Quantum Leap by Sophie
A letter about giving, happiness and consciousness.
If you prefer, you can read excerpts from the letter here.
Thanks very much for your kind letter and your questions. It is almost eleven years since we worked together, and I hope you are well. If I understand you correctly your impulse to write me came from your reading of my letter to Heke Mai, although I have no idea how this letter came into your possession. I take it your questions are based on the result of your research into new ideas and initiatives and their impact on human behavior.
You asked yourself: How is it possible when there are so many books, video’s, podcasts, there is so much wisdom and knowledge, there so many initiatives and good will but still the heart of the matter and the root-cause of what is happening to and on our planet is hardly addressed? In most of the initiatives, you write, you detect an honest way forward within their own ideas or initiatives, but it seldom is about the understanding what lies underneath it or the bigger picture. Therefore, you conclude, we change and adept, but we do not transform. Our current approach, with the best interest at heart, produces the finest of our innovation and change capabilities but seldom touches the root-cause or the whole system. Because of that fundamentally unchanged attitude towards the challenges in the world, things will get increasingly more difficult, you predict.
At the end of your letter, you have formulated three questions.
I am searching for the correct tone to answer these questions. I am not a supporter of the positivism and other views on life that have given birth to the current scientific and technological philosophy. Not because of science and technology but because of the underlying presumption we are smarter than nature and able to control life, instead of understanding nature and cooperate with life. You give the example of pesticides, where none of the people you interviewed questioned the use of pesticides but were focused their research on products with less side effects. There was not even a little step in questioning our approach to agriculture, it was taken for granted we were on the right track because of the results, measured in crop quantities. The impact of the current way of farming on the rest of nature or the future of for instance our groundwater quality, was seen as a difficulty we had to deal with later, but not really taken very seriously. You were shocked by the inability to self-reflect.
To be honest, your report is drenched with similar examples. It takes an effort to foresee a future beyond a belief system, especially if you are not aware of the fact your worldview is based on a deeper lying set of beliefs.
Most of the solutions in your study are based on technological and scientific foresight, which will certainly play a part in the future of mankind but are not the game changers. Steps forward inspired by the same world view that created the problems in the first place are not able to deal fundamentally with the current questions. It requires the ability and willingness to view the problems as indicators of the limitation of your world view and not the limitation of a specific product or design. Our intelligence is usually too much occupied with the matter at hand to look beyond and beneath.
I cannot say much about what you call spiritual. Partly of course because what you describe is your very personal belief. Partly also because the soul life to me is a reaction to and not the same as spiritual life. I do not close my eyes for what is going on in the world but mostly I see it is the effect of our own approach to life, which is not very delicate one. The talent to observe the subtle seeds of a future opening, willingly, beautiful and strong, amidst all the loud living of our technical age, comes from a vivid connection to the earth and those who are beneath and beyond. I practice that every day so that I can see, not just the superficial day to day occurrences, but what the world I trying to tell us. What are all the things in the world that are difficult and problematic are trying to tell us about the cooperation of human beings and our planet? Which direction are the beautiful and good things in the world pointing? What is to see before us? How do we contribute the future?
I detect an undertone of pessimism in your letter which is much more an observation of the undertone in the world and not so much a personal emotion. To me this a sign we have reached the limits of our current worldview. I strongly feel that unless we find and name the flaws in our attitude towards life and the nature of human beings, we will be stuck in the same loop until we do. With all the very predictable occurrences that happen when you are in a labyrinth of your own making, without realizing it. Young people that are aware of those boundaries often show the symptoms of pessimism, despair and helplessness which are seldom recognized as observations of the reality, but mostly seen as personal psychological problems. Those experiences are accurate signals of the condition of our society. Transformation starts if we take these symptoms seriously as indicators of a way forward instead of the very positivistic procedure of symptom management. In just managing the symptoms, we give the implicit message to people undergoing these symptoms they are not well or not healthy, but our society, our take on life is. Pessimism is a far more realistic view at our world then the optimism that comes from the examples in your study. I am not writing about the emotion of pessimism; I am writing about the observation of pessimism which is simply a signal you have taken a wrong turn and you are in a dead-end street. “Dans un impasse”.
A “negative or wrong” emotion is usually a correct observation. But a rigid worldview does not like its own undertone and has the tendency to suppress it.
