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Patterns Patterns
by Jan Sand
2021-09-08 06:23:02
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There are all sorts. One dimensional, two dimensional, three dimensional, four dimensional, five dimensional and so on up. The word "dimension" means to measure and it is not only extensions in space and time that can be measured.

There are patterns of shape and sound and feeling and social inter-relationships. Patterns are discerned from the inputs of each of our senses individually and in concert and with the creation of instruments that discern patterns beyond our inbuilt sense capability so that a much more extensive range of the electromagnetic spectrum is now a substantial part of our understanding of the universe.

pat00001_400Human minds, as well as those of other animals, are adept at sensing patterns of all types and, since even plants have inbuilt systems for reacting to and remembering light and moisture and atmosphere and physical forces, even creatures bereft of nervous systems must be aware of patterns to remain viable.

Creative people are especially sensitive to varieties of pattern since their business is intensely concerned with discerning relationships and rearranging their components to discover new types of order. Very frequently there is severe negative reaction to the introduction of new patterns into human culture. This occurs in music, the visual arts, theater, politics, science, religion, philosophy, and many personal social activities. This is probably because a successful survival pattern in society is highly valued and changing the pattern can be detrimental or dangerous. Beyond this, particular established sectors of society that are powerful may benefit from fixed social patterns that are not necessarily beneficial to society as a whole.

But environments change all the time, and sometimes radically. New insights into how to improve survival can be vital. Becoming fixed in old and inferior or no longer relevant patterns can be dangerous and even fatal. The current problems with global warming are especially significant in this regard.

One cannot survive without being aware of the patterns of our social order and being aware of their permissive limits. And within social orders there are many sub-patterns. But these social patterns are variables within special areas of social interaction. Religion, business, academic institutions, professions, the arts, age divisions, gender, social classes and others individually permit behaviors that may be allowable in one area and are not allowed in others and the interactions of all these permissions and prohibitions that change over place and time and culture can be quite daunting to the ignorant or insensitive individual or to an individual who mistakenly applies behavior acceptable in one area to one where it is forbidden.

But human society can be very permeable to behaviors. Many of the social behaviors that arose in USA black culture, especially in language, has passed through interactive social barriers and are now common throughout general society although, peculiarly, certain terms that are acceptable between blacks are taken as offensive when a white applies them to blacks. The same is true in Jewish culture and most probably with other minorities.

What is accepted as civilization probably originated with the establishment of agriculture at around ten thousand years ago. Geologically this is a very short time. No doubt the communities that survived by gathering and hunting had a very cohesive society of a comparatively small number of individuals with strong family ties but it was only the food surpluses provided by organized agriculture that permitted the blossoming of culture outfitted with special classes of society not directly connected with the provision of food.

Modern humanity per se is estimated at about one million years old, again an exceedingly short geological period for a species that has been so
immensely successful. Dinosaurs existed for about one hundred sixty million years by comparison, but this might be a bit unfair as dinosaurs were a group of species and Homo sapiens is only one.

It has been said by some philosopher or other that those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it which assumes very little in creative capability in humanity or that pattern possibilities are very limited. This does not seem to be obviously true. Beyond that it is demonstrated continuously and repeatedly by historically well established social organizations that they do their utmost to remember their past and repeat it over and over again in fixed ceremonies, exhortation, and action to no apparent beneficial result and to their and humanity's detriment. (Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. - Albert Einstein)

The way the world is going it looks pretty inevitable that the future holds huge, almost insurmountable, dangers. The world's governmental and economic systems have evolved and progressed through successful extensions of scientific technology and commercial practices since the middle ages, not always without very great suffering by large sectors of humanity which continues today relatively unabated. But this rapid growth now has reached the limits of the planetary ecology to sustain it and the ecological infrastructure is collapsing in many directions.

To a great extent the thought systems of humanity have sustained the odd idea that somehow humanity is exempt from the physical systems of the universe which rigidly and without exception enforces the basic laws of cause and effect. But the severe damages that mankind is committing on its planetary systems must very soon dispel this ignorant misconception if human and much other necessary supporting life is to survive.

There is nothing like the possibility of non-survival to stimulate energetic innovation. Many new patterns are being uncovered but remain, as yet, relatively underfinanced. Perhaps the increasing intensity of violent meteorological effects and the collapsing inter-related economies might alleviate this dearth of forceful and effective counter-reaction to a dark prospect. I certainly hope so.

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