Intro to new Wisdom Living category
This is a preview of the Vision of Wisdom Society and Wisdom Training. In the text below is presented more detailed description.
This site is entirely dedicated to the project of the creation of a new form of society called the Wisdom Society or shortly WS. The document presented below summarizes the underlying philosophy, the proposed structure of WS, and a few suggestions concerning bringing this vision to reality. There also exists a sister site tomasz-pietrzykowski.com where the author presents a more personal view related to WS. This document is purposefully very condensed. However, I hope it is sufficient for the reader to decide if she/he is interested in the project. More detailed discussions (in textual or video-audio format) will be gradually presented on the site. Still, all the significant points are summarized here.
Many of us are aware that humanity is moving in the wrong direction. Moreover, everything indicates that this trend may continue and increase. It can lead to the tragic end when the majority of accomplishments achieved during our long journey of hundreds of thousands of years will be destroyed. In the worst case, the majority of higher life forms (including humans) will disappear. Our environment becomes more and more devastated; some changes are already impossible to repair.
Gread and grasp on the power of the ruling economic and political elite increases. Violence and senseless killing take forms unknown before. Social bonds, the foundation of our society, are being gradually destroyed. The disparity of wealth and power increases. Legal and illegal corruption as well as hypocrisy and the insanity of some so-called “world leaders” is becoming accepted as a new norm. We are bombarded by a growing avalanche of useless and often harmful information, which contributes to the increase of psychological hypochondria, hopelessness, and depression. Our physical and mental health is deteriorating due to the presence of legally accepted toxic substances such as pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, food preservatives, and others are present in the food, air, and water. This, combined with the destruction of biodiversity, causes the sudden growth of previously unknown diseases.
The economy is based on consumerism, the culture of debts, moods of the stock market and the fanatic “religion” of economic growth. The main ingredient, consumerism, is the result of consistent brainwashing leading to buy useless products and services.
However, this is not all. During the last hundred years, our economy and technology became more and more codependent and fragile, so the whole system may easily be thrown into chaos leading to global catastrophe.
The conclusion is starkly apparent: the present political system, capitalistic democracy or autocracy, ceased to be able to cope with modern reality. More detail about our current state of world affairs will be published on this site under the menu Foundation. But I think, that what I have presented above, is sufficient to show that the existing system is fundamentally defunct and beyond any “repair,” so it needs to a radical replacement. a complete change.
The past attempts such as Marxism and its mutations, anarchism and similar have not worked. The present social trends in helping ecology and society work only on a limited scale. Consequently, because of the absence of any realistic alternative to our system, I have decided to propose a new socio-economic-political system called the Wisdom Society or WS.
This society would be based on the principle of on egalitarianism which would remove one of the primary sources of our evils: social and economic stratification. It means that independently of gender, age, and profession, everyone has the same status – a nurse, plumber, teacher, or manager, none of these enjoy any special economic or social privileges. Egalitarianism also implies that all decisions concerning WS, on each level of its hierarchy, are made by unanimous consent. It is fundamentally different from any form of democracy where decisions are imposed by the majority. This implies that one group (the majority) is superior to others (minorities), which often leads to unresolvable conflicts. It is a crucial reason why democracies never really worked in the long run. However, egalitarianism does not mean that each member of WS is “identical.” To the contrary, each person would be free to develop her or his own natural inclinations and talents – for example, one may be more prone to physical work, another to science, art or management of group endeavors, etc.. The choice would be free from present value systems which imply one kind of work is better than another.
Relations between members of WS would be based on altruistic cooperation. The term “altruism,” used in many moral and religious doctrines, requires clarification. It means that an individual is not focused only on one’s own wellbeing but also pays attention to the welfare of others. It may be difficult to accept such an attitude because, during hundreds of generations, we have been conditioned to accept egoism as the norm. However, due to the recovery of our innate wisdom, we also recover our ability to experientially comprehend that the feelings of others so we cannot ignore the suffering of other beings. As a result, we naturally try to help. From a pragmatic point of view, altruism makes complete sense: we cannot effectively cooperate without being aware of the state of mind and body of others.
Despite the profound changes of the existing socio-economic system, WS would retain all the positive accomplishments of humanity independently of when and where, particularly in the domains of culture, science, education, medicine, and technology. To the contrary, it will use the advancements in science and technology, in order not to harm the ecology but to repair, as much as possible, the damages that have occurred already. . For example, we would use the abundant sources of geothermic, wind, and solar energy to produce healthy food to satisfy the needs of the world without harming the ecology. It would go even further: science, freed from the current narrowing dogmas and technology, freed from the capitalistic constraints, may exceed the wildest visions of science fiction.
