Following a link from the inimitable Dwight Towers, I sent him a quick response.
This afternoon, I returned to find he’d sent me the following instructions:
cut and paste that, don’t touch a thing (other than writing out Bohm and Krishnamurti), and turn it into a blog post. Seriously.
So here it is:
The gap bit is a simple way to explain the way we deal with the edges of our frameworks. Too bad it’s trivialized into a marketing strategy!
This is how this particular framework, death-bed capitalism, attempts to metabolize everything. Take something with earth shattering possibilities, that we have a variety of responses to challenges to our conceptions, and fold it right back into the accepted assumptions, mainly that everything is about marketing, and that marketing is the clever exploitation of knowing more than someone else and gaining a market advantage from that gap.
The grin we can’t help forming when we see something someone’s done that’s clever is a monkey grin. It shows satisfaction with something that takes advantage, something that creates an easy path, and something that leaves the other less clever monkeys behind.
The other day after watching a “Nature” show on monkeys – you should see it! – It came to me that our World either expands or contracts to match our capacity for compassion. Monkeys have compassion: for their infants, for their siblings, for higher status monkeys in their clan. They don’t have compassion for anything or anyone else. That leads to a great deal of socially generated misery, but it doesn’t destroy planets….
If a brain, among other things, is a compassion receiver/transmitter – a stab at something at least vaguely connected to Bohm and Krishnamurti’s insights! – then they are at the limits of their equipment. We’ve gone exponential on their monkey asses! As Bohm and Krishnamurti put it, our capacity for compassion is infinite, or nearly so. But we can’t access it from within conditioning that keeps us acting like extremely powerful monkeys – monkeys, not apes.
Clever is a monkey trait, a monkey virtue. It is extremely limited. It counts on some other being outside our circle who is available to be taken advantage of. It always does. It has to. Capitalism is the pinnacle of monkey cleverness acting with the h. p. available to us, but actively destroying our capacities to access, recognize, or build our compassion to what it can be.
Easy is a monkey trait. Short-cuts, the whole thing.
The difference between monkey style negotiation for advantage and compassionate dialogue boils down in large part to acknowledging the difficulty, not attempting to make it easy, and recognizing that trust is essential. To a monkey these only matter within the “us” group, to Hell with the rest!
3 thoughts on “Doing what I’m told…”