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AN EMPHATIC CIVILIZATION? November 25, 2011

Posted by wmmbb in Humankind/Planet Earth, Peace.
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As much as we isolate and separate our lives, it seems that we are at most “six steps away by way of introduction”  from everyone else on the planet. Now that is hard to believe.

Ken Butigan points out this increased global inter-relationship is not merely due to communication technology, although that is a factor, since importantly we now increasingly get to see events as they happen and feel them. He writes:

The emergent connectivity all around us is only the palest hint of our true unity. Social media can be fruitfully understood as a metaphor—an image representing the less tangible but much more primordial vision and experience of oneness. We came out of oneness—from the Big Bang fourteen billion years ago, from the plains of Africa since then—and, in spite of the fratricidal violence we inflict on one another, this experience of oneness is actually growing and expanding, if Jeremy Rifkin’s research is right in his book, The Empathic Civilization. In spite of all the evidence to the contrary, Rifkin charts a growth in empathy in the human species as its social organization has systematically expanded its notion of family and belonging: from tribes to religious communities to nation-states.

The video summary of the Rifkin book is one of those whiz bang presentations. See if you can keep up:

. . . otherwise you might make good use of the pause option.

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