Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Relationship with Nature = Path to a “Growth Mindset”
Living with Ecosystems = Antidote to a “Fixed Mindset”

Image (Infographic): Two Mindsets 
Credit: Carol S. Dweck Ph.D. Graphic by Nigel Holmes

“I have always been deeply moved by outstanding achievement and saddened by wasted potential.”
~ Carol Dweck, Ph.D., Author, “Mindset”
The above infographic and quote come from Carol S. Dweck, Lewis and Virginia Eaton Professor of Psychology at Stanford University and one of the world’s foremost researchers in the field of motivation: why people succeed and what fosters success.

In her book, “Mindset,” Dr. Dweck explores a relatively simple idea, which flies in the face of some fairly well-established notions of success—what it takes to succeed and how to encourage success—namely, that brains and talent alone do not guarantee success, and that praising these factors (and rewarding them) may in fact jeopardize success.
“In a fixed mindset, people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits. They spend their time documenting their intelligence or talent instead of developing them. They also believe that talent alone creates success—without effort. They’re wrong.

“In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment. Virtually all great people have had these qualities.”

Source: http://mindsetonline.com/whatisit/about/index.html
Disclaimer: we haven’t read Dr. Dweck’s book; we can neither critique her work nor offer any commentary about her methods of analysis.

We can, however, agree with her conclusions—her basic theory—especially as summarized in the above infographic; and moreover, offer a path to circumventing the fixed mindset trap and adopting a growth mindset instead.

You guessed it: once again ecosystems; nature show us the way.

We can say many things about nature—many theories, opinions, judgments, and beliefs—but one cannot deny the fluidity of the natural world. IN NATURE NOTHING IS FIXED.

Even the hardest substances known to man, diamonds, are in constant motion—vibration. Moreover, in their natural state, diamonds—being crystals—do actually “grow.” 

Video: Timelaps of Crystals Growing  by EsotericWorlds
Growing crystals on a microscope slide in cross-polarised light.

Now, if the hardest, most stable substances in nature known to humankind are also the most valuable (diamonds, gold) what does that tell you about the state of our psychology? Well, just look around at the world created by human beings.

Our psychology, like the world around us, is mechanical. It is not organic, fluid, adaptive, receptive, dynamic. Generally speaking our thought patterns are rigid, restrictive, repetitive, stubborn, etc. Our world is one of concrete buildings, machines, assembly lines, digital technology…we like it that way, because our generally fixed mindsets like it that way…mechanical, predictable, solid, controlled.

Now let us look at nature. Sure, there are rules and mechanical laws which nature abides by—gravity and the other mechanical laws of physics come to mind—but within the framework of a broad set of theses parameters, the observable universe is anything but rigid.

Yes, nature definitely has a mechanical level—that’s the one that we observe simplistically with our mechanical psychology and declare ourselves worthy of “lording over”—nuclear weapons, GMO’s, and all other manner of humans playing gods with the “Lego pieces of life” are the result. 

But nature has another, more subtle level. That level is anything but mechanical. That is the level that one can actually form a real relationship with…like the indigenous peoples of the world did so effectively. It is an intelligentsia of loving and nurturing compassion. It is explorative, experimental, but natural and gradual in its experimentation…evolution and devolution.

The intelligentsia of ecosystems is trans-organismic. It is the only way to achieve collective harmony and symbiosis. Those who study chaos theory and fractals understand there is a level of organizational technology at work in nature which goes beyond mechanistic nature

Living with an ecosystem opens one’s awareness to these subtle goings on…not intellectually, necessarily…consciously.

One does not intellectualize one’s relationship with nature. One feels oneness, kinship, wholeness with nature. It is a complete, holistic, conscious knowing. It is an expansive knowledge which may inform the intellect, certainly, but is not the product of deductive reasoning or any rational cognitive function whatsoever. Quite the contrary, love of nature is for all intents and purposes quite irrational at times (as so many examples of love, selflessness, altruism, self-sacrifice, etc. are).

This, then, is the realm of growth. A microbiologist can assert quite rationally that the process of growth is 100% mechanical—for instance, in the case of a bacterium)—and that cell division and reproduction happen like clockwork, causing the growth of a bacterial culture.

And what of the medium? What of the environment? The ecosystem? They observe how bacterial colonies change and adapt their growth according to changes in their environment; but do they comprehend that the same phenomenon is taking place on more subtle, energetic levels? No, their mindset is fixed on a materialistic mechanical understanding and so they remain fixated on theories which support and perpetuate said mindset.

At Genesis, we—like Dr. Dweck—are saddened by “wasted potential.” That is why we promote the integration of ecosystems into the education and support of humanity. If we know nothing else, we know this: nature has been around for a lot longer than our materialistic science and technology; and, that it will continue long after we are gone.

