Posts Tagged purpose
I’d ached for a long time.
Waiting for a break.
One day I saw as in a dream,
a world about me that closed in upon me,
then crazed and shattered liked stressed glass
exploding in a dance of differing circumstances.
Then all became quiet and I opened my eyes.
Millions of people stood watching me, waiting.
The air was still and wet with despair,
the oceans stilled by flotsam and filth,
and the land was hard and lay stripped bare.
Then some spirit of wisdom rose up and declared
that love and respect and considered desire
was what was required.
I told them. I showed them.
And still they denied.
Driven by lust and short term want.
Now sighing winds
blow through their bones,
singing their epitaph.
A quieter world now
that when it sighs,
If you were without cognisance of
or involvement in the human world,
but were aware of the wonders of the universe,
then you would be a supreme being.
If you were a supreme being
who’s existence depended upon
the cognisance of humans,
then you would be a contradiction in terms.
The essence of all is consistent.
What adds difference
and lifts the plain to shining peaks
or reduces it to valleys dark
Beauty stands proud
as the mediator that defines mediocrity
and all that is foul and all that inspires
and all that gives life value.
It slows our time
and distracts the mind and the eye
and causes the soul to cry
and to laugh and to ponder.
If beauty be science
and the grandiosity of knowing.
Or the pause that knowing gives to observation.
And the gentle confusion that then arises.
That response we have
to a mere curve
or to a change that’s different.
Or some shift in balance between weights
that has some hidden mathematical rhythm,
or some subtlety that knows
real wisdom and causes us to falter.
Some subtle insight that speaks
of an embellishment to our view
and which stands just slightly out of reach.
That soothes our heart
as might the passing glimpse
of a friend who smiles
but who we don’t know.
There was a man who lived in a cupboard,
and all he could see
was what was visible through the keyhole.
Because someone had stolen the key.
And thrown it away.
At any given point in time,
because there was no night or day,
he might see the thigh of a woman
or part of a cat as it passed by,
or the leg of a table but no more,
or an odd S shape in a carpet,
the rest of which was obscure.
And then there was another man
who lived on top of a mountain
and who could see everything
all at once as the wind blew.
His hands were always cold.
And his eyes always wept
and his smile was a rictus.
In between, someone lived
unaware of either constraints or limits.
He had to guess.
Cat parts seemed too mysterious to know
as did the shape in the carpet.
And the horizon was unfeasibly far and long.
He had a choice.
Ponder both views or ignore them.
In his confusion he did both
and both lived and died.
His constraints limited him
and his limits constrained him
They were and were not simultaneously.
Which is as it should be
because that’s the nature of things.
Ask a cat.
It didn’t help him much either
because with each passing moment,
with both his baffled stares and his overwhelmed wonder,
still the pain remained and the joy
and the inexplicable puzzle of it all
were both partly seen and wholly glimpsed.
When your parents die
the movie ends.
Now you’re not playing a part.
You can sit back in your chair,
the one with your name on it,
and watch the action played back.
See the part you played.
Sit uncomfortable beside others,
self-conscious as your playing is reviewed.
And the silence closes in about you
as you see your failings,
and the quiet of those around
falls away into the distance.
Your life and the stuff that is you
comes into focus.
A real tearjerker is this.
Who wrote this script?
How could, who would, did I?
They were just people.
Life’s timeline compresses.
Your streaming curve cuts across theirs
and streams away to curve back.
You with your guns firing.
Your stupid guns.
We should have talked more.
Because now I don’t see you
by way of a mirror.
Now I can look straight at you.
And I have to hang my head.
So what am I really?
Now I’m in the mirror.
You stayed for a while after.
I felt you and I heard your thoughts.
Now it’s quieter.
But one day I may
have to have that talk.
About how we all made mistakes.
Mine feel so much greater
and I wonder where I’ll sit
between you and my sons.
Warm air rang chilled,
hammer on a bell.
Church steeple still
in pleasant landscape.
Stopped to look
at small life given.
Sleepy world glancing
his way for once
as simmering summer
sultry birdsong sang
So little England carried on
and one who came to pass
and had lived their way
no longer had a choice.
Humans tend to assume that they have a degree of intelligence that gives them awareness that isnt afforded other species.
Criteria that are used to justify this perspective include lack of evidence of empathy, of emotions including fear and sadness, and of gratitude. Or an ability to assess a given context, and to calculate an appropriate response to it.
