This is brief, but wow what a ride the last 2 years have been, the most unbelievable and exquisite learning experience you can imagine.
I love my life and look forward to the last 3rd of it.
This is brief, but wow what a ride the last 2 years have been, the most unbelievable and exquisite learning experience you can imagine.
I love my life and look forward to the last 3rd of it.
If we are to thrive as a species in the 21st century and beyond, it is critical that we address the core symptoms and root causes of our society’s dysfunction from the inside-out, ground-up and top-down and evolve from an extractive, exploitative, war-based civilization to one that is regenerative, abundant, harmonious & thriving.
The Symptoms & Root Causes of Dysfunction in our Society
Pollution, war, poverty, disease, climate change and destruction of our biosphere are major challenges that threaten the thriving of humankind. However, these challenges are symptoms of two deeper core & causal problems – 1) fear and 2) disconnection .
“Fear is the path to the Dark Side… Fear leads to anger… anger leads to hate… hate leads to suffering.” ~Yoda
Fear is defined as “an unpleasant often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger.”
While fear of real and present danger has contributed to the survival of humankind, the irrational anticipation of fear is a major cause of the destructive behaviors of humankind.
There are over 150 phobias listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) published by the American Psychiatric Association. We are born with 2 fears, falling and loud noises. Our cultural conditioning breeds the 150+ other fears.
Fear leads to scarcity, hoarding, lack of trust, control, war and brutality and competition. As General Douglas MacArthur said, “Our country is now geared to an arms economy bred in an artificially induced psychosis of war hysteria and an incessant propaganda of fear.”
Humankind has become disconnected from nature, and each other. For example, the phrase “people & planet” demonstrates that we somehow believe we are separate from the planet.
“Nature, quite simply, is everything. It is the source of life. It is our foundation and our nourishment, our comfort and our treasury. And it is only by accounting for the full, comprehensive and irreplaceable value of nature in our decision-making that we can secure the future of human societies.” ~Peter Seligman
As much as our society has tried to “civilize” us and disconnect us from nature, we are just another species interconnected with nature. Everything that sustains our lives, including our next breath, water, food, shelter, energy and materials, are provided by Mother Nature, yet we, as a society, act with utter disregard to “our mother,” the provider of life.
The sociological disconnection from nature arises from 1) the delusional arrogance that we are smarter than, separate from, and the masters of, nature, and 2) from an intentionally engineered campaign to exert and maintain control over the masses.
For Dr. John Mack, inventing a psychology of earth is far more than an intellectual or therapeutic exercise. It entails a call for political commitment and activism.
“We do have a psychology, or a prevailing attitude, conscious or unconscious, towards the Earth. We regard it a thing, a big thing, an object to be owned, mined, fenced, guarded, stripped, built upon, dammed, plowed, burned, blasted, bulldozed and melted to serve the material needs and desires of the human species, at the expense, if necessary, of all other species, which we feel at liberty to kill, paralyze, or domesticate for our own use. This form of species arrogance has received little scrutiny.”
Michael J. Cohen, Ph.D., ecopsychologist, author and Director of the Institute of Global Education, wrote, “On average, society conditions us to spend over 95% of our time and 99.9% of our thinking disconnected from nature. Nature’s extreme absence in our lives leaves us abandoned and wanting. We feel we never have enough. We greedily, destructively, consume and, can’t stop. Nature’s loss in our psyche produces a hurt, hungering, void within us that bullies us into our dilemmas.”
Our disconnection from each other rises primarily from artificially created dividing lines including race, religion, ideology, politics, age, gender and geography. “Divide and rule” (aka “divide and conquer”) has been used for centuries by sovereigns, dictators and government as a process for gaining and maintaining power and control over the masses. This has largely been accomplished by disconnecting, dividing and pitting powerful and rebellious groups and individuals against each other to prevent the masses from gaining power and overthrowing the current regime.
“Until mankind can extend the circle of his compassion to include all living things, he will never, himself, know peace.” ~Albert Schweitzer, Nobel Peace Prize, l950
The Engineering of Consumerism and Societal Dysfunction
The root causes of fear and disconnection have been engineered by psychologists, corporations and governments in order to exert psychological and economic control over the masses. This was accomplished by psychologically disconnecting humanity from nature, farms and interdependent communities to create dependence upon a centralized supply chain and economic system requiring money to meet basic needs for such things as water, food and shelter. Moreover, war, mass consumerism and an expanding population willing to be exploited was required in order for the central banks to expand their control, influence and demand for their debt-based fiat money.
Psychology became the secret weapon of corporations, governments and the central banking system. According to Philip Cushman, Ph.D., author of Constructing The Self, Constructing America: A Cultural History Of Psychotherapy,
“Because psychotherapy denied the central influence of history and culture, symptoms reflecting the frame of reference of the modern Western world – such as loneliness and alienation, extreme competitiveness, and a desire for nonessential commodities — had to be considered natural and unavoidable. As a result, individuals have been constructed to strive tirelessly to consume and expand, and at the same time to believe that the search is simply an aspect of human nature.”
Predicated on the promise of politicians and corporations as the road to freedom and liberation, capitalism became the core value of the country and the individual. As the American culture began to see wishes as needs, the road to salvation and freedom known as the consumer movement created the “empty self” Cushman wrote:
“The empty self is a way of being human; it is characterized by a pervasive sense of personal emptiness and is committed to the values of self-liberation through consumption. The empty self is the perfect complement to an economy that must stave off economic stagnation by arranging for the continual purchase and consumption of surplus goods.”
Strategically the corporations infiltrated the collective psyche like “ghosts” with the idea of remaining invisible to make consumers believe the feeling of lack originated internally rather than externally from an outside entity.
Additionally, Edward Bernays, who is often referred to as “the father of public relations,” combined the ideas of Gustave Le Bon and Wilfred Trotter on crowd psychology with the psychoanalytical ideas of his uncle, Sigmund Freud. Bernays utilized propaganda techniques from World War I to influence consumer behavior and create the culture of consumerism. He felt this manipulation was necessary in society, which he regarded as irrational and dangerous as a result of the “herd instinct” described by Trotter. In his book “Propaganda,” Bernays openly communicates the engineering of our beliefs and society:
“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. …We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. …In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons…who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.”
According to Bruce K. Alexander, Psychologist, Professor Emeritus at Simon Fraser University and author of The Globalisation of Addiction: A Study in Poverty of the Spirit,
“When a society introduces free markets, exchange of goods and services optimally are not encumbered by family ties, cultural traditions, religious values, or anything else that may impede free play of the laws of supply and demand. In other words, free markets create an “every man (or woman) for yourself” dynamic that puts me in competition with everyone else for jobs, insurance, a house, goods, services and Lady Ga Ga tickets. One consequence of this system is that people become dislocated, or disconnected from one another because of the time and energy necessary to keep up with the Jones. Free markets are incredibly proficient at knowing how to keep people focused on stuff over experiences. Flashy ads, mass media, and the latest gizmo from Steve Jobs keeps us always wanting more. In the pursuit of the American dream, what many get instead is isolation, fear, and dislocation, which ultimately leads to compulsive lifestyles where people develop addictive relationships to stuff and get further and further disconnected from nurturing human relationships.”
We are all interconnected, yet we seem to have forgotten this. None of us are immune from human suffering and ecosystemic destruction. When the biosphere and people suffer, we each are impacted. We can try to ignore it, desensitize ourselves, become callous, and misquote Darwin (e.g., “survival of the fittest”) to rationalize our behavior, but no matter how hard we try, we feel it in hearts and in our guts, we smell it in the air we breath, we taste it in the water we drink and we see it the eyes of the homeless and hungry.
Our society and the industrialized socio-economic-political matrix are plagued with war, pollution, over-consumption, over-extraction, over-population, social injustice, disease and poverty. About 80% of humanity lives in or near poverty and the planet’s ecosystems are damaged, over-burdened and suffering from human extraction and disrespect. 85 of the wealthiest people control more resources than 3.5 billion of the poorest people. The current matrix in which we each individually and collectively participate is unsustainable and often borders on sociopathic dysfunction. The very survival of humankind and the ecosystems of the planet are threatened by human dysfunction.
In his book, Earth in the Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit, Al Gore diagnoses our ecological problem as being a symptom of a dysfunctional, addictive civilization. Gore writes:
“I believe that our civilization is addicted to the consumption of the earth itself. This addictive relationship distracts us from the pain of what we have lost: a direct experience of our connection to vividness, vibrancy, and aliveness of the rest of the natural world. The froth and frenzy of industrial civilization masks our deep loneliness for communion. The price we pay is the loss of our spiritual lives.”
“Dysfunction” generally means impaired functioning, or unhealthy interpersonal behavior or interaction within a group. Although the interpretation of “dysfunction” is often subjective, there is a groundswell of support for the need of humankind to make significant shifts in its unhealthy interpersonal, consumptive and destructive behaviors.
While there are some things about our society that are functional, there is significant dysfunction that is jeopardizing the health, well-being and survival of humankind and about 50,000 species per year. There are a plethora of examples evidencing “unhealthy interpersonal behavior or interaction (e.g., war, destruction, toxicity, suffering, poverty) within a group” (humankind) that demonstrate a high degree of dysfunction. Here are just a few examples:
• We spew over 5 billion metric tons of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA). Of this total, 82%, was due to carbon emissions from the combustion of energy fuels. Whether or not you believe climate change results from humankind’s activities, such as burning fossil fuels for energy to manufacture, transport, store and “dispose of ” massive amounts of stuff, there is practically unanimous agreement that we have air pollution, water pollution, overconsumption and are becoming overrun with waste, all of which are having a negative impact on our health and the biosphere’s ability to sustain human life.
• Over $29 trillion has been spent in the global economic bailout, according to Levy Economics Institute of Baird College.
• Over the last 5 1/2 decades, the U.S. spent $5.8 trillion on production of nuclear explosives and an additional $13.2 trillion on other defense spending, according to the Brookings Institution.
• Over $2 trillion has been spent on the Iraqi and Afghan wars, with a total price tag of $6 trillion, including interest.
• 5 billion people out of 7 billion live on $10/day or less, with 3 billion of the 5 billion living on $2.50 a day or less.
• Nearly half of the world’s species of plants, animals and microorganisms will be destroyed or severely threatened over the next quarter century due to rainforest deforestation. That equates to 50,000 species a year.
• According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS): “In 2008, over 7.3 million people in the U.S. were on probation, in jail or prison, or on parole at year-end — 3.2% of all U.S. adult residents or 1 in every 31 adults.”
There are some that would argue that, because the human population is still growing, our society is biologically functional. This view completely ignores that, according to the WWF, we surpassed the carrying capacity of the planet in 1979 and are living on borrowed time.
Some also argue that our society is ecologically functional because humans can still breathe the air and drink the water, that human activities have only minimal impact on our ecosystems, that burning coal and oil don’t pollute or damage our atmosphere, and that dumping petrochemicals into our rivers and oceans don’t cause significant damage to these ecosystems. These arguments border on absurdity, especially when there is a 97% consensus of the scientific community that human industrialization is a major factor contributing to climate change.
We spend almost $2.7 trillion annually just for military, gambling, cosmetics, pet products, chewing gum and ringtones (not to mention countless trillions on a plethora of additional frivolous consumer products), but can’t seem to come up with $6 billion a year to provide drinking water to save the lives of the 40,000 people that die each day from lack of potable water or $44 billion to end world hunger. We also seem to have little awareness of, or concern for, the devastation our overconsumption and industrialization causes.
I would posit that our socio-economic-political system is not only dysfunctional and obsolete, but has become sociopathic. What is commonly referred to as “Sociopathy” or “Psychopathy” is officially listed in the DSM as “Antisocial Personality Disorder.” Antisocial Peronsality Disorder is characterized by an abnormal lack of empathy combined with strongly amoral or reckless conduct but masked by an ability to appear outwardly normal.
Sociopathy = lack of empathy + amoral or reckless conduct + acceptance as normal
As a society, we somehow accept as normal, spending massive amounts of money, resources and energy on endeavors that foster war, starvation, suffering, pollution, exploitation of natural resources & humankind, and destruction of the biosphere (lack of empathy+ amoral conduct) rather than for the creation of beauty, peace, health, education and abundance.
“This world of ours…must avoid becoming a community of dreadful fear and hate, and be, instead, a proud confederation of mutual trust and respect.” ~Dwight D. Eisenhower
The sociopathic and dysfunctional society we have created, and are perpetuating, as an expression of our fear and disconnection, is leading us to our own destruction like a bunch of lemmings jumping off a cliff. We are a critical juncture where transformation is required in order for the continued survival of humankind.
Fortunately, the emerging field of “Ecopsychology,” is focused on improving the relationship between human beings and the natural world through ecological and psychological principles. The field seeks to develop and understand ways of expanding the emotional connection between individuals and the natural world, thereby assisting individuals with developing sustainable lifestyles and remedying alienation, fear and disconnection from nature.
New Language + New Metrics = New Consciousness
As Albert Einstein said, “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”
Unless we want to band-aid ourselves into extinction by focusing on the problems with the same mindset that created them, it is critical to the thriving of humankind that we heal the core problems of fear and disconnection with creative solutions and life-enhancing actions rather than treating the symptoms with same left-brain band aids and approaches that created the symptoms.”
