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Systemic Symbiotic Planetary Ecovillage Network

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Silver J. H. Jones

Systemic Symbiotic Planetary Ecovi!age Network


Why we must understand eschatology

Stepping down to the planetary level
What is an eschatological community?
Experimental ecovi!age community

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Eschatological Community

Silver J. H. Jones

Copyright © 2002 by Silver (J. H.) Jones. All rights, electronic, multimedia, and print, reserved. A publi-
cation of SSPEN - Systemic Symbiotic Planetary Ecovillage Network.
Eschatology is a fascinating subject, but since eschatology is a word that is not well know in common
language usage, let us begin by defining it within the context of our discussion. Because most of the tradi-
tional religions are monocausal, proposing that God controls all events, eschatology traditionally refers to
the end times or final event. However from a multicausal perspective, eschatology would refer to the po-
tentiality for multiple pathways within an final universal attractor basin, and entelechy would refer to the
emergent and actualized history culminating in the final event. Every day when you wake up you can
imagine yourself doing many different things. Going to work, going to the beach, visiting with a friend,
going to a movie, or staying home and reading a book. By the end of the day you will have made deci-
sions that will reduce this set of possible behaviors to a smaller set of actual behaviors - entelechy. The
behaviors you chose not to actualize, remain in a kind of virtual state, and the behaviors you chose to ac-
tualize are now a part of your actual history. Eschatology is important in philosophy, cosmology, spiritual-
ity, and information processing because it addresses all the potential alternative behaviors in complex sys-
tems which exhibit multicausal behavior and have multiple choice decision trees. At any given point in
time a system is presented with alternative bifurcation pathways in the larger phase, state, or configura-
tion space. The system is forced to select between a number of alternative pathways or flows. The path-
way that is chosen is actualized (entelechy), and in the process the pathways or flows which were not
chosen remain a part of the overall phase, state, or configuration space, but they are excluded from the
systems actual history. The actual history is always a subset of the potential pathways open to the system
prior to passing though a decision tree sequence. The process of universal evolution continually requires
us to move from potential behaviors to actual behaviors, and as we do this we move from eschatology to
entelechy. Entelechy addresses the narrower subset or field of actualized behaviors.

Why we must understand eschatology

Before we discuss the importance of eschatology in ecovillage communities, we must set the stage for a
higher level of existence, and then embed our planetary discussion within this larger perspective.
As practical human beings we are engaged in a struggle for survival, and our individual and collective
lives must of necessity focus on self-preservation. We are forced to focus most of our attention on our

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world in the present time frame, which is a product of actual histories, as opposed to potential possibili-
ties. However leaning too much in this direction can be very detrimental to our ongoing evolution. We are
intelligent, free will, evolving beings, and choice plays a very important role in our lives in the past, the
present, and the future. We live in a universe that has been designed to allow us to be cocreators in the
process of universe evolution. At every choice point in our lives, either subconsciously or consciously, we
actualize a certain pathway in the universes history, and we abandon alternative pathways. With every
choice we shape the future of the universe one way or another. Without these alternative pathways we
would be nothing more than automatons. The availability of these choices in the decision trees, which are
presented to us by the universe, allows us to define ourselves in the course of history. The degree of
awareness we bring to this process allows us to define the quality of our individual lives, and the quality
of the collective lives which make up our civilization. As the evolution of evolving intelligence expands
throughout the universe our decisions will determine the quality and meaning of life throughout the entire
universe. Decision trees are an essential component in universes that involve free will. Because the
universe has been designed to allow and promote cocreation, we have no choice but to choose. The only
part of the process we have control over is how we choose. Our choices create complex feedback loops,
which extend not only into the present, but also into the future, because the universe is a very large non-
linear complex system - no action is isolated from any other action. When we choose carelessly, without
sufficient information processing, and without sufficient data, we must pay the price for these decisions in
the form of negative feedback in the social, moral, economic, and environmental aspects of our society.
This feedback is important in the process of cocreation, for it informs us on a graduated scale of the qual-
ity of our choices. If we have chosen well, we are rewarded with harmony, evolutionary advancement,
and joy in our sense of achievement for properly comprehending the universe in which we exist. When
we choose badly, increased disharmony, disease, and suffering increases in our lives. This feedback is
not meant as a punishment. It is intended to warn us that we have violated natural systemic and symbi-
otic laws inherent within the universe itself. These laws are designed to allow us to grow, learn, and pre-
serve our lives individually and collectively, but when we violate them, we must be made cognizant of
these errors in our decisions and in our behavior. As finite beings, we are always forced to make choices
with limited information, because our lives are evolving and experimental. We can not be expected to
choose perfectly, therefore some systemic mechanism must be included in the universe to inform us when
our choices have not been in accordance with universal laws. This causal process is how we learn the
rules of cause and effect - as we witness the consequences of our actions manifest within our own lives
and the larger collective environment.

