Environment and Society

When you ask people what they dream of in an ideal world, it is always very similar – community, connection, beautiful gardens, abundance and sharing etc. and yet we are surrounded by such a plethora of conflicts that seem so difficult to resolve. Why is that? How can it be that we agree so much on the big things, but when it comes to the little things there is so much conflict? The truth is that in our deepest desires there is little conflict. We dream of positive things that synergise, but when we refuse to believe in our dreams and try to do smaller, seemingly more practical things we lose track of that beauty and the ideas are no longer universally agreed.

If we are to transform society effectively and solve our problems as a global community we need to use the same principles as with relationships – presence, and synergy – find directions that create enthusiastic agreement. This is possible and in fact much easier than many people think, but it requires some personal growth and some understanding of the forces at play.

This is often simplified to 2 forces – the conservative force of the conventional system and the progressive force of the movement for change, and in some cases that is enough to get a general understanding, but in many cases it helps to look a bit deeper and see the four corners of the political map – four psychological approaches to life and how they each have their important part to say. I will include some more in depth exploration of the 4 elements and 4 psychological types as it applies to society.

When dealing with 2 forces the synergy always involves some kind of combination of the 2 directions – in order to create a third direction that can be agreed upon by all – for example there are many conflicts between money and economy and jobs vs environment, and preservation of beauty. The resolution always involves some kind of community, environmentally conscious business – generally a cooperative that provides for both needs at the same time.

When dealing with the complete 4 forces the resolution is always a cycle – or a spiral we keep moving between one approach to another depending on the needs of the day.

Either way there is the need for those who can step outside of the conflict, stand in the middle and facilitate a better solution. This is the big challenge in social transformation, large or small – to have the presence and inner peace, and wisdom to be able to stand in the middle and help all people come together in an ideal solution.

This is why personal development is essential for change agents, and practicing and becoming effective in all the other areas of life will make you also effective in change making, so change makers should study personal spiritual growth, relationship development, business leadership, and community building in order to be able to bring all the pieces into play.

Centring

Centring is a cross-cutting issue that affects the way we approach many different areas of our lives. Principally how we approach our businesses, our approach to leadership, and the kind of personal development techniques that work for us. This is a development of the understanding of the chakras (the energy centres up and down the centre of the body). In my own research I found that every person has a particular chakra or energy centre that is predominant, and that helps to bring all the others into balance. When we focus our mind in that key centre many aspects of our life are aligned and we become effective and in flow. This I term finding your centre, or just Centring.

Centring is essential to effective business and project development, and leadership. Without it we remain stressed and ineffective. It is also quite important in choosing our personal spiritual development pathway, but in this case is often done in a less conscious way.

The research on centring continues, but as far as I understand it at the moment here are the types of centring – this is still in beta development. there may be some mistakes.:

The feet: gentle, introverted people who love elegance and beauty – they find relaxation and the taoist tradition very effective

The Base centre (base of the spine or more generally – the butt): Good listeners and connectors, matchmakers

The Lower abdomen, or sacral centre: facilitators and mediators who bring out the best in a team.

The upper belly, or solar plexus: system thinkers, and planners. engineers who appreciate systematic approaches such as yoga

The heart centre – people who are good at service and assistance, as well as being in the now in presence.

The throat centre – those who are good at dreaming and goal setting and making their dreams come true.

The third eye – intense focused people who know what they want to create and have the focus of mind and spirit to bring it into being.

The crown centre – perfectionist elegant people who try to organise everything perfectly – the western spiritual and cultural tradition is highly influenced by the crown centre – christianity, ballet, classical music etc.

Win-Win

A life of harmony and connection is a life of negotiation – now that might not sound very exciting, but that is only because you have not experienced the power and joy of effective win-win negotiation. True effective negotiation allows you to have your cake and eat it too, to get all the things you wanted for yourself, to share them with others, and to give the things that they would like as well, and just to sweeten the mix it leads to loving connections and friendships with the people around you. Negotiation whether done consciously or unconsciously, through conversation or through action is the only way to solve many of our life problems. I hope you will become more and more interested in negotiation as you discover its power.

Safety

Negotiation starts with a safe space where people are able to explore. This requires presence, and this requires holding a space where people are not hurt, and where they can be themselves and express themselves. This is in many ways the deepest and most difficult part because this requires us to develop ourselves and our own emotional maturity in order to create that space for ourselves and for others.

Understanding

Now we need to understand the needs – understand what it is that is driving people, what it is that is driving you. It is not the overt obvious, conflicting desires that are important, but the underlying needs and feelings so you need to ask “why?” – why is that important? and it is important that needs of different parties are not contrasted and compared, but that we simply make a list of all the needs – add them together, so that we can meet all of them at once. Meeting all the needs at once often seems difficult and unbelievable, but meeting only some of the needs generally leads to conflict and so is ineffective and often actually impossible.

Ideas

Get creative – come up with lots of ideas, crazy ideas, good ideas and bad ideas. Important here is not to criticise while being creative. Let the creative juices flow and we will critique afterwards.

