Social and spiritual, yes. And that took me into the third way of thinking about the city that emerged from integral, and that was as a meshwork. Have you ever heard of the meshwork? A meshwork comes from the brain sciences. It's actually how our brain makes a mind and the mind makes a brain. So if you think about it in those terms, it has both integral left-hand quadrants and right-hand quadrants.
The meshwork fascinates me because it's the neural network of how our synaptic connections become more complex in a brain. But what has been demonstrated is that meshworks depend on a sequencing of structures and self-organizing systems. So again I went: 'Ah, that's very interesting thing to combine in a system.' So a meshwork allows for the brain to have the starting point and lay down sort of the main trajectories of the synaptic connections.
And once the brains learns, like how to, say, suckle as a baby, it locks it in, and that structure is there. But all of the stimulation that our brains get, are constantly causing little synaptic, like: 'What's that over there?' And all of this activity is very self-organizing until there is enough repetitive patterns in there that the brain says: 'Oh, I got that. Okay, now I know how to throw a ball,' and locks that in. So these structures emerge and they're layers and layers of complexity.
But the meshwork has this combination of the structuring and order with the self-organizing innovation. And I'm thinking again: 'This is fascinating, from the perspective of watching consciousness grow.' And when I look down on a city now, I actually see it like you do when you're looking at a brain. There is all of these different types of buildings, we've ordered different cities in sort of different patterns, they're adapted to the geography in which they've been built. And I think about: All of that has come from the meshwork of our brain, so I see them very much as an extension of the holon of the human individual.
And then in fact, a city is replicating as a living system every one of the functions that we need to live. If it doesn't, the city doesn't work, for sure. And there has been science, whole, interdisciplinary science done in the 50ies and 60ies on living systems at different levels of scale, from the cell right up to the nation state. And they discovered that there are really three major systems that every living system, every living system, has to pay attention to, whether it's a human, or a goat, or a fish. And there are 19 subsystems distributed amongst them.
When they did this work, they looked at the city state as well as at the cell and individual human, and so they actually made a beautiful matrix at the different scales. But it comes down to what we need to process really: matter, energy, and information. Coming back down to Einstein, and it's just so beautiful. And that is for me the meshwork of the city: looking at how we've woven our intelligence together, to be able to live as a whole, and to continue being this reflective organ of consciousness and emerging the human hive.