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On Addiction, Isolation, & Community

Monday, May 25th, 2015
The Likely Cause of Addiction Has Been Discovered – It’s Not What You Think

26th May 2015By Johann Hari

Guest Writer for Wake Up World

It is now one hundred years since drugs were first banned, and all through this long century of waging war on drugs, we have been told a story about addiction by our teachers and by our governments. This story is so deeply ingrained in our minds that we take it for granted. It seems obvious. It seems manifestly true. Until I set off three and a half years ago on a 30,000-mile journey for my new book, Chasing The Scream: The First And Last Days of the War on Drugs, to figure out what is really driving the drug war, I believed it too. But what I learned on the road is that almost everything we have been told about addiction is wrong, and there is a very different story waiting for us, if only we are ready to hear it.

If we truly absorb this new story, we will have to change a lot more than the drug war. We will have to change ourselves.

I learned it from an extraordinary mixture of people I met on my travels. From the surviving friends of Billie Holiday, who helped me to learn how the founder of the war on drugs stalked and helped to kill her. From a Jewish doctor who was smuggled out of the Budapest ghetto as a baby, only to unlock the secrets of addiction as a grown man. From a transsexual crack dealer in Brooklyn who was conceived when his mother, a crack-addict, was raped by his father, an NYPD officer. From a man who was kept at the bottom of a well for two years by a torturing dictatorship, only to emerge to be elected President of Uruguay and to begin the last days of the war on drugs.

I had a quite personal reason to set out for these answers. One of my earliest memories as a kid is trying to wake up one of my relatives, and not being able to. Ever since then, I have been turning over the essential mystery of addiction in my mind — what causes some people to become fixated on a drug or a behavior until they can’t stop? How do we help those people to come back to us? As I got older, another of my close relatives developed a cocaine addiction, and I fell into a relationship with a heroin addict. I guess addiction felt like home to me.

If you had asked me what causes drug addiction at the start, I would have looked at you as if you were an idiot, and said: “Drugs. Duh.” It’s not difficult to grasp. I thought I had seen it in my own life. We can all explain it. Imagine if you and I and the next twenty people to pass us on the street take a really potent drug for twenty days. There are strong chemical hooks in these drugs, so if we stopped on day twenty-one, our bodies would need the chemical. We would have a ferocious craving. We would be addicted. That’s what addiction means.

One of the ways this theory was first established is through rat experiments — ones that were injected into the American psyche in the 1980s, in a famous advert by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America. You may remember it. The experiment is simple. Put a rat in a cage, alone, with two water bottles. One is just water. The other is water laced with heroin or cocaine. Almost every time you run this experiment, the rat will become obsessed with the drugged water, and keep coming back for more and more, until it kills itself.

The advert explains:

“Only one drug is so addictive, nine out of ten laboratory rats will use it. And use it. And use it. Until dead. It’s called cocaine. And it can do the same thing to you.”

But in the 1970s, a professor of Psychology in Vancouver called Bruce Alexander noticed something odd about this experiment. The rat is put in the cage all alone. It has nothing to do but take the drugs. What would happen, he wondered, if we tried this differently? So Professor Alexander built Rat Park. It is a lush cage where the rats would have colored balls and the best rat-food and tunnels to scamper down and plenty of friends: everything a rat about town could want. What, Alexander wanted to know, will happen then?

In Rat Park, all the rats obviously tried both water bottles, because they didn’t know what was in them. But what happened next was startling.

The rats with good lives didn’t like the drugged water. They mostly shunned it, consuming less than a quarter of the drugs the isolated rats used. None of them died. While all the rats who were alone and unhappy became heavy users, none of the rats who had a happy environment did.

At first, I thought this was merely a quirk of rats, until I discovered that there was – at the same time as the Rat Park experiment – a helpful human equivalent taking place. It was called the Vietnam War. Time magazine reported using heroin was “as common as chewing gum” among U.S. soldiers, and there is solid evidence to back this up: some 20 percent of U.S. soldiers had become addicted to heroin there, according to a study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry. Many people were understandably terrified; they believed a huge number of addicts were about to head home when the war ended.

But in fact some 95 percent of the addicted soldiers — according to the same study — simply stopped. Very few had rehab. They shifted from a terrifying cage back to a pleasant one, so didn’t want the drug any more.

Professor Alexander argues this discovery is a profound challenge both to the right-wing view that addiction is a moral failing caused by too much hedonistic partying, and the liberal view that addiction is a disease taking place in a chemically hijacked brain. In fact, he argues, addiction is an adaptation. It’s not you. It’s your cage.

After the first phase of Rat Park, Professor Alexander then took this test further. He reran the early experiments, where the rats were left alone, and became compulsive users of the drug. He let them use for fifty-seven days — if anything can hook you, it’s that. Then he took them out of isolation, and placed them in Rat Park. He wanted to know, if you fall into that state of addiction, is your brain hijacked, so you can’t recover? Do the drugs take you over? What happened is — again — striking. The rats seemed to have a few twitches of withdrawal, but they soon stopped their heavy use, and went back to having a normal life. The good cage saved them. (The full references to all the studies I am discussing are in my book.)

When I first learned about this, I was puzzled. How can this be? This new theory is such a radical assault on what we have been told that it felt like it could not be true. But the more scientists I interviewed, and the more I looked at their studies, the more I discovered things that don’t seem to make sense — unless you take account of this new approach.

Here’s one example of an experiment that is happening all around you, and may well happen to you one day. If you get run over today and you break your hip, you will probably be given diamorphine, the medical name for heroin. In the hospital around you, there will be plenty of people also given heroin for long periods, for pain relief. The heroin you will get from the doctor will have a much higher purity and potency than the heroin being used by street-addicts, who have to buy from criminals who adulterate it. So if the old theory of addiction is right – it’s the drugs that cause it; they make your body need them – then it’s obvious what should happen. Loads of people should leave the hospital and try to score smack on the streets to meet their habit.

But here’s the strange thing: It virtually never happens. As the Canadian doctor Gabor Mate was the first to explain to me, medical users just stop, despite months of use. The same drug, used for the same length of time, turns street-users into desperate addicts and leaves medical patients unaffected.

If you still believe – as I used to – that addiction is caused by chemical hooks, this makes no sense. But if you believe Bruce Alexander’s theory, the picture falls into place. The street-addict is like the rats in the first cage, isolated, alone, with only one source of solace to turn to. The medical patient is like the rats in the second cage. She is going home to a life where she is surrounded by the people she loves. The drug is the same, but the environment is different.

This gives us an insight that goes much deeper than the need to understand addicts. Professor Peter Cohen argues that human beings have a deep need to bond and form connections. It’s how we get our satisfaction. If we can’t connect with each other, we will connect with anything we can find — the whirr of a roulette wheel or the prick of a syringe. He says we should stop talking about ‘addiction’ altogether, and instead call it ‘bonding.’ A heroin addict has bonded with heroin because she couldn’t bond as fully with anything else.

So the opposite of addiction is not sobriety. It is human connection.

When I learned all this, I found it slowly persuading me, but I still couldn’t shake off a nagging doubt. Are these scientists saying chemical hooks make no difference? It was explained to me — you can become addicted to gambling, and nobody thinks you inject a pack of cards into your veins. You can have all the addiction, and none of the chemical hooks. I went to a Gamblers’ Anonymous meeting in Las Vegas (with the permission of everyone present, who knew I was there to observe) and they were as plainly addicted as the cocaine and heroin addicts I have known in my life. Yet there are no chemical hooks on a craps table.

But still, surely, I asked, there is some role for the chemicals? It turns out there is an experiment which gives us the answer to this in quite precise terms, which I learned about in Richard DeGrandpre’s book The Cult of Pharmacology.

Everyone agrees cigarette smoking is one of the most addictive processes around. The chemical hooks in tobacco come from a drug inside it called nicotine. So when nicotine patches were developed in the early 1990s, there was a huge surge of optimism — cigarette smokers could get all of their chemical hooks, without the other filthy (and deadly) effects of cigarette smoking. They would be freed.

But the Office of the Surgeon General has found that just 17.7 percent of cigarette smokers are able to stop using nicotine patches. That’s not nothing. If the chemicals drive 17.7 percent of addiction, as this shows, that’s still millions of lives ruined globally. But what it reveals again is that the story we have been taught about The Cause of Addiction lying with chemical hooks is, in fact, real, but only a minor part of a much bigger picture.

This has huge implications for the one-hundred-year-old war on drugs. This massive war — which, as I saw, kills people from the malls of Mexico to the streets of Liverpool — is based on the claim that we need to physically eradicate a whole array of chemicals because they hijack people’s brains and cause addiction. But if drugs aren’t the driver of addiction — if, in fact, it is disconnection that drives addiction — then this makes no sense.

Ironically, the war on drugs actually increases all those larger drivers of addiction. For example, I went to a prison in Arizona — ‘Tent City’ — where inmates are detained in tiny stone isolation cages (‘The Hole’) for weeks and weeks on end to punish them for drug use. It is as close to a human recreation of the cages that guaranteed deadly addiction in rats as I can imagine. And when those prisoners get out, they will be unemployable because of their criminal record — guaranteeing they with be cut off even more. I watched this playing out in the human stories I met across the world.

There is an alternative. You can build a system that is designed to help drug addicts to reconnect with the world — and so leave behind their addictions.

This isn’t theoretical. It is happening. I have seen it. Nearly fifteen years ago, Portugal had one of the worst drug problems in Europe, with 1 percent of the population addicted to heroin. They had tried a drug war, and the problem just kept getting worse. So they decided to do something radically different. They resolved to decriminalize all drugs, and transfer all the money they used to spend on arresting and jailing drug addicts, and spend it instead on reconnecting them — to their own feelings, and to the wider society. The most crucial step is to get them secure housing, and subsidized jobs so they have a purpose in life, and something to get out of bed for. I watched as they are helped, in warm and welcoming clinics, to learn how to reconnect with their feelings, after years of trauma and stunning them into silence with drugs.

