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Today I was drawn again to the facinating theory of the Peter Principle that was published in 1969 by Laurence J. Peter to show “why things always go wrong”.
The main argument of the book is that in a hierarchy people who do an excellent job get promoted. This goes on and on until on reaches a level of hierarchical authority that one cannot handle anymore. In reality one has reached a personal level of incompetence. This is where people stick to a position because no one tends to get demoted back down into the hierarchy as a recognition of this incompetence. One can be trained or get promoted even further away from one’s competence by getting a yet higher or different position of questionable talent.
The logical and curious conclusion is that the higher up you climb the career ladder, the more incompetent you get until you get fixated at your maximum level of incompetence.
This is interesting because a career climb is always accompanied with an extra bag of money and benefits. This suggests that anyone who is money driven searches his or her utmost level of incompetence to make most of it. This would explain why bankers, government leaders and heads of strategic analyst buros would not see a credit crisis coming even if it knocked on their doors and stood right in front of their noses. It also explains that all the crises right now will simply not be solved by all those people who are in the current hierarchical positions of power. Their only possible outcome would be to install a yet higher level of incompetence above them as a career step further up showing the world the best of all incompetent.
Even though Laurence J. Peter makes his point in 1969 it was the Greek philosopher Plato who already stated in about 400BC “Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber.”
This is another of such public wisdom that finds its roots in the proof of our published reality. If by the principles of Peter and Plato incompetence and stupidity has a tendency of floating upwards in any hierarchy the negative aspects of humankind, such as greed, sex orgies, power abuse, corruption, etc will surely become exaggerated along the same line. Lust is related to the emotional disorder that matches the rational disorder of incompetence. The human personal imbalance (of any IQ, EQ, SQ, FQ, AQ) grows and people become less and less aware of their incompetence and more and more convinced of their own reality of power. They start living in their own dream world, a virtual reality that often makes them disappear into the history books as a public villain or lunatic. Always in hindsight though because we had no social media in the past. On TV and internet today we observe this all the time now. So it is curious that entire political, financial and business hierarchies are still receiving a level of authority when we know now that the utmost level of wisdom is somewhere in the crowd and certainly not with those people in the hall of operational fame.
My own law of opposites then confirms that anyone who is fired from a high up hierarchical position automatically reinstates his or her utmost level of competence. Just observe the change in personality of American presidents during office and afterwards. They invariably become missionaries of human and planetary rights providing speeches around the world on how things should be done that they did not do when in office. When in power they were humanly incompetent and when out of power they compensate. No sex scandals after the oval office either.
This has its logic too. When people do not carry the burden of a hierarchical position anymore they become human beings again. In the hierarchy they are puppets of that system in which they climb by becoming the head puppet of a puppet theater. Without all the strings attached one is totally free. One finds out all the real competences that one really has, and had to begin with, instead of the ones that one is supposed or expected to have within the system. When one “leads” the system one is in reality led by the system itself, making a person institutional leader to uphold the system not the person itself or the human world or planet. The higher up in the hierarchy the lack of freedom combines with the lack of competence making a human being into a clumsy and potentially dangerous robot.
A person who was very high up in a hierarchy shows that he or she had a lot of competences to lay off to reach that top level. When fired we then find a very powerful personality that becomes human being again with the discovery of all the original competences in tact and with total freedom to use them.
This brings us to the conclusion that people who are in hierarchical power should never be taken seriously. And by no means they should be left alone and in charge of a country, a business or any institution.
Only those people who reached their maximum level of incompetence in a hierarchy by becoming president or close thereof are fully and impressively competent again once fired or removed otherwise totally from the pyramid.
This makes the community of old hierarchical leaders the most interesting basis for the creation of my new sustainocratic multinationals without personnel and many thousands of collaborators. Interestingly I find that, despite the fact that people think the above is exaggerated and even funny, there is a component of significant truth in it. True leadership is not hierarchical yet needs maybe the step upwards towards incompetence and back down towards individual freedom to become fully aware of a complex reality and start acting accordingly.
So it is not the crowd that is wise, nor the incompetent that lead large structures. It are the ex-top-incompetent back in the crowd that make the progressive difference.
