(This article could be expanded in the coming months, with readers’ help, as explained in the last section of the piece: A Few Critical Situations Today…) MM
Throughout history it’s been a struggle to manage human affairs, as we try to find some kind of acceptable balance between a fellow’s right to be free and his group’s right to be stable.
While those two “basic rights” often fight each other, there are ways to help them get along.
The aim of good management here on Earth is to find the greatest peace and order amid conditions that can be frustrating for everyone.
The Basis of Sound Self-Management
Now (the late stages of the Second Epoch) is a good time to come up with a few management tips nicely suited to modern times and to our noble-savage human disposition.
1) Accept Who and Where We Are
Maybe the first thing to do is to agree on who (and where) we really are. As a human being on Earth, we are:
- a physically nested being, part of a nested chain of living systems on Earth extending from the biological systems within us (cells and molecules, organs and tissues…) out into the social systems and ecosystems around us (family, neighborhood, community, state or province, nation, Earth’s biosphere…).
- a spiritually nested being whose true, innermost self (the soul) is an eternal part of the source that’s forever steady and all-knowing… while our illusory outer shell (physical body) is experiencing a short-sighted, unruly lifetime on this noble-savage Planet Earth. Between the body and soul we also have a series of astral and ethereal bodies. Our spirit bodies and soul, of course, continue to live and to flourish before the birth and after the death of the physical body, as well as during our lifetime.
2) Distinguish Noble from Savage
The next thing to do is to draw a clear line between what’s noble and what’s savage (as defined in this series of articles):
- Noble behavior is motivated by the finer spirit within us that flourishes throughout the subtle realms of the omniverse. It encourages us, for example, to love, to trust, to be honest and sincere, to understand the ways of the omniverse, to help the less fortunate, to teach those who are ready to learn, to protect the environment, to place the needs of the community above our own desires, and to help make the world a place of peace and contentment.
- Savage behavior is motivated largely by carnal forces within us, especially our hormones and egos, that can help us survive on a sometimes brutal Earth. They compel us, for example, to fear, to crave, to be clever and deceptive, to exploit our surroundings for our own purposes, to harbor hidden agendas, to fight and to kill other living things, to have thoughts of vengeance, to have doubts and suspicions, to steal and to horde, and to ignore the suffering and injustices imposed on others.
- Noble behavior is the way of life in the finer spirit realms.
- Savage behavior is the way of life in the shadow realms around the Earth.
- Life on Earth is noble-savage, and trying to be purely noble or purely savage during a lifetime doesn’t work very well, as the tables below try to illustrate:
The following tables use a few examples (just to give a general idea) of how we humans might behave in various situations or in response to certain actions… whether nobly, savagely, or in a refined noble-savage way. That third column gives a sense of how we can refine our behavior through sound management at the personal, social, and planetary levels. We’ll explore a few specifics after the tables.
A slap in the face.
*Ideally we 1) come to Earth nobly (loving and trusting Mom), then 2) adapt to the savage rigors of Earth life (developing the ego and firing up the hormones through individuation), then 3) return to a noble mind-set of peace and oneness before “going home” to the afterlife. The sooner we start stage 3 after individuating, the greater chance we have to enjoy a calm, focused lifetime. There are various techniques for achieving a calm focus in life. The best is probably meditation, which connects the conscious mind to the soul. Ideally all young men and women would learn such techniques to help them along the life path they eventually choose.
Hunger and thirst.
*Optimized elixir is a theoretical drink or substance that fills a hole in this article. It would probably be a carefully developed, water-based substance containing most of the vitamins, minerals, fibers, proteins, carbs, and other nutritional substances a human body needs. Ideally each person could choose (or not) to subsist mainly on this elixir over the years, supplemented by just an occasional snack or small meal. There would be different formulations based on age and gender and on health conditions such as pregnancy and diabetes. It would be engineered by scientific institutes, in no way influenced by profit-motivated organizations. Meanwhile, people would also meditate to foster their life-giving connection to the source… to urge their bodies to be nourished by life-force in the “natural” way.
Pristine forests and meadows.
*We humans today (especially in the USA) seem to regard rapid progress nourished by heavy resource consumption as a sign of healthy (maybe “noble”) behavior, and static societies based on tradition as primitive and stagnant (maybe “savage”). In fact, the opposite is closer to the truth. If we could encourage activities that have a small impact on the environment (such as modest living, small families, and global communication) while discouraging high-impact activities (such as lavish living, big families, rapid economic growth, and global transportation)… maybe we could start to heal world society and Planet Earth, through thoughtful progress, before it’s too late.
