ZIGZAGZINE 19: structure #6, Inherent dynamics: wave motion,
incentives and connections of the process


The interconnectedness of processes

As a human being I received, via my mother and via my father, the human properties with which I have to exert my function as part of humanity in this space and time.
As a librarian, as a member of a group of painters, as a member of a club I devote (part of) my capacities, during my affiliation, in order to help realise the purpose of that club, that organisational-, business-, group- or social process.
Every umbrella process, also that organisational-, business-, group- or social process, offers me the opportunity to develop my capacities and stipulates its conditions based on its own goal.

A human being is, just like an animal, a plant or a teacup, a process. A river and a mountain, a herring and a shoal, a friend and a group of friends, a manager and a company, a house as well as a suburb is a process.
Every human being is a process that is built up of constituent parts.
A process is a spacetime continuum with a beginning and an end.

A process is an entirety of subprocesses and thus a human being with constituents is also a subprocess within a larger whole. Even from several larger wholes. A human is at the same time a subprocess of humankind as of a group of friends, of the people in a company, of the residents in a suburb and of many other processes. The larger wholes of which a human being is part of stipulate their own goals and conditions.

fig.1 Series of processes
Processes always forward a goal or condition to their subordinate processes via their functions. To the goal belong both a pattern to be used and a separate set of functions, which together form the characteristic procedure for the development of that goal.
A system is a complex whole of things; it makes use of a process with a beginning, an end and subprocesses to perform the assignment given by a larger mother or basis system. The notion system is typically used in physics, emphasizing the material aspect of the world, the thing itself with its constituents. The notion process emphasizes the immaterial side, the activity with the functions and their mutual relations. In practice the distinction can not always be made and the notions can be used interchangeably. I use as my starting point that everything is process, that every thing is becoming, and I prefer to continue thinking from the activity standpoint. I will use the notion system by way of exception.

If the entire world consists of processes which always give their subordinate processes a goal than we must conclude that we find ourselves in a determined situation. [ note ] The consequences this has for the content of notions like, for example, dependence, adaptation, education, learning, freedom, usefulness, using, judging, rights and rules are far-reaching. A discussion of them can be interesting. I'll come back to that later.


Extreme boundaries: chains of processes without beginning or end?

Pausing for a moment at the relation between processes, we see chains coming into being with at both extremes of the whole a strange situation. After all, the series as it follows from the definition that a process is a whole with subprocesses can not have a beginning nor an end. That goes on forever. That is, however, not at all in keeping with the notion of a cosmos, or of a universe which, as the name indicates, encompasses everything. Neither is infinity in keeping with the notion of elementary particles. For these would, as they are elementary, no longer initiate subprocesses. The universe could not be a regular process or a system, neither could an elementary particle. [ note ]

An infinite series of processes? I think that we, in the first place, must realise that it is difficult to ascertain whether the limit of human cognitive abilities coincides with reality. We can only establish that human cognitive abilities constrict our everyday reality. An example: most animals have senses which resemble ours. Nevertheless there are species which can see or hear more or indeed less than we. Like the deep-sea animals and plants, where there is no light, where pressure is immense and where temperatures can rise to extremes at some places, are adapted to the circumstances which constitute their reality. That a certain species of animal can not perceive certain colours does not mean that those colours do not exist. The species simply does not need them. Thus our cognitive abilities limit our world to the spacetime of 3+1 dimensions. The real world can have a different number of dimensions. Perhaps our capacity to understand can expand through the research of the limits of reality, but our cognitive abilities and our imaginative faculty constrict us to modesty. Our abilities will not adapt so fast because the knowledge of these limits does not have a direct effect on our seeing, smelling, feeling, etcetera of our daily environment.

It comes down to this that, at least in this zine, I follow the physicists in their conclusion that these limits exist. The how and why of these extremes is beyond the scope of this part of the treatment of the process. I also conslude that another boundary exists in our everyday life which is so important that we absolutely must get to know it better.


