2011 has been a transformative year to say the least. For many, including myself, the revolutionary spirit and crisis on the television and live internet feeds was not only an abstract one, but a personal journey of uprooting, re-thinking, and re-orienting myself in new life directions. I was excited to initially contact Thompson about meeting in person, but, as it were, a hurricane was barreling down on New York. So we postponed our conversation until November, where he joined me on Skype for a long list of topics. If you’re not familiar with him, Thompson is a cultural historian and founder of the Lindisfarne Association; a fellowship of scientists, poets, scholars, and mystics who are interested in exploring “planetary culture.” That is, the emerging global human society that is articulated by complex-dynamic systems, chaos mathematics, and post-religious spirituality.
I ask Thompson a series of questions concerning 2011′s biggest events, from the Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street (of which he has both praise and concern), cultural evolution and catastrophe, to the singularity and the evolution of spirituality.
Thompson’s books articulate history from an evolutionary perspective, describing various “cultural ecologies” and going into great detail about what a global, planetary society might look like. Equally, and in our discussion together, he raises some of the most critical obstacles facing my own “Occupy,” internet generation in the creation of such a society.
It was a pleasure speaking with Bill Thompson and I hope to be fortunate again to do so as further events unfold. Until then, you can check out his column at Wild River Review, Thinking Otherwise. He also currently serves as an advisor for the Ross Institute, a East-Coast private school located on Long Island whose curriculum focuses on the evolution of consciousness. See their YouTube page for a fascinating collection of videos, lectures, and presentations by the students.
Thompson’s latest publication: Self and Society: studies in the evolution of culture
Coming into Being: Artifacts and Texts in the Evolution of Consciousness (1996, Reprint/Extended Edition 1998)