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The Pattern
of the World

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Copyright Siti Salamah Pope 2007

The moral right of the author has been asserted.

Published by Hilltop Farm Press,

an imprint of Hilltop Farm Pty Ltd.
3 Outtrim Road,
Glen Forrest,
Western Australia 6071

In association with
SICA The Subud International Cultural Association
The Gaia Foundation of Western Australia

Printed by Booksurge

National Library of Australia Cataloguing-in-Publication entry:

Author: Pope, Siti Salamah (Siti Salamah Jennifer Graham), 1933-

Title: The pattern of the world / author, Siti Salamah Pope.
Edition: 2nd ed.
Publisher: Glen Forrest, WA: Hilltop Farm Press, 2007.
ISBN: 9780980378009 (pbk.)
Notes: Includes index.
Subjects: Cosmology.
Gaia hypothesis.
Philosophy and science.
Science and religion.

Dewey Number: 113

The Pattern of the World

This is an essay about an entire, holistic paradigm of process, a


(It should be fairly easy to read Ive tried to make it so.)

Its origin lies in a mind-blowing experience I had of cosmic con-

sciousness in September 1978

and then found the pattern that I saw repeated again and again
in Indonesian culture, and in various academic disciplines,

in different wordsin Jung, in Whitehead, in E.F. Schumacher,

and so on.

As no publisher wanted to touch this book,

I put it first on my web site www.worldpattern.net so those who

were interested in new ideas could read it without waiting any

However, there were some things missing: tables, Appendices (on

Subud and on Whitehead), bibliography, index etc.

Here it is now, complete, but still imperfect.

And the whole is still in process.

The Pattern of the World:
Re-Envisioning Everything
(including us)

The world pattern of process

as a holistic paradigm,
a theory of everything
and a cosmology fit for Gaia


Siti Salamah Pope


To the memory of Bapak
R. M. Muhammad Subuh Sumohadiwidjojo


When there is no vision, the people perish

Proverbs 29: 18

Now I a fourfold vision see,

And a fourfold vision is given to me;
Tis fourfold in my supreme delight
And threefold in soft Beulahs night
And twofold Always. May God us keep
From Single vision & Newtons sleep!

William Blake
With happiness stretchd across the hills (1802)

Four Warnings

1. This is a book of philosophybut I am an anthropologist

2. There are occasional references in here to the late Pak

Subuh, whom I have called the sage of Java. To know more, turn
to the Glossary, and to Appendix 1.

3. You will also find some purposely, positively, appallingly

puny puns in here, partly because I think we need to make far
more use of the number Four and partly because it is ridiculous
even to attempt to condense the Grand Pattern of the world into
little black marks on thin sheets of white stuff.

So, good reader, remember thisand fourgive me.

4. I dislike the look of the three-letter word which tends to

mean Ultimate Reality, Supreme Consciousness, the Creator of the
Universe and so on, so where necessary I shall add to a growing
tradition of labelling ItG-d.



PART 1 Zat: Introduction and Conception

Particle 1.i Forewords...........................................................................3
Foreword 1: The need for a new story .........................................3
Foreword 2: Preliminary ..................................................................4
Foreword 3: How the idea arrived .................................................5
Foreword 4: Afterwards.................................................................11
Foreword 5: The state of the world ..............................................13
Foreword 6: Moving towards wholeness ....................................17
Foreword 7: About this book.........................................................21
Particle 1.ii Introducing Cosmologies..............................................26
What is a cosmology? .....................................................................26
The uses of a cosmology. ...............................................................34
Types of traditional cosmologies ..................................................37
Pak Subuhs cosmologiesplural ................................................42
A ninefold cosmology .......................................................................... 42
The sevenfold cosmology .................................................................... 44
A Sufi cosmology .................................................................................. 44
Fourfold processual cosmologies ....................................................... 45

PART 2 Sifat: Development

Gaias Cosmologythe Skeleton, and the Flesh..............................51
Particle 2.i Abstract: the skeleton ......................................................54
Particle 2.ii Concrete: the flesh..........................................................66
The two most common concrete exemplars................................66
The four elements............................................................................66
The chain of being ...........................................................................69
Minerals.................................................................................................. 70
Plants....................................................................................................... 71
Animals .................................................................................................. 80
Humankind............................................................................................ 88

Particle 2.iii Four energies .................................................................91

The coarsest energy: Matter, or Schumachers m.....................96
The second energy: Life, or Schumachers x.............................97
The third energy: Will and motivations, or
Schumachers y .............................................................101
The power of locomotion................................................................... 103
The power of intelligence .................................................................. 103
The power of feeling and desire ....................................................... 104
The power of co-operation ................................................................ 104
The fourth energy: Transformation: the human spirit, or
Schumachers z .............................................................107
Summary ........................................................................................112
Particle 2.iv An interlude ...............................................................113
Particle 2.v A Sufi model of creation..............................................118
Particle 2.vi Return to the skeleton .................................................125
Introduction. ..................................................................................125
Commonalities in the exemplars ................................................128
The four parts (bones) as categories ...........................................132
On boundaries, and contexts.......................................................139
On dualities....................................................................................141
On four types of behaviour. ........................................................146
On relations and conformations .................................................151
Wholes, holons, and even a bit about health ............................158
On comparisons.............................................................................162
On hierarchies................................................................................164
Summary: the fuzzy (but holistic) skeleton...............................167
Particle 2.vii Diversity in a greater unity: the general system ..170

PART 3 Asma: The SynthesisIdentity

Putting it all to work: information Gaias cosmology gives us....181
Particle 3.i Human being, and human becoming.........................183
Our material energy......................................................................185
Our vegetal life energy.................................................................187
Our animal level energymotivations .....................................194
Our human energy........................................................................203


Particle 3.ii A greater framework: ontogeny, phylogeny, and

other stuff ..............................................................................226
Ontogeny: the four stages of a human life?...............................227
Phylogeny: a brief history of humankind..................................233
Where are we now? ......................................................................238
A holistic world? ...........................................................................242
The end of morality?.....................................................................247
Particle 3.iii On human values: good, evil, ethics, conscience, and
happiness ...............................................................................250
The seven traditional virtues.......................................................253
Human values ...............................................................................263
The Virtues project........................................................................269
A list of purely human values? ...................................................282
The pursuit of happiness .............................................................286
Culture, highand culture, low.................................................287
PART 4 Afal: Outcomesa better world?
Introduction ...................................................................................295
More benefits of a cosmology fit for Gaia .................................298
Four levels of language? ..............................................................301
On the analysis of concepts .........................................................303
On the number Four itself............................................................305
Educating for a sustainable world..............................................311
A trifle on truths............................................................................320
Towards burn-outor transcendence? .....................................323
Apologia .........................................................................................326
Glossary of terms ................................................................................327
Appendix 1: Subud and its founder, Pak Subuh............................331
Appendix 2: The cosmology of A. N. Whitehead ..........................333
Bibliography ........................................................................................344
Index. ................................................................................................355


Figures and Tables

Figure 1: Yin-Yang symbol..31

Figure 2: Structures of different fourfold cosmologies....41
Figure 3: Jungs House...232

Table 1: Some of the traditional cosmologies40

Table 2: The four formally different stages of the Grand Pattern..61
Table 3: Jantschs spiral process of evolution in fourfold stages...65
Table 4: Exemplars of the four stages of process....137
Table 5: Dualities.144
Table 6: Four types of behaviour..147
Table 7: States of existence in the skeleton..168



Introduction and Conception

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(Format: global whole, random, atomistic)

Particle 1.i Forewords
Foreword 1: The need for a new story
It is doubtful... that there is an original idea left in the world.
But that, of course, is of no consequence since only children
believe in new ideas: rather one wants to have the old ideas
rearranged in a relevant pattern... and no one has done that, in
our time at least.
Gore Vidal, The Judgement of Paris
(my emphasis)

The common story today runs like this: weyou and I, and
everyone elseare the products of chance, random mutations and
natural selection, the survival of the fittest; and we live on a
small planet on the outskirts of a very minor galaxy. This is the
story today, promoted to children by schools, colleges, universi-
ties, the media and governments.
It follows that we are not connected with one another, and we
dont have any effect on anyone or anything else; we are all sepa-
rate; our lives have little to do with the natural world, and we
must buy and consume, consume and buy, in order to survive and
keep the economy going. So along with rampant materialism and
the consequent pollution of the earth go other sorts of pollution:
psychological, social and even spiritual pollution.
There is an alternative story, which says the opposite. This
says that it looks as though, if we do not change our ways now,
we will soon use up the resources of this planet and in doing so
wreck the entire natural world: that we must live gently on the
planet, livingas they saywith a light footprint.
But alas, this alternative story, although good and true in its
way, is just not enough. It simply takes the opposite line to the
common story, saying we must all respect all of Nature and live
simply, consuming as little as possible, growing our own food,
and composting and recycling everything. Its a very nice idea, but
it cant offer much hope or genuine satisfaction while multi-
national corporations go about their big business uninterrupted.
This alternative story neither halts the increasing fragmentation of
our world nor helps put Humpty Dumpty together again; it may

feel good, but it gives little hope and no meaning for civilisation as
a whole.
The aim of this book is to tell a third story, which may at first
seem strange and different and new but is really very ancient. This
story describes one traditional cosmology, the unseen pattern of
the world, and the many, many things it shows us.
This story will satisfy our hearts as well as our heads, and
show us how to live together in harmony with this planet.
If ideas change the world, then this ancient cosmologythis
third story, about a Grand Pattern of process running through life,
the universe and everythingcould, I think, help to bring every-
thing together again and save the world, and our grandchildren,
from us.


Foreword 2: Preliminary
It might well be said of me that here I have merely made up a
bunch of other men's flowers, and provided nothing of my
own but the string to bind them.
Michel de Montaigne (15331592), Essays III, xii.

Primary schools, high schools, colleges and universities tell us

there are no answers to the Big Questions of life. This is wrong.
There are hundreds, probably thousands, of answers. Every cul-
ture except the modern scientific western one has answersbig
ideas which answer the Big Questions.
So the ideas in this book are not new, and some of them are
very ancient indeed. All I have done is to select a few from among
the many, taking a bunch of them which correspond formally to
each otherand which can (I think) stand up to scientific scrutiny.
Put together, they form a holistic picture of our planet and per-
haps even the rest of the universe. This is not your ordinary
picture, though. It shows that everything is connected and hangs
together, and that there is meaning in things.
It began with a vision of unity. Not a dream, but a waking vi-
sion. For some reasonand it wasnt drugs!I slipped into a
different state of consciousness. It was as though I was suddenly


plugged into the universe. I saw how it was all working. And that
you and Iand every single other person aliveare a vital part of
that enormous, living, working, dynamic whole. Small as we are,
we count: we are effectiveeven influentialparts of it all, of the
great Whole which is Gaia, the perfect planet we live on.
So come with me into a quite different conception of the
world. But first, let me tell you how it began for me, with the ori-
ginal waking vision.


Foreword 3: How the idea arrived

Blessed are they who have seen these things. They know the
end of life, and they know the God-given beginnings.
Pindar (5th Cent. BCE)

Once upon a time I had a vision. It came to me unwanted and un-

asked for, and it showed me that a simple pattern of process runs
right through everything on scales from the atomic to the cosmic.
Yet it is a very simple idea and I am a very simple person, so this
is a very simple book. It is a book of philosophybut not the diffi-
cult kind of academic philosophy that people spend years
As a child of Fabian parents, I grew up believing that we or-
dinary people had to help save the world. Or at least whole-
heartedly to help other people do so. There is no God, they said
dogmatically, those active, argumentative, atheistic parents of
mine. God is like Father Christmas, dear: you grow out of him.
We are all there is and we have to help each other. Share the
wealth, and help the poor and the maimed. Of course, therefore,
as a rebellious, unbelieving teenager, totally unconcerned with
their humane sentiments, I set outof course, of course!to look
for spirituality and/or G-d. And I found both. (This is not the
place to write about this. But if you are interested you can read
something about Subud in Appendix 1, where it is no hindrance to
this story.) So it was natural, when that vision tumbled me on to
some amazing ideas which I thought could help change the world,
that I got hooked on them. And as I grew older and found unity in


myself, my Self, I became even more obsessed with them. Jung

says, somewhere in his Answer to Job, that we do not possess a
metaphysic: a metaphysic possesses us. And at times I still feel
possessed by this vision.
Back in September 1978 I went back to school to finish a de-
gree at Goddard College. Goddard is a small college in the quiet
hills and woods near Plainfield, a part of the University of Ver-
mont in the northeast of the USA. I was 45, and Goddard has an
Adult Degree Program. I had flown there from West Java in
Indonesia, where I was living with my family. By the time I ar-
rived in Vermont Id been travelling for over 50 hours with almost
no sleep. And once Id arrived at Goddard everything was so dif-
ferent (from tropical Indonesia) and so fascinating that I got
hardly any sleep there, either. Also the food was bland and taste-
lessawful. So what with one thing and another, by the time
classes began a day or two later I was in a very different statein
fact I was blissfully happy, high from lack of food and sleep.
As new, incoming students, we were given a list of ten
courses out of which to choose the three we wanted to take. I dis-
carded one immediately. It was called The Developmental
Paradigm in Child Psychology. I didnt know what a paradigm
was, and I wasnt interested in children (Id got four of my own)
let alone in their psychology. I crossed that one out and made my
selection from the other nine.
The next morning was Monday, 10 September, and classes
were due to start at 9.00 am. After breakfast in the dining hall I set
outstill blissfully highfor the first class I had chosen. Being in
a rather strange state, it really didnt worry me when I noticed that
my legs were taking me in the wrong direction. When my legs and
I stopped walking, I found myself in a large and comfortable sit-
ting room with wall-to-wall wine-coloured carpeting and all the
furniture pushed against the walls. There were a few people al-
ready in there, sitting around on the floor. All this felt kind of
familiarafter all, the Subud spiritual latihan that Id been practis-
ing for years was held in places like thisso I sat down
comfortably on the carpet.
Whats going on here? I asked someone sitting nearby.


Its Anita Landas course on the developmental paradigm in

child psychology, he said. Damn, I thought, Ive come to the
worst possible class. But for some unknown reason I stayed. It was
as though my legs had brought me here, to this lovely, large room
Id never known existed, sat me down on the floor, andwell,
they just didnt seem to want to move on. Perhaps I was meant to
stay hereI certainly couldnt be bothered to go anywhere else.
And in spite of my lack of interest in the title of the class, just be-
ing there and sitting on the deep red carpet with other people felt
right. Bemused, I sat there at peace with myself and the world,
open and waiting, while more people trickled into the room and
joined us on the carpet, until the lecturer arrived.
This was Anita Landa, a bright, beautiful, shining, silver-
haired American Jewish woman of about 50. Get into groups of
five, and sit on the floor in circles, she said briskly. I found myself
with two men and two other women, one of whom was a wonder-
fully soft-looking young woman with masses of long brown hair
and large soft hands and greeny, organicky-looking clothes. She
was a potter, I found out later, and I think her name was Sheilagh.
Anita then brought a big basket of junk over to us and emp-
tied its contents out onto the floor in the middle of our little circle.
It was, literally, junk. Bottle-tops, match-boxes, broken bits of toys,
pencil stubsjunk. And there it all was, in a big pile, in front of us
as we five sat round it on the thick, wine-red carpet.
All right, said Anita, Im not going to discuss things, or an-
swer any questions. You are just to SORT this.
Now, Im a slow, careful sort of person. I like structure, pro-
cedures. Part of my mind wanted to know how, and what kind of
things and categories she wanted us to sort things intoI mean,
unless she told us what she wanted, how could we... ?
Yet, while my mind was ticking over and wondering, the soft
and lovely potter beside me started picking out some things from
the big pile and putting them down in front of her. They were all
wooden things. Ah ha, thought I, shes just picking out what she
likes: well, Ill do that tooand I began picking out all the round
things from the pile. Pretty soon the other three got the message
and we were all sorting things, taking them from the pile of junk.


After a few minutes, the huge pile of junk had vanished, and
there was a space again in front of us in the middle of our circle.
But now, around its edges near our knees were a lot of little piles
ofyessorted things. I felt good. We had done what this beauti-
ful woman, Anita, wanted and I felt relieved, delightfully happy
and at peace.
Well done, said Anita, adding firmly, now: no questions, no
instructions, except GO ON. And again I was flummoxed.
But I went on sitting there, happy and bemused, waiting to
see what would happen. I seemed to be in a bubble of silence, and
it felt like eternity before anyone moved and then it was Sheilagh
again. She leant over and, from the little pile of round things in
front of me, plucked an elderly, battered, ping pong ball. This she
put down slowly, almost ceremoniously, into the empty centre of
our circle. And then carefully she began arranging her wooden
things around it.
Soon we were all at it, arranging the things from all the dif-
ferent separate little piles of bits and pieces of junk around the
growing construction in the centre. It was like building a sandcas-
tle, or a childs castle of bricks. I was entranced, both doing it and
watching it happening and growing.
When wed finished, Anita said crisply, bursting into my rev-
erie (if that is what it was), Now tell me, what have you done? At
which point the silent, skinny young man opposite me snorted
and laughed and said, From junk weve built a castle. I looked up
at Anita. She was smiling her beautiful, enigmatic smile, and she
said, Youve left out a crucial part of the process. From chaos,
through separation, you have constructed a citadel.
And this, said Anita simply, is the pattern of the world.
At this point something happened to me. I have no idea what
it was in fact, but what it seemed like was that my head exploded,
with an inrush of the subtle energy of the Subud spiritual latihan
force. It was as if a fine current of divine electricity was running
riot all through my brain. There seemed to be little lights going on
and off in there, like those old bagatelle board games with little
lamps that light up when little balls touch them: and suddenly I was
locked into the life of the universe.


There is no other way to describe it. Everything was exactly

the same: yet, at the same time, everything was absolutely differ-
ent. The universe was a living whole, and I was a tiny part of it. It
was alive. And everything mattered, every-thing counted,
EVERYTHING. Everything was working together, and alive. And
there, ordering and organising this everything, was Anitas pat-
tern: from chaos, through separation, to union. Within that great
union I saw that I was an intimate part of everything, and every-
thing was an intimate part of me. There was no separation
boundaries, yes: but no separation. I, along with everyone and
everything else, was an integral part of the worlds on-going pro-
cess, part of the development of the earth our planet: and
everything was gloriously, vitally Alive, growing and developing
in that pattern and intensely joyful. I saw the upward trend in
things that I had never even suspected existed before. And every-
thing was moving, progressing, developingas Anita had said
from chaos, through separation, to union and onward fur-
ther still.
And at the same time it dawned on me, I saw, I suddenly
KNEW, that the old guessing game, the categories of the animal,
vegetable, mineral parlour game, and also Pak Subuhs1 four
natural forces or energies (the material, plant, animal and human)
which make up both us and our planet, all followed this same pat-
tern of the world.


So there it all was: the Pattern of all Patterns, shown by a big

pile of junk, separated into different little piles, and then a cita-
dela construction, a united whole. Beginning, middle and end.
But ah, there is a fourth stage! Anita didnt include that, and
didnt want to take it on board when I tackled her about it a few
days later. But it was there at the time for me to see: the great ar-
chetypes of Chaos, Separation and Union move on beyond that
third stage union to another stage of Chaos, but now on a
greaterand transcendentscale. Even though the castle wed

See Glossary and Appendix 1.


builtthe citadelwas finished, the pattern of process went on.

From that completed construction, which was a united, organised
whole, came a mixed bunch of results that were different from
anything that had gone before. (My mind-blowing vision was just
one of them, I realised later.) So the whole pattern really went:
Chaos, Separation, Union, and Transcendence. And some of the
transcendent results were the beginnings of other, further, pro-
cessesperhaps on ad infinitum. The Pattern of all Patterns was
an open-ended spiral in-forming everything.
And there it is, take it or leave it: the fourfold, Grand Pattern
of the World, the world pattern of process, progress, evolution, and
development. The creative advance, Whitehead called it. Science
knows about entropy, how everything sooner or later runs down,
decays and disintegrates into chemical equilibrium: well, this
shows its oppositenegative entropy, the form of the evolutionary
Onward and Upward trend.
The principle of Goddards Adult Degree Program was (and
is, its still going strong) that, every six months, you go there for
two weeks, meet the faculty, do some courses and set up your
study schedule: and then you go home and spend the next five
and a half months studying and researching, and mailing your
work in to your particular tutor. So after Vermont I went on round
the world and back to West Java. The familymy husband, his
old mother who was living with us, and three of our children
had survived my absence, and I was relieved to be safely back
And I forgot all about the vision Id seen, and the Grand Pat-
tern of the-world-in-process. This may sound inconceivable, but
its exactly what happened.



Foreword 4: Afterwards
The pattern which connectsWhat is the pattern which
Gregory Bateson, Mind and Nature (his emphasis)

The subject Id chosen to study that semester at Goddard was:

What are the differences between animals and humans? Dick
Hathaway, the tutor who had been assigned to me, was one of the
core lecturers on the faculty. He was a Quaker, a marvellously
large man in body and spirit, a historian, a man with a heart as
well as a head. His office was filled, stuffed, overflowing with
books, magazines, and papers, and on the outside of the door was
pinned a large notice saying HOPE. While at Goddard that first
time, I had drawn up a nice tight study plan for him with goals
and objectives and criteria and I forget what other limitations, and
this marvellous man had roared at me, Throw it away, Salamah!
This is no goodthrow it out the window! Let yourself go!
Dick had also given me a list of books he suggested I try and
read, but had added, You wont be able to get many of them in
Indonesia, so just go away, go home, and write me a journal about
whatever you can find to read there, on what it means to be hu-
So I did. I read, and I wrote, practically non-stop, for about
four months. I gobbled books and became very critical, saying (in
my journal, my daily out-pourings and letters to Dick), This
book Im reading is good, this one is excellent, this one is rubbish,
this one is partly rightas if I knew what I was talking about: as
if I had a philosophy of my own by which to judge things. Because
I wasas I found out! (how ignorant I was)studying philoso-
As Dick, in Vermont, read my out-pourings from Indonesia,
he must have spotted this because he wrote back and suggested I
write something about my own philosophy. So I sat down to think
about and write out my philosophy for himand for myself.
Because although I was in my forties I really didnt know what I
thought, deeply, about things. All I knew was that I seemed to
have a criterion, a yardstick or something inside me which told me


if what people were saying in their books was right and true, or
wrong, or somewhere in between.
To cut a long story short, I did discover what philosophy
there was in me: it was based on that living pattern of process I
had seen in Anitas class four months earlierand clean forgotten
about. This shocked me. How on earthI now asked myself
could I have forgotten that extraordinary experience, that tremen-
dous vision? To this day I still dont know, but can only suppose I
needed a buffer, a shock-absorber, for some weeks. It was strange,
though, that I had had to come at this pattern of the world from
one perspective, from a very different angle, before I found it
again, so to speak. Well, there was a difference of course: at God-
dard it had discovered me (or, rather, it had dumped itself on
me)whereas I had now discovered it.
And basically, since then I have been working on and with
this Grand Patternwhich is so simple that it really does seem to
be Batesons pattern which connectsexamining it, and finding
out a lot more about it. And at the same time discovering concrete,
traditional Indonesian cosmologies which correspond to it for-
mally, and also Whiteheads own cosmology in his great work,
Process and Reality. I have also been writing papers and lecturing
on it, trying to get information about it out into the world.
Humankind needs a new paradigm, a holistic way of seeing
everything, a new story. A way to rethink and Re-Envision the
world and ourselves. A simple method of putting an end to frag-
mentation and incoherence, a way to put Humpty Dumpty
together again. And this the pattern shows usand many other
things, such as not only how the world works and how everything
fits in together, but what it means to be a human being. The pur-
pose and meaning of humanand all otherlife. And some other
answers to the Big Questions.



Foreword 5: The state of the world

All things by immortal power,
Near or far,
To each other linked are,
That thou canst not stir a flower
Without troubling of a star.
Francis Thompson, (l8591907), The Mistress of Vision v. 22

As I said earlier, the natural world, our environment, Gaia, our

earth mother, is in troubleand so, therefore, are we. This worries
me. I worry about my grandchildrens lives in five, ten, twenty
years time. So I go on rallies and marches, I hug trees and I sub-
scribe to wilderness, permaculture, deep ecology and other
organisations dedicated to caring for the environment. I volunteer,
I knock on doors to fund-raise and I compost or recycle every little
thing I can. I guess Im obsessed with the state of the environment:
but, if ordinary people like me dont get involved, weand the
world around usare in real trouble.
A few months after the Earth Summit in Rio in 1992, which
pulled together to focus on Sustainability the largest gathering of
national leaders in history, a document called World Scientists
Warning to Humanity was issued to the press. David Suzuki, en-
vironmentalist extraordinaire, quotes this in his book The Sacred
Balance. It begins:

Human beings and the natural world are on a collision course.

Human activities inflict harsh and often irreversible damage on
the environment and on critical resources. If not checked,
many of our current practices put at serious risk the future that
we wish for human society and the plant and animal
kingdoms, and may so alter the living world that it will be
unable to sustain life in the manner that we know.
Fundamental changes are urgent if we are to avoid the
collision our present course will bring about. No more than one
or a few decades remain before the chance to avert the threats
we now confront will be lost and the prospects for humanity
immeasurably diminished. We, the undersigned, senior
members of the worlds scientific community, hereby warn all
humanity of what lies ahead. (1997: 4)


This grave warning was signed by over one thousand six

hundred senior scientists from seventy one countries, including
over half of all the living Nobel Prize winners. But did the press
take any notice? No. The New York Times, for example, rejected it
as not newsworthy. So even though the environment is in deep
trouble, and we who live in it equally so, few seem to care. We need
more flag wavers like David Suzuki! He continues:

In these remarkable times virtually any economist, industrial

leader or politician making wildly speculative pronounce-
ments on the global economy, the stock market or the price of
gold can gain immediate attention in the popular media. Yet
when more than half of all Nobel Prize winners suggest that
we may have as little as one decade to get off our suicidal path,
those same media find this statement unworthy of coverage.
(1997: 6)

Even today, after the disastrous summer of the hurricanes,

the American president has still not declared that the USA will
honour the Agreement or protocol made in Kyoto, five years af-
ter Rio, to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, because it is not in
the interests of our business and industry to do so. Yet Americans
are the chief offenders in the insane race to destroy our world. Al-
though they are only five percent of the worlds population, the
wealthy citizens of the USA use up some 59% of the worlds re-
sources and contribute 37% of all greenhouse gas emissions. Isnt
it time that the leaders of the modern world woke up, and took
some interest in our common future? Dont they want their grand-
children to live, too?
So much for the environment: but what about the invi-
ronment?2 Where are we going to inwardly, spiritually? Perhaps
our treatment of the environment is callous because we have no
feeling forno feeling of connection withthe natural world. We
walk on concrete floors, we drive in metal boxes on thick tarmac
roads, we spend all day working in air-conditioned offices, and
we sleep under ceilings a few feet above our heads. We are cut off
from the natural world, from the earth and the sky, the plants and

I am indebted to the late Varindra Tarzie Vittachi of UNICEF for this


animals around us. What is even worse, by living in the modern

way we seem to be losing our connections with family and friends
too; stress is increasing the incidents of domestic violence and
child abuse, and there are almost half as many divorces as there
are marriages. Where have our love and compassion for each
other gone?
It seems to me as though we have been forced, by circum-
stances, to die inwardlyor at the very least that our soul has
been tucked away and put to sleep, alienated from the natural
world and from ties to other people around us. Yet, for better or
worse, the environment out there and the invironmentthat is,
what is in you and in meare a unity; and everything we think
and do effects changes in the world: just as everything that hap-
pens to the natural world affects us. Yet we are unconscious of all
this. And, every year, thousands and thousands of young people
taught the modern, scientific version of Reality commit suicide
because they feel alienated, empty, and can see no reason to hope,
or live.
I believe that to renew our forebears connection with all life
we need to incorporate spirituality into our daily lifeinto our
breathing, eating, making love, and living and working in this
world. I believe, too, that David Suzuki is right when he says that
renewing the sacred balance of spirit and matter, of matter and
spirit, is our key to changing the worldand to our survival.
But there is one more thing that seems to be necessary. We
need, as I said earlier, another story, a story which gives us a
working model of the world. We need to Re-Envision how every-
thing functions together and connects overall; we need to dis-
cover the unitive knowledge that our ancient ancestors had of the
natural world and of our place in it, which time and the sciences
have buried. We need, in short, a new and holistic paradigm showing
the connections between the outer and the inner, the environment
and the invironment, the sciences and the humanities. We need a
holistic cosmology!
Today, as the crack has it, we know more and more about
less and less. The sciences are dividing themselves up into ever
more specialities, and everything else follows. Modern life grows
ever more fragmented, and the biosphere is being destroyed

because our intrinsic connection with nature, with animals, plants,

and even the very earth we live on, is being ignored. Yet physics,
oddly enough, is now saying that everything is connected to every-
thing else: oddly enough because physicists have come back to
the belief that traditional peoples still holdthat you and I and
the rest of humanity are one huge whole, one united species, in
which everything you and I do affects everything else in the world
around us. Is science is catching up with mythology? Or perhaps,
as T.S. Eliot says in Little Gidding,

We shall not cease from exploration

And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time

I love that, to arrive where we started/And know the place

for the first time. To ensure our survival we need to re-think and
Re-Envision our world and our place in it; we need indeed to
know the place for the first time. Not go back to the old holistic
ways of looking at it, ways held by Aboriginal and First Nations
peoplebecause those ways were many and various. Then came
modern times and the universal methodology of the sciences: but
this too was flawed because it was incomplete; it saw no connec-
tions and no cohesion and allowed no space for unseens. Now we
need to move on, past the different perceptions and cultures of
early societies, past the materialism and fragmentation that the
sciences and secular life have bequeathed us, into a new percep-
tion of the wholeness, the coherence and synergy and unity of
biological and human life with this planet. We need to move on to a
cosmological vision of wholeness.
To repeat: we need a new story, to bring it alland all of us
with ittogether. Knowing this wholeness, as Eliot says, for the
first time. With a new paradigm, a new and coherent vision of
ourselves-in-the-world we can Re-Envision everythingincluding
you, me, and the rest of humankind.



Foreword 6: Moving towards wholeness

Within the last century or so, many claims have been made at
the edge or border of science... for example, that we have vast,
untapped powers, or that unseen forces are about to save us
from ourselves, or that there is a still unacknowledged pattern and
harmony to the universe.
Carl Sagan, 1979 (my emphasis)

Sagan was being skeptical, even facetious here. Yet, once upon a
time (you might say), the modern worlds move onwards to
wholeness, pattern and harmony had already begunwith a great
man, a mathematician-turned-philosopher. Born in Kent in the UK
on 15 February 1861, the son of an English clergyman, Alfred
North Whitehead spent the last and most productive part of his
life in the USA. He was the first modern philosopher to recognise
that the new physics had knocked the modern materialistic and
reductionist bottom out of the entire edifice of human thought.
Earlier, in 1905, Whitehead, along with Bertrand Russell, had pub-
lished the vast two-volume Principia Mathematica, which for
decades was a highly respectedthough rarely readtome. Ber-
trand Russell went on to become a well-known philosopher; he
broadcast on the BBC and there were pictures of him in the news-
papers. Before and after the Second World War he was a
household name, a popular personality to the man in the street.
Whitehead, thoughapparentlyjust faded out of the picture.
But in 1924 Whitehead, his wife and family had gone to New
England. At the age of 63 he had been offeredand had ac-
ceptedthe prestigious Chair of the Philosophy Department at
Harvard. Quite how he got from mathematics to philosophy I
dont know, but theres a saying among Whiteheadians today that
the first philosophy class Whitehead ever went into was the one
he began teaching there! Anyway, from Harvard over the next
twenty years he published a few very interesting but today little-
read books. Whitehead came to the conclusion that a cosmology is
what this scientific age is lacking. In place of the solid, fixed material
reality of the old classical Newtonian physics, he suggested that
all Reality was in process: in 1928 he published a monumental


work, Process and Reality, which is subtitled, please note, An Essay

in Cosmology.
In this major opus, half a century before James Lovelock ever
dreamed of the Gaia Hypothesis, Whitehead described the world
in organic terms, as an entity, an organism: and as a being con-
stantly in the process of change and development. As he says, the
actual world is a process, and that the process is the becoming of
actual entities (1978: 22).
Unfortunately Whiteheads language is not only peculiar but
obscure; and this makes it so difficult to understand that only a
few Whiteheadian scholars botherand most of them are theolo-
gians with little or no interest in cosmology or the sciences. Yet
amongst the verbiage of PR, as Process and Reality is called for
short by the pundits, is Whiteheads own fourfold cosmology,3 a
fourfold pattern of processwhich is much the same as a cosmol-
ogy that is still used in traditional Indonesia and which was most
recently used, discussed and clarified by the sage of Java, Pak
Subuh. But, alas, as a traditional cosmologist, I have to say there
are some things about cosmologies that Whitehead didnt quite
understand. (Nor, I must add, do todays astrophysicists and
physical cosmologists!) Overall, though, I thinkif a cat may look
at a king, or a shrimp a whaleWhitehead, alone among modern
philosophers, got it (more or less) right.
After Whitehead, several other influential academics also
came to recognise the need for a completely differentan organ-
ismic, a holisticway of thinking. Among them was Ludwig von
Bertalanffy, the Austrian polymath who started the inter-
disciplinary, enigmatically named General Systems movement.
In 1959, in a now famous essay called The two Cultures, physicist
and novelist C.P. Snow articulated the split between scientists and
technologists on the one hand, and artists and humanists on the
other. Others similarly concerned were anthropologist Gregory
Batesonanother multi-disciplinary scholar; and another, the
maverick Arthur Koestler; Ernest Gellner the English philosopher
and anthropologist; and perhaps most influential of all, the great
Swiss psychologist Carl Gustav Jung. Like Whitehead, they all

For a description of this in his own words, see Appendix 2.


saw clearly the need for a new and holistic foundation for human
thought, a synthesis which includes yet moves on beyond the ma-
terialistic, reductionist paradigm. Is it three, or four? asked Jung.
Von Bertalanffy (1973) did more than just write about it.
Earlier, in the mid-thirties, he set up, with a group of like-minded
scholars, the Society for General Systems Research,4 which over
the years and decades managed gradually to switch the emphasis
of some scientists in different disciplines from their endless analy-
sis and ever more fragmentation to a more systemicthat is,
integrated, synthetic, and holisticapproach.
But it was Gregory Bateson, looking for similar general sys-
tems or patterns, as he called them, in plants and animals and
humans and starsin and across different academic disciplines
who coined the phrase, the pattern which connects. He didnt
find the pattern, though. What pattern connects the crab to the
lobster and the orchid to the primrose and all the four of them to
me? And me to you? he asked (1980: 8).
Another distinguished anthropologist, Ernest Gellner, was af-
ter much the same thing when he sought a single (or failing that,
non-numerous) and explicitly formulated unifying principle or
idea (1974: 45). Since then, among many others, the late Sutan
Takdir Alisjahbana, the grand old man of Letters in pre- and post-
World War II Indonesia, looked for ideas which promoted con-
vergence (1974); and Ervin Laszlo, in The Creative Cosmos,
discussed the need for a transdisciplinary unification and a uni-
fied interactive dynamics (UID) (1993). More recently still, E.O.
Wilson, the once controversial founder of Sociobiology, searched
for ways to unify the disciplines in a book he titled Consilience
which, he explains, means jumping together:

Alas, in 1987 this was taken over by a group of pragmatic English engi-
neers and technicians with interests in transport systems, management
systems, and so on. They even got the name of the Society changed: it is
now the IFSSS, the International Federation of System Science Soci-
etiesso there is now no longer any hope from that direction for a
General Theory of Systems, let alone a systemic (= unitive, integrative)
change in human thought.


We are approaching a new age of synthesis, when the testing

of consilience is the greatest of all intellectual challenges... .
Science offers the boldest metaphysics of the age. It is a
thoroughly human construct, driven by the faith that if we
dream, press to discover, explain, and dream again, thereby
plunging repeatedly into new terrain, the world will somehow
come clearer and we will grasp the true strangeness of the
universe. And the strangeness will all prove to be connected
and make sense .
Win or lose, true reform will aim at the consilience of
science with the social sciences and humanities.
(1998: 1011)

Even more recently, a posthumously-issued book by Stephen Jay

Gould is sub-titled Mending the Gap Between Science and the Hu-
In spite of all these bridging and integrative notions, and
scholarly inching towards a holistic view of the world to match
the discoveries of quantum physics, the modern world hurtles
along its analytical and materialistic track, fragmenting it still fur-
ther and totally ignoring the fact that the sciences now know that
matter is not the Real Thing.
Yet as Whitehead said, without a cosmology, or a Theory of
Everything, a rational and holistic foundation for thought, noth-
ing makes sense. Nothing hangs together, nothing seems
Perhaps what scientists and the disciplines they influence
havent cottoned on to yet is the medium-sized picture. They may
scan the farthest heavens and go back in time to the Big Bang, and
they can inspect the sub-atomic world that underlies what we
know as physical existence (macrocosm and microcosm have re-
vealed a lot to scientists in the last hundred years) but the middle
ground has rather escaped their notice. As above, so below, say
esoteric traditionsbut what about the heart, the centre? Great big
daddy bear they may know, little baby bear they may know, but
medium-sized mummy bear hasas usualbeen ignored. Or,
perhaps, treated as if it belonged to the same dead, physical, em-
pirical order of things.
This middle ground, though, and this third story, is that
there is a simple pattern at large in the world, right under our noses.


And, as Ill show you, it runs right through life, the universe and
everything, connecting everything to everything else. But, in-
structed and informed as we are by old-fashioned teachers
teaching old-fashioned physics, the modern materialistic para-
digm and our brilliant education can only encourage us to
analyse and take everything to its lowest common denominator. It
never occurs to us that there might be a Grand Pattern operating
throughout the world. But there is, and on Monday 10th Septem-
ber 1978 I was shown it.
Having seen the vision, I then began to find bits of itor
even the whole thingwritten about in books and papers, though
in different sets of jargon. Physical cosmologists used one set, ec-
onomists another, biologists, psychologists and sociologists yet
others. So I tried to put it all together, translating it into a simple
language, and found it all fitted into one simple model showing
an underlying Reality beneath all the appearances. This is what
this book is about: a newyet ancientstory.


Foreword 7: About this book

The world around us makes perfect sense only if we look at it
through the eyes of unity.
Sheikh Fadhlalla Haeri

This story is a philosophical system based on a simple fourfold

pattern of process. Its not a new philosophy. On the contrary, its
original basis is very old indeed. But, like someone finding a valu-
able antique piece of furniture, I have shorn it of the debris and
accretions of age, cleaned it and fixed it up and polished it so it is
useable again. And this story, so simple that anyone can read it, is
about everything, and the meaning of everything. Without reli-
gion, without faith or beliefs: just based on observations of the
Grand Pattern that you can see in the natural orderonce you know
how and where to look for it.
Its a matter of perception. Remember those apparently ran-
dom black blobs on white paper which you were shown, perhaps
as a child, and were supposed to see as a proper pictureand


couldnt? But once youd been told what the picture was of, those
black blobs all seemed to fall into place and made senseand then
you could easily see what the picture was!
This is the story I have to tell. Its a story about process, and
progress, development and evolution, and how, by seeing things
differentlycoherentlywe may Re-Envision the whole shebang,
and from there begin to transform ourselves and our world into
an integral and wholesome whole.
So yes, its a book of philosophy, but its not hard to read. Its
simple stuff, really. It helps, though (if you really want to under-
stand what its all about), to read it from the beginning, or at least
from the second bit of the Introduction called Introducing Cos-
mologies.. This is because, like all good storiesand like the
cosmology itselfthis book has four sequential parts: a beginning,
a middle, an end, and some results. That issymbolically, as we
shall soon seeParts One, Two, Three, and Four.
These four parts follow the structure of an ancient Sufi cos-
mology, which Ill describe later. In the meantime let me just say
that Zat is the beginning of any process, Sifat the middle, and
Asma the completed process itself. Finally comes Afal, which rep-
resents all the results of the process. Details of these foreign terms
come later, in Part 2.v., but in the meantime please just put up
with them!
Inside each of these four big Parts of the book are smaller
parts, which Im calling Particles. Part One, Zat, is the part youre
reading nowbasically all the introductory bits. This has two Par-
ticles: first the origins, background and context of the idea, what
its all about, and why its needed. And the second, beginning on
introducing cosmologies,, takes a look at traditional cosmologies in
general: what they are and why we need oneone single, univer-
sal, onetoday.
The next section, Part Two, Sifat, is about some traditional,
fourfold processual cosmologies, because these show the overall
pattern, the formatthe abstract and formal framework of every-
thing that I originally saw in my vision. This is the methodological
part: its about the formal structure and other details of the cos-
mology, and the ways in which we can work out whatever we
want to know from it.

To make it clearer, this partPart Twois also divided into

Particles. The first deals with the skeleton, the formal structure,
the abstract framework of the cosmology; and the rest of them
deal with the concrete fleshtwo ancient concrete cosmologies
and a set of four natural forces or energies that are still used in
traditional Indonesia. Ill go through these and show you how
they fit onto and into the abstract, formal skeleton. Then we will
come back to the skeleton itself and look at it more closely, seeing
how it is a holistic general system of four unified but progressively dif-
ferent categories and qualities. I know this sounds very abstract and
difficult, but dont worry, its a lot simpler than it sounds.
Basically, though, the whole of this second part is still intro-
ductoryits not yet the real stuff, the real thing. But only with
this methodology, this foundation, laid down can the major ideas
in Part Three stand up to rational scrutiny and be appreciated.
So Part Three, Asma, containsas far as Im concernedthe
Real Thing, the meat you might say, of my thesis: the ideas
which I think the world so desperately needs to get back on track
and enable us humans to survive. And here are answers (some) to
the Big Questions. And, again, this Part is divided upbut this
time into only three Particlesfor clarity.
First is the idea of a human being: what is a human being?
Well, given the fourfold cosmology, and its corresponding iso-
morphic energies, it is simple to work out. Ill do it for you there
but its easy enough and you could actually do it yourselfits
been done by thirteen-year-old children in workshops Ive given.
This is rather heretical stuff, though: anthropologists dont like it.
But most of them, alas, are tied into the scientific, reductionist
paradigm they were taught in universities, so simple holistic ideas
like this dont stand much chance of survival in the discipline.
In here, too, in the second Particle, are some more conse-
quences of looking at humankind with and through this
cosmological vision. Well see how they work out in historyin
your personal history and in the overall history of humankind.
The jargon calls these ontogeny and phylogeny respectively.
Next, in the third Particle of Part Three come human values.
What are the really human values? For years people have gradually
been moving away from the old religious values and codes of

behaviour, and have taken to basing all their judgements and ac-
tivities on money, the bottom line, or other material values. The
biblical story of Adam and Eve tells how we were cast out of the
Garden of Eden because we learned the difference between good
and evilbut today we are so confused that even that knowledge
has been lost. Ethicsboth as a discipline, part of philosophy, and
in ordinary lifeare in total disarray. So how can you tell what is
good and what is bad, what is right and what is wrong?how can
you tell what a human value isas distinct from any other kind of
value? How can you tellbeyond some religious beliefs or some
not wholly reliable gut reactions? Again, given the fourfold pro-
cessual cosmology, these can be worked out simply, yet rationally.
In short, Part Three, Asma, is where we apply the fourfold
cosmology. Here is where its put to work, because its a toola
conceptual tool, that isfor evaluation and judgement. And this, I
thinkand with the exception of the gift of the latihan, the Subud
spiritual trainingis the most valuable thing I have ever been
given, and the thing I want to pass on to you.
Part Four, Afal, is a mixed bag of things. Formally, the fourth
stage of the pattern of process is a re-turn up a spiral, as well see
shortly: so here we are again with formally another random
mass. (Part I, The Introduction, with all its Forewords, was the
first mixed bag.) So there are several small Particles in here, all
different, discussing some results of using the cosmology and ty-
ing up some loose ends. First, though, comes a more urgent
application: putting the cosmology to work in education. Then
there are other implications of the cosmology, and some ideas for
future work.
In brief, this fourth part is made up of a bunch of things that
result from and follow on from the fourfold processual cosmology
itself, including some conclusionsand some questions too. One
interesting thing, for example, is that Whiteheads actual cosmol-
ogy has never been taken seriously by scientists or academics
other than theologiansbut why not? (One reason may well be
because Donald W. Sherburne, an influential author who did so,
got it wrong [1966: 40].) And Pak Subuhs cosmology cannot be
taken seriously either, in the form in which he gave it to us,
because he was no academic but a spiritual guide and homespun

philosopher influenced, perhaps, by Sufi philosophical traditions.

But if you put the two together, and show that they are both say-
ing pretty much the same things, though in different languages
different sets of termsthen you have a theoretical cosmology
which I am convinced is a rational and practical Theory of Every-
thing. A new story fit for today, a holistic paradigm, and a
cosmology fit for Gaia.
Finally, I want to apologise. As it is, this book is just an ama-
teurs fumbling beginnings. It needs a lot more work done on the
whole cosmology, as a new paradigm, as athe?Theory of
Everything that will enable us to Re-Envision the world (including
us) as one great interconnected whole. When I turn off my com-
puter for the last time, though, my job will be finished, and Ill be
thankful if other people take these ideas and run with them, tidy
them up, explore, develop and improve upon them. Pioneers, es-
pecially of ideas, as Jung once remarked, are often wrong in the
details. But the whole, as a sensible, coherent philosophical sys-
tem, seemsas I keep sayingto be simple and practical.
More: I think that, as a whole, these cosmological ideas are
valuable as a story which could change our perceptions of this world.
And even more: perhaps they are necessary for the survival of hu-
mankind. They answer, cosmologically, questions about the
reasons for thingsincluding what it means to be properly Hu-
man, how we ought to live, the purpose and meaning of life, and
our right relationship both to the natural world and to others less
well-off than we are. And, perhaps above all, they indicate the
desperate human need today for balance in the form of spiritu-
Without a universal conceptual synthesis, without an integra-
tive paradigm, without a cosmology showing answers to these
questions, humanity will probably continue drifting into ever in-
creasing fragmentation and final ecological disaster.
But, if we can Re-Envision ourselves and the world as a unity,
we have a new story to tell, a story about our connections and our
belongingness: and then there is hope.



Particle 1.ii Introducing Cosmologies

What is a cosmology?

There is a popular prejudice against metaphysics...[yet]

metaphysical inquiries are a necessary condition to all clear
thinking. ... It needs erudition and accumulated and alien
literature to make metaphysics obscure.
H.G. Wells, First and Last Things.

In philosophy, cosmology is one of the four branches of metaphys-

ics. Although New Age people with interests in astrology, crystals,
incense and so on call such things metaphysics, real metaphysics
is a branch of academic philosophy. This began some two thou-
sand three hundred years ago with Aristotle and his observations
of physis, the physical worldand then whatever was beyond
(meta) physics was metaphysics. So perhaps the vibrations of crys-
tals may have a place in here, but what Im interested in is
cosmology, which is a legitimate part of philosophical metaphysics.
Traditionallythat is, before modern times set ina cosmol-
ogy was just a sort of list of what exists. The old trilogy Nature,
man and God, for example, gives three distinct parts of the cos-
mos. This sort of cosmology has an honourable history going
right back to the ancient Greeksand even before them there
were probably umpteen different tribal cosmologies. To those an-
cient Greeks, the word Kosmos meant the natural order of the world,
its organisation and harmonywhich was the opposite of Kaos or
disorder. And a breed of anthropologists interested, like me, in
pre-industrial cultures and their holistic ways of looking at the
world areor werecosmologists.
Today, though, physicists, astrophysicists, and astronomers
have stolen the word cosmologist. They should really call them-
selves physical cosmologistsbecause thats their only interest:
how the physical universe works, and how it began. And this has
little or nothing to do with the unseen, spiritual aspects of life
which the old holistic, cosmologies included: Nature, man and


According to Websters Dictionary, cosmology is that branch

of metaphysics which treats of the character of the universe as an
orderly system or cosmos; especially that which treats of the pro-
cesses of nature and the relation of its parts. Also: a particular
theory or body of doctrine relating to the natural order. The Ran-
dom House Dictionary says (in part) that it is a branch of
philosophy dealing with the origin and general structure of the
universe, with its parts, elements and laws, especially with such of
its characteristics as space, time, causality, and freedom.
Traditional cosmologies are basically laundry lists. In other
words, a cosmology is usuallybut not alwaysa list of the dif-
ferent parts of the cosmos and how these all relate and work
together to give us the worldand perhaps the universeas we
can know it.
For years I have been hearing rumours that physicists in the
USA are looking for a final theory and, in the UK, for a theory of
everything. The ultimate seems to be a Grand Unified Theory of
Everything, or GUTE. In the social sciences there are gropings
towards the same thingthough there it is called a universal
model, philosophical synthesis, general system, conceptual
framework, or even Grand Theory with capital letters.5
But the theorists in the different disciplines and areas of
study all have their own limited versions of what everything
consists of. For physicists it means particles and force fields, and
doesnt have such messy things as human beings or families in it.
For social scientists it consists of people, social structures, cities
and cultures, and doesnt involve matter or energyand certainly
not sub-atomic particles or abstract mathematics. Yet, overall, the
general idea in all these disciplines seems to be to come up with a
single abstract model or theoretical framework which will include and
apply to everything in the cosmoseverywhere.
Now, as Ive said, all this used to be called cosmology. Be-
fore written history began, our earliest ancestors used simple
cosmologies, often deeplyeven unconsciouslyembedded in
their belief systems, to tell them the answers to the Big Questions

In the bibliography at the back of this book I have marked the recent
books I found on these things.


of life and how to live. In those days a cosmology was their final
theory. It was a theory of everythingand it was certainly a
Grand Theory because it embraced everything you could possibly
think of, including the relation of values to facts, and the relation
of humankind to both. Every pre-industrial society had one, and
sometimes several: even today cosmologies are a large part of the
life of non-western societies insofar as they are the foundations on
which everything is based, including guidelines for living.
Unfortunately, if we study traditional cosmologies and un-
tangle and analyse them today, we find that some of them are
quite irrational, orbecause one society has several and they all
seem to be mixed up togetherthey say quite different things. Yet
a cosmology is a brief, orderly representation of Everything, capi-
tal E. As I said earlier, its a laundry list of what exists in the
cosmosincluding unseens. Formally its an orderly, organised
wholebecause in earlier times the natural world, humankind and
even the unseen world of the spirits were all experienced as being
intimately connected.
As a whole, a cosmology has a limited number of different
but coherent and related parts, states of being, categories, or quali-
ties. Think of your own body: in it is a variety of different parts
and organs, all different from one another but all related, co-
ordinated and working together for the whole: and the body as an
overall whole co-ordinates the workings of its parts. Its the same
with the parts of a cosmology. And these are quite describable;
they are different items or elements, each with its own qualities,
functions and purposesand these all relate to one another be-
cause they all belong and function within a greater whole.
A cosmology is not a worldview. People today assume a
worldview and a cosmology are the same, but theyre not. A
worldview is like a pair of spectacles: don them, and you view
everything through rose-coloured, sayor analyticalor materi-
alisticlenses. A worldview is not delineated: that is, it has no
parts or elements, no structure or inherent order. Imagine an egg-
sized lump of clay: it is the same all the way through. This is like a
worldview; whereas a cosmology or an actual egg has distinct
partsa shell, a white and a yoke and so on, all with different
functions in the egg. So, unlike a worldview (the same all over), a

cosmology has a form: it is a structured and organised whole, with

different parts which have different functions. Its a theoretical
model of the parts of the cosmos, their order, and the relations be-
tween them.
As a cosmology is a coherent and holistic whole, the mini-
mum number of elements or parts in it is three, because a dyad or
pair cant combine unless they are working within a greater
framework. As I said earlier, probably the oldest cosmology in the
worldand certainly the simplestis Nature, man and God.
Whatever the astrophysicists who call themselves cosmologists
claim, that is a cosmology. Its a list of things or categories of
things that exist in the cosmos, and the relations between them. In
this case, what is said to exist is (a) our environment, the natural
world, and (c) some greater, unseen, Spiritual Something, with (b)
humankind in the middle to bring them together and reconcile
themand, as cosmological boundaries tend to be fuzzy, this
probably has some of the qualities of both.
The human task according to this ancient cosmology is to
bring Mother Earth and Father Heaven closer together, combining
matter and spirit within ourselves, materialising spirit and spiri-
tualising matter. This is what this particular threefold medieval
cosmology shows. And this is what cosmologies doand are for:
they show the natural order of things and what life is aboutand the
meaning of human life.
The ancient Essenes Book of Moses had two fundamental
commandments based on this cosmology:

Honour thy Earthly Mother

that thy days may be long upon the land
And honour thy Heavenly Father
that eternal life be thine in the heavens
For the Earth and the Heavens are given unto thee
by the Law which is thy God.
(Quoted in Roland, 1995: 44)

That this beautiful and timeless poem was later butchered

and changed by doubtless well-meaning but misguided patriarchs
into one of the biblical commandments infuriates me. Not only
because in their version they left out the entire natural world, but


because what this is really saying is that the cosmology was not
just a list of parts but the vital, living Law which, in those days,
was taken as, and equated with, G-d and/or what I am calling the
Upward Trend. Ill have more to say about this later.
But please note that today many if not all of the still-
surviving non-industrial societies struggling to preserve their cul-
tures in the midst of the modern world, like the Australian
Aborigines and the American First Nations, have a far more ho-
listic vision of the land than we do. They are telling us that it must
be honoured so our days may be long upon the land. Although
nothing happened over the turn of the millennium, New Age
prophecies still abound of earth changes within the next decade,
echoing scientists concern with climate changes.
Although cosmologies show the parts and the order of the
cosmos, some lesser ones are merely of this world, and some even
smaller-scale ones are of a specific locale. Many traditional cos-
mologies were context dependent, which means they varied
according to where you lived. If, for instance, you lived on a coral
island, then your lowest world was probably symbolised by the
sea, your middle world by the land, and the higher world perhaps
by the winds or the trees or the sun. On the other hand, for social
groups far inland the earth probably represented their lowest
world, and the trees and animals represented a middle world
and so on.
There was also a further stage of symbolisation found in
some social groups, when the symbols were in turn symbolised.
For instance, in the Andaman Islands north of Sumatra and east of
India, there is a sacred lizardand its a cosmological lizard be-
cause it symbolises the three different worlds of the Andamanese
cosmology. It can swim in the sea, run on the land, and climb into
the trees. So here are the three parts of their cosmology, the three
different realms of their worldlower, middle and upper
symbolised by the ocean, the earth and the trees above, all repre-
sented by one animal. Threefold cosmologies like this, whether
directly metaphorical (of existing or visible elements) or symbol-
ised further like that sacred lizard, are very often formally
hierarchic: one part is the highest, at the top, one the lowest at the
bottom, and one centred in the middle.

On the other hand, another threefold cosmology, more fa-

miliar todayand not so hierarchicis the traditional Chinese
Yin-Yang symbol (Fig.1), in which equal but opposite elements are
included or embraced within a third and greater whole that is the
Tao. Here each of the opposing parts has a particle of the other
within it, to show that everything is temperedthat there is no
absolute dark, no absolute light.

Figure 1. Yin-Yang Symbol.

In the Tao Teh Ching, though, the Chinese sage Lao Tzu gives a
quite different cosmology. This one has five elements or parts: the
holy Tao itself, plus three different elements represented by num-
bers, plus all the myriad things. He says,

Tao gave birth to One,

One gave birth to Two,
Two gave birth to Three,
Three gave birth to all the myriad things.

On yet another hand, the medieval European alchemist Maria

Prophetissa, so often quoted by the great Carl Jung, says,

One becomes Two,

Two becomes Three,
And out of the Third comes the
One as the Fourth.6

Jung, (1963: 429) but my capitals. I discuss this Axiom of Maria
Prophetissa in Particle 2.i.


And this of course is the trouble with traditional cosmologies: they

dont alwaysin fact they rarely do!say the same things. And
again, within one culture there may be two or three different cos-
mologies, sometimes even contradicting each other. In short, there
are a lot of different traditional cosmologies around, so their usage
today cannot be said to be rational. All pre-industrial societies
have them, and all the great religions.
In fact everyone seems to have a cosmology (whether con-
sciously articulated in a belief system or not) except us modern
people living in science-dominated, corporate-ruled, industrial
This is probably the main reason why we havent got a cos-
mology today. There were so many of them, and in traditional
societiesand the great religionspeople thought theirs was the
only one, or certainly the right or the best one if they knew of
others. And no one could tell which one was correct: which, in
other words, was the bestmost accuraterepresentation of Re-
ality. So like a lot of other age-old perceptions, with the advent of
the hard, nineteenth-century sciences, cosmologiesincluding
different hierarchic Christian cosmologies (remember all those an-
gels, principalities and dominions in the Bible?)were discarded,
thrown out like the baby with the bath water. Yet without a cos-
mology today, there is no purpose, no meaning in human life,
nothing except our mere physical existence, the competitive sur-
vival of the fittest, and the empty chase after more and more
money, fun, and material possessions.
If there was one cosmology, though, which was simple and
general enough to include all the other different cosmologies, yet
not so simple and general that it was useless, then wed be in
business. It could be used by the astrophysicists and physical
cosmologists of today, and by real cosmologists (philosophers!)
and by social scientistsand by people in the humanities and all

We dont have a cosmology; what we do have is a worldview, which has
no delineated parts within it. Materialism is a worldview, and although
it is the foundation of positivism and reductionism there are no divi-
sions in it, no differentiated parts. It is a single, broad-angled lens, and
it looks at everything as being all much of a muchness, everywhere.


the other disciplines, too. Such a single cosmology, displaying

the deep unity within all life and human knowledge, would show
everyone quite clearly how everything is indeed part and parcel of
Alexander Popes one stupendous Wholeand how it all fits
Recent sciencesthat is, the post-Newtonian, postmodern
sciences such as quantum mechanicsare telling us that everything
is connected with everything else, and use terms such as Chaos
theory, fractals and other things: the butterfly effect its called, as
in when a butterfly flaps its wings in Santiago, the stock market
falls in Tokyo.
To recap: the nineteenth-century scientists split everything
all human knowledgeinto unrelated departments; they had to
analyse and thus fragment it in order to discover more. On the
other hand, beginning with Max Planck, Einstein and relativity
and continuing right up to the acknowledged mysteries of sub-
atomic particle physics, the post-modern sciences plus the behav-
ioural sciences connecting the mind with the body are saying the
opposite: that, as the ancients knew of old, everything is connected,
and thereforehowever minutelyinfluences everything else.
Even so, still missing are the forms and patterns and relations
within these connections. The sciences have yet to accept a univer-
sal structure: that is, an overall format has yet to be described and
delineated, showing the forms of the connected-ness. We need a
model of it all, a three- or four-dimensional holistic model, a theo-
retical framework of Everything. The pattern in everything. A
Other writers agree, and not only in the hard sciences. In the
humanities and social sciences too there is a search for a cosmol-
ogy. For instance, Stephen Toulmin, well-known philosopher of
ethics and science at Northwestern University in the US, says:

We now need to rethink our beliefs about the place of

humanity in some larger scheme of things. Those beliefs were,
of course, traditional concerns of cosmology. ... and now that
scientists have abandoned the spectators standpoint to these
cosmological questions, they are beginning to arise again
spontaneously, even within science itself. (1982: 268)


A few years later Robert Muller, known for his work in the UN
and now Chancellor Emeritus of the University of Peace in Costa
Rica, declared:

a major conference should be convened on a new cosmology.

One would listen to the physicists, to the biologists, to other
scientists and to people who have come out with new
cosmologies. (1989: 3)

And, obviouslybecause this is what this book is aboutthere is,

I am convinced, one simple cosmology that would fit the bill, here
and now, for the sciences and all the other disciplines.


The uses of a cosmology.

Lets have a closer look now at what a cosmology is actually for.
What would a cosmology do: what would it give us ordinary
modern people? Well, look at what it gave people living in pre-
industrial societies. For a start, a cosmology provided early hu-
mankindand provides traditional clans and indigenous tribal
groups stillwith an orderly and intelligible world, with a clear
place for human existence and suffering. Humankind had a pur-
pose. The cosmos, however its parts were defined, was a holistic,
harmonious whole: and, within that, the purpose and meaning of
an individuals life was either to help keep the cosmic order going
harmoniously (e.g. humans had an active part to play in the cos-
mos) or, slightly more passively, to work at staying in linein
harmonywith its workings, which in this case were independent
of human life. In either case, though, people had to strive, for their
own benefit, to keep aligned with the advancing workings of the
beneficent cosmos.
Good or righteousness, then, was whatever behaviour
satisfied or perhaps even caused this harmony to exist: and, this
being manifest, the well-being and prosperity of the tribe followed.
On the other hand, when the tribe moved away from the har-
monyfrom the orderly working of the cosmosthere was non-


alignment: and hence ma-lign-ance followedand human suffering.

If, as Ill be suggesting (speculating!) in Part 3, we have a con-
scious part to play in the functioning of the biosphere and perhaps
even minutely in the cosmos, then a cosmology would provide
us with a rational foundation for values, moral behaviour and eth-
ics, as well as with the mere facts of its parts and the connections
and relations between them.
The intuitive acceptance and even the feeling of the cosmos as
benign, if only we could tune in to it, may be hard for us mod-
erns to imagine. Yet indigenous people in Africa, the Americas,
Asia and Australasia are trying to tell us today that the reason the
world is now experiencing major climate changes and natural dis-
asters is that industry and agriculture are right out of alignment
with the harmony of the cosmosor at least with our small bit of
it on this planet. Given that we moderns have no cosmology to
give us values and guidelines about how we ought to live on and
in this world, this is understandable. We do not understand that
we must honourand care for!the land, for our Mother Earth,
for Gaia as James Lovelock and William Golding have named
her. And I dont apologise for giving the planet this gender; any-
one who has flown around the world as often as I have perceives
that this globe we live on is a vast, receptive and quiescent sphere
on which man (and it is very largely men!) actand act thought-
lessly and harmfullydisrupting its inherent natural harmony.
For the great religions to become relevant today, they would
have to show us more connections and re-align humankind with the
Sky Father and the Earth Mother. After all, re-ligio is related to a-
lign-ment, and means to reconnect us to everything. But, again,
humans over the ages have separated all the great religions from
each other (and even within themselves) so we cant look to them
to give ground to each other and become a single, global, holistic
belief-system which might help the world situation today.
The trouble is, different cosmologies show different human
values. Modern Indonesia, for example has a current fivefold
cosmology called Pancasila (punncha-seela), or Five Principles.
At school, children have special lessons on Pancasilathey learn
about it and discuss it and its meanings and values; and the men
and women serving in the army, navy and air force have to take

courses in Pancasila Philosophy. In this particular cosmology

there is a hierarchy of scale and value: God is the greatest at the
top, followed next down by humankindwhich is larger than the
next one down, Indonesia; and this is followed by social justice,
which is followed at the bottom of the hierarchy by democracy
with proportional representation. Each of these five separate ele-
ments is an integral part of the whole, with its own symbol on the
Indonesian coat of arms, and each has its own value built into it
according to where it is in relation to the whole. Humankind, for
instance, is given a greater value than the nation of Indonesia: a
significantand admirablephilosophical point of view laid
down by the founders of modern Indonesia in 1945.
So cosmologies show us where were atprimarily in this
world, yet perhaps also on a larger scale in an unseen world
and/or even in the cosmos. Today the secular industrialised
world, which is becoming more and more the same everywhere,
East or West, has no such cosmologies. Instead, as I keep saying,
we have a worldview, a bland view of everything which has no
parts, no different elements within it. Everything seems the
sameis qualitatively the same, that isin a worldview. Thus in
the nineteenth-century, material-based worldview we still labour
under there is nothing that has more value than anything else; in effect
everything is matter and material, and that is all there is: and there
are no different values at all built in to our worldview except the
fact of matter itself. So, of course, the more we have the better off
we must be! But this worldview, this belief system, is proving dis-
astrously destructive.
Physicists today, though, dont seem interested in the human
values aspect of a Theory of Everything or a Final Theoryas
they call it. Far less are they interested in traditional cosmologies.
So what they are talking about doesnt cover everything and will
not therefore be final simply because the materialistic world-
viewor paradigm, as the jargon has itis inadequate when it
comes to dealing with human beings, human societies and ques-
tions of ethics and human values.
So what is necessary today, to bring some order and balance
into our frenetic modern world, is a single, simple cosmology which
would not only satisfy the sciences but would balance the crude,

materialistic side of our ordinary life with the subtle moral, ethi-
cal, and even spiritual side. In short, a new paradigm. Yes, as the
Essenes said, we do need to honour the land, our Earthly Mother:
and we also need to develop our own potentials spiritually
thereby honouring our Heavenly Father, too.
At present, this is a mere matter of opinion, of my personal
belief. An adequate cosmology would be able to stand up to scien-
tific scrutinyand also unite the various disciplines, acting as the
final theory, the Theory of Everything that hard scientists are
looking for, and the Grand Theory of the social and behavioural
sciences. In doing so, it would be able to confirm rationally the
Essenes intuition.
In addition, if such a cosmology were to be incorporated into
human thought, it would provide not only a unified picture of the
natural world, but it would show us humans where we stand in
the natural order of things. It would show us principles and values.
And not only these grand scale things: it would also show us how
we ought to behave, the pattern of our own lives, and where we
ought to be heading.
Finally, such a cosmology, founded neither on faith in an un-
seen and unproven Divinity, nor on the drear physical facts of
entropy, positivism and reductionism but simply on empirical
observation of the natural world, would itself show us how the
planet is to be perceived as an integrated, workingeven living
whole: and how we should treat herGaiawith respect and
with gratitude for our natural surroundings, and an appreciation
of the need for balance in the unseen aspects of this life.


Types of traditional cosmologies

As Ive said, there are a lot of different cosmologies, and all tradi-
tional societies have them, even if they are not conscious of them.
In traditional Indonesia for instance, cosmologies are still in use in
Bali, in villages in Central Java, Kalimantan, Sumatra, and so on,
and in other social groups where money and modernism havent
completely taken over peoples minds and lives. Traditional


cosmologies are still used in architecture, for siting and aligning

mosques, temples, and graveyards, for example; or to discover
what direction a familys new house should face, or even for de-
ciding where to take the family buffalo to water today. In
traditional societies the whole of human life is based on largely
unspoken, unexamined cosmologies.
As well as the triadic or threefold cosmologies I mentioned
earlier, and the fivefold Pancasila of modern Indonesia, there are
fourfold cosmologies, sevenfold, eightfold, ninefold, elevenfold
and so on. One branch of Buddhism has a thirty-fold cosmology!
Each different religion and belief system has its own cosmology,
and perhaps several. Some Ive compiled into a table (Table 1).
Generally speaking, though, they all relate to the most basic division
of the cosmos, which is threefold. That is, there is an upper world, an
intermediate or middle world, and a lower world. In other
wordsto use the old metaphorsSky Father, humankind in the
centre, and Earth Mother. Or in yet other termsand reversing
that orderthe old Nature, man and God cosmology found in so
many traditions. It was an essential part of the Western Mystery
Tradition and is still an element in the European mythic identity.


Within all these different numbered cosmologies are several

fourfold cosmologies. As it is a fourfold cosmology that this book is
about, these cosmologies may have some significance. But we
must beware, because not all fourfold cosmologies have the same form
or structure! There are at least three different types of fourfold
cosmologies used in traditional Indonesia. In the kratons, the
princely courts of Central Java, you often find these different types
of fourfold cosmologies mixed together; and, in the villages and
towns around the royal courts they are so covered in layers of
superstition that they dont stand up under any kind of rational
scrutiny. If you untangle them, though, and separate the different
types of fourfold cosmologies, what you come up with is this: one
type of fourfold cosmology is represented as being four-square or
cruciform; a second type is circular and cyclic, and a third type is
processual and developmental.



The first type is fixed, static and unchangingfor example

the four (unspecified!) corners of the world and the cardinal di-
rections: North/ South/ East/ West; the four traditional colours of
the human races: black, red, yellow, white; and the four classes of
magic: also black, red, yellow and white. At least one indigenous
Amerind nation divides the cosmos into four fixed realms: sun/
moon/ earth/ stars. Obviously, these types of (static) cosmologies
are of no use to the modern world.
The second type of fourfold cosmology is cyclic and unchang-
ingly repetitive (for example morning/ day/ evening/ night, and
the four seasons). This type gives classic examples of what Gre-
gory Bateson calls constant, non-progressive change (1973: 68)
and was responsible for the early Greeks belief in hot/ cold/
wet/ dry as the four basic fluctuating qualities making up the
world. The four Hindu yugas, immensely long cycles or time pe-
riods, also come into this category, as does the ancient pagan
belief in the four repeating ages of humankind, Gold, Bronze, Sil-
ver, and Iron. But traditions have confused cycles with spirals;
cycles dont in the long run go anywhere except round and round,
whereas spirals move on, advancing upwards, bringing change
and progress.
The third type of fourfold cosmology, unlike the others, shows
a flowing sequence: four different stages of process, change and develop-
ment in an on-going, spiral form. And it is this last type which I think
would be useful to the disciplines today, as it shows the emer-
gencethe evolution, the developmentof different qualities
over time.
In addition, another major difference between the first two
types (one static, the other cyclic) and the third (processual) of
fourfold cosmologies is that, in the first two, although each of the
four parts has a different set of properties, all four parts are quali-
tatively equal in value. North, South, East and West, for example,
all have very different natural characteristics, and pre-industrial
peoples endow them with other different symbolic qualities; yet
each of the four directions in its fixed position is of equal value
and weight. Different, but equal.


In the cyclic cosmology, again: spring, summer, autumn and

winter all have very different characteristicsbut they go round and
around in a necessary and never-ending cycle, and no one season
has more weight or value than another. Qualitatively, they too are
different but equal.
In the third type of fourfold cosmology, thoughthat is, the
processual and developmental oneseach of the four successive
parts increases in qualitative value over and above and beyond the
one before it. For example, take the old Chain of Being: minerals,
plants, animals and humans. In this set and serieswhich is a tra-
ditional concrete cosmologyeach of the four stages, levels, or
parts is more complex, more organised, has more value and more
existential weight, than the one before it. Scientists call this em-
ergence: that is, somethinga quality for examplethat wasnt in
the stage before, has emerged, just as life emerged from non-living
matter. Evolved is another word for this, as in from minerals
evolved plants and animals. Ill come back to this point later on,
because its important for the whole organismic philosophy of
Fours, but for now lets have a look at the structural differences
between these three types of fourfold cosmology in a diagram:

Figure 2: Structures of different fourfold cosmologies


At this stage I want to point out, as if in parentheses, two

things. First, that as this is a story as well as an essay, I shall be
referring sometimes to Pak Subuh, the Indonesian I sometimes call
more familiarly Bapak, as it was through this remarkable Java-
nese sage that I learned most about some of the ancient
cosmologies still used in traditional Indonesia.8 Second, that as the
static and the cyclic (i.e., the two non-processual) types of the four-
fold cosmologies can be of no practical use or application in
todays scientific world, I am here and now abandoning them! But
before describing the fourfold processual cosmology that Im so
keen on, Im going to run you quickly through some other ancient
processual cosmologies.


Pak Subuhs cosmologiesplural

In traditional Indonesia, at different times and in different
places, you find several processual cosmologies, all related for-
mally but somewhat different. They are to be found in the
animistic, Hindu, Buddhist, Sufi (Islamic), and other traditions
throughout the islands. The ones Pak Subuh mentioned occasion-
ally during his talks about life, spirituality and the universe are
the following. (However, please note: these are my own interpre-
tations of them, and not accurate representations of what he or
other Javanese elders said.)

A ninefold cosmology
The greatest one is a ninefold cosmology, consisting of a
fixed, sevenfold hierarchy of daya-daya (energies, forces, or pow-
ers) of differing degrees and qualities, plus two unrestricted
cosmic powers: the Roh Ilofi, which is translated as The Great Life
Force, and the Roh El Khudus, the Holy Spirit. These two are (you
might say) Free Spirits, penetrating in and ranging throughout the

In English, the Indonesian words Pak and Bapak (both pronounced with
a final glottal stop as Puh(k) and Buppuh(k)respectively), mean Fa-
ther and are courtesy titles given to older men in Indonesia to show
respect. See Glossary and Appendix 1.


cosmosand they are also the means by which human (and other)
souls can evolve and progress spiritually, up9 the hierarchy from
one of the stationary levels to the next.
These Free Spirits are different from one another in that al-
though both are like escalatorsso to speakthey are moving in
opposite directions. The Great Life Force moves from the lowest
upwards, towards the highest: and it is the power, force or energy
responsible for biological and human evolution. The other, the
Holy Spirit, moves in the opposite direction: that is, from G-d
and/or Supreme Consciousness down to the lowest and most
concrete level of existence. On the human level, this brings us
spiritual giftsGracerevelation, and authentic creativity. On the
animal and plant levels it may create deliberate mutations if evo-
lution isnt doing its stuff properly. And, perhaps surprisingly, it
is entropy in the material, non-living world, breaking things down
and freeing them in order to release the elements and their atoms
for a new start up the Chain of Being. In short, the Great Life Force
works as what we call evolution, and the Holy Spirit (less recog-
nisably) as Creation.10 Oneor bothmight, I speculate, be the
missing designer in the recent debate over Intelligent Design.
The hierarchy of seven fixed energies covers a rainbow spec-
trum ranging from the highest level, position or degree (meaning
the finest, free-est, most subtle, most active, most perceptive and
most conscious) right down to concrete substance or inert, non-
living matter. In his second book, E.F. Schumacher (the small is
beautiful guy) has a lot to say about these energies and their dif-
ferent states and qualities, and the progressions of several of the
qualities that occur as they move up through the hierarchy of lev-
els (1977: 3748).

