The following is a work in progress and an excerpt from a paper I am writing about applying systems thinking to education.
An analyst is not separate from the system or situation she analyses. An external observer, researcher, analyst is not external while observing; she is engaged and absorbed in the community, the culture, the organisation, or the system being analysed. Her journey into the system reveals a looking glass and imposes a journey into the self – a pilgrimage into a lake of intertwined lily pads. The wind, the waves, and the analyst move through rhizomatous lily pads. The journey is unlike the narcissist gaze. The analyst moves through the lily pads, the rhizome, the systems, but also move with them, and is moved by them.
The systems movement ripples through water, time, space, disciplines, professions, organisations, cultures, and… systems. The analyst’s research requires her to internalise and integrate systems organically, holistically, from within the self and the body, and integrate the interaction and connections with other bodies, individuals, communities, structures, systems. Like a dancer, she moves parts of her body, and even if apparently in isolation, she moves the whole; the whole body is impacted, just as the space around her is impacted, as are the other bodies dancing with her or observing her. The body parts, the bodies, the space, the observed and the observers, the ideas, or the raw physicality create something new and whole and interconnected. Like a dancer, the analyst moves through the system, in the system, with the system, and is moved by the system.