One of my fortes is in spotting patterns and making connections between seemingly diverse things. One reason is wide ranging interests, another a mind that does that automatically, and the other is an interest in breaking down the walls between silos, these artificial boundaries. Why these deep seated patterns exist across diverse topics is an interesting question in itself. After all what could possibly connect the zeitgeist, a 4-5,000 year old Chinese divination text and Pink Floyd? And if one can connect these things what is going on?
First the zeitgeist. I heard an interesting talk by the doyenne of futurists/visionaries Barbara Marx Hubbard (b.1929).
In a great story, at the age of 23 – in times with a different perspective on where women fit into life – she had been invited to the White House (via an invitation of her father). She met President Eisenhower and famously asked him a question which is very much hanging out there today – “What is the meaning of our new power that is good?”. Eisenhower replied that he didn’t know and BMH set out to find out coming up with plenty of work and thoughts on the evolution of consciousness. She also came up with the Ur-Hippy concept that the White House should contain a Peace Room as well as a War Room – now there’s a thought.
Anyway in this this interview she was saying that it’s the role of a visionary to see what is breaking through that which is breaking down and hold that vision of something which is not yet the dominant thought form so that people can see something worthwhile that is worth going to. Again in terms of war rooms but no peace rooms, equally our culture has bad news on the hour and half hour – it’s not like it even has bad news on the hour and good news on the half hour. All of which is to say that you may not even be aware of the positivity and opportunity which is arising as all the media dumps gigabytes of “that which is breaking down” into your mind all the time. The subconscious is conditioned by all experience and so it’s hardly surprising that folks get a negative slant on the world 🙁
The pendulum always goes too far in one direction (as we can see in most everything right now from society through politics to culture). The I-Ching hexagram 24: in the classic commentary by Wilhelm (1873-1930) is:
After a time of decay comes the turning point. The powerful light that has been banished returns. There is movement, but it is not brought about by force. The upper trigram K’un is characterized by devotion; thus the movement is natural, arising spontaneously. For this reason the transformation of the old becomes easy. The old is discarded and the new is introduced. Both measures accord with the time; therefore no harm results. Societies of people sharing the same views are formed. But since these groups come together in full public knowledge and are in harmony with the time, all selfish separatist tendencies are excluded, and no mistake is made. The idea of Return is based on the course of nature. The movement is cyclic, and the course completes itself. Therefore it is not necessary to hasten anything artificially. Everything comes of itself at the appointed time.
So – and space does not permit but the evidence is there for those who step outside of the mainstream corporate media and their agendas – times they are a changin’. Many societies of folks are arising and reverting to nurturing those elements of the human spirit or psyche which are under-nourished. Connecting this to Internet Marketing Seth Godin is perhaps the uber-guru of the domain.
If you don’t know him check out any of his stuff on youtube – the guy is a natural showman as well as clear thinker. He is the guru’s guru when it comes to the internet. One of his books is called Tribes (and plenty of youtubed talks on that). I’ll interpose the I Ching and Godin’s analysis of marketing:
“After a time of decay comes the turning point.” – the old “interruption marketing” is highly ineffective – banner-clicks are de minimis;
“The powerful light that has been banished returns.” – people are interested in what they are interested in and don’t want to be interrupted with you selling your stuff – “permission marketing”;
“There is movement, but it is not brought about by force. The upper trigram K’un is characterized by devotion; thus the movement is natural, arising spontaneously. For this reason the transformation of the old becomes easy. The old is discarded and the new is introduced. Both measures accord with the time; therefore no harm results.” – classic internet dynamics;
“Societies of people sharing the same views are formed. But since these groups come together in full public knowledge and are in harmony with the time, all selfish separatist tendencies are excluded, and no mistake is made.” – this is Godin’s whole Tribes premise! This is about marketing based on sharing something valuable, from the heart, with a passion to those who are interested in it. At a point of time this reaches a tipping point and the message spreads. And then – unlike the classic model where one starts with a product and then tries to find customers, in this model one finds followers who end up wanting to be customers and then the issue is to find a product for them (in the jargon monetising).
As to the fascinating question of why the dynamics of processes laid out 4-5,000yrs ago in a land far far away from the www age? Well that’s a good question. What do you think?
The I Ching has its own understanding:
“The idea of Return is based on the course of nature. The movement is cyclic, and the course completes itself.”
And adds by way of a chill-out theme (always useful in times of crisis):
“Therefore it is not necessary to hasten anything artificially. Everything comes of itself at the appointed time.”
And Pink Floyd? Well I only realised this today (as I never knew the name of the song), on their debut album ‘Piper at the Gates of Dawn’ there is a song called Chapter 24 whose lyrics are the next bit of the Wilhelm commentary I published above.
Actually I don’t think it’s a great song … Syd was a little too self-indulgent on that one 🙂