Dangerous Spirituality 

Thurman’s spirituality was grounded not only in the beauties of the black experience, but grounded as well in the terrors of the black experience, as only someone living in Florida and Georgia could know them in 1915 and 1920 and 1930. At the same time, it was a spirituality that says: “And knowing all that, I also know that all human beings are one.”

This kind of strange combination of spiritual truth with hard political social truth led one young man in the 1930s to say this about Howard Thurman: “I’m disappointed in him. We thought we had found our Moses. And he turns out to be a mystic.” That’s the spirituality that gets people all riled up.

Source: Dangerous Spirituality | On Being

Seeing Through The Debris 

Imagine being Joe Schmo on main street in 1964… Sitting outside a drug store (not a Starbucks) but the fake wooden streetscape of our earlier mental conjuration still remains the same. It’s a time before ‘real’ commercial airline travel — the first flight of a 747 is still 5 years away. The closest thing Joe has to the idea of air travel is a 1st generation airliner like a De Havilland Comet and only then because he heard about it on the radio (My Grandpa worked by the way on the De Havilland Comet decompression investigation), and Black and White TVs are still sold more than colour.

Meanwhile, you tell him this: there exists a separate world of classified technology and just one of those things is a Mach 3 Stealth Plane that can fly to the edge of space.

Do you think you could tell Ol’ Joe this without his hackles being raised? Do you think he’d believe you? There would be much shaking of heads and remonstration. I’m not sure Mr Schmo would accept it at all. It would just bounce off the carefully constructed bubble of Red Reality that he’s unknowingly internalised. At the time it would be indistinguishable to him from UFO reports.

Source: Seeing Through The Debris – Anomalous Engineering – Medium

Writing Thoughtfully In Unthinking Times 

The truth of the claim that writing can help thinking has long been impugned. Consider Plato’s Phaedrus. Socrates is down on writing–he thinks it is the last thing we need. For him, it is a medium through which only superficial understanding may be attained. Learning from, or through, writing generates a mere appearance of wisdom. There are three main ways in which writing tricks us. Socrates says written words can’t speak for themselves to teach the truth to others. We also err in supposing that writing will guarantee intelligibility or certainty of meaning. Worse still, writing can only provide reminders of thought, not originate it. The learning that ensues is thus shallow, temporary, and stale. People never really know things from writing, having not actually thought about them.

That is quite an indictment. What should we make of it? A hasty dismissal as mere “phonocentrism” will not do, not in times like these. It is said that all too often we don’t think enough, or even at all. In the modern world, so the story goes, we are akin to Descartes’s brutes. Does writing really kill deep and original thinking?  This assertion merits scrutiny. In all this we should not spare ourselves. Philosophers, just by virtue of their vocation or trade, are not immune to the epoch in which they live. So the criticisms of writing matter, to all of us. What then to do? In my view, as is often the case, Plato provokes rather than vitiates. We might then pursue a moderate response wherein we address Plato’s concerns. This is to seek a philosophical way of writing able to accommodate the three objections put forth by Plato. These I shall call the argument, clarity, and originality objections.

Source: Writing Thoughtfully In Unthinking Times | Blog of the APA

Collapse Fatigue 

And then there are those who adjust well to their new life. They show few signs of fatigue or regret for turning their lives upside-down. We think the difference is that at some point, either before or during their self transformation, they began moving towards the concept of a more physically rewarding and emotionally healthy future, rather than running away from perceived dangers, real or otherwise. Geographic cures rarely work, while personal transformation often does.

By moving toward an embodied vision of what it means to live well, to be safe and secure, life stops depending upon specific events to occur, or other people waking to join our new herd, for us to be happy, healthy and well adjusted to our new surroundings. When we begin to create our own reality because we want to, rather than because we feel we need to, only then can we free ourselves from the need for constant confirmation that anchored us to the self destructive world we once lived within.

Once we free our mind from the ties that bind us to our chains, we can more easily walk away from the need to be constantly confirmed in an old way of life that is neither natural nor healthy. The reason we desperately seek affirmation is because we all know deep down within our inner being that the old ways are addictive and self destructive. This truth is self evident, regardless how strong our denial may be.

The common thread for those who awaken, yet do not suffer from collapse fatigue, seems to be finding some degree of inner peace. The way forward is always rough, full of roadblocks and potholes, with two steps forward and one (or two) back. It can be a lengthy and frustrating process if we are reluctant participants.

The biggest stumbling block appears to be pangs of loneliness and isolation, the feeling no one really sees life as we do. Most of us find it very hard to function without the affirmation of the herd to assure us we are on the right track. We are programmed from birth to crave verification, especially when what we wish verified is contrary to our very nature.

But at the end of the day, just before we fall asleep, ultimately we are alone in our head. Upon awakening, it remains the same. When facing decisions throughout our day, no matter who else is in our life, we are the only one inside our mind thinking and reasoning through the choices. Once we accept we are indeed ultimately alone, we come to realize we, all of us, are united together in our aloneness. It is then we cease to be lonely. It turns out to find the others we must look within.

Source: Collapse Fatigue | Two Ice Floes

Our current hierarchical view of ourselves and of our consciousness (with “I” at the apex, and “my ideas, my emotions, my experiences, and accumulated skills, etc.”, below) can now be shown to be fundamentally incoherent in a number of ways—the central contention being that in actual fact there isn’t and there can be no centre to our consciousness the same way that there is no centre to a river. Breaking away from the cul-de-sac of the this current/common hierarchical view, this chapter outlines a new model in which conditioned responses of memory—in the form of holarchically ordered, fundamentally interconnected basic assumptions and emotional attitudes—provide a continually shifting structure of consciousness (akin to the changing (infinite, yet finite) structural patterns which may arise in a kaleidoscope)..

Source: In Detail | The Order of Thought