Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Making the World a Better Place

Social responsibility is on the minds of many of us. How can we make the world a better place? Is this our duty, as Jean Paul Sarte and the existentialists believed? How can we fit our contribution to the greater community into our busy lives as we struggle with survival and self expression, daily?

Clare W. Graves, Ph.D, was a visionary thinker who began laying the groundwork for the theory behind the Spiral Dynamics application in the 1950s. His theory suggests that every individual or collective consciousness falls somewhere in, between, or among these various levels of being which are not types of people but ways of thinking about a thing.

Graves breaks it into one of nine groups called MEMEs, and assigns a color to each. Beige is the first, this group is involved solely in survival and would have no time to consider social responsibility. The green MEME has the greatest involvement in social issues, as their survival needs are met and their main concerns are harmony/love; joining together for mutual growth; awareness; belonging. The last MEMEs up the spiral, turquoise and coral, go beyond the physical social involvement and contribute to society in ways that involve consciousness more than doing. According to Graves, all groups contribute to life as we know it in valuable and significant ways. It is the dynamic between that creates the life spiral known as evolutionary consciousness.

Future By Design, an organization dedicated to reformulating the operation definition of a better world by introducing coherent planning strategies that are applicable to global and small groups alike, is a good example of green MEME work. Their credo: To constantly maximize existing and future technologies with the sole purpose of enhancing all human life and protecting the environment.

A good example of the work of the turquoise MEME is Dr. Bruce Lipton, the biophysicist who identified the two way communication of unique signals from our cell membranes into our experiential awareness.

An example of the coral MEME would be Neville Goddard, twentieth century mystic, who taught self realization through recognition: "The ideal you seek and hope to attain will not manifest itself, will not be realized by you, until you have imagined that you are already that ideal." We hold the space, imagine the world of our desire, and live from our awakened imagination. What do YOU think?


Ash said...

I am so glad that I found your blog! (thanks entrecard!) I am a member of IONS, have learned so much from Neville, Abraham-Hicks etc. Lots of great stuff to read here...will make it a daily visit!

sctshep said...

I am so glad that you made me a friend. Trust me, I will do the same. I love this site.
First of all on a very superficial level(I wonder what color that is) you have the coolest name in the world. When I saw your name I thought this has to be an interesting site and then I read your profile and things just kept getting better. I have to catch up on your earlier posts and your own writings.
Besides my talks I have written a few things, mostly non-fiction, but I have written a musical focusing on helping kids look at their choices. If you go on my website www.mystresscoach.com and go under multi-media you can hear some of the songs with pictures. (The top one is me doing a talk so you can skip that one unless you want to hear a talk). This is so exciting. This is the best part of the web, meeting people like you who have a mind and a spirit.
To get to your last paragraph and Goddard's quote (I'm not familiar with him but I'm going to have to read his stuff I can see) the premise reminds me of when I worked with alcoholics the emphasis was on helping them see themselves as living a sober lifestyle. If they internalized that ideal they usually stayed sober. It's a thought that transcends "do you agree or not" but really is " let's plumb the depths for possibilities in that thought." Thanks again for wonderful sites.
Scott Sheperd

Alex said...

I am inclined towards the system thinking approach that every thing we do, think say....will have an impact somewhere. The classic case is that the flap of a butterflies wings somewhere may cause a storm somewhere else. Such belief would imply that everyone have to become socially responsible.

Neil said...

What Molly is putting forward here is pretty standard in methodologicial terms, yet is still a long way from mainstream ground. Research I got funded has just been published concluding that on poor estates its a miracle anything gets done, rather than surprising so little does. People who talk of some of the stuff Molly raises (forgive me) raise the term 'fuckwit wankers' in the knee-jerk side of me. This actually grows worse when I look at people like Demartini. It must be pretty obvious from posts that Molly has not affected me like this at all. Even in my regard of Demartini (not the bloke - something more archetypal) I still want to understand my reactions. I don't think, from what I sense in Molly's posts that she would see this as an 'attack'. I have in mind some pretty complex listening that is needed as a form of action that isn't linguistic bickering - and some way beyond that involves a recognition that we don't set ourselves against each other in being honest. 'Powers that be' if you like, already have this spoon, and meaning is already present in a flow beyond words and emotional linguistics. Oversimplifying, I would not be here if I had to dig for my own food - my meaning would be flowing in that.

