Creating Invisible Architectures for Collective Wisdom
From an article in Kosmos Journal, entitled Collective Boddhisattvas, by Jean-Francois Noubel, at http://www.thetransitioner.org/Kosmos_Journal_Spring_2008_JF_Noubel.pdf
Part One: The importance of Invisible Architectures
"Collective Intelligence, Wisdom and Consciousness (CIWC) as a discipline provides complementary paths and a new understanding of how collective wisdom can emerge. It observes and describes how social collectives operate as wholes; how consciousness expands through evolution by creating new forms in which to manifest; and how the judicious combination of architectures can help individuals and organizations enter into and remain in wisdom.
What is the Purpose of Architectures?
Architectures are structured spaces in which we evolve individually and collectively. They provide initiatory contexts of constraints and freedom for consciousness to confront itself, generate creative energy, and overcome limits through quantum leaps and thus take possession of new, wider spaces. More experience and mastery will certainly be realized within new architectures. Some architectures are directly accessible to our senses (building architecture, space occupation).
Others are only partially perceived (language, money, social conventions, time). In the first case we will refer to visible architectures and in the second to invisible architectures. We will use architectures in the plural to refer to this broadest sense that includes both.
The easiest, most intuitive and pragmatic way to understand how architectures work is via architecture itself. Physical architecture (for buildings) and space occupation is the science of designing three dimensional spaces and relational configurations among people for specific individual and collective outcomes, liberating certain possibilities and diminishing others. Offices, stadiums, theaters, city halls, jails, hospitals—different outcomes for different architectures. The same group of people will manifest different individual and collective behaviors depending on which physical architecture they are placed. For instance, we all know that placing a group of people either in rows or in a circle shifts the whole context.
Invisible architectures are more challenging to grasp because they operate mostly in worlds that are not directly perceivable to our biological senses. The role of invisible architectures is as important—even more important in many cases—than visible architectures. Examples of invisible architectures are language, money, social codes, time, cultural beliefs and the law. Let's take a quick look at the first three of these in order to become more familiar with them.
Language is generative as well as descriptive.
Words and grammar can expand consciousness or leave it trapped in disempowering spaces. When Michelle says, “What Allan said hurts me,” the grammatical structure suggests the words pronounced by Allan have an intrinsic property that can create pain. Ordinary language does not invite Michelle to step into sovereignty by becoming accountable for her own pain. Ordinary language keeps Michelle trapped in the ordinary consciousness of the society in which she lives, thus producing conditioned outcomes.
When it is time for Michelle to shift to stages of consciousness, beyond that of her society, she will experience difficulties with ordinary language. It takes some practice to say “I have created some pain for myself after Allan said these words.” She will need to build a new language architecture to express her new reality."
Part Two: Money as an invisible architecture
Although money has taken digital form, its fundamental dynamic has remained the same since the Victorian age. Its built-in architecture is based on artificial scarcity and centralization and works like a seed from which wealth and power concentration, ownership, usury, and secrecy unfold. The emerging planetary consciousness, observable through the arising of the free/open source economy, is about to invent its own appropriate new monetary systems that will support its body structure. In the coming years, anyone will be able to create currencies. There will be millions of them. Money is about to follow the path of distributed networks.
Social codes have emerged through generations of social interactions. They have become so natural and deeply embodied that we are, for the most part, unaware of them. They serve practical purposes for a given society in a given culture at a given time. Just like language and other invisible architectures, the architecture of social codes can be redesigned in order to attract wisdom.
Today, organizations can learn how to become sovereign architects that design whatever is empowering. Language, money, social codes, software, law, food, time, cosmogonies— leave whatever is disempowering; adopt whatever attracts wisdom in a given context. Use the clothes appropriate for the activities you are performing. As an empirical discipline collective intelligence, wisdom and consciousness helps us build maps, tools and technologies for a wisdom-driven social life.
Individuals, no matter how highly developed, will not be able to embrace and respond to the challenges humanity is currently facing. It seems now that evolution is seeking the emergence of global wisdom-driven organizations. It is now time for collective Bodhisattvas to emerge."