To Unesco, futures literacy is an essential competency for a post-COVID 21st century. One that makes us able of reimagining futures. To deal with events and the unexpected in a more empathic, inclusive, and diverse way. Positively prepared to face the impacts of uncertainties in our lives... But I don't need a collection of news here for us to agree we are tired. Very, very tired. How do we think about the future if we are so exhausted from the present?
Futurism has a cultural blindspot. We can predict smartphones, but not women in the workplace. That avoids the collective work we all need to do in face of a climate emergency. Meanwhile, the tools and systems created to help us think about the future were used to perpetuate the status quo. Futurism became techno-capitalism. The currency of our time is no longer a currency but time itself.
Traveling back, it started in the 15th century with the desynchronization between the social construct of time and the natural rhythms. As said by English sociologist Mumford Lewis “It was the clock and not the steam engine the defining machine of the modern industrial age". But if the clock was the main metaphor for the last centuries until now, today it is out of sync. What if the sun was your clock? What if the moon was your calendar? Through a decolonial approach to time and temporality, we question the world that is in order to make room for what the world is becoming.
Going back in time is not the simple answer to the current crisis. What other relationships with time, other temporalities, can we co-create and experiment from here?
I have a quick practice for you. Think of a word that best represents our time. You can write it down. Kinda dystopic, I imagine... Alright. Shake your arms and legs, and change your body posture. Breath. Let's do it again: think of a word for how would be the time that represents our best? Yes, we need a small shift, but we still can create images of desirable futures, right? I'm also curious to know both of your words and how far from each other you got.
Time is the measure of change, said Aristotle, the Greek philosopher. I say Time has the tones that drive change. I said already that the universe dances a cosmic dance, we just need to relearn to hear the music. So the tones are vibrations. Cosmic frequencies. They are modals to indicate mood or tense. And we have four major groups of them. The tones of expression (4), the tones of experimentation (4), the tones of integration (4), and the tone of transcendence (1). They are 13 total. Three groups of four plus one (3x4+1). Or simply twelve (12) around one (1).
Until now we were invited to experience together with the first major group, the first four, the tones of expression:
1. Magnetism (purpose, an essence that unifies and sets the why)
2. Polarity (challenge, the journey from what we are to what we can become )
3. Electricity (service, what activates the collective energy to do the work)
4. Autopoiesis (definition, self-existence, the form that our actions need to take)
They come with some questions for you to answer:
"What is my purpose?"
"What is my challenge? How to face my challenge?"
"What is my service? How to be in service?"
"What is the form my action takes? How to define my actions?"
Today I invite you to reflect on the fifth tone, opening the second major group, the tones of experimentation:
5. Potency (radiation, the overtone, what commands in order to potentialize)
And this tone brings a new question for you:
What is my potency? How to boost myself from the current status to my place of command?
I still will write about the next tones and their detailed explanations and powerful questions to you. Just to don't keep the big picture away from you at this point, I'll already list them here:
As you noticed, we work with powerful narratives here. So I'll bring to you the metaphor of The Red Snake. It carries with it the archetype of The Initiate. A serpent is what invites us to access the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, in the old testament. But to Hindu culture, the serpent is our spine that comes from our roots and spirals up through the chakras to the top of our heads, allowing us to feel in contact with higher dimensions. It is a vital part of. In our daily life, it is our life force, that also drives our instinct and actions for survival. If you put life in perspective, you don't need to think twice to agree: we are survivors in the cosmos.
I want to come back to the practice of words and images for how would be the time that represents our best. We live in a complex world, as you know. But even "complex"is not enough to explain it. From the 1980s, VUCA world was shaped by the cold war, and stands for: volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity. But recently it was suggested an acronym, from the 2020s, BANI, shaped by climate and global systemic change.to describe the current world with more accuracy: brittle, anxious, non-linear, incomprehensible
If something is brittle, it requires capacity and resilience. If we feel anxious, we need empathy and mindfulness. If something is non-linear, it calls for context and adaptivity. If something is incomprehensible it demands transparency and intuition – Stephan Grabmeier
What are the drivers and key concepts for 2022 and beyond to regain our potency? To boost ourselves as humans to be once again in sync with nature.? How can we create a narrative that really resonates and dialogues with the needs of our time?
