Free Labs’, Now!
The signs on the wall are clear: we all are in danger. Climate catastrophe is developing rapidly, 65 million fugitives are trying to escape the hell of wars and inhumane poverty, the greed and bunker-mentality of the rich nations is growing steadily, terrorism and ‘asymmetric warfare’ are raising their Gorgonian heads, 6 million people die every year of starvation whilst the wealthy throw away the food which could nourish them all… to highlight just a few of many situations on ‘Paradise Earth’. An alien observer would conclude that the leading race on planet Earth, strange double legged ‘intelligences’ must be driven by a sort of global wish for suicide (see: Taylor, US, 1970, the ‘Suicide Program’, and the famous words of Chief Seattle from the Duwamish tribe, in his speech to the American Congress 1855, when he spoke about how strange the white invaders are, destroying everything holy to the Indian Nations, and how they will only in the end discover that money can’t be eaten.)
We really are strange, if not rather dumb. Those who seriously study and analyse the global situation will find two results:
1) The erosion of ecology, economy, culture, democracy, humanism and its replacement by selfish greed and modern Machiavellianism of some internationally acting megacompanies and a few super-rich individuals is not only alarming but in the purest sense of the word destructive. It endangers the survival of human life on the planet.
2) Solutions for all of the problems mentioned exist, not only conceptually but in reality and in great variety, and can be applied immediately. (see Modern Tribal Settlements)
So why are we not applying these existing solutions?
Our belief that we live in a real ‘free world’, as ‘free citizens’ with ‘freedom of decision’ and ‘free markets’ turns out to be an illusion. This is to a great extent the result of our naive belief that the large structures governing the world are doing this with the main focus of creating our common well-being. We have the tendency to believe that ‘Big’ is ‘Right’. Therefore we feel individually small and weak and we are governable by fear. If the big companies we depend on tell us that we will starve to death, die of multiple illnesses, be constantly attacked by strange enemies if we do not buy their food, medical or military products, to name only some of what they ‘offer’, most of us believe it, with the result that their statements become self fulfilling prophecies, and we are ‘on the hook’.
But why is this happening?
First it has to do with education. In a world of astonishing possibilities to spread digital information with a speed and to an extent never before seen in human history, we seem to associate this impressive pool of information with knowledge. Unfortunately, only by individually selecting the information of value to us can we gain real knowledge, making it necessary that we are educated, so that we can judge the content of the information (and also disinformation…) Because the sheer volume of the information seems to overwhelm every individual brain, we are thankful if others do this for us. Laziness is an inbuilt principle of human behaviour. This is an ideal situation for ‘sellers’ to convince us to buy their products. The larger their organisation is, the more possibilities of ‘propaganda’ they possess. We have the tendency to be impressed by multicolour, multimedia, multithrilling simplified messages. The smaller messages coming from different opposing groups, mostly only in ‘black and white’, often going against the so attractive ‘mainstream’, seem to the majority not to be ‘sexy’, often even creating anger, because following them would necessitate leaving the comfortable highways of established thinking (or more precisely: not thinking). We could say that we are trapped by the same method the Roman emperors used to keep their citizens quiet: panem et circensi. But what has this to do with education? A lot, and perhaps everything. The following reasoning leads to my definition of a ‘Free Lab’: As stated, our belief that we are a ‘free citizen’ within a ‘free world’, is to a large extent an illusion (Annexes 1, 2, 3). Therefore our system(s) of education conserve the dominating interests of the globalized structures and the governments of the nations. The national governments become more and more agents of business interests and no longer represent the vital interests of their voters (and let us not forget that the money to realize all these plans arise from the work of the citizens and from their tax-paying). This means that what our schools are teaching us and our children does not have as its primary aim to give to the individual the utmost help to develop his or her unique, precious talents; it is much more about encouraging the special talents aligned with the skills required to serve the dominating structures. These talents can be described as ‘dominating’, or ‘winning’ rather than compassionate, driven by love, service to others, social warmth, or compassion (see Annex 2: We are all Astronauts).
It would be too simple to state that by definition larger structures always fail to lead to good living conditions for the citizens. There are many romantic reports about wise kings, emperors and sultans creating good, stable, human and happy life conditions for their people, and some of them may have been true in some distant past. But most of them, as far as I can see, are just propaganda to hold the population in respectful obedience.
In any case, the world situation described above doesn’t allow us to dream. We are in an emergency situation: one of great danger created by the old action patterns of centralized rule and relying on non-renewable material and energy sources. We have to shift this paradigm to a new one: from a centralized power structure based on fossil and nuclear resources to a decentralised, autonomous structure based on solar energies, intelligent cooperation, peace and love. Mankind must enter a new evolutionary phase, the Solar Age of autonomy and respectful and intelligent cooperation with the fantastic holistic Creation, of which we are all a part (see Annex 3: Autonomy)!
