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Sunday, January 30th, 2011

This was first published in 2001 — ten years ago. It seems even more true today. From the SynEarth Archives.

Facing the Truth

by Timothy Wilken, MD

If we humans are going to solve our fossil fuel energy/global warming crisis, it will require that we take action. We can expect no help from big government and big business. They created this crisis and they have no interest in solving it. Big government’s only goal is to be re-elected so they can retain political power, and the only goal of big business is to make money. These two forces have combined to create the present law of society one dollar = one vote.

If we humans with no political or economic power want to solve our problems, then we will have to take charge of our society. What is our authority for taking such action? We must begin by seizing the moral highground. And, taking the moral highground requires that we face the truth.

Truth #1-Possessions are not necessarily property.

The possession of an object does not mean that the possessor has a moral or rational claim to ownership of the object. The political, economic, and social structures of our present world are all based on our concept of ‘property’ and property rights. Recall from the Basics section, my discussion of the shifting of human values as humanity evolves from adversary processing to neutral processing to synergic processing. Adversary wealth is physical force. Neutral wealth is money. And, synergic wealth is mutual life support. Therefore adversary ‘property’ is property obtained by force or fraud, and then held with physical force. Neutral ‘property’ is property purchased in the fair market, and held by right of law enforced by neutral government.

Remember Neutrality was an evolutionary advance from Adversity, at the time of Neutrality’s inception most possessions were adversary. They had been obtained through force or fraud and held with physical force. The new institutions of Neutrality never made any attempt to correct what by the new values of Neutrality would be past injustices. Neutral values would prevail in future, but the past was left alone.

This resulted in the legal precedent wherein possession is 9/10 of the law.

In other words, at the time Neutrality was institutionalized, all existing ‘property’ whether adversary or neutral was made legal ‘property’. However, all new ‘property’ was required to be neutral ‘property’–that is ‘property’ acquired by paying a fair price in a free market to the rightful owner, or that ‘property’ which is created directly by the mind and labor of the owner.

Most of the founding fathers of Neutrality were beneficiaries of ‘adversary’ property and in no hurry to give it up. They also believed that in the long run these injustices would slowly be corrected, and all property would eventually come to be ‘neutral’ property. We will see later that this was not the case.

While synergic ‘property’ is not yet defined, it would have to be property that was obtained without hurting or ignoring anyone, and even more importantly, it would have to be property that was mutually life supporting–that is it would have to be property that had a beneficial effect for self and others. If humanity is to advance to Synergy, our concept of ‘property’ and property rights must change radically in the future. How this could work will be explained in the Future section, but now let us examine ‘property’ as it exists today.

The Territory Imperative

The need to control land begins in the Adversary world as Robert Ardrey explains:

“A territory is an area of space, whether of water or earth or air, which an animal or group of animals defends as an exclusive preserve. The word is also used to describe the inward compulsion in animate beings to possess and defend such a space. A territorial species of animals, therefore, is one in which all males, and sometimes females too, bear an inherent drive to gain and defend an exclusive property.

“Observations of twenty-four different hunting peoples so primitive that their ways differ little from the ways of paleolithic man revealed that their homes were isolated and far-spread. So remote were they from each other that there seemed small likelihood that any one could have learned its ways from others. Yet all formed social bands occupying exclusive, permanent domains.

“Lions, eagles, wolves, great-horned owls are all hunters, and all guard exclusive hunting territories. The lions and wolves, besides, hunt in cooperative prides and packs differing little from the bands of primitive man.”

Frederick G. Kempin, Jr., Professor of Legal Studies at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania explains further:

“The concept of property goes far back into history. Records of primitive societies indicate a degree of private ownership of personal property. Private ownership of real property–the land itself–is apparently a much later concept, one that evolved after nomadic tribes settled down in permanent agricultural communities. Even in agricultural societies the land was often considered the property of the tribe or of a clan within the tribe and was rarely privately owned. Even as late as the Middle Ages the absolute ownership of the land by its individual occupants was unusual. Under feudalism, for example, land was held subject to obligations to a superior lord. The breakdown of the feudal system gradually destroyed the feudal relationship between lord and vassal, and the settlement of the New World increased by millions of acres the available land. In the Western Hemisphere absolute ownership of the land became the norm.”

Institutional Neutrality seeks to protect the free and independent citizens from loss. The escape from the Adversary way is the escape from losing. This fact makes property, private ownership of property, and property rights the very foundation of Institutional Neutrality. In today’s America,

“Property is anything that can be possessed and disposed of in a legal manner. Running water in a stream is not anyone’s property, because no one possesses it. If one, however, lawfully takes water from a stream in a container, the water in the container becomes property. In a legal sense property is the aggregate of legal rights of individuals with respect to objects and obligations owed to them by others that are guaranteed and protected by the government. Ownership of property is classified as either private or public. Private property is ownership by an individual or individuals, whereas public ownership implies possession by some kind of a governmental unit. In another sense property is classified as either real or personal. Real property, also known as realty, is land, any buildings that may be on the land, any mineral rights under the land, and anything that is attached to the land or buildings with the intention that it remain there permanently. Personal property is simply defined as any property that is not real property.

“During most of human history, real property–the land itself–was considered the greatest source of wealth. With the coming of the Industrial Revolution, however, personal property–especially in the form of stocks and bonds–gradually outstripped land as the basis of the industrial nations’ wealth. Classical Marxism views the private ownership of both forms of property as symptoms of the capitalist system that needs to be abolished to make way for a communist society. Therefore, in traditional communist nations very little real property and wealth-producing personal property is individually owned. Private ownership is generally limited to such personal articles as furniture and clothing. Small farms and dwellings in some Marxist countries remain privately owned, but most land is cooperatively owned. In the reformist and democratic socialist countries a mixture of private and public ownership of property generally prevails.

“Perhaps because land was traditionally the main source of wealth, the transfer of real property from one owner to another used to be much more complicated than the transfer of personal property. Since the Middle Ages this difference has diminished. Two basic instruments of transfer are used: the deed and the will. The government may cause land to pass from some form of public ownership to private ownership by a grant (and reclaim private land for public use by eminent domain). Much of the land in the American West, for example, was granted by the government to the original settlers.”

Who has the Right of ownership?

When children sit down to play the board game Monopoly, the first step after choosing your game piece is to count carefully so all players begin with exactly the same amount of play money. That is the only fair way to begin.

The control of property did not begin with the institutionalization of Neutrality. The players of Neutrality did not start out as equals. The adversary way dominated all human relations until 1776. It continues to dominate most human relationships throughout the rest of the world.

However, in the United States in 1776, the empty continent with its seemingly unlimited resources allowed the new players of Neutrality access to land that could be turned into private property by simple occupation. If you didn’t have what you needed here–you just moved west. There appeared to be land enough for all–available for the taking. However even in America in 1776, the empty continent of North America was not as empty as it appeared. The native Americans were simply swept aside by the American colonists. The lands they occupied were seized by force and fraud.

“In 1851, Chief Seattle and the Suquamish and other Indian tribes around Washington’s Puget Sound, were “persuaded” to sell two million acres of land for $150,000 or seven and one half cents per acre.”

And what of the large plantations in the South that were build on the backs of ~12 million negro slaves? Did those land owners have a moral claim to their ‘property’? And, what of the “carpet baggers” who stole the same lands after the Civil War, did they then represent the rightful owners?

Even those who settled in empty spaces did not pay any price for the land. They either just took it or received as a grant from the government. That is certainly not a fair exchange. And, who gave the land to the government in the first place? Of course, the Government had simply seized the land. After all, might made right. The strong dominated the weak–it was the adversary way.

Galambos Redefines ‘Property’

Today ‘property’ clearly has many different meanings. In the early 1960s, one capitalistic theorist, Andrew J. Galambos proposed an advanced capitalistic system which was non-coercive. Galambos’ Moral Capitalism was based on a new definition of ‘property’ designed to eliminate and prohibit loss. Galambos’ Moral Capitalism promised to eliminate losing relationships. Galambos’ Moral Capitalism was a type of Super-neutrality. It allowed win-draw, draw-win, draw-draw, or win-win. In Galambos’ own words:

What is Property?

“Most people think of Property in terms of material possessions. Because of this, many have successfully denounced the morality of the pursuit of material well-being and claimed it produces conflicts with human rights.

“Further derivatives of man’s life lead to voluntary transactions involving Property transfers (sales, trades, gifts, etc.). Involuntary Property transfers are derivative not from the property owner’s life but from the life of the coercer. Therefore, Property ceases to remain Property and is converted to Plunder when subjected to involuntary (coercive) transfer.”

“The above is a restricted and erroneous point of view on Property. A more satisfying and total concept arises from the following definition:

“Property is individual man’s life and all non-procreative derivatives of his life.

“Property is the basis of ownership because to own means to have and hold Property. From the definition of Property, it follows that man must first own his life before he can own anything else. Life itself is defined as primordial Property.

“No one may own any man but himself. Thus, Property excludes slavery at the outset.

“The first derivatives of man’s life are his thoughts and ideas. Thoughts and ideas are defined as primary Property.

“From the definition, man owns primary Property and, through this ownership, intellectual freedom arises and inspires knowledge and production. From primary Property (ideas) stem actions. Ownership of one’s own actions (clearly a Property right) is commonly called liberty. Liberty, then, as well as life itself, is a Property right. Since all so-called human rights depend upon man’s liberty, it follows that all human rights are Property rights. There can be no conflict!

“Ideas and actions produce further, or secondary, derivatives. These include the access to and use of land and the production, utilization, enjoyment, and disposal of material, tangible goods of all kinds from ash trays to television sets, from log cabins to skyscrapers, from oxcarts to jet planes.

“These are called secondary Property. They are secondary both logically and chronologically. In all instances, their existence is antedated by primary Property which led to their generation and employment.

Property or Plunder?

Galambos acknowledged Frederick Bastiat as his antecedent in recognizing the distinction between property and plunder. Bastiat recognized that French society in 1848 was heavily influenced by the Adversary way, and he was calling for a better way when he wrote the following words:

A Fatal Tendency of Mankind

“Self-preservation and self-development are common aspirations among all people. And if everyone enjoyed the unrestricted use of his faculties and the free disposition of the fruits of his labor, social progress would be ceaseless, uninterrupted, and unfailing.

“But there is also another tendency that is common among people. When they can, they wish to live and prosper at the expense of others. This is no rash accusation. Nor does it come from a gloomy and uncharitable spirit. The annals of history bear witness to the truth of it: the incessant wars, mass migrations, religious persecutions, universal slavery, dishonesty in commerce, and monopolies. This fatal desire has its origin in the very nature of man–in that primitive, universal, and insuppressible instinct that impels him to satisfy his desires with the least possible pain. (*Here Bastiat is describing the Adversary way and the Principle of Least Action.)

“It is evident, then, that the proper purpose of law is to use the power of its collective force to stop this fatal tendency to plunder instead of to work. All the measures of the law should protect property and punish plunder.”

Property and Plunder

“Man can live and satisfy his wants only by ceaseless labor; by the ceaseless application of his faculties to natural resources. This process is the origin of property.

“But it is also true that a man may live and satisfy his wants by seizing and consuming the products of the labor of others. This process is the origin of plunder.

“Now since man is naturally inclined to avoid pain–and since labor is pain in itself–it follows that men will resort to plunder whenever plunder is easier than work. History shows this quite clearly. And under these conditions, neither religion nor morality can stop it.

“When, then, does plunder stop? It stops when it becomes more painful and more dangerous than labor.

This then is one of the major problems with human society even in today’s world. It is based on a definition of ‘property’ which makes no distinction between possessions held through honesty and possessions held through thievery – possession and ownership have long been considered synonymous. This is a belief that persists even in our present world.

Galambos reserved the word property for those possessions that were acquired by 1) either paying a fair price in a free market to the rightful owner, or 2) that which is produced by the mind and hands of the owner. Using this definition, most of today’s possessions are plunder and not property. Galambos continues:

“Children–being young human beings–have Property rights of their own and cannot themselves be owned; children are not property.

“Your ownership of Property is the basis of all you are, all you have, and all you can hope to achieve. Therefore, protect your property as though your life depended upon it. It does!”

Galambos’ Moral Capitalism

In Galambos’own words:

Moral Capitalism is the societal structure that produces freedom by ensuring that each individual is fully (100%) in control of his own property (property being individual man’s life and all non-procreative derivatives of his life). Either each individual controls his own life and all of its derivatives–or he does not. If he does, capitalism is the societal structure that prevails–by definition. From this definition of capitalism, it is evident that moral capitalism is an absolute concept. It does not depend upon time, place, and circumstance.

“There are no possibilities of this being compromised or misunderstood.

“Thus, moral capitalism–an absolute–requires new ideas to bring it into existence. How do we know this? Because it doesn’t exist at this time–anywhere on this planet. Furthermore, it has never existed to this date–anywhere on this planet. Before you jump to the false conclusion that it is impossible, consider that the reason for this is not that it would violate any law of nature (the condition for impossibility), but that the social technology to establish it has not been known in the past. Thus, moral capitalism requires the constant search for new ideas, new theories, and new applications. It is, therefore, a progressive and liberal development because it requires forward-thinking and increased individual freedom (liberation from property interferences and controls). Moral capitalism’s only tie with the past is the American Revolution and its ideological antecedents.

“Today moral capitalism does not exist. And those who argue that if more enlightened men are appointed or elected to high office and if the present restrictive laws are repealed then we will achieve freedom are wrong.

“The trouble is not with men, but with a system that can do nothing but coerce. Regardless of who holds the reins of power, the individual is still at the mercy of the state authority. It is not true that good men will reform the state. It is true that the state will corrupt the best of men. No one–and this includes the most sincere and well-meaning of politicians–is immune to Acton’s disease. Acton first defined the symptoms of the world’s foremost political disease: “Power corrupts and absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely.”