I will answer with a short version of one of my temporal classes. It is also a keynote that I present in organizations. Part of my work as a temporality researcher is to help others, individuals and collectives, to navigate change and uncertainty. Email me if you feel interested to have a session with me to your team.
Time as a Driver of Existence
Through the lens of science, evolution suggests that the best grammar for thinking about the world is change, not permanence. As we experience time, we understand that the world is undergoing a process of transformation that never stops. These new questions we are now asking ourselves show us that it will take a new kind of skill to answer them, yes. New cultural codes, new behaviors, new collective agreements. It is like learning a new language that can help us see reality in new ways. Not limited only to the create images of the future. We need to rethink time itself. To feel what our reality was, what it is being, and what it can be. An invitation to deep dive into our relationship with the diversity of temporalities of our planet.
The world is not a collection of things, but of events. The difference between things and events is that things persist in time, while events happen with a limited duration. So temporary. But there is nothing that is not time-related. There is not immersed in it. We navigate change, because everything is temporal.
Change of World’s Archetype
There are two worlds. One side holds a myth of separation and speed: fast, masculine, western, colonial, capitalist, consumerist, commoditized, dogmatic, hierarchical, corporatist, synthetic, and individual. There the institutions are the symbol of power, the status quo. But there is also another world, telling us a myth of connection: slow, feminine, decolonial, shared, careful, maker, activist, with care, spiritual, distributed, organic, and collective. There the people are the symbol of potency. Grateful to the great mother. The world of the separation, and the world of the connection. We are in the middle of both stories. As said by Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben, to be contemporary is to have a relationship with time that adheres to it through disjunction and anachronism.
The future will be the entanglement between prisms of these two narratives that are already happening right now. anachronism. It is the end of the single narrative. A reminder that there are many histories in our history.To our generation, it was promised that we were not in an age of subtle changes, but in the subtle change of an age. In the middle of the chaos, some of us can feel that it is already happening.
Long Term Thinking
In the last 52.000 years, 100 billion people lived and died. Now we are almost 7.7 billion people living and impacting the next steps of our planet. In the next 52.000 years to come, is expected to have 6.75 trillion as of the unborn generations. How is going to be the world they will receive from our hands? Roman Krznaric says in his book "The Good Ancestor" that we must consider them. For that, we need to learn and practice deep humility, legacy mindset, intergenerational justice, cathedral thinking, holistic forecasts, and share a transcendent purpose.
"Humankind has always had the innate ability to plan for posterity and take action that will resonate for decades, centuries, even millennia to come. If we want to be good ancestors and be remembered well by the generations who follow us, now is the time to recover and enrich this imaginative skill."
I'll have several classes about these drivers and their key concepts in different companies this week. Again, Email me if you feel interested to have a session with me to your team. These are some other themes. I approach in the classes:
. Planetary Boundaries and Doughnut Economics
. Positive Regenerative Design
. SDG, ESG & Awesome Goals
. Decoloniality and Indigenous Wisdom
. Interbeing & Great Reconnection
. Buen Vivir (Living Well) Approach
. Solarpunk Ethics/Aesthetics
. Learned Optimism
. Protopia Futures Framework
I still go to write about all of them and more other similar topics to you, traveler. With your feedback, we will find tune about how to keep these temporal letters sharing about how to experiment with other temporalities while also sharing relevant information about our time without writing a bible every day. (I'm taking some first hours of my morning to write this 10-minute piece to you).
"If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter. (Je n’ai fait celle-ci plus longue que parce que je n’ai pas eu le loisir de la faire plus courte.)" – Blaise Pascal, French mathematician and philosopher,
in a collection called “Lettres Provinciales”, 1657
Again, breathe. Remember the breathing technique I shared with you some days ago. Close your eyes. Inhale for 4 seconds. Hold for 4 seconds. Exhale for 4 seconds. Hold for more 4 seconds – Repeat just 4 times as a reset. What is emerging from our exchange? Write in your journal as well and, if you feel like it, share with me. If you are enjoying our time together and feeling meaningful, consider supporting by subscribing with a monthly or yearly contribution. Thanks in advance, traveler <3
See you tomorrow.
Gustavo Nogueira de Menezes
NS188.8.131.52, Mon 23 May 2022
Kin 5 Red Overtone Serpent