Being able to see all those negatives in the world as signals to change our approach to life rather than as problems we need to solve to make the world right, is a very practical attitude to start contributing to a different future making a lasting impact. Also much more effective than turning observations into personal problems.
Since we have worked together several times and I have become aware of your capacities, I have chosen not to elaborate or explain too much, but just to follow my own path in trying to answer you.
While talking and writing I have the tendency to take the fast lane and the helicopter view. Therefore, details and many examples will not be a part of my answer, because these things in writing, have the tendency to diminish the capacity of thinking and feeling. Examples and storytelling give the impression of better understanding but over the years I have found they all too often provoke an inactive or overactive state which is seldom sustainable.
Giving and receiving
The answer to your question why people almost never searching the root cause but almost always go for the more superficial cause, is that they are not connected (enough) to their own root cause. They see themselves as superficial, random, a product of evolution and child of God, the follower of a philosophy, a subject, a citizen, a consumer, as problem and so on. But not as a being with depth and uniqueness. I write they, but it is better to write we, because we all have these moments.
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.
To me the unawareness of this difference was expressed by Descartes at the dawn of the mastership of our intelligence. It was at the same time the dusk of our obvious connection to the whole of the living system (or God is you will) and to ourselves as being valuable and integral part of that living system. The audacity of such a bold statement deserves nothing but praise because explanation of being as a way of life has given us much. It also has taken much away. The problem is that explanation in itself is an effect and not a cause.
Mistaking effects for causes indicates we have lost our connection to the root cause. In this case explanation of being for awareness of being gives a very different approach to the daily reality life and us.
We are mostly not aware of why we are here; we review being out of a certain take on life, a philosophy and that is it.
It is not a bad thing, but it means that we have not been trained, or trained ourselves to work with root-causes. The ability to work with root causes come from seeing our own individual conscious observations as just as valid as the intelligent scientific facts. If conscious observations are seen as subjective and in the current teaching mindset less valuable, it is much harder to find a way into our own and the worlds creativity.
People nowadays are educated to see being as a cause-and-effect, instead of a root-cause. Making a connection to root causes is an entirely different discipline which needs a completely different approach that goes beyond the capacity of our intelligence, of our thinking and feeling. If you have not acquired the discipline of connecting to root-causes, you will never become aware of the real nature of things. Which in organizational terms means that you will be able to change and innovate, but not transform or enable a metamorphosis. It is not about the words but about the ability to effectively influence the world and us in a lasting and contributing way, for which we have to understand the nature or root cause of something we work with. Otherwise, we keep on an endless track of dealing with the symptoms, the results.
Over the years I have come to perceive the nature 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.
Taking, having and using always seems to bring out the kind of behavior that limits, narrows and diminish life itself. To sustain having and taking, unnatural using structures and boundaries need be raised, to keep things in an almost static state. My property, my country, my business, my ideas, my things as a description of having and keeping rather than being responsible for and sharing, comes from being oblivious of the fact it has been given to you. The ability to accept and receive is the root of caring and sustaining.
People that are still able to experience life is given to them, naturally take care of themselves their loved ones and the world around them. Caring for is something very different from caring about, because caring about is a reaction to something I have and caring for is focused on the other.
Giving is based on awareness of what is outside of me: I do something that is coming from me but is not referring to me. If on the other hand I am still busy with what I might get when I give, I am still taking.
I cannot give if I am busy with myself. In the act of giving, I am focused on the other, the world. It has nothing to do with me and yet it has everything to do with me because I am doing the activity of giving. But my awareness is in what, where and how I give and the most accurate way to give. A giver is using everything she has and is, to contribute to the other.
The act of giving produces three results: Life, identity and future. As a living being I have been given those three basics, to learn and emanate the activity of giving.
This implies receivers are able through receiving a life, an identity and a future become givers themselves.
And to become a proper giver I only have to be aware of that life, identity and future is given to me. Through the very nature of these gifts, I become aware of those who gave. And since true giving is contributing all you have, those who gave, must have been giving and still give, their live, their identity and their future to us. So that we could become givers ourselves. To me the act of creation is giving and the act of evolution is continuous giving. When I am just taking and using without any connection, without any awareness of that it has been given to me, I do not contribute to live, identity and future of others. However strange it may seem if we look at the current state of the world, giving, contributing the best they can is still the prevailing attitude of the majority people.
