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. It’s like the old metaphor of a fish that has no idea what “water” is. This site raises questions and offer suggestions about how we need to transform both our consciousness and our culture to meet the great challenges of the new era we are moving into.
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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 or both the individual and for society lies in the development of our 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?And for whom or what, in what ways, when, where, and under what circumstances?
“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.” Trying to find out what’s really so is the essence of seeking and speaking Truth. It’s essential to raising your consciousness. You can’t move toward higher consciousness without taking that step.
Trying to pretend that we never act in ways that harm us or others leads to lying to ourselves –or even to chronic self-deception. But we can learn to observe our thoughts. As we do that, we can stop ourselves from expressing potentially harmful thoughts in speech or action. To have the discipline to simply observe unkind 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 your consciousness. It is a powerful force for acting in ways that are good for the other people and living beings around us.
In every situation we can ask, “Who or what is being –or will be– helped or harmed here by doing this or that? How?
This question is, in my view, the foundation of moral and ethical life. Of course, we have to answer it honestly instead of lying to ourselves to support our preconceptions, or ro defend a mistaken self image. And sometimes 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 these two questions “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 yourself and your world.
We Are All Part of Nature’s Web
A second 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 biocentric consciousness, recognizing that we ourselves are part of nature’s web, and always in it, not something apart from it. . These two “foundation stones” underpin everything at this site. I hope you find pages and posts that you find informative and enjoyable.