a place of arrival and departure


the future - what, and/or how?

[last update 4/22/98]

WHAT WE DO today, however large or small, is the real future more than any amount of utopian systems and more than any number of us hoping and talking. If there is to be a better future it won't matter what you or I hope for or fantasize about -- it will matter how you and I feel, function, and behave toward and with each other.


THE WHAT almost doesn't matter, though I hope there will be many different approaches to community, reflecting the diversity that is clearly a fundamental component of the visible, even behavioral, universe. There is an awesome, beautiful brilliance to this vast range of uniqueness on our planet alone, and if you don't believe this, just thumb through a book on birds, insects, plants or fish.
WHAT IS strikingly clear about all this mind-blowing diversity is how interdependent, how part of a vast, multi-dimensional, harmonious relationship it is. This diversity and interdependence is our true magic and richness-- yet our 200-year (plus) obsession with so-called "rational" science, greed, growth with no thought to consequence, and limiting religious thought such as "manifest destiny" which has led to the subjugation of our "savage" or "inferior" brothers and sisters (and conlicts which still smolder and flare today), has deadened and blinded us to the point where we daily destroy our elements of richness in the service of "profit" or "progress". For those who need to see this more clearly, here are two must-read essays, by Elisabet Sahtouris, PhD:
The Survival Path: Cooperation between Indigenous & Industrial Humanity
and
Expanding Our Worldview to Other Dimensions

