39 minutes | Jun 9th 2020

73. The Edge of Chaos, Part 2: Fresh New Solutions

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In this episode, Jason and I talk about the second principle in the book, Surfing the Edge of Chaos.  We talk about how the experience of disequilibrium evokes creative experimentation and fresh new solutions that leads to greater health.  And, specifically, we talk about how this unfolded in Jason’s church, Oceanside Sanctuary.


  • The four principles of Surfing the Edge of Chaos are:
    • Equilibrium is a precursor to death.  When a living system is in a state of equilibrium, it is less responsive to changes occurring around it.  This places it at maximum risk.
    • In the face of threat, or when galvanized by a compelling opportunity, living things move toward the edge of chaos.  This condition evokes higher levels of mutation and experimentation, and fresh new solutions are more likely to be found.
    • When this excitation takes place, the components of living systems self-organize and new forms and repertoires emerge from the turmoil.
    • Living systems cannot be directed along a linear path.  Unforeseen consequences are inevitable.  The challenge is to disturb them in a manner that approximates the desired outcome.
  • Jason briefly shares his church’s history and experiences of equilibrium and disequilibrium.
  • Systems move in accordance with different kinds of “attractors.”  The three primary attractors are 1) Point Attractors, 2) Cycle Attractors, and 3) Strange Attractors.
  • Strange attractors are those that lure systems toward the edge of chaos.
  • Jason sees his pastoral role when he started at his church as one of creating disequilibrium.  From that disequilibrium, fresh new solutions can emerge.


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