Placing planet earth at the heart of a business.
My experiences in nature directly impacts how I run my business. My relationship and treatment of planet earth is no different to that I have with my oak saplings.
Summer, I camp a lot. I often evict wildlife from my tent, this morning it was a grasshopper. Sharing life intimately with wild creatures gives you a different outlook on life compared to most people.
In the garden I note my oak saplings are growing fast, needing larger pots. I have cared for these oak saplings from acorns, of the original thirteen acorns, eight survived to grow into oak saplings. Caring for wild things changes your viewpoint.
I watched a video over the weekend about the relationship of the neolithic builders of Stonehenge and the River Avon, how they held the river as sacred, a source of all the animals which they hunted that came to the river to drink. The reverence for water, the landscape, the animals of the Stonehenge builders is the same as that of the cave painters of Chauvet twenty-thousand years earlier who painted a stampede of animals coming out of a vulva-like water source in their cave.
I discover my values and personal insights from how I react to what I see and experience in the world around me. I reacted in anger at the greed and vanity of money investors in business ideas in the US reality television series Shark Tank on YouTube. I reacted in dismay at the wasteful stupidity portrayed in a video on consumerism: people queuing for a week to get hold of the latest iPhone, whose only enhancement from the last was its colour; IKEA marketing telling consumers to throw out perfectly good possessions; Apple designing a new type of screw on its smartphones in order to prevent people repairing damaged phones, thus encouraging waste; the extensive scams brands go to called obsolescence to make objects the consumer buys break quickly increasing waste and needless replacement. The contempt the modern economic paradigm has to this planet is at odds with our human ancestors, and at odds with my worldview.
I am part of a new business paradigm, where I can compete against rivals on equal terms with innovation and clever strategies, but where I care for the planet earth in the same manner as I cared for the grasshopper this morning and my oak saplings. In thinking on these matters in the garden this morning, my garden fox Amber appeared, yawned, then went to sleep in the sun.
Ignorance and working against nature has harmful consequences.
Cows are dangerous. Every year in the UK a walker dies because of their ignorance and lack of respect of cows.
My ability connecting with nature is the result of seeing nature for what it is, and acting in harmony with nature. The story of polar bears reinforces my point.
A student from my town of Colchester travelled with others to Svalbard Island in Norway known for its population of polar bears. First ideal is knowing that polar bears are dangerous you keep away from their territories unless it is a matter of vital importance; these students went for the fun of it. Second ideal is knowing the danger and being prepared for it; these students had no night watch, their trip alarm set in a triangle rather than a rectangle, their gun needed a paperclip to work. A student died in a polar bear attack, and injured four other members of the expedition. The polar bear died of its injuries. Had people respected nature a polar bear and humans would have avoided death and injury.
The video below is about polar bears and huskies working in beautiful harmony. The owner of the huskies respects the polar bears inherent wildness and works with nature, using fire crackers to educate the polar bears to keep their distance from him at all times.
The joy of knowing nature and self are one.
The butterfly and I enjoyed a common connection in the sun on a fallen tree – we became one.
Sitting upon a fallen dead tree, one that could have but did not kill me when it fell in the storms last year, an orange butterfly flew and settled next to me. Here we were, butterfly and I, enjoying the warm sun sitting on the same tree trunk like two people on a park bench. The butterfly would after a time fly away returning later to sit next to me. In this moment I shared something in common with this butterfly, different species, but living on and coming from the same planet earth.
Another day it is raining, I huddle under the garden conifers eating raspberries, watching the clouds empty their water upon a thirsty garden, my cat Pebbles sitting at my feet. Out of the fallen branches two little mice played, oblivious to me and the cat, which did not seem to notice them.
For many people there are degrees of separation from nature, us and them. For some like me, Ubuntu, I am because we are. There is only connection, the animals and I are one.
Camping in the rain, a knocking at the tent door. I looked out of the tent, I looked into the eyes of a frog, which then vanished into the rainy darkness.
Your personal space is worthy of defending from invasion.
My garden fox sums up my disbelief at both the Brazilian massacre by Germany but also the enthusiasm of people to sacrifice their personal space so willingly. I respect the personal space of my fox and I attempt not to disturb her when she visits my garden.
Modern society is a highly intrusive culture, where too many people I know admit to using internet sites such as Facebook in order to poke their noses into the lives of their friends, family and associates. On the one hand people have a narcissistic delight of drawing attention to their own person, whilst many others seem to live through the lives of others.
The recent semi-final of Brazil and Germany at the World Cup drew world attention to a grief-stricken boy who witnessed the humiliating destruction of his team by Germany. The father of the boy reacted:
He also raised concerns about the intense media coverage his son was getting, saying that the boy’s weeping “belongs to himself only” – not to the world’s media. “What remains is a reflection on how a child’s sincere crying represents us all in an age of excess information, instantaneous emotions and artificial feelings.”
I define personal space as: body; personal information; home; mind; life; worldview; prosperity (health, happiness, abundance); dreams. The personal space being sacred is worthy of defending against anyone and anything that seeks to invade it.
