New Civilization News: Something new, open, free and exciting    
 Something new, open, free and exciting33 comments
13 Oct 2005 @ 14:39, by Flemming Funch

Hm, that's what it says in the tagline of my blog here.

An old rigid civilization is reluctantly dying. Something new, open, free and exciting is waking up.

... I'm trying to remember what I meant. Trying to notice if it makes any sense to me right now.

An old rigid civilization is reluctantly dying. Well, I would only say something rather negative like that if I can point to some kind of alternative. I hold myself to be some kind of optimist, after all.

The old civilization is centralized, bureaucratic, moralizing, closed-minded, unsustainable. Not hard to find many signs of that. But yet it is still there. It has become even more surreal, but it hasn't exactly died. I moved somewhere that was less surreal, but the global civilization hasn't changed much.

So, what's the new and exciting part? Well, in part it was based on a trust in collective intelligence. That somehow, to the degree that people are free to be creative and to communicate, new ways will emerge.

Closed can't compete with open. Owned and expensive can't compete with free. Limited and controlled can't compete with free in the other sense of the word. Boring can't compete with exciting.

At least in the long term. In the short term, those who hold power and control can keep things limited, closed and life-less for quite a while. Based on their ability to manipulate, their ability to coerce people through laws, economic pressure, religious doctrine, etc. We have to make a living, have to stay out of jail, have to appear relatively normal. So there are many things we could do, which maybe we would be more inspired to do, but they don't appear in the short term to be economically viable, legal, or socially acceptable.

My optimism came in part from noticing many little trends that point in the direction of self-organization, of freed creativity, of things becoming free. The Internet is still the best example of that. People making open source software, which is free and of higher quality than closed alternatives. People blogging, sharing their mind, reporting on stuff that otherwise wasn't reported on. People sharing their photos, their music, their thoughts.

But it is a fairly even battle. New ways also appear of making things more closed. Copyright laws are closing more things down, even fair use is at risk. Companies patent large numbers of ridiculous items, like self-evident design elements, software algorithms, business procedures, and life forms.

The media industries try hard to lock down any hardware or software that might play or store or transport any kind of media. They come up with ways of controlling what you do with their words or pictures, to suit their business model. They might succeed in having laws passed, and already have in some places, that make it illegal for you to resist.

I'd like to believe that all of those kinds of efforts will fail, necessarily. But I can't say I am sure.

I believe that sufficiently well-informed people will make different choices. I believe freedom is more powerful than control. I believe creativity beats conformity. I believe there's something inherent in life that makes it impossible to squash in the long run.

I guess the thing to do is to shine the light on the signs of life that appear. The new, open, free, exciting stuff.

And I suppose that's what I'm doing here. I'm just a little out of the habit.


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33 comments

13 Oct 2005 @ 14:59 by jstarrs : Well said...
..I've just started using a work group here for sharing info and it's a treat.
Apart from the personal contats through here.
I'm just experimenting with a Framakey ([link])set using Open office and stuff on my USB key.
I'm a slow dummy but little by little, thanks to you and the people with the same vison as yourself, I believe I might just be becoming a little more 'interactive' and sharing who I am and what little I might be able to share, with others.  



13 Oct 2005 @ 20:43 by dewf @24.242.9.156 : why wait?
The world is indeed transforming, and it will be different in many ways, but it will also be similar in many ways.

What's changing is the freedom to engage in whatever restrictions you want, and to not engage in those which aren't appealing.

Multitudes of things that aren't appealing to you will go on for a long time yet-- but it doesn't matter because as this century progresses, you will become increasingly aware that you can choose which beliefs you'd like to entertain. You simply won't have to interface with that which is not your preference. ie, want a world without ketchup? No need to hope that other people will "get it" eventually... just change your personal reality. Mustard all the way, baby. That may seem like a trivial example, but replace 'ketchup' with your favorite bogeyman and you're onto something big.

The world does not need saving, in fact, it doesn't matter one bit. The truth is that you can do whatever you'd like, period. There are no such things as victims. Species that go extinct are quite intentionally accomplishing that feat-- there are other dimensions their species-minds wish to be exploring. (The audacity of humans to think that everything revolves around them, ha!)

The point is that you're already free-- now, completely, utterly, unconditionally. If you are choosing, you can experience a mature open society right this second, in YOUR personal day to day interactions. There are plenty of people already living that way right this second.

Corporations can't stop you.
Public opinion can't stop you.
Laws can't stop you.
Your history, your reality 5 seconds ago can't stop you.

But your beliefs will.

So what do you believe?

Watch what you're actually doing moment to moment-- behind every action is a belief. But there is no need to force change upon yourself, to fight your instincts. Just WATCH. You'll start to see other options.

