Patterns of meaning making
In one of my favourite books of the last decade, The Patterning Instinct, by Jeremy Lent, he talks about two people, one well-known in Western History, Christopher Columbus, and the other, hardly known at all, Admiral Zheng, who sailed the seas in a fleet of boats, all of which were multiple’s of sizes bigger than Columbus’s.
Zheng set up embassies and encouraged active collaboration and mutual opportunity in the places he visited.
We know what Columbus did. He set off a chain of brutal colonisation that resulted in the death of entire cultures so that he and his masters would profit from the spoils.
What Jeremy does in his book is explore why one man with the capacity for much more force than Columbus had reached out a hand in collaboration, while Columbus and Western civilisation chose the path of extraction to extinction.
Chinese culture and meaning are based on harmonisation and the web of life. The ripple affects everything. Nothing is separate. Like the West, far from perfect.
We are all shaped by the culture we are in, whether we know it or not. The act of seeing the culture, seeing the water in which we swim, is a first step.
Only when we step back and inquire into its validity, its truth, its integrity, and its pattern of meaning-making, can we begin to make a choice that might be in alignment and coherent with who we are?
Most of us have been affected directly or indirectly by the colonising impulse. Many of us are beneficiaries of it.
Most of us are under a spell of history that has us be the righteous. The truth is closer to us being the barbarians.
Today in many places we are still writing the story of colonisation. The playbook of US colonisation is occurring right now, endorsed by all major media. Venezuela.
When will we learn?
February 19th 2019
Photo taken February 19th 2019