Quantum Leap - Painting by Sophie

Quan­tum Leap by Sophie

A letter about giving, happiness and consciousness (excerpts)

by Peter Paul Gerbrands

You can read the full let­ter here.

How is it pos­si­ble when there are so many books, videos, pod­casts, wis­dom, knowl­edge, ini­tia­tives and good will in the world, but still the heart of the mat­ter and the root-cause of what is hap­pen­ing to and on our planet is hardly addressed?

Giving and Receiving

The answer to the ques­tion of why peo­ple are rarely dis­cov­er­ing the root cause but instead go for the more super­fi­cial cause is that they are not con­nected (enough) to their own root cause.

It just has become our habit­ual rea­son­ing to explain our being within the pre­vail­ing belief sys­tems about the ori­gin of life: evo­lu­tion­ary, reli­gious, or philo­soph­i­cal. I don’t mind those expla­na­tions or beliefs as an expla­na­tion of our behav­ior, as long as we are con­scious of the dif­fer­ence between the aware­ness of being and the expla­na­tion of being. The prob­lem is that expla­na­tion in itself is an effect and not a cause. Mis­tak­ing effects for causes are an indi­ca­tions of both hav­ing lost our con­nec­tion to the root cause and that we are no longer able to rec­og­nize a root-cause.

Over the years I have come to per­ceive the nature, the root-cause, of our planet and prob­a­bly of the uni­verse, as GIVING.

Wher­ever I met peo­ple in the world, they over­whelm­ingly found the deep­est sense of being in con­tribut­ing to the liv­ing inter­act­ing sys­tem of the world and in giv­ing to oth­ers. Giv­ing brings out the very best in people.

Sev­eral things hap­pen if we lose our indi­vid­ual con­nec­tion to the deep­est nature of the world. If we can no longer observe the work­ings and influ­ences of giv­ing, we take refuge in all kinds of other expla­na­tions that jus­tify our being and behav­ior. Our per­spec­tive towards life, other peo­ple, and our­selves changes dra­mat­i­cally.  I will name a few:

  • Since we are inher­ently not made for tak­ing and using, this cre­ates futures we did not antic­i­pate. We are not designed to have; it causes prob­lems in our­selves and the world around us. It does not make us bet­ter human beings.
  • Tak­ing, using and hav­ing also takes, uses and has us: it has the ten­dency to become a mind absorb­ing and addic­tive habit.
  • Tak­ing cre­ates a soci­ety that is mainly dri­ven by demands and oblig­a­tions: manda­tory activ­ity is not con­tribut­ing. We are coerced into activ­ity by sev­eral philoso­phies or reli­gions, by prob­lems we have to solve, but mostly by the fact and the idea that we have to earn our basic needs instead that they are given to us.
  • The whole con­tribut­ing nature of plants, ani­mals and peo­ple is sud­denly seen as an exer­cise in survival.
  • Life becomes the ful­fill­ment of needs: The ori­en­ta­tion of the orga­ni­za­tion of our soci­eties is cur­rently based on pro­vid­ing those needs.

Most impor­tantly: If we can no longer expe­ri­ence what is given to us, then we no longer look out­side to receive, but we look out­side to get because we need to find means to live or as we later called it to survive.

We look out­side to find what we are look­ing for, not to see what is there. It means we changed from receiv­ing to tak­ing. Please do not over­com­pli­cate the act of giv­ing, by mak­ing is some­thing spe­cial, extra or Divine. My point is sim­ply this: tak­ing, hav­ing and keep­ing are not sus­tain­able a com­plex sys­tem, only actively giv­ing and receiv­ing are. Just try to imag­ine what it would mean for sci­ence or indus­try to only develop things that con­tribute to the whole liv­ing sys­tem of the world, not just in part or for a par­tic­u­lar purpose.


Satisfaction and Happiness

Why are peo­ple obsessed by the quest for hap­pi­ness and well-being?

Because they mis­take sat­is­fac­tion for hap­pi­ness and well-being for being.

Self-inter­est or self-cen­tered­ness is not a bad thing, but that can only bring us the sat­is­fac­tion and plea­sure of the ful­fill­ment part of life, never the hap­pi­ness part. Although, sat­is­fac­tion and hap­pi­ness may seem inter­change­able and inter­twined, they are of a very dif­fer­ent nature.

Sat­is­fac­tion is tem­po­ral, it can only bring about a momen­tary expe­ri­ence of ful­fill­ment and needs to be renewed constantly.

Hap­pi­ness does not come from ful­fill­ment of my needs and wants. Hap­pi­ness is our aware­ness of a con­nec­tion to being, to our root-cause. It arises in the act of giv­ing, in con­tribut­ing to the flour­ish­ing of oth­ers, to the world, to every­thing out­side myself and it becomes a con­stant in our actions when we are con­nected to our root cause and real­ize: I am a gift from the world. I would argue that most of the prob­lems we encounter today in the world are because the things we have devel­oped are with­out a base in being. They are focused on tak­ing, with­out a con­nec­tion that under­stands and coop­er­ates with the very com­plex and inter­con­nected being of our planet. And the being of the world is giv­ing, mak­ing possible.


Intelligence and Consciousness

Is our intel­lec­tual abil­ity enough to get us out of this loop? No, it is not.

I would like to intro­duce intel­li­gence and con­scious­ness as two very dif­fer­ent but, in a healthy sit­u­a­tion, aligned capac­i­ties of humans.

