An interview with Vladimir Mokiy, the director of the Institute of Transdisciplinary Technologies
-Dr. Mokiy, first of all I would like to ask you about the purpose of your recent trip to Mexico.
-Our institute received an invitation from The Instituto Politecnico Nacional of The United Mexican States in November of 2011, to take part in the conference, which marked the 75th anniversary of this institute. This school is known for the commitment of its leadership, professors and students to the interdisciplinary method. They are convinced that a modern professional must look beyond his own tasks, must be able to see the big picture. One needs to expand his worldview in order to see the big picture. Modern science calls this approach a transdisciplinary method.
This Mexican institute invites specialists from the various world's schools of transdisciplinarity to tell their professors and students about the latest achievements in this field of studies. This is a way to keep a high professional and scholarly level among their faculty and students.
-You represented the Russian school of transdisciplinarity and the Institute of Transdisciplinary Technologies, of which you are the head of. Could you tell us when and under what circumstances was this young science born?
-When we speak of the age, let's not forget that the modern science itself is only 200-300 years old. Because of its young age, the world of science is divided into various disciplines. However, the knowledge accumulated in these disciplines required their unification. As a result, the systematic approach was invented by Ludwig von Bertalanffy in 1937. It took only 25 years for the interdisciplinary method to appear within the systematic approach. In the 1960s, it was fashionable to say that all the discoveries would be made at points where different sciences met. And this was exactly what happened. Electronics, medicine, space exploration are all a part of where different scientific disciplines intermix. If you noticed, different scientific disciplines intermixed especially in the technological field. A revolutionary breakthrough in the knowledge of the surrounding world was needed in order to prevent the harming of the environment and the damage to the people. In the 1970s a French psychologist Jean Piaget suggested that science had to work out a transdisciplinary approach in order to combine knowledge of the new picture of the world. And this was exactly what happened. That which the French psychologist could only dare to suggest in the 1970s, formed into a method in the beginning of the 1980s. This happened when all the leading scientific schools of the world formed a new transdisciplinary approach, which expanded the worldview of the scientific community.
-How does this field of science view and study the surrounding world? What is its methodology?
-Naturally, different scientific schools understood the meaning of the new approach differently. This is why at first there were several different world schools of transdisciplinarity. Transdisciplinarity allows the use of metaphors to describe the surrounding world. A metaphor is a word picture. When we say that the surrounding world is an ocean of energy, or planet Earth is our mother, this is transdisciplinarity in its essence. The scientists did not offer anything principally new. They only thought of how to describe these metaphors in the language of science. This is why different kinds of transdisciplinarity have different views of the surrounding world. For instance, transdisciplinarity number zero views the world as the ocean of energy, but transdisciplinarity number four, to which the Russian school belongs, views the world as one orderly medium. In the transdisciplinary picture of the world, humanity is a natural part of this medium.
-A lot is being said nowadays about the world's oneness. Both, science and religion talk about it. What's new does transdisciplinarity offer to the notion of one world?
-Our science makes this notion practically useful. Another word, if we say that the world is one, what we mean is that it is the only world, that all the other worlds which might exist in principle are just fragments of this world. This is a very important notion, because in this case all the possible worlds have one and the same inner order.
-You claim that the science of transdisciplinarity reveals the nature of humanity, considering it a part of the one and only world. Different religions say the same thing but with different words: Human beings are God's creation, the bearers of the divine soul, and parts of the One God of the Universe.
-Exactly. The task of transdisciplinarity was to show the one order of the universe, and of all of its objects as models. Our science calls this model "a unit of order". This is a fitting name. If there is one order, there should be units of this order as well. As soon as we developed these models, we got a methodology for the study of man, mankind, and the entire universe.
-Can you clarify what you mean by the universal order?
- The term order means a coordinated activity of the laws of nature. They show themselves in different sciences as social, societal, physical, and moral laws. But if we raise this notion to the level of the whole universe, then we must talk about a general universal order, which belongs to its space, about information, which belongs to the whole universe, and about time in which this universe exists. If there will not be any order in space, time, and information, then the universe cannot be one. Do you agree?
