Tag Archives: compassion

If You Love Your Children . . . .

jigsaw

The missing piece of this post finally fell into place on Christmas Eve of 2017.

I’ve been building on straight-talking Dr. Phil’s excellent advice. If you love your children, tell them how the world works.

I take this to mean that life goes better for those operating on a complete and accurate reality map, who know how to navigate through tough times. It saves the pain and confusion most of us feel, wandering through life blindly bumping up against walls.

My earlier quest was to recover the reality maps missing from childhood years, which I somehow knew must exist. Then it became my life work to share what I’ve been fortunate to find.

To my way of thinking, it is the greatest gift one can give, especially now, at seasonal low ebb, as prelude to the New Year’s returning light.

So I honor psychologist Jordan B. Peterson’s commitment to basic truth telling. I recognize him as another soul compelled by circumstances to the same archetypal quest, however different specific details of the journey may be.

I find the nobility of his compassion for young men especially moving. In his own unique way, the Professor is pouring himself into the work of providing young people – and the parents and grandparents who dearly wish them well – positive means for pushing back against the destructive influence a corrupt education system.

The latest gift added to the common sense tool box is 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos. Timing being everything, release is scheduled for January of the New Year, 2018. At the invitation of a literary agent who suggested Dr. Peterson make his ideas accessible to everyday, non-academic readers, he spent five years completing this project.

JBP described the content to Dave Rubin. Essentially, his book advises people to “man up.” All of us have the potential to be much better than we are. Before criticizing the world, our first responsibility is to improve ourselves with discipline, carving out meaning in our lives as a bulwark against the chaos of life’s inevitable hardships.

An especially telling book review listed on amazon.com describes 12 Rules:

Firm but caring. . . . Peterson speaks the way I always wished my father had. . . . He is the right man at the right time, someone capable of showing young men that cleaning up their room has cosmic significance, and that imposing a little order upon chaos is good for the soul, which in turn is good for the world.”—National Review

Lest inevitable trolls claim that he is giving his all only to get rich, let me remind you. He’s made it clear. Personal gain isn’t his motive. In fact, as he warns students, after achieving a certain level, additional income makes no difference to the quality of life.

He already earns enough for his family to live comfortably. He takes no pleasure in the hassles that come with sudden notoriety. He endures them because he has chosen to aim higher – for quality of outcomes.

I’ll give you two good examples of his compassion in action.

On Nov. 17 Andy@andysoraluce tweeted to Dr. Peterson:. . you’re the father I never had :’ )

JBP acknowledged Andy’s message same day, answering, And you’re the son I don’t know . . . get out there and nail it home.

This brief exchange drew 469 likes, 27 retweets and 15 comments.

John The Red tweeted, This is one of the many reasons why we all like you, sir.

Maggie Mae Megan responded, What a great answer.

Cassaubon wrote, I’m 47 years old and never since my high school Philosophy teacher has an academic had such a profound intellectual impact on me. Even greater than an intellectual impact: I feel as if my life has shifted towards an ideal; JBP has helped me seek out and find meaning in life.

jbp w friends

My second example is another exchange that took place on November 16th.. The place: the UW-Madison’s Educational Science Building. The lecture’s subject: Campus Indoctrination.

In the body of his talk, JBP explained:

One of the hallmarks of both post-modernism and ideological thinking is the proclivity to reduce very complex phenomena to a single causes.

One cause used by ideologues to rationalize overthrow of the established order is “thrownness,” meaning the “arbitrary nature of human being”:

. . . you’re a certain race and you’re born with a certain level of intelligence, let’s say, although that can be impaired certainly with enough effort. You’re born in a certain culture with a certain language and in a certain socio-economic class and with a certain degree of attractiveness. And those are all things that are handed to you.

He paraphrases the argument:

The talents and catastrophes of life are by no means equally distributed. From the perspective of the standards of human justice and perhaps human mercy as well, there is something intrinsically unfair, unjust about the structure of existence itself.

