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Archive for the ‘psychology’ Category

This article is another opportunity to understand that Nature is not just an industrial feed stock but intelligent sentient life just like us.

Internalizing this objective fact makes us develop an emotional connection with life no different than what we have for our fellow human beings and our pets. Empathy, affection and a sense of care are the emotions that build up such connection.

It is this emotional awakening that will eventually help us recover our lost link to the natural world. Until such emotional re-connection can take place we will not be able to achieve the shift in our perception of reality and our overall attitude toward ourselves and nature required to make our existence sustainable on Earth.

Art can greatly enhance and expedite this indispensable psychological and cultural process. That is the core objective of my current work in art, psychology and sustainability.

Amazon-Rainforest-Deforestation-1024x440

Amazon rainforest deforestation. Photo: worldwildlife.org

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Dr. Fritjof Capra told us in his book The Web of Life our global crisis is a crisis of perception. I would like to build on that brilliant conclusion. Our consumption driven social and economic system dis-empower us by creating a warped perception of scarcity where we are led to believe we never have enough and we are never enough. We are not wealthy enough, not good looking enough (not enough boobs, butt or muscles), not successful enough, not courageous or free enough.

Global capitalism creates an illusion of inner vacuum which can never be filled. It was an amazing economic breakthrough, a Perpetual Motion Machine for the market moved by the ever thirsting egos of billions of consumers; an inexhaustible voltage of wants; an unbridgeable gap between we are and where must be. Most if not everyone who will read these lines can relate to the compulsive search to fill the vacuum we fill in our guts when we count the hours to complete our work day to the frantic weekend.

We try to fill this undeniable vacuum with that new car, next vacation, new extreme adventure, our dream home, possibly that new romantic partner or the marriage that will follow. Perhaps we will fill the vacuum when have our first born? Or will it be when we retire and we have more time to indulge in many more of these diversions.

Materialism and capitalism despite the progress and the quality of life that have brought to humankind, have also come at a very high toll: the disintegration of the world inside and outside of us from the processing and fragmentation of our food to the fragmentation of our psychology. All life on Earth including our very own species is was conceived and developed in a cradle of unlimited relationships, most of them synergistic. In fact if you want to look beyond the laws of biology and ecology, you can ask a physicist what is the essence of the universe. He or she will respond with more or less mathematical detail it is a dynamic flow of relationships.

Such notion of reality is in complete opposition to the ever fragmenting world the Cartesian-Newtonian materialism we are still abiding by. The compulsive categorization and break down of reality driven by such paradigm has divided the world into more and smaller compartments. Such event has literally fragmented the notion of our universe and our very selves. It is this culturally imposed sense of separation that has created countless disconnections between our believes, knowledge, emotions, our bodies, our fellow human beings, our sister life forms and the rest of the planet outside the lonesome voice of our ego, all of which used to be seamlessly connected sometime before we started looking at the world as a machine, and by default at ourselves.

Life is very complex and theories come and go but I am completely certain our prevalent profit and control driven notion of reality is fundamentally false. It is a psychological program designed to enslave us all. The future of humanity if it has one, is to overcome the current perception of ourselves and the world in which we have been imprisoned.

I highly recommend this article from Resurgence and Ecologist magazine. It offers a great insight on this topic.

The wolf of wall street

Image source: ‘Why Do We Like to Watch Rich People on TV and in the Movies?’

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Unfortunately due to human nature and the forces of the economic system where we are all imprisoned, we just cannot afford to wait and win the hearts and minds of people before we can conveniently and democratically shift to sustainability.

I fully agree with Bill’s analysis regarding the individual and collective dynamics of motivation and persuasion. However Bill left out a critical element, most likely for lack of time. What Mr. Rees missed and what I think is the big elephant in his analysis is the actual System which nourishes not just our body but let’s be honest, our very own mind and spirit. We are lead to believe we have a freedom based democracy where we make our own choices but it is actually a corporate oligarchy where the choices are already pre-selected for us.

We are physically, emotionally, intellectually and culturally plugged into The System in the same way that a patient is hooked to an intravenous (IV) system. And it will take nothing short of a cataclysmic disruption to remove from our vanes the serum of Global Capitalism and allow the transition to a truly free, healthy and sustainable civilization.

