Apple recently had a commercial where they celebrated some of the geniuses of our time: Einstein, Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi, Pablo Picasso, etc (link). The ad said that all of these have been viewed as misfits, rebels, [sometimes even terrorists], and that they have had no respect for the status quo. The narrator also says that you can glorify or vilify these people, but you cannot ignore them – because they change things. I was very inspired by this text, and I very much feel like such a catalyst myself – in my own little slot of our joint history – and I have always felt like a rebel who finds it very natural to challenge the status quo. I mean, things are always changing, and they will always keep changing; the only question is therefore who will be most influential in deciding how and into what these changes will occur. I have always had a very clear view of how I think that our society most beneficially should change, including us living in it, and this blog will be a part of this process.
One of the most controversial aspects of this blog will be to merge the two sides of my life that I think needs to merge also within society: love and spirituality, with intelligence and science. I think that these two sides of us tends to be unbalanced in us as individuals to the one or to the other side, and that the current unharmonious and mutual mis-understanding between people from the corresponding two groups in society is one of the key things to overcome, in creating a more well-functional and harmonious society. I also think that our long-term developments lead towards a state where both these two sides are fully and equally developed, and that it is only then that either of the two aspects fully are understood. To put in the words of the – to some of you – quite controversial Danish philosopher Martinus Thomsen: “Love that is not Science is not Love, and Science that is not Love is not absolute Science.”
In fact I think that what we need to mature and heal is the following broken triangle, consisting of the three corners: “Science”, “World-view”, and “Society”, and that this needs to be done both on the individual and on our joint global and semi-global levels. In our current understanding of these words, they are not the same thing, but – what is worse – these aspects are not even working harmoniously together. My blog will try to contribute to the healing of this triangle, which includes explaining more in detail what I mean by this healing.
Those of you who know me from facebook know that I am nowadays quite active in societal and political unfoldings. Many of the links and small comments that have appeared on facebook (concerning e.g. the war on terror, intellectual property rights, democracy, human rights, etc) will now appear here instead, since I can from here open up to a wider world and more direct societal impact, which includes not only double posting to facebook, but also to twitter and other online forums. Nevertheless, because of the above mentioned mutually exclusive field of interests, many of my politically active friends have a simultaneous disinterest, and not seldom even an open hostility, towards emotional and spiritual things. To you I now only want to say that I will never try to impose any kind of thought system or world-view or practice or anything like that on you. I will, however, on this blog spend some time explaining how I think that a scientifically consistent worldview does not necessitate a materialistic world-view. Similarly, I will also argue that an over-simplification of the transition from Science (especially physics as we now understand it) to a complete world-view easily and often leads to the same kind of dogmatism and narrow-mindedness that many of you rightly criticize in conventional religions. In short, I think that the most important thing to intellectually understand is when the intellect should not be used, and I will spend some time on this blog trying to explain what I mean by that. In those cases I am looking forward to a debate. However, as a consequence of this view, there will be some types of blog entries that are not meant as intellectual entries – since they might be poems, or written to those among my readers who are not threatened by a spiritual language, mostly to convey a subtle or inspiring feeling – and these blog posts will then typically not be meant as an invitation to intellectual nit-picking (and might often be closed to comments altogether).
Regarding those of my friends who come from a spiritual background (which can but does not have to include a background in yoga) I will present almost the opposite view-point. You will here, much more than you have on facebook, find things that I think will inspire and inform you. However, it is my experience that people who wants to “live in love”, often let this be restricted to a sort of touchy-feely love, that on many issues equals “living in denial”. It is not a loving thing to ignore structural problems in a society that leads to the suffering and even death of millions, even billions of people. A lack-of-action is also a chosen action, and we are all responsible for how our society evolves. A common response to that is something like the following: “I will live in my little group of people, in a loving way, and then that vibration will spread to others, and in that way change the society at large as well”. I think that this “vibrational spread” is true, in more ways than one. I will even go so far as to say that it is easy to lose track of this aspect of changing a society, by involving yourself in political debates, and sometimes you might be the one who is changed, instead of the system. Nevertheless, a too non-political attitude leaves the job of responding to those “loving vibrations” and then changing society to somebody else. And until that has happened, needless suffering and deaths, deaths that you could have hindered, are maintained.
Regarding those in the final corner of the above triangle, Science, my view is the following. We in the scientific community have not done our job of serving society in a nearly good enough fashion. We need to be much better at communicating within the different parts of science, and act much more as one clear voice outwards, so that we can prepare for solutions that politicians and companies then can choose to act upon. Conversely, we also need to fight much more for our right to do true basic science, which is unrelated to any kind of short-time gain on a societal level, but is just driven by pure curiosity, and the love of Truth. I will write much about those things as well on this blog.
There are of
course some people that have and are doing similar things already. One of them
is Einstein, who not only revolutionized physics as few others have, but also
wrote frequently and eloquently on both spiritual and political/societal
issues. I agree with him on many of his views, although there are some exceptions,
and I am therefore sorry that he has not been more listened to regarding his
Another person who has done similar things is Ken Wilber. He has brought together frameworks that point in a very similar holistic direction as I also strive towards. One of those examples is his theory of holons, and their developments (see figure above). I am bound to come back to those theories from time to time. However, unlike Wilber, I want to stay within Science, since otherwise people within the system can just ignore these views. I generally want to change all systems from within, instead of the much more inefficient approach of standing outside, trying to convince the people that still are inside to change, because you tell them to. I therefore similarly want to build up direct links to political processes and decision-makers, and really teach and practice yoga and meditation myself on an as high level as possible.
On this blog I will therefore deal with such different topics as internet surveillance laws; tantric sex; open relationships; new economic theories; music, dancing, and poetry; applications of complexity theory to biological and societal problems; environmental problems; good news; inspiring quotations; my views on yoga and meditation; and – least but not least - practical matters concerning my yoga-courses, TED-evenings, publishing, piano concerts, contact improvisation evenings, and all sorts of other events that will be arranged here at yoga-link: the yoga place in Linköping, that seeks to link up with the world!