Books and Blogs for serious thinkers from David Anderson
CLICK ON LINKS ABOVE FOR BOOKS OF MINE THAT MAY BE OF INTEREST:
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A Book About
A Quote From
“The problems in the world today are so enormous they cannot be solved with the level of thinking that created them."
Prominent scientists throughout the world are now telling us that before the end of the present century we may be facing challenges to our species' planetary sustainability. They point to the possibility of a succession of dangerous ecological “tipping points." This book explores solutions to this dilemma by way of challenging the implicit ecological legitimacy of many of the institutions on which human society is grounded; political, social, religious and economic. It follows Albert Einstein's advice asking us to face these challenges by questioning our "level of thinking."
Now to My Blogs:
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Below is a list of all my Blogs
Go below this list for descriptions of each and Links
54 100% Death Tax
53 The End of Our Axial Age
52 A Challenge to the Religions of Abraham
51 The End of Neo-Liberal American Exceptionalism
50 Sixth Extinction
49 Ecological Observations on Abrahamic Belief
48 Homo economicus we have all become
47 A twitter President, A Sclerotic Congress, A Horrifying Question: How far can the boat drift before it hits the rocks?
46 An Inherent Ecocidal Death Wish For Humanity
45 The Methane Hydrate Feedback Loop
44 David Bohm - Post Modern Gnostic
43 Scenario - Homo Sapiens New Axial Age ?
42 Islamic Population Bomb
41 A Dangerous Zero-Sum Game - Donald Trump vs The Planet
40 Probability of another Permian-Triassic Extinction - a Measure of Hope from Nag Hammadi
39 An Incomplete American Presidency
38 Heading Toward Dangerous Shoals
37 An American Formulaic Weakness
36 An Uncertain Future For Humanity
35 Psychotic Electorate ?
34 Becoming a Part of The Teleological Argument
33 The Dark Cloud Forming Over The Middle East
32 San Bernardino – A Challenge not just to one but to all three of the religions of Abraham
31 COP 21 Solution
30 Why COP21 Meeting in Paris Will Not Solve The Problem
29 An Experiment That Did Not Work ?
28 The Failure Of Democracy – American and Other
27 Pope Francis vs The Cardinals
26 An End to Global Oligarchy
25 The Middle Eastern Islamic Boiling Pot
24 The Iran Deal
23 Pope Francis - ("Dung of the Devil") - A New Planetary Reality
22 Our Nag Hammadi Predicament
21 The Progeny of the Koch Brothers
19 Religion and Politics in America
18 Adam Smith Revisited (Including 9/15 update)
17 An Uncertain Future
16 The New Republican Generation
15 The Source of Radical Islam
14 The Debate That Should Be Taking Place
13 The Existential Need for Planned Parenthood - An Examination of the Abortion Issue
12 A letter to Paul Krugman
11 Muslim Brotherhood
10 Fox News and Global Warming
9 Evil Visited the Community
8 Ecological Tipping Points
7 A World Without Ice
6 The Lives of the Leakeys
5 William Faulkner's New Axial Age
4 The Building of an Underclass in America and the world
3 “longue durée”
2 Wall Street Protests
1 Making the Existential Case for a Death Tax
Blog # 54 100% Death Tax
We are living at the cusp of a sixth planetary extinction, possibly with the totality of the Permian Triassic. The primary culprits are the fossil fuel and related industries. This Countercurrents essay will offer a solution by making the case for a transnational carbon selective 100% Death Tax, the purpose being to demonetize present and future generational ownership and control over these industries. It calls for this change to become a part of our global awareness in this century. It makes the case that if it does not occur in this timeframe, billions of humans on this planet; including the children, grandchildren and great grandchildren of the reader of this Blog will be faced with extreme pain and suffering.
Blog # 53 The End of Our Axial Age
We are approaching the end of an Age that began eight/six thousand years ago with our movement out of Africa and into Egypt and the Levant and beyond. We had moved out a few times before that in different genetic forms, but it always ended in extinction. This time it was different and not the result just of physical biological superiority. Something of lasting import in the hominin brain cage had occurred. Now looking back, we can see that it has resulted in a broad range of human achievement. Yet, we can also see that it has led to self-destructive behavior. Scientists today are giving us warning of one such behavior. They are telling us that our human civilization has chosen a preemptive path whereby it is living in alienation of Planet earth’s Biosphere. Some are even saying that because of this alienation, we may be facing extinction. When and how did this self-destructive behavior begin? The evidence is clear. It points to the “when” with the change in thought we adopted at the onset of our agricultural/bronze/iron Age during that Egyptian/Levant period. With that change there came a redirection in thought away from the former horizontal transcendental interrelationship with Planet earth that had successfully guided our evolutionary physical biological and mental cranial development from its very beginning. We chose to direct our attention upward to the Heavens and to disregard Planet earth beneath us. Herein lay the core of our problem today. And the urgency of the questions we now face which are: Can we bring that former horizontal transcendental relationship back and incorporate it into a new Age that will assure our survival? Can we reconnect with the source of our being? The answer is we can, but only by changing the way we now think and the way we now live. This will require us to accept a reconfigured pre Axial Age Homo sapiens evolutionary reality. Here is that reality: We are not separate from but are part of a rhythm that is in a sense “the mind” of the Cosmos. Our purpose on this planet is to live our lives in concurrence with that rhythm.
We know we have the cranial capacity to do this; but the question is; will we? It is the most important question of our time.
And if we choose not to address it, what then will become of us? Our "New Age" evolutionary science is giving us the answer. We will be no more. As with any other life form on this planet in defiance of its natural (cosmic) rhythm, we will cease to continue to exist.
Two quotes, one from Albert Einstein and the other from Herschel Elliott are in order. (As quoted in my new book, Click Here for comp copy)
“The problems in the world today are so enormous they cannot be solved with the level of thinking that created them."
“All ethical behavior must be relative to the protection and sustenance of the Earth's diverse yet mutually supporting systems of all living things.”
Click here for my Countercurrents essay
Click here for my Progressive Christianity essay which looks to the early Jesus in the “Lost” Gospel of Thomas for a hint of a solution.
Blog # 52 A Challenge to the Religions of Abraham -
and to all others
During our two million plus years of evolutionary development we humans developed a high level of perception well beyond that of the other Primates. But deficiencies remained. We were left unable to comprehend the fullness of our interrelationship with the planet’s other life and its non-life. To compensate for this, about eight/six thousand years ago we chose to look upward into the Heavens and leave all else on the planet aside. We decided that we had no need to look to the air, the ground, the water (Life and non life) of our planet except for what it could all materially provide. In time however a certain level of planetary interdependent perception did come about. Early Judaism attempted to provide the answer. Here was its conclusion: Care for the earth as the provider, care for each other and then an Apocalypse in the end. Christianity and Islam when they later formed also adopted this reasoning. Many in our world society today from the Abrahamic religious traditions continue to hold on to this early understanding. Though many others, including even many from those same traditions, now find that it was all far too simplistic. And they are deeply disturbed by its naivety. Scientific analysis has determined that we humans are living in violation of the oxygenated self-sustaining layer of the planet’s biosphere. More and more members of the human community are saying that the time has come for humanity to join together and develop a new configuration of social, political, philosophical, religious and economic thought that can provide meaning to all life, human and other, as well as all non-life on this planet. This Progressive Christianity essay approaches the subject the broadest of philosophical and religious terms.