WE MUST work toward forming communities which are able to "sing their own songs"-- within a simple, common-sense ethical framework which allows autonomy and many different ways. We are forming these like-minded spiritual communities here on the Net-- it's like the birth of a new nebula, expanding at the rate of pure creation. But it's not enough by itself-- and don't forget, that even in this birthing phase we're leaving a great many wonderful spirits behind-- not only those who do not yet have access to the (expensive) technology we use here on the net-- but all those millions (including right here in this country) who have passed through or partly through our educational systems and remain illiterate. Or afraid or angry, or just plain lost. All these spirits in human form, especially our children-- and all children are ours-- are deserving and in need of the growth and liberation we seek.
WE WILL need to form real communities on the ground of this richly sustaining planet earth. Neighborhoods in cities and towns, and, I hope, new communities-- extended families of like-minded spirits who place a special emphasis on respecting and developing the special gifts of each of its souls. We need to live in autonomous harmony with each other and with the patient earth to which we belong.
TO DO THIS we need to first establish and ground ourselves in common sense-- both material and spirtual. I've suggested some of the ways we can help ourselves find our true selves-- like taking an inventory. To be more specific, we need to ask ourselves what we truly want and need, and try to reduce this list to the absolute bare minimum-- though don't make the mistake of thinking that your emotional/spiritual needs aren't real. They are, and are the most important-- they may, in fact, be the determinants in helping you reduce the list of other wants/needs your ego and its relationship to this culture of addicts thinks it has to have in order to survive. Your goal is to extract and understand the essence of who you truly are.
NEXT, TAKE a look at what you don't like and apply what you find as a test of your own behavior. This may be hard work, but learn to do this every day-- in fact, you should have as a goal to instinctively do this every time you interact with another. Take it from me-- it's not easy to do this, especially when you're hurt or angry, but the Celestine Prophecy has given us some great tools for seeing how we behave, removing the ego-driven aspect, and replacing it with a loving or non- threatening response. Redfield calls them control dramas that we all learn to use as children in order to gain attention in situations where we have to compete for it. We naturally seek sustaining energy, but because we are not taught to draw this energy from the universe around us and from our elders, angels and spirit-guides, we are forced to compete for it as ego-driven attention-seekers, we steal it from others. In this way we learn power-theft-- and it's time we all tried to un-learn it or find the antidote. [There is another excellent essay on this manifestation of ego's self-defense system in Healing the Ego and the Shadow Relationship by Matthew Blais. This is an outside page, so don't forget to use you browser's BACK button or history file to get back here when you've finished checking this one out.] There won't be harmony unless we learn to behave with/toward each other in an environment free from power-theft. We must learn to empower each other, passing the power around and sharing it in order that each soul's gifts may make the shining contributions they should be making. We can be sucessful at this, and we really don't need leaders-- most 12-Step Programs operate (to varying degress of imperfection) in just such an environment, and they manage this by prohibiting leaders and allowing only servants for the greater good, defining the greater good as set by a consensus of the "group consciousness", and by defining the objective of membership in the group as simply "a desire to [whatever it is]".
AS THE Celestine Prophecy points out, we positively gain sustaining energy when we draw it from the universe in all its myriad manifestations, and-- speaking from experience-- we also gain it in the most rewarding of ways when we leave our egos somewhere else and come together in groups whose purpose is to pass the power around and allow each to offer his or her unique gifts.
TODAY'S AMERICAN society is reaching critical mass-- though our leaders tell us otherwise (of course)-- taxes are increasing, our personal liberties are daily infringed and further limited, and we are considered too dense to understand political issues. This will inevitably continue as long as the power-elite persist in predicating their entire ethical system on maximizing profit for [only] owners and shareholders, and the increasing collection and centralization of power over us.
SOME BOTTOM-LINE tendencies are emerging clearly from this. First, if you don't or can't work few services will be available to you and/or you won't be able to afford them. Secondly, if you do work as an employee, your conduct-- even your thought-- is owned by your employer and thus your means of livelihood is dependent to an alarming degree on his ethical priorities. Increasingly-- and the courts and some labor relations boards are siding with employers on this-- simply because s/he pays you. your employer's notion of "suitable behavior" over-rides your directly-specified constitutional rights-- especially as it concerns the right to free speech/expression, and this loss of freedom is being extended by the courts beyond the workplace all the way into your homes and bodies and your political opinions, choices, and actions.
SHALL WE accept becoming the slaves to such an ethical system? I think not. Can we fight the power-structure head-on, hand-to-hand? Maybe. The law and the Constitution (decreasingly) allow us the theoretical and technical means to do so, but as we have seen in recent years, the rich and powerful are so very much richer and more powerful (with a sub-culture of legal professionals that loves to serve them and get richer in the process) that they seem to have the means to squash the individual or even sidestep the "system" in the courts or legislature when it suits them. I'm sure some of us must try to fight in the courts, demonstrations, and non- violent civil disobedience. Though not entirely sure, I doubt that such action is my mission, but I wish good luck to those of you who fight for all our freedoms in those particular arenas.
AS A VETERAN I abhor violence, brutal confrontation, armed struggle, and unreasoning/uncaring conflict in any form. Though the Constitution specifically guarantees-- even encourages-- militias (citizen's groups with sufficient power [including arms] to resist the power of the government), it is obvious that this government fears them and has marked them for containment if not elimination, and I am sure it is any government's wish that they control and constitute the only armed force within the nation.
QUAVAJO'S VISION of the future is one in which we turn our backs, carefully and with vigilance, on the un-ethical and hierarchical "society" which increasingly controls us. I guess this makes me something of a "post-industrial Luddite", but I cannot continue to subscribe to a fragmented society powerless in the face of a world economy run by multi-national corporations (and their subservient governments) whose primary goal is increased profit for the few and whose view of earth is that it's a resource to be mined (to exhaustion?) with easily-manipulated and increasingly cheap laborers. We can (and some of us must) do this because they only have our servitude if we give it to them-- work for them, buy from them, seek our medical treatment from them, allow our children to be schooled by them.
LIKE OUR self-work, we build from the inside back out. We find what constitutes a "group conscience"-- a feeling of the minimum, common-sense values which will allow each to develop his or her potential with the least hindrance. We start treating children like little adults-- keeping them with us and giving them areas of responsibility which are within their reach-- and fun too, if you help make it that way for them. We practise daily, until it becomes intuitive, the by-passing and disarming of control dramas-- we use these out of fear anyway-- and get used to seeing and appreciating each others' souls as they shine brighter and brighter.
BUT HOW do we survive in a world of high taxes, insurance, and grotesque medical costs? Well, the first step is deciding, in terms of this materialistic culture, how much is enough. We can have more in moderation, and we certainly have enough for everyone to live in comparative comfort and abundance, but we can't live the materialist/addict's life anymore. No matter how you cut it, resources are limited-- even wealth, especially when measured as "hard" currency-- just as there are only so many hours in the day, and just so much this wonderful living but finite planet can sustain. Do you want to equitably husband and share them, or shall we continue to blindly accept-- and thus promote-- the obscene imbalance of today's capitalist America?
WE HAVE become accustomed to defining our lives in terms of quantitative growth, and we have been conditioned to accept scarcity and the threat of loss as a necessary part of capitalism's (free enterprise, if you like) operating system. Purely profit-driven businesses prefer a fairly high level of unemployment because it keeps wages low and serves as a threat to collective bargaining since the goverment has for years now allowed employers to hire strike-breakers from that large pool of the desperately out-of-work. Of course they are beginning to step around even that issue now as the economy booms softly but seemingly steadily, using their political influence (measured in money from those huge profits they're making) to expand and diversify production in prison industries-- yes, right here in this country and carrying the "Made in USA" label-- and often for wages under $1 an hour.
WHERE IS the quality of life in all this? We measure everything in quantities-- and more often than not in quantities of money-- hard currency that an increasing percentage of us (Americans, at least) are getting less of rather than more-- and the gap between the rich and poor is increasing, unlike many other countries.
Money is like an iron ring we've put through our noses. We've forgotten
that we designed it, and it's now leading us. I think it's time to figure out
where we want to go-- in my opinion toward sustainability and community--
and then design a money system that gets us there.
Bernard Lietaer

WE NEED to stand back and look at concepts like "growth" and "scarcity" from some creative new perspectives. We need to bring quality of life back into prominence as the primary generator of social goals. With this in mind, take a few minutes to read this: Beyond Growth and Scarcity-- an interview with Bernard Lietaer. It's a very eye-opening essay.
WE WILL find the ways-- many ways, I think. We will most likely develop some kind of "spiritual" currency, and we will be living and working in communities with ethical systems of toleration, honesty and cooperation rather than mistrust, deception and competition. One way or another, we will re-prioritize our social goals and make technology and economics our servants rather than the masters they are now. Many of us will do more than one job-- healthy for all of us, I think, and all of us will become more involved in serving our communities, whether that takes the form of raising our market-garden crops, tending and mentoring our children, building or repairing homes and infrastructure, or working with healing energies. With our increased awareness and greater freedom through tolerance will come trust and responsibility, and though the world of men has sometimes asked more of an individual than s/he is capable, I think a community in harmony with the universe will not.
I HOPE the peoples of this earth will retain the diverse cultural richness and dedication to social and human values I had the privelege of working within in the Europe I knew 20 years ago... and I hope the vision presented in The Ascension is Life Lived from Joy-- a channeling by Laurie Gilmore-- will come to pass for all of us.

Want some ideas to help make your future work? Go to:
[links - futures]


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1997 aeromax@primary.net


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