Every day, visible instances occur that prove these assumptions are just wrong. They imply an arrogance in humanity that is breathtaking. Other creatures are sufficiently sentient to respond to both circumstance and to other creatures as we are. How could they be alive otherwise?
Here’s a small example:
We have to reappraise our relationship with the rest of the world. To imagine that we’re somehow seperate from it is folly. The whole system that we observe and are able to analyse because its systemic, includes us as a key component. As it does every other creature. This is what makes it a system. How to extrapolate this? Discussions about ‘universal conciousness’? Perhaps. How is a component within a system able to see the system from outside? We can’t know this external perspective. We can only know what we see and experience, and deduce. And we can clearly experience sentience and awareness in other creatures, even with our own emotions and intuition, as opposed to powers of analysis. And deploying this experience usefully, must surely lead us to deduce that we arent a seperate cognitive function of the universe but just a part of a mathematical curve that, if we allow it, will extrapolate. And this is the ultimate goal of evolution.
So, some compassion and respect is called for I think… and a little humility. Otherwise we risk compromising the very system that defines us.
It’s all too complicated. I’m tired of complicated.
I want to get up in the morning, attend to those things I need to do in order to exist, with respectful regard to whatever it is that provides those means, and then to go to sleep again.
I want space and time within this simple process that allows me to reflect on its beauty or its ugliness, and to express my responses to those in words and images. To have my quiet say.
And I want to know my place amongst others, and the world around me, and not to have to worry about whether I deserve that place or whether I understand it.
I want my process of existence to contribute to my context simply by virtue of its being.
For my love not to be considered but naturally emergent, and for other’s love to be naturally received, without thinking.
I want to be, and to understand naturally, so that I may move on with greater understanding.
That hard bit just now,
after that warm and yellow bit.
I wonder what’s next?
80% of the world’s population live in what any middle class westerner would regard as abject poverty. Many live in destitution.
So many people know intuitively that they don’t belong where they are, even those who were born where they are.
So many are looking for that home, that small place where they belong in contentment, with family and friends and pets, and a small garden of their own. And all of these people are the daughters and sons of mothers and fathers, and they’re brothers and sisters and cousins and aunts and uncles. Just like everyone else. Like you and me.
What is it then about the way we run things that allows so many people to be so unhappy? Everything required for everyone is there and available. If we’re so clever, why are we not able to moderate our behaviour to account for all of our real needs, rather than for the imagined needs of just a few? What would it take?
Sitting in bath warm water,
waves lapping up my thighs,
leaning on one hand on the yielding sand,
watching the moon sink into the sea.
The natural world is all that’s real.
The rest is construct and hubris.
Watching that sinking moon
over the turning world,
and the whirling cosmos of a trillion lights,
all ticking step by step in time.
And then it came to be known
amongst all sentience
that the Original Source is me,
and we are the Original Source.
Humanity has to find a way of massively reducing its per capita use of resources – be that energy, minerals or land – or we actually do face a potential reality of the collapse of modern civilisation. This isn’t hysteria, or the imaginings of a treehugger. It’s simple reality. We have to find a way of living with less impact. And career politicians are not going to achieve this. They can’t, however well intentioned, because our voting systems would not allow them to do what is required. So its down to each of us, across a world of 7.3 billion people, most of whom live in abject poverty. It’s quite a challenge. But the first step has to be for everyone to start to open their eyes and read, and let go of pre conceptions, and political assumptions. The way we live now isn’t the only way. It wouldn’t actually take much to make the adjustments required. More local – work, travel, food etc. – would probably do it.
With proper attention and investment into developing country cities to provide clean energy and vertical farms.
It can be done, but we really need to move now, and even then, it may be too late if certain greenhouse gas release mechanisms have kicked off as a result of existing warming. We can’t tell yet. But we have to assume that there’s still a chance, whilst there might be one.
So many of our great cities are surrounded or permeated by squalid poverty – tin shacks and people shitting in the street where children play. Humans are more than this. What we regard as the lowest forms of mammalian life don’t live like that. Rats.
How have we allowed this to happen thus far? A revolution is required, in people’s aspirations and expectations. And in how we interact. And how our societies, given that hierarchies will emerge, are structured (and they’re not God given things; we make them) to ensure that all of us are at least warm and fed. The rest is frippery and excess luxury. Fine if it isnt made available at the cost of the squalor of others.
Over drab hills held down
by scudding clouds,
a gap opened and sun’s rays shone down.
Splitting into a million colours
through a million tiny drops,
as the light of a star showed itself to us.
Its million aspects viewed with awe
by the only entity capable of seeing.
