How I Became Useless

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Does this title look like a failure assessment? Not at all, at least not for me. Some years ago, I made the conscious decision I would become useless.

Completely useless.

By this, I mean unusable. No one, not even myself, can use me as a tool, an instrument, a servant or a master, a groupie or a guru, an employee or a boss. Roles and functions do not apply for a useless person.

As a useless person, I have no world to save, no cause to fight for, no enemy to fight against, no moral obligations, no responsibilities, no duty.

People say we need to “earn a living”. My mom and dad told me that (and they keep telling me). My grand-parents too, a long time ago. So did my school teachers, my barber, the guy at the gas pump and the politician on TV. As far as I know, I earned my life at birth. Why should I earn it again and again? Why should I do specific actions like doing a paid job to buy for myself the right to live? Today, I have no job, no position, no title, no social status. My resumé went to the trash. It feels really really good.

Do you find all this shocking? So why do we have cats and dogs? Why do we feel so touched by kids? Don’t we unconsciously enjoy and project ourselves into their delicious untroubled uselessness?

Uselessness has also freed me from the pervasive unconscious ideologies in which we have to justify our worthiness of living. Don’t we want to make our actions fit into some coherent “reason of living” or “meaning of life”? Don’t we like to claim the serving of a “greater purpose”? Don’t we navigate on these mental oceans where we see ourselves as small parts of a greater whole? We love to see ourselves as parts of greater wholes. It doesn’t matter whether we call them God, the Kosmos, Humanity, the Divine, Mother Earth or the Nation… They all point to a big thing that has its own agenda, its own laws. We don’t have much to say there. No debates, no democracy, big dictatorship. We just have to accept, to surrender (the correct wisdom word). This apparent conflict of interest between the I and the Whole will eventually provoke pain.

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Author: Carlos Ruas – http://www.onceuponasaturday.com/

As Aurobindo pointed it, the mental always sees the part in the whole, but it can hardly grasp the whole in the part. When the experience of wholeness, of existing as the entire universe, became my predominant state of consciousness, when both the part and the whole melted together, I became useless. I turned into a human and a God, an entity and an essence, an immanence and a transcendence, a one and a many, temporal and eternal, small and immense, here and everywhere. The last sparks of utilitarianism did not survive that.

As a useless person, I can now live the life of an artist, of a God creator and destroyer of worlds, for the only ecstasy of the play. I can unleash creative actions that have no utilitarian purpose, by the grace of joyful expression. By an act of blissipline, I  become my greatest masterpiece by means of scientific research, writing, music, martial arts, goofiness, sleep, making love, playing Ingress, hugging a tree or enjoying a self-indulgent, delicious indolence.

I can live in the gift economy.

I can live in radical truth.

I can become my nicest and greatest gift.

I can shine in ecstasy, like the Sun and the Moon.

 

 


Pioneering Humanity – A Conference in India

During my trip to Auroville, India, December 2014, I gave a conference about collective intelligence and my research work in exploring new ways to exist and evolve consciousness. This conference has different parts, from external objective science to empirical exploration I do at the personal level.

Keywords: #aurobindo, #auroville, #CollectiveIntelligence, #breathing, #conscisouness, #economy, #e-prime, #GiftEconomy, #food, #holomidal, #innovation, #internet, #InvisibleArchitectures, #ontology, #OpenSource, #PyramidalCollectiveIntelligence, #SocialCodes, #soul, #spirituality, #technology, #wealth, #wisdom

Collective Intelligence – a New Research Field

In this first part you will hear the great story about collective intelligence. How did it evolve through the ages, where does it go today? This part focuses on the external objective aspects of my scientific research: facts, data, words.

 

Evolving the We in the I

The second part of the conference offers a more complex –and deeper– understanding of collective intelligence by addressing how the collective operates in the self, how the “we” plays in the “I”. Hence the fact that we see many collectives that evolve lot’s of external aspects such as technology or governance, but people still carry, like holograms, the social dna of the old society: same social codes, same wealth technology (money), same language, same food, same relationship with the body, same beliefs (doxa), same relationship to time, etc. My research has lead me to explore and deconstruct this social dna and explore new possibilities. I share some examples in the videos below.

Language

Language carries lot’s of archaic forms of consciousness in the way it builds reality in our individual and collective psyche. Unveiling these archaic forms and deciding whether we get rid of them of evolves them helps make important evolutionary steps, individually and collectively. Here I share the example of speaking in e-prime (not using the verb “to be”).

