changing the vector of changes


changes follow the manner of living

“At the beginning, any new manner of living in a human community is lived by one or a few individuals, but if that new manner of living begins to be systemically conserved in the community generation after generation, a new culture arises, and with its conservation, eventually a new biological lineage and a new kind of being may appear.  This has happened many times along the course of human history as a process in which new manners of living the body and its relations have appeared through the conservation of the new networks of conversations (new cultures) realized through those new manners of living the body and its relations.  The general result is that as the new manners of living the body and its relations entail the generation of new relational spaces as forms of community living, new individual and community identities appear.  In summary, a culture may be conserved as a closed network of conversations for numerous generations until some change in the conversations conserved takes place.  If such a change occurs in the symbolic domain as a change in the manner of living the body and its relations by the members of the community, a new space of relations appears, a cultural change takes place, and a new culture may begin that may lead to biological changes both in the somatic and the genetic domains of its members.”

Origins Appendix 9

result and process ...

The things most people refer to when they wish to talk about a culture are the artifacts, the things produced by the culture.  Their art and music, their political and religious institutions, their buildings, tools, technologies, and of course language. 

How we live depends on the context around us; and this context includes all the “things” that we have generated. 
We are deeply influenced by the cumulated artifacts that have to do with our daily doings. The context we have created and grown in feels meaningful and sometimes comfortable as we have grown to fit it. 

Yet all these “artifacts” are the result of a manner of living together; and they evolve as the manner evolves.
The evolution between our manners of living and the artifacts of our cultures is the same as that between any being and its medium; a co-drifting that we usually name “evolution”. 

we are not trapped 

We are not robots who must only operate according to program or milieu.  We are inventive, creative, and do generate new things which in turn influence how we live, sometimes unpredictably.  Our ability to reflect in language, to reflect on our desires, and our ethics, and our sense of freedom creates a space such that we can change what we don’t like. 

One cannot predict what will eventually happen in a complex, evolving epigenic network of conserved but discontinuous relations that shift in space and time.  So how do we plan?  How do we design our futures? 

I look at our ancient history, I look at what has been conserved to make us the kind of beings we are.  What has been conserved is a manner of being with each other, and this persists through all cultures in the core of the mother child relationship.  And because it resonates with the way we have been biologically constituted over many millennia, it resonates with our sense of well being throughout our lives.   We are constituted a beings that thrive in love, trust and intimacy, and wither without.  And we love to play, and thus create and do things together.

As we do what we do in this emotional relational orientation, the cultures and artifacts arise around this will be coherent with the doings. We cannot control “what” but we can deeply affect the quality of our arising worlds.  Not magically, not quickly, there are always intergenerational changes. But our constitution is on “our” side.

And of course there is much more that is deeply meaningful to us linked with this manner of living.  According to context love also manifests as awareness of beauty, spirituality, mystery, joy and sadness. For each of us it becomes a lifelong expansion of vision and wisdom -- a coherent constellation of awarenes that we cannot define but can evoke as we talk about “consciousness”.

peaceable kingdom

the hundredth monkey