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We can each make a difference

Originally posted August 25, 2015

In the year 2000, every member state of the United Nations agreed to wipe out extreme poverty in the world by 2015 through implementation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which were inspired by the ideas of economist Jeffrey Sachs. The final MDG Report found that the 15-year effort has produced the most successful anti-poverty movement in history, though there is still work to be done.

There is evidence that the resources of the planet, properly stewarded, are more than enough to make everybody’s quality of life quite acceptable in terms of the basics. The fact that we have been squandering some or all of those resources of course creates a potential shortfall for some. But these are human actions and theoretically under our control.

In September 2015 global leaders met and finalized the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to continue the work to end poverty. Although many had valid issues and concerns about the UN, this organization is our greatest hope for a global communication strategy. The only way to bring everybody to the table for the highest possible good is an environment where every member state feels it has an equal voice.

This is true no matter the challenge or the setting. Let’s look at our own engagement with the world. For the highest most far-reaching results, I recommend we employ the concept of engaging relationships, where we all look at every relationship as an opportunity, whether we are enjoying it at the moment or not. We accept each relationship as a given, making the best of it that we can — drawing upon the wellsprings of unfamiliar creativity patterns in doing so, and pulling out all the stops. This creates the environment for making maximum improvements, optimizing all the issues together.

If not distorted by negative assumptions, we would realize how incredibly promising this could be for each and every one of us.  To do so on any scale, we’d have to decide to appreciate differences and challenges. We’d need to stop demonizing others and accept who he or she is, seeing that difficult relationships are a fine learning stimulus, and finding places in ourselves where we can make excellently productive fine tunings.

Let’s focus this week on seizing the day with all our relationships. Let’s remember to include the one we have with our self — which deserves some time allocation — and the relationship we have with the postulated One Self that is the Universe (or God, if you like), in which we are an aspect and the Whole at the same time. Each moment, let’s leave open at least the possibility that the Whole is aware of us.

We can each make a difference. With the critical mass of all of us changing our actions, we can make the 180-degree course changes that we all deep down inside want the planet to make.

We can start with engaging relationships, be mindful of our resources and our actions, and see how the ripples in the pond will spread to the ends of the Earth.

Best to all,

Bill

Follow my regular media blog contribution, In Terms of ROI at Media Village, Myers new site.

Originally posted 2015-08-25 13:57:24. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

A Most Unusual Sea Journey

Current Classic Bill postVolume 6, Issue 7

Part 78 of the ongoing saga of The Great Being, the One Self that manifests as each of us.
Previous episodes.

It was a short walk from the tavern to the seaside. Athenius and Sniike walked astride a few paces behind Melchizedek and Layla, who had kicked off their shoes and were reveling in digging their bare feet in the sand, holding hands and singing something the Greek and the Parsan could not make out.

They walked past some crude rowboats with cruder sail-rigs and stopped at a strange and unimpressive little vessel, smaller than anything else they had seen. Looking down into it, it looked as if there was something dark to sit on, but there were no oars or places to affix them, and certainly no sail.

“This is your boat?” Sniike remarked, now suspecting that the whole setup was a fraud.

“Yes, isn’t she a beauty?” Melchizedek asked proudly. “Layla picked the carpeting.” Layla looked humbly gratified. “It’s Parsan carpeting,” she said to Sniike, hoping he would take it is a compliment to his people. Sniike did a double-take as his eyes adjusted and he was able to make out the complex scrollwork. “I’ve never seen a Parsan carpet in a boat before,” Sniike confessed, “nor any other kind of carpet.”

“That’s the deep blue your carpetmakers call Perse,” Athenius, the man of the world, informed Sniike. Named in honor of Perse, Maitreya pathed into the minds of Melchizedek and Layla.

the ovoid boat

The ovoid boat with a deep blue scrollwork carpet and ringed with gold.

Continue reading

Finding One Honest Man

Current Classic Bill postVolume 6, Issue 6

Part 77 of the ongoing saga of The Great Being, the One Self that manifests as each of us.
Previous episodes.

Athenius scooped up the cosmic smartphone and tapped on it as he’d seen Melchizedek do. Cosmic smartphones had been around forever and once they assumed their present size and shape they had stopped changing appearance over time. Easy to use with one hand and almost weightless, able to call anyone in the Multiverse, they were almost as good as telepathy.

Cosmc smartphone

Sniike was still drawn back in ill-concealed terror, which he was gradually mastering. Melchizedek couldn’t see the screen with his eyes but through Athenius’s eyes he saw that the screen now showed the many text messages recently received. Now Athenius seemed shocked. “What is that?” he asked in a strong voice. He sensed something very important just out of reach of his mind.

