Sunday Open Thread – June 10, 2007

cassie gym
Our younger granddaughter, discovering her gift, her passion, and her purpose

What I’m thinking about, and planning on writing (and podcasting) about soon:

What This Blog is About: This weblog began as my vehicle for thinking out loud. It has evolved in part into an expression of my gift and passion (imagining possibilities) and of my purpose (provoking what I have come to call Let-Self-Change, in myself and others). I have had the opportunity to discover that the five most popular reasons for believing our civilization can and will go on as it has are either propaganda or wishful thinking. So some of my recent provocations have focused on disenchanting readers of five persuasions who believe that some human or super-human force will save us from civilizational collapse in this century:

  • Economic salvationists who have faith in the ‘free’ market, and the responsiveness of our economy to the needs and demands of the planet’s citizens,
  • Political salvationists who have faith in the power of democracy, and the responsiveness of the political system to the needs and demands of the planet’s citizens,
  • Social salvationists who have faith in a great and spontaneous social movement of collective realization, understanding, raised consciousness and commensurate change,
  • Technological salvationists who have faith in the unlimited power of human ingenuity, expressed through innovation and technology, and
  • Religious salvationists who have faith we will be rescued, rapturously, by some higher power.

Those readers who no longer believe in any of these five miracles are searching, as I am, for another way forward. The best we have been able to come up with is a new self-managed society built on local, responsible, self-selected communities, living, and making a living, in natural (i.e. in balance with the rest of life on Earth), sustainable ways. It’s a very idealistic vision, one that will have to emerge right in the midst of our fragile, furious, exhausted civilization, based on many local experiments, evolving ‘working models’ that others can copy and adapt to their needs. These communities need to be autonomous and self-sufficient but also connected to learn from each other how to cope, together, with the crises that this century will present to us and the generations that follow.

One reader has called this “grasping at straws”. Perhaps it is, as the people who seem to be most knowledgeable about the state of the world and this community-based vision seem to believe efforts to realize that vision will be in vain, but are worth trying anyway. Our ‘success’ depends largely on recruiting more and more of those disenchanted with the five faiths above, and our ‘walking away together’ to improvise and emerge something completely different, a way of living and making a living that can work, at least for a few million years.

So upcoming articles will continue to provoke readers to let themselves change and learn and free themselves from the delusional faiths that are destroying our world, and to figure out, together, how to move forward.

Coming up soon, vignettes #3 and #4.

Blog-Hosted Conversations: Plan is for 30-minute conversations, once a week, on the subject of identifying and acquiring the essential skills and relationships we need to be models of a better way to live, and what those models might look like. The first few will be practice podcasts, and may not make it to the blog. I plan to post some monologues first, readings of my own works just to try out the new medium, and perhaps, if I can get a copy of the recording, a podcast of my presentation last week at the SLA in Denver.

Paradoxically, the less faith I have in the established order and the ability of civilization’s well-intentioned systems to save us from ourselves, the more energized and exhilarated I become. How’s your mood? Is the Bush regime’s intransigence, and the Democrats’ equivocation, getting you down? If you’re more upbeat, or more depressed, than you were a yearago, or ten years ago, why?

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5 Responses to Sunday Open Thread – June 10, 2007

  1. Ed Diril says:

    > searching for another way forward…The one thing you are excluding is that it does not have to move forward. Every aspect of life is cyclical. There is no reason to assume that humanity has to or is going to move forward. In fact, most scriptures (although speculative) show that many civilizations have come and gone. The best we can do is prolong life on Earth until the sun collapses and swallows Earth and most of the solar system. Maybe we’ll manage to relocate by then. Who knows?!In the meantime, what you are doing is probably all that can be done: increase awareness and try to trigger mental epidemics that will cause change for the better for everyone.

  2. Jon Husband says:

    more upbeat … the less I worry about making the world change, or controlling the outccomes of my meandering in life, the lighter and happier and more positively philosophical I feel myself becoming .. and the less I need so the less I worry about money.

  3. lugon says:

    “Paradoxically, the less faith I have in the established order and the ability of civilization’s well-intentioned systems to save us from ourselves, the more energized and exhilarated I become.” I’ve had that feeling. And even if I have never attended an open-space gathering, I guess that’s the feeling people have in such meetings. It’s the thrill people get when they go out into the forest with their own skills, needs, passions (again I’m guessing, as I’m not too much of a forest person myself!).But it’s indeed the feeling I have when I look at the and realise it’s real YOYO (you’re on your own).Exhilarating quite describes it. It’s intriguing, but that’s exactly how it feels. Released from the bad, bad witch spoonfeeding us. Taller, in a way.Note to self: What’s next, then? :-)

  4. David Parkinson says:

    Definitely more upbeat. The global situation affects me very negatively, so I try to limit my exposure to news at that level. Most of my energy these days goes into building a more solid connection to events and activities going on in my community. Whenever I stop to think about the larger context within which I’m trying to make things happen, it can be debilitating; but generally I am energized by the feeling that at least I’m able to make some changes at the small scale.

  5. Siona says:

    My mood?I’d say it’s both. I’d say that as my capacity for sorrow has increased, so has my capacity for joy. But what’s most important, to me, personally, is my ability to tolerate both. I think I’m identifying more with the container than the churnings that occur within.Then again, I am continually amazed and inspired by people, and the more human beings I meet and talk to and connect with, the more amazed I am by them, and their resilience, and the capacity for so many of us to touch an ultimate concern. And this, I think, means that on balance, I’d have to answer “more upbeat.” I like what Jon says. I worry less and less about controlling things or making anything or anyone else change, and this is freeing.

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