Want an idea that has a lot more value than zero-value/z-val social media?
This hit me as Elaine and I were having the afternoon toddy this week. I’d just read the first few pages of a book she’s writing loosely based on the personal experience of growing up in the wild west of upland/mountain Arizona country – a rough & tumble place – 60-odd years ago.
Totally off grid in the Mormon Mogollon country… Show Low, Winslow, Heber if you know the area.
Not just a little bit backward then compared to now… I mean no indoor plumbing, limited water, no central heating kind of place. Out house in the winter, anyone? Being a “down winder” to boot.
As we were talking about the book, three points gelled for me:
1. Everyone has a great story but damn few get to have it recorded for posterity..
We hear in lots of religions and even from people who’ve had NDE -near death experiences and some of the out of body – OBE experiencers – that life reviews are common, How many times have we heard of the life review process? “My life flashed before my eyes?”
It’s as though the life review might be part of what Robert Monroe (Monroe Institute) referred to in his “harvesting of loosh” concept, laid out in a Nexus Magazine article here.
That end point process aside, it seems a tragic waste that billions die with nothing but a useless stone marker. As a culture, we make virtually no general effort to find what billions might have learned. Surely, there must be some great insights, right? The sheer numbers speak tdo that.
There is no organized effort at harvesting everyone’s ;learning points and experience highlights before they die. How many young people of today will predictably repeat the same damn errors of past peoples?
It is within our grasp to change that. Budget? A few thousand per year. A website with big storage, minimal staff, curriculum development for schools and interfacing with nursing homes, hospices, retirement communities. Places people check-in before they, well, check out.
We don’t collectively have time for such a mind-expanding approach. Instead, we engage in the phony Likes and what not. Little deep and life changing information. Highly supefficial shoot-the-shit that doesn’t matter after a minute.
A person’s whole life story is another deal. It was lived – all 70-years of it typically…years when schools were attended, quirks of people observed, seasons, trades, skills…all that and more.
Thing is EVERYONE has a massive storehouse of learning and BEING that could be shared. Even capturing one percent of the of meaningful stories about life would transform the world. A few pages of Elaine’s book made that abundantly clear. I had no idea.
2. Social Media has turned us into an “Output” culture. We could be an “Input” culture.
This has terrible implications, especially when we look at patterned behavior of humans. We simply don’t listen enough. Spew and screw…pretty well sums up the world. Not much of a place for pursuit of a higher humanity, is it?
Could we change it?
Ideas and a database…that’s about it.
I’m haunted for nearly 40-years by what Louis L’ Amour told me over a beer, or two, at the Westin in Seattle. He explained in the interview that you don’t actually learn a period of history by reading the history books. You actualize the learning by walking the wagon ruts, getting out and talking to the old timers and asking them to recount an adventure of the about what it was like “back in the day.”
With the “wagon tracks gone” there’s nowhere for great adventures like L’ Amour’s Sackett series to spring from. A few fanciful writers will read a history book, maybe scan some newspaper clippings from the time. Almost none will be able to find the old family letters.
Family letters have failed. They have been replaced with a phone call, a note on the back of a photograph. Yes, even the photos are drying up and blowing away – just as the wagon ruts did. The evidence – good or bad – of our passing is becoming even more disposable less fertilizing of the next generation to come.
We lie to ourselves as a culture about “Output” all day long on social media. Fact is, the real core lessons of life – and the values that meant something worth living and dying for – are quicly in nursing homes across America every day. In hospices. In senior house and homes. No one is listening…They are so…OLD… after all.
A tragedy of lost opportunity counted in the billions, already. Yet, invisible to all but the few who do serious dream-work and visit The Realms where an occasional touch can happen.
That journey isn’t widely possible. Most folks, when you tell them you live two lives, will write you off as a nut. Yet, the shaman way, the ka huna way, the mystic’s way…it will outlive our tech.
There is a deep inner knowing that such reals are real. It calls to our souls. It’s the legend of Shangri-La, the lost halls in Tibet of the Akashic Records. Too far removed, it seems…well…unreal.
The deepening path requires time, quiet, love, sharing, reflection, and communion with your many selves and Nature itself. Who has time? Soccer at 3 PM and don’t be late! “Call the folks this weekend if you remember!”: “Uh…sure….:”
3. Technology provides effective tools to collect and access Life Stories from people in all nations, of all religions, creeds and colors. We – as a world – just don’t think it’s important.
Hence this morning’s column.
Should there be a place to “capture the best that human’s have found” – about themselves, about others, politics, law, justice, heath and nutrition, poetry, song, wind, rain, and God?
