MMMark's Whycandoo Room: Divisions & Subdivisions    
 Divisions & Subdivisions9 comments
25 Apr 2002 @ 13:21, by Mark Smollin

As far as I can tell social evolution has involved quite dominantly the dividing of the Cosmos into specialized fields of learning without direct unified association. This may not have been intentional, but in has been a process of fragmenting a single thing into a bunch of parts for which we are just starting to look at holistically. At the same time we have divided the Earth into little tiny pieces as though we could own them, or sell them. This unhealthy and ignorant way of doing life has cost us dearly, for we have been misdirected, misinformed and hurt by further adoption and propagation of such disassociations, and disconnectioned selfish interest. We must remember that humanity makes living tougher for itself than necessary and does so through irresponsible actions. I want us to reverse this trend, to break away from unsuccessful methods of thought and action.

I choose this title specifically because of what I observe here at NCN as a cross-section of the bigger world, which contrary to what we thought NCN was about, has not stopped us from using old and ineffective thinking a behavior to cure itself. That is impossible! We cannot enter these cyberhalls bringing disease and negativity with us and expect a different result than the type we have already manufactured outside. I want to relate this specifically to our intolerant, unloving, suspicious, fearful and most of all, selfish approach to building a cohesive community anywhere. This is not an insult to you the reader. It is to draw attention to the phenomenon and failure to maintain loving center under various conditions.

I have done my best to post the best questions and answers I can and to steer away from illness. I asked: What Are We Doing Here?, What Does a Successful Society Do?, and I begged that we do not abuse one another or incite friction. I do not feel my effort accomplished much in meaningful regard to get you to re-examine yourself and your beliefs to end that which is destructive. I am just a s fallible, but we are not engaged in mutual healing and discovery, instead there has been much contest of wills and a general lack of cooperation. Issuing all the barriers and information about what we are not willing to do will not see us to the next step. A positive result will not come from negative input of any kind. How can we talk about serious problems if we have no tolerance for hearing a thoughtful suggestion to change ourselves? Are we willing to change ourselves? Friendship and community requires speaking truth and facing our mistakes. We cannot have a relationship if we incapable of accepting honest comments. If we continue this way we will have made yet another series of walls to separate ourselves from the whole, driving another wedge of division willfully.

I do not paint a completely bleak picture because there have been many wonderful investments made in/on NCN and I would say that we have all done that at some time. The objective to me is to make positive contribution all the time, knowing we may fail occasionally, yet trying our best just the same. It is truly amazing the amount of individual life force we have invested here. We have been trained constantly to exercise our personal strengths without much experience on how to combine divided effort into the synergy of group effort. I can see the frustration oozing through the logs and chat rooms because we are always hammering the same nail. Einstein proclaimed that the mind cannot solve a problem it made without changing into a new mind of new thoughts. I beg again, that we drop our obsolete thoughts and stand open to making a new mental program for these tasks of reform and social betterment.

I must note that our society is fragmented on every level where we cannot understand one specialty from another for the barriers of language and over intellectualization of simple concepts. Complicated language is a major source of our exile and has no place in building unity. When writing in public places it would be fair and considerate to write for everyone and especially in ways that can include the participation of children – at least 12 and above. Care in quality writing will go a long way to avoiding misunderstanding and insult, yet it is just as important to being heard clearly. May we polish our skills as communicators and use simple words.

I have the impression that most of us are trying very hard to do our part to affect social reform privately, or in small groups. Many of us are creatively oriented and express our humanity through artistic things, and we probably do not have the proper financial support or resources to make this easy. Western social structure in moving farther toward alienating the greater percentage of people from the basic needs in life – it prevents participation and violates basic human rights. The ante is too high. Many of us suffer being reformers without a job, addicts to money out of necessity. We are shunned because we are not members of a unified social group complete enough to support each other outside the mainstream. I see us calling out to heal the divisions while standing all alone, so I would encourage that we spend considerable time working on new group principles, gathering others and joining to the force of others. Do not loose faith and do not give up. Let us join hands. Let us join heads. Wouldn’t it be nice to create an whole CE community that can prosper and maintain itself? Critical mass.

