Tag Archives: Joseph Campbell

Invitation to Gregg Braden

Dear Gregg,

Repeatedly, I find myself astonished at how closely our wisdom quests have run parallel. It is as if we were spiritual twins, the same but, at the same time, compliments. That is to say, just as you have traveled to places I haven’t been, my work fills in blanks where yours has left you with unanswered questions.

I addressed one of your questions in an earlier post:

Physicists throughout the world are struggling to build a new story of you, me, our creation and the beginning of our universe, because the old story is no longer working. Science has been struggling to come up with a Unified Field Theory.

You continued:

They cannot find that unified field because their thinking  . . is incomplete. The piece they’ve left out is consciousness. (37:20) Traditionally, scientists have been reluctant or resistant to include consciousness in the Unified Theory.

I’ve supplied that missing piece, placing the variables of Einstein’s theory within the concentric circles of the Life Wheel which has appeared in sacred art throughout the world for thousands of years. The result is the Unified Field Theory Einstein already had, but missed. It is consistent with Yoga Sutras and the Old Testament as well as with quantum physics. It embodies the timeless secret of creation.

Unified Field Theory

Even more exciting, this model can be activated and personalized in countless ways to picture the fractures and distortions we bring to our personal and organizational lives. Creating new Life Wheels becomes a means for designing intentional futures, ones aligned with original wholeness.

The second, related question you posed was this:

If I came to this world from another world and I could ask one question . . . I would ask, What is the one thing that we have in this world that would wake us up and remind us that we’re a family, that we are more than the differences that have separated us in the past and that we are too precious to kill ourselves in war? What is the one thing that could be awakened in this lifetime and shared with every human on the face of the earth that will remind them of that truth?

Your question resonates with the ancient one posed in the Manduka Upanishad, “What is that, knowing which, all else is known?”

Here, in the form of a picture worth a thousand words, is my response. It speaks to yet another, similar question from Joseph Campbell (popular student of comparative world religions):

We don’t have a mythology for people recognizing the humanity of a person on the other side of the hemisphere. I’ve often wondered if some of the notions coming out of quantum physics, quantum interconnectedness, don’t express that.

This picture modifies the concentric circles of Albert Einstein’s Unified Field Theory, placing his beloved compass (seed of compass-ion) at the heart of the Life Wheel, honoring his well-known warning:

A human being is part of the whole called by us ‘Universe,’ a part limited in time and space. We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest . . . This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us.

Our task must be to free ourselves from the prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. . We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive. [emphasis added]

circle compass of compassion

Now, Gregg, what we share in common is a profound, even urgent sense that at this time in history, the mosaic pieces scattered throughout various wisdom traditions must be recovered and integrated, the better to survive and prevail through the testing times that lie before us.

A major contribution I make to your work is my enduring respect for the Chinese I Ching, the Book of Change . . . a subject aptly suited to this time of rapidly accelerating change. It is the ancient of ancients, predating even the Sanskrit Vedas. It informed the understandings which resulted in my Life Wheel work, which Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras serve to confirm.

As written:

This is a book that truly belongs to the world. It transcends, in its essence, the limitations of time and space. Used correctly, as intended, it leads the ordinary mind towards experiences of self-awareness and transformative transcendence.

Further:

The Book of Change combines the best of many worlds. On the one hand, it is pure logic and math. Its binary-digital code long predates both Leibniz’s calculus and computer science.

On the other hand, it leads inwards, serving to link the material world of physical experience (empirical science) with its ultimate source (the realm of con-science).

Working with it, one starts in immediate, practical experience, with the option to travel to the opposite end of the reality scale, merging with the mystical. This interactive book, regarded by some as magical, depends on the phenomena of synchronicity to link person, time and events in the decision-making process.

In The Ultimate Gatekeeper, I supplied preliminary hints.

The extraordinary value of the I Ching is that it reveals the secrets of dynamic Natural Law. Working with its changes opens access to the middle level of the Life Wheel, the “e = energy” layer of Einstein’s Unified Field Theory.

Further:

Unfortunately, the middle level is too often clogged with painful memories, negative emotions and repressed, socially taboo urges. It becomes a barrier to deeper knowing . . . .

For eight thousand years and counting, the Book of Change has served as an indispensable tool for resolving this dilemma. Used as intended, it can restore the unnecessarily “unconscious” to conscious awareness, opening levels of potential so they can be aligned and unified. . . .

To the extent that the Natural Law of energy dynamics remains a blind spot in the prevailing, linear and exclusively empirical paradigm, we are left powerless to move beyond the surface level of experience.. . .

