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Monday, August 11th, 2008

These principles for non-violence were adopted for the first “Season for Non-violence” in 1998. They were inspired by the works of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King. You may like to print out a copy for yourself, and experience your own season for nonviolence.

A Season for Nonviolence: 64 Ways in 64 Days

Daily Commitments to Live By

1 — Today, I will reflect on what peace means to me.

2 — Today, I will look at opportunities to be a peacemaker.

3 — Today, I will practice non-violence and respect for Mother Earth by making good use of her resources.

4 — Today, I will take time to admire and appreciate nature.

5 — Today, I will plant seeds–plants or constructive ideas.

6 — Today, I will hold a vision of plenty for all the world’s hungry and be open to guidance as to how I can help alleviate some of that hunger.

7 — Today, I will acknowledge every human being’s fundamental right to justice, equity, and equality.

8 — Today, I will appreciate the earth’s bounty and all of those who work to make my food available (i.e., grower, trucker, grocery clerk, cook, waitress, etc.)

9 — Today, I will work to understand and respect another culture.

10 — Today, I will oppose injustice, not people.

11 — Today, I will look beyond stereotypes and prejudices.

12 — Today, I will choose to be aware of what I talk about and I will refuse to gossip.

13 — Today, I will live in the present moment and release the past.

14 — Today, I will silently acknowledge all the leaders throughout the world.

15 — Today, I will speak with kindness, respect, and patience to every person that I talk with on the telephone.

16 — Today, I will affirm my value and worth with positive “self talk” and refuse to put myself down.

17 — Today, I will tell the truth and speak honestly from the heart.

18 — Today, I will cause a ripple effect of good by an act of kindness toward another.

19 — Today, I will choose to use my talents to serve others by volunteering a portion of my time.

20 — Today, I will say a blessing for greater understanding whenever I see evidence of crime, vandalism, or graffiti.

21 — Today, I will say “No” to ideas or actions that violate me or others.

22 — Today, I will turn off anything that portrays or supports violence whether on television, in the movies, or on the Internet.

23 — Today, I will greet this day–everyone and everything–with openness and acceptance as if I were encountering them for the first time.

24 — Today, I will drive with tolerance and patience.

25 — Today, I will constructively channel my anger, frustration, or jealousy into healthy physical activities (i.e., doing sit-ups, picking up trash, taking a walk, etc).

26 — Today, I will take time to appreciate the people who provide me with challenges in my life, especially those who make me angry or frustrated.

27 — Today, I will talk less and listen more.

28 — Today, I will notice the peacefulness in the world around me.

29 — Today, I will recognize that my actions directly affect others.

30 — Today, I will take time to tell a family member or friend how much they mean to me.

31 — Today, I will acknowledge and thank someone for acting kindly.

32 — Today, I will send a kind, anonymous message to someone.

33 — Today, I will identify something special in everyone I meet.

34 — Today, I will discuss ideas about nonviolence with a friend to gain new perspectives.

35 — Today, I will practice praise rather than criticism.

36 — Today, I will strive to learn from my mistakes.

37 — Today, I will tell at least one person they are special and important.

38 — Today, I will hold children tenderly in thought and/or action.

39 — Today, I will listen without defending and speak without judgment.

40 — Today, I will help someone in trouble.

41 — Today, I will listen with an open heart to at least one person.

42 — Today, I will treat the elderly I encounter with respect and dignity.

43 — Today, I will treat the children I encounter with respect and care, knowing that I serve as a model to them.

44 — Today, I will see my so-workers in a new light–with understanding and compassion.

45 — Today, I will be open to other ways of thinking and acting that are different from my own.

46 — Today, I will think of at least three alternate ways I can handle a situation when confronted with conflict.

47 — Today, I will work to help others resolve differences.

48 — Today, I will express my feeling honestly and non-violently with respect for myself and others.

49 — Today, I will sit down with my family for one meal.

50 — Today, I will set an example of a peacemaker by promoting non-violent responses.

51 — Today, I will use no violent language.

52 — Today, I will pause for reflection.

53 — Today, I will hold no one hostage to the past, seeing each-as I see myself-as a work in process.

54 — Today, I will make a conscious effort to smile at someone whom I have held a grudge against in the past.

55 — Today, I will practice compassion and forgiveness by apologizing to someone whom I have hurt in the past.

56 — Today, I will reflect on whom I need to forgive and take at least one step in that direction.

57 — Today, I will forgive myself.

58 — Today, I will embrace the spiritual belief of my heart in my own personal and reflective way.

59 — Today, I will enlarge my capacity to embrace differences and appreciate the value of every human being.

60 — Today, I will be compassionate in my thoughts, words, and actions.

61 — Today, I will cultivate my moral strength and courage through education and creative non-violent action.

62 — Today, I will practice compassion and forgiveness for myself and others.

63 — Today, I will use my talents to serve others as well as myself.

64 — Today, I will serve humanity by dedicating myself to a vision greater than myself.

Reposted from World Good News.

Front Page

Sunday, August 3rd, 2008

This article was originally published in a 2002 edition of World Affairs: The Journal of International Issues. The article discusses the very special co-Operative community of Mondragon, Spain.

Beginning this September 28 through October 4, 2008, the Praxis Peace Institute has organized a 5-day workshop/seminar with the Mondragon Cooperatives in the Basque country of Spain. The purpose of the seminar is to learn about worker owned and managed cooperative businesses from the leading consortium of cooperatives in the world.

Mondragon: The Loving Society That Is Our Inevitable Future

Terry Mollner

    My first visit to Mondragon was in 1979. I had been searching the globe for years for a Relationship Age society which was also fully integrated into the modern world. My initial reaction to Mondragon was utter amazement. I had never expected to find such a mature and comprehensive example.

    The inspiration behind Mondragon was a Catholic priest who in his own way understood the difference between the Material Age (Newtonian) and Relationship Age (quantum) worldviews. From the beginning he was about the business of creating a society based on the latter.

    His first assignment upon leaving the seminary in 1941 was to be an assistant pastor at the Catholic church in the small town of Mondragon which is high in the Pyrennes Mountains of northern Spain. Mondragon is in the Basque region and Father Don Jose Maria Arizmendiarrietta was Basque. This was just after the Spanish Civil War which had been won by General Francisco Franco and his fascist party.

    Franco had had a difficult time defeating the Basques who had sided with the freely elected democratic socialist government against the fascists. If the democratic socialists won, the Basques had been promised an amicable separation from Spain so they could create their own nation. As a result, after the war Franco treated the Basques like an occupied nation. He even outlawed the Basque language. As you can imagine, this forged a strong bond among the Basques. This was on top of the deep solidarity which already exists within Basque society.

    The rainfall in the Pyrennes is such that there has never been a drought. Thus the Basques have never had to migrate. They have lived in those mountains for as long as there has been recorded history. Also, their farming and village life has been based on consensual democratic policies for as long as they can remember. At the same time, they have always been dominated by other people. These conditions, plus a unique language and common religion, have forged a deep feeling of family among the Basque people.

    So Father Arizmendi, not only a devout Catholic but also a devout Basque, set about building a Relationship Age society by extending into more sophisticated realms the Relationship Age values which were already present in Basque society. Since Mondragon was a small town very far off of the beaten paths, the people in Mondragon not only had the solidarity of history but also the immediate experience of being prisoners in a prison camp. In this setting, as is usually true of oppressed and imprisoned people, it was natural for Mondragonians to give priority to their identity as Basques — the common good of the group — over their self-interests. A very fertile soil within which to begin.

The Philosophy of Father Arizmendi

    To this mix Don Jose Maria added a pinch of wisdom. Mondragon is based on the non-material (call it “agreements” or “mind” or “spirit” or
“relationship”). The common good is given priority over a particular good. Or, said another way, people (what is possible for self-conscious beings) come before things.

    What is right relationship among people? We all know from our personal experience that the one word answer to this question is “love.” But how does love play itself out in the structuring of a business enterprise?

    From my research on philosopher Arizmendi, I have concluded that he observed that lovers behave differently around “things” than enemies do. If we are lovers and we have an apple which we both want, we probably will split the apple as evenly as possible and share it. If one of us has not eaten all day and the other just has had a full meal, the latter will take a little piece and give the rest to the former.

    Lovers behave as if they have only one mind and one body. With little effort they share resources as easily together as they make decisions alone.

    Enemies, on the other hand, behave in the opposite manner. If we are enemies and we have an apple, one of us might try to gobble it down while the other is not noticing. Or, if too smart for that, we might agree to share it by cutting it in half. Then we would both try to take the bigger piece even if one of us has just had a full meal.

    Enemies behave as if they have two different minds and bodies. This is because they think “things” are most important. There being only so many things around at any one time, they try to acquire as many of them as they can. Life for them is a process of competing and taking.

    The difference between friends and enemies lies in the fact that the relationship among friends can be timeless and spaceless. For instance, if we make a mistake with a loved one, apologize and are forgiven, it can be as if it never happened. Yet materially it did happen. Relationship can be timeless and spaceless; matter is in time and space. If the relationship is truly loving, there can be no conflict around matter.

    Arizmendi simply extended this relationship of oneness known by all in friendships and between lovers into the relationship with all things, even with those who see themselves as our enemies – like Franco and his Guardia Civil soldiers which were nearly always in view. Arizmendi pointed out that they were powerless to decide what people were thinking in their minds.  Thus, rather than confront them, which would be acting as if they could, Arizmendi separated what people were doing from the language and belief system within which they were doing it. “Let’s do what we want to do and then simply talk about it in their language and ideas,” is the kind of thing Don Jose Maria might have said. “Since in their worldview they do not think what we are doing is possible, they will think we are doing what they want us to be doing because we are talking their language. We will be left alone to do exactly what we want to do right under their noses. They will be happy and we will be happy without there being any need for confrontation. Soon they will discover that we are growing and they are not because they are stuck standing there watching us.” Of course, they also wanted the occupation to end and they would work for that as well, but in the meantime they would be happy and prosperous and be building a society of their own. Thus, as you can see, Father Arizmendi’s non-violent or loving methods of dealing with an oppressor in this setting did not even necessitate confrontation. (This makes me think that perhaps Father Arizmendi took non-violent political action to another stage of maturity beyond where Mahatma Gandhi had takenÖto post-confrontation.)

