Drawing especially on insights emerging from studies of the cellular networks formed by fungi, this book describes the fundamental indeterminacy that enables life forms to thrive in and create inconstant circumstances. It explains how indeterminacy arises from counteraction between associative and dissociative processes at the reactive interfaces between living systems and their surroundings. It stresses the relevance of these processes to understanding the dynamic contexts within which living systems of all kinds — including human societies-explore for, use up, conserve and recycle sources of energy.

By focusing on dynamic boundaries, the book counterbalances the discretist view that living systems are assembled entirely from building-block-like units — individuals and genes — that can be freely sifted, as opposed to channeled, by natural selection. It also shows how the versatility that enables life forms to proliferate in rich environments, whilst minimizing losses in restrictive environments, depends on capacities for error and co-operation within a fluid, non-hierarchical power structure. Understanding this point yields a more compassionate, less competitive and less self-centred outlook on life’s successes and failures.

For thousands of years we have tried to study, interpret and teach ourselves ABOUT Nature from our own point of view, through the lenses of our telescopes, microscopes and binocular eyesight directed outwards. We see a rigidly framed objective picture ‘out there’ that does not include our selves yet upon which we project our own image and psychology. This one-way view has brought us into profound conflict with our natural origins and one another. ‘NaturesScope’ evokes a different view, FROM Nature, which brings human beings and the world into empathic mutual relationship. It assists us in enquiring imaginatively and creatively into how to turn the narrowed down objective worldview around and see our selves and our world through nature’s fluid lens of mutual inclusion. People who have experienced this view of natural inclusion have found it a source of profound inspiration.

Understanding the relationship between human cultural psychology and the evolutionary ecology of living systems is currently limited by abstract perceptions of space and boundaries as sources of definitive discontinuity. This Brief explores the new understandings possible when space and boundaries are perceived instead as sources of receptive continuity and dynamic distinction between local identities and phenomena. It aims to identify the recurrent patterns in which life is expressed over diverse scales in natural ecosystems and to explore how a new awareness of their evolutionary origin in the natural inclusion of space in flux can be related to human cultural psychology. It explains why these patterns cannot adequately be represented or understood in terms of conventional logic and language that definitively isolates the material content from the spatial context of natural systems. 
Correspondingly, the Brief discusses how the perception of natural space as an infinite, intangible, receptive presence, and of natural informational boundaries as continuous energetic flux, revolutionizes our understanding of evolutionary processes. The mutual natural inclusion of receptive space and informative flux in all distinguishable local phenomena enables evolutionary diversification to be understood as a fluid dynamic exploration of renewing possibility, not an eliminative ‘survival of the fittest’. Self-identity is recognized to be a dynamic inclusion of natural neighborhood, not a definitive exception from neighborhood.
The Origins of Life Patterns will be of interest to psychologists, philosophers, anthropologists, evolutionary biologists, ecologists, mathematicians, and physicists.