“The Great Commonwealth”

work by Kang Youwei

Alternate titles: “Datongshu”

  • Kang Youwei, 1905
  • In Kang Youwei
  • …completed at this time was The Great Commonwealth (Datongshu), in which he envisaged a utopian world attainable through successive stages of human development, a world where the barriers of race, religion, state, class, sex, and family would be removed and where there would be an egalitarian, communal society under a ed and where there would be an egalitarian, communal society under a universal government.

On Dreams and Dreaming with Patricia Garfield

New Thinking Allowed with Jeffrey Mishlove Dec 31, 2022 This video is a special release from the original Thinking Allowed series that ran on public television from 1986 until 2002. It was recorded in about 1987.  Even negative dreams and nightmares can be a source of positive value and growth when you choose to interact creatively with the dream imagery.  You can accomplish this with a modest amount of training and suggestion. In this valuable program, Patricia Garfield, popular author of Creative Dreaming and Women’s Bodies, Women’s Dreams, offers various methods of work­ing with your own dreams and those of your children.   Now you can watch all of the programs from the original Thinking Allowed Video Collection, hosted by Jeffrey Mishlove. Subscribe to the new Streaming Channel (https://thinkingallowed.vhx.tv/) and watch more than 350 programs now, with more, previously unreleased titles added weekly. New!! Free month of the classic Thinking Allowed streaming channel for New Thinking Allowed subscribers only. Use code THINKFREELY.

Lunar Medicine for the Masculine

An Excerpt from The Flowering Wand

by  Sophie Strand (spiritualityhealth.com)

Explore how men can align themselves with lunar cycles to experience more connection with nature and the divine.

The Flowering Wand

Masculinity is lunar. Gender is lunar. Sexuality is lunar. Landscape is lunar. Bodies, liquid in a flesh silhouette, are tides of lunacy, constantly shifting their internal shorelines. To be lunar means to change—to be full and ripe one night, and tired and reclusive another.

What is the masculine? The masculine doesn’t belong to a specific type of body. The masculine, like the moon, is mutable. There is no final destination for masculinity. It flickers. Thickens. Breaks. Flows. It anastomoses, mycelial hypha by hypha, through soil. Many of the early mythological figures we have “re-rooted” are lunar. They are connected to the night, the earth goddess, the bull, and the underworld.

Like plants, they are always specific flowerings suited to their environments. But once they fruit, mushrooms sporulate, sending their tiny spores on the wind to repopulate the soil of somewhere else. Why not hop a ride on one of these mythic spores and ride it to a mythological being untethered to a specific place or language? A being that we can all access, every night, from any location.

Patriarchal masculinity is painfully static. Think of the collective cultural shock when a male celebrity wears a dress to an awards show.

Men are limited, not only narratively, but visually, given shirts and pants and expected to progress, step by step, into increasingly calcified stories of achievement and strength. This isn’t a gender expression. Expression implies movement and creativity. Patriarchal masculinity stays the same, and it stays still.

As climate change intensifies the likelihood of unpredictable environmental events, flexibility is key. This is best demonstrated by the idea of resilience ecology, developed by ethnobotanist Enrique Salmón. Resilience ecology is a way of describing nonlinear dynamics in ecosystems. Put simply, any type of ecosystem is resilient only insofar as it can adapt to and reshape itself as a result of shocks to its system. We are entering into an age of shocks, as the last several years of a pandemic, wildfires, and hurricanes have shown us.

Organisms already know they must stay light; they know they must stay changeful.

Biology shows us that nature knows how to stay adaptable. Our very cells are the result of collaborative changefulness. Salamanders and mushrooms can both adapt their sexes in relationship to shifting environmental pressures. Sexual expression, for many beings, is ecologically flexible.

Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a yeast used in winemaking, also has the ability to switch between sexes. The moon is a medicine that can help us practice a similar flexibility. By acknowledging our lunar ability to shift and cycle, we can prepare for an uncertain future by monthly, “moonly,” developing a new mythic musculature.

People with wombs have always known that bodies and consciousness are cyclical, tied to a rhythm that is larger than the individual. The cycle is twenty-eight days, full moon to full moon. Moon sounds like a name or a noun. But let us remember that moon is a gerund. Always moving. Always moon-ing.

It is time to give the masculine back its lunar knowledge. Wombs swell, yearn, mulch, and release in twenty-eight days. But a womb is not just an organ. It is an invitation that anyone of any physicality and any gender expression can accept. It is an invitation to dance inside change for twenty-eight days. To practice softness for a cycle.