There are many categories that can be put forward from social science (generally construed as people thinking in my view) that 'type' people (hopefully temporarily) to circumstances. In a certain 'flow of meaning' I could be seen as trying to belittle Molly in saying this in terms of 'it's been said or done before'. I can assure I do not convey this meaning - I'm thinking much more about the diea there is something to work with here and so on. A box of marking (my digging for food) has just dropped in, so I'll conclude quickly. The petty bickering and jealousies in a rugby or cricket team are immense. The training we go through to get rid of them is huge. The idea is to forget all on the pitch (only an ideal). I would not have us follow sporting ideals, but there is an analogy here about having to promote concerted action and what it involves. I can't argue this fully, but there is something about seeing a rugby league or cricket player with sore feet on a charity slog for kids who could never play.

Molly Brogan said...

I learned a great deal about team sports watching my son play football. I would witness one of his very large team mates abusing someone much smaller in the school yard and ask about it. He would say,"yea but mom, I really need him on that line." And I could see the wisdom in that. While my son was carrying the ball, and several large fellows were intent on taking him down, I suppose I wanted this sociopath in front of him, guarding the way. But did it justify his off field behavior?

I suppose we can forgive him, like we forgive chiropractors who market healing agents because they know so many of their patients require them before they can step into self empowerment. Or forgive Future by Design for selling a DVD. But while on the playing field, is this really abusive behavior, or the agent for change that people require? As long as they aren't going home to beat the crap out of someone. And how do we know they aren't?

We obviously don't want to be part of the problem. How to be part of the solution is a bit trickier isn't it? I can hold the space and live as if my world is collaborative and enlightened, or join the movement and spend my time n organizations that allow the evolution, or live hand to mouth, doing the best I can in each moment for myself and loved ones. It matters not. What matters is that we live according to our own highest potential in what we believe to be true each moment.

I see that in you, Neil. I do.

sctshep said...

How do we know "our own highest potential"?I don't mean this critically, but that's just a nice sounding phrase to me.
Maybe what matters is that we live - we take part, we screw up, we're honest, dishonest, courageous, fearful, but we take part, we pay attention, we care. George Gurdjieff says you can't get out of prison if you don't know you're in it. Awareness is everything. Maybe the butterfly moving causes a thunderstorm. Who knows? But if I pay attention I know what I did or didn't do at least in the area I can see and/or feel. Maybe some guy in Madison Wisconsin will eventually be affected. Maybe not. But I can look at my daughters now and see now.

Rainer said...

@tim: Why would you chose 2 million people as a goal? Is there a difference between 1, 20, or 2 million?

well mollybrogan, i have a lot of questions.
The concept of meme reminds me of maslow's pyramid. I don't know whether there is a similarity but Maslow was never proven.
Why would a spiritual evolution lead to change in society. Are society needs on the same level as spiritual needs? I am always skeptical when people want to operate on a larger scale because you get in touch with power. The power is a strong motivator to blend the spiritual concepts until they are no longer filled with light or love but duty and believe.

Molly Brogan said...

I can see a similarity with Graves and Maslow, although Spiral Dynamics is just that - the dynamic of a spiral. All levels contribute to the movement of the whole. Any one view can be changed or blended with others within a range.

I think the idea is that farther along the spiral, the view expands. If there is only spirit - it also becomes society. Where there is no separation, thought becomes the agent for change, where as in parts of the spiral a bit more contracted like green, action is the agent for change, and at the base where survival is all consuming, need is the agent.

I am not sure how to comment about your notion of power, except to say that at the point in the spiral where there is no separation, power is not an issue.

The book Spiral Dynamics by Beck and Cowen is a very good read. I highly recommend it. It is a good model for considering many social quandaries.

Vamadevanada said...

" What matters is that we live according to our own highest potential in what we believe to be true each moment."

Precisely, Molly ! That's the best note to start each day with. Wish each one us did that, day in and day out.

Molly Brogan said...

Thanks Vam. I think it is an inside out process. If all of us were doing this, societal concerns would be resolved. It also eliminates the notion of more or less "privileged" because our highest potential is individual and changing. I was asked "how do we know what our highest potential is?" I think if we can imagine our ideal self, and live as if we are this in the moment, with as many as possible of our responses in alignment with our best self, we live according to our highest potential. Having reached it, of course, we would begin to understand the possibility of something more, so each day would require this self assessment, wouldn't it?

Lee said...

I think I agree very strongly with your points here.

It's a tricky business, a double edged sword and any other relevant platitudes you want to bring to the table.

Humanity is not like Antity! We are are a vast group individuals each with our own ideas, needs, and wants. We should of course try to make a difference, and thank God for those amongst us that make the effort; unlike ants it take great effort for us all to work for the 'greater good', and even more for us all to agree just what this means.