Blog # 51 The End of Neo-Liberal American Exceptionalism
Human survival on this planet has now become a battle between two systems of thought and governance; one the American now under President Trump and the Republican Party based on Western Neo-Liberalism and the other the Chinese under Premier Xi Jinping based on a restating of Marxist Socialism. The implications for the future of human civilization are profound. In competition with the American are 1.388 billion Chinese citizens as well as those in Asian nations outside of China. Additionally there are the so called “Belt and Road Initiative” nations. As this battle of ideas is unfolding, globally American power militarily and by extension its “Western” value system is diminishing. One reason is that the American Neo-Liberal system of belief gives full rein to the dark neurotic psychotic side of the human impulse. That impulse is in a sense driven by narcissism. Also, it has the force of religious belief. A serious drawback is that it is ethically problematic. Those who adhere become blinded to the suffering of the downtrodden. That includes the suffering that will follow as we continue to do ecological harm to our planet. At the other end of the spectrum is the Chinese form of thought which on the surface would appear to counteract the American human weaknesses.
These two essays, Countercurrents and Progressive Christianity, as well as this one linked to: Blog # 28 The Failure of Democracy American and Other written in 2016 attempt to explain why China, if it succeeds in its experiment, will have a better chance of becoming the template for a viable future human civilization.
Blog # 50 Sixth Extinction
In recent years the inherent danger of irreversible degradation as a result of human activity has been forcing both scientists and nonscientists to focus attention on the relationship between our human species and the biosphere of our planet. They are concluding that we humans have become an ecological force contrary to biosphere regeneration and that this is could lead to our extinction. Renowned physicist Stephen Hawking recently sounded the alarm when he predicted that we have less than 600 years before the planet turns into, as he described it; “a sizzling fireball.” In 1992; 1,700 scientists signed a statement warning about the catastrophic impact of human actions on the environment and predicted that as a consequence of our dependence on fossil fuels and our deforestation, such “sizzling fireball” temperatures will occur. The report was updated this year with even greater concern when over 15,000 scientists hailing from more than 180 countries issued the same dire warning to humanity
Blog # 49 Ecological Observations on Abrahamic Belief
Planet Earth is falling into deficit as a result of our presence on it. All of our institutions are to blame. How much responsibility does Abrahamic religious belief have? It has major responsibility. Its system of belief has been a molder of Western culture and the institutions that have grown out of that culture. It is a culture that now dominates most of the world.
Blog # 48 Homo economicus we have all become
The viability of Planet Earth to sustain human civilization in its present form is now being questioned. We are heading toward a cliff. The fall will not just be painful; it could spell the end of Homo sapiens. For a start, we urgently need to examine the rational undergirding our Capital Market system. Certain elements of that system, laboriously pieced together over the centuries beginning with the bronze/iron agricultural age and then energized during the Industrial Revolution are now working against us. This examination will require a questioning of the dark side of our neurotic/psychotic weakness.
Blog # 47 A twitter President, A Sclerotic Congress, A Horrifying Question: How far can the boat drift before it hits the rocks?
We need to begin this discussion with the unfinished Presidency of Barack Obama.Some said it was because of his race. Others said it was his deliberative slowness as he explored every possibility and probability to its end before making a decision. Some said it was because he just could not “get along” with Congress. Others said it was because he was bent on bringing into American society too much federal government. Some saw him as a deep thinking intellectual. Others saw him as a dangerous black Kenyan Muslim foreigner. None of these observations gives us a clear picture of the man and reason for what might be called an “unfinished presidency.”
The problem extends well beyond global warming denier Donald Trump and his American followers. It even extends into the bowels of the American “Liberal Left” and their US Media. It extends beyond America itself. The problem is rooted in the inability of our society to understand that the reductionist core belief methodologies that grew out of our Enlightenment Age are failing humanity; with the most egregious of these being the economic system. That system was and remains a destroyer of our planet. It contains within an inherent ecocide “hidden Hand.” It is a hand that never picks up the check. (In economic parlance this is called the future cost of “Negative Externalities)
Will we experience a Methane (CH4) Hydrate Feedback Loop that will place us on a repeat path like that of the Permian Triassic mass extinction? Or, to our horror, will there be some other self-induced something even more horrific and impossible to reverse.
# 44 David Bohm – Post Modern Gnostic
Reinventing the Sacred in the Age of the Cosmos
Bohm believed there is a cosmic interiority within the holomovement. It results in Implicate Order. From that order comes matter. Matter brings forth a process of enfoldment in endless feedback cycles, creating an infinite variety of manifest forms of materiality. Bohm was of the opinion that fundamental Cosmic Intelligence is the Player in this process; intelligence engaged in endless experimentation and creativity. He defined this as the Cosmic Mind, a Mind moving cyclically onward.
43 Scenario Homo sapiens - New Axial Age ?
A metamorphosis of the human mind far surpassing others seen throughout history will be occurring. Humans finally will have come to an understanding of a harsh reality; by their own actions and inactions they have brought on the beginning of their end. A painful lesson will have been learned, one forcing them to accept the fact that their continued existence on Planet Earth is dependent on their ability to live in consonance with its natural rhythm, even broken as that rhythm has become.
In covering the Middle East why are journalists avoiding it? What is it that keeps journalists from recognizing population growth in the Middle East as a primary cause for present violence and continuing instability? Time Magazine on the cover in its December 26 issue pictures a disheveled Syrian baby in a Greek refugee camp. Then in the lead article it pictures Syrian mothers and fathers in cramped refugee quarters surrounded by multiple children. A month before in the November issue was a picture of 3-year old Syrian Alan Kurdi dead; lying face down in the sand along a beach.
The Dark Cloud Forming Over The Middle East
# 41 A Dangerous Zero-Sum Game—Donald Trump vs The Planet
# 40 Probablity of Another Permian-Triassic Extinction - a Measure of Hope from Nag Hammadi
A Warning from the Gospel of Thomas
That which you have will save you if you bring it forth from yourselves. That which you do not have within you will kill you if you do not have it within you.
Jesus identified the problem. We need to be troubled. And we had better start soon. A 2012 World Bank report stated that without action to curb CO2 emissions, global warming is likely to add 4 degrees Centigrade (39.2 degrees Fahrenheit) during the 21st century which is dangerously close to the temperature that initiated the Permian-Triassic extinction event 252 million years ago when 96% of all marine species and 70% of all terrestrial vertebrates were wiped out. The report pointed out that the cause of the warming will be an accelerated increase in the emission of Methane Hydrates from the Arctic.
# 39 An Incomplete American Presidency
He tried and tried, but as much as he tried he was not able to get the anchor to hold. So the boat continues to drift at the mercy of the wind.
# 38 Heading Toward Dangerous Shoals
For the first time in our species history we are being faced with the possibility of an existential threat to our continued existence. And unlike threats in the past that brought down other species, this one will not be determined by a random meteorite/asteroid or other cosmological or climatic happening. It will be self-inflicted. Where did we go wrong? Could it be that the pattern of our thought process, laboriously pieced together over the centuries beginning with the bronze iron agricultural age six/ten thousand years ago, is now working against our continuation? If so, what are those elements? Finally the question: How could we, the most clever and brilliant primate ever to evolve be bringing this upon ourselves? Do we also have a self-defeating psychotic/neurotic cranial problem?
# 37 An American Formulaic Weakness
The time has come for serious introspection in America. The Nation is locked in a race between self-discovery and self-destruction. It is losing that race. It needs to recognize that the present equation does not equate. It is off-balance. America needs to reformulate a new equation. More wars based on the old equation will not do. Unfettered release of the human psyche as we now see in the current political scene will not do. And as for that critical evangelical Christian voting block; they need to understand that the Nation will be saved not by their belief in Jesus as their Savior, but by living his example.
