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"Post-Civilized" Possibilities: Beyond Wealth and Power, Part II

"Post-Civilized" Possibilities: Beyond Wealth and Power, Part I

J. Harmon Grahn

v5, June 2, 2013

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Contents
1What Is The Law?
2A Cognitive Map
3Closer to Home
3.1Follow the Money
3.2Living Lawfully
4Beyond Wealth and Power
5Conclusion

1 What Is The Law?

In Part I of this essay, we were developing a discussion of money, probably leading toward a conclusion to the general effect that the monetary economy in place throughout the contemporary global "civilization" is not without fundamental flaws, and should be improved — or replaced. We were diverted by the information conveyed in § 2 We Interrupt This Broadcast . . . ; and never returned to the original thread of discussion.[1]

The diversion may have changed the context of the discussion, displacing the matter of money with matters of possibly even more central significance — such as the matter of law: not only in the context of human society, but in the context of life in general; including complex systems of all kinds.

In human social domains, in which "things that shouldn't be that way" prevail anyway, in a disproportionate number of cases, the principle seems to apply: follow the money. It appears that this unique human invention, whose only purpose is supposedly to facilitate commercial exchange among humans, really does seem to reside at or near the hub of all human disequilibriums.

Is it really so that "money is the root of all evil?" This sounds on the face of it like a gross oversimplification, and an unbalanced view, based upon biased assumptions. Yet on the other hand, are there any examples of large-scale and unambiguous injustices, or unbalanced conditions among humans, in which money plays no part?

This may be a leading question, with a built-in bias. It might be answered with a counter-question: Are there any examples of large-scale and unambiguous "justices," or "good works," in which money does play a significant part? The word for this is philanthropy, and there seem to be many examples of it.

However, in order to reach a balanced determination, it is necessary that each candidate example of unalloyed philanthropy be examined in detail, with particular attention directed not only to its motivation, but also to its long-term consequences, or "final outcome." Surely there are instances of philanthropy initiated with sincerely "good intentions" that have played out with unanticipated and unintended "negative consequences" in the long run, at least for some, if not for all.

The reason for this seems related to the observation made in "Post-Civilized" Possibilities: The Quality Without a Name § 4 "Objective Reality": "Although 'objective reality' may be a universal and unassailable fact, there is no way for any finite being (⅟∞) to be objective about it, or about any part of it. All views of 'objective reality' are subjective views, and partial; and cannot be otherwise."[2]

With the best will in the world, motivated by sterling good intentions, no philanthropist can reliably anticipate all of the eventual consequences of his magnanimous, generous, and well-intended projects. Unfortunately, the larger, more magnanimous, and generous such projects are, the more likely are their blessings for some to be mixed with curses for a great many others.

This is so, because of the inescapable partiality of all finite perceptions within a universe of evidently infinite possibility. This is a point that may be met by resistance in some quarters: because it often seems necessary to believe that one's perceptions of "objective reality" are accurate, reliable, and "objectively true." We have been over this ground many times before, and have ever returned lacking a satisfactory answer to the stubborn question: "But how do you know that your perception is 'true,' and not in some small or large way mistaken?"[3]

We seem able to navigate well enough within a limited horizon, and may seldom be overtaken on our "home ground" by severe surprises. However, as we extend our horizons, and undertake actions of ever widening scope, the reliability of our "certainties" falls off precipitously, and the consequences of our acts increasingly diverge from our anticipations, and intents.

This may not be anybody's "fault," really: it is simply an unavoidable consequence of bearing a reciprocal relationship (⅟∞) to infinity (∞). Nevertheless, many people take vigorous exception to anybody who casts doubt upon the "rightness" of their views, or of their acts. In most if not all cases, this may be taken as a manifestation of egoism, which in turn is perhaps the most pernicious illusion among finite Earth-humans.

The illusion of egoism springs, at least in part, from the geometric fact that the most prominent feature within any finite (⅟∞) view is the self: the one doing the viewing. This is unavoidable in three-dimensional reality, and often requires accommodation by a certain minimal level of, shall we say, "wisdom."

One way of making this accommodation is by means of an imaginary "flight of fancy," in which one imagines himself in the place of another. He may thereby realize that, exactly like himself, this other is also the most prominent, and therefore the most important-seeming feature within his own view — which may in many ways differ from the views of the one taking the "flight of fancy." From this, one may extrapolate that this condition is probably common to all finite beings, and that, like it or not, all finite views differ in large and small ways from all others.

This raises a troublesome question: By what legitimate claim does any one of these finite views ascend in priority above all others? If no such claim can legitimately be sustained, then it must be admitted that all finite views are partial views, no one of which enjoys legitimate priority over any other. From this may emerge the "wisdom of tolerance" for contrary views; and a corresponding "healthy skepticism" of one's own views, which budgets in advance for the possibility that, being partial, they may also be mistaken; and/or that one may have much yet to learn beyond the necessarily narrow horizon of what he already "knows."

Now when money is a significant factor in a situation that maight prompt this exercise, egoism is likely to be involved as well: because in contemporary human society the numerical assessment of one's monetary "net worth" is effectively a decisive index of one's place in the "pecking order" of the human hierarchy. This very often skews the perceived validity of at least one's own views and perceptions, and usually others' perceptions of them as well. That is, a "high" position in the social "pecking order," by virtue of possessing a numerically large "net worth," typically bestows the mantle of "authority" upon one so placed — in his own perception, as well as in the perception of others.

In either case, such "authority" is invariably an illusion: because no matter what "the number" is that signifies one's "net worth," and consequent social rank, he is still a finite (⅟∞) being, holding unavoidably partial and subjective views of "objective reality." This applies as well to all other bases for claims to so-called "authority," such as advanced academic standing, degrees, titles of nobility, unusual and spectacular achievements, public notoriety, political success, popular acclaim, admiration, or worship, . . . and even group consensus about the shape of "objective reality." Advanced academic standing is in fact a prototypical example of group consensus; and the "authority" it bestows consists merely of inclusion within a prestigious group of finite individuals holding in common partial and subjective views about the nature of "objective reality."

This inescapable finite partiality, combined with the illusory mantle of "authority," bestowed by entirely irrelevant kudos of every kind, creates the possibility / probability — even with "the best of intentions" — of wreaking calamitous harm on a scale directly proportional to the magnitude of the kudos, and associated ego inflation: which is probably related in turn to the scale and ambition of any "philanthropic" project. It may practically be so, that the most formidable and dangerous challenge faced by those who ascend to the summits of wealth, power, and fame, is the almost inevitable obscuration of their absolutely reciprocal relationship (⅟∞) to infinity (∞).

On the basis of honest introspection, anyone may reasonably conclude that everyone, including oneself, desires a favorable outcome for all his acts; and that indeed this is why anyone takes any action at all. The aim of all acts is always a favorable outcome, at least for the one who acts. However, because of everyone's unavoidably partial views of "objective reality," the favorable aim of every act is not always achieved.

This assessment may seem to condemn all of us to a more or less "crippled" condition, for the reason that no finite being can possibly have more than a partial perception of his infinite context; and consequently can never more than hope that any of his acts may somehow achieve some portion of their intended favorable outcomes.

However, even though one's infinite context can never be more than fractionally "known," anyone may rely upon the reasonable certainty that, whatever that mysterious infinite context may "objectively" be, it is always to the individual's advantage that such context should work well — because of course, if it does not, none of the individual's aims are likely to work very well either, or to fulfill their favorable intentions.

This principle is applicable not only within the context of infinity, but just as well within the more circumscribed context of one's functional horizon for action. Narrowing our focus in this way, we might observe that in the context of our Solar System (a very localized and minute fraction of "All That Is"), if something goes "haywire" with the Sun, it is likely to have an adverse impact upon all activities on Earth, no matter what anyone decides to do, or not do, about anything. Narrowing our focus of attention further, if something goes "haywire" with any of the richly interrelated patterns of weather, ecology, species diversity, etc. on planet Earth, "the best laid schemes o' mice an' men" are apt to go "agley." Similarly, if one's acts are disruptive to the interactions among his people, his nation, his province, his city, or town, or neighborhood, the net result, "in the long run," for the one so acting is certain to turn out less favorably than intended, or desired.

In sum, every part of any whole system, at any scale, and in any context, bears a reciprocal relationship with the whole which is vital to the balanced function at once of the whole, and of each of its parts. In considering any single being's place in relation to "All That Is," or "everything else," this relationship may be expressed as ⅟∞ to ∞. Another way of expressing this might be to say that no part may function outside the context of the whole of which it is a part; and the whole cannot sustain a functional balance without the balanced function of all of its parts — "omitting no detail, however slight."

In dynamic systems, this condition of balanced functionality is . . . well, dynamic, not static. The simple act of bipedal locomotion, for instance, or "walking down the street," is one in which the walker at every pace repeatedly pitches forward, disrupting his balance on one leg, thrusts out his opposite leg, recovers his balance, pitches forward again, and repeats the cycle. There is nothing unusual or alarming about unbalanced conditions occurring within balanced dynamic systems; it happens all the time. Dynamic systems work, simply because balance is regularly restored whenever unbalanced conditions occur. It is precisely when balance fails to be restored to unbalanced conditions that dynamic systems "go haywire."

