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Blog 2: The solution
After writting the blog about our entrapment in our own vulnerability we need to apply the law of opposites to show that breaking free is a serious option, applied by many around the world. It is not easy but once done a new world shows itself in which we can explore and develop ourselves to the full.
We just need to accept reality as it is, not just the vulnerable part of greed and destruction but also the powerful part of awareness and creation.
A human being is free, a citizen is not
When we look at ourselves as a biological member of our human species we are a single complete genetic entity, a symbiotic composition of billions of species that interact to keep that unique human being aliveand alert. At biological level we eat, drink, breath, mate and procreate, and finally die within the cyclic event of life. Such human being is born absolutely free. Free to make our own choices for survival, safety and comfort within our habitat, planet Earth, and how we organize ourselves effectively. In the natural living space there is no debt, no ownership, just usage of resources and an adaptive interaction with other species based on equality and respect. In nature everything is always strong and healthy, the unhealthy and weak disappear to give back the resources to nature for another life cycle. This we call evolution and we as individuals and community are part of that.
As citizen we are not free, we are part of a (formal) human group process. We have the ability to make arrangements in such group processes that help us live and survive, with safety and comfort, better than when we need to deal with this alone. In group processes we contribute as a member and interact with the group for best community performance. Communities tend to have unique characteristics that develop over time and may get into competition with each other for the protection of the group’s interest. Communities also tend to behave like individual species with the same type of living complexity expressed in terms of growth (greed), chaos (crisis), awareness (learning) and harmony (balans). Within such communities a set of rules determine the interaction between the members. When such community serves its members than the citizenship is never questioned. When however the community starts serving itself as an institution, at the expense of its members, than an invisible line of tension is crossed and citizens can revert back to their human freedom of choice. They stop being citizen in THAT community. No other person can oblige any one to remain member of a community as active civilian if that person does not want to. Unfortunately it is done continuously with law enforcement or empowerment of governance. Still, in absolute sense, even when put in prison, one remains always free at human level.
There are various ways to deal with the freedom of choice as human being and the obvious advantages of being member of a community. Of course this community needs to serve its members properly. The first option one has when stepping out as a citizen is to choose a new community which has a set of rules and behaviour that fits better one’s self aware judgments and desires.
I myself had this option when I became aware that the Dutch society had outgrown its human community characteristics and became a money driven institution at the expense of humankind, essentially totally absorbed in the list of vulnerability described in the previous blog. But where would I go? Holland, at institutional and governance level had a reached a point of self destruction. But at humanitarian level we had gone through an evolution too. Equality between men and women for instance was a socially accepted truth. In the mind of certain analysts such equality was created to get women to enter the labor force and contribute to capitalist economics with all the negative side effects. This may be partially true but at the same time, from a human and universal complexity point of view the acceptance that men and women are the equal but not the same is key to understand universal ethics and dynamic clustering of life.
In this duality of excessive institutionalized, money driven vulnerability and well balanced social equality, the Netherlands tends to offer a better evolutionary perspective than other communities where the money driven greed is not compensated by a minimum of gender equality. Another key element that motivates the stay in Holland is the freedom of speech and choice. The “system” may impose itself but when one turns its back to it there is an “isolation from the system” but not from the human part of society. In essence this too makes the Netherlands a vertile ground for the evolution of our species and experimentation with new structures of governance, culture and behavior.
So leaving Holland was not an option. Only very few places in the world would give me the level of freedom to evolve into something new rather than revolve in a fight against the old.
The second option one has is to create a community of one’s own, according one’s own insights and understanding. In a globalized political economic human world, fixated in its vulnerability but explained as a strength, such choice is extremely difficult. When I had to deal with this I made a distinction between the status of human being and freedom with that of citizen and community compliance. When looking at Holland, consisting of nearly 17 million inhabitants we can see 17 million human beings and nearly 17 million “compliant” citizens. Most of those citizens don’t realize their universal right to be free as human being. They take our community and its rules for granted.
