Category Archives: Economic Paradigm

Press Release – Our World is Burning.

Our World is Burning: My Views on Mindful Engagement

OTTAWA, ONTARIO – This book examines our fragile future and offers an alternative way of living based on Mindful Engagement. In sixteen essays Ian Prattis offers examples of how to respond to the most serious social, economic, environmental and personal challenges of the Twenty-First century. He advocates mindfulness practice to cultivate awareness as an ethical framework to guide actions, to create steadiness and equanimity, and to replenish body, mind and spirit. This book offers a lightning bolt that will singe incredulity and cynicism. Our World is Burning is Dr. Ian Prattis’ life work.

Anita Rizvi, Therapist

Dr. Ian Prattis, with the vision of a Prophet, the heart of a Buddha and the mind of a master Story Teller, offers a timely gift to humanity, as our collective psyche, reflected in the deterioration of our ecosystem, is poised to burn on the pyre of global consumption. In the midst … a Teacher has come… Now, pick up a copy of Our World is Burning and watch evil leave the room.

Melissa Studdard, Author and Poet
Amidst the fear, greed, and pain of our burning world, there is a cool garden where you can recover hope for posterity and cultivate your best life. Ian Prattis’ words are one of the surest pathways to that garden. Both analytically rigorous and fearlessly honest, this book is a must read for anyone asking, “What can I do?”

Please visit http://ianprattis.com/OurWorldIsBurning.html for more information.

Our World is Burning: My Views on Mindful Engagement by Dr. Ian Prattis

Price: $19.95 CDN – published by Manor House, 192 pages.

ISBN 978-1988058 -24-5

Available at:  http://ianprattis.com/OurWorldIsBurning.html

Soon on Amazon, on Indigo/Chapters (Spring 2018)

About the Author

Ian Prattis, Zen Teacher, Anthropology Professor Emeritus, peace and environmental activist, was born in the UK. He has spent much of his life living and teaching in Canada. His moving and eye-opening books, essays and poetry are a memorable experience for anyone who enjoys reading about primordial tendencies. Beneath the polished urban facade remains a part of human nature that few want to acknowledge, either due to fear or simply because it is easier to deny the basic instincts that have kept us alive on an unforgiving earth. Prattis bravely goes there in his outstanding literary work. A stone tossed into the waters of life.

Antidote for Trump

Antidote For All that Trump Stands For

                                                           On Thursday November 17 I was interviewed on Rogers TV Daytime Ottawa about my latest book – New Planet, New World. It is the final bookend of a trilogy – “Chronicles of Awakening.” Redemption is the first book in this trilogy that has Trailing Sky Six Feathers as the second book. The final tome of this trilogy takes characters from the prior two books, placing them in the future on a new planet. I place in the mouth of Dr. Tom Hagen a blistering rant to the UN in 2080 that I would certainly like to give from the future. It is about the willful ignorance displayed by corporate and government cabals invested in the carbon/oil complex, while eco militias murder in the streets and social disorder is a norm.

I talked about how time, culture, space and consciousness are fused across centuries. This action packed book of intertwining plotlines arc into the epiphany of the final chapter – the end game of a philosophy for the future. The inclusiveness of science combines with Tolstoy’s vision, Pope Francis’ Climate Change Encyclical and not repeating the mistakes of the carbon cabal. The underlying message is from Tolstoy, the ‘Conscience of Humanity.’ He described humanity’s bottom line as the cultivation of love, the mainspring for authentic and responsible living. This final chapter – Musings On the Future of Humanity – was written long before Trump ascended to the presidency in America. However, readers pointed out that I had provided an antidote for all that Trump intends to implement. Anticipate and harken to the rip tides of this futuristic novel.

