New Possibilities: A World That Works For Everyone - Part II
New Possibilities: A World That Works For Everyone - Part II Step #1: Value your own and others’ right to individual process: We need each other’s unique world view.
Each of us has had unique experiences, which results in a unique way of responding with emotions, actions, learning, valuing, all which helps us integrate and find new coherence within ourselves. Our individual process is a fundamental, sacred, necessary freedom. When this process is at any time thwarted or prohibited, it initially brings conflict which, if sustained over time, will create some kind of violence or destructive behavior. Respect for individual and collective processes is the foundation of democracy. We are granted by the constitution the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and that is what we mean by the right to individual process. Each person needs to find her own way.
This principle is the basis for self-organization, a key to understanding how democracy works. More later.
Exercise: Think of a time when you’ve felt and acted as if someone else should do something the way you think they should, one way only is the right way.
To fully grasp this step, it is necessary to understand the role autonomy plays in the living domain.
Life is autonomous:
- Self-formed and created
- Self-correcting and ordering
- Self-initiating from identity and spirit
Step #2 Recognize your own power to choose and be self-determining.
We are all internally motivated and we will do what our individuality requires of us to survive and thrive. That is, we have an innate need to make choices that will determine and manage our own lives. No one else can control our process (even if they think they can by force or otherwise, see PBS special on A Greater Force). Thus, no one else can know what is right for us or take responsibility for us. Therefore, “shoulds” are counterproductive, causing conflict and they do not work to effectively change behavior. No one likes to adopt someone else” s “shoulds.”
Exercise: Use the word “should” or any of the following words in a sentence: H - have to, O - oughta, G - gotta, S - should
It could be something you feel strongly about as it applies to yourself or others. Example: “I should do the laundry today.” “You have to come to my house today.” These are simple sentences like you use every day. Notice how they feel as you say them. These words spell HOGS. They feel like HOGS when you spend too much time using them as rules for how to live and how others should live.
Try replacing the HOG words with words like: “ could,” “I would like,” “I want,” “It is necessary, “It could be useful,” “It might be useful.” “It is my choice” etc.
Step # 3) Seek to understand the context in which something happens:
Each person has a unique process and context of experience which forms our world view (internally). If you accept this, you can recognize the need to respect the world view of others, and seek to understand their actions from their context. The context establishes the ground on which self-organization will be based. In short, it establishes what the parties involved have formed within themselves as grounds for their actions. By using this step you can discover how to accommodate and value differences in people.
Exercise: Think of someone you are in relationship with or has impact upon your life who is acting in ways that you feel are wrong for you. You believe this person to be in error in some way. They might feel the same about you. You’ve drawn the line in the sand and stalemate has occurred with nothing but conflict, and you cannot move out of their sphere of impact. What do you do?
Begin by exploring each other’s world view and context for your beliefs and actions. This begins the process for getting insight on both sides of the line. Open to wider possibilities. The next principle will now be possible to use to find what will be an effective act for both parties, a lasting peace.
Remember: Sometimes the reason for the action is that the person doesn’t know how to make higher choices that can accommodate your process. Everyone has blind spots. Open to higher values of wider possibilities. You’ll be amazed at what opens up in ways to resolve the situation. This is one more way we need each other.
Step # 4) What and how we value guides our actions:
Learning occurs through our experience, acting and discovering what is effective through actions. From these learned actions and responses, people develop what they value. Choices for action are made from what we value from the formed feeling within. Similarly, we collectively make choices by what we collectively value. The process is like a bowl of milk with the cream rising to the top. What we value (whether deep, internal, inherent, or unconscious) creates action. The multiple values within each person continuously work to find some kind of organization for effective action, given the context and what we have experienced. “Effective action” refers to your own judgement of the act. Does the action produce the results you want? The measure of effectiveness does not come from outside of you. It’s a feeling and it feels good.
Often, the action you choose is contrary to what you know is an effective action. But learned the rules and HOGS may override that feeling. A conflict exists. It doesn’t feel good, unless we value feeling guilty. Change what you value and you change your behavior.
Exercise: If you want to know what you are valuing, then notice what you are giving attention to. Notice how your actions follow accordingly.
Three different levels of Valuing Intrinsic Valuing: Highest value is that which allows for widest possibilities, all inclusive, all possibility Extrinsic Valuing: Valuing a specific element of all possibility - experienced as some form of measure of good. Systemic Valuing: Valuing as an ideal or rule which is the most narrow of possibility Life IS: Process:
Life is the process of forming a coherence or unity within that is developed through a multiplicity of events within and coupled with events without.
It is a series of evolving events of birth, growth, maturation, integration and fulfillment then a falling away or breaking down into a higher structure of unity and begins all over again.
It harmonizes more and more variety until it recognizes the whole of all possibility.
Perturbations cause maturation and or evolution. As we grow through learning from these perturbances, we grow outside our limitations, we bring light to our dark sides or beliefs. We mature and expand our capacity for being at peace with whatever happens. We come to know first within how the many become one and the one become many over and over again.
It’s the life in us forging creation through us.
Inherent Values guide:
Values help us know where and what is important to facilitate the process. These values are inherent in the Living Domain. There is an order within when we are born from which we move and act. As we grow awareness or not of these inherent values, we find the fulfillment and satisfaction of meaning for our lives. It feels good.
Values are not things. They are process guides within us which everyone uses whether they know it or not. Values are not something we have or not. They are in us every day. We develop an awareness of them or not. What we choose to value will produce a corresponding quality of result.
Body/mind processes give us affirmations that we are on purpose being ourselves, unique all the while we are connected by meta laws that govern the creation of our experiences. Our experiences are different, but the laws that form them we share in common.
