Kabir Kadre
Kabir Kadre

Thrive. Again?

|6 months, 26 days ago

In early November, 2011, responding to a flurry of mentions by respectable thinkers, I took an evening to watch the new “alt-” culture film, Thrive.

The film was a complex interweaving of topics ranging from “far out” physics, through finance and economics, spirituality, alien encounters, energy generation, government, and even a secret global cabal of would-be rulers striving to drain power from the masses. Among others.

It was a wild journey, plenty to appreciate, compelling ideas and perspectives, and an undertone of anxious concern which the films progenitors did effort to some degree to counter with positive and practical optimism.

That night, after the film, I promptly sent correspondence to a few close friends, and a local Integral interest group with whom I had recently begun meeting. I had been moved…

As the year waned, and the new year began to wax on I found the conversations surrounding this provocation continuing to fascinate and call me forward into the inquiry. By early February I was well on my way to convening a group dialogue (long before the age of Zoom 😉 on the subject, and more particularly, the underlying material…

To be clear, this was, and remains for me, aspects of a larger dialogue of awakening to reflect on the course and diversity of our collective evolution.

There were many critiques, (replies) and even condemnations of the film at the time, but the topic was ripe.

After a few weeks of scheduling polka, we had a date near the end of February. We lost our UFO specialist to ballerina to transportation duties, but the remaining roster was rich with talent relevant to the inquiry at hand.

While not initiating a massive creative endeavor which I had, perhaps naïvely, imagined it might, the conversation was deeply satisfying and I came away with a sense of greater clarity and intelligence around various elements of our evolving world system.

So here we are 10 years later. Many of the original challenges posed in the film remain and have become further exacerbated, while others not mentioned at the time have taken greater stage in our collective complex unfolding.

The other day, the latest offering from Foster and Kimberly (Carter) Gamble found its way across my desk; a somewhat non sequitur entry in an otherwise unrelated Internet discussion forum. Given the edgy nature of the content in the original film, and our current chaos in the matters of truth and reliability in media, I went gingerly towards the film.

Last night I watched it and today, in an echo of 10 years previous, find myself responding at length to the matter.

Part way through the film, enthused by stories of creative and interesting endeavors in the disciplines of modern unified field theory, understanding consciousness and healing, and even examples of radical new energy technologies, I spammed a small subsection of my friends list with direct links to the film.

Two thirds in, the film echoes back to the story of humanity and the biosphere versus the power-hungry global cabal. I tempered my initial messages to friends…

The piece feels characteristic of our time, so much to give voice to, so much to share and celebrate and honor together; and yet so much narrative confusion and convolution that it becomes difficult, if not impossible to tease the signal from the noise.

Familiar to most of us today, the piece teases on that painful edge between responsible response to disease pandemic, and mindfulness of the responsibilities of freedom, and most particularly, it’s maintenance. For those of us unwilling to stop considering nuance, this is a question not easily resolved.

Perhaps more esoteric to many, the story advances valuing alternative medicine technologies and approaches, many of which suffer derision, ostracization, and downright persecution. Similarly so, scientific perspectives and technological initiatives often considered to be the domain of fools if not downright heretics.

Even the UFO topic brought up in the context of the film, with its now more mainstream recognition, remains heavily weighted to the side of being near entirely discounted from a collective social perspective.

The film offers legitimacy to all of these dimensions, in my view, legitimately so. Nonetheless, mainstream rationalism and scientific thinking tend to disregard these perspectives out of hand.

The problem from where I sit is that this mainstream rationalism is rarely rationally rational, nor is modern science generally subjected to a purely scientific inquiry. Not that either of these conditions are malicious, but if we are being honest with ourselves, it is rather plain that we move often more in accordance with momentum, than with truth.

Biologically speaking, the caloric cost of relitigating something that isn’t directly linked to a first-order hurt, it is just not enough motivation to undergo any necessary dendritic rewiring.

This is to say nothing at all of the very real economic incentives in place that prevent large-scale changes of direction that threaten to disrupt established empires of wealth. One of the commenters in our initial conversation surrounding the first film said something that stands with me to this day…

On the matter of inventors mysteriously disappearing upon their announcement of having come to clean, purely local, and inexpensive power generation, he made this point:

“If you’re an executive at a petroleum Company sitting on 80+ billion dollars of future oil reserves and someone comes along with a thousand dollar invention that threatens to devalue that existing asset, you will either do something about it, or the system around you will move you out of the way and bring in someone who will.”

Food systems, energy systems, health systems, media, political systems, etc. all of these major elements of our day-to-day lives represent substantially established and often consolidated wealth and power. These “establishments” are understandably inherently unwilling to surrender their own existential prowess in favor of alternatives, regardless of the benefits they may provide to the world.

In the film, these optimistic presentations of alternate and promising approaches to those large-scale matters hang on just barely in the face of conventional/accepted “wisdom.”

All of this is BEFORE we even begin to consider the latter third of the film where the authors take a very pointed and unequivocal approach to their assertion of an entrenched and powerful (and extremely well-organized) global cabal.

At this point, one needs to be ready to start gulping the Kool-Aid, or risk losing any tenuous ground gained in any of the other areas of positivity.

Unfortunately, the two are not unrelated, nor are there good faith arguments on any side of this confusingly complex puzzle wholly without merit.

For my own part, in the decade that has passed since viewing the first installment, of primary concern for me has become the refinement and purification of my own perceptive apparatus, and internal processes of identity construction and maintenance.

Regardless of the catastrophic and confused state of the world, I must first clarify my own senses and purify the motives and means of my response, if my contributions are to be of an integrity that suits my values.

I bring this up simply in contrast to my “reaction” 10 years ago. At the time it was very much, “how concerned should we be?” & “What actions must we take to meet these conditions?” I convened a conversation at the time, as I said, not only to better understand, but with hopefulness to craft an impactful reaction to the invitation.

Today the exercise hits me more in the heart. I am inspired, uplifted, and delighted by some of the beautiful and potentially meaningful initiatives showcased in the film.

I am likewise heart torn by the knowledge that much of this narrative will remain a bridge too far for so many, and feel we may be a long way indeed from understanding the realities of just what forces there are aligned against our possibilities to mitigate and minimize the potential pains of so many along this portion of our journey.

In the end, the film leaves us with a practical and accessible offering of their Solutions Model, as well as clear actions and a descriptive outline of their view of the world as it might prove useful to others.

I think perhaps my strongest reaction to the film is well paraphrased by a beloved quotation:

"Seek the company of those who are looking for the truth – Run away from those who have found it."

~Vaclav Havel

Still yet, I tire of running, there is no away.

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