We Can Change Our Programming!
Explorations Summary Consolidation
Whew, OK, that’s enough, for now. Admittedly, it can be a slog working with deep personal and cultural values, worldviews, beliefs, behaviors, qualities and practices. It’s important, though. If most of our social systems are broken, that indicates something’s broken at a deeper level, somewhere in this stuff. It’s important and necessary to make time and effort to root around in these dimensions, if we are to find and repair the brokenness, and proactively create the foundation for something better.
Certainly, with love and respect for all, there’s room for disagreement in this, important topics have been omitted, and there’s important stuff within many of these topics we didn’t get into adequately. We’re each unique, on our own paths. Almost certainly there is something here you don’t agree with. We don’t have to agree about all of this. But it’s important to engage with it, right? Whatever our values, worldviews, beliefs, behaviors, qualities and practices are, it’s important to be aware of them, consciously, evaluate and choose them ourselves, and at least attempt to understand them in others.
If we want to fix our broken social systems and change the world, then we have to change ourselves. We must become conscious of, take control of, own and be true to our own values, worldviews, beliefs, behaviors, qualities and practices, rather than to let outside programming operate in us unconsciously. We have to examine our conditioning and programming, and we have to delete the code that harms us. We must consciously develop and run new code that does what we want it to.
Let’s make our own and better programming. Don’t just accept what’s here, like other conditioning. The whole point is to wake up, examine and take charge of our own beliefs, values and behaviors, individually and collectively. When we do, we can develop and know our own personal character, and try to consciously and conscientiously be true to it with integrity. If we and others do that, we develop and know individual and shared community identities and values we can use to guide our efforts and interactions together. This stuff shapes our lives, actions and behaviors as individuals and communities. We use it to create and change worlds live in, live in them as we will, and enjoy fulfillment that creates.
It’s too long. Another exercise: let’s summarize this “what’s going on under the hood” workout, with roughly a paragraph for each of the previous essays, making it tighter, to try to sift, synthesize and work towards something more concise and easier to work with as core values and principles.
We need to stop merely reacting to problems with blame and patches, only when complaints get loud enough, and start proactively and comprehensively creating the worlds we want to be and live in, eliminating problems by preventing them, up front. We need to think through what could go wrong and all possible impacts on anything and take care to do no harm to anyone or anything, if we can help it. We need to be willing to scrap things that are fundamentally flawed and start over. Create proactively!
We and society suffer from fragmentation, disharmony, abuse, conflict, exploitation and competition. Let’s stop thinking and acting as insider versus outsider groups, which creates many of our problems. There’s no such thing and us versus them. There’s only us. We’re all diverse parts of an interconnected, interdependent web of being/life on Earth. We’re one; we’re us, all of us, all people, species and beings. We’re all connected. What any is, thinks, does or feels affects all. We depend on each other. If it harms another, it harms us, somehow. No solution ultimately works unless it works for all, at some level, and we get there with holistic thinking, planning, working, living and being, together. Respect and love all!
Competition creates stress, anxiety, suffering, emotional and psychological problems, fragmentation, disparity and harm. It’s fun and motivating for some, miserable and demotivating for others. If some win and others lose, we all lose something. “To the victor belongs the spoils” is spoiled thinking. Competition expresses violent patriarchal thinking and values that subjugate female sensibilities, values and thinking. If women are held down, humanity is held down. If any are held down, all are held down. Cooperation and collaboration are more helpful than competition. Until competition is demoted as a value and behavior, and cooperation and collaboration are promoted, we will continue to experience more harm and problems in individual lives, social and natural systems. Collaborate instead of compete!
Evolution develops increasing complexity, harmony and diversity through randomness, creative effort, energetic alignments, free will choices and rising consciousness. It isn’t just “survival of the fittest” determined by random variation that provides evolutionary advantage and progress, with the strong winning and the weak losing, dominant patriarchal views that nature is set up for vicious competition, and winners deserve the spoils because they’re randomly better than others. Much of our evolutionary success is a result of our ability and willingness to communicate, collaborate and share with each other, and from diverse experiences and creations of free will choices. We evolve together with all Earth life. Evolution of spirit in the dimension of consciousness is our spiritual purpose. Let’s evolve consciously!
Disconnected from healthy, natural environments, many of us suffer harm from nature deficit disorders. Many have never seen wild animals, heard silence, drunk pure water, experienced the profound beauty, or felt the moving balance and harmony of healthy, natural environments, essential and important experiences that develop wisdom and spirit. Without them, we are ignorant and not whole, don’t adequately appreciate and value nature, and are ignorantly willing to be complicit in its destruction. Deep, personal, spiritual experience and relationship with healthy, natural environments are important. Humans are parts of far greater nature, not separate from or superior to nature. We must know that. With respect, we must stop interfering with natural ecosystems, polluting and harming life and lands.
Death is an inseparable part of life. Yet, most of us have fearful and unhealthy relationships with it. There’s nothing wrong with a natural death after a full and rewarding life. There is something wrong when we don’t allow ourselves or others to live full and rewarding lives. We need to stop insulating ourselves from death, by living closer to it in our communities, natural environments and food systems. We need to know death to appreciate life. Some of us need the deadline of death to be motivated to be, do and communicate what we want to in this life. We need to respect life by assuring good lives and merciful and respectful deaths when we take life for food. Know and don’t fear death; live and let live!
