Quantum Leap - Painting by Sophie

Quan­tum Leap by Sophie

A letter about giving, happiness and consciousness.

by Peter Paul Gerbrands

The reader is advised that this is an orig­i­nal let­ter. It was not writ­ten to be pub­lished, it has not been edited, it is not aim­ing to be com­plete, nor have I removed the more per­sonal remarks. It is nei­ther per­fect Eng­lish nor orga­nized as a text­book. It fol­lows a design specif­i­cally made to answer a friend. I only changed the name for pri­vacy rea­sons. The cause for pub­lish­ing is sim­ply that I became aware of the fact this let­ter and other let­ters were cir­cu­lat­ing through requests for elab­o­ra­tion and clar­i­fi­ca­tion. By pub­lish­ing, with the con­sent of the recip­i­ents, I hope to have met the demand for more information.

If you pre­fer, you can read excerpts from the let­ter here.

Hi Baa­daye, 

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,

In friend­ship,

Peter Paul