a state of life that calls for another way of living
Language manifests the same irreconcilable paradoxes evident everywhere in life. It can be both limiting -- since the word is not the thing -- and expansive -- where articulating something of the essence of a quality or state of being is concerned. With respect to the latter, the Hopi noun, koyaanisqatsi, is just such a word. The Hopi's cosmology perceives this to be the Fourth World. There were seven worlds created at the beginning. The first three were each destroyed in turn because the humans inhabiting them had diverged too far from their original sacred path of connectedness with and love and respect for all life on Mother Earth. Their prophecies describe the possibility of such a destruction of the Fourth World (in forms such as uranium mining, the existence of powerlines, and the atomic bomb):
If we dig precious things from the land, we will invite disaster.
Near the Day of Purification, there will be cobwebs
spun back and forth in the sky.
A container of ashes might one day be thrown from the sky,
which could burn the land and boil the oceans.
However, as Oren Lyons of the Onondaga has pointed out, it is the choice of each generation whether or not the prophecies of life's disintegration and dissolution will actually fully manifest in that generation's time. It is not a "done deal" where fears -- as well as desires -- of apocalyptic visions are concerned.
There is no question that this time we are living in is a state of life that calls for another way of living. What is in question is can we adequately summon and engage our infinite powers of response ability to transform the way we think and relate to ourselves, all our relations, and the world as a whole with sufficient energy to change the world, thus re-committing ourselves to the original contract with life each of us is here to fulfill?
rat haus reality is deeply interested in exploring the implications and challenges posed by this question. Ideas and facts covering a wide gamut of the symbolic as well as literal landscape of our age, this time of koyaanisqatsi, are gathered, organized, and presented here. The guiding sense of purpose and the hope is that our single, collective, frail, and wondrous human family may find this "publication library" to be a benefit, however minute, to seeing the fact of our selves and our world that much more clearly and free from the self-limiting distortions we are subjected to and that we choose, consciously as well as unconsciously, to subject ourselves to. Such distortion emanates from the world without to some degree, but first-and-foremost its source is the world within, a world every bit as infinite and vast as that seen when one beholds the cosmos on clear nights, away from urban light sources.
Self-deception is the primary source of distortion impeding our perceptions of facts concerning our selves, life, and this world in which we exist within our human overcoats. Self-deception is the hottest thing going on the planet. We change the world when we are able to actually glimpse this distortion operating on our own perceptions, influencing the choices we are making while at the same time thinking that we do not see, nor experience, such influence. The primary psychic "blind spot" here is the general nature of our own processes of thought.
In A Brief Introduction to the Work of Krishnamurti, David Bohm writes,. . . we went on to consider the general disorder and confusion that pervades the consciousness of mankind. It is here that I encountered what I feel to be Krishnamurti's major discovery. What he was seriously proposing is that all this disorder, which is the root cause of such widespread sorrow and misery, and which prevents human beings from properly working together, has its root in the fact that we are ignorant of the general nature of our own processes of thought. Or to put it differently it may be said that we do not see what is actually happening, when we are engaged in the activity of thinking.
Outward manifestations of this inner distortion are available in seemingly endless profusion. While the assault on all life from 50-plus years of playing with the Poison Fire has been a constant focus here in The Health Costs of Low-Level Ionizing Radiation subtree, recent inclusion of Terminator Unleashed, Patenting Life -- Patenting Death provides a view of an alternative form of biological koyaanisqatsi every bit as significant as it is lethal.
Both forms of the above inappropriate exercises of human intelligence have their source of continuation inextricably embedded within the creation of the artificial "life form", "born" in 1886 when 9 human males concluded that, "legally", a private corporation was a "natural person", protected under the US Constitution by the 14th Amendment. Implicit in such thought is an underlying assumption of the "natural" fact and validity of ownership and property.
But such life- limiting and stagnanting assumptions are increasingly being re-explored and considered anew in this time of ours, as well as being consistently challenged by alternative approaches to living in a material world such as that practiced by the Six Nations in the northeast of Turtle Island, the oldest living participatory democracy on Earth. There is so much to learn from such examples of living alternatives as well as expansive perceptions presented by our fellow human beings:
- Celebrating the completion of rat haus reality's 6th revolution around SOL, "The New Myth For Our Species: The Creation of Consciousness" was written by the ratitor to emphasize the significance of Edward Edinger's book, The Creation of Consciousness, Jung's Myth for Modern Man (1984). Experiences lived in awareness that augment the sum total of consciousness in uni verse provide, as Edinger explains, a tangible "meaning for every experience and gives each individual a role in the on-going world-drama of creation."For the first time in history we now have an understanding of man so comprehensive and fundamental that it can be the basis for a unification of the world -- first religiously and culturally and, in time, politically. When enough individuals are carriers of the "consciousness of wholeness," the world itself will become whole.
- Laurens van der Posts' profound essay, "Witness to a Last Will of Man," expresses an essential core of his life-long involvement with and appreciation of "First Man" as he was privileged to know, and be a principle chronicler of, the Kalahari Bushmen -- remnants of "stone age man" still living as they had for tens of thousands of years when Laurens was born in southern Africa in 1906. These human roots exist within all of us still :First man, as I knew him and his history, was a remarkably gentle being, fierce only in defence of himself and the life of those in his keeping. He had no legends or stories of great wars among his own kind and regarded the killing of another human being except in self-defence as the ultimate depravity of his spirit. I was told a most moving story of how a skirmish between two clans in which just one man was killed on a long forgotten day of dust and heat and sulphur sun, caused them to renounce armed conflict forever. He was living proof to me of how the pattern of the individual in service of a self that is the manifestation of the divine in man was built into life at the beginning and will not leave him and the earth alone until it is fulfilled. It is no mere intellectual or ideological concept, however much that, too, may be needed, but a primary condition written into the contract of life with the creator.
