Co-Creative Science

by Machaelle Small Wright


† † †

Chapter 1:
Changing How We Perceive Nature

IN ORDER TO UNDERSTAND co-creative science and what makes it unique, we need to understand nature in a deeper and more comprehensive way. This is because what makes co-creative science different from all other science is that it involves working with nature in a conscious and direct manner. Let me explain. In contemporary science (the term used for the science that is practiced today and with which we are all familiar), the scientist attempts to discover how nature works through testing and observation. He then draws conclusions about how nature works based on what he has observed and understood. In co-creative science, the scientist acknowledges that there is an inherent intelligence within all of nature, builds a communication bridge that allows him to access that intelligence, and then asks nature directly to explain and provide experiential insight to him so that he may understand "from the horse's mouth" (so to speak) how something works. In co-creative science, nature becomes a fully operational, functioning, conscious partner with the scientist. Together they create a team, with each member of the team providing specific and different information that is needed for understanding and solving a defined problem.
    But to really understand co-creative science, we must first change how we perceive nature. The key to changing our understanding has to do with how we define nature itself. Usually, when we think of nature, we think of rocks, rivers, mountains, clouds, birds, trees, flowers. . . . But, after having worked as a co-creative scientist for over twenty years, I have learned that nature is actually much more than this.
   In 1990, it was brought to my attention that when nature and I used the word "nature," we probably didn't assume the same definition. So, like a good co-creative scientist, I asked nature to define itself. (I describe how I bridge communication with nature in Chapter 4. For now, just pretend the words "I asked nature to define itself" are the most normal thing a person can say, and read on.) In order to understand their definition, nature said I had to first allow it to define form. I was surprised by the definition of both words.

FORM: We consider reality to be in the form state when there is order, organization and life vitality [initiates action] combined with a state of consciousness. . . . We do not consider form to be only that which can be perceived by the five senses. In fact, we see form from this perspective to be extremely limited, both in its life reality and in its ability to function. We see form from the perspective of the five senses to be useful only for the most basic and fundamental level of identification. From this perspective, there is very little relationship to the full understanding and knowledge of how a unit or form system functions.
    All energy contains order, organization and life vitality; therefore, all energy is form. If one were to use the term "form" to identify that which can be perceived by the five senses and the word "energy" to refer to that aspect of an animal, human, plant or object's reality that cannot be readily perceived by the five senses, then one would be accurate in the use of these two words. However, if one were to use the word "form" to refer to that which can be perceived by the five senses and assume that form to be a complete unit of reality unto itself, and use the word "energy" to refer to a level beyond form, one would then be using these words inaccurately. From our perspective, form and energy create one unit of reality and are differentiated from one another solely by the individual's ability to perceive them with his or her sensory system. In short, the differentiation between form and energy within any given object, plant, animal or human lies with the observer.
    On the planet Earth, the personality, character, emotional makeup, intellectual capacity, strong points and gifts of a human are all form. They are that which gives order, organization and life vitality to consciousness.
    Order and organization are the physical structures that create a framework for form. In short, they define the walls. But we have included the dynamic of life vitality when we refer to form because one of the elements of form is action, and it is life vitality that initiates and creates action.

NATURE: In the larger universe and beyond, on its many levels and dimensions, there are a number of groups of consciousness that, although equal in importance, are quite different in expression and function. Together, they make up the full expression of the larger, total life picture. No one piece, no one expression, can be missing or the larger life picture on all its levels and dimensions will cease to exist. One such consciousness has been universally termed "nature." Because of what we are saying about the larger picture not existing without all of its parts, you may assume that nature exists as both a reality and a consciousness on all dimensions and all levels. It cannot be excluded.
    Each group of consciousness has an area of expertise. As we said, all groups are equal in importance but express and function differently from one another. These different expressions and functions are vital to the overall balance of reality. A truly symbiotic relationship exists among the groups and is based on balance — that is, universal balance. The human soul-oriented dynamic is evolution in scope and function. Nature is a massive, intelligent consciousness group that expresses and functions within the many areas of involution, that is, moving soul-oriented consciousness into any direction or level of form.
   Nature is the conscious reality that supplies order, organization and life vitality for this shift. Nature is the consciousness that is, for your working understanding, intimately linked with form. Nature is the consciousness that comprises all form on all levels and dimensions. It is form's order, organization and life vitality. Nature is first and foremost a consciousness of equal importance with all other groups of consciousness in the largest scheme of reality. It expresses and functions uniquely in that it comprises all form on all levels and dimensions and is responsible for and creates all of form's order, organization and life vitality.

