Tag Archives: education

Put the Common Core Back in Common Core

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Restore the Common Core” is packed with implications for education and, ultimately, human survival.

For those who haven’t been following articles posted on rethinkingsurvival.com over the past year, here’s a brief summary of the concepts embedded in the Life Wheel.

arrow bulletThe Positive Paradigm of Change is a model equally compatible with the perennial philosophy embodied in the world’s enduring wisdom traditions and with modern science. It serves to bridge the gap between religion and science.

arrow bulletThe Life Wheel with its concentric circles and central, unifying hub pictures the multi-level structure of creation. This form is repeats throughout nature, from smallest to largest. It pictures the organization of snowflakes, each unique in form but identical in basic structure. It pictures the rings which orbit the nucleus of each atom as well as the planets which circle our sun.

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These circles correspond with the three variables of Einstein’s formula, e = mc2. Ironically he had the Unified Theory, but for lack of yoga background, didn’t know it. Briefly, the levels include the material outermost level of observable, measurable, tangible objects, then a middle level associated with energy (chi, prana) and emotions. Still deeper resides a level associated with light. It correlates with the experience of intuition or guidance. All three depend on the Source of Light – the unchanging silent Eternal, beyond duality and therefore beyond words.

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These levels are not actually separate. They function as an interrelated and interdependent whole, linked in an infinite, two-directional in- and out-breathing loop. Those who experience this whole succeed in integrating the levels of daily life with conscience. Those who separate the levels, who ignore some at the expense of others, prioritize levels incorrectly, or place them in conflict, will eventually find themselves in deep trouble.

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This universal concept can be pointed like a laser beam in any direction to illumine the field. For example, the three levels of the Life Wheel correspond with three levels of law: human, natural and divine. This relationship is acknowledged in the Declaration of Independence, which refers to the laws of Man, Nature and Nature’s God.

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A second example explains differing types of intelligence. On the surface, intelligence which divides and argues (using and/or abusing the tools of reason and logic) is measured by the standard of IQ. More recently, it has become fashionable to speak of EQ, or emotional intelligence associated with the middle, energy level. Deeper still is the intelligence described as intuition or inspiration. All these center around a common core which can be called “Conscience.”

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A third example is the use of the Wheel as a linguistic tool. Most words shift meanings depending the level of experience they describe. In the example shown here, the popular concept “Common Sense” shifts meanings with each level of the Wheel. When the levels are linked and experienced as a continuum, Common Sense partakes equally of intuition, gut feeling and sound reasoning.

Now, how is it that this Unified and potentially Unifying Theory gains so little public traction? It begs the question to simply say that many people, for a multitude of reasons, are too highly invested in the status quo. Given the life threatening circumstances that confront us, why is there still such powerful resistance to a return to what the wisest among us have consistently taught from the beginnings of time? Where is the method to the madness?

In partial answer, I offer excerpts from earlier works. The first spells out just how important paradigms are. They make the difference between success and failure, ultimately between survival and extinction. The second excerpt suggests there are deeper dimensions at play. After these two excerpts, I’ll apply all of the above to the restoring the true, eternal Common Core to the progressive/Marxist political/educational curriculum inappropriately called Common Core.

globe bullet sizeWHY PARADIGMS MATTER

Ideas drive results. People’s beliefs color their feelings, triggering basic emotions which in turn drive their actions.

Actions that stem from a simple, complete and accurate paradigm result in personal fulfillment, harmonious relationships, and economic prosperity.

Actions based on false, incomplete and inaccurate paradigms, however well intended or passionately defended, are the cause of widespread misery, suffering and deprivation.

A fatal information deficit explains the worldwide leadership deficit and related budget deficits.

In a dangerous world where psychological and economic warfare compete with religious extremism and terrorism to undo thousands of years of incremental human progress, a healing balance is urgently needed.

Restoring a simple, complete and accurate paradigm of leadership and relationships now could make the difference between human survival on the one hand, and the extinction of the human race (or the end of civilization as we know it), on the other.

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ALIEN INVADERS

Alien invaders infiltrating Planet Earth, weakening humans to eventually take over and enslave them, is a familiar theme in science fiction. For example, in his various incarnations, Dr. Who — television’s time traveler — continuously detects nefarious alien plots and rescues heedless humans from annihilation.

