Category Archives: Important Concepts

A War Zone

The sacred Kaaba, empty!

As most people know, we are now in the midst of a major pandemic. I was shopping in a grocery store yesterday, and in my imagination, the scene was what I would expect of a war zone: many shelves empty, signs limiting quantities, services unavailable! This is perhaps a manifestation of one side of our humanity, our tendency to hoarding when threatened. Yet, there is another side wherein people are learning to connect in other ways (via Zoom, for instance), that in our isolation we also need community.

For me, this is the beginning of our adaptation to global warming. It may be (hopefully) that many positives will come out of the current stresses to our society. Thus, the links I am providing this time (after a fairly long absence) relate to both resources for the pandemic and to climate change.

I provide resources for the pandemic because of the vast amount of information circulating, and the need to filter that which is useful (in my opinion, both limited and broad-based).

I don’t intend the climate change links to bring ‘doom and gloom,’ yet I strongly believe we need to come to terms with the profound dysfunction of our culture. As therapist, I believe this can only be done by confronting and working-through the pain — not an easy process. When I myself first recognized the issues, I entered into three years of profound grief and a further four to five years of recovery. I can only quote Dante: Abandon all hope, ye who enter here, as the transition for release.

Corona Virus Information

BC Covid-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool

This sell-assessment process looks very reasonable, but is specific to the recommendations of British Columbia (which overall are quite appropriate).

New England Journal of Medicine: Corona Virus (free)

The New England Journal Of Medicine is one of the most prestigious medical journals of American medicine. It is offering free access to clinical reports, and is likely one of the most up-to-date resources available on the medical status. As with all medical resources, beware: a little knowledge is sometimes worse than no knowledge.

Coronavirus Sanity Guide (free)

Looks like an interesting site, with many resources.

The Sober Math Everyone Must Understand about the Pandemic (20200316)

I believe this article to be fairly reliable. The author is not a virologist or scientist, but he is a respected journalist who has won a number of major awards. As to the math, his assumptions are sensible, perhaps a bit extreme, but as I say, sensible. Even if he is pushing the numbers a bit, the overall approach is still likely to be quite accurate. As you will note by the social restrictions that are being imposed (closing libraries, community centers, bars, restaurants other than take-out, et etc here), these are all measures to flatten the curve. I suggest the major change will occur when a vaccine becomes available (4-12 months). A long period!

Climate Change Information

After the harvest — learning to leave the planet gracefully (20140614)

One of the best articles I have read on the worst case scenario: thoughtful, compassionate, honest, brilliant.

Deep Adaptation: A Map for Navigating Climate Tragedy (20180727)

A pdf document that gives a detailed discussion of the consequences if we as a culture are unable to prevent the massive collapse of our civilization. The original paper was rejected as “not to dishearten readers with the claim of ‘inevitable near-term social collapse,’” a form of censorship that prevents us from coming to grips with the despair that is hopefully a transient part of any grief process

Scientists’ Warning at Foresight Group, EU Commission (20190119)

A good video that looks at the possibility of social collapse.

Jem Bendell – Deep Adaptation (20190127)

A further discussion of the possibility of social collapse.

Miscellaneous Links

Why it’s so hard to find affordable mental health care (20200110)

As a physician-psychotherapist in Ontario, I had the advantage of being able to offer therapy to my ‘patients’ without personal expense. Very quickly my waiting list for individual therapy became such that I would tell patients I would be able to work with them in two years. This was for me a very vivid reminder of how underfunded was the process of emotional health, let alone so-called mental health (that concept would be a long rant in its own right).

This waiting list was unacceptable to me, and was one of the major factors of my switch to group practice. My anger management weekend became the entry point and, if clients then wanted to work with me, I was able to immediately place them in a group.

However it did not work very well. The vast majority of clients want individual therapy. My guess is that this is related to the ongoing shame factor associated with “mental health” — we are supposed to be able to “do it” ourselves without outside help, and we need to hide the fact that we are not able to do so (there are many stories I would be able to tell about these shame issues if space allowed).

It is all part of the craziness of our society, the individualistic model that is part of modern culture, perhaps intrinsic to neo-liberalism.

