It's to be expected that the character and motives of those supporting profound changes may be questioned. In our habitual loyalties to habitual systems, we can tend to feel suspicious of reforms. Understandably so - we've assimilated and internalized habits and systems that have allowed us to survive and, to some degree, flourish, up to this point. The new is the relatively unknown, the untested - we can naturally be unsure how compatible or incompatible profound reforms will be with our continued existence.
Periodic review and revision of our systems is very important, we could even say necessary, for our health and well-being. But advocates of profound changes, such as the changes proposed here, are flawed creatures like anyone else, sometimes prone to foolishness, inconsiderateness, resentment, hypocrisy, hyperbole, complacency, pettiness, etc., and may even be more susceptible than others to certain types of vices. Self-righteousness, for instance, is a familiar occupational hazard for reformers and activists.
When technological early adopters display personal shortcomings, such as pretentiousness about having obtained a technology before others, this is regrettable and often worth addressing, but others can still appreciate and embrace any new capabilities that the technology may offer. They can still intelligently assess the benefits and drawbacks of adopting the technology themselves. So it is with paradigm shifts: please, evaluate the scenario herein according to its own merits, not simply according to who has or hasn't been promoting it.
We intend and believe that implementing these ideas will help all of us practice more virtue and less vice.
We also wish to emphasize that we don't seek to impugn the character or ultimate motives of anyone, including anyone who may argue against these proposals or who may have been particularly instrumental in upholding any of the systems supplanted by implementation of proposals like these. This clarification seems germane in light of the hostility that has often attended the discourse around our general goals and directions for development. We offer this scenario for everyone's benefit, in a spirit of attempting to effect a genuine healing of the many types of rifts that have recurred and persisted for so long.
The sheer radicalness of at least some of these proposals may engender suspicion that they're born of cynicism toward the status quo. In point of fact, our world abounds with wondrous, majestic, beautiful happenings. There is so much that inspires us, there are so many who inspire us, to protect and extend the preciousness around us, the legacy we've inherited and co-created. Every day, our planet is flooded with blessings, many of them flowing relatively directly from our intentional efforts, many of them less well understood but wonderful and appreciated nonetheless. We also see significant amounts of pain, senseless destruction, wasted effort, and missed opportunities, every day. Looking into the future, there are utopian possibilities - peace, harmony, new abilities in many dimensions, prospects of sailing into the realms beyond the sky, accompanied by delightfully charming and helpful robots, etc. And there are dystopian possibilities - stagnation, deterioration, mass death, etc. Many factors and actors conspire to help us succeed, but a much fuller realization of the remarkable potentials of our civilization and our planet seems far from a foregone conclusion, particularly if some major changes aren't made. We can maximize our chances, and have more fun along the way, by conspiring with ever greater heartfulness and mindfulness. The effort to refine our most basic values and methods has emerged as one of the intentional efforts that can lead to particularly large deluges of blessings. By elaborating and laboring in these sorts of directions, we can forestall significant hardships and reach fabulous new successes. Long-time far-out dreams can become happy realities, letting us move on to the next big projects.
The radicalness of these proposals may also engender suspicion that implementation will be made difficult by the extent to which people are habituated to, or comfortable with, current ways of doing things. Let's acknowledge that there may well be some difficult aspects of this transition. We hold that we can surmount the difficulties and that the challenges will be well worth meeting. We all form habits and can experience discomfort around changes, especially major changes. We're not, of course, talking about changing everything. A great many of our values, patterns, and systems will endure through this transition. The changes we do recommend are designed precisely to maximize our long-term ability to conserve and expand upon the most cherished aspects of our reality. We all can and do take many effective, worthwhile, shorter-term or piecemeal measures toward these ends, within the frameworks of our currently operative paradigms. But we also see this profound systemic shift as a crucial part of an optimal course of action in keeping with our deepest, highest values. Some do seem less likely, or able, than others to expeditiously embrace and adopt these ideas, and there are tendencies to go to extreme lengths to preserve the prevalence of certain patterns, even (and sometimes especially) when better ones begin to emerge. This makes it important for those who already see the value of these ideas to bear witness as earnestly and clearly as possible.
(Part 2 coming soon)
(Update: Part 2 is here.)
social media: mastodon.host/@ABC123