The transformation needed will require new language, metrics of success and consciousness.
“Language is the crystallization of thought. But the words we choose do more than just reflect our thought patterns–they shape them.” ~Tom Kelley, GM of IDEO and an executive fellow at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business
The geopolitical Industrial Age language and approaches of “warring against,” “fighting against”, “eradicating” or “ending” the symptoms of pollution, war, poverty, disease, climate change and destruction of our biosphere, will be replaced with “biopolitical” language and approaches of the Regenerative Age focused on “creating an abundant, well & enlightened society that enhances the quality of life and eco-systemic thriving.
The more we use language of love, respect, wholeness and collaboration, the more our consciousness will shift. The shift in consciousness leads to new expression and behaviors that can profoundly and positively transform our environment (both inner and outer).
As Mother Teresa once told an interviewer, “I was once asked why I don’t participate in anti-war demonstrations. I said that I will never do that, but as soon as you have a pro-peace rally, I’ll be there.”
In addition to a shift in language, we need a shift the metrics by which we, as a society, measure success. The globally adopted Industrial Age quantitative measurements of “success” are Gross Domestic Product (“GDP”) and continual growth. As we move into the Regenerative Age, GDP will be replaced by qualitative measurements of success such as Genuine Progress Indicator (“GPI”) and Gross National Happiness (GNH), and sufficiency.
One of the greatest flaws with GDP is that it only measures the quantities of production, not the quality of life. Disease, war, increasing population, over-consumption, catastrophes and waste, which decrease quality of life, often increase GDP.
GDP, as measurement of success, actually squeezes the quality of life out of our lives. With more than 5 billion people (over 70% of the world’s population) living in or near poverty, the natural resources of our planet depleted and filled with toxins and the carrying capacity of the planet exceeded in 1979, it’s pretty obvious that GDP and continual growth as measures of success are not working.
Efficiency, sufficiency, on-site water, on-site production of food and renewable energy, good health, peace and social justice generally detract from the GDP, whereas the GDP benefits from reliance on an inefficient supply chain and centralized grid that requires people to use money for such necessities as water, food, power, shelter, healthcare and education.
For instance, if I pull an apple off a tree in my backyard, it’s efficient and healthy, but bad for the GDP. It did not provide jobs and taxable income. Pulling the apple directly off the tree disintermediated numerous industries including farming, petrochemicals, fertilizers, pesticides, packaging, shipping, trucking, logistics, oil, construction, storage & distribution, grocery & retail, utilities and automobile. Also, because eating fresh food is good for my health, the medical and pharmaceutical industry did not get its “bite of the apple” and because I did not use oil, petrochemicals or fossil fuels, there was little need for the defense industry.
The largest and most powerful economies of the world are members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). As of 2005, the OECD started formally re-examining GDP as a measurement and found that it is a flawed measurement as it does not account for the wellbeing of a country.
Measurements of wellbeing or quality of life of a population include access to goods and services, free time, optimal health, freedom, happiness, pure food & water, health, longevity, innovation and low crime rate.
True Cost Accounting measurements such as the Genuine Progress Indicator (“GPI”) include transparency of subsidies, environmental impact, health costs and social costs of a business or activity. GPI advocates claim that it can more reliably measure economic progress, as it distinguishes between worthwhile growth and uneconomic growth. Accordingly, the GPI will be zero if the financial costs of crime, poor health, pollution and environmental devastation equal the financial gains in production of goods and services, all other factors being constant.
Another metric used in Bhutan to promote a more kind, just, healthy and happy society, is Gross National Happiness (GNH). Using metrics and surveys, GNH is a measurement that defines quality of life in more holistic and psychological terms than GDP. The term was coined by Bhutan’s former King Jigme Singye Wangchuck in 1972. According to Adrian White’s study entitled “A Global Projection of Subjective Wellbeing: A Challenge to Positive Psychology?” Bhutan ranked 8th out of 178 countries in Subjective Wellbeing, a metric that has been used by many psychologists since 1997 and the only country in the top 20 “happiest” countries that has a very low GDP. The four pillars of GNH are 1) the promotion of equitable and sustainable socio-economic development, 2) preservation and promotion of cultural values, 3) conservation of the natural environment, and 4) establishment of good governance.
Another metric to be evolved is the measurement of corporate value. The value of a public company is generally known as “Market Capitalization” (aka “Market Cap”). Market Cap is a measurement of corporate or economic size equal to the share price times the number of shares outstanding of a public company. While public perception and market dynamics are major factors in determining stock price, a major benchmark of that performance is known as Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization (“EBITDA”). This is, in essence, a simple benchmark for determining the operating pre-tax net profit of the company before the creative accounting begins. EBITDA multiplied by the Price/Earnings (“P/E”) Ratio is another method of determining Market Cap.
For example, a company with an EBITDA of $1 billion and P/E Ratio of 10:1, will have a Market Cap of $10 billion. If the company’s board and management decide they want to spend $100 million on programs for social and environmental good, their EBITDA would be reduced to $900 million and the shareholders would potentially suffer a loss of $1 billion dollars of Market Cap. Suffering losses generally aggravates shareholders and they often sue the company, board and/or management for making a decision that cost them money.
The interesting thing is that EBITDA is not a GAAP financial measure, but rather a creative measure approved by the SEC that allows companies significant subjective latitude in defining their performance. Since most of the creative corporate accounting happens after EBITDA calculations, a new standard is proposed for baseline valuation. This baseline measurement would be known as Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, Amortization, Social and Environmental (“EBITDASE”). Thus, when P/E ratios are multiplied times EBITDASE, the company does not suffer a loss in valuation for doing social and environmental good. The trick is that the investment in such social and environmental programs must be objective, measurable and auditable. These programs can measurable in terms of dollars invested or objective impact (e.g., reduction of waste per ton as measured in dollars per ton). These programs can include investment in such things as (i) reduction of waste, (ii) reduction of resource and energy usage, (iii) implementation of proactive environmental programs, (iv) implementation of programs for employee education, advancement and wellbeing, (v) community betterment such as parks, victory farms, upgrading of schools, job training programs and promotion of community cultural events.
Working with such agencies as the U.S. Treasury, FASB, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (“PCAOB”), the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and the White House to promulgate new legislation to redefine and implement these new standards that reward corporations for doing good without penalizing shareholder value, the foregoing goals can be achieved. Thus, with a little creative adjustment in performance measurements, the conflicts between corporate profits and social responsibility can be removed so that corporations, corporate management, shareholders and humankind can benefit from widespread corporate social responsibility programs.
Sufficiency and the “Shared Economy” will replace continual growth and exploitation. This realization is entering the early adoption stage and will fuel the flames of the rapidly growing demand for meaningful life-enhancing work, smart growth and self-sufficient communities. In the midst of the meltdown of the old and virtually bankrupt financial system, the “Shared Economy” based upon “Collaborative Consumption.”
“Collaborative Consumption” describes the rapid explosion in traditional sharing, bartering, lending, trading, renting, gifting, and swapping reinvented through network technologies on a scale and in ways never possible before.
From enormous marketplaces such as eBay and Craigslist, to emerging sectors such as social lending (e.g., Zopa), peer-to-peer travel (e.g., Airbnb), car sharing (e.g., Zipcar), and the increase in Intentional Communities (e.g., ic.org) Collaborative Consumption is disrupting outdated modes of business and reinventing not just what we consume, but how we consume.
75% of respondents participating in “The New Sharing Economy” study predicted their sharing of physical objects and spaces will increase in the next 5 years with drivers including global recession, internet technologies, online communities and environmental concerns.
Transforming from Dysfunction to Function
Our default approach for hundreds of years has been to identify and focus on the ending, warring against, fighting against or eradicating the symptom rather than curing the cause and creating (r)evolutionary solutions that renders the symptoms obsolete.
As Buckminster Fuller said, “In order to change an existing paradigm you do not struggle to try and change the problematic model. You create a new model and make the old one obsolete.”
Fear, disconnection, scarcity, toxicity, war & destruction are characteristics associated with dysfunction, whereas love, respect, wholeness, collaboration, abundance, wellness & enlightenment are characteristics associated with function.
If we are to heal the root causes (disconnection and fear) of our societal ills and create a world where future generations can thrive in abundance, health and harmony, it is critical that we transform our socio-political-economic system from scarcity to abundance. This can be brought to fruition by fostering qualitative measurements that mimic thriving ecosystems in nature to support a regenerative economy based upon a life-enhancing, collaborative, loving and respectful practices that synergistically reconnect people to each other and nature.
Functional abundance consciousness requires that we balance growth with resources and their equitable distribution to create sufficiency for humankind in a way that allows all life to thrive and be in balanced abundance.
In order to realize an abundant and regenerative economy, it is critical that we first evolve our beliefs about “success” from hoarding to generosity, from exclusive overconsumption to inclusive sufficiency and from competition to collaboration. This transformation in beliefs needs to be integrated with ecosystemic awareness and thriving in a way that creates abundance, wellness and enlightenment to humankind and allows all life to thrive. This shift in beliefs will lead to a shift in behavior.
These behavioral and cultural shifts include (i) using only abundant and renewable energy sources, (ii) eliminating the manufacture of unneeded collectibles and obsolescent products destined for landfill, (iii) adopting collaborative consumption, (iv) reusing and recycling waste, (v) providing water infrastructure along with necessary resources (e.g. agricultural education, tools, appropriate technologies and market access) to empower people living in starvation and poverty access to food and water, and (vi) providing education and capacity building that creates knowledge and skills to balance population growth with the carrying capacity of the local community and planet, and (vii) using the energy from polluting non-renewable energy source (e.g., coal fire plants, natural gas, diesel) to manufacture solar panels, wind turbines and other renewable energy sources.
Moreover, it is necessary that we use our individual resources to transform the system to functionality. Our time, energy, money, thoughts, emotions, words, actions, behavior and connection with nature are the resources we each possess. Just like Napster went viral and forever transformed the music industry, we can use our resources like a functional virus in a dysfunctional system to develop abundance, wellness and enlightenment for all ecosystemic stakeholders, rendering the current dysfunctional system obsolete. By 1) reconnecting with and fostering the natural abundance of our bioshpere, 2) consciously using our money and economic will to purchase lasting products and services from eco-social companies, 3) engaging in practices of collaborative consumption, sharing and sufficiency, and 4) by creating local self-sufficient supplies of water, food and energy, we can virally transform our social-political-economic matrix from dysfunction to function to sustain ecosystemic thriving.
Biologist, Elisabet Sahtouris wrote:
“Cooperation, collaboration and community empowerment are, as Nature role-models them and as I cannot repeat too often, more efficient and effective ways of doing business than living in fear of drowning in a competitive race or wasting energy and resources on beating down the competition.
Tachi Kiuchi, former CEO of Mitsubishi Electric, and Bill Shireman, an ecologist, put it this way in their important book, What We Learned from the Rainforest: “There is no problem ever faced by a business that has not been faced and solved by a rainforest.
“A rainforest is a Type III ecosystem in which mutual support among all species has proven more efficient and effective than spending energy to make war among species. (Note that predator/prey relationships are actually cooperative when seen from the ecosystem level of holarchy because prey feeds predators while predators keep prey species healthy.) The rainforest (like a prairie or coral reef) creates enormous new value continually by very complex production and trading systems as well as by recycling its resources very rapidly.”
For Dr. Bruce Lipton, a cellular biologist and author of The Biology of Belief: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter and Miracles,
“Nature is based on harmony. So it says if we want to survive and become more like nature, then we actually have to understand that it’s cooperation versus competition.”
“Through consciousness, our minds have the power to change our planet and ourselves. It is time we heed the wisdom of the ancient indigenous people and channel our consciousness and spirit to tend the garden and not destroy it.”
The transformation of the current socio-political-economic system requires a 3-prong approach: 1) inside-out, 2) ground up, and 3) top-down, as follows:
1. Inside-Out includes replacing old conditioned beliefs, patterns, behaviors and experiences (“ways of being”) that perpetuate societal and ecosystemic dysfunction with those that create abundance and increase love, respect, happiness, unity and ecosystemic thriving. The following are examples of keys to personal transformation:
• Elevate love over fear, peace over war, generosity over hoarding, respect over disregard, oneness over separation, and collaboration over competition.
• Each moment is an opportunity to express love. Connect deeply. Be vulnerable. See the divine in each person and respect the uniqueness of each person’s experience as equal to our own.
• Cultivate a state of awe with the earth and the universe. Marvel at the tiny miracles like your next breath and magical way life force runs through you keeping your cells multiplying and heart beating. Show reverence for the beauty of nature.