So see yourself in that light.
As he died and saw the world fade away,
he also saw his life spread out
like a two dimensional fan in front of him.
Then flames appeared and a charred black hole
spread out from the source into the delicate fan spread.
Each blade a part of his life,
crumbling to charred paper and blowing away on the wind.
And so he returned to his original state.
Now able to play a part in the way
he spent his life hoping he might.
Wiser now and on a universal stage
rather than a bit part in a sideshow.
But having learned to understand this.
A happy soul is one
that’s learned to let go.
Like a seed from a dandelion head
in a sunny breeze,
that let go
of its anchor point
and turned to face the breeze
and the skimming land below.
To arrive where what is.
For the past ten years or more, I’ve pondered the state of humanity and the world we believe we’ve created, dependent as it is upon a natural environment that we continue to take for granted. I’ve looked at most issues – from antibiotic resistance to population growth via land use, deforestation and biodiversity reduction, economic inequity and excessive consumption, pollution and climate change. I’ve seen how all of these problems are interlinked and are interdependent. How all cause each other.
I’ve seen how our political and economic systems manage these issues as stovepipes, independent from one another. And I’ve seen how religious and political dogma work against the human ability to rationally assess contexts and solutions. How ignorant people are led by ego driven fools. And I’ve seen how our simple minded greed is driven by our selfishness.
In short, I’ve seen how our ignorance is driving our demise, as well as that of most other species, compounded by our stubborn stupidity and ego.
I believe that human civilisation, as we understand it to be, will be no more eighty five years from now. And that within four decades, we’ll be experiencing a sense of upheaval that will render most people’s lives unpleasant at best, untenable at worst.
That by the end of this century, humanity will comprise some ten percent of its current volume, some existing self sufficiently, growing their own food and living a simple life, whilst a minority contiue to try to utilise our knowledge to our advantage, but in doing so come to represent an elite that may have complete control over the rest. The ignorant will finally become subsumed, and the fate of humanity will rest with the ability of those with knowledge to resist becoming arrogant. Our final destiny lies with these people.
I don’t have much hope.
Blank hard walls
and in a window that doesn’t care what it sees,
I see reflected a me that used to be.
There are so many.
So many ways
a rose might have opened.
A butterfly might have emerged.
In the eye of the beholder
my fate is decided,
and then I fade away.
Walking drunk down the passageway
past the sorry rooms
to gaze through the window
at the grey skies and
the blown crows
I have to ask why
things worked out his way.
Had I known that I needed to know
such certainty of ambition so soon,
perhaps I could have focused.
The crows know a secret
that the wind shares.
You must follow your true nature,
if you can filter it out from the deafening noise.
Standing on the Chain Bridge
Over Budapest’s Danube,
Watching the water flow by.
Gellert Hill stands in the background,
Where the Nazis had their headquarters
In the second world war.
How many Stukas lie buried in river mud?
Bleached skulls gazing up at passing pleasure boats now,
Wondering what it was for.
I died a million times tonight.
All I had to do was to remember,
And my heart crumbled.
So remind me,
What do I have to do to live?
Past the train station.
Its old stones and arching glass having seen
Tanks and wars and revolutions.
I stood amongst shoppers with garish bags
From all the top brands.
Then past me walked a woman in blue plastic
With tears running down her face
As she saw the cold night ahead living on the street.
And I wanted to give her something to help
But I didn’t.
I stopped and turned and watched her walk away
Through the hurried, selfish crowd.
Now it’s I who weep.
For my weakness.
The truth is that as you get older, the old illusions fall away. The trivia you once aspired to, become worthless, or at least worthless in your heart of hearts. Ignore the false heart that’s fed by those outside. You become someone who’s worth more than them.
You don’t have to be old for this insight to occur. You could be just 16. Or you could be 84. It doesn’t matter. What this process is, is the emergence of an understanding. It might be triggered by something you read, or thought, or was told, that grew into something bigger that belongs to you now because only you really see it, even though you can’t describe it.
It might be an understanding that is the purpose of your life.
Odd that God, or whatever force that drives what is, should ask so little of us. Given what it’s given.
If you’re lucky, and you succeed in gaining such an understanding, I hope that when you’ve moved to a different state, you’ll be kind enough to look over your shoulder and give me a hint. Hopefully with a smile.
I see you wondering
With eyes fixed on a distant view,
Some place in your own mind.
Seeking a space that makes sense.
I do it too.
Sometimes it seems we think too much.
But there’s more to life than the trivial.
