Our holonic framework emerged from seeing similarities in the interpretation of consciousness which came from different roots (yoga to psychology) and coincident similarities in the behaviour of natural phenomena from the individual human to the species and from subatomic particles to universal bodies.

fourquadrants1

The organisation of life may be described along dimensions of: Space- Time; Matter-Energy; Body-Spirit; Internal-External; Singular-Plural.  Combining these perspectives in to a graphic helps to see the integral connectedness of seemingly different phenomena.  This chart is adapted from Ken Wilbur's Theory of Everything.

Our focus is on human behaviour including individual behaviour, wider group behaviour and narrower behaviour of organs or systems that compose a person.  The holonic spectrum is a values based framework that describes big picture thinking and helps with expanding perception in any sphere.  It describes a spectrum of behaviour from modest to sophisticated and applies to both physical and metaphysical realms, respecting a coherence of body and spirit.

The holonic framework informs whole systems design and development for people and organisations.

The main streams of thought that have influenced the holonic perspective are: Spiral dyamics, Business Consciousness Model and Yogic Chakra technology.

The colours used to clarify a holonic perspective are from the visible part of nature's electro-magnetic spectrum.

In A Nutshell

Human behaviour is driven by what motivates. Humanity is distinguished by its intelligence which results in a more sophisticated decision making process than in other life. Intelligence opens the range of motivations from purely physiological needs of survival to a range of higher levels of thinking.

In life, intelligence starts with the independent thought for self preservation.   Intelligence emerges with survival as the primary objective. As this is satisfied relationships become valued more. As needs are satisfied other values emerge like a demand for power and control, for purpose, for organisation, and even for sharing.  This development can be seen clearly in children, although not all of us develop the later values as much as the earlier ones.

Thus people (and any organism/organisation) tend to behave in a way which can be described by cultural descriptors such as generous, egotistic, selfish, dominant, leader, collaborative and so on.  These behaviour profiles are consistent and can be described by only a few dominant cultural profiles or memes ("an idea, behavior, or style that spreads from person to person within a culture").  And natural systems tend to emerge along a spectrum of memes from less sophisticated (instinctive) to more sophisticated (consensus) influenced by their current physiological and emotional state and the environmental circumstances.

Table: Emerging memes of intelligent systems - the exclusive memes.

Instinctive/ Survival

Animistic/ Relationship

Egocentric/ Self-esteem

Authority/ Transformation

Strategic/ Internal Cohesion

Consensus/ External cohesion

Food, water, procreation, warmth, protection, staying alive

Rites, rituals, taboos, superstitions, tribes, folk ways and lore

Gratification, glitz, conquest, action, impulsive, live for the moment

Meaning, discipline, traditions, morality, rules, live for later

Materialistic, consumerism, success, image, status, growth

Egalitarian, feelings, sharing, caring, community

Pursuit of profit - financial soundness, employee health and safety. (exploitation, over control)

Relationships for the organisation - good communication between employees, customers, suppliers. (Manipulation, blame)

High performance systems - productivity, efficiency, quality, professional growth. (Bureaucracy, complacency)

Continuous renewal and learning - adaptability, innovation, teamwork. (Exclusion)

Development of cohesive culture - commitment, enthusiasm, shared values. (Exclusivity)

Strategic Alliances - employee fulfilment, community involvement. (Exclusivity)

 

The mindsets described above are introspective - they focus on self.  Enlightenment occurs when a being considers itself part of something bigger and sees itself and might then be able to self-manage its behavioural perspective or meme.  It is a leap of thinking to be comfortable to recognise different approaches to life, and a real challenge to integrate these needs: needs for organisation, survival, purpose, power and sharing. Manifesting that behaviour is termed "Integral behaviour".  Self-perspective is a characteristic of higher level consciousness. The key distinction of higher level thinking is inclusiveness.

And once that capacity is managed, the next level of sophistication is to compound the sophistication of personal and group value and action management in a seemingly chaotic complexity, which in fact is comfortably balanced - that is "Holonic being".  Integrating many perspectives is holonic behaviour. The thought processes are quite zen: winning without winning, etc. 

Once you begin to appreciate this reality 2 "rules" become apparent:

a) everyone is right;

b) there are no rules.

Table: Emerging memes of intelligent systems - the inclusive memes.

           

Integral/ Service

Holonic Being

           

Natural systems, self principle, multiple realities, knowledge

Collective individualism, cosmic spirituality, earth changes

           

Service to Humanity - ethics, social responsibility, future generations, cooperation.

Natural interdependence- holarchy not hierarchy.

 

Not hierarchy, but holarchy. Not holistic, but holonic.

So, here's the whole table (rows represent the value zone or meme, columns represent different manifestations of that meme).

Level/Zone/ Meme

Values

Organisation values

Essence

Opposite essence

Objective

Positive traits

Action

Soul

Elemental force

Excessive traits

Negative traits

Holonic Being

Collective individualism, cosmic spirituality, earth changes

Natural interdependence, holarchy not hierarchy.