You might have read some years ago that the universe was discovered to be anisotropic. That is, before, the universe was assumed to be isotropic-- there was no up or down or sideways, no axis. No orienting direction.

Reality is isotropic, personal reality (filtered through beliefs) is anisotropic. There seems to be a certain flow of events, "the way things happen," etc. So we spend our lives swimming against the very current that we have generated... not that there is anything wrong with that! It's what we came here for. But if you're so inclined, you can decide to let things flow in other directions.

How?

The answer is NOW-- the gateway to all things, solvent of all illusions.  



13 Oct 2005 @ 22:01 by Joel Sax @68.4.187.230 : Transformation?
I have contented myself with what John Milton called the "Paradise Within" which can be more fulfilling than the tangible one that we make in this world. I would do more except I realize that after years and years of struggling against the beasts and demons of this world I haven't managed to move anyone towards a more just society. At times, my illness has gotten in the way with grandiose visions and religiosity. I also wonder if I have enough sincere emotional depth to help others. Am I a good thing or a bad thing? This question is what keeps me from the activism of my past.  


13 Oct 2005 @ 22:57 by ming : Now
Thanks, dewf, for the excellent pep talk. I will print that out and look at it every day. I might at times say it in a very similar way. It is basically how I look at it, philosophically speaking.

But then, from there to living your life that way, that's the hard part of course. Am I really free to not live in a polluted big brother world? Am I free to not have to pay taxes and rent and to work? Am I free to do things that are illegal for moral reasons?

In principle, for sure. As a cosmology for eternal spiritual beings, for sure. I choose my reality. Everything is possible in this universe, and there's always some dimension to match where I'm at. But how does that work, very down-to-earth and pragmatically speaking?

I'd like to be part of a new civilization where people choose differently. So, do i just act like that is already happening, like it is already there? Obviously, many people ARE choosing differently from the old civilization I'm having a problem with. So, do I just hang out with them, and focus on how we'd like to do things, and ignore the old world? Do we move out in the wilderness and start over, or do we do it right where we are?

See, at other times I'd be the one with answers to that kind of questions. Now I'm not so sure.  



14 Oct 2005 @ 02:29 by dewf @69.45.164.2 : ah, practical matters
I may or may not expand upon these at some future time, depending on whether I feel like it, or whether I feel it would actually help. I have a deepening suspicion that there's something wacky about the nature of 'enlightenment' (or whatever you want to call it), where it really can't even be discussed or communicated. It's kind of like a secret language, but it can only be understood after you're already there. So it's basically useless.

But anyhow, this is what started my practical exploration of NOW:

Truth 1: You can do anything you want, anything at all.

"But what about consequences?"

Truth 2: The first truth is still applicable AFTER a consequence has occured. You will find yourself in another NOW, still free. Just different scenery. Maybe even scary scenery, but you're just passing through.

"What about limitations in the NOW-- like being in jail because of something I did, or having my car repossessed for not paying bills, or... you know, impediments to following my desires in the moment?"

Truth 3: This is a twofold answer.

The first part: What is Infinity minus 1? Infinity minus 2? Infinity minus 30,000? (Answer: "a lot") You're so obsessed with what you CAN'T do that you're eclipsing everything you CAN do. Ok, that's kind of a sheisty answer, but still true. Think about it.

The second part: Any limitation or obstruction experienced in the present moment, when you're trying to follow your desires, is a signal from your true self. PAY CLOSE ATTENTION! In other words, your mind is confused about what YOU really want in that moment. (Rest assured there is a difference between YOU, your real essence, and the "you" of your mind)

In other words, you cannot sabotage yourself. You can waste all of your money today, and if tomorrow you experience a lack of money as a consequence... then all you are experiencing is a lack of money. It doesn't have to be a PROBLEM until you "want" to do something involving money. That's when you experience the conflict. That's when it's time to pay attention-- get out of scared reaction mode and actually check within yourself what you want. The true SELF is profoundly intelligent, and if you're really meant to do something involving money (when you apparently have none), it will unerringly lead you to the proper situation. But you have to follow it. It will not betray you, for you are the same.

That last truth was the key that set me free. People get so upset when they experience any sort of conflict, especially lack of money.

But when you're really following yourself moment to moment, day by day, and you experience some kind of impossible urge-- maybe you're broke and you want to go out to eat, whatever... you can be guaranteed that it's time to pay attention to yourself in a very fundamental way. It will guide you. Are you even hungry? do you really want to eat that? What do you feel inside? What this really is, is a profound blessing. It's a solvent of cliche-- the mind operates upon cliche and pattern... whereas the SELF is all about novel experience and true uniqueness. In those moments of conflict, that's a pristine opportunity to learn about yourself, and what YOU really are, as opposed to all the mental conditionings.

