From: John FellowesDate: 19 February 2010 20:01:50 GMTSubject: Re: “We’ve missed your updates”
It’s time to start focusing on the postive. You can’t fix everything. One day at a time
I think you are assuming that I’m feeling overwhelmed, or depressed, or something along those lines. Perhaps what I wrote gave that impression. In fact, at a personal level, I’m quite content.
My concern has to do with the parable of the talents. Am I doing what my mission requires in this life? Am I stuck in a preparatory stage? Is it time to engage a different kind of challenge?
From: Diana SkipworthDate: 19 February 2010 20:33:21 GMTSubject: re: “We’ve missed your updates”
Dear Richard,Sounds to me like I was where you are now. I had to let go of the need for people to ‘get it’When I figured out that all I needed to do to fulfill my contract is to stay focused on my intention. It is okay for others to criticize and I have no need to convert them. Let the blind go their own way. Just concentrate on what is important in the moment. I gave myself permission to just be “myself” and many, many people still ‘don’t get it.’ Be okay with that, and it has helped.Diana
You speak of ‘contract’ while I use the term ‘mission’, but we speak of the same thing. The Sufis say that we need to figure out what is “the one thing worth doing”. To which one answer might be, “That which we came here to do” – our ‘contract with life’. It might be about learning some ‘soul lesson’, or it might be about ‘doing something’ in the world. The most difficult question in this regard: How can we be sure we know what our mission is?
For this, I think we need to listen to our inner voice. Just as our appetite draws us to the kind of food our body requires, so our appetites draw us to what we need to be doing. But as with food, we need to avoid junk activities that provide only the illusion of fulfillment. Inspiration is one kind of appetite. I’ve found that following my inspiration leads to productive outcomes. So if my inspiration wanes I need to sit back and listen for directional signs.
From: “Mary Nelson”Date: 19 February 2010 20:35:00 GMTSubject: RE: “We’ve missed your updates”
When Arthur was in a depression and asked Merlin for help, Merlin told him to “learn a new thing”. You’ve covered a lot, but there’s always more to learn, analyze and share. Right up to the end. Deepak Chopra explains how new connections in the nervous system bring endorphins, or something.How about addressing the issue of the sociopaths among us? There’s lots of material on how sociopaths come to rule the world because they lie and because the one who tells the biggest lie in every situation of conflict/competition wins! If we could imagine a world without sociopaths, maybe we’d have all the answers right there.Mary in Penn Valley
“Learn a new thing” sounds good. For me that means a new kind of thing. And yes, I do get endorphins from this discussion-rich email world. And whenever one engages in an endorphin-producing activity, one must compare it to opiate addiction. Are you doing what you should be doing, or are you just doing what makes you feel good?
We have talked about sociopaths before. There have always been sociopaths, and there always will be sociopaths. Just as there have always been saints, and teachers, and caregivers, and visionaries, and poets, etc. Human nature has not changed in many millennia and it won’t change in the next many millennia.
Human nature provides the ingredients out of which a culture is built. A culture influences the expression of human nature, through child-rearing practices, and by what is rewarded and sanctioned in society. Every culture has the same percentage of infants who are potential sociopaths, but not every culture has the same percentage of adult sociopaths. If we want to “imagine a world” that is better than the one we know, then the place to look is at the range of cultures that have existed in the world, now and in the past.
There have been many cultures that we would call ‘enlightened’, and the people in those cultures had the same range of human natures as in any other culture. What we need to be imagining is how cultural transformation can be achieved.
From: Marilyn PolakDate: 21 February 2010 03:05:51 GMTSubject: moods and change
dear richard:just a few thoughts concerning your prior email– i’m sorry you’re feeling depleted etc. i think in the pursuit of radical change and global renewal, probably a feeling of let-down or a sense of repeating oneself seems inevitable, so one must recharge and reinvent oneself as best one can when necessary. i guess it’s the ‘evolutionary vs revolutionary’ trope. (is that a trope?)anyway, in my former life in journalism, i interviewed achievers and other so-called celebrities for more than 20 years and one who stands out was buckminster fuller who believed REAL vanguard thinkers (not faux lightning rods for change like obama) are 50 years ahead of their time and so they have to wait for everyone else to catch up with them, which, of course, is impossible. hence, that built-in discontinuity, which can be dispiriting to one wanting to organize a mass movement to produce results.perhaps one answer is to put down roots, even temporary ones, someplace, and try to create a utopian community based on the principles you have envisioned. Otherwise, the endless loop of internet theorizing feeds upon itself like the worm Ourboros. of course this may not interest you. then perhaps BLUEPRINTS FOR CHANGE could be distributed like those blueprints for bungalows sears sold in the early 20th century. but as for the attempt to create a better socieety– i guess it’s like when my friend michele ran her condo council, it was a microcosm of all the evils of the world, and a time-eater. in any case, i hope you regain your sense of equanimity. you truly are inspiring to us. please write and think anon. maralyn lois polak
Thanks for your message. Yes, ‘endless loop of internet theorizing’ captures my concern very well. Not that I want to stop theorizing, but I don’t want it to be only a closed loop. Your suggestion, of ‘putting down roots’, continues in other dialogs below.
