This is based on Jay McDaniel’s What is Process Thought, Process Century Press, 2021.
Process thinking resembles complexity and ecological thinking…. Most of the points below would be recognised in both other forms of thinking.
McDaniel describes some characteristics of process thinking, on pp.20-21, 33ff. There are distortions in the replication below and I have rearranged the points to make the flow more persuasive to me. Statements between brackets are additions to express the importance of ‘disorder’….
1) The Term ‘process’ suggests that the cosmos flows, constantly building [and destroying] itself. The cosmos is never precisely the same in any two moments.
2) The cosmos is continuously creative. New events are constantly coming into existence. Novelty is normal.
[Process thinkers tend to think of the world as resembling ‘verbs’, ‘events’, ‘happenings’, ‘patterns’ and so on, rather than resembling individual nouns doing, or suffering, actions]
3) The future is potentiality and possibility, it is not determined. We may need to be open to those possibilities, and to working with them, rather than thinking we can do nothing. The question is then, “How could we be best open to those possibilities?”
[Each point in time opens to infinite or large number of possibilities, although previous history may affect likelihoods of those possibilities]
4) Everything is interconnected or interdependent. ‘Things,’ nodes, or events cannot be separated out completely. Nothing exists by itself.
5) Everything has value, or relevance, in itself and in interconnection. Nothing existing is ‘dead’ or without potential, as it is part of process. Processes may seek balance or harmony [equilibrium]. [This balance or harmony may not necessarily include humans, especially if they work against it. For example if we disrupt ecologies too much then they may become uninhabitable by us.]
6) Humans find value in being in harmony with what is happening, with working with process and each other. Harmony is not sameness or enforced. Harmony allows change.
7) Humans find themselves in community or with others [human and non-human, and sometimes against others]. Recognising relationship is important, and we should aim for mutual respect and support. This includes recognising vulnerable and distressed people.
[What humans may call ‘disorder’ is a vital part of process, that needs respect. It can possibly arise because of misguided attempts to impose order, or because the humans refuse to recognise interconnected process, or ignore what is happening in the world and create an unconscious which will disrupt them.]
8) Power should be persuasive, or exemplary, rather than coercive, as coercive power disrupts natural processes or the flow. [All processes are natural]
9) Human ‘mentation’ involves reasoning, feeling, imagining, intuiting etc. and you cannot always separate these out, they can work together, and do [both for accuracy and inaccuracy…] Mind and body are not separate. We feel ourselves into the world, and the cosmos may behave like a mind.
10) It is too easy for humans to confuse the abstract with the particular. We should try not to confuse abstractions with actual events.
11) Humans can work with different perspectives and put them together into something new.
12) Education and learning is a life long process.
13) There is no separation between theory and practice. What you do, expresses what you believe and vice versa.