- New year, a time to embrace the uncertainty of it all
- We could be non-binary
- Adaptive resilience vs safety paternalism
- Left wing, right wing? What just happened to politics?
- Covid, class and the addiction to certainty
- Neoliberalism, the Life World and the Psychopathic Corporation
- Democracy is about our bodies, not just our minds
- What’s your motivation: is it yourself or the change you’re making?
- Mind over matter: The world of abstraction is driving us to destruction
- The real threats to our liberty and survival
- Avoiding the abyss of conspiracy theories
- The difference between a legal system and a fantasy novel
- What’s a conspiracy and what’s just common garden variety corruption?
- Unpredictability, humility and an emerging anthropandemic
- The trilemma – climate change, economic collapse, and rising fascism
- Happy New Normal for the decade ahead
- Fires, liars and climate deniers
- The race to the bottom in australian politics
- Talking about lock-on devices – an article in ‘The Conversation’
- The Ponzi scheme is teetering
- Regenerative culture a key part of the blockade experience
- Staying sane in the late Anthropocene
- Extinction Rebellion
- Major parties have failed on climate, it’s time to rebel.
- Elections In The Late Anthropocene
- It is the Greens that are defeating the Nats and it’s all about your preferences
- Australia’s powerhouse of democracy and innovation is in the Northern Rivers
- Is identity politics a problem for the left?
- The climate emergency and the awful state of Australian politics
- Liberty, freedom and civil rights? Do any of us understand these things anymore.
- Democracy and rights under threat in corporate police state
- The forest wars are back, time to mobilise
- …more commentary
- News & Events
- A Flood of Emotions – Sydney Ideas Event
- Participatory democracy in the COVID era – SCU podcast
- Activism educator Aidan Ricketts explains how and why protests can be peaceful
- Bob Brown Is Taking “Shocking” Anti-Protest Laws To The High Court
- Anti protest laws could arrest nannas, seize tractors
- “They blinked first”
- Colin Barnett quick to protest against ‘activism degrees’ – The Australian, 16/10/2014
- ‘Degrees in activism’ put brake on growth – The Australian, 15/10/2014
- Magistrate throws out vexatious police case against CSG protesters
- Outrage over school PR ‘by stealth’- The Northern Star
- CSG clash a certainty
- Communities use new tactics
- Gas group attacks lecturer
- …more media
- Activist Resources
I like these sites
- Code Green Tasmania
- CSG Free Northern Rivers
- Friends of the Earth Melbourne
- Generation Alpha
- Huon Valley Environment Centre
- Lock the Gate Alliance
- Nature Conservation Council NSW
- North Coast Environment Council
- North East Forest Alliance
- Plan to Win
- Rainforest Information Centre
- Save our Foreshore
- Still Wild Still Threatened
- The Change Agency
- The Wilderness Society
Mind over matter: The world of abstraction is driving us to destruction
Unbridled greed, conspiracism, denial of science and evidence, destruction of the planet we rely upon, racism and abuse of human rights. All of these things being signs of a culture in decay.
We need to dig deep to find the roots of our current malaise. Clearly we are disconnected from reality. Disconnected from nature and from our human empathy to others. This collective psychosis is a place of confusion, isolation and increasingly fear. We are seeing a descent into fascism in so many places driven by a desperate search for some certainty. But we can’t find certainty in more fear, more hate and more division, so where should we be looking? How do we reconnect?
One of the deepest problems our culture faces derives from trying to place mind above matter.
Whether it’s the insane assumption of late capitalism that economic growth can be unlimited on a finite planet, or the stupidity of anthropocentrism (thinking humans are above nature) or living in a virtual mindscape of ideas: virtual reality, gaming, distraction and overstimulation; or whether we are lost in a desperate search for social identities, we seem lost in a world that has less and less to do with the actual world.
Even in our so-called spiritual communities there is an abundance of mind over matter ideologies on offer. How often do you see statements like ‘everything that we are arises in our minds’, ‘our minds create our reality’ and so on. It’s time to call bullshit on these bypasses.
This universe is bigger and older than humans. It formed and swirled and produced life long before any new age self-mastery guru ‘manifested’ anything. It can exist without us as well and the way we are going it might end up doing just that. We are not the centre of the universe nor its creator, not as individuals not as a species.
The disembodied conceit of thinking we are manifesting all of this is unfathomably insane. We are not that important as individuals we are not even all that important as a species.
Our ‘western’ philosophical tradition is riddled with elevation of the mind over the body. Premises like “I think; therefore I am” elevate the mind beyond our already physical existence, I would prefer to say “I am part of the universe so I need not question my existence” and then there’s post-modernism, challenging the idea of truth and helping to land us in the post-truth world in which every disembodied mind gets to believe its own set of facts.
Our society, our culture and our economies have become abstracted, they have loosened their connections to the lifeworld and as a result we have a world run by abstractions such as corporations, a growth economy, artificial intelligence, algorithms and virtual reality. It may all be very interesting and clever , shiny and dazzling but it is terminal and it is folding in on itself.
This is also why we need to listen to the wisdom of indigenous cultures for they have memories and roadmaps that can help us reconnect out of our madness.
Don’t get me wrong, our minds are fantastic things, but they work best when they are embodied within a whole human being, complete with emotions, senses and vulnerabilities, breathing air, contemplating and experiencing mortality and feeling humbled by the universe and nature. Divorced from our bodily awareness our minds become capable of great delusion and sociopathy.
So how do we avoid getting carried along in the collective psychosis of late capitalism, honestly I don’t know the full answer to that, but what I have learned is that disconnection is the disease and reconnection is the path back to wholeness.
We are physical, we are nature, we are of this planet, we are animals, we are bodies. Our minds are an emanation of our bodies not vice versa. Our bodies hold intelligence beyond that contained by the thinking brain, and animals and plants possess forms of intelligence that we have scarcely begun to recognise because it often appears so very different from our own.
The tyrant in our heads, so desperate to elevate us above our bodies and our emotions and to control our inner and outer world produces the tyrants in our boardrooms and presidential palaces. All these disconnected minds running our society are driving us off the physical cliff, and into sociopathy, racism and environmental destruction
Be a body, in nature and look back at human culture and see the madness there. The first step is to become whole again, from there we can begin to reconnect with other humans and understand and respect our equality and our interconnectedness, and then to respect other species and ultimately to have the wisdom to redesign our societies, economies and ultimately our legal systems to align with the governance principles that already exist in nature. Things like the laws of physics and nature. The spiritual and the material are inseparably combined, this material world is the place where the rubber hits the road. The fact that we are facing global environmental catastrophe is no mere error, it is clear and present proof that how we have been thinking about ourselves and the world is misaligned with how we and the world actually are.
Nature, the physical world, our bodies and this glorious planet are ready and waiting to welcome our restless, lonely wandering, disembodied minds back as soon as we are ready to have the humility to return.
There is a huge amount of work to do to reconnect connect humanity to itself, and one way it can begin is inside our own bodies, as that is where we can always find nature within. From our bodies we can realise that we evolved here, that we are part of it all, we are all equal and that our survival depends on that connection and not upon trying to override it.
From there we can hopefully find the clarity to embark on the multitude of regenerative projects needed to restore sustainability. See you there vulnerable humans.