One example I learned about was a group of addicts who were given a loan to set up a removals firm. Suddenly, they were a group, all bonded to each other, and to the society, and responsible for each other’s care.

The results of all this are now in. An independent study by the British Journal of Criminology found that since total decriminalization, addiction has fallen, and injecting drug use is down by 50 percent. I’ll repeat that: injecting drug use is down by 50 percent. Decriminalization has been such a manifest success that very few people in Portugal want to go back to the old system. The main campaigner against the decriminalization back in 2000 was Joao Figueira, the country’s top drug cop. He offered all the dire warnings that we would expect from the Daily Mail or Fox News. But when we sat together in Lisbon, he told me that everything he predicted had not come to pass — and he now hopes the whole world will follow Portugal’s example.

This isn’t only relevant to the addicts I love. It is relevant to all of us, because it forces us to think differently about ourselves. Human beings are bonding animals. We need to connect and love. The wisest sentence of the twentieth century was E.M. Forster’s — “only connect”. But we have created an environment and a culture that cut us off from connection, or offer only the parody of it offered by the Internet. The rise of addiction is a symptom of a deeper sickness in the way we live — constantly directing our gaze towards the next shiny object we should buy, rather than the human beings all around us.

The writer George Monbiot has called this “the age of loneliness“. We have created human societies where it is easier for people to become cut off from all human connections than ever before. Bruce Alexander — the creator of Rat Park — told me that for too long, we have talked exclusively about individual recovery from addiction. We need now to talk about social recovery — how we all recover, together, from the sickness of isolation that is sinking on us like a thick fog.

But this new evidence isn’t just a challenge to us politically. It doesn’t just force us to change our minds. It forces us to change our hearts.

Loving an addict is really hard. When I looked at the addicts I love, it was always tempting to follow the tough love advice doled out by reality shows like Intervention — tell the addict to shape up, or cut them off. Their message is that an addict who won’t stop should be shunned. It’s the logic of the drug war, imported into our private lives. But in fact, I learned, that will only deepen their addiction — and you may lose them altogether. I came home determined to tie the addicts in my life closer to me than ever — to let them know I love them unconditionally, whether they stop, or whether they can’t.

When I returned from my long journey, I looked at my ex-boyfriend, in withdrawal, trembling on my spare bed, and I thought about him differently. For a century now, we have been singing war songs about addicts. It occurred to me as I wiped his brow, we should have been singing love songs to them all along.

from:    http://wakeup-world.com/2015/05/26/the-likely-cause-of-addiction-has-been-discovered-its-not-what-you-think/

Zen Gardner on The Beginning

Thursday, April 30th, 2015

As Always — Do Your Research

The Beginning Is Here

by Zen Gardner

“Is everything a conspiracy?  No, just the important stuff.” – Jeff Wells

by Zen Gardner

Waking up to the realities presented before us and even more importantly what they imply is a very profound and personal experience. Once we become aware we are living in a world that’s been deliberately fabricated in ways we never would have imagined and that even our own true nature is anything but what we’ve been told, there’s no turning back.

It may appear to be a lonely path at first, but we are by no means alone in this awakening. It is happening in all walks of life. Whether a banker or corporate employee wakes up to the scam being perpetrated on humanity and pulls out of the matrix, or a normal taxpaying worker realizes they’re contributing to a military industrial machine hell bent on control and world domination, we’re all the same.

And those are just surface issues compared to the deliberate suppression of man’s innate spiritual nature, whether we call it social liberty or the simple freedom to create and manifest as we truly are. Not the least of which control mechanisms we are faced with is religion which works hand in hand with this suppression of humanity. All part of this repressive, controlling matrix.

Triggers for Awakening

There are many such triggers that wake people up. Once someone realizes, for example, how the world was scammed on 9/11 and that the powers that be are willing to continue to perpetrate such atrocities to promote their agenda, the digging begins. When we realize we seem to be at the complete mercy of parasitic central bankers more than willing to not only implode the world’s economy, but finance both sides of any conflict for personal gain and control, and that our governments are complicit in this scheme, we start to grasp the enormity of what befalls us.

That we have rapidly evolved into an advanced militarized surveillance police state is driving many to ask some hard questions – and the answers can be startling and difficult to swallow, especially when you realize they’re attempting to cut off all avenues of recourse.

Another major issue is that it’s more evident by the day that our very health is under attack, again by complicit government and multinational corporations pushing GMOs, adulterated food, vaccines, pharmaceuticals, atmospheric aerosols, genetic alterations and the like, all of which are clearly extremely hazardous to humanity. Yet they push harder by the day, mandating program after destructive program. Meanwhile, natural and organic farming and foods, as well as supplements, are under intense attack by these very same perpetrators.

The truth about these issues and many, many more including awareness of the massive planet harming programs such as fracking, electrosmog, genetic modification, technologically driven transhumanism and the ongoing geoengineering assault on humanity are driving a major perceptual paradigm shift amongst all walks of life as we delve more deeply into who is doing all this and why.

What exactly is their agenda? Volumes of evidence points to not just control, but literal depopulation motives. Is this shadow force literally that Machiavellian?

There Is No “They” – Or Is There?

This is often the final breakthrough point for many people. As the true picture starts to crystallize, the horrific realization that the “powers that be” are fundamentally a clandestine cabal with puppet-like front men comes into focus. These are powerful minions, more interested in weakening and subjugating humanity via health degradation, dumbed down education, mindless “bread and circus” government controlled media, depraved violence and sex oriented entertainment, and a draconian militarized police crackdown. The ugly truth then comes to the fore.

It can be staggering. If you take just 9/11 and other false flag events and realize they were staged to bring about this Orwellian police state where the citizens are now terrorist suspects, it can be very difficult to swallow.

A quick perusal of history soon follows, where people realize these same false flag/false enemy tactics were used to justify almost every war, leading to such totalitarian states as Stalinist Russia, Communist China and Nazi Germany, each of which descended into horrific pogroms, decimating their own populations of anyone potentially daring to question the new regime. With that perspective, the trees we’re amongst on the edge of the forest become strikingly transparent. America and its allies are indeed exactly the same, only much much worse, being pawned off to a numbed down generation who actually believe this is all a fight for liberty and freedom when in fact it is the exact opposite.

It’s not all black and white. There are of course good people working for bad people, powers and programs, wittingly and unwittingly. Many are trying to change and improve our existing structure. Many good people are performing wonderful services within this overarching societal program thinking it can be changed constructively. What we’re addressing are the deceitful and destructive powers and mechanisms at play that are attempting to bring humanity into a weakened subservient role to some sort of worldwide fascist control state, eliminating personal and national sovereignty to support and obey a very few powerful self-appointed elites.

And it’s coming on fast.

This becomes evident as one pursues almost any avenue we’re discussing here. To realize this massive program is being orchestrated by some form of “they” soon becomes obvious. The reality of the conspiracy that JFK so eloquently pointed out before he was surgically removed from office via assassination hits squarely home. Here’s an excerpt from this landmark speech.

For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence–on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice, on guerrillas by night instead of armies by day.

It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific and political operations. Its preparations are concealed, not published. Its mistakes are buried not headlined. Its dissenters are silenced, not praised. No expenditure is questioned, no rumor is printed, no secret is revealed. – John F. Kennedy

We Have to Find Out for Ourselves

An essential element to a true awakening is investigating and learning for ourselves. One of the main control mechanisms has been teaching humanity to only trust what they’ve been told by these same agendized so-called authorities. How many times have you heard, “If 9/11 was an ‘inside job’, surely it would have been on CNN. If something was really wrong surely someone would have said something.”

Well, a lot of people have and continue to speak out. And what’s the response? Anything contrary to the official narrative is “outlandish conspiracy theory”, and results in the subsequent demonization and marginalization of any  form of questioning or healthy criticism.

Waking up from that media and education entrancement is another shocker. Could they do such a thing? Could we really be facing such a totalitarian crackdown and mind and information control? Do they really have such sway on humanity?

When I was young there were over 60 media companies vying for audiences. Real investigative reporting, although it’s always been tampered with or suppressed, was still available. Today 6 mega corporations own all of the media. The very same corporations that own much of the corporate military industrial infrastructure. Conspiracy is not a stretch – of course these power brokers would twist information to suit their intentions. The word conspiracy has been stigmatized for a reason – don’t ask questions or there will be consequences.

All of this will take some serious researching, most likely in places people have never dared to look before. And this is good. Don’t let anyone tell you what the truth is, find out for yourself and be convinced in your own mind and heart. That’s a new phenomenon for most, as odd as that may seem, but stepping outside the propaganda mainstream is a must. And it is oh so refreshing.

The Shock Does Wear Off – But the Indignation Doesn’t

There are so many interconnected “rabbit holes” of similarly repressed, twisted or hidden areas of information that it can be staggering. Once we realize we’ve been lied to about any one of these serious issues, we begin to question everything. And that is extremely healthy. You may not find support for your new found perspective from those around you, but there are millions who are sharing your experience. Thanks to the internet you can find others undergoing the same transformation quite readily and derive a lot of affirmation, encouragement and support.

Battling through the naysaying of close friends and loved ones seems to act like a chrysalis, much like the cocoon a metamorphosing butterfly has to struggle to escape. And as we know, that is exactly what drives the blood into the wings of the birthing creation that will soon bear the beautiful new awakened soul to glorious new heights and vistas.

