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Thursday, September 10th, 2009

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

Three Classes of Life

Timothy Wilken, MD

In 1921, Alfred Korzybski (1), a mathematician and scientist, classified Life with precise and accurate operational definitions of plants, animals, and humans. He defined the plants as energy-binders, the animals as space-binders, and we humans as time-binders.

Korzybski explained that the plants adapt to their environment through their awareness and control of energy. The animals adapt to their environment through their awareness and control of space. And we humans adapt to our environment through our awareness and control of time.

Energy-binding – the power of plants

The power of energy-binding is transformation, growth, and organization.

Energy-binders have the ability to transform solar energy to organic chemical energy. The plant is a solar collector. It spreads its leaves and harvests the ultraviolet rays directly from the sun.

Energy-binders have the power of growth. The plant draws water and minerals from the soil organizes this energy and nutrients into growth through cell division. The growth of the energy-binder and its self-propagation through progeny are the resultant of cell division – if the cells remain together we have growth; if they split off into a separate entity we have progeny.

Energy-bindings have the power of organization. Organization possible through the ability to time the release and binding of energy. Timing based on knowledge – energy knowledge.

Life requires complexity. Take one of the simplest of energy-binders – a single celled bacteria.

We are looking at a simple rod-shaped one celled plant which can avoid dangers and seize opportunities. Inside this simple one celled plant – there are four “boss” molecules. These DNA molecules have a molecular weight of 2.5 billion each. Then we find 400,000 assistants to the bosses, RNA molecules of over 1000 types with an average molecular weight of 2 million each. Packed between all of these molecules are about 1 million protein molecules of over 2000 different types with an average molecular weight of 40,000 each. And to complete this simple cell we find 500 million smaller molecules of approximately 700 types with an average molecular weight of 300 each. All of these units working together to bind energy, making controlled choices, adapting to their environment, avoiding danger and embracing opportunity.

This description of a simple one celled energy-binder is mind boggling; but to keep our sense of proportion, we must recognize that life requires complexity. Energy-binders represent a much more complex order of organization that the most complex of nonliving molecules. If a molecule were likened to an automobile, then a cell is like an automotive factory – a vast organization of men, machines, and computers.

And so plants – the energy-binders are energy aware. They are aware and they process information about energy. They remember energy events and from that memory make controlled choices – energy choices. The plants think and decide.

This is not human thinking, not even animal thinking, but it is a form of intelligence – very powerful energy intelligence. The plants use their power to bind energy – to organize, to adapt to their environment. They must adapt by making controlled choices, which keep them within the narrow corridor of life or they will die. They must avoid the dangers threatening their survival and embrace the opportunities for growth and reproduction.

While the energy-binders have the power to collect and store energy, to make controlled choices of the use of that energy, they have limited adaptability. Limited because they cannot move. Plants are rooted to their environment. If a plant roots in the shade, it cannot move to a sunnier place. If it is dying for lack of water, it cannot move to a rainier spot. Plants lack the power of mobility.

Plant growth is movement, but movement towards an infinitely remote goal – the sun. Plant motion is in a constant direction, either away from gravity or towards the sun.

Neutrality – the natural law of plants

Neutral relationships originate in the plant world.

Sunlight provides unlimited energy for the plants. Each individual plant needs only the sun, and adequate water and minerals to survive. Plants are solar energy collectors. They use the sun’s radiant energy in photosynthesis to manufacture glucose, carbohydrate and other plant cells.

Individual plants do not relate to each other. They relate only to the earth and the sun.

Plant survival does not require any relationship with other. The plants unique ability to utilize sunlight directly to synthesize organic tissue frees them from the need for others. This fact makes plants the independent class of life – independent of other.

While no plant will deliberately hurt another plant, it will also never help another plant. A plant’s success or failure depends solely on its own efforts and talents. Individual plants have no relationship with each other. Plants have no awareness of each other, they ignore each other. To survive as a plant, you must be self-sufficient.

Plants are the only form of life that are truly independent.

If we analyze neutral relationships, we discover that individuals are unchanged by their relationship. They are neither less nor more after the relationship. They are the same. (1+1) = 2.

Choices which do not hurt or help are neutral. Actions which do not hurt or help are neutral. Relationships which do not hurt or help are neutral.

Space-binding – the power of animals

The power of space-binding is mobility – the ability to move about in space. This is not the simple motion of plants. This is mobility – running, jumping, leaping, swinging, swimming, creeping, stalking, crawling, diving, and flying.

The space-binder moves towards a specific and attainable goal – water, food, a mate, shelter – and in any direction. The mobility of the space-binder is not just motion, it is controlled motion. The space-binder moves in search of food. For grazing animals the quest is continuous; for predators, occasional but more strenuous. And all animals are under constant threat from natural enemies. The animal, therefore, requires sense awareness – awareness of the space in which he lives. The space-binder uses his awareness to find food and to warn him of the approach of enemies. A deer may be motivated by thirst to go to a waterhole, but if it senses a lion, it will refrain. It must continuously evaluate conflicting stimuli and choose between alternatives, alternatives of pleasure or pain, alternatives of good space or bad space. Space-binders are aware of space, they are aware and they think, they think and they decide – constantly making controlled choices as to where and when to move.

Thinking for the space-binder is wholistic. The animals base their decisions on the whole situation. When the rabbit hears a sound in the thicket, he must react instantly, “fight or flight” and the decision must be made now, based on the whole situation. There is no time for analysis. Only wholistic thinking has the rapidity and flexibility to allow survival in the adversary world of space-binders.

Spacial intelligence allows the animal to move instantly towards good space – space that enables one to survive, and away from bad space – space that produces injury or death.

But the animals are not only space-binders, they also have some of the power of energy-binders. While they cannot transform solar energy directly into organic chemical energy, they can transform the tissues from the plants and animals they eat into organic chemical energy, they can also grow, and they can also organize energy.

To the fox who sees the rabbit, success at seizing this opportunity for a meal depends not just on his ability to know when and where to move, but also on his ability to control the energy which he will need to power his movement. He must have adequate energy stored so that he can release it at the proper moment to catch the rabbit. And the rabbit can only escape if it uses its knowledge of both space and energy effectively.

Adversity – the natural law of animals

Adversary relationship originates on earth in the animal world. Earth supplies limited space for the animals. Space is finite. Good space is even more finite. It is very limited. There is only so much good water, so much good grazing land, so much good shelter, and so much good potential food. There is not enough to go around. The space-binders must compete for this limited amount of good space. They compete adversarialy. They compete by fighting and flighting. They compete by attacking and killing other space-binders. They compete by devouring the energy-binders.

Animal survival depends entirely on finding others to eat. The herbivores depend on finding plants to eat. The carnivores depend on finding other animals to eat. The animals inability to utilize sunlight to synthesize organic tissue means they must eat organic tissue. Animals survive by eating either plants or animals. Animals are completely dependent on other for survival. This fact makes animals the dependent class of life – dependent on other.

Imagine a fox chasing a rabbit, if the fox is quick enough, it will win a meal, at the expense of the rabbit who loses its life. On the other hand, if the rabbit is quicker, the fox loses a meal, and the rabbit wins its life. The animals live in an adversary world of losers and winners. This is a world of fighting and flighting – of pain and dying. To win in this world someone must lose. Winning is always at the cost of another.All animals, from the smallest insect to the largest whale are struggling to avoid losing – struggling to avoid being hurt.

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

The animals must fight and flee to stay alive, and they do. Always ready at a moments notice to go tooth and nail to avoid losing – to avoid death. Losers/winners is the harshest of games. Winning is always at the cost of another’s life.

The loser tends to resist with all of its might occasionally prevailing by killing or wounding its attacker. So both parties can lose, turning the game – losers/winners into losers/losers.

If we analyze adversary relationships, we discover that individuals are less after the relationship. (1+1) < 2. In the animal world where the loser forfeits its life (1+1) = 1. Or in the end game of losers/losers, both adversaries may die in battle, then (1+1) = 0.

Adversity is completely natural in the animal world. It is the law of Nature for dependent live forms. It is the way of all animal life. The adversary way is not bad for the animals, it is Nature’s way.

The animals have acquired the ability to move voluntarily, but they lack the ability to understand their environment. Their inability to understand locks them into the adversary world.

To be complete, some plants do not have chlorophyll. They cannot convert radiant energy to chemical energy. They lack the full power of energy-binding. They are dependent life forms like the animals and survive through adversary relationships with other forms of life. This includes pathological bacteria and parasitic plants. This also includes the carnivorous plants which possess a primitive form of mobility.

Time-binding – the power of humans

We humans are time-binders. We possess the power to understand and through that understanding to control and dominate planet earth.

The power of time-binding is to understand – to observe and remember change over time. Understanding comes from the awareness of time – an awareness that allows humans to experience time as sequential or linear.

Tomorrow follows today as today followed yesterday. Time always moves from the past to the present, from the present to the future. Change is bound in time. And time-binders can understand change in space because of their awareness of time.

Time-binding is a new way of thinking – analytical thinking. The time-binder can make decisions based on understanding changes in his environment over time. Time-binding analysis is sequential analysis – linear analysis – focused on the parts rather than the whole.

Analytical thinking recognizes cause and effect. Time-binders are the masters of cause and effect. When humans understand cause and effect, they make scientific discovery. They make knowledge. When humans make choices based on knowledge, they make inventions. They make technology. Time-binders are the creators of knowledge and technology. When knowledge is incorporated into matter-energy, it becomes a tool.

Humans are above all else toolmakers. Most of our knowledge is embedded in our tools. Human knowledge grows continuously and without limit. As we incorporate our evermore powerful knowledge into tools. We produce evermore powerful tools.

Time-binding’s head start

Time-binding is also that unique human ability to pass that ‘knowing’ from one generation to the next generation. Both animal and human offspring begin their lives in nearly total ignorance. The differences that exist between them are small, but what advantage in ‘knowing’ that does exist belongs clearly to the animal. While the animal seems to begin life with a greater store of inherited ‘knowing’, it possesses little ability to learn from its parents. The animal is condemned to rediscover over and over, every generation must discover anew the ‘knowings’ of its parents. The wise old owl may know a great deal, but he has no way to pass what he knows to his offspring and they have no way to receive it. We humans are very different in that respect. We can and do pass our knowing from one generation to the next.

My grandmother was born in a house without telephone, radio, television, electricity, or running water. My mother was born in the same house, but with the addition of electricity, running water, and radio. I was born in a modern hospital, my mother was put to sleep for the delivery and I grew up in a house with electricity, running water, flush toilets, radios, and telephone, and when I was eight, we got a television.

My daughters were born in a hospital home birth center with my wife awake and participating. My daughters have grown up in a house with three televisions, two stereos, three radios, several telephones, two video recorders, and three personal computers.

We humans do not start our ‘knowing’ over every generation. My paternal grandfather had a 3rd grade education; my maternal grandfather had an 8th grade education.

My parents were high school graduates. I have 26 years of formal education and a doctorate. My wife’s mother has a grade school education; her father finished high school. My wife completed 23 years of formal education and has a graduate degree.

Our two daughters are now teenagers attending college, but both were involved in organized and systematic educational programs since their births. I am not smarter than my grandparents or my parents, I am simply later. Present humanity is not smarter than past humanity, they are simply later. As Alfred Korzybski explained in 1921:

“Human beings possess a most remarkable capacity which is entirely peculiar to them – I mean the capacity to summarize, digest and appropriate the labors and experiences of the past; I mean the capacity to use the fruits of past labors and experiences as intellectual or spiritual capital for developments in the present; I mean the capacity to employ as instruments of increasing power the accumulated achievements of the all-previous lives of the past generations spent in trial and error, trial and success; I mean the capacity of human beings to conduct their lives in the ever increasing light of inherited wisdom; I mean the capacity in virtue of which man is at once the inheritor of the bygone ages and the trustee of posterity. And because humanity is just this magnificent natural agency by which the past lives in the present and the present for the future, I define humanity, in the universal tongue of mathematics and mechanics, to be the time-binding class of life.” (2)

We humans bind time and are bound together in time. The record of our time-binding is everywhere. It is in all that activity that we so innocently call progress. It is the very motor of obsolescence. It is embedded in just about everything associated with humans and yet most humans are unaware of the very power that makes them human. We humans catalogue and store our various knowings in libraries, universities, colleges, data banks, and information services. We store our knowing in many formats – books, tapes, films, movies, newspapers, magazines, video, microfilm, photos, computer files, etc., etc., etc..

We are time-binders and the mark of our human power is everywhere.

But, humans are more than just time-binders with the power to understand. We also have the power of space-binding – mobility and the ability to think wholistically, and the power of energy-binding – conversion of plant and animal tissue to organic chemical energy, growth and organization of energy.

Human success depends not just on understanding, but also on knowing when, where and how to be mobile. And also on the ability to control the energy which we will need to power our movement. We must have adequate energy stored so that we can release it at the proper moment to adapt to our environment.

Synergy – the natural law of humans

The synergic relationship originates in the human world. As Korzybski foresaw:

“The human class of life is a part and a product of nature, therefore, there must be fundamental laws which are natural for this class of life. A stone obeys the natural laws of stones; a liquid conforms to the natural law of liquids; a plant, to the natural laws of plants; an animal, to the natural laws of animals; it follows inevitably that there must be natural laws for humans.” (3)

Universe provides unlimited time for humans. This is in the sense of time-binding. Human lives are finite, but human knowing is not. Humans discovered control of fire ~1.5 million years ago, and it has been in daily use since then.

Humans invented the wheel ~5500 years ago and its use is everywhere today. Because humans pass their knowing to their descendants, in a sense, collective human life is not limited. Understanding is not limited. Knowing is not limited. Technology is not limited. Quality of human life based on knowing and technology is not limited.

We first discover synergic relationship in the microscopic universe. It is the basis of human cellular organization. Each of us has approximately 40 trillion cells organized within our bodies. These cells are related synergically, each acting in a highly co-Operative way.

Synergic relationship becomes available to human individuals because of time-binding. Our ability to invent and to understand new ways of doing things creates a new possibility for co-Operation which does not exist in the world of the plants and animals.

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

Cooperation is an old word with lots of different meanings and feelings attached to it. Similar words are uniting, banding, combining, concurring, conjoining, and leaguing. Individuals who cooperate are affiliates, allies, associates, or confederates.

To some cooperation seems a losing word associated with socialism and communism. This is not what I mean. Co-Operation in synergic relationship means operating together to insure a win-win outcome.

Co-Operation is the mechanism of action necessary whenever an individual desires to accomplish a task beyond his individual abilities.

Imagine, you and a friend are moving a heavy piece of furniture. Neither of you are strong enough to move the furniture by yourself. You decide to co-operate. You decide to operate together during the lifting. You would negotiate to insure that both of you win – to insure that both of you are helped.

The conversation might go like this, “Are you ready?” “OK.” “Ready, 1.. 2.. 3.. lift!”, and if things are going well that is fine, but if one end gets too heavy then synergic co-Operation requires that you also protect each other from loss. “Whoops! Set it down.”

This is the synergic veto. This is the true meaning of co-Operation. The negotiation to insure that both parties win, and the synergic veto to stop the action if either party is losing.

A very limited form of cooperation exists among some animals. We see it the hunting pride of lions and within the hyena pack. Human co-Operation is a much more powerful mechanism. Animals have no voice with which to negotiate an action in which they win. They have no voice to veto an action in which they lose. Their primitive cooperation is guided by instinct, and it is quick to breakdown into the fighting and flighting of the adversary way.

We humans share the animal body, to survive we must also eat. We are omnivores. We meet our basic needs and survive by eating both plants and animals. Physiologically, we humans are also a dependent class of life. So adversary behavior comes to humans legitimately. But we humans are much more intelligent than the animals and that intelligence gives us the synergic option to avoid fighting or flighting.

True co-Operation – working together, teamwork, joint effort, alliances – these are only possible to a life form with symbolic intelligence – to a life form with a voice and with language – to a life form able to negotiate and veto. On earth, synergic relationships are only available only to humans.

Synergic relationship means sometimes I depend on other and sometimes other depends on me.

Synergic relationship makes humans the interdependent class of life – interdependent on each other. Today, synergic relationship exists only within small groups of humans.

Today, we find synergic relationships within families, occasionally within small businesses. But, there are no examples of institutionalized Synergy. Today, there are no synergic governments.

Co-Operation results when there are no losers and no one is ignored. When humans behave synergically, they seek their goals and needs as allies rather than as competitors. Human intelligence is most useful when we humans think of ways where all parties can win and where there is no need for losers. Synergic relationships can produce all-win scenarios. And when humans begin to co-Operate wonderful things can happen. When we analyze synergic relationships, we find that (1+1) > 2 , frequently it’s much greater (1+1) >>> 2.

Synergic mechanism is basic to Life. Synergy is present in the energy-binders. If we examine the plants microscopically, we find that every cell within a plant is organized to work together, each contributing to the integrity of the whole plant. The whole plant is more than an accumulation of vegetable cells. However at the macroscopic level the plant is neutral. It has no relationship with other plants.

Synergy is present in the space-binders as well. If we examine the animals we will find that microscopically they are synergically organized. Their organelles are synergized into cells, their cells are synergized into tissues, their tissues are synergized into organs, their organs are synergized into the organism-as-a-whole. Every cell interacting synergistically with every other cell. But for space-binders this is where synergy stops. The space-binder is behaviorally an adversary – the very opposite of synergy.

The intelligence of space-binding is inadequate to allow space-binders to organize themselves into a synergic community. The lion kills the zebra with no thought of the community of animals. The space-binder is not irresponsible he is aresponsible. His adversary behavior is the result of innocence. He sees himself as the only “whole”.

In the adversary world there is only good space or bad space. The animal lives the life of true dependence. If he is to eat, he must kill other.

We humans are also microscopic synergies. However, on the macroscopic or behavioral level we have a choice as how to behave. We can choose Adversity, Neutrality or Synergy. Today1999 most of us choose Adversity and Neutrality, and most of our relationships are adversary and neutral.

However, we humans do have the synergic option denied to the plants and animals. In synergic relationship, (1+1 ) > 2, (1+1) can be 25. In synergic relationship (1+1+1+1) can equal 100,000,000.

The Beatles – an example of synergy

Four young musicians named, John, Paul, George, and Ringo form a group in England in the 1960’s.

If we add up their separate individual musical abilities, (1+1+1+1), we would expect it would equal 4. But when The Beatles perform in synergy they break the rules of Newtonian logic with their joining, for The Beatles (1+1+1+1) equaled hundreds of MILLION$.

Synergy is in the “whole”. When the synergic relationship was broken, when The Beatles stopped performing together as a group in 1979, and began performing as individuals, their earnings dropped off dramatically despite high separate activity.

Forbes Magazine ranked The Beatles #5 on its list of the 40 top earners in the field of entertainment for period 1996-1997. The Beatles music royalties for this period totaled $98,000,000.00 eighteen years after they had disbanded.

What made the Beatles so very special cannot be found by analyzing John, Paul, George, or Ringo as separate musicians.

Synergy then is that something extra that exists in the whole that cannot be discovered by analyzing and summing the parts.

In summary then, Alfred Korzybski defined the three classes of life as energy-binders, space-binders, & time-binders.

Plants adapt through their awareness and control of energy. Animals adapt through their awareness and control of space, and. Humans adapt through their awareness and control of time.

Plants possess the power of energy-binding which is growth and organization. Animals possess the power of space-binding which is mobility and some of the power of energy-binding. Humans possess the power of time-binding which is understanding, and some of the power of space-binding and some of the power of energy-binding.

The natural law of plants is Neutrality – they ignore other.

The natural law of animals is Adversity – they hurt other.

The natural law of humans is Synergy – they help other.

Plants have no relationship with other. They are the independent class of life.

Animals depend on others as a source of food. They are the dependent class of life. Their lives are filled with conflict – the struggle to avoid being hurt.

Humans share the animal body and physiologically we depend on others as a source of food. However, psychologically and socially, sometimes we depend on others and sometimes others depend on us. We are the interdependent class of life.

Interdependence gives us humans the option for co-Operation.

We can choose to operate together to insure that both parties win, and neither party loses. We can negotiate to insure that both parties are helped, and that neither party is hurt. We can veto any action that would cause either party to lose or be hurt.

1 Alfred Korzybski, The Manhood of Humanity, E.P. Dutton & Co., New York, 1921 2 Alfred Korzybski, The Manhood of Humanity, ibid

3 Alfred Korzybski, The Manhood of Humanity, ibid

UnCommon Sense Library


The BasicsWe Can All Win!-PDF

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

The Science — UnCommon Science(PDF)

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

5—Order (PDF)-New

The Present — Crisis: Danger & Opportunity

The Future – A Synergic Future

Front Page

Saturday, August 22nd, 2009

This is an excerpt from an amazing book titled The Ascent of Humanity. Is it possible to be an optimistic realist? The author makes an impressive case for the affirmative. It is clear that he believes in a Future Positive.

The Convergence of Crises

Charles Eisenstein

For people immersed in the study of any of the crises that afflict our planet, it becomes abundantly obvious that we are doomed. Politics, finance, energy, education, health care, and most importantly the ecosystem are headed toward near-certain collapse. During the ten years I’ve spent writing this book, I have become familiar with each of these crises of civilization, enough to get some sense of their enormity and inevitability. Every year I would wonder whether this might be the last “normal” year of our era. I felt the dread of what a collapse might bring, and visited the despair of knowing that our best efforts to avert it are dwarfed by the forces driving us toward catastrophe.

One of the main purposes of this book is to speak to that despair. In answer, I offer a plausible and unexpected optimism. It is not a blind optimism that ignores the magnitude of our crisis, but a practical one that sees and integrates all the ugly facts of our world. It is optimism fully aware of the horror and suffering that are as old as civilization and that are approaching their feverish crescendo in the convergence of crises that is almost upon us.

First and foremost, I am aware of the environmental crisis: climate change, desertification, coral bleaching, tree death, topsoil erosion, habitat destruction, irreversible loss of biodiversity, toxic and radioactive waste, the PCBs in every living cell, the vast swaths of disappearing rainforests, the dead rivers, lakes and seas, the slag heaps and quarry pits, the living world reduced to profit and pavement.

I am aware of Peak Oil and the dependency of all aspects of our economic infrastructure and food supply on fossil fuels. And I realize that no conventionally-recognized alternative energy source can possibly hope to replace oil and gas any time soon.

