[2023] Reworlding fellowship

I’m participating in an 8 month fellowship about post capitalist futures:

I will be sharing here the interesting things I learn.

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Session 1

Reading list

Introduction

During the session it will be more important to check where the information is somatized in our own bodies, before discussing the content.

After the holoscene comes the antroposcene, our current era in which humany has affected all the planetary systems.

(I feel this in the skin. Separation, disconnection).

One possibility is human annihilation, the other is trust in what is emerging.

Be contextually sensitive to be contextually relevant, make informed actions.

Vimbasi

A framework for identifying how the information is received.

V: vibrations
I: images and thoughts
M: meanings, judgements, stories and explanations
B: behaviors, movements, actions, impulses, and urges
A: affect and emotions
S: sensations
I: imaginings, generative ideas

7 premises

Ideology is always a background condition

We must understand the water we swim in.

(I feel humble, hurt pride, limited human condition)

Capitalist (socio-economic term) modernity (technical term). Some say it started in Babylon. Neoliberalism is the culmination, or the last-stage of capitalism.

(I feel it in the fists, in the jaw. Anger, fight)

Capitalism is based on these ideas:

  • Humans are inherently selfish
    The truth of community doesn’t matter for neoliberalism.
    (I feel tired)

  • Hierarchy is necessary and inevitable.
    Ecology shows that self-organization exists.
    (I feel doubt)

  • Wealth as arbiter
    It is binary: money good, no money bad
    (I feel challenged)

  • Separation, materialism and rationalism
    What northerners call common sense.
    (I feel curious, I feel other)

[We breathe]

Metacrisis is the logical outcome of our existing operating system

Whatever we do, 93% ends up in the hands of the top 1%. Wealth creation unavoidably causes inequality. We replicate the structure.

Whatever you think is the way out of the pyramid is just a part that sustains the pyramid.

(I feel depression, powerlessness, my shoulders are heavy, sadness, namo amitofo for all the beings dying because of us. I want to give up and wait for the collapse)

[We breathe]

Capitalism requires perpetual growth and is therefore self-terminating

(I feel eager, tired, bored)

There will not be another doubling of the global economy. Collapse will happen on our lifetime. We will want to go to solutionism to avoid the discomfort.

(Is this defeat or guaranteed success? :thinking:)

[We breathe]

Capitalism requires domination, war, and patriarchy

Power understands this, that’s why there is so much investment in the military.

Patriarchy is structural, not particular to every individual.

(I want to vomit, look away, I feel avoidance. Am I a patriarch?)
(my solutionism: change the language, change the brain, share love)

This is a direct evolution from Babylon to New York: surplus → military → religion → royalty. Before, women brought 70% of the calories.

[We breathe]

Capitalism is based on white supremacy

The fiat debt based economy started 500 year ago with european colonialism.

The Medici’s financed both sides of a war, charging 4% to the likely winner and 9% to the likely loser. The Vatican reproached this, and started their own interest-bearing bank. All nations started printing their own interest-bearing currency.

(I feel jailed, trapped, oppressed, a victim. Am I white? I feel invisible)

[We breathe]

We are all complicit in the system and are forced into contradicting our values.

No one is outside the system.

This is not our land. The stewards of this land were genocided. The children of the conquistadores have a better claim to the land than northerners (?).

Even the people really outside of the system is affected by it.

(I feel disoriented)

[We breathe]

Our generational task is to dismantle systems of (inner and outer) oppression

And to create post capitalist realities. We are the last humans.

(I feel responsibility, overwhelmed, my heart beats fast, it is hard to breathe. I feel acceptance. I might as well enjoy it)

We are informed in order to create new old emergent strategies.

The Zapatistats, the Kurds, indigenous populations in resistance are dismatling systems.

Discussion

  • Symbiosis with the living world and the living cosmos.
  • The body is the prophet, the desert is the prophet.
  • Feel agitation to then feel calmness.
  • Be troubled.
  • Find others, it only requires 2 people.
  • Create embodied cultures around you.
  • Is it affliction or assignment?
  • Sometimes we can feel relief: there is only one problem. It is structural and huge.
  • Non-solutionism is not inaction. The action of non-action.

Session 2: Eros.

Reading list

How to change heart and soul?