In order for us to exist as free will creatures, the universe must be multicausal rather than mono-
causal. If the universe were monocausal and completely controlled by differential equations, we would be
nothing more than automatons, proceeding down predetermined pathways, determined from the outset of
the universe by the combination of initial conditions and boundary conditions. In such a universe, design
level intelligence would be in complete control of our future. Our destiny would have been locked in and
inevitable from the beginning of the universe. This is not the universe we live in. We live in a universe of
choice, and with the exercise of these degrees of freedom, we cocreate and actualize the universe in con-
cert with design intelligence, which has granted us this birthright. Design level intelligence has designed
the universe in such a manner that we have to do more than just pass through the process, we have to
actively become an integral part of the process.
The universe is a complex, dynamical, information processing system which is pregnant with multihierar-
chical, multiheterarchical, and multicausal decision trees, which force us to transform the universe from a
potentiality into an actuality. We refer to this process as evolution, but this terminology may be a little
misleading. As we make choices, we narrow the decision tree with each new choice we make. From the
eschatological (potential) perspective this is a devolution, it is only evolutionary from the entelechy (actu-
alization) perspective. Each actualized choice narrows the total decision tree of the entire phase/state/
configuration universe space. Simultaneously it leads us to the next decision tree, in a now smaller total
decision space. When the universe cycle has reached the omega point in the universal attractor basin, we
will have chosen a particular subset of pathways or flows into the universal attractor basin. The other
pathways still remain within the universal attractor basin as virtual pathways unexplored by our unique

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universe evolution, if the universe as a whole is totally classical at the macroscopic level. If the universe
allows a many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics, then a much larger percentage of the virtual
space can be explored simultaneously by quasi-clone like versions of ourselves in parallel universes [1].
In either case the inherent decision trees plays the same role, the only difference being that a much larger
portion of the total phase/state/configuration space can be explored in a given universe domain in the
many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics.
One can certainly see the inherent advantages of the many-worlds theory of quantum mechanics. In a
many-worlds universe a much larger portion of the total phase/state/configuration space can be explored
within any given inflationary domain universe. However, this massive parallelism of universe creation
would only be useful if design intelligence were able to process such an enormous density of information
in real-time or near-real time. The many-worlds universe would surely be a hyperuniverse, with parallel
universes growing in numbers hyper-eponentially. Would a form of intelligence even as advanced as uni-
verse design intelligence be capable of processing such an enormous real-time information flow? In a me-
tauniverse of unknown transfinite age or infinite age, such a possibility should not be ruled out. The
plethora of advantages are obvious and enormous, if such a hyperuniverse can be information processed
by design level intelligence. Since universes must be iterated due to their inherent nonlinear complexity,
this approach would allow the testing of so many more universe designs in parallel in the search for the
best conceivable universes - but the computational capacity required to accomplish this would be enor-
If the universe is not capable of parallel universe development, or if individuals within a given universe
are never able to access the parallel branches, then we are left with the reality that we will never know
how our individual and collective lives would have developed had we chosen other branches in the deci-
sion tree, in which all or a very large percentage of other possibilities are actualized. Furthermore we will
have to learn how to live with this reality throughout our entire universe evolution. This is not a easy task.
We can always imagine the paths not taken, but we may never know what a universe involving those
other possibilities would have been like. Perhaps this is the reason that leads to the creation of new uni-
verses, because no one universe can ever satisfy our curiosity. Would we enjoy it if we could become
aware of our life in all the parallel universe branches? Some of these branches would undoubtedly be su-
perior to our own branch, and others might be considerably inferior. Let us hope that the vast majority of
these branches are superior to our own, and that the hyperuniverse, if it exists, is statistically superior to
our limited knowledge of our own branch. We can also hope that as we gain greater knowledge about our
own universe branch, we will discover that our own universe is superior to the image we now have of it.
Until proven otherwise, we can hold on to the hope that the vast majority of the universe is filled with
systemic, synergistic, and symbiotic worlds free of exploitation, poverty, crime, and war.