The value of good, healthy, sustaining natural foods, produced and consumed in healthy, thriving environments, full of good energy we convert with pleasure into good life energy in our bodies, minds and lives, has been corrupted, compromised and subverted by our culture’s overwhelming value of making money and by locating people in unhealthy environments that do not produce good food locally. Bad food and bad energy it produces in us become illness, poor health, low energy, poor performance, and bad attitudes, feelings and behaviors. Those result in bad systems, lives and society. Good, locally produced, natural, sustainable food made with good lives and with good energy is an important value. We need healthy relationships with all substances we take into our bodies, all foods, liquids and drugs.
Clean, pure water, flowing and transforming in natural systems, carrying virtuous energy structures, and treated with good energy, is a fundamental high value to all life that is currently inadequately valued. Pure, healthy, natural and energized water and water systems are important, everywhere.
As with clean, good energy food and water, clean, good clean air is essential to life and well-being, and we need to value it accordingly, everywhere and always.
Good health and physical fitness are important. Without them, we feel bad, lack energy, feel dispirited, think poorly, behave badly toward others, suffer, can’t contribute, get sick, spread dis-ease and act up. Good health doesn’t just automatically happen. It’s cultivated, by: reducing contact with harmful stuff, restoring internal and external ecosystems to balance and health, consuming good food, water and air, being around good energy, care, nurturing, support, love, understanding and respect, being present, contributing in ways that fulfill us, and getting regular exercise, as part of daily living. Be healthy and fit!
Scarcity is a choice. It goes away if we simply stop choosing it and systems leading to it and, instead, choose, create and share abundance. We’ve got plenty of resources if we use few, ample food and money if we create enough and share fairly with all without waste, enough love if enough choose love, enough land if we use and share it wisely, enough time for what we value if we choose to use it doing things we value rather than in other ways. We’re good enough if we choose to believe it. We have more than enough means if we choose to live below our means. Create and share abundance!
Service is helping others, rooted in generosity, care and sharing. If we share with others what we have, and they share what they have, and all create what we can and feel good about, then all have enough. It’s an almost miraculous simple truth. Generous, caring, sharing, gifting, help and service are important values and spiritual practices that are deeply fulfilling and rewarding, personally and collectively.
We need an honest portrayal of diverse perspectives and issues in our views of history, and we need to open our minds and process many more stories critically in order to acquire more realistic, balanced and fair views of U.S. history, situations and roles in the world. Truth: despite U.S. historical propaganda, the U.S. is as likely to be the bad guy as the good guy in a story. We need to open and free ourselves of conditioning through storytelling about history to recognize our true nature and roles and get better.
Deeply rooted in our culture is the “The American Dream,” a belief any can work hard, apply ourselves and realize better lives. Our individual character and efforts determine our success, not our bloodlines. Unfortunately, now, for too many, the American Dream is a desire to escape the American Nightmare, “get mine so I can be free of this mess.” Corruption has reached a point where, like feudal Europe, privilege determined by birth provides advantages and resources perpetuating privilege and wealth. The American Dream is increasingly hard to achieve, so hard that it is becoming almost a fairy tale.
We need a new dream, in which we create proactively, at least in communities, well-designed, efficient and functional ways to provide for the needs of all, making all happy; we live in love and harmony with each other and nature; each contributes according to her abilities and receives according to his needs; ecosystems leisure, art and music thrive; we’re healthy, fairness reigns, and nobody has, needs or wants extreme wealth, power or privilege; all are respected, nurtured and encouraged; all have access to the combined knowledge of all; and spirit is respected, personally known and grown.
Many of our worst problems come from our almost religious belief in and zeal for corporate capitalism, whose time has passed, and which has degenerated to the point where it’s destroying us, our societies and the natural systems that support life on Earth. Capitalism summarized: “provide no oversight of business and humans’ greedy self-interests for money profits and gluttonous consumption will magically make everything good for all. The rich and markets solve all.” It’s not working. It’s doing great harms.
Greed is a base, harmful force, a deadly sin, a lower energy and motivation assuming “more is better,” no matter how much one has. It’s led to grotesque disparities of wealth, unfairness, violence, harm, suffering and instability. It’s a disease infecting a critical mass and leading us to the brink of collapse. Greed leads to harm and needs to be demoted.
No matter what their mission statements say, or what they present to the public, most corporations’ real mission is to make as much money for owners as possible, as profits. Charge as much as we can get away with and spend as little money doing it as possible, ignoring what isn’t ultimately about money. Management is bribed with money for that. From the perspective of society, profit is overhead, an unnecessary cost exceeding normal and fair costs for solutions an organization is working to provide. Profit is an unnecessary extraction of real wealth from society, a cost burden on society.
The U.S. is dominated by powerful, centralized command-and-control corporations. Yet, we pretend our country is run as a free democracy where power is with the people - sadly, a profoundly corrupted ruse. Corporations increasingly have privileges without the morality or many of the responsibilities of citizens. They are puppets owners manipulate to do their will, while avoiding responsibilities as “enlightened” citizens behind the stage curtain. Corporations shield owners from loss risks or being held accountable for actions of their puppets, while awarding them profits. Puppeteers now run the country.
Capitalism in the U.S. is now a controlling state religious system of enshrined greed, up on a pedestal. There’s no separation of church and state between the capitalist greed system and pretend democracy. Society is failing under burdens of capitalist profit overhead and demands, gross unfairnesses and harms it creates and ignores. We need to replace corporate capitalism religion as practiced in the U.S. today with a new belief system. Capitalism competes and conflicts with our democratic government system. Capitalism is winning, and our society is losing. We’ve entered late stage capitalism, and it’s ugly.
