An open space for global conversation
Are you sure? You seem to be arguing for what I've described for the sake of arguing:
"The term People-Centered Economic Development derives from the work of Carl R Rogers and his advocacy for a person-centered approach to therapy. Given access to the necessary resources, he believed, people could resolve their own problems flourish and grow."
People-centered economics places this into the context of business and economics.
Now can you show me who we've enslaved in the last 25 years?
Do you not see your own slavery? Look in a mirror and you will see a slave. The only ones who are not slaves are the ones who have dropped out of the system, having learned they their lives are not dependent upon it. Look at our economic systems and your place within it and what you do to sustain it even though it does not serve you - and actually harms you. How do you define slavery?
I clearly see my own slavery. I see it as my being forced to do things that serve others at my expense. Which is why I suggest letting the current unsustainable economic model fail - but only after people are better educated than they are now, so that there is a structure in place to fill the void.
Perhaps I’m a glutton for punishment, but I’m going to try to convey what I am talking about using another metaphor.
Let’s say that you and I are both looking at a puzzle. They are both 3X5 and they both depict the same rural scene that is quite lovely. But I start noticing something odd at the edges, and I start wondering if the puzzle is complete. The more I look, the more something doesn’t make sense.
So I go out into the world and I start collecting puzzle pieces and discover that this puzzle is really odd in that it is a puzzle in a puzzle in a puzzle in a puzzle. Each puzzle is rectangular, and because the puzzle is composed of many puzzles, there are a lot of flat edges. My assumption that flat edges means the outside of the puzzle was obviously a mistake, but until I explored the oddities, I didn't know that. I insisted that flat edges ONLY appear at the outside of a puzzle.
By the time my puzzle is completed, I see that the original 3X5 is really just a painting hanging on the wall above a table holding a vase of flowers. But then, noticing that there seems to be more, I finally get all of the pieces together and discover that the painting includes those things but now I see that I can see the whole room and there is a sliding glass door through which I see the ocean – with surf and seagulls in motion – and I can hear the sounds as well.
The reason you say that I accuse you of saying things that you are not saying is because I too see the original painting, and agree with what you see, but I see that it is not isolated from its surroundings. In fact, it’s a very small part of a much more beautiful and entirely cohesive image.
I’m only saying that by moving the original puzzle pieces around, you don’t fundamentally change the original puzzle or the problem that you see. This means that you will recreate the same problems. And because yours is not a complete image, you are discounting the very thing that you are looking for – motivation. (A way to sell your idea) And you will not find or sell the motivation unless you see the bigger picture. The smaller picture is the same old box that seems to imprison society. It is too oppressive to sell. To change the outcome, you have to step out of the little box to find new ways of thinking about the world. Such ways do exist and some are already living it.
The larger picture is life-affirming and it extends forever in every direction. The purpose is far grander than the small purpose of living your life in service of others or even the co-op for the benefit of self and humanity (which is nothing more than a different form of capitalism that ultimately devalues all.) In the larger picture, morality is built-in, but not by a group or a god, and it does not devalue even one single individual. It respects and empowers all, enslaving none.
I'm not so sure of that Gail. It may be you who fails to see the the fuller landscape.
How can we determine that when I present something that has been reasoned and acted on and your position is to suggest that it's wrong or incomplete, without bring able to show your alternative?
Seeing the fuller landscape is the point being made to USAID for example, in our call 4 years ago.
"I hope we continue to realize ever more fully that outside the box and inside the box have only a box in the way. We outside the box know quite a bit of what's going on, many times in exquisite detail, perhaps in ways that those inside the box can't quite as easily access if at all. We are grossly underfunded in favor of missiles, bombs, and ordnance, which is about 100% backwards."
If you want to read what others see as an alternative to capitalism, there are people like Michel Bauwens (P2P Foundation) Paul Hartzog, Douglas Rushkoff ,Chris Cook (Open Capital) and David Korten who may interest you..
We have been dealing with the here and now of those capitalism does not reach, rather than waiting for it to self destruct. The Occupy movement began as a protest against corporate greed. Similarly our founder's tent fast in 2003 was for the US govt to sign the International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights.
I'm not trying to offer an utopian vision, only what I know is possible from what has already been done. New ideas will no doubt evolve. I'm open to discuss their merits, if there's anything you can show me.
Let me try it this way:
When the “hypothesis” of a unified field was tested and then quantifiable, empirical data showed that it was a legitimate “theory”, heads were spinning. Since then (only 25 years ago) nearly 1,000 studies have confirmed the results found in the first. People have the power to either greatly reduce or eliminate war, crime therefore punishment, violence of every kind, traffic accidents, house fires, hospital admissions, psychiatric admissions, and routine medical costs to name a few. At the same time, using the same technique, there is quantifiable empirical data that shows that they have the ability to increase social benefits, such as increased prosperity, increased new business filings, increased patents, increased social functions that bring people together into/as communities.
The technique that will do all of these amazing things is nothing more than group meditation. The hypothesis was that if the square root of one percent of a population gathered together in groups to meditate together, that social ills in the area would decrease by at least 16%. Many studies show much more than that. Some studies place this closer to 24%.
Some governments around the world have confirmed the findings, as have major educational institutions around the world. It has been tested in major cities and in war zones. So why, if so many governments (including the US’s NIH) confirm the findings, are you not hearing about it? After all, Einstein’s Theory required only a single time experiment before the scientific community was publicly rejoicing. Why not this with nearly 1,000 times more experiments that ALL say the same thing?