• Be inquisitive. Be in the question rather than the answer. Question prevailing knowledge, beliefs and authority and taking the risk to innovate and manifest an new and thriving world
• Provide compassionate, humble and loving support for the evolution and expansion of human consciousness
• Cultivate mindfulness, peacefulness, equanimity and joy
• Fill our minds, hearts and being with love, respect, compassion and generosity for each other and the planet and generously express this new way of being to create a culture of love, respect, compassion and generosity
• Focusing on what we want to create rather than what we want to avoid, fight against, war against or end
• Imagine, envision and manifest new possibilities (in a universe of infinite possibilities) that fulfill our potential for brilliance, beauty, love and compassion and expanding our consciousness through inquiry, imagination, dreaming and visioning
• Respect your body temple and increase your health and wellness through highly nutritious foods, pure water, clean air, healthy built environments and the integration of mindfulness and movement in our daily lives
2. Ground-Up refers to transforming the environments in which we live, work, learn and play to be ecologically conscious, energy efficient, sustainable, abundant, well & enlightened. Our environment is the most impactful influence on our lives – it creates beliefs, culture and feedback loops that reinforce our ways of being. To transform our environment requires the proactive commitment of energy, effort and resources including the following:
• Employ collaborative consumption, sharing and effective utilization
• Convert and upcycle waste into valuable energy and products
• Replace fossil fuels and other extractive energy and materials with renewable energy and materials
• Development of self-sufficient, healthy, beautiful and brilliant (beyond “smart”) “Regenerative Communities” that balance the community’s carrying capacity with its population. These Regenerative Communities will be based upon living systems planning, design and engineering processes with localized water catchment, energy generation, food production and waste upcycling to increase efficiency, decrease waste and lower the carbon footprint
• Restoration of the earth’s ecosystems
• Preserving earth wisdom and first people cultures
• Localized, healthy, renewable and efficient water, food, energy, transportation, built environment and waste infrastructure.
• Revolutionize education with applied immersive learning and capacity building for regenerative work (e.g., reforestation, restoration of the wetlands, cleantech, agritech, resource renewal, eco-engineering, conservation, water conservation and purification, waste upcycling)
• Balancing population growth and increasing carrying capacity with abundant food, water, energy and renewable materials
• Bring natural connection back into our lives, cities and communities
3. Top-Down involves using 1) our economic influence and power (“economic vote”) to support the thriving of conscious companies committed to eco-social responsibility and allowing obsolete, polluting, destructive and unethical companies fail, 2) the power of collective voice (e.g., internet & social media) to influence change in government, corporate leadership and the regulatory environment to enhance life and support people and planet. Recommendations for transforming business, government and the regulatory environment include the following:
• Innovative economic incentives and investment including tax credits, accelerated depreciation, credit enhancement, low interest loans, eco-social improvement bonds
• Development of life-enhancing qualitative metrics of success rather than GDP (e.g., GNP, Development of living systems trajectories, regulations and incentives that promote ethical eco-social conscious business and ethical government
• Commitment of resources for the life-enhancing benefit of people & planet
• Metrics for qualitative ethical and sustainable business practices, manufacturing processes and government
• Elevate the ethical and qualitative imperatives over the economic and quantitative imperatives knowing that ultimately what is good for life is good for business
• Having the courage and heart to stand for the greatness of humankind, empowering and encouraging taking risks, making mistakes, losing money, innovating, laughing, learning and evolving in the face of adversity, criticism and ostracism from mediocre minds
• Increase innovation over standardization, collaboration over competition, transparency over secrecy, wholeness over divisiveness, health over disease and function over dysfunction
• Develop new adaptable and resilient organizational structures, regulations and metrics that provide for the measurement and rewarding of qualitative life-enhancing value
• Economic, political and social reform that supports a regenerative economy
• Rewards for enlightened and ethical leadership
• Implementation of a people owned, ethical zero balance currency based upon contribution of value, collaboration and reputation rather than debt
Creating the Regenerative Economy
“We need red blood cells to live (the same way a business needs profits to live), but the purpose of life is not to make red blood cells (the same way the purpose of business is not to exist to make profits).” ~R. Edward Freeman
In our current society, money influences all aspects of our lives. Our economic system has grown so powerful that large money interests have seized control of our social, political and legal systems.
UNEA (United Nations Environment Assembly) estimates an annual cost of $7.3 trillion resulting from the degradation of natural capital and negative environment externalities. The World Economic Forum estimates that it will be necessary to invest up to US$6 trillion each year to 2030 to build clean transport, energy and buildings infrastructure. This is a $1.3 trillion per year ROI. And just consider all the meaningful work (rather than meaningless jobs) this will create.
There is great opportunity to transform our socio-economic-political system and build a world in which all life can thrive. In order for us to thrive, it is imperative that our socio-economic-political system evolve from destructive, extractive and exploitative industries (e.g., oil, mining and war) and quantitative measurements (e.g. Gross Domestic Product) to the “Regenerative Economy,” a socio-politico-economic system that integrates and promotes ecosystemic health and qualitative balance as the highest priorities of the system.
According to Storm Cunningham, author of ReWealth!, “If we wish to keep growing economically, the basis of wealth must shift to renewing what we’ve already built, and on repairing the damage we’ve done to our natural resources. Such wealth creating activities – redevelopment, replenishment, and restoration – comprise rewealth. This represents a $2 trillion market.”
The Regenerative Economy will be based upon regeneration, conservation, innovation, information and collaboration.
Regeneration, in biological terms, is the ability to recreate lost or damaged tissues, organs and limbs. Using biomimicry and the application of regenerative approaches can create dramatic improvements in our socio-politico-economic system. The application of such approaches will require us to utilize renewable, non-polluting and abundant sources to meet our needs.
This includes such things as (i) energy from plants, waste, solar, wind, hydro, tidal and geothermal, (ii) materials and chemicals from renewable resources (e.g. plants, algae, spider silk, bioresins, regenerative forests) rather than extracted materials (e.g., oil, metals), (iii) food from agricultural practices that return nutrients to the soil and support prolific reproduction, and (iv) balancing human needs with that of the ecosystem to support integrated ecosystemic health.
Conservation is the ethical use, allocation, and protection of resources with a primary focus on maintaining the health of the natural world. A primary focus of conservation has been the preservation of biodiversity and ecosystemic health. Using the ethics of rethinking, recycling, reusing, repairing and reducing consumption, conservation seeks to minimize negative impacts on the planet resulting from human consumption (e.g., food, energy, natural resources). For example, rather than consuming more energy to make more solar panels to support ever increasing consumption, Conservationists support both the reduction of consumption plus the use of ethical and non-destructive renewable resources.
Innovation is the creation of highly effective products, processes, services, technologies, or ideas for the betterment of society and the ecosystem. In order to facilitate the balance of human consumption and wellbeing with the carrying capacity and health of the planet, innovation in the fields of renewable energy, agritech, waste upcycling, biology, regenerative economics, living systems, communications, information and ethical nanotech will see massive explosion that will dwarf the current economy and can be used to repair the damage we have done to the planet.
Social innovation will also play a major role in reshaping our world. Social innovations include such things as smart growth communities, the sharing economy based upon collaborative consumption, global open source currency exchange, biomimicry, evolutionary consciousness, emotional literacy, social networking and applied education.
Information, for purposes of our discussion, consists of symbols, data, sensory stimulus and thoughts that are received, constructed and assembled to provide meaning, purpose, education, entertainment, empowerment and enlightenment.
Information consists of written, visual, audio, kinesthetic materials such as news, books, periodicals, blogs, music, art, film, research, reviews, recommendations and experiential learning. Information, media and communications have reached a level democratization never known in the history of mankind.
Internet, information and communications technologies (e.g., web, mobile, email, digital content) have already caused massive transformation in our socio-politico-economic system, launching entirely new industries and processes for the production, distribution and consumption of information. The information age has arrived and will continue to provide massive influence and wealth in the future. By coupling information with practical applications and capacity building for the regenerative economy, we can transform human machines doing destructive jobs into human being with meaningful and sustainable work.
Collaboration is a cooperative relationship of teamwork with the intent of yielding synergistic results based on combined efforts. Because the carrying capacity of the planet to address human consumption was exceeded in 1979, our future socio-economic-political system will require increased collaboration that will include sharing resources, living in sustainable communities, value-based exchange and currencies and conservation consciousness.
Regenerative economics differs from standard economics by valuing, respecting and regenerating the natural capital of the planet to provide for human needs (e.g., water, food, timber, feedstocks, materials, fuel, energy), and to clean, restore and regenerate itself in a way that contributes to ecosystemic thriving, including the well being for humankind. The failure to recognize the value of the planet’s ability to provide abundance and regenerate itself has led to unsustainable exploitive and extractive practices that have damaged the planet’s ability to abundantly regenerate it natural capital for benefit of the ecosystem and the well being of humankind.
By reconnecting with nature and valuing the unified ecosystemic thriving of nature and humankind, we can reshape our civilization from its current path of self-destruction into a regenerative life-enhancing society that creates a net positive ecosystemic thriving for all life.
The new regenerative social-political-economic model will provide for greater abundance and efficiency, with zero waste, through localized water, food, energy, bio-materials, waste-upcycling and a sharing economy (e.g., zero-balance reputation based economy). The new reputation-based credit score will be adversely affected by hoarding and practices that are destructive and exploitive and will be enhanced by objectively measurable acts of generosity, beauty, love, kindness, compassion and exchange that create value for our world (e.g., replanting forests, restoration of the wetlands and fisheries, greater collaboration and sharing, new living technologies that create ecosystemic thriving, elder, child & sick care, civic engagement, education, entrepreneurial support, donations to humanitarian causes).
The “Regenerative Economy” will create trillions of dollars worth of meaningful work for hundreds of years to come, including the following:
• Development and implementation of clean, cheap and secure renewable energy and sustainable infrastructure
• Production and distribution of abundant clean & nutritious food and pure water
• Waste recycling and upcycling
• Nature stewardship (e.g., healing and preserving the watershed, forests and oceans) and resource conservation
• Inspired, practical and interactive education that fosters each child’s brilliance and natural talents
• Social, ecological and technological innovation and entrepreneurship that fosters life affirming products, services and technologies.
• Optimal health & wellness programs integrated into daily life
• Whole, healthy and integrated living and working environments
• Sustainable planning, design and building of Regenerative Communities
• Regenerative urban renewal including edible landscaping, roof top gardens and hanging gardens
• Regenerative finance based upon eco-social impact
• Personal development and conscious evolution
• Eco & wellness tourism
• New education, transportation & communications systems
• New bio and renewable materials
• Ethical nanotechnology and biotechnology
The Regenerative Economy will dwarf and render the industrialized war complex and extractive manufacturing industries obsolete.
Abundance consciousness has many characteristics that parallel the nature of currency, which requires the consistent exchange of value for currency to expand. The expression of abundance consciousness leads to regenerative practices that create a world of beauty, health, happiness, sufficiency, collaboration, sharing, harmony, gratitude and peace.
Edward Norton Lorenz, an American mathematician, meteorologist, and a pioneer of chaos theory coined the term “Butterfly Effect,” as a metaphoric concept that illustrates whole-systems interconnectivity. In essence, the flapping a butterfly’s wings in one part of the world may create a hurricane in another part of the world. This represents the concept of sensitive dependence on initial conditions in chaos theory namely, in a complex system, a small change in one place can have large effects elsewhere.
Transforming our extractive world of scarcity to a regenerative world of abundance is critical for our continued survival and will lead to the thriving of humankind. By transforming ourselves, we can create a future that is Abundant (e.g., regenerative, collaborative), Well (e.g., healthy, vital, energized) and Enlightened (e.g., inspired, unified, beautiful, equitable, harmonious and awakened).
My firm belief is that, as a first step, we need exemplary demonstrations of new models of living within the next 5 years to have a meaningful impact on saving humankind from suffering and extinction. This can accomplished by developing Regenerative Communities at sufficient scale (500-1,500 residents) to be abundant, well, enlightened, self-sufficient and ecosystemically thriving and implementing large scale Regenerative Economy projects in urban centers and developments. When we physically demonstrate that we can live more abundant, healthy, happy and thriving lives, I believe market forces will take over and the demand for a new way of living will foster the Regenerative Economy to create a world that is abundant and thriving for all ecosystemic stakeholders. As mass adoption takes place, the ideology and metrics of success will be transformed to reward life-enhancing acts of generosity, eco-social responsibility and peace rather than destructive acts of greed, war and destruction. Meaningful work will replace jobs and we will not only see the dawn of the greatest economy in history, we will then see the symptoms of greenhouse gas emissions, war, poverty, inequality and separation being rendered antiquated symptoms of the past era of Industrial Age.
"Man has come to dominate the planet thanks to two essential traits. One is intelligence. The other has been the absolute willingness to kill anyone and anything that gets in his way." ~Stephen King
Recently I saw the movie Lucy and while it was entertaining, it's kind of amazing how a movie about using the full capacity of our mind was written with so little mental capacity and imagination. Rather than Lucy using her incredible abilities to develop and provide solutions that could transform our world, she uses her powers for high-speed car chases and overcoming Chinese drug lords.
This reminds me of another movie, Bruce Almighty, where Jim Carrey, playing Bruce, is given all the powers of God. He uses his divine powers to get a newscasting job and girlfriend back rather than making the world more beautiful, sustainable, just and loving. Moreover, even though movies like Star Wars and Avatar are inspiring and entertaining, a common theme is to pit the forces of good and evil against each other, requiring the good guys to compromise their values and engage in acts of brutality, killing and war to emerge victorious.