Let’s degrade our value and practice of senseless, gluttonous, conspicuous and growing consumption, which diverts, sickens, depletes and perverts us, and upgrade a value of eliminating or reducing waste, to conserve health, nature, living systems, beauty, time and well-being. Less greed and consumption!
Money is not real. It’s just bits of paper or metal, or paper or electronic records in accounting systems. The only way it has value is if we agree it does. It’s make-believe. It can serve a useful function as a means of exchange. It eases trading, sharing what we have an abundance of, so all have plenty. Somehow, however, something sick and perverted has gotten into what we make believe about money. We’re using accumulation of money as an estimation of what someone is worth in a make-believe game. We’ve gotten absorbed in that game and lost track of what is real and important: that all have plenty and can enjoy life, evolve, and share abundance for joy and meaning. Plenty is enough. Stop!
Let’s get to everybody doing what we do to create abundance, because it satisfies and fulfills us to do it and contribute in that way, sharing abundance freely with all, so we all have enough and are free to be ourselves, love, have fun, and enjoy nature, art, music and each other. That’s real wealth to value. No more money sports, perverse game playing, pretending that accumulating money has any real meaning. Let’s cultivate real wealth, things like: healthy, productive, sustained lands, waters, air and ecosystems; happy, healthy, fit and engaged people; functional, supportive, caring and loving close communities; generous and fair sharing; effective and efficient social systems; well-being for ourselves and loved ones, and spiritual experience, growth and fulfillment.
Power is the ability to be or act, or influence the being or action of others. In ourselves, we develop power to be or do something by being or doing it. We have to decide and intend it, act and try, persist if we fail or it’s hard, have patience, vary how we try, exert will-power, and stay with it until we succeed. If we want power to change, we have to act to change. It doesn’t usually work to just sit and hope for it.
Power is ability to influence or control actions of others, get others to do something. We have power if we can tell others what to do and they do. Always, others only have power over us if we give it to them. If someone tells us to do something and we don’t, they don’t have power over us. It’s as simple as that. We may bear a cost for not complying, but we don’t ever have to do anything anybody tells us to. Ever. If one has power over many, we take it away if enough refuse to do what we’re told that it isn’t done.
We suffer from a lack of personal power and abuses of power over us and our society and systems. That’s our fault for not developing more personal power and for giving away power to others who aren’t using it well, and it’s our responsibility to pull ourselves together, develop our intentions, exert our wills and take action to make and take back power. Get up and do it! If we don’t, we deserve what we have.
We don’t have to play the game we’re presented with. Our current capitalist do what the rich and powerful tell us so they can get more money and power game is destroying us and making us feel bad. If we go along with it, we’re complicit in the evil. We can do better. Let’s create something better!
Too many of us are unclear about our intentions. If we don’t know what we want, we may not get it. Duh. Money isn’t the answer, though that’s our conditioned response. Money isn’t real. It’s just a means of exchange. Forget about the means. What do we want money for? It’s only when we can answer that question with clarity that we start to get real. Intention is about the end, not the means. What do we want to be and do, and how do we want to behave, relate and feel? If we clearly state that, the universe and others know how to help us. If we then open to possibilities, we can discover many real means to get there. If we can identify shared intentions, we can work together to realize them.
Conflicts for most of us are often more about means of reaching our intentions than our intentions. Most really want and care about similar stuff. We have conflict over how we get it, and in many ways we are pitted against each other to get it. Collectively, we’re spending most of our lives being and doing something other than what we want to be and do, increasingly desperately trying to get money means to be and do what we want, before we no longer have time to enjoy being and doing what we want. We’re going around in circles, getting dizzy, not getting where we want to be. Let’s be clear about and own our intentions. How do we want it to be? Let’s make it like that, now, together when we can!
Fairness is a fundamental ideal, value and appeal of the U.S. We claim to believe all are created equally and should be treated fairly. We have the same divine spark of life in us and deserve the same basic respect and opportunities. Our belief in the importance of fairness is cultural, personal and deep. Yet, society overflows with unfairnesses, and they are getting worse. Of course, that creates bad feelings. It’s our heritage to rebel against unfairness. Do it! We must insist on and realize true fairness to be able to live and grow well. Fairness doesn’t mean we’re all the same. We’re not. We’re gloriously different, and that’s good. Fairness means we treat all of us well, even though we’re different. Let’s be fair!
For too many, fear is deep, prevalent and persistent. Our culture is full of it. Fear is only useful for extra speed and power in fight or flight. Otherwise, it inhibits. “Fear is the mind killer.” In fear, we get stupid and give power to whoever claims to do something about it. That’s what’s exploited in a culture of fear.
Some want us in a state of fear, because we’re easier to exploit. Keep us afraid, via scary news stories, religious beliefs, terrorist threats, and setting it up so we really do have problems, so we give up power. We give the very people creating the fear that leads to our suffering the power to make us afraid.
Fear weakens, harms, sickens and disables us. It makes us inhibited, tentative and timid. We are less functional in fear states. We agree to be and do things opposed to our values when weakened by fear. Anxiety is fear without a focus, an epidemic source of health problems. Fear and anxiety are curses. Fear is an energetic state. We have power to choose our energetic states. Fear is a choice. We don’t have to choose to be in the low energetic state of fear, or anger, hate, envy or greed. We can just as easily choose higher energetic states of love, trust, openness, creativity and sharing. Stop being afraid! Just say no to fear! Choose trust, openness, love and creativity! No more fear! Courage!
