Volume 9, Issue 9, page 11

I HE PURPOSE of this article is to give data
about the origins and historical development of Synergetics. Some people who have
had casual contact with Synergetics apparently have an erroneous idea of how it
started and how it developed. It is hoped
that men of good will, regardless of their
opinion of Synergetics as an approach to human
development, will at least give fair-minded
consideration to the viewpoint here described.

The word "synergy" means, literally, "working together". The term has long been used in
medicine to denote the co-operative action of
two or more drugs, and also to refer to the
co-operative action of two or more muscles
about a joint -- for example, the hamstring muscles whose tendons can be felt behind the knee.

Synergetics may be defined, briefly, as the
science of synergy. It was conceived as such a
science in 1953, in an article written by the
author and privately distributed to a few
friends. Because of interest expressed, a community was informally established -- the Synergetic Community -- based on a periodical called
CHANGE, published by a small group of us in
Columbus, Ohio. In 1955, a preliminary edition
of the first book on Synergetics was privately
published, entitled, "Synergetics, an Experiment in Human Development".

Many of the ideas and techniques of Synergetics are not new; they can be traced back to
the early Greeks, notably to Socrates. Other
philosophers who have had an important influence are Descartes, Spinoza, Bergson, William
James, Lloyd Morgan, and Whitehead. More recent major influences are James Harvey Robinson, Sigmund Freud, Alfred Korzybski, and Norbert Wiener.

The basic tool of Synergetics is called
tracking. Tracking was derived primarily from
two sources: Robinson's book, "The Mind in the
Making", written in the 193O's, and Wiener's
"Cybernetics". From Robinson was drawn the
idea of creative thought, as distinguished
from other forms of thinking: reverie, rationalization, and practical thinking. From Wiener,
the idea that the mind works like a modern
electronic computer, in accordance with a set
of instructions called a program. Tracking,
essentially, is programmed thinking, whose goal
is to promote synergy. Tracking is done in the
spirit of creative thought, as described by

When tracking is properly done, some interesting phenomena are observed. Thinking becomes
faster, more accurate, and remarkably lucid.
There is a delightful tendency for "multiple
lines of thought" to emerge and proceed simultaneously. New ideas, "bursts of insight"
(affectionately called "B. I.'s") emerge in delightful frequency. Related mental processes
such as perception, recall, imagination, etc.,
are simultaneously accentuated. Again, with
affectionate whimsy, we say of all these phenomena that "overdrive" has turned on.

The phenomenon of synergy is not new, of
course; every person observes it from time to
time. What is new about Synergetics is the development of a battery of ideas and "tools"
which have been designed explicitly to promote
synergy. Tracking, itself, is such a tool.
There are a host of others; few "Syngeneers"
have mastered them all.

The key importance of promoting synergy is
its multiplier effect. Let us say a particular
synergic interaction promotes mental processes
A, B, and C. A tool that produces this synergic effect does three times as much as an
equal effort aimed at one process alone. The
systematic, regular use of Synergetic tools
evokes synergy with such frequency that we can
say a flow of synergy is occurring.

When synergy occurs, not in rare, isolated
instances but in a continuous flow, we say that
the individual is functioning in the synergic
mode of function.

The synergic mode was first evoked in 1953.
However, it was not permanently evoked -- it
would occur for a few minutes or at most an
hour or two, then die away. The main obstacle
to producing it stably was found to be "irrational patterns" in the mind. These patterns
have, of course, long been known in psychiatry
and other schools of mental healing, where
they are sometimes called aberrations.

In Sgnergetics, we call them impedances. We
do this for two reasons: First, because they
impede the production of synergy, which is our
primary interest. Second, because our basic
aim is not to treat mental illness, but to
evoke the synergic mode of function in "normal"
human beings. Synergetics is therefore aimed
primarily at the impedances observable i n almost everyone, not the severe aberrations observed in mentally-sick people.

In 1956, the first Synergetic workshop was
held in Columbus. It was a highly exhilarating
experience to most of those who attended. Since
then, a large number of workshops have been
held, both national and regional. They are
highly popular among Syngeneers.

In January, 1958, a dramatic event occurred.
An individual reported that he had succeeded
in stabilizing in the synergic mode.

We refer to such a person as a synergic
stable. Synergic stables have been emerging
steadily since that time. They are wonderful
persons to know and associate with.

Synergetics continues to evolve, both as a
science and as a way of life. Syngeneers do
not expect everyone to be interested in Synergetics -- especially protagonists of other
schools. We're not trying to "sell " Synergetics. No one gets any financial remuneration
for his activities in SSynergetics. It has been
organized on a non-profit, freely-helping-oneanother basis. It is available to anyone who
wants to take advantage of it.

the cycles to operate.

Always look when something happens to you
or around you for the beginning of this particular cycle, for the planting of the seed of
desire. If the event is undesirable, check
very carefully to see that this is the end of
the cycle and not just somewhere in the middle,
because if you do not close the cycle out completely now, sooner or later you will have to
finish it. If it is something you don't want
to close.out on. the effort level in the visible, solid universe, you had better close it
out right now on the emotional or thought
level, making certain that this is the end of
it, that it is entirely closed out and that
all trace of the original desire and intention
is removed. (Continued in the next issue.)