In Lucy, Professor Samuel Norman, played by Morgan Freeman, is lecturing to a room of academics that we, humans, only use 10% of our brain's capacity, whereas dolphins use 20% of their brain's capacity. This got me thinking, are dolphins smarter than us? What makes us think we're smarter than dolphins? The answer is that we believe that because we can trap them, kill them and dominate them, we are superior.
We have employed this same belief system of destruction, killing, war and domination for centuries - committing genocide on indigenous tribes, destroying nature and conquering nations. We are now at the threshold of foolishly extinguishing ourselves as a species.
So what does smarter and superior really mean? Bacteria, viruses and fungus actually are the most dominant, resilient and adaptable species on this planet. Because they can make us sick and kill us does it make them smarter?
What is it about our culture that perpetuates the belief that killing and domination somehow makes us superior and more intelligent than those we dominate and kill? How can we use our brilliance to create an abundant, well & thriving world?
Maybe true intelligence is using our brilliance, effort and resources to create a world of ecosystemic thriving that is abundant, healthy and peaceful.
The definition of "Human Intelligence" has been debated almost as much as the definition of love, but a commonly accepted definition is one's capacity for understanding, self-awareness, logic, abstract thought, communication, learning, memory, emotional knowledge, creativity and problem solving.
David Weschler, psychologist and researcher, defined intelligence as, "The aggregate or global capacity of the individual to act purposefully, to think rationally, and to deal effectively with his environment."
Robert Sternberg, a prominent figure in the research of human intelligence, defines human intelligence as a "mental activity directed toward purposive adaptation to, selection and shaping of, real-world environments relevant to one's life."
Sternberg's Triarchic Theory of Intelligence consists of 3 forms of intelligence, as follows:
1. Practical Intelligence is a person's ability to react to his or her environment and adapt to it or change it to suit their needs. Practical intelligence is the ability to thrive in the real world.
"Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change."~Stephen Hawking
"Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's needs, but not every man's greed." ~Mahatma Gandhi
2. Experiential (Creative) Intelligence relates to the way a person approaches new information or circumstances and is able to develop solutions based upon prior experience or create a new solution based upon innovative approaches.
"Jeff Sachs has the Millennium Villages. He spends $2.5 million in one village. It's an absolutely ridiculous model, because I've said that if you gave me $2.5 million, I can train 100 grandmothers, solar electrify 100 villages - 10,000 houses - and save you 100,000 litres of kerosene"~Bunker Roy, Founder of the Barefoot College
3. Componential (Analytical) Intelligence which refers to a persons ability to analyze information and use logic, knowledge and strategy to develop solutions.
"The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting"~Sun Tzu
Based on the foregoing, "intelligence" is, in essence, the ability of a person to successfully adapt to environmental changes and thrive throughout their life with the least amount of conflict, energy, violence and harm.
In using this definition of intelligence, it appears that we are actually one of the stupidest species on the planet. Even though humankind has created many wondrous things, we have also created, and continue to perpetuate, a world full of untenable levels of war, toxicity, injustice and over-consumption leading to disease, poverty, irreversible damage to our biosphere and increased risk of human extinction.
We think our industrialized and weaponized "civilization" is progressive and far superior to that of hunter-gatherers. The popular view of hunter-gatherers, as promulgated by Thomas Hobbes in 1651 is that their lives are "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short." But have we really made progress? Have we really created a higher quality of life with greater health and ecosystemic thriving?
According to Marshall Sahlins, anthropoligist and professor emeritus at University of Chicago, hunter-gatherers only worked about 15-20 hours a week in order to survive and devoted the rest of their time to leisure.
In his "original affluent society" theory, Sahlins shifted the anthropological view of hunter-gatherers from primitive savages to practitioners of refined modes of subsistence. According to Sahlins, "the hunter-gatherer societies were able to achieve affluence by desiring little and meeting those desires with what was available to them. In the industrial society "man's wants are great, not to say infinite, whereas his means are limited" and "the gap between means and ends can eventually be narrowed by industrial productivity."
The issue with Sahlins argument about industrialized society being affluent is that natural resources have been extracted and exploited without restoring and replenishing them and the damage to our biosphere has rendered the once unrecognized and undervalued work of natural capital unable to keep up with human demand and destruction. According to , WWF's "Living Planet Report," we exhausted the carrying capacity of the planet in 1979 while our population and consumption continues to increase. Our society has the illusion of affluence, yet there are billions of humans suffering to support this illusion. For instance, over 3.5 billion people live in extreme poverty ($2.50 or less per day) and another 1.5 billion people live in poverty (less than $10 per day) while 85 of the wealthiest individuals control more resources than 3.5 billion of the poorest.
Additionally, research of animal behavior has evidenced that animals in the wild appear to be relatively free from eating disorders, depression and addiction, whereas laboratory, caged and domesticated animals do have these disorders. So what is it about our society, our disconnection from nature, the cages we create for ourselves and animals that leads to behavioral disorders and sociopathy?
Nature has 4.5 billion years of wisdom and provides us with everything we need to live abundant and thriving lives. Yet we have the arrogance to think that we are smarter than nature and that our man-made systems are superior to nature. For example, it is a generally accepted meme that due to scientific and medical advancement, we are able to live longer, more healthy lives, while our poor ancient ancestors were lucky to live past the age of 35. However, the studies that support this view, skew the results with infant mortality rates and statistical averaging. According to Satoshi Kanazawa, when infant mortality rates were removed from the studies, the life span of hunter-gatherers was calculated to between 70 and 80 years, the same rate as that found in contemporary industrialized societies.
The domination, killing, destruction, increased work and effort of modern society are not the hallmarks of intelligence, but rather stupidity. How can we use the 10% of our mental capacity more intelligently and effectively? Here are a few ideas:
When we can cast aside our arrogance and give reverence to the superiority of nature, we might start using the 10% of our mental capacity in a truly intelligent way.
If you could increase your profits by improving the health, wholeness and happiness of your employees and organization would you?
It would seem that the answer to the foregoing rhetorical question, would be a resounding "Yes!" especially when the ROI on comprehensive, well-run employee wellness programs can be as high as 6 to 1 (Harvard Business Review, 2010) and eco-conscious, sustainability programs on average have a ROI of 2 to 1 (Bloomberg, 2011).
Despite the groundswell of evidence supporting the profitability of health and sustainability programs, many executives today are stuck in an old mindset that categorically views such programs as "fluffy" cost centers not profit centers.
As an example of a pioneer of healthy work culture, when Jim Goodnight co-founded his technology company in 1976 he envisioned generous health benefits and a campus environment equipped with racquetball and volleyball courts to encourage exercise, health-conscious cafeterias and free onsite medical services. He also dreamed of providing employees with a flexible workweek, daycare and education. Many executives at the time thought Goodnight's company would go belly up providing such "fluffy" services to employees. However, Goodnight proved the skeptics wrong by not only providing his employees with the benefits and amenities he dreamed of, but also built the largest privately held software company in the world -- SAS (Statistical Analysis Systems), with annual revenues exceeding $3 billion in 2013.
As leading companies such as Google, Zappos, Whole Foods, GE, Microsoft, Cisco and Nike have successfully demonstrated the pragmatism of valuing employees with such things as a healthy culture (e.g., exercise, nutritious food, live-work balance, child care, telecommuting), generous health plans and social responsibility, enterprise is waking up and starting to get healthy -- because it makes good business sense.
According to Forbes, the current healthcare spend in the U.S. is a crippling $3.8 trillion. About 70 percent of the diseases contributing to this crippling cost are avoidable with preventative measures including heart disease, obesity, diabetes, osteoporosis, insomnia, depression, chronic back pain and muscle spasm. And most of these diseases are incubated in a sedentary, stress-filled, junk-food eating and dehumanizing work environment.
Aon Hewitt's analysis showed the average health care cost per employee was $10,471 in 2013. When added to Mercer's estimates of an average of $14,000 per employee per year resulting from absenteeism and inefficiency, the total is $24,471 on average per employee per year. It's pretty astounding what poor health is costing both enterprise and society.
It doesn't take a genius to figure out that integrating exercise and movement with healthy eating, stress reduction and social connection into the workplace will substantially reduce health care costs and absenteeism while increasing productivity, efficiency and morale. A winning formula for increased profits is to foster a healthy, whole and happy environment for employees to thrive.
By utilizing training, integration, environmental shifts, gamification, and peer support, the transformational lifestyle process of improving health and vitality can be personally and socially rewarding as well as engaging and fun.
I am glad to see the growing adoption of leadership committing to increasing profits by improving employee health and creating abundant, well and enlightened organizations.
What if we could create a world of AWE -- Abundance, Wellness and Enlightenment -- a thriving and harmonious world that fosters humankind's potential for love, brilliance, beauty and kindness?
I am convinced that we can create such a world and am seeing a rapidly growing groundswell of people awakening and collaborating to transform our world.
There are, however, many people who still believe that those seeking to create a more thriving, loving, abundant, well and enlightened world are merely "unpragmatic woo-woo utopian dreamers."
As Albert Einstein said, "Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds."
Throughout history, it is the dreamers and visionaries (e.g., Martin Luther King, Thomas, Edison, Wright Brothers, Mother Theresa, Albert Einstein and Buckminster Fuller) that have awakened us to new possibilities, shifted our "reality," and changed the world.
As visionary and innovator Steve Jobs said:
"Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes... the ones who see things differently -- they're not fond of rules... You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can't do is ignore them because they change things... they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do."
The guardians of the status quo are conditioned to believe that perpetuating a world based upon maximizing profits from endless growth, GDP metrics, extraction, exploitation, scarcity, toxicity, war, injustice and destruction is "pragmatic."
Is it really pragmatic to cause destruction of our biosphere that provides us with life itself and everything we need to thrive as a species?
I would posit that real pragmatism is creating a world that fosters the health and thriving of our biosphere and humankind. For example, a billionaire about to drop dead of dehydration will give you every penny he has for a life-saving glass of water.
We are the planet! There is no separation. Each breath, drop of water and the nutrients that sustain our lives are gifts from the planet.
The planet and its intricate ecosystems have 4.5 billion years of natural wisdom. To think we can save the planet is just arrogance. The planet does not need us to save it. After we are long gone, the planet will heal itself and be just fine without us.
However, we have an opportunity to thrive if we choose to love, respect and serve each other and the planet -- if we choose trust, compassion, generosity, and collaboration over fear, distrust, greed, scarcity, and disconnection; if we choose well-being over toxicity and creation over destruction.
It is not hard to imagine a world that is "better." But, what does "better" mean? By "better," I mean an abundant, well and enlightened world that enhances life -- a world where love, compassion, generosity, equitability and the creation of beauty are the pursuit of humankind.
This "better" world is being birthed in eco-social conscious communities, in corporations that are adopting ethical and socially responsible practices, and in governments that are creating legislation and incentives to stimulate a sustainable economy.
As Buckminster Fuller said, "In order to change an existing paradigm you do not struggle to try and change the problematic model. You create a new model and make the old one obsolete."
In the 20th century, the economy was based upon industrialization, expansion, competition, centralization, profits-at-all-costs, debt, greed, consumerism, waste, war, fossil fuels, and environmental destruction.
In their February 2104 article titled "Remaking the Industrial Economy," McKinsey & Co. brilliantly summarized the industrial economy as follows:
"Visualize, for a moment, the industrial economy as a massive system of conveyor belts--one that directs materials and energy from resource-rich countries to manufacturing powerhouses, such as China, and then spirits the resulting products onward to the United States, Europe, and other destinations, where they are used, discarded, and replaced."
"In light of volatile markets for resources, and even worries about their depletion, the call for a new economic model is getting louder."
In the 21st century, we have an opportunity to create the new "regenerative economy." The regenerative economy is based upon elevating ethical value creation over economic expansion, collaboration over competition, sufficiency over greed, regenerative over extraction, and sharing over hoarding.
The regenerative economy represents a horizontal economic transformation that will dwarf the industrial age economy by transforming almost every industry vertical, with the greatest impact on energy, water, food, built environment, transportation, packaging, health care, infrastructure, natural resource and waste management, technology, resource and supply chain management, and education.
A small sampling of regenerative economy metrics include the $1 trillion "restoration economy," the $290 billion "LOHAS market," the $110 billion "sharing economy," and the $248 billion "clean energy market."
The regenerative economy will include the following:
With consistent and proactive application of our energy, effort and resources in alignment with the foregoing, we can create the regenerative economy and a world of AWE.
The regenerative economy requires a shift in consciousness that includes the application of whole, healthy and regenerative practices that transform our environments, deepen our connection with each other and the planet, and evolve our beliefs and behaviors in a way that shifts our culture to align with life-enhancing outcomes.
It is not likely that this transformation will occur in our comfort zone. In order to create a thriving abundant, well and enlightened world, we need to be willing to have courage and tenacity, to stand for our dreams, take risks, make mistakes, lose money and face adversity, criticism and ostracism.
We live in a universe of infinite possibilities, yet most of us live lives of such limited possibilities. There are energies, forces and consciousness in the universe that support human thriving, yet most of us are "perceptually blind" to these energies, forces and consciousness. Let's open our eyes and minds to new possibilities that are life-enhancing and expansive in order that humankind can thrive by expressing its potential for love, brilliance, beauty and kindness and create a world of AWE.
