Elinor Ostrom’s 8 polycentric, subsidiarity, hierarchical, coherently-inclusive rule-making and governance-principles can be life-grounded and connected to planetary and population health via life-value guided-principles and strategies as illustrated here.
The Liturgy of the Word in Church today connected more dots of meaning and understanding to all life than I could have imagined. It has implications for all of us as many of us proclaim in our Constitutions to be One Nation under God and lose sight of the Primary Axiom of our Faith that has been revealed to us in our Judeo-Christian Scriptures. The epiphany which I had in church today was that the Primary Axiom of my Faith resonated very well without conflict and contradiction with the Primary Axiom of Life-Value which has become the cognitive engine of my life-grounded spiritual growth and development. And what I have grown to realize, from this life-grounded lens, is that the Word of God is in truth and in fact infallible, but where we fall short and become fallible is in the interpretation of this Word and its application to the embodied flowerings of all of our felt side of being, thoughts and actions as manifested in all of our life’s beings, becomings and doings. Read More
Imagine that you have spent most of your life in law enforcement dedicated to upholding law and order in your society. You have been told that marijuana is a Schedule 1 substance that has the “greatest potential for abuse and with no medical value“. Given this is the case and the concern for the citizens,… Read More
Structural violence, a term coined by Johan Galtung and by liberation theologians during the 1960s, describes social structures – economic, political, legal, religious, and cultural – that stop individuals, groups, and societies from reaching their full potential. In its general usage, the word violence often conveys a physical image; however, according to Galtung, it is the “avoidable impairment of fundamental human needs or…the impairment of human life, which lowers the actual degree to which someone is able to meet their needs below that which would otherwise be possible”. Structural violence is often embedded in longstanding “ubiquitous social structures, normalized by stable institutions and regular experience”. Because they seem so ordinary in our ways of understanding the world, they appear almost invisible. Disparate access to resources, political power, education, health care, and legal standing are just a few examples. The idea of structural violence is linked very closely to social injustice and the social machinery of oppression. Read More
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. – Hebrews 11:1 (KJV) Today is the second Son-day of Lent in which we reflect on and prepare for the ritualized remembrance of the death and resurrection of Yeshua, the founder of our faith. Each year, during my meditation on these important… Read More
Definition of syndrome
- a group of signs and symptoms that occur together and characterize a particular abnormality or condition
- a set of concurrent things (such as emotions or actions) that usually form an identifiable pattern
In my attempt to understand the root cause of the causes of life destabilisations, several articles synchronistically and serendipitously provided definitive answers yesterday that is consistent with the assertion that violence is an acquired syndrome rather that a congenital defect of our human nature. (Please see: US Defence Secretary Calls on Military to be “Ready” for War Against North Korea. “There are No Risk Free Options”, Army is accepting more low-quality recruits, giving waivers for marijuana to hit targets, War Culture – Gun Culture: They’re Related, and The Psychology of Mass Killers: What Causes It? How Can You Prevent It?.)
The last article was seminal for me in connecting different ideas I have come across over the years in my search for meaning and understanding of the underlying method of this violent madness that pervades every aspect of our society today. What I propose to do is summarise as best as I can in the author’s own words the ideas presented and how they are intimately connected to each other and to provide a neurobiological framework that connects the best neuroscience with the deepest analytical psychology in our toolkits of life appreciation.
Eurocentrism (also “Western-centrism”) is a political term coined in the 1980s, referring to the notion of European exceptionalism, a worldview centered on Western civilization, as it had developed during the height of the European colonial empires since the early modern period.
The term Eurocentrism itself dates back to the late 1970s and became prevalent during the 1990s, especially in the context of decolonization and development aid and humanitarian aid offered by industrialised countries (“First World”) to developing countries (“Third World”). – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eurocentrism
White supremacy or white supremacism is a racist ideology based upon the belief that white people are superior in many ways to people of other races and that therefore white people should be dominant over other races. White supremacy has roots in scientific racism and it often relies on pseudoscientific arguments. Like most similar movements such as neo-Nazism, white supremacists typically oppose people of color as well as people of most non-Christian religions.
