Thursday, January 10, 2013

Life Wants to be a Mess

"Life wants to be a mess."
Amy Gray
Judging Amy, Imbroglio Episode

I' aware that this is a quote from a TV show episode. The full quote is, "You can't control life. It's like water seeking its own level. Life wants to be a mess. Don't ask me why."

I've tried to find the source of that quote, if there is one, beyond the TV script. But, I haven't found one. A similar one is used in James Doran's microblog. If you find the source, let me know.

My life experience and thought convinces me that this is a true statement. Life does like messes. It certainly is Margaret Wheatley's view as expressed in her book, A Simpler Way:

"Everything is in a constant process of discovery and creating. Everything is changing all the time: individuals, systems, environments, the rules, the processes of evolutions. Even change changes. Every organism reinterprets the rules, creates exceptions for itself, creates new rules.

Life uses messes to get well-ordered solutions. Life doesn't seem to share our desires for efficiency or neatness. It uses redundancy, fuzziness, dense webs of relationships, unending trials and errors to find what works.

Life is intent on finding what works, not what's 'right'. It is the ability to keep finding solutions that is important; any one solution is temporary. There are no permanently right answers. The capacity to keep changing, to find what works now, is what keeps any organism alive.

Life creates more possibilities as it engages with opportunities. There are no 'windows of opportunity', narrow openings in the fabric of space-time that soon disappear forever. Possibilities beget more possibilities; they are infinite.

Life is attracted to order. It experiments until it discovers how to form a system that can support diverse members. Individuals search out a wide range of possible relationships to discover whether they can organize into life-sustaining system. These explorations continue until a system is discovered. The system then provides stability for its members, so that individuals are less buffeted by change.

Life organizes around identity. Every living thing acts to develop and preserve itself. Identity is the filter that every organism or system uses to make sense of the world. New information, new relationships, changing environments - all are interpreted through a sense of self. This tendency toward self-creation is so strong that it creates a seeming paradox. An organism will change to maintain its identity.

Everything participates in the creation and evolution of its neighbors. There are no unaffected outsiders. No one system dictates conditions to another. All participate together in creating the conditions of their interdependence." Read complete summary at

No comments:

Post a Comment