Category Archives: Millennials

I’m Writing To . . .

 

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Like magic, hints about the baby steps to take next have been coming from all directions.

Today, I’m writing in answer to a comment made on Two Out of Three Isn’t Enough:

Hi Patricia, I enjoy your writing style. That said, one must write with a target audience in mind; at least commercially. Otherwise you are just writing for yourself.

For a split second, I went on the defensive.

What??!! Just mental masturbation? Focus on making money?

This particular LinkedIn connection has followed my posts from the beginning. He should know me better by now.

To state once more what I’ve repeatedly said, I write because — like so many men and women – my lonely, early years were haunted by unspeakable specters of suicide and abuses of power. If what helped save me could, paid forward, make a difference in even one life, it would, for me, be enough.

To save one life is to save the world entire.” This is the mantra that keeps me going late nights, after daily tasks are completed, even when my physical body urgently wants rest.

Though surely not intended, what “a target audience” conjures in my mind is the image of armed game hunters dressed in orange and camo garb, scouting for animals to snuff the life out of and eat for dinner.

Not that I haven’t given conventional writers’ wisdom – “know your audience” – some thought, thank you anyway. I have. A lot, in fact.

Here’s part of the problem. The Life Wheel is universal. It offers a scientific underpinning to support humanistic calls to live in peace. As written in Sages and Scientists Can Agree on This, it has the potential to restore awareness of the common humanity everyone everywhere shares in common.

On the opposite, shadow side, today’s lack of a universally accepted, complete and accurate paradigm answers the plaintive question, “Why can’t we all just get along?” Limiting, misleading paradigms are a root cause of widespread conflict and suffering in today’s dangerously volatile world.

Everyone is fascinated by both sides of change. On the one hand, we yearn for positive improvements. On the other, we dread the unknown. That’s because no one taught us the survival basics in school. We never learned how the dynamics of duality drive relationships in the world. We don’t know how to balance yin-yang opposites to maintain stability, first within, then without.

So we remain conflicted – on all levels. Ambivalent. Paralyzed. In fact, lack of survival basics has become our Achilles Heel – our fatal flaw.

Change is a word on the lips of CEOs, politicians, radicals, therapists, pastors everywhere. All use it. But very few have an in-depth understanding of what it’s about, much less have the methods and means to act as effective agents of positive change.

That’s one reason why I have a problem with niche thinking. The current trend of carving humanity into smaller and smaller, mutually exclusive either/or interest groups is a symptom of the fragmented, isolating thinking we desperately need to overcome. . . . which the Life Wheel has the potential to heal.

Fortunately, however, this coin has a flip side too. Being universal, the Life Wheel can be brought to life – animated and applied to illumine each and very tiny corner niche.

So, I’ve done my bestest to go with the flow of common wisdom.

For example, for a time I focused on MILLENNIALS. Being tech savvy, I thought, they are especially well qualified to resonate with the digital technology of the Book of Change — The I Ching. Further, they’re the ones most disillusioned of the “American dream.” Being less invested than their elders in prevailing, dysfunctional paradigms, I thought they would “get it.”

In When the Lights Go Out, Who Will Millennials Call? I wrote what still reads to me like a wake-up tour de force.

I continued with Good News and Bad News for Millenials.

Did any one get it? What more can I say? (Perhaps, I sometimes think, someone else might say it differently and better.)

Nevertheless, I tried again, suggesting what could have been billion dollar game and app ideas in An Inner Compass App for Millennials

Response? Instant contact from a venture capitalist. He wanted to pick my brain; tried to coerce me into signing a non-competition agreement that would, in effect, block further blogging. So sorry. No can do. (Reminded me of Hannibal’s words, “When the lamb cries, the wolf comes. But not to help.”)

Next, in frustration over the foolishness of a self-proclaimed millennial leader who didn’t get it whatsoever, I wrote What the Generations Share in Common.

So, moving on to other audiences.

The I Ching has been the primary decision-making tool used by LEADERS in every walk of life – government, military, monastic, medical, mercantile . . you name it . . . for thousands of years.

So I applied the Life Wheel, as the next generation Book of Change, to address a host of leaderships issues. For example, in response to a direct question, I wrote How Bad People Become Leaders; and then Savvy Leaders Go with the Flow.

In True Leaders Trust Their Inner Compass to Over Come Confusion, I introduced the Life Wheel to Authentic Leaders who already accept the importance of following their North Star.

In The Positive Paradigm Handbook: Make Yourself Whole Using the Wheel of Change, I’ve shown how THERAPISTS and SELF-HEALERS can turn the Life Wheel into a diagnostic and a decision-making tool. I have a special fondness for Jungian analysts, and said so in Therapists as Positive Change Agents.

For those who chose to frame their truth in the language of PHILOSOPHY, I wrote Change the Rules of the Knowledge Game. Here I focused the Life Wheel on the field of epistemology – the (politically charged) study of who can know what, and how.

The list goes on.

But . . . I still ask myself, how does one “target” the diverse and widely scattered audience of readers who hide painful dark secrets under the facade of their ordinary lives as housewives, students, soldiers, athletes, priests, poets, politicians, CEOs, entrepreneurs and on and on. . . ?

How does one “target” the hidden army of loved ones so poorly equipped to win the war to rescue sons, daughters and spouses from quiet desperation?

