There are so many people in the world right now who are deeply concerned about our planetary future and who are willing to dedicate their energy into collaborating for change. They are working hard and often come up with some sort of solution, which might work, but often it doesn’t. Why?
Most people live in a preconceived idea of what reality is. Some are working on the material side of reality, others believe that spiritual work can resolve all problems, or psychological support, education, the never ending lists. We are deeply divided in our ideas what is needed, what values should be held high, in what areas we should invest energy and money. More often than not we ignore or even dismiss the attempts of others for change. The world is a mess, change makers too, unless…
The need to see more and better
What is needed is an overall view, a meta perspective, a framework where everyone can locate themselves and see and appreciate where the others are. Collaboration otherwise remains merely wishful thinking. This framework exists for more than 2 decades, but strangely remains widely unnoticed and unheard by otherwise well meaning people. They want to act their own way, they donÄt want to invest the necessary time to really understand reality in all its aspects. Wouldn’t it be helpful to know where you are and what tools you have before you blindly engage in actions of which you only BELIEVE that they are good and useful?
Beginning to understand the complexity
Whenever I talk about Ken Wilber and Integral Theory, most people listen politely but don’t get the importance of first getting involved in understanding it before acting blindly in the world. When I began to understand the map of reality provided by Ken, it felt like an enlightenment finally I could understand things which before I considered crazy, un-understandable, absurd and gave me the “right” to blame others for what they are and what they think. Today I might not like certain people or what they say and do, but I understand their way of seeing the world. I can understand that for them the are doing the right thing out of their limited way of understanding reality and I don’t need to blame them anymore – albeit I might chose to not collaborate with those whose worldview is incompatible with my values.
Will you begin?
Ken Wilber, for most of his life didn’t appear in Public very much, he was busy writing his many books and of fighting a severe autoimmune illness by which he almost died for several times. He is still alive and now is coming out to connect with the audiences. He has become more able than before to use “normal” language to explain his concepts and to be visible as a human being, not only as a very gifted philosopher who has clearly seen the complexity of the world and its problems and who has laid out a map for effectively meeting them.
You will be surprised when you begin to see the bigger picture
My message to you, all you well-meaning change-makers: Do take the time to learn about Wilber’s map of reality, learn that you cannot just consider a part and work there while ignoring the other parts. Learn what you are ignoring so far, because it won’t be obvious to you that you are missing out on some important aspects. Here is a conversation with Ken, quite down to earth and pretty understandable, if your personal journey has brought you to the edge of complex understanding. If it can lead you to explore more about the integral map then you certainly will be enabled to become part of the solution instead of perpetuating the problems by your ignorance.
Below an interview with Ken Wilber which allows you to get a glimpse of who he is and what he has created for the benefit of all who want to really live for a change towards a better world. It is long, but ever more pleasant to listen to the longer you stay!
For some time I am attending the frequent Zoom meeting of a group called Global Challenges Collaboration. Yesterday the topic “journaling” came up and how to create and maintain a blog. Harry surprised me a little when he said that he puts everything in his blog, his journaling, to be able to remember later what was going on in his life. “Really”, I said, “also the very personal stuff?”. I myself saw writing a blogpost like a task which needs to be about a topic and somehow edited, some idea of how it needs to be etc.
So far it took me some time to write blog posts about topics which are interesting to me. Yes, I shared something about myself, but would I really write everything as I do in my private journal? There I often don’t write in a coherent way, impressions, feelings, insights, not necessarily developed to a point I want to make – because I might not want to make a point, I might not want to “teach” somebody, I might not want to deliver a strategy or advice or whatever.
“But who would want to read what my day is about, what goes through my mind, what insights I have, what learnings and what opinions?”, I asked back. Harry responded that personal stories are much more touching than constructed texts, and that those people would show up and read it who are attracted to it and can benefit from it. Well, yes, probably.
This opens a can of worms. Would you openly talk about experiences with people where you might come to interpretations not completely favorable for that person? What if they read it? Wouldn’t it be better to address these things personally with the other instead of risking that he/she finds it in a public post? The feeling of shame comes up and of lacking integrity. What to do about that?
Well, this will be an adventure when I should decide to really do that! Fear comes up of being attacked publicly for saying what I say. But why is that so different from now? I already say a lot of things, here and in public videos of The Wisdom Factory, often I take a clear position on controversial topics like #metoo, gender, human development, psychology etc.
So what makes publishing a privat journal different? Only the fact that, while I am writing, I don’t have the awareness in the back of my head that I need to chose my words carefully for being appropriate for being read by anyone? I am exploring the answer to that. What do you think?
I do think that I am a good person, friendly, kind, everything. I don’t want evil in the world and I am convinced that I never would be evil myself. – This is the way most of us think and believe about themselves, right? So why is there all this evil in the world? Or the precursors of evil, the things which just are not right, like poisoning the fields, the sea, even the inside of the earth by inserting fracking chemicals or nuclear waste. That’s not evil! We need to do something with that stuff and certainly we don’t want it in front of our houses. Far away we don’t need to be reminded about the evil consequences which they most likely will exhibit, sooner or later. Our thoughtlessness and inability to calculate and respect the consequences of our actions don’t seem evil right away, but they are, if you really think about it. We are all innocent evil doers and eager to forget about it: I don’t care, I will be dead anyways when the consequences will come forth!
The developmental story
There was a time where people were aware of their being part of the ecosystem and they recognized Nature, or God, or the Kosmos as superior to us and that we would be wise to collaborate with their rules instead of challenging them and trying to impose our own. This sort of morality was part of existence in tribal societies. Then again in traditional societies which used the word of their God to keep people in behaviors which were counterproductive to society and/or the world. The awakening of the ego had challenged the sense of belonging to the whole and of playing a natural part in it. The Ego had claimed its power to fight against reality in the way it wanted to, believing to be God itself. Despite of the partial truth in that idea, the resulting behavior was not sustainable. Hence the need for external authorities, a powerful omnipotent God whose task it was to keep the destructive power of the Ego under control.