Let us concentrate on the principles of Love = success, ethics, philosophy, responsibility, and beauty. Let us not get into personal contests or superficial issues not related to the foundation of happiness and spiritual reward. Let us not stand as critics, but work as pioneers of healthy social consciousness by offering concrete solutions. I find most of humanity’s trappings to be useless accept for the wisdom we have gained to moral conduct, ethics which are in short supply. As a species we have no valid Universal reason to wake each day, so we must make one. Every social system is not working in its current state and the capitalist model of economy should be replaced as the single most destructive force on the planet aside from prejudice. This is an alert to say, most of our experience will not help us in conversation here, because it is based on learning things around us that do not work, therefore extra caution must be used not to use old-style thoughts, nor should we argue in favor of a thing because that is the way it is done. Let us take the mind out of the present and theorize about how things can be from the ground up. If we are not the inventors, then we can at least reach out as "NCN" supporters of those who have managed to start something new like the NRDC.

So I wrap you with warmth for a better day tomorrow, salute your spirit for the things you have given me and wish for our return to the sanity of common sense – Lovesense.

Namasté > > > Mark

PS > I neglected to add a note of sorrow to this subject of alienation. There are several members including myself who are rather put out with the abuses of common courtesy on NCN. We have worked hard and enthusiastically to collect friends and add to work groups, but in the repeated failures we see that it is not worth our time to continue to be abused in various ways. Given the position of the webmaster, I do not think we will make a wholesome place unless he changes his basic approach to the site. It is discouraging that we can’t even carry on civil conversations in general. I was informed that a member is probably finished with NCN, one that has much to offer and now feels hurt. This is not a new thing for many have gone once discovering the limitations here, however, we might think more carefully about the consequences of irresponsible behavior in this cyberspace.

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25 Apr 2002 @ 18:19 by invictus : Mark...
That's a really good post you've got there. I really like what the last paragraph says about leaving the old-style thinking behind. In the past, when you've said things about "universal" rules or philosophy, and talked about group principles, a voice in my head has disagreed with you. However, the way you put it in this article was so clear that I think I'm getting what you mean. I disagree with you much less that I have before : ). I'm still curious to know exactly how you would go about forming group principles. It is obvious that our group here could function more effectively. In a way, I do disagree with you about not bringing illness in here. I think I see what you mean... we should not let our "baggage" distort the way we interact with people. However, I still have my baggage with me. I just don’t bash people over the head with it. Like the societal illness with which we are all afflicted, it is a part of me. I think I should bring the whole "me" to NCN; otherwise I'm just putting on a show. While I should control the way such "illness" expresses itself, it is crucial that I present the real me, illness and all, as best I can. I don’t think I’m disagreeing with you here; just kind of qualifying.

As far as I'm concerned, that is one of two "guidelines" that we need... be your self. And recognize that such a self is not perfect. It's such an overused phrase, but it is absolutely critical. We have to be genuine, yet “mature” at the same time. When I say this, a whole bunch of Andy-ese (my internal language : ) ) flashes though my head. Not sure how to put it into words. I think the way to interact successfully around here is to listen to the little voice in my head. There are a lot of “voices”, but one just seems to know what I want to say. So I just kind of let it say it.

Anyway, the other guideline is that we tolerate other people, even if they infuriate us. We can’t come here expecting to impose some kind of order. All we can do is expect an opportunity to interact with people who might have the same intentions/goals (in the broad sense) as we do. I think it is quite futile to impose behavior codes and regulations on people. In doing so, we are just pushing aside the aspects of them that we would rather not deal with. Trying to artificially impose control just tends to make people very angry. We need to either deal with people as they really are, or forget the whole idea of civilization. If the way people are conflicts with our expectations, we have to deal with that ourselves and learn to tolerate them.

So, I hope I didn’t repeat too much of what you said Mark. Those are my thoughts. I guess what I'm talking about is more of an atmosphere than a guidline. But I think maybe that's the way it would work best. Thanks for the log; it’s very thought provoking. Have a wonderful night!  

25 Apr 2002 @ 18:42 by simpleman : WHY ARE WE HERE?
Mark, nice post. It brings up a few questions, not just for you, but all members of NCN.

1) When we joined NCN, was it with an open mind?

2) Are we willing to change our beliefs and try something different?

