The accepted ‘generic’ meaning of the word ‘progress’ is contained in dictionaries and is denoted, ‘to move toward a higher STAGE’. While this meaning is understood, this is not strictly true calling for a possible amendment to our dictionaries or additional qualification. When we delve into progress from the perspective of physics and the second law of thermodynamics then ‘progress’ on the physical plane is canceled out by the duality of positive and negative factors. This happens on all levels. The old axiom, ‘there is no such thing as a free lunch,’ applies.
Development on the mental plane also has a negative condition that cancels out the claim of ‘progress.’ The accumulation of knowledge by individuals is also thought of progress, that is however, eroded by our short lifespans and the limits of our relative knowledge.
In this conjecture we are referring to ‘advancement’ or movement from ‘A’ to ‘B’.
So what you might say!
While humans enjoy creating fantasies and illusions that helps us escape the hum-drum of daily existence it matters a great deal how we use certain symbols of language. The notion of progress has an important bearing on economics and what is happening to our planet. Currently, use of words such a ‘progress’ is a mixed metaphor that re-enforces a closed perception of our world and impacts on the way we view other cultures.
Political systems are fashioned after teachings that see progress in material terms while not taking into account the costs to the environment and social aspects such as psychic health. This is becoming apparent due to ‘carbon taxes’ being issued to counter global warming that appears to be running at a much faster pace than climate change caused by evolution barring an extreme clash such as a large asteroid or pole shift that has occurred several times in the past.
Longer term consequences are emerging such as ozone depletion due to industrial processes. Somewhere in our economic equations that make profit as the only goal, indirect costs are frequently left out and is often sidelined into the lap of society to deal with at a later juncture. The power of technology such as the media only serves to bolster those with power and control when changes are required to ensure the greater good and survival.
Meanwhile, nature seeks balance one way or another that should give us a clue in our collective wisdom about applying some principles in economic development with an all-round approach. As much as we like to educate our children for a better life and future, it seems that human endeavor remains firmly in the grip of exploitation and the grip of unnecessary wars.
In Australia various indigenous clans lived near the coastal regions. By and large their lifestyles were idyllic. They had abundant fishing and rich cultural ceremonies with meaning of purpose. They believed that life was a transformation through cycles and a spiritual journey that closely parallels the teachings of Tantric practices in India that ‘seek union’ with God. They understood that a human life span was short and told stories of the ‘spirit’ or ‘soul’ as depicted by today’s religions.
Indigenous cultures did not have to pay taxes, follow a nine to five drudgery and earn money so that they could afford a car to get to work so as to earn money. They wore basic clothing but then again did not have to farm sheep and apply chemicals to the land that ended up in waterways as pollution. Our industrial processes require large amounts of energy that has a cost to the environment. We have gone from the horse to automobiles for transportation. In a societies of millions of people the impact on resource use, energy requirements, pollution and accidents has been considerable. When all costs and factors are taken into consideration the gains are canceled out by the negative aspects.
We are infatuated with mobile phones while a sleeper issue about microwave pollution and effects on the brains of users are about to emerge but not by the commercial owners who suppress the negative aspects. Many things we do out of convenience or because it is directly cost effective but completely ignore other costs that is cloaked by commercial social engineering in the name of progress.
Milk cartons are a case in point. Milk bottles were reused many times before being recycled for meltdown and only involved several basic chemicals. Whereas milk cartons use many chemicals in their manufacture and plastic linings cause molecular infusion into liquids or food. There is a case that the cost in bottles was actually cheaper than milk cartons that provide more profit to the developers. Carton use also removed local jobs. Around the Great Lakes of the USA plastic chemical molecules are causing birth defects in humans and animals.
A vast array of plastic products is causing a vortex accumulation of junk in our oceans. Carbon dioxide pollution in our air is causing the seas to acidify as the parts per million go from around 275ppm several decades ago to around 375ppm today. This has been established by the CSIRO in Australia.
Modern societies have complex systems of pipe work and cabling that require maintenance and upgrade. If money is diverted away from public works to save banks or businesses that caused financial losses in the first place (USA), then breakdown occurs with serious repercussions for society as a whole.
Many people do not want to pay carbon taxes because they know that countries like China use coal exported from their country. They do not want to subsidize coal industries while countries like China remain unaccountable. Ironically, the measures required to counter pollution can be neutralized by a public impasse under democratic systems. The impasse is brought about by social classes who do not want change that seeks a balance or minimizes the negative costs.
Above Earth are thousands of satellites that are essential in communication and commerce. If this network is assailed by meteors or magnetic storms, perhaps an industrial enemy, the super technology network would be rendered useless. We have however, not planned for such a scenario because current economic systems are unable to abide by rational choices seeking dynamic equilibrium in the interests of all.
Our immense vulnerability may become apparent if a giant earthquake or another polar shift severs the Internet cables under the ocean. It’s not that there is no wisdom about this factor it is really about the social control and those with power but no vision.
Giant car companies are massaging the public psyche about electric cars that use fuel cells or cadmium batteries based on fairly rare and expensive metals. The French have developed air cars that are cheap to run and don’t require exotic metals for power systems. Although, when compressed air gets cold it loses it efficiency. There are better choices that can be made but they are not being made. The current ethos puts profit before collective welfare and works against the progressive utilization of appropriate technology. Even then, the French know that public transportation and bicycle ways would be a far better use of resources as a priority.
In hindsight the demands on resources such as oil, copper and platinum is a type of technological imperialism that requires hard-nosed governments to implement policies to exploit other countries and communities without fair compensation.
This leads to conflict and war and has been going on for a long time. Increasingly the distribution of wealth gets worse despite powerful productions systems only working at 60% of their capacity. Real wealth cannot be based upon ever increasing credit (debt). Clearly something is very wrong despite the images of abundance being promulgated in advanced societies.
As technology advances with automation it increasingly favors elite sections of an economy while working against overall social well-being of the majority. The social disparity results in more people resorting to anti-social and criminal behavior such as through drug running. The anti-social side of economic systems results in vast resources being used to combat drug networks and is becoming more futile as criminal networks take advantage of social disparity or the ‘Dream.’ Wealthy people have to create enclaves to protect themselves and their families. While material possessions may adorn ones lives we observe an increasing unease or disturbance in emotional and mental life in western culture.
The more people use their minds for mental work the greater the impact on nervous systems and physiology. Many people stare at computer terminals all day long and live more sedentary lifestyles as a result. Health problems of eyes and good vision are emerging. To address the lack of physical exertion a workout at the gym is required.
Progress on the physical and mental planes is correctly speaking about advancement and movement from A to B. The next state is about spiritual development and its relationship to progress. While many religious denominations would see spirituality as adhering to a belief system based on religious outlook, spiritual progress is defined in mysticism as spanning the gap between the finite and infinite.
The notion of God as being an omniscient entity capable of hearing prayers sits at odds with religious doctrines that by doctrine oppose the quest for mystical expansion or ‘expansion of the soul.’ Although religious traditions includes a religious order such as the Jesuits with mystical leanings, the common place practice of most Christian religions is praying to God and adhering to moral tenets. Catholic religious practice involves a devotional outlook that is in accordance with mystical practices but parts ways when seeking union with God (Yoga)not only relating to God.
The artificial distinction drawn by various religious orders between their outlook and the mystical path is predominantly about religious authority maintaining doctrine over their followers and derived from history by the intellectual value class that is usually expressed in religion. However, the spiritual practices of Christianity and that of Eastern tradition have an essential departure point.
One seeks union with God such as the ‘drop merging with the ocean’ analogy and the other seeks to know God primarily through worship and moral adherence. That is not to say that the mystical tradition of achieving oneness with God (liberation and perfection) did not follow moral precepts as well.
In fact there are ten practices of Eastern Yoga particularly the Tantra path that have a strong parallel to the Ten Commandments of Christianity. The vehement opposition of various religions to the mystical quest of merging with the ‘Infinite’ is most likely based upon the differences in spiritual goals and attainment not only the sway of the religious, intellectual class.
Since the inherent state of physics involves duality and the negative and positive factors result in cancellation in terms of progress then what does constitute progress? As already hinted it is spiritual development that is the realm of progress and is an aspect of evolution in its own rights. This has been presented in the article, ‘The Evolution of Mind (G.O.D.) on EzineArticles.com. Various intellectuals would argue this is nothing more than a theoretical notion without foundation especially when it comes to belief in God.
Prominent intellectuals and outspoken atheists of today regard spirituality as nothing more than an emotional state intrinsic to ourselves. There is paradox in this. That paradox includes the atheists who ‘thank God’ for being an atheist and is a part of the grand nature of diversity and a requirement of our existence. From their perspective belief in God is the ultimate dogma directly associated with the persistent dogmas of religion promulgated over the centuries. That anti-dogma outlook that is a social service in its own rights and leads to a rationalists only world view that takes sides with the corollary scientific materialism that also has its limitations or boundary.
Dogmas set up a boundary to belief or outlook that prevents further expansion in outlook and the experience of love culturally and individually. A specific example of this is when a particular socio-economic system works for a minority and suppresses the majority without moving together. Social freedom is largely dependent on economic freedom.
Spiritual endeavor involves moving around a nucleus of devotion such as in Christian tradition of worshiping that nucleus of faith the ‘Supreme Father’ coupled with the dualistic metaphor of ‘Mother Nature.’ The formations of planets and solar systems all involve a nucleus at the material level such as our sun. Everything revolves around a nucleus as seen in the macro and micro cycles of evolution.
Spiritual practices such a meditation, contemplation and devotional aspects of Yoga as well as the worship of various religious congregations have as their nucleus, GOD or the Supreme Mind. Moving closer to that nucleus is the goal of devotion and is seen as a gift from GOD by the devotee. After all, if this Nucleus is available on an experiential level, we are on an evolutionary journey of the soul-mind or ‘Atman’. Since by definition everything comes from GOD then there is only one thing we can give GOD. Our hearts. The spiritual journey is the only progress and is movement from the crude towards the subtle.
Progress as depicted in this discourse is then – ‘moving toward a higher state, the spiritual state. It has no negative condition.
By bringing spiritual outlook and values without dogma into our cultural and economic lives we can create better ways of developing our future. This is no idle dream but a practical requirement.
For further information on aspects of this discourse please see:
Began my social outlook as a ‘born again atheist’ with traditional left viepoints and due to becoming a social activist and involvment with the mystical path of Tantra I shifted to a spiritual outlook that includes an unconventional belief in GOD. I have a technical background as a quality control officer, toolmaker and maintenance fitter. I believe that not being institutionalized or holdind a professors position gives me the freedom to express the ‘third way’ or alternative to religious dogma and the limitations of scientific materialism. I a am an independent advocate for possibly the world’s most comprehensive socio-economic theory – The Progressive Utilization Theory or ‘PROUT’ Please see professor Ravi Batra on YouTube for more on PROUT or go to www.anandaseva.org .
Article from articlesbase.com
Google Tech Talk December 15, 2010 ABSTRACT Presented by Dr. Alex Bruton. Imagine graduating from college or university today. Sure, youd have free access to useful information like no generation before yours has ever had, and all the tools you could dream of for producing and sharing information as readily as it can be consumed. No, you may never need to pay for a long distance call, a travel agent, an encyclopedia or a web developer. And yes, before too long the businesses you start would be able to house and scale all of their data and software in the cloud, at next to no cost. But as enabling as all this might be, it wouldnt guarantee your success (or the success of the companies at which you would work) and could even be a disadvantage if you (or your bosses) have grown up learning in a traditional education system. Whole industries from music to journalism to education are being disrupted by the very forces that make these advances possible. The facts seem to indicate that the top 10 jobs to be in demand in 2010 didnt even exist in 2004 and that that people graduating this year could have up to 14 jobs before they turn 39. And its becoming clear that different ways of thinking are needed now than even 10 years ago in order to be creative and efficient enough to turn the flow of information into knowledge that can create sustained value in our society, businesses and economy. The solution to these challenges is one part toolset and large part mindset, and enabling …
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