Alcohol and recreational drugs.
*Some people are more susceptible to the harmful effects of alcohol and drugs and are better off avoiding them completely. Others can experience their mind-altering affects without severe, long-term harm.
Sexual desire and intercourse.
*Overpopulation has been a perennial problem for humanity down through the ages because Earth, with its noble-savage disposition, has become a finite world with limits to growth.
The above tables talk about earthly rewards and consequences of our noble or savage choices, but they don’t address the spiritual rewards and consequences… which are more profound and far-reaching. (And, indeed, less complicated.) Generally speaking:
- Noble choices help to raise our spiritual vibration so that, after we die, we resume living in fine, light spiritual realms where love, trust, understanding, and other noble values of the life-force prevail.
- Savage choices during a lifetime can lower our spiritual vibration to the point where we’re drawn into the shadows after we die… where the life-force is in short supply.
Astral level 3 seems to be the default spirit realm where most of us humans awaken after a lifetime on Earth. It usually takes a rejuvenating sleep, which lasts about six weeks of earth-time, to polish away the savage residue that we’ve brought along with us into our new life at level 3 of the spirit worlds. If noble motivations are foremost in our minds, we might soon ascend to level 4. If our savage motivations are more prominent, we’ll probably move down to level 2 or into one of the shadow realms where we’ll fit in without upsetting the norm.
From what I can tell from my research, though, there’s a big effort among our departed friends and loved ones at level 3 to try to get as many of us as possible settled there right away after we die… to get us reacquainted with spiritual living in paradise surroundings… which we’ve mostly forgotten during our lifetime.
3) Acknowledge the Source
In terms of self-management, the best thing we human beings can do in order to achieve the greatest peace and happiness both now (during our lifetime) and later (in the afterlife ), is simply to acknowledge the source and its life-force; to appreciate its life, love, and understanding; and to embrace the fact that it’s at the center of everything.
If we don’t acknowledge our oneness with the source (nor even its existence), life can become chaotic and oppressive here on Earth, whether as the result of addiction, or failure, or crime and punishment, or war, or any other cause of suffering.
Once we’re able to acknowledge the eternal source, to nurture our oneness, and to turn our lives over to the source, life can become manageable as we recognize that a lifetime is short… and the Earth with all of its suffering is illusory and relatively insignificant.
That simple, elegant truth—our oneness—is apparently at the core of effective management throughout the omniverse: Enjoy peace and order by nurturing our connection to the source… and by accepting nourishment from its self-regulating life-force. It’s the basis of every time-proven religion and of every viable recovery-from-addiction program based on “the 12 steps” (even if the precise definition of “the source” or higher power sometimes gets a little loose in order to accommodate everyone).
When we accept the basic truth of our oneness with a higher power, our lives become manageable. When we ignore it, our lives and our social systems become exceedingly difficult to manage amid chaos, conflict, and suffering.
Managing Our Social Systems
In the 1980s, some of my “best friends” were three-dozen of the brightest minds on the planet… even though I only got the chance to actually meet a few of them: Willis Harman, Robert Muller, Jan van der Linden, Hanna Newcombe, and the Mische couple. (The names of all of those brilliant men and women are included in the tables of contents of my two books from those days: Solutions for a Trouble World… and Healing the World and Me. The four main ideas below came from them.)
Those three-dozen men and women were all committed to making the world a better place. I admired what they were all doing, and they were my genuine heroes… until cancer nearly killed me, and my life took a spiritual turn. Even then, the ideas of my good friends from the 80s planted a solid foundation for the rest of my life.
The fact that I was a staunch, peace-loving agnostic in the late 1980s might be the reason why I got cancer early in life and then was pulled into afterlife research, especially ITC and INIT. Peace isn’t really possible without spiritual awareness.
Since my cancer, I think maybe it’s been part of my soul mission to do what I can to help fan the embers of afterlife understanding among humans on Earth, where it’s grown cold and neglected… dying out. There’s quite a large army of us out there scattered around the world… ITC researchers, psychics, mediums, near-death-experiencers, religious leaders, mystics, and others, all trying in our own ways to help connect people to their spiritual roots.
The rest of this article, then, is a culmination of the worldly information I gleaned in the 1980s, all polished up by what I’ve learned since then about the grander reality of spirit.