I am not sure about up and down here, and I was never told clearly. I
think, though, that perhaps all may be present in all things all at the
same time.
When I asked her, Ibu Siti Rahayu, the eldest daughter of Pak Subuh,
said about these two great Spirits, The Roh El Kudus and Roh Ilofi are
the same, the Power of God. The difference is only in their work. El
Kudus works from the outside, while Roh Ilofi works as the law of life
that is within (within the creatures of God).


Of these seven energies, the highestthat is the finestthree

are the subtle supernatural and/or spiritual energies which we
cannot see but which may, even so, be part of the birthright of
every human being. These, I speculate, correspond to the Chris-
tian Trinity, to the Hindu Trimurti, and also to the three major
attributes of G-d (Allah = Al Lah = The God) in Islam.
On the other hand, the lowestthat is the coarsest, most
fixed and determinedthree make up the natural end of the scale
at the bottom. They are what we might call the animal, vegetal
and material forces or energies, as well as their three visible king-
doms or realms we can see and live with on this particular planet.
In the middle of these two threefold sets of the seven fixed
levelsright in the hot seat between supernatural and naturalis
humankind, a little lower than the angels, a little higher than the
beasts as the Psalm says.

The sevenfold cosmology

A variant of the ninefold cosmology is the sevenfold cosmol-
ogy which you come across often in traditional societies and also
in the Western Mystery Tradition. It uses the same set or hierarchy
of levels of the seven fixed energies as the ninefold, so this is much
the same as the ninefold cosmology but without the two Great
Free Spirits. This cosmology is greatly beloved by many gurus in
Central Java as well as by the Sufis, also Gurdjieff and Ouspensky,
the Theosophists, and other esoteric groups.
So it isnt really a different cosmology, its just a truncated
version of the ninefold. And you find it today in Central Kaliman-
tan, for example, as the Seven Worlds or Realms of the local
Kaharingan version of Hinduism, the religion of the Dyaks: and it
lingers among our own sayings today, such as I was in seventh
heaven, and the belief found all over the world that seven is a
special and even a sacred number.

A Sufi cosmology
Although technically speaking a model of the creation of the
universe, this is sometimes referred to as a traditional Islamic
cosmology. Pak Subuh used it often. Its the four-stage description
of the process of creation and/or evolution: Zat, Sifat, Asma and


Afal, mentioned in Foreword 7. Basically these terms translate

respectively into God, the material universe, biological life, and
humankind. Ill be going over this in some detail later, in Part 2,
Particle v because although it starts with a spiritual component, it
illustrates a simple yet significantand perhaps even universal
model of process and development corresponding formally to White-
heads fourfold cosmology, yet using a completely different set of
Strangely, this particular cosmology is also very close to the
final summing up of the universe arrived at by David Bohm, a
British physicist known for his work on quantum theory and
Wholeness and the Implicate Order, as well see.
Although this fourfold Sufi model of creation may not be a
true cosmology, it is still a significant model of process and the
evolutionary upward trend, the creative advance. It is foundin
the Islamic world at leastin philosophical studies, and is also
taught today in modern Indonesia as a model of Project Manage-
ment!and where I heard, on separate occasions, both
Alisjahbana and Subuh refer to the four stages as: concept, devel-
opment, completed project, and products or results. (But more
about this in Particle 2.v.)


Fourfold processual cosmologies

These, finally, are the cosmologies that so many traditions,
East and West, use in their philosophies and which are, I am con-
vinced, very practical and very useful. And it is these that Pak
Subuh used so often in his talksand that the rest of this book is
about. Because they refer to and describe the things of this world,
you can see what they depict; they can even be proved to exist to
anyone with eyes and a smidgen of rationality. I wont go into
these here, but just mention in passing that the two most common
ones are the four so-called Empedoclean Elements and the tradi-
tional Chain of Being.
These, then, are some of the most frequently found proces-
sual cosmologies that are still used in traditional Indonesian
religions and philosophy, and particularly by Pak Subuh in his


descriptions of this world and the spiritual life. And now I am

going to leave aside the ninefold and the sevenfold ones, because
they include unseen, subtle, and divine elements and therefore
cant in any way be proved to exist to anyone who hasnt the spiri-
tual experience to perceive them. For the same reasonlest it be
thought irrationalI am also ignoring at this point the Sufi Zat-
Sifat model although, as we will see, it does con-form to (it has
the same form as) the more concrete processual cosmologies.


Now, having shorn ourselves, as we did, first of the static

and the circular versions of the fourfold cosmologies, and the
greater ninefold and sevenfold cosmologies and also (for the time
being) the fourfold Sufic, what we are left with are some tradi-
tional, visible, fourfold, concrete cosmologies showing a common
pattern of development. For the rest of this book it is on them Ill be
concentrating. For one thing, because they are based in the fa-
miliar world of our senses, they please me immensely, practical
woman that I am. For another, by, with and from them you can
perhaps already begin to discern that they illustrate the Grand Pat-
tern of the world: that is, the pattern running right through Gaia
this world, the small planet we live on. And finally, and most sig-
nificantly perhaps, because these fourfold cosmologies are more
likely to be acceptable to scientists and skeptics alike. In case you
missed that, let me repeat: acceptable to scientists and skeptics.
From now on it is only these concrete, processual, fourfold
cosmologies which concern us, because they most clearly il-
lustrate11 what I am calling (after Anita Landa) the pattern of the
world or alternatively the world pattern of process or even just
the Grand Pattern with capital letters. Because it is only this
which could put Humpty Dumpty together again and bring
coherence, synthesis and holism into our perceptions of Gaia,

For purists, the ninefold and the sevenfold can be shown to do so too:
but it is a much more complex operation, and as I am mostly concerned
in this book with simplicity and the application of these ideas to the
practical problems of the world today, this is not the time or place to go
over them.


showing us where we stand in the cosmos, and what we have to

do to earn our place in it as genuinely human beings.
So now I am cheerfully abandoning other more comprehen-
sive cosmologies12 which include unseen and perhaps greater
spiritual realms. For, as I hope to show you, there is enough room
at the topso to speakof the fourfold processual cosmologies to
allow for a modicum of spirituality; and (because that is all the
scientific world is likely to be able to accept) from now on in this
book Im going to ignore all the others.
One heretical thing I want to emphasise here is that this cos-
mology, being holistic, will bring with itand willy-nilly tie us
intoa bunch of associated basic principles and values. It will also
show how rational qualitative distinctions come along with it, too.
So as youll soon seeand this is the really heretical bityou can
get values from factsrationally. If you have a cosmology fit for
So now my friends, if it is true that a final theory, a Theory of
Everything, even a Grand Theory, is being sought by physicists
and astrophysicists, biologists, sociologists and psychologists,
then I am offering what I am calling Gaias Cosmology as a sit-
ting duck. This is a four-stage pattern of process, the pattern of
the world, an ancient and Oriental cosmology showing the struc-
ture of the upward trend and negative entropy. You may even
shoot at it.
Butbefore you start shootingI must first describe it as
best I can and point out to you how, by seeing the world in this
way, we come up with a very different perceptiona coherent vi-
sionof us and our planet. As E.O. Wilson says,

the greatest enterprise of the mind has always been and always
will be the attempted linkage of the sciences and the
humanities. The ongoing fragmentation of knowledge and
resulting chaos in philosophy are therefore not reflections of
the real world but artefacts of scholarship. (1998)

Let me suggest that the fourfold Cosmology may not be the Ultimate.
However, it is a very practical and useful one and therefore eminently
suitable for todays secular and scientific climate.


With a cosmology fit (in my view) for Wilsons real world,

the world that I am calling Gaia after the ancient Greek Goddess
of the earthand Lovelock and Goldingit becomes possible to
Re-Envision ourselves and the planet as one single, coherent, or-
ganised whole: because this particular breed of fourfold
cosmology helps us see our inter-connectedness with the whole
earth, the plants and the animals, bringing everything together in
union, and creating a holistic new story.

* * * *
* * *
* *




* * * *
* * *
* *

(Format: Separation, differentiation)

Gaias Cosmologythe Skeleton, and the
Bapak hopes
That the secrets of life
And the true pattern of life
May be unveiled to you.

Part of a prayer Pak Subuh sang at the end of a talk given in

Munich, Germany, 28th April 1967 (my emphasis)

This is the methodology section, Part 2, which describes and to

some extent explains what I am calling Gaias Cosmology. This
particular cosmology is a coherent, whole, universal pattern of
process having within it four distinct phases or stages. As youll
have noticed, for the sake of generality and convenience Ive been
calling these four phases or stages the Parts, as, on whatever
scale or in whatever context they occur, together they make up the
different levels, phases and/or stages of any whole. In this book,
the smaller parts within each of these four Parts Im calling Parti-
cles. (Some of these Particles have sub-particles within them,
though: but what am I to do here, call these particlettes? No, I
dont think so.)
Here in Part 2 were going to be looking at four different tra-
ditional cosmologies all of which conform to each other
structurally as the academics call it: that is, formally. Their inner
formtheir skeletonis the same. You can see what this means
literally if you imagine a skinny Australian Aboriginal man, a fat
old English woman, a tiny Indonesian toddler and a two-meter
tall African Watusi student all together: they all look different, but
they all have a head, a trunk, two feet and legs, two hands and
arms and so on. In spite of their apparent differences, their overall
structure or skeletontheir inner formis the same. They con-
form to one another: and this is called isomorphism, meaning
having the same form.
Because of our education and our culturally implanted habits
of perception, it isnt easy to see that the skeletons of the tradi-
tional cosmologies are pretty much the same (apart from the fact


that they are all fourfold). So here in Part 2 Im going to go over

them separately, in some detail.
First, in Particle 1, Ill go carefully through the actual Pattern
of Process itselfits abstract, formal skeletondescribing the
varied forms of its four different stages or parts which Im calling
the bones. To help make the rest of the book simpler and more
intelligible, Ill give these partsthe four different bonestheir
simple yet deeply symbolic numbers.
In Particle ii come two different concrete exemplars: that is,
different examples or kinds of concrete flesh which clotheand
disguise!the skeleton. So here Ill be showing you two tradi-
tional cosmologiesthe old Four Elements, and the Chain of
Beingwhich are isomorphic to the skeleton. That is, they can be
seen to con-form to it. What I am doing here is pointing out and
clarifying the common, repeating, four-part pattern of process ly-
ing within these two apparently very different traditional
cosmologies to show they are isomorphic.
Then in Particle iii we dive behind (so to speak) the Chain of
Being and look at four different Indonesian daya-dayain English,
four energies, powers, or forceswhich make up the four
classes of Existents: that is, the human and the animal, vegetal and
mineral partsthe linksin the Chain of Being. In the reverse
order, this set of four different energies also conforms to the cos-
mological skeleton.
Particle iv is a short Interlude to look at some odd co-
incidences. They are not really necessary to my thesis and Ive
only included them here because I think theyre fun, and in case
anyone else is interested in the origins of the natural world, and of
Next, in Particle v, I go over the Sufi model of creation
which, again, con-forms to the same simple pattern of process
which is the skeleton of Gaias cosmology. Here Ill risk the accu-
sation of being irrational (because it begins with a spiritual
element), but Ill be examining this model of creationwhich can
also model evolution!because this traditional cosmology also
has some practical uses and value for us today.
Particle vi returns to the skeleton of Gaias cosmology. By
now, having looked at four quite different exemplars of its flesh,

we have garnered quite a lot more information about its abstract

framework, the skeleton. So here Ill go over several different as-
pects of the four different bones of the skeleton again, filling in a
lot more details. By the end of this process these bones will have
emerged as four different categories, and a set of relations within
and between them: and thus well have a better understanding of
the different qualities of the four sequential stages of process,
and/or the four parts of Gaias Cosmology.
Finally, in Particle vii I aim to show you that beyond all the
visible diversity lies a remarkable, singular Unity. That is, we are
all participants in a coherent, wholeholistic and harmonious
world, the cosmos. In other words, through this analysis well
have arrived at no small thing: a synthesis! Included in here are
rational descriptions of authentic Wholeness, and Holism. So, for
all its internal differentiation, Gaias Cosmologythis ancient
Grand Pattern, the world pattern of processgives us a vision of
coherence and unity. Not a mushy, sentimental sort of unity, but a
sensible, clear and sometimes quite definite picture of what makes up a
working, coherent and rational whole that is greater than the sum of its
parts on their own.

While I go through all of this, somewhat laboriously because

the act of synthesising is almost unknown to us today, it will help
if you keep in mind the overall purpose of this book. That is to
show you the upward trend, and where and how Everything
everything that is not subject to entropyis in process, and is
connected to everything else, and how it all fits in and functions
together while moving onwards in Whiteheads creative advance.
This is so we can arrive at a vision of The Grand Plan of
Thingsand, from that, discover in Part 3 the place of human life
in it all. And, from that again, What Its All About, and the deeper
meaning of things. This should show there is a purpose to our or-
dinary day-to-day struggle for survival and sanityand very
good reasons for living our lives more holistically and more sus-
Never ever forget, though, that however laborious my de-
scriptions here in Part 2 may seem (and indeed probably are), this
pattern is very, very, simple indeed...

Particle 2.i Abstract: the skeleton

The overall form of the pattern of the world is an expanding, open-
ended spiral. Imagine it as a cone-shaped vortex, with the earliest
and smallest part at the beginning (the bottom) and the latest and
largest at the top: and it is moving, evolving up from simplicity
to complexity. (Id love to call this a Fourtex, of course but I will
This is not just any old simple spiral or vortex though, be-
cause within it are distinct features and divisions. The spiral has a
formal structure or structural form, which is its inner form that Im
calling its skeleton. And, as it is open-ended at the top end, it
leads on, and onand onall in fourfold processual spirals (as
we shall see presently in a diagram of evolution drawn up by
Erich Jantsch) on increasingly large scales from atoms to ga-
laxiesand you and me, and human societies and cultures in
between. This developing spiral form illustrates the upward trend
of things, the evolving creative advance.
Describing and clarifying the structure of this spiral pattern
will be easier for me if I begin by giving you, plain and simple,
two sets of words. These both say pretty much the same thing;
they both show an abstract pattern of process, progress and de-
velopment in four stagesbut in different terms. Then Im going
to take you over the process of doing a jigsaw puzzle, to illustrate
these two sets. So here we go:

1. From Chaos, through Separation, emerges Union, and

thence Transcendence.
2 An initial random mass separates into differentiates, some
or all of which become an organised whole, which has a random
mass of results on a greater scale (than the first).

Notice here two things: First, the first set of words (three of
which came from Anita originally) describe the pattern in poetic,
archetypal terms, even, and is not very exact, and I have given
each word a capital letter to give it colour and clout, whereas the
other is a set of dry concepts which, although saying almost the
same as the first set, is more precise, more descriptive; and I


havent capitalised it. Throughout the rest of the book I will con-
tinue to capitalise all the symbols and archetypes and metaphors
of Gaias cosmologiesand this includes the four symbolic (that
is, non-conventional) numbers that can be used to represent the
four phases or stages of process: One, Two, Three, and Four.13
Second, this simple pattern forms a spiral because One, the
first stage of Chaos, or random mass, has the same format as Four,
the last stage Transcendence, or random mass (of results)
although please note that this, the latter random mass, is on a
greater scale than the former. (This is an important point, not to be
forgotten: so please stop a moment and ponder it.) These, then, are
the four different shaped bones of our skeleton. In other words,
the bones have only three different internal states or formats
within the four different stages.
Together, these different styles of arrangements or formats of
the contents of the four bones make up the whole inner form, the
complete skeleton of the cosmology: that is, of four different
stages of process, progress and development. And this isas
youll see shortlythe single, simple pattern lying hidden within
all the different fourfold, processual cosmologies: and it outlines
their common, but hidden, structural form.
As this is so important, and so difficult to grasp at first, let me
repeat these terms once again: Chaos, Separation, Union, Trans-
cendence. And also: from a random mass, via differentiates,
emerges an organised whole, followed by another, greater scale,
random mass. Note that although Transcendence does not de-
scribe the format of contents of the fourth stage, it does describe
its situationits relation to the third. As youll see, we need both
these sets, the poetic metaphors or symbolic archetypes and the
more precise concepts, to come to a full, holistic appreciation of
this pattern.

Usually numbers just signify quantities: but, reaching back into ancient
times, there is a well-known, tried and true, justification for ascribing
forms, values, and qualitiesin short, deeper meaningsto numbers.
Plato, Pythagoras and many othersand in our time Junghave at-
tested to the value of the use of numbers as inherently meaningful


Now, so there can be absolutely no doubt about the differ-

ences in the inner formats of each of the four stagesthat is, the
bones of the skeletonI am going to lead you through the four
stages of doing an ordinary jigsaw puzzle, and allot each one its
symbolicthat is, meaningfulnumber. Follow me in your imagi-
nation, visualising the whole process ...
1. You start off with a box of mixed-up pieces, which you tip
out onto the table; this is the first phase, stage One, conceptually a
random mass, and archetypally Chaos.
2. Then, if you do it the normal way, you separate out all the
corner and edge piecesand the grass bits, the sky bits, and so
ondividing them into little separate piles. This is stage Two,
conceptualised as differentiation or archetypally as Separation.
3. Then you go ahead and put the pieces into their right place,
making the picture; this is the stage of implementation, stage
Three: organised, coherent wholeness, or archetypally Union. Now
the picture is finished; the puzzle is complete.
And that, in essence, is the simple threefold pattern of getting
something done: of any process, and of Anitas pattern of the
world. But of course the whole thing doesnt end there. After
youve finished the picture come a variety of transcendent results
of the third stage of the process. For example, you may feel happy,
satisfied; you may go off to the shops to buy another one; your
child may want one too; a friend may admire your patience, and
so on.
4. All these different results, coming after youve completed
the actual picture, are a stage beyond the actual jigsaw puzzle,
(although they are still part of the overall process) and are formu-
lated as stage Four. Collectively, these results are another Chaos,
another random mass (but now on a much greater scale than the
original first-stage One Chaos, the random mass of all the little
pieces of the jigsaw). So here, formally, is a return to Chaos but
which, this time, is Transcendent.
Without this fourth stage, the complete threefold process
does not and cannot go anywhere; it is whats called a closed sys-
In workshops, I give people little piles of junk to work this
out with, as Anita did at Goddard, so that this methodologythis

method or pattern of doing thingsof process, progress and de-

velopmentbecomes embedded more deeply in them than just
the mental ideas. So I hope you managed to visualise this process
as I was going through it. To summarise:

Stage One: a boxful, a large pile, a formless heap of small, at-

omistic, undifferentiated, mixed up jigsaw puzzle pieces.

Stage Two: differentiatesthey are all sorted out into sepa-

rate piles of corner and edge pieces, sky pieces, grass pieces, etc.

Stage Three: implementationthe finished picture, the or-

ganised and completed whole.

Stage Four: resultse.g. feelings of pleasure; childs interest;

friends admiration; trip to shops to buy new one; etc.

At the risk of tedium, lets go over the poetic forms of the pat-
tern once again. Chaos (one large mixed-up pile of jigsaw puzzle
pieces); Separation (differentiates, several small piles of sorted-out
pieces); Union (the complete, whole, united, picture). Followed by
Transcendenceformally, another Chaos, another random mass
(consisting, collectively, of all the different things which happen
after the Three, the completed puzzle, is achieved) but now on a
far greater scale.
Remember two things here. First, that the overall pattern is
formally spiral because the first Chaos is repeated further on and
higher up in stage Fouras another, greater, Chaos. Second,
that, as that fourth stage Chaos (all the results of the completed
stage Three) consists collectively of an atomistic, disorderly, ran-
dom mass of stage Ones (that is, of the beginnings of other,
following processes), the whole cosmology is not only spiral but open-


This, then, is the inner form, the abstract pattern or skeleton

of Gaias Cosmology, within which are four different bones. And,


as Ill show you later on, this is the single, common model or frame-
work that (if you know how to look for it!) can be seen lying under and/or
within every process. And this is what I consider constitutes the univer-
sal pattern of the world, the Grand Pattern, Batesons pattern which
Not only Indonesians but some reputable Western writers
have seen it. As I said earlier, Whitehead, the first modern phi-
losopher to relate science and religion, and whose work initiated
the welter of things that today come under the heading of process
thought, arrived at this same, abstract, fourfold pattern of process
as a cosmology, and the four stages constitutive of an actual en-
tity (1978: 149). As in Oriental traditions, he saw that the actual
world is a process, and the process is the becoming of actual enti-
ties14 (l978: 22).
Another philosopher who must also have seen this formal
pattern earlier was the German philosopher, Georg Hegel (1770
1831), who arrived at a slightly different variation of the same
basic thing. He formulated the stages in different terms again,
though: a thesis, he said, incurs or evokes an antithesis, which
then combine in a synthesiswhich produces other theses.
William Blake too had a fourfold vision, as I quoted at the be-
ginning of this book: And a fourfold vision is given to me.
These three slightly different versions of the same overall pat-
tern of process illustrate that itthis spiral Grand Patternis not
a fixed, rigid and inviolable grid but a flexible, somewhat variable
and even fluctuating mesh. For any formal framework or structure
to be universally applicableas this one apparently isit has to
be general enough to cover a vast range of particular instances, yet
not so general that it is structureless and therefore useless.
In any case, from both East and West come different descrip-
tions of this unseen structure, this formal and abstract skeleton
and spiral pattern of the world which underlies some apparently
very different traditional, concrete, fourfold cosmologies. And this

Whiteheads language in his major work, Process and Reality, is obscure.
Actual entities is his term for things, creatures, beings and even soci-
eties. For more on his own cosmology and its remarkable similarity to
the pattern of the world, see Appendix 2.


is the living, evolving pattern of process that I, too, was shown in

a visionin Plainfield, Vermont, one crisp autumn morning in
September 1978.
Finally, one last thing needs emphasising. Although it is four-
fold, this is a vision of unity. And it could, I think, change
everything, including the current scientific paradigm. For exam-
ple, our Western view of the world is as if it were composed of a
myriad unrelated fragments: everything is divided into different
disciplines and specialities and analysed almost to the point of
non-existenceand its all based on material substances and inert
matter. We murder to dissect as Wordsworth said. Yet the new
physics is saying that, somehow or other, everything in the uni-
verse is connected. Obviously there is a great gap between these
two different scientific attitudes, and it needs bridgingand this
Great Spiral Pattern of process can do just that.


Once last time: from an initial random mass or Chaos, devel-

ops differentiation, Separation: thence a coherent, organised
whole, or Union: which is followed by a random mass of results,
Transcendence. Or, in its simplest and most abstractand inher-
ently symbolicnumbers we can say One, Two, Three, and Four.
Let me quote againas Jung so often doeswhat he calls The
Axiom of Maria Prophetissa, the fifteenth century mystic:

Out of the One comes the Two

Out of the Two comes the Three
And out of the Three
Come Ones as the Four.15

Another much simpler way to look at the whole pattern is to

say that every process has four stages: a beginning, a middle, an
end, and results. Obviously!youll say. But now, seeing how the
arrangement, or format, of the contents of each of these four stages

Marias last line, as quoted so often by Jung, in fact reads, Comes four
as the one, but this, as I have shown, is incorrect. As her axiom has
passed through several translations, made by people who may not have
seen or understood the pattern, I am assuming she got it right.


differs from the othersin that it has a structurally different inner

formis a different shaped boneyou can see a more subtle and
complex view of process: and that these four different bones to-
gether make up a whole and holistic skeleton.
So what is not at all obviouswhich has in effect been hidden
from usis that the beginning, middle, end, and results stages of
process all have their own different state, their own different inner
form. And it is these different bones of the skeleton that, as
youll soon see, make the whole thing so practical and so valu-
able as a holistic conceptual framework: that is, as a cosmology.
And as a holistic paradigm too, a new story, fit for today.
As I said, by far the simplest and most abstract representa-
tion of the pattern is the symbolic set of numbers, One, Two,
Three, and Four, which from now on I shall also be emphasising
in bold. And these have more concrete modes, too, which also
conform to a pattern: monad; dyad or duality; triad or trinity; and
the fourfold quadrad/tetrad/quaternity when these are emergent.16
That is, when they are neither static nor cyclic but evolving, de-
veloping, and advancing: in a word, processual.


Having covered quite a lot of ground describing the different

bones in the formal skeleton of the cosmology, it may be clearer if
I tabulate them all here as the four different stages of the Grand
Pattern and how they appear as a variety of different progres-
This is the simple pattern of the evolutionary upward urge,
the creative advance to complexity, the opposite of entropy. And it is
this simple, universal Pattern of the World which Im calling

We tend to think of Four symbolically as being solid and square (or
cubic) and closed. But one of the oldest counting systems in the
worldthe Phoeniciancalls Four the door, and the old Hebraic sign
for four shows an open three-sided figure with the same meaning, of a
doorway, implying like Janus that other dimensions are to follow. The
ancient Keltic Beth-LuisNion alphabet based on trees also has the Oak,
duir, as Four, again meaning a door.


Gaias Cosmology that shows the fourfold form common to all the
processes, all the positive change and progress being made in the
world. It gives a simple picture of the form of the creative, living,
dynamic, pattern of everything growing and developing that was
shown to me in a vision in Vermont. When, as Whitehead says,
The many become one, and are increased by one[the]
many[are] in process of passage into conjunctive unity (1978:

Science knows of entropy, which is codified and expressed in

the second law of thermodynamics as a measure of disorderthe
fact that everything eventually decays, collapses, runs down to
chemical equilibrium so that perhaps eventually the heat death of
the universe will occuraccording to the hard sciences. But the
sciences have not seen or described, let alone formulated, the op-
posite trend, of negative entropythe dance of lifeand this,
Gaias Cosmology, the Grand Pattern of the World, or the World
Pattern of Process, does. It shows the upward trend towards in-
creasing order, organisation, complexity and freedom: and the
formal path of all process, progress and development that has so
far lacked formulation.

Forgive me for emphasising yet again: it is the differently

shaped bones of the skeleton that are significant. If the simple be-
ginning, middle, end, results stages of progress did not have
distinctly different inner forms, this pattern as a cosmology would
be of no use to the modern world. But it does have them: and it is
these, the different formal arrangements of the contents of the four
stagesthat is, the increasing order and organisation of the suc-
cessive forms of the contents of each of the first three stages
which makes this particular cosmology not only universally ap-
plicable as a theoretical model but also very practical as a set of
qualitative guidelines. Well explore this idea in Part 3.
Yet again: the inner form of the fourfold traditional cosmolo-
gies can be said to be spiral and open ended. In the end is our
beginning, as it were. (If you ever wondered about all those spi-
rals in tribal art, and in such prehistoric constructions as the Keltic
Newgrange monument in Irelandthis is probably what they
meant.) And as an abstract and yet systemic model it can beand
isfound in concrete exemplars in many of the disciplines includ-
ing the sciences today, as Ill show you presently.
So in spite ofand in addition toour modern analytical
and scientific background which fragments the world in our
minds, this whole and unified skeleton gives us a way of seeing
things syntheticallythat is, as a synthesisholistically. Much
lip-service is paid to this term these days but what holism means,
exactly, no one can tell you! Yet with this pattern in the world, the
universal pattern of the world, we can begin to see the naturally
evolving, emerging, orderly process of things developing and mov-
ing onwards: and in here we can correctly discern what Holism
means, as we shall see later.
Here, then, is how our fragmented vision of the world may be
restored to coherence, to a unity. This abstract, formal skeleton,
this Three-plus-One formation, shows the unity, the harmony, the
simple and single world pattern of process and the evolutionary
trend of everything, the creative advance. This shows us another
Reality (other than entropy, that is) underlying the multiplicity of
ordinary every-day appearances, and even of Gaia, the planet
earth, herself.


I am therefore suggesting that the traditional fourfold cos-

mologies, and more specifically this abstract, formal, cosmological
pattern, all give us Gregory Batesons pattern which connects,
John Barrows Theory of Everything (1991) and a far simpler and
clearer version of the only modern philosophical cosmology in
existence, which was first written upso obscurely!by White-
head in the 1920s.
And this is not the end of it. There is still more to it, to this
skeleton, because the four bones in themselves give us a series of
qualitative categories and relations, which any philosophy needs:
but we dont come on to them until Particle 2. vi.


Of course, this simple pattern of evolutionary process, pro-

gress, and development is not new. The ancient Pythagoreans
described the entire process of world creation in three stages, as (i)
an undifferentiated unity, (ii) the separation into two opposite
powers creating the world order, and (iii) the union of the oppos-
ites to generate life. This is virtually the same as Jungs pattern of
personal development, which goes from (i) a global wholeness,
through (ii) differentiation, to (iii) individuated [i.e. integrated]
wholeness. And as we saw, Hegels dialectical trio of thesis, anti-
thesis, synthesis is saying much the same thing in different
words. These three formulationsthe Pythagorean, the Jungian
and the Hegelianas well as the old Nature, man and God cos-
mology, all have the same inner form, the same formal pattern
within them.
But they depict a complete three-stage process. And so in fact
does the pattern I have been describing. About whether their three
stages lead on to a fourth stage, which then leads on to and causes
other processes, these great ones are somewhat unclear. Butand
this is a big butwithout the inclusion of the conceptualised formu-
lation of a fourth stage, consisting of a mixed bag (random mass)
of transcendent resultswhich may well be the beginnings of
other subsequent processesthis would depict only a closed,
three-stage system. It would not, therefore, be able to account for


any processual continuity, further developments, progress, you,

me, humankind or indeed the universe.
Speaking of whichand looking at the same simple pattern
at largehere it is, in a table based on the one worked out by one
of the great General Systems theorists, the late Erich Jantsch,
Whiteheadian scholar and systems scientist at the University of
California at Berkeley. This shows the same four-stage pattern as it
appears in the evolution of the natural world, from atoms to ga-
laxies, and from the material to the spiritual. (1980: 224. Note his




Particle 2.ii Concrete: the flesh

The two most common concrete exemplars
So much for the Tesspiral, as I would like to call the formal,
structured, four-stage spiral which is the abstract framework, the
inner form of the unseen World Pattern of Process and the struc-
tural skeleton of Gaias Cosmology.
Now if there is indeed a single, simple, common pattern at
large in the worldas I am claimingthen it must manifest, visi-
bly, right under our noses. And as Im going to show you now, it
doesin our ordinary surroundings, which are depicted in the
two major Indonesian concrete cosmologies at least. These are the
traditional Four Elements and the Four Existentsthat is, the
Chain of Being. The former are Earth, Water, Air, and Light or
Fire; and the latter Minerals, Plants, Animals, and Humans. Again,
I am capitalising these as they are of archetypal significance and
even in some sense sacred.
These two different sets of things, together, make up all the
externals of our life, the whole of our common or garden sur-
roundings. They make up our reality. Whatever you see around
you slots easily into one of these categories; everything that there
is in what we call this world belongs in one or other of these two
fourfold cosmologies. This is our entire environment. Later Ill be
showing you how they also make up our invironment: that is, how
they are not only out there in the world but are also in here in
our bodies, feelings, mindsand more. But for now, Im going to
show you the two different traditional exemplars of the Grand
Pattern, the two concrete cosmologies which you might call the
flesh, depending on, coating, and clothing the skeleton of Gaias
cosmologyto which, as youll see, they both con-form.

The four elements

In Javanese philosophy you often come across what we in the
West call the four Empedoclean elementsand we rattle them
off in English as earth, air, fire, and water. But, like this, they are
in the wrong order! In Java, Bali and other traditional societies in
Indonesia where you still find this concrete cosmology, they leave


them in their natural order which, from where we stand in Nature,

is this: Earth is the base; on that lie the various types and forms of
Water; on and around and above that flows the Air; and from
above all that comes the (sun)Light. So the correct order is Earth,
Water, Air, and Light .
This apparently trivial mistake in English has led to a huge
difference further down the line, because muddling up their natu-
ral order has obscured the fact that these four traditional Elements
con-form (are structurally parallel) to the same four different for-
mal stages of the bones in the skeleton of Gaias cosmology, and
also to the Chain of Being. Unlike the Chain of Being, though,
these four elements are not, as far as we know today, either indi-
vidually or collectively evolving; instead, we can see themand
use them quite comfortably, as Indonesian traditions dojust as
metaphors for the different stages of process.
To see how the Four Elements conform to the Grand Pattern,
we have to perceive them, and examine them, with holistic eyes.
The Earththat is the globethe ground and the planet we
live onis, seen with holistic vision, a single, random, mixed up,
atomistic, formless whole. The planet itself is a global whole in the
shape of a somewhat irregular sphere, its true; but within that
whole there is little that is regular in form. And we can see that it
is random, mixed up, atomistic, formless in several ways. First,
because there are no naturally occurring straight lines or clear di-
visions on the globe. Look at the map and, apart from the man-
made borders of some nations, you wont find straight lines, clear-
cut borders, or sharp divisions anywhere. Second, within each of
the naturally occurring chemicals and minerals on the planet there
are no divisions either: each atom of gold is atomisticexactly
the same as every other atom of gold, wherever it is in the world.
I know it may not be easy to see the Earth, the planet we live
on, as a random, disorderly whole because we have been trained
to analyse everything and see only differences. But once we can
perceive it like thisas a global whole without inner form or
order, as an undifferentiated, atomistic masswe can then see it is
a natural exemplar of the first state and stage of progress, One, a


single, formless, disorderly, undifferentiated and global random

whole or, archetypally, Chaos.
The Waters on the other hand are obviously multiple and di-
vided: they come naturally as either salt water or fresh, and exist
separately in oceans and clouds, rivers and raindropsand there
are deserts where there is no water at all. Also, water exists in
three different states: solid, liquid and gas. So it is easy to see that
the waters are in many ways differentiated, exemplifying what I
am calling a Two, that is, the second stage and stage of progress
and development, differentiation, archetypally, Separation.
The Air, on the contrary, is one indivisible whole. Unlike the
waters which are naturally divided, you cannot divide the air
without a lot of fancy equipment. It has several component parts
(different gases) which are centred on, and moving around, the
planetyet its very movement and dynamism keeps the air more
or less homogenous as an integrated, united whole and thus an
exemplar of a stable yet dynamic Three, archetypally Union.
And finally Light and/or Fire, shining from the sun onto all
and everything indiscriminatelyand thus formlessly and atomis-
tically, again (as the Earth, One, but now on a far greater scale) is
another exemplar of the form of random mass, or Chaos, here as
Four, and clear example of Transcendence.
In many ways this set of the Four Elements is atypical as an
exemplar of the pattern. The four elements arent in process, or
even processes plural. (The waters do go round and round in cy-
cles but, as well see later on, cycles are not whole spirals
tesspiraland are typical only of Twos.) However, as a whole,
this set does con-form to the skeleton: and the Elementsin their
correct orderconform to the four bones of the skeleton of the
Pattern of Process. But although it is used often enough in non-
industrialised societies as a traditional cosmology in its own right,
this set of the Four Elements is not going anywhere. It is notas
far as we know today!in process, and it is not alive.
On the other hand, weyou and Ido have these four ele-
ments within us. As David Suzuki points out in The Sacred Balance
we are made up of Earth (physical stuff, minerals); Water is in our
every cell, in all our tissues as well as our blood; Air is not just in
our lungs but travelling round our body; and Light is emitted by

every cell of our body.17 Again, I am capitalising these great ele-

ments because they are of archetypal significancewhich will
become clear in the human psychology particle of Part 3.
Even though this set of the Four Elements is not in process, it
is still a formal exemplar of Gaias Cosmology. So Ive shown it
here as it is used in traditional Indonesian societies today as a se-
ries of four different metaphors illustrating different conditions
and characteristics of the skeleton: that is, of the bones symbolised
by One, Two, Three, and Four, the formal stages of process. Later
on, in Particle vi, Ill be coming back to this set to use it and put it
to work, because, on examining the different behaviours of the
four different stages of process (the bones), youll be able to see
how useful this set of Elements can beespecially in the assess-
ment of different qualities.

The chain of being

The Great Chain of Being is a cosmology found in traditions both
East and West (cf. Lovejoy, 1936/64). Basically it is a long and in-
definitely numbered series of connected links in a chain
spanning from God down to archangels and angels, then down
further still through the human to biological nature and finally
solid matter. On the other hand, the lesser, visible Chain of Being
has four distinct links: the human species plus the animal, vege-
table and mineral categories of the old guessing game.
Philosopher A.O. Lovejoy says of the phrase, The Chain of
Being, that it

was long one of the most famous in the vocabulary of

Occidental philosophy, science and reflective poetry. ... It was,
in fact, until not much more than a century ago, probably the
most widely familiar conception of the general scheme of
things, of the constitutive pattern of the universe.
(1936, 1976: vii, his italics, my bold)

Lightas discovered by German biophysicist Fritz-Albert Popp, and
detailed in The Field, by Lynn McTaggert (2001: 4856)is emitted by
all living cells.


The Great Chain usually began at the top with God because it
was discussed and used mainly by theologians, but as we are
more pragmaticand seculartoday I am reversing their order
here and, beginning at the bottom, taking only the four lowest and
visible links. These are the (i) mineral or material (i.e. inert phys-
ical substances and objects), (ii) plant or vegetal, (iii) animal, and
(iv) human links. And in this order these four different classes of
Existents or the four great realms con-form not only overall, out-
wardly, but also internally to the four bones of the skeleton of
Gaias Cosmology, the world pattern of process. So although
were going to look at these examples of the cosmological bones
one by one, it also becomes clear how they are together an exam-
ple of one holistic, emergent, evolving, process.

Inorganic, physically inert matter or substances, like the ele-
ment Earth, above, exemplify One, the first, global or random
wholeness state and stage of being: Chaos. But whereas the ele-
ment Earth is presumably (but not necessarily, depending on
context) just the planet Earth as a global whole, here we have also
the non-living material contents of this world in all its variety. So
Mineral covers not just rocks and gold and sulphur and so on,
but man-made objects such as computers and chairs, roads and
buildings, as they did in the old guessing game, Twenty Ques-
There are some properties of Minerals (or as I prefer to call
them, collectively, matter) that need pointing out here: first, that
the elements and solid substances that make up the earth are
somewhat muddled up, and in rather a messan amorphous,
random mass again. There are no clear straight borders or divi-
sions between the soil and all the different minerals and rocks.
Theyre mixed up together, quite randomly! Gold, for instance, is
found scattered all over the place in Australia, Scotland, South
Africa and Sumatra, and there is no order in it; that is, there are no
sharp edges or borders separating the gold from all the other min-
eral substancesnor all the other different physical substances
from one another. And that is just externally.


As for internally: as the great biochemist George Wald said,

The very definition of what we mean by substance is that all its
molecules are identical. Molecules come that way, identical with
one another, and in any pure substance that is the only thing we
find (In Platt, 1965: 23).
Also, to a certain extent matter is undifferentiated in the sense
that it is interchangeable. If, for instance, the leg of my chair
breaks, I can mend it with a piece of wood, a piece of steel or plas-
tic, or even a piece of concrete. It mightnt look so good, but the
new leg would function as a leg, whatever the material it was
mended with. That simply could not occur in the plant realm.
So now Im going to show you how to perceiveand re-
envisionthe plant world, vegetation, and particularly plants as
examples of the second cosmological stage of process and pro-
gress, Two. That is, as examples of differentiation, or Separation,
the state in which the Pattern says they are. Look out particularly
for the differences between the Chaotic, random whole realm of
non-living matter and minerals, and the orderly, living, plant

Plants are individuals. In itself, each and every plant is differ-
ent, and differentiated, even from other plants of its age, type and
species. In many ways plants exemplify the second stage of pro-
cess and progress; as Ill show you, they are separate,
differentiated, and divided in several different dimensions.
Plantsenvisioned quite differently from the ordinary Western
vieware the individualists of the natural world: and as youll
soon see, we might find they are competitive and even anti-
I am going to spend an inordinately long time looking at
plantsbut again this is appropriate to Twos, as this second stage
of process tends to extremes. So here we go, looking at the plants
and the world of vegetation, and particularly at individual plants
themselves as examples of differentiation andarchetypically
Separation, the way the Grand Pattern indicates they are.
For a start, like many Twos, the vegetal world overall is one
of extremes. The oldest living thing that has been found on our

planet is a huon pine on Mt. Read in Tasmania. Scientists say its

around 15,000 years old, though others think it could be as much
as 25,000 years. Even if it isnt, the American Methuselah bristle-
cone pine at 4,700 years is still a lot older by a long chalk than
anything in the animal or human realms.
And the size plants can grow to! The roots and branches of
that ancient pine in Tasmanian spread out over a hectare or so of
land. (When it was first discovered by the Dept. of Forestry peo-
ple, they thought it was a small patch of forest.) Another giant was
a eucalyptus at Watts River in Victoria which was measured at
102.6 meters tall in 1872. The California redwoods, the tallest
plants known, commonly reach an average height of between 60
to 90 meters, and the tallest ever recorded was nearly 117 meters
(385 feet). The tallest tree alive today is the Mendocino Tree, a
redwood, sequoia sempervirens, last measured in 1998 at 112 meters
tall with a trunk diameter of 3.1 meters. Yet even these giants start
smallthe seed of a redwood is about 1.6 mm in diameter.
The speeds with which plants grow also range from one ex-
treme to another. One of the fastest growing plantsand the
longest seaweedis the Pacific giant kelp, macrocystis pyrifera,
which grows up to 60 meters long sometimes at a rate of 45 centi-
metres per day. Perhaps the slowest is the Australian grass tree or
balga, Xanthorrhoea, whose trunk grows only one centimetre per
year, if that.
The smallest living things are also plants. These are micro-
scopic, single-celled sea-faring plants called plankton, or more
accurately phytoplanktonbecause they need light. Zillions of
them spend their entire life floating on or near the surface of the
sea so they get enough sunlight to produce their own food.
These are the bottom of the food chain: they get eaten by the
slightly largerbut still minuteanimal plankton, or larger
predators, and so on in turn, up the food chain. If it werent for
these all but invisible plants turning inorganic elements into or-
ganic compounds and pumping oxygen into the air, and being
food for some members of the animal kingdom, life as we know
itvegetal, animal and humanwouldnt be possible.
Each of these microscopic, one-celled plantshowever small
and relatively simple they areis totally unlike a piece of inor-

ganic matter the same size. It has, for example, a cell wall around
it made of cellulose which gives it a definite shape and rigidity;
this is called in botany a selectively permeable membrane. This
means the wall itself controls the entry and exit of materials, al-
lowing certain things through but preventing others from getting
in or out. (Remember the term selective herefor the Particle on
language coming up in Part 4.)
And like all larger plants these unbelievably tiny plankton do
have an interioragain unlike inorganic matter. That is, there are
several different things inside them. Overall though you can say
these are in two partsthe central controlling nucleus, and the
semi-liquid cytoplasm, the stuff which makes up the rest of the
cell including its wall.
Now within the nucleus, and within the cytoplasm, are other,
still smaller parts. The nucleus itself has a membrane, partially
cutting itself off from the cytoplasm, and inside this are the chro-
mosomes, and inside these are the genes, and inside them is the
DNA. Layers within layers within layersand all this within a
single very, very small cell... wow! All these different structures
act as a template: they contain the hereditary information of the
cells which is passed on to the next generation when they divide
and reproduce.
Outside the nucleus but within the cytoplasm are the chloro-
plasts, the green bits of chlorophyll (usually in the leaves of larger
plants) which enable them to produce their own food out of inor-
ganic materials in the presence of sunlight.
In doing this, these minute phytoplankton illustrate what
every other plant does: which is exchange energies with their envi-
ronment. They take in water, minerals, carbon dioxide and
sunlight, and give off oxygen and at other times carbon dioxide.
So they are open systems as the jargon calls it. (Again, compare
this with the mineral realm and material objects which are closed
systems, because there is no life, and no exchange of energies or
anything else with the environment.)
So even within these microscopic, single-celled plants, there
is a great deal of differentiation: that is, division into different areas
with their different functions. And it is the differentiation of the
actual living stuff into tiny little structures, each with its own dif-

ferent function to carry out, which makes even these minute

plankton internally much more orderly and complex than any
similar-sized piece of inorganic matter. Externally, too, there are
signs of order and complexity, in that there are several major
groupings among the phytoplankton as a whole.
In this way, these minute plants are examples, illustrations of
what every other plant is and doeshow it functions. But what
are these different functions in plants in general, now?
First of all, plants convert non-living, inorganic matter into
living individuals. I find this amazing! The step up the scale of exis-
tents, up the Chain of Being from inorganic, undifferentiated
matter to differentiated, living matterhowever many eons it
took originally, and in however many gradual stages it was ac-
complished over the billions of years of geological timeis a
qualitative step upwards. From the Chaos of inert matter emerged
order, differentiation, and life as functioning individuals: and this
upward leap gives plants a whole new range of abilities that non-
living matter doesnt have: including Separation.
Each and every plant, from the minute phytoplankton to the
tallest Redwood, is a separate, and different, individual. By different,
I mean that although every molecule of inorganic chemical ele-
ments in the mineral/material realm is atomistic and the same,
here in the plant realm each and every planthowever micro-
scopicis slightly different from its fellows, and a separate
A plantand even a seedcan stand on its own two feet, so
to speak. Providing it has enough sunlight, water and certain min-
erals, a seed survives on its own. This may not seem remarkable
but actually it is, if you think about it. Could a kitten survive by
itself, automatically, without its mothers milk, or a newly-hatched
chick without an adult to protect it or show it bugs to eat?
But the seed of a plant lives, or dies, on its own. No plant looks
after its offspring. Once its been launched from its parent plant, a
seed is well and truly on its own. Motherless and fatherless, plants
liveor diefrom seeds to adulthood, alone. Alone in a crowd,
admittedly, but it is a competitive crowd. Plants have to survive
by reacting to externals: that is, by grabbingalbeit slowly from
our point of view!water, minerals and light at others expense,

including that of their own offspring. So Herbert Spencers phrase

the survival of the fittest really does apply in the plant realm.
You might say plants are selfish, competitive, and even anti-social,
so strong is the struggle for their own individual survival.
I can now hear you say: ah yes, but there are cases in which
plants do help each other! But later Ill discuss this, pointing out
that this is a blindi.e. automaticreaction of defensive indi-
viduals, rather than a case of helping others.
What else makes the vegetal realm what it is? In other words,
what does a seed have that a similar-sized non-living objecta
bead, say, or a metal ball-bearing, or a childs marbledoes not
It has lots of unseen potential, for a start. An acorn may grow
into an oak tree; a violet seed may grow into a plant with a flower;
a single oat may grow into a plant bearing a whole head of new
Now, all of what I am saying here is obvious: we know it all,
and we usually dont think about these things; we take them for
granted. But, in a way, and compared with the vast quantity of
inert, non-living stuff that surrounds us all the timewalls, build-
ings, vehicles, roads, the earth they and you and I all stand on
plants as separate, individual living things are actually, quantita-
tively, quite rareand pretty amazing things. But we dont think
about this, do we? As Paul McCartney said in one of his songs,
The fish is the last to discover water.
But to continue: what else does a seed have?or what else
does it do?that we can use as argument to show how it il-
lustrates Two, the dualistic second stage of process and our
second principle of differentiation, archetypally, Separation.
For a start, seeds germinate; they grow and make more cells,
which in multi-celled plants are not all the same but specialise and
become different tissues. These have different functionsof me-
tabolism, growth, support, adaptation, competition, reproduction.
Above all, they can liveand all these functions carry onand
they can die. That is, their different ways of functioning can stop, or
be stopped by being picked or chopped down. (This is a major
dualism, a Two, that mere non-living matter doesnt have.)


To live and do all these things, plants have to be sensitive: and

of course they are. They react to external stimulithat is, to things
in their environment.18 And they select, from that whole envi-
ronment, only what they need to grow with. Only certain things in
their environment are usedand others are either ignored or let
go, put back.
During the day plants take carbon dioxide from the air and
put oxygen into it. During the night, though, the opposite hap-
pens. They extract oxygen, and put carbon dioxide back into the
air. Together with the extraction of water and minerals from the
earth, and in the presence of chlorophyllthe green stuff in
leavesand sunlight, plants feed, to keep themselves alive and
growing; this is how their metabolism works.
So plants are living, functioning, open systems. Living organic
material develops through the ordering of quantities of carbon
atoms and others into relatively large clusters called macro-
molecules. Many of these giant molecules are proteins, the basis of
all living tissue. And certain different ones have to be included all
into one container, you might say, before a functioning cell is
formed. In fact the main difference between non-living matter and
living things is that living organisms can best be described as
non-living matter that has become organised in a special and dif-
ferent way (Watson, 1974).19
If you chop a bush down to the ground, the roots may sprout
again and a new bush or tree grow up again on the roots, right
where the old one was: but the top half, the stems and leaves and
so on which have been deprived of their roots, will die. If you
chop a rock in half, because non-living matter is internally undif-

I think it was Toynbee who first pointed out the difference between
stimulus/reaction and the higher leveli.e. more complex
challenge/response. So note well here my distinguishing between mere
re-actions to externals (Two, vegetal-level behaviours), and actions
and/or responses to internals (Three, animal-level behaviours).
In Part 4, I shall discuss the value of this cosmology for the English lan-
guage, and how it gives us a level-specific vocabulary. I will just say
here that, as the word organised is more appropriately a Three (that is,
an Air and/or Animal-level word), Watson would have been more ac-
curate if he had used ordered (a Two, a plant-level word) here,


ferentiated, you just get two smaller rocks. This emphasises the
fact that not only does a plant grow, but it has separate, different,
differentiated, internal tissues and parts.
Not only this, but the roots in sprouting again will often pro-
duce not the single stem that they used to support, but several
stems. This illustrates another feature of plants: their adaptability.
Things in the material realm cannot adapt to their surroundings:
break a chair leg off and it cannot repair itself. A few small lizards
and other reptiles may be able to replace severed tail or limbs, but
none of the higher animals can. Yet if you cut off the limb of a tree,
another one, or several, may grow in its place. Or if a wall hinders
its growth, it will compensateadaptits shape to accommodate
to that. In different climate zones, too, plants have adapted them-
selvesand altered themselves into new species even, from
Antarctica to the tropics, from high altitudes to the depths of the
So easy adaptability is another of the key features of plant life,
and thence perhaps the proliferation of species. There are millions
more species in the plant world than there are chemical elements
(120 at most) and of the far smaller number (though our total is
still increasing as more are discovered) of animal species.
This leads on to another feature of the vegetal world which
isif youll forgive the anthropomorphic wordimitation. A
few species of trees, when an animal begins to graze off its leaves,
give off a toxin that discourages any more predatory feeding. Its
an automatic defensive system. In addition, if there is a grove of
similar trees around, very quickly the other trees will all begin to
produce the same toxin. Reacting, they copythey imitatethe
original tree. This is not a group act, or a case of helping others: it
is an automatic, defensive, re-action of individuals to an external
change, in this case a threat.
But lets look now at a more typical plant. What else does a
bottle-brush bush do that a similar quantity of non-living matter,
say a rock or a chair, doesnt do?
For a start, a plant does things: it behaves in certain ways. As
I said earlier, it grows. From a single cell or a seed it grows into a
plant. And it doesnt just grow in size, accumulating like a snow-
ball, with more and more quantities of the same stuff. No, a seed

germinates and grows cellsand several different types of cells,

which become different tissuesall as part of its growing. So dif-
ferent systems and features and qualities emerge within the
individuals of the vegetal realm that are not there in the non-
living mineral or material realm. That is, Twos are more complex,
more advanced thanhave evolved further thanOnes.
So yet another example of the differentiation of Twos is that a
plant has different parts to it. The big bottle-brush bush outside
my window has roots, stems, leaves and bright red flowers. And
each of these divisions is made of a different tissue: that is, of dif-
ferent types of cell. Root cellsor some of themspecialise in the
absorption of water and minerals from the earth; stem cells spe-
cialise in strength and stability for supporting the branches, leaves
and flowers, and in the transportation of water and minerals from
the roots up to the leaves. The leaf cells themselves specialise in
the production of carbohydrates and amino acids, and the flowers
of seeds, and so on. And all of these are further examples of the
second stage of process, differentiation and Separation, symboli-
cally Two.
I mentioned in the Water section of the Elements, earlier, that
cycles (not spirals!) are typical of Twos. Another instance is that a
plant dies, you might say, for the sake of its descendants. For ex-
ample, grasses produce seeds, and once they have done so the
roots, stalks and leaves die and decay, providing nutrients for the
next generation. The life cycle of plants is just this: a life cycle,
which is different from a whole process. A plant may take many,
many years to grow from seed to mature tree, but the leaves that it
sheds during its lifetime, if left undisturbed, decay into humus
which helps that same tree to grow new leaves. This is a cycle ra-
ther than an advance: and cyclicity is another feature of the plant
world and perhaps of most other Twos.
Today we need to follow these natural cycles. As early man
learned to plant and harvest grains, he ploughed the roots and
stalks and even the chaff back into the earth; and he saw that
death helped to produce more life and more abundantly. In dying,
plants help the next generation to livein an everlasting cyclic
form. Plants were the original recyclers.


Lets look at the overall business of a plant being a cosmol-

ogical Two for a moment, because certain things come with this.
As an orderly living system, a plant in itself is a dualistic system. It
is made up of both physical matterthe minerals and gases which
obey the regular physico-chemical laws of matterplus what sci-
entists (perhaps fearful of having to admit to the existence of a life
force) call negative entropy, or neg-entropy, which is of course
just another term for a life force or energy! Yet another dualism of
the plant realm is that of its diurnal rhythms and modes of func-
tioning during the alternations of day and night. Also, although a
plant is alive it can, obviously, diewhen the material substances
of which it is made revert to mere matter. None of these dualisms
exist in the non-living, purely material world.
With all this, as you can see, plants are naturally riddled by
dyads: by duality and dualisms. In addition, one I havent men-
tioned is the dyad of internal and external, of the individual plant
and its environment. Internally, there is the automatic functioning
of the cells to keep the individual plant alive: and externally there
is the competitive survival of the fittest: which individual plant is
going to get the scarce water, the necessary minerals, the place in
the sun and so on. (Compare this with animals who are largely
social, and generally co-operate and practise in their groups the
division of labour.)
Look back down a level to the material realm, too: rocks are
not alive so they dont have internal features or functionsand
they cant die. As plants are alive, they can: so here there is an
ever-present vulnerabilityand the consequent struggle to survive
involves some defensive reactions, blind competition with neigh-
bours, and even what we might call some anti-social behaviours.
Then there is the dyadic Yesno stimulus-and-reaction, the au-
tomaton-like tropisms in plants as they react to specific things in
the environment: night and day, sunlight and shade, drought and
rain, and so on.
Last but not least, beginning in 1966 documentation has been
being made of such sensitivity to their environment that feelings of
like/dislike have been recorded in plants (cf. Tompkins and Bird,
1973). Here is proof of the green-fingers syndrome and the old
saws that plants grow better for some people than others and

evenshock-horror!that plants have feelings. This sensing or

feeling ability of plants was first monitored by Cleve Backster, a
New York police officer, Americas foremost lie-detector exam-
iner who for some unknown reason fitted up his house plants
with a very sensitive galvanometer (lie-detector)and learned
that plants do, indeed, have feelings. Or perhaps it is more accu-
rate to say that plants are capable of sensingfeelingtheir
environment and the feelings of the people in it. Again, these are
plants automatic re-actions to externals.
All in all, there is really an extraordinary difference between
the plant realm (stage Two of the cosmology) and the non-living
mineral realm (stage One in the Chain of Being). It is not just a
matter of degree or quantity but of kind and qualities. The plant
realm exhibits a great deal of differentiation, division and di-
versitywhether you compare it with either the simple material,
non-living mineral world below it, or with the even more com-
plex animal world above it. So I think we can confidently say
that plants and the plant realm well exemplify the principle of the
second stage of Gaias Cosmology: differentiation, Separation, and
the symbolic number, Two.
Finally, as I said at the beginning of this inordinately long
section, let me emphasise again that the vegetal worldas other
Twosis one of extremes. Remember this: because it is something
we shall make use of when we discuss the different qualities of the
four levels later on.

Can we see animals as Threesthat is, as organised and
(usually) organic wholes, exemplifying Union? Looking at plants
we saw a vast spectrum of very different individuals but now,
looking at animals, Ill be focusing on two other aspects. In order
to generalise, Im going to focus only on higher, more typical ani-
mals (oysters and skaters well ignore for the time being) and on
two different scales of beingthat is, animals and their social
groups. I want to show you how both, albeit on different scales,
can be seen to be organised wholes, representing stage Three of
the World Pattern of Process. The way I see it holistically, not only
is an animala raven say, or a monkeyan exemplar of coherent

wholeness, but its social group is, too. Animals come from, and
usually live in, families or other larger, more or less united social
groups or communities which are also Threes, and exemplars of
This is not to say that there is no Separation or differenti-
ation (Twos) on the animal level. There may in fact be even more in
the animal realm than in Two, the plant. Yet this chief feature of
the plant realm is over-ruled here by a more complex factor: the ani-
mals whole syndrome of characteristic instincts to which its
lower, simpler, vegetative (sic) systems and parts are subordinate.
We must not, though, think that these various systems or
parts-within-a-coherent and organised/organic whole have to be
in any way uniform; they may well be controlled and dominated
by the purposes of the whole, but this does not mean they have to
lack a particular identity. Bio-physicist Mae Won Ho, writing in
The Rainbow and the Worm, has a description of quantum coher-
ence which although very small scale is I think is relevant here:

A coherent state [in the sub-atomic world] thus maximizes

both global cohesion and also local freedom. Nature presents
us a deep riddle that compels us to accommodate seemingly
polar opposites. What she is telling us is that coherence does
not mean uniformity: where everybody must be doing the
same thing all the time. An intuitive way to think about it is in
terms of a symphony orchestra or a grand ballet, or better yet,
a jazz band where every individual is doing his or her own
thing, but is yet in tune or in step with the whole. This is
precisely the biochemical picture we now have of the living
system: microcompartments and microdomains, right down to
molecular machines, all functioning autonomously doing very
different things at different rates, generating flow patterns and
cycleas of different spatial extensions, yet all coupled together,
in step with one another and hence, with the whole organism.
(1993: 151)

Another thing: animals and their social groups can behave in

two different ways; there are two levels, scales, or different quali-
ties of behaviour available here in Three, that is, on the animal
level. In the typical animal, for example, its internal organs and
systems can operate in two different modes: there are the lower,
automatic vegetative systems, which function unconsciously to


ensure the animals survival. These include its startle and other
automatic re-actions to sudden danger with immediate fight or
flight. Then there are the other, highermore complex
endocrine systems which, through their messenger communicat-
ing hormones, work together and give animals their more
characteristic behaviours, allowing them to respond intelligently
and co-operatively, participating (as a part) instinctively in an-
other wholeits family or other social group.20 And these two
different behaviours, originating in different-level systems, are
found in both an individual andto a greater or lesser extent,
with the addition in some cases of visual and aural communica-
tionsin its social group.
Lets have a definition or two now. The New Shorter (but still
3,801 pages) Oxford English Dictionary says an animal is a living
organism having sensation and voluntary motion, without rigid
cell walls and dependent on organic substances for food... colloq. A
four-legged animal as opp[osed] e.g. to an insect or a worm.
Animalcule, the next entry, says this is: 1. A small or tiny animal,
as a mouse or an invertebrate. 2. A microscopic animal.
Lets look at a single fairly typical larger animal. What else is
itor what other characteristics does it havethat show it is a
Three, a united, organised coherent whole exemplifying Union?
As the dictionary says, it can move around on its own: its self-
propelling. It also has a fixed shape and a boundary, is relatively
stable, and endures over time. And internally, it has connected or-
gans (parts) which work together systemically (as a whole integral
system) to keep the animal alive and acting instinctively
characteristicallyin its social group and in its environment. A
plant is alive; it has, you can say, a simple life, reacting to exter-
nals to survive. And thats all. But an animal has, in addition, an
inner life. Im not talking about spirituality here, but instincts. An
animal may react to external stimuli (Two), but it is also purpose-
ful; it is motivated by its internal instincts (Three). For example,
when hungry it goes hunting for food; when it wants sex it
searches for a mate to copulate with, when it needs sleep or shelter

Here is another term which I shall be using in a level-specific context:
applying instincts only to Threes and the third, animal level.


for its young it gets busy nest-building. All these instincts keep an
animal animated; unlike a plant, an animal moves purposefully,
independently: and in doing so it is an active, dynamic and yet
coherent and stable whole, and therefore easily classifiable as a
cosmological Three.
Indonesians say, when asked the difference between a plant
and an animal, An animal has a heart, which gives it will. As
well see in Particle vi, any whole has functioning parts either
grouped around a core or centre, or within a greater framework
or perhaps both: and just so are animals as self-organising wholes.
Once Yeats centre cannot holdin other words, once the heart
stops workingthe animal dies and entropy takes over. While the
animal lives, its heart, blood and hormonal systems perform the
co-ordinating work that keeps it active and animated and give it
will, the motivation to pursue its innerinstinctivepurposes.
In doing so, an animalalong with its social groupchanges its
environment, as we shall see.
But first lets look at the social group for a moment. Some
social groups (wild geese, wolves, baboons) are more coherent,
more tightly organised than others (starlings, dingos, chimpan-
zees). Some animals are solitary (panthers, orang utans) but even
these have to get together periodically to mate and reproduce.
Generally speaking, animals are social creatures. Think how many
names of their groupings there are: flocks, colonies, swarms,
shoals, families, dens, packs, prides, tribes, and so on; in all there
are over seventy different collective terms for animals in social
At one time, the division of labour was thought of as being
one of the defining characteristics of humankind; more recent re-
search shows that many animals perform different tasks within
their social group, some temporary, some long-term. Think queen
bees and workers, or a troop of baboons with its guardian out-
riders watching for danger; think lions with the females hunting
and providing food while the languid males sit around and look
dangerous; think many other mammals and even birds, where one
of the partners stays home to look after the offspring while the
other forages for food for them all. So no, the division of labour is
not only human: it is part and parcel of the life of a social group,

be it a small family or a large flock. And not only is an individual

organisman animalan exemplar of a coherent whole, a stable
Three, but its social group can be seen as one, also.
Animals in groups do a lot of things in an organised fashion
(marking and defending territories, getting food and/or hunting
in packs, selecting feeding and/or nesting sites or both, migrating,
etc), and all these activities promote their cohesion as a social
group, as an organic whole in which individual animals act as
participating parts. As a whole the social group provides its
members with what we might call support services for the pro-
tection not only of the young but of adult individuals, which in
turn ensure the survival of the group as a whole. This ensures, not
necessarily the survival of the fittest individual, but the survival of
the fittest gene pool. To this end, some animals may be altruistic
and even sacrifice themselves for other members of their family or
group, because in the third cosmological stage of process, individual
parts (in this case, animals) are generally subordinate to the greater
overall needs and purposes of the whole, in this case their social group. I
think Richard Dawkins idea of the selfish gene may need a little
revision here.
What else can be found in the way of Union or organised
wholeness in individual animals, now? Perhaps the most remark-
able is that of the zoological phenomenon of equifinality: the
process whereby injured embryos, or even embryos with bits cut
out of them experimentally, can grow finally into equally whole
animals. There is, too, the still unfathomed process of embryonic
development, from the coming together of two semi-complete
cells, an ovum and a sperm, forming first a zygote (a complete and
whole single cell) and then an embryo and finally a whole animal
with functioning parts within it. Radical biologist Rupert Sheldrake
(1981) has suggested the existence of morphic fields of resonance
which guide the developing embryo into increasing its growth, its
differentiation into tissues, organs and systems, and its highly or-
ganised complexity. Are these what I would call animal
Another internal characteristic which indicates that animals
are wholes is that, while plant tissues are made of cells with rigid
walls, animal cells have far more flexible, semi-permeable mem-

branes allowing a greater two-way flow of less specialised nutri-

ents and water, in and out, to its tissues and organs. Plants are
(generally) one-way systems: stuff comes in so to speak at the bot-
tom, and other stuff goes out at the top. But animals internal
organs are bathed in a constant and circular flow which shows
inter- and intra-cellular co-operation. This means that internal
communications allow swift re-actions (fight or flight) or, alterna-
tively, more responsive actions enabling the animal to use its
memory and intelligence to act, instinctively, more rationally and
Animals, like other organised wholes or Threes, have boun-
daries. Animals have skins and grow into fixed species-specific
shapes or forms, and their social groups also live within certain
biological niches and/or bounded territories. Although a few
animals can survive in a different environment from the one they
were brought up in, most cant. We cant move a tropical sloth to a
temperate climate and expect it to survive in the wild; we couldnt
expect a polar bear to survive in the tropics or a mountain deer to
survive on lowland marshes. The famous Australian koala, dar-
ling of tourismand touristscant survive in the wild in
Western Australia because the particular gum tree leaves it lives
on grow only in the Eastern states. So animals and their social
groups are dependent on the natural surroundings to which they
have become naturally fitted by virtue of their long-term conform-
ance to contextsand those biological niches or mini-
environments have limits. So animals, like other organic wholes,
have limits and constraints: these may be formal, behavioural,
social, and/or territorial. Each species of animal has its own char-
acteristics and qualities: you dont find a cat quacking, or a horse
mooing; pigs dont generally have wings; and, apart from the
chicken perhaps, birds dont walk across the road. Yet, without
intending to, they all make changes in their environment.
For, another thing to note about the organised wholes which
are animals and their social groups, is that they change the surround-
ings in which they live. They dig holes to live in, they build nests to
sleep in or shelter their young, they mark their home territories,
they eat leaves and plants and/or smaller animals; they leave
droppings and food remains which fertilise the soil, and they

carry nectar, seeds and fruit to other places. And here, of course,
the animalcules come into their own: without the lowly worm
without all those zillions of microscopic animals on the borders
between the animal and vegetal states, half-plant and half-animal,
in every inch of top soilhumans could not live. And even the
immobile oyster alters, to a certain extent, its marine environment.
One thing I havent mentioned yet is the emotions. As I said,
there is communication in the co-ordination of an animals body
(blood, inter- and intra-cellular exchanges of chemicals, gases, nu-
trients and hormones), but there are also external commun-
ications. These are usually expressions (roars, songs, grunts, other
noises, thumps and body language) of the animals social emo-
tions in groups. These are no small things, andagain
distinguish the animal clearly from the plant. A plant may re-act
to its neighbour and may even imitate it re-actively but it does
not co-operate with it, nor does it love it or experience other social
emotions as the warm-blooded higher animals do. Read, for in-
stance, some great stories about this in The Parrots Lament, by
Eugene Linden (1999).
What are these social emotions? Look at your pet: doesnt a
dog feel happy at the signs of a walk? Alarmed at the sound of an
unknown noise at night? Doesnt a cat feel angry when you have
forgotten his foodand remind you with nips on the ankle?
Plants, being sensitive, may feel the dualistic emotions:
like/dislike, pain/pleasure, fear and whatever its opposite is
relaxation, perhaps, or self-satisfaction? Animals, though, can also
experience the more complex feelings connected with others of
their family or social group or even species: sadness (e.g. at the
death of an infant), affection for another and happiness (at the
sight of a good feed), lust for a mate, comfort and satisfaction (be-
ing groomed by an inferior) and so on. Zoologists have not yet
learned enough about this, but they are beginning to do so.
In the more tightly organised social groups, where there is
clear leadership and a hierarchy of dominance, perhaps the feeling
of superiority, of power and even pride, is another of the social
emotions, as are corresponding feelings of inferiority experienced
by those further down in the pecking order. But as I say, zoolo-


gists and primatologists are only just beginning to discover these

Animals are not only emoting (feeling), expressive, com-
municating creatures: they have memory and intelligence as well,
which may be put to work for the benefit of the social group as a
whole. No plant does this; no plant looks after its young, no plant
cares a toss for others: animals though, in general do so in families
and co-operative social groups.
Plants are far less fixed and determined than anything below
them in the non-living mineral or material realmbut animals are
freer still. Although plants have typical regular features, they have
no fixed forms (no definite number or shapes or sizes of limbs, no
fixed shape or size to an adult plant) whereas animals, being or-
ganised wholes, have fixed boundaries and specific shapes and
sizes; even so, animals are far less determined than plants. As
wholes, they have a certain amount of freedom: they can move
around, they can visitor take up residence withanother social
group; they can to a certain limited extent alter their diet, or
choose other watering holes or nesting places.
One last thing: as the O.E.D. definition said, animals have
sensation. An animal has eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and skin, and
the sensations an animal receives through these senses allow it to
learn. So, in spite of all their more fixed species-specific external
characteristics, plus their internal characteristic instinctive behav-
iours, animals are capable of learning from experience and
thereforeagainare far less determined than plants.
Note here, as if in parentheses, that as the pattern of process
moves on, advancing, it shows increasing degrees of order, or-
ganisation, complexity and freedom with each sequential level of
Existents. Herein, perhaps, lies the greatest difference between
these two links in the Chain of Being. Plants are individuals, and
represent the lonely struggle for existence in the survival of the
fittest, Twos: and they have only one level of behaviourre-
actions to externalsavailable to them. Animals, though, on two
scales (the individual and the social group), having two levels or
qualities of behaviour available to them as either (a) re-actions to
externals or (b) responses to internals, can be seen to represent
more organised, dynamic wholes. And thisto speak even more

generallyis an example of Union, of the co-operative working of

parts together which exemplifies Three.

Humankind is a single species. As such it is in some ways
especially formallylike a higher and greater Stage One, an ex-
emplar of similar and equal-worth and thus (on this scale)
atomistic units, comprising a single, undifferentiated, global ran-
dom whole (species). Thus another Chaos in itself: but now
Transcendent that is, on a higher, finer, more complex, more
conscious and more spiritual scale than One, mere matterin
short, a Four.
This principle shows the truth of that great, ringing begin-
ning to the American Declaration of Independence: We hold these
truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal... That, in
other words, every single human beingincluding children, Ara-
bian women, starving Africans and the physically disabledhas
as much value and intrinsic worth as any other. This is not to say,
of course, that we are all the same, nor that we do not differ in
physical, emotional, mental and spiritual make-up: but that, liter-
ally, whatever is authentically human about us, our humane and
spiritual constituentour human spirit or soulthe fourth and
only human energy in ushas the moral right to be treated as an
equal not only in law but in any question of social justice.
One other thing we might note: only a few decades ago there
was very little inter-marriage between the four or five physiologi-
cally slightly different human races or types of peopleand
mixed-blood children were despised by both sides of the equa-
tion. But today things have improved and the sheer quantity of
mixed marriages and mixed-race children being born is a great
testimony to the fact that we are all one human raceOne (or, ra-
ther, Four!)and perhaps, overall, the edges of the different types
are growing increasingly diffuse.
Also, the moral climate has changed. In 1970 Australian
mixed-race (Aboriginal and Anglo-Kelt) infants and children
were still being forcibly removed from their mothers and brought
up in institutional mission settlements. Today, although racism
still exists, it has at least become politically incorrect. Overall,

though, as a single interbreeding species, humankind is becoming

less and less differentiated. As timeand global travel, communi-
cations and the spread of informationgo on, we are as a species
becoming more and more atomistic and more and more similar.
It looks as though we are, thereforeagain, as a species
progressing, into Four.
However, I am not going to discuss this specific level Four,
humankind, any further here because although there is a great
deal more to say about it, as we shall see it comes more appropri-
ately into Part 3, Particle 1.


In sum, this particular concrete cosmology, the fourfold

Chain of Being, shows us that there is a progression not only of de-
grees but of states and kinds of order, organisation, dynamism,
consciousness and freedom. The mineral or material kingdom or
realm symbolised by One is the least orderly, the least organised,
the most fixed, conditioned and determined of the four realms.
The vegetal or plant realm symbolised by Two is considerably less
determined, far more orderly and complex, more adaptable and
somewhat freer than the material realm. The animals in turn,
symbolised by Three, are even less determined, a lot more orderly
and organised, conscious, complexand much freerthan the
trees and flowers and algae and other plants.
And we, as humans symbolised by Four, areor ought to
be!even more complex, more orderly, organised, conscious and
free than animals. And we areor, again, ought to be!
Transcendent and spiritually-oriented. Theres a lot more to be
said about this in the first particle of Part 3, where we put Gaias
cosmology to work as a four-level paradigm for psychology. Ill
also show you how, by using this cosmology, to work outand
even describe (something no social scientist has yet succeeded in
doing)what it means to be fully, properly, human: that is, Hu-
man with a capital H.



Now, in the meantime, if it is true that the two concrete tradi-

tional cosmologies, The Four Elements and the Chain of Being, are
also formally tesspiralsand both con-form isomorphically to the
pattern of processthen it follows that they con-form to each other.
And this can be seen to be so, as Ill show you shortly. But before I
do this, as Ive shown you the Chain of Being as a set of ordinary,
everyday concrete thingsas, so to speak, appearanceson
this planet, lets have a look now behind the scenes. That is, I am
going suggest, as Pak Subuh and other Indonesian elders do, that
there are unseen, energetical realities behind the ordinary concrete
human and animal, vegetal and mineral realms of this world.
Lets have a look at these now.