To know this is to be truly human.
So it’s good that you wonder why.
I do it too.
And even if it makes you cry,
Feel yourself growing wise.
One day you’ll gain strength from knowing
That you tried
And found a true perspective inside.
It was always there.
Discovering it was the point of your life.
Your life’s purpose is
To understand the void
And to see its truth.
Bright water running through
A small valley formed downhill
Is channelled by what it made.
And so it seems I’ve made my life
Such that it channels me.
Should I have the temerity
To challenge this cursed valley,
I’m rebuked by obstinate circumstance.
Is it circumstance?
Or is there a guide watching my life
And just making sure
I don’t do anything that I might actually want.
Decline is predestined it seems.
No doubt the water that went before
Knew what it was doing.
At the time.
On to my inevitable decline.
Is temerity or timidity best?
Challenge, or accept?
I wouldn’t die any other way.
And die I will.
Probably sooner for this.
I knew a life once that rang true I think.
I know a life now that rings true I think.
I will know a life that’s true when
I know a view that advises me well.
I know a life that’s passing me by
Like a river carrying blossom
That I’ll never see again.
I’m listening to Bach. There are two ways I can listen… one is in a thoughtful way, where I assess the music and consider how it’s affecting me and ponder its complexity.
The other way involves shutting down any form of analysis and stopping thinking all together. Then the music washes over me as though I were lying on a beach, letting waves break over my body. Now the music is an occurrence that blends me with the world and the universe around me. Now the boundary between my skin and everything else becomes less significant. As the vibrations of the music pass through the air and into me, I become part of the same contiguity. Part of the vibrating air. Part of the world around me that’s vibrating with these sounds that evoke in my consciousness, emotional responses and deeper perceptions.
How can a mere vibration through air induce me to tears? There’s something happening that is profound and revealing. Something that hints at the true nature of what I am. I am contiguous with everything else, if I let myself be so. I am capable of becoming part of something so much greater them the self contained package that part of me sees me as.
There is an underlying intelligence in all that is, and I am part of that. This material manifestation that I find myself in is wonderful, but it’s a temporary thing. A necessary lesson. Required in order to understand the vastness of the underlying power. To experience the material is to understand the transcendent that powers it. We live in order to make sense of what is. There are always two aspects to everything. The transcendent cannot be without its material opposite. And to know the transcendent, we need to experience the opposite, the material manifestation. And that is why we are alive.
Through a hundred metres
Of aquamarine, shimmering beauty
At sunbeams shining down
At acute angles to each other
And fading away into marine gloom.
And the flickering fish swimming
Across the view.
So small am I hanging here.
So very small.
A mere fluorescing fleck
Born by strange and vast currents.
Where I’m taken I go.
What I see, I marvel at.
I’d ached for a long time.
Waiting for a break.
One day I saw as one sees in a dream,
A world about me that closed in upon me,
And crazed and shattered liked stressed glass.
I last remember screaming
As my world exploded into a glittering dance.
A dance of varied circumstance.
Soon all became quiet and I opened my eyes.
An ocean of people stood watching me, waiting.
The air was still and wet with despair.
The oceans stilled by flotsam and filth.
The land lay hard and died stripped bare.
Then some spirit of wisdom rose up and declared
That love and respect and considered desire
Was what was required.
I told them. I showed them.
And still they denied.
Driven by lust and short term want.
Now sighing winds blow through their bones
Sadly singing their epitaphe.
A quieter world now.
Where when the wind sighs,
It sighs gladly.
And then as he sat
With his mouth pressed hard
Into his fist,
His eyes glazed
By the fogs of mystery,
He knew himself suddenly
In a glimpse of something overarching,
As part of an homogenous thing
Throbbing with the essence of what is.
Contiguous with all around him.
Just for a moment.
And his eyes grew moist,
Blurring his physical vision
Even as his insight
And his heart swelled
And his mind soared.
So where are you?
I’m here standing watching
Through blue misted edges
Blurred and blended
With one another to a common hue.
A life view of everything indistinct.
Nothing moves or changes.
An unsatisfactory stasis.
Like a fly caught in amber.
And your view?
Would it do me good to know?
Are we all encapsulated by
A golden hued illusion that
Allows us to think
But not to act?
I had the temerity to laugh at her
As she slid silently down through industrialised air
And sat there watching me.
Her shimmering wings lighting the fog
That draped the air around her.
Under a wilting tree with one small apple
Clutched tight in my hand I sat and watched
This apparent apparition congeal
From thin air.
