By Inga Muribo
It was late July 2010 in a summery Stuttgart in Germany, and for the second time in my life I was deeply moved by the presence and wisdom of Orland Bishop. I was participating in a weeklong workshop with many other young people from all over the world who had come together to dive deeply into the theme of courage with Nicanor Perlas and Orland Bishop.
One morning Orland asked us to walk around the big room in a circle. He spoke about time, pulse and rhythm. I suddenly noticed how the rhythm of my walk seemed artificial. I felt as if I was chasing myself. We walked and walked while Orland coached us to find the pulse natural to each of us. My feet, my breath and my heartbeat slowed down and aligned until I felt at one with my innate rhythm. I had a powerful experience of time and timelessness simultaneously, and of the ‘I’ spanning both. At the same time I felt connected with all the other people walking alongside me.
Our ability to access this place of presence and timelessness in ourselves feels essential in this time where everything appear to move faster and faster. Technology is perhaps the most obvious example of this at this point in time.
Moral Technologies is an initiative of Seed Australia. It is a three-year project with three major events happening each year from 2016 – 2018. We had Nicanor Perlas with us in 2016. Nicanor laid the groundwork by diving deeply into the question of ‘Artificial Intelligence: Is humanity prepared?’
Nicanor’s approach made us consider the theme in light of science, biology, physics and the latest developments in nano-technology and AI.
Orland Bishop will be joining us in April 2017 on the theme of ‘The technological age of human life’. We will dive deeply into what Orland calls the technique of being human; exploring our human nature, our relationship to the time in which we live and the will to create change in the world. This can allow room to re-write the agreements that determine the many possible futures. It is about re-making the agreements between people to enable the creation of futures that inspires us.
I have participated in workshops with Orland Bishop on two occasions, and both times have been significant in terms of personal and group transformation. Initiation into the mysteries and possibilities of our shared human experience is what Orland facilitates. Most of our time with Orland would normally be conversation in a circle, but he also utilises song, storytelling, phenomenology, lectures and one-on-one dialogue. We are currently in dialogue with Orland to create the intention and to shape the structure of our four days together from April 7 – 10th 2017. The excitement and energy is building, and I know it will be a life-changing journey for the 60 people who come together next year in Templestowe, Melbourne.
We asked Orland a few questions about himself and ‘moral technologies’ and share it with you here as an introduction to him and the theme:
Q: Who are you and what do you do?
A: I am happy to be asked this question; it keeps me present in the moment. Greetings everyone, I am Orland Bishop, and this interview is being taken place in my home in Los Angeles. My interest has been around healing; the human being recovering the capacity to balance the inner and outer world realities, and more so the social healing processes, where by between human beings we can resolve and transform conflicts and develop deeper and ever deeper levels of agreements to be able to hold the futures that are emerging through our social, spiritual and natural developmental processes. So my interest was to take the understanding of the human being and put it into social processes for development, and I’ve been working in that field for the last 25 years. I’m the Director of the Shade Tree Multicultural Foundation: a social initiative dedicated to helping young people to utilise these principles of human development.
Q: What do you understand Moral Technologies to be?
A: Technologies firstly, are ways by which the human being utilises the will to create change. The earliest knowledge had to do with using powers of the mind to create change. So we’re always required to have a principled way by which we develop the mind. When we think back into human history, human beings had to create the very faculties now that we use to create systems in the world. But the first creative act that we engage with our powers of creativity had to do with creating the self, and the mind is a creative field, a created field by human intelligences and intelligences beyond the human realm where we are inspired to know about certain other possibilities of life outside of ourselves. But Moral Technology could be understood as a process by which we take hold of powers and direct it with moral faculties, faculties of heart, faculties of self knowledge and the principles that give the human being access to the will powers of nature and beings outside of our realms to being able to facilitate creating our civilisation. When we look at our archetypes of our civilisation we know that part of what we have done is to not use knowledge with the right intentions at all times. We’ve done a lot of the use of our powers with a great degree of self-interest and motivated by other forces such as greed or even scarcity, and so we don’t always use our technology, a part which is the technique of knowledge, the ways of using knowledge in a way that can allow harmony, inner and outer balance and health and well-being, to be what we do and share within our environments. And so I think technologies now must require moral understanding which means to be able to know the deeper motive of why were doing anything were doing, not just to do it unconsciously. We’re at an age in which most of what we can do can be done very consciously and including utilising aspects of the super conscious to aid us in working through these questions of our civilisation.
Q: Technology seems to be developing and evolving in leaps and bounds what do you see developing and evolving with the individuals and humanity in conjunction with this? What new capacities or capabilities or possibilities do you see emerging for the human experience?
A: We’ve reached an age in technological complexity where we must now have a systemic understanding of our world. We’re no longer isolated in any way from each other in the world because not only of technology but because of the development of these inner processes that make us now more sensitive to each other’s presence, existence and needs in the world. And so the human being has evolved as well. We’ve been in a certain way resisting our responsibility to that evolution by holding onto self-interest. But what is driving our technologies as well is a need to share something much more complex and we’re designing more complex technologies with the sense that they will be more responsible for our futures and we can just sit back and relax, but that is not what futures are. Futures require human beings to know, to understand, to have a certain kind of responsibility which we can call wisdom and truth meaning ultimately what are the consequence of having what we have and using what we have. There is a consequence on everything for the future. So we must take moral responsibility for the technologies and our human capacities in sharing life in such a way that what we do is deepen our coherence of our world time, and to step into that time with the understanding we cannot exclude anyone from designing our future and participation in the future that is being offered to us by being intelligences that understand our needs in some ways better then we do. This earth understands human needs or we would not have received all of the abundance that the earth has given us. We don’t understand our needs in relationship to the future and so part of our work is to not just create technologies to make our futures more efficiently accessible to us, but to make ourselves more responsible for what the future wants to give to us. If we imagine there are more kinds of powers that a human being can access we shouldn’t just put it into things we should put it into ourselves and into our lives in a way that allows us to meet the world. So what is evolving simultaneously with our technological age is an insight to the levels of human need that is not about the body and the mind in the way that we’ve been evolving our civilisation and our education, but the kind of initiation now into the level of the soul where the souls wisdom and the souls truth about what our future ages can look like, particularly this age of humanity, which we must resolve the historical gaps that we have currently in consciousness, based on the intellectual ages used only to create a school for what we call logic or reasoning, but we must now reintroduce the sciences of the spirit, the sciences of soul and the deeper sciences of nature phenomenology in such, Goethean observation as we call it sometimes, that we can allow ourselves to participate in these realities as they prepare themselves before they come into existence. And so we are acquiring a prophetic mind just as we are creating a systemic process for technologies to mediate the material world, but the spiritual work is still our work, and we have a task in that world as well. And so I think this is an age emerging. Its not just to descend further and further into sub-matter but to participate more into the realms where the human wisdom can become more engaged and the greater truths that align us into relationships can be engaged as well. And so I offer these as some reflections for this work that is being undertaken around Moral Technology, and their responsibility to see into the futures that are ahead of us and design ways by which they can enter it with moral responsibility for not making the same mistakes of causing change to occur without the ethics of life guiding it, and to honour what’s given by nature, by the cosmos and by each other in making a healthier and sustainable world.
For more information: http://moraltechnologies.com.au