 

 

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This post is specially dedicated to those who want to convince us that the material based progress and the global economic system we have is the best and the only one we can have.  I am often the critic of such manipulative assertion, but I am going to let someone respected by millions be the critic this time.

Not being a particularly religious person I often have my ear on what religious leaders have to say, particularly the Dalai Lama whom I regard as being light years ahead of most religious leaders.  He speaks deep truth and high wisdom. I believe the commentary below is not just a brilliant critique and analysis of today’s reality but a daring look at the world calling it for what it is.

Few individuals today have the courage and the critical mind to recognize, let alone face such reality. But guess what? The number of people waking up to this often uncomfortable and even scary reality is growing. People are slowly but surely stepping up to face these planetary compounded challenge. However if we want to make a timely difference we need such growth to be exponential, and to me it still feels linear.

I cannot wait for the growth of consciousness to become a runaway (ever growing) effect, a positive feedback loop so that it can keep up with and counter our runaway global crisis.

 

Dalai lama

Source: Dalai Lama Daily Quotes

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Internal view of the Stanford torus

Internal view of the Stanford torus. Source: Wikipedia.

From all the modern crises we face and suffer, there is one no one suspects of. It is the big elephant in the room of our challenging future ahead. I am referring to the unsuspected crisis of imagination. Since I was a child it bothered me and bored me why adults would not stop until they managed to strip away our dearest fantasies, imaginative ideas and any dreams that would not fit into the pathetically tiny box of possibilities for supposedly a successful career and life like doctor, layer, salesman and a just a few other professions. If we did not aspire to any of those limited possibilities, we were considered immature and childish, or living in La La Land.

Imagination is a word that has often become pejorative in our highly manipulated society as it often associated with kids or adults who cannot be taken seriously and therefore are pushed away from society being regarded as naïve, unrealistic or crazy.

We lose half of our humanity as we grow up and expose ourselves to the conditioning that annihilates our precious boundless and connecting child mind. Family, society and school make sure those ideas and attitudes that represent a threat to society’s narrow and fragile order are eradicated quite often ridiculing, marginalizing and even physically abusing those who dare to think outside the box, let alone those who question the system and the status quo. I know this not so much because of the dozens of passages where I have read about it, but because I have lived this painful truth in my own being.

Let’s be honest. Creativity is rewarded in just a relatively few exclusive circles, most of them not even available to the public at large. A few folks in the arts are allowed and even encouraged to think more creatively than anyone else but even then they are often subject to the same prejudice, criticism and antagonism as everyone else who dares to question The Establishment.

Even when creativity is made available to the public such as through activities like arts, crafts and cultural events, such creativity represents a mere narrow band in the vastly wide spectrum of possibilities available to re-define and re-live reality, and quite often such activities are nothing but an embellished repackaging of traditional outdated cultural icons and views thus offering a false and deceiving creative outlet.

A big inhibitor of creativity is the prevailing prejudice that creative activities are secondary in importance. They are generally thought of as a good hobby, a way to relax. They are usually played down by parents, teachers and neighbors as respectable career paths as an engineer or a sales executive are, simply because they are not perceived as ‘bread earners’.

A bigger detractor of creativity which reaches the rank of malicious is the prejudice and mental hijacking exerted by religious and political ideologies. These preconceived views of reality are mental strait jackets that keep individuals in a highly reduced universe whose limits cannot even be defined because they cannot even be imagined. The manipulative nature of these ideologies is so potent that it keeps the minds of the subjected believers unable to consider any idea outside their mandated conception of reality.

In this day and age creativity is still not taken seriously enough. The irony is that it will be our creativity, not traditional thinking, what will allow us to survive and thrive in this brave new world. No, this is not just a minor nuisance or even a loss of talent and potential but a cause of complacency, ignorance and ultimately inaction regarding the global crises we face including climate change, environmental degradation, resource depletion, food and water scarcity risks, world financial and economic instability, and all the other global challenges ahead.

Our lack of imagination to (1) conceive an alternative healthier world and (2) develop an alternative sustainable way to relate to ourselves, our species and the earth, results in our lack of ability and will to take the action. And of course I am referring to the action required to correct our accelerating collision course with the planet.

Source: Inhabitat

 

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Winter Peace

Winter peace2

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I would greatly appreciate if you watched this debate from last week between Bill McKibben and Alex Epstein on this fascinating topic and give me your opinion and questions.

Thanks,

Ruben

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