She held up a mirror and I saw myself
I saw a man.
Not one good or bad.
But one that looked at me
Quizzically with eyes that wondered why.
And then I heard myself sigh.
I turned away from her and saw instead
A land of rolling green hills
And hard working people
Who lacked the time to pay attention
To the finer aspects of sparkling wings.
They couldn’t see the beauty.
All they saw were their hands.
Wrinkled and painful
With the toil of living well.
I turned to look at her and she nodded slowly.
She was an ideal that stood proud
From our aspirations.
And as we laboured our way to oblivion,
She stood there shining in the sky
Invisible to all but a few who stood to inherit the earth.
And he sat there on a bamboo veranda, watching the warm ocean roll in and out, below the bowing palm trees that sighed gently in warm wind. And he reflected quietly on his life and his place in the various machinations of the world that he moved within, and in which and of which he played a part.
And to what degree were his actions consequential? As each wave rolled up the ruffled sand, he saw how each decision he’d taken had made change. Not only in his own life but in the lives of others. And his actions echoed down through the world. He had a place. As the cicadas sang, and the sea hushed it’s complicated language over the shifting sands, he saw how his life played a part. Just a little part.
And as he sighed his last, and his vision blurred, and the sea melded with the sky, he knew that his life wasn’t without consequence. As his children laughed and played in the growing distance. And even as the cicadas continued relentless, he understood that the difference between snow and warm sea is that one is set and decided and crystallised, whilst the other is warm and fluid and undecided. And he knew that being alive was warm water, and that it took death to crystallise one’s view to one such that it held a perspective. Prior to that, only warm and tangled currents could define any view. Confusion. Something yet to form. Yet to crystallise. And only some frozen form that came from the cessation of fluid indecision could ever define him. So he came to know that his death coalesced his life into something recognisable.
I’d rather be restless.
Unable to congeal.
More able to feel
Whether sad or glad.
I’d rather sing my own song loud
And fuck everyone else.
And may the resulting
Discordant ring through
Then I’ll feel the strife
And constant reflection
On the value of my life
Will have yielded some result.
No more a fool made of me.
You will listen.
Because we all listen to the voice
Of the dead.
No more failure my achievement.
We’ll all feel together
The vibrating gap
Between the life we live
And the life we want.
As crystals of snow
Melt and join
To form warm water
And make an ocean.
Why do you do what you do? I mean really. Honestly. From inside you. Whether you be an accountant, or a painter, or a mechanic, or a florist. Why do you actually do that thing?
To pay the bills? If that’s the only reason, get another job. Because you enjoy it? Perhaps. But do look at that… why do you enjoy it? Some ego satisfying thing? Some way of covering something over? No? Oh…so it’s because you believe in it? That’s good. But why? Do you really understand the nature of the problems you see? Do you really know that buying Fair Trade Ethiopian tea is changing the world for the better? Or is there a bigger scheme afoot? And perhaps it won’t make any difference how much nearer the Ethiopian tea workers move towards the Western consumption model, the world will have moved on in a multitude of ways, most not so good.
Why do you do it? How near one hundred and eighty degrees away from what you intuit you should be doing is it? The nearer the number is to one hundred and eighty, the greater the reason you have to be unhappy. Change it now. It’s ‘later than you think’ as they say. And if it’s as bad as working to live, why are you living?
Are you doing anything to justify your existence?
A corporate is a human construct. It’s not an aspect of nature that we have no choice but to contend with. We make corporates. They’re a device designed to facilitate the satisfaction of needs and the exchange of wealth within our societies. We made them. We are not beholden to them. We’re supposed to control them.
If it becomes apparent that the activities of corporates, as driven by those who run them, is going against the general good, then we should be able to effect them such that they stop working against us and continue to work for us. Isn’t this common sense?
Two elemental forces play a big part… democracy and greed.
We seem to have built societies that use wealth as a measure of everything that’s of value. The unending complexity of our societies requires that we have formulae to allow us to calculate appropriate ways forward in virtually every regard – cost benefit analyses. So everything becomes reduced to numbers, and the only available metric that could arguably encompass all variables is a monetary one. Just how much is that landscape worth to you? Enough to pay off your mortgage? More? Less? Never mind your first reactions. When the man from the corporate comes knocking on your door with a checkbook, what’s your price?
Democracy is supposed to be a process whereby decision making is collective. Decisions are supposed to reflect a consensus, and the supposition is that a consensus represents a kind of average view that stands the best chance of satisfying all parties at least to some degree. Those whose opinions vary from the mainstream are quietened by needing to acknowledge that their view isn’t shared by most and therefore wouldn’t command many followers. And so would probably be unworkable.
