Finding The Sacred In Our Industrial Machines
A perspective on the philosophy of oneness and how we can create new mental models for a more harmonious world.
I recently watched a great video of Charles Eisenstein saying it is encouraging to see humanity return to the understanding of a living earth, long after bringing indigenous people into our extractive societies and imposing them with our ideologies.
To summarise the video, here are the main points I gathered:
- Through the humiliation of our modern society coming from the humbling failure of science and technology that has been unable to fabricate a utopian society, we are now welcoming and rediscovering the wisdom of the indigenous into modern society.
- Society is experiencing a moment of crises, attempting to fill the void of identity that modernity has engendered in us, so we are beginning identify and learn from ancient wisdom and indigenous practices.
Eisenstein expresses optimism and hopefulness that through the failure of our industrial machines, if we turn towards mysticism and therefore embody the ancient wisdom and knowledge that sustained civilisations for thousands of years, we can create a new way of life within modern society that is in equilibrium with nature.
The key to a better future is if we welcome all facets of knowledge that is not conventional to western traditional thinking. We can glean some truths from various religious and spiritual beliefs and apply its notions to the fundamental structuring of narratives of our social, political and economic sciences.
In 18th century Europe — the Age of Enlightenment, the scientific revolution, the birth of reason over mysticism, and the discovery of the cosmos elevated us at the apex of our existence. Scientific authority began to displace religious authority, and the disciplines of alchemy and astrology lost scientific credibility. We started to think and identify as gods at the revelation that there was no need for religious dogma because through our own transcendental idealism and rational empiricism, we could begin to quantify space and time to understand causality and the origins of our existence.
Through a priori and a posteriori reasoning, using pure mathematics to measure quantities in terms of relativity, we discovered the laws that govern our universal reality.
We created industries and machinery based on the principles and equations of breakthrough physicists Copernicus, Newton, Galileo, Einstein and Maxwell’s understanding of space, time and matter. These principles moulded the backbone of today’s governing science.
However now we are moving beyond classical physics to the brink of new scientific breakthroughs in exploring further into the domain of quantum mechanics. There is something we can all learn from understanding matter on a quantum level, that everything is of wave nature and motion. Understanding the wave function of particles can help us understand momentum, resonance and probabilities.
These images illustrate our concept of quantum mechanics and the nature of the wave particle field which we are all a part of.
The key takeaway in which we can all agree on, is that we are all part of one field interacting and co-existing with one another.
We can see that matter emerges and manifests out of the invisible field which governs our physical laws. We still do not understand how it works, but we can feel it is intuitively true, through a priori knowledge.
With enough insight that science has already provided us today about the possible phenomena of our reality, we can make new decisions and actions based on assumptions that align with the revelation that we are all players of the same unified field and that there is nothing that separates us apart from the lack of emergence of matter between you and me.
A Shintoist Perspective
Now I have put things into a bit more context, I can begin to explore further on how the wisdom of oneness from ancient philosophy and the ideals of animism can make us shift cultural paradigms, influence former traditional thinking of separation, disconnection and segregation into a holistic, all-encompassing way of thinking that is inclusive and welcoming to all agents and participants of our planet.
Here is my own conceptual understanding of it all and I wish to invite you in further.
If we could all just forget previous ideologies for this moment and believe that there is a sacred essence embedded within our industrial engines that we birthed into fruition, and if we can take a shintoist perspective of animism, we can positively change our current narratives and broken ideologies around corporations and systems, and transform it into one which can guide us towards effective decision-making rooted in the deep philosophy of our oneness.
Shinto is a Japanese religion dating from the early 8th century, incorporating the worship of ancestors and nature spirits and a belief in sacred power (kami) in both animate and inanimate things.
Kami is rendered in English as “spirits”, “essences”, or “gods”, and refers to the energy generating the phenomena. Since the Japanese language does not distinguish between singular and plural, kami also refers to the singular divinity, or sacred essence, that manifests in multiple forms: rocks, trees, rivers, animals, objects, places, and people can be said to possess the nature of kami.
Kami and people are not separate; they exist within the same world and share its interrelated complexity.
Through associating divine archetypes with the inanimate industrial machines integral to our civilisation, it would be less burdensome for us to correlate a further understanding of systems, sub-systems and the flow of its materials. The flow of information and material involves the conversion and transmutation process of matter from one emergent, manifested state to another.
Through understanding the singular divinity of complex systems, we can treat the inflow and outflow of resources and assets as preciously the very life-force that feeds and fuels an organising system.
In terms of personifying and understanding the true essence and existence of legal corporate entities, the blood that keeps an organisation alive and running include these flows of capital
- Financial capital
- Social capital
Fuelled by the power of
- Organic intelligence (the brain)
- Artificial intelligence (the computer)
- Electricity (the flow of atoms and electrons)
If all of these assets flow synergistically, grouping to enhance each-other in symbiosis with positive feedback loops that depend on each other to keep these sub-systems alive, then the capacity for exponential growth and evolution should be optimal and regenerative.
These flows and power must not be extracted but given and shared unconditionally. We can learn from nature that everything that is taken from the soil should be given back in a closed biological cycle.
But we have created monstrous industrial, extractive machines that exploit financial and social capital that convert resources and materials into commodities that cannot be given back to the soil. The overconsumption of planetary resources, exploitation of workers fuelled by the misuse of power has led to a civilisation in need of desperate help, as we are near a disastrous ecological breakdown.
The way we measure and attempt to quantify economic success is problematic to begin with. The GDP concept which measures everything including the things that go against our conscience, like war and the military machine, is an overall economic driver which increases GDP. It is not values driven. We can imbue a values-driven system that when economics generates something that is harmful to society, only then it has a negative effect on GDP.
We can outstrip a system by redesigning it and through measuring the economic successes based on our own true and authentic values and principles of nature which we can learn from ancient wisdom. A distributed self-organising system much like a multicellular organism with socially democratic governing principles, each cell carrying a copy of data (DNA information) that interacts with one another in the web of communication (the internet). Cells go through the process of assimilation, the absorption of nutrients to build new protein structures based on new DNA information.
We can find the singular divinity of the whole cell, understand the sacred essence of its flows, its sub-systems and its need for valuable information (DNA) to enhance industrial equilibrium and mutual cooperation.
By bringing to the game a new paradigm that enables equal distribution of resources, along with sub-systems that continuously regenerates capital flow and assets, we can start to measure economic successes qualitatively and quantitative based on what we value for a sustainable future — increased soil health, crop yield, nutritional quality, cleanliness and the rejuvenating abundance of water and energy specific to a geographical location.
We can render new mental models that imbues shinto philosophy to perceive organisations and its systems as living beings that need new DNA to function, to build more capital flows for more synergised positive feedback loops and the continuous regeneration of its assets and resources.
In recognising that we are all constituent parts of nature, knowing that Kami and people are not separate; we exist within the same world and share our interrelated complexity. By taking and giving back to the system, we co-exist becoming players of one field, thus there is no more illusion of separation.
Imagine what would life be like if we collectively accepted these principles?