Our consciousness and cultures are intertwined in countless ways. The stories, metaphors, habits, rules and feedback loops of our cultures and subcultures structure our perception of the world. Much of the time we have no idea this is happening, like the old metaphor of a fish that has no idea what “water” is. The blogs, information, and pictures on this site are about diverse aspects of our culture and our consciousness. They raise questions and offer suggestions about how we will have to transform both to meet the great challenges of the new era we are moving into. Comments and blogs from others that further such thinking are welcomed. This includes accounts of relevant personal experiences. Such remarks may include links to sites that include a larger selection of your own thinking.
This is a new site that is just coming into being while I learn how to work with WordPress, so there is not much on it yet. Check back from time to time, be patient, and it will take form. Be well and enjoy!
A Moral and Ethical “Rock of Gibraltar”
In 2009 in Matrix Meditations: A 16-Week Program for Developing the Mind-Heart Connection, my coauthor Kooch N. Daniels and I wrote, “The key to a morality that is ideal or both the individual and for society lies in the development of out ability to discern what is actually occurring in any given situation. You can do this by looking closely at the down-to -earth specifics of each real event and at the likely results of a given act or attitude. The crucial questions are: How helpful or harmful is a given act How beneficial or destructive? How useful or counterproductive Ad for whom or what, in what ways, whe, where, and under what circumstances, is it useful or counterproductive.
“Answering these questions requires honest communication with your inner self, and listening with boh your heart and head. This may require you to let go of some of your old ideas. As psychologist Carl Rogers reminds us, “Many people. . . have regarded the facts as possible bearers of disaster, as potential enemies. The facts are always friendly.” . . .
“Inevitably we all have thoughts that are potentially helpful and thoughts that are potentially harmful, both to ourselves and to others.. Trying to pretend that we don’t leads to lying to ourselves, or even to chronic self-deception. Because of this, [both Buddha and the great yogis] suggested methods for observing our thoughts, for stopping ourselves from expressing potentially harmful thoughts in speech or action, and for moving our mind from unhelpful to helpful thoughts. To have the discipline to simply observe unkind thoughts as they rise up in our minds, and then to refrain from speaking them or acting on them, is a powerful force for self-development.” Matrix Meditations, p. 37
In 2012 I added:
“In every situation, and with every issue, ask, “Who or what is being –or will be– helped or harmed, in what ways, how, when, and under what specific circumstances, by doing this or that?”
I think this question is the foundation of moral and ethical life. Of course, we have to answer the question honestly instead of lying to ourselves to support our preconceptions or prejudices. And we have to realize that the answer is sometimes, “I don’t know. Let’s do our best to find out.” And there is the corollary principle,
“How can we minimize, and do nothing to contribute to, unnecessary and avoidable suffering?”
I call asking and answering these two questions “The moral and ethical Rock of Gibraltar,” because I know of no other principle that seems as widely applicable as these two taken together. (from The Radical Wrong . . . Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln & Others Refute Right-Wing Extremists )