The "Oneness Effect" Shift
The "Oneness Effect" Shift
By Skye and Norm Hirst
A conversation between Norm and Skye about current events impacting us all.
Norm: History is repeating itself. At the end of the 19th century it was thought that physics had discovered everything important. Then with the 20th Century came quantum physics and relativity. Now at the beginning of the 21st Century discoveries are being made again that change everything we thought we knew. It was thought that reality was made of matter and was deterministic. Life was an epiphenomenon for which there didn’t seem to be a good explanation. Sciences, pre-occupied with matter and determinism kept us imprisoned. With a new reality emerging, living energy is fundamental, we realize that life does not arise out of matter. Life creates matter. We are released from prison.
As for values, matter and determinism had no place for values. Yet there were many instances, stories, that illustrated acts and results that did not fit determinism such as "Acts" that changed the coarse of events.
There is a story that made a profound impression on me. It is recorded in the book “Ways and Power of Love” by Pitirim Sorokin, founder of the sociology department at Harvard during the 1930s.
It was in a land of isolated villages. There was a band of roving horsemen who would swoop down on a village to rape, murder, plunder and destroy. One day the residents of a village saw a dust cloud. They knew the horsemen were coming and they could not defend themselves. Then they came to a remarkable idea. The leaders walked out to meet the horsemen. They explained the arrival of the horsemen was perfectly timed because the villages were planning a party and were fixing a feast. They invited the horsemen to be their guests. The invitations were accepted. All had a good time. Finally, the horsemen rode away; there were no injuries, no damage and nothing stolen.
Skye: Why is charity mentioned by so many traditions and cultures as a value of highest virtue? And why it is ignored so consistently in business, government, and even personal dealings today? Is it because they think they can operate to maximize their own interest to the detriment of others with no consequence to themselves? Don't they know that we're all connected?
Trust is destroyed and when trust is no more, economy cannot sustain because of the isolation and inability to establish and sustain relationships or agreements.
To act in ways that destroy trust, mutual respect and yes loving of self and or others, ultimately has a very high cost…that cost is lack of sustainability.
So, Norm, in today's world we have terrorist threats, and a world filled with violent acts. Are you saying that we can change outcomes with what and how we enter into each contextual situation? You certainly don't mean that in a cause/effect way, i.e., if I do this, I get that? Then how does charity and the values that form altruism really work?
Norm: Altruism is important because of the oneness of life; that is all our lives affect all other lives. When we turn our back on someone in need, there is violence, a rip, in the fabric of the oneness of life. We will suffer the repercussions of that rip with the need for more violence. Like children escalating their arguments until they fight with fists or verbal abuse. Only in our world today, we fight with highly automated weapons, smart bombs and even threaten the use of nuclear, or biological/chemical weapons.
Skye: Now we even believe torture is necessary to counter such escalations. Can't we see what is happening?
Terrorist who say they want to destroy the US may be wanting to stop what the US is doing, what it represents, not perceiving it as an altruistic nation, but instead one that imposes its will on others and backs it up with attempted force and violence. When self-interest overrides all other values, we have removed ourselves from the fabric of life.
To quote from an article, “Learn from the Fall of Rome, US Warned”, by Jeremy Grant:
David Walker, comptroller general of the US, issued the unusually downbeat assessment of his country’s future in a report that lays out what he called “chilling long-term simulations”. Drawing parallels with the end of the Roman Empire, Mr. Walker warned there were “striking similarities” between America’s current situation and the factors that brought down Rome, including “declining moral values and political civility at home, an over-confident and over-extended military in foreign lands and fiscal irresponsibility by the central government”.
Mr. Walker’s views carry weight because he is a non-partisan figure in charge of the Government Accountability Office, often described as the investigative arm of the US Congress.
It comes down to balance. We have to balance self-interest with the interest and needs of others.
When we see ourselves as individuals’ or/and as a nation as something that is discretely separate and apart needing to defend and protect what is ours, we cannot do anything but destroy and negate at that point.
Everything is connected in one fabric, the reality of intrinsic value. Intrinsic value, which is where charity lives.