I am not writing about philosophy, religion, spirituality, science, altruism, or politics. I am describing the deepest nature of the world we live in. If you understand the nature of something, you can easily find a way forward. It is not very difficult to image the practical applications of a world that is organized on the basis of giving. It is a practical capacity, with the power to transform, visible in the enormous strength of giving as well as in the destructive force if we do not give.
It is also not about good or bad, that might become a part of it, but I am simply referring to what works and what does not. Using the world, nature and other people for your own benefit, or for the benefit of something abstract like company or country is not sustainable. To me those who have caused or cause something not sustainable have lost the connection to the reality of giving and therefore also create problems and repetitive problems that lead to disasters. They are no longer able to use those skills that are developed through the ability to give.
It is my experience, with myself as well as in the people I have met, that our inbuilt will to contribute never leaves us, but is forgotten, submerged, by too much using, having and wanting.
Giving is a very precise and in-depth activity that must obtain information about both the singularity of the person, the organization or the situation and their connection to and impact on the living system of the social and natural world.
In the current state of the world, it is also not an easy thing to give, because there is so much taking, using and having, most of us are frequently coerced in selfishness by the lack of life, identity and future.
I have found my connection to the root cause of being, by talking, reading, meeting, researching and working with other people that have a unique connection to the root cause of being. You can easily observe the difference between a root cause and a cause-and-effect connection to the world. Root cause connections open your mind and heart, it stimulates your activities and it honors your uniqueness, gives whatever it can give and invites you to be. Cause and effect connections demand a stricter focus and adjustment, my actions are determined by the aim not by me.
It becomes a nuisance when cause and effect is seen or presented as a root cause: than it becomes constricting and compelling, and I will have to adjust, compensate and diminish. People are usually forced in such as state of being by lack of basic needs or by predicting or threatening a shortage of basic needs.
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 will have to take refuge in all kinds of other explanations that justify our being and behavior. Our perspective towards live, other people and ourselves changes dramatically, I just name a few:
- Since we are not made for taking and using, it only 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.
- just in a material way but also ideas and worldviews can have us.
- It creates a society 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 it is given to us.
- The whole contributing nature of plants, animals and people is suddenly seen as an exercise in survival.
- The interconnectedness and coherence of life on our planet is seen as based on random coincidence or as a holy fixed plan.
- Those who gave, are viewed as Gods or forces of nature both equipped with the power of rulers demanding both faith and prove.
- Life becomes the fulfillment of needs: The orientation of the organization of our societies will be based on providing those needs.
Most importantly: If we can no longer experience it 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.
Because of our inability to experience the deeper nature of ourselves, in our daily lives, commercial and social institutions, education and upbringing and our current cultural imaging, we are primarily busy and coerced to focus on ourselves. It does not matter what people or institutions or education or our cultural habits proclaim, I have observed things usually start with a focus on ourselves: our needs and wants, our goals, our condition, our emotions or thoughts, our perception. In decision making personal, institutional or belief system selfishness predominates.
Obviously, there are people obsessed with having and taking, who moved so far away from their essence that they themselves became the center of their being. A tendency which is very addictive and without exception creates discontent and from that harshness and malice.
But I am simply writing here about the ingrained habit we all have, to look at ourselves, what we could benefit, first if we are not connected to our root-cause. Mind you, we are better at giving, but in our current look on life that only plays a part in the background.
Satisfaction and happiness
Why are people mostly busy with, even obsessed, by the quest for happiness and well-being?
You refer to the commercials in the classic media and most of the posts on Linked-in or other social media. You write about that the happiness that is shown there is only possible when you separate yourself from the world in a space of self-fulfillment.
But my friend, do not mistake satisfaction for happiness.
Self-interest or self-centeredness are not a bad thing, but they can only bring us the satisfaction and pleasure of the fulfillment part of live, 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. It is born in the act of contributing, in the orientation of what to contribute to others, to the world, to everything that is outside myself and it becomes a constant when I am connected to my root cause.
Satisfaction is the standard of our basic needs, which tells us when we had enough, when we are fulfilled. It is an inner measure that is trained by the ability to experience and understand what is given to us. If developed well it is never egoistic or self-centered but is able to accept and work with what live offers. If I use food, warmth, balance with my environment, social life, appreciation and the ability to learn and develop in the fitting and unique way the earth has made for me, I honor the gift of live. What is the honoring the gift of live? it is receiving what is given to me by other and giving to others what I see the can receive.