The Need For A New American Formula
The Iran Non Deal
# 36 An Uncertain Future for Humanity
An assumption we humans make about our planet is that we exist separate from it. It is here for us to enjoy and to use for our own comfort. We are above and beyond it. We will not accept the fact that we always have been and are now an evolving part of it in the formation of life and nonlife on it and subject to the same universal laws of construction/deconstruction that have determined our evolution from the first cellular moment. As a result of our incomprehension, we stubbornly refuse to accept that we have in this Age mechanistically decoupled ourselves from the evolutionary source of our being.
# 35 Psychotic Electorite ?
Simple Definition of psychotic
"Having or relating to a very serious mental illness that makes you act strangely or believe things that are not true."
Thomas Jefferson in The Declaration of Independence declared: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Here is a disturbing question:
Is this a form of governance that allows expression and gives power to the worst of the psychotic self? To believe things that are not true? If so, both in America and in many other nations throughout the world following the same democratic model, has this become a threat to human survival?
CLICK BELOW. READ MY EXPLORITORY ESSAY IN COUNTERCURENTS:
# 34 Becoming Part of The Teleological Argument
Occasionally I meet someone and they say to me; I am an Atheist. I think to myself: What exactly do you mean by that? How can you be so sure of what you disbelieve? You my friend need a better word and a better “A -” with more definition. In today’s quantum world such a statement as yours is “passé.” Theism, Atheism and Deism are word descriptions from the prescientific past. Seldom do we have the time to get into a deep discussion. So I often quickly respond like this:
How can you argue that something beyond your ability to observe it does not exist? The absence of empirical proof of the existence of something is not proof of its nonexistence.
# 33 The Dark Cloud Forming Over The Middle East
FOR ESSAY GO TO:
Judeo/Christian/Islamic belief is now being forced to adjust to the reality of an ecologically disintegrating planet with humans on it searching not for solutions restricted to their past, but built on new ideas within a thought process reaching beyond. This is not to say that all Abrahamic thought will die. Many ancient texts and beliefs will find value. However, a new world-wide cosmic realism will be taking hold. Past religious belief in all three of the religions of Abraham will be made to measure its value against a new form of thought that encompasses the nonlinearity of all matter and non-matter in the context of human/planetary consonance – and survival.
# 32 San Bernardino – A Challenge not just to one but to all three of the religions of Abraham
FOR ESSAY GO TO:
To understand the cause of the recent event in San Bernardino we need to understand the cause of Radical Islamic Terrorism. To understand the cause of Radical Islamic Terrorism we need to understand the European Enlightenment and how it affected Judaism and Christianity.
# 31 COP21 A Solution (Extract from # 30)
Carbon has to be eliminated as a primary world-wide energy source within the next ten years. If not, the Pope is warning us; “the world is at the limits of suicide.”
Follow-through on the mix of national agreements coming out of Paris will not accomplish this. Carbon dependency can only be addressed by systematically and forcibly eliminating carbon as a primary source of energy.
It can be accomplished by means of a graduated increase in carbon cost world-wide. This will in turn add to the final price of all carbon derivative goods and services. Alternate forms of energy will then become increasingly competitive and eventually replace carbon. It is the only way that producers of energy dependent goods and services can be made to switch over from carbon to other sources.
This approach can be made within the established framework of the world capital market carbon trading system both within nations as well as internationally. It is congruent with the functioning of our existing free market system. We need not do away with that system - as Communism attempted to do. Rather, we can take advantage of it.
Enforcement nation by nation can occur through agreements made within an international body similar to the UN. The problem is multi-national. It can only be solved multi-nationally. The primary purpose of the Paris meetings should have been to begin the process of the formation of this body.
A methodology for each member country taxing domestic carbon production would be established. Countries that do not join in would have their exports to compliant countries penalized (taxed) by way of compliant country import duties paid by the importer in recognition of unmet originating carbon cost. Internationally algorithmic agreed upon formulae established by the international body can serve that computational purpose. Can’t be done? Some of the finest mathematical minds on the planet now spend their time devising algorithms for computerized trading of securities that exploit the weaknesses of other algorithms. The time has come for the economics profession to give them a new challenge, one that will benefit human civilization.
Given the fact that we have already reached the 400 ppm break point and are headed for 500 ppm, future societal dislocation arising from higher and higher temperatures will be staggering. Funding to ameliorate this must begin now. Revenues collected by the international body can be levied proportionate to each member’s historical percentage of CO2 placed in the biosphere over a fixed past period (possibly 1900 onward). They can be used in the early stage to assist nations in making economic/social adjustments. Immediate examples are a number of Island nations in the Pacific being inundated and low mainland land areas being flooded – populations will have to be resettled - and many countries in the Middle East with trade imbalances now dependent on neighbors to pay for food imports (Although their oil rich benefactor neighbors too will be severely affected). Many countries like India will need massive injections of capital in order to meet carbon free standards, also less developed nations unable to fund necessary adjustments.
A pricing/costing methodology, as here outlined, will allow nations throughout the world within the critical ten year period to turn to carbon free sources of energy. As they adjust, high carbon input products and services will leave the market and be replaced by products with low or no carbon input.
It must be understood: This is just the first step toward human planetary control - and survival. Pricing in other market externaities can then be next.
Our continuation on this planet rests on one premise and one only: The earth and its surrounding biosphere is finite.
# 30 Why The COP21 Meeting in Paris Will Not Solve The Problem
FOR ESSAY GO TO:
Country-by-country it is becoming clear that “adaptation” arising out of separate limitation agreements is too weak an idea. Holding average global temperature levels to 2 C (3.6 F) above pre-industrial levels under such agreements is seen as unrealistic. Science based observations are pointing to the conclusion that without an immediate change in energy sourcing we are heading for a rise beyond that 2 C marker to about 5 C. (9 F) At that level parts of the planet will become uninhabitable for humans. Also; at that level uncontrollable Methane gas will be released.
29 An Experiment That Did Not Work ?
FOR ESSAY GO TO:
This Blog explores the work of Garrett Hardin and Herschel Elliott. An increasingly damaged planet is crying out for sweeping and permanent change in the way we view our relationship to it. Our survival cannot take place without reinvention in all of the areas of our religious, social, economic and political thought. We are being called to experience a metamorphosis, a change in the way we think. If we resist, as Deepak Chopra is telling us: “We may be a human experiment that did not work.”
*A complete listing of Herschel Elliott's ethical principles can be found in my new book. The chapter is available on request. Also included are references. Email: Lesprit351@AOL.com Say New Book Chapter 9.
# 28 The Failure Of Democracy – American amd Other
Eight hundred years ago with the English Magna Carta began the assumption of individual liberty and freedom for all. The ancient authoritarian political model was no longer to be the dominant form of governance. This assumption still holds throughout western society. Although not as deep an historical part of the cultural and constitutional history of many other nations, it prevails broadly throughout the planet. An essay by this author published in Countercurrents.org challenges that Magna Carta assumption by making the case that “liberty and freedom” as it is so defined in America and many other nations now in this Anthropocene period has become an intractable obstacle working against the survival of our species. The reason: It allows expression and gives power to the worst of the psychotic self.
