Emergence

Samhain                                       Waning Thanksgiving Moon

One of those days.  Snow brought our first drive way clearing by John Sutton, but not until both Kate and I had left.  I did the sidewalk.

The drive into the Sierra Club took about 15 minutes longer than usual, but I made it to the first interview on time.  I spent the next 3 hours with Michelle and Margaret as I will tomorrow, interviewing candidates for the Sierra Club policy position.  One candidate referred to us as the big boys at the State Capitol.  Hitch up those britches and let’s get to work.

On the way in and back I’m listening, as I mentioned yesterday, to lectures on Big History.  A topic important to Big History and important to me is the quality of emergence, a key mark of complexity, the theme that holds all the various epochs since the big bang together.  Emergence refers to qualities that become evident only after two or more other elements combine in some patterned way.  The easy example is hydrogen and oxygen.  Examine the two of them separately and you would not come up with the emergent proper that comes when you combine two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom in a certain way.  Water.  Another, more complex example, is a human.  The individual constituents of the body, chemically, do not suggest the possibility of life if combined.

Emergence fascinates me because it is used by a few thinkers to reimagine the sacred.  I’m not sure the exact line of thought but it has my attention right now.

Then, when I got home, to a plowed driveway, I slipped and slid my car into a snowbank, a snowbank we had paid John Sutton to create.  This entailed a trip to the hardware store for granite grit, a session with Warren, my neighbor, who came to my aid with a tow rope, then scattering grit on the slope of our driveway.  Then, finally, I could get the car in the garage.  Minnesota is a place where sometimes getting the car in the garage at night is an accomplishment.

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