Here is where "the rubber meets the road," in terms of Earth-humanity's evolution beyond "civilization:" because from its inception, "civilization" has been characterized by the widespread but catastrophically partial, egocentric, and unbalanced view that "favorable outcomes 'for me' are worth pursuing, regardless of their consequences for anybody else." The direct result of this chronically destabilizing view was, and remains, that the exercise of coercive power as the primary means of achieving "favorable outcomes 'for me'," became the bedrock foundation for "civilization." How this trend in human evolution emerged, and some of its consequences, are discussed in The Writing on the Wall #5: "Don't Take Any Wooden Nickels" § 2.2 Wealth and Power;[4] and in "Post-Civilized" Possibilities: Beyond Wealth and Power, Part I § 1 A Can of Worms.[5]

Thus even though the whole may only be partially understood by any of its parts, it is still in the interest of each of the parts to contribute to the success of the whole; and conversely, that it is never in the interest of any of its parts to "benefit" at the expense either of the whole, or of any part of the whole: for such "benefit" is a self-destructive illusion. As striking, and filled with significance as this realization may be, it amounts only to a minor adjustment to the perception of what is, and is not, in one's own best interest. It simply acknowledges the self-evident fact that any damage to the whole of which I am a part, is inescapably damaging to me. Small comfort it is for one whose ship is torpedoed at sea to note with relief that "fortunately, the torpedo didn't hit me!" Or more immediately, "fortunately, that earthquake and tsunami that took out the nuclear power plant at Fukushima, Japan happened 'way on the other side of the Pacific Ocean, and not over here." Small comfort indeed.[6]

Each of the cells in one's body, for another example, prospers by contributing to the prosperity and well being of the whole body; and the prosperity of the whole makes possible the prosperity of each of its parts. Cells (and humans) that thrive at the expense of their fellows, or of the body at large, are pathological, and always work in opposition to their own self-interest. If they are not healed, they will ultimately destroy the body, or the planet, and themselves.

"Civilization," by its fundamental nature, has "violated" this principle from beginning to end: by making its opposite "civilization's" foundation. The overarching principle of "civilization" is that "the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must."[7] This in fact makes of "civilization" a disguised perpetual war: "and such a war as is of every man against every man."[8] Such a "system" is fundamentally unbalanced, does not work, and cannot last.

In consequence, now only those of us who are able to transform ourselves into "post-civilized" humans, and voluntarily opt out of the human capability of trespassing upon, and usurping the prerogatives of our peers, may fulfill the potential of carrying the torch of Earth-humanity into the future. Otherwise, Earth-humanity have no future: because "civilization" is pathologically self-destructive, and is now in the terminal phase of its own self-destruction. If we Earth-humans are to have a future at all, it is now incumbent upon ourselves, nobody else, to develop a dynamically balanced successor to "civilization."

This may sound like a grim prognosis for Earth-humanity; but it is not necessarily so. A significant part of the epic of human evolution has been the overcoming of a long succession of challenges. It is only by negotiating this path that Earth-humanity have arrived at our present station; and it is only by similarly overcoming the challenges we now face that we shall proceed further in the unfolding human epic; with more adventures, more discoveries — and new challenges. The outcome is uncertain, simply because the future is always uncertain, until it becomes history. Meanwhile, it is the privilege, and the responsibility, of those now living on Earth to decide by our acts, in part, what Earth-humanity's future shall be — and particularly, to decide whether Earth-humanity shall have a future at all.

In sum, it appears that Earth-humanity have backed ourselves into a tight corner by progressively making a series of choices that have had the cumulative effect of placing us in unwitting "violation" of a kind of "Cosmic Law." If so, what is this "Cosmic Law?" Who made it, and who enforces it?

It is a Law that is enforced by the self-evident fact that acts in "violation" of it simply do not work; and acts in accord with The Law seem to work quite well. The Law was never legislated by humans, although humans may discover it; and at least fragments of it have sometimes actually been incorporated into human statutes. It is not a stranger to human understanding, and humans have expressed it, and acted upon it, many times, and in many ways. Of course, throughout "civilized" history, humans have "violated" it many times, and in many ways, as well. This is how Earth-humanity have backed ourselves into a tightening corner, and all around the world, are feeling increasingly "pinched" at this time.

Some expressions of The Law are reproduced in The Writing on the Wall #7 § 3.6 Love. Perhaps the most succinct expression of it given in that place is the Wiccan Rede: "And harm ye none, do as ye will."[9]

The Law is as simple as that. It is not at all complicated, or difficult even for a child to understand. Nor is it difficult to obey. It places no burden of hardship upon anyone; and as demonstrated by thousands of years of "civilized" history, during which it has been "violated" countless times, in countless different ways, of inexorably mounting horror, The Law is astonishingly lenient, in tolerance of its "violations."

But not forever: because The Law is enforced by the simple and uncompromising fact that its "violations" do not work. There are limits to their scope and duration; and as quoted in Part I, "Things that can't go on forever don't."[10]

So this is the place Earth-humanity have reached at the present time: the place where the highly elastic tolerance of The Law for its "violations" can be stretched no further: the place where "things that can't go on forever don't." If The Law were as Draconian, unbearably oppressive, and cruel, as "civilized" laws have been, this would indeed be a "tight spot" for Earth-humanity. Fortunately, however, this is not the case.

Now if, as stated above, all so-called "authority" is an illusion, because all views, individual and collective, of "objective reality" are inescapably partial and subjective, then the "outlaw" status of "civilization," and its consequent dysfunction, are easily understood. For the whole of "civilization" rests upon the hierarchical "authority," or "chain of command," whereby "the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must." That is, the "civilized" social hierarchy sorts itself out entirely on the basis of relative strength and weakness — for which no legitimate claim can be made of any basis for superior, or even marginal understanding of "objective reality," or for effective competence in preempting the choices of anyone, in relation to anything.

What any human society amounts to, "civilized" or otherwise, are vast populations of individuals, each navigating our individual lives on the basis of a unique cognitive map, or an imaginatively drawn picture of what each one of us believes "objective reality" to be like. Each of us in effect is enveloped within an invisible "bubble," upon which we project our perceptions of "objective reality." The vacancies in our perceptions are filled in seamlessly by our rich and vivid imaginations; so the distinction between what is "real" and what is "imaginary" is not at all obvious. Regardless of its flaws, this projection functions as the map each of us constantly use for navigating in the world around us. As mentioned earlier, on our "home ground," our on-board maps are often fairly accurate, and there is little effective difference between "the map and the territory."

However, as our explorations venture outward, our maps of "reality" naturally become increasingly sketchy, and their imaginatively invented content increases proportionately. Indeed, even on our home ground, among people we know, and meet every day, our maps are not the same. Someone who lives in a different neighborhood, and moves about in town by different routes, and frequents different places than I do, probably has a more accurate map than mine of his part of town; whereas my map may reflect more detailed familiarity with my neighborhood, and the places I frequent, than does his. This is quite natural, and not at all difficult to understand. No matter how nearly our perceptions approximate "reality," even near at hand on our home ground, our maps and the territory are not the same — yet our maps are all we ever actually experience of their corresponding territories.

Simple and straightforward as this may seem, for many it may not be an easy concept to grasp. Yet consider: as discussed in The Writing on the Wall #6: "Inquire Within" § 2 "Virtual Reality" Revisited:

If what each of us calls "reality" is a fabric woven of sensations received through our organs of sense, interpreted through our tapestry of beliefs, which are unique to ourselves, and are not exactly — or in many cases, are not even approximately — congruent with those of anybody else: how can we avoid admitting honestly that each of us lives, moves, and has our being entirely within a "virtual reality" of our own imaginative fabrication, whose relationship with "the real reality" (if there is such a thing) is only to be guessed?[11]

In this view of things, a "virtual reality" emerges as the "window" through which we imaginatively view "objective reality," on the basis of a selective spectrum of frequencies we are able to receive through our organs of sensation, and interpret through our cognition, and imaginations.

If so, we are here developing a significantly different view of ourselves, and of "reality," than we have had on the basis of ideas that "reality" consists only of "real material stuff" subject to quantitative measurements that cast in high relief, universally accessible to anyone, the distinction between what is "real" and what is "imaginary." Our contrasting view does not deny that such real material and measurable stuff exists; it only broadens the scope of possibility to allow within imaginable "reality" elements that are not measurable, quantifiable, or material — such as the creative human imagination — yet are no less "real" than elements that are.

In "Post-Civilized" Possibilities: The Quality Without a Name § 4 "Objective Reality", we grappled with the question as to whether there really is such a thing as "objective reality;" and on the basis of Dewey Larson's analysis, concluded that there is — but that there is no way for a finite being to be "objective" about it.[12]

The "virtual reality" in which we actually navigate is almost entirely imaginary — yet our navigational success is decisively and uncompromisingly determined by the extent to which our "virtual reality" corresponds to the real reality we endeavor to duplicate in our richly creative imaginations. Our errors exact penalties, which (if we are awake, and responsive) motivate corrections; whose effectiveness is confirmed, as the penalties diminish in response to bringing our "virtual realities" into closer correspondence with the real reality we never experience directly.

This is a learning process quite similar to the method Larson applied in developing his Reciprocal System of theory. Larson began by proposing two fundamental postulates, applicable to an entirely imaginary universe. He then proceeded to analyze what the properties of that imaginary universe must be, if his postulates were valid; and compared the results of this analysis with the corresponding properties of the real universe, to the extent that these are available for human observation and measurement.

Rigorous application of this analysis over the course of many years, in many domains accessible to human experiment and observation, from the subatomic to the Cosmic, confirmed that Larson's postulates were not only applicable to his imaginary universe, but are applicable as well to the real universe; and at worst, were in no instance proven inapplicable to the real universe.

Consequently, Larson's analysis disclosed a universe quite unlike the theoretical universe currently believed to be "real" by most of "scientific orthodoxy;" and his work has been ignored and disregarded in "orthodox" scientific circles. In this, Larson stands in the company of such pioneers as Nicolas Copernicus (1473-1543), Galileo Galilei (1564-1642), Louis Pasteur (1822-1895), and others — with the exception that the latter figures were eventually admitted within "orthodox" circles, after their initially rejected discoveries were given "orthodox" acknowledgement. In most cases, such acceptance has involved significant revisions of what had previously constituted "orthodoxy."

Now perhaps this and similar episodes illustrate at once the scope, and limitations, of the relationship between our imaginary maps, and the real territory to which we apply them. Every one of us (seven thousand million humans currently inhabiting planet Earth) carries with us some subjective imaginary picture of how we believe things are in "objective reality," far beyond the narrow horizon of our actual individual experience. Some of these pictures are shared in broad strokes by many individuals, and bear labels, such as "scientific orthodoxy," "materialism," "spiritualism," "Buddhism," "Christianity," "Islam," "Hinduism," "atheism," etc. Under the rubric of each of these labels may be found many varieties and variations, which may be divided and sub-divided down to the minute details which distinguish from all others: each individual human's imaginary picture of "reality."

If so, then as questioned earlier, "By what legitimate claim does any one of these finite views ascend in priority above all others?" That is, on what basis may anyone legitimately claim priority for his views of "reality," over those of anybody else?

I submit for your evaluation that no such claim has any legitimacy; but that on the basis of superior performance, one may usefully imbibe details from someone else's map, and pencil them into his own imaginary map of "reality," for evaluation in practice. This is an element of the process of learning, through the voluntary sharing of human perceptions — as opposed to the process of teaching: which is often not voluntary, and as in the case of "compulsory education," constitutes a trespass by some humans upon the natural prerogatives of others. That is, learning is naturally a "pull" process; whereas teaching is a "push" process, and potentially, and often actually, a trespass.

Thus as regards the particulars of the real reality, there are no "authorities." There are only multitudes of imaginary maps of the real reality, each carried within the subjective imagination of an individual human; on the basis of which each of us navigate our individual lives with varying degrees of success. Our success is related to the extent to which our imaginary maps resemble the territory of the real reality — and is related as well to how each of us evaluates "success."

In this view of things, The Law might be expressed in exquisitely simple terms: patterns that do not work do not last. The feature that distinguishes patterns that work from patterns that do not work is the quality without a name discussed in the essay bearing the same subtitle.[13]

So what does all this mean? It may mean different things to different people: because it may be interpreted only in relation to one's subjective cognitive map of "objective reality." As we have seen, no two cognitive maps are alike; nor may any cognitive map be truthfully claimed to provide a reliable picture of its corresponding territory: the real reality it is intended to represent, yet is never experienced directly by any finite being.

Contents


2 A Cognitive Map

Accordingly — and implying no claim whatsoever regarding the correspondence between "the map and the territory" — I would like to share here some glimpses of the "on board map" I use for navigating "reality." The purpose of this exercise is to illustrate some features of a cognitive map of "reality" that I consider worthy of mention, drawn from the only one of its kind to which I have intimate access: my own.

A cognitive map of "reality" is (at least potentially) a fluid and dynamic instrument: never complete, always a work in progress, subject to update, revision, and expansion from moment to moment, in response to the ceaseless flow of experience. There may be some whose perceptions of "reality" have reached a standstill: who have taken the position in effect: "Don't confuse me with the facts; my mind is already made up." I consider this condition a human tragedy, and effectively, "the end of the line" for anyone to whom it applies; unless they are able to stir themselves into renewed fluidity.

The underlying assumption for my cognitive map is that by the simple fact of my own existence, I necessarily share a reciprocal relationship (⅟∞) with infinity (∞), or with "All That Is." This is intuitively plausible to me; and its "opposite," or denial, has no plausibility. Nor can I even imagine what its "opposite" might be like. This primary assumption therefore forms the foundational substrate for my cognitive map of "reality."

Influenced by Falone,[14] I have penciled into my cognitive map the idea that this reciprocal relationship begins with an infinitesimal "power point and seed crystal of Divine Process,"[15] situated within my inmost heart. In my imagination, this infinitesimal "seed crystal of Divine Process" bears a reciprocal relationship of ⅟∞ to ∞ with my relatively vast — "virtually infinite," in relation to the infinitesimal — physical body and associated energetic fields; yet also constitutes the local presence within me of the truly infinite Divine Process, which is always everywhere present, and nowhere never absent, anywhere, anyhow, anyway.

Similarly, influenced by Larson,[16] I imagine that my individual relationship with Earth, the Solar System, the Galaxy, and the space-time continuum which includes all galaxies within the material sector of the Reciprocal Universe, reiterates this reciprocal relationship of ⅟∞ to ∞. Expanding the vision further, the same relation applies as well between the material sector (⅟∞) and the non-material sector (∞); and between the non-material sector (⅟∞) and The Sphere of All Possibilities (∞) discussed by the Hathors.[17] Thus my cognitive map of "reality" includes a succession of nested infinite enclosures, each bearing a relationship of ∞ to ⅟∞ to its relatively infinitesimal, seed-like predecessor. This possibility is supported by the pioneering work of the Russian-born German mathematician Georg Cantor (1845-1918) who investigated the domain of transfinite mathematics; and discovered the surprising fact that not all infinities are equal: some orders of infinity are infinitely "more infinite" than others.

Of course, this cognitive map extends far beyond the horizon of my immediate experience, and so is almost entirely imaginary. It draws its features from a few ideas developed by others, that intuitively appeal to me; yet I would never insist, even to myself, that it is an accurate representation of how "All That Is" really is. Nevertheless, it has the virtue of giving me considerable "room to maneuver" in the conceptual conduct of my life, and gives me a sense of proportion in contemplating how I stand in relation to "All Things." It has the additional virtue of conceptually "closing the circle" at all scales between the infinite and the infinitesimal: because I can imagine each residing within my own inmost heart, as well as at the essential core of every thing that exists anywhere, ever, from atoms to galaxies, in either direction, and beyond: giving me a sense of intimate kinship with "All Things." In a few words, it gives life and substance to the mantra: As above, so below; as below, so above.

Perhaps the most interesting feature of this imaginary system of nested spheres of expanding orders of infinity is its outermost constituent, the Sphere of All Possibilities. This seems to me to bear some resemblances with Hugh Everett's theory of of the Universal Wave Function.[18]

The Sphere of All Possibilities, as described by the Hathors, may be imagined as a sphere that encloses the entire universe of "All That Is." This is conceptually imaginable to me, in part because it does not conflict with Larson's conception of a Reciprocal Universe consisting of material and non-material sectors which, although they each may represent different orders of unbounded infinities, nevertheless function in reciprocal relationship as a closed system, each element of which feeds its counterpart, and consequently, in combination, require neither beginning nor end. The Sphere of All Possibilities, then, may be imagined as an overarching sphere consisting, not of any actuality, but instead, of every possibility that may come into actuality, somehow, somewhere, sometime, within the material or non-material sectors of the Reciprocal Universe.

However, as mentioned in a prior essay, "Not All That Can Be Imagined Works In Practice";[19] and so, I imagine, neither do all possibilities within the Sphere of All Possibilities: which, as the Hathors describe, is animated by "many points of light along the surface of the Sphere," which "emanate energies that align with your intention. . . ." This description is oriented toward a method for using the Sphere of All Possibilities to bring about an intended outcome; whereas I am considering it here in a more general sense. "There may be dozens or thousands of lines," the Hathors continue, "from the surface of the Sphere to your solar plexus."[20]

In practicing this method, I have been imagining these "dozens or thousands of lines" as alternative time lines emerging from the vast realm of possibilities, and somehow merging selectively with the time line I am tracing, moment to moment, with every step I take, and every choice I make, within my locally experienced flux of time. In making my choices in daily life, I endeavor to be conscious, purposeful, and carefully selective, giving deliberate preference to choices that I believe, or at least have reason to hope, will work, and consequently will lead to time lines of extended duration; rather than being cut short by overlooked factors that render them unworkable. In general, long time lines are those that work; and short time lines are those that, eventually, do not work. I endeavor to select the former, and avoid the latter.

As mentioned above, the Sphere of All Possibilities seems to me to bear some resemblances with Hugh Everett's theory of of the Universal Wave Function, a/k/a the "Many Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics." The latter name refers to the implication of Everett's theory that any time a choice is made, anywhere, at any scale, between one possibility and another, a fork in "reality" emerges: one leg of which includes one possibility, and the other of which includes its alternative. In effect, two different worlds — two alternative universes — emerge from every choice between one possibility and its single alternative. From the moment a choice is made, these two legs of "reality" have no contact with each other, and do not influence each other in any way; yet neither of them may be said to be any more "real" than the other. The observer of one chosen possibility is justifiably biased in favor of its manifest "reality." Yet his "other world" counterpart who makes the alternative choice is no less justifiably biased in favor of the corresponding "reality" that follows from his choice. The Many Worlds Interpretation implies that every possibility is an actuality; yet we who act experience only the actuality that follows from our every choice.

Is that so? You decide. These are cognitive maps of "reality." They do not pretend to be the real reality. Any map, no matter how closely it resembles the territory it represents, is not in fact that territory. It is still only a map; and although I can acknowledge that there probably is an "objective reality," I have never met anybody who has been able to convince me that he had access to more than his own cognitive map of it. Nor have I ever been able to examine any two cognitive maps of the same territory that were exactly alike. Have you?

So that, in part, is what a cognitive map of "reality" can be like. The one described may not resemble yours; and being almost entirely imaginary, it may not very closely resemble the real reality either. Also, although we may extend our vision imaginatively "to the ends of the universe," neither you nor I spend much of our time, practically speaking, in these far-flung domains. Most of our choices involve matters much "closer to home," and their consequences are correspondingly more immediate.

Nevertheless, I find it helpful to "stretch my vision," and at least attempt to imagine the larger context in which local choices are made: for our relationship (⅟∞) with context (∞) is not imaginary only. It is also quite real, and a necessary aspect, whether we are aware of it or not, of our local choices, and their consequences. Clear understanding of local events and conditions, if it can be achieved at all, cannot be sustained in complete ignorance of their larger context.

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3 Closer to Home

Closer to home, all residents of planet Earth, human and non-human alike, share at this time the immediately challenging question that may be phrased in a variety of different ways, all to similar effect: Can we — and if so, how can we — continue to exist beyond the terminus of the very near future? Say, beyond "day after tomorrow," to put it somewhat metaphorically. It is not clear exactly how long Earth-humanity might continue plodding on in the way we have been for the past few thousands of years; but it is becoming pretty clear that we cannot keep on living this way forever. And you already know, don't you, what happens to anything that cannot go on forever? (It doesn't.) Frankly, I am increasingly surprised to find us still here at all, soldiering on, same as ever was. However, it seems inescapable that "If we want things to stay as they are," — that is, with ourselves and other beings continuing to reside on planet Earth — "things will have to change."[21]

What things? Change, how? As an off-hand "guesstimate," I'd say: If we want to keep on living here, we're going to have to change just about everything. Mainly — and this is nothing we have not discussed at considerable length before — we're going to have to change ourselves.

And lo and behold! many of us are well along in the process of doing just exactly "this little thing." And not because somebody told us to, but because we've already read the writing on the wall for ourselves, and we know what we have to do, and we're doing it. This could easily be why we're still here, instead of long since blown completely away. It's still a horse race, to be sure, nip and tuck the whole way; but it's not over 'till it's over, and by golly, it's not over yet!

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3.1 Follow the Money

Now let us return our attention to the thread that we dropped in Part I of this essay, and to a matter that is close to home for practically everybody on Earth: namely, money.

Before venturing further, we ought to form as clear a picture as possible of just what it is we're talking about here. What is money, anyway? In his illuminating history, Money and Man, Elgin Groseclose opens his Introduction: The Meaning of Money, as follows:

Any discussion, to be fruitful, [Groseclose writes] should proceed from an agreement upon the meaning of words and concepts. No greater confusion prevails than that surrounding the meaning of money — even among persons who are well qualified to examine the question. If this statement is doubted I would refer you to an article by that distinguished member of the New York Times economic staff, Mr. Edwin L. Dale, in the July 20, 1975, issue entitled, "Money Supply: A Growing Muddle," in which he states the question, "What is money nowadays?" Or one in the Wall Street Journal of August 29, 1975, which comments "The men and women involved in this arcane exercise [of watching the money supply] — brokers, investors, businessmen, economists and Federal Reserve officials — aren't exactly sure what money supply consists of." I would submit that if these experts do not know what money is, no one knows.[22]

Well; that takes a load off my mind: because when I consulted my copy of Black's Law Dictionary, I was surprised and puzzled that I was unable to find in it an entry for so basic an item as money. I suspected some sinister reason for this peculiar omission; but the reason turns out to have been quite innocent: nobody knows what money is! How about that? I guess we'll just have to push on then, not knowing exactly what we're talking about.

Anyway, whatever money is, it's pretty clear that it has had a profound impact upon human events since the invention of coined money by the ancient Greeks near the end of the eighth century BCE.[23] It is far less clear, however, as to whether that impact, all things considered, has been mostly "positive," or "negative." Groseclose's account of the history of money makes for some fairly somber reading, particularly for those who are enthralled by the spell of gold.

More men may go hungry [Groseclose writes] from a rise in the interest rate than a rise in the price of bread. A bank failure may produce more misery than a plague. A change in the money standard may provoke a revolution. "It may well be doubted," said Macaulay, "whether all the misery which had been inflicted on the English nation in a quarter century by bad kings, bad ministers, bad Parliaments, and bad judges was equal to the misery caused by bad crowns and bad shillings"[24]

The stability of the modern world rests upon the stability of its money. Yet nothing is more obvious than the fact that money is not stable, that nowhere is money under control. Biologists may control the growth of microscopic bacteria in a culture; engineers, the power of exploding dynamite; electricians, the radiations in the ether, but no one has succeeded in controlling money. Yet money is, more than anything else, the creation of man, a device of his own making.

The history of civilization, said Alexander Del Mar, is the history of money. We may add that the history of money is the story of man's struggle to control it, to live with it, to bring it to do his tasks. Man lives with money, but so far it has not been a successful union.[25]

In Part I, we traced the abbreviated history of honest banking, following Griffin's description.[26] Honest banking consists of only one simple thing: keeping the deposits of clients safe in the vault, instead of exposing them to the risk of loans to other clients. That is all. What is so difficult about that? Groseclose covers the same ground, and in the entire history of money and banking, this simple practice has been adhered to, as described in Part I, only by the following banking institutions:

  1. Banco della Piazza del Rialto, Venice, 1584-1637;

  2. Amsterdamsche Wisselbank, a/k/a Bank of Amsterdam, 1608-1790;

  3. Bank of Hamburg, 1620s-1875.[27]

Sifting the entire history of "civilization," and money, (said to be synonymous, or coeval) these three forlorn fragments constitute the entire scope of honest banking. Maybe we should pause here, for a moment's quiet contemplation.

* * * * *

Accordingly, we are driven to the (possibly reluctant) "conclusion," not that the monetary economy in place throughout the contemporary global "civilization" is not without fundamental flaws, and should be improved, or replaced; but that the monetary economy in place throughout the contemporary global "civilization" cannot truthfully be said to work at all: not now; not ever; and that the economy of exchanges among humans, and between humans and non-humans, is in desperate need of an entirely different basis for operation from the chronically dysfunctional economy heretofore based upon money.

As to why the current system does not work, and never has, we gave a thumbnail synopsis in Part I § 1.2 Why It Does Not Work. However, there is a great deal more to it than a mere matter of economics, or the nature of money. Mainly, money — and "civilization" in general — do not work because they are both against The Law! Although not generally in violation of human-written "statute laws," they are surely against The Law, as summarized above: patterns that do not work do not last. They do not work, never have worked, and never will work, for anybody, anywhere, ever, because they enrich the part at the expense of the whole.

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3.2 Living Lawfully

Living lawfully, in this sense, is not necessarily a mutually exclusive contest between adhering to the laws of nature, or to the laws of men. Instances naturally arise, in some places, at some times, in which the two come into conflict: because not all that is permissible under The Law of Nature, as we may call it, is permissible under the laws of men. This discontinuity is probably the core reason "civilization" does not work. Yet those who choose to adhere to The Law of Nature cannot effectively be prohibited from doing so by the laws of men: a) because all creative, intelligent, and purposeful beings are volitional beings, and such volition by definition cannot be neutralized by another volitional being, or even by an army of such beings; and b) because The Law of Nature consists simply in the direction, "And harm ye none, do as ye will." There is no human law that can effectively prohibit anyone's choice for harmlessness. In nature, all else is permissible; and harmful acts are cautioned against only because they do not work, and are therefore as damaging to those who execute them, as to those who are affected by them.

Another way of viewing The Law of Nature is that an act that harms others is unavoidably damaging to the one who so acts: because of the indissoluble reciprocal relationship between the part (⅟∞) and the whole (∞). There is simply no way to get around this — although its consequences are not always immediate. But, believe it or not, they are always certain.

I may have mentioned before my "suspicion" that at least one of the purposes of the material sector of the universe — of which Earth, the Solar System, the Galaxy, and all material galaxies are parts — is to demonstrate to those who inhabit the material sector the practical operation of The Law of Nature.

Many years ago, I happened to be present at a séance in which a trance medium allowed "God" to speak through her, in response to questions from those present. (I place "God" in quotes here, not as an indication either of skepticism, or credulity, but simply to identify an aspect of the session that I can neither verify nor deny.) The medium reclined upon the floor, and sank into a state of trance; and one remark that she made during the session impressed me, and has remained with me throughout the intervening years. Somebody asked "God," through the entranced medium: "What is Your will?" "My will," replied the voice speaking through the medium, "is that you do your will."

Whether or not you or I believe this to have been an authentic utterance of "God," it struck me at the time as making a great deal of intuitive sense; and this assessment has not changed during the intervening years. It seems also to be in accord with the report brought back from "beyond the veil" by neurosurgeon Dr. Eben Alexander, formerly a firmly entrenched materialist, and inflexible skeptic of "mystical" interpretations of the Near Death Experiences (NDE) of others — until the event of his own NDE. Alexander contracted a rare invasion of bacteria into his central nervous system, which had the effect of completely shutting down his cerebral cortex, and rendering him comatose for seven days; during which he was hospitalized under minute and uninterrupted medical observation and instrumentation. During this entire interval, Alexander's brain function had "flat-lined," and gave no indication of any neural activity whatsoever. However, Dr. Alexander returned to normal consciousness, and subsequently published a book describing in vivid detail his NDE during his comatose week. Of his experience, he has written: "'You have nothing to fear.' 'There is nothing you can do wrong.' The message flooded me with a vast and crazy sensation of relief."[28]

Two corroborative messages, separated by many years, and entirely different circumstances, and corroborated in turn by many similar, or "resonant" messages reported by others, in different times and places, may not "prove" anything; but they are suggestive. "My will is that you do your will." "There is nothing you can do wrong." These utterances have found a place within my cognitive map of "reality." You, of course, are welcome to regard them as seems best to you.

Noting some of the manifest evidence that creative intelligence, and purposeful will are factors included within the material sector (for example, I consider myself, and people, and animals with whom I have become acquainted, to display various measures of creative intelligence, and purposeful will), it seems to me natural to believe — or at least to allow the possibility — that "All That Is" is similarly imbued with the qualities of creative intelligence, and purposeful will. If identifiable parts (⅟∞) have these qualities, how can they not be included among the qualities of the whole (∞)? Again, I do not pretend to "prove" this speculation; but it makes plausible sense to me, and falls (for me) within the realm of the "believable."

These observations combine in a personal cognitive map of "reality" that supposes creative intelligence, and purposeful will, to be central to at least the material sector of Cosmos; and imagines the material sector to bear a relationship with the non-material sector similar to that which ⅟∞ bears to ∞.

If so, then the material sector functions as the merest "vestibule" to the non-material sector of Cosmos; and for beings of creative intelligence, and purposeful will, "the real action" may lie within the non-material sector. How do I "know" this? I don't. I merely pencil it into my cognitive map of "reality" as a possibility, the same as you are welcome to do, or not, in accordance with your sovereign and unimpeachable choice.

Accordingly, I speculate further that the function of the material sector of Cosmos is a "proving ground," or a species of "school," or a "sand box" for nascent creative, intelligent, purposeful beings to "learn by doing" what works, and what does not work, among such beings. That is, the material sector is a place to learn The Law of Nature that applies universally; and possibly applies with even greater rigor in the immensely more vast, fluid, and unfettered non-material sector of Cosmos.

In this way, "My will is that you do your will," and "There is nothing you can do wrong," make profound sense to me: because put into action — any action possible, or imaginable — they yield only lessons illustrative of The Law: its infallible applicability, and eventually, the detailed contours that distinguish what works from what does not work among creative, intelligent, purposeful beings, in every possible contingency and circumstance.

How else can a creative, intelligent, purposeful being learn these things? Indeed, how else can a race, a species, of creative, intelligent, purposeful beings, learn these things, other than through a protracted course of errors and follies equivalent to what on Earth we have been calling "civilization," or "civilized" history? Notwithstanding all my accumulated criticisms of "civilization," at the end of the day, I cannot evade the admission that in the absence of all of it — including "civilization's" sublime achievements, and abysmal horrors — Earth-humanity could never otherwise have encountered and discovered the limitless potentialities made possible by our innate capacity for intelligent, purposeful creativity.

Imagine how things might have turned out if, as summarized in Part I,[29] after the human discovery of agriculture, at steps 6 and 7, the consequent expanding populations, instead of colliding, and igniting the chain-reaction of interminable war and mutual self-destruction that has characterized "civilization" to this very day and hour, those early humans, without exception, had instead possessed the wisdom to resolve their competing interests peacefully, and accommodate one another's differences in the manner of "enlightened beings."

First of all, how could such "enlightenment" possibly have been achieved by a species of creative, intelligent, purposeful beings, having from the outset the unfettered liberty to exercise their creativity, yet lacking all understanding of its immense potentials, and corresponding responsibilities? Imagine "the first encounter" between two tribes of such beings. Each tribe's movements are responses to the impulse for expansion, made necessary by their respective inventive discoveries of agriculture and animal husbandry: meaning their ability to produce as much food as necessary to support their consequently expanding populations. However, each is now faced by the dilemma that in order to expand their food production, they each require additional space in which to operate; and that space is now occupied by another tribe with competing interests. What to do?

The most obvious, and therefore the most probable response to this dilemma, is for each tribe to regard the other as an obstacle in the path of fulfilling their respective needs and desires. Being creative, intelligent, and purposeful, they have already accumulated considerable experience in dealing with obstacles; and their experience is most likely to prompt each tribe to surge forward into the space they require, and fight it out to a conclusion favoring the interests of one of the tribes, at the expense of the other. The stronger tribe "do what they can," and the weaker tribe "suffer what they must:" thereby establishing the universal pattern for all subsequent forms of human "civilization."

With "20/20 hindsight," some of us might now perceive that this may have been a "fatal error." However, it is not at all obvious how the error might possibly have been avoided — or even how we Earth-humans might have learned our intervening lessons, had our ancestors not blundered into it.

In order for a species of creative, intelligent, purposeful beings to scale the heights (and plumb the depths) of what such awesome capabilities potentially mean, we must first overcome challenges entirely beyond the scope of those faced by beings lacking these capabilities. Where are such formidable challenges to be encountered? Not anywhere in nature. There are no challenges in the weather, on the continents, islands, or in the oceans of planet Earth that were not taken in stride by our "primitive" forbears hundreds of thousands of years before their discovery of agriculture, and the consequent emergence of "civilization."

The only source of challenges adequate to "test the mettle" of innately creative, intelligent, purposeful beings, enabling discovery of the limitless scope — and formidable hazards — of our capabilities, is confrontation by innately creative, intelligent, purposeful beings like ourselves. Such challenges, to be fruitful, must be at least approximately balanced. Very little of value may be learned when barefoot tribesmen wielding spears and clubs are confronted by mechanized divisions armed with machine guns, artillery, and air support. Similarly, Earth-humans would learn little from an invasion of "aliens from outer space" with the capability of leaping at will among the solar systems.

Fortunately, the historical confrontations among humans have for the most part been more balanced than these imaginary examples, with the consequence that Earth-humanity have learned much we would never have imagined, had such confrontations never occurred. Our lessons have often been bitter, and we seem not to have reached the end of them. However, at the moment of writing, we're still here, if only "by the skin of our teeth," and may not yet have entirely foreclosed upon our planetary future.

In this view of things, the material sector of Cosmos emerges as a kind of "school" for learning the distinguishing features between patterns that work and patterns that do not work; and whose entire "curriculum," in response to every question: "What if . . . ?" consists only of: "Try it, and find out."

Because there is no opposite to existence, the material sector is a slow school, utterly without haste. One can annihilate others and himself in a bazillion different ways, trying one thing after another that doesn't work — and still, somehow, the lessons go on, and on, lifetime after lifetime, generation after generation, solar system after solar system maybe, if necessary: whatever, and however long it takes: until each creative, intelligent, purposeful being finally "gets it;" and masters the art of living lawfully: and harm ye none, do as ye will. Only in the practice of living many lives that do not work may any creative, intelligent, purposeful being or species eventually learn how to conduct lives that do work — that is: learn how to live lawfully in Cosmos. Yet however long it takes, once the lesson is learned, it never again requires repetition.

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4 Beyond Wealth and Power

If nothing else, the history of "civilization" demonstrates that fulfilling the latent potential in beings who are naturally creative, intelligent, and purposeful is a tall order indeed; and is not rewarded with achievement when approached casually, or without deliberately focused attention. In order to blossom, bear fruit, and fulfill their rich potential, these qualities must be nurtured, husbanded, and cultivated with care in each human, cradle to grave. "Civilization's" chronic obstruction of this vital function is the essence of its dysfunction, and the primary reason it must be succeeded by "something else" that does fulfill the function of nurturing, instead of stifling, purposeful, intelligent creativity among all Earth-humans.

Thus, beyond the awareness of practically all of us, the most urgent question on the human agenda at the present time has become: If not "civilization," what? If it is so that the common denominator among "civilized" humans is that "the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must," then as we have observed,[30] the result of this condition is that the creative, intelligent, purposeful nature of humans is systematically stifled throughout all human strata: thereby universally dulling, diminishing, and destroying our essential humanity. If we want a result different from this, then we must change the self-destructive condition within "civilization" that stifles our humanity.

This is a change that cannot be effected "from the outside," as by some form of legislation, or organizing principle intended for "others." It can only be accomplished "from the inside" of each individual human, by means of our intentional and persistent individual effort. It must be entirely voluntary; it cannot be coerced. Coercion is the instrument of "civilization," and "civilized" history has demonstrated repeatedly, and without exception, that it is an instrument that does not work for creative, intelligent, purposeful beings.

Therefore, for those who harbor visions of "a better world," I hereby suggest that none of us can do better in the way of bringing such visions into actuality than by purposefully, deliberately, and persistently nurturing the intelligent creativity that naturally resides within each of us; and by living in such ways as to give as much allowance and encouragement as possible to others to nurture similarly their own innate intelligent creativity.

This is a practice that places no burden of any kind upon anybody else. It neither asks nor expects from anybody anything that is not voluntarily and freely offered; and it accepts without complaint whatever emerges into actuality from the acts of others. It naturally evades as much as possible the adverse consequences of the harmful acts of others; yet with the understanding that all harmful acts are at least as damaging to their perpetrators as to their victims, it does not respond to such acts with similar acts in return.

One technique that I have found useful in putting this practice into effect is to consider all the acts of others as extended manifestations of "the weather." The weather is a complex combination of conditions that affect everyone, all the time. There is "fair weather," and "foul," yet nobody is able to do much about it, whatever the weather happens to be, at any time or place; and few have ever imagined changing the weather to suit their individual preferences. "Coming in out of the rain" is about as well as any of us can do in the eventuality of inclement weather.

Similarly, the acts of others create conditions of which we may approve, or disapprove; but because they are acts chosen by others, not by ourselves, we are no more able to change them than we are able to change the weather. If we are dissatisfied with the consequences of our own acts, we have the prerogative of acting differently henceforth. However, with or without our approval in relation to the acts of others, this is not a (lawful) prerogative.

Of course, the "civilized" response to the disapproved acts of others — if the others happen to be weaker than ourselves — is to employ some form of coercion as a means of bringing such disapproved acts to a halt, and of redirecting them into acts we may more readily approve. But as we have seen, this is a response that does not work in dealing with creative, intelligent, purposeful beings; and so is not an effective option for those of us who harbor visions of "a better world" for humanity.

A traditional mariner, to push the analogy somewhat further, is one who used the weather as his means of navigating the watery parts of our planet. Like the rest of us, he too was subject to fair weather and foul; yet he became skilled in using the weather, "whichever way the wind blows," to navigate to any port on Earth. Sometimes he enjoyed "fair winds and following seas;" and sometimes he was forced to ride out a gale "under bare poles," or to take shelter within "any port in a storm." He may have blasphemed when he was making for a port that lay in the eye if the wind; but it didn't do him much good. What worked better was to tack a few points alternately to starboard, and to port; and so, even in the teeth of the wind, to make gradual headway along his chosen course. The virtues of the mariner may be applied usefully to the personal project of cultivating one's own intelligent creativity; and of allowing others, if this is our choice, to do the same.

Taking such unilateral action, without attempting to influence anyone else to do likewise, may seem like a singularly passive and ineffectual response to the cascade of alarming emergencies being faced in our time by every resident of planet Earth. However, the only alternative to making no attempt to influence the choices of others, is to attempt to influence the choices of others. If, as argued here, such preemptive influences, because they trespass upon the creative, intelligent, and purposeful prerogatives of our fellows, are the primary source of the alarming human predicament on planet Earth, then they cannot be the source of a remedy for the human predicament.

From the dawn of "civilized" history, influencing the choices of others, by coercion or persuasion, is the core essence of the "civilized way." In our time, the cascade of alarming emergencies being faced by every resident of planet Earth combine to demonstrate that this "civilized way" does not work, and is indeed the root source of the human predicament. Accordingly, if there are any solutions at all to the human predicament in our time, one place they are least likely to be found is among the patterns of coercion and trespass that form the bedrock of the "civilized way."

Many "civilized" people may receive this assessment of the human predicament as "bad news" — or simply dismiss it as untrue, and irrelevant to the human condition. Very well; meanwhile, the human predicament on planet Earth — for one reason or others — intensifies daily; and lacking a remedy, seems to be running off the rails on a global scale, in the recent past, the immediate present, and in the near-term future. The unilateral, non-aggressive, non-invasive approach to the human predicament described here may not appeal at this time to many or most of our planetary co-residents; who may prefer alternative approaches in closer alignment with their more familiar cognitive maps of "reality." However, just as the mariner keeps his course, no matter which way the wind blows, so the unilateral, non-aggressive, non-invasive approach to the human predicament neither expects nor requires others to alter their choices to accommodate its practice. This may be fortunate: because the way things seem to be going, the choices of others, to accommodate anything, do not look like changing significantly, any time soon.

There are plenty of reasons for pessimism, for anyone who looks closely at what is going on — and at what has been going on, around the clock, around the world, with very little deviation, for the past thousands of years of "civilized" history. A particularly sobering global survey is available in Amy Chua's World on Fire.[31]

Chua comes from a Chinese family resident in the Philippines, where Chinese immigrants constitute a market-dominant ethnic minority among the majority indigenous to their adopted country. That is, in the Philippines, [quoting Chua] "1 percent of the population, Chinese Filipinos control as much as 60 percent of the private economy, including the country's four major airlines and almost all of the country's banks, hotels, shopping malls, and major conglomerates."[32]

The pattern of the market-dominant minority is one to which Chua is keenly sensitized, and she recognizes it as a source of mounting strife and chaos among richly diverse peoples and nations in every part of the world.

The Chinese are a market-dominant minority not just in the Philippines [Chua writes] but throughout Southeast Asia. In 1998, Chinese Indonesians, only 1 percent of the population, controlled roughly 70 percent of Indonesia's private economy, including all of the country's largest conglomerates. More recently, in Burma, entrepreneurial Chinese have literally taken over the economies of Mandalay and Rangoon. Whites are a market-dominant minority in South Africa — and, in a more complicated sense, in Brazil, Ecuador, Guatemala, and much of Latin America. Lebanese are a market-dominant minority in West Africa. Ibo are a market-dominant minority in Nigeria. Croats were a market-dominant minority in the former Yugoslavia. And Jews are almost certainly a market-dominant minority in post-Communist Russia.[33]

The chronic problem with a market-dominant minority in the midst of any indigenous constituency is that a) the former are disproportionately wealthy and powerful, in relation to the indigenous population; b) being "foreign," they are notoriously insensitive to the concerns of the indigenous population involuntarily hosting them; and c) they are typically resented and resisted by the indigenous population, in mounting proportion to the material disparity in conditions between the market-dominant minority and its indigenous hosts.

Accordingly, the relationship between a market-dominant minority and its indigenous host fits the description of a parasitic relationship, as discussed in The Writing on the Wall #1 § 5 Symbiosis and Predation;[34] and is often perceived as such by the indigenous host population — notwithstanding any "benefits" they may be said to enjoy by virtue of the market-dominant minority in their midst.

Chua documents in breadth and in depth how the problems that follow from the invasion of indigenous constituencies by market-dominant minorities are vastly amplified by policies originating in the West, particularly in the U.S., which aggressively promote the principles of free market capitalism, combined with democratization, and universal suffrage among Third World peoples.

That markets and democracy swept the world simultaneously [Chua writes] is not a coincidence. After the fall of the Berlin Wall a common political and economic consensus emerged, not only in the West but to a considerable extent around the world. Markets and democracy, working hand in hand, would transform the world into a community of modernized, peace-loving nations. In the process, ethnic hatred, extremist fundamentalism, and other "backward" aspects of underdevelopment would be swept away.

The consensus could not have been more mistaken. Since 1989, the world has seen the proliferation of ethnic conflict, the rise of militant Islam, the intensification of group hatred and nationalism, expulsions, massacres, confiscations, calls for renationalization, and two genocides of magnitudes unprecedented since the Nazi Holocaust.[35]

Although the Western project of globalization, consisting of the combined promotion of free market capitalism and democracy, may have been initiated with "the best of intentions," the vast scope of the project, and its massive sustained financing, have reaped a harvest of unintended consequences that are swiftly escalating to catastrophic proportions. Chua graphically illustrates how the advance of free market capitalism disproportionately favors the interests of market-dominant minorities at the expense of their indigenous hosts; while the advance of democracy empowers indigenous host majorities with the political means of retaliation — which in numerous instances have ignited horrifying holocausts. This may be an extreme example of the hazards discussed earlier of egoism in association with expanded wealth an power. As was observed, "It may practically be so, that the most formidable and dangerous challenge faced by those who ascend to the summits of wealth, power, and fame, is the almost inevitable obscuration of their absolutely reciprocal relationship (⅟∞) to infinity (∞)." (Emphasis included.) This is applicable not only to individual humans, but to collectives, such as governments, empires, and international institutions.

Graham Hancock passionately illustrates this challenge in his scathing 1989 critique of "the international aid business," Lords of Poverty.[36] Hancock begins with a litany of anecdotal examples of foreign aid gone sour, one of which, taken virtually at random, perhaps may symbolize countless others:

In the hands of well-meaning but ignorant humanitarians, [Hancock writes] food aid frequently does more harm than good. According to a study by the US Agency for International Development, Guatemala received 41,000 tonnes of food from sympathetic outsiders after it had suffered a devastating earthquake. Very little of the Central American country's own food supplies had been destroyed by the quake, however, and local farmers had just brought in a record-breaking harvest. The most visible result of the humanitarian largesse dumped on Guatemala was thus the complete collapse of prices in the domestic grain market and greatly increased privation for rural producers.[37]

This is by no means the most egregious example of misapplied humanitarian aid; but it does illustrate some features of a common thread. Forty-one thousand tons of anything, bestowed unnecessarily and unsolicited upon anyone, anywhere, may much more reasonably be expected to be a source of problems than a source of solutions, in any imaginable context. In general, large acts reap proportionately large consequences; and unless carefully considered, and effectively balanced in advance, the consequences of large acts, even with "the best of intentions," may be far from harmless.

Unfortunately, on the basis of performance, it is difficult to credit many of the large acts by "developed" Western nations on behalf of "underdeveloped" Third World peoples as motivated by "the best of intentions." Perhaps in part because it is so sprawling, and has its fingers in so many different pies around the world, the United Nations comes in for extensive criticism in Hancock's book.

Whatever noble mission the United Nations may once have had [Hancock writes] has, I am now convinced, long since been forgotten in the rapid proliferation of its self-perpetuating bureaucracies — in the seemingly endless process by which empires have been created within the system by ambitious and greedy men and then staffed by time-servers and sycophants. Rather than encouraging humility and dedication, the world body's structure seems actively to reward self-seeking behaviour and to provide staff with many opportunities to abuse the grave responsibilities with which they have been entrusted.[38]

This may be so in part because the compensation policy for UN employees is surely among the most liberal in the world, being based upon what is known as the "Noblemaire Principle."

Named after a French diplomat, Georges Noblemaire, who worked for the League of Nations during the 1920s, [Hancock informs us] this states simply that salaries and entitlements in international organizations should be sufficient to attract as employees citizens of the country with the best-paid national civil service. United Nations pay rates are thus based today on a comparison with those of the federal civil service of the richest country on earth — the United States of America.

This comparison presently works out very much in the UN's favour. At all levels and grades, salaries and entitlements are significantly better than those in the US civil service.[39]

Of course, the theory behind this policy may seem at first glance to have a basis in common sense. As Hancock quotes one UN agency department head he interviewed: "If you want to persuade top people to work in development, then you have to pay top dollar. If you pay peanuts you get monkeys."[40]

However, on closer examination, the quality of UN staff does not appear in general to be commensurate with the premium compensation they receive. Statistics for United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) personnel, as for most other UN agencies, indicate 30% have no university qualifications, 32% hold the equivalent of a Bachelor's degree, and 38% hold a higher degree. "In the Director grades (D-1 and D-2) the percentage of staff members who have had no university education is roughly the same."[41]

As summarized by Maurice Bertrand, senior member of the UN Joint Inspection Unit, the UN's own watchdog agency, "There is nothing to indicate that systematic efforts are being made either to require a high level of staff qualifications or to train professional staff for the specific tasks they will be called upon to perform. On the contrary, the laxness that prevails in this matter would seem to put a premium on mediocrity."[42]

The upshot of all of this seems to be that the primary concern of the majority of the highly paid UN staff is not aimed at improving the performance of the UN's multiple missions in service of Third World peoples; but instead, improving upon the lavish compensation already enjoyed by UN personnel.

At headquarters in New York, for example, [writes Hancock] the 120-member Staff Council — a legislative body of the Staff Union — holds one meeting every four to five days. The twenty committees that it has set up to study various issues each have ten members who also meet regularly. The Council claims that one of the main aims of this ceaseless activity is to study ways of improving staff efficiency. In a typical year, however, during which members of the Council discussed more than eighty subjects, adopted sixty-one resolutions, and issued nearly fifty bulletins, the question of efficiency of staff was not raised once. Pay and entitlements were, throughout, the main items on the agenda.[43]

Thus although UN staff may hale from every member nation, wherever on Earth they are assigned "in the field," they constitute a highly privileged, and effectively market-dominant minority. They neither mix nor consult with the indigenous constituencies it is their (alleged) mission to "serve." Nor are they even slightly encumbered by the marginal to impossible economic conditions common to the indigenous majorities they affect. Instead, they implement "development plans" drafted in places utterly foreign to where they are applied, by bureaucrats with no connection, and little interest in the populations they impact. Under such circumstances, it is small wonder that 41,000 tons of food (for a single example among many) that is neither needed nor requested may casually be sent where it cannot possibly help, but can only add to the calamities of an already suffering people.

It appears that one of the common threads that wends its way throughout the cascade of alarming emergencies being faced in our time by every resident of planet Earth — is money. Market-dominant minorities, including aloof, insensitive, and lavishly remunerated bureaucrats, in the midst of impoverished multitudes who at best are able to scratch but a bare subsistence from the ground upon which they live, constitute a recurring pattern that stubbornly persists in the face of all efforts (if any) to remedy it.

Although in our time, this is a pattern that takes shape among wide-bodied jet airliners, stretch limousines, and shantytown slums in the shadows of glittering high-rise metropolises, it is a pattern as old as "civilization" itself: for always the weak majority, who suffer what they must, have lived, and died, at the mercy of the strong minority, who do whatever they will, and can. It is a pattern that does not work, and cannot last; this much is certain. What remains uncertain is whether it can be replaced by an alternative pattern that does work, and can last — naturally excluding "the peace of the grave," that can easily last indefinitely, and will certainly descend upon planet Earth in the eventuality that no such alternative pattern can be found, or implemented.

Perhaps on the basis of our observations so far, we may sketch in some of the essential features of such an alternative pattern, and imagine how it might emerge in our present and near-term future.

  • The new pattern emerges voluntarily with intentional individuals.

  • The pattern neither requires nor expects accommodation by anybody.

  • The pattern does not oppose, or attempt to prevent anything.

  • The pattern, like the wind, cannot be opposed, or prevented by anything.

  • The pattern is perfected by practice, and it may be practiced by anyone.

  • Practice of the pattern exercises liberty, and imagination, and yields harmlessness.

  • The pattern does not proliferate harm, and responds to it with harmlessness.

  • The pattern may be practiced by as few as one, and is scalable to multitudes.

  • The pattern shares the quality without a name with all patterns that work.

  • The pattern is shared by all sacred traditions, and is not exclusive to any of them.

  • The pattern manifests the relation between the whole (∞) and each of its parts (⅟∞).

  • The pattern manifests uniquely in the practice of each of its practitioners.

If a pattern can be imagined that fits the description of the 12 preceding statements, then its emergence among humans in the real world does not seem entirely beyond the pale of possibility. The list does not constitute a complete description of the pattern; yet every item on it is accessible to every human anywhere who chooses to put them into practice.

Although among "civilized" humans, the pattern described here may seem "new," or "novel," or even "radical," or "revolutionary," it is not at all new. It is timeless, and manifests everywhere in Cosmos, as a densely woven fabric of intricately interrelated patterns that work, and consequently last. As the "civilized" patterns that do not work continue to collapse, dissolve, and blow away, all that may remain standing will be patterns that work — and those who put them into practice in the conduct of their individual lives.

Contents


5 Conclusion

I usually reach "inconclusions," not "conclusions:" because the flux of Cosmic and human events seems always to be an inconclusive journey, rather than a conclusive destination. However, in our time, it is becoming increasingly evident that we Earth-humans are indeed approaching, if not a conclusive destination, at least a decisive "bend in the road," transitioning from "something" to "something else" of a fundamentally different nature from our past experiences. I have used the terms, "civilization," and "post-civilization" to label this transition; but these may not be adequate to capture its full scope.

What we Earth-humans are now experiencing may be more analogous to a "quantum leap," or a "state change," as between a solid and a liquid, or between a liquid and a gas, than to a gradual transition, such as the opening of a flower, or the emergence of a butterfly — although it may bear significant resemblances to these as well.

