Are We Falling Apart or Waking Apart?

Dr. Ichak Adizes asks if we are falling apart faster? He charts the dissonance that exists in our individual physical, emotional, spiritual and intellectual sub-systems.

Adizes Logo

Dr. Adizes observes that our physical maturity is way ahead of our emotional and spiritual maturity. And while we can learn all the way into old age, that choice is not often enough exercised. This leaves the human being looking like it is in a very misaligned condition (dis-integrated even) at the moment. And because the individual is so unintegrated across these sub-systems, it impacts all the scales of human systems – our families, our organizations and our communities. Perhaps it is also the root of why we feel our cities are so turbulent and misaligned?

We asked recently in the Integral City 2.0 Online Conference: How can we wake up? grow up? and take responsibility? Several of our visionary teachers (Buzz Holling and Elisabet Sahtouris) told us that living systems go through a resilience cycle where the alignment stage is followed by breakdown and re-distribution of resources, before integrating into a new resourceful stage.  So, it may be that the dissonances, noticed by Dr. Adizes are actually signs of the next stage of resilience.  Perhaps in order to wake up our whole system (both individually and collectively), must pass through two very messy misaligned stages before a new alignment of all our systems can emerge? Perhaps the fact that our sub-systems are  not maturing at the same rate as one another is a perfectly natural phenomenon?

Just as a foetus in the womb grows its sub-systems at different rates and different stages – and indeed the same pattern repeats itself as the human matures into adulthood. When we look at the scale of the human species (and not just the individual or family) when we find ourselves on the cusp of being in a new relationship with the world , this kind of developmental dissonance is our natural next step of evoluton?

With all our emphasis on the importance of the physical, maybe it is natural that it should be the first system that “jumps the maturation queue”? Now it is the season to start waking up the emotional, mental and spiritual systems too.

Maybe December 21, 2012 is the signal for us to birth a more integrated system?

By |2017-04-07T02:57:31+00:00December 13th, 2012|E. Evolutionary Intelligences, Emergence|2 Comments

About the Author:

HI I am the Founder of Integral City Meshworks Inc. and Chief Blogger. Working with cities and eco-regions, I ‘meshwork’ or weave people, purpose, priorities, profits, programs and processes to align contexts, grow capacity and develop strategies for sustainability and resilience in the Integral City. You can read more details about me here http://integralcity.com/about/about-the-founder/


  1. Brian McConnell December 14, 2012 at 8:34 pm - Reply

    You may remember Marilyn, I’d participated as a caller during the Integral City 2.0 conference segment with Buzz Holling and his discussion of ‘resilience’. If you think of the Integral City 2.0 as a complex network constantly consuming and/or generating the flow of energy (e.g. data, information, light, etc.), when otherwise single-strong-stream efficiencies collapse, the system will naturally seek an optimum balance between greater diversity and interconnection (as a form of resilience) to sustain itself.

    Consequently, managing existing (infra)structure and designing alternative subsystems, is the introductory focus of my “White Paper on Initiating an Integral Economic Laboratory” as published this Spring. I authored it in hopes of inspiring a better understanding and appreciation for ‘sustainability theory’ and to help motivate local citizens to put ‘integral resilience’ to practice.

  2. Marilyn Hamilton December 14, 2012 at 10:47 pm - Reply

    Brian you make excellent points about complex adaptive systems and their impulse to seek resilience by densifying connections. Even when I notice that our first impulse is to contract back to more comfortable territory, I take a different kind of comfort knowing that what is needed is more diversity – and if we wait long enough it will show up. (Of course we can also experiment by nudging the system into greater diversity – Buzz Holling spoke of the great value of experimenting, prototying and play.)

Leave A Comment