* * * * * * *
In geometry, axioms are proven, time-tested fundamentals. They’re baselines rules that have become generally accepted because they’ve been observed to be consistently correct and useful.
Corollaries are equally useful observations which follow from and depend on the correctness of a basic axiom. They can describe either positive consequences or down-side, shadow implications.
As documented in Rethinking Survival, geometry is specifically relevant to the Positive Paradigm in the context of Huston Smith’s observation. A premier teacher and devout practitioner of what he called “timeless wisdom,” Smith wrote:
Twenty years ago I wrote a book, The Religions of Man, which presented the world’s enduring traditions in their individuality and variety. It has taken me until now to see how they converge. . . .
What then emerges is a remarkable unity underlying the surface variety. When we look at human bodies, what we normally notice is their surface features, which of course differ markedly.
Meanwhile on the insides, the spines that support these motley physiognomies are structurally very much alike. It is the same with human outlooks. Outwardly they differ, but inwardly it is as if an “invisible geometry” has everywhere been working to shape them to a single truth. [emphasis added.]
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A complete and correct paradigm is the key to personal well-being and success.
In the Positive Paradigm worldview, the physical world of experience has its origin and end at the creative center of the Wheel. The unseen drives the seen. The invisible precedes the visible. Inspiration precedes actions which in turn produce results.
Therefore, the quality of daily life depends on the quality of belief systems. If the paradigm held is complete and accurate, it leads to consistent action that yields successful, beneficial results. When paradigms are incomplete and inaccurate, however, they generate inconsistent actions that lead to failure, pain and suffering.
By definition, a universal paradigm can be applied to every and any aspect of life. A rethinking of personal lives, bringing them into alignment with the Positive worldview, will enhance well-being on all levels. A similar rethinking of organizational structures on increasingly larger scales of magnitude will have equally beneficial consequences.
A deep understanding of the Positive Paradigm illumines whatever field of endeavor upon which it is focused. This includes all the arts as well as the physical and social sciences — economics, politics and government.
Corollary A: The more powerful the paradigm, the greater its potential for its creative use or its opposite and equal abuse. Einstein’s formula is an example of an elegantly simple and powerful concept capable of generating powerful results. Earlier, it was abused to destructive ends. Atomic bombs detonated over Japan extinguished an estimated 200,000 lives.
The opposite and equal positive consequences of returning to the universal wisdom embodied in the Positive Paradigm are yet to be realized.
Corollary B. Universal ideas are qualitatively different from arbitrary intellectual constructs. They originate at a different level of the Wheel. Belief systems and legislation which aren’t aligned with the middle and inner levels of the Life Wheel are misleading and often have chaotic if not catastrophic results.
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We are each a world complete, containing the potentials of the universe.
Sadly, this is the least known but most important fact of life we never learned in school – but should have. In large part, the Handbook is written as the book I searched for on the library shelves, but couldn’t find. It should have been there, and now will be for others who also sense that there’s something really important missing from what we were taught which must be restored. It’s the basis of a fundamental respect for self as well as for all others.
The place to look in this information starts with ancient medical traditions. The traditional sciences of both India and China map the subtle inner energy patterns which Huston Smith called the “invisible geometry” which shapes all humanity to a “single truth.”
In these worldviews, energy emanates from and returns to an eternal source. It is the stuff from which the physical world is generated. It is the substructure which frames the physical human body, upon which mental and physical health depend. When this energy is abundant, its circulation free flowing, and its distribution balanced, we experience health. When energy is depleted, stagnant or unbalanced, the result is disease on every level.
The functional term “health” in the context of these traditions means “whole.” The health of subtle energetic and related biological systems depends on the integrated balance of the interrelated parts. Each part depends on and completes the whole. The concept of “holism” expresses this worldview.
The Positive Paradigm Wheel is consistent with ancient medical traditions. The Handbook extracts from these sciences the universal basics most relevant to today’s immediate, survival needs. Its purpose is to restore applications of this wisdom to their necessary, central place in the decision-making process.
Corollary A: This view of human origin and creative potentials is the universal foundation of respect, both for oneself and for others. That all humans are created equal is an existential truth. [What they’ve chosen to do (or not do) with this gift is different subject.]
Corollary B: “To save one life is to save the world entire.” Every human life is a complete mirror of creation. As an integral and necessary part of the whole, each of individual has intrinsic value and is worth every effort to save.
Corollary C: Because light at the center of the Positive Paradigm Wheel is the source of energy, which in turn generates mass, the biblical instruction is good advice. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God. All else follows.” As Stephen Covey puts it, “First things first.”
Corollary D: Looks are deceiving. What is visible on the surface isn’t the whole picture. What’s hidden at the middle energy level and deeper still within the inner core are often very different from surface appearances. [Superficial thinkers produce shallow work and are themselves easily deceived.]
Corollary E: Every excess or deficiency is detrimental to health. In extreme, the opposites of spirituality and materialism are equally dangerous to the whole. If any level is neglected, problems are certain to follow.
