DDATT gathering examines ‘Humanity’s Phase Shift’

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DEXTER — Over 20 area souls met in the basement meeting room of the Abbott Memorial Library in Dexter April 5 to discuss the thought-provoking ideas expressed by Daniel Schmactenberger, a futurist whose concern about the current human demands on the earth’s physical systems has driven him to question most aspects of the status quo.

For millennia, conflict has been accepted as the mainspring of human interaction, but as we mature as a race we are being urged to free ourselves from this inherited understanding and use of power to dominate. Relationships which are based on rivalry combined with our exponentially increasing technology will more than likely end in disaster. In the course of the video interview, Schmactenberger recommends to “stop trying to win at the dying game.”

After the video, the group literally circled up to more easily share ideas. Heart-felt perspectives emerged, centering around the emerging recognition of finite limits of our home planet, and how we have to consider different ways of behavior in order to stay within those bounds.

In regard to changes, Mike Nixon, from Garland, observed that evolution depends on having many variations of a system to choose from, “Most mutations don’t work, but some of them do. We do stuff because we need to adapt, so let’s try some and see what happens.”

Palmyra’s Pegg Gannon saw that rivalry keeps us from cooperating. “If we can’t converse, how do we scale it up? We need to get together and act in unity.”

Bruce Towl, from Dover Foxcroft, invoked Martin Buber’s famous “I am thou” idea, that we have to recognize that we are all equals trying to solve our problems. St Alban’s Alan Clemence noted that separateness is a Western European construct, not found in other indigenous cultures, which consider human beings as intrinsic to their surroundings instead of apart from them.

“We are a species of incredible contrast,” said Ron Harwood, sharing the example of how Ugandans welcomed refugees fleeing from neighboring Sudan as fellow humans by arranging for each a small piece of land and some simple shelter so that they could participate in their new society, instead of building a wall as we are doing here out of fear. The Harmony resident then quoted Ghandi, “There is no way to peace. Peace is the way.”

Lesley Fernow, also from Dover Foxcroft, spoke to this idea by offering, “If we understood that humanity is one, that’s the foundation” of a strategy to engage us in assuming responsibility for our collective destiny.

DDATT’s mission is to help our area increase our energy and food independence and create a more stable rural economy, sharing skills and ideas which can help us all take better care of each other and our natural resources.

For more information on DDATT and future events, email to get on email news list or call 277-4221 or 924-3836.

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