LIFE: Seeing the bigger picture

Our life’s journey starts with the moment of birth, but probably with the moment of conception or even before when we adhere to the respective beliefs. When it actually starts is not so important, but the events and experiences it is filled with are weaving our life story to a more or less complex net of moments and our response to them.

The impact of childhood

In the first years of life we are almost entirely dependent on somebody who cares for us, feeds us and teaches us what to think and to say and how to behave in our special environment. Growing up we slowly liberate ourselves from this dependance, hopefully. From the very first moments of our existence we experience the world with our senses. Our psychology forms accordingly. Who had good experiences in early life normally grows up more easily into an adult human being than those of us who were exposed to physical or emotional hardship or even intentional malevolence. But it is not always so. The question arises: Why do some people, who have suffered a lot, have so much difficulty in life and even destroy it and the life of others, while others who had experienced similar situations grow up and become wise and altruistic?

Despite the validity of the law of cause and effect, the answers are not so blatantly easy. Apart from the genetic material and the psychological fields of our ancestry which we bring into the world, there seem to be many other factors in play which people have tried to figure out for a long time. The question: What is LIFE and what makes it meaningful? What is our predisposition, what are our unconscious orientations and our conscious influences?

Typologies

The idea of looking for similarities and collect them into typologies is equally ancient, but only in the last few centuries, typologies have been studied more in depth. They provide a map where you can find the similarities and differences of people and make some good prediction for the thoughts and behaviours of those who belong to a determinate category.

They exist, if you like it or not

I know, some people will protest now, even vehemently, because they don’t like the idea of humans being categorized, because they believe in the absolute individuality of every single human on earth. Well, this is also true, but partial, as everything we talk about in our quest for truth and wisdom. We all are individual souls in individual bodies, but it is also true that you can make good distinctions and find a certain number of sufficiently different “boxes” where you can put yourself in and those around you, with a certain probability of getting it right.

Examples

I give you an example: Many years I did an experimental course of the Enneagram. For several years we came together, 10 days every time, hundreds of interested people, and by a variety of exercises we were encouraged to find out ourselves to which type we belong. When we then met in the subgroup of people who identified with the same type as you, the surprise was huge: What everyone of us thought to be a specific trait of our own personality revealed to be exactly the same among all of us. Good-bye my belief in the individuality of myself! There were people who behaved and felt exactly like myself! Wow!

Another example are the levels of personal development: As a child we think and behave different than in adult life. I think there is common agreement here. But how is that different? And did you think and believe the same things when you were 20, 40 or 60? Probably not. In my life I have observed so many changes in what I thought about life, about myself and about others, about society, politicians, doctors. The list is endless. There are people who never change their mind – and also that is an indicator for the level in which they live their lives in. We are growing through many levels, if our development is healthy. A good source to learn about that is Spiral Dynamics, and even better Integral Theory which includes Developmental Psychology.

Our life experience is impersonal

We still might think that is is just us who have the fortune – or misfortune – to change our attitude to life and to the world. But it is definitely not. We grow up in a predictable way, nothing really special about every single one of us – while we are totally special in HOW we grow up inside ourselves, in HOW we express our type in the world, how we act now and in the future and how we see and integrate our past.

Our personal life experience is rich in its actual expression, but it is totally impersonal as category of experience. Everybody experiences the same things in life, childhood, growing up, pain and frustration, sexuality, bonding, interests in something, joy and sadness, illness and death. We add our personal flavour to all that, we live these things in different settings and with different “colors”, but the experiences themselves are profoundly impersonal in the sense that they are the ingredients of human life, the consequence of our sensory equipment, of our ability to think and to desire, our innate urge to live the life we are given.

We are actors on the stage of LIFE

It really helps when you are aware that your personal drama has nothing really to do with you as an individual, but that it is playing out in your body, mind and spirit, as you are a player in the big game of life and you have to play that special role on the stage, where you are one of the innumerable actors.

Getting emotional – what about and how?

Humans are emotional beings. Although we know that, we do very little to increase our emotional competence, even today, after all the insights of the postmodern culture. So should we be more emotional and behave in emotional ways? Let’s think about it.

