Adaption as stability

5/13. The second property is shown when an organism reacts to a variable with which it is not directly in contact. Suppose, for instance, that the diagram of immediate effects (S. 4/12) is that of Figure 5/13/1; the variables have been divided by the dotted line into ‚animal‘ on the right and ‚environment‘ on the left, and the animal is not in direct contact with the variable marked X. The system is assumed to be stable, i.e. to have arrived at the ‚adapted‘ condition (S. 5 /7). If disturbed, its changes will show co-ordination of part with part (S. 5 /12), and this co-ordination will hold over the whole system (S. 4/18). It follows that the behaviour of the ‚animal‘-part will be coordinated with the behaviour of X although the ‚animal‘ has no immediate contact with it. (Example in S. 8/7.) In the higher organisms, and especially in Man, the power to react correctly to something not immediately visible or tangible has been called ‚imagination‘, or ‚abstract thinking‘, or several other names whose precise meaning need not be discussed at the moment. Here we should notice that the co-ordination of the behavior of one part with that of another part not in direct contact with it is simply an elementary property of the stable system.