re13: Returning to the Garden, mythologies, ideologies, etc.


Richard Moore

Bcc: contributors.

From: "Alan Spector" <•••@••.•••>
To: "Paul Riesz" <•••@••.•••>, <•••@••.•••>
Cc: "Fair Trade" <•••@••.•••>, "WSN" <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: Can capitalism be reformed?
Date: Sun, 22 Apr 2001 14:53:41 -0500

Paul Riesz writes the following in reference to my comments:
    > You and many of your ideological comrades would - of
    course - prefer more drastic solutions, but if past history
    gives us any clues, such extremist programs are bound up
    with dictatorial governments which sooner or later lead to
    the bloody excesses of Stalin and Pol Pot, since POWER
That's real cute -- "you and your ideological comrades" . It
kinda makes it sound like I (and my "ideological comrades")
don't care about real live, flesh-and-blood humans, but
rather are preoccupied with adhering to some rigid doctrine
-- as opposed to those who support the liberal imperialists
(albeit with some criticisms) who are supposedly concerned
about "people" instead of ideologies.

These are empirical questions, that can be discussed, if not
settled, by evidence. Which has cost more human lives and
created more suffering-- the bloody Chinese government and
years of Communist Party rule, or the "peaceful" transition
of Gandhi and his friends, and the continuing mass
starvation, disease, child slavery, that has destroyed so
many millions of lives there over the past fifty years? What
might have happened in the world if there were no Soviet
Revolution and a pro-fascist Tsarist Russia formed an
alliance with Nazi Germany? And who created Pol Pot (I'll
give you a hint: The massive U.S. destabilization
of Indochina had just a little to do with it -- as well as
significant U.S. govt. support for Pol Pot as an ally
against the pro-Soviet forces.)

There is the unstated assumption, shared by conservatives
and Keynesians alike, that with all its weaknesses, the
capitalist model still guarantees more "freedom" from
"absolute power" than the Marxist model. Tell that to the
victims of capitalist-imperialism--from the victims of mass
murderous coups and regimes from Chile to Indonesia to Iran,
the Congo, Guatemala, Honduras, Argentina, and Greece,
Palestine, South Africa and a hundred other places, to the
many tens of millions more who die slower, more painful
deaths from mass disease created by militarily enforced
capitalism. (Forty thousand will die of (preventable)
measles in Ethiopia alone this year....try mentally
projecting that misery across the whole world to begin to
get a better picture of the scale of capitalism's

The supposedly "non-absolute power"  of the capitalists,
including their willing partners, the pro-imperialist
liberals and social democrats, and including "Lord" Keynes
have been responsible for misery, suffering, and death that
truly dwarf whatever happened in "Stalin's Russia."

Until intellectuals and activists in the so-called "First
World" understand this, they will continue to be, at best
irrelevant, and at worst, partners in this miserable set of

Alan Spector

P.S. Of course Keynsian Economics, "priming the pump" (or
saving the patient from blood loss shock by pumping in
plasma, or taking a shot of caffeine to borrow some of
tomorrow's heartbeats for today, or whatever metaphor you
want to use) can have a short term effect of softening the
crisis of capitalism for a while. But the fundamental
question is whether capitalism can meet people's needs, and
furthermore, whether those in power will EVER relinquish
power without "drastic" measures being forced on them. It is
not something that any of us look forward to, but right now,
the "drastic" circumstances that many people are being
forced to endure from the garbage dumps of Rio to the sex
slave shops of Bangkok are just as "drastic" to them as the
reality of "ideological-drastic" measures in the so-called
"First World" might be to people there.

Date: Wed, 25 Apr 2001 13:48:14 -0400
To: •••@••.•••
From: Jay Fenello <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: [FixGov] re9: Returning to the Garden, mythologies, the
  movement, etc.
Cc: •••@••.•••, •••@••.•••

4/25/01, •••@••.••• wrote:
    [Marguerite's words snipped]

Hi Marguerite,

Maybe I wasn't very clear.  I agree with your critique
of the current mythology of Jesus, and I argue that it 
is a result of the movement He started being captured 
somewhere between his death and 325 CE.

Retracing this history, and showing how His message was
subverted, will help people to better understand where 
they are, and where they are going.

Further, I venture to say that should His original message
be restored, it would not be incompatible with the teachings
of Tao, or Buddha, or any of the other great spiritual and
religious teachings of our day.

