Tag Archives: Einstein

Where Is the Unity in COMM-UNITY?

Working with words mindfully is an interesting challenge.

For example, have you ever wondered about the names United States and United Nations? Why did Founders choose to describe their country as United? United on what levels and in what way(s)? By common principles? Common interests, commitments, or vision for the future?

What did charter members of the international organization intend by using the same word, United? Pursuing common goals, pooling resources and/or standing firm against common dangers? Does the word hold the same meaning today as it did earlier? What does it mean now, and to whom? Does United mean the same thing to insider elites as to the rest of us? Why does this matter?

The use of the word United is ironic with overtones of tragedy, given the current fragmented and contentious condition of both entities.

It part, current problems were inherent from inception, a consequence of failing to be philosophically correct in foundations. This single picture shows wherein unity can truly be found, and where not.

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Looking for unity in the wrong places was fraught with potentially dangerous consequences which are still bearing poisonous fruit today.

It’s especially important to rethink the meaning of Unity in the context of building intentional communities, for the chain of individuals bound together by common purpose is no stronger than its weakest link. The foundation of viable, sustainable communities begins with the integrity of each participating member.

The following Essay from Conscience provides food for thought along these lines. It offers a holistic perspective on unity, both within and without. This comprehensive view offers a useful understanding for building effective communities, as well as diagnosing past failures experienced as a consequence of limited vision and follow-through.

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Essay 60. UNITY

An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity. — Martin Luther King, Jr., The Words of Martin Luther King, Jr. 

The scientist or the artist takes two facts or experiences which we separate; he finds in them a likeness which had not been seen before: and he creates a unity by showing the likeness. . . . All science is the search for unity in hidden likenesses. — Jacob Bronowski, quoted by Todd Siler in Think Like a Genius

I have always felt that one of the simplest and most apt metaphors for an organization as complex as the United Nations is the Rorschach inkblot test. What one person sees as the hope of a world free of war, famine, poverty, and disease, another interprets as a global boondoggle comprised of uncaring civil servants threatening the cherished concept of state sovereignty. — James Holtje, Divided It Stands: Can the United Nations Work

THE FRONT

The Latin root of “unity” means oneness. Webster’s first definition is the state of being one, or united; oneness, singleness. It means something complete in itself, single, or separate. It can be the quality of being one in spirit, sentiment, purpose; harmony, agreement or concord. In contrast, it can also mean uniformity.

It can refer to an arrangement of parts or material in a work of art or literature that produce a single, harmonious effect. It can refer to constancy, continuity, or fixity of purpose or action.

The difference amongst these definitions reflects a general cultural confusion as to the optimal relationship of the individual to nature, society, and their creative Source. Effective, consistent action depends on an integrated concept of self and a comfortable relationship of each part with the whole. Therefore, thinking carefully about what unity means — as well as what it doesn’t — is a necessary prelude to ultimate success in life.

Accepting the I Ching view that accomplishments begin with the smallest unit, unity is first to be attained within. It’s common to say, “My mind’s not made up” or “Get it together.” The familiar saying, “The right hand doesn’t know what the left is doing,” could also be phrased, “The left brain doesn’t know what the right brain is doing.”

When Westerns say, “I’m of two minds on this,” it reflects confusion, ambivalence or lack of discipline. However, the martial arts advice to have eight brains and eight hearts refers to the height of attainment. It suggests ability to intentionally shift internal gears to meet any situation. From the totality of unified mind, the ideal I Ching master focuses from above while acting through each of the energy centers according the immediate need at the time.

According to the MPI Standard, the Motive, the WHY of psychologies and meditative practices is the same: to unify fragmented, antagonistic functions of mind, personality and behavior.

The Purpose, the HOW they accomplish this is diverse. Some practices start from the outside with behavior and work inwards. Others start with the mind, ideas and attitudes, and work outwards. Still others work on both simultaneously, which is possible in comm-unities where work and self-awareness training go hand-in-glove.

The Intent, the WHAT, ranges from personal self-mastery to inner peace and/or functional relationships.

As pictured above, in a holistic world view, external diversity complements inner unity. The core of life’s concentric circles, like the hub of a wheel, remains still as the outer rim revolves, constantly changing and in motion. Meridians, like spokes of a wheel, link center to surface, connecting and organizing the Wheel of Life in a dynamic unity.

It hardly matters how the goal of inner unity is attained. Once one is focused and all the facets of inner energy are coordinated by a single-minded purpose, the pieces of life’s mosaic fall into place, forming a coherent picture. Then life becomes a work of art, like a poem or a song.

