“Whenever you are in the world of the tonal, you should be an impeccable tonal; no time for irrational crap. But whenever you are in the world of the nagual, you should also be impeccable; no time for rational crap. For the warrior intent is the gate in between. It closes completely behind him when he goes either way.”
Carlos Castaneda

Tales of Power

some words on philosophy


this excerpt felt more promising when I started reading the article, but I found no satisfaction … except for the trigger point … I feel that, though we may collectively feel we know what’s going on, that it is now how I feel … I feel that we are in an era in which everything is up for grabs … money, law, country, science, society, relationship … there is a more comprehensible list somewhere inside me but I don’t feel like formulating it.

I was also amused by how “scientists struggle to understand how consciousness arises from matter” … that question is valid in a world where matter does not have consciousness … if you change that assumption the question goes away 🙂

Eras in which everything is up for grabs are very rare, and they seem to be highly productive for philosophy. As Gottlieb points out, much of the Western philosophy that still matters to us is the product of just two such eras: Athens in the fifth and fourth centuries B.C. and Western Europe in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries A.D.

It is hard for us to comprehend how totally Western consciousness was transformed during the second of these two periods, precisely because we live in its aftermath. In just a few generations preceding it, every fixed point that had oriented the world for thousands of years began to wobble. The discovery of America destroyed established geography, the Reformation destroyed the established Church, and astronomy destroyed the established cosmos. Everything that educated people believed about reality turned out to be an error or, worse, a lie. It’s impossible to imagine what, if anything, could produce a comparable effect on us today. Even the discovery of alien life in the universe wouldn’t do it, since we have long learned to expect such a discovery, whereas medieval Europeans could never have anticipated the existence of America, or of electricity.

Philosophers are people who, for some reason—Plato called it the sense of wonder—feel compelled to make the obvious strange. When they try to communicate that basic, pervasive strangeness or wonder to other people, they usually find that the other people don’t like it. Sometimes, as with Socrates, they like it so little that they put the philosopher to death. More often, however, they just ignore him.

Even today, cognitive scientists struggle to understand how consciousness arises from matter, though few doubt that it does.

… One of the most popular names for the unexplainable is God: God is how we answer questions about creation and purpose that we can’t answer in any other way. Certainly, both Descartes and Leibniz relied on God to balance the equation of the universe. Without him, they believed, the world did not make sense. The philosophers’ God was not necessarily identical to the God of Christianity, but he had some reassuringly familiar attributes, such as beneficence and providential oversight of the world.

… Spinoza made God so crucial to the world that the distinction between the two collapsed. There could not be two substances in the universe, Spinoza argued, one physical and the other divine, since this involved a logical contradiction. If God and Nature were distinct, then it must be the case that Nature had some qualities that God lacked, and the idea of a supreme being lacking anything was incoherent. It follows that God and Nature are just two names for the same thing, the Being that comprises everything that ever existed or ever will exist.



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Soylent customers keep getting sick


sigh …

“Liquid meal maker Soylent is stopping sales of its flagship powder, warning that a handful of customers reported stomach sickness after consuming it … customer complaints of diarrhea, vomiting and upset stomachs.

Backed by more than $20 million in venture capital, Soylent has emerged as one of several popular start-ups hoping to change what and how people eat. Meant to be mixed with water or other liquids, the powder has enough fats, carbohydrates and other nutrients to replace a traditional meal, according to the company. People looking for a quick fix, such as software programmers in Silicon Valley, have become devotees.

Soylent urged customers discomforted by version 1.6 of its powder to toss it.”



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What does it mean to be a peasant in Romania?


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Economy for the Common Good


Economy for the Common Good … being applued in companies, universities, municipalities … using familiar tools of measuring and accounting but applying them to different indicators and goals that are directly (instead of indirect indicators such as GDP) related to well being:

“GDP is not valued in itself but because it is associated with positive values such as jobs or the fulfilment of basic needs. Upon closer inspection, however, in no single instance is the relationship between rising GDP and the achievement of social goals and values assured. That’s why we propose that social goals should be defined and their achievement measured directly – instead of using the uncertain and unwieldy detour of GDP. The mere fact that a science so very bent on efficiency does not measure the achievement of goals directly but instead proceeds via the detour of monetary indicators, i.e. extreme inefficiency, shows that it is more of a faith community than a serious discipline.”



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Ikigai: A Reason for Being (Purpose)


The concept of Ikigai:


I don’t feel that I’ve been able to live in this convergence. I would also want to see another dimension in it … one that relates to happiness and well-being since I believe it is possible to live in this convergence with negative outcomes and personal sacrifice in well-being and happiness.

I came across Ikigai in this OK, but tedious and not as convincing as I wanted it to be, presentation from Michel Bauwens:

What disappointed me in the Bauwens presentation was that is felt academic and theoretical (which I’ve come to expect from Bauwens) and offered nothing actionable.

The first question that was given to him by the host (Yohai Benkler – which feels like a name I should recognize but don’t) was good but in my opinion faulty. It assumed (and was not challenged) that because past transitions involved war and bloodshed, that the coming / current value transition would also require wars … and asked where those wars would be. The question forced Bauwens into a kind of theoretical prophecy that led to a very high-worded academic but, in my heart, empty response.

The question of violence also touched on the issue of feminine and masculine dominance (which I felt was wrongly framed as men & women) which came up in the presentation and in a followup question.What if these two issues are related. Could it be that if we had more feminine guidance that we could approach transition with softness instead of harshness? Could it be that that transition is already in the making?

During numerous points in the presentation I felt that Alexander’s unfolding wholeness is a key dimension that was missing from it. Unfolding wholeness, in a way, pulls the rug out from the assumption that there is going to be a definitive transition (or that there ever was one). Instead it postulates that we will witness a continuous and gradual development and change (which is hinted at in the presentation). What if we experience “wars” when we resist this kind of natural development and instead try to push systems (natural and human) into forced, mechanistic and usually destructive change that is better aligned with a dominant (and dominating), male and controlling attitude?

Maybe in a more balanced masculine/feminine world Ikigai is a valid diagram. In the male dominates world we live in, it needs a definitive feminine dimension to be complete.

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