Take a minute to think about this. Nature is saying that it is the order, organization and life vitality of all form and that all form contains consciousness. The first important point nature is making is that all form — that is, anything that has order, organization and life vitality — is nature. This goes way beyond the common notion that nature is trees, birds and rivers. This book is form. Its pages and ink are form. They have order, organization and the molecules contain life vitality. Therefore, this book, its pages and ink are all part of that consciousness and intelligence that is nature because nature supplies all order, organization and life vitality. The chair you are currently sitting in (assuming you are sitting) is nature. The walls surrounding you are nature. The windows that look out to the sky, birds and landscape are also nature. Everything in the room you are sitting in is nature.

As if this weren't enough, I'd like to expand this point by calling your attention to the Periodic Table of the Elements. Look at it carefully. Every element listed in this chart is found within nature. They are the fundamental materials of which all matter is composed. Every element on this chart — every molecule — has its own order, organization and life vitality. By combining them, we get vinyl, Naugahyde, nylon, polyester — and even plastic. The materials for these products are all found in nature and are listed on the Periodic Table. It's just that they are combined in a way that produces what we call vinyl, nylon, polyester and plastic.


Periodic Table of Elements


For example: We would all probably agree that Dacron is not a natural fiber. It is a synthetic polyester fiber, and we don't harvest polyester fibers from the field. The following is the chemical makeup of Dacron:

Daron Formula


Dacron is nothing more than carbon (C), hydrogen (H) and oxygen (O), all elements found in nature, that have been specially combined in a lab by a process called polymerization. (Polymerization is a scientific term for the chemical process used to make grossly fat molecules.)
    Some more examples:
    Acetylene is an unsaturated hydrocarbon (HCºCH). It is made up of hydrogen (H) and carbon (C). When you add to it chlorine (Cl), you get neoprene rubber. When you add nitrogen (N) to acetylene, you get an interestingly odd combination of products: fertilizers, weed killers and melamine plastics.
    Ethylene (H2C=CH2) is also made up of hydrogen and carbon. Add acetylene to it and you produce acrylic fibers. Add both acetylene and chlorine to ethylene and you produce vinyl plastics.
    Propylene is H3C - CH=CH2. From it we get plastics.
    From butadiene (H2C=CH - CH=CH2) we get nitrite rubber and ABS plastics.
    All of this is to show you that the matter that is combined in different ways to create synthetic materials can be found on the Periodic Table of the Elements, and everything listed on this chart may be found within nature.
    Generally, when I bring up Dacron and plastic, a debate breaks out. Just because the elements exist and can be combined in this way, should we combine them? Isn't this manipulation of nature at its worst? And look at the mess these kinds of products have caused our ecology. I absolutely agree that just because we humans can figure out how to combine certain natural materials to create a new compound does not automatically mean the materials should be combined. All we have to do is look at the contents of a landfill to figure this out. But consider this: What if the chemist in his laboratory was working as a co-creative scientist in a conscious partnership with nature. The products that would come out of this lab would all be environmentally sound because nature would not consider a development that was out of balance with its immediate environment and the larger planetary environment. To operate in such an imbalanced manner would be contrary to everything that nature is and how it functions. So the chemist functioning as a co-creative scientist would be directed by nature to develop products that would address the issue at hand and be environmentally responsive. This is what co-creative science is all about.

The difficulty begins with how we perceive what constitutes nature: consider what we think when we use the terms "natural" and "unnatural." Generally, we consider something to be natural if it is a material or element that is found growing or existing on the planet that is then modified and used by humans. For example, raw cotton is harvested from the field, made into fiber threads that then become cloth. This eventually becomes a shirt. We consider an all-cotton shirt natural — yet you can't go out into a field and harvest a shirt. We consider something to be unnatural when two or more natural elements, such as carbon and hydrogen, are combined by man to create a compound that bears little or no resemblance to its original elements, such as vinyl. Other examples are cement, rayon, acrylic fiber — and . . .
    A garden. A garden is not natural. It is man-made. You don't go out in the wild and run across a free-growing vegetable garden containing cabbage, beans, tomatoes, snap peas and watermelon. We invented gardens. We got tired of all that hunting and foraging and decided to centralize our food supply. So we collected seed from various plants growing in the wild and planted the seed in one, easy-to-access location. Thus, we created something that did not previously exist.
    I once read that someone said a garden is man's attempt to conquer nature. Whoever said this had a point. Generally, plants in the wild automatically grow where conditions are conducive to their growth. When they are centralized in a garden location, they are removed from their supportive environment and placed in an "unnatural" environment. This creates massive imbalance. Traditional and organic gardeners attempt to "conquer" the situation by restoring a balance that accommodates their definition of a garden and how it is to function. Co-creative gardeners work in a conscious partnership with nature, much as the co-creative scientist works with nature, to create an environmentally balanced biosphere on all levels — seen and unseen — that provides a new support system for all the plants and other life in that garden.

To sum up this first point about nature being all form: What I have grown to understand over the years is that when we speak of nature, we are talking about everything around us. The world of nature is not just relegated to parks, farms, countryside, animals and wilderness. It includes apartment buildings, asphalt, shopping malls and street corners.
    The second important point nature is making in its definitions of form and nature is that in order for anything to be form, it must have consciousness combined with its order, organization and life vitality. This means that if you are holding some object in your hand and it has order, organization and life vitality, it must also have consciousness — otherwise, it would be beyond form and you would not be able to perceive it under any circumstances. And if it has consciousness, it has intelligence. If it has intelligence, it can communicate. If we can discover the common bridge between us for communication, we cannot only communicate our ideas and thoughts to this thing in our hand, but it can also communicate its information back to us. And it has something to communicate. It knows what it is, what defines its balance, what it needs to restore and maintain that balance at any given point in time, how it fits and functions in its immediate environment and how it connects with the larger picture — both on this planet and beyond. It is because of the quality and depth of this information that the co-creative scientist seeks a working partnership with nature in every aspect of his research and development.


INVOLUTION / EVOLUTION BALANCE

All consciousness (human and nature) on our planet seeks to reflect and flow perfectly and fully through form. It is a natural dynamic contained within all life. This brings me to something I call "involution/evolution balance" or "i/e balance."


Invol/Evol Balance Chart


Because nature supplies all form, and because all form has combined with it consciousness, all matter has inherent in it two dynamics: an involution dynamic (the matter, means and action) that is supplied by nature and an evolution dynamic (the definition, direction and purpose) that is supplied by consciousness. These two dynamics work in partnership, and, when left undisturbed, this partnership functions in balance. That is, the involution and evolution dynamics are synchronized with one another, thus creating a state of balance.
    The following are examples of i/e balance.
    In this first example, the evolution dynamic originates from the soul or devic level (a specific level of function within nature intelligence that is explained in Chapter 2) of an organism or object, and from this level the definition, direction and purpose are established. When considering trees, rocks, rivers, oceans and sky — objects that we would commonly consider "nature" — nature not only supplies the order, organization and life vitality (the involution dynamic) but also the consciousness or soul (the evolution dynamic). The i/e balance is contained within nature itself. The devic level of nature's intelligence supplies the consciousness or soul input and gives to a tree its definition, direction and purpose. The nature spirit level (another level of function within nature intelligence that is explained in Chapter 2) completes the i/e balance by supplying the matter, means and action for fulfilling the goals set by the definition, direction and purpose. The evolution dynamic in nature intelligence functions as the architect, drawing up the blueprints. The involution dynamic "builds" the structure according to the plans and maintains that structure throughout its full life cycle according to the patterns and rhythms set by nature's evolution dynamic. This is i/e balance as it is demonstrated in trees, mountains and clouds. What we see functioning before us is a full reflection of form's definition, direction and purpose.