“Moreover, conservatives worship tradition. Moral capitalists, on the other hand, honor the knowledge of the past, but believe themselves capable of improving upon it and do not succumb to self-derogation by assuming they can do nothing but repeat the processes of the past. The conservatives who concern themselves most with the rituals of the past traditions and their codification into a party line become the major conservative politicians. The moral capitalists who concern themselves most with improvements and progress become the major innovators and entrepreneurs. Conservatism is concerned with codifying past controls of property, moral capitalism is concerned with the improvement of property, the protection of property, and the moral utilization of property.

“The final point to be emphasized is that moral capitalism is not a political concept and that the purpose of moral capitalism is to construct a society wherein man is free by controlling all of his own property all of the time. Because property does not have a political origin (but oftentimes it has a political destruction), moral capitalism does not concern itself with improving the state or any of the political apparatuses employed either to run the state or to exchange the administration of the state. Politics, at best, is a game which never ends. First, the “ins” and “outs” play until the “outs” get “in.” Then they switch sides and play it again. And so on, until man loses all his property and ends up enslaved. Moral capitalism is the vehicle of progress and the builder of civilization through property sanctity. Freedom is its attainable goal. Freedom is not a game. Freedom is a man’s loftiest goal and the prerequisite for all his other permanent goals.

“And when it is finally achieved, freedom is forever!”

Galambos’ Moral Capitalism offers us better protection of property, increased human freedom, and a fairer concept of justice.

However while, Galambos’ Moral Capitalism does prohibit hurting others, it does not require helping others. Thus in the final analysis, Galambos’ Moral Capitalism is a neutral and not a synergic system. However it is a much better neutral system then the one in place today, therefore we should embrace and make use of those mechanisms of Galambos’ Moral Capitalism that do offer clear benefits. One of these is the need for a clear distinction between property and plunder. This distinction is essential if we are to repair our present world.

In today’s world plunder is common and property is rare.

The truth is especially hard to believe if it requires that we take action–if it requires that we change. If humanity is to have a future, we must take action–we must change. If humanity is to have a future, we must believe the truth.

Then we can build a future where the very opposite is true–a future where property is common and plunder is rare.

Truth # 2-The Majority of Human Wealth is a Gift

The vast majority of human wealth is a gift free for the taking, and cannot be morally or rationally claimed as property by any individual. Alfred Korzybski explains:

“In the earliest times, humans knew that they did not create nature. They did not feel it “proper” to “expropriate the creator” and legalistically appropriate the earth and its treasure for themselves.

“Early man felt, in their unsophisticated morale, that being called into existence they had a natural right to exist and to use freely the gifts of nature in the preservation of their life; and that is what they did.”
Property, ownership of land and the control of natural resources by individuals comes later in the human story. Hazel Henderson, a Futurist and Economist, explains:

“Private property is another good example. The word ‘private’ comes from the Latin privare–‘to deprive’–which shows you the widespread ancient view that property was first and foremost communal. It was only with the rise of individualism in the Renaissance that people no longer thought of private property as those goods that individuals deprived the group from using.

“Today we have completely inverted the meaning of the term. We believe that property should be private in the first place, and that society should not deprive the individual without due process of law.”

Land and Natural Resources — A Gift

The land and natural resources are wealth provided to us by God and Nature. The sunshine, air, water, land, minerals, and the earth itself all come to us freely. The Earth’s land and natural resources are not products of the human mind or body. They existed long before life and humankind even emerged on our planet. There exists no moral or rational basis for any individual to claim them as Property.

If a claim of ownership can be made at all, it must be a claim on behalf of all humanity both the living and those yet unborn. This is a truth that has been known and ignored for hundreds of years. In the words of some of our greatest thinkers:

“God gave the world in common to all mankind.”

…..John Locke (1632 – 1704)

“The earth is given as a common stock for men to labor and live on.”

…..Thomas Jefferson (1743 – 1826)

“The earth…and all things therein, are the general property of all mankind, from the immediate gift of the creator.”

…..William Blackstone (1723 – 1780)

“Men did not make the earth…. It is the value of the improvement only, and not the earth itself, that is individual property…. Every proprietor owes to the community a ground rent for the land which he holds.”

…..Tom Paine (1737 – 1809)

“The land, the earth God gave man for his home, sustenance, and support, should never be the possession of any man, corporation, society, or unfriendly government, any more than the air or water.”

…..Abraham Lincoln (1809 – 1865)

“Equity does not permit property in land…The world is God’s bequest to mankind. All men are joint heirs to it.”

…..Herbert Spencer (1820 – 1903)

“LAND, n. A part of the earth’s surface, considered as property. The theory that land is property subject to private ownership and control is the foundation of modern society, and is eminently worthy of the superstructure. Carried to its logical conclusion, it means that some have the right to prevent others from living; for the right to own implies the right exclusively to occupy; and in fact laws of trespass are enacted wherever property in land is recognized. It follows that if the whole area of terra firma is owned by A, B and C, there will be no place for D, E, F and G to be born, or, born as trespassers, to exist.”

…..Ambrose Bierce (The Devil’s Dictionary, 1911)

“How can you buy or sell the sky, the warmth of the land? The idea is strange to us. If we do not own the freshness of the air and the sparkle of the water, how can you buy them? . . . This we know: the earth does not belong to man; man belongs to the earth. ”

…..Chief Seattle (~ 1854)

And yet today, the Earth’s land and natural resources are claimed as the personal property of a few individuals and serve only them.

Galambos on ownership of land and natural resources

Recall Galambos’ basic definition of property:

“Property is individual man’s life and all non-procreative derivatives of his life.”

This definition would exclude land and natural resources since they are clearly not a derivative of any individual’s life.

Whether individuals have a right to the ownership of land and of natural resources was a question that Galambos did not answer. Galambos did made reference to the work of Henry George, a nineteenth century social scientist who had written:

“All persons have a right to the use of the earth and all have a right to the fruits of their labor. To implement these rights it is proposed that the rent of land be taken by the community as public revenue, and that all taxes on labor and the fruits of labor be abolished. Liberty means justice and justice is the natural law. The social and economic ills besetting the world today are the result of non-conformance to natural law.”

In a another paragraph quoted earlier, Galambos says:

“Ideas and actions produce further, or secondary, derivatives. These include the access to and use of land.”

Galambos agreed with George that individuals have a right to use land and natural resources. Elsewhere, Galambos explained that an individual who builds a road to access land, who cultivates a field to grow crops, or who constructs a mine to remove metal ore, is entitled to some property rights related to those modifications and improvements. However nowhere does Galambos state that an individual can claim personal ownership of the land itself, or to the raw natural resources that are found on that land.

Galambos admitted that a better answer was needed and felt that answer might lie in a modification of George’s work. However, his interests took him elsewhere and he died before offering us a better answer.

Progress–another gift

Much of today’s wealth is not in the land and natural resources, nor is it found in cash, stocks or bonds, nor is it in all the personal possessions that we all hold so dear. It is in the evermore powerful tools and technology that results from the accumulation of our human Time-binding power. Present humanity is always the inheritor of the knowledge and technology of past humanity. Our quality of life is always richer, better, safer, healthier, simply because we are later. But present humans pay nothing for this rich inheritance. We take our wonderful inheritance and accept is as our due. We are not even aware that it is an inheritance. We simply call it progress.

Korzyski on Progress

“Our primitive forefather in the jungle would have died from hunger, cold, heat, blood poisoning or the attacks of wild animals, if he had not used his brain and muscles to take some stone or a piece of wood to knock down fruit from trees, to kill an animal, so as to use his hide for clothes and his meat for food, or to break wood and trees for a shelter and to make some weapons for defense and hunting.

“Our primitive forefather’s first acquaintance with fire was probably through lightning; he discovered, probably by chance, the possibility of making fire by rubbing together two pieces of wood and by striking together two pieces of stone; he established one of the first facts in technology; he felt the warm effect of fire and also the good effect of broiling his food by finding some roasted animals in a fire. Thus nature revealed to him one of its great gifts, the stored-up energy of the sun in vegetation and its primitive beneficial use. He was already a time-binder; evolution had brought him to that level. Being a product of nature, he was reflecting those natural laws that belong to his class of life; he had ceased to be static–he had become dynamic–progressiveness had got into his blood–he was above the estate of animals.

“We also observe that primitive man produced commodities, acquired experiences, made observations, and that some of the produced commodities had a use-value for other people and remained good for use, even after his death.

“After the death of a man, some of the objects produced by him still survived, such as weapons, fishing or hunting instruments, or the caves adapted for living; a baby had to be nourished for some years by its parents or it would have died. Those facts had important consequences; objects made by someone for some particular use could be used by someone else, even after the death of one or more successive users; again the experiences acquired by one member of a family or a group of people were taught by example or precept to others of the same generation and to the next generation.

“The produced commodities were composed of raw material, freely supplied by nature, combined with some mental work which gave him the conception of how to make and to use the object, and some work on his part which finally shaped the thing; all of this mental and manual work consumed an amount of time. It is obvious that all of these elements are indispensable to produce anything of any value, or of any use-value. His child not only directly received some of the use-values produced by him, but was initiated into all of his experiences and observations.

“Generally speaking, each successor did not start his life at the point where his father started; he started somewhere near where his father left off. His father gave, say, fifty years to discover two truths in nature and succeeded in making two or three simple objects; but the son does not need to give fifty years to discover and create the same achievements, and so he has time to achieve something new. He thus adds his own achievements to those of his father in tools and experience; this is mathematical equivalent of adding his parent’s years of life to his own. His mother’s work and experience are of course included–the name father and son being only used representatively.

“In political economy , we have not yet grasped the obvious fact–a fact of immeasurable import for all of the social sciences–that with little exception the wealth and capital possessed by a given generation are not produced by its own toil but are the inherited fruit of dead men’s toil–a free gift of the past. We have yet to learn and apply the lesson that not only our material wealth and capital but our science and art and learning and wisdom–all that goes to constitute our civilization–were produced, not by our own labor, but by the time-binding energies of past generations.

“This stupendous fact is the definitive mark of humanity–the power to roll up continuously the ever-increasing achievements of generation after generation endlessly. Such simple facts are the corner stones or our whole civilization and they are the direct result of the HUMAN CAPACITY OF TIME-BINDING.”

“And here arises a most important question: since the wealth of the world is in the main the free gift of the past–the fruit of the labor of the dead–to whom does it of right belong?”

The gift of progress is from all the humans who have lived and died in the past. My grandmother was born in a house without telephone, radio, television, electricity, running water or toilet. My mother was born in the same house with the addition of electricity, running water, and radio. I was born in a modern hospital, my mother was put to sleep for the delivery and I grew up in a house with electricity, running water, flush toilets, radio, and telephone, and when I was eight, we got a television–Progress.

My daughters were born in a hospital “home birth center” with my wife awake and participating. My daughters live with us in a house with three televisions, two stereos, three radios, many telephones, three video recorders, and a three personal computers–Progress.

I am no smarter than my grandparents. I do not work harder. I am do more deserving. But I am richer. I have a better quality of life. I am healthier. Why? simply because, I am later. Human knowledge and technology continuously results form the continuing use of our Time-binding power–Progress.

Progress is the mark of Time-binding power. As we humans look around us things are always advancing. Three hundred years ago we cooked our food over wood fires. One hundred years ago we cooked with piped in gas. Fifty years ago, we cooked with wired in electricity. And, today we cook with microwave–Progress.

Three hundred years ago we traveled by foot, or rode on the back of an animal. One hundred years ago, we moved by steam powered train. Fifty years ago, came the car and plane. And today, we jet from New York to London in three hours–Progress.

We humans understand progress. We know today’s automobiles are much safer, more comfortable, more efficient than yesterdays models. We know today’s power tools are, stronger, lighter, and cheaper than yesterdays. We know that today’s computers are unbelievable faster and more powerful than those made five years ago and they are much cheaper–Progress.

Modern humans are not smarter, they are not better, they are just later. Humans began first making tools ~2.5 million years ago. Humans began using and controlling fire ~1.5 million years ago. The wheel was invented ~6000 years ago. Each generation of humans inherits the accumulated knowledge and technology created by previous generations. We didn’t pay a fair price in a free market for this knowledge and technology. It comes to us as a human legacy–a free gift of the past–the resultant of human Time-binding Power.

We can purchase the newest model of automobile, or the newest model of computer and “own” that. But we can’t own the knowledge and technology that are embedded in these tools. Progress is the result of Time-Binding.

Two Gifts

It should be clear now that the vast majority of human wealth is a gift. None of us have any moral or rational basis to claim individual ownership of this gift. We did not create it. We never paid for it. It is clearly not property. The land and natural resources of the Earth are a gift from God and Nature to all life on Earth. And, Progress is a gift passed in trust from all the humans who have ever lived in the past to those of us living today, and to those humans that will be born in the future. Today these two great gifts are possessed and controlled by a handful individuals, and these great gifts serve only those few individuals at great cost and harm to the remaining 95% of humanity.

The truth is especially hard to believe if it requires that we take action–if it requires that we change. If humanity is to have a future, we must take action–we must change. If humanity is to have a future, we must believe the truth.

Front Page

Monday, January 3rd, 2011

From the SynEARTH Archives. This is the seventh chapter of “We Call All Win!” first published in 1999.


Timothy Wilken, MD

The collective term we humans use to describe what we value is “wealth”.

