Making Sense Common

Holistic: Cosmic Conundrum or Common Sense?

Making Sense Common8-aspects

Holistic, adj.

1. Of or relating to holism.

a. Emphasizing the importance of the whole and the interdependence of its parts.

b. Concerned with wholes rather than analysis or separation into parts

Defining the variety of subsets in the equations we consider for our daily living decisions have been the norm for many years. Not that we are necessarily mathematical in nature; simply that we calculate our actions to produce results whether we realize it or not. Our brains are like supercomputers that operate nearly unconsciously in the process, spitting out answers just in time to move our bodies or open our mouths. When defining ‘holistic,’ do we consider a systems approach?

We tend to focus on the immediate and be less aware of the larger picture of our lives and how we interact with the world. The latter growing general awareness reveals that indeed we are ‘connected to everything.’ This understanding is creeping into the consciousness of a growing segment of society. Some see things as being connected with some half-baked idea of oneness, but don’t know how to put it into practical use. On the other end of the spectrum, scientists are grappling with the concepts contained in quantum mechanics, still an idea of oneness and again with no practical outcome to date. What if we perceived the world as whole already and looked backward to see how we became so intimately engaged.

Now when this concept is cascaded through layers of patterned behavior and outcome, change is possible. Peering into the depths of what keeps us afraid, angry, ignorant and immobile might reveal the best way out. If we determine the bottlenecks, we can free the flow. In theory, harmony among people and planet is possible using current metrics in the applied sciences. We have ways to analyze and chart superior systems and know how they work.

Inquiring Minds Must Know

So what does that really mean? Let us explore some relevant data.

Peter Senge introduced the “systems thinking” model to the business world in the ’90s. He notes four disciplines, integrated by a fifth. Personal mastery, mental models, building shared vision and team learning are synergized by systems thinking. Basically ‘systems thinking’ is a way of viewing an environment from a broader perspective that includes seeing overall structures, patterns and cycles in systems, rather than seeing only specific events in the system. Those same patterns are likely to appear as fractals throughout any organization. Similarly, the human system is rarely considered in the process of personal growth and, instead of a whole view, we look at a specific behavior as the focus for change.

“A high-functioning system continually exchanges feedback among its various parts to ensure that they remain closely aligned and focused on achieving the goal of the system. If any of the parts or activities in the system seems weakened or misaligned, the system makes necessary adjustments to more effectively achieve its goals.” (Carter McNamara, MBA, PhD, Authenticity Consulting, LLC., 2007)

Could we apply this view to people and planet as we move into the new millennium? What about off-planet relationships? How about applying it to our body/mind/spirit/soul complex? In the concept of holistic systems we can extrapolate a theory of what oneness might look like from a logistical standpoint. No, that doesn’t mean from a mountaintop. It means we can begin to grasp being able to step out of the old paradigm of separation and stagnation.

Holistic health and medicine present a myriad of modalities capable of addressing the plethora of perturbations within the mind/body/spirit/soul or ‘system’ of our individual consciousness. In essence, we are vibration in motion affected by subtle biochemical and physiological changes for the most part. Now we must include environmental changes as our air, land and water have questionable purity. We also know that where we are affects many aspects of our health and mental clarity.

Indeed we are inextricably connected to the world around and within us. We feel sensations, but are challenged to describe them. Apparently we are not used to looking within yet. What about treating the whole person instead of just symptoms?

Holy Water or Stinking Thinking

Dr. Masaru Emoto’s research on water crystals, feelings and thoughts suggests that we have a profound capacity to affect ourselves and our environment. We are roughly 60% water or so. Just imagine the affect our thoughts and feelings have on each of us. What are you thinking about now? What was your last inspiring thought? How did that feel? When was your last desperate thought? How did that feel? Choice is optional.

Scientific discoveries continue to validate what mystics have espoused for years – our thinking affects our reality; the observer’s thoughts and feelings directly affect the experiment. Science and spirituality speak with one voice.

Are we listening? How do we think and feel in a holistic fashion that is life-friendly and supportive of change? Are we aware of the thoughtmosphere, the repository of intelligence we all share and how accessible it really is?

Holistic ecology reflects the argument made that “in order to move toward greener societies, homogeneity and universalism will have to be replaced by recognition of the importance of cultural, biological, and epistemological diversity. Without such diversity, the options for life itself are removed. We are all related at our core.

Indigenous peoples appreciate this diversity. Without such diversity, the options for life itself are removed. Collectively, they embody cultural and epistemological diversity, and by their very character respect the importance of the diversity that exists within the natural world.” (Timothy Boston, University of Tasmania, Australia).