The role of religion
Whatever you want to say about religions, they succeeded quite well in guiding people’s behaviors towards the good and to have them recognize (and be punished for) the bad. We won’t discuss here the questionable development in power structures inside religions – their leaders were humans, after all, with a similar mindset of the rest of the world, but with the insight that something needed to be done to maintain “peace on earth”. It is no wonder that the power they needed to impose the obedience of certain “good” rules at the long run could transform in power abuse, but this is another topic.
From religion to mass destruction
Here I want to state that, in times where the following of rules was the normal way of human life, the damage which could be done by “immoral” people, those who didn’t obey the basic requirements of the distilled rules of “best” human behavior in a society, couldn’t do too much harm in comparison to today. Yes, groups of people fought each other, but they fought man to man, a somehow fair way to solve conflicts. With the invention of war technology, from firearms to all the range of destructive tools we possess today the picture has changed completely. The amount of evil a single person can cause upon millions of others is absolutely inconceivable if you really think about it. There is no fairness in any fight anymore, no possibility to resolve conflict on a human basis, when one person can kill huge amounts of people without even facing them, without even needing to meet their own inner knowing of “good and evil” which would mirror them back that it is not right what they are doing.
The predicament of the loss of morality
In times of developed technology with destructive potential and where everybody has the possibility to use them to a certain degree, the morality is badly needed which once was transmitted by traditional religions. But those rules of behavior have no traction on people anymore because of their connection with abused power. What a dilemma which can cause the extinction of humanity by humanity itself and its need to evolve.
When we don’t have external authorities anymore who tell us what is good and what is bad, we have several possibilities to respond.
There are those who believe that they have the authority and power to decide for themselves what they believe is good (for them, more than for everyone else and maybe to their detriment)
There are those who are deeply confused and helpless and are looking desperately for someone who tells them what is good and what is bad in order to find orientation
There are those who go inside to find out what their innate intuition tells them about what is right and what is wrong
“I am my own authority” – the consequences
In the first case everything can go well if the individual is psychologically healthy and evaluates the consequences of their actions, so that what is good for themselves is also good for their families and wider community, up to humanity itself. If this attitude is adopted by an immature person, though, who takes delight in dominating and, maybe, even in the suffering they can cause to others, then it is definitely a huge problem. These people easily collect those of the second category, the confused and helpless people and offer them a solution for their problems. The leaders know what is good or bad and the followers can give up and give over their personal responsibility to an entity outside themselves. As long as this entity was “God”, it was less likely to lead into disaster than when it is a psychologically distorted human being. Hitler was happy to have been able to mobilise a whole country for his evil ideas of total destruction. Without people who were desperately looking for a “God” to resolve their problems, he wouldn’t have been able to do what he did.
Why it is important to get acquainted with your shadow
The world today is full of potential little Hitlers, fighting each other in competition for followers. What can we do to not fall prey of these people and movements? The only solution, in my view, lies in point 3 above: Go inside yourself and discern good and evil in your own being. We can control only what we know. What lies outside of our awareness is automatically outside of our control. This is the answer to why so many ugly things happen in the world, why so many people cause suffering to others, often without even knowing about it.
How can we recognize our shadow material?
When we get angry about somebody or something and this anger keeps staying with us for a long time, this is a good indicator that, what we see in others, is what we don’t want to see in ourselves. The same is valid for other strong emotions, like deep sadness, exaggerated enthusiasm, fear and so on. We can start here and look inside ourselves to find those parts of us which mirror our emotions. We will find out that we are not as good and ethical as we believed before. Or better: yes, we are as good as ethical as we show to the world, when we have contacted our evil parts, examined them, acknowledged them and decided not to act on them.
The Million Dollar Question
How is it that “normal” people like me and you become mass torturers in a prison camp? What would you have done in WWII ? Would you have saved a jew in Germany while having a high probability to end up in a lager yourself? When you needed a job to feed your children and someone offered you work as a camp guard in Auschwitz, would you have taken it or risked to be stigmatised as a “friend of the jews” when you chose not to? How do you know that?
What we need to do if we want “peace on earth”
What we all need to do in these times of a missing common ethic: we need to understand and experience deeply in ourselves our human capacity for evil: when we tease an animal; when we say a bad word to our spouse despite our knowledge how much it hurts her or him; when feel superior to those in need, like refugees and migrants which happen to ask something from you. So many scenarios where we can examine the parts in us which are inclined to draw benefit of the misfortune of others, our arrogance and false omnipotence which tempts us to abuse the power we have, the many ways where we delude ourselves to be someone who we are not.
Only with a radical look on ourselves. Only with getting to know ourselves very, very well, we have the chance to DECIDE which of our inner voices will speak and act in any given situation. Then we can be an example for others, like Ghandi or Nelson Mandela. Only then we can have a positive influence on others and guide them in their struggle to orient themselves in this confusing world of individualism without a commonly accepted and transmitted morality or ethics for social behavior.
Jeff, yes, it is true that Peterson considers that what he calls “Postmodernism” is a disaster unfolding and needs to be corrected. You remark that Jordan doesn’t recognize the good developments which came with postmodernism, like the increased sensitivity to previously neglected viewpoints and ways of being. I agree, BUT: Why do we think that our understanding of the word “postmodernism” is universally agreed upon? It might just be a clash of terminology which seems to create differences where they might not be. And he certainly appreciates what has developed in terms of increased sensitivity towards Being which we connect with the word Post-Modernism, too. He doesn’t connect those two things as we integralists do. Right or wrong? Is it really important how we name things?
The Power of Words
In fact, Peterson is VERY sensitive to words. So when one of the interviewers of the clip in this analysis mentions the word “white supremacy”, he finds Peterson in complete rejection to even consider it. What if the interviewer had used less ideological colored language? I am sure there could have been a conversation about the topic.
Jeff, you seem to agree with “white supremacy” as a fact in our history. I guess you mean that our story unfolded as cultures in the West driven by people who happened to be white in skin color. This is no justification for agreeing with that term as it is loaded with presuppositions like: “white people are bad, they hold power and have created this horrible culture where everybody else is suppressed. They do bad things because they are white, while all others are better and need to be superior to them”. So if you use these words then you buy into the ideological game which in itself is deeply racist. Instead of helping to overcome racism, these terms and talking about them in the leftist way is CREATING a new racism and, at the end, deepening the one we have been overcoming as a society in a possible backlash.