One thing that won’t wear off is your absolute disdain for what is being perpetrated on our fellow humans. As the expression goes, “If you’re not angry, you’re not paying attention.” If you knew your home was under attack and malevolent forces were coming for you and your children, you would do anything in your power to protect your family. That soon becomes an innate awareness regarding the current toxic social and physical world we’re experiencing and the need for a conscious response.

We are Responding – They Know It and Don’t Like It

Globalist adviser to 5 American presidents including Barak Obama, Zbigniew Brzezinski has clearly laid out the plan for global hegemony at any cost. His book, The Grand Chessboard even alludes to the need for a new Pearl Harbor, later echoed by the oft quoted PNAC report issued before 9/11 literally forecasting the event.

In one of his many addresses to the globalist advisory board called the Council on Foreign Relations, he made some very revealing statements. They are very aware of and afraid of the global awakening, and have surreal plans on how to control it.

Not lauding this awakening, but decrying it, Brzezinski chillingly said: [Emphasis mine]

For the first time in human history almost all of humanity is politically activated, politically conscious and politically interactive… The resulting global political activism is generating a surge in the quest for personal dignity, cultural respect and economic opportunity in a world painfully scarred by memories of centuries-long alien colonial or imperial domination… The worldwide yearning for human dignity is the central challenge inherent in the phenomenon of global political awakening… That awakening is socially massive and politically radicalizing… The nearly universal access to radio, television and increasingly the Internet is creating a community of shared perceptions and envy that can be galvanized and channeled by demagogic political or religious passions. These energies transcend sovereign borders and pose a challenge both to existing states as well as to the existing global hierarchy, on top of which America still perches…

The youth of the Third World are particularly restless and resentful. The demographic revolution they embody is thus a political time-bomb, as well… Their potential revolutionary spearhead is likely to emerge from among the scores of millions of students concentrated in the often intellectually dubious “tertiary level” educational institutions of developing countries. Depending on the definition of the tertiary educational level, there are currently worldwide between 80 and 130 million “college” students. Typically originating from the socially insecure lower middle class and inflamed by a sense of social outrage, these millions of students are revolutionaries-in-waiting, already semi-mobilized in large congregations, connected by the Internet and pre-positioned for a replay on a larger scale of what transpired years earlier in Mexico City or in Tiananmen Square. Their physical energy and emotional frustration is just waiting to be triggered by a cause, or a faith, or a hatred…

[The] major world powers, new and old, also face a novel reality: while the lethality of their military might is greater than ever, their capacity to impose control over the politically awakened masses of the world is at a historic low. To put it bluntly: in earlier times, it was easier to control one million people than to physically kill one million people; today, it is infinitely easier to kill one million people than to control one million people.

Zbigniew Brzezinski

The Conscious Awakening

This dark yet ultimately empowering information goes hand in hand with anyone experiencing this paradigm shift. If things here are so massively manipulated, what lies beyond all of this? What are we being kept from? Why do we sense we are so much more?

These are very important questions to pursue. There must be meaning in all of this. “Certainly all of humanity is not as wicked as these psychopathic control freaks.” Yes, that’s true. Unfortunately, the aggressor usually rules the day in this hierarchy of control our world has adopted for millennia. History bears this out.

The beauty of gaining a greater new found spiritual perspective is that it puts these influences in their place. We discover new ways to perceive our true indomitable nature which gives tremendous peace and confidence in spite of what we’re currently faced with. This sense of profound conscious awareness and spirituality only grows as our pursuit for truth, in love, gains momentum.

Awake, But Never Alone

A sense of isolation following the initial awakening is natural. It’s foreign to everything we’ve been taught, with implications that can be mind-boggling as well as heart breaking. However, we are very much connected and sharing a profound common experience. Knowing we are not alone is very important to keep in mind.

Building community also becomes a priority, where we can contribute to the healing of the planet at every level possible. Whether it’s activist or spiritual associations these are very important. It may only be on-line at first, that’s fine. Find kindred spirits and empowering and informative websites and blogs and even attend meet up events in your area on some of these subjects of concern.

This awakening of empowered consciousness is upon us, and is transpiring at an accelerating pace, and something to be very encouraged about. Once you get past the shock of what you’ve “found out”, it becomes easier, but it will drastically alter your life. For the better.

Enjoy it, be empowered, and take action accordingly.

The beginning is here.

Much love, Zen

from:    ZenGardner.com

On Finding Community

Sunday, February 15th, 2015

Connecting with Your Tribe: 10 Essential Keys to Calling in Your ‘People’

Connecting with Your Tribe - 10 Essential Keys to Calling in Your ‘People’ insert14th February 2015

By Michele Peppler

Guest Writer for Wake Up World

In this era of new earth consciousness, people are ‘waking up’ at an exponential rate. If you’re one of these newly awakened souls, well, chances are you’ve outgrown your life.

Suddenly jobs, living situations, romantic relationships and even entire friendship circles seem foreign, so it’s an understatement to say you probably feel a little isolated. Especially when, as you are deep in the abyss of the big questions like ‘Why am I here?’, ‘Where did we actually come from?’, ‘What is my higher calling?’ and hey while we’re down the rabbit hole, ‘Just who the hell AM I anyway!?’, people around you are discussing who won X-Factor, which royal married what celebrity, or how much they hate their boss!

Rest assured, if you’re embarking on a spiritual journey, you are right where you are supposed to be, and finding your tribe is as fundamental a piece of the awakening journey puzzle as finding your calling.

The great thing is, it is not only possible to be a conscious creator in this realm, but to accelerate how this happens, who with and how to catalyse your growth, your visions and each other.

So today, I offer my top ten tips to consciously calling in ‘your people’ – the ones that fit with and will support you on this new journey.

10 Essential Keys to Calling in Your ‘People’

1. Be Authentic

Quite simply ‘You gotta be real!’ Before you can create a soul community you must know who you really are and be living a life in alignment with your truth. Until YOU are clear on who you really are and act congruently with who that is, you ARE attracting like-minds – just ones who are matching what you are projecting out to the world about who you are. So if that’s a mask, you’re relationships are likely to be circumstantial at best.

2. Take Responsibility

Understand the roles that people in your life up until now, have played in your greater understanding and experience of self, spiritual growth and personal evolution from a place of personal empowerment and self-responsibility. Often blame justifies our current shitty situation and can be a wonderful excuse for not having or creating what we want in our lives. When we take full responsibility for our lives, the part we played in our past relationships and the role we are playing now in our current relationships we create a gateway for the authentic level of connection required to truly connect with our tribe – tribe won’t put up with your B.S – they’ll hold you accountable to being the best version of you, call you on your stuff and inspire you to evolve and expand or bring into being what you are here in this life-time to create.

3. Consciously Decide

Make a conscious decision about who you want to be for yourself and where you are headed in life, what you want and don’t want for your future, and create a life and people around you who support that – many times you know what you don’t want because you’ve experienced it, but we continue to complain about the experience rather than just focus on what we are now clear we desire.

4. Evaluate Relationships

Recognise old relationships that no longer serve who you wish to be for yourself – this doesn’t mean they are ‘bad’ or what they are choosing to do with their lives is wrong – it just doesn’t support who you want to be for yourself now. This takes a commitment to yourself to know what fosters the best version of you and what doesn’t and to create personal boundaries around who you chose to allow into your circle of influence.

5. Cultivate Relationships

Identify the kindred spirits already in your life that support your highest evolution and consciously cultivate those relationships.

6. Cut the Ties That Bind

Cut energetic ties that bind you to the past and to old ideas about who you think you are, and who others think you are. Allow yourself to be who you want to be from this moment forward and only create and sustain relationships that nourish and support this.

Connecting with Your Tribe - 10 Essential Keys to Calling in Your ‘People’ insert 2

7. Shine and Evolve

Shift blockages that lower your vibration and keep you attracting people into your life who mirror any negative beliefs around expectations of what you deserve. Give yourself permission to shine. This one may require re-educating some people about who you are as you evolve.

8. Raise Your Vibration

Call in your soul people by becoming a vibrational match for who and what you want to attract into your life. For instance, where are you not honouring your truth or fulfilling your potentiality? If I want creative people who respect me and share an aligned vision, ask: Am I expressing my creativity? Do I respect myself and am I clearly living my own vision?

9. Seek Higher Guidance

Ask for guidance from your ethereal wayshowers to connect you with people your soul-tribe. The law of non-interference or ‘free will’ means that unless we invite celestial help, everything in the universe is what we create for ourselves (or co-create with others), and since every person involved in co-creation has already given their consent to what is happening to them there is no need to mess with it. However, if you ask to be connected with your soul people with the caveat of it being for the highest good for all, it’s likely that the connection will be accelerated.

10. Recognize Your People When You Find Them

Understand how to recognise your soul people when you connect with them. Be brave, notice if someone feels good to you energetically and take action to follow up the connection. Hint – If someone keeps on coming into your consciousness, chances are there’s a reason.

Connecting with Your Tribe

See a lot of people feel they want like-minded people in their life and that they don’t have that.

The thing is though, generally they do – it’s just that what they are really seeking are their ‘soul people’, but who they are attracting is more consistent with the mask they have been wearing.

So if what you desire are kindred spirits who understand who you ‘really’ are; who are in ‘your conversation’; light you up, inspire you to be a better person; restore your faith in humanity and make you believe again that we are all connected in oneness; and help you feel alive, important, appreciated, valued, and deeply understood… get real – drop the veil, follow the tips above and your people will be waiting on the other side – promise!

from:    http://wakeup-world.com/2015/02/14/connecting-with-your-tribe-10-essential-keys-to-calling-in-your-people/

Kingsley Dennis on the Akashic Age

Saturday, April 19th, 2014

The Akashic Age: Toward A New Era?


