by Mike Meyer ~ Honolulu ~ January 21, 2020
It’s time to get a grip on reality. We are experiencing massive attacks on truth and stress levels, in America particularly, have gone through the roof. This is increasingly presented as minority attacks on Western Civilization, usually by political opportunists who are racists and bigots.
The reality is not some serious attack on how we know truth, as a reaction to the loss of traditional racial power. The only weapons available to the people threatened are, apparently, lies. So we have blatant lies presented as, well, lies. So there, what are you going to do about it?
Criminals throughout history have resorted to this when the jig is up and they have run out of excuses. At the national political level this is also common but usually results in wars, coups, and revolutions.
The US is neck-deep in this now at all levels. Trump, with his long history of psychopathy, never realized there was any need for excuses so he has built a massive, very messy edifice of lies and can’t stop. A declining political party got suckered into the lying as they had watched their policies become irrelevant with only racism and xenophobia remaining. Racism is, of course, a lie, itself. So, why not?
That decision has created the current death spiral with the problem party having completely cornered themselves with a critical portion of their political support based on the belief in lies. Those lies are more untenable with each passing day but there are no options being allowed by the heads of that party who have already made their fortunes and are passing laws to protect their livelihood.
Trump is the only loser as loss of power will mean a lifetime of desperate legal defense. There is always the option of exile to Russia but that is probably a fate worse than death to a narcissistic, aging psychopath. But this is a superficial soap opera.
These political disasters are symptoms of a real problem. That problem is changing reality forcing a reconsideration of basic social and, even, species assumptions about life on this planet. The most risk and change adverse portions of our population see this as unthinkable hence any lie that it all isn’t true has a ready audience and the liar must be a savior.
None of this does anything to prevent change driven by shifting environmental factors and social evolutionary change in our species. The biggest environmental change is the climate crisis directly the result of human success in resource exploitation without regard for long term survival.
Social evolution is primarily a result of population and technology changing the ways that we see the world and ourselves as part of it. These are both forces of change that are not controllable by shouting or denial. These are very much the kind of things that cause historical epitaphs such as: What were they thinking when they chopped down the last tree?
The problem then is reality. The answer is getting a new and better grip on that reality. By grip, I mean working on a better understanding of what reality is and how we live with what we have wrought.
All of this is the reason for the great increase in stress, stress-related diseases, and social disintegration. Power grabs by immoral opportunists playing on fears can work for a time but untenable political decisions lead to the self-destruction of those making those poor decisions. But the rest of us need to continue on and deal with the messes that have been left.
This is well understood in the academic world. After all, that is why the people with the inclination to figure these things outcome together to do that and provide alternatives. As this is inevitably focused on change and how to benefit from the new conditions, that causes the reactionaries and opportunists to attack this process.
After all, they are the ones working to manipulate people who dislike and reject and change to either gain or protect their great wealth and power. They are, after all, the group that has been successful in exploiting the existing order.
The point now is how do we limit the damage, clean up the mess and do what needs to be done to accelerate the right kind of change to improve both human and our planetary conditions. Obviously drastic changes to our economic goals and processes and rethinking how we live are things that must and will happen. If they don’t we know things will only get much worse and there are growing scientific indications that this worsening could be more than we can handle as human civilization. But we aren’t there yet.
What needs to be done is forging a new grip on reality. There is so much to change and do what we are going to have to tackle these things, no matter how hard, and get them done.
All of the fussings about lies, truth, and civilization seems so insurmountable because we have very divergent traditions defining reality and, as a result, truth. For our entire history as a sentient species, this has been just the way things are. This caused many wars and untold suffering but most people stayed in their own culture and saw those other realities as incomprehensible or, at best, novelties to go check out and then come back home.
This is no longer possible. We must build a new, planetary reality based on evolving, scientific knowledge but with space for diversity and culture. We already have the physical reality reliably sketched in with the power of the scientific method and mathematical descriptions of physical interactions. This is dynamic and self-correcting.