That is the healthy situation, that is not at all mirrored in the reality of the daily lives of most people. Actions based to sustain the life of others has become trading on the basis of myself. If the necessities of life are no longer given to me, I need them. Then basic needs are no longer free but become an obligation and for many people a burden to fulfil. And therefore, what is no longer given to me, is something I need. So actually, the word should be basic-given. That might alter how we view the world.
The condition for life is a specific and therefore a fragile connection with our planet’s abilities. My relation to that delicate balance is disturbed by using the standard of satisfaction, which has me as its center, as a standard for happiness, which has the other as its center. If I do that happiness becomes my personal aim, driven by fulfilment, because I have not noticed the subtle change in focus from me to the other. But you never can get satisfaction from happiness.
We claim ownership and make basic needs into something that is subject to economics and start using the earth as personal property. This is the consequence of our inability to recognize the world was given to us to provide all our basic givens. Owning more than we need and the attitudes accompanying ownership, usually come from the misapprehension off the essence of happiness.
This is not an argument to make sure that we all need the same. When I am in balance with the nature of our world, I trust myself in receiving what I need to be able to give. Which is different for all people. If I want to be happy through basic needs, I have lost my balance.
Having more then we need is very difficult to step out of. We are then caught in such a circle of our self-interest, unable to look for what we can contribute to the world other without getting something in return. The result is we will never be happy but always looking for happiness, addicted to happiness using the ways and means of satisfaction. Our sense of being has become our drive for satisfaction.
Most of this kind of unhappiness comes from the untrained ability of fulfilment, mistaking happiness for satisfaction and unawareness of the nature of the world. When I can no longer experience the giving nature of existence in myself, it is hard to find the fitting measure.
I would argue that most of the problems we encounter today in the world are because the things we have developed are without a basis in being, without a connection that understands and cooperates with the very complex and interconnected being of our planet.
What does that mean: it indicates that our actions, our inventions, our activities to provide sturdy basic needs for all, lack a connection to the whole living an integrated system of the world. There is not “wholeness” intelligence. We have not been able to cooperate with nature, in our society and with our techniques in such a way that we contribute to all life. We have taken from the earth, nature, and people to create a world where we want to find happiness through the increase of our satisfaction. Which means I am first the other is second, clearly the opposite of earth’s intention. And this kind of “happiness” striving, is not just about food, it is in work, family, knowledge, relations, achievements, power and possession.
Let’s be honest for a moment and see what we have done with our having, taking and wanting satisfaction approach. It has created almost the opposite of happiness and well-being: an unstable culture, human beings that are mainly busy to satisfy themselves, or coerced in endless struggle for survival, jeopardizing nature while doing so.
Taking and using to create a state of happiness is simply not working. By not using our giving abilities, you take away the very core of why we live. Something that is mostly overlooked but is actually quite important if we look at the enormous increase on mental and social health problems: If you no longer recognize it is given to you to become a giver, you will experience an emptiness in being, that is never going to be mended by more taking. And you will even be driven stronger to search for it in the realm of basic needs and satisfaction, at the expense of others. It is not about good or bad, it is about the ability to work with the reality of the environment we live in, which is that everything is so interconnected, complex and unique we only can deal with it if we give, If we become proficient in the art of giving.
I would like to add something about the state of euphoria people get in, if only for a while if they reach their goal, their imagined future, their victory, their wish, especially when it a joined effort. This is a good example of satisfaction. Of personal fulfillment. Very often this state is seen is a prediction of the bliss we will receive in paradise. All our wants and needs fulfilled in a constant euphoria. The paradise syndrome: the experience of as shared state of bliss coming from complete fulfillment, is seen as the future. To put it bluntly: the future is that we all get what we want. But since almost all our current wanting is an enhanced needing, that is not a very likely future.
Wanting, the gesture to have in future, is simply not up to the task to create future. No matter how must wealth or knowledge you have, if it is not founded on the principals of giving, it can never contribute forward.
Wanting to be happy in future or wanting to be something or somewhere in future is contradiction in terms, because future comes from giving. A have be asking lots of people , in my talks about future, what do you want to contribute to the places you visit on your holiday, just to raise awareness about our ability to give.
