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Sunday, March 28th, 2010

I was a student of Maxie Maultsby’s in the 1970s. He taught me a powerful form of psychotherapy that he called Rational Behavioral Therapy. I used Dr. Maultsby’s model, methods, and exercises to help many stressed humans. Please enjoy this summary of the ideas behind Rational Thinking and Rational Behaving. Reposted from The Truth Tree.


How to be Reasonably Happy Most of the Time:

The Truth Tree’s Guide to Rational Living


Albert Ellis, Ph.D., Maxie Maultsby, M.D., Jane Higbee, M.D.,  and Thomas R. Scott, Ph.D.

The following introduction and overview of the lessons of  Rational Psychology is based on the works of the above listed authors.

The ABC’s

In the first century, a philosopher named Epictetus said,  “Men are disturbed not by events which happen, but rather by the opinion they have of these events.”  Another translation of this says, “Men are disturbed, not by things, but by the principles and notions which they form concerning things.”   What this means is that it isn’t what happens to you that upsets you; it’s the way you look at it.  For example, if you are standing in a line to buy theater tickets and someone runs into you from behind you are apt to feel angry or annoyed as you turn around to see who hit you.  Let’s say that when you turn around you discover that the person who pushed you is blind and is carrying a white cane.  What happens to your anger?  Your anger goes away!  The difference is that you are now thinking differently about the situation than before you turned around.   When you were angry you were probably thinking something like, “What in the world is wrong with him!   He ought to look where he’s going!”  Now you are thinking, “Oh, poor fellow!  He’s blind and couldn’t help it!”  Another way of putting this is to say that our feelings are based on our own thought processes and attitudes rather than merely on the events around us.  This explains why some people can handle difficult situations pretty well.  They have a philosophy, a set of beliefs, or a way of thinking about the events of their lives which keeps them courageous and determined instead of nervous, angry, ashamed, or depressed.

So, it isn’t really going to court, being ridiculed in front of others, speaking to a large group of strangers, or being threatened by someone much stronger than yourself that makes you nervous or fearful like the little guy to the left.  It’s that you are quite convinced that IF you get a bad decision, or IF the others think you’re a wimp, or IF you forget your speech, or IF someone tries to start a fight that YOU COULDN’T STAND IT!  Or that it would be PERFECTLY UNBEARABLE!  Or that it would be TRULY TERRIBLE AND AWFUL!  In fact, it would be just exactly as bad as a rational analysis would reveal, but you aren’t doing a rational analysis when you are nervous, anxious, or afraid.  You are thinking irrationally and, in this case, “awfulizing.”  There is no doubt that life confronts us with a lot of situations which have bad consequences, but there’s no use making things worse by awfulizing about them!

It isn’t the behavior of your spouse, the attitude of a store clerk, the decision of a jury, or being treated unfairly that makes you angry as depicted here.  It’s that you are quite convinced that things SHOULDN’T or MUSTN’T be that way!  Or that people HAVE GOT TO be reasonable.  Sometimes we can see that there is another idea in there, namely, “If I get mad enough they’ll HAVE to straighten out.”  Those ideas in all capitals are actually irrational.  Consider for a moment.  While it would be highly desirable if people were more reasonable, unfortunately they don’t HAVE to be.  The idea of importance here is what is meant by “should.”  If it means “It would be better” then it’s rational, but if it means “It’s GOT TO BE THAT WAY” then it’s plainly irrational.  It is this second, irrational style of thinking that leads to undesirable anger.

It isn’t your past mistakes, rumors about your family background, comments about your sexual behavior, or negative remarks about your intelligence that make you feel ashamed or guilty (poor little guy!)  It’s that you believe strongly that if you did something wrong, or if your family had a bad reputation, or your sexual behavior wasn’t perfectly acceptable, or if you aren’t smarter than a certain smartness, it means that YOU ARE NO GOOD!  There probably isn’t really any such thing as a totally bad person.  We recognize this fact when we say of someone we don’t like, “Well, I suppose his mother loves him!”  This is an important idea, but it is difficult to be clear about it.  A person experiencing intense shame is practicing self condemnation, or as we frequently call it, self downing.  He is condemning his whole self, and that’s why he feels so rotten.  A smarter strategy is to condemn your bad behavior without kicking yourself in the teeth.  It isn’t the whole you who is worthless, just some of the items in your repertoire of behaviors.

It isn’t that you can no longer do what you like best because of circumstances, or that your friends, relatives, and/or lovers have seemingly forgotten you, or that you aren’t getting any younger that makes you feel depressed as shown in the illustration.  It’s that you ardently believe that you MUST have these things you have lost in order to be happy.  Just look around you and you can see that THAT’s not true!  You can easily find people who are pretty happy who nave none of the things you have somehow convinced yourself that you absolutely must have for happiness.  Actually very little is required for ordinary happiness.  Depression usually includes all of the irrational thinking modes described above plus a sort of “poor me” attitude.  But don’t forget that it also has biological determinants.  (There is further discussion of this in a later paragraph, so read on!)

So what we’re saying is that if you are in reasonably good biological health and have a well thought out rational philosophy you will almost never be very upset about anything for very long and you will look more like the little guy shown here, who is pretty cool and collected in spite of the many frustrations and disappointments of life.  (I just noticed that he’s cross-eyed, but I don’t think rational thinking produces that condition.  And anyway,he obviously isn’t worrying excessively about it)  The goal of this essay is to help you to develop that kind of philosophy for yourself.  If you can avoid being emotionally upset, you can constructively pursue and attain your goals with much greater success.  At first, you may think the aim is to make you passive, to let people walk over you, to be cold and unfeeling no matter what happens.  It may seem that way to you because you have grown up around people who believe that you SHOULD get upset when things go wrong, and you will probably find it hard to believe that circumstances really are NOT the cause of emotions all by themselves.  We aren’t trying to do away with emotions here.  Constructive emotional arousal actually energizes people to accomplish their goals.  But negative emotions such as excessive fear, anger, guilt, or depression, take away your energy and make you less intelligent than you would otherwise be.  Those negative emotions actually prevent you from reaching your goals and frequently cause you to make bad decisions.  Learning to control them when needed can only help you to achieve whatever it is you want to achieve in life.

ABC Theory of Emotions.

A stands for Activating event.   B stands  for your Beliefs, or thoughts, philosophy, or attitude.  C stands for the emotional Consequences.

Many people believe that A causes C.  You can tell that they believe it because of the things they say:  “You made me mad!”  “You hurt my feelings!”  “Crowds make me nervous!”  “That was a depressing  movie!”  “My father could always make me feel guilty by just looking at me in a certain way!”  “He was laying this guilt trip on me!” “How does it make you feel when ________?”  This belief is represented by the red line from A to C, above.   But, as we have seen, this isn’t the way things really work.  (Notice that the red line disappears and is replaced by a red X to show that A does NOT directly cause C.) What really happens is that you find out that your mother-in-law is going to spend a week with you at A, you think something like, “She will probably criticize me the whole time she’s here!  The old bat!  She shouldn’t  be so unfair!  It’s absolutely awful when she carries on like that and I just can’t stand it!” at B, and you get very angry at C and can’t think straight, deal with your mother-in-law tactfully and effectively, or think of a clever way to improve the likelihood that her visit will not be as unpleasant as usual.  All this is represented above by the green line that moves from A to B (which then flashes yellow) and from B to C (which flashes red.)  We say that A triggers B and B causes C.  Events trigger your beliefs, and your beliefs are responsible for the emotional tone of your life.

FEAR

This is the second lesson in rational thinking.  In the  first lesson we learned that it isn’t what happens to you that makes you nervous; it’s the way you think.  And since there’s no advantage to being nervous, it is obvious that ANYTHING that you  think that makes you nervous is CRAZY, NUTTY, or (to use a more polite word) IRRATIONAL.  In this lesson, we are going to explore the nutty beliefs which cause fear and the rational, sensible beliefs which can be used to counteract fear.  We are going to show you that you can indeed get control of fear when you begin to understand its cause and begin to practice substituting rational beliefs for irrational ones.  Bertrand Russell once said, “It is impossible to be afraid of anything if you have thought about it deeply enough.”

We have fear in all degrees, from what is usually called WORRY all the way to ABJECT TERROR.  Fear can make you appear stupid and lazy.  Fear keeps people from bravely going out into the world and making a happy, fulfilling life for themselves. The following brief outline lists the most common causes of fear and the simplest, most straightforward cures for this disabling emotion.  Fear even keeps you from studying your math assignment!

HOW TO REALLY OVERCOME YOUR FEARS:

There are, basically, three steps in overcoming any kind of unwanted emotional reaction.  Like making any change in your behavior, some effort on your part is required.  Here are the three steps:

I.     PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR FEELINGS

One of the biggest roadblocks to getting better control of your life is a failure to realize WHEN negative emotions are interfering with your happiness or preventing you from reaching your goals.  A lot of psychotherapy consists of merely training people to become more aware of themselves.

II.    IDENTIFY YOUR IRRATIONAL THINKING

Negative feelings are always caused by irrational beliefs of some sort.  The following discussion will help you to zero in on the particular nutty ideas which are causing you problems.

III.   VIGOROUSLY QUESTION, CHALLENGE, DEBATE, UPROOT, AND ELIMINATE THE IRRATIONAL IDEAS AND SUBSTITUTE RATIONAL ONES.

The list below will give you some helpful hints on ways to challenge the nutty beliefs which cause fear, anxiety, self consciousness, worry, some forms of laziness, and other unnecessary and disabling negative emotions.


FOUR COMMON CAUSES OF FEAR AND THEIR CURES

A.   Causes (awfulizing)

1.   It would be PERFECTLY TERRIBLE or PERFECTLY AWFUL if I fail (or if “it” happens!).

2.   I COULDN’T STAND IT if people criticized me (or if “it” happens!)

3.   “It” MUST be prevented at all costs!

4.   A person OUGHT TO worry about some things, and if he didn’t he’d be CRAZY!

B.   Cures (disliking)

1.   What would ACTUALLY be so TERRIBLE or AWFUL about failure?  I wouldn’t like it, but it wouldn’t be the  end of the world.

2.   If people criticize me, where is the evidence that I can’t stand it?  I certainly could stand it, although I wouldn’t like it.  I can stand anything if it doesn’t kill me, and if it kills me I’ll be out of it!

3.   Why MUST it be prevented?  I can’t stop “it” from happening by worrying about it.  And there are plenty of things that can’t be prevented at all, such as earthquakes, volcanos, death, etc.

4.   Where is the evidence that ANYTHING is accomplished by worrying?  There is no such evidence.  It’s childish to think that MY nervous system can control what happens in the outside world!  What a relief!  I can relax and the world probably won’t stop or come apart.

The crucial difference between irrational and rational thoughts is often a matter of absolutism.  A nervous person doesn’t merely see that it would be undesirable to be criticized, for example.  He believes that it would be ABSOLUTELY UNBEARABLE to be criticized.

C.   Be careful!  Beware of becoming rude and/or reckless.  The above does not mean that you want to learn not to CARE what others think of you — merely that you don’t upset yourself  when other people don’t like you or don’t approve of your behavior.  And this will inevitably happen some of the time.  Nor does it mean that you foolishly take unwise risks–merely that you don’t worry yourself sick over unavoidable ones.

ANGER

The topic of this third lesson in rational thinking is anger. Anger is an emotional reaction, like fear, which comes in different degrees :  small, medium, and large, as well as many in-between states.  Like fear, there are many different degrees of anger.  Anger ranges from mild annoyance to blind rage, as seen below.

Is anger desirable?  Some people we know get angry very easily and others seldom get very angry.  Most people agree that some degree of anger can be a good thing.  A moderate expression of anger between husband and wife, for example, often acts as an important communication which serves to keep the relationship on an even keel.  But it is also easy to see that a lot of anger is highly undesirable.  One thing that is very undesirable about strong anger is that it tends to interfere with clear thinking.  It makes us dumb.  We all know of times when we have said things when we were angry that we really didn’t mean or else we have said things that we have regretted later.  Anger is undesirable when it leads us to do self defeating things, and it often does.

One mistake people often make is in thinking that anger is necessary to accomplish goals.  Strong determination is certainly necessary to accomplish difficult goals, but determination and anger are NOT the same thing at all.  Even in a football game,  the coach may urge his team to “hit ’em hard!” and this may sound like he is telling them to get mad.  But if a player really gets mad, he loses his judgement and earns a penalty from the referee for “unnecessary roughness.”

Another mistake is to think that if a person doesn’t act angry or show his anger that he isn’t really angry.  But anger is a feeling inside of us.  Probably all of us have learned to hide our anger from others at least some of the time, but the anger is really there anyway.  There is some scientific evidence for the idea that “bottled up” anger can make us ill in quite a number of different ways such as high blood pressure, stomach ulcers, and headaches.  Learning to recognize our own angry feelings is not always easy because we have, most of us, learned to fool even ourselves about anger!  Have you ever angrily declaimed, “I am NOT ANGRY!”

Another mistake is the belief that anger is like steam in a boiler and that it will help to “blow off steam”.  Research has shown that blowing off steam is only a temporary help at best as long as there is still fire under the boiler.  The aim of the following discussion is to show how we can actually learn to turn off the fire, because anger (like other negative emotions) is caused by our own thoughts and beliefs, not circumstances. In the following outline, the thoughts which cause anger are listed under letter A, the rational thoughts which cure anger are listed under B, and a caution is included in letter C.  You will see that this outline is similar to the one on fear in the previous lesson.


SIX COMMON CAUSES OF ANGER AND THEIR CURES

A.   Causes (awfulizing and demanding)

1.   He shouldn’t do that!
2.   She should be more considerate!
3.   They’ve got to respect my rights!
4.   He must obey the rules!
5.   She has to listen to reason!
6.   They ought to be fair!

B.   Cure (disliking and preferring)

1.   Why shouldn’t he?  I’d rather he didn’t do that, or I’d prefer him not to, but there’s no Cosmic Law that says he shouldn’t.  He probably has poor judgement.  Maybe he was raised wrong.  Maybe he’s dumb.
2.   Why should she?  If I knew everything about her I’d probably find that whatever way she is it’s the way she should be.  There’s no Cosmic Law that says she should or must be the way I want her to be.
3.   Why have they got to?  It would be much nicer if they did, and I would greatly prefer that they respect my rights.  But they don’t have to!  Unfortunately, they have a right to be wrong.
4.   Why must he?  I’d like for him to obey the rules, but I can’t make him do it by being angry.
5.   Why does she have to?  She doesn’t have to do anything (except maybe die some day.)
6.   Why ought they be fair?  It might be nice, but the world isn’t always fair and it probably never will be! I’d better bravely find a way to reach my goals in an unfair world.  It’s the only one I’ve got!

C.   Be careful!  Beware of becoming a doormat or a jellyfish.  The above does not mean, “Flop down and accept whatever happens.”  It does mean, “when there is nothing you can do, don’t upset yourself about it!  If there is something you can do, do it!”

SHAME

Lesson 4 is about the feeling of shame, or as it is sometimes called, guilt.  Like fear and anger, shame can be mild, moderate, or severe with countless variations in between, as depicted below.

Like fear and anger, shame can interfere with your life.  A person who has strong feelings of shame usually lacks energy and initiative and instead of running his own life he is very likely to let other people do it for him.  Then he usually ends up very angry and unhappy!   Feelings of shame are not caused by the events of your past life or by the knowledge that someone may have found out about those events.  Those highly unpleasant feelings are caused by the way you think about yourself and your past.  People who are ashamed always “awfulize” about what they have done or have failed to do and then tell themselves that because they are not perfect that they are bad through and through!  There is also the idea that through suffering they can, in some mysterious way, pay for their misdeeds or inadequacies.  These are the nutty ideas that cause and maintain feelings of shame, and we are going to zero in on these thoughts or philosophies in a way that will reveal just how nutty they really are!

On August 30th, 2001, Stuff wrote:

Ernest Hemingway told this story about Paco. A father came to Madrid, which is full of boys named Paco, and inserted an advertisement in the personal columns of a local newspaper offering: PACO MEET ME AT HOTEL MONTANA NOON TUESDAY ALL IS FORGIVEN PAPA. According to the story, a squadron of the civil guard had to be called out to disperse the eight hundred young men who answered the ad. Isn’t it true that all of us need to be forgiven?

One very common opinion about shame is that you ought to be ashamed of some things.  Although this opinion is very common, it is nonetheless quite irrational.  Shame is an emotion that interferes with your intelligence, destroys your motivation, and results in a pattern of body language that invites others to attempt to dominate you.  How can that be constructive?  Granted that you have misbehaved in a highly undesirable way, isn’t that enough of a problem?  Why make two problems out of one?  There is a common belief that you won’t correct your mistakes if you don’t feel ashamed of them.  It would be more accurate to say that you won’t be motivated to correct your mistakes if you don’t see clearly what they are and why they are undesirable.  But shame won’t help you to do that!  And finally, there is the idea that somehow you are paying for your mistakes by suffering.  Who is getting paid?  This is really nonsense!