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Everyone, everywhere shares the same atom-like structure in common. (Unity and Diversity Are Necessary Compliments.)
The third axiom is almost as neglected as the second. In addition, it is subject to distortions and misunderstandings that make matters worse. This confusion is the unfortunate cause of conflict in family relationships, and radiates outwards to conflict between nations.
Inherent, inner similarity is the realistic foundation of common understanding. However, the fact that all people have the same inner structure does not mean that all are identical, or should be treated the same. Quite the contrary, within the evolutionary chakra scale, at any given time, most individuals are focused on only one or a small combination of centers and their related issues.
Like snowflakes, humans are identical in their basic structure. Each, however, is unique expression of the universal pattern. Personal abilities and needs are the result of an infinitely complex set of variables. And just as the balance of energy centers promotes the health of the individual, a balance of complimentary aptitudes and interests promotes the general health of society at large.
And just as an integrated balance of energy centers is necessary to the overall health of an individual, a balance of complimentary abilities and interests promotes the general health of society at large.
We share the potential for perfection in common. However, in balance, innate potentials are filtered by cultural conditioning. Each of us has an overlay of education and personal experience which tends to distort and even mask that common core.
Each of us has a long history of decisions, not all of them good. We live with the consequences of past actions as well as our hopes for the future. Further, while our inherent structure is identical, within the evolutionary chakra scale, at any given time and place, most individuals are narrowly focused on only one or a small combination of the seven centers and their specific issues. The roles which meet our immediate learning needs and simultaneously best serve the whole are the outcome of these combined influences.
Bottom line: diversity on the surface is an inevitable, necessary and beneficial compliment to unity at the center. So long as the levels of the perfect pattern are understood and correctly prioritized, there is no conflict between unity and diversity.
When the levels are not prioritized, problems follow. Unity at the surface — meaning regimentation, uniformity and coerced one-size-fits-all thinking — is antithetical to life, just as diversity is at the center is impossible.
So it’s essential to prioritize the levels correctly. Be clear and correct about what is absolute and unchanging. Conversely, worldly success depends on accepting what is ephemeral, non-essential, subject to change and short-lived for what it is . . . and is not. Recognizing the difference is critically important to maintaining both personal and institutional stability.
For example, when alliances are formed on the basis of surface appearances — whether it be immediate self-interest, perceived attractiveness, race, gender, age or other biological markers — the connection is weak and likely to be short-lived.
In contrast, relationships remain stable when they’re based on a personal connection with the unchanging, universal center – that which everyone shares in common and upon which everyone depends. They withstand the tests of time and prove to be mutually beneficial.
For eight-thousand years and counting, Chinese sages operated on an understanding of how the world really works based on The Book of Change. This explains the longevity of dynasties which were steered in alignment with the fundamental axioms of change.
To the extent that ancient societies understood and were governed in accordance with the universal pattern, their leadership choices mirrored this organization. At the family level, the leadership role of the biological father was regarded as a natural reflection of the divine pattern.
In increasingly larger levels of organization, in each case the greatest among the group was designated as its natural leader, seated at its center, and entrusted with the grave responsibility of maintaining stability and balance in the best interests of the whole.
Although rarely honored and only imperfectly implemented, the universal pattern pictured in the Positive Paradigm Wheel remains the organizational model which best accords with reality, and has the most likely chance of generating beneficial results.
Just as we dearly need to depend on the center of our personal lives for inspiration, wisdom and stability, we need to be able to look to the leaders in our lives – families, schools, business, and governments – as stewards of our trust.
When leaders at every level, worldwide cannot be trusted to maintain stability or protect the common good, the times grow exceedingly dangerous. In such times, personal balance and ultimately survival depends ever more greatly upon an unshakable connection with the unchanging center within.
Corollary A: The levels of the Positive Paradigm Wheel are interrelated and interdependent. But they are qualitatively different and should be prioritized accordingly.
The surface is transient. Hurt it, and it can heal. Have a bad day, and there’s always tomorrow. This is “the small stuff.” The center, however is absolute and absolutely necessary. “With God, all is possible.” But without a conscious connection to the center, nothing of enduring value can be accomplished. Violate this connection with impunity long enough, and eventually there will not be another tomorrow.
Corollary B: Looking for completion and stability on the surface, where none exist, is a sure formula for disappointment. Creating false expectations and failing to teach realistic attitudes towards inevitable changes on the surface of the life wheel (as well as where to turn for wisdom and solace in the face of life’s disappointments) is bad for mental health and long-term relationships.
Corollary C: Unrealistic, dysfunctional paradigms are the root cause of addictions. When people are cut off from their center or deny their emotional/physical needs, they feel starved. Not knowing why, they turn to substitutes which don’t truly satisfy. When mental escapes aren’t an option, self-destructive alternatives present themselves.
Corollary D: Bigotry, discrimination and violence of every stripe are a function of ignorance in regard to Axiom Three. We are different on the outside, but eternally the same on the inside. Look past appearances which are often deceptive for the foundation of enduring relationships of value.