Albert Einstein — equal parts musician, philosopher, physicist and world citizen — searched lifelong for a Unified Theory. The Book of Change embodies the universal code he sought. We’ve failed to recognize the clues hidden for centuries in a venerable text that have the potential to lead us to solutions desperately needed NOW. Restoring this treasure to the general culture would provide a fully functional paradigm from which positive, life-sustaining results can be generated across-the-board.

THE BACK

Regimentation and conformance are perversions of unity. Nature flourishes in diversity. Like snowflakes, each individual is a unique variation of its kind. Yet, in extreme social contexts, variations are suppressed and punished. While this unnatural state might be appropriate to unnatural situations like war, it’s antithetical to personal well-being.

Technically, because all things are connected, it’s possible to dabble in the dark worlds of demons and departed souls. However, though these realms do exist, it is dangerously unwise to explore them without a specific, positive purpose (“know the enemy”) and a white magician’s guidance.

The Evolution of My Aspirations

Leaders can’t be defined by a standardized, one-size-fits-all list of traits. This is the premise of True North: Discover Your Authentic Leadership. Instead, authors Bill George and Peter Sims found that authentic leaders consistently define themselves in terms of their unique personal stories.

Naturally, they got me to asking myself, what’s mine?

There definitely have been defining moments. Looking back, there have also been consistently recurring themes.

But it took a recent direct message from a new twitter follower to put my answer into focus. Chelsea Hanson, a Business Growth Coach from Green Bay Wisconsin tweeted, “Great to connect . . . I love learning about how people got started in their work. . . how did you get into what you are doing?”

I tweeted back, “Likewise! 🙂 Step by little step. Pieces of mosaic fall into place to form the patterned picture recognized only with hindsight.”

It’s been my consistent belief that, of all the things I could do with my life, I should choose that which does the greatest amount of good for the greatest number of people. With that standard in mind, my aspirations have been shaped and transformed, expanded and focused with each new experience.

The autobiographical section of Rethinking Survival describes early influences. It started with Miss Elson, my senior year English teacher.

Though I didn’t take her seriously at the time, Miss Elson told me I should be a writer. My answers to her essay questions showed the marks of an original thinker. In contrast, she let me read a batch of classmates’ papers to demonstrate the mindlessness she labored to shake up.

What is life?” she asked. Like wind-up toys, most regurgitated definitions memorized in biology class. Catholics added their church credo to the mix. From her I learned that there’s more to being human than the ability parrot others’ words. It includes the capacity to reason and articulate clearly.

Later, while I was earning an M.A. in English M.A. at the UW-Madison, my aspiration was to be like Miss Elson. Without the tools of language and logic to analyze experience and express one’s concerns, how could people name, much less solve their problems? At the time, the highest calling I could imagine was to teach students how to think — really think — for themselves.

My aspirations continued to evolve as a music student in Düsseldorf, Germany. 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 as 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 an entire generation of coaches like Frau Lehru. A primary purpose for earning the Ph.D. in Educational Administration from the UW-Madison was to hold the credential required to build an accredited alternative school. My envisioned School-Without-Walls was intended to serve the unmet needs of other boundary-spanners also seeking to fill in the gaps of our failing educational system.

Each new experience has continued to lead to the next. Many steps later, I’ve come full circle to fulfill Miss Elson’s early prediction. Today, I’m a writer because I’m certain that I’ve succeeded in putting my finger on the pulse of a critical information deficit. It explains the excruciating painful, potentially fatal world-wide leadership deficit.

Further, I am certain that the Positive Paradigm of Change not only fills a critical information gap in the way we train our leaders, but that, like a laser beam, it illumines every field of endeavor towards which it’s pointed. This includes not only leadership and governance, but also education, the arts and sciences.

Today my aspiration is for this information to reach the greatest number of people possible, in order to do the greatest possible amount of good. The stakes could not be higher, for I take Einstein’s prophetic warning deeply to heart: “We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive.”

If you agree, and if you can help, let’s talk!

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Hidden Giants

According to the world-loved Tao Te Ching, when the times reach critical mass, leaders arise in response to the deep-felt heart-cries of the suffering masses for deliverance.

This assurance is repeated twice, first in Passage 18. “When countries degenerate into strife, anarchy sets in. / When danger peaks, however, heroes emerge and come forward.”

