SpiriAta

Spiriata is the code name of a society that I am working to grow in Seattle.

Keywords:

  • Action towards infinitely high Ideals
  • Seeking out Continuous Change (at all levels of the society) and Welcoming Difference
  • Creativity, Spark, Liveliness
  • LivingImagination?, magic, role playing games, consciously remaking the SocialSimulation?
  • EvolutionarySpirituality, Holism, Consciousness, Conscience, Heart, and Meaning
  • Construction, Arts, Sciences, Technology, Education, Communication
  • Solidarity, Respect, Clarity, Trust
  • Service to Consciousness, Conscience, Heart
  • Happiness, Mystery, and Exploration
  • Play and Games as vehicles of Discovery, Investigation, and Social Reflection
  • Rejection of Comfort and Comfortable Habit
  • Activism, Mainstream Studies, Connection & Interaction with the Mainstream
  • Humanism, TransHumanism, Cybernetics, Spiritualism
  • Communal Living

Major Influences: ObertoAiraudi & the FederationOfDamanhur, Hegel, TeilhardDeChardin, PaulTwitchell?, MichaelDowd, the ProcessArts? movement, the OpenSource movement, applied NewAge? and HumanPotential?, CsLewis? & GkChesterton?, and myriad others

I don’t know how to make a society; It’s not at all clear to me.

Further, many of the things we want to do, we don’t know how to do, even on the conceptual level. (For example, “Living Imagination” is utterly foreign, and purely exploratory, even as an idea, even though it is one of the most critical pieces to the work.)

This said, I see nothing else worth doing.

The plans for the next three years are roughly:

  • remainder of 2008: prepare presentations for various audience types (friends, technologists, spiritualists, activists, and the encumbered public,) while deepening the way for those already involved
  • 2009: living with each other for extended durations at intervals, presenting serially to many many people
  • 2010: arranging co-living

Throughout all this, are various projects and experiments.

One thing we are discussing is, “What about an online presence?”

The Internet informs our thoughts and visions; We feel the urge to participate. Yet the SmallGroupSingularity, and the high cost of interacting online, holds us back.

We’d like to hold a slow and steady growth curve similar to that of the Federation of Damanhur, which has 1,000 strongly committed people after 30 years.

I have just found: bucketworks, I have not checked it in deep but the concepts seem interesting.

Perhaps Spiriata is the hippie dual to the extropians12 ? :)

Btw, the description you gave above distinguishes Spiriata from the mainstream, but not so much from other countercultural movements – are there fundamental distinguishing characteristics that separate Spiriata from from other countercultural endeavors, or alternately do you see it as an instantiation of the countercultural zeitgeist for the present time/place?

Very briefly:

  • Spiriata isn’t a movement; It’s a localized effort, centered in Seattle.
  • Spiriata is an individual and collective path. Mainstream engagement is definitely a focus, but not in this initial stage. Right now, we’re more concerned with meeting regularly at each others houses.
  • There are numerous evolutionary forces at work behind Spiriata. Charting them out into a history some day would be interesting. Hegel, Nietchze, TeilhardDeChardin, and so on.
  • The cultural movement that Spiriata is closest to is: EvolutionarySpirituality & OpenSource society.
  • I don’t think it makes much sense to talk about “counter-culture” today, because we’re instead in a period of massively fragmented culture. When I ask myself, “What is the culture today,” I have a hard time finding a good answer. The school policy at Sakura’s new school is radically different than the school policy at her previous school. If there’s a unified culture, it centers around the buildings we (in Seattle) all know, the news we read, and the movies we watch. But beyond that, I’m hard pressed to say what our shared culture is. Without a culture, how is there a counter-culture? Hard to say.
    • In a sense, I see Spiriata as culturally reinforcing, rather than counter-culture. There was an effort to launch people to the moon, and then: NASA did it. When NASA did it, it wasn’t a counter-cultural movement. Rather, it was the fulfillment of the culture. I see Spiriata in similar terms. Every OpenSource geek has had a secret dream of an OpenSource city.
    • compare: I don’t see OpenSource software development as a counter-cultural force. The ideals were already present; What was lacking were means and examples.
    • re: Movies – At the end of High School Musical 3, (to cite the main stream,) the question asked of the audience is: "Why can't the rest of my life be like my High School Musical?" A fair question; I don’t think it’s asked to suggest the negative. (music) “High School Musical, Who says we have to let it go; it’s the best part we’ve ever know.”

And: Thanks for the link, Zbigniew. I’d never heard of them, but now everyone at SaturdayHouse has, thanks to your reference..!

I think a trip to Bucketworks is in order.

I was surprised that some of their more esoteric principles, even, are the same as that of Damanhurians.

