Pitch .. 2017
Seems to me that we make our lives way more difficult and anxious than they need be - or are meant to be
I would like to assist in our finding the re-sources that might offer ‘better’ social systems (of education, governance, business, media, arts, law) - where ‘better’ equates with fulfilling, contentment, happiness, caring, responsibility and joyful living .. these qualities becoming able to be acknowledged as being at least as important as the relatively simple 'economic' and material considerations made when (supposedly?) dealing with the well-being of people and country
I definitely cannot claim to hold (anything like) the capability to be able to achieve this !
But, hopefully, in having developed some small degree of clarity - thru’ long experience within australian arts, busyness, social, indigenous and Buddhist philosophy/practice .. yes, I would like to assist the developing of just such a process
As illustration (of why we could well benefit from such re-imagining), may I offer images of two australian governance systems - one of our current federal parliament business and the other of the ‘old gondwana’ Indigenous meeting held at Uluru earlier this year ?
The first shows the trappings of self-conscious men, delivering arbitrary statements to microphones and cameras, isolated in manufactured environments of concrete and flags, noisy but emptied of life, remote
the Uluru conference shows ceremonial dances, open space, trees, blue sky, red earth, old men sitting in wheelchairs .. peoples engaged, listening, attentive, sharing .. the conference resolving to offer to all peoples a ‘welcome to come share with us’
So a question: do we, in the first view, even know what this ‘share’ means ?
There is, in fact, a ceremonial process of ‘coming to share’ that has existed in traditional culture here for 1000s of years ..
‘When indigenous and non-indigenous people sit down and talk to each other in an agreed place, and with a spirit of mutual respect and negotiation, the knowledge they produce is new, fresh and true.
This knowledge is different from what either of the two (or more) contributing parties began with.’
A multiplicity of individual contributions would be invited; a new knowledge will lie beyond that of any one contributor; it need be ‘shared’ before it can exist’
(M Christie SAIKS, CDU)
We do not generally do this in mainstream life - or its governments !
We tend to impose ‘answers’ onto ‘problems’, but what are problems - other than things/situations we do not recognise as having been caused, at least in part, by our own (previous) actions ?
Can we learn from our age-old traditional social mediation wisdom experience ?
Can we develop broader ‘relationship’ (interdependent) views of people and country ?
Are we able to seek wisdom - from wisdom sources - on ethics, altruism, intuition, inspiration, love-kindness, joy .. the non-physical qualities that make us human .. but are ignored simply because they are not ‘static’ objects that may be simply measured and so quantified
See as illustration, the ideas coming from the office of HH Dalai Lama
So .. to combine head and heart, theory and practice .. open-hearted and open-minded .. a process of bringing informed perspectives into situations of genuine ‘sharing’
It would help if this process is ‘visible’; is seen to be acting with ‘official’ sanction or imprimatur, actively and altruistically - for the benefit of all peoples and country .. is our australian governance system able to undertake such a process ?
Can we begin ‘looking in’ to our ‘official’ selves to find (reveal) what ‘open-heart’ and ‘open-mind’ might look like ?
There are more examples of a 'both ways' construct - a combining 'old proven' wisdom with appropriate 'business' technology - appearing around the country
A recent outstanding example of just what is possible is to be found in the ‘Malpa’ project ..
(ABC RN, Ockham’s razor, Sunday 10 sept, this year)
A central australian (‘unfunded’) community health scheme is combining ‘old’ healer-wisdom with appropriate new technology .. but all based on listening, logic and learning/living thru’ sharing
With an unforeseen bonus .. seems that the combining of respect, listening and developing new ‘both ways’ skills are not only efficacious in this project, but are also bringing about the re-discovery of meaning, joy, compassion in everyday community life
Pitch .. 2018
I would like to assist in developing greater awareness of the possible benefits that Indigenous ‘social’ processes might well bring into our ideas and institutions of governance ..
to assist our recognising both the existence of, and the efficacy of, this knowledge; to do so thru’ a process of explaining and presenting such ideas in ‘white-fella business language’ - and to (try) do so without diminishing the inherent ‘beauty’ of the knowledge
A ‘reference and media’ resource might offer a good starting place .. enabling easy access to informed and informing ideas, conveyed in story, image, discussion, tours, text
My interests and capabilities have been becoming co-incident for many years .. based on 74 year (white-fella) life experiences in music, businesses, arts, long time Yolngu community involvement, years Buddhist study and practice, writing and presentation, program development .. there is (some) clarity, calm and comprehension emerging
I am advocating that we engage with old culture - not from our (usual?) position (whatever that really is) but now consciously to listen, comprehend, consider and to share .. to imprimatur the process, make it accessible and visible
(In my opinion), we may well be ignoring an ‘offer’ (being constantly made by our old black- fellas, to be included in matters of country and governance) to our own detriment ..
Can we need begin accepting that just as ‘change’ is demonstrably ‘normal’, that it is also completely normal for us to change (our minds) ?
Can we come to accept that all our actions have results - for ‘better and for worse’ ?
If 230 year settler-life ‘business’ is failing its ‘promise’ to many people (supposedly?) of its own persuasion - let alone to aboriginal culture and the country itself, how might we best begin ‘changing the ethos’ so as to better include all here to live joyful and fulfilling life ?
What reason can we find to continue promoting conflict, greed and anxiety as being ’normal’ human life .. when even a cursory consideration shows them not to be so ?
If - and as - we apply ‘evidence based’ experience as being essential to to our ‘science, medical, research, tunnel digging, bomb making’ etc activities .. why cannot we apply the exact same criterion to our social and cultural constructs ?
There are fundamental differences in the world-views of Indigenous and settler Australians; ‘old view’ is relationship based .. ie all peoples, life, country, ancestor stars are interlinked (interdependent), nothing exists as an ‘itself’
‘settler view” is materialist, objectified and utilitarian, its languages are those of a subjective ‘I, me, my, myself’ separated from everything not ‘me my I’ .. as externalised objects
Is there a common ground ?
Should be .. we all get born, breathe, grow, eat, fart, think, sing, get sick, thrive, die .. and need earth, sun, water, air, community to so do ... with no inhabitable earth, there are no people anyway - let alone ‘rights’, egos, economix or business plans !
An answer could well lie in (what is appearing) as the ‘both ways’ construct .. the considered combining of a ‘best of’ both world views to situations so far proven unsolvable ... (‘best’ meaning the well-being of people, planet, life, nature)
Begin recognising that we need develop better (ie beneficial) social ‘languages’ - and also that we can so engage ...
‘white people can inherit 60000 years of culture, and all they have to do is reach out and ask for it’ (Charles Perkins)
Peter Mumme .. April 2018