We’re conditioned to believe relative material wealth, power, status, and consumption, competitive victory, and ego feeding social recognition are what provides happiness, satisfaction and fulfillment. Wrong. They come from things like security we and those we care about are healthy, fit and thriving; loving, caring and supporting relationships with our families, friends and communities; freedom from stress, fear, anger and other negative emotions and energies; creating and contributing for the benefit of those and what we care about; taking time to be present, enjoy and have fun in our lives; presence in balanced and harmonious natural environments; and real, personal spiritual experiences and growth. Real wealth happiness, satisfaction and fulfillment come from qualities of life, not quantities of stuff.
Ego is a sense of individual identity and self-importance created by the intellect. We’re each unique. We must each take responsibility for being healthy, whole, energized, motivated and feeling good, but ego inflation illnesses are epidemic and creating huge problems. To prevent and cure that, we need to narrow the rewards of privilege to avoid corruption, call out ego problems when we see them, provide treatments to bring them under control, prevent them from spreading, each be regularly exposed to lives, experiences and perspectives of diverse positions in society, surrender ego in meditation, and by undertaking common tasks together with common people, be aware of the threat of ego escalation, know how to recognize it, work to prevent it with conscious humility, take the perspective of serving others before ourselves, avoid isolation and insulation, and treat each other as equals.
Feelings of being undeserving, unworthy and not good enough that make us feel bad are just as sick and harmful as egoistic feelings of deserving- and worthi-ness making some think they’re better than others. Both stifle motivation, justify unfairness, create suffering and diminish spirit. There’s no way to have a healthy society with ego inflation illnesses and unworthiness depression disorders raging as epidemics. Both need to be treated and eradicated. We are all worthy, and we all deserve good lives, full of love, happiness, fulfillment, growth, good health and reward.
Our urban, housing and transportation choices and culture create separateness, isolation and loneliness. For most of history, we’ve lived in close community, part of tribes and villages where we were present daily in lives of others we knew well, loved, cared about, and worked, raised children, solved problems, entertained ourselves, shared and thrived with. Solitary confinement is punishment, considered torture, because isolation creates suffering. Separateness, isolation and loneliness are unnatural and make us sick, depressed and feel bad. They sap our spirits, weaken our immune systems, make us vulnerable to diseases and can destroy our wills to live. None of us should have to feel separate, isolated and alone. It should be natural and easy to choose to be part of sharing, caring community in our everyday lives.
Humanity develops many of its greatest strengths in close, caring communities, villages and tribes of people who know, live with, care for, and share food, water, stories, values, intentions and efforts. Without that, we feel isolated, lonely, insecure, vulnerable, stressed, anxiety, fears and uncertainties. We miss shared purpose, seeing benefits of our contributions impacting those we care about, and feeling we’re part of something bigger than ourselves. It’s harder to raise kids, so we don’t do it as well. How can we expect to solve big difficult problems between nations if we are unable to solve simple problems between people we live by? Close, living, sharing, caring and thriving community is essential.
Our culture seems to place little value on our children, youth or elders, and our families are increasingly fragmented, stressed and damaged. Only those who work to make money now seem to count. Others are overhead, burdens, or guilty afterthoughts, even if they are the future workforce and citizens we’ll rely on tomorrow and past workforce that made what we rely on now and our best sources of wisdom. We simply must value, love, care for, honor, respect, and spend adequate time with our children, youth and elders. It’s harming us that we don’t. Family is important. Family’s needed. Making family function well and having plenty of time for family are important values. Families are failing. Families must thrive. Poverty and unfairness in goods sharing are harming people, families, relationships and communities.
We promote and zealously believe democracy is the best form of government, for us or anyone, it almost magically produces optimal results on our behalf, and anyone who criticizes it deserves scorn. Yet, our representative democratic government has been corrupted and isn’t working, as proven by the brokenness of our social systems. It’s important to acknowledge that, if we are going to make something work, and not just continue in our ignorant and false blind faith that our democracy is always best and working well. Pure democracy only works with small numbers of people in tight communities. Let’s make it work there, and try something else to solve the brokenness of our shared government. Unfettered capitalism is completing a hostile takeover of our shared, representative democracy.
To create, manage and maintain any organization well requires engagement and effort. Stakeholders must responsibly participate in group decision making processes, to get good decisions. Only half of U.S. citizens vote, a little over a third of younger people. That can be blamed for any failure of government and its broken systems. We’re not caring to exercise our main power and responsibility as citizens, so we suffer as victims of uncared-for, broken systems. There are many ways to be engaged constructively with civic society: get informed, vote, share info, discuss issues, talk with government representatives and employees, participate in public meetings, write letters, protest, participate in grass-roots efforts...
People who do not engage with civic society are a burden on civic society, contributing to its failures. You are not a citizen if you do not exercise your responsibilities for civic engagement as a citizen, and you deserve and are getting what you deserve as second-class losers in failing civic systems, as a result, and our governments and our social systems are corrupt and failing, and you are complicit in that. It doesn’t have to be the main focus of your life, but get off your lazy ass and participate in civic society!
Violence is doing harm, especially when done willfully, by force. Violence directly or indirectly produces injury, death, damage, abuse, destruction or suffering. Violence and harm can be willful or ignorant, intentional or unintentional. Our culture glorifies violence, prominently featured in our entertainments. We are doing objective and subjective violence and harms almost everywhere. Violence is so deeply ingrained in our culture that we often don’t even notice it. It’s just part of the background of existence. We’re blasé about it. It’s so pervasive that it’s just normal everyday stuff. We must wake up to violence and harm done by us and our society. Be aware of the short- and long-term impacts of everything.
