The (New) Natural Evolutionary Science & Philosophy of Inclusive Flow: Natural Inclusionality

Alan Rayner
6 min readJun 23, 2020


Stitching in Time’ (Oil painting on board by Alan Rayner, 2020)

Fundamental Principles

  • Matter that is devoid of space would be dimensionless (without size or shape); space without matter would be formless
  • Therefore matter and space, as natural presences, are included in each other; they are not mutually exclusive opposites
  • This is only possible if matter is made from energy swirling around particular spatial localities. These localities may be central points or straight or curved channels or interfaces. Together, the swirls of energy and the spatial localities combine to create tangible forms that exist for variable periods of time within particular places. Material bodies can hence be thought of as dynamic localities of ‘place-time’. Since they are products of natural energy flow, they can also be thought of as ‘flow-forms’

Material form is intrinsically dynamic — a product of natural flow, which arises from the relationship between space and energy. Space plays a receptive, inviting role and energy plays a responsive, informative role in this relationship, which distinguishes material bodies from one another and their surroundings, but does not isolate them as definitively bounded objects.

So matter both inhabits and incorporates space. It does not occupy or displace space. Space is a natural intangible — and therefore frictionless — presence that cannot be cut by anything or be excluded from anything.

  • Hence there is no such thing as instantaneous, independent material existence, isolated from space, time or energy
  • Mechanisms of inter-action between material bodies are derived from intrinsic energy flux. They are not enforced from outside.
  • All natural geometrical forms either are, or are derived from circular or spherical form — not rectilinear form
  • Natural numerical identities are energetic inclusions of zero-dimensional points in infinite space, not static material figures set aside from space


Actual sensory human experience tells us:-

  • Natural material bodies are distinguishable from one another and their surroundings
  • Natural material bodies can move, be moved, reconfigure, heat up, cool down, reflect or absorb light, melt, boil, solidify and react chemically with one another. They are never rigidly inert structures
  • Natural materials resist the movement of material bodies to differing degrees
  • Natural space does not resist the movement of material bodies to any degree.
  • Natural space is translucent, but not heat-conducting or absorbing, light-absorbing, light-reflecting or a source of light
  • Sub-atomic identities do not consistently behave in accordance with mechanical cause and effect
  • Living organisms display sentience and depend for their sustainability on forming relationships with one another and their surroundings, from which they gather the sources of energy they need to thrive
  • Human beings are emotional creatures


  • Evolution is a product of co-creative fluid relationship, not selective preservation of favoured varieties and removal of others
  • Mechanical causation is not primary causation
  • Emotionality is an expression of natural energy flow
  • Organisms are primarily needful, not selfish
  • Opposition, enmity, competition and co-operation are human constructs based on definitive logic, not necessarily natural occurrences
  • Love is a natural occurrence, not a human construct
  • Wholes and parts, in the sense of completely definable entities, do not exist naturally
  • Utter stillness is a quality of intangible space, not tangible structure
  • Positivity (‘generosity’) cannot exist without negativity (‘receptivity’), and neither can ‘current’

Modes of Inquiry

  • Based solely on actual experience of natural phenomena.
  • Do not invent what is not known to exist for the sake of theoretical or practical convenience. Rigorously subject all truth claims, assumptions and hypotheses to two questions: (1) Is this consistent with actual experience? (2) Does this make consistent, non-paradoxical sense?
  • Include all traditional modes of scientific observation, measurement, experimentation and analysis, but do not objectively isolate observer from observation
  • Instead combine intimate (first person) with distanced (third person) modes of perception, to enable relational/empathetic (second person) perception.
  • Intuitive, aesthetic, imaginative, empathetic, poetic modes of enquiry and expression are all valid, so long as these are experience-based.

Further Reading:-


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

Rayner, A (2020) Beyond Objectification


The Signal Failure of Material Science

(Causing all in its train to crash)

View From Footbridge (Photograph by Alan Rayner, 2022)

Has always been
To focus all attention
On what can be seen,
Heard, touched, smelled, tasted
While disregarding
What’s immaterial
As if it doesn’t exist
Within, throughout and all about
So that when we see a body
Moving through space
We think that’s all there is to it
Not noticing what’s quietly
Slipping through it
And when we place a ruler
Across a gap
We think we’re measuring the space
Between one thing and another
When all we are really measuring
Is the scale of the ruler itself
And when we use a clock
To tell us how long it takes
To move from place to place
We think we’re measuring the time
Between then and then
When all we are really measuring
Is the clock’s tick tock
Whenever we try to measure
In material terms
What’s immaterial
We get ourselves in a fix
Trying to work out
What is and what’s not
Like the speed of light
As if space and time
Are material things in themselves
Not their immaterial essences
Which combine in receptive-responsive relationship
To make our world and ourselves
As it is and we are
Darkness and light personified
In flowing material form
So, when you think it takes time
For light to travel to us from a star
As if it’s sent out in packages
Whether we’re here to accept them or not
Just pause to reflect for a moment
On the possibility
That what really takes time
Is for us as material packages
To acknowledge receipt
And return. with thanks to sender
Completing the circuit between us
Because light can manifest only
When gathered into material form

Packaged On Delivery
(Neither Before Nor After)

We are participants in
Not exceptions from
The flow of life
As the flow of light
As the flow of time
Which we receive and pass on
With love, thanks and farewells
Around and between our receptive centres
In the dark stillness of space
Within, between and surrounding
Our material bodies
In myriad hues, shades and forms
Inspiring and expiring
In the heat of the moment

Ain’t No Such Thing
As space
Ain’t no such thing
As time
Space isn’t material distance
Time isn’t material duration

Distance is a manifestation of space
Duration is a manifestation of time
If we could only understand that
We’d be fine
Knowing for once
And for all
That each in the other
Makes matter
Not the other way round



Alan Rayner

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