The human species emerged in the world of space-binding. Here the rule of survival was fight or flight. The values in this world were adversarial. Adversary relationship originates on earth in the animal world. Earth supplies limited space for the animals. Space is finite. Good space is even more finite. This means it is very limited. There is only so much good water, so much good grazing land, so much good shelter, and so much good food. There is not enough to go around. The space-binders must compete for this limited amount of good space. They compete adversarialy. They compete by fighting and flighting. They compete by attacking and killing other space-binders. Humans living as space-binders follow the adversarial rule. They compete by fighting and flighting. They compete by attacking and killing their enemies. In this world survival depends on securing good space and avoiding bad space. Bad space is where the predators live – bad space is where you lose – bad space is where you die. Bad space has threatened humans for a very long time as Jared Diamond1998 explains:

“For most of the time since the ancestors of modern humans diverged from the ancestors of the living great apes, around 7 million years ago, all humans on Earth fed themselves exclusively by hunting wild animals and gathering wild plants, as the Blackfeet still did in the 19th century. It was only within the last 11,000 years that some peoples turned to what is termed food production: that is, domesticating wild animals and plants and eating the resulting livestock and crops.” (1)

Jared Diamond makes the point, that for 99.9% of the seven-million-years that our species has existed, we have been hunter-gatherers. And, for that same period, our species has been dominated by the adversary way, and all human values have been adversarial values.

Adversarial wealth – physical force

Physical force is what adversarial humans value most. The force to physically control other humans. Adversarial wealth is weapons, fighting men, horses, fortresses, that which gives me the adversarial advantage.

In our modern world, adversarial wealth is B2 bombers, F15 fighter aircraft, aircraft carriers, tanks, military satellites, explosives of all types from hand grenades to nuclear weapons, trained soldiers and last but not least guns.

The adversary world is a game of with losers and winners. This is a world of fighting and flighting – of pain and dying. Survival depends on securing good space and avoiding bad space. To win in this game someone must lose. Winning is always at the cost of another. All humans living in the adversarial world are struggling to avoid losing – struggling to avoid being hurt. Recall our definition:

CONFLICT –def–> The struggle to avoid loss – the struggle to avoid being hurt.

Here humans must fight and flee to stay alive, and they do. Always ready at a moments notice to go tooth and nail to avoid losing – to avoid death. Losers/winners is the harshest of games. Winning is always at the cost of another’s life. The loser tends to resist with all of his might occasionally prevailing by killing or wounding his attacker. So both parties can lose, turning the game – losers/winners into losers/losers.

If we analyze adversary relationships, we discover that individuals are less after the relationship. (1+1) < 2.

In the adversarial world where the loser forfeits his life. (1+1) = 1. Or, in the end game of losers/losers, both adversaries may die in battle. (1+1) = 0.

The adversarial value system is much intact in our present world. Much of today’s wealth is weapons. Nearly all of today’s nations maintain large armies, navies, and airforces. They also maintain equally large national, state, and local police forces. The number of weapons in private hands is equally enormous – over 200,000,000 just within the United States1999. Adversary wealth is physical force – adversary wealth is firepower.

Adversarial humanity uses force to seize their wants and needs. By coercing the actions of others with force or threat of force, they seek to protect their own lives and well being. They seek to optimize their individual survival and to make their individual lives meaningful by hurting others.

Adversary humanity sees self and other as separate – as different – as distinctly apart. Things are black or white – good or bad. You are either for me or against me. You are either my ally or my enemy.

However, in 1776, a new option for humanity emerged with the institutionalization of Neutrality. And with this new option came a new set of values – neutral values.

Neutral wealth – money

Neutral relationships originated in the plant world.

Sunlight provides unlimited energy for the plants. Each individual plant needs only the sun, and adequate water and minerals to survive. Plant survival does not require any relationship with other. This fact makes plants the independent class of life – independent of other.

Humans living in the world of institutional Neutrality view themselves as independent of others. While they should not deliberately hurt other humans, they are not required to help them.

Their success or failure depends solely on their own efforts and talents. Individuals have no relationship with each other. Individuals have no awareness of each other, they ignore each other. To survive in the neutral world, you must be self-sufficient. If we analyze neutral relationships, we discover that individuals are unchanged by their relationship. They are neither less nor more after the relationship. They are the same. (1+1) = 2.

Choices which do not hurt or help are neutral choices. Actions which do not hurt or help are neutral actions. Relationships which do not hurt or help are neutral relationships. The mechanism of relationship is conducted through a free and fair market with the honest exchange of merchandise of good value at a fair price. Recall our definition:

FAIR TRADE –def–> The bartering to insure that the exchange is fair – to insure that the price is not too high or too low – to insure that neither party loses.

Institutional Neutrality is about fairness. The market place is a fair and safe place to exchange goods and services. Neither seller nor buyer should be injured in the exchange. Products should represent a good value and be sold at a fair price. All citizens are guaranteed freedom from loss.

The medium of exchange in the neutral world is money. Money is used as symbolic representation of all real wealth. For all intensive purposes in the Neutral world money and real wealth are the same. Money is what neutral humans most value. The money to purchase help. Neutral wealth is any negotiable security – cash, stocks, bonds, certificates of deposit, that which can be exchanged in the fair market.

Neutral humanity uses money to purchase their wants and needs. By purchasing the actions of others with money, they seek to protect their own lives and well being. They seek to insure their individual survival and make their individual lives meaningful by ignoring others.

Neutral humanity sees self and other as independent – as separate – as different – as distinctly apart – as buyers and sellers in the great market.

And, if other is not independent, if other does not have the price of admission to participate in the great market, then neutral humanity cannot see other at all.

In 1999, humanity has the option for synergic relationship. If we choose Synergy we will adopt a new set of values – synergic values.

Synergic wealth – mutual life support

In a synergic culture wealth is defined very differently. Synergic wealth is that which supports life for both self and other. It is mutual life support. Synergic wealth by definition excludes adversary wealth – physical force that hurts other human beings, and neutral wealth – money that ignores other human beings.

Synergic humans recognize that interdependence is the human condition. They recognize that all humans need help unless they wish to live at the level of animal subsistence. They choose to help others and trust that others will choose to help them.

They know that adversarial humans use coercion to force others help them. They know that help obtained with force or fraud is the lowest quality help because the helper is hurt.

They know that neutral humans use money to buy help from others in the fair market. They know that help purchased in the market place is of average quality because the helper is ignored.

They understand that synergic humans use co-Operation to attract help from others. They help others and trust others to help them. They know that help attracted by helping others is of highest quality because the helper is helped.

Recall that when others understand that by helping you, they will also be helped, they will automatically help you. That when others understand that when you win, they win, they will support and celebrate your every success. Recall our definition:

Co-OPERATION –def–> Operating together to insure that both parties win, and that neither party loses. The negotiation to insure that both parties are helped, and that neither party is hurt.

Synergic relationships are mutually helpful. Both parties in the relationship experience a gain. In Synergic relationships, one individual plus another individual is more after their relationship than before. (1+1) >> 2. Synergic relationships are marked by low conflict, high effectiveness and enormous productivity.

Synergic humanity uses co-Operation to attract their wants and needs. By attracting the actions of others with co-Operation, they are able to protect their lives and well being. They seek to insure their individual survival and make their individual lives meaningful by helping others.

Synergic humanity sees self and other as components of the same whole – as aspects of the same unity – as existing together – as a co-Operative alliance.

Co-Operation is mutually life affirming. Both self and other join in an alliance to seek mutual survival and mutual meaning.

They seek to be more together than they can be apart.

Life force

Life is the basis for all synergic values. All forms of life are animated by the life force. The life force is not well understood, but it seeks to survive and to extend itself into universe. The life force on planet earth is known to be three and one half billion years old.

It is like a special flame, sort of a living fire, we pass it to our children in the act of procreation. But, we do not know how to rekindle the flame should it go out. The life force itself is the very basis of living action.

(Life Force) x (Time) = Living Action

No life force. No living action. Therefore, the sanctity of life itself must be the highest synergic value. Therefore, synergic wealth is defined as life itself – life of both self and other – and that which promotes mutual well being. That which satisfies the wants and needs of both self and other. That which promotes mutual survival and makes life mutually meaningful for both self and other. We can now further define our synergic value system.

IMPORTANCE –def–> The amount of wealth effected by an event compared to the total amount of wealth.

WEALTH (effected)
WEALTH (total)

RISK –def–> What is the amount wealth that could be lost during an event – action, reaction & resultant.

OPPORTUNITY –def–> What is the amount of wealth that could be gained during an event – action, reaction & resultant.

ALLOWED ACTION –def–> Any action is allowed which does not injure or hurt.

SYNERGIC ACTION –def–> Any allowed action which helps.

DYMAXION ACTION –def–> The least synergic action that triggers an event that produces the greatest gain in wealth.

_  _  _

WE-ness & Synergic Trust

If we are to move beyond adversity and conflict — if we are to move beyond neutrality and anonymity, then we must get to know each other. The secret of creating synergic relationship is WE-ness. Synergic relationship is close and personal. It requires trust, caring and committment. It requires honesty and openness.

Trust is not a new word for humanity. It was coined long ago when the world was dominated by the adversary way. Trust meant that I could rely on you not to hurt me. In a world of black and white – good or bad – friend or foe – trust meant that I was safe to assume that you are not my enemy. Trust meant the ability to rely on the absence of a negative.

Synergic trust is much more than simply the ability to rely on the absence of a negative. It is that plus the ability to rely on the presence of a positive. Synergic trust means that I can rely on other not only to not hurt me, but also to help me.

In the future, we humans can use co-Operation to attract help from others by insuring that those who help us are also helped.

When we co-Operate, others will seek to invest their action with ours for a share of the cooperators’ surplus. They will understand that when we win, they will win, and they will support and celebrate our every success.

If we humans choose a synergic future, we will trust each other. We will care about each other. We will help each other. Our relationships will be loving positive experiences. We will all win. We will be more together than we can ever be apart.

We humans can create a future based on synergic trust. We can build it by working together. We can heal ourselves and our world by co-Operating. The choice is ours.

1 Jared Diamond, Guns, Germs, and Steel – The Fates of Human Societies,” W. W. Norton & Company, New York-London, 1998

UnCommon Sense Library


The BasicsWe Can All Win!-PDF

2—Three Ways
3—The Relationship Continuum
4—Three Classes of Life
5—Human Neutrality

The Science — UnCommon Science(PDF)

Intro—Science 2001
1—Knowing 2001
2—A Limit to Knowing
3—Scientific Mistakes
4—What Do We Know

5—Order (PDF)-New

The Present — Crisis: Danger & Opportunity

The Future – A Synergic Future

Front Page

Sunday, November 28th, 2010

The following is the fifth chapter from We Can All Win!.

Human Neutrality

Timothy Wilken, MD

Today human life is not synergic. Most of humanity are ignorant of the natural law of Synergy. Most humans ignore or hurt each other. Most humans ignore or hurt the environment. This is the source of nearly all our current problems.

In the free world, we have created a system of human Neutrality as a mechanism to avoid the loss of Adversity. This is the system that brought us capitalism and the great market.

Remember that the neutral relationship originates in the plant world. Sunlight provides unlimited energy for the plants. And so each individual plant needs only the sun, and adequate water and minerals to survive. Plants are solar energy collectors. They use the sun’s radiant energy in photosynthesis to manufacture glucose, carbohydrates and other plant cells. Individual plants do not relate to each other. They relate only to the earth and the sun.

No plant will deliberately hurt another plant, its success or failure depends solely on its own efforts. Individual plants have no relationship with each other. Plants have no awareness of each other, they ignore each other. To survive as a plant, you must be self-sufficient. Plants are the truly independent. They need no other life form to survive. Each plant lives or dies on its own. If it sits luckily in the Sun with an abundance of solar energy, it does not assist its brother in the shade. The motto of plants could be to live and let live.

The values of human Neutrality parallel the laws of plant neutrality. Free and independent citizens relate to each other as equals. They are prohibited from hurting another free and independent citizen, but that are not required to help another citizen.

The mechanism of relationship is conducted through a free and fair market with the honest exchange of merchandise of good value at a fair price.

FAIR TRADE –def–> The bartering to insure that the exchange is fair – to insure that the price is not too high or too low – to insure that neither party loses.

Human Neutrality is about fairness. The market place is a fair and safe place to exchange goods and services. Neither seller nor buyer should be injured in the exchange. Products should represent a good value and be sold at a fair price. All citizens are guaranteed freedom from loss.

In the free market of Neutrality, our identities and personal relationships are unimportant. We purchase products anonymously, usually without knowing the seller’s name, or he ours. When I enter McDonalds to purchase my lunch, I see only the product, the hamburger stacked in the warmer. I ignore the clerk. I don’t know her name or her story. I see the hamburger, that’s what I want. The clerk behind the counter ignores me. She doesn’t know my name or my story. She sees my five dollars, that’s what she wants.

The store is clean and I feel safe. I expect the kitchen is clean and I will get a good product for a fair price. We will trade. We will speak the neutral words of the trading ritual. I never knowing her name, she never knowing mine. “May I help you?” “Thank you and have a nice day.” We trade.

Fair Trade

Now our trade is fair. By definition, the lunch McDonalds is selling has a fair market value of $5.00. My five dollars has a fair market value of $5.00. We trade fairly. Economically nothing much has changed for me. I had five dollars in cash when I entered McDonalds, and I left with five dollars worth of lunch. My net worth is the same.

While I obviously got some utility from the exchange, I preferred the lunch to my cash. In a strict economic sense, I am little changed by this exchange. In fair exchanges, $5.00 in cash equals $5.00 in food. In fact, McDonalds created the lunch for less than $5.00, the fair market price contains some profit for the seller. But, when I earned my $5.00, I did it by I selling some product or service that cost me a little less. I’m entitled to a profit when I sell products or services. That’s the neutral way.