Don’t participate in anything resulting in violence or harm! Violence is only ever justified to prevent violence and harm, and even then, there is usually another, better way. Do no violence! Do no harm!
Humanity has made great progress defining and detailing international human rights and freedoms. We’ve made significant accomplishments in documenting them and getting nations to agree to them. They are embedded in our governments’ foundational documents, and in numerous U.N. work products. The U.S. is not complying with many, and isn’t being held accountable for that, which is corrupt, and it’s allowing us to do violence and harm. We can improve our lives, society and wicked problems by taking human rights and freedoms seriously, following them in our being, behaviors and actions, and holding all accountable to them. Understand, follow and enforce human rights and freedoms! They are important.
We need balance and mutual respect between objectivity (the limited realm of science, constrained to what’s externally observable by all, measurable, mathematically describable, reproducible, rational and logical, and not affected by what anyone thinks or feels) and subjectivity (the internal realm of emotion, feeling, creative expression, meaning, wisdom, dreams, desires, spirituality and personal experience). Give us real world advantages of the applications of science, but please don’t let us have them without the respect, humility and wisdom to develop and use them wisely and without doing harm! We need balance and respect between objective and subjective values, and between all our different values.
Similarly, we need balance, harmony and respect between individual and collective viewpoints, values and rights. We need the freedom to be, live, create and express ourselves as unique individuals, but we also need to compromise and work together to be, live and express ourselves as a healthy society. Let’s stop telling each other what to do. Nobody likes that. What anybody else thinks or does is as important as what we individually think and do. We need to thrive as individuals, and we need to thrive as groups.
We are energetic, spiritual beings who grow and evolve through personal experiences that raise spirit and consciousness, working out with life questions, conditions and encounters. If religions dogmatically tell us what to believe, it’s a disservice, because that cheats us of personal experiences of realization, raised energies, spirit and consciousness. Religions are based in deep experiences of spiritual heroes who made amazing progress working with subjective feelings, harmony and union with higher energies, states and experiences of being. They shared their experiences to encourage others to have similar experiences, in hope for better futures when many would exist in higher states, experiencing glories of heaven on earth. If we tune to higher energies, we transform. Everything changes and gets better.
The only way to know what anybody tries to say about higher consciousness is to experience it. Then, we know, not with our brains, but with our beings. We know it, because we are it. Ultimately, all paths and journeys lead inward. Stop! Quiet! Still the mind! Open! Just be! What do we feel? Don’t think. Feel, with the heart, the gut, the... How does that feel? What else can we feel? Can we change it? How? What’s that? How does that affect being and make us want to live our lives? Do that! Repeat. That’s direct, personal, deep, subjective, spiritual experience, our birthright. It leads to growth, love, happiness, satisfaction, fulfillment and better life, which we personally know to be true because we feel and experience it, deeply and personally. Great spiritual heroes do that. We’re all spirit heroes, evolving in the dimension of consciousness. Let’s be and do that!
We know love is good stuff, because we’ve experienced it, deeply and personally. We naturally seek it. It can be fleeting and ultimately disappointing and frustrating if it’s conditional. Fortunately, love is also an independent state of being. We can feel it, unconditionally, universally. It’s an energetic state we can tune to, no matter what. We don’t need others to meet any need or desire to feel universal love.
We can be in love without being in relationship. Universal, unconditional love is simple, if not easy. We simply choose to be in love, open, feel for it and stay with it when we feel it. When we do, we’re in love. We are each responsible for our own state of love. In a state of unconditional love, which we produce and maintain ourselves, we can be with others without their state of being or behavior jeopardizing it. We can be in love, with another, or others, but that love does not depend on the other, or others.
Love’s a gateway to higher consciousness. “All you need is love!” Tuned to love energy, we stop tuning to lower energy frequencies, like hate, anger, fear and anxiety. Choosing higher energy love goes with not choosing lower energies, from which so many problems arise. We solve problems created in lower energy states when we approach them from love and other higher energy states. Love overcomes.
The world changes when we change our state of being. We perceive, feel and think differently. We are different, and everything else is different, too. To change the world, we change our own states of being, choose and cultivate unconditional love, encompass all in it, including all life, and everything shifts. When enough of us do that, the dominant energy informing our culture shifts from fear to love, and it changes for all. We behave toward others with love and compassion, and we naturally help, share with and take care of each other. When we do, we’re all cared for, have enough, are supported and thrive.
All great spiritual leaders and teachers have experienced, known and tried to share these truths. There’s no reason for competition and bad feeling between religions if at their core they’re based on the same lesson. Forget about the religious differences layered on later for other purposes. Each is just a different hand pointing to the same way forward, up and out of our many problems and suffering in life. Love is very important, and we need to find, know, share and resonate love personally, no matter what. We don’t depend on anybody else for love. Love is ours to own and share personally. Let’s do it!
Human beings are infatuated and obsessed with the human intellect, for good reason. It’s an amazing tool we’ve used to accomplish extraordinary things. But it’s also a trap holding us back at the gateway to higher consciousness. There’s a wide range of phenomena, experiences, feelings and knowledge beyond the intellect’s constraints. Our bodies know things we’re not aware of, because our attentions are absorbed by our intellects. Following our guts and hearts is real wisdom. With appropriate thanks to the intellect for outstanding service, let’s devote significant efforts to opening and exploring beyond its constraints. The dimension of consciousness is just as real and important as the dimensions of space and time. Let’s expand to experience and benefit from evolution and progress in that dimension also.
