Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner

Learning at Warp Speed

Originally posted on October 1, 2014

I was reminded of the theme of “big history” recently. Collective leaning is a powerful force, and it’s not clear we’re learning. Big history shows us the broad sweep of evolution, physical, chemical, biological. We haven’t had the knowledge to tie all these together before the mid-late 20th century.

We are the living residue of complex galactic and stellar evolution, planetary formation, geological evolution over many billions and then millions of years. We are the culmination of biological evolution on this planet, and this in turn has affected geology! We are either a culmination of animal, mammal, and primate evolution, or perhaps a spin-off into the catastrophic possibility of a species becoming clever, but not clever enough to stop itself from killing much of life on this planet—and itself, too.

Knowing about this “big history” facilitates an emergence of a sentiment that’s open to inter- and trans-spirituality, quite beyond the battling dogmatic “religions” that have tied us not only to roots in wisdom and fellowship, but also many sins—patriarchy, ethnocentrism, materialism, etc. Religion may be said to have supported imperialism, feudalism, monarchism, colonialism, exploitative capitalism, and other “-ism”s that have characterized pre-modern and modern societies.

Postmodern societies are spawning a multiplicity of forms that contrast. I’m far from saying that all that comes nowadays is good stuff. Some offers promise, other developments seem to me to be seductions, forms of addiction, and other pitfalls. But that’s the way it goes. Sometimes something that I shake my head about turns out to be good after all. (I call my initial reluctance “the fuddy duddy complex!)

It’s important to introduce into this transition a number of methods that offer promise of consciousness-raising. I hope to make a tiny contribution to this.

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