Current events indicate there’s considerable truth cloaked in that science “fiction.” Starting with the premise that hidden alien enemies are covertly scheming to undermine humanity, ask, “How would they set about to destroy us?” Logically, they’d create chaos, setting everyone at each others’ throats. They’d trick humans into mutual self-destruction by stirring up dissension and fragmenting their governments.

It’s an absolute priority for evil aliens to attack the mind. Their agents will do whatever it takes to pollute your mind. They confuse it with false paradigms. They clutter and distract it with the ongoing media circus. Every doubt planted in your mind, causing you to forget who you are, to disbelieve in your ultimate origins and creative potentials, is a victory for the dark side.

To totally undermine humanity, atheism is a must. The unifying beliefs which hold families and nations together and fortify them in times of adversity must be destroyed at all costs. Again, how would this be accomplished?

For one thing, language which makes communication and community-building possible would have to be polluted beyond repair. In the English language, for example, every value word has devolved to mean both one thing and its opposite. So people often talk at cross purposes, unaware that they’re missing each other coming and going.

Divide and conquer. Pit each group against the others. It matters not to them which side wins. Let Sharia law advocates, members of Putin’s Eurasian Union and American exceptionalists squander their precious resources duking it out. If they destroy each other and no one’s left, so much the better.

Alien invaders delight in cheating. They stack the deck, gumming up the works with lies and disinformation driven by dysfunctional paradigms.

If you accept the game and its rules as alien agents define them and proceed to rebel against uncivil authorities, mindlessly hating and resisting, YOU LOSE. (Alien invaders win.)

If you give all your attention to what other guys are doing wrong, playing the role of contrarian, YOU LOSE. (Alien invaders win.)

If you quit on humanity and live only for yourself, leading a life of self-centered indulgence, YOU LOSE. (Alien invaders win.)

If you persist in thinking narrowly in terms of political interests and institutions, not human survival, YOU LOSE. (Alien invaders win big time.)

The only chance of winning — ultimately, surviving — is to demand a new, clean, unmarked deck, one with all the cards. In other words, make a fresh start based on an accurate, complete Positive Paradigm.

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My younger brother once riddled me, “How many legs does a donkey have if you call it’s tail a leg?”

His solution: “Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg.”

Even so, tacking the label “Common Core” on a curriculum doesn’t guarantee that the substance includes the basics on any level of the Life Wheel. Logic and reasoning skills are deficient; emotional intelligence is insulted, not enhanced; the existence of divine law is excluded, if not ridiculed, as an option.

It’s a matter of human survival to take back the language. Then restore accepted access to the true, eternal Common Core as part of a genuine, complete and accurate education in the true meaning of the word – “leading from darkness to light.”

Conform: Exposing The Truth About Common Core And Public Education by Glenn Beck & team places the political/educational monstrosity called Common Core directly in the camp of the evil aliens described above. They start with the premise, “Information is power. Those without it have nothing. Those with it will always have CONTROL.” They state:

The dumbing-down of America is good for one group and one group only: those who currently have all the power and control. By maintaining a failing system they are forcing a collapse that will have only one “savior”: the federal government. And that’s exactly how they want it.

They continue:

We now stand at the precipice. On one side is the complete nationalization of education and complete loss of local and parental control. On the other side is a complete educational revolution – one that is rooted in individuality and that follows the principle of “maximum freedom, maximum responsibility.”

Sadly, 180 + pages of Conform are dedicated to argument and expose. Less than 30 pages are dedicated to solutions. And these, unfortunately, are limited exclusively to political measures. The most fundamental problem, the lack of a complete and accurate, unifying paradigm is neither acknowledged nor addressed. Deeper underlying origins of conflict as well as the source of genuinely positive solutions are overlooked.

Yet restoring the unifying basics of the perennial philosophy – the True COMMON CORE experienced as COMMON SENSE – an experience equally available to everyone, everywhere – is what might (just might) turn the tide of human history, tipping the balance in favor of human survival.

What Glenn Beck & company has exposed is a radically dangerous situation that calls for opposite and equally radical (truly radical) solutions.

