Watch and listen to this 7-minute video, the fourth part of a 10-part dialogue with Ervin Laszlo and Marc Gafni in Tuscany on the topic of Evolutionary Love–envisioning a new Renaissance that will take us to the future. Watch previous posts from this series:
Dr. László: The idea is in us, I think. This is what I want to emphasize. You know, it’s been only last few years that I’ve kind of rediscovered that I’m a Platonist, I didn’t know that. I always thought of myself as more Aristotelian, but I discovered that in Plato, this idea that our deepest level, what Plato called the soul, or the spirit, it knows it all. It’s there. When we discover something, we rediscover it. The knowledge is there, because everything that we need in this world, everything that brought us here to be a complex species, endowed with consciousness, had to be in us, had to be a part of our heritage, otherwise we wouldn’t be here, so there is this drive towards complexity, diversity in this unity.
And this is part of the unfolding of this evolutionary trend in the world. It unfolds because systems become integrated with other systems. Each of them maintains its identity, each of them contributes to it. Now if you could contribute to it consciously, you can carry forward this evolutionary trend, this evolutionary drive, toward higher levels of integration. This individuality, diversity, this unity, we can carry it forward much more effectively, enhance this process. And to my mind, this is what I’m thinking now, and what am working on now. This is the ultimate meaning, if there is such a thing, I’m think there is, ultimate meaning of existence, of conscious existence. That we’re able to prehend, to comprehend, that we are part of this evolutionary unfolding symphony. Which is taking us, like you have pointed out, is taking us as unique irreducible selves, into a larger unity, into a larger whole.
We don’t have to worry about surrendering ourselves, because as conscious being, we maintain the universe in us. The whole universe is encompassed in our consciousness, because we can grasp it, we can prehend it, as Whitehead would say. So we are there, as an irreducible whole, in the universe, which is unfolding around us, and unfolding in us. We can describe it objectively, as the coherence of elements in higher level systems. We can describe is subjectively, but just as meaningfully, and perhaps even more meaningfully, as the sense of becoming part, part of larger and larger communities, communing with others, and this is the world around us. And that’s the idea, that’s the element that we have neglected. That’s the element in our deep consciousness, that we have to recover, through meditation, through prayer. That’s where spirituality, I think, helps, to us, to rediscover that we are part of a cosmic symphony unfolding.
We carry our individuality as a force, as an element, not by disregarding and subordinating the rest, but by cohering, embracing this. I talk, you know, about all embracing love. You mentioned loved could be subverted a little bit if it’s limited to two or more individuals.
Marc Gafni: That would be ordinary love, egoic love.
Dr. László: Egoic love, but we could have a deeper love, which is our sense of being a part of the cosmos. Now, this seems to be like a very big statement, but part of reality, if you have that sense, you start relating differently, then you start not using coal, but using solar, for example. Then you start acting in a way that you can co-evolve with others around you. I’m convinced that biologists have also pointed out, there is no evolution in the world, except co-evolution. There is nothing except in partnership with others around it. Coherence is ultimately supercoherence, as you mentioned. To my mind, supercoherence as a very simple definition, is the coherence among coherent systems.
We are a coherent system, in so far as we’re healthy. When we have disease, then we’re breaking down as a coherence, but as healthy beings we are coherent. Now, we are also coherent with our group, with our fellows, with our communities, with our families, with our ethnic group, with our culture, with our nation, et cetera, and ultimately with human kind. Then we are supercoherent. And there is nothing on this planet, on the web of life, that would not be supercoherent, except modern people, because they have forgotten this larger part of their coherence, and that’s the task before us, to recover this, to be, again, feel ourselves a part of the unfolding symphony of life, on this Earth. That’s the only way I think we can overcome our problems. That’s the best way we can move into a future where we can participate, where we can flourish, and have the rest of the system flourish as well.
Marc Gafni: Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. So there’s this dislocation, right, which is this unique dislocation modernity, and this dislocation, of course, has served initially the evolutionary process, because it has allowed for the emergence of self, and the self’s dignity, and the self’s right, so human rights and democracy and feminism, have been what’s emerged from the beginning of this dislocation, the beginning of the dislocation was, I’m not only defined in terms of my larger context, I actually have irreducibly, irreducible dignity independently. You’re following, everyone who’s listening, so this dislocation that Ervin’s describing begins as a health evolutionary movement forward, but then it pathologizes, because the beginning of it stated, I’m not only part of a larger context, I also have my own irreducible dignity, but then it lost, it forgot, of course, I’m part of a larger context, of course I’m located right in the larger context, it dislocated from any location other than the desiccated self. And then the desiccated self was unable to experience its own meaning, and its own sense of wholeness. It then absorbed, parasitically, everything into itself, whether as a nation, or as an individual, which began the massive consumption of energy regimes, which produced the second shock of existence. And as Ervin said, we’re telling the exact same story. You know, slightly different ways of telling the narrative, which makes it exciting, but it’s the same story.
In their dialogue, Ervin Laszlo and Marc Gafni share about the Second Shock of Existence, the New Renaissance, Evolutionary Love, and Unique Self Enlightenment as well as cutting-edge topics like supercoherence, self-organization, and the Unique Self Symphony.