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I'm just curious if anyone else but me gets this.
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  • Interesting concept Whicky - I'm often saddened by the inconsideration of others and 'fuck you' attitude of many. Unfortunately it will, probably, require a catastrophic event to change things rather than free will.
    What if the Hokey Cokey is what it's all about?
  • Interesting timing on your reply, Appy.  And, thanks for that.  And, may I say, not really.  I don't really want to discourse too much here but UT has my email.

    I was just coming on to say that I guess I had my answer to my question.  And, it is terribly disappointing.  My next thought was why?  Is it that folks just don't have a clue?  I don't think so.  That they don't care?  Again, I don't think so.  I think it's the frog in boiling water.  Acceptance of the existing paradigms that is the problem and, as you say, belief that it would take a miracle.  No, but it will take evolution through intelligence.  Ridding ourselves of encumbering paradigms.  But, the tools, intiative, and drive are already in existence.

    To summarize for you, though, Appy, behavioural mechanisms are driven by humanity's systems.  People are not inherently sociopaths and misanthropes (think leaders in almost any organization, think institutional structure).  They are encouraged, enabled, and created by the existing systems (being a music site, I'll use the phrase that should be recognized by all: "Welcome to the machine".  Maybe better described as the inhumane systems within which we live) of mankind.  There are alternative systems.  I can't say that they have been completely fleshed out, yet, but they are in the works and being developed in an intelligent, evolutionary manner rather than an abortive, disastrous revolutionary manner.  As one of my favorite authors put it: "Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent".  He was also into predicting history.

    Anyways, if someone wishes to discuss further here, I would be more than happy to comply.
    Post edited by Whickwithy at 2014-10-20 07:44:58
  • I really enjoyed that link WW. I find it sad to see people "fuck" each other over in this impersonal capitalistic society. White collar corporate crime runs rampant. Capitalism breeds greed..why do you think the housing market went under? I lone for a more innocent time I guess. I get it WW. It's more of a small-town or tribal way of thinking I guess. People surviving as a unit rather than individuals out for what they can get. Trust is the main component though I think. Who can you trust?
    Post edited by Ponygurl at 2014-10-23 01:06:41
    When you're ready, you may turn around and face me
  • The link is great (if a little heavy to take in) but the problem is how people talk to each other. 'community'. Without this none of this is possible.

    Long story but bear with me.

    Before I moved to the country and had kids, I lived a white collar, bohemian city lifestyle. Educated, artistic, athiestic professionals that would be up on politics and the arts, etc... Everything a working class Doncaster boy could dream of ;-)

    But 7 years ago I moved to Devon, had kids and moved to a nice aspirational mid class village. You now the ones, nothing special but due to their position/communications to nearest city the houses started getting expensive. Half old poor old people, half young professionals with young kids. They are lucky as they have a mini community already in place from the last 100 years.

    Me and my partner are not from Devon and don't have parental support (or a massive friend base locally) so after having our first baby, litterally when we moved in, our village friends have become totally orientated by the age of our children. The plus point is there was a lot kids stuff in the village so we could meet other parents and get support.

    The real shock for us is for the first time in our adult life were not picking our friends on a demographic/interest level. My oldest in now 7 and our village friends are very much Finn's friends parents or related to village groups we have meet thru him. I have never been that sociable but you have no choice with kids. So now we have stopped talking about kids so much it really is scary how little I have in common many of these people. They are generally nice, good people but on any higher level of conversation that chatting it can be personally pretty unstimulating (compared to my city centre friends). I mean one of the dads I hang out with buys the Daily Mail!!! :-o

    Anyway, the other group of people we have meet is the young group (mainly 30's-40/50s) of people who, as well as church stuff (junior church, etc.) seem to run half the stuff in the village. Now although we both had church going, christian parents we were never pushed in to anything and considered ourselves athiests. But (unlike most athiests) we are pretty open minded and my partner has had some massive family crap in last 10 years, so she decided to explore the various church groups as she is quite a spiritual person. There was a hard core group who set up there own group who are a bit by the book and she could not handle that. Plus some of the ageing generation are set in their ways. But there is a group who we know through junior church and they have been a revaltion (the village would not be the same without them). I have never been asked my views on religion by any of them and they totally understand the people who love the community part but are not the religion part. I reckon these type of people (mainly men  - like my dad) have made up a good 1/3 of all religious communities in England for years. My dad couldn't give a toss about god but loves singing, churches and helping out in the community so he has always been involved. Nobody ever asked him if he believed in God.

