Convener: Rod Dixon
Participants: Lian Bell, Monika N Kelly, Eve Leigh, Daniel Bye, Kate Maravan, Dodger Phillips, Dick Bonham, John Ward, Danny Scheinmann, Sarah Corbett
Summary of discussion, conclusions and/or recommendations:
The starting point was a course I attended about 2 years ago looking at the evolution of Human Values with phase 1 being a mothering age where everything was about nurture, reproduction, safety and abundance – Dodger explained that Engels wrote about this in his book The Theory of Mother Rite.
In subsequent phases from hunter-gatherer to arable farmers etc etc the patriarchal has dominated the maternal.
Capitalism is the 7th Phase and I called the session because I believe, and want to explore the idea, that we are entering Part 8 or Phase 8 as a post-capitalist set of global values.
Eve stated that she has a friend who believes we are entering a stage he calls ‘The compassionate revolution’. Essentially the idea is that we are heading for an age where what are largely seen as ‘feminine’ qualities – such as that it is strong to be vulnerable, that to be empathic is valuable – the antithesis of how capitalism requires us to operate in other words. We discussed the problem with the word ‘feminine’ as having gender limitations and connotations and we need to find a new word for this kind of ‘softer’ set of values – a word which encapsulates this new phase. If we are now in the Age of Information perhaps Part 8 is The Age of Love.
Phase 8 is not a return to a ‘golden age’ although there will aspects of our previous existence which might be forced upon us by necessity – such as living in smaller community and living on the planet in a more spiritual, more respectful way – where the planet is no longer seen as a resource bank which is inert but as a living organic being that we steward for future generations.
Dan Bye referred to the book by Foucault called ‘Discipline and Punishment’ – I can’t remember the context – sorry Dan – I will read the book and then remember….anyone reading this – read the book and we’ll have a conversation about it.
We started to talk about the importance of optimism and that in order to ‘be the change’ we have to believe, with real hope and conviction that moving into Part 8 has started – as part of occupy movement. Sarah told us the story of being at the storming of the square in Madrid – which predates Occupy Wall St – and how wonderfully empowering it was. She told the story so beautifully it reduced her to tears – and made my tear ducts twitch (if that’s the correct verb for tear duct activity).
I then introduced the idea of Balanced View or Open Intelligence – Google it – it is about the fact that we have learned to see everything as points of view - we interpret all the data we receive in beat ourselves up constantly for failing or being wrong. The Balance View requires us to take short moments that stop thought and recognize that we are all just energy and that being wrong or right is just a point of view…. Oh just Google it and reads the websites if you want to know more. It is a practice that is changing me and I feel is part of moving to Phase 8.
Essentially this conversation literally blew my head off – Dan Bye stated that the phase of conversation where we talked about brain activity – the primitive brain compared with the cognitive brain has inspired him to make a piece of theatre about some aspect of this conversation…. So D&D has done it again – inspired!
Sorry - what a rubbish report and inadequate account of a very stimulating conversation – I wish I’d recorded it but I didn’t. All I can say is thank you to all who participated in it