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Utopian Musings: Companionship, Community, Compassion, Passion

Written By: - Date published: 11:57 am, April 25th, 2017 - 43 comments
Categories: Deep stuff - Tags: , , , , ,

Although many of us feel relatively happy & content there seems to be an increasing feeling of ‘unease’, that something is not quite right in/with our society and where things might be heading.

In a typical human fashion, we point the finger to certain (external) factors, failed ideologies (be it capitalism, neo-liberalism, communism, or whatever), and we love to blame (the) politicians. Our usual instinctive reaction is therefore to run or turn away from the ‘wrongs’, the ‘dangers’, to give in to our fears and biases. We run away rather than make a stand and formulate an alternative, a blueprint for a better world, which is so much harder as it takes time to think, to reflect, and a lot of courage.

If I had to make a wish-list of what I’d like to see more of, in my more immediate circle, but also in our society at large than it would be companionship, community spirit, compassion, and passion. Let me explain.

One of the strongest human desires is to belong, to be part of something bigger and/or unifying. Exclusion and becoming a ‘social pariah’ can have tragic consequences and be fatal, literally. Paradoxically, therefore, is the ever-increasing focus on the individual, the personal choice & responsibility, the egotistical pursuit of success, instant gratification, happiness, that slowly but surely undo the fine fabric of our society that used to be more cohesive.

Which human interactions or values are still resisting the onslaught of neo-liberal ideology and capitalist free-market conditioning? Are these perhaps the most essential to our survival and thus to our evolution?

Besides the urge to find a mate to procreate and be intimate with the closest & deepest bonds we form are with friends and family. We do things for friends without being asked or expecting even anything in return – it is almost (?) instinctively understood and accepted as part and foundation of (the) friendship. In other words, friendship is priceless! Still. I don’t want to quibble about semantics and for the sake of convenience I consider mateship, friendship, companionship as synonymous.

Instead of looking after number One and trying to get one up on/over the other we should look after each other, and show more collegiality and companionship. The benefits are huge, mentally, psychologically, socially, and will shift the focus away from tiresome and often counter-productive competition. When the focus is on the interaction with a fellow human rather on what we can get from the interaction, as in a ‘transaction’, we cannot fail to ‘gain’ from it and become ‘enriched’ – suffice to say that these terms are now removed from their usual neo-liberal context.

The bonds we form with our own kin may have a strong evolutionary basis. Again, we do not expect a pecuniary return from everything we do; it is instinctive. We don’t (need to) keep a tally of ‘favours’ we have given or received; we do what needs to be done and because the personal boundaries are less clear giving often feels like receiving at the same time. This may not be altruism in its purest sense but I don’t see any problem with a simultaneous act of giving-receiving and please-thank you because you feel more one with the other person(s) beforehand and because through the act itself makes you feel even closer afterwards. It is actually amazingly simple when you think about it (or even better: when you experience it).

If in future work is to take a less important role, by choice or by force, then we need to have a safety net. Not in terms of a financial buffer (or worse: WINZ), which is a separate issue, as inconceivable as this may sound, but an environment that gives us a sense of worth, dignity, respect, purpose, and belonging (certainly not WINZ!). It makes sense that the (local) community can provide this kind of safety net and support. This support should be mutual; you give back to the community what you receive, although this may sounds very much like a business deal/transaction or an insurance contract. However, it is more multi-dimensional than materialism alone could ever be; it includes all levels & dimensions of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. A community is a place & environment where people can develop and create as individuals but also co-create and explore their full human potential.

If people have no work to commute to, if they can find more services and goods locally, it may ease pressures on the environment. Modern technology can be used to streamline the logistics of trafficking in goods that have to come from elsewhere. Obviously, virtual communities do already exist without geographical boundaries and with the light speed of the internet.

It goes without saying, I think, that feeling close to others, be they friends, family, or the wider (local) community, should go hand-in-hand with compassion. However, this compassion should go beyond one’s nearest & dearest and include ‘strangers’ alike. I also like to think that the World we live in would instantly become a better place if we were to feel and show more compassion towards animals as well as to the long-suffering (!) environment. Perhaps this kind of attitude goes under a different name(s) bsocialut my point is that if we don’t change our attitudes we cannot expect things to change in a (the?) direction we wish.

This brings me to passion. If we were to do things with more conviction, and upon reflection, and to put our hearts & souls into it, i.e. with passion, we would have more rewarding and authentic experiences. Our actions should align with our being and by our actions we constantly create and re-create ourselves and our World. We might ditch the superficial stuff, the stuff that neither defines us nor gets us anywhere that is meaningful. Passion is considered a powerful emotion that we can choose to guide us and we can choose to invoke. Our power stems from our internal strength, because we know who we are and we choose, willingly & knowingly, and with passion & purpose.

Airy-fairy? Flights of fancy? Wishful thinking? Dreaming? Perhaps yes, but we need to have Utopian ideals and dreams to get us to a better World so we have to start somewhere, don’t we? It is up to each of us.

Incognito


Footnotes:

1) A special thanks to RedLogix for the inspiring comment but also for many very good comments by others on my first Guest Post on TS.

