Shit, how can I pay? Follow economy! Inherited through money, approved by aristocracy, capitalism is right. The shitty artists into ruin; they are not realistic about the right way. Serving beauty doesn’t pay!
Hell, how can I say? Follow politics! Merited through rights, approved by meritocracy, capitalism is great. The hellish comedians into shame; they are not serious about the great way. Serving humor doesn’t pay!
Fuck, how can I convey? Follow media! Gained through voices, approved by mobocracy, capitalism is good. The fucking musicians into oblivion; they are not important for the good way. Serving inspiration doesn’t pay!
God, how can I thrive? Follow science! Achieved through tools, approved by technocracy, capitalism is correct. The godly naturalists into sickness; they are not advanced about the correct way. Serving nature doesn’t pay!
Damn, how can I realize? Follow religion! Granted through membership, approved by theocracy, capitalism is fine. The damn spirituals into condemnation; they are not chosen for the fine way. Serving the soul doesn’t pay!
Man, how can I help? Follow the state! Legit through power, approved by bureaucracy, capitalism is fair. The manly selves into oppression; they are not conform with the fair way. Serving freedom doesn’t pay!
Do we have a dark side that we can’t help it? The self-responsible answer is no. It’s a character choice that needs to be consistent over time.
The process between the conscious and the unconscious goes as follows:
Every action and thought is motivated by the unconscious at some level. Some motives are temporarily not acted out as long as the mechanism of repression works. Distraction, stress, sleep deprivation, and drunkenness can release repressed behavior by activating the subconscious. Whatever we plant in our subconscious mind and nourish with repetition and emotion will one day become a reality. Therefore, there is no excuse for the stressed or drunkard who ask what took possession of them. All behavior in any situation, including the subconscious surfacing, is created through the conscious. One can only act out what was before accepted to be put into the self. Consequently, to learn to behave by suppressing unwanted behavior (i.e., because fearing negative social consequences) is not the goal. Instead, one should cultivate thoughts and a worldview that can only generate desirable behavior under any circumstances.
Plants can feed themselves. Humans need the help of plants because only they can process the nutrients of the soil into food. Humans have to compensate for their lack of natural intelligence with more complex structures. If plants were to economize as ‘intelligently’ as humans, humanity would depend on plants’ grace. The plants are unconditionally gracious, though. We know that plants can process information, communicate, and (re-) act. Do the plants know more? Why are they ready to plunge into ruin because of and with us? Is that how nature teaches us to love?
In this regard, two poems:
Who mocks the soul but adores the sky, adores the idolatry of a heavenly origin, the megalomania of a cosmic meaning, and the aloofness of a higher purpose.
Who adores the body but mocks the earth, mocks the responsibility of an earthly connection, the humility of a planetary nature, and the groundedness of a profound liability.
Who adores the soul and the earth, indeed, responds to the heavenly origin with an earthly connection, humbles the cosmic meaning through a planetary nature, and grounds her higher purpose on a profound liability.
PLANTS ARE STUPID
Plants are stupid.
They organize to turn earth into food, provide to the needy without being asked. Plants are stupid.
They share their parts and live on, provide in abundance without demands. Plants are stupid.
They cooperate for reproduction and growth, provide of harvest without a price. Plants are stupid.
The term ‘intention’ in medicine means the healing process of a wound. We may create plans based on any beliefs that bring us to an achievement of something out there we think is missing, or we can be drawn to deeper roots that are pulling towards internal healing and recovery of inner truth. While intuition is the messenger from and to our source (or in AWI terms: intra-past), imagination is the force pulling from and to our purpose (extra-future). Intention resides in the inter-present in full cooperation with others, and it is the binding element between intuition and imagination. Intention is the doing between one’s true intuitive being and imaginative becoming. If you have intentions in line with your intuition, even if there seems currently no practical way to act upon, do maintain the thoughts about them, and you’ll keep a healthy attitude. The universe will conspire to co-create over sooner or longer if one stays awaringly alert. The benefits of staying authentic are to reveal in any case. Because even without external stimuli and actions in the here and now, mind-wandering back to intuition and forth into imagination does create present moment emotions and thoughts, similar to real-life experiences. The brain cannot differentiate between real and imagined, and images get memorized similar to experiences. Therefore, intentional mentation is as much real reality for answering the big questions of life beyond practical considerations as is the experience from physical respectively geographical immersion into a socio-cultural and possibly even individually mismatching interpretations of reality. The mere memory or the prospect of a joyful experience can enable a joyful desire to let go of curtailing attachment. It is highly awareness-intelligent to motivate oneself and inspire others to achieve this prospect of joy by accessing the roots on both ends, the past and the future, intuition and imagination.
