(Continued from Can Wisdom & Compassion Go Viral? Part I, which addresses the question, in general, of our conscious role in the evolution of human consciousness.)
In a series of posts over the past few days (The Dance of Consciousness, The Algorithms of Complexity, Transcendental Politics), I’ve explored the connection between, on the one hand, “the evolutionary ecology” paradigm (found in a series of essays linked to in the first box at Catalogue of Selected Posts) encompassing not just the biosphere as we normally think of it, but also the anthrosphere subsystems of it (i.e., our cognitive, social institutional and technological landscape), and, on the other, the social movement that I’ve been conceptualizing and advocating which seeks to most robustly produce and spread the memes and “emes” (i.e., the cognitions and emotions) of imaginative reason and compassionate goodwill. Combined, they form aspects of a single paradigm, a set of memes articulated into coherent unity by other memes which identify organizing principles.
Though I enjoy a steady flow of visitors to my windswept cave in these virtual mountains, and hundreds of folks who have registered on Colorado Confluence and “liked” my Colorado Confluence Facebook page, still, this blog is just one marginal eccentric’s voice lost in a cacophony of virtual noise. There is nothing other than the judgment of readers, and their active communication of that judgment, to commend (or condemn) me to others. I am not an accredited source of wisdom, nor even a recognized pundit called upon to share my insights on talk shows generally more focused on the relatively superficial and transient (which is not to say necessarily trivial or unimportant).
There are many ways to promote reason and goodwill that have nothing to do with Colorado Confluence. Certainly, every kind word and gesture, every calming voice, every act of forgiveness and tolerance, every compelling argument gently delivered, every reminder of our humanity to those most inclined to forget it, is such service of the highest order. It is always the most essential and, ironically, often the most difficult to achieve.
But what I hope I have done here is to provide one well-conceived and precisely articulated framework through which to focus and organize such efforts. I am certain that it is not the only such attempt, nor is it necessarily the best such attempt, but it is one of the relatively few contributions to a meta-dialogue that we too infrequently have, and too meagerly invest in. Those most engaged in our shared endeavor of life on Earth are also most focused on the issues of the day, leaving relatively unattended by a combination of too little time and too little interest (and perhaps too little belief in our ability) the deeper questions of what we can do to affect for the better our long-term evolution as a civilization.
There is nothing new about such attempts, but previous ones have generally acquired much baggage along the way, or were conceived in cauldrons of assumptions and beliefs that doomed them to the dust heap of history. This may well meet the same fate, but it is one of a smaller subset of such attempts which consciously strives not to: It is an attempt to reach farther and deeper into “the suchness,” to assume less but accommodate more, and to focus on the process of discovery and realization rather than to fetishize and ideologically enshrine its products.
History is strewn with the successes and failures of imaginative intellectuals with too much time on their hands (or an obsession that drove them to spend more time than they had), and the best bet right now is that I’m just another who won’t even rise to the ranks of a forgotten footnote. But ideas beget ideas, and well-reasoned, imaginative discourse generates more well-reasoned, imaginative discourse. The value of the ideas expressed on this blog may well be the ideas they spark in others, the swirls and eddies they contribute to in The Fractal Geometry of Social Change, themselves mere catalysts that are forgotten by all but their author.
But I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished here, proud of the coherently eclectic, humbly ambitious, richly informed, frequently insightful, occasionally psychedelic yet assiduously realistic and practical vision of the underlying nature of our existence, what we are capable of, and how we can most robustly and effectively navigate the former to realize the latter.
So I’m going to ask those of you who agree to some extent, who believe that the ideas published on this blog make a valuable contribution to our shared discourse and our shared endeavor, to help me to broadcast them more widely. The internet has provided us with an amazing tool to amplify both noise and signal, one which can utilize the logic of chain letters and pyramid schemes not merely to enrich a few enterprising con artists, but rather to enrich, even if only marginally, our collective consciousness.
We all know about entertaining videos and clever compositions (such as the college application essay that included, among other things, “full contact origami”) going “viral,” something that has occurred throughout human history (as I explained in Can Wisdom & Compassion Go Viral? Part I) in the forms of rumors and religions, techniques and motifs, stories and strategies. The wheel has rolled across the planet many times over, probably originating with a prehistoric potter seeking symmetry rather than transportation. The floods, the phalluses and fertility figurines, the flutes and fletched arrows; the games, the gadgets, the gods and guns. Memes and paradigms have been going viral throughout human history. It is incumbent on us to strive to spread “eases” rather than diseases, and to foment epidemics of marginally increased wisdom and humanity.
The internet has given us greater power to do so, and greater responsibility to help others cut through the noise to find the signal. If you believe that there is something here of value, please help others to discover it too. By your even minimal and occasional assistance, I gain only the gratification not only of doing what I do well, but also of inspiring others to increase its reach and effect, in what I hope may become rippling waves through our shared cognitive landscape.
Please, repost and share what you find on Colorado Confluence, new and old, as liberally as your conscience permits, and encourage others to do the same. Follow me (steveharveyHD28) on Twitter (which I use almost exclusively to link to posts on Colorado Confluence), and retweet my tweets. Recommend Colorado Confluence to friends (by going to the Colorado Confluence Facebook page, for instance, and clicking the “suggest to friends” icon in the upper right margin, then selecting some or all of your friends to recommend it to), and encourage them to recommend it to theirs. Help me to create or contribute to a grass roots movement that aspires to something beyond immediate political advantage and looks beyond the false certainties we all are so often seduced by, yet not removed from the ultimate political struggle of discovering and realizing the fullest extent of our humanity.
Let’s once again transform the world in ways few have yet begun to imagine possible, but many will some day take for granted.