Consciousness and Civilization

Any topics primarily focused on metaphysics can be discussed here, in a generally casual way, where conversations may take unexpected turns.

Moderator: Soul_of_Shu

User avatar
AshvinP
Posts: 2977
Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2021 5:00 am
Location: USA

Re: Consciousness and Civilization

Post by AshvinP »

Lou Gold wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 8:12 pm
AshvinP wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 2:37 pm
Lou Gold wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 2:05 pm

YES! My point is that dominant imperial colonial civilization IS the diaspora of Cain consciousness across the earth and that not all of Abel consciousness was extinguished. Some of it fled the terror of Cain to create a non-expansionist non-aggressive non-dominating civilization dedicated through materialist self-limitation and specialized leader training to performing the sacred purpose of holding together life on earth and in the process developed a sustainable agriculture and society lasting peacefully in traditional form for more than 1000 years. This is a feat the no modern culture or civilization can come near. Yet, we moderns consider them as 'primitives' by virtue of the victors writing the history books.
More than a 1000 years puts us back at 1000 AD. That's hardly prior to reaping the benefits of whatever 'Cain consciousness' is. Basically you are taking the view that most humans are tainted by 'Original Sin' but not all humans, and the former laid the foundations for what we call modern civilization. That's not accurate in my view. It is an artifact of reducing post-agricultural civilization to categories of power-seeking behavior, everything you a priori identify as broken or evil. Those are not even close to adequate categories to exhaustively explain the essence of civilization. Beyond that, there is nothing inherently evil about "aggressive" and "expansionist" behavior. Again, the Kogi are clearly beneficiaries of that human consciousness, even if they have managed to integrate those tendencies better than most.
Again, I disagree. I was following up your suggestion of an interesting overlay between the Kogi and the Genesis story. Able represents the hunter-gatherer moving in the flow of Nature's changes and Cain represents the nascent settlement farmer and his agriculture. Following the argument of Scott's "Against the Grain" that life in the new city-state was LESS desirable than hunter-gatherer existence, the HGs generally fled rather than fought in the stressed ecosystem (although some chose to be aggressive 'barbarians at the gates'). Thus, an aggressive dominating style was set among the 'civilized' structure, in the person and in the biome, the latter being a place of great suffering. In this 'civilized' mix, societies emerged with a materialist set of solutions and religions offered spiritual solutions, both oriented to prioritize the reduction of suffering. One interesting difference between civilized religion and indigenous religion is that the former focuses liberation from suffering and the latter focuses on maintaining balance in the biome. In brief, Cain and Able!

And this is the rationalist reductionist view I am taking issue with. Its only slightly abstracted from the fundamentalist view that Cain and Abel were literally the first two born humans and their descendant represent the children of God and children of Satan respectively. You are just substituting two other rationalist categories because you believe agricultural civilization was the path of evil, so Cain must represent that category.

When I said the story maps on well, I meant because the hostile brother archetype is universal. It speaks to psychic dynamics within all cultures and all individuals including those within the Kogi. When we make the myth literal or semi literal, it is flattened out emptied of its meaning. Civilization is like a living organism, multi faceted, reflecting and refracting, non-rational and rational. We cannot divide it into post agricultural and indigenous as if they are not aspects of the same underlying continuum.

And for that reason, I see no way in which Christ, who founded much of "civilized" religion, can be said to focus on liberation from suffering.
“It is your presumption that freedom is something which you already possess that ensures that you will remain in chains."
User avatar
Lou Gold
Posts: 1250
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2021 4:18 pm

Re: Consciousness and Civilization

Post by Lou Gold »

"because you believe agricultural civilization was the path of evil, so Cain must represent that category."

Your assertion is not mine. The Kogi developed sustainable agriculture. Agriculture is not the evil. Seeking to develop it by conquering nature and seeking to extend its efficient production at the expense of imbalance in the biome is the evil. So, again, I'm asserting two paths of development: one in biocentric harmony (Able) and one that will collapse the biome and force the human inhabitant to leave (Cain).