The presenter started frustrated with incrementalism at WWF. This lead him to see the importance of values.

Who discovered water?

It wasn’t fish.

We are held underwater by a social context. Modern capitalism and the myth of self-interest.

Water with effluent to be maintained: advertisement, celebrity culture, economic indicators of progress.
Requires huge effort because it’s not aligned with most of us.

In parallel, other things with less impact are contributing to maintain modern capitalism:

  • Mainstream social and environmental organizations

    • the solution is in individual action
    • people will collaborate only if it doesn’t get on their way.
  • Green consumerism

    • we can buy our way out from environmental crisis
    • social status, public image, wealth
  • Put a financial value in nature

    • reinforce a set of values antagonistic to social reform

What is water?

A spiritual nihilism

Schwartz Values Framework

Model developed by white man from the north based on scientific model with epistemological constraints.
It is not the only way, it comes with baggage.

Values: principles and standards that guide and inform our thoughts, attitudes and actions.

58 different values. They are strongly correlated in categories.

  • Self-direction
  • Universalism
  • Stimulation
  • Hedonism
  • Achievement
  • Conformity
  • Tradition
  • Power
  • Security

Some predict others, it’s presence or absence.

Trump’s pursuit of social status by itself. Extrinsic.
Mandela achieved social status by pursuing other intrinsic values.
We care about the intentions, not the values themselves.

Intrinsic values and extrinsic values have a seesaw relationship, higher importance to one usually means lower importance to the other.

Putting attention in one tends to make the other weaker.

In a 2011 study, Ecological Footprint by Sheldon and others. Americans were asked to recommend the ideal Ecological Footprint for Americans in 5 years after calling their attention to intrinsic or extrinsic values.

The difference was >40%.

The extrinsic values were implied on the American identity. It was indistinguishable from the explicit extrinsic group.

Workout effect: repeated engagement with values strengthens them.

Margaret Thatcher: “economics are the method, the object is to change the heart and soul of the nation”.

Institutions designed to catch a cheater reinforce the intention to cheat.

Own perception vrs our perception of others: we believe we are more intrinsic and others more extrinsic misperception.

  • Leads to weaker connection to community
  • Holds us back collectively
  • We contribute to strengthening other’s misperceptions.

If we are more accurate, we understand people better, we’re emboldened to express them and be more collaborative.

Look far beyond to what is relevant. Broader impact.

How psychedelics allow us to see the water?

What replaces the water?

Deconstruct our values and reconstruct them.

Shift from a passive experience with the trip to an active role. Psychedelics apprenticeship.

From neuroscience we know we are actively constructing reality. The stories and the models, our values, what is real and what isn’t.

Psychedelic effect is involved with this active creation of our experience. Relaxing these models and prior of experience.

Deconstruct our world of experience and reconstruct a new world.

This new world is granted a lot of truth. It is felt as fundamental. It’s very convincing.

It is similar to the religious experience.

This opens up possibilities of suggestibility. Opportunities for therapy. Also risk, it’s a double-edged sword.

Brings transformation and challenges.

Framework to make these expereiences as safe as they can be. To become aware of how there mechanisms work.

In the intersubjective social part of the experience is where we can have these conversations.

Do we agree on the values that we are looking for as a group?

We are taking this meta approach to onthology.

Can this experience help in peace building?

The presenter’s initial approach was naive. Harmony, unity and oneness can deactivate the activist. There are no borders, this doesn’t serve the action that is required for liberation.

Small groups create an illusion of harmony that preserves the status quo.

Oceanic boundlessness, I’m just a small plankton in the water, the water and me are the same. It doesn’t take me out of the water.

Other experiences challenge identity, bring politics into the experience. The relaxation of the ethos let mnusic penetrate, a magical expansion, awe, something big is revealed, the change comes, the water is visible. Described as an expansion of the group.

Revelatory moments, experience your trauma, the one of the others, the collective trauma, or the one of the land.

The notion of the revolutionary prophet. Action, change, power. Based on unity and love, but realizing that it doesn’t exist outside.

Jump out of the water.

There is no ground, we have no frame of solidity when looking at what’s real.

Dualism and non-dualism are both true at the same time. It can be a meta experience to understand the bounds.

We can ground in knowledge and critical thinking.