The modern world has evolved into a monster that has no respect for personal space, which it invades and then seeks to violate for its own benefit at the expense of the individual. It is however the responsibility for the individuals to guard their personal space rather than the rulers, sadly most people no longer value their personal spaces nor that of others. I have strong personal boundaries to defend my personal space, and I also respect the spaces of others. I wish that more people would see how sacred personal space is.
Blogs that deny comment, deny themselves wisdom.
The brave gain wisdom by eating apples, the cowards remain ignorant.
I visited dozens of WordPress blogs under the philosophy category, some apparently are ignorant about what philosophy means – “love of wisdom”. How does one gain wisdom? You know the apple by eating the apple, the wisdom comes from sensory experiential activity.
Some of the would-be philosophers chose to disable comments on their blogs. How does an individual gain wisdom after expressing their ideas on a blog unless they are brave and allow the opportunity for feedback? How can I know that ideas I share with the world are worthwhile unless I test them against the perceptions of others? If a reader comments on a blog post it offers to me self-reflection upon the ideas I shared, it is like eating an apple, for I am experiencing a reaction which results in wisdom.
Is it better to allow a child to run about in nature, fall over, experience cuts, bruises and stings through their activities of play, or lock them in the house all day, restricted to safe boring activities? Will the safe child be a happy wise child? Those bloggers terrified that their ideas might be commented on, or dare I say challenged, will gain no wisdom. I never read those blogs.
Navigate towards goals by position and expect surprises.
The road to your goals will hide unexpected surprises that hinder and support you. Placing yourself in a position to handle the surprises will make life easier in achieving your goals.
Whilst I may have no desire to climb mountains or throw myself out of aircraft, small and insignificant changes in how I live my life result in mind-blowing adventures and outcomes. Two insignificant things I do is I like to pick up unusual sticks or stones on the ground, and I like to read or think about philosophy in public or nature areas in Colchester. Doing both these things this week, a stick in one hand, thinking about Heraclitus whilst enjoying the sun on a bench facing the ancient Roman walls, someone rang the police to report a man with a knife. Fifteen minutes later I am in a surreal situation wasting half-an-hour talking to a police officer, my harmless stick on a wall, drinking a carton of milk having been stopped on my way home.
Experience has taught me how pointless it is to impose control on my life and plans. Perfect and hard-worked plans to prevent or achieve outcomes fail because events happen that are often billions-to-one odds of happening. As I sit in dismay and confusion of the wreckage of beautiful ruined plans I feel an evil gremlin has deliberately set out on a sadistic mission to make my life difficult. One face of nature is random, and another face is self-ordering so that all outcomes appear in a paradox of synchronicity out of random and seemingly related events.
Having goals is good, but a controlled plan to those goals is going to disappoint you. Better to have a flexible plan, and the attitude of a navigator on rough seas in working towards your goals. Better to think in terms of position rather than roads in working towards goals, since if you are in a good position in relation to your goals you can seize unexpected friendly opportunities that assist you reaching your goals, and navigate around the surprise hostile opportunities that appear to undermine you in your efforts to reach goals. Nothing is deterministic, but some weird order emerges in the random events that manifest as you work towards your goals.
72. Fire in its progress will catch all things by surprise and judge them. Heraclitus.
Nature is at each moment in a state of becoming.
Amber our garden fox suddenly materialised from hiding behind my back today and went to sleep near my oak saplings. There is one acorn that has yet to show shoots, and I hope one morning to discover the last oak sapling to emerge into becoming.
In the modern context the word nature often describes end states, the delusion that the river we might see in front of us is a permanent end state. In ancient Greek philosophy nature is in a state of coming into and going out of existence, a state of becoming, which changes one moment to the next. In the Ice Age a river ran near my house full of fish, today it is a road full of cars, the river is long gone. Evolution reflects this sense of becoming, the T-Rex dinosaurs may have chased our ancestors for lunch yesterday, but today it is often the human chasing the animal the T-Rex changed into, the chicken.
If you orientated yourself into living in a world of becoming rather than fixed states, you will live in reality rather than delusion. This new perception helps you to let go of attachments, because everything around you is temporary and changing.
Heraclitus in his cryptic observation of nature said:
17. Nature loves to hide itself.
I sat in a wood yesterday working out what Heraclitus meant, and a baby bunny rabbit appeared from the bushes, watched me a few minutes, then vanished. As nature is in a state of becoming, in any one moment the old reality is fading away, and a new reality is coming into view. In any one moment we live in a ghostly world of things fading out and coming into existence, though our brains process the moment as one end state. Reality is nature in a state of hiding, the fading away and coming into existence is like the rabbit half-hidden in the bushes. It is because of this ghostly state we exist in that we gain a sense of time, or things in motion, and it may be so that Zeno was right when he says motion as we see it may be a delusion, as he demonstrated by his paradoxes such as the Arrow.
“If everything when it occupies an equal space is at rest, and if that which is in locomotion is always occupying such a space at any moment, the flying arrow is therefore motionless.” Zeno of Elea.