I had a major revelation today (September 19, 2013) about the potential and possibilities for humankind. The timeline, dimension and illusion of our current "reality" is at the edge of transformation. . .
While walking through a redwood forest today, I stopped to embrace a beautiful redwood tree. Although on the outside, the tree looked healthy and strong, during my embrace, I could feel its life force was weakening. I became aware that the redwoods are both "barometers" measuring the health of our planet and "antennas" that transmit this information to "guardians" of earth.
What came to me is an urgent message: The time is NOW to open our hearts, minds and beings to entirely new possibilities, even though these possibilities will shake the very foundation of our social structure and belief systems.
We have an immediate choice to either 1) embrace life-affirming, regenerative practices and new beliefs that expand our ability to thrive in unity and harmony with each other, nature and the universe, or 2) continue to extract, exploit, divide and destroy ourselves into extinction.
We are the planet - there is no separation. Each breath, drop of water and the nutrients that sustain us are life-giving gifts. The planet will heal itself and be just fine without us, however, we have an opportunity to thrive, if we choose unity, love and synergistic resolution over selfish hording, scarcity, fear and compromise.
We live in a universe of infinite possibilities, yet we live lives of such limited possibilities. There are energies, forces and beings in the universe that support human thriving, yet most of us are "perceptually blind" to these energies, forces and beings. Let's open our eyes and minds to new possibilities that are life-affirming and expansive in order that humankind can express its potential for brilliance, beauty & kindness and thrive.
Merrill Ward, AWE's Chief Enlightenment Officer, just shared this inspiring piece about transformation that I am compelled to share this with you. . .
Birth, Death & Metamorphosis
As the sap begins to pull back from the branches of the trees, and the leaves begin their inevitable shift into the vibrant reds, rich golds and deep purples of Autumn, my mind, body and spirit generally tend to begin their own withdrawl into the inner realms of Self as well. The fires of the summer have finally waned and the harvest season is in full swing as crops are duly reaped and put up for the coming winter months ahead. As things finally seem to be slowing a bit, I find myself shifting into deep reflection as this powerfully transformative time, both seasonally and within the greater shift in human cultural awareness, begins to unfold. As we enter into the astrological sign of Scorpio, with it's emphasis on Death, Regeneration & Rebirth and celebrate Samhain and the Day of the Dead, where the veil between the worlds is at its most tenuous within the wheel of the year, I am drawn to the analogy of the metamorphosis of the caterpillar. Culturally, we have been developing the rational egoic aspects of our collective consciousness for several thousand years now. Perhaps since the rise of agrarian society, when we began cultivating our food and crafting tools and weaponry, creating artificial limits of geographical boundaries and systems of ownership. This eventually manifested in the establishment of city/nation states and our ideas around cultural identity - of the creation of a false sense of us and them, that we can really no longer afford to maintain. This divisive meme, which may have served us during this particular phase of our growth, has effectively reached its limit of usefulness for us as a species and effectively represents the caterpillar stage of human development on our planet. For the last several decades, with the advent and rise of the information age, we have been creating a cocoon - a web, if you will, that can effectively hold and contain the cultural transformation that is unfolding within it. And now, the natural processes of disintegration are occurring as we move into the chrysalis or pupal stage of our collective evolutionary process. This manifests as collapse within various personal, social, governmental, economic and environmental systems, the breakdown of which we are currently witnessing throughout our world with ever increasing frequency and intensity. This is the phase of metamorphic transformation we are currently undergoing and it is not always easy nor comfortable. This dying process to our old ways of being is something to be accepted, to be embraced, to be held or contained within the cocoon (the Hermetically sealed alchemical alembic) of our collective human psyche. What we once were, or believed ourselves to be, is rapidly disintegrating in order that it may become what it is, that we are truly destined to be. At this stage, the imaginal cells that will eventually develop into our transformed human condition are as yet undetermined and undifferentiated. I feel strongly that we can positively impact this transformational process through deeply surrendering to it's unfoldment while remaining focused and open - powerfully holding a clear vision and intention within the collective resonant morphogenetic field within our shared Great Work together. Our ability and willingness for us to continue to drop deeply in and collectively hold this field - for ourselves, for each other and for humanity itself, freed from the "lust of result", will manifest in the quickening that will allow for our emergent essential nature to unfold fluidly and organically. Allowing for us to break free from the constraints of our current cultural conditioning and in due course, enabling the butterfly of our enlightened Divinely Human psyche to soar freely into a future of perfect love, perfect trust and limitless possibilities. And so it is......
We have gone far too long waiting for the world to change, and all here know we are doing good deeds and great works. Mothers, carrying life within their bodies and in a real sense nuturing a new spirit with sustaining love and compassion, may be one of the most powerful communities to organize and engage in buidling and then thriving as children of our Mother Earth, and our mommies...
We are each part of a Global Human Agreement (“GHA”) that creates our current reality. The GHA shapes our external and internal worlds and the way we relate to each other and our environment. Much of the GHA results from implanted programs that we perpetuate both consciously and unconsciously. These programs shape our view of the world, dictate our behavior and create our “reality.
In order to manifest a new reality, we need new tools that allow us to replace the programs that are disempowering and destructive. We can’t fix the problem with the same tools that created the problem. A prime example of this is the “War on Terror.” We use war and force in an attempt to create peace. It just doesn’t work. It’s perpetuates war and terror. However, such activity is good for the GDP.
This paper is written to explore the operating system and programs that create and perpetuate our reality and to provide access to 5 powerful tools that can change it.
The Operating Systems and Programs
Upon entering this world, we start engaging with the realm of time and space as sampled by our phenomenal senses of sight, sound, smell, taste and touch. We have no language or context for the filtered information being received through our senses.
The environmental matrix of time and space, as experienced in human form, represents our fundamental “operating system.” Throughout our development, we are implanted with “programs” by our parents and society including language, context, meaning, emotion, judgment (e.g., good/bad-right/wrong) and “appropriate” behavior. These programs shape the way we relate to each other and our environment.
These programs provide us the ability to communicate with each other, to form thoughts and context and a lens through which we view and behave in our world. These programs include everything from deeply embedded unconscious genetic survival instincts that stretch back beyond the dawn of humankind to social constructs and behaviors that have been developed through the millennia.
Soon these programs take over our lives and we “become the programs.” We find ourselves conforming to “appropriate” forms of behavior rather than standing in our truth. We fit in and try to be “normal” rather than extraordinary. We compromise our greatness, our passions, our potential and our power for security, convenience and comfort. We accept the enslavement program as “reality.”
For example, a significant majority of the developed world believes that we need money to survive, that money gives us power, that the more money we have the happier and more secure we will be and that natural resources and money derive their value from scarcity.
Based upon this set of beliefs, we have created a world “reality” where we have become completely dependent on valueless paper money for our survival, where ever-increasing expansion of the gross domestic product, profit at all costs, hoarding, greed and destruction of the eco-system are not only justified, but are actually rewarded as the accepted the definition of “success.”
Accessing the new tools to manifest a new paradigm, requires us to get down to the operating system layer and erase the disempowering and destructive programs that perpetuate a world rampant with war, pollution, toxicity and social injustice.
5 Powerful Tools for a New Paradigm
The 5 Powerful Tools for a New Paradigm are as follows:
(1) Equanimous Observation
(4) Prior Consciousness and Imagination
(5) Manifestation through Embodied Awareness
1. Equanimous Observation
“Equanimous Observation” means the state of neutrality, emotional detachment and non-judgment when observing one’s internal experience, beliefs, programs, patterns, stories and circumstances.
When we judge things as good or bad, right or wrong, “pigeon-hole” or get emotionally triggered, it is highly likely we are running a program based upon context and story that is fabricated.
Equanimous Observation teaches us to just look at things for what they “truly” are without layering context and story around it. For example. . .
Fact: A child was occasionally spanked by her father when she did not listen to her father.
Story: My father is an abusive jerk who didn’t love me. I am a victim of abuse and it’s all my Dad’s fault. He makes me so angry!
Stories tend to exaggerate and dramatize what actually happened and are products of interpretation. Stories are generally created from language and culture programs giving rise to context and imagined scenarios.
When we are able to impartially observe the facts without judgment, emotional charge or attachment to outcome, we start to differentiate between fact and fiction. We are no longer trapped as unwitting hostages inside a story that controls our decisions and actions, but instead possess the ability to objectively see our programs and the causal patterns, beliefs, thoughts, emotions and experiences that arise from our programs. From this perspective, we can make objectively evaluate and inquire into our programs, thereby gaining the power and freedom of choice and manifestation.
Although inquiry arises from language and context, it is a powerful tool for developing awareness of the programs that are running us. As mentioned above, language is a program. Language is learned and is not part of our original operating system. When we learn a language, we become implanted with the mindset that created it, including the culture, context, constraints and viewpoints. For example, the Polynesians have a plethora of terms to define ocean conditions and navigation, as do the Eskimos for snow and the nomads for sand.
Inquiry consists of the art of asking the right questions. When we become aware of the programs creating our beliefs, emotions, thoughts and stories using Equanimous Objectivity, we are then able to apply Inquiry. Below are some examples of questions to allow us to evaluate whether a program is serving or non-serving. For purpose of this Inquiry example, we will use beliefs.
Is this my belief? If not, whose belief is this?
Where did this belief come from?
Does this belief empower/serve me? If not, what other beliefs and views are available to empower/serve me?
What affect does this belief have on my choices and behavior?
How does this belief affect or create my internal and/or external reality?
What program in language, culture and conditioning is creating this belief?
If this belief is not serving, what is the payoff for holding onto or perpetuating the underlying program?
Am I willing to delete this program? Why or Why not?
Once we are able to inquire into our programs the causal beliefs, emotions, stories, thoughts, patterns and experiences, we can clearly choose to keep, strengthen, modify, delete or replace the programs.
The Power of Choice is the ability to accept all that was and is and be fully open to creating new possibilities. This means being unbound by limiting non-serving programs. To be free of past programs, choice requires us to take responsibility for our choices and fully accept everything that was and is.
By accepting what has happened and what is present, but not being bound to it in the future, we are free to choose our future. This is known as a “Generative Future.” A Generative Future is one we powerfully and fully create. The future is actually a blank canvas waiting for us to create it. However, when we bring our past into our future, the canvas is already full of stuff from our past. This is known as a “Pre-Determined Future.” In essence, our past has already determined our future as we back into our future looking at the past.
Most of us go through life making our present and future decisions based upon what worked or didn’t work in our past. Most of what worked or didn’t work was determined by our programs. Thus, if we unconsciously run non-serving programs and get results we don’t want, we only serve to reinforce these non-serving programs.
We keep trying to create a Generative Future with tools from our past. This just doesn’t work - If we focus on fixing the past, we are focused on the past rather than creating the future.
A key to creating a Generative Future is becoming conscious of the non-serving programs and deleting, replacing or modifying these programs. This is done by bringing the programs into the light of consciousness. When we see our programs, whether they serve us or not, they no longer hide beneath the surface controlling us. We have power over the programs and then can choose to delete, replace, modify, accept or strengthen the programs.
Once we have fully accepted what was and what is, we no longer are bound to a Pre-Determined Future. We then align choice, declaration and consistent action to powerfully create a Generative Future.
4. Prior Consciousness and Imagination
So far this discussion has focused in the realm of mind and language. Through the process of Equanimous Observation, Inquiry and Choice, we obtain access to “Prior Consciousness” – the all-knowing infinite consciousness that existed prior to our birth, prior to our experience as a human and prior to the installation of programs, including the program of language.
We access prior consciousness when our minds, ego and language are no longer involved. Because Prior Consciousness is beyond language, describing it language only creates a paradox. The best way to describe Prior Consciousness is the space in between thoughts that holds the infinite possibility of what the next thought may be.
We all have had the experience of shifting from one thought to another. In between thoughts, there is space. Accessing that space gives us amazing power to create from imagination.
Imagination is the ability of forming images, sensations and concepts, in a moment when they are not perceived through sight, hearing or other senses. The imagination arising from Prior Consciousness is that which provides images without language. These images, when embodied, work to create reality.
5. Manifestation through Embodied Awareness
When we clear programs, create imaginatively and anchor our Generative Future in the internal environment of our bodies, we can powerfully create using Embodied Awareness.
The somatic awareness of our body is always in the state of here and now. Because of this here and now consciousness, our bodies respond immediately to our thoughts and emotions. When this happens, the experience of thoughts and emotions become anchored in our “physical reality” as if they were true. This is because we really presently feel our thoughts and emotions in our body. Even if our emotions arise from thoughts that are fabricated, once anchored in somatic consciousness, we often believe the fabrications as if they are real.
For example, imagine laying on a white sand beach in Hawaii on an 80 degree sunny day with a light cool breeze blowing off the turquoise ocean with the palms swaying. Despite that you are not actually in Hawaii on the beach, it is likely that your body responded to the imagined scenario by relaxing. Now imagine yourself in Fukushima, Japan during the earthquake, Tsunami and nuclear reactor meltdown. It is likely that your body’s sympathetic nervous system kicked in releasing adrenaline, increasing your heart rate and tightening your muscles readying you for fight or flight.
When we are trapped in our programs and mind, we often anchor unwanted physical realities in our bodies.
