With ears pricked and nose to the ground, dogs create a mental map which we can never know. Dee Hock asks the question: “how many ways of knowing are there which escape human perception?” His probing of organisation is spurred on by such considerations – together with the awareness that institutional failure will continue to escalate, and the prediction of social carnage and the development of even more dictatorial institutions in response to that carnage.
Organisations, organisers, institutions would benefit from following the dog’s nose, in realising that there are many ways of knowing, that progress isn’t along straight lines. Scratch beneath life’s surface and we see a totally different reality which defies the truths of our mechanistic planning. We know in our heart of hearts that “life isn’t that simple” and we become more intolerant of institutions and responses that pretend that it is. Hock writes (after he scratches the forest debris under his do’s nose):
Billions upon billions of self-organising interactions are occurring second by second in the square yard of soil, each inter-connecing, relating, creating,and shaping self and others. Every particle is inseparable interacting and relating to others, and they still to others, unto the remote reaches of the universe and beyond – beyond knowing – but not beyond awareness, respect and love. The mystery of it all is overwhelmingly beautiful. Birth of the Chaordic Age. page 288.