FIVE COMMON CAUSES OF SHAME AND THEIR CURES

A.   Causes (awfulizing, demanding, and self downing)

1.   What I did was perfectly awful!
2.   It shouldn’t have happened!
3.   I’ve got to suffer to pay for what I did!
4.   I’ve got to find a way to make everything all right!
5.   I’m a terrible person because I’m not perfect!

B.   Cures (disliking, prefering, and rational self acceptance)

1.   Granted that what I did was highly undesirable, but how was it perfectly awful?   Where is the evidence that it was so EXTREMELY bad that I have to suffer forever?
2.   Why shouldn’t it have happened?  At the time I was using bad judgement, perhaps because I was already ashamed of something.  I’d better keep my eyes open from here on to avoid a repeat performance!
3.   Where’s the evidence that I have to suffer?  There’s no law of the universe that hands out suffering to people who have behaved badly.  It’s bad enough that I did it.  Why make two problems out of one by suffering on top of everything else?
4.   How can I possibly do that?  Time machines haven’t been invented yet.  What a relief!  No need to have a nervous fit trying to do the impossible!
5.   I am not a worm for behaving wormily.  Just because I have done something undesirable doesn’t make me a totally undesirable person!  After all, I can enjoy just being alive.

C.   Be careful!  Beware of becoming irresponsible.  The above does not mean for you to adopt the attitude that you don’t care about your behavior – merely that you don’t unnecessarily upset yourself over the inevitable mistakes all fallible human beings make from time to time.  Being relatively free of shame will actually help you to make constructive changes in your life so that you will be less likely to continue making the same mistakes!

DEPRESSION

Depression might be called “public enemy number one” in the negative emotions department.  Like fear, anger, and shame, it can exist in all degrees.  The pictures below illustrate this.

Depression is probably responsible for a very substantial reduction in productivity.  It has been estimated that if we could eliminate depression in all its many forms we could boost our gross national product and balance the national budget in just a few years!  Think about it: Haven’t there been plenty of days in your life that you just didn’t “feel like” working or being productive?  Very likely those were days when you were having a mild depression.  And depression, like fear, anger and shame, is largely caused and maintained by irrational thinking.  It is impossible to be really depressed without THINKING SOMETHING!  That may be the main reason why electro-convulsive therapy (shock treatments) are effective in relieving depression :  the treatments interrupt the depressive thoughts which maintain the depression!  When the guy wakes, up he can’t remember what he was depressed about!

In the previous lessons we have seen that fear is largely caused by awfulizing, anger by demanding, and shame by self downing.  However, it would be more accurate to say that fear (which is the simplest negative feeling) is caused by awfulizing, anger (which is a little more complicated) is caused by awfulizing AND demanding, and shame (more complicated still) is caused by awfulizing AND demanding AND self downing. Depression is caused by “all of the above” PLUS an attitude or belief system which we call attachment or “poor me-ing”.  Here’s how it works.  Bozo is in love with Suzabella.  In the following paragraphs we illustrate fear, anger, shame, and depression by exposing Bozo’s thoughts.

FEAR that he will lose Suzabella.  “Oh-oh!  She got a letter from her old boyfriend.  What if she starts going with him again?  That would be PERFECTLY TERRIBLE AND AWFUL AND I COULDN’T STAND IT!!”

ANGER that Suzabella talks to her old boyfriend on the phone: “IT’s PERFECTLY AWFUL that she’s talking to him and she SHOULDN’T DO IT!  She PROMISED, and she MUST keep her promises!!”

SHAME over being unfaithful to Suzabella:  “What I did was PERFECTLY AWFUL and I SHOULDN’T have done it and it means that I AM A TERRIBLE PERSON!!”   Or in the case where Bozo had not been unfaithful, he can still feel shame because he thinks, “If she prefers him it just goes to show that I’m no good.”

DEPRESSION over losing Suzabella:  “It’s PERFECTLY AWFUL that I have lost Suzabella!  She SHOULDN’T have left me!  I must be a TERRIBLE PERSON because she doesn’t love me any more!  And I CAN’T POSSIBLY EVER BE HAPPY AGAIN without her!!  POOR ME!!”

Notice the last statement in Bozo’s depressive thinking above.  It illustrates ATTACHMENT.  Attachment is the belief  that you can’t do without something or that you can’t possibly be happy without it.  The truth is that happiness doesn’t crucially depend on having ANYTHING.   Remind yourself that everything you now have and enjoy you will lose some day if you live long enough.  And haven’t you known old people who had lost many things who were brave and cheerful?  It’s NICE to have love, possessions, good times, money.  But it’s not ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY for happiness!  Many people have gone to Tibet and meditated on a mountain top for years in order to learn this very important lesson.  But you can learn it much more quickly and effectively without all that trouble.  Of course, a lot of practice is required.  The following outline gives the most important causes and cures of depression.


FOUR COMMON CAUSES OF DEPRESSION AND THEIR CURES

A.   Causes (awfulizing, demanding, self downing, and attachment)

1.   I can’t be happy unless so-and-so loves me!
2.   I am a failure.  Everything about me is no good!
3.   A person who has ________ as I have is better off dead!
4.   I am no good unless ________!

B.   Cures (disliking, preferring, self acceptance, and realistic independence)

1.   Who says I can’t be happy without so-and-so?  I was happy before I ever met him or her!
2.   How can I BE a failure?  I can fail, but that certainly doesn’t mean that I AM a failure!  After all, I can still breathe and blink my eyes.  I’m not failing at everything!
3.   How is ANYONE better off dead?  Nonsense!  As long as I’m alive I have choices.  When I’m dead I won’t have any choices.
4.   Who says I HAVE to _____?  Why do I HAVE TO BE smarter, better looking, more successful?  It might be nice, but it isn’t NECESSARY for happiness.  I can enjoy being alive just because I exist!  I’m good enough for myself as long as I’m breathing!

C.   Be careful!  Beware of becoming arrogant, egotistical, or a “pollyanna.”  The above does not mean to try to convince yourself that you’re better than you are at anything or that you don’t care about the opinion of  others or that you don’t strive to achieve meaningful goals.  What it does mean is that you can train yourself to be pretty brave and cheerful no matter what!  That way you will get more love, like yourself better, and accomplish more in life.

This page was last modified on Sunday, 28-Mar-2010 16:30:24 MDT


This is reposted from The Truth Tree.

Front Page

Monday, March 1st, 2010

This morning’s author challenges us to revisit our thinking about Faith, Reason and Empathy. It’s an exercise well worth engaging. … Enjoy!

This essay was reposted from this morning’s edition of The Huffington Post.


The Age of Empathy

Jeremy Rifkin

While our radio talk shows and 24-hour cable TV news programs incessantly play off the political rift between conservative and liberal ideologies, the deeper conflict in America has always been the cultural divide between faith versus reason.

At the dawn of the modern market economy and nation-state era, the philosophers of the Enlightenment challenged the Age of Faith that governed over the feudal economy with the Age of Reason. Theologians and philosophers have continued to battle over faith vs. reason ever since, their debates often spilling over into the cultural and political arenas, with profound consequences for society.

Today, however, at the outset of a global economy and the biosphere era, a new generation of scientists, scholars, and social reformers are beginning to challenge some of the underlying assumptions of both the Age of Faith and the Age of Reason, taking us into the Age of Empathy.

The empathic advocates argue that, for the most part, both earlier narratives about human nature fail to plumb the depths of what makes us human and therefore leave us with cosmologies that are incomplete stories–that is, they fail to touch the deepest realities of existence. That’s not to dismiss the critical elements that make the stories of faith and reason so compelling. It’s only that something essential is missing–and that something is “embodied experience.”

Both the Abrahamic faiths–Judaism, Christianity, and Islam–as well as the Eastern religions of Buddhism, Hinduism, and Taoism, either disparage bodily existence or deny its importance. So too does modern science and most of the rational philosophers of the Enlightenment. For the former, especially the Abrahamic faiths, the body is fallen and a source of evil. Its presence is a constant reminder of the depravity and mortality of human nature. For the latter, the body is mere scaffolding to maintain the mind, a necessary inconvenience to provide sensory perception, nutrients, and mobility. It is a machine the mind uses to impress its will on the world. It is even loathed because of its transient nature. The body is a constant reminder of death, and therefore, feared, disparaged and dismissed in the world’s great religions and among many of the Enlightenment philosophers.

Most of all, the body is to be mistrusted, especially the emotions that flow from its continuous engagement with and reaction to the outside world. Neither the Bible nor the Enlightenment ruminations make much room for human emotions, except to depreciate them as untrustworthy and an impediment either to obedience to God in the first instance or to the rational will in the second instance.

In the modern era, with its emphasis on rationality, objectivity, detachment, and calculability, human emotions are considered irrational, quixotic, impossible to objectify, not subject to detached evaluation, and difficult to quantify. Even today, it is common lore not to let one’s emotions get in the way of sound reasoning and judgment. How many times have we heard someone say or have said to someone else, “Try not to be so emotional . . . try to behave more rationally.” The clear message is that emotions are of a lesser ilk than reason. They are too carnal and close to our animal passions to be considered worthy of being taken seriously–and worse still, they pollute the reasoning process.

The Enlightenment philosophers–with a few notable exceptions–eliminated the very mortality of being. To be alive is to be physical, finite, and mortal. It is to be aware of the vulnerability of life and the inevitability of death. Being alive requires a continuous struggle to be and comes with pain, suffering, and anguish as well as moments of joy. How does one celebrate life or mourn the passing of a relative or friend or enter into an intimate relationship with another in a world devoid of feelings and emotions?

New developments in evolutionary biology, cognitive science, and psychology are laying the groundwork for a wholesale reappraisal of human consciousness. The premodern notion that faith and God’s grace are the windows to reality and the Enlightenment idea that reason is at the apex of modern consciousness are giving way to a more sophisticated approach to a theory of mind.

Researchers in a diverse range of fields and disciplines are beginning to reprioritize some of the critical features of faith and reason within the context of a broader empathic consciousness. They argue that all of human activity is embodied experience–that is, participation with the other–and that the ability to read and respond to another person “as if ” he or she were oneself is the key to how human beings engage the world, create individual identity, develop language, learn to reason, become social, establish cultural narratives, and define reality and existence.

If empathic consciousness flows from embodied experience and is a celebration of life–our own and that of other beings–how do we square it with faith and reason, which are disembodied ways of looking at reality and steeped in the fear of death?

When we deconstruct the notion of faith, we find that at the core are three essential pillars: awe, trust, and transcendence. The religious impulse begins with the sense of awe, the feeling of the wonder of existence, both the mystery and majesty. Awe is the deepest celebration of life. We marvel at the overwhelming nature of existence, and sense that by our own aliveness, we somehow fit into the wonder we behold.

Although faith is set in motion by a feeling of awe and requires a belief that one’s life has meaning in a larger, universal sense of things, it can be purloined and made into a social construct that exacts obedience, feeds on fear of death, is disembodied in its approach, and establishes rigid boundaries separating the saved from the damned. Many institutionalized religions do just that.

It is awe that inspires all human imagination. Without awe, we would be without wonder and without wonder we would have no way to exercise imagination and would therefore be unable to imagine another’s life “as if” it were our own. We know that empathy is impossible without imagination. Imagination, however, is impossible without wonder, and wonder is impossible without awe. Empathy represents the deepest expression of awe, and understandably is regarded as the most spiritual of human qualities.

But faith also requires trust–the willingness to surrender ourselves to the mystery of existence at both the cosmic level and at the level of everyday life with our fellow beings. Trust becomes indispensable to allowing empathy to grow, and empathy, in turn, allows us to plumb the divine presence that exists in all things. Empathy becomes the window to the divine. It is by empathic extension that we transcend ourselves and begin connecting with the mystery of existence.

In the empathic civilization, spirituality invariably replaces religiosity. Spirituality is a deeply personal journey of discovery in which empathic experience–as a general rule–becomes the guide to making connections, and becomes the means to foster transcendence. The World Values Survey and countless other polls show a generational shift in attitudes toward the divine, with the younger generation in the industrialized nations increasingly turning away from institutionalized religiosity and toward personal spiritual quests that are empathic in nature.

Reason too can be salvaged from its disembodied Enlightenment roots and be recast within an embodied empathic frame. While reason is most often thought of in terms of rationalization, that is, abstracting and classifying phenomena, usually with the help of quantifiable tools of measurement, it is more than that. Reason includes mindfulness, reflection, introspection, contemplation, musing, and pondering, as well as rhetorical and literary ways of thinking. Reason is all of this and more. When we think of reason, we generally think of stepping back from the immediacy of an experience and probing our memories to see if there might be an analogous experience that could help us make the appropriate judgment or decisions about how best to respond.

The critical question is where does reason come from? The Cartesian and Kantian idea that reason exists independently of experience as an a priori phenomenon to be accessed does not conform to the way we reason in the real world. Reason is a way of organizing experience and relies on many mental tools. The point, however, is that reason is never disembodied from experience but rather a means of understanding and managing it.

Experience, as we learned earlier, begins with sensations and feelings that flow from engagement with others. While one’s sensations and feelings make possible the initial connection with the other, they are quickly filtered by way of past memories and organized by the various powers of reason at our disposal to establish an appropriate emotional, cognitive, and behavioral response. The entire process is what makes up empathetic consciousness. Empathy is both an affective and cognitive experience.

If empathy did not exist, we could not understand why we feel the way we do, or conceptualize something called an emotion or think rationally. Many scholars have mistakenly associated empathy with just feelings and emotions. If that were all it was, empathic consciousness would be an impossibility.

Reason, then, is the process by which we order the world of feelings in order to create what psychologists call pro-social behavior and sociologists call social intelligence. Empathy is the substance of the process. Reason becomes increasingly sophisticated as societies become more complex, human differentiation more pronounced, and human exchange more diverse. Greater exposure to others increases the volume of feelings that need to be organized. Reason becomes more adept at abstracting and managing the flood of embodied feelings. That’s not to say that reason can’t also be used to exploit others, for example, to advance narcissistic ends or create terror among people.

By reimagining faith and reason as intimate aspects of empathic consciousness, we create a new historical synthesis–the Age of Empathy–that incorporates many of the most powerful and compelling features of the Age of Faith and the Age of Reason, while leaving behind the disembodied story lines that shake the celebration out of life.
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Copyright © 2010 by The Huffington Post

Jeremy Rifkin is the author of The Empathic Civilization: The Race to Global Consciousness in a World in Crisis,‘ published by Tarcher Penguin in January 2010. Mr. Rifkin has been an advisor to the European Union since 2002. In that capacity, he is the principle architect of the Third Industrial Revolution long-term economic sustainability plan to address the triple challenge of the global economic crisis, energy security, and climate change.

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Monday, February 8th, 2010

I came across this article by chance. It interested me, and I thought you might find it interesting. It is about a man named Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1722). Wikipedia states: Swedengborg had a prolific career as an inventor and scientist. At the age of fifty-six he entered into a spiritual phase in which he experienced dreams and visions. … Swedenborg’s theological writings have elicited a range of responses. Toward the end of his life, small reading groups formed in England and Sweden to study the truth they saw in his teachings. Several writers were influenced by him, including William Blake (though he later ended up renouncing him), Elizabeth Barrett Browning, August Strindberg, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Charles Baudelaire, Adam Mickiewicz, Balzac, William Butler Yeats, Sheridan Le Fanu, Jorge Luis Borges, Carl Jung and Helen Keller. Other notable figures in history that were adherents to his teachings was the theologian Henry James Sr. and mid-Western pioneer and nurseryman Johnny Appleseed. This article is reposted from the Enlightenment Next magazine website.


The Buddha of the North

Gary Lachman

http://www.newchurchhistory.org/funfactimages/swedenborg-holl.jpgOn the night of April 6, 1744, one of the most remarkable thinkers of the eighteenth century underwent an astonishing spiritual crisis. That night, Emanuel Swedenborg, a fifty-six-year-old Swedish scientist and statesman, experienced a visitation by Christ. Swedenborg, who was living in London at the time, had already spent several weeks experiencing unusual states of consciousness, triggered by the kabbalistic disciplines he had learned from Rabbi Samuel Jacob Hayyim Falk and by the erotic spiritual exercises he had gleaned through his association with the Moravian Chapel on London’s Fetter Lane. A no-nonsense scientist intent on pinpointing the soul’s location in the human brain, Swedenborg also had a long interest in the occult, and in the weeks leading up to his crisis, he had studied and practiced the sexual meditations—a kind of Christian Tantra—devised by the eccentric Count Zinzendorf, leader of the Moravians. Yet the strange altered states and remarkably vivid dreams familiar to Swedenborg didn’t prepare him for the events of that fateful evening. After a “psychic storm” erupted with great claps of thunder and a hurricane-like wind threw him from his bed—his own account suggests he had an out-of-the-body experience—Swedenborg found himself “face to face” with Christ. For a deeply religious man like Swedenborg, it was a powerful and disturbing encounter.Looking at Christ’s smile, which Swedenborg thought was as it must have been “when he lived on Earth,” Swedenborg was surprised to hear the Lord ask if he had a “clean bill of health,” a reference to a time when Swedenborg was almost hung for breaking quarantine during the plague. Humbled, Swedenborg replied that he, Christ, knew the answer to this better than he did himself. Christ agreed and replied, “Then do.” Swedenborg took this to mean “Then do.” Swedenborg took this to mean he was to fulfill his promise to abandon his scientific work and to concentrate instead on investigating the spiritual worlds within.