2) Obviously, the first letters of the four title words abbreviate to CCCP. A little contrived but for some reason it appeals to me and it is a nod to Jean-Luc Mélenchon who had to bow out of the French presidential election.

43 comments on “Utopian Musings: Companionship, Community, Compassion, Passion ”

  1. Ant 1

    Passion, compassion, giving, community, one another: all the standard “stuff” of religion, – without reference to the “sky fairy.”

    Like it or not this IS the direction for a post socialism, communism, capitalism humanity.
    The Buddha, the Nazarene, Mohammed all emphasized these directives. References to God (except in the case of the Buddha) may have been to accommodate the limited levels of consciousness in those times, emerging as they were from eras of worship of luminaries, animals, the sun etc. The Nazarene gave a hint of the future by introducing the concept of an impersonal God (who “made his rain fall on the just and well as the unjust”).

    The new era will emphasize the transition made by individual consciousness which discovers the extraordinary satisfaction/inspiration of living the substance of this article.

    Even if there was a “sky fairy” such a lifestyle would be pleasing to him.

    • Incognito 1.1

      Thank you.

      • greywarshark 1.1.1

        Incognito
        I feel that Ant’s comment puts our concerns as people well. One thing though, we all overestimate our depths and heights of understanding. We need to keep a feeling of awe to keep ourselves in check. None of us know everything, and if we did still wouldn’t be able to hold it all and make powerful decisions that would always use all that knowledge for the best result – which would be?

        There would be so many variants that would have to allow for chaos theory (pictured often I think, as a butterfly flying in Brazil having an effect across the world eventually). There may be a god, and it would be wise to remember that even if there isn’t, we need to have a mind to all the understanding of everything that we can never achieve, and try being a bit humble about making finite and precise statements about things beyond our ken.

        If there isn’t a god, we have it in our power to raise ourselves to a level of consciousness and behaviour using all our potential, to bring us close to what that wonderful personage or creative spirit would be. But every step forward or upward is followed by a half to one and a half steps in the other direction! We may be trying, but objectively, we are very trying and that is just by our own reflective judgments of ourselves. Could do better, class!

        • Incognito 1.1.1.1

          Hi greywarshark,

          I have to admit that I don’t follow everything you were saying.

          I agree that we don’t and possibly cannot know and understand ‘everything’ but that is not really our purpose, is it, if there is a purpose?

          Jung introduced the concept of the collective unconscious – to him it was more than a concept. Teilhard de Chardin came up with idea of the noosphere. Bergson introduced élan vital. Others have different names for it but I believe that all these ideas and faiths circle around a core truth. As long as we humans have been thinking and verbalising our thoughts the same theme has reoccurred, time after time. So, what is all this telling us? I have no idea whatsoever; it’s a big mystery to me and I am in awe of it.

          For a long (!) time I have been obsessively looking for answers and knowledge & understanding but for me it turned out to be largely an exercise in futility and frustration; it leads away from increased awareness and consciousness. Rather than constantly asking questions and chasing answers it might be helpful to sometimes silence the rational thought and logical reasoning and have faith in that other part of us that we seem to have ignored and perhaps even have come to fear.

          I don’t know whether this in any way addresses your comment but it is all good, isn’t it?

        • Ant 1.1.1.2

          You mention awe and humility, – again cornerstones of religion. Esoteric traditions assert the rational mind whilst essential to coherent life in form can and must be superseded by a more subtle element of consciousness whose attributes mobilize the qualities emphasised by incognito. The rational mind then becomes the instrument of this transformed element. May attest to this reality, via so-called religious conversion, and experience profound life changes. .

          • greywarshark 1.1.1.2.1

            Ant
            Interasting and meaningful discussion. You may find new piece on Bowalley Road on social generators has some points.

  2. Ad 2

    Incog, Max Harris beat you to it with very similar utopian musings, except with policies attached:

    http://thespinoff.co.nz/politics/22-04-2017/the-nz-project-offers-a-bold-urgent-idealistic-vision-i-found-it-deeply-depressing/

    • Sacha 2.1

      For a more accurate rendition (including a useful exploration of what he means by “love”), here’s Mr Harris himself: https://aeon.co/essays/it-is-time-for-love-to-become-a-radical-force-in-politics

      • Ad 2.1.1

        Jesus had the market cornered on that a couple of millennia ago.
        Mr Harris could start with the first sentence in the book of John and work it out from there. It starts: “In the beginning was …”

        Or maybe Harris is just another repressed Christian.

      • Incognito 2.1.2

        I will read that with interest and thank you for the link.

    • Incognito 2.2

      Hi Ad,

      I have been reading a few things about Max Harris, which have piqued my interest, and did read Danyl Mclauchlan’s book review yesterday. I have yet to read The New Zealand Project, and it might be a while before I get to it, but Danyl’s comments and some others here on TS very recently made me dust off this Guest Post, which I had first submitted late December 2015 but Lynn was just too busy to deal with it and I let it slide into oblivion.

      Policies are important for political parties but I am more interested in the perspective of each individual person who belongs to various groupings and is a member of the same society I happen to live in as well. I am interested in the relationship between the individual and society and the ongoing tension between individualism and collectivism. Obviously, this is reflected in the political spectrum, i.e. Left & Right. I know that these opposing traits can be reconciled within an individual person (e.g. me; a work in progress) and that the tension dissipates.