A Tree's I/E Balance


The human body provides us with another example of i/e balance. The human soul establishes the definition, direction and purpose for a specific lifetime. Nature then provides the body according to that definition, direction and purpose. The devic level of nature intelligence creates the "blueprint" based on the soul information and the nature spirit level of nature intelligence implements these blueprints by providing the matter, means and range of action required by the soul. The result is that this soul has the physical vehicle to fully reflect and function according to its definition, direction and purpose. Throughout the person's full life cycle, the devic level modifies the makeup, patterns and rhythms according to however the person's soul modifies its original definition, direction and purpose. In other words, throughout a person's lifetime, there is a continuous communication between the human (evolution input) and the body's nature intelligence levels (involution input). A free-flowing communication between the two dynamics creates within us i/e balance and results in our having the body through which our soul may reflect and flow without constriction or interference. As a result, we experience what we call perfect health.


A Human's I/E Balance


Nature's definition of "consciousness" and "soul" will help explain this interaction between the human soul and nature.

CONSCIOUSNESS: The concept of consciousness has been vastly misunderstood. To put it simply, consciousness is the working state of the soul. In human expression, as one sees it demonstrated on the planet Earth, the personality, character, emotional makeup, intellectual capacity, strong points and gifts of a human are all form. They are that which give order, organization and life vitality to consciousness.
    We refer to the "working state of the soul" because there are levels of soul existence that are different than the working state and can best be described as a simple and complete state of being.
    Humans tend to think of the soul as being something that exists far away from them because they are in form. This is an illusion. The core of any life is the soul. It cannot exist apart from itself. Like the heart in the human body, it is an essential part of the life unit. A human in form is, by definition, a soul fused with nature. Personality and character are a part of the nature/form package that allows the soul to function and to express itself in form. Personality and character are not the soul; they are the order and organization of that soul.
    Human consciousness physically fuses into the body system first through the electrical system and then through the central nervous system and the brain. This is another aspect of nature supplying order, organization and life vitality. Consciousness itself cannot be measured or monitored as a reality. But what can be measured and monitored is the order, organization and life vitality of consciousness. Consciousness is the working state of the soul and is not form. It is nature, not consciousness, that supplies form.
    We wish to add a thought here so that there will be no confusion about the relationship between nature and the human soul. Nature does not, with its own power, superimpose its interpretation of form onto a human soul. We have said that nature and the human soul are intimately and symbiotically related. This implies a give and take. No one consciousness group operates in isolation of the whole or of all other parts of the whole. When a soul chooses to move within the vast band of form, it communicates its intent and purpose to nature. It is from this that nature derives the specifics that will be needed for the soul to function in form. It is a perfect marriage of purpose with the order, organization and life vitality that is needed for the fulfillment of that purpose. Nature, therefore, does not define purpose and impose it on a human soul. It orders, organizes and gives life vitality to purpose for expression in form.

SOUL: It is most difficult to define soul since — at its point of central essence — the soul is beyond form. Consequently, it is beyond words. However, it is not beyond any specific life form. As we have said, an individual is not separate or distant from his or her soul. Souls, as individuated life forces, were created and fused with form at the moment of the Big Bang.* Beyond form, souls are also beyond the notion of creation. So we refer to the moment of the Big Bang in terms of the soul, since this gives you a description of soul that will be most meaningful to you. The Big Bang was the nature-designed order, organization and life force used to differentiate soul into sparks of individuated light energy. . . .

* The Big Bang: The gigantic explosion in which the universe, as we know it, began. According to scientists, it occurred between 12 and 20 billion years ago. It brought about two major dynamics: individuation and the fusion of soul to form.

