About

I am interested in pretty much everything – science, religion/spirituality, psychology, sociology, education, the arts, development, emergence, self-organising systems, the independent investigation of truth – everything that relates to the generation and useful application of knowledge for the development of humanity.
The thing that fascinates me most right now is the search for ways we can learn to live together.  There is so much unnecessary suffering in the world and a large amount of it is caused by our failure to recognise that humanity is one.  Our oneness is a biological and sociological fact but as we still persist in seeing ourselves as divided we don’t know how to operate the system that is humanity.
I believe that our most urgent need right now is to learn how to function as one entity – one organism.  As human systems are emergent and a properly functioning emergent system far exceeds the sum of its parts who knows what we can achieve – what the world will be like – when we start to recognise and work the system we have?  I find that exciting beyond words!
At the moment I am working on trying to understand the concept of reciprocity – examining what it means and trying to identify how it works.  If you’re interested I’d love your input…
Trisha Rainsford –
creatingreciprocity@gmail.com

53 Comments

  1. Trisha,

    What a fabulous idea as a central idea in your blog–the mutual exchange between people–in virtually every context–particularly in the context of how “humanity is one.” It is a very worthwhile endeavor too–thinking seriously about how to “function as one entity.”

    I agree with you that it is at least possible, with the right emphasis and determined effort, to bring about the awareness of this essential relationship between all living things and each other. It is no simple task, of course, but clearly possible.

    My only challenge with your blog at the moment is finding a way to stop reading it! I am something of a fanatic myself in your subject area, and your friendly gesture of listing one of my posts as a related article, gave me the sense right away that we are connected in a reciprocal manner, and I must say that it feels very positive to be connected to you in this way.

    I immediately subscribed to your blog and hope very much to share in the richness of your intellectual musings, as well as to exchange thoughts and ideas as time goes forward.

    Thanks so much for continuing to write about and consider this enormously important subject, and as I am able, I hope to communicate and share as one…..John H.

    1. John – thank you for your kind words. I am so glad you that you are interested in the same issues – I am away from home at the moment and have limited internet access but had a chance to have a quick look at your blog – John’s Consciousness (http://jjhiii24.wordpress.com – for anyone who is interested) – and really liked it. Look forward to having a proper read soon. Thanks again – and the best of luck with your work.

  2. In order for us to get a better understanding of the human capacity for reciprocity we must gain a better understand of human nature, of human evolutionary biology. The scientific research of human nature has rocked many of our now outmoded notions.

    You wrote: “The thing that fascinates me most right now is the search for ways we can learn to live together.There is so much unnecessary suffering in the world and a large amount of it is caused by our failure to recognise that humanity is one. Our oneness is a biological and sociological fact but as we still persist in seeing ourselves as divided we don’t know how to operate the system that is humanity.
    I believe that our most urgent need right now is to learn how to function as one entity – one organism.”

    Many years ago I began the same quest. This quests has lead me to the study of human behavior (nature) because this appeared likely to be the only cause of all that is good and bad in us. There is really no where else to look.

    So, I offer these three books for your edification. There are many more that I could suggest, but these are a good start.

    “On Human Nature”
    by Edward O. Wilson

    “The Moral Animal: Why We Are, the Way We Are: The New Science of Evolutionary Psychology”
    by Robert Wright

    “Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny”
    by Robert Wright

    If we are serious in our desire to create a world that leads to human well-being, just societies, and a salubrious posterity we must better understand how our human minds work — for they are the root of all evil and the root of all good.

    Good reading and best wishes.

    1. Thank you very much for your comment and thank you for the recommendations – I will definitely look for those books. I agree with you wholeheartedly about studying human nature. I think I am coming to believe that the need for this is twofold – on the one hand, it is the only way we can learn more about ourselves and how we really work so that we might better apply our capacities and deal with our problems, and on the other, it offers a type of proof that we are potentially much more than the dysfunction we see all around. Once we see that we have the potential then we can harness this capcacity for ‘functionality’ if we have the desire to do so. I think that the vast majority of people would be willing to work at living together in harmony if they thought they had half a chance of success and therefore everything that can encourage a belief in it being ‘worth a try’ is, in itself, ‘worth a try’.
      Once again – thank you for your help and the best of luck in your own endeavours.

