“It’s clearly a crisis of two things: of consciousness and conditioning. We have the technological power, the engineering skills to save our planet, to cure disease, to feed the hungry, to end war; But we lack the intellectual vision, the ability to change our minds. We must decondition ourselves from 10,000 years of bad behavior. And, it’s not easy.” — Terrance McKenna
There is no doubt that with our given intelligence and access to innovation, we are supposed to grow up and off this planet. But before we interact “out there”, we should probably fully internalize a few more lessons back here on Earth, such as how to get along with others and how to share our toys and joys. While it may feel like the world is in a heightened state of disconnection, there is actually more connection and conversation being had now than ever before. Beyond a deeply-conditioned pursuit to control, colonize and capitalize, we are growing to live more responsibly, collaboratively, and wisely.
Remember when Mariah Carey welcomed in 2017 on ABC mass America with a performance that foreshadowed the fading of illusion? What we have witnessed around that time and since then is more calling things out than ever before; from the #metoo movement, to having such an intense microscope on the presidency and political game that would not have happened if we had a clean-cut politician type take office conducting business as usual. Everything happening now is for the falling of the curtain, so that we can transform and level up as a global society. More than ever, we are being shown that the current structures and systems are clearly antiquated, and instead of wasting years arguing over sides, issues and putting bandaids on things, we should be focusing on creating more modern and streamlined solutions. While we have more than enough means to sort things out properly, our greatest hindrance is our resistance in fear of the unknown. Sure, most of our lives and lifestyles are currently plugged into the mainstream circuit boards, and the idea of new ways feels like a dauntingly impossible and massive change that we probably feel we don’t have the time or energy to relearn, much less rebuild. So we tend to put our heads back down, back to the grindstone, spout off goals about 2025 or 2040, tune out of the issues, look forward to the weekend, and have another 5, 10 or 40 years go by. We can get there sooner by having the tough conversations, exposing the games, not being afraid to innovate, and getting to the root of the issues.
“The most dangerous phrase in the language is ‘we’ve always done it this way.’”
Let’s be real. Any “first world” country became a first world country for only one reason: Stabilized military systems that protect (and expand) their claim on global, naturally available, free-flowing resources. This means really crazy sh*t has happened and continues to happen in the name of claim. Despite living on a utopian planet and having the means to create much smarter methods, literally every problem we face in humanity is caused by the current system of exchanging freely available resources: Poverty, hunger, wars, warped income classes, unjust hierarchies and perverted associations between governments and industry. No shining star country is innocent of bloodshed and manipulation, and profiting from the industries that come with it. My beautiful, beloved homeland is the number one supplier of lethal weapons and tools of destruction that usually end up stocking all sides of wars. Wars are major business for the countries like the USA, and if they were not so much about dominating resources, you would think they were just extreme marketing spectacles to promote the hot new season of artillery. This being said, nothing but absolute respect to the resource wargame victims on all sides, who get caught up in the tactics and negative effects of the supply chain. Bless the hearts and courage of the people who feel called to safeguard their countries for what they believe is their duty. May all be at peace.
When the value of money is worth more than the value of lives, we are far past okay. So we ask, are we growing too intelligent for money? Afterall, intelligence is life, and lifeward. The most basic common sense law of survival: do not destroy yourself, your home, or each other. Killing people is awful and unacceptable on all sides, always. Period. “Casualties of war” is a thinly veiled excuse that is as old-world as gladiators dying for the delight of the King. Yet, we continue to see displays of games such as the drama of the Middle Eastern oil pipeline countries that we have been at war with for decades, one by one, no matter the political party in residence. We see what happens when first-world countries destabilize other countries, such as those in Central and South America, to have better relationships with resource trade, then we complain when their citizens want to emigrate out of the destructive states we leave them in. We see everything about the exploitation of countries like the Congo — the game of keeping people impoverished and distracted by civil unrest while their resources get raped. We see countries like Congo and Kenya, that house some our planet’s most sacred and majestic beings, who are being slaughtered for body parts that are hyped up in the marketplaces of the country’s debt holders. Afterall, if there are less animals to protect, there is much more land to exploit. We see countries invading other countries, taking lives, taking over, and we wonder why “terrorists” rise up? When you go into someone’s home and violently try to take it, you are definitely going to have people who will try to protect and retaliate. When you invade homelands and kill families, you will absolutely make enemies.
Instead of spending trillions “fighting terrorism” that we essentially help create, we need to be dealing with why we have these enemies to begin with. Since resource control is the inevitable answer, could we structure a more cooperative, coexistive, well-intentioned solution of exchange? Surely, an Uber/AirBnB-type could swoop in to solve these supply chain issues soon enough. More in the flow of “instead of fighting the old, create the new.” We bright humans have figured out systems of exchange and transportation before, and now it is even easier, given our levels of technology, access to diversity, and openness to globalisation.
The catalyst of resource domination is the industry of money and assets that are determined as value, where forms of each are traded and amplified, and where some of the “wealthiest” individuals “on paper” are those who professionally play with other people’s wealth. We have games like the stock market, where we can gamble on the performance of companies that helps escalate and justify the idea of profit over purpose. For having such an impact on our physical reality, the world of money is really quite ethereal. These high transactions are typically never actually felt through human hands, but rather with the changeup of a few numbers in a computer system somewhere out there in the ethers. The principal of money is not evil. It is simply a tool to help facilitate exchange. If it stops working to the benefit of the majority of its users, you are going to start to see people throw their hands up in the air and say “f*ck your legal tender” and invent new forms, as we are seeing in the emergence of blockchain and alternative currency.