How to get into Heaven (here or there) is to be liberated from suffering.
Be calm - Be clear - See the faults - See the suffering - Give your love
User avatar
AshvinP
Posts: 2977
Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2021 5:00 am
Location: USA

Re: Consciousness and Civilization

Post by AshvinP »

S"o, again, I'm asserting two paths of development: one in biocentric harmony (Able) and one that will collapse the biome and force the human inhabitant to leave (Cain)."

And what if, for the sake of thought experiment, the latter manages to develop technology which restores its balance with the biome over the next 50 years? Would that then invalidate your entire worldview?
“It is your presumption that freedom is something which you already possess that ensures that you will remain in chains."
User avatar
Lou Gold
Posts: 1250
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2021 4:18 pm

Re: Consciousness and Civilization

Post by Lou Gold »

Ashvin,
S"o, again, I'm asserting two paths of development: one in biocentric harmony (Able) and one that will collapse the biome and force the human inhabitant to leave (Cain)."

And what if, for the sake of thought experiment, the latter manages to develop technology which restores its balance with the biome over the next 50 years? Would that then invalidate your entire worldview?
Nope, it would not destroy my world view. I wish it might be true. Actually, I have a good friend who develops technologies for biochar soil amendments. It's based on a modern way to create terra preta black earth which was the regenerative soil the pre-Columbian residents of the central Amazon created for sustainable agriculture. There are lots of initiatives like this going on, all based on the principle of working with nature rather than seeking to control it -- very exciting work that I believe is the way toward a much better future. And, at the same time there's massive deforestation taking place to make way for mono-crops of Oil Palm, soybeans (mostly) for animal feed, etc. Sadly, what's being destroyed is much greater than what's being restored.
Be calm - Be clear - See the faults - See the suffering - Give your love
User avatar
AshvinP
Posts: 2977
Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2021 5:00 am
Location: USA

Re: Consciousness and Civilization

Post by AshvinP »

Lou Gold wrote: Sat Jan 16, 2021 2:21 am Ashvin,
S"o, again, I'm asserting two paths of development: one in biocentric harmony (Able) and one that will collapse the biome and force the human inhabitant to leave (Cain)."

And what if, for the sake of thought experiment, the latter manages to develop technology which restores its balance with the biome over the next 50 years? Would that then invalidate your entire worldview?
Nope, it would not destroy my world view. I wish it might be true. Actually, I have a good friend who develops technologies for biochar soil amendments. It's based on a modern way to create terra preta black earth which was the regenerative soil the pre-Columbian residents of the central Amazon created for sustainable agriculture. There are lots of initiatives like this going on, all based on the principle of working with nature rather than seeking to control it -- very exciting work that I believe is the way toward a much better future. And, at the same time there's massive deforestation taking place to make way for mono-crops of Oil Palm, soybeans (mostly) for animal feed, etc. Sadly, what's being destroyed is much greater than what's being restored.
Right, those types of initiatives are exactly what I had in mind. And if the scale were to tip in the other direction, as it very well may, then I don't see how the inherited traits of modern civilization could be determinative of fatal environmental catastrophe. In that situation, it would be the reverse. Are we not looking for almost universally applicable principles when working out the core drivers of human history?
“It is your presumption that freedom is something which you already possess that ensures that you will remain in chains."
User avatar
Lou Gold
Posts: 1250
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2021 4:18 pm

Re: Consciousness and Civilization

Post by Lou Gold »

Right, those types of initiatives are exactly what I had in mind. And if the scale were to tip in the other direction, as it very well may, then I don't see how the inherited traits of modern civilization could be determinative of fatal environmental catastrophe. In that situation, it would be the reverse. Are we not looking for almost universally applicable principles when working out the core drivers of human history?
I'm not looking for what you seem to be hoping for. I believe, with the Preacher, that there's a season for all under heaven and that scale is the problem more than the challenge. Monocrop industrial fossil-fueled agriculture intended to feed a huge population has destroyed a vast amount of unique diversity (yes, one can call the diversity 'individualism') in the community of life. I recall Wendell Berry saying, in an early prescient essay, that monocrop agriculture is the ultimate totalitarian approach to the natural divinely endowed diverse community of life. In regard to 'scaling up' I believe , with the sage, that there never was a big problem that could not have been solved when small and, with Einstein, that one cannot solve a problem with the thinking that created it.
Be calm - Be clear - See the faults - See the suffering - Give your love
User avatar
David_Sundaram
Posts: 93
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2021 10:22 pm

