unified in double vision.



earth hour at karma. we took a stand. we sat in the dark. met james from guelph, alex from ottawa, myrtle from ’38. singing, gtr-playing, community.

influence and belief

i am greatly influenced by whatever i am reading, and for me things come in waves lasting about two weeks. i’ve known this since i was a teen. makes things pass more easily–i tend not to bear grudges, for example, but also makes me more gullible. as a friend said of himself at his son’s wedding, i tend to wear my heart on both sleeves and a pant leg.

so i’m trying to lay low, to not react knee-jerkily or impetuously, nor be so influenced by my current reading (which, btw, is The Ascent of Humanity, online at ascentofhumanity.com). however, i believe impetuosity and credulity have a positive purpose, too. so i’m trying actually to find a happy compromise. react, but not too swiftly; believe, but not gullibly. and still let all things pass, as they must.

one thing leads to another

–a song from the eighties–one-to-one. then came chaos theory, how one thing leads to many things–one-to-many. superseded by complexity theory, many causes lead to many effects–many-to-many. connections, complex┬áconnections perhaps. especially when connecting life with life, self with non-self. else all is vanity. however, good buddhists and presbyterians alike know, and physicists seek, the unity that underlies everything.

being in your head versus groupthink

‘don’t go in there alone’ she warned me, but they left me alone. for over two years. get out of your head and into your life i was told, so i did that. i returned to my family and my community and tried to pick up where i left off.

still, being somewhat physically limited but not so much mentally meant i spend a lot of time in my head, alone. but that’s better than groupthink.

shifting society’s goals think tank–sustain wellbeing offers hope and community

good thing *somebody’s* thinking. our friend mike nickerson at ‘sustain wellbeing‘ offers hope and community.

from http://sustainwellbeing.net/update_welcome.html

As the times get ever riper, interest in the shift from perpetual economic expansion to sustainability grows. The on-line resources were assembled last year and this year, finally, we are able to announce them. The response has been exciting.

Periodic updates, the Mini-Course on Shifting Society’s Goals and the Think Tank are all now operable and accessible here.

These initiatives aim to engage your thoughts, imagination and creativity, along with that of many peers, for the task of getting our societies to understand that we have to stabilize our activities within planetary limits. When that goal is recognized, viable policies and actions will follow.

As part of the Think Tank you will be able to offer new thinking, help refine the suggestions of others, and push action items up the priority list. By gathering and sharing ideas, action plans and reports on how such plans have worked, we can maximize our contribution toward redirecting society. Click here to join now.

So you can have the most valuable and up-to-date sustainabilty background for the Think Tank, and for your life, we’ve created a mini-course in sustainability fundamentals. It’s a series of short articles and videos that provide a foundation for understanding the sustainability challenge we’re facing. Click here and the items will arrive in your in-box, one per week.

We encourage those joining the Shifting Society’s Goals Think Tank to become familiar this course of background materials.

While the prospects sometimes look bleak, our world will change to accommodate planetary limits. What we don’t know is how much confrontation with those limits it will take before we come to respect them. It is entirely possible to manage our world in ways that offer humans a long and satisfying future. We are glad that you have made the connection for monthly updates and encourage you to become familiar with the background materials and join us in discussing how to make sustainability the primary directive of personal and social strategy.

For a sustainable future,
Mike Nickerson


wisdom is more than just knowing yourself (introspection). you gotta know too how the world works (extroversion)–and not in some machiavellian/metternichtian sense–i mean how things really work, everywhere, all the time. i think it’s far from random.

in fact, i’m convinced everything’s interconnected, and thus every action has a consequence. yet, since we don’t know what’s gonna happen, can’t see the future, our choices are neither determined nor random but creative.

entropy–the movement from higher energy to lower (energy expense as it were), from complexity to simplicity–is real, but it’s only part of the picture. life works in reverse. life requires energy, builds complexity out of simplicity. quarks and atoms are pretty simple, immutable, eternal. consciousness is complex, changeable, ephemeral. yet only with consciousness can we choose. we have to choose–we have no choice. aren’t we lucky? we have free choice. the past is done, and still we have options for the future. the options, far from being random, are possible only because of the past.

i guess that makes me a serious guy, except i know what’s really happening, i hope. i know what’s really funny. some say humour, along with paradox and change, is present everywhere in the universe. fear and frustration are signs. so are love and trust. if i encounter fear or frustration, it’s a sign i gotta change my view of either myself or the world. on the other hand, if i encounter love or trust, it’s a sign i’m on the right path. love and trust are rising while fear and frustration are subsiding. stay tuned.

my happy places…

…of old are gone–can no longer play guitar, climb a tree, go for a bike ride, write code, analyze a chess problem nor save the world–still, mine is a happy place, if i trust, be patient, accept and let go, don’t judge, don’t strive, and approach all thing afresh and compassionately.

how can i be compassionate yet detached? i think the detachment is from craving, not compassion. craving is self-centred, compassion is not. craving reinforces the illusion of duality and individualism, compassion knows everything’s interconnected. craving seeks pleasure and avoids pain, compassion takes both the good and the bad–in fact, there is no good and bad. that’s good.