The Oakland women who took over a vacant lot to house the homeless (20200107)

Amongst other ways to contribute, I spend time each week in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, Canada’s poorest postal code and an incredible ecosystem of poverty, crime, drug addiction, sex trade, and surprising community. Metaphorically I have described is as ‘stepping blind-folded onto a three dimensional game of Snakes and Ladders.’ It is the flip-side of our individualistic model, representing those who for many reasons have not been able to live into the consumerism of our society. This link is one of many that emphasize the profound community that can develop.

Alberta’s “war room” is an attack on democracy (20200212)

One of the major areas of conflict polarization in our present culture, specifically that between British Columbia and Alberta, relates to how to handle the cultural dependence on fossil fuel, and the need for down-grading. This article is David Suzuki’s thoughtful response.

Surveillance Capitalism

Never have I been so frightened by a book as I have been with The Age Of Surveillance Capitalism by Shoshana Zuboff, a fascinating and scary description of how capitalism has shifted in the past thirty years, essentially since the development of the World Wide Web and the digital age. A brief review is available here.

Since returning from traveling to Eastern Canada in September and October, I have been reluctant to access email, post to my blog, et cetera. Partly this has to do with my reading of this book. Every interchange on the web (browsing, email, cloud storage, et cetera) has a small amount of meta-data hidden from the average viewer. This data may include the date and location of the source transaction as well as the identity of the sender, data that when compiled can track and predict how an individual acts on a minute to minute basis. Much of the time this data is so hidden that it is not subject to the usual rules of privacy, and such that the extraction of this data occurs in the dark, and is then compiled and sold to others as a commodity without the permission of the originator. Such data can also be sold even if the originator expressly requests that the data be removed.

The technology of extracting and utilizing this data has become so potent that targeting of advertising can be made at and to the individual, and the hidden emotional manipulation is easily available. Even with my limited usage of the internet, I’ve been noticing interesting examples. For example, my email is dave.macq@icloud.com and I have a peripheral email dave.macq@gmail.com. I use an iMac and have an iPhone. I almost never use the gmail account; largely I have it so that I can access Google Docs that are sometimes sent to me.

If I am at a browser site, and want to share the link with another person, I access the Share link, then the email link. And of course the system offers auto-refill of addresses. The first one is always my gmail address and usually my default icloud address is not part of the list. Is this an example of targeting? My guess is Yes, particularly since the biggest player in this surveillance commodification Google, followed closely by Facebook.

I strongly recommend the book. The future it paints is very dystopic, even if we somehow manage to minimize the consequences of climate disruption.

All of which places me in a position of great distrust.

For this post, I also include a number of recent (and not so recent) links that I have found useful. Many are from David Suzuki, and although I recognize that (at least in Western Canada) he is a contentious figure, his writing is generally clear.

We owe Greta and the youth more than a Nobel Prize (20191016)

Greta Thunberg represents a tipping point, perhaps. As readers of this blog know, I repeatedly ask what will it take for us to mobilize effectively. It is not yet clear.

Forming bonds in times of crisis (20191113)

In contrast, David Suzuki offers “Change isn’t easy, but when people come together for the good of humanity and Earth, we can accomplish great things.”

Navigating difficult climate conversations (20121211)

A David Suzuki article emphasizing the need for building relationship rather than arguing ‘facts.’

Failure to address climate crisis puts children at risk (20191128)

A brief but fairly good summary of the current impact of global warming.

A 2020 vision for climate action (20201008)

More David Suzuki commentary on our failing systems and how to respond.

What Would Net Zero Emissions by 2025 Look Like? (20191115)

The Extinction Rebellion (XR) social cause asks/demands net zero emissions by 2025. As usual, Dave Pollard presents a detailed thoughtful analysis of what this would really require. Worth reading to get a sense of how difficult this will/would be.

Collective Intelligence to Make Sense of Complexity (20200106)

Here, Dave Pollard offers very clear thinking as to the problems inherent in all complex difficulties.

Revolutionary recycling? A new technology turns everyday trash into plastic treasure. (20191118)

Still under investigation and shrouded in commercial secrecy, this could be a major step forward in the management of our accumulating garbage, as well as a replacement process to manage plastic.

