Response to Mother Pelican Journal

Subject: PONDER TITLES: Mother Pelican Journal ~ Volume 15, Number 8, August 2019
To: Phillip Ross <phillip@pilgrim-platform.org>
Cc: Peter Challen CCMJ <peterchallen@gmail.com>

Phillip Ross http://pilgrim-platform.org/ } … please pick one, say, title(s) from attached email worthy of our private Christian discussion in context of OUR mutual interest in “God’s Great Biblical Plan”, the ongoing projects we ponder??  e.g:

☆ Decolonising the Economy, by Laura Basu [QUOTES:  We also want to think about solutions. What kinds of economic model can enable human flourishing worldwide on a healthy planet? … Global finance — Norfield has ranked countries according to an ‘index of power’ in the world economy. The index adds up countries’ nominal GDP, Foreign Direct Investment stock outstanding, outstanding cross-border lending and borrowing by banks, the use of their currency in international markets, and military expenditure. The top two countries in this ranking are the US (by miles) and Britain, which comes in second because of its immense financial sector. Other power players are China, France, Japan, Germany, the Netherlands, Canada and Switzerland. Britain’s financial sector helps offset its enormous chronic trade deficit. Out of some 200 countries in the world, perhaps 20 count as major players in global affairs. A country’s financial sector can be a deciding factor in whether it will be one of those players.]
A 21st Century Economics for the People of a Living Earth, by David Korten  [I, RVFoss, have corresponded with this  LIBERAL SECULAR  author.  QUOTES:  Our most prestigious universities continue to teach economics principles now known to be driving humanity to self-extinction. An economics for the 21st century will guide us from an economy that empowers corporations in the service of money to an economy that empowers people in the service of life. … 
]
The Failure of Mainstream Economics
The economic theory known as neoliberalism that became the global standard in the mid- 20th century had a major role in guiding humanity into its current existential crisis. That same theory, which continues to be the standard in most all the world’s universities, now poses a major barrier to navigating a global course change.Economics lost its way as an intellectual discipline in the mid-19th century when a group of influential economists sought to raise the field to a stature comparable to physics. To that end, they borrowed a mathematical model from physics as the foundation of future economic theorizing and chose money as a readily available metric. By the mid-20th century, economics had made GDP growth the defining measure of economic performance and making money the economy’s defining purpose.Unfortunately for people and Earth, those economic theories are based on assumptions that contradict reality. They assume a world in which money is wealth and a storehouse of value, making money creates wealth, and there are no limits to growth in consumption. Based on the assumptions of this imagined world, generations of business and governmental leaders have been taught to believe that financial assets can and will grow perpetually and if we each focus on maximizing personal financial ret urns, markets will assure that everyone will eventually get richer and all will benefit.

To this end, public policy supports an economy devoted to maximizing private returns to private financial assets. The result is a system prone to collapse if financial returns do not grow perpetually. …

Eight Principles of 21st Century Economics

The understanding of life and human possibility outlined above can be distilled into eight essential principles of a 21st century economics to guide our path to a viable future. Each raises significant questions we can adequately answer only through our collective learning over time. e.g:

Principle #4 of 8: Money. Create society’s money supply through a transparent public process that advances the common good; not through secret processes that grow the profits of for-profit banks and financiers.]
[QUOTES:  Imagine the world thirty years from now. Very likely we’ll see quantum computing, nano-tech medicine, 3D-printed organs, artificial intelligence surpassing that of the human brain, possibly fusion power. Advances in molecular biology could be pushing life-expectancy ahead faster than we are ageing. Our bodies, senses, and mental functions may be augmented in ways that seem like science …


Exponential Time

Five hundred years ago, there was little concept of progress. Time was measured cyclically—the cycles of days and nights, the moon, the seasons, the years, a lifetime. One generation lived and worked much as the previous generation.

With the advent of the Renaissance, the European Enlightenment, and the Industrial Revolution, change came faster. People could remember the days of their childhood, before the printing press, the steam engine, or electricity. We looked back to how things were, and forward to how things would be. Cyclical time had given way to linear time.

Today, we look back now, not only to how things have changed, but also to how much faster things are changing. We’ve entered the era of exponential time.

Exponential Growth

Exponential growth occurs when the current growth of a system reinforces future growth—a process known as positive feedback (the output from the system is fed back as additional input, amplifying the output further).

Take population, for example. The more people there are, the more children are born. The more children that are born, the more parents there will be in the future, and the more children will then be born, and so on. If there are no constraints, the population keeps growing faster and faster.

Population growth does not follow a true exponential curve in the mathematical sense, where the rate of growth is a constant percentage of the current size. Other factors like health care, sanitation, and resources also have an impact. In what follows I shall use the term “exponential growth” in the more everyday sense of an “exponential-like growth.”

