online: 7 february 2003

7 february 2003 the organisation of nature

14:03: outdoor cafe again after weeks of absence and cold weather which prevented my walking here and eating out. Today the air temperature is up to 10 degrees Celsius and the sky is concealed by continuous cloud... It's warm enough to walk without gloves. Life in this garden looks the same as it did but the newspaper I've just read tells that we are almost at war and could face nuclear bombs and such. I've never felt less confidence in government - or indeed in organisations of any kind. It's time to say why - and to describe or explore some alternatives.

What comes to mind immediately?

Anarkia*, simply anarkia, my or everyone's way of living and organising here and now and continuously via the reliable and subtle operation of our nervous systems, our breathing, digestion, vision, hearing, bodily motion, speech, memory and all other actions of our nature. Each is far more, in complexity and in adaptability and such, than is any social organisation or machine yet designed or existing.

But the culture, that is the difficulty, invisible as it may be in its extent and its inappropriateness - given the super-cultural effects of technology and the supposed naturalness of hierarchy and centralism.

So how to proceed?

The first need, as I see it, is to explain and explore and extend these brief thoughts (still so abstract) in some new manner of art or of narrative and of sounds and of colours and experience imagined and enacted... but immediately I sense the presence of a barrier - the barrier of old culture and old ways in which the new can only be denied or diminished - not enabled to exist of itself...

Time to pause and to think before continuing this gestation.

Walking briskly back in the now colder air I notice again snowdrops in blossom and daffodils in bud... and I feel released from my attempts to enable new forms to take shape in old organisational bottles, limited by the motivations of specialists.

As I walked I remembered Henry James's remarking on those people 'on whom nothing is lost'. And I recalled that the fourteen geese who inhabit pond number 1 had taken over the fenced-off ground of a recent landslip as their own piece of land.

All these things are doubtless connected.

*I first heard of this beautiful word from David Miller. He suggested that it be used to mean non-destructive anarchy, close to the idea of the word in Ancient Greek.

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© 2003 john chris jones

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