Responding To The Social Issues

It has been a while since my last post. Amongst other aspects, I decided to drastically limit my attention to email and other distractions. For about two months now, I am only opening emails from those whom I know personally — all the others are trashed immediately. As a result, I find myself more relaxed with more available time, which of course I have already filled with (more beneficial) activities. Being “retired,” I am actually at least as busy as when I was in practice, perhaps more so (as I am more actively responding to the social issues of the day).

Yet it also leaves me somewhat unclear as to how to contribute. I am still active in promoting the skills of managing polarized conflict and I am still invested in a variety of other social contributions. On the one hand, I am not certain that I have missed anything important in the news by trashing most of my emails; nevertheless I still have mild guilt and overwhelm that I am missing vast quantities of good information in books and other more reliable sources. It is so difficult to manage the information age!

As noted in the last link attached to this post, I strongly believe that every intelligent response is important (and hopefully these posts are regarded as intelligent). The changes required of our culture are massive — here, an interesting link is the first one. It notes that intractable conflict, a major issue that has become much more prominent in the past twenty years, is the central issue preventing our effective response to climate disruption. This parallels my own thoughts concerning cultural acedia as the major issue.

And so I truck on!

Beyond Intractability

A very interesting site with many resources. They name themselves as “Providing support to those working to address the intractable conflict problem, as well as those struggling with the many tractable, but still troublesome, disputes that characterize everyday life.” and note that “Destructive Conflict is the Most Serious Threat to Our Common Future. It ruins personal lives, prevents us from solving common problems, and underlies dystopian trends toward authoritarianism, chaos, and large-scale violence.”

What is Extinction Rebellion and what are its demands? (20191008)

A brief description of a movement that is making a difference in challenging for government action — British based originally, it affiliates with The Climate Mobilization group in the States.

Yes, the Climate Crisis May Wipe out Six Billion People (20190918)

This is an extreme yet entirely feasible scenario of our future.

XR and the Defence of Necessity (20191019)

An excellent analysis of the legal difficulties that will underlie civil disobedience, especially when associated with any degree of violence/violation.

No Accounting (20191009)

As with the previous link, this is another from Dave Pollard’s blog, this time on advertising and the media. As mentioned on other occasions, I do not subscribe to Dave’s fundamental philosophy (which I find nihilistic), I continue to value his depth of thinking about issues related to global collapse.

Corona Becomes First Major Beer Company to Adopt Edible 6-Pack Rings that Feed, Rather than Kill, Fish (201911)

An interesting and important response. Although small in the overall need, every intelligent response is important.

The Shift Is Happening

This post repeats what for me may be prominent news stories, or at least need to be. If you have not seen them, they need to be seen. The shift is happening, slowly.

Our culture is going to change, one way or another. The hope of many is that the changes can be accommodated, but the process of change will be daunting. This past week, around the world, many millions have been demonstrating in the request for such change.

If the changes cannot be accommodated, they will still happen, only then we will have economic collapse, mass conflict, and mass loss of life.

It does not yet appear what we shall be!

Greta Thunberg was right: There is an alternative to ‘eternal economic growth’: Don Pittis (20190926)

Greta Thunberg has been a tipping point in mobilizing young people — after all, they are the people who will need to live the ensuing culture. The issue is not knowledge — we know what to do, or at least we are gradually finding the models and resources to change the culture. The issue is willingness to do the work.

Managing Without Growth: Slower by Design, Not Disaster (20130415)

From the same source, an economic growth model that we could adapt.

Yet we still exist at a knife edge.

Flooded cities, vanishing sea life forecast in new UN-backed report (20190927)

As many know, the IPCC is a scientific think tank based on consensus, thus sensitive to presenting comments to which all essentially agree. Thus, its predictions are generally on the low side. Gradually their assessments are becoming more dire yet need to be read as the minimal risk of what may occur.

Tackling climate change means purging privilege from politics (20190925)

We must find ways to eliminate, or at least markedly reduce, the discrepancies that keep our society equitable.

And we do a very poor job of assessment.

Make debate great again: How bad political argument is undermining democracy (20190926

As I hope is obvious, a major part of my work is that of presenting skills to diminish polarization in conflict. Here, two philosophers comment on the mechanisms whereby our democracy is failing.