Herein lies the opportunity hidden in dangerous times. In larger context, material resources aren’t that significant when compared with the intelligence, inner strength and inexhaustible vitality available to those whom circumstances oblige to return to the less tangible but very real levels of inner experience.

The disenfranchised (whose numbers increase exponentially with each passing day) experience the results of the prevailing materialistic, conflict-paradigm as catastrophic. They no longer have vested interests in the status quo to protect. They are the ones most likely to find the courage to move forward once again into the past, recovering the timeless treasures buried deep within the perennial philosophy of the world’s enduring wisdom traditions.

Now, as when Christ walked the Earth, the true fundamentalists and radicals (both words mean the same thing!) aren’t members of conflicting extremist groups who meddle with events on the material surface of life’s wheel. They are highly motivated individuals with the vision and determination to change themselves from the inside out. Their shining examples have a ripple effect, gaining momentum through time and space.

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* N.B. The current trend towards disempowerment of the masses is prelude to oppression and tyranny on an unprecedented scale. Co-opting education in the guise of Common Core, turning public school children into Nazi-cloned, obedient zombies, is one piece of a much larger puzzle. Attacks on Second Amendment rights is another. See: http://writerbeat.com/articles/4737-Should-civilians-be-allowed-quot-military-style-quot-guns-

Survival Basics We Didn’t Learn in School – But Should Have!

Thinking – really thinking – about way the world works and how we fit into it is essential to human survival. This, in large part, depends upon careful, conscious use of the primary tools of logic and language.

Digging deeper than programmed assumptions to understand what we truly mean is one of the basic skills we never learned in school, but should have! Being able to clearly express our concerns and insights is equally important.

This includes knowing the precise definitions of words – how we intend them, as well as the many ways they can be misconstrued by others who use them differently.

Each of the 64 Essays in Conscience: Your Ultimate Personal Survival Guide addresses the Tower of Babel dilemma, where it’s shown that the words we use every day have devolved to mean one thing as well as their opposites. Each Essay highlights the many different meanings assigned to a single, key concept in the English language. Each then focuses on the word’s use in the context of the natural law encoded in the Chinese I Ching.

Westerners, for the most part, remain ignorant of the order implicit in dynamic natural law, as well as the critically important, two-way role it serves as the “middle man” gatekeeper between human and divine law. We suffer the adverse consequences of this blind spot in every aspect of our lives. Unfortunately, even many urban, “modern” Asians seem to have become disconnected from their wisdom roots.

The following is one example: the word ORDER.

As with each of other 64 key terms, its meaning is illuminated by placing gradations within the levels of the Life Wheel. The first principle of Dr. Kushi’s “Principles of Order of the Universe” acknowledges the ONE which resides at the timeless center hub of the Wheel. Infinity is represented by its creative extension process, with its alternating, rhythmic expansions and contractions. The outline below could be expanded and elaborated upon in volumes, and still barely touch the surface of the implications.

Forthcoming blogs will elaborate on the basic principles of universal order which we should have learned as the basics in school and need to know NOW, as an urgent matter of survival.

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29. ORDER

Principles of the Order of the Universe:

1. Everything is a differentiation of ONE Infinity.

2. Everything changes.

3. All antagonisms are complementary.

4. There is nothing identical.

5. What has a front has a back.

6. The bigger the front, the bigger the back.

7. What has a beginning has an end.

8. Nothing is solely yin or solely yang.

9. There is nothing neutral.

10. Large yin attracts small yin. Large yang attracts small yang.

11. Extreme yin produces yang, and extreme yang produces yin.

12. All physical manifestations are yang at the center and yin at the surface.

— Michio Kushi, Natural Healing through Macrobiotics

In the secure, high-synergy societies, wealth gets spread around, it gets siphoned off from the high places down to the low places. It tends, one way or another, to go from rich to poor, rather than from poor to rich.  — Abraham H. Maslow, The Farther Reaches of Human Nature

When evil men plot, good men must plan. . . When evil men shout ugly words of hatred, good men must commit themselves to the glories of love. Where evil men would seek to perpetuate an unjust status quo, good men must seek to bring into being a real order of justice. — Martin Luther King, Jr., The Words of Martin Luther King, Jr.

