The internet has catalyzed billions of people to transition from primarily top down to more bottom up-- minded, socially, business-wise. People born after 1980 have been marinating in the internet since they were teens and it's changed their brains-- their neurobiology-- so they perceive and process experiences and relationships differently.
The top down mind is a relatively recent phenomenon, a symptom of agriculture and civilization, along with hierarchy, centralization, domination, disconnection and a lot more. Some people were exposed to civilization 10,000 years ago and some were exposed four or five hundred years ago.
Before then, for 99% of the time that humans existed, they lived bottom up lives in bottom up cultures with bottom up brains. The few hundred thousand indigenous people living on the planet today STILL live bottom up lives.
The thing is, humans evolved, over a course of several million years, to function with bottom up cultures and bottom up brains, to be raised in bottom up parenting situations. Psychologist Darcia Narvaez describes in her William James Award winning book, Neurobiology of the Development of Human Morality, how hundreds of different neurobiological pathways and connections evolved to optimally blossom and unfold when they are stimulated by bottom up parenting and a "nest" that was the usual way that small hunter gatherer bands raised children.
Now, as we return to bottom up ways, it is time for us to revisit indigenous wisdom, knowhow and values. That's why Dr. Narvaez organized the conference, Sustainable Wisdom : Integrating Indigenous KnowHow for Global Flourishing . The idea of re-indigenization was frequently brought up as the answer to the unsustainable ways of relating to the world, to the use of energy, to nature, to each other.
I attended and participated in the conference, offering a paper in the poster session, titled, Now Is the Perfect Time To Bring Indigenous Wisdom to Western Culture.. Here's what it said:
A bottom up revolution is sweeping western culture, catalyzed by the internet and smart phones. This revolution has changed the brain functions of people born after 1980 and has made all people and businesses far more amenable to bottom up ideas--and Indigenous ways and wisdom are bottom up in so many ways. Framing indigenous wisdom as bottom up can help make them more acceptable and embraceable by mainstream, even corporate audiences. Bottom is a concept that has been trending more and more according to Google trends. It's producing trillions in new businesses yet also catalyzing connection consciousness--awareness of values that are similar to those at the core of Indigenous wisdom.
For a long time, the Hobbesian, dog-eat-dog, law-of-the-jungle, Darwinian view of aboriginals, characterizing them as "uncivilized" as brutal savages living lives of constant struggle to survive. But we know that aboriginal live in harmony with nature. People like the San Bushmen of Africa work 2-3 hours a day to subsist. Subsist! We talk about subsistence living as a form of deprivation, while actually, in the world of indigenous people still alive, primarily in rain forests, subsistence living works. They have 21-22 free hours a day. There is no unemployment, no mental illness. People are happy. Now, some say the indigenous peoples of the world are the truly affluent.
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