As stated, the solutions for the most urgent problems exist, but they are not sufficiently implemented. The reason for this is also easy to understand: the solutions for energy, food, water and medicine are based on the use of the freely available, abundant solar energies (radiation, wind, water, biomass). Their responsible and intelligent use will lead automatically to small, multifunctional, self sufficient structures which are interlinked globally. And these structures will no longer depend on the centralized systems. A certain business model will no longer function as the network of interlinked autonomous structures becomes free and independent, needing less and less of the ‘services’ of the centralised structures. The old structures try to control this development, also by using dependent governments, trying to block evolution. But nothing is stronger than an idea whose time has come.
Speaking about energy, food, water means speaking about the basic survival needs of every one of us. We observe that a great part of today’s world population has to spend most of its precious living time to work in very often unhumane, underpaid jobs in order to meet their basic needs; despite the fact that nature, if well understood, offers for free an abundance of all which is necessary to live a good and healthy and sorrowless life. This should open our eyes.
We evidently need educational institutions which teach in theory and practice how to intelligently combine the benefits of solar radiation, wind, water and biology to become locally autonomous.
This differs from place to place. By principle such ‘solar technologies’ will therefore develop in a variety of local forms, resembling the rich and beautiful variety of natural biotopes, in strong contrast to the monocultures produced by the central systems.
Educational institutions able to handle such bionic, multifunctional solar technologies must differ radically from today’s schools: they must be free from the strict boundaries of conventionally established disciplines. In contrast to the present artificial separation of subjects into physics, chemistry, biology, technology, sociology, meteorology, economy, ecology etc, ‘bionic technologies’ combine them in a holistic way, just as nature does.
This is the first definition of a ‘Free Lab’: Breaking down the walls of separation of the disciplines;
Setting free and working with the multifunctional nature of complex systems.
Of course it would be naive to neglect the phenomenal advances of modern sciences and technologies based on the methods of René Descartes, Isaac Newton, Leibniz and others: separating out of the monolithic, amorphous aspect of ‘uncontrollable’ nature, different aspects using more and more refined mathematical, analytical and technical tools. Without this method practically all of our high tech society wouldn’t have materialized. My plea for ‘Free Labs’ does not neglect these merits, nor claim not to use their precious results. On the contrary, integrating the best results of this phase into a network of autonomous, solar settlements to create holistic structures of the solar age is of utmost importance. Therefore Free Labs need to be embedded in a free exchange with university research and they need to have teachers well-educated in the different classical disciplines, in order to trigger effective integrations.
Some might conclude that ‘Free Labs’ are a sort of revival of the ‘Studium Generale’ – good for students of pharmacy and medicine, to give them a general overview before they specialize. However, this ‘Studium Generale’ by definition could not dig deeply into the different subjects, and could therefore be considered ‘less scientific’. The situation when creating ‘Free Labs ‘ is just the contrary: We have to recognize that today if we want to (and we must) come into harmony with the complexity of living nature, we face a serious problem: by trying to put together the different elements of the named separated disciplines to a harmonious ensemble, we can do great things – but never reach something as perfect and holistic as the way that ‘monolithic’ nature presents itself. We won our knowledge of nature by dissecting it, and in our method of dissection we lost something. We are like someone who has dismantled a very complex mechanical clock, and wanting to reassemble it, even having lost no individual part, is not successful. The method of dissection let us loose something of the complexity of reality. If someone would classify this reasoning as ‘bean counting’, he is wrong. Natural systems are perfect and they correct this perfection permanently in a dynamic process with constant (bio-) feed back loops. If they stop doing this, they die. We humans have by today started to seriously endanger and destroy the nature embedding us – and thereby ourselves. Beginning to understand the serious consequences of this suicide act, we are try to repair it. This can not be done in the long run with imperfect methods.
This fact is the basis to develop a second definition of a ‘Free Lab’. Our scientific methodology so far was very successful in the analytical dissection of the world. Now, as we recognize the urgent need to repair it, to reassemble it, we realize, that we need more methods for this task, than we needed for the dissection. What was missing in our methods?
I believe the following: If we, as parts of the nature, separate intellectually from it, we put ourselves artificially apart from it. We are proud to base our ‘logic of observation’ on purely ‘rational, scientific’ reasoning, leaving aside all ‘irrational, emotional, uncontrollable’ thinking. This simplified and artificial way to try to explain nature resulted in technological tools of great power (recommended reading: Max Frisch, Homo Faber). The action paradigm of the modern industrial age was (and is): ‘Wisdom is Power’, combined with Adam Smith’s strangely irrational dogma: ‘Selfishness is in a strange way a positive factor for mankind’s well being’. This is the main reason for the desolate state of our world, and for our loneliness, misused power, violence, injustice and crime. We acted as the Sorcerer’s apprentice, trying to copy him whilst he was away, with very destructive consequences.
