Category Archives: Miscellaneous

Such A world

It has been a while since I added a post to this blog. My absence was partly due to busyness with other projects, yet mainly it was that I had run out of comments to make. I am much more interested in action than I am in verbage.

Much of this is because I have almost no hope that humanity will shift to greater maturity, such being needed for us to respond truly to the nature of global warming and all its complexity. Yet I am also deeply aware of the immense complexity of our species (especially as noted below), and I am open to be surprised that we will turn the situation around such that we survive.

Still, we have unfortunately delayed our response to the point where our world will change in significant ways, and likely the next hundred or so years will be difficult. At my current age of 78, I will not be around to experience most of these changes, and I am deeply saddened that they will be imposed upon my children and grand-children. Yet such are the struggles that will help them mature as human beings, in whatever ways are appropriate for them.

My basic mission statement continues to be “to encourage healthy emotional systems.” I remain limited in that I do not do well with long-term commitments to systems that show little change over time (my hermit nature), yet I deeply want to assist those who have ongoing pain (my poustinik nature), especially those who demonstrate their commitment to do the work of change. Unfortunately, most people I have worked with simply want to get out of pain, a short-term response (which I will comment upon in another post), and although I sometimes work with them, it is not usually very satisfying to me. I much prefer to work with those who want deep resolution of their life issues, the mommy-daddy issues of childhood residue and the broader issues of human maturity.

So I have decided to renew my investment in this blog, and will post intermittently, mainly presenting links I find fascinating or reflective of significant social issues, such as below.

Collapse and Renewal

A fascinating description of our world — be sure to read the entire post (the initial part is rather discouraging). The complexity described is what has prompted me to re-engage with this blog.

Positives

And it seems as if major political powers are paying attention to withdrawal from fossil fuels (I emphasize “seems” in that I have little trust in political hype):

HUGE VICTORY! People power defeats proposed GNL Quebec gas plant, 20210721
Greenland suspends oil exploration, says it takes ‘climate change seriously’, 20210716
Greenpeace Africa responds to the cancellation of oil blocks in Salonga National Park, urging similar decisions to be taken in Virunga and the rest of the Cuvette Centrale threatened by oil blocks, 20210722

Difficulties

Almost certainly you the reader of this blog has heard commentary on the latest IPCC Climate Report, one example being:

Climate report shows world pushed to the brink by fossil fuels, 20210819

I am also aware of how difficult it is to work with governments and other agencies of power. In particular, a small group of my collogues (my busyness alluded to above) have been attempting to get the British Columbia provincial government to take a deeper more comprehensive look at the Senior Care system, without much success. The current process seems to be interested parties submit proposals to the government, these proposals being politely received, and then discussed behind closed doors with minimal (if any) opportunity for collaboration and dialogue. This is not democracy as I understand it.

A similar situation seems to be occurring with the Vancouver Police Board regarding police street checks (another interest of mine from working in the Downtown Eastside):

Down the Rabbit Hole of Police Governance: The Saga of BCCLA’s Street Checks Complaint, 20210820

It is such a complex world and I have no idea as to how to begin the unraveling associated with such rabbit holes. The best alternative I have found continues to be:

  • to function from “high intention (do my best); low attachment (let go of outcome,” and
  • to enjoy the immense beauty and creativity of our world.

Climate Truth

PostTruth2This post presents a number of the links I have recently encountered, articles I think are important in speaking truth to what I perceive. And as usual, I am hesitant to post them — it is so easy to be overloaded with too much information these days.

I find also that the climate conversations are evolving. I attended a webinar a few nights ago by Smart Politics (https://www.joinsmart.org/) — overall I was impressed. It is American, based mainly in California (I think), and presented a good process for engaging, followed by a good discussion — certainly I would recommend to anyone in the States. It is different from yet similar to the process I will be leading with the Suzuki Elders at the end of this month (Climate Change Conversations: How To Have Them Without Everyone Walking Out Of The Room, Vancouver, 20190228).

