South African author and lion tracker Boyd Varty learned early the deep knowing which life seeks to instil within each of us: that there is something profound which transcends and connects our discrete human minds.[ii]
Varty’s tale of the terrifying involves a single night, set in time a moment or two following the initial post-apartheid elections in South Africa, when chaos and violence were common bedfellows across the troubled nation.
Our time spent online is increasingly being eaten by forces that care naught for our authentic selves. The web is mostly a world of projection and drama, where hyperbole, fear and catastrophic narratives are pumped into us, such that our consciousness can be fed into their machines. Much of the internet is the imaginal gone wrong. The more we bury ourselves in that, the more lost, angry and alienated we become; because we have unwittingly betrayed our authentic selves. Because we have betrayed our own spirit.
Learning to listen to the heart may take a lifetime. Even longer. Or just a moment.
Mark Zuckerberg says he intends to develop an “embodied” experience within the metaverse. This is web 3.0, an all-immersive internet where you can plug in and, if you prefer, never leave. Horizons Workrooms, an immersive tele-conferencing platform which is Facebook’s 3D challenge to Zoom. Using this program, users morph into their avatar equivalents by wearing an Oculus VR helmet, and interacting in a virtual office space. Mark Zuckerberg sees Horizon Workrooms as potentially launching us into a utopian future. He says:
“Five years from now, people will be able to live where they want and work from wherever they want but feel present when they do it.”
To learn how to feel deeply is not easy. Many of the more popular or academic practices of presence do not understand this secondary level of healing. This is, of course, due to the limited aims of most of these practices. The purpose of many current mindfulness modalities is to permit calmness, and they are not usually healing practices. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why some mindfulness studies indicate that mindfulness practice results in a small percentage of practitioners becoming more depressed, anxious or even suicidal.[ii] Mindfulness may allow us to relax just enough to leave us poised at the gateway of ancient caverns of the psyche; but ignorant of the cruel goddess. Those practices may not provide us with the proper tools to navigate our way out of that murky domain.
The Consilience Project is a sensemaking platform founded by Daniel Schmactenberger. I’m a “fan” on their Facebook page. TCP is a fairly recent initiative, but one that is vital at this time in human history. Just a day or two ago they published the first of a series of articles on the crisis in sensemaking,…
In AI theory they refer to “the Jetson’s Fallacy.” As with the 1960’s futuristic cartoon show, many people today naively believe that AI is just going to walk beside us into the future. But no. It’s going to increasingly walk inside us. The interface of human and machine intelligence is going to become increasingly blurred. And don’t think that people won’t let it happen. The steps to get there will come one at a time. Many of us alive today might find it abhorrent to have a neural chip drilled into our skulls. But the shift won’t happen all at once. Each generation will likely take one step further towards cybernetic embodiment.
It is helpful to think of the E-Word of media and social media as the mass monkey mind. In meditative traditions, the “monkey mind” is the term used to describe your chattering, unchecked inner world, which (if I may mix my metaphors) has a tendency to wander about indiscriminately like a blind man stumbling along a crowded street without a walking stick. The blind man keeps bumping into people, either cursing them or apologizing frantically in order to deflect their anger, even as the other pedestrians apologize or curse him back. Because he cannot see, the blind man doesn’t realise that all the other pedestrians are equally as blind, and all without their canes.
Emotional Alignment is a simple way to help bring anxiety under control in this time of increased fear and uncertainty.
The benefit of Engaged Presence is not just that it promotes a more peaceful and open dialogue. You will also grow and develop as a human being. You will learn so much more over the next few weeks, months and years than you ever could have if you’d been less open and welcoming of other people and ideas. Better still, you will likely be part of the healing of the cultural divide.
%Is Jordan B Peterson a modern Guru or a danger to civilization?%: