In order to progress on the path towards implementing a more connected paradigm into our lives, it would serve us to be more vigilant in observing our overly separative patterns and belief systems, while implementing more coherent, unity-based belief systems. We witness these overly separative pathologies daily as we internally and outwardly judge and attack perspectives that contradict our own.
At the core of our overly separative paradigm is the deep seeded misconception and belief that says, “we must sacrifice our authenticity and compete with each other to survive and/or gain personal value.” Regardless of how true this belief may prove to be within the context of our present world conditions, ultimately, it is this belief that is creating the conditions and not the other way around. The structure of a paradigm built from this belief reinforces itself by making cooperation and authenticity dangerous. It’s dangerous to tell the truth, be yourself, and aim to help others when the rules of the game are to lie, cheat, and exploit everyone else. Thus when something is a ‘threat’ to our financial income, or an idea challenges our belief system (our personal value); our impulse is to either lash out and destroy, or submit and surrender. The more we as a collective embrace the belief/idea “With a cooperative approach we are more supported in the actualization of our individual value, and far more equipped to survive and thrive than we are with a separative/competitive approach” the more we will realize this idea experientially.
Living life by greater principals of unity in this day and age is not an easy feat. It is true that if we are too vulnerable in the wrong situations we will likely be taken advantage of. However, the idea is not to be naïve, but rather to use discernment and tact while applying greater principals of honesty and cooperation. We may need to act defensively at times when societies pathologies encroach upon our lives, but instead of ‘fighting back’ with old paradigm patterns, the goal is to neutralize the negative flow of energy, thus ending its perpetual cycle. Every time we can respond to aggression or competition with tranquility and justice we diminish a portion of the negative feedback loop that is perpetuated throughout the world.
Harnessing our natural desires and drives (doing our personal work)
As we begin to honestly survey our deep-seeded beliefs and identify the pathologies that stem from them we begin to develop the capacity to turn off autopilot and consciously redirect our course of behavior. As it was explained in section 2, some very common natural desires and drives have been severely perverted by deep-seeded beliefs of separation. Here they are again.
Natural drives and desires
Our drive for physical survival
Our desire to have physical/material security
Our drive to cultivate a greater sense of self-value
Our desire to elicit positive response in others
These basic needs are neither negative or positive, but become imbued with positive or negative energies based on the belief or soul-force we place behind them. When we base our method of achieving our natural desires on a separative paradigm, the result is a distortion of soul-force which quickly drains and depletes our own beings and the planet.
Luckily this misdirection of soul-force is quickly balanced once we digest the greater coherency of a more unified approach. With daily practice we can realize the superior functionality of greater unified beliefs as working principals. Here are some replacement beliefs that can assist us to ground a greater understanding of collective connectedness into our daily lives.
Restructuring our beliefs
Let’s re-address the separative beliefs and look at positive, unity-based belief systems to replace them with.
Instead of the separative belief:
“Other people are potential threats to my/our success and I/we must compete with or exploit them in order to survive”
Lets explore the unifying belief that:
“Our/my success is enhanced by the success of others. It is through my/our cooperative collaborations where we thrive most fully.”
By working together we can learn from other people, avoid unnecessary mistakes and accelerate more quickly. As the transient illusion of competitive success is crashing down all around us, our survival as a species literally depends on collective cooperation. We have all witnessed how, when a synergy between people is geared towards common goals, success is exponentially increased. When we support each other’s interests we all have more to offer. When we hide our knowledge or oppress others to leverage a so-called “advantage” we cut ourselves off from the vastness of our collective resources. The idea is to begin including everyone as our teammates with the common goal being: the best interest of the all.
By showing those around us that we are on their team and we are here to help support them, naturally they will be more inclined to do the same. Everyday life flows much more harmoniously when we cooperate with those around us in a diplomatic and supportive way. While there are those that may look to take advantage of an attitude like this, with proper discernment, we can maximize symbiosis and minimize our vulnerability to malevolence. It is through synergistic bonds with like-minded people that we can grow a greater planetary symbiosis.
Instead of the separative belief:
“We/I must conform with the status quo in order to financially support my/ourselves.”
Lets explore the belief:
“Personal integrity and authenticity is the greatest key to finding support.”
The more value that we offer the world, the more the world will support us. When we hide our authenticity, and compromise our dreams and goals, we are forfeiting the most valuable thing we as humans have to offer: our own unique gifts. These gifts can only be realized through unabashed, authentic expression and the exploration of our true self. Support follows value, thus the surest way to gain any kind of support, whether that be financial, emotional, or otherwise, is to actualize your greatest value into the world. With authenticity being the clearest path to your unique value, it is clear that authenticity is what will attract you the most support.
Instead of the beliefs that:
“Our/my personal value is realized through being better than others, measuring higher, and out-shining other people” or “By outshining or intimidating other people I/we will gain respect.’
Lets explore the belief:
“Our/my personal value is realized by our/my appreciation for others and our/my ability to enhance and empower people.”
The more the people around us excel the more they inspire us to excel and the more we can help each other to excel together. By competitively comparing ourselves to others we cut ourselves off from the unique blessings that others have to offer us and block the symbiotic expansion process. When we appreciate other people we give them more fuel to blossom; the more they blossom in their own unique way the more unique insights they will have to share with us. The degree to which we are able to recognize and support another person’s gifts and talents (especially their hidden or un-actualized ones) is the same degree to which we are able to recognize and support our own gifts and talents.
If we are achieving what we consider ‘respect’ through intimidation we must come to grips with the fact that this is not true respect. This is a form of manipulation that evokes a false respect by using peoples fear against them and forcing them to lie and conform. Again all this does is suppress their ability to share their greater value. The use of intimidation is by nature self-destructive, for the greater expression of an individual’s true worth is of far greater value to everyone then the illusory gain one receives from oppressive servitude.
“Our/my personal value is realized through outside acceptance and/or appraisal, popularity, notoriety etc.’ or ‘We/I must forfeit our/my authenticity or sacrifice my/ourselves in order to be liked/respected/appreciated/noticed/praised etc.”
Lets explore the belief:
“Our personal value is realized through self acceptance and free self expression.”
When we believe that our value is contingent on something external to us, we will compromise our true selves in search of our own value. While it is great to appreciate when others recognize us for our gifts, once we recognize the true value within us we no longer need outside validation. Besides, if we compromise ourselves for appraisal then we aren’t the one really even being praised. Accepting praise for inauthenticity is not only dishonest, it is the lowest form of self-rejection. Only by devoting ourselves to authenticity will realize our true value and thus be capable of even receiving true appraisal. Thus value comes first from self-acceptance, not from anything outside of us.
How do we effectively apply these principals in our lives?
The first major step that we as individuals can take to actualize ourselves as the ambassadors of a new world is to minimize the financial incentive given to unjust businesses and organizations. This is so clear-cut that it doesn’t require deep interpersonal work to achieve. Simply look around at the factions of business and politics that are destroying the world, analyze how our money is spent day to day and quit financing the problem. There are alternative resources in just about every industry; all it takes is a little effort to find efficient, sustainable, and humane resources for your daily needs. By financially demonstrating our support for justice and cooperation we are speaking in a language that will be clearly understood.
Throughout this process it is important to keep a connected perspective: we have no enemies. Even the most ‘evil’ of warmongers are not enemies they are merely troubled family members. Remember they too are part of the collective whole and are the ones who truly need the most love right now. You can be on someone else’s team even if they are not on your team, even if they think you are their enemy, you can still be their ally. Ultimately, there is only one team and we are all a part of it whether we know it or not.
This brings us to our the next major step.
Actualizing as a collective
Learning how to apply new principals can be daunting at first, especially when people and systems that are operating from a different paradigm surround us. This is why it is important to create communities that agree to operate with different principals. Doing personal work is a prerequisite for attracting the kind of people needed to create a functional group of co-actualizers. Once we have thoroughly explored cooperative and unified beliefs structures, developed a humble self-awareness regarding our areas of pathology, and cultivated a sincere desire to hold ourselves accountable, we can begin to enter into active group healing work. From this space we will begin to attract people into our lives that will be actualized to this degree and we will have developed enough discernment to sense true authenticity in others. We can find solace in a community of like minded people working together as coherent nodes of conscious actualization.
