What is a loop?
A loop is a meme. It is an entity composed of behavior, experience, and knowledge that tends to self perpetuate within one individual and can spread to others.
The gravitational core of a loop is an experience. Once one has had contact with the felt sense, and knowledge of the behavior created it, they enter the orbit of that loop.
In a world were scale is large, only policy changes and mimetic loops create widespread change.
Three archetypal loops can facilitate the transformation that needs to occur in society:
(1) Letting Go
The “letting go” loop shows the looper that they can live happily without something they previously felt a need to hold on to. In fact, without it they are much happier.
Letting-go-loops challenge the human process of design and creation because they are about letting go. How can a newly created “thing” and its accompanying ask to be acquired help its recipient to let go?
Books that teach people to let go have been some of the most effective propulsion vehicles for the letting-go-loop. E.g. Marie Kondo, Eckhart Tolle.
What should we let go of?
Stuff. The magic of reducing one’s inventory really is life changing, and starting at a physical level gives new loopers a tangible entry point.
Choice. When one takes what is already there, what is freely given, what is abundant, settling for survival over optimization, this creates a loop of joy and acceptance that defies consumerism.
Aversion to negative sensations and emotions. The power of negative feelings comes from our strong aversion to them. Accepting what is hurting begins the healing process.
Is empathy (especially with those suffering) a loop? It is not, as long as the aversion to negative emotions exists in a mind or culture. One empathizes, feels the pain or fear, and then pushes those unpleasant feelings away, killing the loop.
The typical cycle of charity plays into this non-loop. Some image of suffering people or animals is presented, a viewer feels compassion, starts to see how painful it would be to empathize, and a donation is made which alleviates the negative, creating a story of “ok, maybe that pain is slightly lesser now.”
This is fine, but it’s not a loop, it’s a dead end. A mimetic loop vehicle for empathy is a critical missing component to Earth-healing, and the letting-go-loop of aversion to negative emotion could be a precondition for it.
Everything is better when one is grateful for it. That which one is grateful for, one attracts more of into their life.
Gratitude is not complicated, it has no downsides. It just requires a tiny bit of additional effort and creates an immediate reward. Let’s start with gratitude.
Thank you for spending your ten minutes embarking on this intellectual journey with me.
Thank you for caring about healing the Earth and her ensemble of beautiful inhabitants.
Thank you for being an inspiration to those around you.
Thank you for being.