How does one effectively extend compassionate hope to the multitude of isolated, face-saving power abusers in high office — addicts driven by psychological forces outside their conscious awareness, rendered taboo by current dysfunctional paradigms.

How do I tell all of them, that like me, with the I Ching as a confidential best friend, they would find out that they are never, ever truly alone. And that everyone can choose to change for the better.

With its wisdom and support (explain its magic as you will), I have brought myself back from every temptation – from hated, the impulse to revenge, from self-pity and despair.

With its help, I’ve gleaned the benefit of lessons to be learned from adversity.

It has inspired me, instead reacting against abuse and succumbing to the danger of becoming an abuser myself, to live and to serve as a healing beacon to others.

What follows is a personal example of desperation and life-saving help excerpted from Rethinking Survival:

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The scriptures were inspiring. [the swami] cynically perverted them. A pundit disciple based in Minneapolis initiated gullible students in the rituals of guru worship. This aristocratic charmer held Western seekers in contempt and dummed the teachings down.

The powers of this smooth, flamboyant “holy man” were foreign to Western sensibilities. He flaunted a repertoire of magic tricks. He could change blood flow in his feet. He read minds and hypnotized students.

He reportedly bilked American students out of thousands of dollars for nonexistent hospitals in India.

By his own admission, disciples in India would have burned his ashram to the ground had they known he was habitually performing sexual tantra (rape) on unsuspecting American women. . . .

At his ashram in Rishikesh, India, three women he’d seduced got together and traded information. We realized none of us was a “special exception” to his vow of celibacy.

When we blew the whistle, he flipped out. Tantric teachings, he raged, were sacred teachings. Exposing them would damn us forever. We were terrified and backed down.

To the detriment of other relationships, I obeyed his command, “Keep still!!”

Covering his backside, the swami informed his psychologist henchmen that I was “mentally disturbed.” Protecting vested interests in their careers, they treated me as if I were crazy.

It took years to get over the pain, anger and confusion caused by their betrayals.

But I healed. I used yogic introspection to get over it mentally. To repair emotional damage, I turned to Traditional Chinese Medicine. For solace and hope, I looked to the New Testament.

But my best friend and advisor throughout was The Book of Change. I didn’t dare talk with people who knew the swami. They would have turned against me, not helped.

His powers were outside the experience of university-trained therapists. There were no qualified professionals to turn to.

Confiding in family was out of the question. If I went to them with one problem, I’d end up with two.

But with the I Ching, I could be completely honest. It has no agendas. Opening my heart to ask my questions was like talking with my True Self. Its answers rang true. Instead of tearing myself apart by warring against abuse of power, I used it to turn inward to the higher authority I could trust: my own conscience.

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Gatekeepers & the Knowledge Industry

The following open letter to physicist/author/media personality Dr. Michio Kaku virtually wrote itself. I was attempting to work on a very different, scheduled blog, but it nagged at me until it was finally posted on LinkedIn.

It leaves me with questions and second thoughts. Some, for example, have to do with the many levels of gatekeepers who guard the doors of the knowledge industry. Colleges and Universities grant degrees. Federal and state departments of education regulate curriculum and license those deemed qualified to administrate and teach in public schools. Professional associations certify members to practice in specific fields. Until recently, the publishing industry held yet another monopoly on the content and distribution of knowledge.

In all cases, the front side of the gatekeeper coin is “quality control.” The public interest is being protected,” is the rationale. But the opposite, back side of the same coin is the vested interest of insider power-holders in maintaining a status quo that operates to benefit a few at the expense of the many.

An overriding survival question looms large. Who protects the interests of the public from the multitude of self-interested gatekeepers? I speak with the authority of experience. My statistical research dissertation inadvertently proved with .99% significant results that the selection of principals in Wisconsin public schools is a closed shop, decided in an informal pre-selection process by existing administrators.

To discredit the messenger bearing this unwelcome news, professors used punitive grades to guarantee that I’d never teach at the university level. Just an example. It’s water long since passed under the dam. No real loss.

The point here is that the public loses big time when the knowledge industry devolves to the status of a power fiefdom. Nor do I post blogs with the expectation of winning popularity contests now. There’s far more at stake. Human survival hangs in the balance.

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An Urgent Open Letter To Michio Kaku

Dear Dr. Kaku:

Recently I received two messages apparently prompted by books on Einstein, Human Survival and the Positive Paradigm of Change. They deserve your attention. One claims to have found the Holy Grail of Physicists for which you’re also searching. The other asserts that I must submit my work, which if correct, would “revolutinate” physics, to the test of mainstream scientists. Both were sent by LinkedIn connections I’ve never met personally.

Someone of your stature and professional qualifications is best qualified to answer them. I can, at best, make a few personal comments from my point of view.

The first message was sent by a researcher educated in Madrid, now residing in Argentina. Jorge Barcellos lists Portuguese and Spanish as languages of proficiency. English isn’t on the list, though he seems to do okay.

In light of earlier blogs on Millennials, his avatar choice is especially interesting. It’s an Einstein photo and quote: “I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots.”

I responded to his original invitation with another Einstein quote, the premise of Rethinking Survival. “We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive.”

Here’s what he wrote back:

Dear Patricia.

