The core of the creative capacity of systems. When systems of certain structures and patterns of structural coupling organize into a higher level whole. When this happens spontaneously and a particular class of organization occurs without reference to other instances, we have creation of new possibilities. Structures and actions become possible that were not before.
From "Experience and Nature" by John Dewey, pp 258-9 "Nature, Life and Body-Mind":
Complex and active animals have, therefore, feelings which vary abundantly in quality, corresponding to distinctive directions and phases--initiating, mediating, fulfilling or frustrating--of activities, bound up in distinctive connections with environmental affairs. They have them, but they do not know they have them. Activity is psycho-physical, but not "mental," that is, not aware of meanings. As life is a character of events in a peculiar condition of organization, and "feeling" is a quality of life-forms marked by complexly mobile and discriminating responses, so "mind" is an added property assumed by a feeling creature, when it reaches that organized inter-action with other living creatures which is language, communication. Then the qualities of feeling become significant of objective differences in external things and of episodes past and to come. This state of things in which qualitatively different feelings are not just had but are significant of objective differences, is mind. Feelings are no longer just felt. They have and they make sense; record and prophesy.
That is to say, differences in qualities (feelings) of acts when employed as indications of acts performed and to be performed and as signs of their consequences, mean something. And they mean it directly; the meaning is had as their own character. Feeling make sense; as immediate meanings of events and objects, they are sensations, or, more properly, sensa. WIthout language, the qualities of organic action that are feelings are pains, pleasures, odors, colors, noises, tones, only potentially and proleptically. WIth language they are discriminated and identified. They are then "objectified;" they are immediate traits of things. This "objectification" is not a miraculous ejection from the organism or soul into external things, nor an illusory attribution of psychical entities to physical things. The qualities never were "in" the organism; they always were qualities of interactions in which both extra-organic things and organisms partake. WHen things to take place as means in a further course of inclusive interaction. Hence they are as much qualities of the things engaged as of the organism. For purposes of control they may be referred specifically to either the thing or to the organism or to a specified structure of the organism. Thus color which turns out not to be a reliable sign of external events becomes a sign of, say, a defect in visual apparatus. The notion that sensory affections discriminate and identify themselves, apart from discourse, as being colors and sounds, etc., and thus ipso facto constitute certain elementary modes of knowledge, even thought it be only knowledge of their own existence, is inherently so absurd that it would never have occurred to any one to entertain it, were it not for certain preconceptions about mind and knowledge. Sentiency in itself is anoetic; it exists as any immediate quality exists, but nevertheless it is an indispensable means of any noetic function.