LS Re: Four Levels of Being--E F Schumacher

Hettinger (
Fri, 7 Aug 1998 18:58:35 +0100

Bodvar said:
I have the feeling that if not someone puts down the foot we'll soon
be a NewAge group discussing how matter was spiritualized and/or
number of angels on pinheads.

I'm glad you brought up New Age. My point is--the patterns within the
are "evolutionary", the boundary between these levels is
The evidence for them should also be revolutionary. If it's not, then
looking at something different. And as long as MoQ's levels are
that only exist "in the mind" (especially only in the mind of a few),
just new-age babble, too. In this country (USA), Lila and ZAMM are
found on
the New-Age shelf in the bookstores.

Bodvar said:
There are deviations in the levels too. Schumacher makes an
inter-biological distinction between plants and animals. I am no
expert but I believe that similar divisions could be made almost
arbitrarily within the kingdoms. Molluscs are just as different from
vertebrates as plants from molluscs, and "Animals" as the Social
level, how can that comparison be made?


I *really* appreciate your thoughts on the plant-animal thing, and hope
we get
more from others, even if they seem picky or obvious. The plant/animal
distinction seems "obvious" to most of historical thinking, whereas any
distinction might be a matter of degree (only "in the mind").

The key (I think) is in the concept of "mediation". Think of how much
biological level has mediated inorganic patterns on earth. Unless it's
earth-core rocks that nobody's seen yet, life has totally transformed
structure of every substance. It's impossible to experience unmediated
inorganic patterns. (Processes seem less changed than substance, and I
that's important, but I'm going to ignore it here.)

Go up a level.

The social level has mediated biology--changed it, given it skyhooks to
recreate new biological patterns, which go off on a life of their own
each individual starting point. Since the social level mediated
there are very few instances of finding unchanged, unmediated biology.
Ask an
environmentalist. It's real obvious that human social patterns have
most biology (Cultivation and loss of "wild" species, the ozone layer,
rain, temperature effects, pollution throughout the ocean).

This pollution scenario seems like an obvious example of the social
effect on the biological, but be careful. It's really an example of
social-that's-been-mediated-by-the-mature-intellectual-level's effect on

There must also be biology that is the effect of
social-that's-been-mediated-by-less-developed-intellectual-patterns. We
find evidence in protected ecological niches.

There must also be biology that is the effect of mediation by
social-that's-not-been-mediated-by-intellect-at-all. And that should be
HUGELY different from
social-that's-been-mediated-by-any-intellectual-patterns, because in a
its at the opposite end of the spectrum.

But it's still all been mediated by social.

Now, within that social-that's-not-been-mediated-by-intellect-at-all
(which is only one end of the spectrum I mentioned above), there is a
range of immature-to-mature social patterns that have mediated biology
any influence of intellectual patterns at all.

And below *this* is biological patterns, a whole range of them, that
were not
mediated by social, but by DQ.

Can you see this?

This is what puts the actual "lower boundary" of the social level so
further down than it seemed it should be.

And to define the lower level of social, this all has to be considered.

This is not convincing, is it? Sorry. Words won't cut it right now.
going to work on that chart. Send me your Lists of Four, and don't try
decide what I want them to be. I'm not looking for what somebody else
written. I'm looking for distinctions in form or function between the
levels of patterns that have occurred to LS members.

Bodvar, I still haven't addressed your observation about where the
between plants and animals lies. It's *obvious* to children, but not
scientists, maybe. Maybe someone in LS knows more about this and wants
match it to the concept above.



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