Holistic education is a multi-leveled experiential journey of discovery, expression and mastery where all students and teachers learn and grow together. Holistic education recognizes the innate potential of EVERY student for intelligent, creative, systemic thinking. Holistic learning is organized around relationships within and between learners and their environment while empowering learners to live fully in the present and to co-create preferred futures.

Holistic curriculum is inquiry driven, interdisciplinary and integrated, and is based on explicit assumptions of interconnectedness, wholeness and multi-dimensional being. (Holistic Education Network of Tasmania, Australia).

How We Are Who We Are

You might want to ‘google’ Howard Gardner’s ‘multiple intelligences’ and Daniel Goleman’s ‘emotional intelligences’ to garner greater understanding of how we learn and work in the world. Suffice it to say we are very complex beings with very simple motivations and a natural urge to merge runs through our entire being. As we explore the notion of universal order or cosmic consciousness there is a certain inspired logic the permeates the thoughtmosphere.

We create relation ships on the ocean of emotion, usually buffeted by our inability to control our own emotions, driven by our desire to control. Emotion that is, operating our minds and bodies after a response is called for, instead of remaining quiet and observing the prudent path. Sense becomes common in our listening. When we step back we can see a bigger picture, a broader scope of how possibilities can coagulate to move the foundation of behavior to a higher order.

The growing wisdom about creating a ‘holistic’ relationship with the people and planet flows across multiple industries and the burgeoning global economy, not to mention echoing in the thoughtmosphere of a conscience that appears as a new trend toward ethical behavior. “This broader view and inclusive approach to personal and professional endeavors is challenging patterns of behavior and the ‘old way’ of doing business.” Daniel Pink

Change agents are melding with Cultural Creatives™ as the need for holistic practices in business is met. Business as usual, driven by profit and loss statements, is transforming into something much greater today as some individuals and companies are necessarily redefining their vision and mission statements to reflect a new mindset. To note a recent milestone, the International Standards Organization brought representatives together from 90 countries with the task of creating social responsibility standards. The ISO 26000 Social Responsibility Standards Draft copy is available at PlanetaryCitizens.net

The ratified copy was released in December of 2010 and provides a holistic approach to doing business and corporate behavior. This very well could be the tool that we can use to change the behavior of the corporatocracy. We certainly aren’t going to get rid of them, so let’s get them to act a little differently. After all, it is the internal informal communication fostered by management and employees that drives a company. Can you imagine an internal change that would foster ethical and responsible behavior?

A New Paradigm of Inclusion

The new 21st Century mindset includes a ‘holistic’ view, yet focuses on the practical elements that engage a new living awareness. After all, it is our awareness that changes and because of that change the world around us appears to change. When that change occurs to harmonize and resonate with natural patterns, rhythms and timing there is a shift. That is the shift we seek as we move into the new galactic year, another spin around the center of our galaxy. The current fragmentation of our society and developing global village demand a new view.

Might a holistic perspective seeking harmony among people and planet through best practices help? Einstein alluded that this might be an aspect of quantum entanglement, where the universe is seeking to reveal itself through extraordinary ordinary means, like learning to get along so we can care for each other without fear. Perhaps focusing on the health and well-being of a planetary civilization is more appropriate given our understanding of attention and intention.

Evidence of advancing connectivity and an evolving new view, a holistic world view model, is showing up in the co-creation wheel model that both the Thrive website and the Shift Movement. I wonder if Gamble and Marx-Hubbard conferred? Are there more folks climbing on the bandwagon for a holistic system emergence on the planet? I’m sure if you look around there are many other examples, like IBM’s Smarter Planet campaign. It seems Senge’s affect on the learning organization and systems thinking is filtering through the thoughtmosphere. There is still the matter of collaboration that remains in question. It seems competition for value still reigns, even with all the talk indicating otherwise.

How do we create value in the 21st Century? How do we create bridges for a holistic systems approach to planetary administration and merge diversity effectively? Whether we fear or welcome it, there is a ‘new world order’ that is emerging. How do we, as planetary citizens, make sure that the momentum takes us toward living as ONE – one people, one planet, one time?

It all seems to make perfect sense when we realize that there are enough resources to feed, clothe, house and provide health care for everyone. We’ve placed the economics of war over human life, though, and that mindset has to change soon or we’ll self-destruct. Even with those supposedly working for ‘good’… are they more interested in sharing or selling you something? The truly confusing piece of information is that we spend more money on corporate and military functions than, if redirected, would provide more than enough funds to feed, clothe, house and care for everyone. Of course those are statistics, but what if they are true?

Donald Keys, speech writer for U Thant in the 60s, coined the phrase Planetary Citizen on the way to creating The New World Alliance. The United Nations had some great leadership in these mean, attempting to create a holistic view of the world at that time.