Agreement

now we look for enthusiastic agreement – for things that we can all agree on – do not be satisfied by grudging agreement, we need ideas that will meet all our needs, try to improve on the ideas you came up with, discard the bad ones, combine and develop the good ones till you come up with a solution that is exciting.

Action

Now you need to put it into action. The best ideas and solutions often require building – they are not just a resolution and that is it, they are the beginning of a project together.

Relationships

The resolution of all our life issues starts with presence and in relationship it is no different, but there is a specific kind of presence that is called for in relationships and this is called differentiation. Differentiation is the ability to be connected with yourself while connected deeply with others, and also of course with the infinite. Differentiation can be learnt in various ways, and is most commonly simply picked up by being around others who have that presence, but there are a few exercises that you can do to learn this.

Having learnt to be present your next step is to make sure that you are not hurting each other. Love is created by joy, so you need to create joy. You need to follow the 5 basic principles of no harm in relationships

  • no aggression
  • no disrespect
  • no demands
  • no dishonesty
  • no independent behaviour

The next step will be to create positive experiences together. To do this you will have to learn to negotiate win-win solutions. See my article on negotiation.

There are 5 basic areas of positive experience that we all need to different levels and in different ways. Start with the ones that are most important to you and the ones most important to your partner

  • Communication – honesty and deep listening
  • Admiration – being attractive and admirable, and showing your admiration
  • Play – doing enjoyable things with each other and with the children
  • Work – financial support and help around the house
  • Lovemaking – affection and sex

Business, Wealth and Abundance

Gifts and Curses

We are all born with great gifts special abilities and skills – what we don’t always realise is that these exact gifts that make us special, also make us weak in another way. Any gift can also be a curse- sensitivity is great, but it makes you sensitive (duh) and a brilliant intellect might make you less understanding of other people who do not have such an intellect etc.

Flow

When we use our gifts well we go into a state of flow – of easy natural work. This is where we are most effective. This is what is required in order to make successful projects etc. happen.

Centring

Each of us has a particular flow personality depending on how extroverted or introverted, how creative, or practical we are. This also relates to our chakras or energy centres. There is one point along the centre of our body that leads us to effective action – a centre that empowers and puts us into flow, and the other centres follow, but if we focus our energy in another centre it takes us out of flow, so it is important to find the correct centre of flow.

Flow in action

There are also particular actions and approaches to life that suit us each depending on our personality profile and centre that can help us to be effective. The key to success is to stick to your centre and your flow, and support others to do the same. This can be expanded on and explored in much depth, but it all comes down to this one central principle.

Happiness

There are three types of happiness – the happiness that comes from receiving and having things, the happiness that comes from giving and doing, and the happiness that comes from being, presence and connection. When we rely on the first as our main source of happiness we become needy and addictive. When we rely on the second we become energetic, caring, but stressed. When we rely on the third as the main foundation of our happiness then life can be a joy. It can also include the other ones as the presence and connection can lead us to meaningful action and to filling our life with good, satisfying things.

These three types of happiness also relate to the three kinds of connection – connection to self, to other, and to the infinite. A balanced fulfilled life depends on combining all three of these connections so that we are in harmony with ourselves, others and the universe. Spiritual traditions and different attitudes to life can be compared by looking at which of those connections they encourage. for example most conservative religious traditions are very focused on the infinite divine connection, but often at the detriment of connection to self – some of them promote connection to others, and some less so. The Atheist, materialistic attitude leads to a disconnection from the infinite, but in many cases goes along with a humanist concept that leads to connection to others and sometimes also to oneself. Ecstatic spiritual experiences of love are often based on deep connection to yourself and the divine, but not the other. Etc.

There are 7 layers of the mind that correspond to the 7 combinations of the three connections

  1. instinctive – connected only to self
  2. Religious – connected only to the infinite
  3. Rational – connected only to the other
  4. Creative – connected to self and the other
  5. Compassionate – connected to the infinite and the other
  6. Ecstatic – connected to self and the infinite
  7. Harmonious – connected to self, other and the infinite.

We are each free to choose which of these approaches to life we wish to choose and there are benefits to each one of them, however this website and my teachings are specifically focused on the triple connection and the harmonious approach to life. There are important reasons why I recommend this approach, but there are also particular challenges associated with it.

The harmonious approach is slow but complete transformation. It has the potential to resolve all our problems – happiness as well as relationships, as well as environment and politics and community etc. It takes us out of the realm of conflict and problems altogether to the realm where all challenges are opportunities for growth and more joy. But it takes some patience, and a lot of ongoing personal growth, a commitment to opening to the divine light and love and connection in all things. We cannot bring with us and hold onto our resentments and our fears, but must dive completely into love, peace and joy. If this is for you then read on. If not perhaps you can try another teacher who is focused on a different approach to life and a different level of the mind.

