Horizons of Significance

Searching out a new compass: Compassion, Conviviality, Creativity & Dialogue

Violence

by Antonio Dias


There is a pressure on every interaction we have. A push. Sometimes an impatience to get to a result. Sometimes a leeriness that we are being manipulated. Sometimes a form of disappointment in advance, an expectation that things will not go well.

Taken together we might call the result anxiety. Meta-worry another cause to add another layer, we worry about being anxious….

We resist exposure to what we don’t want to see, to hear.

“There’s enough violence!” We might cry. Why expose ourselves to more?

Is it exposure to violence – in the sense of being in the presence of violence, taking part, being victim or victimizer, complicity? Or is it an awareness of our immersion in violence – violence that is at once ubiquitous and also quite specific in origin and intent? Which of these are we resisting, violence or an awareness that shines a light on our complicity that we fear?

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The Consequences of Our Precarity

by Antonio Dias


“Most of all you can break out of your mind’s silo and initiate yourself into the tribe — become one of the people. But however you move, you know you can’t do this stuff on your own. Somehow you have to decipher the law. Our ways of understanding life in graphs and linear narrative are not cutting it at this point because the planet is not shaped that way. Its laws are not made of words or mathematics. Varuna speaks in winds and ocean waves and his law governs worlds of never-ending chaos and creativity. We can no longer peer into our human problems as if we were Freud, and our ‘issues’ a hysterical woman from Vienna. In a dramaturgical age, we are all actor and director and playwright, and frequently find ourselves waiting in the wings, spear in hand, woefully under rehearsed. The Earth, we realise, is our stage. Without it, we are meaningless.”

Charlotte Du Cann

I read this essay when it first came out on the Dark Mountain site. Today, returning from writing this essay I’m about to transcribe from my notebook, I found it again. Charlotte has republished it on her own site.

I am struck by serendipity. As should become clear, there are many parallels between her essay and this one. Hers more erudite and more poetic. Mine more plodding and explanatory. Sometimes it seems as though I’m still in high school geometry class preparing a proof for Mr. Dahill….

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Why?

by Antonio Dias


…transformation …entails …that problems of knowledge …be seen in connection with the wider questions pertaining to human life. …why are we inquiring in the first place? As Midgley (2004) points out: “thinking out how to live is a more basic and urgent use of the human intellect than the discovery of any fact whatsoever, …the considerations it reveals ought to guide us in the search for knowledge, as they ought in every other project we pursue” (p. 161).

Jeppe Dyrendom Graugaard

This statement, once read in black and white, appears to be self-evident. How could we justify any other way of proceeding? Yet we do. This is an ethos with a vanishingly small constituency.

Why?

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Falling Awake

by Antonio Dias


We say, we “fall asleep.” We imagine a vertiginous scene, leaning over a precipice. Just a moment’s loss of attention, and over we go. We see this as a kind of death.

A conflation of self-consciousness with life? There is an expectation that attention and reflexive self-awareness are identical, or at least that we cannot attend un-selfconsciously.

An alternate image comes to mind, falling awake.

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Economical Viability, a contradiction

by Antonio Dias


We spread poison and paralysis around us
…in that we want to educate all the world around us into reason.

C. G. Jung

Economic viability, I came across this expression in one of JMG’s comments. A commonplace of Peak Oil debate. I think it deserves a closer look. It is a grounding assumption for just about anything we might do. One of the first barriers we encounter as we attempt to respond to our predicaments. All of our institutions, and even our own internal conditioning, are established on the foundation that our endeavors must be economically viable. Even so-called non-profit entities swim in this current, dealing with an inexorable pressure to meet its expectations.

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