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Early Stages

Markku and I shared, from the moment we met, a drive to change humanity’s cur­rent approach to the real­ity. We saw too much using the world as a source of per­sonal or col­lec­tive wealth and plea­sure and too lit­tle of con­tribut­ing to this com­plex and frag­ile planet we live with. We also observed how dif­fi­cult it was to change that deeply engrained behav­ior and belief of the world as a provider. Let alone the strug­gle for sur­vival, that the social unbal­ance fab­ri­cated for lots of peo­ple. It is heart­break­ing to live in a time where the extinc­tion of a species is far less impor­tant than the life of a celebrity or the intro­duc­tion of a new car.

Don’t think for a moment that we are ide­al­ists or that we our­selves do not suf­fer from the engrained cul­tural habit of tak­ing the world for granted. We are and have been far too involved with world and peo­ple every­where to strive for the ideal. And we know how much it takes to get from one state of being to another, per­sonal as well as social. But still we saw peo­ple strug­gling, other species suf­fer­ing and a planet groan­ing under the yoke of our well-being and we felt the call­ing to do some­thing about it.

Our work on this project started, with­out being aware of that it would lead to this, when Markku asked me to write a piece on the dif­fer­ence between sta­tic and dynamic infor­ma­tion. A topic we came across con­stantly in our work, but not com­pre­hen­sive enough, to be able to act upon. I did not pro­duce a very good arti­cle because I became entan­gled in some­thing that was related to the topic but was not very clear to me at the time. I needed to study it longer, to grasp what it was. With the help of Maslow, Argyris, HusserI and Nabud­ere I began to notice the con­nec­tion between our basic need skills and dri­vers and the ten­dency to con­trol, struc­ture, sys­tem­ize and intel­lec­tu­al­ize life itself. Beneath the focus on and use of sta­tic infor­ma­tion was a clear set of dri­vers active that could only reach its goal in a world con­trolled by us with the sole pur­pose to ful­fill our needs.

If you focus on it, you can observe we rather use the infor­ma­tion, fit­ting our believes molded by our basic needs dri­vers and we do very lit­tle with infor­ma­tion that does not fit into the basic need mold.

Even pre­sented with the larger con­se­quences of our life-style, almost all actions were taken within the spec­trum of basic need activ­i­ties. Regard­less of the fact that, activ­i­ties of the basic need kind, had caused the larger prob­lems in the first place. I could also see that this was not a delib­er­ate con­scious course of action, but all habit­ual, self-serv­ing and effort­less. In that sense unful­filled or unbal­anced BN dri­vers can be ruth­less and destruc­tive for the long term sim­ply because they are so skill­fully effec­tive on the short term.

But if our present believe sys­tem gave us com­pe­tences and skills that are cre­at­ing a sit­u­a­tion that is the oppo­site of their objec­tive because of the inca­pac­ity to under­stand their impact on long term, it is becom­ing obso­lete. We are in need of new beliefs and skills. The meta­mor­pho­sis already knocks at our door: We have to unlock and learn an entire new world­view and skillset to be able to deal with the cur­rent challenge.

I tried to encap­su­late those ini­tial obser­va­tions and thoughts in a first, very incom­plete and incon­clu­sive dia­gram (see bot­tom page) and I noticed this was way too huge and com­plex too under­stand and com­pre­hend for one indi­vid­ual. How­ever, one thing became very clear, the inten­tion of every action in the new skillset is based on the ques­tion: What, how or why can I con­tribute? It is like a Coper­ni­can rev­o­lu­tion: to change your focus from the ful­fill­ment of your and your loved ones needs, (from food and shel­ter to enjoy­ment and self-actu­al­iza­tion) to con­stantly focus on con­tribut­ing to the devel­op­ment and life of other indi­vid­u­als, species, indeed the world as a whole liv­ing system.

Our task used to be, tak­ing care of our­selves in the world, for which we learned to use our basic need skillset. Our next task is: Take care of the planet as a liv­ing thing and every­thing that lives on it.

When I shared this idea, peo­ple around me imme­di­ately rec­og­nized what I said and started to name the dif­fer­ence between old and new, the new skills that already were start­ing to show every­where and the prob­lems and etc.…. In other words, it res­onated with them. Much to my sur­prise I could con­clude it was not so much ‘my idea’, but an accu­rate obser­va­tion of what actu­ally was ocur­ring and this gave me a feel­ing of ease and a sense of urgency.

Shar­ing these obser­va­tions with Markku his reac­tion was, this might be a way into the future and we should write about this. When it became clear there was a win­dow of oppor­tu­nity in 2019 to com­bine our efforts to study and clar­ify the nature and dynamic of this meta­mor­pho­sis, we decided to kick this project of, with writ­ing a book on how to con­nect to the future. As we said, it is a project that can only have an impact if more than just us are going to con­tribute, but in order to move things for­ward we need to put the ini­tial impres­sions, thoughts and ideas on paper, info­graphic, blog, dia­logue, video and vlog.

Where are we presently? We have a frame­work and we see the depth.

Basic Needs - Active Skills Dia­gram - Ver­sion 1 - Sep­tem­ber 2017