Making this compendium of Natural Law — the premier leadership training and decision-making manual in China for thousands of years — widely accessible now is necessary in order to fill in this fatal knowledge gap.

It also suggests how and why meditative practices can “upgrade” DNA:

The 64 changes of the Book of Change have been correlated with the 64 basic strands of DNA. Nor is it coincidence that Chinese ideogram for I Ching bears a striking resemblance to the double helix of DNA.

side by side

In Stay Alert to Cosmic Patterns, I described benefits of working with the Book of Change:

For ordinary mortals (like me), who aren’t always present and clear, the discipline of settling down the physical body and quieting the mind is a great help. Then, the practice of carefully defining the immediate situation leads to the formulation of coherent questions. In this higher, open and receptive frequency of mind, magic can happen. You bridge the gap between now and the future. It’s experienced as a synchronous connection between yourself and timeless wisdom – call it intuition or angelic guidance, as you will.

In Self-Awareness Tools for Empaths, I offered this perspective:

The text has a long history. In the last century, psychologist Carl Jung picked up on it. In his introduction to the first genuinely useful English translation, Jung coined the term “synchronicity” to explain its power – precipitating seemingly magical and awesome non-local connections of understanding, insight, and awareness.

This affect may be due to the similarity between the opening and closing lines of the 64 hexagrams and the geometric patterns seen by meditators in deep trance. (Dr. Joe Dispenza is a fan of synchronisities. He tells students, as they grow in their meditative practice, to look for confirming synchronisities to appear in their lives.)

Tai Chi Tu

Now, I have followed your work for many years. Why have I chosen to contact you only now? Two reasons.

First, OA, the one we respectfully called Old Avatar, recently returned home to work directly with his “drinking buddies,” the archangels. The precise technical terms he used went over my head, but I got it that he was a “universal avatar.” This is just one of his universes. (Yes indeed. Truth is sometimes way stranger than fiction.) From the far side, he continues his work, making just a little bit more time for those committed to completing the work on this side.

As long as he lived, my exclusive focus was on working with him, learning from him, and becaring him in the humble ways that made his physical presence on Earth a bit easier.

Second, more specifically, the date September 28, 2019 is a pivotal one. I quote at length to explain.

Right now we are experiencing significant energy shifts. Many of us are integrating significant energy changes at every level of being. A major contributing factor is the Schumann resonance. It represents the frequency of the Earth’s electromagnetic field, usually measured at around 7.83 Hertz.

It has had very few major variations since the 1950s. However, since June of 2014 [not coincidentally the year I published the RethinkingSurvival website] there have been many changes in the Schumann resonance. The vibration of what is essentially the Earth’s heartbeat has been accelerating. Just this past week, the frequency reached up to 99 Hertz. That’s a huge leap.

As human beings we have our own frequencies relative to our own electromagnetic fields and naturally attune our frequency to that of the Earth’s heartbeat.

The Earth’s frequency has a significant impact on how we feel, particularly physically affecting our brain waves and nervous systems. And we know that what changes in the body changes also in the mind and the spirit.

The Earth is undergoing a major change and human spiritual collective consciousness is changing right along with it. This vibration, this cosmic music, is working to heal us as a collective, in part by flushing out stored emotional memories, most especially traumatic thinking and behavioral patterning.

Once we have cleared out the past negative patterns, our consciousness, as well as our bodies and souls, will naturally be able to follow and match the cosmic metronome in a harmonious, unified manner.

The higher purpose and meaning of this is UNITY. We are growing into greater awareness of our unity with all.

Phoenix - sized

There’s so much more that could be said. But this brief introduction must suffice as tip of the iceberg.

If you want just a taste of “Who I Am To Say,” this introduction supplies biographical information, though of necessity, the deeper, more important parts, remain unspoken.

As to current lifestyle, Self-Awareness Tools for Empaths inadvertently gives some hints.

Contacting you direct is a challenge, which I can understand. That’s why I’ve chosen this indirect way of inviting you to contact me. As busy as you most certainly must be, there’s much of value to be shared.

Respectfully, Patricia West

How Can I Be More Clear?

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

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

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

HERE IS THE COMPLETE AND CORRECT POSITIVE PARADIGM OF CHANGE:

PPoC Wheel

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

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

 

0 Bent out of shape

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

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

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

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

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

Let Me Be Clear

What does “Positive Paradigm” mean to YOU? I have to wonder, because the word “positive” has 17 (!) discrete definitions which span the Life Wheel’s continuum from center to surface.

