Toward an initiatic, no-ownership society
A call for idiots, again? :p
Thank you for the sobriety and courage in your words.
In my short life, I've experienced the limitations of both the consciousness and social change industry when approached separately. How might we put these two industries in conversation? What is the middle way? Perhaps the biggest question is the one we're facing in this interaction—how do we get people to work together; to align toward a shared purpose when the challenges we face are so massive? I don't know but definitely want to live into the answer, if we have time...
Tell me more. I'm in.
My concerns are:
1. Most people are in a state of passive consumption, entertainment and otherwise. If they stopped working and were allocated resources, I am afraid they would only sink deeper into this state. That is unless of a catastrophic shake up. But there are still legions of people who are essentially vegetables at this point.
2. How is one to make a religion without dogma or hierarchy? I understand not wanting all that but that sounds a like a game with no rules, it doesn't exist! I assume there would have to be some sort of structure or creed at least.
I wish I had more time to sit and fully digest this essay right now. Caught in my own narrow lane in the capitalist game, I am harried and brain-juggling too many tasks and details lately. Ironically, or perhaps fortunately, the work I'm doing in the world feels to me like it is part of the transformation...
Many of my thoughts vis-a-vis a tranformative movement/revolution for humanity are reflected in your piece: initiation & gnosis, debt jubilee, collectivism, collapse of heirarchies and control systems, etc. Where I get stuck is how we get there. A logical nuts-and-bolts blueprint is helpful and welcome—but the primary obstacles seem to be psychological, ontological. We are trapped in an egoic, rational-materialist prison as a species, and the systems of power and control are hell bent on keeping us locked inside.
I've been enjoying the Spiritual Histories course and reading Harpur's "Philosopher's Secret Fire" as a complement, because I sense that it's in the deep psyche and transpersonal/metaphysical realms that we can find out way out of this collective reality prison. Psychedelics could loosen the bars (one of my big hopes); I am willing to consider that AI could as well, but I can't shake the ominous Ahrimanic vibes of this technology getting unleashed in our current state of consciousness. It feels probable to me that techno-authoritarian dystopia is around the corner (if not already arriving) and may be an inevitable part of our initiatory process.
I've been pondering who the greatest magicians and alchemists are in our current world moment. Perhaps in Tibetan enclaves in India, or extant shamanic cultures, or here and there in isolated places. My hunch though is many of the most powerful and dangerous are within elite Western power structures, like DARPA, CIA, the Mossad, CERN, MIT, WEF. The psychological spell they cast across the globe manifests as rapacious capitalism, imperialism and jingoism, endless war, soulless technology, transhumanism, eradication and gentrification of culture & wisdom, psychological operations and mind control. It infects our institutions of politics, government, mass media, education, industry, NGOs. How do we break a critical mass of humanity (not necessarily the elites) out of this matrix spell? That seems to me of utmost importance as the biosphere unravels and the prison tightens around us.
My sense is that writing like your essay is contributing to this shift, along with the rise of independent media in general. I see a growing movement of people finding common cause beyond ideological divides, dropping old dualistic paradigms of left/right & us/them, rejecting the elites and seeing through their psyops and egregores. I'm noticing this process of awakening in people more and more in everyday life—among my family, old and new friends, across age ranges and backgrounds. These people, many of which I've known for decades, are now also becoming deeply curious about psychedelics, the paranormal/UFOs, esoteric spirituality, deep politics/conspiracy-facts, etc. I hope this movement expands and creates diverse alliances across disciplines and demographics, so we can move beyond the narcissism of minor differences to find we have far more in common than what separates us. It feels to me like a vital catalyst in the initiatic process and a prerequisite to creating the society you envision.
I'm on board. The real question is, how do you spark a movement like this? We are all sitting here reading it, feeling great that you are smart. We agree. We all know in our hearts that a society based on love and community is the correct answer. But how do you get people to take steps? Walking off the edge of this cliff - I stop believing in ownership, I stop paying my mortgage - I am forcibly removed from my land. Until land ownership laws, and therefore the government, are entirely overthrown, we have little hope of being able to actualize a change like this.
So the domain name - therevolution.io - is pretty spot on. And again, how? Is it a grassroots revolution, where you get enough of the population to buy in to elect a leader who can push the transformation? And does that leader just get killed by those really in power at this point? Do you do it inside the system - get someone rich to buy a lot of land, start a commune - try to keep growing it by starting communities in multiple locations - see if you can't just expand it to the world at which point governments become kind of obsolete? That is the model that corporations have taken that now lets them act pretty much as government.
I always run into the conundrum - how do you actually manifest the level of systematic change without something like a benevolent dictator? Happy to help in any way I can, especially if there start to be threads that show a direction of action that is meaningful.
Sign me up!