      I’d be keen to hear what Harris has to say about this if anything.

  3. Bill 3

    Well, what if we were to identify those structural or systemic dynamics that acted against community etc and simply rejected them from from our suite of behaviours?

    What if we were to discover that many of the dynamics that reward us at the individual level, when and where we sacrifice the community or social good, have been gathered under the auspices of an identifiable and named paradigm?

    Wouldn’t we get a fair way down a road towards decency by simply rejecting that paradigm?

    I believe socialists, autonomous marxists, communists and anarchists were saying something along those lines more than 100 years ago. And the name of the thing they pointed to or at was ‘capitalism’.

    • Incognito 3.1

      Hi Bill,

      Sure, we can reject the paradigm but we cannot reject the root cause why it came to be and become the dominant paradigm of modern time. It is a human construct.

      I believe it is about change, change of behaviour, change of attitudes & mentality, change of perceptions at the individual level in the first place.

      My impression is that actually quite a few people feeling this change in the air but it is fragile and easily suppressed and hijacked by politicians. In my view other politicians are hopelessly behind or insensitive to it and my guess is that change will come from grassroots level and not from our politicians or political leaders, or (public) intellectuals & scientists for that matter although they all have a role to play.

      I don’t think we need a revolution; in my view this is the natural (!) evolution of humans and the human race. This doesn’t mean that everything will be o.k. but it puts things in a much larger perspective than an election cycle, for example, or even one human generation.

      • Bill 3.1.1

        Hmm. It’s a human construct – ie, thought of by us, designed by us, imposed on us and by us, and therefore not anything to do with ‘unavoidable’ natural causes.

        I don’t subscribe to the Marxist notion of ‘historical determinism’ or any liberal variation of it (which is what the evolution portion of your comment implies to me) – that’s a deeply flawed notion that Marx could only come to by interpreting the past through the necessarily warped or partial lens of his present before vainly casting his line of ‘connections’ into an imagined linear future. (A bit like putting a room full of computers to task on a shattered glass and then turning around and saying the pieces could only ever have fractured and scattered as they did…an exercise in banality.) There is no over-arching ‘progress’ arising from the so-called enlightenment as liberals too, with their adherence to never ending reforms of the existing system like to believe.

        • Incognito 3.1.1.1

          Indeed, not determined by natural causes but undoubtedly influenced by those. I guess we can and do agree that change is possible (and necessary).

          I don’t know anything about the stuff you wrote about Marx and ‘historical determinism’ and so on; my thoughts are mine but obviously influenced by many things, especially thoughts & writings by many many others. BTW, I have never read anything from or studied Marx – my professional ‘field’ is devoid of anything Marx, etc.

          I do think there is a process happening that is called evolution in the line of thinking of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin and others. At an individual level there is personal evolution AKA development or growth or awareness. The collective and individual processes cannot be treated as completely separate.

          Only when people ‘wake up’ will we see real changes in society, changes that might help to mitigate the size and impact of ACC, for example. Simply showing people the facts and knowledge of pending doom is effectively no different from the Sunday sermon and threating fire & brimstone. It might work for a wee while on a number of people but as we know it won’t last and it won’t be enough. In fact, it can be divisive and counter-productive. To me it is obvious that we need something better and it is coming, slowly …

          • Ant 3.1.1.1.1

            Far as I can make out de Chardin carried the impersonal God hinted at by the Nazarene a step further, – implying that under the evolutionary urge the race had reached ‘peduncle time’ where many millions stand poised with massed intent at the threshold of enriching the noosphere with a genuine expansion of consciousness. There’s no shortage of hints abroad that this expansion transcends all formal religion; an online search will find many groups (e.g. Spiritual Atheists!!) responding to the inner promptings of this time.

            .

            • Incognito 3.1.1.1.1.1

              My own personal journey has been ‘tracking’ more with Jung than with religion but they say that all roads lead to Rome. I have met a few fellow travellers along the way and it is always a joy to compare notes.

  4. greywarshark 4

    Other things that make a strong and good community are essential. Such as the ability to trust.
    Respect the good in others and to look for it instead of doing the tall poppy, finding fault, scoring off.
    Awareness that everyone has faults and to be aware of your own, while not denying those of others, perhaps through PC.
    Being aware of the good things that you have and being thankful and knowing when to say enough.

    Not allowing other people to demand stuff all the time from you while putting you last too often, and then festering with this. Saying what you want, standing up for yourself, putting your own case though not all the time, is essential. Community is good but some have the idea that serving the community or family means becoming the gofer, a sort of reliable slave.

    Helping people to empower themselves, not doling out charity and patronising others who are perceived to have less or be disadvantaged. Help people be strong in themselves and don’t underestimate their capacity to make decisions, do things.
    Give people tools and a helping hand if needed.

    These are all important as defined examples of value generalisations.

  5. gsays 5

    Well said incognito.

    Sharing is natural, it accords with our nature.
    It feels good to share and it feels good to be shared with.