The History of Mondragon

    In 1943 Father Arizmendi assisted the students in his youth group to start a cooperative technical high school using funds donated by the community. There were parents, students, teachers, administrators, and community members on its Board of Trustees. He became head of the school. He taught his students and many in the community through his evening adult study group classes and conversations in bars his Relationship Age philosophy as the way up and out of their predicament. He was not charismatic – people fell asleep during his sermons – but he was sure of his views, consistent, and persistent. The question for which he is most remembered is, “How can we do this in a way which works fully for those in the enterprise and those in the community rather than for one more than the other?” He never let them believe that it was necessary for someone to win and someone to lose. Giving priority to the common good allowed all to win.

    By 1954 five of his original eleven youth group boys who had gone to college had worked their way up to management levels at the large industrial company in town, the Union Carrejera. However, they became frustrated in their efforts to apply Father Arizmendi’s ideas. So they left and formed a new company (Ulgor) where they could implement his teachings. They raised funds from local townspeople, just as they had when they had started the technical school. In 1956 they opened a small paraffin stove factory with 24 people. When butane gas arrived in Spain, they converted to butane stoves and caught the industrial wave entering Spain. Within one year, they had 117 owner-workers and had bought two nearby foundries.

    Today, the “Mondragon Cooperatives” is an association of over 200 cooperative enterprises, more than 100 of which are owner-worker industrial cooperatives. (Of course, Relationship Age companies do not need to be democratically owned and controlled by the workers; but as is the case with all relationships which allow for maturation, there is a tendency to eventually become democratic and then consensually democratic.) Beautiful, clean, and modern factories stretch out along the valley for several miles and are scattered throughout the Basque region of northern Spain. There are more than 30,000 members whose jobs are virtually guaranteed for life.

     More than half of the Mondragon companies are focused on industry, producing the full range of consumer and industrial goods, ranging from plastic rulers to bicycles to robots.  Collectively, they are Spain’s top producers of industrial machinery and major home appliances–refrigerators, stoves, washers and dryers, machine tools, etc.  In addition, the Mondragon enterprises lead the way in heavy construction, furniture production, farming and high technology.  Spain’s first producer of computer chips was a Mondragon firm.

     Coop members have a broad health insurance plan for their families, a private unemployment program which pays 80 percent of take-home pay if a owner-worker is ever laid off, and a pension program, separate from their accumulation of profits, paying 60 percent of their salary on the last day of work until death.  Upon retirement, most members are also offered a plot for a vegetable garden if they don’t happen to have one where they live.

      The over 200 independent “relationship cooperatives,” as I call them to distinguish them from Material Age cooperatives, are members of an association that owns and controls its own bank, The Caja Laboral Popular (The Bank of the Working People).  As might be expected, all the businesses do their banking with their own bank.

Relationship Entrepreneurship

     I was amazed when I learned that the Entrepreneurial Division, which provides venture capital for developing new relationship cooperatives, has close to a 100 percent success rate!  In other words, nearly every relationship cooperative it has capitalized has succeeded.  By contrast, venture capitalists in the United States consider a 20 percent success rate respectable, with 80 percent of all new businesses failing within the first five years. 

    The secret of Mondragon’s success is that they have a unique approach to business development which virtually guarantees success every time. It not only assumes every new business will succeed, it makes a commitment to the business until it does and it backs this pledge with a highly-skilled staff at the Association’s Entrepreneurial Division.

    They only begin with a group of people who are already friends, never with one individual. They view these natural bonds of friendship as the bedrock upon which the new firm is built. Then the Bank and the founding group agree to stay together until the business is profitable. The members of the founder group put up twice the membership fee others will invest and the Bank loans the business the rest of the capital at approximately 13%. If the business has difficulty, the Bank loans any additional capital at 8%. If more trouble, 0%. If still more trouble, the Bank will donate capital to the business. In other words, the riskier the loan the lower the interest rate!  Eventually, even if they have to switch managers or even their product line, the business becomes successful and is able to repay much if not all of the loans, although the Bank often uses a portion of its profits to reduced the size of the loans of all of its relationship cooperative businesses.

    You may think this is a very unusual relationship that has been created. However, it is not as foreign as you might think. The Bank is simply relating with these new businesses in the same way any large company relates with any new division it has created to produce a new product. The only difference is that the Bank itself is a division of the one conglomerate called the Mondragon Cooperatives and this is its particular task. The circle defining our “we” has simply been extended by all beyond the corporation to include not only the Bank but the entire community.

    Unlike conventional businesses of the Material Age which rank their priorities capital-product-managers-workers, Mondragon ranks its priorities in exactly the opposite order: workers-managers-product-capital. People are given the highest priority and “things” the lowest.

    Because capital is mainly stored labor and since the entire community is behind the creation of any business, nothing – not even capital – is ever abandoned. As long as the community is willing to put labor into the formation of a business, there will be capital available. This way the Bank never has defaulted loans, interest rates can be lower for riskier loans because the Bank will never abandon the business (so it’s better to not overburden it), the owner-workers get guaranteed jobs for life, the community gets a stable commercial sector, and the consumers get high quality, inexpensive products. Everyone wins.

     In Mondragon, the venture capital to finance new businesses comes from the savings accounts of bank depositors!  This is virtually never done elsewhere.  Does this scare depositors?  Apparently not.   The Caja Laboral Popular is one of the fastest growing and most  successful banks in the world, with a branch in nearly every Basque neighborhood and more than a million depositors. It has $5 billion in total assets. To assure that the businesses remain strong, the seasoned business experts at the Entrepreneurial Division monitor the performance of every relationship cooperative on a monthly basis and are quick to recommend action if any difficulties emerge.

Mondragon’s Commercial and Community Businesses

     The Mondragon association has not limited its activities to business and banking.  Its total approach includes the needs of workers, their families and the surrounding community.  They have participated in nearly every realm of community development. They have built over forty cooperative housing complexes, many incorporating grocery stores and other retail shops.  They have created the equivalent of private day care, grade school, high school, and higher education facilities.  The Mondragon educational system includes over forty schools and a college. In addition, there is a student relationship cooperative which allows working students to fully cover their tuition and living expenses for their private high school and college while offering the experience of running their own relationship cooperative.  Looking at all these benefits, it is no wonder that people brought up in the system usually stay. To support this, children of members go to the head of the line of those seeking positions in the relationship economy.

     The association of Mondragon Cooperatives includes a health maintenance organization, a health insurance company, their own social security system, and a chain of over 300 cooperative food stores — some of which include consumer retail complexes similar to K-Mart or Walmart – with over $600 million in annual sales.

    As of the early 1990s, the profitability of the Mondragon cooperatives was twice that of the average corporation in Spain.  Of even greater significance, worker productivity in the cooperatives is higher than in any other organization in Spain.  While much of their success in this area is the result of Mondragon’s innovative management approach, it can also be attributed to their aggressive use of high-technology production methods, such as robotics. And casting all conclusions about the management performance of Material Age cooperatives aside, in a study by the Anglo-German Foundation for the Study of Industrial Society, the management was found to be some of the most aggressive and innovative ever seen by the Foundation’s staff. Also, the members were found to be highly motivated and personally fulfilled by their jobs.

     The commercial enterprises of the Mondragon Cooperatives sold over $1.6 billion worth of goods and services in 1987.  19% percent of this for export.  And during the deep European business recession of the late 1970s and early 1980s, when 20 percent of the employees in the surrounding economy lost their jobs, the relationship cooperatives increased employment by 36 percent!

      In light of the Mondragon Cooperatives’ extraordinary success record it should come as no surprise that the Association became the Basque’s model for the future.  What is surprising is that the cooperatives were built in spite of suffering through over forty years of repression under General Francisco Franco – a testament to the wisdom of Father Arizmendi.  The Spanish dictator died in 1975 but the Basques were not granted local autonomy until 1982.  Then, in the l989 meeting of the Basque National Congress, Mondragon’s “third way” was adopted as the official economic policy of the new Basque nation. This may be the first nation in modern times to commit itself to the development of relationship economics.

The Structure of a Mondragon Enterprise

    Having articulated his philosophy, Father Arizmendi asked his young students and the men and women in the bars and drinking clubs, “If these ideas are true, what kind of an organization does it suggest?”

    First, they realized that if they wanted to have a loving organization, they could not define seemingly opposite roles, for example workers and owners, as the responsibility of different people, as if these roles could be separated in time and space. Are not we all both full co-owners and co-workers of the planet at all times before we are anything else?

    To have easy and freely chosen one-mindedness, it is best if the owner and the worker in a business are the same person.  If I am the person who decides what movie to go to and you are the person who goes to the movie, that will seem ludicrous to us.  In this example, we easily can see that to separate the choosing  and the doing  from one another in time and space (into different bodies) brings fear into the relationship.  We will each fear that the other will not be sensitive enough to our needs and wants.  The potential for conflict is great.

    If I am the chooser and  the doer, however, I have no fear at all.  I know I will be sensitive to my needs and wants so the relationship between the chooser and doer, being both in me, is peaceful.  This inner peace is the result of my freedom; the capitalist in me is happy.

    If you and I are going to a movie together and we both are the chooser and the doer, then our relationship can be timeless and spaceless.  If we are lovers and you want to go to movie A and I want to go to movie B, we will talk about it.  If you want to go to movie A more that I want to go to movie B, we will decide to go to movie A.  We will both be happy — yet in the material world I did not get anything I initially wanted while you got everything you first wanted.  We are happy because we freely acted as if we had one mind.  The limitations of the material world are fully accepted; we could only go to one movie together.  There is peace in the relationship.  This peace is the result of solidarity; the democratic socialist in us is happy.