History

In early stages of cultural development, in feudal societies in the past and today, being emotional and impulsive is completely normal. If somebody doesn’t behave the right way, others, who are or believe to be more powerful or stronger, don’t think twice before the push a knife between your ribs or torture you to death. They can bring forth some rationalisations about why they do it: because you have offended someone, worldly powerful people, the representants of God on earth, or just a strong guy in the subway This is enough for an ego-centered human being to justify his attack on you, even if it kills you. No problem.

Humanity made huge efforts to contain this raw power and impulsiveness in humans by teaching them rules about the value of life and that nobody has the right to kill another human being. Well, although well embodied in Western cultures, people still find a work-around to passionately fight and kill others by declaring “the other” inferior, not a real human being. Thus in totalitarian regimes people with the inclination to act out their aggressiveness get a justification of doing “the right thing” by ways of their inhuman ideology.

Suppressing emotions

Certainly, the expression of the emotions channeled by rules of behaviour can also lead to their suppression. But at least people can live together relatively peaceful, without killing each other because of a wrong word or a unfortunate action. The rise of science and technology or the battle for success in direct competition wouldn’t have been possible with everyone expressing directly their anger or contempt. Only with the rise of the postmodern age, people realised their being cut off from their emotions and they claim them back. And that is good.

Handling emotions well

Now, how will we express our emotions today, after we have  -to our surprise-, re-discovered that we have them,? Shall we go back and fight against anybody who “hurts our feelings”? Or have we grown into something more sophisticated? Have we learned when to show our emotions, why and how? This is certainly a question where everyone has to find their own answers. Here is where “emotional intelligence” comes in: Learning to handle the own emotions wisely. Not suppressing them, realising that they are there, but remaining their master. With other words: having the decision power if we express them and, if we chose to do so, in what form.

Which emotions are culturally accepted

When a man is in tears in a public setting, there will still be those who consider that as weakness, but others recognize it as strength to be in contact with the feelings and express them even when the culture has different norms. When a woman is openly aggressive, well, that is not yet seen as desirable, and it probably isn’t. Not because she is a woman, but open aggressive behaviour is ugly in both men and women. When a woman gets angry, that can be the result of a long struggle to integrate anger and to unlock it from the substitute feeling of sadness, which culture had allowed for women in former times, but not anger.

The power of genuine emotions

In my life as a women brought up in a conservative world, anger and aggressiveness was not appreciated although it happened to me in my attempted defense against two older brothers. Later in life I discovered that genuine anger is a good tool to make myself understood. When  a hunter shot his bullets in a way that I heard them fall on my roof, I ran up the hill and shouted on him so that he never came back. I must have developed the quality of the Goddess Kali, I was glad of my success and knew there was a “secret weapon” in genuinely expressed anger.

Becoming passionate

I don’t use my anger very often, but sometimes I really get triggered and cannot allow that stupidity is declared as truth about the world – as happened to me a few days ago in a conversation circle. In these cases, I always have the choice to stay silent or to interfere. When I decide to speak up, my passion can be clearly understood, although the words might not be. Maybe that  I become so passionate about hearing things from the mouth of others which I believed time ago myself and of which I have now understood how ignorant, even stupid and dangerous they are?

The necessary learning

Well, there are still many things to learn: how to be passionate and clear at the same time? How to use the right words and not fall into old competitive behavior, how to measure the amount of emotion to express and when to stop. All things which virtually everybody of us has still to learn, independent if they are grown in a traditional household, or in a modern or a postmodern one. In all of these settings there are tabus around feelings, there is suppression of certain feelings and favorisation of others. Until we become masters in living our feelings without being lived by them, much water will still run down the river, as we say in Germany.

 

What world-changers should know if they want to find solutions instead of being part of the problem.

Good will and engagement is not enough

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!

A sort of journaling

Is it journaling when you bring into words a story which revisits the past and puts it into perspective? Probably it is some sort of long-term journaling, if any, not the immediate testimony of what is going on today in the inside and outside world. Nonetheless, the memories form into text TODAY, I was writing today what went through my mind for a long time. So maybe it is already that what Tuyet mentioned in her comment on Facebook to my post yesterday. She wrote: “I would want my private inner experience to be like germinating seeds needing a safe nourishing environment to develop into the fullest potentials and then they are fully matured and sturdy enough to be shared in the world.”