New Planet, New World is published by Manor House and available through Chapters. There is an additional bonus for readers. Buy a copy of New Planet, New World directly from the author and also receive the two prior books for free. In Ottawa you can pick up your three books. For directions Tel 613 726 0881 or email iprattis@bell.net Otherwise order through http://ianprattis.com/NewPlanet.html

VIOLENCE IN THE MIND

If rampant consumption is the deepest desire then we have a degraded planet.  Valentine’s Day, Easter, Christmas – these special days are targeted by the captains of industry for optimal retail returns, and in the process mindless consumerism is fuelled to the max. At Christmas time we are far removed from remembering the significance of this spiritual celebration. Christmas products created by fossil fuel energy feeds consumerism and consumerism fuels Global Warming. The chain of interconnection is clear. Whether it is holidays, housing, transport, gifts and so on, our consumption requires the continuous use of fossil fuels. The mantra of western civilization – endless economic growth – provides a promise of expectations being met without any awareness of consequences for either our own health or the health of the planet.  It is becoming clearer with every passing day that our current non-sustainable energy and economic systems are actually subsystems of a global ecology that is disintegrating before our very eyes.

Yet even those few policy makers who recognize this, rush to find energy alternatives to fossil fuels without addressing the root causes of rampant consumerism – the major behavioral manifestation of western industrial civilization.  Biofuels are not the answer, as their production will destroy ecosystems rather than replenish them. New energy technology is certainly needed, but if placed within the existing paradigm of current values and consumption habits then the same vicious downward spiral of environmental degradation would occur. Until such time as the underlying causes of rampant consumerism have been understood and changed.

Consumerist addiction and craving, fostered to keep the wheels of industry turning, can take over our entire life with disastrous consequences.  It is a state of consumption wherein we cannot be happy without the object of our cravings.  We are then driven to search for, strive and even fight to obtain that “something” we crave.  This makes us suffer all our lives, as we are never happy or present with what we get or achieve, as there is always that “want” for more.  We need the insight that this kind of consumption is in fact the obstacle to true happiness, for we also have within us the capacity to “be”, to live fully in the present moment. Yet these capacities are obscured and covered up by habit energies, by acquired and inherited addictions.  We must be prepared to release these obstacles rather than feed off and be held captive by them.  We stop this process by meditating and looking deeply into the driving force of our deep desires.  Then create an opportunity to transform them. Instead of lust, greed and fame we foster the desire to awaken at the highest level – to experience joy and happiness in the here and now – the desire to bring loving kindness to everything we connect with and the desire to alleviate all suffering. Just as addictive consumption provides food for our consciousness, the desire to awaken and be present is also a food for our consciousness.

 

 

CREATING FAILSAFE: Saving The Earth From Ourselves

CREATING FAILSAFE: Saving the Earth From Ourselves

 failsafef 2 -banner

Available from Amazon Kindle for $4.99

http://www.amazon.com/Failsafe-Saving-Earth-Ourselvesebook/dp/B006DLB4AK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1329677682&sr=8-1

 Many of the ideas expressed in Failsafe were presented to students – both at the university and in the meditation hall. Their feedback, helpful suggestions and sometimes boredom prompted me to refine the basic ideas.  I first talked about a Failsafe in Consciousness in my 2002 book The Essential Spiral: Ecology and Consciousness After 9/11, drawing on the post Enron crash where financial analysts actually talked about responsibility and ethics.  I also drew on the writings of E.O. Wilson – that despite all that was happening around us there was still an unmistakable link with nature’s systems in the human psyche.

 

So I endeavoured to improve on the ideas floated in 2002 and tried it out on my ecology class at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. I had the privilege of meeting two outstanding students – Eric Smith and Paul Schlissel. They took up the challenge of mapping my ideas into diagrams and re-arranged how I addressed the components of the emerging concepts. Failsafe, due to their promptings, became more than a set of ideas.  It had substance and a design based on three interconnected components. These were Innate Earth Wisdom; Counter Culture; Tipping Points in Consciousness – all of which intertwined with consciousness transformation. Can we fix the planet? This is the wrong question. Our present values and patterns of consumption are the architects of the present global ecological emergency. The right question is can we transform ourselves? My point in addressing Climate Change and Global Warming was that they were not the problem.  The real problem was the mind-set that created the ecological conditions for Global Warming to explode dramatically into the lives of every human being on earth.  I needed a set of interconnecting variables to link into the really crucial aspect of changing human consciousness.  I suppose it is an act of faith on my part, but I feel that once consciousness changes then different questions will be asked and different solutions found.  Out of the transformation will emerge the structures and institutions that can regulate global affairs without endangering all species – including our own.

