Participatory Spirituality for the 21st Century
Uh... what's the site?
I mean, like, I heard something about a reboot -- but then I heard no more. What could be improved? I wonder how clear is the basic concept to the participants? It is too daunting? Or should it go deeper? Should the mission statement be retooled to "capture" what people tend to express and post?
One thing that stands out to me is that a lot of the site is filled with somewhat passive, reactive content. I mean the lion's share of what goes on here is people providing links to books, essays and talks which then get commented upon. Speaking from my own tendencies, of course, I would wish that the site could minimize that a little and place more emphasis on people generating their own content.
There seems to be some danger in getting lost in the world of comparative studies and responsive critiques. And perhaps everyone uses other forms of creative outlets to allow themselves to be less than artistic when it comes to their intellectual work...
Any other feelings about this site?
There is, of course, only so far one can go in an online forum. "Second Tier Craig's List" would probably end up having more dynamic impacts than any degree of intellectual conversation and interlinking of emerging perspectives. Yet we do not know how far we can go an any form. I am happy to see a conversation, a questioning -- which was the original purpose of this thread. And as ISM indicates the question of "ethos" is still very open and leaves a lot to be desired.
The "hadron collider" model suggests the vitality that is required and, as Theurj indicates, we must supplement that with cohesive and integrative attempts. A great deal of this depends on something as nebulous as etiquette. A style must exist which embraces (a) the stockpiling and critical analysis of potentially second tier viewpoints in the world (b) encourages individual creative efforts to get beyond critical response (c) exchanges practices and insights (d) templates higher civility (e) challenges people emotionally and intellectually.
I'm sure my recent "Oleg Linetsky is the Enemy of God!" play is transparent as act of challenging for the implied emotional context out of which an otherwise valid set of insights is emerging. As to whether I am in etiquette-violation by trans-ironically trying to return to him an amplified form of what I suspect are his etiquette-violations remains uncertain. But the issue of HOW we communicate, HOW we hold each other's positions, HOW many dimensions of ourselves we bring into this space, HOW we keep from getting trapped in habitual styles of interaction even when they are useful are all issues of attitudinal methodology which are very pertinent to the periodic feelings of "diminishing returns" which ISM mentions.
As with most intimate relationships -- even the most actively positive and intelligent -- a shared space needs to be regularly refreshed by a certain kind of complaint about itself.
i agree, theurj, and admittedly i was being a bit too fast-and-loose with a lot of my characterizations, but i think you got the idea. i also really do appreciate your political engagement, and i'd love also to find out new ways i could personally "get involved" or what have you.
nevertheless the general question remains, for this space in particular, etc. its ETHOS. that is, despite our individualities (like bruce's academics, your politics, etc.) this space itself serves a role as a collectivity in its own right. each of us, as individuals, also contribute to this as forces which make up this collective. or something like that. i guess when i call for "focus" i mean something like a meeting of the minds, so that we may, as a group, do something in way of engagement. the integral anti-capitalist thread might be useful here, since it seems to be on the way to saying something about our present situation.
i am talking about joining-together all of these fragmented threads/posts, i suppose, into something else. that may involve transforming this space, the way we use it, etc. and other things along the way too. all in process.
I like the hadron collider metaphor too -- for the energy it conveys, but also for not hiding the sense that such activity only goes so far and would get old after awhile.
I'm open to exploring new and other communication and contribution styles here. I'll also take feedback on the user-friendliness (or lack thereof) of the site. Ning is going through an upgrade, for instance, and I think I'll have new options soon to change things up a bit.
Back on the Zaadz / Gaia network, which was the original "home" for this forum, several of us used to host blogging events or symposia: picking a topic, selecting four or five contributors, and then setting up a schedule for us to post our contributions over the course of a week or two. We would announce these events and encourage discussion and debate from the wider community around each one of the blog entries, and then we'd conclude with some summary thoughts from each participant. We occasionally talked about publishing the blogs (and some of the better responses) as a booklet, but never got around to doing that. Although the forum at this time (on this Ning site) has only a limited number of regular contributors, and is not really plugged in to other Ning forums (unlike on Zaadz, where there was a hub of related sites), it might still be interesting and fruitful to try something like this. The Facebook version of the site is more active currently than this one, so we could promote the event there and possibly attract participants here to read and comment.
I look forward to new options. In a very simple sense it would be great if new posts appeared at the top/front of a thread rather than at the end. I would be quite happy with this "event" project and think it would bring out the best from the space and the contributors -- a trans-critical package. Facebook is a good promotion place (although sometime obnoxious when it comes to staying on top of an ongoing multi-contributor discussion).
I might suggest that certain people who are likely to be contributors to a "booklet" or "symposia" might perform better if given a topic/s which other contributors feel represents their core insights or is what we want to hear more of from that person. Some people are very habituated to their thought modes and would benefit from a challenge. Other people are very flexible and could be best used by directing their focus to what others think is the area of maximum emergent interest in their works.
