This is a personal post. As I have not posted anything here for quite a while, I would like to take stock, update the permanent record, and map out next steps.
Views of the future possibilities for humans on planet earth has been the theme of my writing since I joined the www in 2003, and I continue working in the background on my independent research projects. I also contribute some cognitive surplus to other worthwhile projects when I can. Meanwhile, I have decided that a direct approach to influencing future thinkers, leaders, and global citizens will be the most rewarding method I can engage moving forward. This year I have completed a bachelors degree in creative media, with a major in photomedia, and minor in geography. My plan is to take this forward into a masters of teaching degree so I can become a qualified high school teacher and share the benefit of my experience, knowledge and wisdom with the youth in whose hands the future lay.
… 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 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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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..
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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.
How and Why “Conscious” Festivals Need to Change.