Quotes on P2P Spirituality

From P2P Foundation
Jump to navigation Jump to search


The liberation of the self involves, above all, a social process. In a society that has shriveled the self into a commodity — into an object manufactured for exchange — there can be no fulfilled self. There can only be the beginnings of selfhood, the emergence of a self that seeks fulfillment — a self that is largely defined by the obstacles it must overcome to achieve realization.

- Murray Bookchin [1]


"The reference to “northward arm” and “southward arm” is typically Wintu, and its usage suggests a cultural wisdom so deep and unconscious that it was embedded in the very structure of language. In English we refer to the right arm and left arm, and we might describe a certain mountain as being to our right or left, in front or in back of us depending on which way we are facing at the moment. We use the body — the self — as the point of reference against which we describe the world. The Wintu would never do this, and indeed the Wintu language would not permit it. If a certain mountain was to the north, say, the arm nearest that mountain would be called the northward arm. If the Wintu turned around, the arm that had previously been referred to as the northward arm would now be called the southward arm. In other words, the features of the world remained the constant reference, the sense of self was what changed — a self that continually accommodated and adjusted to a world in which the individual was not the center of all creation."

- From the Book: The Way We Lived: California Indian Stories, Songs and Reminiscences. [2]


Jesus, in the Gospel, did not say, "My kingdom is not of this world; that was the bad translators who, by suppressing three words in one phrase of St. John, have made it say this. Jesus said literally, "My kingdom is not yet of these times." And as his kingdom, as it is explained in the same passage, is the reign of justice and truth, and as it adds that this kingdom will come on the earth, it follows that, very far from have prophesied that the principles of equality will never be realized on earth, Jesus on the contrary prophesied their realization, their reign, their arrival.

- Pierre Leroux [3]


"If what we are calling the ontology of the One rejects what is not itself – by positing a radical commensurability by which only that which is its Self is valued, and all that is Other is devalued – and what we are calling the ontology of the Zero rejects everything – by positing a radical incommensurability by which nothing can be valued at all – then the ontology of the Many succeeds because it rejects nothing (out of hand) – by positing a perpetual flux of commensurables and incommensurables by which subjects/objects, Nature/Society, humans/nonhumans, are continually constructed, deconstructed, and reconstructed, in other words, e-value-ated."

- Paul B. Hartzog


“The time has come to realise that an interpretation of the universe—even a positivist one—remains unsatisfying unless it covers the interior as well as the exterior of things; mind as well as matter. The true physics is that which will, one day, achieve the inclusion of man in his wholeness in a coherent picture of the world.”

- Pierre Teilhard de Chardin [4]


Peer production as a mode of consciousness

"peer production and the emerging economy of the Commons may (and already do) provide the material conditions of an alternative future spirituality and self. An identity based on networks of cooperation rather than competition, and common property and sharing rather than privatization and commodification, has no need to generate a collective will that puts human systems in balance with eco-systems because that will is already built-in to the foundation of the consciousness and practices of peer production as a collective, commons project. There is no sense of the individual part standing separate from the collective whole or in a dominant relation to others, so there is no gap to mend and heal, there is only an in-built spiritual consciousness and self practice of ‘We’ and ‘I’ in nature and society as a unified (yet diverse) integral practice."

- Joe Corbett [5]


Richard Tarnas on Participatory Knowing

"“In this view, the essential reality of nature is not separate, self-contained, and complete in itself, so that the human mind can examine it “objectively” and register it from without. Rather, nature’s unfolding truth emerges only with the active participation of the human mind. Nature’s reality is not merely phenomenal, nor is it independent and objective; rather, it is something that comes into being through the very act of human cognition. Nature becomes intelligible to itself through the human mind. In this perspective, nature pervades everything, and the human mind in all its fullness is itself an expression of nature’s essential being.”