Whether Christ meant this or not, Swedenborg took the injunction to heart. For the rest of his life, he mapped out the strange geography of the interior realms, covering a terrain that included not only other planets but also heaven, hell, and an intermediary sphere Swedenborg called the spirit world.

Although in his day he was fêted by nobility and he later inspired individuals as diverse as, to name just a few, the poets William Blake and Charles Baudelaire, the playwright August Strindberg, the composer Arnold Schoenberg, and the Zen master D.T. Suzuki (who called him the Buddha of the North), outside the realms of parapsychology and the history of dissident Christian sects, Emanuel Swedenborg is little known today. This is unfortunate; his work, both as a scientist and as a religious thinker, deserves wider recognition.

If his name does ring a bell, it’s usually as the inspiration for an eccentric form of Christianity, the New Church, to which William Blake once belonged (and with which, incidentally, Swedenborg had nothing to do, as the church was founded after his death). Others may know that Swedenborg wrote dauntingly long books, depicting in precise detail the conditions of life in heaven and hell, information about both places reaching him through his many visits there, which were taken during the unusual trance states he had mastered. Still others may recall that Swedenborg provides some of the most convincing evidence for precognition and clairvoyance. Among other remarkable examples, he accurately predicted the exact date and time of his death. On another occasion, he “saw” a fire break out in Stockholm while he was at a dinner party three hundred miles away. His fellow guests were startled as Swedenborg reported the spread of the flames and shared his relief as he announced that the fire had stopped just doors away from his own home. Days later, Swedenborg’s report was confirmed by a messenger. In a time without telephones, email, or fax machines, how he could have known of the fire while he was hundreds of miles away remains a mystery.

Yet these sensational reports of Swedenborg’s psychic gifts, found in most histories of the paranormal, often overshadow his important philosophical and spiritual insights. Whether or not Swedenborg actually visited heaven and hell, his accounts of life in the angelic or devilish spheres, collected in his appropriately named Heaven and Hell, often provide profitable insight on how best to lead our lives here on earth. This is why people like Helen Keller, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Jorge Luis Borges, and the Nobel Prize winner Czeslaw Milosz read him deeply and advised others to do the same. I took that advice myself and eventually wrote a book about Swedenborg. While researching an earlier book on the influence of the occult on Western literature, I found that more often than not, the trail linking a particular poet or novelist to the occult led to this Scandinavian Da Vinci. This happened so often that I decided to find out what was so special about him. I’m glad I did.

Although his religious and spiritual work receives the most attention today through scholars and groups dedicated to his ideas, Swedenborg’s scientific work still offers much reward, a point I argue in my book Into the Interior: Discovering Swedenborg. Born in 1688 into a deeply religious family, Swedenborg began his career as an engineer, and his practical hands-on work offers a good argument against the clichéd notion of mystics as inept unworldly types. The many practical tasks facing Swedenborg included designing the locks on the Trollhättan Canal, which links Stockholm with the North Sea; devising Sweden’s first saltworks; and a remarkable feat of engineering that had Swedenborg moving the Swedish navy some fifteen miles across land during a war with Norway. It was around this time that Swedenborg was made a special assessor of Swedish mines, a demanding position he fulfilled conscientiously along with his other duties as a member of the Swedish court. He also started the first Swedish scientific journal, Daedalus Hyperboreus, named after the mythical Greek inventor. It was a kind of Popular Mechanics of the day, to which he contributed articles on topics ranging from metallurgy to mechanical inventions. Swedenborg spent years traveling across Europe, meeting some of the most important minds of the time, and his reports thrilled the members of Sweden’s first scientific society, the aptly named Guild of the Curious.

Swedenborg’s more speculative scientific work led him to anatomy and the mysterious machinery of the body, as well as to the equally intriguing riddles raised by cosmology, the origin and structure of the universe. He wrote reams on both, and in several instances his insights anticipate many later discoveries. In his studies of the brain, for example, Swedenborg was the first to recognize the existence of neurons. He also recognized the importance of the frontal lobes for the higher psychic functions like reason and rationality, and he anticipated the findings of split-brain research, arguing that the brain’s left hemisphere was “masculine” and housed our rational minds, while the right was “feminine” and was the seat of emotions. As many have done after him, Swedenborg argued for the need to integrate these often opposing halves. He also noted the significance of the little understood cerebellum, the protocerebrum located at the back of the skull, which some theorists argue is the seat of paranormal and mystical experiences.

In cosmology, Swedenborg was the first to posit the nebula theory of solar and planetary formation—in which stars and planets start out as gaseous clouds—credit for which is usually given to the French mathematician Pierre-Simon Laplace and the German philosopher Immanuel Kant. There’s a good argument, however, that Kant first got the idea from reading Swedenborg. Swedenborg’s countryman and fellow scientist, Nobel Prize winner Svante Arrhenius, argued that among Swedenborg’s astronomical anticipations was the idea that the length of the orbits of Earth and other planets around the sun has increased over time, and that Earth’s rotation—and hence the length of a day—has also increased. He also argued that Swedenborg first noted that the stars spin on their axes and that they circle the Milky Way. Swedenborg also posited the notion of other galaxies and believed that these themselves form immense stellar systems—an idea common today but unheard of at that time. He also seems to have anticipated the kinds of stars called pulsars, which emit bursts of radiation, and to have put forth a strong version of what is known as the anthropic cosmological principle, which argues that a universe such as ours must produce intelligent life. Swedenborg trumped this by arguing that the universe was created in order to produce beings like ourselves. This was so because heaven, at least according to him, is populated by human beings who, after death, become angels. One planet alone couldn’t produce enough people to populate heaven properly, so Swedenborg argued that there must be myriad worlds housing intelligent beings.

Although thinkers as significant as the German poet and scientist Goethe were influenced by Swedenborg’s scientific writings, it was his religious and spiritual texts that had the most effect. Written in a dry, often pedantic style, Swedenborg’s depictions of heaven, hell, and the spirit world have inspired countless readers since they first appeared nearly three centuries ago. Most radical at the time was his contention that rather than actual places one goes to after death, heaven and hell are states of being, that is, inner states of mind. We enter them, he argued, not as a reward or punishment for our virtues or sins, but through our own choices. Centuries after Swedenborg first proposed this idea, the philosopher Jean Paul Sartre, in his play No Exit, would famously say that “hell is other people.” Had he read Swedenborg, Sartre would have known that he was only half right. For Swedenborg, hell and heaven are in all of us; it’s our choices in life that determine in which one we spend most of our time.

Swedenborg “traveled” to heaven and hell through his remarkable ability to enter and remain in trance states for long periods. As I argue in my book, he was adept at maintaining the curious mental state called hypnagogia, the strange twilight realm in between sleeping and waking that we enter every night. Most of us pass through this condition quickly and for the most part are unaware of it. Yet Swedenborg was able to maintain this altered state for hours. In the hypnagogic state, weird half-dreams—similar but not identical to lucid dreams—emerge in which we perceive vivid landscapes or hear strange voices. In this curious condition, Swedenborg would encounter angels, who took him on tours of heaven or of hell.

Swedenborg’s heaven is both very familiar and very strange. In heaven, angels live in houses, eat, and work—no angel is idle, Swedenborg said—and his depictions of it seem similar to Earth, only much better. The houses are beautiful, and no matter which way they turn, every angel faces God. They also make love. In fact, in one of his last books, Conjugial Love, written while in his eighties, Swedenborg argued that in heaven, angels engage in mutually satisfying and apparently continuous lovemaking, achieving a gratification sadly rare on Earth. In heaven, we meet our true soul mate, which more often than not isn’t the one we knew on Earth. Although he had mistresses, Swedenborg himself never married, and some believe this is because he was in love with a married woman and was patiently awaiting their union in heaven. Yet while this heaven seems like a kind of fantasy—nevertheless, one more interesting than conventional ideas of cherubs strumming harps—conditions there are very different from those here on Earth. For one thing, time and space do not exist, or exist only as “states.” Distances in heaven are measured by degrees of empathy, and like-minded spirits are “near” each other wherever they may actually be. Time is similarly measured in degrees of consciousness, or “nearness” to the Divine, the heavenly center, radiating into infinity.

On the other hand, Swedenborg’s hell, which rivals Dante’s as a place of punishment, is an exhaustively unpleasant sphere. Inhabited by bickering souls who move about through rivers of excrement breathing noxious fumes and harrowed by insatiable and incessant desires, Swedenborg’s hell is rather like a theme park based on the paintings of Hieronymus Bosch. Yet, according to Swedenborg, the sad spirits who find themselves there had already inhabited hell while still alive, and the disgusting milieu they now occupy is really a projection of their own unrestrained lust and selfishness. One consolation is that souls in hell prefer it to heaven, which, to them, would indeed be a place of torment, a theme taken up in Bernard Shaw’s very Swedenborgian work, Don Juan in Hell.

Perhaps the most fascinating of Swedenborg’s mystical travelogues are those describing what he calls the spirit world. Here, souls newly dead awaken and slowly drift toward their final destination. What determines our place in eternity are what Swedenborg calls our true affections, those which truly motivated us in life. Although on Earth we can say one thing, yet think another—can smile when we hate someone’s guts—in the spirit world this is impossible. Here, what we are is the same as how we appear, or as the old saying goes, in the spirit world, “what you see is what you get.” We can’t kid anyone here, not even ourselves. Swedenborg had a lifelong aversion to hypocrisy and duplicity, and such false living is impossible in the spirit world. What is “real” about someone are his or her intentions, and in the spirit world, “absolutely everyone is resolved into a state in which he speaks the way he thinks, and displays in his expression and gestures what his intentions are.” (Clearly, a realm politicians would wish to avoid.) Indeed, Swedenborg was often surprised to bump into a bishop or two while his angelic guides showed him around.

Yet his intent isn’t to scare us into being good, a tactic that unless we really were good—unless, that is, our true affections were for the good, the true, and the beautiful and not for the acceptable, the plausible, and the fashionable—wouldn’t work anyway. Neither is Swedenborg deter-minist. Our true affection for the noble and selfless must be pursued; complacency won’t do. Swedenborg summed it up in a homely maxim: “Do the good that you know.” As in Hindu notions of dharma, this can mean simple tasks like doing the dishes or taking out the trash. When the Upanishads counsel us to do our own duty, no matter how humble, rather than that of another, no matter how grand, they offer very Swedenborgian advice.

Admittedly, Swedenborg’s prose can seem stilted and unappetizing. That he wrote in Latin may have something to do with this. That he also wrote at a time when the Bible was still at the center of Western thought also puts some distance between Swedenborg and us. It would be a shame if these hurdles prevented readers from encountering him. One reason I wrote my book was to get the gist of his ideas across to readers lacking the time to mine his work on their own. If some do feel like taking a stab at it, Heaven and Hell is the place to start. Forget whether or not Swedenborg’s descriptions are literally true and think of them as parables, encounters with the soul via a kind of Rough Guide to altered states. The effort won’t be wasted, and the attentive reader may find, as Swedenborg himself did, that the terrain is oddly familiar. As Swedenborg knew, we choose between one or the other several times a day.


Gary Lachman is the author of Into the Interior: Discovering Swedenborg (London: The Swedenborg Society, 2006) as well as other books on consciousness, culture, and the Western esoteric tradition. His most recent work is Politics and the Occult: The Left, the Right, and the Radically Unseen (Wheaton, IL: Quest Books, 2008).

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Thursday, January 28th, 2010

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Psychosomatic Wellness

A Review by Timothy Wilken, MD

Candace Pert's Psychosomatic WellnessI began using healing mediation to help my patients in the late 1970s. I created individual tapes for each patient, my scripts were based on a blend of breathing techniques, progressive muscular relaxation, autogenic training, guided imagery, and self-hypnosis. These tapes proved to be powerful tools for helping my patients heal both emotional and physical injuries.

In 2007, when I was personally challenged with a serious illness, I reached for them to help me heal myself. Since then I make it my practice to personally use healing meditation daily. While I have memorized many scripts, I am constantly searching for new healing meditations.

It was my great delight to discover Candace Pert’s Psychosomatic Wellness. She has wonderful meditations on this CD album. I try to listen to them daily. I keep them on my iPod so they are handy. There are five “songs” on the album.

The first “song” is Introduction, it explains the science behind her approach, you only need to listen to that once.

The second “song” is the healing meditation called Adaptation of Niels Bohr. I try to listen to this at least once a day. It is 25 minutes.

The third one is also very good. It uses a series of powerful affirmations to program the subconscious with positive and healthy beliefs.  It is called Affirmations inspired by Belleruth Naperstek.  I listen to it whenever I have time. It is 16 minutes.

The fourth “song” is a Musical Reprise. Very pleasant. It provides the perfect back ground for imagining your cells working to repair and heal your body. It is 7 minutes.

The fifth and last “song” is a song. It is called Honor Who You Are. Very wise and very pleasant. It lasts 3.4 minutes.

I haven’t listened to any healing meditations that I like better than these. I have always known that meditating was good for me, but with practicing Medicine 40 hours a week, and publishing three websites, I always had a bit of difficulty finding the time. Now, I actually look forward to listening to these. I awoke this morning at 5:30AM with need to start my day the right way. I listened to all four “songs” this morning, They were wonderful.

I am currently recommending the CD to all my patients. Take a listen, I promise that it will be good for you.


Get Psychosomatic Wellness at Sounds True, Amazon, or Barnes & Noble.

Google Candace Pert

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Thursday, January 7th, 2010

From the SynEARTH Archives. I have argued it is time to move beyond democracy. But, how will we make decisions in a synergic future? Remember synergy means working together. We are seeking the win-win-win-win solution. This is where I win, you win, Life wins, and the Earth wins.


Consensus & Consent

Timothy Wilken, MD

Unanimous Rule Democracy or Synocracy is a much more powerful mechanism of decision making than the majority rule of present day democracy.

Synocracy is a synergic form of government. Synergy means working together—operating together as in Co-Operation—laboring together as in Co-Laboration—acting together as in Co-Action. The goal of synergic union is to accomplish a larger or more difficult task than can be accomplished by individuals working separately.

However Synocracy, which gives us humans the opportunity to accomplish more together than we can accomplish separately, also requires more from us. It requires synergic consensus. For any group of humans, synergic consensus can provide a much more powerful mechanism of decision making than even the best majority rule democracy carefully following Roberts Rules of Order.

Synergic consensus occurs when a group of humans sit as equals and negotiate to reach a decision in which they all win and in which no one loses. In synergic science this is called heterarchy. That means all members of the deciding group sit on the same level as “equals”. All decisions within a truly synergic group are made within “decision heterarchy”. A decision heterarchy is made up of a group of humans with common purpose. The minimum number is 2 the maximum number is presently unknown. I believe the ideal size may be ~six or seven individuals. The group is organized horizontally with all individuals sharing equal authority and equal responsibility.

Most Western humans are familiar with the democratic committee system. It is very different from the decision heterarchy. While both are methods of organizing human individuals to make decisions for group action. Committees are filled with conflict and highly ineffective. In a committee no individual is held responsible for the actions taken by the group. And decision is made by majority ultimatum. A desenting minority member is forced to support the action he voted against or leave the committee. Heterarchy within a synergic group, in contrast organizes individuals to have equal authority to decide on joint action with equal responsibility for the resultant that is produced by that joint action.

Synergic consensus occurs when a group of humans sitting in heterarchy negotiate and reach a decision in which they all win and in which no one loses. In a synergic heterarchy, all members sit on the same level as “equals”. No one has more authority than anyone else. Every one has equal responsibility and equal authority within the heterarchy. The assignment for the heterarchy is to find a plan of action so that all members win. It is the collective responsibility of the entire heterarchy to find this “best” solution. Anyone can propose a plan to accomplish the needs of the group. All problems related to accomplishing the needs would be discussed at length in the heterarchy.

The proposed plan of action for solving a problem is examined by all members of the heterarchy. Anyone can suggest a modification, or even an alternative action to solve the problem. All members of the heterarchy serve as information sources for each other. The heterarchy continues in discussion until a plan of action is found that will work for everyone. When all are in agreement and only then can the plan be implemented. The plan insures that all members of the synergic heterarchy win.

Synergic Veto

All members are required to veto any plan where they or anyone else would lose. This is not an arbitrary veto. This is a veto to prevent loss. The heterarchy is seeking to win together. Plans causing loss need to modified to plans that insure winning.

Therefore all vetoes are immediately followed by renegotiation to modify the plan of action so that loss can be eliminated.