-By the way, what is information from the transdisciplinary point of view?
-Currently, the world has over 50 definitions of this term. In transdisciplinarity, information means a form through which objects, occurrences, and processes are revealed. Whenever we talk about something, we always talk about a certain form. If we talk about some thought, we still clothe it in some kind of a form. If we talk about a certain object, we always have a notion of this object in our minds; we speak about its form. This is close to the philosophical generalization of "form and content". We can say that information is content which is bounded by form.
-So, we were talking about models and the units of order...
-Yes... We must remember about the main thing: the basis of human existence, the foundation of human society is the worldview. The worldview is the way people look at the world and their place in it. The worldview is what defines our motivations, actions, etc. If the universe constitutes one world in our minds and people are a part of this world, then the knowledge of the universal order of the universe will let us form the desired worldview to which the humanity always strives. It will allow us to discover what the truth is, to build our own lives, and to improve our society. Thanks to its models, transdisciplinarity helps to bring humanity closer to the understanding of what needs to be done. It brings about practical implementation of this notion.
-In what practical fields does the transdisciplinarity work today?
-I would expand this question, and talk about the levels and the directions we are heading. Many people today raise the question of why the mankind does not have a common worldview. Transdisciplinarity's main task is to work out the issue of the worldview of the people of tomorrow, and of the principles of the worldview common to all mankind.
Unlike the other scientific schools which go forward right away, and attempt to solve the issues of tomorrow, the Russian school of transdisciplinarity started with going back to the sources, studying what was said in the history of humanity about the mankind's worldview, the universe, and the oneness of the universe. First of all, we started with the antiquity. We studied the views of the ancient Greek philosophers on the first elements of the universe.
Only after 20 years of hard work we managed to connect all of the positive, progressive, and very important views, unite them in one concept through methodological bridges. We could only start moving forward when we laid out these notions and all the historically significant events in the world. This is what makes the Russian school of transdisciplinarity different from all the others. These general studies helped us to move to the more personal levels.
When we speak about the worldview of man, we come to the question of how to preserve and develop a person. On the other hand, we must answer the question, what the modern state should look like in order to have parity and mutual understanding between man and state, not allowing conflict between the two. These questions have a very thin basis, and first of all, they have to be studied in the scientific and scholarly world before being the subject of discussions on the state and the public level.
The first level is the worldview. The second level consists of the practical tasks. Here we can talk about different directions. During the last 20 years the transdisciplinary methodology was especially well developed in five fields: ecology, economics, health, education, and national security. In all of these five directions we developed technologies which allow solving the complex multi-factored problems.
Let's talk about education. The whole world shares the same two problems: students are disinterested in learning, and their health deteriorates catastrophically over the period of schooling. For instance, during 10-11 years spent in school, up to 60% of students acquire chronic illnesses.
Transdisciplinarity teaches that man is part of the environment. Educational process must be developed with the consideration for the natural processes in the environment. What does this mean? For example, breath consists of the cycles of breathing in and breathing out. The current educational process is a "constant breathing in". A child is daily bombarded with new information, quizzes and tests which require an active reaction. Since a child is part of the environment, his psyche can only process and accept new information at certain periods. These periods of gaining new information must alternate with the periods when a child forms his own opinion toward this information. If the educational process is not built according to the principles of natural alternation of periods, then a child will develop stress, which is the cause of most illnesses.
The solution to these problems is on two levels. First, the transdisciplinary construction of harmonious education must be organized. The book on this subject is available online, including our institute's website. On the other hand, we created a special program on the basis of our technologies. We call it the "school anti-stress". Through a questionnaire we determine a child's individual character. Then a special patented computer program writes a personal schedule for the child, which marks 8 different periods of this kind. These periods help a teacher to know when a child goes through a stable period in his psyche and physiology, and when it is unstable, or when the period is good to give more knowledge, and when a child needs to be left alone to process and digest the knowledge already received. This is also a period for improving a child's health. When a teacher has such a personalized calendar, he gains access to the child's individual inclinations, to the hidden part, which any teacher in any time always wanted to know.
