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  • Writer's pictureDr Louis

The revealing science of God - lessons from lichens

Nature wastes nothing, perhaps there is something in that

Our multifold global troubles are symptomatic of a systemic breakdown of civilisation that is similar to the Late Bronze Age breakdown - history does not repeat itself, however, systemic dynamics do.

"There are only two or three human stories, and they go on repeating themselves as if they never happened before." - Willa Cather

In previous essays I have contrasted the 10% wealthiest of the global population with the 90% Remainder, that is, those living on less than around $12,000/head/year. Members of the elite are part of the wealthiest segment of the 10%, including, of course, the 1% wealthiest. The Remainder are the descendants of the people Franz Fanon called the Wretched of the Earth. While some just hang on at the margins of the Hegemon Elite, partaking in some crumbs of the Industrial Hegemon hyper-consumerist lifestyles, most live in squalor all the way to abject poverty. When it does not maim or kill outright, the theistic Industrial Hegemon profoundly damages the lives of most people on Earth.

What I stress here is that the present, archaic, yet post-modern, extreme hierarchical global social structure is indissociable from the prevailing theism. By way of comparison, stressing again the meaning of the word hierarchy as the overarching rule of some god(s)/power of sorts, hierarchies among the handful of Late Bronze Age civilisations that ended up collapsing seem benign in comparison with the present extremes of globalised Hegemon Elite hierarchies. Hierarchies always fail on their own dynamics or get taken over and destroyed by other hierarchies also bound to eventually fail. This is inherent in their lack of the requisite variety.

The global elite hierarchy, well-illustrated in the above graph, is now way past its viable apex (its “use by date” in colloquial terms). It is already in the process of breaking down under the onslaught of the energy cliff, as our observations indicate. There is a paradox in this.

There remains a huge pressure to conform, speak and act in ways compatible with the Industrial Hegemon, and even to conform with the imperative to be seen to think suitably. All opinions are OK so long as they can be accommodated by and within the Hegemon – the very definition of fascism, but few notice this trait. However, this pressure runs much deeper than mere ideology. It is a direct consequence of the cognitive impairment noted earlier. That is, the global cacophony is still easily accommodated by the Hegemon’s dynamic in ways that perpetuate its very dynamic – accommodated softly or harshly depending on the degrees of counter-violence against the Hegemon’s violence. The cacophony of related troubles all remain within the ambit of the overall theistic mind – theisms vying against theisms, as has been the case for some 3000 years.

In turn, where the pressure to conform is the highest is vis-à-vis the most lucid non-theists, that is, concerning people thoroughly not compatible with the Hegemon. Coping with this pressure to conform is often exhausting. This is the paradox. That which offers an opening towards survival is the most misunderstood and resisted. This is likely to remain so until when and if a threshold is reached, a so-called tipping point, when post-modern cacophonic “prophets” are ruthlessly pushed aside and an emerging mind prevails.

The above “tipping” is the kind of process/pattern one can observe repeatedly, historically – a period of psychological and cultural “brewing” is followed with an abrupt breakdown/transformation, itself followed with a long period of ongoing developments of the new ways. This is what differentiates humankind from other species. Humankind genetically evolved to transform/evolve non-genetically very rapidly, sometimes within the span of one generation (e.g., consider the French revolution of 1789), thanks to the plasticity of its mind, a mind that evolves culturally (where other species need thousands of years for genetically and ecologically non-dualistically bound evolution to unfold).

So, for now, although the mind technology that can enable humankind to fit Earth Life's ecological niche for consciousness has been evolving (“brewing”) so for some 2500 years, is well tested and is available to move forward out of the Energy Seneca’s downside, its fate still remains in suspense. To date this mind has survived numerous knocks. Its progressing in science has reached an unparallel scope and depth. Yet it remains a minority development. Will a tipping point be reached, how and when? This is the determining challenge of our times.

Years ago, while tramping in the Southern Alps of the South Island of New Zealand, I

observed numerous lichens. With a strong biological background, their structure gave

me the original idea of how Earth Life's ecological niche requirements could be practically embodied.

The above figure illustrates the generic structure of lichens. Lichens are symbionts, fully illustrative of the symbiotic character of Earth Life that I have discussed elsewhere. They are made of filamentous fungi and green algae that have taken to living together, forming a kind of symbiotic life form that is different from the individual constitutive species. With reference to this diagram. the monocellular algae function as point-of-use, finely distributed, energy and CO2 capture units. They convert the solar energy influx and atmospheric CO2 into sugars that they partly share with the fungi.

In turn, the fungi form a protective and integrative mesh that capture and retain moisture and creates a suitable milieu for the algae to flourish. The fungi also collect nutrients from the substrate where they live and from rain, distribute that and share it with the algae as well as also distributing the sugars supplied by individual algae. They form a non-hierarchical, intelligent, communications and energy network integrating non-dualistically the green algae.

This lichen structure is a kind of simple microcosmic version of the whole of Earth Life. As I have stressed, Earth Life makes productive use of over 80% of the energy it harvests from the sun. The Hegemon Elite makes productive use of only about 12% of the energy it manages to access, wasting some 88%. There is absolutely no possibility of extricating ourselves from the Seneca’s downside with that kind of appalling inefficiency. Earth Life wastes nothing. The humble lichens illustrate in very simple ways how Earth Life does it. Their logic and functioning exemplify the kind of mind and technology that we are embodying in our Fourth Transition Initiative.

Our Initiative integrates non-dualistically a novel energy technology class, the nGeni, with novel energy and communications networking. nGeni enables the creation of point-of-use energy harvesting and use units that are also capturing atmospheric CO2. These units, the nGeni GreenBoxes, are the functional equivalent of the distributed green algae. The novel, non-hierarchical energy and communications networking are the equivalent of the filamentous fungi.

The whole nGeni technology class includes novel business models, novel financial models, industrial development methods, strategic planning and management methods, embodying the non-dualistic kind of mind required to emerge from the Seneca’s downside. In doing so we use only already available, well-known and proven means, methods, science and technology elements yet integrated in disruptive, resolutely novel ways to generate a new paradigm that is grounded in an Earth Life standpoint and that emulates Earth Life’s most fundamental aspects.

Using the above, the aim of the Fourth Transition Initiative is to assist all participants to transition in their own ways, safely and profitably, to sustainable ways of living and doing business and contribute to repairing the enormous damages inflicted on Earth Life and humankind by humankind. The Fourth Transition Initiative will be the first ever conscious, intentional achievement of a new major Transition. Our Initiative is bold, outrageous, and exciting. It addresses a desperate situation. It is entirely based on well proven science and engineering and masses of evidence data. We think it deserves giving it a go.

Our analyses demonstrate that governments, most mainstream businesses and NGOs alike are impotent to address the challenges of our times. It is now a matter for pioneers with intelligence of the global situation to forge a new way forward, away from the cliff edge.

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