"Those who apply themselves too closely to little things often become incapable of great things." Francois de La Rochefoucauld

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

How is Dormant Potential Awakened

How is Dormant Potential Awakened?
Category: Goals, Plans, Hopes

Arthur Koestler in his Ghost in the Machine surveys what he calls the "draw-back-to-leap" pattern or undoing and re-doing. It involves the pattern seen in evolutionary studies when organisms reach a "block" in specialization and continued evolution. This "block" is referred to as specialization in evolutionary biology, and it basically refers to an organism that is one dimensional; can only function and survive effectively in a limited environment and being able to adapt only to its natural environment because of limited function.

The human equivalent would be the rigid person who only knows one way of being, and doing...knows how to do only one job, can only relate to one personality type, one-way of communication. As far as survival value, whether we're talking about sports, school, or work, or life in general; being flexible, multi-dimensional, and having the ability to adjust to your environment lends itself to more alternatives, and puts you in a better position to succeed. Now this "draw-back-to-leap" pattern that Koestler suggests, is inherent in the evolutionary structure. Koestler explains:

"The essence of the process which I have described is an evolutionary retreat from specialized adult forms of bodily structure and behaviour, to an earlier or more primitive stage- followed by a sudden advance in a new direction. It is as if the stream of life had momentarily reversed its course, flowing uphill for a while, then opened up a new stream-bed. I shall try to show that this reculer pour mieux sauter-of drawing back to leap, of undoing and re-doing - is a favourite gambit in the grand strategy of the evolutionary process; and that it also plays an important part in the progress of science and art."

The essential point gathered by the preceding information is that progress - mental or otherwise is not linear. Periods of elaboration followed by consolidation, acceleration followed by adaptation, breaking down to be build back up, and in Koestler's assertions draw back to leap - exemplify the many forms of explanation given to this natural template's form of function. The ac/ad template seeks to command power and effectiveness - it functions to create a more adaptable, and complex holon.

It awakens dormant processes mentally, physically, and even spiritually (ever hear of "dark night of the soul" - relate this to Koestler's draw back to leap principle), that would otherwise remain dormant in a persons habitual mode of being. The inactive person not only forsakes their dormant abilities, but atrophies current abilities by not conditioning these faculties to any form of use or exercise. The essential variable to putting into use the ac/ad template is a challenge, a change, obstacle, or goal. Using these variables we activate the ac/ad template.
Koestler suggests the following:

" The alternative possibility of reacting to a critical challenge is regenerative in a broad sense; it involves major reorganizations of structure and behaviour, which result in biological or mental progress. I shall try to show that both are based on the same draw back to leap pattern, activating creative potentials which are dormant or inhibited in the normal routines of existence."

Angel Armendariz

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