It can start small. Just one person can be all you need to really catapult your evolution forward, though the more people that participate the more potent the healing becomes. When more solid people are involved there is less risk for group ego delusions and collective pathology.
It can be tempting to disconnect entirely from the competitive society, we see this in many of the eco community efforts present today, but I urge us to actively pursue as much interaction as we can safely have with the old paradigm, as this is a valuable way to spread this new communal paradigm. Having a community to support us empowers us to spread our love and support to all people. Together we will learn more about how to safely interact with people and structures of the old paradigm. As a team we can safely spread a new way of being to those who are presently trapped in the old system.
Without a collective of people that have made a deep commitment to each other to aspire towards unadulterated cooperation, and unabashed self-expression, our everyday pathologies will not be efficiently addressed. While we may already be involved with groups that aspire to be Unitarian, if we don’t have clear agreements with each other to take responsibility for all our subtle thoughts, desires and behaviors, we can easily get side tracked by our unconscious pathologies.
It doesn’t matter what is written in our mission statements or what group intentions we say that we agree upon unless
a secure foundation is in place that enables us to hold ourselves accountable on all levels. We must create a conscious container where it is safe to call each other out on our stuff and express our challenges openly. This may only be with one or two people at first, as we may find many people to be more talk than walk, but as we find more walkers our group pace will steadily increase.
No one person can alone see their own blind spots; we all depend on a community of trusted allies, and a safe container of compassion and vulnerability to grow as a whole. The rate at which we actualize as a team is exponentially faster than alone, hence the pertinence of collective actualization at this time in human history.
I believe that within the ‘conscious community’ this kind of in-depth teamwork is exactly what we need more of. I encourage us to start this conversation with the people around us; to ask our friends to call us out on our stuff no matter how uncomfortable it may be; to vulnerably express the dark desires and ugly impulses that we feel in ourselves and make it admirable to do so. I encourage us to build a solid core of devoted participants so that we may, as a group, come together and heal ourselves so that we may truly embrace the unity that we are aspiring to create in the world.
Only through collective shadow work can we heal the collective shadow.
General principals, helpful tools and techniques
I would like to open this section to be added to and enhanced by anyone who feels they can positively contribute. I would love to continue to expand our resources as a community. Feel free to email me your additions.
-Every person has a unique and special talent that when actualized will offer a tremendous gift to the world.
– By living our authentic expressions can we actualize our greatest potentials and share our individual gifts.
-Working together is always more beneficial and bountiful than competing against each other.
-Through symbiosis we can actualize our potential as individuals and as a species. Thus… the more we work together and empower each other the greater we become.
–Our personal value is realized through self-acceptance and the acceptance of others, as well as our ability to freely express ourselves and help others to do the same.
-By recognizing that what we call ‘flaws’ and ‘shortcomings’ are not our truest reflections, but merely un-actualized expressions, we can reframe the perception of our self and others. We can begin to see ‘character flaws’ as hidden talents waiting to be uncovered and thus overcome much of our judgments, contempt and subsequent disconnection from others.
-‘Synergy’ as defined by Buckminster fuller, is the creation of a whole that is greater than the simple sum of its parts. When two people who work together fully express themselves and recognize each other’s value they create a synergy. This can be understood through this simple equation: When person A has a value of 5 and person B also has a value of 5, if they operate separately they will create a total value of 10, but if they can learn to operate cooperatively in a balanced symbiosis they will generate a ‘synergy’ and the whole value they create becomes 100 (A’s value + B’s value squared)
-By being able to see the hidden potential in yourself, naturally you will begin to see the hidden potential in others. Your ability to recognize other peoples hidden value is the same ability necessary for you to recognize your own hidden value; thus your own self worth is directly correspondent to your recognition of others value.
-The degree in which we are able to recognize and support another persons un-actualized gifts and talents is the same degree to which we are able to recognize and support our own hidden gifts and talents
– Being honest and authentic, even when it seems awkward, rude, or uncomfortable help to strengthen our personal integrity. In fact, when we create a dissonance with others by being boldly authentic, it can often help others to unveil deeper aspects of their own truth. Sometimes growing pains are uncomfortable at first.
Tips, tricks, ideas and philosophies
While it is already clear to many of us how, from a collective point of view, a cooperative approach is of optimal advantage; I believe our inability to translate this into the more subtle dynamics of our everyday lives is our greatest hindrance. It is important for us to see the advantage of adopting this paradigm into our personal lives at the most basic and subtle levels in order for us to fully embody it as a collective.
1. We are all on the same team
By recognizing that we must work as a team in order to actualize a symbiotic species, the impulse to compete with others becomes obsolete. It is helpful to pay attention to our competitive impulses and judgments so when they arise we can reinforce the idea that ‘we are on the same team’. This will begin to rewire our neurobehavioral patterns and impulses to reflect greater principals of peace and unity. When we know that ‘we are on the same team’ it becomes easier to have compassion for those of us that are troubled and to have a jealous-free pride in the accomplishments of others.
2. Appreciate others with less skill or talent than us
When we observe that we have greater skill that someone else in a particular area, it is an important time to reinforce that we are equally sacred as human beings regardless of our differences in skill level. It is also an important time to remember that feelings of superiority create stagnation in our self and in others. It not only prevents all the benefits we receive from recognizing a persons unforeseen gifts but it restricts our energy flow of appreciation that helps them to fuel their actualization process.
Example: looking for special qualities unique to this person and envision them blowing you away one day with their awesomely developed skill. Speak to this actualized vision of them and appreciate in this moment the qualities that you can witness as being the beginning stages of this unfoldment.
3. Everyone is worth understanding
Often when we disagree with someone, or we assume that we already know exactly what their ideas, opinions, or beliefs are without reaching deeply to fully understand them, we overlook some of the greatest relationship gems that life has to offer. By deeply understanding someone else we become aware of their greater value and thus actualize greater value within ourselves.
Practice suspending thoughts of disagreement and judgment when someone expresses beliefs that are contrary to your own. This way may fully and clearly receive them without convoluting our experience of their expression with our own prejudices and beliefs.
Example: when you notice yourself making judgments or jumping to conclusions in your head while someone else is speaking, try to and forget what your opinion is for the moment and do your best to feel what it is like to be the person you are listening to. You don’t need to abandon your opinions forever but see if you can feel what it is like to fully agree with them for the moment.
Techniques for overcoming self-rejection
-Be honest and authentic, even if it seems awkward, rude, or uncomfortable. When voicing our opinions, beliefs, and thoughts it is always helpful to state that it is our opinion, belief or thought, and try to avoid speaking as if our opinion is ‘the way it is’. This allows for other people to not to feel challenged or judged by your opinions.
-We can reward ourselves every time we set clear boundaries. We can thank ourselves for sticking up for our self every time we are honest in the face of judgment.
-If it is hard for us to say no to others even when it overburdens us, we can admire ourselves when we do say no and recognize this as an act of self-love.
– Generate our sense of self-worth based on our dedication to personal integrity. By knowing that we are doing our best to be in integrity with our morals we don’t need outside approval to feel our worth. This doesn’t mean that we can’t appreciate when someone else recognizes it, it just ensures we are not dependent on external reflections for confidence.
Techniques for overcoming competitive impulses
When we feel the urge to compete or we feel like our finances and/or personal value is being threatened by another person, try turning attention to our impulses and try to understand what beliefs are driving them. Imagine ways in which we can overcome this ‘threat’ diplomatically. It can be helpful to talk this out with a trusted friend.
When someone is competing with us over something it can be helpful to just say to them, “look I don’t intend to compete over ‘blank’ ” and offer ideas of how to share or work together for the good of the both of us.
Naturally most people will feel relieved when they find out that you are not out to compete against them and many will be happy to find a diplomatic solution.
I encourage all who have read this paper to think of some of their own techniques, advice and ideas and pleas send them to me so I may improve and expand this section. Eventually I like to organize a collaborative handbook for applying cooperative principals in life.