Those who are mindful are beginning to realize that only an entirely
new operating system can prevent the collapse of civilization. However,
to date, no one has presented such a system. This presentation outlines
a system that has the potential to serve as a viable replacement for
the current paradigm.
In an interesting book that I may have previewed here at some time in the past, Lex Hixon traces enlightenment in ten different traditions. My interpretation of the message is that we need to move beyond the concept of a supreme being to one of a supreme identity. This means that we must develop to the point where we drop the ego.
While enlightenment is often presented in tandem with mysticism, it can be discussed in practical terms. It is more important than ever that anyone who is in a position to do so research enlightenment and get the message out to those who they can influence. Remarkably enough, there are theologians who have never reached the enlightenment stage. (I recently previewed a book, Darwin's Gift, by Francisco Ayala that makes the case that evolution explains why "God" did nasty things. Wow!)
The concept of supreme identity is consistent not only with the advanced levels of religious traditions but also with physics, biology, psychology -- just about anything you can name. One doesn't have to be a mystic to know this. A few moments of reflection is all that is required.
My research has led me to the conclusion that we must have living systems that encourage individuals to develop a supreme identity. In simple and practical terms, we're all in this together. A sustainable system would not permit accumulation beyond what is necessary to get us through a winter or two. Buying a 2500 s.f. house and working for 30 years or more to pay for it is not sustainable. If we die with material assets, then we have failed the supreme identity test and the sustainability test.
From The Timeless Way of Building (ISBN 0-19-502402-8):
Nothing to keep, nothing to lose. No possessions, no security, no concern about possessions, and no concern about security: in this mood it is possible to do exactly what makes sense, and nothing else; there are no hidden fears, no morals, no rules, no undercurrent of constraint, no subtle sense of concern for the form of what the people round you are doing, and above all no concern for what you are yourself, no subtle fear of other people's ridicule, no subtle train of fears which can connect the smallest triviality wih bankruptcy and loss of love and loss of friends and death, no ties, no suits, no outward elements of majesty at all. Only the laughter and the rain. [p.51]
But to reach the quality without a name, a building must be made, at least in part, of those materials which age and crumble. Soft tile and brick, soft plaster, fading coats of paint, canvas which has been bleached a little and torn by the wind,...fruit, dropping on the paths, and being crushed by people walking over it, grass growing in the cracks between the stones, an old chair, patched, and painted, to increase its comfort... [p.153]
Imagine, by contrast, a system of simple rules, not complicated, patiently applied, until they gradually form a thing. The thing may be formed gradually and built all at once, or built gradually over time -- but it is formed, essentially, by a process no more complicated than the process by which the Samoans shape their canoe.
Here there is no mastery of unnameable creative processes; only the patience of a craftsman, chipping away slowly; the mastery of what is made does not lie in the depths of some impenetrable ego; it lies, instead, in the simple mastery of the steps in the process, and in the definition of these steps. [p. 161]
If you want to make a living flower, there is only one way to do it -- you will have to build a seed for the flower and then let it, this seed, generate the flower. [p.162]
However, in a period when languages are no longer widely shared, when people have been robbed of their intuitions by specialists, when they no longer even know the simplest patterns that were once implicit in their habits, it becomes necessary to make patterns explicit, precisely and scientifically, so that they can be shared in a new way -- explicitly, instead of implicitly -- and discussed in public. [p.246]
These two places have a little of the innocence and egolessness which is necessary to the quality without a name. And why? Because the people who made them simple do not care what other people think of them. I don't mean that they are defiant: people who defiantly don't care what other people think of them, they still care at least enough to be defiant -- and it is still a posture. [p.537]
This post touches on almost every category that I have formerly established. I am sometimes asked what I do. Maybe I should start referring questioners to the About area of this blog. I'm trying to find our why we as a society do not live up to our potential. The fragility of our present circumstance requires some integral and creative answers. We have to create a system that competes with the prevailing system.
Why a "private" hedge club? A public entity requires the oversight of the government. Why anyone would want this government involved in their financial affairs is a mystery to me. Fiscal irresponsibility aside, the government has a "leader" who less than 15 years ago was placed on a board -- through a favor from the well-connected -- and proceeded to distinguish himself during his tenure by telling dirty jokes.
Why a private "hedge" club? Most people have put all their marbles -- literally and figuratively -- in a system that is fraught with corruption and inefficiency. They need to realize that there can be a way to "hedge" the current system. The fragility of the current system is there -- for us all to see -- but yet we remain in a state of denial. (To be up front, this also permits playing the "fear card." A tool that unfortunately seems to be required in order to get the general public's attention.)
Why a private hedge "club"? A private club seems to me to be the only entity that can encompass all of the elements necessary to create a new institution. Education, a physical infrastructure, lack of dogma and doctrine, and longevity. The term "society" works as well but makes it harder to define the rules that are necessary for sustainability.
Primary Hedge Areas
One of the dominant -- read thought-killing -- characteristics of the current system is debt. Debt is all about possessing. The irony is that so long as debt is involved, the system -- not the bank per se -- possesses you. This is unhealthy and one reason -- in my opinion -- for the high levels of depression. (This reminds me of the standard Christian response with respect to the poor: They will always be with us. Baaad Attitude!) If one wants to hedge the current system, one would create an institution in which "banking" is equity only.
As has been pointed out in earlier posts, our education is primarily geared towards producing certified individuals, rather than critical-thinking individuals. Another dominant characteristic of the education system is that it is concerned with turning out folks who work/manipulate behind a desk -- or in a hotel lobby with a laptop -- rather than doing something that is hands-on. In the new global economy, your desk job will soon be done somewhere around the world where the costs are lower. Why would anyone want to sit behind a desk for 8+ hours anyway? The hedge club will commit resources to shaping an education system that includes hands-on activity and real-world projects.
Opportunity, not charity or propaganda. The current system's tax laws either encourage charitable giving or cause (special interest) giving. A hedge club can be structured to encourage members to quit giving to charity and propaganda. Pay your taxes and use the balance to build up equity in a system that builds and provides opportunity, rather than tears down and gives hand-outs.
Anyone who thinks the current system is not sustainable should contact me and make a commitment to help get the ball rolling. Hit the "Email Me" button (above left) and contact me. We can change the course of history this afternoon.
...Friere is committed to an anthropological philosophy that identifies the
ontological vocation of all human beings, that is, "to be a Subject who
acts upon and transforms his world, and in so doing moves toward ever
new possibilities of fuller and richer life individually and
collectively." This thinly veiled theology is central to all that
Friere writes, even though this exaltation of self-actualization is in
direct conflict with the basic presuppositions of most world faiths.
For example, many Christians and Muslims understand obedience to be
their ontological vocation.
Has the reviewer come upon -- maybe unintentionally -- a critical connection in the persistence of oppression?