I am fully aware that many readers may consider the very idea of WS, as an idealistic, utopian fantasy, a fairy tale about some mythical kind of paradise, which is impossible to realize in this present society. Such an opinion would not be surprising, because our collective and individual consciousnesses are shaped by the religions and philosophies, which usually tell us that we are egoistic, sinful, greedy, cruel and unruly; that wars and other calamities are as old the humanity itself, and so on. Moreover, such views are confirmed and further reinforced when we look at the present dire state of the world.
However, this proposal is not as unrealistic as it may appear. Due to discoveries of modern archeology, there is a growing body of evidence that for at least 100,000 years of its existence, human society applied to its social structure and functioning similar principles as WS. The Paleolithic hunters/gatherers and even some early Neolithic agriculturalists up to 4,000 years ago, lived as egalitarian societies, without gender bias or any other form of stratification. Furthermore, the social structure of hunters/gatherers is also known: they formed small groups of 20 to 30 members based mainly on the principle of matrilineality. This view is also supported by anthropology, which discovered that the hunters/gatherers’ social format continues until now, among some isolated aboriginal groups such as the Hadza people from Tanzania. The most significant accomplishment of our ancestors was their radical departure from the social structure of the rest of the hominids becoming Homo Sapiens. The word sapiens comes from the Latin “Sapientia,” which means wisdom. Homo Sapiens rejected the animal structure of suppression of the group by a leading male and, instead, created a social order based on egalitarianism. This allowed humans, in just 100,000 years, from survivers to become the master of our planet. During the Last Glacial period, when all their genetic “relatives” perished, including the very similar to us Neanderthals, Homo Sapiens survived.
Why? Because due to highly developed cooperation, they were able to create abstract thinking and the language by which individuals could communicate and express their ideas. They developed the ability to observe, to formulate the law of cause and effect, and even created visual art. They invented garments to survive the cold weather of the Last Glacier; a variety of sophisticated hunting tools such as the bow and arrow and the boomerang; they improved the maintenance of fire so they could make pottery and smelt metals; they invented weaving. Finally, they were able to domesticate animals, develop agriculture, and also created religions. All of these advances occurred during the period when the societies still maintained an egalitarian social structure. More on this subject will be published on this site in a post entitled “Homo Sapiens.” I believe that this excursion into our egalitarian prehistorical past may be necessary to show that the proposed structure of WS already existed and worked phenomenally well. Only after humanity took the turn towards the path of social and economic stratification began the degeneration, which leads us to the present state. Following this introduction, there is presented the outline of the proposed WS: its smallest unit called a nucleus would consist of around 20 – 30 members. This size is not chosen haphazardly – it was the size of the social groups of our ancestors, the hunter/ gatherers, which enabled the making of a unanimous decision, the cornerstone of WS. Such a way of making decisions is the base of so-called group intelligence, which is very well known but, so far, has no commonly accepted neuroscientific model. From existing research, it follows that the size of the group plays an important role: it should not be too small nor too large. The members of a nucleus should live close to each other in small co-houses. This proximity would enable frequent daily interactions that would make altruistic cooperation the fundamental basis for everyday life. It would also make possible the communal raising of children as was done among hunters/gatherers. Such upbringing of children would have a significant beneficial effect because they would be exposed to the diversification of input beyond their own parents. These extended interactions would help them to become responsible members of a society as well as providing security combined with humour, which would foster their natural, creative playfulness.
The social structure of the nucleus would be egalitarian so, independently of the social role or gender, each member would have the same economic and social status. One of the members of the nucleus would be unanimously selected as the coordinator of all its communal activities and making everyday decisions. The ultimate goal of each nucleus would be self-sufficiency in the are of basic needs. In essence, food would be grown using efficient techno-ecological agriculture utilizing geothermic heat and energy generated by solar and wind power and utilizing a minimal amount of water. This way, it would not harm the balance of the natural environment. The self-sufficiency of the nucleus is designed to survive any potential dangerous social disturbances. The next layer above the nuclei would consist of Wisdom Villages or simply villages. Each village would be a cluster of about 20 – 30 nuclei located as close to each other as possible. That would enable not only personal communication between members but also altruistic cooperation between individual nuclei. A village, because of its larger size, would have increased self-sufficiency, for example, the establishment of basic education facilities and basic medical service centers. Each village would have its Village Council consisting of the coordinators of its nuclei. It would be the governing body of the village that would be making unanimous decisions concerning matters of the village. Similarly, as in each nucleus, the village council would unanimously select the village coordinator . Her or his role would be analogous to that of the coordinator of a nucleus. At this point, it should be strongly emphasized that the introduction of a hierarchical structure in WS would not compromise its egalitarian character.