Learning for life, for one’s own identity, is learner-led and requires conditions of personal freedom; this also applies when learning from the past. The free Self (one’s intrapersonal level), not culture, societal history, religion, and judgment of others around us, teaches us about our true Self.
There are three main obstacles to self-reflective learning from the intrapersonal past (or short in Awareness Intelligence terms, ‘intra-past’)
Obstacle 1: Focus on inter- and extra-personal aspects of the past
The extrapersonal level of the past can be defined as the societal scope beyond interpersonal relationships, including the historic narratives we get during raising, enculturation, and religious education. In the worst case, traditions, beliefs, religious scripts, etc., strictly adhere to fundamentalist attachment. Especially older people sometimes show a propensity towards retrospective non-self-related thoughts. One explanation is that age can cause a weakened ability to recall individual (intrapersonal) past experiences. But others possess the cognitive ability and stick to the non-intrapersonal aspects in creating their worldview. Societal pressure, lack of personal freedom and agency, and learned mechanisms to defend privileges are possible reasons. In any case, a strong emphasis on family history and ancestral heritage usually holds an individual back from updating one’s self-concept meaningfully as advantageous for adaptations to current and future situations. It is to hope that we create the conditions for individuals to be closer to themselves, which is the only way to become closer with humanity overall.
Obstacle 2: Exclusive mindfulness in the intra-present
See upcoming painting
Obstacle 3: Over-identification with the inter-present
“Many of us have been convinced that we carry the darkness within us, in our selfish genes. “It is simply human nature,” we’re told, “to rape and kill and enslave—and anyone who thinks otherwise is a foolish romantic.” This messaging not only offends our decency and dignity, it insults our intelligence. The depiction of human nature embedded in the narrative of perpetual progress isn’t science; it’s a marketing campaign for the status quo.” – Civilized to Death (Christopher Ryan)
‘Civilized to Death’ counters the idea that progress is inherently good. Chris Ryian argues that the “progress” defining our age is analogous to an advancing disease, but he does not deny the benefit from specific achievements. For example, child mortality has decreased dramatically. However, already in ancient times people lived well into their seventies once they surpassed the age of fifteen.
The ones constantly striving for more (as defined by our socio-economic system) and the so-considered wealthy and happy ones carry like all of us the same burden of perpetual dissatisfaction from the unhealthy structures and related human estrangement. Connections make people happy, and status and wealth often even come with isolation. Maybe due to the Corona measures put on us, the system favors the rich again in this aspect, as the resources and space available allow them to maintain a social environment more easily. The people told to stay in their tiny homes and away from their workplaces and closed public recreational opportunities can’t.
Nevertheless, this book is very timely, fair, and balanced. It does not ignore the signs of civilization heading towards a culmination point of destroying itself (as all high cultures have in the past). On the other hand, the author encourages a positive outlook that appreciates every individual’s humanity. Unfortunately, the capitalist system cannot successfully support us in living up to our potential and a truly vibrant life.
‘Civilized to Death’ does not only rely on a vast collection of scientific study results but convinces through well-illustrated arguments and impressive observations. By comparing ours to pre-historic life, the picture favors the genuine and content foraging societies. In contrast, the life our ancestors have preferred over hundreds of thousands of years (and still did/do when being offered/forced into civilization), contemporary men appear like disturbed creatures living in a self-designed zoo. If people don’t hoard and possess and instead have free access to natural resources (because these are not yet misappropriated and made scarce by the economic system, there is no reason to fight wars.