The Danger of Backlash
Same thing with #Metoo. Starting out as a good thing it is in huge danger to play against women instead of helping them to find their place in public. The human psyche works still in the “old” ways, despite of all the beautiful developmental steps which we have done as humanity. Not even in “Integral” we are fully aware of our underlying psychological structures and drives which lead our decisions in life, every moment. I have mentioned that before: we still don’t know the waters in which we are swimming in terms of our individual conditioning, let alone of those on the humanity level.
Here I want to address what you said about us being in a different level of development today than we were at the beginning of the last century. This is true to a certain degree, but there is no evidence that we could not fall back into totalitarianism, into hate and wars with the blink of the eye. What makes you so confident that that can not happen? The totalitarian explosions on both sides, right AND left, are already spreading hate speech (although the leftist project the ”Hate Speech” on people they hate themselves). Strange that left extremism and violence is tolerated by us “developed” people to a far bigger degree than right extremism!
So when you say that Postmodernism is just a step in human development – which it is – that doesn’t mean that we should overlook the real danger which comes from there for our freedoms and democratic cultures. We shouldn’t excuse it as young people’s follies when they violently hinder people from speaking and build barriers. This happened in the 60ies and has brought us – at least in Germany – the beginning of restrictions in personal freedom in order to handle those who had become ideological terrorists.
Compelled Speech and intollerance
It is one thing if people ask you to do something which you don’t want to do and if you are compelled to do that by the reinforcement by laws. Peterson points out clearly that the changes in Canadian law can easily be used against those people who now seem to be the beneficiaries. When there is written in law that “biological gender, gender expression, sexual proclivity and choice” etc. are independent factors and vary at will. That would mean for instance that preferring men as sexual partners as a man is just a personal choice which could be different tomorrow. And if being gay legally is not bound to what you feel to be your deepest inner feeling of identity, everyone in power can just ask you to change and become bi-sexual or whatever. This is the real danger: who is interpreting these laws have the power over you?
So it is better not to write laws like that. The German disaster began with laws about how people should be or not be and how they should behave and speak. We don’t know how many people have survived when they refused to say “Heil Hitler”, not many, probably. And as I pointed out in part one: people who expressed their personality in terms of their ideas, of their skin color, their religion and their state of mental health could be attacked by any means, even with physical violence, without being protected by fellow citizens or the state powers.
I was strongly reminded of that when listening to the debate at Queen’s where protesters banged violently on the windows of the beautiful university hall for 2 hours and even breaking them. Who gives them the right to break objects which they don’t own and to tyrannise 900 people without being stopped by the forces of order? Only because they are lefties they can use violence against non-violent others while pretending to fight the violence of the far right? What a strange world we seem to live in today where tolerance is requested by those being themselves totally intolerant!
The center of gravity
Another thing I want to bring up which seems crucial to me: Peterson, in my opinion, is not centered in traditionalism as you say. Yes, he helps people to develop healthy ways of living with other people, especially by guiding them to a healthy Blue which had been rejected as the basis of children’s education from the 70ies on and therefore has left a void in almost all of us who are living in the Western world now.
Peterson is a psychologist and he sees people with the eyes of someone who has deeply looked into the human soul and has understood where the lacks and needs reside. As I said before: only because we go through the stages of development a la Spiral Dynamics in a relatively short time, our souls have a different timing and hang behind, far more than we want to admit. As humanity we are still struggling with Blue – and surprisingly not only when struggling up from Red, but also when we somehow are already in those “higher levels”. We have all the voices struggling within us which were formed by both personal and collective history and experience.
Although we might believe to be an integrated person, we are not really. Maybe we have learned to navigate the inner competing voices, but we are far from not needing guidelines of how to live our lives in an ever more deep and comprehensive manner. With other words: we need meaning, we need religion in all stages of our development, we are not “above” religion as you, Jeff, mentioned. We might be above the past religious dogma, christian, jewish, islam or buddhist – and that would be a good idea to weed out the culture and time dependent components of those religions. But we need stories to guide our own lives wherever on the spiral we are.
The Biblical Lectures
Here the Biblical Lectures of Jordan Peterson come in. In my eyes he is not promoting Christianity, or any other religion, as the solution for our problems. He is digging out the wisdom of these ancient stories from a psychological point of view. He recognizes in those stories the ancient predicaments of humans living their lives on this planet. And he points out that we, as humanity, are still confronted with exactly the same problems, sometimes in different disguises. That’s why listening to the lectures can help you appreciate the attempt of Christianity to help people finding meaning and inspiration in the midst of chaos and, yes, suffering.
We modern people, even integralists, have the tendency to throw the baby out with the bathwater, especially when addressing those old fashioned topics like religion which we believe to have overcome long time ago and substitute it by calling it “spirituality”. And we confuse the institution of any church with the content of the message. Dismissing Christianity which has driven our Western culture to the point where we are now, we dismiss ourselves as human beings who live, consciously or not, as the momentaneous last piece of a long chain of collective experience. We are grounded in our culture – as well as anybody else is in their culture – and we need to take good care of it, heal it where it is necessary but not allow that it gets dumped like a worthless sack of trash.
The stories which Jordan opens up to us with his psychological interpretation are deeply exposing human experience and that’s why so many people have these moments of recognition when they hear his explainations. It is this “AHA” when you feel you had already known all that, somehow, and now someone gives words to it so that you can understand it better. This is the same sort of recognition that some people experience when coming in contact with Integral Theory. Both “interpretations” of the world reveal a deeper truth which we humans recognise in us, probably due to our collective memory of which we are not aware most of the time – until someone comes along to open our eyes to it again. But this time it is not a memory of understanding, but a memory of experience.
Why do so few people understand Psychology? – Ignorance can create disasters. How?
For instance: “Anti bias training” is now introduced and requested, by people who are super biased themselves in a very restricted way and have no idea that “Bias” ist not equal to “bad”. Thank God we have certain biases! For instance for keeping save our children as opposed to mosquito populations.