From Donald Keys circa 1982… “To cross over the threshold and enter into a world of new and exciting promise requires us to fulfill the tasks immediately before us: first, to become aware; second, to accept responsibility for the human situation; third, to acquire skills; and fourth, to act wisely and well, consciously and continuously on behalf of… a better future for humanity.”

So now that we’ve made it past the latest bump in the road, let’s opt for a true apocalypse and transform our way of looking at the world, our lives and our relationships.

If you like what you’ve read so far, you might enjoy my book – Are We ONE?: https://www.createspace.com/3452312

One World – Public Access

OneWorldShow1I had an interesting transition from marriage and the corporate ladder in early 1989. I had a major shift in my life to say the least. viagra 100mg I really tried to do my best in both worlds, but failed in each evidently. I acknowledge that I missed some signs in each, yet my inner direction and ‘guidance’ from that place of universal connection we all have seemed to want something different. It was nothing shy of traumatic and tumultuous and I wasn’t sure I’d make it through initially. It was a tough road for me emotionally and spiritually, yet I eventually made it to higher ground.

In the summer of ’89 I got involved with a project called ‘Earth Concert 1989‘ that was being spearheaded by a guy named Jean Hudon from Canada. He’d written a book called The Immortal Child that I found solace in during that period and eventually met up with him later in the year. While networking and looking for sponsors I had the opportunity to present the concept to the Christown Lion’s Club. I knew they were doing events and had a nice insurance policy that could prove very useful in acquiring a site for the Phoenix spoke of the event.

Something unexpected happened, though, and it led to the opportunity to produce and host a television show. The very first show was a conversation between a good friend and I about the focus of the show and what I hoped to accomplish. It was my first time on camera, so I was nervous as heck. Rodger Schnellenberger was actually the second choice for the conversation. Andy Olson, a local radio personality, was supposed to be there, but he got tied up with a meeting at work, so Rodger stepped in. What a gift, too. Rodger had a Masters in Television and Video production from Arizona State University and was very comfortable being put on the spot… in the light. Enjoy the view and I’ll pick it up again in a moment.

The discussion brought up key points regarding the progression of consciousness and new thought that was driving the conversations in the community of folks that many called ‘metaphysical,’ ‘new age,’ or ‘spiritual.’ At that time the internet was non-existent and the proliferation of ‘new thought’ was far from ubiquitous. I’d had the opportunity to put many of the philosophies to the test and distill an awareness that seemed worthy of sharing. I also felt that if I was going through this process, then others must be having these kind of challenges, too.

How the show evolved was nothing less than surreal as the whole chain of events seemed to have an invisible hand guiding them. After the presentation of the Earth Concert concept to the Lion’s Club, the president approached me to get involved with the group. He thought I’d get along famously with a guy who was currently directing a show for them that featured Harry Eagle, the origami man, who was teaching how to make origami.

Long story short, the director and I became fast friends and I went through the training classes to be able to participate in the behind the scenes production components at the public access studio. Our relationship extended into rock climbing and other desert adventures. Several months went by and I learned the various skills required to produce a show; audio and video decks, graphic generation and display, switcher, camera operation and floor direction. It was a lot of fun. At the time I was pretty well networked in the metaphysical community from events I’d been producing, both independently and with others.

One evening I could tell his patience with the talent was growing thin. I was sitting at the computer graphics generator, next to the switcher (used to control the lights, audio mix, camera displays and final feed to the 3/4 inch video recorder) where John was stationed as director. He turned to me during a break and asked me if I’d produce a show about ‘new age’ topics since I was already heavily involved in the community. I hadn’t said a word about my secret desire to do so. I told him I’d love to, but ‘new age’ wasn’t a label I wanted to use for the show as it was still very controversial and I wanted to be able to appeal to a larger population.

It took a little while and when we decided on ‘One World’ we thought it was more congruent with the theme of creating harmony among people and planet. I had no idea how I was going to structure the show, though. One afternoon I was meditating, with nothing particular on my mind, when all of a sudden the ‘format’ showed up. I’d bring guest on and ask a series of questions about who they are, what prompted to do what they are doing personal and professionally from both internal and external perspectives.

From there we’d explore the fears they encountered and, more importantly, how they overcame them and how they seem that pattern or process reflected in the people they worked with and in the community at large. Finally, we would discuss what barriers they see to a global community in harmony, how they see those barriers dissolving and what evidence they can offer of it. The first show was the kick-off where we’d introduce the concept and have some fun discussing the personal and professional paths Rodger and I had trod to date. As you saw, we really had no script and jumped in with both feet from the beginning.

What was really interesting was that Rodger and I had a number of private conversations off camera about the thinness of the veil between this life and the next. I’d had numerous experiences with necromancy, being able to talk to dead people, so our conversations took on a deeper dynamic. I had introduced him to his future wife, Annie, who was staying with me at the time. She was a gifted psychic as well as a really cool woman and they hit it off the moment they met. She was visiting from Scotland as well and after extending her visa, they moved to Kentucky to help his parents with their trucking business. A year later they returned to Phoenix to get married.

