All human unhappiness comes from not facing reality squarely, exactly as it is.
~ Siddhartha Gautama
According to mounds of research in developmental psychology, there are approximately seven levels of conscious awareness that we know of and that we all have access to.
Of course, in an unlimited universe there are more than seven, but research shows that we are at least aware of these seven.
That being said, I’m not going to delineate the seven levels here in this treatise. That’s a conversation better reserved for a live event that we can discuss and dive more deeply into as it’s a bit complex.
What I am going to reference, is that approximately 40% of the world, again according to the research, is living in a very romantic state of awareness. These first four of the seven levels of awareness are all rooted in either an “I can do magical things” mindset or an “External force or savior can do magical things for me” mindset.
There is no magic in life but life is magical.
Now please understand early in this conversation that I am not and will not completely discount these levels as irrelevant or lacking in value. Only that they are incomplete in their world view.
Again, developmental research proves that we all go through each of these seven stages in succession. No exception.
Although reaching all seven levels is not guaranteed. Some just tend to get stuck.
Consequently, the person of wisdom and understanding sees himself, metaphorically speaking, in the child of the previous stage.
We don’t punish children for being childish. That’s what children do and that’s who children are. Rather, we do our best to help the child grow to a grander more encompassing and integrated life view.
Every view and approach has value, it’s just more or less complete. Do you follow?
Unless you’ve been totally asleep for the past decade, you know that we live in a world that’s in deep transition, turmoil and challenge.
Even though the most seminal thinkers have been telling us for nearly twenty years that our climate is changing, and we desperately need to do something about it, the radical right still claims that Global Warming is complete BS.
At this point in our planetary evolution even if America would cut out all its carbon emissions today—every last ounce of them—it wouldn’t change the problem.
Readers outside the US please humor me for a moment. Even though I reference America obviously these issues affect you as well.
What we do to ourselves we do to others.
In an interconnected world everything affects everything.
Either for better or worse, you cannot not change the world.
The national debt of the United States alone is over 18 trillion! There’s no end in sight as it continues to grow at nearly 2 billion per day and has done so since October 2012.
Who can even run a household like that? Much less a country!
Who could even begin to believe that this is sustainable?
The romantics still fool themselves into thinking that a new president or some external miracle is going to turn it around. Just keep borrowing and spending.
Whatever you do… don’t change your behavior.
You see, the problems that we face in this day and age are global in nature and yet the 40% mentioned above, are rooted not only in a romantic mindset, but an ethnocentric mindset.
Let me explain each.
Once again, the romantic mindset believes there is some internal magic power, or some external magic savior, that’s going to come in and save the day.
These people are always looking for the magic bullet, the secret sauce or the enchanted pill, some Jedi mind trick, incantation, or special prayer to jettison them out of their current situation.
Or, they’re looking for an external God, savior, or the new president to magically turn things around.
I recall in November of 2008 when a large percentage of the population thought the “second coming” had been elected in America. Things were “magically going to change.”
I listened to a woman interviewed post-election who stated, “Now that Obama’s elected I won’t lose my home.” I wonder how that one panned out?
Most people are praying for some external person or source to get them out of the mess they’ve made for themselves. Shift your thinking. Get busy.
The ethnocentric mindset is rooted in groups. My country right or wrong. My family right or wrong. My race, gender, culture, religion. The “in group” as opposed to everyone else.
This world is an interconnected web
and nothing happens in isolation.
The things you do today affect the entire world tomorrow.
So what’s the solution?
Two things: adversity and challenge.
You grow the most and do your best work when you’re facing adversity and challenge. Read more about it here.
I’ve had my share of both. Maybe you have as well.
Only through adversity and challenge do we potentially wake up and grow up. Please read that again.
While I can’t, and won’t, tell you that I’ve liked my own adversity and challenges… I am extremely grateful for them.
Life challenges and adversity are hard. I’ve had my share. While I can’t tell you that I’ve liked them, I am grateful
for the strength and courage they bring out in me.
Look, it’s easy to oversimplify, and when you attempt to define any one thing as the cause of our current world problems, you fall short.
The ultimate cause is our consciousness, the way we think, and our awareness; and there are always multiple causes for your thinking and awareness.
But one cause for our thinking in America (which also affects the entire world), is that we went for years post WWII in economic boom. Every upside has a downside.
Oh yes, there were dips and drops. But the primary drive was outward and upward.
This formed the consciousness of The Silent Generation as well as The Baby Boomers who mostly grew up in financial prosperity.
The GI Generation post WWII rebuilt America and worked extremely hard doing it. Their children The Silent Generation, didn’t really know the hardships of their parents other than vicariously; and they’re parents gave them everything that they had missed.
For The Silent’s all they knew was that economics and growth were continually expanding outward. Getting better and better.
Consequently, The Silent Generation turned out child after child with little thought of economic impact. By the way, they, as well as their children The Boomers, have tremendous amounts of debt even late in life.
In his ground breaking research of core-level values, Dr. Morris Massey concluded that our core-level values lock in by 13 years of age and very rarely if ever change beyond that point.
That is unless we experience what he calls a “Significant Emotional Event” or SEE.
Simply put, you’re consciousness is basically grounded in where you were, were the world was, and how you were programmed when you were thirteen and younger.
Very few people truly make fundamental changes in their life until they experience enough pain.
Pain is the mother of all growth.
Lacking the aforementioned overarching challenges, hardships and adversity, we continue on with business as usual. This is largely what we see at play today.
The debt keeps growing. We keep borrowing; and we just keep raising the ceiling.
The twin towers fall and we rebuild them. For after all, aren’t they the “sign of America’s economic prowess?”
No, not anymore.
Most people are backing into the future looking into,
and longing for, the past.
It’s time for a new strategy.
The next president won’t save us. He or she can’t.
The only thing that will save us and move us forward is an awakening in awareness. A fundamental shift in consciousness.
We must move from me and my family, my race, my religion, and my country, to me and my world.
We must move from me and my economy, to the world’s economy.
This ethnocentric view of me and mine is a childish view.
We must stop looking at the planet as a tool for us to exploit and use, to understanding the interconnectivity of all life.
This egocentric view of everything is here to serve me is a childish view.
What we do to others we do to ourselves.
What we do to the planet we do to ourselves.
The time is now.
Maybe it’s past time.
Magic potions, circumambulations, chants and prayers aren’t going to do it in-and-of-themselves.
Jesus or the next president or your boss are not going to do it.
But you can do it; and if enough “you’s” get together as we… then the world can move forward.
You are the one the world has been waiting for.
Stay Awake, Love Life, and Be Epic!
James Arthur Ray