Collapse Watch

I’ve been reading Dave Pollard’s blog again. He’s thoughtful and thorough.

One of Dave’s recent posts was named “Collapse Watch.” It’s full adventure into collapse of industrial society.

Dave’s a truth-teller (as much as that can be called a thing). I find in my interactions with Dave that he’s not trying to sell a truth. It’s not a fire sale. It’s not a loud commercial. It’s not a manipulation to get me to do something. It’s more of a description. Like describing the birds chirping in the morning. It’s not, “that was a good bird and that was a bad bird and we should get rid of that bird and we should keep that bird.” It’s just, “hear the birds — chances are they’ll keep chirping whether you listen or not.”

Give Dave’s post a full read. Give yourself some time. And then maybe a bit of reflection as the birds chirp.

Lean in, even if just for a moment. Not all truths are easy, are they.


Existentially Speaking

I love this cartoon from Dave Pollard’s blog, How To Save The World. Dave notes that the image is via Ulf Parczyk on Jim Newman’s Facebook Page.

I love the cartoon because I recognize myself in it. As the one pleading. As the one being gifted. As the one being quite stupid. As the one even laughing at divine humor and holy mischief — it’s the kind of god I hope for, I suppose. If there were a next frame to the cartoon, I’d like add a playful “Gotcha, didn’t I.”

Many of us go through this cycle, don’t we. Whether asking of preferred divine beings, or of the universe itself. Or sometimes even of the people we are with.

I want to be better at noticing what already is. To get better at finding wonder already present in a singularly non-eventful moment. And I want to be better at this with groups — family, team, community, organization.

Practical existentialism.


Nobody Knows

Everywhere I go, I meet people who are learning to lean in to the reality that most of our environments are just too complex to know completely. It doesn’t mean that we don’t know anything. It does mean that nobody can know everything.

My work, on the surface, is mostly process consulting and facilitation. That body of work grows from an acknowledgement that work and life are pretty involved and require us to go together. It’s an evolutionary step. And it’s one that contradicts so much of what many of us have been taught. Just like the gents in the cartoon above, we been taught to not say it out loud, and to mask “not knowing.”

Let’s face it. Not knowing, and the ability to own that as a step of vitality is essential these days. Relearning how we go together, without diminishing individual ability, yet contributing to sustainable, “go further” approaches only found in community (or team) — that’s the work of these days.

And beneath the surface of that, it’s just rather human to human adventure isn’t it. Sometimes I feel like I know a lot about that. Sometimes, even in knowing a lot, I can feel that I’m just beginning.

“Knowing” is a verb of continuous engagement. Not an item on the list to tick off. There’s the secret that many of us are trying to make not a secret.

Mind Twist on “Self”

My favorite movies are ones in which it’s hard to tell what is real. Ones in which a grand illusion accepted as fact is debunked, or at minimum challenged. When time bends. When alternate dimensions are portrayed as real. “The Matrix” is one that I’ve enjoyed for that reason (blue pill, red pill). “Inception” is another (which layer of dream are we in). “Coherence,” though a little less known, is another (parallel universes). I love the twist that occurs in me. The temporary amplification of “what if, what if” that entertains the notion that reality is a semi-consensual distortion.

Dave Pollard, is one of the people I know that is most able to bend reality with thought. To twist perception. And, I believe he’s genuine in it. Not sensational. He is really wondering. Really daring himself to live as if.

And example of Dave’s twisting is from a recent post, “10 Things That Are Less Complicated Than They Might Seem.” Dave frequently makes distinctions between what is complicated and what is complex. It’s a distinction I often find myself working with in groups. And in this case, Dave takes on the notion of “self” and what if that notion of self is overplayed. A distortion. It’s tricky, right. I can’t quite figure it out, which might be the point. It pushes a few buttons in me. But something in this orientation and ability to debunk, even for a moment, feels attractive and important.

Here’s a sample. Read his full post for further twisting.

Thanks Dave.

Becoming a better person: If you are going to become, in your own judgement and/or the judgement of others, a better person, that will happen despite any volition on “your” part. There is, fortunately, no “you” — what appears to be a separate person with choice and free will is a mirage, a hallucination, a dis-ease, an unfortunate and accidental evolutionary misstep that emerged along with large, underutilized brains. This has nothing to do with predestination or fate. There is an apparent character that “you” think you inhabit and control, but what that character apparently does has nothing to do with “you” — the brain just conveniently rationalizes the character’s apparent actions after the fact in a way that lets “you” believe those actions were “your” choice and decision. So go easy on your self — the character in whose apparent watery bag of organs you believe you reside will do what it will do. You should assume no responsibility, and take no credit or blame for any of it. In fact, “your” presence most likely interferes with the character doing its best. Nothing for “you” to do, really. Easy, huh?