A public town hall with Riane Eisler. You can register here.
Is the title of a new book (2019) by Zak Stein, subtitled: Essays on the Future of Schools, Technology and Society. You can see the table of contents here. I provide this book to satisfy Mark’s latest email on branching out to topics that provide positive visions and/or means for healthy societal change. It would be a good book for us to read and discuss.
It’s not available in the Abq. public library, so perhaps someone with university inter-library loan capability could obtain a copy and share it? It is of course for sale at Amazon in the link but outside my budget. Here’s the Amazon blurb:
“Our world is currently undergoing major transformations, from climate change and politics to agriculture and economics. The world we have known is disappearing and a new world is being born. The subjects taught in schools and universities today are becoming irrelevant at faster and faster rates. Not only are we facing complex challenges of unprecedented size and scope, we’re also facing a learning and capacity deficit that threatens the future of civilization.
“Education in a Time Between Worlds seeks to reframe this historical moment as an opportunity to create a global society of educational abundance. Educational systems must be transformed beyond recognition if humanity is to survive the planetary crises currently underway. Human development and learning must be understood as the Earth’s most valuable resources, with human potential serving as the open frontier into which energy and hope can begin to flow.
“The expansive essays within this book cover a diverse array of topics, including social justice, the neuroscience of learning, deschooling, educational technology, standardized testing, the future of spirituality, basic income guarantees, and integral meta-theory. As an invitation to re-vision the future of schools, technology, and society, Education in a Time Between Worlds replaces apathy and despair with agency, transformation, and hope.”
See Zak Stein’s reflections on how the pandemic signals the end of an era and the beginning of a new one. This could be an opportunity to transform our dominant cultural worldview if we but accept the responsibility and get busy enacting it. Just a brief excerpt follows. Click on the link and be rewarded with the rest of this inspiring scripture.
“One world is now gone and a new one has yet to emerge; we are now at the beginning of the beginning. We are living in the liminal: a time of pure potential and change, a time between worlds. This is it: we have arrived at the end of the world. Finally. Now we can start to build a new one.”
Jim Rutt interviews him here. The blurb:
Meditator and thinker Jared Janes talks with Jim about why he still uses the word ‘spiritual’, altered states vs altered traits, the equation and dynamics of suffering, understanding our own intentions, the confabulating mind, embodied intuition, the value and limits of conceptuality, what the self is and its usefulness, attention and awareness, the pleasure of concentration, metaphysics, and more.
Jared Janes is a podcast producer/host (The Jim Rutt Show, Both/And, and Impactful), a management consultant, and a committed meditator. He’s been a daily meditator for over five years, has completed multiple meditation courses from different traditions, attends multiple meditation retreats each year, and personally coaches meditators in his spare time. Before podcasting and consulting he built a career in digital operations and management, started and ran a nonprofit, played a video game semi-professionally, and spent his spare time learning about personal performance, science and philosophy.
Article subtitled “Techniques, technologies, and implications for improving group dynamics and outcomes.” It’s part of this Frontiers in Science ebook. In the introductory chapter here’s what the ebook’s editors had to say about it:
If interested sign up for this free one-hour presentation on Wednesday, January 15. The blurb:
Terry Patten and other activist leaders facing the grim implications of climate chaos are seeing surprising glimpses of evolutionary emergence in culture around the world.
Are we capable of making a huge, visible difference? How could each of us live differently to actually make it happen? Which cutting-edge communities and collectives are emerging to catalyze rapid social transformation?
Questions Terry will address include:
- What is our best real-world evidence of change agents and spiritual practitioners around the world rapidly advancing culture?
- What are the new potentials for technological breakthroughs that can open a window of opportunity for fundamental systems redesign?
- What catalytic work is being done already by volunteers and organizers around the world, and particularly in the USA, leading up to the 2020 election?
- What are the scientifically-grounded, realistic, transformative potentials disclosed by quantum social theory?
- How might the emerging field of intentional cultural evolution already be setting the stage for rapid social transformation — visible now only in thousands of seemingly insignificant but daring conscious social experiments?
Ever since seeing the Spore Drive in Star Trek: Discovery, as well as the story on the Wood Wide Web, I’ve been fascinated by the possibilities for fungi. It’s playing at The Guild Theater Dec. 9 – 12. See the preview below. Here’s the blurb from Rotten Tomatoes on this new documentary:
“Fantastic Fungi, directed by Louie Schwartzberg, is a consciousness-shifting film that takes us on an immersive journey through time and scale into the magical earth beneath our feet, an underground network that can heal and save our planet. Through the eyes of renowned scientists and mycologists like Paul Stamets, best-selling authors Michael Pollan, Eugenia Bone, Andrew Weil and others, we become aware of the beauty, intelligence and solutions the fungi kingdom offer us in response to some of our most pressing medical, therapeutic, and environmental challenges.”
From this article. Now if we can only interpret trance states postmetaphysically. The religions that formed around trance states in the article, though evolutionarily adaptive at the time, have solidified into metaphysical dogma and are no longer adaptive to our world today. It though does beckon us to create postmetaphysical rituals with music, dance, invocation, incense etc. so that we can bond together via embodiment instead of just intellectually.
“So there is a need for a new idea, and coming to the fore now is an old one revisited, revised and rendered more testable. It reaches back a century to the French sociologist Émile Durkheim who observed that social activities create a kind of buzz that he called effervescence. Effervescence is generated when humans come together to make music or perform rituals, an experience that lingers when the ceremonies are over. The suggestion, therefore, is that collective experiences that are religious or religious-like unify groups and create the energy to sustain them.”
“The explanation is resurfacing in what can be called the trance theory of religious origins, which proposes that our palaeolithic ancestors hit on effervescence upon finding that they could induce altered states of consciousness. Research to test and develop this idea is underway in a multidisciplinary team led by Dunbar at the University of Oxford. The approach appeals to him, in part, because it seems to capture a crucial aspect of religious phenomena missing in suggestions about punishing gods or dangerous spirits. ‘It is not about the fine details of theology,’ Dunbar told me, ‘but is about the raw feelings of experience, and that this raw-feelings element has a transcendental mystical component – something that is only fully experienced in trance states.'”
“Dunbar believes that a few hundred thousand years ago, archaic humans took a step that ramped up this capacity. They started deliberately to make music, dance and sing. When the synchronised and collective nature of these practices became sufficiently intense, individuals likely entered trance states in which they experienced not only this-worldly splendour but otherworldly intrigue. They encountered ancestors, spirits and fantastic beasts, now known as therianthropes. These immersive journeys were extraordinarily compelling. What you might call religiosity was born. It stuck partly because it also helped to ease tensions and bond groups, via the endorphin surges produced in trance states. In other words, altered states proved evolutionarily advantageous: the awoken human desire for ecstasy simultaneously prompted a social revolution because it meant that social groups could grow to much larger sizes via the shared intensity of heightened experiences.”
“Meaning-making, the transcendent, and openness to revelation and discovery are core parts of the human niche and central to our evolutionary success. […] The trance hypothesis is neutral about the truth claims of religions whether you believe or don’t, though it does suggest that transcendent states of mind are meaningful to human beings and can evolve into religious systems of belief.”
A question posed by this round table discussion with David Sloan Wilson, Kurt Johnson, Barbara Marx Hubbard, Richard Clugston, Zachary Stein, David Korten, Rev. Mac Legerton, Kevin Brabazon, Doug King, Mike Morrell, Ken Wilber.
Table of Contents
– Introduction: Science in a Spiritual Key, by David Sloan Wilson and Kurt Johnson
– Synopsis of Does Altruism Exist? Culture Genes and the Welfare of Others, by David Sloan Wilson
– Commentary 1: The Sacred and the Secular Can Unite on Altruism, by Kurt Johnson
– Commentary 2: When It Comes to Climate Change, Altruism Better Exist, By Richard Clugston
– Commentary 3: The Wolves of Wall Street and Superorganisms: How Social Justice Should Mimic Our Cells, by Barbara Marx Hubbard, Zachary Stein, and Marc Gafni
– Commentary 4: “Does Altruism Exist?” Wrong Question; Right Answer, by David Korten
– Commentary 5: Insects Model their Societies on Altruism. We need to become Planetary Altruists, by Rev. Mac Legerton
– Commentary 6: Altruism Comes with Age, by Kevin Brabazon
– Commentary 7: Altruism’s Path and the Rebirth of Spirituality, by Doug King and Mike Morrell
– Commentary 8: Altruism and Integral Spirituality, by Ken Wilber
– Discussion Questions about Does Altruism Exist?
– Reply to Commentaries on Does Altruism Exist?: Integrating Science and Spirituality through Action, by David Sloan Wilson