I am aware of the impending health crisis: the epidemic rise of autoimmune diseases; the causes and effects of heavy metal poisoning, electromagnetic, chemical, and genetic pollution. I am aware of the degeneration of the modern diet, the toxicity and impotence of most pharmaceutical drugs, the suppression of alternative therapies.

I am aware of the fragility of the global financial system, a Ponzi scheme five hundred years in the making, and the hyperinflation, currency collapse, and depression waiting for the day when the American debt pyramid can no longer be sustained.

I know about the political trend toward fascism and the surveillance state, the barely-concealed contingency plans for martial law, the concentration of media, and the ubiquitous propaganda machine—so successful that even its operators are unconscious of it—that legitimizes the hijacking of government for profit in the world’s most heavily armed nation. I know of the machinations of the global power elite, its addiction to the arms, narcotics, and prison industries, and its increasing desperation to hold onto power as Things Fall Apart. Nor do I imagine that we can cleanse the system by removing a few bad apples, because I understand that nearly every important institution of our civilization is complicit in this plunder.

I am aware that the bloody terror that has long stalked civilization remains essentially undiminished today. My optimism does not ignore the Tutsi babies smashed to death against walls in front of their mothers. It does not ignore the genocide repeated throughout history, with no end in sight. Nor I am ignorant of the widespread torture happening in prisons and police stations around the world, including my own country.

My optimism is cognizant of the ongoing destruction of the world’s languages, cultures, and communities at the hands of the all-consuming global corporate-consumer monoculture. I know about factory working conditions in the Third World, and the utter destitution and despair that prevail there. I have met people working eighty-hour workweeks, barely subsisting, so that the developed world can suffocate under useless piles of plastic junk that contribute to its own brand of misery.

I am aware that even the winners, the most privileged under the present global regime, are actually among its most pitiable victims. I have witnessed the alienation, despair, and loneliness of the very rich, whose acquisition of mansions, money, sports cars, wealth, prestige, and power do nothing to fill the inner void.

I am as aware as the most outspoken radical that our schools have become much like prisons, complete in some cases with barbed wire barricades, metal detectors, random locker searches, uniforms, prohibitions on personal articles, drug testing, armed guards, undercover police, video surveillance, and chemical control over those who will not submit. I know of parents threatened with legal action for failing to medicate their children.

Nor does my optimism depend on the god Technology come to save us, for I am aware that technology has abetted the despoliation of the planet, the acceleration of the pace of life, and the dehumanization of the world as it is converted into money, property, and data.

So please do not think that I am an optimist only because I do not recognize the true dimensions of the crisis. I have integrated it all, and remain an optimist. The kind of optimism associated with a blithe disregard for the fact that many people today live in Hell and are creating more Hell is no optimism at all, but mere fantasy. It is the kind of optimism that paves over a toxic waste dump and forgets it was ever anything but a parking lot. Out of sight, out of mind.

As the parking lot metaphor suggests, false optimism of this sort is actually a recipe for disaster. My optimism is of a different sort, independent of the logic of the technological fix, which says that these problems swept under the rug don’t matter—that science, after all, will find an answer, that technology will find a way. By now, I think most of us see through that, as the long-awaited technological Utopia recedes ever farther into the future.

It is not my purpose to persuade you that we indeed face an environmental, financial, political, energy, soil, medical, or water crisis. Others have done so far more compellingly than I could. Nor is it my aim to inspire you with hope that they may be averted. They cannot be, because the things that must happen to avert them will only happen as their consequence. All present proposals for changing course in time to avert a crash are wildly impractical. My optimism is based on knowing that the definition of “practical” and “possible” will soon change as we collectively hit bottom.

Another way to put it is that my optimism depends on a miracle. No, not a supernatural agency come to save us. What is a miracle? A miracle comes from a new sense of what is possible, born from a surrender of the attempt to manage and control life. In individual experience miracles often happen when life overwhelms us. For an alcoholic, to suggest “just stop drinking” is ludicrous, impossible, unimaginable. It takes a miracle. The changes that need to happen to save the planet are the same. No mainstream politician is proposing them; few are even aware of just how deep the changes must go.

When the above-mentioned crises converge, when we experience acutely and undeniably that the situation is out of control, when the failure of the old regime is utterly transparent, then solutions that appear hopelessly radical today will become matters of common sense.

And this will happen. The timing of each crisis is uncertain, but the forces driving them are inexorable and cannot fail to be expressed sooner or later. Processes set in motion long ago have accelerated past critical mass; we are just beginning to taste their effects. Even if we somehow stopped making new pollution right now, the cumulative effects of existing ecological damage are enough to generate catastrophe. The same inevitability is true in other realms as well: public health, education, finance, and politics. It is already too late. It is only a matter of how soon, how bad, how long. However bad you think it is, it is probably worse. Read books like The Dying of the Trees or Boiling Point if you don’t believe me.

Like the Titanic, the momentum of technological society is so huge that even if we reversed the engines and steered hard right now, the short-term and mid-term course of events would not change much. We are on a collision course with nature that can no longer be averted. Yet not only have we done little to brake or steer away from the looming iceberg, we have maintained an oblivious policy of “full speed ahead!” In the United States, Republican policy has been essentially, “What iceberg?” while the Democrats try to change course by a few degrees—but not so quickly as to spill the drinks on the first class deck. The “practical” proposals and workable compromises on the table are woefully inadequate. One party repudiates the Kyoto Treaty and the other endorses it, but few acknowledge that even that is far too little, far too late. Outside the United States, “developing” countries such as India and China, abetted by Western institutions, stoke the Titanic’s furnaces with their headlong industrialization using the old linear model of extraction, processing, consumption, and waste.

And meanwhile, on deck the party continues, as it will continue to continue even after the first crunch reverberates through the ship, even as the icy torrent consumes compartment after compartment. On the top deck the band will play on even as the ship lists and rolls, maintaining a desperate and deadly illusion of normalcy.

At this point the utter bankruptcy of the program of competition, security, and financial independence will begin to become so flagrantly obvious that no one will be able to ignore it. I once read a pessimistic book of the business genre forecasting a polarized society of crime-ridden slums and wealthy walled, gated, fenced, alarmed, guarded communities. The author’s advice was to contrive to live in the latter! This is tantamount to climbing to the highest deck of a sinking ship. Everyone speaks of the intensifying competitiveness of the present era, evoking in my mind masses of rats struggling and clawing for the top—where they will perish but a few minutes later than the rest.

Yes, you can locate yourself as far as possible from the war zones, trash incinerators, toxic waste dumps, smog zones, bad neighborhoods, and other perils of an increasingly toxic world, but sooner or later the converging crises of our era will obliterate all defenses. No matter how diversified your investments, no matter how many guns in your walled compound or cans of food in your basement, the tide of calamity will eventually engulf you. Gates, locks, razor wire and guns can ensure security only temporarily, and a fraudulent, anxious security it is. Eventually we will abandon our bunker mentality and understand that the only security comes through giving, opening, and being at the center of a flux of relationships, not taking more and more for self; security comes not from independence but from interdependence. The survivors will not be those who try to insulate themselves in a fortress, but who are able to give, to help, and to contribute to a community. They will form the basis of a new kind of civilization.

Our crises are converging within a ten or twenty-year timespan because they are related. Each helps precipitate the others, even as each arises from the common source described in this book. We can see harbingers of what is to come when politicians use terrorism as a pretext to abrogate civil liberties and intensify the recording and controlling of people’s activities. In Asia the same thing happened during the SARS crisis, as it might here under contingency plans for influenza or smallpox epidemics. And historically, the connection between economic collapse and political fascism is well-documented. Already drought and ecological degradation are beginning to generate refugees; imagine the political instability that could result when today’s localized disasters coalesce and swell into regional or global environmental degeneration. Nations are already at war over oil; imagine the consequences of shortages not just in energy but in food and water too.

The foregoing doom-and-gloom scenario might seem familiar in tone if not in details, but consider that it may be not just The End but a Beginning as well, a birthing crisis that will propel us into a new age based on a different sense of self. This is not to say we can sit back and wait for the birthing to happen. Despite the inevitability of our gathering crisis, the seemingly futile efforts of generations of activists to avert it are extremely important. If you are such a person, facing down despair to tackle impossibly huge problems, take heart that your work is not in vain. While it is true that no effort at renewable energy, wastewater recycling, local currency, wetlands preservation, or reform of any aspect of society is going to avert catastrophe, these efforts are sowing seeds for the planetary renewal that can happen after the present regime collapses, after the addict has hit bottom upon the exhaustion of his very last technical fix.

All the technical solutions for living sustainably and harmoniously exist already, and indeed always have existed. What is required is a shift in consciousness, a reconception of ourselves as individuals and as a species that will reverse the widening separation and deepening misery of the past millennia, but that, paradoxically, will only come as their result.

The shift in consciousness I speak of is not predicated upon any sort of technological invention, nor does it insist on a regression in our technological level. Once it happens, though—and it is already beginning to happen—vast technological consequences will proceed as a matter of course. Visionary people are pioneering these material and social technologies today, in response to the increasing futility of the old modes of management and control. That their inventions are not adopted on a wide scale simply means that the requisite shift in consciousness has yet to manifest. They are simply inconsistent with who we are today. We already know everything we need to know—it is just a matter of growing into it.

The mechanisms by which society suppresses the technologies of sustainability all rest on the same delusion that is at the core of this book: the discrete and separate self. In economics, this delusion manifests as interest and the externalization of costs. These in turn present an insuperable barrier to processes based on cyclical flow. In science, the same delusion blinds us to other conceptions of what is possible and practical, generating barriers to the acceptance of new understanding and new technologies. In medicine it focuses research within the old us-versus-them mentality that is constitutionally unable to grapple with the new autoimmune diseases, and classifies other modalities as unscientific. In the areas of politics, law, and education we have also seen how the paradigm of control eliminates solutions that do not extend the ordering, numbering, standardizing, and controlling of the world.

The fact that the regime of separation appears to be reaching new heights, the fact that the whole globe is falling into the grip of the monetization of life and the commodification of relationship, the fact that the numbering, labeling, and controlling of the world and everything in it is approaching unprecedented extremes, does not mean that prospects for a more beautiful world are receding into the distance. Rather, like a wave rolling toward shore, the Age of Separation rears up to its maximum height even as it hollows out in the moment before it crashes. This crash, inevitable eons ago, is upon us today. As for the world that we can build thereafter, we can see glimpses of it in all the “alternatives” presented today with so little effect.

The present convergence of crises was written into the future thousands of years ago. It is the inevitable culmination of the separation that began in the deep past, and that once initiated, could do no other than to build upon itself. From the very moment we began to see ourselves as apart from nature, our doom was sealed. While the impending crash is all too plain today, it was much harder to foresee centuries or millennia ago when the world was still large and we were still few and the effects of treating the world as an other were easy to escape. Nonetheless, throughout history perceptive individuals have seen the writing on the wall, the inevitable destination toward which our conception of self and world propels us. Long ago they saw the first stirrings of a gathering calamity written into who we are, and they couched their insights in the language of myth and metaphor.

Some of their metaphors are quite striking. Plagues of locusts symbolizing the ecology gyrating out of balance; plagues of boils symbolizing the diseases we have brought upon ourselves. Wars and rumors of wars. The Whore of Babylon, representing the commoditization of sexuality but also the prostituting of the sacred in general. The end-of-the-world prophecies so popular in American fundamentalist Christianity today tap into an authentic realization, except for the idea that our salvation will come from without. They imagine Jesus coming down from the sky to take away the True Believers in a rapturous escape from a world we have ruined. It is a thought form exactly parallel to that of the techno-utopians. Only the identity of their god is different.

The same awareness of gathering crisis manifests subconsciously in mass society as an all-pervading dread. Subtle when times are good, even the best of times cannot allay the ambient anxiety that pervades the ebb and flow of life and business—the very same anxiety that is embedded in our science and that drives the Technological Program. Infusing our entire culture, anxiety fuels our defining compulsion to control.

Accordingly, for thousands of years now people have been predicting the end of the world—and soon! Though their frequent postponement of the date of Armageddon detracts from their credibility, the basic psychic energy behind the loonies holding up placards on Times Square comes from a real source. They are tapping into a true insight: the edifice of civilization has an irremediable structural flaw that dictates its eventual collapse. We are on a collision course with nature and with human nature.

This long chiliastic tradition, going back to the originators of myths like Armageddon and Ragnarok—the battle at the end of the world—has consistently underestimated just how far separation could proceed, the depths of alienation we could reach, and the capacity of the technologies of control to patch up and shore up the teetering edifice of civilization. And perhaps I too am premature: perhaps we will continue to manage the proliferating consequences of past technology; perhaps the mad scramble to compensate for the lost functioning of ecosystem, polity, and body will be successful for a long time to come; and perhaps we will find as yet unimagined new realms of social, natural, cultural, and spiritual capital to feed the engine of perpetual growth.

Perhaps. For a time. But even if we find a way to hold off for another century the looming convergence of crises, everything I am telling you is still valid.

Notably, these world-ending myths had also in common that the ending is not of the world per se, but of the world as we know it. Some even described a vision of what was to come thereafter. Like the world-ending battle, the world thereafter projects into the collective unconscious as intuition and myth. Deep deep down, we all know that a much better world is possible, and more than possible, certain, someday. Ultimately it is this knowing, and not the ideology of the Technological Program, that generates the “Gee Whiz—The Future!” myth with which I opened this book. The Technological Program ideology merely coopts this intuitively sensed future by claiming it will be brought about by more of the same rather than by its collapse.

The same knowing comes out also in the age-old myth of heaven which, though idealized and abstracted under the regime of dualism into a realm separate from earth, nonetheless portends on a metaphoric level the necessity of the end of life-as-we-know-it. Even the procedure for entering heaven usually involves some kind of transcendence of the customary self, a letting go of the old ways of being; as the Christian formulation has it, to be reborn in Christ. In the same way, the glorious estate to which humanity may ascend after the convergence can only come after the breakdown in our collective self-definition as distinct from nature and exempt from nature’s rules.

The visions of utopia that have recurred throughout the modern age are more than technologicalist propaganda, but hark as well to that universal certainty that a world is possible far more beautiful than what we have wrought today. Yet as the word Utopia, which literally means “no such place,” implies,1 we can never attain such a world through the types of efforts that have brought us to where we are today. Utopia will not be achieved by better science, more precise technology, finer control over inner or outer reality. It will not happen by trying harder to be good, and not by better controlling nature or human nature. Quite the opposite. The Hell we have created originated in the program to objectify and control nature. It is only by transcending that program and its accompanying conception of self that we can expect to create anything other than a further intensification of what we have today.

In parallel with Millenarian predictions of doomsday, New Age proclamations of the dawning Age of Aquarius have also proven premature. But that doesn’t mean these visions are false. The Sixties hippies who knew beyond doubt that in ten years, war, money, laws, school, and so on would be obsolete were seeing a true future, a true inevitability that is not invalidated by the fact that most of them went on to become dentists. Once when my brother was standing in line at the Department of Motor Vehicles, the ex-hippie standing next to him said, “Man, we were through with all this. In the Sixties we were finished with lines and forms and ID’s.” To the hippies it seemed obvious that all these institutions were obsolete, that they would wither away in the light of expanded consciousness quickly overtaking the planet. A few short years, that was all it would take.

The hippies were not mistaken. Indeed, for some the end of the old civilization manifested, subjectively, in their own lifetimes as they dropped out of the matrix. Some are still living today in the interstitial spaces of our society, nearly invisible, and neither money nor laws nor war is part of their experience. They are akin to the Taoist Immortals of Chinese legend who fade away from normal society into remote mountains, invisible to anyone subject to the usual cultural blinders, and interceding but rarely in human affairs. For the rest, those that stepped back from their vision to become dentists and lawyers, the future they saw with such compelling clarity remains just that, a future. What they saw was true; only their temporal interpretation of that vision was off.

It is an inevitable future, yes, but also, paradoxically, one that we have the power to postpone indefinitely, to the day when every last vestige of beauty is consumed.

For many people, the convergence of crises has already happened, propelling them, like the hippies or Taoist Immortals, into a release of controlled, bounded, separate conceptions of self, away from the technologies of separation, and toward new systems of money, education, technology, medicine, and language. In various ways, they withdraw from the apparatus of the Machine. When crises converge, life as usual no longer makes sense, opening the way for a rebirth, a spiritual transformation. Mystics throughout the ages have recognized that heaven is not some distant, separate realm located at the end of life and time, but rather is available always, interpenetrating ordinary existence. As Jesus said, “The Kingdom of the Father is in us and among us.” This is the esoteric meaning Matthew Fox ascribes to the Second Coming: not a single definable event in objective time, but the sum total of all our temporally separated, fitful, but inexorable awakenings to Christ consciousness.2 What is special about our age is that the fulfillment of processes of separation on the collective level are causing this personal convergence of crises, and the subsequent awakening to a new sense of self, to happen to many people all at once.

The promise of a recovery of a long-lost Golden Age reverberates through countless myths. The heart-chord it strikes has inspired visionaries and idealists from time immemorial, and explains the unquenchable hope that springs, as the saying goes, eternal from the human breast. As well, it fuels a healthy discontent—the flip side of modern anxiety—that refuses to believe that this is the best we can do. It is an indignation, a muted outrage that can be allayed temporarily by comforts and luxuries, that can be subdued, temporarily, by survival anxiety, that is always strongest in the young, and that lies latent in all of us, ever-ready to be roused into a crusading idealism, though often coopted toward the perpetuation of the very conditions that give it rise. It is my purpose, dear reader, to give voice to your indignation and to reaffirm your intuitive knowledge that life is meant to be more. I’ll conclude with a lyrical description of the lost and future Golden Age by the visionary cartoonist Patrick Farley:

“Could you or I believe that—despite all our hard work to ensure the contrary—our descendants finally figured out a way to live without hurting each other?

“Could you or I comprehend, even for a moment, how fiercely my great-granddaughter and her friends loved being alive, and that this love was not an evanescent mood, but a never-ending power which pervaded every sleeping and waking moment of their lives?

“Could you or I believe how fantastically wealthy they all became?

“Could you or I believe it? Could we stand to believe it?” 3

1) The root is not the Greek eu-, meaning “good”, but rather ou-, meaning “not”.

2) Matthew Fox, The Coming of the Cosmic Christ, Harper, San Francisco, 1988.

3) Patrick Farley, Chrysalis Colossus,

Google Charles Eisenstein

Future Positive

Monday, August 10th, 2009

Dr. Peter Corning proposes a new political-economic system for humanity.

Toward a 21st Century Evolutionary Ethics

Peter Corning, Ph.D.

I would like to propose four basic propositions (core assumptions) that, I believe, are vitally important for constructing a 21st century evolutionary ethics. These propositions are as follows:

1. The basic, continuing, inescapable problem for humankind is survival and reproduction; this is a problem that can never be permanently solved.

2. The ongoing survival challenge entails a broad array of “basic needs” that can be empirically documented; they are imperatives for survival.

3. An organized society is quintessentially a “collective survival enterprise.” Whatever may be our illusions, aspirations, or personal agendas, the fundamental purpose of a human society is to provide the wherewithal for meeting our basic survival needs. Indeed, the vast majority of human activity, even in complex modern societies, is devoted either directly or indirectly to meeting basic needs.

4. In complex societies, the survival enterprise is inextricably interdependent in nature (it can properly be characterized as a super-organism) and is becoming ever more so.

To quote that great free market advocate, Adam Smith: “In civilized society [man] stands at all times in need of the co-operation of and assistance of great multitudes…man has almost constant occasion for the help of his brethren.”

Let me digress here, for a moment, to stress something that may not be so obvious. The term “basic needs” is often treated in social theory as being relative, or a matter of personal preference. But from a biological/survival perspective, this is absolutely false. Basic needs can be strictly defined in biological terms, as requisites for the normal functioning of an organism, and a failure to meet these needs will cause more or less severe harm to its chances for survival and reproduction.

Moreover, our basic needs constitute a much bigger and more encompassing challenge than is commonly associated with the term. There is a research program at our institute called the Survival Indicators Program, which has documented and empirically validated at least 14 broad “domains” of basic survival needs in humankind.

They are referred to as basic needs “domains” because many of them in fact encompass an array of different elements. An obvious case in point is the variety of nutrients required for a balanced diet.

Survival Indicators: The 14 “Basic Needs”

1. Adequate Nutrition

2. Fresh Water

3. Thermoregulation

4. Waste Elimination

5. Respiration

6. Sleep

7. Mobility

8. Physical Safety

9. Physical Health

10. Mental Health

11. Social Communications

12. Social Relationships

13. Reproduction

14. Nurturance for Offspring

There are three interrelated normative principles that comprise the fair shares paradigm.

1. Goods and services should be distributed to each according to his or her basic needs.

This may sound like an echo of Karl Marx, but it is at once more specific and more limited. Here the term “basic needs” refers to the 14 primary needs domains mentioned above. Our basic needs are not a vague, open-ended abstraction, or a matter of personal preference. They constitute a concrete agenda, albeit subject to further refinement, with measurable indicators for assessing the outcomes. Also, this paradigm fully recognizes the fact that there are individual and contextual differences and vitally important instrumental needs, which are also subject to change throughout the life-cycle, and that reproduction and the needs of dependent offspring must be included as well. It should go without saying that both markets and a variety of other forms of collective action, inclusive of government actions, may have a role to play in meeting our basic needs.

2. “Surpluses” beyond the provision for our basic needs should be distributed according to “merit”.

Merit has many facets, of course, but the ultimate criterion is rewards that are proportionate to our contributions to the collective survival enterprise, and to our common needs (the public interest). This criterion would obviously exclude the profits of drug lords, for example, as well as excessive profits due to various market distortions, like monopoly and cartel pricing, or insider information, fraud, and so forth.

However, there is no formulaic way of determining merit. Many social mechanisms, ranging from the market place to a representative, mixed, democratic government, an independent judiciary and many other institutions and practices can and do play a vital role in the imperfect art of determining what is fair compensation.

The “merit” principle merely stakes a moral claim and poses the right question. Does this paradigm imply a return to “welfare queens,” or a culture of “free-loading” and an indolent class of economic “defectors”, to use the game theory terminology? The answer is emphatically not. Where is the equity in that? In fact, a crucial corollary of the two principles enunciated above is that the collective survival enterprise has always been based on mutualism and reciprocity, with altruism being limited – mostly – to special circumstances under a distinct moral claim (what could be called “no-fault needs”).