 

Failsafe provides understanding of global eco-crises and issues a call to change the existing world order by arriving at a deep spiritual understanding of what needs to be done. Step by step methods to transform our existing mindset are laid out to usher in a new era of planetary care, social justice and peace. Failsafe is about hope and faith and the clear knowledge that we have the capacity to get things done. There is hope for future generations to occupy a healthy planet and faith in the human consciousness to change. There is faith that we beings can awaken to the miracle and beauty of all of life. Failsafe provides examples and guidance for transformation and change. Failsafe is a critical response to Lovelock’s 2006 book “Revenge of Gaia” where he argues that the present self-regulating mechanisms of Gaia cannot be controlled by human agency.  In the context of Global Warming and dire predictions for a habitable econiche for homo sapiens I present a Failsafe in Consciousness. I describe how consciousness expansion will be held in abeyance by wilful human ignorance until the global ecological situation deteriorates to a breaking point.  This breaking point will then act as a catalyst, penetrating such ignorance and activating consciousness so it is propelled into expansion, deliberation and change.

 

I drew a lot on the new discipline of Neuroscience, the Wisdom of Aboriginal Elders and the teachings of the Buddha about changing the human mind. Taming the human mind was a major issue, because to change external circumstances with technological fixes still leaves a damaging mind-set intact.  If our minds are not clear and at peace, we simply pass on our disturbance and selfishness to everything we create. In the final chapter – Taming The Wild Mind – I felt it necessary to include highly personal accounts to show that Taming the Wild Mind was not easy for me.  My particular journey is not for everyone – yet some form of journey is absolutely necessary for all of us – one that takes us beyond the superficial into the deep reality of our true nature.  This is nothing other than old fashioned goodness, caring and wisdom coming out to play instead of the greed and negativity that stalks the mind of humanity.

 

I started to give talks to the most unlikely audiences about all of this stuff, and found to my surprise that most of the folks listening got the drift of where I was going.  Their questions and requests for clarification enabled me to sculpt the Failsafe in Consciousness concept into a more understandable form.  I want to reach every man and woman in the street, as the sheer necessity of a bottom up revolution in patterns of consumption and behaviour is necessary for the Failsafe notion to kick in. Failsafe is taken from engineering, where the term is used to describe a stop lever or valve that comes into action whenever the machinery is in danger of exploding or breaking down.  As such, it is a useful metaphor for what is happening globally with Climate Change. I add to the Failsafe notion – particularly the idea of tipping points in consciousness.  This is akin to the Hundredth Monkey syndrome, where once a critical mass is reached then behaviour changes across the board.  In other words once a tipping point is reached there is a quantum leap of energy across the population.  For humanity I set this threshold at 2% of the human population. If 2% can truly commit to changing their minds and altering their patterns in the direction of voluntary simplicity, planetary care and compassion – then this is the tip of the spear that lances through the problem of Climate Change.  Let’s face it – Climate Change is very dangerous to us continuing to inhabit the earth, and still we do all kinds of senseless things to not face this reality.

 

Failsafe is by no means finished. There will be bright minds who will take it further, find loopholes in it and re-fashion it.  All this I gladly welcome. I look forward to the dialogue as it helps us move on. My hope is that you enjoy the book and share it with friends.  I will keep you up to date with my continuing journey as it evolves.

 

Every blessing to each one of you.

 

Ian

The Hero’s Journey

The Hero’s Journey

failsafef 2 -banner 

 My book Failsafe: Saving the Earth from Ourselves was written as a Hero’s Journey for our species. Available as an e book http://www.amazon.com/Failsafe-Saving-Earth-Ourselvesebook/dp/B006DLB4AK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1329677682&sr=8-1

 Testimonials:

In Failsafe, Ian Prattis offers a way to a perceptual transformation that is absolutely critical if we are to find a truly sustainable future.   David Suzuki, author, environmentalist and host of CBC’s “The Nature of Things”

“Ian’s book respects and reflects on Aboriginal Prophesies about the Eighth Fire and care of the Earth Mother.  He investigates the spiritual lack in the modern world and proposes sound means to guide the course of humanity. For this he draws on the Wisdom of the Elders. This is a book for our times. It has his experience of Taming the Wild Mind, serving the Earth and the cause of Peace.”  Grandfather William Commanda, Algonquin Elder, founder of the Circle of All Nations. Order of Canada.

