Re-Assembling Reality #23.
In Re-Assembling Reality #4, we described religion as a domain concerned with questions about the core relationships that structure our existential engagement with the world.
People who ask themselves questions, discuss them and try to find answers, are generating collective knowledge. A group of people who do this form a community of knowledge, or an epistemic community.
An epistemic community is a group of people who are engaging in asking those questions, seeking answers, sharing their answers with each other, and acting in accordance with that knowledge.
Epistemic communities include an infinite variety of groups of people…
The New Mindscape #T3–2
Some of the greatest religious figures in history are persons who seemed not to have a trace of negative energy in their hearts. They always responded to negativity with positivity, with compassion and love, or at least with detachment and neutrality.
We can’t imagine Laozi getting angry at anyone. In the Daodejing (ch. 78) it is said,
In the world nothing is more tender and delicate than water.
In attacking the hard and the strong nothing will surpass it.
Buddha is the exemplar or serenity and compassion. He said,
“Compassion and tolerance are not a…
The New Mindscape T3–1
I argued in Designing and Cultivating your Mindscape that the negative or positive energy that we get from our objects of consciousness comes from ourselves: we empower the objects of consciousness with our energy. As in the scenario of Jack punching you: he punched you, but the punch did not last long. The memory of the punch, on the other hand, stays in you for a long time. The object of consciousness — the memory — gives you negative energy in the form of resentment and desire for revenge. But you are the one who invests…
Relational non-dualism is life and love.
The New Mindscape #T1–4
The key flaw of the dominant Human Operating System (HOS) of our society — and many alternative operating systems too — is that they tend to be based on a dualism that always divides things into two. Dualistic battles between concepts turn into conflicts between people. The way the operating system is designed generates conflict systems, consciously or unconsciously. We need to build a non-dualist operating system — an operating system that isn’t based on dualism, that is not based on creating conflict.
In many of the world's religious traditions…
One foot in, and one foot out.
The New Mindscape #T1–3
I said that “you need to be deprogrammed”.
I’m trying to be provocative here. Obviously, it’s impossible for you to be completely deprogrammed.
Our own DNA is a kind of program. That can’t be changed.
And when we get into society, we receive our social program.
We can hardly change our biological program, but we do have some power over our mental, cultural or social programs.
These programs, which we received from society, also program our body — so, to the extent that we change the social program, we…
The New Mindscape #T1–6.
Spirituality in the development of anthropology
In the history of anthropology, in the late 19th to early 20th centuries, when anthropology was becoming an academic discipline, it focused on studying the origin of humanity and “primitive” human beings.
Anthropology has rarely studied “spirituality” as such, but, broadly speaking, “spiritual” is often a catch-all term for all those ways of thinking, practices and ontologies excluded by modern Western rationality and materialism. Pre-modern, “savage”, “primitive” or non-Western cultures and cosmologies are full of “spiritual” ideas and practices. …
The New Mindscape #T1–5
The New Mindscape is a practical and critical approach to spirituality grounded in critical anthropological and sociological knowledge, based on my academic location within these disciplines.
How we talk about spirituality, and the type of knowledge we generate about it, is different depending on the social space in which the discourse on spirituality takes place.
In modern urban society, there are three such major spaces: non-institutional spiritual networks, institutional religions, and academia.
Alternative spiritual networks
Nowadays, a lot of spiritual practices take place outside of any institutionalized religion; indeed, many people insist that spirituality is distinct…
The New Mindscape #T1–2.
The dominant Human Operating System (HOS) is becoming increasingly dysfunctional. More and more people are questioning it. But we have to get away from the idea that you need a revolution to blow up the dominant HOS. That doesn’t work.
Rather, what we need is to build something in parallel. Different groups are developing alternative operating systems. They try them in one domain, until they work better and better, and apply them in new domains. Different alternative OS in different domains overlap and cross-fertilize each other, expanding into more highly developed OS with wider domains of…
The New Mindscape #T1–1.
The idea of a “Human Operating System” (HOS) is an interesting metaphor to start thinking about how our minds are structured, and how our relationships with the world and society and with our body are structured. There is hardly anything on this term in the academic literature. There are a few articles on human-robot interaction, which have the notion of a mental operating system or a human operating system, which is quite interesting. If you google the term, you will find that the term is widely used in some spaces, and primarily among futurists, who are…
The New Mindscape #12–8.
It’s time to look back at the journey we took in The New Mindscape.
At the beginning of The New Mindscape, I talked about the Human Operating System.
Your Operating system is the interface between your mind and your body, between yourself and society, between you and the world.
It’s what allows you to coordinate all of your powers and to function in the world. It’s also what allows the members of society to coordinate with each other.
A defective or broken Operating System can’t coordinate and interface. It connects some powers, functions, or elements in…