Beauty is an attribute of something we sense or experience that makes us feel a way we like to feel. Beauty is a subjective perception or experience. We don’t always find beauty in the same things. OK. We perceive and project beauty. Regardless of what we perceive or project as beautiful, it’s important to experience, create and share beauty and feel good. Beauty is something we work with to identify and make what feels good. Let’s stop making things ugly! If it’s worth making, it’s worth making it beautiful. Let’s value beautiful art, music, buildings, spaces, parks, nature!
We pay a lot of lip service to freedom in “the land of the free.” We think we’re free, to choose a career, live as we will, buy what we can, marry who we will, chase the American Dream, or do what we want, within the constraints of law. Freedom is a relative term, though. We’re free in relation to something. We are free from… some constraint. We are free to… some action. Free is also a feeling.
Many of us aren’t free from debt, stress, anxiety, bigotry, racism, sexism, intolerance and other forms of judgment, criticism and discrimination, or of our conditioning, which controls how we think and behave. Many don’t feel free to allow our children outside, because of safety fears. We don’t feel free to drink our waters, because they’re polluted, walk in parts of our cities, because it’s not safe, say or do what we think’s right at work, because of fear of losing our jobs, pursue our dreams, because risks of ruin are too high without financial or social buffers, or take a real vacation, because we can’t take time off of work. A test is to ask if we really feel free to be and do what we want. With that test, we’re much less free than we pretend. Freedom comes from lack of worry, because it’s all OK. Let’s truly be and feel free!
Life and the universe are already complex. We’re not even close to understanding them, really. Human knowledge and creations are now also extremely and increasingly complex. Let’s not make life harder by overwhelming ourselves with unnecessary advertisement, information, noise, communication and consumer choices that degrade our abilities to function more than assist them. We’re increasingly so distracted and dazed by the dysfunctional complexity of noise and choices, we’re suffering epidemic and catastrophic attention deficit disorders. Increasing complexity is a natural development of growth, but to be functional, whole and efficient, we must value and strive for simplicity that allows all to have big picture understandings of what it all is and how it fits together, and stay sane. Otherwise, we are lost to chaos and destroy our abilities to be present, whole and attentive, and to create and concentrate.
Today, it’s almost as if we intentionally don’t care about quality. Without quality, we can’t depend on it, whatever it is. If we can’t depend on it, we have to be concerned about it and pay attention to it, so we can be prepared to deal with it when it fails. That is wasteful, inefficient, distracting and dysfunctional. It takes our attention away from other, more useful things and costs society more. Creating and performing well, with quality and pride, are fulfilling. It makes us feel good to do something well, knowing that it’s a solid contribution. Quality and pride in work are important values.
Respect, honor, character and integrity all exist in relation to values and principles. Character is how we take on and integrate underlying values and principles that guide what we’re trying to be and do and how we behave and relate to others. Integrity is being true to character, and values and principles. Respect knows and appreciates being, doing, behaving and relating with character, values and integrity. Honor is an expression or communication of respect, or the feeling of having, receiving or giving respect.
To work on respect, honor, character and integrity, we work with our values and principles. We have to understand our values and principles, take them on as our character, and stay actively true to them, even in the face of challenges, to have integrity, and we have to actively acknowledge and communicate appreciation for character, integrity and acts as respect and honor to promote our values and principles. Our values and principles influence everything we touch if we live by them with character and integrity.
We need to engage with our values and principles consciously and intentionally. They’re too important to be afterthoughts or unconscious. We need to develop our own character, based on those. We need to examine our programming and conditioning ourselves and eliminate things not consistent with them. We need to live, be, do, behave and relate with integrity, true to our character, values and principles. We need to communicate respect and honor for character, action, behavior and relationships that reflect our values and principles, to encourage and promote them in ourselves and others. When we do, individually, our personal world gets better. When enough of us do that, the world changes for all.
Courage is overcoming fear to be true to our character, values and principles - being, doing, behaving and relating with integrity, in spite of being afraid. Courage is refusing to allow fear to prevent integrity, being true to character, values and principles, even if we are afraid. It’s important to have courage to behave with integrity, overcoming fear to be true to our own character, values and principles. Courage!
Honesty and trust are essential. Honesty is being comprehensively truthful and straightforward in sharing relevant information with others, not intentionally communicating anything we know to be directly or indirectly wrong or misleading, and communicating to correct what we know to be false, when it’s important, with respect and best intentions toward all. Do no harm! Dishonesty causes harm. Without honesty, we don’t trust, rely on others or information shared. If that happens, society breaks; knowledge and understanding no longer advance, but decay; we lose positive benefits of cooperation and no longer learn from the experiences and sharing of others; we develop negative views of others; society degenerates; we blame and stop engaging with others; our own honesty can become corrupted; we stop caring about others; bad feelings and negative energies develop and grow; and we self-destruct. Breakdown of honesty and trust harms every social institution and system, our relationships, our communities, our individual well-being, the environment, everything. The values of honesty and trust are essential for social function. We must insist and rely on honesty and trust from all.
We like to believe in ultimate, objective truth, a final correct explanation of how it all really is. However, we don’t and may well never know what that is. In the meantime, everything we think we know as objective truth is conditional and artificial, and much of what we know as subjective truth is personal. What we think is objectively true is only true under artificial constrained conditions. That can be useful. We can apply it, sometimes. What we experience as subjective truth, while important to us personally, may only be true for us personally, or now, as unique beings where we are now on our unique paths.