A Knife Edge

Slowly our culture is responding yet we are at a knife’s edge, balanced between the collapse of civilization and the transformation to a more healthy society. It is not yet clear what we shall be. An interesting reflection of a significant day in our modern culture.

How To Transform Apocalypse Fatigue Into Action On Global Warming (201709)

Practical ways of transforming how to shift our defense mechanisms into more productive responses to climate disruption.

Carbon capture: What you need to know about catching CO2 to fight climate change (20190902)

A good summary of the pros and cons of carbon capture. My major reservation is that it is another tool for maintaining our current culture without addressing the need for system change.

7,000 Colleges and Universities Declare Climate Emergency, With a Plan to Fight It (20190711)

Gradually society mobilizes with regard to climate disruption; I only hope for action rather than words. On note, of the 7000 institutions, there is this comment on who is engaged: “The individual institutions that have joined the declaration include five in the continental U.S” — a paltry five from the country which likely has the greatest influence!

Let the children vote? (20190828)

The suggestion is to lower the voting age to eight. Given that many children have significant wisdom, and that they will need to deal with the inefficiencies of the adults of our current society, it may well be a good suggestion.

Great Books: Jim Garrison, PhD on Plutarch’s Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans Part 1 (20190723)

Great Books Webinar Jim Garrison, PhD on Plutarch’s Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans Part 2 (20190828)

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. (Santayana, 1905)” Jim Garrison is President of Ubiquity University and a brilliant historian as well as public speaker. In these two videos, he compares our present culture as reflected in the Presidency of Donald Trump with the lives of Alcibiades (Greek) and Sulla (Roman), two individuals who respectfully precipitated the ending of Athenian democracy and the Roman Republic though their hubris and aggressiveness.

The Climate Movement: What’s Next?

In June 2019, the Great Transition Initiative (GTI) organization sponsored a major forum The Climate Movement: What’s Next? which “takes stock [of] and debates strategy for a vital new phase in the struggle for a livable, resilient planet.” From my perspective, the organization is highly reputable, and I believe the contributions to be very valuable, worth repeating at least in brief précis form.

The contributors were asked to “weigh in on three core questions”:

  • What is the climate movement’s state of play?
    What has worked, and where has the movement fallen short?
  • System change, not climate change?
    Does defusing the crisis require deep structural and value changes, or can “green capitalism” get us there?
  • Do we need a meta-movement?
    Does the climate movement need to build overarching alliances with environmental, peace, and justice movements?

Although they are all available on the single website, I have decided to list them individually to highlight the scope of the discussion.

The Climate Movement: What’s Next?

Opening Reflections, Bill McKibben

A good summary of the shift from naiveté to the strong emergence of the climate justice focus of modern environmentalists. If we are to survive as a species, major changes are needed.

The Larger Struggle: Mitigating Capitalism, Hans Baer

A discussion of the complexity of many players at the table, with a major emphasis on the need for a new type of socialism offering true reform of the huge issues facing our civilization.

Charting how we get there, Guy Dauncey

A very good summary of the many steps (via a developmental model) that will be required for us to move to a healthy outcome, recognizing how grim the situation actually is and yet focused on solutions rather than despair.

Life-affirming carbon capture, Neva Goodwin

A response to the growing consensus of the need to remove massive amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, some methods very positive (mainly orientated to soil restoration), others very dubious and dangerous (mainly promoted by the fossil fuel industry).

Report from the European front, Virág Kaufer

The climate debate in most European countries is at a crossroads, caught between progressives and political agendas, many of which are “hostage to the corrupted and corporate-captured national governments.”

Bringing the force of the law, Hermann Ott

A hard look at the need for strong assertion against those who “suffocate new developments and prevent them from growing,” implementing compliance with existing regulations together with writing new and better laws for climate protection.

Being the change, change the world, Karl-Ludwig Schibel

“[T]he only way to win is to act on the changes we want to see in the world.”