3) Are we willing to view criticism honestly, without seeing it as an attack against ourselves?


I'm here to learn more than anything else. I have my own ideas and beliefs, all subject to criticism and change. What I like to see most of all is your ideas. I want to know what other people are thinking, and how they live, and how they would change the world if they had the opportunity. This is how I grow, and I believe this is how we all will grow.

If you thought you would not see any negatives here you were wrong.
What I don't like to see is verbal fighting amongst members(minor arguments and discussions are ok). To much chit-chat(some is ok). To much breaks my concentration and my thinking process. Using bits and pieces of other members posts or comments to make a point. The government and the media do this all the time. They pick and choose everything someone says so we hear only what they want us to hear. We should always know the true meaning behind someones words before we comment ourselves about those words. Also, for the hundreth time, please use the many different areas of NCN appropriatly.  

25 Apr 2002 @ 22:56 by mmmark : Andy
We have to set a Universal standard that will benefit everyone in principle - a goal we strive for - and high standard of optimum value. Let us aim for the stars - not the dirt. I am not talking about legislation, law or edict, I am talking about how we agree to try. Define a standard that we can agree to hold ourselves to. It should be written for all to see all the time so we stay on track. When you talk about the world in general it is even more important to do this, but on NCN, courtesy should be expected for our mutual mission the group pretends to be, so I would not be writing repeatedly about how to perform adult behavior, or how to grow up. Scotty touched on one very important point - for there to be abusers, someone must allow it to happen - just like we have wars because those of us who do not agree with idea war don't stop those who do, and because we empower them to make war. The key is to face the truth about what we are doing personally, so we do not allow harms to be generated upon us, and that we will not abuse others intentionally. As I have said before, all this trouble comes because "we are cowards to die for Love." If this was the prime directive, there would overwhelming elimination of human crimes on every level. Gandhi forgave the man that shot him! He wouldn’t have been shot if people didn’t make guns to kill people, or if the society was healthy and the English weren’t abusing the Indian people and on and on. When will we stand firmly for goodness? When opposing ‘evil’ or wrong doers on any issue it is important to maintain a Loving center and avoid matching the same bad energy one is facing. One must be smarter, bigger and more Loving – without fear of personal harm to help such injured people. We can be truthful about their mistake, but we do not need to beat them up with the error and we can tell them sincerely we care, but we cannot condone abuses of freedom.

Your guidelines are fine and should be tolerated, but they do not define a standard of betterment, they describe a spectrum of latitude. All the core beliefs we need are posted in my profile and a natural and spiritually consistent philosophy and the basis for performance of the golden rule – and in one word Lovesense. It is not complicated. What is difficult, is facing adversity as individuals, without many models of justice, in a corrupt society, when we feel personally violated – ignorant to the fact that those violations (most of them) are not our fault or directed at us. This is some of our social baggage of psychotic thoughts. For any member of NCN to think that another is really meaning harm to them – is blind and completely intolerant (closed off) to listening and learning. Much of what this post describes is the need to stop abusers and to stop abusing others. How much of our time has been consumed commenting about inter-personal feuds, which are essentially manufactured from misperceptions of nothing? What always tests me is when anyone here would say something negative in a log or post. If you haven’t got something nice to say – don’t say it – because it doesn’t help any one in any way. Again, I point out that this is supposed to be "New Civilization?" Even if harm is intended we must rise above it, not throw another log on the fire of hate.  

26 Apr 2002 @ 01:33 by jazzolog : Feeling My Way
I joined NCN because Kay insisted. She really did. She had been emailing me for some time about some editing project she was doing in here---or connected to here...or something---and she wanted me to contribute an article I had written. I never saved any of my stuff in those days (only a few months ago---but you know how "time" is in cyberland) so I reconstructed. Coincidentally it was about Special Olympics, which is going on later this morning---and I'll hope to write a complete report, with pictures (if parents OK). Anyway, after that, she wouldn't settle for anything less than getting my loud self in here---and that was her point. She said I could stir stuff up, and the place needed that. I'm not a joiner, and I had sworn off message boards and e-groups and all that---but who ever can turn Kay down? She sent me this long, complicated list of instructions, and said Merilene would be "waiting inside" to show me around. It was spooky. It was like going aboard the "mothership," which we know awaits on the dark side of the moon. (And, if you know Kay like I do, one of these days she'll have all the newslog and chatroom inhabitants on that ship together, sailing away!)