Because if the square root of one percent of a region’s population can do that much, what if one percent or even ten percent of the people gathered 2ce/day to meditate?
It would be the equivalent of declaring peace without the consent of the "leaders" who are either part of the wealthy elite or those who are bought and paid for by the wealthy elite. We would wrest control of our destinies without a single expression of anger and there would be nothing that they could do about it. We could bring sanity into our world that not even a politician could destroy.
But what if nations around the world were to declare peace?
That’s easy. The global economy would fail. We have a war-based economy. War is profitable. Peace is not.
What if people were to suddenly become healthy – and there is even more evidence coming in regarding the benefits of meditation for the individual? The economy would take a severe hit. Illness is profitable. Wellness is not.
What if people were to suddenly eliminate crime? The economy would take a hit. The criminal justice system is a behemoth. Crime is profitable. Peace is not.
Meditation has proven benefits for the one and for the whole. People who medittate start using the whole brain, rather than sporadic and incoherent firings of neurons that non-meditators have. Activity in the amygdala (the fear center of the brain) is reduced. At the same time, activity in the frontal cortex (the executive center responsible for rational long-term decisions) is increased and it actually thickens. Meditators think more rationally. As a matter of fact, it has been proven that meditators see more than non-meditators when they look at their reality. At the same time, contrary to what was thought for a long time, IQ actually goes UP. (partial list of benefits that show how meditation is able to cure many illnesses)
If people have the power to end most social ills and create many social benefits, and there is clear empirical evidence that they do, then what more can a people do if they meditate together? What if we could find better energy sources or better economic models by approaching life with healthy brains? So where is the funding that would establish that? Not so easy to find. It turns out that chaos is profitable and peace is not. There is great incentive for the most wealthy to keep this information out of our hands.
Could a people who meditate together and have higher IQ solve more problems? Could we find new energy sources, ways to end droughts and hunger? Could we come up with new ideas – either by individuals or groups – that are earth and people friendly? My personal experience, and the experience of many already using their power, is that YES. We are powerful as individuals and as groups –but – and here’s the weird thing – the group has no power over the individual. That’s because time is not what we were taught that it was. It hasn’t yet been a five years since the first empirical evidence came in substantiating that. And it is on this point, and how it relates to humankind, where I see us coming into conflict.
It’s impossible to find the extent of human power when funding is restricted because the answers are so detrimental to the powerful few who profit from our enforced ignorance. There hasn’t been a single call from any government or major educational facility that depends on government or religious funding for a FREE experiment that we can all participate in so that we can prove to ourselves that we do not need inequality, nor do we need to subject ourselves to the will of those who profit from our lack.
Because meditation is free, the people need only a willingness to learn about the extent of their own individual powers. There has been a LOT of research into it – mostly in the area of sports. Thoughts are powerful things. Trusted sources who are not dependent on government funding need to promote it. I’ve tested my power. I know how great it is and could potentially be. But where is the call for the great experiment that will lift all out of poverty and want if there are studies that prove that we have that ability right now? Why are the physicists who are promoting the “theory” ignored? Why isn’t this all over the news? Because what you hear on the news is being manipulated and you only get the news that the major corporations who own the networks are willing for you to hear. Big Brother is afraid of you.
This leaves your group with a problem.
What is easier to sell: The idea that we come together into a cooperative society, where the minority is subject to the will of a majority (slavery) – but this time – we will defend it “our” brand of slavery, or is it easier to sell the idea that there is now evidence that suggests that individuals and groups of individuals are so powerful that they don’t need a job they hate to put food on their table or clothes on their back? All their needs can be met – including the need for people to come together to be part of a vibrant, inter-active community.
Both are frightening to consider given the unsustainability of the current economic model, but as evidence of peoples’ power already exists, it takes only a few days to see believable results for those individuals who try their hand at conscious manifestation to put things in their personal realities. It’s really very easy. I don’t need money to take care of me – not to protect me or feed me or clothe me. That’s because reality is multidimensional. The world is not flat. We have the ability to end hunger NOW.
With respect to the Integral hypothesis, I haven’t yet seen any evidence supporting the Integral hypothesis. So how will you sell your idea? I have heard references to empirical data by anthropologists, but the American Anthropologist Association (AAA) say that anthropology is one of the humanities, not a science. If your hypothesis can be supported with evidence, thus become a legitimate theory, I will be as excited about it as you are. If your hypothesis frees me from slavery, I will call out from the housetop in support of it.
Perhaps the reason your idea hasn’t gained momentum is because you haven’t yet thought about how to make your idea more understandable to the average jo(e) out there? Sell it to me rather than defend it. Use regular language, not complex language. I do not see what you see. Help me see what you think I am missing. Explain the inconsistencies with scientific thought and method. Tell me why the most exciting and easiest to implement parts are too “out there” for you to consider. Why should I settle for less when I can have more? Why should humanity settle for less when it can BE more? How is your suggestion not just another form of capitalism? How is it not just another form of slavery? I really don’t get it. But I’d really like to know what you think that I am missing if it is me that is looking at the small piece of the puzzle and you who are looking at the larger puzzle.
At one point (above), I said, "It’s impossible to find the extent of human power when funding is restricted". I mean to say: In our CURRENT socio-economic system, it is impossible...