General Systems Theory and Spirituality and Religion

Somasundaram Rajendran


General Systems Theory has become a useful model to understand human behavior and also every thing in the whole universe. It has provided a more meaningful World View as it has unified all human knowledge about all aspects of living and non living part of the universe. Prior to Renaissance in Europe the world view of people in different societies and cultures were more mythological, magical, superstitious and religious. Since Renaissance gradually the world view became more objective scientific model to explain everything in the universe including human beings. Such a scientific model has helped to advance in understanding of the material physical world and contributed to rapid development of technology and Industrial and later Information revolution. In the early part of twentieth century the limitations of such a reductionistic mechanical analytical model was recognized especially in biological science. So a new interacting Systems Theory model was introduced especially in biology.  Later such a model was found useful in understanding of all fields of studies of living and nonliving things in the universe. As a result a new Systems World view has emerged. According to which every thing in the whole universe can be studied as organized entities or systems that has parts as sub systems interacting with each other and also the whole system interacting with other systems outside of that particular system and form more complex and higher systems. In that model every thing, including human beings are connected with each other directly or indirectly and influence each other systems at various degrees. So this model unifies everything in the universe. According to systems theory human beings are part of universe as a whole system and have sub systems of body as a biological system and mind and behavior as psychological system and by interacting with other human beings form social systems of family, community and nations. Such a model helps to understand human experience and behavior more completely. As the systems theory has developed attempts have been made to explain ultimate philosophical questions like the meaning of life, morality, suffering, death and immortality which may be important issues for many human beings.  This paper proposes to include a highest level of all systems called Transcendental system that is different from religious systems that are part of social system. The controversies related to this system and arguments in favor and opposing views will be discussed. The purpose of this paper is to stimulate more discussions among the active members who are involved in developing further General Systems Theory in all directions.  


General Systems Theory; Spirituality; Religion

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