THE FRONT

Roots of order mean straight, row, or regular series. The first of Webster’s seventeen definitions is a social position or rank in the community. Order means a state of peace or serenity, observance of the law, or orderly conduct. It can refer to the sequence or arrangement of things or events, a series, succession. [As in, “Order in the court room!” or “It’s time to put your affairs in order.”]

Order can refer to a fixed or definite place, system or law of arrangement. It can refer to a group or class of persons set off from others by some trait or quality. It can mean a group of persons constituting an association formed for some special purpose, like the Order of Knights Templars, or a community of monks or nuns following a rule.

Order can refer to a group of persons distinguished for having received a certain award or citation. Order can mean a general state, as in “not in working order.” It can mean a command, direction or instruction, usually backed by authority. It can mean an established method or system, as of conduct or action in meetings or worship. It can be a request or commission to make or supply something, such an order for merchandise or services.

In I Ching context, order refers to the sequence in which straight and divided lines are placed in the three-line trigrams which represent the eight building blocks of nature. Alchemical interactions amongst these primal natural forces are mapped by pairing trigrams in every possible combination. The 64 six-line hexagrams which result are placed in ordered matrices, sometimes encompassed by a circle. Different sages place these figures in different order with different effect.

However, any or all of the lines within each six-line configuration can change to its opposite. So the myriad possibilities inherent in any circumstance have the potential to shift in an infinite number of directions.

The implication (and opportunity) is this: Despite appearances, nothing within a given situation is static, nor can the fluid, dynamic permutations of change be controlled or foreseen. Put another way, those who understand how to work with the laws of change can use them to advantage, accepting that no situation, no matter how dire, is either hopeless or without useful possibilities. Order lies in the process, not immediate specifics.

Cutting edge physicists continue to probe the order of the universe. In The Elegant Universe, Brian Greene builds on violinist Einstein’s vision, describing the string theory which “can heal the breach between gravity and quantum, unifying all of nature’s ingredients.” His book is recommended to those who “want to get a real appreciation for the amazing miracle that the universe is.”

The I Ching is recommended for the same reasons. Its advantage over modern physics is first that it is time-tested and proven, second that its careful use over time can bring abstract intellectual theories closer to home, making them applicable to immediate, practical concerns. For it is only with a profound understanding of how the world works, that these dynamics can be applied to establish communities like those envisioned by Maslow and King, where equity and justice prevail.

THE BACK

In biblical context, the shadow side of order is chaos, the primordial state which predates manifest creation. This is different from the chaos physicists study, which refers to turmoil or dynamic instability within which humans have not yet recognized inherent order.

In social context, rigid caste structures based on blood lines or material possessions are perversions of the dynamic natural order. Pigeon-holing or excluding people by race, age, gender or economic status is a competitive strategy; it has nothing to with inherent divine order, human potentials or functional competence.

The Law of Karma Is a Key to Success

AXIOM FOUR of the Positive Paradigm is the practical foundation of functional ethics. It states, “Consequences of Actions Are Inevitable; Those Who Respect the Law of Karma Succeed.” 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.

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The Old Testament describes the karmic law of return in agricultural terms. “As ye sow, so shall ye reap” 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 speaks the Law of Karma as practical advice: “Do unto others as ye would have them do unto you.” This rule 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, returns 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 as well as themselves. 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.”

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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 the human mind. Asking why events happen is productive only insofar as it’s instructive as to how personal 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 they hurt you, it’s your fault for letting them. His answer to God, like Cain’s, 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 are 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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Boundary Spanners Connect at the Center

Recently I posted what follows on LinkedIn. Because it reached a different community of followers, I’m reposting the substance here for the benefit of WordPress followers.

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Several LinkedIn experiences sparked this blog. Here’s the initial back and forth:

Me to John K. Dunston: I’m writing a LinkedIn blog that speaks about the importance of “‘boundary spanning.” I’d like to mention your name as a great example. Am asking your permission to do so.

John K. Dunston to Me: I’m flattered that you would consider me an example. What is your idea and why am I a good example?

