Sunday, April 28, 2013

Religion Of Progress

I have been reading the ArchDruidReport for several years now, as well several of his books. The current theme is about the “Religion of Progress”, where the belief is that due to technology, human ingenuity and our privileged place in the American Empire (Canada is a privileged vassal state, as long as we continue sending tribute south) life will continue to get better and better, for us as well as our descendants. I have extracted some of the comments from other readers that I feel agree with our journey in Kung Fu.

“Furthermore, this suggests one of the deepest flaws in a worldview resting on the Faith of Progress. If one believes that we are all inevitably headed to a shiny Star Trek future of moral, technological, and economic enlightenment, there's no need to get out of bed in the morning to fight for it. It's going to magically appear someday anyway, isn't it? It has to. Maybe not in this lifetime, but that's okay, as long as we get there some time. Time for some cartoons and cereal.”
Which ties in with another comment:

“Of course, the enervating lifestyle of assured success is not very fulfilling at the end of the day. A fight for progress with an uncertain outcome and no permanent success, while less appealing on the surface, brings so much more meaning to life. Because one's ongoing participation really can make the difference between success or failure of the things you hold dearest. That's a real reason to get out of bed.”
And this comment:
“Giving up faith in progress doesn't mean giving up on the idea of a better world. It means giving up on the idea that you're guaranteed one, and thus realizing that if you want one, you're going to have to get up off your backside and do something to make it happen.”

I try and relate what I read to my life, which means I also try to relate it to Kung Fu, as this is currently a large part of my life at this time. Kung Fu dates back to a time before the religion of progress, to when the prevailing views were of cycles of life, not an arrow in time. This is also reflected in the quote “Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water, after enlightenment, chop wood, carry water”.
My personal view at the moment is that we are on a cycle through time, with ancient solar energy being the current dominant driver to the western worldview, and the fact that we passed the peak in the extraction of that energy  back in 2005 (Peak Oil). As things progress down the backside of Hurberts curve, things will change. This is as much recognizing that as the leaves turn yellow in the fall, winter is approaching. This is not Doom and Gloom, any more than putting up firewood for the winter is. Those that want to pretend that summer is endless will have a much rougher life come November then those who read history and prepare accordingly.
One final thought: To those people that plan on spending every free moment at the Kwoon preparing for transient events, where are your long term plans? Part of my I Ho Chuan goals this year is raising the long term sustainability of my home, which includes gardening and building windmills. I cannot drop everything for endless practices to perfect a transient demo, because my long term goals demand that same time. Some practice is required, but keep in perspective “Good Enough”, and make sure that goals that matter get done vs. merely urgent goals (see Stephen Covey and his time management matrix, or many similar sites for what I am talking about).  I am calling these demo’s ”transient”, because ten years from now, will a minor error in timing in front of people that don’t understand what the intended timing was matter? It will only matter to those people performing, whether they fret over “what should have been”, or if they don’t care enough to put on a good effort regardless of what they do, as opposed to aiming for that happy medium of good enough. Remember, that the audience is unlikely to appreciate the difference either way.
Dennis Donohue

1 comment:

  1. I have grave concerns with your final paragraph. Either you are on the path to mastery or you are not. In mastery there is no such thing as "Good Enough". Good enough is accepting mediocrity. In fact, if you are only "Good Enough" you probably will not qualify for the demonstration.