4) Manage from Within and Move Outward as Needed
Management always begins at the source and fills the omniverse with self-regulating life-force, eventually streaming into the minds of us humans on Earth, urging us to manage our lives and our world with love, good-will, honesty, and understanding.
Then the life-force comes into contact with the bristling, noble-savage management hierarchies of our world… our families, churches, communities, schools, businesses, governments, and religions that try to help us humans live together with some degree of peace and order.
Management principle: Within earth’s hierarchies, every decision should be made at the lowest (or innermost) level, but high enough to take into account the needs and well-being of those affected by the decision.
Most decisions in human affairs, day in and day out, are made by individuals. That’s the way it’s always been, and that’s the way it probably will always be here on Earth. But, as people start bumping into each other and stepping on each other’s toes (metaphorically speaking), larger regulatory groups have to be set up to help sustain peace and order. Parents make decisions for the family; city councils make decisions for the community; state, provincial, regional, and national governments make decisions at those levels, and the United Nations, ideally, would be empowered to make decisions for the planet.
Since its inception, the United Nations has been prevented (by its strongest, autonomy-demanding member nations, such as the USA) from making and enforcing world laws, so the UN is like a married couple who are prohibited from teaching and disciplining their unruly, belligerent children.
If there’s any hope for international peace, for a healthy ecosystem, and for long-range planning for humanity, the United Nations will have to be given the authority to govern world affairs to a small degree. After that happens, most decisions on Earth will continue to be made by individuals, and management will still move slowly up the noble-savage hierarchies as needed. By the time a few decisions reach the world level, very little will have changed throughout the hierarchies, but there will be a greater sense of peace and order throughout the world.
5) Represent Diversity
Peace on Earth is largely a matter of us humans getting acquainted with each other’s differences—gender differences and differences in personality, religious beliefs, racial characteristics, cultural values, and so on.
Management principle: Decision-making bodies should reflect the diversity of the people they represent.
A society of men and women shouldn’t be regulated by a group of men. A society of blacks, whites, Asians, and other races shouldn’t be regulated by a group of white people. A world government shouldn’t be run by a bunch of Nazis or Romans or Egyptians or Americans; it should consist of representatives of all nationalities, cultures, and religions. (Say, that sounds kind of like… what… the United Nations?)
Humanity living on Earth is a project that involves all of us. It can’t be a healthy project until we’re able to meet everyone’s basic needs, which today include food, clothing, shelter, health care, and global communication (cell phone, laptop, or another device that connects to the Internet).
Management principle: Ensure that everyone’s basic needs are met.
Obviously there are obstacles to equity on Earth that’ll have to be overcome:
- Overpopulation. If there are simply too many mouths to feed, equity becomes impossible.
- Faulty infrastructure. A healthy modern society needs networks for distributing electricity, information, water, food, and other products to everyone, and networks for waste elimination. If networks are nonexistent or are damaged by war or natural disaster, equity becomes impossible.
- Autocratic capitalism. Self-interest is part of our savage disposition, and if we allow it to become a driving force in our management hierarchies (especially our governments), equity becomes difficult or impossible to sustain.
We’ll look at ways to overcome those obstacles in a moment.
7) Balance Freedom and Stability
Essentially this means finding a balance between freedom and equality… balancing human rights with equity and justice among all people.
Management principle: Forge a balance between the right of individuals to be free and the right of their groups to be stable (with equality and justice).
Here’s how things have worked among some of the more influential players in world politics over the past century.
- Autocratic socialists (communists) rate equality high, freedom low. Cuba, China, and the former Soviet Union are examples.
- Democratic capitalists rate equality low, freedom high. The USA is an example.
- Autocratic capitalists (fascists) rate freedom and equality both low. Recent examples (during World War II) include Germany under Hitler, Italy under Mussolini, and Japan under Hirohito.
- Democratic socialists rate freedom and equality both high. Japan, Canada, and most European countries today are examples.
That practical model (by the late Canadian researcher Hanna Newcombe) suggests that the best-balanced governments are democratic-socialist in nature, such as those throughout most of modern Europe. Most problematic are the fascist governments, such as Japan, Italy, and Nazi Germany in the 1940s, when industry and government formed a tight alliance, forged a nationalistic agenda, and forced the people to align to it or to be ostracized.
Democratic socialism is probably the best-suited government for nations in today’s world.
A Few Critical Situations Today
Several conditions in today’s world deserve close attention, and this is where I welcome readers’ help. Through the Comments section below maybe we can create a vital consensus on the world’s biggest problems. Your comments might help me 1) to polish the following short-list of conditions and 2) to expand it into a long-list.
