something new wants to emerge (gift circle week 20)

There’ s something new that wants to emerge in the gift circle.

Over the last 9 weeks new circles have been forming – nonviolent communication circle, dream circle, meditation circle. What happens is people int he circle realize they have similar needs, and this need could be satisfied by people forming a new circle.

The new circles sometimes survive, sometimes don’t.

Last night we had proposals for about 7 new types of circles – a poetry circle, a movie discussion group, a Krishnamurti discussion group etc…

It feels like we need some kind of form or structure to incubate and help grow these new circles. One proposal last night was to have a second night of the week where people from the gift circle tribe can come together for more activities.

The gift circle is somewhat like a stem cell, birthing new types of cells. However what we need is to have a kind of support system to help nourish the new cells, to incubate them until they are mature enough to be self-sustaining.


There is an interesting thermodynamic self-organizing systems analogy here possibly. When one heats up water in a pan at first heat rises in a kind of homogenous manner. If one turns up the heat something interesting begins to happen, you have convection pillars rising and then falling of the heat. These convection patterns form a hexagonal honeycomb lattice called Benard Cells. What has happened is that the larger temperature gradient is driving a new kind of structure to form. Prigogine (who got the Nobel Prize for his work in this area) created a theory around this called dissipative structures and non-equilibirum thermodynamics. When a system is far from equilibrium self-organizing structures can begin to form.

What is similar here to the gift circle is that as we feel the strength of our needs it creates a kind of larger temperature gradient in the system. It creates a thermodynamic pressure to meet those needs. However the only way to meet them is to form new structures – new cells.

In the nonequilibrium thermodynamic structures that Prigogine talks about requires a circular chain of causality- a autocatalytic process.  One element has to create another element which creates another element which creates the first. It requires an autocatalytic system (see blog entry two posts ago). When there is enough energy flowing through the system the autocatalytic process is set into motion.

So its similar to the gift circle, one person catalyses another person in the circle with their enthusiasm for another type of circle who then catalyses another person, who then catalyses the first person further. So its a collective co-arising, a autocatalytic process.


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