On the positive side —

The Transformative Power of Climate Truth (20190204)

An excellent summary of the power of speaking the truth, especially in the nature of climate disruption. As readers of this blog will know, I am an advocate of The Climate Mobilization; momentum for this organization and its partners is evolving.

Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal Is a Product of Youth Uprising (20190208)

The need for major overhaul of the political situation is being recognized. Perhaps it is the beginning of transformation of capitalism and neoliberalism. Perhaps. Will we do so in time to avert disaster?

On the other side —

When Europeans Colonized the Americas, They Killed So Many That the Earth’s Climate Cooled (20190203)

A fascinating interplay between colonialism and global warming. Sad.

There’s a Big Hole in the World’s Most Important Glacier. Yes, It’s a Problem. (20190205)

As usual, things are worse than we thought.

The World Is on the Brink of Widespread Water Wars (20190211)

Another way in which things are worse. We are so close to collapse. As noted above, will we create a new cultural process in time to make a difference?

Plummeting insect numbers ‘threaten collapse of nature’ (20190211)

Yet another. What else can I say?

Predominantly neutral (is anything neutral in this theme?) —

How the greenwashing campaign works (20190212)

How can we measure the climate risk of methane gas emissions- (20190212)

What the methane industry doesn’t want you—or lawmakers—to know (20190212)

This series of articles on methane, the principle component of natural gas, speaks to the complexity of assessing data as well as the interpretation of data, some of which is almost certainly disinformation.

Governance in a Mature Society, Part 1

This is our home! We must clean house.
This is our home! We must clean house.

The word govern comes from the Latin gubernare (to direct or guide) and from the Greek kybernan (to steer or pilot a ship). Essentially it means to rule with authority; in democracy, that authority is assigned by the people. Authority itself is power to make decisions and to give orders so as to accomplish a task; it can be delegated, but the delegator is usually still accountable for the accomplishment of the task.

Thus, to govern refers to having power over power, the concept I have been referring to in the last few posts, The Nature of Power. Quite frankly, in the shift to civilization over the past 10,000 years, we have not done very well. Power has controlled us, rather than we having control over power.

We must learn to transform ourselves.

Given we are at the edge of the ending of our current civilization, if not the ending of ourselves as a species, this must change. We must shift from the dominator mode of power to that of a global embrace of personal power. We must learn to value the personal growth of individuals such that they advance in wisdom (phronesis, as well as the supplementary skills of sophia, discipline, hope and playfulness) — see Acedia and The Climate Lie, Part 1 for details.

I say personal power because, although governance largely has to do with professional power, it is the deep transformation of individuals that allows them to be effective leaders. Over thirty years ago, John Scherer[1] introduced me to the Adaptive Skills, the skill set that allows leadership, the skill set that makes you who you are, the core that people “get” when they are with you. A mature society will value the development of these skills in all people, and when well developed, from whence will come leadership.

In my dissertation (and subsequent book Acedia, pp. 200-205), I devoted a number of pages to the governance of a mature society. In re-reading these pages, I have changed little in my thoughts. I will therefore quote extensively from this source, adding some brief comments to update the text.

Challenging growth

As indicated in earlier posts, I suggest that in a mature culture, people would meet several times per week in small groups within their “villages” in order to discuss their own growth as well as the community issues of concern.

. . . they would also mentor each other, challenging both themselves, and the systems within which they live. This would be the place where people cross-link with each other, providing the maturity necessary for the resolution of conflict; it would be the source of growth necessary for the priorities of the [culture]. Such meetings might potentially sound communistic, and subject to the “crab-box effect” of togetherness, but when skillfully led, I know of no richer experience for human interaction — they are the platforms where people develop the skills of authentic relating. When skillfully led, such meetings can be places of immense playfulness and wisdom [as well as the development of leadership skills].

To be continued.

[1]John J. Scherer, The 1980 Annual Handbook for Group Facilitators, pp. 152-156.