Rodger and I did a one-year anniversary show as well. Hopefully I can find that a post it eventually, too. I’ve had about 50 tapes left from the 100+ shows of the series and only recently finally got some of them converted and posted to YouTube. At any rate, Rodger and Annie went back to Kentucky and just over a week later Rodger died in a car wreck on his way to work one morning. I understood why we seemed to always end up talking about the veil then. It was prep work.

Of course, in classic style he came to me a few days later as I entered my home. I got an intense feeling that I needed to lay down, like I was suddenly overwhelmed with fatigue. No sooner did I get prone than his face appeared in my vision (eyes closed) and I heard him say, “Hey, got something to show you.” For the next few minutes my vision was filled with video vignettes from the other side, offering further confirmation to our discussions and some tasty tidbits of information that answered some of my further questions about consciousness in general. You’ll find those peppered throughout my books. Just google’- ‘Zen Benefiel, author’ and you’ll find them. Or just look over at the sidebar.

I’ll be sharing another show soon, with comments about our discussion and future discoveries. All of these shows were recorded at the Glendale Public Access Studio, owned by Dimension Cable Services, from May of 1990 to August of 1922. I’m so grateful for the dedication of the volunteer crew and all the guests who participated. We were pioneers in the field at the time. Maybe someday I’ll have an opportunity to revisit the theme.

The Process of Critical Self-Reflection

8-aspectsSelf-Reflection

The process of critical reflection of assumptions empowers one and many to view influencing details that determines the ability to find consensus and harmony in any situation. Harmony does not mean the absence of conflict, merely the creative buy cialis 20mg use of it to resolve issues that inhibit cooperative and collaborative relationships in professional and personal environments.

The article presents perspectives of human patterns and the avenues available to establish collective understandings of beliefs, intentions, values and feelings to facilitate a ‘common’ reality that is workable for everyone. Critical reflection of assumptions is used to enter into a discourse to assess alternative beliefs, predicated on universal principles. CRA is used in Transformational Theory, Assimilative Learning, Objective Reframing, and Subjective Reframing for adult learning.

Transformational Theory

Transformational Theory (Mezirow, 1991,1995, 1996), which uses reflection, maintains human learning is promoted in communication through assessing intentions, values, moral issues, and feelings which requiring the use of critical reflection of assumptions. Transformational Theory holds that CRA is not a panacea or provides some transcendent experience to resolve conflict. Rather, it presents the process as a ‘best practice’ compared to other options that have been used in the workplace.

Assimilative Learning

Assimilative Learning, as used by psychoanalysts, pertains to adjustment or accommodation to a difficult situation by accepting it as conforming to one’s desire. This process moves one to act according to regulative principles, a way of thinking or behaving deemed more functional or acceptable. This seems to characterize the way adults learn to adapt to change, using tacit judgment to move forward to constructive results.

Objective Reframing

Objective Reframing examines established definitions, theories, and practices to better understand the paradigms influencing decision-making. Using critical reflection of a premise and defining a problem can lead to transformative redefinition and ‘problem posing.’ The objective of this process, in the all its facets, is to improve performance.

Subjective Reframing

Subjective Reframing examines psychological or cultural assumptions to reveal conceptual and psychological limitations.

In all of the above situations, critical reflection of assumptions is used in discursive groups to assess and manage flow of communication relative to outcomes desired within those same discursive groups that are commonly found within the workplace environment. The task for a manager is to creatively translate the use of critical reflection of assumptions and discourse to effectively facilitate conflict resolution in the workplace.

Questions:

What are the tools available for creating an atmosphere where critical reflection of assumptions can be used effectively? How can one facilitate the use of such tools in environments where human communications are predicated on form, fit and function of critical path assessments?

Potential Answers:

Human resource development programs using a combination of psychoanalytic assessment tools and facilitation training for employees are one possibility. Cultural diversity and sensitivity training for managers is another, as they can then affect communication in their respective departments. Team building or collaborative alliance training outside of the company’s environment is yet another possibility that offers professional development through reliance on others as well as self.

Critical path assessment, defining the basic fundamentals of production, can be introduced through various scenarios involving critical reflection of assumptions. One such opportunity would involve discovering the logic path used to streamline production processes, eliminating wasted resources and labor costs as a functional goal. Another would use interpersonal skills development to better affect communicating goals and objectives to a diverse population within the workforce.

Personal ethics statement: I will to do good for all, desiring to serve humanity in the highest and best use of my mind/body/spirit complex, in the facilitation of a new world order of harmony among people and planet through the development of a state-of-the-art model community and website that promotes this endeavor.