intro’d to rory via michel fb post on daniel talking about conspiracy theories and then adding link to this article (is the virus our vaccine) in comments: https://ecohustler.com/culture/is-the-virus-our-vaccine/
“‘This long read essay by Rory Spowers is the best overview of our current situation I have found and a genuine contribution to collective sense-making, including many actionable items.’ – Daniel
COVID-19: Chinese curse, causing crisis and collapse; or canary in the coalmine and catalyst for change?
There is much to suggest that the new level of thinking we need to cultivate is an ability to think ‘systemically’, to learn be more comfortable with uncertainty and shift our focus from a purely ‘reductionist’ view of the world, to a more balanced perspective that integrates insights emerging from areas of science known as *Systems Theory.
or simply: *curiosity
A animation of a double-rod pendulum at an intermediate energy showing chaotic behavior. Starting the pendulum from a slightly different initial condition would result in a vastly different trajectory. The double-rod pendulum is one of the simplest dynamical systems with chaotic solutions https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaos_theory
Since human feelings and emotions, such as love and compassion, or the domains we might call spiritual or metaphysical, could not be measured empirically, they were dismissed as being irrelevant. All focus went on the observable physical universe, which was increasingly deprived of intelligence and life. In turn, we separated consciousness into the three-dimensional confines of atomised individuals, usually down to just the human brain itself. Awareness and our capacity to self-reflect, was seen as an ‘epiphenomenon’, some mysterious faculty that had arisen from complex neuronal firing within our brains and was peculiar to humans.
For several decades now, we have been witnessing the disastrous consequences of treating nature like a machine.
and treating machines like humans
increases in complexity and diversity are also directly linked to resilience and immunity.
Since the complexity of the bacteria in our micro-biome are now thought to account for some 80% of our immune system health, there is now a recognised link between compromised gut health and lowered immunity, which is in turn directly linked to the health of the soil. We now know that living topsoil produces serotonin and dopamine, two of the dominant neurotransmitters within humans. And we also now know that most of our serotonin is produced in the gut and depression is often directly correlated with poor gut health. There is also new research suggesting that Monsanto’s ubiquitous glyphosate agro-chemical Roundup, now detected in over 70% of rainfall samples drawn from the globe, is linked to disturbances in our dopamine system and therefore also implicated in the depression pandemic that encircles the globe.
cancer cycle to whales in sea world
In summary therefore, resilience, immunity and life itself, all thrive with increasing diversity and complexity. Capacities for self-regulation, self-adaptation and self-organisation, all increase at all levels of the systems. When diversity and complexity are compromised and diminished, the reverse is true, at all levels of the system. And these principles can be applied at all scales, from cellular networks to social systems and the biosphere itself.
Our fixation with dominion and control within an unpredictable universe has also fuelled the rise of our risk-averse culture. Our over-obsessive concern with ‘bad bacteria’ and ‘germs’ has created an over-sanitised environment in which children are left unexposed to pathogens that are crucial for building healthy immune systems.
As Charles Eisenstein observes, our current systems need an enemy to fight – be it terrorism or a virus. But when confronted with the truly complex issues of the ecological crisis, our institutions completely fail to make an adequate response – partly because that requires questioning the entire economic paradigm upon which it has been constructed.
In the same way that we have an arms industry made more profitable by war, we have a healthcare industry that is more profitable by keeping us sick and issuing more prescriptions.
Perhaps the greatest challenge we face is how to re-purpose these core drivers within our culture, so that we can create an alignment of interests at all levels of the system, from the regeneration of topsoil and coral reefs, to our economic and political systems and the biosphere itself. Daniel Schmactenberger call this the ‘omni win-win’, whereby we re-design global civilisation to work like the cells and organs of the human body, in which all elements are both *sharing and exchanging resources, as well as working towards the health of the whole.
as long as we’re not thinking we have to measure *any of that
So, although it is important that we listen to voices from across the spectrum, we also need to be careful about those that replace one dominating narrative promoting fear and anxiety with another.