Yes, Bucky does stand out. I had the privilege of attending one of his public talks toward the end of his life. He said that he wasn’t particularly smarter than anyone else, but that his special contribution came from a willingness to engage questions that others wouldn’t engage. That’s how I feel about my own engagement with the topic of ‘democracy’. Most people imagine that they already know what it is, and those who theorize about it typically stop investigating once they latch on to a theory that feels comfortable to them.
Anyone who thinks deeply about how the world can be improved will be ahead of their time. Jesus was 2,000 years ahead of his time, and still counting. The brotherhood of man (siblinghood of humans, if you prefer) is just as good an idea now as then, and we’re no closer to it.
There are lots of blueprints for change on offer these days, and I’ve put some out there myself. What we need are blueprints extracted from successful experiments. My goal is to help facilitate the emergence of one ‘awakened community’ somewhere in the West. My quandary is how to move toward that goal, making use of the research that I’ve accumulated.
Your comment about ‘reinventing yourself’ and ‘evolutionary vs revolutionary’ is interesting. It fits in with learning theory. We tend to evolve our understanding gradually, and then every once in a while a phase-change occurs, an ah-ha, and there can be a radical reorganization of our understanding. So your evolution can be seen as a sequence of revolutions, each involving a reinvention of yourself.
Not a trope however, I think, see Dictionary.com.
From: “Sue Skidmore”Date: 21 February 2010 06:59:50 GMTSubject: RE: “We’ve missed your updates”
Hi Richard—How about planning to do live phone skype forums down the road? I cannot work on it now but later on. I thought that some of the people who are friends on your list—we could have parties and invite other friends and then we could have “round table” discussions on afore decided issues. We could all introduce ourselves to the other friends at the other parties and generate more friendship and community spirit.Just an idea.sue
PS: Is there a limit to the number of connections on skype? And what kind of equipment do we need? I have a phone but no camera…is it a web cam?
Thanks, a very interesting idea. I’ve felt it was productive when I’ve gone on tours and given talks to groups, followed by discussion. Skype enables ‘virtual local visits’. Very nice.
I wouldn’t think in terms of multiple simultaneous sites. A single ‘party’ at a single location is just fine. The equipment would be computer, a large TV screen, and a webcam + microphone connected to the computer by a USB cable. The computer would need to be set up so it displays its screen image on the TV screen. That takes a bit of doing by someone who knows about computers, but it’s not a big deal. The webcam-on-cable makes it easy to aim the webcam at the appropriate place as the evening progresses.
Then it’s a simple matter of a Skype video call. The group can see me on the screen, and I can see the group as seen from the webcam. It’d be almost as good as being there.
From: Life Walker – Ray SongtreeDate: 19 February 2010 19:53:10 GMTTo: •••@••.•••Subject: Re: “We’ve missed your updates”
HI again, check out transition town movement richard. We need to start living and working with each other to survive.For me it has to be a monastic situation, as I don’t want to be around alcohol or smoke anymore. so for now I am on my own as a student, but soon I hope, I want to be part of a back to Earth/ back to simplicity-within school with strict rules like a monastery. The only recent ‘order’ I know of, with any backbone, is Ananda Marga, but it is skewed in such a ‘sanskrit’ vedic format, that I can’t join it, I can only support it for those who want to be in the vedic circle. The Vedas and caste system go hand in hand, so it is difficult to endorse Ananda Marga, yet, in action, in reality of action, they are spectacular and their founder is right on. he said ” Capitalism will go out like a fire cracker” -SarkarYou could read some on ‘PROUT’ and get his breadth.cheers,Ray
I have been following the Transitions Town movement. It’s a very good idea, but it isn’t succeeding as a transformational movement. It’s spreading in terms of number of towns, but not enough people participate in any one town to make a real difference in the local economy. There need to be more incentives, more reasons for people to get involved. Green consciousness and fear of peak oil aren’t motivating enough for most people.
I see Transition Towns as one thread of a transformational movement. There are two other threads that need to be brought in, in order for the ‘transformational braid’ to be complete. The first is what I’d call the ‘Mondragon thread’, enhanced by a local currency. This is about creating co-op businesses, backed up by a local co-op banking system. The second is what I’d call the ‘wise-democracy thread’. This is about bringing people together in the community, by means of inclusive dialog processes.
I suppose one possibility for myself would be to move to some Transition Towns community, where there is a reasonably strong group of people involved, and introduce these ideas for expanding the scope.
In your case, you seem to be seeking a certain kind of environment for yourself – a spiritual path plus ‘right livelihood’.
I don’t include a spiritual thread in my ‘transformational braid’. Given the number of people dedicated to the major religions, any spiritual movement can only be divisive, if it is considered to be part of the transformational movement. Transformation needs to be about inclusiveness, all voices listened to, all concerns taken into account, no one left out. In other words, there needs to be a separation of church and state, at the level of movement.