Me back to John: Basically, your profile and answer to my question are a great example of how love of wisdom (the definition of philosophy) is surely linked to your success at work. Also, coming full circle in an infinite loop, your work — surely done with love and keen intelligence — has been a great wisdom teacher. This is the short story. Do you agree?

John back to Me: I concur and would be honored to participate.

The story behind our connection is this. When John originally initiated contact a few months ago, giving him the benefit of the doubt, I accepted his invitation. But I was baffled as to why a Master Plumber/Project Manager would seek out an Author of books on Human Survival, Einstein and the Positive Paradigm of Change.

So I asked, and got back this humbling response:

“I’m a student of positive change and having an impact in life. I have studied the masters from Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, John Maxwell, John Kotter, Viktor Frankl, etc. Your profile seemed interesting. I hope I have answered your question. I have also studied Dr. Einstein.”

Though there’s no quick way to recognize it from his profile, John has balanced technical and leadership responsibilities with philosophy to become a master of not only plumbing but of life as well. His profile does show the broad range of abilities that are the mark of an interdisciplinary boundary spanner.

His competencies span a wide range from project estimation and scheduling to construction code compliance, from material ordering and installation to direct supervision of journeymen and apprentice plumbers. And much more.

I can relate. I started as a musician, but. as described in I’m a Boundary Spanner. Are You? , technical skills weren’t enough.

“As a musician, I wasn’t satisfied with training limited to violin technique. I wanted to know everything about everything that goes into music from every point of view.

“I wanted to know about the physics of sound vibration and the science of violin making. I needed to know about the history behind composers’ biographies, the literature they read, about psychology and the religions that inspired their music. Eventually, my search included kinesiology and yoga, the fundamental disciplines of movement and breath- awareness practiced by musicians in India.

“Traditional schools didn’t help much in this quest.”

It seemed to me that the benefits of specializing, taken to extreme, have opposite and equal drawbacks. This narrow approach to expert-education has an isolating, “divide and conquer” effect. The right hand has no idea of (or interest in) what the left hand is doing. Nor does the right brain coordinate optimally with the left.

Personally, I was fascinated by human nature. I didn’t major in psychology, however, because research-oriented departments didn’t seem relevant. History, literature and philosophy better satisfied my curiosity. Applications to leadership issues were an inevitable extension.

But when I recently sought to reach outside the “author” box on LinkedIn to connect with like-minded therapists and leadership coaches to share the value of my ideas, I found that the shoe was now on the other foot (so to speak). Just as I initially couldn’t compute a person with John’s background having much in common with my work, some didn’t appreciate my invitations. In fact, I found myself blocked!

This experience reinforced key ideas which I’d like to share with LinkedIn colleagues. First, it’s critically important to cross disciplinary lines to become fully competent in the many aspects that impinge on any particular profession. Second, in balance, “well-rounded” success depends on moving increasingly inwards through the levels of the Positive Paradigm Wheel associated with emotional intelligence and intuition to the eternal silent core called “conscience.”

We urgently need to restore an approach to education, especially leadership training, that enables social and physical scientists as well as business and government leaders to first link the multi-faceted aspects of everyday experience and second, balance the outer rim of their Life Wheels with the deeper, full-spectrum levels of emotional-spiritual self-awareness, linking these levels in an mutually reinforcing, infinite loop of intuition, passionate aspiration, intelligent planning and effective action.

Positive Paradigm of Change

No matter where we start on the surface rim, the deeper we dig into the mysteries of any profession (whether in the arts and sciences or business-government-military leadership), the closer we come to our common core — the eternal center which everyone everywhere shares in common. Connection with that center is the foundation of authentic communication and viable community building. Lacking it, we remain, as most of us find ourselves today – disconnected and in a world of hurt.

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P.S. In fairness, I should add the “happy ending” to this story. Yesterday, when I asked Victoria Ipri, a savvy and generous LinkedIn expert, if there was anything I could do about being blocked, she advised that I could contact customer service. If I promised to do better, they would lift their restriction. I contacted, promised, and the restriction was lifted. She’s one of the good guys!