The word “paradigm” is becoming equally diluted and compromised. For example, Francisca Moors recently tweeted me from the Netherlands: “What’s todays paradigm about your self?” Her question implies that paradigms are personal filters (not culture-wide agreements) that can be changed like clothes from day-to-day to suit immediate whims.

In response, to clarify, I drew a picture showing the shifting levels to which the same badly abused word “paradigm” is applied.

 

0 Def of Paradigm

Please. Let me be very clear. When I use the word “positive,” I’m referring primarily to the core: “that which is absolute, unqualified, and independent of circumstances; that which has real existence in itself.” [See wp.me/p46Y5Z-9R.] Whether the effect of religious beliefs, social theories and economic policies is beneficial depends on the extent to which leaders and their followers are functionally connected with the eternal center. To the extent that they’ve lost their mooring, they’ve forfeited inherent power and validity.

Positive thinking becomes delusional when taken to mean “I can have whatever I want.” Positive Paradigm thinking humbly accepts that “With God, all things are possible.” The emphasis is on with. And all includes everything, hard and happy lessons in balance — not just whatever it is one wants.

Let me also be clear about how I use the word “paradigm.” It’s comprehensive and stable, foundational and basic beliefs — not something personal one can change on convenience, shifting with current fashions. What I call the “positive paradigm” is an inclusive, complete and correct worldview. It answers Joseph Campbell’s call for a universal “myth” (creation story), capable of recognizing the humanity of those living on the opposite side of the planet.

The Positive Paradigm of Change embodies what Aldus Huxley called the “perennial philosophy” — the core reality which the world’s great teachings share in common. For just as the sun is the center of our solar system and as there’s a nucleus at the center of each atom, there’s a central timeless experience of life which everyone everywhere shares in common.

Put the other way around, any belief system that’s not founded on eternal wisdom will inevitably, like the sands of time, be blown away. It cannot endure through the variable seasons of change. An incomplete, false paradigm, like the biblical “feet of clay,” will crumble when struck with the iron mallet of destiny.

The poet Yeats wrote “the center does not hold.” But that is the subjective experience of those who deny or forget their center. Nevertheless, acknowledged or not, the center remains, unchanged and eternal. It’s the true “common core” that (misleading label aside) is dangerously overlooked by the current, politically-driven educational fad.

Restoring the Positive Paradigm with its potential to outlast Titanic Times is an urgent matter of human survival. How urgent? Let’s see. The past week’s news alone offers several terrifying examples. Putin is saber-rattling again, doing a repeat of the Khrushchev-Kennedy death dance. “I want to remind you that Russia is one of the leading nuclear powers,” he threatens.

On other fronts, terrorists are planning to build missiles capable of spreading bubonic plague. King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia issued a dire warning: “Jihadists could reach Europe and America in a matter of months.” The chaotic Texas/Mexico border is increasingly feared to be a likely entry point for terrorists. Not to mention the “chatter” of a significant event to “celebrate” the approaching 13th anniversary of 9/11 in honor of the 13th Imam, possibly involving “home grown” American terrorists.

Adding insult to pending injuries, America’s fund-raiser-in-chief announced that America is safer than it was twenty years ago. In response to this statement, two references from earlier blogs come to mind. One is the pictured definition of sheer evil in Positive Paradigm context. [See “How Bad People Become Leaders,” wp.me/p46Y5Z-9B.]

The other is the game show described in “To Tell the Truth.” [See wp.me/p46Y5Z-dA.] In that scenario, the rules of the game are that impostors have no rules. They can lie, deceive and misrepresent their intentions. Alinsky-like, their ends justify any means. An Obama observer on Glenn Beck’s website TheBlaze gave me a new word that describes Obama’s otherwise mystifying behavior exactly: TAQIYYA. It means religiously sanctioned deception. Its purpose is to infiltrate enemy organizations, undermining them from within.

In the face of all this “bad news,” I refer back to Mike Lehr. He’s the one who asked for my explanation as to how bad people become leaders (along with its implicit solution). In addition, he wanted to know whether dangerous circumstances result in the selection of better leaders. My answer: different faces won’t make much difference.

Leader-selectors (both formal and informal) have long since identified, trained and placed look-alikes to follow in their footsteps. Anyone who threatens that status quo has long since been driven off or otherwise destroyed. So insiders from the available candidate pool will continue to operate on the same variety of false paradigms.