Corollary E: Reason is necessary but not sufficient. When used to link the material surface with the middle and inner levels of the Wheel, it is a powerful tool. When turned against the life force, elevating itself as if it were the exclusive way of knowing, it presumes to judge what is beyond it. This is hubris, the catalyst of tragedy. Rationality in the extreme changes into its opposite, producing desperately irrational results.
Corollary F: Forgetting (or denying) the existence of a nucleus at the center of our personal atomic structure along with fighting over the illusion of superiority and possession of ephemeral assets is a sure recipe for personal suffering, relationship problems and professional failure. On an international level, it leads to atrocities and genocidal wars.
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The consequences of action are inevitable; those who respect the law of karma succeed.
Axiom Four is the practical foundation of ethics. Were it taught earlier in schools both public and private as the survival basic which it is, today’s world would be very different indeed.
For in an exclusively materialist, linear worldview, it seems possible to “get away with murder.” Unethical leaders mistakenly continue to act on the false premise that they can avoid the consequences of their actions by hiding selfish motives and evil deeds behind a mask of false appearances.
But ultimately, they deceive no one but themselves. (Remember the fate of ponzi racketeer Bernie Madoff and his two tragically unfortunate sons?)
Oscar Wilde’s Picture of Dorian Gray dramatizes the horrific consequences of hiding hideous deeds behind an unnatural mask of eternal youth and physical beauty. Just as Dorian comes to an awful end, in the circular and richly textured fabric of the Positive Paradigm worldview, attempts at evasion and deception are ultimately futile. The concept of a “perfect crime” is an oxymoron.
In the circular and richly textured fabric of the Positive Paradigm reality, attempts at evasion and deception are ultimately futile. The Old Testament describes the karmic law of return in agricultural terms. “As ye reap, so shall ye sow,” and “For everything there is a season. . . “
In modern parlance, the saying that underscores the circular dynamic of “poetic justice” is, “What goes around comes around.”
In the New Testament, Jesus stated the Law of Karma as practical advice: “Do unto others as ye would have them do unto you.” This observation holds true as axiomatic. It has been observed for a very long time that in fact — even if not immediately, or directly — what is done does, for better or worse, return in kind.
This code is neither self-righteous nor moralistic. It’s simply a practical fact, an observable law of nature. Because we are all interconnected, good deeds return exponentially, while harm intended becomes harm received.
There’s nothing personal about the Law of Karma. It’s simply how the world works. The dynamics of natural law are similar to computer logic. “If this, then that.” If one respects life and treats others with kindness, then others are likely to respond with gratitude. If one disrespects others, then all but wisest will feel threatened and react with fear, hatred and vengeful retaliation.
This is good news for those content to do the right things for the right reasons. It’s exceedingly bad news for those who choose to intentionally hurt and harm others, whether for immediate financial gain or petty ego-satisfaction.
It’s also incentive to become as knowledgeable as possible about the natural law encoded in the Book of Change. For the more deeply one understands the operations of this law, and the more skillfully they’re applied, the more likely it is that success will follow wherever attention is focused.
The law holds true for relationships on every level and in every avenue of daily life. Family members who honor the law bring blessings upon their loved ones. Those who are ethical in the conduct of their business and political lives succeed accordingly.
This dynamic is central to martial arts and the conduct of war. At the middle level, there are no reservations attached to energy manipulation. In a vacuum, out of context, motives are irrelevant. The playing field is open to all who know the territory.
To the extent that we’re not conscious of the energies that drive us at this middle level, we’re easy prey to behind-the-scenes puppet masters. American journalists see U.S. politicians’ abysmal ineptness at this level (in contrast to their Russian and Chinese counterparts) as putting Americans in grave danger.
Those who go with the grain, being truthful and trustworthy in their words and deeds even (and especially) when the going gets rough, find life ultimately abundant. Those who choose to go against the grain, preferring to get whatever they want however they can get it with as little effort as possible, find the opposite.
The popular riddle asks, “Why do con artists do shabby work, charge unreasonably high prices, and get away with murder.” The cynical answer: “Because they can.” However, this cynical half-truth tells only part of the story.
They can, because there’s free will. They can, because they’re ignorant, or else incredibly stupid. Choices have (all too often unforeseen) consequences.
Whether one believes in God or not, whether one respects the natural law or chooses to be blind to it, these consequences are the same. In modern parlance, “Do the Crime. Do the time.” Or, as it’s also said, “Pay back is a bitch.”
Punishment for unrepentant wrong-doing can take many forms. The consequences of breaking human laws include fines. jail-time, and in the extreme, death. Over time, retribution for violating the natural law is visited in many forms, from mental or physical disease, to personal, professional or financial misfortune.
Consequences of misdeeds often return on the psychological level. Carl Jung, the Swiss analyst who popularized the concept of archetypes, also wrote the introduction to the Wilhelm/Baynes version of the I Ching. He noted the unintended kickback from rejecting the basic axioms of religion and natural law with mere reason. There are consequences not only for decision-makers, but also those they influence.