Particle 2.iii Four energies

Amongst a random mass of ancient and unconsidered beliefs, the
traditional Javanese have some real gems: and one of them is the
idea that everythingEverythingis made of different quality
energies. A hundred years ago this would have seemed a mere
superstition, but since Einstein formulated E=mc2 and treated ma-
terial substances as congealed or solidified energy, this belief has
become scientifically respectable. And as Stephen Lewis21 says, if
everything is energy, then anything is possible. Well, yes; any-
thing may be possible, but for this day and age it must be rational
to be plausibleand certainly to the sciences.
So now, having in the last Particle looked quite closely at the
concrete constituents of the old Chain of Beingminerals, plants,
animals, and humansas exemplars of the four different stages of
process, we are going to delve behind or within these visible,
concrete thingsanimals, vegetables and mineralsand see if we
can perceive them as being made up of four different types of en-
Traditional Indonesians are not the only ones to see things
like this: the late E.F. Schumacher, author of the famous Small is
Beautiful, did so too. His second and far less well-known book was
on his philosophy and called, after Maimonides, A Guide for the
Perplexed. In this, as Ill soon show you, he discusses a series of
four factors or energies making up what he calls the four great
kingdoms of the visible world (1977: 25).
Pak Subuh also talked frequently of four energies making up
the ordinary world. The Indonesian phrase he used was daya-daya
rendah which the translators of his talks have, somewhat unfortu-
nately, called the lower forcesbut which can equally well be
translated as the lesser or lower powers or energies.22 And as there
is little that is forceful about these daya-daya (unless, passively,

Stephen Lewis, Sanctuary: the Path to Consciousness (1998).
Lower refers to the visible world. Pak Subuh suggests, as Oriental
sages and philosophers tend to do, that there are also other higher
(that is, finer, more subtle, freer and more conscious) invisible, super-
natural energies.


we allow them to get the better of us) this is what I am going to

call them. Also, forces is used in science to mean the four basic
forces of physics, and although there may be no connection (ex-
cept their isomorphism) between Subuhs four lower forces and
the four forces of physics,23 there is, I think, a more likely connec-
tion between Subuhs daya-daya and the concepts of subtle
energies which are coming into use in the biological, medical,
psychological and human sciences. These, though, are still vague
and undifferentiatedas are the various concepts of Chi and Prana
in Buddhism and Hinduism respectively. So from now on I shall
call the four lower daya-daya the four energies, as this seems a
more accurate and more acceptable word today.
Even more accurately these should of course be called the
four classes of energies, because within each of the four great
kingdoms (or, as I am calling them, realms) must be a great many
different energies making up different things. For example, the
vegetal or plant energies give life to single-celled plankton and to
giant gum treesand a multitude of flowers, vegetables and
shrubs in between them in size. So each one of the four energies
is in itself a general type or class of energies rather than a single en-
ergy. But as, generally speaking, the many energies within each of
the three lowest realms have a great deal in common, I shall be
referring to them as just the four energiesand for simplicity
and clarity treating them as though each of them was singular.
Perhaps these energies are what Rupert Sheldrake with his
theory of formative causation calls morphic fields, or fields of
morphic resonance. In any case, they are certainly bearers of in-
formation: but, as the Indonesians call them simply energies, I
prefer to stick with this term.
One more notable person who took seriously the idea of the
world being made up of energies was my old boss, the Sumatran
intellectual and grand old man of letters, the late Sutan Takdir
Alisjahbana, founder and Rector of the National University in

But there are structural parallels between them: gravity is a global and
therefore all-over random whole affecting everything; electro-
magnetism is dualistic; the strong atomic force keeps things united; and
the weak atomic force works further still beyond these, transcendent.


Jakarta. For all his Western-style upbringing and Dutch education,

and even his German doctorate in philosophy, Alisjahbana took it
for granted, too. However, although he labelled the four energies
Matter, Vital energy, Animating instincts or Will, and the human
Spirit (1974, my capitals!) he didnt examine or describe them in
his many books or go into any detail there at all because, like
many other thoroughly Western-educated Indonesians, he didnt
seem to value the traditional beliefs of his own indigenous culture.
So lets look at Schumachers exposition of the four energies
first. E. F. Fritz Schumacher was an economist, and founded the
whole Intermediate Technology movement for the benefit of the
developing world. He became very well known in the fifties with
his mind-changing Small is Beautiful but he was also interested in
philosophy and spirituality.24 Presumably because he knew he was
going against scientific orthodoxies yet wanted to be taken seri-
ously, Schumacher skimmed somewhat wryly through his
exposition of the four energies in A Guide for the Perplexed in just
twenty four pages (1977: 2548). But he did have a reputation to
maintainor loseso he started off by calling them factors. He
gave a simple formula to show this system, with x representing
the plant, y the animal, and z the human factors respectively.
Here I invert his order (1977: 28) so it begins with the lowest and

Mineral can be written m

Plant can be written m + x
Animal can be written m + x + y
Human can be written m + x + y + z

Although he admitted the added factors of x, y and z are

invisible, Schumacher tiptoed round the whole question of ener-
gies by saying that certain factors...make a difference. Finally he
did get around to suggesting, tentatively, that, in addition to
Schumacher worked with John G. Bennett during their wartime years in
the British Coal Board, and joined the Subud spiritual movement in its
very early days when Pak Subuh first arrived in London in 1957. Schu-
macher then took and used Pak Subuhs ideas of the energies of being,
without acknowledging their source.


minerals or min other words inert, non-living matterthe

three other factors x, y, and z could be called Life, Con-
sciousness and, for the fourth and human factor z, Awareness .
In any case, whatever the different labels given to the four
energies, this simple overall scheme of things is very ancient. It
may even go back into the dim distance of prehistoric times. Yet it
is still found today in the secret doctrines at the heart of esoteric
Judaism, in the unknown centuries-old psycho-spiritual traditions
that eventually crystallised as Sufism, in the ancient Western Mys-
tery tradition, and during the twentieth century in the
explanations Pak Subuh gave about life and spirituality.
The great Victorian traveller Richard Burton translated a
poem by Jalaludin Rumi, the twelfth century Persian mystic, phi-
losopher, and poet, which says (in part) about human

The moment thou to this low world was given,

A ladder stood whereby thou mightst aspire;
And first thy steps, which upward still have striven,
From mineral mounted to the plant; then higher,

To animal existence; next, the Man

With knowledge, reason, faith. O wondrous goal!
This body, which a crumb of dust began
How fairly fashioned the consummate whole!

This idea, common to Aristotle, Schumacher, Pak Subuh, Alisjah-

bana and countless oriental traditions, says that not only is the
natural world made up of energies, but that we humans are too: and
that, as transformers of different energies, we also go through dif-
ferent stages in life. It means that we are, so to speak, made in the
image of Gaia.
Although this is nothing like the current scientific/material
paradigm, I am suggesting that, since the advent of quantum me-
chanics, this whole idea of four different classes of energies offers
a more appropriateand certainly more subtleapproach to the
world we know.
It is, though, as far as the sciences are concerned, heretical. It
is a completely different ideaand a thoroughly radical approach
to the universe. When I first talked to sophisticated Western-

trained Sri Lankan journalist Varindra Tarzie Vittachi about these

ideas of Pak Subuhsthe cosmology and especially the ener-
gieshe laughed derisively saying, My dear Salamah, this is
Bapaks oriental-mystical rubbish. Fine for people in Subud, but it
could be of no possible interest to any one else today, far less to
the sciences! That must have been around 1980, but by 1989 when
I tackled him againand, I must admit, driven now by utter con-
victionhe had changed his tune. Yes, I agree with you, of
course, he said briskly, Very useful. And perhaps even necessary
for a change. So when are you going to write a book about them,
Twenty years ago it was still taboo to mention energies in
the sciences. In 1981, the prestigious scientific journal Nature de-
scribed Rupert Sheldrakes book on subtle energies, A New Science
of Life, as the best candidate for burning this year. But times they
are a-changing and today, some twenty-five years later, even from
an academic point of view it is far less risky. There is an appreci-
able movea softening of the edges, perhapsof the hard
sciences, and some physicists have even been known to talk of
such heretical things as the memory of water, consciousness as
the basic stuff of the cosmos, and even the self-aware universe
(Clarke, 1996; Goswami, 1993; Lorimer 1998; Minkel, 2002).
In any case, as Ill show you now, the four energies are, and
can be seen as, formally isomorphic in themselves to the four dif-
ferent stages of the Grand Pattern, and to the fourfold processual
cosmologies. Briefly, that is, the first and lowest class, stage and
grade of energies is formless, atomistic, and chaotic, a One; the
second is dualistic but brings differentiation and order to its many
manifestations, a Two; the third is centring, coherent, integrating,
organised, stable and dynamic, a Three; and the fourth, highest
and finest isagain, like the first stageformlessly atomistic
and, as Ill be discussing shortly, egalitarian as well as transcend-
ent, a typical Four. So lets look at these different qualities of
energy now in some detail, even though it will mean some repeti-
tion of my earlier descriptions of their embodiment in the visible
phenomena of the Chain of Being.


The coarsest energy: Matter, or Schumachers m

The first and simplest grade, the lowest, coarsest of the energies is
non-living, largelybut not onlysolid substance, inert physical
matter. This, the mineral kingdom as it used to be called, makes
up not only the geological substance of the earth, the entire planet,
but all human artefacts and material objects; and its mass and
other properties can be measured, weighed and calculated. This is
the realm of fixed energies, of the laws of thermodynamics, of
physics and chemistry, of entropy and determinism, of what goes
up must come down.
Insofar as the material world has been studied by chemistry,
physics and mechanics, and has resulted in modern technology, a
great deal is known about this lowest and coarsest energy. Dis-
coveries in physics and biology in the nineteenth century brought
humankind right down into this material realm, enforcing a con-
firmation of reductionism and secularism in modern thought.
Indeed, so much was discovered that materiality was at one time
thought to be the only paradigm that existswith human pessi-
mism the natural consequence of a worldview based on matter
and entropy.
In l900 the physicist Max Planck brought an end to this ex-
treme materialismin physics at least!with the beginnings of
quantum theory and the new physics. In l903 Hasenorhl, an
Austrian physicist, took this further, concluding that matter was
actually a frozen form of energy. He summed it up in the equa-
tion: m = E/c2. In other words, that a certain amount of matter
(m), equals an amount of energy (E), divided by the speed of light
squared (c2). Einstein turned it the other way round (and got all
the credit) into the now familiar equation, E = mc2, or (a certain
amount of) Energy equals (a certain amount of) matter times the
speed of light squared. Either way round, the hard sciences today
accept that matter is a kind of energywhich is what Javanese tradi-
tions have been saying for a millennium or two. Perhaps science is
catching up with mythology.
Matter is also the physico-chemical substance that partici-
pates in and is the solid basis of living plant, animal and human
bodies. Furthermore, it is the only one of the four energies which,


apart from gases, is visible. Finally (as we saw earlier), although

physical substances exist in a closed-system state of atomistic, glo-
bal random wholes exemplifying the monad, the first stage of
process, One, or Chaos, we can also apply this to each of the dif-
ferent energies on this level which manifest on our scale as visible,
physical chemicals, minerals and material objectsin a word,

The second energy: Life, or Schumachers x

But what of the second energy? No one has any difficulty in re-
cognising the astonishing and mysterious difference between a
living plant and one that has died, says Schumacher. But, he goes

Scientists tell us that we must not talk of a life force because

no such force has ever been found to exist; yet the difference
exists. (1977: 25)

I am following Schumacher and calling his x, the second grade

and class of energies, finer than matter, Life, hereLife with a
capital L. Pak Subuh calls it, simply, the roh nabati, the soul or
spirit of plants, or the plant energy. So this is also the daya hidup,
the ordinary life force (not to be confused with the Roh Ilofi, the
evolutionary Great Life Force of the Sufis). In the visible world
there is an amazing leap up in complexity from undifferentiated,
inert, non-living matter to living plants. And Schumachers x,
this unseen but vital energy of Life, is very different from the
solid, fixed and frozen energy of matter. Yet invisible though it
is, it exists: and somehowunder the right conditionscauses,
among other things, the germination of seeds. In doing so it im-
bues the inert, merely physical (that is, dormant) seed with the
vital ability to differentiate between, and select, particles of non-
living matter andin the presence of sunlightcreates orderly,
growing, functioning, living, open systems: plants.
In the early days of our planet this energy of Life brought into
being a dualism and the beginnings of a hierarchy into manifest,
visible existence: there were now complex living molecules as well
as the simple chaotic chemical soup of inert elements. And being

acutely sensitive, as time went on this Life energy created more

and more complex cells and plants and struggled to keep them
alive. It is still, today, concerned with the moment-to-moment
functioning, maintenance and above all the sheer survival of each
and every living plant.
What, then, can we say this energy, this life force, actually
does? First, it (i) differentiates. From among the welter of chemical
elements and compounds at large in the world, it selects only some
specific ones, which it then (ii) positions or arranges into separate,
orderly, functioning cells and tissues: plants, in other words. In
doing so, it (iii) alters the simple non-living chemicals (reversible,
closed systems) into more complex, open, non-reversible systems
exchanging energies with their surroundings; and (iv) it imbues
inert and empty chemical constituents with the regular function-
ings of life: that is, growth, maintenance of tissues, adaptation,
reproduction, and proliferation into different species. Finally it (v)
strives against the entropic running-down natural to its physico-
chemical constituents, in order to keep the plants various living
systems functioning.
If this mysterious something, Schumachers x and Pak
Subuhs vegetable forces, can do all these marvellous things
(which scientists cannot do) and yet it is notscientists insista
life force: then what is it like, at least? What properties and fea-
tures does this x, or energy of Life, have?
It must be sensitive, for a start, as it can tell the difference be-
tween substances (as we saw in (i) above): and must also be
blindlythat is, automatically reactive to certain external
stimuli. It must be orderly, and even systematic, as we saw in (ii)
and (iii). And to bring the abilities in (iv) into being, this vegetal
energy must be more powerful than mere matter because, quite apart
from all its other properties, it overcomes the entropic tendencies
of the plants chemical constituents to run down and die. Perhaps
we can say (v) that x is primarily survival-oriented and even,
functioning in relation to other plants and its own physical con-
stituents, competitive.
Here, though, is an apparent paradox: although x is more
powerful than matter and marches againstand overcomesthe
entropic grain, as left to itself the jungle engulfs the abandoned

city, yet at the same time x seems to be more vulnerable. A plant

can be killedwhich means it immediately begins succumbing to
entropy. Obviously, a rock cannot be killed because it is already
subject to entropy: a rock hewn in half just becomes two rocks. So
although this energy of Life is geared first and foremost to sur-
vival and has power over matter, it is also peculiarly vulnerable
It is also, of course, invisible. We can see, examine and meas-
ure the results of its functioning, but we cannot see nor measure this
energy of Life itself. We can tell when it is present by observing a
plants functioning: but the fact remains that this second energy,
Schumachers x, Pak Subuhs vegetable force, is invisible and
literally immeasurable.
I do realise that all this may seem utterly nonsensical to ex-
treme materialists and irredeemably hard scientists: but on the
other hand it is rational. If you accept that Einstein was right in
his formulation of E=mc!, then we have to begin to see things
Everything!in terms of energies. And this ancient system gives
us, for a start, a far fuller, holistic (and, dare I say, realistic?) per-
spective on our world.
Now, mustering all the features of the second energy of Life
together, we can say, in short, and very generally, that it is sensi-
tive, reactive, orderly, systematic, growth- and survival-oriented,
adaptive, competitive, and in some ways more powerful than non-
living matter. Yet, paradoxically, it is also vulnerable, defenceless,
and invisible. Overall it gives some inert chemicals (closed sys-
tems) the power to overcome the physical limitations of mere
matter, and maintains vegetative life and open living systems.
Any open system, as the jargon has itanything that is
aliveparticipates in its environment and alters it to some extent.
That is, its existence is closely related through its behaviour to its
environment. In a plant, as we saw, this second energy enables
plants to take in gases (oxygen and carbon dioxide), water and
minerals, and convert them to living tissues: and it also returns
gases and water, subtly altered, to the environment. Science has
no answers for us here yet: but I predict that, when scientists do
get around to doing this kind of research, it will be found that
for examplethe inner crystalline structure of the water absorbed

by the roots of plants is different from that of the water they give
off through their leaves (cf. Emoto, 1999, Kronberger & Lattacher,


Here I would like to pause and point out that we have now
had to admit to the existence of two ontologically distinct
completely differenttypes of energies:

1. Minerals (that is, non-living matter, inert substances),

which apart from gases are ordinarily visible, subject to entropy,
decomposing to chemical equilibrium, and subject also to the rest
of the deterministic laws of physics and linearity; and

2. Invisible Life force or energy, which turns selected bits of

No.1 (minerals, inert matter) into living, functioning entities of
which each and every individual is more than the sum of its chemi-

When in doubt, says Schumacher, show it prominently.

Some questions arise here: What happens to the invisible energy
of Life, upon which the existence of a plant depends, when we
pull up a weed or cut down a tree? Where, if anywhere, does it
go? Is this Life energy one or many? Even the energy of minerals
must be pluralistic, to account for the few score elements and a
larger number of compounds; for convenience we have talked of
this second energy in the singular as the Life force or energy of
Life: but here on the vegetal level there is a still unknown but al-
ready vastly greater number of different species of plants than
there are chemical elements. It seems highly unlikely, therefore,
that a single energy, even given a wide variety of different envi-
ronmental conditions, could account for the staggering variety of
species in the vegetal realm. Javanese traditions make the second
energy pluralistic; they talk of both the roh nabati, the soul or spirit
of vegetation, and the daya-daya tumbuhan, the energies of plants.
But far more research is needed before we have answers to these


What does seem fairly clear is that the Life force fits in very
well with Two, with the second, differentiated bone of the cosmol-
ogical skeleton. It is orderly, selective and divisive, reactive and
even competitive; it enables plants to differentiate between miner-
als and select only those it needs, arranging them into orderly
parts or tissues; it bequeaths functioning systems to plants, sepa-
rates different types of cells into different tissues, and plants from
one another; and enables some of them to adapt to changing envi-
ronments and to proliferate into different species. So far, it looks as
though this second energy is also a good example of the Separa-
tion and differentiation features of the second stage of the World
Pattern of Process, a Two.
In any case, so far we have looked at two quite different sorts
of energy: visible non-living minerals or inert matter (One, arche-
typally Chaos), Schumachers m; and an invisible Life force or
energy which reacts to selected mineralsin effect causing the
entire vegetal realm (Two, archetypally Separation). However,
neither of these two energies, whether as invisible realities and/or
as visible physical minerals or plants, can account for the charac-
teristics or the existence of animals. So we move on now to look at
a third class of energies.

The third energy: Will and motivations, or

Schumachers y
What additional factors are needed to account for animated living
matter, animals? The third grade of forces or energies, Schu-
machers y, is finer and more complex still. Understandably, he
calls this energy Consciousness, because

It is easy to recognise consciousness in a dog, a cat or a horse, if

only because they can be knocked unconscious, a condition
similar to that of a plant: the processes of life are continuing
although the animal has lost its peculiar powers. (1977: 26)

Pak Subuh and other Javanese call this energy daya-daya hewani,
animal energies, and associate it with hati which means heart,
will, or even attention. I am going to call this energy the power of


Willthat is, volition, or as it is called today, motivationas it is

this which moves and animates the animals.
But there is another interesting point here. In this scheme,
animals are made up of matter, plus Life, plus this third energy of
Will. And although the second vegetal energy of Life makes ani-
mals re-act automatically to external threats with fight or flight
and other second-level defensive reactions, this third, finer and
more complex energy of Will or motivations makes animals on the
other hand also able to act intelligently in response to internal mo-
tiveshunger, sleep, sex, curiosity, and so on, as we saw in
Particle 2.ii.. Locomotion and emotion, intelligence and memory,
communications, construction (shelters and nests) and sexual re-
production are other characteristics that this third quality of
energy brings to animals, distinguishing these more complex crea-
tures from the far simpler, rooted, merely reactive, site-dependent
Another aspect of this third grade of energies is that they are
basically concerned with the survival not of the fittest individual
but of the social group or gene pool. Animated by this third, inte-
grative energy, animals in general are social creatures and behave
in instinctively co-operative ways within their own social groups.
The division of labour is not (as used to be thought) a human spe-
cific but is found in animals from ants and seagulls through to
elephants and primates. Animals, at least the higher animals such
as mammals and primates, also emote: they feel love as parents,
sad after loss, happy with praise and frightened by blame, com-
fortable (more or less!) with their place in the hierarchy or pecking
order of the group. Intelligence is another quality that these ani-
mal forces bring into being in the world, as is purpose.
Although it is impossible to categorise their powers sepa-
rately with any precision (because they are all interdependent and
overlap), for the sake of making clear the distinction between the
second energy of Life and the third instinctive, purposive energy
of Will or motivations, I have to attempt to do just this: wrench
apart some typical aspects of animal life given them by this pur-
poseful third energy.


But before I do so, it is as well to recall that animals have also

the vegetal energy of Life within them and are thus capable of two
different levels or qualities of behaviour. As I said, there are
automatic vegetative re-actions to external threats, induced by the
second energy; and there are also the more characteristic, purpose-
ful, powers of instinctive action and response which are induced in
animals as we saw by internal stimuli originating with the third
energy. These latter include:

The power of locomotion

Although plants may move in parts, reacting and adapting
blindly and automatically to certain things in the environment,
locomotionmovementindicates willed action (deliberate
changing of place) of the whole animal in response to internal pur-
posesfor instance, foraging for food in response to hunger, or
nest-building in response to the need for a home for eggs or, in
some higher animals, for sleep and/or security. Other internal
purposes (motivations, or volitions) induced by this dynamic
energy activating the locomotion of animals may include curi-
osity, spontaneity and playfulness, sexuality and reproduction,
child-care, and territoriality.

The power of intelligence

When you knock a dog or a horse unconscious, its intelli-
gence disappears. (There is nothing in a plant which we could call
intelligence; the most we might grant some species would be a
certain adaptability to the environment which we might possibly
anthropomorphise into an inborn native cunning, though that
seems far from cognitive intelligence.)25 Intelligence is used in
learning: and for purposes both personal (remembering which
trees might be fruiting) and social (calculating where the safest

Another piece of evidence that timesand attitudesare changing is
that twenty years or so ago, any ideas which hinted at anthropomorph-
ism (being like humans) was an absolute no-no in philosophy. Today
fears of this once shocking notion have faded. As one of the Hermetic
principles is As above, so below, perhaps this illustrates yet another
example of science catching up with mythology, or at least softening in
its attitudes?


place is for the group to spend the night). Such concrete intelli-
gence is, perhaps, largely concerned with the focussing of
attention on a variety of different tasks from food-getting and
child-care to keeping a look-out for predators.
Intelligence is also used by animals in communicating instinc-
tively with others in their social group, whether for warning,
exhorting, commanding, or reproducing. Animals make noises
(they whinny, whine, bark, purr, grunt, growl, howl, sing, and so
on) to communicate. They also use body language, which is an-
other power that plants lack: but this perhaps is not so much a
function of intelligence as of the expression and communication of
the moods and feelings that this energy brings them.

The power of feeling and desire

And here is a third power which disappears when an animal
is knocked out: that of feeling, the social emotions that an animal
normally experiences. An unconscious animal cannot love its off-
spring nor its owner, hate its rival, fear lightning, desire a mate,
feel happiness (e.g. a dog at the prospect of a walk) or sadness
(when deprived, for instance, of its mother or other familiar).

The power of co-operation

A fourth power that animals in general have and plants lack
is social co-operation. Animals generally speaking are social be-
ings and the division of labour occurs not only among the social
insects, but also among bird, mammal and primate social groups.
Some will hunt while others keep watch and yet others mind the
nursery. No plant cares a hoot for its offspring, while socially co-
operative behaviours of many different kinds (from grooming in
primates to the food sharing of lions and other pack hunters) are
observable in a wide variety of different animals, due to the pres-
ence of this third, cohesive energy.


All these differences between animal, vegetable and mineral

are so obvious that we take them for granted. So we dont examine
themwe think nothing of them. But Schumacher did: and his


third ontological factor y is probably the dynamic energy that we

usually call, vaguely, animal instincts but which he called con-
sciousness. Whatever it is called, though, it gives animals (in
addition to their automatic, pre-programmed vegetative survival
functions) their specific abilities and characteristics, and some
abilityusing intelligence againto select (from different op-
tions) how they will act at different times and under different
circumstances. These abilities, as we have seen, are largely pur-
posefulresponses to internalsand social. Unlike plants, which
are individually self-survival oriented, animals in the wild seem to
be group-conscious and geared to the survival of the social group.
As I said earlier, it looks as though Dawkins selfish gene is, after
all, a purely vegetal-level entity rather than an animal one.
Although Schumacher understandably calls the y factor
consciousness, I prefer purposefulness or motivation or even,
with Subuh and the Javanese, hati: that is, heart, attentiveness, or
will power. But whatever label it has attached to it, this energy or
set of energies imbues vegetatively living matter with the addi-
tional powers of locomotion, purposeful activity, feelings and/or
emotions, communications, intelligence, and dynamism and co-
operation within the social group. In short, animals are animated
in various ways by their instinctive energy/ies or, as I am calling
them, purposes, motivations or even Will.


Let me summarise here what I have said so far, giving Schu-

machers letters to each ontological category, and capitals to the
names of the energies:

1. Matter = m, or inert non-living Matter, physical substances:

2. Plants = m + x, or Matter plus Life;
3. Animals = m + x + y, or Matter plus Life, plus Consciousness
(Schumacher), or Purposiveness, Will or Motivations (Pope).

The Big Question now is, can all human and even humane
qualities be accounted for by the combined energies of m + x + y?
That is, of Matter, Life, and Will/Motivations?


If the answer is Yes, then humans are no more than highly in-
telligent and skilful animals. And in some sense this is true: we
forage for food (earn a living); we define and mark our territories
(home-and-(fenced)-garden, community, nationhood, patriotism);
build nests (the construction industry, homes and offices); repro-
duce and care for our offspring (produce, care for and educate our
families). We too communicate, have emotions and intelligence,
and co-operate to get things done and keep the social group intact
(families, communities, governments and business corporations).
So if the answer is Yes, then the third is the highest and last of our
energies and the limit of this hierarchyand the socio-biologists
are right.
This, though, would leave little hope for the improvement of
the human condition, let alone for creating a sustainable world.
However, I think the evidence shows that there must be more
to human life than biology: more, that is, than these differences of
degree. Surely we areor ought to be?more than a highly intel-
ligent ape: that is, a mere product of nature. Jung, that great soul
of the Western world, says: Money making, social achievement,
family and posterity are nothing but plain nature, not [human]
culture (1960: 400).
If, however, the answer to that Big Question is No, and there
are even a few qualities in human life which no quantitative
amount of intelligence and skill can account for, then humans are
more than just animals: and we need a fourth ontological factor
another energy or bunch of energiesto account for the emer-
gence and existence of human and especially humane being.
To argue in favour of this, that all the animal powers are in-
sufficient to account for all the qualities of human existence, we
have only to remember the best of human beings (Buddha, Christ,
Gandhi, Goethe, Lincoln, Muhammad, Shakespeare) to admit how
far removed they were from the natural animal realm, how far
they surpassed even the social norms of their time. But what about
the rest of us ordinary mortals?
So far, we have been looking at these energies in general, tak-
ing a rather broad and magnanimous view of them and noticing
how they fit in with the formal bones of the fourfold processual
cosmologys skeleton. However, as Schumacher points out, once a

human potentiality is realised, it exists (Werner Jaeger, quoted in

Schumacher, 1977: 31). So in order to clarify what qualities and
powers lie beyond those of a highly intelligent and skilful primate,
we could look at some of these great human beings. This, how-
ever, would demand persuasive arguments and is a task outside
the scope of my simple additive (or subtractive) descriptions. So
although we may not be able to prove it to the satisfaction of
hard scientists, let me just say here that the evidence shows that
Alisjahbana, Pak Subuh and Schumacher are correct in that an-
other, fourth factor, a fourth energy, is necessary to account for
all the qualitative differences between animals and the most hu-
mane of human beings.
So we move on now to the difference which makes a differ-
ence as Gregory Bateson used to say.


The fourth energy: Transformation: the human spirit,

or Schumachers z
To account for what biologists call non-utilitarian behaviour
(things which dont help an animal, its family or its social group
survive) Im going to have to look for a fourth grade of energy:
that is, one that animals dont have and humans do. So this will be
a species-specific energy. But I am in difficulties with what to call
it. I would like to call it consciousnessbut consciousness is not
really a human specific. As I said earlier, Schumacher pointed out
that you can knock a primate or a horse or even a dog uncon-
scious, while its vegetative (sic) systems go on functioning and the
animal is still alive and may well recover.
Perhaps, as Schumacher did, I could call the special human
energy awareness but I dont like this because even a plant has
enough awareness of its immediate surroundings to react and
keep itself alive. Another possibility is to call this energy simply
the human spiritbut although this phrase shows its obvious
connection with the specifically human realm its rather vague,
and it isnt descriptive enough to be useful. In addition, it would
probably irritate hard scientists no end.


The term that is probably bestand that I will use some-

timesis the energy of transformation, or transformative
energy, because we transform things into symbols (spoken words
into written letters, wood into furniture, cattle into providers of
milk and meat, work into money, and so on).26 But transforma-
tive is a rather pompous and cumbersome word, whereas
consciousness, although it can be used correctly in connection
with the higher animals at least, is more commonly associated to-
day with people: so (as it helps to keep things a little simpler) I will
also be using this word for the Fourth energy.
Whatever you call it, though, it is this innateinbornFour,
the fourth energy, which gives every adult person alive on this
planet at least two things. One is the capacity to know, to under-
stand and to govern the effects of the otherthe natural animal,
vegetal and mineralenergies that are within us, that make up so
much of us: and how they make us behave when we are not con-
scious of our own humanity, our own Human Spirit.
The second is the possibility of becoming fully human. What
this means Im not going to delve into yet but will leave until we
come to Part 3, where we will look at it in some detail.
You might just note here, though, that there are some intrigu-
ing questions coming up, such as: As the Fourth cosmological
stage of any process comes with certain formal attributes and
qualities built in to it, how do these show up (if they do) in peo-
ple? And: As there is only one Human species, is there, therefore,
only one Human-level energy?27 Andif sohow can we access it
to develop our human potentials? In other words, is it available to
us at all times, or do we have to consciously tune into it in order
to become fully, genuinely Human? And lastly: Is it only this
Fourth energy which gives us free will, justice, and selfless acts
in a word, humane behaviour? But before delving into these Big

I first used this term in an essay on the meaning and purpose of human
life according to Pak Subuhs cosmology (Pope, 1991: 322).
In the interests of simplicity, and to accord with the visible world, I am
assuming that there is only one human-level energy, whereas Pak
Subuh and perhaps other Javanese say there are two: a higher (spiri-
tual) human energy, Rohani, as well as a lower (physical) human
energy, Jasmani.


Questions, let me summarise for you what weve seen so far of the
three natural energies.
In Part 2, Particle ii, I went over the many striking differences
between inert matter (and material things), and plants, and ani-
mals, and humans. Here, in Particle iii, Ive showed you these
same things when looked at as if they were made of four different
classes of energies. Now, having described these energies (albeit the
last one only very briefly) Im going to tabulate them, using the
terms Ive chosen.
It goes without saying that, unlike the first energy, solid mat-
ter, the other three energies are invisible. Today you hear people
talk vaguely of subtle energiesand the implication is that these
are spiritual or even divine energies. But, in spite of the capital
letters Im giving them, these energies of Life, Will and Con-
sciousness, although invisible, are all natural, and not superhuman
or supernatural.

Energies: Classes of Existents:

Inert physical Matter Minerals/matter

Life + Matter Plants
Will + Life + Matter Animals
Consciousness + Will + Life + Matter Humans.

Alternatively, and just as correctly, you can say that the Four
Great Realms or Classes of Existents are:

1. Matteror inert, non-living substances and objects

2. Living Matteror plants
3. Purposefully Living Matteror animals, and
4. Consciously Purposeful Living Matteror (true) Humans.

These Four, taken either as energies or as four visible classes

of existentsor bothact as visible categories: and, even without
hard edges or boundaries between them, give us two things. First
is a simple and clear picture of the Four Great Realms and their
inter-relations; and second is how all this makes up our ordinary


common or garden world as a coherent whole which con-forms to

Gaias cosmology, the Grand Pattern of Process.
So with the idea of these four energies, a different world re-
veals itself to usor rather, we can now come to a very different
perception of the same world. We can now see how holistic, how
integrated and how connected the world is: and how intimately we
participate in, and are a part of, it. And this is a very different way of
looking at things from the ordinary modern (but in fact nine-
teenth-century) scientific worldview. In other words, I haveI
hopeshown you a more holistic and constructive way to see
things, and a method of completely Re-Envisioning our world and
ourselves as a single organismic whole.
In addition, from all this comes a great deal of other, very
useful, informationbut Ill have to delay showing you this until
we come to Part Three when we get into applications.
This taxonomy, simple as it is, isas Ive said before
heretical. It has not (so far) been acceptable to the sciences. Oh
no, biologists have said to me very firmly, There are not four ma-
jor divisions, Salamah, but Five Kingdoms. Well, they are entitled
to their belief system of course, which has been useful for a
whilebut it is a cultural construct. It has little connectionand
certainly no consiliencewith the organised wholeness of all life
on earth and the universal, fourfold, cosmological world pattern
of process, Gaias Cosmology. If the sciences are ever going to
shift their viewpoint and begin to look at this world and every-
thing in it as being ultimately coherent and holistic, then this
fourfold cosmology gives them a practical, appropriate and simple
method of doing so.
This way of looking at things also resolves the age-old ques-
tion about the place of humankind on the earth: Are we humans
just sophisticated animals, or are we something quite different
from the animal kingdom? According to this holistic scheme we
are both. We have a great deal of the animaland even vegetal!
let alone the measurable empirical material in us: yet above and
beyond all that we are gifted also with an energy or spirit which I
think is specifically Human. Although this idea is crucial for my
thesis, I wont discuss here the innate qualities that this fourth en-
ergy bequeaths usat least as human potentialsbut will leave

them until Part 3. There, too, I shall be suggesting that it looks as if

there is a need for more spirituality in our lives.
Incidentally, the question is often asked: Are we humans
alone in the universe? If everything on this planet, Gaia, is made
of one, two, three or four different forms and qualities of energy,
couldnt this also be the case on other planets? And even on the
planets of other suns? I am making a wild speculation here, that
the energies are universal. If they are, then on planet X of galaxy Y
there would be Existentsentitiesthe equivalent of our plants
though utilising Xs minerals and its atmosphere to live and flour-
ish and to support more complex life forms. Life there need not be
carbon-based, as the energies would make use of the local mineral
and gaseous substances and conditions. The third energy would
be fuelling the equivalent, there, of animals. And, presumably,
there would also be a Four: that is, a species of beings, perhaps
looking quite unlike us and quite different in chemical compo-
sition, yet as able, as competent with abstract thought and
technology, and as culturedand as consciousas humans.
But as we are today, humans are hardly clever, competent, or
conscious! If we were, we wouldnt be making such dangerous
mistakes in our treatment of Gaia, nor living as we do on the verge
of extinction. If we were fully human, Human with a capital H, I
am sure we would be conscious of this. Perhaps we are not even
good animals; its a poor sort of animal that soils its nest. If we
were fully, genuinely Human we would be doing more to reverse
the damage we create (some people are: and they may yet help to
save the world [cf. Ray and Anderson, 2001]). But, in general, life
goes on as though our future were safe.
One thing humans can do that animals cant or dont, is to ask
for help: not just from each other but from the unseen Human
Spirit, and perhaps from some even higher, finer, supernatural
Energies. We can also ask for forgiveness, for degrading so relent-
lessly a beautiful world we did not make. For killing off thousands
of non-human species and misusing hundreds of others. If we
could even feel that forgiveness is necessary, we might begin to
change things: remorse is the beginning of healing, and healing is
the beginning of wholeness and wholesomeness....But more of this

Where have we been so far in our exploration of these holistic,
cosmological ideasand where have we got to? First I dis-covered
for you the abstract inner form, the bones making up the skele-
ton of the World Pattern of Process manifesting in some
traditional cosmologies. Then I took you through two examples of
the fleshtwo of its concrete exemplarsthe Four Elements, and
the Four Existents (as the Chain of Being). Now, although at the
cost of some repetition, we have just been looking at the idea of
Four Energies manifesting as the four different levels or links in
the Chain of Being. And all of thesethe concrete cosmologies
and the energiescon-form to the four formal, abstract bones of
the skeleton. Presently (in Particle vi) Ill come back to the skele-
ton to pad the bones out a little more, and finish off the whole
caboodle, Gaias Cosmology. But for nowor at least right after
an InterludeIll be showing you one more traditional isomorph
of the Grand Pattern of the world, which I think deserves its own



Particle 2.iv An interlude ...


Six impossible things before breakfast?

(some co-incidences in evolution)
When Alice first meets the White Queen, in Through the Looking
Glass, the Queen asks her how old she is. Alice replies, Im seven
and a half, exactly.

You neednt say exactually, the Queen remarked. I can

believe it without that. Now Ill give you something to believe.
Im just one hundred and one, five months and a day.
I cant believe that! said Alice.
Cant you? the Queen said in a pitying tone. Try again:
draw a long breath, and shut your eyes.
Alice laughed. Theres no use trying, she said: one cant
believe impossible things.
I daresay you havent had much practice, said the Queen.
When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day.
Why, sometimes Ive believed as many as six impossible things
before breakfast.

If you want to believe in the chance and natural selection

theory of human evolution, and all the apparent co-incidences
and accidents that just happened randomly, you really have to
try and do as the White Queen says. Take some deep breaths and
keep your eyes shut. And there are a lot more than six impossible
things! Try these fifteen for startersall of which, given a mecha-
nistic universe, are highly improbable.
In Human Evolution: a Philosophical Anthropology, Australian
author Mary Maxwell has chosen ten, and I quote:

First of all, our star was a later-generation star, containing the

heavy elements needed for life. Second, the conditions of
primordial Earth, combined with the Suns radiation, allowed
the chemicals of life to link up. Third, the first cells formed and,
thanks to the double helix of DNA, were able to replicate
themselves. Fourth, the particular structure, the chloroplast,
evolved with its capability for photosynthesis, bringing about


the oxygen revolution (and later, even the fossil fuels for
modern industrial life). Fifth, the metabolic need for nutrition
caused animals to evolve locomotor and other behaviours.
Sixth, the eucaryotic cell with its nucleus of DNA allowed for
sexual reproduction and the tremendous proliferation of life
forms, from protozoa up to the vertebrates. Seventh, the
reptiles development of the shelled egg permitted the land to
be inhabited by large animals. Eighth, the demise of the
dinosaurs allowed the mammals to flourish, including the
primate line. Ninth, through the information-coding structure
of the visual and auditory systems, polysensory modelling of
the environment came about, with implications for reasoning,
judgment, and self-consciousness. And tenth, the peculiar
development of long-term memory storage may have helped
abstract and conceptual thought to come into being.
(1984: 4041. My emphases)

The second one alonethe origin of lifewould have been en-

ough to have given even the White Queen indigestion.
But there are plenty more. Systems scientist Ervin Laszlo
brings up several persistent paradoxes in his explorations of the
physical and the living world, and the world of mind and con-
sciousness (1993: 119164). One of these is the fact that

the resonance frequencies of four different elements (helium,

an unstable isotope of beryllium, carbon, and oxygen), though
highly improbable, are precisely tuned so that sufficient carbon
can be produced in the universe to build towards the heavier
elements, essential for the evolution of life. (1993: 120)

Their energy levels, he adds later on, are improbably finely corre-
lated (1993: 159).
And there are others. Decades ago biochemist and Nobel
Laureate George Wald pointed out the strange fact that the two
hydrogen atoms of a water molecule are not in line with the oxy-
gen atom, but

make with it an angle of 104 31. That dimension is of the

highest importance in understanding the properties of water;
for much of its behaviour depends upon this specific
geometry.... water, like almost everything else, contracts on
cooling, down to a temperature of 4 C. Below that temper-
ature, however, water expands, so that at 0 C, where it freezes,


it has a lower density than liquid water. Hence ice floats. If ice
did not float, all the waters of the Earth would probably have
frozen solid ages ago, and remained so thereafter except at the
surface. There is little chance that life could have arisen under such
conditions or having arisen could have survived.
(Platt, 1965: 2021; my emphasis)

More recently Jeremy Narby has asked about another impos-

sibility. Where does life come from? Over the last decade,
scientific research has come up against the impossibility that a
single bacterium, representing the smallest unit of independent
life as we know it, could have emerged by chance from any kind
of prebiotic soup (1999: 160).
So much for impossible things on the material level. Further
up the Chain of Being, on the plant level now, Jacob Bronowski
an atheist if ever there was onealso has some in his (at the time)
landmark book, The Ascent of Man. One of them is the evolution of
wheat, which Bronowski admits is a true fairy tale of genetics.
His story of accidents:

The turning-point to the spread of agriculture in the Old World

was almost certainly the occurrence of two forms of wheat
with a large, full head of seeds. Before 8000 B.C., wheat was
not the luxuriant plant it is today; it was merely one of the
many wild grasses that spread throughout the Middle East. By
some genetic accident [here we go], the wild wheat crossed with
a natural goat grass and formed a fertile hybrid. That accident
must have happened many times in the springing vegetation
that came up after the last Ice Age. In terms of the genetic
machinery that directs growth, it combined the fourteen
chromosomes of wild wheat with the fourteen chromosomes of
goat grass, and produced Emmer with twenty-eight
chromosomes. That is what makes Emmer so much plumper.
The hybrid was able to spread naturally, because its seeds are
attached to the husk in such a way that they scatter in the
For such a hybrid to be fertile is rare, but not unique
among plants. But now the story of the rich plant life that
followed the Ice Ages becomes more surprising. There was a
second genetic accident [and again], which may have come
about because Emmer was already cultivated. Emmer crossed
with another natural goat grass and produced a still larger
hybrid with forty-two chromosomes, which is bread wheat.
That was improbable enough in itself, and we know now that


bread wheat would not have been fertile but for a specific
genetic mutation on one chromosome.
Yet there is something even stranger. Now we have a
beautiful ear of wheat, but one which will never spread in the
wind because the ear is too tight to break up. And if I do break
it up, why, then the chaff flies off and every grain falls exactly
where it grew. Let me remind you, that is quite different from
the wild wheats or from the first, primitive hybrid, Emmer. In
those primitive forms the ear is much more open, and if the ear
breaks will fly in the wind. The bread wheats have lost that
ability. Suddenly, man and the plant have come together. Man
has a wheat that he lives by, but the wheat also thinks that man
was made for him because only so can it be propagated. For
the bread wheats can only multiply with help; man must
harvest the ears and scatter their seeds; and the life of each,
man and the plants, depends on the other. It is a true fairy tale
of genetics. (1973)

As for one on the animal level, George Wald, again, talks of

collagen, the principal protein of cartilage, the glassy gristle that
all of you are familiar with through your encounters with the less
desirable parts of beef and chicken:

The extraordinary thing is that one can dissolve collagen, so

completely randomising [its] structure, and then by very
simple means precipitate it out of solution, when it
reaggregates in this specific, quasi-crystalline condition, hardly
to be told apart under the electron microscope from what one
finds in the connective tissues of living organisms.

And he goes on to add that

Morphology is a continuous, broadening thread that runs

through the whole hierarchy of the states of organization of
matter. It is not that the universe has a tendency toward order;
on the contrary, it has an overwhelming tendency toward
disorder, expressed [as entropy] in the Second Law of
thermodynamics. It is only that in the flow toward enormous
disorder, and indeed at its expense, a little order is saved out,
even a little increase in order. (in Platt, 1965: 22)

After a discussion of the stuff of genes, which characteristi-

cally forms a right-handed double helix, in which two nucleic acid
chains form a spiral ladder, Wald goes on to remark, There was a


time when all this was first becoming plain, when I asked my-
selfand I hope you will forgive the wording, which was just
shorthand for what I really meantWho winds the helices? (ibid,
One last, but perhaps most significant, example is yet another
article of common knowledge: the unusually rapid growth and
development of the human brain perhaps just before the period of
Magdalenian culture around 18,000 years ago. In the line of un-
believables Julian Jaynes remarks in The Origins of Consciousness in
the breakdown of the Bicameral Mind,

From fossil evidence we know factually that the [human] brain,

particularly the frontal lobe in front of the central sulcus, was
increasing with a rapidity that still astonishes the modern
evolutionist. (1976: 134)


Now if, like the White Queen, you can believe that all these
astonishing and impossible things (these accidents or co-
incidences as scientists are pleased to call them) just happened by
chance and natural selection, well, that is your personal choice.
But I am not so gullible. To me it looks as though we humans might
have been, somehow, planned for. Perhaps waited for might be a
more appropriate phrase? (The discovery of attractors in physics
would fit in here very well: might there be somethingperhaps
some idealup ahead of us, attracting the development of hu-
mankind?) In any case, it begins to look as though humankind
might have evolved for a purpose; could we perhaps be here to
fulfil some function in the world, for the world, for Gaia?
Here endeth this interlude. I have no conclusions to offer, but
I hope it has made you ponderon whether we are here merely as
products of chance and a great many accidents, or of something
else: something more plausible.



Particle 2.v A Sufi model of creation

Here Im going to take a risk and leave the straight and narrow
(rational and empirical) pathway for a few pages, to dip into a
somewhat more ethereal realm. But I make no apology for intro-
ducing here another traditional fourfold model cosmology which
includes a spiritual element, as not only does it conform to the
skeleton of Gaias Cosmology, butonce you can grasp itit is
the major traditional exemplar of the actual World Pattern of Pro-
cess itself.
What I have said so far in this book can be verified, either ra-
tionally (as did Schumacher and Whitehead) or with instruments
such as are used in kirlian photography and its more recent incar-
nations. I also assume that in times to come there will be even
more sensitive versions of instruments such as Cleve Backsters
galvanometer, the lie-detector with which he first detected the
existence of life and the feeling reactions of plants, and Chi and
Prana in humans. Technology is helping us to see further and
deeper into the natural world. If you object, though, or are not in-
terested in subtle energies or a perhaps more spiritual aspect to
things, then just skip this Particle.
As I mentioned in Part 1, this traditional Sufi cosmology or
model of creation describes its fourfold process as Zat, Sifat,
Asma and Afal. (Lest you shy away from the word creation,
these terms are broad and general enough to describe the overall process
of the evolution of the universe, too.) If you look up their meanings in
Indonesian dictionaries, these four words dont make too much
sense separately, but here they are for the curious:

(i) Zat = The unqualified, unmanifest Ground of Being, Ger-

minal Essence, or Power of G-d.

(ii) Sifat = nature, qualities. That is, the manifest natural

world, of galaxies, star systems, things, entities, beings and crea-
tures, etc, which have developed since the Big Bang.

(iii) Asma = which in the dictionary is translated as name, or

identity. This may not seem to have anything to do with the first


two elements unless you take identity in the Aristotelian sense as

meaning integral wholeness. (What Pak Subuh said often enough
about Asma was that it is a combination of Zat and Sifat working

(iv) Afal = products, works, or results. That is, whatever

happens after and beyond Asma (the third stage workings of the
whole); any products and/or results of an earlier named and iden-
tified whole.

These, as I say, are their separate dictionary terms. But if you

take them as a logical progression of stagesas Muslim clerics do
(although they assume these stages apply only to the creation of
the universe)they represent a very large-scale and general de-
scription of the entire process by which some spiritualor at least
unmanifestSupreme Energy, Consciousness or Power, perhaps
of G-d (Zat) became what we know today as the empirical uni-
verse. If this was so, it was Zat that began with the Big Bang the
process of becoming; and thence, through Sifata vast and per-
haps unending process of manifestation, materialisation,
condensation, expansion and development occurred; and from
that arose biospheres, and/or biological life forms and whole liv-
ing systems (Asma); and finally humankind as a product or result
(Afal) of biological Nature.
There is, though, a somewhat different interpretation of this
emergent fourfold process, as the meaning of the last two stages is
not clear (and has been as subject to as much debate by Islamic
scholars as was the number of angels who can dance on a pin-
head by Christians). If, as some say, humankind is included with
biological life in Asma, then the fourth stage results of the life and
existence of humankindi.e. culture, arts, history, religions, and
the transformed, highest Human consciousness, and so onare
what together make up Afal, the ambiguous stage Four.
Worth noting here is that this cosmology is not just the ram-
blings of a bunch of dyed-in-the-wool traditional Muslim clerics.
Whichever interpretation you prefer, whereverin the process
you want to place humankind, it does not matter too much either
way, because overall this model is general enough to cover a wide

variety of processes, yet structured enough to be useful. And if

you object to the inclusion of G-d at the beginning, well, just re-
member that because of the apparent weirdness of some recent
discoveries in quantum mechanics, not a few scientists have de-
veloped an interest in unseen realities and even in spirituality.
Particularly noteworthy among them (for my purposes here) was
physicist David Bohm, author of several books including the
ground-breaking Wholeness and the Implicate Order (1980). Deeply
interested in spirituality, Bohm later recorded several of his con-
versations with the Indian sage Jiddu Krishnamurti. And, at the
end of his long and distinguished career doing research and teach-
ing at Birkbeck College in London University, Bohm eventually
came up with his own final summing-up (you might say) of the
evolution of the universe. This was: (i) Energy, (ii) Matter, (iii)
Life, and (iv) Consciousness. In other words, Bohm arrived at a
four-stage model of the process of evolution conforming to the
abstract skeleton of Gaias Cosmologyand one remarkably simi-
lar to the Sufi model.
Strictly speaking this traditional Sufi model is not a cosmol-
ogy but an outline of the four stages of the process of the creation
(and/or the evolution) of the universe. And, once again, if we look
behind the appearances to the forms within them, these four stages
can be applied to almost anything, as well see. But before doing
this lets look at the four stages themselveswith somewhat dif-
ferent eyes from the traditional Sufi waynoting how they
conform to Gaias cosmology

ZAT (pronounced zutt) is like the Pow!, the Wow! or the

sudden Ah-ha! experience that zaps you with insight, inspiring
and/or initiating a completely new thought, idea, or project. In
other words, Zat is the beginning, the conception, the initial con-
cept, intention, or vision of something new.
As such, Zat can be seen to be pure potential/s in a state of
global and/or random wholeness, an undifferentiated mass sym-
bolised by a monad, One. In archetypal terms, Chaos.

SIFAT (see-futt) includes all that happens when the poten-

tial begins to start actualising, when the initial impulse develops

into something more concrete than just the idea or initial con-
cept/ion. This is where a creature, an entity or a project starts to
form, solidify and take shape; now it is growing and progressing
and taking on some reality.
Sifat, seen in this way, is the middle stagebringing order
into the developing, differentiating and expanding (but unfin-
ished) project or entity, half-wayTwobetween the potential of
Zat and the complete, actualised Asma. In archetypal terms, Sepa-

ASMA (uss-muh) is the finished process, any completed

whole entity (be it a molecule, creature, project, institution, or-
ganisation or galaxy); this is the complete actualisation of the
potential in Zatwhere various parts have now come into, and
become subject to, a greater framework, forming a coherent, func-
tioning whole, on whatever level of life or scale of existence. The
whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
Thus, formally, Asma is a complete and actualised whole,
and represents any integrated, coherent, whole made up of differ-
ent parts working together harmoniously. Symbolised by Three
archetypically, Union.

AFAL (uff-uhll). Whatever results from the completed

wholeits products, its works, and so onor alternatively which
transcends Asma, (or both), comes into Afal. This may, or may
not, consist of a bunch of utterly different things: but whatever
comes after and beyond the actualised, completed, working whole
Asmaand often (but not always) as a result of thatis the fourth
stage of that process.
As the results of the completed whole may all be very differ-
ent, they make up a random whole which is symbolised by Four;
archetypically, Transcendence.

Seen like this, this Sufi cosmology is not only an abstract

model of creation and evolution, it is a formal model of process
isomorphic to the world pattern of process and the skeleton of
Gaias cosmology. As far as I can tell, it is also the closest model to
Whiteheads four-phase process of concrescence. So although this

particular traditional Sufi model contains a spiritual element,

namely G-d, to begin withand cannot therefore be verified sci-
entificallyIve brought it in here because as a whole process it
does con-form to the concrete processual cosmologies I presented
earlier: that is, the flesh (the Four Elements and the Four existents
of the Chain of Being) and the four classes of energies.
And it not only conforms to these, but in theory to any pro-
cess wherever and whatsoever. In other words, this model of
creation can also be applied (heretically as far as many Muslim
scholars are concerned) to very different things, events, situations,
other processes and projects today. For instance, I once heardPak
Subuha Muslim himselfuse it to illustrate how the process of
the building of the S. Widjojo Centre office block in Jakarta also
followed the four stages:

(i) Conception: The original concept: the inspirational receiv-

ing, the vision, the idea and the intention
(ii) Development: that is, the preparation for the project, the
planning and development, finding the people, the finances, ac-
quiring the materials, and constructing it
(iii) Implementation: the completed, up-and-running, work-
ing buildingand, finally,
(iv) all the various Results of the completed project: such as
jobs for people, income for shareholders, profits for philanthropic
purposes, and the presence of a large Subud project out in the
world for the public to see, including evaluation, for purposes of
next time, Pak Subuh concluded.

There never was a next timeanother office block built by

the Subud organisationbut in 1980 there began instead an even
larger project: the development of a vast tract of land that had
been clear-felled in the Indonesian province of Central Kalimantan
on the island of Borneo. Overall (on one scale) this, too, seems to
be proceeding according to similar stages of process, while within
the whole project (on smaller scales) are many other processes in
various stages of completion. These include erecting houses and
other buildings for a variety of different purposes; the setting up
of small business enterprises; a garbage collection system; market

gardening, replanting and landscaping; protecting the remaining

patches of natural forest, and so onall of which are also follow-
ing the same simple, ubiquitous pattern of process.
The cosmological Pattern of Process doesnt mean just one
process in one place at any one time: but within any overall pro-
cess are smaller scale ones, and perhapswithin themeven
smaller ones again. And so on, perhaps ad infinitum.
This is not too different from Arthur Koestlers scheme of
holons: which is the term he gave to organised, coherent wholes.
There are greater holons, he said, and lesser holons within them,
and smaller ones within themand so on, down in scale. These he
called nested holons. Well, there are also nested processes
although a process once begun doesnt always come to an end,
and even if it does it may not finish up being a nice neat and tidy
whole. Certainly, though, a multitude of processes can be going
on at the same time in different places, some side by side, and
some in a hierarchy of scale.
So this Sufi cosmological model of process can be applied to
the formation and development of almost anything, from atoms to
molecules to cells, and to galaxies (as we saw in Erich Jantschs
diagram on page 65) and everything in between: including the four
stages of human life, the four stages of the history of cultures and
civilisations, and so on as well see later in Part 3, Particles i and ii.
Take, for a final example, the old conundrum, Which came
first, the chicken or the egg? Using Gaias cosmology you can see,
even here, four clear stages of development! And yes, like Bohms
concept of some kind of initial Primordial Energy (and/or the Big
Bang of astronomers), in this scheme of things at least, the simpler
egg does come before the more complex chicken

(i) Egg
(ii) Hatchling, and its growth and development
(iii) Adult chicken
(iv) Resultssuch as a lot more eggs, more chickens,
some income for the farmer, and perhaps eventually some chicken



I hope I have said enough now to show you that this tradi-
tional Sufi model of creation and evolution can also be used to
illustrate a simple but ever-present and every-where Pattern of
Process on a vast and unknown number of different scales, show-
ing the upward trendthe way in which things grow, develop
and advanceat work in the world as what seems (to me) to be
Batesons pattern which connects.



Particle 2.vi Return to the skeleton

By now, having looked at several traditional exemplars of Gaias
Cosmology, we have gleaned quite a lot more information about it
overall than we had at the beginning. So we are going to go back
and have another look at the whole skeletonthe outline, abstract
formal pattern of processand the four very different bones of
which it consists. As all these details may seem to get out of hand
in this Particle, let me first list the sub-Particles that I am going to
be dealing with here, so you can see where we are going.

Commonalities in the exemplars
The four parts (bones) as categories
On boundaries, and contexts
On dualities
On four types of behaviour
On relations and conformations
On wholes, holons (and even a bit about health)
On comparisons
On hierarchies
Summary: the fuzzy (but holistic) skeleton.


I know it isnt easy to switch ones vision from the way we have
been taught to look at things, to a very differenta holistic
vision. But if you have been bored or got lost in the formal and
methodological maze of all the descriptions so far in Part 2, it will
soon be over and I can then, in Part 3, really show you the benefit
of going into all this detail, and how to apply the whole thing.
That is, how to put this in-form-ation to work. Youll then be able
to see the many great advantages of having a simple holistic cos-
mology fit for Gaia! But we havent finished with its structure yet.


Earlier we dis-covered the skeleton of the Pattern, the matrix,

the whole but empty conceptual framework, and illustrated its
abstract form with the process of doing a jigsaw puzzle, with its
four different phases or stages which are the bones. Then we filled
that in with the flesh of the two traditional concrete cosmologies
making up our environment. Next we looked at the three natural
plus one Human energies of Alisjahbana, Schumacher, and Pak
Subuh, and last we examined the isomorphic (parallel, con-
forming) Sufi model of creation.
Thus far I have been able to describe things in the usual linear
fashion because the first two stages of process aremore or less
linear, or at least they usually follow on chronologically. But now I
am nearing the end of the second stage of process, Two, and inch-
ing towards taking a look at the stage Three whole, coherent
caboodle. And this, as a whole, is not linearso some of the de-
tails in this Particle may not make complete sense until its overall
and generalised outline becomes clearer. (Whitehead gets around
this difficulty in Process and Reality by going over the same things
twice or even three times from different perspectives.)
Now things get more complicated, as one of the difficulties of
describing a whole is, Where do you start?because everything
hangs on, is related to, and depends upon, everything else: and
there is no beginning and no end. So, as youll see, some of the
separate sections in this particle overlap or could even have been
included in othersand this does, unfortunately, mean more rep-
First, though, to go back and examine the whole skeleton
more closely and describe it in some detail, we have to do a struc-
tural analysis of its bones in cross-section; that is, look cross-wise
across the cosmological sets and models in order to come up with
some generalities about each of the four stages of process within
the whole. (After analysis comes synthesis.) If these occasionally
seem obscure or irrational, all should become clear once we have
had a close look at the four phases of Human life and history in
Part 3, to come. But as I want you to be able, before this, to see the
four bones of the skeleton as a sequence of categories, I am first
going to juxtapose some of the exemplars of the cosmology with
each other.

In this way, here in this Particle some commonalities in the

very different fourfold sets begin to emerge: and from them we
can extract some more general information about the different
properties, functionings, characteristics and qualities of the bones
that was not clear earlier. Basically what we are after here is to
polish the bones a bit, so we end up with a progression of four
distinctly different parts or categories within the skeleton, and
end up with a clearer picture of the skeleton as a systemic whole.
One of the objects of doing all this is to show that qualities
and values can be shown to fit to observed facts. (Heresy as this is
to the hard sciences, this is what having a systemic frameworka
holistic cosmologyallows us to do.)
Now, traditional cosmologies, being coherent wholes, do
have certain requirements and limitations. Above all, all things
have to be isomorphic, to correspondor more accurately to con-
formto (at least one part of) everything else: that is, to be coher-
ent to, fit in harmoniously with, the overall formal structure of the
skeleton of the cosmology, in this case a pattern of process.
Otherwise cosmologies cannot be used to make sense of things
and either they are not true cosmologies, or they are of no use.
Whitehead, alas, not knowing this, made some blunders in Process
and Reality: for instance, his categories (1970: 2028) do not, as he
has detailed them there, conform to his own four-stage cosmol-
ogywhich he calls the process of concrescenceand this, alas,
weakens his entire argument.
In this Particle, I also have to go over some general notions
about these four categories which I first met with in the now de-
funct Society for General Systems Research, along with some
smaller scale stuffthe relations between the categories, and the
particles within them. I have to take a look, too, at contexts and
boundaries, hierarchies, dualities, and wholes generally, and end
with a note on the use of comparisons.
This process is cumulative. If you dont agree with my argu-
ments, just keep readingbecause gradually, by going over some
things twice or even three times (because they do overlap and
come under two or more different headings) you may begin to see
thing holistically. Cosmologically!


Commonalities in the exemplars

By looking at a cross-section of some of the exemplars of Gaias
cosmology at each of the four different stages in turn, we can un-
cover some commonalities, clarifying and refining each of the four
bones separately as parts and/or categories of our holistic skele-
Although bearing in mind, again, the fact that the four Em-
pedoclean elements are not in process, we can nevertheless put
them side by side with the four Existents (the four links in the
Chain of Being). Some things they have in common then appear,
which looking just at the bare bonesthe skeletonof the world
pattern earlier did not reveal. These commonalities provide more
subtle and distinct signs of the incremental differences between
the stages of process.

First, and speaking generally, as the pattern of process moves

on through its four stages, you can see that there is an increase in
their order, organisation, freedom and scale. Properties and quali-
ties appear that were not present in the previous stage. This is so
in the Four Elements even though they are not, as far as we know,
living. In the Chain of Being, as its last three stages are alive, de-
velopments appearevolveat each stage, in a process called
We can now say, overall, that the Earth/Minerals pair (Ones)
are formless, atomistic, largely undifferentiated, inert, passive and
amenable to human fashioning: and they have a multitude of po-
tentials. Remembering our descriptions in Particle ii, we can see
that the Water/Plants pair (Twos) are differentiated, sensitive in
themselves and automatically re-active to external stimuli. Reac-
tively, they alter themselves to those externals, and typically run


to extremes. Plants, additionally, as we saw, are self-interested

(concerned only with their own survival), defensive, and even
competitive: and although science does not yet know enough
about water to agree (but see Emoto, 1999 and Schiff, 1995), I am
pointing this out here as it does apply to most other Twos, as will
be seen later. The Air/Animals pair (Threes), although they can
and sometimes dofunction on the externally-reactive level of
Twos, usually override this, having more, and internal, options
open to them. Being centred (animals with a heart, social groups
with dominance and/or hierarchies, and the Air and winds
around the planet), Threes tend to be active, dynamic, coherent
wholes; and their activities in response to internals are continually
changing the natural world, our environment.
In the last pair (Fours) both Light and Humans areor ought
to be!transcendent and, above everything, fine and free, objec-
tive, impartial, dispassionate; and even, in the case of humans (for
lack of a more general word), spiritually oriented.
Thus, with each successive phase or stageand categoryof
the natural order, particularly in the Chain of Being, there emerges
a definite increase not only in order and organisation but in more
complex behaviours, and in freedom, fineness, activity and con-
sciousnessand this gives a corresponding increase in quality, worth
and value. (Although this applies to a much less extent to the four
Elements, it holds good, as well see, for other exemplars still to
come.) This is not to say that the earlier or lower levels are not just
as worthy and as necessary: a house without foundations does not
stand for long, nor could a factory produce anything with only
managers and no hands-on workers. But the higher levels, being
freer, more organised and more dynamic, have more power and
more ability to change and develop things. In short, as I see it, the
Pattern gives a set of categories showing a qualitative advance.
Schumacher takes this even further (1977: 3748) and in a sec-
tion called Progressions he shows that, with this upward trend to
increasing complexity of the concrete Existents in the Chain of Be-
ing and the invisible Energies within them (in the symbolic terms I
am using, from One to Four), it is rational to think that an ulti-
mately organised, ultimately dynamic, ultimately fine and free
consciousness and/or spiritual energy might well existin a

word, The Spirit, or G-d. However rational this may be, though, it
is of course speculative.


Now we come to a tricky bit. In a moment I am going to jux-

tapose these four bones of the skeleton: that is, the categoriesas
we have so far found them to bewith the four Energies, and
with the Sufi model of Creation, and also with David Bohms four
ultimate existents. Even with their common formal structure, we
are going to have wildly different things inhabiting the same box.
For instance, the Earth/Minerals pair is, as we have said, inert and
passive, as is also the material Energy of solid substance. Yet all
three are box-brothers (or category kin) with G-d as the Primal Cause
and with Bohms germinal Energy! How can this be?
There are two ways of approaching what may appear to be
gross errors here. The first is to look at some of the fourfold pro-
cesses as beginning with an active, that is creative, inspirational or
spiritual principle, and at others as starting with a passive, that is
earth-bound, substantial or material principle. The active One then
proceeds to a passive and/or even substantial Two, while the pas-
sive One moves on to an active Two. But both of these are then,
similarly and wholly, reconciled and united in a coherent, organ-
ised whole, Three. This is one way of looking at this apparent
paradox: as if there were two different versions of the fourfold pro-
The second way is to look at all these apparently strange bed-
fellows in One as all being holders of pure potentials. That is, all are
active Onesor potentially active Ones. For instance the planet
Earth, which to us seems to be a passive, global random mass of
inorganic minerals and materials, has in the long run (a billion
years or so), produced Life. So, on such a long-term view, if the
theory of evolution is correct, this has proved true; the apparently
inert Earth and minerals have produced the biosphere and us with
it, so even the Earth/Minerals pair can be seen to be exemplars of
the pure potentials in One.
Of these two ways of perceiving, Whitehead in Process and
Reality favours the latter. He assumes that the first stage of every


process contains within it the seed of its own development. This

may have been because his father was a clergyman, and at the end
of his argumentor, perhaps more correctly, at the beginningis
his belief in spirituality and the conscious evolution of the uni-
verse. That G-d, in other words, initiated the Big Bang.
(Whiteheads weakness, unfortunately, was that, as a mathemati-
cian and modern philosopher concerned with discoveries in
quantum physics, and trying to reconcile science and religion, he
did not look to traditions and thus missed seeing that the Four
Elements and the Chain of Beingboth seemingly starting with
passive/material Onesalso conform to his own fourfold pattern
of process. See Appendix 2).
However, perhaps neither of these views is fixed. Perhaps we
dont need to decide whether the two different versions of pro-
cesses, or the all Ones are activepotentially view is correct. It
will be more convenient, after all, in applying a pattern that is
universal, to be able to use whichever version is the more appro-
priate, in the context and at the time, to individual cases. In any
case it is sufficient, I think, to accept that there may be minor vari-
ations on the single major theme, the overall Pattern of Process.
For my part, for the sake of keeping things as orderly as pos-
sible in this book, I shall assume (although bearing in mind that
both versions are possible) the more spiritual of the versions. That
is, that all Oneshowever material, earthy, inert and apparently
deadare active. This is in spite of the more empirical, scientific
approach which begins with the Earth and other inert, non-living
Minerals: in a word, matter; and the all Ones are passive version
of the reductionist sciences in which lifeand humanity, and even
spiritualityis a product, even a by-product, of chance and ran-
dom evolution of matter.
Like Whitehead I believe in a spiritualised, top down ver-
sion of evolution. The jury, however, is still out. The sciences, in
spite of all those weird discoveries in quantum mechanics, have
not decided whether the universe began with some Supreme En-
ergy, Mind, or Consciousness and over the aeons became
increasingly material: or, on the contrary, began with Matter, some
of which evolvedby chance?becoming increasingly complex
and conscious. This of course is the bottom up version of atheists

and hard scientists today. Luckily, it doesnt make any difference

to my thesis because the great Pattern of Process works whichever
way the sciences eventually decide is correct.
Now, as Ive aired this tricky bit and left it open, we can
move on to what is one of the main aims of this part of the book,
which is to take a good long look at the forms of the bones, the four
parts of the skeleton, Gaias Cosmology, as categories.


The four parts (bones) as categories

Having looked at some traditional cosmologies we are now going
to put them together with some other exemplars of the Grand Pat-
tern, in particular David Bohms scale of existents, the stages of
project management, and the life process of a chicken. We are
doing this so we can bring out some more details of the different
stages of processthe bonesand arrive at a clearer picture of
them as archetypal categories.

Stage of process: Beginning; conception; intention; pure poten-
Something I shouldnt need to point out by now is the
double-whammy in One. It may well be a monad, random and
totally formless, but often there will have been two sources of in-
put into it. For example, in the conception of a human, an animal,
and even some plants, a male and a female particle are both
needed for a One. An ideathe concept of a projectneeds a
mind to receive it. The singularity that existed before the Big Bang
may have needed some kind of other Energy or outside impulse to
get evolution started. Or perhaps G-d (Energy) needed Sophia
(form, The Law) to start the One of creation? So Ones sometimes,
but not always, come into existence because of two different factors
within the one. Even when they dont, Ones may, as Whitehead
suggests, contain the seed within them of further development
and it is that which moves a One on to becoming a Two.


Formallya random whole, an atomistic mass, a global, cha-

otic, disorderly and unorganised whole; a monad; archetypally,
Exemplars: Earth; Minerals; matter; solid non-living substan-
ces; the germinal power of G-d; Bohms primordial Energy; the
initial conception of a new project; a chickens egg.
So, regarding external relations, a One on its own may be acted
on or influenced by an outside Two, producing a dyad or duality
which is another, greater Two. Hegels thesis and antithesis come
to mind here.
On the other hand, internally, some particles within One may
act as Twos if they come into contact with one another, especially
in sexual reproduction. Usually, however, in other contexts, units
on whatever scale remain right next door to each other atomisti-
cally in Ones: that is without relating, as do different atoms with
their peers, as do different rocks in the earths crust, as do the
shell, yellow, and white of an egg, and as do the different aspects
of an unexplored intuition, or idea for a project.


Stage of Process: Middle; growth, development and diffusion;
Notice here the instability and the wild extremes of the sec-
ond stage, the Twos. In Water, from the smallest molecule of
water to the vast expanse of the oceansand extremes of endur-
ance also, from the brief life of a phytoplankton to the longevity of
the thousand year old huon pine. Nothing in the animal realm
comes even near to approaching these extremes. Again, plants are
either alive or they are dead, and there is little in between. Every
stick has two ends, as Mr. Gurdjieff used to say.
Formallydifferentiated, separate parts; pair/s of opposites;
or many different parts; duality/ies; dyads, archetypally Separa-
Exemplars: Water/s, Plants, the Life force or energy; the em-
pirical universe; physical matter (Bohm); the planning and
development of a project; the growth and development of a chick.


In their external relations, Twos, being sensitive, may be diffi-

cult, problematic, unstable, defensive and even (in the case of
feelings) turn into their own oppositesenantiodroma as Jung
calls this.. Dyads and dualities, without a greater framework
(Three) to reconcile each other and/or to work within, tend to in-
stability. Often they re-act to external stimuli. An idea for an
activity, or any other incipient process, may never move on to
stage Three completion, but either swing like a pendulum in con-
fusion, go around in circles, or even devolve, reverting to a
formless One again. A baby animal or a child needing much input
to enable it to reach healthy adulthood may not receive that, and
die. In the case of project management, many a bright idea (con-
ception, One) has come to grief because of lack of preparation and
resources and other difficulties in its development (Two), and not
come to completion (Three). And how many young couples sepa-
rate because they held no ceremony imprinting within them an act
of commitment to each other, no greater framework of marriage,
no Three?


Stage of process: End; a finished, organised, working coherent
whole; completion.
Formallyan integrated, organised, dynamic, boundaried,
working whole; triads and trinities; One and Two now reconciled
and working together either within a greater framework or cen-
tred around a core; archetypally, Union.
Exemplars: Air; Animals; motivations/purposes/will; the self-
sustaining biosphere; humankind; life (Bohm); a completed pro-
ject; an adult chicken.
Threes, being wholes, tend to be more moderate size-wise,
and in other ways too: and having a centre themselves, or being
centred around a core or nucleus, or existing within a greater
framework, are often more differentiated internally than Twos.
Their dynamism tends to make them relatively stable; and being
more complex they are not blindly reactive to externals as are


Twos but have a wider range of responses and/or actions avail-

able to them.
Generally speaking Threes are dynamic, purposeful, and or-
ganisedor some of these. But (like the Twos) they may not move
on to Four but remain stuck as self-organising, self-maintaining
Threes. All organisms, organisations and organised wholes are
Threes. The largest known to us are probably the different reli-
gions, but their fragmentation into different varieties reduces their
powers and influence. Nations are also Threes, centred on their
heads of state and two-tier governments: the three estates. Multi-
national corporations are over-large Threes, although all sorts of
other institutions are less sopolitical parties, learned societies,
institutes and so on.
One problem with their inherent stability is that Threes may
get stuck, and come to exist only for themselveswhich means they
never move on to become more helpful (altruistic), service-
oriented, enlightened, transcendent Fours.


