Living local, thinking global, universal love et al
The theme for the week seems to be globalness. Here are three little vignettes from the week.
I’ve been a part of a series of workshops at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, working together with aquarium staff to figure out where we can incorporate more evolutionary messaging into the exhibits. Last week we had a meeting and on the way out Dave Bader took us on a spin around the new-ish globe they have installed. They can project the surface of any planet, including apparently Tatooine on it; but they don’t seem to have the Hitchhiker’s Guide universe in there yet. Sad. The globe is pretty cool. It sits in a specially built sound proof dark room, and you can project any dataset onto it. Right now they don’t have a lot of global data sets. Climate change, chlorophyll, ocean acidification, global weather and ocean currents are good ones. Tectonic movements through the ages. We suggested adding historic migrations/radiations of animals on there. What else can we put on there? Seems like most other things we come up with tend to be local stories (e.g. a specific hurricane). The sea level rise clip they play at regular time intervals for the public focuses on local stories which is not a bad thing, but failed entirely to incorporate the global element which could easily have been done on the globe. Dave (ahead of the curve as usual; conversations with Dave inevitably lead to lots of mindblownness and mental foment) pointed out that most of us don’t spend a lot of time thinking globally. What other global things can we add?
And then later in the week my good friend Eva Beneke posted this link on her Facebook page about choosing to either live globally or locally. Some of us are more global (we spend our time doing things that reach around the globe) and some more local (we spend our time doing things that have local impacts). I had never really thought about this before but I realized I am more global than many of the people I meet. I live in a global world. A lot of my life and my thoughts exists in the cloud online where people anywhere in the world can read it. This is my mindset. I trust strangers implicitly, mostly blind to colour/class/etc, maybe because I already think of all of us as one big community. Yet a lot of the things I choose to focus my time on are local too. Like the bike co-op, bike riding in LA, the AOP, local businesses. This is where I live, and I can’t help but want to make it better. So there is balance.
And then the final little tale is about a thing that I have been kind of focusing on lately in a very personal space–my own spiritual development, which I have been keeping kind of quiet about because this is something pretty new to me, and I am not yet sure about how to politely deal with all the derision that hints of spirituality tend to bring up around my circles. Also it is a pretty private thing. Lately I feel like I have tapped into some kind of universal force. Like awe of the universe, staring up at the stars. It is totally not a stretch for a scientist. For me it feels very joyous and loving. I don’t really have words for it yet. But lots of people who are way smarter than me have touched on this through the ages. Jung, in trying to explain the unconscious mind and the psyche, explains it way better than I can. For me spiritual development involves a dive into the deep end, totally apart from science and the material world. There is no conflict, it is just another aspect of reality that requires a different set of mental tools. So far it’s been pretty fun here. Anyway, to get back to topic, this thing I am tapped into, it is a very universal thing. Universal love is about the best description I can come up with. I threw this in because it fits in well with the whole thinking local/global/universal theme, except with maybe a more associative/emotional bent. The unconscious spiritual world transcends space and time; this love is in everything everywhere and everywhen (like the TARDIS). I like to make sure I spend some time here, from time to time. This seems like a good place to end. What kind of scales do you spend your time in?