Social System, Individual System, and Psyche
Just as we walk without thinking, we think without thinking! We do not Yoga Parighasana Pose know how our muscles make us walkâ”nor do we know much about the agencies that do our mental work.
If we could really sense the working of our minds, we couldn’t act so often in accord with motives we don’t suspect. We wouldn’t have such varied and conflicting theories for psychology.
No doubt, a mind that wants to change itself could benefit from knowing how it works. But such knowledge might as easily encourage us to wreck ourselvesâ”if we were to poke our clumsy fingers into the tricky circuits of the mind’s machinery.
(Minsky,17 1985, The Society of Mind, 6.8. and 6.13, pp. 63 and 68)
The Properties of an Organism
Let us come back to the concept of the organism18 Every individual biological system capable of reproduction is referred to by the term organism in biology. This term designates a plant or a particular animal as a total entity. The caterpillar is apparently a different system than the butterfly, but it is nonetheless the same creature. Certain fundamental properties, like the genetic code contained in the cells of the system, remain constant; and the dynamic profile of these changes is one of the characteristics of the species.
The concept of organism is ultimately stable in the biological disciplines, but its functioning remains difficult to study. The majority of biological studies achieve a description of the many small mechanisms that make up the general dynamics of an organism, but there is not yet an approach that describes the way they coordinate with each other, especially the physiological coordinations that include the phenomena of consciousness. This explains why so many body workers use energetic models, in somewhat of a metaphorical sense, to work with the large movements of the organism that are always present.19 Some practitioners succumb to the temptation, which is rampant in the human species, to believe that a metaphor is a real mechanism.