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This second blog about STIR’s first lustrum deals with awareness and education as it developed in STIR. On the day of our announcement in 2009 Nicolette Meeder participated and found her own life’s mission to commit to STIR. Now she is founding partner of the STIR Academy.
In the early phases of the STIR Foundation “City of Tomorrow” we already developed very strong impulses to try to get an understanding on the complexity of the “human being” itself. My own very deep moments of inner illumination had made me aware of new dimensions of spirituality beyond the dogmatic mechanisms of churches and within the true meaning and significance of life. It also made me aware of awareness and life before and after enlightenment. This all had come together in a clear understanding of the “I am” breakthrough and the revelation of the abundance of the universe, the force of life through energetic cycles and the disturbance of self awareness until the moment of spiritual awakening.
All this also revealed a critical view on our evolutionary path and the way we reached a point of singularity that would either produce a gigantic collapse or a mayor breakthrough of humankind. In my own research I came to the conclusion that one cannot happen without the other. The only difference with the past is that I envisaged the possibility of a mayor breakthrough and collapse occurring peacefully through a burst of awareness rather than a traditional confrontation through arms.
In the first blog “re-positioning society” I described the practical possibilities to address the global issues through local solutions using sustainocratic ventures and the transformation economy. Its precedents in Eindhoven have made the working and values visible. Expanding it across the world will take tensions away through applied knowledge and integral system and social innovations.
To consolidate this the practical approach should repeat itself as much as possible but also should become part of our learning processes.
The transformation of education
My own learning and awareness processes had shown me that life itself is a teacher and our education at school would need to change too if we want to prepare our next generations within the context of sustainable human progress. Many people already showed a critical standpoint on the current way we educated our children and displayed the wish to change the system. Within STIR it became an ongoing process too.
When I developed the societal redefinition by positioning our interests in awareness and co-creation using human values rather than economic growth and greed, it became clear that our educational system was not adequate anymore either. Our constitution states that “education serves government and business interests” which is a relic from our industrialization and history. No wonder we feel that our children are being educated to populate a puppeteer theater rather that develop insight on life’s essentials and personal development.
Every interaction with our school system got us into trouble between management, teachers and pupils. The students loved our humanitarian approach, many teachers did too but the management and system were totally against. “Entrepreneur of your own life” is of course not done when the hierarchies in society demand docile youngsters who look for a lasting job to pay for their mortgage and loans in a consumer driven money dependent system’s reality.
In STIR Academy we created all kinds of instruments based on the development of awareness through physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual impulses. Examples of our invitation to a new world have been filmed (in Dutch)
And in English
We designed minors and mayors, university lectures, games (“The secrete” and “The hero”), challenges, etc. but the old system would not connect massively to our initiatives. The financial dependence on state financial means and inspections blocked openess to educational innivation and modern insight of system’s and human complexities. Government was still very much focus on trying to solve its problems through the money driven mentality of the last decades as described in a recent blog.
If we wanted to proceed with our intentions we were forced to build our own school and education platforms. We started to work with the “drop outs” from the old system that either had become a financial burden and bureaucratic challenge, or became new age entrepreneurs through their own chaos and awareness development. They are all talented human beings that have a lot to offer but fall out of the old system for many reasons. We learned to see all these people as potential pioneers of the new world that was arising and slowly started to challenge the old one by making the power of this type of learning visible to the world. We could further facilitate that by:
- Offering precedents of change and insights from all over the world
- Getting local speakers to address those interested with new insights and their personal experiences
- Challenge people to not just listen but also stand up and do something with the inspiration
- Help those who do step forward with guidance and support
- Connect those who are ready to increasingly complex co-creative ventures or challenge them to start one of their own
The STIR Academy started to develop leadership HUBs (STIR Portals) through those who were interested in displaying a changing world to their own community and see what happens. STIR Academy developed relationships with intellectuals and new age pioneers across the world, inspiring itself through the wisdom of nature and the universe.
In Eindhoven we had experimented with this type of value driven humanistic education by showing that our entire live is a school. We live through our own cyclic patterns all the time, developing awareness as we go along. We needed not just address the cognitive basic of education but also the emotional, spiritual and physical values of reflection through action. If we wanted the cultural change we needed to facilitate the entire cycle of human complexities by inviting people to simply do it, experiment and challenge themselves to work together in meaningful ventures.