While we have learned to see the world from a scarcity point of view where we protect our feeling of never having enough, foragers felt rich given the abundance they saw available around them. Of course, their consumption was much less (and so was obesity and related diseases). Therefore, today’s high world population isn’t the issue at hand. Also, the small forager communities did not concentrate in cities and nations. They were characterized by inclusive, appreciative, and egalitarian structures that met their desire for anti-authoritarian co-living, collaboration, and mutual help.
The book offers many eye-opening findings and logical explanations for why progress in the wrong direction is not the gift that is sold to us. The tremendous amount of money in this world wants to grow, and personal growth seems to be coupled with such an understanding of richness. That’s why people accept being sold countless myths (not to say ‘lies’) and buy into the narrative of perpetual progress.
If we are interested in living a conscious life that respects us holistically as fully, healthily functioning, and enjoying human beings, then this is a fantastic read. The book connects the dots in an interdisciplinary way, and it courageously clarifies what many of us feel in our guts. There is hope for chances to correct the history of wars. We must look back far enough and learn from the times before the spread of our all-consuming civilization that constantly tries to fix its self-created problems with commercially driven symptom fighting. I hope you enjoy this enormous treasure trove of healthier alternatives attainable for everyone, society, and the future of all humanity and the planet.
This painting is a suggestion for the symbol that could represent the novel term and concept of Awareness Intelligence™. It’s time for a new understanding of awareness, instead of maintaining old and incomplete notions of it.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said more than a hundred years ago that history should be banned from school. I agree in the sense that the common issue of glorifying the past and using it to legitimate and reinforce established power structures, for example in politics, is hindering real improvement. The world needs new solutions to old problems. A spirit-based awareness to overcome ego-based identification is needed. Rather than closing down for victories, humanity needs to open up for progress. Just because things are our culture, they are not necessarily good. Good is what increases awareness.
For the original research and related articles about Awareness Intelligence, you can visit www.mathias-sager.com
Life is proving us constantly that peace is possible to the extent human awareness is embracing it. Consequently, if all the world is scoped-in for ambitions of peace, a peaceful world indeed becomes attainable. An awaria can come through the dissolution of the illusion of separated and separating personal and societal identities, which would not be bounded together by life across times. It will be a future world in which all human beings are aware of their shared awareness of life. Thanks to intelligent awareness, the relational and temporal modes of life will be better understood, accepted as an essential truth, and consequently being acted upon for individual well-being, collective thriving, and the common good. Awarian life is possible thanks to the systematic and continuous practice of Awareness Intelligence, the chief liberating and humanitarian enabler of a new age.
There are lucrative business cases behind the emerging possibilities in new technology such as smart devices, the internet of everything, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality. The intentions of the humans who are creating and utilizing technology are determining how technological progress will look like. What is clear is that technology follows the mindset of investors, developers, and users. How virtuously technology will serve humanity depends on how people grow in their awareness. Never will technology lead or replace the natural, non-artificial intelligence of nature (see also #awarenessintelligence) that is the direct expression of the life force itself. The appreciative study of the human mind, therefore, should be the absolute priority of all undertakings.
Is what we teach our children mutually beneficial for other children too? Is our teaching inclusive and useful to all humanity? Is it timeless? If so, these are awareness-intelligent lessons worth to be spread. Such shared insights would come from and support full human potential. Unfortunately, the propagation of obscured views is in vogue. It seems like blind people are leading blind people and nobody realizes the lack of sight. Possible, because “in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is a king,” as the proverb goes. In any case, many do feel that there is something wrong. All the unnecessary conflicts and aggression are the awareness-blind persons’ desperate canes searching for a way out of disorientation and anticipating hurting clashes. It’s the awareness-blind persons’ own helplessness and frustration that leads them to hatred, self-harming, and violent behavior. Without prescribing a specific cure, it’s always possible to provide everybody in minimum a reference system to aid their orientation to find their cure themselves. If we teach humantime by means of explaining and internalizing the socio-temporal matrix, Awareness Intelligence, and therefore peace will ensue. If you want to re-produce your humanness beyond survival mode, create and enthusiastically inspire others by teaching how to consciously apply systematic thinking to activate the inner eye of awareness that is including the full scope of the socio-temporal system of human life.