Although mental focus and affirmations based upon language and programming can influence our reality, they are not nearly as powerful as the combination of imagination, choice and embodiment.
For instance, when we want to raise our right arm, we visualize and it happens naturally with little effort. We can say 1,000 times “arm raise” and it won’t. We can stare at our arm and focus our cognitive mental capacities on raising our arm and it won’t raise. However, in act of practically effortless coordination between imagination and somatic will, we just simply raise our arm.
Manifestation through embodiment is a powerful tool that works much the same way. We imagine what we want to manifest, anchor that in our body and allow Prior Consciousness to easily manifest the reality we embody.
When we imagine, choose and embody a Generative Future while taking consistent action in alignment with the Prior Consciousness and Embodied Awareness, magic starts to happen. This magic is deeper than mind, words and programs and works at a level prior to and deeper than the mind. From this state of being, take action in alignment with the signals of your somatic wisdom and you will magically manifest using Embodied Awareness.
About the AuthorMark Chasan is a “Transformational Integrator.” As an Internet veteran, serial entrepreneur with a public exit, environmentalist, digital media pioneer, attorney, futurist, financial and strategic advisor, healer, composer and author, Mark possesses experiences and tools that utilize whole system approaches to help enterprise, non-profits, executives and leaders powerfully manifest their visions and create positive global transformation.
Be it - Create It. Anything you already are is easy to create. We often try to create our world without creating ourselves. Creation occurs from the inside out. Our external environment is only a reflection of our internal being.
We often pursue and strive to be something we are not, and in so doing compromise and limit our power of manifestation and the extraordinary potential we each hold. Rather than being extraordinary creators, we conform and fit in - to be accepted as normal, ordinary people.
We are each unique and powerful beyond measure. When we fearlessly create from the authentic being we already are, creation unfolds as naturally and easily as a flower blossoming.
A friend of mine, Geoff Workman, compiled the chart below showing the astronomical inflation we are experiencing. Inflation is the hidden tax that covers the costs of the $20 trillion Wall St. bailout, the $1.2 trillion dollar war in Iraq and Afghanistan and the trillions of dollars of subsidies, pork barrel and inefficiencies of our Federal Government.
Inflation is not a Republican-Democrat issue, but rather a long standing collusion between the Federal Reserve and Congress that allows money to be “printed” by the Fed out of thin-air and loaned to our government in exchange for interest bearing Treasuries. These treasuries are considered real assets that are leveraged through fractional reserve banking to expand the amount of worthless currency in the world.
Sources: (1) U.S. Energy Information Administration; (2) Wall Street Journal; (3) Bureau of Labor Statistics; (4) Census Bureau; (5) USDA; (6) U.S. Dept. of Labor; (7) FHFA; (8) Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller; (9) RealtyTrac; (10) Heritage Foundation and WSJ; (11) The Conference Board; (12) FDIC; (13) Federal Reserve; (14) U.S. Treasury
This “inflation tax” is disguised by the appearance that goods, services, real estate and natural resources are going up in value, when in actuality the value of our currency is being diminished. The money we use as our medium of exchange is tied to nothing tangible and therefore is valueless except for the value we, the people, agree to give it. When we invest our valueless money and receive more valueless money, we really don’t see a gain. 0 x 1 billion is still 0. We merely see a transfer of our time, energy and natural resources being voluntarily exchanged for worthless paper.
The things that are real and valuable are people, planet, natural resources and our health. We, however, allow the destruction and toxificatioin of humankind and our planet for worthless paper, while those that print the paper consolidate the natural resources of the planet and the military might to defend it.
By shifting our values and investing our time and energy in meaningful and direct exchange of valuable goods and services without relying on worthless money, the more we can free ourselves from the tyranny and corruption of runaway central banking Ponzi scheme.
David Korten provides a good summary of the difference between Wall St. and Main St in his paper entitled "A Real-Market Alternative" (http://csrwiretalkback.tumblr.com/post/3300155425/a-real-market-alternative).
"The Wall Street economy," according to Mr. Korten, "is centrally planned and managed by big banks and corporations for which money is both means and end. The primary goal is monopoly control of markets, physical resources and technology to maximize profits and bonuses.
Main Street economy is comprised of local businesses and working people who self-organize to provide livelihoods for themselves, their families and communities producing real goods and services in response to community needs. Main Street exemplifies the market economy envisioned by Adam Smith; Wall Street is the antithesis."
80% of the population lives in or near poverty, yet trillions of dollars of bailout money is flowing from the White House into the hands of a few privileged Wall Street bankers and preferred government contractors rather than aiding people and planet. The cost of this massive bailout will be paid by the hidden tax of inflation, which will only accelerate the decline of the standard of living and allow further consolidation of wealth, natural resources and military might into the hands of a few.
We work for money that is worthless and those printing the money (i.e., the central banking cartel) have ingeniously enslaved humankind and purchased the natural resources of the planet by printing money out of thin air.
It is clear that neither our governments nor our banking system are serving humanity or the planet, but have merely become a runaway money-war-stuff machine without social or environmental consciousness. This greed machine will destroy planet and people to fulfill its voracious appetite for monopolistic domination through ever increasing debt.
It is time for community, local production of products and independence from debt.
The language of the universe is vibration. We are simultaneously receiving, processing and transmitting vibrations that shape our “reality” in a co-creative jam session with the universe.
Vibrations are the language of the universe. Everything has vibration - from our thoughts, emotions and feelings, to the sounds we hear (and don’t hear) and the electromagnetic spectrum which contains the light and colors we see (and don’t see).
All energy has frequency and vibration. Some of these vibrations are measurable by the devices we have created. For example our brain waves and neural responses can be measured by electroencephalogram (EEG), our heartbeats by electrocardiogram (ECG), and our muscle action by electromyograph (EMG). Spectrophotometry is used to measure the vibrational frequencies of light and materials.
Moreover, the “String Theory” utilized in the field of quantum physics, posits that electrons and quarks within an atom are not 0-dimensional objects, but rather 1-dimensional oscillating lines ("strings") and that these strings are really 1-dimensional slices of a 2-dimensional membrane vibrating in 11-dimensional space. These vibrations create the world that we experience.
Whether the vibrations are of light, by which we see, vibrations of sound, by which we hear, or the vibrations of our thoughts and feelings, we are constantly receiving, processing and transmitting vibrations in a co-creative jam session with universe.
However, rather than accepting the vibrational, non-linear, infinite and chaordic nature of the universe, we attempt to force the infinite miracles of the universe into an illusory model of linear predictability that comfortably fits within the narrow confines of our limited “physical reality.” In this physical reality, we do not relate to the subtle forms of vibrations and energy.
Moreover, in a society where the ego is highly developed and mind chatter loud, it is often difficult to “see,” “hear” and/or “feel” the song of the universe. When we are able to quiet our minds and question our programs and beliefs, we start hearing the vibrational song of the universe.
In order to provide the tools to discern mind chatter and programming from the language of the vibrational song of the universe, it is important to understand how we receive, transmit and communicate with the universe using vibratory feedback loops and spirals. This understanding allows us to consciously “jam” in co-creation, harmony and synchronicity with The Unified Divine (the combination of infinite potential, consciousness and creation).
Much like great jazz musicians jamming together, instantaneously hearing, playing and co-creating with each other in the moment, whatever we transmit to the universe (e.g., think, perceive, emote, feel, and express) has a vibration. The Unified Divine instantaneously receives our vibrational frequency transmission and returns complementary vibrations back to us. We then receive the vibratory transmission of The Unified Divine and immediately transmit back to The Unified Divine our vibration. This vibratory feedback loop is perpetual.
The Unified Divine is always playing the tune for our highest vibration, but is virtuosic and happy to jam with us on whatever vibrations we are transmitting.
Understanding this feedback loop provides us the ability to “hear the tune” of The Unified Divine and play with The Unified Divine in a co-creative jam session of the highest vibration. Like attracts like, but with intention, we can turn the feedback loop into a spiral thereby changing the frequency of our vibration. For example, we can shift the frequency of anger into passion, inspiration and love.
The jam session with The Unified Divine is played on the 7 instruments of our Sensations, Perceptions, Thoughts, Emotions, Feelings, Instincts and Intuition (“Vibratory Receptors & Transmitters” or “VRT’s”). Each VRT carries a unique vibration that is received by, and transmitted from, the corresponding three “Vibratory Consciousness Centers” or “VCC’s”, of Soul, Mind and Body, as follows:
Vibratory Consciousness Centers (“VCC’s”)
Body, Mind & Soul are the three distinct forms of Vibratory Consciousness Centers (“VCC’s”) that play the VRT instruments in our jam session with The Unified Divine. The VCC’s interpret the inputs and transmissions from our VRT’s and express these transmissions into the form of unique energy, consciousness and expression while simultaneously transmitting the resulting vibrations back to the VRT’s and the universe, thus creating the feedback loop of our divine jam session.
1. Body. The body experiences Somatic Consciousness through the instruments of sensations, perceptions, feelings and somatic emotions. The body is an amazing genius that is capable of handling trillions of cellular and other transactions per second. Our Somatic Consciousness is in the present moment of now and processes information in a non-linear parallel manner. Thus, by feeling into our Somatic Consciousness we can become aware of present truth and the plethora of data inputs from the universe without the interference form the past-future linear rationalization of mind.
2. Mind. The mind experiences Cognitive Consciousness and plays the instruments of thought, imagination, cognitive emotion and perception. The mind provides us with identity, individuation, space/time consciousness, logic, planning, cognitive emotion, the perceived perpetuation and navigation of the space/time dualistic human experience. At higher levels of consciousness, the mind provides the capacity to self-realize, the ability to imagine and the potential to transcend linear thought and programmed limitations.
3. Soul. The soul experiences Divine Consciousness and plays the instruments of instinct and intuition. Our souls provide our life force and direct connection to divine zero point/infinity consciousness and potential beyond, where space and time have little meaning. As well, it is our souls that indelibly record and retain the imprints of our consciousness, including all experiences of our VTR’s and VCC’s and the potential of our infinite permutations. Our soul illuminates and energizes our consciousness like a projector shining light through the film strip of our life’s experience onto the screen of our physical world.
Vibratory Receptors and Transmitters (“VRT’s”)
It is through our Vibratory Receptors and Transmitters (“VRT’s”) that we transmit and receive vibrations to and from the universe and our VCC’s.
The instruments played by the VCC’s are the 7 following VRT’s of 1) Sensation, 2) Perception, 3) Thought, 4) Emotion, 5) Feelings, 6) Instinct and 7) Intuition. Each VRT possesses unique characteristics, vibrations and patterns.
Much like the difference between playing violin and drums, each VRT possesses unique characteristics that resonate with the VCC’s that have the tools and ability to “play” the matching VRT’s. Like mastering a musical instrument, the VRT’s and VCC can also be honed through attention and practice as tools to express and manifest one’s desired results. Thus, with conscious attention and practice, we can utilize our VRT’s and VCC’s for the highest expression of our consciousness.
The following provides a summary of the VRT’s:
1. Sensation is the first stage in the biochemical and neurologic events that begins with a stimulus impinging upon the receptor cells of a sensory organ, such as light upon the eyes, sound in the ears, taste on our tongue, smell in our nose, air on our skin. With the exception of the 6th sense (intuition), the five phenomenal senses of sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch, limit and filter the massive wave of data we receive each moment, and thus constrain and limit the experience of “phenomenal reality.” Our senses receive raw data from our environment and create information which is transmitted throughout somatic pathways in the form of sensation prior to reaching the mind for processing.
2. Perception is the process of attaining awareness of sensory information. When sensory data reaches our mind, it is generally filtered into a perception that fits our contextual world view. For example, when our eyes sample and filter the light wave data of a tree, we filter, connect and contextualize these shapes in a story that fits our worldview and we then perceive a tree. We have not yet added thought or emotion to our perception of the tree, (e.g., “the tree is beautiful,” or “I feel peaceful when I look at the tree”).
3. Thought is a mental form and process that allows our minds to model, navigate, order, filter, individuate and understand the human a space-time experience. Thought also provides us the ability to be self-conscious and have past and future experiences in the realm of mind. In its ego, space-time, linear form, thought can many times create a worldview and “reality” that is limited and “closed-minded.” At the higher level of functioning, thought ascends into the super-consciousness of imagination. Imagination provides us the ability to form mental images, sensations and concepts, without the need for sensory involvement, although our senses do influence our imagination
4. Emotion is a mental and physiological state associated with a wide variety of stimuli, including feelings, thoughts, beliefs, events, sensations, perceptions and even other emotions. Just about anything can trigger an emotion. Because emotions are so subjective and able to be triggered from so many stimuli, they can involve significant complexity and are often misunderstood.
Emotion in its basic form is an energetic charge carrying a vibrational frequency that seeks expression. Expression is the release of the emotional charge, where as behavior is the outward manifestation of the expressive release, as brought into the world and viewed by others. Such behavior can include reactive expressions such as crying, laughing, fighting and fleeing, or conscious expression such as painting, playing music, taking a run, accomplishing a goal, making love with greater presence or generosity.