In such universal freedom there is no debt, no property, no human legal system, no religion, no guilt. There is a right to determine or create community membership and citizenship. So when I address the fellow human being inmy surroundings then the conversation differs fundamentally from the address to the citizen. Even at professionalized level in the citizen’s world the so called “leaders” are also human beings. Often they are slave of the same system with the only difference that they are rewarded to make other people comply. I can address them also as human beings and challenge them to look at their citizen’s role in the community from a human perspective. Awareness is an awakening process which is best realized by taking people out of their mental or physical comfort zone.
Awareness driven human and citizenship
When I see the Dutch community as 17 million human beings that in potential can determine the characteristics of a totally new society, even though they are mostly actively and unaware involved in their old citizenship, then I can communicate with them as such. It does not matter in what role they operate in society, when they are invited to understand their human freedom we can openly reflect about change. When I started to do so in 2005 I found resonance with a very limited audience. Most people and structures were still confident that society as it was would remain. My own awareness had broken through in 2001 when I was taken out of my own mental and physical comfort zone and had to make my own decisions as human being, not as citizen. But the mental and physical comfort of the mayority of the Dutch back in 2005 was still happy with themselves. Only some resonance was gained in the field of entrepreneurship. Business people were encountering severe competition and needed to find ways to strengthen their proposition rather than continuously follow the decline of cost optimization in order to try to grown.
In 2008 this all changed when the creditcrisis threw many people off their comfortable throne with a mental wake up effect. Suddenly all executives as well as people in general were in crisis. The first reaction is to try to get back to the old and safe status quo. The second reaction was to see if change was an option. Most people acted in this on professional level, using the known instruments for that particular function and old societal context trying to make the best of it. No one had ever considered looking at it from their human perspective until I started inviting them to do so.
5 human core values
As human being I defined 5 core human values that are critical for our sustainable human evolution: Health, safety, regional self sufficiency, self awareness and fullfillment of our daily basic needs (1 kg of food, 3 kg of drinking water, 30 kg of healthy unpolluted air). each of these values is at jeopardy today and the lack of them causes the tremendous vulnerability described in the previous blog. From a human perspective it does not matter how rich you are and with how much power, the biological vulnerability is equal for all people. From a citizen’s perspective the awareness and related choices are critical as it determines the way one remains part of the problem or the solution. Some professionals get into a moral dillema when the difference between the realities displays itself to them. They have to make a decision:
- I neglect the awareness out of self preservation in the old reality
- I try to use my professional authority to make a difference by taking account of the core values
- I quit my job and make myself useful elsewhere using my newly acquired awareness
A new look at reality
Once we have been through the process of relativation of our human and citizen’s choices we start looking at reality in a totally different way. The vulnerability described before becomes an innovative challenge and the core human values a guideline. We cannot change 5000 years of city development over night but we can start with small steps. Some cities and regions are more difficult to transform from a quality of life perspective. Some even impossible. Knowing this we can even anticipate creating totally new living environments for the millions of people that otherwise would remain in a vulnerable situation. In the old reality of money driven citizenship this would be seen as a tremendous cost. In our new reality of core values driven cocreation it is seen as the engagement to make a difference between death and life. New techniques, visions, ideologies and methods can be experimented with to generate public engagement with the proper reward. Life is a great reward but when alive we need to have a house, food and other needs that we need to cocreate together too. Recently we looked for instance at the potential of the Pyramide City as self built, 100% self sufficient solution for all our unemployed and refugees. We can house over 6000 people on 1 km2 using local materials and building a totally circular economy.
It is a totally different way of organizing ourselves in which no political or economic parameters rule, nor a democratic hierarchy of self interests, but a cocreative mentality of everyone involved based on developing and maintaining our core values. We even defined this as Sustainocracy, a new type of democracy that respects authorities and professional specilizations but connects them in a new way around core challenges. The individual choice is hence not just in distinction between human and civilian realities but also in the way we contribute to progress with our professional responsibility and authority.
When individuals become aware of their human freedom of choice and the ability to redefine their conribution to sustainable human progress two realities get organized in parallel, the old vulnerable one that produced old securities and wellness but got us into trouble, and the new one that creates new securities by addressing the vulnerability through the leadership of core human rather than financial values.