I finished this year’s work of uniting the whole physics.
I managed to complete the dream of Einstein.
The theory of everything is a theory of information.
which clearly demonstrates the existence of a creator.
Continuity of Awareness after death.
Board quantum mechanics and relativity theories about the same algebraic theory and simple.
Resolving the apparent paradox between time-space between the two theories.
And also 100% compatible with the classical mechanics and electromagnetism.
In general the theory unifies all the physics goes beyond allowing join the religious understanding of the existence of the universe!
However it is not very different from the final agreement would be imagined by physicists in the past!
The grand universe is a quantum computer that uses strings on your hardware!
And it creates in its interior a holographic structure that is called reality!
What I am describing here all the math supporting structure is not philosophy!
It is the result of a string theory in 5 dimensions!
Thank you for listening.

Jorge Barcellos.

WOW!

His closing, “Thank you for listening,” is poignantly simple and humble for someone who has accomplished a work with potentially huge historical impact. Why?

After taking a few days to think this over, I sent back a brief message thanking him for contacting me. I asked if he had published his findings, or is planning to. (It would seem that if Jorge has truly accomplished what he claims, his name would be worldwide news, well-familiar to everyone.) So far, no response.

Is he, perhaps, relatively unknown, as am I, because his work has necessitated working alone (as did Einstein’s until his discovery was completed and confirmed), sheltered from the slings and arrows of outrageous academic-publisher politics?

I have no doubt that all that he claims is possible. Even so, giving him this benefit of the doubt, I still have reservations. Most importantly, it’s this: Sages throughout time have discovered the Unified Theory of which I’m speaking, but experientially – not intellectually. This inner knowing transformed their lives, exponentially improving the quality of their personal relationships and physical health, as well as giving them supernatural, seemingly magical power over the forces of nature.

This inner illumination is not unique. It’s the essence of the perennial philosophy that pervades the world’s enduring religions. Everyone, everywhere shares this same innate potential for transformation in common.

So many questions. Why did his choose to share his discovery with me? Was it because his work confirms and reinforces mine?

Does Jorge intend, as do I, to use the Unified Theory which completes Einstein’s work to facilitate the new way of thinking which might – just maybe – ensure human survival? Would it be used to protect us from the consequences of poor decisions made by leaders by whose technology exceeds their humanity?

What does he foresee as the consequences of his work, for himself and for others?

Has he remained in the shadows for fear that his work will fall into the wrong hands? This scenario is far from impossible After all, Einstein’s work was not used (as it might have been and still could be) to unify and lift humanity, but rather to build atomic bombs. Could this knowledge be used against humanity again, for example, to build high-tech, genetically engineered robots like the death-dealing “Sentinels” envisioned in the latest X-Men movie?

On a lesser scale, could Jorge be anticipating the vengefulness of professional rivals? The possibility is not unheard of. For example, it has been suspected that Mozart’s early, unnatural end was orchestrated by the jealousy of a lesser composer, Antonio Salieri,

Does Jorge dread the consequences of truth-seeking like those suffered by the medieval philosopher featured in last week’s post, Abelard? Power holders accused him of heresy. He was obliged to recant. His books were condemned and burned. He died in prison shortly afterward.

Or is it possible that Jorge dreads the competitive politics of mainstream academic scientists, who have a vested interest (on many levels) in preventing his ideas from getting into the hands of those who would use the information to change their lives – even society – for the better?

After all, tyrants hate truth and go to extraordinary lengths to bury it, discredit its messengers, and use the legal system (via exclusive contracts,non-competition agreements, dead-end patent lawsuits, the IRS . . . whatever dirty tricks work) to prevent life-saving ideas from reaching the public.

Can I help ensure that Jorge’s work reaches the new breed of humanistic corporate leaders described by Art Kleiner in The Age of Heretics – those who can and will put his ideas to good use? With the little clout I have, I’ll do my best!

I devoutly hope, Dr. Kushi, as a wielder of far greater clout in the fields of both physics and public opinion, that you too will give him the benefit of the doubt, do whatever it takes to bring these potentially scale-tipping ideas to the public, and protect their creator from the slings and arrows of outrageous academic politics.

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The second message I mentioned came Roberto Neves Silva. It’s copied to an intimidating list of scientists (much longer than the message itself). Their names suggest worldwide membership.

Roberto lists Portuguese as his native language and claims proficiency in English. He gives his location as Brazil and occupation as Prefeitura do Municipio de Sao Paulo –1993 – Present (21 years).

He lists the acronym EPCAR to represent his education, which he apparently assumes is meaningful to others. I searched several places, but the only EPCAR that comes up on the web is the East Polk County Association of Realtors. I don’t think that’s what he means.

Here’s what he sent:

I have read your ideas on your website
I see that if you are right it would revolutionate physics.
It must be tested by physics mainstream scientists, how many of them agree on test your theories ?

An extraordinary number of assumptions are packed into this brief communication.

First, it’s doubtful that he did little more than scan. Had he read thoughtfully, he would know for a certainty that he’s addressing someone who doesn’t agree with his faith in empirical science as a method for arriving at Truth.

Second, he assumes that he and/or his mainstream peers have the authority to require that my ideas be submitted to their validity tests. (Does he believe I am held to this standard as an absolute, regardless of whether or not I agree with it?)

Third, he assumes that my ideas aren’t valid until/unless a certain number of scientists test and validate them. From my point of view, Truth is not a matter of consensus. It certainly doesn’t require a stamp of approval from mainstream academic authorities (some of whom may be far afield from Truth themselves). I trust, Dr. Kushi, that you would agree.