  3. Hi Tricia,

    I read your interesting comment on one of my blog posts (thanks!) and came to see your blog, You have a very artful touch. And your interests are all important for me – and the world.

    Here’s a thought about creating reciprocity. It’s extremely natural and human – built-in to our nervous systems and psyches It glues us together into greater wholes. And it aligns minds.

    How does it work? You can answer that in spiritual terms, or emotional, or logical, or even purely selfish terms, or using knowledge from neuroscience, etc.

    In my longish blog post from Wednesday (http://wp.me/paGhu-8w) I looked briefly at the role of reciprocity in social networks, so that might be sort of interesting to think about. It’s interesting to me as I think about how to improve upon social network applications.

    However, what especially interests me about reciprocity is the question – How does reciprocity *spread*? How does the spirit of reciprocity spread across cultural or ideological boundaries to tie together groups, or networks, that are currently mostly cutoff from each other? Social fragmentation is a root cause of huge numbers of dire threats, and our inabilities to find solutions that we can agree on.

    This question is also about dialogue, and how that works. And one of the most important principles of dialogue is the importance of getting people to suspend judgment, to step back from their positions enough to actually hear what other people are saying.

    I see that you’re aware of Bohm’s work, so you’re very aware of this. I don’t think, though, that anyone has figured out yet how to make dialogue “scale.” But I think it must be possible.

    All the best

  4. Hi Duncan – Thanks for the comment. I am very interested in your comments about reciprocity and read your own blog post on reciprocity in social networks. You make some very interesting points about strength and context in particular – most helpful.

    Strengthening connections seems to be one of the easier parts to figure out. At the moment I am considering the parallels between communication between people/groups and the way neurons communicate in the brain. If I understand it correctly, myelin is created around neurons when we do ‘stuff’ (i.e. everything) – someone described it as being like insulation on wires – and this helps the messages to move faster along the network. Therefore – also as I understand it – the more you do (practice) the more myelination happens and the faster the processes become – that’s why we can drive, dance (well some of us), play instruments etc. Also, it appears that this process happens throughout life and therefore competencies increase with age and practice – the more you communicate in a network, neurological or social, the better and faster you get at it – how do you get to Carnegie Hall…

    The harder to figure out issue is the one you raise about finding ways to create links between resistent groups. I am also positive that the key is in there somewhere but I am not sure how reciprocity spreads either – as you point out things like Twitter can start a sequence that become reciprocal but in many ways that’s like the idea of the first move (or punch actually) in non-virtual living. In synchronous movements and emergent processes in nature – flocks of birds, fireflies etc – they now know that there is no ‘leader’ as such but that each ant/bee/bird is influenced by his/her neighbour and that these massive environments and complex flight patterns happen in this domino-like way. Maybe the spread of reciprocity and cooperation is the same? Maybe we look for top-down solutions and they are bottom-up? If that’s true then it might help to find and link ordinary individuals in these contentious groups to each other so that they can become involved in a positive reciprocity?

    But I don’t know, to be honest.

  5. Hi Tricia,

    Thanks for your additional thoughts. I agree with your point “it might help to find and link ordinary individuals in these contentious groups…” I noticed your links to the YouTube interview with David Bohm.

    Have you read his short book “On Dialogue.” He explains what is needed to get people who are in conflict to step back enough from their own positions in order to actually listen and appreciate each other. But the process can be very time-consuming. People have to be willing…

    I’m not positive that there is a “trick” to make it easier or faster. However, a couple of years ago I heard an interesting talk about the power of stories to bring about amazing transformations in a whole community and society. A powerful story that touches people deeply can affect thousands, or even millions of people, and that can help jump start social transformation.