This is why Christians have that whole thing about... "it's easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter Heaven" I GUARANTEE that you are far more unique than you could POSSIBLY imagine. If you had an unlimited amount of money-- or whatever you believe would give you permission to do absolutely anything you want, every second of every day-- you'd just keep entertaining your same silly, outdated, cliche'd ideas about yourself. Experiencing not-being-able-to-do-what-you-think-you-want-to-do dissolves those, by forcing you to re-evaluate what you're trying to do, IN THE MOMENT. Give yourself permission now. I've learned that my true self is not particularly interested in money. And that the lack thereof hasn't proved an obstacle yet.

You will never be less for any consequence having occurred. Freedom, NOW, still exists on the other side.

You will never be less for *apparently* not being able to do something you'd like to do... if you're paying attention, it's a perfect opportunity to drop one more illusion about yourself. This isn't just about flat-out accepting things as they are-- it's about really looking within and noticing that you've been on automatic pilot.  



14 Oct 2005 @ 03:27 by ming : Enlightenment
Ah, very wise words again. And, yes, kind of silly to even talk about. Words get in the way. Playing tricks in the mind.

So, hmm, the real obstacle being in the mind. We disagree with ourselves, thinking we want something different than we have, and thinking there's a problem about it. So, we resist, and fight it, and try to think up solutions. Where really there are plenty. They just don't necessarily look the way we think they're supposed to look.

So, a freedom found in paying attention to what is really there. The stuff you have to work with is the stuff that is there, not the stuff that isn't there, that "should" be there. And we're so busy looking for the stuff that "should" be there that we don't notice the wonders that are.

What one CAN do and what IS possible is much more important than what happens not to be available. There seems to be more of what isn't possible than what is, but that might just be the illusion. Or the confusion. As one really only needs exactly what one really wants right now, and not all the other stuff that isn't really flowing anyway. If I'm really hungry and there's a sandwich in front of me, that's probably the one to eat, and it is of little interest what piles of food aren't found in my fridge. If there's one door in front of me, chances are that's the one to open, rather than all the doors that aren't here. And if I truly need another door, I'll probably find it there if I look closer.

None of these words make it practical, of course. Yes, something one can only really understand when one is already there. Which is much more simple than one thinks, yet much more complex than what can be made out in thoughts.  



14 Oct 2005 @ 08:25 by jstarrs : Consequences...
..is the key word, you're right dwef.
Being aware that we are a result of our past actions (i.e. a part of a "polluted big brother world") but also free to create the causes for a "pure land".
Basically, taking responsibility for one's actions and being aware of their results.  



14 Oct 2005 @ 11:12 by ashanti : The Power of NOW
Its a good little book. Tells you everything you already know deep inside. The hard part is to stay in the NOW, when all this stuff is happening - stuff that intrudes - taxes, rules, regulations, policies, disasters, fear, loathing, war, manipulated reality "war on terror", a maniacal desire for centralised contol. It is as if a black hole is trying to suck in the whole world, and every individual consciousness in it. The challenge is to stay conscious. To stay awake, in the NOW. Because if we don't evolve into that, we will become extinct.  


14 Oct 2005 @ 12:21 by jerryvest : I appreciate your optimism, Flemming...
it is contagious as represented by the excellent comments that follow your article. Enthusiasm, inspiration, creativity, hope, joy, happiness and love are all available to us when we open ourselves to our true nature. Our beliefs are limiting as they are only assumptions about reality. What's to prevent us from being Free when we have an open, accepting, curious and allowing Mind?

Thank you all for your contributions to experiencing and developing a new civilization. As one of my favorite teacher states: "People are willing to go to war and even give up their lives for a cause, but they cannot give up the causes of their suffering." (Tarthang Tulku)  



14 Oct 2005 @ 14:49 by ming : Optimism
I think our main weapon, or tool, is that we can imagine something better, no matter what. Doesn't have to depend on what's already there, or the reasons why not. We can simply decide to seek something better. Nothing can stop us from doing so. That's what's cool, and that in itself is reason for optimism. No matter how bad things are, if we can at all imagine that it could be different, there will be a way.  


14 Oct 2005 @ 14:51 by ming : Power of Now
That book is my bible. I read a few pages in it once in a while. So simple and yet so hard. Staying conscious in the Now.  


14 Oct 2005 @ 15:34 by jstarrs : Mindfulness...
..we all have different ways of saying it...;0)
Mind you, it's one thing deciding to seek something better, another knowing what that 'better' might be!
Does Bush really think he's seeking something better?  



14 Oct 2005 @ 15:52 by Hanae @68.164.48.33 : Yes

One MUST imagine that it could be different - that it SHOULD be different.