 

Social Codes

No social code exist randomly. No matter how unconsciously we perpetuate social codes, they all have a function: perpetuate and maintain a given social order. Evolution means we also question the function of each social code, and decide what we want to keep, get rid of, or evolve. In this part of the conference I share how I changed a few social codes, like breathing before speaking, and the consequences it had on me and around me.

 

Economy

Pyramidal collective intelligence has made market economy its core economic engine. Why? Because gift economy didn’t have the capacity to reach large scales due to the exponential complexity it generates. However now holomidal collective intelligence allows the rise of gift economies at large scale, offering amazing competitive advantages compared to market economy. But it takes a quantum leap to understand and trust the process, a question that I share in this part of the conference.

 

Food, Technology, Body

Food carries lot’s of social beliefs and binding in it. Food and consciousness walk hand in hand. If one asks this double question: “what does good for me and for the world at the same time?”, then no conventional cuisine today offers a satisfying answer. Evolving the self means evolving the way we eat.

Technology also shapes individual and collective consciousness. We have a different world and reality before and after the invention of fire, of the writing, of the printing press, of flight, of computers, of internet. What consciousness do we cultivate in order to have technology serve us rather than the opposite?

Last but not least, the body plays a key role in invisible architectures. Culture determines in a large manner the relationship we have with or body, how we experience it, how we manifest it. Conventional lifestyle in the pyramidal collective intelligence world places the body in a social and cultural mold. How can we free ourselves and get to live fully our bodily experience? Why should we do that? What consequences?

 

Conclusion

If we had 3 core ideas to keep in mind, I would pick these ones:

  1. become holoptical
  2. transmute old social dna
  3. reclaim your body

 

Questions & Answers

People in the public asked a series of fascinating questions, as shared on the time line below.

0:00 – What about languages that don’t use the verb “to be”?

2:10 – In the gift economy, don’t people usually give back to you rather than giving back to someone else?

5:15 – Can we consider an intermediary stage between market economy and gift economy that we could call social entrepreneurship?

9:30 – Question from a sports coach: “I follow my heart by teaching what I love and do the best, however it keeps me binded to  a city, a place where I don’t want to live. If I follow and listen to my heart, how should I deal with this?”

15:10 – How does friendship play in linking the I and the We? What role of social environment in this transformation?

20:00 – Do you know good examples of holomidal collective intelligence?

24:40 – Auroville began with very innovative ideas about education. Unexperienced people applied them, and later more and more of the pyramidal world came in, with money, taxes, etc. So, what do you think about education?

29:10 – 2 questions:
1. What sense do you have about our organization in Auroville ? Does it contribute to holomidal collective intelligence?
2. When you work with companies, what agreements do you propose for groups to change in a soft way?

35:20 – You have yourself evolved towards live (raw) food, but before enough people make such a conscious step, they will end up depleting our current natural resources. What do you think about that?

37:15 – You’ve spoken about collective intelligence and shared about things you do at the personal level. How do you do the two things combined together, the personal and the collective?

 


A big thank you to Bruno and Damien for capturing this conference, and to Joel for the sound engineering.

 


Interview on Auroville Radio

 

Jean-François Noubel
Photo by Roland Katz

Auroville Radio interviewed me, December 22nd 2014, during my trip to Auroville near Pondicherry, India. Roland Katz, a wonderful man who knows how to hold space for the expression of the authentic self, and who know how to connect souls, did this interview.

Explored topics: evolution, collective intelligence, language, ontology, spiritual tradition, Auroville, integral wealth, gift economy, martial arts, truth, courage…

 

[sc_embed_player_template1 fileurl=”http://noubel.com/audio/Pioneering_Humanity_Interview_JF_Noubel_22_12_2014.mp3″]

 

 

You can also listen the online interview or download it on the Auroville Radio website.

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Great Sense

SatpremHere comes below a crucial text from Satprem that a friend of mine from Auroville gave me while I spend a whole month there. I can’t resist to share this text in which I see so much force and visionary power. It resonates with the words I share during my conferences on the evolution of our species. The difference? He wrote it in 1969.

 

 

 

The Great Sense

This is the time of the Great Sense.