There may be a few experienced but disenfranchised survivors left, ones who tenaciously hold to the timeless truth embodied in the Positive Paradigm. But as Old Avatar observed, it’s because they’ve had the good sense to hide out (like Yoda), perhaps to reemerge should another Luke Skywalker come forward. My best hope still remains with the as-yet untested Millennial Generation. From their ranks may emerge a handful of visionary leaders with the combined wisdom, courage and endurance to rise from the ashes of the approaching NELC.

It will be their blessing/responsibility to make the urgently needed Fresh Start clearly foreseen by the biblical dream-reader and prophet Daniel — the one who told the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but.

 

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Therapists as Positive Change Agents

During a critical transition point in my life, books by Swiss analyst Carl Jung had a magically powerful, formative influence. After leaving the United States to tour in Italy and Austria with a Brazilian chamber orchestra, I auditioned to join the master violin class taught by Sandor Vegh at the Robert Schumann Konservatorium in Düsseldorf, Germany.

The following year spanning 1970-71 was one of self-discovery and reinvention. [See Discovering the Missing Link, His autobiography Memories, Dreams and Reflections provided the clues I needed to reexamine my relationships and purpose in life. In conjunction, his introduction to the Wilhelm/Baynes translation of the Chinese I Ching initiated a life-long relationship with the text that continues to validate intuition and in-form important life decisions.

The Book of Change has been applied to countless disciplines for every imaginable purpose for over eight-thousand years. Leaders have respected the fundamentals of human dynamics to guide their businesses and nations. Military strategists have avoided no-win conflicts and won necessary battles based on the same principles. Healing sciences based on this wisdom, notably Traditional Chinese Medicine, balance extreme emotions to alleviate symptoms of physical disease.

 

Jung explored the universal experience of the dynamic inner-life which influences human behavior. These intangibles lie outside the parameters of empirical science, which deals exclusively with tangible, measurable experience. So he looked elsewhere for clues, including not only dreams, but ancient scriptures which can explain formerly taboo subjects. For example, both ancient Egyptians and Tibetans recognized the existence of the “bardo,” an intermediate level of existence to which departed souls travel. In each case, a Book of the Dead gives instructions on how to facilitate the process of “crossing over.”

More “A-ha” moments followed during the decade spent making acquaintance with the scriptures associated with yoga practice. I began to see the intimate connection between the Book of Change and yoga philosophy/science. Each informs the other. Conversely, each without the other is insufficient. It seemed that, throughout history, mosaic pieces of universal truth have been placed in different cultures, waiting to be reassembled into a larger picture.

 

Yoga scriptures included not only Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras and the Bhagavad Gita, but also the Upanashads. Yoga anatomy, including an evolutionary scale of subtle energy centers, is an invaluable concept for psychologists and healers. Whereas Chinese medicine focuses on internal organs and three energy centers — the lower, middle, and upper Tan Tiens — yoga anatomy names seven basic centers located at intersection points along the human spine. Their correlation with the repeated number “7” in the Old Testament is not coincidental.

 

But it was the premise posed as a question in the Manduka Upanishad that haunted me for years. “What is that, knowing which, all else is known?” I repeatedly asked myself that question, and applied it to everything I learned.

 

When I recognized the correlation between Einstein’s famous formula, e = mc2 and ancient teachings from around the world, I used the Positive Paradigm of Change to picture their common understanding. Then came another Aha! This Unified Wheel is fact That, Knowing Which, All Else is Known. It puts the mosaic pictures together in a way that is larger than the sum of its parts.

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cov wheel

Why then, I continue to ask, if this information is readily available, do people balk at the marvelous possibilities inherent in the Positive Paradigm of Change, refusing to go through the doorway it opens for those with the courage to enter? I addressed this briefly in The Fateful Fear of Self-Awareness, This blog contrasts the hollow shell of the prevailing empirical science paradigm with the universal, complete paradigm of diversity on the surface with timeless unity at the center. Bottom line: incomplete, inaccurate paradigms generate resistance to the unfamiliar.

But there’s more. Additional blogs expand on that fateful fear: “The Only Way Out is Through and Know When to Mistrust Inner Voices, The Chapel Perilous journey through the middle level of the Wheel takes soul seekers on what comparative religion legend Joseph Campbell called the Hero’s Journey. Not everyone is equipped to face and survive that dark night of the soul alone.

 

Here’s where feedback from others more experienced and wise than ourselves can be invaluable. Those whose understanding encompasses a complete and correct reality map (Jungian therapists and self-aware Christians who adhere to the Bible, for example) serve as the agents of positive change, one person at a time.