We conducted a two year experiment in various schools, including Moscow, and we made something unthinkable from the pedagogical point of view. We took the correctional school, in which the children were considered incapable of learning. We taught the same material with the consideration to their individual inclinations, and in two years one half of the children was moved to a regular school, and the other half was moved to an advanced school. It turned out that the correctional schools could be liquidated in a couple of years if the "school anti-stress" method was implemented. Another word, we got a real opportunity to get rid of these fundamental problems of modern education.
As far as the environmental problems are concerned... You would be interested to know that any area is divided into parts which have their own invisible boundaries. They can be calculated through the means of the models of spatial "unit of order". It turned out that every part does a certain function which cannot be performed by any other part. The main thing in this case is that strictly determined parts of an area and the processes that go there represent a standard for all the other parts. Every area has such a part. Informational streams are set in such a way that the other parts of an area compare their condition with the condition of this part. This is why if the transforming nature of man is built in such a way that people will change the condition of this part, let's say they will cut down all the trees in the area, and destroy its ecosystem, and then the ecosystem in all areas of biogeocenosis will be destroyed. They will say that this happened due to causes "unknown to science".
Our task was to learn how to identify these parts of territories on the map of a given region, and give this information to the environmentalists, the economists, and the local governments. This information is especially important in our time. For example, the republics of the North Caucasus are planning the development of tourism. Large financial resources will be diverted there, with an expected return of the investments. In such a situation not many people will think about preserving the fragile ecology of the Caucasus Mountains. In this area, this information can play a significant role in order to reconcile the economic interests of the society with the nature's desire to preserve itself.
In the medical field, we offer technologies which are similar to those used in education. Human life is a constant circulation process of chemical elements. Man in himself is a "biogeocenosis", and the human body is a fragile "ecosystem". Chemical elements inside the human body have a connection with his worldview. If man has a true worldview ("true" according to transdisciplinarity means how it is supposed to be from the point of view of general laws), then the man's worldview will act as a general system for the preservation of his body.
A person who has this true worldview can influence the condition of chemicals, which are transformed in the system together with food, water, and air. This is the sacred essence of man: he must not let the environment deteriorate. Then he can fulfill his destiny on earth. His health will also be good. If a person doesn't know it, if he doesn't possess the worldview required of him by religion and humanistic ideals, then the chemicals in his system change. This is the point at which various illnesses enter the body. Therefore, the cause of the illness is not in the changed environment outside, but is in the fact that a person does not want to change his worldview, which would help to improve his physiological and psychological processes greatly.
We created our own technology and compiled tens of thousands of individual calendars, which allow a person to take measures based on the unique characteristics of his own system. This way, a person puts responsibility upon himself, and not on the doctors whose qualifications may vary.
Briefly about the economy. The order which conditions the oneness of the universe shows itself not only in nature but also in the economical relations. The so-called Kondratyev Cycles of the economy can serve as a good example of this. The modern economy requires constant growth. However, the economy, just like any other natural process, has its own breathing cycles. After the period of growth it needs time to restructure, draw new technologies, develop new ideas, etc. The lack of understanding of these things leads to economic crises. In our globalized world these crises have also become global. This means that not only any given society or a country thinks in the wrong way. The whole world's economic system is inadequate to the requirements of the universal order, on the principles of which the oneness of the universe rests. We combined the model of the informational unit of order with the data about all of the world's crises since 1792. It turned out that more than 90% of these crises fell on the identical periods of this model. This means that these crises can and must be forecasted. Back in the year 2000 we gave our forecast on the future crises. One of them was the crisis of 2008-2010. We forecasted the next crisis for the years 2016-2019. Its distinction will be that due to the social and political situation in the world it will provoke a transition to the new socio-economical world order. The elements of the new worldview which are propagated by the humanists, liberals and transdisciplinarians, will form the basis of this new order.