[Excerpt from ‘Awareness Intelligence’. See also earlier posts for more context and details]
Often breakthrough findings are the simplest ones. If something can’t be explained easily, it is not well understood. If spirituality is advertised as requiring miraculous super-powers hold by few, it might be spiritual elitism that is not for all of us. An awareness-intelligent understanding of spirituality may be considered prosaic considering its modest level of mysticism involved, and yet it is whole and infinite, full of all the beauty and joy that life has to offer. Spirituality is simple and pure humaneness, it is the ultimate mental playground of human realization. We are all spiritual beings; we just need to be aware of and practicing it.
To organize our thinking about life, mind, and soul is not creating a false god. Neither has a logical arrangement have to deteriorate into a dogmatic belief system. Indeed, what wisdom means for one person may have a completely different meaning and quality for somebody else. What feels right at one time becomes obsolete later on. It’s of limited usefulness to name a spiritual authority or to lay down religious rules and rituals if not for institutional interests. The same is true for so-called consciousness-enhancing substances. However, there is a universal structure of life that we should all be aware of.
THE SOCIO-TEMPORAL MATRIX OF MENTAL WORLDVIEW SCHEMAS
A person’s worldview, i.e., the schema through which the world is experienced, influences one’s well-being. Cloninger’s ‘unity of being’ represents a model of a coherent self-concept that consists of the self, others, and the world as a whole and has an impact on the degree of self-reliance, hope, the ability to cope, compassion, and cooperativeness. In that sense, the socio-temporal matrix as a framework to identify and visualize worldviews can facilitate the exploration of similar possible psychological effects related to a person’s meaning-making and well-being through socio-temporal worldviews.
Figure 1. The socio-temporal matrix of worldview schemas
The novel socio-temporal matrix is derived as described in the following and as visualized by Figure 1. On the x-axis of the model, there are three variables of the temporal dimension. More specifically, this horizontal axis partitions itself, in the order from left to right, into the ‘past,’ ‘present,’ and ‘future.’ The vertical y-axis of the matrix contains the three variables of the social dimension. Starting from the intersection with the horizontal axis, which represents time as explained, the first third of the vertical line (y-axis) shall be labeled ‘intra-’ that is short for ‘intra-personal. The next, middle part of the vertical axis becomes ‘inter-,‘which stands for the ‘inter-personal’ scope. The third and uppermost vertical section is the ‘extra-,‘ which signifies ‘extra-personal.’ Similar to a coordinate system, through these two tripartite grid lines, a matrix can be formed (see Figure 1). When using the vertical and horizontal axis’ labels in the same manner as the numerical coordinates of a map, or the letters and numbers of a chessboard, it is possible to identify and navigate the three times three – in total nine – fields of the matrix (see Figure 1).
The nine fields of the matrix will be used to inquire about socio-temporal mental schemas. An individual’s worldview schema is expected to consist of a specific set of matrix fields, depending on whether one’s belief system emphasizes certain socio-temporal mental states over others. For example, one may emphasize other-related extra-past (e.g., socio-cultural upbringing), behave in an inter-present, rather relationship-dominated way, while focusing, however, on a self-oriented intra-future. Such a socio-temporal mental worldview schema might link to specific meanings as, for example, a more independent (i.e., denoted by the intra-past instead of an inter- or extra-past) and other-oriented (i.e., depicted as the extra-future rather than an inter- or intra-future) cognitive socio-temporal worldview preference.
Regarding the above-mentioned social dimension, the intra-personal, inter-personal, and extra-personal factors have been found to influence human perception, experience, and the capacity to manage life areas such as risks. Intra-personal means the thoughts and beliefs related to the individual herself. A definition of inter-personal comes from those thoughts and beliefs, which are related to personal interactions with others. Extra-personal can be defined as a social scope that goes beyond the direct interaction with others. Extra-personal beliefs are related to long-term interests such as social needs that surpass intra- and inter-personal benefits. They can comprise social relationships beyond group memberships, i.e., being a member of the whole human species.
What’s your socio-temporal schema constellation? What combinations of meaningful and often frequented social and temporal aspects within the socio-temporal matrix do emerge and predominate in your mind-wanderings?
