We had quite a small group this time around and all men.
We started off with a stumping and confronting check-in; ‘What’s the first line of your eulogy?’.
Two of the humans ended up doing a short eulogy for each other for they both knew each other well. One said afterwards that he felt like he side-stepped the challenge. I agreed, as my experience of the check in was revealing my inner hopes and dreams for myself.
I prefaced the discussion with a statement and a few stimulating questions:
Apocalyptic narrative has accompanied many civilisations and religions.
Why does this narrative exist?
Confronted by our own apocalyptic story of climate change, is this an expression of our inability to deal with death?
How to make and create love with such a popular story of ominous proportions?
Interestingly we went straight into the climate change discussion; talking at a material level one human listed off the science, the quantifiable results and statistics that back the affirmative climate change stance.
I brought forth the idea of why is science the model in which we believe? Can we not have stories that align with the changes climate change inspires? Do we need to globalise the world with a common story or does each individual carry with them the perfect story for them?
Caught in the ‘facts’ of climate change creates a very static discussion in which further blocks investigation of the affects of such a story.
So it was difficult to pull the discussing humans into a different angle of viewing the dominating present story.
The delusion of science was brought up with the idea of ‘no facts’, we just simply ignore the dynamism of nature for the sake of conveniently building something in a predictable linear construct. Even the constants of mainstream science to which everything is built upon is dynamic moving and changing (1). The institutional investment in the static idea is proof of science being dogmatic and yet another religion blind to the reality of things. The banned Rupert Sheldrake TED talk is an example of that (1).
However, science is an efficient tool and an inefficient belief system. In a recent podcast (2), once we began to write our understandings/stories down with words, we left the responsibility with the written word to convey the understanding. However, over time the context changes and so do the interpretation and definitions of the words. So we are left with arguing over the interpretation of ancient texts while the understanding is lost. This shines light on the indigenous tradition of passing down understanding through word of mouth. The words change over time in order to adapt to the understanding. This echoes an intelligence aligned with the dynamism of the nature of reality.
Coming from climate change, to questioning science then to indigenous intelligence the conversation had a natural process that some members feared were taking us away from the intended topic. The more we trust the process of the conversation the more I begin to see the natural wholeness and container ignited simply by the intention of the topic. The work lay within distinguishing the connection to the topic, ‘love making in the apocalypse’, rather than staying upon the well worn track of what this topic is known to include.
The indigenous populations around the world quite possibly hold the perspective or way of living that holds the key to the current apocalyptic narrative confronting us at this time. Not to fix or solve but to aligned, listen and understand the natural intelligence at a scale beyond our monkey mind understanding of things.
The Andaman and Nicobar islands harbour protected Aboriginal tribes called the Sentinelese. This group often violently rejects any contact from the outside world. The Indian Navy patrol the surrounding waters in order to protect the Sentinelese population from diseases in which they have no immunity. They were also not prosecuted for killing two fishermen and one American missionary for crossing into their world (3).
We discussed how the information these remaining indigenous groups hold is what we need to understand and equip ourselves for this transition we find ourselves within. But perhaps it’s not information at all, perhaps it’s a dynamic way of being that has no static hold on reality but a developed awareness that accesses the language of nature itself allowing one to flow with the rhythms and patterns in constant flux. An advanced listening, empathy, compassion, an internal power and trust as a part of a greater organism and intelligence.
This brings to question the value we place on knowledge and our current understanding of intelligence. It is popular to think that a person who holds a huge amount of information is intelligent yet we have a mountain of technology that we think we need in order to survive while an animal ventures out into the world with the whole environment catering for their basic needs. Who is more intelligent?
The indigenous populations that have been decimated by the pursuit of a static world view hold this intelligence.
How can we empower those who have this connection? How can we listen? Is it already within us?
Next week we will talk about ‘The idea of evil.’
Gandhi replied when asked the following question;
‘What do you think of western civilisation?’
‘I think it would be a good idea.’
Have we been the savages, the barbarians raping and pillaging, are we the unintelligent ones?
How has fear and the idea of evil served us in dominating the world as we learn that the indigenous populations we colonised have been more aligned with sustainability than our complex society?
1) Sheldrake, R. (15.03.13). ‘The Science Delusion’, A banned Ted Talk. -https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JKHUaNAxsTg
2) Hall J, Shmachtenberger D, Wheal J. (14.09.19). ‘Making Sense of Sense-Making’ - Rebel Wisdom podcast. https://www.rebelwisdom.co.uk/8-posts/106-jordan-greenhall-jamie-wheal-daniel-schmachtenberger-making-sense-of-sensemaking
3) The North Sentinel Island - Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Sentinel_Island