This blog is an open reflection about the universe, the start of lifeforms on Earth and its evolution all the way up to consciousness and eventually humankind today. It finalizes with a evolutionary suggestion for us which is also coincides with my daily contribution to humankind through Sustainocracy. The text refers to my own “relationship with the Universe” enhanced by the convergence with the Maya calender, the special date of Dec 21st, 2012 and the hype around this era. I made short divisions in the text:
- Comfort zone
- The answer
- Learning curve
While re-reading my contribution I came to my own definition of ethics; “Ethics is the universal law of harmonic relationships”. When you read the blog you may understand why I got to this definition, worthy further elaboration on what this really means for sustainable human progress in a next blog.
21.12.12 was a memorable day because (surprise, surprise) no Maya apocalypse happened, it was much warmer in my hometown than normal for the time of the year and it was again the longest night of the year, meaning that as of the day after we get 2 minutes per day more daylight every day for 6 month.
All these things affect me. Since I had lived a few years in Sweden the issue of light and dark had reached my emotional awareness. In Stockholm the days were extremely short around Dec 21st, getting onto one’s nerves sometimes. The prospect of longer days has an extra dimension then even though after the joyful city decorations of Christmas there are still at least three months of darkness to live through. On June 21st the midsummer party celebrates fertility with extremely long days. Despite the happiness of this intense public party the prospect of days starting to shorten again adds another emotional dimension there. People in tropical regions do not live through such contrasts and hence have no emotional awareness around it, not the stress or the happiness. They have other things to celebrate though, related to their specific geographical relationship with the Sun and its light.
The whole discussion about the Maya’s, their impressive multidimensional calender, the Milky-way with planets and suns lining up, +/- 250000 year cycles, etc it all added up to my curiosity. It made me wonder what relationship I truly have with my surroundings and the surroundings with me? Already as a teenager I was fascinated with astrology, astronomy, numerology, tarot, chess and all other mystical expressions of the humankind throughout history related to life itself, its origin, predictability and complexity. People like Plato, Moses, Aristotle, Pythagoras, Galileo, the different empires, Jesus Christ, Buddha, but also the hype around Nostradamus, had a tremendous attraction on me ever since I have any recollection of memory.
And all the time we see the human relationship with the universe coming back in everything. So 21.12.12 was a kind of culmination of facts and fiction around universal attention. But what is fact and what is fiction these days?
My own daily life evolves within a certain confinement which is “my own world”. It consists of perception and interaction, just like the world of any other living species. But when these Maya’s came in the picture with their calender and this special date of 21.12.12, my own universe widened to beyond the stars. I became for a while the center of my own enlarged universe and the stars revolved around me. As a self conscious observer this is natural. The crazy perspective of an apocalypse and all the merchandising around it had amused me a lot. Also all those people who asked me what I would do on doomsday 21.12.12? In between we still recall a similar hype : the millennium cross over of the year 2000. Of course it was fun to see all the crazy speculation, yet it was also disturbing to witness how serious so many people took these things. It was a calender ending, that’s all, just like our year end on Dec. 31st, decades, centuries and millenniums, but then in intervals that are significantly larger and involving a bit more than our Sun and Earth. These intervals are intriguing but that’s all. Or is it?
The event certainly provided me with a feeling of living in a unique era. My grandparents and parents had seen the coming of the automobile and airplanes. Their world had expanded through mobility. They had witnessed emancipation, suffered wars or stood the barricades for equality. In my lifetime we saw globalization, TV, space travel, internet, open borders, the millennium switch and the end and beginning of the Maya’s 250.000 year cycle! I could talk directly via social media with political world leaders and observe Earth from a spacecraft as if I were God Himself. Impressive, don’t you think?
All this also again did something of course with my awareness, not just the Maya’s, the whole era.
My direct surroundings, or personal environment, can be seen from very nearby, starting with my own comfort zone. Spreading my arms I define my comfort zone as an invisible bubble around me. It is as if I am surrounded by a shield. Within this shield I feel protected by a certain amount of individual control which is enhanced by the way I interact with the outside world. Inside that space I think and act freely, dress myself, wear a coat, a beard or sunglasses, decide what others perceive when they see me from outside this comfort zone. It makes me feel comfortable with myself. It is a zone in which I feel that I take the decisions, interacting in freedom with the world outside my bubble. It represents my own universe with ME in its center.
Beyond that space there is everything that is “not me”. It is an external world which I can observe and interact with but not control. Still I need this outside world to survive for instance. It provides me with energy, food, water, a partner, friends, family etc. In a way my surroundings is like a huge sea of bubbles to interact with (like other people and species) and many more things, material and immaterial.
