Psycho-Social Reality Check

Expansion-minded cultures one and all sprang from a visionary seed cultivated long ago from humanity’s collective imagination.  It spurred cultural and technological developments and creative endeavoring that has brought us to where we are today. Exciting, and bittersweet.

It's urgent now that we question the central metaphor of our collective imagination, which can be summarized:

Humanity is a mighty tree.  Its branches sway in the powerful winds of goals and dreams.  Its trunk, standing upright and efficiently shuttling resources, symbolizes humanity realizing its potential.  Its roots, sunk deep and wide into the Earth’s rich soil, are its means of ongoing attachment and nourishment.

At base, the form of this shared vision has us embody a sense of common ground.  Most people relate easily to the experience of seeking common ground and often find it essential to their own willingness to participate meaningfully in human circles.

More broadly, having shared vision and awareness -- communicating through language (including metaphor) and memory (including authenticity) – provides the relational core of being human, or as some like to put it, of being “social creatures.”

In our shared vision, when focused on common ground, goals and dreams, and realizing potential, humanity accepts a fate of being tied to each other not directly but indirectly, through our shared reliance on the Earth’s resources.  Unfortunately, today, as Earth distress increases to the level of crisis for a variety of reasons, we find ourselves plunged into lack of acceptance of our mutual condition. This is reflected in our rapidly changing views of each other, governance, regulation, media, and the like.  On a personal level, people in much of the world today find that failed attempts at reaching common ground outpace successful ones.  Some days wildly so.  Finding common ground with those we disagree with has become more of a frustrating burden than an exercise in visionary awareness.

Culturally too – from town meetings to social media – humanity finds itself overrun with the opposite of inner balance coming from peace or acceptance.  Extremes are the norm, and common ground beyond social circles is hard to come by.  Extremism in dangerous and out-of-control forms ever more constantly pulls at our attention and drains our resources.

Humanity’s common ground vision of itself seems to be failing.  Why?  If you have a one-word answer to that, think again.  I bet you can come up with another!  And another!  And another!   Righteous indignation hugely multiplied seems the only personally satisfying remedy, but there is another and I present it in part here.

Our common ground vision is failing because of the genuine and age-old difficulty of finding real and lasting positive potential in a challenging environment. In that light, OKIC makes the impossible possible.  With it, we have a tool for creating first the intention to relate differently to humanity's potential.  That said, the difficulty remains that we have to deal with extremes now. This must be addressed along with positive potential.

Humanity expresses itself through a wide and sometimes dizzying array of shared media and personal circumstances.  On top of that we, as individuals and collectives, tend not to take responsibility in new and courageous ways unless we absolutely have to.  When extremes get loud, the challenge with responsibility is to accept it as "the ability to respond" rather than "the need to react."

Add to the difficulty that circumstances are complex and slippery, increasingly so due to globalization.  The only easy path is to succumb to doubt and despair through clinging closer to dogmatic attachments and orderly ways.  Setting aside dogma and orderliness, we are likely to face disorientation within the constantly changing shared landscape - our "humanity-scape" - with no sense that it is possible to deal with it, personally, collectively, or both.

On a given day, we consider what it would take to participate responsibly and are likely to 1) not understand how to, 2) not have the freedom to, 3) fear retaliation if we do, or 4) all of the above.  When we do take responsibility, we find ourselves at the mercy of other people’s extreme reactions and behaviors.  This is precisely why we must invite a new shared vision for creative participation to inform and inspire our ways of relating.

So humanity in part benefits from being globally connected, yet we also share in heightened challenges to our physical, mental, and emotional environments.  Taking responsibility with grace and courage in light of the emerging complex humanity-scape will mean moving forward as catalysts (making positive change easier rather than more difficult) rather than by wearing badges of martyrdom.  The same opportunity is true for all, regardless of particular special categories within humanity that you may represent.  Overall, humanity’s challenges will fail to resolve in our own experiences when we resort to clinging, and resulting control, fear, and attachments.  In those, we tend to create nothing of real value other than failed common ground that we must then defend.