If we correct the paradigms of our present age to ‘Wisdom is Responsibility’ instead of ‘Wisdom is Power’, ‘take care of nature’ instead of ‘dominate nature’ and ‘be compassionate to the whole of Creation’, we immediately understand what methods we lack to return to harmony with Creation and to heal the wounds we have created. The missing methods to return to harmony with nature, to heal its wounds, to develop holistic, interlinked, autonomous structures are: de-escalation, contemplation, meditation, joy, compassion, love. They are associated with disciplines such as music, painting, poetry, social engagement, alternative gardening, cooperation between young and old, respect and understanding of foreign cultures, caring of the weaker, of refugees, of underprivileged, of animals, of the whole bio- and ecosphere.
If we combine the disciplines often described as ‘soft’ with the ‘hard’ useful achievements of technology and science and bring them together into the ‘Free Lab’ as combined matter to be educated, we reach the second definition of a ‘Free Lab’: The ‘Free Lab’ addresses all of the senses of a human being. It goes far beyond the specialization of today’s labs, opening the possibility to explore the world with all our God-given senses.
I believe that this the only way to get the necessary understanding of the complexity surrounding us, and consequently also the better understanding of our own complexity. As this is done with the aim not of domination, but of caretaking, healing, and for joyful peace, we don’t have to understand everything perfectly with our intellect. This, by the way, seems me also principally impossible, because, we, as an integral part of Creation (even if we consider us sometimes as the ‘crown’ of Creation) can by definition, as a part of the whole, never completely understand the whole – and this is good: we have seen where human attempts to become godlike lead…
The Free Lab has in its approach a certain similarity to indigenous and shamanic thinking: think as much as you can with your heart, and only what is absolutely necessary with your brain. The cold predomination of the brain alone was the reason for the astonishing, fast and pseudo-precise rise of western technologies. But in our lack of ‘heart’ thinking, we used it for domination. Its ‘victorious’ conquest of the world was a path leading over ’mountains of bleached bones’. One of the leading ideas of my Free Lab concept is to cooperate closely with American natives and other indigenous cultures in order to let them at least also get some benefits of our technological achievements which were gained by dominating them cruelly.
My third definition of a Free Lab deals with the definition of ‘Free’ itself. What I don’t mean is the ‘freedom’ to develop as researcher everything which is possible. There is a tendency for researchers not to have to decide what their inventions would be used for. This is decided by their employers. Where this leads can be specifically seen in the military sector. I believe that every inventor is the creator of spiritual children. He should decide how they should look, what purpose they would have to serve. Therefore he has to take responsibility. And in my Free Lab I want to see researchers aiming for cooperation, compassion, and peace as described.
A fourth definition of my Free Lab is that it is a ‘living lab’ in which a variety of researchers live together in a social structure of empathy, love, joy, common curiosity and a deep wish for exchange and tolerance. And that they live with their developments in their daily life, that the autonomy they create step by step is covering not only their physical needs, but producing a superior quality of life.
One could describe it as follows:the internal images created by each individuum as its personal view of such an ‘empathic social structure’ are exchanged with those of the other members of the
community in a process which could be described as an ‘internal field-building process’. The interferences created by the superposition of the individual fields are the pictures of a nearly unlimited number of development possibilities. All members of the community are in close close connection with the surrounding nature and creation by their daily work and activities; therefore they can feel that Creation is not only giving them abundance through the photonic stream of sunlight; they also feel that this inexhaustible stream also contains the messages of compassion, love, joy and cooperation. This ‘outer field of photons’ can be seen as the director (in the pure sense of the word: giving direction) coordinating our ‘inner fields’ and letting us make the right choices by selecting the possibilities emanating from the interferences created by the inner fields.
Within a ‘free lab’ the human members start realizing that they are not only parts of the whole, but at the same time ‘super exploration systems’ of the same. They have far-superior possibilities to dig into the mysteries of Creation, even compared to the impressive ‘technical exploration systems’ like CERN, the Hubble telescope, space stations, etc. Of course they will use the results obtained by their own technical creations and use their brains; but beyond this they will use all their other subtle sensors from body and soul and create pictures of the creation in a holistic way, unprecedented in former cultures contemplating Creation under specific, selective angles of view. In this sense the free lab is a logical step within a positive evolution of the human race.