The term is also typically used to describe a political ideology that perpetuates and maintains the social, political, historical or institutional domination by white people (as evidenced by historical and contemporary sociopolitical structures such as the Atlantic slave trade, Jim Crow laws in the United States, and apartheid in South Africa). Different forms of white supremacism put forth different conceptions of who is considered white, and different white supremacists identify various racial and cultural groups as their primary enemy.
I am a seeker of truth, a lover of wisdom and a crusader for social justice; three life assets in great demand but now in very short supply. There is a hefty price we are paying for this state of affairs in terms of life destroyed at all levels of discernment, including the life support systems of the planet and society that nourish us, sustain us and allow us to grow, develop and flourish.
This scarcity of truth, wisdom and social justice is not natural in the sense that it was not preordained by the physical laws of the universe or the workings of nature. This scarcity was manufactured by the hubris of a small group of people hell-bent on dominating and controlling the planet’s resources by using the methods and technologies of distraction, deception and deprivation to destroy the essentials needed to live a flourishing life.
As Professor John McMurtry laments:
The air, soil and water cumulatively degrade and disappear; the climates and oceans destabilize without connection; species become extinct at a spasm rate across continents; pollution cycles and volumes rise endangering life systems on all planes in synergistic despoliation; the world’s forests, meadows and fisheries are cumulatively destroyed by the profit drivers of globalization; food pollinators, songbirds, coral reefs and large animals crash in unconnected response; public sectors and services are defunded and privatized as tax evasion by the rich multiplies; the global food system produces more and more disabling junk and wastes; non-contagious diseases multiply to the world’s biggest killer; the global financial system issues money out of control while collapsing in productive investment; the vocational future of the next generations is erased across the world; official lies and corruption are normalized as public relations. All the trends are one-way, degenerate, and undeniable.– Winning the War of the World | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization by Prof John McMurtry
McMurtry has diagnosed this global systemic disorder as a cancer that invades its social life host without resistance from its social immune system, a causal explanation that moved me to study and take seriously given my expertise as a life-care provider. I see all too frequently the effect of cancer growth on individual patient’s lives as the life support systems within their bodies are systematically destroyed by the invading and metastasing cancer until the demise of the life host that “feeds” the cancer.
At the base of this global systemic disorder is a systemic value disorder. McMurtry goes into more detail in his books Unequal Freedoms: The Global Market as an Ethical System (1998), The Cancer Stage of Capitalism First Edition (1999), Value Wars: The Global Market Versus the Life Economy (2002), and The Cancer Stage of Capitalism: From Crisis to Cure Second Edition. Basically he shows in pains-taking detail why the life predicaments we are in are fundamentally because money-value has trumped life-value in almost all of our deliberations and until we wake up to this realisation and put in life-value above money-value, the one-way degenerate and undeniable trend of life despoilation will not mend.
In trying to come to a better understanding of the root of this life injustice, a verse from Scriptures come readily to mind:
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms…Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.– NIV Ephesians 6:12, 14-16
What I have learnt over the years in interpreting the scriptures in my pursuit for truth, wisdom and social justice, is that “spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” are not without but exist deep within our psyche, within our individual and collective unconscious. Synchronistically, a few days ago, I came across an article by Paul Levy that connected McMurtry’s global cancer system with the unrecognised cancer within our psyche.
This blog article was initially composed in July 2016 and completed in August 2016. It was not posted then as I sensed that doing so would have been premature. Given the recent spate of local, regional and international events, I sense the time is now right and ripe to bring Prof John McMurtry’s life’s work to a more general audience in a less sterile and more engaging conversational format based on email communications between myself and Prof McMurtry.
Hopefully, this missive would help open up avenues for a better understanding of the human condition, the challenges we face in understanding the brain, consciousness, the self, the mind, all of our social constructs, and would serve as the foundation for follow-up posts that would attempt to build a fully-life coherent account of our past blunders and hubris, and how we can better learn from the errors of our past, to help to consciously and coherently create a more socially-shared and participatory-prosperous future based on peace and harmony for people and planet.