Before dismissing all alternative scenarios however, we should bear in mind the degree to which many of yesterday’s ‘conspiracy theories’ have had a tendency to turn into today’s fact.
As the days unfolded and we started to stabilise within our new routines, there was a growing sense of how we might use this time most constructively. I was reminded of a famous quote from the early seventeenth century French philosopher and physicist Blaise Pascal, who once remarked that ‘All men’s miseries derive from not being able to sit in a quiet room alone.’
quiet in room ness
Suddenly, there was *no real excuse for not tackling those things we dismiss as ‘not having time for’: cooking; gardening; yoga and meditation; reading Proust or Dostoevsky; learning to play an instrument; baking bread; sorting family photos. And that bifurcation of human activity, between analogue and digital pursuits, became even more pronounced, forcing us to re-evaluate our priorities. As many of us confronted our own mortality more deeply than ever before, we were presented with some big questions. What is really important in my life? What do I need to hold on to and what can I relinquish? And perhaps, as a culture and a society, can we use that collective process to reimagine the world and our future?
true and good.. but *not for everyone.. has to be everyone.. or none of us are truly free
The other potent metaphor introduced by Eisenstein is that of the ‘intervention’ to deal with addiction.
Having spent most of my adult life researching, writing and campaigning for deep systemic change, one question was always impossible to answer: how do we get there from here? We may have a fully fleshed out vision for what we wish to see in the world, but the actual mechanisms by which that might come to fruition have always alluded us. What conditions could create the most fertile ground for a ‘phase shift’ or transition to this more beautiful world?
One of the main problems has always been that incremental optimisation of the current systems simply will not produce the necessary changes, since they are all still predicated on principles that are out of step with ecological parameters – an obvious example being that these changes still remain embedded within an economic model fixated with infinite growth on a finite planet. As British Prime Minister David Lloyd George once said, ‘Man’s greatest mistake is to think he can cross a chasm in two leaps.’ For systemic change to work, all components of the system have to go through that step change together. Without fundamental changes in our political and economic models for example, all aspirations for true systemic change are doomed.
as we divert our attention towards the human pandemic, we should not forget the wider crisis that threatens the future of all life.
The sustainability agenda, or incremental adjustments to our current systems, simply won’t cut it. We might push the horizon a bit further away, but the overall trajectory remains the same. Besides, why would we wish to sustain something that we know is fundamentally flawed, based upon an obsolete and redundant way of looking at the world and can only lead inexorably towards self-termination? The only chance for stabilising the global climate at a level that still supports life as we know it, requires nothing less than a global, mass mobilised movement towards regenerating the biosphere which, rather than just trying to stabilise emissions, is directed towards active sequestration of carbon from the atmosphere, through a combination of ecological approaches, from regenerative farming techniques to ‘re-wilding’ ecosystem restoration and large scale seaweed farming.
Can we use this time to redraft the rules, initiating what Schmactenberger and others call Game B, an ‘infinite game’ constructed on co-operative, collaborative and non-rivalrous dynamics, while the finite limitations of Game A fall away?
still incremental.. still tragedy of the non common..
we can go deeper.. ie: findings
Before we look more deeply at what that might entail, let me present a ‘theory of change’ that underpins the whole principle of systems change. As the visionary thinker Buckminster Fuller asserted: ‘You never create change by fighting the existing reality. You build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.’ While dissent and social movements like Extinction Rebellion (XR) seem like an essential aspect of this process, we all need to find our niche within the current systems and decide where our energy can most effectively be directed. Those that feel apprehensive about taking to the streets for example, can find alternative ways to co-create the new models we need. While I applaud the successes of grass-roots movements around the globe, often sacrificing their lives to stem the advances of extractive corporate greed, for many of us in the relative comforts of the developed world, our options can appear limited. While many may sympathise with XR, the notion of radical protest, even if implicitly non-violent, can be compromising to the security of their livelihoods. But most of us can take those first steps towards ‘radical localisation’, finding others within our immediate networks who are in alignment over these issues and can work with us to put these ideas into practice – be that a local compositing initiative, an allotment scheme, a wind power co-operative, an alternative currency, or a permaculture community. As history has shown us, revolution rarely replaces an existing oppressive regime with the required upgrade and violent confrontation can be seen as part of the same dynamic that lies at the heart of the problem. As agro-ecological writer and campaigner Colin Tudge elegantly puts is,.. Revolution is not required. Renaissance is what is needed.