Stepping down to the planetary level

We now wish to address the question of why eschatology is important at the community level. The true
purpose of community is to assist individuals and groups to actualize their full genetic, intellectual, and
cultural potential. If communities fail to do this, they create lagging cores of entropy in the advancement
of both individual evolution and community evolution. The purpose of all civilization is to encourage and
assist the individuals which make up that civilization to reach their full potential, thereby allowing them
to make the greatest possible contribution to their civilizations. What we have just defined is a systemic
and symbiotic relationship. Communities which are founded on systemic principles flourish and evolve
with maximum efficiency, and create joy and fulfillment for the individuals and groups that participate in
these communities.
As we stated earlier, we must learn to live with the reality that we have no alternative but to continue to
actualize our own universe, never knowing where the other pathways would have lead us. Perhaps this
places even greater importance upon our own efforts to do the very best we can in our continuing efforts
to actualize our communities and to be proud of them. Even though we may often regret our inability to
change our choices, the very fact that we can not change our choices adds additional importance to them.
With every choice we define who we are, what we are, and where we are going. We share this limitation

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with all other forms of evolving intelligence in the universe, as we summon our courage each and
every day to step into the unknown and define reality as we go. Owning our past can be quite painful.
The recent events of the holocaust which occurred in Germany during the Second World War, is a good
example. Yet by owning our past decisions, we deepen our understanding of how important this process
of actualization is. It is unfortunate that we can not retain this realization without having to revisit such
enormous failures. We must try to hold our tragic mistakes ever present in our minds, and attempt to
avoid as many future mistakes as possible.
The reason we are not very good at retaining this type of awareness could be because our current social
and educational systems are not designed around general system and symbiotic principles. We are for the
most part a civilization that approaches each new challenge from a linear reductionist point of view. The
full systemic implications of our actions on the entire complex system in which we exist, is often ne-
glected. This often occurs because of the sense of urgency we have in dealing with the immediate short-
term problems we encounter. We feel that our future survival depends on addressing these immediate
problems. Subsystems or components of systems must learn to think and behave in a systemic manner, if
they wish to survive in a highly complex nonlinear universe. Societies which want to develop long-term
survivable civilizations learn this early, and practice it consistently. Establishing systemic practices at the
very core of our civilization, is essential for our long-term survival. Those societies that disregard this
reality, may disappear from the continuing evolutionary history of the universe.

What is an eschatological community?