The glitch to our human i/e balance is free will. We can make our free will jump right into the middle of i/e balance and use it to distort our intuitive understanding of the soul's definition, direction and purpose. What if we got a glimpse of this soul information and, for whatever reason, decided we didn't like it. We wanted a different life. Suppose we perceive that the life based on the information as we understood it would be too tough or too tedious. So we insert our will right into the middle of the i/e balance and we modify that evolution information according to our preference and desire. Now nature has two sets of definitions, directions and purposes to deal with. The operating devic blueprint will still reflect the soul's original definition, direction and purpose. However, we are now consciously operating with another set of definition, direction and purpose — the free will set. As we move through our daily lives, we override the soul information with our conscious desires and we find that things are not moving too smoothly through this body. This is because we are trying to move one set of evolutionary dynamics through a body that was designed for another set — the soul set. We are no longer operating within i/e balance and we will experience all kinds of health issues as a result.
    Because of free will, i/e balance is a difficult dynamic for us to maintain. We frequently jump into the middle of it. For us, i/e balance rests not only on our ability to trust in the movement of our own soul, but also in our ability to consciously translate and perceive our soul's definition, direction and purpose and not use our free will to try to manipulate our soul. This is one of the things we are here on Earth to learn: the marrying of our conscious selves to our souls and the full fusion of this with our physical bodies. I am not implying that consciously achieving our i/e balance is easy. I'm only using an example that is familiar to us all in order to make i/e balance more easily understood. Well, actually, if it was just left up to our soul and nature, we would experience perfect i/e balance easily. It's free will that adds the elements of excitement, confusion and challenge. As we develop and discipline our free will, we expand our understanding to include the wisdom to know when and how to appropriately apply free will, and our experience of i/e balance will be unencumbered and beyond words.

Another example of i/e balance is the balance that is at the heart of our co-creative partnership with nature. There are many different kinds of gardens: herb gardens, rock gardens, perennial gardens, wildflower gardens, Japanese moss gardens, Zen sand gardens . . . and vegetable gardens. When you are working directly in partnership with nature, you cannot simply announce, "Let's put in a garden!" and expect that you will get any information back from nature regarding the garden. You must supply the definition, direction and purpose of this garden. In other words, you must supply the evolution dynamic within the i/e balance, and you are the only one who can do that. Nature will not do your job for you. It will only supply the evolution dynamic for objects that fall within its "natural" domain: plants, rocks, deer, lightning, etc. It does not supply the evolution dynamic for form that falls outside this natural domain, such as gardens. Remember, gardens are a man-made invention. In a co-creative partnership with nature, when you decide you want to create a garden, you are responsible for supplying the evolution dynamic: definition, direction and purpose.

A Garden's I/E Balance


Nature creates the blueprints according to your evolution input, and it is only after this information is supplied by you that the devic level of nature intelligence can establish the blueprint for your garden. Based on your definition (a vegetable garden), direction (a vegetable garden in my backyard that includes succession planting so that we may harvest from it year round), and purpose (a garden that feeds daily my family of six — my two teenage sons, my ten-year-old daughter, my two-year-old son, my wife and myself), nature creates the order, organization and life vitality patterns and rhythms that will best respond to the information you have supplied.
    Why would you go through all of this trouble? Why would you want to establish a co-creative partnership in the first place? Well, once you have supplied a good definition, direction and purpose for your garden, nature will design and implement with you a garden that will be in balance. And this is why you go through all that trouble. When you have balance, as in the human body, everything operates smoothly and is synchronized. No more guesswork. No more trying one trick after another in order to achieve success. And the quality of food that comes from such a garden contains the same balance that is reflected in the garden.
    Once we establish a co-creative partnership with nature, we have the finest experts in what needs to occur in order to achieve and maintain balance. One of the most difficult things a person new to a co-creative partnership has to learn is not to try to do nature's job. We are very used to deciding what we wish to accomplish (evolution) and then also deciding the best way to achieve our goals and the best materials to use (involution). But equal partnership does not mean that we are equally capable of doing nature's job. It means our role in the partnership is equal to nature's role — but the two roles are very different. In a balanced partnership, these two roles function together equally. The first trick to working with nature to achieve i/e balance is to do our job well and then let nature supply the matter, means and action for accomplishing the defined goal. At first blush, it seems like a co-creative partnership is more work than it's worth. In actuality, it takes a tremendous burden off our shoulders. Many people who have entered such a partnership have talked to me about the weight that has been lifted from them. They no longer have to think of everything themselves. For example, gardeners now have a partner who can tell them the best location for their garden, what vegetables to plant, where to plant them, what interplanting to do, when to plant, when to thin, when to water and how much. . . . And all of that information has balance. This spells success.
    Sometimes people assume that a co-creative relationship with nature means that they announce the definition, direction and purpose of their garden and then sit back, beer in hand, and watch nature spirits run around doing all the work. After all, I am saying that nature supplies the matter, means and action. Doesn't this mean that in a garden nature manifests the right tools and then gets out there and starts turning soil? No. It's a working partnership. Nature gives us the information that is needed to create this garden in balance. That includes what tools are best for achieving our goal in light of the variables, working conditions and our ability. For example, nature won't suggest that your four-year-old help dig a sandbox area with a front-end loader. It will suggest the kind of tool that will be safe for this child to use that will also allow him a successful experience as he helps you with the digging. Nature gives you this information because it takes all the variables into account in light of your stated goal and establishes the balanced way to proceed. In short, nature doesn't do the work for you. It works with you.
    I have said that there are many kinds of gardens. Many do not grow in soil. In 1993, I asked nature to define a garden.