Re: Consciousness and Civilization

Post by David_Sundaram »

SanteriSatama wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 12:55 am
AshvinP wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 11:10 pm There's nothing "casual" about suggesting all of Western religion, philosophy and civilization since the time of Plato/Aristotle can be reduced to an exercise of imperial domination and ultimately useless "truth-seeking" behaviors. Maybe that's not what you believe, but you sure fooled me. Mixing in a little more metaphysics sounds like exactly what is needed to balance out such a perspective.
Well, maybe the casual without "" is the collateral damage of the "Manifest Destiny"?
Very much enjoying the con-verse-ation. Haven't formulated an opinion worth sharing yet. This is just a 'view' of what's happening:

Image
User avatar
Lou Gold
Posts: 1250
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2021 4:18 pm

Re: Consciousness and Civilization

Post by Lou Gold »

YUP!
Be calm - Be clear - See the faults - See the suffering - Give your love
User avatar
AshvinP
Posts: 2977
Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2021 5:00 am
Location: USA

Re: Consciousness and Civilization

Post by AshvinP »

Lou Gold wrote: Sat Jan 16, 2021 6:24 am
Right, those types of initiatives are exactly what I had in mind. And if the scale were to tip in the other direction, as it very well may, then I don't see how the inherited traits of modern civilization could be determinative of fatal environmental catastrophe. In that situation, it would be the reverse. Are we not looking for almost universally applicable principles when working out the core drivers of human history?
I'm not looking for what you seem to be hoping for. I believe, with the Preacher, that there's a season for all under heaven and that scale is the problem more than the challenge. Monocrop industrial fossil-fueled agriculture intended to feed a huge population has destroyed a vast amount of unique diversity (yes, one can call the diversity 'individualism') in the community of life. I recall Wendell Berry saying, in an early prescient essay, that monocrop agriculture is the ultimate totalitarian approach to the natural divinely endowed diverse community of life. In regard to 'scaling up' I believe , with the sage, that there never was a big problem that could not have been solved when small and, with Einstein, that one cannot solve a problem with the thinking that created it.
And that is fundamentally my problem with your view. If "scale is the problem", then we are inevitably left with only one "solution". Do you see what I mean?
“It is your presumption that freedom is something which you already possess that ensures that you will remain in chains."
SanteriSatama
Posts: 1030
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2021 4:07 pm

Re: Consciousness and Civilization

Post by SanteriSatama »

AshvinP wrote: Sun Jan 17, 2021 4:23 am
Lou Gold wrote: Sat Jan 16, 2021 6:24 am I'm not looking for what you seem to be hoping for. I believe, with the Preacher, that there's a season for all under heaven and that scale is the problem more than the challenge. Monocrop industrial fossil-fueled agriculture intended to feed a huge population has destroyed a vast amount of unique diversity (yes, one can call the diversity 'individualism') in the community of life. I recall Wendell Berry saying, in an early prescient essay, that monocrop agriculture is the ultimate totalitarian approach to the natural divinely endowed diverse community of life. In regard to 'scaling up' I believe , with the sage, that there never was a big problem that could not have been solved when small and, with Einstein, that one cannot solve a problem with the thinking that created it.
And that is fundamentally my problem with your view. If "scale is the problem", then we are inevitably left with only one "solution". Do you see what I mean?
I agree that if scale is the problem as such, we are in big trouble and hopeless dead end. World peace is a scaling problem. Iroquois Confederation was a step in scaling process towards world peace.

Lou, Cursed be the Peacemaker?
Post Reply