On the border of inner context and environment, of past and future

Have you ever imagined the strange situation in which we as humans find ourselves? On the one side there is the flux in the processes around us, in the world which is our hunting-field, which we challenge in order to learn what we need for our development. On the other hand there is the certainty within our own process with its unique entanglements, contrasts and counterparts which, at all levels, is busy becoming what only this process can become. As humans we find ourselves on the boundary between the macroscopic world around us which extends to the edge of the whole universe and our own inner world which extends to the limit of the microscopic processes.
Our situation can be viewed from two points. On the one side a person's individuality forms on the border line of these two worlds if one is aware of both the often conflicting interests and the necessary mutual connectedness. That person finds himself on the dividing line of his own subjective context and the for him objective surrounding context, at the point where he unites the duality in a balanced undivided whole. On the other hand it is a border line in time, between the past with its own history of adaptation and the own future of the self-directed processes and their effects. That person finds himself in the middle of the present, in a world of seemingly dead end roads and acceptable possibilities. Seen from this perspective one can experience one's own growth as part of the developing larger whole.
It is a dynamic centre of connections in space and time which enables us to zigzag and weave our patterns of seemingly futile detours. What is useful for one person need not be so for another. What seems of no use now can turn out to be of great use later. Usefulness is, like Good and Evil, Space and Time, Black and White, just relative. [ note ]

fig.2 The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil
I wonder how real this border is. Probably it is spatially as elusive as the notion 'now' in time which slips through our fingers. It is - I think - not a border between life and death, otherwise the border would only exist for living creatures. A border of either conscious or not is also impossible. Because it is a border between the inner spacetime and the environment's spacetime which concerns all processes, including rock structures, institutions, tea cups and thinking processes, it has to be a border of becoming. Also in a psychological sense it is a borderline where the uniquely personal, by adaptations in response to experiences in the environment, gets 'entangled' and develops themself. A psychology, based on the described starting points, could be named process-psychology.

It seems obvious to me that a person, who wants to live consciously and who realises the intricate and sometimes confusing situation they are in, already has information about and a reasonable experience with processes in their environment at their disposal. That person is engaged not only in developing but also in getting to know themself better. That person needs knowledge about their relation with their environment and, beside it, shall want to have insight in their own process and the coherence of their capacities.
In the meantime it is a fact that a person can use their experiences in the environment to obtain insight in the workings and the properties of their own inner process, of themself. In ZZZine #21 I shall pass on a practical expedient for introspection.

In order to understand how the thing works we need to know especially how the personal process fits together and how the several parts preferably act together. Therefore I shall give first a general survey of the main facts about the process with its cyclic wave motion, its incentives and their subprocesses, and its unique internal connections.


How can a process do what it has to do? A survey

Every process does what it has to do because it has a purpose. Every process is unique. The Matterhorn is another mountain than Kilimanjaro or Everest. A process is unique in the sense that it has been given and brought along its own purpose and working pattern from a mother process out of which it has originated there and then. From this follows that a process can not be anything but subjective in the realisation of its purpose. A process always maintains its own integrity although misunderstood learning processes can suggest the opposite. Thanks to its capacity to assess the effect of subprocesses and the reactions from the world of experience the process can plan the realisation of its purpose.
Assessment takes place in the tenth phase of every process and with the help of the consistency function. Singularity and its basis has been discussed repeatedly in the structure-line.

A process can achieve its goal because the unique combination of means, which it has been given at the moment of becoming self-supportive, is sufficient. The goal lies included in its proper qualities. The qualities and the purpose of a process are limited in space and time. Spatially the process is determined by evolutionary factors: it is made of rubber or concrete or sand or flesh and blood; it can develop arms or branches or wings or fins. In time it is determined by environmental factors: the combination of parts available at the time of beginning as a self-existent process and afterwards.
Things without wings can not fly, a thing with arms could imagine how it might be but can only fly since aircrafts exist. A thing with arms and hands can only then eat if there is food available in its environment.
The visualisation of the system of coordinates which describes the unique combination of properties of processes like, for example, Einstein's train, people, ideas and teacups has been treated in ZZZine #9 en ZZZine #13.

A process can do what it wants to do because it has the disposal of inherent dynamics, a memory and an environment. The contrasts between the phases bring about a natural plural wave motion which supplies the driving force fig.3 Dynamic wave movementfor the advancement of the process. It can use its memory because the process can refer back to former experiences: a process follows a cyclic course. A process has only one point of contact with its world of experience. Making contact with the environment always implies the beginning of a separate process, directed at a more specific goal.
The inherent dynamics of processes has been dealt with in ZZZine #6 and in ZZZine #16. Feedback and the cyclic character of the process has been treated in ZZZine #6. Reference to past experiences takes place in the second phase of every process and by means of the attention function. This has been illustrated repeatedly, also in the pattern-line. The cyclic character of the process shall again come up for attention in the description of the handling of the results of functions and subprocesses.

