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Where is Civilization Going?

Café-Salon Philosophique #33

March 20, 1999

No. of Participants: 13

Topic of the Evening: "Where is Civilization Going?"

After welcoming everyone to Café-Salon, Samuel asked participants to share a topic that they would like to discuss for the evening. Some suggestions were: Tuning in to the miracles of life, Where are we going? Are we the victims of technology? How have we evolved? What is Zero Point dynamics? Why are we here? Let's explore a new civilization, and back to bartering.

Suzy thought it would be great if we did not have to exchange money and could recreate a bartering system. Dara stated, "this might create a "free will" zone meaning lots of "disruptions" could occur among the various systems that we have set up as human beings because we are so used to structure." Steve said "we can't go back to bartering because that would be too primitive."

Dennis believes "Society likes to keep things the way they are - nasty, brutish and short." Humans like to stay stuck in familiar values, beliefs and systems, instead of exploring the unknown. Most people as they grow older tend to make their life more complicated instead of simplifying it.

Suzy thinks "bartering is possible, but the modern world wouldn't know how to live without the money system." We are all interconnected through these various systems and networks. One has to work at not losing themselves in the systems. "It is so easy to get caught up in an organization, a religion, support groups or other people's lives." If one wants to function creatively and independently, then one has to learn to work without becoming trapped in any one system.

One doesn't want to go to the other extreme either of being like the Buddhists, Jesus or the Monks, living above or beyond the world, but learning to live in the world interacting harmoniously, but yet detached. Steve feels "people are too nasty and have too many insecurities when there are no structures or rules to live by." They are comfortable in group situations. Dara commented that she could see where, "humans might see life as a threat." The world continues to run at a hectic, competitive pace, not a creative one.

Material gain is the primary motivating force for living in the world today. The void is filled by people, places and things. "Bartering might be able to guarantee the basics" but, Eric believes it "could assist in promoting and reinforcing the importance of community among people." Dara feels "bartering could certainly open up more social contact" among people. "Hunter-gatherer societies did well and were able to maintain a balance between what they produced from their work and in exchanging goods."

Dennis thinks "bartering is a good idea, but he doesn't feel that it would make life more sustainable." Peter says, "Society on many levels does not want to improve or get better." "People say they want to find cures for all the diseases and ailments that afflict people in the world, but do they really want to?" The "experts" shout about new and improved products, or are these special interest groups making money off of the people?

Things are taken for granted. There is no real appreciation for what we have on a daily basis. Samuel asked, "What would make one happy and how could you develop a new civilization?" Steve says, "to be a part and feel things in the world is beautiful." "He is happy when he feels totally involved in it." Peter says "we need to get over the separation and the competitive nature." Stuff needs to be worked out internally. The external environment influences the self.

Next question, "Where is civilization going?" Steve believes it could take anywhere from 500 years to a million, for a new civilization to appear. Ciona says, in order for that to happen, everyone would have to have the same focus and intention towards a specific purpose. Eric said, "but there is no sense of community acceptance." "Energy and effort is put into war and sports."

Dennis added that people learn to die for the country not live for it. The group then discussed how "every one lives for self interest and not community interest." Man has added complexities upon complexities over thousands and thousands of years of living and struggling.

Next question, "How do you find your own magic?" To Steve, magic is when "great knowledge is put into action." Dennis says, "if one is happy, one tends to be more conscious of their actions." Another question asked, Which is more important to contribute to Society, giving or receiving? Eric said, "Giving is more important than the recognition of giving." He asked the question, Is the meaning of life to be involved in our Society? Steve answered, "The meaning of life is involved." The word meaning, means "things are connected."

Eric replied, "we are connected to and associated with all things." Dennis feels "connected to a God that doesn't exist." Ciona wanted to know "what is the point of what we were trying to say? Life is both giving and taking." That is involvement in life."Involvement means team work," says Steve. "Life is meaningful when one strives towards goals." Suzy enjoys living in her own little world because, "what is there to be involved in out there in the world?" She is happy with her gardening.

Peter says life has meaning when there is specific involvement. "We are more than we think we are," says Dara. Samuel stated, "we belittle ourselves by all the false beliefs and promises we receive from Society," thinking that we need approval.

Eric says, we are all the same, but yet we are different because of our personalities. Dara added that "animals are more alert than people." "Humans are uncomfortable being separated from things, so they don't take the time or don't provide the space to figure out who they are."

Steve feels that we've "added to our consciousness through science. Science helps you to think of the whole universe." Dara brought up Sufi traditions and "how we blossom out of the earth." Life is interconnected. Steve concluded, "The whole universe is available for our use, but we tend to use such a small percentage of our being. When we really look at the whole universe, it can be a meek and humbling experience."

Samuel proposed to seal the discussion with this proposition - The most objective and logical way to build a new civilization:

The Universal Law - Preamble

"The purpose of human life is to prosper and live happily. The function of Society is to guarantee those conditions that allow all individuals to fulfill their purpose. Those conditions can be guaranteed through a constitution that forbids the use of initiatory force or coercion by any person or group against any individual."

The Constitution of the New Civilization

Article 1: No person, group of persons, or government may initiate force, individual's self or property.

Article 2: Force may be morally and legally used only in defense against those who violate Article 1.

Article 3: No exceptions shall ever exist to Articles 1 and 2.

The next meeting for Café-Salon Philosophique gathering will be April 3, 1999 at the Troubadour Bookstore located at 1638 Pearl Street in Boulder, CO. Start time is 6:30 p.m. Hope to see you there! Invite your friends.

Reported by Alessandra.

"Samuel brings awareness to the soul of people and gives the artists who work under his direction the need, dedication, and love for the world of silence and the beautiful art of movement."


- Marcel Marceau, BIP 1961

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