Humanity has been on a historically long journey to finally arrive at a world that is complex and interdependent. We are at a point in human history were we are leaving behind one age and entering the next. The epoch we are leaving behind is the modern age. The epoch we are about to shift into has been given many names – digital, post-modern, new age, etc – yet has so far suffered from lack of true and genuine foresight. These periods of transition are also moments of criticality and opportunity, when catalysts for change exert a greater than normal influence on the outcome of events. At such periods current ideas, institutions, and beliefs tend to outlive their usefulness.

 Yet there are guiding principles that can help us, if not to predict the future, then at least to foresee alternative models of the future. For example, we can see that many of our present systems seek growth through increasingly high complexity and numerous levels of organization, greater dynamism, and closer interaction and more delicate balance with the environment. Therefore, we can foresee a future that is highly connected and integrated; more decentralized; technologically advanced; more sustainably balanced; and non-locally interconnected. By ‘non-locally’ interconnected it is meant that physical objects/bodies – as well as human consciousness – maintain effective forms of relationships at a distance. The term ‘non-locality’ comes from the quantum sciences, which are central to offering the world a new paradigm of inclusive, intrinsic, and immediate oneness. It is a paradigm that helps to explain our inherent energetic connectivity, which forms a basis for the continued physical proximity and connectivity that develops in the world.  This emerging new paradigm is the key in understanding what is referred to as the Akashic Age[1].

The path to an Akashic Age is a time of transition where our crises become our catalysts; and our disruptions become our driving force. To a large degree, these opportunities/disruptors will be based on how we utilize our resources; communications in how we connect and collaborate; and consciousness in our patterns of thinking and inner coherence. In such times when there are major fluctuations in worldviews, values, and beliefs, we are compelled to re-organize how we think and do things. Such moments are ripe for new models to emerge. These new models are likely to first emerge on the periphery – as ‘anomalies’ – before creeping toward the centre to overwhelm and out-do the centralized and self-centered old systems. These new models also display a marked difference in that they operate through de-centralized and distributed channels, as horizontal networks of connection and collaboration; rather than as the vertical, top-down hierarchical systems of control in the old systems. Whereas previous models of civilization continued to grow through increasing centralization and hierarchy, they have now entered history with a death-cry and the onset of final collapse. The emerging new models all display a marked connectedness which, in the terminology of quantum science, can be referred to as ‘entanglement.’ So what are some of these new models?

New Akashic Models

i) Science

The challenge is to bring to the attention of people the view of the world emerging at science’s cutting edge. According to the latest findings in the quantum sciences the quantum state of particles, and even of whole atoms, can be instantly projected across any finite distance. This has come to be known as “teleportation.”  Also, instant quantum-resonance-based interactions have been discovered operating in living systems, and even in the universe at large. Such quantum-resonance-based interactions give rise to the phenomenon known as coherence.

The observed coherence suggests “nonlocal” interaction between the parts or elements of the systems: interaction that transcends the recognized bounds of space and time.  This kind of interaction surfaces not only in the quantum domain but, surprisingly, also at macroscopic dimensions. The Akashic Paradigm turns our current picture of the world on its head. In the everyday context we think that the things we see are real, and the space that embeds them is empty and passive. This concept is now being turned around. It is the space that embeds things that is real, and the things that move about in space that are secondary. This is the deep dimension of the world the ancient Indian rishis called Akasha. Their intuition is now confirmed at the cutting edge of the sciences.

The new Akashic paradigm is a holistic paradigm. All things interact with all other things, and all things are what they are through their interactions.  Wholeness is the essence of the new concept of reality.  The world is a coherent whole, made up of parts or elements coherently related each to the other. The holistic Akashic paradigm gives important guidance for us both individually and collectively. Recognizing the paramount importance of coherence is a key to our individual health and wellbeing. With the new vision that emerges at the cutting edge of the sciences, we can lend credence to our vital sense of oneness and inherent connectedness – and thus how we communicate as a species.

ii) Communication

A new form of participatory consciousness has been emerging through our increased interconnectivity and global intercommunication.  This is a distributed model that connects people horizontally in a more egalitarian way rather than through top-down structures. No longer do we have to remain the passive audience, as during the earlier communication revolutions of radio and television. The dialogue is now shifting into a more active domain where people are putting themselves onstage and orchestrating their own connections, presence, and self-expression. A more mature form of collective social intelligence is developing across the globe. It is likely that civil society, which is the largest movement in history, will grow to become more dominant and influential in transforming our societies. To belong to this diverse and yet unified family is not only a responsibility; it is also a blessing. The new contours of connection and communication are predisposed to a non-hierarchical bottom-up format: this is the essence of functional models for the Akashic Age.

Externally we may seem to be a vast, distant, and separated collection of people, yet the reality is just the opposite. The reality is that we form a dense, intimate, closely entwined species of various races, sharing a nonlocal sense of being. Younger generations of people worldwide are growing up with a new expression of consciousness. Recent explorations of the human psyche – psychological, psychoanalytical, transpersonal, etc – are mixing with communication technologies that inspire a more reflexive mode of thought. More and more daily interactions are empathic as people react and share news, stories and emotional impacts from sources around the world.

Empathy is becoming one of the core values by which we create and sustain social life. Exposure to impacts outside of our own narrow environment will help us to achieve tolerance. We are living with experiences that are richer and more complex, full of ambiguities, multiple realities and shared perceptions. This collaborative and participatory world of online content could become a ‘global commons’ that reinforces a sense of local identity whilst connecting people in all parts of the globe. This outreach of connectivity has the power and the potential to break down old perceptual paradigms of duality – the ‘us’ and ‘them’ – that have been exploited by governments and ruling authorities to serve their own goals of control and conquest.

The model that distributed communications represent is a bottom-up, horizontal medium for spreading awareness, information, and contact. It is horizontal in that it bypasses the old model of top-down, hierarchical control structures that have been so strongly in place throughout much of our history. If it is to truly become an effective new model for the Akashic Age, this horizontal model of distributed connectivity needs to grow and develop beyond the virtual world into the physical world. It must be able to transform how we do things daily in our communities and immediate environments. The applications of the model need to cross-fertilize, so that our technologies of global connectivity can enhance and enrich our lives, friendships, and consciousness.

iii) Consciousness

Our modern sense of self-awareness, and our physical/emotional/spiritual self have evolved to root us in a social world: a world of extended relations and social connectivity. We have been preparing ourselves for the coming of an Akashic Age. Humanity can be said to be ‘hard-wired’ to evolve into an extended self – unity within diversity. Our diversity is strengthened through our connections, collaborations, and shared consciousness. Our unity is enhanced through our empathy, compassion, and shared sense of responsibility and destiny. We are responding today to an unprecedented flow of information that is catalyzing a restructuring of our inner psychological states as well as our external social structures. A new awareness in human consciousness is being birthed: an Akashic consciousness.

This period of (r)evolutionary change requires a qualitative transformation in our consciousness. We do not need to wield physical or political power to be effective agents of this transformation. We each can learn to expand and refine our ways of perception, thinking, and action. Aspects of an evolving consciousness suggest an empathic mind that is aware of its connectivity both locally and globally, physically as well as non-physically. The new Akasha paradigm recognizes that the coherence of the whole is a precondition of the functioning of the parts. It is important then that coherence is not merely an individual attribute. The right way to be and to act is not just to enhance our own, individual coherence, but to contribute to the coherence of the systems that frame and sustain our life. This means achieving or safeguarding our coherence with our fellows in a community, in a state and nation, in a culture, and in the living world as a whole. This way of behaving supports the precepts of a quantum resonance-based nonlocal consciousness – an Akashic consciousness.

A state of consciousness that reflects unity within diversity develops through human activity that expresses both greater individuation and a greater sense of shared responsibility. It is time to view our situation through the wide-angle lens of wisdom: we need to begin to see, understand, and act upon the bigger picture. Recognizing the bigger picture, and the central importance of coherence, is a key to our individual health and wellbeing, as well as to the survival of our species.

As evolutionary biologists tell us, there comes a time in species development and growth when the necessity to collaborate rather than compete becomes not only an advantage, but an evolutionary imperative. The signs of this greater connectivity of sharing have been unfolding within our modern cultures over some years now. They will be instrumental in creating our humane and sustainable communities as the Akashic Age dawns.

iv) Community

To have a healthy and vibrant future means investing in people, in our communities, and in our sense of togetherness. As in the old gift economies, intrinsic value comes through giving rather than looking after only oneself; that is, value through service to others rather than only service-to-self. We can leave behind the emphasis on a ‘one size fits all’ prescriptive model and steer toward local variations – assets, resources, etc – that can stimulate the emergence of discoveries, activity, and creative solutions according to differing locations.

The local scale is the more robust, and as such the future needs to become inherently more local: an intentional movement toward local self-dependency. Such arrangements could include local forms of currency; locally managed community energy; local food production and distribution; and local social enterprises. The extensive technologies of communication and connectivity that we currently enjoy can, and need to be, maintained and sustained as a priority so that local regions and communities can not only stay connected but also collaborate and share skills and resources. In other words, the rise of localized hubs operating within global networks. These localized hubs involve communities that are self-defining, self-organizing collectives; dense localizations of resources and resource sharing. Localization is, after all, also the celebration of place. People can be proud of local development and dependency, regardless of their political ideologies.

As regions shift their focus onto what they are able to provide, such as local goods and food, this could stimulate a reinvigoration of distinct local cultures. A surge in local growth and resilience would be supported by our global networks. Such networks would also facilitate a move away from ‘heavier’ technologies based on centralization of control toward distributed networks that require less energy to sustain them. That is, heavily centralized utility infrastructures need to be replaced by horizontal, decentralized and distributed networks.

