If you have been following the recent posts closely, you would have noticed that much effort has been made to show that our life-blind prescriptions have been singularly responsible for most of the political and economic debacles in terms of their mismanagement of our “household” in their respective spheres of influence.
Professor John McMurtry’s book ‘The Cancer Stage of Capitalism: From Crisis to Cure,’ explains in detail the consequences of our abdicating our responsibility of stewardship of the life-supporting networks from which we came forth and on which we are totally dependent for our daily sustenance.
In his article ‘Rationality and Scientific Method: Paradigm Shift in an Age of Collapse,’ he made a profound observation that I hope to build upon to identify a second blind spot, which may have gone unrecognised in all of our analyses so far, as it pertains to truth and the coherence of our systems of thought and practice.
“As we come to understand that truth is always a process of more coherently inclusive taking into account, and life coordinates are what must always be taken into account to be consistent with our terrestrial condition, reason awakes. It recognizes that sound logic, science and rational choice must meet three criteria of truth:
(1) consistency of premises with evidence;
(2) consistency of inferences with premises; and
(3) consistency of objectives with life support systems.
These criteria together constitute the full coherence principle.”
In my recent post entitled, ‘Is the denial of our mortality the root cause of all our maladies?‘ I endeavoured to show that there was another blind-spot floating in our fields of vision, which was the unconscious denial of our mortality which has blinded us to achieving full coherence of understanding of our real place in the schemes of things.
I propose that we expand McMurtry’s analysis to not only take into account our life coordinates but also our death coordinates – now called life-and-death coordinates. It is important to do this so as to remain consistent with the ultimate terrestrial condition, which is the finiteness of the resources of our planet.
“There is no such thing as infinite growth on a finite planet.”
Although our life-blind social constructs have served to undermine the life supporting networks of our planet, our death-blind social constructs assume infinite life-growth which is obviously incompatible with a finite planet and is thus incoherent with the truth.
This double blind-spot is what has gone unrecognised and I hope to show that by bringing it into our spheres of analysis, a fully inclusive and coherent picture emerges.
This should not have surprised us as we know that if we did not die to allow our atoms to be recycled over and over again, our life-support resources would have become exhausted and the march of life would have ended. It is this absolute necessity of the life-cycle to include the death and the recycling back into the pool of resources for other life, that should be brought now front and center in all of our deliberations, and I put to you, help to tie up some loose ends. Let me explain.
If we pause for a moment and analyse the great web of life over time, and ask what has our species contributed that is different from what has gone on before our arrival on the scene, we would readily say it is our culture and our technologies. All of our stories and our use of tools is what we have gifted back to the web of life that has conceived us. What we have not done or have failed to do was to implement this life-and-death coordinate sytem in all of our productions. In other words given that our life and death blindspots were not transparent, we were never accountable to the necessary life-death collective cycles, hence the corruption that was embedded in our rules of engagement and all of our social constructs, covenants and contracts.
As a result, all of our life-blind theories did not include the effect on the integrity of our life supporting system in their deliberations and hence externalized their costs. Likewise, all of our death-denial theories influenced the stories we told and all of our social contracts so that they did not harmonise with our life-cycles of birth, death and rebirth in the circles and cycles of the life-renewal processes.
Just as McMurtry advises us to look downwards at the neglect of our life capital ground for where the root of our problems lie, I submit that to find solutions we need to now be looking upwards at the neglect of our cultural and technological capital flowerings to take into consideration life-capital’s recycling operating system. This should be done to bring completeness and closure to the full coherence principle enunciated by John McMurtry above.
That is the task that humanity must now set for itself, to get us back on track so that we stop working to undermine our life-supporting system and begin to bring balance and harmony to the web and cycles of life that we once were part of and now are called upon to serve with responsible stewardship. What we need to do now is to take stock of our life capital in all of our deliberations and internalise all of our externalities, by enlightenening all of our blindspots, so that we can see clearly the way forward.
It is only in so doing, that the light of truth becomes our best guide in all that is right and just in this world.