 

With the combined tools of reason, empathy and intuition, they are the most qualified to help those willing to face their fears. Understanding discrimination in the full meaning of the term, they can skillfully steer us safely through the danger-fraught middle level of irrational prejudice, fears and delusions, to attain fuller Self-Awareness. They can lead us on the road to recovering the infinite store of treasures available on the far shore of life, ever present and waiting for us in the innermost center of the life wheel.

Here’s the picture of full-spectrum discrimination in Positive Paradigm context. It includes not only the rational and sub-rational definitions, but also the super-rational. In the Buddhist tradition, discrimination (buddhi) is defined as the ability to see through illusions and recognize the eternal at the center of change.

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In the past, those in psychological pain, suffering from self-doubt and looking for a better way to live, would have turned to sages or kings for guidance. At this stage in history, however, therapists as healers (meaning “to make whole”) are often the best secular refuge.

Know When to Mistrust Inner Voices

A recent misunderstanding taught me a well-deserved humility lesson. Millennial spokesperson RhinoforDinner had challenged me: “What leadership quality do you think is most important for young leaders to learn?”

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Like a thoughtless Rhino, I jumped in feet first with an enthusiastic response. “I’d say Confidence, meaning ‘with faith’ in their True Selves: having the courage to hear & follow inner voice of Conscience.” Further, in a blog, Dangerous Times Call for True Radicals, I elaborated on why Two Sides of a Coin: Lao Tze’s Common Sense Way of Change is dedicated to the Millennial Generation.

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In retrospect, I recognize my answer came straight from my own world view, failing to take Page’s background and beliefs into account. So I didn’t anticipate his response. Instead of answering me back, he cut off our Twitter connection.

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I felt surprised, baffled and more than a little hurt. But when I expressed my disappointment to a close friend, he showed no sympathy.

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In essence, he reminded me of the obvious. I still have a lot to learn. In particular, he pointed out that to people of faith who read the Bible, my response might have seemed New Agey. The responsibility is on my shoulders to be far more careful, considerate and clear in the future.

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I did my homework. Page Cole is co-author of The Character-Based Leader: Instigating a Leadership Revolution…One Person at a Time. The book’s sub-title “one person at a time” resonates with the Positive Paradigm of Change and its motto, “Change from the Inside Out, and One Person at at Time.”

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However, whereas I’m a respecter of the world’s great religions, with an eye to the timeless, universal basics they share in common, Page is firmly grounded in the Baptist faith. I have greatest respect for the Bible and regard Christ as the ultimate universal teacher. But my answer failed to reflect this acceptance and respect. He had no way to recognize my answer as being completely in harmony with his beliefs.

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He had tweeted, “We believe in a Leader with Character, who acts with Integrity/Trust/ Respect for People. What do you stand for?” What he probably wanted to know was where I stand in relationship to other people.

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After healing my wounded feelings and doing an attitude adjustment, I invited Page to connect via LinkedIn. He quickly accepted, so I sent this message:

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Thanks for the connection, Page. I’d deeply appreciate your feedback. Rather than guess, I’d like to know from you why you responded to my Twitter answer to your leadership question by cutting me off. My head says to let it go. My heart says there’s something important to learn from you. There’s so much good will on this side. Why the disconnect?

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He responded charitably, re-following my Twitter account immediately. Later he emailed a detailed response. The cut-off was an unintentional error, he wrote, adding , . . “your comments were insightful and genuine. I loved the blog post.” But he also added a hint: “I’m not as versed in the writing you mentioned. . . “

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He continued, “I come from a distinctly Christian background.  I believe that ‘inner voice’ is the character within me that is being shaped by many factors, among them culture, family, relationships and of course Scripture and my personal relationship with God.”

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So far, it was merely a language disconnect. For him, “character” is a highly value-ladened word, one that by his definition spans the surface, middle and center of the Life Wheel, linking them. What I call a Philosopher-Warrior-Ruler, he calls a Person of Character. So far, no substantial disagreement. 

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Here’s how I picture our common understanding:

0 leader ruller

 

BUT then came the heart of the disconnect. He continued,

 

I’m not convinced that the “inner voice” is always a good thing to listen to, as evidenced by the actions of destructive and evil people throughout history.

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This is a seriously important reservation. It’s my boundary-spanner job to reach across the divide with a response that connects us in common understanding.