From: Stephen ShawDate: 20 February 2010 00:52:18 GMTSubject: Re: “We’ve missed your updates”[excerpted]
Richard,This calls for a reply!!!Just a day or two ago I wrote the sentences “Cleverness and audacity can be large portions of an individual’s power. Both of these things can be cultivated.” Besides that you also mentioned cleverness in your post, my two sentences together are the identical sentiment to your line!You may know me as focusing on 9/11 truth, which I do with about half of my free time. But all the rest of it is devoted to probing and thinking and writing, very much the way that you do. I am, though, slower, or have less time, so few things reach fruition. I am impressed with the volume of your output!But perhaps I could share some material with you in the next few months.We use some different language. Instead of thinking of hierarchies, I think in terms of power distribution. I see power as a measure of our ability to influence the world around us. It is VERY different for different individuals and usually equates closely with money. The central problem of civilization that I see is that the acquisition of power is a positive feedback loop. A key part of the logic of the feedback loop currently, is manipulation of people’s minds. The conundrum I see is “how do we get the power to get the power to then implement a lawful world, where cheaters can’t rule?”Fundamentally I think that just as it is the environment that makes a tree tall and straight or broad and full, it is the environment we are in that will bring out the range of ways that we can be. So our challenge is to imagine and create the environment that fosters an egalitarian society.Best,Stephen
Interesting, about cleverness and audacity. Perhaps we caught the same psychic wave.
You mention creating an ‘environment’, that fosters an egalitarian society. I agree, and I use the term ‘culture’, which is more or less equivalent to ‘social environment’. If we want to create an egalitarian culture, then we need to learn how to overcome divisiveness, and how to work together effectively on an egalitarian basis. We need to learn how to collaborate without depending on leaders to make decisions for us. This is something we can learn to do in our neighborhoods and in our communities. The means to do it are available.
I don’t like the idea of a ‘lawful world’. ‘Lawful’ sounds like legislation, which is a form of regimentation. And ‘lawful world’ sounds like regimentation on a global level, which means global governance, which means tyranny. Reliance on law is reliance on a static formula for how things should be. Yes, there will always be some agreed rules, but we need to think more in terms of process than rules.
From: “Claudia Woodward-Rice”Date: 20 February 2010 20:02:07 GMTSubject: Re: “We’ve missed your updates”
Hi Richard-I guess we all know about the “in-betweens” and the let-down that can come after a project is finished. And the future just isn’t very rosy especially when looked at planet-wide. I expect many of us will also have to face a big hurdle if we need to replace far-ranging explorations with the drudgery of survival. That’s where love-the-one-you’re-with comes in and ensemble, task-oriented communities can’t be over-rated. Visionaries and Doers are seldom the same people, but they make a hell of a team!Claudia
I don’t think of survival in terms of drudgery. I think that image comes from our current concept of ‘job’, which is something you do mainly to get money, but are otherwise detached from. From that perspective, things like growing your own food or making your own dwelling might seem like a ‘drudgery job description’. But the difference is that you’re connected to what you’re doing, and you’re taking responsibility for your own circumstances. And you’re doing it with others. I think more in terms of a spirit of liberation and empowerment, rather than drudgery.
‘Love the one you’re with’ is a great concept. In terms of community, ‘who you are with’ is your neighbors, and ‘loving them’ is working with them to create neighborhood-as-community. I also like your concept of ‘hell of a team’. We all have different talents and ways of thinking. When we work together, on an egalitarian basis, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Communities have the potential to be powerful things. The only thing we have to lose is our isolation.
From: “Lincoln Justice”Date: 20 February 2010 05:23:55 GMTTo: “Richard Moore” <•••@••.•••>Subject: Re: “We’ve missed your updates”
Richard,I especially appreciate this message from your heart. My wife and I share your discouragement as we watch the slide into global destruction. The “dark night of the soul” is not the end of the world, but an opportunity to catch a vision of the new world that is soon to be born. The seeds have been planted. The roots are growing in the soil.When I become most discouraged I gain new energy as I focus on the vision of the new world — the kindom of heaven on earth. Making that vision clear is the most powerful form of prayer. It is a creative act. I do not attempt to figure out the “how”, but leave this to daily guidance.I am enjoying my work with the local Well-Fed Neighbor Alliance and the Energy Alternative Network. Our vision is to restore the abundance Missouri had 100 years ago with local food and local jobs.We believe “that our best security in hard times is a Well-Fed Neighbor.”On July 28, 2009 I took part in a world wide meditation. During that time I asked for a vision of a new world:
How many people are involved in the Missouri project?
I posted your vision statement to newslog. It’s interesting, and even more interesting would be the outcome of a seminar where others pooled their visions with yours. For example, here’s a response already from Bill Ellis:
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Climate science: observations vs. models
moderator: •••@••.••• (comments welcome)