The dramaturgy of transformation, Mimi Stokes

A fascinating description of how we, as well the ancient Greeks, have failed to address our hubris, and how our cultural hopes of colonialism, capitalism and technology have reversed into tragedy, for all, including elites and deniers. Using the modern theory of tragic fates, we need to turn our wounds into gifts, creating a new global culture and planetary civilization.

Planetizing the movement, Tom Athanasiou

“I have been asking people what they think has changed in the last year, and why. Most seem to agree that something has definitely shifted. . . . We are in very serious trouble, and there is no way forward unless we admit it.” Yet, we need a meta-movement — we need to get serious about transitional justice, a truly international justice system.

The movement enters a new phase, Jeremy Brecher

“The climate movement in the US and around the world has gone through two main phases and is entering a third: . . . [first] the confirmation of man-made global warming. . . . [and second] a direct action movement . . . using civil disobedience targeting fossil fuel infrastructure to mobilize opposition.” The third “represent[s] a shift to using direct action techniques against governments and politicians, and expresses the massive activity around the Green New Deal (GND) in the US and Leap Manifesto in Canada. The article explores the strengths and weaknesses of the GND, the possibility of a meta-movement that will unite the various disparate parties.

A caring economy is key, Riane Eisler

“[T]o bring about systems change and effectively address climate change requires a closer look at the question of change from precisely what kind of system to what kind of system. . . . Through today’s technologies of destruction and exploitation, traditions of domination may lead to our species’ extinction. But we can change our course and bring about a Great Transition if we focus on root causes rather than symptoms.”

Renewables are not enough, Kerryn Higgs

“The biggest obstacles to success in limiting global warming to 2°C above pre-industrial (or, even more hopefully, 1.5°C) are the vested interests that oppose this endeavor. The problem is political. . . . No real solution can be established while corporate capitalism remains the dominant economic system almost everywhere on earth. It’s a system that demands consumption for the sake of expansion rather than serving actual human needs.”

On personal and political agency, Karen O’Brien

A brief yet comprehensive description of the nature of system change.

Moving from resistance to repair, Vicki Robin

“The climate movement has excelled at resistance but is missing a crucial, essential element: a focus on repair. It is clear about what it is against, but largely mum on a restoration project equal to the scale of climate change damage. . . . we humans act upon the earth for our benefit, but we do not act with the earth for healing all life. What is the earth healing path?” We need a justice movement that repairs for future generations.

Imploding the carbon economy, Gus Speth

“[S]omething is happening here today. The level of public, media and political attention is not nearly where it should be, but there some hopeful signs of movement in the right directions.” We need “an induced implosion of the carbon economy. , , , Our job is to make it happen, using all the tools we have.”

A climate emergency plan, Anders Wijkman

“While the tone of the debate has changed, people in general—here I include most policymakers—do not fully understand the difference between “incrementalism” (the weak mitigation policies so far pursued) and “transformation” (the deeper mitigation we desperately need).” Major actions in multiple domains are needed.

12 Years, Much Less Actually

Uphill1We are running out of time. The 2018 IPCC report, for example, indicates we have until about 2030 (12 years, not 11) before we exhaust out climate budget for staying below 1..5°C, our best chance of avoiding major tipping points. Many believe that to be an optimistic assessment, such that we have perhaps much less time. Even then, the need of political action (not talk!) will take significant time,, such that we likely need to make major changes within the next 18 months (especially with the coming US elections being a major player here).

Even if we are able to do so, we still face the immense task of dismantling our entire capitalist based civilization to create processes of equity, together with all the other consequences of our over-population and how we have mismanaged our world. A lot of work, yet necessary.

Recent links that I recommend.

Greta Thunberg speech in Assemblée Nationale (20190723)

An excellent talk by Greta Thunberg! Complete honesty, brevity, and a very good command of the relevant facts from the IPCC report, 2018.

Climate change: 12 years to save the planet? Make that 18 months (20190724)

Another recognition that we only have a very limited time to establish the appropriate polity for safety of our species and many others.

Deniers deflated as climate reality hits home (20190807)

Progress is slow and the world is gradually coming to recover from the disinformation issues. In time? Who knows?