Sure enough, Merilene had an email waiting for me, and the instructions led me directly to DivinePowers workgroup, which I joined. The letter said to go to "conversation," which I did, and there were people saying stuff like, "I think he's in here" and "Yes, he's here," which of course is Kay chat-style. It was very weird, because I'm a shy guy in new social surroundings---at least until I find out it's OK to crack a joke. There were hugs and kisses all around---and I left. I don't think I came back much the first month, but eventually I got curious about some of the other members of DivinePowers and then the larger membership. Slowly I started to explore the people rather than the facilities. The whole organization of NCN was very dense to me, and I rarely came in. I wonder if this is a typical experience of new members.

I'm trying to remember what happened next, but I think it was that Dana and I went to see the movie Beautiful Mind. I wrote a piece about it for some online friends...and for some reason copied it and pasted it in the DivinePowers Conversation Room. After all, Kay had said my writings could be appropriate to whatever it was she was doing around here. I was egotistical enough to come back in there the next day to see if anybody had a reaction. Sure enough, there were some posts, mostly from Sharie believe it or not. So I wrote back, and we batted the topic around for a few days. I was a bit uneasy, because the style of that Room, which I explored by "scrolling back" didn't seem to be discussion, and I said to Sharie, "Maybe we should take this talk outside into private emails or something." She assured me that no, this is OK---and next, asked me to join her in starting a new workgroup based on this talk.

The next thing that happened, of course, last January, was a disagreement between us about decision-making in the new workgroup and whether that disagreement could be explored on her newslog. (It wasn't for long.) I was too new at NCN to be involved in starting anything, and so I made that mistake. So actually my introduction to New Civilization was an on-fire initiation. Mark came along, as I was bloody and embattled, and said, "You should start a newslog." All I wanted to do was get out of this joint by then; but, if there's anyone in here, just about as persuasive as Kay---to me anyway---it's Mark. He even indicated, Look===> your nickname as LOG in it: it is meant to be. So I put the thing up, partly to answer Sharie, since by then she was insisting I not post at whatever her log was called in those days.

It was terrible. I was posting my side of things at my log...and Sharie was writing that I was obsessed and stalking her at her log. I was starting to freak out---still very much a newbie, please remember. I noticed that everytime I logged in, it registered on the member splash page---and I was logging in a lot to see what new terrible names I was being called. I didn't want anyone to know how concerned I was about this, so I decided to try to join under an assumed name---so I could peek at things without Sharie knowing (not a smart thing to do around Sharie's temperament---but I thought I could get away with it). Next thing was---I get a message from Ming, wondering if I know this new guy who is trying to join. I felt like I was under arrest now! It seems Ming has a feature in here that can detect each computer's ID, and if a new member tries to register on a computer you've been using he gets an alert. This way no one can do what I was trying to do. He said, in the past, people had joined any number of times, and posted stuff on their own logs using these assumed names so it'd look like they were popular or something. I kid you not! So now I'm writing to Ming...and for a while, I boo-hoo about what's being done to me. But I'm starting to meet people, and campaigning for democracy around here---and before I know it, I'm involved in another message board or e-group or whatever this is...and my wife is starting to complain that it's taking oodles of time that we don't have.

That's my experience at NCN. And slowly but surely, I've come to de-emphasize the "New Civilization" part of this experience, and realize it's only a network. That's OK, and I'm content with that. But anytime talk starts up about the site's potential to be more, I like to get in on it. Mark and I don't agree on everything probably, but we really do have a partnership on representative organization---and we've pushed it from every angle we could think of. There's tremendous resistance to what we think, surprisingly to me anyway, at least among those few who do any posting here. We also agree on the importance of ethics in any sort of relationship at all. We hate power trippers and manipulators---and probably nothing has shocked us so much as hearing Ming tells us that democracy is all manipulation to him.

