Organic Shift

I read an outline of The Organic Shift yesterday, a book about our shift from a mechanistic to an organic worldview, and the parallels between this shift and that from medieval to mechanistic worldview.

The description of our current transition to a more life-centered (systems informed) worldview is similar to that of Fritjof Capra in the Turning Point, and many other books and articles over the last few decades. The Cultural Creatives and the Translucent Revolution are other examples. It is also similar in essence to what we find in the New Age philosophy and described in the Aquarian Conspiracy. And, as far as I can tell, it is accurate. There is indeed such a shift taking place. Right now it is not picked up by mainstream media (invested in the old consumer culture view), but it is simmering and gathering momentum – and may break through quickly when it first happens.

What is different in The Organic Shift is the detailed mapping of the parallels between the shift from a medieval to mechanistic worldview, and the current shift from a mechanistic to organic worldview. And if we look, as the author of Organic Shift did, it seems that we can find some striking parallels.

Looking at how paradigm shifts in science (as described by Kuhn) moves through the larger culture and all institutions, Michael David Schacker describes six phases:

  1. Conception (1543, Copernicus | 1781, Kant).
  2. Scientific & philosophical revolution (1550-1700 | 1790-1955).
  3. Early enlightenment phase (1700-1725 | 1955-1979 – beat, hippies etc.).
  4. Conservative backlash (1725-1740s | 1980-1995).
  5. Intensive phase (1740-1760 | 1996-2020 est.).
  6. Transforming phase (1760-1800 | 2020-2060 est.).

According to this view, we are now at the tail end of the conservative backlash and in the middle of the intensive phase. In one or two decades, we may be in the transforming phase where it all breaks out into the open and our social and cultural institutions (politics, education, law, religion, media etc.) go through a serious transformation.

Of course, during and especially at the tail end of this transforming/implementing phase, there will be things cropping up that the organic (then mainstream) worldview is not addressing, and a new paradigm is born – possibly going through similar phases.

Ken Wilber’s AQAL model and Spiral Dynamics is not mentioned in the outline, although I assume it will be included in the book. It seems that the mechanistic worldview corresponds to the orange (modern) phase in Spiral Dynamics, and the organic worldview corresponds with the green (egalitarian, life centered) and the early second tier (systemic, integral) phases. The post-organic worldview may then correspond to for instance the third and fourth second tier phases, which we only have the early outlines of currently.

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