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In this blog I explain an evolution in our region in Holland where many people of all kinds of talent and status of authority seem to reach a level of awareness and personal leadership which motivates to join in a new level of responsibility together. We refer to this as level 4, one level above the hierarchies of political and economic powers, and one in which we allow core human and natural values to define our priorities and innovative investments. It is interesting to see how it captures the interest of the global community who visit us for inspiration and cocreation. This blog was also publised on LinkedIn in Dutch.
Never before in history the modern human being has been challenged as whole to put the shoulders under our evolutionary survival. Now we have. Ever since we crossed the invisible line of about 3 billion fellow members of our species, the lifestyle based on the economy and politics of production and consumption started to damage our surrounding is an irrevocable way. This happened somewhere between the 50’s and 60’s of last century and millennium. This seems very far away but in essence is the timeframe of the current generation aged 50+. It is all part of today still, not at all far away.
Before we crossed this invisible line the natural reproductive abundance of our planet Earth could still recover from our destructive behaviour of greed and aggressive competition. But after this crossing it could not anymore, not if our human species would continue the way it did. We are now well on our way to a population of 9 billion indivdiuals, three times that of 70 years ago. What have we done in the meantime? Gradually we became more and more aware of the problems and introduced new processes such as Cradle to Cradle, Biomimicry, circular economy, CSR, costly bureaucracy and new rules, costly healthcare systems, etc. Yet our steering mechanisms, based on sustaining the political and economic hierarchies, with primarily consumption driven civilians, has only been expanded and sustained artificially by the local and worldwide structures of financial power and control. Our fragmented money driven structures can only take responsibility for their little islands of self interest and none oversees the whole that is being seriously damaged, with very unpleasant consequences. Each for themselves take competitive measures out of economic or political self sustaining interest, contributing at the same time to the worsening of the problems without sensing direct responsibility for the whole, just their part. The submission to money remains leading, not our evolutionary self resilience as a species.
There are two twee routes we can take.
The first route is the one of the least resistance. We just keep going with our lifestyle and political-economic steering. Eventually nature will take over and reduces humankind to proportions below the line of (self)destruction. This is normal in nature. As soon as a lifeform cannot feed itself anymore or becomes sick it dies out and is taken over by healthier lifeforms. Whatever remains of the sort that collapsed is so much smaller that it is not dangerous anymore for itself or the rest of the lifeforms. These last mentioned get the new space to develop themselves according to the same rules of nature.
According the current situation of humankind we can expect to be reduced to about 1 to 2 billion people in a natural way via catastrophes, crises, hunger and wars. Nature does not make distinction between people and just cleans up. If we look closely at what is going on in the world we see this process already happening.
The second route is the one of awareness and taking of responsibility. We have already seen that none of the fragmented parties of self-interest can do this on their own, unless they do it together. But who takes initiative? Awareness is not limited to some happy few. It also reaches the mindset of policy makers, entrepreneurs, scientists and many civilians who all want to do something about it but often feel hindered by their individual or executive limitations. Lifting all these people, in all their diversity of talents and authorities, to a new level of interaction, above the political and economic hierarchies, we create a new level and area of cocreation, referred to as a Sustainocracy, in which the natural and human core values are leading. Together we choose our priorities, allocate means and arrive at innovative project that help change the old reality in all its dimensions. An independent Sustainocrat is enough to pave the way into level 4 leadership, the leadership that follows the development of core values together. On this level an executive policy maker can define arguments that reduce rules and bureaucracy, entrepreneurs develop new, revolutionary products and services while civilians innovate themselves socially through adjustments in behaviour and lifestyle, without reducing their quality of life, on the contrary. At the same time the functional layers of regional development become subject to integrale innovation in the field of residence, food, energy supplies and usage, mobility, local involvement and reward of participation, recreation, etc. Step by step the energetic dynamics of cohesion and care for each other and the environment develops. The good example spreads and reaches other people and institutions who wish and can participate. Those who put up resistance have to come up with powerful arguments if they keep blocking human core values, risking eventually to be held liable for this. A new culture and economy appears, referred to as the transformation economy, which has a harmonizing effect on the community while contributing to the expansion of all kinds of new innovations that can serve the rest of the world too.
In Eindhoven and Brabant we have been applying this level 4 regional development for about 7 years now and the approach grows in both recognition as local and international support. Apparently we have created a new culture together in which we can freely look for connection between level 4 leadership of people of a great diversity of talents and authority. In other areas this is often not yet possible. That is why the first mentioned route will still show us huge amounts of human suffering and drama for a long time to come and will even affect us despite our intentions. But the route we have chosen gives us hope with strength and will, as expected, sproat elsewhere as soon as people become aware of the option its way of functioning and the potential of this evolution in human and natural self-aware coexistence.
