier reflections (Interweaving Thematic Threads and Learning Pathways, 2010; Magic Carpets as Psychoactive Systems Diagrams, 2010).

The relationships between the threads selected here are necessarily less than evident -- or there would be no current challenge to integrative "joined-up" thinking. As one of the threads, the nature of that relationship is understood to require a form of Knight's move thinking -- shifting from linear predictability to a contrasting orientation characteristic of creativity, "new thinking" and a change of paradigm. It is a degree of circularity in the pattern of such moves which is explored here as a key to the coherence of a mode of correlative thinking enabled by various correspondences (Theories of Correspondences -- and potential equivalences between them in correlative thinking, 2007). These considerations are explored as a means of addressing dysfunctional patterns of "monkeying" and those of the associated "blame game"(Monkeying with Global Governance, 2011).

This exploration follows from arguments previously made with respect to providing a context for the classical Knight's move of chess (and go), and the related significance attached to such thinking in its pathological and creative interpretations (Reframing "monkeying" in terms of Knight's move patterns, 2011; Engendering confidence and identity within learning / action cycles, 2011). In that respect the following argument offers new insights into both "monkeying" and the more integrative pattern associated with the style of governance implied by the archetype of the "Knights of the Roundtable" and their potential interaction.

The argument focuses on the torus as an intermediary between a "flatland" approach to governance (characteristic of most planning) and the current need for a necessarily elusive "global" approach requiring "joined-up thinking". Various forms of symbolic recognition of this toroidal intermediary are noted across cultures.

As one such symbol, specific reference is made to to the Crown of Thorns as offering an indication of the extremely painful consequences of the currently fragmented "crowning" configuration of global strategies. This could be said to be derived from linear ("thorn-like") mindsets, ill-adapted to the non-linear nature of the dynamics characteristic of the global system. Here the possibility is explored of transforming this dysfunctional linearity through forms of curvature more consistent with those dynamics. This gives explicit place to the developmental S-curve seen as characteristic of elusive global "change" and the challenge of navigating the adaptive cycle -- as highlighted by the Resilience Alliance and the work of Thomas Homer-Dixon (The Upside of Down: ca strophe, creativity, and the renewal of civilization, 2006; The Ingenuity Gap, 2000). An earlier exploration focused on learnings from patterns in nature (Enabling Governance through the Dynamics of Nature: exemplified by cognitive implication of vortices and helicoidal flow, 2010).

New "projects" now tend to be exercises in (psychological) "projection" consequent upon linear thinking -- effectively "trajectories" designed to impact "targets". What seems to be required for sustainability however is to enable the emergence of cyclic thinking (Psychology of Sustainability: embodying cyclic environmental processes, 2002; Consciously Self-reflexive Global Initiatives, 2007).

The argument is necessarily speculative and presumptuously ambitious -- with the associated limitations on the appropriateness of such an exploration included as another of the threads. As a challenge to creative design possibilities, the question is the range of seemingly disparate elements that can be fruitfully woven together in consideration of a requisite pattern of non-linearity.

The current period is witness to considerable existential uncertainty resulting from global crises engendered by misgovernance of the highest order -- for which responsibility and blame are systematically distributed through finger-pointing, without anybody being called effectively to account. Typical of the times, it is however unclear whether serious concern is more appropriate than humour (Ungovernability of Sustainable Global Democracy? 2011; Responsibility for Global Governance, 2008).

In this context, the very recent declaration of Rick Perry -- the person who may well be elected as the next "most powerful man on the planet" -- merits careful attention:

Right now, America is in crisis. We have been besieged by financial debt, terrorism, and a multitude of natural disasters. As a nation, we must come together and call upon Jesus to guide us through unprecedented struggles, and thank him for the blessings of freedom we so richly enjoy... Some problems are beyond our power to solve.... with praying people asking God's forgiveness, wisdom and provision for our state and nation. There is hope for America. It lies in heaven, and we will find it on our knees. (Rick Perry under fire for planning Christian prayer rally and fast, The Guardian, 5 August 2011)

In the light of such beliefs, Christians might be usefully challenged to imagine what symbolic "upgrade" Jesus would consider appropriate to the original Crown of Thorns.

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