Can we leverage a new sense of solidarity to boost resilience and build self-reliance into our communities?
ie: cure ios city
One crucial realisation lies at the heart of this process. The gradual abdication of power and control over our essential human needs – food, water, shelter, energy – to ever more centralised corporate and state controlled entities, has been such an insidious and covert process, that most of us are oblivious to it even happening. Now we are quite happily allowing ourselves to become little more than a strip of code within a global digital dictatorship, where the world of big data appears to be providing a free and essential service, but is also using us and our personal information as the commodity.
this is actually a great ie of why we haven’t been focusing on deep enough needs (that 8b would resonate w today).. many have the 4 you listed and are still trying to fill holes..
when you change the focus of needs from ie: food water shelter energy.. to maté basic needs.. makes the whole infra simpler.. takes away all the measuring/accounting.. and then we trust that the energy of 8b alive people will take care of the rest.. for all of us.. has to be all of us or it won’t work
As this confluence of crises gathers momentum, the communities with the greatest self-reliance over their essential human needs, will by definition become the most resilient. The systemic cracks we see becoming exposed in the US, should serve as a poignant illustration of this. The fact that the country regarded as the most powerful and wealthiest in the world is currently looking like the worst affected, speaks volumes.
and so.. even deeper antifragility et al.. if we go to maté basic needs first.. imagine that
6 spheres – In the summer of 2019, working with a small group of educators and activists, we launched a new educational media platform called The Re-Generation, initiating dialogues around systems change and regenerative cultures with leading commentators like Russell Brand, explorer Bruce Parry, XR Co-Founder Gail Bradbrook, leading localisation activist Helena Norberg-Hodge and Ecocide campaigner Jojo Mehta. Our aim has been not only to provide a forum for these important conversations, but also use that content to develop educational ‘learning journeys’ for budding ‘regenerators’ wishing to engage with this process. Now that our physical events for 2020 have gone on hold, we are shifting the focus on-line, with a programme of podcasts and webinars.
In an attempt to encourage a systemic view of the interrelation between different systems, we have chosen six areas that are embedded within each other: Food, Health, Economics, Community, Culture and Consciousness.
imagine if we just focused on just one: consciousness.. to get at our deepest needs (authenticity & attachment) – then all the others would feed into that.. and/or become irrelevant (just as you are describing everything feeding into your 6.. we can go deeper to just 2 – findings et al)
[reading thru your other 5.. seems to me a time suck.. and as you say.. we don’t have time.. esp if what we’re conversing about is going to keep us on the same treadmill]
As activist and writer Daniel Pinchbeck suggests, our ‘planetary initiation’ could be seen as a call for humanity to make a move from youthful ignorance into a more mature adulthood. Maybe a part of this process involves upgrading our relationship to technology, replacing those that undermine ecological processes with those that actively regenerate them?
As Russell Brand says, we are waking up to the ‘systemic betrayal behind the narrative of progress’. All this technology that was supposed to make us happier and less stressed, so far seems to have done the reverse.
Finally, we will also take a look at Consciousness itself, a word that can often induce a level of eye-rolling and instant association with New Age drivel. However, without us examining the more metaphysical or spiritual dimensions to human existence, I very much doubt we will have any chance of fully embracing, or even understanding, the systemic changes required, since they demand a re-evaluation of our sense of human identity.
again.. perhaps if we start there.. won’t need the rest
Paradoxically, C-19 is giving us the time and the space to take this journey. In a sense, this is our ‘calling’, to be part of a planetary initiation process, a collective metanoia, from which we can emerge with the resolve and the resilience we need to give birth to a new culture and a new civilisation, one which has moved beyond the polarities of Us and Them to recognise the oneness of just Us.