The Only Way Out Is Through

The back cover of Conscience: Your Ultimate Personal Survival Guide sums it up:


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The Positive Paradigm Handbook — a practical, bare bones work book — offers the following, abbreviated description of the middle, energy level of the Positive Paradigm Wheel of Change. **

The dangers of this level cannot be underestimated. Understandably, without a reliable road map and a keen sense of purpose and commitment, the middle level seems frightfully laden with traps to ensnare the uninformed and reckless. Hence the Fateful Fear of Self-Awareness. (See wp.me/p46Y5Z-aK.)

However, its value cannot be underestimated either. Armed with the skills and insight to use the necessary powers associated with this level wisely, courageous pioneers of the inner worlds can achieve success in every area of their lives.

To avoid the dangers of getting stuck in the middle level, mired in the traps of delusions and negative emotions, it’s critically important to have an accurate and complete reality map. The purpose of pushing through this level is ultimately to reach the far side, the abode of intuition and light, the storehouse of infinite treasure. But, as told of The Chapel Perilous, “The Only Way Out Is Through.”

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e. Energy. Much ignorance, misinformation and confusion surrounds the energy level of the Positive Paradigm. The state of chaos into which the world has degenerated attests to this deficiency, as well as the urgent need to correct it. Only the basics are described here, suggestive of further exploration.

The middle level is the domain of natural law, whose dynamics are mapped in the Chinese I Ching, the Book of Change. This body of knowledge has evolved over eight thousand years as sages continue to observe the operations of energy and document the repetitive patterns of change.

Natural law maps the energetic underpinnings of the dynamic, physical world. It is experienced as the patterned recurring cycles of seasonal change, and is equally applicable to humans and their cyclical life changes: birth, growth, decay and death.

The middle layer is the realm of less tangible but still measurable states of energy, including electricity. More subtly, it is the chi, ki or prana described by Chinese, Japanese and Indian traditions as the life force which animates all living beings. In Greek and Christian contexts it correlates with the breath, the psyche.

These subtle energies influence internal psychological states and drive external human behavior, which in turn affects social relationships. Knowledge of these dynamics is essential to personal survival.

Effective leadership and the quality of life within organizations hinge on the quality of awareness brought to dynamics at this level. While some leaders understand the dynamics of change at a gut level as a matter of common sense, systematic logic and deliberate understanding would significantly improve the results of the decision-making process.

Those denied access to material and social resources are often forced inside. Of necessity, turning inward, they develop and depend for survival upon strengths drawn from the middle and center of the Wheel.

At times, material deprivation and hardships yield the opposite and equal blessings of in-sight and emotional fortitude. At other times, however, excessive investment at the middle level results in delusions, latent with the potential for erupting into violence.

In any case, making a virtue of necessity by rejecting the material world prevents completion of the pattern. It can’t correctly be equated with spirituality.

Cultures which enforce an exclusively materialistic worldview and deny the experience of everything not tangible and measurable place severe hardships on those whose inner lives are especially active. The Handbook gives ample opportunities to diagnose such imbalances, the better to remedy them.

Societies that deny their citizens practical outlets for articulating and harnessing inner energies creatively can literally drive people crazy, to suicide, or at best, underground. Many “sensitives” survive by channeling socially banned, unacceptable awareness and longing for self-fulfilling adventure into the arts: music and literature, including romance, murder mysteries and science fiction.

This is a great loss to society. The world would be far better off if high-energy, creative individuals were identified as potential leaders, trained and given employment options accordingly.

** Educators, therapists and theologians interested in detailed applications to their particular professions are referred to the more complete description provided in Rethinking Survival: Getting to the Positive Paradigm of Change.

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!

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Discovering the Missing Link

This afternoon, as an after-thought, my author-journalist LinkedIn connection emailed me, “On another note, your years living in Europe and your other international travel sound interesting. Must be a good story there. Would love to hear more when time permits.”

As a matter of fact, a section in Rethinking Survival describes the highlights of living in Europe. So I’ll share some of them here.

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EUROPE: Discovering the Missing Link

“If you love your children, tell them how the world works.” — Dr. Phil

According to the people who raised me, the way the world worked was this. If you “pleased” them, then they would take care of you: feed you, house you, pay the bills for your clothes . . . let you live. If you didn’t, they’d disown you, cut you off, write you out of their will. The end. Survival depended exclusively on being very good at pleasing those who controlled the money and the material resources which come from it.

