Nature vs Technology … What is “the middle way?”..

This is my current research interest for the MA, but I feel this may change, a bit, or perhaps a lot.. let’s see…

 

design-genius

“Technology has always been inspired by nature” Janine Benyus

Wisdom Hive (the community held eco-enterprise that I am currently developing) changes the education paradigm, harnessing the power of the current digital age to generate global cross-cultural dialogue in a way that mimics nature’s design. As such, Wisdom Hive is a self-generating, self-organising organism that works for the benefit of all parts, sharing resources freely, creatively and intelligently for the evolution of the global social and ecological community.

 

Through undertaking a Masters in Digital Humanities I wish to:

  1. Explore the indigenous wisdoms and wisdom traditions of the world to inquire if these can offer support for our current ‘evolutionary transition’ into a digitally connected world.
  2. Inquire more deeply into what it means to be ‘a digitally connected world’ through exploring ‘digital ecology’ questioning: “is the Internet a reflection of nature’s evolution that makes tangible our total interconnectedness and interdependence as a species
  3. What are the cultural, ethical and political implications of subscribing to this theory?

It is a believed amongst the indigenous tribes globally that humanity is currently going through an evolutionary passage. Nature has been evolving through evolutionary transitions successfully for 13.8billion years. (Campbell, Earth Talk) The wisdom for transitioning through each passage whilst maintaining our cultural identity and biodiversity is innate in nature and has been passed down by the indigenous tribes through ceremony, sacred ritual, art, music, dance, prayer and story – drawing on the stories of our cosmologies as support for navigating our evolutionary transitions.

The transformative key for Thomas was story, namely, a narrative telling of our origins and our purpose.. Narrated in ritual settings.. these traditional stories provide meaning and direction for people in everyday life” (thomasberry.org)

The essence of contemporary society’s evolutionary transition into a technology-rich, digitally-literate world is that humanity is becoming increasingly disconnected from the natural world and the ancient wisdoms. We are rapidly evolving into a machine like, digitally-connected society.

Two paths seem to be emerging, essentially: nature vs technology, human vs machine. I wish to explore this phenomena of the 21st century society – questioning what is the middle path? (The third way, bringing balance to polarities, Jung. The path of wisdom, of enlightenment, Buddhism) The place where nature and technology join in harmony.

Through exploring the wisdom of the indigenous tribes globally I wish to draw on the wisdom of the elders, the nature-based, ancient indigenous wisdoms and ask; How can we as a society (utilize the 13.8billion years of our planet’s evolutionary wisdom) to support ourselves through our collective evolutionary transition into a digital, globally-connected, culturally-diverse world?

“The phenomenon of not understanding our evolutionary process is a new thing…. the ancestors held this in their cosmologies and ways of living” Colin Campbell

Using digital artifacts I will capture through stories the cosmologies of indigenous tribes as well as capturing a real sense of their cultural wisdom through digitally recording their rituals, music, art, dance, prayer and ceremonies – that which has held the essence and wisdom of their culture alive through the generations.

“In this time of transition we are going through the traditional elders of southern Africa say if we incorporate in our relationship with the world of nature, those five rituals, those five practices, (dance, song, prayer, sacred ritual and story) we will find the dream of where we are going both as an individual and a collective, we will find what this passage we are going through is really about and we will survive it.. we will survive it at a completely different level, we will become something greater and the world will be the greater for it.”

Colin Campbell

 As well as seeking guidance on how we as a society can support ourselves through this evolutionary process I wish to explore the ancient teachings of our planetary interconnectedness and interdependence, teachings that have been held alive by indigenous wisdom elders, passed down through generations. Drawing on philosophical and holistic scientific theories such as digital ecology, living systems, entanglement, the collective unconscious and morphic field resonance. I will explore whether these ancient teachings of a non-local, non-temporal, web-like set of connections is now being made visible through the digital age, specifically through the technology of ‘the internet’.

 

I query is the internet an ecological evolution which, through technological genius, facilitates the meeting of all human minds, making visible our invisible connection with everyone? From this I propose that we might start to regard the internet as a 21st century digital manifestation of the collective unconscious, the universal mind.

 

To give rich body to this inquiry I will carry out an exploration into Rupert Sheldrake’s morphic field resonance. Sheldrake postulates the existence of ‘collective memory inheritance’ between past and future members of species which implies the existence of a ‘collective unconscious’ in which every member of our global species is embedded – invisibly interconnected and interdependent with one other.

I will conclude the development of my theory with a critical exploration of the political and ethical implications inherent in relating to the internet as a technological manifestation of planetary interconnectedness: How might subscribing to the theory that the internet reflects a shared ‘mind’ space transform our social behaviour in the future? What are the new ethics and politics that might emerge as we become aware of our interconnectedness and interdependence, made tangible through the living invisible world that the internet now explicitly connects us with, in today’s digital society?

Evoking a new political philosophy relevant for the digital age, I wish to explore Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s suggestions for ‘a social contract’ within the context of an emerging digital world. This could offer some inspiring and pragmatic luminosity on what it means to organize a network of minds ethically, morally and with a collective conduct that respects all.

Could this awareness reshape cultural rules around our shared space thus catalysing profound social and politics changes, in particular demanding us to consider what it means to be human in the digital age? Similar to the ‘no pollution’ policy that we find in most ‘developed’ society’s – might (or even ‘should’?) it become mandatory for a no pollution policy in our shared ‘mind’ space – could filtering systems and digital boundaries become much more regulated and implemented on the internet. Might the strict networking policies enforced in countries such as China become more plausible to the free Western thinker?

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