“That’s called writing,” Melchizedek said gently. “You folks haven’t invented it yet.”

“Of course we’ve invented it,” Athenius retorted, insulted. “We use it to keep track of who owes what to whom.”

“Yes, we know,” Layla said and laid a friendly hand on his arm. “Writing has a great many other uses besides counting that you will appreciate.”

Athenius and Sniike were now very attentive. Layla had just made it clear they were being offered a Faustian bargain that they would be crazy to turn away. They were going to be taught and possibly equipped with powerful new weapons of dominance.

“Selling those trinkets are you?” Sniike asked, sidling up beside Layla.

“Not right now,” Layla said with a smile, “but we will send you home with a present.”

“Are you inviting us to your land?” Athenius asked, with his dignity returned. This seemed to confuse Sniike, who had not seen it coming. Layla simply nodded.

“We’d like a few days of your time to change your life and blow your mind,” Melchizedek said with a smile.

“What do you get out of it?” Sniike asked quickly.

“We want to help the best people lead the others,” Melchizedek said. Sniike seemed very flattered by this, not realizing that the Agents had selected Athenius and would just as soon be rid of Sniike if they could be.

Sniike was unsatisfied, suspicious, saying, “Yes, but you must want to get something for your selves…”

Athenius cut across him, “Sometimes a person does the right thing just because it is the right thing.” This embarrassed Sniike, who mumbled “Of course” unconvincingly. Continue reading

In Praise of Goofing Off

Or, Indirect Observation of Undirected Mentation
Volume 4, Issue 31

The creative process goes through four stages: absorbing information, turning away, the Aha! Moment, and implementation.

A third of a second before the Aha! Moment — a type of Flow state experience — Daniel Goleman explains that there is a burst of gamma activity, signifying the rapid creation of a new network of neural connections, in the neocortical right temporal cortex of the brain.

The Aha Moment

The Aha! Moment (image courtesy of DailyMail.com)

In our present culture in which multiple jobs are held by most persons just to keep up with their Jones, and in which Acceleritis necessitates massive multitasking, the creative process tends to become truncated into a two-step process of absorbing information (never enough), and implementation. In other words, no Aha! Moment.

The absorbing of information part was easier before the Internet. One saw the logic of not going too far, because it would cost too much time. Now one can keep drilling down further and further without an apparent end in sight.

Finding information however continues to be the major complaint of executives and their teams. You know you have it somewhere and you can go searching for it but it is so boring and annoying given the time pressure. Give me a dashboard where I don’t even have to remember what it is called and yet can still find it in a second. Until then, just send that thing to me again.

When you break down how much time goes into the absorption (including searching) and other aspects of the process, the two middle stages — turning away, then the Aha! Moment — take almost no time compared with absorbing and implementing. And yet those two middle processes account for the quality of the outcome or creative result. With only the bookends and no middle the result may be passable but it does not rock. Are we here just to do stuff that’s passable, without the satisfaction of Flow state-level outcomes? No way — makes no sense. Life is about living large, not just robotically coping.

And all you have to do is have more fun! Goof off. Take a break, a mini-vacation at the right moments in your creative process, and the Aha! reveals itself.

However, this only occurs if your mind is in a certain state receptive to the sense of Aha!. That state can be described as the indirect observation of undirected mentation. Let’s break it down.

Undirected mentation is when you let your mind go wherever it wants.

Indirect observation is (by my definition) the alert watching of something as if seeing it for the first time.

So you receive Aha! to the degree to which your mind can do whatever it wants to do with no pressure to perform or achieve anything. Meanwhile a very alert part of you is watching your own mind, as if from outside.

When you do this, the tendency is for that Observer state part of yourself to go to sleep. That is, your point of view tends to get reabsorbed into the part of the mind that is just playing and you forget to look at it from the detached Observer point of view. You get caught up in some attachment motivation, some feeling/emotion, which identifies you with the relaxing, playing, wandering mind. This may feel wonderful; however, it doesn’t help you if the objective is Observer and then Flow states. “Identification with” leaves the attachment turned on. “Detachment from” is the goal.

Remain the scientist, the objective observer when goofing off, and the Aha! will come more often.

Best to all,

Bill

 

 

Follow my regular media blog contribution, “In Terms of ROI“ at MediaVillage.com under MediaBizBloggers .

Anti-Terrorism Critical Success Factors: Propaganda (AKA Communication) and Morale

Volume 4, Issue 30

Map of Middle East

Propaganda (my stipulated definition) is any attempt to influence by any means — a very broad definition including advertising, much of marketing, packaging, and even product and service design.

