from Late Latin spontaneus, from Latin sponte “of one's free will, voluntarily”.
- 1: proceeding from natural feeling or native tendency without external constraint
- 2: arising from a momentary impulse
- 3: controlled and directed internally : self-acting <spontaneous movement characteristic of living things>
- 4: produced without being planted or without human labor : indigenous
- 5: developing or occurring without apparent external influence, force, cause, or treatment
- 6: not apparently contrived or manipulated : natural
Spontaneous order, also known as "self-organization", is the spontaneous emergence of order out of seeming chaos. It is a process found in physical, biological, and social networks, as well as economics, though the term "self-organization" is more often used for physical and biological processes, while "spontaneous order" is typically used to describe the emergence of various kinds of social orders from a combination of self-interested individuals who are not intentionally trying to create order through planning. The evolution of life on Earth, language, crystal structure, the Internet and a free market economy have all been proposed as examples of systems which evolved through spontaneous order. Naturalists often point to the inherent "watch-like" precision of uncultivated ecosystems and to the universe itself as ultimate examples of this phenomenon.
Spontaneous orders are to be distinguished from organizations. Spontaneous orders are distinguished by being scale-free networks, while organizations are hierarchical networks. Further, organizations can be and often are a part of spontaneous social orders, but the reverse is not true. Further, while organizations are created and controlled by humans, spontaneous orders are seemingly created, controlled, and controllable by no one.
To recapture, to repeat (spiritual) experience, in general, is a bad idea. The necessary function of ego will overtake the repeated experience and trivialize it…The method in which the Spirit operates will always contain an element of surprise because spirit, by nature, can be nothing but spontaneous. This is a discomforting situation for the human and explains, in large measure, why people have created bureaucracies to administer the relationship between man and God. There is no such thing as comfortable spiritual growth. It is always disturbing; it is always provocative, but the result is usually happy. - Will