Capitalism is not necessarily a problem unless money becomes a mission statement that overrides common sense. For instance, we see things like the pharmaceutical industry focusing more on creating customers rather than cures, food companies loading us up with cheap and addictive ingredients, educational institutions pushing the need for expensive degrees that might not result in guaranteed jobs, and industries such as dirty energy that are flat-out destroying the health of our planet and its hard workers. Worse, these industries lobby against and try to delay or destroy the chances of innovators coming up in the game who have far greater intentions. This raises questions like why is corporate and industrial lobbying even legal? Do the businesses of healthcare, food, education and free-flowing resources have any business being big business to begin with, when their profits and bottom lines become more important than wellbeing and common sense? David Suzuki addresses this as “economics is a form of brain damage” in this clip from the documentary Surviving Progress.
Right now we cannot waste our energy labeling the people or institutions involved as evil, no matter how knowingly they commit these offenses. People are typically acting on what they think is best based upon what they know and the pressures they have to bow to. For far too long, we have been conditioned to think that money is the solution to everything. In Lynne Twist’s book The Soul of Money, she perfectly illustrates this idea in relation to the social climate after 9/11:
“Then after just weeks, when the collective state of shock and mourning started to show up as an economic downturn, specifically as a serious fall in retail sales, President George W Bush in a televised address called upon Americans to support the economy by getting back to business, the business of spending money. Shopping was portrayed as an expression of patriotism, a way to show the terrorists that they could not destroy our economy, our consumerism, the American spirit, or the American way of life. I remember in the days just following the president’s speech, at first there was an awkward, almost reluctant, halt in the public conversation of grief, generosity, and compassion. Then the conversation begins to turn, with only a slight pause and a trace of squeamishness, to the new order of the day. Within just a few days the newspapers and television news crews were at the malls interviewing shoppers as if they were foot soldiers on the frontlines of this new consumer patriotism…. Stories about people and community events that suggested a reflective or spiritual response were replaced with stories about the economy and the weekend’s top grossing movies. Again and again, people interviewed at shopping malls became the media-appointed spokespeople for us all, describing their determination to shop and spend so as “not to live in fear.”
We have replaced healing and innovation with distraction. Surely this attitude is what propels our debauchery and crises of humanity.
I understand resistance to these ideas of change. The whole world, as we know it, seems far too weaved into the current ways. What must be realized is that none of this change has to be scary. The idea of going with the flow (or creating a new one) instead of clinging to the barrels of a sinking ship might be a little unnerving at first, but there is no cause for panic on any side as it all unfolds and evolves. We can welcome change, as we bid adieu to the profit over purpose mentality that hinders innovation, stunts our ethics and suppresses the possibilities of the greatness of humanity. We should rest in knowing that in its natural state, Earth is an everless, overflowing abundant utopia that provides enough diversity of people, places, resources, foods, and medicine to satisfy all its inhibitors. Scarcity, poverty, powerlessness, the feeling of being just another mousie in the cheese race are all conditions because they are conditioned to most of the world in order to keep the balance (aka dominance) of wealth distribution.
Change, Is that You?
In 1991, 13-year-old Severn Suzuki stood before the UN with a brilliant speech that drove home: “If you can’t fix it, then please stop breaking it.” Twenty seven years later, in 2018, 15-year-old Greta Thunberg stood before the UN with a similarly brilliant speech that drove home: “If solutions within the system are so impossible to find, maybe we should change the system itself” and “You say you love your children above all else, and yet you are stealing their future in front of their very eyes.” Has anything changed within this timeframe? Or has it only gotten worse?
We can complain and blame all we want. The resource exchange is a greater issue, but as consumers we can completely flip the script right now. Our awareness and financial decisions are key that will chip away at our hardwiring. Let’s be more real. For instance, let’s stop focusing on the term “climate change” — it offsets it like it is a third party problem. It enables us to disassociate from the issue, when we really need to be calling it by what it is — consumer addiction — and then take action with integrity and make our buying decisions accordingly. We must continue to seek greater quality of circumstances, goods and lifestyles for ourselves.
Today we are better equipped with the tools that get information around quicker, that reveal more transparency and create a platform where we can call things out and rally support. We see what happens when the spark of social media is met with collective action. The world is changing. Things can happen very quickly. Soon, there will be no more generations that will buy into the mad ways of the old. Frustration leads to innovation. Conscious consumerism and conscious humanism are on the rise! A better world starts within each of us. It is our responsibility as We the People, and cohabitors of this planet, to face our internal issues as individuals, educate ourselves, and then use our collective intelligence and compassion for only the greatest of intentions.
To do a bit more chipping away, ponder the questions below.
Things That Make You Go Hmmmm:
- If it causes pain and suffering, is it worth it?
- Why are we wasting our lives chasing a man-made agenda?
- Why not allow greater, more innovative ways of doing things to come through?
- If resources are free-flowing and our birthright on this planet, how can we create more fairly balanced, non-violent systems of exchange?
- Why wouldn’t we want to respect and protect our home planet?
- What is it about these ideas of change that unnerve you the most, and why?
For similar vibes, check out the related article, Are We Too Intelligent for Social Labels?