The kindest response I can muster is simply to repeat, the Unified Theory of which I speak is first and foremost experiential. Its origins rest deep within each of us, at the center of the Life Wheel – something taboo and outside the narrow, constricting parameters of empirical science. Like Einstein, I’m advocating, as a matter of human survival, a substantial rethinking of this incomplete, dysfunctional paradigm.

Nowhere do I claim that the ideas I’m presenting are revolutionary. Though presented with a model that meets the dual standard of Occam’s Razor – utmost simplicity with maximum inclusiveness – the basic concepts are not news.

Nor is revolution in my worldview a positive value. According to the Chinese Book of Change, revolution simply implies revolving back and forth in cyclical pendulum swings over time, accomplishing little of substantive value.

In contrast, the Positive Paradigm of Change which embodies Einstein’s Unified Theory reflects the unchanging essence of eternal Truth as it has been consistently experienced by the deepest thinkers of every generation.

Truth itself is not revolutionary. Rather, time and time again we fall asleep. When inspired teachers or sudden shocks have the effect of reawakening us to who we truly are, we only imagine that it’s new and for the first time.

My bottom-line response to the verification demand: Truth is not subject to the whims of power-holding gatekeepers or rules of democracy, where the most influence and/or votes win the day. Consistent with Gandhi’s worldview, One with God is a majority.

The ELEVENTH HOUR

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In drafting “Do You Have the Time?” I brainstormed all the possible ways this seemingly simple question can be taken (and mistaken). Different interpretations yield significantly different answers.

I also browsed for clip art clock faces to illustrate my point. Coincidentally, the one I chose adds yet another perspective, giving the question a deeper, philosophical meaning: “Do you know what time it is in your life?”

What stage of personal evolution / growth are you going through now? From a larger, historical perspective, what point in its life cycle is your business, nation or even the world experiencing today?

The pictured clock face shows the stage many say the world is now in: its eleventh hour.

Even then, there are different views as to the best way to respond to being at the eleventh hour in human history. The cliché is currently used to mean “running out of time, at the very last minute, or almost too late.”

But biblical origins of the cliché offer an alternative viewpoint. In Matthew 20: 2-16, laborers hired at the last, eleventh hour worked for only an hour. But at the end of the day, they received the same reward as those hired early in the morning, who had worked all day.

Christ’s parable of the eleventh hour epitomizes the hope humans have in God’s compassionate mercy. It’s never to late to change. It’s not over til it’s over.

(Of course, there is no such thing as coincidence.)

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Do You Have the Time?

Early this morning, I was startled awake by a cell phone alert. The power was out – for a second time. The first outage occurred over night. I was still asleep, so didn’t know the difference.

Roommates who commute long-distance to work got started just before the electric garage door came to a standstill. (They don’t know how to open it manually.)

Emergency protocols immediately kicked into place. I reached out in the dark for my wind-up flashlight. It was where it should be, on top of the disabled alarm clock. It supplied enough light to find a second, larger LED flashlight. It too was where I expected, on my work desk next to the powerless computer. I made my way carefully down the pitch black stairwell.

Next: get the battery-run lanterns out of storage. In one, the D-cells had gone dead. Look for back-ups.

Fortunately, there’s a battery-run wall clock by the main office door that keeps accurate time. Which is the subject of this post. “Do you have the time?”

Have you ever thought about how many different ways there are to answer this seemingly simple question, “Do you have the time?” My smart-mouthed high school friends, for example, would have answered, “If you have the nerve.”

The most straight-forward response is to look at a time-piece and give a literal answer. It’s 6:30 in the morning.

Alternative answers go along the lines of, I don’t have enough time . . . . to get the many tasks that need doing done well . . . to take care of my health . . . to check in on elderly relatives. Etc. etc.

Philosophical answers might include regret for the shortness and uncertainty of life. “Here today. Gone tomorrow.” Or, as the carved and painted wood plaque over my Grandfather’s fireplace mantle put it, “We get too soon old, and too late smart.”

Which brings me back to the point where I left off in the last post, “Rethinking Our Common Humanity:”

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.

Most of us live as if today will last forever. We prefer to live in the moment. In part, this is a good thing. The mindful focus of a “Be here and now” attitude allows us to savor our immediate blessings.

However . . . on the other hand, heedless lack of foresight can have extremely dangerous consequences.

Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow add up, inevitably sneaking up from behind like a thief in the night when least expected. (And not just a temporary power outage like this morning. Think Pompeii.)

Impending disasters, even those right before our eyes like handwriting on the wall, can catch the unprepared off guard, robbing them of the precious time which could have been used to wake up from their deep soul sleep and re-member who they truly are.

I understand. Given today’s economy, many have little choice but to live hand-to-mouth. Check-to-pay-(or welfare)-check. Even the well-off who could afford to prepare are besieged with putting out day-to-day fires — or by other glittery distractions.

There’s no time or energy reserved for assessing possible risks. It’s not a priority to think through “If / Then” preparedness scenarios.

I find it most peculiar that even Millennials, who have grown up fluent in computer-driven technology, usually don’t apply if / then computer logic to their personal decision-making and daily behavior. This makes them even more ill-equipped than their elders to cope realistically with sudden change.

For example, in a personal email sent in response to “Give Millennials an App for Their Inner Compass,” Tom Richards detailed his frustration with Millennials:

I live in NJ where Hurricane Sandy hit dead center. Devastation like you would not believe. No power in most of the state for over 8 days. Here are actual examples which I came across immediately following the storm . . .