We now envisage STIR Hubs everywhere, simply exchanging knowledge and best practice through internet, skype presentations and online training. We all take from STIR and give back, forming an organic platform that runs itself. The only guidance is the STIR definition of sustainable human progress and the co-creative positioning of progress in the top of our complexity model
AiREAS was the first sustainocratic venture and STIR Academy the very first school to live life by learning to understand it. We also needed to transform the practical reality of our daily life. AiREAS would measure our progress and STIR Academy provides us with the understanding. FRE2SH was born to deal with the practicalities in our daily lives.
But that I will deal with in the third and final blog about our first 5 years.
One of my ambitions is to create a world wide knowledge sharing and consciousness building network for measurable sustainable human progress and the development of individual sustainable leadership.
Now I am ready to set it up.
It is called STIR. Officially it is still the Foundation called Sustainocracy, Transformation, Indexation, Research. In practice it is a learning cooperative between people who want to experiment with their own life, authority and daily responsibility for sustainable development of themselves, their families and their local community.
I already have a large personal network of excellent lecturers and intellectuals connected to me via a large diversity of specialisms. My own sustainocratic work gives us plenty of things to do together and a motivation to stick together. This shows me that again that knowledge is only of mutual interest when it can be used in real life. That is where new knowledge develops too to enhance progress even further.
I work with the professors directly not with their institutions. Professors are human with human motivations. Universities are not.
That does not mean that we do not work with the institutions. On the contrary. But we use them for what they represent from a specialised research perspective and detailed specialised education on scientific topics. In STIR we translate this deep knowledge in true sustainable human progress which is a different learning process all together. That is why professors like to work with STIR because it brings their specialism into contact with the tremendous diversity of real life. It is hence a reciprocal process in which the educators learn as well.
STIR invites top lecturers, professors, visionary people, scientific researchers and exemplary pioneers to select or create their own best minors (a short block of lectures and practical exercises that last about 6 month) to be shared with us on and offline. A minor remains in STIR as long as there is sufficient (Global) demand for it.
I expect to be able to offer 100’s of minors for you to choose from. But following a training is not enough. That is not the purpose of STIR. The real purpose is to apply knowledge for local sustainable human progress and make change happen through your commitment. In STIR we also work with Sustainocratic cooperations for the extremely complex issues. When they develop in your area we can budget the STIR education and make it available free of charge.
The only stable factor in life is change.
STIR grows through fractal patterns. We started in Eindhoven and invite anyone to become member free of charge. With enough members in a region we set up a local off line community, otherwise we provide tutorials online.
STIR mission: to contribute to sustainable human progress globally (Global issues, local solutions, global application ).
STIR focus: develop the consciousness and sustainable leadership.
STIR method: lifelong learning by purpose driven experimentation, open reflection and knowledge sharing.
STIR levels: the 5 levels of consciousness, individually and as a community.
STIR infrastructure: Online (Global) and Offline (Local).
We do not tell you how you should live your life, we just help you understand.
Membership fee: free of charge but not free of commitment (you commit to sustainable human progress)
Lifelong learning fee: 1% of published average local yearly wages, per person per year. Or free of charge when within local sustainocratic cooperation.
Education: You choose your own education out of all available minors. The more members the more educators.
The first year (2014) will be free of charge also for the learning fee as we build up the network.
Sign up through the website. I will soon publish the first set of online minors (short intensive training of several weeks).
Also sign up if you have a minor to offer. It is a cooperation so feel free to contribute with ideas and initiative. STIR is not just me but all that sign up for the higher good of sustainable development of humankind.
From Sept 21 -23 a group of academic and entrepreneurial visionary intellectuals from 14 countries met for the annual conference of EURO-SPES. The topic was “Spirituality & Sustainability” and the gathering took place in Visegrad (Hungary), 40 km north of Budapest. Our organizing host was Prof. Laszlo Zsolnai.
Spirituality is a word that in the world of hard materialism is being neglected or despised as being soft or religious. This is a huge misconception and a true mental and practical blockage for development of true sustainable progress. Spirituality has various definitions as participating scientists correctly pointed out but the general description of the word is “the inner quest for the true meaning of our existence”. For people who live the simplified life of materialism such quest is of course a scary confrontation with their own consciousness and certainly something to be avoided. The world of the “having” is exactly opposite of the world of the “being”. Both reject each other like poles of a magnet. The transit from a “having” kind of mentality to one in search for identity (being) is usually referred to as a “crisis”. The process is one of letting go (voluntarily or involuntarily) of material securities and trying to find comfort in the new world of inner feelings and meaning.