    Personally I will never be able to follow the bible and run my life by the words like others. I would, still, never consider myself religious. But i am in love with their positive energy of these people. Most of the strong athiests I know in the village just whinge all day, it's draining. I much rather hang with a happy christian, than a misserable athiest.

    Anyway back to the point. The more we have got to know this group and what they do I have realised they ALREADY practise what the above link is talking about. It's funny i reckon there are only 2 ways you can get anything positive done in the village as a group. The church group (s) or the village council. The thing is the council spends all year talking about doing stuff and more often than not nothing happens. Where as the church group just do it. For all the many faults of religion the one positive thing about following a 2000 year old book as your guidelines is you spend no time arguing over the politics.

    My mum came from a mining community and the community was run through the church and although our relationship and attitude to the church has changed in last century it is still the only real way (well in our village) I can see 'community' surviving. Facebook is not a community!

  • I put this at the top for those of you that don't feel like reading through pages of my drivel.

    If y'all liked the write-up by Charles Eisenstein, I strongly suggest this essay page of his.  For me, it is amazingly insightful and it keeps firing off new thoughts in my brain.    http://charleseisenstein.net/essays/

    You guys encourage me.  I was beginning to think that the thoughts were so out-there that I needed to reconsider if they made sense.

    PG, that is the one point that I question and with which am not at all comfortable as I comtemplate further.  The gifting commmunity as an complete solution seems unlikely, but the concept of the power of community is enlightening.  I don't know, maybe, the communities grow to where they embrace a complete portion of an industry (e.g. an agricultural community?  an automotive-building community?).  But, what takes my breath away is that others are sensing the same thing that I am and, at least, describing it in a clear manner.  Which, to me, is the first step towards finding a coherent solution.  That the system is so completely broken is obvious.  The biggest learning for me, in recent years, is probably the whole concept of what I call behavioural mechanisms.  Our whole existence and most of our behaviour are driven by the systems mankind has put in place.  The institutional structure is the most predominant, repuslive system in existence.  Most seem to think that corporations, etc attract the sociopath and misanthrope but that is not the case.  They create both.  I told my CEO, before I left that I was tired of seeing bright-eyed, bushy-tailed children enter the business, learn to be hardened, make no friends, learn a vicious, false smile and cynicism and, finally become a jaded, sociopath that only cared about his self and his individual success (i.e. screw the company's success and anyone else that gets in his way). I keep fiddling with the idea that a global culture that is strong enough could counterbalance some of these systems but, really, I don't know.  It is just so encouraging, though, to see other people struggling and foundering, unfazed, for a solution.  That particular article just staggered me because it reiterated, in so many ways, exactly what I was considering for a very long time.  You know, when you think about it, all of the systems we live with day-by-day - instititutions, banks, law and law enforcement and many more have been around for about 3,000 years.  What the hell have we been doing in the meantime other than continuing to put bandaids and baling wire on the systems to keep them chugging away?  3,000 years!  It seems like the intelligence of mankind is finally starting to grasp the fact that there has to be a better way and it seems likely these past paradigms will need to be replaced or, at least, re-thought.  Another one that I don't think he got into in the article that I can't quite get a grasp on is alot of folks are targeting the monetary system as the most broken piece of the puzzle and most needing to be fixed.  Again, I am not so certain.  All of our systems, though, need to somehow bring out the qualities of mankind rather than our animal predecessors.  I call it evolution by intelligence rather than genetic mutation.

    Thanks, Tatt, for the in-depth missive.  I agree.  While, for tangential reasons, I don't do the Church thing, that really is the thing that is lacking most as religion seems to wane - the power of the community brought on by the church attendance.  In the U.S. there are some pretty free-wheelling religions, evangelical come to mind, that are more about community and just a spiritual belief than anything else.  I also have had a similar struggle finding people who give a whit about some of the crazy thoughts of mine (ha!  such as this missive) that don't coincide with the existing mantra and paradgims.  To me, that is the beauty and power of the web.  It is absolutely a necessity to any transformation of mankind into the grand species we have believed we are for so very long.