A process does what it wants to do because it is an organised whole of parts like phases, patterns of ways of action, functions and subprocesses which are mutually related in a unique manner and which make shifts of perspective possible. Every process has the disposal of the same parts as other processes. In practice a rock or a state or an animal, because of their different nature, use the parts of the process in a different way. Information will in all cases be transferrred, but not always by means of pronouncing or typing words. Bees seem to communicate the direction and place of honey by means of their movements.
Phases and patterns have been dealt with repeatedly and extensively. In future parts of this line and in the pattern-line this shall be continued.
Functions, the subprocesses, the connections and the shifts of perspective which complete the process and unite it to a coherent, organized whole shall be treated in the next parts of the structure-line. In the story-line, in ZZZine #17, an example of the operation of some functions has been elaborated already.

After these general characteristics of the process we are now ready for a survey of the functions and some important subprocesses.


Functions: where subprocesses begin

Every process uses its functions to start subprocesses. Functions are the driving forces in a process. Every process has originated because a preceding process has used a function and so has set a subprocess going. That is the way in which evolution works, thus an idea or a theory comes into being, that's how the earth orbits around the sun, in this manner children get born.

The field of operation of functions is generally defined, as potential abilities without differences in nuance. Every process uses the same functions. In order to be a unique process nevertheless, and be able to reach their own goal, functions must be developed in a characteristic manner. A function has brought with it, although it is and remains specialised in its area of operation, a private character for that process or system in the following way:

  • The place of the function of beginning (beginning and end of the process) is related to the initial conditions of the process which, in turn, are related to a a certain place and time: a distinct pattern of beginning.
  • Within a certain process at the same time every other function has obtained a specific character through its placement in a certain phase of the whole: e.g. the attention function which is placed in the communication phase.
  • Within a certain process the specific character of a function is also determined by its place in relation with the other functions: e.g. the exchange and the analyse functions are placed so close together in the phase of seeking an emotional basis that they are indiscernable, or, a very energetic relation between the removal function and the self government function can sometimes make the self government function into a dominant function.

A function is - in the course of the process - being activated and the function initiates a subprocess. fig.4 SubprocessesIn this way a person comes to a pattern of acting, remembering, thinking, feeling, deciding, et cetera, that is structured in a characteristic manner.

In order to get to know more about nature and types of functions and subprocesses we go back a moment to the process. The treatment of the inner incentives (in the own spacetime) and the experiences from the environment (from the environment's spacetime) within the process takes place in the phases. In every day language this means that a human internally zigzags between facets from the environment and from within himself. For example, from seeking an opportunity to execute a little plan, one occupies oneself internally successively with

  1. opening oneself up for a good opportunity (initiate, the first form of action of the three physical aspects of oneself in the environment),
  2. remembering one's intention and experiences (oppose, the second form of action of the three introspective time-aspects of being consistent),
  3. comparing opportunity and remembrances (unite, the third form of action of the three intellectual aspects of himself in an environment which changes in time),
  4. making a spatial connection between one's subjective reactions and all the foregoing (initiate, the first form of action of the three emotional aspects of being consistent)
    [NB Every activity and combination of activities of a person continually causes a movement in the inner space, an emotion, which is registered and saved in that it later can be referred to again],
    thus the subject is prepared for
  5. making oneself known in the environment (oppose, the second form of action of the three physical aspects of oneself in the environment),
  6. et cetera.

The arrangement of the phases in four groups is a multiple combination of two times two groups which are being used in three ways. The arrangement is based on the premises of the process as they have been formulated in part 2 of the structure-line, ZZZine #6, and in subsequent parts are being worked out in descriptions of the process.
Per group some examples of the larger subprocesses and of the functions and incentives common to every human will now be given:

  1. physical subprocesses, like a nervous system, an immune system, a vascular system, bones and muscles, an energy system and the beginning, the activating, the self government and the growth functions;
  2. introspective subprocesses, like the regulating system of the inner spacetime, the system which refers to one's own values, the truth system and the consistency, the reference and the analysis functions;
  3. intellectual subprocesses, like the knowledge acquiring system (including languages, clocks and cultures), the exchange system (including taste and fashion), the socialising system and the exchange, the renewal and the analyse functions;
  4. emotional subprocesses, like the inner motion system which materialises subjective reactions, the selection system, memory and the emotional basis function, the removal and the integration functions.

