Systematics Gathering Nine
LogoVisual Thinking (LVT)
Systematics as process and collaboration
March 28-30, 2008, Charles Town, WV, USA
In this Gathering we will offer a short course in LVT that should enable you to use the method in your own thinking and begin to use it with other people in groups. LVT has three main functions:
- To enable you to start afresh, to make a new start in thinking about something that concerns you – to deconstruct what you think you know to ‘make a new world’ or understanding
- To think together with other people, so that you are all on the same level and playing in the same playing field and are able to truly ‘add’ your thoughts together instead of having them compete
- To enter more consciously into the processes underlying systematics and any method of structural thinking
LVT is the culmination of decades of work in many fields first initiated in the 1960s with the invention of structural communication (Bennett, Hodgson, et al). Bennett, after developing systematics, saw the need of having a technique capable of supporting communication on matters of understanding. He experimented with applying structural communication to the ideas of The Dramatic Universe. It was not until much later that the strong mutual relevance of systematics and group process was able to be addressed – in LogoVisual Technology (the T of LVT has multiple references).
Previous Gatherings have contributed to the development of LVT, but now it is time to make the method available in a Gathering totally devoted to it. It will illuminate:
- Structural Communication
- Meaning Games
- Self-Organisation and Emergence
Some of you will have picked up some experience of ‘using hexagons’ but it is important to go through deliberate training. The method has many ramifications in addition to those listed above. It can cast light on the theme of Globalization that occupied us in many of the Gatherings; it can also cast light on the psychology of mental energies that Bennett proposed, and even on hazard
There will be various exercises and a main group task (such as we have had in times before) but also a session devoted to a task of your own individual choosing. Without the latter, the training can hardly ‘take’.
There is a paradox in LVT: while experience has shown that almost anyone can pick it up and ‘do’ it, it takes quite some time and experience – and interchange with other practitioners – to be able to do it in depth or to help others. Facilitation is a major dimension. In the training you will go through some theoretical principles and detailed exercises that never appear in the run of things but are needed if you are to understand what you are doing.
LVT does involve equipment, though it can be quite inexpensive and home-made if need be. Tools include magnetic hexagons. There is LVT software and a web based format in process of development. It will be possible to give you experience of these but currently they, like the hexagons, have to be purchased from CMC (see below) in the UK.
LVT development is currently supported by John Varney of the Centre for Management Creativity (CMC). Richard Heath, author of Matrix of Creation, and a leading authority on the systematics of astro-archaeology and sacred geography, is a major contributor. See www.logovisual.com
Reproduced below is the note written a few months ago. It makes background reading for the proposed LVT Gathering.
The Hazard of Systems
Systems have been taken as the very epitome of harmony, balance and freedom from uncertainty. They have been taken to be something like Platonic Ideal Forms. In relation to them, real life appears messy, confused and fragmented. This contrast of Ideal Systems with real life should, however, alert us to the possibility that we have been missing something important.
In some modern mathematics, even the apparent simplicity and clarity of the integers has been questioned. The integers look perfectly unambiguous. Amongst them, the first integer 1 appears the prime example. But, the idea of ‘oneness’ may be the most obscure of all.
Can we now take a look at the other side of systems? Underlying systems there is chaos and uncertainty. Besides JGB’s brilliant concept of ‘unity in diversity’ we might place ‘order in chaos’ and ‘chaos in order’. We cannot have one without the other.
JGB spent considerable time extolling the importance of hazard. The book I put together after his death on hazard, however, hardly seems to scratch the surface of what it means. He refers to the Arabic word azzar, which means ‘die’ and the throw of dice integral to games first devised 3,000 years ago (perhaps we should also consider them as featuring in the Babylonian meeting Gurdjieff describes in Beelzebub’s Tales, when ‘legomonism’ was invented). Games are crucial for our understanding of hazard, including gambling and the ‘science of risks’ which has proved crucial in the history of mathematics.
In an extreme sense, we could regard every system as a failed attempt to overcome hazard, or win the war with time. In the book on Hazard, JGB argues that we need to steer our way between utter randomness and complete order. The first is meaninglessness and the second is death. The way must be uncertain and, at each step, there is always the need to act differently. In this sense, the progression of systems can be seen as a story of man’s encounter with hazard. Hazard is not just a lack of certainty. It is also the gateway to meaning, the exercise of intelligence and virtue, the making of discoveries and the realisation of individuality.
It is proposed that we look into the systems as a series of nodes in the path of discovery. There is no method for this! The undertaking itself is hazardous!
Undoubtedly we would be devising, playing and reflecting on games. This throws into relief what we ‘are’. The biggest puzzle is ‘Who are the players?’ Are you game?