1. An hour after the storm ended, early in the morning, a car load of kids in their mid-twenties got stuck in a washed out piece of road in front of my house. No power, of course, and trees down everywhere. When the kiddies came to my door to ask to call for a tow truck, I had to laugh. When I asked them why the hell they were out on the roads, in their PJ’s none the less, immediately after the storm of the century, I got this. “We don’t have power and want coffee and breakfast. We are going to WaWa to get some.” Didn’t even dawn on them that if they have no power, and the state has no power, the WaWa doesn’t have power. Nor did it dawn on them that with the storm and devastation, that the people who work at WaWa would not be able to go there and open it for them.

2. Three days later the local farmers market opened, even though they only had power to keep the refrigerated items going. No power within 3 counties at this point. A young couple who lives two doors down needed food. Went to the market and came home empty handed. They had no cash, and the store was obviously only able to take cash. They pay for everything with their debit cards. Never dawned on them to have some cash around for emergencies and things like this. They were mad that the store wouldn’t sell them anything nor that they couldn’t take the debit card. It also is interesting that they never even thought to prepare even though warnings were given over and over.

3. My daughter and her friends were hungry. Her friends hadn’t had a hot meal in days. Plus, it had gotten cold and most had no heat. They came over to our house. Saw we were using my wood stove in the music studio to cook on and stay warm. It never dawned on them (or their parents, which frightened me) to use their BBQ propane grill or make a fire to cook with nor to build a fire in their yards to at least get a bit warm.

4. Just about every traffic light was out, and roads were blocked by either police or downed trees. I cannot tell you how many younger people stopped in front of my house when they saw me there to ask me how to get to a certain place, and also how many could not understand when I gave them road names where those roads were. . . .

What most amazes me is that repeatedly, after each disaster, whether natural or man-made, in media interviews, the “victims” chant the same mantra. “It was a WAKE UP CALL.” But life goes on. After the initial shock wears off, people get mired once again in the routines of daily living. And they forget. They go back to sleep.

We aren’t changing! And time is running out. As the late computer leader-innovator Steve Jobs poignantly observed:

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

Time is a blessing and a luxury. None of us knows how much time we have left to WAKE UP, think, prepare, and perhaps survive whatever is to come.

Commenting on “Change the Rules of the Knowledge Game,” Peter Fellingham gave his opinion:

Another reason why people avoid critical thinking is because it usually results in significant introspection. Introspection tends to make clear the responsibility the individual has for the resolution of their own troubles.

I answered back:

Peter, you’ve pinpointed the blind spot in curriculum — the information deficit of which I speak. Clear & critical thinking isn’t often taught in schools, nor are problem-solving tools provided as essential basics. They should be.

Then there’s the question of motivation. Requires a carrot & stick approach. The stick is awareness that laziness comes with horrific consequences. The carrot is assurance of the benefits which accrue to living a self-responsible life.

In part, people often avoid issues they find too fearful to face. If there truly are no better options, and only dangerous consequences, keeping still is an understandable choice. However, if better options ARE available, then making them known and available is an important first step in positive change. That’s what I’m working to accomplish.. . .

So, if you and/or those you lead and care for have been avoiding introspection, if you’ve been ignoring the warning signs and denying fears for the future, waiting for dangers to miraculously disappear and problems to be solved without effort, it’s time to take the striking two-by-four hint from escalating wake-up calls worldwide.

It may be a matter of survival to rethink priorities while there’s still precious time left to do so. Ask, If not now, when?

And consider the likelihood that the life / family / organization you save may be not only yours, but those in generations to come.

What the Generations Share in Common

Before writing on ways Millennials might use an Inner GPS App to decide where they want to go and how to get there, I searched the web for similar posts. There are tons of researched opinions on what Millennials want and need.

Marketers survey Millennials asking what they want to buy, from whom, and why. Business experts list the leadership qualities Millennials need.

But this particular approach is more inclusive. It goes a bit deeper.

Even in a world gone mad, as members of the human species, our basic wants and needs remain the same. On the surface of the Life Wheel, we all need food, clean water, shelter and clothing to survive. Some sleep also helps.

In a civilized world, we need the means to purchase these basics: income and/or a job. Respect in the larger community also helps.

At the middle energy/emotion level of the Life Wheel, most of us want to be accepted and supported. We want to feel secure. We want to enjoy the pleasures of life and, whenever possible, to avoid pain. In sum, we want to share our lives with fellow human beings.

At the innermost level, we crave answers about the purpose and meaning of our lives. We seek value. The boldest and bravest even aspire to know Truth. We want to know what Love IS. We crave unity, the stuff of Einstein’s Unified Theory, but continue to look for it in all the wrong places. (That, however, is the subject of another post still on the drawing board.)

The question here, however, is Where in a high-tech, polarized world gone mad, where the levels of the Wheel are fragmented and out of synch, can Millennials go to fulfill these universal requirements?

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Behind Millennials’ bravado and superficial social masks, their woes aren’t much different than they’ve ever been. The Buddha put suffering in perspective by promising to bring a dead child back to life if the grieving parents could find any household in the local village that had not been visited by death.

But of course, they could not.