— Richard Tarnas, 1996, p.434 [6]


When all religions are available to everyone, the time of no religion has arrived

" All the forms of Buddhism that have ever been put into written form (or electronic media) are now simultaneously available to everyone in the world who can read and has a connection to the internet. There are no more boundaries between forms of Buddhism, which were formerly divided and contained by historic period, sect, culture, language, etc. You are free to learn any kind of Buddhist dharma or practice you can lay eyes on. The historical sangha, which was an enclosed society based on “secret” teachings and practices, is gone. There are no secrets anymore. Anyone can learn any kind of Buddhism, anywhere, any time. The Buddhisms we practice now are forms of a global Buddhism that is growing, spreading and intensifying: it is not scarce, it is ubiquitous."

- Shaun Bartone [7]


Jorge Ferrer on Dismantling Rankism and the Comparing Mind

"Integrative and embodied spirituality would effectively undermine the current model of human relations based on comparison, which easily leads to competition, rivalry, envy, jealousy, conflict, and hatred. When individuals develop in harmony with their most genuine vital potentials, human relationships characterized by mutual exchange and enrichment would naturally emerge because people would not need to project their own needs and lacks onto others. More specifically, the turning off of the comparing mind would dismantle the prevalent hierarchical mode of social interaction paradoxically so extended in spiritual circles in which people automatically look upon others as being either superior or inferior, as a whole or in some privileged respect. This model which ultimately leads to inauthentic and unfulfilling relationships, not to mention hubris and spiritual narcissism would naturally pave the way for an I-Thou mode of encounter in which people would experience others as equals in the sense of their being both superior and inferior to themselves in varying skills and areas of endeavor (intellectually, emotionally, artistically, mechanically, interpersonally, and so forth), but with none of those skills being absolutely higher or better than others. It is important to experience human equality from this perspective to avoid trivializing our encounter with others as being merely equal. It also would bring a renewed sense of significance and excitement to our interactions because we would be genuinely open to the fact that not only can everybody learn something important from us, but we can learn from them as well. In sum, an integral development of the person would lead to a horizontalization of love.? We would see others not as rivals or competitors but as unique embodiments of the Mystery, in both its immanent and transcendent dimension, who could offer us something that no one else could offer and to whom we could give something that no one else could give." - Jorge Ferrer [8]


Jeff Meyerhoff on a ethics of consequences

"I advocate a shift in emphasis from the epistemological talk of mystically “being in touch with Reality” and “knowing the Truth” and a greater emphasis on the ethical by asking what kind of person we become through whatever self-development practices we do. If a fundamentalist Christian - who thinks a non-believer like myself is going to burn in hell - spends their days helping people then I like that latter part of what their religion leads them to, while fearing that their anti-scientific, literal reading of the Bible has bad consequences for society's fruitful understanding of the world. The results of people's actions should concern us more than the content of their beliefs; unless the content of their beliefs result in bad consequences." (http://www.integralworld.net/meyerhoff16.html)


Dana Klisanin on Transception

"It is not surprising then, that as our sphere of concern expands (i.e., from the personal to the global-planetary) we are creating technological means through which to address those concerns. Transception, described as, “Internet technologies fused with moral concerns,” is one embodiment of that evolution (Klisanin, 2005; 2007). Transception enables digital altruism, for example through websites designed to support caring and sharing behaviors, i.e., the ability to add content to informational sites such as Wikipedia (2011); the ability to contribute to charity through viewing advertisements via “click-to-donate” formats such as available at Care2.com (2011); the ability to help solve complex problems through donating unused (idle) computer time to scientific research, for example, through the World Community Grid (2011). Transception enables individuals to reach beyond the confines of the physical body not simply to act, but to act compassionately on behalf of other sentient beings."

- Dana Klisanin [9]


On the Circle in Worship

"The Quaker choice of being in a circle, seated around a table on which one may find a bible or a bunch of flowers, corresponds to an ancient human custom of meeting to communicate with each other at the same level. It is not a gimmick, trying to be different, or just another form of religious suggestion: it is a proven means of communion between people in a relationship that is closer together, more aware, more tightly bound. Those of different social backgrounds or levels of cultural experience feel themselves more equal with each other, more humble and more open, and all equally placed before God. The distances between the pulpit, the preacher, the front pews, the back pews, which imply separation between people and an (even if slight) suggestion of who presides over the worship; the isolation of the anguished individual who does not manage to communicate from his static Sunday place; these have vanished when one worships in a circle. There is no pulpit except the ideal one of Christ; there are no elements of distraction."

