“Romance and fantasy are inevitable for writers who don’t believe in
the permanence of their own society.” – Northrop Frye
In the moment
You don’t have to be a careful reader of this magazine to detect our counter-cultural biases; the very name New Human City is a rallying cry for breaking away. In Cool: How the Brain’s Hidden Quest for Cool Drives our Economy and Shapes our World, authors Annette Asp and Stephen Quartz state, “Beyond the tempting heroic imagery of the rebel, invoking the rebel instinct—even when it means imagining a dominant foe—remains a powerful way to galvanize group identity.”1 How can—or does—the local conscious community avoid this trap and, instead, offer the world a fresh, sweetly positive position?
We, the people loosely defined as “the conscious community”, are not homogeneous; nor are we cultist. Generally, we strive to be “in the moment”, which can mean a lot of things but comes down (arguably) to paying attention: to our bodies, to how we’re affected by perceptions and attitudes, and to how we affect each other. In striving to be authentic and to maintain a lively, critical sense of others’ authenticity, we hold consciousness as if it were a precious vessel filled with hope that what we do matters.
Being in the moment, our experiences inform us and other people in the conscious community (or “conch” for short, as I learned while editing nhc this week). The rebel instinct may be alive and kicking, but it’s not a pose: striving to be in the moment, which is hard (!), doesn’t let us dwell in the negative, which is easy but fruitless. We like life and don’t let what’s wrong in it get in the way (too much) of celebrating and driving our part in it.
Power from Gaia
The cursor blinks at me as I struggle to express thoughts that will offend somebody: I believe in Gaia. How that relates to the belief system of the person I offend is beyond me: I am not them. In being in this moment, the solution to the sadness at “what’s wrong” with the world and at the unavoidable fact that my beliefs offend others is simple: I will be authenic and positive.
So, neighbour, I beg you to let me be. There’s lots for us to do together without expending energy on pulling each other down from whatever brings us hope!
For the Anthropocene Epoch has come—the time when our kind’s behaviours are what affects our planet/home more than any other force. Naomi Klein identifies scientific bias as the root of that evil, specifically the attitude that the Earth is a machine and we control its handles. That’s only part of the truth, the other part being a deficit in attention—consciousness—among a lot of the living and among a whole lot of those now long dead.
Most of our species is ignorant of our capabilities as a collective, from want of practice. What most of us treasure is fools’ gold: “We have lost the cosmos, by coming out of responsive connection with it, and this is our chief tragedy.”2
The tension between right and wrong, yin and yang, is the core of our consciousness and is our core struggle. As the local “conch” community, as a species, as part of our planet’s life (Gaia), we are surrounded by teachers. Isn’t it lovely?