Coming into the 21st century we have so many pressures to adjust to. Beyond manic self indulgent corporations and entrepreneurs that undermine our social structure, there is the tension of violence from dissatisfied groups, individuals and ideologies, and there is the environment that is, whether due to human causes or not, changing in ways that will be uncomfortable for the status quo within a very short time.
The suburban life that so many in the U.S. are used to is not a viable way of living. Old patterns of understanding the world, or at least the patterns that have developed since industry and the abstraction of technological efficiency began eating away at localized communities, are being unraveled faster than they can be replaced. In this unstable situation it will take individuals who are capable of constant change and revelation to overcome, endure and build into the future.
Yesterday I did a short interview with Willi Paul, thefounder of Planetshifter Magazine, and it brought to mind all the folks I’ve come across since I started moving around online. I met Willi a few months ago and was impressed with the fact that within a very short time he’d managed to wrangle up interviews with over 200 folks across the spectrum of art, industry, education and all the in-betweens to talk about how sustainability was affecting them and what they were doing to create a world that can pull out of the downward toss up it seems to be heading towards now.
One of the most rewarding things about the communication platforms that are developing is the number of inspiring folks out there who are jumping in with no reservations and just trying to get things done. The only way things are going to get better is if we all take a step sideways from our usual routine and start looking at things in a more profound way.
Thinking about manufactured scarcity lead me to look around the local environs with an eye keyed in on gaps in the social structure. Areas that had been picked clean or surrounded by illegitimate interests.
As I mentally perused my community I realized that a good chunk of small business was in some way aiding the decline of our collective culture, if not actively, then passively by not focusing outside of a small set of anemic goals. It seems there’s a lot of trickle down coming from the universities, management coaches, networking groups and associations that’s corrupting the potential for stable, interesting and culturally diverse communities to arise.
There are too many stale ideas, old habits, prudish strategies being passed around as gospel in a time when the opportunities opened up by communications technology makes a much richer experience possible. You get some crippled thinker at the top espousing ideas on making fast cash and pretty soon there’s another cell phone vendor moving in where the bookstore used to be.
In a piece written for Planetshifter Magazine I continue to explore why every entrepreneur and business needs to ask themselves…am I a parasite or a provider?
What’s it take to get people motivated for change? William S. Burroughs once mentioned that he was working on creating a mythology for the space-age. His works were allegorical tales to help guide intreprid travellers into the new age of inner & outer space.
So what about today? Who will be the tale bearers for our struggle to maintain a viable ecology, sustainable social structures and more intelligent and ethical business models? Burroughs and his visions of Nova are wonderful for tearing down old infrastructures, but a time comes when we’ve got to start building again.
Now is a time to rediscover what we’ve left behind, to reintroduce ourselves to the truths that remain unchanging and to drop the pretense of innovation and realize the words of the Kohelet:
“The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.”
– Ecclesiastes 1:9
“If you don’t have the Master’s presence within,
You will not attain acceptance in God’s court,
Useless is all prayer, futile is all chanting.
You can fast, you can pray the whole night through,
To supplement your daily prayer;
You can also perform numerous acts of charity;
But if your heart is not purified, You will not feel God’s presence within.
If you have not died before your death,
chanting in group prayers will avail you nothing.”
– Kalam Hazrat Sultan Bahu