Joseph Campbell’s ground breaking work on mythology, The Hero With A Thousand Faces way back in 1949, contained a highly radical agenda, which was somewhat obscured in his later works.  In the Epilogue of the 1968 edition he carefully mapped the reality of the Hero’s quest in modern times.  With the insight of impermanence Campbell shows that times have clearly changed, that meaning no longer resides in the community or nature but in the individual.  This makes the hero’s quest a radically different and more difficult venture as without the support of community, nature or religion the hero’s quest is to save the planet – not the bounded community or nation – and transform the entire social order of the world.  Campbell is adamant that the great religions of the world cannot assist with this task, as they are complicit in the partisan fracturing of the world carried out by factions that curry favour with outmoded expressions of cultural nationalism. Their “monkey holiness” is not the stuff that can aid the hero (1968: 389), who now has a somewhat solitary task because the center of gravity of mythology has changed from nature and locality so that humanity itself is now the mystery to be unravelled.

Yet despite all this, the hero has the “all” within him, within her.  The particular cultural and national characteristics do not tell us anything about what it is to be truly human.  And so the task is to step beyond these boundaries, discover through experience that there is no separateness, thus gaining the knowledge and insight that can transform humanity.  The influence of the Vedas of Ancient India and their non-dualism is clearly with Campbell in that he feels it is essential for humanity to see the same redemption in different forms – Truth is one and the sages call it by many names.  Thus the propagation of any form such as fundamentalist Islam or fundamentalist Christianity becomes highly dangerous.  Campbell is certainly correct about the world’s religions that require belief in a God, culturally and nationally defined – “monkey holiness.”  Yet the instruments of mindfulness practice in Buddhism with their intent on freeing the human mind from suffering may have some pertinence, as the practices are free of the stigma of cultural nationalism – or should be if the Buddha is listened to carefully!  Cultural nationalism is a redundant and obsolete force in the 21st century – that is for the task of transforming the social order of the world.  However, the religious right in America and their identical twin – the Taliban in Afghanistan – and other religious groups like them refuse to recognise that they are obsolete, still appealing to the ignorant and fearful.  Thus the hero’s task in the modern era is ominous and lonely.  Campbell (1968: 391) in the last paragraph of his classic states:

The modern hero…cannot, indeed must not, wait for his community to cast off its slough of pride, of fear, rationalized advise and sanctified misunderstanding… It is not society that is to guide and save the creative hero, but precisely the reverse.  And so every one of us shares the supreme ordeal – carries the cross of the redeemer – not in the bright moments of his tribe’s great victories, but in the silences of his personal despair.

My book Failsafe strikes chords with Joseph Campbell’s insights from over a half century ago.  Its genesis is in line with Campbell’s views, though I doubt if he anticipated the present global ecological emergency.  This slim volume endeavours to provide understanding, issues a call for the adventure of transmuting the existing world social order by bringing the reader to a deep spiritual understanding of what needs to be done, and finally casts the hero’s mantle on all of us.  Transforming the fabric of the entire social order asks citizens of the world to do the work of becoming spiritually responsible rather than remaining spiritual captives. This is so the revealed knowledge and wisdom gained from this adventure can be applied to society and the environment.

I ask of everyone, including myself, to be a modern hero and heroine for our time.

Understand the challenge

Accept the challenge

Listen to Nietzsche – “Live as though the day were here.”

New Economic Paradigm and the Culture of Entitlement

New Economic Paradigm and the Culture of Entitlement

 

In Canada the lack of moral compass and ethics in public and corporate life is highlighted by the Senate scandal, political leaders cushioning their income with $20,000 fees for public speaking, free embassy facilities for Cabinet ministers on vacation, the corruption of city mayors – on it goes. The culture of entitlement is rampant and has angered Canadian citizenry. Perhaps this culture of greed and entitlement is a bi-product of the economic structures we presently live in.