    Couldn’t agree more about the sacrifice of the individual for the community.
    A way of looking at it is: when making a decision
    for the individual, consider the family,
    for the family, consider community,
    for the community, consider the nation etc.

    • Grafton Gully 5.1

      Our great welfare system is more than just charity because we do not say to the rich: Please give something to the poor. Instead we say: German people, help yourselves! Everyone must help, whether you are rich or poor! Everyone must have the belief that there’s always someone in a much worse situation than I am, and this is the person I want to help as a comrade. If one should say: Yes, but do I have to sacrifice a lot? That is the glory of giving! When you sacrifice for your community, then you can walk with your head held up high. ”
      — Adolf Hitler speech at the Winter Relief in 1937

      • greywarshark 5.1.1

        GG
        Interesting that. It sounds very reasonable at first. Perhaps the ‘German’ people is a giveaway. If he is only talking about a percentage of the population it is not a great welfare system.

        And Yes, but do I have to sacrifice a lot? That is the glory of giving! When you sacrifice for your community, then you can walk with your head held up high. ”

        My earlier point was that the individual and the community should be in balance. Sacrificing a lot is for emergencies, and even then it should be in balance. A Christchurch man left his wife and children and went off in the family car to help others coming down the Port Hills and was killed. So he deserted his family for others’ benefit. Good hearted, but not fair. Balance, there is a limit to what can be done by one person or a group. And there is an economic-efficiency term for it called ‘opportunity cost’, which means that if you spend your time on one thing, you lose the opportunity to employ your time somewhere else.

      • Carolyn_nth 5.1.2

        Charlatans in politics is not a new thing – maybe why Incognito is looking to mobilisation of people in grassroots communities.

      • Incognito 5.1.3

        Well, I hadn’t seen this one coming.

        Firstly, I don’t think I ever used the word “sacrifice” or even implied it. Doing something for another or for the community is not a sacrifice as such if it is the right thing to do for all involved and if it is about the interaction rather than the transaction. This doesn’t mean everything is easy but the burden gets lighter or disappears completely depending on how you perceive the action. A parent raising a child knows full-well that it can be very hard at times and yet no parent expects an award or glorification. I like the pay-it-forward concept or random acts of kindness but it is better encapsulated by Buddhist altruism in which the dualism between giver and receiver takes on a whole different dimension. However, I was keen to avoid religious or similar references in my post.

        • gsays 5.1.3.1

          Hi incognito, I assume you are responding to me about sacrifice.
          By sacrifice I mean things like getting up before dawn for Anzac service, what parents sacrifice for the betterment of their children.
          Perhaps the biggest sacrifice is to forgo the idea of self and look for the unity in any situation.

          • Incognito 5.1.3.1.1

            Hi gsays,

            No, my reply @ 5.1.3 was to Grafton Gully @ 5.1 although Bill @ 3 also used the word, which is actually fascinating.

            That said, I am in complete agreement with you.

            I also think that our Western dualism of you vs. me and us vs. them can block the way forward.

    • One Two 5.2

      Yes and No..

      The individual is the smallest community and must first learn about ‘the self’

      If ‘the self’ is not understood or given priority in the ‘correct’ manner, then the likely hood of the so called functional community…is what can been witnessed at the present time..malfunctioning

      The individual has been stripped, turned inside out and discombobulated onto a form which is far from ‘the self’..’humanity’ mostly has little to no idea who, or what ‘we are’

      It is a common misunderstanding that the individual is the ‘problem’..

      That perspective is misplaced and problematic..

      • gsays 5.2.1

        hi 1 2,
        it is the belief that the indivdual is paramount that has gotten us to where we are today.
        i would argue that the individual (self?), far from being stripped, is overly adorned with wants, opinions, attitudes, desires etc.
        all legitimate, partly as a by product of many billions of dollars spent over a century, telling us so.

        • greywarshark 5.2.1.1

          The individual being lauded and being appealed to by business and RW economists, is carrying out a campaign that is counter to the apparent goal. In creating a mindset that stresses that the individual is me getting king or queen treatment, and me-first is how it should be, that attitude becomes a mass attitude which conforms to whatever approach is presented to individuals to satisfy themselves.

          So we have a mass of individuals conforming like a school of fish. Then the individual who wants to present a new approach is rejected. Often you will come across the answer to a question by someone that ‘They are only just one person, or or a small and vocal group of dissenters’.

          Human nature is very devious, and nothing is as straightfoward as it may seem.
          If it seems obvious and TINA, look for suppression of awkward, disagreeing, individuals who may have a valid point that would give policy a completeness for most situations, if the points could be taken into account.

  6. Kay 6

    Capitalism dictates that everything and everyone has a monetary value; the neoliberal experiment has thrown many of even the most community minded people into survival mode simply to survive, so unintentionally it ends up becoming “me first” because the harsh reality is a roof over one’s head and a way to pay the bills don’t go away. When all one’s time is taken up on basic survival then of course disconnect from even your immediate community is inevitable.

    Of course, this is no excuse for a fit young man in his business suit not to give up his seat on a packed bus for an elderly person.