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The unique contribution of the Positive Paradigm of Change is that it speaks to this issue. It pictures a reality map that draws clear distinctions between rational, sub-rational and super-rational levels of experience. It’s not a new model. But it rephrases the “perennial philosophy” in terms of Einstein’s physics, linking historical wisdom with modern experience. It gives a way to articulate the important difference between misleading, deceptive voices that imitate conscience and the “real deal.”

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It follows in the footsteps of psychoanalyst Carl Jung, who was instrumental in introducing the Wilhelm/Baynes version of the I Ching, the venerable Chinese Book of Change to the English-speaking public. He worked to define the common thread of human experience that links wisdom traditions throughout human history, as did comparative religion teachers, notably Joseph Campbell and Huston Smith.

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Universal stories they focused on include one told by the Greek philosopher Plato. His psychological model pictures a chariot drawn by a pair of horses that pull in opposite directions. A white steed tries to pull the chariot off course, striving upward so close to the sun that it risks catching fire and being consumed. The black one pulls downwards, threatening to crash the chariot and driver into the ground. The driver’s challenge is to rein in and coordinate the team, steering a steady middle course that avoids danger-filled extremes. In this way, he succeeds in reaching his intended destination.

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[Regrettably, this poetic model, while psychologically accurate, has been taken literally and harmfully misconstrued as if it had racist implications.]

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A similar chariot story from the Hindu tradition is told in the Bhagavad Gita. Arjuna, a warrior driving his chariot into battle, grows faint of heart. At this point, Krisna, a god representing conscience, makes his presence known. As the passenger seated behind Arjuna, Krisna advises with encouragement and wisdom, giving him the heart to prevail in fighting the good fight.

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The Positive Paradigm Wheel is true to these poetic traditions. All account for the interdependent facets of awareness. The rational mind (driver) of the chariot (physical body) must skillfully harness the horses (energies, emotions) that power the vehicle, while heeding the guiding voice of conscience in order to meet ultimate goals.

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In addition, however, the Positive Paradigm, also accounts for the actions of destructive and evil people throughout history which give Page pause. Despite claims to the contrary, such actions are not the result listening to the Inner Voice of Conscience. Evil actions are the mark of unbalanced extremists who have been misled into following the seductive voices lodged within the middle, sub-rational level of the Wheel.

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Destructive leaders are heeding not the innermost voice of Conscience, but the clamor of the Seven Deadly Sin-Demons — starting with Pride, followed by (and often in combination with) Anger, Avarice, Gluttony, Lust, Envy and Sloth. Modern day demon off-spring include Separatism, Exclusiveness, Arrogance, Ambition and Competition.

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What’s dangerously missing from the prevailing, exclusively materialistic paradigm of empirical science — a glaring gap which the Positive Paradigm of Change fills — is a universally acceptable reality map which includes the sub-rational middle level with all its dangers, but in its complete and correct context: contained by the super-rational level of intuition on one side and by the rational level of practical experience on the other.

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Herein is the common thread which continues the earlier blog, the Fateful Fear of Self-Awareness. I will shortly post a description of the reality map with emphasis on the too little known and greatly misunderstood, danger-fraught middle level. Character- based leaders in every walk of life and therapists as positive change agents can use it as a reference to realistically navigate the temptations of Seven Deadlies and their off-spring in order to prevail in fighting the good fight for themselves, and then for those those who place trust in them.

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In the meantime, dear Page, I heartily encourage you to read your Bible faithfully. I’m remembering Old Testament words burned into my mind from a performance of Mendelssohn’s Elijah long ago. It’s a tenor solo, the scripture-based words being, “If with all your heart ye truly seek me, Ye shall ever surely find me. Thus sayeth our God.” It’s as good a guide for sincere leaders as one would wish for in this dangerous world.

 

All best.

Democracy Is a Myth

Another installment of Reinventing Democracy must include my basic conclusion that today, for many reasons, democracy is a myth.

For starters, in Rethinking Survival, I draw on the key observation made by legendary comparative religion expert Joseph Campbell.

In his opinion, current myths (meaning creation stories and paradigms of how the world works) no longer serve us well. He called for a new paradigm, one that allows us to recognize the humanity of people living on the other side of the hemisphere.

Anticipating the Positive Paradigm of Change as the embodiment of Einstein’s long-sought Unified Theory, in The Power of Myth, Campbell wrote, “I’ve often wondered if some of the notions coming out of quantum physics, quantum interconnectedness, don’t express that.”

Historically, a belief in democracy is fundamental to the American world view. However, what I inadvertently proved in my dissertation’s statistical research study is that the existence of democracy in America is also a myth in the slang usage, meaning “false and fictitious.” Excerpts from Rethinking Survival explain.