In sum, Jung noted that modern thinkers have made a fatal mistake. The facts of inner life can’t be driven out of existence by arbitrarily banishing them from the decision-making equation. Saying God doesn’t exist doesn’t make it so. It just leaves the unbeliever at the disadvantage of being cut off from the center.
According to Jung, denying the facts of inner life has the effect of burying rejected aspects of the whole in the “unconscious,” where they continue to reap havoc on our daily lives. Politicians and journalists under the influence of unacknowledged emotional demons “unwittingly let loose psychic epidemics on the world.”
Corollary A: Free will allows that no one’s fate is irreversibly cast in stone. Destiny is the result of many choices made over a very long time. But even at the eleventh hour, consistently better choices can ameliorate and redirect the outcomes of history, on a personal and on up to national levels. The Law of Nature allows that everyone can change. This is the eternal and best hope of even the seemingly worst among us.
Corollary B: The intricate workings of karma are unfathomable to humans. Asking why events happen is productive only if it leads to understanding how beliefs, attitudes and behavior can be improved to generate better results. Then, the most practical question to ask is, “What is the best way to respond to immediate events now?”
Corollary C: It’s best to forswear ignorant meddling. Life is infinitely complex. Humans can’t possibly fathom the far reaching effects of their actions. The best results come from listening to and acting on conscience without imposing selfish ego.
Corollary D: The atheist uses personal suffering as proof that either God does not exist, or that God is so cruel and unjust that this being deserves no trust, respect or allegiance. The answer is, that human suffering is a consequence of consistently poor choices made over a very long time. The opportunity inherent in suffering is to take responsibility for making better choices, beginning with an acceptance of and realignment with the basic axioms of life.
Corollary E: The Law of Karma operates without exceptions. Ignorance is no excuse. Violate it only at your own peril. Nature and Nature’s God cannot be fooled or circumvented. There’s no way to cheat. Nature can’t bet bribed. Conscience can’t be bought off.
Corollary F: A best-selling shaman book advises that it’s okay to go full bore after whatever you want. If others get in the way, it’s their problem. If you hurt them, it’s their fault for letting you. His answer to God’s inquiry, like Cain’s about the whereabouts of the slain Abel, is, in effect, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” Implying, “No way.”
But in Positive Paradigm context, the correct answer is, “We’re more than our brothers’ keepers.” We not only share the same seed origin in common. We’re inextricably connected. The pain and suffering we inflict on others returns, magnified, as our own – as do the kindnesses we compassionately provide along the way.
Corollary G: Justice belongs to the Creator, the all-seeing eye and all-knowing heart that resides at the center of the Wheel. Since everyone’s misdeeds already accounted for, there’s no need for revenge. Why try to even the score? It’s already been taken care of. Besides of which, who are we as short-sighted mortals to presume to judge? It’s far more beneficial to focus on personal karma and dharma.
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History is not linear or progressive, nor can human survival be taken for granted.
This concept runs deeply against the grain of progressive beliefs. It’s so apparently threatening to even consider that many are unwilling and/or unable to wrap their minds around these basic facts. However, denial doesn’t change what IS. It only leaves the fearful unprepared – unable to make the in-formed, correct decisions necessary to meet and survive immanent dangers. [Hence the wisdom of building intentional communities.]
The dangers are no surprise. Einstein warned, “We will require a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive.” In answer to his call, the methods included in the Handbook embody that substantially new manner.
Some things change. Others never do. Knowing the difference between absolutes and ephemerals is matter of life or death. The center of the Wheel is changeless. Those in the know depend on this. But the Wheel’s rim spins in endless circles of repeating, patterned change. Therefore, survivors anticipate the predictable, cyclical changes of nature.
They know far better than to take immediate appearances at face value. They’re not fooled by wishful thinking into the false belief that what can be seen is permanent.
Lao Tze, who wrote the world-loved Tao Te Ching, or The Way and Its Power, knew this and tried to warn the world. Sun Tzu, Chinese author of The Art of War — a manual used by successful military leaders for hundreds of years — taught savvy strategists how to exploit the knowledge of human dynamics to win their battles. Today’s international business leaders have adapted this wisdom, as well as spin-offs like the 36 Stratagems, to capture markets, maximize profits and beat out the competition.
All these texts draw on the wisdom encoded in the I Ching, the venerable Book of Change, to steer them in the decision-making process. They rely on the law of subtle change and the personal understandings derived from working with it to stay ahead of the curve. Knowing that surface appearances are deceptive can be used as a protective, self-defense measure, or exploited with endlessly ingenious variations that take advantage of the uninformed. . .
In the dark ages, Europeans were taught to believe that the world was flat. That the globe of spinning Planet Earth is in fact round was received as life-changing information that dramatically changed the way people thought and lived.
Similarly, some today still continue to think of history as a flat, straight line. In this they are as sadly mistaken as were the navigators who guided their ships on the assumption that the world was flat.
In fact, the dynamics of human history resemble a multi-layered clock whose second, minute and hour hands continuously return to the same starting point at different rates of speed. Rethinking the paradigm of history to align with known facts would give future leaders an edge on survival.
