(In recognition of U. S. Thanksgiving Day, I'm "publishing" a day or two early this week.)
The following appeared in an email from a list serve that I recently joined:
Once again thanks for sending this. I think, however, that I have an
even better handle on the world situation than this writer on overpopulation
whose work you sent me. I was asked to speak for 15 minutes on Ronald
Wright's book (his 2004 Massey Lectures) "A Short History of Progress" at
M. S.'s book club dinner last month. I referred not only to Jared
Diamond's book, "Collapse: . . ." but also to Joseph Tainter's "The collapse
of Complex Societies." Document attached.
However, you yourself, having made your most important point on
overpopulation very convincingly, are still missing the more essential
point, namely, that when one has such knowledge as you and I have, it is
important to take such action as one can, not merely circulate similar
messages round and round the same group of adherents to the Truth.
Regardless of the fact that the situation is enough to render anyone
pessimistic, it is essential to act as if much good can be achieved. The
biblical cities Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed because five good men
could not be found who would work against its corruption. However, we are
more than five and, however much suffering lies ahead, Sodom and Gomorrah do
not need to be completely destroyed all over again.
The circulation of messages will always be important, but that in
itself is not enough. Unfortunately, the cgimf yohoo group has become just
that, a bunch on nice guys who are allowing themselves to become doomsday
arm-chair critics of the status quo. I felt forced to speak to Helmut about
this recently, as I feel cgimf has added nothing to the world for some time,
and that this is a great pity, since the world needs people with as much
understanding as the cgimf members evidently have. However, currently we are
100 percent ineffective as such.
Best wishes to you and all,
P.S. I wrote a long letter to the Minister of Defence this week, enclosing
the new paradigm, put together by P. C. and myself. Will pass it
on to cgimf groups. Shirley and I both know Bill Graham the Defence
Minister, Bill Graham, so there is a good chance he will read the letter,
albeit a long one. The intention is to send similar letters to all Ministers
of the Crown, and eventually to all M.P.s. Each will enclose the new
paradigm -- The Holistic Paradigm for the 21st Century.
My sentiments exactly. While I am not familiar with the Holistic Paradigm referred to in the above email, I do have an action plan that has been organically developed over the past 12 years -- and especially in the past 5 years or so. Like many, I have known about the problem for some time, but have probably spent too much time in the "paralysis by analysis" stage. Derek is right. Time for action. (Please note that the following is a distillation of prior posts on integraljournal.net.)
First of all, let's define the problem. It is obvious that the problem is one of physical growth which in turn is the result of a dominant system that is based on cleverness rather than wisdom. This has led to complex-living and simple-mindedness. Indeed, living is so complex that we have elected the simple-minded to lead because we are desperately seeking simple. Very few have the resources, will, and inclination to take action to comprehensively move mankind away from this model. The goal should be to put in place a system that develops complex thinking and simple living. A system that is so attractive that it cannot be ignored by the general population. My problem is not how we got the current system, it is one of why would anyone want the current system?
So, what do we put in place and why would it be attractive?
Start with education. There is simply nothing complex or integrated about the current education system. It typically means getting a certificate that plugs us into the current system and the marketing and sale of all manner of products that are unnecessary for quality living. (Indeed, complex living has created the demand for chemical products that alter reality.) Let's get out of the current system by convincing students of all ages -- directly or through faculty of established institutions -- that they need an experiential and integral education. This means the hands-on development of a product.
What product? We currently live in homes that are vacant most of the week while we are away participating in a system that is destroying every worthwhile asset in this part of the universe. Another shelter and food model is required. Students should be involved in designing, building and operating an ecological infrastructure that provides shelter, food, and fellowship. The capital will come from patrons who are interested in having access -- either for one week or longer depending on commitment -- to an infrastructure of this nature. Patrons/members will have access to 50% of the facility at any one time with the balance being available at cost to: 1) those who design, build, and operate the facility and 2) elementary teachers who demonstrate the ability to communicate the importance of critical thought to students in their formative years. (Our current predicament is a call for all hands on deck. We have got to not only cut back on the power of the current destructive system, but reverse the thrust of the engine.)
This is attractive because it directs capital to ecologically sound infrastructure rather than to business as usual or non-profit organizations who can do nothing but try to stop the worst of the senseless growth that is occurring. It is also attractive because it provides an alternative to the current Wall Street investment machine that is grossly overpriced based on historical price-to-earnings ratios. Investors in this model may lose most of their capital. Another attraction is the ability for those who are aware to meet face-to-face rather than digitally.
This is a movement that should be local. I am quite certain that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of colleges and universities around the world that would like to incorporate this experiential and integral learning into their programs.
One result -- or cause -- of the current system is that the majority of the population stop learning anything outside of their specialty once they leave school. I would venture to say that a majority of the population have not read a work of non-fiction outside of their discipline or a classic work of literature since graduation.
It's time to create a series of life-long learning campuses around the world.
If you have any questions or comments about this action plan, please comment below and I'll respond.
To Complex Minds and Simple Lives -- and Action,