In my case, this was a problem. What pleased one adult didn’t please the next. And what pleased me didn’t necessarily please any of them. It was, at best, a con. Bottom line: I had no idea of how the world really works, only that mine at the time didn’t work for me. When conflicting survival demands came to a head, I had to split. “Get out of town, Tonto. Pronto.”

The year Nixon was elected president, a poster hanging in my dorm hallway said it all. It showed him wearing Uncle Sam’s pin-stripe suit and top hat, finger pointing to recruit. The question posed:  “Would you buy a used car from this man?” My answer was, “No way!” I wasn’t in a position to change the country, so I changed my location. At the invitation to join up with a touring Brazilian chamber orchestra, I left for foreign lands.

Living abroad began the process of divesting the cultural conditioning I’d taken for granted. Being the only English speaker in the group made me rethink communication, getting down to the basics. When it took an effort to find the words, it was amazing how little really needed to be said. Accompanied with suggestive body language and facial expressions. a few words went a long way.

However, I found that change of scene, of language and cultural settings, changed nothing of substance. “Wherever you go, there you are.” In Sandor Vegh’s violin master class, students from around the world agonized over the same dilemmas I thought I’d left behind. They too thought they could escape problems just by walking away – but nothing is so easy.

Nao, a darkly mournful Japanese violist, described the shock of discovering her older brother’s dead body hanging limp in his clothes closet. Chiao, a bright shining extrovert, grieved over love lost. When she beat him to take first place in a violin competition, Alberto chose a less threatening lover as his companion.

My German hosts, who’d survived WWII, however, had much to teach. They didn’t take survival, as I had up to that point, for granted. A cellist friend with whom I stayed in St. Georgen, located in the Black Forest of South Germany, told me her mother’s story. To save her starving children’s lives during the Russian occupation of Berlin after the war, Frau Hass changed from oppressed housewife to heroic protector. In contrast, Herr Petersen, a 75-year-old portrait painter – my Düsseldorf landlord – recalled war time as “the best years.” It was only then– albeit of extreme necessity– that formal, inhibited Germans came out of their shells and actually talked with one another.

For me, the highlight of studies at the Robert Schumann Konservatorium wasn’t the music teachers, but a modest, insightful kinesiology instructor. Frau Lehru wasn’t a musician herself. But vocal and instrumental teachers alike sent students beyond their help to her.

The pianist whose lessons were scheduled the hour before mine told me her story. Herr Dreschel had given up on her as either lazy or untalented. But Frau Lehru diagnosed the real problem — pinched spinal nerves. Recommended visits to a chiropractor worked “miracles.” Elated, she was a “new person.”

I went to her studio and asked Frau Lehru to coach me. Her lessons were wonderful. She saw timidity in my posture and tension in the way I held my violin. She gave me exercises to correct not only my posture, but the underlying attitudes which bent me out of shape.

“Platz machen,” she encouraged me. “Make room! Don’t crowd me!” And, “Auf wiederstand waschen.” Figuratively, Grow upwards. Stand tall under the pressure of resistance and adversity.

In retrospect, it was if she’d reinvented the yogic disciplines which sitar and tabla students are taught in India, where music technique is balanced with breathing and physical exercises. Her gift inspired a change in my career goals. Rather than teach technique, I could help many more musicians by becoming an exercise-and-therapy coach in one, like her. She was much too busy to consider writing about her methods and results. I would do this for her with a book called The Body as Instrument: How to Tune It. (Still later, ratcheting up another notch, I aspired to build schools to facilitate a whole generation of coaches like Frau Lehru.)

Even more influential than people, however, were two books I discovered in Düsseldorf’s International Book Market on Königs Allee. In combination, they substantially broadened my life’s horizons. One was the Wilhelm/Baynes English translation of the Chinese I Ching, the Book of Change. The other was Carl Jung’s autobiography, Memories Dreams and Reflections. This Swiss analyst also wrote the introduction to the Wilhelm/Baynes translation.