I am not talking about ‘going back’ to a more primitive state. Rather, I suggest we engage with people’s passion for change rather than with their fear. A globally aligned response, through utilizing local resources and assets, can be a way of fostering coherence throughout society. Although the road to increasing local self-dependency may not be as easy and cheerful a path we may like to believe, it will become our advantage. The hard work involved in ‘doing things differently’ can also offer to us a deeper appreciation of our human connections, our matrix of family, friends, and neighbors, as well as the satisfaction of learning new capacities and skills.

The Akasha paradigm gives us a coherent view of ourselves, of nature, and of the cosmos. Our capacity for making the needed changes at this critical moment equips our species with the potential to solve our current and future problems. We are about to see a profound change in the tenor of human life on this planet. Everything we do today is about this monumental change toward an Akashic Age.

Toward an Akashic Age

It often happens that an awakening in consciousness rouses the need to get involved in service for a common purpose; based on an awareness that each of us is ultimately entangled with all others within the web of life. What we choose to do today will be inherited by the world to come. We each thus have an obligation to foster a more integral, empathic, and sustainable world.

For our planet to have any future that is not only sustainable but also fosters human developmental growth and well-being, we need an Akashic Age that promotes the natural integrated flow of living systems. Such an era would encourage social as well as self-actualization, and plants the seeds of a new culture that respects and honors the Earth and her diverse peoples. The Akashic Age represents a new stage in human consciousness, a stage that allows humanity to rise and overcome all challenges it confronts. It is up to us to allow the possibility that such an Age may be more than just a possible future. It can be OUR future, if we truly want it to be

from:    http://realitysandwich.com/218575/the-akashic-age-toward-a-new-era/

Burning Man Info 8/25-9/2

Saturday, August 24th, 2013

WHAT IS BURNING MAN?

Trying to explain what Burning Man is to someone who has never been to the event is a bit like trying to explain what a particular color looks like to someone who is blind. In this section you will find the peripheral definitions of what the event is as a whole, but to truly understand this event, one must participate. This site serves to try to paint a picture of the Burning Man experience to those who are new to the project, as well as to give those participants looking to keep the fire burning in their daily lives an environment in which to connect to their fellow community members. For a brief yet eloquent overview of the entire event from the time of arrival to the time of exodus, please read “What is Burning Man?“, an essay written by participant and one-time web team member, Molly Steenson. Please see archived sections for each year to read more about the art themes, art installations and theme camps for each year.

What is Burning Man?

By Molly Steenson

Hurtling down the road to the Black Rock Desert, the colors paint themselves like a spice cabinet — sage, dust, slate gray. Maybe you’re in your trusty car, the one that takes you to and from work every day. Perhaps you’ve got a spacious RV, your Motel 6 on wheels for the next days in the desert. Or you’re driving your glittering art car, complete with poker chips and mirroring to do a disco ball proud.

The two-lane highway turns off onto a new road. You drive slowly onto the playa, the 400 square mile expanse known as the Black Rock Desert. And there you’ve touched the terrain of what feels like another planet. You’re at the end — and the beginning — of your journey to Burning Man.

You belong here and you participate. You’re not the weirdest kid in the classroom — there’s always somebody there who’s thought up something you never even considered. You’re there to breathe art. Imagine an ice sculpture emitting glacial music — in the desert. Imagine the man, greeting you, neon and benevolence, watching over the community. You’re here to build a community that needs you and relies on you.

You’re here to survive. What happens to your brain and body when exposed to 107 degree heat, moisture wicking off your body and dehydrating you within minutes? You know and watch yourself. You drink water constantly and piss clear. You’ll want to reconsider drinking that alcohol (or taking those other substances) you brought with you — the mind-altering experience of Burning Man is its own drug. You slather yourself in sunblock before the sun’s rays turn up full blast. You bring enough food, water, and shelter because the elements of the new planet are harsh, and you will find no vending.

You’re here to create. Since nobody at Burning Man is a spectator, you’re here to build your own new world. You’ve built an egg for shelter, a suit made of light sticks, a car that looks like a shark’s fin. You’ve covered yourself in silver, you’re wearing a straw hat and a string of pearls, or maybe a skirt for the first time. You’re broadcasting Radio Free Burning Man — or another radio station.

You’re here to experience. Ride your bike in the expanse of nothingness with your eyes closed. Meet the theme camp — enjoy Irrational Geographic, relax at Bianca’s Smut Shack and eat a grilled cheese sandwich. Find your love and understand each other as you walk slowly under a parasol. Wander under the veils of dust at night on the playa.

You’re here to celebrate. On Saturday night, we’ll burn the Man. As the procession starts, the circle forms, and the man ignites, you experience something personal, something new to yourself, something you’ve never felt before. It’s an epiphany, it’s primal, it’s newborn. And it’s completely individual.

You’ll leave as you came. When you depart from Burning Man, you leave no trace. Everything you built, you dismantle. The waste you make and the objects you consume leave with you. Volunteers will stay for weeks to return the Black Rock Desert to its pristine condition.

But you’ll take the world you built with you. When you drive back down the dusty roads toward home, you slowly reintegrate to the world you came from. You feel in tune with the other dust-covered vehicles that shared the same community. Over time, vivid images still dance in your brain, floating back to you when the weather changes. The Burning Man community, whether your friends, your new acquaintances, or the Burning Man project, embraces you. At the end, though your journey to and from Burning Man are finished, you embark on a different journey — forever. 9

 

Here you will find links that will take you on a trip through the past – through the history of Burning Man – from its early days on a small beach in San Francisco through its evolution into the bustling city of some 48,000+ people that the Burning Man event has become today. These people make the journey to the Black Rock Desert for one week out of the year to be part of an experimental community, which challenges its members to express themselves and rely on themselves to a degree that is not normally encountered in one’s day-to-day life. The result of this experiment is Black Rock City, home to the Burning Man event.

There are no rules about how one must behave or express oneself at this event (save the rules that serve to protect the health, safety, and experience of the community at large); rather, it is up to each participant to decide how they will contribute and what they will give to this community. The event takes place on an ancient lakebed, known as the playa. By the time the event is completed and the volunteers leave, sometimes nearly a month after the event has ended, there will be no trace of the city that was, for a short time, the most populous town in the entire county. Art is an unavoidable part of this experience, and in fact, is such a part of the experience that Larry Harvey, founder of the Burning Man project, gives a theme to each year, to encourage a common bond to help tie each individual’s contribution together in a meaningful way. Participants are encouraged to find a way to help make the theme come alive, whether it is through a large-scale art installation, a theme camp, gifts brought to be given to other individuals, costumes, or any other medium that one comes up with.

The Burning Man project has grown from a small group of people gathering spontaneously to a community of over 48,000 people. It is impossible to truly understand the event as it is now without understanding how it has evolved. See the first years page and Burning Man 1986 – 1996 for the legendary story of Burning Man’s beginnings and to understand how the event has come to become what it is today. The timeline gives a short overview of what each year looked like. Please also check out the detailed archives for years, 1997 to last year. Within each of these years are descriptions each year’s art theme, theme camps, large art installations, as well as maps, journals of our city being built, the newsletters to the community for each year, issues of the Black Rock Gazette (a daily news publication produced and printed on the playa), and clean up reports for each year, including a list of those sites that failed to “leave no trace”. These pages help understand the larger scope of the entire experience, from the planning that happens year-round to make each event possible, to the clean-up efforts which take place for sometimes months after the city has disappeared.

The impact of the Burning Man experience has been so profound that a culture has formed around it. This culture pushes the limits of Burning Man and has led to people banding together nation-wide, and putting on their own events, in attempt to rekindle that magic feeling that only being part of this community can provide. The Black Rock Arts Foundation promotes interactive art by supporting public art that exists outside the event, and has a special interest in supporting art at regional events. Additionally, Burning Man has over two thousand volunteers who work before, during and after the event (many who work year-round) to make the event a reality. To give of your time and talents, please see the Participate section of the website.

If this is your first visit to this site, a good starting point is the FAQ page, the glossary, and the timeline. From here you can stroll through the carefully archived sections for each year. Community, participation, self-expression, self-reliance; these tenets of Burning Man are lifeblood of the Burning Man experience. Whether you are new to this site or are returning for your umpteenth visit, you are encouraged to delve into these pages to expand your viewpoint and definition of these ideals, and to connect with yourself to find your niche in our community. The giving of yourself is the greatest gift you can give to the Burning Man community, and is imperative to the survival of this unique experiment.

from:    http://www.burningman.com/

Good Guys Are Survivors

Monday, August 12th, 2013

Survival of the … Nicest? Check Out the Other Theory of Evolution

A new theory of human origins says cooperation—not competition—is instinctive.
by Eric Michael Johnson
posted May 03, 2013
Hugging Salt Shakers photo by Harlan Harris

Photo by Harlan Harris.

A century ago, industrialists like Andrew Carnegie believed that Darwin’s theories justified an economy of vicious competition and inequality. They left us with an ideological legacy that says the corporate economy, in which wealth concentrates in the hands of a few, produces the best for humanity. This was always a distortion of Darwin’s ideas. His 1871 book The Descent of Man argued that the human species had succeeded because of traits like sharing and compassion. “Those communities,” he wrote, “which included the greatest number of the most sympathetic members would flourish best, and rear the greatest number of offspring.” Darwin was no economist, but wealth-sharing and cooperation have always looked more consistent with his observations about human survival than the elitism and hierarchy that dominates contemporary corporate life

Nearly 150 years later, modern science has verified Darwin’s early insights with direct implications for how we do business in our society. New peer-reviewed research by Michael Tomasello, an American psychologist and co-director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, has synthesized three decades of research to develop a comprehensive evolutionary theory of human cooperation. What can we learn about sharing as a result?

