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
The HGI Ethics and Complaints Committee considers some of the ethical challenges that human givens practitioners may face. Ian Thomson sets the scene.
The fundamental new direction in therapy is more than just a set of new techniques explains Bill O'Hanlon in an article first published in 1995.
Cherry Dale explains how Birmingham South Central’s clinical commissioning group meets wellbeing needs of both staff and community by working on human givens lines.
Therapy in all its forms can be confusingly capricious and unpredictable. We should not try to deny this, but learn to accept it, says Larry Dossey MD.
Ivan Tyrrell talks with Paul Allin about the significance of the Government’s National Well-being Programme and the contribution of the human givens
At a time when we are struggling with a number of major moral dilemas, Ivan Tyrrell suggests that the human givens approach can help us reach ethical decisions.
Janice Haddon shows how she has drawn upon the human givens approach to work more creatively with corporate clients.
Chris Scott, human givens therapist, addresses why a new approach to psychology which breaks away from traditional dogma is needed.
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12th–13th May 2018
Our next conference's theme is: 'Living with Uncertainty' and it's being held on the weekend of 12th–13th May 2018 at the beautiful venue of Woodland Grange in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire - read more