Emerging centers which help the whole

A “field” of centers

A living wholeness is a structure of Strong centers, centers existing at many scales, mutually reinforcing each other and forming a field.
Many of these centers which are present when a structure has life are not chiefly obvious distinct components but very often nearly invisible pieces of space whose “centeredness” acts within a shape to make it a Good shape, acts between elements of space to make Positive space, or acts in such a way as to make almost invisible harmonies, relationships, and comfortable Not-separateness in space as a whole.

How are centers made? How are centers shaped so as to contribute to the wholeness?

Centers are not atomic, and are not in any normal sense building blocks. They are nevertheless the units of increase for all development, which allow a whole to unfold without damaging the wholeness. That is because centers are above all, labile, they are foci of wholeness, they are not things, but regions, qualities, focal points of centeredness which as they change, as they are improved, are ideally suited to enhance and enlarge and extend the whole while making that wholeness benefit, while they are fused into the wholeness, as they go forward.

So, for life to be created, what must be built, extended, added, at every moment, at every next step, is a center: a field of centeredness which his to be injected into the structure of the growing whole. This is not a process of adding a building block of some kind. It is a question of injecting a field-like centrality into the existing wholeness at that point where it can do most good to enhance and sustain the structure of the wholeness as it was before, while also now nudging it forward to a new, more living state.

Given this point of view, what then is happening when something unfolds?
New centers are formed, and as they form, the space rearranges itself, not only locally, but in the neighborhood of the newly forming center. Positive space occurs as centers are made more definite, ordinary centers are made Strong centers. And as Positive space occurs, and stronger centers occur, the structure becomes more definite, more clearly differentiated, more articulate.

The dominant feature of a process that is working correctly is summarized in the statement: at every step, the process does its utmost to enhance the structure of the whole, and shapes its parts to make this enhancement happen. The complementary view of the same point is that the parts are formed within the whole and by the whole.
Most important is the constant focus on larger wholes, and the awareness in each small act, and in each small piece that is created, the process is contributing to the significant shape and organization of larger wholes within the structure. Every small part is shaped in order to play an effective role in the life of the larger structure.

In a mechanical process, parts are formed independently of the whole, and then added together to form an aggregation.
In a living structure, the parts come into being within the whole, they break out from the whole, they are determined and shaped by their presence in the whole, and above all they transform the whole according to the latent structure which exists in it.
That is the rule which marks the living, and distinguishes it from the mechanical.

#book/The Nature of Order/2 The process of creating life/10 Always making centers#

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