    Then Father Arizmendi rose above and beyond the Material Age of capitalism and democratic socialism by identifying this as not only the loving relationship between the roles of owner and worker but also between the enterprise and everyone outside the enterprise. The individual freedom of others is honored and the good of all is given priority. Thus, this democratic enterprise is also unlike most other democratic workplaces which explains why it is so successful and most Material Age cooperatives have more often then not struggled or failed. In a
“relationship cooperative” all share the same top priority – the common good. In a Material Age cooperative, each has a different highest priority – each individual’s self-interest.  Conflict, not cooperation, is still the basis of the philosophy. Thus, as at Mondragon, the Relationship Age worldview will eventually allow a plethora of democratic workplaces to emerge and flourish within a free market economy.

    So, the first rule of a relationship cooperative is that the chooser and the doer, the owner and the worker — must be the same person.  This merger of roles must go beyond titles and become the actual inner and outer (operational) experience of each member.

    Each worker not only invests in the business by working all day but also, for the business to succeed, the worker must also become equally invested as an owner. Mondragon believes there is only one thing that will assure this investment as an owner and that is risking capital (stored labor).  Everyone knows what ownership is.  It is being at risk if something which is yours gets damaged or lost.  People can be fully invested in something without being financially at risk.  However, Mondragon wants everyone in the community to be equally invested to be members.  So they need to make sure everyone becomes invested 100 percent as an owner.  To ensure this, every member is required to loan the cooperative a substantial sum (without collateral) which is the equivalent of the lowest  annual salary (about $15,000 in U.S. dollars).

    New members do not have to possess this capital on day one.  They simply sign a note and it will be withheld from their salary over time with no interest attached.  Membership, thereby, is open to all, regardless of financial circumstances.  If the business goes bankrupt the next day, however, the owner-workers will still need to pay off the loan to the bankruptcy courts.  In other words, even though the capital was not loaned on day one, the owner-worker is fully at risk and invested as an owner from the beginning.

    The rest of the structure of a Mondragon cooperative is equally insightful into human nature.  Only members of the cooperative can be on its Board of Trustees.  This assures adult-adult psychology patterns.  Many owner-worker cooperatives in the past have invited non-members to be on their boards, resulting in parent-child (chooser-doer) psychological patterns.

    Each board has two main committees:  the Management Council and the Social Council.   The manager is an owner-worker who is hired as manager for a four-year term.  During that time the manager cannot be told what to do; he or she can only be demoted.  This unique aspect of the Mondragon design is based on the recognition that management is a specialty skill.  So Mondragon hires skilled managers and then gets out of their way and lets them do their jobs.  This has solved perhaps one of the greatest problems of all other owner-worker cooperative experiments.

    In past efforts, managers were suspect because the workers had come from capitalist enterprises where the hierarchy was used as a power tool.  As a result managers often did not have specialized training and, even if they did, the other owner-workers used their influence to demand changes in management’s business plan without sensitivity to the sophistication of its design.  Because of these tendencies toward ineffective management, it has been widely believed that democratic ownership could never compete in a capitalist society.

    Mondragon has solved this problem by identifying the essence of hierarchy.  They discovered that its essence is efficiency and not power.  A hierarchical division of labor is the most efficient way for a group of people to do a complex task; and if the relationships among the people are of the timeless and spaceless variety described earlier, then hierarchy is only an efficiency system.

    Thus, Article 4 of the Social Statutes of Ulgor (the first cooperative), as written by Father Arizmendi, reads:   “Work is the means adopted for attaining a higher level of satisfaction for human aspirations and demonstrating collaboration with the other members of the community to promote the common good.  To ensure that it is contributed freely, productively, and in a manner that makes everyone’s collaboration viable, the members shall respect its discipline, namely a hierarchy . . .”

    At the same time, the Social Council provides the equivalent of a union within  the cooperative structure and also serves as a forum to provide workers the opportunity for full participation in management. 

    Every division of 20 to 50 owner-workers in each business conducts at least a monthly work-group meeting to discuss any issues which have arisen.  Each division has a representative who will meet with all the other representatives in the Social Council.  The Board of Trustees delegate to the Social Council all the issues with which unions are normally concerned:  job descriptions, salary scales, fringe benefits, safety, etc.  The Social Council is also responsible for donating 10 percent of any annual company profits to charity. (This compares very favorably with the average American corporate contribution to charity of less than 2%.)

    Management and the Social Council representative are part of the group, of course, but also a member of the group who has been elected to the Board of Trustees may participate.  Through this system, every owner-worker can be involved in managing every aspect of the enterprise.  During these meetings, the owner-workers can discuss anything they choose.  Whether an owner-worker becomes enthusiastic about management issues or traditional union issues, his or her substantial capital investment keeps the commitment, both as an owner and a worker, 100 percent present in his or her mind.  All owner-workers have one share of voting stock.  This keeps them all equal in power.  Thus, their relationship within themselves and among each other, as well as with the rest of society, is a one-minded cooperation for the common good.

    The structure of the cooperative reflects this one-mindedness in time and space.  The capitalist system’s equivalent of management and union are each present in Mondragon and distinct; however, they both are inside the “us”  of the cooperative, and are subservient to the Board which assures their total integration and coordination.  If the Board ever fails in this task, the general assembly of all the owner-workers, which wields the ultimate power within the cooperative, can overrule the board.

    Each cooperative elects representatives to the Association of Cooperatives.  The Association in turn elects the Board of the secondary cooperatives, such as the bank, the research institute, the entrepreneurial division and the insurance and social security institutions.  The main focus of the Association of the Cooperatives in Mondragon is the creation of owner-worker jobs to expand the opportunity for people to participate in the relationship economy.  There probably is no better service to themselves.  Job creation gives the current owner-workers greater job security and allows them to be enthusiastic about automation.  They are very aggressive in robot development.  They recognize that it both eliminates repetitive and dirty jobs and increases productivity, which is important in an international marketplace.

    At the same time, they view owner-worker job creation as the best service to the community at large.  Once a person has an owner-worker job in a Mondragon cooperative, best efforts are made to guarantee it for life.  Thus the person’s family will never be dependent upon public assistance but will continually contribute to the needs and development of society.  Therefore, every act of each owner-worker every day is experienced as providing for one’s self and serving society, both simultaneously and both 100 percent.  The for-profit versus non-profit personality split with which we are so familiar in our society is absent in the attitude of the Mondragon member.  And when you walk through a factory, you feel like you are visiting with someone in their kitchen or working at a church fund raising event and yet their productivity is the highest in Spain.

    Finally, the uniqueness of Mondragon is demonstrated in the way profits are distributed by a cooperative.  Fifty percent are distributed among the owner-workers based on salary scale and the number of years with the cooperative.  However, these profits are not given out in cash.  They are allocated to the owner-worker’s internal capital account  and regarded as a loan from the member to the company.  Each year, just before Christmas, the member receives, in cash, the 6 percent interest paid annually on his or her internal account.  Thus, the owner-worker’s investment in the cooperative increases and the cooperative reinvests the worker’s profit to create more relationship economy jobs.  The business receives capital without collateral at a low interest rate, normally the most difficult and expensive capital to borrow.

    As mentioned earlier, ten percent of the annual profits are donated to charity and the remaining 40 percent is retained in the collective internal account . If the cooperative ever ceases to exist, this collective account will be donated to charity because it is regarded as the portion of profits which is collectively owned and managed for the common good.  So, even the profits escape the time and space material axis by seeming to go in two directions at the same time.  The owner-worker has the use of his or her portion of the 50 percent because it can be used as collateral at the bank for a loan which will be at an interest rate only a point or two over the 6 percent it is earning.  Yet the cooperative has the use of the capital at the same time.

Mondragon’s Five Guiding Principles

    Don Jose Maria prepared the first by-laws and social statutes which extended the Relationship Age worldview into every aspect of the agreements upon which the business was based, making sure to leave no opening for an easy unraveling into a Material Age operation. This is evident in the five guiding principles upon which the company operated for more than a year before he could break it down into specifics in the by-laws and social statutes:

            1. Solidarity    
            2. Individual economic contribution
            3. Labor contribution by all members
            4. Democratic government
            5. Progressive expansion to incorporate other workers

“Solidarity” was their word for “the common good.” It was given highest priority. The original by-laws and social statutes created by Don Jose Maria have been used by every subsequent cooperative.
    The significant difference that is Mondragon is the way the founders looked at the situation in the first place. They started from a different place. Everything else was a result of that.  The people at Mondragon believe they are all in business together – the owner-workers, consumers, Bank depositors, and community. They arrange it so each owner-worker business is ultimately successful, the owner-workers will have jobs they can control for life, the businesses will avoid wasteful crisis management, the Bank depositors will feel secure about their savings, and the community will not have to worry about disruptive plant closings or absentee owners. Finally, they have the joy of knowing that they all share the same top priority in all they do: the common good. This allows for the feeling of a safe, known, and loving context for the sorting out of all relative differences. If competition is a lower form of cooperation, Mondragon is operating at a higher, more mature level of cooperation and every person shares in the greater benefits.

Copyright 2002 Terry Molner and the Trusteeship Institute

Terry Mollner, Ed.D., is Founder, Chair, and Executive Director of Trusteeship Institute, Inc., a think tank and consulting firm founded in 1973 that focuses on the development of socially responsible businesses, employee-owned cooperatives, and spiritually based enterprises.

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Monday, July 28th, 2008

BIAS systems

Optimizing Human Performance

Timothy Wilken, MD

I am pleased to announce the formation of  a new synergic organization, BIAS systems, which will offer consultations, training and support on a  continuing basis to those individuals seeking to optimize the  efficiency and productivity within their own organizations. Our primary tool will be the ORTEGRITY.

BIAS systems will be a research based company.  Synergy means working together and synergic science is the study of working together. Our products were developed during twenty years of intensive research on human intelligence, human behavior, human relationships and human wellness working with hundreds of real people in high stress environments and situations.

Our research revealed “that whenever humans experience conflict they lose access to their full intelligence“.  When humans are confronted with conflict, their mind-brains shift to a very primitive and highly reactive way of thinking called the survive mode.  The survive mode evolved in the jungle to insure physical survival.  Its primary skills are fighting and fleeing.  Its extremes are rage and terror. 