Arie de Geus, author of “The Living Company”, did research on why companies only seem to last about 40 years. Going beyond 40 years requires something different than being an economic machine. It requires functioning like a living entity. A living company makes profits and profits are necessary like oxygen is to life, but it is not the purpose of life. When the purpose becomes to make money, you have an economic machine. That's very much what our nation has become. It's self interest dominates. We have forfeited our larger role in the world as moral leaders of highest virtue providing maximum freedom and charity for all. And maximum freedom includes freedom for other ways of life with least interference.
The old worldview that is mechanistic and deterministic does not work. That world-view has been destroyed by current research, as the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) Shift report makes very clear. It's the old worldview that traps us in egoism and fails to recognize the "oneness effect," i.e., that all life is interconnected and interdependent.
Ancient traditions are distilled wisdom of many lives and much living history. That wisdom has recognized the virtue of love and altruism.
How that value was known and understood has been lost and replaced with an increasing entrapment by systemic perceptions that self-interest and preservation must be first.
IONS Shift Report now being released speaks, as we have said before in earlier columns, beautifully of the mind change that is occurring.
"We are living through one of the most fundamental shifts in history — a change in the actual belief structure of Western society. No economic, political, or military power can compare with the power of a change of mind. By deliberately changing their images of reality, people are changing the world." — Willis Harman, Global Mind Change
"The 2007 Shift Report: Evidence of a World Transforming, attempts to chart the transition we believe is underway from a rigid, mechanistic, and materialistic worldview to one that is built on a foundation of interconnectedness, cooperation, and the intersection of science and spirituality."
Wikipedia says, "Most, if not all, of the world's religions promote altruism as a very important moral value. Christianity and Buddhism and Sikhism place particular emphasis on altruistic morality, as noted above, but Judaism, Islam, Hinduism and many other religions also promote altruistic behavior. Altruism was central to the teachings of Jesus found in the Gospel especially in the Sermon on the Mount and the Sermon on the Plain."
And although Jesus teachings focused largely on love and loving over 2000 years ago, we seem to give only lip service to the importance of it today. Instead of it becoming fundamental to our modern culture, it is not even given a nod in the most common workings of business, government or interpersonal secular dealings today.
Yet the conversations about what charity or altruism is continue as if to find a way to dismiss it to remove our sense of guilt about ignoring it. Is it self-less or only ego feeding in order to feel good, giving to others? Then there's the thought that charity to feel good is nothing but for the purpose of ego gratification, so therefore, the act of giving to others, even out of a sense of duty, is ultimately a selfish act.
The discourse seems to wind around to meet the needs of the person acting at the time. So then you hear, "Well it's up to each individual. There are no moral laws that it is necessary to give to those in need. Perhaps those in need have it as their karma to be poor. It's none of our concern."
Most of these positional points of view are trapped by dualism, mechanism and determinism that have framed modern thinking for many centuries.
As the world's consciousness and reality shift, the ways we will evolve our thinking will have much to do with our connectedness, going back maybe for the first time to truly recognizing what we'll call the "oneness effect."
The dilemma for many may well be how do get some of that? Where do I go to learn about it? Communities, developers, business leaders, government heads, bankers, are already beginning to get it. Slowly at first, but here's why they'll want to know about it and access it. It won't be because it feels good. It won't be because it's their duty. It will be because they will recognize it is the only way to be that works and works because of the "oneness effect."
In regions all over the country, we're seeing attempts to move into ways of inclusion, with consensus building, open source, non-hierarchical open processes like Wikipedia and Open Space meeting processes, even companies run with zero management, even cities in Europe are doing away with traffic signs because they find people are more responsible and alert to others when there are no signs.
How we do it is what we must now learn. Decision-making is a learning process. And the consensus building process is such a good example of how that works. But it's always unique to each situation. How then, do we learn our way, Norm?
Norm: All three dimensions of values will need to be recognized, utilized and understood as we move into this new awareness of our oneness, both with self-interest and concern for others. A balance, that's truly what we will be learning about.