Tomasello holds that there were two key steps that led to humans’ unique form of interdependence. The first was all about who was coming to dinner. Approximately two million years ago, a fledgling species known as Homo habilis emerged on the great plains of Africa. At the same time that these four-foot-tall, bipedal apes appeared, a period of global cooling produced vast, open environments. This climate change event ultimately forced our hominid ancestors to adapt to a new way of life or perish entirely. Since they lacked the ability to take down large game, like the ferocious carnivores of the early Pleistocene, the solution they hit upon was scavenging the carcasses of recently killed large mammals. The analysis of fossil bones from this period has revealed evidence of stone-tool cut marks overlaid on top of carnivore teeth marks. The precursors of modern humans had a habit of arriving late to the feast.

However, this survival strategy brought an entirely new set of challenges: Individuals now had to coordinate their behaviors, work together, and learn how to share. For apes living in the dense rainforest, the search for ripe fruit and nuts was largely an individual activity. But on the plains, our ancestors needed to travel in groups to survive, and the act of scavenging from a single animal carcass forced proto-humans to learn to tolerate each other and allow each other a fair share. This resulted in a form of social selection that favored cooperation: “Individuals who attempted to hog all of the food at a scavenged carcass would be actively repelled by others,” writes Tomasello, “and perhaps shunned in other ways as well.”

This evolutionary legacy can be seen in our behavior today, particularly among children who are too young to have been taught such notions of fairness. For example, in a 2011 study published in the journal Nature, anthropologist Katharina Hamann and her colleagues found that 3-year-old children share food more equitably if they gain it through cooperative effort rather than via individual labor or no work at all. In contrast, chimpanzees showed no difference in how they shared food under these different scenarios; they wouldn’t necessarily hoard the food individually, but they placed no value on cooperative efforts either. The implication, according to Tomasello, is that human evolution has predisposed us to work collaboratively and given us an intuitive sense that cooperation deserves equal rewards.

The second step in Tomasello’s theory leads directly into what kinds of businesses and economies are more in line with human evolution. Humans have, of course, uniquely large population sizes—much larger than those of other primates. It was the human penchant for cooperation that allowed groups to grow in number and eventually become tribal societies.

Humans, more than any other primate, developed psychological adaptations that allowed them to quickly recognize members of their own group (through unique behaviors, traditions, or forms of language) and develop a shared cultural identity in the pursuit of a common goal.
“The result,” says Tomasello, “was a new kind of interdependence and group-mindedness that went well beyond the joint intentionality of small-scale cooperation to a kind of collective intentionality at the level of the entire society.”

What does this mean for the different forms of business today? Corporate workplaces probably aren’t in sync with our evolutionary roots and may not be good for our long-term success as humans. Corporate culture imposes uniformity, mandated from the top down, throughout the organization. But the cooperative—the financial model in which a group of members owns a business and makes the rules about how to run it—is a modern institution that has much in common with the collective tribal heritage of our species. Worker-owned cooperatives are regionally distinct and organized around their constituent members. As a result, worker co-ops develop unique cultures that, following Tomasello’s theory, would be expected to better promote a shared identity among all members of the group. This shared identity would give rise to greater trust and collaboration without the need for centralized control.

Moreover, the structure of corporations is a recipe for worker alienation and dissatisfaction. Humans have evolved the ability to quickly form collective intentionality that motivates group members to pursue a shared goal. “Once they have formed a joint goal,” Tomasello says, “humans are committed to it.” Corporations, by law, are required to maximize profits for their investors. The shared goal among corporate employees is not to benefit their own community but rather a distant population of financiers who have no personal connection to their lives or labor.

However, because worker-owned cooperatives focus on maximizing value for their members, the cooperative is operated by and for the local community—a goal much more consistent with our evolutionary heritage. As Darwin concluded in The Descent of Man, “The more enduring social instincts conquer the less persistent instincts.” As worker-owned cooperatives continue to gain prominence around the world, we may ultimately witness the downfall of Carnegie’s “law of competition” and a return to the collaborative environments that the human species has long called home.

from:    http://www.yesmagazine.org/issues/how-cooperatives-are-driving-the-new-economy/survival-of-the-nicest-the-other-theory-of-evolution

Bruce Lipton on Coming Together

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

Our Drive To Bond

Bruce H Lipton

love.jpgThe following is an excerpt from The Honeymoon Effect: The Guide to Creating Heaven on Earth by Bruce H. Lipton, Ph.D., recently published by Hay House. 

It is beyond our imagination to conceive of a single form of life that exists alone and independent, unattached to other forms.
—Lewis Thomas

 

If you’re a survivor of multiple failed relationships, you may wonder why you keep trying. I can assure you that you don’t persist just for the (sometimes short-lived) good times. And you don’t persist because of TV ads featuring loving couples on tropical islands. You persist, despite your track record and despite dismal divorce statistics, because you are designed to bond. Human beings are not meant to live alone.

There is a fundamental biological imperative that propels you and every organism on this planet to be in a community, to be in relationship with other organisms. Whether you’re thinking about it consciously or not, your biology is pushing you to bond. In fact, the coming together of individuals in community (starting with two) is a principle force that drives biological evolution, a phenomenon I call spontaneous evolution, which I cover in depth in the book of the same name.

There are, of course, additional biological imperatives designed to ensure individual and species survival: the drive for food, for sex, for growth, for protection, and the ferocious, inexplicable drive to fight for life. We don’t know where or how the will to live is programmed into cells, but it is a fact that no organism will readily give up its life. Try to kill the most primitive of organisms and that bacterium doesn’t say, “Okay, I’ll wait until you kill me.” Instead, it will make every evasive maneuver in its power to sustain its survival.

When our biological drives are not being fulfilled, when our survival is threatened, we get a feeling in the pit of our stomach that something is wrong even before our conscious minds comprehend the danger. That gut feeling is being felt globally right now—many of us are feeling that pit in our stomach as we ponder the survivability of our environmentally damaged planet and of the human beings who have damaged it. Most of this book focuses on how individuals can create or rekindle wonderful relationships, but in the last chapter I’ll explain how the energy created by “Heaven on Earth” relationships can heal the planet and save our species.

That’s a tall order, I know, but we have at hand an extremely successful model for creating healing relationships that will ultimately lead to the healing of our planet. As the ancient mystics have said, “The answers lie within.” The nature and power of harmonious relationships can be seen in the community of the trillions of cells that cooperate to form every human being. This might at first seem strange to you because when you look in the mirror, you might logically conclude that you are a single entity. But that is a major misperception! A human being is actually a community made up of 50 trillion sentient cells within a “skin-covered” Petri dish, a surprising insight I’ll explain further in Chapter 3.  As a cell biologist, I spent many hours happily studying the behavior and fate of stem cells in plastic culture dishes. The trillions of cells within each skin-covered human body live far more harmoniously than feuding couples and strife-ridden human communities. This is one excellent reason why we can learn valuable insights from them: 50 trillion sentient cells, 50 trillion citizens living together peacefully in a remarkably complex community. All the cells have jobs. All the cells have health care, protection, and a viable economy (based on an exchange of ATP molecules, units of energy biologists often refer to as the “coin of the realm”). In comparison, humanity’s job—figuring out the logistics of how a relatively measly seven billion humans can work together in harmony—looks easy. And compared to the 50-trillion-celled-cooperative human community, each couple’s job—figuring out how two human beings can communicate and work together in harmony—seems like a piece of cake (though I know that at times it seems like the hardest challenge we face on Earth).

I grant you that single-celled organisms, which were the first life forms on this planet, spent a lot of time—almost three billion years—figuring out how to bond with one another. Even I didn’t take that long! And when they did start coming together to create multicellular life forms, they initially organized as loose communities or “colonies” of single-celled organisms. But the evolutionary advantage of living in a community (more awareness of the environment and a shared work load) soon led to highly structured organisms composed of millions, billions, and then trillions of socially interactive single cells.

These multicellular communities range in size from the microscopic to those easily seen by the naked eye: a bacterium, an amoeba, an ant, a dog, a human being, and so on. Yes, even bacteria do not live alone; they form dispersed communities that keep in constant communication via chemical signals and viruses.

Once cells figured out a way to work together to create organisms of all sizes and shapes, the newly evolved multicellular organisms also started to assemble into communities themselves. For example, on the macro level, the aspen tree (Populus tremuloides) forms a super organism made up of large stands of genetically identical trees (technically, stems) connected by a single underground root system. The largest known, fully connected aspen is a 106-acre grove in Utah nicknamed Pando that some experts contend is the largest organism in the world.

The social nature of harmonious multiorganism societies can provide fundamental insights directly applicable to human civilization. One great example is an ant, which, like a human being, is a multicellular social organism; when you take an ant out of its community it will die. In fact, an individual ant is really a suborganism; the true organism is actually represented by the ant colony. Lewis Thomas described ants this way: “Ants are so much like human beings as to be an embarrassment. They farm fungi, raise aphids as livestock, launch armies into war, use chemical sprays to alarm and confuse enemies, capture slaves, engage in child labor, exchange information ceaselessly. They do everything but watch television.”

Nature’s drive to form community is also easy to observe in mammalian species, such as horses. Rambunctious colts run around and irritate their parents just as human children can. To get the colts in line, their parents nip their offspring as a form of negative reinforcement. If those little bites don’t work, the parents move on to the most effective punishment of all—they force the misbehaving colt out of the group and do not let it return to the community. That turns out to be the ultimate punishment for even the friskiest, least controllable colt, which will do anything in its behavioral capacity to rejoin the community.