Stage of process: The follow-on, products, results and out-
comes (of the completed stage Three whole), some of which will
go on and act as Ones of other processes.
Formallya repeat of One but here on a greater scale: that is, a
random whole, an atomistic mass, a global, chaotic, disorderly,
disorganised mass; archetypally Transcendent.
Exemplars: Light; Humans; the human Spirit (and/or trans-
formative energy); culture/s; consciousness (Bohm); the results of
the finished project; lots of eggs.
Never forget the ambiguity of this fourth stage of process, of
Four itself, and all Fours. Structurallythat is formallyspeaking,
there are various ways in which this ambiguity may arise.
To understand these, we have to go right back to the jigsaw
puzzle in Part 2, Particle i, in which the fourth stage was everything
that resulted from finishing Three, the completed picture. But lets
look at a similar and equally valid metaphor now. If, instead of a
doing a jigsaw puzzle, we had built a castle out of childrens


bricks (a Three)then, for stage Four, there are other and quite
different additional possibilities. The original is, as with the jigsaw
puzzle, limited to one castle (Three) and all its following results
(Four). But if there were two or more people also building little
castles with childrens bricks in the same room, then several dif-
ferent outcomes are possible. Four could be either (i) a combining
of all the little castles, moving them together and adding them on
to each otherso there is one large but not very well designed
castle; or (ii) it could be that, by knocking them all down, a com-
pletely new and much larger and better-integrated castle could be
built out of all the bricks; or even (iii) the castles could remain sin-
gle and separate but taken over by other owners and turned into
model shopping malls for example! So the reason that Fours in
general tend to be unpredictable and ambiguous is that these dif-
ferent types of options are all open (as results of Three, the completed
third stage of process) as Fours.
Thus, overall, Fours may be rational; they may appearor
beirrational; they are often unexpected, usually ambiguous, and
there may well be different interpretations of them. Oneor
someof their elements may lead on to quite other processes, as
we saw in the diagram of the evolution of the cosmos (Table 3),
and some may not. You never know with Fours, because Fours, or
the formally random, singular and atomistic Ones (the particles
that they consist of) are usually ambiguous and unpredictable.
To clarify this, lets look at a few Fours of different processes.
In the life of an animal, for instance, Four is the offspring they
leave behind when they die, and also the many changes they have
wrought in their social group and the physical environment. In
the life process of a person it is these plus all the other varied re-
sults of our life: that is, the worksproductssuccessful
relationshipsprojectsgood (socially constructive) works, and
other cultural accomplishments we may have created and
achieved as individuals. In the process of project management it is
the results, the benefits and even brickbats of having achieved
something, and includes a final looking back to evaluate how it all
wentfor purposes of doing better next time. Alternatively, or per-
haps additionally, in the old age of a human the gradual physical


decay and the internal letting go of this world and the death that
comes to every body occurs.28
Again, speaking generally, Fours are (relatively) rather spe-
cial, and in some cases rareas by no means all processes come to
a successful end (Three) let alone have beneficial resultsFour. As
we said, Fours tend to be unexpected and ambiguous, and on a
human scale include perhaps a finer, even spiritual, element
which brings us free will and finally freedom. In fact, one of the
differences between a stage One Chaos and a stage Four Chaos is
not only that Four is on a greater scale but that it may well be rela-
tively finer, free-er and thus more subtle, spiritual, as well as
For sure, Light is a random, atomistic mass: and, as human
individuals all have the same intrinsic worth, humankind is a
random, atomistic mass too, and both are transcendent of their
preceding Threes. Andlooking laterallyhumankind may be
(ought to be?) enlightened. Even so, light largely comes down to
earth from outside, whereas humankind, biologically at least, has
evolved from inside: that is, from the animal stage on the planet.
Yet here could be a reasonlooking laterally at the formal
structuresfor the belief found in Indonesia that once the human
body had completely evolved, as G-d had intended, it was a fitting
vehicle (wahana) for the soul of humanity (jiwa manusia) to enter.
For theologians at least, this cosmology thus provides a rationale
for the descent of the Human energy or Spirit (Four) down into
the natural, biological human body (Three)in which case Gen-
esis and Darwin are both right.
In any case, and as we shall see further in other sets of exem-
plars that follow in Part 3, the components of the fourth stage are
usually equivocal, unpredictable and almost always ambiguous.
Yet as the fourth stage Chaos, or random mass consists of a
bunch of often unrelated results (of Three), collectively they are a
bunch of atomistic Ones, so we should not be too surprised. And,
as Ive said often enough before, many of these results may well

Structurally speaking, there is reason to expect there to be a continu-
ation of consciousness into an afterlife, the next world, after the
deathand separationof the physical body.


go on and become the initial Ones of other processes, particu-

larlyfor examplethose eggs.

Table 4: Exemplars of the four stages of process

To sum up: I think it is a question of perception: of being able

to see the con-formations that lie behind the appearances of all
these sets. That is, behind or within the Four Elements and the
Chain of Being making up our visible environment, as also within
a third set of the largely unseen energies, and within the other
three sets I took as exemplars. With holistic vision, these sets can
all be seen to conform to the abstract form of the cosmology and,
in cross-section, the four parts or stages of each set laterally to
each other.
Please note: the fact that Matter comes in two different
boxes is not paradoxical, for two reasons. First, it is the inner
formsthe formal structures of the bones (categories) with which
we are concerned here: and secondly, with holistic vision, the over-
all context and relations between the different elements play a greater
role in their disposition and placement than their concrete forms.
Just as significantly, these sets can all be seen to delineate, in
the natural order of process, four different classes or categories of
increasing order, organisation, dynamism and freedom, as they
advance. So Gaias Cosmology gives us an ascending ladder of
four different empty categories increasing in quality, worth and


value. As Ill show you in Part 3. iii, these can provide us with,
among other things, a natural yet rational hierarchy of human
To switch to yet another metaphor, the skeleton of Gaias
cosmology is like an empty, four-tier filing cabinet, whose draw-
ers have different forms. This is the formal structure or the
structural form, of the World Pattern of Process. Then, by filling in
its drawers (categories) with the two concrete cosmologies, we
add some shape, colour or flavourmore descriptionsto the
categories. Thus each drawer and category can be seen to have, for
example, different properties, functions, characteristics, and quali-
ties. (And although not all of these will apply in all cases and in all
processes, enough of them will to serve as a very general system
or Cosmology.) Thus we have arrived at a set of four different
categories which can be used as a basis for structural analysis and
synthesis, and holistic prediction and judgement.
In brief, by juxtaposing the two different ascending sets of
common or garden things we live with as our environment (Earth,
the Waters, Air and Light; and also Mineralsand/or non-living,
inert matter and material thingsPlants, Animals and other Hu-
mans) with other fourfold sets, and all of these with the empty
matrix (the bare bones of the formal skeleton), we have arrived
without procrustean labours at a sequence of four distinctly dif-
ferent qualitative categories.
Lets look at some of their characteristics now.


On boundaries, and contexts

About boundaries first. In the fragmented world analysed and
described by the sciences, edges and boundaries are usually clear
and sharp or otherwise obvious. But in this essay I am talking
about processes and sometimes living processes at that: and pro-
cesses are far fuzzier and messier than objects. So it isnt always
easy to discern them, or their boundaries, let alone distinguish
their four stages clearlyespecially if were trying to work out the
categories. So, generally speaking, between the different phases or


stages of processeach with its own typical qualitiesthere are

no hard-and-fast boundaries, let alone sharp or clear edges. Rather
than a cast-iron sequence of categories, these four stages often
merge and blend into one another gradually, like the growth and
development of a young person to an adult: ormetaphorically
like the colours of a rainbow. In a rainbow the colours are clear
and distinct in their centres, but there are no clear edges or boun-
daries between them, just as there are no cut-off points between a
youth and the man he is growing into.
But, again, as there is a vast range of processes, this is not the
case in all exemplars and sometimes there are quite distinct boun-
daries between the stages, as for example when a chick breaks out
of its egg. Occasionally there may be explosions to mark the end
of a phase or, usually when a Two becomes a Three, an implo-
sioninto integrated wholeness. As we shall see in Part 4, this
observation gives a rational boost to those who consider that more
ceremonies are needed in human life today.
As for Contexts, which should come in here as they have a lot
to do with boundaries, I am leaving most of it until we come to the
paragraph on Wholes, shortly. Yet contexts have a lot to do with
Relations, too. To be honest, I am in trouble here because, in a
genuinely holistic system, it is almost impossible to separate out all
these things! However, you will probably pick up some of these
ideasabout the characteristics of a Whole and its context/sas if
by osmosis, while I continue to plod on, explaining and repeating.
Any whole has an external context. As they say in General
System Theory circles, a whole is composed of smaller wholes,
which are in turn composed of smaller wholes, and so on down
the scale from the universe to molecules and even atoms. (White-
head calls all these wholes, even atoms, societies, whereas
Koestler calls them holons. Take your pick.) There are nesting
wholes, rather like those Russian dolls with smaller and smaller
ones inside each other.
At any rate, the principle here is that every whole has a con-
text: and as this external context changes, for better for worse, so
the whole or wholes within it will be affected and change too
and to a lesser extent the parts within it, and even the particles
within those, too.

On dualities
These days, dualities are frowned upon and regarded as no-nos.
Poor Descartes, who cut the world in twain, is admiredbut in a
tolerant kind of way. We post-modern people know, smugly,
dont we, that there is more in heaven and earth than was dreamt
of in his philosophy. Yet, at the same time, no one can cope with
dualities today; no one has produced an adequate theory to show
what theyre all about.
Here again the skeleton of Gaias cosmology proves useful in
that it clarifies two distinctly different kinds of duality. (This is not a
new idea: Gregory Bateson wrote about it in 1973, but few take
notice today of his ground-breaking work.) These are equal value
dualities, which Bateson called symmetrical relations, and there are
different value dualities which he called complementary relations.
In a paper published by the Society for General Systems Re-
search, whose members were scrabbling for a theory of dualities, I
offered them a paper on Two Types of Duality: Some Conse-
quences for Models (1985). It was based on two different types of
relations between Hindu gods, and used some of Batesons work
in Bali to back it up. Here is a sketch of part of what that paper
Once upon a time when the Great God Shiva ruled the world,
he had a beautiful wife, Parvati, who was everything a Goddess
should be. And, being the Lord God of All, Shiva was definitely
the boss, so Parvati submittedhappily, I should say. This pair is
in a relationship which illustrates a higher-lower and/or domi-
nance-submissive, stronger-weaker pair, which is what I call a
perpendicular or polar pair (north and south polescrudely,
up and down, top and bottom), or PP for short. This pair, this rela-
tionship, this duality, works well; the pair co-operate and get along
fine with each other. In Batesons terms this PP type of dualityor
binary relationship as he calls itis complementary (1973: 64
Now Shiva and Parvati have two sons. Like most brothers,
they are quarrelsome. So another very different pair is their frater-
nal offspring: Ganesha the elephant-headed god of trade and
information, and Iskandar the god of war. Ganesha is extroverted


and Iskandar is introverted. They are, after all, both battlers.

Ganesha is physically chubby, positively bulky even, and as he
sits heavily on his lotus pad he is available to his adherents to help
them fight their way through the jungles of commerce and mis-
information. Iskandar on the other hand, tall, lean and elegant,
fights hisand his worshipersinternal, psychological battles
against the lower, natural instincts. This pair illustrates an equal-
worth pair, which I call a horizontal or East-West pair, or EW
for short. This pair, this relationship, this duality, is one of con-
stant tension, competition, and even conflict. Bateson terms this
EW type of duality symmetrical (1973: 5053).
Switching from the gods to a world they may try to help, lets
look briefly at these two types of dualities now in relation to Gaia,
the planet. Let me quote myself here:

If we look at the higher/lower or perpendicular duality

North/South, and the equal-worth duality East/West for a
moment, another perspective on these two types of duality
becomes apparent. North and South, having fixed poles and
limited positions, allow onein theory!to go North (or
South) only in a straightand limitedline; after one reaches
a pole one is going in the opposite direction.
On the other hand, one can go on circling round the
world East, or West, in the same direction, indefinitely. This, as
a metaphor, illustrates the fact (?) that one can only make
progress up or regress down; whereas running around the
globe in the same plane one neither progresses nor regresses.
In other words, (referring to the Javanese cosmology again),
the Twos or equal-value dualities are subject to constant non-
progressive change, e.g. [circularity,] alternation, fluctuation:
whereas to get anywhere, so to speak, one has to climb uphill.
(1985: 50)

Although the EW duality is clearly a Two, what of the PP du-

ality? This, illustrating the relationship of higher to lower or
perhaps greater to lesser, or even active to passive, I designated at
the time as a Three to a Two, but it could also be a Four to a Three.
In any case, I want to clarify one thing here for those interested in
gender issues. Allow me to quote myself again:


Lest chauvinists of either sex take this relationship as indicative

of the rightful place and relations of the sexes: when Shiva and
Parvati are themselves in turn symbolised as the
linggam/yoni, a further element may be added. The phallic
linggam stands upright on a four-square (sometimes cubical)
base, symbolising the penetration of the Earth goddess/Mother
Nature/empirical existence by the Sky god/Heavenly
Father/unmanifest energy [Spirit]. So far, so good: but then on
the linggam is sometimes carved an image of the Great God-
dess, Shivas shakti, the Holy Spirit which, in relation to the
masculine principle, is depicted in feminine form.
In yet other sculptures, Shivas consort is depicted as
Durga, the destructive (entropic), manipulative and fearsome
aspect of Nature and the material world. But Shiva too has his
bad moments: as Destroyer of the World, and/or of the
external persona (mask) that people wear, he is often depicted
as dancing on the bodies of babies, and skulls adorn his crown.
Or yet again, in a tale told of a demon so monstrous that
none of the gods could deal with it (perhaps in a situation
analogous to ours [vis a vis materialism] today) they gather
together and, from the combining of their respective powers,
the gods create a single, tremendous, feminine figure, the Great
Goddess, who alone canand doesdispatch the monster
Such, perhaps, is the relativism of masculinity and femin-
inity [according to their context], shown in the higher/lower
duality of polar opposites in their complementary, helpful,
supportive and co-operative form. (1985: 49)

Now applying the symbolic numbers of the categories here,

the EW equal-worth, East-West dualitieswhich tend to be sensi-
tive, irritable, competitive and fractiousare a duality, a pair of
Twos. Two chess players, for example, with their black and white
armies. Boxing matches. Sibling rivalry. Let me point out that, as I
said above, although there is no progressno creative advance to
a different qualityin this circular mode there may be an increase
in intensity, as with arms races, revengefulness and other blindly
re-active tit-for-tat behaviour, and in such situations as the Israel-
Palestine and the India-Pakistan conflicts.
On the other hand, the PP (perpendicular, polar) dualities
symbolising any higher-lower pair tend to be co-operative and
mutually supportive, and are usually a Three in relation to a Two,
although they may be a Two to a One. Whichever: the higher gen-


erally tends to be active in relation to the lower, although this is

not always the case.
From lists of undifferentiated dualities in anthropology and
psychology I have selected some concrete, some abstract and some
mythical dualities that can now be sorted, although some are con-
text dependent and may swing from one to another and therefore
cannot be categorised definitively:

perpendicular, ambiguous: context-

equal worth
higher/lower dependent

parent/child brother/sister father/mother

hot/cold psyche/soma
wet/dry light/dark
heaven/earth (or hell) right brain/left brain open/closed

G-d/humans introvert/extrovert intellect/emotion

government/populace yin/yang spiritual//material

active/passive creative/receptive sensation/intuition

sun/moon Mars/Venus conscious/unconscious

north/south east/west right hand/left hand

Table 5: Dualities

What this shows is that all the fuss made about gender these days
is actually a matter of perspective. A man is feminine in relation to
a greater wholethe corporation he works for, say, or G-d. The
corporation and G-d, being greater than himself, are masculine in
relation to him, and men are feminine in relation to G-d and the
organisation they work for. And likewise, a woman being greater,


more active and more powerful than her male child is masculine
in relation to him.
One unfortunate consequence of this PPthat is,
higher/lower, active/passiveduality (which is not a pair of
Twos) is that today, humankinds position in relation to the planet
is assumed to be masculine and active in relation to the earths
feminine and passive role. This is not only as Shiva to Parvati but
as a mother to her child. Even were this designation as a polar
(Three-Two) duality correct, the right relationship of humankind
to the planet ought to be one of husbandry, of mothering even,
with care-taking responsibilities and of nurturance. (Alas, in the
absence of a greater frameworka cosmology, of course!there
can be no reconciliation of the pair, so humankind, naturally, logi-
cally, is busily destroying Gaias biosphere.)
Instead of polar opposites, though, the relation between Gaia
and her humans would be better perceived as an equal-worth pair
(as Twos, in other words), and therefore as one which needs a
more intelligent and carefuland respectfulapproach lest cata-
clysmic reprisals be provoked. Even better still, as Gaia is far
greater than humankind, we should probably be looking to a more
feminine (service oriented, quiescent, complementary) approach
to her. Again, more ceremoniessuch as prayers for forgiveness
before logging a tree, or before mining begins each daymight
possibly help to sooth and smooth the way by altering the atmos-
phere from one of butchery to one of respect for the time and
effort that has gone into the making of the tree and for the ancient
body of the earth, respectively.
One final example illustrates the need for a theory of duali-
ties. Whitehead, to illustrate one of his points, takes what he calls
the duality of stability and flux: Abide with me/Fast falls the
eventide. (1978: 209). But he has missed something here: his ex-
emplar of stability (that is, of G-d) is utterly different from the flux
and flow and circularity of the passing hours. In other words, this
is not an equal-value pair; nor are they even different parts of a
single process. Even if you were to ignore this fact, G-d eternal
and the ending of the day would be a greater/lesser or PP duality,
a bit like Batesons complementary paircertainly not a symmet-
rical, EW one, That is, in my numbered terms, and forgetting the

discrepancy in scale, they might be a Three (or in this particular

case a transcendent Four) and a Two. With Gaias cosmology,
clarity comes easily.


On four types of behaviour.

Another thing that becomes clear by using Gaias cosmology and
its parts as categories is that these illuminate some different types
and qualities of behaviours. As I said earlier, I am going to have to
go over some of the same ground twice and, after the discussion
of Dualities just now, you will already have found that some types
of behaviours have become obviousespecially those in the
Greater-Lesser dualities (complementary, co-operative), and the
Equal-Value dualities (irritable, conflict-prone, competitive).
But let me switch horses for a moment: let me pull in here
another fourfold set because I really cant do without them any
longer. This is Jungs set of the four psychological functions:

Sensationamorphous impressions that come into us from

outside, as a random whole;
Feelingthe dualistic emotional reactions of like-dislike,
happy-sad, stressed-relaxed, fearful-hopeful, and so on;
Thinkingactive, purposeful, directed, dynamic, etc; and
Intuitionanother amorphous, ambiguous, random whole,
this time reaching us from inside, from our unconscious; trans-

These four functions are not a process, it is true, nor are they
even a hierarchy: but nevertheless, as a set, they conform to the
skeleton of Gaias Cosmology. Moreover, their behaviours conform
to those of the two traditional concrete cosmologies, and even
those of the other sets weve been looking at, so Im going to label
Sensation as a One, feeling as a Two, thinking as a Three, and In-
tuition (as Jung describes it) as a Four.
Here we have to take account of two different types of Ones:
the behaviours of the material, passive Ones can be described as


inert, quiescent, and obedient; whereas the behaviours of living,

organic Ones show the early beginnings of growth, order and
emergence as behaviours. Generally speaking, the behaviours of
Twos have features of sensitivity, re-activity, irritability, order,
alteration in the face of external and/or contextual changes, com-
petitiveness, and defensiveness. The characteristic behaviours of
Threes tend to be active, dynamic, purposeful, instinctively ra-
tional according to internal promptings, generally co-operative,
and organisational; whereas those of Fours are usually typified by
independence, choice of abstractions or unseens, transcendence,
quirkiness and freedom. These are not easy to tabulate, because
there are so many exceptions: but here are some very general out-
lines of the different qualities of behaviours found in the different
stages of process:

Ones Twos Threes Fours

inert sensitive active independent

chosen from (or

passive reactive to purposeful (from
quiescent (external) stimuli internal stimuli)
obedient competitive moving transcendent
or Organic

adaptive stable quirky


emerging expansive co-operative ambiguous

growing differentiating rational free

Table 6: Four types of behaviours

Having done this, four general types of behaviours emerge

which I think we can quite legitimately describe as being of four
different qualities. The behaviours of the Ones can be described
generally speaking as inert, passive, quiescent, perhaps even
obedient. The behaviours of Twos are features of order, sensitivity
and re-activity, adaptablility in the face of external/ contextual
changes, and defensiveness; those of Threes are movement, or-
ganisation, activity and co-operation, and Fours have


transcendence, independence, quirkiness and freedom. (For word-

lovers I will be coming back to these descriptives in Part 4 as, by
using Gaias cosmology, we can begin to come up with a stage- or
level-specific vocabulary.) Lets look at these in some more detail,
because obviously not everything in the same category behaves in
quite the same way.

ONES. Those behaviours or properties of inertia, passivity,

obedience are only common in what I called earlier the passive
Ones: that is, the substantial, materialand evolutionaryOnes.
There are other exemplars, though, other sets in which there are
the more active creational Ones. Here these active Ones, that is
the Divine and/or inspirational-beginning Ones (such as Bohms,
and the Sufis models) move on to a more solid, manifest, and pas-
sive Two. Nor must we forget Jungs function of sensation here,
meaning the impressionssensationsthat impinge on us all the
time as another active random whole, One.
We seem to be stuck here with another paradox. Yet, how-
ever different the two types of Ones appear to be, they still have
much in common, and even their behaviour is not dissimilar if
looked at over long periods of time. For instance, as I said earlier,
even a genuinely inspired idea needs (a) a vehiclea receptive
brain, and (b) a lot of effort, hard work as well as time to move on
to its second, far more differentiated, manifest, planning and de-
velopment stage, Two; and before it reaches that stage it may
simply vanish and come to nothing. As for our senses: they im-
pinge on us all the time: yet they enter us as a random whole until
something in us decides which ones to notice and which to ignore;
the impressions themselves do nothing. All Ones, whether active
or passive, are potentials, seedsand, as such, may fall on stony
ground. In other words, they lie inert and passive and are at the
mercy of their context. But if they do move on, they eventually
become differentiated in a second stage of process which I am call-
ing symbolically Two.
To offer some concrete examples: in Ones (soils, seeds, eggs,
the pre-biotic planet, the idea for a project, sensations, etc, etc),
made up of unsorted, undifferentiated stuff/s in a state of potenti-
ality, little behaviour is possibleexcept failure to develop, or

growth and development to the next state and stage, the far more
orderly Two.

TWOS. The behaviour of Twos (waters, plants, children, the

biosphere, the research, planning and development stage of a pro-
ject, feelings) often runs to extremes. Whatever its context, a
Twoas we saw in Dualities, aboveis sensitive, fluctuates
easily, and is still vulnerable: and when it comes up against an-
other of its kind, or an external threat, it re-acts automatically.
Here many of the behaviours listed above come into being:
ordering, functioning, cyclicity, alteration in the face of exter-
nal/contextual changes, defensiveness. Consider feelings, and
how often they turn into their opposite! Love canand sometimes
doesturn to hatred, moods swing from one to another, joy to
despair, and so on.
A final thing to note here: Two is the differentiated stage
which sometimes runs to extremes and, when it moves on (if it
does), perhaps not all its particles will be used and included in
Three; some may be discarded, fall by the wayside, or just vanish.
In other words, by no means all the Particles of a functioning Two ne-
cessarily conjoin to become a Three.

THREES, normally being coherent, organic and organised

wholes, are more stable. Having a core, a nucleus or any other
kind of governing centre or overarching framework, Threes are
more complex than Twos. For a start they have component parts
working together for the overall purpose of a whole, and the be-
haviour of such wholes tends to be dynamic and progressive.
They work, they are operationaland their activity and move-
ment tend to add to their integral unity and keep them organised.
However, Threes, when they come into close contact with one
another, may regress to the behaviours of Twos. This means that a
Three may now re-act like a Two: that is, be concerned solely with
its own well-beingreactively, irritably, sensitively, defensively,
and even competitively. These situations are fraught with danger,
often end in warliterally or figurativelyand can only be solved
by rising above the immediate, local set of parameters and becom-
ing more inclusive; in other words, finding a greater framework, a

more enduring and more valuable whole or Three, within which

these Threes-become-Twos can work together.
Two nations, neighbours for example, may irritate each other
constantlyabout borders, customs, language and even food,
manners and personal habits. Nations are Threes, as we said, but
when they come too close, things irritate and may grow problem-
atic. If, like India and Pakistan, they both have atomic weapons,
then the situation is not only uncomfortable for their own popula-
tions but dangerous for the entire human race. This type of tit-for-
tat re-action exemplifies Batesons symmetrical behaviour,
where the equal-but-different entities (wholes, Threes) are stimu-
lated to re-act as if they were Twos, behaving in a cyclic fashion or
pendulum swing (both typical of Twos) within the second stage of
the cosmology, either to one another or to other external condi-
tions or both, increasing in intensity but without making any
forward progress.
Yet if both their governments looked at the safely and se-
curity of the greater region, that is in the context of big, ambitious
China sitting just next door, and put that larger-scale safety con-
cern before their own smaller interests, there could be appropriate
progress and advance towards a more prosperous and integrated
Three, which would remove the irritabilityand in this case dan-
gerof the separate Twos that they have, in effect, become.
In this way, Threes, like the animals we discussed earlier, are
capable of two levels or qualities of behaviours: irritable, auto-
matic knee-jerk reactions, and more rational, considered,
Let me remind you of the difference in behaviours between a
re-action and an act, action or response, as Toynbee pointed
them out. We re-act to simple stimuli, ordifferentlywe act
and/or respond to more complex challenges, he says. Here I am
being even more exact: Twos re-act, blindly and/or automatically,
to external stimuli whereasalthough they may, like Twos, re-
actthe norm for Threes is to act in response to internal, deeper, or
more considered promptings. In other words, a response requires
more complexity than a reaction. These are stage-specific terms
and we shall meet others along the way. (This fiddling around


with words may seem trivial here, but in the long run they are a
big help in clarifying things, as Ill show in Part 4.)

FOURS are almost impossible to generalise about because

every process has a bunch of different results (which together
make, again, a random whole, Chaos). Yet, within this rough,
sprawling, undifferentiated and amorphous category, plus the
situational qualities of being results, and Transcendent at that,
we can sometimes spot phenomena that do have something in
commonbut these can hardly be classed as behaviours. All that
can be said about Fours in general is that usually they follow on
fromresult fromthe behaviours of the organised wholes which
are Threes. But this is not always the case, and Fours, as I have
said before, may sometimes descend from another dimension (e.g.
light from the sun) or arise from within (such as intuitions from
the unconscious). In addition, they may contain stage Ones of a
following process. In short, the behaviours of Fours cannot be de-
scribed, let alone predicted, with any expectations of accuracy.


On relations and conformations

Relations, according to Whitehead (and also General Systems
Theorists) are more significant than stubborn facts. With Gaias
cosmology as a frameworkand foundation, the different types of
relations between particles, parts and wholesand each of these
with others in their own stage of process or categoryare clarified
and simplified.
Although I have covered some of these in general in previ-
ous sub-particles (e.g. Contexts, Dualities and Behaviours) I had
better go over them again more particularly.
First, there are, basically, two different zones of relations of
wholes: internal relations not only between different parts of
wholes to each other but also within the parts (that is, between par-
ticles); and external (with other wholes in their environment
and/or context). External relations are scalar and may be: (a) to a


greater, (b) to a lesser, or (c) to a corresponding other whole, that

is, laterally.
These lateral relations are of parts corresponding cross-
sectionally with parts in other processual wholes. Strictly speaking
these are not really relations but isomorphic correspondences,
or as I am calling them, conformations. These are significant, be-
cause as well see presently they will eventually account for a
grand, systemicthat is, structuralunity, by way of perceiving
conformations across different fields of knowledge. And this will
perhaps enable us to see the formal unityE. O. Wilsons consili-
ence (1998: 612)of all the disciplines.
All this may seem somewhat complex but it is a lot simpler
once you can grasp that (i) there are situations where there may be
proximity but no relations at all; (ii) there are two general kinds of
relations between wholes or parts or particles: competitive and co-
operative; (iii) there is the simple relation of the flow-on of stages
or parts of processes into one another as they advance; and (iv)
there are lateral or cross-sectional relations of conformation be-
tween different elements (of different processes) on the same
stages or parts of different processes. Lets look at these in turn.

(i) In the first stage of process, the state is one of random

wholeness. This part of the whole process is a unity of a sort, but
an undifferentiated, unorganised unity. This is the stage of unreal
(unmanifest) and unrealised potentials. Here there may be a single
pair of initially fused particles, like a zygote, or the girl-meets-boy-
and-they-fall-in-love depicted in novels and epicsbut more often
there is a random mass of undifferentiated particles (as in the in-
itial idea or concept of a project) buzzing around and/or just
existing atomistically with each otherunrelated. Also, think of a
brick and a rusty old can right next to each other in a dump; there
is proximity and perhaps occasional physical friction, but there are
no exchanges between them; neither will change due to the prox-
imity of the other; neither relates in any way to the other. So there
is no alteration to either: therefore no relation between them. This
generally applies to all material objects, and sometimes even to
neighbourswhich just goes to show how people can act like non-
living, material things.

On the other hand, if the initial One is a fertile egg or a zy-

gote, then its internal male and female particles do relate. So in
this case there are internal relations.
Otherwise, though, the particles of One are entropy-prone
and Ones may, for all their initial impetus, come to nothing: yet
they have the innate potential of developing. But before they do
so, the particles at this stage are like sand grains lying next to each
other, without relations. (The apparent exception here is a couple in
love, but, as well see in Part 3, the state of being-in-love is in effect
an exemplar of the random whole of One, where there is little or
no emotional separation, and the distinction between the particles
is blurred, as studies have recently shown.)

(ii) Perhaps I spent enough time in the piece on Dualities

(pages 141-146) for you to see the formal differences between the
competitively relating Twos and the co-operative relations which
usually hold between Threes and Twos, or other greater-lesser
pairs. As I mentioned earlier, Bateson called relations between
greater and lesser wholes, as a mother to her child, for example, or
a manager to an employee, complementary relations. Generally
speaking this is a relation of co-operation. On the other hand, rela-
tions between two more or less equal-value wholes, e.g. two male
kangaroos, or two competing sumo wrestlers, or even two neigh-
bouring culturesNorth and South Korea, sayare generally
competitive. These are Batesons symmetrical relations, charac-
terised not only by competitiveness but by sensitivity, reactivity,
and, lacking a greater context in common, sometimes even out-
right conflict.
But such obvious Twos are not the only pairs or dualities: the
several organs and/or systems of an animal or a human body are
also Twos: yet, functioning within a greater context than them-
selves, a whole Three, together they are a higher/lower pair as we
saw in the piece on Dualities.
There are thus two different qualities of relations here:
lesser/greater, or complementary relations, and equal value or
symmetrical relations, qua Bateson. With the symmetrical relations
there is one of constant competitionfor resources, for chances to
gain the upper hand and win, one-up-manship and so on.

Members of this pair are on opposites sides of the fence and set
out to best the other. With complementary relations, on the other
hand, there is support and co-operationor at least more adaptive
behaviour to changes in the otheras both are constrained by a
greater framework or bound together by a core and working to-
wards the same outcome
In people, these relations are not fixed. In the case of teenagers
struggling to assert themselves against parents, for example, the
situation develops naturally with age, and young people eventu-
ally become free and move on. In a marriage two people start out
with an idealand a practiceof co-operation; very often one will
dominate and the other be quiescent and submissive or perhaps,
although stronger, just more flexible and more adaptable. Basi-
cally, though, they both want the same thinga happy family.
Later on in the marriage, as they get to know each other and the
romance wears off, competition will develop; perhaps the for-
merly submissive partner wants to dominateor perhaps the
dominant one may tire and collapse and become submissive. In
either case these two people are now no longer co-operating but
competing, the enemy in the blanket, as Pak Subuh laughingly
described it. (Later on in life the husband and wife mayor may
notcome back into a co-operative relationship again: but by this
time, having spent more time together and worked things out be-
tween them, it will be a different quality, a more mature love and
co-operation on a higher and more stable level: that is, between
equals within a greater framework, a true marriage, a Three.)
In this second stage or part of the whole process, relations
tend to be close. Even a feeling of hatred shows the twain are
close! Even in the case of Jungs enantiodroma where love has
turned to hate there is a close relationship. Often, as here, the state
of Twos runs to extremes, and is generally characterised by differ-
entiation, duality and sensitivity, where rivals rub up against each
other, relating competitively: the survival of the fittest, predator-
prey relations. Here also are circular and cyclic relations, with first
one particle on top of the heap, and then the other, and another,
in turn; also the swing of a pendulum from one extreme to an-
other. Here, as we saw earlier, there is no progress, only an
increase in intensity and/or Batesons constant, non-progressive

change. I am going to say that, at this stage, in this part of the

whole process, Particles may fluctuate and alter or alternate, but do
not change. (Watch these terms!)
Here also at this stage there may be elimination; rival com-
petitors reducing their number. So relations of parts or particles at
this second stage tend to be of two kinds: either an excitable ri-
valry, or flowing on in a natural cycle of fluctuations.
Traditional examples are cyclic events such as the four seas-
ons, the fourfold division of the twenty-four hour day (morning,
noon, evening, and night), and the fluctuations of the arts from a
simple classic period to an awkward mannerist style and thence
to an elaborate baroque which may eventually result in a brico-
lage or even a new type of classicism. Also the Hindu yugas, the
long, long periods of astronomical time which, according to tradi-
tions, flow in an orderly fourfold repeating cycle of creation,
development, flourishing, and degeneration.

(iii) Although relations of Twos may follow on from one an-

other, fluctuating in a repeating cycle, or backwards and forwards
like a pendulum swinging, they may also be moving up hierar-
chically (to Threes), as stages in an emergent, evolutionary
process. So the simple relation here is of the flow of stages or parts
of processes moving on into one another as they advance.
The third part or stage of any process is, as I have said so of-
ten, characterised by a complete, coherent whole. That is, such
particles as have survived now come together and work systemi-
cally together within the greater purposes of an organism or an
organisation or other completed whole: or the particles may be
arranged around a nucleus or core, which may be physical or mo-
tivational. So relations between particles at this third stage of
process are co-operative. Here also hierarchic relations are found:
that is, of domination or submission, of being in control or of be-
ing controlled.

(iv) The lateral or cross-sectional relations of conformation

between stages or parts of different sets or processes may be the
most difficult to see, so Ill have to take a bit of time to describe

Take a simple, mundane example of process: shopping. As

Whitehead says, everything is in process, so there are many, many
exemplars of the processual Foursso many that theyre un-
countable. (Its just a way of seeing. Once you see things as
processes, they pop up all over the place.) Shopping is a common
or garden event that is fairly typical of processes in general, so it
can illustrate the relations between parts and the conformations
between the parallel parts of other processes.
So lets look at shopping as a four-stage process. Stage One is
the intention (perhaps brought on by a need) to buy some things;
Two is the preparation: thinking what I need to buy, making a list,
getting suitably dressed, making sure Ive got money, list, etc, in
my handbag, and a method of getting there. Three, the activity it-
self, is the actual shopping, the purposeful choice and purchase of
the thing/s I needand perhaps some I dont. Four is anything
which results from that: running out of cash, stocking up the
fridge, cooking the dinner, getting dressed, going to the event for
which I bought a gift, tirednessand so on. Although all of these
are collectively the transcendent Four of this process, each one of
these random, diverse, fourth stage atomistic end results may be
the beginning of another process (such as getting the house ready
for the night, going to bed and sleeping, etc), in which case they
are at the same time Ones of following processes.
As we can see in this example, internally first, the four parts
relate to each other in that they flow on from one another, they
progress: one stage proceeds into another, moving along within
the whole process. However, what may be more difficult to swal-
low is that these four parts also relate formally, that is structurally,
to similar, isomorphic (conforming) parts within other processual
wholes. Hold your hat on now because, for a start, the four parts
of the process of shopping conform to the Four Elements and the
Chain of Being.
Lets look at this more closely, because at first sight it may
seem an absurd claim. One, the need and the intention to go
shopping, relates to and corresponds to the potentials in One the
Earth (the planet), and to One, minerals, solid substances; One, the
power or energy of G-d; One, Bohms universal primordial En-
ergy; and One, that chicken egg. Next, Two, all the preparation

and methods of getting to the shops relates to and corresponds to

Two, the differentiated Waters; Two, the separated plants; Two,
the physical universe; Two Bohms empirical substances; and the
growth and development of the newly hatched chick. And so on.
Ridiculous as these correspondences may at first glance seem,
on consideration they can be seen to conform to each other: that is,
relate structurally. All those Ones are a mass of potentials, whether
ideational or physical, and as such can be seen as random, undif-
ferentiated wholes, and isomorphic to each other. Similarly all the
Twos are differentiated, separate things, systems, events and so
on. And on again to the coherence and activity of the wholes in
other Threes: and on, again, to the (again) mixed and collectively
formless results in Fours.
So here relations of parts, or more correctly conformations,
across quite different cosmologies and/or different processes,
tend to be isomorphic to each otherand they usually are. (Only
in rare cases may they be non-isomorphic but otherwise equiva-
lent to each other in weight; or they may be neither of these but
instead relate either statically, cyclically, or developmentally to
each other as we saw in Part 1.) They may be of similar value or of
different values; and they may be metaphors for other existents in
isomorphic sets, but in every case, every whole process can be
seen to be composed of four progressing phases, stages, parts or
categories, which can be shown to be related to each other isomorphi-
callythat is, formally and/or structurallyin cross-section in
conforming sets or processes.


One last note about external relations: and here material

found and described by work done in the General Systems
movement can be used. Wholes are context-dependent, as I
pointed out in the sub-particle on Boundaries and Contexts. But
parts, too, are context dependent: that is, dependent upon the
whole of which they are a part. And in addition, on a smaller scale
still, we have the particles within the partswhich, again, are de-
pendent upon the parts (the context) in which they exist.


It is in this way that the saying from Chaos Theory, A butter-

fly flaps its wings in Santiago and the stock-market falls in Tokyo
can be seen to be correct: everything is connected with everything
else. Everything does influence everything else, however minutely.


Wholes, holons, and even a bit about health

The highest wisdom has but one sciencethe science of the
whole. That is, the science explaining the whole creation and
mans place in it.
Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace

Another significant thing that needs to be looked at before ending

this section on the skeleton is that, in addition to everything else, it
shows us, generally, and in outline, some formal properties, char-
acteristics and qualities of Three: that is, of a united, coherent
So here we go, briefly, as generalisations have to be in order
to embrace and be applicable to a vast spectrum of things
systems, entities, machines, factories, plants, animals, humans,
families, cultures, religions and what-have-yous. And remember
that just as a sphere has no beginning and no ending, so
probablyno single one of these characteristics of a whole is more
significant than the others.
First: a whole is a unified system with a minimum of three
parts. Usually, twoor manyof these parts (Twos) are equal
though different, and are together and/or related by reason of
their being able to function and work within a greater framework
(Three), to which both or all parts are subject. For example, sumo
wrestlers (Two) agree to fight; they have a purpose in doing so
(sport, career, money, prestige), which is the greater Three holding
them together. Or a couple within a marriage; the marriage cere-
monyin which they both commit themselves to each other
physically and spirituallyholds them together, as it is a greater
whole (Three) than the separate individuals (Twos), each with
their own separate agendas, are.


Second, if there is no such greater, overarching framework,

then there is usually a nucleus, a core or central governing factor
which works to keep the whole unified and alive through keeping
the parts functioning. This promotes the working, or active devel-
opment, onwardstowards fulfilling the purposes of the whole.
This is obvious in a cell (the nucleus), in animals (the heart) and in
their social groups (dominant leadership), and in hierarchic social
groups such as the Christian church (priesthood).
Third, as a system, a whole may have any number of different
functioning parts (Twos) which together comprise the working
whole (Three): and the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. An-
other way of putting this is that a group of many different people
and things function and work together for a purpose, within a
greater framework. It may be an orchard, for example, with peo-
ple, trees, and a whole sub-system of irrigation within that; or it
could be a manufacturing factory with, again, a variety of sub-
systems; or an office or a family, an institution, or even a nation.
The largest wholes (Threes) are probably, as I said earlier, the
great religionsor would be, if they were coherent and unified
bodies instead of separate sects (Twos) or smaller wholes.
Fourth, a whole has a boundary, which I discussed in sub-
Particle 4. Whatever the whole, it has limits which define it
and/or separate it from whatever it is not. A cell has a wall, a
plant has a surface, an animal has a skin, a home has walls or a
fence, a family or an institution has a number of members, a com-
munity has limits indicated by namethe medical community
or geography and postal codes, a society has a culture in common,
a nation has agreed common languages and laws which hold
within its borders, and so on. Borders or boundaries tend to be
permeable and perhaps fuzzy, so wholeswhich are complex
are not as crisp and determined as simple non-living substances or
material objects.
Fifth, a whole endures in time. Its lifespan may only be a frac-
tion of a second, as in an atom or a cell, but it may be counted in
hundreds or even thousands of years, as in institutions and
Sixth, a whole is dynamic: that is, it achieves something.
Threes as unified wholes have one or more purposes: to work

towards some goal or objective. The core of unity is purpose. (Even

self-perpetuation is a purpose, although herein lies the ossification
of many an institution.) The purpose of a nation, you can say, is to
defend its borders and ensure the maximum well-being possible
for its inhabitants.
Seventh, a whole is not (or not usually) a discrete entity, exist-
ing alone: it exists in a context, and if its context changes this will
change the condition of the whole, which in turn will change its
own partsand, in them, their particles.
In fact there is nothing muddly or vague about an integral
whole, even though it has (some or all of) these different charac-
teristics: but its parts may not be separable, it is probably fuzzy
round the edges, and it is subject to changes. As John Muir said,
When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to
everything else in the Universe.29


So much for the characteristics of Wholesbut what of their

relations to others? I discussed this earlier, in sub-Particle 6 on
Behaviours. There is, however, one point to be wary of here which
is about nested holonsin other words in any hierarchic scale of
sizefrom, say, atoms to molecules, to macromolecules, to cells,
to tissues, to organs, to organisms and so on. Characteristics and
relations of wholes do not always apply on all levels and scales.
For example, organs of the human body may, technically speak-
ing, be wholes nested within the context of a greater whole, but
in a way they arent; they dont themselves have the nuclear core
or overarching structure of a whole; they can never be independ-
ent, and they therefore have no purpose of their own. However,
the notion of nesting holons is a neat idea and, in some contexts,
hierarchies of scale do come in useful, as we saw in the Jantsch
diagram earlier.
There is one more thing to say about Wholes, Holism and
the fashionable oneHolistic. Until now there have been no

My First Summer in the Sierra (Boston, Houghton Mifflin, 1911).


rational descriptions or definitions of a wholelet alone of ho-

lism or holisticso they have all come to be used very loosely
and mean almost anything anyone wants. There are holistic
beauty parlours in the USA, for instancealthough the word is
also sometimes used, perhaps more legitimately, in medicine.
The word holism was first coined in 1926 by General Jan
Smuts, engineer and one-time President of South Africa, in a book
called Holism and Evolution.30 The words whole, holism and ho-
listic are related etymologically, all deriving from the original
Greek holos meaning whole, entire, via Old Norse and Old Eng-
lish, eventually to hale, health, healthy and of course
Animals, as we have seen, are wholes; but for people to be
wholeand healthyas well see in Part 3, all four levels with
their accompanying energies need to be functioning appropriately
within us: that is, in their correct order and place in the hierarchy
of energies of which we are made up.
As for the modern world, it is hardly wholesome. Traditional
Javanese say that today we are living in the masa gila (time [of]
madness). And it is not only these traditional Elders: not a few
reputable psychologists have suggested that perhaps some in-
sane people may really be normal and that it is modern life thats
insaneand causing their insanity.
In any case, having Gaias cosmology as a framework, we can
now define a whole as anything having a minimum of two parts
working together, sometimes united within a greater framework,
and/or sometimes united by a central organising core, either of
which gives them a common purpose instigating activity. By applying
this to humankind living on Gaia, plus the description of true
Human being coming in Part 3, I think we can begin to look for-
ward to some changes, towards the emergence of a genuinely
holistic period of sustainable, healthyand wholesomeliving.


An edition edited by Sandford Holst was published by Sierra Sunrise
Books in 1999.


On comparisons
Nearing the end now of this methodology section, let me remind
you that I have gone into detail and with some repetitions in order
to set the stage for the main thesis of this book in Part 3.
I hope you have grasped the fact that we now have a founda-
tion, the framework of a General System, a conceptual synthesis, a
universal model, to use. Against this we can juxtapose, for in-
stance, ideas, schemes, and plans to assess them: and with this we
can predict what will come and, if there is a choice of options,
where we want or, differently perhapsoughtto go. On this
foundation, too, we can construct other schemes, projects, plans
and ideasrationally, yet holistically. In short, what we have here
is a tool for structural analysis within a genuinely holistic Whole,
and a tool for synthesising and, above all, for evaluation. But let
me also remind you of two other things here.
First, when you are doing a jigsaw puzzle, you know that, al-
though you cant see it in the pile of mixed up pieces, you will at
the end of the process have a finished picture. We moderns have lost
sight of the Big Picture and how we humans fit into it all. Probably
the majority of people living in this tormented and fragmented
modern world dont even know whether there is one or not. So much
knowledge continues to be found and written down that we are
suffering from a surfeit of small pieces and cannot see the overall
big picture.
Yet this cosmology shows us that there is indeed a Big Pic-
ture: and that it is a universal Pattern of Process which extends
as Jantsch showed uswell beyond this planet. And also that this
pattern (as we shall see shortly) can restore a holistic vision of this
world, and show us a lot of interesting and relevant ideas for con-
scious human living, sustainability, and the healing of this planets
But before we get on to this, there is one more thing I have to
introduce you to here: the uses of comparison. In Victorian times
there was a saying, Comparisons are odious. I think it was meant
to reassure up-tight, middle-class parents that their little darlings
were valuable in their own right, rather than being better than or
cleaner than or prettier than children of other, equally up-tight


middle-class parents. Whatever its origins, though, the saying

came down to us as a reductionist, academic no-no: that because
everything was relative and there were supposedly no ultimate
standards or ultimate referents, everything was as good as every-
thing elseand not to be compared, favourably or unfavourably,
to other similar things!
Fortunately, this belief has been laid to rest today. For classi-
cal hard scientists working in chemistry and physics there are
distinct, we could say sharp-edged, empirical methods; whereas,
for the softer social sciences, there are different methodsand one
of them is contextual comparison. Comparison in inexperienced
hands is open to subjectivism and even woolliness, yet without it
the social sciences would have very little to go on beyond the an-
alysis of direct observations. The funeral of comparisons as an
academic horror was announced by Sir Edward Evans-Pritchard,
one of anthropologys foremost practitioners who wrote one of the
standard histories of anthropology. Comparison, he averred, is a
natural tool of the social sciences, and allows us to evaluate cul-
tural norms not as better and worse but as more successful and
less successfulfor example in the context of child rearing prac-
tices and infant mortality rates. In addition, it was a restricted use
of the comparative method he proposed, and used with restraint
it is a necessary tool of the social sciences (1981:xxii, xxviii, 29,
After him came innumerable systems scientists: that is, peo-
ple in different disciplines who began looking first at cross-
disciplinary modelssystemsand then turned to even greater
applications of general systems encouraged by von Bertalanffy
and his General System Theory (1968). Thus from the mid-1930s on,
comparison as a methodology gradually became acceptable to
Today comparisons are generally allowableand more: they
are valuable to us: because by juxtaposing concrete or abstract, vast
or minute, processes with the formal skeleton of Gaias Cosmol-
ogy, and vice versa, thereby seeing conformations, we can arrive at
even more usefuland rationalinformation.


On hierarchies
So far I have not stressed the hierarchic aspect of this holistic cos-
mology, because its main thrust is process, the upward trend
towards complexity, the creative advance. And, lets face it, in this
age of democracy hierarchies are not exactly fashionable. Never-
theless the four categories, or the four energies, or even Jungs
four psychological functions, can also be seen and used as static
hierarchic structures, so here I should remind you of a few things
about hierarchies.
Generally speaking, in any hierarchy the lower levels are con-
tained in, and constrained by, the higher levels. Also, the higher
levels are more complex and have power over the lower, less
complex. In the case of plants, for example, the (higher) Life Force
or energy (Two) takes control of the (lower) material energy
(One)non-living substanceand negates the Chaos, the normal
entropy of the minerals involved. Thus, through its life powers of
sensitivity, selection and disposition, the vegetal energy fashions
living plants out of non-living matter. And, left to itself, an empty
house crumbles and is taken over by weeds and bushes.
In the case of animals, the (higher, more complex) energy of
purposeful action (Three) normally overrides their (lower, sim-
pler) life-survival energy of blind, automatic reactions (Two).
Although the fight or flight re-action of the vegetative, life-
survival energy is available in emergency situations to animals,
their normal mode of living is the higher, slower, more complex
one of responses to internalthat is, instinctivemotivations.
And, however unfashionable they may be today, hierarchies
exist in society, enabling Threes to function as organised wholes.
Think of governments, managerial structures, officers of institutes
and teachers in schoolsof dominant parental roles in families,
even! Here you can see that, generally speaking, Threes as wholes
provide not only a greater overall framework within which the
various Twossystems, parts, and/or organsfunction (en-
abling the existence of the whole), but a core governing factor
which provides the dynamic and even controlling nucleus or
heart, because hierarchically this dominates the other parts of the


In addition, in any social hierarchy, a business firm for exam-

ple, the lower levels of the workers are not swamped or taken
overthey do not disappear when their work is managed and
controlled by the higher levels; they are, however, likely to be re-
organised according to the changing requirements and aims of the
levels (managerial in this case) above them.
Another thing worth noting about hierarchies is that, without
them, processes of change and development lack sufficient organi-
sational ability to be potent, or context to be meaningful.
Democracy may be an ideal, and it is a Fouras well see later
but it is chaotic and takes a lot of time and the self-sacrifice and
self-discipline of the individuals involved. A benign dictatorship
(if such a thing exists outside families) seems to be far more effec-
tive as a social structure (a Three) for bringing about change.
One last thing that must be remembered about hierarchies
particularly in the moral realmis that we have to accept, as
Schumacher says, that

without the qualitative concepts of higher and lower it is

impossible to even think of guidelines for living that lead
beyond individual or collective utilitarianism and selfishness.
(1977: 23)

In Part 3 Im going to run through the Four Energies again in

the context of human morality and behaviour; but let me suggest
here one final thing about hierarchies: these Energies, as distinct
existents in their own right, are not necessarily separate in levels
or stages like a staircase or a tiered management system. They
may sometimes seem more likely to inter-penetrate one another,
all in the same space, as a log of wood may be saturated with
water, the water with air and the air with light.


Before I finish with all the Particles and sub-Particles in this

methodological Part 2, I would like to pay tribute again to Alfred
North Whitehead, founder of Process Philosophy, also called by
some Organic or Organismic Philosophy, who early in the twenti-
eth century was the first to realise that quantum physics had


knocked the bottom out of the entire materialistic paradigmand

indeed the whole foundation of modern thought and activity
and to describe an alternative.
In Process and Reality he proposed a new, holistic and process-
oriented paradigmwhich he called a cosmologybecause only
then, he said, has thought a rational foundation. He did not know of
the traditional Indonesian cosmologies I have described here, but
his own cosmology is also a framework of four different formal
phases or stages isomorphic to them, as you can see in Appendix
2. I hope in bringing these two very different sets of ideas together
here that I have provided some justification for a reappraisal of his
ideasalong with my own far simpler description of his process
of concrescence.
In Appendix 2 youll find some extracts from Whiteheads
book, with descriptions of each of the four cosmological phases or
stages of process as he saw them. Although his language is diffi-
cult to understand, the abstract forms of these four stages are, as
youll see, remarkably similar to the four bones of the cosmologi-
cal skeleton I have been describing.
There are, however, two points with which I disagree. The
first is with his categories: these categoriesas he gives them
(1978: 2226)do not conform to his four-phase cosmology, so
they cannot be correct. The second is with his idea of time. I may
not have understood this correctly (his language is really very dif-
ficult!) but what I think he is saying is that everything is in process
all the time, including inert matter, material objects, and other
non-living things. This, I think, goes against common sense and
as I see itthings at different stages of process must have very
different time-scales.
Now, having outlined as best I can with such slippery ma-
terial some very general details of the cosmological whole and its
stages, parts, levels and/or categories, we have some information
about wholes and especially about Holism that we did not have to
start with. So my description and even to some extent my explan-
ation of the inner form of the cosmological skeleton is probably as
complete as it can beor at least as I can make it.
Even so, Gaias Cosmology will always be somewhat fuzzy.
Wholes, especially living wholes, and also societies of whatever

shape or scale, are (usually) themselves in process; they are not,

therefore, crisp cut and crystal clear. Unlike solid material things,
wholes and their processes may be fuzzy and even untidy, espe-
cially round the edges.
Fuzzy yes: but wholes are not muddley. Once we can grasp the
cosmological scheme as a whole, and begin to perceiveand then
to think of everything in the forms of processwe will find that
all the apparent paradoxes and/or exceptions to the four catego-
ries are in reality not so at all. Wholes may contain within them
multi-level functioning on different internal scales and at different
speeds. Which is what Holism is all about.


Summary: the fuzzy (but holistic) skeleton.

I want to look back now at what we have dis-covered, and de-
scribed somewhat repetitiously, here in Part Two. Where have we
been so far in our exploration of Gaias Cosmology, the fourfold
World Pattern of Process?
First, in Particle 1 we uncovereddisclosedthe abstract
pattern of process, its inner form, with the four different bones
making up its formal, abstract structure or skeleton. Then in Par-
ticle 2 we looked at the fleshtwo traditional concrete
exemplars, the four Elements and the four Existents (the Chain of
Being). In Particle 3 we looked at Schumachers idea of four Ener-
gies or classes of energies, and in Particle 5 at a Sufi model of
creation and evolution. As I hope you can now see, all of these
con-form to the formal skeleton and also give us some more infor-
mation to refine the bones and the skeleton itself.
Here in this lengthy Particle 6 with its several sub-Particles
we have just been looking in some detail at various characteristics
of Wholes, including lateral cross-sections of the formal concepts
and the concrete exemplars: first all the Ones together, then all the
Twos, and so on. However different these appear outwardly, there
are formal commonalities, or as I am calling them, conformations.
And from this even more facets and factors emerged: which give
us still more in-form-ation about the four qualitatively different


bones of the wholeand of the unified, integrated, holistic skele-

In other words, within the overall cosmological Pattern of
Process we have ended up with a developmental sequence of four
formally different, increasingly complex, phases, stages, levels or
parts, in which each becomes more orderly, more complex, more
organised, more dynamic, finer and freer than the one before it.
And these can act as a progressive sequence of qualitatively emer-
ging categories for the whole cosmological system showing the
evolutionary upward trend and Whiteheads creative advance.
With all this information elicited from the Grand Pattern of
the World, revealing a general, holistic conceptual framework of the
upward, developmental, trend that I am calling Gaias cosmology,
we can nowat last!put it all to work to find some rational An-
swers to the Big Questions of life, the universe, and everything,
which is the main business of this book.
At risk of giving you an overdose, let me remind you one last
time that the inner form of the skeleton has three different states of
existence in four simple stages of process and development:

Isnt that amazing: who would have thought that, hidden

within the banal beginning, middle, end, and results of every
common-or-garden processancient or modern, microscopic and
macroscopiccould be found this simple, universal pattern? And
what a potent and useful pattern it is!


However, lest it may seem that I have spent too much time on
the diversityand the analysisof its parts, I shall now in a last
Particle put in a final word for the coherence, the integral synthesis
and the unity of this holistic paradigm that I am calling Gaias



Particle 2.vii Diversity in a greater unity: the

general system
The Indonesian state motto Binneka eka Tunggal (Many in
Oneness) is usually translated into English as Unity in Diversity.
But with the unity (of Indonesia) being greater in scale than the
diversity (of all the different local cultures), this is upside down.
The English should follow the Javanese and be translated as Di-
versity within Unity. The Americans got it right with their E
Pluribus Unum (from Many, One), as their greater One (actually a
Three in our terms!) occurred somewhat later when the many
(lesser) states became unified within a greater federal system.
One satisfying thing about this Grand Pattern is that, as a
cosmology, the whole is greater than the sum of its partsas
weve seenand it is also more complex. Moreover it brings into
being a simple, yet holistic philosophy which is a unifying general
system, even a universal system. That is, the pattern is abstract
and general enough to cover everything, yet structured just en-
ough to be practical and very useful. And it shows us, yes, that all
the apparent diversityall the fragmentation of todays world
when looked at differently and with a fourfold processual, holistic
eyecan be seen to lie within a unifying sub-strate, or super-
strate, or at any rate within some kind of greater, evolving, pro-
cessual matrix. In other words, the many fragments are just parts
and particles of one stupendously vast and complex yet coherent
So the Universe (or at least, on a less grandiose scale, our
planet) has all this diversity within its Unity; yet because this is a
structured Unity it can be seen as an integrated and coherentand
thus genuinely holisticUnity. It is not just a vague and unformed
or oceanic (to use Freuds term) Oneness, or formless, random


Perhaps the methodology in toto has seemed rather complex:

but in fact it is not. I have only gone into such a lot of detail, pe-
dantically, because it is such a radically different way of seeing


things that it needs to be spelt out as thoroughly as possible. And,

only when we can begin to perceive things differently will we be
able to begin to Re-Envision and repair our world.
Once we get used to this way of perceptionof thinking
process all the time and of using this cosmology as a whole
everything comes together and the relations of all the parts to the
unified whole is clear. With Blakes fourfold vision everything
falls into place and the world does make sense.
However, I am under no illusions that it will be easy to per-
ceive thingsour world and ourselvesas one single, integral
whole. It will take a complete Re-Envisioning, a radical shift of per-
ception, to see this. We are not used to seeing unity: the current
materialist paradigm has brought us to such a state of diversity
and fragmentation that (unless and until we attain unity in our-
selves) we cannot naturally perceive the unity of, and in,
everything. Yet in spite of this, by making use of my descriptions,
it should now be possible to learn how to seeto perceivethe
coherent unity of all and everything. And my hope is that, as this
itself is a wholea whole and holisticCosmology, a Three, it
will in-form us and our thinking, and by its mere existence thus
activate and produce a different paradigm for the modern world.
So, unlike all the kings horses and all the kings men, I think
we can now begin to put Humpty Dumpty together again. And,
within this unified picture, everything can be seen to fall logically
within one of four different categorical typesor, alternatively, to
be divisible into four different categories itself (and perhaps,
sometimes, both). More about this in part 4.
In traditional Java wherehaving used the cosmology for-
everthey instantly intuit these things, they cheerfully state that
there are four types or qualities of practically everything. There
are, they sayfor instancefour qualities of love, four types of
magic, four grades of (human) souls, four kinds of illness, four
moods, and so on and so on: all of which can be shown to conform
to this same cosmological structure.31 Even before the advent of

Apart from the two obvious black (harmful) and white (healing) types
of magic there are also, it is said, yellow (plant) magic for increasing the
fertility of rice, other crops and domestic animals; and red (animal)


the triple-bottom line, Valentin Willecke, a German economist

who worked in Jakarta for many years, came up with the idea of
four different types of economics, from the lowest materially (i.e.
purely profit-oriented) to the people-oriented, humane econom-
icsor, as E. F. Schumacher sub-titled his Small is Beautiful,
Economics as if People Mattered (1973; my emphasis). This four-
fold pattern of process, in other words, shows us what must be
included in all human activities to make them holisticand
thereby balanced, and sustainable.


Let me now sum up, overall and very generally, in this final
Particle of Part 2, the descriptions of various aspects of Gaias
Cosmology that I have been leading you through. First came the
overall skeleton. This outlines the internaland therefore usu-
ally invisiblestructure or inner form of a process and, as far as I
can see, probably of all processes. This is the formal conceptual
synthesis, the model or conceptual framework of Gaias Cosmol-
ogy. I chose this metaphor of a skeleton to illustrate the abstract
pattern of process because, with its four bones, it forms a coherent,
organised, holistic whole capable of supporting a multitude of
events and phenomena.
Next came the bones. These are the four different phases,
stages, levels, parts, and/or qualities of the emergent, advancing

Bone One. Processes begin as a monad that is a random, cha-

otic whole. It makes no difference whether this is a seed, a concept
(an abstract idea, an inspiration), the (concrete) conception of an
animal zygote, or a pre-biotic planet, a Primordial Energy or G-d
Itself: this is pure potential. This first stage and state of pure poten-
tial is symbolised by One and archetypically as Chaos, or more
descriptively as a random, undifferentiated, or global whole.

magic for increasing the human will, determination and powers of en-


This then advances (if it does, and not all beginnings do de-
velop) to

Bone Two. This is the second phase or stage of process,

which is the beginning of manifestation, and the growth and de-
velopment of the original One. This is the middle, developmental
stage, evolving from the potential towards the actual. So this in-
cludes whatever comes between the initial One and the completed
process (Three), and includes features of growth, development,
differentiation, and dispersal which may run to extremes. This is
symbolised by Two and called archetypically Separation. And
this in turn advances to become

Bone Three. The third phase or stage of process, generally

speaking, is a more stable, organised whole. This is the finished
working product of the process, the actualisation of the original
One, now a completed whole with boundaries and constraints and
dynamism, whose state is of a coherent, unified holism symbol-
ised by Three and, archetypically, Union. This, strictly speaking, is
the end of the evolving, advancing process, but its results have to
be taken into account and formulated as

Bone Four. This, the fourth stage of any process, is formally

another chaotic, random whole. All the different results of the
previous integrated whole (Three) now together make up this
fourth stage, whose state is another disorderly, random wholeness
but on a far greater scale than the original random whole (One) with
which aanyprocess begins. On the other hand, a higher im-
pulse may descend on Three, as it does in some exemplars. But all
this is Four, archetypically another Chaos, and as it is beyond the
completed, holistic Three I have called it Transcendence. Yet, as
some or all of the different results may go on and develop into
other processes, note that Four is also a bunch of Ones.
Let remind you here that, as I showed, this universal pattern
of process can also be applied equally well to hierarchies and
other non-processual sets, such as Jungs four psychological func-
tions and the four Empedoclean Elements.


That, then, as I see it, is the overall, repeating, universal pat-

tern of process, the four-boned skeleton of Gaias Cosmology, a
coherent organised whole (actually a Three in its own right) com-
posed of four different parts or categoriesa simple, formal
pattern that is general enough to be able to apply to a vast variety
of very different things.
But this is not all. Having generalised and summarised here
the internal advance of any process, we must not forget its external
context. So let me remind you that every whole (except presum-
ably the Universe entire) exists as a part within a context which
itself is also a whole. And the main principle of a-whole-within-a-
context is that, if the context changes, any part or whole within it
must do so too. Also, if a part (an organ, say, or a sub-system, or a
growing child) changes, then, again, the whole of which it is a part
must change. Perhaps it shifts or adapts only slightly, subtly, even
invisibly: but parts and wholes, and the (whole) contexts in which
they participate, are so connected that everything affects every-
thing else.
This, then, is why Whitehead took process as a paradigm
because it is so much more suitable to the sciences than our cur-
rent one, the old nineteenth-century paradigm of mere matter.
And why, today, before the materialistic paradigm completely
destroys the biosphere, we need to install this ancient cosmology
as a new paradigm of process into all our human concerns to help
heal ourselves and the planet.
Having taken so long with my methodical description of
Gaias Cosmology, I hope I have brought you at last to a structur-
ally whole and complete but very generalised picture of the
systemicthat is, organised and coherentskeleton as an abstract
yet holistic schema: a moving, progressing matrix and/or concep-
tual framework made up of four very different bonesthe
categories: another diversity (Two) within the greater Unity
(Three). This, as I hope I have made clear, shows the pattern of
the upward trend, of negative entropy, of evolution.
As we saw, another metaphor for this is an empty, four-
drawer, filing cabinet in which the differently shaped drawers
show a developmentally advancing sequence of different forms
from the bottom One up on through the top Four (which itself

is an agglomeration of Ones). As a static object, this filing cabinet

metaphor is perhaps more suitable for non-processual hierarchies,
or linear things such as songs and stories and books.
Whatever metaphor we use thoughand there are others
what we have ended up with is a coherent but empty model, a
holistic matrix, a conceptual framework which can be used as a
General System and a universal model. This, incorporated into the
different disciplines, would show the underlying unity of human
knowledge, and provide a qualitative yardstick for assessment
and prediction.
Applied in a wide variety of situations, it could also clarify
the whole picture of our situation: that is, where we have been,
where we are, and where we want to go. In other words it can be
used as a criterion for judgement, for evaluating the present and
predicting the future, and/or for deciding which are the most ap-
propriate actions to take in order to progress. Thus, by comparison
with the observed facts of the natural world (as we have just been
doing with the traditional cosmologies), we shall be able to (a) see
where we are in any given process, (b) perceive the equivalent,
corresponding qualitative values, and (c) determine what next
needs to be done.
In brief, we now have at our disposal a coherent, holistic
cosmology, a conceptual synthesis, which seems fit to move the
modern world on to a more coherent, constructive post-modern,
and post-secular world.
And let me remind you once more that the purpose of having
done all this is to have enough information to elicitin Part 3
Answers to some of the Big Questions about the meaning and
purpose of human lifeincluding how to save the world, sustain-

O, Great Spirit
Let me learn the lessons
You have hidden in every rock and every leaf
(Part of a Sioux prayer)



Now, to close this long, plodding methodological section,

Part 2, Sifat, let me stand back from Gaias Cosmology for a mo-
ment and look at it from the outside, so to speak. It is a whole
philosophical synthesisa simple, formal, structured, yet coher-
ent and integrated holistic frameworkwhich shows how practically
everything can be perceived as being in various stages of process.
And, as a conceptual framework, it can be applied to anything and
used to Re-Envision everything holistically. In other words, the
cosmology gives us an empty matrix (the skeleton) composed of
four different phases, stages, parts or categories (the bones), each
of which has its own particular format, properties, features, quali-
ties and values.
Among these values comes a renewed perception of the human
values and the wholesomeness which are naturally yours, and mine,
and Gaias. In addition, this cosmology can be used to disclose E.O.
Wilsons consilience, the unity of all knowledge and, used as a
Theory of Everything to show the systemic, underlying unity in
the disciplines, makes sense of the world as a whole.
Finally, Gaias Cosmology gives us a General System in the
sense that Ludwig von Bertalanffy (1968) meant this phrase: as a
universal model which can be applied to all and everything,
showing that all the diversity and fragments we are aware of do
exist within a greater unity. With this, well have arrived at last at a
different vision of things: of the evolutionary Grand Plan of life,
the universe and everything that is to be seen with a holistic, four-
fold vision.
Thus equipped and armed with this pattern of process as a
simple, holistic formalbut emptymatrix, a universal model of
development, of Whiteheads creative advance, we should be
ready to move into the next stage. Because now, having done all
the hard work and exposed the unseen and previously unnoticed
foundations of this holistic cosmology with our newly fourfold
vision, we can relax, let go, and set the whole thing in motion, let-
ting it in-form us and show us its pragmatic value in the life and
work of human beings.
So next, instead of struggling to absorb the fourfoldness of
things, you can sit back and (I hope) enjoy reading about some of
the amazing things that Gaias Cosmology can show us, coming

now in Part 3, Asma, as a holistic model, Union. As a newyet

wonderfully ancientparadigm. Perhaps even a paradigm re-




The SynthesisIdentity

* *
* * *
* * * *

(Format: an organised whole with a minimum of three parts)

Putting it all to work: information Gaias
cosmology gives us.

We see now that with two concepts alone, those of energy (for
matter-mass is now regarded as simply a special form of
energy), and organization (li at various levels of its mani-
festation), our whole world can be built up.....Since the guiding
thread of the rise of organization shows itself throughout the
evolutionary process, we are to look for it in the history of
human society as well.
Joseph Needham (1969)

Whats it all for? Whats it all about? Yes, I mean the Big Questions
of life, the universe, and everything. There are answersand
thats what this Asma, this Part 3, is about. But also here, in this
book, in my laboured description of Gaias cosmology, the Pattern
of the World, the four energies and so onwhat was that all
about? In other words, why on earth have I walked you through
all that rather detailed stuff?
Because: by using the skeleton of the cosmology and its flesh,
as Needham says, our whole world can be built up. Meaning, we
can construct a formal, working model of itwhich is what we
did in Part 2. So now, using this as a foundation, we shall be able
to see how sensible answers to The Big Questions emerge.
As I said earlier, in the Sufi model of creation (and evolution),
Asma is the third phase or stage: its the part of integration and
completionof synthesis, wholeness, and therefore of identity
of the universal pattern of process. Whitehead calls this the satis-
faction. Symbolically it is a Three, and here it is the heart of this
Asma, as Pak Subuh said over and over again, is the working
together of God and Nature. Alternatively, as he explained at
other times, it is the working of any organised, purposive whole:
which (I add) has been formed by the coming together of two or
more different and now reconciled things. Yin and Yang within
the Tao, for instance, and Hegels synthesis following thesis and
anti-thesisor any other pair working together within in a
framework greater than themselves.


So from my point of view, describing to you what I sawthe

original fourfold vision in Part 1, and its formal structure and all
the methodological details worked out in Part 2was necessary. If
I hadnt done that, the answers to these Big Questions would have
seemed like just another persons opinions and hardly worth talk-
ing about. As it is, and as Whitehead wanted, we now have a
cosmology fit for Gaia which forms a natural foundation for ra-
tional thought.
So now I can show you how to use it to work out some sen-
sible answers to the Big Questions of life. What does it really mean
to be human? What is the purpose and meaning of human life?
What connection do we have to the rest of the natural world?
and to the rest of humankind? And perhaps most importantly,
How ought we to live?
In this context, three very simple yet highly significant
ideasanswers to those Questions about human lifefollow on
logically from Gaias cosmology. In Particle i is a description of
what it means to be properly, authentically, Human: that is, more
than just an ordinary person. In Particle ii well look at Needhams
history on two scales: first our own personal history, and then our
species, seeing where we belong in the natural order of things
that is, in a Greater Framework than the Human: where we as a
species have come from, and the direction in which we ought now
to be heading. And then in Particle iii emerges a new and defi-
nitely different way of assessing Good and Evilor, more
accurately, a simple method of judging human values and behav-
iour. Plus also a sound reason for the constant effort to be ethical.
So here are the beginnings of a global ethic, based not on reli-
gion or any other kind of traditional belief system, but on the
foundation we have built up fromagainobservations of the
visible, natural world with its four levels of being.



Particle 3.i Human being, and human be-

What is a human being? What does it mean to be human?
Why was I born? And why are we all alivehere on this planet?
For a start, authentic Human being is a Four: that is, an entity
having the qualities of the fourth stage of process. This means you
and I areor ought to be!coherent, integrated, holistic wholes
among other equal wholes, yet with a transcendent element to us:
in other words, as spiritual as we are material, as aware of the
universe out there as we may be of aching shoulders or too-tight
shoes, plus the days schedule and our immediate feelings. In
short, an authentic human being is conscious in the Here and Now.
And, obviously, of far more than just immediate concerns. I would
even like to say (though the reason for this comes later) conscious
of Spirit, or the presence of G-d.
To work this out sensibly and in some detail, lets go back to
Schumachers four factors or energies and see what they can
show us. As well as being manifest as our natural animal, vege-
table and mineral environment, tangibly and visibly out there in
the world, he says that these four natural energies are what we
you and I and everyone else aliveare composed of. So not only
do they exist out there, visibly, in the environment, but these en-
ergies make up our physical body and our intangible, invisible,
psychological invironment. As well as being human, we are ani-
mal, vegetal and mineral: and (except for the possible existence of
some even higher energy/ies) nothing but.
If, therefore, we begin to look more carefully at these energies
in us, we can begin to see what we ourselves are like inside our
own skin: we can begin to know ourselves, and the origins of the
various feelings, thoughts and so on, in our psychological make
up. So here, with some modification of his terms, is Schumachers
formula again:

Mineral or matter = m
Plants, or living matter = m + x
Animals, or animated living matter = m + x + y
Humans, or conscious animated living matter = m+ x+ y+ z

In other words, you and I and everyone else are all made of
the three natural energies described in Part 2, plus the significant
and specifically Human energy or spirit. That is, minerals
physical and mostly visible matterplus three other invisible,
subtle energies. Schumacher labelled these Life, Consciousness,
and finally in humans, Awareness. Awareness, though, is found
even in plants, so I am not using it here. And although it is true (as
he points out) that you can knock an animal such as a dog or a
horse unconscious, I prefer the words Will, Purpose, or Motiva-
tions for the third, animal instinctive energy: and I can then go on
to use Consciousness as one of the key qualities that the fourth
energy bequeaths us.
But alas, as we areyou and I and the vast majority of other
peoplewe are usually unconscious. As Julian Jaynes details un-
arguably (1976: 2147), we go about our business every day
without being really conscious of ourselves; we are more like au-
tomata, more like robots or machines, even. We dont need to be
fully conscious to do most of the things we do. So we forget our-
selves; we live a large part of our lives almost as though we were
sleep-walking. Yes, we are self-consciousthat is, perhaps we
feel uncomfortable in ourselves and wonder much of the time
what other people are thinking of usbut usually we are not fully
conscious of ourselves in the Here and Now.
Gurdjieff used to say that men and women are asleep:
meaning that we function, living our daily lives, unconsciously. So
there is a problem with the words conscious and conscious-
nessand even with the word human. For lack of more accurate
words I am going to have to use them, but please note that I give a
capital H to Human only when I am referring to the specific Hu-
man energy and to fully Human beingsbecause, as we are
usually, I dont think we deserve that capital letter! In addition to
these words, thoughconscious, consciousness and Humanlet
me remind you that I labelled the fourth energy the energy of
Transformation: and, as we shall see, it is thisgoing hand in
hand with full consciousness of the Here and Nowthat is our
true estate as genuinely Human beings.


Earlier, we looked at the three lower, simpler, more fixed and

limited classes of energiesanimal, vegetal and materialas they
manifest, making up our environment. Now lets have a look at
them here in relation to usmore exactly within us, as the energies
of which we, too, are made. How and where do the lower energies
of Matter, the vegetal energyLife forceof plants, and the ani-
mating energy of animal instinctive Will/Purpose/Motivations,
exist, function and work in us? And, just as importantly, how do
they affect our behaviour?
One last reminder: as the cosmological skeleton is a formal
whole, it constrains and limits the energies as they conform to it. It
shapes them, as a container shapesgives form tothe water in
it. So as well as working out what the energies are like rationally,
by examining the differences between the energies and their in-
crements as they move up through the levels, we can also learn
what they are like from looking at the different bones of the cos-
mological skeleton. And, to give you a still more comprehensive
picture, I shall also be reminding you of another sort of flesh
clothing our cosmological skeleton, the Four Elements.