Let’s show humility about what we believe to be true. The truth is nobody knows best, we’re all just trying to do and be our best. Let’s respect that in each other. It’s natural and healthy to want to share our truths, but let’s understand our truths may not be helpful to others on their paths at any given time. It does nobody any good to try to force beliefs on others. Let’s listen respectfully as others share truths, knowing there may be nuggets shared that are useful to us on our paths. Let’s respect our differences and different paths and truths. Let’s let each develop and grow on our own paths, at our own paces.
What we want, always, is for others to listen and try to understand who we are and what we’re about, love and support us for who we are and what we’re about, and encourage us to develop and grow who we are and what we’re about. If we share that with each other, we all evolve and benefit, in our own ways and at our own paces. Most of us don’t like to be told what to be, think or do, in part because it often isn’t the best fit for us personally at the time. It ignores our truths. But we all benefit from openly and respectfully sharing what we are and do. Let us each be, think and do what we truly think is best, for each and all of us, at that point in time, with respect for the truths and differences of each other.
Our culture is busily engaged with information and knowledge. Information is facts and experiential nuggets, which must be accurate to be useful. Knowledge is derived, rational and logical constructions we build with information. Sharing information and knowledge, we expand beyond what we experience individually to what we experience collectively; we benefit all, because we’re not all stuck figuring it all out from scratch and having what we learn die with us. We build knowledge and skills on information collected across the portfolio of human experience, and share knowledge and benefits across humanity.
We collect, create, learn, grow and advance far more rapidly and far beyond what we could in isolation. That mechanism is one of the great marvels of humanity, one of our great keys to evolutionary success.
Let’s know and do that freely, without hiding our, or exploiting or sabotaging others’ information and knowledge for relative advantage of some over others. These behaviors slow and inhibit our collective evolution. We’re all us. Let’s develop and share our information and knowledge for the benefit of all. When we do, we step on the gas pedal of human understanding, development, growth and evolution.
Wisdom is holistic information, knowledge and their applications developed through deep, personal experience. If we experience something deeply and personally, we get more than just the dry facts of information and conclusions drawn from them as knowledge, not only objective things we can measure, but also subjective things. We receive information directly through our senses, minds and bodies and process it with the totality of our beings. We draw on the intelligence of our minds, but also of our guts, hearts, bodies, feelings and sensations, inputs and understandings we may not fully grasp intellectually. Personal experiences are real and whole. Intellectual experiences are artificial models. We can apply the full range of abilities of our being to personal experiences, but only our intellectual abilities to indirect experiences. Knowledge is good. Wisdom is better, because it’s more than just thinking.
With wisdom, we understand the impacts of experiences on the outer world, but also on inner worlds. Wisdom enables holistic thinking and problem solving, based on holistic lessons and experiences that encompass objective, external facts, information and knowledge, plus subjective feelings, motivations, emotions, energies, behaviors, beliefs, and worldviews. It’s kind of cool we have the knowledge and ability to destroy ourselves and most life on Earth, but it’s very important to develop the wisdom not to. Information and knowledge are built through intellect. Wisdom is a product of living rich experiences. It’s very important to value and develop holistic wisdom and prioritize the creation of wealthy personal portfolios of diverse experiences that broaden and deepen that wisdom. Wisdom is common sense developed through experience and shared experience. We need a lot more of that.
To develop wisdom, we need to show gumption and engage and say yes to life and life experience. We’re not just life spectators. We’re here to create, enjoy, appreciate, learn and grow via experience. We develop wisdom by engaging in life, deeply and personally. Experience new things and perspectives! Try it! Go for it! Engage! Be an active part of life! Expand awareness and consciousness! Dig into it! Make beautiful plays of our lives! Let’s get our hands dirty doing it! Cultivate passion! Work out on life! Feel good by doing what feels good! Experience, grow and evolve! Create the world you want to live in! Make it beautiful! Get knocked down, figure out what went wrong, get up and try again! Be and do it! Respect and encourage others to get up, be and do it! Do no harm, but do it!
Humor is making light of something, releasing and converting negative to positive energies, and, generally, generating good energy by having fun with it and laughing. Humor is a coping mechanism. It’s tool for creating good feeling, and a method for creating connection. It’s making merry and mirth, being funny and creating joy and association through laughter. We love humor and laughter, because they help us feel good and connect us with others. Laughter is therapy. When we laugh, we release blockages and negative energies we’re holding. Laughter shakes them loose. It purges bad feeling, discharges the energy behind our reactionary bad feeling buttons, shifts attitudes, lifts bad moods, alters perceptions and projections. Humor and laughter are important tools and values for all.
Fun and play are undeniably good. Don’t deny that good. We each deserve and need recess every day, no matter who we are or how old we are, to feel alive, be healthy, purge bad feelings, experience joy, make merry, have fun, laugh, interact freely, make friends, and be free. Let’s all go play and have fun! Get up, go out, play and have fun! Prioritize that. Just do it! Feels good, right? That is truth.
Imagination is using the modeling tool of our brains to project into our consciousness any reality we can conceive of, free of constraint. It is make-believe. It is pretending something is real that may not be. It’s thought without constraint, logical constructions built on fictitious assumptions, and mental play. Imagination is creating anything we want to in our heads. Imagination is exerting freedom of thought. It’s fun to use our imaginations. There’s nothing we cannot create, be or do in our imaginations. Imagination transcends possibility. It’s a tool we use for creation. We have incredible abilities to create. Our imaginations and creativity are superpowers. Let’s use them actively, consciously and responsibly, for fun and to create lives we want to live and realities we want to live in. We have power to be and do so much. Let’s use our imaginations freely and take conscious care to create only what we really want.