All humans thinking in the survive mode will find their intelligence to be severely limited.  Access is lost to the faculties of reason and intuition.  In severe conflict, many of us lose even our ability to speak.  Unfortunately, the survive mode turns on with the slightest conflict, and instantly our intelligence begins to decrease.  It is not simply on or off.  It is more like the rheostat dimmer switch controlling a dining room light.  A little conflict will produce a little loss of intelligence, while a large conflict will produce a large loss of intelligence.  If we remain in conflict for weeks, then we will operate at limited intelligence for weeks.  And in full rage of terror, we humans access only a tiny fraction of our potential intelligence.

Since human efficiency and productivity are derivatives of human intelligence, conflict is to organizations as friction is to machinery.

Our intial product is a “system of human organization that creates a conflict-free environment for decision making and action implementation”.  This BIAS environment will be based on the synergic organizing pattern called ORTEGRITY. This is an environment ergometrically engineered to best fit the human mind-brain.

The power of the BIAS environment results from its conflict-free state.  It is this conflict-free state that optimizes human intelligence and creativity.  It is this conflict-free state that maximizes efficiency and productivity.  It is this conflict-free state that increases the quality of work-life.  It is the conflict-free state that allows all relationships between all members to become win-win.

The  BIAS  environment will offer great advantage to all organizations both large and small.

The BIAS environment is installed top down—a  complete installation would begin with the CEO, and move down echelon by echelon to the rest of the organization.  If the environment is elected for only part of an organization i.e. the research and development laboratory, installation would begin with the Director of Research and again move down to rest of the staff.

Installation time could vary from a few weeks for a small organization to several months for a larger organization.  Once installed the BIAS consultant would withdraw leaving the environment under the full control of the client organization.

Additionally, the BIAS environment includes a proprietary compensation & benefits program.  This unique system of compensation and benefits was designed to maximize human motivation. Its dual nature was developed to recognize and reward those who contribute to the success of the organization. It balances both security and incentive—rewards both action and leverage. And is absolutely necessary for the optimization of human productivity.  It was further designed to help organizations attract and keep the highest quality people.

And, thirdly, the BIAS  environment includes a strong support package. Much of the support system will be web based so that consultation and support for our clients will always easily and continuously available. Our products will be under continuous revision and improvement and product upgrades will be frequent and automatic.

Addtional products now in final development include:

1) BIAS  intelligence maximization program
 While the BIAS environment produces a low stress-low conflict environment, this program focuses on teaching individuals how to optimize their intelligence within high stress-high conflict environments.  It will be of great value to upper level management as well as research and development personnel. We discovered that  humans taught to understand the mechanisms and processes of human intelligence gain the ability to control and increase their own intelligence, as well as the ability to increase and enrich their own creativity. The intelligence optimization program is implemented through a special education-training designed to teach individuals the process of human intelligence in ~ 60 hours of instruction and training.  It provides many different methods, models, procedures, and techniques for the optimization of intelligence and creativity.

2) BIAS  wellness program
 This program focuses on the optimization of individual health within the organization.  Today most organizations suffer enormous losses from the costs of illnesses, sick leave, disability and absenteeism, not to mention on the job use of drugs and alcohol.  By actively managing wellness within the organization, efficiency and productivity can be significantly enhanced.  Our program is designed to integrate into the working environment with a minimum disruption of operational routine.

3)BIAS  childcare program
 This program is of greatest value to employers of working mothers.  A major source of stress and conflict for these women is fear and concern for their children’s safety and education. Our program establishes a high quality childcare and educational facility within your organization.   Absenteeism, sick time, and job turn-over are dramatically reduced when the working mother knows her children are safe and well cared for.  Our children’s program makes full use of our human intelligence research to create a state of the art program.

These are the currently envisioned line of initial  BIAS product offerings

In the current difficult economic environment, organizations  must learn to work smarter. Only by optimizing the human factor can they hope to survive.  We believe BIAS systems represents the leading edge of a new movement in human organization.  Its impact could change the way we all work and live in the future. 

BIAS sytems will initially be located in Monterey, CA. Those organizations geographically near Monterey including the San Jose, CA area and Silicon Valley will be the first to be offered our products.

BIAS systems is a new organization still in formation. We are seeking allies, associates and financing.

To explore your potential role in the creation of BIAS  systems, please contact  Timothy Wilken, MD

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Saturday, July 26th, 2008

Reposted from the 2002 SynEARTH Archives.

WEness & Synergic Trust

Timothy Wilken, MD

“Give, and it will be given to you.” (1)
“This is a law of life. And the more lavishingly we show kindness and concern, the richer is our life. In what manner we get back what we have given is of minor importance. The only thing that Life promises is that Life pays back all its debts to us.” (2)


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

Trust is not a new word for humanity. It was coined long ago when the world was first dominated by the adversary way.

Trust meant that I could rely on you not to hurt me. It was safe to assume that you were not my enemy. Trust meant the ability to rely on the absence of a negative.

Synergic Trust is more than simple Trust.

Synergic Trust means that while I can rely on you not to hurt me, I can further rely on you to help me. And, while it is safe to assume that you are not my enemy, it is further safe to assume that you are my friend. Synergic trust is much more than simply the ability to rely on the absence of a negative. It is that plus the ability to rely on the presence of a positive. Synergic trust means that I can rely on you, not only to not hurt me, but also to help me.

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

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

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

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

1) Jesus of Nazareth, Sermon on the Mount, New Testament of the Holy Bible (NIV).Luke 6:38

2) Henry T. Laurency. Gnostic Symbols,Knowledge of Life One, Henry T. Laurency Publishing Foundation, 1999

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Thursday, July 24th, 2008

This speech was delivered today in Berlin.

A World That Stands As One

Barack Obama

Thank you to the citizens of Berlin and to the people of Germany. Let me thank Chancellor Merkel and Foreign Minister Steinmeier for welcoming me earlier today. Thank you Mayor Wowereit, the Berlin Senate, the police, and most of all thank you for this welcome.

I come to Berlin as so many of my countrymen have come before. Tonight, I speak to you not as a candidate for President, but as a citizen — a proud citizen of the United States, and a fellow citizen of the world.

I know that I don’t look like the Americans who’ve previously spoken in this great city. The journey that led me here is improbable. My mother was born in the heartland of America, but my father grew up herding goats in Kenya. His father — my grandfather — was a cook, a domestic servant to the British.

At the height of the Cold War, my father decided, like so many others in the forgotten corners of the world, that his yearning — his dream — required the freedom and opportunity promised by the West. And so he wrote letter after letter to universities all across America until somebody, somewhere answered his prayer for a better life.

That is why I’m here. And you are here because you too know that yearning. This city, of all cities, knows the dream of freedom. And you know that the only reason we stand here tonight is because men and women from both of our nations came together to work, and struggle, and sacrifice for that better life.

Ours is a partnership that truly began sixty years ago this summer, on the day when the first American plane touched down at Templehof.

On that day, much of this continent still lay in ruin. The rubble of this city had yet to be built into a wall. The Soviet shadow had swept across Eastern Europe, while in the West, America, Britain, and France took stock of their losses, and pondered how the world might be remade.

This is where the two sides met. And on the twenty-fourth of June, 1948, the Communists chose to blockade the western part of the city. They cut off food and supplies to more than two million Germans in an effort to extinguish the last flame of freedom in Berlin.

The size of our forces was no match for the much larger Soviet Army. And yet retreat would have allowed Communism to march across Europe. Where the last war had ended, another World War could have easily begun. All that stood in the way was Berlin.

And that’s when the airlift began — when the largest and most unlikely rescue in history brought food and hope to the people of this city.

The odds were stacked against success. In the winter, a heavy fog filled the sky above, and many planes were forced to turn back without dropping off the needed supplies. The streets where we stand were filled with hungry families who had no comfort from the cold.

But in the darkest hours, the people of Berlin kept the flame of hope burning. The people of Berlin refused to give up. And on one fall day, hundreds of thousands of Berliners came here, to the Tiergarten, and heard the city’s mayor implore the world not to give up on freedom. “There is only one possibility,” he said. “For us to stand together united until this battle is won. The people of Berlin have spoken. We have done our duty, and we will keep on doing our duty. People of the world: now do your duty. People of the world, look at Berlin!”

People of the world — look at Berlin!

Look at Berlin, where Germans and Americans learned to work together and trust each other less than three years after facing each other on the field of battle.

Look at Berlin, where the determination of a people met the generosity of the Marshall Plan and created a German miracle; where a victory over tyranny gave rise to NATO, the greatest alliance ever formed to defend our common security.

Look at Berlin, where the bullet holes in the buildings and the somber stones and pillars near the Brandenburg Gate insist that we never forget our common humanity.

People of the world — look at Berlin, where a wall came down, a continent came together, and history proved that there is no challenge too great for a world that stands as one.

Sixty years after the airlift, we are called upon again. History has led us to a new crossroad, with new promise and new peril. When you, the German people, tore down that wall — a wall that divided East and West; freedom and tyranny; fear and hope — walls came tumbling down around the world. From Kiev to Cape Town, prison camps were closed, and the doors of democracy were opened. Markets opened too, and the spread of information and technology reduced barriers to opportunity and prosperity. While the 20th century taught us that we share a common destiny, the 21st has revealed a world more intertwined than at any time in human history.

The fall of the Berlin Wall brought new hope. But that very closeness has given rise to new dangers — dangers that cannot be contained within the borders of a country or by the distance of an ocean.

The terrorists of September 11th plotted in Hamburg and trained in Kandahar and Karachi before killing thousands from all over the globe on American soil.

As we speak, cars in Boston and factories in Beijing are melting the ice caps in the Arctic, shrinking coastlines in the Atlantic, and bringing drought to farms from Kansas to Kenya.

Poorly secured nuclear material in the former Soviet Union, or secrets from a scientist in Pakistan could help build a bomb that detonates in Paris. The poppies in Afghanistan become the heroin in Berlin. The poverty and violence in Somalia breeds the terror of tomorrow. The genocide in Darfur shames the conscience of us all.

In this new world, such dangerous currents have swept along faster than our efforts to contain them. That is why we cannot afford to be divided. No one nation, no matter how large or powerful, can defeat such challenges alone. None of us can deny these threats, or escape responsibility in meeting them. Yet, in the absence of Soviet tanks and a terrible wall, it has become easy to forget this truth. And if we’re honest with each other, we know that sometimes, on both sides of the Atlantic, we have drifted apart, and forgotten our shared destiny.