I hope it is easy to see how such a structure can be expanded: 20 – 30 villages would compose a WStown which would have its own l consisting of coordinators of its villages, which, from among themselves, would select it town coordinator, and so on. The larger size of town could allow for the further development of self -sufficiency: for example, its own communication and energy distribution systems. Such an approach can be continued as long as needed – the larger the WS, the more self-sufficiency it may be able to create. Needless to say, the increase of self-sufficiency becomes critically important to face the potentially severe social and economic disturbances which may take place.
A few suggestions on how to begin. The members of the newly formed nucleus, before they attempt to start its realization, should have a clear sense of a common purpose, and establish close relations. To cement their relationship, members of the forming nucleus should be engaged in the group practice of WP. It also would facilitate making good decisions based on the already mentioned phenomenon of group intelligence. The realization of a nucleus would require many pragmatic factors to be in place: the finances to purchase land, build or buy houses, acquisition of the equipment necessary for self-sufficiency, and so on. The nucleus should have a proper legal structure, for example, workers’ agricultural cooperative, which is acceptable and even positively viewed in many countries. The nucleus should establish as close as possible friendly relations with its neighbors. It would increase its positive image by participating in various local positive initiatives. This will permit the nucleus to be viewed as a beneficial asset rather than as an oddity. If this takes place, others could be interested in following the same model. That would be far more effective than sophisticated publicity. As the saying goes: “the proof is in the pudding.”
More detailed suggestions on these topics are gradually be published under the menu Structure and Economy.
All the pragmatic details are very important. Saying all of that, we must not be naïve and believe that such a system can be established easily. The reasons are clear: our individual and social consciousness are profoundly “indoctrinated” by the 10,000 years long period of stratification. Consequently, on all levels WS would embrace the ongoing mind training called Wisdom Practice or, in short, WP. It would be integrated into the daily life of the whole community. The primary purpose of this practice would be to open our access to innate human wisdom blocked by continual indoctrination during times of stratification. Wisdom Practice would be based on an ancient, particularly effective and time-tested meditation technique called trekcho as formulated by the 14 century Tibetan sage Longchen Rabjam. Fundamentally the goal of this practice is to allow one’s mind to rest in its natural state of wisdom, and when distracted, to return to it as soon as one becomes aware of that. It is easy to comprehend intellectually, but it requires a lot of patience, discipline, and consistency to be successful. Uprooting the deeply ingrained, omnipresent habitual mental patterns is not easy and takes time. To continue this practice, while facing everyday challenges, are added so-called six attitudes based on ancient Mayana practice of parmitas,. It should be emphasized that, despite using the techniques mentioned above, this training will be free from any religious biases.
The primary purpose of WP is to remove, our deeply conditioned destructive beliefs of domination of one human over another based on social position and wealth. They are the source of all major calamities, which humanity experienced during the period of stratification. Unfortunately, such beliefs are widely propagated by religions, philosophy, and social sciences. In the category, Wisdom Training is published several talks on this subject. It should be added, that though principles and ideas of Wisdom Society are entirely secular, if a member chooses to adhere to some religious beliefs, it would be tolerated as long as it does not harm others. The view that such a mind training is a necessity distinguishes WS from the many other attempts to develop alternative social structures. They are trying to make profound social and political changes without appreciating the power and persistence of such beliefs and opinions. The prominent example of such efforts are Ecovillages based on the Gaia Thesis and Foundation for Intentional Community. To summarize, we can say that the overall structure of WS would be a network of nuclei organized into a hierarchical structure.
“The proof is in the pudding” approach would be the only way to promote the growth of WS. Using group intelligence, it would utilize the growing variety of readily available means of internet communication. Each nucleus will be able to publicize their experiences and offer their suggestions. It is essential because the situation usually varies from country to country. For example, it is entirely different in France than in Canada. Before ending, here is my message to the readers of this Vision. The latest phenomenon of COVID-19 pandemics and its unavoidable consequences show there is not too much time: it is moving much quicker than even a year ago, much faster. Please feel free to write to me: Tomasz Pietrzykowski at firstname.lastname@example.org or call +33 625 16 14 20. I am available.