The exponential growth of human culture, science and technology likewise stems from positive feedback. New understandings and new tools lead to even better knowledge and more advanced technologies. The more efficient and effective the new innovations, the faster the rate of progress.

We see it today in the rate at which new scientific discoveries are made, new technologies are created, new products are developed, new social conventions and skills take hold, and existing ideas, technologies and products are improved upon. They are all building on each other, and all coming faster and faster. …

… What If There Were No Future? …

Not surprisingly, most people have great difficulty accepting that there may not be a long future ahead for our species. It’s the last thing we want to hear. We knew human beings would not last forever, but most of us have imagined the eventual end to be way off in the distant future. We think this intelligent, creative, self-aware being ought to be around for the long-term. The realization that our collective end may arrive much sooner than expected can come as quite a shock. …

… Here, however, we are facing the end, not of our personal lives, but also of our species. And this can be much harder to accept. When we look at all we have created, all the good there is in us, all that we hold dear, and all we might yet become, it seems almost impossible to imagine this not continuing for a long while.

To make matters worse, what little future may lie ahead, does not look as rosy as we might have hoped. The increasing strain of exponential growth on various human, social, and ecological systems point to things coming to a head this century. Or rather, I should say “increasingly coming to a head,” since the consequences of this stress are already apparent in today’s world. Hardly welcome news for younger generations today who, even now, view the future with growing despondency. Or for parents, as they picture their children and grandchildren growing up in worlds very different from those they’d hoped they would have.

Collective Grieving

As the reality of the unraveling hits home, there will be widespread despair, depression, and distress. What have we done? This is terrible, the future looks so bleak. … How will we deal with such pain and grief? …

Resilience

How then will things unfold? Perhaps the only certainty is uncertainty. The future will not only be unpredictable, it will become increasingly so. As developments are compressed into shorter and shorter intervals, the prediction horizon will move closer and closer, making it more challenging to make any long-term prediction.

Rather than trying to predict what might happen, and what particular eventualities we should prepare for, we should be focusing on preparing for a future in which the only certainty is uncertainty. For this we will need to become more resilient.

Resilience is defined as the ability to recover from setbacks. In this case, the ability to recover from unanticipated challenges and problems as the winds of change whip up into a storm of change, and then a hurricane of change.

Bending trees provide a good lesson. … The same is true for us. If we are to survive the coming storms—along with some unanticipated exceptional gusts:   First, like trees, we need to be flexible. We’ve never been in this situation before, and have no past experience to go on. We’ll need to let go of outdated thinking, habitual reactions, and assumptions as to how to respond, and find the inner freedom to see things with fresh eyes and draw more fully on our creativity.

Second, like the trees, we will need greater inner stability. We need to be stably anchored in the ground of our own being, so that when the unexpected suddenly arrives, we can remain relatively cool, calm and collected, not thrown into fear and panic. …

third factor that helps trees withstand a storm is being in a forest of trees. They soften the wind for each other. Similarly, we will need the support and companionship of others. The future is uncharted territory, and we will all feel vulnerable at times, needing to express our feelings or asking for emotional support. The stronger our community, the more resilient we will be, and the easier it will be to navigate the changes.

Caring for others will become more valuable than ever, helping alleviate stress and suffering, adapting to unexpected circumstances, letting go of cherished lifestyles, and adjusting to new social and economic realities. We will need to open our hearts and be more forgiving, not only of others but also of the situation we are in, and of the species itself. Seeing ourselves with kinder, non-blaming, eyes. … Instead I can be more understanding, more forgiving. … Nor does it mean I no longer care for the world around me. I still want to do what I can to preserve the planet. But now I want to do so for the planet’s own sake. …

A Blossoming of Consciousness

It also leads me to a different story of our cosmic significance. …

… So.  And here we are — the fruits of this budding: wondrous beings, capable of love and empathy, an appreciation of beauty, the creation of great art, music, and poetry. We have studied the world around us, and been awed by what we have discovered. We find meaning in our lives, a sense of justice, and an inner wisdom.

There is much to celebrate about us. The question is: Can we celebrate all that we are, while accepting that our species is here but for a brief flash of cosmic time?

I am reminded of the so-called “century plant” that flowers once in twenty or so years. When it does finally bloom, we marvel at the giant stalk, holding high a magnificent array of flower-laden branches. The spectacle is made all the more awesome by the knowledge that it flowers but once; then dies, its function complete. Can we celebrate ourselves in a similar light? Another exquisitely beautiful blossoming in the cosmos.

Can we let go of the cherished belief that we are here to stay, rejoice in our existence, and live our final days with grace?]

____________________
Wellness. Blessings. Discern. Amen.
Ray V. Foss
rayvfoss@aol.com  C: 304-483-0851
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