45 min video – embedded in article above – The Re-Generation: Rory Spowers in discussion with Russell Brand at Port Eliot Festival 2019 [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B7utrh6xICU]
5 min – russell: i’m interested in participating in consciousness where we can facil this awareness/awakening so we can have new system.. looking at us as one
9 min – russell: on psychedelics et al.. as if there is a common language beyond verbal/spoken language.. why is this so hard to get when we dream every night
ie: idio-jargon et al
13 min – russell: fear and desire trigger my ego.. and that’s what media focuses on .. fear and desire
fear and desire approach limit of neg infinity if we focus on maté basic needs
14 min – russell: i need people to wake up.. because i’m lonely.. want to find other people who believe there’s another way
costello screen service law.. et al.. and why we felt we’d gone far enough with the lab.. has to be all of us to dance
16 min – russell: look at us.. we’ve been deluded.. i’ve got no choice but to not want an alt.. and .. i’ve got no right to judge anyone
begs we detox/facil us via tech w/o judgment
22 min – russell: (on how to get there).. maybe look at where points of resistance are.. ie: econ/political polarization
23 min – russell: there are limitless ways of org ing
25 min – russell: access to new plains of data
ie: self-talk as data
26 min – rory: would you believe we can’t incremental this
russell: i do believe that rory but i wouldn’t want to negate the people who work very hard in those fields.. so we gotta do what we gotta do.. but for me personally.. then goes off on bucky and replicating nature.. we should emulate indigenous ness
yeah that.. thinking restate/update 7.18.
27 min – russell: afford people a greater role in life than part of an econ system
28 min – rory on hg’s being peaceful and anarchic
30 min – russell: for me spirituality is entirely practical.. if you don’t give me coping techniques i’m going to freak out
35 min – q&a
2 min video sept 2019 – RORY SPOWERS on Our Economy Being Out of Date [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HK47VKT57tY]
lots of economies are built on ecologies .. but you can never build an ecology on an economy
1 min video aug 2019 – RORY SPOWERS on Our Consciousness [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQ_Hde__wlQ]
our conceptual separation from the rest of nature is the biggest delusion of all.. what we need is a massive shift in understanding who we are and our relation to nature and rest of universe
let’s just start there.. rather than w the food et al
consciousness something much more fundamental to whole universe & quite possible the primary nature of reality.. that everything arises w/in consciousness..t
so why start with food? (and the other 4).. in your 6 spheres
Founder and Editor of The Re-Generation, a media platform for systems change solutions –
[rory doesn’t appear to use twitter account]
googled: Rory Spowers is a writer, campaigner and event curator, specialising in systems change and consciousness issues.
The Re-Generation will highlight people and projects for ‘systems change’ in six definitive areas — Food, Health, Economics, Community, Culture and Consciousness.
partners/patrons/advisors: Bruce Parry | Charles Eisenstein | Rupert Sheldrake | Jojo Mehta | Amanda Feilding | Jasmin Hemsley | Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall | Colin Tudge | Helena Norberg-Hodge | Satish Kumar | Russell Brand | Tony Juniper | Graham Hancock | Daniel Pinchbeck
Daniel Pinchbeck (@DanielPinchbeck) tweeted at 6:05 AM on Thu, Jun 04, 2020:
Please join us for Building Our Regenerative Future, a monthlong webinar envisioning a path beyond this global crisis… https://t.co/tvXlvgUdxL
Please join activist authors Daniel Pinchbeck and Rory Spowers, with special guest hosts and faculty, for this 8-part webinar journey, launching the operating system for our regenerative future.
Building Our Regenerative Future features lectures, live interviews with experts in the areas we investigate, optional workshop exercises, optional reading and watching lists, and guidelines for future study.
Price is €200 for the course, which includes an optional certificate for those willing to complete a written exam.
big red flag we’re doing it wrong.. if we think we have to pay.. to train.. to get certification .. for a revolution/reset
our hierarchical listening is killing us
let go guys.. there’s a nother way