Being Fearless as Being Human

“O Son of Man!
Thou art My dominion and My dominion perisheth not; wherefore fearest thou thy perishing? Thou art My light and My light shall never be extinguished; why dost thou dread extinction? Thou art My glory and My glory fadeth not; thou art My robe and My robe shall never be outworn. Abide then in thy love for Me, that thou mayest find Me in the realm of glory.”  The Hidden Words.” Baha’u’llah

We grow into fear and shame from the earliest days of our lives. Our childhood environments can either minimise or amplify these affects. There is no judgment here, about these affects, just that they are. We could even say they are for good reason. Nonetheless, in the main, fear and shame can distort our growth into fully developed humans, and retard our growth.

Acknowledging fear and shame seems to me to be the first authentic attitude that can lead to it’s disappearance. The hiding of fear and shame is, I think, at the heart of separation, prejudice, scapegoating and war. Baha’u’llah’s words, then, draw attention to that next possibility, that we could be fully engaged as a human being with others, so long as we are able to stand where we might be killed or die because we have no defenses against such happening.

Even after many years since first thinking about this teaching and working with many people at many levels of society and politics, I find myself just much more aware of my own prejudice and separation from others. I have a great fear of being alone. I have a great fear of suffering that even finds me avoiding the step that might lead to a failure to predict the money I have, the resources for the life I want to live, of anything like homelessness or being a burden on others. My independence, therefore, seems driven by separation and, in that I have to question that independence. Can I be truly independent if I cannot face the a life in which tomorrow may have many unknown outcomes for my personal life, many problems requiring solution. I can only say that I don’t know what needs to show up or let go or otherwise happen, to be the person Baha’u’llah invites me to be in this teaching, and maybe in that “I don’t know” is a conversation opening up with everyone, with Baha’u’llah’s teachings, that will lead me to being human, being fearless.

2016 Conference for Global Transformation

This is a late review of the Conference for Global Transformation CGT that I attended May 20 – 22 2016. The CGT is a conference of the Wisdom Area of Landmark Worldwide. Landmark Worldwide is a transformative education business that uses an ontological approach. The following are my meager notes.

Landmark Worldwide CEO Harry Rosenberg raised the enquiry (paraphrasing), “In transforming the business of Landmark Worldwide to take the organisation forward , what is the clearing for an organisation as a democratic conversation”.

The CGT provides a State of the World analysis. This requires some measuring of certain characteristics to provide a scorecard. The measurements are taken of: Economic; Social/Political; and Environmental conditions. They have been taken since 2001 which is called the base year and that year all measures were given a score of 1:00. All years since have then been ranked against that. While many measures have improved since 2001, there has been a steady decline in Freedom of the Press, Political rights, civil liberties, and environmental performance while the biggest improvement has been in the under 5 year old mortality. Rather than dwell on the scores, the spokesperson for the State of the World committee talked to the issue of what measures might mean in regard to an ontological view of the world. Some of the enquiries raised include:

  • How can we tell we (Landmark Wisdom Area) is making a difference in the world?
  • What are the measures that might be impacted by transformation?
  • Are we measuring to make the world ‘wrong’, so we can fix it? What if we considered that the world works and it is complete, yet people can still be in expression and make a difference?
  • What is the ontological world i.e. what is the being that is the world?
  • What world am I interacting? Is it the whole world, with nothing and no-one left behind?
  • What do I include in my occurring of the world?
  • What do I measure, to count and count it all?
  • Is a world that can be seen in unprecedented clarity, a world that counts?

On ‘The Created Self’, presenters raised the possibility of feeling okay and unburdened around what is important to me.

On ‘Leadership as a Natural Expression’, a presentation from the new “Being a Leader” ontological training courses, Jeri Echeverria challenged to inquire how I am as a leader? She pointed to the need for a conversational domain and mastery of that domain, that is opening up a new world, new realms of possibility, new ways of seeing, hearing, perceiving. She encouraged to take risks to get beyond what I have, and for that to transform my relationship with failure.

On ‘Listening to Performance from a place of reflection on your own perspective’, we were encouraged to look at what we recognised as great performance. Offerings included:

  • It is technically proficient, even excellent, perfect;
  • Attractive, transports the audience, is captivating, moving;
  • Bountiful / abundant;
  • Generous;
  • Interactive, listening, engaging;
  • A relationship with beauty, awe, amazement that is distinct from performance.

Looking to an example of great performance in my own life, I am encouraged that reviewing that performance is transformative, giving me courage to step into the next unknown.

Of the inquiry, ‘How does a great performance arise?’ offerings included:

  • In inquiry;
  • in participation as an interdependent group;
  • in listening;
  • In visions to goals to choices (strategies);
  • in passion
  • in promises;
  • in preparedness and pursuit;
  • in reflection, feedback, measurement

Great performance requires a look at failure i.e what didn’t work. It was suggested that we could fail hard, fail fast, and move on as a way to great performance, an expectation of success rather than winning. Great performance can show up as a crazy quiet in action. ‘Doing’ (being) ourselves, could be great performance.

Of the inquiry, ‘What is the nature of great performance, it was suggested look at characteristicsm essential qualities, and basic or inherent features.

Of the inquiry, ‘What access do you see to great performance, as a comittment that shows up as a) talking about what I’m doing as who can contribute, network, directly, through alignement; and b) a focus on the team and the strategy; and c) reflective inquiry through measurement including what does the team see that needs measurement?

On ‘A Promise to the World’ Monica Aring challenged the conference to ‘wake up’, that we can ‘get off it’ every few minutes i.e get of making it either right or wrong. She indicated that there are traps in language, that a promise is not an identity, rather a way to be in play, to be attentive to looking good or an expert around the promise. A promise requires constant inquiry, and a shift from a me to we economy. It may be that we can be nervous around a promise, rather than just my role is my role.

