This ancient Chinese curse seems so appropriate for the times we live in. But it may be more clear today to curse, “May you live in confusing times.” Confusion is the meme of our current world. But looking closely at the word, it means “with” or “against” the “linking of ideas or physical items.” We can be “con” against or contrary to these times. It is easy to unite with all the upsetting details of our times and spend all of our energies in a con state rather than a pro state. But the deeper meaning of the root “con” is “with” or “to stand by or next to.” When we sit with the fusions of our times, this is, as the Chinese also remind us in the I Ching, a time of opportunity. What we can be is pro-fusion. We can assemble ideas and events, experiences and talents, lines and links across a myriad of disciplines and perceptual fields.
There are so many details available to us in our modern world because we have access to so much information, truths,stories, perceptions and lines of being. Flick a switch, press a link on your phone, search the net, everyone has access to information. But few actually take the time to doubt. Doubt is the hallmark of an intelligent mind. To question is key to the long term survival. Through questioning we discover deeper truths, ideas or solutions. But to doubt everything is pathological… we need to doubt and thus question. When we stop questioning and insist upon our truth as the only truth, we are dead in the water. The mind/brain makes no more connections; we loose our nueroplasticity. We become old, dead shells. It was connections and leaps into the unknown or the unknowable that allowed our ancestors to survive through the times which led to these inventions we now rely on so fiercely for our truths, facts and entertainment.
But just looking around the web of information and experience at this time is very confusing. Anyone can promulgate a lie as truth and then set up the world to scramble after the facts. Even if there are no facts to support assertions, there are so many who maintain faulty or fake perceptions in contradistinction to facts. This is not just true in the area of politics which is so readily evident, but it occurs in all aspects of our lives. Religion, science, engineering, business, in fact all specialties have this curse of the lie being accepted as the truth. Yet in most cases, if we open to discussion (dis-cuss – against curses or to smash through the argument) , conversation (con-verse – to change ones view), and most of all listening to opposing sides, we have an opportunity to change the world as we know it together.
We both hold onto such outlandish ideas, defend them with a virulence that is amazing, and risk our lives on myths that are outdated and outmoded. While at the same time, we convince ourselves that we are correct, and in most things we are because if we were not living with this self ideal, even if deluded, we could not get through our days. This is why we live in con-fusing times. Everyone argues that they have the right to their opinions and perceptions without thought or cause or concern for any other person, cause or concern. But it is the building up of these false perceptual fields founded on a lack of facts and experience that leads us down the primrose path to our mutual assured destruction while defending our right to be completely wrong. The right can often be the enemy of the good.
Unanticipated concequences are key in this logic. When the philosophers and ancients defended the right to be wrong, they were not thinking of that person, who is so consistently wrong, may have their finger on the button to destroy the whole world. They were anticipating a world where the conversations and discussions would lead to some form of the truth, evolution and enlightenment. They did not predict a world so overwhelmed with information that we would choose not to be enlightened and rather run back to our mythologies and false religions of opinion unsupported by fact. They could not conceive of a world more controlled by the los confunditos of insanity.
There are unanticipated consequences hidden in everyone of our inventions. There are unanticipated consequences for pulling up coal as resource to fuel our energy economy. Those unanticipated consequences have led to environmental harms and thus what economists say we have entered a time of diseconomy. Inventions or previous economies where we did not place a price on clean air then we paid in the past for the resource, but now we are paying even more as a result of the pollution and effects… and thus pollution has created more costs than the original sale of coal within those economies that created the seeds of those successes. We are paying it backwards now.
We can to some extent forgive our ancestors for not knowing the potential damage until the damage was already in full swing. Many of the scientists who worked on the atomic bomb were curious and amazing minds solving an interesting problem only to find that their interest in solving the problem had far reaching unanticipated consequences. Do we damn them for their work at uncovering that knowledge and information, the necessary solution in their times? Nope. But we have spent decades making sure we don’t mutually assure our destruction.
We live in interesting times. We now know without a shadow of a doubt what the conclusions are from a 10,000 year program of owning the earth, dominating the seeds and controlling the resources which were and are our mother-given right and gift to have as a result of being alive no longer works. Cultures and societies throughout the world are questioning the roots of our mutual global civilization and wondering if there is not another way we can go. Ownership of everything, the commodification of everything has led inevitably down a rabbit hole to the wholesale destruction of our world in the name of profit. Thus we must question the answers deeply, but not haphazardly. We must in a disciplined manner set our sites on the survival of the species as a whole and consider the tough patterns within our global culture that are killing us.
The hardest step in this process is to no longer accept the tribal construction of our ideas. We can no longer be defined as one nation, race or people in comparison to another. No one will win, despite the program that claims there can be one world winner. We will all loose. We can only be what we are, humans living together on a tiny blue planet in the corner of the galaxy amongst billions with no hope of jumping off this rock without completely changing our physical form. We can’t be a single religion or idea of the ultimate spirit. The gods have allowed us to define them in enough ways and play fist and cuffs on the playground of our planet for far to long. Mad! Mutual Assured Destruction! M god can beat up your god… what hubris! We need to accept the mystery of unity behind all things which comes in many names. Every religion, metaphysical philosophy and idea must go through a radical change and drop the self serving and controlling aspects of separation into us and them… for it is in setting up this separations that we have caught the worst virus of ownership of the earth and thus control and ultimately devolution of our civilization/world as we know it.
What is not being said here is technology is bad. What is not being said is that invention is bad. What is not being said here is that how we got here is cursed. This is not in any way shape or form an apocalyptic madness story about the end times. Its about the beginning times, its about the circling around the table times. It is a deeper calling to something more infinitely true. We live in a cycle or a pattern which calls us to really consider all patterns and start to choose something different. We need to reject the idea of a single sourced beginning and an inevitable end. These are founded on the control patterns of those who believe we can own the earth…rather than live within her.
She, the earth, will ultimately win. She has culled the heard before. Extinction events are more common that any of us are willing to admit. What allowed our very weak species to survive was the ability to adapt to extreme shifts in her pulse and to think our way around the problems we confront. Thus we have shrunk back, sometimes significantly, only to expand again, lesson learned. What is coming is not an end but another step in the cyclical process of evolution on this planet. Be it a meteorite, magnetic poles flipping, a solar flair or our own hubris with global warming, we will adapt, there is no doubt. But we need to open the doorway to the conversations and discussions so we can stand with the fusion of our times and link our arms together against the false profits, distractions and deniers of the facts.
This begins, I hope, a series of writings about looking deep into the patters and consider other stories.