There are psychological rules: For instance: pressure imposed on us will create resistance which can be met either by fight, flight or freeze. In East Germany the pressure to not say or do certain things didn’t eradicate people’s thoughts and desire for freedom. So strange that these latest super leftist practices are proposed in the name of FREEDOM although it is common psychological knowledge that they lead into suppression and tyranny.
Peterson is doing great work of letting people know about their own psychology. He is not a philosopher, of which we already have more than enough. He knows the human psyche and he is a milestone on the way of people to finally get to know themselves a little better – especially before they come out with huge claims which contradict the human psyche and cannot but lead into huge problems. With his help we might be able to avoid in the future some of the disasters of today.
This is an open letter to Jeff Salzman as a response to his analysis of Jordan Peterson on video at Integral Life
Hi Jeff, We just listened to your first part on Jordan Peterson and I would like to chime in with a few thoughts.
First of all: I am happy that you took my suggestion of last summer to have a look into his work and I am very thankful that you talk about him and his appearance in public. It is really important to get him out of the corner of a “alt-right” person by which he is defamed sometimes.
Second of all: We have watched ALL his lectures on Personality, “Maps of Meaning” and the psychological interpretation of religious stories, and most of the interviews he has given. From there I want to add something to what you say.
Third of all: I truly do believe that Jordan is a thinker on the integral level and that he would hugely benefit of knowing the integral map. I actually have already written an email to him about that (when a distinction by the 4 quadrants would have resolved the seeming conflict in a conversation) and suggested a conversation with a Wilberian integral thinker, but I didn’t get any answer. I certainly understand that, as he has undergone a huge journey into visibility (and fan post) since we discovered him in October 16, a month after he did the videos you were talking about (which, btw, were NOT lectures, but just his private considerations which he recorded one night when he couldn’t sleep because of these thoughts, as he once said).
Jordan is well at home in Blue, Orange AND Green
Jordan was involved in environmentalist tasks for a while and he is well aware of the need of healthy green, but, as you said, he is not aware that this is the positive part of green. He concentrates on the pathologies and I am really glad that he does. As you might know, his main research interest was why these horrible things in Europe could happen in the last century, and propelled speech and the institutionalized equality of outcome were the main components which have led to the disaster. I am very grateful that he is pointing out this huge danger to the public and that he warns of the consequences of having these things written into law and that “special cases” can even be subtracted from the “normal” law system and given over to tribunals, as it is already written into law in Canada.
People might think that it is Jordan’s personal inclination to not use these “damn pronouns”, but it is much more than that! It is not just a personal choice, but the attempt to prevent the worst!
Stop it before it is too late!
I was grown in post-war Germany and my home town Coburg was the first which, already in 1926 or so, had a Nazi administration. Already hoards of loud young man could attack, verbally and even physically, the people they didn’t like without sanction and without many citizens standing up for freedom and personal rights of the attacked (mainly Jews, but not only, as every friend of the Jews was put into the same identity group open to be mistreated by people who had drunk Nazi ideology).
Similar things are happening now!
I think you shouldn’t take it too lightly and really see the enormous consequences of the present tendencies to accommodate extremist ideology and to accept the fear and cowardice of most of the people who “hope for the best” but are enabling the rise of totalitarian power structures led by power driven individuals who have no respect for others.They are mainly pathological red masked as green.
Green has no idea about evil and dwells too much in “positivity”, blind to everything which doesn’t fit into the utopian picture. My awakening out of my green dreams of a good and benevolent world and people during the last 2 years where really very deeply devastating and freeing at the same time. It started before I knew Peterson, but he helped me to understand my illusions and why they had to crash in order for me to grow. It is a much deeper shadow work than I had done during the past 20 years because it was not only my personal shadow which needed to be addressed but our collective shadow as humans in this world.
You criticize Peterson’s good vs. evil position. I think he really is following the integral claim about meeting the people where they are. He is speaking to people from Blue to Green and all these stages definitely live in this polarity of knowing what is good and bad, according to their world view. So I think he is doing fine with simplifying his message into words and images which people can understand easily. I do think that he is very masterful in bringing the points across without too many “building up” explanations which intend to include everything and only after a long time come to the point – something I always get completely tired of when listening to Ken.
Spirituality: Jordan reports a few times that he has experienced deep spiritual openings that have made him understand the other reality, let’s say. His mission is to help people to live their lives better in this material reality, he is not interested in teaching them spirituality or religion.
Listening to his biblical lectures: I have understood that the Bible is not about religion although it has served to support Christianity. At that time people have interpreted it in a way that served them to construct a belief system and the Church. But because of that, it would be very shortsighted to dismiss it as “old and inadequate” for our times. When I was 14 and was “confirmed” in the Lutheran church, I decided that this is “not for me” and dismissed everything connected with the Bible, until last year, when I heard Jordan extrapolating the meaning of these stories in such a way that I could deeply relate to them and I felt reconciled with Christianity – although I still think that it is obsolete as an institution, but not as a philosophy and way of life.
I understand now that the Bible is a collection of stories which were able to transmit deep human truths in pictures, things which we now can name in psychology, biology, sociology etc., but for which were no direct words then.
Jordan explains that art and music, and especially stories being told, conceive the emerging truth long before it is visible, and they tell the story of humanity. He makes a clear case that contemporary stories and films like Harry Potter or Pinocchio have the very same function as the Bible: acting out and making visible archetypical human experience and wisdom. So why dismiss biblical stories while watching films? You love the Matrix. Same function!
Long story short: Peterson was as important for me, my insights and my development, as was Wilber more than 20 years ago. I am very grateful for that. And I am glad that he slowly is integrated in the “integral community” as someone to take into consideration. I would love to see a conversation between you, Jordan and Eugene Pustoshkin (as he is also a psychologist) and I wonder if you and Integral Life could arrange that for the fall, when all this excitement about the book has calmed down a little?
Btw: his new book is only new in terms of publication which happened this winter, mainly by chance. He said that it was distilled from answers he had given on Quora many years ago and that he was putting it into a book for the past 3 or 4 years. Serendipity!
