I noticed a coincidence between something I read in a book by Thich Nhat Hanh, and an article on research about a psychological phenomenon known to facilitate inner and outer peace. My question is: What Buddhist concepts are similar or have something in common with the "integration" and "differentiation" phenomenon mentioned below? My guess is emptiness and impermanence, I could be wrong about those and doubtless there are others.
Here's the coincidence.
Years ago I was reading Zen Keys by Thich Nhat Hanh. I found it had my mind going in many interesting directions.
I saw some parts of the book, like those describing impermanence, encouraging the Differentiation of things. A book isn't a book. It's made of wood and glue, was put together by a machine somewhere and hauled to the book store by a guy in a truck. The book is made up of many non-book elements. Everything changes, so the book itself isn't even that book over the smallest amount of time depending one which features you choose to measure.
But there was also a call for Integration. Even as we distinguish between the book and the truck and the guy hauling the books in the truck to the bookstore, they are all part of the process leading to the experience of reading the book. The book might have one meaning to one reader, and a different meaning to a different reader. So many things depend on the context bringing them together. The same elements at a different time and place produce a different experience. The individual elements create the here and now into a unified whole, any part of which alters the thing when changed.
With my math background I was inclined to think of these things as Integration and Differentiation, just as helpful mnemonics, they are pretty different from the math concepts.
A few months back I was reading about Integrative Complexity.
"The measure of integrative complexity has two components: differentiation and integration. Differentiation refers to the perception[or weighing] of different dimensions[or qualities] when considering an issue. Integration refers to the recognition of cognitive connections among differentiated dimensions or perspectives.1"
It has some things in common with what Thich Nhat Hanh was talking about, in terms of understanding of all things as composed of not-that-thing elements. One can find similarities in different things, and differences in similar things. The interplay of those techniques are proving conducive to both inner and outer peace according to the researchers.