We owe much of our success to our capacity to tell stories. Stories are the familiar structures of thought we use to map and navigate complex social terrains. Our narratives work so well that we sometimes mistake the story for reality.
Before reading these principles I ask for a temporary suspension of familiar stories -- so that you might see Oika for what it actually is and what it could be. In other words, just make a little room in your head or heart for surprise.
0. Curiosity is the cure
Our times call for new imaginative capacities to see prosperity simultaneously grounded in the realities of ecological abundance. This requires first and foremost curiosity. If you are incurious, you are probably incurable. Young minds (regardless of age) may think they know everything, but they also know that they don't. If you think you know what Oika is, please keep reading.
1. Reality is continuous
The Enlightenment worldview now carefully accepts the more ancient and indigenous understandings of our place and purpose in the cosmos. We now agree scientifically that everything is interconnected and interdependent both objectively and subjectively. This ontological continuity of nature pre-configures justice as a universal impulse. What we do to the “other” we do to ourselves.
2. Earth unites us
Humanity is the only family of Earthlings to have lived in sustained and intimate relationship with every habitat on this planet. Our unique history with the Earth is a gift that empowers us more than any other species to know, enjoy and care for this rare world. Earthling Theory implies there are no out-groups in the Earth-generative view. We are all indigenous and our human diversity perfectly reflects the Earth’s diversity. Embracing our endowment of unity binds us together and prepares us to accept and value all diversity.
3. Ecology is everything
All systems on Earth (economic, social, cultural, technological, etc) emerge from and depend on the ecological systems of nature. If the underlying natural systems fail, all systems follow. Our resilience and our fate is tied to the land. We are Earthbound. You can't just buy your way to the stars for the price of a planet. If we keep denying the simple pleasures of ecological happiness here on earth, we shouldn't expect the galaxy to welcome us with open arms.
4. Relationship is primary
Nature is source. All that springs from nature does so only through relationships. Everything, including us, are nothing but relationships. The qualities of emergent phenomena carry the qualities of their originating relationships. Ecology is the study of relationships. Oika holds ecological understanding universally to include the relationships of human, non-human, living, non-living, material, non-material, profane, sacred, ad-infinitum…
5. Life is fieldwork
To move through the world is to be entangled in a potent field of forces. This field manifests as our experiences of symmetry and surprise, habit and expectation, both fulfilled and broken. The field we inherit feels comfortable, cherished and constraining. The field we generate feels earned, empowering, and expansive. We make meaning of the field through bodily sensation, stories, imagination and paying attention. When life is fieldwork, work is play. This seems to be what life is for.
6. Healing is value
We’ve collectively suffered many generations of social trauma and economic injury. To transition to a more beautiful future we must elevate healing to the highest fulfillment of human purpose, and at industrial scale. We must recouple economic wealth to ecological health. Let ours be the first of many "Healing Generations'' that begin to transition our inherited economies of exploitation and extraction into a Healing Economy where all work and life cultivates personal and planetary prosperity.
7. Our future is beautiful
Art and science have always been how humanity changes the world. Through science we know enough and through art we can feel enough to create a more prosperous and joyous future for all life on Earth. When art feels what science reveals the world heals. We should stop thinking of the future only in terms of imminent degradation. If there is to be a future, it must be beautiful. We know enough. Now we need only feel enough gratitude and conjure enough imagination to make it so.