Emotions can be “Basic” or “Complex.” An example of a basic emotion is the fear of falling from a great height. Fear of falling from a great height is singular, simple and there to save your life. Love, on the other hand, is complex as it contains many different emotions and vibrations combined together for no direct or specific reason.
Emotions can also be “Instinctual” or “Cognitive.” Instinctual Emotions are generally associated with survival (e.g., fight, flight, food, mating) and are generated from a combination somatic consciousness, sympathetic nervous system and the amygdala. Because Instinctual Emotions are highly somatic, and the body is always in the state of present awareness, these emotions tend to be felt in the “moment of now” rather than forecasting a future, or remembering a past, event. Cognitive Emotions tend to be triggered by thought and involve the prefrontal cortex. This brain region has been implicated in planning complex cognitive behaviors, personality expression, decision making and moderating correct social behavior. Thus, Cognitive Emotions tend to arise from dualistic, polarized, future/past thinking and a plethora of programmed emotional triggers.
Cognitive Emotions often arise as a result of a programmed belief interacting with a circumstance. For example, if I believe making money is good and losing money is bad, when I make money I may experience the emotion of happiness and when I lose money, I may experience the emotion of anger. Understanding our belief systems is valuable for consciously utilizing the charge of emotion to manifest our desired outcomes.
When you notice emotions or behavior that are not in alignment with that you desire to create, ask yourself what thought or belief triggered the emotion and whether that thought or emotion is yours. Often you will see that you are reacting to a thought or belief that is programmed or implanted and that you are not consciously utilizing emotional energy to intentionally create your desired outcome.
5. Feelings are a present time experience of somatic consciousness coupled with cognitive awareness. Since our body consciousness is always in the moment of now, our feelings, which are experienced somatically, are generally much more present and less subject to rationalization, manipulation and fiction. The body does not care about whether you get a promotion or get married to your lover or make money. The body is conscious of its present state (e.g., I feel hungry, I feel amorous, I feel tired, I feel comfortable).
Feelings and emotions are often used interchangeably without much thought to their differences. For example, I feel angry is not an accurate statement. The body does not feel angry. The mind experiences anger as a result of a belief intersecting with a circumstance and the body creates vibrational feelings to match that state of mind.
Examples of feelings include states of being relaxed, tense, agitated, excited, vital, strong, edgy, open, full, attracted, repulsed, closed, passionate, charged, tingly, bubbly, harmonious, healthy, calm, comfortable, hot, warm, cold, vibrant, expansive, light, full, tight and free.
When, however, the mind interprets feelings in the body, the pure and present feelings of the body become distorted and mixed with story, thought and emotion. This is why people often confuse feelings with emotion.
6. Instinct is primarily a somatic impulse based upon ancient memory and universal connection that moves behavior without cognitive interference. Instinct is defined as (1) a natural or inherent aptitude, impulse, or capacity, (2) a largely inheritable and unalterable tendency of an organism to make a complex and specific response to environmental stimuli without involving reason, or (3) behavior that is mediated by reactions below the conscious level.
Much of the inherited patterning and cellular memory of our past evolution instinctually drives our behavior. Although modern humans (homo sapiens sapiens) have “evolved” in thought, culture and society over some 200,000 years, our somatic awareness and instinct are products of genetic and societal survival instincts that dominate our beliefs and behaviors and date back 4.5 billion years to the beginning o planetary evolution.
7. Intuition is the ability to acquire knowledge without inference or the use of reason. Intuition provides us with guidance that we cannot necessarily justify rationally. Intuition is generally a cognitive connection between the universe and our soul-mind consciousness or super-consciousness. Intuition generally appears as flashes of insight that are beyond logical reasoning. For Rudolf Steiner, intuition is the third of three stages of higher knowledge, coming after imagination and inspiration, and is characterized by a state of immediate and complete experience of, or even union with, the object of knowledge without loss of the subject's individual ego.
Intuition arises when thought ascends the boundaries and constraints of limited, linear thought processes and expands into the realm of non-linear/non-rational super-consciousness.
Our intuition is, in essence, like an intelligent radio tuner that is capable of playing multiple channels, but automatically tunes into the strongest station that will provide us with the experience most aligned with our higher self. However, sometimes our intuition gives us choices and may shift between “realities” and possibilities. This is because our intuition is already tuned into parallel possibilities and their outcomes. Our intuition allows us to feel and be magnetized toward decisions that will realize our highest purpose and yield the maximum fulfillment of our co-creative vision.
Jamming with The Unified Divine – (Conscious Co-Creation in Alignment with Universal Vibration)
Our ability to powerfully and divinely co-create our world is directly related to the vibrational state we transmit to, and receive from, the universe. When we consciously focus our VRT’s and VCC’s, we can intentionally increase the vibration of our VRT’s and VCC’s, to realize the highest expression of our selves in alignment with divine consciousness.
Thus, if we want to realize abundance in our life, we must bring our VRT’s and VCC’s into vibrational alignment with the state of being abundant. This will send a vibration of abundance to the universe. The universe, in turn, sends us vibrations that match the state of our abundance. Because we are in abundance consciousness, we are open to receiving these vibrations. This creates a feedback loop of abundance vibrations. As the internal and universal vibrations of abundance increase, it leads to the energetic expression of abundance which, when outwardly manifested, becomes abundant behavior, thus manifesting abundance in our life.
The VRT’s that are most in alignment with listening and feeling the language of divine wisdom are intuition and instinct. Intuition comes forth to guide us, when we are feeling and listening to the music the universe is playing. Intuition and instinct directly connect to, and are experienced by, our soul, providing us with a direct connection to divine wisdom, uncluttered by space/time perception, reason and duality. When we are guided by our intuition and instinct, we align to the tune being played by The Unified Divine.
We jam with The Unified Divine when we consciously align our VRT’S and VCC’s ourselves to hear, feel and play the song of The Unified Divine. In our jam session, we become co-creators with the The Unified Divine, adding our unique influence and contribution to the tune. When the tune is harmonious, synchronous and inspiring, we know we are really cooking with The Unified Divine. In this state of play, using a quote from my friend, Dreaming Bear, “we give God goosebumps.” When we feel the vibration of goosebumps, The Unified Divine feels them too.
Here is a to a jam session filled with divine goosebumps!
H.E.A.L.E.R. – The New Divine Relationship Paradigm
H.E.A.L.E.R. – Healthy, Enlightened, Abundant, Loving, Evolving Responsible relationships occur when we we take full responsibility for our experiences, our happiness and all we create. The illusion and belief systems that create, attachment to outcome, agenda, manipulation, drama, having-losing, neediness and fear dissolve giving way to unconditional love, divine connection, acceptance, freedom, expansiveness, collaboration, inspiration, the creation of beauty and fully present consciousness.
Overview and Introduction
The unconscious adoption of “acceptable” and limited forms of relationship is the norm in our society. These limited relationship forms include such unimaginative and vague categories as “dating,” “girlfriend/boyfriend,” “engaged” or “married.” Occasionally, alternative forms of relationships such as ”open relationship, ”“it’s complicated,” “boy/boy,” “girl/girl” or “bi/bi” find their way into fringe acceptance, but are generally considered taboo.
While we spend much of our time thinking about relationships, planning relationships and engaging in relationships, we don’t often consciously communicate with each other or intentionally create our relationships. Rather, we sleep walk into relationship categories with vague and basic rules of engagement pre-defined by society.
We not only adhere to these limited forms of relationship, but we actually attempt to force others to adopt these limited forms. . .”I don’t understand why he won’t commit to being your boyfriend. You should dump him.” “If you can’t commit to me exclusively, I don’t want to see you again.”
The prevailing mainstream belief is that getting married represents the ultimate relationship objective and many of us agendize and manipulate for that special day for unconsciously making our wedding vows and spending ridiculous sums of money to let the church and state into our spiritual union.
We are not taught good relationship and emotional communication skills. As a result, we do not generally act or communicate authentically in our relationships and are programmed to believe that somehow getting married will magically fill the in the gaps of our relational ineptitude. Our current relationship paradigms are generally unclear, unconscious, out of integrity and largely dysfunctional.
Maybe that’s why divorce rates in much of the world are so high. . . Marriage is 100% the cause of all divorces (humor statistic) with Sweden and the U.S. topping this list at 54.9% and 54.8%, respectively.
Moreover, ABC News Primetime Live Poll : The American Sex Survey, dated Thursday, Oct. 21, 2004, reports that women have an average of 6 sex partners in their lifetimes and men an average of 20. This demonstrates that the rate of “successful relationships” is much lower than the low rate of successful marriages.
Thus, a massively high percentage of relationships fail to meet the definition of “success” sold to us by society.
In 1968 researcher, Shere Hite, shook the foundations of conservative America with her famous “Hite Report” on the permissive sexual attitudes of American men and women. In 1988, Hite released her book, “Women and Love: A Cultural Revolution in Progress” (Knopf Press, 1988) with some updated statistics. Ms. Hite reveals some startling data describing how women feel about contemporary relationships:
There, however, is some disparity in these numbers. According to “Studies in Human Sexuality” by Suzanne G. Frayser and Thomas J. Whitby, the number of extramarital affairs is 50%, which is still remarkably high.
If most relationships are failing (by the current definition of “success”), why do we pretend they are succeeding? Why are we lying to ourselves and each other? Why are we mindlessly adopting relationship forms that don’t work?
This is because (i) we have been programmed to believe that the current forms of relationships actually work; (ii) we fear that we will be ostracized if we engage in a relationship that is unacceptable to our friends, family and society, (iii) there are no other widely disseminated and adopted models for having a healthy, conscious and divine relationship; and (iv) we desire relationships that provide the illusion of safety, security and predictability over an unstructured and unpredictable relationships that provide greater passion, love, growth and truth.
Rather than engaging in relationships as our divine, abundant, fearless, loving and expansive selves, we conform to limited and contracted expressions of love. We put limitations on who we can love and how we express love. We compromise our truth, integrity, freedom and passion, only to resent our loved ones for our compromises. We blame others for our circumstance and the emotions we feel (e.g., “he/she hurt me, broke my heart, made me mad, made me feel insecure,” etc.). Yet we perpetuate a myth that our current relationship paradigms and belief systems are healthy and working.
Despite the “failure” of so many relationships, we go on mindlessly adopting the current relationship paradigms, which often results in an abdication of responsibility, emotional drama, victim mentality, codependency, manipulation, disconnectedness, addiction, fear, attachment, negotiation, selfishness, dishonesty and inept communication.
The foregoing clearly demonstrates that we need to transform ourselves and the relationship paradigm. This starts with changing the definition of “success.”
Maybe “success” in relationship is nothing more than the ability to love fully and presently in the moment without attachment to outcome. We truly only have the moment. If we spend all our time planning our relationship for our life when we’re 80 years old, we will look back on our relationship and realize that all we did was spend our time together planning and that the plans turned out differently. However, if we spend our time fully and presently experiencing each other with great love, passion and inspiration, when we arrive at 80 years old, we will look back at a life and relationship full of great love, passion and inspiration.
Maybe success is being unconditionally loving and unconditionally loved for exactly who we are and being able to express our authentic self.
Maybe a successful relationship is one where the participants inspire each other and create beauty in the world.
Maybe success is having the opportunity to understand oneself more deeply and to grow into a more evolved human as a result of the relationship.
In addition to changing our definition of success, it’s time to become consciously aware of the beliefs and programs that are negatively affecting our behavior, emotions and relationships.
It is time to be aware and have conscious relationships that allow us to be expansive, unlimited, passionate, inspired and in our truth and integrity.
It is time for relationships that create growth and love rather than limitation and fear.
It is time to build the new relationship paradigm of H.E.A.L.E.R. - Healthy, Enlightened, Abundant, Loving, Evolving, Responsible relationships.
Pioneered by Freud around 100 years ago, the field of Western psychology has concentrated on the outer self-mind, heart, and body as the foundation for an individual’s growth and experience. Psychotherapy has mostly focused on healing the fragmented self, a repercussion of childhood psychological wounding. With the conception of Humanistic Psychology in the 1950’s, Maslow, an instrumental force in widening the scope of psychology, studied the healthy individual’s desire for greater self-awareness and self-actualization. Responding to the evolutionary nature of the psyche, Maslow and other theorists like Carl Rodgers and Carl Jung introduced a spiritual dimension to psychology, thus giving birth to Transpersonal Psychology. Transpersonal psychology includes the psychoanalytic, cognitive/behavioral, and humanistic/existential schools and extends beyond to include timeless shared spiritual wisdom from the ages.
In this paper, I will describe a transpersonal or psychospiritual approach to psychotherapy highlighting the main principles of transpersonal psychology, including the therapist consciousness, the client’s orientation and various techniques/modalities commonly practiced in a session. Furthermore, I will share how I plan to personally integrate these practices in my life to use with myself and others.
What is Transpersonal Psychotherapy?
Though difficult to fully define because of it’s all-inclusive and evolving nature, Transpersonal psychotherapy can be described as an integrative experiential depth psychotherapy that synthesizes developments in modern psychology with wisdom from the perennial spiritual traditions of the world. More concisely, the transpersonal approach merges the psychological with the spiritual, the personal with the transpersonal, self with spirit and the ordinary with the extraordinary. Within this framework, the importance is on both the understanding and healing of the fragmented self as well as the exploration of the source and depth of our own being, or soul. Transpersonal psychology, so importantly, includes and integrates parts of the human experience that was before kept separate or thought unimportant.