This all depends upon what people regard as being worth voting for. Why do people vote the way they do? Broadly, two reasons. national or global interest, or self interest.
Corporates are human constructs, but they’re also devices of power within society. Given the power of their role, they ought to be subject to democratic principles. But they’re not. Instead, they’re subject only to the democracy of people who deem the corporate a device for personal wealth creation. Noting else. Shareholders. People who could live anywhere on the planet, who’ve bought shares in the corporate with a view to selling those shares at a profit at some point in the future. And Directors, who can become wealthy beyond the wildest dreams of almost everyone, and they do.
Remember that these organisations… these corporates… are societal devices that we invented to facilitate general well being. The provision of goods and services, of social well being and of employment.
But corporates are run by people who’s brief is to generate profits for shareholders. They have no other defined objective. They’re not subject to any democratic process beyond that which reflects the ambitions of shareholders. In our free market economy based society, corporates seek to grow. And they do this by swallowing up any other company that threatens it’s position in the market, or which offers it the opportunity to become more powerful. Ultimately, corporates wield such power of the distribution of wealth and jobs that they become powerful enough to influence the decisions of our governmental representatives in our democracies even though only a tiny minority of vested interests ever voted for them.. the shareholders. And their motives are not necessarily for the common good. So these organisations that wield such economic and political power, with their industry lobbies and their ability to fund political parties, with all the societal ramifications thus implied, are in effect mini republics in their own right, the electorates of which vote purely out of financial self interest.
So where are we? We live in a democracy, but it seems that an undue proportion of influence within a system that is supposed to be driven by majority sentiment, which in turn is supposed to reflect a desire for a common good is actually driven by financially driven minority vested interests.
Why do these corporates wield such power? And is it a bad thing? Let’s look at our key players again; democracy and greed.
On the democratic front, corporates appear to lose out completely. But if there are enough corporates, and everyone in society has a shareholding, then doesn’t this equate to increasing democratic control over the means of production? No actually. Firstly, the way wealth is distributed means that most people are unable to become shareholders, as they simply can’t afford it. And even if they could, corporates standardise their operations wherever they are and are rarely able to accommodate specific local needs and requirements. Just because Joe Soap happens to own a few shares in ABC Inc, doesn’t mean he’s then able to influence their decision to demolish two hundred houses to make way for a shopping mall in his community any more than he’d be able to as a non-shareholder.
And as far as greed is concerned, as long as the raison d’etre for a corporate is the generation of shareholder profits, and nothing else, then by virtue of this, other priorities will always take second place. The whole organisational edifice is structured to harvest money from everyone in society and to funnel it to shareholders, and in particular to the top of the organisation. And if it can achieve this, then it’ll be deemed to have been successful, regardless of any negative impacts it may have on other aspects of life.
In short, a corporate’s financial interests are rarely the same as the interests of the regional or national communities in the more immediate sense. Consider a mining or oil production facility that destroys or at least damages the local natural environment, removing that form of wealth from the people who live there and making billions from it on global markets. Or a factory in India that employs people on a pittance working fifteen hour shifts to provide cheap clothes for the West at a huge markup to the cost of production. Or closer to home, a retail giant that overwhelms and kills local businesses purely by virtue of it’s enormous buying power and control it wields over suppliers, and the resulting uniformaity of choice, wherever one goes within a given country. All three examples are making money and so are deemed to be successful. But if one agrees that a corporate is supposed to exist to be of use and benefit to society, are they successful?
Consider how wealthy countries rely upon cheap labour for their quality of life. Corporate buying power in a globalised world. How cheap would plastic toys be if they were produced in America? And whilst you’re about it, consider how carbon emissions by consumer oriented countries such as constitute the West are actually externalised to other countries such as India, where the goods they use are produced. So the carbon emissions of those factories are deemed to be Indian, even though the factories only exist to supply cheap goods for the West. Things operate in this way regardless of the nature of the national governments that are in place. Corporates operate in a global economy and governments are malleable.
There’s a need for a third player to balance the greed and the lack of democracy. Wisdom. Corporates are constructs designed to facilitate progress and structure in society. So why are they run in such a way that their only prerogative is the generation of wealth for the people who run them and for shareholders who are usually unaffected in their lives by their physical activities? We need to be wiser in the way that we utilise these constructs within our society. We’ve allowed ourselves to forget why corporates exist. We’ve allowed them, as legal entities, to get out of control and to dominate us rather than serve us. We need to redefine what the corporate is and why we have them.
