Strategic Embodiment of Time: Configuring Questions Fundamental to Change


Anthony Judge – TRANSCEND Media Service


With respect to the global financial crisis, Sohail Inayatullah has presented a set of seven narratives derived by use of Causal Layered Analysis (Multiple Narratives of the Futures of the Global Financial Crisis, Journal of Futures Studies, 2010). The possibility explored here is that there are implicit questions associated with each of these foundational or generative narratives which could be considered in the light of the classical set of seven WH-questions (when, where, which, what, who, why, how).

This approach has previously been explored with respect to a set of “essential” issues identified, in his capacity as Rector of the global education network Ananda Marga Gurukula, by Ac. Shambhushivananda Avadhuta as being of fundamental concern to the individual (Eternal Philosophy: Questions & Answers,, 2009). These were experimentally clustered in terms of those WH-questions (Clustering Questions of Existential Significance (2010). By comparison, the set identified by Inayatullah regarding financial issues might then be understood as “existential” issues fundamental to global goverance of the collective. Both are concerned with intangibles, however tangible their implications. Both are curiously associated with the cognitive implication of confidence.

Such an exploration, in the case of the global financial crisis, might then be fruitfully linked to the possible conformality of the WH-questions to the seven types of catastrophe identified by catastrophe theory as previously considered (Cognitive Feel for Cognitive Catastrophes: Question Conformality, 2006; Conformality of 7 WH-questions to 7 Elementary Catastrophes: an exploration of potential psychosocial implications, 2006). This would then open the possibility of a new understanding of appropriate “interaction” between the narratives as also considered (Interrelating Cognitive Catastrophes in a Grail-chalice Proto-model: implications of WH-questions for self-reflexivity and dialogue, 2006)

The following are therefore exercises in eliciting — tentatively — a more integrative framework for the seven narratives without seeking to comment on their selection or formulation. The purpose is to get a sense of the pattern of narratives as a whole rather than to focus on any one. This would then point to the possibility of a degree of resonance between the narratives such that the integrative framerwork could be understood as being a resonance hybrid dependent on all of them as alternatives variously held under different conditions and by different constituencies. The concern is primarily to explore a method of representation and its mnemonic value to comprehensive understanding, namely the complementarity of disparate approaches to a seemingly desparate global challenge. It follows from a separate exploration (Ungovernability of Sustainable Global Democracy? Towards engaging appropriately with time, 2010).



This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 13 Jul 2010.

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