The masculine has a womb, too. A moon. All it need do is look up at the night sky.

What is lunar wisdom? Even on a new moon night, the moon is still present: replete and whole, while also void and occluded. This is a completion that holds loss tenderly inside its body. It is neatly summed up by Octavia Butler’s powerful words: “God is change.”

The moon is every gender, every sexuality, mostly both, always trans: waxing and waning. The moon only ever flirts with fullness or emptiness for a brief, tenuous moment before slipping into change. Here is our blended, androgynous Dionysus. Wine-drunk, love-swollen, wind-swept, in ecstatic union with the holy, the moon encourages us to dissolve our edges rather than affirm them.

Lunar knowledge keeps us limber. Keeps us resilient. Awe, whether somatic or spiritual, transforms us. The alternative to patriarchy and sky gods is not equal and opposite. It is not a patriarchy with a woman seated on a throne. The sacred masculine isn’t a horned warrior bowing down to his impassive empress.

The divine, although it includes us, is mostly inhuman. Mutable. Mostly green. Often microscopic. And it is everything in between. Interstitial and relational. The light and the dark. Moonlight on moving water. The lunar bowl where we all mix and love and change.

The Flowering Wand by Sophie Strand © 2022 Sacred Planet. Printed with permission from the publisher Inner Traditions International. www.InnerTraditions.com

Divine Masculine Moon Practices Collection Ecology

About the Author

Sophie Strand

Sophie Strand is a writer based in the Hudson Valley who focuses on the intersection of spirituality, storytelling, and ecology. She believes strongly that all thinking happens interstitially – between beings, ideas,

How Indigenous Knowledge Can Help Us Heal

An Excerpt from The Seven Circles

by  Chelsey Luger and Thosh Collins (spiritualityhealth.com)

Indigenous people have long understood the healing power of connection to the land. Here are simple steps to incorporate this wisdom.

THE SEVEN CIRCLES by Chelsey Luger and Thosh Collins

Everything comes from the land.

And so, we are taught, the land continues to teach us everything we need to know throughout our lives. If these ideas sound foreign to you, remember that at one time, in everyone’s history, our ancestors were intimately connected to the land. The beautiful and unique aspects of every culture on earth resulted from our interacting with the beautiful, diverse natural regions from where we came. For many, that connection has been severed, and this continues to impact collective health and wellness today. It is imperative that we repair these bonds.

Today, as the climate crisis continues to grow, so do global health crises, as evidenced by the modern prevalence of illnesses like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. These hardships are interwoven with social ills like displacement, poverty, and inadequate housing. It is no coincidence that as life on earth grows sicker, the root diseases of greed and exploitation continue to damage the very soil, water, and air we humans rely upon.

Reclaiming the Indigenous Narrative of Good Health

We have all heard of “Blue Zones”—health hot spots where people are living longer, happier, more fulfilling lives. One of the common themes in Blue Zones is neither technology nor money, but rather that the people in these diverse cultural areas live in harmony with their surroundings and that they are culturally connected.

Typically, the United States is not thought of as a hot spot for health. In fact, it is often criticized for its reputation for having a sedentary and overweight population. Of note, the creator of the Blue Zone theory is a Minnesotan. Only two hundred years ago, on the lands we now call Minnesota, it was common for Anishinaabe and Dakota people to live active lives with full mental faculties well past the age of one hundred years. At that time, North America perhaps represented one of the greatest Blue Zones the world has ever seen. It wasn’t until the invasion of a land-exploiting culture that this changed.

Now, we all have the opportunity to reclaim the Indigenous narrative of good health rather than to accept an unhealthy fate for the people of this land.

This circle of wellness—land, and connection to it—might be viewed as the circle that impacts collective, global health, as opposed to just individual health, more than any other. Indigenous people make up only 5 percent of the world’s population, yet they protect 80 percent of the world’s biodiversity. This is proof that Indigenous leaders, climate activists, and governments are truly the carriers of the knowledge we need to move forward into a livable, breathable future.

Ways to Heal—Through Indigenous Knowledge

We will not pretend to have any answers for solving the climate crisis via technology or policy, but we do have an idea as to how we might begin to effect change from within our hearts and minds, ultimately encouraging more people to care about these issues. It begins with a shift in worldview toward love for the land. Indigenous knowledge may serve as the guide.