The advertising business received many high-ranking former OSS (the CIA of the time) officers, indicating the existing two-way street between these disciplines. Volunteers from the advertising industry do pro bono work for most public service announcements and would pitch in if called upon by the US for help communicating the messages we most need to get across to soldiers fighting terrorists, terrorists, potential future terrorists, victims of terrorists, allies, potential allies, and everyone else.

Propaganda in my view can be waged most effectively with the weapon of The Truth.

ISIS (or ISIL) is, as we all know, the cadre of terrorists using the predictable propaganda weapon of declaring themselves the world’s first Islamic State. In retrospect, it’s a wonder this hasn’t happened before now.

Courage is an emotion that depends on feeling that one is in the right. We can observe in animals that those defending their own territory fight harder than those who would casually invade. However, the intruder can shake the confidence of the defender, and that changes the odds.

ISIS's clever albeit obvious propaganda innovation has caused the Iraqi army to fear them despite the best of American training and weapons (UK Guardian reports US to increase flow of weapons and Iraqi news reports 13,000 US troops arrive). This is because the claim to being the Islamic State inevitably makes a Muslim wonder What if ISIS is in the right? Wondering this, without closure, reduces the Iraqi army’s will to fight ISIS, and generates the worrisome thought that if Allah is actually on their side, of course that will cause ISIS to win.

Propaganda and morale are closely intertwined. Effective propaganda can lower the enemy’s morale and change the odds in a fight. The best propaganda unites everyone including noncombatants on one’s own side, and reduces the confidence of the other side including their noncombatants. This is the decisive factor, above and beyond weapons systems, training, and sheer numbers.

And we have not been playing the game well lately. The US has signaled that we are divided, tied up in our own shorts and so can be messed with. We have not communicated our policies clearly so that everyone can follow the logic and see us as the good guys. This has gone so far as to cause some of us to wonder if we are the good guys. If this nonsense does not stop now, we are going to continue to drift into a much worse situation. And Iraq is the place where it is likely to start — the same place where civilization started, full circle.

Just before the US invasion of Iraq and the toppling of Saddam, some predicted such a war would cause the resumption of the centuries-old civil war. It was also predicted that the country would be left too weak to defend itself and would be invaded by its neighbors. Both of these dire warnings came true following the removal of US troops as insisted upon by the Iraqi government and as prayed for by a large proportion of Americans. Iranian, Syrian, and Lebanese (Hezbollah) forces are operating in Iraq, the US is arming the Iraqi army and the Kurds, many countries are considering doing something whether in the air or on the ground, and the brewing of something big and nasty is pretty obvious.

It would be good to learn how to communicate well in a situation like this — and fast.

First of all, the emphasis should be on drawing a distinction between Islam and ISIS. The ground should be cut away on which ISIS stands as the Islamic State. The US and the world should clearly state that any nation wishing to make one religion its basis has the sovereign right to do that. The US and many other countries prefer and strongly embrace freedom of religion and thought for themselves, but that selfsame humanitarian spirit behooves everyone to allow a person or nation to make its own choices. We have to make it clear that we are not fighting Religious Statism, even though we would not choose to live in such a state. We are simply continuing to fight people who are murderers, people who make you fight them therefore who must be fought, even though we would prefer to make peace. Someone who seems insanely determined to kill you in the most humiliating way possible has to be stood up to and controlled, changed, jailed, or killed, because self-defense is defensible.

Allah through the Koran has revealed: “Hasten to virtuous deeds.” Or as Jesus put the same message, “Judge them by the fruit of their actions.” How virtuous is it when ISIS brutally kills children? Is ISIS virtuous enough to be calling itself an Islamic state or is that claim itself an offense against Islam?

The Koran also says “Be cautious of them, lest they seduce you.” Implying that “If someone says they are coming from Me, check them out carefully” — and judge them by their effects not their claims.

Until our propaganda is more effective than theirs in every city and village and dwelling in the world, we are not doing all that we can to make the world a better place. This is priority number one. And we can become far more effective communicators and truthfully-inspired propagandists. We certainly have the abundance of patriotic and humanistic creative/media talent for it, in the advertising/ entertainment industries and everywhere else.

Best to all,

Bill

PS — Thank you for the many positive emails about the serialized story of The Great Being. The series will continue in future issues, interspersed with other stories I am more inspired to write at the time. cool

A Way Out of War

Volume 4, Issue 24

Sun Tzu said that the greatest leaders win without having to fight. Solomon’s sarcastic remark about cutting the baby in half was an example of one tactic for conflict resolution. As was Jesus’ remark about ye who is without sin casting the first stone. May we continue to evolve ways of cooling down rather than escalating. Now that WMD are so available, living in a tinderbox would seem to require it.

