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.
Explore our articles and interviews
In the first of what will become an annual feature, Ian Thomson, deputy chair of the HGI’s Registration and Professional Standards Committee (RPSC), shares learning points from cases presented within the past year for adjudication or advice.
The essence of what good teachers do is that they enter each pupil's world to discover what they already know, then find ways to connect up new knowledge and/or skills to what already exists in the pupil's mind, thus expanding the learners model of reality.
Primary school teaching assistant and HG Diploma graduate, Kashfi Khan describes how she has applied the HG ideas in very practical ways, to the benefit of pupils, parents and teachers alike.
In the first of an occasional series featuring contributions from HG practitioners, Miriam Chachamu shares two simple therapeutic ideas that fit well with the human givens toolkit.
Jim Penman tells Ivan Tyrrell how biology drives our social history, explaining temperament change within cultures and the rise and fall of civilisations.
Doris Lessing believes we are all much closer to craziness than we like to believe. In conversations with Ivan Tyrrell she talks about age, breakdowns and the ubiquitous 'self-hater'.
Sally Nillson reflects on her first year in private practice.
Scientific findings confirm the connection between the dream state and schizophrenia...
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HG-trained lobbyist Marion Brown has spotted an alarming reversal in the use of the bio-psycho-social model for mental health and wellbeing within the medical world.
Date posted: 24/04/2019
Amárach Research have just published the results of their recent survey of the mental health and wellbeing of 1,000 adults in Ireland, using the Human Givens Emotoinal Needs Audit
Date posted: 07/03/2019