From a material point of view I realize that I do not differ much from my surroundings. The materials of which my body is made are the same as that from outside my body. The only difference is that I am alive. The unique state of “being alive” has a certain effect on those materials that make “Me”. They stick together in a special and unique way. I can think about it so I am aware of it. At the same time I am also aware that I am a just a small heap of stardust, just like everything else around me that I can identify as “something”. The uniqueness of the many “somethings” with a name make up the world of perception and interaction that I live in.
Does water known that is water? It sure does. Why else should these molecules of hydrogen and oxygen combine in this unique way and stay like that in stability and harmony? In a way water is aware that it is water. My own many molecules combined in an even more complex way and made ME, a unique self aware, reflective combination of molecules and complex “somethings” that glue together according to some kind of miraculous common, yet unique pattern that we call a “human being”. I am a unique variation of that pattern. While alive these molecules stick together in stability and harmony. When dead they fall apart again. But why such magic?
What purpose does it serve? Life does not occur just like that. Place the same molecules inside a big container and you will not get “me”, no matter how much you shake or put sparks of energy through it. The material composition of stardust is not enough to make me into a living person, let alone to make ME.
From a Darwinistic point of view the huge diversity of lifeforms can very well be explained as a result of self selecting competitive interaction between species within a closed environment, such as an island or the entire planet Earth. Still today we see that species that overcome natural boundaries “disturb” the other habitats. Eventually all species together create a totally new diversity and balance, usually only after some reshuffling chaos. The interaction with a certain environment and its complexity defines therefor the type and characteristics of lifeforms that develop. Competition for nutrition, survival and procreation explains hence the appearance and development of diversification in nature. But this combination of purposes does not explain the origin or purpose of life itself yet.
This mystical secrete can be found in the way water and other complex elements formed into stable formats that repeat themselves. This shows a preprogrammed awareness that guarantees the combination of molecules into unique harmonic formats and special conditions. Scientists and researches have discovered a strong relationship between the connecting frequencies of the universe and the tones of music of our likings. It suggests that matter combines with matter when frequencies combine following certain patterns. Water is one of the very first to appear in abundance in our visual world due to its apparent simplicity with its unique complexity and its stability. Its special condition of fluid “under normal environmental circumstances (of pressure and temperature for instance)” gives it a great mobility and flexibility, with access to locations where it can filter in to. It is influenced by energy (s.a. heat or gravity) and the obstacles on its path. This unique condition brings it in multiple contact with other elements. It also is a connecting carrier of elements that dissolve in it or float. The early consciousness of water over time can develop into all kinds of complex combinations that stay the same too in a programmed way and under specific conditions. They in turn develop into more complex structures with more and more complex development of awareness. Chance and programmed steering become a mingled situation proper to evolve into a competitive environment where more pressure is put on growth, splitting up (fractal evolution) and eventually on survival and procreation through different degrees of self-awareness, produced by interacting frequencies of music. What is music to our ears combines also in nature. What is not in harmony will not combine or become unstable and eventually fall apart.
Water shows us within a visible format the underlying secrets of invisible patterns that shape and connect in a very harmonically similar way. The stirring and mixing of less then quark level elements and energies may well have already reached a certain point of conscious complexity inside the state of water. This suggests that water already has a memory of its own that can be traceable when we know how. In fact, this memory is inside us already since we consist of 70% water. Accessing this information is a simple matter of trained awareness.
The primary purpose of life became the gathering of energy to grow, survive as unique, harmonic element and divide as a predefined “something” when growth reached a limit. With the growing war between the species this creativity became a natural competitive element that could grow into tremendous specializations. Humans are such evolutionary result of a perfect competitive physical machinery that evolved out of stardust with an equally perfect system of defending its self-interest. Our extremely potent rationality in self preservation got us where we stand today.
Shouldn’t I, individually, then live the simple evolutionary life of open competition for material wealth and take from my surroundings as much as I can for survival and life in material abundance? Can I not just leave it up to the universe to deal with universal things and me with my things serving just my own bubble? From an evolutionary perspective this might be a correct assumption, considering we all are programmed like that in our essentials. In a way we see that humankind behaves that way when surrounded by the wealth of our current system of consumer economics. I could have children without giving it all a second thought? Why then had the Maya’s disturbed my selfish comfort and made me reflect from a broader perspective? Why did they break through into my comfort zone and the sensory interaction with my small world to make me a citizen of the universe?