If we can reach a consensus on the world situation, I know that humanity will start to get help from brilliant, all-powerful spiritual beings that will seem absolutely miraculous (including ITC breakthroughs). Without that consensus, there’s not much the finer ethereal beings have been able to do to help us humans on Earth across the centuries; their hands have been tied (metaphorically speaking, of course) because they have no basis on which to resonate with us.
So here are a few macro problems (and solutions) that I can come up with. I’ll add more to the list in the coming months if I think of them, or if readers present them in the comments section.
Uncle Sam Moves Toward Autocratic Capitalism… Fascism
Thanks largely to the military-industrial complex and the use of “fixers” (well-compensated problem-solvers who ignore laws, environmental integrity, and human rights in order to help modern capitalists, especially some oil barons, to acquire vast wealth and power), the USA seems to be taking a savage, fascist turn that could have severe consequences for the planet. (more about fixers… )
Here are some things that (evidence suggests) are probably going on with a small, particularly ruthless cabal of rich oil barons and their fixers during the past decade or more. They’ve been:
- Destroying ecosystems and cultures (especially in the Middle East and Africa) to acquire oil (read more… ),
- Destroying democracy with election fraud (read more… ),
- Murdering the opposition (read more… ), and
- Setting up the US economy for a crash by pushing the stock market up-up-up against all odds or logic, and by slamming on the brakes whenever it’s trying to correct itself (read more… ).
To become a vital America in a peaceful world, the USA would have to cut away the rapacious core of its current, billionaire-run leadership like the cancer that it is.
Basic Income Program and Wealth Tax
The USA (and other nations) would be much better served by a national government that:
- Ensures everyone’s basic needs are met (prevents poor people from “falling between the cracks”), and
- Reduces the gap between the very rich and the very poor.
That could be achieved by a basic-income program coupled with a wealth tax. Simply put:
- A basic income program would provide a monthly stipend (maybe $1,000), tax-free, to every adult citizen. Essentially, everyone would get $12,000 a year just for being a grown-up, diligent, participating citizen of their country.
- To finance the basic income program, a wealth tax of, say, 3 percent would be paid annually by every adult citizen or family. This is a tax on their total assets (everything they own), not on their income. Income tax and capital gains tax would essentially be replaced by the wealth tax.
(Read more about basic income and wealth tax… )
A basic income program and wealth tax would work best in the wealthiest nations (those that have a high per-capita wealth), such as Norway, Qatar, Switzerland, Kuwait, Australia, Canada, and the USA. (See a list of the wealthiest countries… )
It could probably work in just about any country, however, at least in a limited way.
Population Crisis Still Plagues Africa
The fertility rate (# of births per woman in a lifetime) has slowly dropped in sub-Saharan Africa in recent years from around 7 to between 4 and 5… but that’s still way too high. A healthy society in today’s consolidated world typically needs a fertility rate between 1 and 3… preferably no higher than 2. (Scan this list of all nations and their fertility rates… )
The inevitable result of a high fertility rate is too many mouths to feed (overpopulation), and the common symptoms of overpopulation include famine, disease, war, and mass execution.
Overpopulation has to be solved as soon as possible, worldwide… and, fortunately, it might not be as difficult as it sounds. Since 1978, the Chinese have been the undisputed leaders in family planning. Since the 1980s China has transformed itself from a struggling peasant economy into one of the healthiest and strongest nations in history… and of all the factors that have contributed to China’s success and vitality, its one-child-per-couple policy (fertility rate of 1) is by far the most important and effective. No other factor (arguably, maybe) even comes close to its family planning program. (Read more about family planning in China… )
There have been various problems inherent in China’s one-child program (violent abuses, abortion of female fetuses causing a severe shortage of adult women, aging population, labor shortages…), but experts implementing a program today could learn from those mistakes… and they could implement, for example, a “one-child, two-children, or in-special-circumstances-three-children” program in countries that struggle today with overpopulation.
Chinese experts should be allowed… (not only allowed but encouraged, even supported and funded by the rest of the world) to help struggling African nations (those that want the help) to set up well-integrated family planning networks throughout their societies, patterned after the networks established in China back in the 1980s, which extended from the central government into every province, and into every community and family. (Read more… )
So, these are just a few ideas that could help us begin to manage our lives and our world in ways that let us live more lightly (and nobly) on the Earth. Hopefully the list will grow in the coming months.
