I have been interested in something for a long time that sort of has a name – the regenerative turn.
The regenerative turn is a way to look at society from the POV of a cyclical process of regeneration rather the accelerationist or linearity or exploitation of capitalism.
What is involved in the regenerative turn? Let me take a stab at it…
At its heart it is about a sustainable structure of society. What is the value here… sustainability… but at a high level of flourishing for all participants people, animals, nature, all parts of the structure.
What is sustainability? Is it equilibrium… I dont think so, I think the structure of society can change, the goal is not to break the structure. I imagine a network with nodes, and the nodes shift and connections shift but the structure does not remain broken. Maybe the structure needs to break in order to restructure, but it does not remain broken – or how can you break a structure but maintain the the network as a whole.
In any case what are the elements of a regenerative society, how is this different from societies that have come before, from a capitalist or a socialist or a feudalist, is this new or is this the same as something before. If this is part of a historical process it cannot be the same a something that came before but it can be an echo.
Ok lets map out the elements of a regenerative society
Immediately this is hard for me and I think in terms of our own society, laws and markets and exchange.
But let me instead talk about the things we do
communicate, eat, learn, love, play, sleep
What are the building blocks of life – probably those things above… and then we have other things that support theses things like work, like farming, like soccer, like dancing, like birdwatching, like reading, like talking
What are regenerative ways to communicate, eat, learn, love, play, sleep – I also want something somatic like body exercise – I feel maybe I should look at Maslow’s hierarchy but lets keep it simple for now
What are the structures that encourage these activities in a regenerative way or what are those things that facilitate this in a regenerative way
eating – we have things like permaculture, local food, etc.
love – we have things perhaps like polyamory or communal living or when I think of love I think of creating things and art, and a regenerative art would be an art where there is regeneration between the audience and the performer / the artist .. there is a flow between these two and this movement creates a bond
Play – what is play and what is learning? learning is purposeful play is spontaneous what is regenerative learning what is regenerative play ?
There are certain things that need to be in place on an individual level in order to live a regenerative life. In order to live a capitalist life certain things had to happen, the abolition of family structures, ties to land, access to a commons. Now it seems natural that everyone lives in a capitalist way – exploiting one another.
What needs to happen for a regenerative society. A certain focus on the self, on getting the self in order, on the value of listening, on the value of flow, of qualitative exchange.
I was going to write a post last night on Landauer and Spirit – reading. There was a conversation a group I participate in and many people discussed witnessness. There is an idea that most people only listen to 10% of what is said. That “successful” people listen to 15% (a 50% increase). Landauer does not have a lot of content but he has a lot of spirit. Nietzsche also also has a lot spirit but a lot of content, or we could call that MEANING. What is that? What is in the organization of worlds (words) that transmits meaning or spirit or both or neither? What is that magic? Landauer talks about the construction of spaces for community, the activities that people do in communities… The communal nature of man that people co-create one another by being transpersonal (I am thinking of simondon right now). What it is to be a hermit – with whom does the hermit or the monk co-create herself, with nature, with her spirit, with her imagination, with her inner life, this is the ultimate dialectic. But how do we cocreate in a world where everything is mediated by quantification – my signal to noise ratios and risk reward and pnl.. we lose spirit – we lose regeneration.
It’s hard to write these past fews days. There is so much happening in the world, pain, death, struggle. I just found out a cousin died this morning, I wonder why am I even writing this. I pull up the blank page and think, what a luxury and what a self indulgent. And perhaps (probably and most definitely) there is no meaning (whatever that means) to this, and this is just the wheels of my mind spinning, spitting, throwing up, the epiphenomenon. But perhaps there is also a better way to live.