Natural Systems Philosophy Applied to the Diverse Issues and Disorders of Our Culture by Edwin L. Young, PhD
To some, at first sight, my essays and expositions might seem like a large collection of stand-alone topics. In fact, all of them taken together, are expressions of the ”Natural Systems" philosophy. That is to say, all items are a part of an integrated whole. The point of the ‘whole' of "Natural Systems" is to get people to make a paradigm shift toward seeing the world in terms of integrated structures and systems. Instead of seeing or focusing on separate, fragmented, compartmentalized institutions, or organizations, "Natural Systems", at the highest level of external structures and systems, focuses on a society or culture as a whole. There can be several or many levels of external structures and systems, depending upon the purpose of the analyst. When focusing on any one aspect of any level of structure or system separately, the reader is directed next to try to see this structure in relation to others on a higher level and in relation to those on lower levels as well.
Particularly, this paradigm shift entails a shift away from analyzing or relating to the world simply from a person-centric point of view, as has been done for all previous millennia, toward a structure-centric perspective. Most importantly, that structure-centric perspective in "Natural Systems" entails seeing the world as an integration of the structures and systems of the external world with the internal structures and processes of the singular, individual, person.
Taken together, I have labeled these two, the external structures and the internal structure and processes, as two juxtaposed dimensions called the "Duplex Pyramids.” The "Duplex Pyramids" is the logo of Natural Systems. This logo has one pyramid on the bottom, representing the internal structures and processes of the individual. Above the bottom pyramid, an inverted pyramid represents the external structures and systems of the world. To see the world in this holistic manner means becoming able to see and understand how these two dimensions are integrated and how they interact.
Of course, "Natural Systems" still involves taking into consideration how the singular individual has or can have an impact on the external structures and systems of their world. However, that emphasis must include, rather the emphasis must be supplanted by, a focus on the external structures and systems of the world. We must try to determine how they shape the person. Furthermore, "Natural Systems" emphasizes how we can and should change the external structures and systems in such a way as to promote the growth of persons toward greater health and higher levels of maturity.
The ultimate purpose of "Natural Systems" is to discover how we can break the ossified, once successful and now deadly, interlocking, systems of institutions that comprise an entire culture, particularly our own. These ossified and deadly structures and systems of the world now, more than ever, are destructive to the earth, its natural environment, to our way of life, the quality of life of all people and creatures, and to the very survival of all individual persons and all life inhabiting the entire planet. "Natural Systems" hopes to begin to reverse these deadly, the destructive trends of these structures and systems and replace them with more globally beneficial trends for the present and hopefully, for billions of years yet to come.
The first listing under the 'Outline of Topics' is, naturally enough, the Introduction to Natural Systems. It is important to understand. No, it is most important to understand that restructuring civilizations' structures requires a 'levels' approach to structural analysis. The analyst makes an initial decision concerning how many levels of external structures to use. The number of levels typically is revised repeatedly as the analyst gains more insight into the issue being addressed. I typically begin with about five levels of external structures. Similarly, it is important, no it is essential, that the analyst decide which systems will be involved in the analysis. Each level of structure entails multiple systems. I typically examine about eight systems within each level of structure that is examined. These levels of structure and the systems that are interlocked and dynamically functioning within them are explicated in the Introduction immediately below. This way of proceeding attempts to be true to the internal structures and processes of the person as they are shaped by each aspect of the interlocking systems within each of the levels of external structures. For me, this has been and continues to be a very mentally demanding way to proceed.
I first began noticing the roles that levels of external structures and their systems played in shaping the internal structures and processes of persons in the latter part of the nineteen sixties. Over the many years after that initial insight, I began to and I continue to try to formulate how these two, the external and internal, dynamically interact. I am still doing so today. I do this because I found, over the course of my career, that the more thoroughly I understood these relationships, the more successful I was at reforming institutions such as adult and juvenile prisons, mental hospitals, educational programs, and community organizations. In consequence, that success was evaluated in terms of the extent to which individuals subject to the programs of these reformed institutions grew more healthy, mature, and socially responsible.
Aside from the external structures and systems and internal structures and processes, Natural Systems has also developed and method for delineating and shaping the processes of intentionality. Traditional psychology has rather exhaustively researched the internal structures and processes of humans such as perception, memory, learning, cognition, motivation, life history, identity and self-concept, and behavior, particularly interpersonal behavior. The processes of intentionality, as an internal system, have been given little attention. Intentionality has been thought to be too subjective and speculative. Natural Systems developed a model of intentionality, researched it, and successfully used it in designing the programs of external structures and systems so as to shape the person's intentionality processes to induce growth toward increased physical and mental health, maturity, and social responsibility.
In my retirement, I have extended the use of the Natural Systems approach to analyses of a broader and deeper range of cultural problems, as you will see in the essays and presentations listed under the thirteen sections of topics at: http://TheNaturalSystemsInstitute.org .
Hermit, impoverished, passionate about socio-political-justice-economic reform, single but love people, love riding the bus, love simplicity in living. I love the conformation of the female derrière.
It is the Structures and Systems that are unnatural. Reform the Structures and Systems and the person will improve.
What Gives Me Hope
Obama and the internet as platform for refugee investigative journalists and computerized education.
If I were Mayor, I'd make the world a better place by
Kill all the lawyers (said with tongue slightly in cheek.
Create a class in public schools for coaching kids on how become mature personally, in interpersonal relations, in intimate relations, intellectually, and for having a sense of responsibility for the welfare of their community.
What/who changed my life and why
Martin Heidegger "Being and Time"
When I reformed the Admissions Ward of Big Spring State Hospital in 1967
Movies that inspired me:
Nader: An Unreasonable Man (2006)
The Lion in Winter (1966)
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf (1966)
Michael Moore and Robert Greenwald’s Documentaries
500 Nations (4-Disc Series) (1995)
American Drug War: The Last White Hope (2007)
Democracy University: DVD Series (4-Disc Series) (2004)
The Widow of St. Pierre (2001) La Veuve de Saint Pierre
World in the Balance: Nova (2004)
Flow: For Love of Water (2008)
Howard Zinn: You Can't Be Neutral (2004)
Inside American Power: The Pentagon (2002)
Intimate Strangers (2004) Confidences Trop Intimes
A Nos Amours (1983)
Jimmy Carter: Man from Plains (2007)
Lions for Lambs (2007)
Noam Chomsky: Imperial Grand Strategy (2006)
Speaking Freely Vol. 1-4, (2007)
Rabbit Proof Fence