It appears again in Passage 78. “Like water, the sage takes the world’s suffering to heart, endures its hardships, / and responsive to the times, becomes the catalyst of collective action.

This is the underlying thought in the following rethinking of the David and Goliath scenario. The upcoming anthology, The BEST of WEST will include this excerpt from Rethinking Survival. It’s taken from the section called “We’re Never Alone: Gladwell’s Misfits and Giants in Perspective.”

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When Malcolm Gladwell’s David and Goliath came out in October of 2013, I had to read it. The subject promised to be a perfect fit with the vision of Rethinking. After all, King David is my ideal: musician, psalmist, warrior and king in one.

It turns out this book is a perfect example of how sorely the Positive Paradigm of Change is needed. “We need a better guide for facing giants,” Gladwell wrote. I agree. Here it is.

As far as it goes, the book is a good read. What’s lacking is the Positive Paradigm to put David and Goliath in context. From this viewpoint, Goliath was stuck on the surface. Despite his physical size, he was ultimately powerless. David, on the other hand, was connected to center. That gave him the advantage.

Using this Einstein-inspired model of concentric circles linked in an infinite, two-directional loop, we can place the source of David’s strength as well as his strategies and his deadly slingshot.

Resting in the innermost hub of the Life Wheel associated with light was the source of little David’s confidence — the timeless God of Israel.

His strategies, however, belonged to the middle, dynamic level associated with energy.

His prowess as a straight-shooter depended on physical strength, visual acuity and years of experience. Those have their place on the outermost material surface associated with mass.

In other words, the levels of David’s life were coordinated. They were in synch. Unified.

If David had drawn a blank on any one of the three levels, he wouldn’t have succeed then. Nor can anyone succeed today. Vision that’s not backed by a good plan and technical competence is incomplete. Cunning strategies lacking equal competence to execute them are lop-sided. Without a direct connection with the creative center, all the physical resources in the world aren’t enough.

There are several reasons, however, why the story of David and Goliath isn’t the best model for coping with adversity today. For one, we’re at a very different point in history. This is end stage. Civilization was relatively young back then. Different times call for different responses.

Further, confronting a single foe face-to-face was one matter. The tangled mess of corporate-faced, alien-driven evil which little guys are up against now is a much different threat. Different dangers call for different protections.

Another point: Gladwell’s subtitle refers to underdogs and misfits. It’s not a good idea to romanticize misfits. Not all are creative geniuses. Timothy McVey and Charles Manson were also misfits. They too didn’t fit in with mainstream society, but with good cause.

It’s the telescoping mistake. Extremes on both sides of the bell-shaped median are lumped together and written off as “deviant.” But spiritual geniuses and murderous psychopaths don’t belong in the same category.

Further, not all giants are enemies of the people. There are corporate CEOs who treat their workers decently and genuinely serve the public. When I searched my memory banks for a good example, I thought back to Glenn Beck’s billionaire philanthropist friend. What was his name?!

It took me a couple days to find it. Strangely, he doesn’t get much media attention. (Why not is an interesting question!)

But Jon Huntsman, Sr. is living proof. A corporate giant can be as much a part of the solution as the underdogs. Sometimes even more.

A web search comes up with several sides to his story. He gained his wealth by climbing the corporate ladder of success. In 1974, Huntsman Container Corporation created the “clamshell” container for the McDonald’s Big Mac. It developed other popular products, including the first plastic plates and bowls. This led to the 1994 founding of the multi-billion dollar Huntsman Corporation. He continues to expand into new business ventures.

As a philanthropist, Huntsman has given away more than $1.2 billion to both domestic and international charities. His humanitarian aid includes help to the homeless, ill and under-privileged. He holds that the very rich should give not half, as Gates and Buffet say, but a full 80 percent of their wealth to worthy causes. It should be through voluntary choice, however. Not taxation. In this, he agrees with Thomas Paine’s Common Sense.

His goal is to give away everything before he dies. But this isn’t an easy task. He keeps making too much money.

On the personal side, Huntsman not only lost parents to cancer, but is himself a four-time cancer survivor. His response has been to turn adversity into opposite and equal good. The Huntsman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake City accelerates the work of curing cancer through human genetics. It also focuses on providing humane care to cancer patients.

Huntsman has been married to his wife Karen for over fifty years. He’s the father of nine children. The eldest son, Jon Jr. is a public servant. He was the governor of Utah, and later an ambassador to China. (Small world.) The second son is a corporate executive who carries on his father’s business.

