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General News    H3'ed 2/16/13

Jennifer Wells: Complexity, Sustainability and the Cultivation of a Healthy Planet

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Jennifer Wells
Jennifer Wells
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Jennifer Wells by Jennifer Wells

Jennifer Wells by Jennifer Wells

This author (Burl) once had a dream, sometime in the 70's, of an uncle who had recently died. The author was in the funeral home viewing the body, which suddenly rose up and began to dance. The author then began to shout at the dancing corpse to get back into the coffin for he was supposed to be dead.

This dream reflects where we are in our modern world.

Our western culture cannot accept its death. Even though there are numerous signs "out there" and "in here" that our world is deteriorating, and even decaying, the majority of us remain stuck in our old ways. In not accepting death, we do not allow new life to unfold.

In our communal mind, decay is a terrible, smelly and disgusting process. Yet, a little time in the woods allows one to see that the leaves that fell in the Fall became food for the leaves that bud forth in the spring.

Death is simply a process that leads to renewal. It is not just renewal in the sense that things remain the same. It is renewal in the evolutionary sense.

One of the aspects of Western Culture that refuses to die is our philosophy about the world. While science (e.g., quantum physics, chaos theory, systems theory) has questioned our linear, reductionist and highly pyramidal power schemes, it appears that we are grounded in a place of rigid top-down control. This linear control system is reflected in our religion which has figure heads such as the Pope or Church Central Committees overseeing the underlying Bishops that oversee the underlying Priests who oversee the congregation. Of course, on top of that is the remote control ruling power of the Almighty God who exists in a transcendent heaven and oversees everything.

This is not the way all religions operate; it is what has evolved since the Egyptian-Greco-Roman civilizations that ultimately viciously took over the world from the Natives of the various continents and lands. Earlier Nature-goddess-based religions were much more inclusive and integrative.

This is not only true in religion, but also science and the helping professions. For example, in counseling psychology, there are oftentimes "standardized therapies" (e.g. MST, which works primarily with delinquent adolescents) that are based on hierarchical schemes that place schools, families, and government at the top of the heap. Thus, the prescribed goal is to get a delinquent child to conform to these systems. Modern culture's obsession with standardization stifles both creation and evolution. Objective, "evidence-based" statistics quantify but also suck the life and quality out of intuitive observations and responses.

While guidance and strong parenting, which teaches children the ways of Nature (primarily) and the culture (secondarily), helps children to live a full life, the fact is, our delinquent adolescents simply mirror the sociopathology of the dominant culture. It does not take long for one with open eyes to see the similarities between girls who are engaging in promiscuous sexual behavior to sensual advertisements that have phallic lipsticks moving seductively over desirous wet lips. Nor do we see the violence of adolescent boys as being a reflection of a culture that has been constantly at war for at least the past 200 years and the bloody movies and video games that blow people up with the click of a mouse.

The issues with our children are systemic. Oh, well, what about drugs and bad people in the night that wish to do them harm? Who are these people if not opportunists desiring to spread their ego's wings? Are they any different from a corporate CEO?

The criminality of a CEO and an anti-social adolescent are one and the same. These are complex systemic issues. In essence, we are oftentimes trying to counsel a delinquent adolescent into "behaving", while, in fact, he is already behaving as an inherent cell in a sociopathic system. He is doing as the corporate We does, not as we say. In essence, we're telling the adolescent which sociopathic path won't land him or her into Juvenile Detention. His or her delinquency is simply inherent in the system that we often try to adjust the adolescent to. This would be predicted in the holographic theories of physicist David Bohm and neurologist Carl Pribram (see Talbot 1991).

What we need to change is Mother Culture, not Mother Nature. This means we need to change. It's not enough to get an adolescent to stop engaging in anti-social behaviors. WE need to stop engaging in anti-social behaviors, this includes the 1%, the media (e.g., the pitting of left against right on CNN and Fox News) and the seductive advertising that leads young girls to believe that they are simply about legs, breasts and butts and young boys into believing they can save the world via a computer game that prepares them for military service.

There are political implications for the findings of modern science that the universe is not as hierarchical as we have been led to believe. For example, chaos theory provides a role to everything in the creation of everything else. Chaos theory states nothing new. 

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Burl Hall is a retired counselor who is living in a Senior Citizen Housing apartment. Burl has one book to his credit, titled "Sophia's Web: A Passionate Call to Heal our Wounded Nature." For more information, search the book on Amazon. (more...)
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