In Europe, the view that America is part of what has gone wrong in our world, rather than a force to help make it right, has become all too common. In America, there are voices that deride and deny the importance of Europe’s role in our security and our future. Both views miss the truth — that Europeans today are bearing new burdens and taking more responsibility in critical parts of the world; and that just as American bases built in the last century still help to defend the security of this continent, so does our country still sacrifice greatly for freedom around the globe.

Yes, there have been differences between America and Europe. No doubt, there will be differences in the future. But the burdens of global citizenship continue to bind us together. A change of leadership in Washington will not lift this burden. In this new century, Americans and Europeans alike will be required to do more — not less. Partnership and cooperation among nations is not a choice; it is the one way, the only way, to protect our common security and advance our common humanity.

That is why the greatest danger of all is to allow new walls to divide us from one another. The walls between old allies on either side of the Atlantic cannot stand. The walls between the countries with the most and those with the least cannot stand. The walls between races and tribes; natives and immigrants; Christian and Muslim and Jew cannot stand. These now are the walls we must tear down.

We know they have fallen before. After centuries of strife, the people of Europe have formed a Union of promise and prosperity. Here, at the base of a column built to mark victory in war, we meet in the center of a Europe at peace. Not only have walls come down in Berlin, but they have come down in Belfast, where Protestant and Catholic found a way to live together; in the Balkans, where our Atlantic alliance ended wars and brought savage war criminals to justice; and in South Africa, where the struggle of a courageous people defeated apartheid. So history reminds us that walls can be torn down. But the task is never easy. True partnership and true progress requires constant work and sustained sacrifice. They require sharing the burdens of development and diplomacy; of progress and peace. They require allies who will listen to each other, learn from each other and, most of all, trust each other.

That is why America cannot turn inward. That is why Europe cannot turn inward. America has no better partner than Europe. Now is the time to build new bridges across the globe as strong as the one that bound us across the Atlantic. Now is the time to join together, through constant cooperation, strong institutions, shared sacrifice, and a global commitment to progress, to meet the challenges of the 21st century. It was this spirit that led airlift planes to appear in the sky above our heads, and people to assemble where we stand today. And this is the moment when our nations — and all nations — must summon that spirit anew.

This is the moment when we must defeat terror and dry up the well of extremism that supports it. This threat is real and we cannot shrink from our responsibility to combat it. If we could create NATO to face down the Soviet Union, we can join in a new and global partnership to dismantle the networks that have struck in Madrid and Amman; in London and Bali; in Washington and New York. If we could win a battle of ideas against the communists, we can stand with the vast majority of Muslims who reject the extremism that leads to hate instead of hope.

This is the moment when we must renew our resolve to rout the terrorists who threaten our security in Afghanistan, and the traffickers who sell drugs on your streets. No one welcomes war. I recognize the enormous difficulties in Afghanistan. But my country and yours have a stake in seeing that NATO’s first mission beyond Europe’s borders is a success. For the people of Afghanistan, and for our shared security, the work must be done. America cannot do this alone. The Afghan people need our troops and your troops; our support and your support to defeat the Taliban and al Qaeda, to develop their economy, and to help them rebuild their nation. We have too much at stake to turn back now.

This is the moment when we must renew the goal of a world without nuclear weapons. The two superpowers that faced each other across the wall of this city came too close too often to destroying all we have built and all that we love. With that wall gone, we need not stand idly by and watch the further spread of the deadly atom. It is time to secure all loose nuclear materials; to stop the spread of nuclear weapons; and to reduce the arsenals from another era. This is the moment to begin the work of seeking the peace of a world without nuclear weapons.

This is the moment when every nation in Europe must have the chance to choose its own tomorrow free from the shadows of yesterday. In this century, we need a strong European Union that deepens the security and prosperity of this continent, while extending a hand abroad. In this century — in this city of all cities — we must reject the Cold War mind-set of the past, and resolve to work with Russia when we can, to stand up for our values when we must, and to seek a partnership that extends across this entire continent.

This is the moment when we must build on the wealth that open markets have created, and share its benefits more equitably. Trade has been a cornerstone of our growth and global development. But we will not be able to sustain this growth if it favors the few, and not the many. Together, we must forge trade that truly rewards the work that creates wealth, with meaningful protections for our people and our planet. This is the moment for trade that is free and fair for all.

This is the moment we must help answer the call for a new dawn in the Middle East. My country must stand with yours and with Europe in sending a direct message to Iran that it must abandon its nuclear ambitions. We must support the Lebanese who have marched and bled for democracy, and the Israelis and Palestinians who seek a secure and lasting peace. And despite past differences, this is the moment when the world should support the millions of Iraqis who seek to rebuild their lives, even as we pass responsibility to the Iraqi government and finally bring this war to a close.

This is the moment when we must come together to save this planet. Let us resolve that we will not leave our children a world where the oceans rise and famine spreads and terrible storms devastate our lands. Let us resolve that all nations — including my own — will act with the same seriousness of purpose as has your nation, and reduce the carbon we send into our atmosphere. This is the moment to give our children back their future. This is the moment to stand as one.

And this is the moment when we must give hope to those left behind in a globalized world. We must remember that the Cold War born in this city was not a battle for land or treasure. Sixty years ago, the planes that flew over Berlin did not drop bombs; instead they delivered food, and coal, and candy to grateful children. And in that show of solidarity, those pilots won more than a military victory. They won hearts and minds; love and loyalty and trust — not just from the people in this city, but from all those who heard the story of what they did here.

Now the world will watch and remember what we do here — what we do with this moment. Will we extend our hand to the people in the forgotten corners of this world who yearn for lives marked by dignity and opportunity; by security and justice? Will we lift the child in Bangladesh from poverty, shelter the refugee in Chad, and banish the scourge of AIDS in our time?

Will we stand for the human rights of the dissident in Burma, the blogger in Iran, or the voter in Zimbabwe? Will we give meaning to the words “never again” in Darfur?

Will we acknowledge that there is no more powerful example than the one each of our nations projects to the world? Will we reject torture and stand for the rule of law? Will we welcome immigrants from different lands, and shun discrimination against those who don’t look like us or worship like we do, and keep the promise of equality and opportunity for all of our people?

People of Berlin — people of the world — this is our moment. This is our time.

I know my country has not perfected itself. At times, we’ve struggled to keep the promise of liberty and equality for all of our people. We’ve made our share of mistakes, and there are times when our actions around the world have not lived up to our best intentions.

But I also know how much I love America. I know that for more than two centuries, we have strived — at great cost and great sacrifice — to form a more perfect union; to seek, with other nations, a more hopeful world. Our allegiance has never been to any particular tribe or kingdom — indeed, every language is spoken in our country; every culture has left its imprint on ours; every point of view is expressed in our public squares. What has always united us — what has always driven our people; what drew my father to America’s shores — is a set of ideals that speak to aspirations shared by all people: that we can live free from fear and free from want; that we can speak our minds and assemble with whomever we choose and worship as we please.

Those are the aspirations that joined the fates of all nations in this city. Those aspirations are bigger than anything that drives us apart. It is because of those aspirations that the airlift began. It is because of those aspirations that all free people — everywhere — became citizens of Berlin. It is in pursuit of those aspirations that a new generation — our generation — must make our mark on history.

People of Berlin — and people of the world — the scale of our challenge is great. The road ahead will be long. But I come before you to say that we are heirs to a struggle for freedom. We are a people of improbable hope. Let us build on our common history, and seize our common destiny, and once again engage in that noble struggle to bring justice and peace to our world.

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Sunday, July 20th, 2008

Time to get busy. We humans need to start working together to solve our problems. The following call to action was published on CommUnity of Minds in July of 2001.

Working Together

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

We invite individuals of integrity to join us in solving those problems presently threatening our human society. We are seeking those humans committed to co-Creating a world where I win, you win, others win and the Earth wins, win-win-win-win.

If we wish to make the Earth safe for ourselves and our children, we must solve our problems. But today’s problems are much too large to be solved by any one individual, no matter how talented or brilliant he or she might be. We need a community of minds whose mission is to solve humanity’s big problems through co-Creation, co-Laboration, co-Action and co-Operation. It is a complete waste of time to expect big government, big business, or big religion to help us. They are the problem. They are invested in a model of society that depends on separation and scarcity. We need individuals of integrity to join with us to build a new model of society that generates co-Operation and abundance.

Working together, we humans can solve our problems. We can organize a synergic thinktank to focus on those problems. We can use a system of “Open co-Laboration” modeled after the “Open Source Software Community”used to create Linux. This is well described by Eric Steven Raymond in his seminal paper The Cathedral and the Bazaar.

This website will act as a virtual meeting place to  co-Ordinate a growing group of Co-Laborators who will join together in proposing, defining, and refining solution candidates created to address various aspects of the problems facing humanity.

The community of minds will seek Synergic Solutions .

Synergic means win-win-win-win. I win, you win, others win and Earth wins. And, Solutions are the compliments to problems. The plural term Solutions was chosen because there will never be any one solution to the large problems we seek to solve. There will be many small solutions that will work together to form a whole solution that is much larger than the sum of the parts.

All decisions in the Synergic Solutions projects will be made using Synergic Consensus. This is an advanced method of decision making that is beyond democracy.

Our developing solutions candidates can be viewed by the public, but the public cannot post to this site until they apply and demonstrate they can make helpful contributions. Anyone may apply to join the development group by simply proposing a way to make a developing solution candidate work better, or identifying a problem with a developing solution candidate, or repairing an already identified problem. In other words, help us help you.

To join us as a Synergic Solutions co-Laborator simply make a suggestion as to how we can improve a solution candidate. Your suggestions will be reviewed by a Synergic Solutions co-Ordinator. If your suggestions improve our solution candidates, they will be incorporated into our developing models. Suggestions that are inappropriate and do not help the project will be screened out. Synergic Solutions is a Manila Site and co-Laborators and co-Ordinators will be able to access it using their web browsers.