  6. Great and simple definitions.

    I think that we, or at least a lot of of us,- as a pieces of human crowd – are looking for the same things as you are, but did not express in such an elegant manner like you.

    All the best and hope that you continue to enrich our lives.
    Thank you.

  7. Hey there, glad you came across my littel place, because that gave me a chance to check out your – I love the philosophy behind this collection of thoughts, quotes and pictures you have created.

    Isn’t it weird, how the more we become (globally speaking) the further we stay away from one another.

    That’s one of the things I adore about blogging. It takes you out of your comfort zone and confronts you with topics and people you would have never adressed usually and in the end those are the best conversations you’ve ever had in your life.

    I forget who said it, but there’s this quote that comes to mind “Surround yourself with people who are like you for comfort, surround yourself with people who are different from you for growth”

    I will be back,

    🙂 K.

    1. Thank you so much for the award – I really do appreciate such a wonderful award – you are very kind. I am sorry for being so slow to respond but I’m a bit intimidated at the idea of saying 26 things about myself! Nevertheless – thank you, it is very encouraging to receive this from you.

  8. Hello Tricia ..
    Many are now coming to understand as we Re-awaken up to ourselves as Mother Earth is shaking us up to remember who we are.. That we cannot carry on in this way any longer..
    We are all of us connected all One, all equal upon this planet and it is time now that we join together as a collective mind and unify our thoughts.
    I have long know Thoughts are living energy and as such we create our reality.. We have been so long in a sleep of indoctrinated thought and have lost our direction and I am happy to meet another Kindred Spirit who is chipping away at trying to Unite us all together..
    Happy to meet you.. ~Sue Dreamwalker ..

  9. Mmm, what an interesting blog! I got hooked on the Kony story, and loved your follow-on post. I too am a fervent skeptic and tend to treat information with suspicion, but at the end of the day, the positive consequences of making a difference is the story is true may far outweigh the negative consequences of getting it wrong. This is what you aptly summed up by saying that if one child gets saved, then it was worth it.

    On a lighter note, your picture above intrigues me: It looks like it could be somewhere in my country (France).

    1. Hi – thanks for dropping by and you are completely correct, the photograph was taken in France! I can’t remember exactly where but I think it was somewhere on the back roads between Magalas (near Béziers) and Montpellier – well spotted!

  10. Hi Trisha, I love your blog. It’s really amazing how many people share the same beliefs and values. My only complaint is now I have another hundred pages or so to read!

  11. Happy to have found you in my inbox tonight. However, when I clicked on the link it linked me to “No page Found.” Fortunately, the rest of your blog was available. I have thought a lot about you over the past few months and have really missed your posts.

  12. I completely agree with your core idea: “I believe that our most urgent need right now is to learn how to function as one entity – one organism.” I bang on about ‘widening the compass of our compassion’ to include the whole of humanity, but it’s basically the same thing. I just wish I was better at following my own advice – but I guess mastering this skill could take the rest of my life. I just have to keep on trying. It was great to stumble upon your blog. I will be back.

    1. Hi Pete – nice to meet you and thanks for dropping by! I love the idea of ‘widening the compass of our compassion’ – such a great way to describe the functioning of unity. Mind you I agree about it being a lifelong task – that may be true for everyone. I also visited your blog – I love the name – Everybody Means Something – such a wonderful name and sentiment. I look forward to reading more.

      1. It’s a shame I can’t take complete credit for the compass of compassion idea – the basic notion comes from Robert Wright’s book ‘The Evolution of God.’

    1. What an amazing photograph on your blog! There is no doubt that these places are such a testament to human suffering and human cruelty and indifference that the only possible way to overcome it – in every sense – is to connect to our hearts. Thanks for the comment and the link, Alicia.

    1. Thank you for your kind comment, Alicia – and your dad sounds amazing! Does he write on some specific theme or in some specific field?

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