An open space for global conversation
"The systems we seek to transform are held in place by something vast and powerful below our awareness, our own individual and collective subconscious.
Take, for example, the current failed economic system which disregards the value of the majority of its members. To what degree does that failed system reflect a society of individuals that bases their internal value on the goods and devices (i.e.-credit) in which it is now entrapped?"
That's from the group description/orientation. It does not define the problem well enough. Here's more. Will you add?
The situation is worse, and much older, than suggested! Reduction of human beings to things began about four hundred years ago, far ahead of the post WW1 emergence of our failed economic system. Internal value was flushed out and away. Internal became irrelevant, except as a hole to be filled, a center of appetites awaiting satiation.*
The failed economic system, increasingly disinterested in the well-being of humans, is another product of reductionism, brought into being by a sad whole system of people already diminished. Goods and devices are substitutes for being and becoming, which are more satisfying and health-maintaining. They fill the hole; lifeless things replace living things. Corporate logos are better known than birds, plants and watershed divides. Now we (overall) are the living dead and the planet is coming along.
Reductionism must be demoted and its process countered. The reversal recommended in occupy yourself very nicely overlaps Adbusters' pre-OWS inspirational "No more dead time!" All are called to life, to be and become. Our great potential is to recover wholeness, rediscover human scale and finally become nature working.**
* A remarkable assortment of deviants and dreamers who were producers found a sort of recovery in emigration to the New World and managed to institutionalize otherwise fading principles (recall what happened to all men are created equal in less than ten years) in the document that became the Constitution of the United States.
** "We are nature working" has been attributed to Penny Livingston-Stark.
Remarkable overlap here, in an extended form.
Well, actually...I purposely don't add more in the vein you're describing. The reason being that adding more in the direction you've suggested above, actually brings the conversation closer to the surface of stuff in view. It's all true, what you say, but dost we protest that much?
I prefer to keep the elucidation as simple as possible. There is much to say in so many directions that we would never be done.
What is more interesting and valuable to me is boiling down to essence, the pattern of movement itself. There is a seductive layer of thought form that feels essential yet remains reductive. There are fewer but denser words in this realm.
I'll see how this translates in our purely written forum, though we will have a spoken container in due time as well.
Hmmm...this discussion structure seems a little problematic. We can develop discussions, though the comments are invisible unless we click into them....does everyone intuitively know how this works?
"adding more in the direction you've suggested above, actually brings the conversation closer to the surface of stuff in view."
I don't understand that statement, Jitendra. Do I detect a reference to the iceberg?
Re-reading everything, I see that my addition mostly reinforces what you stated in the orientation area. It is that internal human dynamics have history, are themselves dynamic. Perhaps most important: there is a known set people can choose for the next while. People can choose a path of retrieval, restoration and renewal, need not invent and sell while under so many pressures and so divided.
Are we the power external to all systems around us, or are we/species and we/individuals the element of the planetary subsystem and through it interdependent with the universal system? Do we discuss the source of our power, or systemic mechanism which has created the problem? Can we believe/hope the solution will “emerge” without our conscious and collective effort? Can it “emerge” from somewhere else than the proper definition of the source of the problem? Can the problem be simplified by reduction to the present moment (of universal evolution)?
“Act locally, think globally” – isn’t this appeal correct any more?
Albert Einstein said: "We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them". If “the thought is a liar” [Doreen] – can we change the way we think? Wouldn’t it be more realistic than the change of our systemic identity? What should be the role of our personal beliefs in the discussion?
Nine questions! I'm ready for this one: “Act locally, think globally” – isn’t this appeal correct any more?
I think it's not correct, if it ever was. Beyond wishing the planet and humanity-at-large well, thinking globally distracts and disempowers one and all. I believe it is a fossil-fueled sort of hypnosis.
I believe it is a fossil-fueled sort of hypnosis.
I believe we behave like addicts; if you were right I would say we are addicted to being hypnotized by the growth of number and variety of consumer goods (fossil fueled).
The effects of our collective behavior are global, the ecosystem we menace is global, the “power” is distributed globally, the knowledge and technology are global, financial system is global – we act globally, thinking locally (about our property only). On the other hand - isn’t one interconnected with the other? Wouldn't the reverse principle be more correct? Never before it was possible, now it is - is it wise not to take the opportunity, to cure the addiction, to get free of hypnosis?
Can you imagine small nonviolent local communities living peacefully among crowd of addicts dashing in search of new resources, new technologies, more energy, cheap labor….?
This leads to the essence of my nine questions. Can we define/design/promote/boost the solution ignoring the problem? Why is nobody interested in problem definition? And I do not mean the symptoms of the problem, but the essence, the core of it.
Could you please help the outsider to understand what all this cafe is about?
"I believe we behave like addicts..."
One of my favorite published people is Anne Wilson Schaef, who wrote When Society Becomes an Addict. I give it my highest recommendation.
It's remarkable how many elephants can be viewed with only one specimen in the room.
“Act locally, think globally”evokes the knowing that the only action possible is local. Our body is always here right now, as is our brain, though we may be operating it over a distance. It calls me to be present with my immediate environment and respond. Home is also where the heart is, so some people's local is bigger than others'. I'd say both/and, but definitely, remember where your house is.