There are 2 main ways to approach spiritual growth through the levels of the mind – what people call awakening that leads to profound transformative joy. The one is self study – which depends on the power of awareness to transform yourself and deepen yourself in every way and at every stage. The second is Tantra – which is techniques that a master can teach you that will transform you – specific exercises or prayers or mantras that have a specific effect. This method is faster, but it requires a master that you trust to show you how it is done. I would recommend a combination of the two – finding your own way, but with some techniques to speed the process. This is what I try to offer here. One place you could start is my “open to love” course.

Basic Concepts

The One Key

There is one cause to most if not all of our problems – they can be categorised as different forms of disharmony, or disconnection. When we become in conflict with life and reality, then our life and our reality become difficult. When we come into harmony and connection with life and the world around us then life and our experience becomes easy and joyous. This one key has been described in many different words – harmony, connection, oneness etc. I will use the term connection because it is the one that people seem to find the easiest to understand.

The Triple Connection

There are three types of connection that need to be cultivated – connection with the self, connection with others, and connection with joy (or the divine or infinite). Any missing connection leads to a different kind of imbalance depending on which type or types of connection are missing.

Layers of the mind

There are 7 layers of the mind ranging from the most instinctive and physical to the most expansive and spiritual. Each one makes use of a different type of combination of connections – some layers are more connected to the self, others are more selfless and connected to others needs. The 7th layer of the mind the anandamaya kosha is connected in all directions. This is the one that leads to harmony in all areas of life.

Love

Everything is love, and everything that anyone does comes out of a kind of love. The difference is in how expansive that love is. Some love only themselves, some love their family, and some love the whole universe and many somewhere in between, but that love casts a shadow – whatever you do not love is ignored and therefore can be treated badly. The goodness of a person is not how much they love, but how expansive that love is.

States of Consciousness

Each area of life, each challenge requires a different state of consciousness in order to be in harmony with it. A commercial kitchen requires energy and speed, a library requires quietness and thought. A martial artist needs to quick to respond, a mechanic needs to take their time to understand before they react. Each requires a different state of consciousness, and by cultivating the right state of consciousness that skill becomes easy to learn and you become effective in that area of life.


Spiritual Practice

Each state of consciousness leads to a particular kind of expression – a more aggressive state of consciousness might be show in particular harsher movements – think rappers and hip hop, and a gentler state of consciousness might lead to an expression more like ballet. If you copy the movements or expressions that come naturally out of a particular state of consciousness you can put yourself into that state of consciousness. In order to communicate about these different states of consciousness and to share them with others people have developed techniques and practices that encapsulate that state of consciousness through movements (eg. yoga, taichi) through words (mantra, prayers), through letters and symbols eg. (kabbalah, sacred geometry). They can be communicated and encapsulated in many forms – whatever the form, it is the state of consciousness that is the point of the exercise, and this can always be communicated in different ways. Religions are ways of teaching (hopefully effective) states of consciousness.

Being, Doing and Having

There are three levels of how we find happiness and meaning in our lives being, doing and having. Having is the easiest and most instinctive – give me a sweet, or some entertainment, or a toy or nice car and I will be happy (for a while). Doing takes a little more effort and leads to meaningful action, sports, business, and community service, the happiness that it brings is a little deeper and more lasting. Being leads to presence, meditation, transformation and wisdom, and it leads to the deepest happiness, but is often the last of the three for us to cultivate and get interested in. Effective action to make our lives and the world around us better always starts with being, with doing and action coming out of that presence, and sustainable wealth and abundance – having the end result.

Problem Solving

Whatever challenge or problem we are facing whether it is relationships, happiness, community building, the environment, economic wellbeing, politics – the only effective way to solve the problem is to first tackle being – bring ourselves into harmony and connection with the issue, then find actions that will maintain and strengthen that harmony and connection, and then later reap the rewards. Any actions done out of harmony will lead to a disharmonious result.

Compassionate Understanding

Everybody is doing their best to be a good person and to do good in the world. Any time that you find yourself blaming somebody or have an understanding of the situation that is not completely compassionate it means you didn’t fully understand and it also puts you in a weak position as a victim of circumstances beyond your control. To understand deeply and compassionately gives you the power to take wise effective action and transform the situation

Negotiation

When we can understand deeply then we can find solutions that are win win for all involved – to create synergy and directions that everyone can enthusiastically agree to. This is the beginning of effective action.

The impossible and the challenging

Do not confuse the impossible and the challenging. Creating enthusiastic agreement and synergy, finding exciting solutions that everyone can agree to is nearly always possible but challenging. Doing things in a way that might seem simpler but does not resolve all the issue, and lead to joy is often completely impossible because of people and their psychology.

Centring

Each of us has a specific energy centre that is dominant and when we focus our attention there it puts the rest of us in balance. The centre is in different places depending on the person – always one of chakras or energy centres down our centre line

Specific challenges

Each specific challenge or area of life requires the same sense of harmony and connection but a different state of consciousness. Out of that consciousness arises particular actions that can resolve that particular issue. You can find solutions to different challenges here in our material, in each case applying the basic principles of connection and then branching out into slightly different areas depending on the needs of that particular issue.