-What is the essence of these ideas?
-We already talked about it. The essence is that we need to solve the problem of mutual relations between an individual, individuals, and the state.
-Relationship between an individual and the state, relationship between individuals, relationship between individuals and the state...
-Exactly. Thanks to the transdisciplinary technologies, we have means to direct these discussions into practical, even methodological path. We can organize this work within the framework of the model of a particular unit of order.
-What perspective technologies does the transdisciplinarity offer? What kind of problems will be solved by them?
-The kind of problems considered unsolvable today. The new socio-economical order will require the kind of technologies which will provide what it needs, for instance, the utilization of dangerous waste which harms the environment. We see the task not to utilize or bury such waste, but to neutralize it completely. We must learn how to recycle this waste and make new useful materials out of it.
We have other tasks also. They are related to the electronics of the future. Modern computer technology approaches the limit of its possibilities. We must use new ways of information processing. I am talking about the creation of a computer of a new type. We think that the role of the working nucleus of the new computer will be played by the objects themselves, such as man. We will be able to connect to it through the entry and the retrieval information points. When we will try to solve an ecological problem of a given area, we will connect to the environment itself, and will ask the nature itself to find a solution. What seems to be sci-fi today will become reality tomorrow.
-Transdisciplinarity proves the existence of the soul scientifically. How do you do that?
-I need to find a proper metaphor to explain this. Let's take a bottle of champagne. In this seemingly still liquid an enormous quantity of gas is stored. If we open the bottle, we will change the conditions inside, and as a result we will get a "mini-Big Bang". The basis of this bang was the enormous quantity of the gas bubbles. Before we changed the condition, we couldn't see the bubbles. But it doesn't mean they were not there. Something similar takes place in the universe. But this is the only universe we have. We can't open it like a champagne bottle. This is why the Big Bang is accompanied by the enormous quantity of the bubble-spaces of different sizes. These bubbles are the images of the soul we are talking about. The bubbles in the bottle must pass through the whole wine in order for that environment to be one. Spaces of certain size and quality (souls) must pass through or penetrate the entire universe, passing from one planet to the next. They must carry the accumulated potential from their planet to the next, allowing other planets to develop as well. This is why we can say that humanity is not only one on our planet. It is also one in the entire universe.
We can ask, when will this oneness, this dialogue between humanity and the universe become a reality? I can answer this question: it will happen when the human race will come to an end of the forming of the characteristics of the higher nervous activity. According to our calculations, it will happen in about 600 years. Then the basis of humanity will be a new kind of man, Homo Idealibus (The Ideal Man). This will be the time when we will be able to have inter-planetary communications. Up to that time our brain will continue to develop. New mechanisms will be formed in the human brain, which will allow understanding the extra-terrestrial mind and cooperating with it. Probably, this will be the time of the "Paradise Regained" of which different religions speak.
-What purposes were achieved during the last 10 000 years from the point of view of the laws of cosmic evolution of man?
-During the last 10 000 years the human race almost completed the stage of the forming of the higher nervous activity. The task of this stage is for humanity to realize who we are, to realize the laws according to which the human race develops, and to see that these laws correspond to the laws of the universe. Using these laws and consciously modeling the future development, the human race learned to preserve itself as a species in order to fulfill all the tasks which the universe put in front of the human race.
I am convinced that since 2016 the life on earth, the relationships between people, internal and external relations will be managed by the striving to organize the process of development the way it should be.
Today is the time when it is necessary to constructively discuss not the laws of development themselves, but the ways of their realization in a particular area, in a particular family, in a particular city, country, and the society in general. I would like to invite all the people who share our views, the business world, the government agencies, and the private organizations to a fruitful cooperation with our institute. We need to solve these complex and multi-factored problems which our environment and our society face. Our web address is www.anoitt.ru.
Thank you for such an interesting interview.