- Questioning the very nature of the self as expressed by Krisnamurti in his 1970 talk, Observing Without the "Me", can cause one to re-evaluate some of the deepest foundations of how one perceives one's own self and nature.. . . to look at myself without any formula--can one do that? Otherwise you can't learn about yourself obviously. If I say, I am jealous, the very verbalization of that fact, or of that feeling, has already conditioned it. Right? Therefore I cannot see anything further in it. . . .
Now the question is: can the mind be free of this egocentric activity? Right? That is really the question, not whether it is so or not. Which means can the mind stand alone, uninfluenced? Alone, being alone does not mean isolation. Sir, look: when one rejects completely all the absurdities of nationality, the absurdities of propaganda, of religious propaganda, rejects conclusions of any kind, actually, not theoretically, completely put aside, has understood very deeply the question of pleasure and fear, and division--the `me' and the `not me'--is there any form of the self at all?
- Many assumptions about the nature of human sexuality explored by Lynda Marín in Mother and Child: The Erotic Bond can reveal much about the sandbars of assumptions we endless are running up against but rarely stop to explore and reassess:The real secret, though, is how "ardorously" culture struggles to forget what eroticism actually is, where it comes from, and why it is absolutely everywhere all the time, especially and necessarily in a mother's love for her child. When we successfully forget that fact, as we require ourselves to do in the name of becoming adults, we severely limit the ways we can experience the connection/pleasure which originally nurtured us into life and which sustains our desire for life forever after. It seems evident that one of the reasons, for instance, that Western culture has so little regard, by and large, for what's left of natural life -- for plants and animals and earth and atmosphere -- is its successful endeavor to see itself as separate from all that life, to forget the connection/pleasure that informs our very being here.
- Mae-Wan Ho's magnificent Organism and Psyche in a Participatory Universe. We collectively owe a debt of gratitude to those like Mae-Wan who employ their wisdom and intelligence to make science once more accountable to life.The Jungian ideal of the whole person is one whose cell and psyche, body and mind, inner and outer, are fully integrated, and hence completely in tune with nature. Jung's ideas on psychical development show many parallels to those relating to the organism. Similarly, Laszlo's theory of the quantum holographic universe views the universe effectively as a kind of superorganism, constantly becoming, being created through the activities of its constituent organisms at every level. The organism is thus the most universal archetype. I describe a theory of the organism, based on quantum coherence, which is, in some respects, a microcosm of Laszlo's universe. It involves key notions of the maximization of local autonomy and global cohesion, of universal participation, of sensitivity and responsiveness, which have profound implications for our global future. . . .
The true love of self is also inextricably the love of humanity and of all nature. That is why we feel obliged to serve, to help, to alleviate suffering and pain just as they were our own. Scientists like David Bohm, Ervin Laszlo and others are indeed trying to recover that lost love, the universal wholeness and entanglement that enables us to emphathize and to be compassionate.
The whole is never static, it is constantly dying and reborning, decaying and renewing, breaking down to build up again. The same cycles of disintegration and re-integration occur whether one is looking at the energy metabolism of our body or the stream of consciousness out of which we individuate our psyche. During the normal 'steady state' of our existence, the multitudes of infinitesimal deaths and rebirths are intricately balanced so that the old changes imperceptibly into the new. However, whenever the attracting centre of the new is radically different from the old, a larger, and at times, complete disintegration may be needed before the new can individuate. It is like the caterpillar which must completely dissolve so that the beautiful butterfly can emerge. That is our hope for the approaching millennium.
- The Rule of Six as articulated by Paula Underwood in her A Native American Worldview / Hawk and Eagle, Both are Singing is an exceedingly helpful way to expand our perception of what is going on inside and outside:One of the attitudes taught in my tradition is the Rule of Six. The Rule of Six says that for each apparent phenomenon, devise at least six plausible explanations, every one of which can indeed explain the phenomenon. There are probably sixty, but if you devise six, this will sensitize you to how many there may yet be and prevent you from locking in on the first thing that sounds right as The Truth.
But your task isn't over yet. Because you can't just float on a multiple option basis. Now your task is to apply your life experience, which is unique to yourself, and use it as a base to evaluate each of those options. Now you assign a probability factor. That probability factor can never be 100% . . . and absolutely never zero.
You keep a floating attitude toward life, but you constantly know where you are in that context.
- Elisabet Sahtouris's view of our-home-the-world sees many connectives post-industrial culture has long since forgotten. In her The Biology of Globalization essay, she assays our inexorable movement towards planetary culture :"As an evolutionary biologist, I see globalization as natural, inevitable, and even desirable, as I hope to show. It is already well on its way and is not a reversible process. We are doing some aspects of it cooperatively and well, to wit our global telephone, postal and air travel systems, but the most central and important aspect of globalization, its economics, are currently being done in a manner that threatens the demise of our whole civilization. For this reason, we must become more conscious participants in the process, rather than letting a handful of powerful players lead us all to doom. "
"Anyone who knows how to run a household, knows how to run the world."
-- Xilonem Garcia, a Meshika elder in Mexico
There are so many sources that can expand our perceptions of what we experience, how we think, and how we respond to what life presents us with. The copy of Dialogue - A proposal by David Bohm, Donald Factor and Peter Garrett offers a richly liberating process for communicating and "thinking together" as a way to diminish the insensitivity to incoherence described by David Bohm at the top of this message. As time permits, other sources within ratical will be pointed to from here to suggest ways to respond, with all our limitlessness to this state of life that calls for another way of living.