Our consciousness and cultures are intertwined in countless ways. The stories, rules and habits of our cultures and subcultures structure our perception of the world. Usually we have no idea this is happening. It’s like the old metaphor of a fish that has no idea what “water” is. This site raises questions and offers suggestions about transformations we need to make in both our consciousness and the world’s cultures cultures to meet the immense challenges of the new era that we are moving into.
A Moral and Ethical “Rock of Gibraltar”
In Matrix Meditations my coauthor Kooch N. Daniels and I wrote, “The key to a morality that is ideal for both the individual and for society lies in the development of our ability to tell what’s actually happening in any given situation. This includes looking closely at the down-to-earth specifics of each real event and at the likely results of any given action. The crucial questions are: How helpful or harmful will this be? How beneficial or destructive? For whom? –Or what, in what ways, when, where, and under what circumstances?
In every situation we can ask, “Who or what is being –or will be– helped or harmed here by doing this or that? How?
Answering these questions requires honest communication with our inner self, and listening with both our head and heart. Often this requires letting go of some of our 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.” Trying to find out what’s really so is the essence of seeking and speaking truth. It’s impossible to move toward higher consciousness without taking that step.
Trying to pretend that we never act in ways that harm us or others requires lying to ourselves. But we can learn to observe our thoughts, feelings, and sensations, we can stop ourselves from acting or speaking in harmful ways. To have the discipline to simply notice unhelpful thoughts as they rise up in our minds, and then release those lower forms of consciousness rather than acting on them, is a powerful force for transforming consciousness.
This question is the foundation of moral and ethical life. Of course, we have to answer it honestly instead replaying an old mental program for the hundredth time or defending a mistaken self image. Often enough the answer is, “I don’t know. Let’s find out.” And along with that question goes another: “How can we reduce unnecessary and avoidable suffering?”
I call asking and answering the two questions just above “A moral and ethical Rock of Gibraltar.” I know of no other principle that seems as widely applicable as the two taken together. They are a foundation-stone of this website. And of developing a richer, more fulfilling consciousness of ourselves and our world.
We Are All Part of Nature’s Web
Another foundation-stone is the principle that we need to make preserving the good health of the biosphere the very centering point of our culture. Of our educational programs. Our communities. Our politics. Our economics. And our personal lives. We need to move from human-centered anthropocentric consciousness to nature-centered biocentricconsciousness. This includes ecognizing that we ourselves are part of nature’s web, and always in it, not something apart from it. And it includes acting to help preserve and restore the good health of the biosphere and our local ecosystems.
The “moral and ethical Rock of Gibraltar” and protecting and preserving the good health of the biosphere and our local ecosystems are the two “foundation stones” underpinning everything at this site.