Our material energy

Schumachers mthe physical and chemical matter of our
human body. This is the actual stuff that, if we were reduced to it,
would just be a lot of water, some gases, and an insignificant little
pile of chemical substances. Total cost at a pharmacy?Perhaps
To examine matter as it exists in us, as our physical body,
lets look back a moment at the cosmology and the first stage of
process. What are the properties of a One? And what may these
show us about physical matter in relation to us human beings?
Formally, Stage one is a random whole, within which particles are
chaotic, atomistic, inert, and obedient (within certain limits) to the
higher orders. This is the stage of potentials, of unmanifest reality.
In short, One is the simple physical stuff making up our bodies;
alone, it would be naturally disorderly, tending to run down,
decay, and break down towards chemical equilibrium. On the
other hand, as it is, it is subject to the higher energies and, formed


by them, is the only solid thing about us. It is the vessel for all the
other energies, and when we are born it contains all the potentials
for our growth and later stages of process and development.
Here, too, is Earth, the lowest (simplest, coarsest, most solidi-
fied) of the Four Elements. But as this is the same as the
mineral/material realm there is little more to say about it and I
shall treat it along with matter.
I wont go into details of this first type of energy, the material
energies (physical substances, chemical matter) making up the
different cells and tissues, the actual substances of our human
body, because you can get this information out of any school text
book. But as the lowest, simplest, and coarsest of the energies, this
one is normally subjectin us, as in all living thingsto the con-
trol and management of the higher more subtle energies,
Schumachers x, y, and z.
Let me remind you of a few things. First, whereas the stuff
that constitutes physical matter is all relatively simple, plants,
animals and humans are increasingly complex due to the active
presence of the three subtle energies. Shoes and ships and sealing
wax do not and cannot do anything themselves, so the additional
Life force and the two other higher energieswhich, added to
matter, make up living things which do function and behave and
do thingsmust also be increasingly complex, aware and active in
us. As we shall soon see they are: yet obviously, without a phys-
ical body acting as a vessel for the higher energies, we couldnt
exist in this world.
Another thing: non-living objects and inert things, being
made only of non-living physical matter (or energy), have no inner
dimensions; they are examples of the biblical voidas it says in
Genesis, the earth was without form, and void. Whitehead has an
even more telling phrase, that of vacuous actuality. So it is also
with the stuff of our physical body. When we die the invisible
higher (vegetal, animal and Human) energies leave, and our phys-
ical body begins to decay and lose its form because it is now just
empty matter, voidand, on its own, chaotic. Although when it
is alone matter is void, whenever it participates inprovides a
physical body forliving things, it is merely the vessel, the vehi-


cle, which is filled, and controlled by, the other more subtle forces
or energies.
In other words, it is not only the minerals making up this
planet that are passive in relation to the biological world outside
them: but in us they are also. Our physical body is passive, and
subject to whichever of the higher, finer, more subtlebut still
natural (plant and animal) plus the super-natural Humanenergies
inhabiting and permeating them. So much so that it looks as
though physical ill-health and sickness are caused by the other,
non-physical, invisible energies within us.
Finally, as Matter (beingcosmologicallythe most chaotic
and least organised of the energies), these material energies of
substances are the weakest, most vulnerable, and fragile of the
four energies. Matter is therefore the first of them to succumb;
eventually entropy overtakes our physical bodies and they die.

Our vegetal life energy

Schumachers xwhich he calls the Life force. What you
wont find in a school textbook is a description of this second en-
ergy or class of energies, whose job it is to keep us alive. If we
were knocked unconscious, we would be vastly diminished but
still living. We would be reduced to our functioning vegetative
systems (as they usedvery appropriately!to be called), such as
our blood, breathing and metabolic systems. These are controlled
and run by the autonomic nervous system, and normally we are
unconscious of its functioning. However, techniques of biofeed-
back are to some extent allowing us to change this today if we
need or wish to.
But lets take a quick look back at the Two of the skeleton of
the cosmology, to review and think what it might be like here in
the realm of the energies within us. What information can we get
from the form of Twos that would apply here? Generally, Twos
are dualistic, and indicate a bunch of differentiates: that is, they
are made up of at least two, but more usually several, competing
and conflicting parts. These may get out of hand and either repli-
cate themselves and proliferate (plants) or adapt, and alter
according to the environmentand they have a tendency to flip


from one extreme to another. Overall, Twos are sensitive, reactive,

and unstable; they feature circularity, tend to extremes, and are
always subject to externals. (On the other hand, compared with
the Chaos and random wholeness of the first level, this is rela-
tively orderly!)
In the interests of Holism remember that Water is also a Two,
with the varieties and separate locations of water being metaphors
for the differentiated, automatic, cyclic and circular systems that
exist in a state of fluctuation at this stage of process. If this is true,
then it may be the water in our body that holds the key to our
emotional life; if we were injured as children, if we were broken
hearted by a lover, if we were shattered by the death of a child,
then this is where our feelings may have been storedin the
water of our cells.
Unlike the material energiesbut like the plantsthis second
energy ties us in to the world outside us. We do not end with our
skins. Everything we dobreathe, shed dead cells from our skin
and hair, urinate, excrete, and move aroundlet alone use cars
and computers and airplanes and so onslightly alters our envi-
ronment. Not only this, but these Life energies connect us to the
pastand to the future. Argon atoms, for instance, are a minute
part of our atmosphere: they are inert, and about forty times as
heavy as hydrogen atoms. Yet, as the astronomer Harlow Shapley
points out, in every breath we take there are more than forty thou-
sand of the argon atoms that Shakespeareand Gandhi
breathed in and out again during their life:

Every saint and every sinner of earlier days, and every

common man and common beast, have put argon atoms into
the general atmospheric treasury. Argon atoms are here [and in
us] from the conversations at the Last Supper, from the
arguments of diplomats at Yalta, and from the recitations of the
classic poets [in ancient Greece]. (1967: 48)

Although in a plant the physiological and the behavioural

(inner and outer dimensions) can hardly be distinguished, when
functioning as part of a more complex systemin an animal, or in
our case in a personthe vegetal energies not only run our


internal, vegetative (autonomic) systems but they also induce, as

Ill show you later, related types of psychological behaviour.
For now, though, lets look at the more physical functions of
its presence in us. Because a plant can die, the main function of the
second energy (as we saw earlier) is focused on keeping its ves-
selthe body it inhabitsalive. And in us humans, this is what
this second energy does for us, too: its main function is the care
and maintenance of our physical body, through circulating to all
our tissues and organs the various gases and nutrients we take in.
So from our beginnings it grows us. From the moment of
conception, with the fertilisation of the egg that eventually became
you or me, this Life force first selects and then orders and distri-
butes physical matter from the placenta into the embryonic
systems which grow into the autonomic nervous system and the
other vegetative systemsrespiration, metabolism, blood circu-
lation and so on, which keep us alive.
In us, as children and adults, these systems normally function
unconsciously, all during our lives, without our knowledge. Like
all Twos, these are circular or otherwise dualistic: our breathing
(in, out), blood system (round and round), digestion (in and out),
the autonomic nervous system (stimulus and re-action), our diur-
nally rhythmic need to sleep (and wake), and so on. This second
level energy in us with its dyadic systems keeps us alive and, by
circulating and balancing homeostatically all the materials in and
of the body, maintains our health.
If you know anything about Yoga, Tai Chi, or other forms of
meditation and martial arts, you will have heard of Chi, Kee, or Qi.
This is a taken to be a subtle energy or set of energies flowing and
circulating along the meridians and through the nodal points
that acupuncturists, masseurs, reflexologists and meditators work
on. As the sciences tell us, they seem to function largely out of the
complex neuronal bank in our solar plexus. As this energy or en-
ergies are circular, it looks as though they are what Pak Subuh
called the daya-daya tumbuhan, the forces or powers of plants,
which I am calling the vegetal energies and Schumacher calls the
Life Force.
Whatever it is labelled, though, like all Twos this second en-
ergy is sensitive, and in us it functions on two levels. First it is the

source of our quick knee-jerk reflexesthe physical fight or

flight reactions that, in emergencies, by-pass the brain and auto-
matically help us survive.
As well as providing these physical reactions, this second-
level Life energy affects us in our feelings. Have you ever noticed
how, if you eat certain thingschocolate, for exampleyou begin
to feel different, better? Javanese traditions say that many of our
moods and feelings come from the plant foods that we eat; they
affect us, different foods affecting us differently.32 (And note that
affect is a word meaning feeling.) If this is so, no wonder it is im-
portantespecially to our moods and feelingswhat we eat! So
far, diet books which sell in the millions have concentrated on
what different foods do for us physically; I suggest that there is a
whole new field to be researched in discovering how different
foods affect our feelings and therefore our emotional health. Or,
rather, how the second-level energies, manifesting as the various vege-
tables and fruits we eat, do so.
And doesnt being around trees make us feel better, feel calm
and peaceful, and even grateful for just being alive? These feel-
ings, too, may be tiedvia the vegetal energies in usinto the
natural world that in our busy lives we all too seldom experience.
However, being far more complex creatures than plants, we
have an inner life whereas plants do not. Being sensitive, plants
receive impressions and even feelings (Tompkins and Bird, 1973)
from their environment, as we saw earlier, but these are alter-
ations borne in the water of their cells by impressions from
external stimuli. We, though, are not just plants: we are therefore
ableand even liableto function inwardly from the vegetal en-
ergies. What, then, do they bring to our inner life, our psychology,
in addition to physical reflexes, nervous reactions, and feelings?
Here are the intensely alive but blind and automatic, reactive,
psychologically defensive behaviours that, unfortunately, we all
descend into sometimes. Acting from this energy, people indulge
in tit-for-tat. An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth. Retali-
ation and revenge are vegetal level reactions, on whatever scale. If

Pak Subuhs first book, Susila Budhi Dharma: the Way of Submission to the
Will of God, is about just this.


you boast to me about your children, for instance, my natural (ac-

tually vegetal!) reaction is to boast back to you about mine. At the
same time, we go with the flow; we dont look outside the box,
we are caught in the immediate situation and dont look at the
bigger picture.
Our vegetal energies also tend to keep us locked into the
painpleasure dyadand naturally we react toward the more
pleasurable alternatives (which may not be helpful to us in the
long run). From here, too, come the manic extremes: highs of bliss
and joy, and lows of dark and moody depressions. But more gen-
erally speaking, behaviours (even those extremes of feelings)
incited by the vegetal energies in us are merely reactive: they are
usually sensitive, automatic, defensive reactions to external stimuli
which are geared to our emotional survival. Plus there are also, as
we saw, emotional reactions to the type and quality of the food we
have eaten.
Furthermore, this sensitive energy of Life also seems to be the
source of what is called today our self-esteem. If someone insults
or upsets me I may react inwardly with hurt feelings and almost
physical pain, or outwardly with returned insults or even aggres-
sion. If someone flatters me or pays me a compliment I react with
a smileand, inwardly, with happier feelings. But mere reactions
these are, all of them, to outside stimuli. The dualistic pain-
pleasure syndrome also functions on this level; in any situation
our natural, automatic vegetal tendency is to do the pleasurable,
easy thingas distinct from the longer-term more thoughtful,
perhaps more difficult, moral thing.
One more thing: on this level our thoughtsinfluenced by
the vegetal energycan run riot, and fantasy and imagination
play havoc in our perceptions of reality. Controlled, they may give
us artistic and other creative abilities and even perhaps flashes of
genius. But usually their hallmark is of fashionable fads and
crazes that dont last long.
As we saw earlier, the second stage is, naturally, one of ex-
tremes. And, without the control of the higher (animal and
Human) energies in us, so it is here, too, with the vegetal energies
of Life working in us. Under their influence our feelings may
range from ecstasy and bliss to depression and despair, and

perhaps in some bi-polar individuals swing wildly from one to

the other. (Yet, being more complex by far than plants we possess
also a rational thinking mind which normally ameliorates these
extremes.) Imagination, too is a gift of the vegetal energy; our fan-
tasies and dreams are often inspired by the vegetal Life energies
(not all, because Big Dreams come from a quite different place in
us, as we shall see shortly) but the ordinary sort of wacky dreams
about our fears and our more fanciful longings are often second,
vegetal level, Life-given, phenomena.
Our emotional sensitivities and habitual defences stem
largely from this energy, too. These may be linked not only to the
plant worldfrom the food we eatbut to the way we were
treated as babies and children, when our sensitive vegetal energies
and feelings were impressed upon too strongly. Perhaps we were
starved or injured or even battered in some way in the first years
of our life. Even the best of parents may, with the best will
(Three!) in the world, unconsciously injure their tender, develop-
ing infant. So is it any surprise that we spend a lot of our life
looking for happiness?
In any case, later on we shall look at four types of feelings
corresponding to the four different stages of the cosmology and
the four energies; and there well see how much of our life is af-
fected by these roh nabati, the second-level energy found in
vegetables, fruits and plants, and the extremes which come from
the vegetaland the aquaticrealms in us.
As well as immediate, sensitive, feeling reactions, a whole
other realm of more constant features of plant life inhabit us as
well. Pak Subuh used to say that we each had in us some of the
characteristics of an animal; and Pak Sudarto Martohudoyo, an-
other wise Indonesian elder, said in addition that we each had an
inner plantor at least the features of a specific plantin us, and
that we should get to know our own features stemming from our
inner plants. If this sounds too far-fetched, just think how some
plants (and people) are tall and stiff; some are soft, pliable, and
graceful and bending, others are prickly as if having thorns, still
others are inquisitive and clinging like vinesstickybeaks! Dont
we see these features in our friends? I confess I do sometimes
and it seems to me that once you know your own, the more you

can see another persons inner plantand you can then under-
stand them better.
To this end, Solihin and Alicia Thom, a young English couple
living in the US, have developed a series of workshops in which
they enable participants to discover for themselves the features of
their inner plantas well as their inner animal (cf. Thom, 2004).
Another thing you must have noticed, when you are talking
to some peopleeven good-natured people: they cant wait to
reply. They quickly pick up on something you say and are so an-
xious to get in what they want to say that they may not listen to
the rest of what you are saying. Or perhaps the instant you have
finished your sentence they come back with some immediate re-
action to what you have said. This, too, is the person who in meet-
ings cannot wait to listen to others but who, reacting blindly and
automatically from the vegetal level, interrupts the conversation
or at least has to speak so urgently that they have no time to take
in the rest of what the speaker is saying. Level Two behaviours,
stemming from the vegetal energy in us!
And of course this re-active vegetal energy brings to us all the
self-seeking and me first! behaviours not only of plants but of
small children, petty chiefs and corporate managers. And, alas,
alack, even some prominent leaders and heads of nations today.
So this vegetal energy flowing in and all through us make us
(like plants) selfish and competitive. From them we may some-
times be pushy, greedy, and self-seeking. This is the automatic
and dualistic I versus Thou syndrome, which needless to say is
sub-human. We might also mention malicious gossip, which is
basically the unconscious attempt to slaughter another person or
their reputation. Herbert Spencers classic phrase about the Dar-
winian version of evolution as the survival of the fittest holds
good here.
In summary, the main goal of the Life Forcethat is, the sec-
ond-level or vegetal energiesin us, our bodies and our feelings,
is first of all to get us what we need and to keep us alive. Its job is to
maintain us and preserve our health and self-esteem; to keep our
physical systems functioning well and our ego pleased and happy.
And although it makes us selfish, dualistic, competitive, defen-
sive, and externally orientedas most things are which stem from

this plant level energy of Lifeit also brings us swings of moods

including great wonderful highs and depressing lows. And
overall, cosmologically, this is all represented by the dyad, or du-
ality, a Two.

Our animal level energymotivations

Schumachers y, which is the animating energyof in-
stincts, will, purpose, and motivations. Overall, these usually take
control over our material and vegetal energies, and organise and
activate the workings of our muscles and skeleton, the central and
aptly named sympathetic nervous system, the endocrine glands
and hormones, our sexuality, our intelligence and the integrative
powers of the mind.
As I hope I have shown you, our vegetative systems are
geared to keeping us aliveat any cost!and sometimes (perhaps
when we are under stress, distressed or just plain tired) we may
lash out angrily, not sparing the feelings of our spouse, children,
friends, and neighbours. On the other hand, as Matt Ridley says,

all human beings share a fascinating taboo... the taboo against

selfishness... The thing that needs explaining about human
beings is not their frequent vice, but their occasional virtue.
(1996: 38)

Fortunately, those selfish vegetal reactions in us are usually

overcomeover-riddenby the stronger, more stable, more con-
siderate, more community-minded animal-instinctive energies in
Being more complex than a plant, an animal hasas we
sawtwo different qualities of behaviours available to it. It can
both react, with the second or Life energy to an outside stimulus
(fight or flight, for example) but more typically it can also act in
response to an internal need, such as hunger, thirst, sex, or care of
offspring. So it is with us, too. Our selfish re-actions are usually
overcome by our social responses; once we are past childhood our
behaviours are not so often in the lowly self-survival/selfish
(vegetal) mode but are more geared to the easing of social rela-
tions. We may be terribly thirsty, but politely we look after our


guests first; we may be tired, irritable and needing more sleep

but we will take the children to school because our thinking mind
tells us it is necessary. And so on.
But before going into detail about the animal within, lets
look at the formal skeleton of the cosmology again, so that well
know what to expect of a Three. Here we have a coherent whole,
which is greater than the sum of its parts. It is centred, usually around
a nucleus or core or some other kind of central controlling factor;
alternatively there is a greater framework around or within which
the formerly differentiated parts now come into co-operation. And
the whole Three is coherent, dynamic, and productive and, in re-
sponse to internals, changes things with which it comes into
Lets also remember here the third of the four traditional
Elements, Air, which conforms to the cosmological skeletons
structure of Three. Air is a whole (metaphorically at least) com-
posed of several different parts (gasses), all kept more or less
homogenous by the windsits constant movements stemming
from and affected by its centre, Gaia. Not enough is known by
science yet about the air and its dynamics for me to be able to say
more in the way of other conformations to the structure of Three,
to animals, and to the Jungian function of thinkingbut what is
known is that the composition and structure of the atmosphere
today is being changed, causing the ozone hole, global warming,
and altering normal climate and weather patterns. To throw in a
wild idea here, Pak Subuh once said that there were male winds
and female windsand I have been told that at least one Amer-
ind nation in the USA has this same traditional belief.
In any case, the motion and dynamic activity of Air tradi-
tionally relate to that of the animal realm, and also to human
intelligence and rational (i.e. focused) thought.
To align the third-level energy itself with other traditional be-
liefs and practices, I think this is probably what is called prana,
and/or the energy of kundalini. This is or are the unseen subtle
energy/ies attributed by Buddhists, yogis, and other meditators to
the influence of the chakras (sometimes equated with the endocrine
glands) and to the dynamic hidden within the upright human
spine. However, the traditional Oriental labels for these energies

are not only varied, but alsoas far as I can make outthey are
assumed to be the same as the circular Chi, Kee, or Qi (which in
this classification scheme is a Two, a lower, less subtle energy).
Perhaps this third energy is Wilhelm Reichs orgone energy, too;
Freud called it libido and anthropologists, when they come
across it in shamanism or other magical practices, call it mana.
Unlike the more volatile and dispersed vegetal energy, accumula-
tions of this third energy of Will or motivations may sometimes be
felt in places, or emanating from some special, charismatic people.
Yet what really distinguishes animals from plants is that
animals have a heart. The Indonesians call this hatiliterally
heart, attention, or willbut sometimes, oddly, liver. (Yet what
is liver, if it is not to help us live?) In us, in our animal-instinctive
selves, this third level energy makes us respond to internals like
hunger, curiosity, sex, and care for offspring, and gives us access
to a different quality of feeling and thought that is rational and
purposeful. Why do we go to work each day?because we have a
purpose: that is, to earn enough money to support our family and
ourselves. Obvious, yes, but this stems from our animal-level en-
ergy which motivates us to work, steadily.
Attentiveness, paying attention to someone or something, is
another thing we get from our animal energy. When we put our
full attention on something that needs doing or thinking about, we
are centring our self through this animal energy. But perhaps
above all it gives us sympathy and love for members of our im-
mediate family.
The English language is inadequate when it comes to differ-
ent qualitieslet alone nuancesof feeling. Because there is only
one word for a whole range of thingsincluding physical
touch!we tend to lump all feelings into the same category. But
(apart from touch) there are, as self-inspection shows, at least two
quite different qualities of feeling. So, although the plant energies
induce lighter, quicker, automatic reactions in the alternation of
moods and feeling in us, there is also a very different quality or
depth of feeling in us which is slower, and comes from the animal-
instinctive energies working in and from our sympathetic nervous
system. Perhaps the clearest example I can give here, though men


cannot appreciate this, is the difference between a clitoral and a

vaginal orgasm.
In general I think you can say that plant-level moods and
feelings in us tend to be reactive, intense, erratic, unstable and
may turn into their opposite (enantiodroma); whereas the feelings
evoked by the animal-level energy are deeper, more slowly
aroused, more stable, warmer and more enduring. Gurdjieff used
to say there are no such things as negative emotions. If anger,
hatred and all the things we think of as negative feelings are actu-
ally plant-level, vegetal energy reactions, then there may indeed be
no negative animal-level feelingsor emotionson the human
Psychology tells us nothing here; it needs some research
done, because at present no distinction is made between these two
quite different qualities of feeling. One thing I will point out
though is that Jungians, who probably have more knowledge of
feeling than most other types of psychologists, call the more nor-
mal feeling experiences feeling and any excess of feeling is what
they call emotion. So perhaps the Jungian feeling function
comes from the sympathetic animal-level energy in us, whereas
emotion comes from the more extreme intense, vegetal-level en-
ergy. Or could it be the other way around? Again, the English
language doesnt help.
In the case of behaviours, though, just as we get this animal
level energy from a different source (from animal flesh), which
gives us another range of different qualities of feeling (or emo-
tion), so it usually prevents us from merely reacting, blindly and
automatically, with the second level energy to external stimuli;
instead, it encourages us to act more rationally in response to inter-
nal promptingsanother sort of feelings. These are our normal
instincts, which give us purposes. So if we feel hungry, we go to the
fridge; if we feel tired, we take a nap; if someone close to us is sick,
we feel sympathetic and try to help them. From this animal in-
stinctive energy also come our deeper desires, our warmer and
more lasting loves and passions, and our social instincts, including
sexual interests and responses.
These instincts are, to a greater or lesser extent, a part of our
inherited genetic make-up, our innately determined, long-term

characteristic behaviours: but in the short term they also stem

from the animal foods we eat. (Let me point out herein paren-
thesesthat Jews and Muslims, traditionally aware of this, do not
like to eat pork; would you like to behave like a pig? And it may
seem a weird notion, but roosters mate happily with their daugh-
ters and their grandmothers: so I sometimes wonder, when I hear
of another case of incest, whether the quantities of chicken flesh
we eat today dont instigate this.)
Recently in a physiology textbook I found a good description
of the difference between the workings of the vegetal and the
animal level energiesalthough it is actually comparing the
nervous system with the endocrine system. It says:

Of the two systems, [the autonomic nervous system] is by far

the more rapid acting and complex. Cells of the nervous
system communicate by means of electrical signals, which are
rapid, specific, and usually cause almost immediate responses.
In contrast, the endocrine system typically brings about its
effects in a more leisurely way through the activity of
hormones released into the blood. (Marieb, p.363)

As well as instincts, social learning and responses, communi-

cations and the division of labour are also characteristic of the life
of the higher animals, and just as much so from the animal-level
energy in us. During the last century psychologists tried to con-
vince us that we dont have any instincts: that this natural animal
in us is dominated and determined by our social upbringing, our
social construction of reality, the norms of our parents and
family and the community or society we grow up in. By culture, in
other wordsor, as they called it, nurture. These seem to be our
human equivalent of either innate, or learned, characteristic spe-
cies-specific group behaviours in the animal realm.
As I mentioned earlier, Solihin and Alicia Thom do work-
shops in the USA and Europe to help people discover their inner
plant and their inner animalor, rather, the energies that come
from these levels which give us our individual features and char-
acteristics respectivelyso that we can learn more about
ourselves, our natural, individualistic vegetal tendencies (Twos)


and, differently, our higher but still natural, social-animal charac-

teristics and talents (Threes).
As to the arguments still going on about nature versus nur-
turethe answer, as William James said long ago, seems to
depend on both. That is, both the internal, physically, genetically
inherited animal, vegetal and mineral nature that we are born
with, plus what happens to us in early childhood, nurturethe
conditioning and pressures imprinted on us from the outside so
we learn to conform to the desires and expectations of those
around us. As we can see from Gaias Cosmology, the answer is
indeed both: but the proportions of the quantity and strength of
each depends on the relative innate strength and characteristic
quality of the individuals inherited nature in relation to the psy-
chological strength and pressure of his or her nurture or
Let me point out in passing that, apart from superficial differ-
ences like hair and skin colour, nose shape, dentition and so on,
which come from our inherited genetic nature, it is far more sig-
nificantly our social upbringingour nurtureour cultures
which divide humankind. These are our different ethnic groups.
When a Vietnamese baby is adopted at birth by an Australian
family, no matter what he looks like, he grows up Aussie under
the skin. If a white South African baby were to be adopted at birth
by a Nigerian family, similarly he would grow up to be Nigerian
in all but appearance. We are programmedour psychological
software, so to speak, that is, our vegetal and animal energiesare
programmed from birth to receive the imprints of the language
and cultural norms of a particular social group, whatever that may
be, regardless of our physical features. As we grow up, this social
and cultural accumulation is what literally creates our ego, an ar-
tificial phenomenon that gradually closes off many of our
instinctive, inherited characteristics from our consciousness. These
are then repressed and vanish into the personal sub-conscious lev-
els of our mind.
But now, assuming we have at least some instincts born in us
from this third, animal-level energy: what else do they bring us?
Being a Three, this energy gives us a coherent formand its a
centralised form at thatand it is dynamic and productive. Thus

in animals, especially in the higher animals and primates, we find

division of labour (assumed so long by anthropologists to be a
human specific), definition of territories, food-seeking, building
and defendingshelters and rearing young. And dont we, too,
do all these things in order to earn a living and look after our
families? Others of our animal-level abilities include communicat-
ing with others within our community, and perhaps above all our
intelligence used as a tool foragainpurposes of everyday liv-
ing. (There is more to say about thought and intelligence, shortly.)
Another characteristic of the animal level is that, as I ex-
pressed it earlier, everyone has an inner animal or perhaps just
the characteristics of an animalor possibly of more than one.
What this means is that many of our individual characteristics and
abilities come to us through the working of our animal-level ener-
gies. Here is our inborn, natural gift or talent that is so often
covered up by our up-bringing. The tendency of our ordinary ego
is to repress our natural, animal-level abilities and talents and they
become unconscious. Then the adult has to set about finding his
innate self and his talents.
On the other hand, some people do not lose touch with them.
During the early sixties, when Pak Subuh was mostly at home in
Jakarta, sitting around and chatting, we were lucky enough to be
privy to some of his ideas about a whole range of things. For in-
stance, I remember him once saying that astrology, like all other
systems of character analysis and prediction, applied to the animal
level energy in usand only to this. (Years later I realized that this
is probably why astrologers predictions are so often wrong, be-
cause the maverick Four, the authentic human factorand free
willcomes in here, whereas the biological animal in us is more
stable, habitual, and more or less predictable.)
However, whatever our own particular characteristics and
talents may be that this third-level energy gives us, we are above
all nurtured as children in social groupsbe they kin families,
foster homes, schools or communities of different kinds. And in
these we are indoctrinated to be nice and kind (which is related
to the word kin) and good and, unless we grow up in a broken
home or a dysfunctional family or even more sadly a family of
criminals, we normally grow up wanting to do the right thing

according to the expectations of that particular social group or

community and its belief system and culture.
So the animal within us is not such a baddie as we have been
led to expect. The animal energies are behind most of our more
enduring positive feelings such as parental and affectionate love:
and also of our socially considerate, responsible and even moral
acts. From our vegetal energies we may re-act, knee-jerk fashion
defensively and selfishlyto unexpected externals: but we act,
and respond, more constructivelyand more considerately, even
morallyto a person or social situation with which we feel com-
fortable, from our own (internal) desire to be helpful or pleasing
or socially correct. In short, behaviours rooted in the third level
internal motivations (rather than from external stimuli) are, very
largely, due to the presence and workings in us of the third, ani-
mal-level instinctive energies.
These behaviours tend to be habitual and grow more so with
age. Have you ever found your family members and friends so
predictable that they are boring? Or the person who inevitably
wants to correct you, to put you right, thus asserting his or her
place above you in the pecking order? Or the elderly parent, who
cannot stop parenting: put your raincoat on, dear when it rains
when you have been living on your own for years? Animal-level
behaviours, all of them!
The motives behind these things may seem to be kindly, but
they are usually unconsciously habitual. That is, the original im-
pulses may have come from the animal-level energy and are, in
the end (and not unlike the vegetal energies), geared to rewarding
oneself, often at the expense of the other person. Doing good is
another much-indulged motive stemming from the animal-level
energy: the person who, even at apparently their own expense,
engages in good works, charitable acts, and so on. Yet if there is
even a trace of seeking a pay-back rewardin the way of feeling
one is better than the recipientthen it is a sure sign that the
animal energies are the motivations behind it all.
Thus, and so far, we have the human animal, the social be-
ing, the socialised, acculturated person with his or her perhaps
unconscious characteristics and talents. Is there anything else in us,
though? Schumacher has some delightfully rude things to say

about the sort of people who call human beings naked apes and
other derogatory terms. Nothing, he says, is more conducive to
the brutalisation of the modern world than the launching, in the
name of science, of wrongful and degraded definitions of man.
And also,

When people speak of animals as animal machines they soon

start treating them accordingly, and when they think of people
as naked apes, all doors are opened to the free entry of
bestiality. (1977: 31)

Bestiality, in the sense of animal-instinctive behaviour, al-

though Schumacher regards it negatively here, may (as we have
seen) not be such a bad thing after allalthough there are nega-
tive aspects of animal (and bestial-human) life that I am not
touching on here. Nor can I do more than refer you to recent ani-
mal studies which have shown that animals can cheat, deceive and
manipulate others of their kind (Linden, 2000).
One additional complication at this stage is that people can
exist, and exist very comfortably, just as social animals. But as
Jung says, family, money, and posterity are part of human nature,
not culture. Culture, our nurture, lies beyond these things. So we
have not yet come to the crux of this particle, which is to find out
what an authentic Human being is really like.
Now, wait a moment. Supposing you could remove all the
negative bestial and the positive social-animal characteristics from
human lifewhat would you be left with? Imagine some mythical,
highly intelligent and extremely skilful primates; they would
make tools and use technology, work for a living, have social
structures, communications, parenting and the socialisation
(schooling, education) of offspring, and care for others in their
social group (volunteering). Using different methods for obtaining
food, sleep and sex, they would be territorial (garden fences) and
build nests (= architecture) in different limited (ethnic) niches, and
specialise in the division of labour for productive work in facto-
ries, on farms or in offices. If all this were taken away from this
highly intelligent primatefrom us, that is!what is left, if any-
thing? Whatever is left must be purely human. Human, capital H.
But the question is: What would we be left with? What, in other


words, can only be expressions of Schumachers fourth factor z,

and the qualities of a fully Human being that a fourth, specifically
human, energy would bring us?
I want to pause here, to emphasise one thing. According to
Gaias Cosmology, human nature is the combined animal, vege-
table, and mineral energies of Naturethe natural world out
therethat exist also in us. These give us, as Ive just pointed out,
our living bodily systems and our animal instincts, our internal
socialisation and our external social concerns and so on. But is this
all we are and do? Well, according to the cosmology it is not: and
now comes a higher and finer subtle energy, last in the hierarchy
of visibly manifesting energies. And it is this that gives us the hu-
man potentialsand the possibility of becoming authentically
Human with special abilities and qualities.
In English at least, there is really no suitable word for this
fourth energy. Culturealthough Jung uses itdoesnt cover it:
or, rather, it is far too broad and covers far more than the human
specifics. The Human Spirit on the other hand is not broad en-
ough. Soul might be possiblebut perhaps animals have
souls?at this stage biologists simply dont know enough about
the primates and larger mammals. No: there is, alas, no single
word I can think of that will cover that in us which transcends
and/or can overrideour common human nature. So, as well as
borrowing consciousness (from the animal realm) I am going to
have to resort to using a variety of words, including humane,
transformation, transcendence, spirit, and free will to cover
everything in the purely Human realm that can only have its origin
in a fourth, finer and more subtle energy still.

Our human energy

Schumachers z factor, Spirit, Human Consciousness? What-
ever I label this energy doesnt really matter: what I am after here
is to untangle what is specifically Human (capital H) and not part
of the biological-animal human (small h) or the (small h again)
human social realms. So what, exactly, is this specifically Human
energy like? What does it do for us biological, socialised, hu-
mansand what does it bring into our life? What is it, in other


words, that can lift us out of the ordinary, natural human-animal

world, and make us authentically Human, Humane?
Again, lets look back at the skeleton of the cosmology and
see what a Four is likeand of what it can in-form us. Four is an-
other random whole, a chaotic atomistic mass, conforming to
Light with its particles. And, as the whole human species is a
Four, we ourselves, the atoms of that Four, are also potentially
Onesyet on a higher, finer and greater scale than the original
earthly material Ones: that is, transcendentally, even spiritually.
The particles in Four have a great deal in common and (although
not the same) are all of more or less equal wortheven though
some, in a possible next stage, may develop with ongoing further
processes, while others may not. As the saying in the Gospel of St.
Matthew has it, many are called but few are chosen. Many peo-
ple, in other words, dont develop their potentials andto use
another biblical allusionfall by the wayside.
Yet from Four we can expect, first, that each and every baby
born has the possibility of becoming an authentic Human being;
second, that each and every one of us is potentially and perhaps
even ultimately of equal worth and value; and third, that the hu-
man race should be, as a whole, a global, random mass: in other
words, a single species. Which it iswe are.
A final thing to note about Four is that this fourth stage of
process is, as I said, akin to Light, the fourth of the Elements. Con-
forming to the fourth bone of Gaias skeleton, it exemplifies
freedom, brightness, openness, transformative powers, creativity,
spiritual gifts (enlightenment?), and the capacities and qualities of
So much for the cosmological information. Now we must
look at the difference which makes a difference, as Gregory
Bateson used to say, and discover exactly how we differ from the
other primates. Here I admit to feeling inadequate for this exer-
cise. However, using the methodology which Alisjahbana, Pak
Subuh and Schumacher have all bequeathed us, anyone having an
interest in the human condition can arrive at a description of our
birthright: that is, that which makes uspotentially at least!
truly, authentically Human. What follows should therefore be
taken as one womans fumblingand falliblespeculations on a

list of the Human specifics in the face of the splendour of human-

kind as itthat is, weought to be.
Apart from our upright stature, big brain and other specifi-
cally human physical things, this subtle energy gives us the only
concrete component in our make-up that is a Four: that is, fourth-
level and, here, authentically Human. Pak Subuh called this en-
ergy the roh jasmani, or the spirit or format of the human physique.
Yet there is, he maintained, another, more spiritual, Human en-
ergythe roh Rohani, which is of the perfected Human Spirit,
which gives us a soul. (Forgive the capitals, but Im talking about
a rare phenomenon here.)
However, to keep things as simple as possible, and also to ac-
cord with the four realms of our ordinary, visible world, I am
lumping these together and treating them as one and the same. In
addition, for those needing a scientific or at least an empirical
and/or rational basis, this simplified version does better. It is also
enough, as I said just now about the cosmological skeleton, to al-
low humankind transcendence over animals, both actuallyin
mental and cultural abilitiesand potentially, as we shall see later.
This is because the tesspiral or fourtexthe evolving spiral of
evolutionis open-ended and therefore allows room for further
development. In short, Humans areor could beand cosmol-
ogically ought to bedifferent from animals in kind as well as
At conception, this fourth energy creates the human template.
It takes charge of all the other energies in the developing foetus
and brings us to birth as human babies. Newborns are fully con-
sciousHumanly consciouswhile they are awake: and though
they cannot yet communicate this to us we ought to respect and
even reverence it in our children.
Wordsworth gave us a beautiful expression of this. Looking
back on his own childhood, Wordsworth recognized this perfect
human consciousness and in 1807 wrote about it in his ode, Inti-
mations of Immortality:

There was a time when meadow, grove and stream,

The earth, and every common sight,
To me did seem
Apparelled in celestial light,


The glory and the freshness of a dream.

It is not now as it hath been of yore:
Turn wheresoer I may,
By night or day,
The things which I have seen I now can see no more.

This fourth level energy of consciousness, which we all have

as newborns, does not have to mean (as Wordsworth went on to
say) immortality. What it does mean is that as we grow into
adulthood we are increasingly cut off from access to this energy.
The process of our parenting and socialisation covers it up, and it
becomes unconscious. As the child grows, although this fourth
Human energy continues to control the growth and development
of our physical traits, gradually our upbringing and education
close us off from the newborns open consciousness and celestial
At firstin newbornsall the infants energies are open and
impressionable. They are vulnerable and, during the childs up-
bringing, are easily influenced and in worst-case scenarios may be
bruiseddamaged evenby the context, content and quality of
their infancy and childhood. Some things are best forgotten: in
which case they are repressed, closed over, and shut down in the
personal unconscious. This is how, where, when and why the
formation of the artificial ego (Jungs persona, the outer mask or
personality) occursbasically to protect the vulnerability of the
three subtle (non-material) energies in the child, especially the fin-
est and most subtle Human Spirit.
Even in the best of families, brought up with a rare and thor-
oughly positive childhood, we absorb so many physical,
psychological, and social habits from the people around us and
our environment that our own natural and inherent traits are
gradually hidden by the growing ego. Slowly, everything that is
naturally characteristic of us as individuals gets buried in the per-
sonal realms of the unconscious, to await its wakening later on in
life. This is the origin of the archetypal tales of the sleeping beauty,
and the symbolically unattainable princessthe Human Spirit
imprisoned at the top of the glass mountain, waiting for the mo-
ment when the unconscious is breached, and we wake up
(Bettelheim, 1977). Just before puberty the child is as much her- or

himself as s/he will be for perhaps some two or even three de-
cades, because at puberty the crystallising, encrusting ego comes
into its own. At the same time, the developing child experiences a
rush of animal-level hormones and instincts which enlivens the
intelligence and the mental abilities and capacities as well as sexu-
ality, all of which tend to override the fourth energy, relegating
(you might say) the authentic Human Spirit to the unconscious,
cutting the child off from the actual experience of their full birth-
right: this fourthand only Humanenergy.
In spite of this, because of the fragility and fragmentation of
the still growing ego, post-puberty and into the rest of the teen-
age years, this Human-level energy nudges young people towards
the religious, to go in search of something which they may well
not understand. Perhaps it is completion, even perfection. The
agonizing self-consciousness that develops in teenagers comes
from a recognition that they now feel as though they have nothing
inside them. This, if it is not acknowledged and steps taken to
come to terms with it, will soon be thoroughly covered up by the
ordinary encrusting ego. That is, the growth of the ego is by now
largely cutting them off from the experience of everything except
their own awkward bodies, extremely sensitive feelings, and
whirling thoughts. Yet at the same time the religious impulse kicks
in, as the fourth and Human energy wells up sporadically be-
tween the cracks of the forming, crystallising ego, in what may be
its strongest expression for the next two or three decades of life.
This is the age when, if the experiences young people in late
adolescence have in an orthodox religion are not inwardly satisfy-
ing, they may turn to less limited, more open forms of spirituality.
The barrier that has been forming between the conscious ego and
the unconscious realms of the mind is now all but complete: and it
is this that makes young people feel as if they were empty inside.
Some rare young people do recognise that there is a vacuuma
God-shaped holeas David Tacey (2003) called itwithin them: or
the existential vacuum, as Sartre termed it. Or if, as more often
happens in secular societies, the materialistic up-bringingduring
infancy and childhoodhas impinged too strongly on them,
young people may turn to entertainment, having a good time, and


sex, drugs and rock and roll in order to avoid that painful feeling
of emptiness inside.
Drugs in particular bring the experience of other realms,
other energies, other dimensions. These are of course only those of
the second level (second heaven!) vegetal energies giving access to
and opening the autonomic nervous system to phenomena of the
unseen vegetal realm that may be either or both out there and/or
in our minds (Narby, 1999). But at least they make a change from
the artificial and often banal, boring and above all materialistic
world the teenager sees clearly that the rest of us inhabit.
Again, the reason for this is very simple: due to the usual
secular parental upbringing, and the brain-washing by the sci-
ences that goes on in schools today, young people feel an
unconscious urge to fill in that emptiness, to compensate for the
missing religious or spiritual element in their life which is the only
thing that can convey a purpose and meaning to them.
It is not only meaning but the Human Spirit or Consciousness
that is missing here. Whatever that specific thirteen-letter word
saysor meansto you, it is probably not the Real Thing. This,
the real thing, is the transformative quality of consciousness, the
experience, of living in the present, of Being Here Now as we said
in the sixties. Or even, as students of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky
say, of self-remembering. (But I would add to this: remembering
also the unseen realms of the Human Spirit, or even G-d, orif
you think these dont existjust the awesome vastness and mys-
tery of the physical universe.)
What is it that occasionally wakes us up, though, out of our
ordinary experience of life, out of our regular alienation and un-
consciousness? It is probably the momentary opening of our
ordinary biological animal-level mind to the (usually covered-up)
intuition and the energy of Human consciousness. This gives us
access to the possibility of experiencing higher, eternalor at least
authentically Humanconsciousness. Jung calls it the transcend-
ent function, and Gurdjieff the magnetic centre through which
we may be able to transform ourselves and our existence.
On the other hand, remember that as adults we dont have to
be Humanly conscious to do almost everything we do (Jaynes,
1976). This, again, is the ego, with all the skilful social-animal level

energy in us, acting and working and getting things done so we

can live our ordinary life, go about our regular business and sup-
port our families as best we can. (With only the natural animal-
and vegetal-level energies, though!)
In addition to our rare moments of Human consciousness,
our upright human physique, and our big brain, this fine-quality
subtle energy endows us with what the jargon calls the non-
utilitarian capacities that we are going to look into shortly. And
here, too, on this fourth stage of the cosmology, comes the awak-
ening of our own innate and individual spirituality, the soul, the
budhi or divine spark (or, if you are agnostic, simply the fourth,
the Human energy) within us that we may sometimes access via
intuitions from the unconscious.
However, I have rushed ahead, and before we look at the
phenomenon of spirituality lets look at the more common abilities
and qualities that are specifically Human. What does Schu-
machers z factor or the fourth-level specifically Human Spirit or
energy bring to us besides our physical human form?
Perhaps it is simpler to see these abilities and qualities in con-
text: that is, to look at the things that not even the higher primates
have. And again, we can only list these, admitting that they all
overlap and are all inter-connected and not separate. And while we
do this we must also bear in mind that, because cosmologically
Fours are random wholes, each and every atomistic particle on
this level (that is, every living human being) is of at least poten-
tially equal worth and value. So the basic capacities of the fourth level
of the cosmology we are looking at here are transcendence, free will, and
thence (inner, spiritual) freedomalthough I have not listed these sepa-
rately here because they run all throughand indeed are consequences
ofthe following seven qualities. And it is very probably the fourth
energy, of Transformation, that lures us on (in Whiteheads
phrase), pulling us onward and upward towards becoming these
things, nudging us to fulfil our own innate, individual, potentials.
Here, then, is one womans list of the authentic Human spe-

1. Globality. Although animals and plants have adapted to

and now occupy specific ecological niches, we humans, because of

our facility with the material world, have adapted ourselves or

our extensions (clothing, shelter, tools/technology) to any geo-
graphical location, and can live almost anywhere on the earth.
Most animals are limited to a particular place and climate; many
are even territorial in so far as they mark, and are protective of,
that territory. So, people who live their lives on the social-animal
level and are correspondingly territorial are the nationalists and
the rah-rah patriots among us. Also, generally speaking, indigen-
ous peoples are those today who feel connected with and
dependent upon one small section of the globe. Although they
limit themselves (or are constricted by governments) to their own
familiar land or country, they have a lot to teach us about care of
the earth and its products, and I believe the rest of us must re-
member this and learn from them.
To be genuinely Human, though, a person must at least have
examined his or her primary home and culture objectively, ac-
knowledging how s/he has been formed by it, and perhaps has
outgrown it. Fully Human beings identify with the world as a
whole rather than with one particular part of it, and have a genu-
inely global view of things. Pak Subuh used to say that it was the
best people (manusia, as distinct from orang) who travelled and
moved to other lands to look for a better life for themselves and
their families.
One last example: as I have said, animals inhabit different
geographical niches, build their nests and mark and defend their
territory against others in different social groups and also against
others of other species. Humans alone are free enough of the envi-
ronment to inhabit the entire globe. Theywe?can also develop
(although few seem to) to be entirely free of ethnic, national and racial
In short, only Humans have the potential of becoming free
enough to inhabit the entire globe and feel right at home any-

2. Symbolic thought. Carl Sagan, in a similar search for the

truly human (1977), concluded that our massive brain was the
main difference between us and the animals. Relatively massive it
may be, but animals have both brains and intelligence, and some

(dolphins, whales, elephants) may have as much of both, relative

to physical weight and mass, as we do. What, I suspect, is the
qualitatively different ability which this relatively quantitatively
larger brain bequeaths usin other words the specifically human
element hereis abstract and symbolic thought.
Into this category comes language of course; almost by defi-
nition language is abstract and symbolic. But again this is a
socially learned skill: and generally speaking, again, the higher the
animal the more social learning the adult will have undergone. As
we have seen, what we learn from our parents and through our
social-group conditioning doesnt have to be genuinely Human.
Here is a grey area: if the process, the imprinting, of social
learning on an individual is an animal-level characteristic, we are
left with questions of (a) whether or not any of the contents of that
learning is authentically Human, and (b) whether the Human fac-
tor lies only in the relatively larger quantity of information we can
absorb and make use of. On the other hand, what is not in doubt
here (unless we take into account the limited capacity of some
chimps to learn a bit of Ameslan) is that only human beings seem
to be born with the innate desire and ability to learn and use
spoken, written and other abstract and symbolic forms of lan-
guage such as mathematics and music. Unlike any of the animals,
even those higher primates that can be taught a few elements of
language, the human infant wants to talkand is hard-wired to
learn to do so.
Also into this category come fore-thought and after-thought,
symbolized in Greek myth by the heroic figures of Prometheus
and Epimetheus, planning ahead and memory. Memory is not
specifically human of course; plenty of animals have concrete
memory: but to use memory in order to compare and evaluate,
and to plan for future unseens, or even a possible futurethat,
surely, is Human.
So also is, as sociologist Peter Berger says, the intrinsic hu-
man propensity for unified thought. Honest, sustained reflection...
seeks to unify, to reconcile, to understand how one thing taken as
truth relates to another so taken (l970: 29). This is the beginning of
philosophy, which includes another thing that Humans need: rea-
sons for living. We question, and we wonder. Animals have their

own instinctive purposes: but we peculiar and non-utilitarian

animals feel a deep need to know the purpose of our own particu-
lar lifeand the overall meaning of life, the universe and
everything. So wonder we do. We wonder who we are, how to
find ourselves, and what life is all about. And, as Whitehead
says, Philosophy is the product of wonder. Over the millennia,
even before philosophy began (Frankfort, 1949), people created
myths and legends and worldviews and cosmologies and a thou-
sand different belief systems.
Our latest belief systemthe modern myth, albeit presum-
ably Platos magnificent mythis science. Plugged firmly into
the material world, and the material world only, science can pro-
vide facts, but no explanations and no meanings. It has brought us
many extremely useful thingstechnologybut it cannot show
us the value and meaning of anything.
In an attempt to crystallise the essence of humanity, anthro-
pologist Clifford Geertz talks of the shared webs of significance
that make up different cultures (1973: 5). And it is culture that we
usually think of when discussing human thought and its various
expressions in the arts, sciences, technology, and so on. People
often take it for granted that the main difference between humans
and animals is the possession of culture. But enough research
into social learning in animals has been done recently to show that
culturesor more accurately proto-culturesare characteristic of
the higher animals. Including, I might add, manipulation, deceit,
and politics (Linden, 1999). So, a lot of our famous culture is not
specifically human. Much of it will have come from social learn-
ingand in any case very little of it may arise from the fourth-
level, Human energy or Spirit.
Let me emphasize: social mors (which include everything
from tribal customs and mythologies to later moralities based on
the great religions, and even todays secular amoral norms) are
all learned behaviours, and they differ from family to family,
community to community and nation to nation. They are parallel
correspondences to the different varieties of animal instinctive behav-
iours: because it is not until people step outside their own culture
and re-view that cultureand their own habitual behaviours
that they are free to choose their own. So free will is another spe-

cifically Human phenomenon brought to us by the capacity of ab-

stract thoughtand an ability we only grow into when we leave
behind the socially-conditioned, moral animal within us and be-
come fully Human.
In addition, choice, another popularly accepted human
quality, seems also to be another off-shoot of abstract symbolic
thought. Once upon a time, the great innovative psychologist Abe
Maslow did some experiments with the chickens in his back yard.
He found that some chickens were good choosers and others
were not; the good choosers ate well, and grew to become physi-
cally and socially dominant. I beg to differ here only in the term he
uses; I would use the word select for the animal behaviour
Maslow describes (cf. the Particle on language in Part 4). If hun-
gry, an animal selects from the variety of the foods that are actually
in front of it. On the other hand, even if hungry, the Human en-
ergy in us can choose to ignore the food on the table or in the
pantry and go eat at a restaurant in town, for example. Or we may
choose to fast and go without altogetherand, although hungry,
not eat at all that day. And this leads on to

3. Abstinence. The jargon calls this the postponement of

gratification, or impersonalises and generalises it as short-term
efforts for long-term benefits. But I prefer to use the simple term
abstinence, or else restraint, self-discipline, or even the Indo-
nesian word prihatin, asceticism. Whatever it is called, such
abstinence is clearly not a normal animal ability; it also lies be-
yond our ordinary human nature.
In general, and in brief, we can say that Humans have the
impulse to struggle against and even override their natural feel-
ings and behaviours (the tendencies induced by the lower three
energies). We are then free to act according to humanely chosen
values. For instance, as I said just now, although animals will se-
lect what they eat from a variety of foods in front of them, animals
dont normally fast, or decide to go and look for something else
better to eat somewhere right out of sight.33 So fasting, and other

Sometimes animals will search out and eat bitter foods or even fast
when they are sick, as their animal instincts tell them what they need to


forms of deliberate abstinence, self-discipline, self-sacrifice, self-

abnegation and so on, are uniquely, specificallyand fully
Another example. We can, if we wish, abstain from buying
more than we actually need; we can abstain from wasting materi-
als and manufactured goods. We can also abstain from being lazy,
from procrastinatingand from sex, and to a certain extent from
sleeping too. And so on. Although the age of self-indulgence is
upon us and abstinence is highly unfashionable today, it is never-
theless an authentically Human ability. Although the monastic life
neglects (in some cases disastrously) our third-level animal-
biological inheritancethe natural human task of raising a family
and leaving descendantsit was originally based upon the an-
cient knowledge that conscious asceticism may lead us to develop
our inner potentials and help us to become fully Human.
I am reminded here not only of the animal-level lust which
plagues so many of us until we grow oldand which can be trans-
formed, if we work at it, into higher, more humane qualities of love
and harmonybut of the people who, for the sake of sustaina-
bility, undertake to live a life of voluntary simplicity. This today is
real restraint, real prihatin: and is really valuable abstinence as it
also benefits the global community and the environment (Ray &
Anderson, 2000). If more people in the richer countries of the
world chose to live like this, especially in the USA (which has by
far the highest levels per head of material consumption in the
world, and is polluting the planet at catastrophic rates) others
around the developed world might follow such an excellent ex-
amplefor the benefit of all of us, of humankind.
The main focus of abstinence is in the management, you
might say, of our own lower (natural) energies. Remember the
biblical notion that G-d gave humans dominion over the natural
world? This today is causing the rape of the earth: but if we apply
this to ourselves, inwardlythat is, if you and I and everyone else
had dominion over our own animal, vegetal and material ener-

do to recover their health. But this is not a deliberate choice made from
the exercise of free will.


giesthen we would be less greedy, far less interested in material

possessions, less motivated to win and be successful. Then
(quite apart from the fact that we would use up far fewer re-
sources and the biosphere would become healthier) a lot more
people would be on the way to becoming more fully Human.
Finally, according to many ancient traditions of Self-
realization and more recently Pak Subuhs advice to individuals,
restraint and abstinence in all areas of life promote physical health,
consciousness, and more appropriately Human behaviours.

4. Creativity. By this I mean the intuition, the spark or germ

of a new idea that seems to arrive suddenly and unexpectedly in
our minds. This is a Four. Intelligence, reason and rational
thought all come from our animal-instinctive energies and are a
Three, and work on and with whatever knowledge already exists;
logic applies within an even more limited field, or our imagination
runs riot as its oppositeand both are Twos. Genuine fourth-level
creativity, though, comes upon us at unexpected moments as in-
spiration; it is the intuitionand perhaps the reception (from the
unconscious Human Spirit) of radical new ideas that may end up
on the leading edge of the humanities, arts, and sciences, fuelling
the development of human societies. Einstein once remarked that
his new ideas came to him when he was either in bed, in the bath-
room or at the bus stop. In other words, one of the features of
genuine creativity is its unexpectedness; a new ideafor a paint-
ing, a mathematical equation, a chemical formula, or a philo-
sophical notionjust arrives, you might say, from perhaps a mo-
mentary opening of the unconscious realms of our mind. Perhaps
this inspiration comes from some supernatural divine spark
within us, or perhaps just from the up-welling and workings of
our authentic Human Spirit which is usually covered up and im-
prisoned by our ego, our more ordinary self. I am thinking here,
for example, of the prophets of old, and of some break-through
scientific discoveries of the twentieth century.
Another phenomenon attributable to this unique quality of
creativity comes from what I called earlier Big Dreams. These,
too, may bring us a message from deep within our unconscious, or
some new and unexpected ideasideas that may benefit our own

lives or even those of others. Differing from our ordinary light

whimsical or worry dreams, these are gifts from our own Human
spirit, or perhaps from G-d or the universe beyond our everyday
selves, bringing us some special information or insight that we
need for our on-going development.
To Whitehead, that visionary philosopher of process, Cre-
ativity was an attribute of the divine. As he says,

In all philosophic theory there is an ultimate....In the

philosophy of organism this ultimate is termed creativity.
(Process and Reality, 1978: 7)

Finally, as this singular but very significant factor of Cre-

ativity must account for a large percentage of (or at least the
beginnings of) changes to human thought and culture, I think
there is little doubt that genuine Creativity is a specifically Human
phenomenon. Think of that stunning idea of turning the other
cheek: how that has changed humanity! So I shall categorise such
Creativity at least as an authenticand transcendentactivity of
the Human Spirit. And, as Fours are random wholes and open to
other, further development, often the insights that are given to
people are potentand potentialsfor change, as the Ones of
subsequent processes.

5. Self-knowing. Ive made up this term, and I use it to

mean both the act of self-examination and the fact of self-
knowledge. At this point I am tempted to reformulate the Socratic
saying to, The unexamined life is not only not worth living, it is
not yet Human.
Our darker, nastier impulses, originating from the often
wounded lower (plant and animal) energies in us, were largely
socialised out of usactually repressedin childhood: but they
still exist, deep within us, in the unconscious realms of our mind.
Jung calls this our shadow side. For us to become authentically
Human, these contents, long repressed, have to be brought out
into the open, piece by piece, and examined consciously. Face the
pain and go through it as the self-help books say.


Consciousness is therefore necessary for us, as, to become

fully Human, we need to know ourselves, warts and all. Medita-
tion may help us with this, as more certainly does the Subud
latihan spiritual training, by opening the unconscious and bringing
these shadowy lower impulsesdark and nasty, anti-social feel-
ings and thoughtsto consciousness, so we can actually see and
acknowledge them in ourselves.
Another tool for self-knowing is to noteand work on
those things which irritate us in other people. These of course are
usually things which we (unconsciously) dislike intensely about
ourselvesand have therefore repressedand yet still harbour
(unconsciously) in ourselves.
But: we are responsible individuallyand Humanly!for
examining and acknowledging the existence in us of all these
shadow elements, and even accepting them. In this way we learn
to control their influence on us, which dissipates their unconscious
power over us.
The point of doing all this is to release these things from their
imprisonment in our unconscious, and bring them up to conscious-
ness. We even have to forgive themand ourselves. And finally,
before they can be integrated, we have to learn to love them and
laugh at them as well as control them. Only then can our authentic
inner Self rise to consciousness.
Know thyself, said the inscription above the temple of the
oracle at Delphi, but back in the sixties hippies were even more
explicit: Know thyselfand love thy shit. And, if we would be
Human, we must above all take responsibility for the management
of these lower energies of ours and consciously use them to work
for us (and not unconsciously against us).
Jung talks, as I mentioned earlier, of the transcendent func-
tion within our psyche, which first awakens us and then leads us
on to more and more self-knowledge. I would guess that this is
also Pak Subuhs roh rohani, the spirit or soul of the higher (more
ethical, more spiritual) Human, beyond even the normal Human
energy, jasmani, which I have (incorrectly) called Spirit or soul.
Gurdjieff postulates two higher centres in us, of feeling and
thinking, which remain largely untapped but canhe saysbe


accessed occasionally after making super-efforts. These, I would

think, might occasionally make themselves known to us.
At any rate, hand in hand with self-examination come self-
knowledge, self-evaluation and self-acceptance: and eventually,
after enough purification, prihatin (abstinence, self-discipline, re-
straint) and rehabilitation have taken place, the integration of the
contents of the unconscious with the conscious occurs.
This effects a transformation in us, releasing all the energies
that have previously been used by the ego to keep the lid on the
Pandoras box of our unconscious, and allowing us to awaken to a
different level of consciousness and life, centred now on the
authentic, integrated Self. If you remember the Greek myth of
Pandora, the spites and furies were released when (against in-
structions) she opened the box, and they flew out to contaminate
humankind. But also in the box, right at the bottom, was Hope.
As an experience, this transformation cannot be appreciated
or even understood except as a theoryuntil it happens. If it hap-
pens: because this is not a natural part of our development. It is
something we ourselves have to undertake if we would become
wholeand Human. What this means in terms of the cosmologi-
cal pattern is that, from the Two of divided consciousness (as we
usually are from our teenage years on), we may, from working on
ourselves, and also from surrendering to the still higher energies
found in the Subud spiritual practice or training, become in our
forties or fifties an integrated, coherent Three.
From then on, we have easy access to our previously uncon-
scious realms and our own pribadi as Pak Subuh called it, our own
integrated and authentic inner Self.34 This is what finding your-
self means. Or Self-realization, when the integrated, indi-
viduated Self at last becomes real.
And with this third stage of personal process emerge dynam-
ism, free will, restraint, and the ability to organise our own natural
energies better. Being transcendent, one of the authentic Human

The modern Indonesian dictionary translations of pribadi are private
and personal, but as can be seen from the two earliest translations of
his book, Susila Budhi Dharma (1956 and 1959), Pak Subuh used this
term to mean the integrated, individuated self.


specialities isyou might saymanaging the animal, vegetal, and

material impulses in us. And this all helps to transform us from
ordinary people into fully Human beings. (From the Sanskrit ma-
nas, dont forget, we get the word manand also management.)
What this means is that we can change our own behaviours
and habits and even perhaps, by osmosis, those of others. And
even, although usually far more slowly and invisibly, of commu-
nities and eventually whole societies.
There is, however, a paradox here. The anti-social bits of
usthe vegetal energies and their manifestation in usdo not
disappear; they remain with us. I think it was Goethe who said,
There is everything that is human within me,meaning the bad
as well as the good. Yet, conscious of these lower vegetal and
animal energies as we have become, we are now able to subdue
and manage and even harness them. So, through the exercise of
the higher energy of the Human Spirit, once seen, these lower im-
pulses become useful to us in enabling us to live our lives as we

6. Ethics. This authentically Human ability to chooseand

changeour own habitual behaviours gives rise to ethics. By eth-
ics I dont mean morals; and I distinguish between them thus. By
morals I mean the behaviour which an individual has had im-
printed upon him or her by family, community, society and
culture, according to the mors or norms of different social
groups. There are, therefore, different moralities. And morality, as I
have just defined it, is a set of local, social-group norms corres-
ponding on the human level to the animals inherent (genetic) or
socially learned social-group behaviours. In this sense, morality is
the equivalent of animals instinctive behaviours, and is a Three.
By ethics, on the other hand, I mean a trans- or meta-morality
valid for all human beings. This may be arrived at by individuals
who, having examined their own socially-instilled morals, have
found themselves and moved on to a more objective and humane
set of values by which they choose to live. In this sense, ethics is a
step beyond our culturally acquired morals, and is freely chosen.
For example, although animals will feed others within their social
groups, no animal feeds a stranger; therefore feeding the

strangerthat is, hospitality to the stranger!and charity!are

specifically Human, capital H, conduct.
In short, all the different ethnic group moralitiesincluding
religious morals, together with the current Western, secular amor-
alityare socially-constructed animal-level phenomena in us,
Threes. Ethics (as I am defining it) on the other hand, is a con-
sciously chosen and adhered-to system of human values and
behaviours validas I hope we shall find laterfor all Humans at
all times. This would be a Four. At present there is no such thing:
ethicists, academics in the field of ethics, are struggling to pro-
duce one but, without a firm foundation, what can they do? Yet
Gaias Cosmology, with its skeleton and its different kinds of flesh
can provide such a foundation and thence the possibility of for-
mulating a globally valid ethic (see part 3 iii).

7. Spirituality. In a small village in the Cotswold hills in the

west of England some stone artefacts have been found that are
around five hundred thousand years old. Although they are
shaped like tools, they are more beautiful and more highly fin-
ished than tools, and in any case show no signs of wear and tear.
So they cant really have been tools. They seem to archaeologists
to have been made for ritualspiritualpurposes. It looks to me
as though one of the reasons that the evolution of animal-man into
homo sapiens occurred was that our earliest ancestors came with a
built-in religious sense, a sense of the existence of G-d, of spiritu-
In the National Museum in Merdeka Square in Jakarta there
are cases and cases of beautiful crystalline and other carefully
carved semi-precious stone adzes. These, too, were never made for
digging: they must have been sacred objects made for some un-
known kind of ritual or spiritual purpose. They were found in the
same strata as other, ordinary implements and human fossils from
the dawn of human life. Our early ancestors were spiritual human
I am using the simple term spirituality but in secular society
today it covers a wide range of things from all the great religions
to pagan (Nature) beliefs and ceremonies and even some of the
fashionable self-development courses.

We have to be careful, though, that magic is not involved.

There is a useful anthropological definition of magic as the wilful
manipulation of forces [i.e. energies] lower than the human,
whereas religion is allowing oneself to be manipulated by the for-
ces higher than the human. In this sense, anyone using their
consciously concentrated will to gain somethingeither for per-
sonal financial gain or any other type of self-interestis using
magic. Religion on the other hand means consciously surrender-
ing that same will of ours to some Higher, perhaps Ultimate, Spirit
or G-d. Thy Will be done, not mine.
Pagans revere and worship the Earth Mother and sometimes
to a lesser extent the Sky or Heaven Father. The great religions,
thoughor perhaps only Christianity and Islamcame to believe
Nature worship was evil. But worship is too strong a word here;
perhaps reverence is more appropriate, and certainly respect. (If
the earth were treated respectfully the environment would not be
in danger.) One of the pre-Christian symbols was the archetype of
the two-horned, antler-headed god which, like the yin-yang sym-
bol of two-in-one, meant the inseparable unity and wholeness of
Nature and Humans in G-d (Murray, 1960). The early Christian
fathers didnt like this, because they wanted to emphasise a trans-
cendent God; so they turned the two-horned god into the evil and
dualistic devil. But providing there is, as I say, no magicno con-
scious use of the will for selfish or destructive purposes
involved, today Paganism brings more awareness of the fragility
of the planet and her biosphere, and a consciousness of the natural
world that most people lack today. So Pagans (Crowley, 2001),
and now some Deep Ecologists (Croft, 2002; Macey, 1998) hold
rituals and ceremonies for healing Gaia, the earth and her bio-
sphere, which seem eminently spiritual.
The great religions, though, take no account of Gaia or
Mother Nature. Although they are spiritual in intent, spirit with-
out matteras is matter without spiritis only half the picture!
As David Suzuki emphasises (1997), a balance is needed which the
great religions have all but lost. There are so many religions
(Threes, as we saw earlier) each claiming to be the best one! And
there are plenty of people around, especially in the USA, who
with their heads in the cloudsinsist that Only this way, or Only

through Jesus, can spirituality or salvation (in other words, be-

coming fully Human, a Four) be achieved. Here again the Subud
spiritual movement with its spiritual juice brings renewed life
and balanceto our experience of religion, and gives deep in-
sights into their major commonalities, which really seem to be, as
the Buddhists say, just different paths up the mountain.
The mountain, I am suggesting, is the peak towards which
we strivethe achievement of integration in ourselves, and unity
with the cosmos: with Nature, man, and God. I think probably
few of us alive today are authentic Human beings. What we are,
most of us, is human becomings. And spirituality, which (as I am
defining it) lies not only within the religions but beyond their con-
fines, helps us to become fully Human; it is, therefore a Four.
Today there seems to be some general kind of renewal of in-
terest in spirituality (Tacey, 2003). Corporate executives are
meditating and grey-haired grannies are doing yoga. Mike King of
The Scientific and Medical Network has even coined the phrase
post-secular, which seems to be becoming quite acceptable as a
descriptive of our times.


Lets pause a moment now to look back at what we have

done. We looked first at the working of the three energies in every
woman and man that I call natural: and then at the fourth, the
Human level energy or spirit which is beyond them, finer and
more subtle, freer, more conscious and more active still.
Currently there is an ongoing debate as to whether human-
kind is (a) an integral part of Nature, or (b) above it and therefore
somehow separate from Nature. With the methodology we are
now using, it becomes obvious that the answer is of course both.
We are above itor more accurately our innate Human Spirit
allows us to transcend the limits of the natural worldyet we also
have the natural animal, vegetal and mineral within us. We are,
you might say, both literally and figuratively, made in the image of
I have taken a rather long way round to show you this vision
of what it means to be fully Human that Gaias cosmology gives


us. There is a much shorter and simpler way, though. I took the
long wayexamining in some detail the three lower (natural) en-
ergies and how they act within us, and also how they make us
actbecause these give us a clear picture of our human nature.
And we saw that, if we are to become genuinely Human, we must
learn to live and experience life beyond this. An authentic Human
being knows and controlsmanages really is a better word!his
or her lower forces, the animal, vegetal and mineral energies
within us, to live life more appropriately and transcendentally as a
fully Humanthat is humanebeing.
Once upon a time these ideas were known to some traditional
societies, but with the advent of the sciences the modern world
discarded them. Today, using the simplified versions of Professor
Alisjahbana, Pak Subuh, and E. F. Schumacher, we can return to
them, now shorn of layers and centuries of accumulated supersti-
tion. Yet it is, I believe, a fair comment on the state of the
industrialised world today to say that no known psychologist,
anthropologist or sociologist, no practitioner or theoretician of any
of the human sciences, subscribes to this simple method of describ-
ing Human being. Well, it is, indeed, a time of madness ...
What, though, is the short way roundthat I mentioned
earlier? It is this: simply take away from a person everything that
a highly intelligent animalsay, a primateis, has, and does. This
includes life, growth, communications, reproduction, parenting,
feelings, socialisation of offspring, and care for others in the social
group, social structures, intelligence, methods for obtaining food,
sleep and sex, territoriality, and nests in particular geographical
niches, some division of labour, and so on. What remains can only
be, as we have seen, purely, specifically Human. Even though we
function unconsciously for most of the time, we function largely as
animals, with all these characteristicsor, if we are consistently
self-interested, our vegetal energies may unbeknownst to us be
running our lives for us.
What also helps us to fulfil our potentials and become more
fully, authentically Human is, I think, the conscious effort (rather
than the socially-instilled habits) of practising the human virtues
based on authentic human values. Although I have mentioned this


already, there is still a lot more to say about it, as well see shortly
in Particle 3.iii.


From all this it looks very much as though, as I said just now,
we are not human beings at all; we are merely ordinary persons,
or people. If, though, we have been fortunate and met with some
spiritual path, we may be on our way: that is, we may be human
It seems clear that our common purpose, the purpose we are
all born with, is to become Humanor at the very least to set out on
a journey to become human. To quest, in other words. And, in
doing so, to learn to use and manage appropriatelyand thus
transformthe energies that are a very large part of our make-up.
Then these natural animal, vegetal and material energies in us be-
come subordinate to the Human spiritthe fourth quality
energyand we become, at last, fully Human.
I suspect, too, that each and every ethical decision, made con-
sciously, helps in this transformation process and that after a
while the sum of all these small decisions adds up quantitatively
to a major qualitative shift within us so we become, eventually,
individuatedintegratedand more fully Human. And only then
will we deserve the title human beings!
In this connection, let me tell you a story Pak Subuh once told
us to illustrate this principle. We go along day by day, he said,
living our ordinary life, and each time we make a conscious deci-
sion To Do the Right Thing, its as though we are given a little
piece of gold. Now, because its so small, we dont use this at the
time, but toss it aside (as it were) over our shoulder. And we walk
along, living our life, always doing our best, and earning these
little pieces of gold, which we dont get to use but put behind us.
Then one day we turn around: and there, in front of us now, is a
large pile of gold, which is oursbecause we have earned it. In other
words, the accumulation of what the Buddhists call merit pro-
ceeds slowly, and eventually at some critical mass point leads to
the relatively sudden emergencethe findingof the inner,
integrated Self.


Using the information the cosmological skeleton and the four

energies give us, it seems clear that the purpose of our life is trans-
formation. That is, to work towards becoming fully, authentically
Human, by doing the right thing morally and/or ethically.
The meaning of our life, though, is a different kettle of fish.
That only comes to us as individuals, probably when we are well
on the way to becoming Human; andunlike our purposethis
is different for every woman and every man. It depends, too, on
the exercise of our innate gifts and talentswhich are lying in our
unconscious, barely developed until we find ourselves and have
become more fully Human.
Even so this whole energic (energetic? energetical?) approach
to the psychology of humankind, to human nature and the
authentic Human condition, isI considera valid one. As
physicist Max Planck once said, Energy is the origin of matter.
Reality, true existence, is not matter, which is visible and perish-
able, but the invisible, immortal energythat is reality. If a great
physicist thinks that, then surely it is time we ordinary mortals
began to take energy seriously. And if it follows that everything
isas the hard sciences are saying todaymade up of different
forms of energy, then we really need to begin to Re-Envision our-
selves in those terms! In other words we need to look around us
with new eyes, and think hard about what these energies are and
what they are like.
I am suggesting that this holistic cosmological method, this
way of looking at human individuals as being made up of four
different qualities, types or classes of energies (three natural
plus one specifically Human), would be a simple, suitable and
practical holistic paradigm for psychology.



Particle 3.ii A greater framework: ontogeny,

phylogeny, and other stuff

Having looked at some of the implications of human life and

development according to Gaias cosmology, I have dis-covered
quite a lot for you about becoming and being fully Humanthat
is, the human condition. But what we also need to look at is hu-
mankinds place in the overall scheme of thingsthe human
situation. If we know (a) where we are, and (b) where we wantor
oughtto get to, then surely it is relatively easy to work out (c)
how to get there. What can Gaias Cosmology show us about this?
One of the bugbears of academics is ontogeny and phylog-
eny. This means the question of whether or not the life and
development of an individual (ontogeny) conforms to a similar
pattern in the history, life, and development of the human species
(phylogeny). This is evident, say some experts in evolutionary bi-
ology, in that human embryos go through distinct developmental
stages, including that of a fish and a tailed monkey. But what
about the rest of our (post-uterine) lifeand of human history?
Im going to look briefly at both ontogeny and phylogeny and
show how these, too, can be seen to conform to at least the early
stages of the four-stage pattern of process that I am calling Gaias
As I have been saying, it looks to me as if this simple univer-
sal pattern gives us a Greater Framework: and this we can use
now to show us how, as a species, we fit into the natural process
of the world, this planet. As you will see, turning now from the
concrete energies back to the abstract framework, a general pic-
ture begins to emerge of how we fit into the Grand Scheme of
things. And the question we have to ask is, Is there anything we
ought to be doing to fulfil our human responsibilities to the
planet? Gaias cosmology suggests there isand that we have
work to do. From all these accumulated indications, perhaps we
can glean some information about the ultimate meaning of Hu-
man life.
Here, then, in this second Particle of Part 3, I am venturing
for the first time to speculate, thinking beyond both the various

traditional concrete exemplars of the cosmology and the four en-

ergies that encourageand finally enableus to become fully
Human. So, basing my speculations firmly on the cosmological
foundation, well be touching on some more of the Big Questions
of human life and activity, of work and business, magic and
religion, science and spirit and self-developmentand how they
are all connected.
Although the cosmology is open to slight variations, I think
as I said earlier it shows us that the purpose of our life is to work
towards becoming fully Human. That is, self-development is our
common purpose, as so many New Age people proclaim. But
what, then, is the greater, overall purpose of this self-develop-
mentapart from benefiting us individually?
As we develop inwardly we do tend to become more aware
of connections between ourselves and the natural world, with
spiritual realms and/or G-d, and perhaps above all our relations
with other people improve. It gives us a broader outlook on
things, on everything. In waking upbringing up to conscious-
nessour innate talents and abilities, we are also more able to be
creative in service to others, and in improving the natural world at
large. And in this way perhapsdare I suggest it?we may even
extend and lend our creativity to the infant moon35, and perhaps
even the rest of the solar system. This, then would be the final,
greatest, Four; and if this speculation holds any water at all it
would add to the evidence for accepting the existence of the world
pattern of process as a Greater Frameworka unified paradigm, a
cosmology fit for Gaia.