Strategically, aligning the Christian community behind our 
efforts makes a lot of sense.  Not only do they represent
over a quarter of the world's population (1 billion +),
but they already have so-called "community learning
centers" set-up and politically active.

In closing, I strongly believe that we must get beyond
these things that divide us.  Before we rule out over a
quarter of the world's population, let's try and find
ways we can all work together.



Dear Jay,

Can you imagine how profoundly powerful it would be if a
significant portion of the conservative religious community
were to find common ground with the emerging movement?  Our
rulers would be shaking in their boots, and their days in
office would be numbered.  That breakthrough will be the
political equivalent of achieving critical mass in a fission
reaction.  (Pardon the ghastly metaphor, but it has just the
right punch.)

And why shouldn't it happen?  Religious people have no
'class interest' in the current system, in fact they're just
as fed up with it as we are.  And the movement has no
intolerance toward religious people, in fact there are quite
a few already participating.  If lines of communication can
be opened up, there is no reason progress cannot be made. 
But we need to be aware of the well-oiled propaganda machine
aimed at those folks, from the pulpits and other sources,
intertwined with biblical references.


Date: Tue, 24 Apr 2001 03:52:51 -0400
To: "Richard K. Moore" <•••@••.•••>
From: Jay Fenello <•••@••.•••>
Subject: re10: Returning to the Garden, world government, etc.
Cc: •••@••.•••, •••@••.•••,
        •••@••.•••, •••@••.•••


Hi Richard,

Thank you for your comments, and this
opportunity to better understand our
mutual positions.

I've suggested that the issue is bigger than economics 
or politics ... that it is a matter of consciousness.  

If we can simply raise people's consciousness, our current
political systems will correct themselves, and our current
economic excesses will decline. 

If we can help people to become "inner-directed,"
we will eradicate unhealthy hierarchical authority
structures (and the supporting movement will be 
almost impossible to hijack).

    rkm> In the current movement there is much to give us hope. 
    As I've said many times, it's based on consensus,
    decentralized decision making, no primary leaders, and

On this, we totally agree :-)


Dear Jay,

Why do you believe that lots of people becoming
'inner-directed' is going to correct our political systems? 
Suppose 80% had achieved inner-direction, what would happen

An over-emphasis on the ~individual~, is what our culture
already drills into us.  As I see it, what we need now is a
heavy re-balancing toward ~collective~ consciousness,
~community~ consciousness, and the ability to work together
collaboratively.  That's why I'm so encouraged by the
emerging culture of the movement.  Furthermore, people
report that the movement experience is profoundly empowering
at a personal level.  It is not a 'mind meld' to some least
common denominator, but rather an awakening of each
individual as a fully equal and creative participant in the
group process.  It is like being freed from a cage.  This
may in fact be very close to what you're talking about, with
inner direction.  I suggest the movement is a ~means~ of
creating such a consciousness transformation, rather than
the other way around.

But I certainly support any efforts by yourself or anyone
else that helps people 'wake up', however you go about it! 
More power to you.


Date: Fri, 27 Apr 2001 15:00:35 -0400
To: •••@••.•••
From: Jay Fenello <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: A parable for a new paradigm
Cc: •••@••.•••, •••@••.•••

Hi Richard,

Excellent start ... and very similar 
to what I was trying to describe.  



Dear Jay,

Thanks.  Let me say something about the use of parables, or
'teaching stories' in the Sufi tradition.  What I'm saying
also applies to the use of stories in the Zen tradition. 
The basic starting point of this literature is that truth is
ineffable - 'truth' is not something that can be adequately
expressed in words.  One basis for this perspective are the
reports people give who have enlightenment experiences -
they usually say, "It's beyond words."

Another basis for the perspective is related to your own
concerns about people 'acting unconsciously'.  The way
Sufi's and Zen people see it, ~every~ culture, by the very
nature of enculturation, ~conditions~ us to see reality in
certain very limited ways.  Our very language, such as the
names for colors, limits the distinctions we make between
things.  The very concepts and categories by which we
understand the world are a barrier to deeper understanding. 
The 'internal software' we develop in becoming adults
~always~ has built-in blindspots.  That is why 'truth'
cannot be expressed as a manual or holy text or ideology.