Then Shakti Ma came in. With her comes a world of possibilities that will keep people hopping around their keyboards for as long as her wonderful mind comes up with stuff---which is a whole lot of days! And more people, and more people. All of you, who are adding to this thread. And others too. Obviously then, my experience has been about the people in here---and the unique kinds of relationship that form in this entirely new way of communicating together. I find it tremendously exciting, and I am totally thankful for this facility. It is a wonder of technology---and of Ming's generosity. I always try to remember that, even when I'm tempted to wring his neck. Especially then. I hope this contribution to Mark's entry adds a little something about another guy's experience at NCN.  

26 Apr 2002 @ 03:47 by shawa : Community is a process...
...and what I can see in here, is that community is forming. Now - what KIND of community, and above all, WHAT FOR - where are the energies/intentions going - that´s a whole other omelet. As a "people" person, I´m more comfortable with relationships than rules. Generally, I feel that we ARE in the process of examining how and why "old" things do not function - and we ARE trying some new things, like Mark says above, for example, investigating writing and commenting in a POSITIVE way, truly, this is hygiene, like brushing your teeth. Even conflicts can be clean energy, dry wood for a beautiful group awareness. So this here NCN place is like learning a new ART, new skills, new habilities. And just for that, I feel grateful, to Ming - but also to the bunch of people who are hanging around, and care enough about this process to not just walk away from uncomfortable situations. There are diamonds in the dust.  

26 Apr 2002 @ 04:27 by jstarrs : Ming...
I'd like to pick up Sharie's gratitude to Ming in echoing my own thanks for his method of handling this marvellous site, in avoiding pigeon holes, & rules whilst at the same time providing us with the means to communicate & share adeptly with the tools he's given us. He's effectively left the process open, as it should always be.
This also:
"If everybody would agree that their current reality is A reality, and that what we essentially share is our capacity for constructing a reality, then perhaps we could all agree on a meta-agreement for computing a reality that would mean survival and dignity for everyone on the planet, rather than each group being sold on a particular way of doing things." F. Varela  

26 Apr 2002 @ 07:05 by scotty : Meeeeee too !
I'm glad Ming got all this together(in fact my log says 'for Ming'
I stumbled into this place by 'Hazard' (provocative smirk !) and I'm SO glad to have met all of you - you guys are giving me more gymnastics to do than I ever thought I was capable of.

26 Apr 2002 @ 09:13 by invictus : Ok
Mark, I agree with what you said in your comment. Especially on abuse/violations. For me, it's a matter of trusting myself enough to act that way. Given what you said, I think I'd agree with your standard. Shakti is right about the process thing, certainly. And I like Jeff’s quote.

Richard, thanks for posting the background info. Oh the power of Kay : ). It really does help to understand what’s happened to you. Your experience has been pretty different from mine; that gives me a better understanding of where you are coming from. Actually, I do find it a bit creepy that the software monitors our computer addresses. What's up with that? I mean, I sort of see the usefulness, but it seems a little much to me. Anyway, I know we have considerable differences of opinion. I am glad you’re here though, and that you’ve stayed in spite of all that drama.

And I thank Ming too. It's a great creation. And I think it’s a privilege to have the chance to develop it with all of you.  

1 May 2002 @ 04:59 by ming : Stories
I think it is good to hear and share our respective stories. Why we're here, what we dream about, how we get hurt, how we make friends, etc. It is all an evolving story with many angles to it. I get to think of a play called "Tamara" that was running for many years in L.A. You physically followed the actors around in a big house, and there were things going on in several parts of the house at the same time. Depending on who you were with, you saw a different story, and you pieced it together by sharing your story bits with other participants in the break, or you would come back and watch it several times, until you finally get it all.  

Other entries in
3 Oct 2008 @ 02:43: What 4
31 May 2004 @ 00:13: Memorial For America
24 Dec 2003 @ 18:22: Seasons Greetings
2 Dec 2003 @ 15:12: Shared Purpose
8 Jun 2003 @ 00:27: Namasté = Respect
22 Jan 2003 @ 20:59: Doers & Democracy
10 Jan 2003 @ 14:47: NEW STYLE THINKING
22 Dec 2002 @ 13:22: Wonderful Winter Holidays To You
4 Jun 2002 @ 02:13: Relationships
16 May 2002 @ 04:02: Thanks For Telling Me

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