These are their actions:

  • Intel­li­gent abil­i­ties require us to con­cen­trate on a topic, an expe­ri­ence I am going through, a sequence of activ­i­ties, a goal I want to achieve. When we con­cen­trate, we phys­i­cally, emo­tion­ally and men­tally con­tract and exclude all other infor­ma­tion that is dif­fer­ent from what we see before us, what we are look­ing for.
  • Our con­scious abil­i­ties require us to expand, open, let go, which cre­ate a much larger sur­face. We are not try­ing to find an answer, a goal, or a rea­son.  It is find­ing us. We give our­selves to receive what is given.

I am aware that describ­ing con­scious­ness to the untrained mind makes it sound pro­found or not of this world. But I am afraid we are all very much influ­enced by the intel­lec­tual nam­ing and atti­tude of sci­ence and reli­gion,  to step into the kind of aware­ness I am describ­ing with­out feel­ing weird, lost and even indige­nous. But I assure you it is just a mat­ter of prac­tice. That is my expe­ri­ence with most peo­ple that we do this work with: They are not aware how their body is a highly sen­si­tive per­cep­tion instru­ment. If you use it in that way, infor­ma­tion is revealed to you, but only because we do the activ­ity of expand­ing. It is not inac­tive wait­ing until it comes.  It very con­scious observ­ing with­out explain­ing or arrang­ing. That comes later when we bring all the data to our intelligence.

We have these enor­mous data­banks of per­sonal and col­lec­tive infor­ma­tion in the con­scious and uncon­scious reser­voirs of our aware­ness. Our data stor­age abil­ity is a well-devel­oped instru­ment that allows us to store and draw infor­ma­tion from our edu­ca­tion, expe­ri­ence and back­ground of our­selves and oth­ers from any data­bank. Intel­li­gence is able to work within a data­bank, which it does with con­trac­tion and focus. Con­scious­ness is able to work with the data­banks, which it does with expan­sion, open­ness, and the abil­ity to receive. If I look at our lifestyle and basic orga­ni­za­tional and soci­etal pat­terns, we are edu­cated pri­mar­ily to use our intel­li­gence: the abil­ity to work within a par­tic­u­lar databank.

Con­trac­tion gives us intel­li­gence and all the mirac­u­lous inner instru­ments and outer appli­ca­tions of think­ing and feel­ing. Expan­sion gives us con­scious­ness of unique­ness and inter­con­nect­ed­ness of all there is and the abil­ity to work and com­mu­ni­cate with it.

The overuse of con­trac­tion has led to a neglect of expansion.

Balancing Stones by Paul Harnischfeger

Bal­anced Stones door Paul Harnischfeger.

Con­scious­ness, our instru­ment to work with and bal­anc­ing infor­ma­tion from many and dif­fer­ent sources com­ing from dif­fer­ent data­banks, like any capac­ity we human beings have, needs to be kept in shape by train­ing and feedback. 

The train­ing of this abil­ity and the main­te­nance of mul­ti­ple data­banks is scarcely addressed in our upbring­ing and spar­ingly in our edu­ca­tion. Actu­ally, edu­ca­tion is mainly an upload of infor­ma­tion to our data­banks of a spe­cific kind, make, model, and belief. With the lack of con­scious train­ing, instead of hav­ing fit and agile data­banks, we have turned them into belief sys­tems and men­tal mod­els. Beliefs and mod­els which we use to con­trol our exis­tence and inevitably those of oth­ers with­out being very aware of it. We think this is how the world is because we have not been able to detect infor­ma­tion that is dif­fer­ent to our find­ings and beliefs. Even worse: we view diver­gent as abnor­mal and irreg­u­lar, and oppo­site as hos­tile. The other is sud­denly suspicious.

In other words, if we stay in our own bub­ble, we lack infor­ma­tion to cre­ate a future that is both unique and con­tribut­ing to the whole liv­ing sys­tem of the world.

The essence of con­scious­ness is dia­logue. A sort of dia­logue where all the senses are receiv­ing the infor­ma­tion; and then we give some­thing back. Intel­li­gence likes to clas­sify the infor­ma­tion to under­stand it, but con­scious­ness accepts the deeper, more direct mes­sage that the liv­ing and mate­r­ial world con­stantly gives. It is like lis­ten­ing not so much to what some­one says, but what it means. Not con­tent, but cohesion.

Exis­tence or being, has two basic fea­tures: every­thing relates to every­thing and all is unique. You can­not find two sim­i­lar grains of sand on the whole planet, and you can­not iso­late some­thing to under­stand it. We do have the ten­dency to iso­late and level our dif­fer­ences to cre­ate secu­rity when we are mean­ing to find stability.

But true sta­bil­ity in life is firmly anchored in being and being is the most diverse and dynamic expe­ri­ence I am aware of. Con­scious­ness gives us an instru­ment to expe­ri­ence our­selves as a unique valu­able part of the cohe­sion of exis­tence, our base in life.

Future is not pro­vided by any­thing sta­tic, by any­thing we have or hold on to. It is not pro­vided by a sta­tic sys­tem or struc­ture: It does not mat­ter much if we believe in sci­ence, God, progress, human beings, nature devel­op­ment, or money.  If we accept such a sin­gle source as our sta­bil­ity, our future will be deter­mined by dif­fi­cul­ties we cre­ate our­selves.  On the other hand, if we con­sciously keep our data­banks agile, to receive all kinds of infor­ma­tion, giv­ing becomes a nat­ural ges­ture and the port­hole through which to con­nect with the future.