Special to transpersonal psychotherapy are the underlying principles of a deeper spiritual existence. Instead of “labeling” or “fixing” the client, transpersonal psychotherapy sees psychological processes as a part of the spiritual unfoldment of the individual. Even though every being is innately “whole”, the quest for the embodiment of this wisdom takes time. In connecting to this greater reality, a deeper meaning for the soul’s advancement can easily be gleaned as an experience on the path in the expansion of consciousness. When one is devoted to living the spiritual process, a new dimension to the sacredness of everyday life can be sensed with each moment bringing more clarity, truth and fulfillment within the divine plan. With this new awareness, the individual can see, feel and experience their relationship in the interconnectedness to the Whole. This is an exciting opportunity for the Self who aspires for Self-Actualization and oneness with the Divine. Ultimately, the goal of Transpersonal Psychotherapy is to support each client’s process of mind, body, spirit integration for emergence of their soul or authentic nature. When the soul fully embodies the being, a joyful, pure, peaceful presence guides the liberated Self.
What is the consciousness of a transpersonal psychotherapist?
More important than the specific technique administered in a session, the consciousness of the therapist is influential to the client’s inquiry into the self. Unlike psychoanalysis in which the therapist is dominant and energetically distant from the client, the transpersonal therapist sees the client within a non-dual orientation as an equal companion on the same level of shared consciousness. Within this connected state, the therapist’s loving empathic presence supports a deep heart space for the client to get in touch with their feelings. This deep palpable energy field invites the client to directly experience their inner feelings while connected to their deeper spiritual essence. In order for the therapist to fully engage the consciousness of the client, the therapist’s own inner depth exploration is essential to navigate the client through the realms of multi-dimensional consciousness. The therapist’s own meditation and spiritual practices contribute to content of the session as well as the underlying evolving spiritual development of therapist.
What type of clients are attracted to transpersonal psychotherapy?
Like traditional psychotherapy, some clients are attracted to transpersonal psychotherapy to address common issues such as childhood wounding, depression, trauma, personal growth and other life challenges. For these clients, the integrated transpersonal approach adds a spiritual dimension of consciousness to expand, deepen and reframe their lives. Other clients are called more specifically for guidance with questions along their own unique spiritual path. Many spiritual seekers that have experienced “Spiritual Emergencies”, Kundalini awakening, Altered States of Consciousness, and Near Death Experiences find meaningful grounded professional support in a transpersonal therapist, often difficult to find in conventionally oriented psychotherapists. Sometimes, shifts in consciousness resemble disturbing psychopathologic states, though are actually breakthroughs in the soul’s emergence towards greater self-awareness. Additionally, meditators on the path to self-realization can benefit from having an educated spiritual companion assist them in incorporating psychological issues that arise with spiritual development. Similarly, transpersonal psychotherapy can assist more psychologically oriented people to see beyond their limited blocks and expand toward a more expansive range of human potential. Most importantly of all, these clients are interested in a psychospiritual style of therapy in which all aspects of their multi-dimensional being-emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual-are seen, welcomed and encouraged to blossom.
What does a transpersonal psychotherapy session look like?
Like an artist has a palette of colors available to use, the transpersonal therapist has a wide spectrum of experiential mind, body and heart techniques to assist the client in bringing more coherence to the surface self and full emergence of their soul. Instead of having particular specific techniques, sessions are guided by an all-inclusive theoretical transpersonal framework creating spaciousness for a variety of explorations. Depending on the content, context, process, and experience of the therapist, a therapist will usually draw on conventional psychotherapeutic processes such as Psychoanalysis, Cognitive/Behavioral and/or Humanistic/Existential therapy while also incorporating more experiential techniques such as mindfulness meditation, visualization, and somatic practices (breathwork, hakomi, bodywork) and other exploratory exercises. Because the goal is expansion of consciousness, the technique provides the initial structure or “launch pad” for the client and therapist to begin the inquiry.
What psychological orientations, spiritual traditions and practices would I like to incorporate into my work?
As a budding Transpersonal psychotherapist in the world today, I feel grateful to have such a vast array of theories and practices available to use on this journey into consciousness. The eclectic framework of transpersonal psychotherapy allows me to continuously grow as an integrated being incorporating my own unique collection of mind, body, and spirit modalities to use with a client. Within the spirit of the Purna Advaita Ventanta path, I feel my body, heart and mind mostly connected to Somatic practices, Humanistic/Existential psychology, the Diamond Approach along with the universal wisdom of Carl Jung. Central to my practice, I will focus on the present state of the body as the window into the unspoken truth of the soul’s process. Through a blend of energetic bodywork (Rosen Method), breathwork, mindfulness meditation and movement, the body has an opportunity to access hidden thoughts, memories and feelings the right side of the brain may be unconscious to. In my opinion, tapping into body awareness creates a wonderful foundation for the therapist-client to move in and out of the mind and heart space. From this experiential place, the therapist-client can investigate what is happening in consciousness underneath the surface allowing the intuition of the therapist to guide the session. With a positive client-centered humanistic/existential focus, personal needs, desires and life questions can be addressed connecting the client within. Tapping into unmanifest creativity, imagination, dreams and the “conscious collective” can also unlock doors to the higher spiritual realms bringing more of one’s fullest potential forward.
In conclusion, Transpersonal Psychotherapy is continuously being molded, formed and shaped as consciousness, practices and techniques evolve through time. Could transpersonal psychotherapy be the “norm” in psychotherapy in the next 20 years? I believe so. As consciousness wakes up to itself and sees all life grounded in the sacred, possibly the patterns of thought and behavior which alienate us from the divine can be understood and addressed. When the sacred ground which we are all part of is recognized, then psychotherapy can be truly Transpersonal.
Over the past two decades, organizational structure, governance and capacities have undergone critical examination, but largely remain bureaucratic. In order to thrive in the 21st century, organizations must go beyond examination and experimentation into application. New technologies, globalization, voluminous cross-platform-multi-channeled information, and rapidly changing market-social-economic-political conditions are requiring the application of dynamic whole-systems organizational tool chests rather than the one-size-fits-all command and control hierarchical tool(s) of the last 100 years.
It is time for a new generation of whole-systems organizations, governance and leadership that are conscious, evolved, integrated and responsive to the rapidly changing circumstances and information flows of the 21st century. These organizations and leaders must balance the needs of their shareholders for profit and growth with conscious choices that promote the good of their employees, their customers, their distribution channel, their community, society and the environment.
Whole-systems dynamics is the process of understanding the interconnected, interdependent interactions within a whole system. For example, whole-systems in nature examine the relationships of elements within ecosystems such how air, water, fire, wind, soil conditions, plants and the movement of animals work together for the ecosystemic survival, sustainability or failure. In organizations, whole systems dynamics are applied to optimize the interactions, efficiencies, experiences and impact of people, structures/infrastructure, communications, capital, information, resources, market dynamics, communities, environment, customers, channel partners, strategic relationships, inventory, governance and processes that work together to make an organization healthy and socially responsible.
Ludwig von Burtalanffy is credited as the founder of General Systems Approach dating back to 1969. So this is not new technology. Whole systems dynamics arose out of the general systems approach and was used mostly in science and economics, but within the last 10 years has been adopted by pioneering corporations and government organizations with great success. Whole systems approaches are now entering an early adopter phase and will see much more rapid adoption and application.
Another interesting application of natural whole systems approaches to organizational governance and manufacturing processes is Biomimicry. Biomimicry (from bios, meaning life, and mimesis, meaning to imitate) is a new discipline that studies nature's best ideas developed by the planet over 4.5 billion years and then imitates these designs and processes to solve human problems. Studying a leaf to invent a better solar cell is an example - an "innovation inspired by nature."
By applying whole systems approaches and biomimicry, we can redefine "success" as more than just profit, but rather the success of the ecosystem and economic-political-social system impacted by the actions, products and services of the organization.
By applying a different definition of "success" that aligns with nature and developing metrics that provide the necessary feedback to achieve "success," organizations can develop the chest of versatile tools that provide them the ability to optimally respond to a plethora of situations that arise from a universe of possibilities rather than trying to control and eliminate possibilities.
Ecosystemic health of the organization can be achieved by shifting corporate beliefs, behaviors, processes and relationships - such as moving from command, control, blame, disempowerment and a singular "profit-at-all-costs" focus - to whole systems approaches that account for the needs of the individual; employees; the organization; the organization's customers; partners, channel and manufacturers; the infrastructure and mechanisms by which the organization delivers its products and/or services; the shareholders, investors and broader economic markets; the communities that the organization impacts; humankind; and the planet and its resources.
One-size-fits-all models generally lead back to breakdowns in the system requiring more bureaucracy. The universe doesn't conform to man-made forms and structures. We need tools that optimally deal with chaos and rapidly changing conditions. We need tools that are evolutionary and work with the natural laws of the universe and the planet. We are co-creators living within a larger system and can no longer naively expect the universe and nature to bend to the arrogant will of man.
By letting function dictate form and using form as a functional tool, we can obtain optimal results by using the right tool under the right circumstances. If our only tool is hammer, every problem looks like a nail. When presented with a tomato, we hit with our hammer, when presented with a nut and bolt, we hit it with our hammer. If only we had a knife for the tomato and a wrench for the nut and bolt, the outcome of our action could be considerably more efficient and elegant.
The tool chest is provided by the adoption of Situationally Adaptive Organizations (“SAO’s”) that create "Generative Futures."
SAO’s provide us with an integrated, whole systems, multi-structure hybrid that provides us a tool chest rather than a single tool. Each situation dictates which tool is the most appropriate. For example, in a fire a commander-in-chief would be more effective than getting the organization together for a unanimous decision on who gets the pail, shovel or hose. In some circumstances democracy is most effective, in others it may be a dictatorship, adhocracy, matrix, nucleus, chaord, fractal or communism. SAO's match circumstances with governance forms and do not rigidly adhere to single form of governance.
Generative Futures provide a method of clearing past rigidity and forms to allow organizations to make rapid fire decisions. The future is continually created in the moment of "now" and is not tied to past blame, fault, fixes or processes. By seeing the future a blank canvas, the organization can intentionally create an innovative, inspired and transformative future looking forward rather than focusing its resources on the fixing the past and managing the risk of an unknown future.
I have a dream of great transformation and new possibilities to create a world of A.W.E. - Abundance, Wellness & Enlightenment.
This dream is not about change. It is not about fixing the old system with the same mindset, tools and behavior that created the problems to begin with.
This is a global dream that affects not only the starving children in Africa and the suffering and injustice at the bottom of the pyramid, but the children and coming generations in the richest countries in the world, like
right here in the United States.
If we do not make immediate transformation in the way we live and consume, it is we, the people of the United States of America, that will be facing starvation, severe draught, displacement from our homes and great
suffering from environmental devastation and pollution in the next 20 years. Already many Americans are losing their jobs, their homes and their pensions.
Our education, healthcare, social security and infrastructure systems are broken. Our farms are depleted and our oceans fished out. Our air, water and food are polluted with toxic and carcinogenic chemicals. Our government no longer serves the people, but rather serves multi-national corporations and the central banking
We spend so much of our time, attention and energy on destroying each other and the planet. For what? Money - a bunch of worthless paper that derives its value from scarcity? So we can each have our very own piece of the latest plastic from China? For oil that destroys our environment?
There are real possibilities for a better world on the horizon. However, to manifest these possibilities will take a combination of widespread adoption of clean technologies, education reform, new infrastructure
and core economic and political reform.
More than all of these, the great impact will come from the transformation of our beliefs and behaviors from hoarding, exclusivity,disconnection and callousness to sharing, collaboration, inclusivity, respect, compassion and love.
The current economy of manufacturing, fossil fuels and the industrialized war machine will be dwarfed by the economy of restoration, regeneration, abundance, wellness, goodness, information, and transformation.
Our scientists have mathematically proven that we live in a universe of infinite possibilities. I hold that there is a possibility that we can live in abundance rather than end poverty. That we can possess wellness rather than fight disease. That we can bring forth enlightenment that shines so bright that the darkness of ignorance, selfishness, war, killing, prejudice, fear, hatred and injustice dissolves into the light creating a world that is
loving, creative, harmonious, generous and beautiful.
I am in awe of the magnificent beauty I see in our planet and the potential of humankind to rise to an equal magnificence and beauty. I am touched deeply by my connection and love for humanity and our beautiful planet earth. I am committed to creating a world of A.W.E. – Abundance, Wellness & Enlightenment. A world that is peaceful, just, and loving inhabited by humans that are environmentally conscious and socially responsible stewards of regeneration that create an abundant planet for this and future generations.
This is a collective dream that is far bigger than any one of us. Many of us share this dream, but don’t know how to realize this dream. To be realized, this dream needs help, commitment and participation by those who share this dream. I, as the founder of AWE Institute am committing my life to this dream. If this is also your dream, let’s share the dream. By giving ourselves to the dream we can realize the dream together.
For the benefit of humankind and planet, let us come together and pool our talent, our resources and our collective power to become and create the change we want to see in the world.
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