Meditation is just quiet time, nothing to be scared of. It’s when we turn it all off, relax, let go, open, stop thinking, be quiet, and just exist in the moment. We all meditate, whether we want to or not, but most of us don’t call it that. It’s natural, normal and important. It’s quiet time, when we relax, let go, stop thinking, let whatever happen for the moment, and just feel that. Good stuff happens when we do. We integrate, recharge, loosen and unravel knots we tangle and tie being busy, let our bodies recover, and when brains, egos and dramas aren’t monopolizing attention, we become aware of other feelings.
We pay attention to feelings, not by thinking about them, but by feeling. We let ourselves be present and feel, let it all go and settle. It’s important to do that. We need it. We perform better when we do, solve problems better, have more energy and patience, have more to give, and feel and look better.
If we choose to get deeper into it, there are many different meditation exercises, ways to relax deeper, quiet minds, connect with sensations, feel more intensely, be aware of subtle energies in and around us. Meditation can lead to deep transformation. Bodies know things brains don’t. We can learn from them. We have senses we may not have sensed. We can experience new things, grow and develop wisdom through meditation. Meditation’s nothing to freak out over. It’s beautiful quiet time that does us good. It’s important to take and make quiet time. We’re all better off for it.
All of life goes down in the moment. Everything happens in the instant present. We always exist only in present time. All action happens contemporaneously. Everything we feel, we feel only in the moment. We’re only able do anything when it’s now. We can only speak now, only experience life in the present. Everything other than present experience is abstraction. If we think about the past, imagine a future, or think about problems, that takes our attentions away from present experience. Be present! Live now!
Our ability to think abstractly is a gift. We benefit from it by being able to study and learn from the past, plan and prepare for a future, think through scenarios, so we don’t have to live them all personally, and imagine realities that don’t exist. That’s all good stuff we’re better off for. However, many of us spend so much time thinking abstractly, we miss out on being present in the experience of life in the moment. We forget to live, because we’re remembering and thinking about other things. We miss out on life, because we’re lost in head space. We lose lovers, friends and personal relationships, because we’re not really there with them. It is great that we have the ability for abstract thinking. Make good use of it! But pull out of it as much as possible to be present. Experience life now! Be here now! Be aware now!
It’s fascinating that, on average, we spend a third of our lives sleeping, and we don’t really know what sleep is or does for us. We know we have to have it to live. Something essential happens in sleep, and we die if we go too long without it. Our performance suffers and we feel bad if we don’t get it. In sleep, we dream, process and integrate experiences, solve problems, and rejuvenate our bodies and minds. We heal and incorporate energy. We lose consciousness and give unconsciousness control. We reboot our systems, so we operate well again. We reinvigorate. Whatever it is, sleep is obviously important. Yet, so many of us are regularly sleep deprived. That harms us, our performance and how we feel. Without sleep, our immune systems are weak; we’re weaker and more vulnerable. Get enough sleep!
We seem to have some disability in asserting our needs and rights for adequate vacation and free time. It takes time to be a balanced, whole, healthy, spiritual human. Vacation and free time are as important to health and well-being as sleep. Many suffer from vacation and free-time deprivation, like we suffer from sleep deprivation. It hurts performance, immune systems, patience and understanding. It makes us tired, feel bad and vulnerable to illness, deprives children and families and harms those relationships, saps our energy, steals us away from presence, and dampens our creativity, caring, wisdom and love. Each year, we create more devices and systems to make us more efficient and save time. What happens to time we’re saving if we don’t use it? We need time to make things better to get healthy and whole, think and experience for ourselves, examine our deep values and priorities, develop character, integrity and wisdom, and be, do and behave differently. Take, make and use sleep, vacation and free time!
If reality is ultimately energy in vibration, in various frequencies and wavelengths, interacting infinitely, what is good, virtuous and noble is what allows or assists in creating and maintaining energetic purity, harmony and coherence. What’s bad, vicious and ignoble tears that down. Good is creating, supporting and enjoying increasingly pure, complex, enduring and/or beautiful energy sources and interactions. Evil is bad energy putting down, destroying or dissipating pure, harmonious energy. It’s a little abstract, maybe, but value that which is good, virtuous and noble over what is bad, evil, vicious and ignoble! Endeavor to avoid the sins (missing the mark) with bad energy and cultivate virtues to live the good life!
This consolidation exercise brought us a little closer to values and principles that are concise enough to be able to work with efficiently. We sifted and boiled down content from essays exploring worldviews, values, thinking, conditioning, beliefs and programming, getting closer to their core essence.
Thanks for your patience and efforts! It’s important to clearly know and be able to state our values, principles, worldviews, beliefs and programming, so we know what to integrate into personal and group characters and try to live by with integrity. If we do that individually, the world changes for the better for us personally. If we do that with enough human beings, the world changes for the better for all.
Many have a need to believe in something greater than ourselves. When we do, we apply ourselves more than we would otherwise. Many of us will do something for others or for something greater than ourselves we will not do just for ourselves. Values are even more important than we are, because they can become a foundation for human life and being that supports far more than we could, and they have more far-reaching impacts on humanity and all life and systems on Earth than we do. Any can develop and use values in our lives. We don’t do things in conflict with our values. We do more things aligned with our values. The world and our lives get more in tune with our values.
In the next section, we will try to distill and consolidate this even more, hopefully, arriving at a draft set of 10 values, principles or aspirations we can use to guide us out of trouble and into better futures.
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