Steps Toward a grassroots Life Culture Renaissance
After slightly more than 7 years (an astrological cycle?), major redirection of activity is taking place. Everything is being consolidated under one website roof, a transition from two blogs and an archive of podcasts to development of a fully consolidated resource center.
We’re irrevocably faced with the major crisis of our evolutionary history — the Anthropocene or ‘man made’ crisis. Almost daily news accounts attest to that crisis growing exponentially in severity — due to callous disregard for the well being of the environmental Life of our planet, and the well being of the living inhabitants of Spaceship Earth. Unprecedented greed for power and wealth drive the majority of world leaders in creating policies empowering still further blind greed at the expense of perpetuity of planetary life.
TranEvolutionary Fitness is non-political in orientation. Perhaps a-political. Largely since politicians have taught us well to not to squander valuable resources by extending unwarranted faith and trust. In the spirit of Francois Rabelais, Mark Twain and H.L. Menchen, we uphold the dignity and educability of humans. Our mission contributes to a grassroots Life Culture Renaissance. Not a revolution, not a rebellion but instead a true re-awakening renaissance.
The Latin Renaissance precipitated in 1460 in Florence, due to the vision of Cosimo de Medicci having purchased ancient texts long believed lost due to the active censorship of the Catholic Inquisition. Independent free think was more than heretical to the Dark Ages those of religious blindness were comforted by as The Age of Faith. Modern mass education imposes a similar taboo against free thinking; worse still, modern ‘medical science’ imposes harsh taboos against gaining liberative freedom of your innermost self. So profound is that injunction most people remain steadfastly unaware of the suppressed depths of their ‘self’.
TransEvolutionary Fitness takes inspiration from the European tradition of gymnasia, those private academies entrusted to prepare the spirits, minds, and bodily fitnesses (plural) of youth for successful university careers. And more recently in Stewart Brand’s Whole Earth Catalog as a popular vehicle empowering a thriving grassroots counterculture with ideas and tools.
TransEvolutionary Fitness is far more than a politics free zone: it’s also a theory, ideology, dogma, and religion free zone — anything Faith based including religion and Scientism.
We offer an orientating principle of The Natural Way (Jinen Do). For those needing a binding set of rules and practices, we also call it The Easy Natural Way (Igyo Jinen Do, 易行自然道) — where ‘easy practice’ is not driven by a desperate neurotic work ethic obsession, but is instead an art, a courting of our dormant human potential.
Jinen Do reflects significant portions of my formative education (MA, Shinshu gaku), work with NLP in the late 1970s, gnostic and hermetic arts from the 1980s, and a lifetime of being a gym rat. Adolescent science education refined by the Physical Culturist old timers of the San Jose CA YMCA have all emphasized William James’ pragmatic orientation to Radical Empiricism. Applied to the challenges of personal and planetary health and wellness, developing highly empowered and competent skills in naturalistic steward skills becomes a new challenge.
Taking matters a next step in empowerment our driving archetypal image of the way to becoming our shared dormant human potential is by means of Bodhi Building or Wisdom Building.
Taking an aside, you’ve already been exposed to strange words and phrases and foreign terms as well. More are coming. Not in arrogance. By necessity.
We’re stuck. Forty and more years ago Oliver Markley and Willis Harmon published their groundbreaking The Changing Images of Man. They noted how the major leaders of the world had contributed to creating the impasse were stuck within, while none of their visions could move us forward: the culture creating our problems is incapable of solving them. The book ends with a guide to an emerging new paradigm, one including a facilitating notion of folks making that transition. It didn’t work.
Major portions of my education were in ancient classical languages from cultures without the religious taboos of free thinking and liberating the dormant human potential. Those cultures retain a far bigger, fuller spectrum understanding of human nature. As their best kept secrets.
Best kept secrets
Since we receive next to nothing by way of cultural education in our schooling to induce conformity, we have no genuine notion of what’s shaped our culture and our ways of understanding life. We take it for granted that Western civilization is superior to the rest of the world because our roots are Western and we’re ignorant of anything else.
From the early fifth century Western Europe entered its Dark Ages. The Latin Renaissance of 1460 did not bear lasting relief, spawning unprecedented religious warfare in the misnamed Northern Renaissance that followed. From the time of Descartes (early 17th century) the Church permitted unopposed development of sciences confined to the study of things external to the human mind, things readily observable. Long standing Church dogma concerning much of the nature of reality persisted. As science finally emerged with new independence in the later 19th century, developing a metaphysic that all phenomena can be reduced to physical causes, it nonetheless strictly abided by religious dogma concerning realms of experience. Much of 20th century hard science kept those enduring prejudices alive. Except for the social sciences which began noting anomalous realms of experience outside of Western culture. Today we know those realms of experience are valid and the shortcoming of our science lies not in having no explanation for them but far more seriously lacking in the scientific, intellectual, and ethical strength of leadership to recognize its seriously inept nature.
All of which brings us to two exciting developments for The Natural Way.
First, a far wider range of natural human experience will be honored and investigated in relation to a fuller growing into our Wisdom Body. That includes near death experiences, spontaneous remission from terminal illnesses, out of body experience, the wide range of meta-normal skills and experiences often spontaneously experienced in fine and performing arts, sports and sex.
Second, I’m drawing on the archetypal image of 佛道 or butsu do — the do/dao of waking up. And in doing so am largely throwing out two centuries of Orientalist misconceptions, misunderstandings so bad that they largely forged a religion they named Buddhism. The idea of an -ism, a dogmatic code, is foreign to so-called Buddhism, Hinduism, Shintoism, and Daoism. What we have by those words are the works of Western theologians, philosophers, attorneys, and missionaries completely unprepared for dealing with non-Western culture. Especially since one effect of Dark Ages Inquisitional rule of the West was prevention of any sort of psychological understanding developing. Butsudo is a sophisticated understanding of growing into your dormant potentials. One which has a sort of Human Potential Super Human: bosatsu do (菩薩道), the do/dao of the awakening person. Bosatsu is the Japanese pronunciation of bodhisattva, the bodhi builder phenotype of our secret, hidden entirely natural nature.
As the website grows contributing to catalyzing a grassroots Life Culture Renaissance, those words and ideas will take on the reality of referring to our fuller selves.
Copyright September 2018, Ken O’Neill. Any reprinting in any type of media, including electronic and foreign is expressly prohibited.