Hegel and Marx had a partially correct, but disastrously hollow view of historical change. They pictured it as a rectangular-shaped grandfather clock with a pendulum that swings back and forth, repeatedly moving right and then left of center.
Their concept of a dialectic prescribed an eventual synthesis of both sides in an upwardly moving, progressive direction. The partial truth in this model is obscured by its inaccuracies and politically destructive applications.
It’s important to note that the interrelated, interconnected fabric of life pictured by the Positive Paradigm Wheel isn’t limited to this particular planet or even one solar system. As a universal model, it literally has applications to how the universe, or even multiple universes, work as well. This possibility is not completely foreign to our human history.
For example, the Anastazi, a highly sophisticated culture of eco-savvy cave dwellers located in Mesa Verdi, Colorado, thrived and then mysteriously disappeared. Like the Inca civilization located in Peru, and ancient Egyptians who built the pyramids, their detailed and accurate understanding of astronomy led archaeologists to conclude that they came from, were in correspondence with, and might eventually have returned to destinations far beyond Earth.
Just as humans continue to navigate their ships in the waters of Earth’s oceans, there may have been — and may again be — times when star travelers operate on paradigms that allow them to travel the oceans of distant space. The wheel-shaped Star Gates of the science fiction series by the same name are suggestive of imagined (or carefully kept) secrets.
In sum, there’s far more to human origins and history than people dream of. Science fiction teases us to think outside the limited historical paradigm. There’s truth in supposed “fiction” that would enrich our possible futures if we use it to expand our knowledge paradigm to match the facts of what has been and could yet still be.
Corollary A: The seasonal, cyclical model of history applies equally to personal lives and the dynamics of organizational and even dynasty life-spans. Knowing the current time, as well as the direction in which its going, is important information to be taken into account in any decision-making process.
Corollary B: Just as the hour hand returns to its beginning point and then continues on to start the next hour, our lives do not end with one span, but continue on. This accords with metaphysical and religious views on reincarnation and immortality. These are not mutually exclusive beliefs. Reincarnation occurs on the surface of life’s wheel, while immortality resides at its center.
Corollary C: Facing the prospect of human extinction, of the end of life as we now know it, may be threatening. But refusing to consider and act on the possibility doesn’t make the danger go away. It renders us unprepared to meet and mitigate danger, preventing the possibility of re-charting the course of history for the optimal use of available options, preparing for new beginnings — an urgently needed “fresh start.”
Keeping the subjects of magic and space exploration secret, relegating them to the genres of so-called fantasy and science fiction is form of denial. It limits our options for meeting whatever is to come fully and optimally prepared.
When life transitions are anticipated and wisely prepared for, they can be faced without fear and navigated successfully. Elizabeth Kübler-Ross’ research on death and dying has equally useful applications to both individual experience and the history of civilizations.
Corollary D: Nothing on Earth lasts forever. Accomplishments in the fields of science, humanism and spiritual enlightenment cannot be taken for granted. In Positive Paradigm context, the creative source resides eternal at the center. While there’s evolution on the outward path, there’s also the opposite and equal potential for devolution on the return path. This includes not only physical dis-integration, but also corruption. This leaves savvy leaders with important choices to make, for themselves as well as the followers who depend on them.
Corollary E: An apparent death sentence makes time remaining all the more precious. In biblical terms, awareness of impending disaster is motive and opportunity to repent (meaning to change one’s heart and ways), and to atone (meaning to realign with the center), using the gift of whatever time is left gratefully, wisely and well.
Some will actually defy medical/historical prognosis and survive to carry on, whether it be here, in other dimensions or even different universes. (Science fiction fans of TV’s two-hearted, regenerating time traveler Dr. Who are well-acquainted with these possibilities.)
* * * * * * *
Used as a linguistic tool, the Positive Paradigm Wheel promotes clear, accurate and effective communication.
Like humanity itself, the English language is also becoming an endangered species. Clear and effective communication can no more be taken for granted than any other aspect of the civilization.
In tracking the meanings of words, their devolution is found to be systematic. In some cases, the same word means not only one thing, but its exact opposite as well. The inherent danger is that people often talk at cross-purposes, thinking they understand each other when in fact they’re missing each other coming and going, only vaguely aware of the disconnect.
It’s worth the time to pay attention to what’s meant by specific words in common use. Working with the Positive Paradigm Wheel explains the dynamics of shifting definitions. The same word takes on different meanings on different levels of the Wheel.
One example is the word “positive.” Webster’s Dictionary lists seventeen (!) different uses. They span the continuum from center to surface, with many gradations along the route. At the core, “positive” refers to that which is absolute, unqualified, and independent of circumstances; that which has real existence in itself.
At the middle, energy level, the term is used describe an electrical valence. As an attitude, positive can mean either confident or dogmatic. At the surface, positive may mean showing forward progress or increase, making a constructive contribution.