And in the process of doing this, we need to look again at our own individual behaviour. Just what are aesthetic and qualitative benefits worth to us? And how do we value them? Is monetary value always appropriate? And are we sufficiently driven by a desire for general well being, as much as for our own?
We need to reconsider how our corporates are run. Who they’re run by and who they’re run for. And what they’re run for. And we need to look again at the concept of shareholders. Who should own the shares in an organisation that can wield such enormous damage, or benefits, on communities locally, or on democratic nation states?
We need to consider why we have corporates. A wiser approach to the way we implement them at present would surely include consideration of who owns them, and how the real interests of those affected by their operations is reflected in the purpose of the organisation. The generation of monetary wealth is all very well, but if the end result is inequity and the exploitation of people, and the degradation and destruction of other more abstract forms of wealth such as quality of life, happiness and the aesthetic value of the natural environment, all to serve the burgeoning bank balances of a few, then these institutions that we’ve invented are failing. They need to be reinvented. They need to be formed in such a way that they nurture and support society and people and the world we live in. They need to be forces for positive improvement and progress in a sustainable way, that preserves all forms of wealth and value and benefits us all, including generations to come. They should be tools within democracies that further societal well being and progress.
Corporates are constructs that are supposed to work for us. So it’s time they functioned as more integrated components of democratic society that reflect our real needs, and they should be utilised in such a way that recognises all forms of wealth and value, not just cash.
[There are no truly good examples. Yet. But one that goes a long way in the right direction is the Mondragon Corporation. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mondragon_Corporation for more.]
It’s all coming to a grinding halt.
All those years of making
And trying and playing.
It hasn’t worked and its stopping now.
And a sense of failing grows
Like a vine though my mind.
What road next? What turn or twist?
What way to go to stay
Sure as rock and solid,
That I might hold my head
In cocksure certainty
And hope to be a winner.
I’m on a raft and bouncing down
This torrent of white water,
Carrying me off rocks and dying.
Only the pace seems important.
How long will this last?
It just goes on.
But some friends smile
And a gentle word makes it all worthwhile.
This form is strange stuff
That makes such a trial.
I don’t know how to manage this
But maybe that’s the problem.
I try too hard to make it work
To fit some silly idea
Of what should be. But this is luxury.
To think like this.
Necessary planning on a route
To self sufficiency perhaps.
But there’s no such thing.
We have a world that is no softer
Than that hard bed that Christ was born to.
And the harder we work
The further it moves and we build
A wall of fire before us.
Do I give up?
Do I really know?
What is mood and what’s to see?
What is the real me?
And what is my circumstance?
It isn’t what I think,
It’s something deep inside
Some non existent existence that
Preceded all I know.
I’ll die one day.
Maybe too soon.
And then I’ll know I was deluded
And time’s much longer
Than even I imagined.
A broken branch crunched underfoot
Next to the bole of a massive tree
That rose like a sign from the sodden earth,
Alive and being and strong and true.
And I knew in a flash something deep that slid
Away from my grasp as I moved on.
Einstein said that energy and matter
Are all the same and are one another.
Some smooth and seamless confluence then,
Of all existence like endless ocean
That drew that tree to be growing there.
But if its stuff was the same as light
Then what was that which was its life?
Is life just coincidence of energy as form?
Or is it something beyond that source?
Is life independent and something else?
Or are light and life and the motion we see
The same seamless singularity?
You, me and the tree
That blossoms and bubbles and forms on a whim.
Some chaotic prompting that just happens to be.
Are our pain and love and the suffering we see,
The same stuff as stars and infinite space
All happening at once in the same only moment?
I saw real truth in that moment then.
That life-force arises like anything else.
It’s part of the same seamless energy state.
We’re all one thing as we see ourselves
Alone and frantic and striving to make
The small universes we see as our own.
Foolish illusions that make us our pain.
We’re just meant to be and the energy
That sits like a god doesn’t know,
He sits and he farts and he pleasures himself
By causing the trees and the galaxies
And laughing aloud at the curious thought
Of mankind being made in his image.
And so I ponder the why of my life
And I talk to theirs and cry with them
And it comes clear that we don’t know.
To provide for our children is an oft heard cause
But why I ask should I devote my life
To helping them see the same questions?
Round and round this would go if I don’t find a way
To break away free and see
A way that answers questions.
It’s not my children’s duty. They look to me.