# 27 Pope Francis vs The Cardinals
The visit of Pope Francis to the United States was a very powerful one, but with two serious flaws; the Sainthood of Californian Junípero Serra, reopening wounds of Colonialism (insensitivity to American Indigenous Peoples) and as now being reported; the meeting with the Kentuckian anti-gay marriage county clerk Kim Davis. These flaws were all the more tragic as they obscured his great achievement, the 'Laudato Si' Encyclical laying out a moral case for addressing climate change.
FOR ESSAY GO TO:
# 26 An End to Global Oligarchy
“A worldwide revolution is about to begin. It is too early to tell
whether it will be sudden and painfully crushing or gradual and
peaceful, but it will come….”
Click below for my Countercurrents.org op-ed
# 25 The Middle Eastern Islamic Boiling Pot
Can the Middle Eastern Islamic boiling pot be brought to a simmer and then cooled down? If so, how long will it take? What will be the extent of the human suffering? These are some of the most pressing questions for our time. All indications are that the pot will continue to boil and that there will be within Islam enormous human suffering over the next fifty years as population continues to expand (Islamic custom) and oil revenues diminish. There may even be an atomic battle that could take the lives of millions both within and outside of the area.
We must keep in mind the fact that 25/50 years from now as a result of the overheating of the planet and the rising oceans, a turning point in human planetary consciousness will occur. Major world economies will be turning against all carbon based sources of energy. Much of that energy today comes from the Middle Eastern contries.
As the pain and suffering among them countries continues to unfold, even moderate Islamic voices will be drowned out. They will find that their understanding of the Cosmos and the planet and their relationship to it, grounded on ancient Koranic concepts is not adequate to form the basis for the societal changes needed to meet the challenges presented by the extreme geophysical forces in play and the abruptness of those forces as they trigger enfolding ecological planetary tipping points.
Islamic clerics at some point will have to face this reality. The question for them is how much damage will need be incurred before recognition of it takes place.
All archaic doctrinal Islamic thought will be forced to adjust to an ecologically disintegrating planet with humans on it searching not for solutions restricted to belief systems from the past but on new knowledge within a thought process reaching beyond.
Not only Islamic, but all past Abrahamic religious belief will be made to measure its value against a new form of thought that encompasses the nonlinearity of all matter and non-matter in the context of human/planetary consonance - and survival.
# 24 The Iran Deal
FOR ESSAY GO TO:
A very dangerous game is being played by certain members of the American Jewish community. They are throwing their weight against the President in consort with those of the powerful anti-Obama Christian evangelical far right.
# 23 Pope Francis ("Dung of the Devil") A New Planetary Reality
On Care for Our Common Home (Laudato Si)
See my Amazon Five Star Review
In his Encyclical Pope Francis is asking us to take a long hard look at the capital market theory that has since the beginning of the industrial revolution been accepted by world society as having inherent value...."
NY Times, Sept 18, 2015
“He has attacked prevailing prevailing economic orthodoxy- the belief on the pursuit of wealth will lift all boats – as a false ideology …
Pope Francis quote morning Mass, Vatican “(God) asks us to let go of decadent structures – they are useless”
For a copy of the Pope Francis Encyclical with my underlining of those statements dealing with economic matters, email
Lesprit351@AO.com and say Pope Francis Encyclical.
# 22 Our Nag Hammadi Predicament
FOR ESSAY GO TO:
How can we achieve that sense of cosmic multidimensionality expressed by Jesus in the Gospel of Thomas found at Nag Hammadi in 1945? For each of us in our 21st century world this is our predicament. The illumination shown in that lost gospel originated far back in time, in fact as far back as the Upanishads and the Eastern thought that grew out of it. It may have extended even further back as is seen in the caves in southern France and in Spain.
Jesus was born into a world strongly influenced by this cosmic multidimensional thought….
#21 The Progeny of the Koch Brothers
FOR ESSAY GO TO:
Those paying the price for this deception will include the grandchildren and great grandchildren of the Koch brothers, the climate denier Senator from Oklahoma, the climate denier Senator from Florida, the one from Arizona, the Governor from Texas, the Russian Chinese and American Oligarchs, the billionaire oil rich Arabs – and members of The American Heritage Foundation, the American Enterprise Institute and the US Chamber of commerce – and most sadly; yours and mine too.
# 20 Eu-Sociality
First some quotes:
“The time has now come where we will listen or we will die.”
“For the first time in history, the human community has a single origin story whereby it establishes its identity in the vast reaches of space and time.”
Thomas Berry; Catholic Priest, historian, eco-theologian, the dream of the earth
Eusociality describes the behavior of certain insect, marine crustacean and mammalian forms of life living as a cooperative survival group in which at least one female and males are reproductively active and those nonbreeding care for the young and protect and provide for the group as a whole. We are eusocial creatures.
We have now stepped out of the bounds of our eusocial survival limits. We must change now. It must be far reaching.
Eusociality in its survivalist form as it evolved for Homo sapiens, as well as many other forms of life on this planet, can give us a clue as to the template we must adopt - and must not adopt - for the continuance of our species.
During our evolution many eusocial attributes played an important role as we humans evolved. One was beneficial. It was expressed by fealty within the group. Interdependency was confined first to family, then to tribe and then to nation state; self-contained by language, religious and historical tradition. To a large degree, that is where it remains today.
Another eusocial behavior is this: Within the group, each member, like a coiled snake in its nest, stands guard in readiness to strike against intrusion from outside. That too remains today.
One benefit was only limited recognition of emergent forces far outside of group boundaries. These forces were no threat to group immediate survival. That too remains today.
Many eusocial behavioral patterns that were our strengths have now become our weakness.
Some of these eusocial behaviors are leading to the possibility of our extinction. Our inability to acknowledge the need for correction as regards accelerating environmental planetary damage is one. It sits as an emergent force far outside our mental boundaries.
The reality is that our fast moving scientific and industrial world in combination with market capitalism are emergent forces threatening our survival. “tipping points” lay just over the horizon.
We humans because of our own eusocial DNA have only a limited understanding of these emergent forces. That they are a threat to our planet and to our own continued existence on it will not register. Nevertheless, their presence is beginning to sink into the minds of some
Where do we start? Much of our eusocial thought will have to be examined. For all of us, this will call for the abandonment of many of our originating “Axial Age” presuppositions now believed to be "inherent truths." We will have to acknowledge that they were built on non-sustainable ecological flaws.
# 19 Religion and Politics in America
FOR ESSAY GO TO:
“Our gods are more a part of us than we realize. We pattern our thoughts and actions after them. Only by understanding how we have defined them can we begin to understand the underlying forces that make us think and behave the way we do. How have we defined Yahweh, Allah, Jesus the Christ? How has Christianity defined the Christian Trinitarian God?”
Need for economics to become ECO-nomics
A Quote from my New Book
“In our country there is a cultural/institutional assumption held by most Republicans and many Democrats that capital markets must remain free and without interference to set prices (Efficient Market Theory) with only periodic tweaking of the rules of behavior, and that this is the most efficient way to exploit and allocate world resources and create wealth globally for the masses. Planetary ecological sustainability challenges this assumption. The primary purpose of capital markets must be to serve humanity in the broadest sense, both present and future. This is not the case today. They are in fact working in tandem against human survival as the leading force underlying the degradation of the planet and the endangerment of all life forms, including our own. They operate under a man-made architecture that has become the primary driver toward human species’ extinction. Resource allocation is being misguided and misappropriated on a massive scale. Irreparable planetary damage is being done. Capital markets are now energizing ecologically and socially destructive forces of a magnitude never before been seen in hominid history. The time has come for us to recognize that our species is under the threat of self-generated extinction as a result of our embracing this theory.”