It is easier to understand some sources of conflict than others. We have known since the Greek Golden Age and probably earlier about the tendency for hubris, how an individual’s rise tends to lead to megalomania. We today see the threat of North Korea in that light. We can be more empathetic when poverty is the seedbed for hostility, as in the recent splinter perversions of the otherwise upright Islamic version of the Abrahamic group of religions. (I know some readers will think about Muhammad’s own wars and color Islam with it, but every religion and nation has been embroiled in wars at least as far back as the advent of written language, which fomented Acceleritis.)

The war that is harder to understand, at least in our present day, is the war between science and religion, flaring up once again. In the old days it used to be religion attacking science, which is not as counter-intuitive as the recent eruptions of science attacking religion. And not only religion, today we even see isolated cases of scientists even attacking philosophy. One otherwise brilliant and charming scientist publicly calls people who believe in God “stupid” (although how “smart” is it to publicly insult 93% of the world population)?

Some media always call attention to controversy because “it sells papers”. The main dangers of such altercations are distraction, demoralization, and fuel for the fire of political conflicts. To the extent that civilization wishes to hold together against militant uprisings, it needs to also hold to civilized behavior.

Dichotomania is one result of Acceleritis — putting everything into black/white good/bad categories. To the extent that those disposed to cause trouble — the powers behind terrorism — can identify themselves as lovers of God and the scientific West/East civilization as anti-God (Satanic), the motivational drivers of kamikaze behavior are multiplied.

My great friend the artist Peter Sorensen just sent me a collection of articles from the British publication New Scientist. In these articles, leading scientists discuss religion from a more clearheaded perspective. One article by physicist and philosopher Victor J. Stenger vindicates what I have been saying for decades, that the existence of God can be treated as a scientific hypothesis. He goes on to say that no evidence has been collected in support of that hypothesis. In my dissenting view, this is because today’s science defines “evidence” in such a way as to exclude the experiences within individual consciousness that cannot be measured by external devices.

The hidden agenda of Materialistic Accidentalism — the splinter cult within science that practices reductionism, sometimes comes across as uptight, and has started up unnecessary fights with religion and philosophy — seems (perhaps only to me) overly concerned with absolute certainty, which I consider to be pragmatically unavailable. Even quantum theory is self-admittedly a construct with high predictivity, yet no one claims it is the final answer with absolute certainty. The certainty angle is the hidden reason behind the restrictive definition of evidence, excluding what we lay individuals can experience for ourselves without third-party instrumentation. This makes science a closed group excluding the mass of humanity from partaking in its ways, exactly like an ancient priest class. I feel we can all be scientists in the way we live our lives, keeping track of experimental results and changing our thoughts and actions accordingly.

I wrote my new book You Are The Universe: Imagine That to offer a third way of looking at things, outside of the classical religion vs. science context. The book is a theory, a set of hypotheses, intended to explain the universe in scientific terms as a single field of consciousness, and to define consciousness as, in effect, an energy computer of such an intelligence level as to allow self-awareness. This one Self manifests in many forms, living through each of us as a temporarily sequestered pseudo-identity.

The book details how this model actually supports the core beliefs of all religions. It is unique (insofar as I know) as a scientific/empirical approach that resolves the millennia-long appearance of a war and an at-essence incompatibility between religion and science.

Mine is neither the current science approach (demanding credentials and relatively rapid verifiability by instrumentalities in the consensus reality) nor the classic theistic approach (faith, belief, authoritarianism, doctrine). It is a third way.

In the book I offer an experiment that readers can perform and determine the pragmatic results for themselves. I’m more concerned with the pragmatic — finding a set of operating rules to optimize life, gain insight into self and others and into the whole of which we are each a part, and thus reach and stay longer in the highest Flow states.

I am hoping that many people experiment with this third way. Pleased with the results, they might then help damp down the unnecessary, distracting, demoralizing and dangerous ideological wars, and better enjoy life. They don’t even have to give up science or religion.

More about Materialistic Accidentalism in this one minute video interview I did with my daughter Nicole adds a relevant point. Krishnamurti beautifully explains why rooting exclusively for any partial system works against our highest collective interest:

“When you call yourself an Indian or a Muslim or a Christian or a European, or anything else, you are being violent. Do you see why it is violent? Because you are separating yourself from the rest of mankind. When you separate yourself by belief, by nationality, by tradition, it breeds violence. So a man who is seeking to understand violence does not belong to any country, to any religion, to any political party or partial system; he is concerned with the total understanding of mankind.”
— J. Krishnamurti

Best to all,

Bill

Follow my regular blog contribution at Jack Myers Media Network: "In Terms of ROI". It is in the free section of the website at Bill Harvey at MediaBizBloggers.com.

You Are The Universe: Imagine That is now available. Read an excerpt and watch my videos where I talk about the book. The E-book is coming in September.