As this one example serves to indicate, it’s extraordinarily difficult to communicate so as to be understood as intended. The “Tower of Babel” factor issue is addressed both in Rethinking Survival and Conscience. This excerpt represents ongoing concerns:
The Tower of Babel Factor
The gift of language sets humans apart from animals. It provides the building blocks of communication. It’s the foundation of civilizations and the necessary glue of cultural continuity.
That being said, humans are the only creatures capable of using language to rationalize greed, lie to others about their actions and deceive themselves. . . .
That’s was quite the opposite of the language I’d learned to love and respect in high school. There, we were taught to regard language as the premier tool of logic. When used with Sherlock-like diligence, applied the powers of keen observation and heightened awareness, it could solve mysteries — not only to detect the crimes of evil-doers and the nefarious plots of national enemies, but to reveal the mysteries of life and the universe.
Turned inwards, used with self-honesty, language becomes an essential means of introspection and cultivating self-awareness. For the truth-seeker, language is the necessary vehicle of information both on the inward quest and on return journey to share its benefits.
“Leadership” and the related concept of “power” are two words whose meanings require careful attention. They shift depending on the level that they’re associated with. “Power” is a word often associated with “lust” and “abuse.” But it’s also a key component of “democracy” defined as “power to the people.”
At the center of the Wheel, all-powerful is an attribute assigned to God the Creator. Omnipotent. At the middle level, power is associated with energy. High-energy people are said to be magnetic. Attractive. Sexually potent. Forceful. Vigorous.
Socially, towards the surface, powerful people are influential. Effective. They tend to dominate others and control material resources, whether formally (institutional authority) or informally (behind the scenes).
Lao Tze’s Tao Te Ching, translated as The Way and Its Power, hints at the possibility of linking the levels of power. Failing to do so results in dangerous either-ors. For example, a leader whose power depends on controlling material resources, but who has neither compassion for others or a viable connection with the center, is likely to rule as a tyrant, bringing poverty and misery to unwilling subjects.
A leader who holds the power of middle level charisma over followers may dazzle. However, cult leaders whose connection to the center is unstable (claims to the contrary notwithstanding), can seduce, but not truly lead from darkness to light.
Those whose connection to the center is secure, but whose grounding in the practical skills of day-to-day governance is tenuous, are also incomplete and undependable as leaders. Regardless of how inspired or well-intentioned, they may be forced to rely on staff who are less than loyal or honest, and find themselves undone because of misplaced trust.
Ideally, the true leader links the levels, balancing enlightened vision with compassion, charisma and practical administrative abilities. Plato recommended the total leadership of a philosopher-king, and training aspirants to be equally competent on all levels of the Wheel, able to integrate and balance them.
It’s especially important to define another pair of complimentary words. “Virtuous” and “moral” are often used interchangeably, with misleading results. Technically, “virtue” is an energy concept best used in the context of the middle level of the Wheel.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), compassion is a composite of complimentary virtues that includes empathy, courage, kindness, calmness, gentleness, and joy.
Each of the virtues is associated with a specific internal organ. When circulation is unobstructed and the internal energies are full and balanced, the mind is clear and virtues are present.
When the circulation is blocked or stagnant, in excess or deficient, negative energy expressions present themselves as toxic emotions: anger, fear, cruelty, hate, anxiety, and grief.
Virtues are natural and inherent. They’re common to everyone, everywhere. The potential for positive expression of the virtues is primarily a function of good health, meaning, in Positive Paradigm context, unified wholeness.
Conversely, the opposite, negative expressions (vices) are the result of poor health. Appropriate responses for healing them rest with medical interventions, not judgmental social sanctions.
In contrast, morality is a social construct, a relatively superficial layer of cultural conditioning that may or may not be compatible with the expression of deeper, inherent natural energies.
Moral codes vary from place to place, and shift over time. Codes of conduct in subcultures, from medical and religious to military and underground gangs, are uniquely context-specific.
Some would say that moral codes are useful, even necessary for maintaining order within a social unit. However, when they’re enforced with harsh sanctions, including an unwholesome admix of self-interest, self-righteousness, and hypocrisy, they’re at best a mixed blessing.
It’s possible to be moral without being virtuous, and vice versa. It’s instructive to ask, How moral are we, and by what standard(s) of conduct? What about our leaders? If there’s a disconnect between virtue and morality, what are the consequences? What’s to be done about it, by whom?
Corollary A. Using the Positive Paradigm model as a standard, the current worldwide leadership deficit and related budget deficits can be explained and (with good will and training) corrected.
Corollary B: In Positive Paradigm context, “good” and “evil” (as well as “friend” and “mortal enemy”) are defined in terms of those who honor versus those who violate or even intentionally tear the universal pattern of life apart. By this standard, those of good will in every land are friends of truth, while evil doers, whether at home or abroad, are the common enemies of humanity.
Corollary C: Politicians who would set nations against each other and who flirt with nuclear holocaust for the sake of petty ego satisfaction and personal power are evil-doers. Even when they cloak evil actions in moral terms, their rationalizations are a danger to us all. The ultimate good requires unmasking their double speak and rescuing the language in the interests of human survival.