This is why one also must at times also point out "how bad things are," when and where they are.

Although it has often been labeled as "negativism" or "pessimism," it is not so, it is in fact all very much part of the process.

Glad to see you're back and kicking, Ming-san.

Too bad about the Google position thingy, I am sure you could have picked up a trick or two there. On the other hand, maybe you didn't really belong there after all. It's hard to imagine you as a one of the cogs in a big corporate machine (even if it is Google.) We prefer our Ming on the wild side, more of a fringe dweller, if you know what I mean.

You're back, right?  



14 Oct 2005 @ 16:24 by Hanae @68.164.48.33 : Back

I mean back in the here and now?

Back to NCN?

NCN is a great project. Or a great premise, anyway, because at this stage it does feels like it is only a mere shadow of what it could be. Or, I don't know, that it has become something other than what it was meant to be. Or that it has stopped growing.

This one doesn't mean to be a pest, nor does this one expect Ming to carry this network alone on his shoulders like Atlas but this one has faith in Ming and his project (call it optimism.)

This one just wanted Ming to know that ;-)  



14 Oct 2005 @ 17:51 by jstarrs : I'll go along with that...
....;0)  


14 Oct 2005 @ 17:54 by ming : Ming is Back
Ha, yes, I'm back in the here and now. I'm present, even if unaccounted for. And maybe better if I'm independent of corporate machines, even if it means I'm struggling and moneyless half the time. And maybe I'll realize that it is just an illusion, and I'm fine, I don't know.

And NCN, hm, yeah, that's pretty much how I look at it. It is both great, and also only a shadow of what it could be, and something else than what it was intended to be. Which is maybe fine and good in itself. Or maybe I or somebody will come along one day and provide a catalyst that kicks it into another orbit.

That things aren't quite right always provides great motivation for seeking what is new and better.  



15 Oct 2005 @ 22:31 by vaxen : spacetime energy
players games masters makers of games

mass - the constant of proportionality between velocity and momentum. (Newton)

energy - the capacity to perform work

TES - Theory of Enformed Systems (Foundation of Systemics)

Maxwells Demon cannot operate:

Enformy: The capacity to organize.

In the "Theory of Enformed Systems"
"wholes" are "parts" and "parts" are identicle.
Wholes are parts and parts are wholes.

Self determined Pan determined At cause

Wikifying NCN would be just fan-tastic!  



17 Oct 2005 @ 14:58 by ming : Wiki
I've thought about that. Yeah, no big reason why not. I actually wrote a wiki program, so maybe I'll just adapt that. I think I just need to make it slightly easier, as some people somehow don't get the wiki idea that you can just edit the page, and how you create links to other pages.  


19 Oct 2005 @ 20:15 by vaxen : oh...
i fervently hope that you will instantiate that and as far as 'getting it' I think most people here know how to ask questions but mostly it is really easy and i don't think that would be a problem. hope you do it soon...  


16 Dec 2005 @ 10:05 by bapty : fundamental enlightenment
On 'why wait' by dewf 13 Oct 2005

Individuals can change their personal reality, up to a point. It’s easier for the young, but as they get older and come up against Machine-made diseases of body and mind they will find it not so easy.

Picture Buddhist monks with their begging bowls. It is their choice to withdraw from the world and humble themselves, but if everyone made that choice the bowls would go empty.

Nature’s creatures have no choice but to obey instinct if they are to survive, and following instinct to the letter, in the circumstances for which it evolved, is their happiness.

For intelligent humans there is no practical future choice either. They must design their own worldwide survival strategy, to follow which will be half of their happiness.

Young Americans and Britons think they have choice, but that is because the Machine that they despise provides a safety net. There is little or no safety net for those elsewhere in the world who are starving or getting killed in wars.

So we have something to learn from nature, but we have an advantage over nature. We have the abstract choices of intellect, the other half of our happiness.  



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i apologize if this sort of thing annoys you, but i thought you should know. this isn't the first time i've found others' entries/works on her site.  



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Other entries in
29 Nov 2008 @ 22:27: THE ENEMY WITHIN
6 Aug 2008 @ 07:40: In quest of a New Civilization: Summary and going ahead
12 Mar 2008 @ 17:14: The Vital Necessity for Agreement
6 Aug 2007 @ 11:40: America The Vindictive
13 Jun 2007 @ 17:47: Scale of confront, including mechanics of polarization
15 Jul 2006 @ 16:05: Global Assembly Progress Report
2 Jun 2006 @ 14:11: Boring or Specific?
19 Apr 2006 @ 12:52: The Global Social Reality
10 Feb 2006 @ 08:13: The true you
7 Jan 2006 @ 12:57: The Unworkable Practice of Permanent Leadership



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