Being

 

A-personalisation

     

Space-time

   

Integral Behaviour/ Service

Natural systems, self principle, multiple realities, knowledge

Service to Humanity, ethics, social responsibility, future generations, cooperation.

Awareness

Attachment

Self-knowledge

Wisdom, knowledge, consciousness

To know

Universal

Information

Overly intellectual, spiritual addiction, confusion, dissociation

Learning difficulties, spiritual skepticism, limited beliefs, materialism, apathy

External cohesion/ Consensus

Egalitarian, feelings, sharing, caring, community

Strategic Alliances, employee fulfilment, community involvement.

Intuition, imagination

Illusion

Self-reflection

Psychic perception, accurate interpretation, imagination, clear seeing

To see

Archetypal

Light

Headaches, nightmares, hallucinations, delusions, difficulty concentrating

Poor memory, poor vision, can't see patterns, denial

Internal cohesion/ Strategic

Materialistic, consumerism, success, image, status, growth

Development of cohesive culture, commitment, enthusiasm, shared values.

Communication

Lies

Self-expression

Clear communication, creativity, resonance

To speak and be heard

Creative

Sound

Excessive talking, inability to listen, over-extended, stuttering

Fear of speaking, poor rhythm

Impersonal/ Authority/ Transform

Meaning, discipline, traditions, morality, rules, live for later

Continuous renewal and learning, adaptability, innovation, teamwork.

Love, relationships

Grief

Self-acceptance

Balance, compassion, self-acceptance, good relationships

To love and be loved

Social

Air

Codependency, poor boundaries, possessive, jealous

Shy, lonely, isolated, lack of empathy, bitter, critical

Personal/ Egocentric/ Self-esteem

Gratification, glitz, conquest, action, impulsive, live for the moment

High performance systems, pursuit of profit, productivity, efficiency, quality, professional growth.

Power, will

Shame

Self-definition

Vitality, spontaneity, strength of will, purpose, self-esteem

To act

Ego

Fire

Dominating, blaming, aggressive, scattered, constantly active

Weak will, poor self esteem, passive, sluggish, fearful

Animalistic/ Relationship

Rites, rituals, taboos, superstitions, tribes, folk ways and lore

Routines for the organisation, communication between employees, customers, suppliers.

Sexuality, emotions, desire

Guilt

Self-gratification

Fluidity, pleasure, healthy sexuality, feeling

To feel, to want

Emotional

Water

Overly emotional, poor boundaries, sex addiction, obsessive attachments

Frigidity, impotence, rigidity, emotional numbness, fear of pleasure

Vegetative/ Instinctive/ Survival

Food, water, procreation, warmth, protection, staying alive

Pursuit of revenues, financial solvency, employee productivity.

survival, grounding

Fear

Self-preservation

Stability, grounding, physical health, prosperity trust

To be here, to have

Physical

Earth

Heaviness, Sluggish monotony, obesity, hoarding, materialism, greed

Frequent fear, lack of discipline, restless, underweight, spacey

Level/Zone

Values

Organisation values

Essence

Opposite essence

Objective

Positive traits

Action

Soul

Elemental force

Excessive traits

Negative traits

 

Integral Values Zones

No person (or other entity, since this framework is universally applicable) exhibits just one value zone.  One or two or three might dominate, but all are present or at least potentially present. 

This cone is a graphic representation depicting increasingly sophisticated value zones. The first zone, at the bottom of the upside down cone, is the instinctive zone, whether it refers to structure, values or behaviour. Its character is the most basic, which even plants might exhibit, instinctively pointing to the sunlight for example. Though, for a thinking creature like a person or organisation, behaviour is a bit more sophisticated it is still about getting enough food or income etc.

While the simple graphics show uniformity of memes and distinction between them, that is simply for presentation. The reality is that each person or group acquires increasing sophistication at different rates. Also, the line between memes is blurred as is the emergence of new characteristics. It makes common sense that it takes time to realise that you have enough to eat and always will, and friends might be nice too, and then get them.

ringsIt helps to imagine the increasingly sophisticated behaviours as layered upon on another (though they are metaphysical). If you tipped the inverted cone of memes on its side and looked at it from either end you would see the rings layered on one another. The primitive, instinctive, survival characteristics, the meme exhibited by all life, even by plants, runs through the whole cone (or organism). Similarly for the next level characteristics, and the next, and so on. This represents the idea that we exhibit primitive characteristics even as we learn, adopt or acquire more sophisticated values or memes.

Another complexity is that more than one meme can dominate. It is usual for one of the exclusive memes already outlined (instinct, relationship, personal, group, communication, consensus) to dominate and usually in sequence, but as one takes over from another, they might both be strong.

Riemann SpherenoboxRecognising that mindsets emerge at differing rates and in different ways, depending on the organism and its environment, you can imagine that these graphics should be less uniform. Perhaps the cone would be much a more knobbly and concentric rings more uneven, with blurred gradations between zones (colours). And maybe the depiction should be human shaped, or spherical - the natural shape of universal objects. Or if you wanted to look into the sphere to envision the integrated memes a Reimann sphere is a pretty cool (mathematically sophisticated) image which might help stretch the imagination: