This is deeply unsettling

“People wish to be settled; only as far as they are unsettled is there any hope for them.”*
(Ralph Waldo Emerson)

‘Creating the future does not begin with a plan, it begins with a dream.  And when someone actions a dream, it begins with a spark.’**
(Alex McManus)

Yuval Noah Harari writes about how we have settled into something dangerous both for us as humans and for our planet.  Harari charts how the industrial revolution made it possible to produce more after cheaper, which has left us with a problem.  Who will buy everything that’s being produced?  We’ve taken on board the naturalness of consumerism and believe frugality to be unnatural as a solution:

‘Our green and blue planet is becoming a concrete and plastic shopping centre.’^

If were possible to weigh all seven billion humans we would top the scales at 300 million tons.  If we were able to weigh all the animals needed to feed this population they would weigh in at an incredible 700 million tons.  Compared with this, the combined weight of all existing larger wild animals would come to only 100 million tons.  A 10:1 ratio to our species and its needs.  The planet is becoming more and more human, and as we see, that isn’t necessarily good.

Hope is often found when we we begin to join the inside and outside of life, creating a field of what wants to be.  As William James articulated this unsettlement:

“It was deep calling unto deep – the deep that my own struggle had opened up within being answered by the unfathomable deep without.”^^

Settlement is endangering our planet and, with it, our existence.  Time to be unsettled by imagination. All are welcome to bring theirs:

‘Hardly anything does this for us more powerfully than art — it unsettles us awake, disrupts our deadening routines, enlarges our reservoir of hope by enlarging our perspective, our grasp of truth, our capacity for beauty.’*^

(*Ralph Waldo Emerson, quoted in Maria Popova’s Brain Pickings: Ursula K. Le Guin on Art, Storytelling, and the Power of language to Transform and Redeem.)
(**From Alex McManus’ Makers of Fire – eBook version.)
(^From Yuval Noah Harari’s Sapiens.)
(^^William James, quoted in Alan Lightman’s The Accidental Universe.)
(*^From Maria Popova’s Brain Pickings: Ursula K. Le Guin on Art, Storytelling, and the Power of language to Transform and Redeem.)

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