To become a giver, you will have to connect to the essence of your being. The connection to essence of our being is not an intelligent but a conscious exercise.
We overlooked or forgotten in our hyper, and I would add sometimes hysterical, focus on satisfaction, our giving capacities and tools.
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. But I am asking of you as a native English speaker to step away for a moment from how you use those words on a daily basis. Intelligence comes from the Latin word “intelligere” which means to understand, it is my ability to make sense of the world around me. Which is in essence reacting to and working with the facts and realities that are there.
If I translate consciousness into Dutch it is “bewustzijn”, which literary means I am aware of (my) being, very close to the original Latin meaning. Both in Dutch and English these words have lost much of their original meaning and in the daily usage and understanding they mostly refer to use of our intellect. But I like to point out what the word consciousness means in this letter: I am aware of being and out of this awareness I act. Which indicates I am aware of the effect of whatever I do or not do on being as a whole, all individual beings and all that is. Not just in the moment but also in future. Hence the expression: I have a conscious.
For our intelligence, using its reason, that is far too much information to work with, it would overwhelm our intelligent capacities to take all the facts, the possible impact and the longer term effect and the connection to individual and entire being, into account. Intelligence can only perform such tasks within a clearly defined and demarcated area.
Our intelligent abilities, thinking and feeling, use our reason to organize their information. Reason puts it into a certain order: thinking: linear hierarchical, feeling: circular interlinked.
Intelligence is our great information organizer within a situation, philosophy, faith, chain of ideas, scientific structure, social framework, cultural background, personal beliefs etc. It does it with reason, reasonable and provides reasons so we can communicate and share our ideas and feelings. Intelligence can package the information for our journey through time and space, and our reason is able to unpack and repack the data when needed.
Intelligence is a marvelous instrument, but our intelligence is not equipped to bring us outside of our organized thought and feelings, outside of the world view or belief system we operating in. Reason works within a clearly defined system of prerequisites which acts both as a boundary and a source.
Going through the list and visiting their websites I found most of the information and the sources of the information, the design and the ideas, try-outs and examples, you have encountered in your research into the future, have in common that they are reasonable. They contain and are made through intellectual or/and emotional reason. Therefore, their arguments, plans, propositions and demands for change are valid in an intelligent worldview. We human beings use our reason to change and innovate the world and ourselves and we are good at it and mean to do good with it.
Since Descartes reason slowly became the same as logic. The, if I may call it that, despair underlying your question comes from a confusing of reason with logic. Very similar to the confusion between satisfaction and happiness.
Our intelligent instruments are very able to do their job, as long as we do not push them into doing something they are not designed for. Our reason has not been developed to deal with questions of being, it is designed to deal with questions of well-being. Well-being is about betterment and fulfillment within certain clearly defined circumstances. If we have defined what those circumstances are and what we want to do within that framework we get the best results. All based on reasoning through a process.
We, my friend, have seen and talked about, if you recall, the complete illogical impact of very reasonable solutions.
For instance: the development of plastic is reasonable but not logical. Reasonable because it is a marvelous useful product and it is well developed. Illogical because you should never make anything that threatens life in a fragile living interconnected system, by ignoring the basic rule of this living system which is making and unmaking.
Or for instance: The way we organize our economy makes sense within a certain frame of mind, but it is of course beyond any logic if you see the workings of the system making more and more difficult for people to be part of this system itself.
For instance: It takes a lot of intelligence to develop a car and it is done with great effort and provides us with a lot of possibilities. It is lacking complete logic to let this development pollute one of the basic sources of life.
Intelligence, by its very nature, is unable to see beyond its own limits, but when in good shape it recognizes this and leaves the observation outside of its space to consciousness. In the last centuries however it slowly has become, through the result of our underlying mental model, a firm belief that intelligence has no limits. Which indeed might be indicating towards a diminishing of our capacity to reason.
So, everything our reasonable inventions, constructions, politics, predictions, is causing outside of their scope is usually left to chance and, when it becomes a problem, to yet another reasonable intervention to deal with the problems. This trap of our intelligence only comes about when our conscious abilities are not in shape, not developed as well as our intelligent capacities.
Most of the examples you wrote about in your research are intelligent ways forward, coming from the same source that created the problems in the first place. In some of the cases that is the accurate way forward, but in the remaining examples it is not.