STIR foundation is ideological and practical founder of Sustainocracy, and since 2010 initiator of level 4 cooperative formats such as AiREAS (healthy air, healthy cities), FRE2SH (local cooperation for resilience in basic needs), STIR level 4 learning cooperation (education to reach level 4), Rijk van Dommel en Aa……enz. This format of level 4 regional development has been accredited in 2015 by external research and received the VINCI European Innovation Award. Sustainocracy has been introduced in 2016 in 26 regions of Europe, India and China. During all kinds of encounters, publications, presentations and workshops you can get acquainted with the expertise, methods and achievements.
In the picture below (thx Wilfred for sharing) we see that the interpretation of reality can have a variety of outcomes, depending on the way we look at things. Just imagine three different persons that stand at the three viewpoints and try to convince the other two of what they see. How would the person seeing a triangle or rectangle react to the person who defends the circle as sole truth?
Understanding that what we see, hear, feel, taste or smell is subject to interpretation and rationalization, we can also now (after seeing the above proof) get to terms that whatever we think we sense is just a distorted part of a greater reality. Basing our decisions on such interpretation is hence risky and always incomplete. We enhance our perception and our choices by learning through the accumulation of experiences. And also through open dialogue with others with our ability to take different standpoints if we want to experiment with new perspectives. Our predisposition to learn helps us evolve mentally as a human being and improves our resilience to the challenges we face. As a child we find this normal but as an adult not necessarily.
Often in the process we face confrontations with ourselves. When we grow up for instance in an environment where everyone believes that the “rectangular” truth is real, to then move to a place where the “triangle” rules, we end up with a dilemma. Do we stick to our original beliefs? Do we try to understand the beliefs of the others? Or do we try to understand the bigger picture in which the two or more realities can be explained? Much of our current multicultural society contains such dilemma for people involved with a dominant local culture and various subcultures. Education can overcome part of the dilemma but some beliefs are deeply rooted, sometimes powerfully manipulated and dominant.
What happens to you when you come back to your origins where the “rectangle” belief still rules but you have learned that it is not the only truth? Most probably the local people will declare that you have gone mad, maybe even call or ridicule you as alienated, a separatist, a terrorist, a weirdo. They may even become scared of you, ask you to review your thoughts or leave the community. “Right and wrong” become subjective issues of dispute that can only be overcome when people open up to new realities. That is not easy. At individual level this may be done through learning processes or taking people on an awareness hike. On a local community level often ancient dogma’s, rules and even hierarchical power positions are created around the single viewpoint. A diversion would find opposition from the group’s leadership that fears its authority questioned by the modified views. Such leadership has interest in sustaining the narrow minded perception.
Blocking the mind of people out of desires for control is an old and powerful mechanism that dictatorial, political, economic and religious leaders use by attaching punishment and fear to the mere possibility to take a broader view of options. People react and may become so obsessed with their fears that they start defending the dogma’s themselves out of just or unjust self-preservation. “The unknown” as threat is much more powerful than the “known”. Modern science shows that people who live in such imposed environments of controlled beliefs tend to show signs of brain and intellectual damage, incapacitated to learn or evolve, or even openly reflect.
Often this is associated with religious dogma’s but the same goes for our addiction to money and economics, as explained by David Suzuki in relation to our senseless and immoral usage of money as destructive investment tool.
Exposing people to fear for the sake of control and self-interest is an act of terror which is being used in all hierarchies. “If you don’t do what the rules say you’ll be doomed, if you do you’ll be saved”. If such rules imply that someone (person or institution) can take away securities from other people or life forms, or even take their lives, than such rules are introduced and maintained by thieves and murderers, no matter what noble lables they use for themselves or their status.
Such madness of control and being controlled is as much part of humankind as the goodness of the opposite, however madness tends to impose itself aggressively while goodness shares, gives and invites. We are all exposed to it and need to make up our own mind about what is real, what is madness and what is not. Today’s world of social media helps us even though the awareness is not internet’s, it is of the individual who breaks out into freedom of mind.
Recently a quote of a religious leader could be read that said “If money becomes a God then it will lead to brain damage”. The same implies when anything else under human control becomes a God, referring to the humanization of the Whole by attributing it human decisions and laws of control, greed and segregation. God as a metaphor to explain the “everything”, as in “we see only part of reality and there is much more to learn” is a concept with which everyone can live. One can also live with the quest for learning the overall meaning of everything and people trying to explain their findings. No one can however impose or indoctrinate their findings since the “truth” is a subjective perception of reality and needs to be discovered by people themselves. In the same way we see that money as a tool is great but not as a goal, nor as an “everything” which would evolve into dogmatic obsession and madness. This mind blocked perception in current cities, which dynamic human clusters around money driven realities, is making those populations extreemly vulnerable, managed by money dependence, thieves and speculants without any connection to the broader reality. Often such people in charge of human control mechanisms don’t see themselves as bad but part of a Darwinistic reality of the law of the most powerful. In many cities this is now changing as wellness and quality of life introduces itself a new reality of common human values. It shows also a totally new type of leadership and societal structures.
