I don’t believe in coincidence; I believe in synchronicity. So, in light of the news of tragic loss and the resulting justified disillusionment, I feel it is very appropriate that this is the topic that had been on the agenda for this series of posts recounting the wisdom, tools, and insights learned at the MindValley Reunion in San Diego that I attended in August.
The last speaker on the first day of the MindValley reunion was none other than Vishen Lakhiani, founder of MindValley. He shared the teachings of five renowned teachers in different realms to support the concept of putting humanity on a better, more enlightened path.
These five teachers included:
The Scientist – Tom Chi, inventor of Google Glass, and then some.
The Writer – Blogger Tim Urban, author of “Wait But Why?”
The Naturalist – Charles Darwin, who I don’t think needs an introduction, though he is apparently grossly misinterpreted, as I learned.
The Philosopher – Ken Wilber, who is a teacher of integral thinking. I will try my best to summarize clearly, though after so many weeks, I am a bit foggy on some of the concepts.
The Mystic – Neal Donald Walsch, Author of Conversations with God, which had a tremendous impact on Vishen, as he has stated many times.
To start, we were showed a video recording of a live MindValley event where an audience member asks Tom Chi a question, and without hesitation and with obvious earnest concern, he shares that if human consciousness does not evolve faster than technology, it will be used with evil intentions and could be the cause of our demise.
(You may want to take a look back at the post that shared Jeffery Allen’s take on individual and planetary consciousness progression.)
Tim Urban shared an alternative future, which requires us to recognize our connectedness, functioning as one organism, sharing our knowledge, and making sure that our work represents cooperation rather than cancer.
This is where Vishen challenged entrepreneurs and corporate employees alike to evaluate whether or not their companies were humanity plus (+) or minus (-). He shared a story from Tom Chi, who in spite of a very lucrative offer, refused to help a humanity- company promote their unhealthy product, which they intended to package as humanity+, but science refuted it. It made me think about my clients and where they have landed and where they will land in the future. How can I help them ensure that they land somewhere where their contributions further the betterment of humanity vs. landing at a company using social responsibility and community outreach as a public relations tactic to veil what is really a harmful intention, or just a result. (I will be working on a checklist for this.)
You probably think of evolution when you hear the name Darwin. This is an accurate attribute. You may also think of “survival of the fittest,” which for me conjures a vision of every man for himself. I think of the people of Puerto Rico right now who are out of water and supplies. I saw a post from someone attempting to raise funds to extract a citizen who DID have supplies, but feared for his life. It is extremely bleak either way, to have or to have not. I observe social media trollers claiming that others have lesser intelligence for their political, even religious views. I even see them either predicting or willing that they are eliminated somehow to make things better for the more deserving. And, I have seen people point to Darwin’s supposed theory to support their will. In actuality, the concept Darwin was hoping to promote he called the Diffusion of Sympathy, which is quite the opposite of eat or be eaten. In fact, he used science to purport that every single living thing is absolutely essential to a thriving planet, and we should be actively looking out for the survival of all species and the habitats thereof. If we could consider the pain of others our own pain, we could preserve our planet. If Darwin were alive today, he would more likely be an environmentalist and a pluralist. This blew my mind!
What Vishen shared about Ken Wilber’s Integral Theory was a bit complex and after many weeks, as I said, is a bit foggier. I want to do it justice, but think I need a refresher. I won’t try to teach you what I didn’t learn well, but I can share with you what I took away, and you can watch this video to get this right from him. There are states of consciousness and stages of consciousness. When you are evaluating a guru to help you achieve a higher level of consciousness or living, evaluate the guru based on worldview stage rather than state. The worldviews progress in the following order:
Egocentric > Ethnocentric > Worldcentric > Cosmocentric
70% of the planet adopts an egocentric worldview, which you can interpret to mean that they are out for themselves. In ethnocentric, you can love and you think more about your immediate community’s wellbeing, which could mean a geography or a dogma. As you can probably infer, at the worldcentric stage you look out for the planet and all its being. 30% of the planet are either ethnocentric or worldcentric. Less than 1% are at the cosmocentric stage, truly acknowledging our oneness with all things in the Universe.