What we don’t have is the narrative to describe the essence of all the components of this universe in and of themselves. This is the area for which we have always used mythology to fill in with moral stories. But all of those have failed and the result is whole populations fighting over the ruins and grabbing at scraps of meaning.
When major structures collapse there are several things that must happen to recover. The cause of the collapse needs to be identified but that is a long process and is only needed to define the primary weaknesses of the old structure that failed.
I’ve outlined that above and the weaknesses of the Anglo-American form of Western Civilization have been brutally illuminated in the last four years. The weaknesses and beginnings of collapse were known well before that but were not inescapably visible to the majority of the population. We now are forced to deal with the portions of the population that refused to see what is in front of them and is actively denying the failure of the old reality.
The second stage of recovery is clearing away the rubble and repurposing useable pieces to meet the new environment. Successful recovery means rethinking the entire structure but also recognizing what is salvageable and valuable. There is the risk of throwing out the baby with the bathwater and needlessly starting from scratch on building a new reality. This can be easily distorted into an impossible task so why start?
Fortunately, we are, I think, well along on the way to that new reality. Much of the work has been done and has come together in surprising ways over the last thirty or so years. The problem is that most people are not aware of this or, if they are, have been given politically distorted views for the benefit of the existing ruling groups. This is the real focus of much misinformation that has confused and poorly informed population.
The hard question is how to make the new structure of our reality understandable to enough people to achieve a critical consensus. This normally happens over the course of two or three generations but, historically, a significant portion of the population could simply be ignored. This is no longer possible. The reality we have created values each individual as well as empowering that individual as part of society’s administration.
It doesn’t help that the portion of our population that is most at risk in struggling with this change is attempting to give away their rights in exchange for worthless assurances that the old reality will be restored. Rather than accepting the focus, now being used for manipulation by fear, of what is no longer useful and will be lost, we need to identify the new components that will both improve our wellbeing but also allow us to survive our climate disaster and the concurrent social evolution requirements.
The great fear of those clinging to old ideas is that the new eliminates a reason for people to exist. This goes back to the founding of the scientific revolution in the West and is the basis for the rejection of science as partial or incomplete knowledge. That was always the, steadily failing, rear guard of the old religions but has become a political scorched earth policy of the political opportunists using this as their means of gaining political control.
That fear is based on ignorance of our full understanding of how the universe works. All of this can now be understood as a useful and logical decision made by Galileo five hundred years ago that was a practical but very productive mistake. Our scientific world is the product of that productive mistake but our critical need to change our basic view of the universe, our planet, and ourselves is also a product of that.
The mistake was in deciding to ignore everything but the mathematical relationships between the components of physical reality. That created a dualist model of reality. In simple terms, our universe is not split between physical and metaphysical. Our conscious awareness is not separate from our biological existence. But this concept is embedded in generations in the West and, now, for several generations around the planet. That needs to change.
Understanding the more accurate model of the universe has been considered and discussed dating back to classical Greek times at the very foundation of modern Western Civilization. The physical understanding of relativity and quantum mechanics has allowed a slow consolidation of thought on the nature of both conscious awareness and our model of reality. All components of our universe are conscious at some level and, therefore, connected. This is not metaphysical but just reality.
The assumption of this is known as panpsychism and, over the last century has become a clearer model supported by our growing understanding of both relativity and quantum mechanics. Our role in this universe as a sentient being is far greater and more important than we ever imagined. Reality, in the wave-like indeterminacy that is our universe, becomes real when we see and measure it. That is the complete opposite of being powerless and pointless as was once thought.
At the ordinary human level, this completely changes the look and feel of our scientifically understood vision of the universe. It gives us the potential for confidence in our expanding reality.
It also removes the artificial problem of some alternative metaphysical aspect to this universe that can be used to block shared understanding. We are this universe and are part of its consciousness.
There will be a significant percentage of the human population that will not be able to understand and internalize this in their lifetime but the need for scientific logic and awareness of our conscious integration to solve our planetary problems will provide more and more answers. This is the new reality and it is already spreading.
An excellent, new, study of this is Galileo’s Error by Philip Goff.