Dealing with awareness, beliefs and madness:
Having to deal with this organized madness of self interest driven massive brain damage on a global scale now, we can try to fight it but this will not work. Aggression with aggression just produces death, destruction and more aggression. It is one common law in nature that if, in an evolution, growth is limited by space and competition for resources it is not the most powerful that survives but the most adaptive to new resources. A totally new phase of growth without competition lies ahead.
If we try to impose our own deeper or broader awareness we would enter an impossible to win dispute about rectangles, circles and squares, about fears, beliefs and unjust sense of security or protection. The large populations that have been brainwashed will cling further to their limited perception. Their “leadership” just needs to feed their fears to enhance itself while the forthcoming destruction is never blamed on the leaders yet on “the others”, seen as aggressors.
It is a horrifying thought that we need to accept the existence of a diversity of beliefs, dogma’s, wrongful leadership and brain damaging human structures as part of our evolutionary reality. What can we do to place it in a positive evolutionary context in order to let common sense, deeper awareness and the true perception of the bigger picture prevail? Opening ourselves up to the next phase of our awareness leaves the old dogma’s and aggressors behind without grip anymore on us as we have let go and fear no more. Awareness of our living surroundings helps. It lives already successfully for billions of years and its secrets are a universal constant. We now apply this to our communities through Sustainocracy and the way of dealing with the multidimensional reality is rapidly spreading across Europe as a evolutionary step in regional development.
Above all and everything there is our surrounding (mother) Nature and Eco-system from which humankind has evolved ever since life appeared on Earth about 4.5 Billion years ago, perceived as “an act of God” or part of the inexplicable “everything”. This Nature evolves around 5 core values that are not dogmatic, not imposed, or brain-damaged. These core values are just there to serve life as a lasting overall reality as long as the conditions on our planet remain right for life to evolve, with or without human beings. Those core values start with what every life form needs in order to live within the optimum Solar-Earth energetic habitat: energy, food, water and air. The life form evolves further based on health (everything unhealthy dies and is replaced by something healthy. Madness is sick and will die) and safety (self-protection through different mechanisms, including the dynamic clustering of human communities around the core values). More complex self aware life forms, such as human beings, add self-aware learning and adaptive decision-making as well as cocreative resilience. Such learning for resilience is based on painful experiences that show us where we went wrong and how we can adjust to survive better. The five core values produce quality of life, abundance, harmony and no fear.
This is a way of organizing the diversity of our human beings, levels of awareness, beliefs and even our madness within the overall context of natural evolutionary values. For every human being health and safety is important, if not for themselves then it is for their offspring and close relatives. By adopting Sustainocracy we can still respect anyone’s subjective viewpoint as we simply invite everyone to work together on the core issues and keep their particular viewpoints to themselves.
Introducing Sustainocracy requires no authorization of hierarchies of dogmatic power, just like a seed of a tree does not need permission to germinate. It just needs the right surroundings to sproat and grow because it is Nature itself opening up into our awareness and guiding our progress. Just like nature stirs up molecules up to the point of dynamic grouping around life forms, Sustainocracy stirs up human beings in awareness to dynamically cluster around prioritized needs to develop and sustain the core values. The process is enhancing and heeling mental development through talented and purpose driven human interaction without prejudice or background dogma’s. Everyone, people and institutions, involved contribute through creativity, authority and positive engagement. Participation, respect, equality and trust are the common denominators in which all that want to contribute are welcome, no one is excluded.
As such Sustainocracy is complying with the first basic need of human evolution: mental health, produced by direct connectivity to the source of our health: Mother Nature.
We need to seriously rethink the fundamental basics of our European Union as a modern evolutionary step within the context of the times we live in today. But first we should regain respect to the original motivation to get to a union in the first place.
This first motivation was PEACE, not economics!
In 1950 the political discourse developed around the avoidance of war. The experiences of worldwar II had lead to the understanding that the continuation of conflict and competition would only damage the communities as war technology had reached a status of mass destruction, proven by the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The constant conflicts between France and Germany (and the UK) around resources also gave rise to new solutions. Resource based competition was to be avoided at all times, a modern insight of deeper awareness after painful war lessons. The European Coal and Steel Union was established among six inner circle countries as a first treaty for peace. The purpose of the Union was directed by a core human value which was needed to create cohesion, productivity and progress through peace.
