Our shared symbolic universe
We think it’s useful to posit three worlds - systems, souls and society - within one world, because there are at least three fundamentally different kinds of ‘stuff’ (ontology) that are known to us in different ways (epistemology).
We all exist in a shifting pattern of relationships, values, icons and signs in our communities, institutions and nations.
However, our role in the 'society system' is completely different from our role in Nature. In Nature we are the product of evolution, which we can view ‘from above’. In Society we are always implicated and embedded, effectively trying to see our own eyes.
Perspectiva is therefore drawn to those ideas, movements and organisations that recognise society as a complex and open system that we nonetheless have to act on from within. Whether the issue in question is social networks, power, freedom, equality, fraternity, technology or what Robert Kegan calls 'the hidden curriculum' of society, we are keen to offer methods and perspectives that honour the full complexity of the social world.
“What we do and don’t know about the social (as opposed to the natural)
world is not inherent in its nature, but is itself a function of social
constructs.” - Frank Pasquale
"Man is an animal suspended in webs of significance that he himself
has spun." - Clifford Geertz
"We truly become part of society when society truly becomes a part of
us." - Robert Kegan.
“I cannot experience your experience. You cannot experience my experience. We are both invisible men. All men are invisible to one another. Experience used to be called The Soul.”
- RD Laing.