Session 3

Of all the beings in the earth metabolism, the humans are the youngest. Of all the cultures, the western is the youngest.

Indigenous populations have a lot of knowledge to share, but it is unintelligible for us.

Frameworks to work together

4 denials

  1. The denial of systemic, historical, and ongoing violence and of complicity in harm: the fact that our comforts, securities, and enjoyments are subsidized by expropriation and exploitation elsewhere.

  2. The denial of the limits of the planet and of the unsustainability of modernity/coloniality: the fact that finite earth-metabolism cannot sustain exponential growth, consumption, extraction, exploitation and expropriation indefinitely.

  3. The denial of entanglement: our insistence in seeing ourselves as separate from each other and the land, rather than “entangled” within a wider living metabolism that is bio-intelligent.

  4. The denial of the magnitude and complexity of the problems we need to face together: the tendency to look for simplistic solutions that make us feel and look good and that may address symptoms, but not the root causes, of our collective complex predicament.

We have been conditioned to behave in a way that is comfortable.

Citizenship

First of communities, then in countries, and then international. Now citizenship is more flied, shifting to:

The ones in blue are the human constructs.

  • Plastics are now in our body.
  • Our own unconscious is part of the metabolism of the planet.
  • The earth suffering is also happening within us.
  • Plant medicine can stop the numbing and connect.

Composting the shit

Rude diagnostic exercise of modern/colonial internal infrastructures.

Dominion and triumph

Of humans over nature
Of men over women
Of women over men
Of white over Indigenous/Black/brown
Of Indigenous/Black/brown over white
Of cis-hetero over trans-queer
Of trans-queer over cis-hetero
and so on and so forth…

Ownership

Of land
Of human bodies
Of other species
Of others’ labour
Of merit
Of capital
Of pride
Of privilege
Of delusions of superiority
Of own brand and carefully crafted self-image

Consumption

Of stuff
Of knowledge/information
Of critique/erudition/data
Of experiences
Of relationships
Of outrage
Of love and care
Of arts and politics
Of beauty and pain
Of community and intimacy

Entitlement

To self-expression
To self-satisfaction
To moral high-grounds
To authority, autonomy and arbitration
To validation and affirmation
To possessions and possessiveness
To emotional extraction
To relational exploitation
To intellectual masturbation

Demands

For self-congratulatory
For self-celebratory
For self-promoting
And self-reaffirming experiences
For reality curated to one’s liking
For certainty, comfort and control
For attention, likes and dopamine
For soothing, numbing and coddling
For self-actualization and self-realization
For easy formulas and quick fixes
For pleasure-filled idealizations

Birthrights

Self-interest
Self-centredness
Exceptionalism
Complacency
Escapism
Arrogance
Innocence
Purity
Futurity
Impunity
Immunity and indifference
…to harms inflicted and one’s metabolic entanglement
right, left and centre…

Take a minute to do a self scan of all the voices that come up in response to the poem. A whole bus of voices inside of us, reacting, feeling, talking to each other.

If we can’t hold space for ourselves we won’t be able to deal with what’s surrounding us without giving up, making a tantrum, throwing up.

The offering of ceremonies and medicines comes with the expectation of a commitment to indigenous struggles. Personal transformation was happening, but the transformed human just moved on with their lives. The invitation is to become a good ancestor.

Modernity is self-infantilizing, disconnecting us to our responsibility. Education in the west socializes mastery, a dopamine approach. What would be an education that focuses on depth, peeling layers, not numbing the pain. Learning animated by engaging with mystery, collective epiphany.

7 steps back, 7 steps forward/aside

  1. Stepping back from one’s self image, to decenter the ego and center the challenge at hand.
  2. Stepping back from one’s generational cohort, to have a sense of how incoming generations may interpret and experience the challenges differently.
  3. Stepping back from the universalization of one’s social/cultural/economic parameters of normality, to understand one’s privilege as a loss of perspective.
  4. Stepping back from the immediate context and time, to see wider historical, structural and systemic patterns.
  5. Stepping back from normalized patterns of problem-posing, problem-solving, and relationship-building, to tap what is already viable, but unimaginable/unintelligible in the mainstream.
  6. Stepping back from the elevation of humanity above the rest of nature, to consider our metabolic entanglement.
  7. Stepping back from the impulse to find quick fixes, in order to expand our capacity not to be immobilized by complexity, complicity and uncertainty.

