Me: The answer of course is that we don’t need capitalism. However, if getting rid of it means eliminating the quite natural impulse to profit from one’s actions….we might wait a long time…like forever. That’s why we need the integrative thirdness greater oneness of direct and reciprocal monetary distributism.
KZ: Craig, what’s makes you assume it’s a “quite natural impulse to profit from one’s actions?” This impulse is a cultural creation of recent origin. It did not exist prior to 3000 BCE. And has had a limited existence in the non-Western world.
Me: I don’t buy that it (the natural impulse to profit/acquire/accumulate or even to want more) didn’t exist before 3000 BCE. Tribal leaders and even the rest of tribal members undoubtedly had these impulses and desires.
The question is how can we best integrate such into our technologically advanced culture so as to create the maximum freedom for the individual, the maximum social cohesion and the best environment for human self actualization.
KZ: Craig, there is no evidence the kind of individualism you’re describing was a part of human cultures prior to the Western Enlightenment. And it’s still a rare part of non-Western cultures even today. Although here it is becoming more common as Western cultures influence non-Western cultures. And, there’s no evidence tribal leaders or members had these “impulses” prior to the invention of agriculture by humans about 10,000 years ago and with it the invention of cities, economics, and eventually capitalism. Tribal leaders were concerned with preserving the tribe. Tribal members were involved in meeting the needs of the tribe. Humans who failed in this work were generally ostracized or even killed as defective. Monarchs and religious leaders acted the same. The cultural artifact of individualism is quite dangerous for humans since it threatens the cohesion and discipline that preserves and protects human cultures and societies. Witness the disorder that continues to plague the US from the assertion of absolute individualism during the Reagan revolution.
Me: Since we can’t jump into a time machine and observe them it’s not possible to know. I would say that human cultural evolution is the interaction between partially conscious individuals and their environment. As grace is the quintessential natural integrative and highest ethical human concept and experience it is the concept that will both resolve problems (a problem being defined as simply the conflict of postulate-counter postulate) and enable us to attain and maintain better social agreement as well.
KZ: Craig, it’s a lot more complex. Culture is created in the interactions of humans with everything, including one another. But then the culture thus created is used to evaluate and direct other interactions. Which then does the same, over and over. Grace is an element of western cultures, but generally not others in the world. The same with the notion of ethics. Compare western ethics with Confucius. It’s revealing.
Me: Grace as I define and understand it isn’t just western. It’s human in its most basic sense, that is to one degree or another conscious, self aware. Grace, the state of grace is flow, free flowingness. Why? Because it’s human consciousness aware of and focusedly at one with the temporal universe which being of time also flows freely. Here’s the formula for the experience of grace as I most basically define it:
[ (present space x present time) <–> self awareness-consciousness itself ]
It’s an integrated duality within an integrative trinity-unity-oneness.
It’s an utterly integral and natural experience and because of its basic-ness and naturalness the conceptual and experiential aspects of it are applicable to any problem personal or systemic. Grace is a gift of the cosmos, an abundant gift. Vis economics and money systems it is an abundant gift of money insightfully and intelligently implemented at strategic places and times that will result in individual monetary freedom, systemic free flowingness and as I have enumerated here many times resolves the two most chronic problems of modern economies monetary scarcity and inflation. And a lot more “knock on” problems as well. It’s that powerful and applicable a concept.
KZ: Craig, interesting. But can you cite some examples of grace as part of Chinese or Russian culture?
Me: Generally speaking China and India being influenced by Hindhuism, Buddhism and Taoism tend to stress the passive-internal-love-“standing in the light” aspect of human spirituality. Russia is similar in its serf soul kindness resignation concept. Their processes of consciousness unveiling/self actualization are similar in every culture but again they stress this passive aspect.
Western spirituality arose out of and mixed with this perspective, but with Judaism and then Christianity it tended to express the act/action aspect of love, namely grace. This present time-extroverted perspective is likely why the west picked up science and technology more actively and progressively than the east.
Regardless, human history at its most basic level is an increasing expression of its self awareness-consciousness itself….or in our current wonderfully productive scientific culture its re-discovery.
KZ: Craig, I recognize that humans created all these spirituality notions. Including Christians. We’re on the same page there. What I’m having trouble with is the notion human history is “an increasing expression of its self awareness-consciousness itself.” Or, per your comment, “re-discovery.” I just don’t see any historical evidence that humankind is moving the direction you describe, except of course for a few unusual (perhaps even dysfunctional) humans.
Me: “I just don’t see any historical evidence that humankind is moving the direction you describe, except of course for a few unusual (perhaps even dysfunctional) humans.”
Yes, that’s because even though wisdom has always been there for humanity to progress with….for the last 5000 years the paradigm of Debt Only as David Graeber has nascently discovered has never allowed civilizations to do so. And the only way for that to happen is to awaken to the new monetary and economic paradigm of Direct and Reciprocal Monetary Gifting. It’s THAT important that this awakening occurs. A new monetary and economic paradigm will be the biggest progressive event for the species since the change from Hunting and Gathering to Agriculture, and because the coalescence of Finance’s monopolistic paradigm has so stressfully integrated into human life and its systems the end of it with the new paradigm will have many “knock on” effects for humanity’s other systems and culture…exactly as occurred when agriculture changed everything.
JB: Craig, a nice summary. My question, however, is to WHOM these characteristics are projected. Notice the continual violence between Muslims & Hindus in India, or Muslims against one another most anyplace in the world. Throw in some racism & America’s Southern Baptists stand convicted of heinous crimes against their Jesus. Aren’t we a joke as a species, even if we are “nice” to those in our own particular group?
This is a recent personal quote from my blog:
“Religion is the abstract formalization of spirituality and hence at least once removed from the direct experience of love and grace which are its deepest insights.”
All of these conflicts, violence and religious stupidities are a direct result from this fact combined with obsessively conflicted dualistic thinking and the failure to instead practice wisdom-spirituality whose thirdness greater oneness is the contemplation and self actualization of love in action also known as grace.
Just another reason to accomplish the new paradigm so that we can acculturate leisure which will make creating the first contemplative society much easier and much more likely.
KZ: Craig, in other words, you can’t identify any historical evidence either. Dysfunctional human = human impaired by lack of clear awareness or delusions.
“Craig, in other words, you can’t identify any historical evidence either.”
I go by the obviousness of a zen saying: “Wherever you go, there YOU ARE. In other words the omnipresence of self awareness-consciousness itself, even if missed, forgotten or invalidated is and always has been there.
The experience of self awareness-consciousness itself is not a delusion.
KZ: Craig, still no evidence. And as a clinical therapist, I’ve witnessed self-awareness as delusion. It can and does happen.
JB: Craig, I appreciate our discussion. My take on it in action is between the believers & others. Switzerland has refused citizenship to a Muslim couple who would not shake hands with well- wishers of other genders, nor allowed a Muslim child to continue in school untill he shook his female teacher’s hand. Where does grace enter when one relgion has practices prohibited to it, but demanded by another?
Me: Ken, The experience of self awareness-consciousness ITSELF is not a delusion. Obsessive-compulsive dramatization of religious dogmatism or some other un-integrated, unhealthy problem is not self awareness-consciousness ITSELF.
James, the answer is grace as in understanding and tolerance….and if aggression or violence attends intolerance it is grace as in morality and the return to rational order. The concept of grace is not just airy-fairy niceness, it also includes the recognition of and optimal handling of outnesses. Being love in action It recognizes all realities accurately, effectively and ethically and deals with them in the same manner.