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Our behavior is conditioned by the way our mind works. Every instant we receive multiple impulses through our senses. Our mind receives them, interprets them and than makes decisions accordingly. When we think about it consciously we interfere with the automated way of working of our mind, trying to interpret reality for our understanding. But how can we do that? Based on what criteria do we determine what we believe and understand?
We can’t tell real from imaginary
We react to the world that surrounds us through interpretation of our senses comparing them to experiences and assumptions out of our past. Our experiences are ours, the assumptions are past on by our parents, education systems and culture. Some of these assumptions may well be millions of years old. It is called the “evolution of our consciousness”. This awareness building is form of mental disturbance, disputing consciously what we sense and believe to know.
We believe things are real until we find out the contrary, which we then believe is true. Every day we awaken into a new reality by living through new experiences and interpreting them with experiences lived or assumptions tought and commonly accepted. If only the past can be interpreted by our minds and the future is full of novelties to be discovered, how real is then our present and the decisions we make as a consequence?
We create fake realities to overcome our fear for the unknown
We need touchable realities to trust our perception of what we think is true and hence controllable by our insecure minds. We create fake realities that we believe are touchable and hence safe, such as money, houses, cities, cars. The more we are surrounded by these touchables the more secure we feel. “Realism” we call this, even though we deeply inside know that it is all an imaginary sense of security.
Our quest of living life is to “undisturb” ourselves
We find two ways to address this quest. The first is to avoid disturbance by creating “securities”, environments in which we feel safe and happy with what we perceive because it is congruent and common among people, providing what we think we need. We call this society and culture. Whatever disturbs this “culture” generates fear and uncertainty with a large array of actions to try to re-establish the status quo. We avoid the acceptance that we are “mentally disturbed” by accepting and defending a commonly agreed definition of what is supposed to be real.
The other way to avoid disturbance of the mind is to open up to knowledge and new experiences. We accept that we are “mentally disturbed” as a condition of a higher level of self aware life and progress. We undisturb ourselves by acquiring understanding through learning and experimentation. We can even do this together.
Positive and negative disturbance
We can address our mental disturbance in many ways. When we get to understand the musical reality of the interaction of all living substances we can also learn to appreciate our own complex mixture of senses. We can conduct a positive and harmonically disturbed life by seeking positivism in our perceptions. We learn to enjoy colors, tastes, emotions and energy streams. We learn to detect patterns and act accordingly, interacting with our fellow human beings and environment in a positive, constructive and progressively harmonic way. We do not fear the unknown but learn to value it from its universal energetic and harmonic reality. We can even learn to help others who live the same reality in the midst of fears and negativeness.
Global shift or Quantum Leap
We currently seem to live a global human culture of generalized fear that has been built up over the historical past by allowing the summing up of fake realities in a hierarchy of control. People and societies live through crisis now that open up our “artificially undisturbed” minds to new natural realities and awareness. The tendency is to transform the generalized negativeness to generalized positivism as people break through from their own mental blockage and get positively disturbed again, which in essence is our nature. When we connect again in this positivism we are able to create new societies based on new realities and common understandings, eliminating fear in the process.
Some of us believe that we are probably living in both the most mentally disturbed and exciting times ever. Whatever comes out of all this will depend on how we deal with negativism and positivism, new realities, securities and our interpretation of sustainable human progress when we open up to new awareness.
With the kickoff of the first sustainocratic initiative in the city of Eindhoven (the Netherlands) the first step is made to create a “purpose driven economy”. What is the difference with what we have today? And why is it important for the rest of the world to follow the experiment in Eindhoven and, better still, start one of their own?
Our current economies are not purpose but consequence driven. The human being is positioned as compulsory consumer. The entire institutionalized society is focused on creating a mountain of wealth around this consumer that gives a sense of abundance at all times. The only way to access this abundance is through financial means. Some of these means are individually obtained through the production, logistics and sales infrastructure necessary to maintain this mountain of abundance. Other get paid out of the hierarchies funded through taxation on this consumer organization. Or through speculation on material resources contained in this “having” type of culture. And finally also debt.
The consequences of such consumer economy show a growing tendency of (negative) influences that need attention through investments. Think of infrastructures, healthcare organizations, police, etc attending the attitude of greed and its effects on the human being, physically and mentally. This also shows an exponential growth which is equally reflected in the world economy through the costs of societies. At the same time we see our environment and human behavior deteriorate fast.
The model of economies of growth purely based on unlimited consumption and the consequences thereof, is obsolete because we use our natural resources wrongly, destroy our environment, sicken ourselves and eventually eliminate our evolutionary chances.
