Taking a ‘not-popular’, but genuinely caring, tough love, perspective, I believe the ‘truths’ set out below are Western ‘Society Truths’ of today:
For decades Western Society’s spirit has been increasingly under threat and wilting to the point it is risking being extinguished! The brave face, and rational superiority is evident, but that is masking the spirit’s condition. Not only do I believe this, every day the media confirms this, and one only has to look at the statistics on mental health, physical health, loneliness, increasing regulation, racial intolerance, and the dreaded happiness index, Brexit, Trump and Hillary, Sanders’s popularity, the obscene and increasing gap between the elite and the non-elite, etc , etc We have never been more educated, more wealthy, living longer, so productive, so entertained, so professionally cared for, so presented with novelty, so convenient, but yet there is a growing unhappiness with the individual battered and imprisoned spirit.
I also believe that ‘we’ all DO know this picture of the Western society withering spirit but few want to confront that truth. Even less want to find out the cause. Even less are willing to ‘take up arms in bringing solution’ to this fundamental challenge to ‘Human Meaning’.
This is inability to confront truths is both the source of strength and the flaw of ‘The Crowd’. Dealing with the truths is seen as being negative, whingeing, undisciplined restlessness, and going against the unspoken protocol. Yet maybe we should be treating people who do speak out as heroes, for their courage and intent? There is a lot of unjustified restlessness, self-enhancing dissent mongering, but I have found in all my wanderings around this Planet, there is a huge and increasing amount of more and more justified ‘restlessness’!
That ‘restless’ is good, because it means the spirit is at least still alive, and people are prepared to speak out from ‘The Crowd’. There is huge potential positive value for Society in that restless energy. Trump, Sanders, Corbyn, Isis etc recognise this and whether good bad, or indifferent, have been connecting their various visions to the restless energy and its expectations. I wish I could harness this energy, and the question of ‘How?’, will be in my strategy thoughts for the future as One Point Zero gains momentum.
Others are dealing with the challenge to their spirit in seemingly constructive ways: In the vast, diverse and ever increasing offerings of Western society, it is easy to find crutches, unhealthy candy and short term pain killers that offer some well-disguised ‘virtual belonging’ but one that will never satisfy the core of a lonely human soul. Outside of the mushroomed ‘Crowd’, I see how their debilitating role is actually aiding the destruction of the broader human spirit.
Without sounding arrogant, since I moved outside Western Society, I have witnessed so many people’s spirit getting weaker and weaker, as they ploughed on and on, in its system: This, while mine was getting stronger and stronger with my choice to take the ‘lonely’ path outside it. ‘They’ chose to find belonging ‘within’ and I chose to find belonging ‘without’. My speculation is that the belonging they have ‘found’ is not a belonging that fits with their soul, one that enables the spirit to flourish?
The truth is that the belonging ‘within’ is requiring ever more rational focus and bias while be increasingly void of any spirituality context. The more ‘it’ does that the more ‘it’ seems to think the solution to ‘everything’ lies in even more rationality and man’s technological ingenuity! In almost all the high level Sustainability/ ‘One Point Zero’ type initiatives, negotiations and debates, and proposed solutions, the focus is all about numeric targets, fossil fuels reduction, electric cars, geo-engineering technology, and other rationally centred solutions, when what we really need is a Spiritual Solution, then with appropriate technology to compliment.
A Solution to what is not sustainability or technical problem, but a Human Belonging crisis: A Spiritual Belonging which will connect us ALL to a motive much more powerful than one associated with rational solutions and technology innovation. One that is not about going back to a more primitive state, but allows us to go forward to become fully developed, intense humans again: Not just the robotic, depressed, unhealthy, lonely, ‘meaning void’, ‘dysfunctionally developed’ ones` that ‘we’ are today.
Surely to be fully human isn’t to be rationally centred. Surely being fully human and a flourishing spirit is about having intensity across ALL our capabilities, not just the rational one! The Emotional, Physical, Relationship and Spiritual Capabilities too…?
I sense that in this more advanced Belonging many of our needs for today’s apparent necessity will become redundant. The real and extreme adventure challenge is for us to admit that we have all become part of a ‘Crowd’ that has dysfunctionally developed, and so as such we are ‘primitive’ and underdeveloped. That’s a hard call, but for me from ‘without’ its Truth Imperative!
We need to see that what we ‘have to do’ is not going “backwards to a more Primitive state”: None of us can do that! It is about moving forward to a ‘New State’: Through learning from our current state and the primitive state we were at before we took off on this scary path.