Synergic consensus is unanimous consensus. Unanimous consensus is protected by the judicious use of the synergic veto. Synergic relationship requires that when any party within a group is losing, the action causing the loss must stop. But again all vetoes are immediately followed by renegotiation to modify the plan of action so that loss can be eliminated, and action can continue.

Thus synergic consensus is a two step process. 1) consensus–to find mutual agreement, and 2) consent–to find specific disagreements and eliminate those through modification and re-negotiation of proposed plans. This second step is initiated by use of the synergic veto.

After I designed Ortegrity, which uses the process of synergic consensus and synergic veto, I learned about Sociocracy. It is from Sociocracy that I have borrowed the term consent for the second phase of synergic consensus.

Sociocracy

Originated in the Netherlands in 1945 by Kees Boeke, a Dutch educator and pacifist, Sociocracy was a way to adapt Quaker egalitarian principles to secular organizations.

It uses the decision-making process of consent which is different than most systems of  ’consensus’.

Consent looks for disagreement and uses the reasons for disagreeing to come up with an amended proposal that is within everyone’s limits. Consensus looks for agreement.

If a group wants to paint an outbuilding, consensus would require everyone agreeing on a color. Consent would require everyone defining their limits and then allowing the choice to be made within those limits. The painter might end up with 10 colors that are within everyone’s limits and then choose from those.

Synergic Consensus as described in ORTEGRITY seeks both consensus and consent by utilization of the synergic veto. When any member of the deciding group is in conflict and vetos a proposed plan, they are asked how would they change the proposal to accomodate their objection. Let’s take a deeper look at Sociocracy to see what we can learn. I will mark my annotations with an asterick.

The Four Principles of Sociocracy

1) Governance by Consent: The consent principle says that a decision can only be made when none of the circle members present has a reasoned, substantial objection to making the decision. The consent principle is different than “consensus” and “veto.” With consensus the participants must be “for” the decision. With consent decision-making they must be not against. With many forms of consensus a veto blocks the decision without an argument. With consent decision making, opposition must always be supported with an argument.

* Synergic veto always requires renegotiation to find a plan of action that will solve the group problems without causing loss. Veto is never arbitrary in Ortegrity.

Every decision doesn’t require consent, but consent must exist concerning an agreement to make decisions regularly through another method. Thus, many decisions are not made by consent. Rather, with consent, persons or groups are given the authority to make independent decisions. Consent can also be used with non-human elements.

2) Circle Organization: The organization arranges for a decision making structure, built from mutually double-linked circles, in which consent governs. This decision-making structure includes all members of the organization. Each circle has its own aim, performs the three functions of directing, operating and measuring (feedback), and maintains its own memory system by means of integral education. A good way to evaluate how well a circle is functioning is to use 9-block charting. Every circle formulates its own vision, “mission statement” and aim/objective (which must fit in with the vision, mission and aim of the organization as a whole and with the vision, mission and aim of all the other circles in the organization).

* Circles are equivalent to heterarchies. In  ORTEGRITY, they are similar to Decision-Action Tensegrities.

3) Double-Linking: Coupling a circle with the next higher circle is handled through a double link. That is, at least two persons, the supervisor of the circle and at least one representative of the circle, belong to the next higher circle.

* Decision-Action Tensegrities as described in ORTEGRITY are single linked by the Organizers-Organized or the O-O.

Org6:

Using a double link would add redundancy, security and allow more information to flow between Decison-Action Tensegrities–two heads are better than one, but at a price of decreased efficiency.

4) Sociocratic Elections: Choosing people for functions and/or responsibilities is done by consent after an open discussion. The discussion is very important because it uncovers pertinent information about the members of the circle.

* In Ortegrity, once the primary synergic task is defined and unanimously elected by the heterarchy, then a plan for synergic action must be developed using synergic negotiation. Now the members of the heterarchy will accept hierarchical roles with individual responsibility and authority.

In addition to the four main principles of Sociocracy, there are also these guidelines:

  • No secrets may be kept  (*Transparency in Ortegrity)
  • Everything is open to discussion – limits of an exec’s power, policy decisions, personnel decisions, investment policy, profit distribution, all rules.
  • Everyone has a right to be part of a decision that affects them.
  • Every decision may be reexamined at any time

* I am in agreement with most of what I read about Sociocracy. In many ways Sociocracy and Ortegrity are complimentary mechanisms with lots of similarities.

Sociocracy accomodates growth by creation of new circles that are then connected by double linking. Sociocracy can be regarded as a fractal structure, which means that the same patterns occur at different levels in the structure. That is why, once the basics are understood, the procedures at the highest level are as clear as the procedures at the grassroots level. It also doesn’t require very many levels to include a great number of people.

ORTEGRITY grows by shreddng out. If the primary synergic task is within the abilites of the primary Decision-Action Tensegrity to accomplish it,then they accomplish it operating in action-hierarchy. When they are done, they reconfigure back into decision-heterarchy to define their next synergic task.

If however, the synergic task is too large for the primary Decision-Action Tensegrity to accomplish, then part of the primary synergic task will be to make the Ortegrity larger. This is accomplished by having the primary members recruit and organize secondary D-A Tensegrities.

TopDown Self-Organization

Once all members have agreed to a primary plan of action, they then divide it into smaller secondary plans for distribution among themselves. This results in the self-assignment of tasks. The members of the primary tensegrity, then divide labor through the voluntarily formation of a action-hierarchy to implement the plan. Each “organizer”, the term “manager” is scraped altogether, then takes his task down to the secondary tensegrity which he is responsible for organizing.

The pattern of organization is from the top down. This is not the “other-directed” hierarchy of American Capitalism. The process of organization is from the top down, but the mechanism is “self directed” heterarchy. Only when synergic consensus has been achieved at the higher level can the organizational focus move down to a lower level.

Within the Ortegrity, most “organizers” will function at two levels of tensegrity. Within the primary tensegrity, they are “organized” by the primary “organizer” — the synergic alternative to a CEO. In addition these members are also the “coodinators” of their own secondary tensegrities which they are responsible for organizing.

Within the Ortegrity, those individuals operating at two levels are then both organized and organizers. As members of the primary tensegrity, they are organized by the “primary organizer” — the O’ (called the O prime) and they are also the organizers of their own secondary tensegrities. Each of these is therefore an “organized-organizer” — the O-O  (called the double O).

An organization can have any number of Decision-Action Tensegrities. These Decision-Action Tensegrities can be on different levels. Large organizations would include several levels of Decision-Action Tensegrities. These different levels are referred to simply as first level, second level, third level and so on in synergic terminology.

Compound Tensegrities

The following illustration is of a base five, level two O.T.. Twenty five employees with one five-member primary DA-Tensegrity and five (five-member) secondary DA-Tensegrities.

Org5:

The central DA-Tensegrity is the primary Tensegrity it is demarcated with the Omega symbol. It divides the primary tasks of the company into secondary tasks, these are then carried down to the secondary Tensegrities for solution by the O-Os, “organized-organizers”. In this example the O’ functions as both primary organizer and one of the O-Os.

Ultimately Flexible

No known system of organization is more flexible and adaptive then Living systems. The Ortegrity is a pattern of life.

The Ortegrity is ultimately flexible. There can be two to twenty individuals within the base D-A Tensegrities. Bases can be regular — all with the same number of members or irregular — all with different numbers of members or any mixture of regular and irregular.

There can be any number of levels, and any number of branches on each level. The system is so powerful that twelve levels looks like enough for most of our needs.

The following chart is based on a base seven regular tensegrity. All DA-Tensegrities would have seven members.

LEVEL # of base tensegrities # of individuals
1 1 7
2 8 49
3 57 343
4 400 2401
5 2801 16,807
6 19,608 117,649
7 137,257 823,543
8 960,800 5,764,801
9 6,725,601 40,353,607
10 47,079,208 282,475,249
11 329,554,457 1,977,326,743
12 2,306,881,200 13,841,287,201

A level 12 Ortegrity would be adequate for organizing the entire humans species within a single organization. Recalling that the larger a tensegrity the more powerful it will is. Synergic science predicts this will also be true for human organizations structured as Ortegrities. Therefore, I would expect a trend towards very large organizations.

Imagine, what could be possible if the entire human species were a single organization. No conflict, no wars, no crimes. Is there anything we could not accomplish?

SynocracyUnanimous Rule Democracy

Any group of humans organized as an Ortegrity are using synocracy. If a nation of people chose to organize as an ortegrity they would have a synocracy. If all of humanity were organized as an Ortegrity, we would have world wide synocracy.

Synergic consensus is unanimous consensus. I can hear the objections now. “That’s impossible, you will never get everyone in the group to agree.” “Decisions will never get made.” “It is hard enough to get a majority to agree.”

A Japanese business heterarchy is slower at making decisions than a single manager in an American business hierarcy. It takes longer for a group of individuals to discuss, negotiate, and come to agreement than it takes for a single American manager to decide all by himself and order his subordinates to follow his instructions. If the speed of making decisions is the only criteria for choosing a mechanism of decision making then the dictatorship—the rule by one is the clear standout.

However, humanity has moved beyond dictatorships for reasons of fairness and justice. Majority rule democracy is not a rapid decision making process. Individuals within a group deciding—whether the group is a small committee or a large nation choosing a President—are seeking to gain the majority of support. This takes time—sometimes a lot of time. Our national elections often take place over an entire year. The focus is on lining up votes—working deals—in a word—politics. This process is anything but rapid. If all decisions in American businesses were made by majority rule, decision making would probably be even slower than in Japanese companies using heterarchical consensus.

Synergic consensus is not commonly availability to humanity today. We do not yet know how fast it will be at making decisions. But, I predict that unanimous rule democracy will prove faster than majority rule democracy. Synergic consensus elimates conflict. Recall conflict is the stuggle to avoid loss. Conflict is at the very heart of majority rule democracy. The focus of synergic consensus is very different. The entire group knows from the outset that they cannot lose. They are focused on choosing a plan of action that serves the needs of all the members in the group—to choose a plan of action that causes no one to lose.  The synergic veto is not invoked capriciously. The only basis for synergic veto is to prevent someone from losing. This is a mechanism to eliminate loss—to choose the very best plan of action for everyone. This may well speed up the process of decison making. In any event regardless of the speed of decision, implimentation will be rapid. There is no conflict. This is a major advantage over majority rule democracy.

Life Utilizes Synergic Consensus

Today, mind and brain scientists have made enormous progress in understanding how the human brain works. There has been many surprises in these recent advances. But the biggest shocker is that the brain doesn’t decide what to do. Decision making is not controlled centrally in the brain. The mind-brain appears to act as a coordination and consensus system for meeting all the needs of the cells, tissues, and organs of the body. The brain doesn’t decide to eat. The cells of the body decide to eat, the brain coordinates their activity and carries out the consensus will.

Our human brain stores the gathered information from the body’s sensing of its environment, the brain presents opportunities for action reflective of both the sensing of environment and the needs and goals of the 40,000,000,000 cells it serves. The brain is not the leader of the body, it is the follower of the body. It is a system that matches needs of the body with its sensing of opportunities to meet these needs by action within the environment. The brain is a ‘synergic government’ that truly serves its constituents—the cells, tissues, and organs that make up the human body. The body is governed by a unanimous rule democracy that has survived millions of years.

The apparent ‘I’ is not real. It is really a ‘we’. We humans have mistaken the self-organization of synergic consensus for the directed organization of an ego decider.

If the human body can using unanimous rule democracy and synergic consensus can organize and coordinate the actions of 40,000,000,000 cells so totally that we identify the whole organism as a single individual, then we humans should be able to use these same mechanisms to organize our species and solve our human problems.


More on Ortegrity. More on Sociocracy. Read a Synergic Version of Robert’s Rules of Order


Acknowledgements:

Barbara Hubbard originally coined the term Synocracy to refer to a not yet defined future system of “rule by the people” in a co-Operative society.

Barry Carter the author of Infinite Wealth also independently created the term Synocracy. He writes: “Barbara Marx Hubbard created the term synocracy. Having never read her book, I independently created the synocracy concept by way of mass privatization. When people are owning partners in a mass privatization organization they must participate because owners operate on profit and loss. As mass privatization communities work together we move beyond representative democracy and even beyond consensus democracy to create synergy-ocracy and synthesis-ocracy or synocracy. Infinite Wealth shows mass synocracy to be the new system of social order for the information Age to replace representative democracy. It even replaces the notion of government with the broader notion of social order. Just as learning is driven internally where education is driven externally representative government is external and where as self-organizing mass synocracy is internally driven.”

Front Page

Sunday, May 17th, 2009

As our human crisis deepens, we will need to find the most powerful wisdom developed during the long history our species. One bit of that wisdom is called scientific prayer. This may seem like an oxymoron, but it is very much a real method — simply the result of the inevitable unification of science and religion. … A few days ago, I mentioned that I was reading material from the Divine Science. This morning’s author was ordained as a Minister of Divine science. He was well respected as an expert in the New Thought movement. Here he defines what is meant by scientific prayer.


The Golden Key

Emmet Fox (1886–1951)

Scientific prayer will enable you to get yourself or anyone else, out of any difficulty. It is the golden key to harmony and happiness.

To those who have no acquaintance with the mightiest power in existence, this may appear to be a rash claim, but it needs only a fair trial to prove that, without a shadow of doubt, it is a just one. You need take no one’s word for it, and you should not. Simply try it for yourself.

God is omnipotent, and we are God’s image and likeness and have dominion over all things. This is the inspired teaching, and it is intended to be taken literally, at its face value. The ability to draw on this power is not the special prerogative of the mystic or the saint, as is so often supposed, or even of the highly trained practitioner. Everyone has this ability Whoever you are, wherever you may be, the golden key to harmony is in your hand now. This is because in scientific prayer it is God who works, and not you, and so your particular limitations or weaknesses are of no account in the process. You are only the channel through which the divine action takes place, and your treatment will be just the getting of yourself out of the way.

Beginners often get startling results the first time, for all that is essential is to have an open mind and sufficient faith to try the experiment. Apart from that, you may hold any views on religion, or none.

As for the actual method of working, like all fundamental things, it is simplicity itself. All you have to do is this: Stop thinking about the difficulty, whatever it is, and think about God instead. This is the complete rule, and if only you will do this, the trouble, whatever it is, will disappear. It makes no difference what kind of trouble it is. It may be a big thing or a little thing: it may concern health, finance, a lawsuit, a quarrel, an accident, or anything else conceivable: but whatever it is, stop thinking about it and think of God instead — that is all you have to do.

It could not be simpler, could it? God could scarcely have made it simpler, and yet it never fails to work when given a fair trial.

Do not try to form a picture of God, which is impossible. Work by rehearsing anything or everything that you know about God. God is wisdom, truth, inconceivable love. God is present everywhere, has infinite power, knows everything, and so on. It matters not how well you may think you understand these things: go over them repeatedly.

But you must stop thinking of the trouble, whatever it is. The rule is, to think about God. If you are thinking about your difficulty, you are not thinking about God. To be continually glancing over your shoulder in order to see how matters are progressing is fatal, because it is thinking of the trouble, and you must think of God and nothing else. Your object is to drive the thought of the difficulty out of your consciousness, for a few moments at least, substituting for it the thought of God. This is the crux of the whole thing. If you can become so absorbed in this consideration of the spiritual world that you forget for a while about the difficulty, you will find that you are safely and comfortably out of your difficulty — that your demonstration is made.

In order to “golden key” a troublesome person or a difficult situation, think. “Now I am going to ‘golden key’ John, or Mary, or that threatened danger”: then proceed to drive all thought of John, or Mary, or the danger out of your mind, replacing it with the thought of God.

By working in this way about a person, you are not seeking to influence his conduct in any way, except that you prevent him from injuring or annoying you, and you do him nothing but good. Thereafter, he is certain to be in some degree a better, wiser, and more spiritual person, just because you have “golden keyed” him. A pending lawsuit or other difficulty would probably fade out harmlessly without coming to a crisis, justice being done to all parties concerned.

If you find that you can do this very quickly, you may repeat the operation several times a day with intervals between. Be sure, however, each time you have done it, that you drop all thought of the matter until the next time. This is important.

We have said that the golden key is simple, and so it is, but of course it is not always easy to turn. If you are very frightened or worried, at first it may be difficult to get your thoughts away from material things. But by constantly repeating a statement of absolute Truth, such as: There is no power but God: I am the child of God, filled and surrounded by the perfect peace of God; God is love; God is guiding me now; or, perhaps best and simplest of all. God is with me — however mechanical or trite it may seem — you will soon find that the treatment has begun to “take.” And that your mind is clearing. Do not struggle violently; be quiet, but insistent. Each time you find your attention wandering, switch it back to God.

Do not try to think in advance what the solution to your difficulty will be. This is called “outlining” and will only delay the demonstration. Leave the question of ways and means to God. You want to get out of your difficulty that is sufficient. You do your half, and God will never fail to do God’s.

“Whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Acts 2:21).

Emmet Fox was born in Ireland on July 30, 1886, was educated in England, pursued his spiritual career mostly in the United States, and died in France on August 13, 1951.