While in the money based reality the relationships are built around financial transactions we see that the reality around core human values is built around project based cocreation and sharing of values. In money based city the citizen is a consumer of the city’s consumables (health care, housing, roads, parking, shops, theaters, events, etc) while in a core human values based community every person is a partner and participant sharing the progress and value creation. This means that a totally new value system is introduced, based on cocreation effort and sharing. This is not a relationship based on individual greed and dependence but of sharing and freedom.
Traditional infrastructural functions of governance are still needed but they are facilitating this participatory awareness driven eco-system based on harmonization instead of economic growth. This gives a significant different meaning to government and others in the field of cocreation. Technologies feed cocreation and awareness, not control and regulation. Governance, lawsystems, innovation, education and entrepreneurship get a totally new meaning and organization.
With appearance of two realities in one community one can live up to one or the other. Much better is to place both into perspective of eachother and relate them functionally. Suddenly we find that a large part of the old functional reality may remain alive and working blindly in the part that is claimed to produce vulnerability. Key is that the emphasys of our community direction is not anymore based on blind economic growth yet positioned at the side of values driven change. This does not mean that the economic growth parties are eliminate, not at all and on the contrary. Economic growth is good as long as it contributes to the solution rather than producing the problems. Economic growth will never challenge itself out of self interest. We need to have something beside which we call the Transformation Economy. Such economy keeps a look at the core human values and determines when the cocreative change is needed because the Growth economy crossed the line and started to produce measureable problems. Rather than raising taxes the Transformation economy raises royalties over the innovations that produce and enhance the core values while penalizing those old growth elements that measurably started to contribute to the problem. Like that the Transformation economy garantees the involvement of the specialized organization while redefining solutions through open innovation as these organizations are the ones that fragment the solutions into new products and services for the world market.
A simple choice
We have arrived at the conclusion that all our problems are solved instantly if we make our simplest choice. As human being we are free and responsible for our sustainable human progress. Once aware of that we can embrase the 5 core values and position ourselves at the side of sustainable leadership and the transformation economy. Our vulnerability is our challenge not our burden and our creativity and cocreation is our security for a safe future. Money is a means that may conditionally grow as long as it remains contributing to the global core values else we voluntarily change its content to something new. We don’t depend on banks, politicians or whatever to make this decision. When we do at our own human level we can invite others to join. As the consequences of our vulnerability grow there are more and more who are willing to chose the side of sustainable leadership and help restructure a society putting growth in balans with harmony. The cities, our places to live, our productivity and learning through awareness will then produce an evolutionary step for humankind. Life on Earth has evolved like this for 4.5 billion years. Now humankind can benefit from this unique awareness breakthrough and change our vulnerability in our strength. We don’t need to die, we need to learn how to live and act accordingly. We can only confirm what Snoopy and Charly Brown conversed and take the positive way.
A lot is happening that is being seen as a crisis. But a crisis is simply a strong need and desire for renewal which is being blocked by something. The pressure builds up until it bursts into chaos. Freedom appears that allows finally for the renewal to take place. A lot of people refer to the problems as being economic. This is not so. They are very human. In fact the pressure is building up for the human being to stand up and break through. We tend to reason too much top down while freedom and renewal is found bottom up (see drawing above). The change in thinking is on its way. It’s happening.
When I interacted with people like Ervin Laszlo (Club of Budapest) and other influential people in the field of global visioning we talked about the Global Shift (Ervin) and Quantum Leap (me). In fact, what we both refer to the need for the human being to get back onto its evolutionary tracks.
Ever since the human being broke through the first time in its self awareness a few million years ago and “became human” as opposed to “animal” we have been struggling to deal with it. We have tried to throw off our animal origins by behaving in a dominant way over our surroundings. Our surroundings were so big that the effects were hardly noticed. Meanwhile we became also dominant over our own species. Every individual has animal roots in which we thrive for growth and competition yet we also have self awareness and reflection that gradually introduced ethics, morality and responsibilities. System thinking became dominant, evolutionary thinking disappeared.