Basically, because the distribution of wealth is unequal, life is inherently “unfair.”

The Neo-Marxist argument is flawed, however, because . . . the finger is always pointed at inadequate social structuring as the root cause of suffering. It’s so naive, it’s difficult for me to understand why people can possibly fall for it. There’s the hope that suffering can be relieved if we can just organize our societies properly.

Of those who promote simplistic, counter-productive ideologies, he says:

That’s a consequence of giving your God-given soul over to human dogma. And the universities are absolutely complicit in this. They take young people’s minds . . . they’re more or less looking for an identity . . . and no wonder . . . and they teach them this idiocy.

It also got personal. A questioner asked for JBP’s response to a slanderous article published against him in a campus newspaper, The Daily Cardinal. He dismissed it as “nonsense:”

The ideologues who pen that kind of nonsense have constant themes. Anyone who disagrees with them is pathological in some manner and uses the right of free speech to exercise that pathology. Well, No! Sorry! That’s not the case. . . . It’s palpably absurd.

It was during the Q & A session, the Dr. Peterson again demonstrated compassion. A student raised his hand:

Student: Now for starters, I feel kind of terrible for writing that article. [Laugher and applause from audience.] To give credit where it’s due, it was co-written with others, and I hoped it would come across a little more thoughtful and serious.

JBP: [Roars with laugher.] Are you serious???

Student: Yeah.

JBP: It’s very brave of you to be standing there.

The student persisted, asking a question based on Neo-Marxist assumptions. Picking up on the observation that young people are looking for identity, he wanted to know how to cope with the by-products of social unfairness – alienation and loneliness.

Student: My question isn’t about [the article], but more about identity. Really, what you see in the sense of thrownness. It’s a consequence of human nature. Human nature creates hierarchies.

Hierarchies exclude or groups exclude. It’s necessary to sort. But what we see with a lot of the sorting is that it’s arbitrary. And it’s not the arbitrariness of nature, but rather the arbitrariness of the structures of society.

Maybe nature lends itself to creation of arbitrary structures within society. But then people self-identify with these categories. And these categories may be outdated or based on old understandings that ultimately lead to greater estrangement. So the question is, How do people reckon with the parts of their identity that may or may not contribute to environments where people feel more estranged, more alone?

Dr. Peterson answered:

JBP: That’s why you educate . . to separate the wheat from the chaff. Because you’re a historical creature. And it’s outside of you and inside of you.

And some of it is dead and corrupt, as you just said. And the estrangement is for no functional reason. It’s counter-productive. But until you understand the structures, for better or for worse, you’re in no position to do anything but make it worse.

The purpose of a liberal education is not to turn you into an avatar of capitalism, or of democracy, for that matter. The purpose of a liberal education is to enable you to comprehend the history in which you’re embedded, and then to act as an agent to reconstruct and revitalize that hierarchy.

But that’s a serious matter. And at 18, right out of high school, with no experience whatsoever, and no real education, you’re in absolutely no position whatsoever to be protesting about the structure of the Western world. It’s like, No!

Your observations about the fact that people are alienated by structures: absolutely. It does sort. And it sorts harshly. And of course, because you’re young, you tend to be sorted near the bottom.

But then he softened his remarks by adding encouragement.

JBP: Except I would point out that you’re young, and there’s really something to that. You might think that you have no power because of that, but I can say, You have all the power that youth gives you. And that’s not trivial. Power doesn’t lie where it’s obvious. It really doesn’t . People have more power than they think. But they squander it. They often squander it on ideologies, when they’re not just wasting their time.

And, finally, approval.

JBP: So anyways, it was very brave of you to stand up and ask that question, and take all that. [Huge audience applause.]

In sum, his fundamental attitude of respect earns him respect in return.

Phoenix - sized

Of course, there’s much more to be said on the subject, but that must wait for another day. For now, let me close by giving you the missing puzzle piece I mentioned at the start. On Christmas Eve, I found it in Jesus Calling in the reading for December 25. It describes the purpose hidden in the Christ child’s unfair start.