Come to find out, Jon Huntsman. Sr. is also an author. One of his books is Winners Never Cheat – Even in Difficult Times. Amazon’s editorial review calls him “one of the finest human beings, industrial leaders and philanthropists on the planet.” His book drills down on “ten timeless, universal values” for business and life. The review concludes that Huntsman’s work edifies, inspires and motivates all of us to model his common sense lessons.

Timeless? Universal? Common sense? I like it!

Moving on, Gladwell also says little guys need to redefine power. I’ve done that too. In Positive Paradigm context, true power comes from within. Goliath, who drew strength primarily from the physical plane, was puny compared to the force behind David’s sling.

Gladwell notes that a single smooth stone to center of Goliath’s head probably destroyed the pituitary gland. He quotes researchers who theorize that the giant had a glandular disorder which explains his huge size. This same pituitary disease would have caused eye problems. That’s probably why a slave had to lead him into battle. Presumably his vision was failing.

But from a holistic perspective, the same story has a deeper meaning. David’s single shot went straight to the third eye, the ajna center located in the center of the forehead. It correlates with the pineal gland, a close neighbor of the pituitary. In yoga anatomy, this center is associated with spiritual vision.

David’s projectile put out the giant’s lights. It was poetic justice for an enemy who was closed to inner truth. That was the giant’s weakness. It remains the weakness of bad guys today as well. A single shot is all it takes, when you know where to aim.

Here’s yet another point. David and Goliath has one take on the giants of the world. But there’s also another way to think about giants. The reverse, shadow side – the opposite side of the coin. Early on, for example, I was inspired by Awaken the Giant Within. I founded the +A Positive Action Press in response to Tony Robbins’ book. From a Positive Paradigm perspective, his words take on new meaning:

If we want to discover the unlimited possibilities within us, we must find a goal big enough and grand enough to challenge us to push beyond our limits and discover our true potential. . . The answer to our current energy challenges will lie in the imagination and resourcefulness of today’s physicists and engineers. And the resolution to our social crises, like the alarming spread of racial hate groups, homelessness, and hunger, can only be addressed with the inventiveness and compassion of dedicated individuals like you and me.

The threat of evil giants in the world serves to awaken the true giant that resides deep within each of us. That’s the blessing hidden in adversity. It’s the opportunity latent in Titanic Times. The Greek Titans, the giants sired by Kronos, survived his murderous envy and returned to claim their heritage.

Similarly, as Lao Tze assures us, there are surely sleeping giants are among us now.

It’s time for them to WAKE UP!

Are you a sleeping giant? Do you work or live with one? What will it take for you (or them) to wake up?

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.

You Can Have It All

A most excellent article recently brought to my attention on LinkedIn by Frank Feather serves as springboard to this rethinking of pinnacle experience.

For starters, since “you can’t leave a place you’ve never been,” I searched the web for current definitions and uses of “pinnacle.”

In geography, the highest elevation point of a rugged mountain is called its pinnacle. In architecture, the spire or steeple that tapes to a point at the top is called the building’s pinnacle. In athletics, the peak of success (playing in the Olympics, for example), is called the pinnacle of achievement.

Because it’s entertaining, I also searched for clip art images. Icons include a victorious athlete grasping his gold trophy cup, banners proclaiming WINNER, and business-suited people crawling and racing up stairs towards the top. I even found a quote saying that his physics formula “catapulted Einstein to the pinnacle of fame.”

Graphics portray a figure in hiking gear standing on a mountain top, planting a flag signifying his presence. The also picture organizational charts with a larger-than-life CEO dominating diminutive subordinates.

Applied to government and corporate dynamics, these images imply the elevation of a single, unique and exclusively outstanding individual. By current standards, the pinnacle of achievement glorifies personal ego and winning at everyone else’s expense.

But there is an alternative way to look at the pinnacle experience. In Rethinking Survival, the illustration the illustration called PARADOX places the illusion of separateness in Positive Paradigm context. Here, each of us occupies only a tiny sliver of space in the integrated matrix of the Life Wheel. The broad base of the hierarchy rests on the outermost material level of ephemeral appearances. The apex, the pinnacle of life and leadership, rests deep within the unchanging center.

Here — reminiscent of the first LinkedIn post, “Boundary Spanners Connect at the Center” — illumined minds meet at the universal point which everyone everywhere shares in common looks. It looks like this:

Illusion sized

Unlike conventional wisdom, a holistic pinnacle of experience is neither the most visible nor a winner-takes-all position gotten through ruthless competition. Here, the apex of experience is universal and inclusive.