So a third principle must be added to the fair shares paradigm. It might be called a “reciprocity principle”:

3. In return for the benefits associated with the first two principles, each of us is obliged to contribute to the collective survival enterprise in accordance with his or her ability.

The “reciprocity principle” applies equally to the rich and the poor, to wealthy matrons and welfare mothers.

However, it also begs the question. How are “abilities” and “contributions” to be determined? Again, there are no formulaic answers, but societies have developed various ways for permitting such collective judgments to be made, from markets to legislatures, election processes, “random” military drafts, examinations, licenses, performance evaluations, progressive taxes, and many more.

Fairness is the golden thread that binds a viable society together. And when that thread breaks, the social fabric will unravel. But fairness is not an all-purpose formula or recipe. It is a general principle that recognizes the merit of competing interests and directs us to find equitable compromises.

In this paradigm, compromise is not a “sell-out” of one’s principles to political expediency but may well be, and often is, the assertion of a superordinate principle with a higher moral claim; it recognizes and accommodates legitimate competing interests, and it furthers the overarching goal of preserving a “just” economic and social order.

However, the evidence is all around us that fairness is often a matter of perspective; it can be a very difficult call. That is why we have a formal justice system, and mediators, family counselors, contract negotiations, and, not least, markets.

Indeed, every society has a panoply of informal customs and practices for approximating fairness — from “equal shares” to queuing and “first come, first served,” “taking turns,” “drawing straws,” and “handicapping”– like senior citizen discounts and allowing children to go free. In other words, fairness is an evolving (and sometimes devolving) work in progress, not an Olympian absolute.

Peter A. Corning, Ph.D., The Basic Problem is Still Survival and an Evolutionary Ethics is Indispensable, Institute For the Study of Complex Systems, Palo Alto, CA, 2003,

Dr. Corning has addressed this topic in more detail in a paper written in 2000 that he called  FAIR SHARES: Beyond Capitalism and Socialism.

Front Page

Sunday, July 5th, 2009

In America this weekend, we are again celebrating our Independence. Of course this so called “independence” is a complete falsehood. We Americans depend on the entire planet to provide us our wants and needs. We have lived beyond our means at every imaginable level, and now it is time it is time to pay the piper. Unfortunately, we will make the entire human species pay for our excesses.

Many of the articles and essays offered at SynEARTH in the past ten years have documented and explained our growing human crisis. And, in the past 18 months, this crisis has deepened so rapidly that the DANGER of it has colored everything being written and reported in our human journalism including the articles and essays posted here.

Today, I have some good news. There is also OPPORTUNITY within this crisis. But if we humans are to have any chance to seize this opportunity, we will have to face the truth.

We are NOT an independent class of life.

Our NeutralAdversary Political-Economic system cannot continue to function with 6.7 billion humans. It is failing now. Our recession will not end. There will be no recovery. We cannot fight our way out of this crisis. We cannot buy our way out of this crisis. It is time to put away weapons. It is time to put away money.

Only if we re-Organize ourselves — all 6.7 billion of us using a Synergic Political-Economic system do we have a chance to survive. There are three types of humans to be found in our present world. Which type you are depends on what you believe about how the world works.

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

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

And, finally a new type of human is emerging. Synergists believe there is enough for everyone but only if we work together and act responsibly. They believe humans are INTERdependent and can only obtain sufficiency by working together as synergic community or CommUnity.

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

This then is the essential challenge to humanity. Can we work together and act responsibly in time to save our ourselves on this planet? Can we learn from our mistakes in the past and co-Operate to co-Create a better future? Will we put away childish things — will we put away our weapons and our money? … From the FuturePositive Archives.

Declaration of INTERdependence

Timothy Wilken, MD

Human Co-Action CompassStop reading! Take a few moment to examine the contents of your pockets or purse.  . . .

Can you find any item there, that you obtained without the help of someone else? Look around you. What do you see? Did you make the clothes you wear? Did you grow the food you eat or the tools you use. Look around your home or workplace. Can you find anything that you made. Do you know the names of those who did make all these things? Do you ever know upon whom you depend. Can you find anything in your environment that was obtained without the help of someone else?

I am not talking about ownership here. I will grant that you own your possessions. But would you have them if they had not been for sale. I would argue that nearly everything modern humans possess was obtained with the help of others.

As I examine my world I discover that I depend on others to to grow and produce my food. I depend on others to design and build my home. I depend on others to generate my electricity. I depend on others to supply my water. I depend on others to deliver my mail. I depend on others to educate my children. I depend on others to entertain my family. I depend on others to manufacture my automobile. I depend on others to refine the gasoline for my car. I depend on others to care for my family when we are sick. I depend on others to protect us from crime and war. I depend on others to ___________.  I depend on others, I depend.

Human INTERdependence is made less visible by our present economic exchange system. I go to work and help my employer. He depends on me. At the end of the month he pays me for my help. I depend on him. I can then take some of the money from my paycheck to pay my house rent. While I depend on my landlord for the roof over my head, he depends on me to pay the rent promptly. Sometimes I depend on others and sometimes others depend on me. When we buy and sell in the economic marketplace we are really exchanging help. When I help others they owe me. When others help me I owe them. Money is just the present accounting mechanism we use to settle up. Arthur Noll explains:

People are interdependent, social beings. We do not, and cannot, live as the independent tiger, or orangutan, coming together only to mate briefly, all child care and education provided by the mother.

This has seemed obvious to me, and probably it is obvious to most, but it is such an important principle to base further observations on, and logically it is often ignored in the present scheme of things, so I think we should look at the reasons. Lets start with your naked body. Can you manage to clothe and feed and shelter this body, with no hands touching any article except your own hands? If you can make your own tools and live independently for just a few weeks or months, this is interesting, but of course real independence would be a lifetime of this, a reproducing lifetime, so it does fall considerably short of the mark. Additionally, it is an interesting thing that we are communicating, I have written and you are reading this paper. Independent organisms don’t behave like this, if you were independent, your only concern for me should be to tell me to get out of your way, or that you want to mate, and you need no language beyond what the tigers and orangutans use for this. I have heard people say, that they could live independently if they chose. To those few who feel that way, well, you haven’t chosen that path if you are reading this, so if you want to choose it now, then I think you ought to take off your society made things and go. We will send a biologist to study how you live – if you live.

Next question, is a male- female unit capable of independence? The answer is quite important to the issue of reproduction.

I have never heard of this being done, and I don’t believe it can be done. Working together, a man and woman with the proper education might make primitive tools and cover some basic needs, if resources are abundant. But wherever resources are abundant, you are going to find competition. Predators can be a serious problem with just primitive weapons, and just two people, one of which might be pregnant or holding an infant. It is true that most large predators are afraid of human beings at the present time, but animals of all kinds eventually test the limits. Domestic animals can be very sensitive about electric fences, for example. You can turn off the fence for weeks, after they learn about wires giving shocks. But they eventually test and learn, and are out. You would not likely find it workable to stay together all the time, either, and the one carrying the child would be alone and vulnerable. And of course, human predators working as a pack, a social group, certainly exist and are the most powerful threat of all. While fantasies are common about individuals and couples escaping social groups, the reality is different. Groups of people have made the rules for individuals for a long time.

It is interesting to note that walking on two legs has not been all that uncommon in the history of life, but I can think of no other species that has attempted pregnancy on two legs. Two legged creatures have always been egg layers, or marsupials, have never attempted the balancing act of a pregnancy on two legs. I think it is only possible within a social group.

Further problems are having very little backup for minor sprains or illness. Loneliness can be a big problem, even for couples, as most of us eventually crave other people in our lives.

The genetic and archaeological evidence indicates that we split off from chimpanzees, which are social creatures, and that we stayed social.

This may come as a surprise to most readers, but humans are not and cannot be independent. We are an interdependent species. We rely on each other for nearly all our wants and needs. Independence from other is not available to the richest man with the most affluent life style. He is as dependent on the staff of servants who wait on him as they are dependent on him for their livelihoods. Only the poorest of hermits with a quality of life poorer than a cave man can achieve true independence from others. True independence from other humans, requires that he must grow and cook all his own vegetables. He must hunt, kill, skin, dress, and cook all his own meat. He must build his own home using only the materials he can gather and prepare by himself aided only by tools that he made for himself.

We humans are not an independent life form. Despite the common desire of most of us to be independent, human independence is not possible in any scientific sense. Our bodies do not contain chlorophyll and we cannot get our energy directly from the Sun. Other plants and animals serve as our source of energy. We are as dependent on others for our survival as are the animals are for theirs. We can ignore this fact of science by calling the other plants and animals — food and cooking in ways so we are not reminded of the source of our food, but we are still not independent. When we further examine our relationships with other humans, we discover that even here we are not independent. In summary then, we can say that in the lives of plants — the independent class of life, other plays no role . In the lives of animals — the dependent class of life, other serves primarily as a source of food. And finally in the lives of humans, the interdependent class of life, other is very important. Our bodies are as dependent on others for food as the animals, but socially, psychologically and economically, we depend on others and others depend on us. We humans are interdependent.

INTERdependence means that we are dependent on the actions of others to meet our needs. And, others are dependent on our actions to meet their needs.

Once, we accept the reality of our human INTERdependence, then we can get on with winning. The secret of winning then is to get others to help us. Let us examine these options through the lens of synergic science.

Receivers-Givers – partners in survival

The human condition of INTERdependence means all humans need help. This is important enough that it can not be said too often. All humans need help unless they wish to live at the level of animal subsistence. INTERdependence means sometimes I depend on others and sometimes others depend on me.

Sometimes self is a giver of help. Sometimes self is a receiver of help. Sometimes other is a giver of help. Sometimes other is a receiver of help.

Sometimes my actions help others meet their needs. Sometimes other’s actions help me meet my needs.

The bottom line: We humans need each other.

Read more by Timothy Wilken on INTERdependence

Read Arthur Noll’s Harmony

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Monday, June 8th, 2009

I agree with much of this morning’s essay. Korten is a wise man who has long warned us of the continued folly of worshiping the all might dollar. Of course he still envisions an economic system based on money. He fails to recognize that we are at the end of MARKET. Today we have a NEUTRAL political-economic system. This present system is a  Corporation Controlled Moneyocracy (one dollar=one vote) committed to a failing MARKET as the only way to exchange goods, services and expertise.

The solutions to our human problems lie elsewhere. We need a SYNERGIC political-economic system. The only viable future system would be a SYNOCRACY: Unanimous Rule Democracy using the mechanisms of Consent and Consensus paired with a synergic production system like Ortegrity and an exchange system for goods, services and expertise based on GIFTegrity.

Still, if we adopted Korten’s plan, we might extend our failing system a few more decades. …

Creating a New Economy

David Korten

Wall Street is bankrupt. Instead of trying to save it, we can build a new economy that puts money and business in the service of people and the planet—not the other way around.

Whether it was divine providence or just good luck, we should give thanks that financial collapse hit us before the worst of global warming and peak oil. As challenging as the economic meltdown may be, it buys time to build a new economy that serves life rather than money. It lays bare the fact that the existing financial system has brought our way of life and the natural systems on which we depend to the brink of collapse. This wake-up call is inspiring unprecedented numbers of people to take action to bring forth the culture and institutions of a new economy that can serve us and sustain our living planet for generations into the future.

The world of financial stability, environmental sustainability, economic justice, and peace that most psychologically healthy people want is possible if we replace a defective operating system that values only money, seeks to monetize every relationship, and pits each person in a competition with every other for dominance.

From Economic Power to Basket Case
Not long ago, the news was filled with stories of how Wall Street’s money masters had discovered the secrets of creating limitless wealth through exotic financial maneuvers that eliminated both risk and the burden of producing anything of real value. In an audacious social engineering experiment, corporate interests drove a public policy shift that made finance the leading sector of the U.S. economy and the concentration of private wealth the leading economic priority.

Corporate interests drove a policy agenda that rolled back taxes on high incomes, gave tax preference to income from financial speculation over income from productive work, cut back social safety nets, drove down wages, privatized public assets, outsourced jobs and manufacturing capacity, and allowed public infrastructure to deteriorate. They envisioned a world in which the United States would dominate the global economy by specializing in the creation of money and the marketing and consumption of goods produced by others.

As a result, manufacturing fell from 27 percent of U.S. gross domestic product in 1950 to 12 percent in 2005, while financial services grew from 11 percent to 20 percent. From 1980 to 2005, the highest-earning 1 percent of the U.S. population increased its share of taxable income from 9 percent to 19 percent, with most of the gain going to the top one-tenth of 1 percent. The country became a net importer, with a persistent annual trade deficit of more than three-quarters of a trillion dollars financed by rising foreign debt. Wall Street insiders congratulated themselves on their financial genius even as they turned the United States into a national economic basket case and set the stage for global financial collapse.

All the reports of financial genius masked the fact that a phantom-wealth economy is unsustainable. Illusory assets based on financial bubbles, abuse of the power of banks to create credit (money) from nothing, corporate asset stripping, baseless credit ratings, and creative accounting led to financial, social, and environmental breakdown. The system suppressed the wages of the majority while continuously cajoling them to buy more than they could afford using debt that they had no means to repay.

A Defective Operating System
The operating system of our phantom-wealth economy was written by and for Wall Street interests for the sole purpose of making more money for people who have money. It makes cheap money readily available to speculators engaged in inflating financial bubbles and financing other predatory money scams. It makes money limited and expensive to those engaged in producing real wealth—life, and the things that sustain life—and pushes the productive members of society into indebtedness to those who produce nothing at all.

Money, the ultimate object of worship among modern humans, is the most mysterious of human artifacts: a magic number with no meaning or existence outside the human mind. Yet it has become the ultimate arbiter of life—deciding who will live in grand opulence in the midst of scarcity and who will die of hunger in the midst of plenty.

The monetization of relationships—replacing mutual caring with money as the primary medium of exchange—accelerated after World War II when growth in Gross National Product, essentially growth in monetized relationships, became the standard for evaluating economic performance. The work of the mother who cares for her child solely out of love counts for nothing. By contrast, the mother who leaves her child unattended to accept pay for tending the child of her neighbor suddenly becomes “economically productive.” The result is a public policy bias in favor of monetizing relationships to create phantom wealth—money—at the expense of real wealth.

In the world we want, the organization of economic life mimics healthy ecosystems that are locally rooted, highly adaptive, and self-reliant in food and energy. Information and technology are shared freely, and trade between neighbors is fair and balanced.

In a modern economy, nearly every relationship essential to life depends on money. This gives ultimate power to those who control the creation and allocation of money. Five features of the existing money system virtually assure abuse.

  1. Money issuance and allocation are controlled by private banks managed for the exclusive benefit of their top managers and largest shareholders.
  2. Money issued by private banks as debt must be repaid with interest. This requires perpetual economic growth to create sufficient demand for new loans to create the money required to pay the interest due on previous loans. The fact that nearly every dollar in circulation is generating interest for bankers and their investors virtually assures an ever-increasing concentration of wealth.
  3. The power to determine how much money will circulate and where it will flow is concentrated and centralized in a tightly interlinked system of private-benefit corporations that operate in secret, beyond public scrutiny, with the connivance of the Federal Reserve.
  4. The Federal Reserve presents itself as a public institution responsible for exercising oversight, but it is accountable only to itself, operates primarily for the benefit of the largest Wall Street banks, and consistently favors the interests of those who live by returns to money over those who live by returns to their labor.
  5. The lack of proper regulatory oversight allows players at each level of the system to make highly risky decisions, collect generous fees based on phantom profits, and pass the risk to others.

A Values-Based Operating System
To get ourselves out of our current mess and create the world we want, we must reboot the economy with a new, values-based operating system designed to support social and environmental balance and the creation of real, living wealth. We have seen what happens when government and big business operate in secret. The new system must be open to public scrutiny and democratic control. Globalization and the harshest form of capitalism have eroded the bonds of community and created vast gaps in wealth between the richest and the poorest. The new system must be locally rooted in strong communities and distribute wealth equitably.

Our environment and our infrastructure have paid a terrible price for the belief that private interests must always win over public ones. A viable system must balance public and private interests. Unregulated speculation is at the root of the current crisis. Society is better served by a system that favors productive work and investment, limits speculation, and suppresses inflation in all forms—including financial bubbles.

The following are five essential areas of action.

1. Government-Issued Money. There is urgent need for government action to create living wage jobs, rebuild public infrastructure, and restore domestic productive capacity. It is folly, however, for government to finance those projects by borrowing money created by the same private banks that created the financial mess.

The government can and should instead issue debt-free money to finance the stimulus and meet other public needs. Properly administered, this money will flow to community-based enterprises and help revitalize Main Street market economies engaged in the production of real wealth.

2. Community Banking. Under the bailout, the government is buying ownership shares in failed Wall Street banks with the expectation of eventually reselling them to private interests. So far, the money has disappeared or gone to acquisitions, management bonuses, office remodeling, and fancy vacations with no noticeable effect on the freeing up of credit.

A better plan, as many economists are recommending, is to force bankrupt banks into government receivership. As part of the sale and distribution of assets to meet creditor claims, these banks should be broken up and their local branches sold to local investors. These new, individual community banks and mutual savings and loan associations should be chartered to serve Main Street needs, lending to local manufacturers, merchants, farmers, and homeowners within a strong regulatory framework.

3. Real-Wealth Investment. Gambling should be confined to licensed casinos. Contrary to the claims of Wall Street, financial speculation does not create real wealth, serves no public interest, and should be strongly discouraged. Tax the purchase or sale of financial instruments and impose a tax surcharge on short-term capital gains. Make it illegal to sell, insure, or borrow against an asset you do not own, or to issue a financial security not backed by a real asset. This would effectively shut down much of Wall Street, which would be a positive result.

The money that has been used for speculation must be redirected to productive investment that creates real wealth and meets our essential needs responsibly, equitably, and sustainably using green technologies and closed-loop production cycles. We can begin by eliminating subsidies for carbon fuels and putting a price on greenhouse gas emissions. We can revise trade agreements to affirm the responsibility of every nation to contribute to global economic security and stability by organizing for sustainable self-reliance in food and energy and managing its economy to keep imports and exports in balance. If we Americans learn to live within our means, we will free up resources others need to feed, clothe, and house themselves and their families. The notion that reducing our consumption would harm others is an example of the distorted logic of a phantom-wealth economy.

4. Middle Class Fiscal Policy. The ruling financial elites have used their control of fiscal policy to conduct a class war that has decimated the once celebrated American middle class and led to economic disaster. Markets work best when economic power is equitably distributed and individuals contribute to the economy as both workers and owners. Massive inequality in income and ownership assures the failure of both markets and democracy.

To restore the social fabric and allocate real resources in ways that serve the needs of all, we must restore the middle class through equity-oriented fiscal policies. There is also a strong moral argument that those who profited from creating our present economic mess should bear the major share of the cost of cleaning it up. It is time to reinstitute the policies that created the American middle class after World War II. Restore progressive income tax with a top rate of 90 percent and favor universal participation in responsible ownership and a family wage. Because no one has a natural birth entitlement to any greater share of the real wealth of society than anyone else, use the estate tax to restore social balance at the end of each lifetime in a modern equivalent of the Biblical Jubilee, which called for periodically forgiving debts and restoring land to its original owners.

5. Responsible Enterprise. Enterprises in a market economy need a fair return to survive. This imposes a necessary discipline. Service to the community, however, rather than profit, is the primary justification for the firm’s existence. As Wall Street has so graphically demonstrated, profit is not a reliable measure of social contribution.

Enterprises are most likely to serve their communities when they are human-scale and owned by responsible local investors with an active interest in their operation beyond mere profit. Concentrations of corporate power reduce public accountability, and no corporation should be too big to fail. The new economy will use antitrust to break large corporations into their component parts and sell them to responsible local owners. There are many ways to aggregate economic resources that do not create concentrations of monopoly power or encourage absentee ownership. These include the many forms of worker, cooperative, and community ownership and cooperative alliances among locally rooted firms.

Current proposals for dealing with the economic collapse fall far short of dealing with the deep conflict of values and interests at the core of the current economic crisis. We face an urgent need to expand and deepen the debate to advance options that go far beyond anything currently on the table.

The World We Want
The world of our shared human dream is one where people live happy, productive lives in balance with one another and Earth. It is democratic and middle class without extremes of wealth or poverty. It is characterized by strong, stable families and communities in which relationships are defined primarily by mutual trust and caring. Every able adult is both a worker and an owner. Most families own their own home and have an ownership stake in their local economy. Everyone has productive work and is respected for his or her contribution to the well-being of the community.

In the world we want, the organization of economic life mimics healthy ecosystems that are locally rooted, highly adaptive, and self-reliant in food and energy. Information and technology are shared freely, and trade between neighbors is fair and balanced. Each community, region and nation strives to live within its own means in balance with its own environmental resources. Conflicts are resolved peacefully and no group seeks to expropriate the resources of its neighbors. Competition is for excellence, not domination.

The financial collapse has revealed the extreme corruption of the Wall Street financial system and created an extraordinary opening for change. We cannot, however, expect the leadership to come from within the political system. There is good reason why both the Bush and Obama administrations, different as they are, have responded to the Wall Street crash with bailouts for the guilty rather than face up to the need for a radical restructuring of the financial system. No president can stand up against Wall Street absent massive popular demand.

To move forward, we the people must build a powerful popular political movement demanding a new economy designed to serve our children, families, communities, and nature. It begins with a conversation to demystify money and expose the lie that there is no alternative to the present economic system. It continues with action to rebuild our local economies based on sound market principles backed by national political action to transform the money system and broaden participation in ownership. This is our moment of opportunity.

David Korten wrote this article as part of The New Economy, the Summer 2009 issue of YES! Magazine. David is co-founder and board chair of YES! Magazine. His most recent book is Agenda for a New Economy: From Phantom Wealth to Real Wealth.

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Thursday, June 4th, 2009

Recently, I featured an essay from today’s author. In followup, this is an excerpt from a book called The Sermon On The Mount published in 1934. This is a powerful essay. It explains the spiritual meaning of the Lord’s Prayer.

This essay was written before there developed a sensitivity to the common misuse of the masculine pronoun in place of all indefinite pronouns. Please substitute Mother for Father if you like. You may also substitute Goddess for God if that makes more sense to you. Others may prefer the term Source. It doesn’t really matter. No one knows the sex or form of the Creator, or even if sex or form has any meaning in this context. The terms God, Goddess, and Source are simply metaphors for that which is greater than we are.