In any case, I feel that in the preceding sections I have come closer than ever before to imagining a vision of how we Earth-humans — or at least some of us — might "pull our bacon out of the fire," and continue the adventure of being human, on an entirely different basis than that to which we have become habituated during what we still remember of our past several thousand years' residency on this planet.

At best, this is a long shot, "with no guarantee, express or implied," that any of us can actually pull it off. It is a vision that might spontaneously emerge only among people who apply it to themselves, with no expectation that anyone else will, or even "should," do likewise. Such an extravagant notion is entirely alien to our "civilized" heritage, which is filled with expectations, and heavy obligations, laid always upon "others," regarding how they "should" and "should not" conduct their lives. The present vision lets all that slip away, and focuses attention instead upon how "I," one individual among multitudes, might conduct my life, no one else's, only in ways that work; and exclude as many patterns as possible that are found not to work. That is all.

Of course, there are innumerable reasons to doubt that such a mild and piecemeal approach to the human predicament bears any possibility at all of yielding satisfactory results for anyone. Its only strength seems to be that, like the wind, it cannot be opposed, or prevented by anything. Yet cascades of mass insanity and chaos may easily be imagined that would sweep away such fragile blossoms without a trace.

On the other hand, to the present day and hour we have endured several thousand years, in every habitable corner of the Earth, ruled by an astounding variety of powerful individuals who have claimed and believed that they could govern all their inferiors in power, and subdue the very Earth to their wills. Legion are those who have undertaken this enterprise: not one has succeeded, nor escaped eventual disaster in his turn.

As audacious and outrageous as my "modest proposal" might seem — which, remember, I apply only to myself, with no expectation that others may apply it to themselves — has it any more slender probability of "succeeding" than have the innumerably varied stratagems of wealth and power?

As mentioned above, my "modest proposal" is neither "radical," nor "revolutionary," nor "audacious, nor "outrageous;" nor even "new," or "novel." It has been around for a very long time; but has repeatedly been passed over, in preference for more "direct," or "practical," or "effective," or "necessary" methods: always implemented by men of wealth and power, with the means of coercing the submission of others to their indomitable wills.

Had any of these ambitious enterprises achieved, and sustained their ambitions, there might be reason to crank up the old formula once again, and "give it another go." And naturally, because practically nobody on Earth can conceive of anything different anyway, like it or not, we may expect more of the same until the bitter end, when more of the same is simply no longer possible.

Meanwhile, unexpected, and without invitation, there may be a few people here and there, willing to try "something different:" a pattern that, instead of being dominated by wealth and power, and implemented on a massive, monolithic scale, is implemented piecemeal and uniquely, in the practice of each of its practitioners.

The main reason behind ventures of this kind may be sheer desperation. When what "civilized" humans have always done simply no longer works at all, even marginally, there may be some who are driven to a path that has long been available, but has never been followed. On the basis of my cognitive map of "reality," I have become convinced that if we cannot pull our bacon out of the fire by means of the unilateral, non-aggressive, non-invasive approach to the human predicament, we'll just have to settle for burned bacon: because for reasons already elaborated, the aggressive, invasive methods of wealth and power simply do not work, have never worked, and cannot be made to work.

If so, might the emergence of "post-civilization" from the detritus of "civilization" turn out to be a plausibly imaginable possibility after all? Is it possible that, after all the patterns that do not work have failed, fallen, and disappeared, only patterns that work, and those who practice them, will remain standing? May we not then at least have had a glimpse of a path that may take us beyond the "civilized" nightmare of wealth and power?

These are questions, not answers; and only you, the pilot of the life that was given to you — along with "All That Is" necessary to support and sustain it — are qualified to answer them: in your own way, in your own time, unencumbered by anyone, or anything. "My will is that you do your will." "There is nothing you can do wrong." Thank you for your time and attention.

Contents

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1. "Post-Civilized" Possibilities: Beyond Wealth and Power, Part I § 2 We Interrupt This Broadcast . . . wellspringpublishinggroup.com/wl/pcp-d.html#witb02.0

2. wellspringpublishinggroup.com/wl/pcp-a.html#or04.6

3. This matter was considered at some length in Grahn, The Writing on the Wall #3: "How Do You Know That You Know What You Know?"
wellspringpublishinggroup.com/wl/wow03.pdf

4. Grahn, The Writing on the Wall #5: "Don't Take Any Wooden Nickels" § 2.2 Wealth and Power. wellspringpublishinggroup.com/wl/wow05.html#econ02.2.0

5. Grahn, "Post-Civilized" Possibilities: Beyond Wealth and Power, Part I § 1 A Can of Worms. wellspringpublishinggroup.com/wl/pcp-d.html#acow01.0

6. wellspringpublishinggroup.com/wl/wow05.html#end04.2.
Gundersen: Image shows radioactive “thermal flare” was coming from Fukushima Reactor 3 — “Exactly where the containment should be” (VIDEO)
enenews.com/gundersen-image-shows-radioactive-thermal-flare-coming-fukushima-reactor-3-exactly-containment-be-video

7. Grahn, The Writing on the Wall #7 § 2 "Civilization".
wellspringpublishinggroup.com/wl/wow07.html#civ02.14

8. Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679), Leviathan, Ch. 13
ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/h/hobbes/thomas/h68l/chapter13.html

9. Grahn, The Writing on the Wall #7: "Not All That Can Be Imagined Works In Practice" § 3.6 Love. wellspringpublishinggroup.com/wl/wow07.html#p-civ03.6.11

10. wellspringpublishinggroup.com/wl/pcp-d.html#acow01.13

11. Grahn, The Writing on the Wall #6: "Inquire Within", p. 6.
wellspringpublishinggroup.com/wl/wow06.pdf

12. Grahn, "Post-Civilized" Possibilities: The Quality Without a Name.
wellspringpublishinggroup.com/wl/pcp-a.html#or04.0

13. Grahn. "Post-Civilized" Possibilities: The Quality Without a Name.
wellspringpublishinggroup.com/wl/pcp-a.html

14. John J. Falone, The Genius Frequency: An Owner's Manual for the Cosmic Mind, Global Light Network, Virginia Beach, 2000.

15. Ibid., Ch. III Heart of Hearts: "The Transformer", p. 58.

16. E.g. Dewey B. Larson, The Universe of Motion: Volume III of a revised and enlarged edition of THE STRUCTURE OF THE PHYSICAL UNIVERSE, 1959, 1971, 1984, Ch. 30 Cosmology, and Ch. 31 Implications, pp. 413-483.
reciprocalsystem.org/PDFa/Universe of Motion (Larson, Dewey B).pdf

17. The Sphere of All Possibilities: A Hathor Planetary Message through Tom Kenyon.
tomkenyon.com/the-sphere-of-all-possibilities

18. wellspringpublishinggroup.com/wl/wow07.html#many04.2.9

19. wellspringpublishinggroup.com/wl/wow07.html

20. Kenyon. See footnote 17.

21. Giuseppe Thomasi di Lampedusa, The Leopard, 1958.

22. Elgin Groseclose, Money and Man: A Survey of Monetary Experience Fourth Edition, revised and enlarged by the Author, University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, 1934, 1961, 1967, 1976, p. vii.

23. Ibid., p. 11.

24. Thomas Babington Macaulay, The History of England (London, 1848), chap. xxi. (Groseclose's footnote.)

25. Groseclose, pp. 6-7.

26. Grahn, "Post-Civilized" Possibilities: Beyond Wealth and Power, Part I § 1.1 How It Works. wellspringpublishinggroup.com/wl/pcp-d.html#acow01.1.20

27. Groseclose, pp. 96-99.

28. Eben Alexander, M.D., Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon's Journey Into the Afterlife, Simon & Schuster, Inc., 2012; Heaven Is Real: A Doctor's Experience With the Afterlife, October 8, 2012 1:00 AM EDT.
www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2012/10/07/proof-of-heaven-a-doctor-s-experience-with-the-afterlife.htm

29. wellspringpublishinggroup.com/wl/pcp-d.html#acow01.7

30. Part I. wellspringpublishinggroup.com/wl/pcp-d.html#acow01.12

31. Amy Chua, World on Fire: How Exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred and Global Instability, Anchor Books, A Division of Random House, Inc., New York, 2003, 2004.

32. Ibid., p. 3.

33. Ibid., p. 6.

34. Grahn, The Writing on the Wall #1: ”Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong, Everything is Out of Control!” § 5 Symbiosis and Predation.
wellspringpublishinggroup.com/wl/wow01.pdf

35. Chua, p. 123.

36. Graham Hancock, Lords of Poverty: The Power, Prestige, and Corruption of the International Aid business, The Atlantic Monthly Press, New York, 1989.

37. Ibid., p. 15. Hancock's source: The Plain Dealer, Cleveland, Ohio, 21-7 December 1982.

38. Ibid., p. 84.

39. Ibid., p. 95, Hancock's emphasis.

40. Ibid., p. 96.

41. Ibid., p. 97.

42. Ibid., p. 96. Maurice Bertrand, Some Reflections on Reform of the United Nations, Joint Inspection unit of the United Nations, Geneva, 1985, paragraph 39. (Hancock's footnote.)

43. Hancock, p. 97.

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