You can also discover the adventure of your socio-temporal worldview here:
BENT TIME (M. Sager, 2021. Acrylic on wood panel, 60 x 60 cm)
Part of Awareness Intelligence is the ability to mentally stretch to both sides of the circle of life. For our eternal soul that is a breeze, but for our human lifetime awareness and related thinking, it is a gymnastic split we need to practice for. All-inclusive and endless knowing requires to mentally stretch enough into the time before our physical birth, as well as into the time after our death to bend the timeline into a circle of perpetual and unified life. We have to sense our soul-relatedness to the immaterial consciousness to detach ourselves from the illusion of time that is only bound to objects such as our bodies. Despite the need to handle practical time for physical experiences, one needs to connect to the timeless sphere of universal intelligence. It is our human capacity to be aware of this co-existence of practical and universal, cosmic time; the awareness of the parallel truth of life, life’s immortal intelligence that breathes the energy vibrations of consciousness even into our objectified temporal bodily manifestation.
Can you imagine? Your agency, meaning in life, creativity, and satisfaction are depending on it
“Nothing happens in the real world unless it happens first in the images in our heads” (Gloria E. Anzaldúa)
“Through the inner channels of the imagination, we can see through the eyes of others, travel back to the past, anticipate future circumstances, visit imaginary places and create impossible worlds” (Marks-Tarlow)
Imagination to connect
Apparently (I say it again and again), people’s stress and anguish, the conflict between societies, and how the environment gets maltreated do not diminish. It seems that the human ability to mentally embracing a global collective as a species does not keep pace with the globalization of the world. In other words, there’s a lack of mentality in the sense of how populations can imagine their connection to a broader context like all humanity and the planet. However, the feeling of interconnectedness is essential in contributing to health and well-being. Indeed, research findings suggest that psychological well-being is dependent upon one’s connection to a broader, even widely anonymous social scope that comes with a sense of meaning in life. Carl Jung spoke about different parts of the self that transcend the ‘ego’ self and that these need to be integrated to complete a harmonious inner self. According to Carl Jung, human creativity, as expressed by imagination, can be seen as a force of the universe that extends into each individual and may help assume a perspective of wholeness, i.e., the unification of the self, the planet, and the cosmos. It’s such coordination of views that affect people’s socio-temporal experience of the world, and the imagination of alternative perspectives can turn over beliefs that were perceived unsatisfactory.
Imagination to imagine the future
Imagination is required to imagine future events, which constitutes (besides recalling matters of the past) a part of the ability to mentally ‘travel in time’. If people don’t imagine the future, their sense of self and the perceived agency diminishes.
Imagination enhances meaning in life
The human ability to simulate temporal and social perceptibility is a mental process that was found to enhance meaning (e.g., knowing what is truly important) and psychological well-being. Mental simulation precedes behavior, either by triggering actions or by supporting self-control that can constrain activity. In that sense, simulated mental constructs form worldviews, which guide a person’s understanding, point of view, meaning-making, and experience of the world.
Imagination creates realities
Although common sense still tends to propagate a ‘what I don’t see, I don’t believe’ attitude, the human imagination represents the pinnacle of evolution. “Through the inner channels of the imagination, we can see through the eyes of others, travel back to the past, anticipate future circumstances, visit imaginary places and create impossible worlds” (Marks-Tarlow). In fact, we create reality with our imagination. “What is now proved was once only imagined” (William Blake), and “nothing happens in the real world unless it happens first in the images in our heads” (Gloria E. Anzaldúa). It’s little the outer circumstances nor the past or the future we suffer; we suffer from our memory and imagination. That’s why it is crucial how we remember and imagine. The ‘now’ isn’t the whole reality because experience isn’t direct and a mere result of our five senses. Instead, we experience through imagination as our brain cannot differentiate between a sensed and imagined experience. Imagination is causing same brain activities as actions. Even the imagination of the past and future creates our present experience. The placebo effect illustrates well how our thinking becomes biology.