Also see this piece by Deidre Fulton and my Blog # 12 below Letter to Paul Krugman
Capitalism Is Mother Earth's Cancer': World People's Summit Issues 12 Demands
By Deirdre Fulton
FOR ESSAY GO TO:
# 18 Adam Smith Revisited
FOR ESSAYS GO TO:
“Unsustainable resource exploitation is stretching the ecological carrying capacity of our planet; all exacerbated by rapid technological advancement, expansion of human population and economic stratification dividing the rich from those below them. Our Biosphere is under severe strain. Temperatures will soon rise faster than we can imagine. Once the heat extremes have begun, we will not be able to stop them. Then there will be no second chance to return to normalcy.
As it always has been with all species that defy planetary order, ours will soon be facing a painful adjustment and even the possibility of extinction….”
# 17 An Uncertain Future
Complete Essay is available at your request. Email Lesprit351@AOL.com and say: Request Essay; followed by the Essay # number.
The Problem with the European Enlightenment and its Industrial Revolution
"An assumption we humans make about our planet is that we exist separate from it. It is here for us to enjoy and to use for our own comfort. We are above and beyond it. We will not accept the fact that we always have been and are now an evolving part of it the formation of all life and nonlife on it and subject to the same universal laws of construction/deconstruction that have been involved with our evolution from the first cellular moment."
#16 The New Republican Generation
Complete Essay is available at your request. Email Lesprit351@AOL.com and say: Request Essay; followed by the Essay # number.
Deep Cold Waters
Ship captains can suffer from an illusion
So it was with Captain Francesco of the Costa Concordia
So it was years before with Captain Edward Smith of the Titanic
"In the 2008 United States presidential election campaign there was among those running on the Right this same feeling. It was all about the impermeability of America. No matter Iraq. No matter Wall street. Our nation was invincible. It had a power of its own, a power that existed even beyond the American dream itself. Some believed it was a power that came from God. As Ronald Reagan had so well expressed it; we were the biblical city on the hill – and by implication the light of the world. John McCain reflected it in belief to the point of personal sacrifice. In his patriotic pronouncements he often sounded like one of those ancient Greek warriors, eager to defend the city, even if it meant finding reality at the point of the enemy’s sword."
# 15 The Source of Radical Islam
You cannot destroy an idea by force. You must go back to its source and offer in its place a new and better idea.
“NEW YORK (AP) -- A new study says Islam is expected to be the fastest-growing religion worldwide in the next four decades. The report released Thursday by the Pew Research Center says that by 2050, Muslims are projected to nearly match Christians in both number and share of the global population.”
"The 17/18th century period of European Enlightenment ushered in a challenge to Jewish and Christian meaning. Islam played no part. It lay dormant, encapsulated within a disintegrating Ottoman Empire. Today this encapsulation is the underlying reason for the wide differences between Islamic thought and modern post “Western Enlightenment” thought; Jewish and Christian and secular.
That historical fact explains today’s radical extremist Islamic reaction to (our) secular Post Enlightenment western/eastern world. Radical Islamic groups such as al-Qaeda and ISIL are revolting against it.
The present day Islamic response has come in a form that parallels other such forms of puritanical religious response from the past. The unequivocal pronouncement is always the same; we are the pure ones and you are not. Our inner conviction makes us superior to you. In the Eye of God you are irrelevant.
Also there is often a revulsion toward secularism. Ascetecism becomes an overpowering force. It should be noted that Osama bin Laden led what can be described as an ascetic life; in caves and compounds with very few material possessions. As such, he was following originating Islamic precepts. We must keep in mind the fact that Islam began as a radically egalitarian religion. In conquered lands there was a disdain by its warriors for the hierarchal societies and the luxuries of the hierarchy. That is what gave the Isamic warriors such sudden and wide acceptance among the dispossessed.
Osama bin Laden's desire was to revert to that originating ascetic purity. To quote him after 9/11 from a cave in Afghanistan:
“Indeed, I'm a trustworthy adviser to you. I invite you to the happiness of this world and the hereafter and to escape your dry, miserable, materialistic life that is without soul. I invite you to Islam, that calls to follow of the path of Allah alone who has no partners, the path which calls for justice and forbids oppression and crimes."
In the aftermath of the Enlightenment, human civilization changed markedly toward the materialistic secular life to which Osama bin Laden was referring. A secular industrial world society was being born. It defines world society today. The inability of Islam (most pronounced in Salafism/Wahabism) to accept this secularism is at the core of the radical reaction now being seen throughout the Middle East. It provides a convenient escape valve for disenfranchised frustrated Muslims. (Mainly male unemployed, mostly youth) At the same time it provides religious grounding for many intellectual Muslims - as we saw with Osama bin Laden.
Can we learn something from this religion and even from one of the most diabolical of its followers? We can. World society needs to enter a second “Enlightenment." It needs to be an enlightenment assuring that our species will be able to live in consonance with our planet’s Gaia (Natural) rhythm. This is our new challenge.The hard truth is that those with this post enlightenment religious-like devotion to which Osama bin Laden referred as having a “dry, miserable, materialistic life that is without soul” have now become the destroyers of our planet. His observation had validity.
The civilizational challenge is enormous since it calls for a contradiction of the underlying 17/18th century rationale accepted by so many today as to the beneficence of the market place as the ultimate controller of the provision of goods and services for all humanity. Ecologists are now warning us that Adam Smith’s secular market place “hidden hand” is destroying our Biosphere and may even bring about an end to human civilization.
This is a challenge to everyone. What is most difficult for the "we" - you and me, to understand is that we have all become the ecological destroyers. Muslims, take note. It describes much of your modern society too and especially the many oil rich jet-setting adherents to your religion.
Islam as it is interpreted today cannot meet this 21st century challenge. Its Koran and Sunnah do not speak directly to it in adequate terms. To meet the challenge in every aspect of its complexity Muslims first will have to acknowledge that their Koran came to them from the mind of a seventh century human being strongly influenced by the best - and the worst, of Jewish and Christian thought as it existed in the seventh century. They will have to recognize that Islam, the Quran and sharia law are intrinsically misogynistic, sociopathic toward non-Muslims, internally oppressive and violent. They will have to acknowledge that the meaning of the Koran and Sunnah is not complete and can never be. The words are from a human being and his followers in their honest attempt at revelation during a particular period of time and in a particular geographical area of the planet.
Nor can Judaism and Christianity meet the challenge as interpreted by those who hold firmly onto their own creeds and texts and rituals and law; with the saddest examples found in Orthodox Judaism, Evangelical Fundamentalist Christianity and doctrinal Roman Catholicism. In search for a new human/planetary/cosmic meaning divorced from Adan Smith’s secular “hidden hand,” they too will have to acknowledge, like Muslims, the incompleteness of and the error in much of what they have believed to be their God’s truth.
All Abrahamic religious belief will have to acknowledge that revelation was always filtered through the mind of man. It was always nuanced by human frailty.
A metamorphosis in all of Jewish, Christian and Muslim thought will have to begin with the abandonment of apocalyptic thought; as well as all thought relating to a second coming of one who will save humanity. The hard truth is that only humanity can save itself. Homo sapiens cannot survive unless it can live in a consonant relationship with this planet, the ongoing source of its continued existence.
How can we of our various faiths come to terms with this "hard truth," this reality? First we need to change the way we think about the beginnings of our religions. To say that all revelation ended in some past period is an affront to the revelatory power of the human mind. It is an affront to the capacity of that mind to comprehend what is continuing to be revealed and will continue to be revealed as our species fulfills its potential on this planet and beyond in the infinite reach of the cosmos.
