What is an organising idea?
An organising idea pulls information together so the mind can make sense of it. The richer the pattern in the mind, the more 'true' the organising idea is.
In all areas of life confusion flourishes, mistakes are made and harm is done when we forget that the way we look at phenomena is dependent on an active effort of imagination and thinking. We are not mechanical recording instruments looking out on a fixed world. We organise what we see through what we believe we know.
“All scientific knowledge is a correlation of what is seen with the way that it is seen.”
Henri Bortoft in 'The Wholeness of Nature'
All the organising ideas in our head play an active role in shaping our perception and thinking and guiding our actions. An effective new organising idea is always larger than an earlier one because it can explain the anomalies that previously caused confusion.
The quality of the organising idea is determined by how much of reality it reveals.
When any field of study is confused, any political effort is failing, any conflict not being resolved, it usually means a larger new organising idea has to be introduced before a resolution to the problems can be found.
Since most people react in conditioned ways to events, it requires a particular set of skills and qualities to see what has never been seen before and thereby produce the new organising idea.
These are not necessarily the same skills that are needed to introduce the idea to enough people so it takes hold. A perfect example of this is the case of the man, Ignatz Semmelwiess, who recognised that doctors washing their hands between seeing patients and cleanliness were important in preventing high mortality rates in hospitals. He was driven mad because his colleagues couldn't see what he was going on about. But now we know his organising idea was correct and hygienic behaviour in hospitals has saved millions of lives.
The human givens approach to understanding behaviour, doing psychotherapy and educating and bringing up children is equally significant – perhaps more so.
Explore our articles and interviews
Ivan Tyrrell talks to Anne Glyn-Jones author of "Holding up a Mirror" about the dynamics of history that eventually lead to the destruction of security, prosperity and artistic achievement.
A set of stand-alone articles on Stress, Anxiety, Phobias, Panic attacks, PTSD, Depression, Addiciton, Anger and OCD that human givens practitioners can use to promote both the approach and their own practice.
Denise Winn talks with Professor John Ratey about the brain as a social organ, and the need to be alert early to inept social skills.
In the 1930s a Bedouin tribesman introduced a young Irish doctor to the powers of the subconscious mind. Sixty years later, after doing over four thousand operations using hypnosis. Dr Jack Gibson talks to Joe Griffin..
An article about the human givens approach that appeared in the major American publication, Family Therapy Magazine.
Ivan Tyrrell considers how the miasma of corruption we live in affects many aspects of our lives, often in subtle ways.
All children have an innate need to be stretched and connected up to more of reality. It is a psychological law of nature. Consequently we can say that, whenever teachers are having difficulties in schools, it invariably comes down to the fact that they are not working with, or being allowed to work with, that fundamental truth.
Most severe, even psychotic, mental illness can be helped more effectively at home than in hospital. Professor Marcellino Smyth illustrates how home treatment services work.
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‘JUST WHAT WE NEED’ is a therapeutic group approach using a Human Givens framework. Dates for the next 2 courses are available.
On Saturday 10th June in London – a special workshop dedicated to developing a process of long-term education about how to improve politics by involving greater psychological understanding in domestic and international relations: the only source of hope for the future...