Times of great change involve cycles of endings and beginnings. For there to be new life in spring, autumn must strip the trees bare and winter kill off that which does not belong to the seasons to come. With the longer cycles of the earth, we know from the sciences that this planet has been through many periods of flourishing when myriad creatures emerged and evolved only to disappear again when conditions changed. Times of warmth and fertility have been followed by periods of icy desolation, and when cataclysmic events have occurred which left only small traces of life on the planet from all life as we know it has evolved from those small beginnings. So it is also with human scale cycles, such as the evolution of civilisations. We can see in the example of the Roman empire, how a flourishing collective life form reached an unprecedented level of technological and cultural sophistication, only to move through the cycles of decay and decline that led to its eventual demise. More evidence of ancient civilisations from prehistoric times comes to light every year, and we can only surmise that they too had their cycles of growth and decay before their collective lives disappeared. An interesting read along these lines is a book called “Collapse” by Jared Diamond, which brings together a lot of evidence and creates a compelling narrative around the topic of endings at the scale of human civilisations..
This post introduces my lifetime project:
This document describes a perceived potential movement toward a coherent, integrated planetary paradigm, in which our best intelligence, technology and ethics combine to underpin a new era of truly ‘civilised‘, as in gracious, and relatively enlightened, behaviour among beings.
The thought experiment driving the evolution and development of this idea for over 8 years is: “if I were a sentient entity at the scale of our planet, what would I need in order to become functionally self-aware?” the subtext to that inquiry is, “what evidence, if anything, is there which points to the possibility that a higher order entity (existing governments, ngo’s and corporations not withstanding) may be emerging from the sum of human interactions?”
So this document, and the diagram it describes are one possible example of a high altitude overview, or meta-perspective,addressing the inquiry set out in that thought experiment. Using this type of perspectival lens through which to assess the available information, we can begin to formulate a hypothesised set of basic pre-requisites that a planet sized being might need to become functionally self-aware. This is admittedly a hypothetical metaphysics for a hypothetical paradigm. The experience of living the reality of such a paradigm, if actualised, could be well worth the time it takes to develop and test this kind of model. Please note that this example is not suggested as an absolute in any way, this is simply an example of applied experimentation in metaphysics.
Obviously, there is much more to the picture than can be illustrated in a concise overview such as this, and many nested levels of complexity could be revealed through further research. I have endeavoured to limit the inquiry to genuinely meta-level structures and dynamics for the sake of initial simplicity. I hope to continue refining this inquiry, as I believe that useful and relevant information will be revealed which could enhance our capacity to continue evolving as a species, while finding our balance in relation to our planet and the rest of the living beings in our galactic neighbourhood.
I welcome feedback as the scope of this project is as wide as those who participate.
I realise as I move forward that I have choice – I can choose to assume knowledge and thus inadvertently affect incoming information in the form of pre-judged experience to which I pay selective attention >OR< I can simply allow perceptions and experiences to arise and observe them as they are while recording details using only as much pre-existing data as necessary to do so. The results of these choices will render differently experienced states of consciousness.
Choice 1 – assumption of knowledge applied to selectively attended experience results in a more or less “as expected” resolution or rendering of received information, as well a general tendency to discount or deride alternative perspectival possibilities. Applied assumed knowledge allows me to remain in a comfortable relationship with the flow of information as I have already judged it and categorised it, and I protect it’s familiar form through application of further assumptions and denial or ignorance of proposed or possible alternative insights. My experienced conscious condition in these instances tends to be easily agitated and I tend to become somewhat defensive and contrarian. The quality of attention I experience in these conditions is tightly focussed on what I think I know.
Choice 2 – allowing and observing the flow of information/experience using perceptual faculties in full awareness of the possible effects that these have upon the information itself and monitoring those effects to ensure adjustment of said faculties in order to apprehend the information in as unconditioned a form as is possible given initial conditions. This approach allows an open reception to insights and new ideas about what the information stream may contain, how I may be influencing my own perception of it and thus rendering my own experience of it. The quality of the conscious condition I experience arising in such instances is one of curiosity, gratitude and humour, with a pervasive sense of patience, and inherent respect for revealed aspects of the observed. The quality of attention in these circumstances is diffuse and often quite naïve.
Great analysis and suggestions about what we can do better – what we can do instead, and how we can get from here to there.
A paragraph from a futuristic novel I am writing – just because it is true for me here now also:
“The research method I engage is an ever evolving outgrowth of and contribution to the living, growing Sensoria. This omnipresent awareness permeates all life forms, is the context in which all that exists in order to interact is embedded, and is simultaneously processed into being by. Sensoria is the ubiquitous context in which all life form experience themselves, in what ever way they do. All perceivable phenomena are alive in their own way, every interaction is between living beings, although some move faster and are better able to express themselves than others. My part to play in this ongoing process is to be curiosity embodied, I follow that which inspires my imagination, I record, reference and refine the information that comes to light in the course of my structured inquiries, knowing that the context of my life is enriched through my contribution to it, as is the experience of all life forms now and into the future. Just following the threads of my own curiosity, and honing my capacity for sustained generative effort whilst developing the skills required to actualise the visions arising in me is the focus of my life, is the result of my gratitude for the fulfilling relationship we all have with Sensoria.”
Gratitude, blessings, healing, happiness, contentment, peace, generosity, love and harmony. Equanimity, poise, composure, forbearance, forgiveness, compassion and empathy. Each of these could be described as a state of grace. Each of these is a response to circumstances and an attitude toward life.
States of grace allow differences and difficulties to exist without condemnation, they allow for friction without animosity, and they allow for things to change, often for the better. Sometimes these states arise by themselves at times when we might have expected something else, for instance when a stranger steps in to lend a hand to someone in need, unasked, gratitude arises. Sometimes we can deliberately engage them. For example, when something we value gets broken by a child at play, we have a choice, we can get angry and cause confusion and fear in the child, or we can remain calm and explain the situation carefully, with compassion and empathy for our own pain and the child’s innocence. In the first instance, the child will remember that you get angry when your things are damaged, in the second instance, the child learns how much you value the things, and also how much you value them as a person – this generates a positive outcome, a state of grace between you.
An epic voyage into the possible underlying metaphysical structure of the universe.