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GlobalNet21: Recreating Our Futures Message Board Meetings Discussion Forum › C21st Century - a New Age of Enlightenment or Darkness?

C21st Century - a New Age of Enlightenment or Darkness? Notes from the House Meeting

Kathryn B.
user 10872956
London, GB
Post #: 1
Hello all, please find below the notes and images from the evening's discussions. Thank you to all of you for making it such a rich wishes Kathryn

21st Century – A New Age of Enlightenment or Darkness?

Kathryn Best
Notes from the house meeting conversation on 20th September 2012.

What words describe enlightened citizens? (see jpeg photo).

Are the enlightened an elite, the ones who hold power? Existing at the top and/or the bottom of society?
The C18th Enlightenment was about radical thinkers; the paradigm shift was about challenging the existing way, typically through Salons (such as this house meet).
Buckminster Fuller: ‘You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete’.
Buckminster Fuller: ‘In order to change an existing paradigm you do not struggle to try and change the problematic model. You create a new model and make the old one obsolete.’
Is this about disrupting existing way(s), or it dramatic change (a completely new way/model), or is it a creeping/incremental change? Or some combination of all?
C18th: Changes in arts & sciences, impact on politics & community. Creativity.
Lady Chatterley’s Lover (1928) – revolutionary impact – is today’s version Fifty Shades of Grey?
What is the end point for politics. Visceral ‘pull’… What are we unlearning…. Our ‘silo’ structures leave us disconnected (and keep us specialists/experts as opposed to polymaths). Disconnection.
The beauty of the ordinary
The new (not), for example, The Big Society – actions and words do not line up. Misaligned…. ‘labels’.
95% may well have a common purpose, yet 5% are focussed on, or picked on… Is this political correctness gone mad? Important to take pride in where you are from. Identity and diversity: this is the legacy of the Olympics.
Moral purpose. Freedom and involvement. It’s personal.
Who are the elite? Connection is enabling…. But society is disillusioned. The right words are used by politicians, but inauthentic.
Blessed unrest, spiritual calling.
Disillusionment - > courage - > affect. ‘This is wrong’. Disaffected. Outrage (for example, Hurricane Catroina) – harness people and power with love and imagination. Grace under pressure.
Group of themes: ‘tough on crime’; daring to have a dream; words carry energy; leadership; u-turn; actions not principles; Phonic Islands? There’s no point. Indigenous people. Arab Spring. ‘The seal of fear is broken’. Vikings and Valhalla.
Example: Next Century Foundation for Peace. What enabled those brought together to willingly talk together? Listening, and being heard.
How framed/facilitated? We often enforce structures and presume beliefs…. We need to put selves in the position of not knowing. No interruptions; discussion after everyone has spoken. Debate as a model involves a winner and a looser, it’s a competition. Discussion and dialogue is different. Venn diagram and common ground. Is this the experiential model of the enlightenment, ie finding common ground, versus looking for the ‘new party’? Create a possibility.. for ownership.
‘We are seeking shared meaning’. Be the change. Circle Leadership.
What if enlightenment is spreading a way of being together? What if there are a thousand ways of doing that?
Sarah Woodhouse.
Children – first 3 years are critical to development… or earlier.. pre-birth influences. Connection.
TV – forced disconnection. Media. We live in the lives of others.
Head-Heart connection and conversation
Human Scale. Current trend/move to the big. Herds. Segmented groups (youth, elderly etc). Fit people into the system. Divisive.
Where are the trans-generational groups? Experiential. Listening.
TV – the dark side. Entrap, enslave, addict. The Revolution will not be televised (Gill Scott Heron). Creativity not developed. Creativity is scarey….. 1960s: community, sitting and chatting. Tribes. Rituals. With TV, you don’t really have that.
Dan O’Reilly, pain specialist. Conditioning and getting the worst over with first.
Creativity is a fundamental human right.
Proposal for a TV Blackout? (Like closing roads/void,/ill with crime?). How can we ‘ban’ TV, and enable people to choose this willingly, give them an incentive/motivation, enchant them away from TV. Does TV become habitual, and therefore taken for granted?
Responsible Journalism; William Morris; The Power of Good.
The media are powerful. Leverage. Trim tabbing.
Civil Rights – show up! Real relationships. Common purpose, focal point.
TV – Robert Putman. Where is the better party? Incentive to go? Community action. TV fulfils a need people have… its shifting… other shared experiences… Olympics, football, pub, social…
Enlightenment: reconnect to the environment. Possibilities. ‘We’ have to do this (no we don’t have to). Enlightenment is a choice – we can’t force people.
Antidotes to fear = (1) curiosity (2) play. Imagination: passive, or take action?
Include new technology… 1 ½ generation.
Addiction to technology and email… where are we putting our attention… information overload… We have become bad listeners. Technology is making people anxious. Is it about how people use technology, or about technology itself? Distraction to communication (quality and quantity), ‘instant gratification’ and hedonism. You haven’t had to work for it… but you get the ‘hit’. There is pleasure in accomplishment! (and sometimes creativity is hard work).
Being self-aware – over riding the human programme. Be aware of addiction and distraction. Our inability to listen and to touch.

It’s an on-going conversation. Experience | Identity | Passive or active | creativity | listening to what is coming together |
Power needs a media to construct a programme – church, tv, religion, the establishment
The Enlightened question things… It is the controlling forces that make us unthinking… passive….
NCF (Next Century Foundation): Draw people away from insular selfishness and hedonism by inviting them to think of all the things they could CARE for? Causes? United Nations Development Goals (recognised) (1) finite resources (of energy, passion, money) (2) connect like minds. NCF for Peace.

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