    Or for those who don’t teach their kids common courtesy, like giving gran a call and saying thanks for the birthday card. Or even just phoning to say hi. You know, being nice. These are nothing to do with survival/stress; but examples of the wider societal sickness (I don’t know what else to call it) that’s taken hold. I feel if these types of basic behaviours can’t be reversed then within a couple of generations we can forget about the concept of community completely.

  7. Philj 7

    Thanks for stating what would appear to be fundamental to becoming fully human, which has to be a collective awareness. Consciousness is slowly evolving and if we don’t realise it soon, we may collectively, lose any opportunity to. There is no ‘other’

    • Incognito 7.1

      Thank you.

      You’re well ahead of me but I’m slowly catching up.

      • Philj 7.1.1

        Cheers Ad. I don’t see that I’m ahead of anyone. We behave as individuals but in a shared reality which is relationship. It’s the bit in between. Martin Buber is worth reading on this.

        • Incognito 7.1.1.1

          Thanks.

          I have never heard of Martin Buber and will check it out.

          I agree about the shared reality but in this reality I am called Incognito, not Ad 😉

          You’re ahead in the sense that I have many thoughts on this topic, as you can tell, but have not yet found the right words to put it together for another Guest Post, for example. These posts, and my comments here on TS, are a great self-test; writing what I mean is no mean feat.

          • Philj 7.1.1.1.1

            “I agree about the shared reality but in this reality I am called Incognito, not Ad 😉”
            Lol. Apologies Incognito, my mistake. Yes, I thank you for raising this topic as it goes deeper than the veneer of MSM political discourse which I am finding increasingly irrelevant and obstructive. The traditional right / left dichotomy is injurious to a healthy society, local and global. We, collectively must create a new ethic for ourselves. The planet will still be here regardless…

        • greywarshark 7.1.1.2

          Only when people wake up. Well many will not ever, while they ‘sleep on’ they are not obliged to have troubling thoughts and limit their lifestyles which are comfortable. Then there are others who are set on blaming the system, or themselves, for their low position in society. They are oppressed and need to do a lot of rethinking on how to climb out of their rut. So they have to apply troubling thoughts to themselves, and why they are in the state they are in.

          I am reading Alan Duff’s book about himself and his highs and lows. Out of the Mist and the Steam 1999. Troubling thoughts there, could never settle into a lifestyle which was comfortable, fell down, got up, done much, got MBE.
          But it’s taken thought and action and philosophising along the way.

          It is essential that there is talk about philosophy, starting early in life, beyond limiting bad behaviour (in a generally agreed way) , sharing toys, not spitting and biting other little children etc. (I would like not stealing other kids sports shoes added to the list of unacceptables! But that is just looking at the immediate and practical, this need for a better philosophy is beyond these.) More than just following what everyone is doing as if that is ‘natural’ and, permanent and where our social evolution has led us.

          When one looks at how NZ has lost its commitment to each other, respecting the need for each to have a satisfactory life, which goal has been abandoned in exchange for the promise of more money and also the fear of not being able to export and increase business enterprise, it is shocking how what was regarded as permanent and natural has been lost.

          Now people go round chanting slogans, and that is not in protest marches either. The wealthy have been chanting Key knows what to do, how to run the country, or we have to dairy farm to the max or die, or we must have casinos, be a hub for international finance, or become a backwater.

          I note that various times in civilisation have been named ie the Age of Enlightenment, but it seems we are sliding back to conditions and thinking that we thought had been passed, so that we were moving on progressively.
          Are we going back? Is there a trend line that can be traced through the upward and downward movements, and where is it headed?

          Wikipedia on sociocultural evolution:
          Enlightenment and later thinkers often speculated that societies progressed through stages: in other words, they saw history as stadial. While expecting humankind to show increasing development, theorists looked for what determined the course of human history.

          Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770–1831), for example, saw social development as an inevitable process.[citation needed] It was assumed that societies start out primitive, perhaps in a state of nature, and could progress toward something resembling industrial Europe.

          While earlier authors such as Michel de Montaigne (1533–1592) had discussed how societies change through time, the Scottish Enlightenment of the 18th century proved key in the development of the idea of sociocultural evolution.[citation needed] In relation to Scotland’s union with England in 1707, several[quantify] Scottish thinkers pondered the relationship between progress and the affluence brought about by increased trade with England. They understood the changes Scotland was undergoing as involving transition from an agricultural to a mercantile society.

          In “conjectural histories”, authors such as Adam Ferguson (1723–1816), John Millar (1735–1801) and Adam Smith (1723–1790) argued that societies all pass through a series of four stages: hunting and gathering, pastoralism and nomadism, agriculture, and finally a stage of commerce.
          Auguste Comte (1798–1857)

          Philosophical concepts of progress, such as that of Hegel, developed as well during this period. In France, authors such as Claude Adrien Helvétius (1715–1771) and other philosophers were influenced by the Scottish tradition. Later thinkers such as Comte de Saint-Simon (1760–1825) developed these ideas.[citation needed] Auguste Comte (1798–1857) in particular presented a coherent view of social progress and a new discipline to study it: sociology.

          I read John Christopher’s Prince in Waiting was the first one of the series.
          This was about a young man who has been chosen to lead his people by the elders. But he is affected by his wife falling in love with another man who replaces him. He is for progress and science, the people reject his ideas.
          There are three books, developing the story which deal with different ways of society.

