From Linear to Circular to Rhizomic Thinking and back

Practioners in systemtheory and system (family) therapy are familiar with thinking in linear and circular (communication) processes. However most of them never learned to make the next step into rhizomic thinking.

The conception of rhizomic thinking is coined by Deleuze & Guattari in their ‘A Thousand Plateaus‘ (1987). They based the concept on the cybernetic system thinking of the anthropologist Gregory Bateson.

Rhizomic thinking is a crucial -metaphor .. an effort to understand the deep-complex ways of human (and other animal/tree/plant) communication. It is also an effort to solve the epistemological (Western) riddle between conception of analog and digital communication (Morris Berman 1986 Reenchantment of the World pp 218-222).

‘..A rhizome is a form of plant-life which spreads, such as mushroom or crabgrass, without a central root, spot of origination or logical pattern. This symbol of rootlessness is used by Deleuze and Guattari because it opposes the traditional, rational and logical approach to knowledge. ..’ (Duckworth 2009).

Rhizomic thinking is connected with Levi-Strauss’ ‘Pensee Sauvage’ and his Totemistic Thinking. He uses the metaphor of the bricoleur and bricolage.

I published paper on my artisnal blacksmithing family history on crafting artefacts as analogue communication. (see abstract Beauty & Grace in Making Artefacts (2018)

The most obvious form of rhizomic thinking/acting is our ‘surfing the internet‘.Our more of less ways of unconcious finding what we are looking for is a prime example of rhizomic thinking.