Today's piece made me incredibly emotional. Almost every single person I know, in one way or another, is dying to "get off this ride," which feels like a speeding train to nowhere we want to go. And if I think them over, I believe every one of these people would make sacrifices and give up a lot of material needs to adopt a widespread system that works better for all, and for global ecology. But what makes such a global shift seem impossible soonish are the fewer types I know personally who seem to be having a great time being here and using up/doing all there is to do—being consumers of mass-produced food, material goods, fast fashion, being landlords of multiple income properties, entrepreneurs, throwing parties with gajillions of red plastic cups, etc. They seem to be enjoying and fueling the ride. And I think of the 2+ million people who tuned into last week's Tony Robbins/Matthew McConaughey event and the You-Can-Become-Your-Own-Boss-type of messaging they're getting pumped off of (Matthew played his bongos between segments). We'd need those numbers of people, now, getting pumped off of an almost opposite energy. I don't know, maybe those same folks would be relieved to choose something less lofty and more comforting. I know I'm up for it...and yes, I'm interested in what you're doing at that new URL, Daniel. Thank you.
Yes. Two comments. First, you should post the piece I read in writing class, about the underlying context, left-brain dominance. Context dictates content! You also might want to involve the neurologist/philosopher, Iain McGilchrist.
And, second, we mustn’t get ahead of ourselves. Ideas aren’t worth a damn if they don’t spark resolve. How are we going to help people deal with their increasing sadness and depression, then inspire their proactive participation in the movement?
And, yes, count me in.
Your vision sounds very much like the anarchist community in Ursula K LeGuin’s book The Dispossessed.
I consider myself an anarchist as well, but I’m more in the camp of the book—The Rational Optimist by Matt Ridley
Manly P. Hall also wrote "The Secret Destiny of America," and was likely murdered for his viewpoints and access to his exceptional trove of ancient manuscripts, along with his exposure of the "Great Plan for the West" as he deciphered from Sir Francis Bacon's epic, encoded work, "The New Atlantis."
The utopian society ideals appear to have been hijacked by the corporate elites and post-industrialists supported by the "magick" of the agencies ("The Men Who Stare at Goats" is based on an actual program, for example) and there is a literal battle for human spirituality. If "our" side wins, the plan for a conscious, compassionate, cooperative society is entirely possible. If "they" proceed as planned, with no interference from those of us desiring spiritual freedom, then we are doomed to a dystopian tyranny, with every move monitored and controlled. I believe AI can be programmed according to the will of the enlightened if we make an effort to do so, and essentially this is where the final battle takes place.
As to "no ownership," my personal experiences have fit this model for most of my life, especially living and working at equestrian centres. I've lived without paying rent, managing the barns in exchange for housing, training horses in exchange for basic living expenses, and participating in many volunteer programs within the industry and other supporting creative endeavours in art and music. Interestingly, I rarely worried about money during these years; somehow, I always had what I needed.
Nowadays, I live within the capitalist system and find it highly stressful. Much of what I did in the past, I could not afford to do now if I had to put a dollar figure to it. My community is a mix of the old and new, a clash of hippies and the extremely wealthy, with a population of 11,000 souls on a forested island in the Pacific Northwest. It is a fascinating essay in itself.
As Steiner has noted, much of how we evolve as a species depends on our Central Nervous System. The CNS transcribes messaging from external sources and determines how energy affects physical and mental well-being. Specific frequencies of light and sound are adequate for the high that humans seek, and of course, thoughtfully consumed psychedelics are helpful for many.
We're at a crossroads and must focus on a complete path of recovery to move forward as a species. Old teachings, such as The Leaves of Morya's Garden (1924, 1925, Helena Roerich), indicate how to move through these evolutionary stages without money but rather through cooperation and labour.
I'm certainly interested in connecting with a community of thinkers, writers, and creative people who are actively pursuing the brave new world and exchanging ideas as to how we survive the death throes of the old.
This is a revolution we need but I’ve always said to people I don’t see this happening until there are many more deaths ...and I’m a bloody optimist.
This view of the world is the world we should live in.
Someone here in Australia built an App to gamify environmental and societal change called Good Empire...it didn’t take off.
Why would it ? We live in this shallow consumerism society that really needs to be broken down ....
I’m spending a lot of time in nature.
But ya know I’m happy to get involved if there is a light at the end of the tunnel and hoping it isn’t a train
Definitely interested. Cynical obviously. But I do think a "revolution" is possible. Not by overturning the perceived unfairness of hyper-wealth and late-stage Capitalism but rather through an experiential resetting of our connection to Nous/Mind/Oneness. Which is to say, people are unlikely to give up their toys and advantage unless they a) experience Unity consciousness, b) enjoy that sense of revealed connection, and c) realize that by spending their advantage on group amelioration they are actually serving something infinitely more satisfying. It's only by replacing "selfishness" with "enlightened self-interest" that the revolution can be won.
Direct and to the point.