The quality and power of our developing solutions candidates will grow as the best suggestions are incorporated into our model solutions. Any “bugs” in these solution candidates will be fixed or removed. When no more improvements can be found and all bugs have been repaired, the solution candidate will mature to graduate status. At that point it will be promoted from the Candidate list to the ACTION list.

Solutions on the ACTION list will be made completely available to the public, and the public will be encouraged to begin using those solutions immediately. The solutions will be released as TrustWare and protected by TrustMark. This will open up a revenue stream for the project which will benefit Synergic Solutions, the development teams, our users, humanity and the Earth. Again, win-win-win-win.

With your help, we can develop viable solutions to some of the largest problems challenging our species. As we post our solutions on the internet, humanity will beat a path to our door. What better way to attract individuals of integrity than by solving those problems that threaten everyone on the planet and for which no one else has an answer.

Hopefully, our projects at CommUnity of Minds will attract an ever growing group of individuals of integrity committed to solving many of the problems threatening our human species. But this, like all journeys, will begin with a single step.

After much thought and reflection,  I propose we focus our initial attention on solving one of the largest problems  presently threatening humanity. That problem is the fossil fuel energy crisis and I designate it as Problem # 1.

Bound through synergy,

Timothy Wilken, MD 

“We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.”
—Attributed to Benjamin Franklin at the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

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Sunday, July 6th, 2008

As our world grows ever more difficult, we must become ever more intelligent in our choice of actions, or we will not survive. When I wrote the following essay in July of 2002, the average price of gasoline in America was $1.43 per gallon. The essay is unchanged except for updated inflation statistics to 2007.

Why America Is Failing?

Timothy Wilken, MD

The American political economic system is is classified by synergic science as a neutral system. Neutral systems require unlimited resources to grow and thrive.

Neutrality means you don’t need help from others. You are so rich that you can survive all by yourself. And, we Americans have been very rich for the last 100 years. Now I know some of you will scream, RICH! I am not rich. But really you are. You see, we Americans have so much cheap energy we don’t even notice it. We modern humans have been sucking petroleum out of the ground as hard as we can for those 100 years. We don’t pay for that oil. We do pay for the straw, but not for the oil itself. The oil is a natural part of the planet.

In 1981, Buckminster Fuller calculated the real cost of that oil, if we were paying for the value of the oil itself, and not just the cost of sucking it out of the ground.

He estimated the real cost of one gallon of gasoline was ~$1,000,000. Correcting for inflation to 2007, that would be $2,821,000 for one gallon of gasoline. How many gallons of gas did you use this month? Then consider the fact that most of our electricity is generated by burning petroleum, so how many gallons did you use to heat your home, or cool your home, or run your electric appliances and cook your food, and pump and heat the water for your bathrooms and the laundry? And God forbid, if you travel very often on commercial airlines.

If you add it all up, you would discover that most Americans are billionaires, or at least use billions of dollars of energy in their lifetimes.

Now we humans can only continue to waste such great wealth, if that wealth is unlimited.

Guess what? Santa Clause is dead. We are running out of oil. The earth itself, and certainly the oil reserves of earth are finite. That means they are limited.

Lets take a moment to understand, how we got here.

There are three classes of life on Earth–Plants, Animals and Humans.

The plants are an independent form our life. Because they can directly convert sunlight into matter and energy for growth and reproduction. They have no need of each other. For most purposes, they have a neutral relationship with each other.

The animals are a dependent form of life. They depend on ingesting the bodies of plants or other animals to obtain the matter and energy they need for survival. They depend on each other. Animals survive by moving about in space and good space is limited. They must compete. They have an adversary relationship with each other.

We humans are an interdependent form of life. We share our body with the animals, and like them we depend on plants and animal food for our basic survival. But our human minds can learn and invent without limit, and we can discover new tools and new ways to work together to solve our problems.

We have the potential to develop a synergic relationship with each other. Synergy means we can work together. Sometimes you depend on me, sometimes I depend on you. The synergic way is the only way that will work for humans.

But along the pathway to synergic relationship, we humans got lost. Jesus of Nazareth told us 2000 years ago we should be synergists. We should love and help each other. But then humantiy got seduced by the the market place, and what seemed like an unlimited world.

When America was founded in 1776, the North American continent provided relatively unlimited resources.  The early colonists were in the right place at the right time. The right place was the nearly empty continent of North America. Millions of acres of arable land and forests, filled with abundant water in millions of steams, rivers, and lakes and stocked with uncountable numbers of wildlife. This was further enriched with enormous reserves of iron, coal, copper, aluminum, zinc, lead, gold, silver, oil, and much more – all available for the taking.

The right time was 1776, by then the collective power of humanity’s time-binding had discovered, invented, and developed the tools and knowhow that created the mechanism of the Agricultural, Industrial, and Transportational Revolutions. The level of knowledge and technology available to the American colonists coupled with enormous North American reserves, provided them with cheap food, cheap power, and cheap transportation. And, the greatest gift was oil. It began in 1859, when Edwin L. Drake drilled America’s first oil well in Titusville, Pennsylvania.

Thus, conditions were perfect for the success of human Neutrality. America would have the equivalent of unlimited resources for the next 150 years.

However, today things have changed. The North American continent is getting full. In 1776, there were less than a billion humans on the planet, today we are nearly 7 billion. We humans no longer have a limitless abundance of natural resources available for the taking — not even those of us living on the North American continent. Our world of plenty is being reduced to a world of scarcity.

In fact, petroleum production peaked in America in 1971. The world peak of petroleum production is estimated to have occurred sometime in 2005 to 2007.

Recently, the electrical power crisis in California has drawn national and world attention to a shortage of crude oil and natural gas. These fossil fuels are currently the primary source of the cheap energy that powers our modern Industrial Civilization. If we are running out of crude oil and natural gas, as some of the best scientists and engineers in the Energy field are telling us, we have big problems

Think back for a moment to the year 1801, only two hundred years ago, that was a time when there was no gasoline, no refined oil, no natural gas, and no electrical power derived from oil and gas. As a thought experiment, try to  imagine what life was like at the beginning of the 19th century. If you were transported back two hundred years, how would the lack of petroleum affect your lifestyle?

While we might accurately imagine the loss of cheap energy from petroleum, most of us would overlook the 70,000 products that are manufactured using petroleum as a raw feedstock. This includes plastics, acrylics, cosmetics, paints, varnishes, asphalts, fertilizers, medications, etc., etc., etc.. Now, in addition to our loss of cheap energy and the 70,000 products that you and I have come to depend on, imagine our sharing that impoverished Earth with over six billion other humans?

When the price of oil reaches $2,000,000 a gallon. How much oil will you use? Listen at the sounds as your automobiles sit in the driveway without gas, listen as all your appliances and electrical pumps all go silent. Not even the sound of running water. Nice and quiet, huh.

Now think of the physical work you will have to do to suvive. Think you might need help? Perhaps you really aren’t independent.

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

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

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

Acid rain, ozone depletion, water and air pollution, toxic buildup, strip mining, deforestation, erosion & topsoil depletion; greenhouse effect, ice age, nuclear winter, el nino, and even asteroids threatening the planet. These big problems are invisible to indifferent governments and ignoring citizens. Whose problems are these anyway? In Neutrality, they belong to no one. They are certainly not mine. Something is wrong in Paradise When we humans institutionalized Neutrality over two hundred years ago, it was a great advance over Adversity, it dramatically reduced the pain and suffering for humanity.

 In the 18th century, Neutrality was a major advance for humankind. The neutral system gave individuals opportunities for great economic success. The birth of capitalistic economics greatly enriched the human condition. Neutral organization was more powerful than adversary organization. Neutrality did work well in the free world for many humans who inhabited it two hundred years ago. But that was then. …

Today, it is up to us. You and me. Our governments can’t help us. They don’t understand the problem. Our corporations can’t help us they don’t understand the problem. We can only rely on ourselves. Individuals of integrity will need to join together to build a new model of society that depends on co-Operation and abundance. And, by abundance I am referring to an abundance of integrity, intelligence  and responsibility. Then we can begin restructuring our society in ways that will lead to a relative abundance even within the finite world we inhabit.

Wake up America! Wake up Humanity! WE must learn to work together, or we will die separately.

Front Page

Sunday, June 29th, 2008

As our world grows ever more difficult, we must become ever more intelligent in our choice of actions or we will not survive. I think it is time we revisited some tools to help us with that goal.

Old Man River City was to be a single community dwelling machine for 125,000 humans. It was designed by a team of architects led by Buckminster Fuller. The design process began in 1971, and the following description is excerpted from the book Critical Path which was published in 1981.

To make the world work in the shortest possible time
through spontaneous cooperation without ecological offense
or the disadvantage of anyone. 

A Community Dwelling Machine

R. Buckminster Fuller

Having undertaken the solution by artifacts of the world’s great housing crisis, I came to regard the history of cities. Cities developed entirely before the thought of electricity or automobiles or before any of the millions of inventions registered in the United States Patent Office. For eminently mobile man, cities have become obsolete in terms of yesterday’s functions-warehousing both new and formerly manufactured goods and housing immigrant factory workers. Rebuilding them to accommodate the new needs of world man requires demolition of the old buildings and their replacement of the new and now obsolete real estate, streets, water and sewer lines, and yesterday’s no longer logical overall planning geometries. I sought to take on this challenge and developed plans for an entirely feasible and practical new way for humans to live together economically. Old Man River’s City is one such design.

Old Man River’s City, undertaken for East St. Louis, Illinois, takes its name from the song first sung by Paul Robeson fifty years ago, which dramatized the life of Afro-American blacks who lived along the south-of-St. Louis banks of the Mississippi River in the days of heavy north-south river traffic in cotton. Cessation of the traffic occurred when the east-west railway network outperformed the north-south Mississippi, Mexican Gulf, and Atlantic water routes, which left many of its riverbank communities, such as East St. Louis, marooned in economic dead spots. East St. Louis is an American city overwhelmed by poverty. Its population of 70,000 is 70 percent black.

I originally came to East St. Louis to discuss the design and possible realization of the Old Man River’s City, having been asked to do so by East St. Louis community leaders themselves, being first approached by my friend Katherine Dunham, the famous black dancer. At the community leaders’ request I presented a design that would help solve their problem. It is moon-crater-shaped: the crater’s truncated cone top opening is a halfmile in diameter, rim-to-rim, while the truncated mountain itself is a mile in diameter at its base ring.


