The Dark Ages may not have been so dark for the peasant class as it had been in the Roman period. It appears that some of the peasants were a lot better off.
This leads me to wildly speculate that we could be focusing our attention in our online communiques upon the virtues of the medieval guild, a widely shared cultural organization, that emerged after the Roman melt down.
Are we at the threshold of another wave of decentralization? IS this breakdown or breakthrough? We have been wrestling with these issues in our forums. Nation-states, as Anthony Giddens said, are too big to take care of the little stuff and too small to take care of the big stuff. We can only wonder, as the food fights in DC and across the EU continues to exhaust our limited resources, what was the medieval guild culture all about?
The Guild was a medieval association of craftsmen or merchants, often having considerable power.An association of people for mutual aid or the pursuit of a common goal.
We have mentioned how reading is becoming an almost monastic discipline. Recall how those monks and nuns worked with scripture and lectio divina. Fragile coalitions were maintained through the monasteries, held together by study and rituals, over vast cultural landscapes. Just look at those gorgeous manuscripts that these industrious monk/scholars lavished their collective attentions upon. They were great artists, while we, in our data collecting frenzy and our power point displays, are creating vast information dumps, losing, as Shakespeare once said, beauty and utility.
Perhaps our zoom conferences, in which the face and voice is heard, language and gesture appreciated, and drawings and sketches shared, could be a way of bringing back the slow mind’s power, as we co-create an oasis of stability and calm. If we can catch the rhythms of a small group, we can then create a more subtle awareness of what is happening between biotic and abiotic systems. If many of us are aware of a Second Order Culture, can a Third Order be that far away? Jeremy suggests this as he references Nora Bateson’s work on warm data. We are already doing this.
What is going viral these days is the most shallow kind of thinking. It has become, as the interviewer, Adam Robberts, says ‘pretty thin.’ Perhaps, if we turned off CNN and started focusing attention on our poetry readings and our deep dives into deeper thinking, we could make transparent the damage that has been done, re-direct attention, and start to unravel our weaved up folly. Perhaps, we are rehearsing what could become a new kind of town meeting? And we can put apple sauce on our noodles if we want to.