cj,rn> recap of rkm’s ‘philosophy’


Richard Moore


For about ten years I was part of a sufi study group led by Jim Fadiman, an rn 
subscriber and co-founder of the Institute for Transpersonal Psychology in Menlo
Park, California.

The group had a reunion last month, which I was unable to attend, and here is a 
letter I sent to them...

So sorry I can't be there with you all.  I know if I was
there, I'd be eager to hear words from those absent, so in
that spirit I'll let you know what I've been up to.

For the past six years I've been doing what for me is the
'one thing worth doing' - trying to change the world.  Such
an effort is obviously foolish, but I couldn't see any
reason to devote my energies to anything else.  Our world is
deteriorating rapidly and all the signs are for worse times
ahead.  How could I not try to do something about it, even
if my chances of success were near zero?

The first step was to figure out how the world works now,
and why.  This actually wasn't very difficult. There were
two keys to understanding: (1) assume everything officials
and the media say are lies, and (2) ignore all 'explanatory
systems', such as Marxism.  It took about three years to
figure it all out.  If anyone wants to see what I came up
with they can go to <http://cyberjournal.org> and look at
"Escaping the Matrix", or the "Guidebook", Chapter 1.  The
matrix article, by the way, has been published in Whole
Earth Review and in New Dawn magazine, an Australian
publication.  Every week I get a few letters from readers
saying how much they appreciated the article.

The next steps were to figure out what a better system would
look like, and how it could be achieved. Where to start?  I
started everywhere at once... looking into the history of
movements and revolutions, and looking at lots of people's
ideas of 'better worlds'.  After a while it became clear
that the question that needed to be answered first was the
following: If we had a 'better world', how would it operate?
It's easy to say we want justice and democracy and
sustainability, but how would that actually work,
practically speaking?  You can't just 'demand' these things
of government, or even of a revolution - no one can do the
impossible.  We must understand how it would all work.

It turns out that the part about economics isn't that
difficult.  Lots of people have been working on this...
Richard Douthwaite, David Korten, David Goldsmith, and many
others.  One must start, of course, by getting rid of
capitalism, although you first must understand what
capitalism is and isn't.  Hint: capitalism isn't about
competition and free markets, nor about efficiency.
Sustainable, productive, and equitable economics are
actually quite achievable, given the right political system.

The difficult problem is politics.  And the reason it's
difficult is that humanity (in Eurasia) got sidetracked
about 10,000 years ago, and has been living under
hierarchical domination ever since.  Do you remember the
story of the villagers who got invited to the rich man's
house for dinner?  The one where they kept staying, and
eating, and the rich man meanwhile was taking over the
village?  This 10,000-year sidetrack is what that story was
about.  Quite simply, we've been domesticated, like cattle
and sheep.  The 'education' system is dog obedience
school.  (Except for Peninsula & ITP.)

As I see it, the Sufis are doing two things, from a
political perspective.  First they are reminding us of what
freedom is about - what life is supposed to be like.
Second, they are trying to help us overcome the
thought-conditioning (mental domestication) that keeps
hierarchies in power.  Zen Buddhism and Sufism have very
similar insights.  One main difference, I believe, is
that the Sufi tradition has a more elaborated political

So I looked at how hierarchies first arose, and why.  It's
quite simple.  At the time, when agriculture increased
population densities, nobody knew how to maintain order - so
chiefs took over.  Chiefs evolved into kings, into emperors,
and eventually to our current centralized global regime. 
Once hierarchies took hold, their mutual competition evolved
them into evermore centralized and oppressive systems.  Like
dinosaurs, hierarchies prevented competing political species
from emerging.

Finally, after all this boring research, I came up with my
first useful insight: we must do away with hierarchies
altogether before anything else worthwhile can be
accomplished.  Once you focus on this 'necessity', you find
out it is quite doable - the knowledge, experience, and
tools exist.  And interestingly enough, the ones who have
the most difficulty entertaining the idea are liberals.  In
this respect, the right wing has a lot less unlearning to
do.  Liberals are addicted to authority because government
has been the means by which their values have gained
dominance.  What liberals don't realize is that the favors
they've been given have been bread crumbs leading into the
dark forest.  We thought we were following the friendly
woodsman, but he's been the wolf all the time.

The key to living without hierarchies, it turns out, is
learning to get rid of factional competition.  And the way
to get rid of that is simply to get together and talk
through our problems - rather than choosing among competing
solutions, or allowing some authority to decide.  Imagine
how much more Sarah could accomplish if there were no City
Council (or medical corporation), and she only needed to
work things out with her neighbors.

When we think about 'talking through our problems', we think
of endless boring meetings, and nothing getting done. 
That's simply because we are using all the wrong processes. 
When it comes to 'process', most of us have never graduated
from grade school.  There are in fact very workable
processes that enable people to work together, despite their
differences.  Everybody knew these processes in the old days
(peace-pipe circles and all that), and people have
rediscovered them today, in corporate 'team effectiveness
seminars', and in activist campaigns such as Seattle.

The name I give to these processes is 'harmonization'.  And
that's my second useful insight: harmonization is the key to
everything.  Hierarchy thrives on divisiveness and
exploitation; liberty thrives on harmonization and
cooperation.  How do we achieve such a society?  Simple: we
build a mass movement based on harmonization.  We start
working together at the grass roots - left & right,
fundamentalist and liberal, men and women.  We learn to see
each other as allies, and domestication and hierarchy as the
shared weed we need to eradicate.

It can be done, and it has been done - in microcosm in
various places.  It turns out the movement doesn't really
need to _do anything, such as protest or strike.  These
things will happen, inevitably, but the only necessary thing
is to get everyone, everywhere, into the movement.  Being in
the movement means that you are harmonizing your interests
with those around you.  By the time everyone is in, everyone
is in harmony.  At that point we all (including the
military) simply 'down tools' everywhere at once and the
regime is out the next day.  

So the problem isn't 'overpowering the regime'.  The problem
is having something to replace the regime with.  When we
build that something, the regime will evaporate like the
wicked witch of the east.  And when we click our heels
together, we'll be back home.  

This all crystallized in my mind about two weeks ago,
leading to my third useful insight: start harmonizing right
now in everything you do.  Since then, I've suddenly found
myself in a network of similar-minded folks.  I started
spending my time differently, and responding to people from
a different place.  This led to the fourth insight, taught
to me by a house plant: grow toward the light.  Or as Rumi
put it, spend time with the flowers instead of the weeds.

That's why I miss being there with all you flowers!