Small Symbolic World Networks

A small world network is a network which has achieved an optimal balance between efficiency and resiliency. It is neither too regular (and so low in efficiency with a high average number of degrees of separation between nodes) or too random (and so low in resiliency with a high chance of disintegration).

A small symbolic world network is a highly integrated but flexible system of symbols, which gives it enormous potential transformative power. However, this potential is only actualized through participatory engagement. The symbols have to be “held in mind” in order to activate the primordial structures of relevance realization with which they are associated.

The most powerful small symbolic world networks are what we call “religions”, which include sacred myths, rituals and art, where sacredness is understood as the numinous quality of the intrinsically revelatory self-disclosing nature of a symbolic world. Religions can thus be understood as virtual symbolic engines designed to stretch the boundaries of self and world in a mutually reinforcing process of expansion and transcendence.

“The Tao is like a well:
used but never used up.
It is like the eternal void:
filled with infinite possibilities.”

Tao Te Ching – verse 4