The word “purpose” from an awareness point of view can evolve too in interpretation, just like the competitiveness did in orchestrated material composition and evolution. Do we solely evolve in the individualized purpose of short term greed? Or does “purpose” gain in long term evolutionary meaning through individual contribution to the Whole? Have we reached a new dimension of human development, an immaterial dimension?
When the United Nations in 1987 published the first definition of sustainable development (Brundlandt) an evolutionary movement within the field of “awareness” was started for the first time on a global level. We realized that our material abundance on Earth was not unlimited and that we carry evolutionary responsibilities, not just through procreation but also in conscious behavior. Prior to that the same interpretation had already been presented in the modern world by spiritual people like Gandhi. But spirituality and materialism had long be developed along different principles, not together.
After the 1987’s first attempt many more people and institutions started to interact and interconnect on the basis of universal responsibilities together. It is as if humankind had reached a different level of potential harmony that is appearing next to the old, obsolete one. People find each other in a new level of resonance. This has been small for many decades, hardly noticeable due to the dominance of the other type of awareness (greed). Until crises seemed to open people up for new types of awareness with which we started to get familiar through experimentation and need. My sustainocratic partner Marco said in AiREAS “You can write or talk about it but people only understand when they experiencing it by taking part in it”. Sustainocracy is a society format based on that evolutionary path and is put into practice with early precedents in Eindhoven. It all shows a particular natural evolutionary route and increased collective awareness around our natural relationship with our surroundings. People who participate obtain “a good feeling” and can’t explain why. This blog explains why. It has to do with different frequencies in our relationships explained in meaningful relationships, commitment and levels of trust.
When I interact with the universe from my predefined consciousness my only motivation would simply be to survive and procreate. But when my consciousness awakes into a higher awareness I seem to want more than just that. My own decision to pass on a society “worthy of handing over” to my children shows my own evolutionary consciousness. Self-consciousness has come with fear and disbelief, but also with curiosity and creativity. When you become aware of your surroundings at the scale of the entire universe then the current perceived abundance suddenly translates into scarcity. The vastness of the universe is out of my reach and so is my span of control to access it. I become aware of my own finite situation but also of the limitations of my direct surroundings. What was materially big now becomes tremendously small. The universe and I seem to get to an understanding, a harmonic sensitivity.
Funnily enough my own self aware “I” does not shrink, nor does it disappear into a sense of vulnerable minuteness. My own self stays the same, only the universe comes closer, nearby, making me grow as a self-aware conscious creature. It is as if the universe and I become equivalent. My body may be a small heap of composed living stardust, probably totally unperceivable on the largest scale, but still the same as the entire universe. I AM the universe! Yet from an awareness point of view I become as big or even bigger then the universe itself. This is because my living body unites all the billions of years of living “purpose” that uniquely developed near and inside me, conditioned by the local circumstances around and on planet Earth, all the way into to my own small bubble.
Inside me is the awareness of quarks, molecules, water, the first complex combinations combining into the smallest and simplest lifeforms, the first amoebae, the fish in the water and first land mammals…..the competition, the evolution, diversification, ever since the first existence of matter, energy and awareness in ever growing complexities and combinations. “I am” from a universal perspective of consciousness is a therefore a very special reflective issue. There is a kind of eternity already inside me. I am experiencing the uniqueness of being able to think about it and “feel” the billions of years of stirring combinations. I break through and understand that it has nothing to do anymore with competition and self interest, not even with “me”. It has to do with my degree of adaptiveness and stirring abilities to create new combinations out of chaos. Combinations that last for ever again after me.
When this happens the balance between me and the universe becomes important. My interaction is not just material, it is there on multiple levels. My consciousness awakens me for a learning process, a classroom of the Universe.
I become interested and realize that the most direct life enabling relationship is that with our Sun. The Sun is provider of the light, gravitational uniqueness with Earth and energy that is needed to produce and sustain life after the early stirring that brought about this unique solar situation. The Earth now provides the materials and the Sun provides the immaterial part. Both provided the stirring through rotation that allowed frequencies to meet and mate through material combinations. All this can be found too on a larger and smaller scale throughout the entire Universe.
