The AlexandrianMethod is an alternative scientific method to understand and develop living systems. It uses patterns, transformations and processes as its main build blocks. This is a stub. Push me to write more about this. – HelmutLeitner

I understand that there is a model of physics (mechanics) that models the system not as positions and masses and velocities, but instead as energy equations: Legrangian Mechanics.

This may be a useful point of analogy.

I don’t know about these equations but I assume that this ends up in some special causal relationship.

Quite to the contrary, the AlexandrianMethod radically accepts that which is obvious, that life (development of Giraffees from the big bang, or our human behaviour, as two examples) is not causal, not predicted, not predictable. No science will ever be able to predict (and no God! will ever even want to predict) e. g. - when growing a plant from a seed - how many leaves a plant will get and in which directions they will grow.

Science has looked at the world and life and concentrated on the “simple” causal relationships. But that’s not all there is. This is not about sprirituality, there is nothing spiritual about a plant growing leaves. It is about non-determinism. Which we can accept as a given fact from the current state of QuantumChromoDynamics?. Just as Newton was right with his view about gravitation - but only in slow motion - and Einstein was even more right when things move at arbitrary speeds. Descartes (mechanistic science) is right - in simple causal systems (machines) - and Alexander is even more right in complex living systems (organisms). So Alexander is not anti-science, it is an enclosing meta-theory.

Wiki - when it is inhabited - is an organism, not a machine. This is what makes Alexander interesting for us. But changing our society to cope with the future, building a new kind of social global economy, not destroying the ecology of planet earth … all this needs the AlexandrianMethod as a system theory that puts the concept “life” in the center of all its thinking.

The AlexandrianMethod is not a method of formulas aiming at predictions. It is a method of patterns, pattern_languages and processes aiming at understanding and handling of living systems, evolutionary processes, the unfolding of systems.

The AlexandrianMethod includes the ability to work with emotional concepts like “beauty” in a rational way, as a resonance between our inner self and some other system that has qualities of life. This means that the feeling of beauty is to a large degree not an arbitrary matter of taste, but an objective reproducible emotional phenomenon.

push, push :)

I was originally confused about what you were saying. But piecing together what you’ve been saying, and the ZeitGeist that I’ve been picking up from these various conferences (EvolutionarySalon, StoryFieldConference, etc.,) I’m piecing it together, and it’s becoming much clearer.

In the EvolutionarySpirituality talk MichaelDowd gives, he talks about how the vision of the world shifts from clockwork to “NestedSpheresOfCreativity.”

I am still a determinist, mind you, but when you add clock-work to clock-work to clock-work to clock-work long enough, you get something that behaves very un-clock-like. And that un-clock-like thing is unpredictable, as you say, to sufficient degree, that we have a new word for the behavior of such things: We say that the systems stabilize on choices, behave creatively, and so on.

The AlexandrianMethod seems like the method of conducting science that is proper for a world made of nested spheres of creativity, rather than a method of conducting science that is proper for a world made of clocks.

There are parts of the world that clearly operate like the clockwork.

Psychology and sociology are clearly not two of them.

Lion, I have to think this through. Yes, probably it has to do with the choices that are part of a creative process. The idea “systems that have/support live” <⇒ “creative process” is pretty much in the center of the AlexandrianMethod. Patterns are options to make it easy for someone to make decisions according to his self. Patterns are like molecules of knowledge, selfcontained like sw object, carrying a lot more meaning than a fact or a single causal relationship. Don’t know whether the idea of “nested sphere” is appropriate, connected with inner and outer. The praradigms of “mechanism/clockwork” and “organism/tree” seem like orthogonal viewpoints to me, both being mental constructions.

The nested spheres is about: molecular life, cells, an organism, a society, the Earth, …

I don’t think it’s really “nested spheres,” and perhaps the metaphor needs to be changed to be: “Web of Spheres of Creativity,” or something.

What does this do for you?

