“We find ourselves at the edge of an outworn paradigm in which Earth is the purpose of the Universe and homo sapiens is both the pinnacle of evolution and purpose of the Earth. In reality, the evolutionary niche we currently occupy is perilous indeed”.
(Kevin Ashton, Smithsonian, 2014)
“The future has a way of coming in from the edges, of being created not in the central plaza but on the blurry fringes of our peripheral vision”.
(Charles Bowden, The Laboratory of Our Future)
This current work represents the third volume in a series of “blooks” (Blogs+books) which are essentially a compendium of monthly online blogs published here on “Trauma and The Human Condition: Notes From the International Field”, offered through the auspices of the Western Institute for Social Research in Berkeley, California; which have evolved into books. While most entries included in this present collection, concerning some aspect of social and global trauma, have been posted on a monthly basis throughout 2014; several have been expanded and updated as new information has become available.
By definition, social trauma work emphasizes the impact of overwhelming life events, beyond individual and family, on into the larger fields of local, national and global communities. Here we enter the realm of the often unseen, unacknowledged trans-generational power of the “Greater Forces” that shape individual-experience, families, and other social systems.
These Greater Forces have many names and countless variations which often overlap; including war, racism, slavery, genocide, immigration, emigration, famine, religion, class warfare, political unrest, poverty, epidemic, radiation, natural disasters and climate change that impacts our entire biosphere. In addition, we might also consider the roles of the lust for wealth and power, silver, gold, silk, spices, as well as oil, gas and uranium , in shaping human history. In essence, social trauma studies, field-work and education, as I see it; follow a basic rule of ecology which holds that, in one way or another, everything is connected to everything else from to individual to collective experience.
Perhaps you remember that many serious scholars of the Mayan calendar long-count calculations, suggested that the pivotal year of 2012 would initiate an era of rapid social change; as well as our collective understanding of the fractal nature of reality, our Universe, and time itself. While this forecast was also accompanied by, in my view, an unwarranted plethora of rainbow spiked rhetoric; this past year of 2014 has revealed a number of significant paradigm-shifts. Those of us admittedly stubborn souls, still willing to pay attention, could not fail to notice that many familiar, even iconic, wise, respectable, apparently-benevolent, masks of the rich and powerful, are now slipping, sliding, and falling off; and are well on their way to becoming irrevocably and very publically, shattered.
Aided by an increasing populist access to the global internet, corporate-controlled mainstream propaganda channels have suffered a serious loss of credibility amongst increasing numbers of the awake and aware. As a result, the challenge of speaking truth to power has been commandeered by many so-called alternative information outlets. Conversely, coverage of material previously relegated to some far-flung, outer-fringe realm of “conspiracy” and outright “woo-woo”, is now appearing within some of the more conventional and scientifically respectable venues.
As I set forth in Trauma: Time, Space and Fractals (2012), ancient and indigenous Time Keepers as well as modern day physicists, agree that our Universe and time itself, is composed of an infinite series of expanding and contracting cycles-within-cycles which contain universal fractal patterns which repeat themselves in non-linear, self-similar ways, as described in the axiom “as above, so below”. While this fractal concept of reality may seem way too abstract for many of us who both experience and work with trauma, it is a fact that overwhelming life events can and do affect the way that both our individual and collective consciousness experiences time; which may seem to speed up, slow down, flashback, and even stop altogether.
Another perceptual challenge lies within the reality that our everyday concept of linear time remains not only subjective, temporally relative due to planetary time zones, but culturally relative, as well. This concept has been vigorously resisted by firmly entrenched academic, international, overlords committed to an agreed upon historical timeline of human origins, evolution and development. Unfortunately, for this world-wide, fossilized, though well endowed, cabal of old-school academics, (committed to outdated paradigms and evolutionary time lines), the latest discoveries at the Indonesian megalithic site at Gudang Padang have delivered nothing less than a timely shock; grounded in sound archeological, anthropological and geological science.
In these increasingly turbulent and uncertain times, even the past is changing as we find ourselves rapidly moving into a future so seemingly different from our own immediate circumstance. In this year’s collection, beginning with the archeological mysteries of Gudang Padang, likely to rewrite human history, I chose to explore a nexus of history, art, literature, science and current-events, including those that continue to puzzle. “Black August” and “Greystone Park” were among those that made me uncomfortable, and wish to turn away, minimize or deny. I was also drawn to seemingly small stories, such as “Sleepwalker” and “Laki Penan”, which reflect much larger issues; as well as huge topics such as “Global Weirding”, Fukushima and the Global Population Agenda which open the way to other, equally important subsets. Although these blogs appear in a sequence which follows the calendar year, some topics may of more interest than others and need not be read in any particular order.