Artists and leaders use imagination
Artists, for example (see Kolb’s learning styles), tend to use imagination to solve problems. They master viewing concrete situations through several different viewpoints. Although they like symbols and rules, they don’t take these for granted and instead freely imagine new ones. That’s why they are feared and persecuted by rulers. Artistic skills require spatial intelligence, which involves active imagination, for example like mental imagery, spatial reasoning, and image manipulation. One downturn to such a preference may be that people who have the most vivid imagination capacity are often less likely to realize it as it will never be so nice in reality. On the other hand, considering our temporary and fragile body and related materialistic cravings and fears, our spirit is all we really have. Only when creating in freedom, without fear and shame, we experience the joy of intrinsic satisfaction. In more poetic words, it’s the bringing out of the divine of our highest purpose.
Imagination can be learned
Paradoxically, humans try to change what has evolved over long periods of time and isn’t that easy (let alone healthy) to change: our body. Yet, they still don’t see that they could change their mind instantly. Eventually, there is hope that everybody can learn imagination and achieve more meaning in their lives, for example, by expanding the connection to serve even anonymous others and by broadening one’s time orientation, especially towards the future (see my writings about Awareness Intelligence and the related socio-temporal matrix). “Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world” (Albert Einstein).
The body underlies the law of the now; it can only be enjoyed in the present moment. As for the mind, however, we got the ability to anchor in a primordial self-awareness, alertly touch the present, and expand our awareness into the future. Such an extended and multi-directional quality of the mind does not fall prey to present-moment boundedness and is able to navigate time freely. Like a bird, we can let our thoughts fly across the infinite topology of awareness.
It is tempting to ask “Which one do I like most?” But actually, I like them all …
We wish to be intelligent to perform tasks such as reading, calculating, solving technical problems, create music, understand nature, be a good employee or entrepreneur, and so forth. These may all be important to fulfill social roles. And, social comparison is a strong happiness factor. People tend to be content if they do well compare to others. Because there are always others who do let us appear compare unfavorably, the choice of a limited circle of easy-to-compare others might be a comforting self-protection strategy. However, such avoiding behavior also prevents from connecting to broader and more diverse walks of life. The measurements of traditional intelligence quotients have only amplified competition unnecessarily. It’s not necessary to compare to others and derive satisfaction from relative high scores in intelligence tests in areas we even don’t feel drawn to naturally as these, in fact, are not of most fundamental relevance to a soul-inspired human life. It is unnecessary to feel judged as a human being by culturally and commercially defined concepts of intelligence. Social comparisons are causing a lot of discrimination, feelings of unworthiness, and related suffering. What makes people really joyful is their capacity for self-determination, which means to be in the driver seat, to function mentally well, and enjoy psychological well-being.
The collective human delusion assumes ‘spacetime’ instead of ‘humantime’ as the fabric of the human psychic universe. Why should space be the component to be studied and mastered as human beings? It’s not the geographical but psychological distance that causes human troubles. I always conclude that the dimensions relevant to humanity are how we relate to our species, life, and how we refer to time. Therefore, our awareness should comprise combining social and temporal dimensions rather than the combination with space. Of course, the achievements of physicalism and technocracy in modern science are fantastic; they brought us, among other things, inventions of the sort of the Internet of things and so forth. However, I think it is time for the internet of human souls, an endeavor that needs a different type of intelligence. Rather than following the tradition of physics and studying the deconstruction and mechanics of the material world, I suggest deciphering the logic of humantime and its effects on psychological well-being, creative performance, and the peace of the collective mind. Humanity would be well advised to invest more in empowering humanness to address known social problems instead of using nationalized budgets for space forces and other armed defenses to fight the unknown material.
“Most conflicts are based on black and white thinking, the fear of devaluation, and the threat to one’s own (cultural) identity. There is one level, though, the global mindset, on which black is also white.”
I often hear that mindset is everything. This common knowledge is used in various contexts and as a ‘tool’ to reach different goals. “If you just put your mind on it, you can get it” became a standard approach in the personal development business. While it’s a good thing to have that knowledge and skill in one’s individual toolbox, I’m also interested in how humanity can achieve a mindset that brings the whole species forward as a whole. From an Awareness Intelligence perspective, my area of research and practice as a psychologist, it is about how to learn to set our minds for increased (if not maximum) true diversity and inclusiveness; something I consider to be crucial if we want to address a more peaceful world. I have written a lot (also in this collaborative) about Awareness intelligence. In terms of the topic of mindset, the concept of ‘global mindset’ possibly comes closest to what I mean.