Our expansion-minded predecessors clung to an unflappable, seemingly limitless Earth for their creative potential.  In this immature position in relationship to the Earth, humanity finds itself trapped in doomed extraction-oriented futures.  Yet we seem content to rage against or lament the limits we face.  We are behaving in extremes like a collective of unhappy babies at a drained breast.  Largely unawares, humanity’s disgruntled ways and collective fatigue are also about seeing ourselves only in terms of our dependence on Earth's abundance.

According to humanity’s current shared vision, individuals are dreamy creatures, full of realized and unrealized potential, being provided for directly by the Earth.  From the perspective of the creative potential of being, we are ready to ripen from our helpless positions, where we are wrapped in a dreamy fog of swaddling clothes, limited to receiving only the potential let through by our comfortable common ground territory, and paradoxically being reduced to the sad condition of constantly losing our cool over our quite reasonable and unavoidable lack of control.

In our extremes, we show that we have not surpassed the vision of our relationship to Earth where it is acceptable for mature adults to cry like hungry, tired, cold, dirty infants when we do not get what we want.  The fact does remain that for many adults and too many children, what is wanted is little different than what is needed:  basic food, rest, warmth, and a clean place to receive them.  In these cases, the crying out will continue, a good sign that such folks have retained the will to get their basic needs met!  For the rest of us, there is no cause for all the noise other than our habits of being needy, dreamy, unrealistic, and dogmatic in our relationship to humanity.

To this, Earth Mother is saying,

You are mature enough to walk now.  You can and must sustain yourselves on the fruits of your own potential.  They offer sweetness -- a symbol of the creative potential of being that is available to you all -- but, if ignored, will rot in your individuated, self-willed, needful pathologies. You must be caretakers and creators for one another instead of relying on me for that.  Step into a dynamic existence for yourselves while I rest and recharge. In your hands now is the tool you need in order to rebuild.

For the foreseeable future we remain Earth-bound – at least in bodily form.  The call to orient differently using OKIC, is not about abandoning, in body, mind, or emotion, our own or humanity’s Earthly existence.  To extend the metaphor, it is about finding our legs.

The all-encompassing, kaleidoscopic vision that humanity stands to gain mightily from is this:

As individuals, we are responsible first for the burden of extremes within ourselves. For our need fulfillment, we must learn and receive support for meaningful, generative communication.  For developing our capacity for expansion, we must find it inwardly, by first understanding how an individual’s creative potential relates to the collective. All individuals benefit from humanity’s shared light of souls centered by our timeless cosmic nature being remembered. Trust emanating from mutual appreciation of the mysterioscopic truths informing us in our time-constrained world.

This whole OKIC representational schema might still, at the end, strike you as like a remote possibility given the extremes of all of the fantasy and obsession-driven realism that fuels the external conditions of day to day life we find today.  Ironically, the common ground model makes a comfortable position from which to protect our egos from criticism.  By deferring to the abstract lack of common ground, no one of us need be responsible.  All of humanity (“human nature”) is generically responsible, or the Earth is, for not being able to serve all that we imagined possible from a place of individuation-centered common ground.

In approaching the sciences and all socio-cultural institutions anew through representational reality, humanity blossoms by taking on the responsibility for our own creative potential. With that is the real possibility of freeing humanity to change for the better. With that, the Earth begin to heal and renew. Any skepticism or cynicism about doing so makes sense in the context of reasonable attachment to, fear of, or regrets about the failing common ground vision.

Cultivating the seed of humanity’s potential directly in the Earth’s capacity has brought us to where we are, which includes amazing advances, technologies, and feats of wonder.  We and our ancestors expanded, through our realizations of growth within the Earth’s giving presence, over and above getting our basic survival needs met.  This way of tapping into our creative potential however has been indirect.  Receiving the metaphorical light of her admiration in this way, humanity has basked in ever greater dreams rich in shining approval, protection, and the promises of more.  Our expanding presence channeled that potential, rooted in Earth’s generosity, to develop both useful and cunning influences over each other and her potential by enhancing a variety of human capacities.

What we experienced at one time or another as the light of her admiration has turned into a spotlight of interrogation – of ourselves and each other.  Humanity’s extremes have been unearthed and contain within them the undeniable cry of humanity's journey to representational reality, ready to find its legs.