 

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THE SELECTION PROCESS: Democracy is a Myth

Graduate school years were another mixed blessing. While earning a Ph.D. in Educational Administration didn’t lead to career advancement, it was highly therapeutic: another opportunity to divest myself of unconsciously held programming.

One day I would read in the research literature about the mistakes women new to administration make, being unable to read the hidden cues of old boys’ club colleagues. The next day, I would fall kerplunk, right into the same traps. Ouch! I would read about female stereotypes, and almost immediately find myself playing them out. Aha!

Another upside was the presence of exactly the right people in the right places to tell me what I needed to know to survive. . . . Howard Wakefield, the Department Chairman, took on the role of thesis advisor. His sense of humor and down-to-earth attitude saw me safely through the Ph.D. credentialing process. We spent long hours talking philosophy. Howard was a practicing Christian. He gave me a pocket Bible from the stash he kept in his center desk drawer. I treasured this gift.

The dissertation topic was as challenging for him as for me. Stereotype issues literally hit home. He began to see relationships with his wife and teenage daughter in a new light. But, he told me, it worked both ways. The job of his dreams had been to be a school district administrator.

But he was a short and small-boned. With thick glasses, he didn’t exactly project an athletic image. Muscular football coaches capable of nailing unruly teenage boys to the gym wall were the candidates of choice. He became a professor because, like it or not, that was stereotype he matched.

The Dissertation

Ethnology was ruled out for thesis projects. I was required to use statistical methods in my 1978 Ph.D. dissertation, “Women Principals in Wisconsin Elementary Schools: A Support-Success Theory.” With 99 percent statistically significant results, this study proved that public schools in Wisconsin are an inbred, insider’s closed shop.

No one enters the selection process who hasn’t first been identified and groomed by current school administrators. No one enters graduate school to earn a school administrator degree or applies to the Department of Public Instruction for credentials who hasn’t already been promised a job. The unwritten, informal rules of the pre-selection process require that job candidates mirror the values, beliefs and interests of current power-holders.

Dissertation research surveyed four distinct groups with the same set of questions. Each population had radically different perceptions of the same selection process. Men principals, those who benefit most from the process, responded with a remarkable 98 percent return rate, insisting the process is fair and unbiased.

Men teachers, however, those whose expectations and ambitions had been thwarted, were angry and cynical, certain that the process is stacked and unfair. In one respondent’s words, the chief qualification is “a willingness to screw teachers.”

Women teachers were oblivious to the existence of a selection process. Their mantra was, “I am not aware . . .” Only women principles were ambivalent. As boundary spanners, they had succeeded in being selected, but still recognized bias and injustice in the selection process.

What separated principals from teachers, regardless of gender, was the combined support received in their personal and professional lives. Those who got the most support succeeded accordingly. Those who received little support were least likely to succeed.

Interestingly, my research of the literature found that convenient myths are easily forgotten when they suddenly become inconvenient. A paradigm shift occurs, for example, during war time. When the men are away and there’s work to be done, then women are suddenly seen as perfectly fit to function as factory workers or school principals.

By extension, it’s only when the times make skewed rules of the knowledge and power-distribution game sufficiently inconvenient that the public will become receptive to the Positive Paradigm of Change and Positive Action ways to identify and support more effective leaders.

Applications: the I Ching view recognizes that patterned events repeat smallest to largest. Thus my research findings can be applied to the selection of government officials at every level. It applies to the selection of the CEOs in leadership positions within businesses and corporations. It also applies to political leadership, even on an international scale.

Conclusion: the American dream of a democratic, meaningful choice in leadership is but an illusion. In an informal process that proceeds the formal one, candidates are pre-selected and effectively owned by insiders. The sorry absence of innovative, effective leadership is explained by the documented filtering process which for the most part excludes creative, natural leaders.

What are the long-term survival consequences? To our detriment, the Western linear progressive theory of history puts in-bred leaders operating on dysfunctional paradigms at a loss to foresee cyclical down-turns in order to prepare for them in time.

Ancient Egypt’s pharaoh had his Joseph to interpret warning dreams and oversee the timely storage of grain during seasons of plenty to off-set famine during seasons of drought. Who prepares or listens to such boundary-spanning advisors now?

Rethinking Our Common Humanity

Rethinking Survival

Excerpts

Without an accurate reality map, chances of success in life are slim to none. You need a complete picture of your potentials along with an accurate belief system, one that explains how the world works and what it expects of you.