  1. Stepping forward/aside with honesty and courage, to see what you don’t want to see.
  2. Stepping forward/aside with humility, to find strength in openness and vulnerability.
  3. Stepping forward/aside with self-reflexivity, so that you can read how you are being read and learn to read the room.
  4. Stepping forward/aside with self-discipline to do the work on yourself so that you don’t become work for other people.
  5. Stepping forward/aside with maturity, to do what is needed rather than only what you want to do.
  6. Stepping forward/aside with expanding discernment and attention, increasing care in proportion to risk.
  7. Stepping forward/aside with adaptability, flexibility, stamina and resilience for the long haul, and be prepared to fall, to fail, to have your plans shattered, to be stretched, to change course and to find joy in the struggle itself rather than in the imagined prize at the end.

Heads up

  • Hegemonic practices: reinforcing and justifying the status quo.
  • Ethnocentric projections: presenting one view as universal and superior.
  • Ahistorical thinking: forgetting the role of historical legacies and complicities in shaping current problems.
  • Depolitized orientations: disregarding the impacts, power inequalities, and delegitimizing dissent.
  • Self–serving motivations: invested in self-congratulatory heroism.
  • Uncomplicated solutions: offering feel-good quick fixes that do not address root causes of problems.
  • Paternalistic projections: infantilizing the other, and seeking gratitude from those who have been “helped”.

Session 4

Embodying post capitalist realities. We start to see the metaphysical of capitalism: a complex adaptive system, nothing is outside the system, not even spiritual practices.

Most of the work being done by activists is in horizon 2, leaving little space for imagination.

Zapatistas: “you cannot fix money problems with money”.

Metanoia: spontaneous realization.

The manner in which we approach is more important than the thing we are approaching.

The way we observe keeps getting captured by the dominant system. Even if we know better in our spiritual practice, the architecture of the human modern world is separation and materialism.

Ontoshifts

Rational logic → Transrational logic

Rationality is just one way, it is as important as the whispers of ancestors and the messages of the plants. Look to balance the dominant culture.

Western enlightenment cartesian logic is the globalized totalizing system.

500 year of imperialist headstart.

Understand the context to be relevant, not to respond, to be informed.

Monoculture → Polyculture

Monocrops, monoculture of the mind and the soul.

Embrace other ways of being.

Bioregional localization, honoring of the many tongues, informed by the monoculture, build dreamscapes.

Ahistorical amnesia → Remembering, repair

Debt based capital is the only way to satisfy our needs. Head start of 500 years by some bodies.

Acknowledge but not be paralyzed.

There were other ways: gathering, hunting, gifting.

We chose to incarnate on this bodies at this time.

Separation, materialism, positivism → Non-dual, animistic, queer

Leaves out space for mystery.

The world is stranger than we can imagine it to be. We cannot control nature or our own bodies. There’s something animistic.

Humility. Contemplate every day my altar and my own ignorance.

Unquestioned orthodoxy → Self responsibility for 1st principles

What do we believe and why do we believe it?

Do the work, not rely in philosophers and capitalistic experts to come with answers.

Attribution and competition → Service and solidarity

Followers, likes, passive income.

Interbeing, endosymbiosis. Evolutionary agreements between species, physical and cultural.

What is security? What is achievement?

Accumulation of capital → Liberation of capital

Made up game of assigning value to certain individuals.

Capitalism is self-terminating. The type of money we have today will not be useful.

Hoarding is a spiritual dis-ease. Explore interesting uses of money while it is useful.

Value nature.

Transactional → Relational

Commodification of our relations.

Wanting nothing in return is a complete different vibration that opens paths.

Gifts are radical in capitalism.

Entitlement → Entrustment

Entitled to nothing, entrusted with everything.

Sobriety, maturity, responsibility.

Bureaucracy → Beauty

Level of complexity when systems based on entitlement of money take over.

Zapatista snails: fibonacci, few grandmothers at the center, share with other snails.

This can only happen with deep spaces of relationality.

Scale is the problem. Horizontal replication.

Trauma → Recultivation of life force

Trauma and initiation have the same structure.

Initiation integration is not dissonant. Dignity, pride, held by elders, supported by the entire culture.