Whereas our mechanical monstrosities and fixations with what “lasts forever” in our minds will be long gone, nature’s intelligent cycles of constant change will continue—evolving into new and wonderful and surprising versions of themselves—giving rise to new and incredible creations.

We can choose to be a part of such a fantastic future…we can choose to truly grow. Or, we can choose to cling to our fixations—fixed mindsets—and go obsolete along with all our precious gadgets.


A quick shout out to Nature Daily.

Thanks for picking up PeapodLife’s blog post from last Thursday, 21st of August, Mission Blue: CODE RED - New Relationship with Nature Required!

Image (Screenshot ): PeapodLife: Mission Blue: CODE RED New Relationship with Nature Required!
Shared by Genesis Eco Fund from The Nature Daily
Source: The Nature Daily Science Top Stories Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014

Thursday, August 14, 2014

A Garden to Create Peace? Reverse Climate Change?

Video: ABC News 
“A weed is but an unloved flower.”
Can a garden create peace? Reverse climate change? Are botanists the answer to world peace? And is science the “objective language” of peace and harmony?

Genesis Eco Fund can’t help but question the validity of some of the opinions / conclusions expressed by Dr. Peter Raven in the above video. As a matter of fact, his oversimplification of matters is typical of the kind of “scientific thinking” which causes so many of the problems we live with today.

For starters, we must make the distinction between a garden and an ecosystem. Dr. Raven seems to completely overlook the fact that nature’s basis for collective harmony and symbiosis is the ecosystem.

“Well-kept gardens” are entirely manmade phenomenon which, for the most part, offer humanity “tidied-up versions of nature,” or expressions of nature free of our subjective aesthetics of “ugliness” and “wildness.”

We so-called human beings like to think of ourselves as above all that “wildness” so we craft gardens in the image we have of ourselves: clean, ordered, flawless, perfect…like the legendary Garden of Eden itself.

So right away we see a problem. Gardens are not real. They are a projection. Gardens immediately provide a stripped down, sanitized, façade of nature—and heaven forbid any unwanted “pests” (members of nature) decide to come take up residence in our garden. Woe is them.

The second aspect of gardens and gardening is this misplaced idea that we are here to “lord over nature.” That somehow, without our direct intervention, nature won’t be able to evolve. At best we see ourselves as custodians of the natural world, at worst nature’s lord and master.

But it’s really all the same thing: our collective unconscious avoidance of self-control. The nature we are meant to be lord and master over is our own wild nature—anger, lust, pride, greed, etc. By assigning ourselves the role of taming the nature around us, we happily avoid looking at ourselves.

Which brings us to this question of can a garden create world peace? Ridiculous! You cannot go anywhere in the world and not encounter beautiful gardens! The trouble is, they are aesthetic; and aesthetics are the best anesthetic.

Some of the most beautiful and opulent gardens in the world happen to be owned by the wealthiest, most heartless bankers and industrialists—if not despots and tyrants!

Image: The Hanging Gardens of Babylon 

At the end of the day, then, this notion of creating world peace (or solving global warming) via gardens is a naïve utopian concept: simultaneous ego-projection and avoidance of the true source of our problems and suffering: ourselves; our own psyche. The answers lie within.

So what about an ecosystem? How does an ecosystem differ from a garden? For starters, an ecosystem is not an esthetic exercise. It’s beauty is there, but its beauty is primal, elemental…objective. The ecosystem is whole and complete—and messy. It is not carefully groomed, sanitized, etc.

More importantly, an ecosystem is collective harmony and symbiosis. Its functioning and energetic field reflects the fact that it is in a constant state of balancing. Unlike a garden which can only fall into “chaos” and must be “kept,” an ecosystem can self-organize, evolve, adapt, and surprise.

When a “pest” enters a garden, it must be “eradicated.” When a new organism enters an ecosystem, it is accommodated.  Sometimes, a foreign invader is introduced which the ecosystem cannot fully handle (English hares and cane toads in Australia), but still the self-organizing, self-correcting, ever-balancing activities of the ecosystem go on.

No garden can compete with nature’s level of determination and sophistication. A pest can wipe out a garden in no time at all.  It takes decades for an ecosystem to collapse. Gardens have no resilience compared to ecosystems.  They are too rigid in design and lack adaptability. Of course! Gardens are reflections of our minds…our so-called “objective science.”

Here we come to the real problem of this video: the erroneous belief that the scientific method is objective, and that somehow science holds the keys to solving our collective situation—which is, let’s face it, dire. 

We hold in our minds “scientific concepts” about the nature of reality which are, like the gardens we create:
  1. projections of our own psyche

  2. sanitized, oversimplified, stripped down versions of reality

  3. rigidly designed, lacking in resilience and adaptability

  4. must be “kept” in order that they do not fall into “chaos”

  5. are aesthetic, and thus act as a powerful anesthetic to the consciousness.

