Liology: Towards an Integration of Science and Meaning

In June, I attended a seminar held by Fritjof Capra at the Center for Ecoliteracy, called The Systems View of Life.  It was a great experience to meet people with a similar viewpoint on how systems thinking can fundamentally affect our way of living on this earth.

I gave a presentation there called “Liology: Towards an Integration of Science and Meaning,” which was my first opportunity to present my ideas of how the traditional Chinese notion of the li – the organizing principles of the natural world which are the outward manifestation of the tao – are describing the same principles of self-organization that complexity theory and systems biology are trying to understand.

The implication of this is that science and spiritual meaning are commensurable – they describe the same reality.  They are not separate ontologically from each other, as both the scientific and the monotheistic traditions would have us believe.

Liology: Towards an Integration of Science and Meaning

Here’s a link to a “studio version” of the presentation that I gave to the seminar, and here is a pdf version of the slides.

Liology: Towards an Integration of Science and Meaning: pdf presentation

Finally, here is the introductory first chapter of the book I’m writing on the subject, also called Liology: Towards an Integration of Science and Meaning.



  1. April 6, 2013 at 5:36 am

    Brilliant, Jeremy. I really enjoyed this, and read through the slides you kindly made available on your other site. You have me wondering about the relationship between your pfc tyranny idea and Iain McGilchrist’s take on the different approaches to reality afforded by the cerebral hemispheres (and the distorted relationship between left and right hemispheres).
    What’s your take on that?
    And how’s the book going? I think the intro is enticing!
    Best wishes

    • j-man said,

      April 6, 2013 at 8:05 am

      Thank you, Bob. I really like McGilchrist’s book as another example of what I call “cognitive history.” I reviewed it when it first came out, and in my review gave my perspective on how his approach and mine complement each other. Hope you find it interesting.

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