My point is this: Those who propose solutions or give ideas and do things that are not based on the accurate approach, have no idea their designs are from the same source that created the problems. They do not make the distinction between rearranging information from the same source and finding a different source. They have found an alternative arrangement within the existing structure; exactly what intelligence is so good at. Intelligence is able to create all kinds of versions of the same. Unfortunately, it is not always the approach we need.
And because contemporary dis-balance between the use of consciousness and intelligence people mostly have an unquestionable belief in the source where much of their current ideas and layout and understanding of the world is based on.
We usually have little idea we use a particular source and particular boundaries. Let alone we are aware of the fact that we can use different sources, that might question our comfortable and habitual outlook on life. We confuse different angles with different sources.
If we do not question our beliefs, convictions and way of life, all the progress we will be able to see or foresee will be formed by of the same or similar basic ingredients we have used before. We will simply not notice alternative or different information.
We mostly really do think we need more instead of different information, not being aware anymore that we also have great capacity for working with different and complex data.
That capacity, to step outside of the world views and belief system we are attached to, being fused with, derive self-worth from and which we have made our base, comes from our consciousness. Consciousness uses logic as its method.
Some problems or challenges need our intelligent ability which provides change and innovation, while others need our conscious capacity that gives us ways and means for transformation and metamorphosis. I can hear you asking: how does this work?
We have these enormous databanks of personal and collective information in the conscious and unconscious reservoirs of our awareness. It is a well-developed instrument that allows us to draw the stored information from education, experience and background of ourselves and others when needed. Intelligence is able to work within a databank, it does so with contraction, focus. Consciousness is able to work with the databanks, it does so with expansion, opening up. 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.
Moving, searching, rearranging, studying in a databank we do with our intelligent capacity. Working with and learning from multiple databanks we use our conscious abilities. Intelligence uses reason, consciousness uses logic.
I am now going to write about how conscious abilities work. Since you have already read what I wrote to Heke Mai, I will try a different approach. It is almost impossible to use our conscious skills without moving. We must move our body and our mind, soul and spirit, to be conscious.
I am not going to describe the activity of consciousness reasonable; I am going to describe it logical.
To start: I am also urging to move around while you are reading.
So, get up from your seat and start moving. It is an integral part of the training of consciousness, to move while learning.
These are our actions: Intelligence is concentration on a topic, an experience I am going through, a sequence of activities, a goal I want to achieve. Everything stems from the that concentration on a goal and the data, emotional, social and intellectual information, show me where I am in the activity. If we physically make to move to concentrate, we close ourselves to be able to focus: We contract.
So please do de movement of contraction with your whole body, making yourself as small as possible.
We stay focused and reach our goal, but we also have little or no connection any more with what lies outside of our intended target.
We all are familiar with how intelligence works.
We are not very familiar with how consciousness works.
Our conscious abilities require us to expand, open, let go, we create a much larger surface. We are not trying the find an answer, a goal, or a reason. It is finding us. We give ourselves to receive what is given. But to say it like that makes it sound profound or not of this world. I am afraid we are all very much influenced by the intelligence 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. At least that is my experience with most people we start to this work with: they have no idea 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.
Please now do the movement of expanding, open yourself: your arms, legs, chest, ears, etc. everything as wide as possible.
Then alternate expansion and contraction. Please do it 5 or six times, contract and expand. Starting the sequence very slowly and then pick up tempo. Stand still for a minute or so, becoming aware of the balance between the two movements.
No do the same exercise but inwardly, without moving the outer body.
And then a moment of rest and silence.
Please start moving around again my friend.
We human beings are in balance between that contracting and expanding information processing dance. If we use those primal movements in suitable alternation, we will be heathy receivers and healing givers.
The overuse of contraction has led to a neglect of expansion.
Contraction gives us intelligence and al the miraculous inner instruments and outer applications of thinking and feeling.
Expansion gives us consciousness of uniqueness and interconnectedness, to be able to work and communicate with all being.
But those movements are very different, because with the first I am going towards it in an effort to get it. When I have lost a decent link with my conscious movements, I even might think I have it.
With expansion I open up myself to make possible a connection with the information that I am not aware of, until it connects with me. Then I do not have as in a fixed state, but I am in a constant evolving connection.