If we analyze neutral relationships, we discover that in a neutral exchange (1+1) = 2. Humans institute Neutrality to escape Adversity – to protect themselves from loss.

The first principle of human Neutrality is to AVOID LOSS.

In the language of games, where you can win, lose, or draw, we are obtaining a draw. We, like the plants, will be ignored by the experience. We will be the same after the experience as before. The advantage of changing from Adversity to Neutrality is not that we will win, but rather that we will avoid losing.

Neutrality offers a safe haven for humans. With Neutrality it is possible for us humans to avoid playing the adversary game. We are free to work without fear that others will hurt us. We are free and independent citizens. We are free to create products or provide services and sell those in the great market for a fair price.

The capitalistic economics of Neutrality produces a major advance over the economics of Adversity. Humans using neutral organization are much more successful than those using adversarial organization. Because human needs and wants are many and complex and there is no way any individual can meet these needs, we have evolved the great market. We operate as independent producers and consumers. Each neutral citizen is responsible for purchasing their own needs and wants.

Neutral government is committed to fairness for all its citizens.

The government’s only legitimate purpose is to insure economic independence and protect individual freedom. To insure a safe and stable environment that allows the free market to work best.

Today’s free world is dominated by Neutrality in the form of neutral government, neutral nations, neutral organizations, and neutral value systems.

The unchallenged success of human Neutrality in the United States and within the rest of the Free World has established that most modern values and beliefs are neutral ones. Modern humans are strongly convinced that they are self sufficient and independent, or at least that they should be self sufficient and independent. They believe in their right to own property and to freely and independently control their property. These beliefs are so strong in our present culture, that it is almost impossible to imagine things any other way.

Trouble in paradise

But, is neutrality really the best way for humanity?

With careful analysis of the neutral relationship, we discover that the best one can get is only equal value. The best result of a neutral relationship is a draw. We are ignored by the experience. We are the same after the experience as before. At worst, the price is less than fair, we get cheated. We lose. Or the product is not good, we get ripped off. We are less after the experience than before. At best within a neutral exchange (1+1 )= 2, at worst (1+1) < 2.

And while today’s beliefs in freedom and independence may be our most highly prized values, many of our neutral values are not very humanitarian.

While hurting others is highly discouraged, helping others is rarely encouraged. We are focused on products, and help is just another product. Generally, we ignore each other. The free market is a neutral, anonymous and completely impersonal place.

You don’t know the person serving you at McDonalds. You don’t know their name and they don’t know yours. There is nothing special about the relationship. You may eat your lunch there every day for a year, but go in once without your wallet, and you won’t eat. They will ignore you. If you don’t have the admission price. You don’t get in. In a world where the highest value is independence, why should I help anyone. Everyone should be independent and not require any help. In the world of human Neutrality only products and their fair prices really matter. If you can’t pay your way you don’t exist.

Despite all our pride in being free and independent, we humans are blind to the true nature of our neutral relationships. Being truly independent means you are alone. You are all by yourself. There is no one to help you if you get in trouble. The casualties of human Neutrality are numerous. Because we are independent, because we are self sufficient, we are encouraged to ignore the problems and difficulties of others.

It’s always someone else’s job to help others not ours. If my coworker gets fired it’s not my problem. If there are hungry children in my community, it’s not my problem. Neutral humans are indifferent. Neutral humans ignore.

Today we have enormous and evergrowing levels of human poverty and suffering and starvation effecting hundreds of millions of humans worldwide. Millions of children die needlessly every year.

Today, homelessness is an institution found in every city and town in America. Large numbers of humans live out their short lives completely ignored. Hundreds of children disappear every day from the streets of our cities and towns – many without notice. Neutral governments are indifferent. Neutral governments ignore.

Neutrality only works well when there are unlimited resources. Remember the plants have an unlimited supply of sunlight.

As solar collectors, they are the truly independent form of life. Their independence requires unlimited resources.

We humans share the animal body of the space-binder. And good space is limited. This is why Adversity dominated human life until the 17th century. As Hazel Henderson in conversation with Fritjof Capra explained in 1988:

“Until the sixteenth century the notion of purely economic phenomena, isolated from the fabric of life, did not exist. Nor was there a national system of markets. That, too, is a relatively recent phenomena which originated in seventeenth century England.

“Of course markets have existed since the Stone Age, but they were based on barter, not cash, and so they were bound to be local. The motive of individual gain from economic activities was generally absent. The very idea of profit, let alone interest, was either inconceivable or banned.” (1)

Human Neutrality emerged in the old world with the creation of national markets, but it was a partial Neutrality strongly dominated by the adversary systems still in place, and constrained by limited resources.

For Neutrality to work, there must be unlimited resources. A more complete and purer form of human Neutrality was institutionalized by the American Revolution that founded the United States of America. The early colonists were in the right place at the right time.

The right place was the empty continent of North America. Millions of acres of arable land and forests, filled with abundant water in millions of steams, rivers, and lakes and stocked with uncountable numbers of wildlife. This was further enriched with enormous reserves of iron, coal, copper, aluminum, zinc, lead, gold, silver, oil, and much more – all available for the taking.

The right time was 1776, by then the collective power of humanity’s time-binding had discovered, invented, and developed the tools and knowhow that created the mechanism of the Agricultural, Industrial, and Transportational Revolutions. The level of knowledge and technology available to the American colonists coupled with enormous North American reserves, provided them with cheap food, cheap power, and cheap transportation. Thus, conditions were perfect for the success of human Neutrality. America would have the equivalent of unlimited resources for the next 150 years.

The North American continent was nearly empty when human Neutrality began, today it is getting full. We no longer have a limitless abundance of natural resources available for the taking. Our world of plenty is being reduced to a world of scarcity.

In 1776, there were less than a billion humans on the planet, today we approach 6 billion.

As things start to get scarce, the humans lose their option for Neutrality. Soon they have to learn to do without. They go without owning their own homes. They go without higher education for their children. They go without free time for recreation as they are forced to get a second job. Or, they sidestep back into the adversary world – they steal, embezzle, or defraud.

Today, within the United States, the very center of human Neutrality, we see declining quality of life, declining compensation for all workers, deteriorating nuclear families, and declining numbers of humans able to own their own homes. We see increasing mental illness and child abuse; ever escalating health care costs, and more humans without access to medical care. Examining today’s youth, we see declining numbers of college graduates, mixed with increasing drug and alcohol use; increasing suicide; casual sexuality and unwanted pregnancy.

And there are even bigger problems facing Americans and the rest of humanity.

Acid rain, ozone depletion, water and air pollution, toxic buildup, strip mining, deforestation, erosion & topsoil depletion; greenhouse effect, ice age, nuclear winter, el nino, and even asteroids threatening the planet. These big problems are invisible to indifferent governments and ignoring citizens. Whose problems are these anyway? In Neutrality, they belong to no one. They are certainly not mine.

Human Independence is an Illusion

When we humans institutionalized Neutrality over two hundred years ago, it was a great advance over Adversity, it dramatically reduced the pain and suffering for humanity. In the 18th century, Neutrality was a major advance for humankind. The neutral system gave individuals opportunities for great economic success. The birth of capitalistic economics greatly enriched the human condition. Neutral organization was more powerful than adversary organization. Neutrality did work well in the free world for many humans who inhabited it two hundred years ago. This will all be explained in The Past section of this book.

Human independence is an illusion. We humans bought into this illusion in the ‘free’ world that was created in 1776, and many of us have lived by the rules of Neutrality ever since. But things have changed, today, Institutional Neutrality no longer works for humanity – not even for those ‘living’ in free world.

We humans are not independent, we are interdependent.

In summary then, Neutrality was instituted by humans to avoid the loss of Adversity. It is a mechanism most suited for independent organisms which humans are not. Its great benefit over adversity is as a mechanism to avoid loss. Neutrality is dominated by fair trade – the bartering to insure that the price is fair – that neither party loses in a fair exchange. The market is everything.

Neutrality avoids losing, but at best only gets you a draw.

You are ignored by the exchange. (X + Y) = 1. Neutrality only works when there are unlimited resources. The plants – a naturally independent form of life – have unlimited sunlight.

Earlier in our human history, we had relatively unlimited resources especially in the new world of America. Things have changed. Our human population has grown from less than one billion in 1776 to nearly six billion. Neutrality is no longer an option.

1 Hazel Henderson, Quoted by Fritjof Capra, Uncommon Wisdom–Conversations with Remarkable People, Bantam New Age Books, New York, 1989

UnCommon Sense Library


The BasicsWe Can All Win!-PDF

2—Three Ways
3—The Relationship Continuum
4—Three Classes of Life
5—Human Neutrality

The Science — UnCommon Science(PDF)

Intro—Science 2001
1—Knowing 2001
2—A Limit to Knowing
3—Scientific Mistakes
4—What Do We Know

5—Order (PDF)-New

The Present — Crisis: Danger & Opportunity

The Future – A Synergic Future

Front Page

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

Be Love –> Do Good –> Have Everything*

Timothy Wilken, MD

*What do I mean by the phrase to Have Everything?

It is simple really, if you choose to BE unconditional LOVE, if you choose to DO only GOOD, then you can TRUST that others will choose to insure that you HAVE EVERYTHING that you want and need.

Within a synergic community or what I call commUnity, humans seek to have WIN-WIN relationships with each other. We synergists believe in helping each other. We recognize that humans are mutually INTERdependent. We know that sometimes each one of us will need the help of others, and sometimes others will need our help.

We synergists choose to trust each other, and work together to solve our problems. We synergists see other humans as family, as brothers and sisters.

Synergy means working togetheroperating together as in co-Operation, laboring together as in co-Laboration, acting together as in co-Action, creating together as in co-Creation, and thinking together as in co-Intelligence.

The goal of a synergic union is to accomplish a larger or more difficult task than can be accomplished by individuals working separately. We are committed to a world where I win, you win, others win and the Earth wins. Win-Win-Win-Win.

We believe there are three types of humans to be found in our present world. Which type of human you are depends on what you believe about how the world works. What are your core beliefs?

Adversaries believe that there is not enough for everyone and only the physically strong will survive. They believe humans are coercively dependent upon others, and they best understand the language of force.

Neutralists believe that there is just enough for everyone, but only if you work hard enough and take care of yourself. They believe humans are financially INdependent and should be self-sufficient unless they are too lazy or defective. They best understand the language of money.

A new type of human is currently emerging.

Synergists believe that there is more than enough for everyone but only if we work together and act responsibly. They believe humans are INTERdependent and can only obtain sufficiency by working together as commUnity. Synergists best understand the language of love.

But, to be successful in our present world, the synergist must understand all three languages and know when to use them. Synergists must sometimes use the language of force, and sometimes the language of money; it depends on whom they are talking to. However, when synergists are seeking allies—when synergists are seeking to build commUnity—they must speak the language of love.

Synergists believe that you should, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” What is it that most of us want others to do unto us? Synergic scientists answer this question as follows: Help and support others, as you would wish them to help and support you. Or, more simply, “Treat others the way they want to be treated.”

Synergists are trying to heal the wounds inflicted by those who don’t understand how the world could work. This then is the essential challenge to the synergists. Can we work together and act responsibly in time to save ourselves on this planet? … Only by helping each other.

To help us help each other, I have designed a gifting help exchange system for use within a CommUnity. It is neither a barter system nor a “tit for tat” neutral exchange system. Giving within a CommUnity is not an act of charity, or philanthropic gesture.

It is an act of SYNERGY — an act of LOVE. I give to others because I value them, and want them to prosper within my community. I TRUST all the members of my community. I believe that when they see others within our community in need, they will choose to help them. I choose to help others and know that there will be times when I will need help, and I trust that when those times come, my community will choose to help me with their gifts.

The Synergic Rules

1)    Do Only Good.

2)    Be as kind to yourself as you are to others within the commUnity. Act with responsible generosity.

Be as generous to others as you can be, but remember to take good care of yourself and of your family. Do what feels right, but be responsible in your offers of time and resources.

3)    If you become a member of a commUnity, you will always have a dual role in the synergic gifting help exchange system of the commUnity. You will be both a GIFTor and a GIFTee.

You will register your offer of GIFTS in the form of goods, services, expertise and spirit to others within the commUnity in your role as GIFTor.

You will also register your WISHES for GIFTS in the form of goods, services, expertise and spirit that you would like to receive from other members within the commUnity in your role as a GIFTee.

The GIFTor is always the active partner in a synergic help exchange. GIVING is a verb. In contrast, the role of GIFTee is always the passive partner of a synergic help exchange. Receiving a GIFT is passive. A GIFT is a noun.

4)    As a GIFTee, your list of WISHES is available to all potential GIFTors. Those GIFTors who are willing to help you will make a formal OFFER of Help.

5)    As a GIFTor, you decide when, where, and to whom you will offer your GIFT. All GIFTing is voluntary.

6)    As a GIFTee, you will be notified when an offer of a GIFT has been made to you, then you will have the opportunity to look at a description of the offered GIFT, and the history, profile of the GIFTor including comments by other members concerning exchanges with the offering GIFTor. Synergic exchange is always voluntary. As a GIFTee, you may accept or decline the offered GIFT. All synergic exchanges are voluntary — both in the giving and receiving.

This is a brief sketch of the synergic help exchange system that I have designed as an alternative to our current neutral MARKET. It was designed for synergists who accept and embrace human INTERdependence. There is much more to come. …

Be Love, Do Good, Have Everything,

GIFTegrity Defined (PDF)
Specifications Of
Science Behind

Front Page

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

I have long been a fan of Leonard Shlain. Dr. Shlain was a polymath, surgeon, scientist, and best selling author. I say was, because I just learned today that he had died in May of 2009.

