Tony Robbins and I go back a long way. His Awaken the Giant Within inspired the creation of the +A Positive Action Press and all that’s followed from it, including the website, rethinkingsurvival.com and a Mind Map envisioning proceeds of books being used to build intentional communities to survive Titanic times to come.
Now, it seems, we’ve come full circle. I have something of value to offer Tony in return.
Today’s post is exquisitely timed, occurring exactly during the peak of a rare and powerful triple conjunction associated with major, positive shifts in the world’s collective destiny. And that’s exactly what Tony wanted to talk about with experts on change.
Neil Howe is co-author of a highly influential book, one that presidents and their advisors have given careful attention: The Fourth Turning: An American Prophecy – What the Cycles of History Tell Us About America’s Next Rendezvous with Destiny
According to Howe, human history goes through repeated turnings analogous to the cycle of nature’s seasons: a high, an awakening, and an unraveling which culminates in crisis . . . which is where we are now.
Ray Dalio is founder of Bridgewater, a company that’s managed $235 billion in assets. He’s also author of books on principle, the latest being Principles for Dealing with the Changing World Order: Why Nations Succeed and Fail.
In interviews with Neil and Ray, Tony begins by pointing out that, in each case, their success is explained by a highly developed ability to recognize patterns underlying apparent chaos.
“Power,” he declares, “comes to those that can recognize patterns.”
More than that, their recognition is followed by the ability to use their knowledge – to adapt, adjust and expand on what’s available.
“I don’t care if it’s in music, entertainment, or it’s in business — stocks or the financial world.” he says. “If you can recognize patterns, you can take things that look like chaos and turn them into something that you can predict and begin to perhaps anticipate. Because if there’s one power in life, in business, it’s the power to anticipate.
“Leaders anticipate. People that lose tend to react.”
Even further, masters take a third step. They’re innovators. They create positive change, if not in the world, certainly within themselves.
Now, what could a humble person like me have to offer these giants in their respective fields? Well, a new perspective. It’s a simple but powerful, inclusive model that places the aspects of their collective experience in larger context. I call it the Quantum Paradigm. It’s imaged as the archetypal Life Wheel. Upon it is superimposed the three variables of Einstein’s Unified Field Theory.
It looks like this:
It’s the model of self-awareness Tony advocates, only placed within increasingly more subtle, inward levels of the Life Wheel. It images the possibility of fluid diversity on the surface held together in Unity by an unchanging central hub.
This model was developed as a consequence of working over a lifetime with the venerable I Ching, the Chinese Book of Change. It gives a whole new meaning to the concept of change – one I would encourage Tony and his guests to explore, and the nation of China to remember and embrace.
In Rethinking Survival, I described it:
. . . 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.”
I also described the value I place upon this treasure:
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 terribly wrong, despite the best of intentions on the part of politicians, priests, coaches and leaders of every ilk.
Now, Tony insists, “Biography is not destiny; decision is the ultimate power.” And, for eight-thousand years and counting, the Book of Change has been used as the ultimate, premier decision-making tool. Though the process of its use, one learns to ask better questions and get better results.
He also speaks repeatedly about the primary importance of paradigms. “Your model of the world is what shapes you long term,” he says. “Your model of the world is the filter.” [Unfortunately, “Garbage in, garbage out.”]
Emotions are too often neglected as the drivers of action. He describes them as “the invisible forces that shape us.”
So this is my gift to Tony and his guests: an exquisitely simple model that expresses what they already know – have been practicing and separately teaching for years. It is a complete, and accurate QUANTUM paradigm. It places emotion in the middle e=energy level of the Life Wheel.
For example, Ray Dalio praises the benefits of a daily meditative practice. He says it helps him quiet the noisy mind, calm his emotions, and access the subconscious level of experience. What’s left unclear is, What is this subconscious level? Emotions only? There’s a critically important, qualitative difference between sub-rational and super-rational levels of consciousness. Nor is this merely a linguistic quibble.
Another benefit of working with the quantum Life Wheel is this. With all due respect, these experts are looking at cycles of human history that pertain to the outermost, manifest and material m=mass level of experience. But there is more. Historical events are the off-shoots, the projections of subtle energy dynamics.
The Book of Change, which is a form of astrology, explains the e=energy aspect. So do other forms of astrology that have appeared over time all over the world. Some are lunar-oriented. Some solar. Some literally star-based.
Whereas cycles of the seasons repeat on a yearly basis, the cycles of a human life range, on average, anywhere from fifty to eighty years. Civilizations endure up to 400 years. Each of these smaller cycles is embedded within increasingly larger ones, like wheels within wheels. Hence the symbology of nested Russian dolls.
Now, today’s rare and powerful triple conjunction (quad actually, if you include the asteroid Kali) is setting the stage for massive shifts which astrologers anticipate (the magic word) will transform the world as we know it into a changed, unrecognizable place. Most think, in the long-term, much for the better.
This isn’t the place to get overly technical. Suffice it say that in succession, over the next one to four or five years, each of the slow-moving outer planets that characterize an age will shift signs. One alone is major. Two is momentous. Three is absolutely mind-boggling.
To accommodate all these changes — most especially the changes in demographics triggered by mass migrations of people, changing the face of every nation — an inclusive paradigm is required. To assimilate a wide-range of immigrants representing every national origin and religious faith, we’ve got to release the old paradigm of separation, competition and conquest. The future needs to adopt a complimentary, equivalent paradigm which transcends old boundaries, honoring the essential humanity common to us all.
The Quantum Paradigm correctly slices the pie to recognize the difference between friends and enemies. In How Bad People Become Leaders, I show how fragmenting the Life Wheel produces narcissists, criminals and worse. This post explains the ongoing wars experienced throughout history as being driven from the deepest level explained biblically as a war between good and evil:
In Positive Quantum Paradigm context, the intentions and actions of any person (or group) that destroys its own and/or threatens to annihilate enemy groups, devoid of respect for the inherent sanctity of life, are defined as evil.
Now, there’s enough in my notes to double the length of this post. But I’m stopping here for now. I conclude with this:
I urge Tony, Roy and Neil to get behind the collective shift to the Quantum Paradigm. Intuitively, they’re well aware of the variables and operate within it. But it would be a service to humanity for them to get on board with the language and model of the Quantum Life Wheel, be an active force promoting its acceptance.
The paradigm shift will happen. Definitely. Inevitably. The only question is whether sooner or later, and how smoothly. Their engagement would make the transition quicker and less painful.
Patricia West is author of The Common Sense Book of Change and Two Sides of a Coin: Lao Tze’s Common Sense Way of Change. She’s currently working on The Phoenix Response: Dying To Be Reborn – in the Same Lifetime.