The recent public revelation by movie star, political activist and philanthropist Jane Fonda translates universal suffering into today’s familiar terms. Her mother, Frances Ford Seymour, committed suicide at age 42 when Jane was 12. Only recently did the facts come out which led to closure. At age 76, to write her memoir, Jane looked up her mother’s medical records. There she found the key to understanding her mother’s behavior. From age 8, Frances had been the victim of sexual abuse.

Nor has life exempted me. My father, William Kirby West (named for his ancestor William Kirby Brewster, one of the earliest pilgrims who sailed from England to the New World on the Mayflower), committed suicide when I was 6. Since the subject was taboo in my dysfunctional family (a mirror of the dysfunctional society at large), no one told me the truth. I grew up believing my heart surgeon father died of a sudden heart attack at age 33. Only when I was 50 did my failing mother finally “remember” the facts surrounding his death.

This isn’t my only personal story. For example, (if you’ll pardon a bad pun), Swami Rama was one of the first to introduce yoga to the West. His front was that a celibate monk who’d taken vows of poverty. But appearances were deceiving.

Behind the scenes, he was a bold-faced hypocrite, liar and sexual predator who betrayed the trust of his students. A Yoga Journal author called his abuse of Tantric teachings “spiritual incest.” Translate: rape. In the hands of this opportunist, the teachings (a priceless heritage) were a convenient “product” that thirsty, naïve Americans wanted. He used them to make himself (for a short while) very rich and somewhat famous.

Oh well. “Something’s lost but something’s gained in living every day.”

The point here is that I haven’t allowed the slings and arrows of outrageous misfortune on the Wheel’s surface to define me. Instead, I’ve chosen to live by my mottos. First, “Take the best. Leave the rest.” Second, “Resist not evil. Persist in the good.”

I’ve repeatedly healed – made myself whole again – thanks to my inner apps (in this case, based on the King James version of The Bible and the Chinese Book of Change). I trust that nothing that happens on the surface can touch or change the essence of who I truly AM.

This blessing, the Inner App, is what I would love to share with millennials, as well as the parents and grandparents who dearly wish them well. It necessarily starts with a complete and correct reality map that puts the whole of life into perspective.

Here’s a picture of universal needs, wants and aspirations and the ways many millennials seek to fill them:

MILLENIALS.sized

An aside to millennials. The world of hurt we’re in today was foretold by Christ and foreseen by yogic seers long before that. It has been a long time coming. Today’s mess cannot be taken personally. Nor is it appropriate or helpful to blame your elders. (If you believe in karma, consider that, even if for reasons unknown to you now, you’re the one who picked the time and place of this particular incarnation, maybe to fulfill an important purpose).

Be that as it may, put things in perspective. You think your elders let you down; but they were equally disappointed by theirs. On the opposite side of the coin, each generation of elders continues, for the most part, to sincerely do the best they know how, often in the face of terrible odds.

So let’s cut each other some slack.

Millennials as well as their elders are welcome to come aboard the Inner App project. After all, it’s in everyone’s best survival interests.

For if we taught ourselves to think holistically, in concentric circles, and if we organized / prioritized our lives accordingly, we’d begin thinking like Einstein, like geniuses.

If enough of us tuned in to the universal inner compass and began treating each other with compassionate respect, we’d fulfill Einstein’s dearest wish and start getting along. It might even tip the balance of history in favor of human survival.

Because that truly is what’s at stake.

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Where in the Wheel Are We NOW?

Utopia.sized

Comments on my last post, A Philosopher’s Response to Boomer & Millennial Blogs, are the logical springboard to a series. This the first installment.

Jerry Pociask (Life Coach | Inspirational Mentor | Author | Speaker) remarked, I have seen this diagram many times in the past.

Of course. This archetypal, mandala structure repeats in every civilization throughout history. It’s a map of the basic internal dynamics that make everyone, everywhere tick. It’s present throughout the records of cultural anthropology and embodied in the creation stories of the world’s enduring religions.

What IS news here is that this perennial diagram is also the stuff of modern physics, as well as the foundation of an inclusive Self-Awareness psychology. Rethinking Survival correlates this universal pattern with both the ancient Chinese Book of Change and Einstein’s famous formula of energy conversion.

It describes the universal pattern:

The Positive Paradigm’s Synthesis Wheel mirrors the micro-cosmic structure of atoms as well as the macro-cosmic structure of planetary systems. At the microscopic level, its concentric rings mirror the structure of atoms around a nucleus. It equally mirrors the symmetry of the planets orbiting around an organizing star, the sun. On the largest scale of magnitude, it reflects the in- and out-breaths of perpetually expanding and contracting universes.

This familiar atomic structure repeats smallest to largest in the patterns of nature, from snow flakes and intricate flowers to spiders’ webs and sea shells. Similar symmetrical patterns repeat worldwide in the art of every culture — including the prayer wheels of Native Americans, the colored sand mandalas of Tibetan Buddhists, the stained glass windows of European cathedrals and the intricate geometrical patterns that cover Muslim Mosques, to name but a few.

They offer proof of the universal awareness of a central inner reality, of an inner structure common to all humanity — a continuity of experience deeper than individual lives or transitory cultures.

This structure continues to take on new expressions to meet the unique needs of immediate times. Today is no exception. Star Wars and the Indiana Jones movies are examples of how a timeless fascination with the war between good and evil is being retold using modern technologies. Today, a worldwide audience relates to archetypal adventure stories reenacted by dynamic action heroes.