I have read all three of his published books — Art & Physics, The Alphabet Versus the Goddess, and Sex, Time and Power.I recommend all three without reservation — well worth the time of any thinking human.

I had the privilege of meeting Dr. Shlain in 2007. He told me he was planning a new book called Leonardo’s Brain which would focus on his growing understanding of human intelligence.

As a long time student of human intelligence, this was a topic that greatly interested me.

Today, I was reminded of that three year old conversation, I thought I must have missed the publication date, so googled Leonard only to discover he had died, and that his book was still unpublished.

At first I thought perhaps the book had been lost, but fortunately, the book was finished before his death. Humanity is blessed to have Leonard’s final thoughts to help us understand the human condition.

Today, it is my privilege to share his son’s thoughts on his father passing, and on his father’s scientific work, this article was originally posted shortly after his father’s death in September 2009.

Left Brain, Right Brain, and Ironies of the Heart

Jordan Shlain, MD

I was rummaging through some old college files last month and stumbled across a paper I wrote for my Physiology 101 class on May 8, 1989, at U.C. Berkeley, titled “Learning and neural adaptation: Postsynaptic potentiation.” It was an analysis of neuronal plasticity. After reading it, I was reminded that the map that charts the path of understanding neuroscience is byzantine, sophisticated, and very exciting.

Neuroscience is one of the last great medical frontiers. Encompassing biochemical neurotransmitters, high-definition imaging, computer-aided modeling technology, and much more, this field assists us in deciphering the staggering complexity of the human mind. And there is the irony about the cognitive and intellectual horsepower of the mind invested in the study of itself.

I am acutely aware of one individual, my late father, who devoted the last twenty-five years of his life to demystifying the nuance of the parallel and distinct universes that are the right and left brain. His interest and scope transcend the focused study areas in neuroscience; he bridged the nano and macro and wove a tapestry as elegant in its simplicity as the human brain itself. He focused on the ultimate byproduct of neuroscience—behavior. As a genetic pupil, I will do my best here to illuminate some of the works of my father, including the as-yet-unpublished one he finished just before he died in May.

Leonard Shlain asked many questions in his life. The one that started him on his journey for understanding the right brain/left brain dichotomy took place at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. My sister, who was and still is a talented artist, asked him, “Dad, could you please describe that to me? I don’t understand it,” as she pointed to a piece of abstract modern art. He paused and realized that the zeitgeist of modern art was as inexplicable and inscrutable as was the world of quantum physics.

In his first book, Art and Physics: Parallel Visions in Space, Time and Light, he posited that the right brain describes the world through the medium of art while the left brain describes the same world using science as its medium. Furthermore, the right brain is evolving slightly ahead of the left brain, such that major shifts in artistic movements precede corresponding discoveries in physics. My father’s example of this was Picasso’s Cubism and Einstein’s subsequent Theory of Relativity. Cubism was an artistic movement that described on canvas the idea that you could look at one image from multiple perspectives from one vantage point. The theory of relativity says that space and time are one and the same, and what you see depends on where you are in space-time. Historically, artists and physicists have paid scant attention to one another’s work, but he develops the idea that the most innovative artists nonetheless prepare the public’s mind for expanded conceptions of reality.

Dad’s next exploration into the mystery of hemispheric lateralization began with the question: What happened five thousand years ago that changed the sex of god of Western religion? Why did Western civilization transform from an abundance of goddess-centric, matrilineal, and matriarchal societies into a singular, strict patriarchal one? The answer, upon close inspection, is the left brain: The “male” brain wrested control of the vox populi. The male brain was the hunter brain, the dispassionate and linear brain. The sequential property of the written word made acquisition and adoption by the left brain easy. The right brain, or “feminine” brain, was holistic, abstract, image based, and nurturing. The complete control of the written word did not allow the right brain to have a seat at the table of organized religion, especially given that the first known written words are the Ten Commandments—and that the third commandment says there shall be no art (Idols). The Alphabet Versus the Goddess: The Conflict Between Word and Image has the audacity to question myths, legends, history, and science all through The lens of neuroscience.

The third work, Sex, Time and Power: How Women’s Sexuality Shaped Human Evolution asked another question: Why did big-brained Homo sapiens suddenly emerge some 150,000 years ago? He argues that profound alterations in female sexuality hold the key to this mystery.

Long ago, due to the narrowness of her bipedal pelvis and the increasing size of her infants’ heads, the human female began to experience high childbirth death rates, precipitating a crisis for the species. Natural selection adapted her to this unique environmental stress by drastically reconfiguring her hormonal reproductive cycle. Her estrus disappeared and menses mysteriously entrained with the periodicity of the moon. Women formulated the concept of a month, which in turn allowed them to make the connection between sex and pregnancy. Upon learning the majestic secret of time, these ancestral females then gained the power to refuse sex when they were ovulating. Men were forced to confront women who possessed minds of their own.

Women taught men about time and the men used this knowledge to become the planet’s most fearsome predators. Unfortunately, they also discovered that they were mortal. Men then invented religions to soften the certainty of death. Subsequently, they belatedly grasped the function of sex. The possibility of achieving a kind of immortality through heirs drove men to construct patriarchal cultures whose purpose was to control women’s reproductive choices.

As you may sense by this point, the good Dr. Leonard Shlain was not afraid to ask tough questions, research voraciously, and beautifully synthesize disparate themes. His final question, which is the topic of his latest and still-unpublished book, does not ask a question—it makes a statement. Leonardo da Vinci is likely the only human being in recorded history who could have won a Nobel Prize in both art (right-brain dominant) and in science (left-brain dominant). This final masterpiece is the study and exploration of Leonardo da Vinci’s brain. Rather than paraphrase, I will allow you to peruse some of the book’s nuggets:

“ … How, then, are we to explain the fact that in all of history there has been only one person who combined a genius so spectacular that he incandescently illuminated both the fields of art and science? Why does Leonardo occupy his solitary niche in the history of humankind across thousands of cultures and generations? His uniqueness has continued to enthrall commentators throughout the nearly five centuries that have followed his death in 1519.”

“He gives precise instructions to painters how they should depict the penumbra of shadows and how to position objects relative to each other in a composition so that the laws of perspective are rigorously followed. The only contemporary artist he mentions by name, Sandro Botticelli, is taken to task for his lack of interest in faithfully adhering to the axioms of perspective. How then to explain the unsettling discovery, when carefully examining Leonardo’s paintings, that he cleverly violates the laws of perspective in all of them? These anomalies will be detailed in a later chapter. Leonardo is both an extraordinary left-brained academician obsessed with portraying perspective correctly, and a right-brained impish trickster who takes delight in fooling the viewer with perspectivist sleights of hand.”

“If creativity begins in the right brain, it must at some point make the journey across the great divide between the hemispheres. To translate an insight into words or action, the left hemisphere must be involved—but not always. In the kinesthetic arts, such as dance or basketball, the right brain may invent a creative maneuver never used by anyone before. In some cases there is no conscious input and the right hemisphere will simply put the innovation in place in the middle of a routine or game. In general, however, the left lobe must translate the insight into words, or verify the insight using paint or equations. This step requires that the insight be formally introduced to the left lobe.”

“After arising in isolation in the right hemisphere, the creative insight must climb aboard the corpus callosum express to be ferried across to the left side of the brain. This raises the question: Is the corpus callosum merely a conduit or does it serve a higher, more integrative function? The corpus callosum is the most poorly understood structure in the human brain, and it also happens to be the largest. Arching over the midline, the corpus callosum is an enormous band of neurons numbering well over 200 billion. Neuroscientists are of two minds as to what this broad band of connecting fibers function is. The first is a down-to-earth, no-nonsense approach that posits that the corpus callosum serves only as a conduit that allows the right hand to know what the left hand is doing and vice versa. The opposing theory proposes that the corpus callosum integrates information from each side and represents an über hemisphere in that it functions as a third brain producing something qualitatively different from what the right and left brain generate individually.”

I will leave you, teary eyed, with the last paragraph of the epilogue, written May 8, 2009—twenty years to the day after I finished my undergraduate paper.

“As I write this, I am grateful for the extended time. My MRI, which had revealed the doubling of the size of the tumor the last time, showed that with the treatment of Avastin, my determination to live, and the phenomenal outpourings of prayers and good wishes from people, some of whom I know and many others who have only read my books, the tumor has shrunk to over two-thirds the size. I am walkin’ and talkin’, two things that are the left brain’s province, an indication of the left’s control of body movements and speech which are currently not showing any disability. I hope to see you in the spring of 2010, when the book will be published.”

On May 11, four days after completing his book Leonardo’s Brain, my father, himself a modern-day Leonardo, succumbed to a brain tumor. Irony squared.

Jordan Shlain, MD, is Leonard Shlains’s only son and a practicing Internist in the San Francisco area. I emailed him today. He wrote, My father’s yet unpublished work is still mired in the gears of the publishing world.  My elder sister, Kimberly is working on getting it published.  If it is not published, we will likely make it an ebook.

Kimberly Brooks is Leonard Shlain’s oldest daughter. She writes about her father here and here-2.

Tiffany Shlain is Leonard Shlain’s youngest daughter. She talks about her father here.

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Monday, October 4th, 2010

From the SynEARTH Archives … The following is the third chapter from We Can All Win!.

The Relationship Continuum

Timothy Wilken, MD

All human choices and all human relationships can be described as falling on a continuum.

I define an adversary relationship to be any relationship wherein the participants are less happy, less effective and less productive than they would be without the relationship. An adversary choice is any choice that reduces the happiness, effectiveness, and productivity of the participants in the relationship. The sum of the whole relationship in terms of happiness, effectiveness, productivity, profitability, satisfaction, etc. is less than the sum of the parts – less than the sum of the individual’s ability to be happy, effective, productive, profitable, satisfied, etc. outside this relationship.

I define a neutral relationship to be any relationship wherein the participants are equally happy, equally effective, and equally productive as they would be without the relationship. A neutral choice is any choice that has no effect on the happiness, effectiveness, and productivity of the participants in the relationship. The sum of the whole relationship in terms of happiness, effectiveness, productivity, profitability, satisfaction, etc. is equal to the sum of parts – equal to the individuals’s ability to be happy, effective, productive, profitable, satisfied, etc. outside this relationship.

I define a synergic relationship to be any relationship wherein the participants are more happy, more effective, and more productive than they would be without the relationship. A synergic choice is any choice that increases the happiness, effectiveness, and productivity of the participants in the relationship.

The sum of the whole relationship in terms of happiness, effectiveness, productivity, profitability, satisfaction, etc. is more than the sum of the parts – more than the sum of the individual’s ability to be happy, effective, productive, profitable, satisfied, etc. outside this relationship.

Let us say that you are capable of “X” happiness, effectiveness and productivity. I am capable of “Y” happiness, effectiveness and productivity. If we choose to interact the results can be as follows:

We can have neutrality, your “X” and my “Y” are unchanged by our relationship. The sum of the whole (X +Y ) is equal to the sum of the parts (X) + (Y).

We can have adversity, your “X” and my “Y” are reduced by our relationship. The sum of the whole (X + Y ) is less than the sum of the parts (X) + (Y).

Or, we can have synergy, your “X” and my “Y” are made greater by our relationship. The sum of the whole (X + Y) is more than the sum of the parts (X) + (Y).

These are the three classes of relationship described in Edward Haskell’s Unified Science (1). Haskell further explained that the two parties to a relationship would experience one of nine possible co-actions.

A relationship can be effected in three ways. Your “X” can go up, remain unchanged, or go down. And, my “Y” can go up, remain unchanged, or go down.

Our relationship might be good for you, good for me; it might be good for you, neutral for me; it might be good for you, bad for me; it might be neutral for you, good for me; etc.; etc.. Again in our language of games, we have nine possibilities when examined particulately for gross effect.

And, if we examine the nine possibilities wholistically for net effect, we see the emergence of our three general classes of human relationships.

If we examine our three general classes of human relationships we discover some striking differences. In the adversary class, there is a net loss. We humans lose something, we are less together than we would be apart. The neutral class reveals no change. We are the same together as we would be apart. In the synergic class, there is a net gain. We humans gain something, we are more together than we would be apart. Recall our relationship boxes.


Edward Haskell called the loss of adversary relationship the “conflictors’s deficit”. Let us represent that loss as ( – Z ).


He called the gain of synergic relationship the “cooperator’s surplus”. Let us represent that gain as ( + Z ).


Truth lies in eye of the beholder

Each participant determines for himself whether a relationship is synergic or adversary. This is determined from his point of view, and he cannot be fooled.

He is either more happy, more effective, more productive because of the relationship; or he is less happy, less effective, less productive because of the relationship, or he is unchanged by the relationship.

The truth is in the eye of the beholder. The effect can be partial. There may be relationships that are partially synergic, and/or partially neutral, and/or partially adversary.

True synergy exists when all participants are more happy, more effective, and more productive. True synergy is WIN-WIN. True synergy is +,+. True synergy maximizes the cooperator’s surplus – maximizes ( Z ).

1 Edward Haskell, The Unified Science, Private Papers, 1947-1986

UnCommon Sense Library


The BasicsWe Can All Win!-PDF

2—Three Ways
3—The Relationship Continuum
4—Three Classes of Life
5—Human Neutrality

The Science — UnCommon Science(PDF)

Intro—Science 2001
1—Knowing 2001
2—A Limit to Knowing
3—Scientific Mistakes
4—What Do We Know

5—Order (PDF)-New

The Present — Crisis: Danger & Opportunity

The Future – A Synergic Future

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Saturday, July 31st, 2010

I came across the following essay and thought you might enjoy it.

