Most of us, at least in the mainstream, find ourselves pressured into conforming to a world driven almost exclusively by economics: a world constructed through binary and atomistic classifications of thinking and defined by hierarchies of values that are divorced from a living connection to life as a whole.
Few would doubt the benefits that modern science and technology have given us. Enormous advances in healthcare, technology and global communication, have impacted the world in a significant way. In addition, liberal and democratic traditions, imperfect and precarious as they are, have brought an often-unprecedented degree of freedom and human rights-including women’s rights-to many parts of the world.
"Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?"
- T.S. ELIOT -
Yet, the triumph of science has also brought us to the Anthropocene – a world shaped entirely by us and for us. Contrary to the claims of neo-liberalist ideology, unrestrained free open-market capitalism, based on control of resources, is creating an unparalleled disparity between the rich and everyone else. Furthermore, the current model of modernity dramatically impresses itself upon the experience of being an individual and the evolutionary potential of our own subjectivity to reach for new horizons.
We live in extreme times. On one hand the juggernaut of scientific materialism is pushing us ever onward in the name of progress, to what are its inevitable limits. On the other, fissures are appearing everywhere. Powerful social movements are mobilising in response to climate change, the excessive reach of global corporations, ineffective government, and continuing racial and gender inequality. Disparate and often isolated voices of dissent and hope, as well as new paradigms of thinking and innovation, are connecting with each other and the world at large, thanks to the internet. The recognition of a crisis of ‘meaning’ is generating a different order of knowledge within postmodernity. This is challenging the exclusive anthropocentric humanism of our time with a different priority of values: those that privilege authenticity, and support non-hierarchical and integral ways of living and being.
At 3rd Space we see ourselves as part of this emergent process – providing spaces to nurture authentic counter-narratives – spaces in which to reconsider and reconstitute the world – to bring deep, genuine inquiry and engagement to all aspects and fields of life.