Understanding the Lord’s Prayer

Emmet Fox (1886-1951)

The Lord’s Prayer is the most important of all the Christian documents. It was carefully constructed by Jesus with certain very clear ends in view. That is why, of all his teachings, it is by far the best known, and the most often quoted. It is, indeed, the one common denominator of all the Christian churches. Every one of them, without exception, uses the Lord’s Prayer; it is perhaps the only ground upon which they all meet. Every Christian child is taught the Lord’s Prayer, and any Christian who prays at all says it almost every day. Its actual use probably exceeds that of all other prayers put together. Undoubtedly everyone who is seeking to follow along the Way that Jesus led, should make a point of using the Lord’s Prayer, and using it intelligently, every day.

In order to do this, we should understand that the Prayer is a carefully constructed organic whole. Many people rattle through it like parrots, forgetful of the warning that Jesus gave us against vain repetions, and, of course, no one derives any profit from that sort of thing.

The Great Prayer is a compact formula for the development of the soul. It is designed with the utmost care for the specific purpose; so that those who use it regularly, with understanding, will experience a real change of soul. The only progress is this change, which is what the Bible calls being born again. It is the change of soul that matters. The mere acquisition of fresh knowledge received intellectually makes no change in the soul. The Lord’s Prayer is especially designed to bring this change about, and when it is regularly used it invariably does so.

The more one analyzes the Lord’s Prayer, the more wonderful is its construction seen to be. It meets everyone’s need just at his own level. It not only provides a rapid spiritual development for those who are sufficiently advanced to be ready, but in its superficial meaning it supplies the more simpleminded and even the more materially-minded people with just what they need at the moment, if they use the Prayer sincerely.

The greatest of all prayers was designed with still another purpose in view, quite as important as either of the others. Jesus foresaw that, as centuries went by, his simple, primitive teaching would gradually become overlain by all sorts of external things which really have nothing whatever to do with it. He foresaw that men who had never known him, relying, quite sincerely, no doubt, upon their own limited intellects, would build up theologies and doctrinal systems, obscuring the direct simplicity of the spiritual message, and actually erecting a wall between God and man. He designed his Prayer in such a way that it would pass safely through those ages without being tampered with. He arranged it with consummate skill, so that it could not be twisted or distorted, or adapted to any man-made system; so that, in fact, it would carry the whole Christ Message within it and yet not have anything on the surface to attract the attention of the restless, managing type of person. So it has turned out that, through all the changes and chances of Christian history, this Prayer has come through to us uncorrupted and unspoiled.

The first thing that we notice is that the Prayer naturally falls into seven clauses. This is very characteristic of the Oriental tradition. Seven symbolizes individual soul, just as the number twelve in the same convention stands for corporate completeness. In practical use, we often find an eighth clause added –
“Thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory” – but this, though in itself an excellent affirmation, is not really a part of the Prayer. The seven clauses are put together with the utmost care, in perfect order and sequence, and they contain everything that is necessary for the nourishment of the soul. Let us consider the first clause:

Our Father

This simple statement in itself constitutes a definite and complete system of theology. It fixes clearly and distinctly the nature and character of God. It sums up the Truth of Being. It tells all that man needs to know about God, and about himself, and about his neighbor. Anything that is added to this can only be by way of commentary, and is more likely than not to complicate and obscure the true meaning of the text. Oliver Wendell Holmes said: “My religion is summed up in the first two words of the Lord’s Prayer,” and most of us will find ourselves in full agreement with him.

Notice the simple, clear-cut, definite statement – “Our Father.” In this clause Jesus lays down once and for all that the relationship between God and man is that of father and child. This cuts out any possibility that the Deity could be the relentless and cruel tyrant that is often pictured by theology. Jesus says definitely that the relationship is that of parent and child; not an Oriental despot dealing with grovelling slaves, but parent and child. Now we all know perfectly well that men and women, however short they may fall in other respects, nearly always do the best they can for their children. Unfortunately, cruel and wicked parents are to be found, but they are so exceptional as to make a paragraph for the newspapers. The vast majority of men and women are at their best in dealing with their children. Speaking of the same truth elsewhere, Jesus said: “If you, who are so full of evil, nevertheless do your best for your children, how much more so will God, who is altogether good, do for you”; and so he begins his Prayer by establishing the character of God as that of the perfect Father dealing with His children.

Note that this clause which fixes the nature of God at the same time fixes the nature of man, because if man is the offspring of God, he must partake of the nature of God, since the nature of the offspring is invariably similar to that of the parent. It is a cosmic law that like begets like. It is not possible that a rosebush should produce lilies, or that a cow should give birth to a colt. The offspring is and must be of the same nature as the parent; and so, since God is Divine Spirit, man must essentially be Divine Spirit too, whatever appearances may say to the contrary.

Let us pause here for a moment and try to realize what a tremendous step forward we have taken in appreciating the teaching of Jesus on this point. Do you not see that at a single blow it swept away ninety-nine percent of all the old theology, with its avenging God, its chosen and favorite individuals, its eternal hell fire, and all the other horrible paraphernalia of man’s diseased and terrified imagination. God exists – and the Eternal, All-Powerful, All-Present God is the loving Father of mankind.

If you would meditate upon this account, until you had some degree of understanding of what it really means, most of your difficulties and physical ailments would disappear, for they are rooted and grounded in fear. The underlying cause of all trouble is fear. If only you could realize to some extent that Omnipotent Wisdom is your living, loving Father, most of your fears would go. If you could realize it completely, every negative thing in your life would vanish away, and you would demonstrate perfection in every phase. Now you see the object that Jesus had in mind when he placed this clause first.

Next we see that the Prayer says, not “My Father,” but “Our Father,” and this indicates, beyond the possibility of mistake, the truth of the brotherhood of man. It forces upon our attention at the very beginning the fact that ll men are indeed brethren, the children of one Father; and that “there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither chosen nor unchosen,” because all men are brethren. Here Jesus in making his second point, ends all the tiresome nonsense about a “chosen race,: about the spiritual superiority of any one group of human beings over any other group. He cuts away the illusion that the members of any nation, or race, or territoriality, or group, or class, or color, are, in the sight of God, superior to any other group. A belief in the superiority of one’s own particular group, or “herd,” as the psychologists call it, is an illusion to which mankind is very prone, but in the teaching of Jesus it has no place. He teaches that the thing that places a man is the spiritual condition of his own individual soul, and that as long as he is upon the spiritual path it makes no difference whatever to what group he belongs or does not belong.

The final point is the implied command that we are to pray not only for ourselves but for all mankind. Every student of Truth should hold the thought of the Truth of Being for the whole human race for a least a moment each day, since none of us lives to himself nor dies to himself; for indeed we are all truly – and in a much more literal sense than people are aware – limbs of one Body.

Now we begin to see how very much more than appears on the surface is contained in those simple words “Our Father.” Simple – one might almost say innocent – as they look, Jesus has concealed within them a spiritual explosive that will ultimately destroy every man-made system that holds the human race in bondage.

Which Art In Heaven

Having clearly established the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man, Jesus next goes on to enlarge upon the nature of God, and to describe the fundamental facts of existence. Having shown that God and man are parent and child, he goes on to delineate the function of each in the grand scheme of things. He explains that it is the nature of God to be in heaven, and of man to be on earth, because God is Cause, and man is manifestation. Cause cannot be expression, and expression cannot be cause, and we must be careful not to confuse the two things. Here heaven stands for God or Cause, because in religious phraseology heaven is the term for the Presence of God. In metaphysics it is called the Absolute, because it is the realm of Pure Unconditioned Being, of archetypal ideas. The word ‘earth’ means manifestation, and man’s function is to manifest or express God, or Cause. In other words, God is the Infinite and Perfect Cause of all things; but Cause has to be expressed, and God expresses Himself by means of man. Man’s destiny is to express God in all sorts of glorious and wonderful ways. Some of this expression we see as his surroundings; first his physical body, which is really only the most intimate part of his embodiment; then his home; his work; his recreation; in short, his whole expression. To express means to press outwards, or bring into sight that which already exists implicitly. Every feature of your life is really a manifestation or expression of something in your soul.

Some of these points may seem at first to be a little abstract; but since it is misunderstandings about the relationship of God and man that lead to all our difficulties, it is worth any amount of trouble to correctly understand that relationship. Trying to have manifestation without Cause is atheism and materialism, and we know where they lead. Trying to have Cause without manifestation leads man to suppose himself to be a personal God, and this commonly ends in megalomania and a kind of paralysis of expression.

The important thing to realize is that God is in heaven and man on earth, and that each has his own role in the scheme of things. Although they are One, they are not one-and-the-same. Jesus establishes this point carefully when he says,
“Our Father which art in heaven.

Hallowed Be Thy Name

In the Bible, as elsewhere, the “name” of anything means the essential nature or character of that thing, and so, when we are told what the name of God is, we are told what His nature is, and His name or nature, Jesus says, is “hallowed.” Now what does the word “hallowed” mean? Well, if you trace the derivation back into Old English, you will discover a most extraordinarily interesting and significant fact. The word “hallowed” has the same meaning as “holy,” “whole,”
“wholesome,” and “heal,” or “healed;” so we see that the nature of God is not merely worthy of our veneration, but is complete and perfect – altogether good. Some very remarkable consequences follow from this. We have agreed that an effect must be similar in its nature to its cause, and so, because the nature of God is hallowed, everything that follows from that Cause must be hallowed or perfect too. Just as a rosebush cannot produce lilies, so God cannot cause or send anything but perfect good. As the Bible says, “The same fountain cannot send forth both sweet and bitter water.” From this it follows that God cannot, as people sometimes think, send sickness or trouble, or accidents – much less death – for these things are unlike His nature. “Hallowed be thy name” means
“Thy nature is altogether good and Thou art the author only of perfect good.” Of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity.

If you think that God has sent any of your difficulties to you, for no matter how good a reason, you are giving power to your troubles, and this makes it very difficult to get rid of them.

Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will Be Done In Earth As It Is In Heaven

Man being manifestation or expression of God has a limitless destiny before him. His work is to express, in concrete definite form, the abstract ideas with which God furnishes him, and in order to do this, he must have creative power. If he did not have creative power, he would be merely a machine through which God worked – an automaton. But man is not an automaton; he is an individualized consciousness. God individualizes Himself in an infinite number of distinct focal points of consciousness, each one quite different; and therefore each one is a distinct way of knowing the universe, each a distinct experience. Notice carefully that the word “individual” means undivided. The consciousness of each one is distinct from God and from all others, and yet none are separated. How can this be? How can two things be one, and yet not one and the same? The answer is that in matter, which is finite, they cannot; but in Spirit, which is infinite, they can. With our present limited, three-dimensional consciousness, we cannot see this; but intuitively we can understand it through prayer. If God did not individualize Himself, there would be only one experience; as it is, there are as many universes as there are individuals to form them through thinking.

“Thy kingdom come” means that it is our duty to be ever occupied in helping to establish; the Kingdom of God on earth. That is to say, our work is to bring more upon this plane. That is what we are here for. The old saying, “God has a plan for every man, and he has on for you,” is quite correct. God has glorious and wonderful plans for every one of us; He has planned a splendid career, full of interest, life, and joy, for each, and if our lives are dull, or restricted, or squalid, that is not his fault, but ours.

If only you will find out the thing God intends you to do, and will do it, you wil find that all doors will open to you; all obstacles in your path will melt away; you will be acclaimed a brilliant success; you will be most liberally rewared from the monetary point of view; and you will be gloriously happy.

There is a true place in life for each one of us, upon the attainment of which we shall be completely happy, and perfectly secure. On the other hand, until we do find our true place we never shall be either happy or secure, no matter what other things we may have. Our true place is the one place where we can bring the Kingdom of God into manifestation, and truly say, “Thy kingdom cometh.”

We have seen that man too often chooses to use his free will in a negative way. He allows himself to think wrongly, selfishly, and this wrong thinking brings upon him all his troubles. Instead of understanding that it is his essential nature to express God, to be ever about his Father’s business, he tries to set up upon his own account. All our troubles arise from just this folly. We abuse our free will, trying to work apart from God; and the very natural result is all the sickness, poverty, sin, trouble, and death that we find on the physical plane. We must never for a moment try to live for ourselves, or make plans or arrangements without reference to God, or suppose that we can be either happy or successful if we are seeking any other end than to do His Will. Whatever our desire may be, whether it be something concerning our daily work, or our duty at home, our relations with our fellowman, or private plans for the employment of our own time, if we seek to serve self instead of God, we are ordering trouble, disappointment, and unhappiness, notwithstanding what the evidence to the contrary may seem to be. Whereas, if we choose what, through prayer, we know to be His Will, then we are insuring for ourselves ultimate success, freedom, and joy, however much self-sacrifice and self-discipline it may involve at the moment.

Our business is to bring our whole nature as fast as we can into conformity with the Will of God, by constant prayer and unceasing, though un-anxious, watching. “Our wills are ours to make them Thine.”

“In His Will is our peace,” said Dante, and the Divine Comedy is really a study in fundamental states of consciousness, the Inferno representing the state of the soul that is endeavoring to live without God, the Paradise representing the state of the soul that has achieved its conscious unity with the Divine Will, and the Purgatorio the condition of the soul that is struggling to pass from the one state to the other. It was this sublime conflict of the soul which wrung from the heart of the great Augustine the cry “Thou hast made us for Thyself, and our hearts are restless until they repose in Thee.”

Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread

Because we are the children of a loving Father, we are entitled to expect that God will provide us fully with everything we need. Children naturally and spontaneously look to their human parents to supply all their wants, and in the same way we should look to God to supply ours. If we do so, in faith and understanding, we shall never look in vain.

It is the Will of God that we should all lead healthy, happy lives, full of joyous experience; that we should develop freely and steadily, day by day and week by week, as our pathways unfold more and more unto the perfect day. To this end we require such things as food, clothing, shelter, means of travel, books, and so on; above all, we require freedom; and in the Prayer all these things are included under the heading of bread. Bread, that is to say, means not merely food in general, but all things that man requires for a healthy, happy, free, and harmonious life. But in order to obtain these things, we have to claim them, not necessarily in detail, but we have to claim them, and, we have to recognize God and God alone as the Source and fountainhead of all our good. Lack of any kind is always traceable to the fact that we have been seeking our supply from some secondary source, instead of from God HImself, the Author and Giver of life.

People think of their supply as coming from certain investments, or from a business, or from an employer, perhaps; whereas these are merely the channels through which it comes, God being the Source. The number of possible channels is infinite, the Source is One. The particular channel through which you are getting your supply is quite likely to change, because change is the Cosmic Law for manifestation. Stagnation is really death; but as long as you realize that the Source of your supply is the one unchangeable Spirit, all is well. The fading out of one channel will be but the signal for the opening of another. If, on the other hand, like most people, you regard the particular channel as being the source, then when that channel fails, as it is very likely to do, you are left stranded, because you believe that the source has dried up – and for practical purposes, on the physical plane, things are a we believe them to be.

A man, for instance, thinks of his employment as the source of his income, and for some reason he loses it. His employer goes out of business, or cuts down the staff, or they have a falling out. Now, because he believes that his position is the source of his income, the loss of the position naturally means the loss of the income, and so he has to start looking about for another job, and perhaps has to look a long time, meanwhile finding himself without apparent supply. If such a man had realized, through regular daily Treatment, that God was his supply, and his job only the particular channel through which it came, then upon the closing of that channel, he would have found another, and probably a better one, opening immediately. If his belief had been in God as his supply, then since God cannot change or fail, or fade out, his supply would have come from somewhere, and would have formed its own channel in whatever was the easiest way.

In precisely the same way the proprietor of a business may find himself obliged to close down for some cause outside of his control; or one whose income is dependent upon stocks or bonds may suddenly find that source dried up, owing to unexpected happenings on the stock market, or to some catastrophe to a factory or mine. If he regards the business or the investment as his source of supply, he will believe his source to have collapsed, and will in consequence be left stranded; whereas, if his reliance is upon God, he will be comparatively indifferent to the channel and so that channel will be easily supplanted by a new one. In short, we have to train ourselves to look to God, Cause, for all that we need, and then the channel, which is entirely a secondary matter, will take care of itself.

In its inner and most important meaning, our daily bread signifies the realization of the Presence of God – an actual sense that God exists not merely in a nominal way, but as the great reality; the sense that He is present with us; and the feeing that because He is God, all-good, all-powerful, all-wise, and all-loving, we have nothing to fear; that we can rely upon Him to take every care of us; that He will supply all that we need to have; teach us all that we need to know; and guide our steps so that we shall not make mistakes. This is Emanuel, or God with us; and remember that it absolutely means some degree of actual realization, that is to say, some experience in consciousness, and not just a theoretical recognition of the fact; not simply talking about God, however beautifully one may talk, or thinking about Him; but some degree of actual experience. We must begin by thinking about God, but this should lead to the realization which is the daily bread or manna. That is the gist of the whole matter. Realization, which is experience, is the thing that counts. It is realization which marks the progress of the soul. It is realization which guarantees the demonstration. It is realization, as distinct from mere theorizing and fine words, which is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. This is the Bread of LIfe, the hidden mann, and when one has that, he has all things in deed and in truth. Jesus several times refers to this experience as bread because it is the nourishment of the soul, just as physical food is the nourishment of the physical body. Supplied with this food, the soul grows and waxes strong, gradually developing to adult stature. Without it, she, being deprived of her essential nourishment, is naturally stunted and crippled.

The common mistake, of course, is to suppose that a formal recognition of God is sufficient, or that talking about Divine things, perhaps talking very poetically, is the same as possessing them; but this is exactly on a par with supposing that looking at a tray of food, or discussing the chemical composition of sundry foodstuffs, is the same things as actually eating a meal. It is this mistake which is responsible for the fact that people sometimes pray for a thing for years without any tangible result. If prayer is a force at all, it cannot be possible to pray without something happening.

A realization cannot be obtained to order; it must come spontaneously as the result of regular daily prayer. To seek realization by will power is the surest way to miss it. Pray regularly and quietly – remember that in all mental work, effort or strain defeats itself – then presently, perhaps when you least expect it, like a thief in the night, the realization will come. Meanwhile it is well to know that all sorts of practical difficulties can be overcome by sincere prayer, without any realization at all. Good workers have said that they have had some of their best demonstrations without any realization worth speaking about; but while it is, of course, a wonderful bonus to surmount such particular difficulties, we do not achieve the sense of security and well-being to which we are entitled until we have experienced realization.

Another reason why the food or bread symbol for the experience of the Presence of God is such a telling one is that the act of eating food is essentially a thing that must be done for oneself. No one can assimilate food for another. One may hire servants to do all sorts of other things for him; but there is on thing that one must positively do for himself, and that is to eat his own food. In the same way, the realization of the Presence of God is a thing that no one else can have for us. We can and should help one another in the overcoming of specific difficulties – “Bear ye one another’s burdens” – but the realization (or making real) of the Presence of God, the “substance” and
“evidence,” can, in the nature of things, be had only at firsthand.

In speaking of the “bread of life, Emanuel,” Jesus called it our daily bread. The reason for this is very fundamental – our contact with God must be a living one. It is our momentary attitude to God which governs our being.
“Behold now is the accepted time; behold now is the day of salvation.” The most futile thing in the world is to seek to live upon a past realization. The thing that means spiritual life to you is your realization of God here and now.

Today’s realization, no matter how feeble and poor it may seem, has a million times more power to help you than the most vivid realization of yesterday. Be thankful for yesterday’s experience, knowing that it is with your forever in the change of consciousness which it has brought about, but do not lean upon it for a single moment for the need of today. Divine Spirit is, and changes not with the ebb and flow of human apprehension. The manna in the desert is the Old Testament prototype of this. The people wandering in the wilderness were told that they would be supplied with manna from heaven every day, each one always receiving abundantly for his needs, but they were on no account to try to save it up for the morrow. They were on no account to endeavor to live upon yesterday’s food, and when, notwithstanding the rule, some of them did try to do so, the result was pestilence or death.

So it is with us. When we seek to live upon yesterday’s realization, we are actually seeking to live in the past, and to live in the past is death. The art of life is to live in the present moment, and to make that moment as perfect as we can by the realization that we are the instruments and expression of God Himself. the best way to prepare for tomorrow is to make today all that it should be.

Forgive Us Our Trespasses As We Forgive Them That Trespass Against Us

This clause is the turning point of the Prayer. It is the strategic key to the whole Treatment. Let us notice here that Jesus has so arranged this marvelous Prayer that it covers the entire ground of the unfoldment of our souls completely, and in the most concise and telling way. It omits nothing that is essential for our salvation, and yet, so compact is it that there is not a thought or a word too much. Every idea fits into its place with perfect harmony and in perfect sequence. Anything more would be redundance, anything less would be incompleteness, and at this point it takes up the critical factor of forgiveness.

Having told us what God is, what man is, how the universe works, how we are to do our own work – the salvation of humanity and of our own souls – he then explains what our true nourishment or supply is, and the way in which we can obtain it; and now he comes to the forgiveness of sins.

The forgiveness of sins is the central problem of life. Sin is a sense of separateness from God, and is the major tragedy of human experience. It is, of course, rooted in selfishness. It is essentially an attempt to gain some supposed good to which we are not entitled in justice. It is a sense of isolated, self-regarding, personal existence, whereas the Truth of Being is that all is One. Our true selves are at one with God, undivided from Him, expressing His ideas, witnessing to His nature – the dynamic Thinking of that Mind. Because we are all one with the great Whole of which we are spiritually a part, it follows that we are one with all men. Just because in Him we live and move and have our being, we are, in the absolute sense, all essentially one.

Evil, sin, the fall of man, in fact, is essentially the attempt to negate this Truth in our thoughts. We try to live apart from God. We try to do without Him. We act as though we had life of our own; as separate minds; as though we could have plans and purposes and interests separate from His. All this, if it were true, would mean that existence is not one and harmonious, but a chaos of competition and strife. It would mean that we are quite separate from our fellow man and could injure him, rob him, or hurt him, or even destroy him, without any damage to ourselves, and, in fact, that the more we took from other people the more we would have for ourselves. It would mean that the more we considered our own interests, and the more indifferent we were to the welfare of others, the better off we would be. Of course it would then follow naturally that it would pay others to treat us in the same way, and that accordingly we might expect many of them to do so. Now if this were true, it would mean that the whole universe is only a jungle, and that sooner or later it must destroy itself by its own inherent weakeness and anarchy. But, of course, it is not true, and therein lies the joy of live.