As for human communities, we can fend for ourselves as individuals longer than a single ant can, but we’re likely to go crazy in the process. I’m reminded of the movie Cast Away in which Tom Hanks plays a man who is marooned on an island in the South Pacific. He uses his own bloody hand to imprint a face on a Wilson Sporting Goods volleyball he calls “Wilson” so he can have someone to talk to. Finally, after four years, he takes the risky step of venturing off the island in a makeshift raft because he’d rather die trying to find someone to communicate with than stay by himself on the island, even though he has figured out how to secure food and drink—that is, how to survive.

Most people think that the drive to propagate is the most fundamental biological imperative for humans, and there’s no doubt that reproduction of the individual is fundamental to species survival. That’s why for most of us sex is so pleasurable—Nature wanted to ensure that humans have the desire to procreate and sustain the species. But Hanks doesn’t venture off the island to propagate; he ventures off the island to communicate with someone other than a volleyball.

For humans, coming together in pairs (biologists call it “pair coupling”) is about more than sex for propagation. In a lecture entitled “The Uniqueness of Humans,” neurobiologist and primatologist Robert M. Sapolsky explains how unique humans are in this regard:

“Some of the time, though, the challenge is we’re dealing with something where we are simply unique—there is no precedent out there in the animal world. Let me give you an example of this. A shocking one. Okay. You have a couple. They come home at the end of the day. They talk. They eat dinner. They talk. They go to bed. They have sex. They talk some more. They go to sleep. The next day they do the same exact thing. They come home from work. They talk. They eat. They talk. They go to bed. They have sex. They talk. They fall asleep. They do this every day for 30 days running. A giraffe would be repulsed by this. Hardly anybody out there has non-reproductive sex day after day and nobody talks about it afterward.”

For humans, sex for propagation is crucial until a population stabilizes. When human populations reach a state of balance and security, sex for propagation decreases. In the United States, where most parents expect their children to survive and also expect that they themselves won’t be out on the streets with a cup when they’re old, the average number of offspring per family is less than two. However, any population that is threatened will initiate reproduction earlier and reproduce more—they’re unconsciously doing the calculation that some of their children are not going to survive and that they’ll need more than two children to share the load of helping to support them when they’re old. In India, for example, though the fertility rate dropped 19% in a decade to 2.2, in the poorest areas where families face tremendous challenges to survive, the rate can be three times higher.

But even in societies where the drive to reproduce is curtailed, there is still an incentive for coupling because the drive to bond trumps the drive to procreate. Couples who don’t have children can create wonderful relationships and many make a conscious decision not to have children. In Two Is Enough: A Couple’s Guide to Living Childless by Choice, author Laura S. Scott explores why some forgo the experience. Scott starts off the book with a conversation with a friend’s husband, who was at the time a new dad:

“So why did you get married if you didn’t want kids?” Huh? Love . . . companionship, I blurted. His question startled me, rendering me uncharacteristically short of words . . . He cocked his head and waited for more, his curiosity genuine. In that moment, I recognized just how strange I must have seemed to him. Here was a person who could not imagine life without kids trying to understand a person who could not imagine a life with kids.

Scott started researching the subject and found that according to a 2000 Current Population Survey, 30 million married couples in the United States do not have children and that the United States Census Bureau predicted that married couples with children would account for only 20 percent of households by 2010. Scott also did her own survey of couples who are childless by choice and found that one important motive for not having children was how much the couples valued their relationships. Said one of the surveyed husbands, “We have a happy, loving, fulfilling relationship as we are now. It’s reassuring to think that the dynamic of my relationship with my wife won’t change.”

Perhaps if more people realized that coupling in higher organisms is fundamentally about bonding, not only about the drive to reproduce, there would be less prejudice against homosexuality. In fact, homosexuality is natural and common in the animal kingdom. In a 2009 review of the scientific literature, University of California at Riverside biologists Nathan W. Bailey and Marlene Zuk, who advocate more study about the evolutionary impetus for homosexual behavior, state, “The variety and ubiquity of same-sex sexual behavior in animals is impressive; many thousands of instances of same-sex courtship, pair bonding and copulation have been observed in a wide range of species, including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, insects, mollusks and nematodes.”7 One example is silver gulls; 21 percent of female silver gulls pair with another female at least once in their lifetimes and 10 percent are exclusively lesbian.

Since we’re driven to form bonds, whether they are homosexual or heterosexual, we need to understand how Nature intended us to bond, which is the topic of this book. Until we successfully learn how to couple, how can we follow the example of cells to create larger cooperative communities? Until we successfully learn how to couple better, the next stage of our evolution, wherein humans assemble to form the larger superorganism humanity, is stalled. If ants can do it, so can we humans!

The good news is that the story of evolution is not only a story of the survival of cooperative communities but also a story of repeating patterns that can be understood through geometry, the mathematics of putting structure into space. Humans didn’t create geometry—they derived it from studying the structure of the Universe because it provides a way of understanding the organization of Nature. As Plato wrote, “Geometry existed before creation.”

The repeating patterns of the new geometry, fractal geometry, reveal a surprising insight into the nature of the Universe’s structure. Even though we know in the pit of our stomach that we are at a crisis point, fractal geometry makes it clear, as I’ll explain later, that the planet has been in dire straits before. Each time, though there were casualties along the way (most notoriously dinosaurs), something better emerged out of the crisis.

The mathematical computations involved in fractal geometry are actually quite simple; equations use only multiplication, addition, and subtraction. When one of these equations is solved, the answer is reinserted into the original equation and solved again. This “recursive” pattern can be repeated infinitely. When fractal equations are repeatedly solved over a million times (computations made possible by the advent of powerful computers), visual geometric patterns emerge. It turns out that an inherent characteristic of fractal geometry is the creation of ever-repeating, “self-similar” patterns nested within one another. The traditional Russian matryoshka doll provides a great image for understanding fractal patterns. A symbol of motherhood and fertility, the doll is actually a set of wooden dolls of decreasing size that nest into each other. Each doll is a miniature though not necessarily exact replica of the larger ones.

Just like Russian nesting dolls, the repeating patterns in Nature make its fractal organization clear. For example, the pattern of twigs on a tree branch resembles the pattern of limbs branching off the trunk. The pattern of a major river is similar to the patterns of its smaller tributaries. In the human lung, the pattern of branching along the large bronchus airway is repeated in the smaller bronchioles. No matter how complicated organisms are, they display repetitive patterns.

These iterative patterns help make the natural world more comprehensible. Despite the evolution of increasing complexity in the structure of cooperative multicellular communities, the amazing fact is that in the physiology of humans—the organisms that are presumably at the top of the evolutionary ladder—there are no new functions that aren’t already present in simple cells at the bottom of the evolutionary ladder. Digestive, excretory, cardiovascular, nervous, and even immune systems are present in virtually all of the single cells that comprise our bodies. Show me a function in your human body and I’ll show you where it originally arose in the single cell. These repeating fractal patterns mean that everything we learn from Nature’s simple organisms applies to more complex organisms as well as to us humans. So if you want to understand the nature of the Universe, you don’t have to take on the whole thing—you can study its components as I did when I was a cell biologist. Fractal geometry’s repeating patterns provide a scientific framework for the principle that mystics call “as above, so below.” We are clearly part of the Universe, not an add-on afterthought whose job is to “conquer” Nature.

A biosphere built on the repetitive patterns of fractal geometry also offers an opportunity to predict the future of evolution by looking back on its history. In contrast, conventional Darwinian theory holds that evolution is initiated by random mutations, genetic “accidents,” which implies that we cannot predict the future. But following in the footsteps of cells, our future should be one of more and more cooperation and more and more harmony so that humans (starting with pair-bonded twos) can learn to cooperate to form the larger evolved communal organism defined as humanity.
Instead of cursing our bad luck in relationships, we need to recognize that our efforts at bonding are a fundamental drive of Nature and that these bonds can be cooperative and harmonious. We need to heed Rumi’s sage advice: “Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” When we start living in harmony with Nature (and with ourselves), we can move on to creating The Honeymoon Effect in our lives, where relationships are based on love, cooperation, and communication. In the next chapter, we’ll explore the most fundamental form of communication among organisms: energy vibrations.

from:    http://www.realitysandwich.com/honeymoon_effect

The “Mutual Class”

Friday, March 29th, 2013

From the Middle Class to the Mutual Class

Paul Glover

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Americans have the tools and money to create an America where all workers are employed, whose every square mile is beautiful; whose cities are safe playgrounds for children; whose food is fresh and affordable; whose waters are clean from sea to crystal sea.  An America run by Americans for Americans is fully capable of rebuilding all homes so they’re earthquake-proof, hurricane-proof, tornado-proof, flood-proof, drought-proof, fireproof, and bank-proof.  When Americans take control of money, we are wealthy enough to build an America where it’s easy to stay healthy and to get healed; where costs of living get smaller and our lives get bigger.

What blocks these goals?  Both Us and Them.

On the one hand, all of America’s institutions have become too big to change.  Like sumo wrestlers in a basketball game, they move too slow.  Big Government, Big Oil, Big Insurance, Big Finance, Big Agriculture, Big Highway, Big Education, Big Military, Big Prison, Big Police, Big Poverty — these feed on disaster and control.  They no longer exist primarily to fix problems, but to grow.

Then on the other hand, millions of us are employed by these institutions to enforce the past.  Millions of us depend on their stocks.  Many of us watch their commercials and obey their laws.  Many prefer dull safety to risky action, even to save America.  We drive straight, even when the road curves.

Therefore American politics wallows like a car stuck in mud with an elephant sitting on the roof, dragged by a lazy donkey, going nowhere but deeper.

As a result, the Middle Class dream has become a burden sinking millions through mortgage, insurance, utilities, tuition, credit card fees, cars and fashion.  Consumerism by liberals and conservatives alike has depleted America’s essential resources and our national sovereignty.

