[NetBehaviour] Our long global nightmare is over

Alan Sondheim sondheim at gmail.com
Thu Sep 26 21:25:06 CEST 2019

I have to say I agree with Gretta here. I don't meditate, but I read
extensively in Buddhism. There are many Buddhisms, many ways to center
onself or decenter oneself for that matter.
Networks are "about" nothing in my view; they're abstract structures which
are applicable in many ways. There's no goodness or badness in them. The
networkings of bio-geo-chemical cycles for example has been transformed by
humans and global warming is violent, people are of course dying, wars and
refugees are increasing as a result of diminished resources.
In this sense, I think mindfulness is a problem, not a solution. How we
handle ourselves and our pain and anxiety is one thing; how we talk about,
act, protest, demand, petition, act ecologically responsible, etc. is
another. One doesn't necessarily lead to another. And there's no "new birth
of genius" that I can see - instead there are strongmen, whole ecosystems
being destroyed. I am most pessimistic about this, which doesn't stop me as
Bernard Henri-Levi said years ago, from protesting with every breath, with
my fist raised in the face of catastrophe, but on a practical level I think
nothing but ecocides are in our future - and that's a word that, for me,
implies whole species burned alive, screaming with no help in sight. If we
don't start at degree zero, we kid ourselves. The nightmare is not over;
it's just beginning, even though some of us were teaching and talking about
this all the way back in the early 70s, late 60s. As far as "across all
nations" is concerned, unfortunately Trump's anti-globalist stance is
becoming increasingly prevalent. (I think all life is and has always been
intelligent, and intelligence, culture, goes "all the way down" but that's
another discussion.
So I would say, would argue, degree zero, with our backs to the wall.
Because that's what happens in fires, hurricanes, massacres, refugee camps,
prisons, floods, iceberg calvings, droughts, wars, epidemics, and so forth;
I take my lesson from the disappearance of insects. I agree with Gretta
below, perhaps I think also that individual wellness is vastly overrated; I
have friends who have been involved heavily with the Tibetan translation
project, with the Kalachakra, with the Dali Lama, and they had a rabbit
confined in a coop in their back yard, who finally died, cooped in all
weathers, and all their meditation in the world didn't review the suffering
of the animal. They didn't connect; we couldn't connect them. I have no
hope, which means that every good act that might make a difference is a
But resist!

Best, Alan

On Thu, Sep 26, 2019 at 3:57 AM Gretta Louw via NetBehaviour <
netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org> wrote:

> I enjoyed reading this / hoping for this, though a big part of me is not
> buying the idea that we’ve woken up nor that the nightmare is over.
> I meditate myself (mostly starting out as a coping mechanism that helped
> me deal with anxiety-insomnia), but also see a lot of truth in criticisms
> that the mindfulness obsession of today is very much about relocating angst
> about the state of the world and legitimate discontent with political,
> environmental, and social injustices to tensions going on within the mind
> of the individual. i.e. the system is not broken -> you’re broken. Here’s
> one article I dredged up on short notice but I think not the best one:
> https://theconversation.com/mcmindfulness-buddhism-as-sold-to-you-by-neoliberals-88338
> I think often about a talk I happened to hear by a buddhist meditation
> teacher who explained that he first got into meditation - in the 60s - as a
> way of dealing with his fear of dying while he was protesting the Vietnam
> War. He went on to talk about how people often consider meditating an
> apolitical act, or wonder how ‘just sitting’ can affect change in the
> world. He said meditating is just sitting, but it matters *where* you sit.
> Some morning thoughts…
> take care all,
> Gretta
> On 25. Sep 2019, at 22:52, Max Herman via NetBehaviour <
> netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org> wrote:
> History is indeed a nightmare, but fortunately we have now all woken up!
> Networks are not about technology.  They are about living things, first
> and foremost.  Plants, people, coral reefs, polar bears.  These are the
> real networks of value.
> The purpose of the technology networks is to serve and support the
> life-networks, not to be ends in themselves and certainly not vice-versa.
> Life-networks are both individuals and groups.
> Now that the nightmare is over we can focus on individual wellness via
> mindfulness, natural-intelligence-positive neuroplasticity, and a new birth
> of genius across all nations to save the planet and ourselves.
> It's a great time to be a living intelligence!
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