So, over 40+ years, my thinking has evolved, from Magic, to Motorcycles, to Mandelbrot, as it has passed from naive and wishful hoping, to power-based command & control ways of thinking, to socio-ecological complexity ways of thinking. And this takes us to the present, where an understanding of the direction the world is heading, leads to the conclusion, I think, that we need a large scale, mainstream-supported, social revolution. We’ll leave the details (because there are a lot of details), for future posts and discussions, but the beginning is to realize that this is about our very existence, as a civilization, maybe as a species. It’s about the existence of literally millions and millions of our brethren species as well. From the birds and the bees, to the insects and fish, to us. If there ever was a Rally for Planetary Survival, a moment when we all come together as One, then this decade has gotta be it.
Changing one’s worldview can take a while. It’s hard to wrap your head around it all at once, as though flipping from business-as-usual mentality to emergency-measures-now mentality is a minor feat. It is not. And when you look around you on any given afternoon and life SEEMS pretty normal, you just have to peel back the curtain and look at what’s already happening around the world in order to make abstractions real. Like, climate change, biodiversity collapse and the general breakdown of planetary systems — these are barely-meaningful phrases because they are so big.
But when you flesh out these abstractions with news stories about specific species, specific places, specific people, then it does “sink in.”
We don’t even need predictions and “models” anymore to show us the changing climate and destabilizing ecosphere. We can just go with observations in the present. The web of life IS falling apart. There’s no doubt about that. What remains is for us to accept this, fully accept this, and then — take Real action to change the system.
This is one of the most important things we can do, I think —- make the “environmental emergency” conversation something that you, personally, are more comfortable having, and you, personally, can back up with at least a couple of specific facts, examples, stories, something that inspires you, an organization that you participate in.
Getting yourself to the point of being an effective, willing, comfortable advocate for the things you believe in, like “saving the world!,” is one of the most important things I think ‘the average person’ can do. Because what we are being called to do in the next decade or so, is the biggest shift in planetary consciousness, so to speak, that the human race has ever gone through. The scale and complexity of the challenges ahead of us in the immediate — next generation or two — future, are unprecedented, and the challenge of taking a destabilizing world and using it as an opportunity to turn Humanity towards a track of peace, ecological wisdom, justice, and everything that goes along with that. Whew. This is no small challenge.
The increasingly popular idea of a “Green New Deal” is talking about a World War II level of mobilization, all hands on deck to save the world. That would be nice. That would be a start.
If you have been in the environmental field for any length of time, you know that for a person to go from “do whatever you want” to “reduce! Reuse! Recycle!” can be a pretty long journey, taking years.
To go further, to becoming truly ecologically conscious? That’s a whole other journey.
And then? To become a radical planetary revolutionary warrior and devote your life to full-scale saving the planet? ……um…..that’s a whole other journey too.
I believe that we need the majority of society to shift, and quickly, into an ecological way of perceiving ourselves in relation to each other and the rest of the world. The knowledge of how to “be” in a different way is already out there. It’s held in indigenous cultures. Eco-farming communities. And a thousand other places. We have the knowledge and wisdom to behave better as a species. But we need to apply it, large scale, and immediately.
This is unprecedented. Nothing of this scale has ever been undertaken. This is bigger than WWII. The space race. The pyramids. The fall of Rome. The colonization of the New World. This is a global revolution in how we conduct ourselves towards each other and towards the planet.
Think of the opportunities this is going to provide humanity, for ACTUALLY making the world a better place! Think of what would happen if we genuinely committed ourselves to peace against other humans, and restoration of ecological integrity around the world. Oh my god, it almost breaks my heart to think of the world of abundance that we could live in. If we “simply,” as a global society, reoriented our activities from War to Peace, from Exploitation (of resources, people, animals), to Collaboration, from Domination to Creative Expression — think of how we would change the world.
I would love, love, love to live in that world. And I likely never will. But what greater meaning could there be in life than to take what you’ve inherited from the past, and pass forward something far more beautiful?
These ideas are, more or less, what I intend to explore with you in this blog. It’s my best attempt at creative expression, collaboration, solutions, truth, peace, love — the path to a better world.
Magic, Motorcycles, and Mandelbrot: A call for global revolution
Hi Dan! Just red your whole Mandelbrot set. Nice. We ARE invited to personal opening. As you point out, flipping state is difficult, but there IS that ol’ hundredth monkey effect, waiting in the wings. I cross my fingers, and admire your positivity.
I think it was a mistake to keep the Airic Macbay session under wraps. Your input would have had a profound impact, imo. Have you met Tarver?
Hi! Thanks for your response! And admiring my positivity? Ha…. That’s only the minority % of the time, at best!
I personally think we’re at a societal bifurcation point. Maybe the window will be open for ten, maybe fifty years, as the world degrades and things go to shit, it seems like humanity’s going to have a real chance to reach down to a pretty fundamental existential level and, you know, ‘change things’.
Before I say more, I have to ask for clarification. The Airic Macbay session? Tarver? Tbh, no clue what you’re referring to. 🙂 Tell me more!
And seriously, thanks for the anonymous comment! I feel a serious kin-ship with fellow chaos/complexity lovers. As my friend Eric often says, in relation to most profound or awesome sorts of things in life — “Fractals, maaaan…”
I’m so thankful for all your posts Dr. Dolderman.
– a previous student
Thank you SO much “a previous student!” I really appreciate that!! It’s so nice to hear that because sometimes, you know, you write all this stuff down and think about it and everything, and then wonder, “hmmm, I wonder if this really ‘lands’ on anyone and affects them in any hopefully good way?” I try to kind of ‘detach’ from the outcome and focus on the fact that it’s been, and continues to be, a great experience for me at least, to spend some time recreationally writing like this. It’s good times. But sincerely, thank you for telling me that you’re getting something out of the posts! 🙂
(If you care to elaborate any more, I’d love to hear what, specifically, interested you or resonated.) 🙂
I love that your posts give people with mental illnesses dignity, I have depression and I didnt know that others also experience dissociation, the post made me realize that it is a symptom of my disease not my character. I was able to recover faster by feeling worthy enough to create healthy habits. I love this series of posts too because it gives hope that I can be part of movements which will actually have a meaning impact again the climate crisis, because the 3 vague Rs we learn in school are bloody useless. I’ve also used some of your teachings from your psychology class in my life. Like when I would tutor my sister in math I would say no worries you just dont know it yet, and it worked. I mean it took 5 years for her to realize she could become good at math, but she really believed in herself and worked through her frustrations. I have also made so many of my friends and family read man’s search for meaning and it has instantly become their favourite book. Also whenever I would write the tests from your courses I would genuinely get happy reading a surfer dude question, I found them so funny. One thing i appreciate about you the most is you always made students in your class feel worthy and respected. So thank you for all your kindness.
oh my gosh…I have no idea how to respond to this….except, thank you!! Like, SO much! And for being so specific, it’s amazing — like, amaaaaazing — to hear all this. Thank you sincerely. 🙂 🙂 🙂