How does an eschatological community differ from a community that does not have an eschatological
perspective? The typical objectives of most of our current communities is to provide a basic education
that prepares one to eventually obtain a job with one of the large corporations. Once this job is obtained,
the individual’s eschatological objectives for the most part become subservient to the objectives of the
corporation. Communities also face a similar situation. As population expands, communities need new
sources of jobs to provide a living for their expanding populations. These communities turn to the largest
providers of ready made jobs - the corporations. The corporations do not design their objectives around
the desires of the community. The corporations agree to establishes businesses in the communities, but the
corporations continue to pursue their own internal objectives. Corporations have no interest in and accept
no responsibility for assisting the communities in fulfilling their own potential. This is neither a systemic
nor a symbiotic relationship. This type of relationship does qualify as a minimal relationship, because the
community gets revenue and jobs from the corporate presence, and the corporation gets a source of em-
ployees. This minimal relationship falls short of our vision of a truly eschatological community. In our
modern western communities, it is the multinational corporations that structure the eschatological
process! Citizens are limited to a large extent to competing or stepping into predefined decision tress, and
those decision trees are pre-structured primarily to benefit the corporations. For the most part corpora-
tions define jobs, and then place people in them. This is a top-down model.
We would like to see communities founded around bottom-up approaches, utilizing the same techniques
used so successfully by biology. A bottom-up approach places more trust in the inherent potential of the
individual to define their own lifestyle interface with the extended community. Individuals should be
encouraged in every way to explore all kinds of interests in their developmental years. The community
should encourage and assist the individual in zeroing in on their greatest interests, aptitudes, and talents.
When the individual has succeeded in defining their own profession, the community accepts and inte-
grates these skills and talents into the community at large. We believe this approach provides the most
fulfilling lifestyles, and that self motivated individuals, as opposed to corporate motivated individuals,
prove to be the most valuable members of a society. Financial compensation, plays a reduced roll in this
approach, because it is not seen as the primary motivating force in economics and society. Money can be
a motivator, but it does not assure pride in one’s work, ethical, and exemplary conduct. Finding a life
style that excites us, challenges us , and allows us to fulfill our highest expectations of ourselves, not
only provides superior individual conduct, but also provides the foundation stones upon which ad-
vanced civilizations are built. Large quantities of mediocre work, performed by numbed-out automatons

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does not produce a superior civilization. Every individual born into this world, brings with them some-
thing unique and irreplaceable. Superior communities have the faith and the willingness to allow indi-
viduals to find their place, and they provide the support mechanisms to assist these individuals in their
continuing development and maturation. The bottom-up community approach, rather than shaping and
programming individuals (Orwellian fascism), allows the full process of unique self-organization to un-
fold within each person.
The role of the community shifts from programming and enforcement, to providing the necessary envi-
ronment in which the full potential of the individual can expand into the full multifaceted prism we all
potentially harbor within ourselves. Self-motivated and directed individuals, as opposed to corporate mo-
tivated and financially directed individuals, provide a constant source for the process of negentropic mor-
phogenic growth. This is not a total surrender on the part of the community to the individuals power, be-
cause the community provides the environment and memes that the individual draws upon to establish
their own identity and personality dynamic. It is a reciprocal relationship, with a great deal of reciprocal
shaping and morphogenesis taking place in both directions. The individual selectively draws upon the
collective experience and the resources of the community, and the community morphs itself to accommo-
date the new and unique mix of talents these individuals brings to the collective. This enrichment proc-
ess leads to a non-static revitalized community. This is a win/win strategy. The process is much like
putting a puzzle together. Each individual piece has a unique shape, and as you begin to put the individual
pieces together the larger sub-patterns begin to take shape. These patterns allow you to visualize where
other individual pieces fit into the whole pattern. Eventually one obtains a complete pattern with unique
individual pieces all fitting together in a unique combination. The individuals and the community together
form a reciprocal, systemic, and symbiotic whole. In the top-down approach to puzzles, the shape of the
puzzle is determined in advance, and the pieces represent the particular way the puzzle is sliced up. In the
bottom-up approach to puzzles, the individual pieces are allowed many degrees of freedom in their own
self-organizing evolution, and the already existing puzzle pieces morph and change to accommodate the
new pieces. This is why the bottom-up approach is more reciprocal than the top-down approach. Why is it
that in Western Civilization, where we praise individual rights, we have not yet shown this level of faith
in the individual?
True child prodigies often achieve all of this this, on their own, with the highly directed force of their will.
The less gifted will not receive the same treatment. They will be channeled into predefined scholastic
structures, and they will eventually be absorbed into predefined professions. Adaption, acceptance, and
playing by the rules will be rewarded. The individual’s unique contribution may be sublimated into hob-
bies or avocations, and reserved for spare time activities. In some cases the results can be much worse,
because individuals who do not adapt well, move from job to job, never finding fulfillment, and become
more frustrated and unhappy, as their lives progress. In extreme cases this can lead to externalized vio-
lence, family abuse, organized crime, white collar crime, street crime and even global terrorism - as we
are now witnessing. A life of just paying the bills is a practical necessity, but it fails miserably as a way of
life, for both the individual and the larger community. A life lived in this fashion is a lose/lose strategy.
The performance of the individual is likely to be mediocre, and the collective performance of the commu-
nity is likely to suffer the same fate. Both the individual and the society go through the motions, but the
commitment is minimal, because the two sides of the interface fail to engage each other in a rich, excit-
ing, and meaningful manner. True life is degraded to existential sufferance. Civilization becomes me-
chanical, dreary, and toilsome - in the words of Pink Floyd - “welcome to the machine my friend, wel-
come to the machine.” Who wants to look back upon a life lived in this manner? Yet so many people are
numbed-out (Pink Floyd - “I have become comfortably numb.”) to the point that they are willing to accept
it, because they think there is no alternative. Surely the billions of years of preparation for life, that have
been exhibited by our universe, requires something more elevated than this dismal eventuality.