Liberalizing trade of key resources such as coal and steel would do the trick so that speculation around shortages and self protection was eliminated and replaced by open dialogue and sharing for mutual benefit.
In subsequent steps the freedom of trade, movement of people, goods, services and capital became dominant in the political discours and developed purely from an economical point of view, justified politically by the perception of financial needs to provide social securities and infrastructures. Economically is was also justified by the growing amount of money driven self interests among bankers, politicians and spinoffs. They had been given near to carte blanche to speculate. Risk and investment became a public issue of the crowd, profit was reserved for the private interests.
The original purpose element of peace reduced to the background. Economic trade, labour and services could be taxed and created a huge field for the development of bureaucracy of control and regulatory measures in which the hierarchy of money and power became leading. Time passed by and the European institution became self protective at the expense of it origins. Control and institutional self interests became more important than the core human and regional values that had been the origin of the establishment. Governance and banks and institutions became “partner in crime” rather than “servants to human progress”.
Huge issues demand redirection of Europe , back to its core values
European citizens have been made slave to mortgages, tax and insurrance costs. Most of these contributions were once thought of as measures to avoid social uprise and war but now are systematized hierarchies for institutional self interests. Justice has become an instrument to sustain the hierarchy, not human values.
Meanwhile huge issues demand Europe to get back to its core, its original value driven dialogue and enhance it with even more. The political economic steering on trade, economic speculation and salarized jobs (taxable and controlable by the authorities) has put us in the hands of economic and dictatorial preditors, producing gigantic pollution and destruction of both our habitat and our life expectations.
Our lifestyle also devastates other areas in the world. In the last 40 years more than half the marine population disappeared. We reduced the amount of trees by half in that same period. All this is producing conflicts and massive migration patterns that are being answered with cold political reflection not anywhere near the humanitarian and planetary responsibility that we share among each other.
Climate change affects our overall safety perspectives and sustainable progress. It requires the involvement of all hands and minds to save or adjust what we can through awareness driven cocreation.
Our own STIR research has reached a poin that we can state firmly that the current political economic context is largely responsible for the human made catastrophical issues and that the response of those in charge is insufficient due to their steering from the wrong priorities.
From an anthropological point of view we follow the usual cycle of human complexities. In the 50’s, when the first basis was laid for the creation of Europe, the awareness driven motivation was peace. This introduced the changes in border management, free trade and transparant policies between the first member states. It became consolidated in the organizational complexity of the region through cocreation. It worked so well that others wanted to join.
Then new generations of politicians and economists came on board that forgot rapidly the origins and motivation of the union and only resonated with managing the field of economic growth, greed and control. We have been occupying the field of organized greed (growth economy) ever since we let go of the gold standard in the 70’s as colatoral for our money based systems. We placed the burden of value against labor and resources of the future placing a mortgage on our selves that only grew exponentially.
Since the credit crisis in 2008 we have been in confrontation with our lack of morality. While citizen’s and social entrepreneurs were forced into new awareness driven change, often after a phase of personal chaos, the political agenda evolved into saving whatever they could through capital injections, more control measures and blocking the ethical evaluation of their programs. Gradually tension builds up in Europe due the growing leadership at civilian level and lack of a change mentality at political level. Chaos seems inevitable.
Brexit is a clear wake up call, no matter the outcome. If the political economic agenda does not transform rapidly into one of core human values the catastrophy will be unprecedented and with just one to blame: the EU political economists. The instrument of capital injections is useless when health or safety cannot be bought. We cannot buy our evolution as a species we need to adjust to it. The key resources of our region are our people, not the money in the pockets of bankers or the stack of IOU’s they wave with.
The only way to jump chaos is to accept change as a fact and act accordingly, like so many do already. Yet change needs a powerful and robust reason. Overcoming a crisis is a reason, using our self aware wit too. From self awareness we provide our list of core human values (Sustainocracy) that will unite Europe in cocreation for the next few 100 years:
- local self resilience
- applied awareness
- fullfillment of our basic needs in food, drinking water and healthy air
If we don’t address these issues together then European will fall apart. If we do then cohesion is essential, not a escapist issue anymore for the Britisch or anyone else. In fact, the British isles are very vulnerable because they cannot be easily self sufficient in terms of food and drinking water for the enormous population on the isles. Change in food productivity is an issue for the entire world but people on islands have more at risk than those on the mainland. Nevertheless, the connection with Europe cannot be sustained from the old money and power driven governance context. To solve this a new pact is needed, one based on cocreation guided by the core human values that unite us. We call it Sustainocracy, a change for which we can choose. It will also change our empathy with Africa and the Middle East. Peace will become a driver and human core values lead. Every one participates.