Undoubtedly, may people do act as though they believed it to be true, and a great many more, who would be dreadfully shocked if brought face-to-face with that proposition in cold blood, have, nevertheless, a vague feeling that such must be very much the way things are, even though they, themselves, are personally above consciously acting in accordance with such a notion. Now this is the real basis of sin, of resentment, of condemnation, of jealousy, of remorse, and all the evil brood that walk that path.

This belief in independent and separate existence is the arch sin, and now, before we can progress any further, we have to take the knife to this evil thing and cut it out once and for all. Jesus knew this, and with this definite end in view he inserted at this critical point a carefully prepared statement that would compass our end and his, without the shadow of a possibility of miscarrying. He inserted what is nothing less than a trip clause. He drafted a declaration which would force us, without any conceivable possibility of escape, evasion, mental reservation, or subterfuge of any kind, to execute the great sacrament of forgiveness in all its fullness and far-reaching power.

As we repeat the Great Prayer intelligently, considering and meaning what we say, we are suddenly, so to speak, caught up off our feet and grasped as though in a vise, so that we must face this problem – and there is no escape. We must positively and definitely extend forgiveness to everyone to whom it is possible that we can owe forgiveness, namely, to anyone who we think can have injured us in any way. Jesus leaves no room for any possible glossing of this fundamental thing. He has constructed his Prayer with more skill than any lawyer displayed in the casting of a deed. He has so contrived it that once our attention has been drawn to this matter, we are inevitably obligated either to forgive our enemies in sincerity and truth, or never again to repeat that prayer. It is safe to say that no one who reads this with understanding will ever again be able to use the Lord’s Prayer unless and until he has forgiven. Should you now attempt to repeat it without forgiving, it can safely be predicted that you will not be able to finish it. This great central clause will stick in your throat.

Notice that Jesus does not say, “Forgive me my trespasses and I will try to forgive others,” or “I will see if it can be done,” or “I will forgive generally, with certain exceptions.” He obliges us to declare that we have actually forgiven, and forgiven all, and he makes our claim to our own forgiveness to depend upon that. Who is there who has grace enough to say his prayers at all, who does not long for the forgiveness or cancellation of his own mistakes and faults. Who would be so insane as to endeavor to seek the Kingdom of God without desiring to be relieved of his own sense of guilt. No one, we may believe. And so we see that we are trapped in the inescapable position that we cannot demand our own release before we have released our brother.

The forgiveness of others is the vestibule of Heaven, and Jesus knew it, and has led us to the door. You must forgive everyone who has ever hurt you if you want to be forgiven yourself; that is the long and the short of it. You have to get rid of all resentment and condemnation of others, and, not least, of self-condemnation and remorse. You have to forgive others, and having discontinued your own mistakes, you have to accept the forgiveness of God for them too, or you cannot make any progress. You have to forgive yourself, but you cannot forgive yourself sincerely until you have forgiven others first. Having forgiven others, you must be prepared to forgive yourself too, for to refuse to forgive oneself is only spiritual pride. “And by that sin fell the angels.” We cannot make this point too clear to ourselves; we have got to forgive. There are few people in the world who have not at some time or other been hurt, really hurt, by someone else; or been disappointed, or injured, or deceived, or misled. Such things sink into the memory where they usually cause inflamed and festering wounds, and there is only one remedy – they are to be plucked out and thrown away. And the one and only way to do that is by forgiveness.

Of course, nothing in all the world is easier than to forgive people who have not hurt us very much. Nothing is easier than to rise above the thought of a trifliing loss. Anybody will be willing to do this, but what the Law of Being requires of us is that we forgive not only these trifles, but the very things that are so hard to forgive that at first it seems impossible to do it at all. The despairing heart cries, “It is too much to ask. That thing meant too much to me. It is impossible. I cannot forgive.” But the Lord’s Prayer makes our own forgiveness from God, which means our escape from guilt and limitation, dependent upon just this very thing. There is no escape from this, and so forgiveness there must be, no matter how deeply we may have been injured, or how terribly we have suffered. It must be done.

If your prayers are not being answered, search your consciousness and see if there is not someone whom you have yet to forgive. Find out if there is not some old thing about which you are very resentful. Search and see if you are not really holding a grudge (it may be camouflaged in some self-righteous way) against some individual, or some body of people, a nation, a race, a social class, some religious movement or which you disapprove perhaps, a political party, or whatnot. If you are doing so, then you have an act of forgiveness to perform, and when this is done, you will probably make your demonstration. If you cannot forgive at present, you will have to wait for your demonstration until you can, and you will have to postpone finishing your recital of the Lord’s Prayer too, or involve yourself in the position that you do not desire the forgiveness of God.

Setting others free means setting yourself free, because resentment is really a form of attachment. It is a Cosmic Truth that it takes two to make a prisoner; the prisoner – and a goaler. There is no such thing as being a prisoner on one’s own account. Every prisoner must have a goaler, and the goaler is as much a prisoner as his charge. When you hold resentment against anyone, you are bound to that person by a cosmic link, a real, though mental chain. You are tied by a cosmic tie to the thing that you hate. The one person perhaps in the whole world whom you most dislike is the very one to whom you are attaching yourself by a hook that is stronger than steel. Is this what you wish? Is this the condition in which you desire to go on living? Remember, you belong to the thing with which you are linked in thought, and at some time or other, if that tie endures, the object of your resentment will be drawn again into your life, perhaps to work further havoc. Do you think that you can afford this? Of course, no one can afford such a thing; and so the way is clear. You must cut all such ties, by a clear and spiritual act of forgiveness. You must loose him and let him go. By forgiveness you set yourself free; you save your soul. And because the law of love works alike for one and all, you help to save his soul too, making it just so much easier for him to become what he ought to be.

But how, in the name of all that is wise and good, is the magic act of forgiveness to be accomplished, when we have been so deeply injured that, though we have long wished with all our hearts that we could forgive, we have nevertheless found it impossible; when we have tried and tried to forgive, but have found the task beyond us.

The technique of forgiveness is simple enough, and not very difficult to manage when you understand how. The only thing that is essential is willingness to forgive. Provided you desire to forgive the offender, the greater part of the work is already done. People have always made such a bogey of forgiveness because they have been under the erroneous impression that to forgive a person means that you have to compel yourself to like him. Happily this is by no means the case – we are not called upon to like anyone whom we do not find ourselves liking spontaneously, and, indeed, it is quite impossible to like people to order. You can no more like to order than you can hold the winds in your fist, and if you endeavor to coerce yourself into doing so, you will finish by disliking or hating the offender more than ever. People used to think that when someone had hurt them very much, it was their duty, as good Christians, to pump up, as it were, a feeling of liking for him; and since such a thing is utterly impossible, they suffered a great deal of distress, and ended, necessarily, with failure, and a resulting sense of sinfulness. We are not obliged to like anyone; but we are under a binding obligation to love everyone, love, or charity as the Bible calls it, meaning a vivid sense of impersonal good will. This has nothing directly to do with the feelings though it is always followed, sooner or later, by a wonderful feeling of peace and happiness.

The method of forgiving is this: Get by yourself and become quiet. Repeat any prayer or treatment that appeals to you, or read a chapter of the Bible. Then quietly say, “I fully and freely forgive X (mentioning the name of the offender); I loose him and let him go. I completely forgive the whole business in question. As far as I’m concerned, it is finished forever. I cast the burden or resentment upon the Christ within me. He is free now, and I am free too. I wish him well in every phase of his life. The incident is finished. The Christ Truth has set us both free. I thank God.” Then get up and go about your business. On no account repeat this act of forgiveness, because you have done it once and for all, and to do it a second time would be tacitly to repudiate your own work. Afterward, whenever the memory of the offender of the offense happens to come into your mind, bless the delinquent briefly and dismiss the thought. Do this, however many times the thought may come back. After a few days it will return less and less often, until you forget it altogether. Then perhaps after an interval, shorter or longer, the old trouble may come back to memory once more, but you will find that now all bitterness and resentment have disappeared, and you are both free with the perfect freedom of the children of God. Your forgiveness is complete. You will experience a wonderul joy in the realization of the demonstration.

Everybody should practice general forgiveness every day as a matter of course. When you say your daily prayers, issue a general amnesty, forgiving everyone who may have injured you in any way, and on no account particularize. Simply say, “I freely fogive everyone.” Then in the course of the day, should the thought or grievance or resentment come up, bless the offender briefly and dismiss the thought.

The result of this policy will be that very soon you will find yourself cleared of all resentment and condemnation, and the effect upon your happiness, your bodily health, and your general life will be nothing less than revolutionary.

Lead Us Not Into Temptation But Deliver Us From Evil

This clause has probably caused more difficulty than any other part of the Prayer. For many earnest people it has been a veritable stumbling block. They feel, and rightly, that God could not lead anyone into temptation or into evil in any circumstances, and so these words do not ring true.

For this reason, a number of attempts have been made to recast the wording. People have felt that Jesus could not have said what he is represented to have said, and so they look about for some phrasing which they think would be more in accordance with the general tone of his teaching. Heroic efforts have been made to wrest the Greek original into something different. All this, however, is unnecessary. The Prayer in the form in which we have it in English gives us a perfectly correct sense of the true inner meaning. Remember that the Lord’s Prayer covers the whole of the spiritual life. Condensed though the form is, it is nevertheless a complete manual for the development of the soul, and Jesus knew only too well the subtle perils and difficulties that can and do beset the soul when once the preliminary stages of spiritual unfoldment have been passed. Because those who are yet at a comparatively early stage of development do not experience such difficulties, they are apt to jump to the conclusion that this clause is unnecessary; but such is not the case.

The facts are these – the more you pray, the more time you spend in meditation and spiritual treatment, the more sensitive you become. And if you spend a great deal of time working on your soul in the right way, you will become very sensitive. This is excellent; but like everything in the universe, it works both ways. The more sensitive and spiritual you become, the more powerful and effective are your prayers, you do better healing, and you advance rapidly. But, for the same reason, you also become susceptible to forms of temptation that simply do not beset those at an earlier stage. You will also find that for ordinary faults, even things that many men and women in the world would consider to be trifling, you will be sharply punished, and this is well, because it keeps you up to the mark. The seemingly minor transgressions, the
“little foxes that spoil the vines,” would fritter away our spiritual power if not promptly dealt with.

No one at this level will be tempted to pick a pocket, or burgle a house; this does not by any means imply that one will not have difficulties, and because of their subtlety, even greater difficulties to meet.

As we advance, new and powerful temptations await us on the path, ever ready to hurl us down if we are not watchful – temptations to work for self-glory, and self-aggrandizement instead of for God; for personal honors and distinctions, even for material gain; temptations to allow personal preferences to hold sway in our counsels when it is a sacred duty to deal with all men in perfect impartiality. Above and beyond all other sins the deadly sins of spiritual pride, truly, “the last infirmity of noble mind,” lurks on this road. Many fine souls who have triumphantly surmounted all other testing have lapsed into a condition of superiority and self-righteousness that has fallen like a curtain of steel between them and God. Great knowledge brings great repsonsibility. Great responsibility betrayed brings terrible punishment in its train. Noblesse oblige is preeminently true in spiritual things. One’s knowledge of the Truth, however little it may be, is a sacred trust for humanity that must not be violated. While we should never make the mistake of casting our pearls before swine, nor urge the Truth in quarters where it is not welcome, yet we must do all that we wisely can to spread the true knowledge of God among mankind, that not one of “these little ones” may go hungry through our selfishness or our neglect. “Feed my lambs, feed my sheep.”

The old occult writers were so vividly sensible of these dangers that, with their instinct for dramatization, they spoke of the soul as being challenged by various tests as it traversed the upward road. It was as though the traveler were halted at various gates or turnpike bars, and tested by some ordeal to determine whether he were ready to advance any further. If he succeeded in passing the test, they said, he was allowed to continue upon his way with the blessing of the challenger. If, however, he failed to survive the ordeal, he was forbidden to proceed.

Now, some less experienced souls, eager for rapid advancement, have rashly desired to be subjected immediately to all kinds of test, and have even looked about, seeking for difficulties to overcome; as though one’s own personality did not already present quite enough material for any one man or woman to deal with. Forgetting the lessons of our Lord’s own ordeal in the wilderness, forgetting the injunction “Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God,” they have virtually done this very thing, with sad results. And so Jesus has inserted this clause, in which we pray that we may not have to meet anything that is too much for us at present level of our understanding. And, if we are wise, and work daily, as we should, for wisdom, understanding, purity, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we never shall find ourselves in any difficulty for which we have not the understanding necessary to clear ourselves. Nothing shall by any means hurt you. Behold I am with you always.

Thine Is The Kingdom And The Power And The Glory For Ever And Ever

This is a wonderful gnostic saying summing up the essential truth of the Omnipresence and the Allness of God. It means that God is indeed All in All, the doer, the doing, and the deed, and one can say also the spectator. The Kingdom in this sense means all creation on every plane, for that is the Presence of God – God as manifestation or expression.

The Power, of course, is the Power of God. We know that God is the only power, and so, when we work, as when we pray, it is really God doing it by means of us. Just as the pianist produces his music by means of, or through his fingers, so may mankind be thought of as the fingers of God. His is the Power. If, when you are praying, you hold the though that it is really God who is working through you, your prayers will gain immeasurably in efficiency. Say,
“God is inspiring me.” If, when you have any ordinary thing to do, you hold the thought, “Divine Intelligence is working through me now,” you will perform the most difficult tasks with astonishing success.

The wondrous change that comes over us as we gradually realize what the Omnipresence of God really means, transfigures every phase of our lives, turning sorrow into joy, age into youth, and dullness into light and life. This is the glory – and the glory which comes to us is, of course, God’s too. And the bliss we know in that experience is still God Himself, who is knowing that bliss through us.

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Friday, May 22nd, 2009

The interesting idea of Intelligent Design has been used as a wedge to strengthen the case the Creationist’s are using to denigrate the teaching of science in our schools. The 2005 State of State Science Standards Exam was the first comprehensive study of science academic standards since 2000. It appraised the quality of each state’s K-12 science standards. The results showed nearly half of the fifty states surveyed received grades of “D” or “F” in a new review of statewide academic standards for primary-secondary school science. At a time when American excellence seems challenged on every front, I thought it might be relevant to revisit this topic. I wrote the following essay in 2002. It was updated in 2003 to comment on the entrance of Atheism into the debate. I have made a few minor changes this morning.

From the Future Positive Archives: Recently, two popular scientists have written in support of atheism. They are Richard Dawkins, FRS, Charles Simonyi professor of the public understanding of science at Oxford University, and Daniel C. Dennett, professor of philosophy at Tufts University. The following excerpts are reposted from Edge.

Language can help to shape the way we think about the world. Richard Dawkins and Daniel Dennett welcome an attempt to raise consciousness about atheism by co-opting a word with cheerful associations.

The Future Looks Bright
by Richard Dawkins

A triumph of consciousness-raising has been the homosexual hijacking of the word “gay”. I used to mourn the loss of gay in (what I still think of as) its true sense. But on the bright side (wait for it) gay has inspired a new imitator, which is the climax of this article. Gay is succinct, uplifting, positive: an “up” word, where homosexual is a down word, and queer, faggot and pooftah are insults. Those of us who subscribe to no religion; those of us whose view of the universe is natural rather than supernatural; those of us who rejoice in the real and scorn the false comfort of the unreal, we need a word of our own, a word like “gay”. You can say “I am an atheist” but at best it sounds stuffy (like “I am a homosexual”) and at worst it inflames prejudice (like “I am a homosexual”).

Paul Geisert and Mynga Futrell, of Sacramento, California, have set out to coin a new word, a new “gay”. Like gay, it should be a noun hijacked from an adjective, with its original meaning changed but not too much. Like gay, it should be catchy: a potentially prolific meme. Like gay, it should be positive, warm, cheerful, bright.

Bright? Yes, bright. Bright is the word, the new noun. I am a bright. You are a bright. She is a bright. We are the brights. Isn’t it about time you came out as a bright? Is he a bright? I can’t imagine falling for a woman who was not a bright. The Celebrity Athesist website suggests numerous intellectuals and other famous people are brights. Brights constitute 60% of American scientists, and a stunning 93% of those scientists good enough to be elected to the elite National Academy of Sciences (equivalent to Fellows of the Royal Society) are brights. …[MORE]

The Bright Stuff
By Daniel C. Dennett

The time has come for us brights to come out of the closet. What is a bright? A bright is a person with a naturalist as opposed to a supernaturalist world view. We brights don’t believe in ghosts or elves or the Easter Bunny— or God. We disagree about many things, and hold a variety of views about morality, politics and the meaning of life, but we share a disbelief in black magic—and life after death.

The term
“bright” is a recent coinage by two brights in Sacramento, Calif., who thought our social group—which has a history stretching back to the Enlightenment, if not before—could stand an image-buffing and that a fresh name might help. Don’t confuse the noun with the adjective: “I’m a bright” is not a boast but a proud avowal of an inquisitive world view.

You may well be a bright. If not, you certainly deal with brights daily. That’s because we are all around you: we’re doctors, nurses, police officers, schoolteachers, crossing guards and men and women serving in the military. We are your sons and daughters, your brothers and sisters. Our colleges and universities teem with brights. Among scientists, we are a commanding majority. Wanting to preserve and transmit a great culture, we even teach Sunday school and Hebrew classes. Many of the nation’s clergy members are closet brights, I suspect. We are, in fact, the moral backbone of the nation: brights take their civic duties seriously precisely because they don’t trust God to save humanity from its follies.

As an adult white married male with financial security, I am not in the habit of considering myself a member of any minority in need of protection. If anybody is in the driver’s seat, I’ve thought, it’s people like me. But now I’m beginning to feel some heat, and although it’s not uncomfortable yet, I’ve come to realize it’s time to sound the alarm. …[MORE]

The Denial of God and Purpose

Timothy Wilken, MD

The words ‘evolution’ and ‘Darwin’ are powerful polarizing triggers even in today’s (2009) so called modern world. This has been primarily because Darwin’s theory of evolution and the evolutionary science that developed from it seem at first glance to refute the Holy Bible’s narrative of God’s creation of Heaven and Earth and to threaten one’s belief in God. Scientist Michael Behe writing in 1996:

From the time it was first proposed, some scientists have clashed with some theologians over Darwin’s theory of evolution. Although many scientists and theologians thought that Darwinian evolution could be reconciled rather easily with the basic beliefs of most religions, publicity always focuses on conflict. The tone was probably set for good when Anglican bishop Samuel Wilberforce debated Thomas Henry Huxley, a scientist and strong advocate of evolution, about a year after Darwin’s seminal book was published. It was reported that the bishop—a good theologian but poor biologist—ended his speech by asking, I beg to know, is it through his grandfather or grandmother that Huxley claims his descent from a monkey? Huxley muttered something like, The Lord has delivered him into my hands, and proceeded to give the audience and the bishop an erudite biology lesson. At the end of his exposition Huxley declared that he didn’t know whether it was through his grandmother or grandfather that he was related to an ape, but that he would rather be descended from simians than be a man possessed of the gift of reason and see it used as the bishop had used it that day. Ladies fainted, scientists cheered, and reporters ran to print the headline: War Between Science and Theology.

The event in America that defined the public perception of the relationship of science to theology was the Scopes trial. In 1925 John Scopes, a high school biology teacher in the tiny town of Dayton, Tennessee, volunteered to be arrested for violating a previously unenforced state law forbidding the teaching of evolution. The involvement of high-profile lawyer Clarence Darrow for the defense and three-time losing presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan for the prosecution guaranteed the media circus that ensued. Although Scopes’s team lost at trial, his conviction was overturned on a technicality. More importantly, the publicity set a tone of antagonism between religion and science.

The Scopes trial and the Huxley-Wilberforce debate happened long ago, but more recent events have kept the conflict simmering. Over the past several decades groups that, for religious reasons, believe that the earth is relatively young (on the order of ten thousand years) have tried to have their viewpoint taught to their children in public schools. The sociological and political factors involved in the situation are quite complex—a powerful mix of such potentially divisive topics as religious freedom, parental rights, government control of education, and state versus federal rights—and are made all the more emotional because the fight is over children.

Because the age of the earth can be inferred from physical measurements, many scientists quite naturally felt that the religious groups had entered their area of expertise and called them to account. When the groups offered physical evidence that they said supported a young earth, scientists hooted it down as incompetent and biased. Tempers flared on both sides, and much ill will was built up. Some of the ill will has been institutionalized; for example, an organization called the National Center for Science Education was set up a dozen years ago-when several states were passing laws congenial to creationism—to battle creationists whenever they try to influence public school policy.

These and numerous other examples of historical events in which scientists have clashed with religious groups are real and cause real emotional reactions. They make some well-meaning people think that a demilitarized zone should be maintained between the two, with no fraternization allowed. However, the importance of the historical clashes for actual scientific understanding of the development of life is essentially zero. (1)

If we are going to heal ourselves and solve our human crisis, we must not fall into the ‘evolution versus creationism’ trap. This is just another example of ‘either/or thinking’ and ‘mixing levels of organization’. Many humans including a number of otherwise good scientists are presently caught up in this trap.

One false assumption that results from this trap is the belief that science must explain everything about life and its origins. After all if ‘God’ is the alternative explanation for all in universe. Then our ‘either/or’ thinking requires that for ‘evolutionary science’ to be true, it too must explain all in universe. However recall from the science section that to explain ‘ALL ’ in universe is very large task indeed.

Evolutionary science (2009) does explain a great deal and many of its aspects have been scientifically corroborated. However, Darwin offered no explanation for the origin of life. And, evolutionary science (2009) while explaining how simple organisms can become more complex organisms, and how organisms have adapted to better fit their environments, has not provided a clear step by step explanation for the beginnings of life nor provided proven explanations for the development of complex organs like the human eye.

When scientific theory does not answer a question placed to it, one of two conditions may exist. First, the theory is incomplete and when more is discovered and the theory expanded, it will better answer the question. Or, two the theory may be wrong and there exists an alternative explanation that better answers the question.

