An open space for global conversation
Occupy Cafe is launching a systematic inquiry into the evolution of the #Occupy movement.
The questions below were taken up during a Cafe Call on 11/15. Participants in that call, as well as subsequent readers of this thread, posted their reflections here and then continued the conversation.
We are now pausing for a "harvesting phase," where we "listen together" and reflect on what has been said. There is a discussion thread in our "Harvesting" group here, where we can share what we have gleaned. Please join us in this collective meaning-making process.
Below is the post that initiated this conversation:
I first heard the term "Occupy 2.0" from Walt Roberts a couple of days ago, as he anticipated the dismantling of Occupy Portland where he has been active. Occupy Cafe is launching an inquiry starting today into the question of what this might look like. We plan to collectively craft a vision, or set of visions for the future of this movement as an offering of support to all those who have fought so hard thus far.
To all those brave souls in the encampments: you have already succeeding in radically changing the dialogue in this country and around the world and our thanks and gratitude and admiration go out to you. What might be possible now?
We begin with this inquiry:
- What are the most positive things you have experienced emerging from Occupy 1.0?
- What are the dilemmas/opportunities in the current situation of the Occupy Movement?
- What question, if answered, might make the greatest difference in the development of an effective response to the clearing of so many #Occupy sites?
Replies are closed for this discussion.
"CURRENT WORLDVIEW: Individuals are powerless, therefore vulnerable."
The current paradigm that has led us to the precipice is that individuals are individuals, have inalienable rights as individuals, and are separate from each other and from the Web-of-Life.
"FAKE EVIDENCE: Look around at all of the crime and violence – from street violence to war – that makes so many victims. Look at all the poverty. Look at the cost of education & the cost of health care. Surely the individual MUST be powerless for all of this to be."
The current paradigm, in fact, proves what happens to society when individuals assume too much power over others by focusing on their individuality and individual desires.
"Then look at the evidence that shows that ALL of our social ills are tied to the economy, and that fake evidence becomes nothing more than a belief. It is not reality."
There is a plethora of evidence that our economic structure is the cause of many of our social ills, and there is a deeper understanding which places those economic structures within a much broader and deeper (and dysfunctional) paradigm of rugged individualism, which leads to the unsupportable theory that the collective striving for self-advancement will miraculously result in the highest good for society.
"NEW WORLDVIEW: No one is a victim, except by choice. Human beings are powerful creatures who have not been consciously using our power to our best advantage."
This is a common, extremely elitist, and terribly perverse understanding among the New Age community, and a form of blaming the victim. For, if no one is a victim except by choice, then the woman raped by a stranger on a dark city street brought it on herself. Similarly, the victims of assault, war and injustice are all masochists who just haven't figured it out yet.
" In a multiverse, the individual is the center of power – and that individual is the god of his/her own dimension – called a reality. In a Euclidean universe, the individual is powerless and social hierarchies and a war machine makes sense."
The cosmological difference between a universe and multiple parallel universes has nothing whatsoever to do with individual experience. In all such cosmological theories, parallel universes are completely inaccessible to each other.
"There are many of us, who, having learned about the power of the mind back in the 60s and 70s, have been using that power to create our own realities. What I mean by this is that by using a few simple rules, we literally manifest things that we want."
Rules are a relic of the old (current) paradigm, and creations of human minds. Manifesting what we want, rather than what the Web-of-Life needs, is also a relic of the present dysfunctional paradigm.
"What if, to the side of those gatherings, there were conscious creators (one who consciously manifests things) teaching interested people how to make themselves safe and how to live in a world of abundance rather than scarcity?"
Unless this teaching includes the reality that we live on a finite physical planet and material abundance is impossible for 7 billion humans, then it is a fraudulent instruction that can do nothing more than raise false hopes.
"I’m not speaking of gathering to pray – because prayer is antithetical to meditation. One is a humbling action that reinforces the false belief that we are powerless and need someone to take care of us. The other is a creative action that relies on the power of the individual to put the giant war machine out of business using nothing more than consciously controlled thought."