The operation of functions between process and subprocess

The combination, that is the place and the mutual relation, of the functions within a process determine the properties, the characteristically personal of a process and its subprocesses.

  • As a consequence of its placement within a definite process a specific function always follows the same pattern;
  • As a consequence of its placement the functions are situated at irregular distances on the circle of the process which do not change. Some of the many possible distances or angles are relations which carry a meaning. When they are very close together they can perform as a unity, functions can benefit or cross each other's action because of their mutual positions, a function can stand isolated or, on the contrary, be in a significant relation with several other functions;
  • As a consequence of the placement of functions there can be phases in which there is not a single incentive, or indeed more than one together;
  • As a consequence of their placement on the circle two functions can be, as it were, each other's reflected image and can produce the effect as though commutative;
  • As a consequence of the placement of functions at irregular distances on the circle of the process shiftings of perspective take place which usually break through the normal progress through the phases.

The function of beginning always coincides with the starting point of a process. The function of beginning has been active at the very first moment in which the process came into existence, like for example the birth of a child. The incentive to begin is active again every time the process makes contact with the environment, like when beginning a new day or at the beginning of something new.
All other functions which are available to a process play their own role in the development of the function of beginning. In reverse the function of beginning plays its specific role in the development of each of the remaining functions. This is an important fact which needs further explanation.

The functions are scattered over the process. Every function has a specific place in the basic process of a human or a thing. The functions are in different ways related to the parts of the basic process: its phases and its other functions. This means that, as soon as e.g. function A is being activated, the subprocess will run according to the pattern typical of that function, that all other functions find themselves in different phases in respect to function A where they carry out different work but still in their own manner. Function B has in the development of function A and in all of A's subprocesses another place than in the development and the subprocesses of function C. This is true of all remaining functions.
fig.5 The turning of functions
A survey of the 5 examples.
The result of the subprocess of e.g. function A always comes back at the end to the function itself and thus to the phase in the basic process where function A is to be found. Suppose that a person wants to say something. The analyse function will be activated and starts a subprocess. When the person has finished talking the process returns to the instructing function, and with that to the phase in the basic process which engaged the analyse function. That basic process can continue forwards to its next phase.

Subprocesses and spacetime

A function or property develops in course of time. 'Develops' means that it is itself a process of becoming. It is a subprocess of the basic process within which it performs its duties. A process always runs its cyclic course; it can develop because it learns from its experiences from the past. This is possible thanks to a number of things including its memory, the capacities to refer back and to be consistent.
A subprocess goes its own way and in its last phase it delivers the result at the function which set it going. A subprocess is, seen from the process, in general a passageway to a following part. It is a process of transit. That passage or development takes place either in the relation with the environment's space and time or in the internal space and time. In both cases the result is being handled in the internal space and time of the process.
Only subprocesses which can be considered events in the environment space and time can be recorded, of these we can say that they took place there and then (the physical and the intellectual processes). With internal subprocesses that is just not the case because they by definition take place in the unconscious (the introspective and the emotional subprocesses). We become conscious of them however at a certain place and time as events in the environment's spacetime.

Sometimes a subprocess becomes a self-existent process. That is the case when the subprocess, as we usually say, starts to lead its own life, when it manifests itself as a self-existent unity. In fact it introduces itself to another process in order to become a part of it. The best known example is a baby which, at the moment of birth, presents itself as a self-existent being to humankind. A system of coordinates with unique properties which the process has at its disposal belongs with the initial state at that place and time. In spite of it being self-existent it continues, as a subprocess, to form part of the development of its mother and its father. The distinction is, in fact, relative. It depends on the standpoint from which we look at it.
Seen as a self-existent process it has its own way in and way out for contact with its own environment. Seen as a process of transit it has an inferred starting point, ending point and goal; it uses the way in and out of the basic process for contact with the environment of that process. The publication of a new theory is a manifestation of self-existence. Discussing a new theory is the activity of a function in a more encompassing process.

With this the general survey of the parts of the process is completed. It seems to me most transparent to start next time with the structure of the human process, specifically with the mutual connections between the parts which impart it with a private character, its functions and subprocesses. From the ideas which that will yield it shall probably be possible to draw parallels with the connection of the process with its environment. This is a complicated matter and I shall try to discover the order which is there.