Consciousness, the ability to deal with 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 more we practiced the better we are able to deal with the unknown, the uncertain, the unsure, no idea where we will find the information, it is given to us. But expansion is just as active as contraction, it is not “laissez faire” , it is the aware gesture of letting in as much information as much connections as you can handle.
Buts since our conscious abilities are taken for granted, and mostly trained in an intelligent way, we have come the think that reason and logic are the same. Intelligence knows what it is looking for, consciousness does not know, but it becomes aware. It makes it difficult for our intelligence to understand consciousness and how it deals with information. But only because of our one-sided training. The point here is that we of course use both our contracting and expanding abilities whole day, but we are only trained intelligently: we are aware of our contracting movements in reasoning, focus and result orientation. We are mostly not aware of our expansion movements in the sense that we consciously use it. (Hopefully now you may understand why I have chosen the word consciousness.)
If I expand, I open myself up for more information in using all my senses, all the information that is in thoughts, feelings, awareness’s, impressions, emotions, insights, etc. are observations. But if I open unconsciously, without being aware of my expansion, all the information becomes personal and is processed intellectually. I mistake observations, information of connections, for my own personal feelings, thoughts and experiences and those impressions contain so much information from the other, from things that are not me, that it becomes a personal problem, to process them as if they were mine.
On many occasions, when we get conscious information and we are not aware that it has is conscious quality, we start processing it with our intelligent capacities. I can only say that I have seen in my work, that most of the personal and organizational problems come from this profound misunderstanding.
No may I ask you to sit down again my friend. Since your questions follow your reading of the letter I send to Heke Mai about identity and consciousness, I will not go into this topic today, but identity is an integral part of using the gifts of consciousness.
The consciousness teacher has to find out why, how and what way he can give the student the information, the intelligent teacher has the find out which and what amount of information.
The essence of consciousness is dialogue. A sort of dialogue that all the senses are able of, really receiving the information; 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. We actually do it all the time, what do words and gestures express, more than just the content. The tone, the rhythm, the movement of the body, while we speak. The depths of comprehension from the interconnectedness through time, to the uniqueness in the moment, while we listen. The dialogue I am referring to is a conversation between two identities in the language of comprehension. To really accept that multitude and singularity of information I need my entire body, not just my head and brains. Our entire body is designed to have a conscious dialogue. Take the simple example of the impressions people have when they are walking in nature or in a city. It gives them something which is far more than the translation into intelligence that comes later. The interaction between me and my environment and the various contexts we live and work in, is mostly overlooked until it becomes very apparent as a feeling or a thought. But these are just the conclusions, contractions, taken from a much larger quantity of impressions and observations and put into familiar frame of intelligence to make sense of it. Most of the other information is dismissed, judged by our preferred databank as not being relevant.
Words come if my intelligence starts to understand my awareness’s. If my consciousness is in shape my awareness finds meaning and direction in the multitude of information to which I can align my intelligence. Our consciousness is aware of where and how to go, what to do and when even before we know it, because knowing comes following a contracting intelligent processing of information. In consciousness we are in dialogue focused on the other, so not busy with ourselves or what we want to achieve or conclude.
Consciousness uses the activity of differentiation to experience the specific and unique and the activity of correlation to apprehend the interconnected wholeness of the living system of our planet. These capacities give insight and cooperation in how to find a way into the future.
Since you are a scientist and a thinker you probably need more then my description and the exercise of how our conscious abilities work must probably sound vague or at least incomprehensible.
The simplest thing to explain is naming existence 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. For me that means we have to differentiate, getting as much different points of view, cultural backgrounds, takes on life, talents, etc. as possible in the room to create a sustainable way forward.
I’d like you to remember two moments in our cooperation:
I was invited to help you and your team to transform the governance and leadership of the large educational institute you were leading. We met in this beautiful meeting room where you had invited almost all the important professors that had any connection to business and leadership studies. Since you had given me the free hand, I invited this group of 12 people to go for a walk in and during our stroll, I explained my approach. I dismissed all professors but one with the promise the each would have an important task to do in a later state of the process and they could follow the steps we were going to take via a live transmission. With only one professor and just you and I left, we began our search to find team members to make the initial design. The professor came up with his friend a professor of astrophysics if I remember well, and a Hungarian student from one of his classes. You came up with the cleaning lady from your department and your daughter’s landlady. I brought the women who owned the coffee shop down the road and my friend the chief surgeon from the hospital group in your city. The design team came up with some great ideas, looking back I loved the direct simplicity of the organization and particularly the processes we designed. And even the most cynical and incredulous professors had to admit the design and the implementation process worked well, as we cascaded it out into the institute. Process design and strategy to implement comes out of differentiation: as many unique viewpoints you can get. The exercise is to help people to move away from their common opinions and sentiments into their individual expressions.