Fragmented complex society
We know this now, including scientific proof, but have difficulties in changing the course of society. We created a very complex mesh of fragmented financial entities with dependencies and interests among each other on which powers and influences are being based. Each institutions has a perceived right to exist and defend its own interests. There is not one single institution that takes full responsibility for sustainable human progress. The institutional mesh is based on fragmented self interest and competition.
Key is the understanding that no institutional specialization can take holistic responsibility for human safety, health or sustainable progress. It is the human being itself that needs to take this responsibility. What went wrong in the consequence driven consumer economy was that the human being delegated its wellness through fragmented institutionalized structures that grew into tremendously inflated organs like an abscess or cancer would do on a sick body. Instead of serving humankind they try to serve themselves. This fragmented type of human organization is institutionally sick with the risk of the cancers to develop themselves further and destroy our evoutionary chances.
Purpose driven economies
The big difference with the old consumer economy is that it is not based on consumption and growth but on true value creation (purpose). It is not based on massive productivity and distribution but on local content. It is a circular type of economy where “purpose” is defined according local human needs, obtained through local effort and using local resources in a circular way.
To achieve a purpose driven economy an intense transformation is needed. But it can be done using the same institutional instruments of the old society. Each participant needs to cure its cancer like development and abuse and become functional again within the scope of local for local requirements. It requires a different mentality and true transformative leadership in each institution involved.
Abundance is not presented through logistic channels from around the world, it is created by local cooperative efforts. In such local cooperation we see the four traditional human values come together: attitude, creativity, environment and wisdom. Those values in the old economy were split into separate institutions that do not act locally but globally, not in an integrated way but based on self interest, greed and fragmented excellence. Now we bring this global expertise back to the local context.
Using what we have learned
The great advantage of today is that the old consequence driven consumer economy has left us with a huge amount of accumulated experience and material knowledge thanks to the concentrated specialized, fragmented functions of expertise that developed over time. This would never have occurred if this phase of humankind had not taken place. For a long time it was very constructive. Now it has become destructive.
We hence do not criticize our past but use the best of its elements in our new progress. We can of course be critical to those old time forces that try to prevent us from creating purpose driven progress. It is just a matter of time for that opposition to disappear. Eventually the purpose driven economies will develop there where the old one has become obsolete, entered into a crisis, providing room for renewal, not just in a physical, organizational sense but especially emotionally, spiritual and rationally when people become aware.
Complex transformative process
It is a complex process that is typically developed locally and bottom up with executive support to make it happen. The reason that it happened in Eindhoven first and not yet in another region is simply because this small Dutch town unites the essential ingredients to make it happen. What are these ingredients:
- Awareness at executive level
- Open democracy of true equality
- Level of education and experience
- The right people at the right time
These qualities produce the necessary flexibility that can address the future with adaptive determination in a complex modern world. People take responsibility individually, convince their surroundings to support change and find ways to make it happen. The purpose is found in the essentials of human existence: food, health, security, wellness (housing, energy, etc) and knowledge. When it becomes clear that the global consequence driven consumer economy is obsolete speed is required to create a new sense of reality and responsibility, including a change in behavior. When the time of old abundance is over, new abundance needs to be created, preferably on time.
Wellness is not a cost or right but the result of a responsibility and hard work (purpose) together. When circumstances change stability is found in change too. In a sustainocracy the purpose driven economy is initiated together. We do this by making human wellness a purpose driven issue of the local population with the support of the accumulated institutional excellence and enhancing potential.
Purpose driven economic development based on sustainocratic complexities is needed to save humankind from the present day destructive expectations caused by the consequence driven consumer economy. If not we will face disaster. Yet if we assume responsibility individually and institutionally we also face a huge transformative challenge that will upset everything that we have known so far. The choice between destruction or working together on a healthier perspective is easy for me. I have become self aware and dedicated more than a decade to come to these views and initiatives. It is a start, giving comfort that humankind has a choice indeed. A choice that simply depends on one own and not someone else. But I realize that it is a difficult one, not only when one has to make it, but also for me to reach out to the world and make the choice known to all. If one does not know than no choice will be made. My personal challenge is hence multiple. Make it happen for myself, provide proof to my surroundings and reach out to all of you with sufficient clarity that you take sufficient confidence in the course that I have taken in order to let go of old securities and create new ones for yourselves and your direct surroundings.