Corollary D: Just as the basic genetic structure of all mankind stems from a few original strands of DNA, universal ideas and archetypes are inborn and inherent to our psyches. They’re not restricted by political or national boundaries.
The basic axioms of the archetypal Positive Paradigm pattern and its use as a clarifying linguistic tool offer a foundation upon which to build upon a common sense discourse, reestablishing the universal basics common to everyone, everywhere.
Corollary E: The Life Wheel gives us a model for redefining love, authority, science, crime, stress, and a host of other key concepts whose meanings are con-fused (lumped together inappropriately), making it difficult to communicate. The 64 Essays on Change in Conscience are a start in this direction.
Corollary F: The chief strategy of the “alien invaders” described in Rethinking Survival is to paralyze the populace by polluting the language and corrupting the paradigms. They prevent people from recognizing the difference between true friends and enemies, between true dangers and boondoggle distractions.
Restoring the Positive Paradigm to general use now is a powerful way to undo this damage, forge better alliances, and prepare to meet whatever dangers are to come.
* * * * * * *
With a correct paradigm, practical methods and useful tools, you can make yourself whole.
As stated in the Preface caveat, according to the Positive Paradigm, everyone is already intrinsically whole. Put another way, “God don’t make no junk.”
This is the wisdom behind the biblical admonition, “Ye must be perfect like your father.” However, just as Einstein had the Unified Field Theory, but didn’t know it, each and every one of us on the planet is perfect in potential: made in God’s image. But we’ve forgotten.
Worse, many have been deceived into believing they’re inherently not-okay. The Handbook confirms inherent wholeness. Its structure provides the practical foundation for actualizing in-born potential and initiating the ongoing process of making and keeping ourselves FUNCTIONALLY whole, over and over again.
The subtitle Make Yourself Whole Using the Wheel of Change isn’t intended to suggest that this or any other book can magically or literally make anyone whole, or that once through the book, you’re done. It requires not only initial work, but ongoing follow-through. It’s personal intention and consistent effort that produce results. This is just a really useful tool.
However, just as Einstein already had the Unified Field Theory but didn’t know it, each and every one of us on the planet is perfect in potential: made in God’s image. But we’ve forgotten.
Worse, many have been deceived into believing they’re inherently not-okay. The Handbook confirms inherent wholeness. Its structure provides a practical, hands on method for waking up. The goal is to remember and actualize in-born potential. It initiates the on-going process of making and keeping ourselves FUNCTIONALLY whole, over and over again.
The subtitle Make Yourself Whole Using the Wheel of Change isn’t intended to suggest that this or any other book can magically or literally make anyone whole, or that once through the book, you’re done. It requires not only initial work, but on-going follow-through. It’s personal intention and consistent effort that produce results.
This is just a really useful tool.
But it is tremendously important to start this life journey with a reality map that accords with the way things really are.
As written in Rethinking Survival:
Chances of success in life are slim to none without an accurate reality map. It’s imperative to have a complete picture of your potentials along with a correct understanding of the world around you, and what’s required to survive in that world.
Basing decisions on a worldview that’s distorted, incomplete or otherwise out of synch with the way things really are seriously diminishes chances of survival.
In times as dangerous as these, it’s more important than ever to make sure you’re operating on complete and correct information.
Unfortunately, many have been led to believe, not only that they’re no-okay, but that they have to look outside themselves for permission to be okay, usually at a stiff price. There’s a method to this madness. It’s the subject of a section in Rethinking Survival.
. . . tyrants want you to sleep on. They’ll do anything to prevent you from remembering that you’re inherently okay. Because once you do, as Einstein did, no one can intimidate, control or dominate you. You’re aware that nothing anyone has for sale can make you more perfect. Nor can anything that anyone threatens to take away alter your essential okayness.
It’s your inalienable birthright. A given.
The Positive Paradigm is the viable basis upon which to build valid self-esteem. It’s the key to personal freedom — freedom from ignorance, freedom from fear.
It’s the rock-solid foundation of functional democracy. It’s grounds for rethinking what the word really means and how to implement its promise.
One minor caveat: it all depends. While we all have the option to remember who we truly are, most of us are like Lambert, the sheepish lion. It takes a smack with a two-by-four upside the head before we’re finally ready to wake up.
Often it takes the form of life-threatening danger to those we care for. A personal health crisis will also do the trick. So will job loss or a run-in with natural disaster.
But, like Dorothy stranded in the land of Oz, when you want dearly enough to return “home,” you can click your heels whenever you chose — and come to find out, you’re already there.
Useful tools do make a difference, however. Part Four of The Handbook gives examples of putting the Wheel into motion. Part Five supplies instruction on how to modify the Wheel with virtually limitless applications to suit personal interest and needs. Forms supplied in the Appendices help complete the process.
For example, Rethinking Survival show my personal, evolving uses of the Wheel:
Over time, I began sectoring the circles into quarters, giving it North-South, East-West compass directions. I cut out a single eye from a graphic tiger and pasted it into the center of my template Wheel to represent the all-seeing eye of Horus.
