Thursday, August 8, 2013

Integral anti-capitalism continued

Continuing this IPS thread. Joseph’s last post in another thread on open source (OS) is thought provoking. Balancing OS with an initiatory system is quite a challenge, since the latter has been conducted in secret for most of its history lest the teachings be profaned and misappropriated. With open source availability to any and all information, and the ability to do what we will with it in the hopes that we’ll find our way to an individual, creative and societally useful expression, is at best naïve and at worst dangerous. Still, open source is the wave of the emerging paradigm, economic or otherwise, so how do we temper the legitimate concerns? 

Again I’ll use the example of a school system, free public education in grades K-12. This is an open source educational model, free of charge, recognizing the need for inculcating societal mores as well as intellectual development capable of civic duty like responsible voting and obtaining a productive job. While the information is free and openly available there is still an initiatory system in place. One starts in K by learning their alphabet and their numbers, etc. One gets feedback from a teacher and graded on their progress, and is required to make sufficient progress in various subjects to move on to the next grade. One doesn’t have to get all A’s; C’s will pass one along. Everyone has equal opportunity here but not equal results.* Still, the K-12 educational system is open source and in some ways similar to an initiatory system. 

Where the latter is different and the public educational system can learn is in training other aspects of the human being, not just their intellectual capacity. As one small example, the use of imagery in learning, as well as music, chant, movement. Granted these things have been staples of public education for eons but the recent trend has been to defund such programs and remove them from the curriculum. We’ve even seen trends to remove the likes of critical thinking courses. We’ve come to just want trained workers so they get vocational training. Without a well-rounded education they find themselves in jobs without the other skills and training to fulfill the rest of their lives. Hence consumerism is what’s left. 

And then there is ‘spirituality.’ That’s a tough one for public education because a landmark of the Enlightenment has been the separation of church and state. And spirituality goes into the religion bin, and that just cannot be taught in public schools. So we let that aspect of our lives be indoctrinated by churches and/or esoteric orders, which are again ‘schools’ with teachers and grades and tests, all necessary. Or course we are also familiar with the many abuses here, given that with this particular topic we are dealing with God, Reality and other ultimates, not just how to do a better mundane job or recite poetry. And with this field comes immense power over not just education but entire lives and souls. 

So first thing is of course to implement postmetaphysicality into spirituality. One aspect of that is to remove the illusion that we can come to know directly what God wants of us, the universe and everything. And/or perhaps that there even is a God as traditionally conceived. We’ve seen time and again where this metaphysical path leads and it is not pretty. We can still have the 'spiritual' without God or such metaphysics. But it is of an entirely different breed.

Hence this forum is one avenue for exploring how this might come to be. And open source. And within a sanctified generative (en)closure. And within a pluralistic community of the adequate that provides feedback and direction. And P2P. And distributed. We are integral postmetaphysical spirituality. And right here, right now, we are part of the solution.

* A recurrent liberal argument on this point is that if one comes from a poor family with insufficient money for adequate nutrition, there are not getting a true equal opportunity. Hence the need for raising minimum wages to living wages so that such families, whose parents may have only got the C’s and have lower-wage jobs (not equal results) still earn enough to feed their families properly to give their children the opportunity to do better.

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