This increasing rational bias of Western society is now so skewed that I have started to realise that Society will probably need a Rational solution to Spiritualise itself, and now that’s an oxymoron if ever there was one! As funny or sad as that is, I sense ‘we’ should offer that One Point Zero Challenge to Bill Gates!? I sense that would be the most extreme ‘adventure’ he or anyone else could ever take on, but maybe the most useful technology man would have EVER invented!!
A pre-requisite would need to be his own personal spiritual transformation: This from his publicly claimed atheist, ‘rational only’ one similar to many of the most powerful people in our world today. Not picking on ‘Bill’ but trying to highlight the void of Spiritually orientated leaders who have an ‘across humanity’ power at the level the Wealthy rationalist Billionaires have!
I sense of all the rationally orientated Billionaires he is probably the one who could help us if he wanted to take on that humanitarian and personally very risky challenge of solving:
How to use technology to shift Society 180 degrees away from technology!: From a Rational to a Spiritual Belonging re-orientation!
But not just any spiritual belonging, one that fits with a ‘Without Nature we are Nothing’ re-orientation motto.
In kicking off that project it would seem that the Western Societies rationally focused motto of today is ‘Without GDP Growth, Technology, and The Good Life, we are Nothing’.
These are two seemingly mutually exclusive mantras for a desperately needed humanity wide, ‘Meaning Mantra’.
Maybe the real source of this re-orientation innovation is for The Pope, Bill Gates, and a ‘representative from Nature/The Planet’ to form a three person, One Point Zero Challenge Team? Free of the need for private jet or the Fiat or bicycle: C/o Microsoft they’d use ‘Skype to Skype’ in brain and spirit storming sessions to come up with the crucial answer for the question:
What it Really is, that Without Which, we Humans are Nothing?
Bob pointed to “The Spirit”: We use that word all the time. I use the words ‘Soul’ and ‘Belonging’ a lot, but what do these mean? Well when I typed “Without Nature we are Nothing” above, those five words totally contextualised (without redundancy or omission) for me the concepts behind ‘Spirit Soul, and Belonging.’ I wonder how this all jigged with you?
Many religious people I chat with, in their connection to their deity have another type of belonging to the Nature / Planet one above. Also a transcendental one, yet one that enables ‘them’ to have a spiritual belonging, without it being compromised by belonging to Western Society and its associated deep conflict with Nature. In line with these religions’ teachings, this spiritual belonging is either void of a Nature context or has a spiritual context with Nature that supports an anthropocentric orientation, and thus their religion is aligned with Western Society. With this alignment, the need to deal with the huge conflict between Western Society and Nature, is never on their Belonging agenda.
In fact, many of the religions’ anthropocentric orientation actually adds firepower to Society’s side in the conflict with Nature! One only has to think of the high profile capitalists who claim strong religious and / or spiritual connections but who lead the plundering rape and pillage of our Planet: Often taking huge personal bonuses and termination payments in recognition for their significant contribution to the anthropocentric cause of Society. Or the many religious centred elite who’s iconic,Western society, High Life, lifestyles are in total conflict with a One Point Zero world, while their Spiritual and Society belonging needs are seemingly fully aligned and satisfied.
Unlike myself, and the many other, ‘Without Nature we are Nothing’, believers around the world, these ‘lucky’ religious people can live ‘happily’ within Western Society and its ‘Good Life’ free of the fundamental anthropocentric conflicts ‘we’ have. Of that dual belonging alignment I am ‘envious’:
Like most (all) of us humans I desire to belong to the largest groups of my human kind, and be able to live in ‘a place’ where my spiritual belonging is supported by ‘my ‘way of life’ belonging. From a whole of humanity perspective In the ideal world we’d all belong both spiritually and in ‘Way of Life’ mantra, WITH all of Humanity as One Team!
Besides the total of humanity, today that ‘largest human group’ within humanity is the ‘Western Society’ group: Those that align with Western society ideals, its Good Life, and a capitalist, non-anthropocentric orientation. The Christian Group of Humans is a close second with some 33% of the World’s population, followed by Islam with some 21% or so…!
This largest, ‘Western Society’ group of billions of humans is growing every day as its architects offer seemingly no brainer ‘Success Franchises’ to more and more developing world countries. Franchises that have onerous conditions attached to the Master Franchisees’ desperate anthropocentric growth imperatives. This rollout of a franchise based on the Western Society, Good Life Success formula is the key cause of the ‘Development Success’ element of ‘The Facts’ and in direct conflict with Nature.
From its early beginnings, through colonisation and now this neo-colonisation era, in both its global domination and increasing rational bias, the Western Society ‘group’ has created what I call ‘The Great Chasm’ the largest chasm the world has ever ‘seen’: A huge and every widening chasm that has Western Society, and other Anthropocentric groups on the one side and Nature / The Planet on the other.