I’m now aware of much that’s been written about Jung’s darker side. But in 1970, I resonated with his descriptions of self-discovery. In particular, I related to the story about his quickest cure. A young woman, the daughter of wealthy, stylishly atheistic parents was instantly healed of her neurosis upon learning of her heritage. Her grandfather had been a Talmudic scholar. Though an embarrassment to her parents, he was regarded by peers as a saint. This knowledge gave her permission to know what she “knew,” and released her psychological suffering instantly.

As it happened, I’d just been contacting my grandparents, asking them to write me about their history. I did so because Herr Oswald Peterson, my portrait painter landlord, insisted I was not American. “Who are you?” he wanted to know.

I’d already known that in her youth, my father’s mother, Grandma Ellie West, had a gorgeous soprano voice. What I learned from her letters was that she’d auditioned for John Philip Sousa’s world tour and was invited to join his band as a soloist. But she decided to stay home instead to marry my grandfather, Hub. She heartily approved of my European music jaunt. “Good for you!”

I was fascinated to learn from Grandpa Dave, my mother’s father, that his father came from Russia. He was a “very good” tailor by profession and a Talmudic scholar as well. A-ha. Who would have guessed? It opened a door of new possibilities in my mind.

Because Jung experienced dreams as the winged messengers of key insights, I began paying attention to mine. The dream I remember best was of climbing the third-story stairs of Herr Peterson’s building. He’d never repaired the roof after the WWII, so the top flight led to rubble and open air.

In my dream, however, I discovered a new floor that hadn’t been there before. It was dimly lit and full of draped furniture, covered with cobwebs. As I brushed away the dust, details of this new room began to emerge. It was as if I were entering into a new level of personal awareness.

As for the I Ching, I’d had a hunch about it for a very long time. Dr. Ellsworth Carlson, who lived in Shansi, China during WWII, was an Oberlin College classmate of my parents. When I was nursery school age, he’d bounced me on his knees at Harvard. As Freshman student, I took his course in Asian History at Oberlin. What stuck with me how vast an influence the I Ching had on Chinese thinking for 8,000 years and counting.

In fact, when I left for Europe, I carried only my violin and one small suitcase. Of that, half was filled with clothes and personal items. The other half contained sheet music and one small book: the Legge translation of the I Ching. It made no sense to me. I could barely get through a page or two before giving up. But I kept coming back to it. There was something important there that I had to know more about.

Finally, with the Wilhelm/Baynes edition, I had a version I could relate to. It literally became my teacher. It gave me a whole new concept of how the world really works. Not just this family or that institution or the other county. Not arbitrary and capricious, fluctuating fashions, but the constant anchor over time. From it, I could deduce the fundamental energy dynamics of action and reaction which drive relationships, internally at a psychological level, and externally in terms of practical, day-to-day events and their long-term consequences.

It was an extension of the logic my English teacher Miss Elson impressed on my high school brain. But more. It gave me a map of logical consequences, as inevitable as computer language. “If this, then that.”

For example, If you kick people, they kick back (if they can) or otherwise resist. If you are kind, you inspire love and trust in others. If you violate natural law, nature bites back (your mental health suffers; relationships deteriorate; your behavior becomes erratic and social/physical survival is imperiled). Asian cultures call this “the law of karma.” Its operation is also described in biblical terms: “As ye reap, so shall ye sow,” and “to everything there is a season.”

In sum, its 64 permutations map a progression of the AC-DC energy changes which constitute the natural law of repetitive, cyclical change. From my point of view, this ancient, timeless science fills a critical blind-spot in Western thinking, lacking which, all efforts are partial and incomplete. Put another way, the glaring absence of this information explains why so much goes so wrong, despite even the best of intentions on the part of politicians, priests, coaches and leaders of every ilk.

. . .  [an understanding of natural law], the practical, middle (energy) level of three-part experience, is essential to the whole. It’s a sorely missed link in our functional knowledge base. Without wisdom and skill at this middle level of experience, spiritual aspirations cannot be realized nor can political policies be effectively implemented. Ongoing sex scandals which plague high-level military leaders, politicians and Christian clergy give a hint of what’s missing from their training, causing them to fail miserably at great expense to those they should be serving.