The moon crater’s inward and outward, exterior-surface slopes each consist of fifty terraces-the terrace floors are tiered vertically ten feet above or below one another. All the inwardly, downwardly sloping sides of the moon crater’s terraced cone are used for communal life; its outward-sloping, tree-planted terraces are entirely for private life dwelling.

The private-home terraces on the outward circular bank are subdivided by trees and bushes to isolate them one from the other. This garden-divided exterior terracing hides the individual private-home terraces from one another while permitting each an unobstructed view outward to the faraway landscape. Thus landscape-partitioned from one another, the individual homes beneath the umbrella dome do not need their own separate weather roofs. The experience will be that of living outdoors in the garden, without any chance of rain and out of sight and sound of other humans, yet being subconsciously aware that your own advantage is not at the expense of others, zonal advantage.

The floors of the individual homes on the outward terraced slopes penetrate inwardly of the “mountainside” to provide an 85-percent-enclosed family apartment set back into the “mountain’s”surface. Each family’s apartment floor area totals 2500 feet, being 100 feet inwardly extended and twenty-five feet, one inch, wide at its outside terrace front line and twentyfive feet at its innermost chord line. Each apartment occupies only one sixhundredth of the circle’s 360 degrees of arc. In addition there will be 1300 square feet of public space for each of the 25,000 families that Old Man River’s City will accommodate on the fifty interior, communal, terraced slopes of the crater city.

The city has a one-mile-diameter geodesic, quarter-sphere, transparent umbrella mounted high above it to permit full, allaround viewing below the umbrella’s bottom perimeter. The top of the dome roof is 1000 feet high. The bottom rim of the umbrella dome is 500 feet above the surrounding terrain, while the crater-top esplanade, looks 250 feet radially inward from the umbrella’s bottom, is at the same 500-foot height. From the esplanade the truncated mountain cone slopes downwardly, inward and outward, to ground level 500 feet below. 


The geodesic-sky parasol-umbrella protects the whole of Old Man River’s City from rain or snow. The sky dome is transparent. Its aluminum-andstainless-steel-trussed structure will be covered in two alternate ways: (1) glazed with wire-reinforced glass-ergo, fireproof; (2) with a pneumatically filled, glass-cloth-pillowed umbrella. The dome will admit all biological, lifesupporting Sun radiation. The great umbrella is a watershed whose runoff is collected in a dome-level reservoir for a high-pressure fire sprinkler and service purification system, after which the reservoir’s overflow is piped downwardly to a dome-surrounding “moat” reservoir.

The interiormost, circular diameter ground level of Old Man River’s City is twice the size of the playing-ground area of any of the world’s large athletic stadia. This means that it has about four times the interior horizontal area of a regulation football stadium’s oval ground area.

The terraced (angle of repose) slopes of Old Man River’s City, both outside and inside, are very gradual slopes and are thus unlike the steeply tiered athletic stadium’s seating slopes. The angular difference is like that of a reclining chair versus an upright chair.

Many of the lower tiers of Old Man River’s City’s interior terraces have enough horizontal surface to accommodate groups of tennis courts, whole school and playground areas, supermarkets, outdoor theaters, etc. The terraces are of graduated widths. With the narrowest at the top, they become progressively wider at each lower level.

Inside-that is, below the moon crater’s three-and-a-half-mile-eircumferenced, surface-terraced mountain mass-are all the communal services not requiring daylight: for instance, all the multilevel circumferential trolleyways, interlevel ramps, roadways, and parking lots, with numerous radial crosswalks and local elevators. There are radial crosswalk bridges at every four terrace levels. These provide bridges-never more than two decks up or down-for walking homeward, outwardly from the interior community bowl, to one’s individual, terraced, tree-hidden dwelling area. In addition to the foregoing interior structuring and facilities, the factory, office and parking space within the crater mountain is colossal-about ten million square feet. The city is as complete a living, working, studying, and playing complex as is a great ocean passenger ship-but without the space limitations imposed by the ship’s streamlined forming to accommodate swift passage through the seas.

Because its life-style will be so vastly improved over present-day living, Old Man River’s City has been designed to accommodate 25,000 familiesi.e., 125,000 humans-though East St. Louis has now only 70,000 humans grouped in 14,000 families.

There are many exciting consequences of Old Man River’s City community life being introverted and its private life extroverted.

Within the interior community bowl everyone can see what all the rest of the community is doing, as do the 125,000-member audiences of our present-day great “bowl” games see all the other humans present, though indistinctly at the farthest distances. The difference in Old Man River’s City experience will be that each of its 125,000 individuals will have an average of 260 square feet of communal-terrace roaming space versus the six square feet of seating space of the football stadium fan-i.e., the OMR citizen will average forty-three times as much free space as does the football fan.

From the individual, external home terrace on the crater’s outer slopes one can see no humans other than those within one’s own family’s hometerrace domain. People can look outwardly, however, from Old Man River’s City as far as the eye can see at the interesting Mississippi River scenery outside the moon crater’s umbrella limits. The Old Man River City’s home views are analogous to those of individuals living in dwellings on mountainsides, such as those of residents on the hills of Hong Kong Island or those above Berkeley, California. Such hillside dwellers overlook vast, mysteriously inspiring scenic areas, ever-changing with the nights, days, and weather.

The total roof surface area of the one-mile-diameter, quarter-sphere dome is only 2 percent that of the total roof and exterior skin surface area of all the buildings standing on an equal ground area in any large conventional city. The amount of external shell surface through which each interior molecule of atmosphere can gain or lose heat is thus reduced by 98 percent. Another energy-conservation factor is operative, for every time we double the sphere’s diameter, we increase its surface by four and its volume by eight. Therefore, the energy efficiency doubles each time we double the dome size. This means that the structural efficiency, useful volume, and energy conservation are all at optimum in the Old Man River’s City project. Throughout the year Old Man River’s City will have a naturally mild climate. With a large, aerodynamically articulated, wind-and-weather-controlled ventilator system atop and round the dome, together with the 500-foot-high vertical opening that runs entirely around the city below the umbrella, the atmospheric controllability will guarantee fresh air as well as energy conservation. The umbrella will jut out above and beyond all the outer-slope residential terrace areas as does a grandstand roof, so that neither rain nor snow will drift horizontally inwardly, being blocked from doing so by the mass inertia of the vast quantity of atmosphere embraced by the umbrella as well as by the vertical mass of the crater’s cone within the dome.


Optimum efficiency also characterizes the way in which Old Man River’s City is to be produced. The three-and-a-half-mile circumferential moon crater and its terracing will be developed entirely with modern, high-speed, highway-building equipment and earth-moving techniques as well as with suspension-bridge-building and air-space technologies. Construction will begin with installation of a set of concentrically interswitching railway tracks, with tangential shunting bypass tracks, on which great cranes and other machinery will travel. The mammoth, 500-feet-high and 2000-feet-wide-based, A-frame-shaped, circumferential segments of the crater become highly repetitive and economically producible. There will be 100 columns rising from the A-frame tops at the crater’s top-rim esplanade. These 100 columns will be 500 feet high and will be spaced forty meters apart, mounted above the A-frames. The tops of the 100 columns will be 1000 feet high and will be capped by a circumferential ring.

The whole terraced crater structure, inside and out, will be of thin-wall reinforced concrete. This terraced shell will be cast-mounted upon, and will thus encase, an inverted, kitchen-sieve-like, domical basket, consisting of an omnitriangulated, quarter-sphere geodesic, basket-bowl, suspension web of fine-diameter, high-tensile steel rods and wires. The spider-fine steel web basket will be suspended from the A-frame tops at the base of the 100 columns. The whole structure is, in effect, a circular, triangularly self-stabilizing, “suspension bridge”-principled, terraced, ferroconcrete bowl with the human occupants and their goods constituting only a small fraction of the stress loads of equimagnitude highway traffic bridges.

The 1500-meter- (one-mile) diameter dome itself will be a horizontal wire wheel suspension consisting of an octahedral-tensegrity-trussed, one-quarter sphere geodesic dome suspended horizontally from the 100 circumferential columns. This method means mounting the dome one-quarter of a mile inwardly from the one-mile-diameter parasol dome’s outer rim. This results in an inner clear span of only one-half mile, a distance comparable to that of the Golden Gate Bridge’s central clear span between its two masts.


I said to the East St. Louisans at the outset that our first resolve must be not to compromise our design solution in order to qualify for any private foundation or government subsidy funds. Three-quarters of the United States national debt of almost $1 trillion and much of the private debt, which altogether transfers $25 billion a year “interest” from our nation’s pocketbooks to the banks and insurance companies, has been amassed through government building subsidies that were designed strictly as “money-makers” for bankers, real estate operators, and handcraft building-industry interests. The funds were not amassed in the interest of the individuals and the community. I advised the East St. Louisans that we must develop our design and its production and assembly logistics strictly in terms of the individual and the community’s best interests. I said that if we solve the human problem and do so in the most economical and satisfactory manner, independent of building codes, zoning restrictions, etc., while employing airspace technology, effectiveness, and safety, we will do that which no subsidized housing thus far has done. I pointed out that, with increasing socioeconomic emergencies, the economic support will ultimately materialize simply because we have what world-around humanity is looking for and needs. The money-making solutions of housing are exactly what humanity is not looking for but has had to accept, lacking any alternatives.

The East St. Louis schoolchildren are soon to be provided with a fiftyfoot-diameter miniature OMR moon-crater city with which (and on which) to play, simulating actual living conditions. The children will furnish its terraces with miniaturized, scale-model equipment, landscape material, athletic facilities, interior transportation equipment, factories, and similar materials they will design and make. As the political leader of East St. Louis, who was formerly principal of its largest high school, says, “By the time Old Man River’s City gets completed, our present high school students will be its grown occupants, and they might just as well start right now using their imaginations in play living in and operating it.” Fabricating and assembling the model itself will be in strict conformity with the full-scale operation.