Try to imagine what I gave up when I came into your world as a baby. I set aside My Glory so that I could identify with mankind. I accepted the limitations of infancy under the most appalling conditions – a filthy stable. . .

I became poor so that you might become rich.

So, please take a minute to think about it. What if you too came here on a soul mission, given challenges perfectly matched to your unique calling? What if you too have infinite inner resources to draw upon in fulfilling the deeper meaning and ultimate purpose your life?

What if life is complex and and mysterious, but inherently just?

It’s quite possible.

Food for thought.

Angel Calling

 

An Inner Compass App for Millennials

In a LinkedIn post, MC wrote We’re strongest when we stand together.

I agree whole-heartedly. So here’s a high value, practical project which tests our mutual willingness / ability to push past apparent differences and take a common stand. Together, we have a unique and powerful opportunity to bridge the generation divide in a way neither of us, separately, can.

The project idea was confirmed by a response made by Tom Richards [Brand Builder for Bass and Guitar Manufacturers] to my earlier Response to Millennial and Boomer Blogs.

For starters, Tom wrote, My metaphor is the map.

Yes. The map is my metaphor too. From 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.

Intellectual smarts and material resources on the surface of the Wheel aren’t enough. Lacking competence at the middle, energy level of the Wheel (street smarts) and a functional connection with the inner core (conscience), you can’t get from here (a world in desperate need of positive change) to there (the better world we passionately long for).

However, without an in-depth, comprehensive awareness of what change (natural vs. man-made) is about, and — most importantly — the unchanging creative source of all creation, it’s nigh unto impossible to achieve the personal and social change everyone wants, many promise, but few succeed in achieving.

Moving along. Tom complained, This generation looks for an app to tell them how to go. They do not even attempt to learn directions, understand where towns are in relation to each other, do not ever attempt to really learn their local surroundings, or how to navigate without the old GPS.

Earlier, I placed the seafaring navigator’s compass at the core of concentric circles to image the inclusive, universal nature of the Positive Paradigm. It correlated this technology with Einstein’s beloved compass and his plea to live by the all-encompassing inner compass of compassion which everyone, everywhere shares in common.

Inner Compass.sized

But, as Tom continued, My step-daughter refused to listen to me when I told her she needed to learn how to read a map and basic orienteering skills to navigate with it. She stated she had a GPS and an app.

I wrote The Positive Paradigm Handbook to supply a user manual for successfully navigating the ultimate reality map. It’s seven basic axioms translate roughly as “The Operating Rules of the Game of Life.” Mercy abides at the center of the wheel. The dog-eat-dog Law of the Jungle often prevail on the surface. But what most of us are missing is the middle link between those extremes: the Law of Karma – translate as the Law of Consequences. Those who live mercifully receive attract mercy to themselves. Those who live like animals die like animals.

Lao Tze, who knew a great deal about Natural Law, put it this way:

There’s always a terminator who destroys.

There’s always a place in nature’s plan for predators

who prey on the weak and defenseless.

However, those who serve this purpose

rarely escape annihilation.

Those who don’t know the Rules of the Game (or are foolish enough to think they can be outsmarted) inevitably find themselves, like Tom’s Millennial step-daughter, lost and in a world of hurt:

When I got a call from her an hour later because she was lost and the location her GPS gave her was wrong (and actually off by about two miles because of a paper road that did not exist in reality but was in the GPS map) there were literal tears.

In the long-term, most of us would benefit greatly from rethinking our reality maps (paradigms). In the short-term, however, as a useful step in that direction, it would help to go with the flow of available technology.

Earlier, in “Where in the Wheel Are We NOW, I wrote, The universal structure of the archetypal Wheel continues to take on new expressions to meet the unique needs of immediate times. 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.