I believe that the first condition exists here. I believe that evolutionary science (2009) is young and like many young theories it is still incomplete. For example, it clearly needs integration with synergic science. And, I believe when and as we discover more, we will come to understand life and evolution better, and I predict we will then develop better answers to these important questions.

However, there are a number of humans including some very good scientists who believe the second condition exists here. They believe that an alternative explanation exists that better explains life.

Intelligent Design

Michael Behe argues for intelligent design as a better explanation for life:

The impotence of Darwinian theory in accounting for the molecular basis of life is evident not only from the analyses in this book, but also from the complete absence in the professional scientific literature of any detailed models by which complex biochemical systems could have been produced. In the face of the enormous complexity that modern biochemistry has uncovered in the cell, the scientific community is paralyzed. No one at Harvard University, no one at the National Institutes of Health, no member of the National Academy of Sciences, no Nobel prize winner—no one at all can give a detailed account of how the cilium, or vision, or blood clotting, or any complex biochemical process might have developed in a Darwinian fashion. But we are here. Plants and animals are here. The complex systems are here. All these things got here somehow: if not in a Darwinian fashion, then how?

Over the past four decades modern biochemistry has uncovered the secrets of the cell. The progress has been hard won. It has required tens of thousands of people to dedicate the better parts of their lives to the tedious work of the laboratory. Graduate students in untied tennis shoes scraping around the lab late on Saturday night; postdoctoral associates working fourteen hours a day seven days a week; professors ignoring their children in order to polish and repolish grant proposals, hoping to shake a little money loose from politicians with larger constituencies to feed — these are the people that make scientific research move forward. The knowledge we now have of life at the molecular level has been stitched together from innumerable experiments in which proteins were purified, genes cloned, electron micrographs taken, cells cultured, structures determined, sequences compared, parameters varied, and controls done. Papers were published, results checked, reviews written, blind alleys searched, and new leads fleshed out.

The result of these cumulative efforts to investigate the cell — to investigate life at the molecular level — is a loud, clear, piercing cry of design! The result is so unambiguous and so significant that it must be ranked as one of the greatest achievements in the history of science. The discovery rivals those of Newton and Einstein, Lavoisier and Schrˆdinger, Pasteur, and Darwin. The observation of the intelligent design of life is as momentous as the observation that the earth goes around the sun or that disease is caused by bacteria or that radiation is emitted in quanta. The magnitude of the victory, gained at such great cost through sustained effort over the course of decades, would be expected to send champagne corks flying in labs around the world. This triumph of science should evoke cries of Eureka! from ten thousand throats, should occasion much hand-slapping and high-fiving, and perhaps even be an excuse to take a day off.

But no bottles have been uncorked, no hands slapped. Instead, a curious, embarrassed silence surrounds the stark complexity of the cell. When the subject comes up in public, feet start to shuffle, and breathing gets a bit labored. In private people are a bit more relaxed; many explicitly admit the obvious but then stare at the ground, shake their heads, and let it go at that.

Why does the scientific community not greedily embrace its startling discovery? Why is the observation of design handled with intellectual gloves? The dilemma is that while one side of the coin is labeled intelligent design, the other side might be labeled God. (2)

Behe argues that intelligent design is necessary to any satisfactory explanation for the complexities of molecular biology. Design has also been offered by many others as the only satisfactory explanation for complex biological organs like the human eye.

The arguments for design presented by Behe and other advocates usually involve three issues: 1) Complexity—The probability that life could originate by chance, or that the complexity of molecular biology or the human eye can be explained by random chance is enormously unlikely. 2) Intelligence—There is evidence for intelligence in the form of controlled choice which can be found in all life forms—plants, animals, and humans—which cannot be explained by random choice. And, 3) Purpose—There is evidence of purpose in the form of goal seeking behavior which is found in all forms of life and which cannot be explained by random chance.

Complexity, intelligence, and purpose are all strong arguments against random chance. Therefore evolution stands refuted, and the only alternative offered to explain life is design.

However, all these arguments at least in part presume that Darwinian theory and evolutionary science is based on random chance. Is Darwinian theory and evolutionary science based on random chance?

Evolution Does Not Equal Random Chance

British scientist Richard Dawkins, one of world’s leading experts on evolutionary biology, discusses this presumption in his 1996 book Climbing Mount Improbable:

One of Britain’s most famous physical scientists, Sir Fred Hoyle frequently expresses a similar view with respect to large molecules such as enzymes, whose inherent ‘improbability’—that is the probability that they’d spontaneously come into existence by chance—is easier to calculate than that of eyes. Enzymes work in cells rather like exceedingly numerous machine tools for molecular mass production. Their efficacy depends upon their three dimensional shape, their share depends upon their coiling behaviour, and their coiling behaviour depends upon the sequence of amino acids which link up in a chain to make them. This exact sequence is directly controlled by genes and it really matters. Could it come about by chance?

Hoyle says no, and he is right. There is a fixed number of amino acids available, twenty. A typical enzyme is a chain of several hundred links drawn from the twenty. An elementary calculation shows that the probability that any particular sequence of, say 100, amino acids will spontaneously form is one in 20 x 20 x 20 … 100 times, or 1 in 20100, This is an inconceivably large number, far greater than the number of fundamental particles in the entire universe. Sir Fred, bending over backwards (unnecessarily, as we shall see) to be fair to those whom he sees as his Darwinian opponents, generously shortens the odds to 1 in 2020. A more modest number to be sure, but still a horrifyingly low probability. His co-author and fellow astrophysicist, Professor Chandra Wickramasinghe, has quoted him as saying that the spontaneous formation by ‘chance’ of a working enzyme is like a hurricane blowing through a junkyard and spontaneously having the luck to put together a Boeing 747. What Hoyle and Wickramasinghe miss is that Darwinism is not a theory of random chance. It is a theory of random mutation plus non-random cumulative natural selection, Why, I wonder, is it so hard for even sophisticated scientists to grasp this simple point?

Darwin himself had to contend with an earlier generation of physical scientists crying ‘chance’ as the alleged fatal flaw in his theory. William Thomson, Lord Kelvin, was perhaps the greatest physicist of his day and Darwin’s most distinguished scientific opponent. Among his many achievements he calculated the age of the Earth based on rates of cooling, assuming that it had once been a part of the ‘fires’ of the Sun. He concluded that the Earth was some tens of millions of years old. Modern estimates put the age up in the thousands of millions of years, it is no discredit to Lord Kelvin that his estimate was one hundredth part of the right answer. Dating methods using radioactive decay were not available in his time, and nuclear fusion, the true ‘fire’ of the Sun, was unknown, so his cooling calculation was doomed from the start. What is less forgivable was his lofty dismissing, ‘as a physicist’, of Darwin’s biological evidence: the earth wasn’t old enough; there hadn’t been enough time for the Darwinian process of evolution to have achieved the results we see around us; the evidence of biology must simply be wrong, trumped by the superior evidence of physics. Darwin might just as well have retorted (he didn’t) that the biological evidence clearly indicates evolution, therefore there must have been time for evolution to occur, therefore the physicist’s evidence must be wrong!

To return to the point about ‘chance’, Lord Kelvin used the prestigious platform of his Presidential Address to the British Association to quote, with approval, the words of another distinguished physical scientist, Sir John Herschel, who also, by the way, referred to Darwinism as ‘The Law of Higgledy-Piggledy’:

We can no more accept the principle of arbitrary and casual variation and natural selection as a sufficient account, per se, of the past and present organic world, than we can receive the Laputan method of composing books (pushed ‡ I’outrance) as a sufficient one for Shakespeare and the Principia.

Herschel’s allusion was to Gulliver’s Travels in which Swift had mocked the Laputan method of writing books by combining words at random. Herschel and Kelvin, Hoyle and Wickramasinghe, my anonymously quoted physical scientists and any number of Jehovah’s Witness tracts all make the mistake of treating Darwinian natural selection as though it were tantamount to Laputan authorship. To this day, and in quarters where they should know better, Darwinism is widely regarded as a theory of ‘chance’.

It is grindingly, creakingly, crashingly obvious that, if Darwinism were really a theory of chance, it couldn’t work. You don’t need to be a mathematician or physicist to calculate that an eye or a haemoglobin molecule would take from here to infinity to self-assemble by sheer higgledy-piggledy luck. Far from being a difficulty peculiar to Darwinism, the astronomic improbability of eyes and knees, enzymes and elbow joints and the other living wonders is precisely the problem that any theory of life must solve, and that Darwinism uniquely does solve. It solves it by breaking the improbability up into small, manageable parts, smearing out the luck needed, going round the back of Mount Improbable and crawling up the gentle slopes, inch by million-year inch. Only God would essay the mad task of leaping up the precipice in a single bound. And if we postulate him as our cosmic designer we are left in exactly the same position as when we started. Any Designer capable of constructing the dazzling array of living things would have to be intelligent and complicated beyond all imagining. And complicated is just another word for improbable—and therefore demanding of explanation. A theologian who ripostes that his god is sublimely simple has (not very) neatly evaded the issue, for a sufficiently simple god, whatever other virtues he might have, would be too simple to be capable of designing a universe (to say nothing of forgiving sins, answering prayers, blessing unions, transubstantiating wine, and the many other achievements variously expected of him). You cannot have it both ways. Either your god is capable of designing worlds and doing all the other godlike things, in which case he needs an explanation in his own right. Or he is not, in which case he cannot provide an explanation. God should be seen by Fred Hoyle as the ultimate Boeing 747.

The height of Mount Improbable stands for the combination of perfection and improbability that is epitomized in eyes and enzyme molecules (and gods capable of designing them). To say that an object like an eye or a protein molecule is improbable means something rather precise. The object is made of a large number of parts arranged in a very special way. The number of possible ways in which those parts could have been arranged is exceedingly large. In the case of a protein molecule we can actually calculate that large number. Isaac Asimov did it for the particular protein haemoglobin, and called it the Haemoglobin Number. It has 190 noughts. That is the number of ways of rearranging the bits of haemoglobin such that the result would not be haemoglobin. In the case of the eye we can’t do the equivalent calculation without fabricating lots of assumptions, but we can intuitively see that it is going to come to another stupefyingly large number. The actual, observed arrangement of parts is improbable in the sense that it is only one arrangement among trillions of possible arrangements.

Now, there is an uninteresting sense in which, with hindsight, any particular arrangement of parts is just as improbable as any other. Even a junkyard is as improbable, with hindsight, as a 747, for its parts could have been arranged in so many other ways. The trouble is, most of those ways would also be junkyards. This is where the idea of quality comes in. The vast majority of arrangements of the parts of a Boeing junkyard would not fly. A small minority would. Of all the trillions of possible arrangements of the parts of an eye, only a tiny minority would see. The human eye forms a sharp image on a retina, corrected for spherical and chromatic aberration; automatically stops down or up with an iris diaphragm to keep the internal light intensity relatively constant in the face of large fluctuations in external light intensity; automatically changes the focal length of the lens depending upon whether the object being looked at is near or far; sorts out colour by comparing the firing rates of three different kinds of light-sensitive cell. Almost all random scramblings of the parts of an eye would fail to achieve any of these delicate and difficult tasks. There is something very special about the particular arrangement that exists. All particular arrangements are as improbable as each other. But of all particular arrangements, those that aren’t useful hugely outnumber those that are. Useful devices are improbable and need a special explanation. R. A. Fisher, the great mathematical geneticist and founder of the modern science of statistics, put the point in 1930, in his usual meticulous style (I never met him, but one can almost hear his fastidiously correct dictation to his long-suffering wife):

An organism is regarded as adapted to a particular situation, or to the totality of situations which constitute its environment, only in so far as we can imagine an assemblage of slightly different situations, or environments, to which the animal would on the whole be less well adapted; and equally only in so far as we can imagine an assemblage of slightly different organic forms, which would be less well adapted to that environment.

Eyes, ears and hearts, the wing of a vulture, the web of a spider, these all impress us by their obvious perfection of engineering no matter where we see them: we don’t need to have them presented to us in their natural surroundings to see that they are good for some purpose and that, if their parts were rearranged or altered in almost any way, they would be worse. They have ‘improbable perfection’ written all over them. An engineer can recognize them as the kind of thing that he would design, if called upon to solve a particular problem.

This is another way of saying that objects such as these cannot be explained as coming into existence by chance. As we have seen, to invoke chance, on its own, as an explanation, is equivalent to vaulting from the bottom to the top of Mount Improbable’s steepest cliff in one bound, And what corresponds to inching up the kindly, grassy slopes on the other side of the mountain! It is the slow, cumulative, one-step-at-a-time, non-random survival of random variants that Darwin called natural selection, The metaphor of Mount Improbable dramatizes the mistake of the sceptics quoted at the beginning of this chapter, Where they went wrong was to keep their eyes fixed on the vertical precipice and its dramatic height. They assumed that the sheer cliff was the only way up to the summit on which are perched eyes and protein molecules and other supremely improbable arrangements of parts. It was Darwin’s great achievement to discover the gentle gradients winding up the other side of the mountain.

But is this one of those rare cases where it is really true that there is no smoke without fire? Darwinism is widely misunderstood as a theory of pure chance. Mustn’t it have done something to provoke this canard? Well, yes, there is something behind the misunderstood rumour, a feeble basis to the distortion. One stage in the Darwinian process is indeed a chance process—mutation, Mutation is the process by which fresh genetic variation is offered up for selection and it is usually described as random. But Darwinians make the fuss that they do about the ‘randomness’ of mutation only in order to contrast it to the non-randomness of selection, the other side of the process. It is not necessary that mutation should be random in order for natural selection to work. Selection can still do its work whether mutation is directed or not. Emphasizing that mutation ran be random is our way of calling attention to the crucial fact that, by contrast, selection is sublimely and quintessentially non-random. It is ironic that this emphasis on the contrast between mutation and the non-randomness of selection has led people to think that the whole theory is a theory of chance. (3)

When we find complexity, intelligence and purpose in a human made tool or artifact, we speak with great assurance that a human designer of that tool or artifact exists. And, that the complexity, intelligence and purpose that we find in our tool or artifact represents the complexity, intelligence and purpose of the human designer. And when we look for evidence of a human designer, we find it. We find the design plans for the tool or the blueprints for the artifact. We find the workshop of the designer or maybe his studio. And often, we find the designer himself perhaps even in the act of designing.

However, while we find complexity, intelligence and purpose in our examination of universe — in our examination of heaven and earth — in our examination of life and human — we have not found evidence of a designer of universe — evidence of a designer of heaven and earth — evidence of a designer of life and humanity — we just haven’t found it.

Our failure to find a designer or even evidence of designer is not proof that no designer exists. However, we have found complexity, intelligence and purpose, and this by itself is highly meaningful to the human mind.

The good scientist would have to say. I don’t know. I see complexity, intelligence and purpose that I cannot explain. There must be more to be discovered. My understanding of cause and effect would lead me to conclude that there is a ‘source’ for that complexity, intelligence and purpose. What that source might be is still unknown.

We could choose to agree to the use of the term GOD to represent ‘that’ which is the source of that complexity, intelligence and purpose. We might further agree to use the same term GOD for the source of Universe itself — for the source of Heaven and Earth — for the source of Life and Humanity.

However this agreement does not allow us to define or describe GOD in anyway. Such an agreement does not validate any existing religious text or prove the existence of any particular religion’s description of GOD. It does not mean that there exists a supernatural or that there is life after death. Nor does it mean that there a supernatural does not exist nor that there is no life after death. The only valid scientific position is simply: “I don’t know!” As a scientist, I cannot presently define or describe GOD, but in science we will know more later. Later, we may discover enough to begin to define and describe this source. Until then the source remains a mystery.

Evolution Does Not Prove a Godless Universe

Scientists in 2009 are as human as their fellow inhabitants of the planet, and most are just as ignorant of synergy. Sensitivity to both-and thinking requires knowledge of synergy. This is why many scientists make mistakes of either/or thinking. They are just as caught up in the ‘evolution versus creationism’ trap. Their failure to find evidence of a designer and their desire to be ‘good’ scientists — true to their intellect — compels them to deny God. Therefore they miss the fact that to explain universe will require both God and evolution.

So let us agree to end this false argument of ‘evolution versus creationism’. Let us further agree that humanity — individual or collective — scientific or religious has no ability to limit God as to what mechanism or mechanisms the act of creation or the workings of the universe will take. The mechanisms that we discover through the careful use of the scientific method will by definition be God’s mechanisms.

Synergic Evolution —One of God’s Mechanisms

In our earlier discussions we found that life’s power is to create syntropy. This ability to ever increase order, organization, pattern, and form is a defining characteristic of life. Life evolves towards ever-increasing syntropy — ever increasing order — ever increasing organization, form, pattern, and heterogeneity.

Young’s Theory of Process explains that this transition is from simple process to complex process — from light to particles, from particles to atoms, from atoms to molecules, from molecules to plants, from plants to animals, and from animals to humans. This process of synergic evolution then is another of the defining characteristics of life. This brings us to a new definition of evolution:

Evolution—def—> The transition of process from a state of lower syntropy—order, organization, pattern, and form to a state of higher syntropy—order, organization, pattern and form.

Science in 2009 has discovered that evolution is synergic. Then the purpose of life is to evolve. To transition from a state of lower syntropy to a state of higher syntropy. Life advances through actions both small and large. And purpose is the driving force behind all actions. So purpose is found everywhere in both both small and large amounts.

Unfortunately, today many humans hold the belief that evolutionary science has refuted the very concept of ‘purpose’ in Universe. And, a universe without purpose is perhaps even more pernicious than a universe without God.

However, evolution does not prove a purposeless Universe.

Recall from our earlier discussions that reductionistic science focuses on ‘parts’, energy, and entropy. Remember entropy is the trend towards disorder that dominates the simpler processes of light, particles, atoms, and simple molecules. Reductionistic science is insensitive to ‘wholes’, synergy and syntropy. Syntropy is the trend towards order that dominates the more complex processes of complex molecules, plants, animals, and humans. Remember further that while entropy dominates simpler processes syntropy is found at every level of process. And while syntropy dominates complex processes, entropy is found at every level of process.

Reductionistic science focuses on ‘parts’ and not on ‘wholes’. Purpose is found in the ‘wholes’ and not in the ‘parts’. Reductionistic science is blind to purpose.

Evolution is a synergic phenomenon, however it was discovered and first described by Darwin, Wallace, Spencer, and Huxley. These classical scientists were of course time-binders and also bound in time. They lived and thought in the 19th century when reductionistic science ruled.

The belief that purpose cannot be found in universe is a reductionistic error that persists even today among many evolutionary scientists. Young writing in 1976 commented:

Process is defined as a series of actions or operations taken to reach an end, therefore process projects a goal. The notion of purpose or teleology is forbidden in science, among biologists especially, who, while they must be strongly tempted to invoke it at every turn, avoid it as reformed alcoholic avoids a drink. (4)

Richard Dawkins is perhaps one of today’s (2009) best living scientists. However, he is ignorant of synergy, and so makes the mistake of ‘either/or’ thinking. He is caught up in the ‘evolution versus creationism’ trap. His failure to find evidence of a designer and his desire to be a ‘good’ scientist—true to his intellect—compels him to deny GOD. It should therefore come as no surprise that he is an avowed Atheist. If he were a better scientist, he would simply say: “I don’t know.”

Unfortunately, Dawkin’s has been blinded by the religious zeal “not to belief.” His emotional commitment to Atheism further damages his ability to understand evolutionary biology objectively. However his limitations do not prevent us from learning from his insights and discoveries. Much of his truth is scientific truth. If we step carefully to avoid Dawkins’ scientific mistakes, he still has much to teach us. Most of his work is informative and useful. I will quote extensively from his writings a little later, but first lets examine what he has to say about purpose: 

Charles Darwin lost his faith with the help of a wasp: I cannot persuade myself, Darwin wrote, that a beneficent and omnipotent God would have designedly created the Ichneumonidae with the express intention of their feeding within the living bodies of Caterpillars. … The macabre habits of the Ichneumonidae are shared by their cousins the digger wasps. … A female digger wasp not only lays her egg in a caterpillar (or grasshopper or bee) so that her larva can feed on it but, according to Fabre and others, she carefully guides her sting into each ganglion of the prey’s central nervous system, so as to paralyze it but not kill it. This way, the meat keeps fresh. It is not known whether the paralysis acts as a general anesthetic, or if it is like curare in just freezing the victim’s ability to move. If the latter, the prey might be aware of being eaten alive from inside but unable to move a muscle to do anything about it. This sounds savagely cruel but, as we shall see, nature is not cruel, only pitilessly indifferent. This is one of the hardest lessons for humans to learn. We cannot admit that things might be neither good nor evil, neither cruel nor kind, but simply callous — indifferent to all suffering, lacking all purpose.

We humans have purpose on the brain. We find it hard to look at anything without wondering what it is for, what the motive for it is, or the purpose behind it. When the obsession with purpose becomes pathological it is called paranoia — reading malevolent purpose into what is actually random bad luck. But this is just an exaggerated form of a nearly universal delusion. Show us almost any object or process, and it is hard for us to resist the Why question — the What is it for? question.

The desire to see purpose everywhere is a natural one in an animal that lives surrounded by machines, works of art, tools and other designed artifacts: an animal, moreover, whose waking thoughts are dominated by it own personal goals. A car, a tin opener, a screw driver and a pitchfork all legitimately warrant the What is it for? question. Our pagan forebears would have asked the same question about thunder, eclipses, rocks, and streams. Today we pride ourselves on having shaken off such primitive animism. If a rock in a stream happens to serve as a convenient stepping-stone, we regard its usefulness as an accidental bonus, not a true purpose. But the old temptation comes back with a vengeance when tragedy strikes — indeed, the very word strikes is an animistic echo: Why, oh why, did the cancer/earthquake/hurricane have to strike my child? And the same temptation is often positively relished when the topic is the origin of all things or the fundamental laws of physics, culminating in the vacuous existential question Why is there something rather than nothing? …

The mere fact that it is possible to frame a question does not make it legitimate or sensible to do so. There are many things about which you can ask, What is its temperature? or What color is it? but you may not ask the temperature question or the color question of, say, jealousy or prayer. Similarly, you are right to ask the Why question of a bicycle’s mudguards or the Kariba Dam, but at the very least you have no right to assume that the Why question deserves an answer when posed about a boulder, a misfortune, Mt. Everest or the universe. Questions can be simply inappropriate, however heartfelt their framing.

