It’s all connected

Tim Kastelle passes on this rather nice Diderot quote from the new book Superconnect:

Everything is linked together… beings are connected with each other by a chain of which… some parts are continuous, though in the greater number of points continuity escapes us… the art of the philosopher consists in adding new links to the separated parts, in order to reduce the distance between them as much as possible.

For me it’s not so much about adding links as noticing that they’re there.

I recall a conversation I had with Chris Corrigan, who was describing the home schooling community of Bowen Island. A guiding principle is to allow the students’ learning to be driven by their own curiosity. Concerns about the curriculum being comprehensive are often resolved, he said (as I recall) because “everything is connected to everything”. Thus a child who is fascinated by astronomy will start to learn maths because it serves his interest in understanding the cosmos.

I think a lot of my work is about noticing and valuing subtle connections that are already there but that we may be missing. When we take the time to notice all the small links that make up a chain of thought we gain new insights and choices. In groups, it’s often useful to bring awareness to how physical things like how we’re siting or moving impact significantly on how we’re thinking. Small adjustments in one area have surprising consequences elsewhere.

1 thought on “It’s all connected

  1. Viv McWaters

    So true Johnnie, and I’m also reminded of how we can so easily influence each other, and groups, (ourselves even) by seemingly small actions or movements – shifting our perception. And I’m reading Bounce at the moment (finally succumbed) and am intrigued by the capacity to notice, and respond, without consciously noticing. Lots of food for thought here. Thanks.


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