Ontogeny: the four stages of a human life?

Looking at an individuals life, we can see that a human zy-
gotewhen a baby is first conceivedis indeed a cosmologically
first-stage cosmological being, a One, a Chaos of pure potential,
initially formless overall, and also at-one-with the mother. Together

Gurdjieff suggested that the moon was not a dead lump of rock but a
developing planet. But how could science know this, far less prove it?


they are a global whole, an undifferentiated random mass, a

One. Jung even goes so far as to link this first stage of a human life
with the prima materia, the inertia of primal matter (1960: 393).
But the physical separation that occurs at birth is not enough;
it doesnt ensure that a completely differentiated second stage of
Separation, Two, occurs. So after birth, the process of separation
of infant and mother continues, first with weaning and later on
still, emotionally. And, as the infant grows and develops into a
child and then into a teenager, more and more separation is taking
In industrialised societieswhere teenagers rebel against
their parents and, as soon as they can, leave homethe second
stage of development (Two), occurs almost automatically; but in
the non-industrialised world many young people and even adults
remain with and even entangled in the parental and family un-
conscious (Jung, 1954/1974). In this case little or no second stage
differentiation occurs. In the ancient past, during the dim history
of our species, perhaps this was even the norm in some tribal soci-
eties. However, in many others there were rituals, and sometimes
painful rites of passage, to make the transition from child to man
or woman quite distinct: thus distinguishing the second stage
Separation from the original undifferentiated prima materia.
Jung is somewhat scornful of modern education, saying that
the methodical teaching of the curriculum. is at most only half
the meaning of school. He goes on to say, though:

We need not concern ourselves so much with the amount of

specific information a child takes away with him from school;
the thing of vital importance is that the school should succeed
in freeing the young man (sic) from unconscious identity with his
family, and should make him properly conscious of himself.
Without this consciousness he will never know what he really
wants, but will always remain dependent and imitative, with
the feeling of being misunderstood and suppressed.
(1964: 56, my emphasis)

The second stage of the whole developmental process really

gets going some time around puberty and into adolescence, when
this separation of the child from his family begins to make itself


distinctly feltusually with arguments and conflicts. These, ac-

cording to the World Pattern, are appropriate and perhaps even
necessary to enable the child to free her- or himself: and to enable
the parents to let go! This is necessary insofar as children must de-
tach inwardly from their family if they are to develop their own
potentials and eventually come into their own individuality.
At the same time as this physical and emotional separation is
occurring outwardly, that is between the child and his or her par-
ents, another separation is taking place inwardly. The childs once
fully conscious psyche is slowly dividing into conscious and un-
conscious areas of his or her mind. A barrier between them
gradually is erected. (Remember Freuds iceberg metaphor?He
reckoned only ten percent of the adults mind is conscious: the rest
has become very largely unconscious.)
Here, then, is another exemplar of the second stage: of Sepa-
ration. The grown child is now quite separate from both his
parents and also from his own unconscious, inner life. Wordsworths
doors of perception have closed, and the various elements in the
young persons makeup resulting from this internal separation are
often in conflict with one another. This is the stage of the divided
self, the existential vacuum, the emptiness within. It is not a
comfortable stage and it may last a long timeeven, alas, for
many people, for the duration of their life span.
The third stage of the normal developmental process is some-
thing that modern societies are generally unaware of, although
psychologists know it well. It is when a person reaches integration
and wholeness in him- or herself. Jung calls this individuation (=
not dividable), and others the integration of the personality. I call
this third stage Union, as its coherent wholeness within the person
shows its connection (as a Three) with the World Pattern of pro-
cess. In a personif it occurs at allthe developmental process re-
integrates the conscious and unconscious realms of the mind, al-
lowing access now to the unconscious, and finding and
becoming ones own authentic Self, the inner pribadi that Pak
Subuh talked about. This, because of its internal integration and
cohesion, is stable: and it now displaces the ordinary fragile ego
from its once dominant position. Now this newly-found Self is the
centre of the individual, and enables various little previously con-

flicting parts of the personality to be centred on it, thus eliminat-

ing their power to distract us.
If it does occur, this event of developmental integration re-
leases so much energy that the individual usually experiences
some kind of rebirth. The arising of the Self from the unconscious
ensures that, unlike the constructed ego which is largely the pro-
duct of parental and cultural upbringing, the integrated
personality is now centred, stable, and dynamicand far more
natural in the sense that the adult person has now come back into
his or her original inheritancethe authentic selfbut now as a
coherent, holistic whole rather than the undifferentiated whole of
infancy. This third stage of development is also far more spiri-
tually-oriented because one feels re-connected, through what was
once unconscious, to both the natural world and the spiritual
realm. The meaning and purpose of ones existence is now known.
So here is the reborn, dynamic, and fully productive stage
Three adult, having attained individuationUnionwithin, now
working purposefully, and without inner conflict, towards some
perhaps worldly, service-oriented aim, or perhaps a more spiritual
one. Contentment is attained. (It is remarkable how Jungs percep-
tion of the structure of human life accords with the ancient
Javanese.) Whitehead calls this third stage of development the
Unfortunately, modern societies are largely ignorant of this third
developmental stage of human life, which tends to get started in peo-
ple between the ages of 4050, so the positive benefit of the so-
called mid-life crisis is usually lost, perhaps disguised and even
buried in a flurry of work, entertainment, or more harmful distrac-
tions from the main business of human life. And this, as we have
seen, is the effort of becoming more fully Human, balancing and
integrating the material with the spiritual and bringing more
light into oneself, ones Self, and thereby out into the ordinary
This, though, is not the end of the story. After all, even after
integration, we have only reached the third stage of the Cosmol-
ogy, conforming to animals and Air. However purposeful,
integrated and spiritually conscious we may now be, we may still
not be fully Humanand humane. So finally, perhaps towards

the end of this life of ours (or perhaps at, and/or following, death)
there is a further, fourth, stage of Human becoming, Transcend-
If accomplished before death, the fourth stage of the process
here would entail the abnegation of that same hard-won integrated
Self, the submission to greater purposes than ones own, the con-
scious decision to surrender as much as one can to the higher
purposes of society and/or of The Spirit, or G-d. At this time,
freedom, happiness, and faith in the beneficence of the universe
appear; the meaning of an individuals life is revealed, too, and fear
of death disappears. Often a commitment or dedication to some
finer, greater aim is made.
On the other hand, if the integrated, stage Three adult does
not achieve this fourth level of being during this life, I speculate
that death itself may enable such a transcendence. Or this may
even occurperhaps a wild idea this one, but scientific evidence
for the existence of a conscious Afterlife is growing dailyafter the
death of the physical body.
Whichever stage of process is reached, though, the format,
the developmental structure of the four stages of a human life, can
be seen to conform quite simply and easily to the four stages of the
cosmological skeleton, the great World Pattern of Process.


One more significant exemplar of Four seems to fit in here,

Jungs amazing Big Dream that he recorded in Memories, Dreams
and Reflections (1967). I bring this in now as it connects every one
of us into our hiddenancestralpast, and shows the difference
between the personal, ethnic/racial, and collective human areas of
the unconscious. Our souls, says Jung elsewhere, as well as our
bodies are composed of individual elements which were all al-
ready present in the ranks of our ancestors (1995:263). A little
earlier in the same book he remarks that what I had to communi-
cate to the world about the unconscious [is] a kind of pattern of
order and interpretation of its general contents (1995:217, my em-


The Big Dream (1967:182-185) Jung had showed him the lay-
ers of the unconscious and wasand I summarizeof his being in
a house which he didnt know, but which he knew was my house.
He was in a first floor salon that was furnished with fine old
pieces. Intrigued, he went down the staircase to investigate the
ground floor, where everything was much older....The furnish-
ings were medieval; the floors were of red brick. He explored
further and found a heavy door, beyond which was a stone stair-
way leading down into a cellar. Here he found a beautifully
vaulted room which looked exceedingly ancient...the walls, I dis-
covered...dated from Roman times. The floor was of stone slabs,
and in one of these was a ring which he lifted, disclosing another
stairway of narrow stone steps leading down into the depths.
This was a sort of cave, cut out of bedrock; thick dust lay on the
earthen floor; there were some very ancient pottery fragments,
and a couple of human skulls, half-disintegrated.

Figure 3: Jungs house


This, concluded Jung (1967:185), obviously pointed to the

foundations of cultural historya history of successive layers of
consciousness. My dream thus constituted a kind of structural
diagram of the human psyche. And, I might add, it corresponds
very well to our pattern of Fours.

Phylogeny: a brief history of humankind

Phylogeny, if Indonesian traditions can be believed, also fol-
lowson a far greater time scalethe same cosmological pattern
of process as ontogeny, the development of the individual. But are
traditions right? If we apply this to human history, how does it
In the days of our earliest ancestors, people lived in a state of
participation mystique, as Lucien Levy-Bruhl, one of the early an-
thropological greats, termed it. Those ancestors were at-one-with
the world; they were not only an intrinsic part of the natural order
but they experienced themselves belonging in Nature. No alienation
or existential angst there! They felt the spirits of rocks and trees
and animals and their ancestors; and they felt, too, the Spirit of G-d
working in themand quite probably they often mixed them all
up and confused them with one another.
Even today tribal and ordinary folk living in the rain-forests
of central Kalimantan, for instance, have not the impenetrable bar-
rier between the conscious and unconscious minds that plagues us
moderns. They dont suffer existential angst. They feel no inner
emptiness (or at least they dont until they go to school or leave
home): and they feel no emptiness, no vacuum inside them. Their
fears (living as they do without electric light) are more of the dark,
and the ghosts and the spirits that they perceive inhabiting it.
They are more receptive, in other words, to elements in their own
personal, and even in the collective, unconscious of their social
group. Overall this makes them more open, more sensitive to the
unconscious feelings of other people, and in a way far more spiri-
tuallyyet also spiritualistically (ghosts, nature and ancestral


Tribal peoples living in the few remaining rain forests in the

world, and also peasants and farmers growing crops and working
the land traditionally (i.e. without sitting in huge machines) do
have a wider and far more open perception of things. They may,
by our modern standards, be poor and own little: yet overall their
experience of life may be more holistic and in some ways richer
than ours. They may be gullible and easily led, but they belong on
the land or in the forest where they live, and they have a deeply
felt relationship to that territoryor what Australian Aborigines
call their countryand to the natural world. (What CEO or
secretary can say they belong to the concrete and steel office
block in which they work, or the third floor brick-and-glass walk-
up apartment in which they live?)
But there are disadvantages to this natural participation mys-
tique. For example, Indonesiansuntil very recently very largely a
peasant populationare notorious for their lack of a connection
with and respect for matter, money, and other things of the ma-
terial world. Generally speaking this also results in a lack of care
for tools and maintenance of machinery. In addition, there is little
self-knowledge andlacking a divided and critical mindthey
may not be too concerned with planning for the future.
What this participation mystique does not do is deny or inhibit
in any way a persons creativity and intelligence. Some of our
earliest ancestors must have been far more creative and far more
intelligent than most of us are today. When you consider some of
the feats that were achieved by pre-historic peoples, the lack of a
divided consciousness was obviously no handicap. Take the mega-
lithic works like Stonehenge of ancient Britain, the Sphinx and the
later pyramids of Egypt, and also the ability of early Pacific
Islanders to navigate their prahus to and from East Africa right
through the Indonesian archipelago, and so on. These achieve-
mentsand the precise knowledge of measurements,
mathematics and astronomy that must have had to accompany
them allprove that, however at-one-with the natural world those
people of old were, they were also highly intelligent and very cre-
Yet at sometime or other there was a definite change. The
original consciousness of belonging, of being at-one-with, part of

and participating in Nature and Spirit, became dividedinto the

modern consciousness we know today, and the unconscious.
When this happened is problematic, and different authors
have come up with different dates. Pak Takdir Alisjahbana, my
old boss, Rektor (Chancellor) of the Universitas Nasional in
Jakarta, believed it happened during what he called the Axis of
human history, around 600 B.C., when Buddha, Confucius, the
Hebrew prophets and Pythagoras and Zoroaster were alive and
teaching (1988). Joseph Campbell, the great mythologist, suggests
it was in Greece around 500 BC, when the great Goddess, or god-
desses, were replaced by maleand patriarchalgods.
Psychologist Julian Jaynes (1976) places The Great Dividethat is,
the origins of modern consciousnesssomewhat later, around 300
B.C. He suggests this date because it must have happened, he
says, somewhere in time between the creation of The Iliad (in
which people heard and obeyed the voices of ancestral spirits and
the gods) and The Odyssey (in which the returning Odysseus had
to make up his own mind, make his own decisions). Jung, on the
other hand, places it firmly with the coming of Christianity into
pagan Europe, roughly around 350400 CE. Other writers put it
as late as Francis Bacon and the onset of scientific observation and
Perhaps they are all rightor all wrong. The division of con-
sciousness seems unlikely to have been a hard-and-fast, once-and-
for-all, occurrence for all people at one time.36 So although the ac-
tual date seems problematic for academics and will probably
remain so, what is not debatable is that it did in fact happenand
gave modern people a rational, critical mind. With this, we gained
the ability to objectify the outer world, plan ahead for the future,
and invent and make increasingly complex tools and technology.
Yet at the same time we became even more cut off, alienated, from
the other realms around usboth natural and spiritual.
In any case, if you think of the four-stage Pattern of Process, it
seems clear that, overall, the world has today reached an extreme
state of stage Two, and Separation. That is, we are divorced from

We know, in fact, that it has not occurred in what I have been calling
traditional people, that is people as yet untouched by modern life.


our own Human spirit or soul and the rest of our unconscious,
and externally in the alienation of the modern mind from the
natural world, its subtle energies, spirits, and G-d. A hundred and
fifty years or so ago Nietzsche declared that God is deadbut
today it seems more likely that we modern people have become so
fragmented in ourselves and so cut off from everything that it is
our own perceptions that are dead.
At the same time science and technology have contributed in
all areas of human life to a fragmentation of destructive propor-
tions. Monstrous machines dig mile-wide mines and pits in the
body of the earth, monstrous women shop unceasingly for totally
unnecessary articles wasting finite natural resources, and mon-
strous men hitand sexually abusechildren. And perhaps most
globally destructive of all, monstrous multi-national corporations
and their greed for profits are shaping national politics, control-
ling the (supposedly free) press and media andall unseen
determining much of our daily life.
Humankind is now, it seems to me, within the last and
somewhat dangerous reaches of the transition area between stages
Two and Three: at the edge of history as someone remarked.
Structurally, this is often marked by some kind of Big Event. This
can go either way. Perhaps there will be a positive, metaphorical
implosion onward into a centred, third stage Union, into a brave
new world, a genuinely constructive postmodern and holistic
New Ageif the fragmented stage Two we live in now were to
implode37 into integrated wholeness and humankind become a coher-
ent, organised Three. Or perhaps, if there is not sufficient virtue
attained (of whatever this may consist) for an integration and syn-
thesis to occur, then an explosion which has negative results,
catapulting all and everything backwards into a first stage Onea
return to Chaoswill have to happen. As often and as much as
they show extremes in all their manifestations, even Twos have
limits. And as we are today, teetering on the very farthest edge of

Implosion is the opposite of explosion, and works inwards, centripe-
tally, resulting in a densification and/or a refinement of materials of a
poorer quality into something of greater worth. Implosion is found in
processes throughout the natural worldeg in plants, water, wind, and
other spiral phenomena (Cf. Coats 1996; Kronberger & Lattacher 1995).


Two, we cannot (I believe) know in advance which event it will be

for humankind. As Futurist Robert Theobald once remarked,
Things are getting worse and worse and better and better, faster
and fasterand the outcome is still in doubt.


To summarise: if we take the same fourfold pattern of Gaias

Cosmology and look at it on different scales, it looks as though the
overall historical development of humankind is following the
same overall pattern as the development of a personfrom con-
ception to newborn, to adolescence and on up to adulthood.
Jungs three stages of peoples normal psychological development
follow the same structural pattern of process, from an initial glo-
bal whole (One) to a divided self (Two) to integrated
individuation (Three)which gives us a reason for the phenom-
enon on the border between Two and Three of the mid-life crisis,
and a picture of how the overall development of an individuals
life ought to progress from the alienation and Separation of Two,
to that of psychological integration and Union, Three.
On the greater scale, of our species, historically we seem to
have come from a natural, primeval unity with Nature (One) to a
state of complete alienation and Separation from it (Two) today.
Further, we seem to be reaching a critical mass of tension and con-
flict today that must surely soon terminate. Will it be with a bang,
or a whimper? An implosionto wholeness, Threeor an explo-
sion back down to a more chaotic, perhaps primitive lifestyle,
One? I suspect, even as Gaia expresses her outrage through vio-
lent earthquakes and ever more destructive floods, droughts and
hurricanes, that a very differentbut as yet undetermined
future lies ahead.
Although in general we seem only to have reached stage
Two (with the happy exception of some integrated individuals
who may have become individuated and are already Threes) per-
haps we can see where, as a species, we ought to be aimingif,
that is, we would comply with the Upward Trend of negative en-
tropy and Whiteheads creative advance into a more balanced and
holistic lifestyle.


Here I would like to pose a question. Is there any connec-

tioncould there be any connection?between the number, or
quantity, of individuals becoming individuated, coherent wholes,
Threes, and the future holism and health of Humankind? If be-
yond One, the physical material energy of the visible world,
there are at least three other unseen realmsof the vegetal, animal
and Human energiesas there must be if everything is energy
then we might expect (though I cannot begin to prove) there
would be a connection between the existence of a certain quantity
of integrated individuals, and an emergent shift of quality for Hu-
mankind, from Two to Three. Would a critical mass do it?


Where are we now?

American sociologists Paul H. Ray and Sherry Anderson
present in an inspiring book many instances and examples of a
shift of paradigm into something much more holistic. Their book
is called Cultural Creatives: How Fifty Million People are Changing the
World (2000) and it documents how the beatniks and the flower
children and the hippies of the sixties started a societal sea-
change into a more naturaland balanced and holisticlifestyle.
They estimate, through gathering a great deal of statistical infor-
mation, that this has now led in the USA alone to about one fifth
of the population changing their lives and adopting different,
simpler methods of more sustainable living.
The only thing missing, say the authors, is the knowledge
that theythese fifty million people in the USAare not going it
aloneas they all think they are. If they began to coalesce and co-
operate, thenthe authors suggestthe world could really
change, developing into a holistic, viable, and sustainable mode.
However, as we have had to admit (in Particle 2.iii and in
Particle 3.i) that so much of human life is made up of invisible en-
ergies, I am even more optimistic: personally I dont believe that
everyone needs to coalesce and work together in order for hu-
mankind and the world to move on and come together as a whole,
and holistically, a Three. It looks to me as though (providing we


do our part, and well come to that shortly) the three unseen
subtle energiesLife, Will or purpose, and the Human spirit or
consciousnessare capable, beyond the realm of mere visible
matter, of effecting large-scale changeswithout being seen or
noticed to be doing so.
Another inspiring and helpful book in this context is Soulu-
tions: the Holistic Manifesto (2004), by William Bloom, of
Glastonbury in the UK. He also documents many changes and
moves towards Holism, and suggests a lot more trends and sou-
lutions that could help ease our transition into a holistic
paradigm, a Three in my terms. His book includes documents
such as The Earth Charter, and the Universal Declaration of Hu-
man Rights, which all help to point the way to a more humane
and holistic world.
I look on these two books as hopeful signs that there is still
time to heal our world, and that perhaps the present older genera-
tion, the baby-boomers generation that grew up to adulthood in
the second half of the twentieth century, may have been the last
vestige and final fling so to speak of Twothat is, experiencing
little but the forces of division and fragmentation of the world and
everything in it. Yet Ray and Anderson, and on another continent
Bloom, are evidencesigns! omens!that not everything is rotten
in the state of Denmark: and that (in spite of the gloom and doom
of the mass media) there are indeed valid reasons for hope.
On the other hand, although these authors document many
examples of constructive things that are happening, and suggest
even more ideas for a paradigm shift into a more holistic world,
neither book suggests a Greater Framework, a Theory of Every-
thinga cosmology fit for Gaia!that would facilitate and enable
a world-wide move on to a holistic paradigm, a coherent Three.
I also think that Blooms version of spirituality isnt very
helpful, as its just a rather vague and somewhat ineffectual return
to a love of Nature. (Subud, through its contact with some kind of
divine Power seems, to me, to offer a far more effective and practi-
cal method of developing spirituality.) But I also agree with his
principle: that, for our sanity, all of us who live in the cities and
suburbs of the industrialised world need to get back more in touch
with Nature to stay healthy.

Now, acknowledging where we are today, inspite of the evi-

dence of these two very constructive books, we must remember
that there are also some terrible things going on: because the sec-
ond stage and category of the Greater Framework is the one where
all extremes tend to occur. And, for a start, there is an enormous
quantity of totally unnecessary international cartage and travel
going on today. This is seriously expensive in terms of fossil fuels,
metals, and other non-renewable resources, let alone the immeas-
urable cost in pollution. So lets take a look at just one particular
thing, a trivial but dangerous example of one of the absurdities
that economic rationalism brings usand that we live with,
thoughtlessly, todaywhich is helping destroy the environment.
Bottled drinking water: all up, we drank some 154 billion
litres in 2004and that is increasing yearly. An article in the UK
Independent of 12th February 2006 said: Eau, No: Clean, healthy
and pure? Hardly. Bottled water is killing the planet. Apparently
it costs 10,000 times more to produce the bottled version than it
does to produce tap water; the plastic bottles its put into may take
up to 1,000 years to biodegrade, and in industrialised countries
bottled water is no better than tap water.
Based on a study by Emily Arnold for the Earth Policy Insti-
tute, the article goes on to say, tap water is delivered through an
energy-efficient infrastructure, whereas bottled water is often
shipped halfway across the world. In doing so, obviously huge
and unnecessaryamounts of fossil fuels are not only wasted but
add a lot to global warming. And look at this:

In 2004, for example, Finnish company Nord Water sent 1.4

million bottles of Helsinki tap water to a client in Saudi Arabia.
In the same year, producing the plastic bottles that delivered 26
billion litres of water to Americans required more than 1.5
million barrels of oilenough to fuel 100,000 cars for a year.
(Arnold, 2006)

Dr. Michael Warhurst, Friends of the Earths senior waste

campaigner, said about bottled water: It is another product we do
not need. Bottled water companies are wasting resources and ex-
acerbating climate change. Transport is the fastest growing source
of greenhouse gas emissions, and transporting water adds to that.


We could all help reduce these damaging effects if we all simply

drank water straight from the tap.
Well, this is just one example of the madness of the modern
world, and the extremes of Stage Two: basically because people,
companies and corporations only want to make money, and dont
care about the overall picturethe environment. Yet, as I say, this
is dangerous stuff and, if we want our children and grandchildren
to survive, needs to be changed.
Another thing: a few decades or so ago the only way of com-
municating with family, friends, or colleagues who lived in other
countries was by phone (which was really expensive in those
days), cable (telegraph) ditto, or by slow postal mail. Now, with e-
mail and the internet we are far more connected with others. So
do we really need to travel so much? Perhaps whenifwe
reached Three, in ourselves, we would no longer feel the need to
travel overseas as a way of escaping from our own inner empti-
nessor, alternatively, of going in search of ourselves, and other
solutions to our alienation. Also, with the movement of people
from various developing countries into the developed countries,
there would no longer be a need to travel for the sake of experi-
encing and learning about other cultures.38
So perhaps, whenifhumankind implodes into wholeness,
completion, Three, I think we wont feel the need to travel so
much; we may be more inclined to save the money and resources
and stay home, discovering the inner reaches of our own uncon-
scious and the lesser known corners of our own country, adding
to our own high culture and, at the same time, working to help
improve the lot both of those who need help physically, emotion-
ally and mentally: and of the human social organism (community)
as well. After all, as Margaret Mead has famously said, Never
doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can
change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.

A month or two after writing this, an article appeared in The Australian,
of January 28th 2006, taken from The Times of London, headlined: By
2055, travel will be a rare luxury. The idea, however, was based on lack
of oil.


A holistic world?
So this is what might come to pass whenifhumankind
becomes a Three: in other words, when we become, as a society,
more organic, better organised, more coherent, more holistic,
more stable and less extreme. Overall, the state of the world at
Three would be very different from what it is today.
Lets take a quick look at this nowreferring back to our
description of A Whole in Part 2, Particle viand speculate (yet
based firmly on the foundation of Gaias Cosmology) what a ho-
listic world would actually be like.
For a start, the whole (the planet) would have integral parts
(the different nations) and these would, in turn, have within them
their particles (the states or regions within each nation). Both
nations and states would have to be, as much as possible, self-
sustaining, yet being just as the organs of our own body areall
of them separate, and different, and yet functioning and working
together to keep the wholeno less than the parts themselves
alive and healthy. I want to emphasis this here, as does evolution-
ary biologist Elisabet Sahtouris in her book Earthdance: Living
Systems in Evolution (1999), that Gaia cannot become a coherent
whole until all the parts (all the different nations) are healthy.
That means the developed world needsfor its own sake, if noth-
ing elseto (a) devote far more time, money and resources to
helping the lesser developed nations to help themselves; (b) forego
the international fiscal policies that, through the auspices of the
World Trade Organisation and other equally nocuous organisa-
tions, have destroyed so much of the developing worlds natural
economies; and (c) focus on helping their own poor, and becoming
sustainable themselves in their own backyards.
Of course, as with our own organs which dont have every-
thing they need, there would have to bein this holistic world, at
Threesome inter-state and international trade. But only of things
that could not be produced or manufactured in-state, or within the na-
tion. In other words, each state within a country wouldas much
as possiblegrow its own food, manufacture its own goods, and
service its own population. Only if this were not possible would
inter-state or international trade be acceptablerather as our


blood carries nutrients and hormones to the organs of our body

that cannot produce them for themselves.
Two other metaphors for thinking about a holistic world as a
unified body bring us the idea first of energy inputs (food/fuel)
and outputs (wastes). The vast quantities of sunlight pouring en-
ergy onto the earth would give us inputfoodin unlimited
quantities if we harnessed it effectively. As for outputs, I have two
very wild ideas. One is that all wastes (from agriculture, manufac-
turing, transport systems, etc) will have to be so treated that they
become the necessary ingredients of other systems (perhaps also
agricultural and/or manufacturing, etc!).
The other is that humankindas Gurdjieff used to say
normally produces a certain quantity of consciousness: and that
to keep things in process and running smoothly we must, some-
how, produce more of this. The management and transformation
of the energies in us is, as we saw earlier, the main business of
humankind (that is, serious spirituality). Perhaps what we need to
do now is just do a lot more of itand create a lot more con-
All this is speculation. But now lets go back now to thinking
about the ordinary world and its becoming a coherent whole, a
Three. Although the aim would be to have entirely self-sustaining
parts (whether states or nations), as not all of them would have
the resourcessayto mine minerals there would have to be a
certain amount of exchange, especially of natural resources. But
the import of goods that could be made within the state or within
the borders of the nation would stop. This would ensure, for in-
stance, that child-labour, today employed in third world nations
to make cheaper shoes, textiles, clothing and furniture so the al-
ready wealthy inhabitants of developed countries can buy goods
at lower prices, would cease. This would put up the prices in the
developed nations, so people would buy far lessonly what they
needed, Mr. Gandhi, instead of what they wantedand this in turn
would relieve the heavy and unnecessary drain on the worlds
non-renewable resources. And all this would help wages equalise,
giving people in developing countries a chance to improve their
material circumstances.


Today, with industries beginning to buy carbon credits to off-

set their pollutants, we have already made a slight beginning with
the process of becoming a more holistic world, although ideally
every industrys waste output would become another industrys
useful input, as I suggested aboveand thus pollutants would
cease to exist.
As I mentioned earlier, in Earthdance, Elisabet Sahtouris
points out that if we dont take care of other less-developed count-
ries, and help to ensure some increase in equity all over the
inhabited globe, it is like ignoring a sick part of our own body
and will only lead, perhaps inevitably, to more dis-ease of the
whole. I hate to preach about this, but it looks to me
cosmologicallyas though, if we of the developed world continue
to hoard our wealth and dont use it to assist developing nations
to help themselves, then we will suffer. Nature has a way of ensur-
ing balance and equity, and if we dont fix things, then I rather
suspect She willwhether this occurs through natural disasters,
plagues and pandemics, or simply through more terrorist attacks
on Western cities. Or, more likely, all of these.
But instead of speculating any further, lets look back at the
characteristics of A Whole that we formulated in Part 2, Particle
vi, and see how these would apply to a holistic future for human-
kind and the earth.
The major characteristic of a whole, we found, is (i) a unified
system with a minimum of three parts. On one scale, this would
simply be the many separate nations (naturally Three in their own
rights but as parts of a greater whole, Twos)in which case there
would have to be a greater, over-arching Something or System
(Three) under which they would work co-operatively together.
This might perhaps be a renewed and active United Nations or
some other form of world government. Alternatively, the co-
ordinating factor could be a (ii) nucleus, a core or central co-
ordinating factor, a heart (a different Three) such as a universal
holistic belief system (like this Gaian cosmology). Dont misunder-
stand me: I am just throwing up a few ideas here: the skeleton I
took so much time articulating in Part 2 above allows for different


One other thing worth remembering here is that a whole is

greater than the sum of its parts, and the parts function and work
together for a purpose, within a greater framework. It may sound
absurd at the present state of things, when daily life seems to be
going on as usual, but one day soon we may indeed need to find
a greater common purpose, simply to ensure the survival of our
species and/or our current life-style. Perhaps sustainability is it.
The other characteristics of a wholeboundaried, enduring
in time, dynamic, and existing within a greater contextall seem
to fall into place here. The exception is the context: but I shall de-
sist from speculating about this here.
While I am on the speculative track, let me suggest a few
more detailed changes that will probably need to happen if hu-
mankind is to move on to become a genuinely united whole. First
is in the relation of elected governments to powerful big busines-
ses. At present, multi-national corporations dictate their terms:
and national governments submit to them. For the world to be-
come a united, coherent whole, a Three, national borders must be
more rigorously respected and become less porous, and multi-
nationals become simple nationalsonly active within a single
country. This would allow governments (Threes) more choice and
more power to enact positive changes for their populations.
Another change in governance that needs to occur in order
for our world to become an organised, coherent Three is, I think,
in the formation of the Cabinet and in the number of ministries.
There need be only fourconforming to the cosmology, of course!
I quote:

A Minister of Power, Industry and Commerce (Material), a

Minister of Food and Agriculture (Vegetal), a Minister of Police
and the Armed Forces (Animal), a Minister of Justice and
Education (Human) and the Prime Minister.
(Pak Subuh in Vittachi, 1971)

In other words, everything possible would be concentrated

within a nations borders, and the armed forces would exist only
for defending those borders, as Pak Subuh remarked later. The
Prime Minister would be responsible for external relationsi.e.
foreign affairsas this would be beyond the scope of the normal

internal workings of nations. And s/he, together with all the

Prime Ministers or Presidents of other nations, would act as the
World Parliament. This United Nations would not, therefore, be
the huge and ineffective body it is today but a far smaller one,
merely for overseeing the organisation of its nation-states, and
responsible only for international services such as monitoring pol-
lution, communications and, most essentially, the equitable
distribution of resources.
All this, I have to admit, is highly idealistic and seems un-
likely to occur! But, we have to have a Vision, something to work
towards. And, somehow or other, we have to stop the relentless
decay of our environmentthe natural worldand while doing
so close the ghastly gap between the very rich and the very poor.
If we dont stop at least the insane consumerism of the in-
dustrialised world and work towards a more just society for third
world countriesand a more holistic and healthier lifestyle for us
in the Westwe may not survive the coming climate changes that
a polluted planet is already beginning to inflict upon us.
So sustainability is, I think, a necessary aim for us today: and
any moves in this direction will also work towards the re-uniting
of the human race with Gaia, our earthy mother, into a holistic
world. Only this time it willInsha Allah, and Deo volentebe a
coherent, organised Union (Three) rather than a regression to a
more primitive, unconscious, undifferentiated, chaotic unity
Even if we attain Three, we still wont have come into Four. If
ever that happens, and we havent destroyed ourselves first, hu-
mankind will overall thenaccording to the World Pattern
become at last humane: that is, equitable, tolerant and compas-
sionate towards people of all races and nations, foregoing
personal hoarding, and helping those individuals and communi-
ties that are still in need. That, however, is a mere dream for the
perhaps far distant future. Whereas what we need to do first of all,
to save the biosphere for our grandchildren, is to Re-Envision our
world and ourselves now as one coherent whole.


The end of morality?

This question is not a red herring. If we are to save human-
kind, the changes will be brought about by people, and at present
people have different moralities. Yet, if the skeleton of the cosmology
is valid, and the four energies are what the natural worldand
weare in fact made up of, then we can look at all human behav-
iours in terms of energies. Am I acting now from my humane and
ethical Human spirit, or from my selfish vegetal energies? Or per-
haps from my helpful but domineering animal-level energies?
When stopping at traffic lights, I often think that we obey
these signs for our own benefit. Yet today we rarely think that obey-
ing laws, or obeying the ten biblical commandments (say), is also
for our own benefit. All too often our criterion for not behaving
badly today is simply, Will I be found outor not? In addition,
apart from some not always trustworthy religious leaders, who is
to judge what behaving badly means?
What I think is needed today is a simple code of behaviour,
something as simple and as clear as traffic lights. And I suggest
that, although Gaias Cosmology may still seem complex to you at
this point in time, it is actually very very simpleonce you can
see it; once, that is, that you have foursight and a fourfold vision.
Believe it or not, this leads to behavioural signs as clear and as
obvious as traffic lights.
In short, this method of evaluationas to whether my behav-
iour (and yours) is animal, vegetal or material or whether it more
appropriately comes from my authentic Human spiritis ex-
tremely simple and holistic. It could also mark the end of the
dualistic good versus evil moralityaccording to any one of the
different religionsand inaugurate the beginning of a sensible
and rational system of ethics, valid globally. We might even be
able, one day, to put aside those difficult terms good and evil
and instead learn to look at all behaviours in terms of higher,
helpful and constructive or, on the other hand, lower, harm-
ful and destructive.
Such a global ethic, based only on observations of the natural
world and this simple, visible, fourfold cosmological pattern of


process, would be valid for all peopleregardless of their origins,

their religious beliefs or their culturally-inherited morality.
In this, I consider, lies the value and even the necessity of
what the Two of todays fragmented, secular society has brought
us: the ability to look beyond (perhaps, more likely, beneath!) our
many different ethnic and/or religious belief systems to Nature.
That is, to the four visible levels of existence, and the four classes
of energies of which they are composed. Secular society has freed
us to see in the visible worldand therefore cross-culturallynot
only the four different types and qualities of behaviours (the rare
authentically Human, and the natural animal, vegetal and ma-
terial qualities of behaviour) but as we shall see in the next
Particle, a criteriona set of traffic lightsto guide us in our life.
In addition, we alleveryone, from every culturelive be-
neath the sky, bright in the day and starlit at night. This fact
serves, I think, to remind us that a single Four is not all, and that
there are still greater realmsand presumably greater Fours
stillbeyond our planet. And, of course, beyond that there is the
solar system and its place in the galaxy. So, to me, it looks as
though the visible things we all have in common may yet show us
all a more harmonious way of living together on this planet with
people of different religions and cultures. And then we might well
begin to live and work together as a single, united, whole and
with Mother Earthmove into being a Three.


So, overall, what seems evident now from the cosmological

framework, is that, in order to save ourselves and the envi-
ronment, we ought to try and work on ourselves, individually,
spiritually, towards integration withinand towards sustainable
living, and justice for developing nations, without. In this way
wehumankindwould be more likely to move into alignment
with the next developmental stage, Three, of the Grand Pattern of
process. That is, into Union, humankind with Gaia. By becoming
more attuned to the pattern, and becoming a more coherent, ho-
listic, wholea healthier whole!we could, I think, avoid a
catastrophic decay back into a chaotic, undifferentiated One.


To this end, then, we can use this simple cosmology as a con-

ceptual synthesis, and put it to work to show us individually what
we need to do, and how to elicit some qualitative values from the
facts of the natural world. This, however heretical, may be the
most significant benefit of Re-Envisioning our selves, humankind,
and our world according to Gaias cosmology. This needs a whole
other section, though, so we shall move on now to look more
closely at some human values in its light.



Particle 3.iii On human values: good, evil,

ethics, conscience, and happiness
When I was young, my parents dinned values into me. They
didnt give me reasons, though. They couldnt tell me why, or even
what these precious values were except honesty, sincerity and
helping other peoplebecause we are all there is. Possessions
dont bring happiness, they said. Being good to others is more im-
portant than making money. Work hard, and youll get what you
need. Good values are the most important thing in life. And they
had adopted Mahatma Gandhis Needs, not wants as a sort of
creed. These were the values that, in their day, were Truths and
hadnt yet been demoted to clichs.
Yet, whatever our parents and our upbringing instilled into
us as children, and whatever philosophers, theologians and axio-
logists (experts in values theory!) try and tell us today, people
who question and discuss these thing have no foundation on
which to work out what the genuinely human virtues and the
values which lie behind them are. Without a coherent cosmology
there is no rational basis for any pronouncements about values.
When I began to write on education, my first paper was
about values. This was in November 1976 when I was teaching
Indonesian culture to high school students at the Jakarta Interna-
tional School and Im not ashamed to say I remember it fondly. It
was called The Teaching of Values through Art in Central Java. But
although it was interestingpartly because it pointed out how
the West has forgotten the main function and purpose of the
artsit didnt have a leg to stand on. There was no rational basis
for the values I was writing about; it was all traditions, and feudal
Javanese traditions at that; and there was no way a universal ethic
could be based on them. So again, there was no why, no rational
foundation for the values or their outward expression in behav-
ioursthe virtuesthey promoted.
In our current context, with politicians posturing and floun-
dering, and yet trying to create a favourable impression on their
electorates, we desperately need a sensible, rational basis for ac-
tion. In other words, without a common, shared, inherited


knowledge of good and evil, we need a simple universal criterion

for judging what is right and what is wrong.
Yet how can we acquire this? Where can we find criteria that
are truly universal, that are accessible and meaningful and rel-
evant to everyone? Lets look beyond the received teachings of the
different great religions now to a different and more holistic idea,
taken from the natural world. We all live on the same planet and,
although our cultures may be very different, we are all visibly
humanand we all share the planet with members of the animal
kingdoms, the vegetable realm and minerals or material things.
And even though my little patch of the planet may be different
from yours, we all live under the sun, the moon and the starry
night sky. We have a lot in common!
Therefore, rather than the old cultural dualities of right or
good versus wrong, bad or evil, I think would be more bene-
ficial to us all if we could instead learn to think in terms of what is
qualitatively higher or qualitatively lower in the natural order of things.
That is, in the Chain of Being. What is highermore helpful and
socially constructive?and what is more harmful and destruc-
tive? No longer good or evil but helpful or harmful. So what I
am suggesting is not a black and white list of moral goods and
moral evils, but a naturally graduated scale of sociallyeven uni-
versallyconstructive values. This is publicly available (visible in
the natural world) and accessible for everyone: and, like the traffic
lights, simple enough for everyone interested in ethical questions
to learn to understand and use. Which, I think, includes most of us
if not all.
So lets look now at Gaias Cosmology and how it could be
used as a practical tool for everyoneprinces, presidents, prime
ministers and ordinary people, everyone from Afghanis to Zim-
babweansas a criterion not of good and evil, but of constructive
and destructive behaviours. Can the cosmology give us some
guidelines for such a universal system of values?
Yes it can. As we have seen, the cosmology itselfas a ma-
trix, as a metaphorical four-drawer filing cabinetprovides a
simple yet holistic conceptual framework. This tool we can now
use to set up some guidelines for working out what the authenti-
cally Human values are, as well as seeing lower-level values for

what they are, too. With this, we will have a universal criterion for
rational evaluation and judgement that can be used by anyone, of
any culture or belief-system.
To do this we must switch metaphors, and use Four, that
top drawer or category which has in it Humankind, Light, and
the outcomes, consequences and end results of processes, and all
non-utilitarianincluding, particularly, transcendentpheno-
mena, as a very wide-mesh sieve. (In fact, we can put the entire skele-
ton of Gaias Cosmology to work as a methodology for evaluating
the various virtues and values and their opposites. But well come
to that.) By sifting the virtues and the values, so to speak, we can
find out which of them are really large enough to stay in Four
without falling down through the mesh to the lower levelsand
also where the lesser, lower values and actions of Three, Two, and
One (animal, vegetal and material) fit in, belonging on one of the
earlier stages of evolution.
A simpler method (reverting to the filing cabinet and forget-
ting the sieve metaphor) might simply be to list all the concepts
which dont apply to either Ones, Twos or Threes. In other
words, leave out all the material values of One; all the vege-
tal/personal-survival values of Two; all the collective animal,
communal, national and patriotic values of Three. We would then
be left with the non-utilitarian, the non-collective and the unnatu-
ralthat is, literally, the super-naturaland authentically
Human values, the only ones that will fit in this top drawer of the
filing cabinet. While doing this, though, we should not forget the
qualities of other inhabitants of that drawer, such as Light, spiri-
tuality, possibilities for the future, and so on.
The simpler method works all right; but using the entire
comparative methodology is more Holistic. It adds another di-
mension, gives us a richer picture, a thick description as
anthropologist Clifford Geertz calls it, of the virtues and values:
and it also helps to fill out and refine even more details of the pro-
cessual Cosmology as a whole.


The seven traditional virtues

To begin the work of sorting and sieving, lets first look and
see which of the traditional Virtues would slot comfortably in
Four. The virtues are not the same as human values, but they are
behaviours that assume some underlying principles by which
many cultures and civilisations have lived; to that extent I am
treating them in the same way as those principles, the human
values. The seven traditional virtues of the Western world are
faith, hope, charity, prudence, justice, temperance and fortitude.
Do these all have a human quality, are they Foursor are some of
them Threes or lower? Lets look at the most famous three, the
Christian (or at least Pauline) theological virtues, first.

1. Faith. Unfortunately, a lot depends on what you mean by

this word, on its definition. There is still a lot we dont know. Do
animals have faith?we just dont know. They have trust, obvi-
ously: a dog trusts its ownerbut is this faith? I would like to
suggest that trust belongs in Three because it implies dependence
and trust in a known and visible authority, whereas faith, genuine
Faith, belongs in Four because it implies dependence on, or at
least the acknowledgment of the existence and presence of, an un-
known and unseen but beneficent spiritual Other.
Belief, in my opinion, is for the tooth fairy. Believing this
that or the other does not mean we have to alter our ordinary be-
haviour. (Plenty of people claim to believe in G-d, yet go about
their daily business without taking an Afterlife or some other form
of divine or ultimate justice into account.) Jung, giving his
Tavistock Lectures in London in l936, when asked if he believed in
G-d, said baldly, No. I do not believe in God. I know. And such
knowing is what I take it that Faith means. It is a solid core of
conviction, based on non-sensual experience: that is, on the experi-
ence of some greater, wiser, more conscious Somethingan
Energy, surely?that I will have to label the Spirit, the Great Life
Force, or perhaps just G-d.
Basically we are, without doubt, biological and social ani-
mals: but if and when we attempt to live a finer, more ethical and
even a more spiritual life, in order to become fully Human, we


mustI thinkhave some kind of Faith that there is Something

out there. That is, assuming there exist the higher, wiser and more
capable powers of some invisible and beneficent Spirit. The convic-
tion that G-d, or at least the Universeor some other Great and
Good Something wiser and more conscious than we arewishes
us well and wants to aid us, is necessary for the spiritual journey.
An old Indonesian saying sums this up neatly: The more you re-
member God, the more It remembers you. And, if we have faith in
this, It becomesI suspectmore and more capable of lifting us
up out of our mundane little lives, and of helping us to live more
fully Human, humane, livesand even enabling us to move on
after death to other, finer, realms. Put it the other way round: per-
haps the more we have Faith, the more proof we can be given that
G-d exists.
However, it goes without saying that if one has no Faith,
however much one may want it or even long for it, one cannot just
get it by saying abracadabra and snapping ones fingers. This is
quite another question, though, and Ill discuss it later.
All this being so, Faith, as I have sketched it here, is definitely
a Four and an authentically human virtueand a great, but often
illusive, value.

2. Hope. Is hope a Four? The Arabs have a saying, He who

has health has hope, and he who has hope has everything. Again,
though, we dont know whether or not animals have hope. Hope
implies a future; do animals have any concept of the future? Do
they look ahead? Chimpanzees have been known to pick up a
stick and, in one observed case, to carry it for nearly a kilometre
before arriving at a termite mound. Perhaps they did think of the
future benefit of having that stick. Was it an expectation that there
would be food at the end of the long walk with the stick? Or did
they just pick it up, as children will often do, simply because it
feels good while you walk to hold something in your hand to
swish around? At this stage, we dont know enough about ani-
mals. But to distinguish between this kind of hope of a concrete
result and a less tangible one, I would like to use the word expec-
tation for the chimp, and leave Hope with a capital H for the
Human level.

Hope implies some kind of positive vision of the future. And

not only a future, but a better futurewalking towards the light at
the end of the tunnel, the improvement of our present situation.
Hope, like optimism, draws us on to the unseen and unknown
beyond ourselves. All of which I think makes this an authentic
Human virtueand therefore a Four.

3. Charity. This is more obviously a Four. Altruism is known

in animals: there are many recorded instances of animals working
together and helping one another within their own social group.39
But no animal, apart from known cases in thoroughly do-
mesticated pets, seems to help or give food to peers or even
relatives in other social groups.
Nor is reciprocity the same as charity. Giving me a gift so that
I feel obliged to return the favour another day is a Two. There is a
debtwhether material or moralincurred in receiving gifts or
favours from friends and neighbours. Some cultures, like the
Japanese for example, have extremely subtle and sophisticated
customs of individual reciprocity; but as well as promoting social
and communal well-being they are usually done with the idea in
mind of a certain benefit to the giver. And charity done to clear
an uneasy conscience or even just to make oneself feel good is a
Twobecause it is done to benefit the giver. Giving out of a sense
of sympathy and kindness (kin and kindness are related
words), and for other social reasons, though, is a Three, as it pro-
motes the communitys well-beingand reinforces its hierarchic
structure. Only the disinterested compassion that promotes the giv-
ing of alms, charity and even the famous Bedouin hospitality to a
strangerhelping others with no expectation whatsoever of a
rewardis a Four, and a genuinely Human virtue and hence
value. Disinterested and anonymous: if I tell anyone I have donated
or given something to someone else then there may be a self-
boosting feeling involved. Only charity given without telling anyone
properly counts as a Four.
One quibble here: I think the word charity is inadequate. Its
outdated. It somehow reeks of the rich (and the assumption they

See Linden, The Parrots Lament (2000).


are better and superior) giving to the poor (and the assumption
that they are worse or lesser, and inferior). Done in this sense,
charity is a Threebecause it is hierarchicor even a Two be-
cause it is dualistic. If it has social benefits to the family or
community then it might be classed as a Three; but here again
there is a reward. It makes the rich either feel good in them-
selves, or look good to others, or both. The word charity comes
from caritas, which is the Latin for a fine, impartial quality of love;
now this should somehow be all right: but, today, it just isnt
partially because it has unpleasant connotations with rich and
poor developing nationsand partially perhaps because most of
us are still incapable of this virtue in its true sense. Instead of
charity, therefore, I prefer the word Compassion.
Compassion is a higher form of love; compassion embraces
all things and expects no emotional, social or even spiritual reward.
Compassion offers hospitality to the stranger and help to those in
other social groupsin other countries evenwho are in need,
and it says nothing to others, let alone boasting about the help or
the giving. There can be no doubt that this is a Four: compassion.

Faith, hope and charity/compassion. Well, these are and for

centuries have been the Big Three theological virtues, and so far
we have found they are authentic Fours. In all three of them there
are non-utilitarian, entirely unselfish, impartial, and even un-
known, unseen, and spiritual elements involved. They also
indicate an expectation that the future is up there ahead of us and
can be improved: this helps us to be more optimistic. Whatever they
may be and do for us, though, when practised, these traditional
values and virtues enable us to live finer, freer, more humane and
more spiritual lives in the present: and they pull us or lure us, as
Whitehead says, towards the unknown futureand perhaps even
toward an ultimate union with the unknown Spirit or G-d (1978:
But what about the rest of them? And, remember, there are
four others. Are these isomorphic to the Pattern? Or were they
formulated simply because Seven was the old-time sacred num-
ber?and, were they formulated because, following many
traditional cosmologies, three were supernatural (spiritual) and

theological, and four were natural? It really doesnt matter Here

and Now; lets go on examining the others on the list.

4. Prudence. My guess is that Prudence was listed as a tradi-

tional virtue because we are by nature imprudent. I repeat, by
nature! If we do not control our inner animal, vegetal and min-
eral energiesour human naturewe may well be led into
imprudent behaviourparticularly by our own vegetal, greedy
and self-interested, energies. The plant world, as we have seen,
runs to extremesand cannot be called prudent. Animals, on the
other hand, are prudent by nature. In the wild they stop eating
when they have had enough; the dominant male does not kill his
rival butproviding the latter shows the proper signs of respect
and submissionallows him to live: in which case he may stay in
the group, or else leave it without being hounded to death. Also,
animals seem to know instinctively, naturally in themselves, how
high they can leap, or what width river they can jump without
coming to harm: animals are, by nature, prudent.
It is only we, would-be-human beings, whoimprudently
allow our human nature to overwhelm our Human Spirit. We buy
more than we need, we eat more than we need, we drink more
than we need and we collect unto ourselves far more things than
we need. We need therefore to exercise prudence. But if prudence
is found in the animal realm, is it a true Four? Ill come back to
this later.

5. Justice. According to Bruno Bettelheim, justice is the high-

est form of love (1977). It is one of the highest values and
principles of Islam, symbolised by the sword of justice which can
cut through all the complexities (all the crap) surrounding any
situation to arrive at a clear and simple justice. And love, say
Sufis, is a trait shared by humans with the higher animalsbut
Justice is a still higher, a specifically Human quality. Animals cant
be Just as they dont have the capacity for abstract and impartial
thought. So Justice is a Four.
The Quran is filled with apparently endless repetitions of the
need to help orphans and widows and give to the poor; this is
usually taken to be the exercise of compassion, but it is I think

more a call to promote social justice and equity (another Four, as

well soon see). The Australian belief that everyone should have a
fair go is a well-known example of the idea and value of Justice
although the Aboriginal people do not seem to have the same
practical opportunities as ourselves.
In England, Justice has long been symbolised at the Old
Bailey law courts by the statue of a blindfolded woman holding
scales in her left hand and a sword in her right. She is blindfolded
because Justice is impartial and must have no favourites to sway
her judgement. She holds the scales to balance both sides of the
case, and the swordas in Islamsymbolises the ability to cut
through the outer appearances to the core and essence, the Truth.
Today there is a lingering lip-service to these ideals in the Western
world, but with the corruption of the justice system in the USA,
where presidencies and favours can be bought, no less than in
some third world countries, todays world may rank with the
most unjust in human history.
We may therefore never experience justice until after death.
At that time, as accumulating evidence from medical near-death
experiences seems to show, we apparently come before a radiant
source of objective Justice. This may take the form perhaps of a
Light, or an illuminated personagewhich might be an angel, or
Christ, or even our own awakened conscience. If (finally!) we are
fully conscious of ourselves and what we have done in this life,
then we shall be able to judge ourselves, our life and our deeds
justly. We may even be given forewarnings of such justice in this
life. Let me give you one small example of this.
When I flew into New York during a blizzard one winter
evening on the Washington shuttle, the snow and the winds were
buffeting the plane around like a scrap of old newspaper as we
came down. (The shuttle ten minutes behind us crashed into the
icy Hudson river, and many died.) The young man beside me was
moaning and clutching my arm in fear and horror, people were
screaming and, as the plane was blown and bounced around, the
lights flickered on and off adding to all the terror. But strangely
enough a great and amazing calm descended on me and, knowing
I was going to die, a radical shift of consciousness. In that extra-
ordinary peace and clarity I knewI was shownthat the best

thing I had ever done in my life was to produce Antidote,40 and the
worst thing I had done recently was to harbour negative, unkind
feelings and thoughts towards a neighbour and treat her as badly
as I felt she had treated me. (Obviouslyand I believe miracu-
louslythe plane landed and I survived: and obviously I worked
at changing my attitude towards the woman!)
I think this incident was a glimpse, a foretaste of what awaits
us when our physical body dies. That is, when our ordinary con-
sciousness separates from our body, an impartial judgement is
madeperhaps by some angelic or super-human Spiritor more
likely I suspect by our own deepest (and previously unconscious)
conscience. So there may be an ultimate Justice that awaits every
one of us some time in the future. If, therefore, we can see our-
selves not with the eyes of our ego or even with of those of other
people but as an impartial, clear-sighted Spirit might see us, then
we can begin to repair our own conscienceand our lifenow!
And make it more Just.
Here it helps to take context into account. In general, women
tend to be envious of wealthier people while men tend to be envi-
ous ofand hence compete forhigher status and more power.
But, compared with a villager in Africa or Asia, oreven worse
a victim of war, rape or domestic violence, you and I are a hun-
dred, perhaps a thousand times better off: and, living in a
democratic society, more able to change things. And, if we were
Just, we would remember this, and live differently. Because, rare
as it is, Justice seems to be a true Four, and an authentic Human

6. Fortitude. The Shorter Oxford Dictionary defines fortitude as

moral strength or courage, especially in the endurance of pain or
adversity. This is, I think, a human specific because it implies a
choice:one can go on struggling, or one can quit. Animals have no
choice because they simply follow their own nature, their natural
instincts, whereas humans can exercise fortitude (or not). Humans,
when they consider the alternativessuch as surrender to an
enemy, or deathmay chose to battle on (physically, emotionally

Antidote: Experience of a Spiritual Energy. Subud International, UK, 1988.


and mentally) in the face of terrible suffering. This choice, this for-
titude, is exercised because of the idea of some greater good
perhaps Justice or self-sacrificethat is perceived and aspired to,
beyond the agony and beyond the time of suffering.
Fortitude, though, is an old-fashioned word and pushes no
buttons today. Instead, courage has come to take its place. In
some ways this is unfortunate because plenty of animals have
couragein defending their young, in attacking invaders of their
territory who may be bigger and stronger than themselves, and so
on. So courage is a Three and not a specifically human value.
I know of many examples of courage (Three) and Fortitude
(Four). One occurred when Pak Subuh advised a young English
couple to return to the Wisma Subud to live, in Indonesia. They
had lived there earlier for a year or two under conditions of ex-
treme poverty; they and their childalong with the few
Indonesian Subud membershad been all but starving. Yet when
Pak Subuh on a visit to Europe advised them to return they con-
sidered the situation and decided that, in spite of the suffering
they assumed was ahead of them, they would return. They chose
to do the difficultbut sub specie aeternitatis spiritually benefi-
cialthing: and this is what I think Human courage, which is
Fortitude, is all about.
As animals do not and cannot consciously choose to do an
unpleasant thing for a potentially greater long-term benefit, Forti-
tude has to be a Four. And here I am reminded of one of the
genuinely human specifics which used in my day to be called the
postponement of gratification. In other words, pay nowwith
your own sufferingfor a greater and longer-term benefit. Con-
scious labours and intentional suffering Gurdjieff called it; and
prihatin is the Indonesian term Pak Subuh used. Both take quanti-
ties of conscious, Fourth level, Fortitude. Yet however noble it be, I
dislike the word and propose to use the word Valour instead.

7. Temperance. In the USA from the mid-nineteenth century

until 1933 temperance meant the legal prohibition against mak-
ing and drinking alcohol, but the word originally had more
connection with temper: that is, in mixing a certain metal for in-
stance with something else to dilute or improve its quality. In the

old proverb, God tempers the wind to the shorn lamb the word
means moderates, or even disciplines. And to temper ones appe-
tite, for food or sex or sleep, means to moderate it by ones own
choice. So the real meaning of temperance is self-restraint and self-
discipline. This can only be a Four, as although animals will select
from different visible options, they make no conscious choices be-
tween unseens or potentials for their own ultimate good. But, like
Fortitude, the word temperance has gone out of fashion and even
(for those who know no other than the American version) has
connotations of hypocrisy, illicit whiskey-producing stills and
speak-easies! Because of this well come back to Temperance later
on, when we try to arrive at a more complete list of the authenti-
cally Human virtues and values.


Looking at these seven traditional virtues, have they anything

in common? And is there any conclusion that we can draw from
having examined them? Ignoring the banality of their modern
meanings which limits their attractionand downgrades their
valueI think they all take us out of ourselves: though the reality
is probably just the opposite. Practised, put into constant use,
these virtues lift us out of our own little ego (ordinarily a Two)
and into a wider perception and consciousness of others and the
world around us.
Simultaneously they allow the growth and integration of our
authentic inner Self. That is, they lead us out of our little ego-
bound, fragmented, and limited world into a wider consciousness
of inclusion and unity, or at least into a psychological wholeness,
dynamism, and sense of spaciousness (Three), individuation. Per-
haps also there may be an awareness of some absolute freedom
and even more transcendent possibilities ahead (Four) than are
visible or apparent.
These traditional Human virtues help us connect with other
things in the cosmological category of Four: Light, transcendence,
democracy, spirituality and freedom. In more practical terms, their
exercise effects positive changes in us, in our psycho-spiritual
make-up. That is, by putting these virtues and values into practice


in our ordinary daily life, we move on; following the pattern of

process we grow inwardly, becoming more open to other, more
spiritual, influences.
They foster, too, the integration of the conscious and uncon-
scious areas of our mind and personality, thereby developing our
own innate human potential, our inner Self, and increase our spiri-
tuality and our quality of being.
In contrast, the theological Seven Deadly Sinspride, wrath,
envy, lust, gluttony, avarice and slothconstrict us. As official
shock-horror forbidden sins in times gone by, these must have
produced enormous quantities of guilt and suffering. No wonder
upper- and middle-class Victorians were so repressed; no wonder
people left the church in droves when Darwin and Wallace
proved that the Bible was wrong in its accounts of creation. In
any case, the traditional sins, too, can be treated in the same way
as the virtues; lets take a moment to see how and where they all
fit in to our matrix, the four-level filing cabinet.
Pride exists in the animal kingdom, and the animal en-
ergy/ies in us may puff us up with pride when we feel we have
done something better than anyone else; perhaps it reinforces our
high status in the pecking order, so its a Three. Wrath doesnt
come so obviously from the same source; it may simply be a vege-
tal-level impulse in us, a stimulated reaction to some perceived
external injustice, and therefore a Two. Wrath is more familiar to
us today as road rage. Lust may seem more connected with our
animal sexualitybut is it? Animals mate in response to seasonal
and/or instinctive needs: but this is natural, and not, in my book,
lust. Nor do I think our life-survival, vegetal energy would in-
duce lust in us; when survival is paramount sex takes a back seat.
So lustwhich I see as a perversion of normal healthy sexuality
comes perhaps from our basest, material-level, energy and may be
a One. Gluttony on the other hand is a natural feature of the plant
realm, coming to us via the extremes of our own vegetal energy,
as does ordinary greedboth Twos. Avarice (and envy) is prob-
ably another thing stimulated in us by the vegetal energies,
another Two. Sloth, though, perhaps comes from the animal
realm. On the other hand, animals are instinctively purposeful:
even when they rest they do so for a reason. So I am inclined to

relegate this one also to the inertia of the lowest, material energy
in us: One.
You may not agree with all my assessments here, and indeed
I may be wrong, but I trust you get my main message: that any-
thing and perhaps everything can be slotted fairly simply into one
of the four different categories of Gaias cosmology and thus
understood and easily evaluated.
Now, having got that little exercise out of the way, I hope its
clear that these sins are not really evils in their own right; ra-
ther, they are merely sub-human behaviours induced in us by the
three lower energies which make up our ordinary human nature.
They are restrictions that prevent us from becoming fully, authen-
tically Human.
While were on the subject, let me point out that one of the
original meanings of the word sin (related to sunder) was of
division or Separation: the separation of men and women from
Nature, and above all from the spiritual and specifically Human
realmand G-d. Anything that was done with pride, wrath, envy,
lust, gluttony, avarice and/or sloth increased the separation of a per-
son from the natural world, from his or her own inner Self, from
the universe and from G-d; closing him in upon himself; it impris-
oned him in his own little ego-world. And this closing in, this
separation, was sinful in the sense of destructive, because it ob-
scured or even cut off the Human energy or Spirit (Four) in us. So
the idea of sin means, more simply and less emotively, harmful
perhaps even deadly?to oneself, to ones authentic inner Self
certainly, and probably by osmosis to others.
Seen like this, in the context of the four Energies, the exercise
of the traditional virtues increases our growth towards self-
development and integration, while the traditional sins do the op-
posite, limiting us to a small and egotistical realm.

Human values
Having looked cosmologically, so to speak, at the seven tradi-
tional virtues of the Western world and skipped through the seven
deadly sins, we are now in a better position to look at the Human
Valuesthe inner motivations behind the outer acts, the underlying


causes of what people do. Lets see how they relate to the four en-
ergies and where they fit into the fourfold skeleton or framework,
our four-drawer filing cabinet.
Usually, the whole question of what is right and what is
wrong depends on two things: the individual, and the social belief
system or moral code with which s/he was brought up. But there
are quite a lot of moral codes, and they depend on different social
and ethnic groupslook at the troublesome differences between
the beliefs of the Jews and those of the Arabs, for instance. So
these moral codes, Threes in their own rights, are the culturally-
differing beliefs we are brought up withand, obviously, not
everyone believes the same things about right and wrong.
Beyond these differences, though, as we are all one species
and because we all inhabit a natural world composed of animal,
vegetable and mineral elements as well as other humansthere
must be some universal standards, some human values which are
valid for all human beings at all times. The question then is how to
arrive at these so that everyone can see them? How can we arrive
at some kind of universal guidelines about ethics and authenti-
cally Human values?
Here once more we can put Gaias Cosmology, particularly
the four levels of The Chain of Being, to work to act as a basic
foundation for ethics, for discovering not necessarily what is right
and what is wrong, but what is higher and what is lowerthat is,
what is better (more helpful, constructive) and what is worse (more
harmful or destructive), so we can work out what the genuinely
Human values really are.
Perhaps it is easier, first, if we look at values in context, in
terms of the faculties that a human, a person, has in order to live.
First, material values are not bad: we do need some things and
therefore some material values, simply because we have a solid
material body that has physical needs in order to survive. What
we dont really need, though, are the too much of everything that
we often desire. Here Im reminded again of Gandhis great princi-
ple of needs, not wants.
Nevertheless, we do have wants and desires: these are part of
us, part of our biological make-up, and a second part of what I am
calling the context of human valuesbecause they push us to

make further efforts. Without any desires at all we would have no

motivation to do anything beyond satisfying our most basic sur-
vival needs. A third element of the context we are establishing for
values is that we have been imprinted, largely during our child-
hood, with social norms of what is good and right, or bad and
wrong; true or false; we each have within us some sort of cri-
teriona yardstick, a touchstone, or measure, however
unconscious it may befor assessing and valuing. So, just as there
are many different norms in differing cultures of the world, there
are differing criteria for judgements and for truth. But all of these,
too, can be slotted into four (surprise, surprise) different catego-
ries. And fourthly and finally, we have ideals and even, on a more
public scale, ideologies. Up ahead of us, so to speak, these ideals
also lead us on; they lure us (as Whitehead might say) and beckon
us forward into the future and into further stages of process.
Lets look at these four categories of values briefly.

ONE. The first category is material values. (Remember here

Earth, and mineral substances.) These are basically economic
values, the assumption that money is the bottom linewhich, as
the cosmologically lowest quality of values, it obviously is. This
includes the treatment of individuals as economic (read imper-
sonal and therefore unimportant) units; also the profits before
people syndrome found in multi-national corporations and in-
creasingly so in the ordinary business world. On the other hand,
we obviously need some material things in order to survive physi-
cally. We need physical safety and security, and we need air,
water, food, a certain amount of warmth and shelter in the form of
clothing and housing, and so on.

TWO. The second category is what we can call personal and

even individual values. (Keep in mind here the selfish plants, and
the ever-altering, separated, Waters.) These are the values that you
and I hold dear, our own small selves, our immediate families, our
interests in our work, the news, newspapers, magazines and TV,
our dreams and fantasies and our situational concerns (remem-
ber the modern situational ethics that weremercifully for only
a short timepromoted?). These values are personal and selfish,

and have us competing like children with others: my car is a

newer, better one than yours; my spouse/ partner/house is big-
ger/better/more beautiful than yours; I own more goods (what a
word!) than you do, therefore I am a better/richer/more power-
fulmore valuable!person. In addition, if we had a tough
childhood we have emotional and ego-based needs and these
cause us to react defensively to perceived threats from others.
Much of the in-fighting that goes on in a marriage usually comes
from such emotional needs: as long as a husband and wife feel
they are not getting what they need from their spouse and, as it
were, live on opposite sides of a fence, their individual needs will

THREE. The third category of values is the social and com-

munal values that we are brought up with. (Remember here the
active, social animals and the whole Air.) Moral values, be a good
boy, dear, being kind to other people, sharing. The work ethic.
Things that are right or wrong for the family and the com-
munity: Thou shalt not steal, and so on. Different social groups
have slightly different moral values, different cultures more so.
All the great religions have distinctive moral values: the Ten
Commandments, the Christian beatitudes, the Islamic norms and
Quranic injunctions. Buddhists and Hindus, Jains and Sikhs have
again slightly different expressions of these. But all are concerned
with two levels or qualities of values: the more mundane social
values that are necessary for living together peacefully in commu-
nities (Threes), and the transcendental values beyond these that
relate us to higher realms and/or G-d (Fours). Into this third cate-
gory come the values that keep a married couple together: love,
integrity and perhaps above all the acceptance that marriage is a
higher estatea Three, a more holistic, productive and possibly
more spiritual conditionthan the single One, or the married but
fighting Two.

FOUR. The fourth and highest category of values is the only

set of authentically Human values. (Bear in mind as well here, the
qualities of Transcendence and Light.) These are the more spiritual
and transcendental meta-values that are universal and applicable

to every human being regardless of ethnic origin, gender, race,

religion or culture. In this category are the values which make us
genuinely Human, capital H, that lie above the different tenets
and teachings of the separate great religions and those of the
modern secular world. If we were to be exact in our terminology, I
would call these global values, as distinct from the differing
social group norms, the morals (Three) of differing ethnic groups
in the third category.
I also like to call these the transformative values, because by
putting them into practice and using them constantly they help
transform us, inwardly and outwardly. They do this by affecting,
by changing and integrating, the unconscious part of our mind
and at the same time they help us to become more conscious. We
thus become more consciously Human, humane: and even, per-
haps, are then fit to help transform the world we live in. But I
wont go into what these transformative values are here, because
the whole point of this exercise is to arrive at what the authentic,
specifically Human values areand we havent quite got there


Listed like this, the four categories of the different types of

values make sense, but the scheme as a whole is too simplistic to
be satisfactory. It becomes more tenable if we look at values in a
broader context: that is, of needs, desires, and truths and ideals
all values, too, but qualitatively different from the usual concepts
we attach to the word.
Let me remind you: in Part Two we saw how the four visible
parts of the worldthe human, animal, vegetal, and mineral
realmsare, in reverse order, concrete examples of the processual
form or skeleton of the of the Grand Pattern, Gaias Cosmology.
Then we went over much the same ground with the four energies
that constitute them. Now we are going to go over the same
ground again, but with a shift of focustransferring our attention
from the four visible categories to the four different qualities of the
four different levels of the cosmology.


The point of doing this is to show that there is indeed a natu-

rally ascending scalea hierarchyof qualitiesand from this
we can discover Maslows usable system, a natural hierarchy of
human values. In other words, Gaias simple cosmology not only
shows us a coherent view of our world but also reveals a set of
practical guidelines that can be used as standards in every area of
human activity. And these we can question and discussand yet
evaluate and validate by juxtaposing them against the formal
framework, the skeleton, or the four-tier filing cabinet.
However, we must also take into account here all we have
learned from the other exemplars of Gaias Cosmology that we
discussed in earlier parts of this book. We have to bear in mind the
many different phenomena that occupy each level and each cate-
goryeach of the four drawersand their general properties,
features and characteristics that give them their particular quali-
ties. As we saw earlier, it shows there is an emerging increase in
qualities. As we advance step by step along the processand also
up through the emerging and evolving ranks of the categories
the qualities grow finer, freer and more transcendent.
For instance, at the bottom or lowliest scale, matter is really
the pits. Everything is fixed and determined by the laws of phys-
ics; here there is no freedom and virtually no escape. At the top of
the scale there is total freedom and the Human Spirit prevails.
This compound-comparative method may not seem easy at first,
because we are never taught to think holisticallybut once we get
used to it there is nothing complex in this operation.
We are also helped here to a certain extent by ordinary
speech: for instance, we often speak of material values and of
human values, both common phrases. In using them we may
even recognize that material values are lower in the scheme of
thingsless admirable, less socially constructivethan human
values. So it is also in this great Pattern of Process, this fourfold
cosmology. Generally speaking (because there are exceptions
and/or mirror images) the lowest or coarsest are material values,
and the highest and finest are spiritual values. But what hasnt
been noticed are the values lying between these two extremesand of
course the cosmology has shown us that there are two other cate-
gories of values, making four in all.

There is a complication here, though. As we will see later,

each of the four qualitatively different categories of values can be
seen to have four different grades within it. For instance, there are
four different grades of material values, four different grades of
vegetal values, and so on. So although we are interested here in
the authentically Human values, there are, within that category
itself, four different grades of Human values. In this narrow sense,
only values in the fourth grade of the fourth category are actually,
fully, Human.
Now that we have a framework, a foundation, we can move
on and look at what the values are that we need to have with us in
our swag, on our journey, on our way to becoming a true Human
Now, instead of the old teachings and judgements of the reli-
gions, it becomes obvious that things are not good or evil in
their own right but simply higher, or lower, behaviours.
More descriptively still, we can look at conductour own no
less than othersas being more helpful, or more harmful. Instead
of accepting, without thought, a traditional moral code (a Three),
as adults we can analyse and think out these things for ourselves
to see which are authentically, and universally, Human (Four).
This method helps us to see things quite differently, and
brings about a radical change of attitude. Instead of the old-
fashioned moralistic approach, we are free to Re-Envision our own
behaviour and evaluate it objectively, free from the influence of
any religion or other belief systemusing the cosmological
framework as a touchstone, a measure of worth, a criterion.

The Virtues project

A few years ago in the islands off Vancouver on the West
coast of Canada, I met a remarkable woman called Linda Kavelin
Popov. She founded The Virtues Project, Inc., consisting of a
whole package of methods with which to approach virtuesand
thus valuesin a profoundly practical way. Perhaps her best-
known book is The Family Virtues Guide (1997). (This is not as
pious or as off-putting as it may sound.) What she says is, The
Virtues Project offers a simple moral structure which parents can


model and within which children build character and self-esteem

(1990: 2).
As I think her methods are not only interesting but useful in
our search for the genuinely Human values, I am going to list
herewith her permissionthe fifty-two virtues she has chosen.
Of course, many of them depend on how you define them: but in
order to sort out those which are specifically Human, and not
found in the animal kingdom, I am going to try and categorise
them. Remembering that the cosmological Four also has corres-
ponding qualities of Light, Freedom and Spirituality, here now is
Popovs list of 52 virtues. Each one is followed by a letter that I
have allotted iteither as a specifically Human value or virtue
(H), or animal (A) or even vegetal (V). I have also used bold type
for the values which are not found in animals and which must
therefore be authentically Human:

1. Assertiveness (A)
2. Caring (A)
3. Cleanliness (A),
4. Compassion (H)
5. Confidence (A)
6. Consideration (same as 2, Caring?) (A)
7. Courage (A),
8. Courtesy (H)
9. Creativity (Hwith caveats)
10. Detachment (Abut might be H?)
11. Determination (A)
12. Enthusiasm (A)
13. Excellence (H?)
14. Faithfulness (A)
15. Flexibility (V)
16. Forgiveness (H)
17. Friendliness (A)
18. Generosity (A?or H?)
19. Gentleness (A)
20. Helpfulness (caring again? A)
21. Honesty (H)
22. Honour (H)

23. Humility (H)

24. Idealism (H)
25. Joyfulness (A or even V)
26. Justice (H)
27. Kindness (caring yet again: A)
28. Love (A)
29. Loyalty (A)
30. Mercy (H)
31. Moderation (A)
32. Modesty (H)
33. Obedience (Mineral, V, and A)
34. Orderliness (V)
35. Patience(various!H?)
36. Peacefulness (V, Aor in highest form H)
37. Prayerfulness (H?)
38. Purposefulness (A)
39. Reliability (responsibility? A)
40. Respect (A)
41. Responsibility (reliability? A)
42. Reverence (H)
43. Self-Discipline (H)
44. Service (H)
45. Steadfastness (H)
46. Tact (Hbut see Courtesy above)
47. Thankfulness (H)
48. Tolerance (H)
49. Trust (A)
50. Trustworthiness (reliability again? A)
51. Truthfulness (honesty? H)
52. Unity (but only as Popov uses the term, meaning a global
vision of Unity: the unity of humankind, H).