His father, who died before Fox was ten, was a physician and member of Parliament. Fox attended Stamford Hill Jesuit college near London, and became an electrical engineer. However, he early discovered that he had healing power, and from the time of his late teens studied New Thought. He came to know the prominent New Thought writer Thomas Troward.

Fox attended the London meeting at which the International New Thought Alliance was organized in 1914. He gave his first New Thought talk in Mortimer Hall in London in 1928. Soon he went to the United States, and in 1931 was selected to become the successor to the James Murray as the minister of New York’s Church of the Healing Christ. Fox became immensely popular, and spoke to audiences in some of the largest halls in the city. He was ordained in the Divine Science branch of New Thought.

While Emmet Fox lived he addressed some of the largest audiences ever gathered to hear one man’s thoughts on the religious meaning of life. His books and pamphlets have been distributed to over three million people and it can be conservatively estimated that they have come into the hands of ten million.

Fox’s secretary was the mother of one of the men who worked with Alcoholics Anonymous co-founder Bill Wilson, and partly as a result of this connection early AA groups often went to hear Fox. His writing, especially “The Sermon on the Mount,”became popular in AA.

The influence of Emmet Fox in the spread of New Thought ideas and emphases lies not simply in the large number of his readers, but in the fact that he is so widely read by ministers of all denominations. A check in large denominational bookstores in various cities from time to time has revealed that Emmet Fox’s books are in constant demand; and these are the stores in which ministers chiefly buy their books. They do not, of course, read it as New Thought, but they buy it and read it. There is nothing sectarian, certainly, in the titles “The Sermon on the Mount” and “The Ten Commandments,” nor is there anything about them outwardly to indicate that they are New Thought, and nearly half a century after his death, the writings of Emmet Fox remain influential. Google Emmet Fox. Google Divine Science.

Welcome

Tuesday, October 29th, 2002


“We know how to solve our problems, we just don’t use what we know.”

— Alfred Korzybski


This is the fifth in a series: 1) Beyond Property 2) Wealthy Beyond our Dreams 3) Synergic Trusts—Moving Beyond Property  4) Trustegrities— Redefining the Future


 

Synergic Guardians—Protecting the Future

Timothy Wilken, MD

Science fiction is a form of Time-binding. “Science fiction differs from science fantasy in that science fiction must obey the Laws of Nature.” A simple example is found in motion picture films. ­In Gary Lucas’ Star Wars trilogy­ we hear explosions of battle in the vacuum of Space although sound cannot be conducted in a vacuum. However, in Stanley Kubick’s 2002 all the scenes in space were truly silent. The film 2002 is science fiction while Star Warsis science fantasy.

The best science fiction writers are always good scientists. And the best science fiction often predicts future science. Many scientific discoveries and technologies are described in science fiction stories years or even decades before they become realities. Jules Vern, described travel from the earth to the moon in 1865 and ocean going nuclear submarines in 1869.

Issac Asimov is perhaps one of the best examples of both a great science fiction writer, and a good scientist. His interest in science and writing developed in tandem.

Asimov:

He wrote his first story when he was only 11 years old, his first published writing was a column he did for his high school newspaper. While he continued writing, Asimov also attended college and managed to graduate from Columbia University with a B.S. in Chemistry in 1939, and two years later earned his M.A. in Chemistry. He continued studying at Columbia in a Ph.D. program, but with time off for WWII, he was not awarded his Doctorate in Biochemistry until May 1948. During this same period, he also managed to write 36 science fiction stories.

Asimov is most famous for his Robot stories. Asimov’s Robots were something very special. They could take any form, from a small household appliance to large space craft carrying tens of thousands of human travelers. Their most common form however was humiform. Examples of humiform robots are seen in recent science fiction movies. Most notably 3CPO the intergalactic translator in Gary Lucas’ Star Wars trilogy, Arnold Swartzenegger’s performances as terminators in James Cameron’s The Terminator films, Brent Spiner’s performances as Lt. Commander Data in Gene Rodenberry’s Star Trek — The Second Generation, and most recently Robin Williams’ performance of The Bicentennial Manbased on an original Asimov story.

RobotBiCen:

Asimov’s robots were highly intelligent, spoke and understood all human languages, were highly mobile, physically strong and enormously powerful. They were awesome machines. If they had wanted to hurt human beings they could have in an eyeblink. But Asimov’s robots never wanted to hurt humans. Their powerful “positronic” brains were constrained by the Three Laws of Robotics. These laws first appeared in print in 1942 as follows.

Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics (1942)

1) A robot may not injure a human being, or through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.

2) A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.

3) A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.

Here we see that Asimov’s First Law of Robotics contains the commitment to helping. Not only must the robot not injure a human being it must protect the human being from harm. This is a requirement for helping. His Second Law of Robotics states again that the Robot must help human beings by obeying their orders. In Asimov’s stories the robots were often owned by the human beings they served. Asimov’s robots were almost always very decent and caring individuals, while their owner’s were often only too human. The robots were treated in the best of circumstances as respected and valuable friends, and in the worst as victims and slaves.

Asimov’s robot stories were remarkably interesting and intelligent. He fully explored the ramifications resulting when his robot’s intelligence evolved to a point that it equaled human intelligence and finally surpassed it.

Writing in 1942, Issac Asimov described a futurescape, where Robots had been invented in 2007. He invented the Three Laws Of Robotics to insure that this servant class of robots were safe to be with human beings. His futurescape spanned 6 decades and by 2064, positronic robots governed by the three laws of robotics were a widespread and common phenomena on Earth. They were especially important in humanity’s expansion into space and the colonization of other planets.

Forty-five years later, Asimov was still writing robot stories, but things had changed.

Twelve centuries had passed in his imagined futurescape, the science of robotics had progressed as rapidly as Moore’s Law drives computer design on Earth today. Robots were smaller more intelligent and could be made to look exactly like humans. Theoretically, a robot’s lifespan was unlimited. Robots had an endless opportunity to learn and to think about what they had learned. They were more intelligent than most humans, and their long life experiences meant they were usually much wiser.

It became obvious that the laws of robotics needed to be advanced as well. Asimov rose to the occasion by creating an additional or fourth law of Robotics. It was called the Zeroth Law because although it was created fourth chronologically, it was logically the First Law.

Asimov’s Four Laws of Robotics (1985)

0) A robot may not injure humanity or, through inaction, allow humanity to come to harm.

1) A robot may not harm a human being, or through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm, except where that would conflict with the Zeroth Law.

2) A robot must obey orders given it by a human being, except where that would conflict with the Zeroth and First Laws.

3) A robot must protect its own existence except where that would conflict with the Zeroth, First or Second Laws.

Robots in Asimov’s earlier stories then became known as 3-Law Robots in contrast to these new more powerful 4-Law Robots.

Asimov-Robot:

Recall that Asimov’s First Law of Robotics contains the commitment to helping. Not only must the robot not injure a human being it must protect the human being from harm. This is a requirement for helping. His Second Law of Robotics states again that the Robot must help human beings by obeying their orders. Thus within the original Three Laws of Robotics, we see a strong commitment to helping humans. This commitment to helping is expanded with the Zeroth Law.

As 20,000 year old 4-Law Robot Daneel Olivaw explained:

The Zeroth Law is a corollary of the First Law, for how can a human being best be kept from injury, if not by ensuring that human society in general is protected and kept functioning?”

The Zeroth Law of Robotics introduced the concept of responsibility to and for the entire human species. Now Asimov’s robots were required not only to care for and protect the individual human beings that owned them, but also to protect all human beings and by extension the ecosystem and the earth itself.

Protecting Humanity

Asimov’s Four Laws of Robotics can serve as the basis for developing a code for the Synergic Guardians of the Trustegrities. We can eliminate Asimov’s Second law which does not apply since humans are not property and cannot be slaves, and we can elimate the Third law as redundant since a Synergic Guardian is a human being and so is protected by the First law. This leaves us with only two laws necessary to protect humanity as community and humanity as individuals.

  • A Synergic Guardian may not injure humanity or, through inaction, allow humanity to come to harm.
  • A Synergic Guardian may not injure an individual human being, or through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm, except where that would conflict with the First Law.

The Needs of the Many

In Gene Roddenberry’s original Star Trek,  Mr. Spock, the Vulcan Science Officer from a race ruled by logic, would remind his shipmates that: “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or of the one.”

spock:  

The human body is a community of 40 trillion individual cells. The individual cells are organized synergically to be interdependent upon each other. They cannot separate themselves from the body as community. The survival of the cells depends on the survival of the body. The needs and safety of the body precedes the needs and safety of the individual cells. Sometimes individual cells are injured or even sacrificed to protect and insure the survival of the body as a whole. The needs and safety of the community of cells takes precedence over the needs and safety of the cells as individuals.

With the discovery that humanity is an interdependent species comes the realization that we humans can no longer separate ourselves from community. Humanity as community is larger and contains humanity as individuals. The needs and safety of humanity as community must precede the needs and safety of humanity as individuals.

Our present culture based on the false premise of human independence often places individual needs and safety over community needs and safety. This will shift dramatically in a synergic culture.

The first law of the of the Guardian Trust Code commits to protect Humanity as Community. The second law commits to protect Humanity as Individuals. This represents a major shift in human values from today’s focus with the individual as primary to tomorrow’s focus with community as primary.

While the Trustegrity Guardians are responsible for the safety of both humanity as community and humanity as individuals, the needs and safety of community take precedent over the needs and safety of individuals.

This does not suggest a casual attitude towards the rights of individuals. Trustegrity Guardians may not injure a human being, or through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm, except where that would cause injury to humanity as a whole — except where that would cause injury to humanity as community. When an adversary event presents no risk to humanity as community then the Trustegrity Guardians’ first responsibility is to the safety of the individual.

The Bigger Picture

Within synergic community, it is understood that actions that injure the EARTH and environement—the natural resources, fertile soils, waters, minerals, ores, metals, and the very air we breathealso injures humanity.

Earth:

It is understood that actions that injures LIFEthe plants and animals and the biodiversity of all non-human Lifealso injures humanity.

BioDiver:

It is understood that actions than injures the wealth produced by human action—whether in the form of Time-binding Trust or Property of living humansalso injures humanity.

20century:

Therefore, synergic community desires the protection of  all Synergic Wealth:

1) the Earth Trust—the planet and all natural resources,

2) the Life Trust—All plants, animals and humans,

3) the Time-binding Trust—the accumulated ‘knowing’ from the time-binding of all the humans who have ever lived and died. Our inherited Wisdom, Knowledge, and Information including Architecture, Art, Literature, Music, Science, and Technology,

4) Human Action—Mental and Physical—Thinking, Action, and Behavior—Primary Property of Living Humans

5) Human Leverage—Mental and Physical—Intellectual Property in the forms of Theories, Discoveries, and Technology Designs—Primary Property, and Physical Property such as Tools, Technology Artifacts, and Products—Secondary Property of living humans.

This then forms the basis for a code of behavior for the Synergic Guardians of the Trustegrities.

Code of the Synergic Guardians

1) A Synergic Guardian may not injure the EARTH or, through inaction, allow the EARTH to come to harm.

2) A Synergic Guardian may not injure LIFE or, through inaction, allow LIFE to come to harm, except where that would conflict with the First Law.

3) A Synergic Guardian may not injure HUMANITY or, through inaction, allow HUMANITY to come to harm, except where that would conflict with the First or Second Laws.

4) A Synergic Guardian may not injure an individual HUMAN, or through inaction, allow an individual HUMAN to come to harm, except where that would conflict with the First, Second or Third Laws.

5) A Synergic Guardian may not injure the Time-binding Trust and/or Primary or Secondary Property, or through inaction, allow the Time-binding Trust and/or Primary or Secondary Property to come to harm, except where that would conflict with the First, Second, Third or Fourth Laws.

Best of the Best

The Synergic Trustegrities will seek to attract the best of the best as candidates for Trustegrity Guardianship. Once selected these Trustegrity Guardians would have greater trusteeship privileges with concomitant authority and responsibilities for and to the Synergic Trustegrities. Once selected Trustegrity Guardians can serve in one of the three branches of the Synergic Trustegrities — the Earth Trust, the Life Trust, or the Time-binding Trust.

Trustegrity Guardian Candidates should have repeatedly demonstrated both personal and public honesty, and should have a history demonstrating synergic morality and behavior. In the future, Universities will offer degrees in Trustegrity and Guardian Science to prepare those young humans to desire to serve Humanity as Community. A careful selection process will be developed to select the very best which could include Trustegrity Guardian Academies.

Synergic Guardians of the Trustegritys

Recall the Trustegrities are structured using the principles and mechanism of the Organizational Tensegrity. Decisions are made in heterarchy using synergic consensus. Loss within the organization is eliminated with the synergic veto. Action is carried out by negotiated hierarchical. This eliminates conflict. The three trustegrities would work together. They would be guided by Humanity as Community using Synocracy.

The Earth Trust Guardians would protect and preserve the Earth Trust including the Earth and all natural resources. The Trust would be administered to best serve present and futurehumanity.

The Life Trust Guardianswould protect the Life Trust including all living systems — all life forms — this includes all humans, all animals, and all plants.

And, thirdly the Time-binding Trust Guardians would protect and preserve the Time-binding Trust — the accumulated “knowing” from the lives and actions of all the humans who have ever lived and died. Our inherited Wisdom, Knowledge, and Information including Architecture, Art, Literature, Music, Science, and Technology. Because of their committment to protecting all who have lived and who have died, they also protect the new  “knowing” of  humanity — the Intellectual Property of  living humans.

Synergic Guardians are not allowed to hurt anyone through their control of the Synergic Trusts. But in addition they are required to protect and conserve the Synergic Trusts. Further, they are required to help others and to insure that all humans have the basic needs of life —both survival and meaning. This is a binding obligation. Failure to meet these obligations results in the immediate loss of Synergic Trustee privileges.

They will protect and conserve the Earthand the natural resources — including both the renewable resources — soils, water, and minerals — and the nonrenewable resources — coal, petroleum, natural gas, metals and other mineral ores.

They will protect Life— plant, animal and human.

The Life and Earth Trustsare finite and fragile. Once a species of plant or animal becomes extinct, it is lost forever. Once our nonrenewable resources are consumed they are lost forever. And even the renewable resources can be damaged by careless use. And once damaged, they may not be repairable.

The Synergic Trustegrities hold all land and all the natural resources including native plants and wildlife in synergic trust. Land and natural resources cannot be owned. Land may leased as living sites for individuals and families. Land may be invested as production sites for manufacturing and commerce and earn revenue shares on behalf of the Trust. Natural resources may be invested in synergic production if it serves the interests of humanity as community and public welfare. Such investment would earn revenue shares on behalf of the Synergic Trustegrities.

The revenues the Synergic Trustegrities receive from their leases and investments are used not only to protect and preserve the synergic trusts, but also to help others.

The Synergic Guardians accept as their primary responsibility the protection of humanity as community and humanity as individual. They will seek to ensure that all humans are safe from crime and war; that all humans have access to shelter, nutrition, medical care, and education. They will further accept responsibilty for the provision of good care and life support for all humans in need — children and adults — the ill and injured, the poor and destitute, and the homeless.

On behalf of the Earth Trustegrity, they will provide:

1 ) Access to land and natural resources for personal use at minimal or no cost, and

2 ) Access to land and natural resources for synergic production with appropriate charges payable to the Earth Trustegrity in lease or rental fees, licensing fees, and/or revenue shares. All rental fees, licensing fees, and/or revenue shares are entrusted to the Synergic Trustegrities for Humanity as Community.

On behalf of the Life Trustegrity, they will provide:

3 ) Safety from crime and war, and full access to:

4 ) Comfortable, safe, healthy housing.

5 ) Good nutritious food

6 ) Good preventitive health services and comprehensive cradle to grave medical care, and access to the privilege of Reproduction based on fairness, equality, and mutual benefit to both humanity as Individuals and humanity as Community. This would include monitoring administrating, adjudicating the Trust privilege of Reproduction.

7 ) Access to animals and plants including native flora and wildlife for personal use at minimum or no cost.

8 ) Access to animals and plants including native flora and wildlife for synergic production with approriate charges payable to the Life Trustegrity in rental fees, licensing fees and/or revenue shares. All payments made are entrusted to the Synergic Trustegrites for Humanity as Community.

On behalf of the Time-binding Trustegrity, they will provide:

9) Full education to an individual’s ability and interest regardless of age,

10) The opportunity to participate in synergic organization and invest their action and leverage to earn revenue shares and acquire property throughout their full lifetime.

11) Access to communication with humanity as individuals and to humanity as community for personal reasons, for synergic production and consumption, and for synergic consensus utilizing Unanimous Rule Democracy.

12) Protection of the intellectual discoveries and inventions of Time-binding whether they be in the Time-binding Trust, or the Intellectual Property of living humans.

