I grieve the common sense that would ensure the continuance of life on earth – I grieve that which is already lost, and that which will be lost due. These great “Last Stands” are all that stand in the way of a human induced global catastrophe.
Lets take ‘life’ as a general principle rather than an attribute. Life is dependant on a complex interconnected web of interactions between a diverse range of individual beings in all forms from the microscopic to the galactic and universal.
Killing myriad lifeforms indiscriminately has already halved the biodiversity on this planet, and is set to render this planet uninhabitable by higher conscious biological lifeforms within our lifetimes (can get the research data for those who require proof).
Meanwhile, the contributing factors to this mass desecration of ‘life’ are known, enforcement of the paradigm where this destruction is rampant continues to escalate, and the viable alternatives to self annihilation by the human species is available but opposed by the current system of global exchange and resource distribution.
It is in this context that I ask my question:
Which right has greater social license – the right to protect and preserve life – or the right to kill?
Please do analyse the question, I think essays would be appropriate, the qualified views of academics and lay persons alike would be a valuable asset to those who would do something else instead.
… a culture where quality of life, and generative ecological values are the measure of wealth.
How can we participate in a culture which inspires humans to responsibly steward the planet for future generations of all beings? As the tropics of planet earth are home to a rich profusion of diverse and unique life forms, so the tropics of the imagination are the fertile centre from which springs an infinite diversity of unique thought forms. This resource of inspiration and innovation has been a vital fuel in the evolution of human culture to date. At this time, on the bridge between the juggernaut of history and an uncertain future, imaginative contributions to the ongoing quality of life on earth, for all biological life-forms, is undeniably necessary. This paper sets out to explore international and local trends toward a culture of bio-regional, and by extension, planetary ecological protection, where biodiversity and life-viability are recognised as keys to our future. Proposing that by creatively combining our expertise and resources, creative artists, scientists and engineers can work toward supporting cultural change.
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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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