          Incognito says 3 1 1 1: I do think there is a process happening that is called evolution in the line of thinking of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin and others. At an individual level there is personal evolution AKA development or growth or awareness. The collective and individual processes cannot be treated as completely separate.

          Perhaps we should do a mass reading of Teilhard de Chardin and others mentioned above and go for a second book club discussion. Trying to get a workable policy on how we shape our thinking for our life’s reality will not be something that can be brought about by a quick discussion, a bill to be talked about in a select committee. Getting down to the nitty gritty of the ideas and thoughts and opinions of what might be good to have will only be the first stage of this essential, life-changing project. Many of the ideas may be impractical when meeting with our intractable deeply-held unconscious and sub-conscious thinking and reacting. I do not think we actually understand our deep drives, our unconscious etc, even after centuries of self-examination and objective discussion and the exploration and theories of Freud, Jung, Adler? and others.

          • Philj 7.1.1.2.1

            Thank you for your thoughts. I find this discussion more interesting than the drudgery of the usual daily political smorgasbord. Teilhard de Chardin was regarded by Sir Lloyd Geering as influencing his thinking about the evolution of human consciousness.

  8. RightWingAndProud 8

    The key to happiness is not getting what you’ve always wanted (you’ll always want more) but being satisfied with what you have.

    ===================================
    “Ignoring something is not the same as being able to handle them. If you don’t listen to people on the net, then you wind up in a echo chamber that is not useful.
    We eject the people who violate our rules.”

    • Incognito 8.1

      The key to happiness is to be who you want to be and become who you want to become. The verb “have” has got very little bearing on happiness as such, although it can temporarily satisfy; it is nice to have a roof over your head and a nice soft bed to sleep in. Satisfaction does not equal happiness.

    • Philj 8.2

      Thanks for the ‘key to happiness’ RWAP. It explains in part, why people vote right wing. Please excuse the generalization.