Societies became so big, and structures of control and power so dominant that for many millennia the human being was very much preoccupied suppressing its own species through all kinds of dogmatic systems such as territorial ownership, heritage of properties, systems of law, religions, financial and other systems of debt, etc. We were forced (and accepted) to live under the influences of such systems without having a choice. We weren’t even massively aware of the choice as survival prevailed over understanding. Education was reserved for the elite. Those who became too wise to support the system had to fear for their lives leaving behind just samples of their written legacies or lock themselves away from daily reality in confinement of a religious order.
Education is key
Only around the 1900’s the first public education was introduced and generalized for the entire population. This was perceived as necessary to support the growing financial system around industrial processes that needed craftsmanship in great diversity. Educating people became a public service for the system support, rather than a master – pupil relationship. As public knowledge grew also auto-determination and self awareness grew. People became more involved in their securities and well being and less fearful to the mighty, visible and invisible.
In the 50’s of last century governments started to loose territorial power due to open borders, migration of cultures and globalization of financial interests. The only dominance that was still possible was through the evolution of local services, taxation of consumer patterns and a certain degree of regulation. The governments could not cope anymore with the complexity of society and started to introduce degrees of civilian involvement in the decision making processes.
The civilians became more and more aware and knowledgeable even though the involvement was still very much being influenced and manipulated by the systems of power and debt imposed by financial systems, hierarchies and churches. Meanwhile all kinds of people started to become aware of their natural spiritual origins and universal freedom. They became aware what it is to be a human being in the full, with absolute freedom and not simply a puppet in the system. They also became aware that this freedom comes with responsibilities too. This human being does not accept debt anymore nor systems of control and imposition. This human being understands that values need to be created through taking responsibility together.
The appearance of the internet in the early ’90’s helped make information available to everyone with the freedom of interpretation of the many “truths” that circulate. The pollution of our environment is growing, we see global warming, climate changes, multicultural migrations and clashes, the unethics of systems of debt to control people, etc. We live longer due to the exponentially growing medical and scientific knowledge with access to abundance presented by the artificial systems that surround us. We also become gradually aware of the destructive forces of these systems on our own health, social stability and natural resources.
People become spiritually aware that their natural human freedom is demanding to take responsibility and let go of the dominance that surrounds us. Many people feel this surge of inner freedom but often falsely interpret it as disturbing and fearful against their perceived systems dependence. They are neglecting their own natural feelings out fear for the unknown and their sense of security to reason from the system’s reality. Also the system’s professionals have difficulties with the demanding population that does not simply accept policies but demands explanations and often also take a different standpoint, willing to stand up against systems lack of morality.
In reality our true biological and spiritual human nature seeks ways to freedom and purpose to regain our evolutionary tracks. We realize deep inside that we have deviated too much, have created a self destructive dependency and now look for a new balance that challenges the system’s rational.
“Hi, I am human”
When I take the stand and talk to people I say “hi, I am a human!” They look at me surprised as they tend to reason first from their own hierarchical position and profession, then their citizenship and hardly reach out to consider their condition of “human being” and true freedom. It has been neglected and suppressed.
By inviting them to reason with me as a human being things change. We are a biological self aware creature of flesh and blood, that depends on its educated relationship with its environment, according to universal laws of health, safety and self determination. When people open up to that a new world appears to them. Then the Global Shift, the Quantum Leap happens inside them. They suddenly realize and become willing to deal with citizenship and professionalism from the human perspective (bottom up) rather than the system’s perspective (top down).
Experimenting with the new democracy, Sustainocracy, we even structure a new society around this human perspective, respecting the old one partially, as we need certain systems from specialized functions they carry for us to use as instruments. We cause a transformation of society from the dominant blocking to one that is transparent cooperative.
It does not happen all at once. It occurs with small steps, sometimes large boosts, all together, involving people who understand in all kinds of positions in society. When I started with this 15 years ago it was not yet possible and I stood alone. Now I can create real Sustainocratic ventures with top executives from government, science and business, involving people all over. I invite them as human beings first and than ask them to use their professional authority. In any case we see the process speeding up fast. The key steps for our liberation from our own selves were:
1750’s – industrialization
1900’s – education for all
1950’s – participation in policies
1990’s – un-manipulated self awareness through internet
2010’s – first sustainocratic ventures placing the human being at the center. Taking responsibility.
Conclusion: The human being is finally becoming aware what it is to be human in freedom.