You called the choice of participants in the design group random, but I called it specific. It is our ability to find the fitting and unique information and the right people, as long as we are willing to move between multiple databanks.
The direction to contribute to the complex system of the world and the future is found through our correlation abilities. For the untrained consciousness and the overtrained intelligence that is even more incomprehensible. I hope you recall the steps we took with the group of business and organization professors to create a path into the future no longer based on being the best or the leading the advancement in thinking, but how and where we could contribute now and in the challenges we foresaw.
If we do not allow consciousness to do its work properly, the interactivity between databanks becomes weak and our preferred databank becomes dominant and through that overbearing, hardened. Hardened means it is no longer able to process unknown, unfamiliar, different and opposite information to what it already has in storage. It will not only start to look for similar information it already possesses, but our information processors will become unable to recognize new, unknown, unfamiliar and opposite information. It will sift it out as irrelevant and will not store it. The next step is that it will become so impermeable that information that does not fit the standard will be seen as threatening and even hostile. Just think of the reasons that are given to do things that are wrong, we see so much coming from our institutions or from ourselves when we are taken over by self-interest. Even to the extent that facts are bent to fit within a certain frame of mind. You can recognize if a hardened databank has taken over by the fact that its actions (including decisions) always harm something or someone elsewhere.
It is very much comparable to the opposition you can meet when want to change something, inside yourself or in the outer world. Remember we met fierce opposition, with even aggression and attacks when we started this lifestyle program in an area in a city. People had to change their diet and begin to exercise and train. None of this was our idea mind you, they designed the program themselves, but when it came to actually going to do it, there was intense opposition. Looking back, we all could wonder and laugh about it, but at the time we found it really stressful.
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 different information to our findings and beliefs. Even worse: we view divergent as abnormal and irregular and opposite as hostile. The other is suddenly suspicious. Our education has not sufficiently trained our inborn discipline to check on the fitness of our databanks ability to welcome and receive all kinds of information, even though it is very much our human nature. And because it is not our habit, we forget that we oversee the governance and stewardship of our databanks, not the opinions and sentiments of our preferred databank. Regretfully we start to identify not with the agility of our databanks, which existence we have taken so much for granted that we do not even notice them, but with the result of the out of shape databanks: beliefs and models.
The training and maintenance of our multiple databanks is scarcely 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. And I am quite certain the current upload our children get is mostly determined by positivism. This is a helpful view on life, but also far from complete or whole and with an inbuilt tendency of single mindedness, because it originates from a single source worldview.
Such a single source conception of existence makes is very hard to mirror our activities, our consciousness and our intelligence, our impact towards the future. Because we unconsciously belief that a single source of information is sufficient. Single “sourceness” means we can only foresee within the databank we have proclaimed to be the truth. Furthermore, there is no impulse to question confirmation of static self-worth you get from identifying with the core of a single source. Whilst a real future lies in the cooperation with the other, feedback, another point of view, a diverse databank, we tend search for it within the containment of our static databank. And we are raised an educated to do so.
Accepting different perspectives is the way out of single mindedness, single “soulness” and single “sourceness” and a exercise in creating wholeness.
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.
That is why only our intellect is not able to deal with the current challenges.
But getting our conscious abilities in shape again is not all that difficult. The mode of our consciousness is dialogue, which means really receiving and giving information. Receiving information is listening on various levels, not just content but also meaning, gesture and intention. I must confess that if I look at the media today, there is very little receiving, but an overwhelmingly amount of “critical” listening, which is more hearing if it fits my opinion or not. The result of unilateral training. But if you recall how easily we changed that habitual attitude in the teams and groups we worked with by creating a trustworthy atmosphere and openness, it shows how much closer receiving is to human nature than “looking for what I recognize” listening. Intelligence works so much better when it does not have to be over alert and judgmental.
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.
Certainty 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.
Give my love to Bhaviṣyattu,
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