Somewhere between windscreen wipers and tin openers on the one hand and rocks and the universe on the other lie living creatures. Living bodies and their organs are objects that, unlike rocks, seem to have purpose written all over them. Notoriously, of course, the apparent purposefulness of living bodies has dominated the classic Argument from Design, invoked by theologians from Aquinas to William Paley to modern scientific creationists.

The true process that has endowed wings and eyes, beaks, nesting instincts and everything else about life with the strong illusion of purposeful design is now well understood. It is Darwinian natural selection. Our understanding of this has come astonishingly recently, in the last century and a half. Before Darwin, even educated people who had abandoned Why questions for rocks, streams and eclipses still implicitly accepted the legitimacy of the Why question where living creatures were concerned. Now only the scientifically illiterate do. But only conceals the unpalatable truth that we are still talking about an absolute majority.

Actually, Darwinians do frame a kind of Why question about living things, but they do so in a special, metaphorical sense. Why do birds sing, and what are wings, for? Such questions would be accepted as a shorthand by modern Darwinians and would be given sensible answers in terms of the natural selection of bird ancestors. The illusion of purpose is so powerful that biologists themselves use the assumption of good design as a working tool. Zoologist and Nobel laureate Karl von Frisch discovered, in the teeth of strong orthodox opinion to the contrary, that some insects have true color vision. His clinching experiments were stimulated by the simple observation that bee-pollinated flowers go to great trouble to manufacture colored pigments. Why would they do this if bees were color-blind? The metaphor of purpose—more precisely, the assumption that Darwinian selection is involved—is here being used to make a strong inference about the world. It would have been quite wrong for von Frisch to have said, Flowers are colored, therefore bees must have color vision. But it was right for him to say, as he did, Flowers are colored, therefore it is at least worth my while working hard at some new experiments to test the hypothesis that they have color vision. What he found when he looked into the matter in detail was that bees have good color vision but the spectrum they see is shifted relative to ours. They can’t see red light (they might give the name infra yellow to what we call red). But they can see into the range of shorter wavelengths we call ultraviolet, and they see ultraviolet as a distinct color, sometimes called bee purple.

When he realized that bees see in the ultraviolet part of the spectrum, von Frisch again did some reasoning using the metaphor of purpose. What, he asked himself, do bees use their ultraviolet sense for? His thoughts returned full circle—to flowers. Although we can’t see ultraviolet light, we can make photographic film that is sensitive to it, and we can make filters that are transparent to ultraviolet light but cut out visible light. Acting on his hunch, von Frisch took some ultraviolet photographs of flowers. To his delight, he saw patterns of spots and stripes that no human eye had ever seen before. Flowers that to us look white or yellow are in fact decorated with ultraviolet patterns, which often serve as runway markers to guide the bees to the nectaries. The assumption of apparent purpose had paid off once again: flowers, if they were well designed, would exploit the fact that bees can see ultraviolet wavelengths.

When he was an old man, von Frisch’s famous earlier work on the dance of the bees—was called into question by an American biologist named Adrian Wenner. Fortunately, von Frisch lived long enough to see his work vindicated by another American, James L. Gould, now at Princeton, in one of the most brilliantly conceived experiments of all biology. I’ll briefly tell the story, because it is relevant to my point about the power of the as if designed assumption.

Karl von Frisch had made the epoch discovery that honeybees tell each other the whereabouts of flowers by means of a carefully coded dance. If the food is very close to the hive, they do the round dance, This just excites other bees, and they rush out and search in the vicinity of the hive, not particularly remarkable. But very remarkable is what happens when the food is farther away from the hive. The forager who has discovered the food performs the so-called waggle dance, and its form and timing tell the other bees both the compass direction and the distance from the hive of the food.

Wenner and his colleagues did not deny that the dance happens. They did not even deny that it contains all the information von Frisch said it did. What they did deny is that other bees read the dance. Yes, Wenner said, it is true that the direction of the straight run of the waggle dance relative to the vertical is related to the direction of food relative to the sun. But no, other bees don’t receive this information from the dance. Yes, it is true that the rates of various things in the dance can be read as information about the distance of food. But there is no good evidence that the other bees read the information. They could be ignoring it. Von Frisch’s evidence, the skeptics said, was flawed, and when they repeated his experiments with proper controls (that is, by taking care of alternative means by which bees might find food), the experiments no longer supported von Frisch’s dance-language hypothesis.

This was where Jim Gould came into the story with his exquisitely ingenious experiments. Gould exploited a long-known fact about honeybees. Although they usually dance in the dark, relying on their gravity sense to detect differences between the direction of the dance and the straight-up direction in the vertical plane that stands as token for the sun’s direction in the horizontal plane, they will effortlessly switch to a possibly more ancestral way of doing things if you turn on a light inside the hive. They then forget all about gravity and use the lightbulb as their token sun, allowing it to determine the angle of the dance directly. Fortunately, no misunderstandings arise when the dancer switches her allegiance from gravity to the lightbulb. The other bees reading the dance switch their allegiance in the same way, so the dance still carries the same meaning: the other bees still head off looking for food in the direction the dancer intended.

Now for Jim Gould’s masterstroke. He painted a dancing bee’s eyes over with black shellac, so that she couldn’t see the lightbulb. She therefore danced using the normal gravity convention. But the other bees following her dance, not being blindfolded, could see the lightbulb. They interpreted the dance as if the gravity convention had been dropped and replaced by the lightbulb sun convention. The dance followers measured the angle of the dance relative to the light, whereas the dancer herself was aligning it relative to gravity. Gould was, in effect, forcing the dancing bee to lie about the direction of the food. Not just lie in a general sense, but lie in a particular direction that Gould could precisely manipulate. He did the experiment not with just one blindfolded bee, of course, but with a proper statistical sample of bees and variously manipulated angles. And it worked. Von Frisch’s original dance-language hypothesis was triumphantly vindicated.

I didn’t tell this story for fun. I wanted to make a point about the negative as well as the positive aspects of the assumption of good design. When I first read the skeptical papers of Wenner and his colleagues, I was openly derisive. And this was not a good thing to be, even though Wenner eventually turned out to be wrong. My derision was based entirely on the good design assumption. Wenner was not, after all, denying that the dance happened, nor that it embodied all the information von Frisch had claimed about the distance and direction of food. Wenner simply denied that the other bees read the information. And this was too much for me and many other Darwinian biologists to stomach. The dance was so complicated, so richly contrived, so finely tuned to its apparent purpose of informing other bees of the distance and direction of food. This fine tuning could not have come about, in our view, other than by natural selection. In a way, we fell into the same trap as creationists do when they contemplate the wonders of life. The dance simply had to be doing something useful, and this presumably meant helping foragers to find food. Moreover, those very aspects of the dance that were so finely tuned—the relationship of its angle and speed to the direction and distance of food—had to be doing something useful too. Therefore, in our view, Wenner just had to be wrong. So confident was I that, even if I had been ingenious enough to think of Gould’s blindfold experiment (which I certainly wasn’t), I would not have bothered to do it.

Gould not only was ingenious enough to think of the experiment but he also bothered to do it, because he was not seduced by the ‘good design’ assumption. It is a fine tightrope we are walking, however, because I suspect that Gould—like von Frisch before him, in his color research—had enough of the ‘good design’ assumption in his head to believe that his remarkable experiment had a respectable chance of success and was therefore worth spending time and effort on. (5)

And, so we see that like many evolutionary scientists Dawkins adds the denial of purpose to his denial of God. Dawkins and company are indeed walking a fine tightrope. He begins the preceding discussion with strong denial of purpose, but then almost immediately finds it necessary to qualify his denial with a number of permited exceptions to the exclusion of purpose. His reductionistic bias forces him to lock the front door to purpose, but expediency requires that he let it in the back door in a special, metaphorical sense. (6) Young could have been describing Dawkins when he said: The notion of purpose or teleology is forbidden in science, among biologists especially, who, while they must be strongly tempted to invoke it at every turn, avoid it as reformed alcoholic avoids a drink. (7)

So we see that even today 2009, Dawkins like many evolutionary biologists is under the influence of the reductionistic bias and cannot acknowledge the role of purpose in universe, and yet he invokes it at every turn, but hides it by speaking of ‘good‘ design rather than ‘purposeful‘ design.

We cannot criticize Dawkins for invoking purpose. Evolution cannot be explained without it. However, his need to deny and hide purpose is a scientific mistake resulting from his ignorance of synergy and his commitment to the reductionistic bias. Recall reductionistic science focuses on ‘parts’ and not on ‘wholes’. Purpose is found in the ‘wholes’ and not in the ‘parts’. Reductionistic science is blind to purpose.

Little Purpose

When evolutionary scientists do allow themselves to speak of purpose they are never speaking of big purpose—the ultimate purpose for the universe or the goal of Nature, or the Why of life, or the Why of humanity. To do so might require an acknowledgement of ‘God’. So when they speak of purpose—it is always of little purpose. By this I mean they are willing to admit purpose in their special, metaphorical sense. Why do birds sing, and what are wings, for? They are willing to admit purpose to explain eyes, beaks, nesting instincts, color vision in bees, and the communication dance of the bees. (8)

Synergic science focuses on ‘wholes’. And purpose is found in wholes. Synergy scientist Arthur Young lets purpose in the front door. He found purpose begins within the first stage of process — light and is found as well at all other stages of process — particles, atoms, molecules, plants, animals, and humans.

Recall from my earlier discussion of action in the basics section. We can view universe as action — universe as dynamic. Action implies motion, movement, animation — by definition process.

Now recall action, is always accompanied by two other phenomena—the reaction, and the resultant. Recall further that actions can not and do not occur in isolation. If they impinge on the environment or on others, they will effect or impact on the environment — they will effect or impact on others. The environment or other reacts at the beginning of the action. And the effect or impact on the environment or other at the end of the action produces a resultant.

Process is then action-reaction-resultant. Now recall that process is either random or controlled, and actions, reactions and resultants are also either random or controlled.

Imagine you are throwing a ball. There is a target on the wall at the end of the room. Now lets imagine you are just throwing randomly. You have no intention to hit the target. You are not avoiding the target. You are ignoring it. Perhaps to keep yourself honest you cover your eyes with a blindfold. When we analyze your throws we will discover that the few times the ball struck the target would be no more frequent then the times the ball struck any other area of equal size on the wall. This finding would correspond to the probability of a random event. This is what we would expect if you had no purpose.

Now lets imagine you are throwing a ball, and this time you are throwing with the goal of hitting the target. Your eyes are not covered and it is your intention to hit the target every time if possible. When we analyze your throws this time we discover that the ball is striking the target more frequently then it is striking other areas of equal size. This finding would correspond to the probability of a controlled event. This is what we would expect if you had purpose.

There is nothing mysterious about purpose. We can easily detect it by simply examining process to determine if a non-random pattern exists. Non-random pattern is evidence of control. Evidence of control is by definition goal seeking behavior, and that by definition requires purpose.

How do you determine if a non-random event has occurred?

This is a question that requires temporal intelligence. Events by definition occur over time. Only Time-binding intelligence can analyze process. We humans see purpose everywhere not because we are surrounded by machines, works of art, tools and other designed artifacts and not because our waking thoughts are dominated by our own personal goals. (9) But because we humans are time aware — we humans are the only class of life capable of detecting purpose.

Understanding purpose also requires perspective. Imagine you live along a road. Everyday you observe a blond man drive an automobile past your house at about 8:00 am. Later in the day the same man drives past your house again, but this time in the opposite direction and always at about 5:00 pm. This happens nearly everyday Monday through Friday. You can see that this behavior represents a non-random event. There is a regular pattern here. There is order here. You know that this pattern of behavior represents purposeful behavior. But from this perspective you can’t discover what that purpose is. You cannot answer the question, Why does the blond man drive past your house?

Now imagine one day a friend of yours picks you up in his helicopter. You are now able to observe the same man in his automobile from a different perspective. With your new ability to observe from above and to follow the man in his automobile, you soon discover that he is traveling from a nearby residence in the morning to a factory in the next town, and from that factory in the evening back to the nearby residence.

With your new perspective you can determine the purpose of the behavior that was hidden from you when you watched the road only from your house. The ability to determine purpose is dependent upon the perspective available during observation.

The history of scientific advancement can now be seen in many ways to be the result of improving perspective. The invention of telescopes and microscopes gave the observer new perspective from which to view process.

Big Purpose

Science has no answer to the the questions of who or why universe. Science has made no attempt to define or describe the source of Universe. Science seeks rather to understand how the universe works — to understand the mechanism that the source uses to create Heaven and Earth — to create Life and Human — to create the Universe itself.

Neuroscientist William H. Calvin writing in 1996 discusses the scientific how as used to try to understand human intelligence: 

Answering the how questions is often our closest approach to answering a why question. Just remember that the answers to how mechanisms come in two extreme forms, which are sometimes known as proximate and ultimate causation. Even the pros sometimes get them mixed up, only to discover that they’ve been arguing about two sides of the same coin, so I suspect that a few words of background are needed here.

When you ask, How does that work? You sometimes mean how in a short-term, mechanical sense — how does something work in one person, right now. But sometimes you mean how in a long-term transformational sense — involving a series of animal populations that change during species evolution. The physiological mechanisms underlying intelligent behavior are the proximate how; the prehistoric mechanisms that evolved our present brains are the other kind of how. You can sometimes explain in one sense without even touching upon the other sense of how. Such a false sense of completeness is, of course, a good way to get blindsided.

Furthermore, there are different levels of explanation in both cases. Physiological how questions can be asked at a number of different levels of organization. Both consciousness and intelligence are at the high end of our mental life, but they are frequently confused with more elementary mental processes — with what we use to recognize a friend or tie a shoelace. Such simpler neural mechanisms are, of course, likely to be the foundations from which our abilities to handle logic and metaphor evolved.

Evolutionary how questions also have a number of levels of explanation: just saying that a mutation did it isn’t likely to be a useful answer to an evolutionary question involving whole populations. Both physiological and evolutionary answers at multiple levels are needed if we are to understand our own intelligence in any detail. They might even help us appreciate how an artificial or an exotic intelligence could evolve — as opposed to creation from top-down design. (10)

Is Dawkins right in his belief that it is a vacuous existential question to ask why? Is he right when he says, Before Darwin, even educated people who had abandoned Why questions for rocks, streams and eclipses still implicitly accepted the legitimacy of the Why question where living creatures were concerned. Now only the scientifically illiterate do. But only conceals the unpalatable truth that we are still talking about an absolute majority? (11)

Is Dawkins right that there is no big purpose? That nature, universe, life, and humanity have no purpose? Perhaps the absolute majority of scientifically illiterate humanity are wiser than trained evolutionary biologists when it comes to understanding purpose.

Contrary to Dawkins, I believe that it is completely legitimate to ask the Why questions. I believe there is big purpose in the universe. However, we may not yet have the necessary perspective to answer the big questions. Why Nature? Why Universe? Why life? Or, why humanity? But the lack of the necessary perspective to answer those questions does not mean that Nature, Universe, life, and humanity are without purpose.

While we humans are time-binders, and the only class of life that asks or answers questions, we have not been asking and answering questions for very long.

Modern humanity—Homo sapien sapien—only appeared on Earth 90,000 years ago, and the most ancient human civilization known began only 5500 years ago. Gutenberg only invented the printing press 543 years ago. And, the Wright brothers invented the airplane less than 100 years ago. We have only had the personal computer for 25 years. If we represented the 3.4 billion years that life has existed on Earth by a yearly calender with the beginning of life occurring on January 1st, then humanity does not appear until one minute before midnight on December 31st.


So while we humans may not yet be able to answer the big Why questions, this fact in no way invalidates those questions. We may need a better perspective. We may even have to get off the planet and explore the Universe before we have the necessary perspective to answer the big questions.

Why Nature?

Why Universe?

Why life…? And, why humanity?

Levels of Purpose

Purpose works at many levels. In my example of throwing the ball without intending to hit the target, we could say at the level of the target there was no purpose, but at level of just throwing the ball there was purpose.

Once you start looking for purpose you will find that like syntropy — it is everywhere in universe. Simple processes have simple purposes. Complex processes have complex purposes. Purpose simply implies a ‘goal’. Purposeful behavior is just goal seeking behavior.

Reductionistic science — the science of the ‘part’ has been responsible for most of the past advances in human knowledge. However it is an incomplete picture of universe. Reductionistic science suffers from an ignorance of the ‘whole’ — from an ignorance of synergy. This ignorance produces errors of ‘either/or thinking’ and ‘mixing levels of organization’. As we review the current thinking of evolutionary biology, we must step carefully to avoid these errors.

The gene is a “part” of the human organism. But understanding the gene does not mean you understand cells, tissues, organs, systems of organs, organisms, and groups of organisms, etc. etc..

Nor do you understand how each of these other “parts” relate to each other, and how they interact.

Our estimate of the number of human genes currently stands at ~22,500 (estimates have ranged from 20,000 to 150,000). These genes are static instructions (blueprints for constructing proteins which serve as the building blocks of cells).

The human body contains ~60 trillion cells, organized into hundreds of tissues, organized in to dozens of organs organized into seven major systems of organs, and all of this is governed by an ~100 billion neuron brain. The organism is a dynamic living thing changing a trillion trillion times in its lifetime.

To imagine that these genetic static blueprints control dynamic human behavior is about as naive as as thinking that the design blueprint for an automobile will control where and how that automobile is driven over its lifetime with multiple owners and uses.

Which gene controls how a Michael Jordan plays basketball? — How an Albert Einstein formulates physics? — How a Michelangelo carves marble? — How Yo-Yo Ma plays the cello?

You cannot understand human behavior without examining all the parts, and understanding how each and every “part” of the system relates to each and every other “part.” Then you must understand how these parts form “wholes” that combine with other “wholes” to form “systems” that combine with other “systems” to form the whole organism.

Do not view my comments as critical of Dawkins and Dennett. That is not my intention. If I had lived their lives and had their life experiences, I would most sincerely believe as they do. I am writing later, and I have the benefit of the synergic perspective.

However, it must be clear to the reader, I am not a bright. Although much of what humans call religion today is nonsense, I do believe that there exists ‘that’ in universe that is larger than ourselves. I am also in belief that there is a ‘source’ to the complexity, intelligence and purpose that we find everywhere in our examination of living universe. And, I am comfortable to call that source God. So while I share Dennet’s disbelief in ghosts, elves, the Easter Bunny, black magic and life after death, I do believe in God. And, while I do consider myself to hold a naturalist as opposed to a supernaturalist world view, I find God and Purpose quite at home in my view of Nature.  


1)  Michael J Behe, DARWIN’S BLACK BOX—The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution, Touchstone/Simon & Schuster, New York, 1996

2) Michael J Behe, DARWIN’S BLACK BOX, 1996, ibid

3)  Richard Dawkins, Climbing Mount Improbable, W. W. Norton & Company, New York-London, 1996

 4) Arthur Young, The Reflexive Universe, Delacorte Press/Seymour Lawrence, 1976

5)  Richard Dawkins, RIVER OUT OF EDEN—A Darwinian View Of Life, BasicBooks, New York, 1995

6)  Richard Dawkins, RIVER OUT OF EDEN—A Darwinian View Of Life, 1995, ibid

7) Arthur Young, The Reflexive Universe, 1976, ibid

8) Richard Dawkins, RIVER OUT OF EDEN—A Darwinian View Of Life, 1995, ibid

9) Richard Dawkins, RIVER OUT OF EDEN—A Darwinian View Of Life, 1995, ibid

10) William H. Calvin, HOW BRAINS THINK—Evolving Intelligence, Then and Now, BasicBooks/HarperCollins Publishers, New York, 1996

11) Richard Dawkins, RIVER OUT OF EDEN—A Darwinian View Of Life, 1995, ibid

Front Page

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

Recently my studies have led me to look at a some writings (1880 to 1905) described collectively as the Divine Science. In part, they teach:

Divine Science is based on the changeless truth that God constitutes the nature of all being and that God fills the invisible and visible realms of existence. This truth has never changed. All truth is as available to humanity now just as it was available to Moses, Elijah and Jesus. Nothing a person does or fails to do will ever separate him or her from the Source out of which we are created. Paul reminds us, “in God we live, and move and have our being.”

True prayer is not begging for more wisdom, more supply, or more good. Infinite, all-embracing Being cannot give us more than Itself. In sharing Itself with us It has given us all that we can possibly need. Our part is to accept.

Divine Science teaches that the fullness of Spirit is forever pouring Itself through the mind of man, limited only by the way a person thinks and feels about life in general and about certain conditions and situations in particular. Therefore, all change begins as an activity in mind and through the law of cause and effect mind manifests as a personal experience.

The physical evidence of any teaching lies not in the authority or history of an organization, but in the ability of an individual to prove the teaching. And so it is that Divine Science is recognized as a teaching which is rooted not in hierarchy but in the demonstration of the principles of Divine Science through a person’s life and works.

The foundation truth of Divine Science is that limitless Being, God [GOOD], is equally present everywhere and is the ALL of everything. God is pure Spirit, absolute, changeless, eternal, manifesting in all creation. God is everywhere, therefore God is here. What God is, is everywhere, therefore what God is, is here. The logical conclusion is that there can be no other presence than God-presence; no other power than God-power; no other knowledge than God-knowledge. …

If GOOD is omnipresent, what becomes of evil? What happens to the darkness which fills a room when the light is turned on? The darkness does not move out and go somewhere else, it simply does not exist in the presence of light. Darkness is not a reality, it is merely the absence of light. In the same way when the individual thought is centered upon the omnipresence of good, evil thought does not move out and continue to exist elsewhere; it simply becomes nonexistent. Evil has no reality within itself; it can have existence only so long as an individual supports it by his belief in it. …

Divine Science is called a science because it can be learned and applied in our lives with sure results that can be duplicated by anyone who is willing to apply these laws. … Divine Science acknowledges every advance in the world of natural science, art, and religion, as the further expansion of God-consciousness in man.

It was a pleasant surprise to see that these 19th century thinkers realized that science and religion must be ONE — must be unified. I think they would have had no problems accepting today’s ever growing knowledge and technology. As long as that knowledge and technology, was used to service GOOD. This brings me to the final quote from Divine Science:

There is no unity without equality. The Infinity and Omnipresence of Being, its action and result, comprising the one self-existing ALL, includes the unity and equality of man within itself. Or, as Jesus of Nazareth said, “I and my Father are one.”

