Coming Together & Drifting Apart

Alan Rayner
3 min readMay 6, 2020

From Knowledge to Wisdom & Wisdom to Knowledge

Form & Formlessness’ (Watercolour and ink on paper, by Alan Rayner, 2019)

‘Knowledge of many things is not wisdom’, said Heraclitus. Wisdom is understanding the essence of things, we can all recognise.

Nature is not made of snippets of information that combine together to make a permanent ‘whole’, complete in its self. The essence of things is that Nature is made from continuous informational flow around and between receptive centres of continuous space.

To be wise, you don’t have to know everything, be super-intelligent or be super-equipped with technological wizardry. You only need to be aware that no body can exist without volume, and for this to be so, form and formlessness must be distinct, not mutually exclusive or one and the same thing. You can then appreciate the simple receptive-responsive relationship between spatial stillness and energetic motion that in-forms the diversity of all material expression.

Form and Formlessness

And the Natural Inclusion of Each in the Other

It’s All so very Simple


There is Form


There is Formlessness


Split Apart

Neither Alone can make Sense of Life

But Each included in the Other

Falls naturally into Place


Form Flows into and out

From Formless Existence

Formlessness Flows into Life

In Form


Form pulls its own Weight

While Formlessness is Weightless

Until its two Great Architects -

Space & Light

Come Together

In Silent Stillness & Lively Motion


Every Night & Every Day

In Every Body

Every Now & Every Then



Coming Together, Drifting Apart

When All is disparate

Nothing works

To bring what passes

Into confluence

Around its self

In tangible formation

From intangible diffusion

For a while

Before returning whence it came

Ready to reconfigure


But not without learning

From past experience


Further Reading:-


Rayner, A.D. (2011). Space cannot be cut: why self-identity naturally includes neighbourhood. Integrative Psychological and Behavioural Science, 45, 161–184.

45, 161–184.

Rayner ADM (2011) NaturesScope: Unlocking our natural empathy and creativity — an inspiring new way of relating to our natural origins and one another through natural inclusion. Winchester, UK; Washington USA: O Books.

Rayner, A. (2012) What are natural systems, actually? Advances in System Science and Application 12, 328–347

Rayner, A (2017) The Origin of Life Patterns In the Natural Inclusion Of Space in Flux Berlin/Heidelberg: Springer.

Rayner, A (2018). The vitality of the intangible: crossing the threshold from abstract materialism to natural reality. Human Arenas 1 pp 9–20.

Rayner, A (2020) From abstract freeze-frame to natural kinship

Rayner, A (2020) Cold & Warm Geometry: How Rigid and Fluid Structures Affect Our Human Relationships and Sense of Self.

Rayner, A (2020) The Natural Inclusion of Difference

Rayner, A (accepted for publication) The natural inclusion of diversity in community. A preprint is privately available on application to the author.

Rayner, A (2020) Evolutionary Flow

Rayner, A (2020) Simplicity & Entanglement

Rayner, A (2020) Permafrost & Fertile GroundWhat

Rayner, A (2020) Beyond Objectification



Alan Rayner

Alan Rayner is an evolutionary ecologist, writer and artist, who is pioneering the philosophy of natural inclusion