Welcome

Sunday, October 20th, 2002

Synergic Disarmament

 

Interestingly, the recent advent of the Washington D.C. area sniper has brought renewed interest in the subject of weapons and their role in our present society. We are reminded that today, weapons are very easily available to just about anyone that wants them. And, while the technology to track these weapons and even the ammunition used within them is easily possible, we don’t do it, since this might infringe on the American citizen’s Right to bear Arms.

In a synergic society there is no need to be armed. Even within our present adversary-neutral society, weapons in the hands of law abiding “good” citizens seem to bring society little benefit. And certainly, weapons in the hands of criminals and predators bring great harm to the public. Any scientific analysis of the role of weapons in modern America would reveal that weapons are not only plentiful and easily available, but that they are also very powerful.

One gift of  human intelligence is that it allows humanity to create knowing without limit. Every generation knows more than the previous generation. When humans incorporate their knowing into artifacts, they are called tools. Unlimited knowing produces unlimited tools. Every generation has more powerful tools than the previous one.
As I have explained elsewhere, we humans always have three options in relating to others. We can help each other, we can ignore each other, or we can hurt each other. When tools are used to hurt others, we are call them weapons.
Now humans have been making weapons for a long time. Weapons are tools designed to hurt or kill others. As our human knowing has grown, we have always quickly incorporated that knowing into our new weapons. And as a result, weapons have and continue to grow evermore powerful.
Lieutenant Colonel Dave Grossman writing in the Evolution of Weaponry explains:

Humans have proven themselves to be infinitely ingenious at creating and using devices to overcome their limitations. From one perspective human history can be seen as a series of ever-more-efficient devices to help humans communicate, travel, trade, work, and even to think. Similarly, the history of violence, peace, and conflict can be seen as the history, or the evolution, of a series of ever-more-efficient devices to enable humans to kill and dominate their fellow human beings.

The concept of an “evolution” of weaponry is very appropriate, since the battlefield is the ultimate realm of Darwinian natural selection. With few exceptions, any weapon or system that survives for any length of time does so because of its utility. Nothing survives for long on the battlefield simply because of superstition. Anything that is effective is copied and perpetuated, anything ineffective results in death, defeat, and extinction. There are fads and remnants (the military equivalent of the appendix), but over the long run, everything happens for a reason, and a valid theory of weapons evolution must make these reasons clear, explaining all extinctions and all survivals. …

Weapons’ lethality (in peace and war) is a factor of the effectiveness of the weapons used to kill and of the ability of available medical technology to save lives. Thus, weapons’ lethality can be thought of as a contest between weapons’ effectiveness (the state of technology trying to kill you) and medical effectiveness (the state of technology trying to save you). Like weapons’ lethality, the difference between murder (killing someone) and aggravated assault (trying to kill someone) is also largely a factor of the effectiveness of available weapons vs. the effectiveness of available medical life-saving technology.

Throughout most of human history the effectiveness of weapons available for domestic violence was basically stable, a relative constant. The relative effectiveness of swords, axes, and blunt objects has been basically unchanged, and killing (as an act of passion vs. a pre-meditated act like poisoning or leaving a bomb) was only possible at close-range by stabbing, hacking, and beating.

Bows were kept unstrung, not in a state of readiness for an act of passion. It required premeditation plus training plus strength to kill with a bow. Early, muzzle-loading gunpowder weapons were also often not kept in a state of readiness. It required time, training, and premeditation to load and shoot such a weapon. Once loaded, the humidity in the air could seep into the gunpowder and the load could become unreliable. Only in the late 19th century, with widespread introduction of breech-loading, brass cartridges was a true act of passion possible with state-of-the-art weapons technology. Powerful weapons could now be kept in state of readiness (i.e., loaded), and they now required minimal strength or training to use.

ca. 1700 B.C. Chariots provide key form of mobility advantage in ancient warfare
ca. 400 B.C. Greek phalanx slows the chariots, since horses consistently refuse to hurl themselves into a hedge of sharp projecting spears
ca. 100 B.C. Roman system (pilum, swords, training, professionalism, leadership)
ca. 900 A.D. Mounted knight (stirrup greatly enhances utility of mounted warfare)
ca. 1350 Gunpowder (cannon) in warfare (Battle of Crecy, 1346)
ca. 1400 Widespread application of long bow defeats mounted knights ( Battle of Agincourt, I4I5)
ca. 1600 Gunpowder (small arms) in warfare, defeats aIl body armor (30 Years War & English Civil War)
ca. 1800 Shrapnel (exploding artillery shells), ultimately creates renewed need for helmets (ca. 1915)
ca. 1850 Percussion caps permit all-weather use of small arms
ca. 1870 Breech loading, cartridge firing rifles, and pistols™
ca. 1915 Machine gun
ca. 1915 Gas warfare
ca. 1915 Tanks
ca. 1915 Aircraft
ca. 1915 Self-loading (automatic) rifles and pistols
ca. 1940 Strategic bombing of population centers
ca. 1945 Nuclear weapons
ca. 1960 Large scale introduction of operant conditioning in training to enable killing in soldiers
ca. 1970 Precision guided munitions
This then is our real problem. Weapons in our modern society are not only too plentiful and too easily available, but they are also way too powerful and easy to use.
Speaking just this week, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said, “Looking at what was overwhelming force a decade or two decades ago, today you can have overwhelming force, conceivably, with lesser numbers because the lethality is equal to or greater than before,” he said. It has been a mistake, he added, to measure the quantity of forces required for a mission and “fail to look at lethality, where you end up with precision-guided munitions which can give you 10 times the lethality that a dumb weapon might, as an example.”

 


Wisdom, we shouldn’t have!

Timothy Wilken, MD

One of my areas of interest and study is human intelligence science. The reason human intelligence is so powerful is because of the synergic relationship between two powerful minds—the space mind and the time mind. This “dual mind” intelligence is capable of generating four distinct levels of knowingInformation, Knowledge, Wisdom, and Oneness. I am currently completing a new book on Understanding Human Intelligence which will explain the Dual Mind and the four levels of knowing which it produces.
A simple metaphor for these four levels of knowing are:
Information is KnowWhere. Where do I go in space to survive. Where do I get water, food, shelter?
Knowledge is KnowWhen. When do I act in time to encourage or stop a sequence of events.
Wisdom is KnowHow. How do many different temporal sequences fit together to create spatial complexity.
And, Oneness is KnowWhy. Why do things happen the way they do? What is the consequence of complexity?
A human with information would know they should avoid a nuclear explosion. Where can I go to be safe.
A human with knowledge could learn to detonate a nuclear weapon. When to a push the button and in what sequence to trigger the bomb.
A person with wisdom could invent and design a nuclear weapon. How do the laws of physics work together and what temporal sequences must I create to allow nuclear fission or fusion to occur.
A person with oneness, would know that nuclear weapons should never be invented or manufactured. What are the consequences of using nuclear power as weapons? What happens when such weapons are common? What happens if they fall into the hands of those dominated anger and ignorance. Why would it be a bad idea to create nuclear weapons?
With our new understanding of human intelligence, it will soon be possible for many humans to learn to understand their minds and began accessing the higher levels of knowing. As they do they will gain increasing understanding of sequence and consequence. But, today most humans live their lives in the level of Information with only occasional visits to the level of  Knowledge. Educated people with high literacy, good understanding of mathematics and science may live their lives equally in the levels of Information and Knowledge with occasional flashes of genius in the level of Wisdom. Inventors, innovators, and what we commonly call creative geniuses live in Information and Knowledge, but have learned to easily visit the level of Wisdom. But, so far only a handful of human geniuses have learned to access Oneness.
Tools Contain Embedded Knowing
Recall from the introduction, that tools are artifacts made from matter-energy that contain embedded knowing. And, as there is no limit to human knowing, there is also no limit to the amount of knowing that can be embedded in an artifact. That is why we have such powerful tools. Today’s tools commonly contain embedded information, knowledge and wisdom.
Think of the power of the tools we humans use everyday—a Boeing 747 airplane, our automobiles, the internet, computers, cell phones, televisions, household appliances, the tools in our garages and at our places of work. The knowing in these tools multiply our human power by orders of magnitude. They allow us to do what was considered impossible just a few years ago. It is the power of the knowing embedded in these tools that give them their power.
Using Tools without Understanding
You don’t have to be wise to use a tool full of wisdom. You don’t even have to be knowledgeable to use such a tool. Many of our fast food restaurants, use picture icons of the food and drinks on the buttons of the check out computers, so that the illiterate and innumerate humans working there can operate the computers without reading, adding or subtracting. The computer even tells the operator the correct amount of change to return to the customer.
However, there is risk in using tools you don’t understand. Remember, “a little knowing can be a dangerous thing.” Today, we commonly put enormously powerful tools into the hands of those who do not understand them. This means the risk of these tools being used in an unsafe manner is high.
And since weapons are just tools that are specifically designed to hurt or kill, they are among the most dangerous tools  in our present world. Today, weapons are easily available to anyone who desires them. They can be purchased legally by any adult who passes a background check for a criminal record. If you are not a convicted felon, you can legally purchase all the weapons and ammunition you desire. You are not legally required to be literate, numerate, or have any knowledge of science or physics.
You are not required to demonstrate any knowledge of weapons or the consequence of their use or misuse, before becoming armed. And of course, there is no psychological screening to determine if you are stable and responsible.
As to felons, minors, or non-citizens—anyone wishing to avoid the background check of legal purchase—they can easily purchase weapons  illegally in almost any town in America.
Why are weapons  so easily available ?
We don’t let just anyone operate a nuclear powerplant, a 767 Boeing Airliner, or for that matter an automobile, without some training, education and testing. But we will sell a gun to anyone who can afford it. After all we just want to make money. And, of course every American possesses the Right to Bear Arms. The second amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads: “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” (1791)
The result of America’s policy of easy availability of weapons is reflected in these grim statistics from the CDC:
The National Center for Injury Prevention and Control reports that in 1999, there were 28,874 firearm-related deaths in the United States. By contrast, there were only 19 firearm-related deaths in Japan in 1998. Gun possession is prohibited in Japan.
Rates of homicide among American youths 15-19 years of age reached record-high levels in the latter half of the 1980s and continue to be among the highest ever recorded in the US for this age group. Between 1985 and 1991, annual homicide rates among males 15-19 years old increased 154 percent.
  • In 2001, homicide was still the second leading cause of death among 15- to 24-year-olds overall. In this age group, it is the leading cause of death for African Americans, the second leading cause of death for Hispanic Americans, and the third leading cause of death for Native Americans (CDC 2001).
  • In 1999, 4,998 youths ages 15 to 24 were murdered – an average of 14 per day (CDC 2001).
  • Guns are a factor in most youth homicides. In 1999, 81% of homicide victims ages 15 to 24 were killed with firearms (CDC 2001).
It must be obvious to the reader, that manufacturing unlimited tools and unlimited weapons, and then placing them in the hands of ignorance is foolish.
Humanity as Community
Synergic society seeks to protect humanity as community and humanity as individuals. No responsible parent would allow a four year old child to use a blow torch, a power saw, or a nail gun unsupervised. No responsible parent would allow a ten year old to drive the family car on the interstate highway.
Why not? Because these tools are just too powerful to be used without adequate knowledge, education and training.
Wisdom, they shouldn’t have.
This is our problem today. People have wisdom, they shouldn’t have. They have access to enormously powerful tools and weapons—tools and weapons containing embedded wisdom—that they are shouldn’t have access too.
The Saudi terrorists that attacked America on  September 11, were not geniuses. None of them could have invented a Boeing 767 or even a cell phone. None of them could have even explained how these tools even worked. However, they were allowed to use deceit, and threat of force to gain control of these enormously powerful tools, and then use these tools as weapons to bring down the World Trade Towers and damage the Pentagon.
By embedding wisdom into tools and then selling those tools to anyone with money, we endanger humanity as individuals and humanity as community.
Today, we need a higher standard. Most advanced tools today contain embedded wisdom. This is powerful KnowHow. Those who use such tools need to well trained and intelligent enough to understand the consequence of using such powerful tools. Access to powerful tools (tools leveraged with wisdom) that could potentially harm others must be controlled. Only those humans who demonstrate: 1) the knowledge for the safe use of the tool, 2) an understanding of consequence of that tool’s use and misuse, and 3) a history of responsibility, should be allowed access to them. 
Iraq & Saddam Hussein
How many Nobel Prizes have been awarded to Iraq in science, physics, biology, or medicine? How many for Peace?
Did Iraqi scientists invent the automobile? The airplane? The telephone? The radio? The television? The computer? If they don’t have the intelligence to invent or even manufacture any of these tools, how did they get them?
They bought them with money. 
Where did they get the money? They got it by selling the oil discovered under the desert they live on. Did they discover the oil themselves? No it was discovered by engineers from the West. What makes this oil even theirs? An accident of birth and the mistaken belief that oil is property.
As I have discussed elsewhere, 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.The Iraqis have no moral or rational basis to even claim ownership of the oil. It is only our mistaken belief that oil is property, and specifically the property of those who happen to be living over the deposit that allows this fiction to fly.
Did the Iraqis invent and manufacture oil drilling and refining technology? No, they bought this technology with money loaned to them by Western banks based on future repayment once the oil was extracted.
If you take away the oil money, and limit them to those tools invented and manufactured in Iraq, there would be no danger to anyone. Saddam Hussein would have been impaled on a sharp stick long ago.
We Americans must recogize that we have flooded the world with billions of high powered tools and weapons in order to make money. All the great democracies are guilty. But, the biggest exporter of tools and weapons in the history of the planet is the United States. We Americans are the most guilty. We have basically sold these tools and weapons to anyone with the money to buy them. That has been our only criteria.
Now let us look once again at the second amendment to the U.S. Constitution, it reads: “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Somehow, we have focused on the right of the people to keep and bear arms, but have overlooked the founding fathers purpose in writing the second amendment: that of insuring “a well-regulated Militia“. A mob with guns is not a “well-regulated Militia.”
Public Safety requires responsible use of powerful tools and weapons. We need to recognize the potential danger in the use of tools and weapons in our present society. We must establish some standard of knowledge, training, and responsibility as a prerequisite to gaining access to these tools and weapons.
Protecting Us from the Police

 

 

Some will argue that we need a private right to weapons to protect us from the police. This argument misses the point. In an earlier article of this SafeEARTH series, I introduced the concept of the Life Trust Guardians and their enforcement arm the Synergic Containment Officers.
 
Life Trust Guardians and Synergic Containment Officers are not the police, they are synergists. They will be well educated and trained. They will understand the powerful tools they use and the consequence of both the use and missuse of those tools. Remember, synergists believe that we should work together and act responsibly to make the world work for everyone. Synergy means working together—operating together as in Co-Operation— laboring together as in Co-Laboration—acting together as in Co-Action. The goal of synergic union is to accomplish a larger or more difficult task than can be accomplished by individuals working separately. Synergists are committed to a world where I win, you win, others win and the Earth wins. Win-Win-Win-Win.

Best of the Best

Synergic Containment Officers are Life Trust Guardians. The Life Trust will seek to attract the best of the best as candidates for Trust Guardianship. Once selected these Trust Guardians would have greater trusteeship privileges with concomitant authority and responsibilities for and to the Life Trust.  

Trust Guardian Candidates should have repeatedly demonstrated both personal and public honesty, and should have a history demonstrating synergic morality and behavior. In the future, Universities will offer degrees in Trustegrity and Guardian Science to prepare those young humans to desire to serve Humanity as Community. A careful selection process will be developed to select the very best which could include Trust Guardian Academies.

It is apparent that the responsibilities of Trust Guardians will be great. They of course are not allowed to hurt anyone through their control of the Synergic Trusts. But in addition they are required to protect and conserve the Synergic Trusts. Further, they are required to help others and to insure that all humans have the basic needs of life —both survival and meaning. This is a binding obligation. Failure to meet these obligations results in the immediate loss of Synergic Trustee privileges. The Life Trust Guardians will be charged with protecting Humanity as Community, and Humanity as Individuals.

Public safety is paramount. No human has the right to injure another human with an adversary action. Once such an event has occurred, those responsible will be contained, they will be monitored and their freedom restricted until such time as the Life Trust Guardians have determined that they are safe without monitoring or restriction. This process is described more completely in Synergic Containment: Science & Rationale and Synergic Containment: Branch Davidian Compound, Waco, TX.
 
If the Life Trust Guardians release them from monitoring or restrictions, and they hurt someone else with another adversary action, then the Life Trust Guardians involved in their release will share responsibility with them for that adversary event. Life Trust Guardians are held accountable for failure to protect the public. This is a much higher standard then offered by today’s criminal injustice system.
 
No Knives, No Guns, No Killing!

One hundred and twenty years ago the American West was a vast, open area brimming with natural resources and opportunity. Cow towns and mining camps sprung up across the landscape. From around the world, millions of people flocked to the Western territories with the hope of making a better life for themselves. Many came to find gold or silver. Others came to open saloons, general stores, and other small businesses. And still others came to steal from the productive members of the west.