In order to understand the brutality of American capitalism, you have to start on the plantation. (20190814)

A detailed and disturbing account of how the brutality of modern (American) capitalism is a direct outcome of the processes that began with the accounting systems of slavery in the 17th and 18th centuries. Sad. Essential reading, very disturbing. What narrative will allow us to value ecology over economics; what narrative will allow us to value the intrinsic richness of what God (by any name) offers. I have no idea!

From dumpster to diesel: How a pilot project in Whitby is turning plastic waste into fuel (20190813)

On the lighter side, more positive. An interesting use of plastic waste by converting it to diesel fuel and gasoline. The article also names that the reduction of plastic usage and/or the complete conversion to recyclable plastics is essential to our future. Certainly something needs to be done with the incredible accumulation of plastics. I have two major reservations with the current process: first, how much energy (i.e., other fossil fuels) is used in the conversion, and second, usage of the newly converted fuel simply goes into the environment as any other fossil fuel usage. A more ecologically appropriate means of plastic usage is needed.

Our Uncertain Future

Anxiety2Resilience.org has recently presented an excellent forum entitled Uncertain Future Forum (20190715-20190726) highlighting “If collapse is imminent, how do we respond? Each is short, succinct, and pertinent to the issues.

Dancing with Grief, Dahr Jamail, 20190715

I have the greatest respect for Jamail as one of the most authentic writers of the issues of climate disruption. For me, this essay is one of his best.

Turning Toward Each Other, Meghan Kallman, 20190716

The need for community is our highest need, yet we are so poor at cooperation in this culture. We have a long way to go.

The Disabled Planet, Taylor Brorby, 20190717

An excellent comparison between individual health-disability and planetary health-disability, our need to recognize the huge inequalities inherent in modern capitalism.

The Seventh Fire, Winona LaDuke, 20190718

There is a huge need to access indigenous knowledge and skills, but for me, the risk is that they will simply become part of the capitalist system.

Responding to Collapse: Uncertain Future Forum’s First Week, Daniel Lerch, 20190719

The bottom line: collaborate with others, be in community, tend to yourself.

On Listening to the Earth, Dahr Jamail, 20190722

How do we list for truth, our own truth of how to respond to the coming crisis?

Three Practices for a Time of Crisis, Meghan Kallman, 20190723

We need new practices: the practice of grieving so as to make space within, the practice of holding painful paradox, the practice of effective hope (somewhere between idealism and pragmatism where what we do might matter).

Biting the Hand That’s Fed Me, Taylor Brorby, 20190724

It is time to stop the insanity that has been so beneficial to us.

Find Your Mettle, Winona LaDuke, 20190725

Courage is needed.

Responding to Collapse: Uncertain Future Forum Wrap-Up, Asher Miller, 20170926

We have an obligation!

We Are Failing As A Culture

What follows are a multitude of links to the many aspects of how we are failing as a culture. Each is well written from my perspective.

I am aware that more and more we are talking about the climate crisis, yet we are still mainly at the stage of talking; we still fail to come together in collaborative ways, and as has been said many times, the window of opportunity is closing.

The first notes we have only 14 months to respond! The 2018 UN IPCC Panel indicated (in its highly conservative mode) what we must respond within 12 years; however, if the US does not get on board within the next election period, that window is likely not achievable, thus we only have 14 months to respond.

Not a good picture.

We don’t have 12 years to save the climate. We have 14 months. (20170726)

Leadership from the United States is required if the crisis of climate disruption is to be challenged — and this depends on the political state of the next presidential election, with all its consequences of dissension. What a mess!

We’re Failing Our Kids – Climate Emergency, 20190521

Asher Miller, Post-Carbon Institute Executive Director, presents a deeply vulnerable presentation of his fears for his children, together with the need for collaboration.

Do Americans Know How Much Trouble They’re In? (20190604)

An excellent article on the survival of democracy: a leader above the law, the abrogation of political access, the development of a pariah state all point to a potential tipping point in the continuing existence of political freedom for all.

Austerity and inequality fueling mental illness, says top UN envoy (20190624)

An excellent article — if we are to heal as a species, we must begin to address the overwhelming discordances created by capitalism, especially neoliberalism. Amongst other issues, the inequity of poverty fuels the many problems related to mental health.