Relax Into Wealth

Jafree Ozwald and Margot Zaher

Would you like to receive more wealth from the Universe? Would you like to be free from stressful financial issues forever? The secret to becoming Financially Receptive is to embrace a state of relaxation instead of stress about your current financial state. That’s right! The more you relax into and surrender your attempt to control your current stressful relationship with money, the more your energy field expands and opens, naturally attracting more prosperity into your life.

“When you are grateful,
fear disappears
and abundance appears.”

~ Anthony Robbins

The energy of relaxation carries a high vibration that instantly shifts you into a receptive state and consequently allows the Universe to fill your request for abundance. On the other hand, when you are stressed, you automatically shut down your manifesting channels, repelling that which you want to manifest. Vibrationally speaking, what you want to attract literally cannot get into your field because the energy of stress blocks it. So relax…really relax…. going infinitely deeper and deeper into the relaxation. Allow the feeling of any financial burden to be lifted from your life forever.

“The greatest revolution of our generation
is the discovery that human beings,
by changing the inner attitudes of their minds,
can change the outer aspects of their lives.”

~William James

The good news is that it is easy to relax and it feels soooo good to do so! Relaxation is your natural state, and therefore you can effortlessly tap into the part of you that is always relaxed and knows that you are divinely supported. Deep relaxation is something we ALL look forward to, yet how frequently do you give this gift to yourself? Can you simply decide to let yourself relax more than you ever have before this month? When you allow time to relax, you open up your field to receiving more abundance from the Universe.

“Breathe. Let go.
And remind yourself that this very moment

is the only one you know you have for sure.”
~ Oprah Winfrey

Simply let yourself decide when you are going to relax this week. Claim your space! Before you relax it’s always good to recite an all-powerful affirmation: “The more calm I am, the more open I will be to financial opportunity!”

Here are three powerful techniques to help you relax about your current finances, and thus receive more abundance from the Universe:

1. Relax your Body and Mind through Conscious Breathing

Whenever you notice you are worrying about money, stop what you are doing and begin to do deep breathing. The very act of breathing takes you deeper into your body. Breathing anchors you into your physical form, which is abiding in the God-Source that is always here now. This Source is the most loving, abundant state you’ll ever find. So take a moment right now and take 3 deep breaths. With each breath, breathe in relaxation, and with each out-breath, release any stress or tension you have. Do you notice a feeling of deeper peace in your body yet? Breathe deeper and include all of the thoughts and emotions that you’re stressed about. Breathe in relaxation, breathe out stress until you can feel the peace. Then, let in this glorious peace because you deserve it!! This will center you, and automatically re-open your energy field to receive the abundance that is wanting you.

2. Experience Gratitude for the Abundance You Do Have

One of the most powerful ways to open up your ability to receive more abundance is to relax into the energy of gratitude. The act of feeling grateful for the wealth that you DO have instantly shifts the energy in every cell of your body, as well as those electrons in your bank account! As you flood your body-mind with gratitude, you start to feel complete and whole on the deepest levels. When you are thankful, you know that your “cup runneth over”, and are no longer in the habit of desperately searching for ways to fill it up. The old world unconscious search for something to fill you up is what creates the lack in your bank account. This yearning, needing, and searching feeling creates stress in your body which blocks the abundance you are here to receive. Connecting with deep feelings of gratitude means everything is already perfect exactly as it is, and that manifesting more wealth is not the most important thing in life. This concept frees you from the pursuit of money, and on one level instantly makes you financially free! So every time you start to strive for more abundance in your life, stop… and be grateful for what you already have. You’ll see how effortless it is to receiving more financial prosperity down the road.

3. Daily Visualize Receiving The Prosperity You Desire

Visualization supports your entire mind-body in relaxing, and thus receiving more abundance because it creates a blue-print for success in your subconscious mind. When you create a mental movie of what the abundance you want looks and feels like, your subconscious believes that this mental movie is your current reality. The subconscious mind does not know the difference between reality and imagination. When you imagine biting into a spicy taco, you start to salivate right? Your mind believes and knows that you are ALREADY abundant right now, your whole body goes “Ahhhhhhhh” and simultaneously starts magnetizing what you want in your life. The key to a highly effective visualization is to connect strong feeling states to the pictures that you create in your mind. So take a moment right now and see yourself manifesting what you do desire. Feel it in your body and keep turning up the volume on the strong abundant and positive feelings this imagery creates.

“Abundance is not something we acquire.
It is something we tune into.”

~ Wayne Dyer

More by Jafree Ozwald and Margot Zaher

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Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

There is much wisdom to be found on our planet. Today’s author shares a choice piece with us.

The Healer’s Prayer

Reverend Doctor Dia Lynn

During my Ordination of Ministers’ Ceremony on May 31, 2010,  I spoke of my long term-commitment to service as a healer, using the poem from The Course in Miracles as my guidance.

“I am here only to be truly helpful.

I am here to represent He Who sent me.

I do not have to worry about what to say or what to do
because He who sent me will direct me.

I am content to be wherever He wishes me to be knowing He goes there with me.

I will be healed as I let Him teach me to heal.”

–ACIM p.28

“‘I AM” is a statement of who is doing the healing.

ONLY HERE” indicates having one’s consciousness completely here in the present without focus on the past (or the client’s past) or worry about the imagined future.

TO BEBeingness is a state of presence, receptivity, receptivity, a willingness or being available. It is different than doing or thinking. A healing modality may require some action but it is not the technique, machine or medicines that are creating the healing. The Course states that the body cannot heal, only the mind can correct error thoughts.

TRULY HELPFULTrue indicates surrender to God’s will, being dedicated, authentic and in integrity in the role of healer with client (a brother in Christ). Helpful is full with extending God’s love to others as God loves us, unconditionally, impersonally and not special.

I AM” is identifying the small self with the higher self – a state of being One with the name of God.

HERE TO REPRESENT” means here on Earth at this time to make my physical vehicle available as a communication device. Represent: God presented His essence to all of creation at the beginning of time. Now we are re-presenting God to our fellow man through this present time, body, mind, set of talents, strengths, love and service.

HE WHO SENT ME” He refers to the Holy Spirit which is God’s communication to our right minds. Sent implies a soul’s contract to bring forth certain offerings, learning, qualities of heart. It is having a mission statement or calling as in a minister’s charge to serve. Me is the individual aspect of the entirety of Oneness. It is not the Egoic small “me” with its hidden agendas.

I DO NOT HAVE TO WORRY” We need to understand and know that all has been provided. We are always guided and protected. Worry is an unenlightened use of mind, which refers to the past for lessons, and projects information or fantasies into a future, which may be worse than the present. Worry is not true or necessary. We are to live in faith and gratitude and be receptive to our good.

ABOUT WHAT TO SAY” If my thoughts are not my thoughts, then they are coming from ideas in the mind of God, or the voice for the Ego. My words then are also expressions of Divinity or Ego, using my vocal cords to speak their will. My words are not “my” words if I am in right-mindedness. Then they are Holy Spirit’s guidance, in which case they will bless and unify. When “my” words come from Ego mind they will be used to judge, blame and separate, hurting others and therefore myself.

OR WHAT TO DO” There is actually no doing of anything unless Spirit first animates the will and body to express something. The body has no volition of itself. When Spirit vacates body there is no more doing. The ego tricks us into thinking the small “I” is the doer, which keeps us trapped in the illusion of identification with a separate body in a world of separate forms.

BECAUSE HE WHO SENT ME WILL DIRECT ME” The reason we do not have to worry, plan or do is that the Divine Director is He who is in charge of the master plan for creation’s evolution is still directing the course of our lives. To the extent we become quiet and ask and listen for guidance, we are able to here the will of God ― delivered to our right-mind by the Holy Spirit. Inner listening and spiritual guidance are one purpose of meditating daily.

I AM CONTENT” refers to the peaceful presence in the eternal now. The awakened state is fully aware that this is all there is. So there is nothing to fear or worry about. God is here, now, and it is peace and love.

TO BE WHEREVER HE WISHES ME TO BE” Moment to moment, if I am surrendered, open to guidance, listening to the voice of right-mind (Holy Spirit) and not to wrongmind (Ego) I will be moved to the right place and circumstances, with the right people, for the service or lesson that needs to happen.

KNOWING HE GOES THERE Knowing is faith, assurance, and certainty at any moment. He is God’s will expressed through Holy Spirit. Goes means a constant moveable state you follow, or that leads your journey through life. There is not a static/future/distant place, like a Heaven you might get into some day.

WITH MEWith me indicates never separated from the One. It is omnipresent and always exists wherever I am. He is the originator of “my” thoughts, ruler of “my” mind and creates, maintains or destroys “my” body. He is the intelligence behind of the process of the life I am experiencing.

I WILL BE HEALED” Not I will as in the future, but I will the healing, the wholeness, the Atonement from separation beliefs. “All healing is essentially the release from fear”

AS I LET HIM” The small I asks, invites, surrenders control and lets him, God, through Holy Spirit, work through me as a channel.

TEACH ME TO HEAL” The entire Course is a teaching about healing the split (insane) mind from its tiny mad idea of separation. The replacement of Ego’s fear-based agenda, instead of God’s kingdom of heavenly bliss, is the disease of the mind, and the source of conflict in our world. Forgiving our mis-perception of beliefs in sin and guilt creates a mind at peace and in love. That consciousness can be extended to our brothers (sons of God) and we love as God loves (unconditionally) and heal as God heals (removal of obstacles to peace.)

And so it is. Amen.

Reverend Doctor Dia Lynn maintains a private practice in Monterey, California, using Bodywork, Breathwork, Medical QiGong energy healing, Aromatherapy and Spiritual Mind Counseling/Treatment and is a Hospice chaplain.

Her website cab be viewed here: Or, write her at:

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Saturday, April 10th, 2010

I have been studying Evolutionary Enlightenment with Craig Hamilton for a few months. I was privileged to attend his telecourse available on the web or by telephone called: Awakening to an Evolutionary Relationship to Life. This course  is being offered in its third rendition starting on April 20, 2010. I highly recommend it. You can listen to a no cost introduction to the course here: The Key to Evolving Beyond Ego.

To give you a sample of his thinking enjoy the following excerpt from a talk he gave to an audience of Integral scholars at the 2008 Integral Theory in Action Conference.

Towards Evolutionary Enlightenment

Craig Hamilton

I’d like to ask you to think about a spiritual figure whom you revere and look to for inspiration; perhaps a saint of the distant past, like Jesus or the Buddha or Saint Theresa or Rumi; perhaps a sage of recent history, like Ramana Maharshi, Sri Aurobindo, Anandamayi Ma or Suzuki Roshi; or even a saint or sage of the present, like Amma or the Dalai Lama or Thomas Keating.

What is it about this figure that you most admire? What is it that causes you to look to them as a source of spiritual inspiration?

Is it how you imagine their interiors to be? In other words, do you imagine that they feel very spiritual and peaceful and blissful and expanded on the inside, and that’s what makes you look up to them? Is the source of your respect and admiration based on your belief that they have access to glorious inner states of consciousness?

Or is it something about who they are? About how they show up in the world? About the wisdom and generosity conveyed in their actions? About the strength and singularity of their character? Their unwavering stand for the holiness they’ve discovered. About the divinity that seems to infuse their personality and shine through in their every expression?

I’m guessing that unless you are even more of an altered state junkie than I used to be, your answer is somewhere in the domain of the latter. I think it’s safe to say that when we conclude that someone is a sage or saint or even a deeply spiritual person, what most of us mean by that is that their humanity has undergone a transformation, that on some fundamental level, their values have changed, their identity or sense of self has shifted in a way that deeply changes who they are and the way they behave.

I don’t think there is anything groundbreaking about the point I’m making here. I think this is what we might call spiritual common sense. It rings with our most basic spiritual intuitions and sensibilities.

But, in the contemporary spiritual marketplace—including the world of Integral Theory and Practice—there is actually a lot of confusion on this point. In the contemporary spiritual arena at large, we find prominent spiritual figures suggesting that enlightenment has nothing to do with behavior, that it is a purely inner realization that does not affect the personality at all. Or that if it does affect our behavior, it would simply make us a bit calmer and more equanimous (perhaps like a time-released lifelong dose of Prozac). But that it certainly has nothing to do with morality. And these are just a few examples of the many popular spiritual ideas that run counter to what I’m calling spiritual common sense.

For the purposes of my talk here, though, I’ll leave aside these broader currents of confusion, and focus on those that specifically arise from Integral Theory.

As I’m sure you all know well, one of the core tenets of Integral Theory is the notion of Lines of Development. The basic idea is that human evolution or development is not one thing. You can’t ask: what stage of development is Craig at and hope to get a general answer that means anything, because we are each more developed in some areas than others. I might be a great abstract thinker but have poorly developed social skills. Or I might be a world-class athlete who can’t even read or write.

Like most of the basic tenets of Integral Theory, this also has a ring of common sense to it. In fact, at first glance, it actually seems so obvious and undeniable that one might even wonder how it made it into one of the world’s leading-edge theoretical models at all. Is it really saying anything other than what our grandmothers all knew—that we all have different strengths and weaknesses, everyone has a pound of virtue, etc? It is even in synch with many of our basic cultural stereotypes—like the dumb jock, or the genius professor who can’t tie his tie, or the hyperintellectual male who is completely cut off from his feelings. We all take for granted skewed development, which is why, when we meet someone who seems to be good at everything, it’s always a bit awe-inspiring—or irritating.

Given that it is nothing new or particularly insightful, there must be something about this theory that has garnered it so much attention—even compelled integral theorists to catalogue several dozen distinct lines of development.

So, why is this seemingly obvious notion of Lines of Development such a compelling and integral part of Integral Theory?