Experimental ecovillage community

As we stated previously, we have never seen a community built around these bottom-up self-organizing
principles. What confidence can we have that such an approach is feasible? Currently it remains an es-
chatological potential, because it has yet to be tested, and herein lies the value of experimental, systemic,

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symbiotic, planetary ecovillages. These ecovillages can be our testing ground for the nodes of a poten-
tially new scope of civilization in the new millennium. Embedded within the older top-down society,
unique new bottom-up experiments can initially be performed in controlled environments, which incorpo-
rate new degrees of freedom, for both the individual and the community. By networking these individual
experiments, we can share our experiences about what works and what does not work, and this informa-
tion can be stored in a larger data base for others to draw upon. We can pool our knowledge, experience,
and resources across our network. We can provide countless laboratories for the larger community to
sample the research in a controlled and non-threatening fashion, and where some efforts do not succeed,
the experimental community can always fall back upon the existing ideas and infrastructure of the older
We have already tried dictatorships, socialism, communism, republics, and democracies - and if you
look at the current state of our world, it would seem that they have all failed us! What do we have to
lose from giving the same principles that were so successful in biology a try. Total self-organization may
not be the way to go. It produces very robust and well tested systems, but in order to accomplish this, it
must test vast numbers of commutations and permutations, in order to arrive at the finished product.
Some degree of highly flexible top-down initial planning can provide a working model within which the
bottom-up organizing power of self-organization and emergence can blossom. However this planning
must be much more open than the typical approach taken by most community developers, in their efforts
at constructing new communities and infrastructure. Ecovillages need to provide a fluid and course-grain
layout of their intended community project, while leaving the inventiveness and genius of the community
to fill in the specific details in a morphogenic fashion.
It is also important that microsocieties or ecovillages present themselves in an open and reciprocal posture
to the surrounding external community, so that they are not seen as cults or some other form of organiza-
tion that threatens the external community. They should attempt to establish openness, inviting, and recip-
rocal relationships with their neighbors. The community must continually review various phases of their
experiment with regard to its progress and feasibility. Various forms of documentation may be necessary
to perform these reviews, and these same materials can be used as educational materials that can be
shared across the network of planetary econetworks, and with the larger extranet of established society.
Life in most ecosystems requires food, water, and some degree of shelter. The marvelous experiments that
we are suggesting are wide open, and we have hardly scratched the surface of their eschatological poten-
tial. Even with our limited knowledge of universe life, we already see evidence that some form of teleol-
ogy is inherent in the universal process. This is not the highly restrictive deterministic teleology of old. It
is an exciting, open, multicausal teleology, involving free will and cocreation. At our current state of evo-
lution we are novices at best, but eventually we shall graduate to become apprentices and masters. Com-
munity is the medium in which these adventures will unfold, by virtue of the fact that life always brings
new life into pre-existing life. One cannot, nor is one meant to escape community, because it is a funda-
mental aspect of the systemic and symbiotic living universes. There is no reason to believe that planetary
ecosystems are the final stage of universe community. Stellar and galactic community seems inevitable at
some point in universe evolution - it is highly probable that they exists at this very moment. We know
from the UFO observations in our sky and under our oceans that we are being observed. Perhaps they are
allowing us to advance a little further in our own efforts towards fulfilling community, before they un-
leash a tremendous revelation upon our immature world!

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1. Dewitt, Bryce S. and Graham, Neil (Eds). The Many-Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics.
Princeton University Press, 1973.

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