Good, you clicked. You're here. If you are with me now, this is good because it means you're open to the idea that there is a "The Answer" (that "a" wasn't a typo) or you're hoping and praying there is, or maybe you are so resigned or cynical that you're just curious about who could be audacious enough not only to suggest that there is "The Answer" but to actually present what it is.
But wait ... I'm getting ahead of myself. First things first. In order to know The Answer you have to first know the question. "The Answer" to what? With six thousand years of wisdom available at the touch of a tablet, how is it we are still not living it?
The Answer: to resolving the same old problems of war, hunger, disease, divisiveness, distress continuing with no end in sight. The Answer to whatever solution has eluded you personally and all of us collectively until now.
It really comes down to this: Do you want to change the world or not? Let's see. Would you like to live in a world free of war, hunger, poverty, crime, disease and distrust? If "yes," then you want to change the world. Or maybe you don't personally want to change the world but you would surely be overjoyed if someone else made it better for you. Because in our world these things are so pervasive we have tacitly accepted them as "normal." Now, since you and I have been granted the right and the ability to shape our world and way of life on this sparkling planet, do you really want to shape as "normal" or inevitable the ills of the world even though they're not?
We might not ever know for certain the reason for life, why we're here, and how this magnificent existence came about. However, we do need solutions along the way. Not just temporary fixes or bandages, not just official Talking Points parroted by diehard politicos and later parodied by our beloved late night comedians. I am talking about real, effective, corner-turning, world altering, life changing, groundbreaking, and quantum-leaping solutions to mounting perennial problems.
Since it hasn't happened yet (a harmonious, crime/war/disease/corruption-free world), perhaps you think it's too much responsibility or even impossible to change the world. Or you're scoffing; sure that the idea of ending any of these undesirable conditions is naïve, particularly since so much of our economy currently depends on their continuance -- defense, pharmaceuticals and fossil fuels -- to mention a few crowd favorites. How do we change the world while simultaneously maintaining a flourishing economy? Let's be open to the possibility that it can happen.
If you don't want to change the world, then just kindly click over to something else and go about your typical day living, at least peripherally, with disaster and distress and all the other insults to the human condition. It's okay. It's your choice.
Either way, wherever you are on the let's-change-the-world-or-not question -- it's not going to happen unless you know certain things -- which we'll get into further as we go along. Imagine this as a text version of Reality TV. It's episodic. It may not make total sense or even seem "real," however if you look deeper, there is a story line we're following and it really does all work out for the best. (That was the teaser: Coming Soon, Episode #2 -- "5 Things You Absolutely Must Know If You Want to Change the World.")
Then again, before you make a too-hasty decision, here is another angle for you. Whatever you want to create -- whether it is a higher measure of success in your own work or in your quality as a person, or whether you want to contribute to creating a better and more effective and enjoyable world for everyone, the fact is: You have to know the rules of the game.
Random Blip or Divine Creation?
Let's put it this way -- either we're here in a random accident or there is some intelligence and form and majestic logic to this whole matter of existence, of creation itself. And if it's an intelligent universe, then it is possible for us to discover a little about how it works and our role in it. If it's all just a random blip, how can you possibly say you are religious and believe in God -- those two ideas don't mesh? And second of all, if our existence is just an illogical haphazard happening, this renders us mere victims of circumstance. I don't know about you, but I am not putting myself in that reality system. Whether your reality includes God or not, if we are mere victims of circumstance, why bother doing anything, striving for excellence, goodness, noble deeds, having children, falling in love, playing to win the world cup, whatever -- if you have absolutely no say-so in the matter of how it's going to turn out?
Thank (fill in your Higher Power of Choice here), we know better. Science proves it, spiritual masters proclaim it, and you and I experience it. All right then, it's established. We have been granted the power to create by virtue of our being born on this planet in a human body with the ability to think. And that fact alone is extraordinary.
Oh, did we forget something? The Answer. Oh yes.
I'll give you The Answer right now -- but let me caution you -- it won't do you much good to "know" The Answer until you are actually living The Answer.
Okay, here goes. The Answer is ... Awakened Thinking.
I can hear you saying, That's it?! -- Awakened Thinking? The fact is, not only is Awakened Thinking itself extremely rare in our human society, the fact is, "thinking" even in an un-awakened state is itself scarce.
Our Most Endangered Species Is Not Animal, Vegetable or Mineral -- It's "Thinking"
The way you and I think about things determines our outcomes. The problem is most of the time we are not actually thinking. You see, everyone has thoughts-- and they mistake that for thinking. Thoughts just arrive and pass through your mind. They're in the atmosphere surrounding us, what I like to call the Thought-O-Sphere. You probably didn't even choose 99 percent of the thoughts you have. They just show up. (Need proof? Consider, if you were choosing your thought, would you choose to have a disparaging thought about yourself or someone you love?) Thinking on the other hand is deliberate, active, and at least somewhat aware. Though not necessarily awakened. You look at a situation and you say, "Let's think about this." However, if automatic thoughts are getting confused with your attempt to think -- there is no "thinking" -- not really. Well, there is certainly not Awakened Thinking. We're just grasping on to passing thoughts in the Thought-O-Sphere. Thinking is a conscious act, a deliberate act. Thinking involves choice. And choice demands Awakened Thinking. Think about it.