When I was 26 my University professor gave me a book to read: Eric Berne: “The Games People Play”. This was one of the milestones in my personal development. Up to that point I was convinced that I was a profoundly good and honest person, that I was genuinely attempting to create good and whatever else an unconscious self-image tends to tell us, and we are more than ready to believe all that.
I have the habit of reading books by referring everything to myself, trying it out in my own skin, you would say. So, by reading attentively the many games people play, I found more than one in which I had been habitually engaging in. What a shock.
What are these GAMES?
In case you don’t know the book – you really should read it, it was groundbreaking in the 70’s for contemporary psychology in many ways (Get it HERE) I give you a short explanation:
The term “game” refers to the behavior of individuals in a group, from the family up to the whole society, which is governed by certain rules. The rules are not necessarily conscious in the same way as we don’t know the rules of our own mother tongue. In fact, most are not, but that doesn’t hinder us from playing our games according to them. These games which we are “playing” in our lives are not really fun and delight as the term might suggest, although some are while many can lead to negative and even tragic outcomes.
Here a video from the 60s about the book
Where are the exit-rules of the games we are playing?
Since the time I read that book I am in research to find a possibility to exit these games. The characteristic of them is that they normally don’t have an exit rule in the initial set of rules. Once you are in you are in, there is no easy way to get out again. I learned a lot about psychology and how therapists try to explore ways with their clients about how to get out of their games which are troublesome or dangerous for them, from addiction to violence, destruction of all kinds or just inadequacy in facing the life challenges which inevitably arise. Do they find the exit rules? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Why and why not?
Psychotherapy and the mindset change
Basically, what therapists try to do is open up the client’s mind to realize how restricted their view is of their world, how limiting the beliefs they have about themselves, the others and the world. If the client is open and courageous enough – and if he/she has enough trust in the guidance, then, slowly, they can become available for different ideas and able to adopt them. This often is connected with the uncomfortable feeling of loss, the painful need of giving up cherished ideas and convictions which were so habitual and “easy” to dwell in, while the new mindset is still new, uncomfortable and feels awkward.
People like the Easy Button
In order to avoid the feeling of being endangered by the new, people are much more likely to believe and trust in those “mentors” who promise the easy way, the way that allows us to behave badly whenever we like, by feeding us the illusion that we have a right to do that. “I am the victim of other people’s actions”. No need to check out the game we are playing with them. It is enough to assume that THEY are playing dirty games with us and we are the righteous “saints” with only good intentions. (As I said before, this is what I once believed firmly for myself. I certainly know how that feels and how I unconsciously had created my saintly victimhood!)
Politics and Ideologies: a Game or “Just A Game”?
I realise that the present discussion on gender identity, equity, “metoo”, patriarchy, immigration and what not, are all falling into this overall game the rules of which are to be made very clear before we even can think about finding a solution. What game are the radical feminists playing? The social justice warriors, the neo-nazis? What game are the politicians playing from whatever point of the spectrum? What game are we “normal” people playing when we enter into the discussion – or when we avoid taking a stand and stick our heads in the sand?
Some games are quite obvious, the more people present themselves in a radical way the more we might be right in guessing what the rules are which they use and try to impose on others. We are the others. So how do we respond? Either we accept the attribution of their rules on us – then we play THEIR game, not ours. Or we refuse to play their game and that can be much more difficult and painful than just “follow the flow” and avoid confrontation.
Whose game do we play?
If we haven’t learned to set healthy boundaries, we probably will choose the first pathway and be swept away into a flow of events which can lead into some dark place which we hadn’t foreseen and we wouldn’t have wanted. But once we are in, it is dangerous, almost impossible, to get out again. As a German, born shortly after WWII I certainly know about all those people who found themselves part of the machinery – because they didn’t take a stand when there was still a possibility to push back against the malevolent development. By a generations-long training in obedience most people were unable to stand up against what they rightly perceived as “not right” in the hope of getting away with it. Understandable, but not good! They accepted to play “their” game, the game of the manipulators and power-hungry individuals and they gave their own power over to them.
Back to the question: how can we exit the game?
First of all we need to realise that we are a player in the game, that the reality we perceive is not just as it is, inevitably, but that its unfoldment is following certain rules.
Second we need to uncover the rules which are fundamental for the game and find out if there is an exit rule available and then use it to get out
Games without exit rules
They seem to behave like a train without brakes on a slope: rolling down by itself with increasing velocity until the final disaster. What possibilities do you have? Jump off the train and don’t care if others will save themselves or not? Or will you run and look for the emergency break and save everybody with what you are doing? Fight, flight or freeze? What is your habitual unconscious response?
I know, this is a very tricky question. These mechanisms exist in our biology to protect us from unpleasant surprises and threats of danger. Today we often don’t run away physically, but we flee into our head, into our imagination instead of facing reality. We freeze by repeating obsolete beliefs and actions and we fight like Don Quichotte against the windmill. Overwhelm and mental overload lurks around the corner, despair, depression or over-activism tell the story of our attempts to face the challenges.
Exiting from our own games – and now?
We might have succeeded in exiting the most fatal games in our own psyche and understood what we as humanity are doing. That brings us to the next round: how to spread the knowledge and inspire people to join us, to exit their private games in order to become able to together exit the global game of collective madness.
All boils down to these questions:
When will we humans, who have become conscious of ourselves as living beings, become conscious of our responsibility as co-creators of the world in which we are living?
When will we adopt the courage to stand for and embrace life in all its forms and commit to enhance it and to work to overcome the shadows, the ignorance and short-sightedness which is still weighing on us with ever more destructive potential thanks to our technological intelligence?
When will we find a practical world-ethic which allows us to live and grow together in good will and joy?
What do we need to be and do, to successfully exit the seemingly eternal games which are played by we individuals, in our communities, among our nations and wherever humans are involved?
Last week I got a mail from Wikipedia where they asked me to send them, again, some money. I appreciate Wikipedia in many ways, but here is why I don’t send them more money.
I wrote to Wikipedia to let them know WHY I won’t send money. I got an answer to my letter in which they talk about the volunteers who contribute and edit the entries and that practically everyone of us can contribute. Yes and NO!