This is completely reasonable, and it describes the society/world I want to live in and give back to. The one-fifth wealth distribution model seems ideal/necessary. I can only hope that more people around the world begin to see that the purpose of life is inner exploration, not as accumulating material wealth. Through the lens of gratitude, the earth has already made all of us rich. Also, def interested in helping with the revolution.io project.
I love the optimism & courage. Thankyou.
Since a couple of months , I have intuitively felt that it’s time to focus on skills like handcraft, building, cooking. I feel that sooner or later things will get wild … & now like you say it’s time to invest in community work … healing modalities & the impact that the collapse will have on our sensitive brains & body. Another intuition that came up was that AI will make us lazy. I have been trying to write my own SEO & own stories, but sometimes I am lazy and will use chat GPT or other AI tools to help me out. And than I think ; ok wait just drop it and than I think ; no, learn the tool and work with it and try to find a balance between you’re way of doing and AI way of doing. Rejecting it feels bad, using it for everything feels bad too. But using it like a help book is good. The positive thing is ; I feel backed up by it in some way. I feel I have a lot of dreams and AI can help me create them faster. So I like you’re idea of community amplifying strategies. Let’s use AI for good … & let’s focus more on the opposite of the scale … digging our hands in the dirt and dancing around the fire … feeling and being and breathing and appreciating and loving Mother Earth 🌍 I am quitting my corporate job mid May to focus on healing modalities. This was a clear sign since the AI has dropped. It’s time to step into your intuition … I am scared too … but I am happy people like you are writing about this. Trust is the key , but the hardest to acquire …. Respect as well, how can we hold space and really listen … to cut out all the noise … working on our addiction towards the internet …. Taking time to breathe and feel the body. What do I want? If no one would tell me what to do? All is possible …. 🌈
Some thoughts on some of DP’s statements:
“I feel the need to declare my political position and propose my activist action plan.” What follows is far from an action plan, but an idealized vision. There’s a massive gulf between this vision and our current reality. The article lacks even one concrete action that is politically feasible.
“I believe this is, more or less, our innate, natural condition, as children show us.” This echoes Jesus’s statement that we must become as children to enter the Kingdom, but taken literally, this idea is regressive. We need to grow up out of adolescence and become adults. I like the idea that “we want the people of the world consuming the absolute minimum while they experience joy, love, connection.”
“we must eliminate most (if not all) forms of debt, mortgages, rents, and so on.” Who is the “we” here? And what makes DP think that this idealized “we” will redistribute those funds more equitably than the free-market system, “with wealth apportioned sensibly”? And, how will society choose the “we” that gets to do this redistribution? Hayek’s worthy critique of socialism was that, in a complex system, it is simply impossible for central planning to make good decisions, for numerous reasons—but the elite-college socialists seem to have lacked this counterargument in their educations. The historical evidence, many say, confirm Hayek’s critique. We want to preserve the motivations for innovation and productivity, and the fairness the comes from a system based on free interactions among free individuals. Look deeper, Daniel, and you'll see this in yourself and not a selfless servant to others.
“I think we should go further and eliminate the concept of ownership entirely.” There are many, many good reforms to try out to make the current system more fair without the leap from “capitalism sucks” to “yay communism.” Private property was a major improvement from the feudal systems that existed before the current system: it was liberatory and a foundation of oppressed societies becoming much freer. Instead of binary and musty-old thinking (19th century European socialism), let’s think of other and varied ownership reforms. A synthesis: private, public, and “universal” ownership, which would be universal shares in the global commons, and thus protection and legal oversight of those commons. See the work of Peter Barnes.
“the basis of this new society is an initiatory ‘religion.’” Only the liberal societies of the world have protected freedoms that will allow this sort of experimentation. Try this in Iran or Singapore and you die. Thus, there are crucial aspects of the current system that need to be protected. For instance, no private property would mean no private spaces. This is what Fukuyama meant by the “end of history”—that some of our modern social innovations must remain.
“I would like work to be voluntary, with people’s basic needs (food, housing, healthcare) met in a secure fashion by society as a whole.” This is a passive sentence. Who exactly is going to do the work to provide those basic needs, and what will incentivize them? In the progressive cities, where they have increased social programs and made enforcement lax due to the belief of universal, evolved human nature, you see rising crime rates and a contagion of rudderless, collapsed people. Yes, we may evolve to semi-selfless motivations, but this is a huge work-in-progress.
“human civilization will soon collapse and our species will most likely go extinct.” Yes, there’s a sense of urgency, but with too much imagined urgency, we may not make the correct decisions for a long-term future. Let’s pace ourselves and hope for fast emergent systems change. In the meantime, DP should stop flying so much and offset his emissions when he does, as we all should with all our emissions—by paying to rebuild natural systems. And, let’s be patient about reforms—these things take time and real-world iterations to work correctly.