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  • United Nations General Assembly: 76th General Debate Statement
    E ngā Mana, e ngā Reo, Rau Rangatira mā o tēnei Whare Nui o te Ao Prestigious people, Speakers of note, Chiefs one and all of this General Assembly Ngā mihi mahana ki o koutou katoa, mai i toku Whenua o Aotearoa Warm greetings to you all from my home ...
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    11 hours ago
  • APEC 2021 Women and the Economy Forum prioritises women’s economic empowerment
    Minister for Women Jan Tinetti today chaired the virtual APEC 2021 Women and the Economy Forum, which is working to address outstanding issues for women and girls across the region as it recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. The forum brought together Ministers and representatives from 21 economies to discuss gender ...
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    12 hours ago
  • Upper Hauraki to move to Alert Level 2
    Upper Hauraki will move to Alert Level 2 from 11:59pm tomorrow, 25 September, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed today. After positive cases were detected in the Upper Hauraki area on Sunday, extra Alert Level restrictions were put in place to immediately prevent any wider transmission of the virus.  “We’ve ...
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    1 day ago
  • Report into Aotearoa New Zealand’s export controls system released
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today welcomed the findings of an independent review into Aotearoa New Zealand’s export controls system, which regulates the export of goods to foreign militaries, police forces or paramilitaries. Produced by David Smol, a former Chief Executive of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, the ...
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    1 day ago
  • New District Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General David Parker has announced the appointment of Brett Crowley of Wellington as a District Court Judge.  He is currently the Wellington Public Defender and started his career as a staff solicitor working in a range of litigation including criminal defence work. He went to the bar in 1999 specialising ...
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    1 day ago
  • Mental health stocktake shows strong progress
    The first report of the Government’s Implementation Unit has found strong progress has been made since the Mental Health and Addictions Package was announced in 2019. “The report notes most initiatives funded in the Budget 2019 package are on track to deliver what is expected by 2023/24,” Grant Robertson said. ...
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    1 day ago
  • Working together to grow the West Coast
    A project that has been crucial in allowing businesses to continue during the tourism downturn is among a number of initiatives to receive a boost from the Government’s Jobs For Nature programme, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. Sustaining South Westland is an extension of an initiative set up last year ...
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    1 day ago
  • Next steps to improve safety in wake of Whakaari White Island tragedy
    The Government is moving to improve safety in light of the Whakaari White Island tragedy and has released proposals to reinforce safety standards in registered adventure activities. The package of proposals includes: Strengthening requirements for how operators, landowners and the regulator manage natural hazard risks Improving how risks are monitored, ...
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    1 day ago
  • New Zealand donates more COVID-19 vaccines to COVAX and the Pacific
    Foreign Affairs Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta and Associate Health Minister Aupito William Sio announced today that New Zealand is donating additional Pfizer vaccines to the Pacific and AstraZeneca vaccines to the COVAX Facility, to support equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. “New Zealand is donating 708,000 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine ...
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    2 days ago
  • Speech to the Property Council of New Zealand
    Kia ora koutou katoa   Is it a pleasure to be able to speak with you today, and to be able to answer some questions you may have. I would like to acknowledge the organisers of this event, the Property Council. The theme of this year’s conference is City Shapers. Together ...
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    2 days ago
  • Additional MIQ for Christchurch
    An additional hotel will be added to our network of managed isolation and quarantine facilities, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “I have approved and Cabinet is in the final stages of signing off The Quality Hotel Elms in Christchurch as a new managed isolation facility,” Chris Hipkins said. ...
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    2 days ago
  • NZ COVID-19 response earns another major digital investment
    Minister for the Digital Economy and Communications Dr David Clark welcomes Amazon’s Web Services’ (AWS) decision to establish a Cloud Region on New Zealand shores, further boosting New Zealand’s growing digital sector, and providing a vote of confidence in the direction of New Zealand’s economic recovery. “Amazon is the second ...
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    2 days ago
  • New Zealand invests in cutting edge cancer R&D
    Scaling up the manufacture of CAR T-cell cancer therapy for clinical trials Advancing New Zealand’s biomedical manufacturing capability Supporting future international scientific collaborations Transforming cancer care with targeted, affordable solutions Research, Science and Innovation Minister Hon Dr Megan Woods has announced that the fight against COVID-19 will not stop the ...
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    2 days ago
  • Expert group appointed to lead New Zealand’s future health system
    An outstanding group of people with extensive and wide-ranging governance and health experience have been appointed to lead the Māori Health Authority and Health New Zealand, Health Minister Andrew Little says. “This Government is building a truly national health system to provide consistent, high-quality health services right across the country. This ...
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    2 days ago
  • Funding to help clean up contaminated sites
    The Government is supporting the clean-up of contaminated sites in Northland, Dunedin and Southland to reduce risk to people’s health and protect the environment. Environment Minister David Parker said the funding announced today, through the Contaminated Sites Remediation Fund, will help us turn previously hazardous sites into safe, usable public ...
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    3 days ago
  • Predator Free apprenticeships open up new job opportunities
    The expansion of a predator free apprenticeship programme is an opportunity for more people to kick-start a conservation career, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “The Predator Free Apprenticeship Programme is focused on increasing the number of skilled predator control operators in New Zealand through a two-year training programme. “The Trust ...
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    3 days ago
  • Further NCEA support confirmed for Auckland students
    The number of Learning Recognition Credits for senior secondary school students will be increased for Auckland students, Education Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed today. This recognises the extended time these students will spend in Alert Levels 3 and 4. “It means students in Auckland will have a fair opportunity to attain ...
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    3 days ago
  • Long-term pathway next step to better mental wellbeing for New Zealanders
    The Government is taking a new approach to support people who experience mental distress, Health Minister Andrew Little says. “Kia Manawanui Aotearoa – Long-term pathway to mental wellbeing (Kia Manawanui) is the first 10-year plan of its kind that targets the cause of mental distress and also sets out how ...
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    3 days ago
  • Keeping our Police safe to keep our communities safe
    The Government is committed to keeping our frontline police officers safe, so they in turn can keep New Zealanders safe – with one of the largest investments in frontline safety announced by Police Minister Poto Williams at the Police College today.   The $45 million investment includes $15.496 million in ...
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    3 days ago
  • Clean Vehicles Bill passes first checkpoint
    The Land Transport (Clean Vehicles) Amendment Bill will help New Zealand drive down transport emissions by cleaning up the light vehicle fleet, Transport Minister Michael Wood says. The Bill passed its first reading today and will establish the legislative framework for key parts of the Government’s Clean Car Package, including ...