"Beyond wishing the planet and humanity-at-large well, thinking globally distracts and disempowers one and all. I believe it is a fossil-fueled sort of hypnosis." This is an interesting statement that I've read a few times, but not quite grokking. I acknowledge that the term "globally" can certainly evoke a lot of different things to many different people.
Globally says to me, expanded picture. Global is the wide angle view that broadens my periphery and increases my depth of field. It also multiplies the scales at which any given dynamic operates. Without a global thought, I might never know that the ice cap is actually disintegrating, or that the rain forest is disappearing, or that people in Africa are suffering the worst droughts in recorded history. I might just think that the weather in my neighborhood has been weird for a while. I might not recognize that growing chronic unemployment has anything to do with people in some other country taking over those jobs. I might be trying to fix a local economy not realizing that economy is broken in every backyard across the world (well, maybe not in small # of them).
Overall, globally is systems awareness to me. It is near impossible to understand the scope of a system without a varied and broad examination of many dynamics in play.
So from this side of the room, the elephant is correct.
Many good points blended with confessions of living in this era. I confess a preoccupation of the coming era of energy descent.
You quoted/added: "'Beyond wishing the planet and humanity-at-large well, thinking globally distracts and disempowers one and all. I believe it is a fossil-fueled sort of hypnosis.' This is an interesting statement that I've read a few times, but not quite grokking." For most, it is not easy to suddenly move from what has been ordinary, including planet-wide interests, concerns and sense of responsibilities in common, to consideration of what is not ordinary, so please give these suggestions some time.
Unlike you, I reserve global for one <insert term, such as economy, corporation or leadership> applied to the whole planet. I use holistic and comprehensive in other contexts. Global/whole planet <insert term> is not associated with most of a human future, for at least two reasons: 1) more energy is needed for it to come into play and remain in play than will be affordable/available and 2) it becomes totalitarian by imposing sameness, by steadily reducing variety and diversity of lives and life-ways that emerged and coevolved in distinct regions.
Learning to inhabit (produce, consume and celebrate in) regions will require a new (to us) focus and a new (to us) intensity of focus. Knowing the status of other regions and their inhabitants will be a lower priority as we accept that we are responsible in/for our situations as they are in/for theirs.
Uncertainties abound! We can hope the change of eras is slow and orderly, and that the hardest jolts come last. We can make our own luck and best increase options by beginning comprehensive preparations for energy descent sooner rather than later. People can choose to do it together. This is what No more dead time! means, most of all, to me.
I remain both/and with global/local given the context I now understand from you, David. There are ways in which local relationships of commerce and exchange are vital to sound living in healthy, thriving communities.
There are ways in which the wholeness, interdependence and interconnectivity of our current global nature can actually insure a common bond to care for our global community as we care for ourselves. True, there are countless ways in which lower tier consciousness exploits i
As technology progresses so our sense of community and self expand, as it ought to. In its higher realization, global awareness and exchange has the capacity and potential to breed a thriving global organism—individuated, interdependent loci of human brilliance and resource.
There are ways in which globalization can be a disease, only because of the consciousness implementing it. Through heart-centered [compassionate/caring/good for all] applications of world-around [Bucky's term] connection, we can thrive and enjoy our diversely expressed existence.
Again, I revert to the assertion that consciousness itself, drives the fundamental success or failure of any given system large or small, global or local.
There are definitely healthy and unhealthy expressions of "thinking globally." David Holmgren has expressed thoughts similar to yours Jitendra. He has written, "Top-down thinking, bottom-up action is a restatement in systems terms of the environmental slogan 'think globally, act locally.'
Holmgren writes: "What constitutes bottom-up and top-down depends, in part, on your perspective. For many people, the broad environment movement is a bottom-up grassroots movement, but the majority of the movement's activities are focused on changing the behavior of government, bureaucracy, corporations and the media. More fundamental bottom-up strategies start with the self and develop by example and replication, moving towards mass change.
...[Permaculture] is concerned with facilitating individuals, households and local communities in increasing self-reliance and self-regulation. I see this process as the most potent way of reducing total environmental impact and transforming society by slowing and reorganizing the production-consumption cycle. This approach is based on the recognition that a certain proportion of society is ready, willing and (most importantly) able to substantially change their own behavior if they think it is possible and significant. This socially and environmentally motivated minority represents a leverage point for large-scale change.
...bottom-up collaborative behavior is a fundamental element of permaculture action, whether it is in the garden or the community and this behavior is informed by wholistic systemic understanding which can be characterized as top-down. Thus, 'top-down thinking, bottom-up action' is a restatement in systems terms of the environmental slogan 'think globally, act locally.'"
The above from Permaculture: Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability
"Are we the power external to all systems around us, or are we/species and we/individuals the element of the planetary subsystem and through it interdependent with the universal system?"
Regarding the first part, I suggest that when high-powered (fossil-fueled), we are external to some systems, similar to flat stones thrown side-arm with force so that they skip a number of times across a watery surface. Ripples do go out at each point of contact, but the stone isn't concerned about them or the body of water; it has another purpose and focus. We could participate beneficially in (some of) those systems, if we weren't high-powered, fast-moving and preoccupied.
Regarding the second part, I somewhat suspect it is truth (if I really understand what you've written), but have no idea how to use it. Could there be a miraculous great awakening to it? I suppose so.