Community

EarthPhoto“We cannot turn our back and say that violence in films or anything that we do doesn’t have a sort of influence,” (Jamie) Foxx said in an interview on Saturday. “It does.”

Arundhati Roy, on a different occasion, said:
“Our strategy should be not only to confront empire, but to lay siege to it. To deprive it of oxygen, to shame it. To mock it. With our art, our music, our joy, our brilliance, our sheer relentlessness — and our ability to tell our own stories. Stories that are different from the ones we’re being brainwashed to believe.”

The Yin and the Yang of life are part of how the Creation functions, just as the law of gravity is part of how the solar system functions, and the natural law of cause and effect is part of how the universe functions. We can’t change how these things function, and if we could the universe and all its parts would cease to exist as it now is. That sort of reality is called a fact of life. In spite of the misuse of the term by some creative authors, facts do not change and we cannot change them. That’s what the word means.

We make our stories around the facts of life, and the closer our stories can come to the reality of Life the better it is for us, because when our world view is realistic, it’s easier for us to “go with the flow.” This is how community helps individuals. Community and communal stories transmit wisdom about how to go with the flow of the facts of life.

In our modern corposystem culture, the stories we are being brainwashed to believe are about human power, including human power over nature. Humans do not have power over nature. We have the limited power to rearrange nature — so long as we do not try to change the facts of life. So long as we don’t confuse our human opinions with the facts of life. Our modern stories are telling us a wide variety of things that aren’t true. As human individuals, we know this, but most people have no way to know what is true and what is not. This leads to massive disruptions of world view both in individuals and in the communities, and in the culture as a whole. I won’t try to list the various results I have observed, but one is people who go crazy and do irrational things, another is people who believe that everything they believe is right and everyone else is wrong. That sort of thing.

We humans do not understand the major facts of life. You could say that is because the universe (or just Life on earth) is more vast and complicated than our brains; you could say it’s because we are not God. We do not and can not understand everything. That’s why we need stories. The stories are not facts and are not meant to be facts. The stories are meant to pattern our brains, as young humans, so that we can understand how to go with the flow — that does not mean we understand the flow. It means we have learned many things about causes of problems by observing the effects of behaviors. We have learned to not jump off tall buildings without a parachute. That does not mean we understand everything about the law of gravity or the density of air, but many people have been saved, because of our communal knowledge from doing the experiment (think of the story of Icarus, and the story of climate change, both of which of true in their essential message, whether or not anyone can prove the details). We have passed these kinds of understanding through the generations by our stories, including our science, for those who will listen.

In our modern corposystem culture, we are brainwashing ourselves with false stories about human dominance, including human dominance over the laws of nature. We have done this hundreds, probably thousands of times in past communities, and it never has worked. Those cultures that tried to dominate God or the universe always fell apart, and according to an observable pattern that has been commented upon (think of the Fall of the Roman Empire, or the modern negative feelings toward the “failure” of the green revolution which, nevertheless, we are repeating almost to the details, but with somewhat different rationalizations).

We get that old ego in action and then we forget the necessity to life itself of the yin and the yang of life, and we begin to try to control the balance between the two. This is what I mean when I say we are fighting against the facts of life. It is probably what the religions mean when they speak of ego, or “no-self.” Once we are convinced of our own omnipotence, selfness, unique identity — then we forget the cause of the power and believe that is us — that we are the cause of our power, when in reality it a relationship between yin and yang over time, intertwined with the law of cause and effect, that have led to our fortunate circumstances. Would you have had the same fortunate circumstances if you had been born in Indonesia?

Then we break up into two “sides” and the yin starts trying to dominate the yang and vice versa. You can call this the good guys against the bad guys. The heroes against the villains. You can call it aggression fighting with passive aggression. Whatever you call it, so long as we believe in the cultural model of our individual or human dominance over reality — nobody will ever “win,” and the fallout (the victims, physical and mental and emotional) pile higher and deeper until the entire culture crashes.

Boo18-05-EarthFlowerLFlatI hear a lot of people talking about evolution, none of whom understand evolution so far as I can see, nor are they trying to understand it, and all of them trying to promote either yin or yang, regardless of the universal reality that the universe cannot operate according either yin or yang or any other human story. We will never have our “adaptation,” our evolutionary cultural breakthrough, until/unless we stop believing cultural stories of dominance, omnipotence and power over factual reality. So long as we continue to believe as we are told that there is a way to “win,” over any fact — so long as we defy the reality of yin and yang and fight for the good (or the bad, or the victim) rather than find a way to grow a holistic, integrated human culture which recognizes that there are too many tall buildings in the world– until we stop believing in our false cultural stories — we will never win anything. We will simply repeat the cycle of power, dominance and growth until the earth can no longer support our silly fantasies.

I, for example, was raised a victim, but worked my way up to good-guy. As the story is told below under “Heads Up”, I didn’t want to be a good-guy after I saw that the good-guys were creating most of the victims, and I certainly didn’t want to be a bad guy. So I retired and went away. When I came back, without any particular change in me, I am now a bad-guy in the myths of our culture that now “hates science.” (But lives off it.) So — no matter what you are, the culture will shuffle you into one or other of the three designated slots, according to what it needs to maintain itself. And that is the cycle of our mythology — the mythology that has grown the corposystem. An evil monster if ever there was one, and you and I nurture its growth every day of our lives. Just by believing the stories of our own dominance over whatever we have chosen to dominate.

We might make a massive, unparalleled human social evolution — adaptation to reality — if we were to change our stories from domination to respectful participation. To do that, we would need to learn how to fact-check — how to tell a fact from an opinion — and then we would need to consider the relationships between cause and effect at all levels, the individual, the community and the whole biological community, before we create — anything. (Begin by studying the precautionary principle, check the Bioneers old presentations.)

“. . . the wise live without injuring nature, as the bee drinks nectar without harming the flower.” (The Dhammapada translated by Easwaran)

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