Here my final answer where I highlight some entries which are problematic in my opinion. “Independent board” (independent of WHOM?) is not the same as a “non-biased board”!
You write: “Wikipedia volunteers are strongly focused on the editorial values of non-censorship, neutrality, verifiability”, It sounds great, and that is simply not true. Who are these independent people? The scientists in the board who are known to be strongly defending the current paradigm of an material worldview and the official stories given by the official institutions?
Dr. Judy Wood has researched in depth, using her scientific knowledge as a (formerly) respected professor to show that the official story of 9/11 is false. She even sued the official report as scientific fraud. Well, many people tried to insert her to Wikipedia. WHERE IS SHE? Wikipedia is supporting the forces which are protecting their power and their lies, while honest dedicated people are either not mentioned or the articles on them are highly biased by giving the summary that, actually, they are all wrong or somehow weird.
It took many years until Ken Wilber was represented properly in Wikipedia. I witnessed the innumerable attempts of friends very literate in his work, to change the previous entries which had put him into the “new-age-fancy-stuff” edge. This has changed, thanks God.
The Roswell UFO incident: You still present an interpretation of this incident which has been proclaimed as true by the military. If you, at least, could take off the suggestion that these explanations of the military are true. If at least you could speak also about the masses of documents and testimonies which tell another story!
Your decision board is deeply biased in helping those who want to hide the truth from the people and is colluding with the psychological warfare they are using against us normal people in not wanting us to know what really happens.
My suggestion: Allow serious people whose ideas are more advanced to sit in your boards and become a less protective institution focused on the old paradigm: Allow new findings and ideas to be listed, without negative or positive comments, just in a neutral way. Allow people to think themselves when they can get the facts.
In the present way of your data, unfortunately, you are judging and you are biased towards certain opinions and convictions.
That’s why I don’t send you money anymore, although, all together, you are doing great work. With Jordan Petersons words: “Clean your own room” before you can have a really positive impact.
Thanks for listening – and hopefully it will inspire your organisation to have a deeper look on itself.
Adelheid in Italy
(Searcher for the truth)
For you, reader of the blog, I would like to add:
Read the book of Dr. Judy Wood “Where Did The Towers Go?” (http://amzn.to/2Emdrqc) as I did. If you have a logical and scientific understanding and if you are willing to see the truth you cannot deny the evidence. I warn you, it is hard to digest and your view about the goodness of governments and other institutions will be shattered. But in my experience:
Integral Life had organised a big conference last weekend in Colorado/USA where people from all over the world could participate via live streaming. That’s what we did and there were some things I wanted to bring to the awareness of the Integral Community which are of concern to me.
For who doesn’t know what “Integral” is: A short introduction by Jeff Salzman in our Wisdom Factory HERE
My open letter:
Heidi here from Italy with some feedback to and considerations of the conference. First of all: THANK YOU! It was great to be able to attend from Europe via Live Streaming – one of the miracles of modern technology for which I am very grateful.
There was a lot of interesting content offered by many competent and interesting people, I enjoyed it greatly, even at 3 am in the morning! I especially appreciated Helen Palmer and her reminder to not be attached to what we believe what we are and what we think is right or wrong as seen by the filters of our unconscious conditioning.
We see reality through our unconscious conditioning
In the light of Helen’s talk I want to send you some of my observations: I noticed in you a strong bias to not take into account the possibility that things could be different than we have seen them so far. In a true integral setting I would love to see openness to look into those things we “traditionally” considered not valid.
Specifically I am talking about a question from the audience about Wikileaks and conspiracy theories. You quickly swept it from the table together with laughing at the topic of “extraterrestrials” as science fiction, invented for movies for popular amusement – or, if you see it from a different perspective. for instilling fear and an unconscious bias in favor of the idea of threats coming from the universe towards us on earth. And this as a justification to increase our military force.
Do you believe in the power of science to reveal the truth through facts?
REAL science which tries to falsify the hypothesis instead of trying to find a few good arguments for an already existing idea? (as you defined good science in the conference). If so I suggest that you read Dr.Judy Wood’s “Where did the Towers go?” And then, please, give a new response regarding “conspiracy theories”. What you find in this book is pure scientific physical evidence which defies all the official stories about 9/11 and also the counter-conspiracy movements which, themselves, where undermined by forces which didn’t want the TRUTH to be known. The book is an extended forensic study of what has been found – or not found – in connection with 9/11 and you will ask yourself: “How could I believe in the stories”, what so many of us did: preferring to keep the eyes closed and to stay attached to our fundamental belief in the goodness of the world and, especially, in the US Government.
People fear to lose their attachments and don’t want to look at what reality is.
Lately, we showed the movie “Unacknowledged” to a group of expats here in Italy and it came out that we Europeans had no problem giving credence to what the disclosed documents were saying. The Americans among us just didn’t want their belief in their government and country to be compromised. Conscious or unconscious bias?
The movie shows declassified documents about UFOs. Yes, they exist, there is a mass of evidence, and only a few days ago many thousands of documents were officially disclosed around the topic of Extraterrestrials, even mainstream media talked about it. With some probability, though, this is a new move towards fostering the belief about a threat from outer space with the hope of “uniting humanity” against a common but constructed enemy, in order to begin a war and justify the crazy increase in military expenses to the benefit of a few psychopaths, reminiscent of the “weapons of mass destruction”.
And again at the cost of a huge number of people, if not of all humanity this time. What the USA did to its own people on 9/11 to justify a war (a very ancient strategy btw.) is absolutely appalling, horrible and unjustifiable. The fact that people still believe in the airplane story is only understandable from a psychological perspective and is deliberately ignoring evidence and “common sense” in order to protect old beliefs from where we draw our feeling of security.
Yes, we need to focus on the positive and to give our power to that. But we also need to not be blind to what reality is in this world of samsara.
Robb, you showed a chart about the power in the various stages and its expression. This is fine. BUT WHERE IS THE ABUSE OF POWER DISCUSSED? And what we can do to stop it? In the 30ies so many people in Germany didn’t believe in what was about to come – despite all evidence. We are in the same situation today. We don’t want to see the evidence for what is really going on and prefer to wrap our minds around Trump vs. Hillary. This is a huge error and limitation which i see expressed even with we people who believe to be at the cutting edge of development.