It was in such a setting that Wyatt Earp lived and worked. Like many of his time, he skipped from one boom town to another, always optimistic that his fortune awaited at the end of another long, dusty ride. And in nearly every town he invariably found himself called upon to bring law and order to what was previously anarchy. Earp’s exploits in taming lawless cow towns and mining camps and his bravery in facing ruthless killers—particularly at the OK Corral in Tombstone, Arizona—make him one of the great figures of the American West. While the movies make much of the gunfights and use of intimidation in the streets of Dodge City. Earp’s greatest tool was the prohibition of weapons within the city limits. His rule was simple: “no knives, no guns, no killings.”

The history of the American West, is in large part the struggle to overcome  adversity. Earp’s discovery of a mechanism to insure public safety spread. By the summer of 1876, Denver was slightly larger than Dallas, although not a mite different as far as being fronted by the inevitable plankwalks and halter-polished hitch rails. A sign posted at the edge of town warned: “No guns in town.” This law was strictly enforced.

Zone of Safety

What Wyatt Earp achieved with his “No Guns in Town” law was the creation of a zone of safety. Within city limits there could be no guns. Apparently Earp understood that “guns do kill people.” Guns are weapons. By excluding them from the town, he was using a principle of synergic containment and disarmament.

We need to create a zone of safety. And, then we can begin to extend that zone. We need to protect those within the zone and isolate those outside the zone. This is how the immune system in our body works. The skin is the boundary for the body. Its job is to isolate all adversity from the interior. We need to create a skin around our safety zone. That isolates all adversity from the interior.

Within the safety zone, there should be no tolerance of adversity. None!

No violence would be allowed. No weapons would be allowed. Violation would result in expulsion from the safety zone. Committed Adversaries would be expelled from synergic community. They would be expelled from the zone of safety. And that zone of safety is not anonymous. Everyone is the zone is know. The immune system of our bodies knows every cell. Unknowns are presumed to be adversaries until proven otherwise. Freedom and privacy is available to all who do not hurt others. Injure someone and forfeit both.

It is time to put away the adversary way.There is no need for weapons in the zone of safety. In civilized community, the simple possession of a weapon is an adversary act. It must be surrendered immediately and voluntarily, or you leave the zone of safety.

Living in the zone of safety is not a right, it is a privilege available to civilized humanity. Civilized humans do not want or need weapons.

I believe it is time to create and then extend zones of safety. This is the only way the Israelis can make their people safe. No knives, no guns, no killings! None. The same is true for all nations. Except for small arms in the hands of Synergic Containment Officers charged with protecting both Humanity as Individuals and Humanity as Community, it is time to put away all weapons.

Pandora’s Box
 
What do we do now? Now that these powerful tools and weapons are in the hands of ignorance and anger, how do we get them back.

We must begin by regaining control of all those tools and weapons that threaten humanity. Our message to Saddam Hussein, and all who would act to harm humanity. If you want peace lay down your weapons. All of them. This must be our message to all those who are armed.

It is time for a complete and total disarmament. Within the human body reside 40 trillion individual cells, none are armed except the immune cells. Within a synergic organization which could reside all of humanity presently 6.3 billion humans. None would be armed except Synergic Containment Officers.
Universal Disarmament

During a period of moratorium, all humans would be expected to surrender all weapons into the custody of the Life Trust Guardians. A few of these weapons would go into museums, some would be be made available to the public within Earth Trust hunting parks and designated sport weapons clubs. Humans who desire to use weapons to hunt and kill animals may do so only within designated hunting parks managed by the Earth Trust Guardians and regulated by the Synergic Containment Officers.

Those humans who desire to use weapons for sport shooting may do so only through designated sport weapon clubs which are regulated and monitored by the Synergic Containment Officers. All weapons must be kept on the premises of the sports clubs, or within the grounds of the hunting parks. These weapons will be montored and accounted for under strict Life Trust Guardian guidelines.

However, the vast majority of weapons would be destroyed and scraped. Once the moratorium expires, the possession of a weapon outside of a permitted location is prohibited, and is by definition an adversary event. The Life Trust Guardians will dispense Containment Officers to confiscate the weapon or weapons and take those responsible into custody. Those individuals found responsible for weapons possession would be subject to the same public safety process as any other human found responsible for an adversary event including rehabilitation, education, restitution, and prevention of future adversary events.

How dangerous would the Washington D.C. sniper be without a gun and ammuntion? How dangerous would Saddam Hussein be without his weapons? 

 


Read more by Timothy Wilken: 1) A Synergic Future 2) Protecting Humanity 3) Beyond War

Read Lt. Col. Dave Grossman’s: 1) Aggression and Violence 2) Evolution of Weaponry  3) Psychological Effects of Combat.

 

Welcome

Friday, October 11th, 2002

We continue with the fourth in our SafeEARTH series. See: 1) Beyond Crime and Punishment 2) Synergic Containment: Protecting Children 3) Synergic Containment: Science & Rationale


 

Synergic Containment

Protecting Community

Timothy Wilken, MD

Synergic Containment Officers are responsible for containment of adversary events.

AdvEv:

Their first task will be to contain the adversary event, and prevent the event from spreading further into community and involving new victims. 

ContainedEvent:  

Containment is about protecting both the victim and the aggressor. Synergic society does not view the perpetrators as bad or criminal. However, they certainly recognize that they are dangerous. Recall from our initial discussion of using synergic containment to protect children, we are seeking to contain and protect all the individuals caught up in an adversary event—both victims and perpetrators.

Synergic Rescue 

Once the adversary event has been contained, the second task of the Synergic Containment Officers becomes to safely rescue all of the individuals caught up in the event. This rescue is prioritized. First to be rescued are victims at greatest risk for further harm, then victims at lower risk. Once the victims are safe, the synergic containment officers will begin their rescue of the perpetrators.

 Synergic Disarmament

If those perpetrating the adversary event have weapons, they must be disarmed. Today, the danger of adversary events is greatly magnified by access to weapons. We humans are Time-binders. That means as a species we can create knowledge without limit. When we incorporate knowledge into matter-energy it is called a tool. Because knowledge can grow without limit, tools can also grow without limit. When tools are used to hurt others, they are called weapons. In our modern world, we have created ever more powerful weapons. These weapons are not safe in the hands of ignorance.

Once the perpetrators of an adversary event are contained, their victims rescued, then they will be disarmed, this must be effected before they can be rescued.

How would this work in the real world?  Let us examine a real situation.

The Adversary Containment of the Branch Davidian Church, Waco, TX

Most Americans recall this incident from 1993. The following are the facts as reported by PBS:FRONTLINE:

Sunday, February 28, 1993: At about 9:30 a.m. agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms attempt to execute arrest and search warrants against David KORESH and the Branch Davidian compound as part of an investigation into illegal possession of firearms and explosives there. Gunfire erupts. Four ATF agents are killed and 16 are wounded. An undetermined number of Davidians are killed and injured. Within a few hours, the FBI becomes the lead agency for resolving the standoff.

The FBI would institute a siege of the compound that would last 51 days.

After 51 days of standoff, Attorney General Janet Reno authorized a tear gas attack. Reno has cited a number of factors to explain why she endorsed the tear-gas plan. She has said that she had concluded that negotiations with the Branch Davidians were indefinitely stalemated, that the FBI’s hostage rescue team on duty at Waco was becoming fatigued, that the security perimeter established by the FBI around the compound was endangered and that the children inside the compound were at risk because of deteriorating sanitary conditions and the potential for sexual and physical abuse.

Monday, April 19, 1993: At 6:02 a.m., two FBI combat engineering vehicles, or CEVs, begin inserting gas into the compound through spray nozzles attached to a boom. At 6:04 a.m., the Davidians start shooting, and the FBI begin deploying Bradley vehicles to insert ferret rounds through the windows. At 6:31, the HRT reports that the entire building is being gassed. At about 7 a.m., RENO and senior advisors go to the FBI situation room. At 7:30, a CEV breaches the front side of the building on the first floor as it injects gas, and at 7:58 a.m., gas is inserted in the second floor of the back-right corner of the building. The FBI calls for more gas from outside Waco, and at 9:20 a.m., 48 more ferret rounds arrive from Houston.

At 11:40 a.m., the last ferret rounds are delivered. At 11:45 a.m., a wall on the right-rear side of the building collapses. At 12:07 p.m., There is the start of “simultaneous fires at three or more different locations within the compound.” Fire quickly consumes the compound.

TanksWaco:

According to medical examiners who performed the autopsies, CS gas did not directly kill any of the more than 80 Branch Davidians, including 22 children, who died in the fire on April 19. … Other experts have told FRONTLINE that CS gas may have totally incapacitated the children and others so that when the fire occurred, it would have rendered them incapable of escape. (4)

Synergic Containment of the Branch Davidian Church

This is not a criticism of the federal officers who were involved in the Adversary Containment at the Branch Davidian Church (BDC). Clearly the members of that church were heavily armed and dangerous. Four Federal ATF officers lost their lives and 16 were wounded in the first encounter on February 28. I would suggest that the mechanism of adversary containment is more dangerous for both the containment officers and for those being contained.

As a thought experiment, how would synergic containment work differently than adversary containment?

Remember, the goal of synergic containment is the protection of both humanity as community, and humanity as individuals. This goal could best be achieved by isolation of the BDC members and then disarming them. Once they were disarmed they would be taken into protective custody. All custody by Synergic Containment Officers is protective. Their mission is protection.

It was strongly suspected and later confirmed that the Branch Davidian members were heavily armed and dangerous. A Synergic Containment Force would act cautiously. They would encircle and establish a strong perimeter completely surrounding the compound. This perimeter would well back from the compound outside of rifle range. 

ContBDC:  

Remember the three tasks of the Synergic Containment Officers–contain, rescue, disarm.

Once the perimeter is contained the next step is the creation of one or more rescue corridors. These are protected passages to points as close to the center of the adversary event as possible to facilitate the rescue of individuals caught up in the event.

RescueCorridor:

In addition to observation from the perimeter and rescue corridor, the compound under be put under continuous observation from closer, but well protected observation sites, and communication established with the Church members. The church members would be unable to militarily engage the Containment Force without leaving the protection of their compound.

Those within the compound would then be ordered to put down their weapons and move out to the perimeter to voluntarily enter into protective custody. Those being contained would have a short time to voluntarily surrender. If there was no response, or a hostile response, the Synergic Containment Force would begin Containment Isolation of  the compound.

Once Containment Isolation is implemented, nothing goes in. Access to electricity, television, telephone, water, food and all outside supplies are a privilege to members of community in good standing. That privilege is suspended. Nothing goes in. Every thing would stop! Then the Containment Force would sit back and wait for them to come out.

Any unarmed member of the church could leave anytime by simply presenting to the rescue corridor for safe escort to the perimeter where they could voluntarily enter protective custody. Once out, no one goes back in unless and until Synergic Containment is lifted.

The compound would not be stormed or attacked in anyway. No barrage of noise, loud music, or teargas. They would be left to themselves without phones, television, newspapers, mail, electricity, water, etc.etc.. They are not being punished. The benefits of community are being suspended until they cease all adversity. I expect that most of the members would have come out and surrendered. Perhaps not all.

Once each day, the containment force would explicitly communicate with the contained adversaries, reminding them that safety, food, water, shelter and medical care wait for them at the perimeter. It would be made clear that to exit the containment zone, they need only put down their weapons and present to the rescue corridor, or perimeter. Any individual—adult or child—that did so would be given protection including water, food, medical care and shelter.

Why would they give up?

In today’s world, criminals that have been adversarily contained by the police feel they have nothing to lose. They may be surrounded by heavily armed swat teams looking to take them out with a long range shot. If they survive capture, they face trial, imprisonment, and sentences range from a few years to life in prison and can even be put to death by the state for a capital crime. This leads to an environment where trapped criminals may feel they have nothing to lose by shooting it out with the police.

Within Synergic Society, the Life Trust Guardians Division of Public Safety works differently. Once those caught up in an adversary event are contained and are in protective custody, the rest of the public safety process unfolds:


 

Scientific Investigation and Analysis of the Adversary Event

The Life Trust Guardians will assign public safety scientists to investigate and scientifically analyze the adversary event. These Science Officers are responsible for determining the true facts of the adversary event.

Remember mistakes are caused by ignorance, even those mistakes that injure people and seem deliberate. Science Officers will seek to determine what were the causes of the mistakes that led to the adversary event, and what specifically needs to be learned by the responsible parties to prevent further adversary events.

It is also their mission to determine who were the individuals responsible for the event. Those individuals who freely admit their responsibility for an adversary event will enter directly into the Education and Restitution phase. Those individuals accused of adversary action claiming innocence are entitled to a responsibility hearing.

Responsibility Hearing

Conducted by Hearing Officers, this is an evidentiary process which includes the scientific interrogation of both the alleged adversaries and the victims of the adversary event. The responsibility hearing differs from a criminal trial in significant ways. First, the end result of the responsibility hearing does not lead to punishment, it leads to education, rehabilitation, and restitution. Secondly, it is not an adversarial procedure. There is no prosecutor and no defense. No one is trying to hurt anyone in this process. The Responsibility Hearing is to determine the truth.

The needs and the safety of humanity as community takes precedent over the needs and safety of humanity as individuals. Truth has a higher value then fairness. Since no one is going to be punished, all parties are required to tell the truth. No human has the right to hurt another human. Public safety is paramount, and the truth will be the determining factor.

All parties may be interrogated by the Life Trust Guardians’ Hearing Officers utilizing any scientific techniques that are safe and effective. This could include hypnosis, lie detector technology, drug augmented interrogation, and new technologies and techniques not yet invented. In a synergic culture, you can be required to testify against yourself, or your spouse. There are no privileged conversations between lawyers and clients because there are no lawyers and clients. The truth will out. The purpose of the Fourth and Fifth Amendments to the American Constitution were to protect Free and Independent Citizens from an Adversary State. It was thought that if you could be made to testify against yourself, you could be tortured to confess to crimes you did not commit. This of course was true in an Adversary world with an Adversary State.

In a synergic culture, all Synergic Trust Guardians are held to the highest standards — they cannot hurt others, and in fact must help others. This standard applies as well to the Life Trust Guardians’ Containment, Science, and Hearing Officers.

If the officers of the Life Trust Guardians injure others in the course of their duties, they are subject to the same rules of public safety and are 100% responsible for their actions. They cannot torture anyone. They are also required to tell the truth and are also subject to scientific interrogation if accused of hurting others.

This commitment to the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth eliminates all of today’s legal loop holes that allows dangerous committed criminals to be released back to the public streets and have access to new victims. Once the Responsibility Hearing has been concluded and it has been determined who was responsible, the next phase of the process can begin.

Rehabilitation and Education of those Responsible 

Within a synergic society, Rehabilitation Officers are responsible for this phase. These Officers include Physicians, Psychiatrists, Psychologists and Teachers. Adversary behavior in a synergic culture is viewed as a psychiatric disease or adversary mental illness. Those responsible for dangerous and/or severe adversary events would be required to undergo extensive psychiatric and psychological evaluation to determine the extent of their adversary mental illness. They would then enter into a comprehensive treatment program.

If they were deemed a continuing public safety risk, they would surrender their freedom during treatment. No human has the right to hurt another human. They would remain incarcerated until they were cured. If they were never cured, they would never be released. As our knowledge of adversary mental disorders improved and as new techniques and therapies were created, we would gain in our ability to successfully treat and cure these disorders.

Once their adversary illnesses, were deemed cured, they would move forward to the educational program. Here they would join other individuals found free of adversary mental illness. In this educational phase, all individuals deemed responsible for an adversary event would undergo a program specifically designed for them to correct the errors and mistakes that led to their specific adversary event.  Once they completed their educational phase they would be  tested.

Rehabilitation Testing of those Responsible

These tests are to verify that those responsible have learned how to avoid future Adversary Events. Once the Rehabilitation Officers find an individual has fully recovered and is no longer a threat to the public safety. Once they have completed the program and demonstrated the understanding and knowledge necessary to avoid such events in the future, they would move on to the restitution phase.

Restitution Agreementsby those Responsible

In a synergic culture where not hurting others is required, and helping others is highly encouraged, restitution will be an important and common phenomena. Most of the time injuries to others will be accidental. All humans will make mistakes and often those mistakes will hurt others. Restitution is the mechanism of repair. We can’t always fix things, but we can always sincerely apologize and offer restitution.

The Life Trust Guardianship only gets involved when the injuries are deliberately caused by adversary actions. Following successful rehabilitation and education, documented with successful testing, then monitored restitution is mandatory.

Prevention of Future Adversary Events

Public safety is paramount. No human has the right to injure another human with an adversary action. Once such an event has occurred and you are found responsible you may be monitored and your freedom restricted until such time as the Life Trust Guardians have determined that you are safe without monitoring or restriction.

If the Life Trust Guardians release you from monitoring or restrictions and you hurt someone else in the future with another adversary action, then the Life Trust Guardians and the specific Officers involved in your release share responsibility with you for the adversary event. They are held accountable for failure to protect the public. This is a much higher standard then offered by today’s criminal justice system.