The Positive Paradigm of Change could easily be programmed as a computer game with the structure of cause and effect consequences, featuring all the action drama of the war against good and evil, the hunt for lost treasure, and whodunit mystery.

To bridge today’s generational gap, we need to give Millennials an app that includes a method for mapping their lives — one that confirms and restores access to the ultimate guidance system of their inner Global Positioning System. This app could be used on a daily basis to answer the personal questions, “Where in the World Am I NOW?” And, if it’s not where one intends, “What am I willing and able to do about it NOW?”

Here is an updated version of the Wheel. The old-fashioned compass has been replaced by the GPS icon (same concept, next generation technology).

GPS.sized

MC, here’s where you and I, by putting differences aside and working together, could accomplish seeming miracles. What I have to offer is a lifetime of truth seeking, as well as a bit of writing. It is the work of a very private person content to live quietly in rural America. But to take this work the next level, it has to be placed it in the hands of future generations.

If you’ll forgive me, it reminds me of an example of teamwork from my undergraduate years at Oberlin College. Sitting around a bar table on a late Saturday night, drinking beer with a group of close friends, my boyfriend told a joke about a chimney sweep. It ended with his throwing a priceless golden brick up into the air. Fritz laughed hysterically. No one else saw the humor. They shrugged and we moved on.

Then it was my turn. I told a joke about a mountaineer who, at the pinnacle of his climb, reached up for a flying object as it sailed past and caught . . . the golden brick. Groans around the table.

The point here is that as a Millennial with peer credibility and social media savvy, you have the ability to access the game-programmer and investor resources needed to develop this Inner GPS app. You also have the proven marketing skills to make it go viral. This is an opportunity to make all the wonderful, valid hopes for positive change you placed in a political election really happen!

I emailed the app article idea and mentioned my intention to invite you on board to PF – the one who commented on your post, saying You don’t need to belong to a group to achieve something of lasting value or temporary glory (if that’s what you’re after), because you are already significant as an individual.

He replied, I like your GPS reference. If MC is a genuine person she may be eager to get on board.

Is he right? Are you in? What about the rest of you?

Oh. In case you’re curious, I’ll tell you. I’m 69 years-old and counting. I was born in August of 1945 within days of the atomic bomb explosions over Japan that blasted an estimated100,000 shocked souls out of their bodies, scattering them screaming, screeching and howling in pain and rage into the upper atmosphere.

My parents were horrified, as was the world at large. Not to mention Einstein, who as a violinist and humanist like myself, was later my childhood hero. I’ve taken his words to heart and made them my motto: “We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive.”

Although I’m an early Boomer, I never identified with my generation. MC grew up listening to the music of Boomer parents – Bonnie Raitt. the Stones, Jefferson Airplane and Carly Simon. But I was sustained by Bach, Mozart, Beethoven and lesser knowns including Tartini, Vivaldi and Vitali.

In fact, I have greatest compassion for millennials. I never bought into the dysfunctional paradigms responsible for the dangers of today’s world (and have paid the price). I’ve always thought that, as the ones with the least vested interest in the status quo, they’re the ones most capable of making the positive paradigm shift which might – just might – ensure human survival.

That’s why this maven has summoned the courage to call upon an accomplished connector with ties to the salesman community. Standing together, let’s Tip the Balance of history in favor of a genuinely positive paradigm shift.

One final note. Folks in my household think blogging is a waste of my time. No one is listening. No one cares. I’ve promised that if there’s no response soon, I’ll desist. But I’m betting that millennials (as well as the parents and grandparents who dearly wish them well) will prove them wrong. Like the Nazi-spawned Hydra (if you’re into Capitan America Marvel movies), today’s world leaders may mistakenly think they stand to profit from nuclear destruction of holocaust proportions. But I must trust that We the People won’t allow it.

globe

Scientists & Sages Can Agree on This

Today’s effort started with a most excellent blog tweeted out by Mike Lehr of Omega Z Advisors: “The essence of #leadership in a single word blog.omegazadvisors.com/?p=2696.