This is very much preoccupying to me as a German woman of the post-war generation. If WE laugh about things which the psychological warfare of the past 70 years has so thoroughly prepared us to do – who else can have enough perspective to really look behind the scenes and see from a broader point of view?
BTW, Hitler’s specialists in psychological warfare have been employed by the US military and the Hollywood films about Ufos are part of their strategy.
My wish for Integral Life and further events would be to include those topics which are very important to address in the light of co-creating a better future. I also wish the community to become more “integral” in many ways which it is definitely not (yet).
If the main perspective is still “masculine” as expressed in the numbers of male vs. female presenters and in the structure of the setting of the event as well as in the featured topics of this conference about technology etc. then, please, consider to embrace science fully and look for those who are dismissed for doing science that threatens the official narrative – or are silenced and even killed when it comes to fields like free energy. The list of victims of doing “unwanted” science is long! Dr.Judy Wood is one of many who lost their job because they discovered the truth behind the official stories.But, at least, she is still alive probably due to the existence of the internet which makes it much more difficult to just eliminate uncomfortable people.
Angels with wings all about the Christmas tree – that’s what we normally think about when the word “angel” comes up. In New Age culture we speak about Guardian Angels,
those entities which we hope will guide us the right way and give us the right results when we engage in “positive thinking” and “affirmations”. Scientifically oriented people who don’t believe in any God and are proud of their atheistic beliefs (!) make fun of any idea which could remind them of religion and their own cultural religious background.
You might be somewhere in between: believing in the existence of angels and dismissing the very idea as rubbish, as many of we educated people of the 21st century do. But maybe we are looking in the wrong place when asking the question if ANGELS exist. We didn’t find the answers in the old ways of thinking, but what if we follow new ideas as a basis for our questions?
Until recently science and religion seemed to be in complete disagreement about reality. Religious ideas were dismissed as totally irrational and unscientific. This is actually true, but nonetheless they are as real as scientific findings.
From Integral Theory we know that the difference between the two fields lies in their perspectives from which they address reality. Religion starts from interiority and the subjective experience, while science starts from the exterior and the objective view on things. For centuries both areas tried to cancel the right of the other to exist, but today we know that they are the two sides of the same coin – and a coin cannot exist with only one side as much we may try to get rid of the other.
The Marriage of Science and Religion
Coming to the point: The marriage of science and religion can happen for instance with the topic of ANGELS
“The Physics of Angels”, a book by the theologian Matthew Fox and the scientist Rupert Sheldrake, is offering an astonishing and very reasonable new view on the existence of angels. It reconciles the latent gap in our understanding and allows us to speak again about those metaphysical beings which made us too uncomfortable to mention for a long time.
Both authors discuss old writings on angels. To me very inspiring the discussion of quotes from Thomas Aquinas where the description of the properties of angels are compared a lot to those of photons, to light, which has been a metaphor for religious experiences for ages.
What if the light of which religions and spiritual people talk about is not a metaphor, but real? Here is a little teaser from my understanding of the book: “An angel is in a place by acting there. Angels act in one place at a time. When they act in different places then there is no lapse of time in between”. Rupert Sheldrake tries on the idea that “angels” are “fields”. Photons are localized through their actions and a photon is not material, it has no body. It is discontinuous in its actions and the tendency to act in one place or the other can be predicted only by probability. It can be in one place now and in another instantaneously, with no time elapsing according to Einstein.
There are more things between heaven and earth than we are used to believe.
I am not very versed in physics so as to explain this exhaustively in a short blog post. I just wanted to give you an example for the amazing correspondence of observation between entities which we have habitually believed to be of completely different natures. I highly recommend reading the book yourself and see if your atheistic or fundamentalist scientific beliefs get challenged – as well as your romantic religious ideas, whichever might be true for you.
You will experience a huge “AHA!” and become a mentor for the reconciliation of mind, spirit and body. This seems to be necessary to overcome the present crisis in the world and to come to an understanding of the limitation of our own worldviews and those of others. And may that create the necessary humility to become able to address our problems from new and more enlightened perspectives!
In these weird times of chaos and totalitarian tendencies in the world, some timely questions came up for me on Quora. Answering them I felt back into those times when I lived in freedom surrounded by a totalitarian communist country and my question came up ever more pressingly: Why Do People Ignore History – And why do we risk to fall into the same horrible mistakes? How can the radical left today be so insensitive to what their ideals REALLY create? My generation still experienced it in Germany and our parents’ generation can tell you what right wing totalitarianism feels like. Both are devastating and murderous – and we are directly steering towards abandoning our freedoms for totalitarian human-despising ideas.
Below I want to share with you my answers to the questions:
What was the main reason for the Berlin Wall?
What were the differences between east and west Berlin during the period of the Berlin wall?
What was the main reason for the Berlin Wall?
So why was the wall built? It definitely was not a wall like the one in Israel or the planned Trump wall along the Mexican border. Those are designed to protect the country from the influx of foreigners. Not so the Berlin wall. It was built to keep the people inside their own country, to keep them in the prison of an totalitarian state.
In the months before the wall was built, an increasing number of people had been leaving East Germany every day by walking through the “Brandenburger Tor” – as my ex-husband did as a teenager with his mother and brother, carrying with them only a bag with their most important belongings. The East was losing not only the best brains, as another commenter says, but virtually everyone who anticipated the future to come and were courageous enough to leave everything behind. They came from all over the country to Berlin, trains overcrowded with people eager to leave the east.
Blatant differences within Berlin
In the time when the wall was built the difference between East and West was already so striking that a blockage was needed because otherwise soon there would have been a state with nobody living there – and that obviously was not acceptable to the regime. The country couldn’t offer anything attractive to their people which would inspire them to stay (see my answer to the difference between East and West Berlin below.)
