Pacific Shift

“The world of industrial man is a world of objects separated by lines: mansions at one end, dioxin dumps at the other. But in the Pacific-Aerospace cultural ecology, the world is known to be a field of interpenetrating presences, and in the world of space one is constrained to be on more intimate terms with one’s waste. This is a knowledge that is brought back to Earth, for aerospace technologies lead directly to new understandings of ecology. With satellites one sees the life of rivers and seas; with space capsules and shuttles one learns the placing of exhalation and excretion. Ideologies are excretions of the mind; they are the exhausted remains of once living ideas. They too, must be put safely to the side as toxic wastes that can kill if they are inappropriately taken in as life-giving food. For Rusty Shwickart [astronaut], looking down on the violent Middle East, the movement into space became a shift from ideologies of “us and them” to the ecology of consciousness in which opposites are understood in an involvement of “each in all.” The furthest development of industrial technology and its extension into space brings about a rather classic enantiodromia in which technology triggers a mystical change in consciousness in which an object becomes a presence, but it also brings about a cultural condition in which the spiritual unconscious, or Gaia, is precipitated into consciousness.” – William Irwin Thompson, Pacific Shift. 1986


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