Clearly, you know nothing of the power of prayer, which has also been documented to heal. Most of the greatest true saints on earth – the ones who have made a real difference in uplifting the lives of others – have used authentic prayer as their form of meditation. Dr. Larry Dossey has published numerous books on the subject, including Healing Words: The Power of Prayer and the Practice of Medicine and Prayer Is Good Medicine. He not only documents the long history of scientific evidence of this phenomenon, but also "blasts New Agers for preaching that illness is the patient's fault and that physical health always reflects spiritual health."
"The truth of the matter (as evidenced by research)…"
You keep using such statements, and yet never once have you offered a link, a source, a name or a study which supports any of your contentions – which isn't to say that there isn't some truth to them, but that you continue to expect us to blindly believe what you claim to be evidence-based without any evidence to base it on, which is an appeal to your authority and a fallback to old paradigm dysfunction.
"If we bring down the economy while at the same time begin learning about how powerful we are as humans, we can begin to establish a new economic model that honors individuals. As one declines, the other takes its place."
You’ve got the prescription backwards. The current economic paradigm is crumbling globally because of its inherent contradictions. Not only is there no need to "bring it down", but anything we attack gains strength from our focused energy. Anything we ignore or remove our participation from loses energy. What is required is that we build the new world within the shell of the old and witness the cracking and dissolution of that old shell.
We are like the people in George Orwell’s “1984” who chanted every day: “War is peace. Ignorance is strength. Slavery is freedom.”
You might re-read the far more prescient dystopian novel, Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, which posits a rational, science and technology-based Matrix-like world in which all human needs are met by the machine and our primary role was to have sex and trip out on soma. Twenty-six years after writing that 1932 novel, Huxley noted that the world he thought was a possibility was manifesting much more rapidly than he had predicted. Those who advocate science, technology and rationality as the pathways to a future Utopia might do well to contemplate what a horrific vision that can be.
But that requires stepping farther outside of the current paradigm "box" than most moderns are willing to venture, and a far deeper analysis of human cultural evolution than most today can manage. Science is the modern manifestation of eating of the apple from the tree of knowledge, which has led us to a place of universal suffering under the pretense of lifting us out of the "primitive" earth-based ignorance that preceded it and which, in fact, allowed us to live in balance for 2 million years.
Since everything you say here is inside out and backwards, I suggest that it is you who are offering us Orwelllian Doublespeak.
"The current paradigm, in fact, proves what happens to society when individuals assume too much power over others by focusing on their individuality and individual desires"
Robert, does their in the concluding phrase refer to the underlings, those on top or every person alive? I could not determine that.
I believe there is a useful distinction between individualism, a myth to worship promoted by the dominators, and individuality, of which we see too little and which correlates with (at least) unique perspective, genetics, luck, and development of character.
I believe we would benefit from retirement of individualism and the elevation of individuality, particularly because we could look to each other for complementarity and enrichment of experience. My understanding (from Anne Schaef) is that some, if not many, native cultures accept(ed) every person and arrange community without coming close to denying individuality.
If we seek change and allow for a change process, inspiring people to move from a hollow individualism to energetic individuality seems better than losing them on the way to dissolution of identity in the Web of Life. I believe we cannot go from here to perfection in one leap. I also believe it's important to describe the destination, as you are doing.
beautifully said, David.
The culture of Individualism is impossible without the paradigm of separation, the myth of boundaries between self and other.
Some research suggests that the self-reflection that forms the basis for a sense of self did not evolve in the human brain until about 12,000 years ago - the time we left the garden (gift economy) of gatherer/hunter and began to force a living from the earth as agriculturalists. This was also the beginning of abstract language, symbolic writing and the trend away from a felt sense of deep connection to the Web-of-Life.
While all indigenous cultures recognized and employed the particular strengths of individual members, I doubt that there was any sense of "I"-ness outside of the identity of the tribe and of the land that the tribe inhabited. Even to this day, some Native Americans introduce themselves with a long story of their heritage and the place that gave them identity. They cannot conceive of themselves without their earthly and tribal context.
Individuality is largely a modern myth - and a dangerous one. Genetically, humans share 99.5% of their genes with every other human, 96%-98% with chimps, 90% with cats, 82% with dogs, 80% with cows, 69% with rats and 67% with mice. We are much more the same as every part of the animal world than we are different from other humans.
And the modern myth of individuality also assumes that humans are superior to all other living creatures and non-living things, which is the most dangerous part of our mythos and the one that has led us to dominate the earth to the detriment of everything else and, ultimately, ourselves.