 

In whatever way the global economy is analyzed, poked and taken apart – we must recognize what it cannot do. Finance Capital has a design about securing the establishment of those conditions that ensure the continued creation of profits for the beneficiaries of capital. It does not have a design feature for morals or ethics. Morals and ethics rest with humans and it is the responsibility of humans in power to infuse, restrain and curtail the logic of capital so it may also benefit those humans who do not have a financial stake in the design structure of capital. Capital has always been amoral – it cannot on its own be anything else. Sadly, many of the controllers of capital have also been amoral for so long that our species faces possible elimination.

 

The Global Marshall Plan, like its namesake that restored balance to the world by funding the education and rebuilding of Europe after WWII, is based on new concepts and financial instruments. Designed to restructure world trade so that it is in synchronicity with humanitarian concerns and environmental protection, the goal is to produce an Eco-Social Market Economy as a new direction for globalization.  New structures to co-finance and equalize development worldwide rest on novel taxes on international financial transactions (Tobin Tax), on world trade and providing special drawing rights on the IMF.  This would provide the billions of dollars required to bring about a global economic miracle, which at the same time is environmentally responsible.  This radical proposal to restructure globalization has the support of prominent politicians, scholars and organisations in Europe as well as business leaders.  It has the solid support of the European Union to implement such a Planetary Contract as the first step to creating a worldwide Eco-Social Market Economy by 2015.  It is intended as a viable replacement for the present maladaptive world of free trade. Such a market structure has responsibilities for human justice issues and the eradication of poverty. Corporate culture is no longer allowed to freely make and enforce the rules for global culture and planetary care. A new structure of global governance emerges through a revamped World Trade Organization, but interestingly is still deeply founded on trade and markets. Far from eroding profitable business enterprises, this orientation assures that the most balanced, resourceful and market-sensitive companies will be the most competitive!

 

Where is George Carlin when we need him?

There is a seemingly immovable elephant in the middle of the culture of greed. This is the elite haven known as the Culture of Entitlement.  It coddles our bankers, investment brokers and corporate leaders in a cocoon of corruption, greed and power.  Just what would the late George Carlin have to say about this entity? George Carlin was my favourite American comedian.  Gifted with an acerbic wit, impeccable timing and scathing satire he created comedy routines that reduced world crises to hysterical tatters. Where is he when we need him the most?  Which is right now ‘midst the global circus we all inhabit.  He is of course deceased, yet I hope there is a George Carlin lurking in all of us, as I borrow his persona for a moment.  I will temper his language a little, as I want the folks reading this to get the point rather than be put off by profane language!

 

“Culture of Entitlement? What damn Entitlement? Don’t you see – the market took care of that problem for us – brilliantly.  It destroyed the culture of entitlement – the bankers, investment bums, hedge fund managers, corporate bandits – the market took them all and threw them into the abyss where the suckers belong. It threw them off a cliff into the deepest, darkest hole where they could never, ever climb out. Why do you think the damn market went to the trouble of creating such a drastic economic meltdown? So what do we do with this victory? We hand out parachutes, life-lines and soft landings for the giant parasites of entitlement to keep on sucking off the public teat.  We bailed the creepy, corrupt suits out.  We provided idiots with huge bonuses to retain their skills – the same skills and idiots who got us into this mess in the first place. Are we Insanely Nuts or what? President Obama – do you get it yet? Those angry voters who shellacked you in the 2010 midterm elections – remember those guys? It was their tax dollars that bailed out the creepy suits on Wall Street. The same suits that foreclosed their homes.  Connect the dots will ya?.

 

Do you know where the 700 billion dollars for bailouts came from?  It’s from your damn hip pocket.  Your taxes, my taxes, everybody’s taxes – spent to fix a corrupt system that is not just broken, it’s obsolete and unworkable.  The market shook it off “like fleas from the backside of a dog!” So what do we do?  We put the broken system on artificial life support.  We Are Ludicrously Nuts.  And there’s more.  The latest idiocy is to get private investors to buy the toxic assets of banks with government financial support.  That’s our taxes again people: only 75 – 100 billion dollars this time.  That guy Krugman, who got the Nobel for thinking straight, calls it by its true name – “cash-for-trash.” And our hip pocket is hung out to dry once again.  We Are Indescribably Nuts.   700 billion dollars is just the start of retaining bandits in suits so they can stab us in the wallet over and over again.  How many IRS deductions on paychecks are needed to ring up 700 billion dollars?  It’s enough to drive a dead comedian to drink.”