This is where the article recommended by Frank Feather comes in. Just as a holistic vision of pinnacle experience shapes a new standard for success, so does Shane Snow’s most excellent post,”The Counterintuitive Trait That Will Make You Significantly More Successful.”

Shane finds that crossing a horizontal base line with a complimentary vertical axis yields a useful picture of the relationship between attitudes and outcomes. He starts with a horizontal axis that locates Faith in the center. The extreme of Optimism is placed on the right-hand side, due East. The extreme of Pessimism is on the left-hand, due West.

Next he adds a vertical axis that intersects the horizontal line through the central point of Faith. The extreme of Credulous is placed to the North. The extreme of Skeptical is placed due South.

Positive change, he found, is a paradoxical balance between contradictory attitudes:

The most counter-intuitive quadrant is the one where the most breakthrough success can be found: Optimistic, but Skeptical. This is where the innovators reside, where inventors who dare to doubt the status quo ask the questions that need to be asked in order for the world to change. They need a healthy amount of optimism to believe that the world can change for the better, and that drives them to make transformative things happen.

In this case, to complete the Positive Paradigm picture, an additional illustration is needed. “Success” has its shadow side, “failure.” Redefining one necessarily redefines the other. In the same vein, “achievement” also has an opposite, necessary compliment.

What’s needed to complete the pattern is the distinction between two words frequently used interchangeably, but which have diametrically opposed meanings: “achievement” versus “attainment.”

Technically, “attainment” is best used in the context of inward growth. An enlightened sage is said to be spiritually attained. In contrast, “accomplishment” is correctly used to describe the tangible results of sustained effort on the surface rim of the Life Wheel.

Anti-social mass murderers are highly accomplished at what they do. So are highly successful financial geniuses who “make a killing” on the stock-market — at horrific cost to others. (Surely a few names come instantly to mind.)

In the following illustration, Attainment is placed on the vertical North-South axis. Achievement is placed on the intersecting horizontal East-West line. Positive, creative and unifying achievement is placed on the right-hand side, East of the eternal center. Negative, fragmenting, destructive achievement is on the Western, left-hand side.

pinn sized

Is “the pinnacle of achievement” an oxymoron, meaning a combo of mutually exclusive terms? Sometimes, but not always. When the levels of the Life Wheel are linked in an infinite continuum of Do-ing and Be-ing, we experience what Loehr & Schwartz call “The Power of Full Engagement.”

The seated figure with the levels (chakras) activated and unified is the image of a philosopher-king — a leader capable of balancing inspiration with wise decision-making and decisive action. Attainment in-spires and fuels achievement. In turn, professional achievements express and complete the spiritual journey.

Put another way, in a holistic worldview, attainment and achievement aren’t an either/or choice. Seen in this perspective, it is possible to “have it all.”

It would benefit power-seeking over-achievers to keep this picture in mind. For when the levels aren’t balanced, prioritized and integrated — when power isn’t motivated by good will and implemented with self-aware competence — drastically destructive consequences follow. Up to and including atomic bombs. The destruction of nations. The end of the world as we know it.

In a recent post, a Millennial marketer gushed that she “wants it all.” But her extravagant wish list includes only the things she wants to accomplish — things of the economic-political world. No mention of aspiration for wisdom, compassion or enlightenment.

I confess that in the heat of momentary outrage, I commented that Satan offered the whole world to Christ. Perhaps if she approached him, he’d cut her the same special deal offered to the rich and infamous political leaders of every generation.

To the politically correct, this may seem extreme. Probably so. But everyone has their own personal limits. Expressing personal opinions is one thing. Presuming to represent and lead others in a disastrous direction is quite another. Especially when it comes to young people.

As written elsewhere, I have a special place in my heart for Millennials. I regard them as the children and grandchildren I never had. I’m protective as a mama bear towards the generation from whose ranks tomorrow’s best leader-followers will emerge.

In balance, I assure you, the comment wasn’t intended to demean or offend anyone. It was meant as a proactive warning. Ambitious wanna-be leaders who operate on dysfunctional paradigms are, even if unknowingly, a grave danger to themselves as well as the rest of us. History repeatedly confirms the maxim, “Good intentions pave the road to hell.”

On the other hand, human survival will depend upon fully engaged individuals — even if only a handful — who operate on the basis of a complete and accurate reality map, one with an inner compass (or GPS, if you will) at the center.

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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?

world gone mad.sized

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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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.

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