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The establishing manifesto of Eleogenetics

 Massimo Schinco (Cervasca, Italy)[1]

The term “Eleogenetics” derives from the union of two ancient Greek words: “eleos”, that means “mercy”, and “genesis”, that means “origin” and “development”. Thus, “Eleogenetics” consists in the study of the processes of creating and facilitating the emergence, or better, the “epiphany” of Mercy[2]. The word “epiphany” too derives from the ancient Greek and means “manifestation”. Something similar has been described in the modern language of Systems Theory with the term “emergence”, but when we focus on human communities and societies, and even on the behavior of individuals, “epiphany” may be more fitting in order to describe an “emergence” with adequate emphasis on the aesthetical, transcendent and ethical aspects that are required.

The relationship between the epiphanies of Mercy and the processes giving rise to them, i.e. the eleogenetic processes, is recursive and features “charmed loops”. A flurry of small acts of Mercy in the everyday life of individuals it is the core of the so called “eleogenetic practices”. Every small single act of Mercy is in itself an emergence/epiphany, and features itself as being genuinely creative, coming into being out of exquisitely individual responsibility. Nevertheless, none of these acts carries with it a tendency to isolation or fragmentation. On the contrary, since every act of Mercy comes out of what the late Montague Ullman calls the “incorruptible core of being”, they exhibit two basic features: though individual and distinct, they belong to a wider, shared reality. Individual or collective, they have a common destiny.

Eleogenetics, i.e. the study of eleogenetic processes and practices, indicates the presence of a peculiar focus. It is not a new belief, since its very nature implies that people should learn to become closer one to each other in the full respect of their belonging to different systems of belief. Furthermore, Eleogenetics fully recognizes and respects the value of organized systems of belief, of their differences, nor does it attempt to change them in any way. Similarly, Eleogenetics recognizes and respects individual systems of belief. That being stated, Eleogenetics has a number of tenets.

The first is about the definition of Mercy. Although Mercy, when experienced, is very simple in itself, as a concept it is not liable to a simple, univocal definition. We will consider Mercy as a mystery, in the sense that the French philosopher Gabriel Marcel would intend it: something we are plunged into, so that we cannot depict it from outside in objective terms. So not to forget this quality, in this document the word “Mercy” is capitalized.  In order to speak of Mercy we will try to elaborate on models, featuring a complexity that should be acknowledged and respected, eschewing any possible oversimplification. For instance, in this frame of complexity, from the eleogenetic point of view it is relevant that Mercy be considered universal. It is a cross-concept that brings different religions closer together, like Christianity, Islam and Judaism. Similarly, the experience of Mercy overlaps the “compassion” of Buddhists and Hinduists. Thus, in a domain of contemptible and even bloody controversy like that born of religion, Mercy focuses on what unites. It is intrinsic to Eleogenetics to claim that reality is first and foremost, a reality of persons, with feelings, expressions, activities, encounters and contacts. This makes evident how troublesome widespread misunderstanding can be where Mercy is often mistaken for a sweetish attitude of turning a blind eye. Instead it is an approach to a reality with more precision, beauty, and kindness. Justice is a basic need intrinsic to humankind. It touches the core of every human being who longs for love and fairness. It is thus mandatory to take into consideration the close relationship between Mercy and Justice, although it may be difficult in certain circumstances. Eleogenetic practices allow us to develop this kind of sensitivity and knowledge of oneself, of others, and ultimately of the world. This statement has implications regarding the relationship existing between Mercy and the world of emotions and feelings.

In contrast with dominant views which seek to implement “objective solutions” to “objective problems”, both detected by the use of “objective and unemotional thinking.” Mercy can be considered a disposition, both toward others and to oneself; it allow us to hike over the boundary between peaceful loving concern and alertness. An eleogenetic–oriented approach to reality takes in the utmost consideration of a sincere connection with emotions and feelings, both positive and negative, as well as the full acknowledgement of other conditions and human needs that ground our life experience in actual circumstances and relationships, providing them with meaning and possible directions for action.

To understand Mercy from a cybernetic point of view, it is convenient to focus on eleogenetic practices, because the emergence of Mercy, though featured by discontinuity, is simultaneously a point of arrival and a new start. We should not try to figure Mercy as disconnected from processes occurring in time and space. Though it is true that, now and then, traumatic and painful events may help distant people to reconcile or get closer in a way they had not before, Eleogenetics preferably focuses on the long-time processes of ordinary life that can pave the way to the epiphanies of Mercy. Thus, it recommends an open but kind approach in connecting to people who experience themselves as different from oneself. It is not meant to force or frighten one’s spokesperson, or to monopolize everything that unites.

Kindness plays a special role in the eleogenetic practices. Kindness features itself both as a general attitude and as something very concrete. In a negative form, it can be defined as the intention of not causing unnecessary harm or discomfort to oneself or to others; in a positive form, it is the attempt to develop mutual relationships with the criteria of beauty, simplicity and fairness. Particular attention would be placed on the use of language. An eleogenetic use of language should  manifest the intertwining of Beauty, Right and Truth.

There is no doubt that the effects of Mercy can be macroscopic from a personal and social point of view. Nonetheless, it is peculiar of Mercy and Eleogenetic practices to take place in events and interactions whose order of magnitude is small; for example the interaction between mother and child, and not rarely infinitely small, like the activities of our mind, brain and our souls. In other words, although eleogenetic practices start in a definite situation, they take place simultaneously in different dimensions of reality, including those where our ordinary coordinates of space and time lose their meaning. The interaction among these different planes of reality can be of utmost relevance in Eleogenetic Processes.  Most likely, from a higher theoretical point of view, a modeling of these processes in terms of “fields” would result appropriately.

An eleogenetic field is liable to be thought of as an attractor. On the one hand, it behaves as an antagonist of the demanding tolls paid to the excess of entropy  women and men generate out of their injustice, greediness, inner emptiness. Such characteristics are misunderstood as realism, regardless of natural environment and professed omnipotence. On the other hand, as an attractor, an eleogenetic field is future-oriented and triggers an epiphany of Righteousness, Beauty and Truth in original and unpredictable forms; this also derives from its continuous interaction with the past and with entropic processes, that far from being denied, become like old bricks used to realize totally new buildings.

Whom is this manifesto addressed to?

The manifesto is addressed to scholars, researchers, teachers and professionals who feel attracted by Mercy and Eleogenetic Practices, as well as from the idea that Mercy and Eleogenetic Practices are worthy of being taken into account in what one does, investigates, thinks, writes, teaches, imagines and dreams.

There is no requirement to completely agree with any or all of the statements listed above. Opinions and beliefs may be different, theories and hypothesis change, experiences and feelings do not necessarily overlap, and philosophical and theological implications may take different pathways.

In the overall meaning of the term, the manifesto aims to involve people in the exploration of a specific subject of study, i.e. Eleogenetics. To what extent will it give rise to the production of documents, exchange of papers and experiences, debates, events, we do not know. Eleogenetic processes are unpredictable. Let Mercy attract this activity and see what will happen.

Cervasca, March 21, 2015.

[1]                     Psychotherapist, Supervisor, Teacher. E-mail: studio@massimoschinco.it

[2]                     In the manifesto the word “Mercy” is always written with the initial in capital for reasons that will be soon explained