From nature's perspective, a garden is any environment that is initiated by humans, given its purpose, definition and direction by humans, and maintained with the help of humans. For nature to consider something to be a garden, we must see humans actively involved in all three of these areas. It is the human who calls for a garden to exist. Once the call is made, nature responds accordingly to support that defined call because a garden exists through the use of form.
    Humans tend to look at gardens as an expression of nature. Nature looks at gardens as an expression of humans. They are initiated, defined and maintained by humans. When humans dominate all aspects and elements of the life of the garden, we consider this environment to be human dominant. We consider an environment to be "nature friendly" when humans understand that the elements used to create gardens are form and operate best under the laws of nature, and when humans have the best intentions of trying to cooperate with what they understand these laws to be. When humans understand that nature is a full partner in the design and operation of that environment — and act on this knowledge — we consider the environment to be actively moving toward a balance between involution (nature) and evolution (human).
    As a result, the nature-friendly environment supports and adds to the overall health and balance of all it comprises as well as the larger whole. It also functions within the prevailing laws of nature (the laws of form) that govern all form on the planet and in its universe. In short, when a garden operates in a balance between involution and evolution, it is in step with the overall operating dynamics of the whole; the various parts that comprise a garden operate optimally, and the garden as a whole operates optimally.
    Nature does not consider the cultivation of a plot of land as the criteria for a garden. Nature considers a garden to exist wherever humans define, initiate and interact with form to create a specialized environment. This is the underlying intent of a garden and the reason behind the development of specialized environments such as vegetable gardens. Nature applies the word "garden" to any environment that meets these criteria. It does not have to be growing in soil. It only needs to be an environment that is defined, initiated and appropriately maintained by humans.
    This is what nature means when it uses the word "garden." The laws and principles that nature applies in the co-creative vegetable garden are equally applicable to any kind of garden, whether it is growing in soil or otherwise. . . . The principles and processes apply across the board because all gardens are operating with the same dynamics — only the specific form elements that make up each garden have changed.

What are some of these other specialized environments or soil-less gardens? According to nature, a garden has just three criteria: It is initiated by humans, given its definition, direction and purpose by humans, and maintained with the help of humans. Well, managed forests, landscaping, farms, and potted plants would also be gardens that grow in soil. Soil-less gardens could include waterways, ponds, the atmosphere, aquariums, livestock ranches, trout farms, a landscaping business, a swimming pool, a home, large and small businesses, individual offices within a business, a classroom, a department, a college study program, a children's playground, an assembly line, a car, a computer, a computer program, a human body, a printing company, the space shuttle, a toxic waste dump, a nuclear waste storage facility, community landfills, parking lots, national parks, the New Jersey Turnpike, an AIDS research lab, a pharmaceutical research and development lab, a police crime lab, athletic training programs, a movie production company, an artist's work. . . . All of these soil-less "environments" meet the criteria for a garden. This is actually good news. In order to establish a co-creative partnership with nature, you won't have to give up your present life, quit your job and buy land in the country. Stay right where you are. Remember, where there is form, there is nature. Where nature and humans interact, there is a garden. Where there is a garden, there is an implied co-creative partnership. And where there is a co-creative partnership, there is the potential for i/e balance.


Reprinted from the book Co-Creative Science by Machaelle Small Wright.
© 1997 Machaelle Small Wright. All Rights Reserved.