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"Immanent" Emergence - (Part 2)

SERIES: Immanent Emergence
AUTHOR: Jim Schofield


When an Emergence occurs (such as the Origin of Life on Earth) we are most likely to look for progressive and contributing factors in the prior situation, which we imagine mature and proliferate to actually produce the wholly new Level, which is the final result of the Emergence. But that is not the case at all! An Emergence is never such a maturation, but rather than a flowering of the already there, it is initially always a seeming disaster: a cataclysmic dissociation: indeed, the result of an irresolvable crisis! But though we (Mankind) were not present when most Emergences occurred, we can nevertheless uncover the remaining evidence of their occurrences in the Evolution of Life (for example) via the fossil record. Though such concertinaed evidence does not ever reveal the inner processes of dramatic phases of Change, but only their results.

So, to find evidence of those crucial aspects, it must be to their occurrences in Thought and in Social Revolution that we must turn to reveal the crucial phases that bring about such revolutions. Yet, though such Emergences have been happening throughout the development of Reality, they are not the same every time. Indeed, with each succeeding elevation, the possibilities are radically increased. Yet, on the other hand, the actual overall “shape” or “form” of the turnover is indeed repeated. An important rider must be emphasized though! All the seeming pre-requisites in the prior stability, though they cannot bring about the Emergence, certainly play a major role when it is proceeding, along with a multitude of others, which were never an essential forming part of that persisting Level.

Now this was an early paper, and several crucial mistakes are present (particularly those as to the supposedly causing role of precursor processes in the Event, which later studies have proved to be incorrect. Clearly, the purpose of this paper is to map the actual trajectory of the ideas as they developed warts and all!



1.In spite of the cumulative effects of any pre-Emergence processes, these Events are not automatically destined to carry over into a fully-fledged Emergence every time. Most of these tend to subside unfulfilled, and usually only a small proportion develop into a real major overturn.

2.It is also important that all such Events, when they do occur, are not all considered to be of a single type. They can actually range from lesser Events that recur quite regularly, to automated full blown Emergences, with the positioning of Social Revolutions somewhere in between, because they can be affected, one way or the other, by various kinds of political action.

3.Indeed, in the case of Social Revolution, there are many that fail due to major oppressive force being employed to prevent them, or no skilled and able leadership to respond to every challenge to the success of the Event.

4.It is in the expert study and involvement in revolutionary episodes that leaderships can learn enough, on some rare occasions, to play a significant role in a subsequent success.

5.Now, there are certainly dangers in generalising from one kind of Emergence, and using such extractions in another, but sometimes there is no choice. Hegel broke all the rules in attempting to plumb the depths of his “own Thought” to reveal the processes of Emergences (Becoming to him), but though compromised, who can say that he did not still make a major contribution?

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