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    4 days ago
  • Funding boost supports ongoing Māori COVID-19 response
    The Government is responding to the need by whānau Māori and Māori Health providers to support their ongoing work responding to COVID-19 and to continue increasing rates of Māori vaccination, Associate Minister for Health (Māori Health), Peeni Henare and Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson announced today.   This increased ...
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    4 days ago
  • Significant increase to COVID-19 penalties
    Penalties for breaches of COVID-19 orders are set to significantly increase from early November 2021 to better reflect the seriousness of any behaviour that threatens New Zealand’s response to the virus, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Throughout this Delta outbreak we’ve seen the overwhelming majority of people doing ...
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    4 days ago
  • Counter-Terrorism Legislation Bill returns to Parliament
    The Counter-Terrorism Legislation Bill has returned to Parliament for its second reading in an important step towards giving enforcement agencies greater power to protect New Zealanders from terrorist activity. “The Bill addresses longstanding gaps in our counter terrorism legislation that seek to protect New Zealanders and make us safer,” Justice ...
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    4 days ago
  • Joint Statement: New Zealand and Australian Trade Ministers
    Hon Damien O'Connor MP, New Zealand Minister for Trade and Export Growth, and Hon Dan Tehan MP, Australian Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, met virtually on Monday 20 September to advance trans-Tasman cooperation under the Australia-New Zealand Closer Economic Relations Trade Agreement (CER). CER is one of the most ...
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    5 days ago
  • Prime Minister’s Post Cabinet Press Conference/COVID-19 Update opening statement
    ***Please check against delivery***   E te tī, e te tā, nau mai rā [To all, I bid you welcome]   As you will have seen earlier, today there are 22 new community cases to report; three of which are in Whakatiwai in the Hauraki area, and the remainder in ...
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    5 days ago
  • Major milestones for Māori COVID-19 vaccine rollout as new campaign launches
    Whānau Ora and Associate Health (Māori Health) Minister Peeni Henare acknowledges two major milestones in the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination programme for Māori. “I am very pleased to announce more than 50 percent of eligible Māori have received their first dose and 25 per cent are now fully vaccinated,” ...
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    6 days ago
  • Government funding to fight infectious diseases
    $36 million for research into Covid-19 and other infectious diseases The investment will improve our readiness for future pandemics Research will focus on prevention, control, and management of infectious diseases The Government’s investing in a new Infectious Diseases Research Platform to boost Aotearoa New Zealand’s Covid-19 response and preparedness for ...
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    6 days ago
  • Quarantine-free travel with Australia to remain suspended for a further 8 weeks
    Suspension to be reviewed again mid to late November Decision brought forward to enable access from Australia to first tranche of around 3000 rooms in MIQ Air New Zealand working at pace to put on more flights from Australia from October    The suspension of quarantine-free travel (QFT) with Australia has ...
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    1 week ago
  • Extra support for Ethnic Communities to share vaccination information
    Extra support is being made available to Ethnic Communities to help them share COVID-19 vaccination information within their communities, Minister for Diversity, Inclusion and Ethnic Communities Priyanca Radhakrishnan said. “We know we need to get every eligible person in New Zealand vaccinated. A fund being launched today will allow for ...
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    1 week ago
  • School holidays remain unchanged for Auckland region
    School holidays in Auckland will continue to be held at the same time as the rest of the country, starting from Saturday, 2 October, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “I’ve carefully considered advice on the implications of shifting the dates and concluded that on balance, maintaining the status quo ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government continues crackdown on gangs and organised crime
    Operation Tauwhiro extended until March 2022 Since it was launched in February, Operation Tauwhiro has resulted in:   987 firearms seized $4.99 million in cash seized 865 people charged with a firearms-related offence Gangs and organised crime groups will continue to be relentlessly targeted with the extension of Police’s successful ...
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    1 week ago
  • Speech to Body Positive 'HIV Treatments Update Seminar 2021'
    E ngā mana E ngā reo E ngā iwi Tēnā koutou katoa Ka huri ki ngā mana whenua o te rohe nei. Tēnā koutou. He mihi hoki ki a tatou kua tau mai nei I raro I te kaupapa o te rā. Nō reira tēnā koutou katoa Acknowledgements It’s a ...
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    1 week ago
  • Power bill changes bring fairness to charges
    A key recommendation of an independent panel to make electricity charges fairer across all households will be put in place, the Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods has announced. “Phasing out the regulations on ‘low-use’ electricity plans will create a fairer playing field for all New Zealanders and encourage a ...
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    1 week ago
  • NZ economy’s strong momentum will support rebound from Delta outbreak; COVID fund replenished
    The economy showed strong momentum in the period leading up to the recent Delta COVID-19 outbreak, which bodes well for a solid economic rebound, Grant Robertson said. GDP rose 2.8 percent in the June quarter, following on from a 1.4 percent increase in the previous March quarter. This was a ...
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    1 week ago
  • Projects create benefits into the future
    Making a well-known lake swimmable and helping to halt the decline of the endangered hoiho/yellow-eyed penguins are among a suite of new projects being supported by the Government’s Jobs for Nature programme across the southern South Island, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “It’s no secret that many of our most ...
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    1 week ago
  • Opening statement for Whāriki Indigenous Small Business Roundtable
      Kei ngā tōpito e wha o te āo e rere ana te mihi maioha ki a koutou nō tawhiti, nō tata mai e tāpiri ana ki tēnei taumata kōrero mo te ao hokohoko arā mā ngā pākihi mo ngā iwi taketake Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa – Pai Mārire.  ...
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    1 week ago
  • New members appointed to Kāpuia
    The Government is adding four additional members to Kāpuia, the Ministerial Advisory Group on the Government’s Response to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the terrorist attack on Christchurch mosques. “I’m looking forward to having Pamela MacNeill, Huia Bramley, Melani Anae and Katherine Dedo  join Kāpuia and contribute to this group’s ...
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    1 week ago
  • Timeline confirmed for Emissions Reductions Plan
    Cabinet has agreed to begin consulting on the Emissions Reduction Plan in early October and require that the final plan be released by the end of May next year in line with the 2022 Budget, the Minister of Climate Change, James Shaw confirmed today. “Cabinet’s decision allows organisations and communities ...
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    1 week ago
  • Pay parity pathway for early learning teachers confirmed
    Pay parity conditions and higher funding rates for education and care services will come into force on 1 January, 2022, Minister of Education Chris Hipkins confirmed today. The Government signalled this work in Budget 2021. “From 1 January, 2022, centres opting into the scheme will receive government funding and be ...
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    1 week ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Nurses Organisation Conference 2021
    Kia Ora tatau katoa.   Ka tuku mihi ki nga nēhi, He pou Hauora o Aotearoa, E ora ai tatou.   Whakatau mai  I runga i te kaupapa o te ra Te NZNO conference.   Tena koutou tena koutou Tena tatou katoa   Good morning, and thank you inviting me ...
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    1 week ago