We would first need to pick a general topic to highlight and capitalize upon what already goes on here/there. I think Religion & Energy have a lot of interest behind them. I think UFO/paranormal probably also could provoke intrigue and benefit from postmetaphysical perspectives. Also fun topics might address the persistent pleasure taken on this forum by horror, sci-fi, Lovecraft, etc.
What do I want to hear more from Bruce?
What do I want to hear from Theurj?
What would people like to hear more from me?
Yes, good questions -- I will come back to this.
(If we do such an event, I'd like to possibly invite participation not only from regulars here but some "guest" contributors as well. We'll see...)
I recall Dial a while back wanting to hear more about how the ideas here impact our personal lives, our 'art of living.' See this post for example, where he was disenchanted with our "subtle parsing of ontologies." I encouraged Dial to be the change he wanted to see here instead of asking us to be that for him. In this post he admitted he got frustrated "when you don’t think my thoughts for me" and then expressed more of what he thought. Perhaps read that series of posts for context.
Seems like the same process is being revisited here. I suggested that we all have our preferential styles and focuses here, and if that is not enough for you then you be the change. You speak up with your own thoughts, ideas, preferences. There's room here for all that and just because only a few of us speak up doesn't mean that's all this place is or can become. Like in the 'art of living' Dial wanted more of, if someone isn't providing you with what you want quit blaming them and do it yourself.
Granted you can ask people to change their behavior if it's harming you, and make choices depending on their response. But I hardly think the styles and content here are harming anyone, is it? And you have the choice to start your own discussion threads on anything within the very general parameters of this forum. But then you'd have to take responsibility for that thread and invest time and work. So perhaps that is part of the problem, that like Dial you want us to do your work for you? We'd be glad to help you in your work with feedback and response, but like in any educational situation* you have to do your own homework and come to class prepared, even to lead a discussion or presentation. Are you ready for that? And ready to be rejected or ignored? Or criticized and harangued? Be careful what you ask for.
* In a sense this is a P2P mutual educational space, hence the metaphor.
Continuing to read in the above linked thread, LP had a similar complaint in this post: "This site is tremendous for accessing material, speculating about its similarities, differences, resonances and connexions... but is the quantity of such activity in proportion to its value? Difficult to say." Also see ensuing discussion following it.
Further reading the OOO thread, a treasure trove, I'm also reminded of this post and following on what constitutes a cross-paradigmatic integration of various paradigms.
I started a thread at FB IPS asking about the preference between Warren and Clinton. To which Mark asked of what relevance it was to a 'spiritual' forum. The ensuing discussion is also of relevance to this discussion, as to what constitutes an integral postmetaphysical spirituality, and hence appropriate types of discussions. If you're a member of FB see its forum here and look for the Clinton/Warren thread.
It is unlikely that Warren will make a strong run at the nomination and even more unlikely that she can and would want to run the multidimensional war-machine that procures the presidency. So the choice is spurious in that sense. Only one of them has a strong shot at the peculiar task of presidential politics. But if the question is whose policies are most closely aligned with the socio-economic insights which correlate to pluralist and integral levels of consciousness then Warren has a clear and obvious edge. I think the relevance to spirituality may be debatable but the co-relevance of spirituality, politics, ethics and economics to the more comprehensive domain of "religion, per se" is undeniable.
Yup, religion is very relevant here:
I may add: sadly so.
This is one of the most underrated things about politics. When we think of Religion as a force that exists only when different facets of culture are being integrated then we immediately seen the authenticity and value of what might otherwise be dismissed as regressive or hypocritical. The willingness to affirm the old sacred texts and religion style of one's home town folks may itself be an important gesture. The presidency is a half-managerial, half-religious position (Chief Administrator / Chief Shaman). One of the great difficulties with Obama has been that he engages his shaman mode only during parts of his election campaigns and then governs mostly as a manager. Consequently the nation feels a sense of emptiness, betrayal, uncertainty -- regardless of any positive steps he has taken. Hilary's greater willingness to pander and affirm is possibly a key to helping the mangled American ethos re-establish its capacity for transference and projection.
Hilary's willingness to say that the Bible and Methodism are the biggest influences on her life are, given who she has been in the past, a much more potentially religious act than any content she may have received from those sources. This sort of bullshit is not incidental to the task of the presidency.
in this amazing piece of writing quite correctly cautions against the tyranny of inheritance and organized Unmerited control of society by less than healthy families intent on protecting their own privilege and resource control. This is the problem I have with Hillary. Jeb, too! They quite simply should not be allowed to run for this office as previous family members have already held that position. As you point out, even the Roman Emperors put a stop to this kind of behaviour as a way to curb corruption and prolong the life of the state. I have no problem that Hillary is fond of her heritage-- there is nothing necessarily wrong in that-- but she should be fond of it in some other position. One that doesn't necessitate the continuance of a plutocracy.