Towards a Universal Science of Actualisation of Potentials

Generative science studies the complexity that emerges from the iteration of simple rules. From the point of view of crealectics, this approach is still somewhat connected to the overproduction paradigm inherited from mass capitalism. Crealectics see the world as relative simplicity emerging from infinite complexity, not the opposite. This might sound counterintuitive to our postmodern ears, since we are accustomed to perceiving our worlds as complex.

But the latter confusion has to do with the globalisation of our perception. Indeed, our world appears noisy, messy, chaotic sometimes, or diverse, and from the perspective of a single human perception this is the case, but from the perspective of the Creal, reality as we know it is always a simplification, a reduction. The philosophical question that matters for crealectics is not the General Systems Theory question of complexity (how does simplicity create complexity?), but the opposite: how does complexity create simplicity?

At the moment, whole systems theory is cognitively fashionable, and this is not a bad thing. Holism is intellectually satisfactory because the fragmentary disciplines that it attacks are not in fact scientific: most sciences today are not scientific in the sense that they do not provide a theory of everything. They are analytic practices that don’t have time to care much for the whole system and interdependencies between levels of reality.

In my view, if an analytic practice does not propose a theory of everything, it is not a science, even if it appears to be so by mobilising mathematics, statistics, and other rigorous protocols. And indeed, I am not contesting the localised rigour of these practices that call themselves sciences: medicine, psychology, zoology, biology, chemistry, the list is long. These disciplines eliminate complexity by looking at a specific region of the real and saying: we can understand this provided we isolate it from other approaches, and we do not have anything to say about the rest of the world, or if we do, it is under our own monadic worldview: for example for chemistry, everything will be chemical to a certain extent, but if we reach superstructural levels such as politics for example, atomistic and mechanical methodologies don’t really work (There must be a chemical explanation of politics out there, but I am not interested).

The complexity or whole systems approach tries to eliminate this fragmentation of practices by claiming that the same simple patterns everywhere generate worlds. In a way this is still an atomistic point of view, except that we have replaced atoms or particles with patterns, memes or laws. This is seductive, but ultimately, you can’t easily work with it, since the idea of interdependence of parts and systems leads to an exponential epistemological complexity which is practically difficult to apply. If everything is dependent on everything, how are you going to work?

That is the problem of the regenerative paradigm today, for which I have much sympathy. Say you want to build a regenerative school: you are not only going to choose sustainable materials, you are also going to interview the children, the teachers, examine the butterflies around the school, try to include in your decisions a view of the entire and global cycle of education. In practice, a holistic design is complicated or it needs to restrict its framework and therefore fall back into analytic practice, a discipline that localises its scope and intentionally restricts its perspective. Multi-disciplinarity has its spatiotemporal limits.

Crealectics does not say that the world is complex. It says that the world is simple, but not because it is made of the same atoms or bits or patterns. The world is not simple because everything is chemical, or material, or mathematical. The world is simple because it is a contraction of a primordial source of infinite possibility. And this is a process: the world is a continuous process of actualisation (simplification) of the Creal, of concretisation of the absolute creativity of the cosmic potential. Reality is always simple compared to creality, because in reality everything has a focus, a conatuseverything contracts a prehension towards compactness. Now this mysterious last element of sentence is a reference to the philosophies of Whitehead, Bergson and Spinoza, and outside the limits of this post.

What needs to be examined is not how things become complex or complicated, neither if everything is chemical or material, but how and why a potential becomes actual. This is one of the oldest questions of philosophy. I would argue this is the only question of philosophy. And the only question of politics. And the only question of psychology, chemistry, etc.

We only need one science, the universal science of actualisation of potentials. I call it crealectics.

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