That is– principles like "It's not a problem till it's a problem" are well known in our geek circles, from the OpenSource/X-programming world – we call it YagNi?.

But look at this: Books as Recipies. This may look obvious, but consider: Every book can be looked at like this, even fantasy, mathematics, comic books, or movies.

I was at Damanhur with PhilPatton?, being guided by Lynx. She showed us the stone circuits. She explained to us that, if you wanted to have good dreams, you run one circuit. If you wanted to have a sharper short term memory, there’s another circuit to run. Yet another for something else. And then another, for improving digestion. (..?!) (I believe this is part of the Damanhurian emphasis on humor.)

She grinned and waited for the looks of disbelief to emerge on our faces. “The point being,” she said, “that it’s not enough to just want something. You need to get into action; It’s crucially important to do something, not only: I wish, I wish…

http://www.skybooksusa.com/time-travel/experime/images/damanhur.jpg <– stone circuits

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2075/2205622562_5c983a46e7.jpg <– spiral circuits

Damanhurians, as a principle, strive to take every idea, and apply it into action.

There are probably Damanhurian’s who believe that the circuits are actually supernaturally effective. I am not someone who thinks that way. But it is clear to me that people “psyche themselves up” for whatever course of action that they want to take, and that “psyching up” does work, and does lead to results. Damanhurians just practice psyching themselves up externally, rather than purely internally. They commit individually and socially, internally and externally, mythically and logically.

I saw something of that Damanhurian spirit in: Books as Recipies, the idea that everything can be put into action, and that it serves our values to do so.

It’s easy to look at Damanhurian concepts and legends and think, “Oh, these people are so naive.” But in truth, I’ve found nothing naive at all in their efforts. They just believe in externalizing and mythology. They don’t really focus so much on, “Is this scientifically backed,” as they do with, “Does this get the results we’re looking for?”

Spiriata is still different. We will focus on science and clarity in understanding “what’s what.”

But we realize that our culture (American / Western culture broadly, including scientists, but also including your next door neighbor) made a major error – our society has confused it’s dream (the way we do things, the way things are in our individuals and society) with scientific reality. For example, there’s nothing in science that says you can’t imagine, or that imagination is unimportant, or that we need to live like we do, or anything like that. And yet our society reinforces it’s dreariness (SuperFreudianism) with, at bottom, stories of molecules and atoms; As if atoms and molecules had sentenced people to live unhappy lives through the mystical lens of economics. The fact is: We have infinitely many more options about how to live than we are presented with.

http://www.b-link.ch/damanhur/damanhur-living.jpg

“God” (the authority, the dreamer, the bedrock of reality for us,) for us (conventional westerners) is: atoms and molecules. Scientists, economists and psychologists are sort of like the modern day priestcraft, explaining how what we do (or should do) falls naturally from the atoms and molecules, the interpreters of God’s word.

We all, individually, are the policemen of the envisioned order, the enforcers of the common sense. If someone starts doing or thinking something a little different, we issue a lot of questions on them and isolate them.

But if we really look at it, there’s very little in science that says anything about how we’re supposed to live. Yes, stones will fall, and thoughts follow one from the other by mechanics. But we are not living in the world of atoms; We’re living in the world of rocks, chairs, people, houses, and sky.

No– I take that back: We’re living in a world of rocks, chairs, people, houses, sky, feelings, intuitions, plans, meanings, interpretations, loves, imaginaries, questions, principles, free will, gods, nature, existence, computers, and so on. This is absolutely true, whether you are an atheist or not. There is nothing here that can be doubted. All doubts are either misunderstandings or language issues; I’m only pointing out that water is wet. That water is wet because of atomic laws matters not.

Spiriata is backed by a lot of ideas, and writing them down is part of my task right now. There’s about 4-7 core people working on Spiriata right now, and about 15-20 onlookers.

It’s difficult, and the way isn’t clear, but it’s the only thing I can think to work on.

Changing habits is the hardest thing. We are struggling to manipulate ourselves into shape. But the dream persists and we have successes here and there. More people know about it, and interest has strengthened, rather than weakened. People who were originally against the concept are now contributing to it. Lots to do, Lots to do…

Footnotes:

1. by hippie i mean loving/spiritual/social, and by dual i mean dual as in duality, not as in a fight
2. of course the hippies themselves seem like sort of “hippie dual to the extropians” to me, because like the extropians, the hippies were into optimism and some were into expanding human capabilities (alternately I guess you could say the extropians are the Ayn Rand version of the hippies).)

Define external redirect: SocialSimulation PhilPatton HumanPotential LivingImagination NewAge ProcessArts CsLewis PaulTwitchell YagNi GkChesterton

EditNearLinks: OpenSource

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