My unique me is not more than an extra complex “something” that, as a highly aware bubble, in combination with similar entities like me, forms a liquid-like structure that flows freely, stirs with its surroundings and forms complex new connections, some stable others unstable. Over time this has happened intensely, creating societies, hierarchies and communities. This we call among ourselves “history” but is no more than a natural process of stirring evolution. My own contribution to the Whole is that we have reached a point that competition turns against ourselves as a species. It does not serve our survival anymore and hence requires a new phase in our consciousness. Our collective evolutionary greed and self-interest has taken us to become masters over our local environment without natural competition other than our own selves. Pollution, over-consumption, wars among the species, elimination of our life supporting resources, it is all contrary to the “purpose” driven prospect of survival of our bubbles. When our material composition has reached a degree of competitive excellence we need to excel in our awareness and create new shapes of human interaction with our environment. They need to be life supporting with sustainable progress instead of self destruction. Else we may find that our composition evolved too complex and inflexible. It would eventually disappear like many other species did over time due to lack of adaptability.
As Janos Vargas said alongside the Danube: “water needs to flow freely” I added to that when I returned home “spirituality (awareness) needs to flow freely” too. Both, water and awareness, have the tendency to flow and gather more of it in its path, to end up in seas of it. While water flows down through gravity, spirituality flows up in human organizations through meaning.
The universe taught us that evolutionary progress is based on freedom in flow, the stirring of the elements and dynamic fixation according to the circumstances and frequencies at any one time and place. The purpose is to evolve both in material AND awareness complexities, surviving by being adaptive, creative and flexible, not just in individualism but also in multidisciplinary combinations. We should not compete between equals of an evolutionary species (humans against humans). We should however develop always our sustainable uniqueness within the diversity of all evolutionary patterns. We need to use materials in a repetitive cyclic way for reuse without polluting it or the environment because we ARE the environment. If we pollute our outside , we equally pollute our inside. When we pollute ourselves or isolate ourselves from our universal environment we lose our evolutionary powers and harmony. We become sick, physically and in awareness.
To evolve we need to understand our own complexity by understanding both our material and immaterial selves and universal surroundings. Our awareness is part of that understanding. It needs to be taken as seriously from a scientific point of view as our material existence. If we are evolutionary designed to conquer the universe of living species we now need to learn how to conquer our own ancient greed while confined to our planet Earth, without natural predators but ourselves.
What is the next step in our evolution? Well we have bene practicing this already for some time. Just like in the universe we also need to learn to connect in the diversity of awareness to gain effective progress. This is done in organizational structures of people that contribute with different knowledge and authority. We create living organisms of human beings in purpose driven structures. So far we have gone very far in developing such structures however organized them around the ancient inner greed as if we had competitors to defeat. We simulated our inner universe by creating an artificial outer universe through hierarchies, rigid townships and civilizations based on power of individuals of masses of people. We learned through painful experiences to deal with our own inner Darwinism. None of the societal solutions we invented have been based yet solely on sustainable human progress. That is why they all eventually failed and fell apart just like and old warn down body would do. They end up in crisis, chaos and war by natural obsolescence. To make sustainable human progress happen we need to make this quantum leap in human inner evolution at the level of spiritual resonance. We need to listen and act according to the symphony of universal music, inside us and out there around us. This needs to be transparent without the blockage of our current impositions.
Sustainocracy is a first attempt to apply all what we have learned so far and create progressive cooperative communities that interact as if they were a living species, using the “rules” of the universe for sustainable human progress.
“The universe and me”, that is what the Maya’s have contributed with their calender. It seems to be much more than just an ending and new beginning of a cycle of data. It coincides with a new phase in humankind. Has the old human world collapsed? Yes, it did for me, already some time ago. Has a new world appeared? Indeed. Because we may now reach a point that we understand our own evolutionary process, the ethics of our relationship with our environment and the next steps to follow as humankind. We are ready and in urgent need to reinvent ourselves making awareness our guiding factor, individually and in our societies, not our ancient materialism or fear for shortages. There is plenty if we learn to trust our level of conscious awareness on how to deal with healthy usage of materials in multidisciplinary cooperation within just one single purpose: sustainable human progress.
And this is not that difficult because we are a living complexity of it ourselves. To understand that we simply have to learn understand ourselves and adjust our sustainable progress to it. Those who feel the music inside will join the process and grow it into a new symphony.