Gee….I don’t know.
(Of course I do! But why don’t we have such a place?)
Ever wonder what it would it be like to have lived the life of an average (but happy) plumber in the 1990’s, for example?
I mean super especially if you were looking at plumbing as a career choice, or you wanted to think like a plumber around your own house?
See, I’ve got the darn-fool idea in my head that holiness is something we can all do. Honoring those who have gone before us, learning from then, and using their teachings to live a more excellent life in the here-and-now.
Since Everything is a Business Model, one reason we don’t have a “life capture system” is that no one really has time for it. No interest. Except, of course, we do.
The idea has been skirted in major films. The best of the lot is probably the late Robin Williams’ The Final Cut. If you haven’t seen it, it’s the video version of what we’re talking about here.
Let’s Talk Mechanics and Structure
We use the high productivity tools (Skype, Dragon, and such) and readily available web resource to coordinate an all-volunteer group that would begin “collecting people’s lives.”
You may not be aware of the numbers on how many young people today are products of broken homes… As of 2014 (and they’ve probably gone higher since) it was reported that 55% of 15-17 year-olds are living in broken homes. Not to put too fine a point on it, but wouldn’t a collection of good humans – simply and directly telling their stories – be useful to the young?
Just a guess here, but if we’re going to change the future of this troubled cohort, the way to do so is not turning them lose on FB to become a digital lynch mob or new barricade anarchists. Instead, how about getting them “hooked up” with a useful social task. Learn about other people – their lives and what mattered to them. How they got somewhere with it. Hints they might offer..
My sense is, if it were required to “read a few lives” as part of educational curriculum, it would add tremendous context and values awareness for today’s young. What were previously unknow people’s life stories, would add important adult perspective.
So there you have it. Since and simple. We are wasting a Life every time someone dies.
Every time someone passes that we don’t capture in some searchable digital form, that person is condemned to hiding under a tombstone with little lasting legacy.
Sure, 2 percent will achieve fame and fortune – and some small percentage of that may write a book. But, so what? What about the real people – the people that served lunch, fixed plumbing, built homes, patched pot holes, picked up the garbage – yet still had a ready smile and a warm heart?
Do you have the first clue how those people were wired? (Hint’ They may not have a FB page.)
I see this as one of those ideas where everyone wins.
Young people get to look critically at another person’s life, lessons, ups, downs and hopefully gain for themselves a new personal benchmarking reference. How would Joe the Plumber have fixed this? Frank the Carpenter4? Billy the welder? Jimmy the Truck Driver…
The older people – especially those with no offspring – could thus pass on to following generations some of what they’ve learned. My sense is you can’t live 25,550 days (70 years) and not learn a few unique things. Where’s the effort to capture it?
We have taken the “conventional approach” to knowledge collection far too long. Part of the Information Revolution is the democratization of information. We’ve seen what Top Down knowledge preservation has done: It’s led to a class of global billionaires who profit on the other 99 percent. Bullshit. We need to change that.
The people we idolize don’t have the keenest minds, the purest hearts, the most sacred of exchanges. Rather, they tend to rob ideas, stress ego-satisfaction, screw whoever they can and take as much money from others as they can. That’s who leads us. Look at the media. Look at Hollywood. Look at politicians.
No, we need to be learning from the middle. The middle when it has time to be reflective and thoughtful. Nursing and rest homes have something new to do besides sitting around and preparing to die. They can become future incubators – and incredibly useful as they evolve and perfect knowledge to pass on so that others don’t take so long to fail and restart life on the right track.
There would be some work in structuring the stories – got to be searchable, of course. That means demographic and personal details but not necessarily use of a last name. No, it wouldn’t be a place to scream about someone who wronged you in 7th grade. But it would be the place to remember standing outside Asa Mercer Junior High when Kennedy was shot. I remember it was a cold and cloudy day, flag waving in the wind. And a younger me wondering “Why?”
Maybe, a portion of each life story about be those “Why?” questions. We’ve got a ton of work to do there as a planet.
Anyway, I thought it was just a damn fine idea….as good as any I’ve ever had, I think. Well, except that crazy software over radio idea back in 1982…
Maybe something like www.seventeachingbillion.org or simply 7tb.org.
Post comments – let me know what you think of it…and if you want to volunteer? Sure, that’d be great, too… Curriculum, story formats and indexing ideas all welcome.
If we’re going to grow up as humans we need to hit the books. But not the books that got us into the world of shit we’re in, locked in resource depletion and where that leads. We need to hit the books from the middle. And they’re out there just waiting to be transcribed.
Are you in?
Write when you get rich and before you get dead,