    Post edited by Whickwithy at 2014-10-23 13:29:32
  • I just read through your comment (don't ask how I got back here...) again, Tatt, and I must say, for me, it is very insightful and thought-provoking.  It makes me wonder about a lot of things, like can churches evolve?
  • I just read through your comment (don't ask how I got back here...) again, Tatt, and I must say, for me, it is very insightful and thought-provoking.  It makes me wonder about a lot of things, like can churches evolve?



    I'll step in if you don't mind. Hopefully Tattmaylor can still provide the answer you want at another time...

    I'd say that my thoughts are that churches certainly can evolve, and they have. For example, it's easy to see how acceptance and inclusion of LGBTQ people has increased in some churches in recent decades. It seems that churches also have certain in-built barriers to evolution, though. The obvious one is that the theology of nearly all of them is based on certain invariant truths - for example, phrases from the New Testament can be cited in favour of a particular social advance, but there are bits which seem to put obstacles in the way - St Paul's misogynist verses against women is an obvious example. Although specific issues might be worked around eventually, there are certain deep concepts that seem to limit growth in a profound way. I'd argue, for example, that the concept of vicarious redemption through blood sacrifice - which is the central motif of Christianity - is immoral.

    My parallel to Tatt's experience was that when I moved to my current home, I joined a singing group. The ethos was that everyone was welcome; there were no tests or auditions; everyone could sing as they wished. We had a leader who taught us songs, but after a while, we rotated leadership. The group gradually evolved to include broader social activities like Dutch supper evenings (you know, bring something to share) and camping weekends. I reckon it worked brilliantly to bring people together in  constructive and accepting community for about 10 years. I've had similar experiences in other contexts, like a workplace group that came together on a voluntary basis for mutual support when we were all struggling with the HIV epidemic of the 80s - really supportive, really open to change, really creative.

    But most of them have run out of steam after a few years. People move on, certain habits get entrenched, the energy of the founder group is never quite fully recovered.

    Regarding the monetary system issue that you mention, WW, my thought is that this is an embodiment of one of the systemic problems we face, but not the primary one. Some of the problems are that - like your original article points out - it makes all exchange impersonal. You no longer see the individual and his/her uniqueness, instead, everything is reduced to a universal currency. The other thing that strikes me is that it is the privatisation of the commons that is one of the greatest of our enemies. Places, things, people are no longer accessible to all, and the "gift relationship" becomes an alien concept. This is why the blood donation service in the UK has been iconic as a symbol of social welfare. People give freely to strangers in a way that can only build a sense of collective belonging - the real meaning of "we are all in this together". It's the old slogan of "from each according to their ability, to each according to their need". Paid blood donation, by contrast, encourages the sense that we owe no duties to each other and that some of us are better than others - and that people with money are entitled to greater care than those without.

    Well, that's enough rambling. I think we are capable of building creative communities, but only if we stop privatising the commons and reducing our interactions to the exchange of disembodied symbols.
  • Goodness, why don't they have a delete button for posts.  But, if I started a list of all of the missing features, we'd be back to the old messageboard.
    Post edited by Whickwithy at 2017-08-13 15:35:06
  • As human beings we sure have the capability to co-exist with each other in harmony but it's going to take a lot of self sacrifice and selflessness. I think we have unfortunately fallen into bad habits possibly unconsciously and not through any fault of out own...its a societal illness.

    If you go back to the days of the war, you had to know your neighbours and friends for survival. Back then just to survive through the day was a challenge of life or death. People seriously do not know they are born. Back then you couldn't puck or choose what to eat or wear.

    Even if you had to have cabbage soup and potatoes for a week then you just rolled your sleeves up and got on with it. You could exchange your sweet fashions with someone else's rations for butter or meat. It wasn't community effort. It was the whole effort of Great Britain United that got us through.