I think what has given this theory so much traction is that it seems to make sense of one of the more troubling aspects of our experience in relation to the whole question of higher human development.

To illustrate, I want to take a poll: How many of us have felt the sting and confusion of learning that a great musician or artist whose music or art seems to convey something almost transcendent was abusive in their personal relationships or a desperate junkie?

And, more to the point of this talk, how many of us have been deeply confused, angry, or even disillusioned to discover that a great, seemingly enlightened spiritual Master we looked up to was either abusive, financially corrupt, or a sexual deviant who lied openly to cover up the fact that they were sleeping with a harem of attractive disciples behind their wife’s back (or while proclaiming to be celibate—take your pick)? (And by the way, that statement was not a dig at anybody specific—it’s a story that’s been told so many times, we could come up with dozens of examples).

You see, what I think has made the Lines of Development theory so compelling to us sophisticated spiritually seeking postmoderns is that it seems to answer a question that has plagued us at the core of our being, and threatened to undermine our faith in the possibility of genuine higher development. That question, as our beloved friend Ken Wilber likes to put it, is “why are spiritual teachers such assholes?”

Indeed, much of the spiritual metanarrative of the past forty years of Western spirituality reads like a tragic soap opera. We’ve watched as one after another of our most promising spiritual teachers publicly fell from grace, committing serious moral transgressions, collapsing into corruption and scandal. And this has been an extremely challenging reality for millions of contemporary spiritual seekers. Many have been wondering whether enlightenment is really all it’s cracked up to be. Or if authentic spiritual attainment is even possible. To compound the problem, many half-baked spiritual teachers have capitalized on this doubt, making light of their “human imperfections” as a demonstration of their humility and “spiritual maturity.” And in so doing, they have only continued to erode our sense of what is actually possible.

So, into this sea of confusion walks this notion of Lines of Development—a clean, simple, commonsense theory that seems to elegantly explain the whole problem. It tells us that the reason that these great Masters acted inappropriately was not due to any deficit in their spiritual attainment. They were still Great Masters. They were just undeveloped in some other Lines. For instance, if a Great spiritual master acts in ways that are abusive, we should see this not as a spiritual deficit but as a deficit in their moral line of development, or their interpersonal line of development, or perhaps in their emotional line of development. If a spiritual teacher can’t seem to keep their pants on, this is probably due to some lack of psychosexual development and is not necessarily indicative of any limitation in their spiritual attainment.

At first blush, this seems like the day has been saved, right? We don’t have to throw the baby out with the bathwater after all. The possibility of Great Enlightenment still exists. We just have to understand that it is one line among many. We can still believe in and aspire toward higher spiritual development. We just have to realize that no matter how spiritually evolved we become, it’s not necessarily going to make us a better human being.

Now, I need to be honest. For all of its elegance and simplicity, this theory never quite worked for me. And not just because it lets all the gurus off the hook. Pardon my brief aside, but I mean, what a relief, right? We no longer have to strive to appear superhuman in order to meet our disciples’ expectations. And, more importantly, we don’t have to hold ourselves to a higher standard of conduct. Aaaahhh. If we get caught with our pants down or our hand in the cookie jar, we can simply acknowledge our lack of development in some of the non-spiritual lines—like morality—and we’re out of hot water! And you know what that means, guys: more of those fringe benefits!

But seriously, spiritual teachers aside, the deeper reason why this Lines of Development theory never worked for me in the spiritual domain is this: If all of our spiritual practice and striving isn’t going to make us a more conscious, sensitive, decent, caring, wise, respectful, and moral human being whose behavior in the world shines as a beacon of enlightened consciousness—then A) what good is it? And B) if our definition of spirituality doesn’t include any of those things, what exactly do we mean by spirituality at this point anyway? If we’re going to separate out all of these other lines, it seems that the only thing that’s really left is our ability to access altered states of consciousness. And, for me, that is a definition too small for the domain it attempts to define.

To explain why, I want to bring us all back to where I started my talk. To that spiritual luminary—dead or living—whom you revere and look to for inspiration. What is it about them that inspires your admiration and respect? Is it their ability to access higher states? Or is it something else? And if something else, what is that something else?

If I were to put a word on it, I might call it “enlightened humanity.” I think that if we step outside of all the talk about different developmental lines, we can acknowledge that there is something called our humanity which has to do with the depth of our interiors, our moral sense, our character, our values, our wisdom, our decency, our compassion, our willingness to risk for a greater good. And I think we all have a basic commonsense intuition that spirituality is about the enlightenment and transformation of our humanity on a fundamental level. What makes a truly spiritual person so extraordinary and unusual is that all of the best human qualities and virtues seem to naturally shine forth from that person, while all of the worst human qualities and vices seem to have subsided. And the more enlightened a person is, the more this should be the case. And I think that deep down we all know this, even if our theories have managed to confuse us on the surface.

You see, I think this notion of Lines of Development as applied to spirituality is a great example of an elegant theory talking us out of our common sense. I think the reason it has been so successful at doing so lies in a series of fundamental confusions in contemporary spirituality. And while there is not time here to discuss them all, there is one that’s important to address, as it’s one which some Integral Theorists have helped to propagate.

It is a confusion about what nonduality—and nondual realization—really means. The vast majority of contemporary “nondual” teachings and teachers—including some influential Integral theorists—have propagated the idea that nondual realization is when you discover that only the Absolute or Unmanifest is ultimately Real, and the entire manifest domain is either unreal, an illusion, a cosmic joke or divine play with no ultimate significance. We’ve all by now heard the notion that satori is the realization that everything leading up to satori—including any notion of evolution—is meaningless. And that, after enlightenment, we might still play in the world, but we wouldn’t take it seriously.

So, with this as our idea about where our path is taking us, it’s easy to understand how someone with a high or even ultimate level of spiritual development might not be very highly developed in their humanity. Because that version of enlightenment really has nothing to do with the “relative” world of time, space, and action. So, in this view of ultimate spiritual attainment, the notion that spirituality is a single line divorced from all of the others I’ve been speaking about makes perfect sense.

There’s only one problem. That is not what nonduality really means. That is not what enlightenment really is.

Remember, the ultimate statement of nonduality is that form and emptiness, nirvana and samsara are one. Which means it is all REAL.

This is why the authentic realization of enlightenment is simultaneously blissful and painful. Because one sees, in a way one has never seen before, that the unmanifest ground of everything is a limitless perfection, but that the manifest world is a bloody mess. And they’re both equally real.

And in the face of this beautiful and terrible reality, there is a further recognition—IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE THIS WAY. So much of the mess of the human condition lies in a fundamental ignorance of the way things are. So much of the horror show of the world is an outgrowth of our collective, unevolved consciousness. And it can all change.

Which is why, when someone truly realizes this, they usually become a fanatic. They have only one choice left. To give their every breath to awakening and evolving the world.

Now, it’s possible to experience all kinds of higher states and insights and not get to this genuinely nondual realization. Which is why most spiritual teachers and teachings are as confusing as they are helpful. Because, frankly, it is very rare that someone touches, let alone surrenders to this ultimate realization. Most spiritual teachers truthfully haven’t gotten anywhere near it. So, generally we get a cocktail of dharma mixed in with a bunch of erroneous conclusions. Like enlightenment is simply about being here now, or loving what is, realizing there is nowhere to go, nothing to become, nothing that needs to change. And various other half-truths that are absolutely deadening to the spiritual impulse.

Now, to summarize where we are at this point, I’ve said that saying that spiritual development is a separate line that excludes moral, social, emotional, and psychological development is problematic because it reduces spirituality to the ability to access altered states. I’ve also said that this way of defining spirituality flies in the face of our basic commonsense intuition that spirituality is about the enlightenment and transformation of our humanity. And then I said that the reason so many of us have been so easily talked out of our common sense lies in a bundle of confusing ideas being taught in the contemporary spiritual scene, and specifically the notion that nondual realization means we see the world as unreal or at best a cosmic joke.

By my count, there are two more questions I need to answer to bring this home.

1) If spirituality is not just a single line of development, then what is it?

2) If this Lines of Development theory does not explain the moral and social transgressions of so many Great Gurus, then what does account for it?

In answer to the first of these, there are many ways to speak about what spiritual awakening is, but one very good way that I think will shed some light here is to see it as the discovery of the Dharma. When one truly wakes up, one begins to see with the Dharma eye, or the eye of wisdom. Now, the word dharma is thrown around a lot these days, but if we look back at its roots, we find three meanings that tend to be associated with it. Dharma as Truth. Dharma as Law. And Dharma as Path. Simply put, one sees the Truth, which reveals the Law which guides the Path. And, when things are working properly, this is a discovery that engages every aspect of one’s humanity. One sees, suddenly with unimaginable subtlety, the delicate web of interrelatedness that binds us together. One sees the significance of every move we make, and how it impacts the whole through a complex chain of causation. One awakens to the Law of karma, the law of right action which reveals an inherent ordering principle in the Kosmos, and a Kosmic command to align with that order. In the theistic traditions, this Law was referred to as the Will of God, as in, “Not my will, but Thy Will be done.” Finally, one discovers the Path, the actions one must take to stay aligned with the Law, revealing themselves anew through clear seeing in every moment. And, in the face of this knowledge, one experiences the awakening of what Andrew Cohen calls the “Spiritual Conscience,” or what the Sufis called, simply, “the Heart.” That faculty within the awakening psyche which compels us to act in accord with the Law, and which feels a kind of Kosmic pain when we violate it.

What is the impact on an individual who realizes this kind of depth? It’s earth-shattering. The result is a complete revolution at the very core of one’s being, which then radiates outward, bringing about an integral transformation of every aspect of one’s humanity.

On a values level, it brings about a radical reorientation in one’s priorities, worldview and values. We begin to care about the evolution of the whole, and the evolution of consciousness itself more than we care about anything personal. We become a Kosmoscentric or even Godcentric individual.

On a moral level, it brings one into profound alignment with the moral order of the Kosmos, compelling one to always sacrifice self-interest for the good of the whole.

On an interpersonal level, it leads to a profound attunement to the evolutionary needs of others, and an unbearable sensitivity to the impact our actions have on others. Freed from the confines of self-concern, we find ourselves able to see deeply into others souls and respond to them with a precision, warmth and kindness unimaginable within ordinary egoic relationship.

On a cognitive level, it liberates our mind from rigidity and opens us to ever higher levels of spiritual cognition in which authentic intuition and reason are clarified and united in a higher embrace.

On an emotional level, it awakens a depth of feeling that would have been too much for us to bear in our previous ego-identified state. We become choicelessly present to our own emotional life, and that emotional life expands to begin to literally feel for the evolving whole. When we see ourselves or someone else acting selfishly and out of alignment with the Law, it causes us emotional pain, and that pain deepens our evolutionary response to life.

In essence, what I’m asserting is that spiritual attainment is integral at the deepest level of the psyche. It integrates our whole being from the top-down. Enlightenment really is all it’s cracked up to be. It is just exceedingly rare.

Which leaves me with the final question: If authentic spiritual attainment really does make us a better person, why, then, have so many spiritual teachers been less than exemplary human beings?

If you’ve followed me so far, you can probably guess my answer: Most spiritual teachers today have not attained the depth of realization I’m speaking about here. They may have had profound experiences. They may even have attained a kind of ongoing yogic access to expanded states of consciousness. They may even be able to transmit those higher states to others. But that does not mean they have surrendered their will before the throne of the Ultimate. It does not make them truly God-realized human beings.

Why are we in this predicament? Why, after all these years of Western seeking and practice, don’t we have more to show for it?

That’s another big subject, and more than I can do justice to here. But in broad strokes, here is my take.

Truthfully, I think it’s quite simple. I think that pre-modern spiritual practices and traditions are not sufficient to address the complexity of the postmodern world or the postmodern psyche. Those of us postmoderns who are engaging in spiritual practice today are at a completely different developmental level than any of the great traditions knew anything about. We have a kind of complex, layered interiority and individuation that never existed before. Our complex interiors are deeply related to and engaged with the interiors of others in ways that the great sages of yore never could have imagined. The great wisdom traditions are indeed great. And their highest wisdom is universal and timeless. But they really don’t sufficiently address us.

In recent years, many have recognized the limitations of pre-modern spirituality, and have offered various hybrids of Western psychotherapy and traditional contemplative practice. But from my observation, this has mostly just contributed to making the context for spiritual practice smaller, by anchoring it to the healing, recovery, and fulfillment of the traumatized personal self. Out of this marriage, there have also been a variety of what we might call postmodern spiritual practices born, but again, they all seem to be focused on healing and fulfilling the self, and have little or nothing to do with anchoring us into a context infinitely greater than ourselves. Spirituality has always been about bringing us into alignment with and submission to an Absolute principle, in the face of which our personal wounds, fears, and desires are revealed to be irrelevant. In the absence of this ultimate context, we have to ask: are we really practicing spirituality at all?

What I think will usher in a new era of authentic spiritual enlightenment—and, in my opinion, the only thing that will do it—is the emergence of new post-postmodern spiritual forms that are fundamentally Godcentric and Kosmoscentric. These new spiritual Teachings will address the complex relational sensitivity and individuation of the postmodern psyche, but from an authentically enlightened Dharmic context. This means that they will be derived from the Dharma itself—from a clear seeing of the Way with a capital “w”, and from there an engagement with the complexities of the postmodern psyche. New transformative practices will be born that harness our newfound interiority in the dismantling of its own egoic structures. And the path will become increasingly collective, in the recognition that consciousness is relational, and that a profound engagement with the evolution of our collective interiors is needed to support authentic development of our individual interiors.

Reposted from the author’s website.