It looked interesting, so I clicked on the link.

Yup. The major puzzle pieces are there. Vision. Strategy. Idea. Inspiration. Speaking directly to my subject, he states, “Leadership is about change.”

So I tweeted back, “I totally agree about inspiration and change, Mike. But then, how do we train such leaders?? I have a few suggestions. All best.”

Within a day, Mike tweeted back,“Post them somewhere, Pat . . .”

So here’s my short version of how to train leaders who are equally inspired and effective — a picture worth a thousand words.

The BEST LEADERS ARE SELF-AWARE

061614 Wheel

BE AWARE of

What You’re Doing and Why

The Life Wheel, the Positive Paradigm of Change, is a modern day descendant of the time-tested Book of Change that leaders have consulted for over eight-thousand years.

It places the three variables of Einstein’s famous formula, e = mc2 mass, energy and light, on increasingly deeper levels within the Wheel. The result is the Unified Theory which Einstein already had, though, sadly, lacking yoga background, didn’t recognise. This wheels-within-wheels model is equally compatible with modern physics, yoga philosophy and the world’s great religions. It is a reality map upon which scientists and sages can agree.

  • The intuition Mike describes fits within the WHY level of the Wheel. This innermost level of Light is associated with spiritual guidance and flashes of genius. Unless integrated with the ability to strategize and implement, however, vision and insights fail to manifest as practical results.
  • Emotions (including empathy) and strategy belong to the middle HOW level. The Energy layer is associated with street smarts and Emotional Intelligence. Magnetism and charisma emanate from this level, but unfortunately aren’t always integrated with integrity, intelligence and practical organizational skills.
  • Purpose and outcomes belong to the surface WHAT level associated with tangible, measurable results. The Mass layer is the realm of quantifiable IQ as well as biological family and social/political connections. Persona (mask) and personality are surface appearances. They don’t necessarily reflect actual motives and feelings. (This is why merely imitating the words and actions of great leaders doesn’t have the same affect).

The three outer levels are interrelated and interdependent. Each is necessary but not sufficient. Their existence depends on the unchanging hub of the Life Wheel. The true SELF — also called Conscience, the Tao or God — holds the spokes together as events on the Wheel’s surface rim change continuously. Creation in the form of primal consciousness emanates from and returns to this silent alpha-omega center.

Inspired leaders are Self-aware. Positive leaders link inner vision with compassion to generate practical results. They serve as organizational catalysts, bringing out the best in others by example. Like stringed instruments, we resonate when true leaders strike a universal chord, set in motion by a deeper music.

This paradigm of completion is “positive” because all the levels of experience are included and correctly prioritized. None are excluded. None are out of place. The levels are harmoniously linked in an infinite, two-way continuum of creative balance. (This is the holistic picture of unity or “yoga.”) Mindful of Einstein’s warning that problems cannot be solved at the same level they are created, it pictures the deeper levels where we can first get unstuck, and then travel deeper to where the genuine solutions we dearly need and seek can be found.

Prophetically, Einstein warned about the dangers of inverted priorities: “The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.” Today, more than ever, the world urgently needs leaders who remember their gifts and use reason correctly.

An important first step in training better leaders is to convince educators/executives/politicians and their students/employees/supporters of the grave dangers inherent in prevailing, incomplete and inaccurate paradigms. Then, it requires rousing sufficient courage to make a paradigm shift.

What could be more powerful motivation than the pending threat to human survival?! For today’s un-in-formed leaders are undeniably steering planet Earth towards a catastrophic disaster that dwarfs the Titanic’s collision. Einstein wasn’t exaggerating when he observed, “We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive.”

Decision-makers and leaders in every walk of life can make themselves whole by using the method outlined in The Positive Paradigm Handbook. In addition, it gives a practical standard for assessing leadership potentials, training better leaders, and choosing which ones to follow.

All best!

globe