The organisational levels of the universe, from the quarks and elementary particles up all the way to the galaxies? Forking on the level of the molecules into another biological hierarchy up to the large-scale individual organisms? Maybe another fork into the social-organisational hierarchy built on autonomous agents of some sort?

Alexander views the world as growing in organisation and complexity, as “unfolding of life” in space. He doesn’t draw a line between anorganic and biological life, between the life of people and the life of artifacts. The growing structure comes from new centers that are created on some structural level, influencing their level and the upper and lower levels as well, hopefully in a win-win-situation. Like OO the AlexandrianMethod is somewhat focused, e. g. when creating a house, you would probably think about the surrounding (maybe city) and the people and functions it should support in its interiour, but at that stage not about the universe or elementary particles (maybe not even about the bricks or mortar). Theoretically Alexander is holistic, but only in a pragmatic way, as long as it makes sense.

Don’t know whether this is an answer to your question.

Honestly, that sounds just like the vision of NestedSpheresOfCreativity vision to me. Perhaps I’ve spoken the vision of nested spheres of creativity in a wrong way, or perhaps the name “nested spheres of creativity absolutely does need to change.

The Earth’s living network includes continents, politics, water, ocean, humans, animals, and so on. So, it is connecting several spheres. The spheres that make up the human being: the human being’s body connecting cells of a specific type, the mind of the human being (connected with the body,) the social organism of humans (at different scales, EcosystemOfNetworks,) and so on, make up these different spheres. There are also systems of computers in the world. There are lots of spheres. Are these “spheres” what ChristopherAlexander would call “Centers?” I want to distinguish them from “the void in a balloon.” Is “the world of architecture” a center? Perhaps it should be, and we’re just omitting it from the description of the universe, a flaw! That is, include the “Imagination” component of the FiveWorldsMandala. This should also be supported by NewRealism, because new realism takes psychological realities into account.

So perhaps the problem of “Nested Spheres of Creativity,” as a phrase, is that it is much too linear. What we are looking for is something more like a tree, or a blossoming, out from the smallest scales (which, as far as we know, is the quantum mechanical world.)

Does this sound right to you?

Yes, it sounds and feels good.

“Center” is a very abstract systemtheoretical term, other scientists might use “object” or “element” instead, so one can use it for pretty much anything existing or imaginable. You and me, we are centers. The “world of architecture” is a center, too.

What would be a good metaphor, then, for this view of the world?

  • It’s not “it moves according to mom,”
  • It’s not “it moves according to father,”
  • It’s not “it’s all a clockwork,”


  • TreeOfCreativity? – rather than “nested spheres, …”
  • TreeOfLife – Christian connotations,
  • IndrasNet? – invokes India & Hinduism,
  • NetworkOfCreativity? – sounds cyber-cool / trendy
  • LivingPatterns? – Alexandrian, patterns, and life

I think my favorite is LivingPatterns?, which I just came up with.

I realize that this may not be your conversation, but I am fishing for a way of explaining the difference in world-view to people.

I want it to both “knock back” when we knock it, to see if it holds with science (like the clockwork does,) and to also convey living realities (life, trees, fauna, animals, meanings, ideas, purposes, …).

LivingPatterns? does feel a little “stale” to me. I mean, “who wants to be a living pattern?”

But creative is an active word– it’s much more than “being a pattern that happens to breath.”

Perhaps CreativePatterns?.. ?


Alexander: the main phenomenon in the universe is life unfolding in space. He does not separate between anorganic and biological life, so a building, an arbitrary artifact or a wave in the ocean has the quality of life as well, more or less, depending on their quality. Life depends on the density and intensity of centers, supporting each other. LifeUnfolding? ?


Define external redirect: LivingPatterns QuantumChromoDynamics CreativePatterns TreeOfCreativity NetworkOfCreativity WebOfCreativePatterns LifeUnfolding IndrasNet

EditNearLinks: NewRealism TreeOfLife ChristopherAlexander