Well, as I said, most of these categorisations depend on ones

definition of them. And of course you may think very differently
about some of them: but my main point here has been to get you
thinking about them, and their meanings ! and to show you the
very simple method itselfrather than being precise in all the de-
tails. As my aim is to come up with a list of specifically Human

values Im going to use the scissors now. For a start, some of the
virtues on Popovs list are found in the primates (e.g. assertive-
ness, care, kindness, love, respect, etc), so we can delete them.
Also, some totally depend on their interpretation (e.g. creativity,
generosity, etc); and some seem repetitious (e.g. generosity and
compassion; reliability, responsibility and trustworthiness; hon-
esty and truthfulness, etc etc)so well also cut some of these out.
Some, too, I have to look at more closely before allowing
them on the (H) list: Creativity for instance. If by this we mean
ingenuity (getting food with sticks, la chimps, or the amazing
ability of orang utans to get out of their cages), or decorativeness,
using ones inborn natural talents for singing, drawing, etc (con-
structing artistic nests, la bower bird), and intelligence (i.e.
resourcefulness), or even making difficult situations worse (creat-
ing a fuss, an argument, a row), then none of these is Human
level Creativity. On the other hand, if by Creativity we mean the
open-mindedness that brings inspiration, intuition and ! as
Whitehead saysgenuinely novel ideas and/or creations, then
yes, it is a Four.
Detachment is an awkward word, and has connotations of
dis-interest and unconcern. But I think what Popov means here is
Impartiality: this is covered by Justice, though. So Detachment
comes out.
Excellence has unfortunate connotations today: Crudely, it
has come to mean more efficient ways of making money, particu-
larly in big corporations. Lets sack a third of our staff and get the rest
to work harder, so we can increase our profits. This is called excel-
lence and also economic rationalismthough it is of course
destructive socially, so hardly rational. In this sense, excellence is a
material level value. That great educator Paul Goodman once said,
never sacrifice goodness for excellence. So as goodness is a more
admirablehigher, more socially constructiveaim than ma-
chine-like efficiency and excellence, Im going to leave this one
Honesty is one Id love to have on the list for several reasons,
not least of which is that Pak Subuh once said it was a necessary
tool for self-knowledge. Yet it is, I think, covered by Truthful-
nessso out it goes.

Humility is a difficult term to place because it has several

meanings. So lets first separate it from the abject grovelling of a
rejected lover, from the unctuousness of a Uriah Heep and even
from the expedient need for submission to your short-tempered
boss. All these have either self-serving or group-serving purposes
and are thus Twos or at best Threes. So lets cut them out, too. We
may then take authentic humility as a Four because in this sense it
is a transformative factora factor in the integration of our inner
Self, that is.
Authentic humility is, I think, a result of honesty and con-
sciousness; in humility we see all too clearly our shortcomings,
our mistakes, our faults and our failures, and we calmly face what
and how we are, warts and all. There are dark and murderous
weeds inside every one of us, lurking beneath the social veneer.
Yet, as we admit and consciously acknowledge the presence of
these anti-social (vegetal) feelings and thoughts in us, we come to
own and thus control them. In this way they cease to be larger-
than-life but unconscious stumbling blocks and, integrated into
consciousness, become inoffensive, easily manageable, and some-
times even useful items among the other furniture of our inner
Self. Humility thus allows us to cleanse and purify our uncon-
scious of its dark and poisonous weeds and turn them into useful
healing herbs. This in turn clears the way for new insights and
other benefits of accessing the unconscious levels of our mind.
Humility is perhaps above all a quality which allows us to be
empty or at least open to receive untrammelled influences from
higher levels of consciousness. Perhaps to be open just to the
deeply hidden Human SpiritJungs transcendent functionor
the divine spark or soul within which connects us with G-d and
Nature and with the Universe out there. It is in this sense that I
think humility is a genuine Human value, a Four.
Patience I have caveats about. If by this we mean just putting
up with a difficult situation while waiting on the sidelines hoping
things will change, then this is probably not human-level Patience.
Yet Pak Subuh once said, Patience means the absence of desire
which is something no animal has and therefore indicates a spe-
cifically Human quality and virtue. Again, if we consciously take a


long-term as distinct from an immediate or short-term view, then

Patience is a Four.
Peacefulness again is subject to definition. Peace we certainly
need more of in the world today, yet peacefulness is not always
constructive. There can be peace of a sorta surface peacewhile
anger, jealousy and even hatred ferment beneath it. Harmony is a
better, more comprehensive, word; in harmony all is integrated on
all levels. So peacefulness comes out, and Harmonywhich
Popov doesnt listgoes in.
Prayerfulness comes out; this has so many different meanings
to different people, and I think it is covered well enough by Rev-
erenceand, another value Ill come on to shortly, worship.
Steadfastness is what today we mean by the old term of forti-
tude, so although animals can occasionally show amazing
steadfastness Im leaving that in because, again, it leads to a con-
scious choice to endure for the sake of a better future ahead.
Thankfulness comes out because, as a word, I think grati-
tude conveys more than Thankfulness. I may feel thankful for a
nice Christmas present received from a friend (Two), and an ani-
mal may feel the emotion of what we would call thankfulness
when it reaches its burrow or home territory safely (Three): but I
am gratefulto the Universe!for everything in my lifewhich
is a greater thing, and so a Four . So Im going to cut out thankful-
ness and put Gratitude in its place.
Unity is another term I would not think of as a human-level
virtueor valuebut as Popov uses the word to mean the unity
of humankind, it is (as well see later). But I am taking it off this
list as in my book the usual meanings of unity are not exclusively
Human and can be applied to animals, organisations, and Air, so
it is a natural Three.

Lets take a look at Popovs list of virtues now, as Ive pruned

it: Compassion; Courtesy; Creativity; Forgiveness; Gentleness;
Honour; Humility; Idealism; Justice; Mercy; Modesty; Patience;
Reverence; Self-discipline; Service; Steadfastness; Tolerance;
Truthfulness. That leaves 18 out of her total of 52 virtues: then 20
with my inclusion of Gratitude and Harmony.


Now, however roughly I may have dealt with her list of vir-
tues, and given my caveats on some meanings of some terms, I
have not been arbitrary. Gaias Cosmology has provided a rational
and valid framework, a simple methodology. Now we have a
shorter list andI thinkwere beginning to get there. Were be-
ginning to move towards a more accurate list of the Human
specifics, whether they be virtues or values, behaviours or princi-
As a list of Human values, though, it is by no means com-
plete, so now we need to put this list together with some others.
For instance, what shall we do with the old classics of Truth,
Goodness and Beauty? Truth is surely a Human valueIm think-
ing now of the sciences and the other disciplines in their search for
accuratetrueinformation, and of philosophic discourse. So it is
surely covered by Truthfulness. But although truthfulness is a vir-
tue, Truth is a value, so Im going to alter that. Goodness is
included in Compassionand in some of the others, too. But
Beauty?I have doubts here, as beauty today is largely a product
of the media, discussed endlessly in womens magazines: How to
make yourself more beautiful in five easy steps. On the other
hand, if a sudden shock of beauty sighted in the landscape, or a
painting, or a musical phrase wakes us up and makes us more
conscious of the Here and Now, or more generally of what we
haveand more grateful for what we havethen it is expansive
and, therefore, I would say, a human value. So I think in spite of
todays maculate media Beauty has to go in.
There are still more we need in, though, to complete our list.
For a start, where are the seven cardinal virtues? Is Faith covered
by Reverence? (I took faithfulness out of the list because some
animals can be faithfulto a partner, or to a human owner.) And
does Idealism cover Hope? Charity is covered by Compassion, and
Fortitude is covered by Steadfastness, and Justice is in there al-
ready; but what about Temperance and Prudence? I would like to
have Prudence on the list but, because of its connotations of prud-
ishness, Im going to add Moderation instead, although in many
ways animals are far more moderate than many people are today.
A recent book, Forgiveness and Other Acts of Love by Stephanie
Dowrick, has helped me with a vision of the truly Human values.

She has no cosmology, yet being a wise woman has arrived at

whatfor herare the six chief virtues: Courage, Fidelity, Re-
straint, Generosity, Tolerance and Forgiveness. How about these,
Forgiveness is on our list already; it is a purely Human act.
Animals may submit to those who have dominated or injured
them, but an elephant [or a rat, or a chimp] never forgetsand
there may linger, in us too, feelings of resentment perhaps or jea-
lousy or even hatred towards others. The real forgiveness of
others is the letting go of these feelings: Forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us. Through forgiveness
we empty ourselves of these lowly feelings and forget the past.
This is a cleansing actit results in better healthand surely is
Lets look at Dowricks Courage. Although plenty of animals
show courage, shall we add that, and take out Popovs Steadfast-
ness? What about Bravery: is that a human value, or is it the same
as Courage? And theres Valour, too. Although of course it de-
pends on their precise definitions, for me Bravery is related to
bravado, and a bit showy. Valour, though, calls up images of men
and women pushed to their absolute limit of fear and terrorand
yet still going to help or defend a child or someone else in dire
straits. So allow me the licence to say here that, although Bravery
and Courage are found in the animal realm, Valour is not an in-
stinctive thing. Valour may be activeas in resisting an
intruderor it may be passivewhen it is more like Steadfast-
ness, consciously enduring for the sake of someone else, a
principle, or some apparently hopeless situation. It is in this sense,
then, that I think we can say that Valour is a Four and belongs in
the Human realm.
Dowricks Restraint I think equates with Self-discipline; and
Tolerance is in there already. What about Fidelity and Generosity?
I think Generosity is covered by Compassionbut read the book,
because her definitions are interesting.
Her Fidelity is loyalty and/or faithfulness, which I took out,
and in any case is I think covered by Honour. Certainly some ani-
mals can be faithful to their mates or to their owners, but what I
mean by Honour is the essence of Humanness. For instance, if we

are unfaithful, or dishonest, or any of those selfish and entirely

personal things (Twos), we cannot feel good about ourselves, let
alone happy, and we are certainly not conducting ourselves as
authentically Human beings. In other words, because the Human
Spirit in us takes noteusually unconsciouslyof all we do, in
this case by behaving badly we can have no deep respect for our-
selfand no Honour.
Honour was sometimes thought to be mere reputation: what
other people thought of you. Looking good can cover a multitude
of sins: and cover is the word! Hypocrisythe tribute which
vice pays to virtuecan be rife in trying to keep up a good repu-
tation. But this is a purely outer, defensive thing, a Two, and not
noble at all, and certainly does not belong in an authentically Hu-
man being. Honour has to do with being true to ones inner self. As
the poet Lovelace said, long ago, I could not love thee, Dear, so
much, / Loved I not honour more. So Honour, in my book, is a
Four, and stays firmly on to the list.
Generosity is more problematic... hmm... but it is, I think, co-
vered by Compassion. Compassion is a huge word, a word with
many and noble implications. The Dalai Lama in his talks to large
audiences around the world has a lot to say about Compassion,
emphasising that it is a quality we must developor (he doesnt
quite say this) we will perish. I believe Compassion is the answer
to the problems of poverty both within our own country and in
the Third World. It is the answer to the rapacity of multi-national
corporations, and it is the answerthe antidoteto economic ra-
tionalism and the hoarded wealth of billionaire and multi-
millionaire families. The sad fact is, though, that the vast majority
of us are not generous or compassionate. If we all were, the world
would be a lot more equitableand Just.
How about Equity, then? Lets leave this for a moment,
though Ill come back to it shortly.
For today, for our own sakes (the invironment)we need a
single rational replacement for the different teachings and moral
codes of the religions. We therefore need, and urgently, a sensible
(based on the senses) slate of high values so we can practise them
as virtues, for our own inner self-development. Yet, just as vitally,
they are needed also for the sake of the environment. So here I

think we need Thrift and Simplicity, and I shall add them to the
list. Simplicity because we absolutely mustif we want our
grandchildren, and humankind, to survivestop acquiring more
and more material things. Shopping is one of the worstmost
destructivephenomena of the Western world: it comes from our
own dis-ease. Because of our alienation, many women today feel
inwardly uneasy, or bored, or lonely, so we shop. But we have to
stop going shopping for therapy, for amusement and for enter-
tainment, and above all in order to try and fill the emptiness
within by acquiring a plethora of outer, material, things we really
dont need. Today the simple life is to be admired, revered even:
luxuries are to be abhorred as profligate and wasteful of the
planets natural resources. To survive as a species we all need to
curtail our lust for possessions, and learn to step much more
lightly on the land.
Thrift is an old-fashioned word for todays three Rs: Re-use,
Repair, Recycle. And even more recently a fourth R is being pro-
moted: Recovery. Recovery of useful stuff by waste management
techniques, such as the production of compost from organic and
garden waste, and of methane and manure from animal and hu-
man faeces. Nature herself may be prolific and abundant, but I
thinkif we are ever to become fully Humanwe need to become
lean, mean and thrifty with material goods.
Although I havent mentioned it in detail yet, Spirituality is
perhaps one of the most genuinely Human virtues. In a way it is
our inheritance. And I say in a way because it was not necessa-
rily so of old. Until a century or two ago this inheritance was
religious; we were born into a culture which had a single religion
which held it all together. So spirituality in those days was very
largely in the form of unthinking faith or at the very least public
adherence to one of the great religions with its beliefs, creeds and
moral codes, and their injunctions and commandments. These en-
abled people who had faith in G-dwhether labelled Allah,
Brahma, Buddha, Christ, Yahweh or something elseand who
were perhaps unconscious of the existence of other religions or
spiritual ways, to live decent, honourable, and socially construc-
tive lives. And eventually, by faith and by works, living rightly,


they probably arrived at the integration and transfourmation of

their inner Self.
But today things are different. We moderns have little if any
Faith, and all too few of us do good works unless we are paid
(employed) to do so. But we aremore or lessconscious. So the
different religions, which were worthy and necessary teachings
for simple unthinking (unconscious) people of times gone by, are
losing their relevance. Today we need to be able to make our own
conscious choices about trying to become fully Human, and about
Spirit and spirituality.


Here I want to digress a moment and say a little more about

this aim, this purpose of human lifeof working towards becom-
ing more properly Human. Some of the New Age phenomena
may help us here, and the whole human potentials movement.
But with the sensible description we arrived at (in Part 3, Particle
i) of authentic Human being, it now becomes even more obvious
thatas we arewe are just plain people, and not really Human
beings at all! And, if we are not working towards being human,
we are not even human becomings. Yet, in order to live a fulfilling
life, we have to work on ourselfto develop ourself and our po-
tentials, in order to become more fully Human. This we can call
metaphorically, a journey, a Quest, even. In Australia we have
swagsthat is, a bundle of stuff that we take camping. Well, for
our journey, our spiritual Quest, to become more fully Human, we
need four things in our swag, and they are:
(i) Intention. A deep personal dedication to cultivating the
development of our own consciousness and spiritualitydistinct
from unthinkingly following one of the religious or other (secular)
belief systems;
(ii) Knowledgeinner and outer. Self-knowledge as well as
the holistic cosmological theory of what it means to become and
be authentically Human; together with a framework of virtues and
authentic human values acting as guidelines for conduct; and
(iii) Self-restraint. The will to self-discipline and abstinence,
implementing the virtues and making sacrifices, together with an


acceptance of the joyful suffering we will have to undergo during

this transformative process. This is Gurdjieffs conscious labours
and intentional suffering, and Pak Subuhs emphasis on enter-
prises and prihatin.
(iv) Triggers and Cues. Ceremonies and rituals which cue us,
which remind us, to be conscious; which remind us of our decision
to cultivate our Humanity through the virtues and spirituality;
and which remind us to remember the universe and/or its un-
known creator Spirit, or G-d (cf. Pope, 2002).
There is much we can learn from the great religions (which
are Threes) as long as we dont fall into the trap, the inner prison,
of believing that one of them is better than the others. This re-
striction does not forward our spiritual growthand it may even
hinder it. Instead, a deep appreciation of the fundamental unity of
all the great religions, and of the ultimate aim they have in com-
mon, leads us onward in our spiritual Quest (Four). As the
Buddhists say, All the religions are different paths up the moun-


Now, after this digression, back to the virtues and values

again. So far we have come up with a list of 18 from Popov, plus
Beauty from the classics, Moderation (for moderns, instead of
Prudence and Temperance), Hope from the virtues (removing
Idealism from Popovs), and my own input of Valour (for cou-
rage), Thrift, and Simplicity. Thats 23 so far.
Purity I mentioned earlier in Particle 3.i. Flying against all
modern and post-modern beliefs, purity isin my booka Four,
and an authentically Human value. This is because it is a means by
which we can increase our self-development, in short our Spirituality.
(And thats another one to add to our list.) Today though, purity
has become almost a dirty word, and Honour seems far too
grandiose here, so perhaps I may say something here about a sim-
ple but significant word, integrity.
The word integrity comes from integer, one number, single
and whole and complete. It is, as well see later (Particle 4.i) a


natural Three, related to coherence and unity. Yet by the integrity

of a person I mean someone who is single, whole and complete
integrated. That is, without having given or thrown away any of
himself to another person. To be blunt, if no bodily fluids, such as
sweat, semen and sputum, have been passed on to other people
(and therefore not just lost to the individual but incorporated into
other peoples, quite separate, bodies)integrity is retained.
But how about the other side of the coin? Pure honey is
honey with nothing else in itno bits of wax or bees wings, no
added liquid sugar, no butter or breadcrumbs from a dirty knife.
In the same way, a person who is pure is only herself, unencum-
bered with foreign stuffparticularly those bodily fluids which
belong to other people.
In addition, during the sexual intercourse of two individual
people, there are always exchanges not only of the material stuff
gases (breath), fluids, DNA, bacteria, viruses, etc ! but of feelings
and thoughts, and other unseen energies and forces from the part-
ners inner unconscious. All these energetical animal, vegetal and
mineral exchanges are considerable; they cast something foreign
onto the sexual partner that does not belong with them. The in-
tegrity of both individuals is lost and their purity vanishes. And
with this material, physical, loss goes a great diminishing of spiri-
tuality. In short, if your own inner Self is covered up by layers of
foreign matterand energiesall stuff from another person or
several other peopleit becomes far more difficult to find your-
In the case of marriage, though, the situation is very different.
Here the Two (separate partners) are trying to develop inwardly
and move towards a coherent, integrated Three, which is a whole,
a holistic and a true marriageso the sharing of fluids, feelings
and other energies is helpful to the spiritual process of two-
becoming-one harmonious whole.
This may beand in the industrialised world isa highly
unfashionable idea. However, for a vast number of people living
in other cultures, purity (or Integrity) is a highand certainly
fully Humanvalue. As the Indonesian saying has it, Animals
mate when they feel like it. Humans have marriage ceremonies
first. Therefore, in the effort to work out or frame a global ethic

valid for all people, I feel I must include either Integrity or Purity
as a purely Human value, pluslast but by no means least
Spirituality: the care and improvement of the soul and/or
the Human Spirit in us through patience and self-discipline. Al-
though from the time we are adult we have to work at fulfilling
other, lesser, human values, above and beyond them is this Four.
Although the soul doesnt seem (at this stage of our knowledge)
to have a solid scientific existence in the empirical world, for this
new, holistic cosmological paradigm we must assume that it exists
because, whatever you call it, this is itselfor is the abode ofthe
highest Human energy, the Human Spirit, and our own potentials.
Personal development, self-expression, spirituality and the fulfil-
ment of our longing for belonging in the universein other words
our contact with the Higher Powers, the Spirit of G-dall these
Fours, all the specifically Human qualities, have here their origins
and their ultimate aims.
Finally, we need to cultivate consciousnesson all levels.
Most of us dont know muchif anythingabout our soul: and it
is indeed a nebulous thing. Yet if we just assume it exists and can
at least try and give it some attention and prayerful, conscious care,
then there is hope that we shall eventually end up as free and
authentically Human beings. Here the biological human animal,
and the social-group world (Three) is transcended by individuals
in Four; and, at death, left behind as the conscious soul or Human
Spirit moves on to inhabit other, unseen realms.

A list of purely human values?

Although I have brought you this far, I cannot in the end
leave you with a fool-proof system: that is, a nice neat and tidy,
orderly list of the Human values valid for absolutely everyone. (I
have been generalising so far, yes, but because we are all different,
the definitive list for each one of us may be slightly different.) In-
stead, I think I have said enough about the cosmological
foundation and its consequences to show you the method of work-
ing them all out: and this is probably all you need to make up
your own mind as to what they are for you.


But, for what its worthand for my own benefit, reallyIm

going to review one last time some of the things about the real
Human virtues and values that seem to follow on from the four-
stage cosmology, and add a few necessaryand well-known
others. The ones Im adding are the French Libert, Egalit, Fra-
ternit, and the American Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of
Happiness. Life is not on our list and obviously must bebut this
perhaps should rather be Safety. In other words, such rights as life
without torture, and no imprisonment without a trial.
Liberty today as a concept has given way to Freedomwhich
has a multitude of meanings, but basically means freedom from
political oppression and cultural coercion, including freedom of
speech and the freedom to follow ones inborn talents and also
ones chosen religious and/or spiritual path.
Egalitequality or equityalso needs to be added to our list
as does Fraternit, literally brotherhood. These are difficult con-
cepts and, for a start, I would like to deal with the least important
point, and switch brotherhood to the genderless siblinghood.
Equality of persons, or equity of life-style opportunities, are both
idealsand both seem equally impossible today! However, their
opposites, inequality and inequity, areor ought to be
ameliorated by the acceptance of family: that is, siblinghood. As
we are all one species, however different we may be, all men and
women are in simple fact family. If we felt this, we would be
concerned about poverty and injusticeand not only in third
world countries. We would do something to help our brothers and
sisters, cousins close and cousins distant. In the days of the French
Revolution, fraternit was felt; the poor banded together and
brought down the wealthy and corrupt aristocratsand looked
after each other. The Russian Revolution sought the same thing;
comrades felt brotherly and sisterlyand (in the early days)
looked after each other. Capitalism does no such thing.
So, however impossible an ideal it may seem to be today, I
am going to add Equity to our list of human values as it is a true
Four. And finally Siblinghoodthe global feeling that we are all
human, all family, of whatever age, gender, race, and culture
goes on the list too. The pursuit of happiness I will discuss

Having worked out this rough order as best I can, based on

the formal skeleton of the cosmology, I just want to remind you of
two things. First, that all these human values are subject to lan-
guage, to their definitions. Secondly, that within the thirty or so I
listed, there will benaturally!four different grades of purely,
specifically Human values. There are some on the first, most lim-
itedthat is the materiallevel, One; there are some on the
second, the immediate and/or personal-survival level or scale,
Two; and also on the larger, third, social-group scale, Three.
Finally there are the non-utilitarian, non-biological, non-communal,
transcendent, genuinely Human values in Four. And obviously,
for our own benefit (self-development) no less than for the sus-
tainability of the world, we need to be holistic and take on board
some, if not all, of each.
I think it would be foolish for me even to try and sort out the
list into these four levels, let alone prioritise them: but other peo-
ple have done so. For example, when asked for his opinion once,
Pak Subuh suggested that Honesty, good family living, hard
work, and prihatin were the four most essential human values
and these do con-form neatly to the four bones of the cosmological
skeleton. He, however, was the sage of Java, and I am nothing
and in any case they were suggested to an American man who
was not known for his personal honesty.
So I am not going to attempt to work out a complete four-
level system of Human Values for you. Although, as I quoted
earlier, the great psychologist Abraham Maslow declared that a
natural hierarchy of human values is necessary, and I think Gaias
cosmology can show us just this, that I am going to leave to others
more qualified than I. All I will suggest is that we would do well
to do what the Dalai Lama suggests:

establish a body whose principal task is to monitor human

affairs from the perspective of ethics...a group of individuals
drawn from a variety of backgrounds...with a common
reputation for integrity and dedication to fundamental ethical
and human values...these deliberations would represent the
conscience of the world.
(Golman, 2003)


Overall, these four qualities of Human values vary from the

lowest (narrowest, most restrictive) dimension, One, through
three more stages of more, and yet more, inclusiveness, culminat-
ing in the highest and finest, or Four. In some way, because these
Fours are largely spiritual values, this may seem to be a regression
to the merely personal dimensionyet here, at least in terms of
subtle energies, Fours have (it seems to me) effects beyond the
personal and communal and may even permeate some subtle field
on a planetary scale. Formally, as we saw earlier, Four is another
random mass, an undifferentiated lot (not, mark you, the same:
but of the same quality, clout and value) of atomistic units. So
here is yet another justification for egalit, Equity, and a truly
social democracy, in which the rich help the poor.
Thus, based on the cosmology, I think overall we have man-
aged to arrive at a fairly sensible and orderly collection of Human
values, or at least a method of getting there.


On the other handand in holistic methods there is always

another hand!we must not forget that there is another version
of the Grand Pattern of Process. So it is also possibleand equally
validto start with the spiritual values first, and move on through
the processual stages that way. That is, the fourfold arrangement I
have just spent so long discussing here begins with what I called
there the negative or material bone: whereas we could also start
with the positive or spiritual bone, Zat. In this case we could ar-
range the same (or other) authentically Human values in a
different order.
This, I realise, may strain your credulity. As modern life is,
with its logical, linear and scientific emphasis, we have not been
taught to use holistic methods. Yet today, as Lyotard and other
postmodern philosophers are saying, we should no longer look at
either/or but, instead, at both/and. As I do not pretend to any
kind of expertise in the field, I shall say no more about this other
way of sorting the values: instead, I invite you, the reader, to sit
down and come up with your own and surely equally valid list.
And I urge you to do so. Given the formal structure of the processual


cosmology and the four conforming Energies, these values can

beand have beenworked out by high-school students and
young adults in seminars or workshops.
There is one more cosmological necessity that needs mention-
ing here, though. Although, in order to work at becoming Human,
we need to put these genuinely Human values and virtues into
practice, there is a proviso and perhaps even a stumbling block:
the earlier/lower ones have to be worked at and fulfilled, at least
to a certain extent, before the higher ones. As Vittachi always em-
phasised, Working for charity is destructive if your family is
suffering at home.


The pursuit of happiness

What has been difficult for me in researching and studying
the concepts that we call human values is that most if not all of
them lead in the direction of self-actualisationotherwise called
enlightenment, liberation, salvation, self-realization and so on.
Today very few people seem interested in this. All very well for
saints and yogis and so on, they thinkbut it doesnt have any-
thing to do with modern life, does it? We are, though, interested in
happiness: the founding fathers of America even put it in their
Constitutionthat all people have the right to Life, Liberty and
the pursuit of Happiness. What this has legitimised, unfortunately,
is Hollywood-style happinessavoiding the misery of our inner
emptiness. Party all you can, make lots of money, buy sex, clothes,
jewellery, cars, houses, accountants and bodyguardsand chuck
your husband or wife when, after a while, the glamour wears off.
But surely it wasnt this kind of happiness that the American
founding fathers intended: because all that happens with this is
that, the more you pursue it, the faster happiness disappears into
the distance.
What that American dream, that pursuit of happiness neg-
lects to say is that, if we want to attain a lasting personal
happiness, we have to set out consciously on a spiritual journey, a
Quest, to find ourselves and to become fully Human, prizing our Human


values, and deliberately implementing Human virtues. It is here that

deep, abiding happiness is really to be foundor perhaps better
to say that deep happiness comes upon us, unexpectedly, if we
follow this path.
It is not easy. The virtues are tough, almost anti-natural, and
the spiritual journey is a rocky road. Its rough going, its uphill,
like climbing a high mountain, and we may have few friends and
little encouragement to keep us going. Many people fall by the
wayside or get trapped in the beautiful caves of illusion that open,
temptingly, onto the pathway. This rocky road is the straight and
narrow of Pilgrims Progress, and Morgan Scott Pecks road less
travelledboth metaphors for otherwise indescribable things and
events that happen during the process, along the way, on the
spiritual journey that is our real pursuit of happiness.
As the great religions that gave humankind our differing mo-
ral codes have largely lost their appeal to modern people today
especially the youngmorality and ethics are in disarray. Yet, if
we would but see things differentlyholisticallythen, based on
the testimony of the natural world, the hierarchy of human values
provides guidelines for living that are acceptable to people of all
religions and none, and lead in the end to happiness.

Culture, highand culture, low

As I write, we are being urged in Australia to buy more, to
spend more and consume more in order to keep the economy
growing, and/or to save the world from recession. Yet the more
we consume (and what a word that is: eating!) the closer we come
to what has been called the edge of human history. Oil, which in
fertilisers helps to grow our food, and in plastics gives us many
other things, is running out. Recession seems a lesser evilforgive
the inaccurate wordthan extinction. The big trans-national cor-
porations and their lackeys, the media and advertising industries,
dictate to our governments: and they do not want us reminded of
global warming, nor that the care and improvement of this small
planet is the major necessity today.
So, although the world is in a perilous state, given that a deep
and lasting happiness is what we all want (however we may de-


fine it), that pursuit of happiness is important. So here I must say

something about culture.
At present Western culture, such as it is, is driven largely by
the media, and the media are driven largely by greed, and by
stocks and shares of their corporate ownersvegetal and material
values respectively, in other words. Advertising exerts insidious
pressure on popular taste in everything from music to cars to
shampoos andin Australia in particularsports. The constant
bombardment by advertisements, which are a large part of culture
today, promote the idea that to be happy you have to buy this, or
do that. Beneath it all (embodied in images of blondes and boobs)
is the notion that sex brings happiness. Pop culture too is largely
based on low material values, and is disguising and even taking
us away from our main business: that of becoming properly, wholly,
Human. And, thereby, of finding real, deep, and lasting happiness.
There is another aspect of culture, thoughwhat writers
from T.S. Eliot to David Tacey have called high culture. High
culture is far less influenced by the culture of consumerism, and
far more concerned with the human experience and our being
alive in the cosmos today: in short, with la condition humaine, the
human condition. Yet even this high culture has very largely be-
come lost and wandering, recently, without an aim. Serious
literature, music, arts and philosophy are today contaminated
with trivia, with self-expression, with personal opinions, and
perhaps hopeful of more popular interestmay even try to titil-
late or shock.
If humankind is to survive (and forgive me for harping on
this), high culture has to start getting back to its basics. And these are
the human condition (what it means to be fully Human) and the
human situation (how we are to live sustainably on the planet).
But this needs a base, a foundation, for its work: and unless
culturehigh or lowprovides this, nothing will change.
My point here is that, especially at this critical stage in human
history, the purpose of high culture (and lowpop, popular ! if for
once it could take its mind off ego-promotion and profits) is to
remind us that our real task is to work on ourselves and become
more balanced, more holistic, more spiritual even. That is, to be-
come more fully Human. Humane.

In other words, by working at the virtues and values, through

exercising the management of the natural energies (animal, vegetal,
and material) that make up our human nature, the energies be-
come transformed into tools for authentic Human being. And this,
let me repeat, is the only way to find long-lasting happiness.
Cosmologicallythat is, according to the skeletonit is the
function of culture (Four) to promote this, because once we have
become fully Human we have access to our unconscious. In addi-
tionand just as significantlyour real conscience now emerges.
Before this transformation, our ordinary conscience has been
merely a socially-conditioned facet of the ego: we feel guilty be-
cause we were perhaps punished as a child when we did certain
things. But now we have, no longer a reactive, childhood-
indoctrinated sense of guilt, but an active, discriminating, authen-
tic conscience acting as our internal guide.
As early as the twenties and thirties, Gurdjieff used to say
that the only hope for humankind was if people could first re-
member their own coming death: and, second, develop a genuine,
objective conscience. Because then at last we will know, con-
sciously and deeply inside ourselves, what to do that is humane.
And this is what willeventually!bring us deep and lasting
Another aspect of culture is rituals and ceremonies. Modern
life is full of secular rituals (shaving, cooking the evening meal,
going to school, or to work, and so on) but we dont think of them
as such. On the other hand, rites of passage are few these days
largely perhaps because we havent got time for them, or we dont
think they are important. Yet animals dont have rites of passage,
so they would seem to be an intrinsic part of our being fully Hu-
man, part of our human heritage. What are rites of passage for?
They help people to be more conscious of their human status, of the
passage of time, of the regular pattern of human life: and they re-
mind us of the inevitability of our coming death.
I think it is time we brought rites of passage back into life:
baptism and the equivalents in other religions; girl into maiden at
menarch, boy into man at puberty perhaps with circumcision
just as we celebrate the change of single maiden into wedded
woman and carefree youth into responsible man with marriage

ceremonies. These, stemming from deep archetypal symbols

within us, would be common to all people everywhere in our
Quest to become more Human.
But I also suggest that we need small, more personalself-
created, perhapsceremonies. We need these to wake us up, to
get out of our ordinary little mind-set, to change our habits, in
order to become more conscious, and more consciously human.
Although in some ways useful, habits can also be numbing, so we
need triggers, or cues for consciousness. Cues to wake up from our
ordinary state of unconsciousness. As I have written about this
elsewhere, though, I shall not go over it again (Pope, 2002).
There is also another need, I think, for more public cere-
moniesin addition to those marking individual rites of passage.
Such ceremonies may provide occasions during which individu-
als, en masse, can be organised to pray collectivelyand thus
(hopefully) more effectivelyfor Peace, for example. Recent stud-
ies by a number of medical doctors have proved, without any
doubt, that groups of people praying together, simultaneously,
can improve the health of named individuals (Dossey, 1999). I
have also heard that experimental work in this lineprayer per-
formed en masse by a spiritual grouptemporarily decreased the
crime rate in Washington D.C.
In addition, although I cannot prove this either, I feel sure we
should be holding small yet sincere ceremonies of asking permis-
sion before cutting down huge and venerable trees in old-growth
forests, and before beginning to slice up the body of the earth with
enormous mining machines. As indigenous people tell us, such
ceremonies would at least show respect and even pay tribute to
our Mother Earth, on whichlet us rememberwe are utterly de-
pendent. This might at least do some small something towards
healingmake whole, and wholesomethe relationship between
Humankind and Gaia.
One final value I am going to throw in here, out of place per-
haps in this section on Culture, is Worship. Spirituality I have
discussed but I feel not enough. Worship I havent even men-
tioned because in todays secular society its almost unknown. Yet,
to be healthy, worship something we must. Pop stars, footballers,
fashion models, celebrities of all kinds, fast expensive cars and

mansions: at present our culture encourages us to worship these.

This, though, brings us down, pulls us ever further away from
being properly, genuinely Human.
Again, Whiteheads term comes in useful here: by worship of
higher, more spiritual things we are lured on to become more
conscious, and better develop ourselves. Even though we may not
have religious faith, or believe in the existence of G-d, there is al-
ways the beauty of the night sky and the unimaginable vastness of
the universe, the mysterium tremendens that Alisjahbana talked of,
the Tremendous Mystery. Of why anything exists at all. Of the far-
flung galaxies, of other suns, and other life-giving planets. This,
the gloria of the unknown Universe, is surely a fit Something for us
all to worship.
And here I cannot resist saying a few words about one of the
many benefits of the spiritual movement called, for short, Subud,
and its spiritual training. During its sessions, atheists, pagans,
Jews, Christians, Muslims and people of other religions, are all
enabled to worship freely together in perfect harmony.


Let me say, in concluding Part 3: it lookscosmologically

as though there is a need for us today to work not only at becom-
ing fully Human but at our re-integration into the natural world. It
is not only the invironment that needs to be taken seriously today
(psychologically and spiritually) but the environment as well (sus-
tainability). It may be too late to reverse the coming climate
changes, butif we would find ourselves, our own integrated in-
ner self, and become fully Human and able to adapt to what is
comingthe effort has to be made. For both, a criterion of judge-
ment is needed, a description of authentic Human being, and a
hierarchy of authentically Human values so we know in truth, and
consciously, where we are, what we are doing and where we are
And this, it seems to me, is what having such a holistic para-
digm, this World Pattern of Process, this fourfold cosmology fit for
Gaia, can provide for us. A set of simple behavioural standards
that is as clear and simple as traffic lights! A way, that is, through


a global ethicbased only on observations of the natural world

valid for all peoples, for Re-Envisioning ourselves with the planet
as one coherent, united whole. As Gaia.




Outcomesa better world?

* *
* * *
* * * *

(Format: random, global, whole, atomistic)

On 20 July 1969 our vision of the world changed. On that day, as-
tronauts sent back photographs of what the earth looked like from
the moon, and suddenly we were shown a new vision. There she
was, our little home planet, our Mother Earth, a beautiful blue
pearl hanging alone against the dark backdrop of the universe.
Pruning a bookshelf not long ago I found an old science text
book Id had at primary school. Inside the cover was written in my
childish hand:
This book belongs to
Jennie Stewart
The Mount School
Mill Hill
The World
The solar system
The Universe.
Seeing that again after so long reminded me of the awe-inspiring
feeling, the shock Id had, on first learning of the unimaginable
vastness of the universe. My perspective had been changed; my
vision of this world utterly altered.
Similarly, those amazing photographs of the earth taken from
the moon gave me a shock, a frisson of discoverya tingling of
the hair and skin, of recognition, almostthat the ordinary world
we think we live in is not the only way of seeing it. And surely that
beautiful blue pearl suspended in space deserves better treatment
by us, her human inhabitants, than she has had from us so far.
The current materialistic paradigm is leading humankind into
disaster. For all our famous rationality, pride of the Western way
of life, we moderns are today beingand behavingextremely
irrationally. Perhaps one of the most dangerous daily influences
on us is that of advertising, which stimulates greed, which in turn
contributes a large part to the absolute irrationalitythe cupidity


and stupiditythrough which we are destroying our envi-

ronment, the biosphere.
I think this is caused mainly by two things. First that we dont
recognise what our inner needs are: so we try and fill the empty
hole inside us with external things, possessions. And second that
we dont understand what Holism is, let alone how to apply it to
Gaia. So it seems to me, as we slip further into the twenty-first
century, that we need to change our collective perspective.
We now know that the earth is a small, fragile whole in
which everything is connected with everything else and every-
thing affects everything else. So as this planetour metaphorical
Mother Earthis the only home we have, it behoves us to learn to
understand her and ourselves as a single, living being, a single
and a singular organism. What is needed, therefore, is an inte-
grated and coherent vision of human life in, on, and with the
earth, Gaia.
As I keep saying, until we incorporate another, more bal-
anced, paradigm into our thought, our way of life and our
treatment of the world, little can change. We desperately need a
third story, a new paradigm which moves us on beyond the
purely material. If this great universal Pattern of Process is a
plausible new paradigm, then I have a fourth part, a Four, in
which to say a few (random!) things of my own.
Part 4 of the Grand Pattern of Process, as is stage Four of the
cosmology, is called by Sufis Afal. This means the results, the
products of the working of the previous Stage Three (the comple-
tion of the project, the third and actual endbut not finalstage
of any process). Also included in here is anything else that comes
after that Three, including a look back to see where weve been, to
evaluate what weve accomplished, and see where we are now.
So let me run overbrieflywhere we have been in this
book. First, I introduced the fourfold processual cosmology in Part
1, and distinguished it from other fourfold, but non-processual,
cosmologies. Then in Part 2, I unpacked this, took it apart, and
described the four bones of its skeleton in some detail, gathering
more information from some of its concrete re-presentations
pointing out that, because this is a formal, abstract and highly
generalised pattern which gives us a flexible framework, not all

the detail will apply in all cases. We ended up with a sequence of

four qualitatively advancing categories, and a formal description
of A Whole.
Then in Part 3, I showed how we can put this simple univer-
sal pattern to work as an empty matrix, as a criterion, as a
touchstone or yardstick for assessing and evaluating things. Here
we first found what a genuine human being is like, then how lifes
processes on a small scale in our own life are echoes of the Grand
Pattern; and also how, on a greater scale, this is echoed in the his-
tory of humankind. To end this Part, I looked at the authentic
human values, and how their practice helps us ordinary people
with our becoming. In other words, how the human values that
lie behind the virtues show us a practical means of developing our
own individual potential, becoming wholeand wholesome
and genuinely Human beings.
Now we have come to the last stage of process and Part 4 of
this book which, formally, is a repeat of Part 1that is, it also is an
unorganised, random mass of materialbut here on a greater
scale. And, as we have said so often, this Four, this fourth stage,
may or may not or contain unexpected, anomalous, incoherent
elements: it may even have Transcendent, perhaps even spiritual
and other aspects which have emerged from the completed vision
of the Big Picture, Three, in Part 3.
Remember that each one of the fourth stage results may be, in
itself, the One of another following processas we saw illustrated
in Figure 2. This allows the spiralthe fourtex of evolutionto
go on, and the upward trend to continue.
So now in Part 4, I shall at last feel free to add my own two
cents worth of opinions. Having spent this long in describing as
impartially and as objectively as I can the whole Grand Pattern of
Process as a coherent, synthetic, holistic whole, Bringing it All
Together, heredear reader, be warnedI shall be including a
few of my own unsubstantiated beliefs. (But no worries, I shall
point these out at the time.)



More benefits of a cosmology fit for Gaia

The advantages of having a single coherent cosmology fit for
Gaiaa Grand Unified Theory of Everythingwould be many.
As well as the framework for psychology and ethics that I talked
about in Part 3a practical paradigmone other major benefit it
would bring is the idea of the universe as benign.
During the twentieth century we lived our lives with the idea
that the world is totally indifferent to us if not actually hostile. The
cold war was on; intercontinental ballistic missiles were aimed at
Europe, the USA, and Russia, ready at the push of a button to kill
you, me and perhaps everyone; and the laws of thermodynamics,
particularly entropy, told us that everything inevitably breaks
down, runs down, ending up as a bunch of inert chemicals. Even-
tually (we were taught), the sun will die and even the universe
come to an end. But with the Grand Pattern of Process which I am
calling Gaias Cosmology showing an equal and upward impulse, a
thrust towards growth, development and complexity, we can now
consider an additional and counteracting law of advancing processes.
Or, as the sciences with their quaint notions of labelling would
have us call it, a law of negative entropy.
If Whitehead and Schumacher and Pak Subuh and Indo-
nesian and countless other traditions are right and everything is
in process, advancing, then a Re-Envisioning of the worldas
impersonally helpful to humankind as entropy is impersonally
harmfulopens. No longer accidental life forms in a dead and
uncaring world, we are free to go with the [upward!] flow as the
hippies used to say in the sixties, and expect that things will work
out well for us.
There are conditions for this, of course. In showing us what it
means to be fully Human, to work for usin advancing our
livesthe cosmological scheme needs our consent. That is, we have
consciously to co-operate with the advancing forces of evolution
so that we can actually benefit from the flow or the force mov-
ing us onwards. If you dont want to work on yourself trying to
become ethical and more fully human, then the flowand the
May the force be with you currentwont be with you. Youll be
swimming against the stream and the universal advance will


probably hinder you. The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune

will probably make your life more difficult. I think, therefore, that
only if we choose to go with the impersonal advancing flow by be-
ing deliberately ethical will our lives benefit and move onwards,
towards fulfilment and happiness.
Another benefit that seems to follow from the law of nega-
tive entropy and the universe as actively benign that the
cosmology shows us, is the idea of an Afterlife. At the end of
every life is death, the death of our physical body. But, by thenif
we have chosen to go with the advancing flowas the Pattern is
open-ended and spiral, there should in old age be a separation of
our consciousness from the decay of the physical body. So from
the Four of a fully Human being (which on a greater scale is a
One, dont forget) I think we can expect Separationa second
Twoto occur. This, again, follows logically from the structure of
the cosmology.
To survive death, then, our life has to be a spiritual journey as
well as a material one. To take another simple Indonesian Four
that I havent mentioned yet but which is almost Jungian, we are
made up of (i) body, (ii) feelings, (iii) thoughts, and (iv) Human
spirit or soul.41 At death we lose our body, and with it go the sour-
ces of our feelings and our thinking (solar plexus, heart, and
brain). This leaves us with our now disembodied Human spirit,
our soul perhaps, together with whatever quantities we have
managed to create, through practising the virtues, of integrated
consciousness. That is, of increasingor perhaps of just bringing
up to consciousnessthe Human Spirit in us.
According to the tale in Genesis, Adam and Eve were
chucked out of the Garden of Eden not because they had eaten the
fruit of the Tree of Good and Evil, but in case they ate of the fruit
of the Tree of Life and became immortal. The pattern gives us no
guarantees: but if we position ourselves in the advancing flow of
the upward trend and go along with it, virtuously, it looks to me
as though there is a good hope at least of some kind of existence in
a conscious Afterlife.

Jungs four were body, feelings, thinking, and intuition.


Blaise Pascals wager, written around 1658, still seems valid

for us today. If one chooses to believe in G-d and an afterlife and
acts on this assumption (he said), one gains eternal life if right
and loses little if wrong. On the other hand, if one is skeptical and
chooses not to believe, one gains little if right (except perhaps a life
of indolence and self-indulgence)but will lose eternal life if
There are other advantages to having a single, coherent, cos-
mology for Gaia. Imagine a world in which every person knew
what it meant to be fully Humanand were not tied to or de-
pendent on the cultural norms they were brought up with. This
simple idea could change attitudes towards others, of every colour
and culture; we could then acceptand respectthe existence of
the culture-free Human Spirit deep within every other person.
Imagine, too, a world in which matter, substances, things,
houses and cars and so on, were classed as One, the very lowest
form of existence. Then unnecessary material possessions would
perhaps be acquired only in order to give them away to others who
needed them.
Imagine a world in which people recognised the sacredness
of the earths natural energiesand the animal kingdom and the
plant worldas both our planetary environment and as our own
Imagine a world in which people cultivated goodness, ethics,
and consciousness in order to develop themselves, and in order to
participate in the advancing of Gaia, our planet, as a holistic or-
ganism, as a part of the solar system, as a part of the cosmos.
Closer to home, think of the possibilities for language, with
level-specific terms. Think of the possibilities for judgement...
learning to evaluate rationally by seeing things in their place
within a fourfold progression of categories. As, for example, the
great religions are all (different) Threes while the pure Spirit
which presumably founded them all is a transcendent Four. As
monarchies and dictatorships are centralised hierarchic Threes,
while Democracies are a random whole, Four. Think too of an-
other way of educating children, holistically, for a sustainable
Lets take a brief look at some of these things now.

Four levels of language?

Gaias Cosmology can make a great improvement to lan-
guage. At present English is the international language used in
trade, tourism, transport, the sciences and so on, but there are
many difficulties with it. If English is not a persons first language
its very difficult to learn; and even for native speakers meanings
may be ambiguous and unclear. With this Cosmology, things
words, in this casecould be made a lot clearer by instituting a
four-level (or level-specific) vocabulary based on the four catego-
Let me give you a few examples. For a start, if you think
about it, order is a Two, whereas organisation is a Three. Why
should this be? Well, there is little or no order in the undifferenti-
ated material world, One (as we saw earlier on in Part 2, particle
ii). Order really comes into the world with life, as a vegetal-level
feature, Two. Plants are orderly; they grow in orderly fashion
from seed to adult; they take in and order (arrange) selected min-
erals into different tissues which in turn are ordered according to
their place on the plantin roots, trunk, stems and branches,
leaves, flowers or fruits. There is order in the animal realm too,
but here it is subject to the more complex needs of the organisation
of the whole. Which is why organisation is a Three.
Another example: a dictionary is an orderly arrangement (a
Two) of words; but they are not yet organised for communication;
they are not coherent speech (which is a Three). The French have a
nice distinction between la langue and la parolelanguage (the en-
tire vocabulary as a random whole, One) and speech (the coherent
sentence, or conversation, Three). These are mediated by the or-
derly rules of grammar (Two) networkingas it werebetween
them. And finally the meaning of what is spoken is, naturally, a
A few other examples at random. Purpose is a Three, an
animal characteristicanimals are motivated from instinct to go
and search for food, dig or build for shelter, and so onwhereas
meaning is again a Four, only emergingand belongingon the
properly Human level.


Properties is a Onematter and material objects have prop-

erties, but unlike plants no functions (Two). I use features also as
a Twoalthough there is a case for it being a One as material ob-
jects do have features (though lumps of rock in a pile, or in a
geological stratum, really dont). I use characteristics as a Three,
because animals, organisations and nationalities clearly do have
them: and I use qualities as a Four. These are probably just
quirks of my own, but I find them useful for distinguishing and
clarifying the differences between terms.
Now here is another language idea which I am putting for-
ward, although I am quite ready to be shot down. English has a lot
of words from Latin and Greek as well as Anglo-Saxon, so what I
am suggesting is that words beginning with prefixes such as pro-,
ad-, ante-, anti-, dis-, des-, in-, ex-, re-, etc are often second level,
Twos, because they have an opposite (usually) and are features of
life on the second-level. On the other hand the con-, com-, co-, etc
words are all third level, Threes, because they come from cum-
(meaning with, in Latin)and the originally Greek syn-, sym-
and sys- words are also Threes because they meanor used to
meancoherent wholes. Here I include conduct (as in music),
because a conductor is the nucleus (the central organising factor)
of the orchestra, as is the conductor of a bus or train. I make an
exception though for conduct, and perhaps also comport, using
them to mean purely Human behaviour/s, Fours. And behav-
iours itself is a natural Two because even plants have different
reactive behaviours.
In this way, if indeed it were possible to codify at least some
of the words in the English language, then more accurateand
richerdescriptions would become possible. For instance, as we
saw in Part 2, Particle ii, plants re-act to externals (Two), whereas
animals can also act from and respond to internals (Three). Hu-
mans, being yet a step higher, would (if theywewere in our
right minds) not merely re-act, or even act, but do things con-
sciously from a still higher energy. Although I have suggested
conduct and comport here, we really have no word, no Four for
that distinction in English.
Other terms come to mind. Operate, and operations are
Threes (they refer to working, which is, in my book, a characteristic

of animals, institutions and other coherent wholes) applying to

individual people as well as organisations. Select is a Two, be-
cause plants automatically select what they need, while animals
choose from options they can seebut what word do we have in
Four here, for the conscious choices that humans make when exer-
cising their free will? There is no such specific word! Again, to
alter something is I think another Two, as plants alter themselves
in reaction to environmental constraints, whereas change is a
Three. Butagainthere seems to be no equivalent Four, no
Human-level-specific word for it on the fourth level.
All this is very sketchy, but perhaps I have given you a taste
of what it would be like to clarify the English language, making it
less easy to misunderstand. By seeing everything in terms of four
levels or categories, it is simple to place words in their natural
place in (to revert to an earlier metaphor) the cosmological four-
tier filing cabinet. Words thus gain both clarity and richness as
they resonate with others in their particular drawer. Alas, I am no
expert though, and look forward to some linguists taking over this
particular use of Gaias Cosmology.
It needs to be said, though, that there is also another quite dif-
ferent way we can use the cosmological framework in the field of
language: we can use it to analyse concepts holistically. That is, as
well as placing them in their natural, normalcorrectcategory
(One, Two, Three, or Four) as I have just been doing, we can also
examine them as wholes-in-their-own-right, and fourfold wholes
at that: as I will now show you.


On the analysis of concepts

Given the skeleton, the whole general system or abstract
framework of Gaias Cosmology, we can now juxtapose single
words against it and examine them more closelyinternally, so
to speak. So now we can look at how we go about analysing con-
cepts holistically.
In the Particle above, I explained why order was a natural
Two and organisation a natural Three: yet we can also look at


both these (and other) words as if they were four-level wholes in

which there is a certain quantity and quality of order on the first
level, and a different quantity and quality of order on the second
leveland so on.
Take a term, any old term will do. Take, for example, sensi-
tivity. To analyse it, we put it besidealongsidethe four
categories of Gaias Cosmology, and look at it in the context of an
increase in intensityand other qualitiesas you see it first in
One and then on up through the stages or levels of the processual
hierarchy to Four.
In One, the material/Earth category, there is little if any
sensitivity, and that little is external. A rock is sensitive in so far
as it can be affected by weathering, lightning strikes, human
hammering and so on, as is Earth, the first Empedoclean element.
A plant (Two) is also sensitive in this way: but in addition some
parts of it function by reacting automatically to sunlight, water,
and/or certain minerals. And not to forget the elements: Water
(Two) is a lot more sensitive than Earth or inert substance and ma-
terial objects, Ones. So here there is a definite increase in the
intensity and value of sensitivity for the plant, and Water too
over and above that of a rock. Value, because if it were insensi-
tive, a plant would not survive although the rock would. And if
the waters were not sensitive, there would be no cyclic flows, no
rain, and no life on earth.
Next, moving on to the third category, Threesthe animal
level, and Air among other thingsare also sensitive in the ways
in which a rock is, and to some extent also to which plants and
water are: but there is yet another increase here on this level; there
is sensitivity to internal needs. If an animal lacks food, being sensi-
tive to its own hunger or that of its off-spring, it goes to find
something to eat. Without that sensitivity to internals it would not
survive. And the Air, if it were not sensitive to ground conditions
around the world, and to sunlight: what would happen to its
movement, to its homogeneity, and to pollutionand our breath-
But what is the fourth-level quality of sensitivity? What is the
specifically Human sensitivity? I suggest that it is the sensitivity to
perceiveto intuit, evendifferent options, some of which may

be either abstract, out of sight, or forward in the future. And what

is the sensitivity of Lightis there such a thing? At this stage I
dont think science knows enough about light to say, either way.
Even so, I think you can see the practical value and use of
examining words as wholes in this way, to see what they mean in
different contextsover and above knowing what level category
or bone (and symbolic number) they fall into naturally in the four-
fold skeleton of Gaias cosmology.


On the number Four itself

A wit has remarked that what Freud did for sex, Jung did for
the Number Four.
Victor White, S.J.

Four is a somewhat misunderstood number today. Look it up

in any modern book of symbols and it is depicted as four-square,
solid, earthy, feminine, passive, negative even, stuck, dull, fixed,
and so on. It is true that four was the sacred number of the old
earth religions, such as that of the Kelts in Caledonia (Keli-don =
the People of [the goddess] Don or Dana = Scotland), and also of
Wicca and Druidism, and even earlier animistic beliefs. Before the
Neolithic revolution when agriculture came into being, there were
four sacred days of the year in the northern hemisphere: the sec-
ond of February, the Eve of May, the first of August, and the Eve
of November.
This shows a division of the year at May and November with
two cross-quarter days. Such a division belongs to a very early
calendar before the introduction of agriculture. It has no connec-
tion with sowing or reaping, it ignores the solstices and equinoxes,
but it marks the opening of the two breeding seasons for animals
wild and domesticated, so it can only have belonged to earlier
hunting and pastoral periods.
The old festival of Lammastide used to be August 1, but the
change of date to the 11th or 12th was due to the alteration of the
calendar in 1752. On this day in high summer in the old countries
of Europe there were fairs, and families came together to celebrate


much as we do at Christmas today. Puck, the Old Green Man, the

horned god whom churchmen later (disgracefully) changed into
the devil, Satan, was the priapic bringer of fertility, taking centre
stagewith four girls dressed in green around him. Apparently
there is still at least one survival of the horned god fair which oc-
curs at the Puck Fair of Killorglin, in County Kerry, Ireland, where
a horned goat is called the puck of the Fair (Murray, 1960: 37).
Later on, with the coming of agriculture, the quarter days
were changed to fit in with the solar equinoxes and solstices, and
there was less emphasis on the fertility of animals and more on the
four seasons, and the (fourfold) process of (i) the sowing of seeds,
(ii) cultivating their growth, and (iii) harvesting: and finally (iv)
the selection and storage of the best seed for next years sowing, as
well as its distribution and consumption.
In some places in England, in Norfolk for instance, there used
to be a four-year rotation of crops. The planting plan was for three
years of different crops in a field, and during the fourth it was left
fallow, or animals were put to graze on it. This was yet another
exampleI assumeof the uses of the old pagan knowledge of
cosmological Fours. When early Christianity arrived, perhaps to
placate the old Earth Religions and blend in with them, Fours
were taken seriously. The cross is a fourfold symbol, a (static)
cosmology in itself; and there are the four chief angels, four gos-
pels, and in the Revelations of St. John there are the four horsemen
of the Apocalypse. Origen, a very early Christian theologian and
philosopher, came up with a list of thirty-six Fours!Not all of
them were processual Fours, though.
Four is deeply ingrained (and thats a wonderful word!) in us
as the number of stability, of completion. When methods of birth
control first came in, Four was seen as the ideal family: mother
and father, plus a girl and a boy. Although there are of course dif-
ferent opinions about this; Winston Churchill used to say that four
was the perfect number of children, one to replace the mother, one
to replace the father, one to increase the birth-rate(!), and one in
case of accidents!
So yes, Fours, ordinarily, are symbolic numbers of the earth,
this world and, in our prehistoric past, of solidity and completion.
Yet some of the secret, more esoteric traditions gave them other,

more elevated meanings. To Jewish scholars, for instance, Four

was Dalet, the gateway, the door to another set of potentials. The
Kabala with its ten Sephiroth divides into four major worldsthe
four stages of creation from G-d the Unmanifest right down into
materiality. The Sufis, as we saw, had their simpler fourfold
model of creation, too. The Buddha, more openly, preached the
Four Noble Truths and, with his last words, told us to work out
our own salvation with diligence.
Hinduism had its four ways of working toward that: the way
of the fakir (physical); the way of the monk, bhakti, (feelings, devo-
tions); and jnana, the way of the mind (knowledge, meditation).
The fourth way was the way of good works, or karma.
One of my favourites is old Pythagoras, mathematician and
mystic and sage of ancient Greece, who proposed a fourfold cos-
mogony much the same as ours: (1) undifferentiated unity, (2) the
separation into two opposite powers to create the world order and
(3) the union of the opposites to generate (4) life (Butler 1970: 39).
Pythagoras also came up with the sacred decad or tetraktys, a mys-
tical name meaning, roughly, fourness. This symbol is a perfect
triangle made of ten dots representing the four basic, necessary
numbers: One, which plus Two plus Three plus Four equals Ten,
which is the perfect number (he said)as it expresses and repre-
sents all four levels of existence. Or, alternatively, the harmony
harmonia, the working together of the heavens and the earthand
the music of the spheres. (You can see the Tetraktys on the title
page, and elsewhere in this book.)
Pythagoras, or maybe Pythagoreansthe pupils who had
studied with the old man in his school and, long after he died,
kept his philosophical system and ideas alivealso assigned
numbers to many abstract concepts. Although most of their mean-
ings are lost to us, or just seem totally irrational today, a few make
sense in terms of the cosmological categories: Justice, for example
was a Four.
One of the best known traditional Fours is Hippocrates four
humours (liquids) of the human body: black bile, yellow bile,
blood and phlegm, which were at that time (around 400 BC)
thought to originate in the spleen, liver, heart and brain respec-
tively. These were supposed to produce the four corresponding

human temperaments: the melancholic, the choleric, the sanguine

and the phlegmatic, which umpteen writers have attempted to
link (in parallel fashion) to the four Empedoclean elements, the
four Existents (the Chain of Being) and a wild variety of other
things such as colours, the races of humanity, dimensions, and so
on. I, however, shall make no such attempt.42
In those days of yore, when men and women perceived
knewthe unity of humankind and the world, they saw a lot more
correspondences and connectionsconformationsbetween
things than we dream of today. So not only were concepts given
corresponding numbers but letters of the alphabet were too: and
to Delta, the fourth letter of the Greek alphabet, was ascribed Four.
Whether (or not) alpha, beta and gamma (today, our C) correspond
in any way to my One, Two and Three, I havent a clue: but Delta,
oddly enough, does, and its number is four (Firmage, 2000: 72).
Nor should we forget a far more rational Four, Aristotles classic
four causes: the material, the formal, the efficient, and the final.
Unlike many other ideas from those early times, these four do con-
form to the four bones of our cosmological skeleton. Studying
animals, Aristotle also thought there were four types of reproduc-
tion: including the abiogenetic origin of life from non-living mud
(as the Britannica expresses it), asexual reproduction (budding),
sexual reproduction as in the pollination of plants, and sexual re-
production through copulation as in animals and humans.
A few centuries later Theon of Smyrna, writing in the first
century CE, listed ten sets of Four things (tetrads) that, in some
cases but not all, conform to our four categories: and when Cor-
nelius Agrippa followed suit and wrote up his ideas, he came up
with not less than 31 tetrads in his Scale of the Number Four (Butler,
1970:9)! Still not quite up to Origen, though.
So much for the ancients: how about the moderns? Mathema-
tician and inventor Arthur M. Young (19051995) has a whole
holistic philosophy of processslightly different from oursyet
still based, more or less, on fourwhich is worth looking at
although I am not going to do so here. He also has a whole bunch

Perhaps the only serious scientist who used them was Pavlov, who di-
vided the dogs he was studying into these same four.


of Fours neatly set out in a table in one of his books (1976b: 154),
relating ancient Fours to modern ones: not, unfortunately, in the
same order, nor with the same forms that I have ascribed them.
His categories are slightly different, too; I mention them, though
and have included his books in the Bibliographyin case anyone
wants to follow up Youngs work on Fours.
There is also, it seems to me, a strange abundance of natural
Fours in the world that we know about today, from the four geo-
logical types of rocks to the four bases of DNAThymine,
Adenine, Guanine and Cytosinebut whether any or all of these
will be found to be isomorphic to the Grand Pattern, I dont know.
The four fundamental forces of physics I mentioned earlierthese
do conform formally to it. I dont know whether the four phases of
cell division: prophase, metaphase, anaphase, and telophase do or
not. Horses, and some other animals, have four different gaits: a
walk, a trot, a canter, and a gallop. Human pregnancies are di-
vided into three trimestersresulting in a fourth stage: birth
These facts may seem odd and unrelated, but read Natures
Numbers by mathematician Ian Stewart for a lot moreincluding
a differential equation with only four variables [that] captures the
important features of the dynamics of the rabbit population
which hes just discussed (1995: 135).
Gurdjieffs system of psycho-spiritual work on oneself was
called (by him) The Fourth Way; Jung has his many quaternities
and, although not all of them are processual, plenty are. He also
has four basic personality types which correspondconformto
his hierarchy of functions (as we saw earlier) although others were
added on later to these. Yet, as polymath Tyler Volk muses, sim-
pler versions do have advantages:

My colleagues and I often partition wheat growth into an

energy cascade of three or four processes, knowing perfectly
well that we are ignoring the complex dynamics of thousands
of proteins. Yet we are confident that some aspect of truth will
be revealed to us in this simpler division. Pondering graphs of
the energy cascade, we try to interpret the state of the whole,
and what part each process plays in relation to the others as
growth ensues. (1995: 150)


I agree. And so does Ian Stewart, who says,

models with small numbers of variables may be more realistic

than many biologists have hitherto assumed. Its deeper
implication is that simple, large-scale features can and do
emerge from the fine structure of complex ecological games.
(1995: 135)

Fourssome with more, some with less, of the internal for-

matting details of form that I described in Part 2seem to be a
natural way (the best of the numbers?) to represent our ordinary,
common or garden reality. The four dimensions (a point, a line, an
area, and a volume), for example, and even the three divisions of
space and one of time: plus the innumerable fourfold hierarchies
and processes occurring in the empirical world. As a pattern of
evolving process Four may not symbolise the Ultimate Descrip-
tion, but it gives us a simple and practical method of showing the
consilience, the conformations, between things on different scales
and in different fields of human knowledge in this world for this
time. And, let it not be forgotten, it is open-ended.
In addition, there are the many spirals found in the sciences,
from galaxies to brachiation and sunflower seeds: and more recent
discoveries of the spiral form of the development of the foetal
heart, and of the coursing of the blood we all have in our arteries
and veins. I suspect that more will be discovered in the future
but will they be found to be tesspiralsspirals with a fourfold form?
Only time will tell.
Finally, a note on the naturalness of Four: it is the largest
number of things we can see in an instantthat is, without
checking and counting up to make quite sure of how many there
are. Georges Ifrah, a recent synthesiser of enormous quantities of
documentation on the history of numbers, says,

the human adult with no training at all (for example, learning

to recognise the 5 or the 6 at cards by sight, through sheer
practice) has direct and immediate perception of the numbers 1
to 4 only. Beyond that level, people have to learn to count.
(1998: xxi)


Ifrah goes on to discuss this, calling it the limit of four, and

after some pages of dense argument concludes, There really can
be no debate about it now: natural human ability to perceive number
does not exceed four! (1998: 9, his emphasis)
However, lets get back to business! Fascinating and fun as it
is to play around with these sorts of thingsa plethora of tetrads,
quaternities, letters and numbersit really isnt awfully produc-
tive: and there are a few more serious suggestions I want to make
based on Gaias Cosmology before finishing this book.


Educating for a sustainable world

Of all human activities, education is one of the most conse-
quential. We are born with few of the characteristic instincts of an
animal and, as we saw in Part 3, this is at once our weakness and
our (potential) strength. You and I were born to grow up and be-
come fully human; perhaps every infant born has that potential.
That means, as we saw earlier, to exercise our free will and
become detached enough from our animal instinctsour na-
tureto be able to choose our activities consciously and direct
our conduct in the best, that is the most ethical, direction. At the
same time, in order to grow into fully, authentically, Human
humanebeings, we also need to grow out of our social condition-
ing, our nurture. Yet today there is no guarantee we will even try
to do so, because the scientific paradigm and the material culture
of todayincluding educationdont have a clue about this, far
less teach it in schools.
One of the most constructive approaches to education Ive
come across is Doris Lessings. In the Preface of The Golden Note-
book she writes:

It may be that there is no other way of educating people [than

the usual one today]. Possibly, but I don't believe it. Ideally,
what should be said to every child, repeatedly, throughout his
or her school life is something like this:
You are in the process of being indoctrinated. We have
not yet evolved a system of education that is not a system of
indoctrination. We are sorry, but it is the best we can do. What


you are being taught here is an amalgam of current prejudice

and the choices of this particular culture. The slightest look at
history will show how impermanent these must be. You are
being taught by people who have been able to accommodate
themselves to a regime of thought laid down by their
predecessors. It is a self-perpetuating system. Those of you...
who are more robust and individual than others, will be
encouraged to leave and find ways of educating yourself
educating your own judgment. Those that stay must
remember, always and all the time, that they are being
moulded and patterned to fit into the narrow and particular
needs of this particular society. (1972: 17)

At school we were brainwashed. We were taught biology and

geometry and chemistry and several other separate subjects; we
were taught them as different disciplines as a left-over from the
sciences because in order to analyse they have had to fragment
everything. We murder to dissect as Wordsworth saidand
there was a time when we had to analyse in order to find out about
the world we live in.
But today things have now got to such a pitch that it is time
to synthesise, to see things as organised, coherent, wholes: with
parts, that is, which cohere. To put Humpty Dumpty together
again, and bring all the fragments back together in relation-
shipswhich means seeing how things are all connected and how
they are related. And above all to see the unity, the integral
wholeness, of the biosphere and humankind.
Schools also taught usand are still doing so!that human
beings are the product of random chance and natural selection:
and more, that facts have nothing to do with values. Yet another
terrible thing they taught us was that all the teachings in the sa-
cred books of the world, and all our traditions of what it means to
be human, were old-fashioned, fictional, unproven and irrelevant
nonsense. Or at best, myths. Just because the world was not cre-
ated in six days flat as the Bible said it was, the baby was thrown
out with the bathwaterand the purpose and meaning of human
life was swept away and lost.
Schools are wrong to teach this rubbish. Wrong in the sense
of incorrect, because science has moved on; and also wrong in the
sense that by teaching classical physics and other separate sciences


as if this were still the nineteenth century, they are helping to de-
stroy the expectations, hopes and ideals of many young people. In
preaching (which is what they are doing) this old-fashioned stuff
schools are promoting nihilismand thence gloom, doom and
despair or at the very least escapism. They ignore the fact that for
over one hundred years physics has been telling us that the uni-
verse is not mere matter; that weird and wonderful things do go on
that are UN-understandable by the materialistic paradigm; that
nothing is fixed; and that willy-nilly we are all intimately connected
in the same universe. Some scientists are even saying now that Con-
sciousness may be the ultimate Reality, the Final Cause (Goswami,
1995; Lorimer, 1999; Minkel, 2000; Ravindra, 2002). But here I must
jump off my hobby-horse as I can get quite ferocious about the
destructive idiocy of what schools are still teaching today because,
as an old teacher, education is still my main concern in life.
Another horror resulting from educations nineteenth-
century materialistic approach to life is the high rate of addiction
to harmful substances and the appallingly high suicide rate
among young people today in the industrialised countries. This
isalasall too understandable. And all too many schools are
still passing on the information provided by the old nineteenth-
century sciences which said that the planet earth is a microscopic
dot in an almost infinite universe, that life is a product of accident,
chance, competitivenesssurvival of the fittestand natural
selection, and that human life is purposeless and without mean-
Told this, many serious young people choose to opt out of
life, get out of the whole thing. Every year thousands of young
people all over the modern world commit suicide because they
cannot see any purpose in life, or any meaningbecause of what
they were taught in school. Or, if they dont, they take to drugs or
other addictions to escape from experiencing what Gurdjieff used
to call the terror of the situation. This is, as I sayand sadly
understandable, given what they were taught in school. Yet since
1900 the sciences have been changingand its about time education
changed to keep up with them.
A few brave souls, including the late Varindra Tarzie Vit-
tachi, once head of UNICEF, have suggested the only reason

schools are valued is because it gets the kids out of the parents
way during the dayso they can get on with their own business!
Jung, on the other hand, saw a quite different kind of value. Before
a child goes to school, he said, s/he is at-one-with the unconscious
of their parents or family; the primary value of schooling is there-
fore to remove the growing child from that stifling, unconscious
bond and set him or her free to develop.
In this broad context, and in any case, education is necessary.
Not just the learning of facts and figures, of how to think critically,
of how to pass exams, or even of how to earn a living compe-
tently; but of the ethical and spiritual aspects of human life. The work
that goes on in schools at present is very largely just training:
training for the next set of tests or exams, so you can end up with
a piece of paper which tells someone else what you have been
taught. This is not education.
The word education comes from the Latin e-duco, which
means leading out from. As Jung says, and as the fourfold cos-
mology confirms, locked inside every child is a wealth of inherited
but unconscious and unorganised archetypal matter, including the
knowledge of what it means to be authentically Human. There
also lies the aspiration and even the longing for wholeness, com-
pletion, and consciousness that Jung calls the transcendent
function and which I have called the Human Spirit. This is our
precious human heritage, the human species-specific, the One
Thing that needs to be examined and expressed in every human
life. But this remains unconscious unless it is begun to be drawn out,
little by little, when youngled out of usby skilled educators who
understand the human condition.
Teachers today are having an increasingly hard time. Given
classes of twenty-five, thirty or even more students, they have no
time for brighter students but have to cater for the lowest common
denominator. In addition, forced to spend hours on filling in
forms, on administration and accountability, most of their efforts
and energy have to go into bureaucratic paperwork rather than
into work in the classroom. This is not the way a properly Human
education can be passed on to young people by harassed teachers.
The best that can be done today is being done by amazingly won-
derful people, dedicated to their task, grossly underpaid and

woefully unappreciated, but who do not themselves understand

the human condition because they lackyou guessed ita cos-
mology as a foundation.
For a start, it would help if the curriculum and teaching
methods were changed from training (learning of facts and their
regurgitation later in tests and examinations), to a more human-
istic education with one eye on the great literary classics of the
past and the other on the present world situation. Lets look at
these two in turn.

