Now you are the body of Christ, and every one of you the separate parts of it.1Co 12:27
How is it that the whole suddenly has properties and characteristics that the sum of the parts does not have?
How do we get fundamentally new things out of the relationship of things that did not have this before?
How do you have a cell that respirates made from molecules, and none of them respirate?
Synergy is the term for what is greater than the sum of its parts, and emergence is the process that allows for synergy.
And since synergy is defined as something having properties that cannot be predicted from the properties of its parts, the future is unpredictable.
Synergy is a result of relationship, as it only happens when parts relate and come together. Emergence is the result of synergy.
Relations on the other hand are the result of forces. In the natural, gravity brings together dust, strong and weak atomic forces bring together particles and atoms.
In the world of thoughts, it can be a force like common interests.
In the spiritual world, it is love.
When we look at the world, we see that natural hierarchies emerge from synergy: particles build atoms that build molecules, organelles, cells, organs, bodies, each with clear synergy, where the whole is much more than the sum of its parts.
When we look at the evolution of consciousness, we see the same thing: man becoming conscious, gathering in small tribes, developing decisiveness and interests, which in turn allow for bigger groups using them as a force of cohesiveness, that serve as a spring board for personal success in cooperation, and then the inclusion of all of humanity.
We may think of the universe having this principle for relationship, giving reason to come together by offering properties to the new whole that the single entities on their own do not have.
This principle has been called the universal love story.
It is reflected in the bible and called love, or better even, God. God is love.
We already can see this principle at work in the creation story, as it is love expressed that creates: and God spoke.
Evolution in complexity theory is defined as more elegantly ordered complexity.
This is important, because just bringing parts together does not allow for synergy, which has been shown by many business mergers in the past, but bringing them together in an elegant way does.
Think of the difference of a heap of sand and a computer chip made of silicon, that is, sand, and some additional material.
So, when you just assemble heaps of the same, you usually do not get synergy, but just a heap of things.
The same is true for human beings: just bringing together people that are the same produces swarms of people, but apart from a louder voice, no synergy, no new properties.
This is certainly why the evolutionary process of human consciousness, just as everything else in the universe, not only has centripetal, but also centrifugal forces. It swings from group oriented, cohesive, self-sacrificial value memes to me oriented, centrifugal, self-expressive value memes.
This is also why the value memes include more and more diversity. We call this agency: divers parts with succinct properties and clear boundaries.
Synergy emerges from divers agents coming into relationship, usually resulting in unpredictable new properties.
And at its core is love.
Since we are conscious, we can now not only participate in this process, but in a meaningful way participate as an active agent. We have become co-creators.
But what are we co-creating, and why are we?
Again, I think that this is at the core of the biblical narrative: we co-create a better future. Now there are several ways we can look at this:
One way is this: God is waiting for us to grow into our purpose of being like him, so that we at a certain point can consciously co-create with him.
Another way? The time that we started to consciously co-create with him is in the past and we are fully engaged in this co-creation right now.
I actually believe that we are right now in the midst of becoming aware and stepping into the emerging property of co-creating consciously. We have co-created unconsciously for a while, manufacturing the anthroposphere. It is time now to do it consciously. To give the process meaning.
I also believe that God trusted us so much in this process, expressing his love towards us, that though he knew the general direction, he does not know the specific outcome. Remember, the results of synergy are unpredictable.
We see God as working in a Newtonian universe with cause and effect, where complexity is only complicated as long as we cannot measure precisely enough. Given enough precision, one can predict the future.
This has been debunked in quantum physics and complexity theory, though more and more physicists believe that there still is an underlying principle to guide the seeming randomness of quantum physics. Let us call it love.
This might mean that God is becoming, just as we are becoming, without knowing where the journey goes, but trusting, having faith in love, that is, in himself, and exerting this force of love to consciously create the future with us.
This would explain why faith has such a high value in the biblical narrative: it is the necessary operating system of everything: faith in love, and therefore, faith in God.
In natural hierarchies, such as particles, atoms, molecules and so forth, we see no hierarchy between the parts. They play their respective roles in the relationship, and some are essential to the synergy taking place, but there is no hierarchy between hydrogen and oxygen in water.
God became one of us, so that we can realize that we are one with him. He in us and we in him, just as Jesus expressed it in the high priestly prayer.
Can we have his kind of faith in love to co-create, or do we have to depend on judgement and God setting things straight but for the few?
But if we are co-creators, we are within the boundaries of the law of synergy. It is the relationships of divers agents that have new properties emerge by elegantly ordering the parts to become a new whole.
Paul calls this new whole the body of Christ. He even goes further and tells us that the whole creation yearns for the sons of God to emerge.
The sons of God are the conscious co-creating agents that build the body of Christ to include and consume and further and bring to fruition all of creation. Synergy at its best.