We were destined to be even more than what our orthodoxy has bequeathed us.
As Homo sapiens we were created to be open to the presence of revelation. Jews and Christians, along with Muslims - and all others - by way of a new Enlightenment must understand that this openness is ongoing, never ending.
# 14 The Debate That Should Be Taking Place
By David Anderson on October 27, 2014
FOR ESSAY GO TO:
"This problem began long before the late Middles Ages and the Enlightenment here referenced. It began with the Babylonians, Akkadians, Egyptians and others who lived at the beginning of the bronze, iron and agricultural age; what many now call the beginning of the first axial age. It was an age that tore us away from thousands of years of attachment to nature. Unlike earlier Homo sapiens going back to the beginning of our species who had a reverence toward nature and the delicate balance that needed to be maintained, in the mind of that first axial civilization the earth was turned into an inanimate object to do with as humans wished.
Remnants of this contrast were seen when Europeans first met the American Indian. Along the way this contrast was also seen the life of certain spiritual leaders and their followers such as the Buddha and Jesus and Gandhi and in isolated communities. But for the bulk of humanity, we all went from Homo sapiens in tune with nature to homo economicus in opposition to nature.
Now, several thousand years later; we are finding that this axial understanding of nature and our relationship to it was built on pathological self-deception. As a result, we are experiencing a growing and ominous shadow forming over our lives. Our homo economicus mindset is coming back to haunt us.”
# 13 The Existential Need for Planned Parenthood - An Examination of the Abortion Issue
The Earth’s diverse yet mutually supporting systems are forcing a limit on the continued increase in the human population. If the increase continues, in the near future extreme suffering will result. Our species’ extinction is a possibility. The harsh reality is that males impregnate females. Females then produce babies. Our species is producing too many babies.
# 12 A letter to Paul Krugman
.Dear Dr. Krugman,
For many years now I have been reading your op-eds in the New York Times. In my mind you are one Nobel Prize economist who speaks the truth to the weaknesses and strengths of past and present economic theory. With all due respect though; let me suggest that the time has come for you and the many other economists following your thoughts to step out of your shoes and take a long hard look at a fatal flaw in the economic theory that the world has accepted for so long as having intrinsic value.
You and they need to begin an articulation within your profession of new economic theory that will meet the pressing planetary challenges confronting our species.
I do not see this happening.
The architecture that grew out of the industrial revolution, on which capital markets today justify their operation, now finds its “raison d’etre” shaking under its own weight. The cold hard fact is that this architecture has not only seen its day; it is like an insidious disease working against human survival.
All around us there are indications of the failure of past economic theory; from the recent debacle on Wall Street to unemployment on Main Street, from the toxic tar sands in Canada to the overfishing of tuna in the oceans, from the increasing CO2 in the biosphere to the acidification of the oceans. And this failure extends well beyond these few observations. Planet Earth is telling us something. It is pointing to its rejection of our capital market economic system.
The key fault is the unfettered operation of capital markets. These markets have grown to a size where they are energizing ecologically and socially destructive forces of a magnitude that has never before been seen in the history of the planet. Resource allocation is being misguided and misappropriated on a massive scale. Irreparable planetary damage is being done. Fingers can be pointed in many directions for this such as human greed, political dysfunction, just plain stupidity; however, the rules under which capital markets have been operating since they took form from the beginning of the Industrial Revolution onward must take primary blame.
Your profession has come forward with no new ideas to stem the tide. You and those like you need to be thinking and writing and speaking about new economic theory. It is not happening. Physical scientists throughout the world have been describing the ecological problems with great clarity; it is time for economists to offer economic solutions. So far, there is only silence.
Boiled down into a few words; our resource exploitive capital market system needs to be transformed into a constrained yet incentive directed algorithmic driven market system emphasizing the equitable and humanistic provision of both the material and psychological needs of all humanity. The long lasting functionality of all the earth’s resources to meet these needs must take on the highest priority. Every element of today’s energy intensive market driven consumerism must be made to meet this planetary survival/functionality test.
How can we mechanistically achieve this? Negative external costs and positive incentives must be built into every investment decision. And these costs and incentives must be applied to every human economic activity from the mine to the chemistry lab to the assembly line to the opera house to the athletic field to the hospital. Economic outcomes with negative social and/or ecological value must be recognized. Negative Externalities need to be measured and priced in up front so as to discourage, temper, or at the extreme eliminate investment.
Every investment decision must be internally priced to reflect its socially constructive or destructive outcome. Croplands, grasslands, forests, fisheries, inorganic resources; all of the earth’s natural resources, must be internally priced so as to prevent their exploitation and damage to the planet.
In our present world, none this is happening on a broad enough scale to make a difference. We see punitive cigarette and liquor taxes and some others like them, but across the board, any form of build-in of “negative external” cost reflecting ecological considerations is almost nil. Disincentives/Incentives in vital areas like energy have been poorly handled. The most simple questions such as; is this or that delivering real worth to society and to the health of the planet are being avoided. As I am certain you are aware; some progress is being made in northern Europe, but I am sure you will agree with me that on a world scale it is insignificant.
Humanity is crying out for an entirely new form of economic/monetary theory. Social/political theory must necessarily be a part. A response is coming from some enlightened intellectuals in the world community; however, there is at present no universal consensus, nor are there long term solutions at hand. Our species remains in gridlock. Your economics profession remains notably silent, content on using its advanced theories of algorithms for trading purposes, but not for the above.
How much time do we have to come up with a revised capital market system? Some highly accredited scientists say our present trajectory will present very serious planetary problems within the next fifty years and they even point to the end of our species after three hundred.
Will our great and great-great grandchildren find themselves at the bottom of Dante’s inferno with no escape? There is this possibility. The time has come for humanity to recognize that unless it can change the way it prices what it desires to consume, the biblical prophecy of the end of times may very well prove to be self-fulfilling.
# 11 Muslim Brotherhood
Complete Essay is available at your request. Email Lesprit351@AOL.com and say: Request Essay; followed by the Essay # number.
"Given the recent events in Egypt, you may be interested in a quotation from my book The Infidels. I write about the origins of the Muslim Brotherhood and how it metastasized into what we are experiencing throughout the world today.
Quotation from The Infidels (see above The Infidels Book Tab)
'With the downward spiral of Muslim society following the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire, and then after World War I with the carving up of the Middle East by the European powers, the Islamic core belief in its religious superiority and manifest destiny to dominate world society was cast in doubt.'
To understand the Muslim response throughout the Middle East and more particularly in Egypt, we must begin our discussion in 1927 with an Egyptian orator school-teacher/clock repairer named Hassan al-Banna. Here we find the origins of all the Islamic frustration and the violence that we have been witnessing throughout the region."
# 10 Fox News and Global Warming
"Often when speaking with my Republican friends I hear blatantly stupid and inaccurate statements. Some even hateful. Where, I ask myself, is it all coming from?
The “Right Wing Entertainment Complex” is their main source of information. The mouthpiece is FOX News, although there are other notable independent personalities. These sources are also the mouthpiece of most of the corporate interests in the country. Many who lean toward the right side of the political spectrum tune into FOX News and the rest at some time during the day or night. I will limit my remarks here to FOX News.