Session 5: Somatic abolitionism

With Carlin Quinn: white cis female lineage from turtle island.

First we land in the planet before being able to unlearn

Cultural somatic toys

To stay with ourselves and with each other while lots of ways are coming. Not go so much into our minds that we leave everything else.

  • Rocking: to center in the pelvis. Keep grounding.
  • Orienting in the actual physical space we are in. Looking at the walls, the windows, the exits, look behind us. It is possible to leave. Focus on colors, textures.
  • Humming: the vagus nerve loves that. Whatever comes to your body.
  • Self-touch.

Life experience

Embodiment, create space in my body to stay, when energy is charged.

Shame, fragility, defence comes up, and that’s the moment we want to flee our bodies. It’s not even a choice. To stay safe we go into our heads, leave connection, leave the more than human world.

Remember to pause, reconnect to the commitment to stay, whatever ancestral trauma is coming up. Stay well.

Trauma puts us through a lot and builds resiliency. The spiritual realm can be a great place to rest when one is not ok with being human.

When she started plant work, the social justice and equity work intensified.

While studying physicotherapy, 95% where white, serving in the bay area a majority of peoples of culture. The framework was cis white male from Europe or United States.

Every time race was brought, the whole room would explode. Everybody would freak out, even the most experienced liberal psychotherapist. Bodies freeze, relations break down, until somebody changes the topic.

At 30 she realized it meant something to be white. So many people had 0 understanding of what it meant to be white and of their positionality that backed her positionality.

When there’s a topic with a collective agreement that we will stay silent, what happens is that the agitator is cast out.

Her body could not sustain the charge and the social commitment to white solidarity. By body did not have the space to hold the tension.

She started working with Robin Diangelo who called it white fragility, describing white supremacy in a way that was undeniable. It exists, it is everywhere, I’m complicit with it or I’m actively changing it. Started working with the defences of the bodies that listened.

There was a racial reckoning from east and west US from white liberals trying to learn.

She created an organization to make events for white bodies and redirect money to black and indigenous communities. Education for Racial Equity. Following mentorship from Orland Bishop, so the money doesn’t go back to white people.

On covid met Resmaa Menakem. Redistributed $1 million, not through strategy but through praying and dieta. We are at the tipping point of a global movement towards this topic that had been avoided.

The amount of energy required was far more than what her white body had capacity for. She was an activist working so strong and so hard with little access to the body. The spiritual community was not working on activism, resting on a lot of privilege.

Social location

The body and roles are different based on the dominant system on your location. Her work is based on white colonial Turtle Island, Europe and Australia.

Some categories of social location:

  • race
  • gender indentity
  • class
  • age
  • ability
  • education status
  • immigration status
  • language fluency
  • sexuality

Go through them and identify your social location.

Global dominant systems

  • capitalism
  • patriarchy
  • white supremacy
  • christian hegemony
  • cis hetero normative

They fuel each other, they all react when one is threatened.

Dominant systems determine policy, incentive structures, legal rights, and access to social power within a society.

Compliance will give you access, safety, rights.

White body supremacy

At 4 years, children realize it’s better to be white.

White supremacy is the dominant system of subjugation.

White body supremacy is where the white body is deemed the supreme standard for “human” by which all other bodies shall be measured. Every hue away from whiteness is less human.

This has been encoded in all of our bodies. This is the work of somatic abolitionism.

Apathy and numbness

As somatic escape routes for white bodies. Habitual, quick and unconscious responses to avoid racialist stress.

My mind was onboard on anti-rascism but viscerally, somatically, wasn’t.

White fragility

As a collective, white people have a low threshold for honest reflection which challenges their self-esteem and identification with being “good” people.

The result is often white fragility, disregulation, emotional hijacking, escapism and separation.

Being unaware of having been socialized in a racist environment doesn’t make you “bad”. It invites you to curiosity and to build embodied anti racist cultures.

Fields of whiteness

Energetic force fields which preserve white space. Unconsciously created through enactment of white body space. Unconsciously created through enactment of white body supremacy, behaviors, agreements and relations.

Ways to evaluate worth that don’t leave room for anything else.

Pause ,bring the VIMBASI, see your own images and the ones you bring from past trauma, interrupt preserving that vibration and desire to disconnect.