We look to the right or to the left, we build theories, reform our Churches, invent super-machines and we go out in the streets to break the Machine that stifles us – we struggle in the small sense. When the terrestrial ship is sinking, does it matter whether the passengers drown to the right or left, under a flag black or red, or one of celestial blue? Our Churches have already sunk: they are reforming their own dust. Our patriotisms are crushing us, our machines are crushing us, our schools are crushing us, and we build more machines to break out of the Machine. We go to the moon, but we do not know our own heart or our terrestrial destiny. And we want to improve what is – but the time for improvements is past: can one improve rot? – This is the time for SOMETHING ELSE, which is not the same thing with improvements.

But how shall we proceed?

They preach violence to us, or non-violence. But these are two faces of the same Falsehood, the yes and the no of the same impotence: the little saints have gone bankrupt with the rest, and others want to seize power – what power? That of the statesmen? Are we going to fight over the prison keys? Or to build another prison? Or do we really want to get out of it? Power does not spring from the barrel of a gun, neither does freedom flow from the belly of the dead – for thirty million years now we have been building on corpses, on wars, on revolutions. And the drama is enacted over and over again. Perhaps the time has come to build on something else and find the key to true Power?

So let us look at the great Sense.

Here is what the Great Sense tells us:

It tells us that we were born so many million years ago – a molecule, a gene, a bit of quivering bit of plasma – and we have produced a dinosaur, a crab, an ape. Had our eyes stopped half-way along the road, we could have said with good reason (!), that the Baboon was the summit of the creation, and nothing better could be done, except perhaps to improve our simian capacities and create a United Kingdom of Apes… And we may be committing the same error today in our jungle of concrete. We have invented enormous means at the service of microscopic consciousnesses, splendid devices at the service of mediocrity, and still more devices to be cured of the Device. But is man truly the goal of all these millions of years of striving? – The secondary school for all and the washing machine?

The Great Sense, the True Sense, tells us that man is not the end. It is not the triumph of man that we want, not an improved version of the intelligent dwarf – it is another man on the earth, another race in our midst.

‘Man is a transitional being’ Sri Aurobindo said. We are right in the middle of this transition, it is bursting forth on every side: in Biafra, in Israel , in China , on the Boul’Mich. Man is uncomfortable in his skin.

And the Great Sense, the True Sense, tells us that the only thing we can do is to set to work to prepare that other being and collaborate in our own evolution instead of going round in circles in the old dead-end humanhood and grabbing false powers to rule over a false life.

But where is the lever of this Transmutation?
It is within.

There is a Consciousness within, there is a Power within, the very power that strained and strove in the dinosaur, in the crab, in the ape, in man – it strives still, presses farther on, clothes itself in a more and more perfected form as its instrument grows, and creates its own form. If we grasp the lever of that Power, it will create its own form, for it is itself the lever of the Transmutation. Instead of letting evolution unfold through millennia of fruitless, painful attempts and useless deaths and fake revolutions that revolutionize nothing, we can shorten the time, we can make a concentrated evolution – we can be the conscious creators of the New Being.

In truth, it is the time of the Great Adventure. The world is closed, there are no more adventures to be had outside: only robots go to the moon and our frontiers are guarded everywhere – in Rome or in Rangoon , the same functionaries of the great Machine are watching us, punching our cards, checking our faces and searching our pockets – there is no more adventure outside! The Adventure is within – Freedom is within, Space is within, and the transformation of our world by the power of the Spirit. Because, in truth, that Power was always there, supreme, all-powerful, prodding evolution on: it was the hidden Spirit growing to become the Spirit manifest upon earth, and if we have trust, if we want that supreme Power, if we have the courage to descend into our hearts, everything is possible, because God is in us.


Sri Aurobindo: “The earliest preoccupation of man in his awakened thoughts…”

Sri AurobindoThe earliest preoccupation of man in his awakened thoughts and, as it seems, his inevitable and ultimate preoccupation,—for it survives the longest periods of scepticism and returns after every banishment,—is also the highest which his thought can envisage. It manifests itself in the divination of Godhead, the impulse towards perfection, the search after pure Truth and unmixed Bliss, the sense of a secret immortality. The ancient dawns of human knowledge have left us their witness to this constant aspiration; today we see a humanity satiated but not satisfied by victorious analysis of the externalities of Nature preparing to return to its primeval longings. The earliest formula of Wisdom promises to be its last, — God, Light, Freedom, Immortality.

Sri Aurobindo – “The Life Divine” (1939)


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