Image: “Mind Projection” 

Our attachment to materialist science and our wonder in our own scientific splendor (i.e. technology) is like any other drug. The fact that science is so wrapped up in personal, professional and economic gain simply adds fuel to the fire.

For anyone to believe that science is objective is just that: a belief; the new religion of our world. Strange, we see science advancing in leaps and bounds, and our societal and global problems lock-step with it, in much the same way that the ascension of organized religion created more problems than it solved.

That’s because both science and organized religion still only play with concepts. They are games in the mind. Science worships aesthetics and like any exercise of pure aesthetics, it is completely void of conscience.  Aesthetics is the best anesthetic. Science as we know it puts the conscience to sleep.

So botanists, studying “the science of plants” fail to recognize that plants simply do not function in the way they think they do. A plant in nature behaves differently than a plant in the laboratory. Plants are not little “bio-chemical machines.” They are individual members on an ecosystem.

So there is a science of expanded conscience. The first step is to expand one’s awareness to ecosystems. To study and comprehend how nature achieves collective harmony and symbiosis in naturally self-organizing, self-sustaining, and self-balancing systems seems like the logical place to start looking for answers on matters of peace and harmony for humanity.

Likewise, in terms of sustainability, climate change reversal, etc., why not look to ecosystems which were around long before this humanity arrived and will be here long after we have gone? 

Gardens? Ecosystems!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Mine Spill in B.C. Threatens MORE than Just Salmon

Screenshot: cbcnews Video: Mine spill threatens salmon run
“Our population and our use of the finite resources of planet Earth are growing exponentially, along with our technical ability to change the environment for good or ill.”

In our recent article, What Role can Ecosystems Play in Changing Education Paradigms?, we proposed the phrase “survival of the most fitting” as a more enlightened revision of the classical Darwinian axiom, “survival of the fittest.”

If Genesis is correct, and the natural world operates from the viewpoint of collective harmony and symbiosis—ecosystems—and not a collection of individuals struggling for survival, then THIS HUMANITY IS IN BIG TROUBLE.

The latest in our seemingly inexhaustible capacity to wreak havoc on the natural world comes in the form of a toxic spill of a mining operations’ tailings pond in British Columbia.

This waste water is filled with unnaturally concentrated levels of highly toxic / carcinogenic heavy metals and environmentally harmful elements which are a by-product of fracking: the process by which water is pumped into the ground under high pressure in order to release the desired resources from said rock.

Image: How hydraulic fracking works. 
Credit: Reuters. 

Well that’s all well and good, except that the waste water is collected in tailings ponds and used over and over, with heavy metals and other elements accumulating in dangerous concentrations in what amounts to toxic sludge at the bottom of the ponds.

These ponds are often located near natural lakes and streams—sometimes crucial waterways, was the case in Mount Polley Mine. The close proximity of the tailings pond to both Polley Lake and Boot Jack Lake can be seen below.

Image: Mount Polley Mine: Pits and Infrastructure

Well that’s all well and good, until a breach in the tailings facility infrastructure caused a massive spill of the toxic tailings sludge into Polley Lake, a crucial spawning ground for Pacific Salmon, and which drains down along a tributary into the Fraser River—British Columbia’s premiere waterway.

Image: Aerial footage taken on Aug. 4, 2014, shows a breach of the dam of the Mount Polley Mine tailings pond, which spilled toxic waste water into neighbouring Hazeltine Creek and Polley Lake (top). (Cariboo Regional District) 

The impact on the salmon aside, what we really need to do as a species is ask a critical question:


To come back to our phraseology, how long before the law of survival of the most fitting rules against this humanity, and decides that we simply do not fit anymore, and it’s time for us to go!?

Or perhaps this process is already underway.

In terms of the lifespan of a planet, measured in billions of years, it doesn’t exactly function on a timescale we can comprehend. Therefore, if an ecosystem is a superorganism then a planet can be considered a megaorgansim. As such, the time it takes a megaorganism to sneeze may be measured in decades if not centuries

So, do we just carry on carrying on? Or do we at least make an effort to try to comprehend what it means to cohabit and coexist with other life on this planet in collective harmony and symbiosis? Do we at least make an effort to comprehend where we went wrong, and what it means to be a part of the ecosystem, not “above it.”

We are not above it. It is above us. And unless we make conscious efforts now to demonstrate our respect for the megaorganism of the Earth, it’s interconnected systems of superorganisms (ecosystems), built on harmonic symbiosis of communities of organisms, we are going to be deemed foreign invaders…a carconigenic species which must be eliminated sooner rather than later.

This is not conjecture. This is a scientific fact.