Systems Thinking vs Belief? LO19717
Sun, 1 Nov 1998 23:02:10 EST

Replying to LO19621 --

Could the inability to come to resolution on this thread be a signal that
the system we are involved in is unnecessarily restricted?

Havent we left out the *way* that we think? The structure of thinking?
E.g., whether or not theres a positioned thinker of thought, and how
tightly bound thinker and thought are? (At the precise moment of insight
there seems to be no thinker.)

And what about the *awareness* of thinking? What about the *certainty* or
*conviction* or *feeling* accompanying thinking?

What about the *gravity* or weightiness of thinking? Some thought is
heavy, some light. Are all these factors, just for starters, irrelevant?

I would guess that some of us object to *belief* when it held very tightly
by a person, held in a way that isolates that person from others and makes
even compassionate, penetrating inquiry impossible and frustrating
(perhaps the holder of fixed conviction is a convict). Tarthang Tulku
wrote: Throughout human history, there has been a tendency to try to
capture knowledge in the form of labels, words, and specific belief
systems. But such structures, useful though they may be as tools, do not
do justice to knowledge. Systems of belief are the tracks that knowledge
leaves behind. If we substitute them for knowledge itself, they begin to
proliferate, crowding out a deeper knowing and the inspiration it can

But belief can also be held as a *working hypothesis*, something against
which later experience can be tested, something not held as absolute.
Beliefs can be held with more or less conviction, or holding strength,
depending on the experience that confirms them, or on the authority we
attribute to other people, texts, etc.

Winfried wrote: What are the fundamental beliefs to Systems Thinking?
Suzanne wrote: . . . I think we can say we 'believe' in System

I agree. For one thing, it seems that theres a presumption that thinking
in and of itself is sufficiently fundamental--whether in the form of
rational cogitating, belief, speculation, or whatever--to provide
comprehensive perspective on these matters. But is it?

I have found that systems *thinking* never seems to get a truly
comprehensive view of any system. It gives us varied cuts, models, and
perspectives, but inevitably depicts pieces, even in attempting to
describe wholes. Just five seconds of a symphony can probably never be
fully described in a way that would convey the original experience.

What if we broadened the scope of our investigation to Systems views?
And included more than just thinking, beliefs, convictions, data,
meanings, conclusions, and sensations? What if we included nonverbal
awareness, which occasionally is aware of a field, not just particulars?
Awareness that varies in the way that it appears with an owner? And
what if we included the *way* that we perceive, think, and are aware in a
nonverbal way? Perhaps leaving these out makes it impossible to really
understand each other.

Systems views would still leave out the dynamic aspect of being, but it
might still be an improvement.

Best wishes,
Steve Randall, Ph.D. - Results in No Time - email:
Time Management Supersite:
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land: 1124 Ballena Boulevard, Suite 5, Alameda CA 94501
phone & fax: 510-749-9931


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