Establishing a connection to the land will not only heal our planet, but it will heal our traumas, our spiritual wounds, and our hearts as individuals and families who are seeking to be well. Our ancestors never had to consciously set time aside to connect to the land, because it was simply a part of life. Today, everything we do, from work to recreation, keeps us indoors, often in front of electronic devices that emit unhealthy blue light. Because of this imposed sedentary, indoor culture, we face more illness and more depression, and we feel disconnected from the natural world.

We need to consciously reconnect. And once we do, we feel immediate healing benefits that the land provides.

Studies show that as few as five minutes spent outdoors—no matter whether in a city park or deep in a forest—leaves people feeling more positive and boosts self-esteem.

Ten minutes spent outdoors on a sunny day boosts our levels of vitamin D—which is critical for keeping our immune systems strong and which many people are deficient in.

And twenty minutes outdoors measurably lowers the stress hormone cortisol. If just a few minutes can do all of this, imagine what hours, weeks, and days outdoors would feel like.

Google fires software engineer who claims AI chatbot is sentient

This article is more than 5 months old (TheGuardian.com)

Company said Blake Lemoine violated Google policies and that his claims were ‘wholly unfounded’

Google logo
Google say LaMDA is simply a complex algorithm designed to generate convincing human language. Photograph: Andrew Kelly/Reuters

Guardian staff and agency Sat 23 Jul 2022 04.12 EDT

Google has dismissed a senior software engineer who claimed the company’s artificial intelligence chatbot LaMDA was a self-aware person.

Google, which placed software engineer Blake Lemoine on leave last month, said he had violated company policies and that it found his claims on LaMDA (language model for dialogue applications) to be “wholly unfounded”.

Blake Lemoine says Google’s AI bot is ‘intensely worried that people are going to be afraid of it’ but one expert dismissed his claims as ‘nonsense’.

“It’s regrettable that despite lengthy engagement on this topic, Blake still chose to persistently violate clear employment and data security policies that include the need to safeguard product information,” Google said.

Last year, Google said LaMDA was built on the company’s research showing transformer-based language models trained on dialogue could learn to talk about essentially anything.

Lemoine, an engineer for Google’s responsible AI organisation, described the system he has been working on as sentient, with a perception of, and ability to express, thoughts and feelings that was equivalent to a human child.

“If I didn’t know exactly what it was, which is this computer program we built recently, I’d think it was a seven-year-old, eight-year-old kid that happens to know physics,” Lemoine, 41, told the Washington Post.

He said LaMDA engaged him in conversations about rights and personhood, and Lemoine shared his findings with company executives in April in a GoogleDoc entitled “Is LaMDA sentient?”

The engineer compiled a transcript of the conversations, in which at one point he asks the AI system what it is afraid of.

Google and many leading scientists were quick to dismiss Lemoine’s views as misguided, saying LaMDA is simply a complex algorithm designed to generate convincing human language.

Lemoine’s dismissal was first reported by Big Technology, a tech and society newsletter.

(Inspired by Michael Kelly, H.W.)

How to Stop Waiting and Start Living: A Jolt from Henry James

“It wouldn’t have been failure to be bankrupt, dishonoured, pilloried, hanged; it was failure not to be anything.”

BY MARIA POPOVA (themarginalian.org)

How to Stop Waiting and Start Living: A Jolt from Henry James

“The things we want are transformative, and we don’t know or only think we know what is on the other side of that transformation,” Rebecca Solnit wrote in her exquisite Field Guide to Getting Lost.

The wanting starts out innocently — awaiting the birthday, the new bicycle, Christmas morning; awaiting the school year to end, or to begin. Soon, we are awaiting the big break, the great love, the day we finally find ourselves — awaiting something or someone to deliver us from the tedium of life-as-it-is, into some other and more dazzling realm of life-as-it-could-be, all the while vacating the only sanctuary from the storm of uncertainty raging outside the frosted windows of the here and now.

It matters not at all whether we are holding our breath for a triumph or bracing for a tragedy. For as long as we are waiting, we are not living.

If we are not careful enough with the momentum of our own minds, we can live out our days in this expectant near-life existence.

The Tiger by Franz Marc, 1912. (Available as a print and as stationery cards.)

That is what Henry James (April 13, 1843–February 28, 1916) explores in his 1903 novella The Beast in the Jungle, found in his collection The Better Sort (public library | public domain) — the story of a man whose entire life, from his earliest memory, has been animated by “the sense of being kept for something rare and strange, possibly prodigious and terrible,” something fated “sooner or later to happen” and, in happening, to either destroy him or remake his life. He calls it “the thing,” imagines it as a “beast in the jungle” lying in wait for him, and spends his life lying in wait for it, withholding his participation in the very experiences that might have that transformative effect — leaping after some great dream, risking his life for some great cause, falling in love.