Nonetheless, these people have found ways to hint at truth
through the use of words.  They have developed an impressive
collection of 'teaching stories'.  No one story 'tells all',
and the stories work at many levels of consciousness.  They
are much deeper than parables, which usually have one
obvious 'moral'.  Each story addresses, one might say, a
~cluster~ of preconceptions.  A situation is set up, and
then surprising things happen, and people in the story
respond in unexpected ways.  At the end, although you might
have learned something obvious, you are mostly scratching
your head wondering what it was all about. In this way the
stories keep 'working on' your preconceptions.  Someday a
situation comes up in real life, and there's a moment of
recognition, "Ah ha! that's what the story was about."  It's
a kaleidoscope approach to 'waking up'.  The next time you
read that story, you see a whole new level of meaning.

In terms of us waking up as a society, and as a movement, I
think we need many voices and many threads of convergence. 
If Christians come to support the movement, it will be by a
different set of 'wake up messages' than will be experienced
by liberals or whoever.  Each of us must 'wake up' from
wherever we are, and we each have different lessons to
learn.  I believe the movement will eventually develop some
kind of core 'ethic' or 'world view', but that will happen
organically over time, as a cultural process.  That's why I
discourage too much emphasis on a grand 'new ideology' at this
point in the process.  I don't think it is what we need
right now, and such efforts would be divisive.

all the best,

Date: Thu, 26 Apr 2001 14:26:10 +0200
From: Richard Richardson <•••@••.•••>
X-Accept-Language: en
To: "Richard K. Moore" <•••@••.•••>
CC: •••@••.•••, Jay Fenello <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: [alternativeculture] forward from RKM


My proposal for developing an ideology for humanity is not
the same as humanism, which many people associate with
atheism and oppose it for this reason. Neither did I propose
deism, which atheists might not relate to. But both deists
and atheists are human, and therefore should be able to
agree on some basic concepts in an ideology for humanity,
and agree to disagree on their differences.


Dear Richard R,

Please see my various comments above, re ideologies.


From: "Leonard Rifas" <•••@••.•••>
To: <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: A parable for a new paradigm
Date: Fri, 27 Apr 2001 08:28:58 -0700

Your parable reminds me of a book I have not yet read: The
Parable of the Tribes : The Problem of Power in Social
Evolution by Andrew Bard Schmookler supplies a few reader-written summaries of
Schmookler's parable. Perhaps you've already cited
Schmookler's book.

Best regards.

Enjoying your good work and friendly tone,



Dear Leonard,

I didn't know about the book - thanks.

all the best,

Subject: Re: A parable for a new paradigm
Date: Sun, 29 Apr 01 10:11:39 -0700
From: Bruce Elkin <•••@••.•••>
To: <•••@••.•••>,

    > Finally people everywhere set down their tools and said
    enough is enough.  The rulers retreated in dismay, everyone
    returned to the garden, and they all lived happily ever


These last sentences in your parable seem terribly defeatist
too me.  I have a friend who suggests that the best way to
get back to the garden (i.e. to the undifferentiated state
of consciousness common to plants and animals) is to have a
pre-frontal lobotomy, or have do heroine.  He's only half

I think that there are other optimistic endings to the
parable, transcendence for one.  Going beyond the current
culture without having to destroy it or ourselves in the
process.  The Spiral Dynamics guys and Ken Wilber write
about this approach to development, talking about each level
in an spirally ascending growth or actualization hierarchy
includes and transcends the previous levels.  We don't
necessarily have to go to being the same kind of leavers
that preceded the taker culture, we can create a new kind of
leaving culture that transcends the current culture yet
includes much of what is good in it.

Human beings do the same things when they move from a
pre-conventional to conventional and finally to
post-conventional world views.  They escape a conventional
worldview, they do not have to drop back down to
preconventional views (though many do), they can work their
way up the line of development and transcend the
conventional world view in favor of a more all-inclusive,
transcendent post conventional world view.



Whatever are you on about?  You speak in abstractions and
generalities.  Please tell us what you have in mind when you
say 'a new kind of leaving culture'!

And excuse me!  Who said anything about "undifferentiated
state of consciousness common to plants and animals". 
That's your concept, not mine.  To me, 'returning to the
garden' is analogous to enlightenment.  With enlightenment,
they say, one recovers the openness of childhood but without
losing the knowledge of adulthood.   We can recover our
sense of being 'part of' the world, and being 'in harmony'
with the world, but we will still know about technology,
science, et al, and we will be armed with a deep understanding of
where the tempting taker path leads in the end.  We now know
why we should avoid the fruit of the tree of the gods. (Biotech -
the ultimate sin.)