Please do all that you can to make the world a better place, hah but don't be surprised when you face stiff opposition on which methods to use, shit or even what better means.

Charlie said...

If all of us were doing this, societal concerns would be resolved. Certainly, we all know this is improbable. But there is no reason not to leave that on the table as a goal. I don't about y'all; but, I feel better when I think about others and help them, than when I just worry about "mois."

Scrupulosity can be just as bad as neglectfulness. Just being yourself, treating others the way you would like to treated, leaves you a "clean conscience."

Molly Brogan said...

I think the idea in Spiral Dynamics is that farther along the spiral, the view expands. Every view is of value in moving the evolutionary energy of the spiral. At the most expansive part of the spiral, turquoise and coral MEMEs, there there is no separation, thought becomes the agent for change, where as in parts of the spiral a bit more contracted like green, action is the agent for change, and at the base where survival is all consuming, need is the agent. Whatever we are using for our agent for change will work for us in the moment according to our viewpoint. Whatever our viewpoint or agent, we all contribute to the evolutionary spiral of humanity, and all of the groups that we participate in. We can participate in deconstruction, and continue to engage in conflict or destruction, or we participate in creation, and use our appropriate agent for change in ways that introduce possibility into the moment. Whatever we choose, we are participating. Until we aren't.

Vamadevanada said...

Yes, Molly, it is an inside out process ! That is why focus on the inside, the starting point, is so important. It takes a lifetime to clarify, simplify, improve or build upon the " inside," so as cause desirable impacts upon the outside, effectively.

In my experience, most people do not realise this. Everybody is so eager to change the world, without doing the necessary ' homework.' The necessary may or may not be sufficient, though !

Chazwin said...

How do you deal with cold-phone calling Double Glazing salesmen? I nwas once troubled with an amlost daily barage of double-glazing calls. They would always start with "we are nor selling , just market research..." I would gnerally hang up but this did not stop the calls. One day I thought I would put it to the test to see if they were interested in selling anything.

Here was the solution that worked. Me: "Double Glazing? Uncanny!!! I have just acquired a dock front property with around 50 old windows that need replacement." DG sales " We are not selling..doing market research.. oh what was that you said.
Me:" Yeah I need loads of windows."
DG: "Hang on I'll get a salesperson... Hello sir."
Me:" Yeah - I'm glad you called, I'll just get the estate plans.. hang on" wait a couple of minutes.
Me:" Yeah I will need prices on the following dimensions. ten 8 X 6, 25 10 x 4, 5 3 X 5 ...(blah blah blah..)"
DG: " Well I'll need to make the calculations...
Me: " So what are you details, address, phone etc.."
DG:" (start to tell me).... Me: "Stop - I'll just get a pen - DON'T GO AWAY.."

Then I go away, make a cup of tea and sit down to watch TV, leaving the phone off the hook. I was never phoned again.

This made the world a much better place for me, and the time was well spent.

Molly Brogan said...

Well, I suppose the easy answer would be to place your number on the national do not call list. But this is an external answer for an external process. If you are looking for something more, you would need to examine the internal processes at work. Conflict comes into our lives as a direct relationship to our judgments. When we judge, we place ourselves in opposition to that which we judge and establishes the foundation for conflict.

Since the internal processes are not bound to the same laws of cause as our external events, you may not find a direct "reason" for the conflict immediately occurring. But have faith, this is the process. You may find that your judgments were not about your phone call, but something else significant in your life, and the conflict is manifesting in a very benign way for you - the phone call - to allow you the opportunity to understand and operate from the internal process.

When you find yourself annoyed like this, ask yourself, am I judging? If you can take what you judge into your heart with compassion and find your humility - meaning find all of equal value - conflict around you will diffuse.

Rhonda said...

The ideal you seek and hope to attain will not manifest itself, will not be realized by you, until you have imagined that you are already that ideal." It is amazing how thought can influence ones life either positively or negatively. This quote makes sense to me to make the world a better place means we must start with ourselves.

Patricia said...

This question has been my 'zahir' or obsession for many years. I began with psychoanalysis in Beverly Hills only to determine that in order to make the world a better place, I had to become a better person. And how exactly does one do that? There are no manuals, but many books and gurus from Srinagar to Mt.Shasta. One has to be awake and aware as much as possible and not express negativity and this is big. Mostly each of us has to practice as much tolerance and compassion towards other living beings.

Molly Brogan said...

Holding all life sacred, and witnessing and choosing thought are both very big leaps in the spiral of consciousness. Congratulations!