Thoughts & Insights

From Being to Becoming …

… is the title of one of the pioneering books by Ilya Prigogine, the Belgian-Russian winner of the Nobel Prize for chemistry, which was first published in 1977.

In this book he directs the attention of science to the complexity and the becoming of things. This is the special and intriguing moment or state of uncertainty and openness in a process of development, when it is not yet decided what “being” will be at the end of this process as its result. It is a fascinating perspective, especially since the insights from the quantum research of today were still in the distant future at that time – at least for a broader public.

In his “Encounter” with a picture by OUBEY, Prof. Dr. Stuart Kaufmann, one of the co-founders of the legendary Santa Fe Institute for Complexity Research, discovers in the picture precisely this plane of the as yet open state of becoming, this “not yet being decided of things about what they will be in the end”:


“OUBEY is operating in that space between the possible and the actual.”

This view of nature, of life and of the world always played an important role in OUBEY’s thinking and work. That is hardly surprising, when one knows that he read and intellectually internalized Ilya Prigogine’s books at an early age. Nevertheless, it was both astonishing and impressive for me to experience the clarity, with which Stuart Kauffman discovered and described this plane in this picture by OUBEY – even though he had never seen the picture before.

Interested in hearing more about this? Then watch the video of the Encounter between OUBEY and Stuart Kauffman.