We are born with the inherent ability to know different dimensions of value. However, we learn what in particular we choose to value. When we go against the natural laws of value something in us knows it. Although if we don’t know these laws exist and don’t learn about them, we feel like fish out of water, or a ship without a rudder. We don’t know which way to act to find fulfillment.
We know about such natural laws from physics: the laws of gravity and motion. But these laws are laws that govern particle motion or matter.
The kind of laws we speak of here are laws that govern the creation processes within all Life. They appear to us through the indicators of sacred texts, myths, the results of our individual and collective experience.
Three ways of valuing exist within us with a range from the widest possibility to the most narrow possibility.
The widest and therefore the highest in value is Intrinsic - allowing us to recognize the wholism of anything we know or interact with.
The next way of valuing is to value a part of the whole - extrinsic - allowing us to focus on that which is practical, limited to some sense of our experience we wish to prefer over other parts. In this dimension, we hear and use words like that’s good or bad. There is some kind of comparison between this and that.
And finally, we can value the most narrow part of the whole which is a rule - systemic, allowing us to focus on some particular way we have found that helps us to accommodate the other two and to allow their fulfillment.
We also get to choose how much we focus on each of these dimensions. If we form from experience the belief that one way is better than the other, we soon become a living process out of balance. What we give attention to is what we become. If our culture encourages one choice over the other followed by consequences, we soon have a culture out of balance. Step # 5: Open to the widest possibilities for Finding lasting peaceful solutions.
When you function purely to be right, one way only is implied, you are dealing with values which will not allow new possibilities to be discovered. As we each want freedom of process individually and collectively, to explore, imagine, to be wrong, to be temporarily unproductive, to step back from the problem, to reflect by opening to the widest possibilities, choosing to open to the widest possibilities you give it to yourself as well as others.
a) From the widest number of possibilities, you will discover a new way that is for the highest good in that the greatest number of highest needs are met. This is what the Quakers mean by coming to the “sense of the meeting”. It is not a majority rule. It is an integration of many ideas which form into the best idea. You limit achieving this greatest good if only one way is considered. Through the diversity of ideas and approaches, you create and discover a way for unity to occur. When you limit your choices prematurely, you create a narrow/single only one way (right and wrong). The denial of someone else’s process comes from over-valuing only one way of being. This is the nature of racism. It excludes.
b) This openness to greatest good leads to practicality and a world that can work for everyone. Ways never imagined will be discovered to deal with the practical level.
c) Ultimately enabling rules that facilitate the openness and prevent exclusion through the attachment to any one solution or possibility can be discovered. Example of enabling rule: The rule of driving on one side of the road. It enables everyone their right to go and do what they choose.
Exercise: Think of a time when you felt you were right and there was no other way to do something. Every time this subject comes up, a conflict begins around the issue. Now allow yourself to see what your rule is about. Where do you feel it in your body? Think of the first time you felt that way. What was happening that helped you to make this rule the first time. Can you consider that this rule may have worked for you because of the context you were in and it has continued to work, but it may not work all the time and for everyone else.
As you look at your rules, you will discover what is true for you and you can value it as such. Then as you listen and allow the experience of others to be shared, you may discover wider possibilities for action.
Step #6 Recognizing the difference between relative truths and meta truths can settle many conflicts.
A relative truth is truth that could be false. Relative truths are typically facts of what is or has occurred.
A meta truth is a very abstract truth which holds true throughout all experience. Meta truths are typically natural laws such as law of gravity, laws of motion, all the laws of physics and mathematics, logic.
Example: A meta truth is: we drive on the right hand side of the road in the US. A relative truth is: the fact of whether or not a particular individual is driving on the right hand side of the road.
Feeling Loving inside>out is the Result:
A growing result of the use and understanding of these steps causes feelings and expressions of love:
From feeling free to allow your own natural and healthy growing process of learning and action, you can discover a loving feeling inside yourself. You come to know the truth of others’ value and why you will want to extend this freedom to another. That feeling overflows and spreads to everyone with whom you come in contact. You come to know the feeling from within yourself that loving is necessary to your survival. In using these principles you demonstrate care, respect, kindness, appreciation, acceptance and “loving others as yourself.” Most importantly, you allow for the highest form of creativity which is all inclusive and allows for a world that can work for everyone.
You come to fully know it’s not just a nice thing to do to choose actions that are conscious and loving, but it’s a wonderful heart-warming experience from inside>out. The “Knowing Place” recognizes this feeling as an effective action. The real reason loving makes us feel good isn’t really understood, but it does. The next question is why don’t we choose it?
How does it happen that its been over 2000 years since Christ came to tell us about love and we still don’t quite understand how to get feel it or really don’t even know what it is?
In my opinion, it’s because with machine-like values, and the industrial revolution, feelings were discouraged and so much of the focus was from outside>in trying to meet the demands of those outside us. Many of us have forgotten or perhaps never first learned the feeling of loving from inside, within, of feeling the satisfaction of acting from the guidance of the Knowing Place. So many look for guidance and love outside from parents, spouses, friends, dogs, brothers and sisters, things, accomplishments, achievements, approval from fans, co-workers, parents, teachers, etc.
However, today we live in conditions and situations which call on us to find adaptations that help us to survive in those conditions. The definition of intelligence is the ability to adapt.. Let’s grow and adapt towards Life, bringing life back to living.
A call to action given the exploration of these steps:
- What do we do now, individually and collectively?
- What ways do we choose to find justice?
- Notice how you operate within society
- How do you treat others within the larger context in the workplace, communities, nationally and internationally?
- How are we as a nation treating other nations?
- What action can you contribute that will help create a world that can work for everyone and then world peace?
- How do you choose to operate in the larger world community?