Awareness of the need of a paradigm shift is the beginning of a complex personal process. The problem resides in the fact that the rest of the world is still wound up in the old pattern that one wants to take a distance of. The next step is to take responsibility. Instead of trying to convince other people of the need of the paradigm shift one gets to a point of taking personal responsibility. It is impossible to tell others what to do so one ends up doing it oneself. But starting the pre-phase of a new paradigm is a huge responsibility that is not yet backed by your own surrounding. In a practical sense: if you take a distance from a money driven paradigm to start one based on human wellness or human sustainable progress you find yourself totally disconnected from the ruling (human) life supporting system that surrounds you, without an alternative yet to support the pioneer. That is one of the reasons why one finds hardly any support for a paradigm shift. One stands alone. Letting go of old securities before new ones are installed is work of “fools”. One can easily crash in the attempt or be crushed by the old system that does not want paria like you disputing the system. You become an outcast, an outlaw, a paria, a loner, an idealist, at the worst “a weirdo” or at the best “an adventurer” ……
When you anyhow decide to take the responsibility of a paradigm shift you enter an empty world. This world needs everything to be created still. The paradigm you envisage is in your head but does not yet materialize in true reality. You have become a sort of Amundsen, Scott, Stanley or Livingstone, a Niel Armstrong, a person who set out to discover and create a new world out of nothing, just a dream….. You are an unsupported conquerer, a single handed constructor of a new world, a first seed of a new civilization landing to find fertile grounds. It may sound dramatic, romantic even but the emptiness, loneliness and hugeness of the environment and challenge is both scary and exciting. The drama of being such pioneer is in the paradox of where one comes from and decided to leave, and the idealism that made one start the venture. The old world that one leaves behind is totally opposite, a miror image, another dimension. Having the possibility to compare one finds the enormous contradictions that also reside within the pioneer himself and made him finally choose. Living and taking responsibility in the transformation is hence a magnificent adventure of tremendous inner and outer contrasts. It becomes a spiritual and realistic voyage of wisdom and idealism, a “can do” experience based on fundaments of inner trust in abilities, purpose and motivation. The driving force is so strong that fear becomes the first challenge that is overcome.
When I defined sustainocracy and started implementing it I realize that I am taking people and institutions on a round and maybe even one-way trip to an empty new world. This world is empty for their awareness as well as their practical reality. I ask them to help construct a new reality as if we had landed on a new planet, not copying our old rules from home but taking the opportunity to start a new civilization based on ideals, views and lessons learned. As these people work with me on this new planet they know that they can fly back continuously to the old world to go get materials and support, or to stay again after the work is done. This simple security gives them comfort to be with me for a while. The first loads of people and institutions come with disbelieve and discomfort, arriving at an empty space but with the inner reassurance that it is only temporary. For me however it is different. I am there to stay. Why they travelled with me has to do with their own choice or some imposition by the old hierarchy of the old world that seeks some old speculative values in the venture. They often carry their old habbits and manners, finding it difficult to let go and learn to behave in a different setting.
Conducting such new human world in its state of birth feels impressive. I become the creator in a way myself. A creator who is deprived of everything yet has everything. A paradox of the Wholiness where duality comes together in the All. It sounds romantic again but it is not. Spiritually it feels very rich but in practical sense it is bloody hard work with very little aparent reward or recognition. Who cares? I do, and that is enough.
While we work like aliens in the new paradigm people get acquainted with the new settings and the warmth of constructing something together. Some decide to stay permanently and slowly the community grows. Institutions that participate start new initiatives based on the new rules and situation, or decide to transform entirely into the new world. When that happens the creations becomes of everyone and not just of the creator. The pioneer can step back and enjoy the development of the new paradigm, concentrating just on the format and letting content flow freely and creatively. A new world is born and ships full of newcomers arrive to offer their help and their own pioneership to further enhance and grow out the new world within the paradigm.
On October 11th 2012 the very first small colony of the complex sustainocratic paradigm makes itself known to the old world. AiREAS is the first ever sustainocratic venture of the world and initiates its activities in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. Its purpose is to create new human dynamics in the city that makes itself healthy and vital instead of heaving to depend on the consequence driven regulatory activities of governance when unhealthy dynamics cause discomfort and economic problems. The initiative is like building a community on Mars. It is a colony that is still fragile, consisting mostly of people that have a return ticket home and enjoy the adventure of the novelty of the challenge. Some believe that old Earth rules still apply and others are not even aware that they are in a new world. Yet it is a start. The next step is to develop the fragile situation into a more solid and permanent setting, a true precedence for the rest of the old world to relate to. The new paradigm has to prove itself by providing sufficient comfort and security to the early participants for them to wish to stay and not go back. AiREAS relates just to the environmental issue of a sustainable human society as defined by me. When it proves its worth to the participants it is only a small step to expand its mission to the other human values. Then we will see that the paradigm expands rapidly, attracting massive amounts of new people that overcome their personal fears of letting go of the old world to enter the opportunities of the new one with trust, ideals and ideas. They have all become creators and the new paradigm becomes a common good.