Contained within the third iteration of Critical Thinking’s analysis of political economy, published in January 2015, was the following image:

That was three years into our journey of discovery, since when the observations recorded in that iteration have been refined/sharpened and our understanding of the human condition has expanded.

I’ve referred in previous posts here to our spiritual journey and while the super-rich and more affluent people may be blessed with material wealth, it invariably comes at a cost. Personal angst, psychological trauma and dysfunctional relationships aren’t limited to the visible victims of the abusive political economy. To “make the grade” in the political economy, one needs to subjugate one’s spirituality and human essence.

Daily Pickings highlighted Gurdjieff’s analogy of the horse and carriage in which the “passengers” represent the many “I”s or identities we use to negotiate life – when we fear that we have much to lose, subjugation of our human frailty and compassion is essential for progress and survival in the current political economy. The Structural Elite and the “elevated cattle” must project certainty and confidence, irrespective of their inner fears and doubts. In the “celebrity” columns we see ample evidence of trauma and dysfunction among the super-rich and their progeny.

Conversely, the many victims of the current political economy project their fears, feelings of inadequacy and culpability on the “other”, most of all those in “authority”.

Serendipity or resonance rules on this journey of discovery and this incisive piece from Caitlin Johnstone arrived from Ciaran via Twitter this morning.

Just For This Moment by Caitlin Johnstone
And maybe then we’ll have a chuckle
as we realize that the sages across the ages were right.
That it really is all one.
That we are inseparable from the whole.
That any consciousness brought to any area helps awaken the totality.
That the greatest gift anyone can bring to the world
is their own self-realization.

Meanwhile, we are divided by ideology and “identity”, inculcated to obscure reality. We descend into binary debate, divided by politics, ethnicity, colour, religion, sex, age and all manner of devices to ensure we never dig beyond the abstracted superficial. Social media exacerbate tribal instincts, reinforcing the dialogues of the deaf and amplifying “differences”.

Thus we are trapped by choreographed perceptions and binary, dialectical arguments which have little bearing on reality. From birth we are trained to be ignorant of who rules, how and why? Thus we are denied the freedom to fulfill our real potential and are severed from spirit; the higher up the social/wealth scale, the more this holds true. Material wealth doesn’t “stick” beyond this life but spiritual enrichment does.

So what is to be done? ie. what can we do?

The road to freedom and mutual prosperity is via learning and relationships – through dialogue with the “other”, ie. those with whom we may vehemently disagree. This dialogue cannot be conducted via social media (at least not at first) but needs to be in a neutral environment and on human scale. In other words, through one conversation at a time.

More importantly, parties to this dialogue must be motivated by a sincere, honest and open desire for deeper understanding, rather than to “inflict” their world view on others. This is how Critical Thinking developed its shared understanding of the political economy and answered the question who rules, how and why?

We’ve documented Critical Thinking’s methodology for anyone to use and adapt in the free, open source CoCreative Learning project and sought to encourage its adoption. Since the final iteration of Critical Thinking’s analysis, produced in October 2019, various people are planning other co-creative learning groups to continue the journey of discovery in other guises.

Personally, I’ve been working on fostering such open dialogue in the world of finance and business where institutional hierarchy dominates but from where most of the damage within the political economy is generated. There are also many casualties, both visible and invisible, within finance and commerce.

A shared understanding among the business and finance community will help to mitigate or even avoid the worst of what is to come when the current economic system collapses, as it inevitably will. A paradigm shift is our only salvation. For that to happen, we need to close the gap between current perceptions and our lived reality. Then we will no longer be trapped.