Shifts in tourists’ sentiments and climate risk perceptions following mass coral bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef (20190624)

The varied responses to the impact of climate disruption on the world’s largest barrier reef point to the complexity needed in our response to this crisis.

Seeing Isn’t Believing: The Fact Checker’s Guide To Manipulated Video (20190625)

An interesting attempt by the Washington Post to identify and categorize the sophistication of modern misinformation. Technically I find the article difficult to follow (I would need much more detail and time) but I applaud the intention to clarify the many ways of distortion.

Fighting climate change may be cheaper and more beneficial than we think (20190710)

CBC News in Canada is gradually identifying features of climate disruption, often with a positive spin. There is certainly some benefit to this. However I have been deeply influenced by what I call The Force Field of Change, wherein change takes into account both positive features that move us toward a vision and negative forces that stop us. Unfortunately, until we deal with the negatives (our profound fear of climate disruption and our unwillingness to identify it), the impact of the negatives generally blocks the effect of the positives. I also believe that it is truly disrespectful of the vast majority of human beings to “protect” them from the painful truth that is climate disruption, on the assumption that it will overwhelm them — we need to deal with our grief!

Finally, I am aware of a number of significant forums in the past few months, forums that are willing to name the hard truths of what we face. I will be summarizing these in the next few weeks. I have had my own struggles with the painful truths over the past month or so.

More to come!

¿Truths? Part 15

Dave’s ¿Truths?

CogDiss01The final post of ¿Truths?

As noted with ¿Truths? Part 1, I am choosing to offer these thoughts simply to encourage growth. I submit them simply for self-study as an example of one person’s searching — such self-study is a very powerful way to come to know yourself. The list of these truths is long and I will submit it over a number of blogs, 25-30 brief statements per posting.

As previously noted, a comment on language: I am not an advocate of scientific materialism, the philosophic ontology that only science can address truth, and that energy-matter is the only domain of experience in the universe. I value scientific methodology highly, but the overall terminology of scientific materialism has many hidden presuppositions. As much as possible, I will identify them in these posts.

The following thoughts of Charlotte Kasl seem very appropriate stances.

The 16-Steps

(1) We affirm we have the power to take charge of our lives and stop being dependent on substances or other people for our self-esteem and security.

  • An alternative:  We admit/acknowledge we are out of control with/powerless over ________, yet we have the power to take charge of our lives and stop being dependent on substances or other people for our self-esteem and security.

(2) We come to believe that God/Goddess/Universe/Great Spirit/Higher Power awakens the healing wisdom within us when we open ourselves to the power.

(3) We make a decision to become our authentic selves, and trust in the healing power of the truth.

(4) We examine our beliefs, addictions and dependent behavior in the context of living in a hierarchical, patriarchal culture.

(5) We share with another person and the Universe all those things inside of us for which we feel shame and guilt.

(6) We affirm and enjoy our intelligence, strengths and creativity, remembering not to hide these qualities from ourselves and others.

(7) We become willing to let go of shame, guilt, and any behavior that keeps us from loving ourselves and others.

(8) We make a list of people we have harmed and people who have harmed us, and take steps to clear out negative energy by making amends and sharing our grievances in a respectful way.

(9) We express love and gratitude to others, and increasingly we appreciate the wonder of life and the blessings we do have.

(10) We learn to trust our reality, and daily affirm that we see what we see, we know what we know and we feel what we feel.

(11) We promptly admit to mistakes and make amends when appropriate, but we do not say we are sorry for things we have not done and we do not cover up, analyze, or take responsibility for the shortcomings of others.

(12) We seek out situations, jobs, and people who affirm our intelligence, perceptions and self-worth and avoid situations or people who are hurtful, harmful, or demeaning to us.

(13) We take steps to heal our physical bodies, organize our lives, reduce stress, and have fun.

(14) We seek to find our inward calling, and develop the will and wisdom to follow it.

(15) We accept the ups and downs of life as natural events that can be used as lessons for our growth.

(16) We grow in awareness that we are sacred beings, interrelated with all living things, and we contribute to restoring peace and balance on the planet.

That’s it for my ¿Truths?

Finally! A long list (hopefully you enjoyed it).

Almost certainly there is more to come (sometime in the future).