I plugged the aspects of my daily life into the model. I chose major categories: work, personal life, social life and public service. I used it to analyze where sectors had changed to take too much or too little space within the wheels, where the layers had grown too thick or thin, or how sectors or levels were coming into conflict.
I repeatedly worked with this information to bring the various demands on my life back into balance, to continuously reintegrate the aspects of daily life.
Later, I found it necessary to break the quarters down into smaller subcategories. The concentric wheels began to look oddly like the twelve-sectored zodiac used by astrologers to diagram the placements and interactions of planetary energies.
I used the model not only to organize the sectors of my life, but to plan for alternative futures. I used it to picture not only where I was, but where I intended to go and what changes were necessary to get from here to there.
Another time, I used the Wheel to record my life history. I used compass North to mark my beginnings. On the surface I noted the date and place of my birth. On the middle level, I plugged in the names of my parents and grandparents. I created new sectors (pie-slices of experience) for each move, from Peoria to Boston to Arizona to Buffalo and so forth.
Inside, I drew significant events and people associated with each time in my life. I used stick figures striding along the surface to represent me in the role I played at that time. I drew happy or sad faces to indicate my state of mind during that particular period.
My personal work with the Wheel over many years has evolved into the inclusive method presented in the Handbook.
Corollary A: The Positive Paradigm of Change is the ultimate answer to the ultimate question, “What is that, knowing which, all else is known?” It’s proof that humans are made in the image of the Creator — the microcosm mirrors the macro. It’s the universal confirmation that everyone everywhere is inherently okay.
The purpose of working with the Wheel of Change is to remember who you truly are, to repair the pattern and make yourself whole.
Corollary B: The Wheel can be used to discriminate between absolutes and ephemerals. The “small stuff” goes on the surface. Unrealized hopes, dreams and plans fit in the middle level. Basic commitments are placed close to the center, next to guidance and connection with conscience.
The Wheel can be used to separate the signal from the noise. Used as a meditative practice, it is a discipline for quieting the mind, withdrawing from draining distractions, eliminating bad attitudes and healing negative emotions.
The Wheel serves to prioritize the levels. By placing first things first, you can see what’s irrelevant and weed it out of the picture. Once conscience as your ultimate personal survival guide is placed at the center, then everything that gets between you and your conscience is recognized as antithetical to ultimate survival.
Corollary C: Those who’ve done the hard, honest work of mental house-cleaning not only understand themselves better, but also others as well. You can’t leave a place you’ve never been.
But once you’re been there and prevailed, you’re in a much better position to empathize with and serve others humanely. Nor can you be easily fooled. Compassionate, skillful leaders/therapists have earned their in-depth worldview through experience.
Conversely, those who block out memories or reject some sectors and levels of experience find it difficult to relate to the needs and experiences of others which they’ve rendered invisible to themselves.
Corollary D: Especially in dangerous times, changing the world is an overwhelming, seemingly impossible prospect. But that’s not your job, nor do you need to be overwhelmed. It doesn’t matter how much is going wrong “out there.” As your primary responsibility, the one manageable unit is the one closest to home: yourself.
The premier self-management method for linking and balancing the levels of the Wheel is the Motive + Purpose + Intent formula given in Chapter Five. Using the Wheel, you can map out and balance the Why (motives) at the center with the How (actions) in the middle level and the What (results) on the surface.
With this process, there are always choices. Hence the motto, “Because I can’t change the world, I change myself.” The world is a great motivator. The time to remember and wake up is NOW, while there’s still precious time left!
In the face of daunting odds, there’s comfort in the wisdom of quantum realities. The beating of a single butterfly’s wings can change weather patterns continents away. The same is true of personal change. The long-term effects of personal improvements and good deeds may never be known to the doer. But as a simple law of nature, good karma returns over time, exponentially.
Corollary E: Unity is accomplished through personal effort, one person at a time. Attempts to enforce global unity through world organizations operating at the surface of the Wheel are unnatural, unrealistic and no matter how seductively presented, “scary bad.”
Corollary F: Numerous authors have written about to the necessity of changing from the inside out. They include, but are not limited to, Stephen Covey, Jon Kabat-Zinn, Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz, Dr. Phil McGraw, and Julie Morgenstern. The Positive Paradigm Handbook is a useful compliment that gives a memorable picture of the dynamic process which they all advocate.
A positive worldview can be built upon the first six axioms. Along with a suggestive few of the many possible corollaries which can be deduced from them, they form the foundation upon which to build a happy, productive and successful life.
The seventh axiom concludes that, with the established basics of a memorable, simple but complete and correct paradigm plus a handful of useful tools, the Positive Paradigm of Change can become integral to thinking and action, restoring the original birthright of wholeness.
The next step is to demonstrate how these baseline principles can be applied to everyday, practical concerns. After a brief look at dysfunctional paradigms in Part Three, Part Four will proceed with specific examples, followed by the hands-on opportunity in Part Five to create and change a personal Life Wheel.