I like to imagine stuff, especially cool stuff that could help make the world work for all living beings…
A culture of respect, admiration and gratitude for worthy, suitably qualified ‘leadership’. Teams of the most highly qualified domain experts in positions of global responsibility. Viable ethics in all interactions the measure of worthy participation at the scale of a flourishing planetary civilisation. A society filled with access to creative opportunities for all its people, where the sense of belonging and worth are supported by systemic processes whereby we find our best expression and fit in the social milieu. Seamless integration of environment, economy, technology and biology….
How do we get from here to there?
What do we need?
Originally published in Connect Magazine, December/January edition 2015/16
With the often hectic pace of modern life, and our collective struggle to make sense of the escalating violence and environmental vandalism we witness daily in our news feeds, it is easy to forget that the one person who really needs our love, support and unconditional friendship the most, is our self. When we are emotionally overwrought, physically exhausted and mentally confounded we are unable to be a supportive and loving friend to anyone else. In the name of friendship, we owe it to ourselves and others to be our own best friend.
It sounds strange doesn’t is? Be your own best friend! How can we go about doing that? What methods do we use? It calls the whole notion of friendship into question, what does it mean to be a best friend anyway?
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Originally published in Connect Magazine November Edition.
Where do we go when we are reading a novel that we just can’t put down?
At some time in our lives we have all found ourselves so thoroughly engrossed with a good novel that we put our own lives aside to read on. The characters, the action, the scenery, and the experiences described by the author create a convincing and compelling fantasy realm where we can lose ourselves for hours at a time. We forget about the room we are in, our need for sleep, our daily life and enter into the realm of the authors imagination. We bring our own powers of imagination to the words they have written, and we create images in our minds of the scenes described in the text. Sometimes we become more interested in being in the story realm than we are in living our daily lives. This is an example of escape from reality through fantasy fiction which effects the real life mainly by moving the person from focus in the outer world, to focus in the story realm. It removes the readers attention, but does not significantly alter their brain state. Where we go, effectively, is into an altered state of consciousness, another realm within the mind.
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In my considered opinion, conscious, collective alignment grounded in non-duality, which undeniably underpins reality in its totality, will remain beyond accessible usefulness to the complexity and diversity of the lived experience of collective myriad beings – just as knowledge (realisation) of the integrity of the individual self aware entity is beyond the reach of the myriad contributing systems that participate in the process of animating its life form.
“The whole system” in its undivided wholeness is quite literally beyond the capacity of any given individual, embedded, emergent mind to grasp, describe, or understand beyond acknowledging that it exists, that we exist, and that these are not separate phenomena.
I find it useful for my limited human mind to break the big picture down into cognitively manageable parts, without losing sight of the fact that it is a whole living system that these parts combined render functional. The full details of knowledge of any one of these parts represents a huge information set, which takes whole communities of practice in order to be processed and applied effectively.
Systems of value and material exchange such as the human engineered economic system, can be understood from this meta-perspective as analogous to the metabolic process of a complex species of biological organisms taken as a collective, with all the relational dynamics and combined basic needs of the myriad individual members included.
This insight can provide clues as to how ‘we’ could approach building a “system that works for everyone”, which needs to be built on the premise that it IS ALIVE.
Where this basic insight is lacking, what ever is designed to render the “whole living system” WILL fail (die).
According to the ubiquitous wikipedia ‘Inner peace refers to a state of being mentally and spiritually at peace, with enough knowledge and understanding to keep oneself strong in the face of discord or stress. Being “at peace” is considered by many to be healthy and the opposite of being stressed or anxious. Peace of mind is generally associated with, happiness and contentment‘. Many spiritual practitioners and mental health professionals would agree, however, do we know how this desirable, mystical state arises, or where it come from? Why does it disappear so easily, and when it does how do we find it again?
Many great teachers of time honoured spiritual traditions have spent their whole lives mastering the stable state of consciousness required to maintain equanimity under any circumstances. There are numerous proven techniques which can bring the dedicated practitioner to this attainment, and whole cultures dedicated to ensuring continuity of practice and access to the state of inner peace. Most of us live outside of such conducive circumstances, the world in which we find ourselves is often confusing or distressing, we are pressured by circumstances, by social expectations, by responsibilities and by the choices we make. Because we perceive a limited range of choices, we can become stressed, anxious, and exhausted. Often we attempt to find a bit of peace for ourselves in mind numbing activities or substances. Remaining functional appears to be the best we can hope for, true happiness and inner peace seem like a fantasy in today’s fast paced world.
What can we do to help ourselves access the state known as inner peace?
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I am sharing this because it is beautiful, and speaks to the soul as it soothes the mind – enjoy!
Natural systems and biodiversity
When we go outside and look into the living environment, whether it be into a small pavement bounded lawn, a public park, a local waterway, or a vast nature reserve, we will notice that there are many things there existing together.
What we know from earth systems science is that for a living environment to be healthy and sustainable it requires as high a degree of biodiversity as it can support. The environments ability to support this biodiversity is a direct measure of its health. When natural systems are healthy, they are constantly changing and evolving, lifeforms are adapting to the prevailing conditions as best they can, some species thrive, others fail and the balance changes over the course of time. What all healthy thriving natural systems have in common is reliable sources of water, integrity of the soil, adaptive vegetation and populations of microbes, fungi, and insects which anchor the food chain for larger plants and animals. In turn these tiny keystone species are dependent upon a conducive environment in which to flourish, so we can see that a natural system is a set of interdependent sub-systems.
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