In such open field of emotions people start reacting in many ways, some aggressive or depressed, others become artists or find unprecedented hidden forces of leadership. During the conference we were enlightened with views in each of these fields of expertise. Academic research is showing the importance of spirituality for humankind to recover from crises and develop sustainable evolutionary progress through the renewal of true meaning. It represents a combination of rationalization of inner search for meaning and putting the growing awareness into practice in experiments around new ways of organizing ourselves, individually and as a community. This is called the pre-paradigm, a phase before, after or within crises, in which alternatives develop to a reigning paradigm that is falling apart. Such pre-paradigms are always confrontational to the one that is being disputed. A pre-paradigm uses the logic of spiritual consciousness and is usually neglected and even denied by those who are unaware, or intentional to uphold the existing paradigm out of personal or institutional interests. The old paradigm has lawful support while the new paradigm has the power of timeless meaningfulness.
It was shown that such human evolutionary patterns of obsolete but reigning paradigm, crisis, pre-paradigm development through spirituality, and the opposition between old and new paradigm, are a natural evolutionary phenomena of a self-aware species. Even the dramatic consequences of a powerful yet obsolete paradigm, that could cause death and destruction, can be seen as a universal natural disaster hitting humankind, forcing ourselves to renew our spiritual awareness and develop a new evolutionary cycle. But this natural phenomena is of course not an excuse for those who are aware of it to let it happen just like that. The force of reasoning and new paradigm development is nowadays, thanks to many modern elements of peaceful reflection, education and opposition, capable of overcoming a forthcoming crisis without the natural need for or potential threat of a mass destruction.
Sustainability was explained from an existential and practical point of view, using also nature as a point of inspirational reference. Various presentations coincided about the forthcoming mayor crash, a melt down of the world order of economics after decades of exponential growth and speculation. For the first time academic financial specialists looked at the broader picture and showed the unsustainable truth of current economic materialism. Not many presentations could pinpoint yet a solution. Some were still tempted to use economic instruments that were contrasted by others, including me, as “decades too late” and at this stage unrealistic and equally obsolete.
Solutions needed to be found in the inner world of reflection, awareness and consciousness, not the external worlds of old material securities. My own practical presentation of sustainocracy was well received. As I was one of the very first to present my case I had three more days left to get some deepening reflection about it with those who connected with the complexity of my line of thinking and my practical proof of concept that already went beyond the phase of pre-paradigm. During the questioning rounds after each presentation the power of my own model of human complexities proved its worth for my own inner guidance for reflection and interaction with the others.
The complexity of the current global situation was also beautifully shown through expressions of art around the world, presented by academic scientists, and available to create awareness in a difficult world of opposition, apathy, ignorance, commercial over-communication, fear and manipulation. The surprising beauty or challenging intellectual creativity brought forward in all kinds of artistic disciplines was mind blowing. Speakers could pinpoint where the problems were in the unbelievable massiveness of humankind in the world today, but also that solutions were not easily at hand. Humankind was expecting solutions from the external material world while all agreed that the real solutions needed to be found in the inner world of meaning through spirituality and structural renewal of our civilization’s organization around life and evolutionary essentials.
Many presentations therefor referred to the necessary inner quest for reason and meaning, not just as an individual but also as an organization and entire civilization. Many also referred to the powerful explosive potential that spirituality has when it hits the individual and the masses. “Water must flow freely” (biologist and journalist) Janos Vargha stated when he explained his decades of battle against the system of political and economic madness when the Danube was nearly doomed for exploitation with damaging effects beyond repair. He won!
And so will spirituality as this too must flow freely. The dam that was going to affect natural life, including human’s, in and around the Danube, is now a metaphor for the blocking forces of artificial institutionalized economic and political interests that stand free flow of awareness and reason in the way. Public opposition builds up powerfully and eventually breaks through the dam with force. Right now we are all like Janos in the 80’s, claiming the free flow of meaningful reason and renewal in a peaceful but demanding way, before damage is irreparable. We have time at our side, those who try to uphold their unsustainable power position do not. This personal reflection should give us trust, no matter what happens:
“Spiritual meaning will eventually win as it always has, simply because it has eternity on its side while the temporary power of the self proclaimed mighty dies with those mortals that try to uphold it in their lifetime”.
The encounter was very powerful indeed and finalized with people who found each other in meaning, reasoning and purpose. Friendships were born, alliances too, and solutions were shared that went beyond the stage of experimental pre-paradigm. During that weekend in Visegrad along the Danube bend of Hungary the cultivators of a new human future shared seeds to sow across the world. The new paradigm of sustainable human progress exists and will grow there where true spirituality meets with purpose driven leadership and entrepreneurship.