Hi Mark –
Something that really helped me sort out my position on freedom, equality, ethics and public policy was Elizabeth Anderson’s (Michigan School, Philosophy chair) paper re freedom and equlity.
The problem, she proposed, was that contemporary egalitarian thinkers had grown fixated on distribution: moving resources from lucky-seeming people to unlucky-seeming people, as if trying to spread the luck around.
By letting the lucky class go on reaping the market’s chancy rewards while asking others to concede inferior status in order to receive a drip-drip-drip of redistributive aid, these egalitarians were actually entrenching people’s status as superior or subordinate. Generations of bleeding-heart theorists had been doing the wolf’s work in shepherds’ dress.
In Anderson’s view, the way forward was to shift from distributive equality to what she called relational, or democratic, equality: meeting as equals, regardless of where you were coming from or going to. This was, at heart, an exercise of freedom.
To be truly free, in Anderson’s assessment, members of a society had to be able to function as human beings (requiring food, shelter, medical care), to participate in production (education, fair-value pay, entrepreneurial opportunity), to execute their role as citizens (freedom to speak and to vote), and to move through civil society (parks, restaurants, workplaces, markets, and all the rest). Egalitarians should focus policy attention on areas where that order had broken down. Being homeless was an unfree condition by all counts; thus, it was incumbent on a free society to remedy that problem. A quadriplegic adult was blocked from civil society if buildings weren’t required to have ramps. Anderson’s democratic model shifted the remit of egalitarianism from the idea of equalizing wealth to the idea that people should be equally free.
Hi Suzanne, thanks for the introduction to Elizabeth Anderson!
I googled this morning and found a list of her books: Value in ethics and economics, Imperative of integration, Law & philosophy, and Private government: How employers rule our lives (and why we don’t talk about it).
I’d have to read some of her books to get the nuances of her views, but at a glance she seems quite the bright light… she digs deep. I’d bet she and Hanna Newcombe would have been good friends if they’d met…..
Suzanne, this morning I had some time to dig a bit more deeply into Elizabeth’s perspectives.
That well-crafted article gives a glimpse into her and her views (much as you describe them) and also starts my mind reeling as it delves into her views on Marxism, feminism, racism, egalitarianism, libertarianism, utilitarianism, pragmatism, pluralism, tribalism, progressivism, conservatism… 🙂 and I think it would take me a good month to really get a good sense of her general outlook.
So… I revisited your comment, which gratefully boils it all down in a better way than I could do (and maybe more succinctly than the New Yorker did). You wrote:
“In Anderson’s view, the way forward was to shift from distributive equality to what she called relational, or democratic, equality: meeting as equals, regardless of where you were coming from or going to. This was, at heart, an exercise of freedom. To be truly free, in Anderson’s assessment, members of a society had to be able to function as human beings (requiring food, shelter, medical care), to participate in production (education, fair-value pay, entrepreneurial opportunity), to execute their role as citizens (freedom to speak and to vote), and to move through civil society (parks, restaurants, workplaces, markets, and all the rest). Egalitarians should focus policy attention on areas where that order had broken down….”
The way I see things, then, a basic income program coupled with a wealth tax would create a society/economy that simply would not break down as badly into the multitude of equality cuts and bruises that constantly have to be patched with political band-aids. Her “relational equality,” then, might easily heal whatever cuts and bruises persist.
That said, I might be inclined in the coming weeks to further explore Elizabeth Anderson’s ideas, since she’s certainly a bright light in the world.
So, Suzanne, thanks to you and Elizabeth Anderson, I’ve been looking a bit more into current economic ideas (such as “luck egalitarianism”)…
… and I think economics (as well as science, medicine, government, business, religion, and other disciplines) can get a little messy when the main focus is trying to find order in our savage motivations (greed, envy, desire, fear, domination…), which are by nature chaotic. It’s like building a house of cards in a windstorm.
If economists, while trying to devise new economic theories, would first focus mostly on our noble behavior (love, honesty, trust, helping the less fortunate…) and then, afterwards, deal with the unavoidable savage residue of human affairs, I think economics would become more manageable and effective. Like playing cards on a nice summer evening.
(Of course, the same noble-before-savage principle would also yield better results for science, medicine, government, and so on.)
Maybe this is something I should add to the above article. It would become #8 on the list. I’ll give it some thought…….
Thanks for inspiring me to soul-search for the past few weeks. 🙂