- Davide Melodia [10] ; translation from Italian by Simon Grant


Adam Miller on Peer to Peer Grace

"I want to operationalize grace. I want to port it out of a traditional theistic frame-work and into the immanent domain of a non-theistic ontology. Doing so will involve a shift from thinking about grace in terms of unavailable and transcendent "large-scale forces of cosmic progress" to treating it as a palpable, ubiquitous, and available "small-scale force." Rather than being an unknowable force operating behind the scenes, might grace instead be what characterizes-- here and now and in plain sight-- the whole of this world's self-organizing complexity? Is grace such a thing that its real power could only come via a supernatural investment of divine, theistic intent? Or is grace such that, in its small scale, localized, and temporally distended operation is hidden, as with natural selection, a world-shaping strength?"

~ Adam Miller, "Speculative Grace" [11]


Mark Pesce on Global Interconnection

"Now there are five billion of us, directly connected, none of us further apart than the time it takes to type a short string of digits. Even the Urban Revolution did not bring us together like this: individuals on opposite sides of a great city might never meet. We continuously carry with us a connection to the greater part of humanity, and the greater part of humanity, likewise equipped, connects to us. This is not a conurbation; this is a zero-dimension humanity, every point directly connected to every other point, because there is only a single point, pervasive and unified.

Dunbar’s Number has been both amplified and extended beyond any human capacity ever imagined. We moved from hundreds to billions in a single gesture, a quantum leap which in retrospect will appear nearly instantaneous. We enjoy the curious privilege of being part of this transition, the generations experiencing life before, during and after the billion seconds which encompass the entire scope of this transition. A billion seconds is sufficient to change everything.

We are already connected. This amplification and extension has already happened., an event that lies behind us, in our history, a fait accompli. That may be the most shocking feature of the present moment: we think ourselves striding confidently on the ground, only to look down and find ourselves in orbit. How did we get here? We do not remember feeling the blast rocket engines lifting us above the atmosphere. Everything seemed so gradual, we failed to note the gentle but steady tug of acceleration which led inexorably to liftoff, pushing us ever higher.

Yet here we are, far out of our depth, each of us connected, sharing with and learning from five billion others. By itself, this would be among the most remarkable events in human history. But past is prologue. We each now have the learning and experience of five billion others to draw upon" (via fb, no source)


Meta-theory as humanity’s vocabulary of self-transformation

[With] self-consciousness comes the possibility of transforming ourselves by adopting new vocabularies, redescribing, and so reconstructing our selves and discursive institutions. While all of us are in some sense consumers of such new vocabularies, it is the special calling of some to produce them. And among those producers some take the construction of unique, potentially transformative vocabularies as the project by commitment to which they understand and define themselves. Among that group, some seek to produce those new vocabularies precisely by trying to understated the phenomena of sapience, normativity, conceptuality, reason, freedom, expression, self-consciousness, self-constitution, and historical transformation by subversive, empowering vocabularies. Those are the philosophers. They are charged neither with simply understanding human nature (human history), nor with simply changing it, but with changing it by understanding it.

—Robert B. Brandom (2009, p. 150) [12]


Fritjof Capra on the Unity of All Things in Modern Physics and Eastern Mysticism

(...) "Although the spiritual traditions described in the last five chapters differ in many details, their view of the world is essentially the same. It is a view which is based on mystical experience - on a direct non-intellectual experience of reality - and this experience has a number of fundamental characteristics which are independent of the mystic’s geographical, historical, or cultural background.

A Hindu and a Taoist may stress different aspects of the experience; a Japanese Buddhist may interpret his or her experience in terms which are very different from those used by an Indian Buddhist; but the basic elements of the world view which has been developed in all these traditions are the same. These elements also seem to be the fundamental features of the world view emerging from modern physics.

The most important characteristic of the Eastern world view - one could almost say the essence of it - is the awareness of the unity and mutual interrelation of all things and events, the experience of all phenomena in the world as manifestations of a basic oneness. All things are seen as interdependent and inseparable parts of this cosmic whole; as different manifestations of the same ultimate reality.