The curriculum
If we are to promote a bettera more humane, more sustain-
ableworld, then we adults need to promote the idea of what it
means to become truly Human. Most of what students need to
know about becoming human is already inside them, but it needs
our help to become conscious. Therefore, from the very beginning,
we must insist that our students learn the basics of what it means
to be Human (as we saw in Part 3.i). Note that I do not say they
must be taught this; they should be allowed to learn it for them-
selves through heuristic (discovery) methods. I have done
workshops on this with 8th grade12 and 13 year old students:
they catch on pretty quickly!
Originally I became an anthropologist because I wanted to
find out what it means to be Human, but none of the lecturers I
asked could tell me. Most shrugged their shoulders, one even
laughed at menot very nicelyfor even asking him such a ques-
tion. So I just got on with my life and eventually, through Pak
Subuhs talks in Indonesia, discovered what it means. And later,
as you saw in Part 3.i., I found Schumachers formula which con-
firmedand rationalisedit all. But academics arent interested
in this method; perhaps its just too simple for the academic dis-
cipline of anthropology.
For me, the spiritual part of being human was probably the
most important discovery I made. That made immediate sense to
me; it made all my adolescent and teenage fears and longings,
wonderings and despairs, slip into their natural place, and al-
lowed me to recognise the need to search, to quest, to find what I
needed. After some years of the Gurdjieff psychological work, and

then the even more effective Subud spiritual latihan training, I

found myself, as they say: my inner Self. And Ias anyone can be
who strives to surrender, to go with the [upward!] flow, to be
ethical and humaneam now what I am.
This striving is not at present an ordinary human given,
though. Our own inner self does not develop automatically while
our body grows and ages. So this is not a natural process: it is a
specifically Human psycho-spiritual process. And, though at pres-
ent it is largely unknown in the modern world, there is a growing
trend today towards what is called, rather grandly, spirituality,
and the developing of our individual human potentials.
Lets look at this in cosmological terms again. One is the
child, at-one-with the family. Two is the separated individual,
outwardly cut off emotionally from his or her family and inter-
nally from the unconscious connections with both the natural and
the spiritual aspects of life. What is necessary now is to educate
to accustomstudents to the idea that a move on to a third state, a
Three, will be necessary if they want to be happy as they grow older.
That is, to a state when the conscious and unconscious will be-
come integrated, all sense of alienation is lost, and there is the
feeling of having rejoined the natural world andat lastof in-
habiting a realm beyond the ordinary world, a holistic world
which includes perhaps even a spiritual realm. And that, if they
want to find lasting happiness, this is the way to go about it.
As to know thyself is perhaps the most basic human task,
schools should be introducing studentsleading studentsinto
this idea. And warning them that it isnt going to be easy, because
deep down inside we meet all the horrid things in ourselvesthe
anger, the greed, the lust, the jealousy and all the rest of the de-
mons of darkness. All these things are in us, in every human
being: not demons of course, but a natural part of us, part of our
animal, vegetal and material nature which has been repressed into
the unconscious. The way to know ourselves and become fully
human is to see these things, in us, in ourselvesand to acknow-
ledge them, get to know them, forgive them, and even come to
love them. And finally theythese demons of oursnot only
come under our control but may become useful, as motivating


energies, to fuel our greater work which is to help improve the

This process is for adults rather than high school students,
but I believe it should be introduced as an idea, in schools. This is
the the inner journey symbolised in so many fairy tales and
myths. And tell them that, as I said, it will take a great deal of hard
work, courage and persistence. Not everyone will want to under-
take this journey, though, let alone persist throughout their life
with this striving, this Quest, this journey to the interior. But I be-
lieve the notion should be introduced to everyone as part of their
education, beginning in primary school, so it becomes known as a simple
fact of life.
The curriculum also needs to make the organismic connec-
tions between the material energy inside us and the material
world we live in; between the vegetal life energies inside us and
the entire realm of plants outside us; and between the animal in-
stinctive energies inside us and the animal kingdom outside us.
We are, as I said earlier, made in the image of Gaia: and every-
thing we do to our planet affects everything inside us. And, of course,
vice versa. The more people who learn about this at school, and as
adults embark on the journey to become more fully human, the
more constructive this will be for our mother Earth, Gaia.
Many people will fall by the wayside, will give up, and fail to
find themselves. But at least they will have been introduced to the
idea at school, and therefore given a chance to try it as adults.
Earlier I quoted the biblical saying, many are called but few
are chosen. I believe that the number of people who are cho-
senby some internal or eternal spark (probably the Human
Spirit) inside themselvesis increasing, and in the West popular
interest in spirituality is reaching epidemic proportions. As the
comedian Lenny Bruce said, people are leaving the churches and
going back to God (quoted in Tacey, 2001). Unfortunately many
New Age versions of spirituality have become so commercialised
that, as Tacey says, their ideas are somewhat off-putting, and even
contaminated. (As far as I know, the spiritual training in Subud is
the one free, and freely available, phenomenon today.) Another
unfortunate quality of New Age spirituality is its tendency to sen-
timentality, and to equate feelingsespecially feeling goodand

flights of imaginationwith truth and the at times harder realities

of coming to self-development via self-knowledge and ethical be-
In any case, to begin with, the simple ideas of human devel-
opment, of spirituality and mysticism should be introduced to
students during their secondary (or even primary) education, be-
cause this is all part of becoming Human. In this way, young people
will come to accept that there is work to be done inside them-
selves, a life-long journey, a Quest, to be undertaken, to become
and to befully Human. Teenagers are particularly open to this
idea, but ifas usually happens todaythey are ignorant of it, or
even taught to ignore it, a second opportunity will come in their
fortiesand is usually called somewhat derogatively, the mid-life
crisis. (If you leave it this long to start out, though, I think the
journey may be even harder)

The humanities
In high schools particularly, to flesh out the framework, the
concept, of what it means to be fully Human, the humanities as
they were correctly calledneed to be emphasised. Basically this
means the great literature of the world, including Chuang Tzu,
Goethe, Plato, Shakespeare, and the Upanishads, among others.
These great books, and others of their ilk, complement the dry
concepts of human psychological development. Young people,
teenagers in particular, need to know that as well as there being a
formula for authentic human being there are people who have
been there, and returned from the pit of despair to write about it in
full knowledge of the human condition.
Human values and humanistic literature are the staff of life;
we can lean on them, be supported, and feel hopeful because they
give us an aim to strive towards. Without them there is no meaning
in anything, andas is happening todaydespair and suicide are
the natural consequences.
The mystical poets, classical music, paintings and other great
works of art may also help address the teenagers chronic melan-
choly and can illustrate and illuminate their way forward.
Anthropologist Colin Turnbulls The Human Cycle (1985) and my-
thologist Joseph Campbells The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1956)

may provide the growing, aching, self-conscious teenager in high

school with some guidelines. Here, as Turnbull in particular dis-
cusses, awakening sexuality may become tempered by an
interestif introduced gentlyin ideas, in using his or her mind
as a means of exploring the world and life, the universe and
everything. Jung also makes this connection, between a young
persons sexuality and his or her awakening abstract thought,
mental skills, and curiosity.
Earlier on even than this, though, I believe the great human-
istic ideas ought to be taught to children by their parents, starting
in the cradle with storiesfairy tales and Bible storiesthat have
a deep archetypal meaning (Bettelheim, 1977). Then more of these
same stories, with their symbolic ideas and ideals, should be
taught in grade schools, and continually encouraged and pro-
moted throughout ones educationright up to the great, complex
sagas of Hinduism, the Wagnerian Ring and the Shakespearean
tragedies. This will lay the unconscious foundations for a better
life, full of meaning (Srikandi, 1966), with which the child grows
into an ethical adult and moves on further still to become a fully
Human being.
Understanding of the Human condition and its potentials
used to be known in some of the oldest civilisations of the world
such as India, China, and Java. It was not only sacred business, it
was secret business, too: and this was understandable in the days
of patriarchy and hierarchies (Three, within the greater One of the
pre-modern period). In those days, secrets and hidden knowledge
were the means by which the elders of the tribe held power over
the young, who had to be initiated into it. Today, though, there is
so much information being produced that secrets are outdated; in
addition, as societies are moving toward more democracy (which
is a Four) there seems no reason for everyone not to be informed
if they so wishabout the possibility of further and more spiritual
human development. I suggest that the classics and the great liter-
ary works from all over the world be taught in school to bring
richness, colour and infill to the basiccosmologicaloutlines of
the human condition.
If this were to happen there mightjust mightin coming
generations be hope for the future, a real shift of paradigm, and

some Great Awakening to a more conscious, transcendent hu-

mankind, a Four, alive in a sustainable world.


A trifle on truths
A character in one of Gore Vidals novels remarks, Dear
Nordhoff, in this case I know only what you tell me is the truth.
And you could be mistaken. As for the truth always coming out,
why, I think it never does. But even if it did, who would know?
Yes, what we have been looking at here in this book is, big
word, Truth. What is truth? said jesting Pilate, andas Francis
Bacon remarkeddidnt stick around for an answer. By using
Gaias Cosmology, though, we can get some clearer ideas of truth.
Or perhaps simply of the connections and relationships of different
For millennia people took for granted that whatever their
tribal lore or their religion taught them was The Truth. Of course,
other peoples truths were not true. Then came the sciences, and
proved thingsand their truths were different again, and often
contradicted tribal and religious truths. But in its own way, sci-
ence is just as limited as the religions. Can we doubt that love
exists? Yet (and although it visibly occurs also in the higher ani-
mals) it has no place in the sciences. And today we are beginning
to realise that although secular society has certainly many advan-
tages, somehow it isnt very satisfying. There is something
missing. We dont have a conscience that is a criterion for judging the
truth of things, and we miss it.
What I am suggesting here is that the criterion missing from
our lives is actually within us: yet, because of the cut-off barrier of
our ordinary consciousness (the curse of consciousness as Jung
called it), we are unconscious of it. Yes, the separation and frag-
mentation, both in ourselves and from the world, has been a
necessary stage in the process of becoming human: but humankind
now seems to be teetering on the precipice of this particular stage
(Two-becoming-Three) in human development. Unless a new
paradigm of integration, of syntheses and consilience is promoted,


encouraging usindividually and collectivelyto move on to the

stability of Three, climate changes and other natural disasters may
overwhelm us before our conscienceour internal criterion of
human goodness and Truthcan rise and be integrated into our
conscious awareness.
There was a lot of talk in the second half of the last century,
spearheaded by Thomas Kuhn (1970), about a new paradigm
shift. This means that changesshiftsin perceptions do occur
which means, in turn, changes in the public perception of Truth.
So far there seems, with big business getting bigger and more
fiendishly materialistic (sub-human) than ever, to have been little
change, and that only in some small areas. Right now I think it is
the overall Big Picture that the sciences have of this world that
needs to shift: from an entropy-driven universe to a vision of an
organismic, universe-in-advancing-process.
Although this hasnt happened yet, it seems to me that this
move, this advanceon to Threehas begun. Since the advent of
quantum theory, and especially in quantum mechanics where
weird things appear to happen, the physical sciences have had to
broaden their scope. With the latest research that is being done in
some hitherto forbidden territories (for example the survival of
individual consciousness after death) it begins to look as though
science is beginning to accept that a lot of what have been called
myths are True. However, there was a lot of superstition mixed up
with the mythologies and ideas of old. This is where the skeptical
secular societyalong with science, the scientific attitude and ra-
tional thoughthave come in very useful. Indeed, they are the
sine qua non of life because science moves on from truth to truth, as
old ideas and theories are discarded. So today we have different
ideas about the nature of Truth.
It is highly unlikely that a major change can happen in the
world if there is no conceptual synthesis, no Three, no bedrock
foundationno Theory of Everythingno cosmology!on and
around which to build. Yet, having a Cosmology fit for Gaia, why,
anything might!
I should remind you here that the cosmology Ive been dis-
cussing in this book is only concerned with this world. Admittedly
it is open-ended, and Four allows for Light in the Four Elements,

and spirituality, enlightenment and Spirit on the human level of

the Chain of Being: and thence (perhaps) on-going processes into
other, even finer, non-physical realms and dimensions. There are
possibly whole fields of the higher, finer, more conscious spiritual
lifeother Realitiesthat I have not touched on here, but which
Pak Subuh and Schumacher both took for granted (Schumacher
1977, Sumohadiwidjojo, 1957).
Let me conclude here, modestly, that Gaias Cosmology
seems to indicate there are four qualitatively different levels of Truth.
Empirical truths (One); speculative and mythological truths, and
truths in separate fields (Two); and multi-level and comprehen-
sive truths which embrace and unite a variety of different
phenomena and/or apparent paradoxes (Three)because what is
true on one level may not be true on another. What Four, the
fourth level, of truth comprises I can only suggest might be truths
of the Spirit. These may well seem random, as they depend en-
tirely on a persons adequatio as Schumacher calls it (1977: 4971):
that is, on their own level of being and/or quality of perception.
So even Four, then, is probably not the ultimate Truth, capital
T. Yet a framework of four levels of Truth does, I consider, give us
a workable approximation, and a methodology for looking further.
(As Jung once said, every truth is the last truth but one.) Even so,
and as it is, I think this cosmology gives us a useful conceptual
framework, a multi-dimensional tool which is useable by anyone
and everyone, for understandingand judging the truth and
value ofall the things of this ordinary world. And, therefore, for
making bettermore helpful, more constructivechoices.
Not all these truths will be perceptible to everyone. If you can
only see one set of truthsor truths on only one levelyou prob-
ably need to expand your vision. However, my hope in writing
this book has been to introduce another, broader version of what
constitutes Truth and truths according to this ancient cosmological
pattern of process, so it becomes available to anyone who feels the
limitations of reductionism and the lack of a criterion for anything
beyond the physical world. By using Gaias fourfold cosmology,
anyone can now make judgementsarriving at sensible, rational,
publicly-debatable (if not precisely publicly-repeatable!)and
thus acceptable, truths.

Towards burn-outor transcendence?

As I said at the very beginning of this book, our environment,
the natural world, Gaia, our earth mother, is in troubleand so,
therefore, are we. At present, and if business continues as usual, the
world will run short of oil, natural gas and other non-renewable
natural resources in five or ten years, climate changes will have
increased, and life as we live it will changefor the worse. If noth-
ing is done and the price of petrol goes up to some $15 a litre, or
10 pounds a gallon, how shall we live? Not as we do today! This
will be burn outthe end of Two; with a probable return back
down to the Chaos of One depicted in so many science fiction
stories about the future. Perhaps a return to a more primitive life-
style. Sitting at my comfortable desk with a room full of books,
papers and electrical equipment, I find this almost unimaginable.
But it is a quite possible scenarioeven probable, if we do not
change our life-style soon.
To change, though, we need as I said right at the start of this
saga, a new story, a new and holistic paradigm. And once we can
see this ancient Pattern of the World permeating and forming our
own life, we can also see Whiteheads very similar, grand fourfold
pattern of process running through all and everythingand the
connections, the coherence, of everything with everything else that
he pointed out in Process and Reality. Then we shall have at least a
basis, a philosophical foundation, for seeingfor perceiving and
for graspingthe Big Picture. A new, holistic, paradigm. A new
In addition, perhaps the sciences will begin to expand their
ideas about cosmology. Ervin Laszlo says:

Cosmology is a physical science, yet it is one that must provide

reasons for the possibility of other sciences. A cosmology that
does not explain the conditions under which nature evolves
beyond the sphere of physics is distinctly flawed: sound
cosmological theories must show how matter configures into
ever more complex and ordered systems in space and time.
(1993: 193)


I think Whitehead sawand tried to showhow matter con-

figures into ever more complex and ordered systems but his
language describing his version of things in his process philoso-
phyhis cosmology!is almost impenetrable. And perhaps I, too,
in the vision that came to me out of the blue was shown the an-
swer, one crisp autumn morning in Vermont in 1978. But this
remains to be seen.
In any case, Laszlo goes on to say, Cosmology, in this sense,
is the mother of all natural sciencesthough as a rule few cos-
mologists take this role to heart (1993: 193).
It may seem that I have said too much about cosmology and
too little about the care and maintenance of our small planet, and
the survival of our species. But plenty of experts have written
about this, beginning perhaps with Rachel Carson (1963) and on to
Buckminster Fuller (1969), Lester Brown (1978), and the World
Watch Institute. For Australians in particular, I think we should
act on the wisdom of David Tacey in Edge of the Sacred: Transforma-
tion in Australia (1995).
On a greater scale, I think we need to work at awakening our
social conscience. That means heeding Elisabet Sahtouriss warn-
ing that we in the Western world needif only for our own
sakesto put as many resources as we can into advancing the de-
veloping world. Ignoring the disparity between rich and poor
nations, she says, is as unhealthy as neglecting the health of parts
of our own body.
We do, on the whole, know what we ought do: what we lack
is the political will to change things. I want to emphasise that,
once we take Gaias Cosmology on board and can feel and experi-
ence the different natural energies at work inside us (which is
made a lot easier by following the Subud spiritual latihan train-
ing), and learn to manage them, we begin to live life differently.
After self-knowledgeor perhaps along with itcomes the ability
to change things, the ability to Do as Gurdjieff called it. What this
means in other words is attaining the will-power for activism.
Along with that comes also a deep and abiding appreciation of the
needs of the natural world around us: and perhaps the first of these
is for humankind to care for it. Honour thy Earthly Mother...


Once this holistic new storythis cosmologyhas become

embedded into our thinking and has in-form-ed us, well be able to
work towards managing our own energiesable to control, for
example, the material energy which incites us constantly to buy
more and more thingsand move on to becoming more respon-
sible for our community and our environment and, in the process,
becoming more Human. It will then also become obvious to every-
one where we (our own personal selves, and our society) stand,
and in which direction we need to work to change, to save, the
world. Once everyone understands that working towards becom-
ing fully Human is what the world needs from us, we might even
begin to move on even beyond that, towards Transcendence.
Finally, with all these ideas about Gaias Cosmologyand
becoming fully Humancirculating in a better educated, less ma-
terialistic, more just and more coherent world, I foursee a time
coming when things will be enabled to change for the better. We
have some work to do first, though, in order to move on to a more
balanced, more holistic life. It may take some time but I am con-
vinced that there is still hope for a sustainable planet and for a
more conscious, common future ! for you and me and for all of
humankind ! through a Re-Envisioning of ourselves as an integral
part of the whole wide world, Gaia.



Reading over this book I realize it is very imperfect. An an-
thropologist, however widely read, cannot hope to keep up with
the sciences. And, too, I have grown old in its writingand if this
isnt published now it probably never will be.
So, for better for worse, here is one womans answer to two
big needs of the world today. First, the knowledge of what it
means to be a Human being: and secondly, an appropriate new
paradigmalso known as a Theory of Everything, a Grand
Theory, a General System, but better still (or at least as I prefer it)
a Cosmology fit for Gaia. And, if I have eased the waythe ev-
olving human processforward at all with these ideas, I shall be
content. More, I shall be deeply grateful.
I apologise for all the shortcomings, mistakes and other im-
perfections of this bookand trust that you, the reader, will look
at its main story, the Big Picture (which a vision dumped on me
many years ago) rather than the details (which I may have worked
out incorrectly since then).
Above all, the great World Pattern of Process, which gives us
a fitting key to understanding the coherence and unity of all and
everything, is a simple patternand perhaps only a simple wo-
man could have seen it.

Siti Salamah Pope, Ramadan 2007.

Glossary of terms
Afal (Arabic/Indonesian term meaning results, products,
outcomes): The fourth and final stage of the universal pattern of
process according to a Sufi model of creation and/or evolution.
Asma (Arabic/Indonesian term meaning wholeness, integral
unity, identity): The third stage of the universal pattern of process
according to a Sufi model of creation and/or evolution.
Bapak: See Pak Subuh.
Categories: The four bones within the skeleton of the
World Pattern of Process. That is, the four successive, differently
formed or formatted, phases or stages of process within the four-
fold whole, showing an increase in qualities as they advance.
Conceptual Synthesis: An abstract, ideal philosophical for-
mula which would bring all concepts and ideas into one
integrated, holistic model or framework showing the relations be-
tween everythingwhich has never been realised in practice. (See
Cosmology, below.)
Concrescence: Philosopher Alfred North Whiteheads term
for process, development, the coming-together of things in order
to advance. (See Process.)
Conforming, conformations: Things, events, people, soci-
eties, and other entities which are isomorphic (having the same
form) or structurally parallel to others, thus conforming formally,
structurally, to them; and/or which correspond to other phenom-
ena, which may occupy parallel stages in different processes.
Cosmology: Traditionally, a laundry list of anything from 3
to 33 elements working together in harmony making up the cos-
mos. Nowadays this word has been taken over by astronomers,
astrophysicists and physical cosmologists who study the origins
and workings of the empirical universe: so longer, clumsy phrases
have had to be used for a cosmologythough meaning the same
thingsuch as a Theory of Everything (TOE), a Grand Unifying
Theory of Everything (GUTE), a Final Theory, a General System
Theory, a universal conceptual framework or model, a philosophi-
cal synthesis, or simply Grand Theory.
Final Theory: American physicists term for a cosmology.


Form, Formally: The abstract form, rather than the concrete

contents, of things, especially the arrangement of parts within a
Gaia: The name William Golding took from the ancient
Greeks for the planet Earth, when James Lovelock asked him for a
namewhich then became the Gaia Hypothesis.
General System Theory (GST): Or a Theory of General Sys-
tems, first proposed by Austrian polymath Ludwig von
Bertalanffy. (See Cosmology above.)
G-d: Not liking the plain little word God, I have chosen to
use this way of indicating the greatest, finest, most subtle, most
creative and most conscious Energy, force or power in the uni-
verse that we are capable of imagining. In other words, the Great
Life Force, The Spirit, the Power (subtle Energy) of the Absolute.
Grand Theory: The social sciences term for a cosmology.
GUTE: A term used by physical cosmologists short for a
Grand Universal Theory of Everything. (See Cosmology, above.)
Holism, Holistic: A word coined by General Jan Smuts to
mean a coherent, organisedand organismicwhole with work-
ing parts.
Isomorphic: Having the same form as; parallel to; conforming
structurally to. See structure and form.
Latihan (lutt-ee-hunn): An Indonesian word meaning train-
ing, exercise, practice. In Subud, the life-long process in and by
which participants who have been opened to a contact with the
Power of G-d are worked over and processed by It.
Latihan kejiwaan: Spiritual training, and/or training by the
spirit or soul. (See Subud below.)
Neg-entropy or Negative Entropy: The evolutionary upward
trend, emerging complexity. (See process.)
Pak Subuh: Pak is a very common Indonesian word meaning
father or respected older man. Note the difference between
and non-relatedness ofthe words Subuh and Subud. Pak Su-
mohadiwidjojo the person, a Javanese (19011987) was the first (in
1924) to receive what I believe is a contact with the latest dispensa-
tion of the spiritual power of G-d. Later, in 1949, he founded the
organisation of Subud (see below) through which this contact
may be passed on. Bapak is a more personal and familiar term than

the formal Pak, and the word Subuh means dawn, and is the
name of the first, pre-sunrise prayer of the day in the Islamic reli-
Philosophical synthesis: (See Conceptual synthesis, above.)
Prihatin: Indonesian word meaning self-discipline, asceti-
cism, the deliberate practice of some chosen methods of self-
restrainte.g. fasting, going without food, sex or sleep, etcfor a
certain set period.
Process: An unfortunate word, as it is not descriptive en-
oughalthough development is almost as bland. Whitehead also
uses the creative advance which sounds a trifle odd, but is more
accurate. Evolution, or the upward trend, negative entropy and
emergence are othermore descriptivealternatives to pro-
Sifat (Indonesian term meaning qualities, kind, type, nature):
The second term and stage of the fourfold universal pattern of
process according to a Sufi model of creation and/or evolution.
Spirituality: Today a fashionable term with umpteen differ-
ent meanings. But, to be able to make any claim of spirituality or
of being spiritual, one has to have made a commitment to some
actual activity, such as following the Subud spiritual trainingthe
latihan, or regular periods of meditation, etc.
Structural, structurally: The internal arrangement of parts,
usually as abstractions, within a whole. Also see form, formally.
Subud: An acronym (short form) of Susila Budhi Dharma.
The name of the organisation set up to facilitate the spread of the
latihan kejiwaan (spiritual training) by the spiritual energy or
Power of G-d within Subud, to those who ask. (See Appendix 1.)
Sustainability, sustainable development: Applied to the
world, Gaia, the planet we live on, this means that weyou and I,
humankindcannot go on using up the worlds natural resources
without negative consequences. Imagine a bank in which you
have a lot of capital (the natural world); if you live off that capital
and dont replenish it, one day youor more likely your chil-
drenwill end up penniless, powerless to change things, and
unable, perhaps, even to live. This, with the present rate of con-
sumerism and commercial incentives to spend, spend, spend, is a


foreseeable future scenario if business continues as usual and, as

futurists are saying, time is running out.
On the other hand, if human perceptions of the worldand
of what people actually need, instead of merely wantchange, to
more holistic, humane and wholesome attitudes, then there is
hope that the world's natural resources can be managed, sustain-
Systemically: From system, meaning holistic, holistically.
Theory of Everything: A phrase meaning a cosmology. (See
Cosmology, above.)
Universal Conceptual Framework or Model: Yet another
phrase for a cosmology. (See above.)
Upward trend: See process.
Zat (Arabic/Indonesian word meaning essence, and/or a
sudden initial blast of power/energy, ZAP!, POW! ): The Big
Bang; and the first term and stagethus also the concept and con-
ceptionof the fourfold universal pattern of process, according to
a Sufi model of creation and/or evolution.


Appendix 1: Subud and its founder, Pak

Here are your waters and your watering place.

Drink and be whole again beyond confusion.
Robert Frost, Directives

Subud (SOU-boud) is a spiritual movement in which people are

put in contact with a very subtle energy, perhaps a power of G-d.
If you dislike that last little word you can say, instead: puts you in
touch with a fine and gentle (and perhaps divine) Energy, a Higher
Consciousness, the Great Life Force, Frosts waters of life. The
labels are not important; what is important is the experience of this
subtle spiritual Energy found in the practice of the Subud latihan
(LUTTeehahn) spiritual training, or training by the Spirit.
The word Subud is an abbreviation of three Sanskrit words,
Susila Budhi and Dharma, which roughly translate as the harmo-
nious development of men and women through surrender to the
Spirit or Power of God. The Indonesian word latihan simply
means exercise, training, practice.
People who ask may be opened, in Subud, to this subtle,
spiritual Energy. The first contact, called the opening occurs in
individuals through the presence of witnesses called in Subud
helpers. This happens in a simple process of transmission with-
out words, without dogma, without beliefs, without a priesthood,
and even without paying for it.
How it happens is a great mystery. What I believe happens,
though, is that the individuals unconscious is opened to their
human spirit, or their deepest, innermost soul, which is also in
constant contact with this Energy, so you experience the presence of
G-d. In other words, you actually feel, in you, a subtle energy of the
transcendent G-d out there in the universe, which makes contact
with the immanent G-d (or the divine spark) within you, that has
been covered up in your unconscious for many years.
Sometime during the opening, or some latihan sessions after
it, a gentle vibration is felt, experienced, physically: and this may
initiate movements and the utterance of sounds. As no two people


are alike, what they receive (in the way of feelings, movements
and sounds) from this contact is different. After fifty years of
Subud in the West, it has become apparent that these sponta-
neously received phenomena are cleansing, integrative, and
therefore beneficial to ones physical, emotional and mental
The initial Subud Contact began in Indonesia in 1924 with a
young Indonesian, Muhammad Subuh Sumohadiwidjojo (1901
1987), now known as Pak Subuh, or more familiarly Bapak, who
had a series of spiritual revelations lasting some years. In 1933 Pak
Subuh began to spread this Contact, the latihan, to otherswho
also found they could now experience, feel, this subtle energy or
divine spirit of G-d working within themselves, inaugurating in
them a process of purification, spiritual training, and develop-
By the end of the Dutch occupation of Indonesia in 1949,
Subud as an organisation had been registered with the Indonesian
government as an educational institution, and its membership was
growing. In 1957 Pak Subuh and his wife Siti Sumari were invited
to England by a group of ten Gurdjieff followers, and from there
Subud spread rapidly around the world. Although it has re-
mained small in numbers there are now active Subud groups in
some eighty countries on all continents.
In short, it looks to me as though, inside the rather small and
seemingly insignificant Subud spiritual movement, lies a non-
verbal, culture-free, New Dispensation suitable for all people in
our time. More information at www.subud.org and


Appendix 2: The cosmology of A. N. White-
Whitehead died in 1948, yet his process philosophy goes on. In
Claremont, within the auspicesand buildingsof the University
of California is The Center for Process Studies, peopled largely by
theologians but also with a fair sprinkling of academics in disci-
plines such as physics, biology, the social sciences, and
humanities. No one, as far as I know, takes much interest in the
form of Whiteheads own cosmologyhis pattern of process
which he wrote up in Process and Reality: an Essay in Cosmology
(called here PR).
In this tome, Whiteheads language is difficultwhich is
putting it mildly. Perhaps this has contributed to Whiteheadians
lack of interest in his pattern of process (or concrescence as he
sometimes terms it). The only depiction of it that I have found is
by one of his major interpreters, Donald W. Sherburne, who in A
Key to Whiteheads Process and Reality (1966: 40) drew a natty dia-
gram of the form of Whiteheads cosmology, but who did not
alasfollow Whiteheads own words, and thus got the diagram
and the cosmology it tries to representwrong.
Whiteheadians seem oblivious of the fact that his cosmol-
ogyhis four phases or stages of processare isomorphic to such
traditional cosmologies as the four levels of the Chain of Being,
and the Four Elements.
To show how the structural form of Whiteheads four-stage,
processual cosmology corresponds with my original vision and
the traditional four-stage processual Indonesian cosmologies, here
are some extracts from PR. As I find Whiteheads language ob-
scure, there may well be more correspondences in the book
and/or some discrepancies perhaps.


On Process, general...
PR 7. [T]he philosophy of organism seems to approximate more to
some strains of Indian, or Chinese, thought, than to Western Asi-
atic, or European, thought. One side makes process ultimate; the
other side makes fact ultimate (my emphasis).

PR 22. That the actual world is a process, and that the process is
the becoming of actual entities.

PR 23. That two descriptions are required for an actual entity: (a)
one which is analytical of its potentiality for objectification in the
becoming of other actual entities, and (b) another which is analyti-
cal of the process which constitutes its own becoming.
The term objectification refers to the particular mode in which
the potentiality of one actual entity is realized in another actual
.... That how an actual entity becomes constitutes what that actual
entity is; so that the two descriptions of an actual entity are not
independent. Its being is constituted by its becoming. This is the
principle of process (Whiteheads emphases).

PR 26. In a process of concrescence, there is a succession of phases

in which new prehensions arise by integration of prehensions in
antecedent phases.... The process continues till all prehensions are
components in the one determinate integral satisfaction.
...the term satisfaction means the one complex fully determinate
feeling which is the completed phase in the process.

PR 29. In the philosophy of organism it is not substance, which is

permanent, but form (my emphasis).

PR 47. The doctrine of the philosophy of organism is that, how-

ever far the sphere of efficient causation be pushed in the
determination of components of a concrescenceits data, its emo-
tions, its appreciations, its purposes, its phases of subjective aim
beyond the determination of these components there always re-
mains the final reaction of the self-creative unity of the universe.


PR 50. The principle of universal relativity... [says that] an actual

entity is present in other actual entities.... The philosophy of or-
ganism is mainly devoted to the task of making clear the notion of
being present in another entity (Whiteheads emphasis).

PR 83. For the organic doctrine the problem of order assumes pri-
mary importance (my emphasis).

PR 84 .... the notion of order is bound up with the notion of an

actual entity as involving an attainment which is a specific satis-

PR 91. .... a gradual transition to new types of order, supervening

upon a gradual rise into dominance on the part of the present
natural laws (my emphasis).

The Formal Order of Process (= Concrescence)

General Remarks
PR 283. The actual entity is seen as a process; there is a growth
from phase to phase (sic); there are processes of integration and of
reintegration. At length a complex unity of objective datum is ob-

PR 154. .... Thus an actual entity, on its subjective side, is nothing

else than what the universe is for it, including its own reactions.
The reactions are the subjective forms of the feelings, elaborated
into definiteness through stages of process (my emphasis).

Please take note of these next two crucial sentences which, in his
Key, Sherburne completely ignores:

PR: 149. The four stages constitutive of an actual entity have been
stated above in Part II, Chapter III, Section I [i.e. pages 8389].
They can be named, datum, process, satisfaction, decision (my


N.B. From here on, for the sake of clarity, I shall be inserting into
the text (in square brackets), the written non-arbitrary symbols
One, Two, Three, and Four that I used in describing the tradi-
tional four-stage cosmology used by Pak Subuh, so that the
conformations between Whiteheads four phases or stages of pro-
cess and those of the Grand Pattern can be seen.

PR 154. The process can be analysed genetically (sic) into a series

of subordinate phases which presuppose their antecedents. Nei-
ther the intermediate phases [Two] nor the datum [One] which is
the primary phase of all, determine the final (sic) phase of deter-
minate individualization [Three].

PR 220. The process of concrescence is divisible into an initial

stage of many [simpler] feelings [One], and a succession of subse-
quent phases of more complex feelings [Two] integrating the
earlier simpler feelings [One], up to the satisfaction which is one
complex unity of feeling [Three].

The four parts or divisions within the whole process

of concrescence
1. The first stage, Primary Dative Phase, Datum, Data,
or Givenness
PR 50. One role of the eternal objects [Ones] is that they are those
elements which express how any one actual entity [Three] is con-
stituted by its synthesis (sic) [Two] of other actual entities [Threes
on a lower level or scale] and how that actual entity develops
[Two] from the primary dative phase [One] into its own individ-
ual actual existence [Three].

PR 80. .... Such a quantum (i.e., each actual division) of the exten-
sive division [of the physical field] is the primary phase of a

PR 83. No actual entity can rise beyond what the actual world as a
datum [One] from its standpointits actual worldallows it to
be. Each such entity arises from a primary phase [One] of the con-

crescence of objectifications which are in some respects settled: the

basis (sic) of its experience is given.

PR 84. In each case there is an ideal peculiar to each particular ac-

tual entity, and arising from the dominant components in its
phase of givenness [One].

PR 153. The process whereby an actual entity, starting from its

objective content [One], attains its individual satisfaction
[Three]....The primary character of this process is that it is indi-
vidual to the actual entity; it expresses how the datum [One],
which involves the actual world, becomes a component in the one
actual entity [Three]. There must therefore be no further reference
to other actual entities; the elements available for the explanation
are simply, the objective content [One], eternal objects [One], and
the selective concrescence of feelings [more Ones, or Twos?]
whereby an actual entity becomes itself [Three]...

PR 154.....Again the selection involved in the phrase selective con-

crescence is not a selection among the components of the
objective content; for, by hypothesis, the objective content is a da-
tum [One].

PR 164. An eternal object when it has ingression through its func-

tion of objectifying the actual world, so as to present the datum for
prehension [One], is functioning datively.

PR 164.....This word feeling is a mere technical term; but it has

been chosen to suggest that functioning [Two] though which the
concrescent (sic) actuality [Three] appropriates the datum [One]
so as to make it its own. There are three successive phases of feel-
ings, namely, a phase of conformal feelings [One]....In the
conformal feelings the how of feeling reproduces what is felt. Some
conformation is necessary....whereby the past is synthesized with
the present.

PR 212....The first phase is the phase of pure reception of the ac-

tual world in its guise of objective datum [One] for [the process of]

aesthetic synthesis [Two]. In this phase there is the mere reception

of the actual world as a multiplicity of private centres (sic) of feel-
ing [Ones]... The[se] feelings are felt as belonging to the external
centres (sic) [Two/s], and are not absorbed into the private im-
mediacy [One].

2. The second stage, Process, Concrescence, or the Sup-

plemental, phase.
PR 856. The concrescent process [Two] is the elimination of these
indeterminations of subjective forms [Ones]. The quality of feeling
has to be definite in respect to the eternal objects [Ones] with
which feeling clothes itself in its self-definition. It is a mode of in-
gression [Two] of eternal objects [Ones] into the actual occasions
[Threes]. But this self-definition is analysable into two [sub-]
phases. First, the conceptual ingression of the eternal objects [Ones]
in the double role of being germane to the data [also Ones] and of
being potentials [Ones] for physical feeling....The second [sub-]
phase is the admission [Two] of the lure into the reality of feeling
[Three], or its rejection [Two] from this reality (my emphasis).

PR 164. There are three successive phases of feelings, namely a

phase of conformal feelings [One], one of conceptual feelings,
and one of comparative feelings, including propositional feel-
ings in this last species [Two]....The two latter phases can be put
together as the supplemental phase [Two] (my emphasis).

PR 85. The relevant feeling [One? Two?] is not settled, as to its

inclusions or exclusions of subjective form, by the data [One]
about which the feeling is concerned. The concrescent process
[Two] is the elimination of these indeterminations of subjective

PR 102. Thus the two ways in which dominant members of struc-

tured societies secure stability [Three] amid environmental
novelties are (i) elimination of diversities of detail, and (ii) origina-
tion of novelties of conceptual reaction [both Twos]. As the result,
there is withdrawal or addition of those details of emphasis [Two]


whereby the subjective aim [One] directs the integration [Two] of

prehensions in the concrescent phases [Two] of dominant mem-
bers (my emphasis).

PR 165. As elements in the datum [Ones], the components [Ones]

are individually given, with the potentiality for a contrast, which
in the supplementary stage [Two] is either included or excluded.

PR 211. The analysis discloses operations [Twos] transforming

entities which are individually alien [Ones? or maybe Twos] into
components of a complex which is concretely one [Three]. The
term feeling will be used as the generic description of such oper-
ations. We thus say that an actual occasion [Three] is a
concrescence effected by a process [Two] of feelings.

PR 212. The second stage (sic) is governed by the private ideal,

gradually shaped in the process [Two] itself; whereby the many
feelings [Ones], derivatively felt as alien, are transformed [Two]
into a unity of aesthetic appreciation [Three]...

3. The third phase or stage: Satisfaction.

PR 256. The final (sic) phase in the process of concrescence, con-
stituting an actual entity [Three], is one complex, fully
determinate feeling. This final phase is termed the satisfaction

PR 84. The notion of satisfaction is the notion of the entity as

concrete [Three] abstracted from the process of concrescence
[One and Two]; it is the outcome (sic) [Three] separated from the
process [Two], thereby losing the actuality (sic) of the atomic en-
tity [One/s], which is both process [Two] and outcome [Three].

PR 113. The datum [One] includes its own interconnections, and

the first stage (sic) of the process of feeling [Two] is the reception
into the responsive conformity of feeling [Two] whereby the da-
tum, which is mere potentiality [One], becomes the individualized
basis for a complex unity of realization [Three].


PR 154. The problem which the concrescence solves is, how the
many components of the objective content [Ones and Twos] are to
be unified in one felt content [Three] with its complex subjective
form. This one felt content is the satisfaction [Three].

PR 2112. ...Such a wider generality is a feeling of a complex of

feelings, including their specific elements of identity and contrast
[Three]. This process of the integration (sic) of feeling [Two] pro-
ceeds until the concrete unity of feeling is obtained [Three]. In this
concrete unity all indetermination as to the realization [Three] of
possibilities [One] has been eliminated [by and in Two]. The
many entities of the universe [Ones and/or Twos], including
those originating in the concrescence itself, find their respective
roles in this final unity [Three]. This final unity is termed the
satisfaction [Three].

PR 212. The satisfaction is the culmination of the concrescence

[Two] into a completely determinate matter of fact [Three].

4. The fourth phase: Decision, Transition (to next level

or scale, i.e. Datum, Given Primary Phase= One on sub-
sequent higher level)
PR 66. There are always entities [Four] beyond entities [Three],
because nonentity is no boundary. This extensive continuum
[One, Two, Three, Four/Ones] expresses the solidarity of all pos-
sible standpoints throughout the whole process of the world.

PR 85. The process of concrescence terminates with the attainment

of a fully determinate satisfaction [Three]; and the creativity
thereby passes over into the given primary phase [Four], and
also next level/scale [One/s] for the concrescence [Two] of other
actual entities [next level/scale Threes]. This transcendence [Four]
is thereby established when (sic) there is attainment of determinate
satisfaction [Three] completing the antecedent entity [One
and/or Two?] (my emphasis).


PR 150. The final stage, the decision, is how the actual entity
[Three], having attained its individual satisfaction [Three],
thereby adds a determinate condition [for the next level One] to
the settlement [Three] for the future beyond itself [Four]. Thus the
datum [next level One] is the decision received, [by the next
level One] and the decision is the decision transmitted [Four]
(my emphasis).

PR 210. ...the two kinds of fluency, required for the description of

the fluent world. One kind is the fluency inherent in the constitu-
tion of the particular existent. This kind I have called
concrescence [One, to Two, to Three]. The other kind is the
fluency whereby the perishing of the process [Four], on the com-
pletion of the particular existent [Three], constitutes that existent
as an original element [Four = One on the next level/scale] in the
constitutions of other particular existents [next level Threes] el-
icited by repetitions of process [Twos].

PR 211. The creativity in virtue of which any relative complete

actual world [Three] is, by the nature of things, the datum [Four =
One on next level/scale One] for a new concrescence [next
level/scale Two] is termed transition.


From these excerpts from Process and Reality I think it is clear

that, however opaque Whiteheads own words may be, his four
phases or stages of process conform to the format of the World
Pattern of Process that I am calling Gaias Cosmology.
However, even if this is so, there are two main differences be-
tween Whiteheads cosmology and my version of the traditional
Javanese cosmology. First is in the categories: as far as I can make
out, his categories (on pages 2026 in PR) bear no relation to his
fourfold cosmology, whichhad he known about existing tradi-
tional processual cosmologieshe would have postulated
differently; and second is in his concept of time. Whitehead sug-
gests that everything, from atoms to galaxies and rocks, people
and societies, are in process all the time, constantly undergoing


change as they are affected by their surroundings. However, as I think I

have shown more sensibly, processes proceed at very different
paces: the molecular substance of a rock may take a million or
more years to advance up the scale of being, whereas the pro-
cesses of living thingsa plant or an animal or a personare
faster: and all have their own, and quite different, time-scales.
In addition, and most unfortunately, Sherburnes diagram,
drawn up in his Key (1966: 40), of Whiteheads pattern of process,
seemsaccording to Whiteheads own words in Process and Re-
ality, as I have detailed aboveremarkably inaccurate.
Yet, to quote Whitehead once again, The verification of a ra-
tionalistic scheme is to be sought in its general success, and not in
the peculiar certainty, or initial clarity, of its first principles (PR 8).
In the absence of general success for Sherburnes version of
Whiteheads cosmology (in the fact that, as far as I know, no-one
ever uses it, or has connected it up to anything else), I strongly
suggest that Whiteheads own four-stage pattern of process is now
worth serious consideration by anyone looking for a new para-
digm and a cosmology fit for Gaia. This version of his work, as I
hope I have shown, connects up perhaps with everything else,
ancient and modern: and it also has the virtue of showing how it
could be incorporated into modern life with some general suc-
In the long run, though, for a cosmology, I consider mere
verification is not enough. What seems to be necessary today is a
conceptual framework for constant reference which has a far-
reaching validity and also sheer common or garden usefulness close
up. This, this cosmologyboth Whiteheads own version (as the
above excerpts show) and the traditional one this book de-
scribesprovides. It is simple; we live in it; it is obvious and right
under our noses; it shows the coherence and underlying unity of
form within the multiplicity of appearances; and although it is
Holistic it is formally structured enough to provide benchmarks
and qualitative guidelines for a broad range of things and events.
In short, I consider that Whiteheads cosmology, juxta-
posedand even combinedwith what I am calling Gaias
Cosmology, would gain in simplicity and clarity; become useful as
a holistic framework and foundation for all human endeavours

(forgive the pomposity), and be adequate to in-form, and form-

ulate, a genuinely constructive post-modern, perhaps even post-
secular, world.
This processual cosmology in place, out there, replacing re-
ductionism and materialism, I believe will give us a completely
different visiona holistic vision!of ourselves and the planet:
and with this it will become possible to reverse the trend towards
the destruction of the human species. As Whitehead famously

Speculative Philosophy is the endeavour to frame a coherent,

logical necessary system of general ideas in terms of which
every element of our experience can be interpreted. (PR 3)

And, if I may add without irreverenceAnd can be perceived,

understood, and put to work by Jane Smith and John Doe in their
ordinary, everyday lives.



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and gratitude to:
The late R. M. Muhammad Subuh Sumohadiwidjojo, sage of
Java, Indonesia, and founder of the World Subud Association
-- save for whom I would never have gone to Indonesia

Anita M. Landawho started it all, Plainfield, Vermont, Septem-

ber 1978

Pergamon Pressfor their generosity in allowing me to use a dia-

gram and spiral sketch of evolution drawn up by the late
Erich Jantsch, systems scientist and Whiteheadian scholar, in
The Self Organizing Universe: Scientific and Human Implications
of the Emerging Paradigm of Evolution

Linda Kavelin Popov creator of The Virtues Projectfor permis-

sion to make use of her valuable work

also to the shades of

Dick Hathawaypurveyor of HOPE, of Plainfield, Vermont, who
got me started

Carl Gustav Jungwho asked the question: Is it Three or Four?

(and whose writings kept me sane in my forties)

E. Fritz Schumacherfor the formula for human being

Alfred North Whiteheadwhose tome Process and Reality: An

Essay in Cosmology reassured me I wasnt crazy


gratitude also to
Fredrik Barthfor telling me, pointedly, that Ideas have more
power to change the world than personal pragmatics

Rachmat Keith FisherAussie extraordinaire!for constant en-

couragement and for endless on-line discussions and much
help with revisions

Jodie Costonfor her generosity in allowing the use of her beau-

tiful photograph for the cover.

Arthur Abdullah Thomas Hugh Popemy long-suffering

spouse, for putting up with me during all my labours

Margaret Johnson, The Book Doctor, without whom Id never

have got this book published.

and finally old Pythagorasfor the sacred tetraktys

* *
* * *
* * * *

abstinence 213, 214, 215, 218, 279. Bateson, Gregory11, 12, 18, 19, 40,
See virtues 58, 63, 107, 124, 141, 142, 145,
afterlife, possible ...... 231, 299, 321 150, 153, 154, 204
Agrippa, Cornelius ................... 308 becoming...... 18, 58, 119, 133, 203,
air 204, 215, 222, 244, 297
as metaphor of unity............... 68 beginning ...........................See One
as traditional element 67, 68, 76, behaviour
129, 134, 195, 230, 266, 274 four types ..... 69, 76, 79, 82, 104,
dynamic................................ 195 114, 129, 146, 147, 148, 150,
Alisjahbana, Sutan Takdir ... 19, 45, 190, 191, 193, 194, 197, 198,
92, 94, 107, 204, 223, 235, 291 201, 212, 213, 215, 219, 247,
Andaman Islands ........................ 30 248, 250, 251, 253, 275, 302
Anderson, Sherry..... 111, 214, 238, higher and lower ................... 269
239 of Fours........................ 147, 151
animal characteristics and powers of Ones ........... 146, 147, 14849
.............................. 101, 102, 105 of Threes ................ 147, 14951
co-operation ......................... 104 of Twos......................... 147, 149
division of labour .... 79, 83, 102, sub-Human ........................... 263
104, 198, 200, 202, 223 being....................See here and now
feelings ................................. 104 Berger, Peter ............................. 211
intelligence ........................... 103 Bertalanffy, Ludwig von...... 18, 19,
locomotion ........................... 103 163, 176
social behaviour ................... 198 Bible.................... 32, 262, 312, 319
Aristotle ........................ 26, 94, 308 Big Bang .... 20, 118, 119, 123, 131,
assessment ...............See judgement 132
of qualities...................... 69, 175 Blake, William ..............vii, 58, 171
Australia ..................................... 85 Bloom, William ........................ 239
Aborigines.......... 16, 30, 88, 234 Bohm, David ...... 45, 120, 123, 130,
spirituality .................. See Tacey 132, 133, 134, 135, 148, 156
Backster, Cleve................... 79, 118 Book of Moses ............................. 29
Bacon, Francis .................. 235, 320 boundaries .. 9, 29, 85, 87, 109, 125,
Bapak. See Sumohadiwidjojo, R.M. 127, 15354, 159, 173
Muhammad Subuh Bronowski, Jacob...................... 115
Barrow, John....................... 63, 344 Brown, Lester............................ 324
Buddha .............. 106, 235, 278, 307
Buddhism .............................. 38, 92


Burton, Richard .......................... 94 citadel as metaphor of Union ... 8, 9,

Campbell, Joseph.............. 235, 318 135
Carson, Rachel.......................... 324 classes of energies 92, 94, 109, 122,
castle .............................. See citadel 185, 225
categories, four 127, 164, 167, 265, coherence . 16, 46, 62, 81, 157, 280,
267, 301, 304, 308 323, 326, 342
ceremony, importance of .. 134, 158 compassion.. 15, 255, 256, 257, 272
Chain of Being... 41, 43, 45, 52, 67, concepts
69, 70, 74, 80, 87, 89, 91, 95, abstract.................................. 307
112, 115, 122, 128, 129, 131, analysis of............................... 54
156, 251, 264, 308, 322 holistic analysis of ................ 303
Four Existents ................ 66, 112 of human development ......... 318
chaos .. 9, 54, 55, 56, 57, 59, 68, 74, of human values.................... 286
88, 97, 120, 133, 137, 151, 164, precise..................................... 55
172, 173, 227, 236, 323 conceptual synthesis .. 25, 162, 175,
theory ............................. 33, 158 249, 321
characteristics conflict ..... 142, 153, 229, 230, 237,
innate.................................... 198 266
instinctive ............................. 199 Confucius .................................. 235
of animals in humans .... 83, 192, consciousness..... 35, 43, 88, 89, 91,
198, 200, 202, 223 108, 111, 131, 162, 183, 184,
of cosmology.......................... 40 205, 207, 208, 214, 218, 219,
of cycles ................................. 40 221, 222, 223, 224, 228, 229,
of humans..................... 200, 201 230, 231, 233, 253, 254, 258,
of plants in humans ...... 192, 198 260, 261, 262, 267, 275, 279,
of wholes ..... 140, 158, 160, 244, 280, 282, 289, 290, 291, 299,
245 315, 316, 320, 321, 322, 325
charity ....255, 256, 286. See virtues G-d as ..................................... 43
Chi ...................... 92, 118, 189, 196 consilience ... 19, 20, 110, 152, 176,
choice........................................ 156 310, 320
animal........... 162, 213, 214, 245 context......... 13940, 153, 174, 263
human.. 147, 162, 213, 214, 245, of cosmologies........................ 30
259, 261, 274 of dualities ............................ 144
Christ ........................ 106, 258, 278 of parts .................................. 157
Christianity ....................... 119, 291 of Twos................................. 153
Chuang Tzu .............................. 318 of values ....................... 264, 267
Churchill, Winston ................... 306 of wholes ...................... 160, 245
patterns in ............................. 131


convergence................................ 19 traditional types of........ 4, 52, 68

co-operation85, 104, 105, 147, 153, Dalai Lama................ 277, 284, 346
154, 195 Darwin, Charles ................ 137, 262
Cornelius Agrippa .................... 308 Dawkins, Richard................ 84, 105
cosmology................................. 344 daya-daya 42, 52, 91, 100, 101, 189
as filing cabinet .................... 139 daya-daya rendah ....................... 91
as skeleton5455, 56, 57, 58, 60, death.......................................... 299
62, 63, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, democracy ................................. 165
101, 106, 118, 120, 121, 126, Descartes, Ren......................... 141
127, 128, 141, 146, 163, 166, devil .................................. 221, 306
5455, 176, 181, 185, 187, Dowrick, Stephanie........... 275, 276
195, 204, 205, 220, 225, 231, duality .. 60, 79, 125, 127, 133, 134,
247, 264, 284, 296, 308 142, 143, 14146, 15354, 194,
characteristics................... 27, 40 251. See also pairs
Christian ................................. 32 dyad............................... See duality
criterion for judgement......... 175 Dyaks .......................................... 44
cyclic ..... 38, 40, 42, 60, 78, 150, dynamism..... 61, 68, 103, 105, 129,
154, 155, 188 149. See also Three
emergent, processual...... 60, 309 and whole .... 5, 83, 87, 159, 173,
fivefold ............................. 35, 38 230, 261
fourfold.... 18, 24, 3841, 46, 58, Schumachers y.................. 105
63, 106, 110, 247, 268, 291, Earth as exemplar of chaos .. 67, 68,
296, 314, 322 70, 113, 115, 128, 130, 131, 133,
hierarchic.............................. 164 139, 143, 156, 186, 304
history............................... 2732 Earth Mother .. 29, 35, 38, 221, 290,
Indonesian ................ 35, 38, 142 317. See also Gaia
medieval ................................. 29 Earth Summit .............................. 13
nature, man and God . 26, 29, 38, education ....................... 24, 31115
63 curriculum ...................... 31518
ninefold ............................ 4244 humanities ...................... 31819
physical ...................... 18, 26, 32 Jung on ......................... 228, 314
processual 24, 38, 41, 42, 47, 55, Lessing on............................. 311
95, 106, 122, 286, 296 limits of........................... 51, 206
sevenfold ................................ 44 values in................................ 250
static, cruciform ................... 306 egg as model of process ... 123, 132,
Sufi (Islamic)22, 42, 46, 11822, 140, 153, 156
123, 124, 130 ego as artificial construct . 193, 199,
threefold ..................... 30, 31, 38 206, 215, 230, 289


Einstein, Albert. 33, 91, 96, 99, 215 ethics .... 35, 36, 219, 220, 247, 264,
elements 265, 284, 287, 298, 300
as metaphors of process ...... 128, and science ............................. 33
131, 156, 185 universal ....................... 250, 264
Empedoclean.......... 66, 128, 308 vs morals............................... 219
traditional .... 66, 67, 68, 89, 122, evaluation.........See also judgement
195 self ................................ 218, 247
air 66, 68, 129 Evans-Pritchard, Edward .......... 163
earth ............. 66, 67, 186, 239 evil .............247, 251, 269. See also
fire.............................. 68, 321 judgement of good and evil
water .................................. 68 Fabianism...................................... 5
Eliot, T.S............................. 16, 288 faith ............... 253, 256. See virtues
emergence.... 40, 41, 106, 128, 147, feminine
161, 225 as relative concept .......... 14245
energy ........... 79, 99, 100, 101, 133 Gaia as .................................. 145
animal.... 84, 101, 196, 199, 200, filing cabinet
201, 219, 262 as model of cosmology......... 139
concepts of ..................... 92, 181 as model of processual form 174,
four ...... 91, 93, 94, 95, 110, 164, 268
181, 187, 192, 225, 227, 247, First Nations.......................... 16, 30
248, 264, 267 force .......................See also energy
fourth-level.. 107, 108, 110, 184, as Schumacher's 'y' ............... 101
203, 205, 207, 209 as scientific concept................ 92
Human. 108, 184, 203, 205, 206, lower ..................................... 223
207, 209, 217, 263, 282 of evolution........................... 298
natural.. 109, 183, 184, 218, 289, vegetable........................... 98, 99
300, 324 forces....................... See daya-daya
Schumacher on....................... 93 four natural ............................. 23
Schumacher's 'x' ..................... 97 lower ................................. 91, 92
second-level ......................... 192 formSee framework, Grand Pattern,
third-level ..................... 195, 200 pattern
vegetal ... 98, 102, 103, 164, 185, fortitude......... 259, 274. See virtues
188, 189, 190, 191, 192, 193, Four ............................................. 60
194, 196, 197, 201, 208, 219, ambiguity...................... 135, 136
223, 247, 262 analysis as............................. 269
enlightenment ........... 204, 286, 322 as a number..................... 30511
equifinality.................................. 84 as beginning of new cycle .... 248
Essenes ................................. 29, 37 as feminine ........................... 305


as result ................................ 156 purity .................................... 280

chaos...... 55, 56, 57, 68, 88, 137, qualities as ............................ 302
151, 173 rational thought as ................ 215
charity................................... 255 results.............................. 57, 137
conscious choice as .............. 303 siblinghood ........................... 283
cosmological ........................ 270 spirituality.... 137, 222, 261, 263,
culture................................... 289 280, 282, 285
democracy as........ 165, 261, 319 temperance............................ 261
elements ...... 66, 68, 69, 89, 122, transcendence 54, 55, 56, 59, 88,
128, 131 89, 95, 121, 129, 135, 137,
equity............................ 258, 283 146, 151, 261, 297, 300
ethics .................................... 220 valour.................................... 276
existents................................ 109 virtues as............................... 256
faith ...................................... 253 fourtex ......................... 54, 205, 297
formless................................ 157 framework .... 2629, 54, 58, 66, 83,
fortitude................................ 260 121, 134, 159, 161, 174, 176,
free will ................................ 200 279, 298. See also cosmology
freedom ................................ 261 cosmological.... 58, 60, 127, 269,
G-d as ................................... 266 275
gratitude ............................... 274 ethical ............................. 21920
honour .................................. 277 liknguistic ............................. 303
hope...................................... 254 model .............................. 27, 264
Human becoming ......... 204, 222 of Threes............... 149, 154, 164
Human behaviour................. 302 fraternity
Human being ................ 183, 299 concepts of............................ 283
humankind12, 34, 36, 66, 88, 89, free will .... 108, 137, 200, 203, 209,
252, 290 212, 214, 303, 311
humility ................................ 273 freedom 27, 87, 137, 209, 231, 261,
humours................................ 307 268, 283
in nature................................ 310 Frost, Robert ............................. 331
inspiration............................. 272 Fuller, Buckminster .................. 324
intuition ................................ 146 Gaia .. 5, 13, 37, 46, 48, 62, 94, 111,
justice ........................... 257, 307 117, 125, 142, 145, 176, 182,
light ...................................... 261 195, 221, 222, 227, 237, 239,
meaning as............................ 301 242, 246, 248, 290, 291, 296,
meaning in language ............ 301 300, 317, 323
patience ................................ 274 Hypothesis .............................. 18
processual............................. 156 universal system of values.... 251


Gandhi, Mahatma .... 106, 188, 243, Hermetic principles................... 103

250, 264 hierarchies ........................... 16465
Ganesha .................................... 141 Hinduism......... 40, 42, 44, 141, 155
Garden of Eden......................... 299 Hippocrates ............................... 307
Geertz, Clifford................. 212, 252 holism... 46, 62, 160, 161, 166, 167,
Gellner, Ernst........................ 18, 19 173, 188, 238, 239, 296
General System Theory .... 140, 163 holons........ 123, 125, 140, 158, 160
Goddard College......... 6, 1012, 56 hope......... 25455, 256. See virtues
Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von 106, house as model.. 38, 129, 164, 231
219, 318 32, 266
Golding, William.......... 35, 48, 328 Human
good ..... 34, 250, 251, 254. See also becoming ........ 222, 22425, 279
judgement of good and evil behaviour ........ See Four: Human
Gould, Stephen Jay..................... 20 behaviour
Grand Pattern10, 12, 46, 58, 60, 66, being ............................... 18385
67, 71, 95, 110, 170, 248, 285, energies..........203, 238. See also
296, 298 energy, Human
Great Chain...... See Chain of Being qualities
Great Life Force ........... 42, 43, 253 abstinence................... 21315
vs life force............................. 97 creativity ... 21516, 270, 272,
Greeks, ancient ............. 26, 40, 328 274
Gurdjieff, George ...... 44, 133, 184, ethics .................... 24, 21920
197, 208, 217, 227, 243, 260, globality ..................... 20910
279, 289, 309, 313, 315, 324 self-knowing .............. 21619
Haeri, Sheikh Fadhlalla .............. 21 spirituality . 206, 22022, 270,
happiness . 192, 231, 283, 288, 289, 278, 280, 282
299, 316 relationship to Nature ........... 222
pursuit of ........................ 28687 values.......... 28285. See virtues
Hasenorhl, Friedrich ................... 96 Ifrah, Georges ........................... 310
Hathaway, Dick .......................... 11 Indonesia
hati............................ 101, 105, 196 Bali ........................... 37, 66, 141
health Java .... 6, 10, 37, 38, 44, 66, 171,
and prayer............................. 290 250, 284, 319, 351
emotional.............................. 190 integration 181, 218, 229, 230, 236,
physical ........................ 215, 324 237, 248, 261, 262, 278, 320
Hegel, Georg......... 58, 63, 133, 181 integrity, male ........... 266, 280, 284
dialectical trio......................... 63 International Federation of System
here and now......... 34, 42, 183, 257 Science Societies .................... 19


intuition..................... 208, 215, 272 kundalini ................................... 195

Iskandar .................................... 141 Landa, Anita.. 78, 9, 12, 46, 54, 56
Islam .... 44, 119, 122, 266. See also language58, 76, 196, 199, 211, 284,
cosmology, Sufi 301, 300303
Jaeger, Werner.......................... 107 body ...................................... 104
James, William ..... 18, 35, 199, 328 Lao Tzu ....................................... 31
Jantsch, Erich 54, 64, 123, 160, 162 Laszlo, Ervin ....... 19, 114, 323, 324
Javanese foursomes ............ 91, 171 latihan ......... 6, 8, 24, 217, 315, 324
Jaynes, Julian.... 117, 184, 208, 235 Lessing, Doris ........................... 311
jigsaw Levy-Bruhl, Lucien................... 233
as model of process .. 5657, 162 Lewis, Stephen............................ 91
Judaism ....................................... 94 life force ..... 98, 100, 101, 133, 186,
judgement .. 24, 139, 162, 175, 247, 189
252, 259 as Schumachers x ............. 187
of good and evil..... 24, 182, 221, as Two .................................. 101
247, 251 vs Great Life Force................. 97
Jung light ........................... 230, 304, 305
dream house ......................... 231 Lincoln, Abraham ..................... 106
Jung, Carl. 18, 25, 31, 59, 106, 134, logic .......................................... 215
146, 148, 154, 202, 203, 206, Lovejoy, A.O. ............................. 69
208, 216, 217, 228, 229, 230, Lovelock, James...... 18, 35, 48, 328
235, 253, 273, 309, 314, 319, Lyotard, Jean-Franois.............. 285
320, 322 macrocosm .................................. 20
Answer to Job........................... 6 magic................... 40, 171, 221, 227
on dreams ..................... 192, 215 Maimonides ................................ 91
on education ................. 228, 314 marriage ............ 134, 154, 266, 281
patterns of development 63, 195, ceremonies............ 158, 281, 289
237, 299 Martohudoyo, Sudarto .............. 192
psychological functions146, 164, masculine
173 as relative concept .......... 14246
justice... 36, 88, 108, 248, 253, 257, Maslow, Abraham..... 213, 268, 284
258 matter
Kabala....................................... 307 as exemplar of chaos . 24, 54, 55,
King, Mike................................ 222 56, 57, 59, 63, 68, 70, 91,
kirlian photography .................. 118 130, 137, 152, 204, 228, 285,
Koestler, Arthur.......... 18, 123, 140 297
Krishnamurti, Jiddu .................. 120 as metaphor of beginning ..... 148
Kuhn, Thomas .......................... 321 as potential............................ 185


Maxwell, Mary ......................... 113 ontology ............................ 100, 105

memory........................... 85, 86, 95 order 29, 34, 74, 116, 12021, 148
metaphysics .................... 20, 26, 27 51, 25152, 301, 335
microcosm .................................. 20 organisation.. 2627, 6162, 87, 89,
mid-life crisis............ 230, 237, 318 147, 155
monad ... 60, 97, 120, 132, 133, 172 of language ....................... 3013
morals ....................... 165, 219, 267 Origen ............................... 306, 308
religious................................ 220 Ouspensky, P. D.................. 44, 208
social .................................... 219 pairs................153. See also duality
Muhammad............................... 106 horizontal.............. 142, 143, 145
Muller, Robert ............................ 34 polar.............. 141, 142, 143, 145
Narby, Jeremy................... 115, 208 Pak Subuh ... See Sumohadiwidjojo,
nature R.M. Muhammad Subuh
vs human spirit ..................... 111 Pancasila .............................. 35, 38
vs nurture...................... 198, 202 Pandora's box ............................ 218
Nature, man and God 26, 29, 38, 63 participation mystique....... 233, 234
Needham, Joseph.............. 181, 182 Parvati ....................... 141, 143, 145
New Age26, 30, 227, 236, 279, 317 Pascal, Blaise ............................ 300
Nietzsche, Friedrich.................. 236 pattern . See also framework, Grand
One Pattern, process
active ............................ 130, 147 cosmological..................... 63, 95
as Four.......................... 135, 297 four-stage................................ 64
as intention ........................... 156 grand .............. See Grand Pattern
behaviour.............................. 148 of process... 5, 10, 12, 18, 21, 24,
chaos.... 9, 54, 55, 57, 67, 95, 97, 46, 47, 51, 52, 54, 58, 59, 62,
133, 164, 172, 227, 236, 323 70, 87, 90, 110, 121, 123,
entropy of ............................. 153 127, 128, 131, 172, 173, 174,
material......................... 131, 304 176, 181, 226, 227, 233, 237,
minerals66, 7071, 93, 100, 109, 248, 262, 322, 323
128, 130, 131, 139, 183 symbolic representation.......... 60
passive.......... 130, 131, 146, 148 that connects . 12, 19, 58, 63, 124
potentials .............. 130, 131, 157 universal ................................. 62
properties.............................. 302 Pavlov, Ivan ............................. 308
Schumachers m ................ 101 Peck, Morgan Scott................... 287
singular................................. 266 phylogeny.................... 23, 226, 233
unity with nature .................. 237 Pindar ............................................ 5
whole.................................... 237 Planck, Max .................. 33, 96, 225
ontogeny ..................... 23, 226, 233 Plato ............................ 55, 212, 318


Pope, Alexander ......................... 33 energies....... 9394, 18384, 186

Pope, Salamah ... 33, 105, 280, 290, 'm' ............................. 9697, 185
326, 354 Small is Beautiful............ 91, 172
Popov, Linda Kavelin...... 269, 270, 'x' 97101, 187
271, 272, 274, 276, 280 'y' 1012, 194
prana........................... 92, 118, 195 'z' 1079, 203, 209
prediction.......................... 139, 162 science.... 15, 16, 20, 33, 34, 36, 37,
pribadi .............................. 218, 229 47, 58, 61, 62, 69, 91, 95, 96,
prihatin .... 213, 214, 218, 260, 280, 103, 110, 127, 129, 131, 189,
284 195, 208, 223, 225, 227, 236,
process ....... See also pattern, Grand 298, 305, 320, 321, 323
Pattern chaos theory............................ 33
pattern.... 52, 61, 66, 68, 80, 101, human ................................... 223
110, 112, 118, 123, 124, 131, natural ................................... 324
132, 162, 167, 231, 235, 268, nineteenth-century .. 32, 312, 313
285, 291, 296, 298, 326 postmodern33, 94, 120, 131, 321
Prophetissa, Maria ................ 31, 59 post-Newtonian ...................... 33
prudence ................257. See virtues social............................... 27, 163
Pythagoras ............ 55, 63, 235, 307 Self
Quran............................... 257, 266 finding .................................. 218
Rahayu, Ibu Siti .......................... 43 knowing216, 217, 218, 234, 272,
Ray, Paul H....... 111, 214, 238, 239 279, 318, 324
reason................................ 137, 215 Separation 9, 54, 55, 56, 57, 59, 68,
restraint ............. 213, 214, 215, 279 71, 74, 75, 78, 80, 81, 101, 121,
Ridley, Matt.............................. 194 133, 173, 228, 229, 235, 237,
righteousness .............................. 34 263, 299
roh el khudus .............................. 42 Shakespeare, William106, 188, 318
roh ilofi ........................... 42, 43, 97 Shapley, Harlow........................ 188
roh rohani................................. 217 Sheldrake, Rupert............ 84, 92, 95
Russell, Bertrand ........................ 17 Sherburne, Donald W. ................ 24
sacrifice, human.......See abstinence Shiva ......................... 141, 143, 145
Sagan, Carl ......................... 17, 210 shopping as model of process . 156
Sahtouris, Elisabet .... 242, 244, 324 57
Sartre, Jean-Paul ....................... 207 sins
Schumacher, E.F.. 43, 94, 101, 104, seven deadly ......................... 263
105, 106, 107, 118, 129, 165, skeleton .......See also cosmology as
183, 184, 189, 201, 202, 204, skeleton
223, 298, 315, 322


as model of processual form 54 on process ............................. 122

55, 101, 121, 126, 127, 128, on restraint ............................ 215
16769, 174 plant energy ............................ 97
Sky Father............................. 35, 38 pribadi .......................... 218, 229
Snow, C.P. .................................. 18 prihatin ................. 260, 280, 284
society roh rohani............................. 217
pre-industrial 28, 32, 34, 23334 vegetal force ..................... 98, 99
Society for General Systems Suzuki, David...................... 15, 221
Research ................. 19, 127, 141 The Sacred Balance.... 13, 14, 68
Sociobiology............................... 19 Tacey, David ..... 207, 222, 288, 317
spiral ............. 59, 236. See tesspiral Edge of the Sacred................ 324
open-ended 10, 54, 57, 205, 299, Tao ...................................... 31, 181
310, 321 temperance 253, 260, 275, 280. See
processual............................... 54 virtues
vs cycle................................... 40 tesspiral 68, 89, 205, 310. See spiral
whole................ 68, 89, 205, 310 tetraktys..................................... 307
Stewart, Ian....................... 295, 309 Theobald, Robert ...................... 236
strategic planning...................... 211 Theon of Smyrna ...................... 308
structure ...See framework, skeleton Theory of Everything..... 20, 25, 27,
Subud. 6, 8, 24, 122, 217, 218, 222, 28, 36, 37, 47, 63, 176, 298, 321,
239, 291, 315, 317, 324, 328, 326, 328
33132 Theosophy................................... 44
suffering............................ 260, 279 Thom, Solihin and Alicia. 193, 198,
human....................... 34, 35, 260 321
Sufi ......................... 25, 44, 97, 257 Thompson, Francis...................... 13
cosmology ..... 22, 42, 4445, 46, thought17, 19, 20, 37, 58, 120, 166,
120, 121, 123, 124, 130 195, 196, 212
Sumohadiwidjojo, R. M. abstract.......... 111, 213, 257, 319
Muhammad Subuh .... 18, 24, 42, rational.................. 182, 215, 321
43, 44, 45, 51, 90, 94, 95, 107, reductive ................................. 96
108, 119, 154, 181, 190, 192, symbolic ............................... 210
195, 200, 204, 210, 218, 223, unifying ................................ 211
224, 245, 272, 298, 315, 322 Three 56, 57, 68, 76, 81, 83, 85, 87,
animal energy....................... 101 110, 121, 129, 134, 135, 137,
four energies........................... 91 140, 153, 155, 158, 159, 164,
four natural forces .................... 9 165, 170, 171, 239, 241, 242,
on energies ................... 189, 205 248
on patience ........................... 273 animal energies..................... 215


animals .... 66, 80, 82, 84, 85, 86, stability ................................. 321
87, 102, 104, 105, 109, 129, synthesis ............................... 181
134, 139, 161, 183, 211, 257, union .... 9, 54, 55, 56, 57, 59, 68,
259, 262, 276, 281 80, 82, 84, 87, 121, 134, 173,
as activity ............................. 156 177, 229, 230, 236, 237, 246,
characteristics....................... 302 248, 274
coherence ............. 157, 218, 238 whole .................... 130, 158, 170
coherent................................ 195 world as ........................ 243, 245
completion............................ 173 Tolstoy, Leo .............................. 158
corporations as ..................... 144 Toulmin, Stephen........................ 33
courage ................................. 260 Toynbee, Arnold ................. 76, 150
dynamism ...... 95, 129, 134, 135, Transcendence . 54, 55, 59, 68, 121,
164, 195, 199, 218, 230 173, 231, 325
families as ... 27, 80, 83, 87, 106, transformation .. 108, 203, 218, 224,
158, 164, 165, 200, 206, 209, 225
210, 265, 277, 305 triads............................................ 60
free will ................................ 218 truths ................... 88, 267, 320, 322
holism................................... 239 Turnbull, Colin.......................... 318
implementation....................... 57 Two ............. 76, 140, 159, 164, 239
institutions as........ 135, 159, 303 active .................................... 130
integration .................... 237, 261 as preparation ....................... 156
marriage ............................... 154 competitive ........................... 153
morality ........ 219, 220, 264, 267 cycles ...................................... 78
nations as67, 150, 159, 193, 242, differentiated ........................ 157
243, 244, 246, 248, 256, 324 differentiation ................... 57, 95
organisation.................. 301, 303 division ................................. 237
Pauline virtues.............. 253, 256 dualistic ................................ 266
purpose ................................. 301 duality ................................... 142
religions as 32, 35, 45, 119, 135, ego ........................................ 261
158, 159, 212, 22022, 247, energy ................................... 164
248, 251, 266, 267, 269, 277, extremes.................................. 80
278, 279, 280, 287, 289, 291, features ................................. 302
300, 320 growth................................... 173
restraint................................. 218 obligations ............................ 255
societies as16, 28, 32, 34, 36, 37, order.............................. 301, 303
44, 54, 58, 66, 68, 69, 135, passive .................................. 130
140, 166, 207, 215, 219, 223, plants66, 74, 78, 84, 86, 87, 105,
228, 229, 230, 319 109, 128, 133, 139, 183, 301


relationships ......................... 134 justice.................................... 253

selection as ........................... 303 prudence ............................... 253
sensitivity ............................. 304 temperance............................ 253
separation .. 9, 54, 55, 56, 57, 59, traditional Western253, 261, 263
68, 71, 74, 75, 78, 80, 81, vs values ............................... 253
101, 121, 133, 173, 228, 229, Virtues project..................... 26974
235, 237, 263, 299 Vittachi, Varindra Tarzie ..... 14, 95,
vegetal .................................. 101 245, 286, 313
unconsciousness ......................... 37 Volk, Tyler................................ 309
Union .......... 9, 48, 54, 63, 256, 307 Wald, George .............. 71, 114, 116
unity...................... 17072, 17576 Watson, Lyle ............................... 76
universal system ....................... 170 Wells, H.G. ......................... 26, 352
Upanishads ............................... 318 Whitehead, Alfred North10, 1719,
values............................. See virtues 20, 24, 45, 58, 61, 63, 118, 121,
global.................................... 267 131, 132, 140, 145, 151, 156,
Human.......................... 266, 318 174, 176, 181, 182, 186, 209,
material.. 24, 252, 264, 265, 268, 212, 230, 237, 256, 265, 272,
269, 288 291, 298, 323
personal ................................ 265 cosmological framework 16566
social .................................... 266 Process and Reality . 12, 58, 126,
spiritual......................... 268, 285 127, 130, 166, 216, 323
transcendent ......................... 314 Willecke, Valentin .................... 172
transformative ...................... 267 Wilson, E.O..... 19, 47, 48, 152, 176
vices.......................... 194, 277, 317 Wordsworth, William 59, 205, 206,
Vidal, Gore ........................... 3, 320 229, 312
virtues ... See also individual virtues World Watch Institute............... 324
charity................... 253, 255, 275 worldview ......... 28, 32, 36, 96, 110
faith . 37, 231, 254, 25354, 256, Yin-Yang .................................... 31
275, 278, 291. See Young, Arthur M. ............. 308, 318
fortitude................................ 253 Zoroaster ................................... 235
hope.............................. 253, 280

The philosophers have only interpreted the world,
in various ways: the point, however, is to change it.
Karl Marx.

I regret that it has been necessary for me in this

lecture to administer a large dose of four-
dimensional geometry. I do not apologise, because I
am really not responsible for the fact that nature in
its most fundamental aspect is four-dimensional.
Things are what they are
A.N. Whitehead, The Concept of Nature.


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