The next American generations will never achieve Middle Class excess.  That’s good for the planet and tough for them.  Fortunately, though, Millennials can become a prosperous Mutual Class by starting genuinely nonprofit mutual aid systems that enable them to live well by sharing resources.  Such programs were widespread and successful one hundred years ago.

Through them we create millions of jobs that revive our neighborhoods.  We give ourselves raises by lowering prices.  And all our current skills are employed while we enjoy new talents.

Young and old, we will become the government as we create these regional food systems and regional stock exchanges, establish green co-housing programs and green labor administrations, reduce dependence on fossil fuels toward zero, replace automobile space with train and bike space, convert vacant urban land into greenhouses and orchards, develop co-operative health plans and clinics, issue our own education credentials and our own community money.

Such local systems prepare us to take power by creating parallel authority.  By taking power together we regain time for creative individuality.  We move from dependence to ownership.

The Mutual Class will also pioneer Mutual Enterprise — local businesses committed to community, ecology, and social justice.

Let’s look at a sample Mutual Day.  We start with sex and music, then breakfast.  We walk or bike to work, four days per week.  After three hours work, we return home for a long lunch and sex, or we eat with co-workers: we discuss work plans, utility and durability of product, marketing, sales, prices and wages.  Then two more hours of work.  We have time and energy for an afternoon stroll or game, then prepare dinner, make music, make love (Why so much sex?  Because we’re relaxed).  We finish with an evening stroll in our beautiful neighborhood.

To achieve such better dreams, Americans must at the same time confront anti-American institutions.  Laws that forbid urgent change are a cage for us to die in.  Regulations must be broken when they block American liberation from debt, layoffs, foreclosure and bankruptcy, earthquakes, tornados, floods, heat waves, cold snaps, blackouts and traffic jams.

This is merely the revolutionary American tradition that ended slavery, gained votes for women, won the eight-hour workday, secured civil rights, and started this nation.  By contrast, conferences and elections are powerless displays.

Yet the most direct path to deflate bad authority is to withdraw personal dependence.  Time to leave the car in the mud and get back on track.  Use train, bike or feet rather than car.  Shop less and shop local.  Move your money into a local bank or credit union.  Insulate your housing.  Be a creator, not a consumer.  Eat less meat or none.  Have one or fewer children.

The next America will look entirely different than the one we know.  We’ll have fun building it and our grandchildren will thank us.  America went to the moon.  Now America will go to the future.

 

from:    http://www.realitysandwich.com/middle_class_mutual

On Co-ops

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

Just the Facts: What’s So Good About Co-ops?

Why support the co-ops in your community? The benefits might be further-reaching than you think.
posted Feb 20, 2013

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This infographic is excerpted from How Cooperatives Are Driving the New Economy, the Spring 2013 issue of YES! Magazine.

 

 

from:    http://www.yesmagazine.org/issues/how-cooperatives-are-driving-the-new-economy/just-the-facts-what-s-so-good-about-co-ops

Ervin Lazlo on Akasha Thinking

Thursday, August 2nd, 2012

Akasha Think

by Ervin Laszlo on July 31, 2012

“You can’t solve a problem with the same kind of thinking that gave rise to the problem”       — Albert Einstein

There is something new on the horizon — a new kind of thinking. One that could solve the problem — the entire complex conglomeration of challenges that makes our world unsustainable, intolerant, and prone to violence. This is not thinking out of the blue: It is thinking that has been around for thousands of years. What is new is that it’s rediscovered — of all things, at the cutting edge of the sciences. It is “Akasha think.”

In this column with my Akashic “A-team” I will review for you the principal dimensions of Akasha think — the rediscovered revolutionary concept of life and universe, and freedom, wholeness, and wellbeing. New answers to questions we have all been asking since the beginnings of time.

Adam and Eve, Socrates and Plato, Constantine and the Crusaders, Henry VIII and Pope Clement VII, Hitler and Churchill, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King and Gandhi, yes even now Obama and Romney are giving us answers. Every answer has been given thinking that it is right. Yet with each delivery, the great divides are inexorably forged — in color, creed, genders and territories. How many answers were really right? Right now, as our precious world cries out because of the collateral damage of all our answers, how many of our answers, your answers, about the economy, education, energy, your health and life, can you be sure are right?

Try Akasha think. Here you get different answers. Find out what they can do for you — and through you, for the world.

Are you ready? Here is a question that can get you started:

What Is Akasha Consciousness — For You?

What is Akasha consciousness for you, a dream — or a nightmare? Or could it be your own deep consciousness — “re-cognized” for what it really is? Your answer could make a difference — a difference to you and to the world. See how you resonate with the 16 ideas that hallmark this consciousness.

1. I am part of the world. The world is not outside of me, and I am not outside of the world. The world is in me, and I am in the world.

2. I am part of nature, and nature is part of me. I am what I am in my communication and communion with all living things. I am an irreducible and coherent whole with the web of life on the planet.

3. I am part of society, and society is part of me. I am what I am in my communication and communion with my fellow humans. I am an irreducible and coherent whole with the community of humans on the planet.

4. I am more than a skin-and-bone material organism: my body, and its cells and organs are manifestations of what is truly me: a self-sustaining, self-evolving dynamic system arising, persisting and evolving in interaction with everything around me.

5. I am one of the highest, most evolved manifestations of the drive toward coherence and wholeness in the universe. All systems drive toward coherence and wholeness in interaction with all other systems, and my essence is this cosmic drive. It is the same essence, the same spirit that is inherent in all the things that arise and evolve in nature, whether on this planet or elsewhere in the infinite reaches of space and time.

6. There are no absolute boundaries and divisions in this world, only transition points where one set of relations yields prevalence to another. In me, in this self-maintaining and self-evolving coherence- and wholeness-oriented system, the relations that integrate the cells and organs of my body are prevalent. Beyond my body other relations gain prevalence: those that drive toward coherence and wholeness in society and in nature.

7. The separate identity I attach to other humans and other things is but a convenient convention that facilitates my interaction with them. My family and my community are just as much “me” as the organs of my body. My body and mind, my family and my community, are interacting and interpenetrating, variously prevalent elements in the network of relations that encompasses all things in nature and the human world.

8. The whole gamut of concepts and ideas that separates my identity, or the identity of any person or community, from the identity of other persons and communities are manifestations of this convenient but arbitrary convention. There are only gradients distinguishing individuals from each other and from their environment and no real divisions and boundaries. There are no “others” in the world: We are all living systems and we are all part of each other.

9. Attempting to maintain the system I know as “me” through ruthless competition with the system I know as “you” is a grave mistake: It could damage the integrity of the embracing whole that frames both your life and mine. I cannot preserve my own life and wholeness by damaging that whole, even if damaging a part of it seems to bring me short-term advantage. When I harm you, or anyone else around me, I harm myself.

10. Collaboration, not competition, is the royal road to the wholeness that hallmarks healthy systems in the world. Collaboration calls for empathy and solidarity, and ultimately for love. I do not and cannot love myself if I do not love you and others around me: We are part of the same whole and so are part of each other.

11. The idea of “self-defense,” even of “national defense,” needs to be rethought. Patriotism if it aims to eliminate adversaries by force, and heroism even in the well-meaning execution of that aim, are mistaken aspirations. A patriot and a hero who brandishes a sword or a gun is an enemy also to himself. Every weapon intended to hurt or kill is a danger to all. Comprehension, conciliation and forgiveness are not signs of weakness; they are signs of courage.

12. “The good” for me and for every person in the world is not the possession and accumulation of personal wealth. Wealth, in money or in any material resource, is but a means for maintaining myself in my environment. As exclusively mine, it commandeers part of the resources that all things need to share if they are to live and to thrive. Exclusive wealth is a threat to all people in the human community. And because I am a part of this community, in the final count it is a threat also to me, and to all who hold it.

13. Beyond the sacred whole we recognize as the world in its totality, only life and its development have what philosophers call intrinsic value; all other things have merely instrumental value: value insofar as they add to or enhance intrinsic value. Material things in the world, and the energies and substances they harbor or generate, have value only if and insofar they contribute to life and wellbeing in the web of life on this Earth.

14. The true measure of my accomplishment and excellence is my readiness to give. Not the amount of what I give is the measure of my accomplishment and excellence, but the relation between what I give, and what my family and I need to live and to thrive.

15. Every healthy person has pleasure in giving: It is a higher pleasure than having. I am healthy and whole when I value giving over having. A community that values giving over having is a community of healthy people, oriented toward thriving through empathy, solidarity, and love among its members. Sharing enhances the community of life, while possessing and accumulating creates demarcation, invites competition, and fuels envy. The share-society is the norm for all the communities of life on the planet; the have-society is typical only of modern-day humanity, and it is an aberration.

16. I recognize the aberration of modern-day humanity from the universal norm of coherence in the world, acknowledge my role in having perpetrated it, and pledge my commitment to restoring wholeness and coherence by becoming whole myself: whole in my thinking and acting — in my consciousness.

If you had an “aha experience” while reading even just one of these ideas, you have the foundations of Akashic consciousness. And if you had this experience all the way through, you already possess this crucial consciousness.

How did you resonate with what you have read? Tell us — and we shall do our best to respond.

Your A-team:

Charlie Stuart Gay, Györgyi Szabo, Kingsley Dennis, Alexander Laszlo, and Ibolya Kapta

Ervin Laszlo is the author of 89 books published in 24 languages, including his bestselling Science and the Akashic Field. His latest book is The Akasha Paradigm, just released on the Internet: http://www.akashaparadigm.com/

from:    http://ervinlaszlo.com/notebook/2012/07/31/akasha-think/#more-1442