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Union of the Whys
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The Union of the Whys is a collective initiative in response to a sense of unfulfilled potential -- exemplified by existential tragedy, paradox and the relative inability of the insightful and engaged to interact in a more frutiful and timely manner. It explores and seeks to transcend the dilemmas of contrasting values, as variously upheld and misunderstood -- especially by those who focus on why problems emerge and are encountered with such collective ineffectiveness. These explorations draw on ways of knowing that are notably in sympathy with those of Taoism and Zen. However they also evoke the "lost" pattern of dialogue exemplified by the archetypal roundtable of Camelot. The social engagement is in sympathy with various unions of "concerned" scientists or professionals of other disciplines.

Fundamentally the initiative may be understood in terms of the dynamics of questioning and answering and their various implications for learning and imposing dysfunctional constraints. This polarity might be understood in terms of the associated processes of dialogue, and the merits of more fruitful intercourse -- a more profound marriage between them -- conducive to an emergent synthesis, perhaps to be comprehended as insight or wisdom. The latter might then be a consequence of the transcendence of the 3-fold labyrinthine relationship between question, answer and dialogue -- a tetrahedral configuration.

This initiative is consistent with the need to explore subtler and more dynamic approaches to organization, beyond the unfocused "vision" of "networking" or "knowledge management". The issues are articulated in Consciously Self-reflexive Global Initiatives: Renaissance zones, complex adaptive systems, and third order organizations. The initiative is complementary to three others -- each accessible via the logo above -- mutually counter-balancing echoes of a central process in the moment and beyond time. Together these form an emerging, overarching union of interweaving processes: a potential "pattern that connects". The challenge to comprehension is discussed elsewhere (Dynamic Reframing of "Union": implications for the coherence of knowledge, social organization and personal identity).

These issues are further clarified in a table interrelating the four initiatives (In Quest of "Meta-Union"?). The nature of any union of significance is therefore not predefined by any form of understanding but is progressively and continually (re)discovered in time. Indeed, since "yoga" signifies "union" (in Sanskrit), the corollary may be that the challenge of any "union" of significance implies some form of "yoga".

Frequently asked questions about this initiative are addressed in a FAQ. The web address of this site (www.un-whys.org) also offers a caution against overly hasty assumptions -- as discussed separately.