Liology (pronounced “lee-ology”) offers a different way of relating to ourselves and the universe: a way that is integrated, embodied and connected. It’s a framework I’ve developed over the past few years.
The word comes from a fusion of the Chinese word “li,” which means “organizing principles” and “ology” which is the Greek-derived word for “study.” So liology means “the study of the organizing principles.” You might ask: the organizing principles of what? The answer: everything. The complete set of dynamic patterns that make up our entire universe – what the traditional Chinese called the Tao.
Liology offers a framework for a worldview that could enable humans to thrive on our planet harmoniously and sustainably. Modern mainstream thinking offers two general choices for those seeking the source of meaning in life: dualistic religions propose that spiritual meaning exists in some transcendent dimension, while reductionist scientists argue that the universe is ultimately meaningless, composed of nothing but atoms and molecules.
But we don’t need to choose between these two polarized positions. Liology, instead, sees the meaning of our lives arising intrinsically from our embedded existence in the natural world. While rejecting reductionist claims, liology embraces rigorous science and sees the findings of systems theory and complexity science as a key to understanding our place in the cosmos. While rejecting the imaginings of dualistic thinkers, liology embraces the deep connection with meaning arising from a recognition of our ultimate connectivity with everything in the universe.