Grow And Diffuse

I had a dream – it was Post Apocalypse. Few of us were left. People were talking about preventing starvation by gathering supplies from what was left. I told them that gathering remnant supplies was insufficient, soon we will run out of supplies to gather. We need to think about replenishing supplies. We need to plan to grow sufficient crops to feed our people, repicably, year after year.

But then it became clear that no one in our group knows how to grow food. I tell them life is resilient. I tell them we need to find seeds and plant them. I tell them we need to find food already growing in the earth. Finally everyone is on board, and the group disperses.

Then I was walking the perimeter of our camp, and I found explosive charges in the ground. Some were inert, already detonated, but some were still live charges. Very dangerous, these could kill people. I set about attempting to safely detonate the charges, one by one. It occurred to me that while human beings exist, there will always be someone making bombs, planting charges, that could explode in dangerous moments. Growing food is not enough. There also needs to be a cultural process for defusing charges before people get violent or get killed. Both are necessary in order to sustain a healthy population.

(Charges does not only refer to physical explosive devices. The word “charge” is also used to describe emotional states, as in, “It’s an emotionally charged subject.” The dream clearly points to addressing the aspect of human nature that innocently (and sometimes not so innocently) generates charges against other, charged subjects and charged situations.

At the end of the dream, someone else joined me. I was asked why I was doing this, if most vital thing to do now is to grow food. I replied, “what is the value of sustaining our population if we wind up getting our legs blown off by live charges anyway?” I explained that this function (diffusing the charges) is also necessary if we don’t want to blow ourselves up just walking around in our day-to-day life. I said that if there is no process among our individuals to diffuse charges, soon there are no safe places to walk without getting blown up.

I then taught the other how to safely diffuse the charges with me, and the two of us set about to our work.

Incidentally, I believe the best practice here is culturally practiced needs-conscious empathy for self, needs-consciousness empathy for other, and mediation based in needs consciousness and restorative justice.

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