I have been learning about complexity this week. Apparently we like things to be orderly and try to treat things as though they are. But in fact a lot of thing are complex. One of the professors has pitched us into a complexity crisis, which does not seem to have much to do directly with the theory and methods of research. We have been struggling to apply a Stacey diagram to diplomacy and foreign policy. As most of us had never heard of such a diagram and have little clue about diplomacy in international relations it has been complicated! 

Still we have learned that though there may be complete agreement about a policy there may be little certainty of it being achieved. Or there may be complete disagreement about what should be done but absolute certainty that it could be done! These are the two axes of the Stacey diagram, agreement and certainty. Where both are high there is order, where both are extremely negative there is chaos! There seems to be plenty of chaos around at the moment, including Brexit and politics in the USA.

The theory has erupted in practice in that my body as a complex organism has been suffering from a cough which has settled on my chest! So, life does feel rather chaotic especially at night.

Still, I have managed to harvest the first leeks from the allotment, along with carrots, and kale. I have continued to learn about my new electric car and enjoyed seeing my granddaughter’s first car as well. So there has been some order amongst the complexity.

Our professor has pointed out that human beings as complex organisms nevertheless manage to get by most of the time. So, as long as we do not expect them to be complete order all the time, and adopt flexible approaches to challenges we face, we can achieve something. Newton’s laws are helpful a lot of the time, but Einstein’s relativity is also necessary. The movement of planets is predictable, but Quantum phenomena are not!

How this relates to faith, hope and love, I am not sure. But, instinctively, I feel there is a connection! Faith may be a mystery but it can also move mountains! Hope springs eternal even in the midst of despair. And love makes the world go round! 

Amen. Alleluia

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