I have one life like a passing storm,
Full of wind and thunder and great events on my scale,
That should bend me like a tree to learn something.
I live only now like a flower that opens to the sun
And accepts the rain when it happens.
A thing of the moment that should acquire the weight
Of the scales of experience.
But not be weighed down.
Rather grow in substance and know.
As the life that we see pops into existence
On the whim of some collective mind.
As a drop of water forms part of an ocean
And screams its own identity as it dies
In some greater collective power that is God.
We should see this phenomenon in our everyday lives
And know the illusions for what they are.
The nature of us is as all else.
Ephemeral and transient.
Some whim of the mind of a God that wants us to know him
As the whole needs the knowing and the love of it’s constituent parts.
As we move on through thundercloud shadows
And glowing green growth that shimmers with life,
We play a part in a kaleidoscope of playful
Particulate fantasy of the moment
That is mostly of our own making.
And when we die we move back down
To that that sallow sea of parts that seeks to rejoin
Our ego with the main flow of life that is always.
Then hopefully we will have learned something
To add to the general pool.
One day we’ll rise as the one that we are
In one crystal harmonious note that sings
At the right frequency
And resonates with all that is.
In shimmering sun splashed green today
I saw a sultry purpose rise rebellious
And quietly loud in a sexy way.
Blossom that sought to outplay
The general green lushness of everything else.
And then a bouncing robin plied its way through
The increasing volume of life
Just making some goal of the moment
But playing its part in making
The most magnificent of paintings.
Worth nothing apparently.
And the crows cawed their silly noise
And the trees moved in sympathy.
I lay there and watched and wondered
What part I played.
Across my sharp edged crags
Flows smooth silent breath of God
Like languorous flowing unction.
An unperturbed and solid seeming thing
That greases the pain of small
Anxieties and flows seamless,
Showing the lies
That are the sorry stresses
Of our everyday lives.
Unnoticed thing with tickling feet
Like many mindful millipedes
That crawl their way across our sighs
Like spiked treacle.
Indulgent this is as perceived
By frantic sharp rock people
Living their frantic lives.
In some traffic
A man sits
And squeezes his steering wheel.
In sole train focus
he sees the world
So fraught and tense.
He aches with angst
And longs to be
And slowly, clouds roll by.
He sees himself
Somewhere to be
And not here now in traffic.
And no speed sufficient
To quench the furious fire
Of need to move his car.
And still those clouds roll by.
People pass in quiet moves
As he moves
In his world past them.
And they in theirs.
In quiet preoccupation
With cage frame mysteries.
And still those damn clouds drift.
Mechanical chorus as
Things change and move
As slow drift nonchalant the clouds move.
And no one sees but him.
How he seethes with goal
Yet still no effort by clouds.
How we try to make
Yet they have somewhere to go
Ha ha I laugh and look upwards at the spitting clouds
Garnering their stupid gloom to drench me wet.
What do I care what they do.
I saw through the folly of wondering
A long time ago.
And so I move on my way
Trusting quietly in my small torch
And the small pool of wisdom it throws
That shows up the dark for what it is.
A peace that knows nothing.
But out there would I dare
To ask questions?
To consider my lot
And to shout at the heavens?
The bloody grime of real life
Lies in those shadows.
So what is revealed
By my poor glimmering thought?
How do people do mad and busy lives?
I can’t do anything anymore
Save at a plodding and pleasant pace
That lets things unfold their own way.
That lets life have its say.
What’s their sense of purpose?
These mad and busy people.
Such furious dedication to their cause.
Dogs chasing their tails,
Striving to succeed in sales.
Under clear blue skies or drifting clouds,
In caring rain and careless wind.
By indifferent sea, on birthing land,
By stoic trees and delighted daffodils,
Their lives flow past like rivers of sand
This is all bollocks isn’t it?
All crap and bullshit.
I mean, you’re not telling me you take it seriously?
The mortgage and the bank balance,
The terribly so dinner parties,
The right sort of suit.
The right badge of car.
This is your life?
Or are you perhaps more earthy?
Your domain is nuts and bolts and things that work,
For other people.
Earn a wage,
Don’t make money.
More honour in that perhaps.
As those sparkling stars turn slowly overhead,
And small birds sing their small part
On quiet, still misty mornings,
And all creatures wake and do their thing
Is your contrived vision really worth their beauty?
What are you doing? And why?
I don’t think you know,
And if you did, you’d surely cry
If you had any awareness of the place of your soul
In the many dimensional universe
That you think you know.