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 operate on correct and complete information.

But, as comparative religion legend Joseph Campbell observed, traditional creation stories no longer serve us well. He called for a re-vision of the timeless wisdom shared in common by the world’s great religions. We need a unifying view of creation that transcends cultural differences. In The Power of Myth, he put it this way:

“If we’re to solve the problem that’s confronting the world today, we will have develop a new mythology. The old myths are no longer serving us. We don’t have a mythology for people recognizing the humanity of a person on the other side of the hemisphere. I’ve often wondered if some of the notions coming out of quantum physics, quantum interconnectedness, don’t express that.”

Humanity needs a more inclusive reality map, one people worldwide can understand and identify with. The Positive Paradigm model meets this urgent need. It’s based on universally recognized and accepted physics, discovered by an internationally known and loved world citizen, Albert Einstein.

The Positive Paradigm of Change pictures an elegantly simply yet complete and correct reality map that accords with the way life truly is. It meets the Occam’s Razor standard: maximum inclusiveness with greatest simplicity. It has the power to give life travelers, wherever their journey starts, a new vision of life’s possibilities and with it, a realistic hope of survival.

It’s not “myth” as the slang implies, meaning unscientific, false and fictitious. To the contrary, it’s pure science, meaning “with knowledge.” It expresses the perennial philosophy embodied in the world’s great scriptures and shows them to be compatible with modern physics. The Positive Paradigm is equally consistent with science, the visionary poetry of culture-specific myths, and the Star Wars movies of George Lucas.

The Positive Paradigm structure satisfies Campbell’s call for a new mythology as the term is traditionally used. It is a symbolic representation of the creation story (genesis) and how humans fit into the picture. If it has a hero, as myths are said to center around a key figure, it would be Albert Einstein. He intuited the unifying theory which Campbell sought, and gave us the formula which, when plugged into Positive Paradigm Wheel, bridges the apparent gap between world religions and modern science.

The Positive Paradigm pictures what Campbell called “quantum interconnectedness:” a circle that, no matter where on the surface people stand, they are all connected to the same center. Every spoke of the wheel is linked to one unifying hub. The Positive Paradigm Wheel (which represents the whole world, of which everyone is part) literally gives us Einstein’s option of “widening the circle of compassion.”

It pictures a worldview where delusional separatist thinking has no place. Because, contrary to the conventional, competitive manner of thinking, the apex of individual achievement isn’t to rise above, separate from and dominate others. Quite the opposite. Paradoxically, the pinnacle of human attainment rests at the center of the Wheel of Life. Here, the illusion of Einstein’s dreaded separateness disappears.

Uniqueness belongs to the surface of the wheel, but the true height of attainment rests within. However, when the surface is linked with the center in an endless, infinite loop, there’s no conflict between individual freedom and universal compassion.

Tyrants of the world hate enlightened unity. They’ll do anything to prevent you from remembering that everyone, everywhere shares a common origin, that we are all inherently okay.

Because once you know this, as Einstein did, no one can intimidate, control or dominate you. No one can sell you on the virtue of warring against your neighbor. You’re aware that nothing anyone has for sale can make you more perfect. Nor can anything that anyone threatens to take away alter your essential okayness. It’s your inalienable birthright. A given.

“You are already okay.” This is the basic premise of the Positive Paradigm. It’s the realistic foundation upon which to build valid self-esteem. It’s the key to personal freedom — freedom from ignorance, freedom from fear. It’s the rock-solid foundation of functional democracy. It’s grounds for rethinking what the word really means and how to implement its promise.

One minor caveat: it all depends. While we all have the option to remember who we truly are, most of us are like Lambert, the sheepish lion. It takes a smack with a two-by-four upside the head before we’re finally ready to WAKE UP.

Often it takes the form of life-threatening danger to those we care for. A personal health crisis will also do the trick. So will job loss or a run-in with natural disaster. But, like Dorothy stranded in the land of Oz, when you want dearly enough to return “home,” you can click your heels whenever you chose — and come to find out, you’re already there.

Educators can use the Positive Paradigm of Change as a positive tool for motivating students. It is easy to understand, uplifting and unifying. It confirms the innate okayness of everyone everywhere. It simplifies the essence of world religions without bias. It emphasizes the importance of rational thinking and is compatible with science. It shows students the importance of experiencing every aspect of their lives. It’s the optimal tool for building the philosopher kings urgently needed today.

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Rethinking Survival can be purchased at amazon.com.