Societal Reimagination: What can we do?

Play, move 11: Possibilities envisaged include extinction of the human race and social media is how we whimper

In a network, short little span of attention.

Why making a dent in the universe for the benefit of seven generations to come, when we can write to please our audience?

You are the 1008th monkey, becoming human.

“When I wrote this song [Here Comes The Flood] I had an obsession with short-wave radio and I was always amazed at the way in which the radio signals would become stronger as daylight faded.

I felt as if psychic energy levels would also increase in the night.

I had had an apocalyptic dream in which the psychic barriers which normally prevent us from seeing into each others’ thoughts had been completely eroded producing a mental flood.

Those that had been used to having their innermost thoughts exposed would handle this torrent and those inclined to concealment would drown in it.”
— Peter Gabriel

In a network, the actors’ gone, there’s only you and me.

The world is changing. We feel it in the water. We listen to Gaia and her songs. We sense a newfound vibrancy in the air. Much that once was is rekindled; for some now live who remember it.

“This argument is the counterpart to that developed in Imminent Collective Communication “Info-death”? (2018). That focused on the collapse of global civilization understood otherwise than in terms of the many current arguments regarding an impending collapse, whether that of the economic system (as some kind of replica of 1929 or 2008), of the ecosystem (notably as a consequence of climate change), or of overpopulation and other post-peak implications (notably the exhaustion of non-renewable energy resources), as can be variously recognized (Checklist of Peak Experiences Challenging Humanity, 2008). Dystopian fiction has extensively explored the process. Possibilities envisaged include extinction of the human race.

As noted in the introductory paper, rather than being a purely hypothetical exercise, an understanding of collapse could be recognized in the widely discussed disastrous effects of President Trump’s actions as de facto leader of global civilization. However, from a systemic perspective, greater insight might be derived from interpreting his role in terms of the trickster archetype of which the Norse deity Loki is perhaps the most relevant example. As portrayed operatically by Richard Wagner, Loki’s ambition is to destroy the realm of the Gods — Valhalla in Norse mythology. In the final opera Götterdammerung, the realm of the Gods is indeed set on fire, resulting in their destruction.

Mythology aside, “Valhalla” then lends itself to recognition as the realm of the highest human values — arguably now in process of global collapse. An allusion to fire is evident in the title of a documentary film on the psychosocial context engendering the election of Donald Trump (Michael Moore, Fahrenheit 11/9, 2018). This deliberately recalls the title of a renowned dystopian novel alluding symbolically to the temperature at which book paper catches fire, and burns (Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451, 1953). Indicative of the challenge, The documentary has been remarkably reviewed by Glenn Greenwald (Michael Moore’s “Fahrenheit 11/9” Aims Not at Trump But at Those Who Created the Conditions That Led to His Rise, The Intercept, 21 September 2018). Missing from both the film and the commentary is any sense of how global civilization might be governed otherwise and how it might rise again following its collapse — “from the ashes of Valhalla”.

The emphasis in the introductory argument was on “information”, as it might be understood by physics, as being more fundamental than the more conventional preoccupations with collapse. This includes the intangible loss of confidence and an ever greater focus on the shortest-term — to the exclusion of long-term considerations within which the trends towards collapse are more readily recognized. As such it can be explored more specifically in terms of individual and collective attention and the many competing efforts to attract and exploit that resource. However it may be argued that increasingly attention will be withdrawn from the processes which depend on it and on the confidence with which it may be associated.

The focus here is on Renaissance, necessarily on a New Renaissance, long awaited and on which many hopes have been placed.”
— Anthony Judge

:::DID YOU SCROLL ALL THE WAY DOWN HERE? FAB! NO SERIOUSLY, YOU ARE:::

- Renaissance?
- Yes, as in a profound, deep renewal, a moving beyond both denial and confusion, until a renewal, a renewal turned metamorphosis, a coming alive. Less southern comfort, more proactive trim-tabbing.

“Not I, nor anyone else can travel that road for you. You must travel it by yourself. It is not far. It is within reach. Perhaps you have been on it since you were born, and did not know. Perhaps it is everywhere — on water and land.”
— Walt Whitman

In transition, a story told about a future event held in the individual hearts and collective intelligence by a group of story-listeners and transition-weavers gathered around a campfire.

You’ve found some of the others and together, you’ve made a makeshift camp in the outskirt of the village.

“…along with the other animals, the stones, the trees, and the clouds, we ourselves are characters within a huge story that is visibly unfolding all around us, participants within the vast imagination, or Dreaming, of the world.”
— David Abram

Some of your stories are about what pieces of the puzzle, what parts of the predicament, what threads to rekindle and re-weave — is yours, individually and as a group, to bring to the whole.

“The world is changed. I feel it in the water. I feel it in the earth. I smell it in the air. Much that once was is lost; for none now live who remember it.”
— Galadriel, J.R.R. Tolkien

Other stories are all about what is needed in the village.

“Sometimes, you can actually bring home something that is food, food for the human community that we can sustain ourselves on and go forward.”
— Terence McKenna

A third theme, a third part of your stories, is how to best return to the village, what gear to bring, what gear to leave behind.

“It is good to have an end to journey toward;
but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”
— Ursula K. Le Guin

Last but not least, a fourth thread running through some of your stories, is how to best provide for your group, to strike a dynamic living balance, between the needs of the few and the needs of the many.

“Intelligence is quickness to apprehend as distinct from ability, which is capacity to act wisely on the thing apprehended.”
— Alfred North Whitehead

There’s a fifth theme, emergent, unfolding, not always visible, hidden in plain sight, now and then a glimpse — a golden thread.

“Not I, nor anyone else can travel that road for you. You must travel it by yourself. It is not far. It is within reach. Perhaps you have been on it since you were born, and did not know. Perhaps it is everywhere — on water and land.”
— Walt Whitman

Here, there and everywhere, people are waking up, gathering at makeshift camps, making provisions, crafting new gear, weaving new stories.

“The world is changing. We feel it in the water. We listen to Gaia and her songs. We sense a newfound vibrancy in the air. Much that once was is rekindled; for some now live who remember it.”

A sacred, luminous path transceived through our future selves brought to presence.

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John Kellden

Cards catalyzing stories, Conversations that mind and matter, Digital communities & immersive productions. https://goo.gl/Ypd5u8