By integral, he means luminous, where you would experience freedom and fullness that have not been fulfilled by our individual, community, or even planetary identity. We would need to access a wisdom that transcends rational thought and logic.
At this point Vishen points out how divisive this last election was, and how our current climate can either inhibit or enhance our evolution through these stages, depending on how we respond.
Do you remember a time when the terms liberal and conservative were not part of our vocabulary, when we did not identify ourselves or others by these terms? I remember learning these terms in high school social studies, which was actually when they emerged. The first person to use these terms was Newt Gingrich. These words were intentionally chosen to manipulate and divide us, according to Vishen – I cannot be certain of someone else’s intentions unless they themselves claim them. Whether it was intentional or not, we may at least agree that these terms absolutely changed political rhetoric, and not for the better. Within the last 18 months we have seen even worse rhetoric emerge, to include such insults as “snowflake” and “deplorables.” This is in direct conflict with any goals we may have to preserve our species, unify, and furthermore transcend the painful suffering and lead a more awakened enlightened life.
Vishen points out that this type of response to what can be healthy debate for the sake of arriving at solutions that work for most will only make opponents justify maintaining their limiting view points, and prolong our suffering. Instead, we can aim to stand up to ideas, not people.
In the wake of the Las Vegas mass shooting, I see many people desperate to right the world after such a wrong, but they are wanting to do it through more violence and pain. Hoping that the gunman rots in hell is a justifiable response and can be considered a natural reaction to horrific, incomprehensible event, but it doesn’t progress us to where we need to be to create a better world, which I imagine we all want.
In Vishen’s book, Code of the Extraordinary Mind, he asserts that “hurt people hurt people.” The gunman would not have been a gunman if he had not been damaged in some way. If we want to prevent future gunmen (or gunwomen,) we have to adopt Darwin’s less popular, but more productive, concept of sympathy. We have to help each other heal our wounds instead of vilifying people for what they do from a place of extreme pain.
While you pray for the victims and their loved ones, pray also for those who seek to use violence. Pray that they can feel love, that they can feel compassion. Send them compassion, so they know what it looks and feels like. If they think that a mass shooting is the only way to be heard, pray that they are heard NOW. Pray that someone listens, that someone hugs them. Pray that they find an other way to express themselves and heal their pain.
The last teacher that Vishen shared was Neal Donald Walsch, who literally sat and asked powerful questions and that wrote stream of consciousness in a trance-like state the answers that manifested. Asking questions is the most powerful way to garner answers. He shared then five questions we can ask ourselves going forward to do our own part in being contributors to unity instead of divisiveness:
- What am I doing to build human consciousness?
- Am I working for or running a humanity+ or a humanity- organization?
- How do I widen my “circle of we?”
- How can I grow into integral living?
- Will I stand up for unity?
The next MindValley reunion speaker I will share with you is Don Miguel Ruiz, and he has some equally powerful questions, as well as some incredible insight that will help you chip away at your individuality to access the divinity within and live a life that elevates your way of being and transcends suffering and pain.
I know that so many are seeking answers: Why do things like this happen? What makes a person want to inflict so much pain? What can we do to stop this from ever happening again? What kind of world are we living in? What is going to happen to us? Can we ever feel safe again?
I hope that this post helps you ask empowering questions that generate real hope and solutions.
Besides sharing one of my favorite healers’ songs as part of this post, starting this week I will be sharing #TuesdayTunes on my Facebook fanpage. These are songs that I find to be uplifting, motivating, spiritual, insightful, heart-opening, and or relevant to a growth lesson. Many, if not most of them, will be covered by me. Consider it a vocal hug from me to you 🙂