Similarly, The Positive Paradigm Handbook gives new clothes to the timeless perennial philosophy. It is intentionally designed to meet the needs of decision-makers in every walk of life. Its practical methods and examples show how to personalize the timeless pattern, first bringing one’s individual life into alignment with the universal pattern and then restoring harmony to a chaotic environment.

For example, the universal pattern has been modified to use as a method for restoring mindfulness to the decision-making process. It emphasizes the critically important relationship between self-awareness and effective leadership.

Be Aware.sized

The Life Wheel in pristine form is complete. The levels are all present, correctly prioritized, and in balanced proportion. Were our lives so complete, we would be called “perfect.” Were our society equally whole and balanced, it would be called “Utopia.”

Few of us are there now. Although originally created in the image of the Creator, as a consequence of our own choices and actions over a very long time, our personal Life Wheels have become fragmented and “bent out of shape.” Like Dorothy stranded in the Land of Oz, our dearest, deepest wish is to find our way home again.

Getting there requires a map, methods and proactive discipline. Converting the abstract Wheel into a practical diagnostic tool is a first step. The self-healer can use it to diagram the immediate situation, design a better future, and then decide on the steps necessary to get from here to there. Initially, the levels and sectors of one’s own life are drawn into a Wheel template. Then, taking a sequence of steps one-at-a-time leads towards the experience of an increasingly full and satisfying life.

For example, here is the diagram of an intermediate Life Wheel. It pictures the “state of the art” of an individual whose life is a work in progress. The X at the center represents the conviction that there is no God. The possible existence of a vital center has been ruled out. The innermost level of light (intuition, guidance) is therefore missing.

fagmented

Nevertheless, this improved personal Wheel a represents a major step forward from the starting point. New sectors have been added. Excessive focus on the Professional sector has been reduced and brought into relative balance. The sliver of a missing Family sector has been restored to the picture. An honest NO to the question of whether life is experienced as fulfilling has resulted in the decision to expanding the Entertainment sector to include time for self-improvement.

Redrawing the map can become a daily morning discipline. Ask yourself, “Where in the Wheel am I NOW?” And, if you don’t like it, “What am I willing and able to do about it NOW?”

In addition, however, there’s plenty more work to be done. This is just the tip of the iceberg of what’s possible.

Jerry Pociask’s comment hints at what’s next. He concludes, The diagram can be applied in so many ways . . . unfortunately it probably isn’t available on mobile phones!

That’s where I’ll begin next time.

How Can I Be More Clear?

Whenever I tweet Einstein’s warning — “We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive” — Twitter followers favorite and retweet it. But it seems as if anything longer is too much for the majority with little time (and/or short attention spans).

So here — in pictures and bullet points of 140 characters (or less) — is a summary of my work:

  • Paradigms (ideas, beliefs) rouse emotions, which in turn fuel the actions which generate results.
  • Complete and correct paradigms result in positive emotions and lead to well-being in every area of life.
  • Incomplete, dysfunctional paradigms fragment the mind/body. They result in misery and failure across the board.
  •  Tampering with the consequences of dysfunctional paradigms doesn’t help.
  • Restoring a positive paradigm is the basic first necessary step in generating positive change.

HERE IS THE COMPLETE AND CORRECT POSITIVE PARADIGM OF CHANGE:

PPoC Wheel

  •  This mandala picture repeats in artworks throughout the ages, worldwide. It is the basic archetype of the human psyche.
  •  It embodies the timeless basics, consistent with what Aldus Huxley called the “perennial philosophy.”
  • It is also compatible with the philosophy of the Book of Change, the Chinese I Ching.
  • The PPoC places the three variables of Einstein’s formula of energy conversion into the concentric circles of a wheels-within-wheels model.
  •  The PPoC embodies the Unified Theory which Einstein sought, and ironically already had, but for lack of yoga wisdom, didn’t know it.
  •  The PPoC is a worldview which answers Joseph Campbell’s call for a way to recognize the humanity of a man on the other side of the globe.
  •  This model of change is equally compatible with ancient yoga, the world’s enduring religions, and modern physics.
  • It mirrors the basic structure of natural creation, from the atom’s rings around a nucleus to planets revolving around the sun.
  •  The center of the wheel is the unchanging source of life. We emanate from and return to this eternal source.
  • The PPoC is the picture of human completion. Each individual contains all the potentials of the entire universe.
  • To the extent we have forgotten this, we bring misery and destruction upon ourselves and others.
  • We are bent out of shape in countless ways. Levels are dissociated, unbalanced, unprioritized or even cut out entirely.

HERE IS A PICTURE of WAYS in WHICH the PPoC WHEEL of LIFE IS DISTORTED:

 

0 Bent out of shape

  • To reverse this process, re-member and restore our True Selves, self-actualizing potential, is each person’s primary personal responsibility.
  • Lasting, enduring change begins only from the inside out, and one person at a time.
  • The Positive Paradigm Handbook gives the step-by-step method for initiating this positive change.
  • At this critical point in history, human survival can no longer be taken for granted.
  • As Einstein warned, “We will require a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive.”
  • The Positive Paradigm Handbook gives the method for cultivating this new manner of “thinking like a genius,” making theory REAL.
  • Millennials, who have little vested interest in prevailing dysfunctional paradigms, are our best hope of the future.

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Sometimes I get discouraged. (Today especially.) Current events seem to parallel the story of Noah, who prepared to face immanent danger alone in his calling.