The Eastern traditions constantly refer to this ultimate, indivisible reality which manifests itself in all things, and of which all things are parts. It is called 'Brahman' in Hinduism, 'Dharmakaya' in Buddhism, 'Tao' in Taoism. Because it transcends all concepts and categories, Buddhists also call it 'Tathata', or 'Suchness':

- 'What is meant by the soul as suchness, is the oneness of the totality of all things, the great all-including whole.’

In ordinary life, we are not aware of this unity of all things, but divide the world into separate objects and events. This division is, of course, useful and necessary to cope with our everyday environment, but it is not a fundamental feature of reality. It is an abstraction devised by our discriminating and categorizing intellect. To believe that our abstract concepts of separate ‘things’ and ‘events’ are realities of nature is an illusion. Hindus and Buddhists tell us that this illusion is based on 'avidya', or 'ignorance', produced by a mind under the spell of 'maya'.

The principal aim of the Eastern mystical traditions is therefore to readjust the mind by centering and quietening it through meditation. The Sanskrit term for meditation - samadhi - means literally ‘mental equilibrium’.

It refers to the balanced and tranquil state of mind in which the basic unity of the universe is experienced:

- 'Entering into the samadhi of purity, (one obtains) all-penetrating insight that enables one to become conscious of the absolute oneness of the universe.'

The basic oneness of the universe is not only the central characteristic of the mystical experience, but is also one of the most important revelations of modern physics. It becomes apparent at the atomic level and manifests itself more and more as one penetrates deeper into matter, down into the realm of subatomic particles.

The unity of all things and events will be a recurring theme throughout our comparison of modern physics and Eastern philosophy. As we study the various models of subatomic physics we shall see that they express again and again, in different ways, the same insight - that the constituents of matter and the basic phenomena involving them are all interconnected, interrelated and interdependent; that they cannot be understood as isolated entities, but only as integrated parts of the whole."

(Source: 'The Tao of Physics: An Exploration of the Parallels between Modern Physics and Eastern Mysticism', Fritjof Capra, Shambhala Publications, 1975)


Individuals can't think non-linearly, only collectives can

"By yourself, you can’t think non-linearly. This isn’t your fault. Individual human beings can’t think non-linearly. Only “collective intelligences,” those agents of “inter-subjective consciousness” can. To put it more simply, we implement and do things as individuals. We innovate as tribes. And the world we live in today — the world of the 21st Century — is a world of continuous innovation. In this environment, for the first time ever in history, the ability to innovate is decisively superior to the ability to deploy power."

— Jordan Hall [13]

Clare Graves on the Spiral Process of psycho-spiritual development

“Briefly what I am proposing is that the psychology of the mature human being is an unfolding, emergent, oscillating, spiralling process marked by progressive subordination of older, lower order behavioural systems to newer, higher-order systems as an individual’s existential problems change. Each successive stage, wave, or level of existence is a state through which people pass on their way to other stages of being. When the human is centralized in one state of existence, he or she has a psychology which is particular to that state. His or her feelings, motivations, ethics and values, biochemistry, degree of neurological activation, learning system, belief system, conception of mental health, ideas to what mental illness is and how it should be treated, conceptions of and preferences for management, education, economics, political theory and practice are all appropriate to that stage”

— Clare Graves [14]


Andreas Weber on Animism as Reciprocity

"Animism, the cosmology of indigenous peoples, is the most radical form to think and to enact reciprocity among human and non-human persons. To understand the full scope of this radicality, we need to rediscover what animism is. It has suffered a long time of misrepresentation within the western cognitive empire. The idea that naïve “native” humans live in a Hobbesian natural state adulating spirits and demons in trees, rivers, and mountains is a false myth. This misrepresentation stems from projecting the western cognitive mindset on what the so-called “primitive people” are doing, when they, for instance, ritually give thanks to a tree-being. It comes from not getting the radical reciprocity animism is engaged in." (https://www.resilience.org/stories/2020-05-26/nourishing-community-in-pandemic-times/?)