Here what I wrote in preparation for my e-book as legacy for my husband Mark Davenport:

Mark and his daughters

I think it was Mark’s loving kindness which led him into the trap of a borderline personality as second wife with whom he had two daughters. If you know a little about borderline then you can understand how difficult it is to survive that as a psychologically not yet fully grown up person and even more difficult, or even impossible, to become a responsible parent in this kind of setting. The experience with a borderline partner connected me and Mark in a deep understanding of the danger we were in, the risk of accepting their projections, their attribution of their own craziness to us.

Anyways, I had a huge admiration for Marks daughter Lillian who reached out to him years after he had been kicked out of the family. She wanted to have her father back as an adult and both developed a fine and mutually respectful relationship. Mark was very happy about that, he traveled with Lillian and they were in constant contact even when far away. Lillian’s sister Claire had some contact with Mark when she was at University in the neighborhood of Mark and his third wife, but after that no deeper relationship developed. He was very sad about that, he observed her doing via Facebook, but he didn’t want to press her into something she obviously wasn’t willing to live with him at that moment.

When I got to know Mark, Lillian had been diagnosed with breast cancer. Whenever he spoke about her, a veil of sadness came over him. He knew what cancer means. He had survived a cancer on his vocal cords, but this illness is brutal. He should finally fall  prey of it himself.

In the summer of our marriage in San Diego, I did my Feminine Power Training in Los Angeles while Mark went to see Lilian. In autumn of that year she came to see us in Italy with her husband Mihai. Those were lovely two weeks together. The cancer was present, visible in her special diet and also in conversations, but she was hopeful and emanated positivity and joy to be with Mark and me. I had been given a daughter in her, I liked her very much.

Mark and Lillian But the cancer continued its cruel route, her years or even months seemed to be very limited. In spring Mark and I went to Chicago to be with her, to lend a hand for taking care of her. Now the effect of the cancer and the aggressive treatments and medications were blatantly visible. It was heartbreaking to see her body deform and her regressing into a little girl so often during these days. She had been such a vigorous, positive and courageous woman before!

To watch his daughter decay and finally die was very hard for Mark. She practically was the only one he had in his close family bonds, he loved her dearly and he couldn’t do anything for her, not even now as a conscious and really grown up adult. He had to surrender to her death. Maybe it started then, that his unconscious prepared for his own death and laid the seeds for his own illness and decay? Nobody knows, not even himself. But certainly it was a shock for him in the sense that he dived deeper and deeper into the research about life and death. His interest in conscious ageing was certainly a consequence of that.

Heidi and ClaireMark was about to fly back to Chicago a few weeks later. In the morning of his departure from Rome he got the notice that Lilian had died the night before. I can only imagine what that meant for him. At the funeral he met his daughter Claire after a long time and he was really happy about that. They had found a new way of relating and Mark hoped that their relationship would develop into something beautiful from then on. But it didn’t happen. Claire told me why, when she came to see me in July. Mark had passed shortly before and they didn’t have the chance to reconnect in love and friendship. The day of his passing we had scheduled a skype call with Claire, Mark had been very happy about that, but he died a few hours before the appointment.

Some things in life cannot be repaired, some things we can only let go and find our peace. I am sure that Mark had found a way to do that, and Claire, the only remaining offspring of that Davenport family, seems to have entered her way to peace and wisdom, too.

Exactly three months after Mark’s death, Claire and Mihai and myself came together to record a conversation for the Wisdom Factory series “Conscious Living, Conscious Dying”, where we shared our experience with accompanying a loved family member in their death process, in memoriam of Mark and his daughter Lillian.

An inspiration to become public

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?

 
The post and comments on Facebook

“Evil” or What is your shadow?

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.

 

More to Jeff Salzman’s analysis of Jordan Peterson

After having listened to part 2 of Jeff Salzman’s analysis of Jordan Peterson I want to add some more considerations.

View my considerations to the first part here

Post-Modernism

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.

Conclusion

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.

Jordan Peterson’s new book which arouses so much public recognition:12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos

Jeff Salzman about Jordan Peterson – some considerations

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.

Peterson-on-integral-life
Peterson-on-integral-life

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!

12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos

Photos: Used for educational purpose. No copyright infringement intended.

Why I don’t give money to Wikipedia anymore

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”!

I wrote:

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?

Some examples:
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! 

My conclusion:
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:
Truth sets free!

Open letter to Robb Smith and Integral Life

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:

Hi Robb,

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.

POWER

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.

Integral needs to take a stand here!

With gratitude, appreciation, love and hope

Heidi