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Sunday, April 4th, 2010

The Evolutionary Manifesto

John Stewart

A completely new phase in the evolution of life on Earth has begun.  It will change everything.

In this new phase evolution will be driven intentionally, by humanity.  The evolutionary worldview that emerges from an understanding of our role in the new phase has the potential to transform the nature of human existence.

At present humanity is lost.  We don’t know what we are doing here.  We are without a worldview that can point to our place and purpose in the universe and that can also withstand rational scrutiny.

But this difficult period is coming to an end.  The emergence of the new evolutionary worldview is beginning to lift us out of the abyss.  The new worldview has a unique capacity to reveal who we are and what we should be doing with our lives.  It relies solely on scientific knowledge and reason to identify our critical role in future evolution.  The evolutionary worldview can unite us in a great common enterprise, and provide meaning and purpose for human existence.

At the heart of the evolutionary worldview is the fact that evolution has a trajectory—it heads in a particular direction.  However, evolution on Earth will not advance beyond a certain point unless it is driven consciously and intentionally.  If this transition to intentional evolution does not occur, evolution on this planet will stall, and humanity will not contribute positively to the future evolution of life in the universe—we will be a failed evolutionary experiment.

It is as if evolution is a developmental process.  Just as a human embryo is organized to develop through a number of stages to produce an adult, evolution tends to produce a particular sequence of outcomes of increasing complexity.  Initially, evolution moves in this direction of its own accord.  However, at a particular point evolution will continue to advance only if certain conditions are met: organisms must emerge that awaken to the possibility that they are living in the midst of a developmental process; they must realize that the continued success of the process depends on them; and they must commit to actively moving the process forward.

Across the planet at the beginning of the twenty first century, individuals are beginning to realize the importance of the transition to intentional evolution.  They know that they themselves have a significant role to play if the transition is to be completed successfully.

This role requires them to promote the new evolutionary worldview that will drive the transition.  It also calls on them to begin to remake themselves and their societies in whatever ways are necessary to advance the evolutionary process.  Their efforts, powered by the capacity of the evolutionary worldview to invest their lives with direction and purpose, will bring forth a great wave of evolutionary activism that will change life on this planet forever.

Evolutionary activists use the trajectory of evolution to identify what they need to do to advance evolution.  Socially, the next great step in human evolution is the emergence of a unified and sustainable global society.  Psychologically, the next step is to free our behavior from the dictates of our biological and cultural past, so that we can do that which is necessary for future evolutionary success.

The organization of a cooperative global society is an urgent priority.  With it, the threats of world war and global warming can be easily managed.  Without it, human civilization may end this century.

The Evolutionary Manifesto is an intentional attempt to promote the shift to conscious evolution and the evolutionary activism that will drive it.  To read, discuss and circulate the Manifesto is to participate in a great evolutionary transition on this planet.

Part 1 of the Manifesto provides an overview of the shift to intentional evolution and of the worldview that is motivating individuals to actively promote the transition.  Parts 2 and 3 begin by identifying the trajectory of evolution and showing that its directionality is produced by processes that are fully understandable within mainstream science, without resort to teleology or mysticism.  They go on to use the trajectory of evolution to identify the agendas that guide evolutionary activists in their attempts to advance the evolutionary process.  In particular, Part 2 deals with our future social evolution and Part 3 with the future evolution of our adaptability, intelligence and creativity.

Part 4 of the Manifesto explores the power of the evolutionary worldview to provide meaning and direction for human existence.  It demonstrates the capacity of the worldview to make evolutionary activism the most significant political force on the planet.  In particular, it shows that philosophical arguments such as the ‘naturalistic fallacy’ do not diminish the force of the evolutionary worldview presented by the Manifesto.

The shift to intentional evolution

The shift to intentional evolution has begun on Earth.  The evolutionary process itself is evolving.  It is transitioning from a process that stumbles forward blindly to one that advances consciously and intentionally.

Hitherto on Earth, evolution proceeded largely by trial and error.  The processes that produced mutations were not guided by foresight or by any intention to advance evolution.

The same applies to the processes that drive human cultural evolution.  When we humans make scientific discoveries, technological advances, or institute new forms of social organization, we are not consciously attempting to advance the evolutionary process.  Thus far in our evolution we do not intentionally design improvements so that they will be successful in evolutionary terms.

In contrast, if the transition to conscious evolution is successful, evolution on Earth will henceforth proceed deliberately and intelligently.  Life on Earth, including human societies, will be made and remade continually with the explicit intent of advancing the evolutionary process.  Human nature, culture, technology and social systems, as well as the other living processes on the planet, will all be shaped intentionally so that they contribute positively to the further evolution of life in the universe.

This transition will increase enormously the ability of the evolutionary process to adapt and innovate to meet whatever challenges are faced by life on this planet in the future.  What might take trial and error many thousands of millions of years to discover can be developed almost instantly by intelligent evolution.  In a few centuries, human technology has produced innovations such as heavier-than-air flight that took past evolution millions of generations of genetic trial and error to accomplish.

But the significance of this transition goes far beyond merely improving the effectiveness of adaptation to existing circumstances.  It will also enable life on Earth to identify what it can do to contribute productively to the future evolution of life in the universe.  Life on Earth will be able to envision a creative and meaningful role for itself in future evolution, and use the vision to guide its actions and its future development.

Life on Earth will never be the same.

The potential for the evolutionary process to ‘awaken’ in this way has arisen because of the emergence on the planet of organisms that are conscious and highly intelligent—humanity.  We have the capacity to pursue our goals deliberately and consciously—we use planning, foresight, anticipation and intent.  To the extent that we begin to use our intelligence to advance the evolutionary process intentionally, evolution itself will be powered by intelligence.  Human creativity will drive the advancement of the evolutionary process on Earth.

Importantly, this would not only mean that humanity will evolve intelligently.  Increasingly, humanity is managing and adapting the other processes on the planet, living and non-living, for our own ends.  If humanity embraces evolutionary goals, it will therefore mean that the living and non-living processes of the planet are also managed and adapted intelligently for evolutionary ends.

Because of the central role of innovation in evolution, humanity will also set out to enhance the creativity of the evolutionary process.  This will mean improving our own capacity to innovate as well as the creativity of the systems we are embedded in.  Understanding and utilizing creative processes such as emergence and collective intelligence will be priorities.

If this major evolution transition is completed successfully, humans will henceforth shape their societies, themselves, and all other living processes on the planet to serve evolutionary goals. Through humanity, the evolutionary process on Earth will have become conscious of itself, and will have acquired the capacity to advance itself intentionally and consciously.  It will have undergone a fundamental and extremely significant transformation.  Evolution will have transitioned from a process that groped its way forward by trial and error to one that strides knowingly into the future, guided by foresight and powered by consciousness.

Humans who are alive during the 21st century, 13.7 billion years of evolution after the ‘big bang’, are extraordinarily fortunate.  The shift to intentional evolution is one of the most significant evolutionary transitions that can occur on any planet on which life emerges.  We have the unique opportunity to contribute to its successful completion on this planet.  And if we choose to make this contribution, we will do so consciously—we will be aware that we are contributing intentionally to the successful completion of a pivotal evolutionary event on this planet.

The emergence of intentional evolutionaries

As the transition begins, individuals are emerging who are choosing to dedicate their lives to advancing the evolutionary process.

These intentional evolutionaries recognize that they have a critical role to play in driving the evolutionary transition and the future evolution of life.  Their lives can be an important part of the great evolutionary process that has produced the universe and life within it.  They know that if evolution is to continue to fulfill its potential, it now must be driven deliberately, and it is their responsibility and destiny to contribute to this.

Their conscious participation in the evolutionary process is increasingly becoming the source of value and meaning in their lives.  Redefining themselves within a wider evolutionary perspective is providing direction and purpose to their existence—they no longer see themselves as isolated, self-concerned individuals who live for a short time, then die irrelevantly in a meaningless universe.

Intentional evolutionaries are energized by the knowledge that their decision to embrace this role is part of the unfolding of the great transition itself.  They see that they are contributing to the success of processes much larger than themselves that will outlast them and potentially live forever.  They know that if they live their lives incompatibly with the processes that govern the evolution of life in the universe, their lives will not have any longer-term relevance.  They will die without leaving a lasting trace.

For intentional evolutionaries at the leading edge of the transition, their commitment is a major act of existential self-assertion.  It is not a choice that they are predisposed to make by their genetic make-up, nor by the society in which they were raised.  It is a commitment that they can make only after developing some psychological distance from the goals and perspectives of their culture, and only after achieving a deep understanding of their relationship with the evolutionary process.

Intentional evolutionaries are aware that they have set themselves an extraordinarily challenging task, but know the transition cannot be completed unless sufficient individuals commit themselves to it.  And if life on Earth does not make the transition, it will not participate in the future evolution of life in the universe.  It will be a failed evolutionary experiment.  Intentional evolutionaries know the deepest evolutionary meaning of the challenge: “If not now, when?  And if not you, who?”.

The allegiance of conscious evolutionaries is not to what is, but to what can be.  They know that they are alive at one of those rare times in history when an old phase is ending, and a new one of infinite possibility is beginning.  They have the courage and wisdom to seize their opportunity and to accept the challenge of the future.

Intentional evolutionaries know that they have much in common with all others who consciously adopt evolutionary goals, including those that emerge elsewhere in the universe.  Intentional evolutionaries experience a deep connection and kinship with all who awaken to the significance of evolutionary consciousness, even if they never have any direct contact with them.  They are united because they know that despite many difference, they share common perspectives, worldviews, goals and conscious experiences.  They are bound together as members of the circle of conscious life in the universe.

The goals of intentional evolutionaries

The goals and objectives of intentional evolutionaries are guided by a comprehensive understanding of the evolutionary processes that have produced life on this planet and that will determine its future.  They are aware of how past evolution has shaped all aspects of their being—their bodies, motivations, values and thinking—and how it has shaped humanity’s economic, social and religious systems, as well as all the other living processes on the planet.  But even more importantly, they also have a deep understanding of the evolutionary processes that will unfold in the future and will ultimately determine the relevance of their lives.

For intentional evolutionaries, this understanding of future evolution is indispensable—it points to how life on Earth must remake itself if it is to participate successfully in the future evolution of life in the universe.  It also identifies the types of living processes that will not survive future evolution.  It shows how life on Earth needs to change now if it is to play a significant role as evolution advances.

The direction of evolution

The task of identifying what will work in the future is made easier because evolution has a trajectory.  It has headed in particular directions in the past, and there is every reason to believe that it will continue to do so in the future.  It is possible to locate humanity and life on Earth on this trajectory, and to see what needs to happen if we are to continue to advance along its path.

Not only does this understanding emphasize that humanity and life on Earth is evolutionary work-in-progress, it also enables intentional evolutionaries to identify the next great milestones in the evolutionary process on Earth.  These milestones are the evolutionary goals and objectives that they deliberately choose to pursue.  They point to how individuals would live their lives if they are to contribute to the advancement of evolution.  They are the lights on the distant hills that draw us forever onwards.

The trajectory of evolution is not produced by an external force, or by some impulse that is intrinsic to the universe, or by an ideal end-point that somehow attracts evolution towards it.  Directionality can be explained and understood fully without resort to mysticism.

For intentional evolutionaries, scientific explanations have a major advantage.  They identify the forces, processes and conditions that produce directionality.  Scientific understanding can therefore be used to work out the kinds of interventions that will advance the process.  In contrast, a readiness to accept mystical explanations can be counterproductive—it can impede the acquisition of the detailed evolutionary understanding that is essential to guide intentional evolution.

Life tends to evolve in a particular direction simply because there are particular capacities that provide organisms with evolutionary advantage across a wide range of circumstances.  Irrespective of the specifics of the organism or its environment, these capacities enable it to do better in evolutionary terms. And the more an organism has of each of these capacities, the better it will do (e.g. the greater its fitness).

So as evolution unfolds, it will tend to favor increases in these capacities across all life.  As improvements in these capacities are discovered, life will tend to evolve directionally.  Of course, this trajectory will often be masked by meandering, halting and back-tracking, particularly where the process that searches for improvements relies on blind trial and error.  Furthermore, improvements in these capacities will be favored only when the advantages they provide outweigh their cost.  As a consequence, directional change will often stall until evolution discovers a cost/effective way of enhancing the capacities.

Two attributes that increase as evolution proceeds are the scale of cooperative organization, and evolvability (i.e. the ability to evolve successfully through the discovery of effective adaptations).  As a result, the advancement of evolution is marked by greater interdependence and cooperation amongst living processes, and by improvement in the ability to respond effectively to adaptive challenges.

Both of these attributes have the potential to provide evolutionary advantage to living processes across a wide range of environments.  This is because they are meta-adaptive capacities—they improve the ability to adapt in all circumstances, although they are not themselves an adaptation to any specific circumstance.

In particular, the larger the scale of a cooperative organization, the more resources commanded by the cooperative, the greater its power, the greater the impact of its actions, and therefore the wider the range of environmental challenges that it can meet successfully.  And the greater the evolvability, the greater the capacity to respond effectively to any challenges.

For example, once intelligent life evolves that is organized cooperatively on a global scale, it will have the power and creativity to protect itself from asteroids that would otherwise collide with the planet.  These devastating collisions would be unavoidable to life that is less evolvable and smaller in scale, as was the case on Earth in the age of the dinosaurs.  And left to their own devices, bacteria are unlikely to survive the engulfment of their solar system by a dying sun.

If living processes were to set out intentionally to develop strategies that would enable them to succeed in future evolution, these are attributes that they would boost.  Both are capacities that conscious evolutionaries will intentionally attempt to enhance amongst life on Earth.

Next, read part two: The Evolutionary Manifesto II