Our Lives Are Shaped by the Quality of Our Attention
Author Archives: Antonio Dias
We fall for lies because we want to be told what can't possibly be true.
If learning is to be more than the acquisition of facts, then it is important that we realize its process is not dominant/passive. No one simply teaches another. We don’t learn what is pushed at us. We take in what we can absorb and we reflect upon insights as they arise.
This is a sharing of gifts. To enter into this is to join in collaboration; each/both, teaching and learning in the mutual reciprocity of dialogue.
It’s becoming more clear every day that our predilection to interact by means of identifying with ideas and then battling to have our ideas prevail does not address any of the dire circumstances we find our selves in.
I see this as it touches on each of us as individuals. It divides us from each other, even as it divides our own selves. It promotes a view of the world and how it works that does not function. If it did, no one would need to convince me. It would be clear. Problem solved….
Instead, this view that we are separate and surrounded by problems in need of solutions that we then argue over and attempt to gather adherents for, has led to an escalating worsening of our conditions by any measure we care to take.
A personal website has many functions. It can be hard to sort them out. Most often they are advertisements for a Persona, a means to find a job, or a signpost in an attempt to reach a cohort of the like-minded.
Sometimes they are attempts to sort things out. The effort of presentation becomes a path of self-discovery. “Here’s where I’ve been.” Can be a good way to find where we might be headed. Or, at least to discover that we’ve been pointed in a certain direction. If it’s to be more than just a vanity project there needs to be an honesty, a sense of precarity, that what is chronicled is a journey and not just a triumphant parade.
The promise of the web has been inherent in a lessening of the friction – and cost – of making information available. It is easy – if we can afford to keep the lights on and have the time and predilection. We can place almost any kind of information on the web and send it out there.
Whether and how it is found is another story. The ease of entrance, the web’s widespread adoption, has flooded us with information. With the loss of authority of traditional gate-keepers, we’re on our own as we struggle to filter what we will spend our attention on. Everyone else is doing the same, and so, the chances of our actually being found are no where near as high as they might appear. Having been at this web-presence game for nearly ten years, I’ve lost any naive dream of “Going Viral!”
Last year we co-published three of these conversations which delved into some of the processes that underpin the sense of isolation and fragmentation we had both experienced (albeit in different ways) as well as the ways in which we were beginning to find community. As a way into approaching and practicing dialogue and proprioception my interactions with Tony have been, and continue to be, immensely helpful for finding new inspiration/insight and for clarifying my own thought process.
Recently, Tony has been distilling a lot of the insights he has come to in an encouraging series of blog posts which both deepen his conceptual vocabulary and anchors it firmly within a wider community. In A Space for Community, he opens up for ‘anchoring’ community within the wider movement of life. This connects directly with some thoughts I’d been having about community as relationship (see Lines of flight in a time of endings) and suggests to me a way to begin gauging whether thought and action align with a deeper sense of community. This feels like a major step forward.
I’m grateful for his close-reading and for the opportunities we’ve had to collaborate in the past. Looking forward to continuing and broadening our connections in the coming year.
This one says it all! The Purple Lady – the kids chose the color and the name – sailing in the basin to the side of the Independence Seaport Museum. The Cruiser, Olympia and the Bark, Moshulu in the background.
“Dark Mountain Issue 2 is one of the most unique environmental books out there – part dystopian poetry along the lines of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road; part post-apocalyptic River Cottage with the rest being a slice of philosophy that only ever becomes clear once the reader immerses themselves in the works within. The contributions are consistently of a high standard, no matter what the form. In fact, it’s worth reading for the sheer variety of literary reaction to the potential ending of our cultural systems as much as to see what the movement is about. As with many natural systems; the whole provides far more to think about than the sum of the individual elements.”
Wednesday, May 11 at 7:00 pm upstairs at Napi’s I’ll be reading from Shoal Hope, including the chapter, “…Peter” that will be included in the Dark Mountain II anthology due to be published in Britain June 17. They are taking preorders now!
At Dark Mountain, the home of Uncivilization, I found a living culture. I didn’t know what I would find. My hopes caught up in theoretical frameworks. The flimsiness of my previous interactions with the core of this loose amalgam overcompensated in mental calculations assembled, as if in a geometric proof. As if reading the perturbations of the orbits of the visible planets I could intuit the existence of another beyond the range of my senses.