Most FOX News listeners take what FOX tells them at face-value. As a result, they often find themselves buried in a barrage of sophistic untruths, mostly directed at the present administration. Although “untruths” exist at all levels of the political media spectrum, right and left, the distortions coming from FOX are particularly extreme. Words on FOX often obfuscate truth. This leaves the audience unable to synthesize, to evaluate, to distinguish between truth, fancy and fallacy. Ecological distortions are among the most blatant. If FOX says global warming is not a problem, it simply is not a problem."
# 9 EVIL VISITED THE COMMUNITY
“Evil visited the community”
The Rev. Msgr. Hilary Franco of St. Augustine's Catholic Church said.
And with all due respect for your honest compassion: The American Rifle Association visited the community. The radical American right wing visited the community. A corrupted American culture visited the community. Every person in American who stone walled gun control visited the community. Every person who turned his or her back on funding help for the psychologically disturbed and disabled—including institutionalization visited the community.
Our nation is in decay. Until we are able to unite and look for the blame not from outside of ourselves; but from inside, the decay—evil you call it—will continue.
Monsignor; evil does not run around visiting people and destroying communities. People destroy communities.
Your concept of evil has been a doctrinal weakness in Christianity for 1400 years, ever since the formation of your Roman Catholic Church, ever since Nicaea.
Don’t believe me? Remember the Inquisition? Or listen to the twisted American response to that “Evil Empire” Iraq shortly after the Bush invasion as thousands of Iraqis were dying.
“Fans at sporting events around the U.S. greeted the war and its early ‘shock and awe’ bombing campaign with the chants of ‘U.S.A.! U.S.A.!’” BOB HERBERT “Death of a Marine” N.Y. Times March 19, 2007
No Monsignor; Evil did not “visit” your community.
The American Rifle Association did. The radical American right wing did. A corrupted American culture did. Every person in American who stone walled gun control did. Every person who turned his or her back on funding help for the psychologically disturbed and disabled—including institutionalization did. A word from Jesus recorded in the Gospel of Thomas is in order. (remains declared “heretical” by the Roman Catholic Church)
The Gospel of Thomas, Nag Hammadi, Egypt, 1945:
(7) Jesus said;
blessed is the lion which when consumed by man becomes man, and cursed is the man whom the lion consumes….
# 8 Ecological Tipping Points
Complete essay is available at your rquest. Email Lesprit351@AOL.com and say: Request Essay; followed by Essay # number.
"Our world society is presently on a non-sustainable course and any of the 12 problems of non-sustainability that we have just summarized…are like time bombs with fuses of less than 50 years."
Collapse Pulitzer Prize Winning author Jared DIamond
This blog reflects the conclusions of the following three scholars associated with the California Institute for Integral Studies, San Francisco and the Forum on Religion and Ecology, New Haven, as reflected in their books. The interpretations and conclusions are my own.
Sean M., Kelly, Coming Home The Birth & Transformation of The Planetary Era
Brian Thomas Swinne, and Mary Evelyn Tucker, Journey of the Universe
"From the late Middles Ages onward the radical transformation in science, the arts, philosophy and religion brought on a deepening and honing of the human intellect. The word "Enlightenment" is commonly used to describe this movement. There was by historic measure, in a relatively short period of time, a transformational change in human awareness, an expansion into a new spacial dimension. Now, except in certain areas, this transformation appears to have turned in on itself, most notably in the area of the misapplication of science. Only in isolated areas such as the arts is it continuing in a total societally constructive fashion. There is a danger here. Overall, many elements of the Enlightenment in their uncontrolled forward momentum have become a threat to the very survival of our species. They are holding us all back from the next transformation; now being defined as the need for a changed view of our place on the planet and in the cosmos."
# 7 A World Without Ice
In 2009 Henry Pollack, Ph.D. wrote a highly acclaimed book titled A World Without Ice. In 2010 he added an Afterword to remark that the melt is getting worse.
This year I had the opportunity to meet him at the IRAS (The Institute on Religion in an Age of Science) conference where he gave a lecture on the seriousness of this global problem. Following are a few abbreviated conclusions from his book.
Those living on the coastal areas of the US, and the world, had better listen to Dr. Pollack. Our tranquil estuaries are coming to an end – and with them many of our major cities.
His conclusions are that virtually every indicator is showing that the pace of climate change is accelerating.
• Global temperatures on average are rising faster and as this is occurring; the seas are warming faster, ice is melting faster, glaciers are discharging their ice into the sea faster, and the sea level is rising faster.
• The earth has not seen a hydrological spasm of this magnitude since the extinction of 65 million years ago.
• Year-to-year scientific observations are providing evidence of this.
• An ominous indicator of note is that glacial ice from Greenland and the Antarctic Peninsula is being delivered to the sea at accelerating rates.
• The implications of this rapid acceleration of glacial ice loss are profound; as large masses of ice enter the sea water, abrupt rises of the sea level will occur throughout the world.
• The broader implications of the rapid acceleration in ice loss from Greenland and the Antarctic are that the affected ice in each region alone could contribute to more than twenty feet of global sea-level rise; together the combination could raise sea levels over forty feet, enough to emerge a three story building.
• In the next two decades two billion people will be adversely affected by this loss of glacial ice.
• At the same time loss of mountainous ice in other areas of the world will be adversely affecting the lives of many millions below those mountains.
• The diminishment of water from this mountain loss; as well as dropping aquifer levels, as well as salt water encroachment of aquifers along coastal areas will be severely disrupting world food supplies.
• Weather changes will also be depleting world food supplies.
• Among the body politic of the world and most notably in the United States, there is a general denial of the causes for the anthropogenic climate changes described above and the planetary/human ramifications.
• The lives of the seven billion Homo sapiens on Planet earth are soon to be tested.
# 6 The Lives of Louis and Mary Leakey
I have always been fascinated with the lives of Richard, Louis and Mary Leakey
They were all prime movers in establishing a tradition of palaeoanthropological inquiry. I visited their museum at the Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania in 1983. There I met Mary. Among her many accomplishments was the discovery of the Laetoli footprints; proof that hominids walked upright as far back as 3.6 million years ago. Richard Leakey, now 67, followed in the footsteps of his famous father. He began his work searching for fossils in the mid 1960s. His team unearthed a nearly complete 1.6-million-year-old skeleton in 1984 that became known as "Turkana Boy," then the first known early human with long legs, short arms and a tall stature.
Now for this Blog
Recently the son made the following statement
Richard Leakey: Evolution Debate Soon Will Be History
By FRANK ELTMAN 05/26/12 03:17 PM ET
"We may be on the cusp of some very real disasters. If you look back, the thing that strikes you, if you've got any sensitivity, is that extinction is the most common phenomena. Extinction is always driven by environmental change. Environmental change is always driven by climate change. Man is now accelerating, if not creatng, planet change phenomena; I think we have to recognize that the future is by no means a very rosy one."
5 William Faulkner's New Axial Age
Six years ago I became aware of a concern building up in our world centered on the survival of our species on this planet. The scientific community had begun to release a steady flow of peer reviewed studies indicating the onset of many dangerous ecological "tipping" points. Among not only the scientists themselves, but also many others in the world community this was engendering a general feeling of pessimism. So I decided to write a new book in an attempt to explain how humans had brought this crisis upon themselves. My approach was to examine the political, economic, social and religious bias imbedded in our culture and institutions working against survival.
It was not long before I found that I too was becoming extremely pessimistic about the future. Our society appeared to be confused as to what action to take to avert disaster. It seemed there was no chance that humans would be able to survive through this millennium. The same feeling of depression that many others were having began to come over me. The more I researched and wrote the more dim the future became for humanity.