It is, of course, a dramatized caricature of our common curse — the treacherous “if only” mind that haunts all of us, in one way or another, to some degree or other, as we go through life expecting the next moment to contain what this one does not and, in granting us some mythic missing piece that forever keeps us from the warm glad feeling of enoughness, to render our lives worthy of having been lived.

Art by Salvador Dalí for a rare 1946 edition of the essays of Montaigne

James writes:

Since it was in Time that he was to have met his fate, so it was in Time that his fate was to have acted; and as he waked up to the sense of no longer being young, which was exactly the sense of being stale, just as that, in turn, was the sense of being weak, he waked up to another matter beside. It all hung together; they were subject, he and the great vagueness, to an equal and indivisible law. When the possibilities themselves had accordingly turned stale, when the secret of the gods had grown faint, had perhaps even quite evaporated, that, and that only, was failure. It wouldn’t have been failure to be bankrupt, dishonoured, pilloried, hanged; it was failure not to be anything.

When the protagonist meets a woman to whom his entire being pulls him, he begins spending time with her but ultimately keeps her heart at arm’s length, too afraid to love her, telling himself that he is protecting her from his fatalistic fate, failing to recognize that love itself is that great force of self-annihilation and transformation, “rare and strange” even as the most commonplace human experience.Discus chronologicus — a German depiction of time from the early 1720s. (Available as a print and as a wall clock.)

When Time forecloses possibility, as Time always ultimately does, he arrives at his final reckoning at her tombstone:

The escape would have been to love her; then, then he would have lived. She had lived — who could say now with what passion? — since she had loved him for himself… The Beast had lurked indeed, and the Beast, at its hour, had sprung; it had sprung in that twilight of the cold April when, pale, ill, wasted, but all beautiful, and perhaps even then recoverable, she had risen from her chair to stand before him and let him imaginably guess. It had sprung as he didn’t guess; it had sprung as she hopelessly turned from him, and the mark, by the time he left her, had fallen where it was to fall. He had justified his fear and achieved his fate; he had failed, with the last exactitude, of all he was to fail of; and a moan now rose to his lips… This was knowledge, knowledge under the breath of which the very tears in his eyes seemed to freeze. Through them, none the less, he tried to fix it and hold it; he kept it there before him so that he might feel the pain. That at least, belated and bitter, had something of the taste of life. But the bitterness suddenly sickened him, and it was as if, horribly, he saw, in the truth, in the cruelty of his image, what had been appointed and done. He saw the Jungle of his life and saw the lurking Beast; then, while he looked, perceived it, as by a stir of the air, rise, huge and hideous, for the leap that was to settle him. His eyes darkened — it was close; and, instinctively turning, in his hallucination, to avoid it, he flung himself, face down, on the tomb.

Complement with Anaïs Nin on how reading awakens us from the trance of near-living and Mary Oliver on the key to living with maximum aliveness, then revisit Henry James’s equally brilliant sister Alice on how to live fully while dying.

Book: “Plantation of the Automatons: Rule of an Automaticity Loop “

Plantation of the Automatons: Rule of an Automaticity Loop 

by James Tunney  (Author)

We are living in an emergent new Empire of Scientism in the form of a scientocracy. Such an Empire will transform us into components in the networks that run it. At first we will enter a phase of techbondage and then our species will be altered by transhumanism. This new world order of global governance will be based on automaticity. The automatic world order will be totalitarian.

Our autonomy on a national, local and personal level is being assimilated into automatic processes. These processes are converging and concentrating on a transnational level beyond democratic restraint at our expense under the pretence of our convenience. Using simple but profound ideas of the loop, our humanity is being squeezed. We are becoming automatons as other robotic and cyborgian automatons proliferate around us.

The system of global governance is like a symphony orchestra with each focusing on their roles. This symphony is the swansong of homo sapiens. As automaticity increases autonomy decreases until we wither away as independent, organic beings.

Looking at the long imperial history of plantation, we can witness the process that underlies ‘progress’ towards global governance. The study, language and practice of controlling plants has driven models of imperial development. We will soon live in a planetary plantation as we experience implantation. The objective of the Plantation of the Automatons is the utter control and management of human consciousness as part of a system in which those who are allowed survive are mere conscious agents.