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The Operating System and Beloved Community

The operating system is the thing that controls. It is the hierarchy in the clouds, the invisible tribe, the pantheon of gods and goddesses. The father of humilities like “mine is not to reason why, mine is just to do or die” or blind obedience to whatever is “trending”. It has many devices at its finger tips to persuade us that events are governed by public opinion, and that we are to blame for the state of the world even if we are powerless to change it.     

Through the ages there have been recognizable power elites, such as kings, emperors and empires who came, who saw, who conquered. But they are not the operating system – merely the interests that learned how to use the system to their advantage.

The operating system is invisible, nameless and exploitative. It has no reflective capacity, no feeling or sentiment. It is not interested in culture or science, because it has no interest in life. 

The operating system is not to blame for the violence of the ages,  it simply enabled it. Humanity is not to blame for the violence either – it simply fears the system and creates devices (such as the bank, the church, the corporation) in an attempt to control it.

In the end, when all life has been devoured by the insatiable appetite of the operating system, it will die unconscious of its life and its death.  The operating system is the universal will to power, from volcanic eruptions to social revolutions. If our species continues to glorify power above life itself we shall ultimately be silenced by it.  As long as we worship tools of power such as money, weapons, and technology, we become one of the system’s devices.

But if we can collectively use our power to nurture a community that nurtures the health of life within nature we create a beloved community.

The term “Beloved Community” was one that guided Martin Luther King Jr., in the struggle for civil rights. According to Religion Online, he wrote that the purpose of the Montgomery bus boycott “is reconciliation, . . . redemption, the creation of the beloved community.” 

Beloved community to me means being conscious of and working towards the greater good of all by paying attention to the quality of our relationships. Relationship between ferry workers and passengers, teachers and students, voters and politicians, homeowners and the homeless, corporations and consumers.

Beloved community uses power to support life by welcoming a new neighbour or by heroic rescue missions when a hiker gets lost on a snowy mountain.  Beloved community is the parental care and guidance of children, care for aging parents or troubled siblings.  Many of us have experienced the give and take of beloved community and know of its power. If we want this beautiful world to survive we must do what we can to re-program the operating system to nurture a healthy planet. 

May the coming year be filled with beloved community.


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