An end to the mass flight from East to West
The wall was built in only a few days, and the flow of people escaping increased tremendously in these last days – until they were trapped by the solid wall and the “security strip” alongside. In the beginning many people still could overcome the wall, jump from the windows of houses right on the border line or swim through the river but very soon these possibilities were brutally controlled by walling up the windows, by guns and self-detonating bombs. Many people lost their lives when they tried to escape after the wall was built and the wall became the symbol of a totalitarian state which is ready to use utmost brutality against their people who want to be free.
A fence all around the East
In the same time all East Germany was surrounded by a strong fence and self-shooting facilities which would kill people when they tried to climb over the fence. An uncultivated open area near the fence called “the death strip” was created everywhere in order to see any movement of whatever came near the border from the innumerable watch towers. People trying to escape were brutally killed. I used to live about 10km from the border in my youth in West Germany, and we often went to the border to see the “progress”. At the beginning we still could wave to people over there, later they were moved away to houses further from the border.
Deception is part of the evil
In order to fool people from inside the country who thought they might escape by climbing the fence at the border, all geographic maps available in East Germany were falsified: the streets and villages in the border regions were wrongly inserted into the map and only people who lived in the area of 10 km from the border-fence (I am not sure how many km, maybe more) were allowed to be in or even enter into this “special zone”.
It is hardly imaginable for people who are used to living in a Western democratic country that this was the reality, and even more difficult to feel into what suffering the regime caused to their people.
What were the differences between east and west in Berlin during the period of the Berlin wall?
I lived in West Berlin from 1972 to 1984 as a (West German) university student. Life in the West of the city was very particular, you could find everything, culture and nature. Cultural experiments all over the place, experimental theatres etc. alongside with traditional rituals like the Christmas market in the (then) centre at the ruin of the Kaiser Wilhelm Gedächtniskirche. It was exciting and rich, vibrating and colorful. An optimistic response for the fact that we were surrounded by the East.
A fascinating City
In West Berlin you could get everywhere with public transport – although sometimes with 20 minutes or more waiting in a freezing night, and you could bike on extra lanes. And if you had a car it was pretty easy to get everywhere – except to the east part, obviously.
Two underground lines passed under the East territory and it was ghostly when the train slowed down at the closed stations. There was dimmed light and armed police wandering around. I was always happy to come out on the other side again. It was a dark feeling of danger and oppression, also when we went from West Berlin by the mandatory and guarded highways to West Germany, which we did very often.
Visits in East Berlin for Theatre Performances
Several times a year we went to East Berlin, mainly for attending theatres. There was the famous Brecht Theatre “Am Schiffbauerdamm” and the “Komische Oper” with its artistic director Felsenstein who experimented with a new style of opera in which the singers were really actors and not just standing around singing as had been normal in the past.
What other contributors on Quora said was accurate: West Berlin was shiny and tried to show up as a brillant city while East Berlin was grey and monumental in the “new center”with the ugly expression of socialist art and architecture.
The deception tactic of communist states
In those times all money was directed to the capital to give the impression to foreign visitors that East Berlin was a thriving city – and East Germany a normal country. That it was certainly not so and you could see it in many ways: the full supermarket in East Berlin with dozens of shelfs of THE EXACTLY SAME product (!!), the strange atmosphere everywhere, including in the almost non-existent restaurants or in the cafés where you were treated like sheep, The big Dom (= main cathedral) without the vault and with pigeons living in it and only a few meters from the main “tourist” areas: houses which were about to fall apart and full of projectile holes in their facades.
It was worse in other parts of East Germany
It was not easy to visit other parts of East Germany for “normal” people. I had relatives in Leipzig (Lipsia) and, from a certain time on, western residents of areas close to the east German border were allowed to go there for a visit and sometimes we could meet them there for a day. Better don’t ask what it took to get a visa and the procedures at the border!
I knew also Leipzig from several visits, a major city further south, and the difference to East Berlin was enormous. Let alone small cities or villages. You must have seen it to really get a feel how communism has destroyed everything. When I visited Albania in the early 90’s I knew already from East Germany how things look like in such a country. But Albania, then, was a huge shock, and East Berlin and East Germany seemed to me a paradise in comparison to Albania. The poverty and destruction was unbelievable – and, from what I am hearing the same now is going on in North Korea, even maybe worse, although WORSE is really hard to imagine when we are used to our 21st century civilisation.
Coming back to East Berlin.
Every time we went there was connected with fear: You and your car were controlled thoroughly, both ways, in and out. It could take an hour or more and you never knew if you would be back home that evening because they could find something or invent something to keep you as a prisoner. (It happened to a friend of mine who, after a year or so, was BOUGHT back into freedom by our government).
The Money Game – The Real Reason Why Tourists Were “Welcome” in the East
Every time when you entered East Berlin you had to pay quite a sum for the visa and you had to exchange money 1:1 (although the real value was around 1:4) which, additionally, was hard to spend in one day only as there was hardly anything to buy which you would also want to buy. I myself bought musical scores, whatever they had, not knowing if I ever would use them. Those I actually needed were not available with 95% probability.
Weird Rules to Keep You in Fear
You had to spend all the East money before going back to the West – as if anybody wanted the cheap and worthless aluminum coins on our side of the city! You could get into trouble if you had forgotten to get rid of the east-money before entering the control section.
Totalitarian regimes create an intolerable climate! Anyways, I came to assemble quite a library of musical scores which, later on, I actually used and was happy about that as they cost much more in the West – and still do today.
Summary: It is no joke to be in a totalitarian police state, not as a visitor and not at all as a resident.
Observing present revivals of totalitarian movements on the right AND on the left make me fear that the lesson of 20th century communism and its bloody and oppressive impact on millions of people has been already forgotten – and people who promote neo-communist ideas haven’t learned anything from history. Ignoring history brings the risk that our societies fall back into the same horrible mistakes of the 20th century. What comes out are not situations in which ANYONE wants to live, except the very few who are in power!
So, please, don’t adhere to totalitarian movements which see only black and white! That in itself is the beginning of totalitarianism.
PS: Today Berlin is unrecognisable. I went through the streets, on foot and on bike and it was difficult to even find the places where the wall closed away the other half of the city. There are some spaces where the location of the previous wall is marked and very few rests of the wall for memory. It has become a different city, but the on where I lived for 12 years is still very alive in my memory