Melted Unity


The domains that are appropriate for building Pattern Languages around are complex systems, full of feedback loops and interconnections.When the forces at work in these systems are well resolved at each interaction locus, the system will approach the condition of a Melted Unity - where each aspect seems utterly implicated by the whole, and vice versa. Pattern Languages cannot in themselves build such conditions - any more than dictionaries in themselves can build stories. Practice and develop skill with the Poetry of the Language with the aim of Transcending Patterns, to foster Melted Unities.


When the forces involved at some point in a system are not well resolved, friction, noise, disturbance is created and things go out of sync.
“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”

― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Airman's Odyssey

We recognise this condition when we see it - that of a setting where each element is necessary, each in harmony, the whole system at peace, even if it is full of dynamic activity.

In such systems, all the elements are connected together with feedback loops, so that each is somehow aware of what it needs to do to adjust to changing conditions so that the whole remains itself.

Many of the examples that come to mind involve fluids - the patterns of waves on a shoreline, the dance of a flame, the thunder of a waterfall. These are not simple systems - the intricacies of hydrodynamics continue to intrigue science - but they are simpler than human-made environments. Water has merely to resolve complex interactions of unchanging physical laws. To achieve such conditions in human-made systems is steep challenge.

Often the best we can hope for is to experience being 'in the zone' more often - knowing that this condition is temporary, and some unresolvable event will come up that disrupts the flow and re-introduces chaotic conditions.

But these events give us clues. They are the patterns of disjunction in the system - the places where some interplay of forces is unresolved.

We cannot usually banish these problems by 'outlawing' the disruptive force - it will simply reappear at some other point in the system, often making even more trouble.

If we can seek to analyse and understand the issue, clarify the interacting forces, we may be able to understand the pattern and document it.

From there, we may be able to see some intervention which can re-establish flow.

Learning to see the flow, and see the points at which disruption occurs, and to trace the causes are key skills.


Do what you can to learn to 'see' the health of systems, to appreciate their wholeness and to understand their breakdowns.


Develop the Social Poetry of the language, and do what you can to foster and encourage Language Gardeners , as these are the structures which are likely to be most sensitive to the 'in the moment' experience of the flow of energy through systems.