Prevention Agreements for Future Monitoring and Restrictions

Here, Rehabilitation Officers in co-laboration with the Prevention Officers will work together to determine what specific level of monitoring, surveillance, and personal freedom restrictions are necessary for the public safety. Because these officers share responsibility for future events with the perpetrators it is in their best interest to get it right. All terms and conditions will be negotiated in this phase. The responsible adversaries will take an active role in this negotiation. They will voluntarily enter into the Prevention Agreements as a condition for restoration of community privileges.  Periodically, reviews would occur and terms and conditions modified as appropriate. 

Future Monitoring

The final phase of the Rule of Public Safety is the responsibility of the Prevention Officers. In a synergic culture, humans found responsible for adversary actions even terrible adversary actions are not criminals. They are not felons. They are not punished. But they are contained. Life Trust Guardians will utilize the most advanced containment technology available — this could include implanted transponders and continuous monitoring systems.Whenever possible the responsible adversaries will be allowed to return to their lives and families. Even when incarcerated to the extent possible their lives will be normalized. This is discussed further in Protecting Humanity.


waco:

But, what about those members of the Branch Davidian Church who refuse to surrender? What if they don’t give up? Will Synergic Containment Officers ever storm such a compound?

The situation that faced the Federal Officers of the ATF and FBI in Waco Texas in 1993, was very dangerous. In the first encounter the ATF lost 4 officers dead and 16 wounded.
Many of the male members of BDC were military trained and all were  heavily armed. Most were barricaded inside a steel reinforced concrete bunker with high powered weapons and lots of ammunition. Dr. Rodney Crow, Chief of Identification Service who surveyed the killing field after the fire in 1993 said:

 

There were weapons everywhere. I don’t remember moving a body that didn’t have a gun melted to it, intertwined with it, between the legs, under the arm or in close proximity. … The women were probably more immersed in the weapons than anyone else, because there was so much weaponry inside the bunker. It was like sea shells on a beach, but they were spent casings and spent bullets. If you had rubber gloves and tried to smooth it away, you’d tear your gloves away from the bullet points that are unexploded, or unspent ammunition. Then as you went through layer after layer, you came upon weapons that were totally burned. Until we got down to the floor, and it was mint condition ammunition there. Ammunition boxes not even singed. … They stored the weapons in the safest place. Then on top of the bunker is where the 50-caliber was found.(5)

As those who have participated in WAR know, storming a well fortified bunker is very dangerous. Would Synergic Containment Officers ever storm such a bunker. I don’t know, but I hope not. 

The Texas Rangers who collected the weapons after the fire reported that in addition to the 50-caliber machine gun, they found  60 M-16 machine guns, 60 AK-47 assault rifles, about 30 AR-15 assault rifles, several .50-caliber sniper rifles and dozens of pistols.

Perhaps a better question is, Why were the members of this church allowed to buy hundreds of military weapons and such enormous quantities of military grade ammunition?

As you sow, so shall you reap.

Now certainly, the 22 children who died at Waco were innocent, and their deaths were tragic. I can’t imagine how they could have been protected by assaulting the compound with more high powered weapons. Even today, there remains much controversy as to whether the FBI’s actions of pushing the assault may have contributed to the children’s deaths. We may never know, but I don’t think that would be the case with Synergic Containment. A synergic force would have simply waited them out. As they got more and more hungry, thirsty and weaker, I expect most of them would have come out.

Would Synergic Containment prevent the leaders of the Branch Davidian Church from killing all the members and then committing suicide as  happened in Jonestown?

No! Not as I have described synergic containment here.

The purpose of Synergic Containment is the protection of Humanity as Community and Humanity as Individuals. When those two goals conflict, then the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the one.

Sometimes Containment Officers will risk their lives to rescue victims or hostages, but they will always do it cautiously and with great care. They will do it when they believe success if possible.

As for the children in Waco, unfortunately, their mothers and fathers failed to protect them. And, the ATF and FBI failed to protect them. That is indeed sad. I would hope that we could learn something from the mistakes that were made.

Synergic Containment of Iraq

You can’t cure adversity with adversity. As we watch the night and day ‘mares’ that serves as daily life for the Israeli and Palestinian peoples, we must see that “an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth” does not work.

I agree with President Bush that Saddam Hussein is a dangerous man. I agree that he must be contained and rendered impotent—incapable of hurting others. But, I differ with Bush on the method.

ConIraq:  

How would one Synergically Contain a rogue nation? For now, I leave that as a mental exercise for the reader.

Welcome

Thursday, October 10th, 2002

We continue with the third in our SafeEARTH series. See: 1) Beyond Crime and Punishment 2) Synergic Containment: Protecting Children


 

Synergic Containment

Science and Rationale

Timothy Wilken, MD

Synergy at its most basic simply means “working together.” Synergic science is then the study of “working together.” As science has progressed in helping us understand the human condition, it is now clear that we are an interdependent species. Sometimes I depend on others, and sometimes others depend on me. Another important fact of being in interdependent species is we share the same environment—the same reality.

Shared Reality

At home, we share the same living space with friends or family. If I turn the heater thermostat up, the room will become warmer for everyone. Control of that reality is shared. If I start yelling and screaming, things will get much noisier for everyone. Control of that reality is shared. If I make a mess or don’t clean up the kitchen, then we are all living in that mess.

This is just as true in the workplace, our neighborhoods, our communities, and in fact in the whole world. We live on a single planet, we all share the same water, the same air and the same resources of the single small planet.

Because control of reality is shared, if I foul the water or air, I foul your water and your air. Whatever I do, will effect you. Whatever you do, will effect me. If we work together and act responsibly, we can minimize the harm we do each other, and maximize the benefits of solving our problems together.

Freedom of action in a shared environment is a privilege, not a right. When we use Synergic Containment to protect a child, we are teaching the child that in a shared environment, he is free to act as long as those actions do not hurt others. We are teaching him to work together and act responsibly.

Synergic containment is probably most attractive to parents because it is a technique to control adversary behavior when you love and care about the individual behaving adversarily. Most parents love and care about their children. Containment is about protecting both the victim and the aggressor. It does this by stopping adversary behavior. Now synergic containment could be used just as effectively outside the family.

Community Use of Synergic Containment 

Throughout the long history of humanity, the primary mechanism for controlling adversary behavior has been adversary punishment. In the short term, adversary punishment seems successful in controlling adversary behavior, but punishment always hurts and injures the one being controlled. This injury tends to breed anger and resentment in the one being punished. Of course the effect is longer if you kill the aggressor, at least until their children grow up.

Now, outside the family, we often do not know or care about the individual being controlled with adversary punishment. So we are less disturbed that they are being injured and hurt. In fact we often identify with the victim, and feel it is only fair that they suffer for their crimes. It is an “eye for an eye,” and a “tooth for a tooth.” It is our very definition of justice.

What we are missing here, is that adversary punishment fails to stop adversary behavior in the long run. Punishment breeds hostility, hatred and eventually revenge. The Israelis and Palestinians have been punishing each other for decades, with no sign that the mutual adversary behavior in their communities is stopping or even slowing. “As you sow, so shall you reap!” You can’t stop adversity with adversity.

We have been adversarily punishing serious crimes in the United States for over 200 years. As the FBI reported in 1998: Despite the fact that as of “midyear 1998, the United States’ prisons and jails incarcerated an estimated 1,802,496 criminals”, in the year 1997, “the number of violent crimes—murder, manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault —and property crimes—burglary, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft —reported to the police departments in the United States totaled 13,175,070.” (2)

Community’s Right of Synergic Containment

In Gene Roddenberry’s original Star Trek,  Mr. Spock, the Vulcan Science Officer from a race ruled by logic, would remind his shipmates that: “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or of the one.”

spock:  

The human body is a community of 40 trillion individual cells. The individual cells are organized synergically to be interdependent upon each other. They cannot separate themselves from the body as community. The survival of the cells depends on the survival of the body. The needs and safety of the body precedes the needs and safety of the individual cells. Sometimes individual cells are injured or even sacrificed to protect and insure the survival of the body as a whole. The needs and safety of the community of cells takes precedence over the needs and safety of the cells as individuals.

The Needs of the Many

Which is more important? The individual’s right to freedom of action or community’s right to public safety? We can now see that this is a silly and false argument. Community is simply “many” individuals. My freedom of action stops at the boundary of another individual’s personal space and safety.

America has long been the champion of the individual’s right to freedom of action. In fact, our American criminal justice system is so paralyzed by the need to protect the rights of the individual, that our streets are full of criminals, and our e-mail boxes are full of unsolicited junk mail and garbage including pornography and fraudulent offers. Why do we tolerate this? Isn’t it time to grow up? Aren’t we smart enough to create a society that values both an individual’s right to freedom of action and the community’s right to public safety.

With the discovery that humanity is an interdependent species comes the realization that we humans can no longer separate ourselves from community. Humanity as community is larger and contains humanity as individuals. The needs and safety of humanity as community must precede the needs and safety of humanity as individuals.

Community’s Right to Synergic Containment rests on the premise that if you deliberately harm other members of community, you will lose freedom of action within that community. If I harm others in a shared environment, I should expect community to contain my behavior—I should expect community to restrict my  freedom of action.

The Rule of Public Safety is that no human should be allowed to deliberately injure another human—that all adversary actions should ideally be prevented and when not prevented quickly contained.

Our present culture based on the false premise of human independence often places individual needs and safety over community needs and safety. This will shift dramatically in a synergic culture. If we humans choose a positive future, we would want a system that provides both for the protection and safety of humanity as community and humanity as individual.

Life Trust Guardians

This future system might well be modeled after the most successful systems on the planet—the living systems. Your body has a powerful immune system which protects the organism as individual cells and the organism as a whole.

In my proposal for protecting humanity, I have defined those who would assume this role as Life Trust Guardians. Their mission would be the protection of both humanity as community and humanity as individuals. They are bound by two laws.

The Code of the Life Trust Guardians

1) A Life Trust Guardian may not injure humanity or, through inaction, allow humanity to come to harm.

2) A Life Trust Guardian may not injure an individual human being, or through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm, except where that would conflict with the First Law.  

The first law of the of the Code commits to protect Humanity as Community. The second law commits to protect Humanity as Individuals. This represents a major shift in human values from today’s focus with the individual as primary to tomorrow’s focus with community as primary.

While Life Trust Guardians are responsible for the safety of both humanity as community and humanity as individuals, the needs and safety of community take precedent over the needs and safety of individuals.

This does not suggest a casual attitude toward the rights of individuals. Life Trust Guardians may not injure a human being, or through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm, except where that would cause injury to humanity as a whole — except where that would cause injury to humanity as community. When an adversary event presents no risk to humanity as community then the Synergic Containment Officer’s first responsibility is to the safety of the individual. (3)

Protecting the Public

The Life Trust Guardians (LTG) as described in A Synergic Future have large responsibilities. Here we will only address their role in protecting public safety.

The Public Safety Division of the LTG would be entrusted with protecting the public safety by containment and prevention of adversary events. They will utilize synergic mechanism based on synergic morality to insure freedom from crime. This synergic organization will act more like our body’s immune system, than the law enforcement agencies we are familiar with today. Life Trust Guardians accept the premise that adversary behavior is caused by ignorance and not badness. This is discussed at length elsewhere in Beyond Crime and Punishment. Life Trust Guardians are synergists. They operate in the synergic paradigm.

Adversary

Synergic

MISTAKES = Badness MISTAKES = Ignorance
INVESTIGATE ANALYZE
ACCUSE & BLAME DETERMINE RESPONSIBILITY
PUNISH

—> self-punish

EDUCATE

—> self-educate

“Guilt”   

  “Learn”   

regret->

RESTITUTION

Life Trust Guardians accept as their responsibility the protection of humanity as community as well as humanity as individuals.

The Rule of Public Safety is that no human should be allowed to deliberately injure another human— that all adversary actions should ideally be prevented and when not prevented quickly contained.

The Public Safety Division of the Life Trust Guardians accomplish the rule of public safety by:

  • 1) Seeking the Containment of all adversary events,

  • 2) Performing Scientific analysis and investigation of all adversary events to determine the causes and parties responsible,

  • 3) Holding Responsibility Hearings when those suspected of adversary actions claim innocence,

  • 4) Providing Rehabilitation of those responsible for serious and dangerous adversary events up to and including incarceration for long term psychiatric and psychological treatment until they are found to be fully recovered and no longer a threat to the public safety,

  • 5) Providing Education of those responsible for adversary events until they possess the understanding and knowledge necessary to avoid such events in the future,

  • 6) Seeking Restitution from the responsible parties to repair to extent possible the injuries that their adversary actions have caused, and

  • 7) And, always working toward Prevention of future adversary events, by monitoring and/or restricting personal freedom as appropriate to protect the public. (3)

The Public Safety Division is composed various pubic safety specialists. These include: Synergic Containment OfficersScience Officers, Hearing Officers, Rehabilitation Officers, and Prevention Officers.

Let us examine the process in more detail. When an adversary event occurs and an injury is reported to the Life Trust Guardians, they will dispense Containment Officers to the scene of the injury to analyze the adversary event, and if further risk to body or life exists, contain it.

Principles of Synergic Containment

1) Protection and safety of Humanity as Community.

2) Protection and safety of Humanity as Individual

3) When in conflict, the protection and safety of Community takes precedence over the protection and safety of the Individual.  “The needs of the many outweighs the needs of the few or of the one.” A community is a collection of many individuals.

4) The force of Synergic Containment is overwhelmingly powerful. The power of community is much much greater than the power of any individual or group of individuals. The power of the many outweighs the power of the few or of the one.

5) The force of Synergic Containment is never applied to punish others for wrongdoing. It is applied only to protect. The goal is to protect the largest number of individuals possible. Because this force is so powerful it must be applied carefully. It is always applied with love and compassion. It is always applied thoughtfully, carefully, intelligently, cautiously, and calmly. Ideally, individuals win, community wins, Life wins and the Earth wins. If some must lose, all efforts will be made to minimize that loss.

Depending on the nature and severity of the adversary event, Containment Officers have the authority to take those suspected of adversary actions into custody. Public safety is paramount. Suspects are required to cooperate with the Containment Officers, and if asked to enter into custody to do so voluntarily.

Containment of adversary events is the prime responsibility of the Synergic Containment Officers. They are required to protect themselves and the public. If a suspect resists being taken into custody, the Containment Officers will utilize the most advanced containment technology in every effort to avoid injury to the suspects, but if the suspects resist, Containment Officers are authorized to use whatever level of force necessary to insure public safety. This includes authorization to use deadly force.

When a synergist is containing an adversary, he must speak the language they understand—the language of force.

While our immune system lacks any ability to repair or rehabilitate cancer cells, the Life Trust Guardians should have much greater success rehabilitating and educating adversarily behaving humans. In a synergic future, all Physicians, Psychiatrists and Psychologists will be Life Trust Guardians. As humanity becomes more synergic and our knowledge of human psychology becomes greater, the need for deadly force should diminish.

In a moment we will examine how this might work in the real world, but first we need to define what it means to be “hurt”. Recall, when an adversary event occurs and an injury is reported to the Life Trust Guardians, they will dispense Containment Officers to the scene of the injury to analyze the adversary event.

Today, if you have a house fire you call the fire department. If you have home accident with personal injury, you call an ambulance. Now within synergic society all of these problems would be reported to and handled by the Life Trust Guardians, but Synergic Containment Officers would only respond to reports of adversary events.

An adversary event involves the intentionally injuring or threatening to injure other individuals–fighting and flighting–pain and dying. This is where we find conflict–the struggle to avoid losing–the struggle to avoid being hurt or killed. These are the events that our police forces respond to today.

Synergic Containment

Synergic Containment Officers are only responsible for containment of adversary events.

AdvEv:

Their first task will be to contain the adversary event, and prevent the event from spreading further into community and involving new victims. 

ContainedEvent:  

Synergic society does not view the perpetrators as bad or criminal. However, they certainly recognize that they are dangerous. Recall in our initial discussion of using synergic containment to protect children, we are seeking to contain and protect all the individuals caught up in an adversary event—both victims and perpetrators. Containment is about protecting both the victim and the aggressor.

Synergic Rescue 

Once the adversary event has been contained, the second task becomes to safely rescue all of the individuals caught up in the event. This rescue is prioritized. First to be rescued are victims at greatest risk for further harm, then victims at lower risk. Once the victims are safe, the synergic containment officers will begin their rescue of the perpetrators.

 Synergic Disarmament

If those perpetrating the adversary event have weapons, they must be disarmed. Today, the danger of adversary events is greatly magnified by access to weapons. We humans are Time-binders. That means as a species we can create knowledge without limit. When we incorporate knowledge into matter-energy it is called a tool. Because knowledge can grow without limit, tools can also grow without limit. When tools are used to hurt others, they are called weapons. In our modern world, we have created ever more powerful weapons. These weapons are not safe in the hands of ignorance.

Once the perpetrators of an adversary event are contained, their victims rescued, then they will be disarmed, this must be effected before they can be rescued.

Next: Synergic Containment: Protecting Community