    Sheer will power, human kindness, and complete and utter selflessness. That's the real art of humility and understanding that we all come from the same place. No one man or woman is greater than the other.
  • Tattmaylor

    "
    Anyway, the other group of people we have meet is the young group (mainly 30's-40/50s) of people who, as well as church stuff (junior church, etc.) seem to run half the stuff in the village. Now although we both had church going, christian parents we were never pushed in to anything and considered ourselves athiests. But (unlike most athiests) we are pretty open minded and my partner has had some massive family crap in last 10 years, so she decided to explore the various church groups as she is quite a spiritual person. There was a hard core group who set up there own group who are a bit by the book and she could not handle that. Plus some of the ageing generation are set in their ways. But there is a group who we know through junior church and they have been a revaltion (the village would not be the same without them). I have never been asked my views on religion by any of them and they totally understand the people who love the community part but are not the religion part. I reckon these type of people (mainly men - like my dad) have made up a good 1/3 of all religious communities in England for years. My dad couldn't give a toss about god but loves singing, churches and helping out in the community so he has always been involved. Nobody ever asked him if he believed in God." 


     I know I don't know you personally, but it made me smile tp read your post. I'm just happy to read of someone who did find positivity at church despite religious or non religious views. I'm glad that it is helping you and connecting to the 30 year olds there is making you feel better.
  • You know, I was just thinking today about the link between a positive society and war.  It's weird but I feel like we feel our best and are on our best behaviour after a war.  One of the things that got me wondering about all of this is South Korea.  I used to visit there quite often and I just kind of sensed that they seemed so happy and so relishing of each day of their lives.  They love bright colors and have an almost child-like appreciation of life.  At some point while in Seoul, I happened to glance at a map and noticed just how close to North Korea it is.  It's only a handful of miles.  I had never really thought about it before but it all kinda clicked.  Being within such a close proximity to a lunatic, a million strong army, and serious weaponry that could strike within minutes seems to make all lesser considerations of little import.

    Anyways, today, oddly enough, I was also thinking about WWII and how, after the war, people were nice.  That's a simplification but I think, in essence, it's right.  On their best behaviour may be a better description.  After a huge havoc, like WWII, once again, we appreciate what we've got and don't whine or put on airs (like those lunatics in Charlottesville).  We don't seem to appreciate life unless it is seriously threatened.  I mentioned in the other thread that I'm not sure sapient life exists on Earth.  Now, the scary flip side of the coin is that in the past, when people started acting like they are acting today, it usually leads somewhere we don't want to go.  Regular as clockwork.

    I could go on with cultural differences I've noticed and why some cultures seem much more civil than others but I won't.
  • The common feature that I think links the experience of wartime and churches is that they are situations where people work together in a common cause. For me, the most powerful positive experiences in life also came through this - as a nurse in A&E, as a peace activist during the 80s, and as a therapist for children who'd experienced severe abuse. In each case, there was a clear sense of everyone agreeing on what was the most important goal and our differences were seen as the essentially trivial things that they were.

    I'm not sure if you need an external enemy or threat to generate this - the Devil, the abuser, the Nazis - but I guess not. I would have thought that something like the climate crisis or the mass extinction event that we are now facing ought to do it, but maybe we are now so disconnected from the natural world and the threat is insufficiently immediate. 
  • I think we have to find a way to bring about that feeling without the need for distressing situations.  It's critical.
  • When we moved into the village where we live, 4 -ish years ago now, we decided we would make a conscientious effort to "get involved", despite both working full time and living on the periphery. Like most UK villages now, there is no Post Office, the pub shut the week we moved in (bummer!), there is no shop...all there is is the church and village hall. Im not sure what the locals would think if they knew we have pagan leanings but we have become quite well known amongst the local church group, through attending craft fairs and gardening club events. We decorated a Christmas tree for the festival and Catherine was even invited to do a church reading (she politely declined). I give plants and cuttings to the garden club and we swap books from time to time. The dogs always get a warm welcome when they go and yap in the church on bacon butty mornings. The locals know we are a gay couple and have welcomed us warmly. But the effort has worked both ways. I have even written a letter in the village magazine lol!  Sometimes the villages locally hold charitable auctions, where people can bid on others' services. It's all very quaint and friendly and so much nicer than the experiences both of us had in the past living in towns. But I think it's generational and traditional - we are probably the youngest folk round here participating and when the pensioners have moved away etc then I don't know what will happen. I, (like the majority of middle aged people I imagine?) would love to do more, but it's very hard when you work (and I don't have family commitments). 
  • Your village sounds just like ours. Absolutely Idylic but bugger all in the way of facilities and infrastructure.
    FYI - When all the current pensioners have 'moved away', you and Cat will be the 'new' pensioners.
    News coming soon. Watch the skies !
    The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ.
    Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit.
    Shall lure it back to cancal half a line,
    Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.

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