I begin to doubt whether it’s worth the time and personal anguish to keep writing. It seems as if, no matter what I say or do, people will persist in ignoring every wake-up call, heedlessly scurrying about their daily errands as if blocking out anything/everything they’re afraid to face will prevent the unthinkable from happening to them.

But then I remember the words from the end of Schindler’s List that have become my mantra, “To Save One Life Is To Save the World Entire.” In PPoC context, each of us IS a universe complete. This Talmudic saying is literally true. So I continue to write, passionately hoping that the life which could be saved is yours.

Do humanity a favor. Reblog and share this message of hope with those you love and wish well, as I do.

To Tell the Truth

To tell the truth - image.jpg

Bogus claims about new I Ching sciences remind me of the long-running TV game show, “To Tell the Truth.” In this format, three challengers are introduced to a celebrity panel, each claiming to be the featured guest. Impostors can lie and pretend to be the central character. Only the real one is sworn to tell the truth. Panelists are challenged to ask penetrating questions, see through deceptions, and correctly identify the truth teller.

In this game reality, the best liars are rewarded. But that’s not how it works in the real world. There’s nothing entertaining or ultimately rewarding about deceiving the public. Yet, at this stage of history, it’s nigh unto impossible for all but the most discriminating (in the positive sense) tell the difference between imitators and the “real deal.” Shameless parodies of wisdom traditions abound.

Hucksters out to make a quick fortune while basking in their 15-minutes of fame misrepresent both their intentions and abilities. The sure-fire get-rich formula of “spiritual” entrepreneurs is to tap into people’s deepest desires and fears. Associate your product with an accepted wisdom tradition to piggy-back on its credibility. Offer gullible marks whatever it is they want on the one hand, and guaranteed protection from the consequences of stupidity on the other.

In a crowded market place full of unscrupulous pretenders, how do messengers of substance and integrity stand out from the noisy crowd? Even screaming isn’t heard over the ruckus. Their only option is to play by the rules – quietly, persistently Tell the Truth.

In my last blog, I stood up to a Millennial I Ching pretender. But as soon was that posted, an even more outrageously upside-down New Age pitch came in via the website contact page. This one (again, no names) proposes to change the course of civilization by gathering statistical proof of a timeless, transpersonal “force” (for a donation, of course). Those who hurry can get a free game stone now, before they’re sold for a hefty price. All major credit cards accepted.

Sigh. Statistical methods associated with the prevailing empirical science method may appeal to “rational” intellectuals stuck on the material surface of the wheel. (See illustration below.) But quantifiable evidence is irrelevant to the middle and innermost levels of the Positive Paradigm of Change.

The first false premise is that the rational mind is sufficient to comprehend, analyze and “prove” with its puny methods the existence of the Universal Mind. How comical is that? It’s like a flea presuming to do the metaphorical elephant the favor of confirming its existence to other fleas. (The flea’s arguments make a difference to the elephant because . . . . ?)

Further false logic goes, “Since the source is infinitely powerful, and we as individuals partake of it, therefore we are equally infinitely powerful.” Wrong! (Boooo!) This is like a drop of water claiming equal partnership with the wave within which it rides.

Still more ridiculous is the assumption that we as individual drops of water can make the tidal waves of history change direction – as if puny humans had the superior wisdom and power to influence the forces of nature and Nature’s God.

As a reminder, here’s the Wheel of Change. It reinforces both the appropriate relationships amongst the levels and the value of linking them in a two-way, infinite loop. Each of the outer levels is an extension of and depends upon the deeper ones for its existence. Never the other way around.

082214 to tell the truth

The value of the I Ching, correctly used, is to serve as the energy-level bridge that links reason on the outermost level with innermost ways of knowing – intuition and conscience.

A basic premise of New Age I Ching distortions is that superior humans, if they don’t like the current course of history, can just rewrite history, avoiding the consequences of past action. That is not positive change. The attempt is a delusional waste of precious time.

Today’s place in history is the cumulative consequence of thousands of years of poor choices. To continue an earlier thread, keep in mind the Old Testament prophet Daniel. He foresaw an end time followed by a new beginning. There is no short-cut from here to there that by-passes the tough part of the process he envisioned.

Those who intend to survive to partake of that new beginning would be far better off to heed what is written and align themselves with the tides of Titanic times, rather than resisting or presuming to circumvent them.

Here’s a hint and reminder of what is to come, with its reference to false paradigms (unsustainable foundations of civilization) as “feet of clay” from the King James version of The Book of Daniel:

2:28: But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets

and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days.

Preparing now for inevitable changes to come is a personal choice and responsibility, accomplished first on the inside, one person at a time. The basic axioms and methods offered in the I Ching-compatible Positive Paradigm Handbook facilitate that powerful personal change. The purpose is to replace the unsustainable, corrupted foundation of false paradigms (feet of clay) with a complete and correct paradigm. Like childbirth, the process isn’t necessarily fun, but the outcome is worth it.

2:44. And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom

which shall never be destroyed . . it shall stand for ever.

Daniel’s vision of this basic truth was written long ago. (Daniel 2:45. . . The dream is certain; and the interpretation thereof sure.) He’s a central character who told the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but.

To Tell the Truth is the longest-running show in history. It’s not a game, however, nor is it for the faint of heart and spirit. But our very survival is at stake.

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