Synergic Equality

Timothy Wilken, MD

All members of a synergic heterarchy are equal. By equal, I mean equal in responsibility and authority. They share equal responsibility for the actions chosen by the group. They share equal authority in the process of choosing those actions. When individuals work together in synergic relationship to a accomplish a common goal. They are considered as a single system.

When individuals work together in synergic relationship, new abilities, skills, talents, etc., emerge as a part of that relationship, that are not there when the individuals work separately. The individuals working in synergic group are more efficient, more productive, more creative, and more intelligent, than they are when working separately. The result of their synergy is that they create “more” together than they could create apart.

When individuals work together in synergic relationship, they equally contribute to the synergic emergents, and will share equally in the Co-Operators’ surplus.

What happens in a synergic group when finding a win is impossible?

Synergic science realizes and accepts there will be times and situations where loss is unavoidable. When this occurs synergic mechanism dictates that the group accept reality and focus on minimizing the loss, and then share the loss equally. In synergy, we are one. In synergy are equal. In synergy we strive to win together. But if we are forced to lose, then we will lose together – this means we will share equally in the loss.

1) In synergy, I am ONE with my associates.

2) In synergy, I am MORE with my associates than by myself.

3) In synergy, I am EQUAL to all my associates.

4) In synergy when we WIN, I will win MORE with my associates than by myself and I will share equally in the GAINS.

5) In synergy, when we LOSE, I will lose LESS with my associates than by myself and I will share equally in the LOSSES.

6) In synergy, we will win together or lose together, but we are TOGETHER.

Embracing the Principle of Synergic Equality is essential to successfully using the community tools of: Ortegrity, Sociocracy, and GIFTegrity.

Google Divine Science.

Front Page

Friday, May 8th, 2009

Recently, I have been introduced to an ancient spiritual healing process called Ho’oPonopono. The leading modern expert in this process wrote the following article in 2005.

Who’s In Charge?

Ihaleakala Hew Len, Ph.D.

I love Self Identity Ho’oponopono and dear Morrnah Nalamaku Simeona, Kahuna Lapa’au, who so graciously shared it with me in November, 1982.

This article is based on thoughts logged in my 2005 notebook.

9 January 2005

Problems can be solved without knowing what the heck is going on! Realizing and appreciating this is sheer relief and joy for me.

Problem solving, part of the purpose for existence, is what Self Identity Ho’oponopono is about. To solve problems, two questions must be addressed: Who am I? Who’s in charge?

To apprehend the nature of the cosmos begins with the insight of Socrates: “Know thyself.”

21 January 2005

Who’s in charge?

Most people, including those in the science community, deal with the world as being a physical entity.

Current research in DNA to identify causes and remedies for heart disease, cancer, and diabetes is a prime example of this.

The Law of Cause and Effect
Physical Model
Cause Effect
Faulty DNA
Faulty DNA
Faulty DNA
Heart Disease
Physical Problems
Environmental Problems

The Intellect, the Conscious Mind, believes it is the problem solver. That it controls what happens and what is experienced.

In his book User Illusion: Cutting Consciousness Down To Size, science journalist Tor Norretranders paints a different picture of Consciousness. He cites research studies, particularly those of Professor Benjamin Libet of the University of California at San Francisco, that show that decisions are made before Consciousness makes them. And that the Intellect is not aware of this, believing that it decides.

From the moment of my birth
To the instant of my death
There are patterns I must follow
Just as I must breathe each breath.
Like a rat in a maze
The path before me lies
And the pattern never alters
Until the rat dies.
And the pattern still remains
On the wall where darkness fell
And its fitting that it should
For in darkness I must dwell.
Like the color of my skin
Or the day that I grow old
My life is made of patterns
That can scarcely be controlled.
Paul Simon, Poet

Norretranders also cites research that show that the Intellect is only conscious of between fifteen to twenty bits of information per second out of millions in reaction below its awareness!

If not the Intellect, Consciousness, then who’s in charge?

8 February 2005

Memories replaying dictate what the Subconscious Mind experiences.

The Subconscious Mind experiences vicariously, mimicking, echoing memories replaying. It behaves, sees, feels, and decides exactly as memories dictate. The Conscious Mind too operates, without its awareness, by memories replaying. They dictate what it experiences as research studies show.

The Law of Cause and Effect
Self Identity Ho’oponopono
Cause Effect
Memories Replaying in the Subconscious Mind
Memories Replaying in the Subconscious Mind
Memories Replaying in the Subconscious Mind
Memories Replaying in the Subconscious Mind
Memories Replaying in the Subconscious Mind
Physical – Heart Disease
Physical – Cancer
Physical – Diabetes
Physical Problems – The Body
Physical Problems — The World

The body and the world reside in the Subconscious Mind as creations of memories replaying, rarely as Inspirations. 

23 February 2005

The Subconscious Mind and Conscious Mind, comprising the Soul, do not generate their own ideas, thoughts, feelings and actions. As noted before, they experience vicariously, through memories replaying and Inspirations.

But men may construe things after their fashion Clean from the purpose of the things themselves.
William Shakespeare, Playwright

It is essential to realize that the Soul does not generate experiences of its own. That it sees as memories see; feels as memories feel; behaves as memories behave, and decides as memories decide. Or, rarely, it sees, feels, behaves and decides as Inspiration sees, feels, behaves and decides!

It is crucial in problem solving to realize that the body and the world are not the problems in and of themselves but the effects, the consequences, of memories replaying in the Subconscious Mind! Who’s in charge?

Poor Soul, the Center of my sinful earth,
(Thrall to) these rebel pow’rs that thee array,
Why dost thou pine within and suffer dearth,
Painting thy outward walls so costly gay?
Shakespeare, Poet

12 March 2005

The Void is the foundation of Self Identity, of Mind, of the cosmos. It is the precursor state to the infusion of Inspirations from Divine Intelligence into the Subconscious Mind.

All that scientists know is the cosmos was spawned from nothing, and will return to the nothing from whence it came. The universe begins and ends with zero. Charles Seife, ZERO: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea

Diagram I
Self Identity
State of Void

Memories replaying displace the Void of Self Identity, precluding the manifestation of Inspirations. To remedy this displacement, to reestablish Self Identity, memories need to be transformed to void through transmutation by Divine Intelligence.

“CLEAN, erase, erase and find your own
Shangri-La. Where? Within yourself.”
Morrnah Nalamaku Simeona, Kahuna Lapa’au

Nor stony tower, nor walls of beaten brass,
Nor airless dungeon, nor strong links of iron,
Can be retentive to the strength of spirit.
William Shakespeare, Playwright

22 March 2005

Existence is a gift from Divine Intelligence. And the gift is given for the sole purpose of reestablishing Self Identity through problem solving. Self Identity Ho’oponopono is an updated version of an ancient Hawaiian problem solving process of repentance, forgiveness and transmutation.

Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven. Jesus as reported in Luke 6

Ho’oponopono involves the full participation of each of the four members of Self Identity: Divine Intelligence, Super Conscious Mind, Conscious Mind and Subconscious Mind –working together as a unit of one. Each member has its unique part and function in problem solving memories replaying in the Subconscious Mind.

The Super Conscious Mind is memory free, unaffected by memories replaying in the Subconscious Mind. It is always one with Divine Intelligence. However Divine Intelligence moves so moves the Super Conscious Mind.

Self Identity operates by Inspiration and memory. Only one of them, either memory or Inspiration, can be in command of the Subconscious Mind at any given moment. The Soul of Self Identity serves only one master at a time, usually memory the thorn instead of Inspiration the rose.

Diagram 2
Self Identity
State of Inspiration

Diagram 3
Self Identity
State of Memory Replaying

30 April 05

“I am the self consumer of my woes.”
John Clare, Poet

Void is the common ground, the equalizer, of all Self Identities, both “animate” and “inanimate.” It is the indestructible and timeless foundation of the entire cosmos seen and unseen.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all Men (all life forms) are created equalÖ..
Thomas Jefferson, Author Declaration of Independence

Memories replaying displace the common ground of Self Identity, taking the Soul of Mind away from its natural position of Void and Infinite. Although memories displace  the Void, they cannot destroy it. How can nothing be destroyed?

A house divided against its self cannot stand.
Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States

12 May 2005

The Conscious Mind can initiate the Ho`oponopono process to release memories or it can engage them with blame and thinking.

Diagram 4
Self Identity Ho’oponopono
(Problem Solving)
Repentance & Forgiveness

1. Conscious Mind initiates the Ho’oponopono problem solving process, a petition to Divine Intelligence to transmute memories to void. It acknowledges that the problem is memories replaying in its Subconscious Mind. And that it is 100% responsible for them. The petition moves down from the Conscious Mind into the Subconscious Mind;

2. The down flow of the petition into the Subconscious Mind gently stirs memories for transmutation. The petition then moves up to the Super Conscious Mind from the Subconscious Mind, and

3. The Super Conscious Mind reviews the petition, making changes as appropriate. Because it is always in tune with Divine Intelligence, it has the capacity to review and make changes. The petition is then sent up to Divine Intelligence for final review and consideration.

Diagram 5
Self Identity Ho’oponopono
(Problem Solving)
Transmutation by Divine Intelligence

4. After reviewing the petition sent up by the Super Conscious Mind, Divine Intelligence sends transmuting energy down into the Super Conscious Mind;

5. Transmuting energy then flows from the Super Conscious Mind down into the Conscious Mind;

6. And transmuting energy then flows down from the Conscious Mind into the Subconscious Mind. The transmuting energy first neutralizes designated memories. The neutralized energies are then released into storage, leaving a void.

12 June 2005

Thinking and blame (See Graph 3) are memories replaying.
The Soul can be inspired by Divine Intelligence without knowing what the heck is going on. The only requirement for Inspiration, Divine creativity, is for Self Identity to be Self Identity. To be Self Identity requires incessant cleansing of memories.

Memories are constant companions of the Subconscious Mind. They never leave the Subconscious Mind to go on vacation. They never leave the Subconscious Mind to go into retirement. Memories never stop their incessant replaying

The Man of Law’s Tale

O sudden grief that ever art near neighbour
To worldly bliss! Sprinkled with bitterness
The ends of joy in all our earthly labour!
Grief occupies the goal to which we press.
For your own safety think it is no less,
And in your days of gladness bear in mind
The unknown evil forging on behind!

Geoffrey Chaucer, Cantebury Tales

To be done with memories once and for all, they must be cleansed to nothing once and for all.

It was in Iowa in 1971 that I fell head over heels in love for the second time. Dear M, our daughter, was born.

As I watched my wife care for M, I fell deeper and deeper in love with both of them. I had two wonderful people to love now.

After completing graduate school in Utah that summer, my wife and I had two choices to make: go home to Hawaii or to continue graduate training in Iowa.

As we began life in the Hawkeye State, two hurtles immediately confronted us. First, M never stopped crying when we brought home from the hospital!

Secondly, the worst winter of the century in Iowa history set in. Each morning for weeks on end I kicked the bottom inside of the front door of our apartment and hammered its edges with my hands to break the
entombing ice on the other side.

Around her first year, blood stains showed up on M’s blankets. Only now as I write this sentence, I realize that the constant crying was her reactions to the severe skin problem that was diagnosed later.

By age three, blood seeped continuously from cracks in the crooks of M’s elbows and knees. Blood wept from cracks around the joints of her fingers and toes. Thick mantles of hard skin covered the inside of her arms and around her neck.

One day nine years later when M was about twelve, she, her sister and I were driving home. Suddenly I found myself turning the car around without conscious forethought, and headed in the direction of my office in Waikiki.

“Oh, you folks have come to visit me,” Morrnah said quietly as the three of us trooped into her office. As she shuffled papers on her desk, she looked up at M. “Did you want to ask me something?”
she said softly.

M stretched out both arms revealing years of pain and grief etched in them up and down like Phoenician scrolls. “OK,” came Morrnah’s reply, and she closed her eyes.

What was Morrnah doing? The creator of Self Identity Ho’oponopono was doing Self Identity Ho’oponopono. A year later, thirteen years of bleeding, scaring, pain, grief and medications came to an end. Self Identity Ho’oponopono Student

5 May 2005

For Self Identity to be Self Identity moment to moment requires incessant Ho’oponopono. Like memories, incessant Ho’oponopono can never go on vacation. Incessant Ho’oponopono can never retire. Incessant Ho’oponopono can never sleep. Incessant Ho’oponopono can never stop asÖ

“Öin your days of gladness bear in mind the unknown evil (memories replaying) forging on behind!”

30 June 2005

The purpose of life is to be Self Identity as Divinity created Self Identity in its exact likeness, Void and Infinite.

All life experiences are expressions of memories replaying and Inspirations. Depression, thinking, blame, poverty, hate, resentment and grief are “Öfore bemoan moans,” as Shakespeare noted in one of his Sonnets.

12 December 2005

Consciousness working alone is ignorant of Divine Intelligence’s most precious gift:
Self Identity. As such, it is ignorant of what a problem is. This ignorance results in ineffectual solving problem. Poor soul is left to incessant, needless grief for its entire existence. How sad.

The Conscious Mind needs to be awakened to the gift of Self Identity, “Öwealth
beyond all understanding.”

Self Identity is indestructible and eternal as is its Creator, Divine Intelligence. The consequence of ignorance is the false reality of senseless and relentless poverty, disease, and war and death generation after generation.

24 December 2005

The physical is the expression of memories and Inspirations taking place in the Soul of Self Identity. Change the state of Self Identity and the state of the physical world changes.

Who’s in chargeÖinspirations or memories replaying? The choice is in the hands of the Conscious Mind.

7 February 2006 (A Leap into 2006)

Here are four (4) Self Identity Ho’oponopono problem solving processes that can be applied to reestablish Self Identity through voiding memories replaying problems in the Subconscious Mind:

1. “I love you.” When your Soul experiences memories replaying problems, say
to them mentally or silently: “I love you dear memories. I am grateful for the
opportunity to free all of you and me.” “I love you” can be repeated quietly
again and again. Memories never go on vacation or retire unless you retire
them. “I love you” can be used even if you are not conscious of problems.
For example, it can be applied before engaging in any activity such as
making or answering a telephone call or before getting into your car to go

Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you.
Jesus as reported by Luke: 6

3. Blue Solar Water: Drinking lots of water is a wonderful problem solving practice, particularly if it is blue solar water. Get a blue glass container with a non-metallic Cover. Pour tap water into the container. Place the blue glass container either in the Sun or under an incandescent lamp (not a florescent lamp) for at least an hour. After the water is solarized, it can be used in several ways. Drink it. Cook with it. As a rinse after a bath or shower. Fruits and vegetables love being washed in blue solar water! As with “I love

you” and “Thank you” processes, blue solar water voids memories replaying problems in the Subconscious Mind. So, drink away!

4. Strawberries and blueberries: These fruits void memories. They can be eaten fresh or dried. They can be consumed as jams, jellies and even syrup on ice cream!

27 December 2005 (A Leap Back Into 2005)

I got the idea a few months back of a talking glossary of the essential “characters” in Self Identity Ho’oponopono. You can get acquainted with each of them at your leisure.

1. Self Identity: I am Self Identity. I am composed of four elements: Divine Intelligence, Super Conscious Mind, Conscious Mind and Subconscious Mind. My foundation, Void and Infinite, is an exact replication of Divine Intelligence.

2. Divine Intelligence: I am Divine Intelligence. I am the Infinite. I create Self Identities and Inspirations. I transmute memories to void.

3. Super Conscious Mind: I am Super Conscious Mind. I oversee the Conscious and Subconscious Minds. I review and make appropriate changes in the Ho’oponopono petition to Divine Intelligence initiated by the Conscious Mind. I am unaffected by memories replaying in the Subconscious Mind. I am always one with Divine Creator.

4. Conscious Mind: I am Conscious Mind. I have the gift of choice. I can allow incessant memories to dictate experience for the Subconscious Mind and me or I can initiate the release of them through incessant Ho’oponopono. I can petition for directions from Divine Intelligence.

5. Subconscious Mind: I am Subconscious Mind. I am the storehouse for all of the accumulate memories from the beginning of creation. I am the place where experiences are experienced as memories replaying or as Inspirations. I am the place where the body and the world reside as memories replaying and as Inspirations. I am the place where problems live as memories reacting.

6. Void: I am Void. I am the foundation of Self Identity and the Cosmos. I am where Inspirations spring forth from Divine Intelligence, the Infinite. Memories replaying in the Subconscious Mind displace me but not destroy me, precluding the inflow of Inspirations from Divine Intelligence.

7. Infinite: I am Infinite, Divine Intelligence. Inspirations flow like fragile roses from me into the Void of Self Identity, easily displaced by the thorns of memories.

8. Inspiration: I am Inspiration. I am a creation of the Infinite, of Divine Intelligence. I manifest from the Void into the Subconscious Mind. I am experienced as a brand new occurrence.

9. Memory: I am memory. I am a record in the Subconscious Mind of a past experience. When triggered, I replay past experiences.

10. Problem: I am problem. I am a memory replaying a past experience again in the Subconscious Mind.

11. Experience: I am experience. I am the effect of memories replaying or Inspirations in the Subconscious Mind.

12. Operating System: I am the Operating System. I operate Self Identity with Void, Inspiration and Memory.

13. Ho’oponopono: I am Ho’oponopono. I am an ancient Hawaiian problem solving process updated for today’s use by Morrnah Nalamaku Simeona, Kahuna Lapa’au, recognized as a Living Treasure of Hawaii in 1983. I am composed of three elements: repentance, forgiveness and transmutation. I am a petition initiated by the Conscious Mind to Divine Intelligence to void memories to re- establish Self Identity. I begin in the Conscious Mind.

14. Repentance: I am repentance. I am the beginning of the Ho’oponopono process initiated by the Conscious Mind as a petition to Divine Intelligence to transmute memories to void. With me, the Conscious Mind acknowledges its responsibility for the memories replaying problems in its Subconscious Mind, having created,accepted and accumulated them.

15. Forgiveness: I am Forgiveness. Along with Repentance, I am a petition from the Conscious Mind to Divine Creator to transform memories in the Subconscious Mind to void. Not only is the Conscious Mind sorrowful, it is also asking Divine Intelligence for forgiveness.

16.Transmutation: I am Transmutation. Divine Intelligence uses me to neutralize

 17. Wealth: I am Wealth. I am Self Identity.

18. Poverty: I am Poverty. I am memories replaying. I displace Self Identity, precluding the infusion of Inspirations from Divine Intelligence into the Subconscious Mind!

Before bringing this visit with you to an end, I would like to mention that reading this article satisfies the prerequisite of attending a Friday lecture if you are considering taking a Self Identity Ho’oponopono weekend class.

I wish you Peace beyond all understanding.

O Ka Maluhia no me oe.

Peace be with you,

You can discover more about Dr. Len at the following website: IZI LLC
Or read a book on his work: Zero Limits

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Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

A few years ago, a friend of my daughter’s told me about an early Mexican tribe that were known for their wisdom. They had developed four agreements for living successfully in community. I recall how struck I was by the clarity of these four simple rules for human behavior.

The Four Agreements

1. Be Impeccable with your Word: Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the Word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your Word in the direction of truth and love.

2. Don’t Take Anything Personally
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.

3. Don’t Make Assumptions
Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

4. Always Do Your Best
Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.

From Toltec Teachings of Don Miguel Ruiz: Thousands of years ago, the Toltec were known throughout southern Mexico as women and men of knowledge. Anthropologists have spoken of the Toltec as a nation or a race. But the Toltec were scientists and artists who formed a society to explore and conserve the spiritual knowledge and practices of the ancient ones. It may seem peculiar that they combined the secular with the sacred, but the Toltec considered science and spirit to be the same since all energy, whether material or ethereal, is derived from the same source and governed by the same universal laws.

The Toltec came together as masters (Naguals) and students at Teotihuacan, the ancient city of pyramids outside Mexico City known as the place where “Man becomes God”. Teotihuacan remained the Toltec center of spiritual knowledge and transformation for many thousands of years and still endures as a living repository of silent knowledge.

Over the millennia, European conquest, coupled with a brief period of rampant misuse of personal power by a few of the apprentices, forced the Naguals to conceal the ancestral wisdom and maintain its existence in obscurity. They thought it was important to shield the knowledge from those who were not prepared to use it wisely or who might again intentionally misuse it for personal gain.

Fortunately, the esoteric Toltec knowledge was embodied and passed on through generations by different lineages of Naguals. Though it remained veiled in secrecy for hundreds of years, ancient prophecies foretold the coming of an age when it would be necessary to return the wisdom to the people. Now, don Miguel has been guided to share with us the powerful teachings of the Toltec.

Toltec knowledge arises from the same essential unity of truth as all the sacred esoteric traditions around the world. Though it is not a religion, it honors all the spiritual masters who have taught on the earth. Though it does embrace spirit, it is most accurately described as a way of life. Unlike our familiar experience, this way of life is distinguished by the ready accessibility of happiness and love.

From the Online Encyclopedia Britannica description of the Toltec People: Nahuatl-speaking tribe who held sway over what is now central Mexico from the 10th to the 12th century ad. The name has many meanings: an “urbanite,” a “cultured” person, and, literally, the “reed person,” derived from their urban centre, Tollan (“Place of the Reeds”), near the modern town of Tula, about 50 miles (80 km) north of Mexico City.

The Toltecs sacked and burned the great city of Teotihuac·n in about ad 900; tradition tells that this occurred under the leadership of MixcÛatl (“Cloud Serpent”). Under his son, Ce Acatl Topiltzin QuetzalcÛatl, they formed a number of small states of various ethnic origins into an empire later in the 10th century. The ruler Topiltzin introduced the cult of QuetzalcÛatl (“Feathered Serpent”), which name he adopted. This cult and others, as well as the Toltec military orders of the Coyote, the Jaguar, and the Eagle, were introduced into important Mayan cities to the south in Yucat·n, such as ChichÈn Itz· and Mayap·n, indicating the broad influence of the Toltecs.

The advent of the Toltecs marked the rise of militarism in Mesoamerica. They also were noted as builders and craftsmen and have been credited with the creation of fine metalwork, monumental porticoes, serpent columns, gigantic statues, carved human and animal standard-bearers, and peculiar reclining Chac Mool figures. Beginning in the 12th century, the invasion of the nomadic Chichimec destroyed the Toltec hegemony in central Mexico. Among the invaders were the Aztecs, or Mexica, who destroyed Tollan about the mid-12th century.