On a personal inquiry, I asked myself, do I complain that I don’t have what it takes to make a shift in life to a bigger contribution and make it work. Am I often looking around to see what everyone els eis doing? Is there something in being that I say ‘no’ to an easier path. I recognised that I would like to develop a creative enterprise for access / participation across many Australian communities. Can I open up a relationship with abundance to cause this?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Language always constrains

Grabbing at terminology is a very human trait in communication. It is the ultimate tool in our toolbox. It is so ultimate that we come to believe that the world is how we attribute it through language. We forget that it is a tool. So like the proverbial carpenter for whom every problem is a nail to be hammered, we believe that every aspect of our life can be described by the language tools we have. The essential problem with terminology (naming things) is that language is always ‘talking about’ or ‘knowing about’, even when that we are trying to communicate about how we are (being). But what else can we bring to the communication table? Educational methods that make a distinction between ‘change’ and ‘transformation’ are not doing so because there is some fundamental truth in the distinction but, that, as a tool to draw attention to the possible difference in being it can then be spoken about. This is at the heart of ’empty and meaningless’. We can realise that existence (being) does not come with terminology, it just is. We can realise that our language both amplifies our access to our life, our past, our current and our future (a story about how we were being in some smaller or larger way) while unwittingly constraining our view of everything. It seems to me near impossible to tell the whole story about being around any circumstance, especially as that we seem to have so little access to ‘knowing’ all that ‘is’ about any circumstance. We can realise that the particular story and language forms we use both reflect and reinforce how we are being in the world, so deliberately choosing language tools for specific effects, will have the effect that we desire, will move our way of being in the world. The word we might best use for this phenomenon of movement is transformation. Transformation is, technically, a sub-category of ‘change’. However there is a popular word ‘change’ that has a different and lesser meaning than transformation, and so it becomes educationally pragmatic to make a distinction. Change is often attributed to the technical process: change a shirt, a tyre, an accountant, a church etc. This change will always show up when there is a transformation and may be the indicator that transformation has occurred. Transformation however occurs of relationship we have with ourselves, others, and the world. In that way, it occurs of our being. Being a human also seem to be best expressed in language (i.e. how we know it is human being) that has been called: spiritual, or virtuous, or, in Landmark ‘distinctions’ or in psychology ‘generative language’. So we could say, that transformation has occurred because we now ARE love, caring, contribution, service, leadership, creative, generous, grateful, honest, trustworthy, captivated, touched, empathetic, just and fair, … in relation to some circumstance, of which we previously was not. Have we changed? Most certainly. Have our behaviours changed? Most certainly. Have our outcomes changed? most certainly. However, we might always keep a little eye on that we are doing this all in language and language always constrains.

Savannasaurus

With thanks to CSIRO Science by Email. Scientists have discovered a new Australian dinosaur, and it’s a big one! Several giant bones, some over one metre long, were uncovered near the town of Winton in central Queensland. But what’s got scientists all worked up isn’t what it looks like: it’s where it came from.

savanasaurus

Scientists have named the new dinosaur Savannasaurus elliottorum. It was a big, four-legged plant eater, and looked a bit like a brontosaurus. Savannasaurus was as tall as a giraffe, but much heavier.

Fossils from big plant-eating dinosaurs can be found in many places around the world. Some are up to 150 million years old! Several different species are found in Australia, but they only date back to 100 million years ago. Scientists think that these Australian dinos, including Savannasaurus, might be recent arrivals from another continent. Their best guess is that Savannasaurus came from South America.

So how did Savannasaurus get to Australia? They probably walked! During the time of the dinosaurs, the world was a very different place. South America and Australia were both much closer to Antarctica. And that means there may have been dry land linking the three continents.

The world of the dinosaurs was also a lot warmer than today. Antarctica was covered in trees, not ice. Up to around 100 million years ago, it was still pretty cold, but then global warming kicked in. A warmer world might have allowed Savannasaurus to migrate to Australia, along with other large dinosaurs.

We still have plenty to learn from Savannasaurus. We don’t know how far it spread, or how long it lived until it became extinct. Even the story of how it got here is just a best guess. But it’s pretty cool imagining Australia 100 million years ago, filled with giant dinosaurs!

Do We, Are We, Created?

Well, someone asked a question, and it resonated with some things I’d read around quantum physics. So here are a few concepts I put together. And I feel I should apologise ahead for how obscure it reads the second time ’round:
1. An individual particle has an uncertain characteristic. However once two particles are there, an entanglement exists that finds the particles behaving a particular way, even when great distances apart.
2. Entanglement might also work across time (spooky action by delay) and the usual notion of time-space is now being challenged ie causality is being challenged. Time may be a result of entanglement.
3. The potential to observe i(a particle’s) state in the future is enough to collapse its wave function NOW. (It makes no difference whether a human being looks at the ‘reading’ afterward). The present where our consciousness resides could be considered as a moving boundary at which the context changes from classical mechanics (the past) to Quantum mechanics (the uncertain future).
How does this relate to our possibly creating ourselves and the world? Firstly, we are all vast numbers of entangled quanta, entangled with all other quanta. Could it be that, because the child is born that at some time in the past there developed the potential to observe that the child IS? Where did that potential reside? The question might be whether we, the child, is the potential to observe a certain state of the future (in which case it already IS) or we are that IS, or possibly that, through entanglement, we are both that IS and a potential to observe it WILL BE and then IT IS. Considering that there are competing types and degrees of potential observations of the future, thus the world to BE is something different to the individual’s ‘casting’, possibly even of ourselves.