Visualizations

I just finished Pacific Edge by Kim Stanley Robinson, a utopian story set in a small community in southern California, and in a more sustainable and post-capitalistic world.

It reminds me of the effectiveness of visualizations – on personal and collective levels. In both cases, visualizations helps us align, reorient and reorganize to allow a shift to occur.

In terms of allowing for shifts over time, they…

  1. Set up the inner conditions – the openness and receptivity – for the shift to occur.
  2. Allow us to recognize and engage in the opportunities that leads to the shift.
  3. Provide guidelines for choices we make in everyday life – leading in the direction of the shift.

In most (all?) cases, they allow us to recognize in ourselves here/now what we are visualizing. This is explicitly the case with practices such as Tibetan deity visualizations, where we (a) project out the qualities of the Buddha Mind onto a deity, (b) become familiar with these qualities “out there” (easier to begin with), and then (c) visualize ourselves as the deity to allow ourselves to recognize these qualities “in here”.

And in the case of utopian stories, visualizations also allow us to think through the possibilities, to refine our visions.

It seems that these stories – fictional, relatively realistic and embodied in ordinary people’s lives – is a crucial element in allowing a shift into a more sustainable and life-centered culture and civilization. There seems to be room for a great deal more of these stories, in literature, movies, music, computer/online games, and other media.

Stories that show a transition from our current industrialized growth society to a sustainable life-oriented society, and/or about life in a future life-oriented society. The more diversity in these stories, the better, so we can bring different possible scenarios into awareness. This will make the possible consequences of our actions here/now more real.

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