What exactly is Awakened Thinking? Thinking that is free of all bias, prejudice, any and all conditioned automatic responses, be they beliefs, political party lines, group affiliations, scientific dogma, or intellectual outdated "knowledge." Whoa! Really? Yes. The Answer to every problem in every situation, every dilemma is Awakened Thinking. Dr. Einstein gave us the lead on this and it's become a modern day mantra: the thinking that gave us our current problems and brought us here isn't going to get us out of here.
The challenge is awakening your own thinking -- especially if you fancy yourself already an awakened thinker. Then you are stuck at the start and let's not gloss this over with what some people are chanting, that you have to "connect to the heart so let's drop thinking altogether." Oh dear, is that ever Un-Awakened thinking.
Let me keep this simple. You have to think beyond your own thinking. A conundrum, yet, it is possible. Actually, it's essential.
The Ultimate Challenge: Thinking Beyond Your Own Thinking
An illustration is always helpful. Ask yourself this: Are you able to think beyond your own personal beliefs, assumptions, ideas, situation or point of view?
When you're thinking about health care, are you looking at it from your little self, absorbed and self-centered in personal concerns? It's a good bet that you are. Whether you are an insurance company CEO, physician, nurse, pharmacist, "millennial," parent or politician who is relying on votes from any of the above -- it is virtually guaranteed you are thinking from your personal self-interest on the issue of healthcare.
Let's be clear -- so long as the self-absorption is the prominent factor, (a) there is no Awakened Thinking and (b) there is no Answer that will have this whole thing work out -- even, as Paul McCartney noted, "with a little luck." As optimistic as Sir Paul is, don't think that's The Answer. A little luck that is. A little luck is always helpful however a lot of mastery is definitively more reliable.
Options Are Not Necessarily Solutions
There are no real solutions without The Answer. There may be temporary fixes, even some interesting ideas -- there may be "options" and assuagements, but a real solution means an end to the problem. If you want to put an end to violent attacks, it doesn't end with a bigger and better violent attack. It ends with eliminating the Source of the attacks. "Solution" means "the answer to or disposition of a problem," disposition meaning "a final settlement." Dissolving it. The problem is eliminated.
If Only ... Solution-based Living vs. Problem-based Living
Most of us want the world to be different, better, brighter, more workable, yet we don't want to necessary do anything about it except point out the problems that the other people should be attending to and fixing.
If only they were ... have you noticed that most discussion focuses on problems ... what is wrong, what went wrong, what's about to go wrong. Just peruse the news headlines on any given day. People will tell you "what's wrong" with zeal -- what's wrong with the government, the economy, big corporations, what's wrong with any public figure or interest group, etc., etc., etc. Too greedy, too crazy, too liberal, too conservative, too violent, too corrupt, too powerful, too weak, too aggressive, too shallow, too deep. And of course we love to offer a detailed analysis about what's wrong with our partners, parents, and playmates. When you're listening to your friends and family around the dinner table or listening to pundits on TV, how often do you hear real solutions?
Pointing out the problems does not a solution make, even though some people are really good at this.
Some people are really good at intelligently distinguishing the nature of the problems. Jon Stewart is great at distinguishing the inconsistencies and absurdities that fill the news airwaves. Bill Maher is great at distinguishing the relationship between poorly manufactured food, our debilitated condition of health and the increase in childhood obesity. Robert Kiyosaki is great at distinguishing how each United States administration has uniquely contributed to the current financial difficulties of the country and global economic relationships. David Gergen is great at distinguishing protocol for decision-making tactics and strategy for U.S. Presidents. While sub-human food growing practices, livestock-raising horrors and manufacturing processes may be major contributors to poor health -- simply pointing out the problem is insufficient to resolving it. While barristers, bankers and brokers may each play a part in our financial dilemmas, just knowing this alone will not resolve our collective or your personal money problems. Knowing what a President should or shouldn't do is not enough to have him or her do it, given the incessant vying for political power, with advisors teeming and not necessarily teaming around him/her.
If you think the idea of coming up with viable solutions that resolve real problems sounds Pollyanna-ishly "unrealistic," it may be because you are not yet familiar with the Physics of Mind. (Hang out with me and you will be). Anyway, what's the alternative?
Content and Context : Context Is Everything.
Most of the time people deal in "content conversations" to find solutions. That's why so-called "solutions" are severely limited. Content is based in circumstances. Context is based in possibility. If you ask the question, "Should abortion be allowed or not?" there's no place to go. It's limited by the circumstance, the Either/Or options, pro life, pro choice. That's a "content" conversation. Finding solutions from mere circumstance is like the story of the man who lost his keys one night and went looking for them under the lamppost because that's where the light was shining. Logical, except that's not where the keys were to be found.
Asking a different kind of question creates a context that allows for something else, something workable. Here's an all-purpose question I recommend: How can we have this work, for everyone? This throws you into awakened thinking, a different domain where solutions you don't see or envision at the outset can and do arise.
The great news is that we can begin to use The Answer -- Awakened Thinking -- to address the issues of the day because let's face it -- people are scared and stressed, and as Led Zeppelin sang they're even "dazed and confused" and it's not because of their girlfriend problems, and not because they're on drugs (even though a lot of people are, legal and otherwise ... we'll get to that situation in coming episodes).
In the meantime, do please try this at home ... Just for one day or even an hour or two, notice whether your judgments, conclusions, beliefs, assumptions are pretty much "automatic" and conditioned. Nothing right or wrong about this. Just to take note. See if you are able to think beyond your own "current" perspective. It doesn't mean you have to give up your beliefs or ideas -- just experiment to see whether you can think beyond them, to look from the Perspective Of All Perspectives. Let me know how it goes.