If we don't quickly wake up from that nightmare, we are doomed as a species - an outcome which would be celebrated by the rest of the Web.
What do the persons formerly known as Robert Riversong and David Eggleton do after awakening from the nightmare?
There's nothing we can do alone - that's the message of all the prophesies. We're all in this together. No more saviors. We transcend our self-limiting skin-encapsulated egos and march to a higher drummer. We sink or swim together. Perhaps in small groups, local communities resilient enough to survive the maelstrom, creating regional networks of support.
I imagine that Kuntsler's World Made by Hand presents a likely picture of the transition ahead of us.
I really enjoy thinking that one can transcend self-limiting ego and march, skin-encapsulated, to a higher drummer. I enjoy thinking that anyone who does may inspire others to do it their own ways. I enjoy thinking that new and improved working relationships of all kinds would be the fruit of such shifts.
I may be too weak to give up all that enjoyment.
Delightful and wise, as always..
I am very impressed with Crash Course and its central ideas and approach..perhaps a seprate discussion on those ideas? I especially like how he uses his central premise on how important it is to look at growth by volume not just percentages..to explain the frailty and lack of wisdom of our fiat money system, the role of the fed, what the fed is, and fractional reserve..makes these systems that are so hard for most to understand and which so at the heart of the plutonomy's control over us very accessible and understandable. I also love the way he exlained the fallacy of our economic policy of ever expanding growth and applied to the dyanmics of income inequlaity.. Really, geat stuff. Thanks for suggesting we look at it.
Off to a 3 day retreat. ( Sardello, Spiritual Practice Heart Mind Alignment)..very practical Rudolph Steiner stuff. If you are interested in chairing that discussion, which is I think, core, I would be very interested in pursuing that as well..
A radiance of Blessings
I have much more faith in and respect for humankind than you. I am not trying to force my views on anyone because I do not want anyone forcing me into a position of slavery to their demands. In this way, I am empowered - and safe. Not even your god has power over me.
Though many of my words sound New Age, and I could be considered New Age, I do not see myself as such. I see myself as me - and I like her very much.
I don't believe in fairies or magical spells, but if someone prefers to use those ideas to explain a way of being that is amazing, how does it harm me? It doesn't. I'm just happy that they are creating fun and fulfilling lives.
I am not a threat to you. I am not proposing that you be forced into a mold that I determine. I offer you a choice. You are not required to accept it. You are the power that runs your own reality. You can make it as terrifying or as peaceful as you want. There is nothing that I can do that will take that right away from you.
Faith is a willing suspension of disbelief, created by the all-too-human need to believe what is not known. Blind faith is one of the most dangerous of human expressions. Everything must be approached with a skeptical openness, since every part of this universe has both a light and a shadow. Humanity has chosen to express mostly its unrecognized shadow side for millennia.
What makes you think that I see you as a threat to myself? It is your ideas, and the certainty with which you present them (CAPITAL LETTERS: this is the way things are) that is, however, a threat to the intellectual evolution of others who are trying to get a handle on why things are the way they are, how we got there, and where we need to go from here. So I am using the faculty of reason that you promote to prove the fallaciousness of your ideas, arguments and conclusions.
And I don't know where you got the idea that I have a god that I'm attempting to impose on you. I recognize no god, nor any religion. But what you call "empowerment" is merely a defensive walling off of legitimate criticism of the certainties you have chosen to hide behind in order to feel safe. Authentic seekers of truth have to risk vulnerability and be willing to relinquish everything that feels safe and secure in order to open to the quiet voice of the Universe.
It is your ideas, and the certainty with which you present them (CAPITAL LETTERS: this is the way things are) that is, however, a threat to the intellectual evolution of others who are trying to get a handle on why things are the way they are, how we got there, and where we need to go from here.
Are you certain of that, Robert?
And are you certain of this?
But what you call "empowerment" is merely a defensive walling off of legitimate criticism of the certainties you have chosen to hide behind in order to feel safe.
You certainly sound as if you are. Is the "quiet voice of the universe" your god?
As I stated "Everything must be approached with a skeptical openness" and "I recognize no god", but you continue to create straw men for your own enjoyment.