At the outset meeting of our OMR’s City’s development, I told the East St. Louisans that I would develop the design and models at my own expense and do so without fee. I said that what I would design must be so “right” that the entire community would fall in love with it … or it would be dropped. I said that if they did fall in love with it, I would carry on with all the development expense and that they must not allow the project to become a political football. It was fortunate that the East St. Louis community did fall spontaneously in love with the design. This held the project together through many critical moments of preliminary challenges of its validity and practicability. There were many critical meetings wherein skeptics, some of them powerful political activists, declared that this design, with its domedover interior community and exterior private-dwelling terraces, might be part of its social enemy’s conspiracy to entrap them. Fortunately the design gradually explained itself, until all the leaders of the community’s diverse factions-political, ethnic, and economic, as well as the city’s engineer-all agreed on its desirability.

I have been greatly aided in the Old Man River’s City development by a group of volunteer architectural students from Washington University in St. Louis and, above all, by Professor James Fitzgibbon, head of Washington University’s architectural school. As I am absent a great deal due to my world traveling, Jim, who is one of my best, lifelong friends, has been locally in command of the development. Most powerful support of the East St. Louisans has been provided by Wyvetter Younge, Carl Utchmann, and Bob Ahart.

Both the East St. Louis and St. Louis newspapers and radio and television stations have given good and favorable reception to the project. Now worldaround interest in the Old Man River project is beginning to be manifest. As interest grows, more and more articles are being published about it, despite its having no public relations or advertising promotion. Quite to the contrary, I have asked the community to let the project gestate at a natural rate. Answer questions faithfully when they are asked, but otherwise be silently at work.

As the first favorable publicity occurred, it was inevitable that Illinois’s political representatives would quickly offer the East St. Louisans their aid in securing government funds, which funds, however, would involve so many restrictions and compromises as to utterly emasculate the OMR City’s design rationale. Thus it was a second victory for the project when I was able to dissuade the community from being tempted by the “millions” of dollars tendered them.


I have never engaged in a development that I have felt to have such promise for all humanity, while being, at the same time, so certain of realization, because its time is imminently at hand.

Epilogue: J. Baldwin writing in BuckWorks published in 1996, said: 

These hazy photos are of a model showing the general layout of Old Man River’s City, a mile-diameter (1500 meter) megastructure providing the homes, workspaces, and recreation area for 125,000 people.The enormous dome is supported 1000 feet (3005 meters) above a
“moon-crater” depression with a raised rim.The outer surface of the rim is terraced to provide 25,000 earth-sheltered garden homes, each with a view and a generous 2500 square feet (232.24 square meters) of floor area.

The inner surface of the crater is terraced for communal use. Millions of square feet of commercial space share the hollowed-out earth of the crater’s rim with parking lots and services, Weather under the dome would always be pleasant despite the someti mes- unpleasant East St. Louis climate. (I have not seen the calculations for tornado resistance.)

Old Man River’s City is intended to replace the poverty stricken, hopelessly obsolete city of East St. Louis, IL. Bucky specifically recommended that government money not be sought, for it always comes with a grievous burden of interest which eventually saps the local economy for the benefit of banks and other parasitic operators.To the organizers’ credit, they refused millions of dollars saddled with restrictions that would have compromised the project.

Bucky wanted the entire effort to come from the people involved. Decades have passed with no construction, but work continues. Organizers held a Syntegration in early 1995, Some real progress in financing was made. Enormous projects need a long gestation. Old Man River’s City may happen yet.

Front Page

Monday, June 23rd, 2008

As our world grows ever more difficult, we must become ever more intelligent in our choice of actions or we will not survive. I think it is time we revisited some tools to help us with that goal.

From the 2002 SynEARTH Archives: A major division of synergic science is the study of human intelligence. Many are familar with R. Buckminster Fuller who studied synergy in physical universe. Today I featured an article by N. Arthur Coulter on Responsibility on CommUnity of Minds. Here, I present some of my work on understanding human intelligence.

The Vectors of Human Intelligence

Timothy Wilken, MD

In my search to understand human intelligence, I have discovered seven states of mind that when accomplished increase human intelligence, they are:  calmness, awareness, synergy, validation, motivation, adaptability & responsibility.

CALMNESS def> The ability to process information without physiological response.  

An individual who has mastered calmness knows that all internal thinking is symbolic. If my body responds to every thought of danger let alone every real danger, then I will truly come to know the meaning of the sentence: “The coward dies a thousand deaths the brave man only once.”

Today most of us die a thousand deaths. When we imagine our problems and stresses, our bodies tense and strain. When we think of danger, we feel afraid. When we think of hurt, we feel anger. The feelings of anger and fear are just our internal sensings of our bodies as they prepare to fight or flee. But when our bodies prepare to fight and flee, they shut down vital systems.

If these systems are shut down for more than a few moments, we shorten our lives and become sick. In a world of chronically frighted and chronically angered individuals, all our lives are shortened, and all of us are sick.

In our modern world, calmness is a survival skill. Calmness is the ability to think of danger and hurt without feeling fear or anger. Calmness is ability to process information without physiological response.

AWARENESS —def—>  What I know of the whole / Total known about the whole

Awareness is a variable of knowing. It applies to the all phenomena in universe. Some examples of increasing awareness are: A newborn baby has minimal awareness, not even responding to his own hands and feet. A child is usually only aware of self. A good mother carries an awareness that includes her children and husband. A good manager will carry an awareness of his entire department. A scientist seeking peace may carry an awareness of six billion other humans.

Awareness —def—>         Who I know 
                                            All living on earth 

Awareness means that when I decide, I have considered all I am aware of. So another way of thinking about awareness is: The child’s decisions concern only himself. The mother’s decisions considers not only her needs, but the needs  of her children and husband as well. The manager’s decisions considers the needs of everyone in his department. And the scientist’s decisions considers the needs of four and one-half billion other humans.

SYNERGY—def—> The WIN-WIN relationship.

It is when a relationship is good for me and good for you— it is when we both benefit from the relationship.

The Primary retardent to efficiency, productivity, and quality of life is CONFLICT. Synergy is the elimination of conflict. Synergy is the win-win relationship.  

VALIDATION—def—> The human state of feeling approved of. 

It involves both self-approval and other-approval. An ideal state is when an individual has both self-respect and other-respect.

Approval is frequently hard to come by in our present world. All humans experience numerous and frequent episodes of disapproval. This produces what I call validation damage. This damage  produces humans who are highly polarized in terms of validation.

Some individuals seek only other-approval getting nearly all their validation by pleasing others. Within their relationships they are most concerned about  other’s needs. Their posture may help other win, but often self is ignored and loses—lose/win.

These strongly other-validating individuals tend to be oversensitive and underconfident. These individuals tend to fail when they need self.

Another large group of individuals seek only self-approval getting nearly all of their validation by pleasing self. They are most concerned about self’s needs. Their posture may help self win, but often other is ignored and loses—win/lose.

These strongly self-validating individuals tend to be undersensitive and overconfident. These individuals tend to fail when they need other.

Optimization occurs when an individual becomes balanced. Seeking his validation needs by seeking both self-approval and other-approval. He seeks a relationship with other that is good for both self and other. This posture may help both self and other to win—win-win. These balanced validating individuals tend to be both sensitive and confident. These individuals tend to succeed.  Validation is the human state of feeling approved of.  

 MOTIVATION —def—>The strength of the urge seeking action.

The strength of ones motivation is a primary determinant of success. Dual Mind Theory sees Motivation resulting from both the Space-mind’s desires and the Time-mind’s goals. Space-mind is motivated by an attraction to fun and pleasure, and a repulsion from pain. Time-mind is motivated by  attraction to meaning and a repulsion from boredom.

The human mind is most interested on those tasks that it finds both entertaining and meaningful. Applied to education, the most powerful forms of instruction are entertaining and educating. This is producing a new approach to instruction called “EDUTAINMENT”.
Motivation is best when my life is enjoyable and meaningful—fun and interesting. One lesson we can learn from motivation is that when what we are doing isn’t fun and interesting, then we should make changes until it is fun and interesting. Motivation is the strength of the urge seeking action.

 ADAPTABILITY—def—>Ready, able, and willing to change.   

An individual with 100% adaptability lives what he knows. The highly adaptive individual is always seeking to adjust himself to optimize his relationship with reality. He lives what he knows, if he knows cigarette smoking is unhealthy, he chooses not to smoke.

In a universe that is always changing adaptability is of great value. It involves a sensitivity to change. Adaptability is being ready, able and willing to change.  

 RESPONSIBILITY—def—> The ability to respond—Response Able. 

 This requires an individual to accept the consequences of his actions or non-actions—to accept the risks and benefits and consequences of those actions not for himself, but on all others as well. Responsibility is the ability to respond.

The greatest productivity occurs in an environment that is highly supportive of these vectors of human intelligence — calmness, awareness, synergy, validation, motivation,  adaptability & responsibility.


Front Page

Friday, June 13th, 2008

In the study of Religious Science, you learn a powerful form of affirmative prayer called TREATMENT.

All Gifts are Self-Gifts

Timothy Wilken, MD

ALL is ONE — ONE is ALL. Reality is whole — both physical and metaphysical. Reality is UNITY — both recognized and unrecognized — One God — One Spirit — One Consciousness. ALL is ONE — ONE is ALL.

I am the Individualization of that Oneness. Right Here, Right Now. Consciousness in me, as me, is me. Spirit in me, as me, is me. God in me, as me, is me.

I am awake now and know who I am. I am awake now and know who you are. We are the same. I am you and you are me. I am self and I am other. I am one and I am all. I am me and I am you.

When I help you, I help myself. All Help is self-help.
When I protect you, I protect myself. All protection is self-protection.
When I forgive you, I forgive myself. All forgiveness is self-forgiveness.
When I love you, I love myself. All love is self-love.

And, so I help you always, protect you always, forgive you always, and love you always.

All gifts are self-gifts. We are ONE. All gifts to you are also gifts to me.

For this truth, I am deeply grateful. I accept our oneness as true and valid. I accept our unity as here and now. I accept our wholeness as natural and necessary.

And, so it is. …


GIFTegrity Defined  (PDF)
Specifications Of
Science Behind