After about a year of study, I began to view this information not as a predictor of the end of our species but possibly as a sign of the beginning of a new Age. This led me to interpret the future of our species in far broader terms as a part of an uneven yet upward evolutionary process. I had a sense that in all of our awkwardness we may be moving into a higher form of complexity.
Could we be progressing from our present post Mesopotamian age of planetary dysfunction and self-destruction to a state of cosmic—and planetary unity? Are there signs? If there are, what are they? In attempting to answer this, I began to look for evidence that our species is moving not backward toward extinction but forward as a part of this evolutionary upward continuum, or as David Bohm, the great theoretical physicist once described it; within an implicate order toward a process of cosmic "enfoldment" and "unfoldment." Bohm spoke in terms of an unbroken cosmic wholeness, with everything animate and inanimate having, as he described it; “an inseparable quantum interconnectedness.”
Given this change in my perspective, I was able to sense the possibility of a new Axial Age for humans countering these dire scientific conclusions and pessimism. Three questions, however, remained: The first; could one prove by fact that there is, as Bohm described it, an inseparable quantum interconnectedness, the second; are we humans an integral and continuing part of it, and the third; if so, will this interconnectedness see us through what we now observe as our planetary dilemma?
Approaching this from an anthropological view, in my studies I found that Homo sapiens among all other bipedal forms emerged from the evolutionary birth canal superior in terms of survival over the bonobos, the apes, the Neanderthals, the Hobbits of Flores and the many others the anthropologists are now discovering through DNA and carbon dated testing. Homo sapiens has overcome every diversity imaginable. Today, it has at the highest level of intellectual capacity. The enormous material achievements of its society are the result of this. No other species can match it. Can one rest his/her case for "inseparable quantum interconnectedness" on this fact?
Our superiority was very well expressed by one of America’s greatest writers, William Faulkner, in his book “The Sound and The Fury” where he writes:
“I decline to accept the end of man. I refuse to accept this. I believe that man will not merely endure: he will prevail. He is immortal, not because he alone among the creatures has an inexhaustible voice, but because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance.”
Faulkner’s view rose out of an era of extreme pain and suffering in the America South. Viewing this in a broader historical context, we can see that humans have suffered this same pain and suffering since the beginning of our first Axial Age. From Babylon onward our history has been horrific, with example after example of man’s inhumanity to man. Yet, as Faulkner reminds us; man (and woman) have prevailed.
So, I decided that Bohm's "inseparable quantum interconnectedness" may be the underlying force in play; the reason we are here today. Something far deeper than we can understand is going on. We seem to be moving synchronistic-ally toward an "interconnectedness" in the direction of some greater purpose to our existence. The current scientific ecological interest and the rise in public concern show that there is an awareness building toward this purpose.
My conclusion therefore was that we would in all probability survive, but with one caveat; not as many people today think. Two forces will be in play; one; there will be enormous pain and suffering. Two; everything about our lives, our beliefs will be different. The new world, and the planet, will be unrecognizable in comparison to this one. My revised Bohmian/Faulknerian analysis therefore did not materially alter the ecological time line spelled out in my essays. The unfolding events of the 21st and 22nd centuries will take their tragic and painful path. The last paragraph of my essay: “Egyptian Reflections on Our Future” therefore did not change. I quote it here:
“It will be too late to reverse many of the adverse ecological forces already set in motion; nevertheless the human species will survive. Human ingenuity, through the invention of new forms of technology, will play a large part. But the road will be a dangerous and demanding one. Drastic measures will be needed to sustain a limited population on an inhospitable planet. As an example; in order for humans to exist away from the harsh climatic conditions too late to alter, self-contained enclosed structures such as Buckminster Fuller tetrahedron domes will be needed. Even occupied space stations just above the earth capturing the Sun’s energy are a possibility, although with inherent biological problems for humans surviving away from the forces of gravity, they remain in the realm of science fiction. We must keep in mind the fact that biologically we are ‘earth creatures.'"
As a result of this change in my view of the future, I rewrote a portion of the conclusion to the essays. It follows:
“There is a breakthrough forming that could transition our species from its present state of planetary dysfunction and self-destruction into a state of planetary accommodation. With advancements in the physical sciences, and particularly in the areas of quantum physics and cosmology, many throughout the world are beginning to understand that our continuance on this planet will require us to recognize an implicate order and that we defy it at our peril. And they are coming to the realization that this is calling for the abandonment of much of our past thought; political, social, economic and religious."
I must stress; my so called “revelation” suggests no quick fix. Nor does it imply certainty. Because the continuing population expansion will be taking place in tandem with an ecological breakdown, many of the tipping points will come suddenly. The vast majority of humans on the planet will be affected and this could lead to total chaos. Measured in numbers of humans suffering; reaching the second Axial Age will be far more painful than was reaching the first. Counter measures will be difficult to implement quickly. There is a high probability therefore that the Buckminster Fuller tetrahedron domes will not become a reality. The irony here is that it will take a sudden shock to force a needed critical mass--if there is one left--to bring about rapid societal change. I write about this problem as an historical phenomena in the “Longue duree” essay where I describe how difficult it is to speed up the process of cultural and institutional change.
Humans will be learning the hard way about the great delusive flaw that empowered the first Axial Age; the belief that Nature is something separate from them that they can exploit according their own desires.
As for the present; signs of lack of movement now toward a new Axial Age must not lead to disillusionment. Our generation needs to become active and make sure the next one is totally versed as to the challenges ahead. Every step forward means lives saved from future pain and suffering.
Each of us needs to make his and her political voice loudly heard. We must meet the deniers head on. At the same time, we must be training our children and grandchildren to prepare for the coming contagion.
It is going to be a long and difficult road for our society. It will not be easy to abandon so much of the past political, social, economic and religious thought of this Axial Age that we have all these years believed to be so sacred.
# 4 The Building of An Underclass in America
and the world
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"Women’s bodies from the beginning of hominid emergence out of the savannas of Africa were viewed by men primarily for their pleasure and as a means of regeneration -- and temptation. Then, from the Sumerian period onward this view was built into Abrahamic religious thought. Today many male Jews, Christians and Muslims throughout the world continue to view them in this way. Examples abound. One of recent note is the theological view expressed by Pope Benedict XVI, his American Bishops, and Rick Santorum. So let it be known; the debate about contraception and abortion goes back five thousand years and more. It continues today to center on whether women should have the right to view their bodies—as well as their societal hierarchal status, as they themselves choose, and not as men tell them they must choose."
# 3 “longue durée”
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"The popular surge that began with the Green Revolution has continued to gain momentum and is now spread around the globe, bolstered by scientific observation of the ecological problems facing human civilization…. Yet, our institutional response on a national and global level has been largely ineffective. It can even be described as apathetic. More often than not; governmental measures being taken are piece-meal and half-hearted. Given the seriousness of the scientific forecasts, we are left with the question; why? Could it be that the reason, as the French Annales School of historical writing described it, is that our thought processes are locked into past socio-economic and technological structures, from which there is no escape?
# 2 Wall Street Protests
"The cold hard fact is that population growth is now exceeding planetary sustainability. The protests we see today in New York and other American cities are the first sign of this in our own country. Those in control of our political, economic, social—and religious institutions should be taking these protests very seriously. They are not. There is a violent streak the runs through the American psyche. Future generations, in a world of shrinking resources and wealth inequality, may not be so placid."
# 1 Making the Existential Case for a Death Tax
Please go to Blog # 54 above for a revision of this essay.