Speaking of connections, for the past 8 years or so I have followed the lead of Huston Smith, the renowned expert on comparative religion, who immersed himself in the basic religions, one at a time, living them rather than merely sudy them. Only I immersed myself in the basic power brokers of our day; self-assembled groups of people who believe in a similar ethic, most of whom believe they have just what the country needs if it is to survive.

I skipped corporate power because I spent my early career in the corporate world. And of course they have now made their message obvious, so there is no need to explain the weakness of their growth ethic.  It simply is not sustainable, and it causes a lot of pain.  This leaves the question — is fake power real power? Or not? But we can think about that some other time.

And I just finished being a working scientist, so no need to spend more time there. Of course the power of science is the ability to face facts; the weakness is misuse of that power by technology (business and government) for short-term gain at the expense of human kind.

And I have spent some years in the Bible Belt, where I encountered fake “love” and learned of the harm that sometimes overcomes the wonders of our religions when fundamentalist attitudes take control, as discussed in the previous post.

So I began my study with the New Age wing of the NGO movement. I learned that the NGO movement controls more money than even the corporations.  I didn’t research that claim, don’t know if it is an exaggeration, but they do control a lot of money. Money, of course, is power.

And then I spent a few years trying to work in politics, but it is all so aggressive that I despair for any actual accomplishments by myself or anyone else.  Aggression as a lifestyle is not a compassionate goal for the future of human kind.

In fact, I think each of these circles spins round and round and around the core of itself, rather than making real contributions toward a compassionate future. The economy, based on growth, will be always failing because a growth ethical is not sustainable. Science is fun, and it can go on forever if someone pays for it, but does it contribute to the common good? Not unless the scientists actually talk to the people and the people are willing to listen. The NGO movement is beautiful, but mostly seems to believe that we can retain yesterday’s values by reverting to yesterday’s failed behaviors, unwilling to face the facts we must deal with if we are to have a compassionate future.

It’s as though we are living in four or five parallel universes, each a fundamentalist belief system that the adherents genuinely expect will “save” the whole.  But each is so focused on driving it’s own goals that none will listen to the truths, facts and realities that are hiding in the fundamentalism of the others.  The result is that the good works of one are often eradicated by the good works of another.

Within the circle of all the circles, but not in any one circle, probably all the information is available to provide a good future for human kind.  And in our situation, information is the power we most need.  But it won’t happen unless we are willing to talk — and really listen — each to what the others are saying. Especially in the areas of our disagreement.