Mindset: Where’s your attention?
At its heart, mindset is an attention-based approach to performance and for describing a global mindset, therefore, ‘international attention’ – attention to global strategic issues, attention to international beliefs and issues, can be used. How does international attention occur? In accordance with research, for example, traveling to foreign locations or discussing international issues fosters cosmopolitan thinking and behavior. I’ve experienced that during my international work and life as an expatriate in Japan. At the same time, my work as a psychologist and artist involves a high degree of a growth mindset, which might be positively influencing the development of a global mindset. For example, by expanding my horizon, I could fill in some of the blind spots of a fixed psychological map that all too often results in automatic judgment based on cultural understanding. Having a cultural identity makes people’s life easier; many do rely on cultural notions of categories of people to predict others, rather than considering people as individuals, and they favor people they consider to be members of their group. That provides for the human basic need for stability, respectively a sense of safety. in contrast, some people can overcome fear and enjoy more risky, complex, and elaborate thinking, and who are more willing to reexamine initial notions in light of new information. These are the ones who often are attracted to art, theoretical disciplines, and philosophy. But it can take them a long time to decide. Sometimes too long. Or never!
The development of intercultural sensitivity
Intercultural sensitivity is a helpful model for developing a global mindset. Intercultural sensitivity is high when one can adapt to add new behaviors to be more effective in moving in between cultures. In this model from Milton Bennet (1993), the experience of (cultural) difference is moving from more ethnocentric to more ethnorelative stages as follows:
Denial: “I don’t think there’s any other way.”
Defense: “My way is the best.”
Minimization: “What we have in common is more important.”
Adaptation: “I’m adding new behaviors to be more effective in a cross-cultural environment.”
Integration: “I can move in between cultures.”
Personal development towards a global mindset is a hard process because discrepancies between global and situational meaning cause distress. In fact, most conflict is based on the fear of invalidation, the threat of one’s (cultural) identity. A high degree of self-reflection, fearless self-questioning, and openness to commit to giving up privileges and support unity in diversity is required. In short, tremendous effort is required to reduce the distressful discrepancy between situational and global meanings.
Instructions for global information processing
Views that are limited to narrow social boundaries are inhibiting the development of social networks. Such symptoms and communicative isolation in their most extreme forms are characteristics of autism, a distinctly defined illness since the 1940s. The good news is: People lacking more global information processing can be instructed to improve. Humanity is not ill, but it definitively requires instructions on how to develop higher levels of awareness to connect sincerely with others. Interestingly, the availability of more and more global information (i.e., the Internet) did not increase the state of humanity’s global mindset. Instead of teaching how to justify current political structures, which are always local, we should educate on how to become global citizens who care for all.
A shift from cultural competence to Awareness Intelligence
Global citizenship is not a travel lifestyle, it should rather be an attitude of compassion. Multi-relational ability in the sense of Awareness Intelligence is a precondition for cross-cultural competence but goes beyond as it is culture-neutral. Any travel starts within! Cultural competence can be developed by putting one’s feet in another’s shoes. Awareness Intelligence (see also related articles on www.mathias-sager.com), however, is putting one’s consciousness in another’s soul. This will not only enable us to experience some different walks of life but to learn to qualify all of life’s souls. Real and lasting change comes from the level of mental models that enable awareness. Only if the deep-rooted individual mindsets shift towards forming a regenerated collective of deculturized societal structures, human behavioral patterns will start to change accordingly as well. That’s the utopian world of my dreams, the passion in my teachings, the goal of my art, and my deepest belief that it’s still possible; for the benefit of the individual and the common good alike.
When one’s worldview expands entirely in a grid of paramount awareness, the energy of a unified field begins to radiate In physics, forces are theorized to be transmitted through so-called fields. Others use, besides the term of the ‘unified field,’ also ‘cosmic consciousness,’ in which the ‘in-here’ and ‘out-there’ meet. Awareness Intelligence can be understood as such a field where life-intelligent consciousness and mentalizing are harmoniously unified. Through unifying our thoughts with the nature of a multiverse, a state of all-inclusive and timeless humanness can be achieved, which lets us witness its power through showers of bliss.