We shall not cease from exploration And the end of all our exploring Will be to arrive where we started And know the place for the first time
TS Eliot, Little Gidding
In the beginning, after the big bang and the formation of the earth and living beings, human beings emerged embedded in the dream of nature. There was no differentiation.
Gradually there emerged language and groupings of people.
There were some societies where the connection with nature remained strong, where language worked in consort with the one, where men and women each brought their own strengths to that cooperation with others and with the one. They developed wonderful creativity in their cave paintings, and a wonderful science that enabled them to comprehend and relate to the cosmos through great stone constructions. They told stories that passed through the generations, passing on archetypal knowledge, lessons of experience to each new generation.
With the coming of written language, some feared that the knowledge of connection would be lost. They wrote it down, hidden away for when ignorant barbarians came, which surely they did.Read More »
What are we to make of the rise of elected leaders who appear to be unsuited to the task, being driven by personal ego aggrandisement and the desire for personal power and gain? They seem to be everywhere. They appear to be individuals without self-insight, with little psychological or spiritual development, hence no wisdom, but often with great cunning and charisma, the ability to appeal to large segments of the population.
Voting appears to become more like a popularity contest than one in which the electorate consider what would be best for their country. The popular media love to play this game, as divisive as possible, it makes for good copy.
Serious and complex issues get over-simplified and trivialised. Politicians align their speech with their party line, and people no longer believe or even hear what they say.
The real issues, like climate breakdown, like social care in the UK, are first denied and then deferred to a later date.
This is no way to run a human society, we need all the wisdom we can muster to address the drastic challenges facing our societies.
Within our human collective we know how to make wise individuals, we know how to make learning organisations, we have many exemplars of wise leaders. None of these involve big egos, but involve people engaged with personal insight, growth and transformation.
Perhaps these big egos are there to provide just the counter-example we need!
Sustainability – in the sense of the continuation and preservation of what is – is not a realistic long-term option…
Thomas Lombardo in Future Consciousness
It’s a bit of a shock to realise that Lombardo is probably right.
Psychologically, evolution is the key to understanding this. We seek not to go back to some previous situation, but to evolve and grow to a new, transformed level, where we have learned from the past to address the challenges of the present new situation.
Evolution does not demand that we abandon technology and go back to feudal times, that we abandon large scale farming for rotation farming of small plots, that we stop travelling around the world, that we become Luddites and reject all new technologies, and retreat into our localities. Life does not, cannot, go backwards.
Evolution does demand that we, and the system of which we are a part, evolve and grow. We must transcend and overcome the problems that have emerged from previous stages of our development, from the over-development of the little ego, from the corresponding misapprehension of the role of the egoistic ‘sovereign’ nation state, from the lack of recognition that the economy is part of the ecology rather than a competing and overwhelming competitor, from the lack of real empathy with others and the natural world. This is what climate breakdown, pollution of land, sea and air, species extinctions, gross economic inequality and associated problems are teaching us.
The longer we take to respond, the more extreme the provocations caused by ourselves become. We have so-called ‘leaders’ acting like spoilt children, trying to inspire populations with supposed earlier glories and visions of becoming ‘great again’, trying to win some great power game against each other. This is all illusion and regression.
It is time for humanity to grow up and flourish through addressing these problems, rather than retreating to supposed former glories while they overwhelm us.
This is the evolutionary meaning of sustainability.
I hated Victor Meldrew’s character in the BBC television series ‘One Foot in the Grave’. His catchphrase ‘I don’t believe it’ was rather annoying. However, with the benefit of advancing years, I find myself thinking precisely that when I see some of the nonsense going on in the world today.
My long-suffering wife, after yet another ‘I don’t believe it’ rant, suggested that I should write a blog, which perhaps would relieve her of some of the earache. So here it is.
Perhaps I should warn the potential reader about some of my interests; this may not be the rant you are looking for.
After a happy childhood, being educated in a very science-oriented school and doing a degree in mathematics, I entered a career in the then relatively early days of computing, which metamorphosed into Information Technology, eventually leading to today’s internet.
It was only over many years that I became aware of the limitations of this scientific upbringing and the technological business environment. I became interested in the personal growth movement, spirituality, green, social and ethical issues, and became more widely read in philosophy and psychology. In the process the limitations of the prevailing politico/economic paradigm became increasingly apparent.
In the early 1990s, around the time of Rio 1992, until 2004, I was involved in creating public lectures in Cheshire and Manchester, England on the theme of Visions of a New Renaissance, because it seemed that a New Renaissance of the human spirit was indeed the order of change that was required.
During this time I became a member of the Scientific and Medical Network in the UK, which has a membership very much in sympathy with where I was coming from. The ‘Mystics and Scientists’ conferences provide an unfailing source of inspiration, as does the Network’s magazine, the ‘Network Review’. I also discovered the Institute of Noetic Sciences in the US, which has a similar but different perspective.
Early in the present century I retired from my IT career and got involved in the growth movement of astrological psychology, aiming and facilitating personal and spiritual growth – becoming a book editor and publisher in this area. More recently, the appearance of grandchildren, currently living in USA, has much enriched our lives.
One of the benefits and curses of the IT revolution has been that we can each increasingly remain aware of much that is going on in the world, while at the same time pursuing our own little lives. The coming of Twitter eventually gave an outlet for some of my frustrations, 140 characters at a time, under the name @greengrandad. This blog gives the opportunity for more considered comment.
This all may give you some idea that my perspective will not always, hopefully, just be a trivial rant. I stand on the shoulders of giants who have influenced me along the way…